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Sheila Hachmeister Death: 58-year-old woman stabbed, strangled while at home

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How 58-year-old Sheila R. Hachmeister was stabbed, strangled while at home with dozens of cuts found in her body.

According to former coroner Erik Mitchell who revealed that strangled Sheila had been wrapped so tightly it was embedded in the victim’s neck.

Mitchell was the first witness to testify during the preliminary hearing of the victim’s adult son, Jason Hachmeister, 37. The hearing started just three days short of the first anniversary of the woman’s death.

Mitchell was the first witness to testify during the preliminary hearing of the victim’s adult son, Jason Hachmeister, 37. The hearing started just three days short of the first anniversary of the woman’s death.

Jason Hachmeister, of Topeka was arrested Dec. 16 on a warrant charging him with premeditated first-degree murder in the Sept. 10, 2011, killing of his mother at their home at 3520 S.W. Belle.

Sheila Hachmeister had cuts on her hands and head, and she had bruises on the backs of her hands and forearms.

Topeka police Detective Adam Arensdorf testified the tip of one finger was nearly cut off, and Sheila Hachmeister had a large laceration on her forehead. The cutting instrument hasn’t been recovered.

“It was obvious she had been brutally murdered,” Arensdorf said.

Mitchell said none of the cutting injuries to Hachmeister’s head had pierced the skull, but 15 had cut to the bone, and the cutting instrument had chipped pieces of bone in some instances. She had 98 identifiable cuts, Mitchell said.

The victim also had been struck two dozen times on the head, perhaps with hands, Mitchell said.

As the injuries were detailed by Mitchell, Jason Hachmeister’s face showed no reaction as he rocked from side to side in his chair.

There was blood around the body that had soaked into carpet, and there had been movement through the blood, Mitchell said.

There was blood on a sliding glass door and in a hallway, and there were bloody handprints from the victim on the carpet and bloody shoe prints on the carpet that appeared to be going toward the front door, Mitchell said.

The cause of death was strangulation, meaning the blood supply had been cut off, Mitchell said.

When the victim’s body was found, it was in rigor mortis.

In talking to Jason Hachmeister, detectives tracked his movements on the day his mother was killed.

At 11:30 a.m. that day, he left home to go to West Ridge Mall to buy a lottery ticket at the Street Corner Cafe, to get his glasses fixed at Success Vision Express and to Starbucks, where he was nearly a daily customer, Arensdorf said.

Hachmeister normally ordered an americano, Arensdorf said a coffee shop employee told him. But on the day his mother was killed, he bought an iced macchito grande, a more expensive drink.

Hachmeister then went to the Barnes and Noble book store, Walmart, Hy-Vee grocery story and a gasoline station, all on S.W. Wanamaker Road.

Sheila Hachmeister was found dead shortly after 5 p.m. Sept. 10 when Jason Hachmeister called 911, and police were dispatched to the home.

When he called 911, his voice lacked modulation — it was calm, clear and polite, Arensdorf said.

Jason Hachmeister continued to live there until he was arrested Dec. 16 at Hooters, where he had gone to eat.

Detective Scott Dickey testified about a strange series of 15 letters that surfaced after Hachmeister was arrested in which the general theme was that he wasn’t the killer, that the sender of the letter was the killer.

Letters were sent to The Topeka Capital-Journal; Dick Lake, Hachmeister’s earlier defense attorney; the police department; and a friend of Hachmeister, and they were intercepted at the Shawnee County Jail, Dickey said.

The letters had some similarities, including that the victim had rebuffed the killer at a jazz bar in Topeka, he had tracked her to her home, beaten and choked her, stolen particular property from the Hachmeister home and often signed the letters with “bye bye,” Dickey said.

In one letter, the purported writer said he set up Jason Hachmeister as the killer of his mother.

In still another, the writer said he was a county jail employee and included details from the jail’s daily work schedule that day, Dickey said.

When an investigator from the corrections department reviewed a surveillance tape, Hachmeister could be seen retrieving the work schedule from a jail trash container, Dickey said.

In another case, Jason Hachmeister was bound over July 30 to be tried on 111 charges of sexual exploitation of a child tied to child pornography.

The preliminary hearing in the murder case resumes Thursday.

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