Felony charges filed against teacher in WI e-mail death threats; Update: Track record?

posted at 9:35 am on April 1, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Charges have been filed in an investigation of e-mailed death threats to Republican state Senators last month during the budget-repair debate — but oddly, no arrest has taken place. Prosecutors filed two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts against 26-year-old Katherine Windels of Cross Plains, Wisconsin, but only after the Wisconsin Department of Justice sent the district attorney a sharply-worded memo of its own, wondering why prosecutors hadn’t done anything with the referral. It turns out that the woman who sent death threats to sixteen Senators and their families and claimed to have already built the bombs to kill them had never been arrested despite admitting to the charges:

Investigators visited Windels at her home the next day. According to the complaint, she told them she had sent the emails, and did so because she was very angry about what the senators had done. She also said she didn’t intend to carry out the threats, and was not arrested.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne filed the charges Thursday. He says “it’s odd” law enforcement never took Windels into custody.

“The reality is, the person was not placed into custody, so at some point, law enforcement didn’t see the person as an imminent threat,” Ozanne said. “It’s not that the case was not serious or taken seriously by law enforcement or by this office.”

This morning, the Justice Department sent a letter to the media, saying it was concerned about the “lack of action” on the case by the D.A.’s office. The Justice Department had referred the case to Ozanne two weeks prior.

I’d say it demonstrates precisely that the case hadn’t been taken seriously by law enforcement or the prosecutors. Why would a terrorist suspect not be arrested in a felony case?  Do police really think that someone unstable enough to send death threats doesn’t represent a threat to her community, at least enough to book her? I wonder how her victims feel about that — and I wonder how the DA’s office and police department would handle Windels if she turned out to be a deranged Tea Party supporter rather than a deranged lefty.

Perhaps the letters were ambiguous enough to make police unsure of the case. You be the judge, but the “deranged lefty” description isn’t an exaggeration:

Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familes will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks. Please explain to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell. Read below for more information on possible scenarios in which you will die.

WE want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me have decided that we’ve had enough. We feel that you and the people that support the dictator have to die. We have tried many other ways of dealing with your corruption but you have taken things too far and we will not stand for it any longer. So, this is how it’s going to happen: I as well as many others know where you and your family live, it’s a matter of public records.

We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a nice little bullet in your head. However, we decided that we wouldn’t leave it there. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the message to you since you are so “high” on Koch and have decided that you are now going to single handedly make this a dictatorship instead of a demorcratic process. So we have also built several bombs that we have placed in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent.

This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won’t tell you all of them because that’s just no fun. Since we know that you are not smart enough to figure out why this is happening to you we have decided to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it’s necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families and themselves then We Will “get rid of” (in which I mean kill) you.

The misspellings are all in the original, which brings us to the suspect herself. News reports identify her as Katherine Windels of Cross Plains, Wisconsin, but don’t say too much else about her. James Simpson’s piece linked above notes that Jim Hoft and Underground Conservative did a little digging and discovered a Katherine Windels of Cross Plains of the same age (26) who teaches children in pre-school and kindergarten. The picture in her MySpace and Peek profiles looks remarkably similar to the WKOW mugshot (from 2004) used in the story, and it would be a very strange coincidence indeed to find two women of the same exact name, age, and appearance in a town of less than 4,000 people.

Hopefully, Windels isn’t teaching English. More importantly, the parents of children at the school might want to know that someone unstable (and stupid) enough to send terrorist death threats to politicians from her home computer is being entrusted with the students.

Update: If police want to argue that Windels doesn’t pose a threat, a new report from WKOW suggests that she has a track record in potentially threatening behavior:

A Cross Plains woman charged with felony crimes for allegedly threatening state senators over the budget repair bill was investigated by Madison police officers last fall over text messages.

Police reports released to WKOW27 News show a Madison woman contacted police over concerning text messages from Katherine Windels. …

In the reports, an officer stated he tried to contact Windels,  but was unsuccessful,  and ultimately left a voice mail message telling her to cease any contact with Patterson.

Apparently Windels set up the e-mail account from which she sent the threats under Patterson’s name.  She sounds like a seriously disturbed individual, and police should be answering why they have yet to take her into custody.  They’d better hope Windels doesn’t attack someone before the courts deal with these charges.


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Wow, does that statehouse need a good scrub-down.

The liability on this one was horrendous….

1. Criminal History

2. Direct and detailed threats of violence against state senators.

3. She has direct care, custody and control of children.

4. No arrest.

This could have been a disaster.

Tim_CA on April 1, 2011 at 2:06 PM

And she’s a pre-school teacher to boot.

Cheeseheads are certainly a strange lot.

BobMbx on April 1, 2011 at 5:10 PM

The fellow who offered to repaint the Mackinaw Bridge with the bodily fluids of a certain (D-MI) congresscritter would probably like some ‘equal treatment’…

/.

CaveatEmpty on April 1, 2011 at 5:19 PM

So she’s up to identity theft as well. Lisa Patterson should file a complaint.

Lisa Patterson should sue her!

Ace ODale on April 1, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Have we finally found crr6?

tom on April 1, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Any indication/suspicion this gal is a supporter/worker for judge-wannabe JoAnne Kloppenburg ??

Maybe just *deem* it to be ?
/.

CaveatEmpty on April 1, 2011 at 5:43 PM

bifidis on April 1, 2011 at 5:04 PM

I wasn’t aware you were registered here at Hot Air, Ms. Windels. Welcome aboard!

Del Dolemonte on April 1, 2011 at 5:49 PM

I wonder if Schumer would use the word “extremist” when describing this woman’s action?

Is this “incendiary rhetoric”? Is this “incivility”?

If, God forbid, someone in Wisconsin is killed over this, would the union officials, fleebaggers, and leftist politicos be held libel?

DeathB4Tyranny on April 1, 2011 at 5:52 PM

I just finished reading all of the comments here and agree with the majority of them. It is absolutely heinous and reprehensible that she is still a pre-school/early childhood teacher and not behind bars or in an insane asylum’s best-cushioned padded cell.

OmahaConservative on April 1, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Hey Allah/Ed…

Can we get an Ignore button for commenters we don’t like?

BobMbx on April 1, 2011 at 5:09 PM

I’ve been wondering if there’s any software available as a plugin or script or add-on that would work with this site’s posting software (Drupal?) and with a click on a poster’s name, not show those posts. Then I wouldn’t have to wade through inane babbling from certain trolls and trollettes.

slickwillie2001 on April 1, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Hey Allah/Ed…

Can we get an Ignore button for commenters we don’t like?

BobMbx on April 1, 2011 at 5:09 PM
I’ve been wondering if there’s any software available as a plugin or script or add-on that would work with this site’s posting software (Drupal?) and with a click on a poster’s name, not show those posts. Then I wouldn’t have to wade through inane babbling from certain trolls and trollettes.

slickwillie2001 on April 1, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Good ideas both, that way you don’t have to read what you disagree with, just like left wingers.

Wade on April 1, 2011 at 6:11 PM

I suspect that the only organization that the Wisconsin state government can depend on in this situation is their National Guard, though they aren’t really trained for law enforcement.

slickwillie2001 on April 1, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Better soldiers Trying to enforce the law, than police who refuse too.

I have stopped eating WI cheese, for fear for my sanity.

Slowburn on April 1, 2011 at 6:20 PM

I have stopped eating WI cheese, for fear for my sanity.

Slowburn on April 1, 2011 at 6:20 PM

LMAO!

Tim_CA on April 1, 2011 at 6:31 PM

I have stopped eating WI cheese, for fear for my sanity.

lowburn on April 1, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Forgot the //sarc on the last bit there.

Slowburn on April 1, 2011 at 6:32 PM

I have stopped eating WI cheese, for fear for my sanity.

Slowburn on April 1, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Maytag blue is made in Iowa

clnurnberg on April 1, 2011 at 6:46 PM

I have stopped eating WI cheese, for fear for my sanity.

lowburn on April 1, 2011 at 6:20 PM
Forgot the //sarc on the last bit there.

Slowburn on April 1, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Don’t be so sure – have ya seen how they dress for football games??

(I kid ‘cuz I love)

Tim_CA on April 1, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Wade on April 1, 2011 at 6:11 PM

I’m with you.

Cindy Munford on April 1, 2011 at 7:11 PM

I am thinking with 2 parents in mental health careers she has been committed for some volunteer evaluation. Wouldn’t that stop any charges being prosecuted?

wi farmgirl on April 1, 2011 at 7:42 PM

wi farmgirl on April 1, 2011 at 7:42 PM

It might temporarily delay the trial but I don’t know why it would stop the arrest. Even if they let her go home with her folks, she should be arraigned. I didn’t spend all those years with “Perry Mason” and “Law and Order” for nothing.

Cindy Munford on April 1, 2011 at 8:20 PM

I didn’t spend all those years with “Perry Mason” and “Law and Order” for nothing.

Cindy Munford on April 1, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Both great shows, L&O has gotten to political the last 6 years, I don’t watch it as much because of that.

wi farmgirl on April 1, 2011 at 8:39 PM

wi farmgirl on April 1, 2011 at 8:39 PM

That’s the truth! I was watching a rerun of “Cold Case Files” this afternoon and they managed to blame President Reagan for the declined in journalism as hard hitting news instead of fluff. Hollywood is so stupid.

Cindy Munford on April 1, 2011 at 8:45 PM

Have we finally found crr6?

tom on April 1, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Downright funny!

Red State State of Mind on April 1, 2011 at 9:13 PM

We Will “get rid of” (in which I mean kill) you.

She sounds deranged.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 1, 2011 at 9:44 PM

I am thinking with 2 parents in mental health careers she has been committed for some volunteer evaluation. Wouldn’t that stop any charges being prosecuted?

wi farmgirl on April 1, 2011 at 7:42 PM

Mental Health as a field is all but entirely Democrat. I recall an article a while back about how a couple of researchers had discovered that something on the order of 2% of the entire profession were Republicans, and that they were sufficiently surprised by the results that they had begun trying to determine why.

It struck me because it was a pair of Democrats who were the ones saying that their right-wing to left-wing ratios were completely out of the normal range.

Voyager on April 1, 2011 at 11:09 PM

Well, you know, it wasn’t a “death death” threat. Just sayin’.

Dandapani on April 2, 2011 at 7:58 AM

More info in a WI paper here http://tinyurl.com/3qgk4sr. Source from family church is quoted- alludes to Katherine having had some unspecified “strggles”. According to the article, K. dropped out of one program because she had medical problems requiring surgery.

The so- called mugshot, which isndated to 2004, does show a significant scar towards the center of her face at brow level. When the pic is enlarged, on her left side of her neck, there is discolored mark that looks like a scar or bruising. To me it seems off center for a tracheostomy scar or thyroid scar, so I’m. Guessing it is bruising from some kind of struggle.

She does have a weight problem that she’s apparently been struggling with since teenaged years, based on her joining of weight loss websites under her name and known aliases. (and her pictures).

I just recently saw the open adoption record that shows her mother was only 14 at the time of her delivery.

SarahW on April 2, 2011 at 8:04 AM

Obviously I fail at I-pad typing. Hope above is readable.

SarahW on April 2, 2011 at 8:09 AM

SarahW on April 2, 2011 at 8:09 AM

It’s fine and thanks for the link.

Cindy Munford on April 2, 2011 at 8:34 AM

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