It was Christmas Eve and Kevin Showalter just wanted to go home.
But first he had to face the rubber on the ground.
Showalter was a 20-year-old college student and he and his girlfriend, Debra Emilyta, were only two blocks from home when he blew out his tire. 19659003] Frustrated, as it was before 11pm, he stopped and Showalter jumped out to change it quickly. Being leafy New London, Connecticut, the streets were dimly lit, and the neighborhood was a dormant, yet collegiate. While Showalter crouched to change the wheel, a vehicle darted along the road and hit it at speed.
As the car pulled down the dark street, Emilyta and many villagers came out of their homes in confusion, saw the tail lights dim, but did not get a description of the car.
The ambulance arrived four minutes later and Kevin was pronounced dead.
Two policemen woke Kevin's mother to give the news.
When Kevin Lucille's mourning mother showed up at the station a few weeks later to collect her personal belongings, she was told in no uncertain terms that they had been lost. When he insisted further, he was told that the case would not be resolved and that he would have to continue his life. Lucille was furious.
"I could not believe it", Lucille said Who in 1
" I knew that c & # 39; They were a car and a driver. If I had to go to the end of the earth to find them, I would do it. "
Mrs. Showalter became convinced that the police were not taking the investigation seriously, and therefore she was tenacious in her investigations, looking for local garages and lots of used cars for a vehicle that matches the dark green paint particles that are found on Kevin's clothes.
Frustrated when nothing was revealed, he systematically wrote the streets for any cars damaged by that color, then began to strut about the real crime scene for evidence that the police might have lost.
He began to beat his community and conducted extensive interviews with anyone who had gone beyond the point where Kevin was killed.The locals labeled him as eccentric, even though they took pity on his situation.
When he picked up his discoveries and he handed them over to the police, they remained indifferent and accused Mr Showalter of hiding evidence.
Undaunted, he continued, expanding requests and imploring the media to highlight the case. He convinced the state of Connecticut to put together a reward of $ 2,000 for any information: a ridiculous amount, but evidence that the circumstances of Kevin's death were taken seriously at the state level.
ENTER: GOOD SAMARITAN MAYOR MALLOVE
Another positive sign came in the form of his new friend, Harvey Mallove.
Mallove was the former mayor of New London, who was now working as a jewelry trader, a line of work that made him very wealthy.
When Showalter was examining the witness area, Mallove told her that he had passed the scene of the accident at 11:12 pm, less than a minute after the vehicle hit Kevin. He reported a green car parked by the roadside and a middle-aged man, who was talking to a young woman, presumably Kevin's girlfriend, Debra.
This was compelling, since he positioned the green car on the scene within the correct time span, and even gave a suspicion: even if a vague descriptor of one.
Showalter pressures soon paid off, as in December 1976, three years after Kevin's death, the governor of Connecticut, Ella Grasso, assigned a popular jury of the case.
What followed was the most expensive and extensive "hit and run" inquiry to date. The state police spent over $ 1 million, called 107 witnesses to testify, and found that the New London police had dropped the ball in their initial investigations.
Aside from Showalter's personal effects, other key elements of the incident scene had been lost: plastic from a signal light, and a large slice of green paint from the vehicle. Things took a sinister turn when the state police found the green paint particles on Kevin's clothes – the only evidence that Lucille had focused his investigations – had probably been planted after the fact, and did not stem from Impact of the machine.
This was no longer the case for a botched survey. Someone was actively covering something.
While the state was reviewing the witnesses, the hearings of the grand jury exploded over a period of five months. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Dannehy concluded that the New London police had "practically nothing" to find the hit and run driver.
Seven different eyewitnesses directly contradicted Mallove's statement, claiming that he never saw a green vehicle on the scene, nor did his Lincoln Continental pass, and no vehicle arrived at an ambulance at 11pm: 15.
Most of these witnesses were Emilyta, Kevin's girlfriend, who confirmed she had talked to anyone, was not a middle-aged man nor a green car, and the whole story of the former mayor was a manufacture.
Dannehy could not overlook this. He concluded that Mallove was the "probable" driver of the vehicle that hit and killed Showalter, but recommended not to pursue the trial, since the case had already been confused beyond the point of rescue, with missed or mishandled evidence. Dannehy stated that the tests were probably tampered with. "A probability too strong to overcome," he concluded.
Lucille was shocked by this revelation.
"I looked at Mallove like a good Samaritan," he explained, "someone who could help me."
Mallove refused the results and offered to take a test for the lie test to prove his innocence, which he duly passed. He was involved in the investigation, paying a private investigator to clarify his name and bring justice.
"I did not do it", he explained in 1978 of his continuous involvement. "Now we are trying to find out who did."
Lucille never publicly disclosed if she believed Mallove, but seemed confirmed by the results and lengths taken by the state police. "I'm not vindictive, but a mother has to tend to her family.When someone dies, this need to tend does not die.I was looking after Kevin for the truth."
Truth-seeking took an interesting turn in September 1979 when a man named Paul Hansen confessed to being successful -and-run drivers.
As it was Christmas Eve, Hansen was out partying and obviously drove home, even though he was drunk. As Pequot Avenue accelerated impetuously, the same road that Showalter had been killed that night, he had a slight impact. He ignored him and woke up the next morning with a small memory of how he had returned home. While inspecting his car, he discovered a small damage that must have been inflicted the night before. While Showalter's death reports invaded the media, he remembered the route he took home, the minor impact, the damage, and created the disturbing link.
As it was close to six years before Hansen was at the height of the accident, the statute of limitations for charging him with death was over. However, this confession unleashed another major jury, which promptly dismissed its confession as unfounded. They sealed the transcripts of the investigation, as well as those of the previous grand jury, and the case slowly faded from public view.
But if Hansen was out legally legally, he never forgave himself for Kevin's death, and in 2005 he took his own life, leaving behind a suicide note in which he described the guilt and pain he lived with for over three decades knowing he had caused Kevin's death.
A REINVESTIGATION AND MORE CORRUPTION
This tragic event sparked the local newspaper The Day of New London in launching its investigation into the cold case. They tried to undo the court documents and requested the transcripts.
Judge Elaine Gordon denied the request, stating that the case was too old to be relevant, citing "journalistic intrigues" instead and suggesting that it was simply "reflective of some public curiosity." This has struck many as suspicious.
A malicious piece published in Hartford Courant in 2005, under the name "Open The Showalter File", suggests that evil motives could still be at stake.
"There may be evidence of collusion or cover-up, and vice versa, there may be an opportunity to lift the cloud under which the Mallove family has been living for almost 30 years.The age of the case is a reason to reopen it Most of the principals, including Mr. Mallove, Mr. Hansen, and even Judge Dannehy, have died. "
Courant was on something, though it is impossible to know if it is collusion, coverage-up, or simply incompetence.
The real reason why the request was denied, became evident later, was that the files no longer existed. The biggest hit-and-run survey ever conducted, 12 volumes with over 3,000 pages of internal documents, recordings of two large jury audiences; all these files have mysteriously disappeared. No copies were made
And with this, the case of the tragic death of Kevin Showalter disappeared along with these files.
It seems unlikely that we will ever succeed in concluding this case satisfactorily.  Mayor Mallove continued to deny his involvement in success and to run for the rest of his life.
– Nathan Jolly is a Sydney-based writer specializing in real crime, pop culture, musical history and true love story. Follow him on Twitter @nathanjolly