Friday, September 19, 2014

Cleveland Magazine Profiles Phil Torsney As He Hunts for Amy's Killer

Erick Trickey himself covers the story. It's a nice long profile of Phil Torsney, with some news Amy's case. Here's my favorite excerpt:

All the girls who received similar calls, including Amy, had visited the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center in Bay Village. In 1989, kids who visited the center signed a log book with their names and addresses. That could be a key to the case — or just a coincidence, since the nature center was a popular place for school field trips.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Torsney: "WE'LL SOLVE THIS!"

Torsney is gunning for his suspect. Check out this new interview, courtesy of WKYC.

Monday, March 17, 2014

FBI Releases New Video

Here's a new video from the FBI.

There are some new pics of Amy with her family here. This is part of a push to get Amy's story out across the country. Hopefully it will kick up some new leads.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Al Matlock is dead.

Al Matlock was the deadbeat from Ashland who once bragged about killing Amy (though, he was probably full of b.s.). On the run from the law for other crimes, he was rumored to have lived in Florida. A relative contacted me yesterday, with this link.

Apparently, Al died last June (due to drug overdose), in Arizona.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

What Happens When We Catch Amy's Killer?

In Ohio this week, the state executed a man using an untested combination of drugs. We tortured a man to death this week. The first month of 2014.

I am a staunch opponent of the death penalty. It is not a deterrent. Never has been. And I don't believe we deserve the responsibility of deciding who lives and who dies in a society.

Someone asked me today if I would support the death penalty for the man who killed Amy Mihaljevic, after having spent so long tracking him down, knowing he managed to remain free for 25 years. I had to think about it.

But, no. No, I would not want to see this man put to death.

In fact, if he were willing to come forward and own up to his mistake I would be the first to contribute to his defense.


Because I truly think this was a mistake. I don't believe he knew what he was doing when he met with Amy that day. I don't think he knew it would lead to an abduction. And I doubt murder even entered his mind... until it was too late. I believe this was the only time he's killed.

That said, while I would offer help, it would come with a condition: that he admit what he did. And that he ask to remain in prison for at least the length of time he remained free-- 25 years.

At this point, what we hope for is closure. An answer for this deed. That is the only good that can come from it now. And the Mihaljevics and Bay Village deserve as much closure as this man can give them. Now.

If he waits until Torsney and the Bay Village Police (who are actively working the case daily, again) knock on his door, any chance he has for a deal is over.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The State of the Case...

So. Where are we with this case? Who do I think killed Amy Mihaljevic? Who are the police looking at?

I don't know much about the police side of the investigation, other than that they are asking for ANY and ALL information related to Amy Mihaljevic and the men who you may suspect abducted her.

Just because I have written so much about Vern Hartenburg doesn't mean I am saying he's the guy or even the current number 1 suspect. I share the names of these individuals in the hopes that someone scanning the internet will find the articles and share what info they have with the police. Or me, if they are reluctant to go to law enforcement. I only name potential suspects if they have a history of sexual offenses and/or violence against women. And only if I know they are someone the Bay Village Police have considered and are interested in.

Please note the tab on the left side of this page which links to a page of suspects. You can learn more about each of them, there.

The short list includes former teacher Dean Runkle (who ran away to Key West when the state of Ohio demanded all teachers be fingerprinted); Dentist Greg Kapela (whose daughter rode horses with Amy at Holly Hill); Dentist Frank Vokoun (who fled to Costa Rice to avoid some unconnected criminal charges); CPA Robert Jones (who liked to stake out elementary schools); Jerry Dozier (who has a history of rape and kidnapping and changed his name after getting out of prison); and Bay Village playboy Kurt Van Gunten (who lived across from the plaza and has a history of alarming behavior toward young women).

If you suspect you know who did this, or have any info on these gentlemen above, please do not hesitate to contact Bay Village PD 440-871-1234.

Friday, November 15, 2013

That Time I Was Nearly Taken...

Something happened when I was 12 that I don't talk about too much. I've mentioned it at library talks when discussing the Amy Mihaljevic case but I left it out of the book because I didn't want people thinking that it was the reason I got interested in her mystery. The truth is, when this happened, I was already very interested in Amy's case (and spending time looking for her killer in area malls).

Here's what happened. When I was 12, a man tried to abduct me from the Metroparks. This happened at the park on Memphis Road, by the kiddie park. At the time, my mother was living with my aunt in an apartment across the street. One day (I think this was the fall of 1990, though it could have been as late as early summer, 1991) I walked across the road to explore the park.

I noticed a well-dressed man with dark hair standing by the bathrooms there, touching himself. He looked a little like Leonard Nimoy, I thought. I walked on, down a path, into the woods. The man followed. I started to jog. He jogged after. I began to run. He ran, too.

At the time, the path wound through the woods away from the road. There was no where to go and no one else around. So I ran off the path, through the woods and found myself on a railroad track. I started running down the track, back toward the road. But the man was really close now, and gaining. And the rail line was now running between two sheer walls of rock. There was no where to go and he would definitely catch up with me.

I did the only thing I could. I prayed and scaled the rock wall, knowing if I slipped even once, he'd have me. But I didn't slip. And when I reached the top, I looked down. He was standing just below me, a look of pure hatred on his face. I gave him the finger and then ran back to the apartments.

By the time the rangers got there, he was gone.

I've been trying to find the report of the incident through the Metroparks but they say they don't have it. I'm hoping by sharing this story here someone might see it and remember coming to speak to me that day.

When I told this story to a ranger who stopped by a book signing, he said I should look into Vern Hartenburg. And damn if he doesn't look just like the guy who chased me when I was 12. Oh, and that was the exact same location he was arrested for sexual misconduct, in 2011.

Vern, for his part, says he doesn't remember me, though he readily admits to be a sex addict. He also admits he went crazy around the time Amy was abducted. Says it was because he was sexually abused as a kid. I don't know if it's all just coincidence or if there's something more to this thing. But Hartenburg is a sick man and what we've learned so far is only the tip of the iceberg.