This show, “Michigan and other Mayhem”, is a sort of factual, slightly comical, always earnest podcast about interesting stuff in Michigan and around the world. It is done by two sisters-in-law (Ali and Jenn) that like to talk about random interesting stories. Expect cults, mysteries, murder, fast talking, and a couple of mental palate cleansers… and cuss words. Those happen on this show, a lot.
Episode 49: Murder of Amy Mihaljevic, Family Annihilators – Real and Imagined, Mackinac Island State Park Reviews
- Pretend podcast music because Jenn likes it.
- Ali has a weird laugh. It is often loud.
Rando convo: Jenn brought Ali back to her childhood with the mention of xylophones. Ali had one as a child and felt like she could really get down. They both give a couple of shout outs to people who contacted them through Anchor and have podcasts. Jenn did an Amazon review of what she considered a ridiculous bra/underwear set.
Pierre Live the Minimalist, Less is More
Jackson Vidito, The All Around
Terry Vandermark, Life Before the Alien Magic
Ali received both ideas/articles from a listener named Logan. Ali has a morbid fascination with a certain subject and Logan provided topics and accompanying articles. Thank you!
Amy Mihaljevic was 11 years old when she disappeared in Ohio, in 1989. Her body was found, murdered, in 1990. There is a document on the I.D. channel regarding her murder. (Jenn thinks it might be the I.D. Channel. It is called the Lake Erie Murder.)
A man had contacted Amy by telephone, luring her to the Bayside Shopping Center. He told her that they would buy a gift for her mother, telling Amy that she’d received a recent promotion. The man asked her to meet with him on October 27, at 2:30 p.m. It was believed Amy had been abducted within an hour of their meet time.
Amy had told multiple friends about meeting the man, saying he promised her $45 to buy her mom a gift. (Jenn and the police think it is someone she knew, in some way, maybe even on the fringe of her social circle.)
People who work at the mall recall seeing Amy with a man who was about 5’9”, age 25-30, with a medium build, dark hair, and a white complexion. He was possibly wearing glasses. One witness saw them together in the parking lot.
Around 3:20 p.m., Amy’s brother called his mom to tell her that Amy wasn’t home. Soon after, Amy’s mom, Margaret, then received a call from Amy saying that she was at home, doing fine, and that she would see her soon. Margaret sensed something was wrong and went home. Amy was not home but Margaret had found Amy’s bike by the school.
Margaret called the police and by 9 p.m. friends and family had begun a search for Amy. They were able to get her picture on the news stations. (This was unusual, because back in the day, they used to make you wait before declaring someone missing and looking for them actively.)
Despite thousands of tips, the case went cold. Her body was found February 8, 1990, about 50 miles away from the shopping center. Amy had on the same clothes she was wearing when she was abducted in apart from her earrings, white jacket, and backpack. There were stab wounds on her neck and blunt force trauma to her head. Police determined she was murdered shortly after her abduction.
Authorities believe the killer was familiar with the area, had met Amy at least once before, and was a sexual predator. In 2006, it was found that the man had tried contacting other girls with the same story that summer. It was found that all of the girls, including Amy, had recently signed in at the Lake Erie Nature Center. In 2016 police explained that they had found drapery at the scene. It looked as if it had been made from a bed spread. Police believe someone will recognize the curtain from the scene.
Robert Lee Haggart, Human Garbage
Doris Arndt was 29 years old when she disappeared one night in Midland, MI on September 24, 1977. Doris had two children, a boy, 10, and a girl, Teresa, who was 13 years old, on the last night they saw their mother. Two days after Doris fails to come home, her husband called the police to report her missing.
Doris had last been seen in a bar called the Western Bar, making plans with coworkers to go to a house party afterwards. Doris’ brother-in-law was also at the bar and told authorities that one of the last things Doris did was have a drink with a man named Robert Lee Haggart. (One article said Doris and Robert may have argued that night right before she left.)
Robert Lee Haggart was born in 1950. By his early 20’s, Robert had been convicted of sexual assault against a 14-year-old. While on probation for his first convicted rape, Robert raped someone again. Robert was sentenced to prison again, May 21, 1975. Robert spent two years in prison and was out in society again by July 11, 1977.
Doris’ body was found October 7, 1977 in the woods in West Branch. A bird hunter had stumbled across her and called authorities. She had been strangled and raped. Doris still had her clothes on but not her shoes. She was also missing her purse and a distinctive floppy hat. Later those items would be found off of M-20, just over the bridge that spans the Tittabawassee (tit-a-ba-wah-see) River.
Her husband, John, becomes the first and strongest suspect. (They always go for the spouse as it usually is them.) Doris’ husband and three other men take polygraph tests about Doris’ murder and all of them pass. The case goes cold without any leads, but the community continues to whisper about John. On January 4, 1987, John offers a $2,000 reward for information on his wife’s murder. (I think one of Doris’ sisters stopped talking to John and his children with Doris with they believed their dad was innocent.)
Detective Brent Benzing, who is a Midland County Sheriff, reopened the cold case in 2000 after receiving a phone call from a journalist in Arizona. The journalist claimed to have interviewed Robert Lee Haggart in prison in either 1982 or1983 and Robert had confessed to killing Doris. This caused Detective Benzing to request DNA samples from Robert Haggert and compare them to semen swabs that had been taken from Doris. They were a conclusive match. This is the first cold case that Midland had solved through DNA testing.
Side Note: Ali was really impressed by this. Small town Michigan cops in 1977 kept all the evidence and preserved it well enough that DNA samples could be taken decades later. Say yes to Michigan.
Why was Robert Lee Haggart being interviewed in jail by a reporter in the early 1980’s?
On February 16,1982, at age 32, Robert became a mass murderer, about 35 miles west of Midland, in Clare County, MI. Robert had been married to Garnetta Haggart, who was 23, for six months before she left him. Their divorce hearing was set for the next day when Robert went to Garnetta’s father’s home where she had been staying.
Garnetta’s father, George Post, was a community member in the hamlet he lived in. George’s wife, Vaudrey, was a school bus driver. Garnetta’s sister, Helen Gaffney, who was 29, was also at the house with four of her children, Angela, 10, Tom, who as 8, and Amy, a three-year-old. Helen also had a one-year-old daughter, Amanda, who was often called Mandy.
Robert took a shot gun and waited for all Post family members to come home to George’s house. Garnettta and Vaudrey were found shot to dead in the kitchen. George’s body was found, shot dead, in the basement. Helen and her three oldest children had been shot to death while they were still sitting in the pickup truck they drove up in. Mandy, the one year old, survived as her mother’s body had fallen over hers on the floorboard, hiding and protecting her.
After shooting to death his wife and six of her family members, Robert fled Michigan to go back to Tennessee. Police were able to track him down and he was given seven life sentences. While he was in jail for the murders, he gave an interview to a journalist, admitting to killing Doris Arndt.
Robert Lee Haggart died of natural causes in jail in 2003.
Michigan Urban Legends, Carroll Creek Drain Murders
In the Riverview Natural Area, by the Tittabawassee (tit-a-ba-wah-see) river, is where a Michigan urban legend takes place. In the 1980’s, a man who lived in the area became a family annihilator. It is said that he hit his wife with a hammer, five times, killing her. He then chained up his teenage son in their family home, leaving the boy to starve to death. The man then killed his two youngest children, sealing them into the walls of the bathroom after they were dead.
People claim that when visiting the home, they can see a baby’s skull in the bathroom wall. The chains are said to still be in the basement. Multiple investigators claim that a few times that they were out at the house, they say headlights approaching but no one ever arrived at the home and were not found later on the side of the road.
The link below contains directions to the location:
Mackinac Island State Park Reviews
Trip Advisor Poor Review from 5/26/15
Rented bikes to ride around Mackinac Island, as we have done several times in past. They gave us NO warning! After you leave the town area, the gnats slowly take over. By time you are half around, you will be swarmed with gnats!! Don’t go! It was a trip that will scar you for life. Seriously.
Trip Advisor Excellent Review from 7/19/19
Had an awesome time biking around the island. The view is beautiful and the ride is very easy on the 8.2 mile loop around the island. We also cut through the middle to see additional sites, which added a few miles. The ride uphill was a little tough but the ride back down was so much fun, all downhill and we were flying!
Of course you have to get fudge while you’re there. Murray’s has the creamiest fudge in town. It melts in your mouth.
Only complaint is the cost of the ferry ride to get there… it’s a bit expensive but that’s vacation, right… Only spent the day there but would love to return and spend more time on the island.
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