February 1981: Goldfarb’s Deli opens at the Bay Shore Mall in Glendale.
June 30, 1984: Goldfarb’s Deli in Glendale (at the bay Shore Mall) closed due to financial difficulties. Records showed that co-owners David Curtis Alt and John Stewart owed at least $17,000 in back taxes, as well as other debts.
July 18, 1984: David Alt does not return home from work. His wife Wyleen gets worried about 7:30pm, as he would generally call by that time if he was going to be delayed. He also did not return calls left to his beeper. Looking for him at the mall, Wyleen found his Cadillac and left a note on it, but soon after this the car disappeared.
July 20, 1984: Wyleen Alt files a missing persons report on her husband, David Alt. Police suspect he possibly ran away, by Wyleen says she knows him better than that.
On July 30, 1984, David Alt’s body was found by Madison police when Holiday Inn (6301 East Broadway) employees complained that a car had been in their parking lot for a while and was starting to have a “disgusting” odor. The car, belonging to Alt, was backed against a tree, and when the police popped open the trunk, they found his partially decomposed body rotting in the summer sun. The corpse was so decomposed, the police were not even sure at first whether the body was male or female and dental records had to be consulted.
Strangely, Alt’s car had his correct license plate on the back (partially obscured by a tree), but on the front a different plate was affixed. This traced to a Cadillac owned by the Hertz rental company at the Mitchell Airport. Did the killers take a detour from Milwaukee to Madison, stopping at the airport to steal a license plate? It was already strange that they drove over an hour to hide the car and body.
An autopsy revealed the cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head. They were unable to narrow down what sort of gun was used other than to say it was a “small caliber”. Apparently the bullet was not found or had shattered.
In January 1985, authorities started a John Doe investigation to gather new clues after the last several months had been fruitless. One person called to testify was Lynne Stewart, the wife of Alt’s business partner. She initially refused to testify, citing her 5th Amendment rights. After being granted immunity, she was forced to talk. (John Doe testimony is secret.)