OH OH - Bradley Bellino, 12, murdered, Boardman, 31 March 1972

Satch

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In 1972, Boardman, Ohio was a growing, still somewhat rural community where kids were free to roam and explore, independent of the careful watch of their parents that kids know today. A suburb of Youngstown, then a still-booming steel town situated halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Boardman was a place where people felt safe. That all changed the night of Friday, March 31st, when 12-year-old Brad Bellino left his friend Donald Templeman’s house to walk home and disappeared.

This is an incredible case with many twists and turns. 12-year old Brad Bellino walks home from his best friend's house when he was not able to get a ride home, seemingly vanishes into thin air, and several days later, is found murdered:

Help find justice for Brad!

An Exclusive "Philosophy of Crime" Investigation: The Unsolved Murder of Brad Bellino - The Philosophy of Crime

Satch
 

Satch

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Hey all,

My early thoughts on this compellingly complex and very tragic case: Going with one of two things that happened to Brad:

1.) Don's theory that the kids were being followed in a van, I think is what happened. Brad was kidnapped when the perpetrator found the right time to snatch him, and it occurred that Friday evening on the way home from Don's house.

2.) Second theory is that Brad didn't want to walk the three miles back, hitchhiked, and got a "bad ride." Oh, and I just got chills on my back when I typed "bad ride." This is heartbreaking! I put #1 at 60% and #2 at 40%.

More thoughts:

3.) I don't think anyone saw him that Saturday. I believe that Brad was abducted on his way home.

4.) Horror of horrors, the killer could have had Brad captive for those unaccounted for hours, if the reported time intervals between him leaving Don's house, and his body being found are correct. Killed Brad someplace else, and than go back in the van to the dumpster to dispose of the body.

5.) Don said the kids were scared of the van after seeing it multiple times, so it seems that this was a forced abduction. If Brad was frightened of the van, he certainly would not have willingly entered the vehicle. The van's speed along overtook Brad's ability to walk or run away. He was likely forcibly pulled into the vehicle, or a weapon was used by the killer to force Brad into the van.

6.) I can't stop thinking about what this family went through! Both families actually. No wonder the guilt and pain is so horrific. One person out of Don's parents, Brad's parents, could have taken Brad home that night, his life is saved.

Satch
 

Stella

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Two years after the Brad Bellino murder, another boy named David Evans, died under similar circumstances in the same town. That would be 3 boys in 5 years who were murdered in Boardman. Thomas Baird was the first victim, aged 15 and supposedly beaten to death by an anonymous group of boys. There may have been separate killers here but I find it strange, that many victims in so short a time in a small to middle sized suburb.
 

Satch

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More Thoughts on the Brad Bellino Murder Case

Listen to Brad's podcast! It is amazing! The gentlemen they interviewed actually knew Brad and Don! (Not really well.) But he followed the case, and has some very astute observations:

1.) He points out the time of sunset on that day, and says that by the time Brad walked home from Don's, and got about 20 minutes into his way home it was really dark.

2.) He Google Mapped/Searched out Brad's walking distance, and it was more like 4 miles away from Don's (according to Google results, not 3 miles away.)

3.) Brad's neighborhood took him to some "not pleasant" areas. Don's neighborhood was more upper-class. Brad would have had to have walked along some very deserted, highways in potentially wooded areas. VERY EASY for a determined person to grab a little kid.

4.) The investigator believes that Brad likely hitchhiked in the hope that by doing so he would be "Home in about 20 minutes."

5.) I Googled, "How long does it take to walk 4 miles?" And the answer is about 15 minutes per mile and this is at a brisk pace. So it would take AT LEAST AN HOUR IN ALMOST TOTAL DARKNESS FOR BRAD TO WALK HOME.

6.) I now agree that it is most likely that Brad hitchhiked home, and met up with a "Bad Ride." The investigator said that only very rarely would a car come by in the areas where Brad would have to walk home.

7.) Brad (and Don) but especially Brad had a noted history of hitchhiking. This makes Don's van theory less likely. UNLESS BRAD DID NOT SEE THE VAN. HE WOULD NOT HAVE GONE IN IT WILLINGLY AS HE WAS AFRAID OF THE VAN FOLLOWING THEM. Whether it was the guy in the van or another car, I believe that the killer got him into the car very quickly, If it was the van that he and Don saw, I think Brad only would have gotten in, if forced with a weapon.

8.) The investigator believes that the inconsistencies in some of the media statements and Don's statements are due more to the passage of time and fuzzy memory concerning who called the police? Was the belt with which Brad was strangled his or not? Was a stick shown to Don as he remembers as a part of evidence that he remembers, but LE do not, and have no record of this? Most seem to accept the coroner's report of Brad's death as Saturday @ 9PM. He left Don's about 7:15-7:30 on Friday.

9.) I believe that Brad started to walk home, decided to hitchhike, got into a car, probably not the van, and was likely taken to another location, horrifyingly held captive and tortured by his killer and than the killer very late at night with Brad dead, goes reverse in that same direction that he took to abduct Brad, knows of and finds the dumpster, and disposes of Brad's body in the dumpster.

10.) The belt, whether Brad's or not was traced to a JC Penny's. There WAS a JC Penny's at the mall where Brad and Don frequented. Apparently, new DNA has been collected on Brad's body, which I did NOT get from the original true-crime link. The investigator wants to know about that belt:

1.) If the belt was Brad's, this could be more of a crime of anger or revenge type of killing. ( Killer saw Brad, and on the spur of the moment sees an opportunity to grab him.)

2.) If the belt was not Brad's, it would likely involve the killer in a per-meditated crime. (Killer's mind thinks. "I am gonna hide out and look for a little kid to strangle and sexually molest") In #2 scenario, it doesn't have to be Brad Bellino. #2 just puts Brad in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I can't make a call on #1 or #2 until we know forensically from DNA was that belt Brad's or not?

11.) I agree with the investigators and Don that nobody saw Brad on Saturday. All false reports there.

Satch
 
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Wallygator239

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I stumbled upon this website while searching for the subject "Brad Bellino". I am from Boardman Ohio myself, and currently live in Atlanta, Ga. I was probably near the same age as Brad when he was abducted/murdered. I also lived in the same neighborhood (Ridgewood Estates) when the Evans boy was found dead, so these events have haunted me for years.

But it wasn't until recently that I may have some information that might need to be looked into. I feel if I don't convey this event, no-one would ever consider the possible connection. Back somewhere around 1973-1975, my neighbor buddy Eric Thompson and I road our bicycles to the corner of Glenwood Ave and Wildwood Rd in Boardman near our neighborhood to watch what I think was the first "Walk-a-thon" for some benefit. There were tons of people people walking from I guess Youngstown, and they apparently stationed some Mahoning County police officers at various intersections along the way.

At this particular intersection, the assigned officer came up to myself and my buddy Eric and introduced himself as Officer Cluse (Not sure of the spelling, but pronounced Cloose). He was an older man, probably in his later 60's, and he was apparently very enamored with me. At that young age, I didn't know what to think of it, other than it was very confusing for me, and wondering why he was focusing on me instead of Eric. He then started telling us that he operated a Sheriff's boat at Berlin lake, and stayed in a camper overnight while he was assigned there. He had gloves on, but would place his hands on top of mine rubbing them slowly while my hands remained on the handlebars, then looked right into my eyes telling me how much he would "like to sleep" with me and how good looking I was, but I vividly remember how intense he was with his statements. He kept repeating himself but he was a cop, so it didn't really sink in. I just thought it was weird, and I was kind of embarrassed because I felt bad for Eric in a way, that he was being ignored.

Anyway, we ended up leaving, and later that day or the next day, my mother gets a call from Eric's mother telling my mother that Eric told her this wild story about this encounter, and that she contacted the police and we were to meet at Eric's house when a detective arrived (pretty sure from Mahoning County since Cluse mentioned the Sheriff's boat, so most likely not Boardman Police) BUT, there should be some record of this, at least in Cluse's file. We both went to Eric's house, and the detective had us tell our stories (separate from each other), and we both identified this guy from a group picture of probably 50 or so officers. Following the meeting, the detective told us that he would be (at a minimum) released from his position and maybe more. That was it.

Over the recent years though I've read up on some possible scenarios of what may have happened to Brad B., and one of the scenarios could have involved a trusted person such as a priest or a police officer. That's when it clicked in my head! This Cluse character was an OBVIOUS pedophile, and of the worst type, someone that a young 12 year old would probably trust. One of the articles also stated that there was DNA obtained from Brad. So I was thinking, Officer Cluse is almost certainly dead by now of old age, but if this is compelling enough, could his body be exhumed for a DNA sample? If there's anyone on this post that lives in Youngstown or Boardman, Id' love to help in anyway I can to pursue this lead. I recently learned that my buddy Eric Thompson has since died over the past couple of years, but I think his brother Kenton still may live in the general area. My email address is [email protected] if you would like to contact me directly (if that's allowed). Sincerely, Walt
 

bflocket

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rob525

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Wow, I grew up a few miles away from Boardman ( North Lima) and would have been two years old in 1972. I even went to Glenwood Middle School? ( I think that was the name) for one year in probably 1982ish. Strangely, I do not remember hearing about these murders. I probably remember Boardman from about the age of six and don't really remember much in the way of bad areas. I will have to try to find the important locations.
 
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