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Jeaneen Marie Klokow
1965 - March 1, 1957
Find A Grave Memorial

In 1957, a seven month old baby died. Ruby C. Klokow told police that her daughter had fallen off of the couch and that was what caused her to die. I find it oddly sad that even in 1957 that excuse was used and even sadder that people in 2013 are still trying to use that same excuse for the abuse they force children to endure before killing them.

In 2008, James Klokow came forward to tell police that he knew his sister did not die from falling off of the couch, that he and his siblings had all been abused by his mother. It took about two years for the investigation to come to and end and when it did, Ruby was arrested and charged with second degree murder. With little evidence being available to the police, they relied on an autopsy report and what relatives had to say. It turned out that there were two children who had died and both were to be removed from their graves to see if any evidence could be found. Scott Klokow died in 1964, also as a baby. Scott had supposedly been found dead in his crib.

Eventually, Ruby admitted that she was having a hard time raising four children and that she may have treated Jeaneen a bit rough and she admitted to killing her, though she denied any role in Scott's death and there was no evidence to support she had abused that son. Rub said that she knew she should not have ever had children and that she wishes she never had adding that she knew she had been mean to them.

James said that he had seen enough of crime shows on television to know that Police were better armed now with new technology to solve cases that all those years ago seemed hopeless. I have to commend James for having the courage to go to the police and tell them that he knew his mother had killed his baby sister. James was now 55 years old. James had grown up thinking he had been the reason his sister died, after Ruby told him it was his fault. James had grown up being beaten and abused, he thought that was the way all children were treated. He didn't come forward before 2008, because he thought it was too late. Ruby was arrested and held on $10,000. bond and in court it was explained to her what a preliminary hearing was and what she needed to do in order to get a lawyer, to which she replied:

"I don't think it's going to make any difference if I have an attorney or not"

In her initial interview, Ruby told Police that she had been overwhelmed with four children and had been trying to deal with her own childhood trauma. A Forensic Pathologist found that Jeaneen had been buried with three scalp bruises and two brain hemorrhages. Police talked to Ruby again and she said that there came a point where she was so frustrated because Jeaneen and James were both crying so she took Jeaneen out of her stroller and threw her toward the couch. Jeaneen gave a different kind of a cry and then her eyes looked strange. Jeaneen was left alone down stairs and when Ruby when to check on her later, she was said to be whimpering and had a soft spot on her head:

"We have to recognize it was something that happened in 1957 and it wasn't intentional, although
reckless. She had a lot of kids at a relatively young age, she wasn't happy in her marriage, there
was a lot of drinking going on there and she had a temper"
District Attorney Joe DeCecco

In the criminal complaint were other details about child abuse such as breaking the arm of James Jr as well as his nose and kicking him while wearing steel toed boots causing injury to his knees. At the age of six, Bruce was made to stand in the corner with a paper bag on his head while Ruby hit each of his toes with a hammer. Ruby's mother and sister both testified that at one point they saw Bruce in his crib and his face was bleeding, reports are that Bruce is mentally handicapped.

Unfortunately, there is a statute of limitations on child abuse so Ruby would never face charges for what she did to her other children. The details were uses in this case only to show that she was a violent and dangerous woman. Ruby would not face any charges at all for Scott's death:

"She talked very freely about Jeaneen. She adamantly denied having anything to do with Scott"



In February of 2013, Ruby C. Klokow, who was 76 years old at the time plead no contest to second degree murder and the Prosecutors recommended a sentence of 45 days in jail with ten years of probation:

"We've been able to negotiate a very favorable recommendation, I think that almost goes
without saying but we're hopeful to get this over with"
Kirk Obear - Ruby's Lawyer

Kirk Obear said that Ruby was sorry for what she did to Jeaneen and that she was remorseful:

"She's been heartbroken all these years over losing her child. She was dealing with
a lot of heartache"

But not enough to confess what she did? Not enough to make sure James knew he was NOT the one who killed this Angel baby. Right, Kirk?

Joe DeCecco said that even with her confessing to what she did, it would have been difficult to get a conviction:

"You've got a 76 year old person who looks like everybody's grandma, you don't see the 21
year old that was doing what she did"

Joe went on to say that second degree murder was a charge that no longer existed in Wisconsin:

"We had to go to the archives just to find the applicable statutes, then we had to find that statute
of limitations to make sure that was no statute of limitations, we had to find jury instructions for
back then"

May Mr DeCecco should have read the story of Dennis Jurgens who died in 1965 and his adoptive mother go prison, though not for long enough, after his older brother came forward and told of the abuse Dennis had suffered before Louis Jurgens killed him. NO ONE, no matter how old or how long ago, should get away with killing a child. I don't have to understand these kinds of laws and legal matters, to know they are 100% WRONG!

Joe said that considering her age and medical issues, the plea was in the best interest of the state and that the
jury would have been given two choices, either manslaughter or a lesser charge and with the statute of limitations
on manslaughter expiring, they would not be able to convict her and she would walk away without punishment. I
guess it's not evident to Joe that basically, that's what happened.



James said:

"I think she deserves to go to prison"

Hanging in James' home is a frame with two pictures of his sister and in the frame is a plaque that honors her memory. James described what he sees in the picture:

"I see a sister I wanted to cherish. I have a sister I wanted to love, to grow up with, protect"

James, who was two years old when his sister was killed, said he was afraid that no one was going to believe him. James is now a married man who has brain damage and is blind in one eye from the abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother and says there is no reason for child abuse to still happen. James would like to raise money in memory of his sister to help the fight against child abuse.

James has no contact with his mother at all, but had a message for about her:

"Now, do I forgive my mom? Yes. But will I forget it? No"



UPDATE:

On May 1, 2013,  Ruby C. Klokow, who was 76 years old at the time, was sentenced to a minimum of ten years in prison for killing her daughter. Reports say that as part of a plea deal, Ruby was expecting to only get 45 days in jail, but Judge Angela Sutkiewicz said that if she were to abide by the plea deal, justice would not be served:

"What happened to Jeaneen Klokow was no accident. It was caused by the defendants reckless actions.
Anything but incarceration would diminish the seriousness of this offense"


Ruby had plead no contest in February to a second degree murder charge and apparently a plea deal was struck between the prosecutors and her lawyer, Kirk Obear. Kirk was surprised that the deal was not upheld:

"If we could do it all over again, we'd have a trial and we'd win"

In court, several of Ruby's family asked the judge to go easy on her because she had suffered enough already with the years of knowing what she had done to her daughter.  Ruby's son, who had also been abused as a child, was asking for a long sentence, believing she should go to prison for what she did:

"My mother killed my baby sister. She did not cherish her, she did not love her, she did not
protect her. I fele my  mother should get 20 years in prison"
James Klokow

When the sentence was read, there was a gasp in the court room and Ruby started to cry. Kirk said he would file an appeal. Reports say that Ruby will most likey be given parole when her first parole hearing takes place in about two and a half years.

Death occurred in the state of Wisconsin

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