Since 2019, Gov. Tony Evers’ Parole Commission has released hundreds of convicted criminals, freeing them early on parole mostly into Wisconsin communities, including more than 300 murderers and attempted murderers, and more than 47 child rapists.
Brian Kortbein was one of them. His release was discretionary.
54th in the series.
Brian Kortbein, who now lives in Fairchild, Wisconsin, was convicted of bludgeoning an elderly military veteran to death after helping the victim at the VA.
The victim, Raymond Golembiewski, “was a seventy-seven-year-old veteran who used to stop in at a gas station near where he lived every morning to read the paper,” an appellate court decision says. “When he failed to appear several days in a row, a gas station employee contacted his landlord to check on him, and Golembiewski was found bludgeoned to death in his apartment on August 2, 1990.”
“The pathologist concluded that the murder weapon was a blunt instrument such as a crowbar, tire iron, hammer or numbchucks. He placed the time of death as no later than dawn on August 1, but thought it could have been much earlier than that. It appeared to him that Golembiewski had been struck two or three times in the face, and then at least eight more times on the back of the head after he fell down. The amount of force required to depress the skull suggested to the pathologist that the murderer had been highly agitated.”
The records note, “About four months after the murder, police received a tip that they should talk with Kortbein. Kortbein had worked for a time at the VA hospital where Golembiewski was an outpatient. The two had discussed sports together on a number of occasions. Kortbein had also brought cans for recycling over to Golembiewski’s apartment.”
Evers’ Parole Commission Freed Brian Kortbein Early
Date paroled: [You can look up Brian Kortbein’s parole here. Put his name in the database and click “movement.”]
Current Residence: Fairchild, WI
Convicted: First-degree intentional homicide
Sentence: Life Sentence. Killers who received life sentences do not qualify for mandatory release. The parole was discretionary.
The Victim: Raymond Golembiewiski, 77
What the Killer Did:
According to The La Crosse Tribune, Brian Kortbein was painted in court as a man deeply in debt.
He was charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the beating death of Raymond Golembiewiski in his Tomah apartment in 1990.
The victim was an outpatient at the VA hospital. The killer suspected that the victim had “large sums hidden in his apartment.”
The key piece of evidence was bloody footprint evidence from Kortbein’s British Knight tennis shoes.
Kortbein had worked at the VA before quitting. He had been writing bad checks.
The victim as described as “very intelligent – there was no subject matter he couldn’t talk on,” the La Crosse Tribune reported in 1995.
The court records say, “Investigators noted that one of Golembiewski’s pant pockets had been turned inside out, and no wallet was found in the apartment. Golembiewski’s wallet eventually turned up in the police lost and found box, but its appearance could not be traced. There were blood-spattered patterns on boxes near Golembiewski’s body that indicated that the boxes may have been moved and possibly searched after the murder.”
He was 05/25/2021. He was convicted of a life sentence. Killers who receive life sentences do not qualify for mandatory release. The parole was discretionary.
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