Corey Beekman had spent the majority of his adult life defending our country overseas in foreign lands before settling down to a quiet life on some acreage in Freesoil Township in the rural eastern part of Mason County. Early on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, before 6:54 AM, he would have to resort to the use of some of those skills learned over that time in order to defend himself against a person who had came into his home uninvited by him and kicked open his locked bedroom door in.
Corey Beekman receiving a folded US flag from his congressman, Matt Gaetz, after leading the pledge of allegiance in the House Judiciary Committee
In a life spent fighting for the rights of not only his fellow countrymen, but also the rights of the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan, Beekman would invoke his basic civil rights after he killed the armed stranger, Billy Buchanan, advancing into his bedroom and threatening his life. Had the ideals of his native country been as diligently followed by its local justice system as he had advanced them in foreign lands, he must have calculated that (pending forensic investigations favorable to claims made by him through his attorney) the bogus narratives being spread by rumor, county officials, and sensationalistic media would be debunked and the truth of what happened that morning would be publicly revealed and lead to his freedom.
Katlin Buck and her two young children, staying over at Beekman's house, would exit the home while Beekman contacted 911 arranging an understanding that he would be unarmed and cooperative when he came out, about 5-10 minutes later. Sheriff Cole, his deputies, investigators, and correction officers would take Beekman's silence on what happened as a refusal to cooperate rather than an exercise of his Constitutional rights, as would the county prosecutor at the time, Paul Spaniola. By the end of May 2019, Spaniola would have the results of the investigation in hand, including the ballistics report on the four shots fired that morning by Beekman and the autopsy of Buchanan, containing the toxicology report.
Yet, even with all this information at hand, Spaniola advanced forward with second degree murder and other charges against Beekman. The only investigator testifying that day, Steve Hansen, would say that the police kicked Beekman's bedroom door in-- before totally recanting his story when he was cross-examined, noting that it had been recently kicked in while it was in the locked position before they arrived, as noted in the report, and seen below. Spaniola would not attempt to correct the faulty testimony but would instead use it to advance his cause.
In the door jamb of Corey's bedroom (seen above) we see that it has been subjected to a lot of force pushing into the bedroom (the side with the remotes) at or slightly above the doorknob level, enough to cause it to split. This is consistent with someone kicking the door in from the outside of the bedroom; MSP reports indicate further that the jamb's strike plate and wood shards were on the floor. If one thinks Beekman did this after the shooting, it should be noted that it never was part of Buck's testimony that he did, and the loud noise that this action would have made was never heard of by the officers around the perimeter of the house when Buck and the children left.
With this in hand, the ballistics report should have stopped the prosecution of this case dead in its tracks. Provided by the MSP Forensic Division they offer a laboratory report and a visual, which we will look over in detail:
We find that Beekman's bedroom in the NE corner of the modest house is where the shots were fired from and into the hall. In between those is that kicked-in door where, according to the autopsy Buchanan was hit by three of those bullets fired from the north side of the bedroom, being hit in the right hip/abdomen area, the other two hitting just under the shoulders on both sides.
None of the bullets passed through the door, they all went to the left half of the door meaning that Beekman, effectively trapped in the bedroom and against the north wall in a defensive position, had to have waited moments before opening fire on the stranger advancing into his room after breaking down Beekman's bedroom door before 7 AM in the morning to hit the man on both of his sides, twice on his right side. The bullets would all lodge in the walls the three point-blank hits having sufficient velocity to penetrate through Buchanan's body, with one going beyond and grazing Buck.
Bullet D's trajectory could not be determined, suggesting that it deflected off a bone mass or both Buchanan and Buck, but is likely to have originated from where the other one's did, towards the back of the north wall of Beekman's bedroom. None of the investigative reports suggest that Buchanan did anything more than retreat after being shot, expiring on his back in the dining room floor. The autopsy would indicate that he had a white metal knife and a black flashlight among his possessions when recovered.
Now, why would any clear-thinking individual come uninvited into a career veteran's home, kick the owner's bedroom door in, while holding a knife and not expect to be shot? The toxicological report by the coroner seems to indicate that this wasn't anywhere close to being a clear-thinking individual. That report shows high levels of drugs in his system indicating very recent usage of cocaine and methamphetamine:
Amphetamine is the metabolite of methamphetamine, as benzoylecgonine is the metabolite of cocaine, meaning their presence is a good indication that meth and coke were strongly in his system at the time he expired. Cocaine use and intoxication is associated with various psychiatric, behavioral and physical symptoms, including cocaine-induced psychosis (CIP), a group of transient psychotic symptoms, such as paranoia and hallucinations, violence and aggression. Meth use and intoxication is associated with poor judgment/problem-solving, violent behaviors, hyperactivity and mood swings.
Prosecutor Spaniola decided not to share the toxicology report with Beekman's defense attorney in discovery until long after it was made available to the prosecutor-- and, of course, it has never been shared with the public to let people know that the knife-wielding stranger who kicked Corey Beekman's locked bedroom door in before 7 AM on was impaired by two different illegal drugs. This was familiar ground for Billy Buchanan, as he had been caught at least twice driving while impaired, putting everyone in the area in danger from his bad choices, other crimes like malicious destruction of a building showing history of maliciously destroying other people's property, even trees.
Suffice it to say that Billy Buchanan had a well-established career in breaking laws in our area that endangered us all and damaged our property. In comparison to Corey Beekman's career of active service in defending our country with honor, it is a stark contrast among two individuals roughly the same age.
The ballistics report and the physical evidence of the bedroom door and the bullet holes makes it clear what happened that morning. The autopsy report makes it clear that Billy had a knife and had very recently partaken of coke and meth. There is no disputing that Beekman shot Buchanan three times, but there should be little dispute from the evidence that Beekman shot only after his bedroom door was kicked in, by a career criminal armed with a knife, who advanced in and only retreated after being shot multiple times. To think that Beekman was the aggressor when he was cornered in the back of his bedroom by a home invader advancing menacingly at him is pure folly.
After a career in the army honorably defending his country from enemies foreign and domestic, Corey Beekman used those skills to honorably defend himself in his own house from a very real threat. Rather than having the local sheriff's department and prosecutor look at the facts of the matter and come to the only legitimate conclusion that fits, the prosecutor held this man in the sheriff's jail for at least fifteen months longer than he should have and withheld relevant records from Beekman that could have been used in his defense.
Yet, this may not be as reprehensible than what they have done to Beekman since Prosecutor Paul Spaniola (pictured above) dismissed all charges against Beekman in September 2020 and finally allowed him to be a free man. Spaniola, Sheriff Kim Cole, and members of the local media continue to actively dishonor Beekman and beatify Buchanan, with or without the urging of Buchanan's family and friends. In a press release given at the time of the dismissal, Spaniola would say: "I am optimistic that one day this case may be able to be heard so that Billy Buchanan and his family can receive the justice they deserve."
The Buchanan family would get a TV station to air their grievances about their son's killing in early 2021, declaring it as a 'murder' in their title and offering only one side of the issue that had no representation of the forensics or facts presented here. Beekman had in the meantime moved out of Mason County, as he could no longer live a normal life here, and reestablished himself in Florida, where he caught the attention of Congressman Matt Gaetz who was looking for a distinguished veteran to lead the pledge of allegiance for the Judiciary Committee he serves on. This went off without a glitch, the Ludington Torch noticed this honor to the deserving veteran and posted it in our Facebook page, the Ludington Pitchfork.
Family and friends of Buchanan took notice. They contacted Gaetz, media organizations, Sheriff Kim Cole and any others they could find that would listen to them and told them their version of the events that happened in 2019 in the home of Corey Beekman. Since Beekman has never had a chance to air his defense, Gaetz could do little more than apologize for his oversight.
Sheriff Cole would then indicate his sentiments and wrote in a statement that "there are certainly people much more deserving to represent our military veterans at the U.S. Capitol than Corey Beekman, a murderer. I am disappointed in Rep. Gaetz’s office. A simple Google search would have shown that Mr. Beekman killed a man in rural Mason County... When I was in Washington, I was hoping I would get a chance to see Rep. Gaetz and personally express my dissatisfaction to him about this situation. Unfortunately, that did not happen but I did send an email to his office.”
And even though all murder charges have been dismissed on Beekman for over 30 months, the media had no problem with calling him a murderer in their headlines here in February 2023:
The Ludington Daily News: Accused murderer leads pledge...
TV 9&10 News: Man Accused of Murder in Mason County Honored...
Mason County Press: Family of murdered man thankful for US Congressman’s apology
It's beyond the time for the record to be set straight about what happened in the morning of April 16, 2019 when Corey Beekman, in his own locked bedroom inside his own house, had to fend off an armed home invader with a long criminal history and emboldened on coke and meth who had just kicked that bedroom door open and advanced into the sanctity of Beekman's bedroom. Billy Buchanan is not the victim, and he is not the hero the sheriff's office and prosecutor make him out to be.
Corey Beekman fits both roles and he deserves our support over the unfair attacks he is facing by those who should all know better.
The problem is that the News papers won't retract their statements and won't tell the real story , or even the TV station. His name has been smeared forever in everybody's mind that read what the Sheriff said , News Papers printed and put out on TV and what the families spread lies about to anyone who will listen. It's too bad in this day and age that the criminal gets promoted to the hero and the good guy gets thrown under the bus.
The articles have been getting even more strident over this weekend, you'll see it on Yahoo News, the Daily Beast, the UK's Independent, MSN, AOL, Raw Story, Occupy Democrats, etc. all relating the same story that Gaetz invited an 'accused murderer' to lead the pledge. They all invariably quote Sheriff Cole and Buchanan's parents that love to invert the narrative-- not surprising because he shares the same name as his dad, which meant I had to filter out some of the court appearances his dad made. It's a shame that modern-day media don't really care about the truth or the real hero when they can get bad copy on Matt Gaetz.
I had a difficult time reading the reports because they were so blurry. This case seems to have a lot of unanswered questions. I also have many questions of my own. First of all, from what I read, there was a woman and her kids present at the crime scene. What did she have to say about what took place? She could have settled any questions that may have been brought up when the police arrived so why did she leave? Why did Buchanan show up at Beekman's house? Was the woman involved with Buchanan? Also, what man locks his bedroom door? Was the woman in the bedroom with Beekman when Buchannon was shot? If not then why would Beekman fire his weapon not knowing where the woman and kids were in the house? An military veteran who is familiar with weapons knows about stray bullets harming bystanders? Could the bedroom door have been damaged long before this incident happened? Why did Beekman have a loaded pistol in the house with children there? Why did the woman and kids leave before the police arrived? Was she involved with the shooting? Is it possible that she shot Buchanon and Beekman was covering for her? The report says that the knife Buchannon was in possession of was a pocket knife and was in his pocket and folded when the police got there. This whole murder scene smells like last weeks fish fry.
I'm hoping to get a transcript of the preliminary hearing from June 2019 so that I can accurately give you what was said at that hearing by Katlin Buck and others. The COLDNews did a very poor effort of relaying it from the notes I have seen, so I won't even link to that article. I believe her story has evolved over time, and it differs somewhat from the sources I've heard from and the established forensics. I tried to avoid taking either side and rely on forensics and, the reports, and common sense to fit what is likely to have happened.
Why was Buchanan there and did he have a relationship with Buck? I can't say, I can't even say if there was a sexual relationship between Beekman and Buck. Both parties agree that Buck was outside the door, and doesn't seem to have been a target, she seems to have been hit by one of the high shots that went through Buchanan, which one would believe is why one bullet had an unknown trajectory. The casings were all in the same place, so presuming there wasn't any tampering, one expects that to have been fired in the burst. The immediacy of the threat could have been why the shots were fired with little care for collateral damages.
It's clear that Buchanan did eventually retreat to where he expired, if he had a different weapon either he or Buck could have done something with it that might not be in the record. The door's damage was new, since splinters and the strike plate were on the ground. Since the sequence of events until the shooting is not very clear, most of your other questions are unknown, but one would be sure that Buck didn't do the shooting from the back of the bedroom and get a bullet deflected back at her. We may never know the full sequence of events, but the forensics tell a story a bit different than what was passed for truth at the prelim.
God only knows, but the feelgood and unsubstantiated story created by a deputy of Billy Buchanan being some sort of hero is just a little bit too much for me when the evidence shows he broke down Beekman's door high on coke and meth for no clear reason other than to harm the homeowner. If another story can be feasible, I'm fine with that if it fits the facts better, but the rest of the media is content in not even telling the public that the shooting happened in Corey's home, after his bedroom door was busted in, and suggest he is guilty 4 years after the fact because he was once an accused murderer three years ago.
Thanks X for trying to figure it out in light of Gaetz being attacked ... and why did he pick Beekman? Weird connection. One thing that I agree with is that we may all not know the truth of what happened that April morning almost four years ago. I read back on some media reports and they show that Buck refused/s to testify, will not make herself available and has gone south. Can she not be made to testify? Or was she so high that she doesn't remember?
Weird that they had that early morning encounter, if high was it an all night party? Still I ask why that "deputy" of Buchanan says that he was feeding cereal to Bucks children at Beekman's table and saved the children by getting them under the table. How could he do that and bust the bedroom door down? Doesn't make sense. Can Beekman tell his side of the story to clear himself?
Gaetz and Beekman have some history together. Back in January 2022, Gaetz presented Beekman with a belated Purple Heart. Later that year, Beekman's companion dog Hillbilly (seen above) died, and Gaetz personally sent him condolences and around the same time the idea of having Beekman do the pledge was introduced supposedly by Beekman, according to Gaetz's apology to the Buchanan family.
The story has it that they have tried to serve papers on Buck in 2019 and 2020 downstate on multiple occasions and weren't successful, even though they had knowledge where she was (at her mother's). If they were really interested in getting her to testify, they would be able to successfully serve her and/or her children who were 10 and 7 at the time of the shooting. I'm thinking she's not wanting to come forward because she realized she wasn't accurate on several things when she had the chance and may have a change of heart now to tell the truth but would likely see the prosecutor go after her immediately afterward for felony perjury.
Earlier tonight on Facebook, I saw that George Takei of Star Trek fame had posted on his page a story about Gaetz apologizing about having having Beekman do the pledge, of course referring to him as an accused murderer. I felt the need to post a reply, noting several of the things mentioned in this post, making it clear that it was self defense and that he had had the charges dropped. Of course, next to no one paid much attention to my comment and really, the post itself. One person did reply to my comment, mentioning I was in the wrong place to talk about facts.
Thanks for defending Corey Beekman in an unfriendly sector of internet space. Your comment appears to have attracted the attention of the only other sane individual on Mr. Sulu's far left quadrant of the galaxy, where truth is subjective.
I myself have went to several of the social media outlets for some of these supposedly 'journalistic' entities that freely cut and paste their stories from each other once they figure out the template that will exact the most incendiary rhetoric about Matt 'Firebrand' Gaetz, without caring about the facts regarding Beekman. People there don't want to argue facts, they just want to hear the reverberating echoes and amens of why Gaetz made a big mistake.
The big mistake he made was throwing Beekman under the bus by offering a senseless apology and declaration of heroism for Buchanan, who frankly was anything but that.