As near as anyone can tell the whole town of Fairbanks spent part of this night paging Conan Goebel. We do not know how to reach him (maybe someone still has his pager number?) to see if he wanted to make a statement today, but he figures enough into all of the timelines that he is well worth a mention. Beyond that, Conan has two other important roles in this case.
Conan’s pager had the potential to be a really solid alibi, and potentially an alibi for all four. It could have been the only common alibi, since although they spent the critical hours of this night apart, someone was always paging Conan. As far as we have seen, there was never any attempt to track down this data. But his pager would have been an ideal time-stamp on many people’s whereabouts. We have no idea why this information is not available, could be that it was not possible, could be that, like many other pieces of information that contradicted the investigators’ theory, it is either “missing” or was never pursued. Conan did offer the pager information to detectives, and surely the records if they existed could have easily been obtained. His pager is such an important witness an entire future post will be the pager’s timeline.
Aside from his pager Conan, like many others, was interrogated with high-pressure techniques when he was interviewed. As with other interrogations, which you can and should read HERE
, Conan was given the good cop/bad cop treatment, and they tried to pressure him into admitting he was an eye-witness to the crime. Again, they gave him two choices: Admit to being an eye witness; or, risk becoming a suspect. They cited false information, telling him that multiple people had implicated him, that his friends said he was there, that he had details of the crime not yet known (of course, none of this was true) and suggested to him that he had been blacked out (if you can undermine a person’s own memory of their movements it is much easier to persuade them that they were involved).
This technique failed quite terribly on Conan. And it is refreshing, because it worked painfully well on too many people.
Conan’s interview is one of our favorites, because when the investigator said things like, “Your friends think you were there.” He said things like, “I don’t think so.” He was just the rare example of a person who saw right through the manipulation. He asks them repeatedly about the obvious holes in their theory:
- How could a person across town have done this?
- Why would they ever think people like Marvin or Eugene had done this?
- George or Kevin?
- Why wasn’t George’s foot hurt when Conan saw him at around 3 am?
- Why were all of them behaving normally, in a good mood?
- Why weren’t they covered in blood? Why hadn’t they told him or anyone else about a fight?
Conan was a common link between the four because he was friends with each. People always ask why everyone was paging Conan. It seems he was a popular guy, and on a hopping night, everyone just wanted him to come out. Another distinct possibility - maybe everyone was paging Conan just because he’s kind of a badass.
We will post his interview in its entirety at the bottom, but have to share a few stand-out quotes here:
Conan: Well, I can’t say it’s them.
Officer: His pants pulled down. Raped, and left in the gutter, okay. Now, if that was your friend, okay -
Conan: I still wouldn’t blame these kids for something that I don’t know. See, there’s – I can’t tell…
Officer: That’s why you’re not the police and you’re not investigating this -
Conan: Thank God, ’cause I wouldn’t want to be working your job.
We are glad that the officer explained to Conan that his unwillingness to finger someone for murder without evidence or motivation is why he would not make a good investigator.
After Conan admonishes them for making such a serious accusation with such little evidence, he gives Detective Ring and the other officer the boot. He tells them that they should not be showing up at his house, being disrespectful, and harassing him. It clearly makes th
em mad, and the officer gives Conan a little speech about owning the streets:
Officer: Well, let me tell you something here. These are our streets, okay.
Conan: Right, man. They’re my streets too.
Touché. And you know what? They ARE our streets! Where can we get a Team Conan t-shirt?!
Well, beyond his encouraging attitude and very early “Free the Fairbanks Four” work, Conan was an important witness. Conan saw all of the accused this night. His girlfriend was at the house party with Eugene and Kevin, which is why he was being paged from their location. His sister was there as well. Kevin was dropped off at Conan’s house after the house party, and walked to his mom’s from there. After he got in a fight with his mom, Kevin rode back to Conan’s by a three wheeler and spent the night there.
For the purposes of this transcription “G” will be Conan Goebel, and “O” will be officer. (transcript does not confirm that one of the officers is Aaron Ring. We are operating on a hunch when we assume that it was him)
Goebel: All right. So, I gotta go over this all over with you?
Officer: Yes, just where you were Friday.
G: 11:30, around 11:30, I got dropped off at, um – Over by the 21st Avenue at my cousin’s house (inaudible). And, uh…
O: Well, who dropped YOU off? I think that’s one of the questions.
G: Chrsty Moses and – I answered this.
O: I understand. That’s why I’m taking notes this time.
G: And Kevin Pease and um…
G: Dropped me off
O: Was Eugene I the car at that time?
O: Okay, 11:30?
G: Yeah, it was probably around 11 – 11:30.
O: 11 – 11:30, okay. What’s your cousin’s name again?
O: Samantha, okay. And how long did you stay there?
G: Till about 2:30, 2, I think.
O: Two? 2:30, okay.
G: Could have been (inaudible). ’Cause I know I went to town for a while. It might have been earlier when they dropped me off the first time, or when they dropped me off the second time (inaudible).
O: What do you mean, first and second time?
G: Well, they dropped me off the first time and I stayed there for a while, and then they took off. Then it’s just those people right there, and then they came back, and, uh, I got – I went – I come to the van with them and we went and picked up Eugene and Nathan. They were at Eugene’s house. And then we drove back over there and then they dropped me off right there, but I told them when they were looking for a place to go I (inaudible) take the car back. So, I was like, well, you can drop me off at Sam’s house.
O: Well, see, okay. That’s – That is why he’s confused and why I’m a little confused. you got dropped off there the first time by who?
G: By just them people I said.
O: Okay, what time was that?
G: About 10:30.
O: It was those people that dropped you off
G: It was those – what time was that? The van (inaudible)
O: Tanya’s van? Okay.
Another Officer: And who was in this van with you?
G: Tanya, Christy Moses, Allen Sisto.
O: Okay, and they dropped you off at Sam’s and they went – you don’t – do you know where they went?
G: They went up to Kevin’s – Kevin Bradley’s.
O: Kevin Bradley.
G: There, yes. And then, they paged me, probably between 12:00 and 2:00 (inaudible) and they were (inaudible) it up there for a while, and I talked to them on the phone a few times and told them (inaudible) but I never (inaudible) so I called the next time around – I don’t know – 2, around 2:30
O: Well, what’s this 11:30 time that you gave me when you were dropped off there?
G: That’s when I got dropped off the second time.
O: Okay, tell me about that – when you got dropped off the second time at 11:30.
G: Well, after we picked up Nathan and Eugene, we went over – back over there, and I was like, they were going to find a place. Get me on the pager, and I’ll call (inaudible).
O: YOU didn’t go up to Kevin’s?
G: And I, um, (inaudible) down there and they paged me and I talked to them on the phone. (inaudible) I think it was like probably around, uh, 2:30 is when I called again. I called at, um, it was probably like, (inaudible) left. And I was like, all right. And I asked, where did they go. and they went down to Eagles Hall to meet you. And I was (inaudible) so I hung up the…
O: You didn’t know they were going to go down to Eagles to meet you?
G: Um, I think Eugene paged me before they leave. I don’t know who – he told Dana – he said we’re going to go meet Conan down at Eagles Hall, but I don’t – I didn’t call him back. (Inaudible)
O: Oh, I see
G: And, uh, he paged me 479-____.
G: And then, uh, walked down to Eagles Hall and, uh, it was about 3:00. (Inaudible) and um,
O: Who was there?
G: I ran into, uh, Eugene, Dana, um, George, Marvin, Harley, uh, all those – all those guys. And I was talking to them. And nothing seemed – uh, I mean I was talking to him right there and, uh, he even talked to me and George (inaudible) hadn’t seen him in a while, and there was NOTHING WRONG WITH HIM AT THE TIME (inaudible) and he was in a pretty good mood. And then, uh, so we was talking for a while, and um, and then, um, then everybody’s taking off – we were pretty faded at that time (inaudible). And I was like, well, um, (inaudible) I called for a taxi for Dana. And I, (inaudible) the taxi, (inaudible), Eagles, but they took too long because it was 3:30 when we finally got out of there, and, uh, Eagles – a red taxi rolled up and I went out there and I put here in that one and I sent her
home. And after that, me, Eugene and Edgar, we proceeded on foot downtown. And we walked downtown. And (inaudible) across the street from – over at Elbow Room, and kind of walked in there, and then we turned around and…
O: Who was in that bar?
O: Nobody YOU knew? Okay.
G: And, um, I walked (inaudible), and, then, uh, (inaudible) he didn’t last too long. He was pretty (inaudible). So then I – we walked over to Alaska Motor Inn. And chilled there for a while. And, uh, then, somebody said, (inaudible)
O: Did YOU see that?
G: I didn’t see (inaudible). Eugene (inaudible). But then I found out Eugene (inaudible) I talked to Harley
O: When did you hear about that? Because I don’t think you told me about that before.
G: Well, see, I walked back over to – walked back over to Shannon’s – Shannon Charlie’s – (Inaudible) and, uh, I just took off over there after (inaudible) and I walked – walked over – back over to 21st. That was at my cousin’s for a while.
O: What time did YOU get back over to 21st?
G: Probably around, uh, (inaudible). Then, uh, I was – I don’t know – it could have been the next morning or that night that I talked to Harley about mace down there and it was like Eugene – Eugene and George got in a fight at Alaska Motor Inn. That’s what I thought happened. George got in a fight at Alaska Motor Inn. And I was like, where’s he at? And they’re like, he got arrested. And then, after that, the next morning I heard about some kid getting beat up pretty bad and in a coma.
O: Where’d you hear about that, Conan?
G: Um, I think that was Louis. ’Cause the cops (inaudible). And I was like – I was like, really. and they’re like (inaudible). We got in a fight with some other guy. And that’s what I thought happened.
O: That’s pretty weird because…
G: I don’t know how – I mean Eugene took off and he didn’t say nothing – there was nothing wrong with him – no blood.
O: Well, let me ask you about this. You know the Tritts – Cordell and Courtney and their sister – what’s their sister’s name? I’ve got their names written down. Any way, Cordell and Courtney and their sister. And you know… ?: (Inaudible)
O: Antonio Sisto. And you remember riding in the car with these guys?
G: On Friday?
O: Um, Saturday.
O: YOU remember talking to Antonio and Courtney?
O: And telling them about this guy that these guys beat down?
G: No, I didn’t tell them about (inaudible) I asked and they said (inaudible) fight or some…
O: Well, let me tell you. I talked to all these people and they had information about you talking about this guy that got beat down. And you know what they thought, by the way you were talking about it and all the details you had and everything – and this is Saturday where all the details came out. They thought you were there.
G: That I was there?
O: When this happened.
G: I read it in the paper. It was all in the paper. I told them – I told that Eugene, Marvin, Kevin, and George are accused of murder.
O: That wasn’t in the paper Saturday.
G: Well, it was in the paper or on the new then, because even, uh, Sammie Smith told me heard about it on the news – somebody got coma – in a coma.
O: What time was that you were (inaudible)?
G: Then it was probably close to – it was like 12:00 at night. And, I says to them (inaudible) ’cause I was calling and talking to (inaudible) and telling me they had all those guys in jail, and I was like – I don’t know – I don’t know (inaudible) he died or heard – at first I heard he was in a coma and then I heard he died. And I was telling (inaudible) that. And after that I got a ride with Courtney. And I was – I got in there and I was talking to Antonio, and he was asking me about (inaudible), and I was like, I don’t
know, man. I heard that they’re being accused for murder or something like that.
O: Well, I think Antonio knew all about it because I think we’d talked to him by then. And, uh, and – me and the Tritts are under the impression that you were there and saw this.
G: Well, I wasn’t even anywhere around them.
O: Or, they were under the impression maybe even a little more so that you were there and participated in this.
G: You say that’s what they say?
O: That’s the impression they got from you.
G: I don’t think so. I didn’t tell them anything like that.
O: But if you were there and saw what happened, that’s another thing.
G: I didn’t…
O: Now, you mentioned Jeremy. And I’ll talk about Jeremy for a minute. Because Jeremy asked youvabout it, okay? And you told him, geeze, I don’t know what was up – I was in a blackout.
G: I was in a blackout? I wasn’t blacked out.
O: I know, but that’s what you told Jeremy. ’Cause he asked you why were in the fight with these guys and this thing, and you told him you were in a blackout. Well, you know I’m not lying to you ’cause you told Jeremy that. You know I’m not lying to you.
G: I don’t know nothing about that.
O: And Jeremy told us.
G: I seen – I recall…
O: ’Cause he’s concerned about you and wanting to know if maybe you were just a witness to this happening or you were a participant.
G: I wasn’t a participant or a witness. I didn’t – I didn’t even get down there until…
O: Why’d YOU tell Jeremy you were in a blackout then?
G: I never told him I was in a blackout.
O: Well, I don’t think he made it up. He doesn’t have anything against you.
G: Well, I know he don’t have anything against me. There’s no reason, ’cause I never told him I was in a blackout.
O: You see how this all looks? The Tritts thinking – or thinking you’re talking like you were there and you participated. Jeremy’s asking you a couple of times about the fight you were in and you…
G: I wasn’t even in a fight. I didn’t tell him. I said, I don’t know what happened. They’re getting accused for beating somebody up.
O: You told him you didn’t know because you were in a blackout, okay?
G: I didn’t know because…
O: See, Conan, you’re not – we’re not arresting you here.
G: But I ain’t got nothing – I wasn’t even around then. I didn’t even hear what happened until like the next day about this kid being comatose…
O: We’re – we’re kind of concerned as to whether you want to be a witness or not, or whether you want to…
G: Hey, if I seen it, man, I would tell you guys what happened.
O: Well, let’s talk about that for a minute.
G: But the thing is, I wasn’t even in the neighborhood that it happened in. And that’s what I…
O: Were you in Marvin’s car at all?
G: Naw-huh. I never even noticed Marvin’s car that night. I never even rode in the car at all from Eagles
O: Well, is there any reason why YOUR fingerprints would be in Marvin’s car?
G: Marvin’s car?
O: HIS blue car?
G: There’s no reason my fingerprints would be in there. (Inaudible) I mean, I’ve rode in there before, but I didn’t ride in there Friday night. I don’t even think they could be in there ’cause I haven’t rode in there for a while.
O: Okay, well, no reason – in the back seat area – you weren’t in the backseat area of that car?
O: Did YOU go to the Eagles Hall at all?
O: What time did YOU leave?
G: Around 3:30.
O: 3:30? What time did you go to (inaudible)?
G: Around 3:00. I ran into Dana (inaudible).
O: Where were you? Dana had been looking for you.
G: I was at my cousin’s house (inaudible).
O: You were there that whole time? You didn’t leave there then?
O: All right.
G: (Inaudible) Went in. I talked to him on the phone a bunch of times.
O: Why didn’t you go to the Eagles Hall with (inaudible)
G: Because I didn’t know there was nothing going on down there.
G: (Inaudible) because I talked to them on the phone, and it was like come on, it’s like, we’re going to Eagles Hall, and then I found out (inaudible)
O: Were they – were they at Eagles Hall when you talked to Joey?
G: No, Joey was up at Kevin’s and he said they just left.
O: Oh, okay. Well, let me – let me clue YOU in there. Joey drove them to Eagles Hall.
G: Oh, really?
O: Oh really. Oh really. So, see, we’re having a problem here. ’Cause Joey drove them. He borrowed Kevin’s car. Kevin didn’t want to go and Joey drove ‘em.
G: Well, (inaudible) ’cause he went to Eagles Hall (inaudible) that’s why he called. ’Cause I was like how long ago. He was like, not too long ago. They left when (inaudible)
O: And what time was that?
G: Uh, (inaudible) about (inaudible).
O: Uh-huh, but you’re telling me Joey was telling you this. And I’m telling you Joey drove.
G: I don’t know who drove. I just talked to Joey – I don’t remember what time it was. It was around 2:00, 2:30, somewhere around…
O: Well, maybe Joey had driven and come back?
G: (Inaudible) that’s what I (inaudible)
O: So maybe it was around 1:30 or earlier than that that HE drove them in, huh?
O: Maybe it was around 1:30 or earlier than that that he drove them in?
G: Could be, I don’t know. I didn’t talk to him ’till late.
O: Well, you told me that…
G: I don’t know. I don’t recall. I could check my pager was.
O: You got it?
O: You haven’t?
G: No, that was Friday. All those pages are erased. I don’t know (inaudible)
O: Well, see what I’m saying? I’m a little bit confused about what you’re telling me. Either Joey had already come and come back, which means it was quite – quite a while ago that you’d taken to the Eagles, because they got – he was -
G: I don’t remember the time, though, man, I mean…
O: Well, you might be right – you might be right. ’Cause I think your sister saw him (inaudible) time, so you might be right. You might have talked to Joey and he’d already gone and come back.
G: I don’t, I don’t, don’t know. I talked to Joey Shank. I don’t know what time it was. It could a been around 2:30. But, then I remember I walked down there and…
O: Between 1:15 and 2:15, you were where?
G: I was over at Sam’s (inaudible).
O: And you were there from 11:30 until -
G: Probably about 11:30, 12:00. I remember Darrel Calling from the car and (inaudible). But I was sitting there ’till like probably 2:30 or later. I don’t know.
O: (Inaudible) around
G: Because I said I was at the Eagles Hall – I don’t even know what time I was there. I said I was there when everybody was leaving. I was like one of the last people at Eagles Hall.
O: Well, there’s no one (inaudible). When did YOU leave there?
G: Probably like 2:30.
O: What did you do there?
G: I just sat there talking to my cous (inaudible).
O: Okay, well I’ll give them a call and we’ll figure it out. In fact, I can give them a call here in just a minute.
G: And then I sat there for a while, and then I talked to Joey on the phone. I don’t remember what time it was. He says, I (inaudible) – when I talked to him last time, I got to – I got to Eagles Hall and everybody was leaving. But I don’t know what time it was. (Inaudible) it was around 3:30 when everybody was taking off (inaudible).
O: Well, that’s what your sister and them’s saying. But I don’t know if their times are right.
Other O: They locked the doors between 3:00 and 3:30.
O: Yeah, THEY had the doors closed.
G: Because we were the last people there.
O: Because the thing was over at 3:00.
G: Yeah, it was probably around then.
O: You left, um…
G: But it took a while for everybody to get out, because everybody’s drunk.
O: Yeah, everybody was out by 3:20.
G: There were a lot of people.
O: So, you went from 21st Avenue over to the Eagles Hall?
O: And you got there, people were leaving?
G: Uh-huh. People were leaving.
O: You see, the problem I’m having here is it’s sounding to me like people are trying to back step and figure out things to match up with other people’s stories and it’s starting to sound like a big mess.
G: I don’t – I don’t know. I…
O: And the way you talked to in front of the Tritts and Antonio, they were thinking you were there when this happened.
G: I wasn’t even there. How can they say that? I told them that…
O: Well, good point. Because of the detail you had. And I would like to know if one of these guys talked to you and told you what happened, or if you were there?
G: No. Somebody’s (inaudible)
O: Which one of these guys talked to you?
G: Harley told me…
O: No. Which one of these guys that were in the fight told you about it?
G: Nobody told me anything.
O: (Inaudible) You’re not in trouble here. We’re not here trying to hassle…
G: Look! I’m basing it all on the times you said. Eagles Hall – we left – a lot of people left Eagles Hall.
O: Look, here’s the problem. You call and you talk to Joey. Well, Joey thought you dropped these people off, right? And did some things in town and come back up to the hill. Right. (Inaudible) Well, that doesn’t match up with your sister’s (inaudible), who’s called by Kevin and told to adjust her time a little bit.
G: I don’t think that (inaudible) happened was Eugene and George got in a fight. It’s nothing that Eugene and George got in a fight was a whole different fight.
O: NO! He did! Now, I can play a part of the tape for your sister with Eugene saying how many times he kicked the guy. I just asked him how many times you kick him…
G: (Inaudible). How could Kevin do it, when it happened over there? Kevin was at my house and he had to go to his house.
O: No, he wasn’t at his house.
G: He was at my house and then he went to his house and got in a fight with his mom.
O: He got in a fight with his mom later.
G: All right.
O: Okay, and the way it happened, is ’cause all these guys have lied about (inaudible) and what time it was and all that, okay.
G: I don’t even know where they were. Because I didn’t see these people until 3:00 – when I first got down to Eagles Hall and I talked with them. And if they would have got in a fight, they would have told me (inaudible) because -
O: Right. Because that’s what we figured. We figured they told you about it -
O: And that’s why we knew so much information to talk with Antonio…
G: No, somebody’s telling you…
G: Um, like, I think it’s Harley, or one of them, told me that he got (inaudible) so bad that they had to cut open (inaudible). So, well…
O: How would he know that?
G: I don’t know, man. Lewis or somebody told me – I don’t know. But I was like, well, I was like, how could these guys – these guys wouldn’t (inaudible)…
O: Well, they certainly did. They certainly did.
G: Well, I think Eugene got in a fight at Alaska Motor Inn. That’s what happened.
O: And what, a space man killed this boy?
O: A guy from outer space killed this boy downtown?
G: I don’t know, man, there’s a lot of people downtown that night. You gotta’ understand there were other people downtown on Friday night.
O: But you see, none of them are admitting to doing it. And Eugene and George are, okay. That’s the problem we have, okay.
G: Well, how could – how could Kevin do it when he was sitting here and -
O: He wasn’t here.
G: He was here. He got dropped off at my house.
G: He got dropped off at my house.
O: And then he left. He didn’t even come in inside. Then he came back on his three-wheeler to your house.
G: He left his house. How could he -
O: ’Cause he actually went downtown. He didn’t -
G: His house is that way, unless he got beat up that way. Then (inaudible) he would walk that way.
O: Well, I’M not going to argue with you. ’Cause I know where Kevin was and I know what time he had a fight with his mom.
G: Well, yeah, it’s like. Not too (inaudible). ’Cause after he got in a fight with his mom he came back over here on the three-wheeler and then passed out on the floor.
O: Except for (inaudible) – he stopped by the Alaska Motor Inn (inaudible).
G: He wasn’t even over there. I went over there. I never seen him over there the whole time. I stopped -
O: So, you really don’t know what time he was doing anything, do you?
G: I stopped -
O: Except what time he got here last.
G: I don’t know. It was probably about – I don’t know
G: I just heard -
O: Absolutely. So, you don’t know where any of these guys were when this boy was killed.
G: (Inaudible) I seen Eugene at 3:00 down at -
O: That’s not when the boy was killed. You don’t know when these guys were killed – or where they were when this boy was killed?
G: Uh-huh. Well, I don’t know where -
O: So don’t try to figure it out, okay. We just need to know -
G: I – I don’t see how they could do this, man.
O: WE just need to know what you know.
G: ’Cause if they did, they would have told me about it. They would have told me they got into a fight. That’s the thing. And, George – I seen George and his foot – was nothing wrong with his foot.There’s nothing wrong -
O: If it was your brother or sister laying face down and had this done to ‘em, you wouldn’t be talking like that, okay.
G: Yeah, but it wasn’t. That’s the thing.
O: That’s right. It wasn’t.
G: But it ain’t.
O: This was a 15 year old boy…
G: I don’t pretend things that never happened -
O: This was a 15 year old boy. This is a 15 year old boy -
G: I know it’s a 15 year old boy.
O: That got his head beat in.
G: Well, I can’t say it’s them.
O: His pants pulled down. Raped, and left in the gutter, okay. Now, if that was your friend, okay -
G: (Inaudible) problem, but it wouldn’t…
O: It would be -
G: I still wouldn’t blame these kids for something that I don’t know. See, there’s – I can’t tell…
O: That’s why you’re not the police and you’re not investigating this -
G: Thank God, ’cause I wouldn’t want to be working your job.
O: Okay, that’s why…
G: (Inaudible) but I -
Other O: I don’t understand your point. That’s exactly why what?
G: I don’t know. You said that’s the law. Whatever, man. I don’t need this. You all coming in here and harassing me in my own home. I wasn’t even with them; I was -
O: We’re not harassing you. What we’re doing is we’re just (inaudible) this right here in your home.
G: Well this is my home.
O: So you can disrespect whoever you want?
G: In my home, yes. This is my home. This is my house, man. I don’t need peole coming up in my house giving me shit (inaudible) -
O: Well, let me tell you something here. These are our streets, okay.
G: Right, man. They’re my streets too.
O: Just remember that, okay.
G: I don’t remember nothing. (Inaudible) on the streets. I live on the streets more than you do.
O: Remember that.
G: And, the thing is that I think if they did it, they would have told me about it. That’s all I’m saying
O: Maybe they’re not good friends with you. Maybe they -
G: Nah, man, these are my best friends. Ask the school – go to (Inaudible) Roberts. Ask them how close they are to me. Ask them how close these guys are. I mean, these are all my boys. Really close friends. And that’s the thing -
O: No, I have no idea. I don’t think so. I don’t think so.