Hollywood Homicide


I program note, this podcast contains adult content and language. Someone yelling get the fuck out. A discard get the fuck out and me was looking at a big revolver pointed at my friend. Journalist and author for forty years and doing most of those years, I've watched detectives work in may cases in a cold case murder. Vesa Gatien that murder book is the bible. I know my book like the back of my head. I've seen Justice be carried out the trial. True. I've seen it. Someone fall few times as well. Either. Murder. Book is a true crime podcast about the real stories of the American Justice system, flaws and all. I'm Michael Conley? This is murder book. You're listening to season. One the telltale bullet. Thank you to this week's sponsor Little Brown and company publisher of Ian rankings newest novel in a house of lies. Thanks, the skill share for supporting murder book. Join the millions of students already learning skill share today with a special offer two months of unlimited access to over twenty five thousand classes for free to sign up. Go to skill share dot com slash murder book in thanks to ring for supporting murder. Book. Ring helped you stay connected to your home anywhere in the world. You've special offer the starter kit has everything you need to start building. A ring of security around your home. Just go to ring dot com slash murder book. On a summer night. Nineteen eighty seven twenty one year old man named Jade MAURICE Clark was on Highland avenue in Hollywood with his friend Clifford Phillips. They were across the street from a club called the dance terrier. It was almost two am and the club was about to close. So it wasn't really worth paying the ten dollar cover to go in. So Jade and Clifford waited see if they might see friends or meet girls who would soon be leaving the club when it closed they were sitting in. Jay's customize Nissan three hundred Z X, the two friends were watching the club and talking and suddenly the driver's side door was yanked open and a man pointed a gun it Jade's face. We talked to Clifford Phillips about that night thirty years ago. I was naive. I mean are truly was naive about what was going on right in my face. I mean, someone yelling get the fuck out. A discard get the fuck out. Looking at a revolver pointed at my friend. Don on me, as this was real, you know, just chalk that up to me being naive about city life. I guess and. So there was no fear. It was all it was in. My was. This joke. What happened in the next few seconds cost j Clarke life and started a murder case lasted more than three decades. It tested the principles of our Justice system. And there were straighted how so easily it could be manipulated. When you start working as a homicide detective, you know, there's going to be caused at all kinds of ours. And it seems like more often than not when you're away from work in the evening. No the night things of that nature. In this case, I received the call at three o'clock in the morning. The call came from the watch commander at Hollywood station. And he let me know that a murder had occurred of man had been shot in a car had been transported to cedar Sinai. He was pronounced dead within an hour of the shooting. At that point. I spoke with my partner directed into go to the station and every witnesses headed to the crime scene at eight forty five north Highland avenue. That is retired homicide. Detective Rick Jackson speaking he worked thirty four years for the Los Angeles Police Department twenty eight of them in homicide, the killing of j Clarke in Hollywood was his longest case two longest case by far. Jackson grew up in the Lakewood area of Los Angeles County and join LAPD shortly after college he's a friendly man with an easy smile. He can start a conversation with anybody his affable demeanor belied to skills as a detective he was considered one of the best from John Belushi case to the J Simpson investigation to the west side rapist serial killer. He worked many of the headline grabbing cases in the city's recent history. He also worked the cases that made no blip on the media radar and no impact on society beyond the losses to the families and friends of the victims to Jackson, though, every case counted the same as the others to him everybody counted or nobody counted he was the lead detective on the murder Jade Clarke. When I got to the scene which was about four fifty in the morning. Highland was very little travel at that time of night. The car was parked facing. Southbound at the west curb a Highland again. It was a commercial area small businesses. There weren't many people around at that time. The scene had been cordoned off by the original officers who responded to the radio call. I remember being approached immediately by a an officer who had a small caliber handgun that. He said he'd recovered from the seat of the victims vehicle, and he removed it for safe keeping and provided that to me, which I member putting it in the trunk of my police car. I approach is seen at some point the criminalist that was assigned to come out to assist me at the crime scene investigation was there as well as print personnel. And the photographer record the crime scene. Upon looking more at the crime scene. There were some things I noted immediately that I knew were potentially very important one thing I noticed was a small caliber expended bullet a bull that had been fired from weapon. The bullet was on the ground on the pavement of the street right near the driver's side. Rear tire at some point upon closer examination at some point of the crime scene. I could see that. There was some dark fiber material adhering to that round which minute hit something most likely a clothing item. Which at that point. I didn't know if it was from maybe the victim's clothing, or if it was from potentially suspects clothing that had been standing at that drivers door was that lucky you get a bullet sitting right there at the crime scene. Yeah. It was very lucky in the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw that fiber on the bullet was that bullet did not go very far when a matter of one or two feet before it fell to the ground. So obviously, it hits something more substantial than just clothing fibers. In my mind thinking that night at the crime scene. I was hoping that potentially had hit the suspect because there could be blood on that. And obviously did hit a suspect. It was it would be a through and through to him. So I knew right away that was a crucial piece of evidence. Weiser blood there on the driver's side. There was no blood that was visible. There was some blood in the car which obviously came from the victim's injuries. However on the passenger side of the car along the sidewalk that runs north and south along Highland. There were some blood drops starting about the center of the car and moving north along the sidewalk there in Highland maybe thirty or thirty five feet north, and then they stopped. But those blood drops I should say did not show a directional tail on them as if they had been deposited by somebody that was running or moving very quickly along that sidewalk. So if these blood drops were connected in some way to this crime. It was someone calmly walked away dripping blood that would be my opinion. Yes. Let me jump in here for a second. And talk about Rick Jackson again. I know he sounds like a modern day version of Joe Friday here with his just the facts recitation of the case over the years. I've been amazed at his recall of the little details of the many cases. He's worked those details. In the way, detective methodically works case are things I've been taking from Jackson for years, we've worked closely together on many projects from my books to TV shows and scripts to now this podcast the truth is I chose this case for the first season of the podcast largely because of Rick, and what I knew about his, dedication and relentlessness when it came to his cases. But it hasn't always been a friendly relationship. You could say our interactions or lack thereof. Go back more than twenty five years to when I was a reporter in Los Angeles. And he was a detective with the major crimes unit of LAPD vaunted robbery homicide division Jackson were most of the big media cases back then, but he was the kind of guy who didn't have much use for the press. In fact, if you saw Rick Jackson's name and one of my stories, it was likely following a no common quote. So the way the LAPD broke up their investigative services back then was that there were eighteen geographic divisions and each one would have their own detective squad, including a homicide table as they called it with four to six detectives, and then the Aleve robbery homicide unit was located at the department's headquarters Parker center downtown. It's pretty much the same now. But there are a few more divisions Parker centers empty and a new headquarters was built about a block away. If there is a big case, especially when it draws media attention. It is usually handed off to our St. because detectives are generally more seasoned and specialized they've been around the pier romaine case, for example, did not make a blip on the media radar. It was a black on black crime that occurred a year that average more than two murders day, the city against all that death and Jade Clarke, just wasn't news. Are you St. wasn't interested? As thirty year observer of the LAPD. In fact, I moved to LA to go to work for the Los Angeles Times a month. After j Clarke is murdered the difference between Archie and divisional -tective was physically apparent the elite are these squads dress differently than detectives carry themselves differently. And when they assumed lead on a case, they more often than not swarmed it with many of the detectives from major crimes homicide special coming in and taking over and Rick Jackson was part of that. And I can still recall being at a crime scene and seeing him and other are HD. Detectives arrived to take over and it was like, okay. The big shots have arrived. I wrote about some of this cases net put me in Jackson's orbit. And I would reach out for him for comment and understanding about what was going on the case. And this was a course about as useful as spitting in the win. He didn't call back reporters, I have old newspaper clips at say, he refused to comment or did not return repeated phone, calls, etc. I like to say he didn't understand the talking to the media was talking to the public and the public had a right to know. But that argument was also about as useful as fitting in the wind. So it was a stress relationship between Rick and Maine. I remember this one case the media dubbed the wiccan murder case, which Jackson was lead detective on. And you could say I was lead writer on for the LA times. This UCLA student had been brutally murdered. I mean like stabbed twenty times and his body was found in an old railroad tunnel that was in the mountains that rim the San Fernando Valley, which is nor side of the city. The tunnel was already cloaked in mystery because it was very close to a hideout used a couple of decades earlier by Charles Manson and his followers. In fact, locals in that air just referred to the tunnel as the Manson tunnel. So this UCLA kid was pretty smart and came from a good family, his mother, in fact was at church secretary and everyone in his family was involved in their faith. This only added to the mystery of what had been up to and how he ended up in the Manson tunnel. Media wise, the story was competitive from the start and reporters were digging around at UCLA into this kid's life, and so on and soon it was discovered that he was a member of liquor circle at the school. Now is a pagan religion that can involve witchcraft and this, of course, flew in the face of who this kid was thought to be on top of that there is defeated on the walls of the Manson tunnel. That included pentagram assemble with Oko connotations, and it was unclear whether they had been there or painted on the walls by the killers. Who was believed that there were multiple killers that would have taken at least two people to carry the victim's body into that tunnel. So anyway, the rumors were flying about this case and this kid and Wicca and witchcraft and possibly even Newman sacrifice. So I'm trying to get to Rick Jackson for some clarity on. This is this part of the official investigation. Where are we reporters chasing rainbows? But true to form. He took no calls and never return them. He was detective Rick. No common Jackson. Eventually, though, he cracked the case. And it turned out that the wick angle was just a deflection. The victim was killed because of a dispute with two friends, even the wicked circle angle was explained as a college kid, exploring, new face and ideas while away from home for the first time. I think it's been ironic that many years later recommend were together on various projects, including this podcast. I sometimes think boy where were you when I needed you on the wicked case, but what he is shared with me. In more recent years has been invaluable. All right. 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Just go to ring dot com slash murder book with video doorbell and motion activated floodlight Cam the starter kit has everything you need to start building a ring of security around your home. That's ring that com slash murder book. So you're at the crime scene handling all that the collection of evidence and so forth, your partner, Ron ITO is at the Hollywood station. Dealing all the witnesses that and then pulled in after the shooting, including Clifford Phillips who had been in the car with Jade Clarke at what point do you start to talk to ITO and put things together as to what happened during the shooting. Yeah. At some point while I was probably still at the crime scene. Although I'd get more details later, I found out from my partner who was interviewing witnesses at the station, the basic scenario of what happened in that came from the witness cliff Phillips who was a friend of Jade Clark's and was in the passenger seat when the the whole incident first started, and what I learned was they were both sitting there when the driver's side door was opened. Like complected, black male pointed a gun at Jade. Clarke told them to get the fuck out of the car. Get the fuck out. Cliff? Phillips was stunned and starting in the passenger seat watching this whole thing happened when he saw his friend reach underneath the car seat and come up with a small caliber handgun, semiautomatic handgun. And he was shocked because he didn't know he had that gun. And he basically saw this standoff occurring between his friend and the man outside the car he could not see the man's face. Because the car was a lower vehicle and face of the suspect was out of view for him from his vantage point who is pulling his prank net. Remain in my head for good thirty to forty five seconds before finally get yanked that car myself. Once I got yanked out. I am my faculties census or Sharpe's attack and anew what what was going on a carjacking. Then my fear. My naive traits were out the window new was going on and. Right. Then went into survival and try to remain calm and actually tried to speak until my friend give up the car. And as I was doing it while getting choked. Say we'll go scrim away from my. Attacker break loose and and run. And that. Recall at maybe getting a five or six steps away after broke loose. That's when I started hearing gunfire. And it startled me. So that feel actually failed to ground out of sheer panic and fright. But I think I got up quicker than feel and continued to run, and and then I ran into an alleyway and he. Alone. A couple of other guys were outside in. About a minute later. So we came back to the scene, and that's where my friends slumped over in the car. And he was fighting for his life. And I remember about the pull him out and another guy at to sing with me. The adviser. No, don't pull them out. You know, you can't pull them out. So what I do recline his seat. And so he could be kinda prone position and try to make as comfortable as in. I was really prodded affect that. He was still alive when a paramedic Scott there and thought he would make but he didn't. I asked detected Jackson about the shooting that was outside of what would seem to have been a crowded club. Where there are a lot of witnesses. Is there a Steria what happened in the moments after the shooting there were people exiting the club? But there's nothing I don't think there was any by great commotion other people watching and seeing varying things the best sense of what the assortment of witnesses that ITO interviewed at the station could come up with was that after the shooting both suspects directly rand northbound from their positions at the vehicle oneself Specht from the driver's door. And the second suspect sidewalk and when one block which was maybe seventy eight yards, and then ran westbound on St. col Willoughby. While I was at the crime scene. My supervisor detective Russ Custer who ran the homicide unit had made several inquiries at the local hospitals. Also sent out a medical art. He he was trying to determine if anybody showed up at one of the -mergency rooms having a gunshot or suspected gunshot wound that lead nowhere. No one had shown up. No one had come in where medica- medical matched. And so that was a dead end. Another bid of information. I learned from Ronnie Dojo was based on his interview with the witnessing James Ryan who lived on citrus avenue, which is one block due west of Highland. Ryan had called the police and let them know. And then it was eventually brought to the Hollywood station. He heard gunshots. He had just gotten home from work. He went to a second story window looked out. And this is a matter of seconds thirty forty seconds after hearing those shots, and he sees to male blacks running southbound on citrus from Willoughby street. He says one of the men was carrying what appeared to be a revolver in his hand. And they were yelling in the direction of white sporty car that was driving also southbound in front of them. At some point. Ryan saw the white sporty car. Stop quickly back up to the position of the two men running. They both jumped in the white car, and then the white card burned rubber and accelerate quickly southbound on Sicher savvy and Ryan would later point out those skits to us which became important as well as well as the description provided of what we now believed was the getaway car. Doc all of about Jade, and who he was about this car, and why was special tune that he might not want to give it up even at gun point Jade Clarke, he was twenty one years old. He had just moved into a new apartment over near Los Angeles high school, which is south a few miles of the crime scene. He was an aspiring DJ. He also had worked. I believe with still working at a video store. He hadn't had this car Wong. It was completely paid for car. Partly as a gift from an uncle. I'm not a car person necessarily. But I remember thinking it was really a sharp looking car with a nine hundred eighty four three hundred Nissan, z X. But what was unique about it? And I found out later was that it had been customized. Usually there was a a hatchback to the rear with no trunk. This had been squared off. Trunk had been put in. It was a soft top convertible black over like, silver, gray. I remember thinking that night that I had never seen the car quite like that as far as the customization? J Clarke wanted to be a DJ. And that was why he was with Clifford Phillips Phillips was a DJ at the time and had taken Jade under his wing. He was a hardworking, honest guy. You know? And what we knew of him. You know, he had family members over presumed to be in a lifestyle that wasn't the straight narrow, but we never saw Jay doing participate in any part of that lifestyle. He had jobs, and he was a hard worker. So and then he wanted to get in the DJ life. So assumed honest guy. So that's why we allowed him to hang out with this. So he's a good guy. Bear sauce spoken. You know, he was just a good guy. And we never expected on all that went down, you know. And they heard that he had a gun. Shocked everyone. But especially me being there seeing him hold this done in point a gun at someone. So. But. I don't know everyone has secrets sexists. Who knows what went through his nine when this man came up with the gun. But I think he wanted to protect himself and his property, and that's why the gun was pulled from under the seat which was a registered gun to him on the day after that crime scene. We went over and met you Launda Jade's mother for the first time. She'd been notified the day before by officers that he had been murdered. And so we weren't making the notification, but still it was that initial meeting that is always the toughest and in my twenty eight years of working homicide. That was always the worst part of the case is meeting the victim's family for the first time and even more. So if you have to make that initial notification that that is the absolute worst, and it's heartbreaking to do it. It's a motion it's straining. And you know, how much they are struggling with the sudden shock of something like this happen as anybody would be. But we needed to talk to her about her son get any more background we could. And I remember I've had a relationship with Ilana Santamaria mostly via phone for thirty years. And she always reminded me that day that I told her we will solve this. And she's always held onto that has our resolve. That we would come back at some point tell her we saw that. Jay was Olso. So I respected him not only my son. But like a like a file of he even told his France, I help raise my mother. His opinion Jay about he sound think about it. Couple of days Lantis. Remember, he sound steel plinking getting matching, you know. So that's what the type of person and he affected all lies being young old any rates he affected. So and he will always be with us in spirit. So are they? I asked every day. Let me be of blessing to someone in some capacity is just or encouraging worth. 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And that's what draws me to writing about Harry, bash and reading aliens books, and as I say, I'm really excited for this latest book his by now in hardcover e book or audio wherever books are sold. Visit Little Brown dot com. For more information. Oh for the first we could half or so we did our due diligence normal investigative procedures. Checking 'em O's checking with other divisions on similar kinds of crimes things of that nature. But we were really getting nowhere. As far as having any viable leads to work. We got our first potential break about a week and half two two weeks later when we were notified that a latent print from the outside of the passenger door came back to an individual through running it through what was fairly a fairly new database at that time called APIs, automated, fingerprinting identification system, and it came back to a man named twain Dixon who lived down south LA. And because of the location of that fingerprint at Tiffany gave us the possibility that it was this Dwayne Dixon who left that print there when he pulled Clifford Phillips out of the Jade cards car that night. At least like I said, at least that location was right in it was some that work toward. In checking Dixon's background. He lived in south LA. He was a role in sixty gang member detective ITO obtained a photograph of doing Dixon. He showed it to Clifford Phillips who reiterated that. He never saw the man's face. And didn't know that man by site. We showed it to a few other witnesses that had seen the events go down outside of the dance deteriorate and there were no IT's of Dwayne Dixon. So now came time to do the next thing that needed to be done, and that was to interview him regarding his potential involvement in this case. Detective ITO eventually brought Dwayne Dixon into Hollywood station and interviewed him. And I remember listening to that tape and reading that interview when I got back to work and Dixon gave really a very plausible explanation. I think at least the best explanation. He could give he wasn't told the print was on the car and ITO asked him when the last time he was in Hollywood. And basically what he says is I don't know the exact date is that important and Ito's says, well, just tell us what you know. And he says, well, I was at a nightclub. So you guys can find out what day I was there because when I came out of the nightclub shooting had just occurred across the street in some car, and I remember going over there and looking in the car and seeing what was going on before the police got there. And then the police showed up in we backed off and. And that was it. He goes. So whenever day that case happened was the last time, I was in Hollywood. No, I don't know anything about that murder. I wasn't involved in it. Did you catch the car? I may have may not have. I don't remember specifically. And that was it. End without anything else that print isn't going to hold up and to be honest. I could even say for sure that I thought he was definitely involved or not involved. Just based on what we had. So about four weeks into this case, and we had no really viable suspects Dixon thing was kind of a dead end at that point based on what we had when I received the phone call which I remember with on July twenty four it was in the afternoon. It was a deputy DA by the name Awani Felker who I did know. And he said he had some information from an informant of his that he had dealt with on a prior case. The information involved the informant being present win two people were talking about being involved in the shooting of a nightclub at a nightclub in Hollywood a month before and he had dented the two individuals who said they were there involved as peer remain and Dwayne Dixon who were both role in sixties gang members. The other information that he gave which became very important. Was that remain had been shot during the incident? In the weeks after the crime occurred. I was in touch with our lab quite a bit making several forensic requests. In one of the requests, I made was to the head of Serology Greg Mathieson to look at the item three the recovered projectile. That Jade Clarke fired that had the fibers on it to see if there was a presence if any blood on that projectile and map this eventually got back to me and said did show the presence of the blood, but it was insufficient to even type it with abo type which of what we used to back, then this is a whole prior to DNA. I made some other requests regarding that bullet to have the fibers analyzed. And the woman by the name of Doering music looked at that projectile and reported back that there were nylon type navy blue or dark blue fibers on it. But she also found the presence of some skin or tissue like substance on the poet. And this is when it was confirmed me, positively that it had been through and through gunshot wound. And that would later become very very key. When we get a call from Wani Felker a deputy couple of days later. All right. So you now have a name to names, actually, but you have the name Pierre romaine through confidential informant. What's the next steps? You take. Well, we do as much background. We can on peer romaine, this new name that factors in who. Based on where the Dixon print is is going to be our shooter. That's what's in my mind. And it's an Ito's mind. And we know we have to go. Who was pure remain. He was a local south at lake kid when into the military at a young age eighteen or nineteen air force did four years. Now remain came back to the neighborhood where he was raised and his name started showing up in gang unit Intel files as a member of the rowing sixties Crips one of the largest most Beilin streak gangs and south Los Angeles. This was unusual because his name was not in those files before he left for the air force. Can fact it appeared up until this point romaine had steered clear of gang life. His mother sent him to private schools that were far outside the neighborhood occupied by the rowing sixties. He took moldable buses just to go to school and to get far away. And then the summer after he graduated from high school, he joins the air force and lease Los Angeles leaves cow -fornia at seems like that distance would kept him out of gang life. But then within a year of him returning after six years in the military. His name supposedly started showing up in these Intel files. Most of the evidence seemed to show that he really wasn't again member before leaving to go to the military he'd gotten good grades. So now, he's reverting to what people usually grow out of after a while. And he's starting his gang activity post military career. Detective started backgrounding romaine and being thorough is could they caught notice on an accident report that he had been involved in two weeks before the murder of j Clarke? June sixteenth, nineteen eighty seven all of Los Angeles was sent to celebrate the back to back championships from the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team Showtime as it was called back. Then had gripped the city and glory and pride, but to give you some background at that same moment. There was a growing cancer in the community. Los Angeles was on the cusp of the deadliest time in its history in nineteen eighty seven. There would be three hundred eighty two gang related murders. LA county with the grim number more than doubling by nineteen ninety two. Now in this day of basketball glory, June sixteenth. There was an unspoken truce that allowed gangsters from all the neighborhoods of south, Los Angeles. To celebrate the Lakers and pass through rivals. Neighborhoods unharmed. A small motorcade a cars from the neighborhood of the rolling sixties Crips and south LA set off from the fabulous forum where the Lakers played at the time and move towards downtown where the official parade speeches were planned there were gangsters non-gangsters alike. United under the yellow and purple colors of the Lakers. Honest, reach us outside the forum one driver named dantonio watts became distracted by passing girl. He crashed his customized nineteen eighty-five Nitzan three hundred z X into the back of his friend. Pierre remains corvette. According to the accident report. Nobody was hurt. But the three hundred zero x was total. Jackson called for the report the vehicle that hits romaine which is driven by remained, buddy. Is a Nissan three hundred zero x the same kind of car that his steps in Willie targeted by Romain when he shoots j Clarke. So we end up in a junkyard and car guy, totally go over the junkyard. And really not until I see that car. Do I go holy shit. It is a mere image of Jay Clark's cards, not a convertible, but it is a mere image to the point where even the customization was exactly the same, and it had had converted trunk and shape and everything else. I'd like I said before I had never seen that exact look on a car and here, I see two of them within two weeks. Both connected to romaine. It's not a coincidence. When that kind of thing happens, and I knew right, then that this likely was the motive in the case targeting that car. Here's Clifford Phillips the man who is sitting in the car with j Clarke. I remember him driving up on me and my friends with this new vehicle, and we're all happy for me. And my friends spoke. Specifically about carjackings because that's when it started becoming real prevalent, and we asked him. Let's it we ask them. What would he do if he were carjacked? He said a given up my car, I'm not going to die from car, and we were police here that and lo and behold. Maybe four or five days after he got that car and showed it to us. He was gone because of the forest car. Okay. I want to jump in here and say, thanks to one of our sponsors for supporting this podcast. Skill share is an online learning community for creators with more than twenty five thousand classes in design photography, which I started looking at web, design business and more. Whether you're looking to discover a new passion start side-hustle or gain new professional skills skill share is there to keep you learning in thriving. Go to skill share dot com slash murder. Book to start your two months of free. My daughter signed up for this. And I happen to be sitting on the couch next door. She was going through the classes, she wants to be in the film business. And that's where she was drawn. And I found myself kind of looking over her shoulder and saying, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Let's look at this one. Let me see this one. Join the millions of students already learning skills. Shared to sign up. Go to skill share dot com slash murder. Book skill shares offering murder listeners, two months of unlimited access to over twenty five thousand classes for free. That skill share dot com slash murder book. Okay. So you're with that. You go and get a probable cause for search warrant in a rest or what happens. Yeah, we get. The search warrant for Dixon remains places down on fifty ninth place for the vehicles at the location and also the probable cause rest warrants based on what we develop so far. The investigators had something else in the murder book that would now come into play Jackson ITO had received a report from the department's firearms unit that the bullet found at the crime scene next to Jade Clark's car had been matched ballistics to Jay's gun. This was important because there's human tissue on that board and the match confirm the J that hit his killer with a bullet. And that the killer would likely have entry and exit wounds somewhere on his body the warrants the detectives had received from the judge allowed them to search Pierre Roman's body for those wounds. Five thirty in the morning on the twenty eighth of July a month after the crime, we hit the two pads go through taken into custody at their residences. The search warrant is conducted at both resonances. And then I returned to Hollywood station interview both of the suspects after his arrest remains body was inspected for any indication that he had a gun shower, and they did find what appeared to be through and through gunshot wound on his right for. I have no doubt in my mind. That's exactly what it was. It was still scab being over and healing being four weeks old. But it was very distinct in very unique looking and right away. When I saw that wound myself, I knew this is what it was. And I know exactly in my mind that time knew what went down at the crime scene. All right. So you're you're having a gathering of evidence. Probably not one piece is a slam dunk piece of evidence. And you're now have him sitting in an interview room at Hollywood station. And it's time to talk to them. How do you prepare for that? What's that like for detective? Well, that's your goal is to get the person. Who now have though doubt was the one responsible across an interview table in front of you and the station in custody, and we did our background. We got information remain. We had a lot of connecting pieces of evidence that put them there. And we have that bullet wound. And we have the bullet that went through that arm. Do we have DNA at that time? No. We have bled typing. No. But we have piece of tissue, and we have the two wounds an entry and an exit, and that's the reason that was laying there because at exit that arm. So we're ready to go and always kind of prided myself on the fact that I could usually get people the waive their rights just on my interview techniques, and he did in fact, waive his rights. I told them we wanted to talk to them about incident that happened in Hollywood. And I didn't know exactly what if any his involvement was and we needed to talk to. The interview started off good number one. You just want to get a chance to talk to them and get it on record. He denied ever being in Hollywood having anything to do with any kind of shooting in Hollywood. I asked him for an explanation of what I knew was through and through gunshot wound on his right in her farm, and I should add that I knew this since I saw the wound. He was right handed. And I visualized exactly how the crime scene went down. But I wanted to get it from him. And he wasn't gonna go there. It wasn't. He's not the typical person you sit in interview that south central Los Angeles gang member of the Royal in sixties. He was an experienced guy had law enforcement experience in the military. Became a military. Police officer of all things in the air force. So he at least was aware of some of the procedural things that police officers and detectives do when they're trying to investigate a crime. But once I confirmed, he was right handed, and I had him extend his arm. You could see that the entry wound which was down toward the wrist area was a little bit lower in the exit wound was going a little higher. So it it traverse that way because he was standing outside of that car with his hand pointed down toward Jade Clarke with seeded, and when the standoff was going on that's where his arm was extended downward at Clark Clark would be pointing his gun when he got it out underneath the seat, and he'd be pointing up at romaine in the direction of where romaine was pointing the gun at him. And the shots were fired remained fired more Clark fired one and it went in that upward direction it entered his arm went three or four or five inches and exited a little higher. So when it came to this interview, how did he explain having a bullet in his arm? He denied that. It was. Womb. He said that he had received that in an accident that he'd had a few weeks before was he talking about the accident at the Waco parade. That's the only accident. He had. Yes. And I remember looking at that report in showed no injuries. Now before I could press him further to explain something. How did this happen is he going to say it was a rod that went through his arm, which would cause a lot more trauma. And I started to press him into given an explanation that we could tear apart and he clammed up. That was it. He invoked his rights. He wanted his attorney. And that's what the interview ended standard than I wanted it to because there was a lot still to cover. Even though he stopped to talk and denied things is having the accident report. This is no injury and him explaining how he got the injury. It was that useful as evidence. It was extremely useful. The fact that at least he had given us an explanation and how he got that wound. We could tear that apart. And we were able to buy the use of the Inglewood officer. Who took that report? And it showed that there were no injuries sustained. Now, some kind of a rod or something going through somebody's arm. It's going to cause significant amount of blood loss and pain that is not going to go down is non injury. And so we had them walked in there. After the interview we needed to get some blood from rain. So we went to a hospital. We also went to the coroner's office who look at gunshot wounds routinely, and we went to a very senior member of the staff at the coroner's office. Dr Choi, he he said he thought it was consistent with a gunshot wound. He could not rule out some potential other possibilities, but very unlikely. So you amassed all this evidence. He presented a district attorney's office. What happened the district attorney charged romaine and Dixon both with one count of murder and one count of robbery. And that's when the ball started rolling. We had physical evidence we had witnessed evidence we had circumstantial evidence. And in my mind. It was no doubt that these were the two guys that did it. And also, I would have never taken it to the DA's office. In this case, they were ready to go the accumulated a lot of evidence they had a key witness. Who is with the victim when he got shot confidence in the case was very high. But then. We just lost our best witness. At that point case apart all charges were dropped by the district attorney's office and the suspects were set free. The case is going to be over for never gonna get Justice for j Clarke. But then detective Rick Jackson gets surprise call. That changes everything. This was all completely new information in the shot. Michael calmly, and you're listening to murder book. I want to thank our sponsors as well as our police consultants. Rich Jackson, Tim, Marsha in Mitzi Roberts murder. Book is produced an edited by terror Langford, Grace Kelly provides the music, including our theme song by the grave. Additional music provided by pon five and premium beat post production and editor services provided by Thana and additional editing by Jason Kane. For more information about murder book. Go to Berta podcasts dot com. Please support the show by subscribing on apple podcasts or wherever you listen. Leave us rating in review be sure to share murder book, someone who loves true crime coal cases as much as you do. Thanks for listening chapter. Two is up next.

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