The Good Hart Murders, 20 Things to Know About Michigan, 20 Facts About Ohio

Today’s three topics are The Good Hart Murders, 20 things people in Michigan might have to explain and 20 facts about Ohio. Find out more by listening to our podcast or reading the full show notes at http://www.MichiganandotherMayhem.com

Click Here to listen to Episode 25 

 

Continuing Conversation: Boblo Island Amusement Park

Continuing the conversation: This week we talked about Boblo Island Amusement Park.

Abandoned Spaces wrote an article on the current state of Boblo Island which includes pictures. Click Here to Read the Article

Youtube video from The Reaper Files about Boblo Island and old commercials for the Amusement Park

Continuing the Conversation Stephen McAfee Murder in Macomb County Michigan

Continuing the conversation: This week we talked about the murder of Stephen McAfee from Macomb County in Michigan.

Detroit Free Press Article on the Murder of Stephen McAfee

WXYZ Channel 7 Detroit Youtube video of the two suspects arrangement for the murder and dismemberment of Stephen McAfee.

 

Youtube video from Scales of Justice – Opening statements in the Andrew Fiacco trial.

 

Detroit Free Press Article on the verdict in the Stephen McAfee Murder Trial

 

 

Show Notes: Murder of Stephen McAfee, Boblo Island Amusement Park

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 24: Stephen McAfee, Boblo Island Amusement Park

Click Here to Listen to Episode 24

Alerts:

  • Pretend podcast music because Jenn likes it.
  • Ali has a weird laugh. It is often loud.

We have a guest!  Ali’s cousin J! J. has come back to talk about the times he went to Boblo Island Amusement Park with Ali.

Stephen McAfee

Stephen McAfee was reported missing on March 13, 2016 by his parents. He hadn’t come home in three days. He was in his late teens. The police investigate but aren’t able to find any leads.  The case goes cold for about a year.

During that time, a friend named Andrew Fiacco, was questioned a few times. Andrew repeatedly claimed to have no knowledge of Stephen’s disappearance.  This was unusual as the two boys were best friends.  They often spent all of their free time together.

A year later a witness came forward.  The witness is a friend of Andrew’s ex-girlfriend Yvette, who was dating Andrew around the time of the murder. Yvette’s friend told the police that Andrew shot Stephen and later dismembered his body with the help of Yvette.

Andrew, throughout the trial, never said why he did it.  Andrew claimed that Stephen attacked him and he had to shoot him in defense. Stephen was shot once in the stomach and twice in the back. (Ali and J. think that the first shot was in the stomach and the rest was unnecessary as the victim was either running away or curled up in pain.)

April 2017, the Macomb County police arrested Andrew Fiacco and charged him with killing Stephen.  Andrew had shown Yvette where Stephen’s body was, a week after killing him.  Yvette was arrested as an accessory after the fact, for helping dismember the body two months after Stephen was first killed in the field. After Stephen had been dead, Andrew brought Yvette to the field to cut up the body.  They cut Stephen’s torso in half with an ax and worked to remove his limbs. (Ali and J. are grossed out by the stench the body had to be giving off.)

Yvette plead guilty and was sentenced.

Jenn thinks that there is time after someone is convicted to make a deal before being sentenced.  There is something they can try to reduce their time. It was brought up by J. that some people stay out of jail for a long time, on appeals, like Bill Cosby.

Boblo Island Amusement Park

Boblo Island Amusement Park operated for nearly 100 years, from 1898 until late 1993.  I (Ali) visited Boblo through the 1980’s and early 1990’s with my mom, sisters, and various cousins (like J.).  I last went in the 90’s with my mom and Dave, the man who was to become my stepdad, and at least two of my future stepbrothers. (Ali thought she was so clever the last time she went.  It is always hot in the summer on the way there, but you freeze your butt off at night on the way back.  Ali’s future stepbrothers teased her about bringing a coat to the park, but she is the only one to not freeze on the way home.)

Island History:  The park was located on Bois Blanc Island, (bowa-blanch) Ontario, Canada.  Bois Blanc Island is where Chief Tecumseh, a Shawnee Native American, held his headquarters during the War of 1812. In 1838, during the Upper Canadian Rebellion, attackers were locked into blockhouses that had been built on the island. One of those blockhouses is still standing, once serving as a souvenir shop for the amusement park. The island was an important stop on the Underground Railroad to Canada. An estimated 30,000 people came through the island as an escape system.

Bois Blanc is a French name and locals had a hard time pronouncing the name.  They called it Boblo Island, which wasn’t officially accepted until 1949.  However, the legal name of the island is still Bois Blanc.  The island itself is about ½ mile wide and three miles long.

At one point, Boblo Island was considered Detroit’s answer to New York’s Coney Island.  The amusement park had two ferries that launched from Detroit, MI. The boat ride would last 60-80 minutes to reach the island. The park became famous for their ferry steamers, which could hold about 2,500 passengers each. There were smaller ferries that brought people in from Amherstberg, Ontario and Gibraltar, Michigan.

The two steamers in Detroit were the S.S. Ste. Claire, built in 1902, and the S.S. Columbia, built in 1910.  It was the S.S. Ste. Claire that burned in an accidental fire in July of 2018. The 109-year-old mahogany woodwork and upper decks were destroyed.  The owners have the boat down to its steel skeleton and are rebuilding it in New York. After restoration, the ship will mostly likely be employed on the Hudson river, in New York.

https://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/11/the_boblo_boat_is_being_restor.html

Riding on the boats was always one of my favorite parts to going to Boblo.  I loved walking around the different levels of the boats and watching people feed the seagulls popcorn. I think there was a bar on the boat, if I remember correctly. There were areas in which you could look down and see giant portions of the engine turning. Late in the day, on the way back, there would be music bumping on the boat and everyone would dance. Ali loved it.

Some of the amusement attractions on the island were The Nightmare, the scariest roller coaster on the island, and the Falling Star, which was my favorite.  The Falling Star was like the pirate boat ride in other amusement parks, but on the Falling Star passengers were seated facing out, instead of looking at each other across the ride.  The Sky Streak, The Screamer, and Wild Mouse were similarly large roller coasters.

The island had the classic Ferris wheel and carousel.  I’m not a big fan of zoos, but the island had one of those also. The only animal I can remember at the zoo was one sad and skinny wolf. However, when management was selling off parts of the park, they sold 44 horses, two goats and two deer. Boblo Island had the classic amusement park small railroad used to move people from attraction to attraction.

I remember, a school friend losing something on the Sky Streak roller coaster ride.  The attendants said that the only thing we could do was walk the chain link fence line surrounding the coaster to look for it.  That friend found about 100 dollars from different bills stuck up against the fence by the wind.  I wanted to check all of the fences after that.

There was also a Boblo Space Needle.  It was tall enough that it could be seen from Amherstburg, Ontario.  It has angled ramps leading up to the needle, and for some reason, just going up and down on the needle scared me more than any ride they had. It is still standing today.  Boblo also had the swing ride that made Ali think she was going to fly off into the crowd.

The famous Henry Ford financed the amusement park’s dance hall.  When the dance hall was built, it was the second largest in the world.  It could hold up to 5,000 people when at full capacity. It had a 16-foot-tall, 14-foot wide self-playing orchestrion (oh-kest-rian).  An orchestrion is a large mechanical musical instrument that sounds like an entire orchestra is playing. The Boblo orchestrion had 419 pipes and a percussion section. The large dancehall also invited big bands to play.  They didn’t rely on just the orchestrion for music.  When the big bands played, they were known to draw multiracial crowds during the 1920’s.

I saw picture in which Boblo had Scootaboats, which is like bumper car boats.  They were even moved by electrical impulses through the ceiling like a bumper car.  Water and electricity seems like a dangerous mix. I LOVED Boblo’s bumper cars. My cousins and I (especially J.) would often get in trouble for ramming each other in head-on collisions.

The State of Michigan brought a discrimination case against the amusement park in 1948, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Sarah Ray, in June 1945, went with 12 other female workers from the war effort, on a trip to Boblo Island. (In the legal proceedings, they were continuously referred to as ‘girls’ despite being grown women working in factories.) The Bob-lo company had a policy in place that excluded people who were rough, rowdy, boisterous, or colored.  They used the policy to remove Sarah Ray from the steamboat. The company stated that they were able to remove her because it was a private business concern.  Since they were going from Michigan to a foreign country, Canada, the Boblo company believed they weren’t able to be regulated by Michigan laws. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Michigan Supreme Court decision that the company was violating the state’s anti-discrimination provisions.

It has been hypothesized that Boblo lost customers and had to be shut down in the 1990’s as it could not keep up with the larger amusement parks, like Cedar Point in nearby Ohio. It also had very high maintenance costs, especially for the older buildings.  Unfortunately, poor management of resources was also an issue.

It was estimated that 400,000 people had visited Boblo the year before it closed.

The Sky Streak was taken down and moved to a theme park in Mexico.  The Nightmare was originally moved to Six Flags in Houston, Texas.  It was renamed there as the Mayan Mindbender.  Later, it was moved again to a park in Amarillo, Texas.

After closing the amusement park, the island was renovated and became a neighborhood for luxury homes.  It is now referred to as the Marina Resort Community.

Ali is thinking about doing different amusement parks in Michigan as a podcast.

Murder of Stephen McAfee, Boblo Island Amusement Park

Today’s two topics are the murder of Stephen McAfee and Boblo Island Amusement Park. Find out more by listening to our podcast or reading the full show notes at http://www.MichiganandotherMayhem.com

Click Here to Listen to Episode 24

Continuing the Conversation: Tasty Café Murder Marshall Michigan

Continuing the conversation: This week we talked about the Tasty Cafe Murder.

Click Here to Read Article Newly Uncovered Photos – Secret Witness from Notes From The Bunker

Blaine Pardoe wrote a book about the bombing of the Tasty Cafe in Marshall Michigan. Click Here to check out the book and read reviews from other readers

Quiz: Famous Serial Killers

Let’s see how much you know about famous serial killers! Take the famous serial killer quiz from Britannica.

Click Here to take the quiz and let us know how you do!

 

Here at Michigan and other Mayhem, two non-professional researchers will intrigue you with interesting stories about Michigan murders, mysteries, odd facts, and other mayhem from around the world. Two sisters-in-law will keep you guessing about what our next subject will be as we discuss true crime, paranormal, historical, and scientific topics. Our weekly podcast will keep you entertained and possibly titillated.

Listen, Subscribe, and review us on Google Play by clicking here and on iTunes by clicking here

Join the conversation by visiting us on Twitter, and Facebook

Do you want to contact Michigan and other Mayhem? Do you have a story you want to share? Contact us by clicking here

You can find Michigan and other Mayhem on these other Platforms: YouTubeAnchorSpotifyBreakerOvercastPocket CastsRadioPublic, and Stitcher

 

Warning: This podcast occasionally contains strong language which may be unsuitable for children.

Continuing the Conversation Netflix Abduction in Plain Sight

Continuing the conversation: This week we talked about Abduction in Plain Sight on Netflix.

Documentary Abduction in Plain Sight Trailer

 

Dr. Phil spoke to Jan from Abduction in Plain Sight and Jan opens up about her abducted.

 

Review of the documentary Abduction in Plain Sight Trailer by the Atlantic: Click Here to Read their review of the documentary

Show Notes: Tasty Café Murder, Abducted in Plain Site Review

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 23: Tasty Café Murder, Abducted in Plain Site Review

Click Here to Listen to Episode 23

Alerts:

  • Pretend podcast music because Jenn likes it.
  • Ali has a weird laugh. It is often loud.

Our podcast, Michigan and Other Mayhem, can now also be found in the application Podbean.  Ali listened to a podcast by Mo Rocca called “Mobituaries” that talked about character deaths on sitcoms.  Why they happened and to who.  It was pretty interesting.

I was wrong about what I said in the last podcast, of course.  This is what I get for speaking off the cuff.  Here is a synopsis of the correct story of a man who spent 38 years in jail and later sued for $1 million.

Fred Clay was convicted of murder in 1979, in Massachusetts. The Innocence Program in Massachusetts was able to work on overturning Fred’s conviction, which hinged on a single person’s eye-witness testimony. Proving that Fred was jailed improperly, he was released in August 2017, at age 53.  Fred received $1 million for compensation, the greatest amount allowed under Massachusetts law. Fred’s case is being highlighted as he was originally given no compensation and after being jailed for 38 years was having a hard time reentering society.

Sixth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Michigan’s Legislation: Rule 6.004 Speedy Trial

In Michigan, the court must schedule in a practical manner.  Criminal cases must receive scheduling priority over civil cases and defendants in custody are given privilege over defendants who are out on bond. There are rules for 28 to 180 days in jail before trial, with several exceptions.

https://michigancourtrules.org/mcr/chapter-6-criminal-procedure/rule-6-004-speedy-trial/

Tasty Café Murder

The Tasty Café in Marshall, MI served typical diner food, burgers and sandwiches. It was owned by Paul and Nola Puyear, a couple who had been married for 38 years.

On August 18, 1967, a few minutes after 9:00 a.m. a mailman brought a package into the Tasty Café.  It was wrapped in brown paper and marked with the word Books. Nola took the package behind the counter to open it.  After she tore open the paper, Nola, who was 56-years-old at a time, could be heard saying the word “oh!” before a bomb exploded.

No customers or other employees were killed by the bomb, but Nola died instantly. The blast projected towards the rear of the building, destroying the back portion of the restaurant. The force was strong enough to blow glass from the front windows on to Michigan Avenue.

Nola was seen as the kind and motherly type, so her violent murder was a surprise to local citizens. Nola’s husband, Paul, was the first suspect. He had numerous extramarital affairs, including using a trailer he had parked in Barryton, two hours north of Marshall, for meeting his lovers. Paul was known to have affairs with people of both sexes.  (Extra scandal in a small town!)

The only snag in that hypothesis was that Paul was also in the diner when the bomb went off.  He was just feet from his wife when she opened the package.  Had he sent the bomb, he would have placed himself farther from the weapon.

The police encountered a twist when they found out that pills Nola normally received through the mail had been poisoned with a type of lye, possibly Drano. They were described as nerve pills in one article, which is what they used to call tranquillizers. Lucky, she hadn’t tried to take any of them after they arrived. The pills were found as part of the crime scene.

Now the police aren’t looking at Paul for the murder.  The pill prescription was months old and had he been trying to kill her the easiest way would be to hand her a pill.  She died after opening an explosive package while standing near him. The case goes cold for two months as the police don’t have any other leads.

The murder case was moved forward when a note in a plain envelope arrived in The Detroit News’ Secret Witness mailbox. The Secret Witness mailbox was set up to financially reward people who were able to reopen stalled legal cases with anonymous tips. The nameless person who wrote the letter claimed to recognize the handwriting on the package.  A writing sample from the two packages had been reproduced in the Detroit News newspaper. The person claimed that the writing belonged to Enoch Chism.

Enoch Chism, who was 44-years-old, was a factory worker who wanted to buy the Tasty Café from the Puyears. Paul was willing to sell, but Nola was not interested in selling the business. Enoch was a known wife-beater and family terrorizer. He had been convicted for arson in April 1966.

Side note on Enoch:  He was racist.  Enoch’s conviction for arson came from setting fire to a home his brother owned because his brother was willing to rent to both white and black people.

Enoch was arrested for the murder by a Calhoun County Sergeant while driving home from work down the expressway I-94.

The police had managed to link the bomb’s package to the package that had contained the tainted pills. A handwriting expert identified the writing on both packages as belonging to Enoch. It was also found that he had purchased dynamite near his worksite before the bombing. Weeks before the bomb blast, Enoch and Nola were seen in a heated argument over the sale of the diner.

Second side note on Enoch: Enoch’s mother-in-law, Mrs Josey White, was working at the restaurant when the bomb detonated, but he said that was a coincidence.

Enoch had been arrested on October 11, 1967. He went through a series of appeals, and 27 months after he was jailed, on January 20, 1970, he was sentenced to prison for life. Over 14 of those months were spent dealing with the appeals Enoch created. After he was sentenced, Enoch’s lawyers appealed again, saying that 27 months was a denial of his 6th Amendment right. They won and he was released from jail.

One of Enoch’s issues is the court took a long time to decide whether or not he had enough money to provide his own legal counsel.

Enoch Chism died in 1979 while awaiting trial for armed robbery charges. He still died in jail.

The anonymous tipster received the $3,000 cash reward while remaining anonymous.

Legal jargon for Enoch’s speedy trial appeal: https://law.justia.com/cases/michigan/supreme-court/1973/390-mich-104-2.html

Abducted in Plain Site Review

This is a documentary on Netflix.

It is about the abduction of Jan Broberg, she was kidnapped from a small Idaho town at age twelve. It is an unbelievable story.  Jenn thinks it brings to light how people can be manipulated.  There were a few times she didn’t think the story was real.

In 1970, the Broberg family met Robert Berchtold and his family. They attended the same church together.  They became really good friends.  Robert would just walk into the Broberg house in the mornings to say hello.

In 1974, Robert told Jan’s mom that he would drive Jan to her piano lesson then to horseback riding lesson. Jan had been on vacation with Robert’s family before, she’d had sleepovers with his kids, so this wasn’t unusual. Robert did take Jan to those two places, but they didn’t come home afterwards.

Jan’s parents went to see Robert’s wife, they Berchtold’s live next to the Brobergs, and she tells them there isn’t a need to call the police.  A few days go by and the Brobergs still haven’t heard from either of them. By late on Sunday, they decide to call the FBI.

The FBI agents are trying to explain to the Broberg’s that she had been kidnapped.  They were in denial that their child had been taken by a friend. This is the point where Jenn thinks these people might be unreal.

The FBI find Robert Berchtold’s car abandoned with a busted window.  However, they could tell that he had broken the window from the inside and smeared his own blood around.  Robert wanted everyone to believe they had both been kidnapped.

Robert then took his RV and drove off with Jan. The two go to Mexico and get married. Jan is 12-years-old.  Robert has been drugging her.  When she wakes up she is strapped to the bed and there is a little box by her head.  The voice of aliens are coming over the box to talk to Jan (but it is really Robert).  The voices tell her she is half alien and she is on a mission to find a chosen male and have a baby with him by age sixteen.  Should she not have a baby or choose the man, her sister, who is also half alien, will be abducted.  After this, Jan passes back out.

When Jan wakes up, she is no longer strapped to the bed.  She starts moving around the RV and finds Robert.  She wakes him up and tells him everything. Jan believes she had been abducted by aliens.  Together, they begin to read books about sex.  Jan feels like she must, to fulfill the mission. He would only place an inch of his penis inside her, because he felt that it would keep him from being accused of child rape.

 

Robert calls his brother and tells him he will come home with Jan, if the Brobergs agree he can marry Jan. Robert’s brother calls the Brobergs and tells them. (Robert’s brother admits in the documentary that he knew his brother was a paedophile.) The Brobergs say no.  The FBI listen to phone calls and find the two.

Jan is upset because she can’t complete the mission.  Robert is in jail, but before going he reminds her that people could die if she tells the secret.  Robert’s wife asks the Brobergs to tell everyone that she wasn’t kidnapped, they were on vacation.

Robert is freed and goes to therapy. He tells the Brobergs that part of his therapy is to lay with Jan in bed while she was sleeping. The Brobergs thought it was odd, but they allowed it.

Robert manipulates Jan’s mom into thinking that she was in love with him.  They start a sexual relationship. He also begins a sexual relationship with Jan’s dad. No one knows about all the sex until Robert calls Jan’s dad and tells him that he is sleeping with his wife. Robert was hoping that they would divorce so that Jan’s mom would get the kids and he could have full access to them.

It didn’t work.  Jan’s dad took the kids.

The Brobergs kind of see that he is up to something.  They get back together.

In 1976, Jan is kidnapped again by Robert who lives in Wyoming now.  Robert owns an amusement park. Jan still has a mission to complete. Jan is still communication with Robert via letters. Jan’s mom lets her go to the amusement park for two weeks.

After two weeks Jan flies home.  The mission is still incomplete. Robert comes to Jan’s window in the middle of the night and Jan leaves with him.

Robert enrolled Jan into an all-girls Catholic school.  He tells the nuns he is a CIA agent and he needs to enroll her so that he can complete a mission.  Robert visits her on the weekends.

Two weeks after she is missing, the Brobergs call the police.

Fast-forward, she is gone for months.  Robert is calling the Brobergs looking for Jan.  Then he calls them and says that Jan is calling him.  The FBI follow him and find Jan.

Jan still believes she is on a mission. (Here Jenn is lost because she had literally tossed her notes aside.)

Robert is in jail.  He’s mad Jan is gone.  Robert convinces two fellow convicts to burn down the Broberg’s business. They burned down the block.

Jan’s dad, watching their family business burn down, says that he doesn’t care, he has his family and that is all he needs.  Jan breaks down and tells everyone that she is an alien and about her mission. They now realize she has been brainwashed and needs deprogramming.

The authorities weren’t able to pin the arson back on Robert. He served 10 days for the first time Jan went missing. The second time he kidnapped her, he claimed insanity.  Robert served 45 days for the second kidnapping.

Present-day, Jan’s mom had written a book. Jan is giving lectures and talking about the book.  Robert is showing up at their events and saying it was lies.  They had to go to court to get a restraining order.  He commits suicide in 2005-2006.

Jenn feels everyone should watch the documentary.  She thinks everyone is down on the parents when they need to understand they have been manipulated.  People can be groomed from a young age, or even when they are older. You lose all sense of self.  You can be manipulated to the point where you are isolated.  Jenn felt bad for Jan’s parents.

Jan’s dad recently passed away.  Jan’s mom became a social worker, while she had previously worked as a florist.  Jan is an actress who also speaks on this topic.  Other people came out saying that they had been molested by Robert Berchtold.

Jenn also thinks the family was just attacked on social media. They should own it, as they were very naïve, and work forward. They were very candid in the documentary.  Jenn gives them credit for that. She thinks they should focus on the positive, like the mom and Jan working with others, now as adults.

Jenn had it made her wonder if she has people in her life manipulating her. She needs time before watching another true crime documentary.

Check out our True Crime podcast now on Podbean!

We added our podcast onto a new podcast platform directory! You can now listen to us on Podbean.

Click Here to go directly to Michigan and another Mayhem podcast Podbean page

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