Chris Bedford and Bob Rosenzweig film interview
Sometimes people contact me while I’m in the middle of an investigation. This is NOT unwelcome. Most of the time, people who make the contact have something to say. That’s the case with Chris Bedford and her brother Bob Rosenzweig, the grandchildren of Ray Peters. It was Peters who discovered the dying Mina Dekker on the third floor of the Judd Building. His account was that he went there to buy some abrasives for his shoe repair business. Behr Manning was not his usual supplier, he said, and the visit March 4 was his first dealing with the company where Mina served as secretary.
Police could not find any previous sales to Peters in the stack of receipts. But there was some discrepancy about Peters having been there before. One witness identified Peters as a man he’d seen at Behr Manning previously. Here’s the police report from March 7 (click on it to enlarge it):
Is Mr. Norman telling the truth or what he believes to be the truth? Doesn’t seem like we’ll know. As well, there was the report of a young woman to said she sat next to Peters at a movie the night before the attack (also March 7):
Again: what’s the truth or the relevance of this?
When Chris Bedford called I had been mulling the implications. The police had not only cleared Peters, Chief O’Mally said that assaults on his character were shameful. Peters said he wanted to be examined by Lt. Harold Mulbar of the Michgan State Police and he was scheduled to take a lie detector test to confirm his innocence. From our reading of the accounts, the test was postponed and there is no record of it ever having been completed. The family story, though, is that he took THREE polygraph tests. Chris says her grandfather was a ruined man, so affected by finding Mina Dekker. He felt that people didn’t believe his protestations of innocence.
And when Chris related that her grandfather had committed suicide my sense of “something else here” was heightened. After all, there are occasions when people kill themselves in an act of expiation. As it turns out–I believe–people also kill themselves in despair and loss…and that’s where Ray Peters ended his life. His wife, a women his grandchildren describe as wonderful and jolly, had died a short time earlier. Peters was perhaps obsessive and was consumed with the belief that he and others in his family had a dread disease or condition (perhaps MS). I asked Chris for a copy of the suicide note. There is no mention of Mina Dekker.
Just more tragedy. Murder is like a harsh visitation “unto the third and fourth generation.” There is no doubt in the minds of his grandchildren that Ray Peters was affected and that his life was changed forever by this murder. Even their lives have been changed, they say. Their mother was perhaps 13 when her father found Mina’s nearly lifeless body. Adrian was only 14 when his sister was killer. More victims.