Carl Knight robbed and murdered Karen Simek outside her workplace: The Murder Tapes investigate

Mugshot of Carl Knight
Carl Knight was convicted of the murder of Karen Simek in Milwaukee, WI. in 2017. Pic credit: Milwaukee Police Dept.

The Murder Tapes on ID is investigating the death of Karen Simek, a dedicated food service worker, who was tragically killed during a robbery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the winter of 2017.

The 53-year-old Karen Simek had just parked her car outside her office at Garden-Fresh Foods in the early morning hours in January when Carl Knight attacked her. Simek was shot in the face at point-blank range and had her purse stolen.

The case went cold for a year until the cops received a significant breakthrough in December 2017 when they arrested David McLaurin for an unrelated crime. As they questioned McLaurin, he implicated his roommate, Knight, in the murder.

Carl Knight was turned in by his roommate

McLaurin explained that he and his roommates, Karl Knight and Samantha Gustafson, needed money for rent, which caused them to rob people. He also told the cops that Knight had admitted to killing an older white lady at the spot where Simek was killed, and taking her purse.

When the police questioned Knight, he eventually admitted to killing Simek. He told the officers that the gun went off just as he ran away with the purse. He also claimed that he was pressurized into performing robberies by McLaurin and Gustafson.

Knight was charged with felony murder, along with possession of a firearm by a felon. In July 2018, he was sentenced to 31 years in prison with an added 12 years of extended supervision.

At the sentencing, Simek’s husband, Kevin Sasse, spoke of how the death of his wife was a great loss not just to him but to the whole community.

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McLaurin was charged with harboring/ aiding a felon, but his case was eventually thrown out. Gustafson also faced a charge of harboring/ aiding a felon, and she received a year of probation.

More from The Murder Tapes

Follow the links to read about more murders highlighted on The Murder Tapes.

Last week the show looked at the tragic case of 16-year-old Jeffrey Franklin, who was callously murdered by his adopted parents Ernest and Heather Franklin. The depraved parents tried to hide the killing of the disabled child by setting fire to their home.

Transgender woman Ty Underwood was shot dead by her Texas college football player boyfriend, Carlton Ray Champion Jr. The pair had argued angrily as their relationship fell apart one night. Underwood tried to escape after being shot by driving away, but she succumbed to her injuries.

The Murder Tapes air Tuesdays at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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