Here we are. Again. You knew we would end up here. Just like Robertson, Krease, Patterson, Thompson and Anger knew we would. Like they planned we would. Over time people will forget about the case, the kids that were murdered, the devastation to communities that ripples out to this day. Too many questions, no one willing to give answers, you can’t prove anything, those are all just coincidences, too bad/so sad, that’s just conspiracy theory!, no one will ever be prosecuted, this is a waste of time and money, no one will touch this loser, now back to the file cabinet with you. And shame on you for speaking up and making trouble.
Anyone who was touched by this case is damaged in some way. Anyone who touches this case, decades later and even for a few hours online, gets damaged in some way. Try reading details and not dwelling for even a few minutes in Hell. To have the case return again to its file cabinet graveyard would be yet another betrayal that was set in motion in 1976 and has followed essentially the same script since then.
Nina Innsted’s recent “somber but optimistic” podcast wrap-up of this season of Don’t Talk to Strangers puts it this way:
I like and respect Nina and will therefore take some heart that she is cautiously optimistic about prospects with more advanced DNA testing.
Here is where I think the investigation stands. This cold case has once again been passed on to another detective at the Michigan State Police. I have it on good authority that he is earnest and committed. However, he also has a full-time, active caseload complete with court appearances, and no help. Not even administrative help, as in help with the tip line. Oh, and he is brand new to the case and anyone who has gone down this rabbit hole for a few hours online knows how much there is to work through, consider and absorb.
Richard H. Walton describes how cold cases are passed on over the decades and the added burdens of these investigations in Cold Case Homicides, Practical Investigation Techniques:
Cold case investigations may incur expenses and resources exceeding those normally found in hot homicide investigation. Further, results may be longer in coming. In addition to the normal frustrations encountered when working homicide cases, additional annoyance for investigators results when an agency assigns investigators to work these cases but does not supply the necessary resources. The leadership and organizational commitment by an agency to investigate cold cases requires awareness and acceptance that such investigations often include:
Added travel expenses. . . . Overtime and associated expenses for investigators . . . Use of other personnel and resources. . . . Potential for increased laboratory costs or other evidentiary related expenses. All physical evidence will need to be reprocessed. . . . Conflicts within the agency. . . . Impact on the workload or caseload of others.
(CRC Press, 2006, p. 33.)
I cannot adequately express how god-awful it is that at one point there was a MSP detective assigned full-time to this cold case, along with a second detective who was there to look over the first guy’s shoulder. During this time period, from about 2005-2009, as near as I can tell these detectives’ job number one was to make sure Det./Sgt. Cory Williams, then from Livonia PD and later with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, didn’t get too far. The old-school MSP were not going to let somebody else get ahead of them. No, the bar was supposed to be kept good and low. This full-time MSP detective could have devoted the time and intensity needed to build upon previous missed opportunities and to work on team building with other agencies and labs. But that was not to be.
To document this iteration of the MSP task force’s lost opportunities, time-wasting, bullying of people coming forward with information, failure to consult law enforcement who had worked the case back in the day, and the bullshit they laid at the feet of the victims’ families would take many hours to chronicle. I know they hacked my computer and cell phone during that time. Therefore, they knew there was no love lost between us. I have nothing to hide. I stand by what I wrote and said about them, individually and collectively, publicly and privately, and I will gladly say it again. I meant every word. I will gladly tell anyone who asks. They know what they did. And sadly, what they didn’t do.
The MSP seems to have evolved a bit in the intervening years. But remember that my exposure, as it was unfolding in real time and evolving like various levels of Hell, was to Laurel and Hardy, not the more hard-working and respectful detectives who followed. And I have to laugh about the now-retired MSP Captain Harold Love. You could have played the victims’ families so easily if you had just treated them with basic respect, not cancelled meeting after meeting and not blown everyone off when you called everyone together to stonewall with your bullshit. You treated us like one of your road cops treats a person who can’t find their license or registration when you pull them over on I-75. You have no idea how easy it would have been to get my Dad to back off if you had just treated him like a human being. Like the father of a murdered child whose case your agency was responsible for NOT solving. He actually had respect for cops. And not one member of the press in Michigan asked any of you the hard questions. It spoke to how you do business and the culture of your agency. I truly hope there is real, lasting change on the horizon. You people work for the State of Michigan, not some private prison.
In my next post I will detail the request we made concerning DNA testing, why it must be done and is the last stop on this ghost train. I will also ask Michiganders to contact their governor, attorney general and the colonel of the MSP if they want some answers about where this case stands. No more bullshit or gaslighting. If it is stalled out, it cannot be called an open investigation and your files must be made public. All of them.