Little Annie Lemberger Murder
September 1911 – Madison, WI – Unsolved
Did you know that Madison has a century old unsolved murder case of a 7 year old girl?

At different times, two men were convicted of the crime, one was her father. Today no one knows for sure who did it. It is said that only the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby had more nationwide press coverage than the Annie Lemberger case.

She disappeared sometime overnight on September 5-6 from her home in the “Bush”. Three days later her body was found naked floating in Lake Monona Bay by Brittingham park. "Bruised about the head", No water was in her lungs, she did not drown.

James “Dogskin” Johnson confessed to the killing but then recanted. He spent more than ten years in prison pleading his innocence before he got a pardon hearing and was set free in 1921.

At that time suspicion switched to her father Martin Lemberger. He was convicted of manslaughter but, because the stat chute of limitations had expired, spent no time in jail. It still wasn’t over. It was later discovered that the key winess at the new trial was paid to lie.

Decades later, Mark Lemberger, Annie's nephew, became intrigued with the case and spent years trying to piece the evidence together. In a book “Crime of Magnitude: The Murder of Little Annie” Mark concludes that the neighbor, James Johnson, was the killer.

Annie is interred at Resurrection Cemetery


Annie Lemberger (7)
Martin Lemberger
James “Dogskin” Johnson