I want to start by stating I am a firm believer and supporter of
the First Amendment to the Constitution, that being our right to
freedom of speech. I also believe that the Free Lance, by way of
Citizens Voice, provides a much-needed forum for those of us who
wish not to sign our names to our opinions.
I want to start by stating I am a firm believer and supporter of the First Amendment to the Constitution, that being our right to freedom of speech. I also believe that the Free Lance, by way of Citizens Voice, provides a much-needed forum for those of us who wish not to sign our names to our opinions.
The only thing I would ask of an anonymous writer is that when giving information rather than an opinion that you be accurate with your facts. Having said that, I would like to address a letter in the Citizens Voice. I want to make it cleat that what I’m about to give are facts, not hearsay – I was an eyewitness to most of what I’m about to say.
Greg Zazueta’s recollection of what transpired during the Curtis Hill jail beatings and Hill’s subsequent broken hand is true and accurate. The incident started when three men jumped and viciously beat off-duty Deputy Greg Zazueta. Zazueta was taken to the hospital and I called (Dennis) Stafford at home and told him what had happened. He in turn called then-Sheriff Julian Medina who instructed Stafford to handle the situation.
The three men were later arrested and taken to the county jail on Fourth Street by Hill and other deputies. Upon our arrival at the Sheriff’s Office, Stafford and I entered the back door and heard screaming from the booking room area up front. As we ran down the hall and entered the communications area, we saw Hill standing in the doorway to the other hallway with his back to us swinging his arms at a subject sitting on the floor with his back to Hill and hands cuffed behind his back.
Stafford ran across the room, put Hill in a chokehold and threw him across the communications room, putting a stop to the assault. This was testified to under oath in front of a federal grand jury, which later indicted Hill. These facts should also be covered in Free Lance articles written about the local trial by reporter Mark Paxton.
As for Hill allegedly being drunk at the time, you’ll have to ask him.
In the Thompson murders, not the “pig farm murders,” Stafford arrested the killer, Fred Anderson, the first night of the investigation. The fact that there were no bodies became an issue for the press and the pundits – could he be charged without the bodies? It got to a point where Sheriff Medina told Stafford that the DA wanted the killer, Fred Anderson, released. In my presence, Stafford told Sheriff Medina if he wanted the killer released, that he (the Sheriff) or the DA would have to do it, that he would not.
About thirty days into the investigation, Stafford told me to go to the farm and dig around the burn pit and bring back any bones I might find. I brought back a small bag of shattered bones. Stafford called Dr. Roger Haggler, a forensic anthropologist who was in Salinas testifying in another of our murder cases, and asked him to stop by the office on his way back to San Francisco.
Again in my presence, upon the doctor’s arrival, Stafford spread the bones on the table and asked if any of them were human. The doctor pushed the bones into a number of stacks and then pointed at one bone and said that is a human mandible. We found the remains of all four members of the Thompson family in the burn pit.
We then made a second arrest. The fact is the case was made after the second arrest, when Anderson became angry at Stafford and made spontaneous admissions as to how he had killed the 4 1/2-year-old daughter Teresa.
As for the Teledyne double murder, Stafford and I were in Idaho hunting when the murders occurred. Hill was a part of the investigation that fell on its face. When we returned a week later, we took over the case and found the murder weapons and arrested two, convicting one. There was no “confidential informants” in that case.
In the Marlow case, the Hollister Police Department arrested Raul Zamudio and held him for 77 days while local vigilantes torched his house – twice. He was the wrong man. Stafford arrested Marlow for the murders of Lisa Koehler and Martha De La Rosa. Based on DNA, fingerprints and his statement to Stafford, he was convicted.
Prior to trial, Marlow was sent to CYA where he escaped from the facility. Before leaving, he raped and attempted to beat to death a female laundry worker. When the story hit Hollister, there was a panic, which Sheriff Hill joined in on. Based on Hill’s orders, thousands of dollars were spend chasing a station wagon that Marlow was supposed to have used in the getaway. Hill had the wrong description.
Stafford was in San Luis Obispo on another murder trial and received a call that indicated Marlow could be in Modesto. Stafford called me and asked if I wanted to go and try and help him capture Marlow. I told him that the current administration would not like me going with him and would probably fire me.
Stafford drove to Modesto over night and located a 4-door sedan in a mall parking lot. He called me and I contacted Stockton and confirmed it was the laundry workers car. Stafford then located a patrol officer and told them what he was doing. The fact is, Modesto never knew about the BOL for escapee Marlow. Stafford and the Modesto police went to local motels, located and arrested Marlow without incident. There is a letter on his wall from Sheriff Baxter Dunn stating these facts, commending and thanking Stafford for his assistance.
As for teamwork and a huge ego, if you ask him he will probably give me all the credit for solving these cases. As for your “empathy for the family of those who lost loved ones,” the families know exactly who to thank and give credit to.
Richard K. Boomer,