By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jan 07, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Like many of you, I heard the news about the recently deceased St. Francis barber who made a deathbed confession about having killed two children 50 years ago. And I heard he lived in Bay View.

Then I saw the news photos of his home and realized that for the nearly seven years I lived in Bay View, this guy, Vernon Seitz, lived perhaps 100 feet from where I slept -- if that -- and maybe 40 feet from where I parked my car in the alley every night.

That's creepy.

But, if I ever saw the guy, I can't recall it. I remember his neighbors better. Well, not even them personally as much as the Latin conga and flute music emerging from their house, where it sounded like a small band rehearsed.

When Seitz's house was searched last month, police found books about cannibalism, bondage paraphernalia, new cement in the basement and big piles of dirt in the yard. But police tore up the basement floor and searched his barber shop.

Though they found some creepy stuff like newspaper articles on missing kids and a poster of a missing Minneapolis boy, they found no physical evidence connecting Seitz to any murders.

"We have no information to substantiate any allegation that the deceased was involved in any missing children cases or homicides of children," said MPD spokesperson Anne E. Schwartz in a statement. "We have exhausted all possible angles in this case. If we receive credible information that warrants investigation, we will pursue it.

"We want to make it absolutely clear that it is inaccurate to suggest there is ANY link to the Jacob Wetterling case or any other child homicide or crime involving children anywhere in the country. The search warrant yielded drawings by the deceased of children in sado-masochistic situations but absolutely no evidence that he was involved in any crimes. The search warrant was conducted at the beginning of December.

"We want very much to make sure the factual information is shared with the public."

It is possible that the would-be Sweeney Todd was more mentally ill than cold-blooded murderer. After all -- unless you're crazy, who wants to go out that way -- telling the world you not only killed, but that you killed children?

I sure hope he was nuts -- sad as that would be, too -- because thinking otherwise is much, much too painful a thought.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.