How's this one?
Shoot someone, just shooting at movement in a tree (that's great target ID, and very humane to the game
), then when the kid falls out of the tree, talk to him, tell him you're going to get help, and then go to a party while your victim bleeds to death
. This guy should spend the rest of his life in prison.
Sep 30, 1:18 AM EDT
Teen who loved taking pictures caught his own killing on tape
By TODD RICHMOND
Associated Press Writer
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- Seth Hammes wasn't into sports, going steady or fast cars. Relatives say the high school senior would rather be rebuilding a computer or out in the woods, snapping pictures of deer.
He was using his camcorder as he explored the woods near Little Falls, about 35 miles northeast of La Crosse, last Saturday when the device caught the crack of gunshots, the 17-year-old's screams and the voice of the shooter, promising help that never came.
Hammes didn't come out of the woods alive, and police say that camcorder was the key to catching the man they think killed him.
After viewing and listening to the tape, police tracked down 24-year-old Russell Schroeder, who now faces charges of reckless homicide and reckless injury carrying up to 85 years in prison.
Without the tape, there's no telling how long it may have taken investigators to realize Hammes had been murdered, Monroe County Sheriff Pete Quirin said Thursday - the same day of Hammes' funeral.
"But right next to him was the videotape. That's when we knew we had a homicide on our hands," the sheriff said.
Hammes' family said that the boy and two of his friends went out bow-hunting Saturday morning. But his uncle, Ed Hammes, said his nephew would rather hunt with a camera than a gun.
True to form, Hammes put down his bow and picked up his camcorder that afternoon.
Sometime around 4 p.m., he was shot in the pelvis and then the heart, according to the criminal complaint. His camcorder fell to the ground but caught the sound of the shots and the boy's screams.
The tape shows a person Quirin said is Schroeder in a nearby field. Schroeder's voice can be heard, telling Hammes he'll call for help on his cell phone, the complaint said.
Then Schroeder says he can't find a signal and promises to get help. But according to the complaint, he instead went to a birthday party, home to play video games and then his job as a custodian at the Army's Fort McCoy near Sparta.
After family and friends reported Hammes missing, police used bloodhounds to find his body in the woods that night.
Quirin said investigators initially believed Hammes had just died in the woods; there was no blood to indicate foul play, and Hammes had been shot with a .22 caliber rifle, which left only small wounds, Quirin said. Then they viewed the tape.
Detectives went to a nearby farmhouse, and the owner said his daughter's boyfriend was out hunting that afternoon. Investigators went to the girl's trailer, about 100 yards from her father's house, and she led them to Schroeder, Quirin said.
According to the complaint, Schroeder told detectives he was using a .22 to hunt small animals. He said he saw movement and fired. He lost track of what he had shot at and then fired again.
He said he thought he was shooting at a squirrel until he heard Hammes scream. He went over to Hammes and promised to get help, the complaint said, but he didn't call anyone because he was scared he would get in trouble.
Schroeder told police Hammes was wearing camouflage, but Quirin said Schroeder had just completed a hunter's safety course, where they teach hunters to know their targets and what's beyond them.
"That's drilled into your head," Quirin said.
Hammes' family gathered at his grandparents' home in La Crosse after Hammes' funeral.
Ed Hammes described his nephew as a gentle giant. He was over 6 feet tall and wore size 17 shoes, he said. He loved to tinker with the family's lawn mowers and research pyrotechnics, he said.
"He was a big kid," Ed Hammes said. "He was shy for the most part, but he'd go out of his way to help you ... a gentle giant."
He hung out with the La Crosse Skyrockers fireworks club, which produces the city's New Year's Eve fireworks. Club president Pat Bonadurer said Hammes couldn't wait to turn 18 so he would be old enough to get on the firing line.
Seth Hammes' grandmother, Betty Hammes, said her grandson loved to help make Christmas cookies. She said he talked about going to tech school when he graduated in the spring.
Schroeder is being held in lieu of $250,000 bond pending further proceedings in Monroe County Circuit Court in Sparta.