The Murder of the Boy: Archived Images from the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Call it morbid fascination, but I’ve been poring through a a trove of material that my wife Lynne dug up years ago when she worked at the University of Rochester’s Rush Rhees Library.  When I was eight years old, my best friend Cremer was murdered by Mariann Colby, the mother of my other best friend Dane. Needless to say, it kicked off a very messed up period in my life. Lynne, who is quite a researcher, delved into this topic this about 25 years ago when we were dating. As she had access to tons of library resources she requested microfilm from the Plain Dealer Archives (not sure which institution stores them). Of course, back in those days one printed Microfiche onto thermal paper, so all of the pages were  much like a paper based negative.

So, I fired up the scanner a few weeks back and started to process the images. I started off with a Cremer’s picture which appears to be a either a standard “portrait” done by a photo studio or perhaps an photo touched up by the newspaper’s photo department.  The picture of Mariann looks like it was taken outside of the courtroom, her expression quite disturbing. I do remember being disturbed by the fact that my name wasn’t in the paper. It wasn’t until later, after Mariann’s arrest, I realized how close I came to being with Cremer on the day he was murdered.

I’ve added to the mix photos of other murdered children that were part of a companion article on Child Killers. Didn’t get the entire article, so I had to look up the names of the children to get more information. I was surprised to find out that Beverly Jarosz’s murder is still unsolved.

Once again, kudos to Lynne for digging up this information. There doesn’t seem to be much of any information about Cremer Young on the web. In this day & age information like this is quite incendiary; I’m certain that Nancy Grace would’ve hounded Mrs. Colby to no end.

61 thoughts on “The Murder of the Boy: Archived Images from the Cleveland Plain Dealer”

  1. This is a fascinating bunch of recollections. I grew up about 7 or 8 houses down, on the other side of the street from the Colby’s blue house. My family was away on vacation when the murder took place, and I remember how terrified I felt as a ten-year-old when hearing the news a few days later. Knowing the people involved, having walked past both houses every day to school, and having the police come to interview my mother about it made it all so creepy to us kids. There was definitely a feeling of loss of innocence among us in the neighborhood.

    The mental picture I had of the gun hidden in hamburger in the freezer has honestly haunted me ever since, and I have never ever touched a gun because of it. So it is simply amazing to me to hear all the shared perspectives of this personally formative event. I will look for any books that have or will come out about it.

    And I love seeing all the names referenced above. Steve Daniel was the younger brother of my best friend, Ginnie. It was Steve Frolking who was sitting on top of the mail box at the corner of Warrington and Onaway Roads and got hit by the car. He was in my class at Onaway, and that scared us all too.

  2. I remember Ginny very well… she was dyslexic and they spent a lot of time trying to correct her vision. Dr. Daniels was my dentist, and Mrs. Daniels, sadly, committed suicide. Shortly after the murder my family moved to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I lost contact with Steve after that move. When I was in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania I sent him a letter written on the back of a Vanilla fudge concert poster. That was when I spent a year in a therapeutic institution. It has been great seeing this thread pick up and add new participants. The added participants have given this story a Rashomon quality.

  3. Boris, we’re talking about 2 different people. Ginnie Daniel was very intelligent, her father Tom was a cardiologist and worked at the Cleveland Clinic. His wife, Jan was still living as of about a year ago.

  4. How many Steve Daniels were there in Cleveland Heights? The Steve Daniels I knew, his father was a dentist. Also, while I mentioned Steve’s sister as being dyslexic I did not mean to imply that she was intellectually challenged. For example, Richard Branson is a notable dyslexic; think he’s done pretty good for himself.

    Anyway, Dr. Daniels was my dentist, FWIW.

  5. Gotta be different Daniels. The Onaway ones lived a few doors away from us on Chadbourne (between Southington and S Woodland) and our families were quite close. Steve was a classmate and close friend, older sister is Ginny and younger sibs Laura and Bruce. Their folks Jan and Tom are both still very much alive and well.

  6. As Historian for the Garfield Heights Historical Society I would like to invite those of you with an interest in this tragic event to stop by our museum at 5405 Turney Rd In Garfield Hts. We have on file 30 pages of articles taken from the Cleveland Press and Plain dealer detailing this case as it unraveled-microfilm copies from the downtown Library-I would be delighted to share this info with you. Our hours are Saturdays from one to four P/M.Call me at 216-926-3582. Or the Museum at 216-475-3050. Admission is free. Looking forward to meeting you and sharing some rare information!
    Steve Sanducci: Historian, Garfield Heights Historical Society.

  7. I was just a wee bairn back when Cremer was killed. I lived in Akron ohio. I do however remember years later it being talked about by the adults because two 9yr old girls in Akron were killed in 1971. Lorie Crowe and Laurna Ritz. My older sister was friends with her sister Elizabeth. She was over at our house on many occasions. We were on restricted movements for a short time after that. Innocence lost but not forgotten.

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