Murder of Cynthia Hrisco by husband Frank Buschauer examined on Evil Lives Here

Mugshot of Frank Buschauer
Frank Buschauer was sentenced to 25 years for killing his wife, Cynthia Hrisco. Pic credit: Illinois Dept. of Corrections

Evil Lives Here: Shadow of Death is investigating the murder of Cynthia Hrisco by her husband Frank Buschauer, who drowned his wife in a bathtub in their sprawling home in South Barrington, Illinois.

The police believe Buschauer killed his wife in February 2000 following extensive arguments over home renovations; he would evade justice for nearly two decades.

On February 28, 2000, in the middle of the night, Frank Buschauer dialed 911 and informed them that his 47-year-old wife had been involved in an accident.

When the first responders arrived on the scene, they found Cynthia lying face down on the floor of the master bathroom in their lavish South Barrington home.

Buschauer told the cops that he had been asleep but was awoken by the crying of their 13-month-old son. He said that he then discovered Cynthia had drowned in their whirlpool bathtub. He said he pulled her out and called for help.

Cops suspected Frank Buschauer killed Cynthia Hrisco

At the time, the police were suspicious of Buschauer’s tale, particularly as his clothes appeared to be dry and items surrounding the tub looked undisturbed.

Years later, Officer Bryant Haniszewski, who attended the scene, said of Buschauer: “His story just wasn’t making sense. I think that everybody else that was there, including the investigator and the evidence technician, also felt that same way, that it required substantial follow-up.”

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However, the Cook County medical examiner ruled that Cynthia had drowned but also stated they were unable to determine the manner in which she died. They marked the case as suspicious, but no charges were brought against her husband.

The case lay dormant for ten years until the police conducted a review of the evidence in 2010. They learned through the autopsy reports that Cynthia may have been involved in a struggle before she died.

The investigators also know that the couple’s marriage had been on the rocks in 2000 and that Cynthia had told friends that she was afraid of her husband and that he had actually threatened to kill her.

In 2013, Buschauer was finally arrested at his new home in Wisconsin and charged with first-degree murder. Six years later, he was sentenced to 25 years behind bars. At 71-years-old, he’s expected to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Buschauer and his family continue to maintain his innocence claiming that Cynthia’s death was a tragic accident.

More from Evil Lives Here

Follow the links to read about more shocking murders profiled on Evil Lives Here.

Serial killer Jack Jones broke into the office of Mary Phillips, where he raped her and beat her to death. He also severely beat her 11-year-old daughter, but thankfully, she survived and was instrumental in bringing Jones to justice.

Claire Throssell was in an abusive marriage with Darren Sykes, and when she finally left him, he responded by murdering their two sons in a sickening attempt to “punish” her and cause her pain.

Evil Lives Here airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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2 years ago

I don’t think any one person can know (for fact) that Frank is innocent. You can’t go by a suspect’s emotional display at the time of the supposed crime. Murderers can act. You’d expect Frank’s family to say he’s innocent. That what families do regardless of how much evidence is pointing at their loved ones. Two things had me looking hard at Frank. 1) he pulled his wife out of a full tub of water and didn’t get wet. How do you do that? Then the unexplained bruising on his wife. These are things you just can’t explain away. I can’t say for sure that Frank murdered his wife and I’m confused as to how does his family know he didn’t murder her. Where is their proof. I know they would probably ask they same if they system that has him behind bars but that is irrelevant as evidentially the system mustard up enough to imprison Frank so the burden of proof is solely on the family’s side of the court. Where is their proof??

Jessie McBride
Jessie McBride
1 year ago
Reply to  bennie

I am Franks cousin (mothers side) – every time I take a bath – I think about his wife – there is no way it was an accident – even as disabled as I am and take deep water baths – I can use my legs to get my head above water. Im not saying he killed her but someone did – adopted son was just a toddler

1 year ago
Reply to  Jessie McBride

Hi. It’s very difficult to review this case, as there is not a lot to go on. One question that troubles me though. How would Frank drown her , without getting wet? Unless he changed clothing, but that has never benn substantiated. I think the injuries are minor injuries too. Innocent or not, I feel there’s not enough to convict. So in my opinion, he must go free

Kevin Cowing
Kevin Cowing
28 days ago
Reply to  Richard

Pull her by the legs; after removing your upper clothing.

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