Children of the Snow
Two-Part Special Event Premieres Monday, Feb 18
In the 1970s, Detroit was experiencing an economic boom in the automobile industry, and lush neighborhoods housed the rich beneficiaries of Motor City. But the idyllic suburban life ended abruptly when four children were abducted and killed by the Oakland County Child Killer in the dead of winter. Fears of a serial killer targeting children haunted the region for 13 months, with parents warning their children to stay away from strangers and keep close to home. Then, the killings stopped. Premiering Monday, February 18 at 9/8c, Investigation Discovery’s (ID) CHILDREN OF THE SNOW follows writer J. Rueben Appelman, Detective Cory Williams, and families of the victims in their mission to unravel one of America’s most baffling crimes.
As a boy in the Detroit suburbs in the mid-1970s, Appelman wonders if he escaped the Oakland County Child Killer. A man followed him from the store and ordered him into his car. He ran away but the memory haunted him, and in 2005 he began a quest for answers. Digging through old files and documents, Appelman believes the police may have interviewed the killer, but money and power may have protected him. He’s not alone. One family uncovers a lead and a suspect buried for decades and points to a dark world of pedophiles, child pornography and mistakes in the original investigation.
The plot thickens when questions arise whether there is any connection between the Oakland County Child Killer and a pedophile ring operating out of North Fox Island. At the time of the murders, one boy broke his silence and revealed a pornography mill posing as a boys’ camp for underprivileged kids on the remote island in Lake Michigan. Wealthy philanthropist Francis Shelden owned North Fox island. He fled the country and escaped justice, but law enforcement uncovered the disturbing underground of Brother Paul’s Children’s Mission, part of a larger pedophile ring with tentacles throughout Michigan and across America.
Despite a robust list of suspects, questions swirl around the possible connection between the two cases. The police pursue tantalizing DNA evidence found in the car of a local pedophile, but it points to a mystery perpetrator. One family frustrated by years of silence from the police, refuses to let money, power and politics stop their quest for answers. Detective Cory Williams must weave a delicate path to find the evidence to bring justice for the families of the four children once and for all. In this dark and gripping true-crime special, new science 43 years later may finally unlock the answer from old evidence.
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