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Penny Brummer convicted of murdering Sarah Gonstead, but is there Reasonable Doubt?

 Penny Brummer
Penny Brummer was found guilty of shooting Sarah Gonstead dead, but is she guilty?

This week Reasonable Doubt looks at the the murder of Sarah Gonstead and the conviction of her friend Penny Brummer.

Madison, Wisconsin on March 14, 1994, and 21-year-old Sarah Gonstead went out for some drinks with Penny Brummer and never returned.

It would be nearly a month before a cyclist discovered her body in some woods, she’d been shot in the back of the head.

The police investigation soon focussed on Gonstead’s drinking buddy that night, 24-year-old Penny Brummer. She was the last person who admitted seeing Gonstead before she died and they also thought that she had a motive.

Brummer was dating one of Gonstead’s best friends and was said to get really jealous when they spent time with each other. She also had access to her dad’s gun of the same caliber that was used to kill Gonstead and that gun was missing.

Witnesses placed the two together at a bar near where the body was found and some of them seemed to contradict Brummer’s recollection of the night.

She was found guilty of the murder and given a life sentence.

However, Brummer protested her innocence and her supporters say that the veteran may well have blacked out several times that night after the binge drinking. They also say she had an alibi in the form of an unlisted TV show she remembers watching whilst the murder took place and that there is no evidence tying her to the crime either.

She remains in prison.

Reasonable Doubt airs at 10:00 PM on Investigation Discovery.

James has worked for Monsters and Critics since it started back in 2003. He oversees the business and technical side of things. You can contact or follow him on Twitter.

2 thoughts on “Penny Brummer convicted of murdering Sarah Gonstead, but is there Reasonable Doubt?”

  1. This case was a psychologically driven case where the murderer had a strong case of insecurity about losing the person they loved, and sought to regain a sense of security with the person the loved, Glenda, by killing Sarah who she thought was an obstacle to getting Glenda back as Sarah was a straight woman while Glenda was going through a bi-sexual phase and is now married with children. I think this murder was cleverly premeditated by Penny, unless she kept a gun in her glove compartment to use when needed. On Sarah’s last night on earth Penny probably had the gun in her car and was able to coax Sarah somehow to go into the woods, or perhaps even at gun point. Love and hate are the strongest emotions for humans. In this case the love for Glenda was strong by Penny that she just was not going to give up easily when Glenda was evidently going to date men again, so she thought Sarah would no longer be able to be an influence on Glenda’s going straight again so she had to die.

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