The Backstory of ID Network’s ‘Dead North’

Michigan Police Chief: Laura Frizzo's journey

Laura Frizzo and Megyn Kelly - NBC/Today
Laura Frizzo and Megyn Kelly - NBC/Today

As we told you earlier, tonight Investigation Discovery will debut part one of Dead North, the very grisly case of a suspected female serial killer. The two-part series will explore the case of Kelly M. Cochran who admitted to killing her own husband by injecting him with a deadly dose of heroin.

I felt like maybe they came to Michigan to get away from something else that they’d done.”
Laura Frizzo

Then things start to get weird. In several ways.

Many will be tuning in to the show for the compelling true crime factor and to learn the grisly aspects of the case that shook the small town of Iron River, MI.

But another important aspect that viewers will also get to know is the woman behind it all: former Michigan Police Chief: Laura Frizzo. We’ll also get a glimpse of the politics behind the case. Frizzo’s tenacity and hours of hard work broke the odd case wide open – and it also cost the Chief her own career. Or did it?

Let’s take a look at what she has to say recently on the Today show when she sat down with Megyn Kelly and shared some of her story.

As you just heard, City Manager David Thayer issued a statement saying that Frizzo’s termination had nothing to with the Cochran investigation. Reports indicate that Chief Frizzo had requested some time off after the investigation for medical purposes, which Thayer denied even after Frizzo provided documentation from her doctor that some time off was needed.


Upon her termination, the community rallied behind Chief Frizzo.

More from Iron Mountain Daily News:

Frizzo, through her attorney Roy Polich, claimed Thayer was “confrontational” with her, blocked her return to work after a medical leave, and has a “history of animosity toward women and the police,” while Thayer accused Frizzo of not treating citizens with respect and having a management style irreconcilable with his own.

Thayer told The Daily News he discussed his concerns with Frizzo a year ago, but she didn’t change.

“A police chief needs an even demeanor,” Thayer said. “She would intimidate people.”

Over the course of the year, Frizzo repeatedly asked Thayer for an additional full-time officer and more administrative help, Polich said in a press release issued earlier this week. When she suggested going directly to the city council with the requests, Thayer became “very confrontational,” according to the release.

Frizzo took a brief medical leave in September after testifying at a hearing for the Kelly Cochran murder case. But Thayer wouldn’t let her return to work, Polich alleged, even though she provided him with the two requested doctor’s notes declaring her fit for duty.

Thayer said Frizzo initially gave him a “vague” medical statement indicating she had an ailment that was never adequately explained to him. The first doctor’s note didn’t report a “clean bill of health,” Thayer said, but was a conditional release saying Frizzo couldn’t work more than 40 hours a week. Since the note indicated she may be better in three months, Thayer said he extended her medical leave. Frizzo also saw a doctor of Thayer’s choice; however, Thayer claimed the doctor told Frizzo her return to duty was contingent on the city manager’s approval and not the doctor’s opinion.

“It is now quite clear that his expressed concern for her medical condition had nothing to do with him refusing to allow her to resume her duties,” Polich said. “This whole process has been nothing but a ruse, contrived by Thayer to deceive the public and the city council of his personal desire to terminate Chief Frizzo.”

Polich’s statement went on to claim Thayer has a history of animosity toward women and police, telling Frizzo “women don’t belong in men’s jobs.”

A police chief in Grayling, Mich., resigned after confrontations with Thayer while he was employed as city manager there, Polich added.

Thayer called these statements “unfounded, unproven accusations.”

Furthermore, Polich pointed out Thayer was arrested on 24 misdemeanor counts in February 2010 and was ultimately convicted of violating a state campaign finance law in 2011.

Thayer called the 24 misdemeanors baseless, politically-motivated accusations and noted they eventually were dropped.

Crime and politics have always made the strangest of bedfellows, and this engaging case is full of both. The series will air tonight at  9/8CST.

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