Trail of Blood: The Grisly Wisconsin Hunting Trip That Left Six Dead
It’s simple for one deranged hunter, no trespassing means leaving no witnesses.
Authors note: I used The Tree Stand Murders by David Whitehurst as my primary source for this article.
It was a sunny day, ordinary in many respects, except for what was about to unfold. In the blink of an eye, the scene morphed into a chilling tableau. From the outset, there was a sense of urgency. As the first shot rang out, the scope was dropped. The shooter, too close and targeting uphill, instilled a sense of imminent danger in the atmosphere.
The Chai Vang incident, which took place on November 21, 2004, was a tragic hunting-related shooting that occurred near Birchwood, Wisconsin. Six people were killed and two others severely injured by Chai Soua Vang, a Hmong American immigrant from Laos.
The incident occurred during the annual deer hunting season, on a private land owned by Robert Crotteau. Vang had mistakenly trespassed onto the property, leading to a confrontation with the landowners and their hunting party. The dispute escalated rapidly and Vang began shooting, ultimately killing six people and severely injuring two others.
The victims included the landowners Robert Crotteau and his son Joey, along with their party members: Mark Roidt, Jessica Willers, Denny Drew, and Allan Laski. Terry Willers and Lauren Hesebeck were injured but survived.
Ready, Aim, Slaughter
Lauren Hesebeck yelled a warning to Bob, a name that echoed across the terrain, filling the air with an impending sense of dread. Terry Willers, the only man apart from Vang armed with a rifle, sensed the danger. His instincts heightened, he brought his weapon to the ready position. But Vang was faster; he swung around, pointing his rifle directly at Terry, and fired. The first shot, however, missed its target. Terry dove for cover, attempting to return fire but was too slow.