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 stories of the murders of Shelley Speet Mills and 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:

December 21, 104 — The press conference announcing the arrests

Presser 12-19-14 from David Schock on Vimeo.

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December 19, 2014 — Aurelias Marshall arraigned for the murder of Joel Battaglia

Yes. That happened today a little after 1:30 p.m. before 61st District Court Judge Jennifer Faber. And all that came after a 10 a.m. press conference this morning at the Grand Rapids Police Department. I was there for both, and both and now widely disseminated on our regional media. This has been a day…and as much as I wanted what I have filmed posted, it will take time; I had to play a concert tonight for the Salvation Army–as I will tomorrow morning at 11–so everything will have to wait, wait, wait. A one-man band sometimes marches slowly.

Today was wonderful day, beyond all measure, in relation to Joel’s story. And there is much I want to say. I’m sorry but it’s doing to take a little time. Still and all: YES!

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December 18, 2014 — Press conference tomorrow morning on the Joel Battaglia case

Yes. mlive reporter John Tunison posted this story this morning. Here’s a more article naming Aurelias Marshall who has been charged on open murder for the June 11, 1990 death.

At 10 a.m. tomorrow we’ll learn more.

Yes.

 

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December 16, 2014 — Bail authorized for Jones brothers

Accused murderers Matthew (Skip) and Paul Jones were given bail by 27th Circuit Court Chief Judge Anthony A. Monton. Brothers Matt and Paul are accused of the 1989 murder of Shannon Marie Siders. According to the court, “Paul Jones was given $750,000.00 bond and Matthew Jones was given $500,000.00 bond.” Both bonds are cash or surety; that means that if the bail bonds are sought 25 percent must be plunked down.

Court was in session yesterday afternoon for Judge Monton to hear oral arguments on a 404B hearing, an application by the prosecution to allow behavior by the brothers that is not directly related to the case into the trial for consideration. This would fall under an exception to the prohibition of admitting other bad acts. Bob Siders said the judge heard arguments and said he will rule on the issues.

The next scheduled hearing will be the final pretrial on April 6, 2015 at 2 p.m. The trial is scheduled to begin April 20.

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October 28, 2014 — Bail denial continued, but prosecution requests a 404B hearing

27th Circuit Court Chief Judge Anthony A. Monton continued the denial of bail for accused murderers Matthew (Skip) and Paul Jones during this morning’s preliminary hearing. They are charged in the 1989 death of Shannon Marie Siders. The defendants’ attorneys, Rick Prysock (for Skip) and Paul Stablein (for Paul), argued the men posed no flight risk and had deep familial ties in the community.

William Rollstin, First Assistant Attorney General for the State Of Michigan, argued against it, and spent time going over the criminal charges the brothers have faced over the years. Paul’s record was far lengthier and involved more serious crimes, but Matt had his run-ins with the law for marijuana and domestic abuse. Rollstin argued that they posed first a flight risk “and number two, merely safety for the community.” He urged Judge Monton to read the transcript of the preliminary hearing, newly delivered this morning by the 78th District Court Administrator.

Judge Monton said he would read it before he made a final decision for bail for one or both of the brothers.

Also before the court–in an abbreviated fashion–was consideration of a request for a 404B hearing. That falls under the states Rules of Evidence. Rule 404 in general deals with “Character Evidence Not Admissible to Prove Conduct; Exceptions; Other Crimes:”

Other crimes, wrongs, or acts.

1) Evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show action in conformity therewith. It may, however, be admissible for other purposes, such as proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, scheme, plan, or system in doing an act, knowledge, identity, or absence or mistake or accident when the same is material, whether such other crimes, wrongs, or acts are contemporaneous with, or prior or subsequent to the conduct at issue in the case.

2) The prosecution in a criminal case shall provide reasonable notice in advance of trial, or during trial if the court excuses pretrial notice on good cause shown, of the general nature of any such evidence it intends to introduce at trial and the rationale, whether or not mentioned in subparagraph (b)(1), for admitting the evidence. If necessary to a determination of the admissibility of the evidence under this rule, the defendant shall be required to state the theory or theories of defense, limited only by the defendant’s privilege against self-incrimination. (Michigan Rules of Evidence)

Judge Monton will review that, too, and the accompanying briefs, but at the suggestion of Rollstin and Stablein, he will hear oral arguments from both sides.

Those arguments and the judge’s further determination of bail is planned for Dec. 15 at 2:30 p.m.

 

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