Police Incident Reports A Selection of Noteworthy Incident Reports

Incidents listed are selected by the Officer In Charge of each shift that may have significant public interest. Incidents listed are not inclusive of all incidents. To view Calls for Services information, please visit communitycrimemap.com. Requests for information can be directed to the MPD Records Unit: (608) 266-4075.

Incident Report for Case #2008-85855

Incident Type


Incident Date

04/02/2008 - 1:08 PM


500 block West Doty Street


Brittany Sue Zimmermann, age 21, Marshfield WI (Ms. Zimmermann was currently living in Madison at the West Doty Street Address while she attended UW-Madison)


Charges have been filed in this case. Please see PDF attachment and video from Chief Wahl.

Last updated 03/20/2020 at 9:45 AM by PIO Joel Despain



-In the wake of her tragic death, the family of Brittany Zimmermann has announced that they are establishing a scholarship in Brittany's name and conducting a fund drive called "Dollars for Brittany". A Marshfield credit union is facilitating the collection of funds.

Contributions can be sent to:

Brittany Zimmermann Memorial Fund
C/O Marshfield Medical Center CU
PO Box 279
Marshfield, WI 54449

(UPDATED Monday, April 14, 2008)

The Madison Police Department is seeking additional information from people who were in the Bassett Neighborhood either on the day Brittany was killed, or on the day before her death. Specifically, detectives would like to speak with anyone who was solicited for money – or gave money to strangers - on either April 1st or April 2nd. This would include citizens who were approached on the street, or at their homes, by one or more individuals. Investigators are focusing this effort on solicitations that were made on West Washington Ave., West Main St., West Wilson St., South Bedford St., South Bassett St., or West Doty Street. The MPD would ask those with information to call Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.


Posters seeking information in the Brittany Sue Zimmermann case will soon be posted by Madison Police Officers in the Bassett Neighborhood, and in other areas of the central city. A copy of the poster has been attached to this incident report.

Madison Crime Stoppers has now received approximately 200 tips in the Zimmermann case. In addition, some 25 new tips have come in reference the Joel Marino homicide. Joel was murdered on January 28th, and prior to Brittany’s homicide around 70 tips had been received in the Marino investigation.

There are some similarities in the cases. Both residents were killed inside their homes, during daylight hours, and no motive has been established in either case. There appears to be nothing in either victim’s background that would make them targets of violence.

Still, investigators do not know if the cases are connected, and there are differences. For example, in the Zimmermann case there were signs of forced entry. There was no evidence of forced entry in the Marino case.

Both Marino and Zimmermann lived in close proximity, perhaps a mile or so apart. Because of the closeness detectives working the Marino case are coming across information that may help the Zimmermann case. Conversely, detectives working the Zimmermann case are coming across information that may aid the Marino probe.

Both cases remain very active investigations.


Some members of the media have been inquiring about a man who was going to various locations in the downtown (including a residence on West Washington Avenue) soliciting money from residents on the day of Brittany's death. This person is in custody on a probation hold, and is one of many who have been arrested (for things like probation holds and unrelated crimes) during the Zimmermann investigation. No suspect has been identified in the murder of Brittany. Detectives are continuing to pursue a plethora of leads. The MPD appreciates all of those who have come forward with information, and encourages others to call Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014 as this remains a very active investigation.


The Madison Police Department, with assistance from the WI State Crime Laboratory, continued Friday to process the home of Brittany Sue Zimmermann.

Forensic analysts at the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory in Madison are already expediting the examination of some items found that may have evidentiary value.

Meanwhile, the focus of the investigation continues on several fronts. Patrol officers and detectives have been talking with numerous people in the neighborhood including residents, commuters, business owners, and transients. Police are seeking to speak with those who are willing to share information, and those who may be somewhat reluctant to contact police directly. Police seek any information regarding activity in the area.

In the Zimmermann case, the MPD would like citizens to focus on the daytime – going into the nighttime hours -- of Wednesday April 2nd. If anyone saw anything odd, strange, or out of the ordinary in the area of the crime scene—a call to Crime Stoppers (608-266-6014) would be appreciated.

In the last 24 hours more than 75 tips have come in to Crime Stoppers. Many of those calls are from people who have had strangers come to their doors, or into their homes recently, or over the course of the past several months. Several callers said at the time they did not call police. The MPD would urge anyone, at anytime, encountering a similar situation to call.

Other tips in the Zimmermann investigation have come from downtown residents who saw people going door to door asking for money on the day of the homicide. In at least one case a man entered a residence. Investigators have identified many of these people, and have talked with them. It is not unusual during such contacts that arrests are made for unrelated matters. For instance, some contacts are made with those who may have outstanding warrants, or are wanted on probation holds.

At this hour the MPD does not have a suspect, or suspects identified in the Zimmermann homicide. The Dane County Coroner has determined Brittany died from a “complexity of traumatic injuries.” Investigators have not established a motive.

Madison and UW police officers will continue increased foot patrols in the Bassett Street Neighborhood.


Investigators in the Brittany Zimmermann homicide have concluded that her boyfriend is not a suspect in this case.

He has been -- and continues to be -- very helpful in providing information to the detective team.

Many leads have come in, and detectives are pursuing them. No suspect has been identified.

The search of Brittany's home -- and the area around it -- continues. Items of possible evidentiary value are being taken to the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory in Madison for analysis.

A member of the Dane County's Victim/Witness unit is working with Brittany's family. She will be keeping them posted on developments in the case, and has informed the MPD that the family is asking for privacy as they continue to grieve.

A good number of tips have come in to the MPD, and citizens with any information that may help lead to an arrest are encouraged to continue to call the Madison Police Crime Stoppers line at 608-266-6014.


Shortly after 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday Madison Police were called to a residence in the 500 block of West Doty Street to check on a person. Ms. Zimmermann was found dead inside her home. Dane County Coroner John Stanley says a preliminary examination indicates the manner of death was homicide.

The Madison Police Department is working in unison with the UW-Madison Police Department on this case, and a Command Post has been established inside the Central District station.

Both Madison Police Chief Noble Wray, and UW Police Chief Susan Riseling have pledged extra patrols, and a heightened presence on Doty Street and surrounding areas for the time being.

At this writing no suspects have been identified, and detectives have been unable to rule out that this may have been a random act.

District Alderman Mike Verveer is looking to hold a community meeting this weekend to address concerns of residents.

Meanwhile, a team of detectives will work the case around the clock, with patrol officers aiding in their efforts.

Coroner Stanley has indicated a forensic examination will be done tomorrow morning at which time he may (or may not -- depending on consultation with investigators) release more information on the cause of death.

"This terrible crime is a tragedy, and my thoughts are with the victim's family and friends," said Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. "I am going to work closely with the Madison Police Department and other law enforcement authorities to provide the resources necessary to bring the perpetrator to justice and address the public safety needs of the community

Released 04/02/2008 at 7:12 PM by PIO Joel DeSpain

The location shown is approximate & may not be accurate.

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