Happy Scribe
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Crime junkie is brought to you by simply safe, simply safe was designed to be easy to use while protecting your whole home 24/7 with their professional monitoring and emergency dispatch, which starts at just 50 cents a day, had to simply save dot com slash crime junkie and get a free HD camera for our listeners. That's simply safe dotcom slash crime junkie to make sure that they know that our show Senju High Crime Junkies.

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I'm your host, Ashleigh Flowers, and I'm Brit. And this episode is part two of our Monsters of Ohio series. So if you haven't listened to part one yet, please go back and do so. It's important to understand a sense Dukat story for you to know why almost a dozen other cases grabbed my attention and convinced me that there was something unusual happening in Ohio in the early 80s, one or more monsters lurking in very specific areas and preying on young girls.

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This rabbit hole I got into actually started from the very first time I tried to start my research on a scene, it now I had heard about her case kind of in passing and in just like tucked it away in the back of my brain for the next time, I could start research on a new case. And by the time I got around to it, like her very unique name was escaping me. So I Googled Girl Murder Unsolved Ohio 80s and something popped up for a young girl named Kelly Prosser.

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Now, I didn't think that that was the right name, but as I started to read the details, I honestly started questioning myself. You see, Kelly was a third grader who on September 20th, 1982, went missing while walking home from school in Columbus, Ohio, which for those of you who are familiar with the area, you'll know that Upper Arlington, where Seany lived is basically a suburb of Columbus. Like in Sweeney's case, it was Kelly's mother who got worried when she didn't make it home.

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And by that evening, she had called police who launched a massive search for the young girl that same night. Well, yeah, she's like, what, eight or nine? They have to will. Yes. So she's actually eight, just like Sini was. But there was another reason they went so hard, so fast, just like in this case, there was actually an attempted abduction or attack on another girl just a few days before.

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So everyone in the area was already on high alert. In this previous attempted attack, there was a guy in a red truck who tried to abduct another eight year old girl, but he fled with another person, drove by.

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Now, the first night passed with no sign of Kelly. But the next day, the Columbus Dispatch reported that police got their first clue. Dogs were able to track Kelly's scent from the elementary school to the intersection of North High Street and Mainard Avenue.

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Now, North High Street is really close to Ohio State University and it's always super, super busy.

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So, in fact, when they start looking for witnesses, they even find two patrol officers who may have spotted Kelly the same day she went missing. But the thing is, they spotted someone who looked like her much, much later in the evening at like nine o'clock at night. And the officers remember seeing a young girl that looked a lot like Kelly with an older man. But at the time, they didn't stop to question them. Wait, they know she's missing by nine?

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Yeah. Here's the thing. I don't know if these two guys didn't know about the search. Again, their patrol officers, maybe they had nothing to do with it. All I know is that they said that they see this girl. She looked like she knew the guy, so they never stopped them. The next clue that they got was actually on the same day a local lawyer came forward and said, hey, I found something in the middle of the road and I kind of just threw it in my car.

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I didn't really think anything of it until my daughter saw it and she'd been watching the news and made the connection. What did they find? He found a blue raincoat which matched the description put out by police of one that Kelly would have had with her when she went missing. Now, it's interesting because most news reports just say that a jacket was found and he puts it in his car and didn't give it a second thought. But the Akron Beacon Journal actually reported back in 82, the time this is going on, that one of the sleeves had blood on it, which to me is strange because, look, that's something you would remember and not something that I would just throw in the back of my seat and never think of again, though again.

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I don't know how accurate this is. It was only reported in one place. And I have no idea what police thought of that at the time. So at this point, they have what they believe is Kelly's coat and they are going to start searching in that area. But in the meantime, police actually start making a connection to another local man who right around the same time of Kelly's disappearance, had been accused of molesting an 11 year old girl in the same area close to where Kelly went missing from.

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But when they go to talk to this guy, he flees the area, which is never a good look. And so police put out a notice that they're looking for this man who they believed to be in West Virginia. Now, while they search for him, they keep their search going close to where her jacket was found. And it didn't take long before they actually found Kelly. She was found in a cornfield. And according to a Columbus Dispatch article from 1982, she had been strangled with some kind of ligature and she had been, quote, sexually assaulted, but not right now.

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Here's the thing. Police think that this guy who fled looks pretty good for the crime. But once he hears that police are looking for him in relation to a murder, he actually comes back to clear his name. He said that he fled because of the molestation. And when they actually look into him, he was already out of the area by the time Kelly was abducted, which left police with nothing, and it didn't take long for Kelly's case to go as cold as seniors.

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And everyone in the area wondered if the same person or persons got away with murder for a second time or maybe even more than a second time, because just like the research for this case led me to Kelly, research on Kelly led me to seven more girls who led me to more girls. In 1982, the Akron Beacon Journal published an article titled Nine Abducted in two years within 150 miles. Both Seany and Kelly were listed among the nine, but they were almost like bookends in the list of girls in the timeline of when they all went missing or were murdered.

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Sini was the first. But just 10 days after she was murdered, another eight year old girl from Maple Heights, Ohio, went missing. Her name was Tiffany Papageorge. And on Friday, the 13th of 1980, her family was preparing for a camping trip and Tiffany's mom asked her to run to the store to grab some buns before they left. According to the Charlie Project, Tiffany did, in fact, make it to the store, which was just a mere half block away from her house.

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She made her purchase and she was seen leaving around 245. But after she walked out of the store, she was never seen again.

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Tiffany is actually the only girl on my list of a dozen that has never been found, which makes her case incredibly hard to solve, though. There was a man who everyone thought did it for a while, a guy named Brandon Lee Flattener. He first came on to police radar because of how much he inserted himself into the investigation. He wanted to help with searches, wanted to make T-shirts to sell with Tiffany's missing person info on it. And his constant pestering of the family became so much that they eventually called police and had him arrested.

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Now, it's worth noting, Brandon was not a good dude. He had a history of grooming and molesting young girls. And shortly after Tiffany's disappearance, he actually went to jail on charges unrelated to Tiffany but related to another young girl. Naturally, they looked into him in the early days of the investigation, but they just couldn't get the timing to fit. Brandon was working on the day that Tiffany went missing and his job was some like 52 miles away from the site where she disappeared.

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And although he technically got off work before she vanished, it was I mean, literally like minutes before she vanished and would have been physically impossible for him to get to where she was and abduct her at the time that she was abducted. So it seemed his alibi was enough to write him off until a couple of years later when he starts confessing to anyone and everyone who will listen that he murdered Tiffany. And the thing is, his multiple confessions often contradict themselves.

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But there was some things that just stuck out, like, according to court documents, in the early days when Tiffany was considered a missing person, Brandon had taken someone with him to like, quote, go out and search for Tiffany's body and again, well before anyone considered her to be deceased.

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So a little bit fishing. That's something that like people latched on to. Right. And apparently, he also asked his family to destroy some content in a metal box that was in his car, like once he became a suspect. And he specifically told them that this box had some kind of evidence regarding Tiffany's murder. Eventually, I think the case got cold enough and Brandon confessed enough that police must have thought he did it because they actually end up charging him with her murder.

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But what about his alibi? Well, that's still the big question. The prosecution suggested that maybe he just had a friend, like punch the time clock for him, but no one has ever come forward and reported doing so. But I think they wanted to just close this case and it worked. He was found guilty at trial and it was considered a win for the prosecution. But many people think he didn't do it. And those people include Tiffany's father and the lead investigator.

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Brandon is still in prison and he's fighting for his release, saying that there might not even be a crime. And I mean, he likes to go so far as to say maybe she's still alive, which to me is a real stretch. But there are definitely questions about whether or not he should be in prison for this.

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I guess my question is like, why would he confessed so many times if he wasn't actually involved?

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Well, in court documents, he suggests that at the. He confessed he was just about to get out of prison for his other crimes and he wanted to stay there where he had a place to live, three meals a day. But I mean, who knows if that's real? We've seen a lot of false confessions, and I can never make sense of most of them. But Brandon still sits in prison. But here's the crazy part to me, because even with him sitting in prison in the time before and after, other girls continue to suffer a similar fate.

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Four months after Tiffany Popish went missing, 14 year old Tammy Seale's went out to deliver newspapers in her hometown of Cleveland and then vanished. Her body was found four months after that in an abandoned house that was just a block from her own.

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Did she die in a similar way to, like Sini and Kelly, like strangulation and beatings?

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So in her case, due to her advanced decomposition, there was never an official cause of death, which potentially could have made it very difficult to see any kind of pattern if one was forming. But eight months after Tammy went missing, another 14 year old girl named Joann Hebert goes missing from Dublin, Ohio.

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Joanne had ridden her bike to a local grocery store, and she's seen by people in a phone booth out in front making a call. And later someone spotted her bike still there, but Tiffany was just gone. And here's the thing. After some time, but like within the same day, even her bike ends up disappearing, too.

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It would take two months before her remains were found three miles from her home. And like in this case, she actually had been beaten. And we know she's been molested. Now, early on, police were only looking at some of these cases as possibly being connected because of the locations like Cindy's case. And this one were considered as possible links because they were very, very close. Like both Upper Arlington and Dublin are right around Columbus, while Tiffany and Tammy's case were more like northeast Ohio near Cleveland.

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And then even more cases start popping up in northeast Ohio in October of 81, three months after Joanne went missing. And then just one month after she was found, a nine year old named Dumela. Sullivan disappeared while walking down the street near her home in Akron, Ohio. Of all of these cases, hers was one of the least reported on and one of the very few cases I found where she was initially listed as a runaway at nine years old when all these other disappearances and murders are happening in the same areas.

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Yeah, and this was super upsetting to see, because when you look at why her case was possibly treated differently to me, only one thing stands out. Damita was black and all of the other girls were white.

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And it took a long time for her case to be taken seriously. And it took five months before her body was actually found in a shallow grave.

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Oh, that's the first girl that's been found where someone, like, actually attempted to hide or bury the body. Right. Right.

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So that's notably different than the other cases we have. And I can't say if there were any other similarities as to how the other girls were killed, because by the time they did find her, no cause of death could be determined again because of the lack of reporting. I don't know what was done to try and track down the killer in her case, but without clarity, I'm left to wonder if they had tried harder, if more had been done, could it have stopped the next couple of murders?

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Because just 17 days after Demidov went missing, 12 year old Tina Harmon vanished under mysterious circumstances.

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Tina was twelve, going on twenty. According to James Runners book The Serial Killer's Apprentice. Tina liked to steal cigarettes from her mom's purse, and she would hitchhike from her home in Creston to a truck stop game room to hang out with her friends. On October 29th, Tina was hitching rides to make her way to that game room. But on her way, she stopped at a convenience store to pick up a fudge circle. When she never made it back up with her friends or arrived back home, she was reported missing.

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When police start looking into her disappearance, witnesses described seeing her talking to and being followed by a young guy in his twenties, just as police were feeling like maybe they were making headway and getting some tangible leads. Tina's body was found by hunters forty miles away. Like many of the cases before hers, she had been raped, strangled with clothes and then left out in the open to be found. Though the one notable difference, and we talk about comparing her case to something like Sweeney's case, is that in Tina's case, semen was actually found on items of her clothing.

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But in 1982, there wasn't much they could do with it. However, there was some other physical evidence that they found that they could use. Back then, all over her clothing were small orange fibers and dog hair. They couldn't tell where they came from at the time, but they knew that if they could ever find a suspect, they would have some really solid physical evidence to compare to. Police tried hard to find that suspect, looking at people in her family, old boyfriends, but they kept hitting wall after wall.

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Either the person had an alibi or they were ruled out in some. Other way, but according to the Suzuki's Thoughts blog, after a few weeks, they got pointed in the direction of a couple of suspects that looked pretty good for it in their mind. A woman came forward that said around the time Tina went missing, she remember driving with her daughter and seeing a young girl struggling with two men in a van. This lady said it felt so wrong that she started like honking her horn and that distracted the drivers and the men long enough to let this girl run away.

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But she said that the van made a U-turn and went back after the girl. And apparently this lady just kept driving.

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I was just saying she didn't stop or do anything else. No, she didn't even go straight to police.

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She's telling them this story after Tina's been found. And I literally can't explain the story any more than that. Like, it seems bonkers to me. But there they were with an eyewitness all too late and only a very fuzzy description of the two men in their vehicles. So in true early 80s fashion, the police asked the witness to be hypnotized to get more of a description, though it doesn't end up being super useful at all. However, that actually ends up being unimportant because somehow, some way a pair of friends comes on their radar.

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A guy named Ray Rucker and Ernest Holbrook. Now, both guys have alibis for the time Tina was taken, but they aren't anything police can't like excuse away and they're willing to excuse them away because they also find a witness who's willing to testify that these guys confessed to her and they even use this witness after she gives them incorrect information. Oh, wait. What do you mean? Well, according to that same blog, she tells police that they confessed to her and said they beat Tina to death.

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But the problem is, like police already know at this point, that's not how she died. But that still doesn't stop police. They just end up finding another witness who can corroborate other parts of this story. And based on these two witness testimonies and logic, nothing else. They charged both men with murder. And Ray is put on trial first and found guilty.

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Oh, OK. So could they have been responsible for any of the murders before this?

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Well, I don't even know if the public had the chance to make the connection to any previous cases, because here's the thing. Just a month after Ray is put away for life, another very similar murder was committed. And this murder to those who supported Ray in earnest was proof that the guys who were charged were innocent. Today's episode is brought to you by thread up, I'm not really sure where my head was, but I was fully convinced that maybe you could wear her winter coat from last year, you know, when she was like one and a half years old again this year when she is racing towards a three year old mark.

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Get an extra thirty percent off your first order at threat up dotcom slash crime junkie. That's t h r e d yuppy dot com slash crime junkie for thirty percent off your first quarter thought up dot com slash crime junkie for an extra thirty percent off today. Terms apply. On July 17, 1982, 11 year old Christa Harrison was just across the street from her home collecting cans in a baseball field with a buddy her age named Roy. According to James Runners book, Roy said that around five o'clock he sees this van pull up and a guy gets out and starts walking towards Christa.

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Now he's too far away to be able to hear what words are exchanged. But he can tell that the man's saying something to Christa and then she goes to the bleachers and sits down. The guy sits next to her and tries to touch her inappropriately and she starts crying. Now, again, Roy still like viewing all this from a distance away and he sees Christa crying.

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The man whisper something in her ear and then makes her get up and follow him to his van. She's put in the front seat on the floor in between his two like passenger seat and driver seat. And this guy drives away and as he's driving away, he yells out the window by Roy.

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Roy ran to Christa's parents house, told the family what happened, and they immediately call police. All Roy could tell them was that this guy seemed younger, like maybe in his 20s, and he had like shoulder length brown hair that kind of curled at the ends in less than a week. Krista's body was found. She'd been sexually assaulted and strangled and then left in the open fully clothed. But this time the victim was wrapped in plastic.

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Now, you might be thinking like, OK, so far a lot of these cases seem similar, but it doesn't mean that it has to be connected to Tina. Yeah. However, according to that, Suzuki's thoughts right up when the forensics team look at Christa's body, they find the same orange fibers that were on Tina in Christa's hair, meaning she had to have been in the same place as Tina.

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Right. But how would that be possible if Tina's killers were being held by authorities when Christa was abducted and killed? Now, the prosecution didn't want to say that they got the wrong guys, even though it was becoming clear to investigators that they were likely dealing with the same perpetrator. So initially, Christa's case had to be worked independently and at first it seemed solvable. There was an abundance of evidence found near her body and there was even a second crime scene with items that linked back to her.

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I mean, they had men's clothing, gloves, hairs and even a cardboard box covered in her blood. But they ran down lead after lead and kept coming up empty. They tried to link the clothes to someone, but no luck. They tried to link the cardboard box to a buyer of the product that it package. And though they got a long list of names, none of them actually popped out as being a potential killer. So dead end after dead, end after dead and family and friends watched the case get colder and colder, while at the same time Ernest was about to go on trial for Tina's murder.

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I mean, is it possible that Ernest did kill Christa either for the same sick reason as Tina was killed or even just to try to make police think the killer was still out there after his friend was in jail? No.

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So from my understanding, he was actually awaiting his trial in jail and couldn't have killed Christa. OK, now you would think that maybe the prosecution would rethink the charges, maybe not push forward with the trial, at least until they had a little more info on Christa's case. Yeah, you'd be even more inclined to think that when you learned that one of their two witnesses who said that the guy's confessed to murder, you know, logit the only reason they have these guys in prison to begin with.

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Right. Well, one of these witnesses backs out and says that he was basically forced into testifying as a result of threats that police made against him. So they got one witness instead of to another murder committed with the same forensic evidence on the victim. The case should be dropped, right? Yeah, definitely. Oh, no. The prosecution still moved forward in August of 82 and somehow they got another guilty verdict. The next month is when Kelly Prosser was murdered.

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And then just eight days after Kelly was killed, seven year old Dawn Marie Hendershott went missing from Massillon, Ohio, while walking home from her elementary school. According to legal documents like within the first week or so, police focused in on one of her neighbors, a guy named Donald L. Mauer. After police confronted him, he actually confessed to Dawn's murder, telling them that he went to school to pick up his own stepchildren and then other kids from the neighborhood who he was supposed to drive home.

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But when Dawn got in his car alone, he just took off and he took Don to a wooded area where he tried to molest her and then ultimately killed her. He first tried to strangle her and then he ended up shooting her. In the back and listen, there's little doubt of his guilt or innocence since he actually led police to where her remains were in the woods. But even Donald's arrest didn't stop the killings. On June 25th, 1983, a 10 year old named Debbie Smith went missing from the same town as Dawn.

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According to Cleveland Secombe, she was with her brother David.

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And they went up to this concession stand at this old, like, fair thing to buy a drink. And he turns his back for a second. And when he looks back, she's just gone. Now, in her case, there is something new.

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After she went missing, she made a distraught phone call to her mother. Though I couldn't find an exact like report of what she said. But I don't know that it matters because her body was found near a riverbank in August and an autopsy showed she had been severely beaten, stabbed and raped.

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In another weird twist, there was also candle wax found on her body. And according to the serial killer's apprentice book, candles were also found nearby. Now, during this time, both Earnest and Rae kept appealing their convictions, continually pointing to not just the lack of evidence in their cases, but also the fact that there were still girls going missing and being murdered regularly since their incarceration. And here's the thing. Even though they were both charged with the same crime under the same set of circumstances, when they both try to appeal their convictions, one is granted a new trial and the other is not how I honestly don't know, like there are certain things within the legal system that I will never be able to understand.

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Like, to me, this is so painfully clear. You guys, you were on trial for the same crime under the same circumstances, right. As some judge finds that. Oh, yeah, you should get a new trial. How do different judges find looking the same exact stuff that this other guy shouldn't? Yeah, it's incredibly frustrating and I cannot comprehend it.

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I mean, we've seen so many things like this happen where it seems so painfully obvious from the outside and it's almost like weird.

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The red tape is what's getting in the way when the rest of us are like, yet, though, this is it shouldn't be this hard. And this is just, I think, one of those situations and I don't know how to solve I don't know if it'll ever be solved. It's clearly like a broken system. Now, Ray ended up getting a new trial, and in that new trial, he was found not guilty while Ernest got appeal after appeal rejected and had to remain in prison.

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This went on into 1983 until a shocking nine one one call comes in. The clerk prosecutor's office said that in October, a nine one one call comes in from a local resident who has this crazy story. They say that a naked woman with a shaved head and handcuffs dangling from one arm just appeared at their door and told them that their neighbor had abducted and raped her. So this neighbor calls police. Police come by and they're waiting for said neighbor, a 40 something year old man named Robert Bule, who before this had never really popped up on police's radar.

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He was a city employee with no real criminal record. But that's not to say police had never heard of him because you know where else his name came up, where on the list of people who made a purchase that would have come in a box, just like the one that was found covered in Christa's blood. And when they searched Robert Buell's place, they find carpet fibers that match the fibers found on both Tina and Krista. And they find dog hairs just like the ones on Tina.

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And then they find candles that match the kind found at Debbie's crime scene. And here's where things get even crazier to me. So they decide, OK, he must have killed Krista. So they charge him with only Christo's murder, a hold up. I thought everyone said that Tina and Krista were definitely connected. Like when I say definitely. I mean forensically. Yeah. I mean, they had the same fibers and the same hairs.

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But to be clear, we still have someone in prison for Tina's murder. Yeah. Yeah. Do they happen to let him out once they arrest Bewell? Actually, they do not. Here's how it played out. So Robert Bewell is charged for Christa's murder in November of 83. Ernest then appealed his conviction again. And like, OK, you let out the other guy who's convicted of this.

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Now you've arrested another person. Sent for the murder of one girl that you say is linked to the same person who killed Tina, I shouldn't be in jail for killing Tina. It seems like a logical chain of thinking. It seems like they should let him out, except they don't. Oh, you're kidding me. The community had the same frustrated reaction. In fact, the backlash was so severe that the prosecution actually had to reconsider, though it didn't mean that Ernest Withers is going to get out right away.

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Robert Buell went to trial, was found guilty and actually sentenced to death. Then in May of 1984, Ernest finally got his conviction overturned.

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So did they conclusively link Buell to Tina and Debbie as well? Well, unofficially, yes. But like everything in this case, it's just a little bit more complicated. According to a 1983 article from the Akron Beacon Journal, Buell's name also started getting brought up in other cases like Demetre and Tiphanie.

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And it was basically just kind of told to the families, like, look, we got the guy, he's on death row. There's really no point going through more trial since he's going to die. This is just good enough.

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I mean, but is it? No, I mean, it left a lot of questions open for the family, like you think they're connected. But again, the biggest question here is, what if they are not? Then we need to be looking for more or different killers.

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Throughout his entire imprisonment and through all of his appeals, Buell maintained his innocence. And he even got people to buy in, like lawyers and priests who just thought he was incapable of doing what he was charged of. In his final words before his execution in 2002, Robert said, Gerry and Shirley, I didn't kill your daughter. The prosecution knows that. And they left the real killer out there on the streets to kill again and again. And those last words left a lot of people to wonder if maybe, just maybe he was telling the truth.

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Was there someone else? And for a long time, the author, James Renner, kinda believed that there was like he said, listen, this dude is definitely a bad guy. But Renner pointed out in his book that at the time of the murders, Robert's nephew actually lived with him and to render it made way more sense that the nephew could have been responsible. Why? So there are really a whole host of reasons for one in Christa's murder.

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Remember, her friend Roy said that he saw a younger guy like in his 20s and Bule was much older in his 40s. Also, when Robert Buell got caught, it was for kidnapping and raping that woman who got free and ran to her neighbors. She was 28, which is not quite the same victim profile as these very young girls. And there are a lot of other weird coincidences. And I would encourage everyone to go get runners book if you really want to dive into this.

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But the biggest thing of all was the fact that the murders of young girls in Ohio still didn't stop after Buell was in prison, though there seemed to be a long lapse in time before the next case, which was in 1989 when Amy Mihajlovic went missing after school and was later found murdered, left in a field. Now, her case has been covered by numerous documentaries and books. We actually covered her case in depth in the most recent Fanclub episode.

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But it's worth noting that, like Debbie, Amy also called home after she went missing, but before her family actually realized she was missing. And this might have been able to give the kidnapper more time. Like, it's such a weird coincidence that we've seen these two cases that we don't see in any of the others. Right. And like so many of the other girls, Amy was found in an open field and she had been undressed and then redressed by her killer.

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Amy's case goes cold and really there's nothing like it again until December of 1995 when 13 year old Barbara Barnes goes missing while walking to school. OK, you have me like mom paranoid right now. My kids are never walking anywhere from the house to the car. Nowhere ever. I'm even carrying my 12 year old on my back. They're definitely not walking to school, though.

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Yeah. So it's interesting, right? Like, this is one of the patterns I kept picking up on, again, on all of the cases. But in so many of these, it seems these abductions happen either on the way to or from school. And I don't know, like statistically, if that is a very, like, high time of crime when kids get abducted, like, how dangerous is it to be walking to school?

[00:36:35]

I mean, for me, I look at a determined time like a kid goes to school at the same time and gets home from school at the same time, like almost every single day. Be super easy to establish a pattern of when they are or not going to be there. And if someone's going to be home when they get home, that's true.

[00:36:51]

I mean, when you're thinking about a predator who who probably is watching, who is like figuring it out, I mean, that that makes a lot of sense. Now, Barba was found months later buried in a shallow grave near her uncle's property. And even though he failed a polygraph, Prinny Field reported that police could never link her uncle to the crime. And so it remained unsolved. After 1995, the rash of killings seemed to stop, or at least slow.

[00:37:22]

But most of the cases remain open and unsolved, and even some of the ones that were technically closed. Are solved or still by many people considered not actually closed and maybe even the wrong person is in prison.

[00:37:38]

In 2008, Tina Harmon's family was kind of tired of hearing that good enough. Again, they had people in prison. He was sentenced to death for Christa's murder. And the prosecution was like, yeah, you know, it's fine. You got justice. He doesn't need you don't need to be connected to Tina 100 percent. And they're like, no, that's not true. We want to know because again, if it's not him was things to test.

[00:38:01]

Now, she was one of the only victims that had actual DNA on her.

[00:38:05]

If we can be 100 percent sure, why wouldn't be so they demand to know once and for all if he was the one who killed Tina. So DNA testing was completed. And by 2010, India Online confirmed that police had made a match between Robert Buil and Tina forensically. So his nephew didn't do it well. His nephew's DNA was not on Tina. And it's a little bit difficult.

[00:38:34]

And this is one of the things that Runnerup points out to in his book a lot is nothing from the nephew was ever tested, which seems kind of bizarre to me, knowing that he lived with Robert during this time. None of his prints were tested, none of his DNA, nothing that belonged to him, like his car is vehicles, whatever. So, yes, the semen they compared from Tina's crime scene was definitely linked to Bewell. But that doesn't tell us definitively that he didn't have an accomplice, that he didn't have help.

[00:39:03]

I mean, I really I have no idea. You know what I mean? We he was definitely a bad guy. He deserved to be in prison. If there was something else that could explain what happened after, you know, he went to prison in the killings, kept going, I don't know. Here's what I do know. There are 12 young girls who were killed in Ohio between 1980 and 1995. Ten of them were within just a three year time span and in very close proximity.

[00:39:35]

And I actually made a map, Bret, to kind of give you a visual. Barbara is the only geographical outlier. She's kind of not in these two pockets. And Barbara and Amy's cases are the only two that happened much later than the others. But it's weird. I mean, when you look at it, it's bizarre, right? Yeah. I mean, it's already kind of unbelievable that all this is happening in the same state in, like you said, a fairly concentrated amount of time for the fact that you can narrow it down to these two distinct locations is kind of bizarre.

[00:40:10]

And there's something else that I kept coming across that back. And I know they're not all linked, but maybe like group all of these together and ask these bigger questions, because three of the cases took place in the month of June. Two cases took place in July two and September four in October, and then just one in December. And that December one is Barbara's case, who also is an outlier in date and location. So if you take hers out, we have 11.

[00:40:42]

Statistically, this is kind of bananas that 11 cases are happening in two tiny areas and they only happen during four months of the year. What was happening in Ohio? Why those months? Now, Tina Harman's case is the only one to date that has been confirmed by police to be closed using DNA evidence. And Dawn's case was closed through a confession where someone actually led them to her body.

[00:41:13]

So they know he's the guy, but the rest were really kind of left to wonder about did Buil or Mouther have more victims? Did Buhl have an accomplice who helped him or carried out his work or continued? Did the two men from a scene case continue their deviance beyond Upper Arlington? Maybe it's someone we haven't even talked about. I again, I know all of these cases aren't connected, but I don't think it's crazy to think that some of them might be.

[00:41:45]

And I don't think it's out of line to ask the question what was happening in Ohio in the early 80s that allowed multiple monsters to prey on these girls and get away with murder? I know there's at least one police department looking to answer that. I spoke with the Columbus police about Kelly Prosser's case, and they actually confirmed for me that they are actively working her case and exploring how new technology could potentially solve it. And for you podcast buffs, they're actually documenting their reinvestigation in podcast form.

[00:42:18]

So if you want an even more in-depth dive into Kelly's case, go check out their podcast called The Fifth Floor. Perhaps we will get answers to Kelly's case and maybe that could. Used to answers in some of these other cases, because each girl that we talked about, a senior Tiffany, Tammy, Joanne, Damita, Tina, Christa, Kelly, Dawn, Debbie, Barbara and Amy, they all deserve true justice. Again, if you want to hear more on Kelly's case, go check out the Big Four podcast.

[00:43:04]

And if you want to learn more about Amy's case, you can get a full bonus episode in our fanclub. And if you just want to know more about this tangled web of missing and murdered young girls, check out all of our source material on our website for a full list of articles and books that we used, including James Renner's serial killer Apprentice. For all of that will be on our Web site, Crime Junkie podcast dot com. And be sure to follow us on Instagram at Chromatically podcast.

[00:43:30]

We'll be back next week with a brand new episode. Crime junkie is an audio chuck production.

[00:43:51]

So what do you think, Chuck, do you approve?