Cold Case Revisited: Mary Schlais Found Murdered In 1974

By Caroline Lowe, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As Caroline Lowe prepares to start a new adventure at KSBY in California, she’s spending the next couple of weeks revisiting cold cases she’s profiled over the past several decades as a crime reporter for WCCO.

Lowe keeps a wall of photos of the victims next to her desk so she’ll never forget them. When she clears out her desk for the last time, Low said she’ll put the photos in an album to take with her to California.

Many of the victims’ relatives have contacted her in recent days and before she departs, Lowe will be sharing their stories.

Mary Kathleen Schlais was an artist and honors grad from the University of Minnesota when she was murdered in February 1974.

Schlais left her Uptown Minneapolis apartment to go to an art show in Chicago. She never made it.

Her body was found several hours later in a snow bank off a rural road 90 miles away in Dunn County, Wis. She had been stabbed more than a dozen times.

A witness called police to say he saw a man drop off her body and then take off. Her purse and coat were never found.

Dunn County detectives have repeatedly revisited the crime scene, chased down clues and even exhumed Schlais’ body a few years ago.

But 37 years later, Mary Schlais’ killer has not been caught. Her family waits for answers, hoping someone watching a news report or reading her story will come forward.

“I don’t really have any more anger after all these years. I just want to look him in the eye and say ‘What are you thinking? What were you doing? What happened?'” said Schlais’ brother Don.

“Sometimes it makes me extremely sad. I miss Mary a lot,” he said.

Don told Lowe he has one wish: “If they are still alive, they have to face the toll of their actions and come forward and be an adult.”

Anyone with information should call the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office.


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