Continuing a seven-part series on an unsolved murder nearly 40 years ago of high school student, John Zera, 14, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel focuses on Michael Uporsky, a substitute teacher and hall monitor at Zera’s Franklin High School. When Detective Kent Schoonover decided to re-examine the case in 2001, Uporsky remained a prime suspect, although a secret fact-finding hearing two decades earlier determined there was not enough evidence to charge him.
In writing the series, reporter Gina Barton reviewed thousands of pages of documents and crime scene photos, and watched and listened to more than 25 hours of audio and video interrogations conducted by police. Barton conducted dozens of interviews with people involved in the case and with experts. For this chapter, Uporsky, who now lives in California, answered Barton’s questions in a series of lengthy emails.