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February Short Cases 2020

Updated: Feb 17

https://www.podcastdetroit.com/crime-in-the-mitten-episode-11-februarys-short-cases-2020/

February Short Case Transcript

Hey there true crime lovers! It's that time again, our favorite time, short case week. Like we said last month, we come across a few cases that we would love to discuss, then when it’s time for the research we can only find maybe three articles with very little detail. So we both take two of our short cases and mash them up into one regular length episode. Before we get into the crime stuff, it’s still February, so we have two more self care tips for you guys. Mine is to find something funny and entertaining to watch on Youtube to end your day on a positive note. My favorite thing to watch on Youtube is HiHo Kids, I’ve mentioned it here a few times. Although they have a few sad and touchy episodes, those kids are my so funny, I can watch them all day. I have a few favorites, but I think if I start to name some, I’ll end up with over half of the cast. I just want to say, if anyone from HiHo or the CUT or any other channel affiliated, if there’s an episode where Cavalli’s granddad passes, I’m going to lose it.


The Disappearance of Cindy Moore

Cindy Louise Moore was a 28 year old, white female. She had brown hair and green eyes and was 5"7 and 115 pounds. On May 23, 1985, Cindy Moore ended her shift at the post office in Troy, MI at 11pm. She was supposed to go to her soon to be ex-husband, William Moore's house in Warren, to pick up their two-year-old son, Nicholas. A coworker saw her driving her silver and black 1984 Ford Tempo near the intersection of 14 Mile Road and I-75 at 11:15pm that night. That was in the direction of getting her son, but she never made it to him. She has not been seen or heard from ever again.


Cindy called William around 10pm to say that she was running late. He called the police to report her missing the following morning when she still hadn't arrived. It was thought that maybe she went to spend the holiday weekend with some friends. The following Monday was Memorial Day, maybe she went off to celebrate with some friends without telling anyone. When she hadn't returned on Tuesday, they knew things weren't good. Cindy’s mother, Barbra Hicks, said that her daughter was not dating and if she was going out somewhere it would have been with a few close friends. William said that he believed that she had started hanging with the wrong crowd and staying out a lot. Cindy Moore was living with her parents, in Clarkston but she had made a down payment on a mobile home in Auburn Hills, Michigan. She had planned to soon move there with her son. She left behind all her clothes, and since her disappearance her bank account hasn't been touched.


About a week after her disappearance, on May 30th, her car was found abandoned in the parking lot of the Abbey Theater at I-75 and 14 Mile Road. Police determined it had been there since May 24th, the day after she went missing. There were no cameras in the parking lot, so it’s really no telling how the car got there or when exactly it got there. That was a busy moving going weekend, it’s really no telling how much evidence could have been picked up from around her car, or how many people bumped into or touched her car in passing. Memorial Day that year was rainy, and because the car wasn’t spotted until three days after that, all evidence was basically erased. The car was locked when it was found, and the keys were nowhere around. They couldn't find any evidence of struggle. Her husband was considered a main suspect in her disappearance. She claimed he had assaulted her during arguments and he grabbed her by the throat before. That’s what caused her to move in with her parents. It didn't help William’s case when he had covered his swimming pool shortly after the disappearance. In 1992 police dug up his pool and backyard in search of her body. They didn't find anything during the search.


Cindy’s coworkers chipped in to hire a private detective hoping to find her. Her family, friends, coworkers and just people in general, searched for her that entire summer. There was a theory that maybe Cindy wanted to start over at life and she ran away. If that were the case, I would think she would at least take some clothes or take some money out of her account, but she did either of those. She had just put a down payment on a new place for her and Nicholas. She was known as a loving, caring mother, not someone who would just up and leave her son. Others suspected suicide, but still, where is her body, her keys, and her purse. The one that most people suspect is that she was murdered, she went to meet someone and the took her away, never to be seen again.

http://www.missingin.org/reg10819/cindy_louise_moore.htm

http://charleyproject.org/case/cindy-louise-moore


Dawn Dixon Bey

To stay in the theme of Valentine's day, my first short case for you all is a murder that took place on Valentine's. You know how First 48 is known for their clever and funny episode titles, I feel like if they would have covered this case it would have definitely been called something like, "My Bloody Valentine" because if this was a long case, that for sure would have been the name I came up with.


43 year old Dawn Dixon Bey called police to tell them that her boyfriend, 49 year old Gregory Stacks had been stabbed in their home on 807 Steward in Jackson, Michigan. She went on to say that she believed that he was stabbed during an altercation with some other people prior to her getting home and that once she did get home, she found him on the couch dead. Later on, she admitted that it was actually her who did the stabbing and that she was only acting in self defense. Dawn claimed that Gregory had been drinking and had become abusive and physical the day of the killing. She said that he had also thrown a dog cage at her. While in the heat of things, Gregory had this evil blank stare on his face, began to push, shove, and grab her. She stated on the stand during her trial that normally there was someone in the house when they got into these altercations, but this time they were alone and she wasn't sure what Gregory was going to do to her. They were in the kitchen when she grabbed a knife and she even says she was just holding it at her side. She yelled at Gregory to leave her alone. She then states that Gregory launched at her, she closed her eyes and when she opened them again Gregory had lifted his shirt up to see the stab wounds in the heart that she had just done. She then said that he walked into the living room, sat on the couch and that is how he died.


From this story alone, it sounded like she really was defending herself, until police arrived on the scene and they concluded that something else had to have happened. Her story just didn't seem like it was adding up. Authorities said that the act seemed more premeditated than an act of self defense. It was said that Gregory was actually stabbed while on the couch and that it seemed as if it was more premeditated than self defense due to the fact that Gregory had no defense wounds, just the two knife wounds to the chest, and there wasn't even anything under his nails to suggest a fight back. She had also had an incident before we had stabbed Gregory and that was definitely brought up in court. Also, Dawn had gotten rid of the murder weapon and still hasn't been recovered. The trial lasted for 8 days. She was originally charged with 1st degree murder but on January 27, 2016, the jury convicted her instead for 2nd degree which does not need the requirement of being pre-meditated. The judge over the case had very strong emotions about this case and made comments like, "Only a cold blooded and depraved heart could do something like this" and "The only flaw that Gregory Stacks had was staying in a relationship with her." The judge cited the guidelines of 12-20 years but he said that this time does not account for the cold blooded nature of two stab wounds in the heart. In response, Dawn said that she had allowed fear to take over her at that moment and that killing Gregory is her burden that she has to live with for the rest of her life.


Dawn ended up filing an appeal and said that the claims deprived her of her constitutional rights during the trial. She said that the court admitted evidence from the first time she had stabbed Gregory and also that the detective who testified and said that it didn't look as if the scene was from an act of self defense isn't an expert on those kinds of actions and he was made to seem like he was. It was also said that his claims were incorrect and that it helped the jury to make their decision as well.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.mlive.com/news/jackson/2019/08/jackson-woman-who-stabbed-boyfriend-to-death-to-be-resetenced.html%3foutputType=amp

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.mlive.com/news/jackson/2019/01/woman-who-killed-boyfriend-on-valentines-day-to-have-case-heard-by-state-supreme-court.html%3foutputType=amp

https://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/2016/01/dawn_dixon-bey.html

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/mi-court-of-appeals/1875431.html https://youtu.be/w4S5jfGDyYw


Lisa Marie Knight

Lisa Marie Knight-Frey was a 29 year old white woman from Ossineke, Michigan. She was about five feet tall and 120 pounds, with blonde hair and green eyes. Lisa was really into art and was accepted into art school but, she had been struggling with a drug addiction since she was a teenager. She wanted to get her life in order for her four children. She knew she couldn't take care of them the way she needed so she gave them up to other families who could. In 2012, she was working to clean up her life. She was once married to her much older husband Lloyd Frey, they had two children together. Lloyd was not a great influence on her life, but she loved him. She had a large tattoo on her chest with his name. Although the couple had divorced, they had an on and off relationship.


On June 8, 2012, the two had planned to go visit their youngest son. Even though the visit didn't happen, she still went to Lloyd's home. At 10:30pm Lisa called her friend asking her to please come get her, then backed out saying she didn't need a ride. Her mother thinks she overdosed on drugs and her body was disposed of. Her father shut down the allegations of her running off to do drugs, because throughout her addiction, she has never gone missing. They would like to know where their daughter is to give her the proper burial she deserves.


Disappearance of Connie Converse

The next case I'm going to tell you about, I'm not quite sure if this is a missing case, suicide or just someone who really wanted a fresh start with no strings attached. I'm just going to leave this up to you guys. I wish there was more from this story because my brain has come up with so many theories I don't know how I got any sleep.


Connie Converse, whose name at birth was Elizabeth Eaton Converse, was born August 3, 1924. Her brother described her as outspoken, brave, and wildly talented. She also excelled in all of her academic programs and was valedictorian. Her father was a minister and her mother was a musical teacher. She was raised as a baptist and it was said that her parents were really strict. As a sign of rebellion, Elizabeth changed her name to Connie and started drinking and smoking. Her parents' response to this was pretty much not acknowledging her musical career. Her dad died without ever hearing a song.


In the mid 50's, Connie moved to New York and shared a place with a group of friends who supported and encouraged her musical career. They would have Connie perform at little parties they threw. While trying to jump kick her music career, Connie worked at a printing firm to pay the bills. She met Gene Deitch and recorded a song in his kitchen. When Gene thought back on the music Connie made, he said that all of her songs were really about her. The songs always dealt with sexual frustrations and loneliness. Although her songs had an underlying meaning to them, they were ahead of their time, they had a certain depth and intimacy to them that just wasn't around in those days. He along with her friends tried their hardest to get Connie's music out there but no matter what they tried they were never successful. She began to grow, discouraged, and restless and began to drink and smoke more. She then turns her back on her music dream and moves to Ann Arbor, close to her brother Phil who worked at University of Michigan.


In Michigan, she finds work as a journalist, but her brother noted that Connie was growing more and more tired with her routine life and she craved more. In 1973, she found out that she needed a hysterectomy and this crushed her. Her friends noticed that she had been really down, so they scraped together some money for a trip to London and she stayed there for about 8 months. Although the gesture was so kind from her friends, the trip really didn't improve Connie's mood. A few months after this trip, her mom invites her to a trip to Alaska that she was taking with her friend. Connie really didn't want to go because at this point she was drinking and smoking more than ever and she knew she couldn't really do this on a trip with two elderly ladies. Her brother stated that she didn't really know how to turn her mom down so she just went anyway. He also said that the trip with her mom might have been the thing to push her off the edge.


In the summer of 1974 around the time of her 50th birthday, Connie sent out letters to her family and close friends. In the letters she stated things like she wanted to have a fresh start elsewhere and one letter even stated, " Human society fills me grief and joy; I just can't find my place to plug into it." After sending these letters out to the loved ones in her life, Connie packed her belongings into her Volkswagen Beetle and was never heard from or seen again.

The first question that popped into my head was although her family and friends got these letters, did they try to look for her. I couldn't imagine getting a farewell letter like this and not following up. Her youngest brother, who is the only remaining survivor of the converse family, said that years later after the disappearance someone told him that they saw the name Elizabeth Converse in a phone book. Phil admits that he was embarrassed and couldn't bear to reach out to her because she told him she wanted a fresh start and it was her choice to leave. He didn't want to just barge into this new life she set up for himself.


Her music eventually hit a bigger audience in 2004 when her music was released by Gene Dietch who had made a name for himself. By the year 2015 18 records of Connie's were published and she had a following a lot bigger than when she was alive. Her voice and talent alone was just too advanced for the time she was in.


Although her family and friends received those letters and her brother Phil didn't actively seek her out. They concluded that Connie drove off a bridge and into a lake or river somewhere West of Michigan. We'll never know what happened to Connie Converse but what I do know is that her music forever left its imprint in many people's lives'..

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