Onalaska Church Murders
On the morning of February 7, 1985, Bryan Stanley, 29, shot and killed Father John Rossiter, lay minister Ferdinand Roth and parish custodian William Hammes at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Onalaska. Stanley had a deep interest in religion and when picked up by police near the crime scene he told officers that he was Elijah. He was allegedly upset that Father Rossiter allowed girls to read the Scriptures during Mass as the pope authorized. In the end, Stanley was judged insane and not legally responsible for the slayings.
Stanley is still being held in the state's mental health facility. Bryan Stanley's mother, Mary, was successful in 1996 in helping to change Wisconsin law to include a "fifth standard" for commitment to allow families of mentally ill adults to seek help through an involuntary commitment process for a person who is unable or unwilling to seek help on his or her own.