The final chapter of some stories are never written. More than 120 people packed the Huron Library Sunday to watch a documentary detailing the unsolved murders of the Cassidy family from Milan Township.
The documentary, which was directed by Register photographer Abigail Bobrow, reexamined the 1968 murder of William and Ann Cassidy, who were shot at close range with a shot gun, and their 12-year-old daughter, who was beaten to death.
“While it happened 40 years ago, it’s still very, very raw. It’s a sensitive topic,” Bobrow said. “I contacted lots of people and they declined (an interview). Forty years ago, this was 40 years ago and it’s still fresh.”
The documentary featured people who recalled details surrounding the three murders that rocked a town where garage break-ins were often the most serious crimes. June Gladwell spoke to the challenges her husband Harold Gladwell faced as a sheriff’s deputy investigating the murders.
“It really got to him, especially the part about the little girl,” she said. “It just upset him, he would get mad and angry, he couldn’t get anybody to say anything...It just bothers me that he didn’t get to solve the case before he passed away.”
Jo Betz, Register reporter in 1968, described her frustration in the unanswered questions surrounding the case.
“The feeling was that somebody knew something, but nobody was talking,” Betz said. “The son, even though he was never charged with anything, for a long time was under suspicion as the prime suspect in the murders. That was never proven.”
It was the Cassidy’s 17-year-old son Michael who first found the family after the murders. He immediately retained a lawyer who didn’t allow police to question Michael.
Bob Reer, a local mechanic for the Cassidys, described the impact the triple murders had on the once-serene town.
“I think it scared a lot of them. They started locking their doors, bought dogs or had dogs around,” Reer said. “We were all kind of concerned it could happen to us...I think people hope that someday it will be busted wide open and they might find out who did it.”
Audience members stayed after the documentary discussing the case that begged more questions than it answered.
“It’s good mystery stuff. It really gets you thinking more about it. It gets your mind going,” said Vince Sberna of Bellevue. “You wonder why everything did get quieted up. You wonder why they didn’t let the kid talk.”
His wife Sharon Sberna agreed.
“You still wonder if that person is still out there,” she said. “It’s creepy.”