Jodi Parrack murder solved 8 years after suspicion cast on ex-cop
02/23/2017 4:47 pm PST
UPDATE Dec. 10, 2019:
Ray McCann has filed a lawsuit two years after his wrongful conviction for perjury was thrown out. McCann said his constitutional rights were violated by various police officers in St. Joseph County. He filed a lawsuit last week in federal court.
The lawsuit alleges that McCann was the victim of a “corrupt scheme” by police.
McCann’s criminal case was reopened after an investigation by law schools at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. The state of Michigan agreed to pay $40,000 for McCann’s time in prison under a law that compensates the wrongly convicted.
More than a decade after Jodi Parrack was murdered in her hometown, Ray McCann II has finally cleared his name, WOOD-TV reports from Michigan. St. Joseph County Circuit Judge Paul Stutesman on Thursday set aside his conviction of perjury. McCann already had served 20 months behind bars after pleading no contest to that charge.
February 23, 2017:
One of the most twisted killers you've probably never heard of. A murderer who police say kept a "kill list" of potential young girl victims at his home.
It all started with the disappearance of 11-year-old Jodi Parrack.
Crime Watch Daily has new details on the horrifying case of 11-year-old Jodi Parrack.
One moment little Jodi Parrack was playing at a friend's house on Nov. 8, 2007. The next she was gone.
Jodi Parrack's own mother finds her 11-year-old daughter lying murdered at the foot of a headstone in a dark, lonely cemetery in 2007.
And cops desperately try to catch the unspeakable monster who sexually assaulted and slowly smothered Jodi to death before he can strike again.
Jodi's mother Jo returned to the cemetery with Crime Watch Daily's Andrea Isom and painfully relives that terrible moment she found Jodi dead.
Investigators learned Jodi had been sexually assaulted, bound and tortured before being slowly smothered with a plastic bag tied around her head.
Missing 11-year-old Jodi Parrack is eventually found dead in a cemetery. And police bring in one of their own for questioning, an officer who seemed to predict where her body would be discovered. Was it just a strange coincidence or did he know where she was the whole time?
Reserve police officer Raymond McCann repeatedly urged others out looking for Jodi Parrack to check the local cemetery. Constantine, Michigan Police brought McCann in for questioning.
Officer McCann denies he already knew Jodi's body was in the cemetery when he was encouraging other searchers to look there. But investigators are convinced Officer McCann had something to do with Jodi's death.
Then another little girl is brutally attacked in a neighboring town. But she survives to help cops finally cage the monster who murdered Jodi Parrack.
Who killed Jodi Parrack? The 11-year-old was attacked and murdered while riding a bike home from a friend's house.
From the moment little Jodi went missing, police zeroed-in on a prime suspect: A former reserve police officer named Ray McCann.
After Jodi's mom Jo begs them to keep the case open, state police cold-case detectives shake the tree one last time. And in a surprising move, they very belatedly charge Raymond McCann with five counts of perjury for lying to investigators.
Several people, including Jo, had said McCann made up stories about the night of Jodi's murder. McCann eventually accepts a deal, pleading "no contest" to one of five perjury counts, one alleging he lied about another conversation on the night of the search for Jodi.
McCann was sentenced to 20 months to 20 years in prison. And cops believe they at least have Jodi's killer safely behind bars as they buy time to gather enough evidence to charge him with her murder.
But then something happens that stops investigators dead in their tracks: While McCann is still locked up, another little girl is attacked in a neighboring town.
Ten-year-old Mackenzie Stafford is riding her bike, just like Jodi, when she's approached by an elderly neighbor. Then he attacks, and as he drags her and tries to close the garage door, he grabs a knife and slashes at Mackenzie. But the brave little girl miraculously escapes with only a minor knife wound to her torso and some bruises and abrasions on her arms and shoulders.
And Mackenzie Stafford leads police investigating Jodi Parrack's murder right to the door of 65-year-old Daniel Furlong.
Then, lab tests come back: Furlong's DNA is a match with the DNA found on Jodi's body.
Mackenzie Stafford survived her violent run-in with Daniel Furlong. Sadly, Jodi Parrack did not. And after years of living under the radar, Furlong is about to reveal never-before-known details about the murder.
Police say the man who committed this crime left a list of young girls in his neighborhood. And if things had gone as planned, he likely would have killed again.
After being arrested, Daniel Furlong, a 65-year-old grandfather, admitted to police he planned to kill Mackenzie too.
Police believe Furlong had targeted other victims after finding a list of names of young neighborhood girls, including Mackenzie's, written on a wall in his garage.
Furlong finally admits they were all girls who knew his grandson.
Detectives want to know if he's killed other children, including 6-year-old Brittney Beers, another local girl who went missing 10 years before Jodi's murder.
Furlong again swears Jodi was his sole victim. But Furlong did tell in sickening detail how he murdered Jodi after lying in wait for her.
Furlong says that like Mackenzie Stafford, Jodi Parrack came riding by his home on her bike. Then, Furlong says, he grabbed Jodi, threw her onto some steps in the rear of the house, and bound her hands behind her back with zip-ties. Furlong tells detectives Jodi began pleading with him. He says he then put her in a boat he kept in the garage, climbed in with her and undid her blouse.
Furlong says he began to panic. He tells detectives he then tied a plastic bag around Jodi's head, and he says her body finally went limp. Furlong says he left the bag tied around Jodi's head as he dragged her out of the boat, put her in his truck and took her to the cemetery near her home. He says he dragged Jodi's body from the truck and laid her to rest at somebody else's grave.
For nearly eight years, Ray McCann lived in a cloud of suspicion in the murder of Jodi Parrack. But now police are sure the real killer is Daniel Furlong -- a sicko that prosecutors think would have killed again if he wasn't stopped.
In a plea deal Furlong got 30 to 60 years in prison for second-degree murder.
As for Ray McCann, who had been wrongly suspected of involvement in Jodi's murder for eight years, he had every reason to think that the capture of her real killer would finally set him free. McCann, who had lost his job as a cop and was still serving time for allegedly lying to homicide investigators, was even happier when he soon got a prison visit from police brass.
Because police now suspected Ray McCann knew Daniel Furlong, despite no evidence, no DNA linking McCann to Jodi's murder, and Furlong himself having denied knowing McCann during his confession.
And Raymond McCann insists to Crime Watch Daily's Andrea Isom in his first national TV interview that he doesn't know Furlong.
Police had learned that Furlong and McCann were coaches in local youth sports at the same time and found it difficult to believe the two hadn't met.
McCann was released from prison after serving 20 months of a possible maximum 20-year sentence. He denies he lied to investigators during his interrogation.
Now even Michigan State Police Detective Sergeant Shane Criger, who always believed McCann had something to do with Jodi Parrack's murder, has now come to believe he was wrongly suspected.
Jodi's mother says she is satisfied she's fulfilled a private vow to not rest until her daughter's killer was brought to justice.