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Old 02-24-2005, 02:12 PM   #1
crystaldawn
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Talking Mikki Jo West

Wow, Lifetime actually showed this story today! I acquired it in a trade and don't remember seeing it on Lifetime, in the last few years anyway. Impressive! I'm anxious to see what others they'll air that we haven't got to see in a long time!
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Old 02-24-2005, 03:06 PM   #2
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Thumbs up Wow....

Wow. That's all I can say.

I remember this story from years ago, but haven't seen it in a LONG time.

The "shopping mall" where they filmed is the mall I used to live right down the street from--Bannister Mall. It's weird seeing it as I used to go there all the time as a kid. It's also kind of sad--the theaters they showed in the segment are gone now, as are most of the shops. The mall is really close to closing. Sad.

Also, (talk about sad), Thurman Mitchell, the newscaster in the story, died about 10 years ago. He left KCTV 5 around 1991 to focus full time on being a preacher in his church (I don't think the Micki Jo West story had anything to do with it)---anyway--he was preaching one Sunday and dropped dead of a heart attack--right there in the pulpit. What a way to go, huh?

I'm glad the case was solved. The last time I watched it must have been before 1991, as there was no update at the end.

Is there any chance this will ever be reshown again? I know it's been a long time, but it was interesting to see all the old nostalgic KC stuff.
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Old 02-24-2005, 04:04 PM   #3
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Wow! Thanks for the inside info Jimmy! That is sad that Thurman is dead. He seemed like a nice guy.
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Old 02-24-2005, 07:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyHendricks
Is there any chance this will ever be reshown again? I know it's been a long time, but it was interesting to see all the old nostalgic KC stuff.
As long UM is being shown in reruns, yes, it will be shown again. I remember the update when it was rerun on Lifetime in 1992. But I saw the segment when it was shown on NBC.

The Micki Jo West case is one of countless UM cases that I haven't forgotten. Very creepy, considering nature of the letters, and the case in general.
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:13 AM   #5
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Jimmy,

As a fellow KC-area resident, thanks for the walk down memory lane. I'd forgotten about Thurman Mitchell and that the letters were left at Bannister. Nobody goes there now. We used to go there quite a bit. It would be interesting to see the segment again and see what it used to look like on the inside.

I saw this case on Lifetime about a year and a half ago when it was on at 7 p.m. When did the crime take place? I wasn't very old at the time, but I sort of remember it.

Last edited by gaf; 02-25-2005 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaf
I saw this case on Lifetime about a year and a half ago when it was on at 7 p.m. When did the crime take place? I wasn't very old at the time, but I sort of remember it.
Micki Jo West disappeared in 1979, and the letters began turning up in 1986.
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Old 02-25-2005, 11:32 AM   #7
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Thanks, Kane.

I don't remember when the murder happened, as I would have only been about 2 years old, but I remember when the letters started appearing. It was pretty creepy.
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Old 02-25-2005, 12:42 PM   #8
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Default Help Remembering the Mikki Jo West case

I don't recall the Mikki Jo West episode.

Can someone kindly fill me in on the details.

Thanks a Bunch,
The Cber
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Old 02-25-2005, 02:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I don't recall the Mikki Jo West episode.

Can someone kindly fill me in on the details.

Thanks a Bunch,
The Cber
Micki Jo West was a young nurse from Missouri who disappeared in 1979. Seven years later, mysterious letters began turning up at various public places (including a movie theater and a shopping mall). In these letters, the anonymous author claimed to have seen a specific person kill Micki Jo West (even though her body hadn't been found). The alleged killer was named in the letters, but man's named was obscured when UM presented the letters on television, since, at the time, there was no evidence linking this man to West's disappearance.

The UM segment first aired on NBC during the 1988-89 season. By the time Lifetime reran the segment in 1992, there had been a break in the case: a man named Marvin Lee Erwin was arrested on murder charges. The update revealed that he was the man named in the letter as West's alleged killer. He was charged with several murders, and confessed to killing Micki Jo West (though the segment didn't say whether West's body was ever found). He was sentenced to prison, and was believed to have been the actual author of the anonymous letters.
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Old 02-25-2005, 03:26 PM   #10
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For another trip down KC memory lane....anyone remember the segment about the 6 KC firefighters that were killed in an explosion in 1988? I lived about 5 miles from the site and remember when it happened. The entire house shook like an earthquake. I was only 6 years old, and it scared me to death.

Anyway, just like the Micki Jo West story, the "fire station" that they filmed at was the one right by...you guessed it, Bannister Mall (plus it was the station the 6 firefighters were from). The memorial is still as it appears in the segment.
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Old 02-25-2005, 03:50 PM   #11
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I'm interested in knowing the psychology behind murderers writing letters naming themselves as the killers

i mean i understand they want to taunt police by writing letters about the murders, but why the hell would they include their own name and how it happened?
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Old 02-25-2005, 04:24 PM   #12
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I always wondered if he felt guilty about the murders and wanted to get caught. You hear sometimes of people saying if they don't get caught they're afraid they'll do it again. Clearly writing letters with his own name in them after the case was considered cold is a cry for help, in my opinion. I wonder if he led them to her body. Also I also wondered, they said at the beginning of the case that Mikki I believe was involved with helping a friend with marital problems (something like that) and was being harassed and receiving death threats. They also said the man that confessed to her murder was considered a suspect early on. I wonder if he was the same person who had been threatening her. Even her sister said she thought she knew who killed Mikki and she thought she knew why they killed her. Do you think the confessed killer could have been married to the friend Mikki was helping out??
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Old 02-25-2005, 07:17 PM   #13
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If I remember correctly, West lived in and disappeared from St. Joseph, Mo., which is about a 45-minute drive from the northern edge of KC, and Bannister Mall is toward the southern edge of KC, adding another 30 minutes. I wonder why he left his letters there, so far from where West disappeared? Also, if he killed more than one person, why did he just name West? I can't find any information about this case on the web.

You've had a lot of excitement near your home, Jimmy. I guess I've never seen the firefighter segment, but I remember when it happened. It was solved, wasn't it?
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:52 PM   #14
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gaf, I don't know if the notes were left at Bannister Mall specifically, but I'm 95% sure that's where UM FILMED the segment. They could have been left there though, but I don't know.

Back in 1987 or whenever the notes were left, Bannister Mall was one of the only major malls in the city (along with Ward Parkway)....all the others (Independence Center, Oak Park) weren't built yet, I don't think. Perhaps he picked Bannister because of the KC metro location, and that more people would see/find out about the note?

Yes, the firefighters case was solved. They arrested 4 people for something like "arson resulting in death", and all were convicted and received about a 40 year sentence.

My uncle knew and worked with 2 of the people eventually convicted. Creepy, huh?
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Old 10-24-2005, 12:58 PM   #15
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This story was repeated today (10/24/05), so I thought I should bump this thread in case anyone came here wanting more info.

It's still so strange to see the old Bannister Mall and KCTV5 Studio as it was back in 1988. Ah, memories.
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