The Whited Sepulchre
When news of the investigation broke and Kratz resigned from his job that paid $105,000 per year, the acting Calumet County District Attorney unplugged Kratz’s computer and put evidence tape over the plug opening. And both investigators and Kratz’s successor appeared to be worried the disgraced prosecutor would sneak into his old office to destroy evidence. When the DOJ director of field operations asked whether Kratz had the keys to the DA’s office, the acting DA said Kratz had both keys and the door lock codes that permitted access to the entire office. But as precaution, the acting DA said, he changed the codes on the front door of the DA’s office.
Most people around the world believe that Steven Avery was framed for the murder of Teresa Halbach, and more than one person was involved in planning and executing this frame job. Suspicion most strongly surrounds Andy Colborn and James Lenk, both officers out of Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department followed closely by Thomas Fassbender, a seasoned investigator in the employ of Wisconsin’s Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI), and Mark Wiegert, a Calumet County police officer.
The one name that never comes up, at least in connection with planted evidence, is Ken Kratz. Yet, when we peer into Kratz’s mind, extrapolating from what we know about what he did in the past, he emerges as the likeliest candidate to have conceived of the plan to plant evidence and to have coordinated and directed this effort.
Obviously this effort required a leader, and this leader had to be a person of high intelligence. Planting the key alone was very complex, and no one knows yet exactly how the blood in the RAV4 was planted. The same could also be said for the skeletal remains.
This person also had to be a risk taker. Prosecutors are given a lot of leeway in how they do their job, but I’m pretty sure it’s a crime even for them to frame someone for murder by planting evidence at a crime scene. But we know that Ken Kratz was a risk taker, because not only did he say so, he proved it by the sexts he sent one of his clients from a domestic violence (DV) case. This is what he wrote in one such sext:
“Are you the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married elected DA…the riskier the better?”
This is just one of many of such texts, and several of the ones he sent mention risk. There is no question that Ken Kratz was in it for the thrill as much as the conquest.
Lastly, he also had to be morally depraved. I think that the texts amply show an alarming level of moral depravity, to be sure, but with Kratz, it goes much deeper. According to Wikipedia, “Kratz chaired the Wisconsin Victim Rights Council in 1993 as well as its successor, the Wisconsin Crime Victims Rights Board, from 1998 to 2010”.
Imagine. The person with the most visibility in the entire state of Wisconsin as an advocate for victim’s rights turns out to be a sexual predator. Kind of risky, huh? If sending sexts to victim’s of domestic violence had a thrill appeal to Kratz, isn’t it safe to assume that he chaire these crime victim’s groups for the same thrill?
And what WAS the thrill, exactly? The thrill of duping everyone as a means by which to assert dominance and superiority. Having secret knowledge of his own depravity while wearing a convincing mask of probity.
Nevermind for a moment who killed Teresa Halbach. If Ken Kratz was depraved enough to go to the lengths that he did to build up an image of respectability within his community all for the sake of enjoying a feeling of control and superiority over others, it is not too far-fetched to suggest that he planted evidence at a crime scene for these very same reasons. That’s why Ken Kratz is what they once called a “whited sepulchre”. “Whited” is an old timey word for “bleached”, and sepulchre basically means a crypt. The suggestion is that despite how lovely everything looks on the outside, there is nothing but rottenness and putrefaction on the inside.
Only seriously depraved and dangerous people do things like this. I am reminded of the carefully constructed public mask that John Wayne Gacy, the famous serial killer who preyed on boys. He too found a prominent role in civic life (via Wikipedia):
His neighbors in Norwood Park considered Gacy gregarious and helpful; he was active in his local community and hosted annual summer parties beginning in 1974. He also became active in Democratic Party politics, initially offering the labor services of his PDM employees free of charge. Gacy was rewarded for his community services by being appointed to serve upon the Norwood Park Township street lighting committee. He subsequently earned the title of precinct captain. In 1975, Gacy was appointed director of Chicago’s annual Polish Constitution Day Parade—he supervised the annual event from 1975 until 1978. Through his work with the parade, Gacy met and was photographed with First LadyRosalynn Carter on May 6, 1978
None of this would matter if Ken kratz lacked the means and opportunity to plant evidence, but as the person arguably of highest authority within the town of Calumet County, he did have means and opportunity. All of the evidence for this case went from Avery Salvage Yard, then to either the crime lab in Madison, or straight to the Calumet County Sheriff’s Office. Once the crime lab in Madison was done with the evidence, it was then sent back to Kratz’s lair in Calumet.