A convicted pedophile and suspected abductor has been found dead. Ready to cheer? Hold your applause. Because before Michael James Klunder was discovered, cops say he kidnapped two girls. A 12-year-old escaped, but 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard is still missing. With Klunder's death, the cops have little to go on to find the missing girl.
Sadly, that's just the beginning of the tragedies surrounding the 42-year-old's mysterious death.
Cops now think Klunder may have been responsible for the abduction and murder of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Morrissey, the two little girls from Iowa whose disappearance last summer had the entire country on edge. If they're right, that means the Morissey and Cook families also just lost a chance to get answers from their daughters' killer.
Answers beyond the fact that Klunder was a convicted sex offender, who was responsible for the kidnappings of two 3-year-old girls and a 21-year-old woman in December 1991. He was sentenced to 41 years for the crimes but spent less than two decades in jail.
If cops' suspicions prove correct, he kidnapped and killed Lyric and Elizabeth just a year after finishing work release. Then came the abduction of Kathlynn and an unnamed 12-year-old on Monday afternoon at a bus stop. The latter girl bravely escaped.
Good for her.
But what about her fellow captive? What of her?
This is where a live pedophile would pretty darn useful.
We don't know how he died yet. There are rumors that he might have committed suicide -- in which case, there's little that could be done by authorities. On the other hand, if he was killed by someone, it's proof once again WHY vigilante justice doesn't work. Sure, a pedophile is dead, but at what cost?
A powerful lesson in celebrating death, isn't it?
Kathlynn Shepard's family is devastated. The Cook and Morrissey families are desperate.
And what of poor Kathlynn? Is she out there, alone and scared, waiting to be rescued? Could we still help her?
Without Klunder, who knows?
What is your first inclination when you hear "dead pedophile"? Do you tend to cheer?
Image via police handout