Complaint: Son fractured mother's skull in Appleton slaying


An Appleton man charged in the murder of his mother beat her and fractured her skull before going on the run, according criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News states

Bradley Boettcher, 36, is charged with 1st Degree Intentional Homicide in the February killing on his mother, Lee Ann Dorn, 60.

Dorn was found dead Feb. 21 at the Appleton apartment she shared with Boettcher. Boettcher stole a vehicle belonging to Dorn's boyfriend and drove down to Kentucky before his arrest.

Boettcher has been held in a Kentucky jail since his arrest. Winnebago County prosecutors filed the complaint Monday.


On Feb. 21, Lee Ann Dorn's boyfriend called police to report concerns about Lee Ann and her son, Bradley. Lee Ann and Bradley lived together at an apartment on W Valley Road in Appleton (Winnebago County). The boyfriend had been unable to make contact with Lee Ann since the previous evening.

Police spoke with residents of Dorn's apartment complex. One resident said she had been hanging out at the apartment with Dorn and Boettcher on Feb. 20. She went to the bathroom and heard the mother and son yelling at each other. She described Boettcher's yelling as "really scary yelling, like he has something wrong mentally."

Police entered Dorn's apartment and found her dead. There was blood on the carpet and couch. Her skull had been cracked.

Bradley Boettcher was nowhere to be found.

On Feb. 22, Boettcher was arrested by deputies in Lawrence County, Kentucky. He was driving a vehicle stolen from his mother's boyfriend.

Investigators questioned Boettcher, who claimed that he had a "communication device" in his ear that was "more or less predominately inserted." He said he had "memory lapses" due to the device. He claimed he had been communicating with the CIA and that investigators had tripped his "frequency sensor."

On Feb. 27, investigators executed a search warrant on the stolen vehicle. They found Lee Ann Dorn's debit card, cell phones, keys and a folding knife. They keys were to Lee Ann's apartment. One of the phones belonged to Lee Ann.

Dorn's boyfriend told police that Lee Ann would tell Boettcher to leave the apartment and Boettcher would turn into a "monster." He described Boettcher as "f---ing nuts."

Friends told officials that Boettcher is schizophrenic and has "delusions of grandeur." They said Boettcher has claimed to be a Free Mason, a luminary, an alien and a supercomputer. Friends said Boettcher was impatient because "the supercomputer had not come and picked him up yet."

One of Lee Ann Dorn's friends told police that she had warned Lee Ann repeatedly that "Boettcher was going to kill her someday." She said Dorn had told her that he had physically assaulted her and threatened to kill her. After finding meth and a knife in Boettcher's room, Dorn told her son he had to move out by March 1, according to the friend.

One of Lee Ann's friends told officials that Dorn had expressed fear that Bradley was going to kill her.

Dorn's pastor had spoken to her about Boettcher being "controlling and abusive." The pastor urged her to file domestic abuse charges, but Lee Ann refused.

Dorn's father died a month before the murder. At the funeral, Bradley Boettcher approached the pastor and said that his mother would not be needing the pastor's services anymore.

Investigators seized a shirt worn by Boettcher after his arrest in Kentucky. The Wisconsin Crime Lab tested it and found "Dorn was the major contributor to DNA found on Boettcher's shirt."

Investigators believe Boettcher struck Dorn with an object, fracturing her skull and killing her.

Boettcher remains behind bars in Big Sandy Regional Detention Center in Kentucky. No court date has been set for the Dorn case in Winnebago County.

Action 2 News will continue to update this developing story.


Appleton police have identified the suspect in Lee Ann Dorn's murder as Bradley Gary Boettcher, 36.

He was charged Monday with first-degree intentional homicide in a possible case of domestic abuse in Winnebago County.

Investigators declared Dorn's death a homicide last week after getting results of the autopsy from the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Officer.

Dorn, 60, was found dead in an apartment on Valley Road on February 22 after police were asked to do a welfare check. Police realized her car was missing and listed it in a national database, resulting in an arrest in Kentucky.

Online court records show Boettcher is in custody at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center in Paintsville, Kentucky, an hour's drive south of Huntington, West Virginia.

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