The Brillion News
APPLETON – The trial of a Brillion man for the murder of his mother at a rustic park just outside of Wrightstown opened Monday in Outagamie County Circuit Court.
Randal G. Rosenthal, Jr., 35, is charged with the gunshot slaying of his mother, Kathleen Remter, 53, of Forest Junction on July 22.
She was found in the Fox River, below the Rapid Croche Dam, with a single gunshot wound to the top back of her head. The Wrightstown Fire Department’s Swift Water Rescue Team and the Outagamie County Coroner’s office retrieved the body.
Outagamie County sheriff’s detectives believe Rosenthal shot her while she was sitting on the river bank, fishing at Rapid Croche Park, just outside the Wrightstown village limits in the Town of Buchanan in Outagamie County. The park is a quarter mile west of the Brown-Outagamie county line.
The dam, hydroelectric plant and park are owned by Kaukauna Municipal Utilities.
Rosenthal quickly became a suspect and detectives learned he had been fishing with his mother in the morning.
Workers at the dam reported hearing a gunshot around 1 p.m., about the time of the slaying, but the body wasn’t found until another fisherman came along, followed the steep trail down to the river, and saw her body floating in the river and called the sheriff.
Rosenthal, who lived in an apartment on Fairway Drive in Brillion, was arrested in a multi-agency raid at his Brillion apartment several days later after detectives had the evidence they needed.
They were able to recover shoes and clothes he was allegedly wearing at the time of the murder, as well as the 9mm handgun believed to be the murder weapon, following an extensive search of rural areas in Outagamie, Brown and Calumet counties.
Outagamie County District Attorney Carrie Schneider is prosecuting the case and told the jury that Rosenthal had a motive – collecting on Remter’s life insurance policy.
Defense attorney Kevin Musolf entered a motion earlier to present evidence pointing to a third party as the killer, but Judge Michael Gage denied that motion.
The defense maintains that the two enjoyed the morning fishing together at Rapid Croche, and Remter was fine when Rosenthal left her there to return home to Brillion.
To read the full story … pick up a copy of the Nov. 1, 2012 edition of The Brillion News.