It was New Years Eve in 1980 when Karen Potack had been walking to her Prescott, Wisconsin home after a party. It was well after midnight when a man approached the young woman and proceeded to beat her with a tire iron and rape her.
Police received a call shortly after the attack occurred, reporting that a woman had been badly injured by the railroad tracks. When paramedics and police arrived to the scene the woman had been bleeding profusely and they initially believed that she had been attacked with a knife. She managed to survive the ordeal, but her attacker was never found.
On June 3, 1981 a second attack occurred. Similar to the 911 call placed about Potack found severely injured by the railroad tracks, the weepy voice on the other end reached out to a police dispatcher and said:
“God damn, will you find me? I just stabbed somebody with an ice pick. I can’t stop myself. I keep killing somebody.”
Police found Kimberly Compton stabbed to death as the believed killer reported.
Two days later the same man called the police station tearfully to confess that he was who killed Compton and that he was sorry, but he wasn’t able to stop himself.
In spite of the killer’s tearful confession, police were unable to track down the caller. Two days later the same weepy voiced man would call police and promise to turn himself in for the fatal attack on Kimberly Compton. The man never appeared and police still had no suspects.
Instead on June 6th, three days after the murder of Kimberly Compton, an anonymous caller called into a local newspaper in order to report that some of the details of Compton’s murder were inaccurate. Whether the unknown “Weepy-Voiced Killer” had been calling in to express his sincere remorse over impulses he had no control over or whether he was simply playing a twisted game was unclear at this point in the case, but investigators quickly realized that they may have a serial killer on their hands.
On June 11th, the same man would call police again to express his remorse over killing Kimberly Compton. It would be the last time anyone would hear from her killer and the case went cold.
In 1982, two more women would be killed under mysterious circumstances. Kathy Greening had been the victim of an apparent home invasion. She was found drown in her own bathtub. Like the cases before it, the murder of Kathy Greening went cold. It wouldn’t be until many years later that investigators would find her killer.
Barbara Simons would be the next woman to be brutally attacked by the unknown killer. After stabbing her nearly 100 times, a weepy voiced caller called to report that he had killed Simons and that he was also behind the brutal slaying of Kimberly Compton the previous year. In spite of the numerous calls made by the killer himself, police were still unable to tie anyone to the crimes.
It wouldn’t be until August of 1982, when a man named Paul Michael Stephani picked up 21-year-old Denise Williams that police would be able to piece together who was behind the bizarre string of attacks and phone calls. Stephani was able to stab Williams multiple times with a screwdriver, but she was able to escape after beating him in the head with a soda bottle.
Returning to his apartment, Stephani noticed that he had sustained serious injuries during the altercation with Williams and he called for medical attention. When dispatch heard the voice on the other line police were able to tie the attacks to Stephani.
Though he was only formally charged with the death of Barbara Simmons and attempted murder of Denise Williams, he was sentenced to 40 years in prison. After being diagnoised with cancer he confessed to the attacks on Karen Potack and Denise Williams, as well as the murders of Kimberly Compton, Kathy Greening, and Barbara Simmons. He died while serving out his prison sentence in 1998.