Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Join our Walk for Mary at Marshall's Annual Night-Out Against Crime

Update, August 29, 2006- The Annual Night-Out Against Crime for the City of Marshall originally planned in August has been rescheduled for Tuesday, September 5, 2006, 7:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. It will be held at the Brooks Fountain Circle. On hand will be the family, friends and supporters of Mary Denise Lands who continue to protest their displeasure with the way the investigation has been mishandled by the Marshall Police Department. Come out and support the family, carry a sign, and meet Clifford & Anita Marshall, Mary’s Mom and Dad. Join us as we continue to ask the questions, Where is Mary? and, When will we have justice for Mary. The family and friends will maintain a notable presence in Marshall and Battle Creek and talk about this case in the upcoming months. We plan appearances in Marshall at the Historic Home Tour, the Scarecrow Festival, the Christmas Parade and at any event where we can ask for help from the public. We would be privileged if you would join us and talk about Mary Lands and why Chief Mike Olson and the Marshall Police Department have not solved this case.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Donald Wright of Battle Creek offers comments on the Mary Lands investigation

Sunday, August 27, 2006- Response- Letter to the Editor-
Thank you for your letter Lt. Wright, but you are quite Wrong! It is interesting to note that you seem to have information that the family of Mary Denise Lands did not have related to activity on her bank records. I don't mind anyone with ties to law enforcement supporting Chief Mike Olson. However, I have never made any comments about Sheriff Al Byam and the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department because that agency never had the chance to solve this case, which they could do. My facts are accurate and my qualifications to do need to be displayed just to show that I know what I am talking about. You do need to learn the definition of defamation, whimsical or otherwise, because I would welcome such a lawsuit. From the very first day that I inquired about the Mary Lands case from people in Marshall I came to realize the blatant fear in that community not only of certain persons who may be involved in Mary's disappearance, but in the fear that so many citizens have of their own police department. We all know of the police "Blue Wall of Silence" and how pervasive it is in our society. I have accomplished inquiries to the Marshall Police Department under the Freedom of Information Act and you should do the same. What I found was appalling and it has a direct correlation to the management style of Chief Olson and the credibility of that agency. You for one should know how important it is for citizens to trust police-officers. I am correct in my facts and almost immediately the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Task Force was told by the Marshall Police Department that their resources were not needed. The family of Mary Lands is very aware that law enforcement does not release police information and we have no problem with that protocol. What we do have a problem with is when police officers lie and do not keep their word. The MPD has treated the Marshall family with total disrespect since the beginning of this case. The word empathy is not in their vocabulary. We believe that this will all come out soon when a major media brings this story to national attention. Two years ago I stated that Marshall, Michigan is a beautiful and wonderful place to live and work, but evil things can and do occur in the best of places. Something very evil occurred on March 12, 2004 and for whatever reasons that evil lingers today. However, soon the person/s responsible for the disappearance and murder of Mary Lands will be held accountable. We also believe others will also be held accountable for their failures. I have donated my time and resources to Clifford & Anita Marshall in the search for their daughter. As a licensed private investigator in Michigan I could be doing many other things but I choose to help this family. When this case is concluded I have no plans to continue in this profession. I certainly would never take on another missing persons case and I limit myself to specific cases at this time. My reward and remuneration will be to see that justice is served. I would be the first person to shake the hand of Chief Olson if he stepped up and did the right thing. Lt. Wright, Why don't you come out and join us on Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 7:00 P.M. and meet the family of Mary Lands. We all will be there for Marshall's "Annual Night-out" asking "When will we have justice for Mary?" We will also be there in Marshall for the Historic Home Tour, the Scarecrow Festival and the Christmas Parade. We won't go away until this case is resolved. Thank you for your comments, Lt. It is discussion like this that permits our community to understand the real tragedy in Mary's case. We need more people like you.

Update, August 27, 2006- Letter to the Editor, by Donald Wright, to Battle Creek Enquirer
Case continues to be investigated
I have been following the Mary Lands case since the beginning. My heart goes out to the family; I too believe that she deserves justice. That said, I take great umbrage with an individual who makes public statements maligning both Chief Mike Olson and the Marshall Police Department. The letter to the editor printed Aug. 22 in the Enquirer ("Protest Wednesday in missing-woman case") is another example that does nothing positive to bring closure to this investigation. I feel compelled to respond to these "cheap shots." Mary Lands was first reported missing on a Sunday. Investigators uncovered information showing possible activity on her bank records as late as Monday, but that was found not to be the case. The Calhoun County Major Crimes Task Force was activated the very next day. This team consists of representatives from the FBI, the Michigan State Police and all of the larger law enforcement agencies in the county. Contrary to all previous information provided by this individual, the FBI and the Major Crimes Task Force were very involved. Marshall PD and the state police continue to have investigators assigned to follow up on leads. They spend a large portion of their time following these leads and adding them to the investigation. This person should know that a police agency does not release police reports on any active investigations. The Marshall Police Department certainly does not deserve to be whimsically defamed as this person's reference to having doughnuts takes precedent over an important investigation. Who is Jim Carlin and what are his qualifications for making allegations that are such tripe?
Donald Wright
Battle Creek

Update, August 22, 2006- Letter to the Editor, by Jim Carlin, to Battle Creek Enquirer
Protest Wednesday in missing-woman case
Once again, the family of Mary Denise Lands is asking for help from our community. We plan to conduct a day-long protest walk at the Criminal Justice Center in Battle Creek on Wednesday, Aug. 23, beginning at 8 a.m. Mary Lands disappeared under suspicious circumstances from an apartment she shared with her boyfriend on March 12, 2004. The Marshall Police Department initially botched this investigation and rejected the resources of the FBI and a major task force to break the case. Today, MPD continues to stumble and fumble its way through a sloppy investigation that has failed to produce arrests of the person(s) responsible for Mary's disappearance. Calhoun County has had a large amount of violent crime in the last two years and we do not fault any agency for its inability to solve crimes. The investigators of the BCPD have an extremely difficult job but at least they show effort. We adamantly do fault the Marshall Police Department and Chief Mike Olson for their incompetence and inability to solve Mary's case. This is not rocket science, and basic Police Procedure 101 could provide the answers. MPD should put away the doughnuts and do some real police work! We have the support of the Marshall community, but we need citizens throughout Calhoun County to come out and walk with us on the 23rd. Meet Mary's mother and father and see these two good people who are only trying to answer one question, "When will we have justice for Mary?"
Jim Carlin

Thursday, August 17, 2006

When is someone in law enforcement going to put away the donuts and do some real police work?

Update- August 17,2006- The Marshall Police Department responded on our request to ascertain why Calhoun County Prosecutor John Hallacy refused to issue warrants against Christopher L. Pratt. That agency clearly has a letter or explanation on why our complaints had no merit and we wish to receive it. Other individuals have been charged and convicted under these statutes and we believe the complaints we signed did have merit.
The family, friends and supporters of Mary Lands continue to be disappointed in all the events related to this case. Again, we intend to express our displeasure with the manner in which the Marshall Police Department have conducted their investigation. We will conduct a day-long protest walk near the steps of the Calhoun County Criminal Justice Center at 8:00 A.M. on Wednesday, August 23, 2006.
We also plan to protest on Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at the Brooks Fountain Circle in Marshall (7:00-9:00 P.M.), which is the rescheduled date for the Marshall Police Department's, Annual Night Out. The original event previously planned for August 2nd was cancelled because of the heat. Please come out to both protest walks and help support the family of Mary Lands.

----- Original Message -----
Michael Olson
Sent: Thursday, August 17, 2006 4:20 PM
Subject: Complaints against Christopher Pratt
I reviewed the email you sent to Deputy Chief Pehrson regarding the disposition of the investigation involving Christopher Pratt. As investigators, my officers collected the facts of your allegations and the documentation regarding the lease. The information was reduced to writing and then a warrant request was sent to Prosecutor Hallacy. After reviewing the information, Prosecutor Hallacy determined it to be a civil matter revolving around the lease of the apartment.
Regarding the formal reply from the Prosecutor that you referred to in your email, that is not the customary manner in which notification is made. In nearly every case that I am aware of, the Prosecutor responds to the investigating agency informing them of his decision regarding the case. The law enforcement agency then makes contact with the complainants and informs them of the decision. As I am sure you know, the Calhoun County Prosecutor's Office reviews well over 6000 complaints annually and they simply don't have the resources to individually notify the complainants. That is not to say that Prosecutor Hallacy is not responsive. In fact, I find him to be just the opposite. He has met with Clifford and Anita in the past and continues to be willing to meet with them. He has provided his knowledge, experience, and guidance on this case and I feel fortunate to work with him.
If you have further questions or I can be of further assistance, please contact me.

Michael C. Olson,
Public Safety Director
Marshall Police & Fire
323 West Michigan Avenue
Marshall, MI 49068
Office: 269-781-2596
Fax: 269-781-6414
Email: molson@cityofmarshall.com

----- Original Message -----
Jim Carlin, Justinian Investigative Services
Deputy Chief Brett Pehrson, Marshall Police Department
Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2006 6:37 PM
Subject: Fw: complaints against Christopher Pratt
Deputy Chief Pehrson,
Officer Kelly called me this afternoon and related the decision by Mr. Hallacy not to prosecute Mr. Pratt in our complaints. He read from Mr. Hallacy's letter that this was a civil matter related to the lease. Officer Kelly stated that if I request the information under FOIA I could obtain the decision.
As you may know, I did so with Mr. Pratt's original complaint and had to pay $24.00 for 24 pages of the material.
As the complainants, I feel that Mr. & Mrs. Marshall and myself should receive the formal reply of the prosecutor and his reasons for not going forward.
It would be appreciated if those materials and Mr. Hallacy's decision be sent to each of us as this is something out of the scope of FOIA since we were the victims.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
Jim Carlin

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

The annual "Night Out" Walk for Mary was a great success, but it seems that the Marshall Police can't take the heat

Update- August 2, 2006 Once again the family, friends and supporters walked in peaceful protest for Mary Denise Lands. Despite a request from the Chief of Police that the annual "Night Out" was not appropriate for such a demonstration, it was held with a huge response. It is ironic that the only time the police chief shows up at the Marshall home is to dissuade the family from some public awareness efforts for their daughter. If that agency had spent as much time working on the investigation in 2004 the case would have been solved by now. It appears that the chief of police is trying to also play the part of a politician, however he fails miserably in both jobs. The good people of Marshall stopped and once again offered support and hundreds honked their horns for Mary during the 3-hour walk in front of the Marshall Police Department. We are asking that the case be turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and that a grand jury be convened to bring the person/s responsible to justice for Mary's disappearance.As usual our group was friendly, dignified and lawful respecting the rights of all. We believe that "Night Out Against Crime" was an outstanding opportunity to continue the public awareness efforts in Mary's case. Many of the residents who stopped asked about why "Night Out" events were not being held? A dispatcher later told a resident that it had been cancelled because of the weather. The function was to be held under trees at the Circle Fountain but evidently the police department could not handle the heat. We all had a pleasant evening and the heat was not a problem. Why is that agency so keen on not wanting their residents to view a legitimate demonstration on behalf of Mary Lands? What are they trying to hide? Why don't they want to solve the crimes involving Mary's disappearance and murder. We are only asking that the mishandled criminal investigation be turned over to an agency having the ability, resources and desire to prosecute Mary's case. Annual "Night Out" has been rescheduled for Tuesday, September 5, 2006 and we will be back. There are also other events for the late Summer and Fall in Marshall where we will continue to walk with our signs that ask the question, When will we have justice for Mary?