The Deck Investigates - 10 of 15: Look at the Deeds

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Everyone from the current prosecutor to the FBI back in 87 say the same thing.

Look at where her body was found.

Her killer knew the area, knew where he was going to take her.

If that’s true, we decided to see what the land would tell us.

So we pulled the deed records for the lot where Darlene was found, and we looked at

parcels around it.

And sure enough, right up the road is McCune Farms, LLC.

We talked in terms of coincidence.

I can’t prove a case on coincidence, but man, there’s a lot of coincidence.

This is Episode 10.

Look at the Deeds.

McCune Farms has changed hands a few times in the last several decades, and there are

different plots around Marshall County that are also listed as McCune Farms.

So it’s hard to say which plots were whose back in the 80s, because we know that both

Kenneth’s dad and his uncle were farmers, and they all lived close to each other.

So let’s unpack this.

According to property records, the actual land where Darlene’s body was found was

owned by this Chicago man named George Piascowi.

And some locals have told us that George leased the land to local farmers or timber buyers,

but we checked with the Marshall County Assessor’s Office, and they have no record of who leased

the land in 1984.

They said it was common back then, and actually still is today, for landowners to lease their

properties for agricultural uses via a handshake deal.

So no documents.

The land just north of where Darlene’s body was found belonged to Kenneth’s uncle, Jim.

Kenneth McCune’s uncle, who owned that farm near where the body was found, what did he

have to say in an interview?

I don’t know.

Was he interviewed?

I think they might have made contact with him.

You know, even for permission to go on there, I think, but I may be mixing that up.

I know nothing of significance coming from that.

We found an old supplemental report where an officer did, in fact, interview Jim McCune.

And he’s right.

It was just a general door knocking, seeing if he’d seen anything, or if anything weird

had happened in the area recently.

Nothing about the report stands out, and there’s no mention of Darlene’s body being

found on his land.

So although the prosecutor seems to be aware of the close proximity now, I’m not sure anyone

was back in 1984.

Now, just because Kenneth’s family owned the property near where she was found doesn’t

mean he himself would just inherently be familiar with it.

But if you remember, the court records we got from the 80s detailed McCune’s jobs back


He worked as a bus driver for the Culver School District, a salesman at a used car dealership,

and as a farmhand at McCune Farms.

On Kenneth’s marriage certificate, he listed his job as dairy farmer.

And speaking of jobs, according to various documents from back then, Kenneth worked at

M&M Auto, a used car dealership where he had access to a number of cars.

The question was, were any of them the car?

If police had more thoroughly investigated Pam’s case back in 1982, Kenneth McCune Jr.

would have already been on their radar for Darlene’s abduction in 1984.

And they could have just rolled over to M&M Auto, where he worked, and looked to see if

the car was there.

But now…

So there’s no way to tell what kind of car he may have had access to?



We were aware that he took a vehicle to Florida.

I don’t want to go into that.

Nelson wouldn’t talk more about Florida, but he would talk about how, hypothetically,

you could hide a car if you had the right resources.

What little I know about that business is, things are, you know, they would just as soon

sell it, they would just as soon get a used car, clean it up, add a couple hundred bucks

more than they bought it for, and sell it within a couple days.

That’s what little I know about that line of work.

And the way they do that is they clean it out, or they sell it wholesale somewhere else

to another used car.

And it was those temporary plates that they tried to trail, but without any luck, paper

plates back in those days.

Police believe that the car had metal Indiana plates on it.

So what I think Nelson was trying to say is if the killer owned a car dealership or worked

at one, he could have taken it there right after, swapped the plates out, cleaned it

out, maybe even painted it and sold it out of state.

Now personally, I think this idea of the car being painted is really interesting, because

one of the consistent descriptions about the green suspect car was how bad the paint job was.

Witnesses who saw the car described it as chalky, bad, not normal, a homemade paint job.

But is there any proof Kenneth Jr. did any of this?


There is no proof that he owned a green car, painted one, sold one, none of it.

In fact, there’s a report from 1988 where police interviewed a man who bought a car

from Kenneth Jr. in July of 1984.

This man was Kenneth’s cousin, and he told police that he traded a white Plymouth Valiant

for Kenneth Jr.’s GMC Jimmy.

That GMC was actually the car Kenneth was driving the day he attacked Pam.

The cousin said the Jimmy was two-toned, maroon and gray, but he had since painted

it and it was mostly silver now.

Police took some photos of the Jimmy and got the license plate number.

And that’s the end of the report.

So all that tells us is that Kenneth wasn’t still driving a GMC Jimmy in August of 1984.

So the ties to the land were interesting.

The access to cars was interesting.

But they were still just more coincidences.

If Kenneth McKeown Jr. was at all tied to Darlene’s murder, there was nothing concrete

to prove it.

But we still had questions about him.

So one cold November day, Emily and I went directly to the source to ask our burning


Hi, are you Kenneth?

I am.

I am.

I’m Emily and this is Ashley.


I’m Emily.

I’m Ashley.

We’re trying some old cases over in Argonne.

Yeah, you all might as well just leave.

We would love to get your side of the story.

My side of the story is that David Yoglet is a crooked cop.

I gotta tell you guys, we weren’t sure how this would go down when we knocked on his


We were fully expecting him not to be home or someone else to answer the door, but it

was him.

And despite telling us that we might as well leave, he talked to us for about 20 minutes

through his doorway, us on his porch, him standing inside.

I’ve been through a lot of counseling and stuff over the years.

This is a terrible thing.

I’ve lived a really good life since then.

And it’s sad that somebody like, I don’t even know if he’s still a cop or not, can do that

to people to say stuff that’s not true.

So are you saying?

With no proof of anything.

I mean, obviously, I wouldn’t know if there was proof or not, because I wouldn’t know.

Kenneth was defensive from the get go.

Before we even said what case we were covering, I tried to clarify thinking maybe he was upset

that we were talking about Pam’s case, which he’d been tried for and served his time.

So are you talking about the…

No, I’m talking about another one.

Darlene Hulse?



Most of Kenneth’s anger seems to lie with Dave Yocolet, still today.

He basically said he doesn’t appreciate being a suspect in Darlene’s case because nobody

has ever physically tied him to it.

To have this hanging over me, how would you feel if somebody said, oh, I think you might

You know, because you did stupid shit when you were young.

You know what I’m saying?

Dave, I got to be careful with him because he’s a little bit loony.

I mean, this guy drug me out of a jail cell years ago and started accusing me of stuff

after I had already been prosecuted for that other deal.

And next thing I know, he’s running for sheriff.

He’s going to solve this.

He’s going to solve that.

And he has no reason to even ask me any questions about that.

There’s just none.

So I don’t know.

I think it had to do with the location.

Are you recording any of this?


You should have told me.

That was the moment we thought he was going to slam the door in our faces.

But he didn’t.


It’s sad.

It’s sad that I have to deal with it now because I paid my debt to society.

And having something else come up that doesn’t have a frickin, it just, it doesn’t have


Me, of all people, knows better than anybody.


Well, and if that’s the case, I mean, it’s, I, I agree that it’s like the unfortunate

circumstance of just kind of how similar, how close in proximity.

Well, we were farmers.

I mean, we, we lived in that area.

I mean, the whole Culver, Argus, the whole area.

My uncle’s a huge farmer over there.

Uh, proximity?

Hell, I lived there my whole life.

What’s proximity?

Do you know of anyone who would have been familiar with your uncle’s farm?

Because that’s what we’re trying to get to.

It’s not, we’re not trying to just go with whoever people are pointing the finger at.

We’re working with Darlene’s daughters and we really want to find out who did this.

Not a clue.

Not a clue.

Other than my uncle and his, his hired hand.

Who’s that?

Do you know?


I’m not going to put anybody else into this situation after all these years.


I, every time this comes up, I get, I get to spend the next few months just being bummed

out and stressed out and, and, uh, worrying about whether it’s going to make my family


And, you know, I mean, I already did my time for what I did wrong.

Doesn’t mean you automatically did everything else wrong.

You know what I’m saying?

Would you talk to us just sitting down?

I mean, I’m sorry, I’ve already, I’ve already talked too much.

There’s no reason for me to have to talk to anybody about something that has nothing to

do with me.

There really isn’t.

So you are saying you didn’t have anything to do with the Darlene Halstead case?

Yeah, I think, yeah, that’s what I’m saying.

I’m sorry.

It’s just, it’s sad.

It’s, it’s sad that I have to deal with this.

Well, and I hope that not much longer.

I mean, they have DNA now and I think-



That’s awesome.

That is awesome.

Yeah, they might actually solve it.



Kenneth went back to talking about Dave right after we brought up the DNA.

And he said that Dave has it out for him because he initially lied about breaking into Pam’s


I felt terrible about what I did.

I wasn’t in the, the, I, you know, like I said, I got counseling and stuff after I came

home and, and, uh-

That case, why did you go to her house in the first place?

I wish I could tell you.

It was just like that, spur of like that morning, because you had been calling her, right?

And so you just picked her kind of out of-

Yeah, I kind of, we kind of knew, or I kind of knew them.

And, uh, obviously nothing happened other than being stupid enough to break into a house.

And, uh, it just, uh, an addictive personality got me caught up.

Kenneth seemed fine talking about what he did at Pam’s house.

But anytime we steered him back to Darlene, he said not only did he not want to talk about

it, but he didn’t even want to hear anything about what’s going on with the case.

Do you, have you ever heard any other, like, ideas on who could have been involved with

the other-

No, and I don’t want to hear.

I don’t want to hear.

And people keep trying to tell me things and I don’t want to hear them.

I don’t want to know.

Like who?

Just in general, listening to different things or having people call me and saying this stuff’s

on, been on a podcast.

I don’t need to know.

But right before we were about to leave, Kenneth did seem interested in the fact that we mentioned

there might be new DNA in the case.

What the hell takes so long with the DNA?

Which kind of crap’s that?

I think new technology, they’ve been able to get some new stuff.

So if they came, would you give them your DNA to just rule you out?

They have it.

They took it from me years ago.

If they didn’t still have it and they needed a new sample, would you be cool with it?

No, I’m not going to work with them at all.

They have my DNA.

I went in and into a hospital and all that stuff was taken off of me.

If they were dumb enough not to keep it and not to check it all those years ago, that’s

on them.

I’m sorry.

I have no reason to even associate myself with any of that anymore.

And I’m not going to.

Just to eliminate yourself and then it would be over?

I don’t need you.

I don’t have to.

I know.

I know.

I know.

It makes me sick to my stomach to think about that I was capable of doing the stupid shit

I did when I was young, but it was, my life was different then.

Drugs, alcohol, stupidity, running around like an idiot.

I just wish they’d catch whoever it is and be done with it, but I got my doubts after

all these fricking years.

They’re just going to keep blaming people.

You said you really hope they catch who did it.

Please, yes.

Did you ever meet Darlene?


Why do you feel like that?

Because of this right here.

Why else?

How many people stopped showing up at your door?

Well, this is the first time somebody’s ever showed up at my door.

There was one more question I had burning at the back of my brain, ever since Emily

interviewed Pam, and she said that after Kenneth was arrested, but before he was sentenced

in her case, he showed up at her house and her husband ran him off.

Kenneth’s answer to my question surprised me.

So, she was wondering what you were going to say to her, why you came to her house.

When was that?


I was going to apologize to her for being an idiot.

I’m really sorry that that ever happened, I really am, and I would love to tell her


I really would.

I would apologize tomorrow, if I could, but I don’t want her to be afraid or offended

or, you know what I’m saying, that I would even think about trying to approach anybody,

because I don’t think that would be fair either, if you know what I’m saying.


But, yeah, I just, I’ve screwed her life up, right?

I mean, I’m sure she lived on edge for all that time when that shit was going on.

So, I’m sad.

I don’t know Kenneth, so I don’t know when he’s being sincere or if the apology will

mean anything to Pam all these years later, knowing that it took a podcaster and a reporter

to go track it down.

When we left Kenneth’s house, we didn’t know what to think.

I mean, the thing about everything he said is that you can view it any way you want.

If someone had a bias toward believing he was involved in Darlene’s murder, then him

not wanting to give his DNA is suspicious.

But if he is presumed innocent, which is how our legal system is supposed to work, you

can understand his frustration.

They took every sample they ever needed, and in Kenneth’s own words, if they were dumb

enough to not keep it and not check it all those years ago, that’s on them.

I get that.

Something I didn’t totally get is why he was so unwilling to even discuss Darlene’s


Not just with us, but according to him, with anyone.

He said people would try and talk to him about it or tell him things, and he doesn’t want

to hear them.

It reminded me of a specific part of the behavior profile that the FBI did for Darlene’s killer.

That part of the post-offense behavior section reads, quote,

“‘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.’”

End quote.

Like everything else, that might just be a weird coincidence.

I’m not here to point a finger at Kenneth.

In fact, I don’t want you walking away from this episode or this series thinking he’s

guilty because there has been nothing to date to prove that he is.

There is only enough circumstantial evidence to warrant him being crossed off the list

through DNA testing, which I don’t think is a huge ask.

I could tell Kenneth was scared about what we might say.

He wouldn’t even take Emily’s card.

He said he didn’t want to know our names or anything else.

I think he just wanted us and this to go away.

Not for his sake, he said, but for his family’s.

But, you know, just remember one thing, if you don’t know, you don’t know.

To drag me through a media thing, and it’s not me that you’re hurting anymore.

I hurt myself years ago, and it’s going to be my family, my wife, that’s stuck with me

through all this.

And every time it comes up, it tears open wounds, you know what I’m saying?

I’ve been a practicing Catholic for years, and I was fire chief here for 11 years.

This community’s accepted me for who I am.

And I worked for the state of Indiana for 27 years, you know, I mean, if I was the one

that was the problem, my DNA would have caught me a long time ago, because they have it.

They do have it.

Unfortunately, they don’t.

Nelson has confirmed they don’t.

And it’s a shame, because I agree, that DNA should have been kept and tested a long-ass

time ago.

If it was, and it didn’t match Kenneth McCune Jr., I probably wouldn’t be talking about

him today.

But I am.

Not to ruin this guy’s life, but for Darlene.

For Marie and Melissa and Kristen.

Prosecutor Nelson seemed as worried as Kenneth about us naming people in our podcast, even

if we were abundantly clear that they have not been charged with anything in relation

to Darlene’s homicide.

Nelson kept referencing another case in his county, where a man who’d done nothing wrong

was dragged through the mud, and it did ruin his life.

But there was a big difference between that guy and some of the people that we’re talking

about on this show, including Kenneth.

And I pointed that out to Nelson in one of our meetings when he brought it up again.

The people that we’re talking about, every one of them is on our list because they’ve

done something heinous in their past.


Do you think it’s different ethically to talk about them?

Because again, you didn’t just walk on the wrong street, you tried to rape a woman.

Nelson didn’t have much to say to that.

Listen, I hope Kenneth is telling the truth, for his sake and his family’s.

I hope that he served his time, got counseling, was rehabilitated, and went on to be a good

husband, father, and grandfather who gave back to his community.

But even if that is true, it doesn’t erase what happened to Pam.

That will always be there, because unfortunately, there are some choices, even ones made when

we’re young and dumb, as Kenneth would say, that can’t be erased.

And it’s Pam’s case that keeps uncovering coincidence after coincidence in Darlene’s

murder, even still.

You see, two weeks after we knocked on Kenneth’s door, some more records from Pam’s case

came in.

We’d requested dozens of different documents from when Kenneth was tried for the indecent

exposure and for Pam’s attack, including witness lists, dockets, testimony, transcripts,

letters, and exhibits.

It was actually a request we placed pretty early on in our reporting, but sometimes things

are slow.

When we finally got it all, it was hundreds of pages of stuff that took forever to go


Emily thumbed through them first, and there was a lot of the same stuff we already knew.

But deep in the exhibits was a gem.

Emily ran to my office and slapped a few pages of paper against the glass door.

It was a medical report.

If you remember from last episode, when Pam’s attacker fled, he cut his hand on the way


Well, once they had a name for Pam’s attacker, authorities requested Kenneth’s medical records.

They showed that he went to the doctor after Pam’s attack and got treatment, but lied

about how he’d been injured.

December 28, 1982.

Patient lacerated palm of left hand, getting caught between a metal object and a cow’s


He is able to move all fingers and does not notice any numbness in the fingers.

Doesn’t feel as if he has a broken bone.

Laceration 2.5 inches.

I’m guessing this was going to be used as an exhibit if Pam’s case would have gone

to trial.

After Kenneth took a plea, they didn’t need to use them.

But it’s not that part of the report that was jaw-dropping.

It’s what came next.

The medical reports continued into 1984, and there are detailed reports about Kenneth’s

doctor visits right before and right after Darlene Hulse’s murder.

The first one we found interesting was from roughly two months before the murder.

Now, the reason for the visit was super mundane, I don’t want to discuss health information

not relevant to the case, but there was one line that caused Emily to run to my office.

June 11, 1984.

Patient is here, mainly related to stress.

Also having some breathing difficulty and doesn’t feel well when he spray paints cars,

which is a new line of business for him.

Emily and I audibly gasped when we read this.

Kenneth was in the business of spray painting cars the summer of Darlene’s murder?

We hadn’t seen this information mentioned anywhere else, so we’re unsure if law enforcement

even knows, or if they know what we found next.

There was another visit in the files from five weeks after Darlene’s murder.

September 22, 1984.

Feeling very nervous, under a great deal of stress at times, working 18-hour days.

Normal exam, tender left upper quadrant, probable stress overwork.

Rapid change in lifestyle.

From the medical records included in the court exhibit that spanned from June 1975 to March

1988, there wasn’t a single other instance of Kenneth McKeown Jr. visiting his doctor

for nervousness.

So one might wonder what was going on in Kenneth’s life back in September 1984 for him to be

feeling very nervous, so nervous that he went to the doctor.

In a psych eval that was also part of our records request, a doctor wrote that when

Kenneth committed crimes, it was when his wife was pregnant.

They wrote, quote,

In 1982, he got in trouble allegedly for indecent exposure.

He and his wife were having their ups and downs.

His wife was pregnant with their second child, and Kenny and his wife were not sexually appealing

to each other at that time.

End quote.

Well, you want to know what’s interesting?

Kenneth’s wife was pregnant again in August of 1984.

If you’ll recall the FBI profile again, they theorized, quote,

The brutality of the crime scene reflects anger resulting from short- or long-term stressors

in the offender’s life experiences.

Our research and experiences reflect that these participating stressors can be the result

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

of a significant person, etc.

End quote.

Emily got a hold of employment records from the Culver School District, and those showed

that Kenneth resigned as a bus driver on June 28, 1984, just weeks before Darlene was murdered.

This could mean nothing, but it also could show that around the time of Darlene’s murder,

there were some big changes happening in Kenneth’s life.

To quote Nelson,

Man, there are a lot of coincidences.

But then, there are also a lot of coincidences when you take a look at another crime committed

by someone else just months before Darlene’s murder.

So John Paul Clark is the first time this name’s been brought up?

I mean, where did you get that?

That’s next in episode 11, Bad Seed.

You can listen to that right now.