Excerpt from the Kalamazoo Gazette
By: Charles Pierce, Thomas McClaren contributing
In April of last year one James “Jimmy” Dashiell was murdered in what appeared to be a hot air balloon accident. The ensuing investigation by the Kalamazoo Police Department led to the erroneous conclusion that no foul play was involved and that it was an accidental death. James’ ballooning partner Henry Jansie was suspected, as was his romantic interest of two years Annie Decker, personal aide to Mrs. Grace Upjohn. The police blatantly disregarded procedure in returning the evidence in the case to Ms. Decker claiming that the next of kin was to far away to return Mr. Dashiell’s cousin in Chicago. Mr. Dashiell and Ms. Decker were involved in a domestic argument just days prior to his demise, the sounds of which could be clearly heard by James Dashiell’s neighbors, including Devon Dunworth, who said the argument “Sounded like nothing, the two of them yelling and carrying on like what all”. The exact nature is unclear, but the argument certainly provides enough motive to place her on a list of suspects, further, while seeing Mr. Dashiell she was simultaneously involved in a relationship with James’s partner Henry Jansie for six months, who upon hearing of the argument went to have words with James. Henry Jansie could not be reached for comment on the following discussion, but James had proposed to Annie Decker and been turned down, presumably due to her interest in Henry, whom she continued to see until just days ago when he fled town following the news of her involvement in the death he had suffered the social stigma for.. Security at the Oakwood park grounds saw a figure matching the description of Ms. Annie Decker fleeing the tent under which the faulty parachute was the night prior to the jump. Ms. Decker declined to comment or to provide access to the parachute which a source close to the two confirms is still in her possession.
The KPD’s lack of investigation in this crime is tantamount to negligence at best and to corruption caused by the pull of the Upjohn family at worst. The amount of control that the Upjohn’s exercised in support of their trusted employee Annie Decker is difficult if not impossible to ascertain, but one feels certain that the investigation would not have been dropped by the fine men in blue at KPD without some excellent reason. Kalamazoo Chief of Police Benjamin Taffee and Mrs. Grace Upjohn both declined to comment on the case, though sources in the department were quick to point out that there is no statute of limitations for murder, however there is for several lesser charges which Annie Decker could be facing…
The piece continues on on the possibility of negligence or corruption at the KPD.