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.

“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:

September 15, 2020 — Fifty years ago today

Shelley Speet Mills was murdered in Grand Rapids.

The crime remains unsolved.

I finished date film about the case–a process that took ten years–and came out four years ago. I invite you to watch it. Alas, the settings on Vimeo do not allow me to give it away, but I can sell it for 99 cents, which I am doing.

If you need you 99 cents back, let me know.

But if you order it up–or even you don’t–please send up a prayer that this case be solved. I believe that it can be.

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August 10, 2020 — Digging for the truth

An exhumation last week in Ottawa county sought DNA answers to Jenny, a Jane Doe who had been murdered. Here is the story from The Grand Rapids Press.

For some odd reason, this case has never been on my radar. I had sought out all the unsolved homicides in the county and for some reason this one never came up. Others did.

We can wish investigators all success in their identification of the victim–always a good start–and then finding the killer. We know it can happen.

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July 22, 2020 — And that’s how he died

We reported on the June 8 death of James Cleophus “Bubba” Nelson. At the time we had no cause of death. That has been rectified.

According to the Jackson County Clerk’s Office, the cause of death was complications of metastatic prostate cancer. I am so grateful for the kindly offered help of the Clerk’s office.

Nelson’s hometown obituary read this way:

JAMES CLEOPHUS NELSON, 73, formerly of Charleston, W.Va., born on May 31, 1947, to the Late Edward and Jessie Nelson. He passed away on June 8, 2020, at Duane Waters Medical Center in Jackson, Mich., after a long illness.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lynn Nelson; his brothers, Eugene, William, Floyd, Leon, Howard, Herbert; and sister, Virginia.

He leaves to cherish his memory his sons, Ricardo and Marcus Nelson of Cincinnati, Ohio; sisters, Ethel Bright (Ronald), Maxine Nelson, Naomi Courts, all of Charleston, W.Va., Lucille Nelson of Columbus, Ohio; a host of a nieces and nephews, relatives and friends.

Arrangements entrusted to Sherwood Funeral Home in Jackson, Mich. Due to the COVID-19, a private memorial will be provided at a later date.

Here is a link to the newspaper account including a pacific smiling photograph of the deceased.

No place in the obituary does it mention that he was a murderous monster. But then, most often families get to pay for obituaries and so they pretty much read the way the families want them to.

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June 15, 2020 — Word has come that James Cleophus “Bubba” Nelson died in prison

The same source who shared that Harry Dean Keith died also shared that James Cleophus “Bubba” Nelson has died in prison.

Here is the account according the WHTC in Holland. And, while it makes no mention of his death here, is the OTIS sheet for his discharge:

He was a monster. After raping and killing Janet he went on to attack another woman some years later. As in Janet’s case, he used a belt to strangle her and, after raping her, left her for dead. When he was sentenced that woman drove from the south, Ohio maybe, and tried to get to the Grand Haven courtroom in time to see him come to justice. The roads were slippery and she was involved in a car crash. Still, she managed to get there, but too late to witness the sentencing. All that took great courage.

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June 15, 2020 — Harry Dean Keith has died

Harry Dean Keith, involved in the 1979 murder of Janet Chandler, has died. We learned of his March 17 death from a reader. His testimony during the trial helped to advance the cases against the six who were charged. (Two pled and four were convicted.) You can view it here. There was plenty more that he knew that he took to the grave. It’s my assessment that he could have been much more helpful.

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