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 19, 2016 — Investigators look into the Richard Atwood murder

This new investigation into the 1983 disappearance of Richard Atwood represents collaboration among agencies, almost always a good sign.

Richard Atwood murder GRPress

This team was especially effective during the investigation of the 1989 Shannon Marie Siders murder during the last few years and the resulting convictions of the Jones brothers. I wish them continued success.

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March 24, 2016 — One of Ryan Pollok’s murderers found guilty, the other pleads

Douglas Ryan Pollok, Jr.

Douglas Ryan Pollok, Jr.

Last Friday jurors found 27-year-old Juan Enrique Reyes guilty of assault with intent to murder and felony firearm for the Sept. 30, 2007, homicide of Douglas Ryan Pollok, Jr.

Reyes’ brother Eric Reyes Santiago pleaded guilty the day before as an accessory to the murder.

The brothers, both U.S. citizens, had fled to Mexico after arrest warrants were issued for them. At long last they were arrested by Mexican authorities near Guadalajara in November 2015.   The two were extradited to West Michigan to face charges.

Pollok was attending a party  at 751 Cutler St. SW. in Grand Rapids. He was standing outside with some others, when Reyes and Santiago rolled up, got out of their car, first starting shouting and then started shooting. Reyes and Santiago had mistaken the gathering for some shooters with whom they’d been beefing at an area gas station. Neither Pollok not anyone else at the party had anything to do with the earlier altercation; he was an innocent bystander.

Both men are scheduled to be sentenced April 13.

Here’s the story by Angie Jackson in mlive.

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March 19, 2016 — Going to speaking to Rockford’s senior citizens Monday

Monday I am to deliver a talk about murder, specifically about the 1970 murder of Shelley Speet Mills. The murder has dogged me for more than  decade; it has followed investigators far longer. Finally, little by little, it’s coming together as a film. There, I’ve said it! Now I have to live into it. Almost all the footage has been gathered; there are only three interviews yet that I want to do (only one of them absolutely necessary). Now is one of the times this work is difficult and I have to be my own motivator. Still, getting ready for this talk has pushed me to begin the edit.

At any rate, we convene for lunch at noon at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe Street. The talk begins immediately after chow. I hope the discussion will be useful.

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There is inexorable pressure on the murderers of Erik Cross

It’s coming…that’s what we’ve heard. There are almost certainly charges coming against those who killed 16-yeal-old Erik Cross,June 26, 1983. Here’s a report from mlive by Rex Hall, a superb Kalamazoo reporter.

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November 21, 2015 — A Conquerors’ Thanksgiving

It’s been a busy week…a film premier in Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday, and associated activities. The new film: Strong Words: The Art of Toi Derricotte. It is another film about a poet, the third so far. Films about poets and other films serve as an anodyne to films about murder. They are necessary in order to keep contemplating the horror of the intentional deprivation of human life.

Last Saturday I had the great good fortune to be invited to the Conquerors’ annual Thanksgiving meal and observation. It’s been said countless times, nobody ever sets out to be a member of this support group for the families of homicide victims, but thank God the organization is there. Conquerors formed in 2007 after Carolyn Priester lost her son to a shooting. (www.conquerors-sg.org) Of course she was grieving and angry, but instead of sitting on the sidelines, she decided that there needed to be a place for grieving families to get together on a regular basis. Not all of them families wonder who killed their loved ones; many of the crimes are successfully investigated and prosecuted. Carolyn, though, still needs to learn who killed her son, Lee Randolph Priester. Somebody knows, and all it will take is dropping a dime, even anonymously to Silent Observer: 616 774-2345. (www.silentobserver.org)

Well, here’s a visual accounting of the event, the talks that highlighted the much appreciated meal:

As you go about your Thanksgiving this coming week, please take a minute to recall the pain of a holiday with an empty chair at the table, the chair of a murdered loved one. And if you are THE ONE PERSON who knows something about one of those open homicides, please grow some faith, grow some courage to share what you know.

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