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Personalized You Are Not Just A Goat You Are My Sanity Poster
In June, 2017, the Kirksville Police Department told the Post-Dispatch that it had reopened the investigation into the first two deaths but denied that any “aha moment” had spurred the decision. For Bottorff-Arey, bumping into Grossheim’s name again was enough. Vogt had hanged himself in his apartment, conforming to the cluster’s pattern. His girlfriend, Madelyn Mazurek, had discovered the body. Grossheim had passed Vogt and Mazurek in the hallway a few hours before Vogt died, and he had comforted her outside the apartment after she’d woken up to find her boyfriend dead. Grossheim had asked to see Vogt’s body before the coroner took it away, but the request was denied.
The same day Bottorff-Arey visited the police, she went to try to retrieve Mullins’s fraternity paddle, which she had heard was in Grossheim’s possession. She tracked him down at the apartment of his girlfriend—a woman who had also dated her late son. Bottorff-Arey could see Grossheim in the apartment when she knocked on the door, but he would not come out. When she started photographing his car, Grossheim rushed outside and asked her what was going on. After a tense exchange of words, she turned and left.
Bottorff-Arey kept thinking about several interactions she’d had with Grossheim after her son’s death. Grossheim had been solicitous when she’d retrieved Mullins’s belongings at the fraternity, and he had attended Mullins’s memorial service. One day, Bottorff-Arey had been poking around in her son’s cell phone, which the police had given to her. As she put it to me, she did “what many mothers would do,” checking to see what Mullins had been up to before his death. Grossheim noticed that someone was active on Mullins’s Facebook page, and he sent a challenging message to the account. Bottorff-Arey’s surviving son, Parker, characterized the message as “Who is this? Why are you on here? You’re causing me distress.” Bottorff-Arey messaged Grossheim back, explaining that she was “Alex’s mom,” and he apologized. “He kinda backed off and was all friendly,” Bottorff-Arey recalled. Shortly afterward, someone “memorialized” the page, meaning that nobody could post from it anymore. She surmised that Grossheim had made this happen. (He says that he didn’t.)