Monday, May 13, 2013
The horror story in Cleveland last week has generated a lot of new interest in Amy Mihaljevic's cold case, including info on a new suspect who has a lot of strange connections to the case.
It began with this email from a former student of McKinley Elementary in Elyria:
I went to elementary school at McKinley elementary in Elyria, Ohio and in 1989 I was in Kindergarten and I remember watching Amy’s sad case on the news as well as the increased awareness it caused in my already over protective mother. But anyway, my art teacher at the school was named Mr. ******* ( I apologize for not knowing his first name) and he resembles the drawing of the man on the FBI posters (the side with the glasses). In addition, he used to talk to us all the time about how he would occasionally teach in other are schools including Bay Village and North Ridgeville and in one particular art class he mentioned teaching in the same school that Amy went to as if he was proud of that fact. I don’t know why I remember this but he was also obsessed with the teenage mutant ninja turtles which were popular at the time. Anyhow, as a child he always made me uncomfortable, often making myself and a couple other girls hold his hand as we walked through the halls and when other teachers would pass he would drop our hands as if he knew he was doing something wrong. He was my art teacher from kindergarten until fourth grade and during that time there was another incident around the time of second grade that made me very uncomfortable in the kiln room at the school. Also noteworthy, is the time he called my home and when my mom picked up he said he was calling to apologize for the paint that I got on my clothes that day and to tell her how to get it out in the wash, despite the fact that it wasn’t an issue at all, let alone one my mom had complained to him about. In the course of the conversation he talked to her a lot about his step son named Stephen. That is all I really recall other than when my mom hung up the phone she told my sisters and I to stay away from him because he also gave her a bad feeling.
Of course, I pulled his personnel file at the school. He took some classes at Ashland University, not far from where Amy's body was found. And his wife teaches in Ashland city schools.
I drove out to meet him. He says he's never been questioned in the case and has no connection to the Nature Center... BUT he said at the time of Amy's abduction he taught at Baycrafters, the art school down the road from the Nature Museum in the Metroparks.
The key to this case is figuring out how Amy's killer got her phone number and the phone numbers of a number of other girls from North Olmsted who were also called. I've heard from one of these girls (now a woman) who says she did take art classes there at that time.
Friday, May 10, 2013
For the last four days, as members of the Cleveland media, you have done a tremendous job covering the wonderful and tragic story of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight. Because you’re from Cleveland, you’ve done better than the national news media that have descended on our city like a plague of locust.
But the constant reporting of the horror these women experienced is beginning to affect the community you cover. It’s too much, from too many sources. The need to one-up each other is causing this story to come out in terrible bits of info and the result is an endless stream of horror that is too much to ask people to keep up on.
So I want to propose that we stop.
I propose the producers of the major stations and the editors of the Plain Dealer sit down in a room and discuss how to work together on this chapter of Cleveland’s history. If I may suggest a solution: Let’s stop all reporting for an entire week out of respect for the women’s privacy and the ongoing investigation. And when you come back, you pool info and release it together on a couple specific days, maybe Mondays and Thursdays.
It’s a crazy idea. But think about it a second.
The world is focused for this one moment on our city. Could you imagine the goodwill and grace that would come out of such a gesture? Wouldn’t that be something?(If you agree with this statement, feel free to copy and paste in an email and send to:)
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Pagonakis@newsnet5.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the response from Plain Dealer editor Debra Adams Simmons:
Thank you for your email and your insights. We appreciate your feedback, however, we have a journalistic responsibility to chronicle news developments happening in our community. Sometimes those stories are difficult to read. Our news coverage of the aftermath of the kidnapping will be ongoing. We do not withdraw from covering news for a week. That would be irresponsible. However, if you audited the coverage, you would find many developments that have been discussed on local and cable news, but have not appeared in the newspaper. We believe our coverage has been fair, balanced, sensitive and sensible. We will continue to strive for those journalistic values going forward.
Here is the response from Robin Swoboda, who gets it:
I am just one person, but i want you to know that personally, I couldn't agree more.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Monday, March 04, 2013
Thanks to the reader who directed me to this video. It's an inside look at the profile of Amy's killer, from a documentary on the FBI. It had been awhile since I'd watched this. Makes me angry all over again.
(Amy's profile begins at 45 mins)
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Waitt says Runkle talked about the Nature Center in Bay and remembers this specifically because he was interested in reptiles at the time and Runkle told him he could find some there.
This is very important. Police believe whoever abducted Amy may have gotten her contact info off a sign-in log at the Nature Center. But Runkle has always denied being there. Said he didn't know about.
And if he's lying about it, ladies and gentlemen, there's only one reason.
A source close to the investigation has said, "If he was at that Nature Center, I believe he killed Amy Mihaljevic."
Waitt is one of at least 8 former students and aides who have come forward saying Runkle knew of the Nature Center and had been there many times.
Bay Village police believe all these people are remembering wrong, even though Runkle, himself, had this to say when I interviewed him in 2008: "I never told the police I was never there. I only told them I don't remember being there."
Monday, January 07, 2013
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Just a quick anecdote:
Last year, an 8th grader at St. Vincent de Paul was given an assignment to pick a person to prosecute in a mock trial. She chose to prosecute Dean Runkle, based on the evidence outlined here.
Not only was she successful, the project earned her an A+.