Bond set at $1M in 1976 double murder

82-year-old Lakewood man proclaims innocence
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Leader photo by Warren Bluhm Raymand Vannieuwenhoven appears via a video link from the Marinette County Jail during his initial appearance in court Friday. He is charged with the 1976 murders of a Green Bay couple at the McClintock Park campground.

A Marinette County judge set bail at $1 million cash Friday for the man accused of killing a Green Bay couple in July 1976.

Raymand L. Vannieuwenhoven, 82, was 39 years old when David Schuldes, 25, and Ellen Matheys, 24, were shot to death at the McClintock Park campground in the town of Silver Cliff. Matheys was also sexually assaulted.

His criminal record had been clear for nearly 60 years until modern forensic technology matched evidence collected in 1976 to his DNA profile, and he was arrested March 14 at his home in Lakewood.

District Attorney Deshea Morrow asked Judge James Morrison for the high bond because of the seriousness of the crime.

”These are brazen crimes that occurred at midday in a county park in Marinette County,” Morrow said. “Up until this month, there had not been an unidentifiable suspect. We now have an identified defendant, and I do think that there is a very great flight risk because of the greatness of the potential penalties.”

Morrow added that although her office has not been able to find a history of criminal convictions, Vannieuwenhoven was arrested in 1957 in Green Bay for an assault on two females, and in 1960 he was arrested for “fugitive non-support.” Records are incomplete regarding the disposition of those charges.

”The allegations in this case could not be more serious; the potential consequences could not be more significant,” Morrison said in granting the bail request.

Vannieuwenhoven appeared in court without an attorney, and his daughter, Susie Helms, explained to the judge that she has not yet been able to find an attorney willing to take on the case. The State Public Defender’s Office has already concluded that he does not qualify for its assistance.

“I just want you to understand that there’s nothing your father faces today that could be as conceivably important as he getting a lawyer to assist him in this case,” Morrison said.

Earlier, when the judge asked Vannieuwenhoven if he understood he faced two life sentences plus up to 15 years in prison if convicted of all three crimes, the defendant replied, “Not guilty, not guilty, and not guilty.”

“I’m not asking you, sir, to enter pleas, I’m asking you if you understand the maximum potential consequences that you’re facing,” Morrison said.

“I understand, yeah,” he replied.

The judge read the three counts, and Vannieuwenhoven appeared to shake his head slightly when Morrison read the first-degree sexual assault charge.

Morrison adjourned the initial court appearance until 2 p.m. April 30 – or sooner if Vannieuwenhoven is able to hire an attorney before then.