BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — A set of 12 regular jurors and one alternate will hear opening statements Tuesday in the trial of the Brighton husband charged with murdering his wife back in 1982.

James Krauseneck is accused of killing his wife, Cathleen, with an axe, a count of second-degree murder.

On February 19, 1982, on Del Rio Drive in Brighton, 29-year-old Cathleen Krausenneck was found murdered, with an axe to the back of her skull in her bedroom. The case is still unsolved over 40 years later. 

Edward Laraby — a convicted murderer — was living just five minutes away from the house at the time. He penned a letter, confessing to killing Cathleen before he died in prison.

A memo pad discovered in 1986 said the medical examiner had indicated two potential times of death, between 6:55 a.m. and 8:55 a.m.— contradicting what the prosecution said. They stated the murder happened before 6:30 a.m.

Revisiting the case with new technology in 2015, the Brighton Police Department came to the opinion that the killing happened before 6:30 a.m., while pathologists felt otherwise.

James said he left the house for work at 6:30 a.m. — yet, the body temperature of Cathleen indicated her time of death could have been before then, while James was still home.

Brighton Police said in 2019 — they don’t have evidence that anyone other than James was ever at the scene. 

“I believe the timeline will put Jim Krauseneck at home in the house during the commission of the crime. I believe there was no outside party in that house during the commission of that crime,” said Police Chief David Catholdi at the time.

Officials say hundreds, if not thousands of hours have gone into this case. The fate of James Krauseneck is now in the hands of 12 strangers in court. The trial is expected to take about a month.