Indiana Serial Killer Vann Exposes our Law Enforcement Agencies Two-fold

One must wonder about several things that has grown out of the article from Crown Point, Indiana regarding Darren Deon Vann “a suspect in the killings of seven women in Indiana.  The first was the lack of reporting those missing, if true, after what many states declare as “waiting time”, the second would be as the desire or lack of desire that law enforcement put forth because of the occupation that many of the women had and finally the withholding of that information from civilian authorities if Vann attempted these acts while serving in the Marines.  Was this not placed in a priority position because of their occupation and or because it did not get reported.  Neither of these questions may ever be known but they are worth exploring.

It was reported that “Vann, 43, so far has been charged with strangling a 19-year-old woman in a Hammond motel Friday night and officials say murder charges in the deaths of three of six other women found in vacant buildings in Gary are expected this week. Vann gave police information to help find those women, authorities said.  Police said Vann, a convicted sex offender, claimed to have killed more people over the past 20 years, but investigators are working with statements about other killings that are "very vague," said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Bob Ramsey, who is in charge of the agency's Merrillville office.  Vann has a violent criminal history, records show. He was accused of sexually assaulting and trying to strangle a 25-year-old woman in Texas in 2007, according to records. DNA on her clothing matched Vann, and he pleaded guilty to sexual assault and served five years in prison before his release in July 2013, according to records and Texas officials.  Records show Vann registered as a sex offender in Lake County, Ind., about a month after his release, giving a Gary address.  One of the women who have been identified, Teaira Batey, 28, of Gary had been missing since January. A second woman, Anith Jones, 35, of Merrillville was reported missing by a friend who had last seen her Oct. 7, according to a missing persons report. Vann is also a suspect in the slaying of Kristine Williams, 36, of Gary, police said.  Police had been looking for Batey and Jones, Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said.  "We are confident that the police have followed up every lead. And that they did actively work the cases."

It should have been expected for the Mayor of Gary and even its police chief to say that the police department followed every lead and actively worked the case but it still leaves one wondering especially since this sentence was found in the report, “Although there were many missing persons reports, the authorities had no reason to believe there was a serial killer in the area, though some of the victims were described as transient and involved in drugs or prostitution.”  This statement kind of says it all and with the history of some law enforcement departments not putting as much emphasis on those gone missing who are believed to be transient, drugs users or prostitutes, it could cause one pause.  It was also reported, if true, that some of those any missing never was reported to police as missing which could have flipped a switch in the minds of some and added a little bit more of a rush to finding them.  This fault must be carried by those who knew them best like friends and family who did not report but should have.

Vann’s travel may be a little more extensive than just Gary, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois because it was also reported that FBI Special Agent “Ramsey confirmed that Vann had served in the Marines from November 1991 until September 1993. He received an "other than honorable" discharge, Ramsey said, for what he described as "a pattern of minor disciplinary infractions." Ramsey would not say what information Vann has given investigators that could pertain to his past.”  While I am very disappointed that a fellow Marine could have committed such acts toward another not an enemy, I would be even more disappointed that Vann attempted these acts while serving and no one advised the place where he was discharged to about it.  I would be saddened to find out that my branch of the military did not send CID and NCIS agents to every installation where Vann served his 3 years to see if he attempted or accomplished these acts there.  No one wakes up with the desire to kill and only after succeeding the first time do they ever seriously think about doing it again, with this being said, did Vann get a head start on these acts and if so when and who knew.


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