1982 Battle Creek Murder Case

Between August 1982 and March 1983, residents of Battle Creek, Michigan, were shocked by the brutal murders of three young women. “Street talk” linked their death to a satanic cult, and while no charges have been filed, police once described their prime suspect as a self-styled Satanist who boasted of leading black masses at Kalamazoo, Michigan. The unsolved murder had haunted Battle Creek for years when a local Crime Stoppers TV program featured the killing, doubling its usual reward to $5,000. The first to die was 20-year-old Margaret Hume, an ex-cheerleader and National Honor Society member, found strangled in the closet of her own apartment on August 18, 1982. Hume had been living in the flat for just three months before she died, her corpse hidden by a pile of clothes and bedding.

The second victim, Patricia "Patty" Rosansky, age 17, was walking to school on the morning of February 3, 1983, when she disappeared within two blocks of campus. Hikers found her body outside town on April 6, concealed by leaves and branches in a shallow gully. Heavy blows had crushed Rosansky’s skull. On March 13, 1983, the third victim, 17-year-old Karry Evans disappeared from rural Bellevue, 13 miles east of Battle Creek. Last seen walking near her grandparents’ home, Evans was found by mushroom hunters on May 10. She had been strangled, her body concealed by brush in a swampy region south of town. Once again there were rumors of demonic involvement: Evans had described her own occult beliefs in letters to friends, and she allegedly sported a jacket with the satanic emblem “666.”

In 1985, Thomas Cress was convicted of raping and battering Battle Creek teenager Patty Rosansky, leaving her body in a trash-filled ravine. At his trial, Cress testified he was delivering newspapers when Rosansky disappeared. His partner and a supervisor backed his alibi.

However, there was little physical evidence in the case. No fingerprints were found. And, in those pre-DNA days, only limited scientific information could be drawn from hair found in Rosansky's hand, or a semen-stained sanitary napkin found nearby.

Experts said the hair was not Cress'. But it was never linked to anyone else. Convicted of first-degree murder, Cress went to prison for life without parole. But, in 2002, the Michigan Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for Cress.

After over 20 years, the lines are still drawn. The ex-cops believe Cress is innocent.

In 1986, a call from Arkansas police thrust Mullen and his boss, Cmdr. Joe Newman, into the middle of the case.

Arkansas police were holding a former Battle Creek man, Michael Ronning, for murder. He'd lived in an apartment below Maggie Hume, who was raped and murdered in 1982.

Eventually, Mullen and Newman came to believe Ronning also killed Rosansky, as well as Hume and Karry Evans, from nearby Bellevue, Ark.

By 1992, Mullen had interviewed Ronning several times and had a proposed deal OK'd by Calhoun County Prosecutor Jon Sahli. Ronning would serve his time in Michigan if he confessed to murders here. The deal was approved by the then-governors John Engler in Michigan and Mike Huckabee in Arkansas. But in May 1992, while the deal was pending, Sahli got a letter from Michigan State Police who wanted to destroy the evidence from the Rosansky case and many other cases in which the appeals were exhausted.

Sahli signed off on the destruction, but he didn't tell the cops about the ongoing negotiations with Ronning. The evidence wasn't burned until October 1992, but the detectives weren't told for four years.

Sahli, now an assistant prosecutor in Saginaw County, said last month that it was just routine state police housecleaning.

"It was done in the normal course of business," he said, adding: "I don't think Mike Ronning was involved in the Rosansky murder, or any other of those things up here. He just happened to be in the area." The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that Ronning was unreliable and that his confession was riddled with errors.

More than two decades after the crimes, it seems unlikely that the case will now be solved, but homicide investigators still invite new leads, in the hope that someone, somewhere, may provide a crucial piece of evidence to solve this case.

Sources :
The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Crimes by Michael Newton;

Pic Source :

1982 Battle Creek Murder Case 1982 Battle Creek Murder Case Reviewed by Tripzibit on June 28, 2010 Rating: 5


imelda said...

it must be made by a serial killer

David Funk said...

I recall this case on television. A lot has been covered up, and that alone makes it nearly impossible to solve the case considering finding witnesses nearly 30 years later is a task in itself.

Sorry for not visiting lately. Work has been extremely busy.

See ya later my friend!

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