This article was last modified on November 7, 2013.


Gordon Fisher

Gordon attended Neenah schools through the fourth grade before transferring to Tullar school in the Town of Menasha. In 1946, he enrolled in Neenah High School as a freshman but never made it through his first year — Gordon dropped out in February. School officials said he had been a poor student.

His skills with a gun were far above average. Neighbors recalled that he “shot from the hip” and could probably hit seven out of ten sparrows. He was also a tall child, described as “husky” and coming in at a towering 6’2″.

Young Gordon grew more and more furious with his father, and his inner rage grew. Whatever was holding him back snapped when his father ordered him to clean out the calf bin rather than help mend a fence. Although he was not sure how to dispose of his father’s body, he knew he had to create an alibi. Neighbors were told that the Fishers were leaving on a trip to Canada.

June 29, 1948 — Gordon shot his mother Elaine, 35, in their dining room, getting two .22 bullets into her head as she was finishing up a telephone call. The second was a mercy shot to quiet her moaning. Gordon left the rifle on the porch and went upstairs for something with more kick — a 12-gauge shotgun. Gordon Senior soon found her body on the floor, while his son was lying in wait for an ambush from the barn. When Gordon had a bead on his father walking from the house, it looked like his plan had come to fruition… and then his foot slipped.

“I lost my nerve then,” Gordon said. “I ran for the fields.” Gordon escaped capture until early the next morning, when Deputy Sheriff William Foust found him hiding in the hayloft. He had returned to the barn in the night after he was overtaken by cold and hunger.

When questioned by Sheriff Clarence Smith, the youth said he hated his father for all the work he was forced to do. He said he loved his mother, but she had to be a target so she would not turn him in. “I was treated like a kid when it came to fun, but treated like a man when it came to work,” he said. “I was worked too hard on the farm while my father sometimes loafed. My father and I argued over my marks while I was at Neenah High School, also. Then I had trouble when I wanted the car to go on dates.”

Based on Gordon’s admission, District Attorney John A. Moore issued a warrant for first degree murder.

July 29, 1948 — Fisher pleaded guilty to murdering his mother and was sentenced to a life sentence in Waupun by Judge Samuel John Luchsinger, 66. Luchsinger had been born in New Glarus but moved to Oshkosh as a child. The guilty plea was accepted after a report from the Central State Hospital showed that Fisher was sane, despite suffering from a “slight persecution complex”. When asked if he had anything to say, Fisher said, “Nothing.” He stood in court indifferently with his hands on his hips.

Also try another article under Historical / Biographical
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

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