Serial Killer Terrorizes Detroit Due to Police Missteps Over 15 Years

by Chloe Baker
Serial Killer Investigation

In a chilling saga that unfolded over 15 years, Detroit was haunted by a serial killer who lured women, one by one, into vacant homes to meet their tragic end. The scenes of these gruesome crimes portrayed a grim tableau – the victims’ nude or partially clothed bodies surrounded by the detritus of abandoned buildings: cheap liquor bottles, crumbling sheetrock, and hypodermic needles.

These slayings cast a long shadow over the city, triggering a massive police effort to scour Detroit’s decrepit stock of abandoned properties for more potential victims. When, in 2019, DeAngelo Martin was finally charged with four murders and two rapes, the then-police chief asserted that the department had been diligent and relentless in solving the crimes. However, a year after Martin’s imprisonment, it’s evident that diligence and relentlessness were notably absent.

Investigations by Big Big News have uncovered a litany of police missteps and missed opportunities spanning over a decade. Despite repeated warnings that DeAngelo Martin was a violent predator, Detroit police failed to follow up on leads or take crucial investigative steps that might have halted his murderous spree.

This shocking revelation has prompted Jim Trainum, a retired Washington, D.C., homicide detective specializing in reviewing police investigations for possible wrongful convictions, to remark, “It’s astonishing.” He emphasized that the police needed to do just one small thing, and it could have prevented this tragedy.

The investigation by the Associated Press relied on numerous interviews, extensive court documents, and records from prosecutors and police, including a revealing internal affairs report obtained through public information requests.

The failures in this case date back to 2004 when evidence from the rape of a 41-year-old woman was mishandled and forgotten in a warehouse for years. The lapses persisted through 2018 when police arrested the wrong man in a strangulation case. Even after DNA evidence linked Martin to the crimes, the police did not apprehend him promptly.

Detroit’s internal affairs branch concluded that while the mistakes didn’t rise to the level of criminality, several officers had “neglected their duties,” and there was a “total systemic breakdown.” The victims’ relatives were left furious and wondering if more aggressive action would have been taken if the victims weren’t among the city’s most vulnerable residents.

DeAngelo Martin’s background and troubled upbringing paint a grim portrait. Raised by his mother until her arrest for kidnapping and murder when he was just 13, Martin’s life spiraled into addiction and homelessness. Over the years, he had multiple run-ins with the law, leading to his DNA being in a national database.

Despite this, it wasn’t until 2012 that Martin’s DNA was linked to a potential sexual assault. Police, however, failed to take decisive action. Even when the DNA evidence linked him to multiple crimes, including homicides, the police’s response was inadequate.

The first known homicide attributed to Martin occurred in 2018, and police initially arrested the wrong suspect. It wasn’t until March 2019 that Martin’s reign of terror was finally stopped.

The tragedy shook Detroit to its core, and the victims’ families grapple with complex emotions. Their anger now extends beyond the perpetrator to the police, as they question how law enforcement missed multiple chances to apprehend a killer.

In hindsight, Detroit police acknowledge the need for a more aggressive approach and have made changes to how they handle crime victims and DNA leads. They vow to learn from their mistakes and strive to do better in the future.

This harrowing tale serves as a stark reminder of the profound consequences of law enforcement missteps and the critical importance of thorough and diligent police work in ensuring public safety.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Serial Killer Investigation

What is the main subject of this text?

The main subject of this text is a 15-year-long investigation into a serial killer who terrorized Detroit due to police missteps, resulting in missed opportunities and tragic consequences.

Who is DeAngelo Martin, and what is his role in the story?

DeAngelo Martin is the serial killer at the center of this story. He lured women into vacant homes and committed multiple murders and rapes over a 15-year period in Detroit.

What were the key failures and missteps by the Detroit police in this case?

The Detroit police made numerous key failures and missteps in this case. They failed to follow up on leads, mishandled evidence, and arrested the wrong suspects. These missteps allowed the serial killer to evade capture for years.

How did the victims’ relatives react to the revelations about police failures?

The victims’ relatives were furious when they learned about the police failures and missed opportunities to stop the killer before their loved ones were killed. They questioned whether the police would have been more aggressive if the victims hadn’t been among the city’s most vulnerable residents.

What changes have the Detroit police made in response to this case?

The Detroit police have acknowledged the need for a more aggressive approach in handling crime victims and DNA leads. They have vowed to learn from their mistakes and strive to do better in the future.

What broader lessons can be drawn from this story?

This story serves as a stark reminder of the profound consequences of law enforcement missteps and the critical importance of thorough and diligent police work in ensuring public safety. It highlights the need for police to be proactive in investigating and apprehending violent criminals to protect the community.

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JohnDoe123 December 26, 2023 - 6:04 am

wow this story so shocking, how they mess up investigations for 15 years, crazy stuff

SeriousReader December 26, 2023 - 2:31 pm

sad story, police needa be better, victims didn’t deserve this, smh

CuriousCat December 26, 2023 - 8:37 pm

how DeAngelo got away for so long, crazy how mistakes were made

CrimsonTideFan December 26, 2023 - 9:31 pm

hard to believe, Detroit police gotta do better, justice finally but too late for some

NewsJunkie December 27, 2023 - 12:47 am

15 years? and he killed all those ppl, scary stuff, hope they learn from this, be safe out there


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