Thursday, October 2, 2014

Did Bill Bricker Ever Get Married?

Did Bill Bricker ever marry? Yes or no? That question was raised in the comments after the original post [LINK TO COME] One former boy scout in Troop 18 claims that he did get married. As if marriage should absolve him of any claims of sexual abuse. I say he didn't get married, although I found an announcement for an engagement, when he was 48. But, so far, there's no evidence of a marriage taking place following the engagement. Or a divorce for that matter.  

Granted, just getting married doesn't rule out inappropriate sexual behavior with children [Sandusky anyone?]. But Bricker's long bachelorhood and chosen profession[s] could easily be the profile of an alleged pedophile. 

By all accounts [except one], Bricker was a single, never married man. He also chose to work with children well into his sixties [He was 65 in 1985, the year of the second charge of alleged inappropriate behavior with a minor in Wyoming.] 

If that isn't enough, he not only had daily, year round contact with children as a teacher and scout leader, but he also spent his summers as a camp counselor in Wyoming. Did I mention working with children?

Below is a newspaper clipping from the Milwaukee Sentinel or Herald [I'll check later]. In 1968, Bricker got engaged to Alice Kowitz, an NU grad student who was living in Park Ridge, according to this announcement. We have not found a subsequent wedding announcement or a divorce. 

Which seems to beg the question, why did he get engaged in the first place? Was this a smokescreen? 

UPDATE: Bricker's engagement announcement in the summer of 1968 followed within weeks of accusations of sexual abuse that spring. His marriage three months later ended in divorce in 1972. Our sources tell us that his wife left after 18 months. He never remarried. 

10 comments:

banker puppy said...

He did marry. I attended the wedding as a young child. It didn't last long and there were no children.

Mrs. L said...

You attended the wedding as a young child? And yet there were no children in attendance? How about a location and a date? Otherwise, your comment contradicts itself. And isn't credible.

banker puppy said...

I apologize for not being clearer. I meant that the marriage produced no children and was short-lived.
The wedding date and location are in the engagement announcement: 9/21 in Madison. Several of Bricker's Boy Scouts or former Scouts attended with their families, which is why I went. The bride --Alice Elizabeth Kowitz-- was known by either Betty or Betsy. The boys wrote "B+B" --for 'Betty/Betsy and Bill'-- in shaving cream all over the reception getaway car.
I'm the younger sister of two of Bricker's Boy Scouts. I watched for years how well Bricker mesmerized parents into believing he was the best thing that ever happened to their boys. I bought it as well until I heard too much to the contrary.
Thanks for following the story.

Mrs. L said...

Thanks you for clarifying. I think an entire community drank his Kool Aid. That was the power of his charismatic personality. For the first time people are finding out that they weren't the only ones who were seduced by him. And left with lifelong issues.

jeanie said...

Betsy Kowitz was a camp counselor at Teton Valley Rnach camp in the 70s in Kelly WY. Bill was also a counselor at the time. I was a camper. We knew there was a relationship between them of some kind, but Bill was a confirmed batchelor. Maybe some knew they were married, but not many campers knew, and Betsy went by her maiden name.

I am not shocked by this, yet Bill surrounded himself with certain kids...not everyone "qualified" to be a Bill Bricker camper.

banker puppy said...

FYI, a Univ. of Wisconsin newsletter published in Nov. 1968 lists the two as recently married.
http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/UW/UW-idx?type=turn&entity=UW.v70i2.p0028&id=UW.v70i2&isize=text
(scroll to the bottom)

Mrs. L said...

Thank you both for your additional information. It has been very helpful.

ebierke said...

Yes, Bill and Betsy got married. I also attended the wedding. In fact, how timely for all of this, I just on this past Sunday morning, Oct 5th 2014, happened to see the announcement on page 7 of the Wisconsin State Journal (?) from Sept of 1968 (I forget the date). I also remember the "B+B" in shaving cream on the car, and somebody put pebbles inside the hubcaps so when they drove away, there was one heck of a racket!

ebierke said...

Mrs. L, I was a young child at the wedding, as was my younger brother. I do not know who "banker puppie" is, though maybe I did in 1968. It was in Madison, Wisconsin. Please don't be so accusatory in your responses. Some of us know what we are talking about.

banker puppy said...

Another person has came forward to tell Winnetka police of a 1958 incident at Hubbard Woods.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/winnetka-northfield-glencoe/ct-bill-bricker-winnetka-police-report-met-20141009-story.html