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Yesterday in La Crosse

Two murder cases competed for air time, 25 years ago

Brad Williams

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In June of 1994, O.J. Simpson was arrested for a double murder after the infamous “white Bronco” chase in California. The Simpson case broke the same week that a triple-murder trial began in La Crosse for James Frydenlund, a Twin Cities man accused of killing his estranged wife, Suzzette, and her parents, Leroy and Celia Weibel, at the Weibel’s trailer home east of La Crosse. The slayings happened in the fall of 1992. Prosecutors theorized that Frydenlund drove from Minneapolis to La Crosse late at night, committed the murders, and drove back home so neighbors would see him at his house the next morning. One La Crosse TV station interrupted news coverage of Simpson in court to air the live jury verdict in the Frydenlund trial…not guilty.

A newspaper story identified Mormon Coulee Road as a hub of economic growth for the city of La Crosse. The story pointed to activity at the Shelby Mall, and a planned expansion of a Quillin’s store, which is now occupied by Goodwill and Big Lots.

TV watchers in the summer of 1994 could turn to the major networks to see ‘Murphy Brown,’ ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,’ ‘Northern Exposure,’ and a reunion movie for the 80’s soap opera ‘Dynasty.’ Back on the tube 25 years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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