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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    Punishment or Cases Solved? Pick One!

    A producer for the television show Dateline NBC has offered the governors of Texas and Florida a deal: waive the death penalty for a murder suspect and he'll help solve three murder cases in their states.

    Producer Shane Bishop offered the deal to Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in a letter dated Nov. 29... The letter offers to help solve the cold cases if the governors would “guarantee not to pursue the death penalty” against an Arkansas convict serving life without parole for murder.

    Michael Ronning “has admitted to me that he has committed a total of seven murders,” Bishop wrote, insisting he is “convinced” that Ronning killed Annette Melia, 20, in Arlington in September 1982 and Melissa Jackson, 16, who disappeared from a Grand Prairie apartment building in Aug. 12, 1983.

    The remains of both victims were eventually found a few hundreds yards from each other, according to the letter.

    Last edited by OkieGranny; 09-05-2015 at 12:47 PM. Reason: snipped - 10% rule

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    She had reddish brown hair and weighed about 100 pounds. Her petite frame was dressed in a black T-shirt with "Here Comes Trouble" on the front and a nightshirt with "Have You Kissed Your Child Tonite?" For 21 years, no one has known her name, why she was slain and who left her in the Ocala National Forest near Lake Dorr north of Umatilla.

    Lake County investigators suspect an admitted serial killer serving life in an Arkansas prison may know something about the case. But Michael Ronning, 48, isn't talking...

    The case goes back to April 18, 1984, when a man found the woman's remains in the Lake Dorr recreation area in the national forest. She had been dead for two to four weeks, and animals had scattered her remains...

    In Dateline's research, the producers found a traffic ticket that was issued April 17, 1984, to Ronning by Umatilla police for not having a valid drivers license. The show alerted Lake detectives about its findings and asked if they had any unsolved homicides. That's when Lake County investigators first heard about Ronning and began investigating.

    Last edited by OkieGranny; 09-05-2015 at 12:45 PM. Reason: fixed link
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?

    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    The Doe Networks listing on the Jane Doe described above:

    Last edited by OkieGranny; 09-05-2015 at 12:44 PM. Reason: fixed link

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    SF Bay Area

    AR/MI/TX/FL - Michael RONNING, 1982-1986

    I'm not sure this is the correct place to post this, but here it is. I saw this case on Dateline. This guy confessed to 7 murders and might be tied to more. He worked out a deal with the governors of two states to not face the death penalty. That deal fell through. I'm thinking he might be connected to other missing women around the country.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    I would be interested in finding out which murders he may have a connection with, besides the six or seven they profiled on dateline. I believe that this may have killed many many women in the 80's and don't understand why he isn't being looked at more closely.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    The first to die was 20-year-old Margaret Hume, an ex-cheerleader and National Honor Society member, found strangled in the closet of her own apartment on August 18, 1982. Hume had been living in the flat for just three months before she died, her corpse hidden by a pile of clothes and bedding. The second victim, Patricia "Patty" Rosansky, age 17, was walking to school on the morning of February 3, 1983, when she disappeared within two blocks of campus. Hikers found her body outside town on April 6, concealed by leaves and branches in a shallow gully. Heavy blows had crushed Rosanskyís skull. On March 13, 1983, the third victim, 17-year-old Karry Evans disappeared from rural Bellevue, 13 miles east of Battle Creek. Last seen walking near her grandparentsí home, Evans was found by mushroom hunters on May 10. She had been strangled, her body concealed by brush in a swampy region south of town...

    In 1986, a call from Arkansas police thrust Mullen and his boss, Cmdr. Joe Newman, into the middle of the case. Arkansas police were holding a former Battle Creek man, Michael Ronning, for murder. He'd lived in an apartment below Maggie Hume, who was raped and murdered in 1982. Eventually, Mullen and Newman came to believe Ronning also killed Rosansky, as well as Hume and Karry Evans..

    By 1992, Mullen had interviewed Ronning several times and had a proposed deal OK'd by Calhoun County Prosecutor Jon Sahli. Ronning would serve his time in Michigan if he confessed to murders here. The deal was approved by the then-governors John Engler in Michigan and Mike Huckabee in Arkansas. But in May 1992, while the deal was pending, Sahli got a letter from Michigan State Police who wanted to destroy the evidence from the Rosansky case and many other cases in which the appeals were exhausted. Sahli signed off on the destruction, but he didn't tell the cops about the ongoing negotiations with Ronning. The evidence wasn't burned until October 1992, but the detectives weren't told for four years...

    Ronning, a convicted murderer, had lived in the apartment below Maggieís. He left town the day after the murder and was a suspect in two other similar Michigan murder cases. Ronning confessed, but the facts didnít all match.

    The further investigation caused a deep rift between the Battle Creek Police Department and the Prosecutorís Office that has lasted for decades.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    There is a new book out about the murder of Maggie Hume. LE thinks maybe the book will help solve the case.

    "Pardoe said the case, which has several twists, including the confession of a man convicted of murder in Arkansas, is intriguing even for people who don’t have connections."


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Fairfield, Nelson Co, Ky USA
    Here is his Murderpedia profile


    In it, a Florida Jane Doe is mentioned as being a possible victim of Ronning's. There are also several other murders he could be involved with, but he refuses to talk as long as the Death Penalty remains on the table.

    She had reddish brown hair and weighed about 100 pounds.

    Her petite frame was dressed in a black T-shirt with "Here Comes Trouble" on the front and a nightshirt with "Have You Kissed Your Child Tonite?"

    For 21 years, no one has known her name, why she was slain and who left her in the Ocala National Forest near Lake Dorr north of Umatilla.

    Lake County investigators suspect an admitted serial killer serving life in an Arkansas prison may know something about the case.

    But Michael Ronning, 48, isn't talking.
    The Austin American-Statesman reported Friday that a Dateline NBC producer had written letters to Gov. Rick Perry and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush asking for leniency on behalf of Ronning. Shane Bishop, the producer, believes that Ronning killed Melia and a 16-year-old Grand Prairie girl in the early 1980s, according to the Statesman. Ronning was the subject of a Dateline NBC broadcast in 2002.
    In 1996, Bishop noted in his letter, then-Michigan Gov. John Engler signed an agreement allowing Ronning to serve his remaining sentence in a Michigan prison if Ronning provided details on the unsolved slayings of three young women in Battle Creek in the early 1980s, while he was living there.

    In his letter, Bishop said, Ronning passed a polygraph and "gave statements in which he admitted committing the murders" in Michigan, but he was never charged. Instead, prosecutors "labeled him a liar and sent (him) back to serve out the rest of his life sentence in Arkansas," Bishop wrote.

    Ronning was convicted of the 1986 (or 1985?) murder of Diana Lynn Hanley in Arkansas

    Here is the DoeNetwork profile of the Florida JD that is a suspected Ronning victim. Ronning is not mentioned on DoeNet, but the Doe is mentioned in a few of the articles compiled for his Murderpedia profile.

    Altoona (Lake County), FL
    Homicide victim
    The victim was located in a wooded area off of a foot path, off a dirt road, approximately 3 miles north of Highway 42 and approximately 1/4 mile east of Highway 19, in the Lake Dorr Recreation area, in Ocala National Forest.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Fairfield, Nelson Co, Ky USA
    Here is the appeal of his Ronning's conviction for murdering Diana Lynn Hanley.

    It is fairly detailed (i.e. "Legalese"), but there are many dates and several without accompanying years. Though her gravestone lists 1986 as the year of her death, I think her murder may have occurred in early 1985 (per what I could gather from the appeal).

    It also gives an alias that Ronning used around the time of Hanley's murder (Michael Haroldson).


    Appellant Michael Ronning was convicted of the capital murder of Diana Lynn Hanley and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. On appeal Ronning raises twelve points. Finding no reversible error, we affirm the judgment.
    Eventually a search of the area was begun and Ronning was found hiding in some shrubbery about seventy-five yards behind the house. He was taken into custody during the early hours of January 7, 1985.
    On January 19 a trapper found the body of Diana Hanley. It was located a half mile off the O'Kean Cut-off road between Pocahontas and O'Kean, partially covered with branches. Diana Hanley's throat had been cut by three stab wounds from a large knife. There were bruises to the left side of the jaw. Her garments, including the red robe, were up around her shoulders exposing the lower two-thirds of her torso. There were scratches and abrasions on her upper thighs. She had been bound at the hands and feet. In the opinion of the medical examiner she had been raped, though the lapse of time rendered that opinion conjectural.
    Part of the appeal related to Ronning being referred to as a psychopathic killer in court by the prosecutors.

    At separate points in closing argument counsel for the state made these comments:

    ---I think what you are talking about here is a psychopathic killer, and these people, they feel no remorse, they feel no pain of conscience.
    ---And realize that if you are wrong, you are going to turn a psychopathic killer loose.
    ---Don't turn him loose to run amidst the law abiding people of this area, and any other area he might go.
    Last edited by bflocket; 10-10-2014 at 02:02 PM. Reason: formatting

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    I read the new book re Maggie Hume and based on the info in the book, it does not appear Ronning was the one who killed her

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2017
    I too have read the book about Maggie Hume. At one point I even provoked discussion with Mr. Pardoe on social media in which he dismissed any form of disagreement with his ideas because he was set in his belief that Ronning did not commit the crime. While I strongly question Pardoe's ethics on profiting from a "non-fiction" book based in personal speculation and interpretation of the case, I still am not convinced he is correct. Of course the novel is a good seller, people curiously LOVE a crime novel, but the book should be read from a standpoint of what ifs and not absolute truths or reality. The book should be regarded as an item to consider, but not as a fact.

    This case is strikingly similar to that of Patricia Rosansky in modus operandum, location and proximity to Ronning, and the method of death. With Rosansky, one track mind individuals desperate for quick money even speculated that Thomas Cress was the murderer. Instead of thoroughly investigating until innocent was proven guilty, our trusted system jumped quickly to guilty until proven innocent ( but not until 20 something years later and even then it was an early release, not a dismissal of his guilt or involvement.) I still question how much things would have changed had Sahli not intentionally ordered the destruction of the evidence in the Rosansky case. Would that DNA have brought Ronning here to further investigate the 3 cases tied to his name?

    Let's not make the same mistake twice, yes?

    Being the child of one of Mike Ronning's then close male "friends" who was briefly(simply by name) mentioned in Pardoe's book and a distant cousin of his myself, I need more convincing than a relatively new "true crime" novel that Ronning was not responsible for the death of Maggie Hume. The campfire ghost stories I have been privy to have a much spookier element of truth to them than your average true crime novel derived from personal opinion.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Washington DC
    This happened in my hometown; I know all the people involved in the Maggie Hume case. Nobody in our town believed Ronning killed her. We have all, with good reason, always suspected her former boyfriend.

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