Rank #1: Preview
A sheriff's deputy. His 10-year-old son. A bitter custody battle. A haunting death. Was it suicide? Or something more sinister?
Twenty-five years later, authorities decided to take a closer look. So did Mercury News reporter Julia Prodis Sulek.
Join her on a whirlwind journey from Silicon Valley to Oklahoma’s cowboy country as she explores a brutal question: How did a 10-year-old boy end up hanging on the family farm?
Subscribe now for this six-part series that debuts August 24, 2017.
Rank #2: Chapter 1: Hanging
A sheriff’s deputy. His young son. A bitter custody battle. A haunting death. Was it suicide or something more sinister? Twenty-five years later, Santa Clara County sheriff’s detectives returned to take a closer look. So did we. How did 10-year-old Joshua Klaver end up hanging to death in the family barn?
Rank #3: Chapter 2: Presuming
Sheriff’s deputies who responded to the Klaver barn the night of Josh’s death quickly ruled it a suicide, without considering any other possible explanation. Was justice done 28 years ago in the barn in San Martin, California?
Rank #4: Chapter 3: Connecting
Josh’s mother Kathy Atkins was ready to give up in 2014 when the Facebook message arrived from a stranger. “You don’t know me, but I know that sob klaver. He’s here in okla i have alot to tell you.” But were the suspicions swirling around Josh’s father driven by spurned lovers and their need for revenge? Or did K.W. Klaver’s abusive tendencies — documented in court files — give credence to their darkest fears?
Rank #5: Chapter 4: Confronting
K.W. Klaver didn’t know I was coming to Oklahoma. He didn’t know I would show up at the Atoka livestock auction barn on the edge of town. I had come with a brazen question no investigator had ever posed, and wasn’t quite sure how to phrase it: How do you ask a man if he killed his 10-year-old son?
Rank #6: Chapter 5: Hurting
The coroner returned to the barn in San Martin to re-enact a hanging. And for the first time in almost three decades, something new was added to the official story of Joshua Klaver’s death. But other essential parts of the story remained untold until I began to share them — shocking the judge who made a fateful ruling in Josh’s custody case.
Rank #7: Chapter 6: Reckoning
The envelope arrived from Santa Clara County’s Office of the District Attorney. With 28 years of anticipation and dread, Joshua Klaver’s mother slipped out the letter and braced herself. Would she finally get resolution — or would the system fail Josh again?