DETROIT (WWJ) – As the movie “Detroit” about the city’s riots 50 years ago opens in theaters, a local woman hopes it will being attention to her father’s unsolved murder.

Joseph Strickland, who was a reporter for the Detroit News, broke the story of killings at the Algiers Motel on which the film is focused.

“He went to the motel several times, interviewed the staff, interviewed anybody who could have  been witnesses, and came across a note written by an individual that said, ‘I will be at my mother’s,’ and gave a phone number and an address,”” said Strickland’s daughter, Darchelle Strickland Love, in an exclusive interview with WWJ’s Vickie Thomas.

Strickland then traveled to Kentucky to speak with the man who would turn out to be a key witness in the case.

In the years after that story was published, Strickland accepted a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard and became an Assistant to the Dean.

That’s where, in 1972, he was murdered execution style. There have been no arrests in the case.

“It’s a cold case; it’s been cold. I mean, nothing new that we know of. But you just always wonder what happened, and the almighty question is: Who did it?” Strickland Love said.

“It is just very possible that he’s the only person who could have known who might be looking for him, why someone might be looking for him, and who knows what it was related to. Was it related to the Algiers murders? Was it related to something else?”

Strickland Love said there are at least a few clues.

“It is so heavily redacted, but there is a point you get to in reading a statement that someone had given, and they say, ‘Everybody knows that…killed Joe Strickland,'” she said. “That pause there is where they had redacted information.”

Thomas has reached out to the Boston Police Department to check on the status of the case, but had not received a call back as of Friday.


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