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The cold trial of a man accused of the 1988 murder of Betty Rolf begins

Editor’s Note: This story contains some content that readers may find disturbing.

APPLETON – The 1988 murder of Betty Rolf has been an unsolved mystery in the Fox Valley for more than 35 years.

As the trial of a man accused of sexually assaulting and killing Rolf began Tuesday, prosecutors expect the mystery will finally be solved.

Defense attorneys say they disagree.

Gene Meyer, 68, is charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree sexual assault with the use of a dangerous weapon.

The process is expected to last two weeks. Jury selection took place all day Monday, and opening statements and the first five prosecution witnesses testified on Tuesday.

Gene Meyer, 68, listens as his trial begins Tuesday in Outagamie County Circuit Court in Appleton on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree sexual assault with use of a dangerous weapon.  Meyer is charged in the 1988 death of 60-year-old Betty Rolf.

In opening arguments for the prosecution, Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis said Rolf’s family had waited 12,972 days – or 35 years, six months and seven days – to reach this moment.

Rolf was a beloved mother and grandmother who was living a quiet life in Appleton when she was brutally sexually assaulted and murdered on her way to work on the morning of Nov. 6, 1988, Tempelis said.