Schaffhausen's Ex-Wife Reacts to Auction of Home
Aaron Schaffhausen will now spend his life in prison for murdering his three daughters. A judge also declared him ineligible for extended supervision at his sentencing hearing on Monday, meaning Schaffhausen will never leave prison.
Just after the hearing, Jessica Schaffhausen sat down with KSTP for her first television interview after the sentencing. But the grieving mother didn't have words of hate. She spoke about hope and the future.
Part of that future involves selling the house where the girls were killed in River Falls. Last year, Aaron Schaffhausen tried to sell the house on his own, but Jessica Schaffhausen and her family vehemently objected to that because he would have profited from the sale.
The home has since been foreclosed on and will be auctioned off by a bank next month. Aaron will get nothing. Jessica just wants the public to get something out of her old home.
"Those girls -- it didn't matter where they went. They made a friend," Jessica said.
Amara, Sophie and Cecilia. For Jessica Schaffhausen, the memories of her three little girls are everywhere. They're wrapped around her wrist, on a bracelet adorned with their names, and kept close to her heart, in a necklace holding their ashes.
But there is one reminder she would like to forget. And it sits at 2790 Morningside Avenue in River Falls.
"I have a hard time picturing anybody wanting to live in the house," Jessica said.
The home is where her daughters drew their final breaths, their throats cut by their own father. One year later, it sits empty, quietly awaiting a bank auction and a buyer.
"The house has gone into foreclosure, so he's not going to benefit from the sale of it at all. So I have absolutely no qualms about it being sold," Jessica said.
Still, she said there's something unsettling about another family potentially moving in.
"If you had children living there, can you imagine their schoolmates being like, 'Oh, you live in that house?'" Jessica said.
She would like to see the house in public hands, and has floated the idea of firefighters using the home for training, or converting the property into a community garden.
"I just want it to be a source of positive energy, not so much negative," Jessica said.
She describes the past year as a battle between love and hate, and that home is a place of unspeakable hatred. But she insists love has -- and always will -- triumph. Even there.
"There's this very black, dark, evil thing that occurred, and the response that I've seen from the rest of the world has been nothing but goodness and love and support," Jessica said.
The auction will take place on Aug. 13. Anyone can show up and buy the home, as long as they have 10 percent of the winning bid on hand.
But the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office, which will oversee the auction, said they have not yet received any interest in the property.
The bank handling the foreclosure, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, wouldn't comment on whether they have received any interest in the property. They simply said they're treating the sale like any other foreclosure.
Legally, the bank doesn't have to tell prospective buyers about what happened inside the home. In Wisconsin, it's basically up to buyers to do their own homework. Sellers only have to disclose past events that affected the structure of the home.
In Minnesota, banks have to disclose more information about a property before they sell. And while the law is a little vague as it relates to murder, you still don't have to disclose things like suicide or accidental death that have occurred inside the home.