In September 1986, when a concrete brick hit Wendy Offredo and Dawn McCreery’s car in Akron, Ohio, they were glad to get help from a few strangers nearby. However, in a shocking turn of events, the helpers took the women to a secluded area in the woods where they were raped and murdered in cold blood. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Shattered: End of Innocence’ chronicles the murder and shows how the ensuing police investigation managed to hone in on the killers. Let’s take a detailed look and find out where the perpetrator is at present, shall we?
How Did Wendy Offredo and Dawn McCreery Die?
Close friends Wendy Offredo and Dawn McCreery really enjoyed each other’s company. They were brilliant students who studied together at the University of Akron, and their families mentioned how the girls were known to be kindhearted and full of life. Adored by their peers and loved ones alike, it is still a struggle for everyone to accept Wendy Offredo and Dawn McCreery’s untimely demise.
On September 1, 1986, Wendy and Dawn were driving on Interstate 77 in Akron, Ohio, when their car was struck by a large chunk of concrete. Although the damage was quite significant, the group of men responsible for throwing the concrete soon came to their rescue. The men claimed that they would help the women reach home safely, and Wendy even had her mother talk to one of the guys over the phone. However, in a shocking turn of events, the girls never returned home that night, leading to the police’s involvement.
Nevertheless, officers did not have to wait long to locate Wendy and Dawn, as the very next day, a hiker reported that he found two deceased female bodies in a secluded wooded area. Upon reaching the scene, first responders identified the victims as the missing women. Later, an autopsy determined that Dawn was stabbed in the neck while Wendy was strangled to death. Besides, there were bruises all over the victims’ bodies, and a medical examination confirmed that they were raped.
Who Killed Wendy Offredo and Dawn McCreery?
Although there were no eyewitnesses to the murder, the police learned how Wendy’s mother had talked to one of the perpetrators over the phone before the women were raped and killed. However, the crime scene did not provide a lot of leads, which relatively slowed down the initial investigation. Nevertheless, the victims had their jewelry stolen from their bodies, and authorities hoped to trace the valuables right to the killers. Fortunately, their prediction was right on the money, as shortly after the murders, a police informant revealed that a man named Richard Cooey was selling the stolen jewelry.
Moreover, upon asking around, the police realized that Cooey had also bragged to his friends about the murders of the young women. With just circumstantial evidence against Cooey, the police knew they had to look for a forensic connection. Once Cooey’s DNA matched with one of the foreign samples recovered from the crime scene, officers knew they had their man. Through Cooey, authorities were also able to reach out to his accomplice, Clinton Dickens. The latter’s DNA matched the second sample extracted from the crime scene; thus, detectives finally arrested and charged the duo with the murders.
Where Is Clinton Dickens Now?
Clinton Dickens was just 17 at the time of the double-murder, so he was not eligible for the death penalty. Still, he was tried and convicted of aggravated murder and rape, among other charges, which got him a sentence of 95 years to life in 1986. Clinton hasn’t yet served his minimum sentence, but the passing of Senate Bill 256 in Spring 2021 — allowing teens convicted of crimes to apply for parole if they have served between 18 and 30 years in prison — became a cause of worry among the family members of the two women. Therefore, even though Clinton is now eligible for parole, he remains incarcerated at the Marion Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio.