Victim: â€œIt was dumb for us to meet in one placeâ€
The organizer of a convention for forty-three survivors of attacks by serial killer Allen Wayne Dupree now says it was â€œprobably not a good ideaâ€ to spend $1 million in TV advertising, then hold the event at a popular outdoor cafe in Appleton.
â€œWhat can I say? It was dumb for us to meet in one place, dumb to run a Super Bowl ad for the convention, dumb, dumb, dumb,â€ says Dan, 37, who asked that his last name not be used. â€œI thought Allen would be decent enough to not crash our party. That’s the last time I trust a serial killer, believe me!â€ Dan is the past president of Please Stop Trying To Kill Us, the official advocacy organization for Dupree survivors.
The lure of taking another shot at forty-three near-victims proved too tempting for Dupree, the man federal officials call the â€œsmelliest and third most dangerous fugitive in America.â€ Dupree, wanted in eight states for fourteen murders and nearly 75 attacks, walked into the Boxcar Willie Grotto at Cafe Coldstorage last week just as PSTTKU social director JoAnn, 57, was unveiling a special PSTTKU cake. â€œIt [the cake] was just adorable,â€ JoAnn recalls. â€œIt was black forest cake made in the shape of a, well, victim, with a chalk outline made from white frosting!â€ JoAnn had begun to cut the first slice with a machete (Dupree’s weapon of choice) as the killer leapt forward to ask for a slice of cake. â€œHe said, ‘Gimme the cake and nobody dies!’ But our bylaws are very clear. No refreshments unless you register for an event, and Allen hadn’t registered.â€
Dupree punched three of the survivors, took a bite from the cake, spit it out, and ran out through the crowd. Police were unable to find Dupree- â€œThe guy just vanishes,â€ said Sgt. Thad Bachenmeyer. â€œMaybe if they’d had a better cake he’d have stayed longer and we could’ve grabbed him.â€
PSTTKU had tried not to attract attention to itself for its first seventeen years, but decided to go public after a 2002 tribute to Dupree victim, Rudy â€œJakeâ€ LaRosa. â€œDan’s speech was amazing,â€ recalls Laura, 34. â€œHe blew everybody away- ooh, bad choice of words, um, he really impressed everybody. He said, ‘You can repeatedly stab the man, but you can’t repeatedly stab the memories.’
â€œWe heard later that Allen heard about the speech while beating up a member in Madison, Wisconsin, and sent us a telegram saying how good it was. That should’ve been our first clue to lay low. Well, that, and all the murders.â€
Bolstered by their success, PSTTKU announced itself to the world and began an ambitious fundraising program, raising enough to advertise their annual meeting during the Super Bowl. â€œI don’t know what I was thinking with that one, really,â€ Dan said, shaking his head. â€œWe’ll have to rethink our publicity strategy at the meeting next week at the Community House. We could use some public suggestions, and besides, we’ve got more cake!â€