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Murder of Jeffrey Vogelsberg by half-brother Matthew Graville spotlighted

Matthew Graville was regularly tortured and beaten by his half-brother Jeffrey Vogelsberg in a house they were renting in Mazomanie, Wisconsin. In the summer of 2012 Vogelsberg went too far, killing Graville, 27, he went on to bury his body in the woods where it lay undiscovered for months.

Graville suffered from Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism which meant he struggled to read and to remember numbers. Details of his early life are unclear, but he did move into a foster home at approximately age 16 or 17.

A friend from the foster home Richard Swangstu described him as an incessant talker, but also a kind and gentle soul. At some point Graville connected with his half-brother, Vogelsberg, and the two of them went to live together in a house owned by a Robert McCumber.

McCumber later told police that he had gone to bed hearing Vogelsberg beating Graville, he went to sleep as he considered this to be nothing new. When he woke on July 1st he discovered Graville was dead. Vogelsberg had left the home to attend his wife’s graduation from army basic.

McCumber telephoned Vogelsberg about the body, who told him to put the corpse in a freezer chest, several days later they both buried Graville’s remains in the woods.

Several weeks later Vogelberg’s grandfather concerned for the whereabouts of Graville, reported him missing. Vogelsberg constantly mislead police for the next few months on the possible location of his half-brother.

Police finally got a break when Vogelbergs mother was found using Graville’s food stamps in a Madison grocery store. She led police to McCumber, who then notified police about the regular beatings and torture inflicted on Graville by Vogelsberg.

In November Vogelsberg was arrested in Washington State, where he had moved with his wife. He had had previous encounters with the law, he’d had been convicted of siphoning gas from vehicles, shooting a man with a BB gun and throwing his dog down his apartment stairs.

Vogelsberg was initially charged with first-degree homicide, however, he eventually pleaded guilty to second-degree homicide. At the trial the court was told how Volgelsberg used to regularly shoot Graville with a BB gun, water-boarded him, and would beat him with a 2×4 which he’d labelled ‘Matt’s motivator’.

Vogelsberg was sentenced to 15 years in prison with a further 10 years under supervision. McCumber and Vogelsberg’s wife Shannon Remus also stood trial for their part in the crime.

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