Commentary: Livin' in Liverpool April 28

Two years later, village murder probe takes a new turn

Two years ago, shortly after noon on April 21, 2008, Liverpool Police Officer Joe Scordo was the first officer to respond to a 911 call reporting a shooting death at 109 Cleveland St., in the village.

The victim was 39-year-old vintage toy dealer Mark A. Clark, a lifelong Liverpool resident who rented the house on Cleveland Street, just around the corner from Cypress. His father, Harry W. Clark Jr., of 602 Fourth St., had discovered the body. He told reporters that his son had been slain with a shotgun.

Neighbors reported hearing at least one gunshot in the early morning hours of Monday, April 21, 2008.

That afternoon LPD Chief Bill Becker remained on the scene conferring with Thomas Tubbert, chief of the Onondaga County Sheriff's Police Division, who headed the initial investigation.

Twenty-two months after Officer Scordo found Clark shot to death in his upstairs bedroom, the Liverpool Police are now taking a more active role in the unsolved case.

"We became involved in late-February," Becker told me last week. "We've got our top investigator working on it."

The LPD's most experienced criminal investigator is Detective Michael Lemm, a tall, tough, yet soft spoken cop who previously worked major cases for the Syracuse Police Department.

Lemm is now reviewing the case file and evidence gathered by the Sheriff's Office. He's taking an especially close look at interviews which Sheriff's investigators conducted with Mark Clark's associates.

While Lemm is limited as to what he can say, observations made by Chief Becker at the time of the crime give us an idea where the probe is headed.

"In my opinion this was not the type of incident that was random," Becker said in April 2008. "Most homicides are not done by people who are strangers to the victims...There are all kinds of motivations for violent crimes -- relationship problems, money problems, whatever -- but those disagreements are always triggered among people who know each other. Random violent crimes are very rare."

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