"I can't say enough about the efforts of this man to solve a case that nobody else cared about. She truly was "forgotten". It is heartwarming to know that in a world where there is so much violence and hatred that there are really good people like Ken who do care. You hear so much about bad cops but you never hear about the good ones that really care. Ken is one of those who do." - Sandy Northern
"Detective Kenneth Mains is very dedicated to cold cases. He's reviewed Dad's case and my family and I are very thankful for all his time and advice. We continue to look to him for advice and he's always available." - Melanie Pierce
"Now THIS is truly a man to admire and aspire to be like him. With just a few more of these our so-called "justice system" would flourish." - Donna Thurston Fera
"Its Detectives like you that inspire people to always fight for what is right..... And I've seen you on countless occasions do what you felt was the right thing to do regardless of what other people thought... It's truly an honor to have you as a Detectives for my sister and niece. Detective Kenneth Mains is one of the most incredible Detective that I've gotten the privilege to meet and I'm truly thankful for getting that chance. When he feels that he's came to a dead end road he mows through the patch of woods at the end of the road and finds away to get justice for the innocent." - Julie Stroble
"I can not say enough about this first class Detective.... He is an Angel, Here on Earth, Blessed with a Gift, tirelessly giving a Voice to the voiceless! Awesome, Det Kenneth L. Mains!!" - Teresa Vickers
"You definitely have the drive and determination, in the pursuit of justice. May god give you the strength and power to catch this evil person." - Jimmy Marrs
"Mains is relentless and he is the best investigator that I know." - Tim Miller (Police Chief)
"Even though Dawn was never found, he was able to find out what happened to her. On his own time, he investigated and searched for her. I have the utmost respect and admiration for this man. He really cares. For 16 years I never knew what happened to my daughter. She was just gone. I remember the time he drove 150 miles to where I live just to meet with me. He will always have a special place in my heart. He truly cares." - Sandra Northern
"Ken is an amazing man. He is a very compassionate, sincere, professional. He has volunteered many hours helping our organization with cases. Ken is very skilled in cold case investigations and missing persons. I would recommend Ken to anyone who has a missing loved one or a cold case homicide. Thank you Ken for all you do." - Jessica Dutter Owner, Project Angel Eyes
"Inspiration & dedication in the rawest form." - Ashlie Mains
"You have done an amazing job!! Just Amazing! I am proud to be affiliated with you and your work." - Mary Ellen O’Toole
"Det Kenneth L. Mains you are a true inspiration to our humble Valley." - Bonnie Auman
"I'm in awe, of the man you've become! Who knew this is what the universe had planned for you!! Their just isn't enough words of gratitude for all the hope and closer you give to these families. Kenny, you certainly have more empathy and compassion than most. How fortunate for us, that we have you tirelessly working on our behalf." - Sherry Croak
"I don't know you but I'm sure I would not want you on my ass keep going dude and please catch the prick." - Paul Epley
"If anyone will find the person or people responsible Det. Mains will. He has a huge heart! - April Stugart Rivera
"Quoting a great man Det Kenneth Mains..... Justice delayed is not justice denied!!!" - Katie Bittinger
"You truly are the man for this case! The dedication You give to this case is astonishing! Thank you for your time and effort." - Lori Warriner
"Good Job Detective Mains! All I can say is if I ever go missing I want you on the case!!" - Jennifer Houtz
"You Are AMAZING!!" - Cassandra McCormack
"You're an inspiration to many--many people Ken!!!" - Dean Jones
"I recently photographed a wonderful man with a passion for solving cold criminal cases; Detective Kenneth Mains. This man has a good heart, a humble soul and a mind that seems to never stop processing. It was an honor to photograph him for his latest project." - 88 Dragon Design Studio
"A truly committed and honorable man." - Todd Hiller
"I just watched the show Disappeared regarding the case of Ray Gricar who disappeared in 2005. It was very eerie seeing a show on someone that is missing from the same town that Dawn disappeared from. My heart goes out to this family, but I couldn't help but notice the difference in the search efforts. My daughter was a person, loved by many, but there was no interest in looking for her. Until one man came along 16 years later who did care. Every person is important to someone. Thank you Ken Mains for caring about Dawn when no one else did." - Sandy Northern
"I can't thank Det. Mains for everything that he has done for my sister and niece to me he's the world's most amazing Detective. Would not ask anyone else to work on my sister's case. In the past 20 years I've gotten the chance to meet countless detectives and the one that I truly believe that has done more for any of the cold cases is Det. Mains. He gets the cases out in public which helps generate New leads and In a cold case like my sisters and nieces that is 20 years old it not so easy to generate leads unless you get the word out. It's not about making himself look good he does it because solving cold cases is a passion and the right thing to do and if that makes him a better person then so be it he's still doing what is right KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK DET. MAINS and if it wasn't for him the cold cases in Lycoming County would be push under the rug." - Julie Stroble
"We need more Det. like Det. Mains!!" - Lisa Wagner Plinzke
"He is a great detective thank god for people like this." - Dan Morgret
"As part of the family for my whole life, these words were remarkable and I know everyone is very thankful to have you, Kenneth Mains working on this case. Keep up the good work Detective." - Faydra Williams
"You can tell his heart and soul is into finding the killer or killers well said. God bless u detective mains for not giving up on the 2 beautiful souls that was takin away to young." - Terry Aungst
"THIS GUY IS AWESOME!!! VERY WELL SAID!! WILL NEVER FORGET THIS FAMILY!! GOD BLESS THEM ALL!!!" - Fonda Parker
"I think detective mains did a great job and I believe he will solve this. Ur speech was amazing. And Gail and Tamara will never be forgotten always in our hearts. They will have their justice." - Melissa Ann Winters
"Det. Mains don't let no one put you down like your dragging your feet your truly the only one I've seen that cares when people lose their life and loved ones! Great job! You tried to help me with my dad’s case as much as you could cuz its not your county!" - April Stugart Rivera
"Not a day goes by that I don't wonder if my sister, niece and family are ever going to get justice it's been a long 20 years but for some cold cases it been so much longer and they gotten justice it take determination and faith in the most caring and determined Detective I ever got to meet. I take great comfort in knowing that Detective Kenneth Mains will do everything he can to bring justice to Gail and Tamara!" - Julie Stroble
"Thank you to Det. Mains for your determination, and sacrifices to solve the Mathew, Berkheiser murders. I believe you will be the one to end this investigation. God speed." - Russell Griffis
"You should be given a medal for what you are doing." - John Liebert
"Ur a man of much pride and integrity.. Keep up good work bud." - Mark Hough
"Never lose that fire in your belly, Kenny. You have the ability most don't, myself included, to keep it aglow long after many have had theirs extinguished. I have a feeling I can learn far more from you than you ever learned from me. You were always – and continue to be – one of the few people I was genuinely proud of who came on this job that I had an opportunity to “train.” - Eric Delker
"You and are definitely not afraid to do your own thing. I wish I had your guts sometimes. I thank you and you were a heck of a cop. Proud to have worked with you!" - Brian Womer
"You’re an awesome detective I also would want you investigating my death if I was ever murdered keep up the good work. I wish I knew you personally." - Dan Morgret
"If anybody can solve this I am sure you will give it your all. You are a good detective and you have a way of finding these things out." - Sally Weigand
"You are a wonderful person Kenny. A heart for the people is hard to find now a days. God bless you." - Sherry Green Corman
"You are a fine example of what we ALL should pursue in our lives . Passion, truth and integrity salted with grace ! Thank you for this reminder through your life of service!" - Jeff Carts
"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer."
John F. Kennedy
"The man who is anybody and who does anything is surely going to be criticized, vilified, and misunderstood. This is a part of the penalty for greatness, and every great man understands it; and understands, too, that it is no proof of greatness. The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure contumely without resentment."
Elbert Green Hubbard
I am just a man. No more - no less. I am not better than you. I would never proclaim to be better than you. I do not care if I am liked. My job isn’t to be liked, it is to solve cases. I am a Detective.
I’m not a ‘political’ guy; I do things because they are the right things to do. I will sacrifice my happiness to stand on principle. My integrity will never be compromised---ever. Not by my bosses, not by my peers and not by any lingering inner demons. I am a Detective.
I am not a ‘yes man’. I call them like I see them and if that hurts your feelings then maybe you should move along. If you believe in the truth and standing up for yourself and others who are not able to do so, regardless of the consequences, in my eyes we are made from the same mold. I am a Detective.
I subscribe to five simple rules in life:
1) Never give up.
2) Work harder than the next person.
3) Never put your own needs ahead of your children’s.
4) Treat everyone with respect until it is time not to treat them with respect.
5) Traverse through this life with pride and integrity.
It is those principles that have allowed me to become the man I am today. It is those principles that allow me to persevere and inspire when others may have succumbed. Growing up as a child, my heroes have always been athletes as is the case with most kids. I liked the strong, scrappy players, not the flashy, big named ones. I gravitated toward John Cappelletti, Rocky Bleier, Bill Mazeroski, Jack Dempsey, Jack Lambert, Rocky Marciano, Mickey Mantle, Steve Prefontaine and Pete Rose to name a few. They were the guys who didn’t have all the talent in the world but they worked hard and “hustled”, as my dad used to always say.
As I got older my idols turned into thinkers and advocates like Albert Einstein, Robert Kennedy, Frank Serpico and Abraham Lincoln. I looked up to them because they were often ridiculed and even hated by some because they were trying to effect change in society in order to make other people’s lives better. They fought to make this world a better place and I can relate to that.
I continue to fight for change. I have fought against bad guys; I have fought against the good guys. I have fought with drug dealers and I have fought with my fellow law enforcement brothers. I have fought against political corruption and I have fought against the justice system because it was the right thing to do. In this world we live in today, someone has to be the voice of truth and righteousness.
We, as police officers, have a difficult job enough--apart from the politics behind the scene that always seem prevalent. We are teachers, educators, confidants and of course the bad guys as well. It is a fine line when dealing with the good of society and then chasing down a drug dealer that just sold a bundle of heroin to a pregnant eighteen year old girl. It is something police have to juggle, being the good guy to unjustly being the sacrificial whipping boy.
In today’s society it is cool to hate cops. It is cool to disrespect us and criticize us. It is socially acceptable to push back against the ‘establishment’. Yet, this is nothing new and has been going on since man created a circle of men to protect the weak. Unfortunately it seems it has always been “Us” versus “Them”. Although today it seems to have a more sinister and violent tone attached to it. Not only is it socially acceptable to push back; it is okay to strike back without recourse. Since when is it ok to celebrate a cop’s death or ask a cop killer to speak at a college graduation like Evergreen State College in Washington, Goddard College in Vermont and Antioch College in Ohio did.
Mumia Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death following a high-profile trial in Philadelphia in which he was convicted of murdering a police officer. His sentence was later reduced to life in prison without parole for killing Officer Daniel Faulkner, a 25-year-old patrolman who scuffled with Abu-Jamal’s brother during an early morning traffic stop. Abu-Jamal was a member of the Black Panther Party at the time. You will find no greater proponent of the truth then I. I always say that it isn’t about the prosecution or the defense, it’s about the truth. So, if you are asking this convicted cop killer to speak because you feel deep in your heart and soul he is innocent based on facts and not conjecture, then I am ok with that. However, if you are celebrating this man because it is trendy to do so or simply because you hate the establishment, well then I have a problem with you and your mentality as well as the position you hold at a higher education facility. In my strongest opinion, you should not only be fired, you should be vilified.
It just goes to show not only how society’s values have changed but how disrespected police officers are today. Today it is ok to sell drugs because it is glorified through today’s culture. People don’t care as long as it doesn’t impact them directly. They turn a blind eye because no one wants to get involved. That’s the mentality of today’s generation and it is disheartening to say the least. Everyone hates us until they need us. Police Officers are very rarely ever thanked but always openly criticized. You never put yourself into our shoes. You never wonder about the safety of our family and our kids while we are out protecting yours.
Regardless, police officers will continue to do their jobs because that is what we do. We wake up every morning hoping to make a difference in someone’s life all the while praying we will make it home safe to our own family at the end of our watch. We are the good guys, don’t ever forget that. We cannot let a few bad apples ruin the bunch and we cannot allow pundits and critics to vilify us. We have chosen this path because we are the wolves, we are not the sheep. Someone has to be brave enough to fight the good fight against the bad guys and protect the innocent. Someone has to have enough courage to battle the evil in our society. We are the police officers of America and we are damn proud of it!
People say I am successful. I hear that all the time from people. I feel I am not anything but driven and passionate. I liken my success to any other occupation; a carpenter, a veterinarian, a journalist or a filmmaker. When you love what you do and you have a passion for doing it, you can attain the unattainable. I love being a detective, it is my passion. It wasn’t easy to get to where I am. I have travelled an incredible journey to get me where I am today as a lot of you have. I have fought, loved, laughed and cried. I have won wars and I have lost battles. I try to make a difference because this life is too short not to try. Everyone has a gift in life, a gift that keeps on giving, long after you are long gone and reduced to ash and your name is just words in cyberspace or on a tombstone. My gift is determination and passion to solve cases. I am also determined to do what is right. I am determined to fight the good fight until I can’t fight any more. I am determined not to join the ‘politics’ of society where egos are more important than solving murders. I speak for those that are too afraid to speak. I speak for those who don’t have the courage to stand up and shout, “That is not right!” I am determined to be the voice of the lost and the forgotten. I am a Detective.
I am not a professional athlete who is looked at with revere and pride by our impressionable youth as I did growing up. In fact, I am what today’s society seems to hate the most; I am a cop. But regardless of the stigma, the negative, the attitudes or the ‘villianization’, I continue to do my job, to protect and serve within this great nation of ours as do many other great cops. I am dedicated to this mission because that is what I am. That is what is in my blood. My DNA screams ‘Detective’! My anguish prays for the unsolved to be solved and I will do what is necessary to make that happen.
You see, success, no matter what your definition is of it, can be attained. I went from having a child in high school and being kicked out of my home; having to live in a car while attending school half days in order to wash dishes in a restaurant the other half because I had to support myself and my son. I was that punk kid who fought, lied, drank, rebelled and got suspended from school repeatedly. I ended up watching helplessly as that only begotten son succumbed to the painful addiction of prescription pills and eventually the heroin that killed him twenty one years later.
Yet, through it all, I was able to continue marching forward toward my goals because I remained focused, inspired and prideful. Today I am constantly approached by television executives, producers, authors and journalists. They want to know my story. I go to high schools and talk to students, hoping that my tale will inspire them to succeed. I am continually being asked by family member of unsolved homicide victims to solve their cases. It is something that I cherish. I tell my story and use my skills and experiences to help others because that is what life is about. Inspiring other to achieve greatness….isn’t that what we want our kids to believe in?
Inevitable, I became a United States Marine, the first in my family to become a college graduate, a Police Officer, an Undercover Agent for the FBI, a Detective for the District Attorney, the Founder and President of the greatest cold case organization in the world (AISOCC) and an Advisory Board Member at the Cyril Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law at Duquesne University. Most importantly, through my experiences, I became what all people should strive to be…a virtuous, decent and good human being.
I tell this story because people need to know that we all can influence change. Change in each other and change in ourselves. Hold on to those core values that are prevalent inside each and every one of us. Keep a hold of that pride and that dignity. Keep ahold of that integrity and that passion. Don’t be afraid of greatness…seek it out and embrace it. But always remember where you came from. Remain humble yet confident and treat everyone with respect. As Albert Einstein once said, “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of a university.” I believe in this statement wholeheartedly.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, not a parent, not a teacher, not your boss or your peers. I am a living, breathing example of that. Success is attainable as long as you allow yourself the opportunity to learn, grow, experience and even fail. You will undoubtedly ruffle a few feathers along the way…but that is how you effect change!
My name is not Kenneth L. Mains, savior of the justice system. My name is simply, Kenneth L. Mains, Detective.
Specializing in Missing Persons and Unsolved Homicides
Kenneth L. Mains
Expert Cold Case Consultant