We’re going to begin a new series. We will be doing a study of various crimes. The person who will learn the most is the writer. I will be watching each study 3-4 times and reviewing the article many times. The format will vary until the most efficient method is found.
Today’s study is 45 minutes long. This case is about a hunter in Ohio in the last 1980s.
“Coward” – when used by an LEO, means someone impossible to……. catch and track
unsup – unknown suspect
ME – Medical Examiner
vic – victim
POI – person of interest
“Make a square” – take 2 right turns
1) Unsup replied to newspaper article
2) Unsup did not get rid of gun after each killing
3) Unsup used same MO on all crimes in the same area
4) Unsup selling Swedish Mauser to a gun dealer
These events took place in Ohio. The southeastern areas are highly rural.
Don Wellin was the first victim. He died on April 1, 1989. He left home and walked up road. Moments later, his body was discovered. The ME determined he died of a gunshot to the chest.
The police looked for evidence. Every crime leaves a particular set of evidence. In this case, they sought tire tracks and empty shell casings. None came up. All they had was the bullet in the victim, which was 30 caliber.
An intense background on victim was done to establish leads. This is called “beginning with victimology.” They talk to friends, fellow workers, family, acquaintances, neighbors, anyone who knew him. This usually leads to the killer, as there is usually a motive.
November 1991. Jamie Paxton was an outdoorsman and the next victim. He worked in a factory. A local citizen discovered his body and alerted authorities. Again, a 30 cal bullet was found. Usually with murder, there is a motive. Here there appeared to be none.
Paxton’s mother began writing the murderer through the local paper. She pleaded to know why. She got a reply.
The FBI placed surveillance at the cemetery on the anniversary of the shooting. Listening on tombstone with cameras. The FBI was set up in a residence across the street. Aerial surveillance was also used.
March 14, 1992. Claude Hawlins went fishing. He was shot in the back. X-rays found the fatal bullet. The autopsy found bullet fragments.
“Lead storm” or “snow storm” is the shedding parts of a bullet as it passes through the body. This happens more often with rifles than shotguns or handguns.
A task force was assembled when the system thought they had 4 bodies killed for no apparent reason. It was composed of an investigator from each of the 4 counties where a body was found and the FBI. They had no leads and no suspects.
A profile was created by the FBI Behaviorial Science Unit. Middle aged, white male, loner, kills small animals, hunter, fascination with firearms, very private, passionate driver.
The break for the police came when they appealed to the public for help. They held a press conference and scared the hell out of the people. They created a “wave of fear” to generate tips. An 800 number was left.
Many tips came in. 2 hunters reported that a man in a red truck took aim at them but ran away. Within a week, over 100 POIs were investigated and many were cleared.
August 26, 1992. Thomas Dillon’s “friend” went to the police and fingered him. Dillon got on the suspect list. He would shoot stop signs and electric meters. He expressed a fascination with serial killers.
Dillon had previous federal charges for having an unregistered firearm and silencer. He was not allowed to have handguns.
They called his boss to see if he was available to do the killings on certain days. His vehicle matched.
Dillon was placed under heavy surveillance. An airplane directed unmarked cars on the ground when following him.
December 1992. The policed decided to “attack him with search warrants.” They arrested him for his probation violation. They used the “spaghetti approach”, which is to throw a bunch of crap at him and see what sticks, see if he cracks maybe.
They found maps and hunting articles. No guns though, no hard evidence.
So – again they held a press conference. They ask all friends and family of Dillon for information, if they know where the guns are, to please come forward. His gun dealer came forward and narced him out. Dillon sold him his gun. Then the police had the weapon.
Only 2 cases had direct evidence. Dillon traded life in prison and no death penalty for a confession on all 5.
The TTD on this case was quite small. Bodies were discovered almost right after they were produced. This eliminated the window to eliminate evidence safely.
I was surprised there was no track or footprint evidence of Dillion found. There was no attempt to discover the shooter’s firing position or distance.
Dillon made almost no attempt to clean up the scene or eliminate evidence. He was a disorganized, opportunistic killer.
One can see several times in this show how much the pigs love this shit. Smiling, laughing. We’re pretty fucking awesome man.
The public likes to see a killer who cries during his confession. It gives them some sort of feeling, as if he is remorseful. When this is not done, it deprives them.
Evidence, Witnesses, Interrogation – how crimes are solved
Search Methods: circle, strip, lane, point to point, grid
Types of fingerprints: latent, visible, plastic
Harry W Tombitas – Special Agent FBI
Walter R Wilson – Sheriff’s Office