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  1. #1
    Widow is offline .I.P. Donnie, Dave, Melinda, Clayton, Lesa, James: Hang in there, Billy
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    OH - David Smelser, Donald Marker, & Melinda Newcomb, Preble County, 30 Oct 1987

    3 persons were found shot to death in a farmhouse in Preble County, OH, on 10/30/87 on Consolidated Rd. Donnie Marker, Dave Smelser, and Melinda Newcomb were all in their 20s, and their bodies were discovered 3 days later. They were each shot in the head.

    I am Donnie Marker's widow. I later found out that shots were heard and reported at app. 11:05pm on a Friday evening. Donnie had moved back to Ohio from where we were living in Colorado to attain a job and a home for us to move our 3 young children to. On that same Friday night, as I sat surrounded by my children, I was suddenly overwhelmed with a frightful feeling of extreme loneliness and sadness - for no apparent reason. I remember looking at the clock, and it was 9:05pm...11:05 Ohio time. I never saw Donnie again.

    There were problems with authorities from the very beginning of the case. I was never notified of the murders, I heard it from my husband's brother. Desperate calls to the sheriff's office were never answered, and messages were never returned. Friends began calling me to tell me to be careful when I flew back because it was believed authorities killed everyone in a drug deal. When I arrived in Ohio to bury my husband, I finally met and was interviewed by a deputy and investigator. The very persons that our friends had warned me about.

    Subsequently, evidence was destroyed, families appealed to media about their treatment by authorities, witnesses were encouraged by the investigator to meet him in dark abandoned places, emotional tactics were used to get us to stop asking questions, and persons with crime in their history were falsely named suspects.

    Outside agencies eventually investigated, but never finished. They did acknowledge the presence of corruption.

    Other cases of likely wrongdoing kept appearing

    ... James Silvers was found shot in the head, wrapped in sheets and buried under the floorboards of his house. The investigator (the same one involved in the triple homicide) declared the death a SUICIDE. The victim's wife was known to be having an affair with a sheriff. The sheriff is the investigator's best friend...

    ... Lesa Buckley was found floating in a lake the day after a party. Most of the witness testimony, including Lesa's mother, suspected a person who had previously attacked her and had been stalking and threatening her. Lesa had reported to her physician that she was afraid for her life from this person. The named suspect's family has enjoyed great favors from authorities in the county, and was never investigated. Instead, a friend of Lesa's, Billy Scott, was targeted by authorities. We have witness testimony of detectives offering deals for false testimony. Billy Scott has been in prison for 15 years while innocent. Billy Scott's father is the founder of the Citizen's Task Force and has angered authorities. The history of false charges and harassment on this family is incredible...

    ...Clayton Helriggle was out with friends in a local bar when a woman began flirting with him. The woman was a local sheriff's deputy. The woman's husband was also a local deputy. Weeks later, Clayton died from a gunshot to the chest in a horrific drug raid on his home. The husband of the flirting deputy was responsible for staking out the house for proof of drug activity and organizing the raid. The raid led to the discovery that there had never been drug dealing at Clayton's home, and netted a few prescription pills and a small amount of personal marijuana. When the house was raided, Clayton came down the stairs wondering what the commotion was about with a blue cup in his hand. Later, authorities insisted he had a gun in his hand, despite many eyewitness accounts of the blue cup...

    The saddest thing is that this county has a population of barely over 40,000...meaning if you anger authorities or have incriminating knowledge of a case, your odds of survival are not good.

    The families of the victims of these cases have recently discovered each other on the internet, and realized there is a tremendous pattern of corruption and wrongdoing. We have collected our documents and made a formal complaint to the Department of Justice. We seek investigative journalists to help us get our story known. Local authorities insist we are a bunch of conspiracy theorists listening to wild rumors. We never make a statement without having a document to back it up, including everything I have written above.

    I hope that everyone will take time to look at various forums and threads we have created in our plea for an outside investigation. Thank you so much for allowing us a presence on WebSleuths.
    Last edited by Widow; 10-03-2007 at 01:27 AM.

  2. #2
    Widow is offline .I.P. Donnie, Dave, Melinda, Clayton, Lesa, James: Hang in there, Billy
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    This case is a typical example of the "good ole boy" group that runs the county. Obviously, they control the courts, too, as evidenced by the finding of no official wrongdoing.

    After an evening of heavy drinking , off-duty Preble County sheriff's Deputy Terry Petitt flirted with a group of men half her age at the 230 Club in downtown Eaton, paying special attention to 23-year-old Clayton Helriggle, witnesses said.

    Petitt told the group "she was getting divorced. She mentioned she had a son our age -- the age thing was an issue. She could teach us young ( guys ) a few things."

    Ten days later, on Sept. 27, Helriggle lay dead in an ill-fated drug raid led by Petitt's husband, Detective George Petitt Jr., 54, then commander of the Preble County Emergency Services Unit.

    One expert said more small, rural police departments, using mostly inexperienced and largely untrained officers, are practicing a dangerous game: urban, guerilla-like warfare. He calls it the "militarizing of Mayberry."

    The use of special weapons teams to force their way into private residences "should occur only when you have overwhelming evidence that this is a large drug operation and the people inside are known to be armed and dangerous," Kraska said. "That kind of situation comes up very infrequently; hardly ever in small communities."

    Although Petitt was in charge of planning the raid, he told investigators he didn't have first-hand knowledge of anyone selling marijuana from the house.

    Nor did he know who had allegedly bought any drugs there.

    After the shooting, Hayes called in the Montgomery County special investigations unit, which spent 4 1/2 months interviewing dozens of witnesses. The report was turned over to Greene County prosecutors, who presented the case to a grand jury. The grand jury declined to indict anybody in connection with the raid, which netted a small amount of marijuana.
    Last edited by Widow; 10-03-2007 at 09:11 AM.

  3. #3
    Widow is offline .I.P. Donnie, Dave, Melinda, Clayton, Lesa, James: Hang in there, Billy
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Following is a press release we issued last week pertaining to our efforts to get a federal investigation into the corruption allegations...

    Dozens of cases alleging corruption in Preble County, Ohio, have resulted in a class action complaint addressed to the Department of Justice. Allegations include acts of intimidation, harassment, retaliation, false charges, deals for false witnesses, evidence/document destruction, drugs and homicides.

    The county of 42,000 citizens has a high number of cases with peculiar and questionable circumstances. The complaint alleges citizens in Preble County have been subject to official wrongdoing for over twenty years by a specific group of authorities, suggesting the acts of wrongdoing could possibly fall under the RICO Act. Additionally, many cases are alleged to have been carried out “under the color of law”, meaning crimes were committed while officials were acting in their official capacity.

    Websites and local online forums hint of a sinister underbelly of corruption. A victim shot in the head, wrapped in sheets, partially burned then buried under floorboards declared a suicide. A triple homicide, “unsolved”, with terrified whisperings in the county of participation by authorities. A murder, with a man serving time in prison, and the likely perpetrators remain uninvestigated and rumored to have close relationships with authorities. A “drug raid” on a young man’s home, organized and led by a deputy whose wife had flirted with the young man. The raid netted a few prescribed pain pills, a small amount of marijuana and a pipe. The young man died from a bullet to the chest as he came walking down the stairs with a blue beverage cup in his hand. Authorities insist he was carrying a gun.

    Authorities remain steadfast in their claim that citizens are “roused up” due to area rumors and activity on local websites and forums. Victims and their survivors have congregated on the web, and have presented an impressive body of work consisting of news accounts, witness statements and court documents. Sheriff Mike Simpson and County Prosecutor Martin Votel have asserted the position that anyone is welcome to approach them with information about a case. The complaint to Washington suggests a fear of sharing information with local investigators. Further issues in the complaint allege supervisors know or have been given evidence of wrongdoing and have not properly addressed or investigated certain authorities.

    Years ago frustrated citizens created the Preble County Citizen’s Task Force Against Corruption. Many came to meetings or shared information with organizers long distance by mail. There amassed an unsettling amount of alleged wrongdoing, and incredible stories of devastated lives and families. Guy Scott Sr., founder of the Task Force, is hoping to see the new prosecutor in Preble County indicate a desire to “clean the place up”.

    Websites and local forums were created by citizens and have gained a nationwide audience. A documentary has been filmed on one of the cases and at least two books are in progress. Media attention is desired and investigative journalists are invited to contact Preble County Citizen’s Task Force Against Corruption at preble.homicide@gmail.com.

    PCCTFAC Organization


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    I used to live in Richmond and moved away after two years. But I always heard stories of New Paris. I always heard my parents talk about this.

    I'm happy to hear that now maybe people can have Jutice and these people can now rest in peace!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    New York, NY
    These stories are unbelievable. Shot and buried, yet labeled a suicide? That is unreal.

    To Donnie's Widow, I pray you find the answers you are looking for. What a horrible way to be treated by the authorities after such a tragedy. I am very sorry for your loss.

  6. #6
    Widow is offline .I.P. Donnie, Dave, Melinda, Clayton, Lesa, James: Hang in there, Billy
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Thank you for the kind words. The citizens there remain in danger of angering authorities or having information in these cases. They are in fear of testifying about their knowledge of wrongdoing and will only speak to federal officials, which is why we are deperate to have the Dept. of Justice initiate an investigation.

    If we don't get this corruption stopped, it will continue on to the next generation, and they will be killing our kids.

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