all of the
reasons to doubt Penny's guilt would take, well, a book, but
here are a
Police clearly had "tunnel vision" in building a case against Penny, another common feature in wrongful convictions. Witness David Zoromski, who reported seeing a suspicious man standing by the open passenger door of a parked pickup truck exactly where Sarah's body was later found, was told by a Dane County Sheriff's Deputy, "What you saw is all very interesting, but we have a suspect and it doesn't fit." The man seen by Mr. Zoromski matched the description of the person Penny said she saw Sarah talking to near the Taco Bell at East Washington Avenue and North Oak Street in Madison, after she dropped her off that night. Police identified him and knew he was a convicted felon with a long history of violence toward women -- but they never followed up on this lead.
The blood alcohol level in Sarah's liver suggests a time of death several hours after Penny was back at her Spring Green home, watching TV.
Sarah's murder -- a bullet to the back of the head -- is consistent with a biker execution, and the extensive impact damage to the bullet may indicate it was a .22 magnum, the sort bikers prefer. Significantly, this type of ammo cannot be fired from the gun, never found, that the prosecution held to be the murder weapon. When a post-conviction effort was made to submit the fired bullet for testing by a Kentucky State Police firearms expert, the lead prosecutor in Penny's case, Dane County Deputy District Attorney Judy Schwaemle, refused to allow it, saying, "Over my dead body."
When Mr. Foseid was asked about this several years later, he insisted he could not possibly have been mistaken, since the woman making death threats had said her name was Penny -- a highly pertinent detail he never mentioned at trial. The DA's office used this make-it-up-as-he-goes witness to help put Penny behind bars for the rest of her life.
* * *
Click the title to read Phil Brinkman's 2005 series Who killed Sarah? The trial of Penny Brummer in the Wisconsin State Journal.
Please Help!Please help pay for reinvestigation and defense with your generous donation.
Send a check or money order to:
Penny Brummer Defense Fund
The People's Community Bank
P. O. Box 369
Spring Green, WI 53588
Checks should be made payable to "Penny Brummer Defense Fund". Thank you!
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3) Ask DA Ismael Ozanne to reopen the investigation (Dane Co. DA's Office, 215 S Hamilton St., Ste 3000, Madison, WI 53703-3211)
4) Say a prayer.