Joel Marino Homicide
Friday, May 9, 2008 - 8:18am
Madison Police Chief Noble Wray, and Assistant Chief Randy Gaber have invited Lou Marino to sit down with them at Chief Wray's office next Tuesday, May 20, 2008. The Chiefs would like to discuss concerns Mr. Marino has made public about the investigation into his son's tragic death. The Chiefs would also like to clarify with Mr. Marino some of the statements Mr. Marino has made reference the case.
The Madison Police Department is dedicated to continuing a meaningful dialogue with Lou Marino, and his family, in an effort to find the person/persons responsible for Joel's homicide, while keeping Mr. Marino, and his family, informed of the investigation.
It is important to note that during the course of the investigation the Madison Police Department South District Command Staff has had numerous contacts with the Marino family in order to maintain open lines of communication.
In addition to the case detective, another liaison detective was assigned to the family. He met with the family, at their home, on the day of the homicide. He also attended Joel's funeral visitation. The detective spoke with Mr. Marino, 2-3 times, during the first couple of weeks, after the homicide. He also met with Joel's brother, Dominic, twice and has made numerous contacts with Joel's family friends. The detective also introduced the Marinos to the primary case detective, Matt Misener. Case Detective Misener also had contact with Mr. Marino at least once a week, if not more, as he called Mr. Marino back every time Mr. Marino called, with a question or idea.
In addition to the countless leads and tips that the case detective was already pursuing, he also took time to investigate several possible motives and suspects suggested by Mr. Marino, including investigating the following:
• The suspect was from a construction company that was working in the area.
• The suspect was connected to a theft of expensive medical equipment from a local hospital.
• The suspect was a city employee who was involved in the lawsuit in which his son was suing the City of Madison regarding a sewer construction project.
• The suspect was an individual seen in a tavern located in another part of the city.
None of the leads suggested by Mr. Marino resulted in a suspect being identified.
The detectives have made themselves available to the Marinos, at all times, and they have been completely responsive to their calls and ideas for leads.
In all cases, the case detective either informed Mr. Marino that those leads were already being pursued, or the lead detective would allocate more resources to follow up on the information given to him by Mr. Marino.
South District Captain Jim Wheeler has met with Mr. Marino, in person, twice. Once, he met him at his place of business, and the other time, he met with Mr. and Mrs. Marino, at their home, along with a representative of the District Attorney's Office and representatives of the Dane County Victim/Witness Unit. This meeting lasted over two hours, as the Marinos' questions were addressed, and answered, as appropriate, and they were given full explanations of procedures and reasons for those procedures, in regard to the integrity of the case. They were provided with phone numbers for South District Commanders and the Assistant District Attorney, with an offer to call at anytime. They were also invited to visit the South District, to see the volume of work and effort that was being completed by the detectives. To date, they have not taken Captain Wheeler up on this offer.
So far in the Joel Marino homicide investigation Madison Police personnel have:
• Sought and received information from various law enforcement agencies within the state of Wisconsin and have even reached out to departments in the State of Texas.
• Worked very closely with the Wisconsin State Crime Lab and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
• Received, and acted on, numerous tips from other law enforcement agencies.
• Contacted over 800 individuals and have developed over 80 potential suspects who have so far been cleared.
• Proactively developed suspects and checked them out.
• Generated fliers that MPD officers, and those close to Joel, posted around the crime scene and the downtown.
• Worked with Adams Outdoor Advertising in getting information about the crime up on a billboard.
• Worked with UW-Madison communications staff in getting information about Joel's murder up on the UW-Madison's website.
• Posted a full page of information in the local newspaper seeking tips.
• Contrary to some media reports, South District Captain Jim Wheeler has confirmed Joel's grandmother was contacted immediately after the crime, and she provided a detailed statement.
• Captain Wheeler has also followed up on an inaccurate media report stating officers were not dispatched to a reported sighting of a possible suspect on March 21, 2008. Dispatch records show that officers were sent within minutes of the call, but they were unable to find the subject seen by a caller. A Madison Police detective subsequently followed up with the witness about what had been observed.
Captain Wheeler has made the following statement:
"I want to let you know that we are sensitive and understanding of the Marino family and their frustration of trying to find justice in identifying and locating their son's senseless murderer. The Department is totally committed to solving this homicide for various obvious reasons to include helping to obtain closure for the family and friends of Joel Marino and also to take a dangerous person off the streets in our community. As a Commanding officer in the South district where this tragedy occurred, I have full faith and confidence in the abilities not only of the lead detective on this case but also to the women and men who have dedicated themselves to finding the perpetrator of this homicide."
- Captain Jim Wheeler, 266-5938