Alissa Turney’s stepdad pleads guilty in pipe bomb incident

My contact with the Phoenix PD sent me this press release. Michael Turney, stepfather of the missing seventeen-year-old Alissa Turney, has pleaded guilty to possession of 26 unregistered pipe bombs. He faces up to a decade in prison.

Michael sounds like a very scary guy, frankly. The cops haven’t said so, but it seems he’s a suspect in Alissa’s disappearance. She went missing back in 2001 and he says she ran away. He was her legal adoptive father and sole guardian, as her mother died when she was a child. While executing a search warrant to the Turney home in Alissa’s case, the cops found 26 pipe bombs, nineteen rifles and two homemade silencers — the largest illegal weapons stockpile found in Phoenix history. Michael allegedly planned to blow up a local union hall whom he accused of being responsible for Alissa’s disappearance.

It’s worth noting that his children are standing by him and set up two websites for him, maintaining he was a good father and didn’t cause Alissa’s disappearance. However, I find it significant that the Free Michael Turney site doesn’t really address the whole “huge weapons stockpile found in Michael’s house” thing. They only say the search that found the said stockpile was illegal.

Whether or not this man caused his stepdaughter’s disappearance, I think he belongs behind bars.

13 thoughts on “Alissa Turney’s stepdad pleads guilty in pipe bomb incident

  1. Jill April 2, 2010 / 7:32 am

    This case is one of the few that intrigues me the most, I grew up in very close surroundings to this girl and her family. It all seems fishy to me…

    • Meaghan April 2, 2010 / 8:03 am

      Another intriguing bit: my Phoenix contact told me that, contrary to some accounts, Alissa never fractured her elbow. He said Michael told them that, but they could find no evidence to support that — no medical records, no one who remembered the injury. I removed that piece of info from Charley at the detective’s request.

      Why would Michael make something like that up?

  2. Sara April 2, 2010 / 1:20 pm

    His behavior (sitting outside her workplace, monitoring phone calls, video surveillance in the house) sounds more like an obsessed husband/boyfriend to me than a parent. It gives me grave concerns about the boundaries in their relationship. I would be interested to know how he treated her older brothers, assuming he raised them after her mother’s death as well.

    Does he deny that he blames the union for Alissa’s disappearance? (Why in god’s name does he blame them, anyway?) Or is that part of the police frame job, too?

    Very sad case. She seems like a girl I would have been friends with in school.

  3. Jill April 2, 2010 / 5:31 pm

    I grew up in the same neighborhood as this girl, and it was rare other than seeing family going in or out of this house, and from the time I was in that area roughly 8-15 ( I am now 21) and I never saw her with elbow broken( might of happened earlier) He was never ever very nice to people, and until I was about 12 I was frankly afraid of this guy. I can’t say that he did anything and I wont accuse him of it, but if he did it wouldn’t surprise me.

  4. Bill April 2, 2010 / 5:54 pm

    I’m afraid I’m gonna have to ask this question, or someone has to anyway.
    Is the effort the Turney family is making to free Michael proportional to the effort to find Alissa?

    • Meaghan April 2, 2010 / 10:44 pm

      Well, they have one website “Find Alissa Turney” and one website “Free Michael Turney.”

  5. mary carney April 2, 2010 / 6:02 pm

    Oh, Bill – you hit the nail right on the head. Families who are under the control of some kind of freak loser will always have that ‘they don’t understand us, we’ve got to rally around -protect- him’ mentality until freed. I know a local case like this, and it’s curious how the victims don’t understand that they ARE victims.
    And another thing I’m curious about, how exactly would one go about ‘registering’ a pipe bomb? Is there a form you fill out?

  6. Jill April 2, 2010 / 11:19 pm

    I live in the Phoenix area, and there is more coverage about Alissa father than Alissa herself, which is a bit disheartening. And from what I remember don’t quote me they didn’t just find pipe bombs. Arizona is very liberal on weapons, within the extent of CCW . You aren’t suppose to have any kind of bomb, firework or anything of that nature in the state- but its very easy to smuggle in from Mexico. I myself have even had a few cherry bombs come across the border.
    The question is- what is the circumstances on Alissa case since it is not widely publicized, even when it intially occured. It wasn’t televised and the only reason I knew about it was because of the missing posters blocks from her home.

    • Meaghan April 2, 2010 / 11:34 pm

      I suppose you could call the circumstances “unknown.” I don’t really know much more about it than you do.

      • Jill April 3, 2010 / 12:09 am

        A real pity, hopefully something will happen. Just for closure.

  7. Wendy April 3, 2010 / 8:24 pm

    Not that this is terribly important to the conversation, but I would like to point out to Jill and others that a broken elbow would not necessarily be obvious. When I broke my own (badly) a few years ago I was terribly disappointed not to be put in a cast (which I expected and wanted, because it felt better completely immobile) but was told that with the type of break I had I must begin moving and exercising the elbow immediately or it would “freeze” in place. Although it took several weeks to heal and I am still not fully mobile no one glancing at me at the time would have ever known it was fractured.

    That being said this is a very intriguing and sad case. Was it Dateline or 20/20 or 48 Hours Mystery that did this story a couple of years ago? I can’t remember, but I do remember that it started out slanted towards him as a good guy, a model and loving stepdad, and ended up slanted against him. The circumstances are very confusing, that’s for sure.

  8. donna April 5, 2010 / 4:06 am

    He gives me the creeps, almost like in “Lolita”. He has no boundries. The way he had the house rigged up was not a Security System, it was a way of controlling those Children. I believe he was inappropriate towards her and the cameras, etc. allowed him to keep an eye on everything that went on in that house.

  9. Meaghan April 6, 2010 / 1:12 am

    Whoops, y’all, my bad. I misremembered. It was Alissa’s NOSE her stepdad said had broken, which turned out to be untrue.

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