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Wilson Brook Murdered Burlington Police Sgt. in Traffic Stop & Tried to Throw Him Off Cliff | Tony Evers’ Killers & Rapists #7

Since 2019, Gov. Tony Evers’ Parole Commission has released at least 884 convicted criminals, freeing them early on parole mostly into Wisconsin communities, including more than 270 murderers and attempted murderers, and more than 44 child rapists.

Wilson Brook was one of them.

 7th in the series.


There are those who believe cop killers should never get out of prison. One of those people is John Eilers, the son of slain Burlington Police Sergeant Anthony Eilers.

Sgt. Eilers was a married father of two who served with the Army Rangers in World War II, being awarded a purple heart.

One day, he was on routine patrol when he stopped a car for having a dangling license plate. Inside that car was Wilson Brook, 21, of Racine, who was on parole for burglary. Brook took the officer’s gun and shot him five times, and then he and his brother Max Brook tried to push the officer in his squad over a cliff. Court records say Wilson Brook was the triggerman.

wilson lee brook
Wilson Lee Brook. Janesville Gazette, via Newspapers.com.

“Still, and always remembered,” another officer wrote in remembrance for Eilers. “He was a good man who is missed by family, friends and future colleagues. He set the bar high, I can only hope to be as good of a man.” His son wrote, “Remembering you on this day.”

What the victim’s family says:

We spoke to John Eilers, one of Sgt. Eilers’ two children. He said that he did not even know that Brook had been paroled. Brook has since died, the Department of Corrections confirmed. However, Parole Commission records say Brook was granted parole in 2019. A family obituary confirms that Brook lived until at least July 30, 2021.

Brook was 79 years old at the time of the parole. (The average age of killers and attempted killers paroled by Evers is 54.)

wilson brook
Parole Commission records obtained through open records.

“That’s not right,” John Eilers said of the parole, which he learned about from Wisconsin Right Now. He said his father was a youth basketball coach. “Everybody liked him,” he said, adding that he was only 11 when his father was murdered.

John Eilers said he believed that cop killers should never be paroled – including Brooks – no matter their age. “No, give them life in prison,” he said.

Wilson Brook was granted parole once before on the murder charge and failed on it by committing a burglary. He was sent back to prison. Then, he failed again in a BIG WAY when he escaped from prison, fleeing to another state before being caught due to America’s Most Wanted. Yet Evers’ Parole Commission let him out yet again.

An Associated Press story on Brook’s escape from a minimum-security prison in 1988 said that Brook, upon being denied parole, was quoted by a Winnebago prison guard “as saying he would ‘get’” a Walworth county sheriff’s deputy who was Eilers’ former partner.

That officer, Roy Knollmueller, “organized a letter writing campaign to keep Brook in prison for life.”

An Associated Press story on Brook’s escape from a minimum-security prison in 1988 said that Brook, upon being denied parole, was quoted by a Winnebago prison guard “as saying he would ‘get’” a Walworth county sheriff’s deputy who was Eilers’ former partner.

That officer, Roy Knollmueller, “organized a letter writing campaign to keep Brook in prison for life.” However, Knollmueller appears to have died in 2015.

We asked Evers, Attorney General Josh Kaul, and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes whether they condemn this parole, and we asked the Parole Commission for the reasons behind it.

We received no response.

“An examination of Eiler’s body revealed severe bruises on the right cheek and forehead where presumably he had been struck by one or both Brook brothers. Max had struck Eiler so severely with his fist as to require medical treatment for his hand,” court records say.

“The left side of Eiler’s face had numerous small scratches and was soiled by dirt and gravel. His uniform was also soiled by blood, dirt, and gravel. According to the state these facts clearly indicated that Eiler had been dragged on his left side through dirt and gravel.”

The records continue: “There were five bullet wounds in the body. One was located about two inches in front of the right ear, two were in the upper neck just behind the right earlobe, quite close together. Another bullet wound was in the right chest about three inches to the right of the nipple. A fifth bullet wound extended from the right armpit to the outside of the right shoulder. The pathologist who examined the body testified that any one of the five bullet wounds, except the one in the right shoulder, could have been fatal. In his opinion the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds to the head and chest.”


Evers’ Parole Commission Freed Wilson Brook Early

Date paroled: 07/29/2019, according to Wisconsin Parole Commission records obtained through an open records request.

The released killer now lives: Wilson Brook no longer shows up in the state of Wisconsin offender database. The Department of Corrections confirmed he is deceased. However, his brother’s obituary indicates Wilson Brooks was still alive as of July 2021.

Age: Deceased

Convicted: First-degree murder

Sentence: Life sentence


The Victim: Burlington Police Sgt. Anthony Eilers, 38Screenshot 2022 09 12 103854

Screenshot 2022 09 13 210207


What the Killer Did:

A 1962 article in the Burlington Standard Press reads:

Brook said he grabbed Eilers “from behind and his companion slugged him with a heavy object and then jumped out of the car and began beating the police officer about the face.”

Screenshot 2022 09 12 104705

“Brook stated he grabbed the officer’s gun and fire a shot into his side and he fell to the ground. He then emptied the revolver with five shots entering the body, it was determined by the autopsy. The two then dragged the body into the ditch and were going to leave it there. He got into the squad car and when he could not turn off the red light he tried smashing the switch with his foot. Here, fate stepped in again and provided the clue that led to the identity and apprehension of the killer. His foot struck the accelerator causing the squad car to jump forward and hit the station wagon…

At this point, the two decided to remove the body from the scene. They loaded sergeant Eilers into the front seat of the squad car which Brook drove while his companion drove the station wagon. They proceeded to the water-filled quarry on Highway 38 where they had intended to dump the car and body into the water which at points is over 100 feet deep. A locked gate prevented this so the car was left rammed against the gate with the motor running. It was noticed there at about 5 a.m. by a bus driver on his way to work. He reported the car to the Racine police and a Racine police car found the car and sergeant Eilers at approximately 5:30 a.m.”

According to a 1962 article in the Racine Journal Times, Brook was 21 when he murdered Burlington police Sgt. Anthony Eilers. Court records say, “At the time of the alleged offense, defendant was twenty-one years of age and resided in Racine with his parents. He had a rather-checkered career prior to the alleged offense, having spent various periods of confinement at the Waukesha School for Boys and the Green Bay Reformatory. He testified to having committed a number of school burglaries, but that neither he, nor other members of his party, were ever armed.”

Screenshot 2022 09 12 104529

“The brutally beaten body of a Burlington police sergeant, Anthony Eilers, 38, was found in his unmarked squad car at the highway 38 quarry near Racine,” the article says.

The article says that Eilers’ squad car was still running and the killer had tried to plunge the squad and body over a cliff into the water-filled quarry.

According to that article, Eilers’ neck was broken because he was beaten with his own flashlight, which was heavy, and he was shot at least five times.

He was on patrol duty and had been seen pulling over a car.

Screenshot 2022 09 12 104616A 1989 Oshkosh Northwestern article stated: “He thought they were making a big deal over nothing” when Wilson Brook was captured.

Brook escaped from Winnebago Correctional Center in 1988.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page:

“The 21-year-old suspect had recently been paroled from the Wisconsin State Reformatory after serving two years for burglary. He was convicted of Sergeant Eilers’ murder and sentenced to life in prison on September 25, 1962. He was paroled in 1976. In 1982 he was returned to the Wisconsin Penitentiary following a burglary conviction. On September 19, 1988, he escaped from McNaughton Correctional Institute. A year later he was captured in Nevada after his case aired on the TV show ‘America’s Most Wanted.’ A judge ordered that his 17-year-old brother was to be tried as a juvenile.”

A Racine Journal Times article in 1962 stated that Brook admitted he had fired the fatal five shots that killed Eilers when the officer pulled over his car near Burlington on a routine check.

It was later stated that the death was caused by five bullet wounds that so disfigured the officer that it was believed he had been beaten. He was shot with his own gun.


Wisconsin Right Now reached out to the Burlington Police Department a couple of times for comment on this story, but they did not respond.

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