Freaky Flint History with Joe Schipani - The Gas Station Body November 12th, 1931 #freakyflinthistory


Flint is well known for its modern violent crimes but Flint's history is filled with little known stories that read stranger than fiction. Gruesome murders, weird accidents, and violent deaths. Join us every Thursday as Joe Schipani details some of the odd but true deaths he found in Flint's archives.

The Gas Station Body November 12th, 1931

Shortly after one in the morning on November 12, 1931, patrolman Fred Maschino drove by a gas station on DuPont Street and noticed something lying on the ground in front of the side door between the buildings.

Frank Miller’s gas station consisted of two building, the first was the gas station itself and the other was for storage.

Patrolman Maschino pulled into the gas station and discovered the object on the ground was the dead body of Frank Miller. Just a couple feet away from him, pointing in the opposite direction, was the revolver that shot him.

The patrolman called into the station and requested that the coroner retrieve the body.

Detectives Bloomfield and Martin quickly arrived on the scene. The two men searched the body and found the day’s receipts and cash in his pocket. They noted that none of the money was missing. They investigated the area further and found the register and everything else seemed to be in place. They ruled out a robbery.

It had been raining that evening so one of the theories was that Frank Miller tripped in the rain, dropped the gun, and it fired when it hit the ground. The other theory was that someone approached him to rob him. He put up a fight, they shot him, got scared and ran off before taking the money. Due to the rain, the police could not find any evidence to support either claim. The coroner’s report offered no help. It showed that either situation could have happened. Frank’s death was ruled accidental due to lack of evidence to support a crime. 

~ Joe Schipani is the Executive Director of the Flint Public Art Project and the FFAR Project Assistant at the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.  Find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HauntedFlint/ 

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Haunted Flint Press Release #HauntedFlint

New Book Explores Flint’s Haunted History

Haunted Flint is the newest addition to The History Press. The book, part of the Haunted America series, is written by local Flint authors Roxanne Rhoads and Joe Schipani, and is set to release on September 2, 2019.

Haunted Flint
By Roxanne Rhoads and Joe Schipani
Haunted America
ISBN: 9781467143042
$21.99 | 160 pp. | paperback Available: September 2, 2019

Home to ancient burial grounds, unsolved murders, economic depression and a water crisis, Flint emits an unholy energy rife  with ghostly encounters.

Colonel Thomas Stockton’s ever-vigilant ghost keeps a  watchful eye over his family home at Spring Grove, where guests occasionally hear the thump of his heavy boots. Restless spirits  long separated from their graves lurk among the ancient stones at Avondale Cemetery. Carriage maker W.A. Paterson’s spirit continuously wanders the halls of the Dryden Building, and something sinister and unnamed resides in a Knob Hill mansion waiting to prey on impressionable young men.

Join authors Roxanne Rhoads and Joe Schipani on a chilling tour of Flint’s most haunted locations.

Could the very name of the city have something to do with all the hauntings? In Native American lore, Flint was a trickster God and sometimes portrayed as a villain.

Historical homes, museums, and beautiful theaters are among Flint’s most haunted locations.

There is a little-known tale of a Native American curse that could be causing Flint’s unfortunate events. The Sauks were massacred on the land along the banks of the Flint River. Legend tells of a curse they placed.



As the nation’s leading publisher of books of local history and local interest, Arcadia’s mission is to connect people with their past, with their communities and with one another. Arcadia has an extraordinary catalog of more than 15,000 local titles and publishes 500 new books of local interest and local history each year.
www.arcadiapublishing.com


For Media Inquiries Contact: Haley Johnson
843.853.2070 x204
hjohnson@arcadiapublishing.com

The Ultimate Halloween Party Planner By Roxanne Rhoads #HalloweenPartyPlanner



The Ultimate Halloween Party Planner
By Roxanne Rhoads

Publisher: Bewitching Books

ISBN-10: 1095658379
ISBN-13: 978-1095658376

Genre: Halloween, Parties, Event Planner

Book Description:

Do you want to plan a Halloween party but you have no idea where to start?

Are you in the midst of planning a party but can't stay organized?

The Ultimate Halloween Party Planner is exactly what you need.

Filled with Halloween party tips and ideas, a party planning timeline and checklist, a budget sheet, a guest list chart, to do lists, monthly calendars, weekly to do lists, lined notebook pages, blank sketch pages, recipe pages, craft pages, costume planning pages, and more- this planner has everything you need to plan a Halloween party your guests will never forget.









Freaky Flint History with Joe Schipani - Kerr’s Pharmacy October 13th, 1931 #freakyflinthistory


Flint is well known for its modern violent crimes but Flint's history is filled with little known stories that read stranger than fiction. Gruesome murders, weird accidents, and violent deaths. Join us every Thursday as Joe Schipani details some of the odd but true deaths he found in Flint's archives.

Kerr’s Pharmacy October 13th, 1931

Leah Young was a bright and beautiful young woman who was dating Willis Kerr, the owner of a local pharmacy just south of downtown.

On the morning of Tuesday October 13, 1931 the couple had a quarrel and Willis Kerr decided to call it quits.

Leah was both heartbroken and furious. A neighbor reported that she screamed at Willis that he couldn’t do this to her and that he would pay for it. Later that afternoon, after Leah calmed down, she called the pharmacy and left a message with the clerk to let Willis know she was on her way to talk. Leah then called a cab and headed to the pharmacy.

The clerk gave Willis the message. Willis then requested that the clerk close upthe pharmacy for him. Willis walked out the front door and headed south on Saginaw Street. The clerk found this strange because his boss always left out the back door, which was where his car was parked.

About fifteen minutes later, Leah walked into the pharmacy. She demanded to talk to Willis. The clerk informed her that he left right after he got her message. Leah figured he would be back soon.  His car was still out back.  She insisted on waiting for him in the back office.

What happened next is still a little unknown.

The clerk was busy in the store when he was suddenly startled by a loud noise. After making sure the money and medications were safe at the pharmacy counter, he walked into the back to find Leah lying on the ground, blood spurting from her neck. A gun was lying next to her.

The clerk immediately called the police. When the police arrived Leah was still alive. The ambulance arrived and she was rushed to Hurley Hospital but died a few hours later. When Leah was taken out the back door to the ambulance the clerk noticed that Willis’s car was gone.

The police took the clerk’s statement and went searching for Willis Kerr at his home but he wasn’t there. They then proceeded to patrol the area looking for his car but came up empty handed.

Later that evening, Willis phoned the pharmacy to check the day’s profits. The clerk told him what had happened. Willis said he was at his parent’s house and the police could speak with him there.

When the police arrived Willis explained to them that he and Leah had a quarrel and broke up. When Leah called the store, he was not in the mood to talk, so he went to Lake Nepessing so he could clear his head. He then went to his parents’ home for dinner.

Willis was a respected business owner so the police simply told him not to leave town.

When the coroner’s report came back it was ruled as a suicide. They found gun powder on Leah’s hands and the angle of the bullet hole determined that she could have shot herself.

The only other explanation was that someone put the gun in her hand and forced her to pull the trigger, but they thought that was highly unlikely.

Leah’s death was ruled a suicide and the case closed.


But many people in Flint believed that Willis Kerr killed her.   

~ Joe Schipani is the Executive Director of the Flint Public Art Project and the FFAR Project Assistant at the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.  Find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HauntedFlint/ 

Halloween How-To: DIY Mini Top Hat #Halloween #HalloweenDIY #HalloweenCostume




What You'll Need:

Black Paper Party Cups 9 oz size (I buy party cups at Dollar Tree, pack of 12 for $1)

Thin piece of cardboard (cereal box is perfect)

Thin piece of wire (thin floral wire works great)

Black tissue paper (don't skimp here, you want the thick coated tissue paper. Not the thin stuff that rips easily).

Foam brush

Mod Podge

Scissors

Pen/Pencil

Quart size paint can (can be empty- you just need it to trace for the bottom of hat- this is the absolute perfect size)

Blue painter's tape (I only use this tape for paper mache work. I quickly discovered any non-paper based tape is a paint to use. The glue does not adhere to it and everything slides aorund)

2 alligator hair clips (per hat)

Tacky Glue, Hot Glue or Fabric Glue to attach any fabric, jewels, findings, etc.

Any accessories and decorations you want to add to the hat. I used a hint of glitter, a touch of metallic blue paint and added a resin skull that I customized with metallic blue and black acrylic paint and Gold Leaf Rub N Buff along with a gold colored metal embellishment I purchased on Etsy.



How to Make It:

1) Grab your cup, cardboard and a pencil or pen. Turn the cup upside down and trace the cup onto the cardboard. 

2) Grab your paint can, place it on the cardboard and trace the can.



3) Cut out your two circles.



4) Trace the bottom of your cup directly in the center of your largest circle (which is the hat's brim). Fold in half and cut out the center circle.



5) Punch or cut out the bottom of your cup. It needs to be open so you can tape the brim and top together.


6) Tape a thin piece of wire all the way around the edge of the brim. This makes the brim flexible and will make it hold shape. The shape may get bent up as you attach your tissue paper, be sure to reshape it to your desired design before the hat dries. 



7) Tape your brim to your top. And the other cardboard circle to the very top of the cup.




8) Cut your tissue paper into long strips and small squares.

9) Coat a spot with Mod Podge, then firmly attach the tissue paper. Coat the top of that with Mod Podge. Smooth with the foam brush.

10) Continue this until the entire hat is covered. I usually start under the hat, then do the top of the hat then work my way through the middle.

The tissue paper will wrinkle (that's good, wrinkles add texture which ends up looking great). Some might tear. If it tears or you get a bald spot just add another piece of paper. Depending on how thick your tissue paper is you'll probably need at least two layers of paper. Do this all at once. Do not let it dry then re-coat. You want it to all blend together and dry together.

The end result should look almost like an old textured leather hat.

I added a bit of glitter to the one below. It'll have less once I brush all the excess off. 



For my customization I first added a metal embellishment. I bent it to fit the hat and glued it on with jewelry glue.



Then I added a resin skull that I painted with metallic blue and black acrylic then added Gold Leaf Rub N Buff over the top.




Freaky Flint History with Joe Schipani - Mother-In-Law January 13th, 1932


Flint is well known for its modern violent crimes but Flint's history is filled with little known stories that read stranger than fiction. Gruesome murders, weird accidents, and violent deaths. Join us every Thursday as Joe Schipani details some of the odd but true deaths he found in Flint's archives.


Mother-In-Law January 13th, 1932

In January of 1932 Santo Valvano and his seventeen year old bride, Camella, had been married for less than a year. Camella, being so young, insisted that they live with her mother so she could help raise her little sister Katherine. Santo agreed but tension quickly built between him and his mother-in-law.

Camella’s mother, a strong Italian woman, had visions of how her daughter’s life should be, and when those conditions weren’t met, she took it out on Santo.

On January 13th, Santo had enough of his mother-in-law’s yelling. As she screamed at him, he stormed to his room, grabbed a club, and started beating her with it.

Camella and Elizabeth both rushed to their mother’s aid and wrenched the club away from Santo. This only made him more angry. He then ran into his room in a rage and grabbed a knife. He hit his mother-in-law in the face but did not do much damage. Again, Camella and her sister came to their mother’s aid.

Elizabeth decided to call the police. Santo ran after her, catching her on the stairs. He stabbed her in the arm and threw her down the stairs. Camella ran to her sister’s rescue as she descended the stairs she started hitting Santo.

He stabbed Camella in the back and threw her down the stairs.

Elizabeth managed to crawl outside and scream for help. One of the neighbors heard her cry and called the police.

By the time the police got there, Santo was gone.
The police launched a manhunt for him while the three women were taken to the hospital. The doctors patched up Camella’s mother and sister and released them the next day.

Camella was not so lucky. The knife had penetrated her lung.  She died that evening at Hurley Hospital.


During Camella’s funeral Santo was in court. His lawyer entered a plea of not guilty due to temporary insanity. He claimed that his Mother-in-law drove him to the breaking point and that she was the true criminal. The judge did not find enough evidence to support his plea. 

He was sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder.    

~ Joe Schipani is the Executive Director of the Flint Public Art Project and the FFAR Project Assistant at the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.  Find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HauntedFlint/