Cathleen KrauseneckCathleen Krauseneck

Cathleen Krauseneck Wiki- Cathleen Krauseneck Biography

Cathleen Krauseneck A new crime documentary has laid bare the gruesome true story of a 29-year-old woman who was brutally murdered with an ax as her daughter slept in the room next door.

Cathleen Krauseneck’s lifeless body was discovered in bed at her family home in Rochester, New York, in 1982.

She was found laying under blood-soaked sheets with the weapon still lodged in her head.

But it would be 40 years before police charged her then-husband with murder – despite another man confessing to the crime.

Here, FEMAIL has laid bare the disturbing realities surrounding the case after an episode of 48 Hours explored The Brighton Ax Murder.

Cathleen and Jim, who had grown up in the same mall town of Mount Clemens, Michigan, met in high school and began dating in college.

They tied the knot shortly after graduation and welcomed daughter Sarah four years later as their relationship appeared to go from strength-to-strength.

The family-of-three moved to Lynchburg, Virginia, where Jim taught economics at Lynchburg College.

They eventually decided to settle down in Brighton – an upscale suburb of Rochester – in September 1981, but just five months later Cathleen was mercilessly killed.

Jim, who had secured a new job as an economist at Kodak, said he arrived home from the office to a chilling scene.

He entered the property and went upstairs to find his wife’s dead body in their blood-soaked bed with an ax embedded in her skull.

She had been struck by a single blow with the medical examiner at the time claiming she ‘died instantly’ between the hours of 4:30 am and 7:30 am.

‘It was one of the most horrific crimes that we’ve seen in Rochester,’ according to DA Sandra Doorley.

The couple’s three-year-old daughter, who was in the house the entire time, had been left unharmed.

Jim ran over to a nearby house ‘clutching Sarah in his arms’ and with ‘a look of terror on his face’ before the neighbor frantically called the police.

Cathleen Krauseneck Age

Cathleen Krauseneck age is 29 years old.

Cause of Death

Detectives arrived to find a scene that had all the signs of a burglary at first glance – including a broken pane of glass in the back door and another ax leaning up against the wall outside.

Both axes involved in the crime belonged to the Krausenecks.

There was also a black bin liner, tray of silverware and the contents of Cathleen’s purse scattered across the living room floor – but police said that nothing had been taken and quickly decided that it had been staged.

Jim became a suspect ‘within 24 hours’ as mounting evidence appeared to stack up against him.

Detectives believed the couple had been having marriage woes after finding a pamphlet in the couple’s car that offered services including ‘marriage counseling and sex therapy.’

Police also visited Jim’s work where they discovered that he had secured his job under false pretenses by pretending to have a PhD – despite never completing the course.He had initially been cooperative with authorities during questioning but, less than a day after discovering his wife’s body , went to Michigan with his parents and daughter.

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Police continued their questioning from his new location where Jim agreed to provide hair and blood samples.

But 10 days after Cathleen’s death he decided to hire a lawyer.

Despite their suspicions, detectives did not have enough evidence to take the case further and Jim relocated with Sarah.

He wed twice more before tying the knot with current wife Sharon, who had been an old friend, in 1999.

The case went cold for more than three decades before detectives decided to reopen the investigation in 2015.

They began by retesting evidence in light of new technological advances – but there was still no DNA evidence that tied Jim, nor anyone else, to the murder.

Detectives also brought in a new expert who concluded that the actual time of death was 3:30am – hours before Jim said he had left the house for work.

In light of the new development, Jim was indicted in November 2019 despite another man already ‘confessing’ to Cathleen’s murder.

In 2014, career criminal Edward Laraby – described as a ‘terrible human being’ and a ‘psychopath’ – had contacted the FBI claiming he was a serial killer.

He listed the names of his supposed victims which included Cathleen, whom he had lived near at the time of her death.

Laraby, who was imprisoned for 32 years on charges that included robbery, rape and attempted murder, had been questioned once by the police at the time of the murder, but the authorities did not take their investigation into him further.

Detectives said that his confession made decades later ‘did not match up to the facts’ and so it was dismissed. Authorities pushed ahead with Jim’s case and he appeared in court in September 2022 with daughter Sarah standing by him throughout.

The jury took just 10 hours to deliberate and reached the verdict that Jim, then 71, was guilty of second-degree murder.

He was sentenced to 25 years to life behind bars the following month – more than 40 years after Cathleen’s murder.

Jim died in prison jus.


“We feel like justice has been served, although we also feel that a lot of the victims haven’t been heard,” said Gracia.