True Murderer Comes Forward – A Letter from William Holmes

story1We have a long tradition of letting people tell their own story.

Today, the Innocence Project walked into the courthouse and filed a motion for Post Conviction Release on behalf of George Frese, Eugene Vent, Marvin Roberts, and Kevin Pease. These men have maintained their innocence for almost sixteen years, and today definitive evidence of their innocence has been made public.

This court motion contained a lot of information – testimony by experts that George’s boot did NOT match the wounds on the victim, proof that Arlo Olson lied, proof that it would be scientifically impossible for someone to have seen what he claimed. But, the most important thing it contained, in our view, is a story. A handwritten confession, by a man named William Z. Holmes who confesses in detail the murder of John Hartman.

We have said many times that we believe people can feel the truth, see it, sense it, recognize it. And that is why we believe so strongly in the power of truth told by those who hold it. We believe the best we can do to help any injustice is to make a space where people can tell their truth. There will be plenty of articles, news, updates, and headlines about this case today, we will let them fill their purpose, and fill ours.

With that in mind, below is the handwritten confession of William Z. Homes. We will let that stand alone for today. You can judge for yourselves if it is the truth. We believe it is.

We believe in redemption. That anyone can do all they are able to change themselves during their time upon this Earth and that no matter how dark or low a place life takes us to that we can still seek light. So, we publish this with a great sadness for the heartbreaking manner in which John Hartman died, but also a hope for the individuals who did kill him, and every single one of those who helped to hide the truth and further lies, that they may use this time to come forward and begin what must be a very long journey toward redemption.

This day could have never come without the faith, hope, and hard work of many, and we thank you all. Our journey to justice is far from over, but today we begin a walk down a new road.

This is a sad story. Listen, listen.

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Who Killed John Hartman?

That is a question that I cannot answer. But it is a question that many people in our town can answer, and this post is for them.

The truth is a simple thing. Funny how it is always the simplest things that make life complicated.

I know many truths about the Fairbanks Four. Lots of small ones, and some big ones.

The way that Marvin loves his mother and sister as if there was only ever them on the Earth, how when he speaks about them every aspect of him softens.

I know Eugene’s easy laughter – so genuine and enthusiastic that it can brighten any day.

I have seen the depths of grief Kevin reached when he lost his mother, the piece of her that will always linger with him.

I know, for example, the way that George’s eyes light up for a split second before he cracks a joke, the sadness that flickers there when he hugs his daughter goodbye.

I know that one night, in what has come to feel like a time very long ago and far away, these four spent a snowy night in the company of friends. I know where each of them were the moment that a boy none of them had ever seen lay dying, the last of him ebbing out of this cold world. I know the names of the girls Marvin danced with at a wedding reception with hundreds of guests as that boy died. I know faces of the boys, now men, that walked drinking and laughing against the cold alongside George on the snow-packed sidewalk at that moment. I know the license plate number of the borrowed mini van that Kevin and Eugene rode in; the corners and turns and pot holes that they passed over in those fateful minutes.

I know, I think, more than I ever wanted to about these four men. I wish that they could have aged with the rest of us out of the October night and into adulthood. Into the time in life when children clamber at your feet, and the bills are barely paid, and you share meals with people you love more often than you appreciate. The age when you come home tired every night, and the passage of time begins to show itself white at your temples and in creases around your eyes. When your years number into a trinity of decades and you begin to accept the rhythm of the every day. The rise, the fall. Still young enough that you mostly fail to be grateful for the endless tiny blessings, yet live your life so surrounded by them. An age where restlessness fades and who you were as a teenager on some October night long ago is nearly forgotten. When the names and faces of the girls you danced with then are blurred, like a photo taken in dim light from too far away. Because if they had not been interrupted there, in that early hour of life, the details of their movements on October 10th of 1997 would not matter. They would have been forgotten. Probably, that they ever corresponded to a time when a boy much like them lost his life would be unknown. These details, minutes, names, faces, temperatures, routes, guest lists……they would be absorbed into the anonymity of long ago, where they belong.

But, it didn’t happen that way, so here in my mind, and in these pages, are many small truths which all add up to one large truth. A truth that must be borne by any who possess it: Marvin, Eugene, Kevin, and George are innocent men, wrongfully imprisoned. Unfairly interrupted. I know that much is true. More importantly, I want you to understand that I wish I didn’t know. Partly because I wish it wasn’t true at all, and partly because it is a burden. Because to hold that truth means I will be held responsible for what I did with it, and because doing what I know is right is both exhausting and scary. But I, and so many others, are doing our best with the truths we have, which is what gives us the right to ask the same.

For all the things that I know about the boys who were convicted of killing him, there is little that I know about the 1997 murder of John Hartman. That is not my truth to carry. But it is someone’s.

There are people who know the details of that killing because the moment that boy began to die they were becoming something else, too – murderers. And more likely than not, those truths are ones they wish so badly to cast off of themselves that they will never speak them aloud and accept judgement. We foolishly fear things in the places they are most harmless – to fear judgement here on Earth is like fearing shark attack in a hotel pool. Life is like that. The truth is like that.

But there are others. There are people among us who know the names and the faces of the men who killed John Hartman. There are people who know the truth about those men, and the truth about how they killed that boy. And I bet they wish they didn’t know. I imagine they wish that they had never heard the details, heard the rumor, seen the faces. But we often are born for burdens that we would never wish for, and that truth is in their possession because it has to be. Is meant to be.

The truth that they hold could set these four innocent men free and being the peace to dead boy’s family that they deserve. The silence that they choose is the prison in which these men live.

The opposite of love is too often considered to be hate. But I have heard it said, and believe completely, that the opposite of love is apathy.

Likewise, the greatest enemy of the truth is not a lie. It’s silence.

All great men begin simply as the bearers of a truth that overwhelms them. A truth that feels like a burden. They become heroes when they listen, and understand that to hold the truth is already a form of greatness. A test. In silence, many transform that greatness into a great evil. In courage, with the wisdom to bear witness to the truth they hold, some become heroes.

I wish I could choose for you – for those of you that know the truth about who killed John Hartman. I wish I could implore you, trick you, cut away your story and steal your truth because I believe myself to be more capable of using it wisely. Yet the universe believes otherwise. I know, and you do too, that is not how life is. I hold my truth, and you hold yours, and that is one of those simple things we all know about life.

I say to you, and only because I am certain that I have earned the right, do what you were sent for. Become what you were born for. Be worthy of the burden you carry. It will not be easy. It may not be safe. It may cost you all and earn you nothing.

Do it anyways.

The reward is now over $35,000 for information leading to the exoneration of the Fairbanks Four. You can call in to (907) 279-0454 with any information.

Hope – A Letter from George Frese

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This letter needs little introduction, if any at all. George Frese wrote this from his cell in Spring Creek Correctional Center, a maximum security prison where he is waiting. Waiting, approaching his 15th year of incarceration for a crime he did not commit. A crime to which no physical evidence ever connected him, committed against a boy he never met, on a night he spent with half a dozen alibi witnesses. Most importantly, a crime that people outside the walls confining him have information about. Information that could allow him to receive a new trial. This information is the key that unlocks his cell and sends him home. These people have chosen to remain silent for many years out of fear and a false belief that someone else should come forward, and that their non action hurts no one. This letter is to them.

They say time heals all wounds, but what if it was the complete opposite? Where every moment that passed you by was an accumulation of pain, sadness, loneliness, and missed memories? This is the life that has been dealt to the Fairbanks Four.

Nearly fifteen years have been accumulated. Sixty years when you add all four of our lives together. Perhaps thousands of years when you include our family and friends.

The first fourteen years were tough, but none as tough as the past year. The last year has allowed me to see family that I haven’t seen in nearly twelve years because I spent all of that time in an our of state prison. The ones that I have seen have aged considerably and have caused me to feel a sense of urgency to be home. Old friends come back and new friends have been made.

All this publicity has caused out hopes to soar. Hope that the powers that be will have mercy and give us back to our families. Hope that anyone with information will come forward and free us from our misery. Hope that all this ends. Hope that it happens soon. Hope that we will be free to follow our dreams and not take anything for granted.

Always Hopin,

George Frese

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Endess Graditude – An Interview with Eugene Vent

When reporter Dan Bross of KUAC did his short radio story on the reward in the Hartman Murder being increased to $35,000 he provided us with the unedited audio so that we could share it here on the blog.

We are pleased to bring you a longer conversation with Eugene Vent, who talks at length about how much the movement to free the Fairbanks Four has lifted his spirits, and of his gratitude for all of you!

A conversation with Eugene will always leave a smile on your face – his optimism is heartening, his laugh is contagious, and we are lucky to have one friend who can do that for is. It is a wonder that Eugene can be such a beacon of light from such a dark place.

Below, Eugene speaks from prison, where he has grown up. Where he was sent at an age that most young men are looking forward to getting their first car, to summer, to moving out of their parents house. Where he has pondered for a decade and a half the nature of injustice, of social segregation, the nature of racism, and the corruption of power, in the years where most young men are able to ponder such things on college campuses, or over dinner with friends. Where he was waited for the arc of justice to bend in his favor. All of this in prison – where he could grow into an old man unless this injustice is corrected.

Old Ways in a New Time

The story of the Fairbanks Four is old. So, so very old. This happened in 1997, but it was happening long before that, has happened each day since that, is happening now. 1492, 1513, 1667, 1897……in every numbered year this country counts as its own this same story is told. This story is older than any who are reading it today. As old as the first broken treaty, as old as the first proclamation. This proclamation is from 1513, but it could be from any year. They all say the same thing:

But, if you do not do this, and maliciously make delay in it, I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war against you in all ways and manners that we can, and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and of their Highnesses; we shall take you and your wives and your children, and shall make slaves of them, and as such shall sell and dispose of them as their Highnesses may command; and we shall take away your goods, and shall do you all the mischief and damage that we can, as to vassals who do not obey, and refuse to receive their lord, and resist and contradict him; and we protest that the deaths and losses which shall accrue from this are your fault, and not that of their Highnesses, or ours, nor of these cavaliers who come with us.

Proclamations are the only promises made to Indians that never got broken. They all contain a singular threat – one hundred romantically penned variations of the same violent proclamation: cast away your story, strip away all that you are, shed yourself of the past. Take our ways into yourself so completely that you forget you ever had a story separate from the conquerer.Come to us as pilgrims, empty-handed and lost. And if you do not, we will be certain that you suffer in every imaginable way. And this suffering will be your fault.

It was and is a threat impossible to bow under, no matter its gravity. Because we, as humans, cannot shed all that we are. No matter how time marches, no matter how the world around us changes we are, all of us, born into something. Born into a story that began long before we came to this earth, that will continue long after we depart.

In Athabascan culture, in nearly every indigenous culture, there is a story. An idea. A truth. So old it cannot be cast away. It lives inside all the people who were raised with it. Taken at a mother’s breast, breathed in like a smell that can bring you to your knees with homesickness. Stained like a white porcelain cup that has held many years worth of tea. Soaked in like the faint smell of salmon on hands that have worked on the fish all day and all night. Lingering, like the scent wood smoke clings to long hair. Pieces of your distant history that remain. Traces of the place you came from. Bits of long-ago. They cannot be beaten, threatened, or proclaimed away. They remain.

The old ways. For hundreds and thousands of years, those with authority had earned it. These people lived through winters of suffering and summers of laughter, season after season of a life not lived by chance. They spent many hours in work and silence. They found stories in dreams and memory, through all of these things, they were listening. And in this way, authority came to them. A kind of medicine. Chiefs. Healers. Elders. Old warriors. Grandmothers.  Among this people, authority was bestowed by fate and by time onto those who deserved it. And authority of this kind could be trusted. They, above all others, could be trusted. Their truth held more power than yours, their truth is more true. And that was the old way.

Yet, it is a new time. And in the new time came authority in new forms, it came to these en differently. Strong-armed, stolen, grabbed, wrestled from the hands of others. A kind of authority taken through vows, seminary, schools, presented in paper certificates, draped on in sashes, pinned on as badges.

You can scream at the top of your lungs, claw at the earth, write until your fingers bleed, and it is still so hard, so very very hard, to show someone a story like this one – so old, so buried, so deep. A story that refuses to rise out of the dream realm, a story that lingers in the in-between, a story that seems never told, just known or not known.

I have to tell you that story. Somehow.

No one wants race to be an issue in this case. No one wants race to be an issue at all. But in some ways we are all beholden to our history. When authority as defined by colonialism encounters children from a culture with a different concept of authority entirely, history bursts into reality. The two parts do not fit they way we wish they did. And it doesn’t make anyone wrong, it simply proves that everyone is human, and that we are not after all exactly the same.

In 1997 in Fairbanks, Alaska there were men in power who issued a proclamation. Not written, not official. Unspoken. Painfully familiar. So very real. We heard it – all the kids that ran around those dismal streets in the 90′s, always afraid, always looking over our shoulders. It shuddered through the air when the cars rolled into Midtown, crept through our streets. When they screeched toward us we could hear it between the pulses of the siren. It came from the static on their radios. We could hear it in our bones……we shall powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war against you in all ways and manners that we can, and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Police and of their Court; we shall take you, and your women and your children, and shall make slaves of you all. We shall sell and dispose of you as the Court may command; and we shall take away your goods, and shall do you all the mischief and damage that we can – and we protest that the deaths and losses which shall accrue from this are your fault, not ours.

We were afraid of these men. We had fair reason to be. Nothing but little kids, chased and caught, pushed and harmed, by grown men. A deeper reason, too. Something like the way the fish moves from just the slight shadow of the spear, the way any animal knows when what would end it lurks near. We feared these men who were somehow also people with authority.  We knew that there was something in us they sought to punish. And it shames me still to say it, but if we could have cast it away and freed ourselves of the dogs at our heels, I think we would have. But we couldn’t. And we didn’t know how to stand up against it.

Inside us with that fear -  lingering, stronger  – was a very old way. A way that whispered a contradiction: these men have authority. They possess a truth greater than our own. Perhaps not earned, but there nonetheless. They will tie you to a chair. Lock you away. Steal you from your family. Cut your tongue, take your breath, try, try to take away the story.

So, when they came to take away the simple truth from a dozen and more young Indians, they got what they wanted. Or at least, they thought they did.

Underneath, the truth remained. Proclamations were fulfilled and treaties broken, but still something kept the people and their story alive.The truth waited. It never changed and it grew only stronger. Because in these last fourteen years we did the work of remembering. Remembering that you cannot take away a person’s story. You cannot abduct, handcuff, beat down, or lock up the truth.

Some of us do not make proclamations or treaties. Some still prefer to lay in wait, to rely on truth and prophecy, to do our work and let the world do its work. So, we will not proclaim to you that something has changed. But we will be here, as present and as peaceful as shadows in the grass, because we have never left. And we are content simply to know, to feel the years blow through like winds, the push of something coming up through the soil. There is no proclamation, only the truth. We know what comes next. See, this is still our story, this is still a story where truth outlasts and outsmarts deceit.

We know the ending.

SIGN THE PETITION TO FREE THE FAIRBANKS FOUR HERE

Alibis and Witnesses V – Paging Conan

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 them 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…

O:  Okay.

G:  Dropped me off
O:  Was Eugene I the car at that time?

G:  No.

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?
G:  Samantha.

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:  huh-uh

O:  Okay.
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:  Nah-huh.

O:  Okay.
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-____.

O:  (Inaudible)
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?

G:  Um…
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.

G:  Mm

O:  YOU remember talking to Antonio and Courtney?

G:  (Inaudible)
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
Hall.

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?
G:  (Inaudible)

O:  Did YOU go to the Eagles Hall at all?

G:  Yes.

O:  How?

G:  Walked.
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?

G:  No

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.

O:  (Inaudible)
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?

G:  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?

G:  No
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?

G:  Yeah.
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.

O:  Well,
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 -
G:  (Inaudible)

O:  And that’s why we knew so much information to talk with Antonio…
G:  No, somebody’s telling you…

O:  (Inaudible)
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?

G:  Huh?
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.

O:  Well…
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
O:  Right.

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.
(TAPE OFF)