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The Fairbanks Four - 264

The Fairbanks Four. October, 1997. Fairbanks, Alaska. A 15 year old named John Hartman was found badly beaten on a curb in downtown Fairbanks, Alaska. At the hospital he was placed on life support as police worked the case and tracked down witnesses and suspects. By the next day John had died and authorities felt certain that a picture of what had happened was quickly coming into focus. But after four convictions and almost two decades the case had changed and the four who had landed in prison for murder were being released after new evidence made its way before the courts. Had the Fairbanks Four been wrongfully convicted? Or could they have committed the murder and then convinced many otherwise? See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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the cops were rumpled suits and are all roughened and or whatever, but they get the job done. Sometimes it seems like the poor might have had him fooled, but that ironclad alibi by through that were that tiny teeny lie the killer, told them the first interrogation boom. He may wonder: how is going to end, but that's kind fond of a good crime story. Are you ready to stream some crime stories right now? Hulu, it's a crime not to watch
I don't know I'm doing ok just and harry you here doing good as I can be well. What better to kick. This often does say we're back a happy new year and all that good stuff, hope you were able to survive a little bit of a hiatus from the generation. Why For those of you who were curious.
We have a venue now, for our los angeles california meet up on march. Twenty fourth it'll be from three to seven p m pacific time at idle. Our it's gonna be loads of fun. We were to get a venue where we could do like a show and stuff, but always expensive, so you it's gonna get to hang out with us. Instead, tonight's case takes place and fairbanks, alaska, nineteen, ninety seven and it sir group of kids. There get into some trouble one cold night there, all they're all teenagers, and I personally don't think you can really look at any one in this case and think they were a perfect angel. But I was in a perfect angel either at their age. So I don't judge them on things that happened. Twenty. Thirty years ago,
I only judge this case on the evidence. So what are we talking about tonight, her tonight? We're talking the case of the fair banks for and they, for young men who were accused of beating to death a fifteen year old boy name of John hartman, so we're. Being alaska has allowed over thirty thousand people that live there. A lot of it is blue collar. I dont want to say that its low income, but there's not a lot of opportunity there for all that population bashfully, the young, the younger crowd, the teenagers is not a lot for them to do so- drug use and alcohol is pretty rampant. This is a knock against Anyone that lives there. This is is what happens in
Any city, any town where you dont have a lot of things for kids to do there as well. in particular night that people like to go out and celebrate some people call wild night because everyone in the town receives a dividend, for the oil and other industries. around that area? So these people that are now very well off, get a fairly large check like a lot. people who aren't used to having any money or living paycheck to paycheck when they get a check they want to celebrate now whether this is going out drinking going Gambling boards, partying in general. Also, Everybody knows everybody's paid that same day, so the darker side of this is criminals or opportune
will come out and try steel checks from other people, though play pretty much the knock out game. If most of you know this, it was a net phenomenal a while ago, but you up to somebody in you sucker. them and knock them out? And while you record it now, this is you know the late ninetys there now recording this, but the running and attacking people in an hour. or to steal their money or get their check from them this night is overwhelming for the local law enforcement. on the night of october. Eleventh. Ninety ninety seven, the police, her so short handed that their actual calling up other officers, on their night off and asking the come in and work. They can't keep up the alaska permanent fund sends out dividend checks about every october and this
they all started in nineteen? Seventy six as an amendment to the alaskan constitution and its arise, big deal for some people. people who out of work or who don't earn very much money at the time in ninety. Ninety seven, the checks that went out forever native alaskan, which, by them definition would be anyone who has spent a calendar year in a row skype Nineteen. Ninety seven, that payout was one thousand two hundred ninety six dollars and fifty four cents, so You can imagine how that went over there. A bunch of people out ready to party raided by things or has just mentioned people ready. Take this as an opportunity to get some free money, but this why night brings out all kinds of people The centre of this case really is a young man by the name of John hartman, who is fifteen years old at the time he was out. with a friend named chris stone
what we know is is he was actually wearing chris stones pants kristen had these corduroy pants. They were We baggy on John, because Chris were larger than he was. I don't know. I know some people like to wear baggy clothes. back in the nineties, baggy pants worth kind of a trend. Now Chris was known to be a drug user. He accompanied on hartman out that night, but at some point supposedly according to risk. They part ways and this is really the start of this horrible night for hartman during the night there down from house to house and it is alleged that their drinking can taking well beaten and its employed John hartman, actually goes into a seizure or kind of flips out. He will. I help people throughout the night that he's been
taking well beaten and he'll, tell people that has been taking lsd now. skip ahead, a little bit autopsy report. It will show that he did not I have system and they didn't then find the well do you turn into system either so long alcohol, that's all we can really confirm but as most teenagers do they like to talk up them ass. They like to act like they're doing something far more rebellious or cool than just hanging out and drinking, so that sort of theme, I think that might carry this story along, but yeah they bright ways at some point. During the night and johns walking home, we assume, but there saying they're going home they had been offered rides home earlier that they I turned down So, whether or not John was on his way home or
heading somewhere else to party some more. This sort of up the near but his fur and stone is the last person to see him alive. early that morning, and this is what would you say around one- thirty in the morning yeah a woman by the of Melanie, was staying at a woman, shelter on the avenue, and this area is in downtown fair banks. She is watching a show and she gets. I don't know she reaches appoint the show where she does not interested so she steps outside. to have a cigarette, and she there's a smack. Sound this is kind of like imagine someone getting hit or slapped on the skin. And then she hears us- can smack. And then a voice saying help me help me. She could then hear what sounded like someone getting beaten and then a second voice older who sounded drunk with a native accent.
So a native alaskan accent. She also said this voice sounded very angry, but she could make out what they were saying. She didn't kill the police, but she did go down and speak too. Person that ran that the women, shelter and told what was going on so they stepped outside, to listen to see if they could hear anything else, but they do hear anything and they It's really see anything here because of where the sound was coming from. She could tell it was coming from a relatively busy street, so she figured okay well they're, not calling the car spite someone driving by will have seen something and if someone down their needs, help they'll get help. Someone will stop that's it about one thirty in the morning and then calvin, moses driving Louise lambert and her sister home and
they noticed some one lying half in the road louise. When she looked at the person line lying down like they were on the ground, she said it look like little boy stretched across the curb and into the road. That's how she described it. He was still breathing and they know that because it is really cold out and they could see his breath coming out, but he was bloody about the head: louise notice that his pants were down towards his knees, his corduroy pants and they left to get help they didn't want to stay there and to get help because they were nervous that whoever it attack this kid made still been in the area of is actually less than ten degrees at night. I think it was about eight degrees paramedics. got. There are very quickly. They know is that his pants had been pulled down. They noticed that, because the way he was moving that he has effort head trauma and they could see and so that as well,
so. They didn't another test where they shine a flashlight in his eyes and his pupils didn't dilate. So that looks really really bad the people that stopped and discovered this young man. That was it to fifty so, but we, in the time that Melanie over at the women shelter, heard something what sounded like an attack to her and the time that people acts stop to help who had seen this kid lying down on the ground. It was in our and twenty minutes That's a long time for someone who's been brutally attacked to be lying there in the road so they rush This young man to the hospital- and he is put on life support. During the night another teenager name: eugene vent has been out salary, being in partying there, a hotel that a lot of the kids I too frequent.
The alaska motor n A lot of under age. Teens will go there and drink and party in the owner of this. Hotel more that manage that's on the night shift, he's called the police and saying hey. You have kids that are out of control. Here being the night that it is. The key our real receptive to out of control. Kids, even when He tells them there's underage drinking. Still, nothing happening until he says one, These kids brandished a firearm and threatened him with it? Well that an happen, a lot and fair banks, apparently in the cops or their pronto, but this is not until much later in the morning. His first calls we're probably around three a m the cops they pick up. You and who is really do a case. I think his blood alcohol was point one five, eight,
double the legal limit and he's under age. So there is really no legal limit for him Andy hotel honour says that's the guy. That threatened me with a gun so: the police arrest him they do not. And again on her hand it's never exactly proven if he was the actual person that threatens hotel owner or if he just happened to be- lucky teen that got pointed out that well, I think, give in The lack of evidence here I, just assume that the reason why there was a gun brought up at all is just like what you are talking about. He couldn't get the cops to come out, and he was at his wits end. These kids were parting it up and trash, the place yea, it is too much for him. He was dying. He was past his limit and I think the gun simply brought out because he was a desperate man. At that point, it's very possible
because I don't, I don't think eugene. Actually had a gun on him, because this is going to sound bad, but a dream teenager isn't going to be smart enough to ditch the firearm. When the cops come arrest him, that's it, not going happen. He would still had the gun on him at the time the arrest them bring in eugene questioning and I understand that he is wasted out of his mind, He is seventeen years old and he's been stood now and brought in for questioning you can imagine how well this goes. Hours and hours where They would allow him to sleep for a bit and then they go, wake him up again and continue the questioning What were the types of questions they're asking a mere these active that was interviewing. Eugene was detective ring and he starts off
by asking him feed like a parent present and eugene's, doesn't matter I'll, be eighteen next month, so However, I adult at adults, this talk to me, and they read him his rights and let him know they can have a lawyer. He doesn't have to talk, but they would like him to. Of course he starts off by asking you jeanne about the gun he said here, is that it Wigan is a real gun eugene responds. I didn't have any gun at all then ask him about the trouble on barnett street and he said confused. He doesn't seem to know about barnett street, so detective ring, insists that He knows something about it and brings up of his acquaintances, summoned by the name of harley someone eugene knows he said You ve already told them. You know I mean parties already tolls about what happened at ease hall and at burnett street eugene's
I will hardly can say where we wants now. He said you ve already been identified with a gun. You got fight it eagles hall, and then you got in a fight at barnett street, and so you jeanne asks him if its by the laskin motor in and its really from here. You get the sense that eugene starts to sort of try to answer. Detective rings questions or respond to his accusations, they're, not on the same page. It all eugene's thinking one thing about his night and the detective is asking about something completely different- and you know it they get into the interrogation technique that give ring and sergeant kendrick in some of these other long, for meant figures use its the red technique, and it's really coming the place of. We already know everything. So make it easier on you. You just need to tell us what happened you can
fight in us. In the more you tell us the better it will be for you just fill in the blanks ring. Asks him who he was out with, and he said I was out with my friend Conan he's. That he and Conan went to eagles hall and, after that, Eugene laughed and went along to the alaska motor in and this work is really confusing because you have to understand. The detective is coming from place of we have fifteen year old who got beaten almost to death whose on life support may not. make it and they have picked up the sky who was really drunk and who was already identified by the man moreover, at the alaska motor in as having been involved in some things and already gun. So now they have his dangerous person there. Trying to next him to this Burnett street attack and so eugene starts tellingham about Michael Luton, bachar, who, was wanting to buy wheat from him and you,
makes it sound ass though he were the do sell that night, but loom Fucker was acting tough and was getting on his nerves, so he didn't want to deal with them. There's this whole story about how he told Michael Luton Bachar, you know just page me later, I'm going home again, obviously not on the same page at all, with the investigators. Ring keeps asking him about a fight, Annie referencing his bloody shoe print and he keeps referencing it Jeanne has no idea. What he's talking about yeah, detective ray tells him that found his shoe print in blood. The scene on barnett street. So Eugene says well all if they say I was there, I guess I was there, but I go all over downtown and he's like know. You were there where the city was you were in a fight? Theirs blood on your shoes, and your shoe print was in the blood on the street
and a dab point. Eugene looks down at his shoes for blood and the detectives m dont, bother cleaning it off. We already know, but this was im affirming this with eugene a drunk. Seventeen year old over fifteen times for eugene says, Maybe I was there. And then eugene, though, he's thinking about this, and he says if I was in a fight would have bloody knuckles and then detective ring responds not if you used a tire iron or something like that. and you Jeanne said no, I dont use stuff like that. I use my bare knuckles and again John harmon had been beaten and stopped To death, so this isn't lining up but they say- he's pretty much confessed here. because he's like- or maybe I was there sounds like I was there.
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starts telling him he's tired Ring tells him that his friend is in the hospital and he's hurt real bad, they don't know it yet, but, The young man is John hartman, his fifteen years old and who we're attacked him, beat him and stomped on him well. He may not make it an eugene is concerned. He wants to know who was he's like I don't know of any friends who got hurt so tell me who it is, give me a name and detective, says: well, He didn't, have any idea him. We don't know his name. That's why we're talking to you. You know to give us? His name Eugene says I wasn't I don't even know who this would be so Give me a name gimme whenever you have, and I will try and figure it out basically he he just doesn't know what the detective is talking about. So
how eugene is turning it really frustrated, because he saying you don't believe me and have already told you everything I know. So. Why should I keep talking? That's what is basically telling the detective, because the detective keeps Don't lie to us. We already know this. We already know that you just need to come clean with us. So then re asks him after a while we was with at night than barnett now remember eugene doesn't seem to know about this area and is only admitted to being there, because supposedly there is forensic evidence showing that he was there a bloody footprint, yet, which seems, conclusive right yeah so Eugene says Williams, Lou bachar and me, and Dana and and who is Conan's girlfriend now. He says: Conan stayed at the hall eagles hall, which is where there is a big dance. There because of a wedding, I think, but williams and luton bachar are the two people that he was around that night, mostly because
he was trying to sell we'd, so take ring wants to know how they got from ego. Hall tonight than barnett eugene says that they walked they circle around and around about harley again supposedly, what had happened was at some point that one of his plans that night was to meet up with harley because harley twenty five dollars so to collect detective ring springing this back up talking about harley, because supposedly harley gotten waste, and so there look four confrontations here. Were you involved with this? Were you there when this happened and you he isn't getting it still doesn't always talking about any true. To tell the detective that he never ended up meeting with hardly any activists, like that's, not true. To me so the first rate, It gets worse he's like don't believe anything I say told you all. I know what more Can I say or do he starts
asking Eugene more questions about the different people, eugene responds by saying, but why don't you just go talk to that person to As the interview is happening, it's not really going anywhere, but the data it already has it in his head and it this is very evident and when you agree just in that, he believes that eugene was involved in this attack, but, there's zero row to it. He was picked up because he allegedly reddened hotel owner with a gun. He wasn't picked up for a fight. He wasn't picked up because he was identified as being at the scene of the crime. None of that they're just pulling a man questioning of about another random acts of violence. That happened, but it really seems like in this is something we ve heard about many times. As though say: oh as soon as they talk of this person, they fixated on them and they now we're got off of em. So that's why we end up with this person being convicted. This is
are those times where this is absolutely that, like I've debated pass with other people about different cases and whether there is a suspect or a person of interests who is focused on in to the exclusion of everyone else. This is it this is so apparent that this detectives looking after him for that the attack but genius is in getting it. He doesn't understand what this detective talking about it's really apparent. I think that if they were trying to investigate who could of beet this this teenager, he should have said hey. Did you happened, yet the street in the street during the night, yea or nay, You happen to know anyone that god and any fights tonight I mean more general questions, cause. They're diving right in their not getting anywhere and I don't even know why they fixated on eugene,
people say well, it's because you know he's native alaskan racism. They just do it. to anyone. That's of you no more of an ethnic descent. I dont know it's so weird that they fixated on him that night, because there was nothing tying him to the scene. Eugene was picked up. Early the next morning after the attack as I said, the detective is really focused on him really feel I like he's connected somehow. So as part of that interview if you want to call it an interview, they get names They get a lotta names. That night has been telling them about all these random people. He's hung out with an hasn't hung out with so which names are valid and which ones are invalid, which ones pertain to the murder. which ones don't really it's anyone's guess and were playing like throw
dark at a door bored with names on it and we'll just start picking those people out, but something interesting happens the next day his friend jack. urge freeze makes a visit to the hospital he's, hurt his foot or his ankle he's dishevelled. Like probably most teens in this town after the wild night, they say what would you do to your foot and heel? goods that he got into a fight in the nurse who happen to be a nurse That's been working on the other boy that dying upstairs because he's been starved to death, says wool: are we I see the other guy. You got into a fight with an george now you're probably not going to see him. This It's really bad because They know that the door teenager, was kicked and stormed. And now you have another kid coming in. Who has a foot injury
It is talking about being in a fight now, to me is the total red flag, I'm not it's enough that you need to come. Immediately, but this makes more sense. This is a lead yeah. This is someone you should talk to now, there at the hospital he's playing to get x, ray done because he feels like his ankle or as foot might be broken. So the detective is talking, did George george right from the beginning. Here, says He doesn't remember anything now to detect. doesn't give up? He continues saying may take some time for him to be able to talk, because he knows that he might feel some shame, or this is just a lot to deal with that he's had a long night, but george just keep saying he doesn't remember overtime, detective rain who is the one interviewing him is getting more and more determined to get information from him and, in fact, if you were to reach through the transcript,
you'll see that most of what is said is by detective ring George hardly says anything. This is really just ring running at the mouth cons we talking and telling him things and george saying I d. no, I dont remember so then, directive rain has georgia's girlfriend, get his left shoe or boot. They just want no they're going to have a sergeant kendrick, take it to see if they match it against the print that is on the skin of the victim and george. Doesn't seem phase by this like whatever so they take it. The detector says you know you're having trouble talking about this you're having trouble remembering what, if I to drive you two where the crime occurred. Would you ok with that and george seems agreeable to it. So the detective takes him just want to add this in real quick. It's really
trusting to me to see these young guys who party get into trouble be so respect full and cooperative with law enforcement, ivy not that they shouldn't be, but there's no attitude here, there's no, I'm not going to to you or anything there there actually pretty willing and open with law enforcement and agreeable, really so george taken to the crime scene. Then they come back door freeze ends at mentioning vernon roberts as an aim of someone who was there now their meaning. I guess he's trying to appease this detective, because the detectives very insistent upon you know you are at this scene, where there was this terrible beating this visit to the crime scene. Didn't help him, though, because he still most of the time he's just saying. I don't remember the detectives, its pressing. Him assures him that
remember especially since he injured his foot, so they kind of get in. Who, how he entered his foot and according, george. He had kicked the ground. And that's how he injured his foot, but the detective working him in and saying you know, there's this kid that got badly beaten and you must have been there and that's how you injured your foot right well, eventually join. Says well, he might have kicked a couple times and then that third I'm he was gonna, kick him again. He actually that's when he kicked the ground and then we went down because hurt so bad. So now this point. If you're just in active person this is very suspicious. Not only did he start by saying you, you probably won't see the other guy that I fought with but now he's saying that he kicked somebody couple times and then the third time you went to kick them, he injured his foot and that's. Why he's at the hospital this
this is a red flag. It looks really bad. Is it this guy is absolutely the one that did this We don't know yet, but- It sure sounds like wasn't an altercation the night of where he was. kicking somebody because, of the detective. Having already talked with eugene now, then starting to try and put together a picture of who could have been involved in this. I guess you could say: their biggest piece of evidence, at least in terms of trying to put together people place is a picture of a boy. skip all team and the four people who had played I believe three of them were official players. The fourth one was academically ineligible, but they were george fries eugene, and Marvin roberts and Kevin peace. These are the fair banks for and this is what they're going to start using to try and get these people the top.
By saying hey these your bodies, you you're out with him right well when asked you urge about. Eugene he's as I only see him every couple months. I don't see him that much. These guys are friends but they're, not best friends. So now, Georgia's game really frustrated and he said its cursing any say get it in your efforts head. I dont remember because the detective is telling him hey. I know you were there. I knew you were involved. You were kicking this poor kid, and he doesn't remember anything he says so he's This really tired of talking to this detective. He can t the curse in response to this detective. So then detective he says, don't treat me without respect and george doesn't even want to respond to that. He still really frustrated now. He's cursing. Even more he's everything's f, this f that job actually says at this point he says. Get me
notice or something I don't remember, in other words bring someone who can pull the truth out of me, because I've got nothing now at this point, detector ring leaves the room and you freeze, wisest sitting. There says I want to go home I want to leave yet this is significant because he's being recorded so not as though no one hears this. This is equivalent to king, a police officer I being detained- am I under arrest and if you're not you get to leave, but the detail, if he acts like it in here right at this point sergeant, drink walks in he's sk saying you know detective ring had spoken with you earlier, but you're having having difficulty remembering thing, so I'm in to try and help you out. Let's talk about this, one I like about this part- is sergeant. Kendrick actually asks him. What are you doing less let's talk about where you were so
words tells them that he was at crystals drinking at eleven thirty p m or so and crystals his girlfriend. The sergeant asked them well: where were you at and he says where they were these- these kids- jump at around from house to house so they're trying to pin point their location to see if it was ass to the murder scene. He keeps were during two marvin roberts as vernon, and I found some of the people involved in may? Not this case, but in that area? Have other names me they have preferred names they go by, but they started with different names than was they currently use yeah they at their nicknames then he says that after a while that he and Vernon walked down town, they walked that was about at one thirty in the morning Then the sergeant suggests that he might have gone to eagles hall because a lie people were going there, and george says most likely.
But he doesn't remember You can imagine that this sergeant is getting more and more frustrated. Just the way that detective ring was but he's giving I'm reading questions. Oh, I'm sure you went here, but he's not allowing these suspect to give him the answers. He's feeding the answers so detective ring at some point, interrupts to say that he will be talking to Marvin roberts as he has a car that matches the description of a car seen at barnett street While everyone knows that Marvin Roberts has a car, because most these people that are involved. In this case they dont have cars but marvin it does because he worked as a wild fire fire fighter would earn pretty good money, so he was driving a blue mercury topaz and, as a fire fighter, especially in alaska. You have to travel
great distances, so he had to have a vehicle, I'm sure now I kendrick wants him to describe what happened at barnett street. All george we'll tell him is that he kicked the person a couple of times and that Kevin peace kicked him first. So now he's kind of bringing in some one else, and he back to saying he doesn't remember anything so there The pressure becomes greater and he's being, press for more information on the attack He says he heard his foot. Agrees. It was after kicking the victim and that the third kick actually the ground and that's what hurt him real bad and went down there the latter part of the interrogation. He agrees to himself that eugene, cabin and another guy. So it does is, it doesn't seem like starting kendrick is very successful at, Out of him who this
The guy was then something I just want to point out is all of the people that george has named that night are poorly different. Then all the people that you Jeanne has named that night. There zero correlation between us two stories and there is zero continuity between their two stories between the facts they ve given. There is- Nothing relate, above all between their statements, kevin pieces interviewed detective. Reed's him his rights and tells him can have a lawyer present but pieces is willing to chat with him Kevin pieces. Nineteen years old again these teenagers are pre open, at least in the beginning. respectful of law enforcement and tell it and go the way. Anyone wants it to detective ring ask him about eagles hall, Kevin says, wasn't ever there, then he asked
about the part at alaska motor. In an hour. responds wasn't even there so this this does sound suspicious right, I mean the detective asking questions he's like was there man wasn't me here It is one of these things where you can think well he knows something's up, so he doesn't want to place himself at any. Where there is a problem or the other side of it is He really wasn't there and, these being totally honest, detective ring asks him about a fight that happened at barnett, and ninth avenue and Kevin responded. seen it on the news ring says he knows that peace was with eugene and marvin, and He says he wasn't. He was with his girlfriend jessica at fair view. Her. He says he went there about eleven or twelve o clock and could not definitively state which apartment number
or building and in that he explains that the that he's not been there very many times, so he can't give them a building. Now he said, spy saying oh, I think it was building d, but then it attacks like no its buildings, one two three and four areas as well. Make it was to ease they will. That's the one that burned up because what must have been three then so it's working out. It sounds like a horrible alibi right yeah. I might even think do this guideline right, hey he's not able to tell building or apartment but on the other side, the other teens could have been. linking could have been out of it isn't familiar with the place. because he doesn't go there that often yeah. It actually wasn't his girlfriend's place and see. You just happened to be there and I don't think this is kind of guy that was paying attention to where he was that she was probably meeting him outside than they were going into gather. That sounds like
excuse. But as we talk, I think it will become clear now. He said he tells the detective we'll just car you can talk to her and the text says she's. I'm going to lie for you. Kevin as wall. She doesn't after lie, she's not going to lie! She'll just tell you the truth and The second says: well, don't depend on her so then Kevin's asked for a lawyer and to bring says he understands that because he I know you're lying. So I know you want a lawyer because you ve gotten thing for me: you're just going to keep lying. That of course, peace, a little upset and then the detector asks piece about the blood. That's on his shirt and he's that's mine. I had a bloody knows and then he's asked about the fifteen year old, kid. That was beaten and he says I wouldn't beat up a fifteen year old kid and to bring says, but you beat up your mom because there was a disaster,
once call earlier that night or denied of where There was a disturbance at the house where Kevin and is got into an argument, and now that active as asserting that he beats his mother when there was no evidence of that it was just hey, there's a big heated argument. The cops are called But meanwhile you gotta realise that Kevin. For a lawyer and the line of questioning doesn't stop. All I really need to know at this point myself. I think everything that he's. should be thrown out at this point so detective ring insinuates that peace sexually assaulted the fifteen year old boy, peace at We deny is doing that remember this is after he had already asked for a lawyer, it sort of like the detective his in item and this is all because of the boys. Pan being down near his knees. So then,
nice being their says, he would have run away if he was guilty of attempted murder. Ring said: don't worry, I'll, be interviewing jessica and her parents and commenced Why do you have to enter of your parents and he said yeah interviewing her and her parents aces whatever that's the end of the interview. Soap, witness Well, it depends I mean, according to detective ring, he probably feels like he has three or four people already lined up because they're not talking, but they know something. how Marvin roberts we ve already established as a car and in this pays the way the police are looking at it. There is simple the car seen they figure that these kids would need. A car to get, they're so Marvin Roberts is definitely a personal interest here. They Your view him robert disk, I'm hanging out with some friends aim Daniel Huntington and angelo Edmund.
They go to a dance which we assume as eagles hall there, wedding reception, big old celebration and then, after that date to the alaska motor in party. Now breaking this down, he said that they were eagles hall at about eleven thirty and then and Dan actually and Dan went eagles hall and they met angelo, add eagles hall, where the stance party was the detective, his teeth, figure out where he was that night because he was driving around so he must know more information about going with Dan is like, where did you pick dan up and why pick them up at eugene vents house? of course, is a very interesting for the detective he's got a tie and now to his first aspect. Yes, now he's like war. Ok, was eugene there and robbers is telling him now. He wasn't there at the time where was he and his I dont know we'd neither this new, where he was
then? He says that while they at the hall they heard that someone had been jumped outside had been attacked and robbed, which I am sure that actually happened. There were molten poor muggings and attacks. That happened that night John Hartman, just happened to be the most high. Dennis and fatal so then he says that they left the hall about three thirty or forty em and went on to a party at the alaska motor in and they got between form. For thirty, the detective is like waiting. What were you really doing in between that time? Marvin said: well, we are really cruising so that he didn't have a specific time to give him because they were cruising, and according him they were looking for girls, but time line, is very loose. Robert disaster his car- and he says- he's had it for about two years and that he gets people asking for rights all the time and starting
hendrick comes in and says you don't seem The kind of guy that would be involved with people who beat the daylights out of a guy and robert responds no, I probably be breaking it up. That's pretty violent and he's a good kid sergeant kendrick tells him that eugene has implicated. George and him in this crime and robert says, give me a lie detector, because I wasn't there and he admitted seeing Kevin eugene and george during course of the night but denied I'd hanging out with them. In fact he said that never asked for a ride, eugene and george, both ass for rides, but he turned them down because they were drunk a hidden, on to give a ride to anyway, that was drunk and so kendrick says: why would they implicate you then my were they do that and Robert says well maybe to get out of trouble, but he said he would never do that himself. Then detective geier,
suggests that roberts is kind of. victim, since he was just giving rides and this all sort of happened without his prior knowledge. Tat to get him to open up a little bit like you know, hey, we can see how you might of known was going to happen, you're just giving people rides and then they get out of the car and then there is an argument or something, and then it goes down. From there, and you didn't know, is going to happen and you didn't know what to do after two really dry. this home, detective guy tell them that they have tire prince and suggests that They look at his tyres he's like Why would they match? In other words look at these two and when they match like they already know, they will then You have no reason to say you weren't there because rob keeps the nine they was ever over there. Now. Word comes in while they're talking that the boy that's on life support isn't going to make it this
he's going to die ends. now the detectives are really really putting pressure on roberts but he doesn't give in that moment were there. Like will this? turned into a homicide start telling him is proven your car. Was there ring comes back in, starts in with boy, was sexually assaulted and insinuates at robbers know something about this and rob keep saying he doesn't only anything about this. The detector art giving up and then- that now our are using this you didn't know what can happen there saying the others, have already talked navy. They told us what you that night what you were involved with they said your own minimally involved. So if you just tell us what happened, we clear. All this up, robert he's getting really upset me saying: I'm innocent, I'm scared because innocent and he tells detective.
To talk to Dan and Angelo and they say we already have. Of course they have right. So, despite The enormous pressure on him roberts contains is innocence and actually says he really hopes that boy pulse through he's, going to pray for him well what any murderer would say right well, remember the other saying that will in the interim The thing about marvin story for the night, is that he was at this dance hall, where wedding reception was going on and there are multiple people that witnessed him. There at around one thirty, which is the suspected time of the murder or the attack. None of these people are questioned by the investigators. They will come up a later and court, so he really
it does have a pretty solid alibi. The detectives of also his record up and theirs really nothing to speak of their minor. Can someone He also admits having a speeding ticket. I think, but that's it. So all the people they ve been looking at these fairbanks for he's the one with really nothing to speak of on his record, and I think there Trying to use him as hey, you ve, never really been in trouble. Why get your often trouble now. You can help us out you'll be in a better it's down the road? So this, went down in october of ninety ninety seven october, eleventh on october twelfth these four arrested, as before they had all play basketball together and it was a picture them altogether that the detectives had. that they were using the kind of show hey. We know, friends. We know you would probably all back each other up, also after
This all went down and they essentially have confessions from to the fair means, for they end up talking and they all I agree that they are going to fight. declare their names and they won't take any kind of deal they are going to stand together on us again, their friends. They know each other there on the basketball team, I'm sure they do look out for each other, but they're not that tight. and for them to come together and say, I think something's who is happening here, let's not say anything, let's fight this little telling and I was always wondering why, they were twisting. These these four together, especially marvin who had the card I just assumed. Well so what he has a car, but there was another witness named Harlow alston
claims to have seen another attack from a distance and all the attacker. Jump into a car and take off, and I think that's really thee. The icing on the cake for the investigators to wrangle these for up because they need a car and they need did the attackers and this all fits together perfectly for them. This podcast can did by progressive a leader and insurance. Welcome aboard to care free boating, here. We don't worry about the what ifs, because we explore with progressive boat insurance for as little as one hundred dollars per year for a basic liability policy. Progress also offers a variety of other coverages and can help you cover repair costs when you need it and with disk like Malta policy safety courses responsible driver in more your minds can really float free crews on where do progressive dot com to get a quote today and see if you could save progressive
salty insurance company and affiliates rates and discounts not available in all states are situations what's gonna over the time here october fifteenth ninety ninety, seven, a grand jury brings down charge of murder for the four and Ninety ninety nine there will be three trials, so they'll have to separate trials, and then one trial for two of them at once. What will from here, though, as we just want to kind of take you through what the evidence was how that pertain to this whole question of innocence here, because it would take ten years yours from the time they went to trial, the alaska innocence project got involved, and I think in this case. It starts off with questions about racism she's about whether the investigation was done well because when you say that someone committed murder, then
question is. How do you know that in this case it's really simple? We have the detective is questioning these young guys. There are strong telling them. We have you, shoeprints in blood there were have your shoe print on their face on the victims face. We have or car placed at the scene we have a witness that saw you for there. But what They really have just in well This is where I really into this case I was literally bias. Looking for all the reasons why these guys are guilty. I wasn't even looking at the advice The gaiters overzealous nurse I wasn't looking into the anything wrong with the trials I was merely going for. Why are these eyes guilty, because the prosecutors in the investigators. Still the days were up and down. They got the right guys.
So I thought well, they must have some compelling evidence here, the boot print well, first off there wasn't a bloody shoe print anywhere honesty so they were straight up lying to eugene and police, are allowed to lie to you and say whatever they want to you during an interview or prevent any time they're alive. To lie to your face, no matter what the boot prints on the victims face compared to georgia's friend. Well, the investigators take a picture of it and below it up and have it as transparency during trial and they match it up, but like a lot of things. There isn't a scientific technique here. This is just eyeballing, it kind of like bite mark impressions ere, you know, sometimes they look. Ok, but for the most part does not, scientific here, and if you turn image enough,
Is it really what you start with anymore? Not exactly you had the blood Kevin pieces jacket, that was his blood, he had a bloody knows, and he said teenager, so he doesn't wash his clothes like he should there wasn't any tire marks the witness that says he saw them they're taking off in a car four hundred and fifty feet away in the middle of a cold night and I think the guy I wanted to help. Now he's not so sure what he saw and now he's listed as a witness for the listens project, meaning, his story has changed. So What are we have as what you asked me? Thou would be joy making a off handed comment in a hospital room about oh, you should have seen the other guy and you have eugene saying, while I'm I've been there, because if my buddy shoeprints was there, I might have been, there
I would even call those confessions. I thought that they actually said Oh yes, I was there. I absent We did it, but when you read statements. That's not exactly how goes and they offer gene and marvin deals. Hey. You only serve a few years, maybe five years he tell us. Happened in utah evidence on on the other to and they turn these he'll down offered five years or life sentences pretty but I have a really poor opinion about, please deals, I think plea deals only help the guilty and they screw the innocent. But these guys turn them the deal down what are we have I'd, say, lauded nuthin. Our low all seen it turns out was poor. far away he standing there. Looking over at this attack, he was four hundred and fifty,
feet from the scene and then he was also drunk and high. I'm not He makes the best witness and I think that's what that's really that developed was. He was being assured by law enforcement by prosecutors that he was really helping dissolve this crime and I think that where this started, but then later he realised that this was a big mistake. I d as much as I could, because I thought surely somewhere there is something that we can really point out and say walk years. Something to look at this is why may one or more of these guys was involved in this attack on John harmon, who it up dying within thirty hours of his attack, but all I could find work is that, at one point, eugene vent told the detective that he might have given the victim gum and they,
and a small pack of gun at the scene, but this is something that is wait it out as being significant. Well, let's told eugene your bloody footprints there, so you had to have been there and you- and says well, I must have been there if you found my footprint, what who gave him the gum Maybe I gave him the gum. I don't. I dont put a lot of stock in this gum statement because you can put any stock in some of these other statements, just because there happens to be a package gum somewhere I mean they're. So many leading question so many statements about this. I don't put a lot of stock into it not a smoking gun to me in my b to other people, but if three or for guys are pummeling another dude. You would think that there would be a little more physical evidence there. Besides some random stick ago,
it said that there was no leading statement in regard to the gum, but I have a problem with this whole gum thing, because if you're going to tax somebody. Why would you offer them gum right? This is just since it doesn't feel right it. It doesn't make any sense to me. They also point out that george freeze dried his so called confession is the one Who comes up with the story of how John hartman was beaten to death? They say that way His doing he's the one who came up with that. He described how he was attacked. But if you actually read the transcript, he doesn't give a detailed statement. He says that he might have kicked him twice and then the third time he kick? He struck the ground. not a very good description. A good description would be it was myself any three other guys. We approach the victim exchanged unheeded words. We jumped m this guy attack damn first than I did this than there was nothing like that. It was made
I kicked him twice and then I kicked the ground the third time that is de false confession that people are looking at now, whether you say that's a real confession or false confession: those are the words he used and where dna evidence started exonerating people in the first two people exonerated up to sixteen to twenty percent of them, that were exonerated on dna evidence had given false confessions. So that's between thirty two and forty people said I did this crime and that's people that sign statement, saying brutally murdered or raped, or whatever gave graphic details have been exonerated, but this guy says I take him twice and kicked the ground. This is the the confession see to me. He never names the victim. He never is concerned simply linked to this victim. He
merely saying that he kicked someone a couple times I mean he could have the grounds in another incident. We have no idea, but it just doesn't feel legitimate here actually later on say that he was rustling, whether friend somebody tool totally unrelated, and that's how he heard his foot so tat. He might have kicked sound and his friend and whatever one there are wrestling. But I don't know it's It's just really weak to say that when I first read his statement in the hospital, I was whoa. Dad does not sound good at all, but then I think back John hardman was telling people he was taking lsd that night, and that was true, either. There are saying they were on drugs. They were saying they're doing this, oh, you should have seen the other guy. I I really think, this is just ten age boys trying to sound cooler more hard than they really are
all you need to know about these trials, that occurred was that it, really rested on the woman who heard the cries? Who was at the women shelter and then hello olsen, who witnessed some other guy being attacked by what determine was the same group of boys that attacked the other kid so you're. So much we tax that night by the same group and one ended up in murder. Now, when it comes to Carlos statement do we even know he actually saw. Anything in here is the problem, He says he saw an attack from over four hundred. Fifty feet away and can recognize people but I'm wondering if he saw- an attack at all it with you just trying to be helpful. People do want to be helpful. Especially when thing as serious as a murder. Happens and their home town. There told a wheel
They got these guys. We we know who they are and what they did we just now, if you to tell that you saw it and if you ever told that by an investigator they already have em. They don't need your statement not trying to tell you not to talk to cops, I'm saying that you didn't see anything you don't give them anything you have. They can talk to to giving false confessions. Why couldn't they talk? poland, to giving false witness statements I'm sure. You didn't see this, because this would really help us. It happens all the time, our oh in some of the other witnesses, will be told that We already have other witnesses that play some their wages what more ammo here now I was the only guy on the stands saying he saw anything. So, let's be clear, every bit of evidence, they collected they tested and nothing connected any of these four men to John hartman,
you ve already spoken in the past, about witnesses who I mean how reliable are they? you take someone who's, drunk and high, and four hundred and fifty plus feet away me. We, stammered the distance, because luckily I do too is measured. The distance, which I think is awesome gazette had that helps, but then they decided to take the jurors out onto the street in the middle of the day and do a little experiment which that doesn't work because it's the middle of the day and everyone sober so yeah yeah. I would have liked, if they had brought them there at one thirty in the morning, hi really drunk and then had them, watches seen foreigners fifty feet away and then describe it later. That would more relevant test, be more relevant. Yes, anyway, the prosecutors are successful. They get convictions for each of the four we ve already
scribe now shoddy this whole cases at some point, fucking within ten years. Here the alaska since project enters the picture and the make an agreement with Marvin robbers and george freeze to investigate their case though they start going through an interviewing everybody and one of the people? I think they find that's very significant and today, and twelve is william homes. william homes hasn't been mentioned at all. During this entire nigh They don't know em nobody's friend with them William, has a very interesting story. William, had happens to be serving time for an unrelated cry He doesn't know the ferber four from anyone, but he remembers a beating happening that night on that street, when and he is willing to sign an affidavit and swear to be out here,
doesn't know these guys, he has it no connection here and he's Gaining nothing from this statement He saying he knows where happened, that night and who really killed this boy. william have was a drug dealer. He started with pot and then he says at some point. He was robbing a house- and he found cocaine and started dealing, a cocaine too he wasn't much into gangs or anything like that. He was his own boss he made up his own rules according to him and one The people he ran around with was a guy by the name of jason wallace. Now morning to homes. He said that night they were driving around in, they were planning to beat up. Somebody and he says something they would do, but I think they indicated they were going to beat up a native.
These guys are looking for alaskan natives to go rough up. That's there. Ass time, their bullies and it's pretty races to when you think about it. This is wild night too, so I don't think this would have stood out too much to anyone and at a pair I really didn't, because the cops work called until hours after the beating as alleged to have occurred according to him. He stops the car and jason, wallace regime brown, marquez pennies and show our johnson jumped out and attacked john hartman, he said that it was jason Wallis who face dumped him and that why he believes that Wallis is the one that action delivered what would be the killing blows. I saw
interview with the fair banks for when they were incarcerated. They were asked if they knew Homes or any of these guys, and why I said yeah. Actually, I've heard of homes of Madame whatever saigon alike, em we don't get along? So for them to not even get along what Homes is motivation to clear these guys. Well according to the naysayers we say that homes is already serving a life sentence. Oh he's just screwing with the system at this point when he's come forward. Anyone that's familiar with the case. Could given as much information as homes sure, but for him to come forward and sign it affidavit its mind boggling to me that he would want to associate himself of this crime, and it's my
I'm going to me that the justice system wouldn't want to vat is story, when they don't have much evidence with their current guys. You would think that the- Adding of the evidence would happen before you're having too prove it in a court of law, but case. There wasn't any bedding and they didn't really need to prove it in a court of law because they got their guilty convictions anyways and we're going over the evidence and how they too today, and they couldn't fighting linking suspects to the victim. I also to address the whole. accusation of sexual assault on John hartman now remember: I found him. He had his power down around his knees and early. We talked about how he was wearing chris stones pants and they were corduroy pants. They were very baggy, it's very possible that and he was in a fight- and he was being attacked- that his
I just came down during its attack, a rape kit was conducted on John hartman, but there was no evidence of sexual assault, but remember detectives are insinuating that there was a sexual assault and they were. asking these guys. Did you do this or do you know? think about this and they kept denying it What turns out that from all available evidence that job. Hartman was never sexually assaulted, twenty twelve this when william homes com forward as a witness and says that the murder was by four of his friends and then in twenty, fourteen is when our low orson as recanted his statement, but the brother of John hartman Chris Kelly He was told by the prosecutors we got. There guys and care. Will even visit these guys in prison. One of them
our banks forces I'm sorry. I didn't know that was your brother and, of course, care It takes this as an admission of guilt, but this state and to me is very vague, I'm sorry, I didn't know it was your brother. Does it mean I'm sorry, I didn't know I your brother or I mean I'm sorry, I didn't know your brother was the victim in this case, and it you're. The brother of the victim, I know, which way you're gonna take it, because your heart your soul. Your emotions are very much invested in this, and the prosecutors had been telling him. We got the right guys, so what else is heated believe at this point, the sum of two thousand fifteen marvin roberts is released on parole, also in two thousand fifteen due to the efforts of these women, is coming forward. You our low olsen, who rick
answered his testimony you have. we am homes who's coming out in saying I know who did it? It's guys over here when the court took away. but all this they decide that a jury. in two thousand fifteen, probably wouldn't be able to convict these men there just isn't evidence. it really shows you how this case was built around our low alston, really all they had. I mean it's one thing to lie to a person that you're talking to and say we have your at the scene. We happy we have. These people saw you there? You know your friends have already turned on you. That's good a freer little interrogation, but why- comes to a court of law, and things are on the up and up they didn't have anything on these guys so december of twenty fifteen, a judge vacated, convictions of the four men. Now, what happens They created deal they say is we're going to.
Dismiss your convictions. Ok and you're gonna go free, but you cannot sue any governmental entity involved in this case as part steel there to get Marvin roberts to come back in and agree to the deal, because he's already on parole he's all free, so they can't use the will lead ago thing here, because the actually saying we're. Gonna vacate your conviction, but this takes time. six months to a year if you want out right now. Will you I have to agree not to sue us, so Of course, these four the deal and they're all released just an already brought up Chris Kelly who's, the brother of John hartman, and he was- pretty upset about this and he's trying to see it from every angle. He saying if their innocence, If you believe that all of us are now, I don't see why you could even justified doing this to them and if their guilty
I don't see how you can justify making a deal, so in other words, if they didn't do it then, why did they put him through all this stuff and why are you saying that you cannot sue because you, you ve, literally lost twenty years of your life just about and then if they are guilty, why are you cutting them a deal they murdered? Somebody took Chris kelly welcome to the true crime genre because the is the inconsistencies that we look at and analyze every day and you just like you bud, I'm confer used an flabbergasted myself arloeux olsen, who had recanted his testimony, who had been an instrumental and getting convictions of the four originally he died. taking his own life in prison in July of twenty seventeen, the fair four have now all filed lawsuits, but they said they wouldn't sue. It's not that simple,
and this is something that we ve talked with people about at length, which is when you ve been wrongfully convicted and the state comes to you and says: ok, we'll let you out, but you can't do anything back to us. There is actually saying they can do sorts of harm to you and nothing will ever be done about it, and I know that people who say well, but they were freed and now everyone knows that they were involved. That's not true. We Had people writing in some of them pretty serious, saying I think they did it. kay, I still don't see the evidence of that, but there are people still believe that their murderers, that's not just need go away because the state cut a deal. Sometimes people think well. They bowed to pressure there is concern of racism here or in the activity to the native alaskan. Its political yet Medical move right, so already tarnished their names
Now I know you could point say some of these guys were already doing criminal activities whatever. But, let's be honest, you can't just convict someone because they may have committed a crime at some point by convicting them. something that you don't even know if they did just because you ve it is a crime. Ones doesn't mean you can peg them on something else later that they didn't do I mean there's no evidence here They were involved in any way with the death of John hartman. If you just wreathed the transcripts of the interviews that the detectives dead with these four. I think that should be put convincing in and of itself that they worked really. hard, as the detective said he's like we've been at this for sixteen hours. We know what we're doing we. We know you were involved. This was really just. Let's just get this solved and move on. I truly have gone to the point where I feel that in the court of law and in a trial in
sense or gill has zero to do with anything in its all about who makes the better argument who fought more? Who got the better experts on the stand and innocence be damned in a case? like this prosecutors can say. Well, we do everything right, so you can't say that there were, any wrong doing, even if their innocent, we charge them according to the letter, the law we didn't do anything wrong. Therefore, there's nothing to be said and we cannot be held accountable for people that get themselves locked up. This is a very decent it's fine case, because there's no evidence to show who committed this crime There is no evidence to suggest that, though, ever be able to get there. while parties, because research,
have the prosecutor saying we did the right thing. We had the right people this doesn't make any sense to me. It's as though, the death of on hartman will continue to be without justice, and I think that's it terrible thing for the people that supported the fair banks for and witness come out and region in their families, theirs all victory there, but really at the heart of this there's a young guy that lost his life on a night where he thought, hey, I'm having the time of my life is life was cut short, and there is no one to hold responsible for this- the people that they had convicted there. Fictions are taken out william homes despite coming out in saying. I know who did this. These are the guys you want to look at two of them. Are even imprison prosecutors, can't use way, am homes is affidavit to pay, secured anyone in this case they just don't
the evidence. We already said that they tested all the evidence that the fairbanks forehead and none the ties them to this crime, so they have In addition to that, they have not. that suggests anyone else at all in the eu in question wallace. That he had immunity. It wouldn't talk about it He wouldn't say that he remembered anything from that night in every case, I can never definitively say. Oh, I know actually what happened, because I there that I wasn't there at the scene errand I just collect the evidence analyzed the best we can. Can I do Ben actively say their fair banks forward? Not do this now, but I definitively say there is anything tat them to this crime. No, I can't, when you look at beyond reasonable doubt. I
they don't know how these jurors found them guilty. I I just It does not make sense to me so Obviously they were under represented. The prosecutor held all the cards. whether or not prosecution did anything wrong. I don't know, but when these guys are found guilty on deeds, charges and the lack of evidence that they had, I can't think that the system and the process worked correctly and Those of you who are wonder, about the effectiveness of eyewitness, testimony just ask yourselves Would you feel comfortable having a man who is legally drunk and really high, and witnessing something you did from foreigners. fifty feet away over a football field giving testimony against you.
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Transcript generated on 2022-08-27.