Turns out the girls from North Olmsted and Amy were not the only ones who got that same call from her killer.
I was contacted this week by a woman from Lorain, whose daughter was 11 in 1989 and was a student at Hawthorne School. Her daughter also got a call from the man who would be Amy's killer. Like the other girls, she too visited the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center. The FBI and police knew about this girl in 1989 but lost contact with her after the family moved away because they were afraid the girl was being targeted by Amy's killer.
The interesting thing is that this girl was originally from New London, and her extended family knows the Runkles, personally, though it appears, the daughter had never met him socially.
More on this as it develops.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I spoke to a woman named Linda today.
Linda is a very credible source living in Amherst who shared with me an interesting story.
Sometime around 1991, a man left a threatening message on the family's answering machine stating that their daughter "is going to end up just like Amy Mihaljevic".
Who was their daughter's teacher in 1991? Wait for it...Dean Runkle.
When this family saw my recent article they questioned their daughter about Runkle. The daughter said that Runkle used to tell her she was pretty and on one occasion said "you're too hot to be going out with [that boy]".
Seems the family kept the tape of that recording. That tape went to Amherst PD, who turned it over to the FBI.
I sincerely hope that tape is being treated as the most significant lead this case has had in 19 years. Treating it as anything else would be doing a disservice to Amy and this case.
BRING THIS MAN IN.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
The Cleveland Scene article is now on news stands. Those who live outside the region can read it here.
When detectives review a cold case, they look for coincidences and patterns that link a suspect to the crime. They know that, in life, there are no coincidences-only circumstantial evidence. While there are other suspects that can be linked to Amy's abduction by one or two coincidences, no one comes close to Runkle, who is linked to the crime by 5 or 6 pieces of circumstancial evidence, not the least of which is an eyewitness who recognizes his features. I feel confident that if the Cuyahoga County prosecutors put this man in front of a jury, they would convict him of Amy Mihaljevic's murder, especially if that case is tried by someone as experienced as Steve Dever.
At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself, why did this man, a former teacher of the year, suddenly quit teaching and travel as far from Bay Village as you can get without leaving the country, in order to live out of a homeless shelter? What drives a man to act that way.
Decide for yourself. My mind is made up.
Indict this man, please.
***If anyone has more pictures of Runkle from the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center or remembers him being there or talking about the place, please contact me at the email above, at work at 216-802-7235 or contact the FBI or Bay Village Police***
UPDATE: Other papers and journalists have started to weigh in. Click the name to go to their stories.
***Scene Update on 1984 Vermilion attempted abduction link to Runkle (second item down).
***One more thing...*** Seems to me, the response is pretty evenly divided: half that are thanking me for sharing this information and half that want to lynch me for exposing their favorite teacher's darkest secrets. I've been threatened by several of his former students. And that's fine. It goes with the territory. I'm a little more offended by those who say I'm doing this to promote a book. My wife, who has been with me these last three and a half years as I've spent countless hours tracking down witnesses, suspects, and family members, sometimes late into the night and on weekends, would be the first to tell you it's never been about the books, but a search for an answer.
And I would like to point out one thing Runkle's fan club seems to be glossing over: While the case against Amy is mostly circumstantial, we know for sure that he was sending sexual messages to at least one former student in 1989. No, that alone doesn't prove he killed Amy. But it does prove he's not the saint some are portraying him to be.