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

wiredmama222

@seen it all.....and how is this any of YOU business?  Are you related to ANY of these people?  What right do you have to stick your nose in any of this anyway, except to stir up trouble?  None.

I did a little checking since this all began.  You said it wasn't personal.  I found no less than three other people on here that have made references to the other women. They made comments similar to mine.  You said absolutely NOTHING to them about their comments at all. 

So this IS personal on your part.  They two questioned pretty much what I did and in very similar style to mine. So why is it that you picked on me? 

And why are you jumping on someone defending me?  Because you are firing only at me, that is why? You chose to make it personal.  You cannot let go of your anger and you cannot admit it.  You made it personal.

I will not do any more answering to you nor will I comment to any more of your baiting.  What I am going to do is simply watch and take note of your harassment from here on out.   Because I have had my fill of it. 

Seen it All
Woman, you need adjust your sensitivity levels. In NO way was I attacking your friend. Just merely pointing out he had only seen half of what upset me.   You ask why is it MY business? Why is EVERYTHING on here YOUR business? haha It's a comment section woman, people comment!   You love to shove your opinions down others throats, especially if you disagree with them, but it seems you don't think anyone should question yours? And they surely should not point out your constant flip flopping! I only used YOUR words to make my point. You attacked me by stating UNTRUTHS about me. Now, who made it personal?  

As much as I would love to sit and argue my points with you (NOT), I do have a wonderful life to get to, which does not include sitting here all day making myself look the fool like some.

 

 

 

 
wiredmama222

Really.  Well here is something that YOU missed.  You seem so he$$ bent to think you are right ALL the time.  You missed one. 

This man is totally to blame for all of it. The question at hand is whether this MURDER of Heather Jackson and her children is bringing this community together. That is the question at hand.

I feel sorry for those who were raped as well. Yes, I really do. I have made my apologies on another site.

I will feel even more sorry for them if they get dragged into this mess in a court of law and have to face this monster at trial. That is going to be just awful for these girls to spend time in a court room having to relieve what happened to them all over again. He will have a chance to a defense and that can be a really brutal thing. Just saying "what if". Not that it will happen, but "what if".

But right now the question is, is the community coming together. It did for a short while, long enough to bury the three dead. ......

Now.  I have given you what you want.  I too have a wonderful like. You want EXACTLY what you want. I said NO untruths about you.  Show me ONE where I said anything untrue about you?  Where and I will apologize to you.  Show it to me? 

I do NOT shove things down people's throats, but you sure do. 

You are like a freight train that has no STOP button.  You cannot give a lick.  I bet you are one of those people who cannot admit they are ever wrong.  At least I have the dignity to admit why I am.  You don't .  So as far as I am concerned you have no dignity at all.

I hope you learn some.  Compassion starts with dignity.  It begins with the realization that you are not perfect that you have to bend like a willow, not stand like an oak, which you think you are. 

When you learn that, young lady, THEN you can say you have compassion. Until then, you have learned nothing in life. You cannot tell anyone how to live. You can do or say nothing to anyone else on what to do or think. 

You say this is a comment section but you accused me of commenting. You cannot have it both ways.

You cannot say you have compassion and attack someone else for their comments when they go contrary to your. 

Have your last say.  By all means.  Go right ahead . You must because you haven't the courage to end it here and now.  You cannot  leave it alone for anything.  I have. 

jodilinn

OK I have seen a lot of what people have been writing. I get so up set when I read some of these. As far as Heather and her children, I feel so sad for them and their family. I can't talk to much on that story because I dont know the facts. I can speak on Misty because she was a family member of mine. People only know what they read. Misty did not know this dude. Her 14 year old friend did. She was hiding this girl out because he had chocked her. This made him mad so he tied her hands behind her back, tied he feet together the he strangled her. Then he put her in a bath tub of ALL hot water. She never had a relationship with him. My god she didnt even know him. Everything he said in court about Misty was a LIE. If it was about sex going bad then why did he kill her the way he did? DON'T BELIEVE ALL YOU READ IN THE PAPER!! There are 4 family members dead because of him so yes he is going to say what he wants to get out of a higher charge.

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