Bryan Rein's Last Meal Played a Huge Part in Investigating His 1996 Death

What happened to Bryan Rein? The veterinarian was murdered in his Montana home in 1996. Details on what happened, and where the killer is today.

Shannon Raphael - Author

May 22 2020, Updated 2:20 p.m. ET

bryan rein
Source: NBC

When veterinarian Bryan Allen Rein decided to open up a practice in Geraldine, Mont., he likely could never have anticipated that he'd soon meet his end. The 31-year-old was found shot to death in his trailer home in the small Montana town, and there would be two trials and more than 18 years of heartache before there was any sort of resolution as to what happened to him.

The case has been featured on Dateline, and the ending to the saga surrounding his death isn't as satisfying as many would have hoped.

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What happened to Bryan Rein? Find out what happened to the beloved veterinarian below, and to learn why there's so much controversy surrounding his final moments. 

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What happened to Bryan Rein?

When Rein moved to Geraldine in 1995, the news that a handsome animal doctor was settling down in the small town spread like wildfire. Many women were interested in dating Dr. Rein, but none were able to catch his attention. Until he met Ann Wishman. 

Rein later told his sister that Wishman would come over to his home to clean it, and that the two eventually began spending more time together.

Soon after he began seeing Wishman, strange things began happening to Rein and his animal clinic. A rock smashed through the clinic's window one day, and a mystery person would call Rein and promptly hang up when he answered. While some close to Rein expressed concern over these issues, he was nonplussed by it. 

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In July of 1996, Bryan Rein was found shot to death in his home. When he was first discovered, authorities thought that he may have killed himself because the murder weapon was found near his hand. The gun was also registered to Rein. 

But, evidence in the home suggested that there was a scuffle before Rein died, and he was found wearing rubber water shoes. 

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Once police began investigating Rein's death, they discovered that Wishman had an ex-boyfriend who was not over their breakup. The ex-boyfriend was identified as Thomas Jaraczeski.

According to Jaraczeski's friends, he had become obsessed with Wishman after their breakup, and that obsession only intensified when he learned that she was seeing someone else. 

They claimed that Jaraczeski would candidly tell them that he had broken into Wishman's home and read her diary. He would then call both her home and Rein's home to see if the two were together. 

He was arrested in 1998 for the murder of Rein, but the story was far from being over.

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Thomas Jaraczeski is a free man now, largely because of Bryan Rein's last steak dinner.

Thomas Jaraczeski was first arrested in 1998, but a pre-trial judge later dropped the case because bloodhound evidence was largely used in getting the warrant for his arrest. But, he was later re-arrested in 2014, and he went on trial that year.  

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There was a lack of substantive evidence linking him to the crime, which made things difficult for the prosecution when the case finally went to trial. A crime lab expert testified that there were no fingerprints found on the weapon. Though this wouldn't fit in with the narrative that Rein shot himself, Jaraczeski's defense team argued that the killer was still at large.

One main argument for Jaraczeski's team was about the food found in Rein's stomach at the time he was killed. Rein had eaten a steak dinner at a local Geraldine establishment, and the steak had been fully digested at the time of his death. The defense's argument was that it takes around nine hours for a steak to be digested, and that this proved that his time of death was off. If that was the case, then Jaraczeski had an alibi for this window of time and he could not be the killer.

Another expert took the stand and said that a large meal could be digested quicker, but this certainly added reasonable doubt to the case.

In September of 2015, Jaraczeski was found not guilty in the murder of Rein. To this day, nobody has been convicted of killing the veterinarian. 

Dateline airs on Fridays at 9 p.m. on NBC. 

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