A Wisconsin man has been charged with the double homicide of a woman and her boyfriend in 1992, in apparent revenge for a fatal snowmobile accident that killed the suspect’s father when he was just seven years old.
Tony Haase, 52, of Weyauwega, faces two counts of first degree intentional homicide in connection with the stabbing deaths of Tanna Togstad, 23, and her boyfriend Timothy Mumbrue, 35, in March 1992.
Investigators have been working the case for decades, and eventually identified Haase as a possible suspect, though it is unclear how they came to that conclusion.
But according to a criminal complaint, Haase admitted to investigators on Thursday that he had gotten drunk on March 20, 1992, and started thinking about the 1977 snowmobile accident involving Togstad’s father, a friend of Haase’s father.
He said he went to Togstad’s home that night, insisting he did not plan to hurt anybody, but had ‘snippets’ of memories of knifing Togstad and Mumbrue.
An autopsy later concluded that Togstad died of one stab wound to the chest, while Mumbrue suffered multiple stab wounds. Togstad’s pet dog was also stabbed to death in the attack.
Haase now faces life in prison and is being hold on a $2 million bond. He is due back in Waupaca County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
‘It’s been a long time coming for our family,’ Richard Togstad, Tanna’s brother told FOX 11 following Haase’s arrest on Thursday. ‘Our family’s really happy, that’s about it.’
Tony Haase, 52, was arrested on Thursday after he reportedly admitted to fatally stabbing Tanna Togstad, 23, and her boyfriend Timothy Mumbrue, 35, in March 1992
The couple had been dating less than a year when they were found dead in Togstad’s bedroom on March 21, 1992. An autopsy concluded that Togstad died of one stab wound to the chest, while Mumbrue suffered multiple stab wounds
Wisconsin authorities had long suspected Haase may have been involved in the double murder, but were only able to take a DNA sample from him following a traffic stop on July 6.
Then on July 18, a Wisconsin State Crime Lab analyst found that the DNA was ‘consistent with the profile previously detected from the bodily fluids recovered from the body of Togstad,’ according to the criminal complaint.
He was arrested on Thursday at his place of employment, the Waupaca Foundry, the complaint says, and was brought in for questioning.
At first, the criminal complaint says, Haase denied he had anything to do with the murders of Togstad and Mumbrue, but after a while, authorities say, he admitted ‘he was afraid he was involved.’
Haase then told investigators that on the night of the murders, he had been going from bar to bar by himself, when ‘for some reason, he started to think about the accident that killed his father.’
‘Those thoughts led to him going to the home of Tanna Togstad,’ the complaint reads.
He allegedly said he arrived at her rural farmhouse in Royalton, insisting he did not go there to hurt anyone.
Haase also allegedly said he could not remember if he brought a knife to the home or if he grabbed one while he was there.
But, according to the criminal complaint, he got into a ‘scuffle’ with Mumbrue, during which, Haase said, he moved his arm in a ‘stabbing motion’ toward Mumbrue’s chest. He then remembered Mumbrue fell to the floor near the foot of the bed.
At that point, Haase allegedly told investigators, he remembered Togstad yelling ‘What the f***,’ and that is when he punched her in the face.
Investigators believe he knocked her out at that point, but soon, the criminal complaint says, Togstad started to stir, and Haase stabbed her in the chest.
When asked why he didn’t tell investigators right away about what had transpired, Haase reportedly told police he ‘didn’t want it to sound like I had it planned,’ noting that it was only when he saw a news report about the murders that he thought: ‘Holy f***, what did I do?’
Haase allegedly told investigators he went to Togstad’s rural home on March 20, 1992, but insisted he did not want to harm anybody. He allegedly said he could not remember if he brought a knife or if he grabbed one while he was there
Investigators have long said they believed the murderer knew Togstad personally and killed Mumbrue in a fit of rage
Investigators have long said that they believed the murderer knew Togstad personally and killed Mumbrue in a fit of rage.
Tanna had been working as a machine operator at Kratt’s Churney Cheese, where she was an employee since she graduated from New London Senior High School in 1987, while Mumbrue was employed at the Waupaca Foundry, where he worked second shift in the core room.
The couple were last seen alive in a tavern between 11.30pm and midnight on March 20, 1992, after dating for less than a year.
A few hours later, Tanna’s sister, Veronica, who lived in a mobile home next door, said she saw a small pickup truck back out of the driveway at around 4am and head west to Tanna’s home.
In the ensuing investigation, authorities said they had conducted 500 to 600 interviews of people who knew Togstad and Mumbrue.
‘There is no doubt that he was fixated on her,’ Sgt. Don Conat, a detective with the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department told the Appleton Post-Crescent on the 10 year anniversary of the murder.
DCI Special Agent Kim Skorlinski also said in 2002: ‘It was a murder scene showing the gamut of emotions.
‘There was obvious anger in the murder of Timothy Mumbrue,’ she said. ‘On the other hand, the guy had strong feelings for Tanna.’
Finally, following the arrest of Haase last week, Attorney General Josh Kaul said: ‘This arrest happened because of investigators’ unwavering pursuit of justice over the course of three decades.
‘Thank you to everyone whose commitment to this investigation made this arrest possible.’