Cold Case: The Joseph Kargol Murder


"We hadn't seen a crime like that committed I could ever remember."

Those are words of retired Marathon County Sheriff's Department detective Harold Bean talking about the death of Joseph Kargol.

The 32-year-old Rothschild man was found beaten to death off Beans Eddy Rd. south of Mosinee in late June, 1973.

An autopsy showed Kargol took the worst of the attack to the head. A large piece of wood was found laid over him, but investigators don't believe it was the murder weapon. They suspect a baseball bat or something similar to it was used, but it was never found.

Investigator reports say Kargol was a bit of a loner. A couple people who remember him tell Newschannel 7 he was a nice guy who loved to bowl and loved music, proven by a huge record collection.

Investigator reports also point to the widely held belief that Kargol was gay. That matters in this case because he may have been the victim of a hate crime because of it.

Two people police called suspects in this case were John Largess and Randy Bockorny. Originally from down south, they were both in their teens and living in Antigo the early 70's.

Largess and Bockorny were suspected of a similar crime in Wausau at about the same time as Kargol's murder.

"Two guys from out of the area had tangled with a person that had a different sexual orientation, " says Bean.

He also says Largess and Kargol may also have been in one of two Weston taverns at the same time as Joe Kargol, the last night he was seen alive.

Bean was one of the detectives who would later pick Largess up in Kentucky and try to question him about the Kargol murder, "we gave him ample opportunity to talk if he wanted to talk, but at no time did he want to talk."

Eventually, Largess and Bockorny were convicted of the other beating back in Wausau. But charges were never filed in the Kargol murder.

"I really feel we were on the right track and we had the right people, but we didn't have enough evidence to take them into a court of law and convict them, " says Bean.

But now, the newest generation of Marathon County detectives is hoping that will change.

Marshall Schjoneman was recently assigned this case, "I need to find it and gather all the information, where are the reports, where's the evidence. I gotta find it and familiarize myself with the investigation that took place."

Schjoneman says even though it's gone cold, the Kargol murder has never been forgotten in this department. Various investigators have dug into the evidence over the last 4-decades.

In 2003, evidence was sent to the state crime lab for testing. Unfortunately, it didn't reveal any new leads. But now it's 10-years later and with the advance in time also comes advances in technology.

Schjoneman is in contact with the crime lab about this case again, "they're gonna look at their records to see what they tested and by which methods they tested the items and then will see what other items there are and if there are newer techniques that have developed to allow further testing."

The hope is new tests would reveal some new evidence, leading to some justice for a victim who's life was cut way too short, way too long ago.

Schjoneman says "what better scenerio would there be than to be arm and arm with Harold Bean as you do the follow up story that this cold case has been solved. It would be fabulous."

He says if the state crime lab goes ahead with new tests and they reveal new information, the next step would bo follow up with any suspects to which it would point.

In the meantime, if you know anything about this case, no matter how small a detail you may think it is, give Marathon County Crimestoppers a call. It could also provide the break investigators need.

The number is 1-877-409-8777.


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