The Sun Prairie man accused of killing his neighbor had concocted an elaborate plan that included buying the sword he has confessed to using in the attack, preparing a getaway and wearing clothing he could easily clean or throw out, court documents show.
Zachary C. Schams, 24, also had a notebook containing the handwritten last name of the victim along with the words “dead soon,”
and a Tarot card representing death in the pocket of a black trench coat with red stains that police found in Schams’ apartment. Police also found three Samurai-type swords, six throwing knives and other red-stained clothing, towels, carpet and a knife in Schams’ apartment.
Schams, who appeared in court wearing a suicide-prevention vest, told Sun Prairie police that he planned to kill Edlbeck with a sword as Edlbeck left for work Wednesday morning and described to police how he carried out the attack.
According to the search warrant, Marshall Haferman, who lives in an apartment adjacent to Schams’, told a Dane County Sheriff’s detective that Schams said he believed a man in the neighboring building was “stealing his energy.
Haferman said Schams had threatened to kill this neighbor if he could “get away with it,
” the warrant said.
Schams told police that he started planning to kill Edlbeck on March 23.
That plan involved wearing clothing that could be easily cleaned or disposed of, and setting up his mattress in front of his bedroom window so he could re-enter his apartment through the window after the attack.
According to the complaint, Schams dressed in black clothing, including a black leather trench coat, black gloves and a black stocking cap to conceal his identity. He poured bleach over his hands and gloves, and cleaned the fingertips of his gloves with alcohol before leaving his apartment. In his coat pocket, he carried a towel with bleach on it to get rid of any evidence, particularly DNA, he might leave at the scene.
Shams told police he intercepted Edlbeck as he was getting into his car, pulled the concealed sword out from his trench coat and stabbed Edlbeck in the arm, then continued to stab him as Edlbeck tried to fight him off.
After a final stab to his chest, as Edlbeck lay on the pavement, Schams told police he stopped the attack because he believed Edlbeck was fatally injured.
Schams said he then ran back to his apartment, used the towel with bleach to clean the sword, then oiled the blade and hid the sword under his mattress, where it was later found, documents state.
He then changed his clothes, attempted to wash his coat in the bathtub and hid the gloves and cap in a plastic bag, also found in his apartment, according to the documents. Schams told police he called his employer and said he would not be coming to work because he had been involved in an accident, and then called 911, the complaint states.