Former West Allis (Wisconsin) officer Steven M. Zelich, 52, has been arrested in two grisly homicides after the bodies of two women were found in suitcases along a rural road. They had been murdered over a year ago in what allegedly part of Zelich’s sadomasochistic fetish. What is most striking about this story is that Zelich was dropped from the force after a fight with a prostitute. However, no criminal charges were brought by the department against one of its own officers. Had those charges been brought, Laura Simonson, 37, and another unidentified woman might still be alive.
Zelich met both women online. He was reportedly a frequent participant on a sadomasochistic web forum. Zelich allegedly killed them both in the first meetings — at first hiding them for a while and then throwing them in suitcase along the road. A highway worker this month discovered the suitcases while cutting grass.
Zelich has reportedly admitted to causing the deaths though he has yet to be charged with murder. Simonson was killed after they met in Rochester, Minnesota in November 2013 and he first hid her body in his car. She was found with a rope around her neck and a gag strapped into her mouth with a collar.
Police are still trying to identify the second female victim.
What caught my eye was the reference in articles that Zelich in 2001 was forced to resign from the West Allis Police Department after an off-duty altercation with a prostitute. That had to be a bit more than a shocking match to result in such a resignation. Yet, that case was never charged or referred to the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office for possible prosecution. He was later forced to resign from another company, Comprehensive Title LLC, where he served as a partner. He was accused of embezzling money but yet again no criminal charge was brought even though there was a civil judgment against Zelich and another partner for unpaid premiums. He then moved on to Securitas Security Services USA until June 28, 2007 but was placed on administrative leave after his arrest.
The company noted that in their search of his background “His employment records reflect no extraordinary or remarkable incidents and indicate a satisfactory work record.” That is because he seems to have been repeatedly spared from the bringing of criminal charges.
Simonson was a mother of seven children who had struggled with mental illness. Her children have had extraordinarily tough lives. They were taken from Simonson and put in foster care with her father, Richard Wierson, in 2010. They were then taken away from their father in 2011 after he sexually abused at least one of them. Now they can add a serial murder of their mother to an already nightmarish collection of memories of their childhood.
Source: JS Online