Warning: This story contains graphic descriptions of violence.
A 24-year-old woman has been charged with the murder of a man whose body parts were found strewn about a Green Bay property and vehicle last week.
A person living at the home summoned police on Feb. 23 after discovering a severed head in a bucket, according to a criminal complaint obtained by local outlet WBAY. Officers arriving at the scene made their way down the basement stairs, finding the head still lying in a black bucket on the floor, covered by a towel, and “what appeared to be dried blood on a nearby mattress.” A further search of the property turned up a storage tote, in which the upper part of a torso had been stored.
Taylor Schabusiness, allegedly the last person to have seen the 25-year-old victim alive, was found at a nearby house. Her clothing was spackled in dried blood, according to the complaint, and police searching her van found a crock pot box containing other human body parts, “including legs.”
When police asked her what had happened, Schabusiness replied, “That is a good question.”
She was later charged with first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse, and third-degree sexual assault.
Schabusiness allegedly killed and dismembered her victim after first smoking methamphetamine with him, according to the complaint. They initiated a sexual encounter that then escalated to include the use of chains, which Schabusiness characterized as a dog’s choke collar. There were two, she said—one for her, and one for him.
Eventually, Schabusiness says she began strangling him with her bare hands. She told investigators that she could feel his heart continuing to beat as she choked him, “so she kept pulling and choking him harder.” She kept going as the man’s face turned purple and blood came out of his mouth, local outlet WISN reported, citing the complaint.
She then played with the cadaver for “two to three hours” after his death, using several knives to dismember the body, prosecutors alleged in the complaint. A bread knife “worked the best,” she explained in a police interview, “because of the serrated blade.”
Schabusiness told the police that they’d “have fun trying to find all of the organs,” according to the complaint.
Her plan had been to bring all of the body parts with her, but, being “paranoid and lazy” as she put it, she left the head behind.
“I can’t believe I left the head, though,” she said
Schabusiness told investigators that she had just gone “crazy,” and blacked out during at least part of the encounter. She asked them “if they knew what it was like to love something so much that you kill it,” according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.
The name of the victim was not immediately released by the authorities.
On Tuesday, a Brown County court set bail for Schabusiness at $2 million, deeming her a flight risk. She had been placed on probation just weeks before the alleged murder, and was missing the monitoring bracelet she was supposed to have been wearing.
“I think the facts alleged are extremely concerning and disturbing and go to the violent and grave nature of the offense,” Assistant District Attorney Caleb Saunders said at the hearing. He called it “one of the most serious offenses” committed in the county in a long time.
Appearing via video link, Schabusiness said little at the hearing, WBAY reported. She seemed calm. If convicted, she faces life in prison.