South of Coldwater, Michigan near the Ohio border, stands an old abandoned school built in 1908. I would like to be able to tell you the story of one of its pupils that went on to do something inspiring, but unfortunately, I do not know of such a story. I only know the tragic and sad story that took place at this school building after the death of a Coldwater High School counselor. On Easter day in 1990, Marilyn DePue and her husband Dennis got into a fight. After savagely beating her he forced her into his van and shot her in the head killing her instantly. He dumped her body behind an old church, that has since been demolished, then drove extremely fast down South Snow Prairie Road, passing a brother and sister out on an afternoon drive.
When the pair of siblings drove past the old school they noticed the van that had passed them. The two also saw a man hiding a bloody sheet behind the abandoned building. De Pue must have realized there was a blood soaked sheet in the van that he needed to hide. After the body was discovered by the police, on a tip from the siblings, Dennis became the prime suspect. He had fled the state and the police were not able to find and arrest him. Robert Stack featured the story on an episode of the popular television show Unsolved Mysteries.
After the episode aired, several tips came in saying a man by the name of Hank Queen, living in Dallas Texas, fit the description. Trying to question Dennis DePue, he led the police on a hi-speed chase and committed suicide before he could be taken into custody. The story of Marilyn DePue’s murder is thought to be the inspiration for the opening scene of the movie Jeepers Creepers. The director and writer said it was not, but the similarities are uncanny. The old episode of Unsolved Mysteries can be seen on Youtube. The old school still stands silently among the farm fields. It is off limits to visitors, but you can still drive past it, hopefully you will not see anything nefarious taking place.
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