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Leads All Cold in Slaying Probe

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Leads All Cold

In Slaying Probe

By William B. Treml

(News Police Reporter)

Loose-leaf notebooks bulge
with X-ed out tip sheets.

New" information is rarely
,,, .'ived.

The daily "conference"
police meetings become dull,
painfully unproductive affairs.

Detectives find themselves
checking out the same leads
they checked out almost ;

month ago.

This is how a clueless murder
investigation looks as the days
drag o n and five killings
remain unsolved.

Since the slashed and stran-
gled body of 13-year-old Dawn
Basom was found on a deserted
gravel road in Superior Town-
ship 26 'days ago, squads of
detectives from five area police
agencies have worked virtually

•*und the clock in a frantic

, 'rt to unearth the one lead,
the » ne or license number
or ! ription which might
unlock the door to a killer. The
Basom girl was the fifth young
woman to die at the hands of
what Ann Arbor Police Chief
Walter E. Krasnyand Sheriff
Douglas J. Harvey have called
a sadistic killer or killers.

The first victim, 19-year-old
Eastern Michigan University
coed, Mary Fleszar, was mur-
dered, her body slashed and
stabbed two years ago this
summer. Since then another
EMU coed Joan Schell, Univer-
sity law student Jane L. Mixer,
16-year-old, Maralynn Skelton
of Romulus and Dawn Basom
have all met savage deaths at
the hands of a person or per-
sons who usually mutilated the
bodies after the murder.

An aura of near-panic which
set in after the Basom murder
has subsided in the Ann Arbor-
sin; ;(rea to a grim feeling
.,.,..! waiting as residents
keep doors locked at night,
warn teen-age daughters and
- "pe the killer will not strike


The five police agencies par-
ticipating in the investigation
have been using large "tip
sheet" forms for the logging of
all leads received and checked
out by their officers. Prosecut-
ing Attorney William F. Delh-
ey, who heads the murder
probe, ordered the use of the
sheets in order to keep a run-
ning check on all sectors of the

Currently, the Sheriff's
Department and the Ann Arbor
Police Department between
them have more than 10 note-
books bulging with tip sheets
used for information which nev-
er worked out.

At Delhey's' suggestion, the
five a- ^ continue to send
men t ,rence" meetings,
usually held at the Ypsilanti
Police Department, where
notes are compared, informa-
tion exchanged. But now there
is little to discuss, little perti-
matched, put together, correlat-

Even the "murder phones"—
the lines on which working
detectives from the five agen-
cies take calls—are becoming
strangely silent. When they do
ring, the caller more than like-
ly relays information which the
officers have already checked
out and found worthless.

"I feel like I'm sitting in a
movie I've seen three times
before," one detective sighs.
"And the ending is disappoint-
'ng every time."

iti City Police Chief

Ray WaHon and Sgt. Carl Free-
b( the Michigan State
Police post at Ypsilanti work
with EMU Police Chief John
Hayes in assigning men to
check out leads from the
Ypsilanti area. But, like Krasny
and Harvey, they feel they are
now merely going over previ-
ously covered ground.

^" dreary is the outlook for

-olving of one or all of the
murders th"* ^"secutor Delh-
ey has hi • decedent-set-
ting "immuiiii.J provision of
state law might be used for a
person with key information.
Under recently-passed law, a
prosecutor may petition a Cir-
cuit Court for the granting of
immunity against criminal
prosecution for a person prov-
iding vital information in a

"Someone in this area knows
this killer, perhaps was with
him at the time of the slay-
ings," Delhey says. "That per-
son can help the murderer, can
save someone's life if he will
just give us a call."

The prosecutor and the police
have repeatedly promised pro-
tection to witnesses offering

They are also offering almost
$30,000 in reward payments.

But no one speaks.