Show Notes: Murders of Diane Michele and Christina Salamey

This show, “Michigan and other Mayhem”, is a sort of factual, slightly comical, always earnest podcast about interesting stuff in Michigan and around the world. It is done by two sisters-in-law (Ali and Jenn) that like to talk about random interesting stories.  Expect cults, mysteries, murder, fast talking, and a couple of mental palate cleansers… and cuss words.  Those happen on this show, a lot.

Episode 67: Murders of Diane Michele and Christina Salamey

Alerts:

  • Pretend podcast music because Jenn likes it.
  • Ali has a weird laugh. It is often loud.

We are taking a break! Our regularly scheduled podcast will take place again in March. Have a nice vacation!

Ali was starting to struggle with investigating murders. About an hour after talking to Jenn about it, an extended member of Ali’s family was murdered. See below for the murder of Christina Salamey. Due to that, Ali asked Jenn if they could take a break. When we restart in March, Jenn will continue with true crime, but Ali will probably look into other things.

Murder of Diane Michele in Rochester Hills, Michigan

Diane, age 50, was a minister and social worker in Birmingham, MI. She was found in the foyer of her home in morning, half covered by a tarp.

When the police went through the home, they found a folding knife with blood and hair on it, clothes, and blood droplets in the sink. Diane had been stabbed over 111 times. Her van was missing and her son, Christopher Dankovich, age 15, could not be located.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s office spotted Diane’s van near Twin Lakes. Police secured the area after not being able to reach the person inside. They surrounded the cabin and using a bullhorn, asked the person inside to step out.

Diane’s son, Christopher, exited the cabin with a freshly shaved head. He stated that he knew they were there to arrest him for his mother’s murder. In the cabin they found military and survival gear. He told police that he planned to drive south and go into hiding.

It is believed Christopher was mentally ill as he did not have a record of actions that would lead to murder. He had a good case for insanity, but Christopher pleaded guilty to open murder and was found guilty of second-degree murder.

He was sentenced, at age 16, to 25-37 years in prison. He is not eligible for parole until age 40.

When Christopher asked why he did it, it stated he didn’t want to talk about it, everything went wrong.

When you look at his prison pictures, he is almost always smiling. (Jenn thought it was creepy.)

There is a site that gives prisoners a platform to express themselves called prisonwriters.com. Prisoners write stories and they’re published on the site. Christopher has writings on this site.

Some of his titles: “My First Real Girlfriend: Aurora”, “Dogs in Prison”, “When You Grow Up in Prison”, “Life Ever Really Begins”, and “Juveniles Tried as Adults: Becoming a Man in Prison”.

Murder of Christina Salamey

Ali’s cousin, Derrick, dated Christina Jones through high school and into adulthood. They married in their late teens and had a son, Sebastian, who died to SIDS. Christina became pregnant again and they had their daughter, Ava.

Christina and Derrick divorced soon afterwards. Christina then married a man named James “Jim” Salamey. (It is taking all of Ali’s self-control not to call him every bad word she can think of, and she can think of a lot of them.) Christina and Jim then had two children together; a son and a daughter. Ava is currently 17 years old, and Christina’s other children are 12 and 13 years old.

Christina became aware of something horrible Jim was doing and divorced him in 2019. Two weeks before Christmas Jim and Christina had a court date. He was most likely going to lose parenting privileges. The day before their court date, Jim asked Christina over to his house saying he would give her money to buy Christmas presents.

When Christina pulled into the driveway, Jim walked up to her and shot her twice in the head. He then walked back into the home and shot himself in the head. Neighbors had heard the gunshots and alerted the police. Christina was found slumped over the steering wheel of her minivan, which was still running, dead.

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Warning: This podcast occasionally contains strong language which may be unsuitable for children.

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