Ryan Murphy says families of Dahmer victims didn’t respond to his team’s inquiries
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
With the body of a child recovered from his family’s basement, a former neighbor says there was a lot of information the police department would have wanted to hear that the family had not been able to provide. The information, he said, was not about the killer; it was about something as basic as the number of boxes of clothes the family kept there.
So when the case of James and Karen Halleck was re-opened in 1995, the police department contacted the family. In the days that followed the call, police were able to confirm what the family had known all along: that the Hallecks were living in a building in the neighborhood, and that James had been living in a one-bedroom apartment with his mother, Karen, in the building.
The police, however, were not able to prove the Hallecks were living in the building the police had been inquiring about in 1994. The Hallecks didn’t have the money to purchase a separate house.
And they certainly weren’t able to confirm their address. Police officers didn’t return the family’s calls to provide the number of the building on Pine Street.
The case continued in some form for more than two years after the first call, and the Hallecks received no answers from the police as they made efforts to track down this mystery family.
Eventually, the case was transferred to another unit and police finally began a new search for the Hallecks. This time, their goal was to prove that James Halleck was not the monster that he came to be known as.
“People who knew James called him a sweet person,” said James’ sister, Beth. “We’d ask why he killed her, and he would say he didn’t mean to, or that he fell, or he’s sorry. That day was the worst day of my entire life. He never gave me a reason why he killed her.”
After two more years of effort, the police, the