Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Shondor Birns & Danny Green: Cleveland's Killer Celebrities

'The Cop and the Kid'

Ed Kovacic had two things on his mind that night. He was now head of the Cleveland Police Scientific Investigation Unit — he would later become police chief — so he and his men spent the night helping Lyndhurst police collect evidence.

The other thing on his mind was a promise he had made. Mike Tobin described it in his Plain Dealer story about "The Cop and the Kid": So the night Greene was killed, Kovacic left the crime scene and found Danny Kelly prowling his familiar haunts in Collinwood. Kovacic took the teen to his home and they talked through the night.

Today, Kelly admits he was on the road to trouble. As a junior at St. Joseph High School, there was a price on his head.

"If I was older, I'd have been dead. I was going the wrong way," Kelly says. "When I was at the crossroads, I was lucky enough to have people help me out."

Tobin reports that "The policeman and the teenager often met for breakfast, and sometimes talked into the wee hours of the night."

Years later, Kelly said, "He went out of his way to be there and make sure I didn't follow in my father's footsteps. He was a father figure, absolutely."

Kovacic said, "One of the things I'm proudest of in my life is that I was able to help pull him back from that life. I'm very proud that he is a decent man living a decent life."

Next: Coincidences 

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