Will DNA Save Penny Brummer?

Just Knowing Sarah May Confirm Conviction

Sarah Gonstead

My former classmate Sarah Gonstead was last seen in the early morning hours of March 15, 1994. An acquaintance, Penny Brummer, who had dated one of Sarah’s close friends, told police she dropped Sarah off behind the Club 3054 on East Washington Avenue in Madison after an evening of bar-hopping. Brummer also said that before she left she saw Sarah talking to some people in a Taco Bell parking lot nearby. Sarah’s body was found three weeks later alongside a road on the far West Side .

Brummer was convicted in Gonstead’s murder based on circumstantial evidence and a jealousy motive involving Brummer’s ex-girlfriend Bea (not her real name) who Sarah knew since childhood. Bea had been thinking of dating men again, and Sarah may have been involved in helping her through that process. One of Sarah’s friends says she was likely trying to be helpful to Bea, but she was not a forceful person.  Continue reading