Crime and Punishment: The Blog

August 30, 2007

Lansing, MI Serial Killer: Oh wait…that’s HERE!

Filed under: Uncategorized — sdkramer76 @ 7:15 am

So, let me tell you about my day, yesterday.  If ever there were a day for me to be a true crime writer, it was yesterday.

I’m cruising through my BTR (blogtalkradio) projects, I’m manning the Live Help Desk assisting the best radio hosts in the whole world with their questions about how to use our systems, streaming all the live shows and I get a skype call from Amber.  Amber works for BTR and is a contributor for this blog. She also happens to be my best friend and neighbor.  She says, “Have you been watching the news today?”  I said, “No…well, wait. National. Do you mean here?” Amber sighs at me. “Yes here.  We have a serial killer.”  Surprised, I said, “In Lansing?”  She said, “Uh, yeah.  John just told me.”  John, being John Sweet, another fellow BTR workaholic who also happens to be stationed in Lansing, MI.   We BTR-ians stick together.  Our kids also all happen to be great friends.

For the most part, I’m interested in what’s going on everywhere.  But, you tend – well at least I, tend to think that what’s going on around home is usually boring.  I’m usually interested in the national news.  Then, when I write “Idiot Pedophile Announces His Intentions to the Masses” you have an inkling of what the heck I’m talking about.  So, imagine my surprise when I flip on the news, and she’s right. We do have a serial murderer.  And scarier still, most of the murders have been within five miles of our neighborhood.

Everyday when I get out of work, my predictable pattern is to head to Amber’s, where she and I sit on her front porch and watch the kids play while we drink unhealthy volumes of Mountain Dew and talk about our day.  So, at the close of my shift, I scooped up my 2 year old, my laptop, Shiba (yes, that’s her name.) and a 2-liter of Mountain Dew and headed over to discuss what was happening. 

Approximately five minutes after I got there, one of the boys accidentally kicked a ball into the road, and ran out to get it.  It was at that moment that I saw a car flying around the corner we live on, headed straight for him.  I yelled for him to get out of the road, and I hollered at the black Chevy Lumina to slow down.  The driver of the Lumina, looked square in my eyes, and floored it. 

Just as I get the kids back to the right side of the sidewalk, and out of the range of the road, I hear another car.  It’s the same guy!  He’s gone around the block, to come flying through the neighborhood again at breakneck speed.  Our speed limit, I think, is 10 mph.  This guy was easily doing 40 mph.  He flies around the corner, swerves as if he’s going to jump the curb, makes it to the end of the block, flips a U-ey and comes back to do it again.  Up until this point I couldn’t see his license plate number because well…I’d had my glasses on all day. I didn’t want to wear them anymore.  I’d left them at home.  This time, I ran out into the street behind him to get close enough to get the plate number.  Then, I promptly called 911 and gave it to them.

Much to my surprise, they actually acted on it right away.  They put an all points bulletin out on the car with a description of the suspect.  Usually when you call police around here, it takes hours for response.  So, Amber and I realized we were out of Mountain Dew, which happens to be blasphemy in the world of us.  So, I skyped John to ask him if he would mind keeping an eye on the boys so she and I could walk to the little store around the corner – ordinarily one of us would go.  Serial killers in the neighborhood make you rethink that decision.  We didn’t figure that LPD’s finest would arrive for several hours.

Amber and I made our way to the store, and then as we were leaving the store, (mind you this is within about ten minutes of us calling 911) we see a LPD cruiser pull into the parking lot.  “Shannon?” he asked.  Amber pointed at me.

I’d like to describe the scene, if you’ll bear with me for a moment.  First, I’m sick.  My nose is red from blowing it constantly. I’m sure I’ve got the crazy ephedrine induced glazed look in my eyes from taking an Aleve Cold and Sinus every 12 hours. I’m wearing black leather slip-ons with a crystal bar across them.  I’m wearing pink Victoria’s Secret crushed velvet Capri cut lounge pants, a green baby-t type t-shirt that says “I don’t need your attitude, I have my own” with a little turtle on it, my hair is shoved into a hair tie so that it’s knotted at the nape of my neck, and there’s not an ounce of make-up on my face.  I was going to the corner store for crying out loud. I had full intentions of actually putting some normal clothes on before the officer arrived.  Instead, I looked like the crazy woman that you always see on the news in her Spongebob pajamas representing the neighborhood where something terrible has happened.

The officer (who happened to be very cute, which made my looking like Trailer Trash Barbie even worse) took all the information, and listened as I explained what happened.  He asked again for a description of the driver, and told us that the plates I gave are bad plates.  They don’t match a Chevy Lumina Sedan.  Then it occurred to me, that I had a strange occurrence of my own about 2 weeks ago.  2 weeks ago to the day even.  I told him about it, just in case it had anything to do with all the news about the serial killer.

It was about 1:30 A.M.  I had purchased my new laptop for work that day, which is why I remember the day.  I live in an apartment building that has four apartments in it.  My apartment is on the west side of the building, upstairs.  It’s still a two level apartment with three bedrooms, but the point here is that I live upstairs.  To get to my apartment, you have to go through a downstairs door, passing by my downstairs neighbor and then up my stairs to my door. At 1:30 (ish) A.M, Wednesday night, there was a knock on my door.  Ordinarily, I would’ve assumed it to be Amber and just opened the door, even at that late hour. But for whatever reason, I got scared.  I picked up the phone, and called Amber’s house (right across the street) and her husband, Gold answered.  I said “Gold. Someone’s at the door. I’m scared.”  He said “Ok. On it.” I told him that I was afraid and I’d keep him on the phone while I was handling it.  I asked who was at the door.  A male, rough, African American voice trying to disguise itself as a female answered “Shawanda”.  I said “I’m sorry, but I don’t know you. I’m not opening the door.” He said, “I need to use the phone.” I told him I was sorry, and that there was a payphone around the corner at the little store.  Gold was still on the phone, but had gone outside to see if he could see anything, and saw him exit and head east down our road towards the main road.

The officer was excited with the news of this.  I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to call it in then.  I guess, I thought maybe I was being a little over-reactive and that it was silly to be so scared over such a small incident.  But, this was before I knew we had a series killer in our midst.  That, and we have a strange neighbor who is 911 happy, which is the reason that it takes so terribly long for law enforcement response around here.  I let it slide, really, not thinking about it much, until today.

That night, my lights were off.  I’m a night owl by design anyway, but I was getting ready to go to bed. The person that came to my door bypassed Amber’s house, John’s house, my downstairs neighbor’s door, and up to my door.  Everyone else was still up.  Their lights were on.  Why come all the way upstairs to my apartment, to knock on the door, when if you really want to use the phone, you could have stopped at 20 other houses that still had lights on?

Then I got to thinking about why they suddenly showed up so fast today.  I gave a description of the suspect.  John had said that there was a sketch drawing of the suspect on the Lansing State Journal’s website.  I went and looked.  So…yeah.  I can see why they hurried.  I said that the car suspect was medium framed, African American, sitting in a car, it’s tough to judge, but if I had to make an assumption, I’d say he was between 5’7” to 6’0.  Not scrawny.  Not big.  Average.  He looked straight at me on the first drive through. He was cocky, he drove through a total of three times.  He was acting as if he was untouchable.  That fits the bill, all of it.  There’s no evidence to suggest that there is any connection whatsoever.  However, since there was a victim found just today, I can see why this would cause haste for the officer where normally we’d see a total lack of interest in protecting us.

So, that’s my day in a nutshell yesterday.  In upcoming posts, you will find all of the details spun from my sarcastic brain of the entirety of this crime as best as I can get my hands on information to spin it to you.  There may be several posts per day.  I’m going to find out what the victims lives were like, I’m going to delve in and see if I can come up with some good information to help keep you, our faithful readers informed.


1 Comment »

  1. This was an interesting day for sure. As you were talking about the guy coming to your apartment it made me think twice. I can get so wrapped up in my work, writing etc. that I so effectively tune out the rest of the world that I missed the whole stalker like man knocking on your door. Needless to say, the last days events and that bit of the knock has made me a little bit more aware of my surroundings and the freedom we so freely give our kids. A little tighter noose is in order as the summer slowly wanes away, and then when the snow flies–the crazies disappear into their holes; where they belong.
    Well done write. Take care.
    John Sweet

    Comment by John S — August 30, 2007 @ 9:55 pm | Reply

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