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The Magicians’ Confession

Frank Shelden and Gerald Richards have just returned to the mainland after taking four boys from St. Joe’s Catholic school to North Fox Island for a three day trip. Michael Dunsmore, Bill Johnson and two other boys were put through horrible, unforgettable, life-altering experiences. One of the two unnamed boys tells his mother a harrowing story about being sexually assaulted by Shelden in a cabin on the island. The boys mother calls the police to relay the story.

In 1976, Kathy Firestone was putting the finishing touches on her book about North and South Fox Islands. In order to finish the book, though, she needed some information from Frank Shelden who was on the run from police for his involvement in a child pornograhy operation.

FIRESTONE: I wrote to him and asked him some of his interests, some of his knowledge about were there any shipwrecks that remains that he saw there, and asking things about the deer population and other interesting nature things that he might know about that would add to my book.

ALLEN: So at the time you knew what was going on and you just opened a line of communication to ask about just other things, and he was open to that?

FIRESTONE: Right, I was working on finishing my book, and the whole child pornography thing was just breaking news at that time, and he had disappeared and at least out of sight. I had a lot of just nature photos that I had taken over there and I sent him a box of photos. I sent them to his attorney down state, and with my note that I’d like to ask him some things about the archeology, the ship wrecks, that sort of thing, that might contribute to my book.

ALLEN: Was he helpful?

FIRESTONE: He did answer. He said he was really not happy any newspaper people. He didn’t have any good words for any of them. But he said he would talk to me about the other subjects if I wished and that’s really all I wanted from him.

In the fall of 2018, Kathy Firestone escorted Shattered host, Jeremy Allen, to North Fox Island where they trekked to what remained of the cabin where Frank Shelden committed sexual unspeakable sexual acts on young boys from Port Huron, Michigan