No one – not Florida investigators, court officials, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections or the FBI – ever notified the surviving relatives of Cydzik’s victim in the Brookfield fatal robbery. Only this year – by chance and Facebook postings – did they finally discover whatever became of Cydzik. Now, they’re looking for some belated closure in a Florida court.

Fugitive Thaddeus “Ted” Cydzik lived a double life for nearly forty years before taking his own life, but his estate may live on in court.

Forty years ago Gerald Wall was murdered in a Wisconsin bar by Ted Cydzik. At the time, Cydzik was an uneducated 19-year-old.

However, Cydzik was a model prisoner and became the first Wisconsin prisoner to receive a Bachelor’s degree under a then new program. Then, Cydzik escaped and authorities were unable to locate him.

The Journal Sentinel,in an article titled Wisconsin fugitive’s secret life has victim’s family seeking answers, reports that Cydzik actually fled to Florida.

Cydzik apparently assumed a new identity and started a technology company. He got married without anyone every figuring out that he was a fugitive. However, his wife became suspicious that he was not who he said he was and filed for divorce.

Cydzik then committed suicide.

When authorities finally pieced together who Cydzik was they did not tell the victim’s family. The family only learned about it a few years later when a friend read a story online.

Cydzik’s estate has been closed. However, Wall’s family is seeking to have it reopened on the grounds that not all of the potential creditors were informed of Cydzik’s death.

This is an interesting case. Under ordinary circumstances an estate is not reopened once it has been closed. But, if all creditors are not properly informed of the estate administration an estate can be reopened.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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