Saginaw Police Department Major Crimes Unit plans to reopen the case. Charlene's sister, Gloria Lee, prays for justice. She believes she knows who is responsible, a man serving life in prison, and two women. Lee says the trio bragged about the killing around the neighborhood.

Charlene Johnson-Lane was 28

Cold case homicide began with chilling phone call to a newsroom 37 years ago
By Bob Johnson |
on October 04, 2015 at 5:33 AM, updated October 04, 2015 at 5:35 AM

SAGINAW, MI — A telephone at The Saginaw News rang late on the night of Feb. 12, 1978.

"Yeah, I'd like to report a murder," the voice on the other end said. "She's at 1616 Walnut. She's been strangled and raped and stabbed."

Authorities went to the apartment house on Walnut and discovered the body of Charlene Johnson-Lane in her home.
She was found just as the caller said: strangled, raped and stabbed.

The case was never solved, and no arrests were made.

Mike Beyer, 65, Saginaw Township was a reporter for The Saginaw News at the time and answered the second call.
The caller said he wanted to turn himself in, but he was afraid because he said that he thought the police might hurt him, Beyer recalled.

"I told him that they wouldn't hurt him if he was with me. Sounded like he wanted to do it and said he would call me back, but I never heard from him again," Beyer said.

Anyone with information about any homicide case is encouraged to contact Major Crimes Unit at 989-759-1289, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-422-JAIL (5245). Calling is anonymous.

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