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  1. #196
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    Also - if Michael was picked up by a familiar-to-him person in a car - is it possible that the person, maybe the parent of one of Michael's tennis competitors - had the competitor with him (or her) at the time, to reduce suspicion of the situation and also to eliminate the "Michael, I just got word that your parent was injured, and I was instructed to bring you to them" line.

    But I agree, this looks like a Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan situation MOO
    "Is this the Briscoe dame? Listen, I see that brat 'a yours with that gun packer, Jones." - The Texas Tornado, 1928

  2. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryG12 View Post
    Also - if Michael was picked up by a familiar-to-him person in a car - is it possible that the person, maybe the parent of one of Michael's tennis competitors - had the competitor with him (or her) at the time, to reduce suspicion of the situation and also to eliminate the "Michael, I just got word that your parent was injured, and I was instructed to bring you to them" line.

    But I agree, this looks like a Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan situation MOO
    Hi Mary,

    Welcome to the forum! And the Mike Klitch case,

    Over the years, I have begun to rule out the "Stranger Danger" situation. Mike had been taught about "Stranger Danger" and was apprehensive of new situations and new people. He was known to be adventurous, perhaps a "funny character." But was very responsible for a young age and a good student as well. The athletic background of the family, and the their strong community connections, shows that the Klitchs were very well known, and highly respected people. Success driven purservering people. Mike's abduction and murder was done by someone who new him or his father, maybe the mother as well, and there were probably any of these two motives for the crime:

    1.) The killer or friend or relative of the killer was rejected by Mike or another Klitch family member for a position of which Mike or other family member was in or supervised. Example would be:

    Richard Klitch- Turning down a job applicant at the Tennis club where he coached.
    Joan Klitch:- Voting down a school board member
    Mike-Klitch- Entering tennis tournaments year after year and constantly winning
    Mike Klitch- Seeing or knowing some information that caused resentment to the killer or the killer's family, where he would have to be silenced in the mind of the killer. The thing is, what would Mike have known that could have been so serious to promote and carry out an act of revenge resulting in his abduction and death.

    Somebody out there wanting to send a painful circumstance to the family, because they were outraged by the family's success.Likely turned down for a position that was determined by a Klitch family member. I never thought of the possibility of an accomplice in the kidnappers' car to try to make Mike an easier target. I think he was conned with "Your Dad had an accident at the club", with fake panic by the killer "He's in the hospital and your Mom sent me to get you! Come Now!"

    The chilling part is how much time elapsed between Mike being charmed to Mike realizing that he was in danger? I think that if he tried to escape it was too late.

    Satch

  3. #198
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    Hi Satch:

    Thank you for that information!

    Also - I know this one is a stretch, but it was mentioned that Michael spoke to some friends prior to his abduction. Did they all meet at the tennis court? Did any of them spend a few minutes practicing tennis with him? Was there anyone else on the courts at the same time Michael was there?

    Is it possible that one of those friends planned on being there with Michael, and the friend's parents coming to pick him up, who also at the same time invited Michael to come along too - say, maybe out for ice cream or something?

    The issue that I see, as you say, Satch, Michael would not have gone with a stranger nor be placed in an unfamiliar situation. Whoever picked him had to be someone he knew. It very could be the parents of a tennis competitor, with that tennis competitor maybe speaking to Michael earlier that day. And of course the person who picked him up knew he was at the court practicing. Maybe too easy to downplay this part, make everything look completely normal especially if there were other people at the court playing tennis too. What I am thinking of is this:

    Had it been a stranger, a kidnapper, a struggle, there may be a chance of risking this being witnessed by someone else at the tennis court. So, whoever abducted Michael, again, someone he knew, downplayed it as much as possible.
    "Is this the Briscoe dame? Listen, I see that brat 'a yours with that gun packer, Jones." - The Texas Tornado, 1928

  4. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryG12 View Post
    Hi Satch:

    Thank you for that information!

    Also - I know this one is a stretch, but it was mentioned that Michael spoke to some friends prior to his abduction. Did they all meet at the tennis court? Did any of them spend a few minutes practicing tennis with him? Was there anyone else on the courts at the same time Michael was there?

    Is it possible that one of those friends planned on being there with Michael, and the friend's parents coming to pick him up, who also at the same time invited Michael to come along too - say, maybe out for ice cream or something?

    The issue that I see, as you say, Satch, Michael would not have gone with a stranger nor be placed in an unfamiliar situation. Whoever picked him had to be someone he knew. It very could be the parents of a tennis competitor, with that tennis competitor maybe speaking to Michael earlier that day. And of course the person who picked him up knew he was at the court practicing. Maybe too easy to downplay this part, make everything look completely normal especially if there were other people at the court playing tennis too. What I am thinking of is this:

    Had it been a stranger, a kidnapper, a struggle, there may be a chance of risking this being witnessed by someone else at the tennis court. So, whoever abducted Michael, again, someone he knew, downplayed it as much as possible.
    Hi Mary,

    I agree! I am really into this case as well!

    A clue that could be important is what did Mike talk about with the kids before going to the tennis court? It may tell little , or a lot. For years, I have been wanting to know this conversation! I wish we could contact the detective handling this case to see what is in the case file. WS policy prohibits users from contacting family members. But perhaps an insider might be able to recall if any important conversation existing among Mike's friends and he around 2:10-2:20PM that day, June 28, 1971.

    To my knowledge Mike did not plan to be on the court with anyone else that day. The strangeness in that is, how does one play tennis alone? Unless the court had a ricochet wall for solo play, it would be very difficult to accomplish this task. The only way that this could have been a stranger abduction, which I talk about in past posts, is if someone branded a weapon, forcing Mike to go with him. In which case someone would have seen SOMETHING or heard screaming, there would be sign of a struggle on the court. There would be blood, physical evidence of a struggle there. Not saying that a quick stranger abduction is not possible, unless a weapon was pulled on Mike, forcing his abductor to go with him. I think he got into a car with someone he knew and trusted.

    If this was a quick cold-blooded killing by a stranger, it would still take time to do the killing, hid the body, all without being seen or heard. It is possible. But the killer knowing, to hide the body in a shack 25 miles away near a dam. that would later be a part of Alum Creek Lake, shows that this was very likely a local killing. Get far enough away from the local community, get rid of the body, go out of the way, and come back to town like nothing had happened.

    It is possible that the killer intended to burn Mike's clothes and glasses found nearby in the dumping bin, but could have seen suspicion in doing that, so he just threw them out closest to the first place available. The dumping bin The whole sequence sounds too planned to be some serial killer situation. This was some sort of revenge type killing. To my knowledge, there was no one else on the court that day. It was almost 100 degrees outside and Mike was over-dressed for playing that day.

    Satch

  5. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satch View Post
    Hi Mary,

    I agree! I am really into this case as well!

    A clue that could be important is what did Mike talk about with the kids before going to the tennis court? It may tell little , or a lot. For years, I have been wanting to know this conversation! I wish we could contact the detective handling this case to see what is in the case file. WS policy prohibits users from contacting family members. But perhaps an insider might be able to recall if any important conversation existing among Mike's friends and he around 2:10-2:20PM that day, June 28, 1971.

    To my knowledge Mike did not plan to be on the court with anyone else that day. The strangeness in that is, how does one play tennis alone? Unless the court had a ricochet wall for solo play, it would be very difficult to accomplish this task. The only way that this could have been a stranger abduction, which I talk about in past posts, is if someone branded a weapon, forcing Mike to go with him. In which case someone would have seen SOMETHING or heard screaming, there would be sign of a struggle on the court. There would be blood, physical evidence of a struggle there. Not saying that a quick stranger abduction is not possible, unless a weapon was pulled on Mike, forcing his abductor to go with him. I think he got into a car with someone he knew and trusted.

    If this was a quick cold-blooded killing by a stranger, it would still take time to do the killing, hid the body, all without being seen or heard. It is possible. But the killer knowing, to hide the body in a shack 25 miles away near a dam. that would later be a part of Alum Creek Lake, shows that this was very likely a local killing. Get far enough away from the local community, get rid of the body, go out of the way, and come back to town like nothing had happened.

    It is possible that the killer intended to burn Mike's clothes and glasses found nearby in the dumping bin, but could have seen suspicion in doing that, so he just threw them out closest to the first place available. The dumping bin The whole sequence sounds too planned to be some serial killer situation. This was some sort of revenge type killing. To my knowledge, there was no one else on the court that day. It was almost 100 degrees outside and Mike was over-dressed for playing that day.

    Satch
    I wouldn't totally rule out stranger danger. If someone pulled a gun on Michael, I think he would have gone quietly. I too wonder about the kids he met up with on his way to play tennis. Other than his family, were these kids the only ones to know his plans for that morning ?

    Didn't a cleaning lady in one of the condos opposite the tennis court see Michael ? Was he playing using a wall ? Or did he actually plan to meet someone there that day ? maybe someone who had seen him playing in that location before ?

  6. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by liz b. View Post
    I wouldn't totally rule out stranger danger. If someone pulled a gun on Michael, I think he would have gone quietly. I too wonder about the kids he met up with on his way to play tennis. Other than his family, were these kids the only ones to know his plans for that morning ?

    Didn't a cleaning lady in one of the condos opposite the tennis court see Michael ? Was he playing using a wall ? Or did he actually plan to meet someone there that day ? maybe someone who had seen him playing in that location before ?
    I agree on the first paragraph. Contact those kids with whom he talked and see what they can remember. The conversation could say much. Yea, a cleaning lady across the street said she "saw a boy matching Mike's description playing tennis by himself that afternoon." Family members believe that she is credible and they know off of that information that Mike made it to the tennis court. From what I recall, by foot,it would be about a twenty-minute walk from Mike's house to the court.

    He left home at about 2:10pm that day, talked to the kids at the church, which is like right accross the street from the Klitch's residence. It is estimated that he arrived at the court around 2:40pm. My own belief is that he had about 30-40 minutes of tennis playing time. I place the abduction around 3:15-3:20 PM. Joan Klitch went to pick Mike up at about 3:40pm allong with two of his siblings to take the swimming. She waited at the court for Mike. Only a tennis ball remained four feet from the gate. How long Joan waited for him to my knowldege was not made pubic. She took the other Klitch kids swimming. Than attended a school board meeting.

    The family called police when Joan got home from the board meeting. No one saw Mike. A $5000 anonymous reward was offered for Mike's safe return by a "family friend" About two weeks later, Mike's body was found 25 miles away in an abandoned shack. Cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the chest made by a butcher knife. His clothes, tennis raquet, and glasses were found in a dumping bin. Was the knife ever recorded? I don't believe it was. There were two cans of charcoal lighter fluid near the shack. Mike's body had been badly scorched. LE searched known serial killer databases and inquired the railway train company as tracks ran from the woods surrounding the tennis court. Mike had told friends that "he once hopped a train." Could Mike have gone over to the wooded area to cool off and was snatched? We know his abductor and killer must of had a car..

    Mike had Youth Baseball Game at 7 that night as I recall and never would have missed that. The tennis ball found near the gate was a special brand that Richard Klitch bought for him. Note that Mike did not take the ball with him. His parents said that he must of left in a hurry, because he would not leave his tennis equipment laying around. Mike had his racquet with him, it was found in the dumping bin with his clothes.

    Satch

  7. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by liz b. View Post
    I wouldn't totally rule out stranger danger. If someone pulled a gun on Michael, I think he would have gone quietly. I too wonder about the kids he met up with on his way to play tennis. Other than his family, were these kids the only ones to know his plans for that morning ?

    Didn't a cleaning lady in one of the condos opposite the tennis court see Michael ? Was he playing using a wall ? Or did he actually plan to meet someone there that day ? maybe someone who had seen him playing in that location before ?
    Stranger danger is my second choice theory and I'll be the first to admit, even that can happen in a well-off area like the one Michael grew up in.

    That dirt road by the tool shed where his remains were found - how frequently was that dirt road used by vehicles?

    Was there any way tire tread marks could be gathered at the scene?

    Or was it a foot trail only? What about footprints found outside that shed?
    "Is this the Briscoe dame? Listen, I see that brat 'a yours with that gun packer, Jones." - The Texas Tornado, 1928

  8. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satch View Post
    I agree on the first paragraph. Contact those kids with whom he talked and see what they can remember. The conversation could say much. Yea, a cleaning lady across the street said she "saw a boy matching Mike's description playing tennis by himself that afternoon." Family members believe that she is credible and they know off of that information that Mike made it to the tennis court. From what I recall, by foot,it would be about a twenty-minute walk from Mike's house to the court.

    He left home at about 2:10pm that day, talked to the kids at the church, which is like right accross the street from the Klitch's residence. It is estimated that he arrived at the court around 2:40pm. My own belief is that he had about 30-40 minutes of tennis playing time. I place the abduction around 3:15-3:20 PM. Joan Klitch went to pick Mike up at about 3:40pm allong with two of his siblings to take the swimming. She waited at the court for Mike. Only a tennis ball remained four feet from the gate. How long Joan waited for him to my knowldege was not made pubic. She took the other Klitch kids swimming. Than attended a school board meeting.

    The family called police when Joan got home from the board meeting. No one saw Mike. A $5000 anonymous reward was offered for Mike's safe return by a "family friend" About two weeks later, Mike's body was found 25 miles away in an abandoned shack. Cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the chest made by a butcher knife. His clothes, tennis raquet, and glasses were found in a dumping bin. Was the knife ever recorded? I don't believe it was. There were two cans of charcoal lighter fluid near the shack. Mike's body had been badly scorched. LE searched known serial killer databases and inquired the railway train company as tracks ran from the woods surrounding the tennis court. Mike had told friends that "he once hopped a train." Could Mike have gone over to the wooded area to cool off and was snatched? We know his abductor and killer must of had a car..

    Mike had Youth Baseball Game at 7 that night as I recall and never would have missed that. The tennis ball found near the gate was a special brand that Richard Klitch bought for him. Note that Mike did not take the ball with him. His parents said that he must of left in a hurry, because he would not leave his tennis equipment laying around. Mike had his racquet with him, it was found in the dumping bin with his clothes.

    Satch
    Above should say, "Was the knife ever recovered?" Not recorded.

    Satch

  9. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryG12 View Post

    That dirt road by the tool shed where his remains were found - how frequently was that dirt road used by vehicles?

    Was there any way tire tread marks could be gathered at the scene?

    Or was it a foot trail only? What about footprints found outside that shed?
    After looking at the Columbus newspaper articles again, it appears that the road by the tool shed where the remains were found was totally different in 1971 than what it is today.

    An article from the Columbus Dispatch in 1971 reported that the tool shed was located near the end of an old gravel driveway.

    A black and white photo from a 1971 Columbus Dispatch newspaper article showed a gravel driveway with gravel on top of a dirt road.

    And since the tool shed was in the area of an old abandoned quarry, it would make sense for gravel to be on top of a dirt road.

    I believe when the old quarry was operational, gravel was used on top of the dirt road to prevent the heavy dump trucks from getting stuck.

    Now as for tire thread marks and footprints at the scene, I honestly donít know. But that is a very good question.

    I honestly donít know if there was a place for vehicles to turn around at the end of the old gravel driveway. Or if vehicles had to turn onto the grass to turn around when the old gravel driveway suddenly ended.

    I donít know how frequently the old gravel driveway was used by vehicles, but there was an illegal trash dump near the tool shed and abandoned quarry.

    The gravel on the old gravel driveway near the Africa and Plumb roads intersection is long gone. But as you drive by there today, you can still see the faint trace of an old dirt road that is now fenced off.

  10. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by liz b. View Post

    I too wonder about the kids he met up with on his way to play tennis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satch View Post

    I agree on the first paragraph. Contact those kids with whom he talked and see what they can remember. The conversation could say much. Yea, a cleaning lady across the street said she "saw a boy matching Mike's description playing tennis by himself that afternoon." Family members believe that she is credible and they know off of that information that Mike made it to the tennis court.

    I agree that the kids who spoke with Mike at the church that day should be contacted again by investigators to see what they can remember.

    The Columbus newspapers only reported that Mike stopped to talk with neighborhood kids in front of the church near his home after leaving his home.

    Since the weather was hot and humid that afternoon, I wonder what had transpired with Mike and the neighborhood kids at the church.

    Did Mike and the kids talk on the outside on the sidewalk in front of the church or on the church parking lot?

    Was the church open and were there any indoor or outdoor activities going on at the church at the time that Mike and the kids were there?

    Could Mike and the kids have gone inside the church to talk if it was open and air conditioned?

    Were there anyone at the church that may have seen Mike and the kids talking?

    Not only do you have to wonder if any of the kids had walked part of the way to the tennis court with Mike after leaving church, you also have to wonder if someone had followed Mike after leaving the church.

    Now about the high rise apartment building that is across the street from the tennis courts where the maid had seen Mike playing tennis by himself.

    When you’re at the tennis courts looking at the high rise apartment building directly across the street, you will see that the high rise apartment building sits on a hill at an obtuse angle.

    Since the high rise apartment building is at an obtuse angle, I believe the maid would have to be on the upper floors on the southeast side of the high rise to have seen Mike playing at the tennis courts across the street.


  11. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by nerosleuth View Post
    I agree that the kids who spoke with Mike at the church that day should be contacted again by investigators to see what they can remember.

    The Columbus newspapers only reported that Mike stopped to talk with neighborhood kids in front of the church near his home after leaving his home.

    Since the weather was hot and humid that afternoon, I wonder what had transpired with Mike and the neighborhood kids at the church.

    Did Mike and the kids talk on the outside on the sidewalk in front of the church or on the church parking lot?

    Was the church open and were there any indoor or outdoor activities going on at the church at the time that Mike and the kids were there?

    Could Mike and the kids have gone inside the church to talk if it was open and air conditioned?

    Were there anyone at the church that may have seen Mike and the kids talking?

    Not only do you have to wonder if any of the kids had walked part of the way to the tennis court with Mike after leaving church, you also have to wonder if someone had followed Mike after leaving the church.

    Now about the high rise apartment building that is across the street from the tennis courts where the maid had seen Mike playing tennis by himself.

    When you’re at the tennis courts looking at the high rise apartment building directly across the street, you will see that the high rise apartment building sits on a hill at an obtuse angle.

    Since the high rise apartment building is at an obtuse angle, I believe the maid would have to be on the upper floors on the southeast side of the high rise to have seen Mike playing at the tennis courts across the street.
    Do we know if Michael had a tennis coach ? If so, did his coach know where he practiced ? Excluding a coach, the only people who knew he was going to practice that day were his family and the kids he stopped to talk to ?

  12. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by liz b. View Post
    Do we know if Michael had a tennis coach ? If so, did his coach know where he practiced ? Excluding a coach, the only people who knew he was going to practice that day were his family and the kids he stopped to talk to ?
    I would assume that since Mike's Dad was a coach that he would be Mike's coach. BTW, I have 60% that Mike was abducted and murdered by someone he knew and 40% stranger-danger, with the likelihood of using a weapon as a threat if Mike did not comply.

    Satch

  13. #208
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    After reading this thread, I have some questions/theories

    Who was he set to play against in the next tennis tournament? Did that person go on to excel in Tennis and make a name for themselves?

    Also, with the stab wounds to the stomach, it is almost like someone near the same height or slightly taller than Michael. Standing there and thrusting the knife in his stomach as they are "fighting/struggling". If it was someone taller, then the stab wounds would have been more in the upper portion and downward.

    Just my own thoughts.

  14. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4SAM View Post
    After reading this thread, I have some questions/theories

    Who was he set to play against in the next tennis tournament? Did that person go on to excel in Tennis and make a name for themselves?

    Also, with the stab wounds to the stomach, it is almost like someone near the same height or slightly taller than Michael. Standing there and thrusting the knife in his stomach as they are "fighting/struggling". If it was someone taller, then the stab wounds would have been more in the upper portion and downward.

    Just my own thoughts.
    I read somewhere that the stab wounds were jagged and one writer said "amateurish." Probably meaning that this was not some serial killer who knew what he was doing, or Mike fought back in a big way. Please if anyone has answers to the questions above, or knows someone who might,. please post and let us know, The Ohio General has information about submitting tips in the Klitch case online. I don't want to post the direct links, but they are asking for help, and that is a good thing. All great questions!

    Satch

  15. #210
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    Information about the lighter fluid cans found near Mike's body. Article states that they were turned over to the FBI:

    https://www.newspapers.com/clip/1081...er_fluid_cans/

    Satch

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