‘That takes a sick monster to do what he did’: Ex-wife mourns former husband after Sigourney murder trial

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Grinnell, IOWA– The wounds were still fresh just one day after the conviction she had been waiting for.

“I know you can’t call Steven Vogel a man. He is no man for what he did. I call him a sick monster,” said Janalee Boldt.

Hearing the words guilty of first-degree murder in a Sigourney courtroom Tuesday brought a wave of emotions for Boldt. “We didn’t really get proper closure and this trial did give us some kind of closure,” she said.

Boldt was the ex-wife of 44-year old Michael Williams before he was brutally murdered by 32 year old Steven Vogel of Grinnell in September of 2020. Williams’ body was found burning a rural Jasper County ditch.

“That takes a sick monster to do what he did. He hung him and then tried to burn him and then tried to run away,” Boldt said.

Boldt is the mother of three of Williams’ six children. “I just know I’m never gonna come to terms for forgiving because of my babies. They have their moments with grief. They are angered, they are hurt,” said Boldt. Pain that Boldt says only briefly goes away when they think of the happy moments their family often shared. “He will still be there in our memory and we just gotta remember the good times. The way he danced, sung and made us laugh. We have to keep that still alive in us,” said Boldt.

The family recently used the one-year anniversary of Williams’ death to help the healing journey. Boldt said, “They lost their dad. They want their dad back and that’s how I have to stay strong.”

A step towards closure but a long road to life without a father, son, grandfather and friend. Boldt said, “It is happiness but still sadness because we still have that pain and hurt because it didn’t bring him back but at the same time justice got done.”

Three other Grinnell residents are charged with helping Vogel destroy evidence and transport Williams’ body. Vogel will be sentenced to life in prison during a hearing next month.

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