Christine Rothschild Murder
May 25, 1968 – Madison, WI – Unsolved
Christine Rothschild entered the University of Wisconsin in 1967, living in Ann Emery Hall, room 119. Christine had hopes of becoming a journalist upon graduation. She was an attractive young woman, with long blondish-brown hair and often spent her summers modeling for department store catalogs.

On a raining evening Phillip Van Valkenberg was pushing through the bushes along side Sterling Hall to knock on a window so a friend would let him in, when he came across Rothschild’s body. She had been stabbed 14 times in the neck and chest, several ribs were broken and her heart punctured. She had been strangled by a strip of lining from her coat and both upper and lower jaw bones were broken. Her gloves were pushed into her throat. She was not sexually assaulted and still had expensive rings on her fingers.

Sometime in the last five years it was discovered that evidence in many cases has been discarded or lost by the Dane County Sheriffs department. Key evidence in the murder of Christine Rothschild has simply been lost. Because the murder occurred before the UW Police department had a facility for storing evidence, the Sheriff’s Office was handling it.

The lost evidence was important enough that it was sent to the FBI for testing. Bloody clothing, a bloody man’s handkerchief found under Rothschild’s head, a broken, black umbrella that was stabbed into the ground, items that could contain the DNA of the killer. The FBI processed the evidence, but no one knows what happened to it after it was sent back.

Christine Rothschild (18)

Was Rothschild the first victim of the Capital City Murders?

The Department of Justice distributed playing cards in 2011 to inmates in to state prisons and county jails in the hope that an inmate with knowledge of a case would come forward. Each card featured a photo of a missing person or homicide victim and information about their case. Two versions of the cards: one of Milwaukee cases and one with cases from other parts of the state.