Ken Kolker, reporter, film interview

Former GrandRapids Press reporter Ken Kolker is the latest in a long line of journalists who have written about the murder of Mina Dekker.  Ken picked up on the story when he saw this memorial notice in the paper (click on the image to enlarge it):


He went on to dig out the story–once again, to talk with her brother Adrian Dekker, to talk with the police (Sgt. John Robinson [retired] and Sgt. Chris Postma), and to go through the file.  His resulting story was remarkably detailed and employed copy from newspapers of an earlier day.

Press coverage at the time of Mina Dekker’s murder bordered on the sensational.  The two big-city papers, the Herald and the Grand Rapids Press were slugging it out for top headlines.  Still, there were some substantial differenced.  The Herald was less hesitant to name names when it came to suspects and more more aggressive in its search on the story.  Either that, or its reporters had better connections on the police force.

In a sub page to this one, we’ll post much of that daily news (used with permission).  There is ONE piece that has to be here, though, something we found at the Grand Rapids History and Special Collections Department at the Main (formerly Ryerson) Branch of the Grand Rapids Public Library.  That wonderful department makes available all manner of microformed newspapers and other documents, photographs, and so much more.  Karolee Gillman has been a Godsend to so many projects we’ve undertaken. Well, this is the story (click on the image to enlarge it):


She KNEW she was in danger.  And she KNEW who presented that danger.  Knowledge wasn’t enough.

Oh, and Ken is now reporting for WOOD TV, Channel 8 in Grand Rapids. He has crossed the great divide between print and television. Actually, the divide grows less and less by the day. And a reporter is a reporter. His prodigious skills will stand him in good stead and we’ll benefit from it.