Monday, November 26, 2007

PRATT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES!! in Calhoun County Court, December 6, 2007

December 7, 2007 Mary Lands & Family Video, Atlanta-1998
Mary Lands & Family Video- 1999

Battle Creek Enquirer News 12/07/2007
Battle Creek Enquirer News 12/06/2007
Battle Creek Enquirer News 12/05/2007
WOODTV8 News 12/05/2007
Battle Creek Enquirer News 12/04/2007
Battle Creek Enquirer News 11/30/2007

Battle Creek Enquirer News 11/29/2007
Battle Creek Enquirer News 11/28/2007

December 6, 2007- A Calhoun County jury returned today after 3 ½ hours of deliberations yesterday in the trial of Christopher Luke Pratt. They asked to review video testimony from the victim and that was completed. Approximately 10 minutes later they announced a verdict.
At 10:15 A.M. Mr. Pratt was brought into court and the jury foreman read guilty to each of the four charges. They were then dismissed from the court with thanks of the judge. Judge Stephen B. Miller then revoked Mr. Pratt’s bond and set January 7, 2008 for sentencing. He has been held in the Calhoun County Correctional Facility since the date of the incident on June 24, 2007.

December 5, 2007- Court recessed at 5:15 P.M after a fifth day of testimony with another 5 witnesses. The last witness for the defense was Mr. Pratt who denied all the charges against him. Closing arguments will be heard from the prosecutor and the defense in the morning and Judge Stephen B. Miller will then issue jury instructions. Jury deliberations are expected to commence before lunch.

December 4, 2007- 2 witnesses testified yesterday while most of day consisted of legal arguments away from the jury. Christopher Pratt is expected to take the witness stand today in the domestic violence case against him. Judge Miller also limited the number of phone calls made by Pratt from his jail cell to family members that could be used by the prosecutor. Mr. Buscher said investigators last week located recordings of nearly 23 hours of calls Mr. Pratt made since he was arrested on June 24, 2007, and it is expected they would find several more to other people. Mr. Buscher told the judge Chris Pratt made incriminating statements in many of the recorded calls.

November 30, 2007- 12 witnesses testified on Thursday including Mr. Pratt’s former wife. She related numerous instances of verbal and physical abuse until their divorce. Clifford & Anita Marshall had tears in their eyes listening to the testimony of both victimes. They had to be comparing the abuse endured by these women involved in a relationship with Chris Pratt to the fate of their daughter, Mary? If you could have placed Mary in the witness chair, each and everything said and the medical documentation would have been accurate in what we now know about their relationship. Broken bones, verbal abuse, bizarre control issues, and all the other characteristics of an unstable and violent batterer of defenseless women.
The Marshall family never knew until a year later after Mary’s disappearance that their own beautiful daughter was a victim of severe physical and mental abuse and domestic violence. She was another victim who attempted to hide the violence in her life at the hands of Chris Pratt. Because of scheduling court conflicts there will be no testimony today and the jury was instructed to return at 9:00 A.M on Monday, December 3, 2007. At that time the trial will resume. An individual in the area of domestic violence with expertise on the victims and their perpetrators is expected to testify next week.

Bruce Springsteen has a new song that is analogous to Chris Pratt and his lifelong self-destructive behavior of domestic violence. It is named “Your Own Worst Enemy, has come to town”. It has, and we’ll soon know the results? If society is successful, Mr. Pratt will never injure another woman for the rest of his life. (Chris Pratt, Court Photo, Shelly Sulser, Marshall Chronicle)

November 29, 2007- After opening arguments by Chief Assistant Prosecutor Dan Buscher and Defense Attorney J. Thomas Schaeffer that lasted about 20 minutes each the first witness brought to testify was Mr. Pratt’s former girl-friend, Norrene Parker. Her testimony lasted about 4 hours with questioning by Mr. Buscher and Mr. Schaeffer. After a lunch break the trial resumed at 2:35 P.M. and two children of Ms. Parker testified. The final witness of the day was Michigan State Police Trooper Richard Pazder. Testimony concluded at 5:10 P.M and trial is expected to resume for a 3rd day on November 29, 2007 at 9:00 A.M. According to the court, the trial will continue today into the afternoon, but because of scheduling conflicts jurors might go home earlier and would also be off tomorrow. If that does occur the trial will not continue until Tuesday, December 4th.
(Chris Pratt Photo, Trace Christenson, Battle Creek Enquirer)

November 28, 2007- A 404B motion hearing was first on the agenda yesterday on the first day of Mr. Pratt’s trial. This was conducted to determine if prior acts of domestic violence can be admitted into testimony. No jury members were present. After the one-hour session, and listening to details of verbal and physical abuse, Judge Miller approved that testimony can be heard from Mr. Pratt’s former wife and his former girl-friend. Jury selection started
at about 11:00 A.M. and after lunch it was resumed. A jury panel with 2 alternates finally was seated at about 4:15 P.M. and opening arguments are scheduled for today at 8:30 A.M.
Present in court in support of the victim were Cliff & Anita Marshall and some friends. In the morning session, Louise Pratt was present along with an elderly neighbor. Later in the afternoon, Jeff Pratt, Chris' brother arrived with his girl friend. Also present from Albion was a mutual friend of the Pratt’s known as Mr. T. & T Money. During a break I asked Mrs. Pratt if
there was any chance that Mary’s cape might be able to be returned to the family? She and her friend remarked they don’t know anything about any cape or cloak and walked away. The trial is taking place in Judge Miller Court Room, 467, at the Criminal Justice Center. (Court Photo, Shelly Sulser, Marshall Chronicle)

November 27, 2007- Five months after the June 24, 2007 incident jury selection is expected to commence today in a Calhoun County Circuit Court Room in the trial of Christopher Luke Pratt. He is charged with four domestic violence related crimes after being bound over during preliminary examinations in July and August. Mr. Pratt has been held in the Calhoun County Correctional Facility in Battle Creek on $75,000.00 bond on criminal charges filed by his former girl-friend. The crimes allegedly occurred at a home they shared together on 15 1/2 Mile Road in Marshall, Michigan. Judge Stephen B. Miller is presiding at the trial and Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Dan Buscher represents the State of Michigan. Defense Attorney J.Thomas Schaeffer of Marshall is representing Mr. Pratt. The three felony charges include False Imprisonment, Felonious Assault, and Interfering with Electronic Communications Device (Telephone). There is one misdemeanor count of Domestic Violence. Another felony charge of Criminal Sexual Conduct is pending and that trial is now scheduled for December 4th. Clifford & Anita Marshall, the parent's of Mary Denise Lands will be present in court with other friends in support of the victim. Friends and members of the family have attended all court hearings to date and plan to be present for the entire trial.
This particular incident obviously has no direct connection to their daughter's investigation although we have documented that Mary Lands was also a victim of severe physical and emotional domestic violence. Again we reiterate, if anyone has information on the where Mary can be found you are urged to contact the Marshall family- 269.781.4508 or D/Sgt. Michael Salmen at the Battle Creek Post, Michigan State Police, 269.968.6115. If you wish, you may also contact Jim Carlin, JCarlin@JustinianLawcom and/or Justinian Investigative Services in Battle Creek, 269.441.7068. If it is your request you can remain anonymous.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Chris Pratt Guilty on all charges, Remanded back to jail, No bond, Sentencing in January

Update, August 20, 2007- Mr. Pratt’s attorney appeared for a motion hearing in Calhoun County Circuit Court asking that the charges against Christopher Pratt be dismissed. He also presented a motion for a bond reduction on the defendant. Mr. Pratt was present for the hearing after being escorted into court by a deputy sheriff. Three members of the Pratt family were also present in court. Chief Assistant Prosecutor Dan Buscher represented the State of Michigan.
Mr. Pratt’s attorney argued that the False Imprisonment charge was a "stretch at most" and there was no restraint. On the count of Telephone Interference (Ripping out the phone) he stated that the "ruckus" had already occurred, and the charge was not appropriate. He further stated that Mr. Pratt and his former girl-friend had been involved in a one-year relationship, and there was no force. He also argued that the magistrate and district judge had abused their authority on the bond issue. Mr. Buscher, on behalf of the State, responded with confidence and clarity on each issue citing pages of testimony from the Preliminary Examination. He further stated the defendant was a dangerous person.
After a 20-minute hearing Judge Stephen B. Miller denied a defense request to quash any of the charges, and further denied reduction of the $75,000.00 bond. Mr. Pratt was returned to the Calhoun County Jail and faces a maximum of 38 years in prison and fines. If it is not heard on November 6th it will be be first of the docket for November 27, 2007.

(Chris Pratt, Halloween 2006, as the Grim Reaper)- After this photograph was recognized by Marshall family members it was immediately determined that this cloak was actually made by Mary's sister. Her mother, Anita brought it back from California as a gift for Mary in 2001. Mr. Pratt claims that this costume was his and handed down by the Pratt family over the years and he traditionally wore it each Halloween. Ironic, Isn't it?
Mary’s sister said it all quite well on one of the the recent postings, and we thank everyone for the support they have offered over the last 44 months. I reiterate my own request to anyone in the Pratt family about the return of Mary’s cloak. We know that there are many good people in their family and we ask if one of them might consider this family request? I can intricately describe the fabric and design of the cloak if there is any doubt? We appeal to Louise Pratt, Jordan, his mother, and the many aunts and uncles of your family to return this item. The Marshall’s have so little of sentimental value from their daughter and it would be a kind gesture. We know the cloak was removed from the house on 15 ½ Mile Road after Chris was incarcerated. It probably is among the items that were moved by family members after his former girl-friend vacated the premises. Thank you for your consideration.

The recent motorcycle benefit "Ride for Mary" Ride for Mary- New YouTube Video was a huge success with nearly 300 participants. More and more people are coming forward and providing information about the disappearance and murder of Mary Denise Lands. She has now been missing for 42 months, and Labor Day, September 3, 2007 would have been Mary's 43rd birthday. Mary Denise Lands- Video

Are You a Victim of Domestic Violence? Michigan State Police- Domestic Violence Awareness
In the suburbs, a man kills his wife and then turns the gun on himself. Police are called to a hospital to investigate an elderly woman with a fractured hip after being pushed down by her adult son. A teenage girl is punched in the stomach by her ex-boyfriend in the hallway at school. Each of these events raises the same question: Could this tragedy have been prevented?

What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of learned behavior in which one person uses physical, sexual, and emotional abuse to control another person.

Domestic violence is not a family matter. It is a crime, and it is in Michigan. The Michigan State Police Uniform Crime Report tells us there were 54,258 reported victims and 30 reported murders related to domestic violence in 2004. Domestic violence is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.

Under Michigan law, a person has a domestic relationship if any of the following apply:
· Spouse or former spouse
· Dating relationship or former dating relationship
· Child in common
· Resident or former resident of the same household

What does domestic violence look like?
· The following are some of the most common tactics used by abusers to control their partners but certainly not a complete list. If you or someone you know has their personal freedom restricted or is afraid of their partner, they may be a victim of domestic violence.

Physical Abuse
· Pushed, shoved or kicked
· Slapped or bitten
· Strangled
· Hit or punched
· Locked out of your home
· Denied help when ill, injured or pregnant
· Weapon used against you
· By physical force, not being allowed to leave
· Objects thrown at you
· Abandoned in a dangerous situation

Sexual Abuse
· Forced to have sex or watch sexual acts
· Forced to perform sexual acts or have sexual acts performed on you
· Forced to dress more sexually than you wish
· Forced to have sex after a physical assault, when you are ill or as a condition of the relationship

Emotional & Psychological Abuse
· Threatened harm to you, your family or your pets
· Beliefs, race, heritage, class, religion, or sexual orientation ridiculed
· Manipulated with lies and contradictions
· Being convinced you are to blame for the abuse
· Stalked

Economic Abuse
· Denied access to bank accounts, credit cards or vehicle
· Partner controls all the finances
· Prevented from getting or keeping a job or from going to school
· Limits your access to health, prescription or dental insurance

What can you do to help someone who is being abused?
· Educate yourself about domestic violence.
· Let go of any expectations you have that there is a "quick fix" to domestic violence or to the obstacles a woman faces. Understand that a woman's "inaction" may very well be her best safety strategy at any given time.
· Believe her and let her know that you do.
· Listen to what she tells you and avoid making judgments
· Validate her feelings.
· Avoid victim blaming. Tell her the abuse is not her fault.
· Take her fears seriously. If you are concerned about her safety, express your concern without judgment by saying, "Your situation sounds dangerous and I'm concerned for your safety."
· Support her decisions. Remember there are risks attached to every decision an abused woman makes. If you truly want to help, be patient and respectful, even if you don't agree.

Who do you contact for help?
Often, the best source of help and information is your local program. For more information on local support services, please visit the Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence website at: and click on "Locate Help Near You."

You may also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233.) Call toll free, 24 hours a day, anywhere in the U.S. Trained counselors provide confidential crisis intervention, support, information and referrals to local programs to victims of domestic violence, their families and friends. The hotline links people to help in their area, including shelters, legal and social assistance programs. Help in English and Spanish with interpreters available in 139 more languages.

For additional information on this important issue, please contact Prevention Services Section, (517) 336-4006.

Sources: The Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence; Calhoun County Domestic Violence Council Education Prevention Safety and Support Information Guide; and the 2002 MSP Uniform Crime Report.

Additional online resource tools related to domestic violence and abuse:

National Domestic Violence Hotline

American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress

Saturday, July 28, 2007

"Ride for Mary"-- A Huge Success- Bikers said it clear, "We will bring Mary Home!"

August 19, 2007- The motorcycle benefit ride on behalf of Mary Denise Lands was held and exceeded our expections. A Google Video is now available and others will soon be published.
A special thanks to Chief Mike Olson of the Marshall Police Department, the Michigan State Police, the Battle Creek Police and the other law enforcement agencies who made the "Ride for Mary" safe and successful. After two months of planning for the event it was a great day for a bike ride. The weather was bright and sunny day and Mary was smiling down upon us all. Many people across America have heard about the family’s anguish in Mary’s disappearance and how this tragedy has affected our community. 300 participants came together for the 55-mile "Ride for Mary" tour. We will bring Mary home in 2007. Last year in another event for a different cause 150 bikers participated from a starting point at Godfather’s Pizza/Ball Joint Sports Bar & Grill and toured throughout Calhoun County. We hope to double the number of bikers this year with a similar itinerary. Motorcyclists from Detroit, Coldwater, Kalamazoo and other parts of Michigan joined us on the tour. The August 18, 2007 route included a 55-mile ride from Battle Creek to Battle Creek to Marshall and Burlington. There were breaks at at the Whistle-Stop in Burlington, the Riverside & Place Next Door in Marshall and festivities back at Godfather's Pizza/Ball Joint in Battle Creek. Ride for Mary-Flyer We all wish to thank you for your support. The event was open to the public and proceeds will be donated to the Mary Lands Trust Fund at Monarch Bank in Marshall. An autographed Dale Earnhardt, Jr. jacket was raffled. Tickets were $1.00 each. Dale Earnhardt Jr-Jacket Where is Mary? t-shirts and caps will be available. Ride for Mary T-Shirts in sizes M, L, XL for $10.00, the 2XL -$12.00, 3X & 4X-$13.00. Where is Mary? caps will be sold for $3.00. Shirts can still be ordered.
Cliff & Anita Marshall thank you all for stopping by and saying hello. We believe this event will help generate more tips and public interest in the Mary Lands investigation and will result in the person/s responsible for Mary’s disappearance and murder being held accountable in a court of law.
Thank you to the many supporters of the 2007 “Ride for Mary” including Godfather's Pizza/Ball Joint Sports Bar & Grill, Battle Creek Harley-Davidson, Atlas Sales/Anheuser-Busch, Progressive Printing, Christman Screenprint, and others in Battle Creek and across America.
It is through the kind efforts of good people in our community that Cliff & Anita Marshall are able to find comfort in their difficult times. l- Jim Carlin, 269.441.7068 or email--
You may also contact the family at 269.781.4508, or write- PO Box 63 Marshall, Michigan 49068 .
Thank you again for your support on the "Ride for Mary" and in your help to bring Mary home.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Chris Pratt Guilty on all charges, No bond, Remanded back to jail, Sentencing in January

August 20, 2007- Mr. Pratt’s attorney appeared today for a motion hearing in Calhoun County Circuit Court asking that the charges against Christopher Pratt be dismissed. He also presented a motion for a bond reduction on the defendant. Mr. Pratt was present for the hearing after being escorted into court by a deputy sheriff. Three members of the Pratt family were also present in court.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Dan Buscher represented the people. After a 20 minute hearing Judge Stephen B. Miller denied the defense request to quash any of the charges, and further denied reduction of the $75,000.00 bond. Mr. Pratt was then returned to the Calhoun County Correctional Facility.

After a preliminary examination July 2, 2007 Mr. Pratt was bound over on another 15-year felony count involving Criminal Sexual Conduct and remains lodged in the Calhoun County Jail. The bond on this charge was initially set at $50,000.00 and it was not reduced. The total bond with the other four charges of False Imprisonment, Felonious Assault, Interfering with Electronic Communications Device (Telephone), and Domestic Violence is now $75,000.00. Mr. Pratt faces a maximum of 38 years in prison and fines. He was previously bound over on the other charges on July 2, 2007.

Chris Pratt, Preliminary Exam, 07/02/2007

Chris Pratt Arrested, WOOD-TV, 06/25/2007

To paraphrase Apollo 11 astronaut, Neil Armstrong, "Today was one small step for one battered woman and our criminal justice system; one giant leap for the family of Mary Denise Lands"

Many people were critical of our decision to remove the YouTube video of Mr. Pratt's former girl-friend taking Mary’s signs and of our action to drop legal efforts against her in District Court for a small claims case. We have maintained all along that she has been yet another victim of domestic violence and for Mother Day’s 2007 we decided to take down the video. We believed that we made our point in documenting the loss of Mary’s signs in that video, which was seen by over 23,000 viewers.

We have not been able to comment for five weeks because of a safety issue related to her safety and that of her family, however anyone who is cognizant of what occurs in domestic violence obviously knew what was really going on during that Mother’s Day weekend. Unfortunately, it is up to the victim to follow through with any actions and seek available recourse in the courts with options such as a Personal Protection Order (PPO). In May, I fully documented that she was a victim of severe domestic violence, however she did not wish to take any action and believed she could handle the situation herself. How many women have made this same wrong conclusion? How many women have been injured and even killed at the hands of a physical abuser? People can be willing to help a victim, but it is up to that victim to decide how to handle their life in a domestic violence situation. They either accept it, or reject it.

On June 24, 2007 it became a public record when the Michigan State Police responded to the Pratt residence on 15 ½ Mile Road in Marshall, Michigan (Fredonia Township) on another complaint of domestic violence by his girl-friend. In May she did not call the Marshall Police Departent. She called me and asked for help which I was glad to offer. However, she then made a decision to return to a residence occupied by Mr Pratt where she and her children have lived in fear. I have not heard from her since Mother’s Day, but she again asked for help this weekend. The Marshall family and I will continue to do what we can to assist her family.

It is now alleged that on June 24, 2007 his former girl-friend was assaulted, her telephone was ripped from the wall, and the interior of the residence was severely trashed. When the police responded her boy-friend, Christopher Pratt had fled. Several hours later he was located and he is now lodged in the Calhoun County Correctional Facility being held without bail.

June 25, 2007- Mr. Pratt was arraigned this afternoon on four criminal counts Bail was set at $250,000.00. A preliminary examination is now scheduled for July 2, 2007 at 11:30 A.M, at the Criminal Justice Center. Mr. Marshall was present in the court with numerous friends and supporters and feels confident that Mary's case will soon be resolved. We urge anyone with additional information to come forward.

It is truly ironic that on June 24th when Mr. Pratt's girl-friend was on the phone asking for help, that at nearly the same hour a man in Canton, Ohio had just been arrested for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend. This individual, although employed as a police-officer, was a known perpetrator of domestic violence on women in his life. Now, it is alleged now that this recent victim, and her unborn child have been murdered. People who physically abuse others do not change and that is why victims must immediately break away from these violent relationships.

We believe that Mr. Pratt's former girlfriend has now finally made a permanent decision to stop being physically and emotionally abused. There are many people who are willing to assist her family. Numerous social service agencies and the courts in Calhoun County can keep her family safe. We only hope that this time she will make a commitment not only to herself, but also to her children, that she will never ever again be a victim of domestic violence. She has the potential to talk about the tragedy of physical and emotional abuse and how it affects the entire family. One day this woman will be strong and confident enough to be an advocate for domestic violence and her own experiences will help protect others.

If anyone has information on associates of Mr. Pratt or other individuals related to the Mary Lands investigation you are urged to contact law enforcement authorities and/or the Marshall family. Someone out there can provide that final piece of information to bring Mary home.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A 2007 Father's Day Plea to Bring Home his Daughter

June 17, 2007- Another Father’s Day has come and gone with no sign of our beloved daughter.
Another year of heartache, another year of crying ourselves to sleep. Over 3 years now, and 39 long, lonely months since Mary disappeared without her smile to brighten our days and her laughter to warm our hearts.
Have you ever had a child disappear without a trace? I can tell you it is the most gut-wrenching sinking feeling you could ever imagine. Wondering what happened to her or what nightmare she endured on that fateful night 39 months ago? We learned too late that Mary was a severe victim of domestic violence. If only we’d known, we could have whisked her away to safety and protected her from an ultimate death on that fateful night.
Many of you are aware how crucial an initial investigation is into finding a missing person. A strong multi-jurisdictional task force effort must commence immediately. That point was proven last week in the case of the woman missing from the parking lot of a store in Kansas. Even though Mary’s investigation was not handled properly, we still seek your help in finding my daughter by providing information to fill in the pieces of this tragic puzzle. We plead to you to help us.
We know the only way to solve this mystery, bring justice for Mary and put the murderers away forever is for good citizens like you to provide us the information to bring her home. Without her body, we can’t lay her to rest and have a proper burial. We plead for your help in finding Mary.
We want to say thank you to our investigator, Jim Carlin of Justinian Investigative Services who has tirelessly donated his time and resources. Jim has followed up on every lead, every scrap of evidence available to him and sincerely listened to those who have provided us valuable information.
We also want to say thank you to the citizens of Marshall who have given us hope, love and comfort during this horrible ordeal. We couldn’t go on without you.
Clifford Marshall

2007 marks the 4th Father’s Day that Cliff Marshall and his family have endured the tragedy of Mary’s disappearance. Lets make this the last one without answers to their questions, Where is Mary? and, When will we have justice for Mary?
More and more people are coming forward and providing us information and we soon will bring Mary home as a result of assistance from good citizens in the community. In August, we will hold a motorcycle benefit run on behalf of public awareness for Mary Denise Lands. It will be a 55-mile "Ride for Mary" and already people are signing up for the event. Ball Joint - Godfather’s Pizza, Atlas Sales-(Anheuser-Busch) and other businesses in Battle Creek are helping the family as well as hundreds of other friends and supporters. We will soon post details of the ride and we thank everyone for their help.

On Saturday, August 18, 2007 the community will see 300 motorcycles roaring through Battle Creek, Burlington and Marshall and those riders and the public will be demanding an answer to the question, Where is Mary? 2007 will be the year that Mary is brought home and the person/s responsible for her disappearance and murder will be held accountable in a court of law.
Jim Carlin

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Is corruption in the Marshall Police Department why Mary’s case has not been solved, and a reason why no suspect or person of interest has been named?

Nearly three years ago I drove into Marshall, Michigan just to inquire about the disappearance of a woman I didn't even know. I wanted to write a short feature on the frustrations of people and family who have experienced the loss of a loved one under mysterious circumstances. I had no personal interest in the case and only wished to talk with family members about their heartache.

I immediately heard stories from people who were just as afraid of their local police department as they were of those who might have been involved in Mary’s case. At first I thought this could not be true, but the more people I talked with, and the more stories I heard, I absolutely came to believe there is some connection. Adults today, who were students in the Marshall High School 5 years ago related the same stories about drugs being sold by a police-officer and dubious actions that would not only merit termination from any police agency, but criminal charges. Numerous people have provided me specific information about traffic stops where drugs, cash, and alcohol were confiscated but never turned in as police evidence, and the person/s involved were sent on their way. Why would any of these people complain? They were released and did not have to face any legal consequences. It sure is a strange way to enforce laws in the State of Michigan, and it only precipitates an aura of police corruption. It gives new meaning to the words, "Marshall Law." It is no wonder that people do not like to speak to some Marshall police-officers. Many in the community have lost trust in some members of law enforcement.

Numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests on officers and incidents have been completed and PDF and JPG file examples may be viewed on the right side of this page under "Links to Mary." The FOIA results may also be seen at- and It documents various instances of inappropriate conduct by a police-officer. All these public files will soon be published. Any public service employee who would engage in these type actions should have been immediately terminated and should have been prosecuted. In a meeting last year with Chief Mike Olson, he informed Mr. Marshall and I that he was aware I had taken corruption allegations to an outside agency. His remark was, "If he found out any of this was true, by darn, that person will be fired". Chief Michael Olson as "Top Cop" is paid an annual salary of $65,352.00, his health benefits are $829.18 per month, dental benefits are $44.59 per month, and his life insurance is capped at $50,000.00 while he is employed by the City of Marshall. He also receives retirement from the Michigan State Police. He has no employment contract and is a direct hire at the pleasure of the City Manager. I don’t know where Chief Olson's head has been for nearly the last four years since he took over as public safety director? Is he a police chief or a wanna-be politician? After all these years on the job he ought to know how to manage a police agency and it is about time he do it correctly. There is much more to police work than smoke breaks, sitting around eating donuts, and drinking coffee. In my opinion his efforts are dismal at best and not at all in the best interests of the people in the City of Marshall. They seem to be for only for a selected number of special people.

Chief Mike Olson is quick to peddle a lot of public relations banter about what he and his agency have done in the Mary Lands case. Chief Olson has informed the family and I who is responsible for Mary’s disappearance. Why doesn’t he make a public statement on his opinions? Why doesn't he name a "suspect" or a "person of interest"?
Yet this same police chief has told the media that Mary's case might never be solved. In an interview to WZZM-TV that was seen on May 16, 2007 Sgt. Scott McDonald said, "the police do have some suspects in mind, currently and initially." He claimed that he was personally very disgusted and it was frustrating that more people are not coming forward. With their inept track record and lack of public trust it is totally understandable why many people will not come forward and talk with certain officers in the Marshall Police Department. If they do have suspects why don't they pursue these people? Why don't they go out and talk to these suspects? Why do certain people in Marshall seem to be immune from even being put under a magnifying glass by the Marshall Police Department? Why do these people brag that they are untouchable by the Marshall Police Department? Where is the aggressiveness and dedication to serve the entire public and to arrest and prosecute law-breakers in Marshall, Michigan? Some people in that agency seem more focused on trivial matters that don’t even deserve police attention than trying to prosecute the person/s responsible for the disappearance and murder of Mary Denise Lands.

Could it be that some people in the police department are protecting more affluent members of the community who themselves might be involved in dubious activities? A good example is the issue of Mary’s Dodge Durango? Chief Olson claims this is being held as evidence although it was stored in the open yard of a towing company in Marshall, Michigan. The family tried to inquire about its status and after two years, over two winters, of being unprotected and unlocked (and allegedly held as evidence) it was moved to "a new secure location". In my opinion I believe there was some type of conspiracy to accumulate storage charges on the vehicle so that the lien-holder would give up its claim and the vehicle could be sold as a profit to certain individuals. This vehicle is not and cannot be considered a piece of evidence. It should have been returned over two years ago. It should be returned now.

Clifford & Anita Marshall have been lied to and deceived for the last three years. Anita Marshall once said, "We never had a manual to follow when your daughter comes up missing and presumed murdered". They trusted the Marshall Police Department and people in that agency failed them miserably. The bottom line is that there is nothing but incompetence. arrogance, and ignorance in some of the work related to the Mary Lands case. Are people that worried that if an arrest was made today in Mary’s case that the person/s would be in a position to criminally involve many other individuals in crimes not necessarily associated with Mary’s disappearance and murder? In my opinion, I absolutely believe that is the case. A former Marshall resident recently wrote, "Those of us who grew up in the "All-American" city know that the Golden Rule applies here...."Those that have the Gold make the rules". It's that simple. Those that have the money pull the strings of the elected and appointed officials. They don't even fart without permission. This has been the way of life for many many years.

You do not have to listen to anything I have said or written and you need to ascertain the facts for yourself. I’ll be glad to share any of my information and materials with any person who asks? Send your own FOIA requests to the appropriate agencies, call friends and relatives about your concerns, contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office in Grand Rapids, and most of all contact every person in the media. You can assist by calling major media officials at the national level and asking them to help. The tragedy of Mary Denise Lands should have been profiled at the national level two years ago, but the Marshall Police Department has been against it and has put up barriers to people in the media who inquired about the case. There seems to be more of a focus on their historical community image and keeping silent about crimes than in serving the public, enforcing the law and closing cases. The Marshall Police Department doesn't even have a real detective in that agency. They just do not have the ability, desire and resources to properly solve crimes. What are they trying to cover up and who are they protecting?

The Marshall family, and the Marshall community need the answer to two crucial questions we have been asking for 38 months. Where is Mary? and, When will we have justice for Mary? I have no doubt that there are many people in Marshall and Calhoun County who are aware of these dubious activities and much more. We need them to come forward and provide details. As I have said in the past, if Mary Lands had been the loved one of a police official or prominent politician this case would have been already solved. Over two years ago while doing research on this historic community I wrote that Marshall, Michigan is a lovely and beautiful 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 that evil persists in Marshall to this day. There is a nasty odor emanating from a public building near the Brooks Memorial Circle Fountain, and the air needs to be cleared. The entire Marshall community and Calhoun County must demand that the person/s responsible for the disappearance and murder of Mary Denise Lands be held accountable regardless of how it might alter the appearance of a quaint historic Michigan community. You would not settle for less if Mary Lands was your daughter, sister, wife or loved one.

May 17, 2007- WZZM-TV 13 ABC, in Grand Rapids, Michigan featured an interview with Clifford & Anita Marshall concerning the disappearance and murder of their daughter, Mary Lands. You may read about it, view their video and post comments.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Mother's Day 2007 in the home of Clifford & Anita Marshall

Anita Marshall, 3rd Anniversary Vigil for Mary Lands, March 12, 2007
May 13, 2007 is "Mother’s Day" and will mark the 4th anniversary since Anita Marshall has been able to celebrate this special family holiday with her beloved daughter, Mary Denise Lands.
I’d like to take this opportunity on behalf of myself and the Marshall family to wish all women across America a very Happy Mother’s Day.
We have been extremely critical of Chris Pratt’s girl-friend especially as it related to the loss of Mary’s signs and other dubious activities. We undertook those actions not only to let her realize that what she has done was wrong, but to make her and other people aware of the national tragedy of domestic violence. A supporter recently informed us about a great online resource tool for those in abusive relationships and domestic violence. It may be found at
Thank you.
If Mary Lands was here today, she would be the first person to step up to help anyone suffering domestic violence and physical and emotional abuse.
We have made our point in documenting the loss of our "Justice for Mary" signs on video and will no longer pursue the matter in court. We will also remove the YouTube video presentation that has been published for the last two months and seen by over 23,000 viewers. There will be no further reference to it on the web sites and blogs dedicated to Mary’s disappearance. We sincerely believe that there are many other victims out there who have been suffering in the wake of the disappearance and murder of Mary Lands. Our thoughts will be with Mary and the other victims of domestic violence throughout America.
If you can help bring Mary home, please contact us. Your name will remain confidential if that is your choice.
Happy Mother’s Day to all.

WZZM-TV 13 ABC, in Grand Rapids, Michigan broadcast an interview with Clifford & Anita Marshall concerning the disappearance and murder of their daughter, Mary Lands. The feature was seen on May 16, 2007. You may view the story and video at-

Jim Carlin
Justinian Investigative Services

Friday, April 13, 2007

Chris Pratt, will he help find Mary? Mother's Day 2007

With the improving Spring weather finally upon us and Mother's Day 2007 just around the corner we continue our search for Mary Denise Lands. There has been much more information learned and we have been following up on new tips and interviewing dozens of individuals about the case. Expert handlers and their cadaver dogs will be searching numerous locations for evidence related to Mary's disappearance and we intend to dig again within two weeks. We will raise further public awareness in Marshall, and across America about Mary's tragedy.
We also will hold another Mary Lands "Walk for Justice" at the Marshall Police Department and the Brooks Memorial Fountain soon and further walks in Marshall and other locations are planned for 2007. A new feature on the Mary Lands case will also appear on ABC News television in May, and we will keep you advised when that date if finalized.
We would like to express our thanks to the many friends and supporters who have helped us over the last two years. We also would welcome their help again and the support of others. If you would like to assist us in any way and join in our walks, sign petitions, and hear more about Mary's case on what the Marshall Police Department have and have not done, please call- 269.441.7068 or write, Cliff & Anita Marshall, PO Box 63, Marshall, Michigan 49068. You may email me directly at or post anonymous comments on this web site.

----We also are extending an invitation to Christopher Luke Pratt. He has never been willing to participate in the many searches for his former fiancée, but I would like to ask him to help. Everyone is aware that he is a hunter and claims to know all the rural environs of Calhoun County. Perhaps he can point us in the right direction to bring Mary home? Chris, if you are interested in assisting the family please give me a call. You know where I live and you have my phone number. Put on your camouflage fatigues, your boots, grab your favorite woolie cap, and join us. You don’t seem to work that much anymore, and it would give you something to do in your idle time while Norrene is at her job.

May 13, 2007 is Mother’s Day. Lets all work toward solving Mary's case and bringing some closure for the family. Keep your many calls, emails, and tips coming in so that Mary’s case can be concluded. They are greatly appreciated and as always we will keep your name confidential.
By the way, Mr. Pratt stopped Anita Marshall while she was working last week and asked directions to Customer Service. He has been in this store many times in the past although not in the last three years. In my opinion this is more of the arrogance observed in sociopathic behavior. Why would Mr. Pratt take this action? Is it to intimidate Mary’s family? Is it to intimidate people helping the family? Anita Marshall stood her ground, politely pointed him to the service desk, and walked away. You have many problems, Mr. Pratt, but you can no longer intimidate good people.
Last Mother’s Day, 2006, Chris Pratt showed up at the home of the Marshall’s and gave Anita a dog-eared-folded wallet size birth ID, and folded original birth record for Mary Lands. He claimed he found them in a file and wanted Anita to keep them as a gift for Mother’s Day. My opinion and those of family and friends who knew Mary’s mannerisms were that these two documents were always kept folded in her own wallet. How did you get them Chris? And, why would you give something like this to Mary’s mother on Mother’s Day? Your own father, Sam Pratt died last year in the hospital after fighting a long illness. Would it be appropriate for you to give your mother, Louise, his birth certificate? I think not!
It is about time that you talk to me and members of law enforcement about what you know. Go on record with your statements and help bring Mary home? For once in your life try to do the right thing. Bring your lawyer, bring your friends, but talk about what really occurred on the weekend of March 12, 2004. Talk about Mary’s birth certificate, why you have her engagment ring, her favorite bomber jacket you were selling at a flea market in Homer, which was recovered and turned over the the police? Explain why you were selling off so many intimate items without even offering them to the family first? Family pictures still in their frames, Mary's jewelery and clothing? Explain how Mary was so mentally and physically abused? Explain how her bones were broken? Explain the court documentation of domestic violence on other women in your life? Explain Mary's disappearance so that we can all understand what might happened to your fiancée? Do you have a problem with anger management and control? We will listen.
You may have moved on,but you cannot hide from your past and events will repeat themselves. When you wish your own Mom a Happy Mother’s Day this year think about the other Mother’s Day events you spent with Mary Lands? Think about how it will be in the Marshall home this Mother’s Day 2007 without the presence of their beloved daughter, Mary?
Think about your own children, think about your mother, Louise Pratt, a former school teacher in Albion, and think about what your legacy will be? Think about all of this Mr. Pratt?

April 24, 2007 1:00 PM- No work again today...Christoper is back at Ceresco Dam enjoying the weather and fish'in. Today, however he is with his brother Jeff Pratt.
April 20, 2007- It must be another day off work at the Target Distribution Center in Galesburg, Michigan because the sun was out and Mr. Pratt went fish'in. Pike minnows were the bait of the day. In about two weeks, over 5,600 viewers have seen the Chris Pratt Fish'in Video
We firmly believe that Mary will be brought home in 2007 and the person/s responsible for her disappearance and murder will be held accountable in a court of law. If Mary Denise Lands had been the relative of a police chief, politician, or prominent official in our community this case would have been solved two years ago. Some have questioned our efforts in the past and to those I can only reply, "What would you do if it was your daughter, wife or loved one who was missing?" You would do exactly what we are doing and never give up! Take a good look at the pictures of this lovely lady and her grieving parents and ask why did this tragedy occur?

Someone must be held accountable. Two years ago I wrote that Marshall, Michigan is a lovely and beautiful place to live and work, but evil things can and do occur in the best of places. Something very evil occurred in Marshall on March 12, 2004 and that evil lingers to this day. Let us end this evil and bring this investigation to a close. You can help and those answers are out there and known by good people with a conscience. Call us, email, or write if you have any information.
I have been often criticized by law enforcement for not providing the names of people who have provided tips and other information. Many will talk to me, but not to the police. I have never divulged the name of any person if they wished to remain anonymous. In over two years I have interviewed dozens of individuals throughout the country in prisons, county jails, in their homes or at work. I will go anywhere to speak to anyone with information about Mary’s case and if you ask, your name will remain anonymous. Clifford Marshall has often said that many people seem to trust me more than the police. Unfortunately, I have also come to the realization that I have more respect for some individuals in prison than for some police-officers who I know. That probably explains the reluctance of so many people to trust some in law enforcement.
If you have any information, concerning the disappearance and murder of Mary Denise Lands, please contact me-

Mary Denise Lands Tribute Video-

Monday, March 5, 2007

Bad boys bad boys,Watcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

March 12, 2007- Anita Marshall, mother of Mary Denise Lands, on the 3rd anniversary of her daughter's disappearance.

This sad date will mark three years,...36 long and arduous months since Mary Denise Lands was last seen as reported by her fiancé, Christopher Luke Pratt. 44 hours later Mr. Pratt called Mary’s family in California and asked if they had heard from her? The family then immediately contacted the Marshall Police Department, but her case was then handled as though she was an adult runaway.

In a recent article written by Shelly Sulser of the Marshall Chronicle for the 3rd anniversary of Mary's case she stated that Marshall Police Chief Mike Olson has said repeatedly that in those early days, police could not necessarily presume foul play because adults are allowed to be missing if they so choose. Six months later Chief Olson announced that Mary was being considered a victim of foul play because no evidence of her existence could be found.

This just shows the inadequacies of the Marshall Police Department (MPD) and their arrogance in not immediately and aggressively investigating Mary’s disappearance.
A few weeks ago Tara Lynn Grant disappeared from a Detroit suburb. Her husband, Stephen Grant suspected of killing and dismembering his wife was captured Sunday as he fled searchers, running through snow in northern Michigan. Stephen Grant had been the subject of a manhunt since police discovered what they believe to be the torso and other body parts of his wife in and around the couple's house in a suburb of Detroit. Grant was arrested in northern Michigan, some 225 miles from his home, after an air and ground search by local, state and federal agencies, according to the Emmet County sheriff's department. In Mary’s case, the Federal Bureau of Investigation immediately began to assist in the investigation and a task force was formed, however within days the FBI was informed by MPD that their services were no longer needed. They would return today if given jurisdiction of the case by Chief Olson, but he refuses to give up primary control of the investigation.
The parents and family of Tara Lynn Grant are indeed fortunate to have law enforcement authorities with a diligent and pro-active perspective of missing persons in their community. This would also include the families of Laci Peterson in California, Lori Hacking in Utah, and so many others. Imagine the status of those cases today if law enforcement had waited six months to commence a viable investigation? An immediate and appropriate police response is required to solve these crimes.

In Mary’s case, a former deputy chief sat with his feet on a desk in a relaxed manner and ridiculed the family in his skepticism that Mary was actually missing. There is much documentation to verify his poor and incompetent demeanor in those first six months. Another issue is why a civilian dog handler was used in the early search, which resulted in a bogus claim that Mary was tracked for miles throughout Marshall and her scent was found on the comforter of a bed in a nearby motel? That statement was the genesis of the story that Mary was an adult runaway and it was totally false and without foundation. No dog or handler ever went into any room at this motel and five days later any scent on such a trail would have been nearly impossible by even the best of certified tracking animals and their handlers. My cat would have been able to track Mary Lands with more accuracy that what was purported by this dubious civilian character who seemed to be sanctioned by the MPD. This felon who was convicted in Eaton County for multiple counts of embezzlement should never have been permitted search duties in Mary's case. How, when, and why she was called to duty by MPD is yet another question? Her report clearly gave a false perception to the entire community that Mary had run away.

In September 2004 Chief Olson announced that Mary was now being considered a victim of foul play, Just a few weeks earlier Mr. Pratt was observed at a flea market in Homer selling Mary’s personal articles. Pictures still in their frames, jewelry, and other personal items. He also had for sale... a brown leather jacket that appeared to be the one she was wearing when she allegedly walked away from their apartment. The jacket was recovered and turned over to MPD, however today they do not even seem concerned with its worth as evidence? After the jacket was recovered he left the flea market quickly leaving the rest of the property at the booth, with a sign, "For Free".

There are also many questions about Mary’s new Dodge Durango. After it was brought back from Lansing and supposedly had been processed for evidence it was stored at Bud's Towing in Marshall. There was no evidence tape, the vehicle was open, and did not even appear to have been processed although we must take the word of MPD on this issue. It was quietly moved after the family inquired about its dubious status as "evidence" and being kept in the open and unsecured tow yard for over two and one half years. Numerous individuals have been in and out of the unlocked vehicle, however again on January 19, 2007 MPD reiterated their claim that the vehicle it is being held as evidence.
You may view photographs and information about of the vehicle in other sections of Mary's blog.

On Mother’s Day 2006, Mr. Pratt conveniently found the birth record certificate and a small wallet sized birth document that he claimed he located in a file of Mary’s. He told the family he wanted to give it to Anita Marshall for Mother’s Day and delivered the papers. What arrogance! A person who has never supported the family in the search for his missing fiancée shows up on Mother's Day to give these papers to the grieving parents. In September, 2004 I asked Mr. Pratt a question about his desire to find Mary's killer and bring her home? I told him that if it were me, I would be camping out in a tent at the Fountain, across the street from the Marshall Police Department, and wouldn't move until they solved the case. His reply was odd, "Why would I bother, they know where I live?" Anyone looking at the document he gave Anita Marshall could conclude from the way it was folded and dog-eared to fit in a wallet that the papers were probably always in Mary’s purse. This would be the same purse that Mr. Pratt claimed she left with in her possession, on the evening of March 12th. Ask any woman who is often checked for identification to buy alcohol and prove their age? This is exactly the way Mary and other women would store this type of document in their wallet. Her family also confirmed these articles as being in Mary's purse.

Mr. Pratt told me in September 2004 that he had Mary’s engagement ring, which she forgot to put back on after they tanned during the evening of March 12th. At 10:00 PM he states she walked away from their apartment after a minor argument attired only in a lightweight medical scrub outfit from work, flat soft cloth office shoes, her favorite leather jacket, and carrying her purse. She left behind her new Dodge Durango and her cell phone. This sounds a bit odd that a person is going to walk in 19-degree weather and snow dressed in this manner?

Christopher Luke Pratt, Additional Photographs will soon be published

April 20, 2007- Another new YouTube Video- Why Mr. Pratt can't help search for Mary?
It is also another irony that on March 14, 2007 Mr. Pratt threw a gala birthday party for his new girl-friend. Two days earlier although he was off-work, he couldn't find the time to be present at the Brooks Memorial Fountain for the 3rd anniversary of Mary's disappearance and support the family of his previous fianceé? Why would be though? He never did! His girl-friend is very lucky, Mary Lands will never be able to celebrate another birthday with her loved ones.

April 13, 2007- Chris Pratt is telling friends and relatives that his girl-friend had to go into the hospital because she lost feeling in her hands and feet. It sure is a strange coincidence that this makes the 3rd woman with whom he has had a relationship to experience this type of unusual medical anomaly. What could it be? Oh, what could it be? There is no proof that anything sinister has occurred however the following link on is interesting-
Chris, you don’t seem to be working much anymore, and Norrie is the one employed and with a viable income and taking care of the house. It must be rough on her having to file for bankruptcy and with other things going on?I plan to return to rural areas of Calhoun County and continue the search for Mary as soon as the weather clears next week. We will have more cadaver dogs and since you have all this idle time on your hands I wondered if you could meet with me and help in the search? As an experienced hunter who claims to know every piece of land in Calhoun County you would know where we could look.I hope you will consider my request and I look forward to talking with you again. Give it some thought? You could help bring home your former fiancee.

Jim Carlin

A reasonable person reading about this case might remark that it couldn’t be true, however sadly it is all very accurate. You couldn’t even begin to make up some of the incidents that are real in this three-year odyssey being endured by the Marshall family. Mr. & Mrs. Marshall were read their Miranda Rights by an officer of the Marshall Police Department about a bogus home invasion and burglary alleged by Mr. Pratt. What a joke to expend police resources on such a frivolous claim? Did Mr. Pratt report that Cliff & Anita were even wearing ski masks? Chief Olson later told them "there really was no problem."
Could it be that these actions were undertaken to intimidate the family? I frankly question how many people have even been read their rights in the actual investigation of Mary's disappearance? For some time we have been asking the Federal Bureau of Investigation to take this case over from the Marshall Police Department. A Petition on Mary's behalf is circulating in Michigan. You may also support of efforts by signing up online- Thank you for your help.

We have all been down, and we also have all been up with positive news about the case. One thing is clear when you hear talk from "Ole Kentuckian," Clifford Marshall. He often remarks, "we ain’t going nowhere ‘til Mary’s found. Then if we want to go someplace, we’ll leave then."

I’ve donated nearly 6000 hours and if it takes another 6000 to bring Mary home I am fully committed to it, and to helping this good family. We continue to ask help from the public and even today new tips came in that are very very promising, and will be fully investigated. The weather will be improving soon and we are all committed to doing more digging, advertising, protest walks, and conducting various public awareness projects on behalf of Mary. We still hope that Mary's case and the frustrations of the Marshall family will be featured by national media that can help solve this case. America's Most Wanted, 48 Hours, and others are aware of the Mary Denise Lands situation and we have asked for their help. We intend to do what it takes to get the job done!
It is surprising that we get so much assistance from many different people. However, it is only going to take one person to solve this case. I have no doubt that many people do know exactly what happened to Mary Denise Lands and soon we will all know.
Two years ago while doing research on this historic community I wrote that Marshall, Michigan is a lovely and beautiful 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 that evil persists in Marshall to this day.

One great supporter recently published a video tribute to Mary and her family and it may be viewed at
We believe that the person/s responsible for the disappearance and murder of Mary Denise Lands will soon be held accountable in a court of law.

On Monday, March 12, 2007 at 1:00 P.M. at the Brook's Memorial Fountain Circle the family will release 36 yellow balloons, one for each month that Mary has been missing. Please join us and meet Cliff & Anita Marshall and their family.

In the meantime as we wait, we all think about those famous lyrics of the Cops theme song…

Bad boys bad boys,

Watcha gonna do,
whatcha gonna do when they come for you?