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  1. #1
    AJS03182002's Avatar
    AJS03182002 is offline Verified insider - Stark County Ohio murders
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    OH - Unsolved Serial Killings in Stark County *ARREST*

    I am a newly registered member to the boards but I have been reading the boards for years. I have wracked my brain on just how I can get more help in this matter and finally I decided that perhaps this would be the best place.

    These cases are quite different to me than to most because I am not a family member or loved one of the victims themselves. I am actually a family member to the one I believed murdered these women and is continuing to murder women to this day. How do I know this? Because he is my father-in-law and has admitted to these crimes to both myself and my husband. After the news article came out (I'll post a link to it) we decided that we could no longer live in fear and went to the detectives with what we knew. My husband was actually present at one of the murders as a little boy and since that time he had lived in shock and fear but could no longer do so. We worked with detectives for a long time. We wore wires capturing confessions and put ourselves at great risk at the behest of the police department. We were outraged when it was decided that they did not want to arrest FIL until they could arrest him on ALL the murders they suspected him of and not just the 3 that we knew of for sure. Shortly after working with the police department, our home suddenly started to become vandalized (we lived next door to FIL) and blatant threats were made by him to me such as "I see you outside and I'll shoot you dead" and "You'd be smart to keep the kids in the house from now on". I believe that he found out we were working with police. I informed them of the threats and was told "Then I suggest you stay inside." Within weeks of this, we were told that the case was not being worked on any longer and that we'd be smart to just move away. We did.

    This still haunts us everyday. We think about it constantly. We feel shame that we KNOW who killed these women and yet nothing is being done about it. IF anybody even knows the names of these women or is familiar with the cases or families or can help us in any way.........Please! We are only 2 people but maybe if we can get others to help then something can be done and these families can possibly have some type of closure!

    You will notice that in the article it is stated that the suspect died of natural causes.............this is not true. He is alive and well and the police told us they did this as a tactic to lure FIL into a false sense of security.

    http://www.cantonrep.com/life/x11024...atrol-officers

  2. #2
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    Have you been in touch with the Ohio Attorney General?

  3. #3
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    AJS03182002 is offline Verified insider - Stark County Ohio murders
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    Yes. We've contacted the AG as well as the FBI. We were working with several different departments. The AG and the FBI stated that these were still open cases with our local sheriff's department and yet the sheriff's department has decided we are to be left in the dark about any information. From what we were told, they want to be able to arrest him on ALL of the murders they suspect him of. This totals over 20 murders. That's not a typo. They have him on wire confessing to the amount of guns that he owns (obviously he is a felon from a previous murder in Kansas and so he can not own any guns) and their locations. They could have arrested him right then for that alone but they said no. They want him for all the murders. So in the mean time............there are still women who are being found that fit his MO and those in Law Enforcement don't seem too concerned.

  4. #4
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    Have you been in touch with the man who wrote the article in your first post? He might be interested in following this through, or perhaps he could give you some ideas.

    I'm stumped, wondering why LE won't take this guy off the streets.

  5. #5
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    AJS03182002 is offline Verified insider - Stark County Ohio murders
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    Well, from what we were told, LE is the one who approached the newspaper about writing the article in an attempt to, I guess, "lure" my FIL out. Trust me, you are not the only one completely stumped. There have been other murders over the past 3 years that fit his MO and that LE are positive is him. He targets a very specific age group and there are very specific things that are done to the bodies. For over a year, LE had us in to the department at least once a week if not more going over information and having us wear wires at different times. It was a very scary time but we wanted to help. It was just quite suddenly that we were told, "We don't need you anymore and I suggest moving away." We've never heard another word and it's been 2 years. We've tried finding out these womens' names but it was so long ago that everything is microfiched in the library. I only have dates for 2 of the murders in the articles as well. I've tried researching on the internet but I've come up with absolutely nothing. I'm hoping someone will see this and know either of the murders or even know the victims themselves perhaps.

  6. #6
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    Wow, I am shocked to read this thread. I understand wanting to get him on all 20, but to leave you out "hanging" is just not right. Who were the woman in the article that were killed? They may even be here on WS as cold cases. I know they have the confessions on tape and have him at the scene of each murder, but lots of people in the past have confessed or bragged about crimes they didn't commit. So that is why they need something solid. Surely there is a some DNA frozen somewhere, a hair, blood, fluids, something that could tie him to these murders. If so, they could get his DNA and test it. They don't have to ask, just follow him around, pick up a disgarded cigarette, coffee cup, coke can, some thing like that. Sorry you are in this situation, I would be scared out of my mind too.
    Your Dream must be greater than your fear!

  7. #7
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    AJS03182002 is offline Verified insider - Stark County Ohio murders
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    I was a good girl and went through ALL the OH cold cases here and none of them match unfortunately. I don't have any of the names of the victims anymore. I used to when I did an extensive week long search through the library's microfiched newspapers but I only found one and I think her name was Donna. I have to go back and try to find the death notice and reprint it (moving to another city sucks. You tend to lose info you never intended to). They spoke more to my husband than to me really. My husband was present at the second murder when he was 8 years old. He saw the body and was able to describe all the details that were never released such as position, mutilation details and the location. This is how LE knew that we weren't lying about what we knew. In fact they even made him take a polygraph to make sure HE wasn't in on the murders because of the detail he knew. That was quite scary and unnerving. There is still info that I don't know myself simply because my husband is the type to shield me. I guess that makes sense since we were living next door to his FIL on the same property and I had to be left alone at home every day. He probably didn't want me to be anymore scared than I already was. The only info I know of for sure is that he targets the middle-aged to elderly, they are strangled usually with an item of their own clothing and raped with objects that are almost always left in the body. They are also positioned in a certain way but I'm not sure just how. The way he targets the women is by offering to do work for them. He's kind of a jack of all trades and learned many trades while in prison for 18 years. He'll offer these women to do these odd jobs for way below cost or sometimes even free. The last woman that we were aware of, lived about 5 miles from us and was elderly. This was about 2 years ago. She had hired him to spread mulch around her house and do some handy-man work. She was found dead just like the others. The police found a check written out to pay him and so they had proof he had been there. He was never even brought in for questioning. It was shortly after that murder that we were told to move away and that they would no longer be working with us. He is still living in the same home. We do not have contact with him since he threatened my life but we do live in fear that he could come after me or my husband at any time.

    I'm just really really hoping somebody sees this that can either help us put this man away or at least get him tried or that has knowledge of the murders or victims so that we can help these familiys in some way.

    When I get a chance to go back to the library, I'll post the info I'm able to find if there is any. I'll especially try to get some names.

  8. #8
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    AJS03182002 is offline Verified insider - Stark County Ohio murders
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    It has been a while since I have posted in this thread. There really hasn't been any new information but there has been some new help. We were recently contacted by the retired detective that was featured in the article above. From what he told us, LE had nothing to do with the article and what LE told us was not true at all. The detective truly did think that my FIL was deceased because that is what LE told him after he retired. He was not aware that anything new had been opened and was extremely upset with the way things are being handled at this point. He told us that he was going to get in contact with the Sheriff's dept. and try to use what influence he has to get this done and taken care of. We asked for the names of the initial three women but he said he didn't want to give them to us just yet. Probably making sure that everything we were telling him was the truth. But the most recent murder that we are aware of was of Linda E. Smith of Osnaburg Township in East Canton, OH. That was only about a mile from where we lived and the murder matched FIL MO to a T. This murder happened in 2009 but, of course, no arrests.

    So nothing really new but hopefully enough that we may be able to give some of these families closure soon.

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    Please keep us posted MinLynn and I am so sorry about the stress this must be causing you.

  10. #10
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    Articles on Linda Smith's murder

    Police seek leads in weekend murders
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 @ 05:10 PM
    by Malcolm Hall
    Canton Rep

    Last update Dec 15, 2009 @ 08:44 AM
    She [Smith] lived in the 7900 block of Orchardview Drive SE.

    “At this time we are not sure as to what happened at that house,” Perez said.
    Vigil held for murder, shooting victim
    Posted Apr 01, 2010 @ 11:13 PM
    Last update Apr 01, 2010 @ 11:21 PM
    by Robert Wang
    Canton Rep
    the unsolved killing of Linda E. Smith, 61, of Osnaburg Township, an Aultman Hospital nurse who was found dead in her Orchardview Drive SE home in December...

    Smith’s second husband, Craig Smith, says Stark County sheriff’s deputies told him that she was found strangled in her home Dec. 11. Smith, who says he was at an out-of-town tax seminar that week, did not live at the home at the time.
    http://www.the-press-news.com/local%...-as-a-homicide
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  11. #11
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    AJS03182002 is offline Verified insider - Stark County Ohio murders
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    Thank you for posting those links, Bessie! This part of one of the articles shows why we are so frustrated and angry with our local LE.

    "CRITICISM

    Borkowski’s husband, Glenn, expressed frustration that sheriff’s deputies had not revealed the progress of their investigation.

    “I think if they release information to the public more, people will start talking,” he said.

    Ross-Freeman criticized Sheriff Tim Swanson for not sending a representative to the vigil.

    The sheriff expressed anger at the comments, saying his investigators were working diligently.

    “If they think they can do a better job, they should get in the (law-enforcement) profession,” Swanson said about his critics. “We’re looking at somebody. I’d jeopardize the case if I said something about that. That person doesn’t need to know what we’re doing.” (bolding is my own)

    People want these murders solved and they had two people who were jeopardizing themselves just to get them solved for these families. THEY DON'T CARE! That's why I turned to here hoping against all hope that we can bring closure to these families and put this man away for good. Here is also a link to Linda's condolence page. Her maiden name was Vanvoorhis.
    http://www.tributes.com/show/Linda-E...Smith-87405299

  12. #12
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    The first article you linked, MinLynn, mentions three killings in Stark County. Do you remember from your research if all of the murders were in Stark County?
    Posted Feb 15, 2009 @ 12:00 AM
    by Jim Hillibisch
    Canton Rep
    It started at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 19, 1985.
    “The woman on Harmont Avenue NE in Plain Township was having a garage sale. Her husband comes home and finds her mutilated in their bedroom. Her body was posed, in the manner of a serial killing. Her grandchild was alive in a playpen,” Shannon said. It seems like yesterday

    “We asked him how he could know it was a ’63. He said he owned one. That’s pretty strong. We thought find that car, and we’ve got him.”
    A few months later, a woman was mutilated on Easter Sunday. The person who reported it was familiar. He was the man still suspected in the Harmont case.
    A few months later, a man found his wife mutilated in her bedroom, the body posed.
    “The husband told us they had a burglar alarm installed the week before,” Shannon said.
    They asked the husband who installed the alarm. He said a familiar name...
    http://www.cantonrep.com/life/x11024...fficers?zc_p=0
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinLynn View Post
    Thank you for posting those links, Bessie! This part of one of the articles shows why we are so frustrated and angry with our local LE.

    "CRITICISM

    Borkowski’s husband, Glenn, expressed frustration that sheriff’s deputies had not revealed the progress of their investigation.

    “I think if they release information to the public more, people will start talking,” he said.

    Ross-Freeman criticized Sheriff Tim Swanson for not sending a representative to the vigil.

    The sheriff expressed anger at the comments, saying his investigators were working diligently.

    “If they think they can do a better job, they should get in the (law-enforcement) profession,” Swanson said about his critics. “We’re looking at somebody. I’d jeopardize the case if I said something about that. That person doesn’t need to know what we’re doing.” (bolding is my own)

    People want these murders solved and they had two people who were jeopardizing themselves just to get them solved for these families. THEY DON'T CARE! That's why I turned to here hoping against all hope that we can bring closure to these families and put this man away for good. Here is also a link to Linda's condolence page. Her maiden name was Vanvoorhis.
    http://www.tributes.com/show/Linda-E...Smith-87405299
    In the three murders from the article, the same guy admits to visiting the the victim's garage sale, then he reports the second killing a few months later, and he turns out to be the alarm installer at the home of a third victim. Twenty-six years later, and no arrest?? And these are only three of a possible long series of murders with a similar MO? The residents of Stark County have plenty of reason to be outraged.
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  14. #14
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    AJS03182002 is offline Verified insider - Stark County Ohio murders
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    The 4 that we know of are all in Stark County. There may be others that fit his MO in surrounding counties and even into PA where he frequented a lot. He will not stop until he is forced to. I could post his name if that would help but I'm not sure if it would or if it could cause us problems with LE.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinLynn View Post
    The 4 that we know of are all in Stark County. There may be others that fit his MO in surrounding counties and even into PA where he frequented a lot. He will not stop until he is forced to. I could post his name if that would help but I'm not sure if it would or if it could cause us problems with LE.
    Ah! I was particularly curious about Pennsylvania. Also the murder of Helen Stuart in Newark, 1989, though it looks like the suspect is known in that killing, too. A guy who was staying at the house next door.

    OH OH - Helen Stuart, 71, murdered in Newark, April 1989 - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community
    Last edited by KateB; 05-17-2015 at 12:33 AM. Reason: repair url tag.
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