Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Death of Daniel Zank; Suicide or Murder?

On October 24, 2006 at 12:30pm, Daniel Zank’s body was found on the kitchen floor of his Coon Rapids, Minn. residence with multiple stab wounds.  He was 36 years old. Dan was the lead singer for the ‘80s cover band Jet City. He was known to his friends and fans as Danny Z. People were attracted to him and admired his singing voice.

At 9:40 am on that day Dan’s mother, Laura Zank, received a call from him. When she picked it up after two rings, no one was there. She called him back to ask why he didn’t finish the call and got his voice mail. The police estimated that between the time of that call and around 10:30 am Dan was stabbed to death.

His body was discovered by the homeowner, Michelle Gidding, Dan’s 38-year-old girlfriend, when she returned home and found a door had been forced open. Afraid, she left the home and called friends to come over and enter the house with her. Upon the friends’ arrival they entered the home and found Dan dead.

He had been stabbed 14 times, including twice in the buttocks, and two of the wounds would have been fatal. The police report stated Dan had defensive wounds on his arms and hands, there was no blood spray on his body from the knife coming out 14 times, plus they believed his body had been moved. However, the medical examiner ruled his death a suicide. And the circumstances stated in the police report were not mentioned in the ME’s paperwork.

Laura Zank hired a forensic pathologist to review the investigation of her son’s death. In his opinion there were too many questionable things about Dan’s case to support the suicide ruling. Laura’s lawyer took the pathologist’s findings to the medical examiner. She refused to look at the report and the police won’t re-open an investigation unless the ME changes her suicide ruling.

The Zanks aren’t the only family to encounter coroners or medical examiners that refuse to explain their decisions or amend them when credible evidence exists to support changing a previous ruling. Unfortunately, there are more families in their situation than you might think. Perhaps someday victims’ families won’t have to feel they have been victimized twice: First by the loss of their loved one. And again by the very system that is supposed to bring them justice.

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  1. Are they kidding/1- No forced entry- means he knew his attacker.attackers.
    2-14 times? and TWICE in the buttock area (ccould be an enraged girlfriend/boyfriend?
    3- the body was WHO, if all his/her friends were there...and why wouldnt you call 911 FIRST?
    4- DEFENSIVE wounds...

    Its stories like this that go through a coroners office ALL day long. They push paper. This is an ASTOUNDING reason WHY Crime Wire is going to be so valuable to those who suffer from their loved ones being tossed into a "cold case" file. Give these families the proper "closure" they deserve..

  2. Dan is and will always be my best friend! I know him well enough that no matter what the circumstance may be he would not have killed himself!!! His life was improving and he was back doing what he loved most and that was singing!! He had just found his family and wanted so much to be a part of them. There is NO WAY he would have done this to himself!!!! Did anyone look into his girlfriends ex husband? I love and miss you terribly Dan! Peace brotha, see ya!!! Love, Heidi

  3. I knew danny before he died he was apart of the family i have so many memories with him i remeber wathcing march of the penguins with him because we thought it was happy feet and one time when he was singing with jet city he told my mom to go get me and i sang on stage and once we all went out to eat and i was full as can be and he was like if you can eat one more hamburger ill play xbox with you for 1 hour and my mom brought me a burger with what she was ketchup and was actually tarter sauce and i ate the whole thing and went home and played with him he is my role model he is like a father to me i was watching a video of him the other day jet city separate ways and started crying.... i miss you danny

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  5. Today marks 11 years gone my friend :( You are still on my mind and forever in my heart. I miss you Dan!