Mr Bojangles

Discussion in 'West Memphis III' started by Cappuccino, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Well-Known Member

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    I've only just realised - thanks to a post by Dysthymia - that this man doesn't have a thread of his own.

    For the uninitiated - on the night of the murders, a local restaurant manager called the police to report that there was a black man in their ladies' bathroom kneeling on the floor of a cubicle with his head in his hands, covered in mud and blood and mumbling incoherently to himself. He had also soiled himself and thrown a pair of sunglasses into the toilet bowl.

    Officer Regina Meeks of the WMPD responded to the call, but by the time she got there he had already left. She took the police report through the restaurant's drive in window and then immediately left to respond to another call. The staff at the restaurant partially cleaned the blood, mud and other mess from the bathroom, until Marty King, (the restaurant manager), spoke to an off duty police officer the next day who told him to stop cleaning. Two officers from the WMPD then went to the restaurant and took blood scrapingsA from the walls along with the sunglasses.

    Bryn Ridge of the WMPD testified at Jessie Misskelley's trial that this evidence never made it as far as the crime lab because he had lost it. Here's a link to Marty King's testimony...

    http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/martyking.html
     
  2. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Well-Known Member

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    Here's the testimony of Bryn Ridge on the subject...

    Price: Detective Ridge, on May the 6th, 1993 did you and Detective Allen go to the Bojangles Restaurant?

    Ridge: Yes sir.

    Price: Ok. And what - did you talk with a manager there, Marty King?

    Ridge: Yes sir.

    Price: Ok. Did he tell you, an individual had - a black man with blood on him had been at the restaurant the evening before?

    Ridge: Yes sir.

    Price: Ok. When you were at the Bojangles Restaurant, did Marty King give you a pair of sunglasses?

    Ridge: I don't remember a pair of sunglasses, no sir.

    Price: Ok. Do you recall taking blood scrapings from the north wall inside the women's bathroom above the toilet?

    Ridge: I found an - a trace remains, possibly blood in the ladies' bathroom of the Bojangles, yes sir.

    Price: Did you also take blood scrapings from inside of a door to the women's bathroom at Bojangles?

    Ridge: I'm not certain, it's possible.

    Price: Alright. And did you also blood samples from the entrance hall to the bathroom from the sitting area at Bojangles?

    Ridge: I don't think so.

    Price: Ok.

    Ridge: That area had been cleaned to the best of my knowledge.

    Price: Alright. If I could approach, uh - when you went to the Bojangles Restaurant, was Detective Allen - did he write up a report about what you and he did at the Bojangles Restaurant?

    Ridge: He was talking with the manager as I was looking through the area, yes sir.

    Price: Ok. Your Honor, if I could approach the witness and take a look at the yellow portion, that may reflect your recollection.

    (pause)

    Price: Ok. Alright Detective Ridge, what is the date that you sent the blood scrapings off to the crimelab to be analyzed?

    Ridge: They were never sent.

    Price: They were never sent?

    Ridge: That's correct.

    Price: Alright, where are the blood samples at this time?

    Ridge: I don't know sir, they were lost.

    Price: They're lost?

    Ridge: Yes sir.

    Price: You mean this is the evidence that y'all have in this case - the blood scrapings are lost?

    Ridge: If they were blood, yes sir, they're lost.

    Price: Well, whatever they were - you took samples of something and was the purpose you took them was to send to the crimelab?

    Ridge: Yes sir.

    Price: But they're just lost?

    Ridge: Yes sir. That's my mistake, I lost a piece of evidence.

    Price: Ok. Do you recall if Marty King, the manager of Bojangles, gave you a pair of sunglasses?

    Ridge: I don't recall the sunglasses.

    http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/ebtrial/brynridge2.html
     
  3. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    To my way of thinking, the incident with Mr. Bojangles could mean one of four things:

    1. Mr. Bojangles is the killer. He had just murdered Chris, Michael and Stevie and he stumbled into the restaurant. What was his motive for murder? Maybe he was in a drug-induced stupor. Maybe he was just a homicidal maniac. If either of these statements were true, he is also one lucky person.

    2. Mr. Bojangles was a bum who was walking in the woods. He fell and injured himself and wandered, disoriented, until he came to the restaurant. He went into the restaurant to clean up. He had nothing to do with the crime. He, of course, knows about the crime, but, as a black man, he hesitates to identify himself for fear that he would be accused.

    3. Mr. Bojangles was a bum who was walking in the woods. He heard someone struggling with a heavy load, and he looked and saw the killer dumping the bodies in the discovery ditch. The killer saw him, shot at him and wounded him. He went to the restaurant to clean up and then returned to the woods. The killer, who was in and out of the woods all night long, waited until he left the restaurant and shot him again and killed him and disposed of the body in the Mississippi River or some other place.

    4. Mr. Bojangles was an OTR driver. On a break, he took some sort of illegal drugs, wandered into the woods and fell into a ditch, scratching his arm severely. Then, he wandered into the restaurant to clean up and finally left the area in his truck. To this day, he has no idea that he is being considered by some to be a witness to a crime. He may not even know about the crime and his connection to the case.

    I'm more inclined to believe either two, three or four. For number one to be true, it seems to me that there should have been at least one similar child murder in the area. Since there wasn't, I tend to discount the first option. As to the other options, I'm unsure. I lean slightly toward two or four, but it's just a gut feeling. I just don't think he had anything to do with the crime.

    ETA: In option four, the reason that he went to the restaurant instead of the truck wash is because they might have known who he was at the truck wash, and they might have recognized that he was using some illegal substance which could have cost him his job.
     
  4. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what to think about Mr Bojangles. There is so little evidence about him he really could be anything from Red Herring to Real Killer. I just don't know.

    I just thought that on a true crime forum with a sub forum dedicated to the West Memphis Three, it was a remarkable oversight not to have a thread on this subject. I'd welcome all and any theories.
     
  5. iluvmua

    iluvmua Active Member

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    I think they should have investigated him, for whatever reason they did not.

    Maybe he witnesses the murder in the woods? who knows....... he could have had some valuable info to give LE....... his behavior was def. strange.
     
  6. JBounds

    JBounds I feel lucky

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    I think Mr. Bojangles was real, but the local police conveniently lost, or rather destroyed the evidence and did not really put much investigation into him because their minds were already made up who they believed did the murders.

    He could have been the real killer, but not sure if he was. Obviously the real killer was trusted by the boys.
     
  7. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    That thought (in bold) had occurred to me, too. Since I believe that there was a conspiracy among certain people (not everyone, mind you, just those in a high enough position that they wouldn't get "caught"), it's easy to see the scenario you described. In fact, it's probably dead on.

    The question then becomes why? Why were the police locked in on the WMFree as the killers? Why didn't they question Terry Hobbs until 2007? Why did Terry stay in that three acre patch of woods all night long? Why did Terry leave Pam about two weeks after the murders? The "whys" are endless! Why the Bojangles evidence disappeared is only one of the hundreds of unanswered "whys" in this case, IMO.
     
  8. JBounds

    JBounds I feel lucky

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    Remember that the Probation Officer specifically picked them out of the list. The Police didn't investigate any other people on that list, just them in particular. So they were screwed from the start. But it still doesn't answer why they picked them.

    As for Terry Hobbs I have no idea why they didn't question him. I still scratch my head after all these years. It makes no sense. Maybe he was friends with someone high up. I don't really know, but it seems the Police Dept knew him.
     
  9. Dysthymia

    Dysthymia New Member

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    Thanks for the thread, Cappuchino. I would have sworn there was one here already but I never found it---thus my disappearing thread last night.

    The staff in the restaurant must have thought about him after the news of the children's murder became public knowledge. This happened on the same night. They must have wondered if he was involved in some way. I suppose coincidence does occur and his presence there that night may mean just nothing but why in the world didn't LE investigate him?

    Ah, well. He's always going to be a mystery, isn't he?
     
  10. UdbCrzy2

    UdbCrzy2 New Member

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    The Bojangles employees cleaned up the blood evidence before the police arrived.

    Fogleman: Ok. In fact, he left blood and mud all over the restroom, right?

    King: Yes sir.

    Fogleman: He left it on the wall, the floor -

    King: Um hmm

    Fogleman: - on the door knob -

    King: Yes sir.
    Fogleman: - on the - out in the hall.

    King: It wasn't actually on the hall floor, it was on the hall wall where he might have staggered.

    Fogleman: Ok. And y'all cleaned that up, isn't that right?

    King: Yes sir.

    Fogleman: Y'all tried to clean it all up, didn't ya?

    King: Yes sir.

    Fogleman: And that was before Detective Ridge and Allen arrived, isn't that right?

    King: Yes sir.

    Fogleman: Ok. So y'all had made efforts to clean it all up before they ever came - right?

    King: Yes sir, 'cause they came the next night.

    Fogleman: Now when uh - Patrolman Meek came to the drive-in window, were you aware that she was trying to find 3 missing 8-year-old boys?

    King: No sir.

    Fogleman: Ok. And when she came there, this person wasn’t there anymore, isn't that right?

    King: Yes sir, he had already left.

    Fogleman: Ok. And when she came there, this person wasn’t there anymore, isn't that right?

    King: Yes sir, he had already left.

    Fogleman: So what we've got - after that man left, is we don't have an area that has just a few little drops of blood, but he had got blood and mud all over the place - right?

    King: Yes sir.


    http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/ebtrial/martyking.html
     
  11. AngelontheRiver

    AngelontheRiver New Member

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    I don't consider anything Echols wrote to be believable. I believe he has told countless self serving lies.
     
  12. justthinkin

    justthinkin New Member

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    I think Mr. Bojangles is a complete red herring. Most likely just a bum, probably a drug addict who'd been rolled, and knifed in the arm. The restaurant was a mile from the crime scene, and there's no telling what direction he came from to get to the restaurant.

    He sounds more like the possible victim of a crime on the night in question. Also could have been in a fight or started one, he couldn't finish, but nothing about him is indicative of him committing the 3 child murders. It just plain doesn't fit. He was described as dazed and confused, muddy and bloody. The odds are against anyone who would commit that kind of murder would be dazed and confused by the crime they'd just committed.

    People can concoct all kinds of scenarios, but that doesn't mean they're likely. Police look at what they see over and over because what's seen over and over fits, so some scenario pulled from left field is not worth a hill of beans. Take some ridiculous scenario to the police, and you'll be laughed out of the station.

    Sure it wasn't a great thing that Ridge lost the Bojangles evidence, but after 1:00PM the following day the entire WMPD was up to their azzes in alligators so it's not hard to imagine that bit of evidence got lost in the shuffle. I don't think malice had anything to do with that loss of evidence. I think they either accidentally lost the evidence or simply discounted the Bojangles incident, and that was that.

    Naturally any defense is going to pull up the Bojangles incident and use it to steer things away from the accused on trial. If they didn't, they wouldn't be doing their jobs.
     
  13. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    As to the loss of the evidence being an accident, I would tend to agree with you except this wasn't the only "screw up" on the part of the WMPD. In his Pasdar deposition, Gitchell talks about investigating all parents, canvassing the neighborhood and other standard police techniques as being the proper course of action for this crime. The neighborhood around Stevie's house wasn't fully canvassed at the time (which is why Jamie Ballard and her sister didn't tell of seeing Hobbs with the boys until years later). Hobbs wasn't properly questioned by the WMPD until 2007. So, the sloppy nature of the investigation tends to make me see nefarious motives in the loss of this evidence.

    However, I think Mr. Bojangles is, indeed, a red herring, and I said so earlier. As to why he hasn't come forward once he learned that he was a potential witness, that's easy. Either he's dead, he was passing through and left the area without knowing of the crime and still doesn't know about it or his connection to it, or he's afraid to come forward for some reason, probably fear of being accused of the crime. I don't see him as the murderer, either. Although, in the realm of possibility, it's possible, just not very probable, at least IMO.
     
  14. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Well-Known Member

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    This is incorrect information. The Bojangles staff started to clean up before a friend of Marty King's, who was also an off duty police officer, told him to stop. Detectives Mike Allen and Bryn Ridge were then dispatched to Bojangles to take evidence. Unfortunately, they were sent straight from the crime scene at Robin Hood woods, so even if they had traced Bojangles and he had been guilty, they probably couldn't have convicted thanks to the police cross contaminating one crime scene with another.

    However, that never arose because they never found him and then lost the evidence - blood scrapings and sunglasses - taken from the restaurant.

    This info is all included in the two links I gave at the start of the thread, which are links to the complete transcripts of Marty King and Bryn Ridge's testimony at the Echols/Baldwin trial.
     
  15. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Well-Known Member

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    I also lean away from Bojangles as the real killer for this reason. This was a very sneaky, underhand crime, with the bodies hidden away under water and the crime scene staged. I don't believe it was the work of someone disoriented and incoherent, any more than I believe it was the work of a bipolar teenager. Its the crime of an organised adult.

    I also don't believe the murders were committed in the woods, which leans me away from thinking Bojangles witnessed the crime itself, (although we don't obviously know where Bojangles came from). Personally, I think he either witnessed the dumping of the bodies, or stumbled across the bodies while engaged in some dodgy activity of his own, or he's exactly what you said - a red herring.

    OTOH, the similarities between this case and the killing of Stephanie Crowe have always struck me, and I can't help but see eerie similarities between Mr Bojangles and Richard Truitt. So I wouldn't put money on Bojangles being completely innocent either.
     
  16. UdbCrzy2

    UdbCrzy2 New Member

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    Not true. When Bojangles happened, the police were looking for lost children, not murdered ones.

    You may not know this, but the three convicted were arrested almost a month after the murders.
     
  17. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    Regardless of what the police suspected when they received the Bojangles report, to send an officer through the drive through to investigate is ridiculous! He could have been a sex pervert or anything being as he was all bloodied. However, I guess this is par for the course as far as the WPMD is concerned.
     
  18. Wescott

    Wescott New Member

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    If anyone knows where I can see the extra footage from Paradise Lost Purgatory showing gitchell talking about the Bojangles evidence, could you please point me in that direction?

    Thanks
     
  19. Daisy1975

    Daisy1975 New Member

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    It would have been nice if the police had been able to question him before he left the restaurant, and not lost the blood scrapings that were left. If some of that blood was his, they might have been able to locate him today or at least identify him through CODIS (if he was in there). Would have been nice to at least be able to eliminate him. Yet another WHOOPS by the WMPD.
     
  20. Wescott

    Wescott New Member

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    That is why I want to see the lost clip from Purgatory. gitchell says that they sent the blood to the lab and the samples didn't match the boys. I don't know if he is talking about the children or the WM3. The clip isn't on youtube yet but it is on HBO On Demand and I don't get that in Canada. Hoping to find the clip. And who is lying, gitchell on the clip or ridge under oath in a court of law when he said the samples were lost?

    There are also clips with Vicki H and Domini that I would like to see. :(

     

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