After a store clerk is murdered, a man phones a call-in crime tip line and confesses to the killing.
In early 1989, Tracey Kirkpatrick was a quiet teenager in the small town of Frederick, Maryland. Her passion was writing poetry. As her mother Diane explains, it got her through tough times:
During Tracey’s senior year in high school, she worked two part-time jobs, one of them as a sales clerk in a clothing store. On the night of March 15th, 1989, Tracey was assigned to close the store and add up the day’s receipts. Fifteen minutes before closing time, she was alone. It was 8:45 P.M.
Two hours later, a security guard noticed that the lights were still on in the store and that the front door was unlocked. When the guard called out, he got no response. He went in to investigate. In a back storage room, he found Tracey’s lifeless body and called the police.
At about the same time, Tracey’s parents were on their way to the mall. It was nearly 11 P.M. and Tracy was more than an hour late coming home. Tracey’s mother arrived to see police at the scene:
Police found no motive for Tracey’s murder and detectives were baffled. Then, three months later, they got their first break: a phone call recorded by a nationwide confession hotline: “Hello, my name is Don and I’m calling from Frederick, Maryland. I know this is going to sound surprising, but three months ago, I stabbed a girl to death and you might think that in making this tape, I’m setting myself up to be caught, but there are a lot of guys named Don in Frederick.”
The confession hot-line staff sent the tip to Frederick police. Cpl. Barry Horner remembers the call:
Cpl. Horner played the rest of the tape for his chief: “The girl I killed was working in a ladies sportswear store. I often came by and talked to her when she was working alone, and one night when she was in the storeroom and we were talking, our conversation turned into an argument. And so I took out a knife I have with me at all times, and I killed her. And a few days later, I realized I had created a lot of sadness, and I thought about turning myself in to the police. But whatever they do to me, that won’t bring Tracey back. So, I’ve decided that I better keep free because we have the death penalty in Maryland. Thanks for listening. I’m sorry about what I did, but nothing can change it. Bye.”
The police traced the call back to a supermarket 8 miles away in Walkersville, Maryland. Cpl Horner thinks this was significant:
Two weeks later, on October 24, Frederick police received another phone call. This time it was a woman named Martha Woodworth. She told police she was a psychic and had been contacted by a young man who identified himself only as “Sean.” Woodworth told police that Sean had contacted her repeatedly. He was obsessed with finding the person who had murdered Tracey. She asked Sean for more information and he eventually sent her some newspaper clippings about the crime:
Chief Ashton played the confession tape for Martha to see if she could recognize the voice. She knew it immediately:
Police followed the return address on Sean’s envelope to Walkersville, Maryland. It was the same town where the call-in confession had come from. The young man living at the address was not named Sean or Don, though he had sent the clippings.
Police still didn’t have enough evidence to charge the young man from Walkersville. They asked a local DJ to broadcast the confession tape. Three people called in to say they knew the voice. They all provided the identical name, a name the police recognized as the young man from Walkersville who had sent the newspaper clippings. Police searched his home for evidence the next day. Cpl. Horner:
In the end, the young man pleaded the fifth and refused to answer any questions. Tracey’s mother hasn’t entirely given up hope:
The man who called himself Don and Sean has been cleared as a suspect. No one has ever been arrested for Tracey’s murder and the case remains open and unsolved.
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[DO WE DO THIS??]
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ARTICLE 1. Personalization
1.1 We may use the contact information you give us to better tailor your Website experience to your interests, and to send you information about Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. and its services as well as promotional material on behalf of some of our partners. We may use other information that you provide to us to show you content in which you may be interested and to display the content according to your preferences. We will also share this information within Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. in order to enhance your experience on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. Websites.
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ARTICLE 5. Information Sharing With Third Parties
5.1 From time to time we may enter into a special relationship with another company that is not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. to provide additional features at this Website. These special relationships may include “powered by” partners, business partners, sponsors, and co-branded sites (referred to here as “co-branded pages”). These might include, for example, pages that share our name and that of another entity. You should look for a specific privacy statement on any such co-branded page. Any personal information that you provide when signing up at one of those co-branded pages may be shared with our third party partner. You should also check our partner’s website for information regarding its privacy policies.
5.2 Also, the nature of some features of our Website may require that we share personal information about you with persons or companies outside of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. For example, this may occur at a feature that enables you, via our Website, to ask questions of persons or entities that are not part of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. By responding to those features of the site, whether by email or direct entry of information on our Website, you are consenting to our transferring that information to such persons or entities.
5.3 With respect to specific registration modules, like contests, we may disclose personal information collected, and we may post a conspicuous statement on the registration module to the effect that we will be disclosing the information collected with third parties.
5.4 Finally, we may share any of the information collected from you with these other non- Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc companies in an aggregate basis. The aggregated information is not linked to any information that can identify you.
ARTICLE 6. IP Address and Log Files
6.1 We may use your IP address to administer our Website, to help diagnose problems with our server, to analyze trends, to track users’ webpage movements, to help identify you and your shopping cart, and to gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.
ARTICLE 7. Cookies
7.2 In addition, on occasion our site may also set a “session cookie” which helps us administer the Website. The session cookie expires when you close your browser and does not retain any information about you after it expires.
ARTICLE 8. Banner Advertising
8.1 We have contracted with an ad-service to place banner advertising on our Website. All of the data provided and generated by the ad-server software remains in our possession. This feature of our Website may, on occasion, set “cookies” on your computer. Any information collected or stored by the ad-service or the cookies is treated in the same manner as other information described in this statement.
ARTICLE 9. Children’s Personal Information
9.1 Consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act:
9.1.1 This site does NOT collect, use, or disclose personal information (including online contact information) of children under the age of thirteen (13).
9.1.2 In the event that a child under the age of 13 attempts to register on our site, we will NOT accept the registration and will delete information received from the child.
9.1.3 In the event that a child posts personal information in a public forum such as a chat room, we will attempt to delete that information once we become aware of it.
ARTICLE 10. Security of Your Personal Information
10.1 Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. employs reasonable security measures consistent with standard industry practice, for information collected through this Website. We believe that we have adequate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information we collect on our Website. We also use internal protections to limit access to users’ personal information to only those employees who need the information to perform a specific job.
ARTICLE 11. Sale or Merger
11.1 If this Website is sold to, or merges with, another company not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc., you should expect that some or all of the information collected from this Website may be transferred to the buyer/surviving company. If so, CMP will seek to obligate the acquiring company to use any personal information transferred by this Website in a manner consistent with this statement, but cannot guarantee that it will be able to impose that requirement or that the acquiring company will comply.
ARTICLE 12. Legal Process
12.1 You should be aware that Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. may be required to disclose your personal information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, such as in court or regulatory proceedings.
ARTICLE 13. Contacting the Website
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14.4 If any provision of this Agreement, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or for any reason unenforceable then such provision shall be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that matches, as closely as possible, the original provision, and the other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect. The failure of either party to insist upon strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right. Unless expressly provided otherwise, this Agreement is the entire agreement between you and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. with respect to the use of this Website and shall not be modified except in writing, signed by an authorized representative of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc.
ARTICLE 15. European Union and Other Foreign Nations
15.1 This Website is governed by and operated in accordance with the laws of United States of America and is intended for enjoyment of residents of the United States. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. makes no representation that this Website is governed by or operated in accordance with the laws of other nations. By using this Website and submitting any personal information, visitors from outside of the United States acknowledge this Website is subject to U.S. law, consent to the transfer of personal data to the U.S., and waive any claims that may arise under their own national laws.