Eddie Munster Actor Testifies in Murder Trial

Butch Patrick Lilley, the former child actor who played Eddie Munster on the 1960s sitcom The Munsters, was a surprising witness during a murder trial in Wausau, Wisconsin. Lilley, 68, was called the stand on Monday in the trial of Cindy Schulz-Juedes, a widow accused of killing her husband, Ken Juedes, in August 2006. The 67-year-old Schulz-Juedes was arrested and charged in December 2019.

The defense called Lilley to the stand because they are trying to establish that the actor was one of five other people killed Juedes, reports WSAW. According to Schulz-Juedes' lawyers, their motive for killing her husband stems from a lawsuit the Juedeses filed against a man for fraud related to the land where the Monster Hall Raceway was located. Juedes was part-owner of the raceway in Unity, Wisconsin. The lawsuit ended in the spring of 2006, but the Juedeses wanted to file criminal charges, even asking the Clark County Sheriff's Office to investigate their fraud claim. That investigation was still going on when Juedes died.

Lilley met Juedes at Monster Hall Raceway. During his testimony on Monday, Lilley said he didn't even know he was supposedly involved in the Juedes murder until someone asked him to look at a copy of the National Inquirer. Someone asked him to look at a copy, and he noticed he was on the cover. The headline read "Munster Murder Bombshell at Monster Hall." This was "how I found out about my invol... supposedly my involvement in it," Lilley testified. Lilley said his attorney asked the tabloid to retract the article, which it was, but he lost appearance contracts after that. The actor denied being involved in Juedes' death, but he confirmed he did know the other people the defense claims murdered the victim.

The defense claims Juedes' murder has to do with the fraud lawsuit. The Juedeses sued Randall Landwehr for $300,000 fraud related to the raceway. Landwehr lost the suit, leading to Lilley and others losing their investment in Landwehr's brewery business. The defense accused Landwehr, Lilley, and three other investors of killing Juedes.

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During the trial, crime lab witnesses testified that they found no evidence that any of these five people visited Juedes' home, including the three pieces of evidence with useable fingerprints. However, they could not determine if the fingerprints belonged to Schulz-Juedes because of the "creasing of fingers," fingerprint analysis specialist Madelyne Weismantel testified. Following Monday's testimony, the prosecution and defense used the rest of the day to write closing statements.