Ethan Zuckerman ’93 notes the importance of thinking about “the responsibility all men have for violence against women.” Now, one might hope that this is not a big issue in the community of Ephs. Spousal abuse (like divorce) is almost certainly much rarer among Williams graduates than it is for the larger population. But violence does occur.

Although our focus at EphBlog is mostly feel-good stories about the wonder of Williams and the achievements of our fellow Ephs, we do not run from the sad stories.

After a Mequon man’s wife asked for a divorce Wednesday night and struck him in the chest, he became enraged and threw her around their house, “pummeled” her face with his fist and strangled her, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in Ozaukee County Circuit Court.

Stephen L. Trattner, 43, “wasn’t completely positive if he killed her but . . . he had a pretty good idea she was dead,” the complaint says.

Authorities say he covered the body of his wife, Sin Lam, 36, with a blanket and left her lying on the living room floor. The next morning, as he got his children, ages 7 and 9, ready for school, he told them to not disturb their mother, Ozaukee County District Attorney Sandy Williams said in court Monday.

Trattner was charged Monday with first-degree reckless homicide, which carries a maximum penalty of 60 years in prison.

Trattner’s attorney, Michael Fitzgerald, asked that Trattner be released on a signature bond based on his lack of a criminal history and his standing in the community, noting that the courtroom Monday was packed with Trattner’s family and friends.

However, Malloy set bail at $750,000 cash. He also ordered that Trattner have no contact with his children.

Earlier Monday morning, almost 200 people attended funeral services for Lam, according to a spokesman at Schmidt and Bartelt Funeral Home, where services were held.

Trattner (pictured above) is class of 1984. His brother and father are also Ephs.

Condolences to all. Trattner’s children are the exact same age as my own. Zuckerman is thinking “about questions about what I’m responsible for, whether the issue is racism, violence against women, or any other injustice.” Is Zuckerman responsible for Trattner’s actions? Am I? Probably not. But we are all responsible for something.

Print  •  Email