Madison, Wisconsin—A $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer of Sarah Gonstead murdered in 1994.
Penny Brummer was convicted of killing Gonstead despite no weapon, no forensic evidence, no motive, and literally no evidence of any kind tying Brummer to the undetermined crime scene. It has long been postulated that bigotry played a big part in Penny’s conviction.
Nancy Brummer, mother of Penny, and advocates including John Pray of the Wisconsin Innocence Project will hold a press conference on:
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Front of the Dane County Courthouse
215 S. Hamilton Street, Madison, Wisconsin
The charge was first-degree intentional homicide and Brummer has been in prison since October 1994, serving a life sentence. Advocates are challenging the integrity of the conviction and the police investigation, and have set up a new toll-free number, (800) 407-1178, for tipsters seeking the $10,000 reward.
“The Madison Police and Dane County Sheriff’s Office wanted somebody to clear an unsolved murder, so they concocted a theory about jealousy among lesbians and used Penny,” said Nancy Brummer, mother of Penny. “In their ignorance, they just wanted another lesbian off the streets, everyone went along. This would not happen today, we are hopeful, that 21 years later, people will emerge as heroes and correct this wrongful conviction.”
Said Rikki Glen, a Dane County private investigator looking into the case, “Penny Brummer is a sweet woman, who went out bar-hopping with her friend, was judged guilty by the police and is now serving a life sentence for a crime committed by a murderer still at large.”
Brummer has been represented by the Wisconsin Innocence Project since 2007 in attempts to find new evidence. Brummer’s case is the subject of a book, Who Killed Sarah, A True Story of Injustice by Sheila and Doug Berry.
A good prosecutor is one “who seeks truth,” said the eminent 20th century jurist Robert Jackson. Advocates are optimistic that truth will be found in Dane County for Penny Brummer and Sarah Gonstead.