In October, a television film crew from the Investigation Discovery Channel spent a week in the Fort Atkinson area filming scenes for an episode of "Stolen Voices, Buried Secrets." The program focusing on the August 1980 murders of Timothy Hack and Kelly Drew is slated to air in 2012.
The young Fort Atkinson-area couple disappeared from a wedding reception at the Concord House in the Town of Concord on Aug. 9, 1980. The 19-year old Fort Atkinson High School graduates had arranged to meet friends at Fort Fest after attending the dance, but they never showed up.
Tim's brown Oldsmobile remained parked at the Concord House, with his jacket, checkbook, wallet and $67 it contained still locked inside. Searchers found Drew's shredded clothes along a road days after the pair went missing.
Over the next 72 days, Jefferson County authorities conducted a search that was described as one of the largest manhunts ever conducted in the state of Wisconsin. The couple's remains finally were discovered by two Milwaukee squirrel hunters Oct. 19 on the edge of the woods near a cornfield off Hustisford Road in the Town of Ixonia, about eight miles from the Concord House.
Authorities said the bodies were too badly decomposed to determine the cause of death. Autopsies were performed and the forensic medical examiner listed the manner of death as homicide. The probable time of death was estimated to be August 1980.
No weapons were found and nobody was arrested ... until Thursday, July 30, 2009.
Edward W. Edwards of Louisville, Ky., was taken into custody after DNA on Drew's pants connected him to the case. A tip from Edwards' own daughter, who apparently saw reports about the Hack-Drew murder on the Internet from NBC television Channel 15 in Madison, led investigators back to Edwards after 29 years.
According to the criminal complaint, a penetrating wound through the left back of Tim's shirt, as well as right rib damage consistent with a knife wound, were found. Examination of Drew revealed ligature marks on her ankles and wrists, with strangulation listed as the probable cause of death.
In June 2010, as part of a plea agreement with the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office and the Summit County, Ohio, Prosecutor's Office, Edwards pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison for both the Hack-Drew murders and the murders of Billy Lavaco, 21 of Doylestown, Ohio, and Judy Straub, 18, of Sterling, Ohio, who were shot in the neck at close range in August 1977. The serial killer made a plea for execution during an interview at the Jefferson County Jail following his sentencing last year for the dual Wisconsin and Ohio murders.
On March 8, 2011, he was sentenced to death by lethal injection for aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping for the 1996 death of Daniel "Dannie Boy Edwards" Gloeckner, his foster son.
Less than a month later, on April 7, 2011, Edwards died from natural cause at the Corrections Medical Center in Columbus, where he was being held. His execution had been scheduled for Aug. 31.
Producers from "Stolen Voices, Buried Secrets" contacted Tim's father, Dave Hack, to see if he would be open to having Discovery film Tim and Kelly's story.
Tim's younger brother, Patrick Hack, said his father checked into the program and, after finding that it appeared to be legitimate, agreed to participate.
"They have a program where they do a story on old murder cases," Patrick said. "The story is narrated through the victim, so the victim is telling the story."
"Stolen Voices, Buried Secrets" is a true-crime documentary on the Investigation Discovery Channel. The murders are portrayed from the omniscient point-of-view of the victim using "fictionalized dialogue."
Kelly's family chose not to become involved, but gave their consent to the program.
The crew spent a good amount of time shooting scenes with Tim's 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon that had been abandoned at the Concord House. To this day, Patrick still owns it.
"I still have the sales receipt; he bought it from a person in Fort Atkinson," Patrick said of his brother.
Patrick drove it to many of the hearings at the Jefferson County Courthouse during the past couple of years. He said his own son, Timothy, 24, one day will inherit the vehicle.
The first morning of filming, the crew conducted interviews with the Hack family and friends of Kelly and Tim.
"They interviewed Dad and me, one of my sisters, my brother-in-law and a couple of Tim and Kelly's close friends. They came to my house; everybody gathered there. One at a time, they interviewed most of us separately, then interviewed Tim and Kelly's friends together. It was fun to watch. We've had a couple of big get-togethers since they caught the guy, and that's been good for everybody I think. Closure," said Patrick.
"Some aspects of it are hard to talk about, but to talk about Tim and Kelly is not hard. The bad thing happened 30 years ago; it's done," added Patrick.
During the interviews, family and friends looked over the old photographs, sympathy cards, news clippings, calendars and other items saved from the period of time the two teenagers were missing.
"My mother kept all of the sympathy cards, thank-you notes, news clippings, notes, calendars from the whole time they were missing, and some of Tim and Kelly's things," Patrick said, recalling that she kept them in a chest.
His mother, Pat Hack, died in May 2002.
"We really didn't dig into that until the day after they said they had caught that guy (Edwards)," he said. "We dug through it all and here we had all these sympathy cards that were 29 years old, but were timely. They fit that day. It's almost like people re-sent them years later."
With the film crew present, the family again sorted through the various items from the time of Tim and Kelly's murder.
"It was kind of nice to go through some of it again," Patrick said.
Patrick's daughters, Natalie, Kendell and Michaella, also were able to come home for the filming.
"The most exciting thing for my daughters that day was that they were there and got to put makeup on me," Patrick said with a smile.
On Saturday of the five-day filming, the crew was in downtown Fort Atkinson to capture the idyllic nature of the community and the fear generated by the suspect possibly being someone local. The crew even went to the Fort Atkinson Farmer's Market.
For the Hack family, the greatest relief when Edwards was caught was the knowledge that the killer had not been a friend or community member.
"You assume that, just because it was a wedding reception ... I mean, most of us knew most of the people that were going to be at that reception," Patrick said. "You would run into people and they'd say, `I?was at that wedding reception' and you wouldn't know what to think."
Now, three decades later, the case is closed.
"I?think every little bit of closure helps:?not just for the family, but also for law enforcement and the community as a whole," Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Detective Chad Garcia said.
Information from: Daily Jefferson County Union, http://www.dailyunion.com