Investigation into Michigan Serial Killer Explored in New 20/20 Episode
A recent episode of ABC's 20/20 dives into the investigation of a notorious West Michigan murderer.
"The Murderer in the Minivan" tells the story of how investigators pieced together clues from chilling crimes that lead them to the killer: Jeffrey Willis.
In 2013, Jessica Heeringa went missing from an Exxon gas station in Norton Shores, Mich. One of the only clues police had were reports of a mysterious silver minivan.
The following year, people driving along a Dalton Township road found the body of a woman who had been shot in the head. She was later identified as Rebecca Bletsch.
Those investigations were ongoing when in 2016 a teen reported a man in a silver van had attempted to abduct her at gunpoint in Muskegon County. Thankfully, 16-year-old Madison Nygard was able to escape and provide crucial information that lead police to Jeffrey Willis.
On "The Murderer in the Minivan" you'll hear how law enforcement and prosecutors built their cases against Willis.
He was convicted of the murder of Rebecca Bletsch in 2017 and sentenced to life in prison. In 2018, a jury convicted Willis for Heeringa's kidnapping and murder. He was again sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Madison Nygard appears in the 20/20 TV special, as do family members of Rebecca Bletsch, members of the Muskegon Sheriff’s Office and Norton Shores Police Department, plus lawyers connected to the cases.
The two hour episode aired on Friday, 2nd February at 9p.m. It's available to stream on Hulu and Hulu On Disney+.
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Gallery Credit: George McIntyre