This page is dedicated to newspaper articles and photographs to coincide with our unsolved murder investigation featured in episode 72: Shake It Up: Murder in the Midwest
The original newspaper clippings from the Centralia Sentinal. Many thanks to the Centralia Historical Society for providing us with these scanned copies.
You can visit their website here:
Above: More of the original news clippings.
This is the article that sent me on the "John Wayne Gacy" road to hell.
John Wayne Gacy led me to the Odyssey Foundation, Delta Project, and the "Hermes" publication. Which according to authorities was a subscription based magazine in which for a couple dollars you can list your name, number, and address and be a part of this child sex ring.
We also theorized that due to the national sexual climate at the time, these magazine subscriptions were more likely a 70's era Grindr. That children and pedophilia had absolutely nothing to do with it.
Either way, this was our first connection to the talk of a magazine subscription as well as the term "Odyssey Foundation."
We know that John Wayne Gacy was connected to members of this group directly, we know that John Shakespeare's check cleared less than a week before his murder to his subscription to "Odyssey" and we also know that one of our main suspects, Don Kennedy Majors, also had connections to sex magazines.
The "mysterious hitchhiker" theory was very popular with the Centralia Police Department. So popular, in fact, that it never seemed like they followed any other leads.
The name of this mysterious guy was supposedly "Quinn Devon," an instructor from Ireland. We were unable to find any record of him on Earth.
One Centralia local's statement brought us to a man named "Don Kennedy Majors."
Aside from his arrest records, the most thorough description of his crimes was found in a book by my girl Ann Rule. The book is called "But I trusted You: And Other True Cases" and the story is called "Monohan's Last Date."
You can read the full transcript here, starting on page 251.
Above: An ad for "Pinky's" the restaurant where John was last seen dining with William Wham and a "mysterious stranger."
Right: A map showing the distance between Kalamazoo (where Shakespeare was born,) Chicago (Gacy, sex trafficking ring) and Centralia, IL, where Shake moved and lived until his death.
He also owned property in Lugano, Switzerland; but not much of his life there is known.
The only known photo of Junior Patton; one of the men rumored to be involved in Shakespeare's murder.
Junior was a known dumpster diver and rumored homosexual. According to just about every account of him from locals, however, he was not only harmless but genuinely a sweet man.
Above are just a few of the many memories of Junior shared on the Centralia Memories Facebook page.
Of course, this was only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the number of articles, books, letters, and online chatrooms we read and combed through. Not to mention the amount of leads that came from local's testimonies.
Unfortunately, in the end, we aren't any closer to solving his murder than we were in the beginning.
The evidence has 'gone missing.' The key witness' name was wiped from the records. The main suspect is a man who doesn't exist.
This is a case that someone doesn't want solved, and after 43 years it seems like they were able to get away with murder.