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rashore

The Mysterious Arkansas Train Deaths

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Some deaths are imbued with a sense of mystery and strangeness which has never really been lifted. These cases surround themselves with weird clues, strange evidence and testimony, and odd circumstances, all of which serve to launch them into the realms of the most mysterious unsolved crimes. Such is the case of two young men who went missing in 1987 in the U.S. state of Arkansas and would next be seen dead under perplexing circumstances. It is a case that has never been solved, and which truly delves into the domain of murder and dark conspiracies.

http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2017/08/the-mysterious-case-of-the-arkansas-train-deaths/

 

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Very interesting case.  I'm going to have to read up some more on it 

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Thank you for posting this, a fascinating (and horrific!) case for sure. I'm inclined to believe (based solely on the linked article) that it was murder. And, that it was likely down to the boys being in the wrong place in the wrong time. The article, at it's start, gives me the sense that the authorities wanted this to be viewed as a suicide. Whether that is misleading or not, I'm not sure. Hopefully will be able to find more information on this one soon.

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Sound like some mighty government incompetence there...

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I thought it was pretty hilarious that they tried to say that they passed out and didn't hear the train due to the pot they had smoked. I am very familiar with the effects of marijuana and that is just ridiculous. Maybe if they had shared a bottle of whiskey and even that I would doubt. 

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You can find sites that name Bill Clinton as being part of the cover up based on what corner of the internet you read. 

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Posted (edited)

I've studied this case rather in-depth for years, including talking to some of the people most deeply involved, and obtaining and studying loads(well over 100) of redacted FBI ASP and so on, files, as well as court documents and more, and here's what I conclude...

This will, of course, be another of my LONG posts, but for those interested in the case, it MAY just help you to understand it all. :tu:


These murders are pretty much solved. All that's missing are the exacting details of who did exactly what... and Justice of course.


The "A12"-mapped location just west of Little Rock was one of many drug drop zones from the operations first set up by Barry Seal and his crew during Iran/Contra, that were left intact after Seal's own murder a year earlier in 1986.

 

The Murders

On August 23, 1987, Kevin Ives(16) and Don Henry(17) were walking along the train tracks near the "Crooked Creek" trestle in Alexander (Pulaski and Saline counties), and came across a group of men on the tracks that included local prosecutor Dan Harmon, police officers Danny Allen, Jay Campbell and Kirk Lane, and individuals named Larry Roushall, and another identified as Jim. The group were there to retrieve a drug drop, flown in from the Mena Airport in Western Arkansas, where former cocaine smuggling kingpin, Barry Seal, deceased by this point, and his crew operated out of.

Sharlene Wilson, an ex-girlfriend of Dan Harmon, who arrived in a car with Dan Harmon and Larry Roushall earlier, stayed in the car, which was parked on a dirt road, more than a mile from the scene on the tracks. She continued to get "high" in the car, doing cocaine and crystal meth while she waited.

A group of kids were nearby in the woods, by the tracks, watching as Kevin and Don approached along the tracks, carrying their rifle, and when Kevin and Don saw the group of men on the tracks further ahead of them, they hesitated, and started to turn around and go the other way, but were called out by Dan Harmon to come to them.

When Kevin and Don hesitated, according to witness Tommy Niehaus, one of the kids watching from the bushes, a shot was fired. Tommy didn't see who fired the shot as his head was turned at that exact moment, but he did see Kevin and Don take off, just before his group, hidden in the bushes, did likewise.

Tommy says he knew it was Dan Harmon that had yelled to Kevin and Don to come to them because Tommy's mother was dating Harmon at the time making recognition easy.


Kevin and Don, no doubt running as fast as they could, ran into their friend Keith Coney, who gave them a lift on his motorcycle to the Ranchette grocery store, to a pay phone located there.

Back on the dirt road, while sitting in the car still doing drugs, Sharlene Wilson saw Tommy Niehaus emerge from the woods, running away.


Meanwhile, at the Ranchette grocery store, officers Jay Campbell and Kirk Lane showed up in their unmarked(but easily recognized by it's model, antennae configuration etc) police cruiser.

Keith Coney took off on his motorcycle and Kevin and Don were grabbed and beaten by Campbell and Lane and thrown into the back of the cruiser, and taken back to the tracks where Harmon and the others still were.

There were THREE witnesses to that event at the grocery store...

Club owner Mike Crook told State Police that a drifter known as Jerry relayed to him that he saw 2 police officers beating the boys at the store and throwing them into the back of the cruiser.

Another witness, Ronnie Godwin, told State Police that he was driving by when he saw 2 officers beating 2 boys at the store parking lot. He drove past and pulled into another lot, and witnessed the beating, including one of the officers hitting one of the boys(Kevin Ives) with the butt end of a rifle, then throwing them into the back of the cruiser and heading off to a dirt road towards the tracks. Godwin said he then observed them coming back after 10-15 minutes, not with kids in the back seat, but what appeared to be a rather large, dark bag(likely a part of the drug drop)

The third witness was Keith Coney, who after taking off from the Ranchette grocery store, went to a club called the Wagon Wheel, where Keith Mckaksle worked as a bouncer, and told Mckaskle what had happened. Mckaksle at that point headed out to the tracks himself.

Coney, never told authorities what he knew and saw, and would only tell his mother that he saw "two men" kill Kevin and Don... he told his father however, that it "was the cops" who killed Kevin and Don.


Officers Jay Campbell and Kirk Lane, after beating the boys senseless at the store parking lot, took them back to the tracks where Dan Harmon, Larry Roushall and the others were waiting(and taking care and account of the drop), then they themselves left the scene(with a large bag now in the backseat).

Keith Mckaskle, who was into the drug scene, selling from the Wagon Wheel, also showed up at the tracks either before or after the boys were brought back there.

At this point, a very high Sharlene Wilson finally leaves the car and makes her way to the tracks where Dan Harmon, Larry Roushall, Danny Allen, Keith Mckaskle and "Jim" now have the boys, tied up and face down on the tracks.

A previous drug drop had been stolen from, and the group led by Harmon, interrogated the boys to see what they knew... or possibly only Don Henry... Kevin Ives might have already been dead by this point from the rifle butt blow to the face.

Roushall asked Wilson if she had her knife, which she produced, and according to her, Harmon, Roushall, and Mckaskle, all goaded her into stabbing one of the boys, saying things like she wouldn't be "big time" until she "killed someone".

Wilson admits to stabbing one of the boys in the back but states "I didn't stab him deeply".

She threw the knife down and states that Mckaskle picked it up and walked over and killed Don Henry, while Roushall "finished off the other young man"... presumably Kevin Ives, if he wasn't already dead by this point.


The group, led by Harmon, loaded the rest of the drug drop... of the remainder of the shipment that Campbell and Lane took... into Wilson's car.

They then wrapped Kevin and Don up in a "tarp" from Wilson's car and put them in the trunk.

Then... "They moved up the track a little ways and removed the boys  and laid them across the tracks" according to Wilson, who says at that point she freaked out and started running away from the scene.

Harmon and Mckaskle caught up to Wilson and brought her back... Harmon, Roushall, and Wilson left in Wilson's car, with the drugs, back to Wilson's trailer... The drugs were transferred into Roushall's vehicle and he left... Harmon went inside with Wilson, who did more drugs including valium and passed out.

The next day(Aug 24), Wilson saw blood in her car... Harmon and Mckaskle took it to destroy it, and Harmon gave Wilson an ounce of cocaine and $500.00 and sent her on her way to deliver the cocaine.

 

The Train Hit, the Investigation and the Cover Up

At approximately 4:25 a.m., August 24, a Pacific Union freight train came bearing down on the boys, who layed, side by side, motionless, across the tracks.

Engineer Shroyer sounded the horn... all three engineers witnessed the impending horror they were helpless to do anything about... all three also witnessed that the boys did not move or even flinch, despite thousands of tons of screeching steel braking in a futile attempt to halt, as well as the trains blaring horns screaming aloud... Witnesses from as far as 2 miles away were awoken from the sounds of the train's blaring actions.

All 3 engineers also saw that the boys were wrapped in a green tarp.


The engineers were the first to see what remained. They, as well as the medical first responders, who arrived within about a dozen minutes, noticed something rather odd immediately... The lack of blood at the scene, and the condition of the blood in the body parts. The blood was purple in color, and rather thick and oozing, indicating the boys had already been dead for some time before the train had hit.

Despite this, the police immediately treated the scene as an "accident"... denied the existence of a tarp, even though it was right there in the bushes off to the side... further destroyed the scene with the movement of trains... and even left behind Kevin Ives' foot right on the tracks, which was found the next day by a member of the Henry family.


Enter State Medical Examiner, Fahmy Malak.

Malak, an unbelievably corrupt "Medical Examiner" who has a long record of obvious wrong conclusions and dubious testimonies, well documented in even the Los Angeles Times, and who also once cleared then Arkansas Governor, Bill Clinton's mother, Virginia Kelly, from an accidental death case, ruled that Kevin and Don had smoked 20 pot joints and fell asleep on the tracks and a coma-like state.

Naturally, this ridiculous ruling wouldn't sit well with the families who, led by Linda Ives, Kevin's mother, started to question such what actually happened.


This led to creation of a Grand Jury that was led by... get this... Dan Harmon!... and his friend, local assistant prosecutor, Richard Garrett.

The FBI would later learn that Dan Harmon was at Judge John Cole's house, with Benton Police Chief, Rick Elmendorf, when Harmon himself suggested to Judge Cole, that he be appointed "special prosecutor" for the case.

The Grand Jury began... Kevin and Don's bodied were exhumed... and a team of out of state pathologists where brought in, led by Atlanta's Dr Joseph Burton.

They ruled that Kevin and Don had been killed BEFORE they were placed on the tracks... that Kevin's face had been smashed in, likely by the butt of a rifle(probably at the grocery store parking lot)... and that Don has been stabbed in the back(probably by Sharlene Wilson's knife). This would also explain the condition of the blood as first seen by the train's engineers and medical first responders.


During the course of the Grand Jury, Keith Coney and Keith Mckaskle were themselves murdered, but the Police, such as Dan Birdsong, would give press statements saying they didn't believe there was any connection.

The Grand Jury came to an end on Dec 31 1988 with only the conclusion that the boys were victims of Homicide being allowed into the public record.

All the evidence acquired by the Grand Jury was not allowed, by Judge John Cole, to be entered into the record, much to the dismay of the Jury members, and it was all shut down with no resolution for the families... other than their boys' were murdered.


During all this time, there were demonstrations with large crowds gathered at the hospital demanding the firing/resignation of Fahmy Malak, which would be highlighted all over the local and State news.

But, then-Governor Bill Clinton, stood by Malak every step of the way, telling reporters Malak was just tired, stressed out, and over-worked. Sentiments shared by State Medical Commission head, and Malak's immediate boss, Joycelyn Elders.

They even tried to push a 41% pay raise through for Malak.

Here's something else interesting about Elders...

Clinton took her to the White House with him in 1993, and named her United States Surgeon General... Her son Kevin, then a cocaine addict(of all things), was busted selling cocaine to undercover agents... He was sentenced to 10 years... but released on bail, and during the appeal hearings, the main witness against him, Calvin Walraven, suddenly committed "suicide", allowing for a reversal of sentence... Hmmm.

 

The Cover Up Continues

By 1990, Jean Duffy, was put in charge of the 7th Judicial District Drug Task Force, which included Saline County, and others.

Her task force, looking into drug trafficking and money laundering, immediately discovered many connections from the street level, leading up the chain to public officials, and one name that kept coming up frequently was Dan Harmon.

Eventually, one of Duffy's officers approached her, and suggested he had evidence that tied their drug investigations to the murders of Kevin and Don, and wanted to pursue the matter, to which Duffey agreed.

Then Harmon, who was prosecutor-elect by that point, launched a media smear campaign against Duffey accusing her of all kinds of sinister things, and ultimately, Judge John Cole issued a State subpoena for her and ALL of her Task Force files.

Duffey had kept quiet up till that point because she was sharing her information with a Federal investigation into Saline drugs and corruption, being run at the time by U.S. Attorney Chuck Banks and his assistant, Bob Govar.

Govar had promised Duffey that indictments against Harmon and others were coming, but Banks shut down the investigation in June 1991, publicly clearing Dan Harmon and all others of any wrongdoing.

Soon after the subpoena by Judge Cole, Duffey fled the State and went on to become a teacher in Texas.


Sometime around when Jean Duffey took over as head of the Task Force and during Banks and Govars' federal investigation into Saline County drugs and corruption, Sharlene Wilson had given secret testimony to the Federal investigation, with much of it implicating Dan Harmon.

Eventually Harmon found out, and on New Years Eve 1992, Harmon himself not only busted Sharlene Wilson for a small amount of drugs, plus weapons charges, but was the prosecutor in the 1993 trial which sentenced Sharlene Wilson to 31 years in jail as a result.

Also, more unsolved murders of witnesses to the Ives-Henry murders, much like Keith Coney and Keith Mckaskle(participant, in his case), would turn up murdered over the years... as many as 7 or 8, and possibly more.

Duffey knew these murders were tied to the case, and is one of the reasons she didn't want to give all the Task Force's file over to Judge Cole, Harmon and company... to avoid any more witnesses getting killed... that, and she didn't want to become a victim herself.

Wilson was one of the informants that Duffey used, and Duffey completely vouches for Wilson's information, and states that everything Wilson had told Duffey, had "panned out" as correct.


Linda Ives, who was still, and has never stopped, fighting for Justice for her son's murder, at that point had never conversed with Jean Duffey.

Linda still believed in Dan Harmon and Richard Garrett, who told her that despite the Grand Jury being over, they would not stop investigating. So she believed the lies coming from Harmon and the media about Duffey at that point in time.


In 1993, new to the area, Saline Detective John Brown got involved in the case.

Some of the things that he was able to dig up have proved to be invaluable to the case, including a video taped confession, as well as a 4-page confession letter, signed in front of 3 local officials on May 28 1993, by Sharlene Wilson, who admits to stabbing one of the boys, and names people at the tracks, including Dan Harmon, Larry Roushall, Keith Mckaksle, and so on.

Another witness, Tommy Niehaus, who was one of the kids hiding in the bushes at the scene, came forward with what he knew and saw, including Dan Harmon being at the tracks. Niehaus passed polygraphs and was put into protective custody... He also gave video statements of what he witnessed the night of Kevin and Don's murders.

Then Dan Harmon launched a crusade against Det. John Brown, who started to experience what Jean Duffey went through, which in turn eventually led to Brown's resignation out of fear.

Wilson's confession letter, which Linda Ives knew about, was "discredited" at the time and then "lost", like much of the original evidence from the case... as noted in a couple of FBI Reports.


Enter the FBI's Phyllis Cournan, in 1994, who started an investigation, and got in touch with Jean Duffey, and eventually cleared her name of any wrongdoing.

Duffey and Linda Ives finally connect, and Linda now realizes, between everything that Brown discovered and what Duffey was saying, she only now understands all the truth of the situation in regards to Harmon and his actions and deceptions.

The FBI concludes that it "appears that certain Saline County officials may have conspired to cover up the investigation into the deaths of Don Henry and Kevin Ives" says one Report.

There are hundreds of such Reports(302's) that all say the same thing... Officials covered up the murders of Kevin and Don, Officials are involved in the drug trade in Saline and surrounding counties, "special prosecutor"(Dan Harmon) used his position to cover up and withhold evidence, and so on.

In fact, there are THOUSANDS of documents overall, relating to the murders of Kevin and Don, by the various agencies including the FBI, CIA, DEA, DIA, ASP, and so on, that are STILL, to this day, kept hidden and redacted... and WHY?... because it's a still "on-going investigation"... If you can believe that.

In 1996, Cournan was pressured off the case, and eventually ran out of the FBI, while Linda Ives was told "a crime has not been committed" by FBI agent Bill Temple.


In 1996, Dan Harmon would FINALLY get caught for his nefarious ways, getting busted for using his Office for Racketeering and drug charges and he would be sentenced to 10 years in jail.

The case was not allowed, however, to look at anything involving Harmon beyond the scope of the charges he was facing... meaning anything done earlier on Harmon, such as Jean Duffey's, Chuck Banks'. or John Brown's investigations, would not be allowed to be looked at. So no Justice for Kevin and Don still.

At any rate, he was convicted on 7 felonies... got 10 years... was released in 9 years... then got arrested on drug charges again in 2010.


Also in May of 1996, film maker Pat Matrisciana, released "Obstruction of Justice: The Mena Connection" which was oversaw by Linda Ives and Jean Duffey.

In the video, officers Jay Campbell and Kirk Lane are named, with others, as suspects in the murders of Kevin and Don.

This led to Campbell and Lane to sue film-maker Matrisciana for libel.

They lost their case on appeal in 2001, and what's interesting, is that they set out to prove that Matrisciana was reckless in listing their names, but in the trial, tried to prove they had nothing to do with the murders of Kevin and Don to begin with.

The court did not believe them and they lost their case.

Detective John Brown at this point had turned, and testified in the trial FOR Campbell and Lane, shocking Linda Ives and Jean Duffey.


In 1999, Sharlene Wilson's 31-year prison sentence was commuted by then-Governor Mike Huckabee, and she was released on December 31 1999.

This was due to Harmon's 1996 arrest and 1997 convictions, combined with public and church groups campaigning her release.

She was never questioned by authorities about any of the 1980's activities relating to the murders of Kevin and Don, despite the confession letter she wrote six years earlier in 1993.


Later, in the 2000's and on, Jay Campbell and his wife would be arrested on many drug charges, among others, and sentenced to decades' long terms in jail.

Former assistant US Attorney Bob Govar(another turncoat) would also get arrested alongside Campbell as well, but would weasel his way out of the charges.


Fast forward to the 2010's, and in 2012, the 25th anniversary of Kevin and Don's murders, Saline CID Detective Mike Frost gives a News interview saying he's the lead detective on the Ives/Henry case, and has found no evidence that any witnesses actually saw Kevin and Don on the tracks, despite the matching, polygraph-passed, testimony given by both Sharlene Wilson and Tommy Niehaus, who did not know each other, almost 20 years earlier.

Not to mention that the confession letter written by Wilson in 1993 is still hidden away in the original case files... though unknown by Linda Ives at this point.

In 2014, Frost and his boss, Bruce Pennington both get arrested and eventually sent to jail for a short term... leaving one to wonder exactly HOW MUCH effort they spent into trying to "solve" the case while they were on it.

Pennington, like Harmon, would get busted a second time as well. This time in 2015.


Also in 2015, a retired Saline detective friend of Linda Ives managed to get into the original case files, and extract Sharlene Wilson's 4-page confession letter, and examined everything in it against the evidence available in the case, and found it to be highly credible after-all. The fact that it was "discredited" and hidden away decades earlier, turned out to be just a part of the overall cover up.

Linda Ives and her retired police friend took the letter to Saline Prosecutor, Ken Casady, who in turn was hostile to them both, wouldn't look at the confession letter, and told them to take it to the Saline County Sheriff.

That is exactly what Linda Ives did, and take a WILD guess at WHO the Saline County Sheriff is... Sheriff Rodney Wright, who just so happens to be Dan Harmon's nephew! :blink:

He told them he would need a warrant from Casady to bring in Sharlene Wilson, to which Casady later replied(and probably correctly so, given his official capacity) that it was not his job to issue warrants.

The best he would offer was to ask the Arkansas State Police to get involved in the matter, and it would be up to them if they accepted the matter or not.

The only problem with that, is that the ASP have ALREADY been involved in the case since the 1980's, and the withholding of documents, is just one aspect of the cover up on their part, going back decades... So how can one hardly expect the ASP to some in and save the day.


On August 24 2016, Linda Ives launched a FIOA against the United States of America, through it's agencies:

The CIA, DIA, DOJ, DHS, DEA, FBI, the United States Attorney's Office, and the United States Department of State

As well as the State of Arkansas, through its agencies:

The Arkansas State Police, the Bryant Police Department, the Saline County Sheriff's Office

The suit is for Linda to receive ALL the files from the aforementioned agencies, with no redactions.

It's been 30 years now. She is entitled to know why her son was killed.

The government's response?... To ask the court to dismiss the suit because it's an "ongoing investigation".


And that's where it stands at the moment.

 

Here's a video that's loaded with information on the case, including most of the above, and a lot more.

It's also loaded with the FBI, ASP, documents, footage, news clips, court rulings, video witness statements and so on.

Murder On The Tracks - The Story of Kevin Ives and Don Henry

 

 

There's a couple of minor inaccuracies in it, but overall the video is like 98% correct. :tu:

 

Couple things to think about...

Watch the video and ask yourself, honestly, do you really believe Jean Duffey was running her Task Force as a criminal enterprise, the way Dan Harmon and the Akansas media made it all out to be? :rolleyes:

Especially, when it turns out in the end, that is WAS Dan Harmon who was running HIS office as such... as well as the FBI clearing Duffey years later.


Also, WHO, called off the Federal investigation being run by US Attorney Chuck Banks?

Banks was US Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas... the same position as Asa Hutchinson/Michael Fitzhugh held in the 1980's, except they were running the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Arkansas in the 1980's during the entire time, and beyond, that Barry Seal's crew operated out of Mena Airport.

There's a Chicago Office FBI Report, dated "Aug 87", titled "(ATTN): DRUG SECTION", "LITTLE ROCK PRIORITY"

In it, is some information about Barry Seal, which also states...

- "The information indicates that Seal was an informant for DEA at the time but also working as an operative of the CIA."

- "During the past few years, the activity at the airstrip has aroused the interest of local law enforcement who then attempted to conduct some investigations but were blocked by the US Attorney."

And THAT US Attorney was Asa Hutchinson... Current Governor of Arkansas.

No wonder Barry Seal never got busted in Arkansas.


Another thing to consider...

If there's nothing more to Kevin and Don's murders, other than it being a case of double homicide(not mentioning all the other murders, keep in mind), with the killer(s) never discovered nor caught... WHY in the hell would there be THOUSANDS of redacted and withheld documents, by SO MANY US Intelligence agencies, that relate to Kevin Ives and Don Henry???

And 30 years later, they are still keeping those documents hidden from Linda Ives, and public view.


Overall, this all might seem like a LOT of material to take in, but keep in mind, there is SO MUCH MORE I have left out.

The cover-up of the murders of Kevin and Don, detailed as such in so many FBI documents alone, still goes on to this day. :no:

Why do you suppose that is?

Edited by Lemieux
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