Robinson family murders....i'm lookin...
richard-petoskey

Pellston, MI

#102 Dec 27, 2007
Obviously, as the 40th anniversay of this COLD CASE draws near there will be more and more media reflection on this horrendous event. It was not handled properly from the beginning (at first law enforcement treated site as a murder-suicide)and that bode poory on it ever being solved. All that is left is "academic" speculation. Was it a "random" happening? Was it the "caretaker" bent on revenge of his son's death one day before these horrible murders? Was it a corrupt "business partner" whose stealing of monies was finally discovered? Was it a "mob hit" due to under-the-table loans? Was it ?????

40 years and still no difintive explanation. AND Ssill the No. 1 COLD CASE of Michigan and the midwest.

How can one not be interested???? 6 people slaughtered and now forgotten by most!!!

Thank Jim Pecora-DEAD END and Mardi (soon to be published) for helping bring back those people's story!!
Richard

Bloomfield Hills, MI

#103 Jan 5, 2008
Paula - I went to Lathrup Elementary until the 4th grade - then it closed. We moved in 1969 so I left the area - otherwise, I would have gone to McIntyre. I believe Susan was 2 years younger than me and Randy was 2 or 3 years older.
It should be interesting to see if the press latches on to this story again being the 40th anniversary.
Paula wrote:
Richard - Did you attend Lathrup Elementary and later McIntyre? I rode the school bus with the 2 youngest Robison children - I was maybe 2 years older than Susan, but remember her very well. I grew up on Roseland.
<quoted text>
Laura

Chillicothe, OH

#104 Jan 9, 2008
Hi Richard,
It was determined that the name "Shirley Robison" on the luggage tag was written by Richard Robison by a handwriting expert. Was the luggage tag planted by the murderer? No, I do not think so. More likely that someone garbage diving picked up some nice suitcases. After the murders, the Robison estate paid deputy Fosmore to clean up the cottage and remove items that the relatives did not want. A lot of items were thrown away. Highly unethical for Fosmore to be cleaning up the place but it was different times.
Laura

Chillicothe, OH

#105 Jan 9, 2008
Beth,
People did inquire about the Robisons that summer. More specifically, Dr. Smith & his wife who were one of the Robison's best friends. His wife stated in the police report that "Joseph Scolaro told her not to worry since he had received a telephone call from them in Kentucky and they were having a good time." When Scolaro was questioned about this statement he could not recall it. The Robison's never made it to Kentucky. When Scolaro allegedly made this statement to Mrs. Smith they had already been dead for some time. Mrs. Robison's mother also tried to reach them to no avail. Everyone just assumed that they were out of the state enjoying themselves. Robison had told everyone that they were going to Kentucky and Florida after spending some time at their cottage. That is the reason why no one was overly concerned about not hearing from them.
Family

Dexter, MI

#106 Jan 9, 2008
To all the ghouls who insist on dragging this "story" into the media time and again with their books, articles, internet chats, etc., all for their own benefit by the way, financial or otherwise: the Michigan State Police basically knew who committed the crime, Joseph Scolaro, but the D.A. didn't feel there was enough evidence to prosecute and convict. At the time, he preferred to keep the case technically open in case more solid evidence came to light in the future. Perhaps this was a mistake. Even without a conviction, we would have found some measure of satisfaction in the public accusation and destruction of Joseph Scolaro that surely would have come about. There is a lot of evidence that speaks to motive, means, and opportunity that I'm not going to go into here, suffice it to say, this tragedy occurred because of greed and panic to cover up another crime. Not very original, intriguing, or mysterious after all, an old story really, just heartbreaking and painful almost beyond endurance for those who loved them, and love them still.

It's pointless, I suppose, to ask people to let them and their story rest in peace. The public maw must be fed. I only pray that you are never touched more personally by something like this than as the remote "neighbors" and school "pals" that you are. The "armchair detectives" can have their vicarious thrills and feel they are in the spotlight and important. But while you're happily poring over police reports, newspaper accounts, and online speculation about people and events you'll never know or understand, consider for just a moment how you would feel if this had happened to people you loved, and then strangers pawed and picked at the wound year after year. It would probably sicken you as much as it does me. There is no mystery. It's not a game, intellectual exercise, or movie-of-the-week. What you are doing is cruel. I don't understand your motivation, and I don't care. I think you're just a bunch of sad people hoping to add some weird glamour to your own dull lives by trying to insinuate yourselves into an event that doesn't concern you in any way. Shame on you.

I won't post here again or respond to any replies to my post.
Laura

Chillicothe, OH

#107 Jan 10, 2008
Family,
I am truly sorry that you have misinterpreted genuine concern and heartbreak over the Robison's murder as ghoulish courosity or vicarious thrill seeking. I for one cried when I read about their deaths when I was eight years old. I think most people here truly are concerned about justice in this case. Their deaths impacted a lot of lives besides just their immediate family members. No man is an island. You have my heartfelt sympathy.
Christine

Bellaire, MI

#108 Jan 10, 2008
To all the ghouls who insist on dragging this "story" into the media time and again with their books, articles, internet chats, etc., all for their own benefit by the way, financial or otherwise: the Michigan State Police basically knew who committed the crime, Joseph Scolaro,

Prime suspect, yes, but the evidence didn’t all fit into a neat little box, now did it?

but the D.A. didn't feel there was enough evidence to prosecute and convict. At the time, he preferred to keep the case technically open in case more solid evidence came to light in the future. Perhaps this was a mistake. Even without a conviction, we would have found some measure of satisfaction in the public accusation and destruction of Joseph Scolaro that surely would have come about.

If? When? Your thought doesn’t appear complete here.

There is a lot of evidence that speaks to motive, means, and opportunity that I'm not going to go into here, suffice it to say, this tragedy occurred because of greed and panic to cover up another crime.

Again, some pieces of the puzzle don’t fit.

Not very original, intriguing, or mysterious after all, an old story really, just heartbreaking and painful almost beyond endurance for those who loved them, and love them still.

I don’t believe people, most people at least, are attracted to this case for any reason other than shock and sadness; the quest for answers is part of the human condition.

It's pointless, I suppose, to ask people to let them and their story rest in peace.

So why bother?

The public maw must be fed. I only pray that you are never touched more personally by something like this than as the remote "neighbors" and school "pals" that you are.

We all pray that as well as for those who were touched not to feel tortured as you say you are.

The "armchair detectives" can have their vicarious thrills and feel they are in the spotlight and important. But while you're happily poring over police reports, newspaper accounts, and online speculation about people and events you'll never know or understand, consider for just a moment how you would feel if this had happened to people you loved, and then strangers pawed and picked at the wound year after year. It would probably sicken you as much as it does me.

You can never know how something like this will affect you until it happens. That said, you could easily have avoided this thread and the resulting pain/disgust and whatever else, but for some reason apparently sought it out.

There is no mystery. It's not a game, intellectual exercise, or movie-of-the-week. What you are doing is cruel.

How so?

I don't understand your motivation, and I don't care. I think you're just a bunch of sad people hoping to add some weird glamour to your own dull lives

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion.

by trying to insinuate yourselves into an event that doesn't concern you in any way.

Except that tragedy like this concerns us all, whether you choose to see and accept it or not.

Shame on you.

I won't post here again or respond to any replies to my post.

Your choice to read or not, post or not, the same as for all of us.
Laura

Chillicothe, OH

#109 Jan 10, 2008
Well said Christine. As human beings we should care about the senseless death of others. There would be something wrong with humanity if we could ignore the senseless tragedies around us. I think that there is something in all of us that want justice done for those who can no longer speak for themselves.
Christine - Traverse City

Traverse City, MI

#110 Jan 10, 2008
Thanks, Laura. I agree with you, too. I can't help but feel a little hopeless, though, since justice (or even answers) are highly unlikely in this case. The more I learn, the more questions I have.
Laura

Chillicothe, OH

#111 Jan 11, 2008
Hi Christine,
There are so many unanswered questions about this case. In the police report an expert who analysed this case, Dr. Olson, believed that there were two shooters. If so, Scolaro may have had a partner. All this is conjecture but in the final analysis, there may be someone out there who has the answers to this case. Only by keeping this case alive and preventing it from passing into oblivion is there any hope that someone someday may come forward with some pieces of this puzzle. I am surprised that the show "Cold Case Files," has not investigated this case. I know it looks dismal Christine, but I believe someday there will be closure in this case.
Ann L

New Haven, MI

#112 Jan 12, 2008
Hi Christine and Laura,
I was flabbergasted by "Family"'s comments. At first I felt only concern for whomever wrote with such rage. It would have to take a great deal of work to get past the kind of nightmare any extended member of the Robison family was forced to endure after such a tragedy. I also feel grossly and unfairly misunderstood. I was deeply affected by the Robison family murders. I am not an "armchair detective". This tragedy robbed me of a sense of childhood security and innocence. I've never completely gotten over the horror. Yes, I knew them. No, we weren't related. It is not "ghoulish" to continue to feel unsettled. There were no convictions! I was in Good Hart when it happened. I still spend my summers there with my own family. Everyone around there at that time was changed forever. It is because we were, and are, compassionate human beings, not the opposite. Having closure would be an enormous relief. My impression, from reading the others' comments on this blog, is that we all feel the same: concern, with a desire for answers. If it had been my own family, I sure as hell would want all the help I could get to achieve some kind of justice, no matter how long takes.
richard-petoskey

Pellston, MI

#113 Jan 17, 2008
A horrendous murder case ( Col. MSP Frederick Davids called "the most brutal slayings in the history of Michigan) that both a former Michigan State Attorney General and the current Emmet County Sheriff states "is not yet closed"
is one that has to be discussed--not hidden away and forgotten. An open and free society is constanly seeking the truth--truth seekers are not just journalists who are paid to do so--but every day common people who care enough to take time out of their busy lives to think !!!

If WE all just put our heads in the sand or turn away when we see a wrong being done--well, what kind of society will that leave us???

The case needs closure and to get there --questions still need to be asked--evidence checked--theories evaluated--if SCOLARO was the one and only possibility, as some of your are stating--why was he allowed to run free in society for 5 years ??--a homicidal maniac that neither the small northern EMMET COUNTY PROSECUTOR would incarcerate to protect society nor the STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL who could indict whether EMMET COUNTY wanted to or not???

Both of these officials were not amateurs, both were seasoned veterans of murder cases--they both said NO--"just not enough prima facie evidence to indict" ---if they thought for a minute it was absolutely SCOLARO wouldn't you think they would have found a way to get him behind bars to protest society????

Come on, the truth our judicial system needs is still out there???

Keep thinking. keep reading, keep asking questions, the family deserves to have their murders solved beyond all reasonable doubt--and that has not yet taken place.

Give Mr. Pecora and his DEAD END book credit for
causing people to once again think, question, offer ideas about a 40 year old murder case "that has not yet been closed"!!!
Mardi

Traverse City, MI

#114 Jan 17, 2008
What "The Family" posted deserves our respect and kindness, not our criticism. It has struck a chord with me, especially in light of my last question to this forum: Why are we interested? I think it's a valid question that deserves an answer or at least a search for an answer.

When I first drove up to Good Hart and met some of the people who live there, one woman asked me, "Why are you writing this book?" I had anticipated any number of questions from the people I would be interviewing, but not that one. How naive of me. I have looked inward since then and the only answer I have is this one -- Because I can't NOT write it. Because I have to know what depravity would drive someone to commit such a heartless and permanent act. Because no one should be able to get away with it. Because we supposedly live in a civilized society where people care about each other, whether they know them personally or not. Because, Family, whether you acknowledge it or not, this case has become not only part of your personal history but part of Michigan's history as well. Is that a sufficient answer? I don't know but it's the only one I can give.

You are right; we cannot begin to understand the years of anguish and grief and uncertainty that this has caused you and your family. From your post, those feelings are as raw today as they were in 1968. By the same token, you cannot begin to understand our motives for being interested in what happened. Please consider this, if you can: We are interested for no other reason than because we are human. Perhaps you may even be able to find solace in the knowledge that people care. People you will never meet, never know, never even talk to, care about what happened. How could we not?
Mary

Farmington, MI

#115 Feb 4, 2008
I've read both Dead End and The Tarnished Eye, and can honestly say that both books are okay, at most. I understand they're loosely based on the actual murders, but it's a little different from my viewpoint considering these books are about my family. Richard and Shirley Robison and their children were my mother's Aunt, Uncle, and cousins. I'm only 15, so I obviously didn't know them personally, however I've heard story after story about them. My mother has pictures of the family and cottage and everything in our home, so it's really surreal to read these stories and know exactly what room and area the author is talking about. In Dead End, my grandfather is Marvin Fowler. It's just all so odd. Thanks to anyone who is interested, I'm glad people still worry about this despite the fact that the case turns 40 this summer.
Laura

Chillicothe, OH

#116 Feb 5, 2008
Hi Mary,
Thank you for understanding our concern:) My heart goes out to your family. Whenever a tragedy like this occurs it truly effects the whole community. I was eight in the summer of 1968 and I lived less than a half mile from the Robison's home on Dolores in Lathrup. I was the same age as Susan Robison and the case really affected me. Marvin Fowler for those of you reading this was Shirley Robison's brother. Mary, there is an old time free lance reporter named Al Koski who did a lot of research on this case. Your grandfather knows him. I believe Joseph Scolaro was involved in this murder. Either he pulled the trigger or he knew who did. The question that I have always had was whether there were two people involved. If so, I am hoping that someday we find out who, and that there is closure.
Mary

United States

#117 Feb 6, 2008
Thanks, Laura. I really couldn't imagine how horrific this was to the community back in 1968, considering the fact that were it to occur today it would still be quite shocking. Unfortunately, my Grandfather passed away in 1994, however my family has spoken with Al Koski on more than one occassion. I agree with you in thinking that Joseph Scolaro was involved. I also believe that there was one single person involved. I partly believe this because I think when the first shots were fired that everyone was completely in a confused state of shock, which is why Gary and Richard took so long to retrieve their own weapons. If there were two gunmen, it's my opinion that there would have been more shooting going on in the living room area, as opposed to the hallway and back bedroom. Not too long ago I read online somewhere that the case was to be closed, simply because it's been so long. I've sort of dealt with the fact that since it has grown older, it's likelihood of being solved has decreased. I do have hope though. Thanks again. :)
Laura

Chillicothe, OH

#118 Feb 6, 2008
Hi Mary,
Sorry to hear about the passing of your grandfather. I was hoping that when Bobra Johnson from the Emmet county sheriff's department got involved that they would have finally closed the case. But the DNA results did not work out;just too old a sample. She and her partner really tried to bring closure to this case. I have always thought that it was possible for Scolaro to have acted alone, although when I got the police report, there was an expert who had analyzed the case and believed that there were two shooters. It is very possible though, that only Scolaro was involved. This case affected a lot of people's lives.
Katrina

Seneca, IL

#119 Mar 24, 2008
I guess I'm curious why "family" would write such a thing and then hide...... forever as he/she/they said. I can't believe they are not reading this blog. Laura has been most helpful to me. Thank you!! Any human being who is NOT interested in why another human being would commit such atrocities has got to have their head examined.... To me it is so foreign to be able to hurt another, that I wonder what drives this senseless act. We are seeing it so much more now! I truly believe that his partner DID do it but there's still that niggling doubt.... I think it's healthy to "air" ideas, not to 'hide' them.
richard-petoskey

Pellston, MI

#120 Apr 10, 2008
One reason that I was given for the violence in this particular incident 40 years ago (by someone
who personally knew the perpetrator) was-

----desperate people do desperate things----

After researching this case for the past 10 months I believe that is what happened. Joe Scolaro ran out of options that June morning in 1968. Not a killer by nature, but driven to be one by lies and misdoings!!!!
Tom M

Traverse City, MI

#121 Apr 19, 2008
Hi Paula. Are you Paula B.?
We went to school together.
I'm working with law enforcement.
There is hope.
An official Task Force is forming. It is an open investigation.
Today is April 19, 2008.
Hope this gets to you.
Take care.
Write [email protected] or go to www.unsolvedhomicide.com
Peace,
Tom M

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