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

Seen it All

And just when I thought I SEEN IT ALL!!  You stoop to a NEW low wiredmama.

 I am not the 17 year old messing with a 41 year old, now am I.

WOW is ALL I can say!  You feel threatened and attacked (which I still don't understand why, when it was YOUR statements we were posting), and you lash out on the 17 yr old once again!!!  SICKENING!  You need help woman!

 

wiredmama222

@ seen it all.....You pass yourself off as so perfect and you have gotten on my last nerve.  It takes all I can do to not answer.

This is my last one.  You have gone way past the point on this blog.  It isn't about ME. Its about the victims of this murder.  It isn't even about the rape victim any more. 

The victim of the rapes are secondary to the tragedy that is the murder.  You and your friend can't even see that far. You are two busy trying to ride me and what i say.

Enough. You have gone beyond the scope of what this is about.  Simply hit my name and email me if you have more to say.  I will gladly answer.

But from this point on, stay on track of what this is about....three innocent people who were killed. 

Stay off the rape victim.  She got to live.  There are three who didn't.  The jury is out on why. 

Yes, I will defend the SPD. I have friends there.  They do the best they can.  People like you expect them to be everything to everybody.  They can't.  Did someone down there goof.  Who knows. 

Did the Sheriff goof.  Who knows.  Does it matter now?  Three people died and we can't bring them back.  Had that girl filed to arrest the monster instead of waiting a day?  who knows.  Only God does. 

Too late now. 

Seen it All

According to the family friend you were arguing with yesterday wired...

She met the Monster the day of the rape, introduced by a long lost childhood friend.  So she was NOT messing around with him!

Her family didn't know who he was and allow this happen, as she met him the day of the rape!  God, for someone who claims to be a VICTIM of rape, you sure are judgmental to those claiming the same.  And again, you WONDER WHY THEY GO UNREPORTED!  People like you are sitting on the juries, sitting all high and mighty, judging everything that happened before, during, and after the rape.  During a rape trial the victim is usually made to feel it could have been prevented and are treated worse than the scum who committed the offense by his defense attorney.  You being  ALL KNOWING, having had the experience yourself, should know such things, correct?

Just keep that judgmental halo above your head, it looks very pretty on you.

And, I'm going to throw this out there.. PERHAPS if the cops had picked up the SOB after her giving her statement, the others could of lived.. who knows.. only God.

wiredmama222

@ seen it all....I give up on you.  We keep covering the same ground over and over.  Ok, have it your way.  It is the only way you want it anyway.  

YOU WIN, ok,  YOU WIN.  YOU WIN.  Are you happy now.  You can have it all your way. 

She was a saint.  The cops did everything wrong.  They caused the death of the three people.  She should be held up as a shining example of what rape victims everywhere should be like. 

Happy now, God!!!!   

ok whatever

You really are something. You temper tantrum for your you win ok comment is really something. I have a question for you (though I know the answer since you have been to college) are you 17? You sure do act it. I am picturing you throwing your hands up with a pout on your face when being told no.

czechurself

It is about all the victims.  The rape victim is still alive and she still deserves justice just as much as the families of the Heather, and her babies.  If you would quit defending yourself in your idiotic attack on the victim of the rape you would see that the murders would never had happened if the arrest was made at the time the report was filed.  Afterall, it is not required that the victim file charges in rape in order to make an arrest...but you dont GET THAT!!!

The police acknlowledge WHY they waited to make an arrest.  It was out of regard for and concern for the victim.  Which I can commend them for and is WAY more than you are showing, even as an alleged rape victim yourself.   

I do not blame the SPD for waiting to make an immediate arrest out of interest to the emotional trauma that the girl was experiencing.  However, I do feel, as I have already explained, that in this situation in the future, out of concern for the entire community, an arrest be made without the victim agreeing to file charges.  If there is a positive I.D., DNA, and evidence of physical abuse (most important), an immediate arrest should be made.  Period. 

I have friends in all kinds of places as well as SPD, NPD, PPD, ECSD, HCSD, OSHP, even had some in ECJ, wiredmama.  NONE of them would expect me to defend them at the expense of someone elses safety.   

deertracker

I can't answer those questions Wired but I will add one.  What was a 41 year old man doing around a 17 year old girl?  I had children that were older than that when I was 41.

wiredmama222

@ deertracker....you are so right.....that door swings both ways.  And I will add one more.  Where is the parent when all this is going on?? 

Seen it All

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? 

That is NOT what was said.  She said a childhood friend of the girls took her there.  Perhaps in your rush to comment on every article and comment made, you can slow down and actually read what you are commenting on, and perhaps brush up on your reading comprehension skills.

 

wiredmama222

@seenitall......God, you have a message below. (you name should read knowitall.  that is more fitting as well

Seen it All

hahaha, I couldn't take your "know it all" status away from you!!  After all, I am NOT the one posting on every article the SR puts out there with my 2 cents worth.  ALL I did was call you out on your contradicting statements, and you took it from there!  lol  I personally find your comments since very laughable, just as this one.  It's kind of like the pot calling the kettle black, is it not?  :)

ok whatever

@ seen it all....... I really really like you and applaude you for these comments. I would like wiredmomma to think about something. What if the 17yo victim had NOT reported the rape as she did without hesitation? The tragedy very well occured and he would not have been a suspect as quick as he was.....which may have led to more tragedy's.

deertracker

That is also a good question Wired but czech has raised some really good points as far as the police are concerned.  I am no lawyer or LE officer in any way but it really does seem as if they could have done something to protect this 17 yo as well as the public.   Since when do 17 year olds get to decide how law enforcement proceeding transpire?   Sometimes we are quick to praise the cops before all is known forgetting they are also human and make mistakes but they have to be accountable for their mistakes also.  Yes rape is incredibly difficult to prove but we are talking about a convicted murderer and sex offender.  This does not appear to be a date rape situation.  If I slap my wife and leave a mark but she refuses to press charges, I still go to jail.  I just don't get why more was not done.  I suspect the 17 yo was truly traumatized but felt she had no one in her corner.

wiredmama222

@ czech....as I already said to you and your friend several time.....have it your way. This isn't about me, but you keep attacking me and I have't said anything more. What more do you want me to say to you, Czech?  Have it your way....I said what you wanted me to.  What more do you want.  I spoke the truth about the death of the three and the autopsy. 

Now I will say this ONE MORE TIME....HAVE IT YOUR WAY.....WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?  YOU HAVE YOUR WAY.  YOU HAVE YOUR OPINION STATED.  YOU HAVE YOUR WAY.  WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT? 

I SAID WHAT YOU WANTED ME TO SAY.  THAT IS ENOUGH.  YOU GOT YOUR SAY.

czechurself

My intention is not to attack you.  I was replying to your posts as they came.  I was doing no more than try to correct your assessment of the laws re: prosecuting rapists.  You just dont seem to want to see past the fact you were being taught something.  Saying  "I'm right"  isnt what I was looking for.  I already knew I was right because what I offered were facts   I wanted you to be right.   Then, and only then, would you be able to present a valid arguement.     

I wanted to you to know that the police could have arrested Clinton immediately without the victim pressing charges 

I wanted you to know that they did run his name into the database and found he had served a sentence for involuntary manslaughter and was a sex offender, which you seemed to not be aware, also. 

I did this so that you would know the victim is not to be blamed for the SPD deciding not to have him arrested immediately.  It was the choice of SPD to wait.  

If I have led you to believe otherwise, I do not blame SPD for their choice.  I think they made their decision with concern for the victims emotional state.  I believe however, that in the best interest of ALL the citizens in the community,  it should have been done differently.   For everyones safety.     

I continue to believe that if Clinton had been arrested immediately, these 3 lives would have been spared.  There would have been plenty of time to get testimony and strong case to present in court. 

Little did anyone know that Heather and her children would run out of time while we waited.

@ deertracker, lol.  I normally do not get involved in bickering of this sort.  Winston Churchill said "If at first you dont succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no sense being a damn fool about it".  :)  This subject just touches a nerve with me, I guess.  

To all:  RE: the other two victims.  Remember, they had reported a rape but did know the identity of their attacker.  One of the girls reported that they were also choked but both were able to come forward after the murders when they recognized his pictures in the paper and on the news as the person who raped them. 

starryeyes83

Remember   Sarah  Mc Kinley from  Oklahoma who shot and killed    one of two intruders  on  New Years  Eve,, it was all over the news.     Her baby was  three months old.     Some of these  mothers need to learn that lesson.      Google  it.

 

Does  Ohio have a Castle law in place

 

 

deertracker

Okay, okay, I think Wiredmama said "uncle" guys.  LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!  Wow, I feel for you Wired after that verbal beat down.  OUCH!

Seen it All

@ 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? 

Oh geez woman, get those cataracts corrected!  As stated in the article of the other rapes, they were reported PRIOR to his arrest, one at the beginning of summer!!  (This too was pointed out to you after your nasty remarks to the victims).  PLENTY of time for the SPD to get this SOB on their radar!!!  Definitely should of been there after rape #2 was reported!   Perhaps if the first rape had been investigated properly this WHOLE mess could of been avoided.  We will have to wait and see when this all plays out, now won't we....

deertracker

I remember reading something about police receiving a tip also.  Do any of you really think this clown was trying to commit suicide?  Think about it.  There was supposedly another person in the room with him and he took tylenol and unisom!  He knew he would be saved and I have NEVER heard of anyone trying to OD on tylenol.  Nice try but that just does not fly!

richrs

@ starryeyes

yes Ohio has a castle law

Seen it All

@ czechurself..

To all: RE: the other two victims. Remember, they had reported a rape but did know the identity of their attacker. One of the girls reported that they were also choked but both were able to come forward after the murders when they recognized his pictures in the paper and on the news as the person who raped them.

Most of us did comprehend this when it was first published.  I really appreciate your comments, and your questions, as I have the same, and many more!!

Was rape victim #1 shown mugshots of sexual offenders in the area that matched the description she gave? And if she was shown a picture of the Monster, was it a recent one, or one from 13+ yrs ago.

Was DNA taken with the rape kit and processed in a timely manner?

Can you or can you not question a suspect without an arrest?  And if so, how many were questioned in the first rape?

I would love to see the detective on Matt's BLT to answer these questions, but I know it's not possible with it being an open investigation.

These questions are just eating at me given all the facts that have come light.  I do believe these murders didn't have to take place, and perhaps the 17 yr old could of been spared as well!

I'm beginning to wonder if rape cases are taking the priority that they deserve, or just being pushed aside. ESPECIALLY after the second rape was reported!

Seen it All

@ czechurself.. 

@ deertracker, lol. I normally do not get involved in bickering of this sort. Winston Churchill said "If at first you dont succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no sense being a damn fool about it". :) This subject just touches a nerve with me, I guess. 

 

Again, me too!  Although some ignorant, arrogant people just make it too easy, as they never shut up when they've been proven wrong and just come back with MORE nonsense!  Talk about repeating yourself.. geeeez.. and each repeat is a short story!!  I NEVER made it personal, she opened that can of worms attacking me for pointing out her contradictions.  And if I don't speak up for the RAPE VICTIMS when they are being attacked by a supposed rape victim, who will????

starryeyes83

  @   richrs

   Thank you for the info.

jrworthone

the bottom line is this man didnt learn anything in prison,so there is no use in sending him back!!! what he did was brutal and un called for, he needs to be walked out the back door of the jail and be executed !!    one suggestion would be creamate him alive!!! to kill the mom then kill the children and rape one of them, i dont care who you are this goes beyond justice !!   kill this fool and do society a favor !!!

queenjhb

Castrate him and let him bleed to death, the sadist should enjoy that, he might even understand pain ,terror , fear ,and grasp that no one is going to save his evil worthless hide.  hang him high

wiredmama222

I wish to apologize to the parents and the friend of the girl who was raped by this animal. 

I do feel sorry for your daughter for her rape and for the problems she is now going through.  I did not mean to convey that she is, in any way, less a victim than she is.  Nor that she was the cause of this in any way.

I am sure that her problems are far from over.  Especially when it comes to this animal and what is to come.

He definitely belongs in hell, and I hope that is where they send him.

I also hope that your daughter.  After much loving care, will get past what she is going through, and know that she didn't deserve what happened to her by any stretch of the imagination, nor was this her fault, but his because he is the evil soul that he is. 

May she get better and he die a long an painful death in any way that the state can see fit to inflict on him.

I also apologize to the friend with whom I took acception.  I owe you an apology as well.  I am truly sorry that my word were harsh.  Please accept my apology, one and all.   

Jack518

It took me about two hours of reading everyones' comments and rereading this article to come to some conclusions ( mine only).

First, as I understand, loud patries themselves do not require police to do a background check on the homeowner or renter. If there are illegal activities going on, then this is different.

Second, if a rape is reported does it not require an investigation, evidence and an arrest warrent to be issued by the DA BEFORE an arrest can be made? I am asking only because I am not sure if this sequence is correct.

Third, Wired.s comment the SPD could not have prevented this horrible crime is correct.

Fourth, Stop the Madness at sixteen years old, consentual sex is no longer statutory rape. But rape is a crime at any age. Men of all ages, stop thinking raping someone is your "right". If you have such thoughts, please seek counseling immediately. Talk to someone, seek help somewhere, please. It just occurred to me often you read about athletes charged with rape. Has anyone ever read about a "geek" or "nerd" raping someone? In Stubenville, Ohio several members of their football team are accussed of drugging and raping a young girl. Then, someone captured it on their camera and posted it. What is wrong with people?

Fifth, See it All, your comment that Wired appears indifferent to the rape victims is totally wrong. Throughout her comments, she has never implied this. She has voiced her opinion like everyone else. She has the integrity to admit when she is wrong. That reflects on her character. A crime as horrible as this has people angry beyond normal. Some of you may strike out at someone else due to rationalization being pushed aside by these strong emotions. Believe me, I understand this. There have been past articles posted when I was ready to jump down someone's throat. But, I waited a day or two, read updates on the article or comments on this blog and saw where I was wrong.

Everyone needs to think about what they want to post before doing so. And please, try to remember, you can express an opposing viewpoint without being derogatory about someone else or their comments.

Finally, If you change your mind on a subject or fellow blogger, be willing to post it and/or apologize like Wiredmama. We can all take a lesson from her.

Seen it All

@Jack518

My comment to her being indifferent to rape victims stemmed from more than what was said about the 17yr old.

@ others....as sick as it makes me to defend this lying, cheating murderer, how do we know that any of these women are telling the truth? If they are JUST NOW coming forward, how do we even know they were raped? Let alone by him? If they were raped, or brutalized, don't you think they would have come forward before this? I really question the motive of someone who waits this long until they come forward....until they can gain attention, to claim fame, to say they were raped by this guy. Maybe it is just suspicious mindedness but I really wonder. Didn't this happen before only to find out the guy didn't do it????? Seems to me it did.

That was said after the police announced they think he raped at least 2 other women.  One being reported early summer, but she accuses them of wanting fame because she lacks reading comprehension skills.

So, I still stand by statement.

Jack518

@ seen it all....I understand what you mean, but she apologized to the people involved didn't she?  You seem to be holding on to anger that doesn't really involve you.  You are personalizing this with anger and trying to punish her for something that she has already apologized for. 

Did you read what I said?  Perhaps she isn't the only one here who lacks comprehension skills.  Why make this an ongoing problem when it does not need to be?  It seems to me that once someone has apologize to those who are INVOLVED, others should just simply stay out of it.  It does not involve them whether they like it or not.

I would say the rest of us have little to nothing to say about it, like it or not we are not directly involved in their lives, are we? 

Seen it All

@Jack518.. Yes, she did apologize to the parents and family friend of the 17 yr old.  She did NOT apologize to the two other women that she raped after they had already suffered,  probably at the hands of this monster.  i do take GREAT offense to that.  (whether you think it's my business or not)

And perhaps you should take your own advice, and simply stay out of it. 

Have a nice day!  :)

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