MI MI - Valerie Bishop, 10, raped and murdered, Detroit, 2 Feb 1977

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Nina Michigan, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Nina Michigan

    Nina Michigan Verified President/Founder of Missing in Michigan

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    10 year old Valerie Bishop was assaulted, raped and stabbed near a vacant home about a block from where she lived with her family on Detroit's west side.

    The Oakland County Child Killer task force was in effect at this time and they declined to pursue or investigate Valerie's murder. Detroit police arrested a local man, 30 year old Moses Potter in the days following her murder and it seemed that the case was solved.

    Potter, who was recently separated from his wife, was an unemployed college student studying at Wayne State University. He lived in a duplex directly behind where Valerie's small body was left in the snow.

    When police searched Potter's home they found bloodstained blue pants, a witness had seen a black man wearing blue pants in the alley around the time Valerie was killed.

    Using 1977 investigative techniques, they determined the blood on Potter's pants was the same type (O+) as Valerie's. They could not match further due to scientific limitations.

    When a preliminary hearing is held in the case, Potter is released by the judge for lack of evidence. He makes the dismissal without prejudice, so if Detroit Police find more evidence, they can charge him again.

    No one else is ever arrested or charged in her murder. The case remains open, 42 years later.

    Valerie's mother and siblings are still in the area and hope for resolution to this long cold case.

    upload_2019-1-28_15-59-35.png
     
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  2. glamourkitty1922

    glamourkitty1922 Well-Known Member

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    I wish that Detroit would run the DNA evidence.
     
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  3. Nina Michigan

    Nina Michigan Verified President/Founder of Missing in Michigan

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    Assuming the biological material collected 42 years ago still exists and isn't contaminated....
     
  4. Brotherfudz

    Brotherfudz Active Member

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    Read briefly on this case, wow, didn’t know Potter wasn’t ever convicted.
     
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  5. glamourkitty1922

    glamourkitty1922 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, of course.
     
  6. Alphafuzz

    Alphafuzz Well-Known Member

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    I saw a February 2019 tweet from her niece asking for the public's help moving the authorities to test the evidence. Potter would only be 72. I wonder if he's still alive.
     
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  7. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    Seems like a no-brainer to go back and retest for DNA in that evidence.

    This might make a good topic for one of the cold case podcast shows.

    More information in the Detroit Free Press archives

    7 Feb 1977, Page 1 - Detroit Free Press at Newspapers.com

    8 Feb 1977, Page 2 - Detroit Free Press at Newspapers.com

    MP had been fired from the police force in 1972. He had a poor record, discipline problems and it had been recommended that he get psychiatric help.

    Neighbors described him as a quiet loner. Valerie's family did not know him. She was reported missing at 7 pm Tuesday after failing to return home from a trip to a store to get milk. Her body was found the next morning. She was raped, bludgeoned and stabbed.

    She was found buried in a snow bank behind an abandoned home at 10035 Cedarlawn, about a half-block from her home.

    Google Maps

    Charges against MP were dropped on February 21, a little over two weeks after she was killed. After that, her name and case seemed to disappear from the news media.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
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  8. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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  9. stephgphillips

    stephgphillips Member

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  10. Alphafuzz

    Alphafuzz Well-Known Member

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    It's a bit blurry scan but the beginning of this article gives her age as 16?

    DyV_ND-XQAMT53m.jpg
     
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  11. Alphafuzz

    Alphafuzz Well-Known Member

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    If they still have evidence and since there had been an arrest and release early on even more reason for them to test it especially if they still have the bloodstained blue pants a witness described. There could still be justice. But Valerie isn't even listed on any of the Michigan State Police or other MI cold case file lists I searched. Her case seems to have fallen through the cracks. I hope the Don't Talk to Strangers podcast will generate some more attention to her case.
     
  12. Alphafuzz

    Alphafuzz Well-Known Member

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    I had seen a Twitter post from her niece last year asking why had police not tested the evidence and I was going to reach out with the intention of raising the funds for phenotyping and other DNA testing but i could never locate the post again. Perhaps it was deleted. At least in this case they've supposedly confirmed they do still have the evidence unlike the murder of the 16 year old nearby. I often think of these poor little girls and go over and over all of the knowns and maps. DNA might be the only hope left.
     
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  13. Alphafuzz

    Alphafuzz Well-Known Member

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    CeCe Moore is answering questions live about her work during the premiere of her new show so I asked her if she would work on Valerie's case and she said yes if the authorities ask her. I tagged Detroit Police in my tweet so crossing my fingers for this family. I refuse to forget this little girl who should have had every chance to grow up and have a beautiful life. I hope her murder is solved and Laura Wilson's somehow because I believe it is connected but they inexplicably destroyed the evidence. I still cling to hope though.
     
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  14. Nina Michigan

    Nina Michigan Verified President/Founder of Missing in Michigan

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    I've already spoken with DPD about pulling the file and re-examining evidence, just FYI
     
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  15. Alphafuzz

    Alphafuzz Well-Known Member

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    Excellent to hear. Thank you for doing that and your response. Most appreciated.
     
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  16. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    The Michigan State Police officer assigned to Michigan's joint cold case unit has been notified of this case as well.
     
  17. Mbt

    Mbt Active Member

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    bump
     
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  18. Alphafuzz

    Alphafuzz Well-Known Member

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    This case can be solved so why isn't it?
     
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  19. Nina Michigan

    Nina Michigan Verified President/Founder of Missing in Michigan

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    I know that Detroit pulled her file, but I don't know (between Covid slowdowns and a regular caseload) how much work was done.
     
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  20. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    Just found a helpful guide from the DOJ on how to implement and sustain a Cold Case Unit.

    https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/nij/252016.pdf

    More helpful information

    Notes From the Field: Expanding the Cold Case Team Beyond Law Enforcement

    This seems to be a common problem among many US law enforcement jurisdictions. Maybe there's a way to help them get assistance and organize cold case units.


    More help

    Cold Case Foundation

    I have an idea. Why don't we create an organization to support investigating cold cases, then use it to give away awards to departments and investigators who work on cold cases?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2021

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