From David — A weblog (with full archive)

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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September 19, 2017 — Further information on “Matilda”

Met this morning with Detective Steve McCarthy, CFEI. CFI, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department. The topic at hand was further information on the murder of an unidentified woman known in the department as “Matilda.” She was found between Marne and Coopersville.

It strikes me as amazing that our brains recognize faces in the most unusual places and configurations. Here is a look as what rabbit hunters saw tucked underneath brush and small logs:

Detective McCarthy says that if he is able to identify this woman it will go a long way to helping to solve the case. He’s looking through missing person reports from around the area and thinks that maybe she came from Detroit or Chicago. She was somebody’s caught, maybe somebody’s sister, and maybe somebody’s mother. She was somebody.

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August 16, 2017 — PBS will be rebroadcasting “Heritage Hill Bride”

The film will be carried again on WGVU-TV at 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 26.

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July 28, 2017 — A Conquerors’ picnic. You are welcome.

Every year at this time the Conqueror’s Support Group holds its picnic at the Mackay-Jaycees Park pavilion in Grand Rapids. The location is just west from Kalamazoo Avenue, north of 28th Street. All are welcome, but especially those who have had a loved one (or loved ones) murdered. The picnic runs from 3-7 p.m. I plan to be there, somewhat late…but there.

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July 5, 2017 — Heritage Hill Bride to air on PBS July 19…VERY early

Yep, that’s pretty much it. Heritage Hill Bride: The Murder of Shelley Speet Mills will air at 3 a.m. July 19th. 3 a.m.!!!! Yikes! It’s all closed captioned thanks to the contributions of those who generously gave to a Kickstarter campaign. Thank you, thank you.

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June 9, 2017 — “Cold Case Files” = The Dog’s Breakfast

Wow, that was underwhelming and badly done. The piece, “Circle of Friends”, is at best a badly distorted rendition.

I’m still thinking my way through telling a part of that story.

 

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