Posts Tagged ‘cold cases’

Help For The Survivors Of Homicide Victims

June 5, 2017

For the past several years I’ve been dealing with the survivors of victims of homicide through my show Crime Wire on Blog Talk Radio. Over that time, I’ve learned several things that surprised and in some cases, upset me.

For example, there are many more unsolved murders than I had imagined. In some cases a thorough investigation produced a suspect, but there was never enough evidence to warrant an arrest or prosecution. In others, no viable suspects were ever developed. And sometimes the police investigations appeared to the survivors to be less than competent. So for a variety of reasons, there are a large number of cold case homicides out there.

I also found that in most cases the survivors don’t have a clue what to do when they receive the horrible news that their loved one has been murdered. Blindsided and grief-stricken, they don’t know what to do or where to turn. There are support groups that offer grief counseling, but I had wrongly assumed there would be large numbers of organizations—both governmental and private—ready to provide information and guidance about what compensation may be available, what paperwork might need to be filed and how soon, how to deal with the police and possibly the media, etc. Not true. While there is some help available, it is rather minimal and not always easy to find. The situations all too many survivors find themselves in should not be acceptable.

I’m pleased to say that yesterday I joined with representatives of victim advocacy groups on the Shattered Lives Show on Blog Talk Radio. We discussed the possibility of joining forces in an attempt to make it easier for survivors to deal with the murder of a loved one. While we had a great discussion and I am very excited about the future of our endeavor, it was only an initial conversation. We have a very long way to go before we can expect to make a real difference.

My belief is that there is strength in numbers. Therefore, I’m asking those of you who have lost someone close to you to murder and have dealt with the system, to replay yesterday’s show. Please provide your input regarding where improvement is most urgently needed and what you’d like to see done about it.

The link to the podcast is http://www.blogtalkradio.com/insidelenz/2017/06/03/shattered-lives-resources-for-survivors-of-homicide

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Las Vegas & the Mob

March 5, 2017

In the 1970s several organized crime families had illegal business interests in Sin City. The most powerful operation there was run by the Chicago Outfit. The main earner for the mobsters was known as the skim, which was simply the removal of large amounts of cash from the casinos before it was recorded as revenue and transporting it back to the Midwest crime bosses.

In 1971 the Outfit sent one of its most fearsome enforcers, Tony Spilotro, to Vegas to make sure everything ran smoothly and any problems that arose would be dealt with swiftly, using any means necessary. Tony was a good choice or so it seemed. But his Vegas reign was marked by his thirst for power, weakness for women, and poor decisions that eventually cost the Mob its control over Vegas.

The Spilotro was dramatized in the blockbuster 1995 movie Casino, in which Joe Pesci played a character based on Tony. The film received accolades for its accuracy. One of the reasons for its realism was that director Martin Scorsese hired a man named Frank Cullotta as his technical consultant. Frank and Tony had been friends and criminal associates since childhood, and Frank was Tony’s underboss in Vegas – he knew the whole story. As screenwriter Nick Pileggi said, “If not for Frank Cullotta there would have been no Casino.”

For nearly a year Frank and I worked on a book that tells the true story behind the movie, and provides details about several unsolved murders.

That book is currently at the publisher with a tentative release date of April 26. We are planning a kickoff in Vegas shortly after the release. I’ll post more details as they become available.

Crime Wire Consultants Update

February 11, 2017
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Crime Wire Consultants

Pat Caristo

Pat is the Executive Director of the Resource Center for Victims of Violent Death (http://bridgesforvictimsofviolentdeath.org). She has been a licensed, working private investigator since 1985, specializing in the area of unsolved homicide investigations. Her many years of investigative experience include the Philadelphia Police Department (which commended her for heroism), the UNM Police Department and the NM Organized Crime Prevention Commission. Pat is trained and experienced as an intelligence analyst and crime-prevention specialist. She has taught sex crimes investigation/crime prevention classes at the NM Law Enforcement Academy and the UNM Law and Medical Schools. She currently teaches investigative-related classes for the UNM Continuing Education Department.

William “BILL” Sullivan

Bill was born and raised in Marengo, Illinois. He attended Southern Illinois University and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1969. He was elected Coroner in Dekalb County in 1975.

In 1979 he was chosen as the only Coroner in the U. S. to assist nine other experts in compiling a manual for the correct way to investigate deaths —a project of the US Justice Dept.

In 1984 Bill became the Director of Operations for the Onondaga County (New York) Medical Examiner’s Office, a position that made him the office administrator and chief investigator.

In 1988, he formed Forensic Consulting Specialties (FCS) and became licensed by the State of New York as a Private Investigator. FCS (www.f-c-s.com.www.f-c-s.com.http://www.f-c-s.com) performs specialty investigations such as murder and suspicious death cases, autopsy and second autopsies, as well as regular civil and criminal investigations.

Peter Hyatt

Peter Hyatt is a Statement Analyst and instructor who teaches statement analysis and analytical interviewing to law enforcement and corporate America. He has authored the investigator training manual for the DHHS and the State of Maine, as well as the book Wise As a Serpent; Gentle as a Dove. He has been interviewed extensively on radio and television, including the nationally televised program, “Crime Watch Daily” and “Taken Too Soon: The Katelyn Markham Story” documentary.

Peter has analyzed statements made in many high-profile crimes and missing person cases, such as Jon Benet Ramsey, Hailey Dunn, Darlie Routier, and Santa Claus on his blog at http://statement-analysis.blogspot.com.

Lyle Sharman

Lyle is the owner/operator of Arizona-based United Private Investigations (www.unitedprivateinvestigations.com). Prior to opening his own business, Lyle entered law enforcement and became a Tactical Trainer. During that time he was offered a position to be a bodyguard for the CEO of Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He spent the next 21 years as an expert in Executive Personal Protection, and Director of Security and Surveillance with Mandalay Bay.

Lyle is a nationally known expert in missing person cases, having worked and solved over 35 of them. He has appeared in several television shows and has regularly appeared in the nationally recognized crime show Crime Watch Daily.

Tom Shamshak

Tom owns and operates Shamshak Investigative Services, Inc., a private investigation firm that was established in July 1999. Tom’s firm specializes in criminal defense investigations, cold case murders, and missing person cases. Tom also consults as a police procedures expert and has worked for both plaintiff’s and defendant’s counsel. He has testified in federal and state courts as a police procedures expert. Tom is a retired law enforcement professional. During a 21 year career, Tom worked in three Massachusetts municipal police departments, and served as a police chief of two communities. Tom is a Life Member of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, and a Life Member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Tom earned a Bachelor of Science in sociology from Suffolk University, a Master of Science degree from the Graduate School of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University, and has pursued doctoral studies at Boston College.

During his law enforcement career, Tom was a police trainer and served as a police academy director. In addition, he served as a college instructor and has taught criminal justice and sociology courses at Anna Maria College, Boston College, and Middlesex Community College. From 2005-2015, Tom served as the Program Director and Lead Instructor of Boston University’s Certificate in Professional Investigation.

Tom is affiliated with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Since 2005, he has been a member of Project ALERT, a division that investigates unresolved missing children cases. Tom has also served as the Public Safety Consultant to the Molly Bish Center for the Protection of Children and the Elderly.

Tom has made numerous guest appearances as an expert commentator on local and national television networks and news magazine broadcasts. He has provided commentary on a variety of topics including criminal investigations, unsolved murders, missing persons, security matters, and terrorism. He has appeared on CNN, HLN, Court TV, TruTV, Fox News, Investigation Discovery, 20/20, NPR radio, and the local Boston affiliates of ABC, CBS, Fox 25, NBC, and WGBH. He has also served as a consulting investigator for the A&E reality series, Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal, and he appeared in four episodes.

Tom is a past president of the Licensed Private Detectives Association of Massachusetts.

www.shamshakpi.com.

Pete Klismet

Pete Klismet served his country with two tours in Vietnam on submarines. Following military service, he earned a college degree, and then worked for the Ventura Police Department in Southern California.  While there, he attended graduate school, earning master’s degrees from two universities in Southern California.  He was offered and accepted an appointment as a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In a twenty-year career with the FBI, Pete was highly decorated, served with distinction in three field offices, and received numerous awards and recognition from the FBI. Pete was selected to be one of the original ‘profilers’ for the FBI, perhaps the FBI’s most famed unit.

Before his retirement from the FBI, Pete was named the 1999 National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Following his retirement, he accepted a position as an Associate Professor and Department Chair of a Criminal Justice program at a college in Colorado.  Having retired from that, Pete and his wife Nancy live in Fort Collins, Colorado. Pete is the author of three national award-winning, non-fiction books: FBI Diary: Profiles of Evil, FBI Animal House, and FBI Diary: Home Grown Terror. His background as an FBI profiler proved beneficial in two of the books.

Gene Cervantes

Gene is retired from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where he served as Classification Staff Representative. His previous positions include Classification and Parole Representative, Correctional Counselor, Parole Agent and Group Supervisor. He is Peace Officer Standard Training (POST) certified. In the fall of 2005, following the murders of his cousin and her husband, he joined Citizens Against Homicide (http://www.citizensagainsthomicide.org) and currently serves as a Board Member and Victim Advocate. You can reach Gene at 209 743-7033.

 

 

Lyle Sharman, Owner/Operator of Arizona-based United Private Investigations. http://www.unitedprivateinvestigations.com/index.htmLyle Sharman, Owner/Operator of Arizona-based United Private Investigations. http://www.unitedprivateinvestigations.com/index.htmLyle Sharman, Owner/Operator of Arizona-based United Private Investigations. http://www.unitedprivateinvestigations.com/index.htm

Justice For Molly Bish

February 9, 2017

A few minutes before 10 o’clock on the morning of June 27, 2000, Magi Bish dropped her daughter Molly off at the local swimming hole, Comins Pond, in the town of Warren, Mass. The 16-year-old Molly, a high school junior, had just started a summer job as a lifeguard there the week before.

The parking lot was empty, except for a dump truck dropping off a load of sand. Magi, watched her daughter walk toward the beach. She then waited for the dump truck to drive out before driving away. But when swimmers arrived twenty minutes later, the only traces of Molly were her water-bottle, sandals, a police radio and an opened first aid kit. Molly had vanished, and for Magi and her husband John, a nightmare like no other began.

The only lead the police had to work with was a man Magi remembered having seen when she dropped Molly off the previous day. He had been sitting alone in a white vehicle in the parking lot. Nervous over his presence, Magi waited around for about 20 minutes until the man drove off.

The ensuing search for Molly became the most extensive in Massachusetts history.  Molly’s story was told on America’s Most Wanted, 48 Hours, Court TV, Unsolved Mysteries, Larry King, Nancy Grace and other national and local media outlets.

But in spite of everyone’s best efforts, Molly’s fate remained a mystery for three long years. And then in June 2003, the search for Molly came to a heartbreaking end when 26 of her bones were found scattered on the side of a mountain only five miles from her home. Molly was buried on her 20th Birthday.

Investigators believed Molly’s killer was probably a local with intimate knowledge of the area. However, no arrests were made and the case went cold.

And then in January, 2009, a suspect surfaced, 60-year-old Rodney Stanger. He was a longtime resident of Southbridge, Mass., located just a few miles from Warren. Stanger had moved to Florida the year after Molly disappeared. Neighbors say he was an outdoorsman who was known to hunt and fish in the area around Comins Pond. And he had access to his brother’s car, which was same type that Magi had seen the day before Molly disappeared. He also matched the composite sketch of the driver of that car.

Stanger was brought to the attention of the authorities when the Massachusetts State Police got a call from the sister of Stanger’s live-in girlfriend, Crystal Morrison. The sister told police that Crystal had hinted to her that Stanger was involved in Molly’s murder. On February 25, 2008, just days after the conversation between the sisters, Crystal was found stabbed to death in their mobile home. Rodney Stanger was charged with the murder.

On October 28, 2010, under a negotiated plea deal with prosecutors, the now 62-year-old Stanger was sentenced to serve 25 years in a Florida prison for second-degree murder of Crystal Morrison, and concurrent sentences for burglary of a dwelling and battery. The chances of Stanger ever breathing free air again are slim.

On the Molly Bish Foundation Website is this message from Molly’s parents, Magi and John Bish:

“We will find… the person that harmed her. It’s been a journey, a story of love and loss, but we are still hopeful and we want Molly to know we’ll never give up.”

If Rodney Stanger is in fact Molly’s murderer, let’s hope sufficient evidence can be developed to charge and convict him. The Bish family’s journey needs to come to an end. And Molly is entitled to justice.

 

 

Crime Wire Consultants

February 2, 2017

The people listed below have volunteered to serve as consultants to Crime Wire and to review cold case murders on a pro bono basis. I can’t thank them enough for their willingness to apply their expertise to help bring resolution or a sense of peace to the survivors of murder victims.

Pat Caristo

Pat is the Executive Director of the Resource Center for Victims of Violent Death (http://bridgesforvictimsofviolentdeath.org). She has been a licensed, working private investigator since 1985, specializing in the area of unsolved homicide investigations. Her many years of investigative experience include the Philadelphia Police Department (which commended her for heroism), the UNM Police Department and the NM Organized Crime Prevention Commission. Pat is trained and experienced as an intelligence analyst and crime-prevention specialist. She has taught sex crimes investigation/crime prevention classes at the NM Law Enforcement Academy and the UNM Law and Medical Schools. She currently teaches investigative-related classes for the UNM Continuing Education Department.

William “BILL” Sullivan

Bill was born and raised in Marengo, Illinois. He attended Southern Illinois University and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1969. He was elected Coroner in Dekalb County in 1975.

In 1979 he was chosen as the only Coroner in the U. S. to assist nine other experts in compiling a manual for the correct way to investigate deaths —a project of the US Justice Dept.

In 1984 Bill became the Director of Operations for the Onondaga County (New York) Medical Examiner’s Office, a position that made him the office administrator and chief investigator.

In 1988, he formed Forensic Consulting Specialties (FCS) and became licensed by the State of New York as a Private Investigator. FCS (www.f-c-s.com) performs specialty investigations such as murder and suspicious death cases, autopsy and second autopsies, as well as regular civil and criminal investigations.

Peter Hyatt

Peter is a Statement Analyst and instructor who teaches statement analysis and analytical interviewing to law enforcement and corporate America. He has authored the investigator training manual for the DHHS and the State of Maine, as well as the book Wise As a Serpent; Gentle as a Dove. He has been interviewed extensively on radio and television, including the nationally televised program, “Crime Watch Daily” and “Taken Too Soon: The Katelyn Markham Story” documentary.

Peter has analyzed statements made in many high-profile crimes and missing person cases, such as Jon Benet Ramsey, Hailey Dunn, Darlie Routier, and Santa Claus on his blog at http://statement-analysis.blogspot.com.

Lyle Sharman

Lyle is the owner/operator of Arizona-based United Private Investigations (www.unitedprivateinvestigations.com). Prior to opening his own business, Lyle entered law enforcement and became a Tactical Trainer. During that time he was offered a position to be a bodyguard for the CEO of Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He spent the next 21 years as an expert in Executive Personal Protection, and Director of Security and Surveillance with Mandalay Bay.

Lyle is a nationally known expert in missing person cases, having worked and solved over 35 of them. He has appeared in several television shows and has regularly appeared in the nationally recognized crime show Crime Watch Daily.

Gene Cervantes

Gene is retired from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where he served as Classification Staff Representative. His previous positions include Classification and Parole Representative, Correctional Counselor, Parole Agent and Group Supervisor. He is Peace Officer Standard Training (POST) certified. In the fall of 2005, following the murders of his cousin and her husband, he joined Citizens Against Homicide (http://www.citizensagainsthomicide.org) and currently serves as a Board Member and Victim Advocate. You can reach Gene at 209 743-7033.

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Changes Needed

January 30, 2017

Before my retirement in 1994 I spent 20 years in law enforcement and investigations. As you might guess, I was and still am very much pro law enforcement.

Soon after retiring I began writing fiction and true crime books, and a few years ago created the Crime Wire Internet radio show with Susan Murphy Milano. We dealt with topics that included missing persons, domestic violence and unsolved murders. The show went on hiatus after Susan passed, but is now back and in full swing. It has been while doing Crime Wire that I really started looking at unsolved murders from the standpoint of the victim’s survivors, and there are a few things that I find bothersome. I’ll talk about two of them here.

One is the lack of options available to the survivors if they find reason to believe the police investigation was lacking in some respect; and the handling agency won’t address the situation in a manner satisfactory to the survivor. What can be done?

Many people think they can simply take their concerns to another agency with jurisdiction and that agency will take over the investigation. For example, the county sheriff can intervene over a town or village department, and a state agency can replace the sheriff. In reality, however, the odds of that happening are slim to none. The agency you are looking to for help won’t get involved unless there is evidence of malfeasance in the initial investigation, or the handling agency or the district attorney “invites” them in. The request of the survivor by itself is not sufficient.

The second thing, which is my main peeve, is the difficulty in obtaining police records and reports and/or coroner reports and photos. My comments will be general in nature because every jurisdiction has its own rules and regulations that will vary from place to place.

There are many perfectly valid reasons for the police not to release information that could compromise an active investigation. I have no issue with withholding information to protect the integrity of the investigation.

I do have concerns, though, when talking about cold cases that have been inactive for many years or decades. In all too many of the cases I’ve heard of, the police agency refuses to release any information, citing the open case exemption to complying with the FOIA or Sunshine Laws in the specific state.

Suppose the survivor has the resources to hire a private investigator to pursue the 30-year-old murder case the police haven’t updated her on in ten years. She’d like to see what the police have done to perhaps give her investigator some ideas or save him a few steps. I submit that the reports could be released, even if partially redacted. Or at a minimum, a synopsis of the case could be made available.

How about the survivor who bumps into some friends of her husband who was murdered eight years ago? These friends were the last known people to have seen her husband alive. They ask her how the investigation is coming and wonder why the police never interviewed them. Concerned about the quality and depth of the investigation she wants to look at the records to see what was actually done. “Sorry Ma’am, it’s an open case and we’re prohibited from allowing you access to the file.”

In this example the open case status can be used to conceal sloppy police work under the guise of protecting the integrity of the investigation. Because only the police can see the file, how will the survivor ever know if the investigation was a sincere effort to find the truth? Where is the transparency?

I believe there needs to be a mechanism for survivors to have access to open-case police files under certain circumstances. Such as: the case has been inactive for a specific number of years or there is credible reason to believe the initial investigation was incompetently conducted or corrupt.

Getting changes made will be a very tough uphill battle and will require the support of as many groups and individuals who are interested in helping survivors as possible. Still, it would be a worthwhile fight.

Unsolved Murders

January 29, 2017

Up until this morning if anyone asked me how many unsolved murders there were in the United States, I would have had no idea. My guess would have been a few thousand and probably been on the high side. But due to a project I’m working on I did some research on that question. What I learned shocked me and I’m going to share it with you.

A January 2015 article by Thomas Hargrove of Scripps News (you can read the entire article at http://www.thedenverchannel.com/decodedc/how-many-unsolved-murders-are-there-its-greater-than-the-population-of-des-moines) begins with: “Think about this. More than 211,000 homicides committed since 1980 remain unsolved – a body count greater than the population of Des Moines, Iowa.”

Hargrove goes on to say: “Truth is homicides are less likely to be solved today than they were 40 years ago. Police fail to make an arrest in more than a third of the nation’s murders, resulting in an ever-increasing accumulation of cold cases.”

And an NPR piece by Martin Kaste on March 30 of that year explains in part: “If you’re murdered in America, there’s a 1 in 3 chance that the police won’t identify your killer.

“To use the FBI’s terminology, the national ‘clearance rate’ for homicide today is 64.1 percent. Fifty years ago, it was more than 90 percent.

“And that’s worse than it sounds, because ‘clearance’ doesn’t equal conviction: It’s just the term that police use to describe cases that end with an arrest, or in which a culprit is otherwise identified without the possibility of arrest — if the suspect has died, for example.”

After absorbing those stats I no longer wondered why Crime Wire was getting so many requests to profile or review cold cases. With a killer being identified in only a third of the murders and less than two thirds of cases being “cleared,” there are an awful lot of people out there wondering why their loved ones are dead and at whose hand.

What’s the reason for these disappointing numbers? I don’t think killers are any smarter. And, after all, the police are better trained; technology has seen great advancements over the years;  security cameras are everywhere and DNA evidence is pretty much accepted as indisputable. You’d think the bad guys should be taking it on the chin, but obviously they aren’t.

When you compare those 211,000 unsolved murders to our overall population of over 300,000,000, they may sound insignificant. However, I suspect the families of the dead who are still seeking answers and justice would beg to differ.

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Denny Griffin, Crime Wire

 

Where Is Randy Leach?

January 27, 2017

Randy Wayne Leach and his car, a 1985 gray Dodge 600, disappeared from Linwood, Kansas on the night of April 15/16, 1988, following a pre-graduation party at the home of Kim Erwin in rural Linwood. He was 17 years old.

According to his family, Randy, an only child, wasn’t selfish or self-centered. He was always willing to help others and do what he could for neighbors, friends and family. He was an upbeat, clean-cut and normal boy.

Although Randy never acted like he cared for school, his grades didn’t show it. He was always an honor student, or honorable mention as a B-student. He never had to study much to keep up.

His senior year could have been finished with an early out in January, but his parents, Harold and Alberta, talked to him and he decided to enjoy his last semester of the senior year. For a graduation present, his parents bought him the car of his dreams—a restored 1966, cherry-red Mustang.

Randy planned to earn some money mowing grass the next summer and help around the home doing odd jobs and possibly going to a trade school of some kind. He made no long-range plans, just wanting to enjoy the summer.

The day before Randy disappeared; he and his dad purchased a brand new John Deere lawn tractor for Randy’s summer jobs. Randy took the new mower and mowed four and a half hours on a contracted job in the afternoon. He came home then and mowed the family’s front lawn.

When Randy got ready to go out on April 15, 1988, his dad asked him if he had enough money. He said he did, but if he dropped by Wal-Mart or K-Mart, he would like to get a bottle of water glass wax to put on his new tractor to hold the paint. The cost was around $15. Harold gave him a twenty. That gave Randy a total of approximately $50 to $60. He left in the family car, a gray 1985 Dodge 600, four-door sedan with license plate number LVJ 8721. The time was approximately 6:45 p.m.

Randy eventually went to Linwood and rode around town with Steve Daughtery. When later interviewed, Steve said he bought a six-pack of beer, but Randy declined to have any. The two drove to DeSoto at about 8:30 p.m. They went to the body shop where Randy’s Mustang was being restored. Randy took Steve to show off his car. The man at the body shop said that they were drinking beer and offered some to Randy, but Randy turned it down again.

By 9:30, Randy and Steve were back in Linwood, where Randy dropped Steve off. Randy went to Stout’s Corner, a convenience store. Four or five people reported having talked to Randy there. They all said he was joking and acting normal. He bought two candy bars, two Pepsis, and $3.00 worth of gas. It was Randy’s habit of putting back into the vehicle the gas that he thought he would use in an evening. Therefore, the family didn’t think he planned to travel very far.

Randy went to the party between 9:45 and 10:00. Randy’s cousin and others who were at the party said Randy could hardly walk. The cousin later stated that Randy didn’t smell of alcohol and he didn’t think Randy was drunk.

So what happened to Randy in the 30 or so minutes from when he was acting normal at the convenience store and when he was observed at the party barely to walk? One story that subsequently circulated is that someone put a drug called Thorazine in Randy’s drink at the party. However, it turned out that the person suspected of spiking Randy’s drink wasn’t at the party.

A friend of Randy, who arrived at the party at midnight, later said he was around Randy off and on. He didn’t see him drink anything, but Randy wasn’t acting right. At one point, he said, “Randy, what’s wrong?” Randy said, “Man, I don’t know what’s wrong.”

Another friend, James Burns, reported helping Randy to his car at 1:30 a.m. Unable to find the car keys, Randy laid down in the front seat. James went with his brother, John Burns, to give a girl a ride home who’d had too much to drink. When they returned between 2:00 and 2:10 a.m., Randy and his car were gone.

However, two other people said they saw Randy at the Erwin house as late as 2:15, waiting in line to go to the bathroom. Mrs. Erwin said she told him to go outside, claiming she didn’t want him to fall in the house and hurt himself.

At 6:00 a.m., Randy’s mom awoke to find Randy missing. The panicked parents were barefoot in the driveway, when Harold spotted Steve Daugherty drive by their house on Highway 32. Harold later said that it seemed odd because it was so early Saturday and Daugherty was only driving, “about 10 miles per hour,’” where the posted speed limit was 55 mph.

After Harold and Alberta reported Randy missing, a massive air, river and ground search was launched. But neither Randy nor the car was ever found.

Following Randy’s disappearance, rumors swirled. According to one of them, there was another young man with Randy when he stopped at the convenience store at 9:30 p.m. The man was identified by witnesses as Jim Hadle – possibly spelled Hadley – who was Steve Daugherty’s roommate. Hadle was reportedly seen sitting in Randy’s car. Word got back to the Leach family that both Daugherty and Hadle were drug users who had spent time in jail. Harold Leach contends that investigators never talked to Hadle, and that when Hadle later came to their house, he denied even knowing Daugherty. Both Hadle and Daugherty subsequently passed away, supposedly of natural causes.

As time went by, internal police reports about Randy’s case began showing up in the Leaches’ mailbox. Harold says he doesn’t know the source of the documents, but believes they were from sympathetic officers who were convinced the investigation was botched.

In 1993, a man purporting to be a “research journalist” offered his assistance to the Leaches and spent several months without pay interviewing partygoers and others who might have known something about the case. The man went by the names of Terry Martin and Lee Harper. Martin and Harper pooled information with Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Detective Dawn Weston, whom had been assigned to review the case.

Executing warrants issued by the assistant Leavenworth County Attorney, Weston arrested three men for the alleged kidnapping and murder of Randy Leach. The men were quickly released. The sheriff explained, “She was a new investigator and overzealous, so to speak. It didn’t pan out when the evidence was double-checked by the county attorney.”

As of this writing, Randy Wayne Leach remains missing and the case is cold. Someone still alive knows what happened to him on the night of April 15/16, 1988. If you are that person or know who is, it’s time to step forward and help bring resolution to the Leach family.

 

 

Survivors of Murder Victims

January 26, 2017
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Denny Griffin, Crime Wire

Over the past several years Crime Wire has profiled a large number of unsolved murder cases. Many of them are “cold” and have been inactive for years or sometimes decades. The survivors we deal with often believe the police did a poor investigation that contributed to a solvable case going unsolved and cold.

Our new Crime Wire Case Review Service (CWCRS) was formed to help survivors resolve their doubts about the quality of the investigation. Our panel of investigators, analysts and advocates will examine the case documents and render an opinion as to whether the initial investigation was adequate and appropriate; things were missed or not followed-up on; or that advances in technology (particularly DNA) that weren’t available at the time of the murder may now prove beneficial. This service is provided pro bono.

Unfortunately, the biggest obstacle a survivor is likely to face when preparing their submission is a lack of police reports. Because unsolved murder cases remain open (even if inactive) most police agencies tend to refuse to release any information at all, or  at least nothing relating to their investigation. The inability to be able to see those important documents obviously limits the effectiveness of the review.

However, all submissions, even those without police reports, will be given consideration for review.

 

 

 

Crime Wire LIVE: Peter Hyatt and the Madeleine McCann Case

December 18, 2016

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On Wednesday, December 21, 2016, Crime Wire will broadcast for 90 minutes LIVE from 3pm to 4:30pm Eastern time. Statement Analyst Peter Hyatt will discuss the case of missing Madeleine McCann.

Crime Wire will be taking live calls and the chat room will be open to questions from international listeners. The number to call in is: (646)-478-0982. For advance questions or topics you would like discussed on air, please email to thenewcrimewire@gmail.com

Madeleine McCann at 4 and age enhanced

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4-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared from a resort in Portugal while on vacation with her family and a group of other families and their children. Her case has been widely publicized around the world and she is still considered missing.

From the beginning, Madeleine’s disappearance has been the source of controversy, much of it surrounding her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, and their subsequent actions. After several inquiries, a campaign by the parents, and numerous theories, Madeleine’s case is still unsolved.

Peter Hyatt, Statement Analyst

peter

Peter Hyatt is a Statement Analyst and instructor who teaches statement analysis and analytical interviewing to law enforcement and corporate America. He has authored the investigator training manual for DHHS, State of Maine, as well as the book Wise As a Serpent; Gentle as a Dove. He has been interviewed extensively on radio and television, including the nationally televised program, “Crime Watch Daily” and “Taken Too Soon: The Katelyn Markham Story” documentary.

Hyatt has analyzed statements made in many high-profile crimes and missing persons cases such as Jon Benet Ramsey, Hailey Dunn, Darlie Routier, and Santa Claus on his blog, Statement Analysis.

Hyatt Analysis offers a variety of services:

  • Analysis – Statements, employment questionnaires, deposition prep and analysis
  • Interviewing – Law enforcement interviews and analysis, employment interviews
  • Training – For any professional who desires to detect deception and get to the truth in any situation
  • Website: HyattAnalysis.Com