Though she claimed to be willing to kill her fiancé herself, a Wisconsin woman opted instead to offer an informant $1000 plus sexual favors to carry out the murder, police charge.
Jessica Strom, 33, allegedly wanted her beau, lawyer John Schellpfeffer, clipped at his office, according to Wausau Police Department reports. To help guide the gunman, Strom, a mother of three young children, provided a diagram of the 49-year-old Schellpfeffer’s workplace, as well as details about the daily routine of some of the attorney’s neighbors, cops noted.
The gunman, Strom remarked, could “blow his brains out and walk out.”
Police learned of the murder-for-hire plot last week, when the informant–a former classmate of Strom–contacted investigators. The informant, a licensed pilot, told cops that Strom, seen in the adjacent mug shot, asked to meet in person so that they could discuss a “business proposal.”
When they got together last Wednesday evening, the man told cops, Strom asked, “Would you ever kill anybody?” When the pilot said no, Strom replied, “Well, what would it take to do it?” She added, “You’re very thorough and you’re very neat and I think you would be a good person to do this for me.”
Strom told the pilot that she had been planning to kill Schellpfeffer for two years, claiming that the “controlling” attorney had “done bad things to her and others.” When the man remarked that she was in control and could “just get out of the relationship if she wanted to,” Strom replied “that wouldn’t give her any satisfaction,” investigators reported.
Though the pilot had declined the hit solicitation, Strom asked him to think about it overnight. But, she warned, “Don’t tell anyone about this. I don’t want to have to kill you too.” The man subsequently contacted cops and agreed to record a meeting with Strom.
As first reported by the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, Strom assured the man that the murder would be “easy,” noting that, “I would do it, but I can’t, I’d be the first one they’d come after.”
Though he had initially asked for $50,000 to kill Schellpfeffer, the informant told Strom that he would settle for $1000, adding “It’s better than nothing, I guess.” Strom replied, “And some sex!” At some point after the killing, Strom told the informant that she would meet up with him and “pay you and fuck you and whatever.”
Before separating, Strom told the pilot, “If you chicken out let me know, okay?” She added, “Because otherwise I’ll set it up with someone else.”
Strom’s home was raided by police Thursday night and she was arrested for conspiracy to commit first degree murder, which carries a maximum 60-year prison term.
Strom told cops that she was not serious about having Schellpfeffer killed, and had intended to contact the pilot the following day to call off the murder. Strom is pictured above with Schellpfeffer in a photo from her Facebook page.