MADISON -- On March 4, 1998, people in the Diocese of Madison were shocked to learn of the murder of Fr. Alfred J. Kunz, 67, pastor of St. Michael Parish in Dane for 31 years. He was the first (and still only) priest murdered in the history of the diocese.
His body was discovered by a teacher who came to open St. Michael School just half an hour before students arrived. Father Kunz had living quarters that adjoined the school.
The Dane County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating the murder for the past 14 years. Although they have had leads in the case, they have not had enough information to make an arrest.
This year, detectives hope that new DNA analysis might help solve the murder. Evidence from the case is being reprocessed at the state crime lab in Madison. In the past, a visible stain was needed to obtain DNA evidence. Now analysts can process touch DNA without the need of a visible stain.
It will take about eight weeks for the evidence in the Father Kunz murder case to be reprocessed.
Detectives in the Sheriff’s Office urge anyone with information to call 608-284-6900.
“We believe there are people out there that know what happened to Father Kunz,” said Detective Mary Butler.