In the summer of 1992, 15 year old Akita Ervin lived in a mobile home in White Lake Township, Michigan with her mother and her mother’s live in boyfriend. While Akita had a history of running away, there was more to the story, and that became terrifyingly clear when her decomposed remains were discovered in late June.
On a Sunny day in July 2016, 31 year old Alexandra “Ally” Brueger was out for a 10 mile run in the community near the home she shared with her parents in Rose Township, Michigan. The quiet afternoon was shattered by four blasts from a shotgun, the last shot reaching it’s mark, striking Ally Brueger and ending her life. Her case remains unsolved. #Murder #Michigan #Unsolved #Shotgun
In July of 1993 15 year old Becky Stowe disappeared from her friends house near Niles, Michigan. While law enforcement, her family and the community searched for her, a teenage boy, a “friend” of Becky’s, knew the truth.
On the morning of December 26, 1991 Bernice Gray dropped her toddler daughter off at day care and headed for work. Gray didn’t arrive at work, and wouldn’t be seen again. Days later her bloodstained car was found abandoned in Detroit.
It would take a decade for the man responsible for her disappearance and murder to be brought to justice.
Much of my childhood was spent in and around the little town of Berkley, Michigan. My uncle was Berkley High School, class of ’65. One of his classmates was Byron Hoffmeister. I’d heard him mention Hoffmeister over the years, what a “bad guy” he was, but until I dug into this episode, I had no idea.
Join us as we explore the life and many crimes of Berkley’s own Byron Hoffmeister.
On Monday November 23, 1987 the bodies of Gail and Ricky Brink are discovered in their Holland Township (Michigan) home. Twenty two year old Gail and 29 year old Ricky were each shot multiple times, likely in the small hours of Sunday November 22.
It will take 25 years for their killer to be brought to justice.
In April of 1974 two prisoners walked away from the Magnum Prison Farm near Marquette Michigan. They embarked on a 55 hour crime spree that involved kidnapping, robbery and murder. The spree culminated in the deaths of three people, including Troy Michigan Police Officer Martin “Marty” Chivas.
Episode includes an interview with Troy Mayor Dane Slater, who worked with Martin Chivas in 1974.
In March, 1982 someone entered the Paulson family home in a rural part of Allendale Township, Michigan. Using a .22 caliber weapon he shot and killed all five members of the family, then set the house on fire.
The killer, Maris Karklins, would not be captured until July 1982 when he fatally shot his mother in the Karlklins family home.
Andris Karklins, the younger brother of Maris was a talented guitarist who was on tour at the time of the slayings.
Don’t talk to Strangers – The Oakland County Child Murders is a limited run podcast focused on eight child murders that took place in and around south Oakland County between January 1, 1976 and March 16, 1977. Four of these murders appear to be the work of an as yet unidentified serial killer known as the Oakland County Child Killer.
On November 12, 2013 Chelsea Small was working at the Advance America store in Taylor, Michigan. During a robbery she was shot twice and her killer made off with $200 in cash. Despite video and images of the killer, he remains at large.
In this bonus “mini-sode” we discuss the dig for the bodies of up to seven women happening in northern Macomb County. The life and crimes of convicted murderer Arthur Ream, touch on the Oakland County Child Killer and review the cases of missing women from the metro area that could be uncovered in the search.
Between September of 2009 and December of 2018 ten women have vanished from Flint and the surrounding area. While some of these cases have limited information available, I’ve tried to put as much out there as possible in the hope that they can find their way back home.
This episode was created because in November of 2017 the partial remains of two women were found in Broome Park. MLive story
As the year winds down we perk things up with a True Crime Broad Cast, interviewing Michigan author Karen Dybis about her new book: The Witch of Delray: Rose Veres & Detroit’s Infamous 1930s Murder Mystery.
We also talk history, landmarks and Detroit. I hope you’ll join us.
May, 1975, two cousins, Scott Hardy and Mark Mellendorf walk from Mellendorf’s home in Lapeer County Michigan to Tody Lake for some fishing.
When the boys don’t return home, their parents raise the alarm and searchers scour the woods for hours trying to find the young boys. The next morning, a tracking dog makes a horrific discovery on the southern end of the lake. Both boys are dead and there is a killer on the loose in this idyllic community.
Days later a second boy, Willie Walters, takes his fishing gear to Kearsley Creek, he too doesn’t return. His battered body is discovered the next morning.
These horrific crimes happened just a few miles north of the hunting grounds favored by the Oakland County Child Killer in 1976-1977.
On June 19, 1982 Vincent Chin was attacked by two men wielding a baseball bat. He would die four days later, on his mother’s birthday.
The men who attacked him never spent a night in jail, they were given probation and a small fine. The Asian American community rose up and demanded justice for Vincent Chin. This was the birth of the Asian American Civil Rights Movement.
October 25, 2014. 22 year old Chelsea Bruck attends a huge outdoor halloween party/concert in a wooded area outside of Monroe, Michigan. Dressed as Poison Ivy in a long plum colored wig, and leaf trimmed green leotard the tall blonde spends the evening at the party with friends. After getting separated from her friends she is trying to find a ride home after 2:00 a.m.
The person she accepts a ride from is someone from a nightmare. Chelsea is gone, vanished.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s department works the case hard, calling in assistance from dozens of agencies. In spring 2015 pieces of Chelsea’s costume are discovered in Flat Rock Michigan, but no sign of the missing woman. Weeks later her badly decomposed remains are located. In 2016, almost two years after she vanished an arrest is made. 27 year old Daniel Clay, a friend of one of her coworkers, is arrested after his DNA is found on Chelsea’s bloody costume.
Daniel denies murdering Chelsea, despite clear evidence that she received a brutal beating. In May 2017, a jury finds him guilty of murder and concealing her body. He was sentenced on July 13, 2017
Also, coverage of the Missing in Michigan event on May 6, 2017 and we revisit some old/cold cases covered previously on the podcast.
UPDATES: In 2018 Floyd Galloway, a security guard at Met-Life where Dani worked was named a person of interest in her case. In 2019, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel charged Galloway with Dani’s murder. He is awaiting trial and our lovely Danielle is still MISSING. #FindDani
From New Years Eve 1976 through the summer of 1977 Donald Eugene Miller terrorized the college community of East Lansing and the surrounding communities. While he was never charged with murder, only manslaughter, he is responsible for the deaths of four women and assaults on two children.
In 1969 John Norman Collins was arrested and charged with the murder of and 18 year old co-ed Karen Sue Beineman. California governor and future US president Ronald Reagan wanted Collins extradited from Michigan to California to stand trial for the murder of a 17 year old girl in his state.
Meanwhile, Collins, his family and his attorneys are fighting to keep him out of jail, or if they cannot, they want him extradited to Canada, the country of his birth, where he would have the possibility of parole.
Collins trial leads to the resolution of one murder, but there are six other bodies waiting for justice.
June 25, 1968, the Robison family is 10 days in to a relaxing summer “Up North” at their wood and stone cottage on Lake Michigan.
That night a killer or killers fired on the house, wounding Richard Robison, they then entered the house and executed the entire family. Who would do such a thing? Why would anyone want the family dead? We still look for answers to a brutal mass murder.
The evening of August 3, 1989 Lawrence J. DeLisle was out driving around with his wife, Suzanne and their four children: 8-year-old Bryan, 4-year-old Kathryn, 2-year-old Melissa and 8-month-old Emily.
Lawrence lost control of the car and it flew off the road into the Detroit River. The car sank quickly. Lawrence and his wife swam to safety, but all four children drown. What appeared to be a tragic accident evolved into a horrifying story. Had Lawrence done the unthinkable? Had he intentionally driven the car into the murky waters of the Detroit River in an attempt to kill himself and his family?
This is the second episode in a series about the Oakland County Child Killer.
Between 1976 and 1977 four children were abducted and murdered. Mark Stebbins, Jill Robinson, Kristine Mihelich and Timothy King. They were held from 3.5 – 19 days. Their deaths were considered the work of a killer or perhaps a team of killers working together.
Forty years later and law enforcement is no closer to closing the case. We look at the victims, the crimes, the investigators and the families left behind.
If you would like to take a closer look at happenings around the periphery of the case: