The first letter arrived more than a year ago, sent to a Kenosha hair salon and naming a woman who worked there by her nickname.
The writer — who posed as a woman with sexual interest in other women — described fetishes involving cutting women’s hair and included disturbing personal references to the woman working in the shop.
Soon, another woman received a similar letter, this letter sent to a Kenosha tavern and addressed to a woman who worked there and talking about the writer’s “plan and dream” to kidnap and sexually assault the female employee, and to make her a sex slave.
The letter noted that the writer had almost acted on the plan once when seeing the tavern employee at the bar.
Two months later another letter to the same tavern addressed to the same woman making similar threats. “I hope to do it soon, I hope to see you soon” the letter said, according to Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Krejcarek, speaking Monday in Kenosha County Circuit Court.
A series of nine threatening letters — many referencing graphic plans of kidnapping, sexual assault along with a fetish for capturing women and shaving their heads — were sent to women in the community. Four letters were sent to one woman, two to another, another to a couple asking them to be part of a “club” to abduct women, another threatening to kill a dog. The letters also spoke of “blitz attacks” on women, and said the letter writer was part of a gang of people who kidnapped women and held them as sex slaves.
All the letters, Krejcarek said, are now believed to have been the work of a 65-year-old Kenosha man, Larry Zaionc.
Zaionc, dressed in an anti-suicide smock, appeared in court Monday for a bond-only hearing as the Kenosha District Attorney’s Office continues to draft criminal charges. Krejcarek said the state anticipates filing at least two felony charges of stalking against Zaionc on Wednesday.
The most recent letter sent in March to the tavern employee, Krejcarek said, led to Zainoc.
“The last letter received had fingerprints on it, which is how we find ourselves here,” Krejcarek told Court Commissioner Larry Keating. She said Kenosha Police, who have been investigating the letters since July 2020 when the first one was sent to the hair salon, identified Zaionc through the prints and served a warrant on his home.
In the home, she said, they found “troubling” evidence including a pistol, a box with chains, pornography about fetishes involving shaving hair, and two unsent letters. Those unsent letters — one 22-pages long — were addressed by name to a 19-year-old woman who works at a Kenosha grocery store. The 22-page unsent letter includes a graphic description of the writer’s plans to kidnap the 19-year-old and make her a sex slave, the letter stating that the writer planned to create a request for a leave of absence to the grocery store “so no one will know you are missing for three months,” Krejcarek said.
“When brought into the station by police (Zaionc) confessed to writing all the letters,” Krejcarek said.
She said that DNA found on the letters is undergoing testing.
Competency hearing requested
Although charges have not yet been filed, defense attorney Toni Young of the Kenosha County Public Defender’s Office was asked by the court to represent Zaionc at the hearing. She asked that the court order a competency hearing for Zaionc when he is charged. “I’m not sure he understands the reason why he is here,” she said.
Although the state was seeking a $20,000 temporary bond, Keating set the bond at $30,000, calling the allegations alarming and the inclusion of personal information about the recipients, most of them people working service-industry jobs in the community, frightening. “I imagine this was terrorizing to the members of the community who received these letters,” Keating said.
Zaionc is expected to return to court Wednesday to face formal charges. At that time, the temporary bond set Monday will replaced with a permanent bond.