Correcting the Record on "The Witch of Delray"

In 2015, I began a research project about a woman from Detroit known to most people as "The Witch of Delray."

All I had to start was a newspaper article. The story, which the Detroit Free Press published in September 2015, talked about a cemetery tour of Woodmere, one of Detroit's oldest resting spots. A hearse club was touring the cemetery and one of the stops was to see "The Witch of Del Rey," the original spelling of the Detroit neighborhood where Veres lived.

That story resulted in a two-year research project into Veres, her story, her two first-degree murder trials and everything else that surrounded her life. The book about Veres came out in October 2017, and I tried my best using every resource possible to right the wrongs of the "Witch of Delray" story. 

Veres had been found innocent of killing Steve Mak. They were the only charges brought against her that resulted in a trial in a court of law. 

Story's over, right?

Wrong.

This week, I found an article from "Hour Detroit" magazine that quoted from that 2015 Freep article, claiming that Rose Veres had killed people using carbolic acid.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In reporting the Witch story, I have heard nearly everything from she chopping people up to she poisoned their wine to she offed them with acid. None of them have any factual basis according to newspaper records of the day, court records from her two trials and my two years of research.

Media, read up on a subject before you repeat something. Don't do lazy reporting. It's not fair to anyone, living or dead.

As long as I have fingers to type, I will correct any stories about Rose Veres. I will give her a name. I will protect her reputation. The record will be set straight.

Do your job, media. And, always remember, there are human beings at the beginning and end of every story that are affected by what you do and write. The story was corrected online when I contacted the magazine.

But it remains in print, and that is a shame.