From David - A weblog (with full archive)

March 9, 2021 — A body found

Skeletal remains have been found near Saugatuck. So far, just questions. But this from WOOD TV.

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February 24, 2021 — Dennis Bowman bound over for trial

Dennis Bowman’s wife testified that he confessed to the murder of their adopted daughter Alexis Miranda Badger/Aundria Bowman. Here are the details from reporter Carolyn Muyskens and chronicled in the Holland Sentinel. He is headed to trial in Allegan County Circuit Court. In a subsequent development, Bowman has been linked to a 1979 assault, according to WOODTV.

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February 22, 2021 — Dennis Bowman in court

I caught a news report yesterday that Dennis Bowman was headed for a preliminary hearing in Allegan County’s 57th District Court today for the murder of his adopted daughter Alexis Miranda Badger also known as Aundria Bowman. Bowman has been charged with murder, first-degree child abuse and mutilation of a body. At the time of the hearing this was a live link to the court. There will be plenty coming out about it.

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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.


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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May 21, 2020 — Michael Pagel admits his role in the killing of his wife, Renee

Another long-time-in-coming result…this time in the August 5, 2006 murder of Renee Pagel.

Her husband, Michael was arrested in February and charged in masterminding the murder of his wife.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker and Sheriff Michelle Lajoye-Young, released a joint statement that read, in part: “It is gratifying to see him finally accept some responsibility for her murder for which he has been a suspect since the very beginning. The children of Michael and Renee were consulted before considering a plea offer, and we decided on this course of action based on their response and approval.”

A trial, they noted, would have been “extraordinarily difficult for this family.”

Michael Pagel alleges in his guilty plea that he convinced his brother to kill Renee, stabbing her to death in the couples’ Courtland Township home.

Investigators are not so sure about the brothers involvement. The statement continued:

“We were aware of the possibility that Michael Pagel may implicate others in the actual murder when he gave a factual basis for his plea. At this time, it is important to note that we are not aware of any independent evidence that can corroborate the statements Mr. Pagel made today.

“If Mr. Pagel wants to provide his version of events to the investigative team, they will listen to him, and follow up if he has any evidence to support his claim. This (prosecuting attorney) office and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department are committed to holding any person involved in Renee’s murder responsible for their actions. The statement of a defendant alone, with nothing more to support his version of events, is not enough by itself to charge anyone, with any crime. Without any supporting evidence, it is merely a statement of a man perhaps trying to save face in admitting his guilt in the murder of his wife, and should be treated as such.”

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May 20, 2020 — Dennis Bowman WILL face charges in his adopted daughter’s murder

Finding her remains was the first step to a finish. When police did that in February–excavating and revealing skeletal remains beneath a concrete slab– it was just a matter of time. Of course, 31 years has been a lot of time but a mother’s love and the determination of law enforcement were a combination that even this evil could not withstand.

And now Dennis Lee Bowman has been charged with murder, first-degree child abuse and mutilation of a body for allegedly killing his adopted daughter, known as Aundria Bowman. She was Alexis Miranda Badger to her birth mother, Cathy Terkanian. Here is the story of how she came to be Dennis Bowman’s adopted daughter.

And here is video of the announcement by Allegan Prosecuting Attorney Myrene Koch of the charges.

Dennis Bowman is in Virginia just now, the only suspect in the 1980 murder of Kathleen O’Brien Doyle, a 25-year-old daughter of a naval officer and wife of a deployed U.S. Navy pilot. He will be returned to Michigan to stand trial in Alexis’ murder.

Here is a report of the arrest from People Magazine.

She was Alexis. She is Alexis.

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