Victim of fatal stabbing in Madison identified

Victim is 24-year-old Madison resident
Victim of fatal stabbing in Madison identified

Neighbors said Madison’s second homicide of the year was sparked by a love triangle and a jealous ex-boyfriend.

The Dane County medical examiner identified the victim early Monday as 24-year-old Craig O’Donnell. He was killed Saturday night after suffering massive stab wounds in the Oak Park Terrace trailer park community on Madison’s north side.

O’Donnell and his new girlfriend lived next to each other in the 500 block of Waxwing Lane. On Sunday, neighbors told WISC-TV that a woman had broken off a lengthy relationship with the suspect, and that the victim was the woman’s new boyfriend.

Police identified Matthew O’Dell, 25, as the suspect in the fatal stabbing.

Police conducted an overnight manhunt before O’Dell turned himself in at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison on Sunday afternoon, police spokesman Joel DeSpain said.

Jeremy Winter said he was in the UW Hospital ER waiting room with his 6-year-old daughter when O’Dell walked into the waiting room.

A nurse alerted police, who stormed in with guns drawn and arrested O’Dell.

“He (O’Dell) actually started sobbing right off the bat. He was saying that he was sorry. He was crying vehemently at that point,” Winter said, who shot cell phone video of the arrest.

Police said O’Dell was arrested without incident, other than shocking those in the waiting room.

Madison police said the “violence was the result of a personal dispute between the victim and suspect,” although they didn’t immediately confirm it was the result of a love triangle.

A day after the murder there were few reminders of the violence that played out the night before on Waxwing Lane.

But across the street from the crime scene, witness Betty Strum recalled watching it all.

“Then I seen these canine dogs and flashlights going through the yard, running through the yard,” remembered Strum. “And I thought, ‘What’s going on?'”

Neighbors Cindy Fuller remembered how the day before his death, O’Donnell helped her move a couch into her home.

“Anybody who decides to destroy somebody’s life because of a relationship shouldn’t even be alive,” Fuller said. “He was such a good friend.”

O’Dell had been in trouble with the law before, most recently for misdemeanor use of a dangerous weapon in September 2011.

Madison police said the investigation is ongoing.

Stay tuned to WISC-TV and Channel 3000 for continuing coverage. 

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