Saturday, September 14, 2013

Can "Cold Justice" Help Solve 33 Year Old Unsolved Homicide Of Joyce McLain?

Joyce McLain (sunjournal.com)
In Medford Maine, residents are still haunted by the unsolved homicide of 16 year old Joyce McLain, who was beaten to death on August 8, 1980. McLain was a sophomore at Schenck High School in East Millinocket.  She was last seen jogging in her neighborhood - her badly beaten body was found on school grounds.  There are reportedly a dozen suspects in this case, but no arrest has ever been made. The murder shook up the residents of this small town.  Patrick Day went to school with Joyce McLain, he was a freshman at the time of her murder. Day took the initiative and went to Joyce's mother Pamela McLain with the idea of trying to get the "Cold Justice" team to re-open her daughter's unsolved case.  She was receptive to the idea. Day is now 49 years old and recovering from throat cancer. He told the sunjournal.com how the McLain murder changed his town. Petitions have been signed by residents in an attempt to get the FBI involved in the case have not yielded much results.

Public safety spokesman Steve McCausland says the McLain investigation is still open, and while the FBI has helped on the case in the past it cannot take over the investigation because no federal laws were broken. The FBI says that despite the petitions, the case can only be directed by state investigators.

District Attorney General William Stokes confirmed his office and state police are considering getting Kelly Siegler and Yolanda McCleary's help. State police have reportedly completed online applications for "Cold Justice" and are waiting for final approval from supervisors before submitting the application to TNT's producers.  Law enforcement officials want a better understanding of how the show works before deciding whether to apply. Among their questions: Will Siegler and McClary seek total access to the case? (I would think that's an obvious YES) What impact might that have on maintaining the chain of evidence as the law requires? 

Day says Maine State Police Senior Investigator Darryl Peary, described as the primary investigator on McLain's case seemed receptive to the idea of involving Siegler and McClary. However, Peary's supervisor Sgt. Troy Gardner was "less enthusiastic".  Are state investigators fearful that their original investigation would be called into question or scrutinized publicly in front of a television audience? I don't see any downside to getting outside help in a 33 year old cold case. Seems to me that they have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. 

Of course there is no guarantee that "Cold Justice" would agree to examine the case, should they decide to apply.  Nor are there any guarantees that "Cold Justice" would uncover anything new.  The McLain case was previously featured on "Unsolved Mysteries", with no real results. Isn't it worth a try? I say submit the application and see where this takes you.  This was a 16 year old high school sophomore, beaten to death and left on school grounds. Somebody has walked the streets unpunished for 33 long years. Submit the application, for the family - and for the community! Politics should not have a place in decisions such as this.  
Ronnie Hendricks Sentenced to 22 Years



CASE UPDATE: chalk one up for the good guys - or in this case the good gals! 
Following the "Cold Justice" team's investigation into the shooting death of Cuero Texas resident Pamela Shelly, previously ruled a suicide - Ronnie Joe Hendricks plead guilty to the 2001 murder and was recently sentenced to a 22 years in prison.  I truly believe that if it hadn't been for the efforts of Kelly Siegler, Yolanda McClary and Johnny Bonds - along with the local Cuero officer who never bought the suicide theory and never forgot about Pamela.  Pamela Shelly had loaded all of her belongings onto a trailer and was 15 minutes away from pulling out and leaving Hendricks for Arkansas when she reportedly "killed herself". Who does that? Shelly's family insisted she never would have done that to her two small children. She was leaving an abusive relationship with Hendricks, always the most dangerous time for a woman in domestic violence situations.

In Esipose 3, airing next Tuesday - the team travels to Siegler's home town to look at a complicated cold case. Siegler gets to visit with her father who still lives in the same small town. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting!