Who Is Father Alfred Kunz? New Details On The 20-Year Unsolved Murder Of The Catholic Priest

Who Is Father Alfred Kunz? New Details On The 20-Year Unsolved Murder Of The Catholic Priest

In the last few decades, there have been endless unsolved homicides that continue to haunt authorities and families alike. And while some are notorious — like Jack the Ripper, JonBenet Ramsay, the Black Dahlia, and even Tupac and Biggie Smalls — others have flown under the radar. And one case, in particular, that continues to baffle us is the murder of Father Alfred Kunz.

Who is Father Alfred Kunz? Kunz was a Catholic priest in Dane, Wisconsin, and many knew him as an expert in canon law. He was also a pastor at the church for 32 years before he was killed, and had his own radio show.

On March 4, 1998, Kunz was found with his throat slit, brutally murdered, in the hallway of the school that was attached to his parish. But who killed him?

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After his death, rumors and theories circulated as to who the killer was and their motive. Author Malachi Martin speculated that Satanists were behind the murder. Another theory described that Kunz had affairs with women at the parish, and was perhaps murdered as retaliation.

Investigators dismissed the first theory early on in the case, and though detectives spoke with at least two women from the parish, they've never released their names.

A third theory revolves around a male teacher who discovered Kunz’s body. Authorities say the teacher had a falling out with the priest over the affairs he had. The teacher lived with Father Charles Fiore, who was a good friend of Kunz, and when Fiore passed away in 2003, police found provocative photos of the teacher in his home. Police cleared the teacher of the killing.

In a fourth theory, people speculate that Kunz possibly knew too much. In the 1990s, he was an advisor to Stephen Brady, a Catholic activist who exposed clergy corruption in Springfield, Illinois. Could Kunz have known the names of these clergy members, and did they fear he would expose them?

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There were also irregularities that occurred weeks prior to his murder. Authorities haven’t released specific information but they did indicate that large amounts of money were moved between accounts at the parish, and checks were cut.

On the 20th anniversary of Kunz’s murder, Dane County Sheriff David J. Mahoney reached out through social media, hoping to get tips or information.

He wrote, “On the 20th anniversary, we thought we would start releasing information to the public that has not been publicly released. If holding back the information has not done us the service of bringing people forward, it’s time to start releasing information.”

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Police created a Facebook and posted information about the case “in the voice of Kunz himself,” such as one post that said, “I was a controversial figure in the Catholic church; I led very traditional Latin Masses almost daily at the church. My conservative views, while serving on the Marriage Tribunal for the diocese, ultimately led to my dismissal. I had resisted the changes made by ‘Vatican II’ in the 1960s, which drew many to me and turned many away.”

Said Mahoney, “I’m at a position in this case now, that if we haven’t solved it in 20 years, we need to do something different.” Mahoney also believes that the initial investigation was “hindered by tunnel vision.”

Their first suspect remains a person of interest, but he isn’t the only suspect; Mahoney says there are multiple people. “We’re at the 10-yard line, but we’re pitted against a pretty strong defense, and we need a good Aaron Rodgers to get us across the goal line,” he said.

Will Father Alfred Kunz’s murder ever be solved? Only time will tell.

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.