A crowd of well over 100 people gathered in Racine for a candle light vigil to remember Lake Geneva resident Sandra Teichow, whose recent murder shocked the neighborhood and saddened the entire community. Pastor Ben Johnson-Krause of First Presbyterian Church said he spent the past week feeling haunted by Teichow’s murder. “And yet when I think of Sandra, who I didn’t know, I think of a woman of a woman who met this world’s brokeness with kindness, and love and compassion and would not define the world by brokeness, but rather believed that the world was worth redeeming, and worth caring for.”
Wilbert Thomas was formally charged Monday with first degree intentional homicide and theft in connection with Teichow’s death. According to the criminal complaint, Teichow stopped at a hair salon in Racine last Thursday, and told the stylist she was going to get 100-dollars in quarters and hand them out at a Laundromat “just to be nice.” Her body was found later in a wooded area. Police found several quarters under her body, and later found a jar of quarters in Thomas’s home. Investigators also found a digital camera near Teichow’s body, with a picture of a man walking away from her, who one of the detectives on the case recognized as the 63 year-old Thomas.
Theichow’s murder stunned the neighborhood where it occurred. “My heart is heavy for Sandra right now,” said a woman who lived in the area. “It could have been me.” Pastor Michael Miller, of Saint Andrew Lutheran Church, said it’s easy to feel afraid, and the need to isolate, but that’s where local churches can play a role in connecting people to each other. “We will continue to be about that. We will continue to reach out to one another through acts of love and compassion, as Sandra gave witness to in her life,” said Miller. More than one person at vigil suggested that Teichow, a 67 year-old retired teacher, was the kind of person who would have asked forgiveness for Thomas, who has 1992 attempted rape conviction, and had NOT been compliant of late with the state’s sex offender registry.