Victim Date of Birth
Date of Death
In her home in Hartford, Wisconsin, USA
Date of Conviction
Body Discovered Date
Her killer was the least likey suspect.
Jessie Blodgett was a teen with a passion for drama. Born March 22, 1994, to Joy and Buck Blodgett, the 19-year-old Jessie Blodgett was always playing the piano and singing around the house – she was a gifted musician. Jessie was passionate about multiple causes, including animal rights and advocating against violence against women. Music was at the top of Jessie’s list. She shared her gift with others and taught music to children. Jessie started her own business teaching piano, voice, and violin in Hartford. Within just two months, Jessie had 26 students. She had hoped to become a high school or university choir director and wanted the music to impact people and change the world. Jessie Jessie went to UW-Milwaukee after high school and continued her passion for music.
Fiddler On The Roof
On the 14th of July, 2013, Jessie, played the fiddler in Fiddler On The Roof at the Sunday matinee show. It was the opening weekend, and the theater was packed. Afterward, Jessie attended a cast party thrown at her friend’s place. Jessie’s mother, Joy Blodgett, saw her when she arrived home from the party. It was 1 am. Jessie was alone. They spoke about the night, and then they both headed to bed.
The following day at 8 am, Joy Blodgett dropped some laundry in Jessie’s room before heading to work. She assumed Jessie was still in bed sleeping. Jessie’s dad Buck Blodgett had already left for the day.
“Jessie was asleep in her bed, and everything was fine,” Buck Blodgett said.
Four hours later, Joy returned home from work on her lunch break and was surprised to find the house quiet.
The Crime Description
Jessie was scheduled to give a piano lesson at 12.30 pm. The student arrived at the house, so Joy called out to Jessie to tell her they had arrived. When there was no answer, Joy went up into her bedroom to wake her up. Jessie was lying in bed, but when Joy touched her, she noticed she was cold. She immediately rang 911 and told them her daughter was blue and not breathing. When she turned Jessie over, she saw marks on her neck. She told the 911 operator that it “looked like strangulation marks.” Joy Blodgett tried to revive Jessie with CPR, but it was too late.
Jessie was dead.
Jessie was good friends with fellow musicians, especially 19-year-old Daniel Bartelt. Dan and Jessie would hang out multiple times a week, sharing their passion for music. Dan was writing a book called ‘Red is Red.’ It was rumored that he was interested in Jessie romantically, but she was only interested in being friends. He had recently dropped out of college and got a job in a factory.
The Attack on Melissa Etzler
21-year-old Melissa Etzler was attacked on July 12, 2013. Melissa was walking her dog at Richfield Park when she heard footsteps behind her. The attacker was carrying a fish fillet knife. Melissa managed to fight off the attacker and even took the knife away from him. She was immediately taken to hospital.
Melissa met with police at the park to do a reenactment. She described her attacker as an 18-22-year-old male driving a navy blue Dodge Caravan. She didn’t recognize the male. Melissa obtained deep cuts on her legs and hands during the attack.
Police autopsy confirmed ligature marks on Jessie’s neck, ankles, and left wrist. The same autopsy confirmed she died from ligature strangulation. Jessie Blodgett was sexually assaulted and strangled to death.
Jessie was strangled to death in her bedroom, and there were no signs of forced entry.
Police were also investigating the murder of Melissa Etzler at the same time. During their investigations, they ran the license plate for the blue Dodge Caravan. It led the police to a married couple, nothing like Melissa’s description. However, police discovered the married couple had a son—19 year old Daniel Bartlet.
Daniel looked exactly like the sketch created off of Melissa’s description.
Police decided to interview Daniel Bartelt. When they spoke to him, they noticed he had scrapes and a cut on his arm. When asked about these injuries, Daniel said he did not remember how he got the scrape on his arm, but the wound on his hand was from stabbing it with a screw at work. But after further questions, Dan changed his story. Now Dan said he lost his job and the injury was from a cooking accident.
Eventually, Daniel said he was involved, and he attacked Melissa but insisted he just wanted to scare her. Daniel was arrested the next day. He was then questioned further—this time in relation to Jessie’s murder.
Police asked Daniel what he was doing on the 15th of July, the day Jessie was murdered. He said he left his house early, at 6.30 am, and drove all over before spending a few hours at Woodland Union Park.
Police went to Woodland Union Park and searched through garbage cans. They found a Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal box which contained bloody paper towels, tape, rope, antiseptic wipes with red stains. DNA matching both Jessie and Daniel was found on the ropes. One rope matched the strangulation marks found on Jessie’s neck. Another rope matched the marks on her wrists and ankles. Daniel’s DNA was also found under Jessie’s fingernails. Police believed that Daniel tied Jessie up, gag-balled her and taped it so it would not come out. Daniel’s laptop contained search history whcih included terms such as “serial killer wiki” and “list of serial killers by numbers of victims”.
Police had all the evidence but were still unsure why he would target Jessie, someone he was so close to.
Daniel was charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless endangerment, and attempted false imprisonment for the attack on Melissa. He was charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the murder of Jessie Blodgett. Despite his not guilty plea, he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Frequently asked questions
How long did Daniel Bartelt get?
Daniel was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder.
What was Daniel Bartelt sentenced for?
Daniel was charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless endangerment, and attempted false imprisonment for the attack on Melissa. He was charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the murder of Jessie Blodgett.
Love is great greater than hate project
Jessie’s parents (Buck and Joy Blodgett) also created the LOVE>hate Project, in 2016. It’s a project that helps victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. https://www.theloveisgreaterthanhateproject.com/