AMHERST, Wis. (WSAU) -- Investigators aren’t talking about Tuesday’s search of an Amherst business and attached residence, but the owner certainly is.
His name is Laine Shields, and he’s the owner of the B-Bar-10 Western Store. Shields was urged by police not to talk to the media, but says he has nothing to hide.
The Department of Criminal Investigations was aided by Portage and Waupaca County sheriff’s deputies and New London Police as they executed a search warrant Tuesday for the second time this year.
Shields says it’s all because a former employee accused him of an unsolved double murder from 21 years ago near Weyauwega and soliciting the rape of a woman in Iola 23 years ago.
Shields says he welcomed the searches. “Well, I told them If you want to search the place, search the place. they executed a search warrant. I had nothing to hide. I had nothing to hide on the John Doe investigation. I answered all except one question, which the one question I figured wasn’t any of their business. As far as the search warrant they came here with in the month of March, I had nothing to hide also.”
The former employee is Glendon Gouker. That name might sound familiar, since Gouker was convicted of raping a woman at an Iola park in November of 1990... the same woman he says Shields hired him to rape. Shields denies any involvement in the crimes.
Gouker is also guilty of murdering 19-year-old Ethan Walton and raping Walton’s girlfriend at gunpoint in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma in September of 2010. Oklahoma prosecutors sought the death penalty. Shields believes Gouker promised to reveal who killed 23-year-old Tanna Togstad and 34-year-old Timothy Mumbre in 1992 to escape the death sentence...and then told investigators Shields did it.
Shields says the searches have produced nothing, because he is innocent. He says officers confiscated several of his firearms during the search warrant executed last March. He has hired an attorney to help get his weapons back. “I was supposed to get them back in September. They were supposed to be delivered back to my store and home, and they were not delivered, and nobody would talk to me as far as what was going on. When I called Waupaca County to their deputy sheriff’s over there and their detectives, none of them were open to comment or to talk to me.”
During Tuesday’s search, Shields says officers were very thorough, and messy. “All of the papers, all the drawers, everything was strewn just about all over and all mixed in, and furniture was moved around. Panels were cut off the walls to check to see if I had any hidden rooms. They were looking for tunnels.”
Officers also searched Shields’ property between Tomahawk and Tripoli, looking for bodies, tarps, and signs of a crime being committed. Shields says he didn’t buy that property until about three years after the Weyauwega homicides, so it only makes sense police found nothing there, as well.
Shields says he would like to see the crimes solved, too. He would also like to get his life back, since the activities have taken a toll on his life and his business. “It’s a lot of stress, and you know, it’s constantly there. You’re being accused of something you didn’t do, and it’s 24 hours a day with you, and nothing’s being done about my property being returned. Supposedly, they told me yesterday, well this is an ongoing investigation and we’re not done with it yet.” Shields added, “It's totally ruined my personal life and my business life since this whole ordeal started,"
Again, law enforcement agencies are refusing to comment on the two search warrant executions, and seized property since it’s on ongoing investigation. For now, all we know is Laine Shields’ perspective to this story.
(Our interview with Laine Shields can be heard on our website, here.)