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Students to produce video on unsolved murder case

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With the hope of bringing in the information needed to catch a killer, this summer local residents could see a video about a double murder in Franklin when they flip on the TV or head out to catch a movie.

Franklin police and local high school students are making a short video about the case drawn from interviews with family members and investigators about the unsolved murders of Blake and Chynna Dickus.

Police try to remind residents about the gruesome double murder at least once a year. The case also has been featured on billboards and prison playing cards.

Blake Dickus, 10, and his stepmother, Chynna Dickus, 26, were killed on July 24, 2006, in their home in the Branigin Woods subdivision near the high school. Both were stabbed multiple times. Blake Dickus also died from blunt force trauma and asphyxia, according to autopsy reports.

Investigators will share the basic details of the case with a small group of video production students from Franklin Community High School, and those students will produce a minute-and-a-half video, which will include how to contact police with any information.

Franklin police hope the video will remind people about the murders and bring in new information or tips that could help solve the case.

“Somebody somewhere knows that missing piece of the puzzle that’s going to solve this for us,” Franklin Police Chief Tim O’Sullivan said.

The murders happened after Chynna’s husband and Blake’s father Sean Dickus went back to work after his lunch break. Sean Dickus returned home around 5 p.m. to find both Chynna and Blake Dickus dead.

Several burglaries were reported in the neighborhood around the time of the murders, with one happening that day a few houses down from the Dickus home.

Those details will be recapped in the video. A group of students in the high school’s video production class will interview family members and police and edit the video before the school year ends, said Franklin high school senior and project leader Mason Clark.

Police have tried to issue some sort of reminder to keep the case in the public’s mind at least once per year, O’Sullivan said.

Blake and Chynna Dickus again will be featured in a new set of playing cards created by the Indiana Department of Correction. The cards are sold in state prisons with the hope that inmates might have details about the unsolved cases.

The video will be a new effort, and one that O’Sullivan hopes will trigger someone to call in information that leads the investigation in a new direction.

Blake Dickus would have been in high school now, and the video project will give some of his peers a chance to try to help with the case.

Students involved with the project, including junior Austin Schmidt and Clark, said the video will help them get more experience with video production and also allow them to help with the case.

Neither student remembered many details about the case, but both recall the murders being talked about often.

Clark remembers his mother talking to him about the murders at the time and said he’s looking forward to learning more about the case while working on the project.

“Obviously there is going to be information that the police department is going to have that maybe I wasn’t aware of. We expect to learn a lot more about the case itself,” Clark said.

The filming and editing will be completed before school is out, but the video may not start airing until midsummer, O’Sullivan said. He would like to show the video before movies at Canary Creek Cinemas in Franklin and on local television stations.

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