The Margrette Eby and Juice Williams Crime Cases
Special Guests: Retired Flint Police Sergeant Rick Hetherington (now defense attorney) and Detective Ken Engle
July 17, 2019
Flint has had its share of infamous crimes, including the “League of Gentlemen” scandal in 1929, when a crew of scoundrels at a local Flint bank pilfered millions of dollars of depositors’ funds to speculate in the stock market. The scam included 15 bank officers and tellers, along with the bank president’s son, all of the Union Industrial Bank (now called the Northbank Center and part of the University of Michigan). When the stock market crashed in 1929, the scheme collapsed, resulting in losses of 3.5 million dollars stolen deposited funds.
Head of the bank’s board was one C. S. Mott. After learning of the debacle, he withdrew $3.5 million of his own personal funds ($50, 827, 380 in 2019 dollars!) from a Detroit bank, loaded the cash in to a convoy of armored cars, and delivered the funds to the Flint bank to make depositors whole. The conspirators went to prison.
No crime of that magnitude would occur in Flint until November 1986, and once again, it would invoke C. S. Mott’s name.
On November 9, 1986, a deranged sprinkler installer named Jeffrey Gorton, raped, murdered, and nearly beheaded University of Michigan music professor, Margarette Eby. Eby was living in a small home on the C. S. Mott estate, which is where Gorton was a worker. The case was cold for sixteen years, until DNA evidence put the police on the trail of Gorton, who also had raped and murdered a Northwestern Airline flight attendant, Nancy Ludwig, near Detroit Metro Airport. In 1991, Gorton was found guilty in that murder, and was already serving three life sentences when the case broke open with he DNA evidence in 2002.
Less than 90 days after the Eby tragedy, the worst homicide case in Flint history would follow. On February 5, 1987, six people were brutally shot, execution style on Russell Avenue, in Flint.
Killed was local cocaine dealer and gang leader, Donald “Juice” Williams, his mother, Mary Wiliams, Darryol Humphrey, Deandre Collins, Andre Adams, and Treasie Spicer. All were members of the cocaine ring led by “Juice” Williams.
Most of the dead had been shot at least twice, but Ms. Williams had 24 wounds, and Spicer, 18. Convicted in the slaying was a gang member, Terry “Head Man” Morris, described as a top lieutenant in the gang, but also someone that Juice had routinely humiliated.
A star witness and Morris confidant told police that Morris had taken credit for the slayings. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Doubts about his guilt have cropped up over the years and remain today. The crime is still the most prolific in city history, and is tied with a Grand Blanc murder for worst in all of Genesee County.
Two former Flint police officers, Richard Hetherington (now defense attorney) and Detective Ken Engle, currently with the Clayton Township police force, join the show to break both of the cases down and discuss the facts as well as the investigation that led to the convictions. Amazingly, guests call in to report their involvement with the crimes, including one caller who said investigators told her she might have been marked for death by serial killer Gorton. It’s a fascinating dive in to the dark side of Flint history on this episode of Fish and the Flint Chronicles!