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Another suspicious death in Mississippi River near La Crosse

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Gutter, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. Gutter

    Gutter Well-Known Member

    This time it's a UW-La Crosse basketball player and former UW-Milwaukee walkon (was on the 2005 Sweet 16 team):


    For those who aren't familiar with the situation, that makes EIGHT accidental drownings in the Mississippi River since 1997 ... all the victims college-aged men. La Crosse Police have dismissed each as "accidental drownings" due to intoxication.

    Sorry, two maybe three we can chalk up to accidental ... eight in less than 10 years, not buying it. Time to get the feds on the case if they are unwilling to investigate.

    RIP Luke ... one great kid and one helluva basketball/football player.
  2. D-3 Fan

    D-3 Fan Active Member

    Gutter, I was unaware of what was going over in LaCrosse. This is disturbing. For that many "accidental drownings" due to getting too drunk, that doesn't sound right for that many to lose their lives in that manner.

    I'm inclined to think one or two of them were suicide, but I will hold judgment on that. I don't know enough of the circumstances over the last ten years to form an opinion.

    I hate hearing stories like this. I really do.
  3. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    When I was in those parts, I thought the La Crosse cops had a lead on something. Apparently not.
  4. Gutter

    Gutter Well-Known Member

    From today's La Crosse Tribune story:

    Past River Tragedies

    The search for Lucas Homan evokes painful memories of recent missing person cases near downtown La Crosse.

    While family and friends hope and pray Homan will be found alive, authorities have began dragging the Mississippi River late Sunday night.

    Seven young men have died in the river since 1997. Five of those deaths were related to alcohol use and sparked

    creation of an Alcohol Task Force.

    The five were:

    - Jared Dion, 21, of Pewaukee, Wis., disappeared early April 10, 2004, after leaving a downtown La Crosse bar. His body was found April 15 in the river off Riverside Park.

    - Jeffery F. Geesey, 20, a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student, was last seen alive at a downtown tavern April 11, 1999, and his body was found in the river the following month.

    - Nathan Kapfer, 20, a Viterbo College student, disappeared Feb. 18, 1998, and a fisherman found his body in April that year.

    - Anthony D. “Tony” Skifton, 19, of La Crosse, left a house party, and his body was found in the river Oct. 10, 1997.

    - Charles Blatz, 28, of Kiel, Wis., disappeared in the early hours of Sept. 28, 1997. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville student had come to La Crosse for Oktoberfest and was last seen alive heading to a downtown bar. A fisherman found his body floating in the river five days later.

    - Two other La Crosse drownings during the time period also involved young men, but the circumstances, a bar fight and a fall through the ice, were not mysterious.
  5. BadgerBeer

    BadgerBeer Active Member

    I love intrigue as much as the next guy but I think this is just another example of a really hammered college kid stumbling into the Mighty Mississippi. I had a nephew go to UWLC and I have stayed at riverfront hotels. It would not be that hard to fall into the water after a night out on the town. BTW, for those not from Wisconsin, you can not imagine the amounts of alcohol that the kids drink ( along with some uncles now and then).
  6. Gutter

    Gutter Well-Known Member


    Homan was wearing a maroon, hooded UWL sweatshirt, same as what Dion was wearing when he disappeared.
  7. There are two rivers in Milwaukee, and it's my understanding that people drink a lot there, too.
    They don't seem to be falling in the rivers and drowning at the same, ah, pace.
    Something's rotten in Leinie land.
  8. Gutter

    Gutter Well-Known Member

    That's the thing. I could dismiss it if it happened in other places as well ... but this type of thing seems to be isolated to the La Crosse area. And all of the victims have been young, athletic men.
  9. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Who apparently can't swim when they've had too much to drink.
  10. BadgerBeer

    BadgerBeer Active Member

    None of these kids ever show any sign of head trauma do they? I would think if some nutjob is stalking drunk guys and tossing them into the drink at least one would be able to swim to safety and live to tell about it. I'll admit this is scary but I have a hard time believing some guy is batting 9/9 without using some kind of weapon.
  11. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    Three rivers, dammit! How could you forget the Kinnickinnick? It goes through the south side, which means it's statistically good for one drowning per bowling night. :D

    When I was at Ball State, some dude who was in my running class died when he fell in the White River. It was dredged to prevent flooding and there's a big cement floodwall on the campus side. Dude got sloshed while trying to walk the wall, fell about 15 feet, cracked his skull open on the concrete and drowned. Foul play was suspected until his body washed up a week later.

    So I can see the drunken drowning theory, but on the other hand, it's not like people in La Crosse walk right up the shoreline, you have to do some work to get to the river. And the similarity of the victims gives some pause too.
  12. I forgot the K2 because I haven't been on S. Muskego Ave. for a fishfry in too damn long.
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