The Deck Investigates - 7 of 15: Bring in the FBI

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By January 1987, Marshall County authorities were noticing a pattern emerging.

Here’s an excerpt read from Sergeant Dave Yokelet’s case summary.

In the past several years, since 1982, this officer has been involved in the investigating

of several violent crimes that have occurred in the extreme southern portion of Marshall

County, Indiana.

Two of those crimes involved homicides, one of which was in 1984, the Hulse Homicide,

the other in 1986, the Peltz Homicide.

In each of the three cases that have been investigated, I have found to be a two-year


The geographical area and the close proximity of each of these cases are a concern of this


Yokelet starts that window of time in 1982 because he’s including Pam’s case.

If you remember from last episode, Pam is the woman who survived a break-in and attempted

rape in December of 1982.

That was the first of the three cases.

There’s nothing I can find that shows what exactly the thread was that finally connected

all three.

Thirty-eight years later, and the people in charge today say that they don’t know either.

But I think it was just one of those things, like an autostereogram.

It’s fuzzy until you see it.

And then once the image within the picture emerges, you can’t unsee it.

Brandy was killed just a mile and a half away from Darlene in the middle of the day.

It’s easy to see why Darlene’s case, which was still fresh in everyone’s mind, was compared.

But unlike Darlene, Brandy got a harassing phone call before her death.

And maybe that is the piece of red string that they were connecting from Brandy to Pam.

Because if you remember, Pam, too, got a harassing call right before the intruder broke

into her home.

Once you’re looking at Pam’s case, you’re reminded just how similar that was to Darlene’s


Darlene’s body was found just a stone’s throw away from Pam’s home.

On their own, they can seem different.

But all together, you see the picture, right?

A triangle of connections from each case back to the other.

Sergeant Dave Yokelet had no idea if he was right.

But there was a way he could begin to find out.

This is Episode 7.

Bring in the FBI.

If the string connecting Pam and Brandy’s case was the phone calls, then that is where

police were going to start.

For the first time, it seems.

Because in December of 1987, there is documentation of police requesting the phone records for

Pam’s home from August of 1982 to January of 1983.

They requested such a large window of time because Pam had other harassing phone calls

prior to the break-in.

She even got one after, where the man breathed into the phone and said that he was the one

who’d been inside her home.

She reported all of those calls to police.

For some reason, officers never checked to see where the calls had come from in 1982.

Or even in 1984, after Darlene was murdered and left in a wooded field right by Pam’s


So why now, you ask?

Great question.

One I’d love to get the answer to.

But no one connected to the investigation has given us a solid answer.

So I can only guess, but I think I have a good guess.

It stems from the way I hear people, mostly men, talk about Pam’s case now.

They’ll tell you, yeah, he broke in, but nothing happened.

And I think that’s how they thought about it then.

Nothing really happened.

After Darlene’s murder, it’s clear from the tips that were called in and the canvassing

that was done that harassing phone calls were commonplace in Argus at the time.

So even though a line had been crossed, a very serious, very physical line into Pam’s

home, it doesn’t seem like a lot of resources were expended trying to figure out who that

man was that crossed the line.

Pam went on to live in fear after her attack.

She always wondered what the man in her home was capable of, if he would escalate.

And now, with a woman dead and a child dead, a child who had received a similar call, police

were probably wondering if this guy had escalated.

So now they decide to pull Pam’s phone records.

They got the call logs back almost immediately after requesting them in December of 1987.

And that was it.

Once they had those, Pam’s case was solved.

That easy.

The harassing calls pointed to one man, a guy from nearby Culver, Indiana, named Kenneth

McCune, Jr.

Two calls prior to the break-in at Pam’s house were made from Kenneth’s home.

And the one made to Pam’s house just before the home invasion was from Kenneth’s dad’s

barn where he worked.

Now Kenneth wasn’t exactly a stranger to police, but he also wasn’t considered a

local bad boy the way that Ricky Mock and Danny Bender had been.

While those guys seemed hard up for cash, Kenneth’s criminal motivations seemed sexually

driven because he had been accused of being a serial flasher.

There had been several complaints made by women about a man flashing his penis in different

places around the county, and one of those women specifically identified Kenneth.

Police learned that Kenneth went to high school in Culver, but lived in rural Marshall County,

not too far from where Pam lived, and not too far from where Darlene’s body was found.

They also learned that he had worked as a farmhand on his uncle’s farm, which was

even closer to the woods where Darlene’s body was found.

He’d also worked as a bus driver for Culver School District and dabbled in used car sales

throughout the 80s alongside his dad, Kenneth Sr.

Now they knew they had Kenneth Jr. for Pam’s case.

Along with the phone records pinning him as the caller, there was actually a tip early

on in Pam’s case from Kenneth’s sister, saying that she saw her brother’s truck

in front of Pam’s house the morning of the crime.

Now she had a caveat in that very same statement, saying that it wasn’t her brother’s truck,

just one that looked exactly like it.

But his name was there, in their case file, from just weeks after Pam’s attack.

But they weren’t ready to move in on Kenneth just yet.

If this was bigger than just Pam, they wanted to be sure.

So Sgt.

Yocolet pulled in the big guns, and he wrote to the FBI.

The undersigned investigating the homicides of Brandy Peltz and Darlene Hulse and the

home invasion of Pam, has investigated these crimes from the standpoint of being individual

cases, and that the assailants responsible for those cases are separate individuals and

that these cases are unrelated, and it is only coincidence that they have occurred within

a particular geographical area.

At the same time, this officer has geared my investigations to include that very well,

that all three of these cases may be linked together, and I base that opinion on several

similarities that I feel exist in each of these cases.

In total, the summary Sgt.

Yocolet submitted was five pages long and went over every detail he knew of each crime.

Yocolet was requesting help.

He was looking for insight into what characteristics they could expect to find in the perpetrator

of the Hulse homicide.

But I also think, by including information about the other cases, Sgt.

Yocolet was trying to see if the FBI saw the same connection he did.

From the response he got, it doesn’t look like the FBI even acknowledged the other cases.

They just honed in on the analysis of Darlene’s case.

But what FBI agent Thomas Salp had to say about the profile of Darlene’s killer was

very enlightening.

Offender characteristics and traits.

The offender in this case is a white male.

Our experience and research reflects that the behavioral factors noted in this crime

suggest that the offender would be from the low 20s to 30 years of age.

Our research and experience reflects that offenders will dispose of victims’ bodies

in locations that are familiar to them.

In this case, the remote, isolated area where the victim’s body was found suggests that

the offender had a strong familiarity with the area, which is most likely due to having

lived, worked, or visited in the area.

Our experience relates that the offender would not have more than a high school education

and would not have done well scholastically.

His school records would likely reflect disruptive behavior.

He has an inadequate personality and is lacking in interpersonal skills.

He has a difficult time relating to females and feels insecure when in their company.

Any relationships with females would be marked with conflict or even physical violence.

His choice of female companionship would be with someone considerably younger than him

that he would be able to dominate.

We would expect him to be living alone or with a significant family member, such as

a domineering mother, older sister, or grandmother, upon whom he is somewhat dependent.

He would be described by others as a loner and likely does not have a close circle of friends.

The brutality at the crime scene reflects anger, resulting from short- or long-term

stressors in the offender’s life experiences.

Our research and experience reflect that these precipitating stressors can be the result

of conflict with a significant female in the offender’s life, employment pressures, death

of a significant person, etc.

The use of drugs or alcohol by the offender in this case should not be ruled out.

Although the offender apparently brought duct tape with him, the crime scene does not reflect

a great deal of criminal sophistication.

The offender likely has a police record that would reflect assaultive-type behavior, possibly

sexual assault, and drug or alcohol-related violations.

If the offender is employed, it would be in unskilled to semi-skilled work and he would

have a spotty work record, which also reflects an inability to work well with others.

The time of the assault also indicates that the offender did not have to account for his

time on that morning.

If the offender owns a vehicle, it would reflect his financial and social standing in the community.

Post-offensive behavior.

After disposing of the victim’s body, the offender would have gone to a location he

considered safe to decompress.

He would not have any remorse for his crime, and his only concern would be a fear of being

connected to the crime.

He would have cleaned the blood from his clothes, however our experience indicates that this

offender would not be likely to dispose of the clothes he wore during the commission

of the crime.

The offender would have become reclusive for several days following the crime, and would

have tried to establish an alibi in case he was questioned by the police.

If he was employed, he may have provided a reason to be absent from work the day after

the crime.

His physical appearance would have deteriorated more than usual, and if he uses drugs or alcohol,

his consumption of those products would have increased.

Persons who know him well would have recognized his increased anxiety.

If contacted by the police, he likely would have appeared cooperative, but would have

claimed no knowledge about the crime.

He would probably have followed the progress of the investigation through the media and

by overhearing others in the community.

However, the offender would not be likely to engage in conversation about the crime.

At the time, there was only one person to hold up against this profile and compare.

Kenneth McCune Jr.

On one hand, a few of the characteristic traits matched McCune to a T. Familiar with the area?


Only a high school degree?


Odd jobs?

No established career?

Check, check.

He even slightly resembled the suspect description with his long, skinny nose.

But one thing that didn’t match was the fact that Kenneth was married, with kids.

Knowing what they knew about Kenneth’s alleged flashing habits, that fact puzzled investigators.

It seems that in 1988, Yocolet tried to talk to Kenneth specifically about Darlene’s case.

Here’s a reenactment of that transcript.

Kenny, you’re familiar with the investigation I’ve been conducting into the death of Darlene



Were you familiar with Darlene Hulse?

I knew where she lived.


How was it you knew where she lived?

Well, one time, me and my dad had baled some straw or some hay down a road, and when that

happened, the way it was described to me where it had happened was associated with that particular

year we baled the hay, as far as, you know, my memory goes.

You’d never seen Mrs. Hulse when you were baling hay or driving up and down the road?

I could, yeah, I think.

Do you remember where you saw her at?

I think she, I went down in front of the house and the kids were outside or something.

I’m not sure.

Were there any other times, other than this, that you’d saw Mrs. Hulse anywhere?

I wouldn’t know if I would recognize her, you know, walking down the street or anything.


That was only part of the transcript of Kenneth’s interview with Sergeant Yocolet.

We have this part because the recording of that interview was played during a court proceeding

that we did a records request for.

That’s the only part they played in court, and we don’t have documentation of the full

interview, so I’m not sure where the conversation went from there.

And we weren’t able to find any further documentation about how or even if they tried to connect

Kenneth to Darlene’s case back in 1987.

And obviously, a few similarities in an FBI profile aren’t enough to accuse him of murder.

So later that year, they just moved forward with cases that they did have evidence for.

In November 1987, police charged Kenneth with public indecency for one of the flashing incidents,

the one where the victim identified him.

And a month later, they arrested him for the 1982 home invasion and attempted rape of Pam.

At first, Kenneth had denied the crime, but when he realized that police not only had

record of him calling and harassing her, but they also had collected blood on her doorframe

where the intruder had cut himself and it belonged to him, the jig was up.

Kenneth admitted to everything and took a plea deal for a lesser charge of burglary.

The prosecutor just dropped the attempted rape charge altogether.

Oh, and that indecent exposure case, that actually went to trial.

Kenneth was acquitted, but according to the transcript from his 1989 sentence modification hearing,

he admitted that it was actually him.

Now, I want to take just two seconds and acknowledge how infuriating this must have been for Pam.

All these years, they had the evidence they needed to solve her case,

but it took two more people dying for them to thoroughly investigate it.

And when they finally did, the end result had to feel like what they were saying all along.

Well, nothing really happened to you.

He just broke in.

She deserved to be believed from the beginning.

And I guess delayed justice is better than nothing,

but it meant that she lived in fear for nearly five years before Kenneth was finally arrested.

Despite being caught in a lie over Pam’s assault,

Kenneth denied having anything to do with Darlene’s murder.

He went on to serve time in prison until 1991, and then he went on to live a crime-free life.

His wife stayed with him, they raised their daughters,

he kept a job and even volunteered in his community.

Now, we don’t have access to any of the reports or documentation on Brandy’s case,

so I don’t know if Kenneth was ever questioned about her murder.

We asked prosecutor Nelson Chipman, who is in charge of that case today,

if they were ever able to trace the call Brandy got before her murder,

and if any calls were linked back to Kenneth McCune.

But he wouldn’t say.

I would highly doubt anything in Brandy’s case was ever linked back to Kenneth.

Like I mentioned last episode, her case went on to garner far more attention,

and he has never been named by anyone official or otherwise in connection to the case.

Like I said last episode, after Brandy was murdered, her death really overshadowed Darlene’s.

And former Sergeant Dave Yokelet seemed to take offense today

when I told them Darlene’s name isn’t known around town,

because they say they remember it so well.

But it’s the truth.

After 1987, Darlene’s case had come to a screeching halt,

and it stayed there for damn near 40 years.

That is, until the one daughter, who was too young to remember anything,

started asking questions.

I remember Dad saying, if you have any questions, you can go ask Marie Melissa.

So I started inquiring then.

You were young.

I mean, we always told you.

I mean, I don’t remember, like you said, a knot.

It was never a secret.

Do you remember how old you were when you started asking your sister’s questions?

Seven or eight.

I remember sitting on the steps in the garage and asking some things.

And I’ll never forget one time Melissa said the one thing that she regrets

was not getting me, not grabbing me when we were running out.

And I think that’s kind of piqued my interest, like what do you mean?

Like, where was I?

What was going on?

So then I started asking more.

And I just always told myself, when I get older,

I’m going to do some digging and see what I can find

or if I can ask questions that I want to know about to the detectives.

So that’s kind of where I’m coming from.

And then it got to a point about seven years ago where I was like, OK,

I’m going to do this.

What Kristen would go on to do would completely

the trajectory of her mother’s case.

That’s next in episode eight.

It all goes through one guy.

You can listen to that right now.