OH OH - Joseph Kupchik, 19, Cleveland, 12 Feb 2006

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by GoodAim, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. GoodAim

    GoodAim New Member

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    James Renner's book The Serial Killer's Apprentice has over a dozen true crime stories. One is about Joseph Kupchik. He was a college-aged twin who was working in a restaurant part-time, while going to college. At this particular job, his co-workers made fun of him and he just didn't "click" with them. They reportedly often changed his work schedule to those of a less desirable/profitable time. He was a good kid who had developed a bit of a gambling problem, which was a large part of why his death wasn't seen as a homocide. His car was found on the 9th floor of a parking garage in Cleveland, and his body in the alley below. He died shortly after the EMTs got there, his injuries consistent with falling from the 9th floor.

    Because he gambled, police seemed to jump to the conclusion of suicide. But there were many odd parts of this story that suggest something else. For example, "ice melt" chemicals were found on his body and there was a large container, locking from the outside, nearby that contained this substance.

    He had a stab wound on the left side of his chest, his t-shirt was bloody, yet there was no bloody on the railing he would have been climbing over to jump. There were more questionable things too.

    His car was parked in a place known for groups partying and playing loud music and security tapes were conveniently lost -- maybe because the owner of the garage wanted to avoid liability? There were a number of young people who might have been involved, many connected to his job or betting, as James Renner's story reveals.

    I don't think Joe killed himself; I really think that perhaps people from work were teasing or taunting him and it got out of control. I'd really like to hear what you all think...

    Here's a link to Google books and as of right now the entire short article is available.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Lc...wAA#v=onepage&q=joseph kupchik renner&f=false
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  3. Austin023

    Austin023 New Member

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    I know this is a pretty old thread (6+ years now), but I want to revive it.
    I read about this case recently and there does not seem to be a whole lot about it online, despite the passage of nearly 11 years since his death. Personally, I think Kupchik was murdered.
    I suppose because of the controversial finding (suicide vs. homcide theory), the case seemed to garner little press attention beyond the first few months after the death of Joseph Kupchik in February, 2006.

    I would say sloppy investigative work by authorities is largely responsible for this case being lost among the 'cold cases'. Even from the start, there seem to have been problems with missing crucial details and belated or failure in testing evidence that was potentially valuable (ie the blood drops found in the stairwell of the parking garage, etc--when eventually tested, they turned out to be from a female, ruling out Joseph as source, but they were fresh).
    I am using, for this post at least, Renner's book, as the primary source and hopefully I can find better ones later.


    A few things I noticed early on when reading this:

    A. The 'white stains' found on Joe's lower pants apparently were from ice melt, of which a large wooden container was nearby---likely used to 'salt' the garage parking surface in icy/snowy weather---this was February so I have to wonder---was this staining on the pants caused by being dragged along the parking garage surface? (to the wall, where he was purportedly pushed from).

    B. The sole stab wound on the body was at a sharp angle, on his left side and was quite deep. I would surmise this may had been done while Joe was sitting in the car, either with the window open or the door open (the car was found with the driver door open, keys in ignition, but the car was not running). I think some kind of altercation took place and he was stabbed, and for whatever reason, was dragged to the railing and pushed over the side, landing 9 floors below. That would well explain not only the white stains of ice melt on his lower pants but also the blood trail found from the car to the railing..where a knife, apparently the weapon used to stab him, was also found. It was a knife of a kind not used at the restaurant he worked at, nor from his home. It was a fillet knife, with a long blade, however (source does not specify how long the blade was).

    C. Joseph's cell phone was never found--yet his money, wallet and personal effects, like his backpack were left at the scene. Robbery was likely not the motive. Cell phone records indicate some discrepancies between what co-workers said when interviewed, so I think someone from his workplace might had been involved--in some way. Its a very strange case, with a lot of unknowns and unanswered questions---many that likely could had been answered if the police and coroner had worked the case initially as a homicide, not a suicide.
  4. Jolamom

    Jolamom New Member

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    I have to agree. This sound like it should have been more thoroughly investigated then it was. Who would stab themselves in the side if they were attempting to commit suicide? Especially if they succeed by throwing themselves off a nine story building. Why go through the trauma of stabbing yourself? Not to mention the very real possibility of causing yourself an injury which would not be life threatening but cause you to be in severe pain, possibly suffer some devastating injuries, and end up far worse off then you were prior to this attempt.
    Again, I. Think there should have been more investigation from the beginning. They really seemed to want to accept a quick solution to this case. I wonder what, if anything, any relatives of the deceased can add to this?

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