|Death: ||Jun. 3, 1990|
Aged 21 years, daughter of Robert J. and Bonnie E Dunlop Buege. Sister of Bruce Buege. Granddaughter of Ella Buege.
She was a 1987 graduate of Vincent High School.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Posted: June 3, 2010
Aspiring model's family still hopes for justice
By Jesse Garza of the Journal Sentinel
There's no telling what Beth Buege would have made of her life had it not been taken from her 20 years ago Thursday.
With her dazzling personality and striking looks, she could have easily become a model, an actress or entertainer, her brother Bruce Buege says.
But her murderer put an end to those prospects by squeezing the life out of the spirited 21-year-old jewelry store clerk. The killer has never been held accountable.
"Next year at this time she'll be dead for as long as she was alive," her brother says, wondering if her killer will remember the anniversary.
"It's hard to believe that someone could live that long with something like that on his mind."
Her last hours
On Sunday, June 3, 1990, shortly before 9 a.m., Buege was found strangled in the passenger seat of her red Chrysler Laser in the 4900 block of N. 49th St. The car was seen several hours before parked outside what was then Jake's restaurant in Wauwatosa, where a man she was dating lived upstairs.
A witness saw the car - with a license plate that read "FLRT 12" - jerking along N. 49th St., said retired Wauwatosa police detective King DeSeve.
"Whoever was driving it obviously didn't know how to use a stick shift," said DeSeve, who, with the blessings of Milwaukee police investigators, worked the case unofficially until he retired in 2003.
Dreams of modeling
Buege was an infant when she was adopted by Bonnie and Robert Buege.
Robert Buege said Beth grew up knowing she was adopted, but never wanted to find her birth mother.
"She told my wife, 'You're the only mom I've ever had,' " he says.
She attended Thoreau Elementary School and Webster Middle School before graduating from Vincent High School in 1987. At Vincent she was a member of the gymnastics team and once took home a state division championship, her brother says.
After high school she worked at Rogers & Hollands Jewelers at Northridge Mall for two years before talking a job as a cocktail waitress at what was then Club Marilyn in downtown Milwaukee. She later worked at the Tijuana Yacht Club near Northridge and at the time of her death was a sales clerk at Fox Jewelers at Brookfield Square.
A loving person, Buege always looked for the good in people, sometimes trusting them too easily, Paula Yahr, a co-worker of Buege's at Rogers & Hollands, said in a 1990 newspaper interview.
"She'd say, 'He's a nice guy,' and I'd say, 'Beth, he's a jerk,' " Yahr said.
Buege had many boyfriends, five of whom asked to be pallbearers at her funeral, her parents said in a newspaper interview.
But the one boyfriend who didn't show up at the funeral was the guy she was dating at the time she was killed, the guy whom they took to dinner with their daughter less than two weeks before, they said.
"Whenever there was a lull in the conversation she'd tease, 'Mother, aren't his eyes beautiful?' " the late Bonnie Buege told Milwaukee Sentinel columnist Bill Janz.
After their daughter's death the man never called them to express his condolences, never showed up at their home to offer comfort.
Instead, he hired an attorney, they said.
"They couldn't build a case against him. All their evidence was circumstantial," says DeSeve, who has remembered the grim anniversary ever since.
He keeps a photograph of Buege in his old cop notebook.
"I carry this in my heart," DeSeve says.
Today the Beth Buege case sits in a file in the cold case unit of the Milwaukee Police Department.
"We continue to review this file," cold case Detective Kathy Hein says in a statement. "We have submitted items for DNA testing, interviewed old witnesses and developed new leads.
"We still have a few more pieces of the puzzle to put together." The smile that remains
While processing photographs of her brother's wedding, a photographer, taken aback by Buege's stunning looks, suggested she put together a modeling portfolio, her brother remembers.
"It was something she was just starting to get into," Bruce Buege recalls.
The portfolio includes a portrait of a smiling Beth Buege, a photo that graces her brother's home and gives him comfort.
"We grew up the way you hear you're supposed to grow up - family vacations, going to school together," he says. "I didn't think it would turn out as tragically as it did.
"But it's nice to look at the picture and have her smile at you."
Anyone with information on the death of Beth Buege is asked to call the Milwaukee Police Department cold case unit, (414) 935-1212.
Bonnie E Dunlop Buege (____ - 2001)
Valhalla Memorial Gardens
Created by: Sam
Record added: Jun 03, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 53202188
Justice is coming Beth. Hang on. It's not fair what happened to you. You deserved a full, beautiful life and it was stolen from you by a complete coward. Rest now. You are not forgotten.|
Added: Jun. 2, 2015
Added: Nov. 21, 2012
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