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MISSING FEMALES One rationale provided for the "no-body-required" rule is that a murderer should not be entitled to acquittal simply because he successfully disposes of a victim's body. "That is one form of success for which society has no reward."

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Old 09-29-2006, 01:00 AM
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Default Melanie Dee Flynn, Kentucky, 1977

http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1416dfky.html

http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/...n_melanie.html
Missing Since: January 25, 1977 from Lexington, Kentucky
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth: November 24, 1952
Age: 24 years old
Height and Weight: 5'1, 110 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Blonde to light brown hair, brown eyes. Melanie may go by names Melanie Dee or Melanie O'Hara. Her nickname is Dee Dee.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A yellow ski jacket, blue jeans and hiking boots that appeared to be covered in hair.
Medical Conditions: Melanie sustained a head injury years prior to her disappearance which may cause amnesia. She also suffers from allergies and took prescription antihistimanes for them. Her allergy medicine was left behind when she disappeared. She was reportedly under psychiatric care at the time of her disappearance and may have been abusing drugs and alcohol.




Details of Disappearance
Melanie's father, the then-Kentucky state senator Bobby Flynn, called her at 4:00 p.m. on January 25, 1977 and asked her to bring some materials home from the Kentucky High School Athletic Association in Lexington, Kentucky, where she worked as a secretary. She promised she would bring the items home after going to a 5:30 p.m. doctor's appointment.
Melanie left work at 5:00 p.m., driving her red 1975 Ford Elite. She turned right off Cooper Drive onto south Limestone Street. Melanie never arrived at her appointment and never came home. She has never been heard from again. Bobby reported her missing three days later. Melanie is believed to have had only about $12 in cash on her person when she disappeared. She was supposed to get paid three days after her disappearance but never picked up the check. Her clothing and other personal belongings were left behind in her bedroom.
On February 8, a police officer found Melanie's car in an apartment building parking lot on Hollow Creek Road in Lexington. The surrounding area was known as a drug spot. Flynn's red leather coat was inside the car, and so was a suitcase left over from a trip to Louisville, Kentucky she'd taken the week before her disappearance. Her purse and the car keys were gone, however.
Bobby initially believed his daughter developed amnesia and wandered off. She fell off a running horse in 1972 and suffered a serious head injury that had her hospitalized for months, and she permanently lost her senses of smell and taste. In the months after her disappearance, police investigated leads that Melanie had gone to Florida. Several witnesses at the Texas Hotel in Daytona Beach identified her from photographs. They said the woman they spoke to had mannerisms similar to Melanie's, mentioned getting medical treatment for an allergy Melanie had, and talked about people whom Melanie knew. The woman in Daytona Beach was never located, however, and it was never confirmed that she was Melanie.
Melanie was working with the police at the time of her disappearance; she agreed to introduce a detective, Bill Canan, to members of the drug culture to avoid her own arrest for possession of marijuana. She took Canan to parties and introduced him as her boyfriend, but he denies that they never had a personal relationship. Canan does not believe the undercover work is related to Melanie's disappearance. Her family believes he is not being truthful about the nature of their relationship; they say he and Melanie were dating and Canan was a friend of the family. He was the officer to whom Bobby reported his daughter's disappearance.
During August 1977, Melanie's purse was found floating in the Kentucky River near Camp Nelson, twenty miles south of Lexington. The purse contained lipstick, a perfume atomizer, and two bottles of medicine, one of which was Melanie's antihistamines.
Bobby and Melanie's mother, Ella Ritchey Flynn, believe Canan was involved in their daughter's disappearance. He was never charged in connection with it, but he was arrested on federal drug charges in 1993. Bobby and Ella theorize that there was a police cover-up after Melanie's disappearance and evidence was suppressed. They have stated publicly their theory that Canan and possibly other police officers abducted and murdered Melanie. Melanie aspired to be a horse jockey or a singer at the time of her disappearance; she used the stage name Melanie O'Hara. She likes traveling and briefly lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was divorced when she vanished. Melanie's loved ones describe her as high-strung and energetic; they say she would never have left without contacting them eventually. Her case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.


Last edited by Starless; 09-28-2008 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Melanie Dee Flynn, Kentucky, 1977

I wish we had better pics of Melanie
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Melanie Dee Flynn, Kentucky, 1977

Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
April 14, 1993
Edition: FINAL
Section: MAIN NEWS
Page: A1







EX-OFFICER FACING DRUG COUNTS CALLED DANGEROUS FIGURE WITNESS LINKS CANAN TO DISAPPEARANCE OF MELANIE FLYNN

Author: Robert Kaiser Herald-Leader staff writer











Article Text:
Six witnesses painted a chilling portrait of Bill Canan yesterday, but it was the haunting silence of a seventh -- Melanie Flynn -- on which prosecutors seemed to hang their case against releasing Canan before his trial on federal
drug charges.
A former colleague on the Lexington police force testified that Canan once admitted killing Flynn, whose disappearance in January 1977 remains one of Lexington's darkest mysteries.
Flynn was a 24-year-old secretary for the Kentucky High School Athletic Association when she failed to come home from work one winter night. She never turned up again.
Several months after Flynn's disappearance, Canan told newspaper reporters that she had worked as an undercover agent for him and provided him with information about drug users and pushers.
Canan said that Flynn had agreed to help him after he had built a case against her for possession of marijuana.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Graham yesterday invoked Flynn's name several times during almost 3 1/2 hours of testimony presented to portray Canan as a man too dangerous to be released on bond.
The first time Graham mentioned Flynn, Canan's court-appointed defense attorney, Fred E. Peters, objected. But U.S. Magistrate Judge James Cook overruled Peters, opening the way for testimony about the Flynn case and allowing the hearing to take an unexpectedly dark turn.
"I said, 'Who killed Melanie Flynn?' " former Lexington police officer George Umstead testified, describing a conversation he had with Canan a few years ago.
"He just smiled. I asked him if he killed Melanie. He just . . . nodded his head, as if saying, 'Yes.' "
Umstead later testified that a mutual friend, drug smuggler Andrew Thornton, once told Umstead that Canan had killed Flynn "because he loved her."
Umstead, who is serving a 36-month sentence on federal drug charges, recounted buying cocaine from Canan for a Kentucky Derby party in 1984. He testified yesterday that he was cooperating with federal authorities in the case against Canan as part of a plea agreement.
Umstead was one of two witnesses who testified that Canan had tried to scare them from cooperating with authorities in their own drug cases because Canan feared he would be implicated. In 1991, Canan relayed a threatening message through a mutual friend that "people had a way of disappearing," Umstead said.
Witnesses portrayed Canan as a vengeful man at the center of a tangled web of fear and intimidation.
William Welsh, a special agent for the FBI in Lexington, testified that a search of Canan's apartment on Garden Springs Drive had turned up 20 to 25 weapons, including a variety of loaded guns and rifles; several small, spiked martial-arts weapons called "throwing stars"; a blow gun with steel-tipped darts; and stiletto knives.
Canan was wearing one of the guns, a derringer, when police arrested him. "He always carried a pistol on his hip," Umstead testified.
Police searching Canan's home also found a police badge, a bag of cocaine, $200 in cash and hundreds of cassette tapes.
Welsh testified he had tried listening to four or five of the tapes but could not discern their content because they were recorded at several different speeds.
Also found in Canan's home were books detailing how to convert a shotgun into a grenade launcher; how to build a silencer; and how to use explosives. One three-volume set was titled "How to Kill."
A hand-drawn and hand-lettered chart labeled "Canan's Alley" showed a large bull's-eye whose rings were adorned with photographs of Lexington police Capt. John Bizzack; former Commonwealth's Attorney Larry Roberts; former Mayor James Amato; Fayette County Clerk Donald Blevins; and former assistant police chief Frank Fryman.
Bizzack's photo was in the hand-drawn cross hairs of a rifle, and several others, including Amato and Roberts, had what appeared to be bullet holes drawn between their eyes, Welsh said.
It was not made clear yesterday why Canan had the poster, but many of those depicted on it were in office when Canan was a police officer in the 1970s. Canan, 47, was fired from the police department in 1979 for insubordination and inefficiency.
Welsh said federal agents had begun another investigation prompted by notes found in Canan's apartment that suggest he was under contract to kill someone else's wife and make it look like an accident.
"I think he's a clearly dangerous person," Umstead said. "I'm scared to death of him. For my family's sake. And for mine."
Canan, wearing a blue windbreaker, black Lee jeans and shackles on his legs, rocked incessantly in a chair at the defense table and repeatedly whispered to Peters as he listened to testimony. Canan was arrested at home Friday and charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and obstruction of justice by threatening to kill a witness against him.
That witness, Robert V. Scott of Lexington, testified yesterday that Canan in early 1990 had forced his way into Scott's apartment one night as Scott's wife and two children slept.
" 'I'm not scared of dying, and I'm not scared of you or George Umstead,' " Scott testified Canan had told him.
Canan proceeded to tell Scott he would leave town if he had to and that he had deposited his money in two separate accounts in case he was caught.
Scott testified that Canan had become suspicious of Scott after police arrested Scott on drug charges in January 1991.
Canan sold 6 to 8 ounces of cocaine to Scott twice between Dec. 29, 1989, and Jan. 2, 1990, Scott and Welsh testified.
"He said one good thing about bombs is you can be done (planting them) a long time before they go off, and innocent people sometimes get hurt," Scott said. "He said he'd blow up the federal building and the D.A.'s office, too, if he had to."
Scott testified that Canan gave him $200 to leave town the day before his sentencing.
Peters asked Umstead whether he or federal authorities had broached the topic of Canan. Umstead said he could not remember.
"You knew they were interested in him, though?" Peters said.
"Everybody is," Umstead said.
The detention hearing was continued until 10 a.m., April 28, after Peters said that several witnesses he wanted to call on Canan's behalf were out of town.
LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER:
DATE: Saturday, April 17, 1993
PAGE: C1 EDITION: FINAL
SECTION: CITY/STATE
CORRECTION
An article in Wednesday's Herald-Leader incorrectly reported that police had found cocaine while searching the apartment of former Lexington police officer Bill Canan. Police found only photographs of a substance that looked like cocaine.
Caption:
color Herald-Leader/Tim Sharp Former Lexington police officer
Bill Canan faces federal drug charges.
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:28 AM
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Default Re: Melanie Dee Flynn, Kentucky, 1977

Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
August 4, 1993
Edition: FINAL
Section: MAIN NEWS
Page: A1







FLYNN FAMILY ASKS PUBLIC FOR CLUES TO '77 DISAPPEARANCE MOTHER HOPES TV EXPOSURE WILL AID CASE

Author: ROBERT KAISER, HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER











Article Text:
The state has no death certificate on file for Melanie Flynn, and her parents still have a bedroom in their north Lexington home they call "Melanie's room."
But almost 17 years after Flynn disappeared, her mother, Ella Ritchey Flynn, does not cling to any false hope that her daughter is alive. She thinks her daughter was murdered, and this week she is going public for the first time with a plea for information about the unsolved case.
Melanie Flynn's disappearance, one of Lexington's darkest and most talked- about mysteries, is the subject of a nightly series of reports this week on WKYT-TV (Channel 27). Each installment features taped segments of a recent interview with Ritchey Flynn along with file footage from past interviews and newscasts.
In an interview yesterday with the Herald-Leader, Ritchey Flynn said she and her family had decided to come forward in an effort to keep attention focused on the case. The Flynns are unhappy with the way police have handled the investigation, she said -- especially in the days and weeks after Melanie's disappearance January 26, 1977.
The decision to speak out was the "culmination of frustration through the years," she said.
"We think information was suppressed," Ritchey Flynn said. "We don't know why. We tried to work within the system all these years, and we were told that if we spoke out we would hurt the investigation. And I just felt like it was time that we told our side of it."
Police repeatedly assured the Flynns the investigation was going well only to dash their hopes later, Ritchey Flynn said. "We have been told 'That's a dead end' so many times," she said.
In her interview Monday on Channel 27, Ritchey Flynn told reporter Karen Oddy she thought police might have played a role in her daughter's demise. "I think they were involved in her disappearance and probably in her murder," she said.
She was especially critical of Capt. John Bizzack, one of the first detectives assigned to the case. Bizzack said last night that there is nothing he can say publicly about the case.
Breaking the silence
In the weeks after Melanie Flynn disappeared, Bizzack said he thought she was alive and well and living in Florida, Ritchey Flynn said.
"I thought that was a joke," she told Oddy.
It was not the first time Flynn's mother has publicly criticized police. In April, Ritchey Flynn broke a 16-year public silence when she called a radio talk show and told Lexington Police Chief Larry Walsh that her views on her daughter's disappearance had been ignored.
Walsh, a member of the police department's traffic division before taking over as chief in 1990, was not involved in the investigation of Flynn's disappearance. Under his administration, however, the case has become a top priority.
"Since at least Feb. 1, 1990, this case has been actively pursued," Walsh said yesterday. "Every lead has been checked and rechecked.
"If anything, it is the most active case that we have."
Three detectives have been assigned to investigate Flynn's disappearance. It is their primary mission on the force, Walsh said.
Will the case ever be solved?
"I feel that we've made progress on this case," Walsh said. "I fully expect someday we're going to come to some end on this."
The mystery of Flynn's disappearance has been a favorite topic of conversation at parties, bars, dinner tables and back fences in Lexington. The Flynn family is well-known in Central Kentucky.
Melanie's father, Bobby Flynn, is a former state senator and a member of Lexington's Urban County Council. Her brother, Doug Flynn, played professional baseball with the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets.
The case figures prominently in a book, The Bluegrass Conspiracy: An Inside Story of Power, Greed, Drugs and Murder, published in 1990. Interest in the Flynn mystery surged this spring after one of the book's principals, former Lexington police officer Bill Canan, was arrested on federal drug charges.
In April, a former colleague on the Lexington police force testified that Canan once indicated he had killed Flynn. Ritchey Flynn told Channel 27 she thought Canan was connected to her daughter's disappearance.
Canan said in a published report in August 1977 that he had met Melanie Flynn three years earlier in a bar while working undercover and built a case against her for possession of marijuana. Instead of prosecuting her, Canan said, he worked out a deal where she would introduce him to people in the drug culture.
The Flynn family said the two had dated.
Final sightings
Melanie Flynn disappeared after leaving work at the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, where she was a secretary.
Channel 27 reported Monday that Flynn, who left work on Cooper Drive about 5 p.m., was seen talking to someone in a blue van near the intersection of Cooper and South Limestone Street.
The station reported that another witness had seen Flynn later that night in Nellie Kelly's, then a Lexington restaurant. She was talking to a man with a pock-marked face and brown hair parted in the middle, the station said, citing unnamed witnesses.
It was the first time news reports have traced Flynn's final-known whereabouts beyond Cooper Drive, where she was seen turning right onto Limestone soon after 5 p.m. the night she disappeared.
The story of Flynn, who was declared legally dead for insurance purposes in 1984, remains an open book. Without a body, a court order would be required to file a death certificate, said Brad Hughes, a spokesman for the state Department for Human Resources.
That has not happened. As far as the state is concerned, Flynn is alive.
Someone, somewhere, knows better.
In an interview with the Herald-Leader, Ritchey Flynn made a plea for information in the case: "Somebody out there knows something. Won't you please speak up?"
Caption:
COURTESY OF WKYT-TV
Melanie Flynn's mother breaks her silence.
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: Melanie Dee Flynn, Kentucky, 1977

Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
April 16, 1993
Edition: FINAL
Section: MAIN NEWS
Page: A1







FLYNN'S MOTHER SAYS POLICE DISMISSED HER IDEAS

Author: Valarie Honeycutt, Herald-Leader staff writer











Article Text:
Melanie Flynn's mother broke a 16-year public silence yesterday when she called a radio talk show and told Lexington Police Chief Larry Walsh that her views on her daughter's disappearance had been ignored.
She also told Walsh, who was appearing on Jack Pattie's "9 to 10 Show" on WVLK-590 AM that police once told her some case records on the widely publicized 1977 case were stolen.
"I have given (Capt. John) Bizzack and many of your police officers names, dates, addresses and events that nobody seemed to care about," she said.
"It puzzles me if these records were stolen from the police department why I've never been questioned again (about the information)."
Walsh said the Lexington police department has always maintained a file on the Melanie Flynn case.
"The file has never been missing," he said.
He said he could not comment on details about the file because the case is still being investigated.
Ella Richey Flynn, wife of Urban County Councilman Bobby Flynn, has not heard from her daughter since Jan. 26, 1977, when she did not come home from her job as a secretary at the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.
The case received a lot of attention for several reasons: Flynn gravitated toward Lexington's jet set; her father was a former state senator at the time; and her brother, Doug Flynn, was a professional baseball player.
Moreover, several months after Flynn's disappearance, Lexington police officer Bill Canan told reporters that she became his drug informant after he caught her with marijuana. Her family disputed that account and said Canan and Flynn had dated.
Sixteen years later, Melanie Flynn's disappearance is still frequently talked about in Lexington.
The case came to the forefront again this week in federal court when a former Lexington police officer serving time on a drug conviction said that Canan, now a former officer, once indicated that he killed Flynn. The testimony came at a detention hearing for Canan, who was arrested last week on charges that he threatened to kill a witness and that he bought and sold cocaine.
Soon after Flynn disappeared, Flynn's family stopped talking to reporters about the case. They said that when they had initially granted interviews, no one listened to them and they thought newspapers had portrayed Flynn inaccurately.
But yesterday, Ella Richey Flynn felt compelled to respond to Walsh's comment that he had stepped up the investigation since he became police chief two years ago.
"I'm really shocked to hear this has been a stepped-up investigation for the last two or three years. No one has ever talked to me," she said.
Flynn invited Walsh to come to her home on McKenna Court and talk. The chief accepted her invitation but reminded her that he had talked to other family members.
Flynn had a quick answer for him.
"My sons and my husband did not know Melanie like I know, and they'd be the first to tell you that. They didn't know her friends like I do. But nobody bothered to ask me. Now if you want some information, you come to me."
Late yesterday afternoon, Walsh said they had not set up a meeting.
Flynn talked about her relationship with her daughter in a 1977 Kentucky Post interview. It was among the last public statements she made until yesterday.
"When people would ask Melanie who her best friend was, she'd always say her mother. It was more like we were two girlfriends, not mother and daughter, and she would confide in me about almost everything," Flynn said at the time.
"If Melanie was going anywhere, she would come home and just say, 'I'm going to Florida' or 'I'm going to New York' and she'd just go. She always told me before she left. And good or bad, everything you heard about Melanie came from her."
Flynn could not be reached for comment last night.
Radio show host Jack Pattie said Flynn's telephone call was not planned.
"It came as a surprise to us all," Pattie said. He said that, as a rule, Walsh appears on his talk show once a month.
Pattie asked Walsh why the Melanie Flynn case had never been solved.
"I think there's a lot of people who need to answer that question. I'm not going to name any names because I've been asking that question for 15 years or more," Walsh said.
"I'm not the first guy who's known about all of this stuff. I think I've paid a bigger price for it than anybody I know."
Walsh said people who have been involved with the investigation on many levels should have been asking why the case had dragged on for so long.
"I can tell you right now that there hasn't been enough action on it," he said.
Transcript of call
Here is a transcript of Ella Richey Flynn's telephone call yesterday morning to Lexington Police Chief Larry Walsh on Jack Pattie's "9 to 10 Show" on WVLK-590 AM.
Flynn: Hello, Chief Walsh?
Walsh: Yes.
Flynn: This is Richey Flynn. I'm Melanie Flynn's mother.
I'm really shocked to hear this has been a stepped-up investigation for the last two or three years. No one has ever talked to me. I knew Melanie better than anybody. I have given (Capt. John) Bizzack and many of your police officers names, dates, addresses and events that nobody seemed to care about, and I was told that all the records were stolen several years ago.
It puzzles me if these records were stolen from the police department why I've never been questioned again. I will not talk to the media. I will not talk to your officers. But I will talk to you, chief, in my home, if you're interested.
Walsh: Yes, I would, Mrs. Flynn. I have talked to your family members, though, and we've talked.
Flynn: My family members, my sons and my husband did not know Melanie like I know, and they'd be the first to tell you that. They didn't know her friends like I do. But nobody bothered to ask me. Now if you want some information, you come to me.
Walsh: Yes, ma'am, I'll do that.
Flynn: Thank you.
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: Melanie Dee Flynn, Kentucky, 1977

Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
August 4, 1993
Edition: FINAL
Section: MAIN NEWS
Page: A1







WKYT-TV FIELDING CALLS FROM VIEWERS, HOPING SERIES WILL BRING NEW LEADS

Author: SUSAN WHITE, HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER











Article Text:
WKYT-TV is acting as an intermediary between the family of Melanie Flynn and viewers who might have information about the young woman missing for more than 16 years.
During its five-part series this week on the much-publicized disappearance, Channel 27 is encouraging viewers to call the station directly with any tips.
As the calls come in -- there had been more than a half-dozen to the station and reporter Karen Oddy by last night -- the station will investigate them and pass the information on to the family and then possibly to police.
"We'll share the information with the appropriate people when it's time," said WKYT news director John Bobel. " . . . Obviously our first commitment is with the Flynns. Obviously the appropriate police authorities will share in the information second."
Bobel says the station is making a good-faith effort to dig up information in the Flynn case.
"We're reporters doing a story," he said.
" . . . The issue here is justice. The issue here is resolution. You have a family that has literally gone through 16 years of hell. The issue is what happened to Melanie."
Melanie's mother, Ella Ritchey Flynn, long critical of the police's handling of the case, had asked when she agreed to the interviews that the telephone tips go directly to WKYT, so she -- rather than police -- could have access to them.
Lexington Police Chief Larry Walsh offered only a brief response when asked how he felt about that arrangement: "Nothing I want to say publicly."
In recent years the Flynns have rarely spoken publicly about their daughter's disappearance. Ritchey Flynn agreed to talk now, Oddy said, out of frustration.
"They've been through so much, and at this point they don't know which way to turn and who to trust," Oddy said. "They basically trusted the station to get the story out. They want something to happen."
Oddy began working on the Flynn story several months ago, Bobel said, after the station "received phone calls and had contacts with some informants who indicated that there was more to be told on the story."
Oddy has since met with some of those people and traveled to Tennessee to track down leads.
On last night's installment in the Flynn series, WKYT showed a 1979 tape of a former WKYT reporter, Wayne Bowman, interviewing an FBI informant, J.R. Durham. In that interview Durham linked former Lexington police officer Bill Canan to Flynn's disappearance.
The series will continue tonight, Bobel said, with a story about "whether or not there was a cover-up and to what degree individuals and agencies participated in the cover-up."
On Thursday the series will offer the police department's views on the investigation.
On Friday it will discuss the Flynn family's suffering in the 16 years since Melanie Flynn's disappearance.
Caption:
Malanie Flynn
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:33 AM
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Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
January 26, 1987
Edition: FINAL
Section: CITY/STATE
Page: B1







10 YEARS LATER, MELANIE FLYNN CASE IS STILL OPEN

Author: Michael York Herald-Leader staff writer
, %BC%












Article Text:
At 5 p.m. on Jan. 26, 1977, Melanie Flynn left her office on Cooper Drive. She never arrived at home that night, and her abandoned car was discovered 11 days later in northern Lexington. Today, 10 years later, police say they're still trying to learn why the popular Lexington woman disappeared.
Lexington police refuse to discuss their investigation of Miss Flynn's disappearance, other than to say that they continue to receive information.
In a letter to the Herald-Leader last month, the Urban County Government refused a request filed under the Open Records Act for the Flynn file, in part
because the case was still active. The letter, signed by Lexington corporate counsel Theresa L. Holmes, said:
"Recent developments in the case include an informant who has provided information regarding possible motives for the disappearance" and additional information that might lead to final resolution of the case.
Police Lt. John Bizzack, who has managed the investigation for 10 years, said that entries were still being made to the file and that new information had come in since Jan. 1.
Bizzack did not say, however, that any break had been made in the case, nor did he predict that the case would be resolved.
He said only that prospects for a resolution were real.
Bizzack told reporters in 1977 that he was "totally convinced" that Miss Flynn, 24 at the time, traveled to Florida after she disappeared. He said detectives interviewed several people who saw her there during the spring of 1977.
Now, Bizzack declines to say whether he still believes those reports. Bizzack also declined to comment on another possibility -- that someone impersonated Miss Flynn in Florida to throw police off the trail.
"There have been events and information developed in the case since 1978 that have altered the perspective of the evidence," Bizzack said. But officially, he declined even to say whether the police department thought a crime had been committed in connection with Miss Flynn's disappearance or whether he thought she was dead.
Bizzack acknowledged that police were no longer actively seeking news media attention for the case and were not distributing Miss Flynn's picture to learn about possible sightings.
Miss Flynn's father, former state Sen. Bobby Flynn, declined to comment about the investigation.
"We've suffered enough with this," Flynn said.
Miss Flynn was very visible in Lexington's social scene in the mid-1970s. Her brother is former professional baseball player Doug Flynn.
The case captured attention like few other criminal investigations in recent years. Bizzack said part of the problem police have had in seeking Miss Flynn has been the initial, widespread publicity and the inevitable stream of rumors about the disappearance.
Several years ago, then-Commonwealth's Attorney Larry Roberts told a Herald- Leader reporter that Miss Flynn had been murdered and that he knew who was responsible. But he said there was insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.
Roberts declined last week to discuss the case.
However, Bizzack said last week that his investigation had not been so conclusive.
"I don't think anyone can say that," Bizzack said.
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:34 AM
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Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
January 15, 1994
Edition: FINAL
Section: CITY/STATE
Page: B1







CANAN GETS 17 YEARS IN PRISON FORMER POLICE OFFICER'S CASE PROVIDES NO NEW INSIGHT INTO FLYNN'S DISAPPEARANCE

Author: THOMAS TOLLIVER, HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER











Article Text:
Bill Canan, a former Lexington police officer turned drug dealer, was sentenced yesterday to 17 years, 8 months in prison for his role in a cocaine ring.
Canan, 47, who was on the police force in the 1970s, was convicted in October of conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and four other charges. He faced a maximum 235 months -- 19 years, 7 months -- in prison, but U.S. District Judge Karl Forester sentenced him to 212 months.
Neither Canan's highly publicized trial nor his sentencing yesterday shed any light on Melanie Flynn's disappearance.
During a detention hearing in April, a former colleague on the Lexington police force testified that Canan once admitted killing Flynn, whose disappearance in January 1977 remains one of Lexington's most enduring mysteries.
Flynn was a 24-year-old secretary for the Kentucky High School Athletic Association when she did not come home from work one winter night. She has not been seen since.
Several months after Flynn's disappearance, Canan
told newspaper reporters that Flynn had worked as an undercover agent for him and provided him with information about drug users and pushers.
Canan said that Flynn had agreed to help him after he had built a case against her for possession of marijuana.
Melanie Flynn's mother and father and other family members attended Canan's sentencing, hoping for answers to some of their questions.
Melanie Flynn's mother, Ella Richey Flynn, said outside the federal courthouse that she was pleased with the sentence.
"It doesn't answer any questions for my family about our daughter but I feel like we do have some good people working on it now and even if we never find out what happened to Melanie, we will find out that there was corruption in local government 17 years ago and I think part of it still exists and I think we'll find some things out now."
Richey Flynn and her family were joined by Lexington police Detective Keith Howard.
Richey Flynn repeated her belief that her daughter is dead and that police played a role in her disappearance.
"I've always felt like Melanie was kidnapped and murdered, and I think certain people in the metro police department had something to do with it," she said outside the courthouse.
Canan was fired from the police department in 1979 for insubordination and inefficiency.
Mark Wohlander, the prosecutor in the case, maintained that Canan was the leader of a drug organization and therefore should be subject to the maximum sentence.
But Forester said Canan was more an equal with those he dealt with rather than their leader and denied Wohlander's request.
Canan is not eligible for parole. Forester did not impose a fine, saying Canan could not pay one anyway.
Canan's attorney, James Shuffett, said he would appeal Canan's sentencing. One ground for the appeal will be Forester's ruling allowing prosecutors to use a videotaped statement of a now-deceased witness during the trial.
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Default Re: Melanie Dee Flynn, Kentucky, 1977

he Kentucky Post
April 17, 1993
Edition: Kentucky
Section: News
Page: 11K







Mother questions stepped-up probe

Author: Associated Press

Dateline: LEXINGTON









Article Text:
A woman broke her 16-year public silence on her daughter's disappearance to express shock at Lexington Police Chief Larry Walsh's comments that he has stepped up the investigation. Ella Richey Flynn, who has not heard from her daughter, Melanie, since Jan. 26, 1977, also told a radio talk show Thursday that her views on the disappearance had been ignored by police. Ms. Flynn, wife o f Urban County Councilman Bobby Flynn, said, "I'm really shocked to hear this has been a stepped-up investigation for the last two or three years. No one has ever talked to me." Ms. Flynn, who called the talk show on WVLK-AM, said that police once told her some case records were stolen. "I have given (Capt. John) Bizzack and many of your police officers names, dates , addresses and events that n obody seemed to care about," she said. "It puzzles me, if these records were stolen from the police department, why I've never been questioned again (about the information)." Walsh responded that Lexington police have always main tained a file on the Melanie Flynn case. "The file has never been missing," he said. Walsh said he could not comment on details about the file because the case is still being investigated. The case received widespread attention partly because Melani e Flynn's father was a former state senator at the time of her disappearance and also because her brother, Doug Flynn, was a professional baseball player. Adding to the intrigue, Lexington police officer Bill Canan told reporters several months after Melanie Flynn's disappearance that she had become his drug informant after he caught her with marijuana. Her family disputed that account and said Canan and Melanie Flynn had dated. The case returned to the forefront this week in federal court when a for mer Lexington police officer serving time on a drug conviction said that Canan, now a former officer, once indicated that he had killed Melanie Flynn. The testimony came at a detention hearing for Canan, who was arrested last week on charges of threateni ng to kill a witness and of buying and selling cocaine.
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Default Re: Melanie Dee Flynn, Kentucky, 1977

Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
April 17, 1993
Edition: FINAL
Section: CITY/STATE
Page: C1







INVESTIGATOR SHARES THOUGHTS ON CANAN, FLYNN

Author: Valarie Honeycutt, Herald-Leader staff writer











Article Text:
In a week when Bill Canan was arrested and the mystery of Melanie Flynn was resurrected, it seemed only fitting that yesterday, investigator Ralph Ross emerged to reminisce.
Taping a segment of WLEX-TV's "Your Goverment" with host Sue Wylie, Ross speculated on the 1977 disappearance of Flynn and talked about his three nemeses: Canan, a former Lexington police officer recently arrested on drug charges; the late drug smuggler Andrew Thornton; and Henry S. Vance Jr., convicted for his role in the murder of a Florida prosecutor.
Ross's pursuit of the three men, particularly Vance, cost him his career with the Kentucky State Police in 1982. When the story of the ill-fated pursuit was told in the book The Bluegrass Conspiracy three years ago, Ross was catapulted to near hero status.
Investigators looking into the recent accusations against Canan -- that he bought and sold cocaine and threatened to kill a witness -- came to Ross for information, Ross said yesterday.
But Ross said he had not been privy to the Flynn case -- or any other police investigation -- for years because of his 1982 conviction for illegal wire tapping.
Ross, who headed a surveillance team, obtained permission from the U.S. District Court to install a telephone device at his own apartment that would
allow him to keep track of the numbers Vance dialed from his home at Merrick Place on Tates Creek Road.
A few weeks later, Ross left town. In his absence, a state police sergeant checked the equipment and notified authorities that Ross had been taping some of Vance's telephone conversations.
Ross said he had been checking to see whether the equipment worked, but his superiors determined that Ross was breaking the law by taping conversations.
The Flynn mystery
Flynn, a 24-year-old woman from a prominent Lexington family, disappeared after leaving work in January 1977.
Canan has said Flynn was his drug informant. Flynn's family has said the pair had dated.
In federal court testimony Tuesday, a former Lexington police officer serving time on a drug conviction alleged that Canan once indicated that he had killed Flynn.
Ross said that initially, Lexington police officers did not pursue Flynn's disappearance properly because "they were afraid of Canan and Thornton." He said Lexington police used to call him and ask him to work cases that targeted Canan and Thornton because of that fear.
Ross said Canan and Thornton emerge as the two chief suspects in reports that he had seen.
He said he had asked Lexington police whether he could see their file on the case, but they told him he couldn't because it had been placed in a bank vault.
Ross said that several years ago he searched for Flynn's body, but turned up nothing after days of digging with a backhoe.
Trying to catch Canan
Ross tried for several years to make a case against Canan.
"Never did catch him," he said.
Once, Canan tried to make a case against Ross. Before Canan was a Lexington police officer, he tried to get Ross indicted for what Canan said was an illegal break-in. A Fayette County grand jury found no evidence of crimes.
"You look at him as a threat and have for several years," Ross said.
"He's . . . unpredictable. You never know what he's going to do. He makes a lot of remarks about his toughness.
"Mr. Canan is capable of doing and saying most anything. He can plot," Ross said.
"He's a fairly smart individual in ways. He can tell you more stories and make up more stories in a short period of time. Part of it's true. Part of it's lies."
Ross said he considered an investigation in which seven Lexington police officers, including Thornton, were convicted, to be one of his greatest accomplishments.
Ross spent years building intelligence files on Canan, Thornton, Vance and their friends. But in many instances, he lacked hard evidence.
He said he could have done much more had he not been arrested.
"When I was arrested, the investigation stopped. Nobody followed through on any of it," Ross said.
The show will air at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on WLEX-TV (Channel 18).
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