Timothy Wicks Murder Case: Where Are Dennis Gaede and Diane Fruge Now? – A man suddenly vanished while he was pursuing his life’s ambition. This developed into more than a missing person investigation for the police. As they started their investigation, other inquiries were made, including “Who is this man?” and also “Where is this man?“
Timothy or Tim Wicks, a young drummer from Wisconsin, appeared to be very thrilled when he told his friends and family that he had been offered a gig in Canada. However, in an unexpected turn of events, Timothy vanished shortly after, and eventually, his dismembered body and severed head appeared in various locations across the state, adding to the mystery.
Tim Wicks’ murder is detailed in the Investigation Discovery documentary “To Catch a Killer: The Real Tim Wicks,” which also demonstrates how a successful police investigation led to the conviction of the killer. Let’s explore the specifics of the crime to learn more, shall we?
Who was Timothy Wicks and How Did He Die?
Timothy Wicks, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin resident who attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, wanted to be a jazz drummer. People who knew him remarked that Tim gave drumming his all and was willing to go above and beyond to succeed in the field. Additionally, he was very empathetic and cherished meeting new people wherever he went. Unfortunately, he was unaware that his friendly nature would ultimately result in his death.
Tim claimed to have landed a job in the Great White North before the end of 2001, and he appeared to be very happy about it. As a result, on December 26, 2001, the 48-year-old packed his bags and embarked on a journey to carve a reputation for himself in the business with a different drummer who had reportedly arranged the gig. Surprisingly, Tim entirely disappeared off the radar and was later reported missing, so that was the last time anyone ever saw him alive.
The police first hesitated to file a missing person investigation because Tim was an adult. However, once they took over the inquiry, they were extremely diligent in their search and did not leave any stone unturned. To everyone’s surprise, however, the mystery only grew stranger as the days passed with no update on the whereabouts of the missing man.
Ultimately, on January 2, 2002, investigators discovered a dismembered body close to the Menominee River in Michigan. About two weeks later, Niagara, Wisconsin, found a human skull from the same river. The police quickly identified the bones as his by using dental records and DNA, and an examination revealed that he had been shot and suffocated to death.
Who Killed Timothy Wicks and Why?
It’s interesting to note that when the police visited to meet Tim’s apartment manager to investigate, she gave them a phone number the victim had left behind. Strangely, detectives were able to establish the number’s origin in Fargo, North Dakota, but were unable to find the missing person. Nevertheless, they made contact with the Fargo police department, who informed them that Tim Wicks was under investigation for allegedly embezzling money. The Fargo police verified that the Tim they were looking for was also a pretty convincing drummer, initially making the news appear shocking but only heightening the mystery.
But when detectives in Milwaukee received a precise description of the man in Fargo and discovered that he was not the same as the missing individual, the truth was finally revealed. According to the episode, after conducting a thorough investigation, the police discovered that the guy from Fargo was none other than Dennis Gaede, a con artist with a reputation for stealing identities. As a result, Dennis was identified as their top suspect because he was brazenly using Tim’s identity. Additionally, at this point, authorities had located Tim’s remains and were confident that the incident included a homicide.
When Dennis Fruge’s wife, Diane, approached the police, the cops made their next big discovery. The programme claims that she initially claimed she had killed Tim because she claimed he had raped her. The police persisted in questioning her until she confessed, but they did not believe her. In the end, Diane claimed she had seen her husband kill Tim, insisting the two met when Tim asked Dennis for help with his taxes.
But the programme made a note of the fact that Dennis was at the time incarcerated in South Dakota, serving a 4-year term after being found guilty on unrelated embezzlement charges. Furthermore, Dennis was the one who told Tim about the Canadian employment but killed him by shooting and strangling him. Diane added that her husband had dismembered Tim’s body to conceal the identity of the victim before compelling her to dispose of it.
Interestingly, sources stated that Dennis had jumped bail for a separate case and was awaiting prosecution at the time of the murder. Aside from that, after stealing Tim’s identity, he also empties Tim’s bank account. As a result, with sufficient incriminating evidence in their possession, the police were able to apprehend Dennis Gaede.
Where Are Diane Fruge and Dennis Gaede Now?
When Dennis was presented in court, he defended his innocence and asserted that his wife, Diane, was the murderer. The jury, however, was unconvinced and found him guilty of premeditated murder. Dennis was consequently given a life sentence without the possibility of release in 2006. On the other hand, Diane was not charged with the crime but was sentenced to six months in jail because she moved to Fargo with Dennis and her child in violation of a child custody order.
It’s interesting to note that Dennis challenged his conviction immediately following the sentence, but the appeal was dismissed by the court. Although Dennis Gaede is not currently listed in prison records, we can presume that he is still incarcerated because parole is not an option.
However, despite Diane’s release from prison being announced on the programme, it is still unknown where she is right now because of her demand for anonymity. The programme does, however, mention that Diane and Dennis have since split.