WXXI AM News

Husband charged in 1982 Brighton ax murder

Nov 8, 2019

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP & WXXI News)  A man who told police in 1982 that he came home from work to find his wife dead with an ax buried in her head has been charged with murder. 

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley says that on Friday, 67-year-old James Krauseneck was arraigned after a grand jury indictment was unsealed, charging him with 2nd degree murder for his alleged involvement in the murder of Cathleen Krauseneck on February 19, 1982 at their Brighton home.

The Democrat & Chronicle, which first reported the indictment, says tyat Krauseneck pleaded not guilty. His adult daughter accompanied him to the court appearance. 

His attorneys insist he is innocent. 

Krauseneck told police in 1982 that he found his wife dead when he returned to his Rochester-area home from his job at Eastman Kodak Co. He scooped up his then-toddler daughter and ran to a neighbor's home to call police. 

Authorities in 2016 conducted DNA testing on the ax handle and other evidence.

Doorley thanked the Brighton Police Department, who worked with the District Attorney's Office since 1982, "for never giving up on finding justice for Cathleen Krauseneck." Doorley says that authorities "look forward to bringing this case through the criminal justice system and finally bringing justice to Cathleen, her friends and family."