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:

October 10, 2019 –Christopher McMillan’s guilty plea

In exchange for lesser charges–second degree murder and conspiracy to commit homicide–Christopher Wayne McMillan pled guilty today in Eaton County Circuit Court. The quid pro quo is that he is going to testify truthfully during a preliminary examination for Dineane Ducharme, scheduled to begin Nov. 19. He also will testify against Beverly McCallum when (not if) she is extradited from Pakistan. Here is the entire court proceeding.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in January–15 years.

Lots of thoughts but those can come later. Interesting, there were no other cameras in the courtroom and I don’t think there was any other reporter. That’s odd.

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October 1, 2019 — Adrian Dekker has passed

Adrian Dekker led a long, good, and full life. He has died at age 96. And even in these last years he has remained steadfast in wanting to know who killed his sister, Mina, in 1938. At the time Adrian was 14 years old.

It has been my great honor to work with Adrian over the last 15 years through interviews, research, posting long-form interviews. I had not seen him much in the last two years, but before that I would on occasion stop in to see him and we’d talk. He loved his late wife, his daughters, and both his sisters, one taken far too soon. But he deeply wanted to know what had happened in that third floor office/storeroom in the Judd Building at 64 Ionia Street on the balmy Saturday, March 5. As far as he was concerned, Calvin DeBlaey was the perpetrator. He was almost certain. But he wasn’t positive. He thought DeBlaey had as good as confessed to then-Chief of Police, Frank J. O’Malley. Oh, the case made headlines. Adrian remembered people at the funeral coming up to Mina’s casket trying to catch a glimpse of her savaged head. Three small pieces of her skull had been dislodged in the beating with a weapon that might have been a hammer (never found). Those pieces went into evidence where I believe they remain.

The investigation has dragged on for years and decades. John Robinson, who later lead the equivalent of the major case squad, would welcome new recruits to the force with a chance to look over the file and take a whack at solving it. He believed that new eyes might see something everybody else had missed.

One of the conversations Adrian and I had dealt with the death penalty. I thought, given the circumstances, that he might be for it. He asked me my stand and I told him that I could not countenance it. Oh, sure, I thought plenty deserved it, but it went against everything I believed. To my surprise, he agreed. He was a man of peace.

It’s also my belief that while we have been looking through a glass darkly, he now knows, face to face.

Requiescat in pace old friend.

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September 27, 2019 — A plea scheduled for Christopher Wayne McMillan

Christopher Wayne McMillan, charged in the 2002 murder of Roberto Caraballo, is scheduled to enter a plea at 11:15 a.m. October 10 in the courtroom of Eaton County Circuit Court Judge Janice K. Cunningham.

This is according to his attorney, John H. Deming. I had noted the McMillan was scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Nov. 6 and called the court clerk for more details. She didn’t know, so I called Mr. Deming and he alerted me that the pretrial hearing was likely obviated because his client was going to plead guilty. To all three charges? That he didn’t know. In any event, McMillan is formally charged with HOMICIDE – OPEN MURDER – STATUTORY SHORT FORM; HOMICIDE – OPEN MURDER – STATUTORY SHORT FORM – CONSPIRE; DEAD BODIES – DISINTERMENT & MUTILATION. To you and me it’s likely murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and mutilation.

I made another call to the court clerk and she said the matter had not yet been scheduled through her office; the paperwork had not arrived there. So there may be a change in the “when.” I have call in to the judge’s assistant for any further information that I might solicit.

One of the two others charged in the murder has been arrested and is in custody. Stepdaughter Dineane Ducharme is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Nov. 19. As I understand it, the third charged, Beverly Ducharme McCallum, Caraballo’s wife at the time of his murder, remains at liberty in Pakistan. We are likely to learn of her extradition only after the fact.

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September 3, 2019 — Preliminary Hearing November 19 for Dineane Ducharme

A telephone call this afternoon to the Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney’s office revealed that Dineane Ducharme is scheduled to have her preliminary hearing at a 9 a.m. November 19 before District Court (56A) Judge Julie H. Reincke. She has long since been arraigned. There exists the possibility that she might waive her preliminary, so I will have to check before I go. Her attorney, G. Michigan Hocking, had nothing to say to me on the subject.

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September 3, 2019 — Missed that one — Dineane Ducharme is in Eaton County custody

Each week I would use an inmate locator to see if Dineane Ducharme had been extradited from Texas to Eaton County in the matter of the murder of her step-father,  Roberto Higüey Alejandro Caraballo, 37. Ducharme is accused of the murder along with Chris McMillan, and Ducharme’s mother, Beverly McCallum. They beat him to death with at least one hammer and perhaps another instrument on or about May 7, 2002 in the basement of the home Caraballo, McCallum, and Ducharme, shared 334 Horatio Street, Charlotte.

One Chris McMillan allegedly also was on hand to assist in the murder. His arrest came first in November of 2018. The arrest warrants for Ducharme and McCallum went out at the same time. None of those warrants came to light until last April when Lansing State Journal reporter Kara Berg found a court proceeding in a first degree murder arrest against McMillan and reported it. (Shortly thereafter followed a press conference…all in these pages.) And while McMillan was scooped up first in Grand Rapids, Ducharme was in jail in Texas and it was going to take some time to bring her to Eaton County.

So I waited and I looked…and I completely missed it. It took a return call from Detective Sergeant John Ivey of the Eaton County Sheriff’s Department today to set me straight. Using his choice of inmate finder, Vinelink.com, he led me right to her. (And you can replicate that yourself.) Moreover, he told me she had been in Eaton County custody since May 24.

Oh. Thank you.

And it may be that her preliminary hearing is in November. (These things often change.)

Now, that leaves Caraballo’s wife, Beverly Ducharme McCallum (and a long list of aliases) as on the run. And she is a whole other story. Evidently when she caught word that her daughter was talking to retired Detective Bob Donker in Ottawa County about the murder (yep, that’s how it started unravelling in 2015), McCallum married a Pakistani doctor as a sort of internet bride and had since then been living there. The U.S. and Pakistan have an extradition treaty but these things really can take time. It hasn’t happened yet.

Eaton Country has a warrant for her arrest, but it will take the help of the U.S. State Department for what Ivey called an extraditable warrant. He noted other cases in Mexico where it’s taken upward of two years to bring home a fugitive. So, I asked, who could tell me about the progress in this case?

Well, that would be someone from the State Department. So I have reached out through the department’s media division. Here’s what I wrote:

I am following up on a request for the extradition from Pakistan of Beverly Ducharme McCallum wanted in the murder of Roberto Caraballo on or about May 7, 2002. She fled the country roughly in 2015.

Where do things stand? Any estimates?

And so, I wait a little more. But I am grateful to have some answers and that Dineane is right now where she needs to be.

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