Tag Archive | Mark Shemukenas

Welcome Anita Muldoon

The AISOCC welcomes Anita Muldoon as consulting member. Anita is a  Retired Sergeant. She started her law enforcement career as a police officer later in life, pursuing a long time held interest. As a patrol officer in the St. Paul Police Department,  Anita began to work toward her goal of becoming a homicide investigator by furthering her education. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Law Enforcement at Metro State University and earned her Master’s Degree from Concordia University.

Anita worked in various areas on patrol including Officer Friendly, bike patrol and undercover in the Vice Unit. She took an extended vacation to fulfill another life dream and traveled through many states in Africa. While doing so, she studied for the Sergeant’s exam during the long days of over the road travel. The effort paid off, and she was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to investigations.

The months of general investigations and the years of investigating sex crimes prepared her to reach her dream destination in homicide.  After receiving several calls from family members about old unsolved murders, Anita recognized the need to start a unit that could handle the investigations of these cases outside of a regular caseload.  Anita began to study the advancements in forensic sciences as they pertain to cold cases.

When the department was awarded a Federal DNA grant to review cold cases, Anita jumped in head first and was selected to head up a Cold Case Unit and run the grant. She spent the next three years reading old cases, cataloging information, rummaging through old evidence and submitting it to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for analysis. Several of these submissions yielded positive results. All possible leads were followed, however, departmental budgets were constrained and without other resources, little more could be done. When the grant came to an end, she retired from the police force.

Anita had taken every opportunity to speak publicly about the importance of investigating cold cases. She has created an informative DNA power point presentation to continue her effort to bring public light to the value of these cases, and to restore hope to the families of the victims.

One of the cold cases that Anita worked on was the 1977 murder of Mark Shemukenas. Mark, a pottery maker, was found dead in his own home. From the Twin Cities Pioneer Press: ” On May 11, 1977, a landlord found Shemukenas’ nude body in a kneeling position on his couch in his apartment at 1914 Chelton Ave., his hands tied with electrical wire. He had been castrated and slashed by butcher knives in the neck and abdomen. His mouth had been taped shut, and a two-tined fork was stuck in his chest.

Not giving up on the case, Anita kept an eye out for sex offenders and in 1983, she caught a break. Richard Hubert Ireland was arrested. It looked like the case would finally be solved however, Ireland was acquitted. “Defense attorney Leonardo Castro argued that both pieces of evidence were questionable. The scissors did not have blood on them, he said. One of the many knives found at the scene was clearly the murder weapon. When the scissors were tested for DNA, Ireland’s came up as the “predominant profile,” while most of the DNA samples from other items at the scene had insufficient or “degraded” DNA. Castro said the DNA on all the evidence should have degraded at the same rate.”

Anita was a speaker at the 2013 Annual Conference of Wisconsin Association of Homicide Investigators.

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