Sandra Teichow Murder: Victim Snapped Picture of Killer, Say Wis. Cops

Sharon Teichow was strangled Oct.14 allegedly by registered sex offender Wilbert Thomas in Racine, Wis. Police say Teichow took a picture of her attacker just before dying and that it matches Thomas' description.
Personal Photo
Sandra Teichow Murder: Humanitarian Snapped Picture of Presumed Murderer
Sharon Teichow (Personal Photo)

MADISON, Wis. (CBS/AP) Sandra Teichow dedicated her life to helping people less fortunate than herself, from traveling half-way across the globe to teach children in Eastern Europe to donating shoes to local school children who needed an extra pair for gym class - but it may have been that selfless nature that ultimately got her killed.

Teichow was last seen Oct. 14 leaving her hair salon after telling her stylist that she planned to go to a local laundromat to pass out $100 worth of quarters to those in need "just to be nice." Later that day her body was found in a secluded area of Racine, Wis., about 30 miles south of Milwaukee.

Quarters and a digital camera were found near her body and police believe that Sandra's last act was to take a picture of her killer.

The complaint said the camera contained two photos taken a little more than an hour before Teichow's body was found. The photos were of a blurry sky and a man with a silver, four-pronged cane walking away.

Police identified the man in the photos as Wilbert Leonard Thomas, 65, of Racine, a registered sex offender convicted of second-degree sexual assault in 1992. Thomas is known to walk with a silver four-pronged cane.

When investigators searched Thomas' home they found a jar half-filled with quarters, a silver cane and clothing matching those seen in the photograph. When investigators attempted to collect evidence from Thomas' hands they noticed scratches and several broken fingernails, according to The Janesville Gazette.

Teichow had been strangled and beaten about the head and upper body. Her pants were pulled down and her bra was around her neck. She had small, circular marks on her body, the complaint said.

Prosecutors charged Thomas with one count of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of theft from a person or corpse, in connection with Teichow's death, and two counts of felony bail jumping stemming from a June case in which he was charged with a felony sex offender registration violation. A judge set his bail at $250,000 cash.

Thomas has an extensive and violent criminal history dating back to the 1960's, and in 1999 prosecutors apparently missed the deadline by three days, for having him declared a sexually violent person and held indefinitely in a secure mental treatment facility.