I turned on my computer the other day and glanced at the Detroit Freepress and noticed this headline..".Dad of Timothy King wins documents in search for son's Killer"........Knowing the background of he the story I immediately clicked on the link and began reading....While reading the article it was like I was transported back in time. To a dark place in my memory when fear overrode any sliver of normalcy in my life and that of any other child my age.
It was a time when every kid my age lives lost some innocence, stolen from a monster who plucked children form their happy existence, held them for days and then callously murdered them dumping their lifeless bodies on the side of a snow filled ditch or roadside.
Author Glen Hirshberg, who also lived in the area as a kid, dubbed him the "snowman" in his chilling hauntingly familiar tale titled "The Snowman's Children" A work of fiction laced with just enough similarities to the murders to remind me these crimes have never been solved. The kids in my neighborhood simply dubbed him the babysitter for his habit of holding his victims for days before killing them, meticulously cleaning their clothes and bodies before dumping them.
Al the snow we've ad lately remind me of that long clod bitter winter that ever seemed to end. The two block walked home from the bus stop in which you'd break into a sprint within seconds. Glancing behind to make sure no one was following you.....passing strings of houses displaying their "safe house" signs in their windows...as if that could really keep you safe....always wondering why the green house on the left never displayed the sign. It was the first time I'd ever overtly mistrusted someone based on such a simple act, not a trait I've been able to easily shake.
It's bee over 30 years since the principal came over the PA system one wintry afternoon and announced they'd found the last victim Timothy King....His father's heartache being looped on the news as he tried to make sense of his son's death and that of three other children.
There's been no closure for Mr. King and the families of Mark Stebbins, Jill Robinson and Kristine Mihelich. There has been no closure for all those kids who ran home from school trying to escape the grip of a child killer.....and there is no closure for the little girl that continues to wonder why.