Sunset...Sundown

By

Bonnie M. Wells

 

 


Our Greatest Loss

November 24th, 1986, my 34 year old brother Mike Martin died of a massive heart attack. Slim, trim and athletic, we just could not believe that he was gone.

My mother and I would discuss that time period years later, and even though my memory was always relied upon within our family for events, times, dates, etc, neither Mom nor I could ever quite remember Thanksgiving Day that year. I just remember we buried Mike on November 28th, 1986, the day after Thanksgiving.

UpTowner Inn

Janet Sue Miller hailed from Indiana.

She checked into the UpTowner Inn on the afternoon of November 28th, 1986.

The UpTowner was located right beside Leavitt's Funeral Home where my brother's funeral was held at 2:00 pm that very day. Of course in 1986 I wasn't aware of Janet Miller, and honestly don't even recall hearing about her murder until much later. Even then it would be years down the road before I suspected there was a connection between my brother's death and the murder of a stranger from Indiana.

I Don't Know Who Did ....

But .... He Didn't Kill Her

I still remember the night that I was heading through the family room with a basket of laundry, glanced at the tv set and saw the man who had been arrested for Janet Miller's murder.

I stopped dead in my tracks, and just kept shaking my head and saying..."He didn't kill her. He didn't kill her. I don't know who did, but that guy didn't kill her."

John Thomas was tried and eventually convicted of the murder and people were looking at me a little strangely because I continued to insist...."he didn't kill her."

When I said I did not know who killed Janet Miller, I was telling the truth. In 1986 and 1987 I did not know him, but by the time the West Virginia Supreme Court overturned the conviction of John Thomas, and he was found not guilty at his new trial, I had every reason in the world to suspect that I knew Janet Miller's killer. I continue to believe this.

Rumor had it that Janet Miller dated a cop, or cops. I never could get a straight answer to the question, nor could I ever dig out any specific names, but by 1994 and 1995 I had uncovered several local murder cases in which the victim was directly connected to a cop.

Some victims were sisters of cops, others were wives, girlfriends, nieces, etc.

By 1994 there was more disturbing information about the man whom I believed was the killer of Janet Miller, and I was convinced that he had not just murdered one woman but had possibly killed several women and even a few men, and was actually a serial killer.

By 1998 we had half a dozen more murder cases in which there were "cop" connections, and by that time it appeared the killer had added my name, my sister's name and my daughter's name to his "future victims" list!

Attention:

It appears that some people cannot read and follow along when I intorduce two or more cases on one page, so I am going to break it down a little further and will show the combination at a later date: For now, I will stick with the Janet Miller case on this page, to the extent that it is possible.

The other sections that once were on this page in this area have been moved to other pages. This is a copy of the original Janet Miller pages and the originals remain in my files and can be re-posted at any time:


A Cold Case Heats Up

November 24th, 1999: I worked at the computer working on Unit Four of Pure Coincidence. From time to time my mind drifted back to my brother's death. Thirteen years ago today. I missed him. Mom and Dad were with him now though..... didn't help any, I missed them too.

Random calls came in from time to time as I worked into the early morning hours. Sometimes I'd take a break and go chat with one of them for a few minutes. Sometimes I ignored them.

555---517-- showed up on the screen. I sat for a few seconds staring at the number before deciding to click on it and answer the caller. I live on state route 555. 517 is a code number that I uncovered that goes directly back to Janet Miller and my brother.

I clicked on the number and spoke to a man in California. As soon as possible I checked out his info card and learned that he is an Aquarian. So am I. So was Mike. It was the anniversary of Mike's death..... was I receiving supernatural messages over the computer now .... or had it just been a long, lonely night and the tiredness was settling in and dulling the senses?

Well, never being one to go to bed without the answer, I dove right into the conversation with my California guy and within 30 seconds learned that he had once lived in Little Hocking!

Surprised? Neah, not me! I expected something supernatural every day and if I didn't get it I started feeling abandoned! "Were you living here when Janet Miller was murdered," I typed into the chat screen.

"Remember the case well," came his reply! Now I was surprised!

We continued our conversation until the sun was coming up and I learned several things that I'd wondered about for years.

According to my source (and yes, I do have his name. His initials are D.R.) Janet Miller was from Indiana, which I already knew, but contrary to what I'd been led to believe she had not just arrived in Parkersburg the day of her murder! Instead, it seemed she had been a resident of that city for some time; had a house or apartment somewhere in the city, and was dating someone in the Parkersburg area.

She had checked into the Uptowner Inn that day for reasons known only to her.

My new chat buddy informed me that the police speculated that she had checked into the hotel to meet a man, but no one was ever identified who had actually met with her there.

The Sundowner

Memories......bits and pieces of conversations with my former friend ..... strange feelings I'd had so many times..... it all came flooding back as I chatted with the man from California.

I recalled the day my friend Pat and I had gone to the Sundowner Flea Market. It was the first time I'd been there since the old drive-in theater had closed down. Of course I thought of Janet Miller and my brother that day.

Mike was buried just about a mile from the Sundowner at the Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery. I'd seen the "sun" similarity years ago and noticed the closeness of the two dead people. I'd also wondered about the Player's Club where Janet had last been seen alive. Mike was a member of that club. If she had lived in Parkersburg for awhile before her murder, could she possibly have known my brother? Were they friends? Did they date? Could she possibly have been just another woman in the life of Mike Martin? Who hated my brother so much that when he died and was "out of the way," he went after every woman connected to Mike in any way? Who and why?

J.M. those initials had belonged to another woman in my brother's life one time.... his wife. They had been divorced for a few years by the time of his death, but still, I wondered.... could it all be related to Mike and any woman in his life?

My "suspect" had tailed Pat and me that winter day, and came back and told me how he would have purchased a set of skis because they had my maiden name.....MARTIN.....on them, but the shop wasn't open that day so he couldn't buy them! No, he didn't ski. Didn't even know what kind of ski's they were!

And I remembered the story he'd told me one time about a woman he'd picked up in Parkersburg and took out on a date..... expecting her to "put out" before the night was over. But he said she only wanted to tease him because she only dated "cops." I'd asked what her name was and he'd replied.... "I called her Suzie The Floozie".... I'd wondered then, and had asked what he did with the woman. "I took her worthless ass back to Parkersburg and dumped her out," he'd replied. Someone had certainly dumped Janet "Sue" Miller out.....

Attention:

Right here is where I lost certain people: I did NOT look up at the windows of the Uptowner Inn in 1986. I did NOT see Janet Miller looking down at me in 1986: In 1986 the hotel was in full operation. It was years later .... in the early 1990's when I started working Janet Miller's case. I did NOT know Janet Miller. I would NOT have recognized the woman even if I had seen her that day, and I would NOT have known the man that crept out of the woodwork in 1990 and introduced himself to me under someone else's name:

Sorry for this inconvienence folks. It seems some people are just plain stupid and I have to reduce everything to grammer school level for them. How long I will tolerate their ignorance is anybody's guess, but it probably won't be for very long.

Back to the story.

I thought of the times I'd stood in the parking lot of Levitt's Funeral Home and looked up at the now ((*deserted)) windows of the once flourishing Uptowner Inn.

Each and every time, I'd felt the presence of Janet Miller, and could almost see her looking down upon the funeral procession as it hauled my brother to his grave.

But more importantly, I felt the presence of someone else in that room with her.... a man. Dark haired and slim of build, he stood behind her with his arms wrapped around her and peered over her shoulder at the same funeral procession, and a dark and evil plan took root as he watched the long line of blond haired, blue eyed women that were the relatives of Richard Michael Martin.

The Parade

My mind went back to the Beverly, Ohio Christmas Parade of 1987. My friend Judy suggested we build a float to represent my kennel...Granville Shepherds, and enter it in the parade. She thought the fun and excitement of building the float and contacting owners of some of my dogs to invite them to participate would be good for me. She was right.

I walked with solid black, 110 pound Pete, my old foundation stud dog directly behind the float and to the right, while Diane followed behind me with Juscha, and Judy followed her with Kahn, and so on and so on until some 14 German Shepherds with their handlers made one of the most impressive, attention getting exhibits in the parade.

In 1995 I learned that my "person of interest" had pictures of me that he'd taken in that parade.

The parade had been the only time that I'd worn my white fur coat, hat and boots, while walking with "a big black dog." Usually I wore old work clothes when out with my dogs!

That parade had taken place three years before I met this man! And at no time during the nearly four years that I knew the man, had he mentioned these pictures to me! But as soon as I was away from him he began showing the picture, which he'd had made into a slide, to his girlfriends! I hadn't even known the man owned a screen and projector! **Although I'd once had a dream that indicated that he did.

Conversation Reveals Much

As my chat with the man in California continued, I recalled various "pieces" of information that I'd always felt fit into the Miller puzzle, but I'd never been able to locate exactly where.

I remembered my suspects ex-wife telling me how they had planned on getting married and had set the wedding date a dozen times only to have him ruin all the plans. Until right after the murder of *Maria Blough, that is. (Yeah, this is part that I took out. Maria Blough disappeared in September of 1986.)

Suddenly he became determined to get married and settle down. By that time his girlfriend was getting somewhat apprehensive about marriage to him and she bulked. Apparently he informed her that if she didn't marry him when he said, then she could just kiss him good-bye because he had a "barmaid from Indiana" in the wings that was just dying to marry him!

So, the wedding went forward, and precisely one week later he was seen at Civitan Park walking with a woman who was not his new bride! Until tonight......until I learned that Janet Miller (from Indiana.... and who disappeared from a bar!).....had actually been in this area longer than the one day that I'd always been led to believe.....I did not consider that it may well have been her by his side that October 1986 day.

Twenty-One Gun Salute

And so.... thirteen years ago today,-- (note: This was written in 1999) --- I stood on a cold, windswept hillside and trembled, not so much from the cold as from the devastation I felt within, as the American Flag was gently folded and laid, not in my parents arms, but mine. And a twenty one gun salute rang out across those frozen hills of West Virginia as my brother's casket sank slowly into the ground.

Little did I know that day, how many lives would be affected by that boy's death. Little did I know how many people his presence in this world might have been keeping alive.

No Retreat, No Surrender

When the "flock" has no shepherd, then they fall prey to wolves. Mike was our shepherd....not in the Holy sense as Jesus was the Shepherd, but in the realistic sense that when he was alive, if anyone had made a move for anyone.....male or female......that was his family or friend, they would have faced the wrath of Mike Martin. And believe me, that was not a pretty picture.

He was one nasty boy when angered. I miss him, and yet I know as well as I sit here today and tell this story to the world, that there is a killer walking our streets, and there is not a day goes by but what he doesn't smile to himself and say...."I'm glad he's gone."

And well he should be glad Mike is gone. But there is something else he should remember..... for all eternity. Mike and I were both Aquarians. We have the same feelings toward protecting our loved ones, and I am very much alive and still here.

I continue to work "my cases." None are forgotten, nor will they be as long as I yet breathe. I will never give up."

Attention:

The following cases were once mentioned on this page, but obviously have been removed. Never the less, the information is still available and will be put on their personal pages.

Jill Bohl, Marie Blough, Terri Roach, Patsy Sparks, Ronda Manley, and Jenifer McCrady are(were) all mentioned within the above story because it is impossible to tell the story of any one victim, without showing how their case is "connected" to the group. All of the victims mentioned within this story have their own sections within the pages of Pure Coincidence and the world is invited to read their stories as I have pieced them together based upon information gathered from numerous sources.

Bonnie M. Wells

The following link will take you to John Thomas' Supreme Court Appeal

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS OF WEST VIRGINIA

Target Of Obsessional Neurosis:

Sister - Miller & anniversary

Starlight Inner-Prizes.Com

November Page

Bonnie M. Wells

Web Site Special feature:

The following special clip contains several quotes from Roy Hazlewood's book ....

Dark Dreams

This story is part of the "Lookin' For A Killer" Series

and can be found in Pure Coincidence Book #4 - The Guardian Angel

Page updates: 2-06-2003 / 3-17-2003 / 2-05-04 / 5-01-04 / Nov-06 / Nov. 2007 // BMW

This page re-designed / new background: May 21, 2010 / Modified: January 26, 2012 // BMW