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Thursday, October 6, 2011

West Memphis, Arkansas

     West Memphis, Arkansas

     I moved to West Memphis, Arkansas in 1982 and began working as a night auditor at the Holiday Inn.
     One night around the year 1983 a man came to the front desk and asked for some change to use the phone.
     He was a black man with a rude and abrupt manner that made me a little nervous.  He was wearing an army coat and had a small scar on his cheek.  I gave him the change and he went around the corner to use the pay phone.
     A few moments later the security guard went through the back office to the general manager’s office and started looking out the window.  I asked the security guard what he was doing.  He told me he was watching a suspicious person parked in a no parking area outside the lobby.  He also said the man on the pay phone was with the car.
     I went to front desk and called the police.  I told the lady there was a suspicious man in the lobby and there was a car waiting outside for him.  Then I asked her to send the police. 
     As I was speaking to her, the man left. 
     The lady on the phone said since he left there was nothing they could do.  I asked her again if she could send the police anyway.  She let me know since there was nothing they could do then there was no reason to send the police. 
     When I finished the call to the police, I made an early cash drop 5 minutes after the hour because the insurance company only insured the cash drawer for $50.00.  Then I wrote about this in the hotel log book.
     When I came back to work the next night, two of the desk clerks told me to be sure and not to let cash drawer get to full.  They said they read in the evening newspaper that another hotel in the area was robbed. 
     I called the other hotel and the auditor said he was robbed and described the robber to me.  It was the same man that I tried to call the police about.
     The auditor also said the time in the newspaper was about 20 or 30 minutes off.  He was being robbed at the same time I was making an early deposit and was tied to a chair in the process. 
     I let him know I tried to call the police on the suspicious man when the robber was at the Holiday Inn.
     The auditor told me after the thief left, he managed to get lose from the chair and called the police.  Then the police arrested the auditor and accused him of stealing the money.  The auditor spent the night in jail and was charged with the crime.
     I was very surprised to hear this. 
     The auditor asked me if I would speak to the police for him and I said yes.
     One or two nights later a policeman came to me at the desk and asked me what happened.  I let him know I tried to call before the robbery and the time I logged the cash drop. 
     He said he would check the Snoopy for the call for 30 to 45 minutes before and after the times I gave him. 
     I asked him what a Snoopy is.
     He said the Snoopy was the recorder they used to record incoming calls to the police station.
     One or two days later my supervisor Diane Tully called me at home and said the police came by the hotel and wanted to talk with me.  She asked for my permission to give them my phone number and address. I said it was fine with me. 
     Sometime after that my sister called and said the police came by her place to speak with me.  She gave them my address and directions to my apartment at 215 West Danner that was two blocks away from her place.
     I let her know they never came by my place.
     Sometime later I came to work and was told by the hotel managers that the police came by the hotel again to talk them.  The police told them that me and the other auditor had somehow conspired together to steal the money and made up the story about the robber.
     Again I was surprised and this time upset.  I had never met the auditor at the other hotel.
     I decided since the police did not have the apparent intelligence to find me then I would go to the police station. 
     When I arrived at the station I saw the big Snoopy reel-to-reel tape recorder behind the desk.  I noticed the machine was on and let the lady know why I was there.
     A police man came to the desk and took me took to another room to fill out the report. 
     I asked him if they found the phone call that I had made on the Snoopy. 
     He said they did not find the call. 
     I asked him if it was working.
     He said it was working, they just didn't find the call.
     I sat at the table and he brought me a one page form to fill out.
     I started writing everything and ran out of writing space on the paper. 
     I told the policeman I need more paper to write on. 
     At first he tried to tell it was not necessary to write anymore. 
     I said I was not finished and wanted more paper. 
     He brought me one other blank form to write on. 
     I fill up that page as well and asked the police man for more paper.
     Again he tried to tell me it was not necessary to write anymore.
     I said I wasn't finished and wanted more paper.
     He brought me another blank form. 
     I finished writing a 3 page report and went home.
     Some night later the auditor from the other hotel came to meet me at the Holiday Inn.
     He was very happy and thankful for the help.  He said the charges against him were dropped and the police even apologized to him. 
     We talked for a few minutes then he left.


Maggie Boals House
14th Street, West Memphis, Arkansas

I was living at Maggie Boals House when I met Mr. Byers and at least 2 of the murdered victims.


Tommy Stacy Pastor
975 East Barton
West Memphis, Arkansas
I called Tommy Stacy concerning the three kids when he told me who they were.

- The Rev. Tommy Stacy, pastor of Second Baptist Church, said the arrests brought a feeling of relief to the community. But he said they also troubled him because Mr. Echols and Mr. Baldwin had visited his youth group.
- "Had we tried harder, maybe none of this would have happened," Mr. Stacy said. "So, while there's a sense of relief, at the same time, there is a feeling of guilt on my part. We could have reached them."

It has been more than 20 years since 3 Eight-year-olds were murdered.
The three victims, Stevie Edward Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore, were in the second grade at Weaver Elementary School; each had achieved the rank of "Wolf" in the local Cub Scout pack; and they were best friends.


1 comment:

  1. Thomas Trumble False Arrest