Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How to Solve Amy's Case

Amy Mihaljevic would turn 36 tomorrow, if she had not been abducted and murdered on October 27, 1989. There has been new interest in this case this year but things have become stagnant once again and the case has never been colder. For what it's worth, here are 5 things authorities could do to help bring closure.

1. Run the DNA found on Amy's body through this new process to get an approximation of the man who left the DNA behind.

2. Fingerprint Dean Runkle. It should have been done years ago.

3. Re-interview the girls from North Olmsted who received phone calls from Amy's killer in the weeks leading up to her abduction.

4. Do a thorough and exhaustive search of all records at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center. The logbooks at LENSC remains the most likely place where Amy's killer obtained her phone number.

5. Find the misplaced audio tape. Back in the early 90's, a man left a message on a girl's home answering machine, warning her that she would "end up just like Amy Mihaljevic." The parents turned the tape over to police and, somehow, Bay Village lost it. That girl's teacher? Dean Runkle.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Dean Runkle Never Had a Proper Teaching License

Here's a little bit of odd news that came across my desk last week. A new investigator working on the case told me that Dean Runkle never actually had a teaching license, even though he taught for something like 29 years in Vermilion and Amherst. He never went through the proper channels to obtain a permanent license. Instead, he got by on provisional licenses, which he updated every few years by altering the title of his position slightly. This is one of the ways he avoided ever being fingerprinted for his job. But then the laws in Ohio changed a year from his full pension and he was required to give prints to continue. That's when he refused and quit teaching, instead, eventually fleeing to a homeless shelter in Key West.

I'd be very interested to know why he was so afraid of being fingerprinted. Unfortunately, when police flew down to question him in Florida, they forgot to get his prints.

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.