Friday, December 11, 2009

Two men kill three people, I get called a vulture

It's strange when old memories will pop up. This week I happened across a picture of a turkey vulture and it suddenly brought to mind a murder case I covered early in my career at the Oakland Press.

Before Rochester Hills was Rochester Hills it was Avon Township. One evening in July 1984, I monitored police scanner traffic that indicated a homicide had occurred at a home there. As more officers arrived it was apparent that this was pretty awful.

I drove to the scene and while watching the front of the house at one point a detective who I saw go into the house, emerged and vomited over the porch railing. That's when I knew it had to be pretty gory inside the house. It's pretty rare that a seasoned detective becomes nauseous at an accident or murder scene.

Later I learned that two men, high on drugs, booze or both, had been left home to party with a woman, her teenage daughter and a nine-year-old niece. At some point the murder frenzy began and all three females were stabbed to death. The nine-year-old was stabbed 27 times. Overkill in its purest form.

The two men took off after the triple homicide, but the husband, father and uncle of the three victims quickly provided detectives with names of the men he had left at home with his family and they were arrested.

Bill Fischer was a truck driver and Michael Kvam (I never forgot their names and check on their prison status at least once a year to make sure they serve every day of their life sentences) a young man that Fischer befriended. The links on their names will take you to a page with their photos and conviction information.

At their arraignment, a photographer and I staked out the back door of the courthouse so I could shout a question at the two men and the photographer could snap a photo. Members of Fischer and Kvam's family were also looking to see the two men and there was a brief confrontation between we and they.

At one point, a friend or family member of Bill Fischer shouted out to me and the photographer that we were "vultures." The irony of being called "vultures" by the family and friends of two men charged with killing a woman, her daughter and nine-year-old niece was not lost on the photographer or me.

This was the case that convinced a circuit court judge who had been opposed to the death penalty that in at least some cases it should be applied.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Place contact me at graybilie@msn.com this.story is about my aunt cousin and sister. Thank you!

bkaras said...

I was only a year old when this happened. I don't remember my family that was taken from us but I am told that my Aunt Wendi loved me very much. It was a terrible thing and still haunts all of us to this day.

Jim of L-Town said...

I tried to reach you at the e-mail address above but it bounced back as invalid. My hope is that my blog post did not stir a difficult memory for you. I would be happy to write to you if I get a good e-mail address.

Jim Smith

Anonymous said...

Graybillie@msn.com waellusBarbara@yahoo.com
Thank you Jim for replying.

Anonymous said...

She would have put me to shame as the best Auntie. She loved your bald head so much. all she talked about was going to live with you and mom in Calif. She loved you so much Brandy. I wish you could remember that :-(

Anonymous said...

R.I.P Wendi you will never be forgotten love callie

Anonymous said...

Wow brought back the nightmare in my life lost my only sister and two beautiful nieces :( hope they both rot in helllllllllllllll

LindaSexton said...

Jim L , my name is Linda Sexton. I am happy to see your article. I've been looking for any information I can find regarding Michael Kvam and William Fischer. The three victims in this cas was my Cousin, Joann, her daughter, and another niece of mine. What people don't realize is the devastation that this horrific crime has caused my family.

Jim of L-Town said...

I can't even imagine how difficult this was for the family.

Anonymous said...

The 17 year old is getting a new court date . My family is going through hell all over again .I hope you receive this . I could use that contact for the news paper . Barbara Lovell Waellus

Eliza Buckingham said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eliza Buckingham said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eliza Buckingham said...

I Eliza Buckingham am the daughter of Joann and Chasity is my Sister and Wendi is my cousin. I hope those Two Men NEVER get OUT and they rot in Hell as well. I grew up with only memories of what my family has told me about my Mom and sister and Cousin I never got to know them and grew up without a mother I was One Years old when this murder happen and I wished everyday of my life I had my mother and sister and cousin here with me. Why should they get a second chance I never get a second chance to see my family agian and NEVER will! What Kind of people are those men and what makes anyone think that they wont do this agian. I fear everyday that something like them getting out and being free and coming back for revenge cause they sat in prison for so long I like right where they are at so I know right where they will be and I can rest alittle easier.

Eliza Buckingham said...

Another thing you as a reporter has this story all wrong by the way. My Father Orbin Bray was NOT at home and did NOT leave My mother at home with these two men
You got the story wrong back in 1984 and you still have the story wrong and you may Contact the Man that your accussing of leaving a women and three childeren alone with two men that killed them and NO they forced their selfs in my mother and fathers home to do the massive killing. I know that there was no breaking and entering but my sister Chasity thought my father was coming home opened the door and Bill and Micheal forced their was in as my mother was sleeping not partying and she was awoken by these two men. So before you accuse a father of leaving his family with those two men to kill his family. call and he'll tell you all you need to know he is still alive and is fighting for justice everday and would gladly tell you the true story his number is 1586-601-6790 Thanks Eliza Buckinghan

Unknown said...

Michael Kvam is getting another trial do to new supreme court law of being 17 and with life with out parole . Its sad we have to go through this again . Please pray for us

Jim of L-Town said...

Just for information the posts removed above were only removed because they were duplicate postings. All the unique comments on this page have been posted.