Jacksonville Daily News
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Death ruled homicide

Lindell Kay | Closer Look,HOME PAGE | Monday, June 30th, 2008

jdnews.com has been updated with information about Mike Kozak’s death and what happened to his dog.

The article is here.

This is a photo I took today of the JPD out at USA Discounters where Kozak’s body was discovered.


An article Online later and in print tomorrow will have more information from Kozak’s family, more information from the medical examiner and more on what the cops found near the scene of Kozak’s death.


  1. How’s the dog doing? Did you ask them about him? I hope he can have a “normal” doggie life now…

    Comment by Mindy — June 30, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

  2. Mindy, wonderful ending for Blackie. Sounds like Mike was one like the young lady in my area who just couldn’t be confined. I am glad Lindell did this story. I am so glad for all you have done, too, and all the decent concern everyone showed. I am SURE his family will appreciate that their Mike was as important and valuable in the eyes of his fellow-citizens as is any “leading civic figure.” Now the LE need to find whoever did this.
    I expect Blackie is going to enjoy that home and fenced back yard, once he feels comfortable. The family is probably aware that Blackie may have been a witness!! He may be a bit timid for a while.

    Comment by justice4all — June 30, 2008 @ 5:22 pm

  3. J4A:

    I wish Blackie possessed the same speaking skills that Duke, the Golden Retriever on the Bush beans commercial has.

    Blackie knows!

    Comment by Mike McHugh — June 30, 2008 @ 7:37 pm

  4. Yes, Mike, but unfortunately he can’t testify. One of the most heart-rending things I ever read was about a homeless man who was given a sandwich and promptly halved it and gave one piece to his dog and one to himself.

    Comment by justice4all — June 30, 2008 @ 7:44 pm

  5. It’s not unusual for a dog that has experienced a traumatic event–remember, his WHOLE life was his daddy–to go through a personality change that may last a short or long time. It takes patience. I hope he is in a “dog friendly” place now so that they can help him work through this!

    Comment by Mindy — June 30, 2008 @ 10:44 pm

  6. Hey Lindell,

    Can you link the new article in so that I will be able to find it when it gets online? I’m not so computer savy and I never can find things unless I get a link :) Thanks

    Comment by Mindy — June 30, 2008 @ 11:22 pm

  7. Mindy, the new article is in the online edition: Piney Green Death a Homicide. Reading between the lines it looks just horrendous. Stomach cut open, serrated knife!!! Vicious is the word that comes to mind. Also, I read that he had been “beat really bad” the day previous to his death. I think I read that last quote in the very first article. I am wondering who would do such a thing, but hoping the LE people can find out pretty quick. Such a person loose on the community could be a menace. Hope the other homeless people are safe. Wonder if anybody heard anything. He could have been killed somewhere else and just taken home, multiple possibilities.

    Comment by justice4all — July 1, 2008 @ 10:51 am

  8. J4A,

    I’m was thinking the same when I read “cut in the stomach”. Sounded like there was something more when it said that he had 2 blacks eyes the day before. Sounds like it must have been an on going feud with someone.

    Either way, its very sad. I sure the sister will be able to put aside the guilt (stated that she wanted him to go to AK w/ her and she thought this may have saved his life). It’s all the way around just very sad. I feel so sorry knowing that he probably died a slow death :(

    Comment by Mindy — July 1, 2008 @ 11:00 am

  9. Mindy, I wonder if it was one of those “gang” things? What could he possibly have that anyone would want to steal? Great good fortune that the dog was left unhurt.

    Comment by justice4all — July 1, 2008 @ 11:42 am

  10. That suprised me too…but the dog likely would have been growling and going crazy. He probably scared them, so they thought it better to leave him alone.

    I think if it was a gang related thing, the gun would be a weapon. The crude weapon that was found makes me wonder if it wasn’t something to do with a dispute over who’s area it was. The sister said that he didn’t want to lose his spot so he didn’t go to AK…then he was beaten up the day before. I bet it has something to do with another homeless person.

    Also, dumping a knife 100 yds away makes me think he was on foot. Surely if he wasn’t then he would have found a better place to dump the weapon. What do you think?

    Comment by Mindy — July 1, 2008 @ 12:29 pm

  11. Sounds like it was probably a turf war. How sad!

    Comment by KH — July 1, 2008 @ 1:26 pm

  12. Mindy, what did cross my mind is whether is was a group of “tuffians” looking for trouble and thinking a “homeless” was fair game. There are a few gutless wonders out there who pick on “certain groups” and bully them. It’s anyone’s guess which group they will pick on at any given time.

    Comment by justice4all — July 1, 2008 @ 4:05 pm

  13. I thought about that too, justice. I would like to think people are bigger than that. If that is the case, then they should definitely get the max sentence because if they look at other people as sub-human, they likely never will appreciate human life.

    I hate to even say this–but I also thought it may have been Marines that had come back from Iraq. I have heard several horror stories about military ppl not getting the proper help afterward and they go kill someone because they can’t reassimilate. I pray this is not the case.

    Comment by Mindy — July 1, 2008 @ 10:58 pm

  14. I hope not too, Mindy. I think Marines in Iraq are under a lot of stress. I read about TBI and I hope anybody at all who is the victim of an “explosion” can be tracked and evaluated.

    Comment by justice4all — July 1, 2008 @ 11:20 pm

  15. Before my ex and I were married, he was shot in Bosnia (or Serbia–I don’t remember). The bulletin just grazed his neck (should have been a couple of inches over and it would have saved me alot of wasted years!!!) Ok, That was mean…

    But my point is this–he was crazy when he came home. And they allowed him to continue to be crazy afterwards. And, he probably would have done something like this. He looked at the homeless there in Jax like they were sub-human.

    I just hope that if that is the case, then the military starts addressing these issues. I am hoping that this incident (if a marine is involved) will force C LeJ. to address the issue.

    Comment by Mindy — July 1, 2008 @ 11:27 pm

  16. Mindy, I think a lot of people look at the homeless as sub-human. It might stem from the subconscious horror of being in that spot themselves. A bit like whistling in the dark to keep up your courage. If they can convince themselves that the “homeless” are in some way “different” or “brought it on themselves,” “lazy, shiftless, drunk, druggies, etc.” then they feel safe that they are safe from such a plight. However, all of those rationalizations fall short of having common compassion and not thinking ourselves better than others.

    Comment by justice4all — July 1, 2008 @ 11:32 pm

  17. Please point me to anything that says Marines will kill b/c they can’t readjust to life here? Or point me to where any military member will kill because they can’t readjust to life?

    Comment by AnnDaniel — July 2, 2008 @ 7:42 am

  18. Ann,

    There have been alot of murder cases involving military since the Iraq war started. I can name several right off the bat that occured right after these guys were sent back from Iraq. 20/20 did a story about 4 soldiers that beat and stabbed one of their good friends after getting drunk the day they came back from Iraq, then they set him on fire.

    Anyway, without doing some deep DOD searching for crime statistics, which will take a while, here is a good article based on an investigation into murders committed by Iraq/Afghan vets.


    Along with homicide rates in the military post war, suicide rates are up 20%. I’d say that there’s something awry if they come home doing stuff like this–there is definitely a problem with assimilation back into the normal world because they aren’t dealing with their issues.

    Suicide stats, old info but read and you will see why–no one keeps track of the suicide of vets that are no longer active duty:


    Also, in the military, they have to go through a re-adjustment stage before they went out in the real world (at least they did when my ex got out). That speaks for itself.

    Comment by Mindy — July 2, 2008 @ 8:58 am

  19. Mindy you know not of what you speak when it comes to Marines.

    AnnDaniel I’d like to see Mindys’ reference on this issue as well.

    Comment by Nehi — July 2, 2008 @ 9:11 am

  20. ahhhhhhhhhh, my comment is awaiting moderation…

    I was going to add that with the homicide link, there should be links to alot of the cases where they are saying that they were traumatized by the war and didn’t feel that they could live normal lives anymore.

    Comment by Mindy — July 2, 2008 @ 9:12 am

  21. THere are actuallly ALOT of marines in the first link I posted. Many were from CL…

    Comment by Mindy — July 2, 2008 @ 9:32 am

  22. Do you have a ratio of Marines that come back from war “crazy” and those whom come back “normal”?

    Comment by Nehi — July 2, 2008 @ 9:34 am

  23. And, don’t get me wrong, I support the troops…I just think the military needs to do a better job of catching problems immediately and trying to do something about it before releasing these guys out with little psych help.

    Comment by Mindy — July 2, 2008 @ 9:35 am

  24. No, I never said that they came back crazy–my ex did (that was the only person I called crazy because he was), but I said that alot of them come back with problems that are not addressed promptly or treated intensely enough.

    I don’t think the DOD even keeps public statistics of who is crazy and who isn’t. But I bet if you look for it, you can find info on the number of ppl diagnosed with PTS and other issues after coming back from war.

    Comment by Mindy — July 2, 2008 @ 9:38 am

  25. *I hate to even say this–but I also thought it may have been Marines that had come back from Iraq. I have heard several horror stories about military ppl not getting the proper help afterward and they go kill someone because they can’t reassimilate. I pray this is not the case.*

    The fact that you automatically think that a Marine may be responsible for a murder because they were in Iraq and may not have had the proper mental treatment is disheartening. You’re lumping Marines into being murderers as a whole.

    Comment by Nehi — July 2, 2008 @ 9:42 am

  26. I never said that. I said that I had ALSO THOUGHT (as in other scenerios). Re-read the post. I did NOT lump all into a group. What I said is what the facts are proving (more investigations are being done on this now than they were 2 or 3 yrs ago)…more service ppl are suffering from mental issues because of what they experienced in war. Many are not dealing with it, or are not getting proper treatment. And, as the link shows, most of these murders by servicemen are because they suffer from PTSD.

    Please don’t try to put words in my mouth. If I wanted to say that all Marines were crazy or that they were all murderers, I would have said just that.

    The bottom line is that traumatic events change people. Some can learn how to deal with it afterwards, some cannot.

    Comment by Mindy — July 2, 2008 @ 9:53 am

  27. So, if this murder would have happened in a non-military town…then what? The fact is, murders happen everywhere in the United States. And not all of them are related to military.

    Comment by AnnDaniel — July 2, 2008 @ 9:58 am

  28. Traumatic events do change people-some for the better, some for the worse. And with the proper help-therapy, medication, etc they can get back on the road to recovery. Some people can cope with things they see or have happen to them better than others. But there’s alot of people-both military and non-that suffer from mental disorders. So I guess the civilian side needs to control their patients better to right? And you know…anyone can claim PTSD. I know b/c someone that went to Iraq with my husband told his wife of all the things he did and saw. Guess what? None of it happened. My husband knows for a fact that none of it happened. But this guy was hyping his time up over there and claiming PTSD when none of it is true.

    Comment by AnnDaniel — July 2, 2008 @ 10:02 am

  29. Wonder why there are so many cases of PTSD during this war compared to any previous wars?

    I wasn’t putting words in your mouth Mindy, I read your post and re-read it and the way I commented on it is the way I understood it. Truce.

    Comment by Nehi — July 2, 2008 @ 10:03 am

  30. I never said it was, Ann. I said that I thought that may be another scenerio. Who else would gut someone like a deer??? You think someone driving a BMW and making 100,000 a yr is gonna go rolling up in a homeless camp and stab someone?

    I said I (get that–I, I, I) thought because of the manner and the weapon, believed that it was either a shell shocked marine that is deeply disturbed and has witnessed violence or someone fighting for his spot in the woods.

    I know this–It damn sure ain’t a normal person (military or civilian) running around gutting folks.

    This is a blog. We are all entitled to our opinions. I have heard far too many stories recently about military ppl committing terrible crimes all over the country. That’s where my assumption comes from.

    And, yeah, if it wasn’t a base town, the military would pretty much be eliminated from the suspect list. So, I think any person with a brain could see that there might be a possibility that a military person is involved.

    Comment by Mindy — July 2, 2008 @ 10:05 am

  31. Who said he was gutted like a deer? I don’t think I read that anywhere. Hey, maybe if he was “gutted like a deer”…maybe the killer is a hunter? Afterall, he has experience with knives.

    I don’t know how the weapon of choice makes you think it’s military….that confuses me.

    But you’re entitled to your opinion and we’ll agree to disagree.

    Comment by AnnDaniel — July 2, 2008 @ 10:12 am

  32. Gang members typically carry guns. People with want protection, typically carry guns.

    Homeless folk don’t usually have money for guns. And Military is trained for hand to hand combat with guns.

    Stabbed in the stomach would have been described as such. Lindell quoted someone as saying “Cut in the stomach”. Having died from sharp force trauma, I would assume that “cut” would be a little more intense than a simple stab wound.

    But, you’re right, we can all agree to disagree. My thoughts won’t change.

    Comment by Mindy — July 2, 2008 @ 10:17 am

  33. military is trained for hand to hand combat with KNIVES, I meant.

    Comment by Mindy — July 2, 2008 @ 10:17 am

  34. Actually military is trained in hand to hand combat with bayonets–and they are attached to your rifle. So, yes, I learned how to use my bayonet while it was fixed, but never alone. And it’s always used as a last resort on the battlefield.

    Comment by AnnDaniel — July 2, 2008 @ 10:22 am

  35. Mindy, as you are a current law student, you must be aware that the most “normal” people commit crimes every day. Are you planning on becoming a defense attorney?

    Comment by Hello — July 2, 2008 @ 10:25 am

  36. I heard that Mike was killed from a person who knows a person…street talk from ppl that were at the scene that Monday b 4 the news was even out, that Mike was “gutted like a deer.” As horrific as it sounds to type or think it…that is what I heard also. It could be anyone. I reserve judgement or guesses until we have more facts. I do believe the possibility of it being tied into Mike’s terribly beaten face the day b 4 however….there was something going on back there. My condolences to Mike’s family and I am glad that Blackie aka; WB is with Mike’s family. Whether Mike chose to live that lifestyle or not does NOT excuse any other human being from murdering someone else. Especially in such an inhumane way…..(assuming Mike was “gutted like a deer.” )

    Comment by Lindsay — July 2, 2008 @ 10:46 am

  37. I bet it was a catholic priest.I read about “them” on the news all the time.

    Comment by kdb — July 2, 2008 @ 11:28 am

  38. According to the breaking alert email, three have been arrested for Mike’s murder.


    Comment by Sandy — July 2, 2008 @ 11:56 am

  39. No, I do not want to be a defense atty. Yes, normal people commit crimes everyday, but normal folks don’t gut ppl like they are some animal that they are going to eat. Normal folk run red lights, speed, and at the very worst commit a somewhat decent murder (yeah, I know how that sounds)…but it takes a effed up individual to do something like this…

    Comment by Mindy — July 2, 2008 @ 12:57 pm

  40. I was going to try and avoid this conversation…..BUT, I take offense to the term “crazy” pertaining to PTSD. I for one have experienced it, not once but several times in my life. I also have a Soldier suffering from PTSD at this very moment along with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) – is he capable of murder – nope, is he trained to kill – YEP that is the Infantry job description – has he killed anyone – NOPE. I am not military and never have been, but I have experienced PTSD and recovered. Thanks to my friends standing by me and allowing me the healing process.

    My suggestion for what it’s worth – do not refer to anyone with PTSD as crazy but – “stand by your man, woman, child, friend, stranger etc” and help them. Educate yourself on the matter – and keep snide comments about crazy – ptsd outside the little reply boxes – you have no clue who is reading what is hastily written.


    MYTH: PTSD only affects war veterans.

    FACT: Although PTSD does affect war veterans, PTSD can affect anyone. Almost 70 percent of Americans will be exposed to a traumatic event in their lifetime. Of those people, up to 20 percent will go on to develop PTSD. An estimated one out of 10 women will develop PTSD at sometime in their lives.

    Victims of trauma related to physical and sexual assault face the greatest risk of developing PTSD. Women are about twice as likely to develop PTSD as men, perhaps because women are more likely to experience trauma that involves these types of interpersonal violence, including rape and severe beatings. Victims of domestic violence and childhood abuse also are at tremendous risk for PTSD.

    Who’s at risk for developing PTSD?

    Those at risk include:

    Anyone who has been victimized or has witnessed a violent act or who has been repeatedly exposed to a life-threatening situation.
    Survivors of:
    - Domestic or intimate partner violence
    - Rape or sexual assault or abuse
    - Physical assault such as mugging or carjacking
    - Other random acts of violence such as those that take place in public, in schools or in the workplace

    Survivors of unexpected events in everyday life:
    - Car accidents or fires
    - Natural disasters, such as tornadoes or earthquakes
    - Major catastrophic events such as a plane crash or terrorist act
    - Disasters caused by human error such as industrial accidents

    Children who are neglected or sexually, physically or verbally abused or adults who were abused as children

    Combat veterans or civilian victims of war

    Those diagnosed with a life-threatening illness or who have undergone invasive medical procedures

    Professionals who respond to victims in trauma situations such as emergency medical service workers, police, firefighters, military, and search and rescue workers

    People who learn of the sudden, unexpected death of a close friend or relative

    Comment by LT — July 2, 2008 @ 2:54 pm

  41. Very informative post and link LT.

    Comment by Nehi — July 2, 2008 @ 3:15 pm

  42. Blog…


    Trackback by Blog — February 1, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

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