A short blip of an update: Sorry that this is a bit late, work has gotten a bit wild for me and I lost track of the weeks and then lost the energy to post this. I hope everyone is doing well and living the My Favorite Murder motto of “Stay Sexy, Don’t Get Murdered.” Enjoy the story of Matthew “Chilly” Macon.
Matthew Emmanuel Macon, nicknamed Chilly, was born September 8, 1979 in Lansing, MI. Since 2001, Macon had been in and out of jail for various crimes, including the admitted sexual assault of a young girl when he was 14- using a stick. His father was abusive toward him and his sister as children. As we all know, that’s usually a major contributor the future serial killers (his sister is NOT a serial killer, or any other killer of the sort).
As an extra bit of trauma to add to his life, he had to witness his father continuously abuse his sister sexually. In 1983, she was put into a foster home, having to leave her brother behind in the prison that was their childhood home. Later on, Macon himself had been placed into a foster home that he subsequently ran away from in 1989. It was during this moment of freedom from an abusive home and a (presumably) crummy foster home that he committed his first ever crime. Macon had broken into a bike shop and local comic book club in Lansing. During his incarceration for his sexual assault previously mentioned, there was a court hearing in 1996- Macon was 16 at this time. The referee in the trial stated that regardless of the progress he had made in jail, he would need “lifetime vigilance” to ensure he did not offend again.
The Murderpedia page on his background stated that his killings were committed over the course of three years, however it is shown that they happened over about two weeks. Matthew “Chilly” Macon committed 5 rapes and murders and 1 attempted rape and murder. His method of murder was beating his victims to death and all of the victims were between the ages of 36 and 76. These murders took place in the county next to my childhood county in Lansing, MI. I was 11 years old when they started and I must say, my parents did a great job of keeping the news of all of this away from me. I always thought I lived in a nice, safe, and pleasant town.
All of his victims lived alone which made it “easier” to commit these heinous crimes. A reason he was caught is due to a would-be-victim’s dog attacking Macon before he could cause anymore harm. This attack would force him to flee the scene, good boy you deserve all the treats! This victim’s survival led to her being able to describe him for a sketch artist that would lead to him becoming the prime suspect.
His killing spree started in late July of 2007.
- On July 26, 2007 Ruth Hallman, 76, was beaten in her home and passed two days after while in the hospital. She had been an activist for safer streets and a key component in taking down many drug houses in her area.
- Next was Deborah Kaye Cooke on August 7th. The 36 year-old’s body was found on the East Side of Lansing in Hunter Park. She had been beaten to death and found naked below the waist, the most obvious tell of rape.
- August 9th brought the next victim in Macon’s spree. Debra Renfors was a 46 year-old who had just recently moved into her new home in the Old Town District, a gorgeous area just south of Downtown Lansing. All of her friends stated that this move was a fresh start for Renfors, erasing her past of sex-work. After her move, she ended up being a house cleaner to revert her desire toward going back to her old life. She was also found beaten to death.
- The fourth victim is Sarah Eichon, date unknown but was during the same weeks as the others. She was found dead in her apartment on the West Side at the age of 64. The recent GM retiree was beaten to death just like the others.
- His fifth attack was just a day after Eichon’s. However, this woman had survived. The aforementioned survivor with the heroic dog was the saving grace of this investigation. She was struck in the back of her head after Macon had broken in through the back door of her home. Her name has not been released for the safety of her future and she has very obviously moved out of her then-home as soon as possible after her release from the hospital.
- The day after his failed attempt, Macon needed to fulfill his need to kill, really following the whole “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Seriously… if you’re a murderer, please don’t follow this motto. Karen Delgado-Yates was a 41 year-old found injured in a house that had been vacant for a bit. Folks that were walking through the home and interested in buying it found her during their visit. She did not make it to the hospital alive.
On August 28th of 2007, Macon was arrested for the murders and violent assaults of these women. The trial took almost an entire year with a final sentence set on June 18th, 2008. During his incarceration, Macon confessed to the rape and murder of a Lansing Community College professor. I believe he confessed to this because he knew there wasn’t a chance of him getting out- having been sentenced to two life sentences in prison without any possibility of parole. Michigan doin’ it RIGHT in sentencing. This confession of his set a man free.
Claude McCallum had been convicted of this rape and murder and his case is now being re-examined due to Macon’s confession. Although he still has to wear a tether, he is beyond thankful to be free, having always maintained his innocence. I personally believe that he is innocent due to the fact that the crime fits Macon’s MO and his timeline.
Macon was only charged with the murders of Delgado-Yates and Eichorn. This is due to a lack of eyewitnesses and credible evidence at the other scenes. The judge ruling over this case, Patrick Cherry, dismissed the other charges of criminal sexual conduct, failure to register his change of address (required of all sexual offenders), and home invasion. Why? Beats me.
From 2004 to 2007 in Lansing, the land-locked capital of Michigan, Matthew Macon committed heinous crimes. Luckily, his one slip-up and a heroic dog’s actions helped move this case forward and aided in stopping his killing spree in the late summer of 2007. No need to worry for the future, Macon is serving two life sentences with NO possibility of parole. Rest easy, Lansing, MI, one killer will be of the streets for good.