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  • Joseph Clark Was Sentenced To 100 Years In Prison on Random Horrifying Story Of The Boy Who Survived The Bonebreaker Killer

    (#10) Joseph Clark Was Sentenced To 100 Years In Prison

    In October 1997, Joe Clark was found guilty of the following crimes related to his abduction of Thad Phillips: causing great bodily harm to a child, child enticement, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, mayhem and mental harm to a child. Clark pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but the jury believed he was sane. Clark was sentenced to 100 years in prison and later received an additional 50-year sentence for the murder of Christian Steiner.

    To this day, Clark maintains he has no memory of what he did to Phillips and claims he is innocent of Steiner’s death. He later attempted to appeal some of his convictions based on lack of evidence, but the district court dismissed the case.

    Surgeries and long-term medical care have helped Phillips walk and use his legs again, though he still retains a limp. He also sued Clark and won. The total payment amounting to $21 million.

  • In 1995, Joseph Clark Kidnapped 13-Year-Old Thad Phillips on Random Horrifying Story Of The Boy Who Survived The Bonebreaker Killer

    (#1) In 1995, Joseph Clark Kidnapped 13-Year-Old Thad Phillips

    On the evening of July 29, 1995, 13-year-old Thadius “Thad” Phillips was sleeping on the couch with his sister in their new home in Baraboo, Wisconsin. When someone picked Phillips up off the couch, he assumed it was his father carrying him to bed, which was a common occurrence.

    Disoriented when he woke up, Phillips found he was outside with an unfamiliar, older teen boy. The boy seemed friendly, asking if Phillips could help him with his car. Phillips, still sleepy and confused, went with the boy back to his home, which was only a half mile from Phillips's new home. 

    Once there, the mysterious boy introduced himself as “Joe” and said he would soon throw a party. He named other boys Phillips knew and said they'd be there soon. In the meantime, he asked if Phillips wanted to check out his model cars upstairs. Phillips followed, unaware of the violence that awaited him.
     

  • Phillips Threw Himself Down A Flight Of Stairs To Call For Help on Random Horrifying Story Of The Boy Who Survived The Bonebreaker Killer

    (#7) Phillips Threw Himself Down A Flight Of Stairs To Call For Help

    After his attempted escapes, Thad Phillips was placed in a bedroom closet while Clark left the house on the evening of July 31st. Locked in the closet, Phillips felt around for a weapon until he found an electric guitar, which he used to break down the closet door. Phillips then crawled from the bedroom closet and threw himself down the stairs, passing out multiple times due to weakness and the excruciating pain of his injuries.

    Once he made it downstairs, Phillips was able to find a phone and call 911. Police arrived at the scene before Clark's return and quickly put him under arrest. 

     

  • Clark Had Plans To Abduct, Torture, And Possibly Murder More Boys on Random Horrifying Story Of The Boy Who Survived The Bonebreaker Killer

    (#8) Clark Had Plans To Abduct, Torture, And Possibly Murder More Boys

    Authorities arrested Clark while he was at a party with his girlfriend, and from there, they began to search his house. Police looked for any indication of previous victims, but instead they found evidence suggesting Clark intended to capture and torment more boys.

    In the house, police located a school notebook, which listed names of over a dozen local boys, including some Phillips knew. The boys' names were in different columns, detailing whether or not Clark could kidnap them soon or later, and what he wanted to do to them.

    Part of the list included a column titled "The Leg Thing," suggesting he intended to break the bones of his future victims as well.
     

  • Phillips Never Received His $21 Million Settlement From Clark on Random Horrifying Story Of The Boy Who Survived The Bonebreaker Killer

    (#11) Phillips Never Received His $21 Million Settlement From Clark

    When he entered the hospital, Thad Phillips had serious, potentially life-threatening internal bleeding. Doctors said he was possibly hours away from passing. He received immediate medical care, but to repair his legs and hope to save the boy's mobility, he required many surgeries over several years. 

    As part of the $21 million settlement, Phillips was to receive $31,566 in medical damages, $6 million in compensation, and $15 million in punitive damages. However, Clark has never had the money to pay Phillips for the years of expensive surgeries and medical treatment he's undergone.

    In April 2023, Baraboo local Olga Johnson and her husband set up a GoFundMe with a $100,000 goal to help Phillips. Johnson said at the time of Phillips, "He saved the community and I wanted to say thank you to Thad. He brought peace to Chris [Steiner]'s family."

  • Thanks To Thad Phillips, Joe Clark Was Linked To The Murder Of A Teen Boy on Random Horrifying Story Of The Boy Who Survived The Bonebreaker Killer

    (#9) Thanks To Thad Phillips, Joe Clark Was Linked To The Murder Of A Teen Boy

    Phillips would later testify that Clark had told him about murdering a boy named “Chris” the year prior. Police were then able to link this testimony to the murder of 14-year-old Christian Steiner who had gone missing from his home of July 4, 1994. His parents had awakened that morning to find the window screen in Steiner's bedroom slashed, and there were muddy footprints throughout the house. Although Steiner's parents first thought he had snuck out of the house, they soon realized he had likely been kidnapped.

    Steiner's body was found on the banks of the Wisconsin River five days later. His cause of death was drowning, but the manner of Steiner's death was undetermined. Following Phillips's testimony, Steiner's body was exhumed and an autopsy confirmed that both of his legs had been broken.

    A boy who had been with Clark in juvenile detention also testified that Clark had bragged about murdering a boy and hanging the body over a tree. However, police were never able to link Clark to a second murder.

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