A few more things . . .

These interesting observations from a reader:

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I am sending this to respond to a post that you placed in the comment section of one of your threads a few months ago. I was unable to successfully reply at that time.I don’t remember the article, but your comment post was concerning boys from N. Fox Island being dumped from a plane into Lake Michigan. You also noted the Lost Boys of Cass Corridor. Reading this left me with a strong sense of dread. The potential ramifications of Frank Shelden being the mastermind of the OCCK (I believe he was) are alarming. Was the OCCK just the tip of the iceberg? Although there are no specific ties of his to anyone in the Cass Corridor that can be cited, if we review Shelden’s past leading up to the OCCK crimes, it is very enlightening. I have been somewhat puzzled by Shelden’s choice of Wayne State University to get his M.S. in geology. I have the same degree.I don’t believe Wayne State had a geology department per se. I believe it was in the Earth Science department. Looks like a junk degree. He went to Wayne State in the early sixty’s after he obtained a bachelor.s degree from Yale. After Wayne State, he completed the course work for a doctorate in Geology at Michigan. He clearly could do the course work and certainly had the money to go to a blue blood school.Why Wayne State? The answers to these questions were shown to me when I did a search for the location of Wayne State. Not being from Michigan, I did a google search and Lo and Behold, I was amazed to discover the Cass Corridor was immediately adjacent to the school, only separated by Warren Avenue! After that discovery, I’ve concluded the main attraction of Wayne State for Shelden was because the Cass Corridor was next door.He was in his early 30’s during this time, many years into his pedophile gig. Wayne State itself would have offered little in the way of young victims, all were past his preferred age range.Cass Corridor on the other hand must have been a cornucopia of child victims he could rape.It is more than reasonable to assume he made the trip across Warren Avenue many, many times. He attended Wayne State from 1959 and graduated in 1962. He apparently did substitute teaching and possible taught some classes in later years. I believe the upshot of this is although Shelden can’t be specifically tied to the Cass Corridor Creeps, his connections are deep and long standing. He’d know all the players! He was right on that border for 2 Years!  A few years after graduating, he purchased N. Fox Island, certainly right off the bat with the idea to make it his pornography/pedophile paradise.  The scary thing is had N. Fox Island in 1964 and was in business until the day Gerald Richards was arrested in July, 1976. That is a 12 year reign! Once again, if Shelden was involved in the OCCK crimes, it would be reasonable to suspect this could have also been going at N. Fox. The Missing Boys of Cass Corridor could have been targeted for this. These kids might not have anyone looking after them, they could be runaways. The most important thing would be that they would be untraceable. Most of the time simply recorded as missing. There is also the matter of Shelden’s time in the Netherlands. Probably much of the same stuff. For another day. 

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Over the years I have heard from two different people who suspected Wayne State students from the 1970s (some with family in Bloomfield Hills) of potentially being involved in running kids. I call this child hunting, not child “running.” It was more lucrative and less dangerous than drug running during that era.

And I heard from two people last week who reminded me in different ways that even after millions of dollars and much spinning of wheels, it is possible someone who has never been mentioned publicly could have committed or participated in these abductions and murders. In that regard, this is from podcaster Nina Innsted:

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On February 18, 1981, 5-year-old Neely Shane Smith was playing with friends at her apartment complex off of Green Oaks Lane in east Charlotte when a man with gray hair picked Neely up and forced her inside his van.  For two months authorities searched for any sign of Neely and who might have kidnapped her.  Unfortunately on April 11, almost 2 months after her disappearance, farmers spotted human remains in a remote area of Mecklenburg County off of Union Rd, about 15 miles away from her home.  The remains were determined to be those of Neely Shane Smith.
In the months that followed, authorities interviewed 30 people and had one person of interest in the case, Fred Coffey.  Coffey lived in the same apartment complex as Neely Smith, just one building over, and told investigators that he had seen the girl playing in the courtyard on the day of her disappearance. 
Coffey was a suspect in another Charlotte girl’s death, 10-year-old Amanda Ray just 19 months before on July 18, 1979.  Like Neely, Amanda was also abducted while playing outside her home on Eastcrest Dr., approximately one block away from where Coffey and Neely Smith both lived.  Amanda was found strangled to death near a lake in the Huntersville, NC area.  In 1986 warrants were issued for Coffey’s arrest in the abduction and first-degree murder of Amanda Ray and in 1987 he was convicted of those crimes and sentenced to death. He subsequently went to trial two other times, once convicted and sentenced to death, the latter convicted sentenced to life in prison. However, Neely’s case remains unsolved.
In 2004, a witness came forward with new information regarding Neely’s case.  The individual stated that they recognized Coffey’s picture in an article regarding the murders of Neely Smith and Amanda Ray.  The witness who was a child at the time of Smith’s abduction stated that he was playing with Neely on that day when Fred Coffey pulled up in a white van telling both kids he was sent there to pick them up by their parents.  The witness said that Neely got into the van but that they refused.  Coffey tried to grab the witness but they were able to get away and run to their grandmother’s apartment, where he was visiting for the weekend.
In 2015 investigators were comparing newly-obtained DNA from Coffey and comparing it to evidence collected when Smith’s body was found.  I was unable to find any more recent articles with information regarding DNA evidence in the case or where the case is now.
Coffey is suspected in sexual molestation and slayings of children in multiple states.
Photos: Neely Shane Smith – Black and White Amanda Ray – other two photos Fred Coffey  
If you or someone you know has any information in Neely’s case, please reach out to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department at 704-336-2358 or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.
*Information regarding this case was gathered from a WBTV 3 article by John Cominsky, a Washington Post article by Charles W. Hall, a WSOCTV article by Trish Williford, Justice4amanda.tripod.com, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

I would like to see a picture of this guy from the mid-1970s, and I’d like to know where he was living at that time

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5 Comments on “A few more things . . .”

  1. michael leslie says:

    Wow… i am sure i had mentioned my almost abduction in the late 70’s early 80’s in Southfield in one of the many articles on this site. I was playing in the front yard of my grandparents home and a van (don’t remember the color) pulled up, stopped and backed up. Door opened and 2 long haired guys started to get out and i ran to my grandmother who was at the door of the house. The van then sped off. This post hits home with me.

  2. Very interesting post on Coffey. In a quick search, I came across this blogsite with nice details about him and his whereabouts through the years. http://coffeycousins.blogspot.com/2020/02/fred-howard-coffey-jr.html?m=1

  3. LT says:

    Catherine, Have you heard the name of K****? If not please contact me. This man has information that would crack the OCCK case wide open. He has talked to a lot of people, including the State Police who want to do a DNA , Dylan Lightfoot and Cory Williams (who has just had hip surgery). The stall seems to be with State Police. If we know you, Catherine, have K*’s information, we can sit back and wait knowing you’ll do all you can with it.

    • cathybroad says:

      LT, Dylan has filled me in. I will check back with him and if you have anything to add, please let me know at catherine.broad@yahoo.com. The stall is always with the MSP. Always. Once I understand exactly what has happened with K’s information–who he has spoken with and what was said–I will make an attempt with the AG’s office, who may not be able to move the ball but needs further evidence of how the ball gets dropped almost every time child sex abuse survivors come forward in this case. It is appalling and it is a pattern. I edited your comment for privacy.

  4. RD1 says:

    Francis Shelden potentially choosing an educational institution, on the basis of proximity to vulnerable children, is rational thinking. Obsessive child abusers do tend to organize their lives around gaining access to vulnerable children.

    On the other hand, there isn’t an endless number of documented unresolved missing child cases from the 1970’s, in Michigan, who could be plugged into a “Shelden tossed kids into the ocean” hypothesis.

    http://www.delayedjustice.com/?cat=6

    It is possible, of course, that there could be some cases of kids who ‘vanished’ during those years, for whom there is now no documentation of that fact. Unreported runaways, reported but never granted “missing’ status, documented missing but files destroyed long ago and no one left alive who cared about them, etc.
    But without documentation, we cannot know who they were, if they ever came in contact with organized pedos, if they are alive or dead today, or even if they are simply our fantasy.

    I understand people’s desire to imagine and portray Francis Shelden as a child killer – much like some people’s desire to imagine John Norman as an undocumented, never charged child killer – if there was proof that they were, they’d be better suspects for direct involvement in OCCK for one thing. But, here’s a cautionary tale;

    A man I’ll call “D”, who very much wants to believe his parents were inhuman monsters but who doesn’t have any documentation for that, once claimed he possessed a resolution for ALL the documented historic missing child cases in the US; his parents, he said, had eaten them all.
    Which sounds unlikely, but was a VERY gratifying idea for him personally. So much so, that when Danny Heinrich ultimately confessed to abducting, violating and murdering a boy that was on “D”s list of “children my parents ate”, he flipped out and went berserk – engaging in a vicious and obsessive campaign of slander and harassment of Wetterling’s surviving family members, for accepting the reality rather than his personal fantasy.


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