Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Facts Do Not Change Katie Nagel of Napoleon, Ohio was Murdered

Yesterday my post on Forbes Crime, She Writes about the murder of 19 year old Katie Nagel from Napoleon, Ohio (Words Can Lead to Murder) caused quite a stir in the comment section and on Facebook pages. I thought it would be better to address the comments here instead of trying to catch them all over the place.

23 years ago on the exact same day that Katie Nagel’s life was taken, my own mother was murdered by someone that no one could believe would do such a horrendous thing.  I understand this case only too well. A seemingly loving partner killing the one they profess to love happens day after day and the cemeteries are full. No one wants to believe it and they lash out in anger and frustration.  Believe me, I’m used to it!

Although I won’t name sources, rest assured that I would never put my words on the internet if they weren’t backed up by facts. The facts don’t change, not in this case, nor any others.  Whether the justice system and the media uses those facts in the proper context is another story.

The article was not written in an accusatory fashion, only reporting on what I had learned, and seen firsthand about the case.  I’m accused of being sensationalist using “hyperbole and speculation,” as well as knowing nothing because I’m from South Carolina? Just so ya know, I’m from Chicago!...check your facts, dude!

Yes, I know that we are all INNOCENT until proven GUILTY in a court of law, and nowhere in this article did I state that Mikey Peddicord was convicted of murder, only that he confessed to stabbing Katie Nagel in his own home and called 911 to report it.  While Facebook contains a lot of trash talk, there are nuggets to be gleaned in solving cases, and reporting, but I’m not claiming to be a journalist, a lawyer, nor a member of law enforcement.

If those commenting negatively, and those who have emailed me privately, knew beforehand that I have been working with victims like Katie Nagel for over 20 years, have written three books, and blog regularly about such cases, they may be leaving different comments.  Obviously, many still do not understand the issue of intimate partner violence or they would understand a lot of information about the conduct of abusers comes from firsthand knowledge working with those in violent relationships.

It’s interesting also that a lot of these comments are calling me out personally, as well as what I’ve written, but I haven’t seen much in the way of comments offering kind words honoring Katie or her family and friends.

So, all of that being said, my fervent prayers are with the family and friends of both Katie Nagel and Mikey Peddicord.  This is a great loss to each of their families and a whole community which is feeling the ripple effect of this crime, and it will take some time before the wounds start to heal. After the chaos and grief of this tragedy settles, please reach out and do something in Katie’s name to educate other young people about the very real problem of violence in relationships.  Bring it out into the open; get serious about treating violence as a crime and not just some little tiff between two people.  Help advocates and specialists like me and become active in doing something to prevent this from happening to the next Katie Nagel in Napoleon, Ohio

Below is the Story Link on Katie Nagel.



Anonymous said...

thats all fine and dandy but already? its only been a couple days and already you are putting stuff like this out there? to me it makes her sound like a statistic, and most likely the souce for the comments to you.. the media is a huge part of what is wrong with this country.. just saying...

Anonymous said...

I suggest that before more people comment on this, you correct "Mikey Petticord" in your blog to the correct name of "Peddicord." While you are claiming not be a "journalist," the least you can do is at least correctly identify the people involved.

mileofo said...

The "facts" are the gray area that small town people like those of us from Napoleon are most unsettled about in this case. You are the only person that is reporting that he confessed to this terrible crime. Just wondering why the police would give that information to a journalist halfway across the country, but no information such as a confession has been released to the community or a local news station.

napoleonOH said...

Personally knowing Katie, this article & the comments were enough to make me cry. Her family and friends and our town is hurting from losing someone that meant so much to so many and it's mind blowing that so many people are talking about it.
On January 26th, Michael will either plea his guilt or innocence. If he's guilty, I sincerely hope that justice is served to the fullest...and if he's innocent, Lord please bring justice to the person that is causing all this hurt and pain.

Regardless if the article was 100% correct or not, bringing attention to this matter is extremely important.

Anonymous said...

You know. I think you are right i dont think that people really look at the picture and see everything. they try to find the information and get it out on the internet or where ever possible a.s.a.p. so i think that before people start posting things that they know nothing about. i think that they should seriously look into the people they are getting their info from and start thinking more realistically. i think that the crime committed could have very well been avoided, yes, it was not but it could have been. I also think that young teens and young adults should be coursed on relationships, whether it be in school, or some kind of community program. i think that there should be more concern on relationship and the dangers and signs for a bad one.

San Tan Heights Community Watch said...

I get what you're saying. Since we moved to AZ we've been in close proximity to two people who have been murdered. You never know when and what lives will intersect. But you have to understand the effect murder has on all in in the "circles". To discount the effect is pure denial.

Donna R. Gore said...

This is another classic, well told story of intimate partner violence that illustrates the "seesaw" nature of the emotional control. When juxtaposed around the holidays, we see that these relationships drag on and on... If not Christmas, it probably would have been the promise of wedding bands for Valentine's Day etc...

For others to criticize SMM regarding her area of expertise and very personal and real knowledge is pretty low! Obviously, they are not regular followers of the mission and efforts of all of the professionals working to reduce intimate partner violence! And, Susan is not use these forums to criticize the authors... Rather your ink is much better used to focus on the victims of the crime!
Katie, may you find peace in the afterlife!

Donna "Ladyjustice"

Anonymous said...

You are a piece of work. Every situation is different, and it is not right to claim one is guilty before they are proven to be so. I don't care if you've written one book or fifty books on the subject. You are just doing this for attention. Prove to me that he got on her Facebook and posted in her place, and that he said he stabbed her, and that the poll has relevance then we'll talk, and I won't call you Captain Hindsight. Shame on you for getting in a situation that hasn't even resolved and using it for your own 'reputation.' You are acting like you knew them better than their closest family and friends, get off your high horse. You should at least take down the articles you have posted until you have hard-ass facts to back it up.

Ashleigh said...

I knew Katie. He was obsessed and did make her check in. Bad situation, poor girl. R.I.P.

KJ said...

Let me start by sending my condolences on the passing of your mother. It’s very tragic when we have to bury people we love and sometimes the nature of the death make the healing process much harder. My prayers and thoughts are with you. I also want to commend you on trying to help people that are in abusive relationships. Sadly, often people that are trapped in one don’t know where to find help in order to find a way out. And with people (like you) offering answers I’m sure your articles have helped many people in these situations. And if anything good came out of your article at all I hope it at least helped save someone else’s life

Secondly, I want to state that I did not know Katie or Michael personally, but Napoleon is my hometown and her death has affected everyone in one way or the other.

I don’t think people were upset at the fact that you wrote an article as much as it was the way you wrote it. There was a lot of speculation throughout the whole article. No-one knows what happened during that time. It’s all hear-say and sadly that’s how rumors get started. I understand you want to get the word out on abusive relationships, but no-one knows for sure if this WAS one. And you have to know that given the nature of the crime a lot of people are going to be angry and say things out of hurt, so using a social network like Facebook may not have been the best source for some of your information.

By writing the comment “A 911 call was placed around the noon hour by Mikey Peddicord from his parents’ home, informing, according to police, the operator that he had stabbed his fiancĂ©.”

You say that you back up your words with facts, can you please share with everyone where this fact came from because this is something that everyone wants to know? We are all looking for answers and are trying to speculate in our own minds what exactly happened. When such a heinous crime happens whether it’s in a small town or a big one, people often get their resources from the news and in all the news and papers I’ve read I have yet to see this fact you are stating.
Let me also add, it’s not so much that the town of Napoleon deserves answers as much as it is the families of Katie and Michael, so if you can show TRUE facts that this was admitted then please share with their families.

Here are the facts I found and there are numerous other ones just like it. I am only going to post from two.

According to the article Woman stabbed to death in Napoleon

“Peddicord apparently called 911 Monday to report a possible homicide.”

Nowhere in this article does it say that he admitted to stabbing his fiancé. This is speculation on your part.

Also, by writing the comment “Sometime between the time when Katie was killed, but before police arrive, Peddicord posted a message on his Facebook page that said, “I Love You Katie Nagel♥ ” followed by an eerie reply of a thumbs up in response in Katie’s name, as if to say she “liked” his Facebook status. It appeared, from the time the response was posted, that he may have logged onto Facebook from a computer or cell phone, responding as if it were Katie, but after she was already gone.”

According to the article Napoleons first murder since 2000

“Mr. Peddicord writes at 11:23 A.M "I love you Kate." She responds at 11:26 A.M "I love you too." Police say Mr. Peddicord called them about a possible homicide at the house at 11:57 A.M.”

There is no evidence yet that Katie was murdered before posts were made on Facebook and by writing a comment like this you are making another huge assumption here.

Continue to next post please.

KJ ~ 1/19/12

Anonymous said...

I live in Napoleon. I am a student at the High School. And, this entire incident is being blown out of proportion. People here are losing their minds over one single woman who was killed in a domestic dispute in a small town. I understand why family and friends would be upset, but so many people are involving themselves in something they should leave well enough alone. Do not mistake this as bashing on Katie or disrespecting her memory. But for christs sake, so many people are using her death as a tool to gain attention just because "It's the latest buzz!" I personally know people who are going to her showing that NEVER EVEN SPOKE TO OR SAW HER EVEN ONCE! I truly do feel for the family and friends of this girl. But, take a look at the mockery you are making of this tragedy. People lashing out at each other, threats made over the internet, coming on to this website to insult and slander a journalist who's only intention was to do good? Is that how you think Katie would want you to remember her by? Also, I have access to a police scanner and heard on it that he had TURNED HIMSELF IN. He is also currently on suicide watch at CCNO as I can infer by the fact that in the pictures of him in the jail he is wearing a paper suit which is ONLY issued to prisoners on suicide watch. From that, I find it extremely hard to believe that he is not responsible.

KJ said...

Continued from KJ

These are two of the comments that are upsetting so many people. No-one will know if this is true until the autopsy is released from the coroner, which as of 1/19/12 @ 7:30pm I have yet to see any news on that.

In addition just because some words were spoken or seen on the internet, it doesn’t necessary make them true. You quoted that “He answered a poll that was going around Facebook asking what’s the worst 4 words someone can say to you. And his response was “I never loved you.” As you can see this was the number one chosen answer, but this doesn’t mean that they may be infatuated with their partner it just means that it would be hurtful if ever told that. Besides just because he chose this as his answer doesn’t mean it was directed towards Katie in general. Only he knows that!

One of the big problems with your article is you’re already assuming he did it. You are making accusations that may not be true, and when you write a big article for the world to see, from a site that so many people read from, you have to know you’re going to make a lot of people angry. I think an article portraying how happy Katie was and how much she was loved by her family and friends might have been more sufficed. Like I said before if anything good comes out of your article at all I at least hope it helps save another life.

I want to end by saying, I want to see justice for Katie, but I also want to see fairness for Michael if he did not do this. Bottom line is there are not enough facts to say for sure that he is guilty and although everyone are going to have their own opinions on exactly what happened, it doesn’t necessary mean they are true. If Michael is found to be innocent, sadly he will probably always be portrayed as killing Katie, because people are most likely going to assume he got away with it. This is something he will have to live with for the rest of his life whether he is guilty or not. So rather than portraying Michael as a killer, let’s just concentrate on the fact that a young, beautiful girl was murdered, a girl who was loved so much by her family, friends and the small town of Napoleon, Ohio.

My words to Katie:
“Katie, you were a beautiful young lady who had a smile that seemed to light up a room. You will be sadly missed by many. One day your justice will be served and your voice will be heard, until then may you be the sunshine on a rainy day. May you be the rainbow after that terrible storm. And may you dance like you never danced before. Rest in peace beautiful one. You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.” ~ KJ

Anonymous said...

Many days have passed and the community,families, and friends are still trying to make sense of this horrendous tragedy. The shock has not worn off yet for many including myself. A young lady with a promising future, loved by many, is a victim of a violent crime. On the surface I believe that no one would have imagined the accused could be capable of the charges he now faces. I applaud the authors attempt to bring about awareness of abnormal relationships, as well as domestic violence, as I believe this has been a serious issue in our country. Also, it is my opinion that young individuals are less likely to seek counseling when there is an inability to cope with stress whether it be relationship, work, family issues, etc. It is also very difficult to force someone to seek counseling pertaining to mental health, for those that do I applaud you. This world would be a much better place if more people would take advantage of mental health services in schools, communities, etc. So let us all be aware of the many signs of trouble for our friends and family, just to name a few would be; anger, insomnia, lack of appetite, depression, reluctance to talk about feelings, etc. Please be persistent, diligent, and talk to family and friends about your concerns.

neil schori said...

I was Stacy Peterson’s pastor…and I know Susan Murphy-Milano. I became a domestic violence activist simply because when I learned about the issue, I knew that I must be a part of the solution. When people say that this article is sensationalized, they really don’t know what they’re talking about.

When 8-10 women are killed each day by a boyfriend or husband, it is simply impossible to make too big of a deal out of it.

Domestic violence is a silent epidemic that impacts 1 out of every 4 women. Look around right now and you will see women whom are presently being abused. You can continue to turn a blind-eye to them, or you can step-up and help them to re-claim their voices.

I choose to do the latter, and so does Susan. If you suspect that a woman you know is being abused, send them immediately to

This is ground-breaking work, but it takes you to make it happen. Spread the word.



Anonymous said...

My prayers to you for your loss and to the family and friend involved in the tragedy in Napoleon. Kudos to all who are involved in getting the info out there to educate people everywhere about relationship violence. Had this young girl been educated that this youngs man desire to control her and his need to know her every move was acutally a potential dangerous situation she may have chosen another method of ending her relationship with him than in person. If those who loved this girl were educated that this behavior could exculated to a dangerous situation they may have prevented her from being alone with him when she ended their relationship....and there may have been a different ending for Katie Nagel...a Happy one...So don't downgrade those who are trying to educate people on the dangers of relationship violence whether emotional or physical cause it all can lead to a horrible ending.

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