Published: 08 March 2017
SERIES: WHO KILLED SCOTT MACKLEM? Author’s Note: Every wrongful conviction causes dual torment: the torment of the innocent yet imprisoned individual, and the social torment that the actual perpetrator remains free. This blog focuses primarily on the latter, in the hope that we will gain more knowledge about the murderer of Scott Macklem.
Post #2: Reputations You may wonder how the investigation of the murder of Scott Macklem resulted in a wrongful conviction. Scott was 20 years old when he was found shot to death in a parking lot at St. Clair County Community College on November 5, 1986. Scott grew up in Croswell, Michigan. His father was elected Mayor of Croswell in 1982, while Scott was attending Croswell-Lexington High School. Scott’s father also owned an insurance agency in Croswell. He was an influential member of the community.
Although Scott was a good student and excellent athlete in high school, there is evidence that things changed after he graduated. He was slipping as a student at St. Clair County Community College, and didn’t have the ambition one would expect from the son of such a successful and prominent father. There is broad speculation that Scott had become involved in using cocaine, and that he may have even been involved in dealing cocaine. If this is true, and they were aware of (or even suspected) this, it was undoubtedly embarrassing to his family, and to his pregnant fiancée.
Mysteriously, no one involved in the investigation of Scott’s murder focused on any information about Scott’s lifestyle and associations in 1986 and 1987.
Rather than focusing on Scott, the police pursued a different angle, and one that led them to a person of “bad character.” This person could be the fall guy for the widely publicized murder of an influential person’s son. Is it possible that the investigation intentionally sought to avoid making public any information that would damage Scott’s reputation, or that of his family?
In addition to avoiding the potential embarrassment of revealing Scott’s possible involvement with drugs, the conviction, albeit wrongful, also undoubtedly brought emotional closure to his family and friends. This may have been understandable, but it certainly wasn’t justifiable. Thirty years later it’s trumped a hundred-fold by the fact that an innocent man has been incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit. It’s trumped a thousand-fold by the fact that Scott’s murderer is still at large.
There is no intent on my part to disrespect the memory of Scott Macklem, or to disrespect Scott’s family. What I respect is the truth. And there has been a paucity of truth from th