Who Murdered

Brittany Sue Zimmerman?

Presented By

Bonnie M. Wells

The following articles and partial articles come from various news sources on the internet, and have been copied here for educational and tracking purposes:

Any 'personal comments' will be made in different color than the text of this page: // BMW

Death of Brittany Zimmerman, University of Wisconsin-Madison Student, Investigated as Murder

4/3/2008 (TransWorldNews)

The body of Brittany Zimmerman, a 21-year-old University of Wisconsin-Madison student, was discovered in her downtown apartment, at 517 W. Doty Street, on Wednesday and police are now investigating the case as a homicide.

{ BMW Comment: "Wednesday was 4-02" See reference to 402 predictions at bottom of this page:}

4/04/2008: Brittany Zimmerman Murder Case Now Focusing on Homeless Population in Madison, Wisconsin

Police investigating the murder of 21-year-old University of Wisconsin-Madison student Brittany Zimmerman have apparently turned their attention to the city’s homeless population in hopes they may find information that could lead to the capture of the killer.

Brittany Zimmerman was found murdered inside the downtown apartment she shared with her fiancé on Wednesday. Police have already said he is not a suspect in the case.

While police have not said they believe a transient killed Zimmerman the homeless population in the area in which Zimmerman lived is relatively high. According to residents in the area, many of whom are students at the university, the homeless often approach them for money.

Police have said an autopsy revealed Zimmerman died from “a complexity of traumatic injuries” but would not be more specific.

{BMW Comment: I predict that the actual cause of death was a {rage kill} -- blunt force trama to the head and face; possibly a severe beating with gloved fists &/or an object, and strangulation. I will let my readers know -- {if} we ever actually find out what the cause of death was.}

Family Establishes Zimmermann Scholarship Fund

Brittany Zimmermann’s family has established a scholarship fund designed to honor her memory and assist other worthy students with educational expenses.

"Brittany wished for everyone to have the opportunity to obtain a college education regardless of their financial standing," according to her aunt, Kim Heeg.

Contributions may be sent to the “Dollars for Brittany” scholarship fund, care of the Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union, 302 West Upham Street, Marshfield, WI 54449.

“In the days since Brittany’s tragic death, we have searched our hearts for answers that we may never receive,” she writes. “We are grieving her death and we are grieving the future events that we will never celebrate with Brittany. One event we will never celebrate with Brittany is her graduation from UW-Madison next fall.”

“Anyone who knew Brittany knew of her love for learning and her ambition and dedication to help others,” she adds. “If you knew her, you would also know of her perpetual positive attitude. We have determined that the best way to honor Brittany and her beautiful heart is to establish a scholarship fund in her name.”

Questions about donating to the fund can be directed to the Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union at (715) 387-8686.

Campus Community Remembers Brittany Zimmermann

More than 200 members of the University of Wisconsin-Madison community gathered Sunday, April 6 to remember the life of Brittany Zimmermann, a senior from Marshfield who was found slain April 2 in her downtown apartment.

Students, faculty and staff congregated in Memorial Union to sign a condolence message to the Zimmermann family, express their thoughts about her life and discuss campus safety. The group moved outside to Library Mall to light candles and offer a moment of silence.

More than 200 members of the campus community participated in a candlelight vigil held around the Hagenah Fountain on Library Mall on Sunday, April 6, to remember the life of Brittany Zimmermann.

Zimmermann was a third-year senior in the medical microbiology and immunology department, planning to graduate in spring 2009. After graduation, according to her personal Web page, she planned to get a master's degree in public health and a doctorate in infectious disease. She was on the Dean's List in fall 2005 and spring 2006.

Kim Heeg, Zimmermann’s aunt, says Zimmermann was active in tennis and was part of the National Honor Society while at Marshfield High School.

“She was a flute player in the high school band and had many wonderful and caring friends in Marshfield,” Heeg says. “Brittany's dream was to go to UW-Madison, and she loved her time there. She spent her first year in the dorms and made friends with all.”

Heeg says that Zimmermann and her fiancé, Jordan Gonnering, were “soul mates and planned to spend their lives together.” They were intending to get married after graduation. She was also very driven by her goals in health care.

“Brittany wanted to ‘save the world,’ so to speak,” Heeg adds. “She wanted to find miracle cures for the horrible diseases and viruses of the world. Brittany had the most caring and kind spirit of anyone you could ever meet, and she is our bright, shining star!”

Zimmermann worked for the UW-Madison registrar's office for the past three years as a part-time student employee in its imaging division. Registrar Joanne Berg says she was a bright, engaging student.

She was one of the first students hired in the imaging area, Berg says, and was instrumental in organizing the work done by other student workers. The area she worked in scans and indexes documents for later retrieval.

"She was doing a job that some may describe as fairly routine — sitting in a room and processing paper," says Berg. "She always made the best of it. She came to work with a smile on her face, she enjoyed her co-workers and was enthusiastic about work and about her future.

"The mood here is very sober," adds Berg. "Everyone is in kind of in shock. There is a lot of angst and concern."

Berg notes that Zimmermann took the past semester off to concentrate on her studies, "because she wanted to get into med school or grad school. But she continued to come around and stay in contact. This is such a tragedy."

Staff from Zimmermann's home department added that Zimmermann had a strong academic record in a very rigorous and competitive major, which focuses on infectious diseases and health.

Investigators have been canvassing the area looking for clues and have been talking with residents in the area and taking statements.

An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday


University of Wisconsin Madison students on edge. A killer has struck, killing a coed, 21-year-old Brittany Zimmerman found dead Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. by her boyfriend inside the apartment they shared. Brittany's killer has not been arrested. Now, here is what we have also learned. In the hours before Brittany's murder, there were bizarre incidents involving intruders and yelling in the area of her apartment. Are those incidents connected to her murder?

Joining us live in Madison, Wisconsin, is Abby Sears, the city editor for The Daily Cardinal, the University of Wisconsin's independent campus newspaper. Welcome back to the show, Abby. And what have you learned in the last 24 hours about this investigation?

ABBY SEARS, THE DAILY CARDINAL: Hi, Greta. The two main things we've learned in the last 24 hours in this investigation are, one, that police are still searching through Brittany's home and collecting evidence, collecting items from the home to be taken for forensic testing. The other thing we've learned is that they are looking at the homeless population in the neighborhood and trying to speak with those people to see if they know anything more about the investigation.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know when she was last seen before — her body was discovered Wednesday about 1:00, but when was she last seen?

SEARS: The police have not released when she was last seen, although I've heard some things about her being on campus and in classes throughout the week.

VAN SUSTEREN: What year is she a student? And what's she studying?

SEARS: She was actually a third year senior. She had amassed quite a bit of credits throughout high school, so I believe she entered college as a sophomore. And so she was technically a junior, but a third year student. And she was about to go to medical school. She was studying microbiology and immunology.

VAN SUSTEREN: And what I find unusual — I mean, I don't know if you know the facts of this, but her boyfriend found her about 1:00 p.m. He's not a suspect. It's the screaming was heard, or the yelling, about 12 hours earlier. Where was the boyfriend that night? Did he not spend the night at home?

SEARS: I'm not sure where the boyfriend was. Police have not released any of that information. But what I have found interesting is when I was at the scene of the crime, I actually spoke to several students who actually heard that yelling. These students were males and they lived in the same block as Brittany. They heard a man yelling expletives and then running away. And both of these students said that they didn't even think anything of this incident until the homicide investigation the next day.

VAN SUSTEREN: Abby, thank you. And I hope you'll come back as the investigation goes forward. Thank you, Abby.

SEARS: Great. Thank you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, how do you find the killer? Where should the police start? Joining us live in Spokane, Washington, is former LAPD homicide detective Mark Fuhrman. Mark, we don't have a whole lot of information, but I guess every investigation starts without a lot of information. So where do you start?

MARK FUHRMAN, FMR LAPD HOMICIDE DETECTIVE, FOX ANALYST: Well, you start at the crime scene. And there is another homicide, of a 31-year-old man that's not a student. And he died by being stabbed to death, staggered from his house. So they have DNA on that suspect and a description. And now they're looking at that scene, and hopefully, they have DNA that they can either eliminate that other suspect from that other case and now they have a singular homicide, or they can expand that, get into the database of DNA or fingerprints. And hopefully, they have something there. If not, I think they're really approaching this in a very streetwise fashion by talking to the homeless people that are out and about during times when everybody else is inside.

VAN SUSTEREN: Mark, I read a report on line tonight that there's a new incident (ph) report released. At least, this is (INAUDIBLE) is that the Dane County coroner is saying that she died from a "complexity of traumatic injuries." I'm not exactly — it sounds like she got beaten to death.

FUHRMAN: It does sound something along those regards. Also, it could be camouflaged — you know, they can camouflage blunt force trauma at the same time stabbing — you know, stabbing wounds from an object like a claw hammer, where the claw part can stab you, the hammer part can create blunt force trauma. So I'm really a little confused. I've never seen something described quite like that.

But — and nonetheless, it was not a suicide or a natural. We could conclude that. They're in a homicide investigation. But like the Marina (ph) case, the man in the house, the weapon was a paring knife. I doubt that if the suspect brought it, it was to be used as a homicide tool. It could have been acquired in the house. And quite possibly, this weapon in this case was acquired in the house also.

VAN SUSTEREN: And we should remind the viewers that last summer, Kelly Nolan, who was a student from another Wisconsin school who was in Madison for the summer — she was found murdered, but that was a nighttime murder. And then you had the Marina one you're speaking about. That was in January, a home invasion. And this appears to be a home invasion.

FUHRMAN: Yes, you know, I have a tough time connecting all three of these. There's enough differences. The Nolan case, I think that was a very organized offender that not only was able to talk his way into the presence of the victim, but then somehow got control of her, then tried to dispose of the body and hide the body. And there's no leads in that case, or at least none that we know of. Very organized, where these other two cases are very disorganized — forced entry, yelling, screaming, chasing somebody down the street, leaving a house not knowing if the victim's dead or alive. And this victim, the Zimmerman case, the young lady is dead.

MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) --

Three unsolved killings in less than a year share at least one thread: They've spread fear among college students and downtown residents in Wisconsin's normally laid-back capital.

The death of student Brittany Sue Zimmermann, 21, is being investigated as a homicide.

A college student vanished in June after a night of barhopping; her body was found in the woods days later. In January, a 31-year-old man was stabbed to death with a paring knife in his home near the University of Wisconsin-Madison in what police called an apparently random act.

And a few blocks away, police on Wednesday found the body of UW-Madison junior Brittany Sue Zimmermann in the apartment she shared with a boyfriend. Police aren't saying how she died, only that she was the victim of a homicide.

They say it's too early to tell whether the three cases are linked. That's little comfort to wary residents.

"I'm extra scared because of the little bit of information that's been released," said Christian Caflisch, 23, a recent UW-Madison graduate who lives less than a block from Zimmermann's apartment. "They are basically telling us, 'A killer is out there. Be safe.' It's a bit disconcerting."

Madison police on Thursday continued looking for evidence in the neighborhood -- a mix of large old houses packed with students and new condominiums popular with upscale residents. Several officers remained in front of Zimmermann's green apartment, interviewing neighbors and passers-by. Watch for more abou the victim »

Lori Berquam, UW-Madison dean of students, called Zimmermann's death "extremely unsettling." She described Zimmermann, who studied medical microbiology and immunology, as a dedicated student and employee of the registrar's office who had planned to attend medical school.

"She was a good-natured, friendly individual who really took pride in being a student here. That's why it's so hard to make sense of this," she said. "There's been a great deal of concern and a whole lot of emotion about the horrific nature of this. ... This happened in her home. In the middle of the day."

The Dane County coroner's office was conducting an autopsy Thursday. Her boyfriend, who discovered the body Wednesday afternoon, was ruled out as a suspect.

Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain noted several similarities between the slaying of Zimmermann and the January killing of Joel Marino, who was found dead outside his home with stab wounds. Police believe he died trying to crawl to a hospital.

Both were killed in their homes in the middle of the day. Both were described as good people unlikely to be targeted.

"There's some similarities, but we don't have anything to suggest definitively at this point that it's the same person or persons," DeSpain said. "That's one avenue among the many that will be looked at as both cases are analyzed."

In the Marino case, police released a sketch of a man witnesses saw in the area. He is a white man in his 20s, between 5 feet 10 and 6 feet 2 with a thin build, wearing a knit cap with a UW logo. The state crime lab has linked DNA from the paring knife used to DNA found on a backpack and winter cap police believe the assailant discarded as he fled the scene.

The June slaying of Kelly Nolan appeared to follow a different pattern, DeSpain said, but police are not ruling out a link. The UW-Whitewater student was living in Madison when she disappeared after a night of drinking with friends. Her decomposing body was found days later in a rural area about 10 miles south of the city of about 223,000.

Police do not have a suspect, DeSpain said.

Despite the high-profile slayings, Madison remains a safe city compared with others its size. Violent crime dropped about 15 percent in 2007 from the year before, according to FBI statistics.

"Violent crime overall has been down quite a bit, but that's not much comfort to the people involved in this latest act," said George Twigg, a spokesman for Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.

Residents said they are frustrated that the killer or killers have so far eluded police and about what they call a lack of official information. They said they were locking their doors, looking for suspicious individuals and avoiding walking alone at night.

Cheyanne Cyr, 20, who walked her dog in the neighborhood Thursday morning, said she was taking precautions but worried someone could still break into her house.

"I think it's pretty scary. I was really shocked when I heard about it last night," said Cyr, a student at nearby Edgewood College. "I would really hope they would find the person who did it. I mean, are the Madison police doing their jobs?"

Caflisch said he spent last night at the nearby home of his girlfriend, also a student, at her request. As he spoke, a police siren sounded in the distance.

"Now every siren you hear, you think the worst," he said. "It's very scary."

BMW Comments

1. 4-02 / 2. *Zimmerman / 3. Madison, Wisconsin

*Zimmerman; name of local crane operator who Wild Bill knows.

Madison, Wisconsin; see Kelly Nolan {June page} and Mahalia Xiong {July page}

Special Note: Notice 'long dark hair' on all of recent victims.

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