Sermon Illustrations

PROTECTING YOUR IMAGE

Family, others question Michigan college murder cover-up

YPSILANTI, Mich. — As most students at Eastern Michigan University were heading home for the holidays in December, the school put out a news release announcing that student Laura Dickinson had passed away unexpectedly in her dorm room.

There was no foul play, the school said. Staff members assured students there was no reason to worry about safety. The campus fell into mourning, with candlelight vigils for Dickinson, 22, a member of the school’s crew team.

Neither students nor her parents knew investigators had found a grisly scene in room 518 of Hill Hall. Dickinson’s body was lying on the carpeted floor. She was naked from the waist down. A pillow covered her head, and traces of semen were found on her leg.

For 10 weeks, neither her family nor fellow students knew state and campus police were investigating several suspects.

On Feb. 23, Orange Amir Taylor III, 20, a fellow Eastern Michigan student, was arrested. Only then did the university acknowledge the truth: Dickinson had been raped and killed. Her killer took her keys and locked the dorm-room door when he left.

The school’s secretiveness has left students and residents in Ypsilanti, a southwest Detroit suburb of about 22,000, shaken and outraged. For many, the bucolic Eastern Michigan campus had been violated.

The school "lied to us," said Laura’s father, Bob Dickinson. "They let us bury her thinking that a healthy 22-year-old girl died by some freak accident."

Protecting an image? School officials will not say why they remained silent. But parents and the community think administrators endangered students in an effort to protect the university’s image. An independent investigation initiated by the school’s board of regents agrees. In a report released this month, investigators with a Detroit law firm detailed how school officials violated the Jeanne Clery Act, a federal law that requires colleges and universities to disclose information about campus crimes and warn students of threats to their safety.

The report and court documents show that Eastern Michigan campus police either suspected or believed all along that the death was a homicide. Some university administration officials did not know there was a criminal investigation and unknowingly passed along misinformation, according to the report. Others made a conscious decision to not warn the public or tell the family.

Related Sermon Illustrations

  • To Kill A Mockingbird" Is One Of My Favorite ...  PRO

    Contributed by Timothy Smith on Sep 3, 2005
    based on 2 ratings
     | 701 views

    “To Kill A Mockingbird” is one of my favorite stories. The main character is Atticus Finch, a lawyer and father who defends a young black man of rape in 1932. As you can imagine, in that day that was not a popular decision. He’s called all kinds of names and even his children bear the brunt of his ...read more

  • Kathy Bates Was In The Movie "Fried Green ...  PRO

    Contributed by Jeff Simms on Sep 27, 2004
    based on 3 ratings
     | 679 views

    Kathy Bates was in the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes”, but is probably best remembered for her role as an obsessed fan in Misery that won her an Oscar. In Misery Bates plays a nurse who encounters her favorite author at an accident scene in a remote location in Colorado during a fierce snowstorm. ...read more

  • An Elderly Man Had Serious Hearing Problems For A ...  PRO

    Contributed by Jeff Simms on Sep 27, 2004
    based on 12 ratings
     | 645 views

    An elderly man had serious hearing problems for a number of years. His family tired again and agins to convince him to get a hearing aid. Finally, he relented. he went to the doctor and was fitted for a set of hearing aids that allowed him to hear 100 percent. A month later he went back to the ...read more

  • At The Age Of 15 John Stoddard Made A List Of All ...  PRO

    Contributed by Kenneth Squires on Apr 14, 2004
    based on 2 ratings
     | 548 views

    At the age of 15 John Stoddard made a list of all the things he wanted to accomplish in his life. He envisioned himself as a great explorer and put down things like: explore the Nile, climb Mt. Everest, visit every country in the world, visit the moon. His list had 127 goals. When John was 60, ...read more

  • In His Book "The Weight Of Your Words" Author ...  PRO

    Contributed by Jeff Simms on Sep 27, 2004
    based on 3 ratings
     | 485 views

    In his book “The Weight of Your Words” author Joseph Stowell tells the following story: My junior high school had scheduled its annual operatic production. Talented students were quick to try out for the various parts. I was not so certain of my abilities and had decided that singing in an ...read more

Related Sermons

Browse All Media

Related Media


Rich Young Ruler
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template
Selfless Life
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template
American Idols
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template