The story behind the book
Madison, Wisconsin author Bryan Stanley is celebrating the publication of his first book, which he spent six years researching and writing. "The Becoming of Driftless Rivers National Park," which features several aerial photographs of Crawford County, is Stanley's effort toward earning the area a national park designation.
But Bryan Stanley is not a typical first time author. In February 1985, Stanley, "a chronic paranoid schizophrenic," was off his medication when he murdered three people inside an Onalaska church. He was tried for the crimes, found innocent by reason of mental defect and has resided ever since at the Mendota Mental Health Center in Madison. Last deemed unfit for release in 1999, next month a judge will decide if Stanley will be released back into the community.
The LaCrosse Public Library has digitized several newspaper articles from the LaCrosse Tribune which detail the murders and their aftermath and provide an excellent background to the story behind the book.