Heart Shots | Second Edition
The story continues
Heart Shots – The Shocking True Story of a Dark Day in the Michigan and Indiana State Police is an action-packed true crime thriller. Five shoot-outs, each more bizarre than the previous, sprinkled with suspenseful interludes, make for a compelling book.
More has been revealed
For two years I researched, investigated, and wrote this book, whose heroes had waited over sixty years to have their story told. Having enjoyed numerous Paths Crossed and God winks in doing so, I felt I had looked beneath all the rocks to collect all the information that remained and published Heart Shots in April 2021.
The story unfolds in 1957 when a WWII veteran, convicted sexual predator and parole absconder, picks up a hitchhiker in Maine, who is a drifter with no criminal record. Matched, they embark on an undetected nationwide crime spree; that is until an intuitive Michigan trooper begins to unmask their criminality. Shot three times and left for dead, this trooper is the first of nine heroes to emerge in the following ten hours.
A month after the release of the book, new information began to trickle in from my readers. First was the bullet that killed Trooper Dugald Pellot which prompted me to write the below article, “A Bullet’s Destiny,” which was published in the 2021 Issue of the Michigan Trooper Magazine.
Following it was a rebirth of more God winks. Once again, I was shaking my head in amazement. Soon the heroes of 1957 demanded a Second Edition. For two more years, I foraged in a field where rocks were unearthed and new information found. Blending it all together, this June 2023, I am proud to bring you the Second Edition of Heart Shots.
A Bullet's Destiny
Can a bullet be healing?
Much preparation goes into the manufacturing of a bullet. Its flight takes a split-second, but its effect can span lifetimes. But with time, can a bullet be healing? Such is this story.
It was our country’s bicentennial birthday, and for the past several weeks I had marched by his picture at least six times a day. It was nestled amongst thirty similar ones. An academy instructor had said that you would never see your own picture staring out.
On your scheduled night, on deck to use the pay phone, you stood before their pictures as you leafed through the notebook, reading how each officer had met death serving Michigan. As you waited for your turn, it was hard not to listen to your fellow recruit’s personal phone call.
It was during this time that I first learned that Trooper Dugald A. Pellot was shot and killed in Lenawee County on September 30, 1957. Being Lenawee County was my home, it stood out to me. He was the 21st Michigan State Police Officer to die in the line of duty. By the time I retired some 25 years later, the list had grown to 48.
In the years following my retirement, I became an author. In May of 2021, I published my fifth book in the Paths Crossed series. Titled Heart Shots, I had researched it for two years. Its subtitle, A Shocking True Story of a Dark Day in the Michigan and Indiana State Police, gives clue that MSP Trooper Pellot was not the only casualty of that tumultuous day.
Shortly after Heart Shots was published, I received a phone call from Larry Rothman, a successor to a long string of MSP detective sergeants who had served Lenawee County. He said that he found in his desk an envelope that was titled, “The bullet that killed Trooper Pellot.”
Rothman, knowing I had become friends with Greg Pellot, the son of Trooper Pellot, asked if I thought Greg might want the bullet? The phone line went silent. I then answered, “I don’t know but I’ll check and advise.” Remembering that a 1957 report described a crease in the nose of the bullet, I asked Rothman if there was one. He said there was. Past detectives had surmised it was caused when the projectile was deflected by the muzzle of the shotgun Trooper Pellot had aimed at the suspect.
It would be before the Trooper Dugald A. Pellot memorial sign that Rothman and Korzek’s paths crossed and the bullet would be passed.
Four months later, Greg Pellot and John Korzek paths crossed in Lansing at the grave stone of Trooper Dugald A. Pellot. Engraved on it are the words IN VALOR THERE IS HOPE – TACITUS.
There, John presented him the special tribute he had created, an absolute piece of perfection with unending attention to detail. In addition to the deadly bullet, the shadow box contains other mementos of that dreadful day.
Could the bullet that had a devastating effect some 64 years earlier now be healing? May this special tribute remind us of the sacrifice made to “preserve, protect, and defend” and provide some solace to family and friends left behind. The shadow box is on track to one day be donated to the Michigan State Police Museum.
As of this writing, the list of fallen Michigan troopers has grown to 54, each loss equally painful.