Home — Murder, “cold” cases, and mayhem

This website is intended to deal with murder, brutality, corruption and hatred—all falling under what we call acts of injustice.  We tell the stories of open and unsolved homicides–what are called “cold” cases.  We also memorialize those whose lives have been taken from them in hope that somebody will come forward to tell the truth. So far our efforts center on Michigan.

David B. Schock, Ph.D.

David B. Schock, Ph.D.

“Somebody knows somethin’.  Somebody ALWAYS knows somethin’.”

That’s the way Jim Fairbanks put it when we made our first film, Who Killed Janet Chandler?  Detective Fairbanks (retired) was the lead investigator on the law enforcement team in 1979.  What he had to say then still applies today.  For nearly every unsolved homicide there is somebody out there who could solve it if she or he would come forward and make a contact.

To call an unsolved homicide a “cold” case is chilling in its own right.  Yes, these unsolved cases grow “cold” because there are no new leads; they more or less drop off the social and cultural radar.  But they are NEVER “cold” to the family members and friends, they are never forgotten or out of mind.  And there is always the hope that justice, however delayed, will be served.

We invite you to visit the We Remember part of this site, a place where families and friends of those whose murders remain unsolved contact us and can help to post details of the victims’ lives and the resultant investigations.

We also invite your view of what we are calling a Primary Documentary Investigation as we tell the story of the murder of Mina Dekker.

Our hope in all the cases we chronicle is that somebody who knows something will say something.

From David — A Weblog of investigation:

May 8, 2015 — The verdicts are in

In the White Cloud trials of Paul and Matt Jones for the 1989 murder of Shannon Marie Siders the juries have spoken: Matt is guilty of first degree murder; Paul of second.

All credit is due to first-rate investigative and prosecutorial teams. …And to the two juries for their ability to judge impartially.

Likely I will have more to say in the coming days. Some have wondered why I wasn’t writing. Simply this: I made it to the first day of the trial and then was pretty well leveled with a back injury. I felt I needed to stop driving for now, and there was no way to get there.

At first I felt such a failure. I had thought that I needed to “finish” what I thought I started with the film. And then I began thinking and realizing…I didn’t start anything, really. This case had been ongoing for all those years…22 before the film came along. All I did was…well, I don’t know what I did; that’s for somebody else to determine. But, I had not been there from the start and was a late comer.

Second, my work was done as soon as the film came out. I didn’t need to do anything else. I didn’t have to be there at the trial to follow it—as much as I would have liked to have been. My presence would not change the outcome one whit. I could pray as effectively from here as there. This was an opportunity for me to grow, as old as I am.

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April 19, 2015 — Ready to go to trials

Both juries were selected by last Thursday evening; the process didn’t run over into Friday.

Tomorrow the trials of Paul and Matt Jones–accused of murdering Shannon Marie Siders in the summer of 1989–begin with a scheduled start of 8:30. There will be lots of news reporters offering updates; I won’t be one of them. My goal is to just be there.

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April 13, 2015 — Picking the juries in the Siders’ case

Much has transpired and I am dilatory in posting.

First, the accused murderers of Shannon Marie Siders–brothers Paul and Matt Jones–are scheduled for trial next Monday, April 20. Before that, this Wednesday, Thursday, and possibly Friday, the goal is to seat a jury,well, two juries–one for each defendant. Each day 150 people will be offered up, and it’s up to the prosecutors and the defense to make their best selections. One day is set for each defendant, with Friday for any left over matters. The defense had asked for a change of venue last month. It was denied, pending being able to seat the juries.

I have determined that I cannot video the trial. I just cannot do it. So I’m trying to deal with letting that limitation sink in.

And, at the same time, the accused murderer of Joel Battaglia, Aurelias J. Marshall, was to have faced trial on perjury charges. That has been postponed until after his murder trial (that begins June 1).

There is a whole lot that’s going to be happening very quickly here. Let us pray for justice.


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April 2, 2015 — Speaking to the Rockford Area Historical Society this evening

This evening, beginning at 7 p.m., I’ll have the opportunity to appear before members of the Rockford Area Historical Society. The topic? Murder as History. I hope it goes well and is of value to people who attend.

A few weeks ago I had the great good pleasure to appear as a panelist with Blaine Pardoe and Mardi Jo Link, both fine authors of true crime, at a meeting of the Historical Society of Michigan. Although the genre has a lurid past (and often present, too), Link and Pardoe are true scholars of the crime and the time. Both elements come through.

Link is the author of the award-winning memoir, Bootstrapper, as well as three true crime books about historic and unsolved murders, including When Evil Came to Good Hart, and Isadore’s Secret. Her most recent, Wicked Takes the Witness Stand, is a New York Times Crime & Punishment bestseller.  She is a two-time recipient of the Michigan Notable Book Award, winner of the Great Lakes Bookseller’s Choice Award, as well as Creative-Nonfiction’s “Anger & Revenge” essay prize. She lives in Traverse City. her forthcoming book is The Drummond Girls.

Blaine Pardoe’s most recent true crime book, The Murder of Maggie Hume (co-written with his daughter) was a New York Times Crime & Punishment bestseller. His other true crime books in print also include Secret WitnessMurder in Battle Creek, and Sawney Bean. He is a winner of the Historical Society of Michigan’s State History Award; has been awarded twice by the Military Writers Society of America; and was awarded the Harriet Quimby Award from the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame for his contributions to aviation history. He has been a guest speaker at the U.S. National Archives, the Smithsonian, and at the U.S. Naval Academy. He lives in Virginia.

We had a blast.


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March 4, 2015 — The 77th anniversary of the murder of Mina Dekker

Seventy-seven years ago 19-year-old Mina Dekker was beaten to death. You can look to the right to follow the case. Her Brother Adrian was 14 at the time. He still wants to know who killed his sister.

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