Longtime Detroit radio DJ John O'Leary stabbed to death; roommate arrested

John O'Leary was a fixture on Detroit radio since the 1970s and started out as one of the original WABX ‘Air Aces,’ working at multiple radio stations playing rock and roll and connecting with listeners.

On Sunday police say the 67-year-old was found stabbed multiple times in the backyard of his Highland Park home.

"It is just such a shocker – he was the sweetest guy on his own level, sweet," said Detroit radio legend Jim Harper.

"It’s scary because it is right across the street," said neighbor Mrs. Upshaw. "It is right here in the area and when it happens to someone you know – enough is enough."

We're told Highland Park police received calls early last week that John O'Leary was dead in the backyard of his home.

Officers went to the house and checked the backyard of his home on Chandler Street but didn't find anything. 

It wasn't until the police returned on Sunday to do a welfare check - they discovered O'Leary's body buried under backyard debris.

Investigators say evidence found nearby led them to the suspect, who actually lived at the house.

Upshaw watched as police brought him into custody.

"They had big, long guns trying to call the people out at 1:55, and they didn’t come out," she said. "And when they finally went in to get him – got a little guy out of there – taking care of what happened."

Police say a possible motive and the suspect's identity will be revealed when he is criminally charged on Tuesday.

In the meantime, longtime listeners and those who worked with him have been posting heartfelt messages on social media.

Detroit morning radio star Jim Harper remembers the days when they worked in the same building. He was at Magic 105.1, O'Leary at 94.7 WCSX.

"It didn't matter what radio format you were in, what kind of show you were doing, he was always happy for everyone else's success," Harper said.

Harper continued those thoughts in a touching Facebook post - calling O'Leary a tremendous talent, one of the nicest guys he'd ever met, and how he will try to live the rest of his life as kind as he was.

"If you ask around, everybody from the listeners he dealt with over the last 40  years to all the people he worked with, you just can't find anyone to say a bad thing about him.

"He was a special guy."