Home / Arts / Books / Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher (History Press), by Paul Hoffman
Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012

Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher (History Press), by Paul Hoffman

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 A murder in Wauwatosa would raise brows even today, but it was even more shocking in 1925, when 8-year-old Buddy Schumacher disappeared while playing with friends on a summer day. Mysteriously, his body turned up weeks later in an area that had been combed repeatedly by search parties. No less than two men confessed, but their stories didn’t hold, and the evidence against other suspects was never sustained.

Tosa native Paul Hoffman reconstructs the case in Murder in Wauwatosa and finds it more than cold: eyewitness accounts were contradictory, Milwaukee’s daily newspapers covered it with sloppy sensationalism and evidence began disappearing even while the investigation was ongoing. Hoffman is unable to solve the crime, but he conjures up a picture of a much different Wauwatosa than we know today, half covered in woods or farm fields, with reedy jungles of underbrush along the Menomonee River sheltering hobo camps, solitary vagabonds and even “robbers’ roosts.” (David Luhrssen)

Paul Hoffman will discuss his book 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Wauwatosa Public Library.