Tag Archives: #murder

103 Missing in Michigan – Bernice Gray

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.

Bernice Gray was last seen on December 26, 1991 in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.

It would take a decade for the man responsible for her disappearance and murder to be brought to justice.

Additional reading:

The Charley Project

Find a grave

 

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99 The Many Crimes of Byron Hoffmeister

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.

yearbook photo of Hoffmeister

 

The 1968 plea deal that allowed Hoffmeister to be out on the streets by 1971

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97 The murder of Gail and Ricky Brink

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.

 

Ricky and Gail in 1987

It will take 25 years for their killer to be brought to justice.

This week’s promo from Pretend Radio

 

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Research and additional reading: 

“A brutal execution” – MLive story 

Witnesses describe Gail and Rick’s last day alive – Holland Sentinel 

“We finally got him” says sister of Ryan Wyngarden – MLive story

96 The Death of Officer Martin Chivas

Officer Chivas in 1973

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.

Officer Down Memorial Page 

Troy Police Twitter Post with photo

Oakland County 115 news story

Memorial Day story, Troy Remembers

Promos: Targeted PodcastCrimesphere Podcast 

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95 The Paulson Family Murder

The Robert Paulson family.

 

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.

If you have questions about mental illness, or need support please contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness. 

Additional reading: 

Allendale Murder suspect arraigned

Wright Township Slayings touch off memory of 1982 murders

This week’s promo is from the Murder Road Trip Podcast.

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94 Chelsea Small

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.

30 year old Chelsea Small left behind two children.

Surveillance video of killer

do you recognize this man?

If you have information please contact Detective Jones at the Taylor Police Department   734-287-6550 or Crimestoppers at 1-800- SPEAK UP

Advance America is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of her killer.

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This week’s promo from the 36 Times Podcast.

90 – Osco #404

On a sunny, summer Saturday in 1990 all hell broke lose inside the Osco Store in South Bend Indiana. The store was robbed, leaving three dead and a mystery that lasted more than a decade before former employee, Charles Allen, was put on trial.

Was Allen responsible for the horrific robbery/murder? Or did South Bend police develop tunnel vision? Families would wait more than 10 years for an arrest and trial.

 

Source: South Bend Tribune

 

 

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Additional reading/Sources:

South Bend Tribune

No Fourth Trial – WNDU

Osco Sav-on Alumni club – Osco #404 tragedy

88 Barbara Blackstone

Content warning – murder, sexual assault, harm to animals.

In 1987 Barbara Blackstone was 30 years old, happily married and enjoying a successful career as a high school teacher. Someone snatched her from her home, murdered her and dumped her body in the woods.  Also that summer, two other young women were murdered and left in the woods, 18 year old Angela Hackl and 29 year old Linda Nachreiner.

While arrests were made in Hackl and Nachreiner’s cases, no charges were ever brought forward in Blackstone’s case.

Enjoy a preview from the Yours in Murder podcast.

Special thanks to the Juneau Messenger.

 

Additional reading/research on the case

30 years later and the case is unsolved

Beyond the Mystery: Barbara Blackstone

The Unsolved murder of Barbara Blackstone  – this link contains several photos

Kim S Brown – murderpedia 

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84 Rachel Timmerman

In 1847 Michigan became the first English speaking territory in the world to abolish the death penalty.

In 2002 Marvin Gabrion was sentenced to death for the murder of Rachel Timmerman in Newaygo County, Michigan.

This story starts in the early part of the 1800’s, visits Michigan’s last execution in 1938 and asks the heartbreaking question, where is Rachel Timmerman’s 11 month old daughter?

One of the last photos of Rachel and her daughter, Shannon.

 

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83 Eddie Hollman

The morning of May 3, 1992 Ted and Gina Hollman left their 21 year old son, Eddie Hollman, at the house while they attended Sunday services at Sacred Heart Church in Dearborn.

When they return, Gina discovers the body of her son on the floor in the basement. Who murdered Eddie Hollman and why? He had no enemies and no legal troubles.

Eddie with his father, Ted, circa 1991.

 

If you have information about the murder of Eddie Hollman, please contact Detective Sergeant Pawlus of the Dearborn Heights Police Department at 313 277 6770

Special thanks to Roseanne of  Killafornia Dreaming and Erica of Southern Fried True Crime.

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78 The murder of Renee Sweeney

Arrest made in the case!! 

January 1998, Sudbury Ontario. 23 year old Renee Sweeney is working by herself at the Adults Only Video Store on Walford Road.

Around 11:15 a.m. a man enters the store and attacks Renee, stabbing her repeatedly. He flees the store and is never seen again.

Renee’s car parked in front of the store the day of her murder.
The High Sierra Brand jacket worn by the killer. Also, the diaper pin found in the jacket.
Dark haired Renee with her kid sister, Kim just months before the murder.

 

In late 2016 Sudbury police submit his DNA to the Parabon Nanolabs so a “snapshot” of him can be created.

The Parabon Nanolabs “snapshot” of the killer as he may have looked 20 years ago.

 

Join the Justice for Renee Sweeney group on Facebook.

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76 The murder of Kelly Nolan

Kelly Nolan, Spring 2007

22 year old Kelly Nolan would disappear after a night out with friends in Madison, Wisconsin. Her remains would be discovered July 9 in a remote wooded area south of town.

Includes an interview with Joel DeSpain of the Madison Police department.

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71 Murder at Tody Lake

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.

 

John G. Schrah is serving life in prison at a facility in the upper peninsula.
Judge Baguley presided at the trial of Kenneth Nard.
Kenneth Nard has spent his entire adult life in prison.

 

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69 The murder of Hillary Norskog

Hillary Norskog was only 13 years old when she became the first victim of a serial murderer near Chicago Illinois. While his parents attempted to shield Steven Pfiel from his responsibility in her death, they could not stop him from killing again.

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Special thanks to Lanie of the True Crime Fan Club Podcast for her assistance with this episode. https://truecrimefanclub.com/

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66 Murder at Eastern – The Death of Julia Niswender

In 2012, 23 year old Julia Niswender was chasing her dreams. A student at Eastern Michigan University, her goal was to work as a broadcast journalist.
 
One December evening, someone entered her off campus apartment and murdered her. Her death devastated her mother and twin sister, and the investigation into her murder would tear the family apart.

Julia Niswender

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Check out the Deliberations podcast. Available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play

 

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64 The death of Colleen Ritzer

School violence is an ongoing issue of concern to students, parents and staff. In October 2013 Danvers High School was the scene of a violent and brutal murder, when a 14 year old freshman raped and murdered his 24 year old math teacher at school and dumped her body on school grounds.

What drove Philip Chism to violence and why choose Colleen Ritzer as his victim?

Colleen Ritzer, 2013

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62 The Luigi’s Restaurant Rampage

On the night of August 6, 1993 Army Sgt. Kenneth Junior French entered the Luigi’s restaurant in Fayetteville, North Carolina armed with two shotguns and a rifle.

When his rampage was over, four people were dead and eight others wounded.

French received four life sentences for the shooting.

 

Waiting for news of their loved ones after the rampage.

 

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60 Vincent Chin revisited

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.

 

Vincent and his bride to be. He didn’t live to see his wedding day.

 

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58 The Penn State Shooting

In September of 1996, 19 year old Jillian Robbins opened fire on the Penn State Campus. When the smoke cleared, one student was dead, one seriously injured and Jillian was in need of medical attention.

 

Photo credit: Timothy Gyves

 

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Music courtesy of Luke Superior.

 

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57 Colorado Hammer Murders

 

8-7-18 UPDATE – Aurora Police believe they have a suspect in this case! Denver Channel News

 

During a 12 day period in January of 1984 suburban Denver was rocked by a series of attacks by a hammer wielding home intruder. When his work was done, four were dead, Four more grievously injured and the community was shaken to its core.

Aurora Police have worked this case aggressively, taking advantage of scientific updates to generate leads and find a killer.

Listen now. 

Music courtesy Luke Superior

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55 The murder of Oakey “Al” Kite

In May of 2004 53 year old Al Kite had a good life. He was in good health, had a nice home and a good job. His relationship with his girlfriend, Linda, was in a good place. He seemed like the last person who would die a violent, gruesome death at the hands of an unknown killer.

But on May 22, 2004 that’s exactly what happened. Days later police discovered his body in the basement of his home. He’d been tied up, endured hours of torture and finally, mercifully, murdered. Why? What reason could anyone have to torture and kill him?

Police are still asking that question and looking for his killer.

ATM still of the murderer driving Kite’s GMC pick up

I usually post a photo of the victim, but someone, somewhere has to know who this is.

FBI poster of Kite’s disappearance

46 Women’s True Crime Broad Cast

The first broad cast of 2017 features the lovely and talented Amber Hunt of the Cincinnati Enquirer. You may know her as the voice behind Accused: The Unsolved Murder of Elizabeth Andes.

Amber discusses the show, their process and what’s in store for season two. She also answers listener questions and speaks candidly about her time in Michigan.

Contact me: host at already gone podcast dot com

Episode 45 The murder of Pauline Campbell

On a warm September night in 1951 the brutal murder of nurse Pauline Campbell stunned the community. The attack was one in an escalating series of assaults on nurses in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The identity of the killers would rock the community to it’s core.

Nurse Campbell in her uniform.

Link to photo of Walter DeDula

Girls crowded the courthouse to see William R. Morey III at his trial.

41 Lawrence DeLisle

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?

Thanks to Frank for suggesting this story.

This episode is cohosted and cowritten by Nate Hale of The Conspirators Podcast.

Music courtesy of Luke Superior.

The Most Hated Woman in America – Susan Smith

October 25, 1994, 23-year-old Susan Smith ran to a house near John D Long Lake in Union, South Carolina. She pounded on the door, calling for help, crying, nearly hysterical. Her babies, she said, her boys age 3 and 14 months, they’d been taken. A call was placed to 9-1-1 and police mobilized. What law enforcement learned over the next nine days was chilling. Susan Smith would finally confess. She had done the unthinkable.

David Smith wrote a book about his experiences. Find it here.

Linda Russell also wrote a book. My Daughter Susan Smith.

Support Already Gone by shopping Amazon via this link.

Justice for Jody – Baltimore

In the early morning hours of March 2, 1996 Jody LeCornu was shot while sitting in her parked car. Despite video evidence, eye witness testimony, ballistic evidence and fingerprints, no one has ever been arrested or charged in her death.

Case overview and an interview with Jody’s twin sister, Jenny Carrieri.

If you can assist the family with legal fees please visit their Go Fund Me page.

If you have information about Jody’s murder Crime Stoppers is offering a $32k reward.

Music courtesy Luke Superior

Thank you to @Melodile2015 for suggesting this case.

The Oakland County Child Killer – Part Two

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:

North Fox Island – When history turns out to be not so nice

Catherine Broad – A blog run by the sister of Timothy King

A father’s story – Written by Barry King, father of Timothy King

Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper holds a press conference in response to $100M lawsuit.

Music: Luke Superior https://soundcloud.com/lukesuperior
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The Oakland County Child Killer

Season 3, episode 1

Oakland County, Michigan. 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.

True Crime Broad Cast – Author Jeni Decker

On a January afternoon in 1983 Janette Roberson was the victim of a brutal attack at her workplace in Reed City Michigan. Despite being killed while working at a busy store, her body was undiscovered for hours and her killer was never caught.

In this episode I talk with author and Reed City resident Jeni Decker about the Roberson case, the challenges of investigating older cases, and other unsolved murders in the area. You can read more about unsolved crime in Reed City at Decker’s blog: http://jenidecker.blogspot.com/ You can also find her on Twitter @Jeni_Decker

Janette was small and lovely, almost “angelic”.

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Who Killed Me? Holly Branagan Episode 34

This is the fourth and final installment in this series. Talking with Journalist Jim Friedman, he’s been researching Holly Branagan and the many strange occurrences around her death for 20 years.

In this episode we talk about strychnine, suspects and the Bethlehem PD. Note that while a grand jury was seated in 2011, no one has ever been charged with her murder. Law enforcement has never named a suspect in the crime.

Headlines and a hearse at the Branagan home.
Headlines and a hearse at the Branagan home.

33 Who killed me? Holly Branagan

In this episode we interview journalist Jim Friedman who grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

We talk about the suspicious death of Sean Branagan, as well as other suspicious deaths surrounding this case.

Explosion at Renner's service station.
Explosion at Renner’s service station.