Triple murder suspect has violent past

Curtis Clinton had no trouble with Sandusky police in the seven months since his release from prison - until Monday.
Emil Whitis
Sep 12, 2012

Curtis Clinton had no trouble with Sandusky police in the seven months since his release from prison — until Monday.

Sandusky police records show officers may have been unaware the 41-year-old convicted killer was living in this area.

Apart from his regular check-ins with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, as he’s required to do as a registered sex offender, Clinton seemed to fly under the radar.

One week ago, a 17-year-old girl told Sandusky police Clinton had forcibly raped her at his Campbell Street apartment — the same apartment he used as his address in the sex offender registry.

On Monday, Sandusky police arrested him as the sole suspect in Saturday’s triple homicide on John Street.

It appears as if Clinton didn’t change much in the 13 years he spent in prison, locked behind bars on the maximum sentence for involuntary manslaughter and two assault charges, for which he was convicted in 1999.

He was originally charged with murder for the 1997 killing in Wood County of 18-year-old Misty Keckler, according to Toledo Blade stories during court proceedings at the time.

Keckler’s naked body was found in a bathtub, her feet and hands tied behind her back, according to court records.

Investigators later determined Keckler was killed before Clinton submerged her body in the bathtub.

His attorneys said she had died while the two were having consensual sex — Clinton had accidentally choked Keckler to death.

Sandusky police suspect Clinton strangled Heather Jackson, 23, and her two children, Celina, 3, and Wayne, 18 months.

Jackson’s body was found naked under a mattress. Autopsy results due this week may confirm investigators’ suspicions.

Police said there are no signs Jackson was sexually assaulted.

The autopsy report may provide further details on that, too.

In the Wood County killing, defense attorneys said there was no way to prove Clinton had deliberately killed Keckler, according to the Toledo Blade story. 

At the time, prosecutors said if the case had gone to trial, two of Clinton’s former girlfriends were prepared to testify that he choked them or was otherwise physically violent during sex, or when they refused to have sex with him.

In 1999, Clinton pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.

He was also convicted of two counts of assault on a police officer after allegedly attacking jail guards when he was behind bars, awaiting trial for killing Keckler.

In a separate case — before he was ever indicted in Keckler’s death — Clinton pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor  for an incident involving a 14-year-old girl.

He was 27 at the time.

For that crime, he was labeled a registered sex offender and sentenced to 16 months in prison, which he served while awaiting trial in Keckler’s death.

He was finally released from prison in February.

He immediately returned to Sandusky, the town where he grew up and  has family, assistant police Chief John Orzech said.

He registered his address within three days of his release, as required by Ohio law.

Until last week, he had had no run-ins with police.

Neighbors at his Campbell Street apartment, where Clinton rented a second-story unit, described him as a seemingly nice guy, although he had a penchant for using his white Cadillac to lure young girls.

One neighbor, asking to remain anonymous, called Clinton a “loner.”

He said Clinton would offer a smile and wave, but he never conversed much with other residents.

Downstairs neighbor Gene Eck, 51, agreed — he said Clinton always seemed too busy for more than an exchange of pleasantries.

Clinton’s mother, who identified herself as Mrs. Cole, said Clinton was a busy man. She said he held down three jobs, working at American Quality Stripping, the Thirsty Pony and Krunchie Pickle.

An unidentified bartender at the Thirsty Pony remembers Clinton as a “really nice guy.”

She said she was shocked when she heard he’d been charged with murder.

The bartender said a co-worker ran into Clinton a few days ago at the mall. Clinton made friendly small talk about getting fired and then walked off, the bartender said.

“It’s just crazy,” she said. 

Thirsty Pony owner Mike Sortino, on the other hand, couldn’t remember much about Clinton, who worked at the business for less than a month before he was fired.

Sortino wouldn’t say what Clinton did to get fired, and he refused to comment further.

“Nobody wants to be associated with something like this,” Sortino reasoned.

Meanwhile, Cole said her son is a “loving and caring son” incapable of killing someone.

She said she’s outraged by the allegations.

“I’m pissed off,” Cole said. “This whole situation is unexpected.”

Comments

FlowerMom

So sad, all the way around.

wiredmama222

In Ohio. a 17 year old is considered an age of majority, outsider DD    And please do not come in here to start knocking our police like you did our city. 

Did we not ask you to quietly leave?????  Why don't you just go back to whatever place it is you came from?  Or is it that they don't want you back?

wiredmama222

I cannot believe that now you are over here dissing out our city again....you must really LOVE this place.  Cannot get enough, umm????

To let you know, 17 is of legal age in Ohio.  And no, we don't have Prostitution in Sandusky.   We don't appreciate YOUR type of comment either.  Why can't you just go back to where you come from and bother your own kind? 

Let our people handle this.  They are MORE than competent to do the jobs they are doing without your nit picking eyes and questions and unfounded comments. 

I think your vacation here in terminated.  Please leave.  We think we have had enough of your visit to our fine City and thank you for coming.  We hope you have enjoyed yourself.  Now please go home.  We have work to do. 

Thank you. 

donutshopguy

 wiredmama222,

 "we don't have prostitution in Sandusky"

 How naive are you? It's time to come out from under your little protective shell and open your eyes. You live in a not so nice place. Drugs, prostitution, gambling, theft, assult, and now murder are the norm in this town.

Over 75% of the homes are rentals. Over 85% of the kids in school are on free and reduced breakfasts and lunches. This town is in decline and has been for at least a decade.

Just the facts.

wiredmama222

stop the madness.....let me straighten you out on something, lady.  I read those reports "carefully'.  No, I was not there.  You stated you are a family "friend'.  Were YOU there, or are you getting your information second hand, like the rest of us.  We got ours from reports from the very paper you are telling us NOT to follow.  You got yours from the mother of this girl, I would think.  I am not going to argue with you on semantics of a word or two on the word brutal vs whatever word you would like.  But maybe you can tell us why she hestitated to file charges THEN AND THERE if it was so terrible??????   Why didn't her mother INSIST if it was so bad??????? 

All along I have been encouraging everyone not to blame her or hold her accountable about any of this.  (had she had him arrested, the other girl would still be alive was the accusations.  I kept saying don't blame her).   So don't yell at me after I have been defending her.  Now I am sorry I did.  So answer me....why didn't she file charges since you know so much????  And please, not this "she feared retalitation"....he would have been in jail!!!!

Hardly ignorant statement....more like to the point, I fear.  Seems you have a bug about the truth.

The rest you can talk up with all the others you are slamming for statements.  

 

wiredmama222

@ ok, yes, I changed my mind....I was being unfair to her.  I changed what I said after so many where blaming this girl for not having him put in jail for her rape. 

She did not file charges.  She simply reported it.  My "alleged" rape as you put it happened when I was a student in college.  I was not brutalized as she was, and it was hard for me to tell anyone. I was away from my family with no support from them. In fact, I did not want them to know.  I had a roomate who helped me. That was all.  But I stood up for myself and did what was needed so no other woman there would suffer. 

It doesn't take compassion not  to retaliate...it takes police protection. You all seem to forget that.  You think the cops would not be there for her?  How little you know about the cops.  Especially with a sex offender. 

No, I don't feel that all rape victims should feel as I do. That would be stupid.  But sooner or later, young girls have to learn that their bodies are their OWN and not something that has to be shared or used by every man that is out there.  No means no.  Getting themselves into a situation with a much older man can lead to a serious situation such as this young girl found out.  A 41 year old may not take no for an answer especially from one so young as 17.  But rape is not about sex and mothers need to teach their daughters the difference. 

That is all I am saying.  When you have a daughter you need to teach her two things:  sex, restraint.  And how to know the difference. 

So if I sound fired up, it is because I feel like I am being attacked all over again for changing my mind on a situation and being made to relive a problem that I though I had deeply buried and I don't like either one very much.  Both hurt.  Neither is pleasant.  Especially from someone like seen it all who loves to attack me with regularity.  Satisfied? 

czechurself

@ Wiredmama

Just admit you do not understand the law behind taking rape cases to court. 

THE VICTIM IS A HERO FOR SPEAKING OUT...you cant take that away from her by saying she did not press charges. 

SHE FILED A REPORT

HAD A RAPE KIT DONE TO COLLECT DNA

POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED HER ATTACKER.

At that point nothing more was required of her for LE to pursue prosecution

THAT IS NOT THE RIGHT OF THE VICTIM!!!

Please re-read my previous posts in this thread and others related to this matter if you still dont understand. 

Regarding protection from the police, >> you say:  "How little you know about the cops"  

I say : LOL

 A TPO does not and never has been any guarantee that you will be protected.  You know this as well as I do.  And thats all she would have gotten for protection.  The police do not provide 24/hr personal duty for crying out loud.  What did YOU think they would have been able to do further?

Lastly, you have no idea regarding the circumstances that led to her rape.  You know NONE of the details that preceded this act.  This girl was ASSAULTED, not simply coerced.  Mother, teach your son about restraint. 

If a girl says NO, she already knows it didnt mean YES.   

wiredmama222

Ok, I don't understand the law....you happy now?  Because obviously YOU won't be happy until I do.  Satisfied?

 

And yes, I pressed charges.  Now...YOU get off my back and stay off. You are as bad as seen it all.  Whatever your problem is....take it elsewhere and you know what you can do as well.  I am done answering your stupid questions and your ignorant suppositions.  Take your childish behavior and your know it all attitudes elsewhere.

I am not in the mood to play rough and you are way outside the guidelines on this one, both of you.  Way outside.  I am not the 17 year old messing with a 41 year old, now am I. 

Enough said. 

czechurself

My problem is that you kept suggesting that girl is responsible for LE not being able to arrest Clinton.  It was false and needed to be set straight.  The girl in no way prevented his arrest.  Even police were willing to acknowledge this, but not you.  They had enough evidence and they knew his prior convictions, period.  What they did was try to secure a conviction with her testimony.  Her testimony could not be guaranteed if she did not choose to file charges.  So they gave her time. 

Even with the evidence and priors, a conviction is still not in the bag.  You would know how hard this is if you pressed charges and gave testimony and cross examination in court.  The defense will still try to suggest consent was given.  It is up to the prosecution to prove their case.  Rape is VERY difficult to prove. 

Furthermore you ask the question "WHY was she afraid" numerous times as if the idea seemed ludacris to you.  Because you did not suffer a brutal attack, you may not be able to sympathise here.  But at least find a way to empathise with the situation.  You must realize that the victim had learned second hand of his past and she was terrified.  Perhaps she had never felt personally threatened by him previous to the rape, but certainly afterwards she had a very rational fear.  It is not so irrational that she realized he might get out of jail and come after her again as she suggested and You agreed he would get out of jail in short time of being arrested.      

What are you suggesting when you say you are  "not the 17 year old messing with the 41 year old man, now am I?"  Are you saying she deserved this?  Are you suggesting she placed herself in a situation to be raped and choked?  Are you suggesting this all the fault of her own?  It sounds like that is what you are saying....I really want to hear your explanation for the comment.  But you will not have one. 

wiredmama222

Yes, I have an explanation.  The family friend said yesterday that he was a "friend of the family that came back into their lives".  Is that true?  If it is, did they know about his prison time and what he was in for?  If so, why was she even around him?  

She made the comment about him " old friend being on the doorstep" I believe.  You say that she found out second hand.  Which one of you is telling the truth.  The friend who posted the other day or you?

Why would anybody let their kids be around someone that committed murder and rape?  That is my question.  I am NOT blaming the girl.  I am questiong the thought process of the mother?  Why would she knowingly let her 17 year old daughter go anywhere near this guy if they knew that? 

NO WAY am I saying she deserved it.....lets get it straight right now. 

But why would you even take the chance? 

That is what I mean, completely and totally what I mean.  I would NEVER let my daughter be around someone like that, knowing what he did.  If he truly was a neighbor, family friend or acquantance of old and he went away to prison.....my kid wouldn't be within 10000 yards of him without the national guard between them. 

Clear enough???? 

And lets get this straight as well.  As hard as it is to accept. The three women who have been raped are second seat to the victims of murder.  The murdered victims, especilly after today, are far more important to the case and to the public at this point in time that the rape victims. 

I am sorry to say that so bluntly.  But they are.  Reason being.....they lost their lives.  And the three year old child was sexually assualted.  Right now,everyone is consentrating on that.  Perhaps by the time of the trial, more people will think about the living, but right now, they are focused on the dead.....and on a three year old little girl. 

 

wiredmama222

@ OK.  If I remember rightly the reason they found him was a combination of several things.  Two other rape victims coming forward and him trying to commit suicide in Clyde?  

If she had not reported the rape, it may have taken longer, that may very well be true, but did you forget they had DNA from the little girl as well?  And finger print evidence from the house?

I wonder how long before they would have gotten him either way. 

I wish the 17 year old and the other two women had never had to suffer what they did.  Really, I do.  But this entire thing had been a tragedy from the word go.

What we have know is people trying to second guess the police, people involved and the murderer wnen in fact the only one with answers is this monster who did all this. 

How sad that is. 

ok whatever

The two other rape victims just came forward two days ago. That is not a correct statement that you are saying. Had Clinton not been caught, they more than likely would not have came forward anyway. And should you really be putting on the internet that fingerprints were found? Please remember this is a high profile case and you should not be putting information like that on here.

Katelih-Trailer...

Why did the "friend"/ childhood neighbor go visit the 17 yr.old, after all those years, anyway ?.Stupid bich didn't tell the 17 year old about Clinton's past until AFTER the rape ?! Was she hoping that THAT would scare her into silence?? I seriously hope that the 17 year old wasn't set up by her "friend" to be raped. If she cared about her  at all....she would have let her monster/boyfriend  die in his own vomit...

 

wiredmama222

@ OK.......No, I am not 17.   In fact I am much older.  I am not subject to temper fits or throwing my hands up or pouting.  Never did, never will.  I do, and will readily admit it, have a temper.  But you have to really act stupid around me to get my anger up.  I don't tolerate stupid well. 

I am not found of repeating myself over and over again and I cannot tolerate those who are cruel just to be cruel.  Who keep at someone just to keep doing it. 

That has always frustrated me.   I am suffering from Lupus, so I don't work anymore and am home all the time which I hate. 

Being on here is sort of a release for me, so when I run into these idiots who like to "dig" into me like this it sort of ruins my day.  Especially when they just can't leave me alone for anything.  They have NO idea what my life is like at all.

I have three degrees which are now useless to me and that I miss using.  I am not a stupid person at all.  I do not throw my hands up or pout.  I never have.

I like the contact from being on here that is all and hate being "criticised" for "putting in my 2 cents" which is no ones business but mine. 

I guess someone made this one person " the blog monitor" and critic.  She can tell anyone who can and cannot comment on things around here.  What they can and cannot say and how often they can say it. 

I had no idea until today.  Who knew?

vcreed123

 This guy is nothing but a useless ________

nobodycares

 Really................. Big surpise

Mum-of-One

I wonder what the procedure is when a registered sex offender is accused of rape?  It cetainly should not be up to the victim to decide whether or not he is investigated.  Surely the Police had a duty to investigate this registered sex offender at his registered address when he was rported.  If that is not the procedure then we should just scrap the register all  together because it seems useless.

ooreally

Of course the register would have to add that at the end with the comments from his mother how else would they get people to argue in the comments all day long...lame, SR does it all the time it would be nice if people would ignore the register and not respond to this....

rickross2

@ooreally......You're ok with them interviewing his ex-employers and ex-coworkers, but not his mom???? I'm glad they printed it, now when he goes to trial and gets convicted, his mom will be the idiot. Maybe we can run her murderer raising a$$ outta here

kURTje

Nation-wide liquidate people like this.                                               ALL upper third tier criminals need gone.                                                           

Julie R.

When a 26-year-old Huron woman accused that guy from Job & Family Services of raping her, the Huron police were right on it and had the guy arrested. Yet in Sandusky, a registered sex offender --- one that just got of prison yet after serving 13 years for the strangulation death of an 18-year-old --- gets accused of brutally raping a 17-year-old and they wait for the VICTIM to decide if she wants to press charges?

Something is very wrong with this picture.  

fedup2

"Julie R." ...I couldn't have said it any better!

Unassumer

This is a perfect example of how our justice system failed because Clinton should have been put away alot longer (or put to death) the first time.  There's no way that other woman died while having consensual sex.  Every mother of a murderer is blind to their child's real nature.  Didn't she notice the animals he choked when he was a kid?  Or did he do it behind her back while she was working?  Did she piss him off or leave him alone too much?  Well, who really cares now?  He'd better be toast one way or another.

EZOB

   We know of the rape on September 3 but how many were not reported?  We all know this guys history but the fact that most rapes go unreported is more reason to believe it should be a short "TRIAL".  One Man responsible for 4 deaths now and he should be given the chance to commit suicide and save us all a lot of time and money.  He has to answer to God for at least 4 deaths just might as well make it 5.

deertracker

Julie R has a very good point.  The print edition described the rape as a "violent attack".  It is hard to believe that the cops had no options.  What did they do?  The state picks up charges all the time if the victim will not press charges.  Sounds as if someone was more concerned about conviction rate instead of public safety.  It's time to get new leaders.  I still commend the SPD for the work they did on the murders but someone dropped the ball big time on the rape complaint.

Swamp Fox

For all the legal experts including Julie R you MUST have a victim for a rape charge, basic law 101...

If the victim does not corporate and is willing to testify the rape charge is impossible to proceed with, unfortunately.

czechurself

I apologize for being completely off subject, my question is regarding Clintons attire in the photo above: Is Clinton on suicide watch and is that why he is wearing whatever that is he is wearing?

@ SwampFox, I think the point of the comment by Julie R and another is that as a registered offender involved in a sex crime, there should not need to be any permission to pursue charges.  Regardless whether the "Victim" should choose to pursue charges on her own behalf, there is still evidence in the filing of the police report and the hospital record that he had unlawful sex with the minor, which should be a violation of his release. 

Brick Hamland

If the alleged victim was 17, that would have been statutory rape so even if it was consensual statutory rape is a strict liabilty crime and it doesn't matter whether or not she wanted to "press charges." It will be interesting to see what comes of that. Julie R- I am suprised you have not jumped on that and how the Murrays and/or some crooked attorney will be hired to get a rent a judge to order millions of dollars for the victims families from the SPD

deertracker

Say what you want Swamp but a "violent attack" warrants some type of charge especially with all of these circumstances!

Brick Hamland

Swamp Fox- all the have to prove is her age and that sex occurred, which she must have told the police to be "allegedly raped." If she doesn't testify she could be charged with obstruction of justice or filing a false police report (of course police hate to do that to alleged raped vicims)

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