View Full Version : Michigan Cold Case

09-21-2006, 12:00 PM
Are any of you familiar with this case? Did anyone see the film about the case? I don't think I've ever heard of it until now.

Six held in brutal 1979 sex slaying

HOLLAND, Michigan (AP) -- For more than a quarter century, the brutal sex slaying of Hope College student and hotel clerk Janet Chandler baffled law enforcement officials.

As the case grew colder with each passing year, it became less likely that whoever was responsible would be brought to justice.

Then, a few years ago, a film class at Hope produced a documentary about the unsolved mystery that sparked new interest in the case. After the film aired on a Grand Rapids television station in January 2004, investigators started getting tips again. (Watch why the D.A. thinks there was a party before Chandler's death -- 1:32)

Following up on the new information, they arrested Robert Lynch, 66, of Three Oaks, in February of this year and charged him in connection with the 1979 homicide.

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced Wednesday that five more arrests had been made, including four men and a woman who was the victim's roommate and boss. They were taken into custody Monday and Tuesday in Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

"It has always been the mission of all parties involved in this investigation to ensure that the family of Janet Chandler sees justice. That day is now coming closer," Cox said during a news conference.

The five men, including Lynch, were working as security guards for the same company at the time of the killing and were in Holland because they were on assignment at a local labor strike.

The victim's parents, James and Glenna Chandler, of Muskegon, attended the news conference but declined to speak to reporters.

Authorities said Janet Chandler was working her job as a clerk at the Blue Mill Inn on January 31, 1979, when she was kidnapped by the six suspects and taken to a house where she was beaten, raped and strangled.

A snowplow driver discovered her body a day later about 35 miles south of Holland in a wooded turnaround on Interstate 196.

Cox identified those arrested this week as: James Cleophas "Bubba" Nelson, 59, of Rand, West Virginia; Arthur Carlton "Carl" Paiva, 54, of Muskegon; Freddie Bass Parker, 49, of Powellton, West Virginia; Laurie Ann Swank, 48, of Nescopeck, Pennsylvania; and Anthony Eugene Williams, 55, of Boscobel, Wisconsin.

Parker's sister Annette Bennett said her brother had left Michigan a day or two before Chandler was killed and was in West Virginia when it happened.

"My brother is innocent. My brother would not hurt a flea," said Bennett, 41, of Belle, West Virginia.

Nelson's attorney, public defender Ronni Sheets, said she had not met with him and had no comment. Attempts to reach the other suspects' attorneys or relatives for comment were unsuccessful.

Holland police Chief John A. Kruithoff said all five were taken into custody in their hometowns. Like Lynch, the five new suspects were arrested on warrants charging each of them with three counts of first-degree murder.

Each person is charged with premeditated murder and committing a murder during the commission of two other felonies, which in this case included kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct.

While authorities declined to rule out the possibility of more arrests, Kruithoff said they were "confident we have identified those responsible for Janet's death."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

09-21-2006, 05:03 PM
Huh. No I haven't heard of that case, and I live here in Michigan. However, I think it's remarkable that 6 people have been arrested after 27 years. Thanks for posting that, nowheregirl. It absolutely disgusts me the number of people who get jobs as security guards, etc. who have absolutely no right to. Gang murders-rapes are always very horrible and I hope those 6 never see the light of day again.

12-11-2007, 05:56 AM
An update on this case: 4 of the men have just got life sentences. good.


12-13-2007, 10:08 PM
Well, that is good, if in fact these guys all did it. However if they didnt do it, than it is a problem. I dont know what to think, sometimes with these cold cases they like to just pin the murders on people to solve it and close the case without doing their research.

But, since two of the people pleaded guilty to 2nd degree murder than these guys are probably guilty, unless the ones that took the plea bargain did it because they were afraid they would be ocnvicted. But, if everyone that got convicted was involved, than good for them, always nice to see a cold case closed as long as the right people are put away for it.

03-26-2013, 10:52 PM
Link (http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/ottawa_county/janet-chandler-murderer-dies-in-prison)

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) - The man painted as the ringleader in the 1979 murder of Hope College student Janet Chandler has died.

Arthur "Carl" Paiva is dead at the age of 61.

Chandler's case went cold for decades and ended when prosecutors secured convictions in 2007 against six people connected to her rape and murder. Investigators said Arthur Paiva was the leader.

Paiva died March 13 -- also his birthday -- while serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections. The cause of death is not yet known.

Paiva was a supervisor for the Wackenhut Security, for which most of the defendants worked. They were staying at the old Blue Mill Inn where Chandler was employed. Investigators said the jealousy-fueled murder happened at a guest house at Paiva's home.

Also convicted in Chandler's murder were Robert Lynch, James Nelson, Anthony Parker Laurie Swank and Anthony Williams.

Parker, Nelson and Williams are still serving life sentences. Lynch is serving 20 to 40 years. Swank is serving 10 to 20 years.


The arrests were made following the production of a documentary called "Who Killed Janet Chandler" by David Schock.

Schock also produced a film titled "Into the Dark" about the 1989 disappearance and death of Shannon Siders of Newaygo.