A Waukesha man will spend the rest of his life in a mental institution for brutally killing three retired members of a family in rural Lafayette County. 31-year-old Jaren Kuester was sentenced Friday for the beating and stabbing deaths of Gary, Chloe, and Dean Thoreson in April of last year. He pleaded guilty to the charges in December.
The three victims were attacked with a fireplace poker, after Kuester broke into the family’s farmhouse near South Wayne. District Attorney Kate Findley said the crimes were among the most vicious ever committed in Lafayette County, and folks there remain frightened knowing that Kuester had chosen his victims at random.
Kuester told visiting Judge William Foust that he had lost touch with reality and he never imagined anything like this happening.
Authorities said a series of incidents were triggered when Kuester went to a Waukesha animal shelter to see his pet last spring, and he threatened employees who told him the pet died two weeks earlier. He later drove to Green County where he abandoned an SUV, ran through a wooded area, broke into the Thoreson house, killed the family when they returned, and then drove a victim’s pick-up truck to his father’s home in Waukesha where he was arrested.