Wagner hangs himself in Boulder jail
A former Glenwood Springs real estate agent and Snowmass snowboard instructor suspected of being a serial rapist apparently hanged himself Wednesday in Boulder County Jail.Bradford Thomas Wagner, 37, was discovered hanging from his bunk shortly before 11 a.m. by a jail deputy conducting a routine security check, according to a news release from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.Wagner was being held at the jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond. He faced several sexual assault charges in Boulder County and additional sexual assault charges in Lakewood and in Austin, Texas.Wagner was arrested at his home office on the 1300 block of Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs on June 11, 2004, after DNA collected unknowingly from Wagner by Boulder investigators allegedly matched a DNA profile developed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Taking advantage of recent technological advances, police were able to obtain DNA from Wagner’s handshake, bicycle handlebars and doorknob and compare it to DNA from victims’ sexual assault kits created in the mid-1990s.Wagner had begun working as a real estate agent in Glenwood Springs shortly before his arrest.Wagner also lived in Aspen between three and four years. He was a part-time snowboard instructor at Snowmass for two seasons from 2002 through 2004. He resided at Hunter Creek Apartments in 2000, according to published reports based on Aspen police department records.Wagner joined the Aspen branch of Coldwell Commercial Investment Banker in October 2003 with a real estate broker’s associate license. He eventually relocated to the Remax Mountain West real estate firm in Glenwood Springs after moving to Glenwood Springs.The Boulder County Coroner’s Office was conducting an autopsy on Wagner on Wednesday and will rule later on the cause of death.The sheriff’s office reported that Wagner had apparently fashioned a crude noose with a sheet from his bunk. Upon finding Wagner, the deputy sought help from other officers and the jail’s nursing staff. They attempted to resuscitate him, but he never regained consciousness.He was pronounced dead on arrival at Boulder Community Hospital.Lt. Phil West of the sheriff’s office said Wagner had given no indication of being suicidal and wasn’t under any kind of suicide watch or precautions.”From my discussions with jail staff … he was considered a model inmate,” West said.West said he understood Wagner was scheduled for a court hearing today.Wagner was a suspect in five rapes in Boulder between 1993 and 1998. The Texas case dated to 1995.Wagner was being held in the “close security” section of the jail, which is designed for medium- and high-risk offenders. He had been at the jail since his arrest.Authorities say there have been five deaths by suicide at the Boulder County Jail since the facility opened in 1988. Four were by hanging.After an inmate hanged himself by suspending a sheet from a vent grate in his cell wall in December, jail officials bolted screens to the grates to try to prevent other inmates from doing the same thing.
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Max Weintraub has been senior curator at the Aspen Art Museum since January 2019.