I knew this individual and was looking for him on a violent sexual assault charge he was wanted for. I had checked this living quarters a couple of times on my shift and it was about 3 am when I happen to see a dim light inside this room where there wasnít a light earlier. There was also a vehicle parked on the street in front of this building. I parked my unit a couple of blocks away and walked up to the vehicle and felt the hood and it was still warm. I then made my way to the back of this building in the dark so as not to alert anyone inside I was there. I listened for a few minutes and I could hear someone inside. I walked to the only door into the living quarters and knocked then backed away where I couldnít be seen. No response. I waited a few minutes and went up to the door again and knocked then backed away. Again there was no response. I could hear movement inside so took the chance and called out his time, saying I knew he was in there and to come out with his hands up. I repeated that twice then the door opened up. There he was, the guy I was looking for. He couldnít see me and as soon as he stepped from the door, I grabbed him, took him to the ground, put cuffs on him and walked him to my unit. Back then, we didnít have backup to help and it was up to me to handle this type of situation on my own.
On the way to the jail, he asked me what he was being arrested for and I told him rape and all he said was, ďIs that all?Ē That answer puzzled me. I would think a rape charge would be serious enough for him to be concerned about but apparently he was more concerned about something other than this rape charge I had arrested him on.
To me this was just an ordinary arrest on a warrant and I didnít think too much about it. At the jail, I turned him over to the jailer for processing and went to the squad room for a cup of coffee. While there filling out my arrest report, I was summoned to the jail as my prisoner wanted to talk to me. I took him out of the holding cell, placed him in cuffs and took him to the interview room. There, I read him the Miranda Rights as required by law and we sat down across the table from on another. Then he asked me if I had any information out of Baker, Oregon about a murder occurring there a few days ago. I told him I didnít have any information on a murder there and he stated, ďLet me tell you about itĒ.
He went into graphic detail as to what happened in Baker, Oregon. He had befriended a couple there and was trying to work out a business deal with them. He had only knew them for a couple of days.. He didnít want to talk about what kind of business deal he was discussing with this couple but I was putting together a scenario of my thoughts of what it was all about. Before the tape recorder was started, we talked about life in general just to put him in a relaxed state of mind. When I felt we had a good rapport. I started the recorded interview about what he wanted to talk about, the murders in Baker, Oregon. I read him his Miranda Rights as required by law and then he started telling me the gruesome details of what happened in Baker, Oregon.
He knew the address of this couple so drove there one evening and found the front door unlocked. They werenít expecting him as he walked through the front door. Larry didnít really know what was going through his mind at that moment but he pulled out his 45 caliber automatic pistol and had both the man and woman sit down in chairs. First he had the wife tie up the husband with electrical cords found in the home then had the wife take all her clothes off and had her lay down on the couch where we raped her. He had the husband facing the couch where he could watch. Over a period of time, he raped the wife twice, all the while he was chiding the husband. After the second rape, he forced the wife to perform oral sex on him. When that was done, he grabbed his pistol and put the barrel up into the wifeís vagina and fired, killing her instantly. This was in front of the husband, still tied to the chair and according to Larry, totally hysterical. He walked up to the husband and put the barrel of his pistol in the husbandís mouth and fired, killing him instantly. He ransacked the house for any money the couple might have had and left the residence with less than one hundred dollars.
Before leaving the residence, he wiped down everything he thought he touched. The house was in a remote area and he figured nobody would discover the bodies for a while. He then drove to Crescent City, California and met up with his lover at a campsite in Big Flat, California, a remote area in the county. After a few days there, he and his lover, a male individual got into an argument where he shot and killed him. He left the campsite and drove to his temporary residence in behind his family business in Crescent City.
Larry told me he heard me the first time I checked out the house but couldnít see me when he looked out the window. He kept it dark inside so as not to signal anyone he was inside. He heard me knock the first time but didnít respond. He was sure I was there over the double murder of the couple in Baker, Oregon. He was hesitating in answering the knock, trying to figure how he was going to overpower me to get away. He had thrown his pistol in the river on his way down to Crescent City so he didnít have a weapon. He told me if he had his pistol, he would have shot it out with me. He tried to see me outside the door but couldnít so he opened the door thinking I would be right there and the next thing he knew, he was on the ground with me on top of him placing cuffs on his wrist. .
Larry told me he just knew that was the reason I was there, the double murder in Baker, Oregon. He was surprised when I told him he was being arrested on a rape charge that occurred a few months prior. I was a little bewildered when he said, ďThatís allĒ.
Knowing I needed to have more than just his story about the murders so I started questioning him for more details about the murders only the perpetrator would know. I had him describe how the victimís were tied up and what he used to tie them up with. He told her he used some lamp cords for the man and a telephone cord to tie the womanís hands together. . He told me other details about the man. He described him and that he pistol whipped him before he shot him in the mouth. He said the bullet he fired into the woman passed completely through her body and exited out of the top of her head making a little mess. He told me the manís brain was splattered all over the coffee table in the room. He described the inside of the house and how he left it after ransacking it.
After finishing up with the interview, I took him back to the jail cell and went to the squad room with my notes and called the Baker, Oregon Sheriffs Department. I asked them if they had a double homicide recently and the man on the phone paused for a few seconds and told me to hold on and he would get a detective on the line.
I could hear a lot of noise in the background then one of their detectives got on the line and asked me what information I had. I told him I had interviewed this individual Larry (last name omitted) and detailed what he told me about the people he murdered in their jurisdiction. I related a few details and the Baker detective told me that only the killer would know some of the things I told him. They had never heard of this guy (Larry) and had no real evidence to tie anyone to the double killing and my information would be crucial in proving the case before a jury. I gave them all my information and told them I would be sending paper copies of all my reports and interview tapes to them as soon as my reports were done, probably in the next 24 to 48 hours.. I also told them Larry (last name omitted) committed a murder in our county also, and I would be busy investigating it. The Baker detective advised me they would be sending a couple of detectives to our county to personally interview the suspect.
It was now daylight and my shift was ending but I decided to continue investigating the murder in our county. I pulled Larry (last name omitted) out of his cell and took him to the interview room. He was again advised of his rights per Miranda and at that time he told me he wanted to talk to an attorney. That ended my interview. He did volunteer the location where he shot his lover up in the Big Flat area, describing the tent and the pickup parked in front of the tent.. I knew the area well. It was the Chimney Camp campground. I brief my sergeant and he gave me the okay to head to the Big Flat area and if I found anything to report my findings over the radio and they would send up people to handle any body found and evidence related to a murder if necessary.
While I was walking my suspect back to the holding cell, he told me how lucky I was. I asked him to explain and he advised me if he still had his pistol, and if he would have seen me outside the place he was in, he would have shot me without any hesitation. That is where I think my training came in handy, to be heard and not seen in situation like this one. That is why I knocked and then got in the shadows and out of sight. I was taught that way back in college in one of my law classes.
It wasn't hard to find the tent described by Larry (last name omitted) and even before getting too close to the tent, I could smell decomposition coming from the tent. It stench filled the air around the campsite. I could hear flies buzzing around inside the tent so I knew this was not going to be a pleasant task. I unzipped the flap at the front of the tent and the smell came out nearly knocking me down. Along with the smell, came the swarm of flies. I could see the badly decomposed body lying on a sleeping bag. The outside temperature was nearly 100 degrees and inside the tent was much warmer, helping the decomposition of the body. I backed away and used my radio to report my findings and requesting help to gather evidence and pick up the body. I also requested bug spray and some Vicks Vapor Rub, surgical face masks and latex gloves.
The bug spray was to be used inside the tent once we got the body out. The surgical latex gloves were to wear when touching the body due to disease decomposing bodies can transmit and since I knew this victim was homosexual, there was always a chance of HIV or AIDS and even Hep C. The Vicks Vapor Rub was a self explanatory. You put the Vicks Vapor Rub on your finger then fill your nostrils with it to mask the smell of the body. The surgical mask was to prevent inhaling anything you didnít want to inhale. We also smeared the Vicks Vapor Rub all over the inside of the mask. This helps but you can never get rid of the putrid smell of a rotting body. I wasnít about to enter the tent until help arrived with a rubber body bag. For the next hour I sat about 30 yards away from the tent listening to the constant buzz of the flies inside. I wasnít looking forward to going inside the tent to gather evidence. I was trying to figure out how I was going to get out of going inside the tent.
. Ö.. to be continued.
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