Sarah Gonstead, Madison, Wisconsin
Sarah Gonstead of Madison, Wisconsin was a victim of homicide on March 14, 1996 by what was believed to be her friend Air Force veteran Penny Brummer. Sarah was best friends with Penny’s ex-girlfriend Glenda and investigators believe that Penny killed Sarah because she was interfering with her relationship with Glenda. The motive was jealousy, revenge, and vengeance. A month before Sarah’s death, Glenda broke things off with Penny and Penny was heartbroken. Investigators learned that Sarah was shot in the back of the head execution style with a 22 handgun. The person who committed the crime was most likely someone Sarah trusted. Penny’s father owned a 22 which was missing and never recovered. And Penny was the last person to see Sarah alive on the night in question. Penny claims the two were out bar-hopping and drinking for Sarah’s twenty-first birthday. The last time she saw Sarah she was walking towards Glenda’s house; Penny went home. Penny claims she doesn’t remember being at Jake’s bar, the last bar that Penny and Sarah frequented.
Jake’s bar is only a couple miles from where Sarah’s body was located three weeks after she disappeared. Glenda told investigators she broke up with Penny because she was too controlling and obsessive about the relationship. Glenda believes Penny assumed that Sarah was interfering in the relationship when in fact she wasn’t. Sarah was straight so Penny thought Sarah was trying to turn Glenda straight. Penny was arrested eight days after Sarah Gonstead’s body was discovered and she was charged with first degree murder. She was found guilty by a jury of her peers on October 1, 1994 and sentenced to an automatic life in prison. She will be eligible for parole after serving fifty years in prison in 2045. Penny Brummer maintains her innocence to this day and her mother Nancy Brummer advocates for her daughter’s innocence and release. Glenda believes the police have the right person and she mourns for her friend Sarah was was an innocent bystander and didn’t deserve any of this. Glenda described her best friend Sarah Gonstead as shy, soft-hearted, and a loyal friend.
Penny Brummer, a military vet, is accused of murdering her ex-girlfriend’s best friend in a jealous rage. However, Penny was so drunk that night she was in a blackout state. Can Chris and Melissa help fill in the gaps of her memory to prove her innocence? -Reasonable Doubt, Investigation Discovery
Twenty-one years ago a jury found Penny Brummer guilty in the murder of Sarah Gonstead. The family of Brummer has spent those 21 years working to prove her innocence. Dave Delozier reports. -Channel 3000 | News 3 (December 14, 2015)
Who Killed Sarah?
Seeking justice for Penny Brummer
New Trial for Penny Brummer, Wrongfully Convicted | Petition
Penny Brummer Defense & Support Fund by Truth in Justice
Sarah Gonstead Murder
Reasonable Doubt by Ingrid Ricks | The Advocate
State of Wisconsin v. Penny L Brummer
A short history of exposing misconduct
Chapter 1: A tale of three young women
Chapter 2: A hole in her story
Chapter 3: A surprise witness appears
Chapter 4: Defense sows seeds of doubt
Chapter 5: Emotional debate ends in guilty verdict
Chapter 6: Supporters of Brummer offer their theories; they say the evidence was too thin and question makeup of jury
Gift enables investigative journalism class to probe old murder case
Dane Co. DA Approves DNA Testing in 1994 Killing
Wisconsin DA approves DNA testing in 1994 killing
Will DNA Save Penny Brummer?
Spring Green woman could be cleared
Innocence project founder promotes cause of Madison woman convicted of murder
Did Homophobia Convict a Wisconsin Woman of Murder?
A Look Back After 20 Years
A look back at a 20-year-old murder and if the right person was convicted
Who killed Sarah? The trial of Penny Brummer
Group questioning conviction of Penny Brummer in 1994 death of Sarah Gonstead
Reward offered in 21-year-old homicide conviction
$10,000 Reward Offered in Wrongful Conviction Case
Person of Interest Hits Wrongfully Convicted for Serving in U.S. Military
On Wrongful Convictions and Penny Brummer
Penny Brummer’s fight for justice
The Lynching of a Madison Lesbian: Wisconsin’s Wrongful Conviction of Penny Brummer
Wrongful Conviction: Penny Brummer Is Innocent and Still in Prison
Richmond Crime Author Sheila Berry Takes on Wrongful Convictions Nationwide
Penny Brummer convicted of murdering Sarah Gonstead, but is there Reasonable Doubt?
Who Killed Sarah? by Sheila & Doug Berry (2005) | Amazon
Who Killed Sarah? by Sheila & Doug Berry (2005) | Walmart
Reward offered in 21-year-old homicide conviction
Reasonable Doubt | Investigation Discovery | Amazon
Failure to Remember | Reasonable Doubt – Investigation Discovery
Failure to Remember | Reasonable Doubt | Investigation Discovery | YouTube
Reasonable Doubt Premiered ‘Failure to Remember’ on Investigation Discovery: Penny Brummer Maintains Innocence in the 1994 Homicide of Sarah Gonstead (June 21, 2017)
Air Force Veteran Penny Brummer Found Guilty of the 1st Degree Murder of Sarah Gonstead; Sentenced to Life in Prison with Possibility of Parole After 50 Years (October 1, 1994)