ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Day three of the James Krauseneck trial has wrapped up. Cathy Krauseneck’s sister Annet Schlosser says she believes James is guilty of murder.
Cathy Krasueneck was found dead with an axe to her skull in 1982 inside her Brighton home.
“I fell to my knees when I heard what happened,” she said. “And life has never been the same since.”
Schlosser said she and her sister Cathy were close and lived with each other at some point. During her testimony, Schlosser offered details about their relationship, the timeline, and the marriage.
“I thought the relationship was great, they seemed happy,” she said.
She believes things took a turn when Cathy discovered James had not finished his Ph.D. Prosecutors said James lied about his Ph.D. while working at Kodak, and never completed a dissertation.
“My sister Cathy was all about education, she was about social status, she wanted the best for her and her family. And we believe that when she found out Jim didn’t get the Ph.D., he was confronted, and you can take the rest from there,” she said.
The defense team for James said this is a reach.
“We think it’s irrelevant, it’s a distraction, it has nothing to do with this case,” said Bill Easton, defense attorney.
“There’s no dispute over the quality of his work, it was exceptional and they were very pleased with it,” added defense attorney Michael Wolford.
The defense team argues there was never enough attention on a suspect they say is prime: Edward Laraby. Laraby was a convicted murderer who, at the time, lived around the corner.
Attorneys said Laraby confessed to murdering Cathy in a hand-written letter before his death in prison. However, both the defense and prosecution said there are holes in the confession and it doesn’t fully align with the evidence.
The Krauseneck’s daughter Sarah, will not be testifying. Instead, the court will use a verbal statement she provided as a child.
Schlosser said she has not been in touch with James’ daughter Sarah — and does not know for sure where she stands on her father’s trial. She says she welcomes Sarah with open arms when she’s ready.
Also in court Thursday, a testimony from one of the investigators who traveled to Michigan to learn more about the Krauseneck family. Among the topics discussed are a pamphlet for marriage help, which the investigator said he found in James’ car, and the incomplete dissertation.
More than 30 witnesses are expected to testify over the course of a month-long trial.