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- www.BADD.org and www.MaryDeniseLands.com 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.