Taking Secrets to the Grave: Father Kunz Murder, 26 Years Unsolved

March 4, 2024 will be the 26th anniversary of the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, who was a parish priest and canon law expert in the Catholic Diocese of Madison. He was known for celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass at St. Michael Catholic Church (now known as Blessed Trinity Catholic Parish) in the small village of Dane, Wisconsin.

The staunchly orthodox and pro-life Kunz was a polarizing figure. Yet a number of Catholics held him in high regard, including Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Joseph Perry. Others were not too fond of Kunz’s promotion of traditional Catholic belief and practice. Or, in certain cases, they just didn’t care for his personality. (A side note: When I, via email, made Father James Martin, S.J., aware of the Kunz murder a few years ago, Martin wrote back, “May he rest in peace.” I appreciated his response.)

On the morning of March 4, 1998, Kunz’s body was found in a large pool of blood in the hallway of the parish school. His throat had been slashed. He also suffered stab wounds – fewer than 10, according to Detective Gwen Ruppert of the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, who’s currently assigned to the case. Kunz also had defensive wounds on his hands – evidence of a struggle.

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