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:

November 24, 2017 — Are there serial killers out there?

Well, yes, and maybe more than we know. Thomas K. Hargrove, founder and chairman of the Murder Accountability Project, is the subject of a fascinating story in last week’s New Yorker Magazine. The story, by Alec Wilkinson, makes the case that by using vast amounts of data, carefully gathered and skillfully analyzed, that Hargrove and his associates can make the case for identifying areas where serial killers have been at work–some for decades. Hargrove has said there may be many more than we realized. Further, the data from MAP often can find links among crimes and clusters of crimes.

MAP also keeps updated statistics on murders. The 2016 numbers are here. So, murders are up and the percentage of solved complaints is at an all-time low. Worst major city in the nation? Detroit at 14 percent. Wow! Of course, the site notes, Chicago does NOT report, even though it had the highest number of murders: 765. That’s more than two a day.

While Detroit led the way in terms of the nation’s lack of clearances, the whole of Michigan didn’t fare all that well: 597 homicides, of which only 188 were cleared. That’s a 31.49 percent rate. So if you commit murder in Michigan you have more than a two-thirds chance of getting away with it. Nationwide, the clearance is 55.54 percent.

I’m thinking we could do better. How? It’s simple: people have to speak up and tell what they know. And then police need to listen and act. Certainly there are cases of departments not wanting to hear from some number cruncher…The New Yorker article talks of at least one specific agency–Lake County, Indiana–where Hargroves’ identification of serial killer activity went unwelcomed and unheeded. But the officers I know very definitely WANT to hear and are ready and willing to act on it. But it takes somebody who will not buy into the “Snitches get Stiches” mentality. Courage? Yeah. And I believe people have more of it than they may know.

 

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October 10 — A new outreach for Matilda

Ottawa County Detective Steve McCarthy, CFEI, CFI, has sent out a new flyer to remind area law enforcement, news media, and the general public about the unidentified victim known as “Matilda.”

 

 

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October 8, 2017 — Arrests in the Erik Cross murder

This news was so welcome: arrests of those who police and prosecutors believe are responsible for the murder of Erik Cross. This report by WWMT lays it out. There is a long way to go still on this case, but this likely represents a beginning of the conclusion of this story and a chance to justice for this 16-year-old.

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October 5, 2017 — A new short film about Matilda

I’ll write more later. For now, this:

 

Matilda from David Schock on Vimeo.

At this point this video can be embedded ANYWHERE. That’s a change for me. Let’s see what happens.

As well, I wonder if there might be a church in Coopersville or Marne that would take on weekly prayer for Matilda, to have her named in each service? I believe in the power of prayer. I do. And miracles.

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September 30, 2017 — Justice for Crystal and Robert Rainey

Thanks to a reader I here is news on some recent justice: the killers of young Crystal and Robert Rainey–their mother and her boyfriend–have been found guilty of their murder. Krysta McFadden and Clint Dunning were found guilty by juries of two counts each of first-degree murder in the Nov. 29, 1992 deaths. You can read about it in mlive in this story by Emily Monacelli.

Keith Robinson, Van Buren County chief assistant prosecuting attorney and the prosecutor on the case, noted that the work of Michigan State Police Det. Kyle Gotham was instrumental in solving the case. Gotham had worked the case since 2011.

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