This is a special posting for fans of Crime Café. I usually don’t write about current crimes, my preference is writing about cold cases or older crimes. This case is worthy of special attention on several levels. I am also doing a contest for a copy of A Special Kind of Evil – our book on the Colonial Parkway Serial Murders. Follow this blog on WordPress and send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to qualify.
Now, onto my special blog post for fans of Crime Café.
When you write true crime like me, certain crimes do grab you. This one came to me as a result of my son who was visiting us for the holidays. The victim had gone missing before Christmas and my son knew him because he wanted to shadow him at the hair salon my son owns in Ferndale, Michigan. My son, Alex, really isn’t a true crime buff like his sister (and my co-author) but this one hit close to home with him…so Alex, this one’s for you.
We talked about the crime all through the holidays. It was one of those that could and should have been averted. There was almost a Jeffrey Dahmer vibe to it.
Here’s the scant facts that we know at this point:
- The victim in this case is Kevin Bacon. No, not the actor, but the name similarity even brought that actor to share his outrage at this crime.
- Kevin Bacon was told his roommate, Michelle Myers, that he was leaving Christmas Eve to meet a man he found on the dating app Grindr. He was last seen at 5:23 p.m. He lived in Swartz Creek just outside of Flint, Michigan. He was a big guy, six-two, 250 lbs, so whoever took control of him had to have used some sort of means (a gun, or knife) to do so. He has the look of a kind, gentle young man, which makes this crime seem even more horrible.
- At 6:12 p.m. he sent a text to his roommate saying he was out for a while, he was having a good time and did not know when he’d be back.
- Bacon’s car was found abandoned with his clothing, wallet, and cell phone in it.
- As of now, Mark Latunski, a 50 year old Shiawassee County resident has been arrested for the murder and mutilation of Mr. Bacon. This was not his first clash with the law. Two times in 2013 he was arrested for custodial kidnapping, namely the abduction of two of his four children that he had with his wife Emily. He was found incompetent to stand trial and was ordered to undergo outpatient treatment. Eventually the charges were dropped by the victim.
- In the autumn of 2019, the State Police were called to Latunski’s house in Bennington Township with reports of a partially clothed man running outside of his home, allegedly with handcuffs on. Latunski claimed that the man was there consensually and had become, “spooked.” Latunski claimed he was chancing the man because he was wearing his clothing, namely a leather kilt. Both men claimed the incident was consensual, so Latunski dodged the proverbial bullet of the law. This is eerily similar to the Jeffrey Dahmer’s attack on Tracy Edwards.
- Latunski has a record of going off his medication for mental problems. He has been diagnosed for major depression, paranoid schizophrenia and displaying traits of a personality disorder.
- Latunski was charged in the past for failure to pay child support.
- Latunski was married to Jamie Arnold for just over three years according to records I was able to track down.
- Bacon’s father relayed some posts by his son on Facebook that led them to turn their attention to Latunski.
- On December 28 the police searched the home of Latunski and found the mutilated remains of Bacon in his house at around 1am the day of the search.
- When arraigned, Latunski claimed that he was Edger Thomas Hill and that Latunski was his “nephew.”
- Initial reports by several agencies reported his name as Matt Latunski. These have been corrected to his name, Mark. A Mark Latunski is shown to work at Dow Chemical but there has been no confirmation that this is the same person.
I will tell you, as someone that privately investigates crimes as an author, there is a reason that the authorities are not releasing information on this case. This is someone with a history of kidnapping, mental illness, and picking up strange men. It is entirely possible that he has killed before. There are a number of missing gay men in and around Flint. Trust me, this case is worth following.