‘Park Predators’: New podcast sheds light on Girard murder case | News, Sports, Jobs

Detective Sgt. Doug Heslip of the City of Marquette Police Department in September 2018 points to the area of ​​Presque Isle Park in Marquette where Paul Girard was found murdered in September 1988. (File photo)

Right, investigative reporter Delia D’Ambra wrote a podcast, “The Isle,” which focuses on the Girard case. The murder of Girard, whose body was found in Presque Isle Park, remains unsolved. (Photo courtesy of Delia D’Ambra)

MARQUETTE – An unsolved Marquette murder case over three decades ago is the subject of a new podcast that sheds light on one of the region’s biggest mysteries – and may even be a catalyst to solving it .

What happened to Paul Girard at Presque Isle Park in September 1988 and who killed him?

That’s what investigative journalist Delia D’Ambra explores in season 2 of audiochuck’s top-rated podcast, “Park predators”.

The tagline on its website, parkpredators.com, reads, “Sometimes the most beautiful places hide the darkest secrets.”

One of these secrets concerns the Girard affair.

The episode that came out on Tuesday, “The island”, features details and new findings from the homicide detective working on this cold case.

On September 30, 1988, Girard, 34, a resident of Marquette, was discovered near Chief Kawbawgam’s grave in Presque Isle Park just after 10 a.m. by two people walking through the park. Shortly after, police were called to the scene where they discovered Girard had suffered dozens of stab wounds at the hands of an assailant.

In 2020, the municipal police of Marquette published a sketch of a person of interest in connection with the Girard case, but no arrests were made.

However, Girard’s murder is still on people’s radar.

“It really feels like people there talk a lot, so the real intention of putting it on such a big platform like ‘Park Predators’ is to beat that drum again,” said d’Ambra.

While Girard’s murder is well known locally, it is not necessarily nationally true.

D’Ambra said finding less publicized cases was a priority for her as she worked on Season 2.

“Paul’s case really hit me because there was so little information on it, and it just seemed like there might be potential for resolution just on the basis of the information I could. find”, said d’Ambra.

Once she contacted the Marquette Police Department, it was obvious to her that she had to make history because the department was very welcoming and wanted to disseminate information in an effort to determine who killed Girard.

“It really looked like they had this narrow pool, but they’re kind of waiting for this break,” said d’Ambra.

She believes the case is about to be resolved, or at least on the verge of getting a more detailed profile of a person of interest.

D’Ambra spoke with Detective Sgt. Doug Heslip of the MPD regarding the case.

“The podcast overall was good,” Heslip told the Mining Journal.

However, he acknowledged that obtaining DNA evidence is “still a way on the road again” and will not be available this summer.

“We will see how the technology evolves” Heslip said.

Heslip noted that he has a # 1 suspect, but is waiting for a piece of what he said was a puzzle in a case with moving parts.

He also has more people he needs to talk to.

“It’s so interesting” Heslip said. “It’s a mad rush.”

D’Ambra called the Girard case “the quintessence” law enforcement agency – in this case, the “determined” and “enthusiastic” MPD – doing everything possible to resolve a case and obtain information.

“I think that’s exactly what made this case so compelling, and I know the listeners ‘comments we’ve received are like,’ Oh, my gosh. I didn’t even know it existed ”, said d’Ambra.

D’Ambra said it takes about a business week to create a full episode of “Park predators”.

She has extensive experience in the broadcasting industry, working for local affiliate stations at NBC in Fort Myers, Florida, and Charlottesville, Virginia. She is currently a producer and host for audiochuck.

D’Ambra specializes in homicide and unsolved crime re-investigation, but she is also an outdoor enthusiast on a mission to visit all of North America’s national parks.

Other “Park predators” episodes include “Local,” published on June 1, the description of which reads as follows: “A Tennessee man who knew Great Smoky Mountains National Park like the back of his hand disappears into the forest surrounding his 100-acre property. The only clue left behind is an idling ATV, indicating that he stumbled upon something sinister and never saw the light of day again.

The scheduled release on Tuesday is “Housewives”, which has this description: “In 1960, three Chicago housewives never made it out of Starved Rock State Park alive, and the Illinois police quickly realized that a piece of nature was the murder weapon. The investigation focuses on a predator that was hiding in plain sight. “

D’Ambra said that when cases are presented in a podcast in a linear fashion, people understand the story better and get a timeline of events, especially with older cases.

After all, the criminal justice system has changed over the decades.

“It’s always something that I watch when I write these episodes”, From Ambra.

Podcasts are slated to run through August.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. His email address is [email protected]

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