Michael Desalvo Leaves Woman to Die

December 2005 – Madison, WI

Saint Marys Cemetery - Oregon, WI

December 22 – A patch of red in the snow-filled creek bed caught Detective Wayne Honer's eye when he looked through a culvert. Even after He crossed the Road and walked down the embankment it was several moments before he realized he was seeing a bit of clothing attached to a snow-covered body. Michael Desalvo left Angela Drake, wearing only a sweater and socks, and overly intoxicated, in the cold Wisconsin winter in temperatures that dipped below 15 degrees. Leaves were stuck to her skin, indicating that she was alive when she was left in the culvert near Storytown Road. An expert at Desalvo’s trial would say "I believe that Angela Drake was alive at the time she entered the dry creek area… She eventually died of exposure as a result of that."

Drake was last seen alive early December 9 shortly after leaving The Dry Bean Saloon with Desalvo, whom she met that night along with his three roommates. Her father reported her missing the next evening when she didn't return to their home. Her car was found in the Dry Bean's parking lot.

Desalvo became a suspect in the disappearance when his roommates contacted police after one of them received a missing person notice by e-mail issued by the Drake's step-father. One of the roommates last saw her in Desalvo's bed when they arrived home..

The rest of Drake’s clothes were found in Desalvo's SUV when police picked him up three days after she went missing. Police also found her blood on Desalvo's bed, Desalvo's DNA on her body, and her charred Wisconsin identification card amid burnt debris in a garbage can at his home.

Desalvo was initially arrested on an outstanding Dane County warrant for missing court dates on a September drug charge. Later he would enter a no-contest plea to first-degree reckless homicide a year to the day after he met her. May 2, 2007 Desalvo was sentenced to spend 25 years in prison and 15 years extended supervision.

Desalvo would later file and appeal and then fire his attorney. As of January 2009 he has yet to go back to trial.

Angela’s credo: “The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything, they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.”

Michael W. Desalvo (24) – 2314 Fitchburg Road.
Angela Drake (25)