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Sunday, July 16
Judge William J. Schafer III
“The Don Bolles Murder Cases”
Appointed to the State Superior Court in 1989, Judge William J. Schafer III, during his eleven years on the bench, rendered important decisions on civil, criminal, domestic relations, and tax cases. His role in the Don Bolles murder cases reflected sound judicial temperament and careful reasoning in what were some of the most highly charged criminal cases in Arizona history. Though he retired in 2000, Judge Schafer still acts as a superior court judge on a pro tem basis. He graduated from Oberlin College and received his LL.B. and J.D. from the Case-Western University School of Law in 1957. Judge Schafer's impressive scholarly and judicial career ranges from writing criminal briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court, to arguing four cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, to authoring three books on criminal law, and, most recently, to serving as judge at the Telders International Moot Court in the Hague at the International Peace Palace. His awards are numerous including being presented in 1988 with the Distinguished Public Lawyer Award presented by the Maricopa County Bar Association. He maintains a deep interest in history as reflected in his service as a board member of the Arizona Historical Society.
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Judge William J. Schafer III:
I really can't see any of you out there, but I always say to jurors, if you can't hear what I'm saying, well you'll see a mouth moving but if you don't hear anything, something's wrong.
So stand up and shout or throw a heavy object, do something.
Two things that Jack didn't cover in my background that I always cover, because people seem to be interested in this before I came to Arizona, I was with U.S. Department of Justice. First in Washington oh and that's interesting, I I wrote briefs in criminal cases for 2 and ½ years. Only in cases before the United States Supreme Court, and everybody says, “Oh that's a nifty job, oh yeah”.
But but a brief every two weeks or every three weeks, you know, oh, that's all I did, so I said to them, “I'd like to get into trial court. Please get me into a U.S. Attorneys office” and they did, Ketchikan , Alaska .
I mean has anybody ever been to Ketchikan A Oh my God!
Well, I usually get that as a matter of fact. At least one hand will go up. They were there in the tour. And they stop -- that's the first place you stopped probably, Ketchikan Alaska . Every fourth door was a bar. It probably still is.
And I used to travel all over the Southeastern part of the state, trying cases as an assistant U.S. Attorney. The first one I tried was in a place call Rangle , Alaska . Did you go to Rangle, too? Salmon capital of the world! And here I'm a kid from Philadelphia really, across the river in Camden . I was a city boy. I tried shooting a bull moose from a motor boat. Which was
You laugh, but it was a federal crime at the time.
And I had no idea, what a bull moose was or what it looked like. And I thought a bull moose, you know, it looks like a deer. You go out and you shoot those. Oh no. Bull mooses are enormous things. And when I finally saw what a bull moose was I said, “My Lord, why would anybody shoot this from anything other than a motor boat?”
But Good, did you have trouble?
Question: Yes sir.
Okay. The jury was out, as I say, like four minutes up there and they acquitted the guy. I mean we had everything. But that was notorious for that sort of thing. Especially if you are trying fishing violations, which I also did, or shooting violations of animals. They the Alaskans didn't take too much to those. And they didn't take too much to the prosecutors. One other thing that Jack didn't mention that I always mention. In my background as a -- I was going to say as a child, it's more as a kid, I had a night club act.
I was an acrobat. That's what I was. And I like to say that I was a single. I didn't dance with anybody. I danced all by myself.
When it came football time, for high school, my teacher said “No more. You can't do football.” I said, “What?!” He said, “Oh no, we can't take that risk. You don't do football.” I chose football and that was the end of that. And I sometimes think, “Lord, I could have been with Donald O'Connor, and Gene Kelly ”
All right, in March of and and I by the way, there is a time limit, I hope I can sort of stick to it on on what I say about the Don Bolles murder cases. I usually talk with no notes and take questions. But I'm trying to tie myself to notes on this one so I can at least stay close to that time limit. In 19 In March of 1976, and as a matter of fact, think about that, next month it will be 30 years since then. The Arizona Republic ran an article by a reporter named Don Bolles. Now the article criticized the possible appointment of a man named Kemper Marley to the Arizona State Racing Commission. Kemper Marley was a well known man in Arizona . He was quite rich. He owned thousands of acres of land north of Phoenix and Scottsdale , and he was the owner of United Liquor. Many say a company that had a virtual monopoly on the distribution of alcohol in the State of Arizona . The article leveled a n ber of accusations against Kemper Marley, none of them were ever proved. But they were leveled never the less. One was that he was charged with grand theft and actually he was, but he as acquitted when he was a state highway commissioner. Two, that he was connected to a scheme to alter liquor labels. Three, that he had liquor contracts with the racetrack monopoly and now that or in those days it was known as Emprise. And that when he was on the State Fair Commission the fair had financial troubles, but they went nowhere. Raul Castro was the governor at the time, everybody remembers Raul I'm sure. And he was about to put Marley on the Racing Commission until the article by Don Bolles came out. Governor Castro nominated him and the legislature approved him, but a week after the Bolles article came out, Marley quit. That hurt him very badly because he saw public office as a cap to his long career. He complained bitterly to a man he had been close to for many years. A man that he really treated as a son. There was really love between them, a man named Max Dunlap, who was at the time, a well-to-do land developer all over the state.
Now Don Bolles was a well known investigative reporter, not only in Arizona , but all across the country. Testified before Congress, which some of you may remember. He specialized in organized crime. He had reported on it for a n ber of years and he had received a n ber of threats on his life. Gradually, he got tired of it. And about this time he asked to be reassigned. Take me off organized crime. And the newspaper did. They assigned him to cover the legislature. That was the kind of a job that was acceptable to him. It's what he was looking for because he could be home by 6 or shortly thereafter. He didn't have to travel like he did when he was covering organized crime, and he said he could stop checking the scotch tape on the hood of his car every morning. And he did that. Put a piece of scotch tape on the hood in a place that you wouldn't normally see, and if you saw the scotch tape was broken in the morning you knew someone had lifted the hood of your car, probably to stick a bomb in there. Now while Bolles was working at the legislature, he told one of his co-workers that he received a phone call from a man he didn't know and the guy told him he had information on an exchange of money involving an Arizona congressman. The name was never given. It was probably made up. And we never heard a name. Bolles met the man, but he wasn't impressed at all. He said to his co-worker that he thought the guy was a sleazy bastard. But the man called again, and he told Bolles, “I've got newer information for you now.”, and also he said, “I've got doc entation this time.” And he asked Bolles to meet him at the Clarendon Hotel, just off Central Avenue below Indian School . The building is still there, but it's not the Clarendon anymore. And he asked him to meet him there on June 2. Bolles agreed. Before Bolles left his office that morning, he left a note saying, “John Adamson, lobby at 11:15 Clarendon House, 4 th and Clarendon.” But when Bolles got to the Clarendon, there was no one there to meet him. As he walked into the lobby, no one was there. But a phone call came in to the man at the desk. And the man said, “Is there a Don Bolles in the lobby?” and he was the only guy in the lobby. Don Bolles said “Yeah.” So Don Bolles took the call. The guy told him we couldn't meet that morning. We're going to have to do it some other time. And he said “Fine you let me know.” Bolles got into his car in the parking lot, started to back it out and it blew up. Don Bolles was blown out of the car and the car was essentially destroyed. You all remember seeing pictures of that, that Datson was just ruined. To those who rushed up to help him he said, “They finally got me. Mafia. Emprise. Get John Adamson.” Don Bolles died 11 days later. And you remember the articles in the papers about what was being done to him all during those 11 days. He was in and out of a coma. Amputations, operations. When he died, the Governor order all government flags in Arizona to be flown at half mast. And President Jerry Ford issued a statement saying he was distressed over the killing. Well, the police didn't know who John Adamson was, but they soon found out. He was a small time crook, who stole things for people. Very interesting, what he would do. He took odd jobs and he hung out just about everyday at the Ivanhoe Cocktail Lounge. Now that's a bar just a few blocks off of Clarendon. It's no longer in that location, but it's still in business at another nearby location. And what he would do, he'd come into the Ivanhoe and ask people what they needed. And if you would like a jacket like this, you would tell him, “That that's what I'm looking for. And in size 42.” Short, long, whatever it was. And sure enough, John would steal it and you'd have it within a few days. If you wanted a pair of shoes, he'd do the same thing. And he was sort of proud of that when we started talking to him because he said he was good at it. And obviously his customers enjoyed it too.
He also had a very notorious job and that was tying cars in an adjacent parking lot to the Ivanhoe to a very large block of concrete. And then he would only let you get your car and release the chain from the concrete if you paid him a very handsome fee. Now, the police had run into that before but they didn't connect the two.
In the hospital a few days after the bombing, the police showed a Bolles a picture of the man they new as John Adamson and they asked Bolles if that's the guy he was going to meet. Bolles nodded his head yes. That's about all he could do at that time was nod or blink his eyes. Eventually, they could talk to him, but not very much and not very often. The next morning, John Adamson appeared at the police station with his lawyers. He was concerned that his name, which already appeared in the paper, was linked to the bombing. But he said nothing to the police. He disclosed nothing about the bombing or himself. However, the police did do something that day. They searched his house and they found, well, to me, a n ber of interesting things. Among them was a book, as a matter of fact they found four books, I'll give you the titles. One was “ Killer ” another was “ Blood Letters and Bad Men ” the other was “ Private lives of Public Enemies .” And the one they found that I found most interesting is the “ Anarchists Cookbook. ” It's a primer on how to make bombs and how to blow people up and where to plant them. And very detailed discussion of how you make a bomb and plant it under a car. Now, the curious thing about these four books, really astounded the police, this guy's got these four books, I said wait a minute. If you walked into my house, you'd find the same four books because I collect that stuff. And I was very familiar with all of them. When asked by the press what they were going to do with Adamson, the police said “Nothing.” They could do nothing at that point because they didn't have probable cause to hold him for murder or really for anything else at that point.
Now most of those who spoke out at the time, including the newspapers and everyone else, the people on television, they accused organized crime of the murder. Good reason for that because Bolles said Mafia and Emprise, which to people in the know, Emprise was very directly connected, they thought, to organized crime. And, certainly this murder had all the public earmark -- or popular earmarks of just that, organized crime. An article in the Republic at the time, noted quote “Eight times in the past two decades, gang land figures have stuck down Phoenix residents, and seven times they have gotten away with murder.” Now while all of this was going on, the bomb squad was busy trying to determine just how that car was blown up. They blocked off the entire Clarendon parking lot. They divided it into sections and they started walking all over it, at first looking for things that they thought might be part of a bomb. Then they swept it with brooms and then they vacu ed it with vacu cleaners, looking for parts of bombs. They did it section by section and they picked up everything that they thought could be connected to a bomb. They also went over Don Bolles' car with a fine tooth comb. Once they collected everything that they could find, they started sorting through the fragments and they assembled like fragments. They had a table that must have been, it seemed like it was twenty feet long. It probably wasn't, but they had like fragments here, like fragments there, on both sides of the table. There were hundreds of these fragments. And some were very, very small. You know, smaller than your little fingernail. You could hardly see them. When they put everything together, they were quite sure that what killed Don Bolles was a bomb placed on the underside of the car set off by a remote control device, ‘cause they had fragments of each.
Now to me the most interesting of all those hundreds of scraps, was a very small piece of metal that was saw tooth. I mean it was like this. It turned out that it was a piece of a gear to a servo motor. Some of you are probably wondering, what is a servo motor? I did. But that's the motor that makes a remote control device work. And it is dinky. It's a little dinky motor. When highly magnified, that little fragment had marks of the dye on it. That's why they magnified it. Now, if they could match up those marks with the machine that made it, they thought they might be able to find out who sold it, where it was sold and then who bought it. And that's exactly what they did. If I had a slide, I have a slide of that showing you how the dye marks, ooh, and you think gosh! That's great. And I think it impressed the jury too. They matched up the dye marks and they traced it to a sporting goods store in San Diego . And then to the man who bought it, John Adamson. Well, with the fragments they had, they put together the model of the bomb they thought was used. It was not very big at all. It could just about fit in the palm of your hand. And it contained only two sticks of dynamite. I say -- I put “only” in there on purpose because Adamson said at one point – well, you have to remember, Adamson's a boozer. I mean that's what he did all the time. And he started, I suppose, as soon as he got up and continued doing it. He said, “I thought I used six sticks of dynamite.” They said, “No, you couldn't have used six sticks of dynamite. Two would do that.” But then when they showed him the model, he said “Oh yeah, that that really looks like it.” Now, I've never flown model airplanes. Some of you in the audience probably have. And I was not familiar with what a remote control device can do. And I thought about that and I thought, “You know, all the jury or a lot of members of the jury, they may not be familiar with a remote control device either and what it can do. And, they would possibly doubt that anyone could set off a bomb with a little box.” I mean, the box was, like, this big -- with a little aerial sticking out the top. So, at the trial. I had the police hook up a flashbulb to the bomb that they had constructed. And then to demonstrate to the jury that such a thing could work, I had one officer stand on one side of the courtroom, another officer stand on the other side of the courtroom and at my signal, the guy with the remote control device turned it on and [pop] the bulb went off. And, oh! Fortunate, I mean, what if it hadn't gone off? I had thought of that if
If the police said, “No, no. It will go off,” Boy, it sure did. And you could see people like that. It was impressive and it showed, oh yeah, you can do that. Remember O.J. Simpson and the glove? You know, did you ever stop to think, what if the glove did fit? That was a risk that somebody took. A few days after the bombing, a lawyer who was also a frequent visitor at the Ivanhoe cocktail lounge and he knew John Adamson, he went to the police and he told them, he had -- he said, a theory about the bombing. He said, “I don't know any facts, but I have this theory about the bombing.” He told them they should look at a man named Max Dunlap. The lawyer thought the bombing may well have been the result of a man named Kemper Marley, in his anger at not getting appointed to the racing commission. And he said, he got this from a conversation he had with Max Dunlap. Now, it was just about this time that a newspaper group of reporters, the IRE, Investigative Reporters and Editors Association, from all over the United States gathered in Phoenix , and announced they were going to investigate the murder and they were going to produce a report about the corruption in Arizona and, really, the corruption across the United States . Hopefully, they were going to do something about that and they were under the tutelage of a Pulitzer prize winning reporter named Robert Reams. You may have read some of his stuff. He still appears in The New York Times or Wall Street Journal. And when that group finished they did produce a report. It was called the Arizona Project. Didn't sell very well, but you can get it. You can still get it out there, especially if you go to a used bookstore. On the day Don Bolles died, the police arrested John Adamson for the murder. He went through a preliminary hearing and he was bound over to the Superior Court, ‘cause that's where the trial would be. And that was all done on the testimony of one of his girlfriends. This was a girl he took with him to San Diego who also had a few drinks and wasn't quite sure of what they were doing there and where they went. But she did could give the police a little. And also an old friend of Adamson's that he tried to enlist in in the bombings. This guy thought about it, thought about it, but he said, “No, I'm not going to do that.” It was about that time that I got involved with the case. The County Attorney 's office was removed from the case by Governor Castro. You may remember that. Whew! That caused an awful lot of stir. It caused an awful lot of stir among the lawyers because it was done on the basis of an old statute still there, but it had only been used once before years and years and years ago. Bruce Babbitt was concerned. He was the Attorney General at the time, because of the publicity that the County Attorney 's office was producing on this case and we were afraid we weren't going to get to trial for six months or maybe never get to trial. I was the chief counsel in the criminal division at that time and Castro took it away from the County Attorney 's office and gave it to Bruce Babbitt. Bruce Babbitt asked me if I would do it, I agreed and for just about the next two years that's all I did, was the Don Bolles' murder cases.
Now because of the intense publicity, Adamson's trial was moved to Tucson and in January of 1977, I went there to try him for murdering Don Bolles. We had just about finished selecting the jury when Adamson entered into a plea agreement. Now, if we had a couple of hours here I'd like to talk about plea agreements, but we'll save that for another time.
He would testify against all others involved in the murder and the State would allow him to plead guilty to second degree murder and take a stipulated sentence of 48 to 49 years. The agreement required him to testify, this is just about a quote from the agreement “Fully and completely in any court, state or federal, whenever requested by proper authorities.” And that if he refused to testify at anytime, the first degree murder charge against him, with the death penalty, would be automatically reinstated and he would be subject to electr or, to a death sentence. Now with that, Adamson started to talk and the story he told was surprising. He said that he spent just about every morning at the Ivanhoe Cocktail Lounge and he met regularly with a bunch of guys that included a lawyer named Neal Roberts, and on occasion, a man named Max Dunlap. He also spent a good deal deal of time at Neal Roberts' office home complex. Beautiful place. It's still there, he Neal Roberts is no longer there, which was also close to the Ivanhoe. And at the Ivanhoe and at Neal Roberts' office home complex, he would sometimes see John Adamson now, Max Dunlap. One morning in 1976 when he was entering Roberts' office complex, Dunlap pulled him aside and told him he had a job for him. He said a man named Kemper Marley, Adamson had no idea who Kemper Marley was Dunlap called Kemper Marley the “old man.” He said he had been badly hurt by the article by Don Bolles and that he would like to have him killed. Dunlap also said that Marley would like to have two other people killed. A man named Al Lizinence who used to work for Marley and was now charging, usually just orally, he filed papers but I don't think many people read them, they just went on and on. But he said, oh, terrible criminal things about Kemper Marley and what he had picked up while he worked for him. And he also wanted Bruce Babbitt killed, because Bruce, the Attorney General, had filed an anti-trust case against Marley's liquor company United Liquor. And when Dunlap offered Adamson $50,000 for these three killings, Adamson accepted. But for quite a time, Adamson didn't do anything. But whenever he saw Dunlap, Dunlap told him “Get moving because the Old Man wants it done.” Finally Adamson contacted an old buddy of his, a guy named Jim Robison, a local pl ber he thought would be interested. Well, he was interested. And together they decided to kill Bolles first and they concocted a scheme to lure him to the Clarendon and to blow him up with a homemade bomb triggered by a remote control device. Adamson went to San Diego to buy the device, and when he got back he and Robison tested it up and down 3 rd Street , and it worked. And I went out to 3 rd Street , maybe you haven't been there lately, but if you stand boy, at about Earl and look down 3 rd Street either way it just goes whew! Straight, straight, straight. And I said to Adamson, “Why did you go on 3 rd Street out in the public?” He said, “Well, that was the best place to go.” and he said “We had devices all over there and nobody said a word. Nobody reported to the police. Nobody said ‘what are you doing?' just [hrrm]. ” And he said “It really worked very well.” After the judge approved the plea agreement and the sentence, we went to trial with Dunlap and Robison.
Now Adamson and a host of other witnesses testified, and both Dunlap and Robison were convicted of 1 st degree murder and given the death penalty. They appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court. And that Court in two opinions in 1980 now, four years later, one as to Dunlap and the other as to Robison, reversed both convictions and sentences. They held that the cross examination of Adamson had been too limited. In the Robison opinion the Court added one more thing, that in the future Dunlap and Robison would have to be tried separately, two trials. So that's what we started, well, I started to prepare for, two trials. Then a curious thing happened. I had never had this happen. I had never had it happen to one of the lawyers who work for me and I really didn't remember reading where this happened. But Adamson said, “I've done everything that's required under the plea agreement. I'm not going to do anything more. I am not going to testify.” I thought “Whoa! Whew! Good gracious!” you know, it really hit me really surprised me. “You haven't done everything.” He said he would testify only if the State met his demands. And that's what he called it. First of all, that he be held in a non-jail facility with protection during the retrials. He probably would have gotten that anyway. Two, that he be provided with new clothing. We always thought that was interesting. And if so, who who was going to pick that. And you may remember he always wore sunglasses. Yeah, he always had those on. Three, that protection be given to his ex-wife and son. Four, that money be provided for his son's education. Whew! That was also a good one. And that he be given money to establish a new identity outside of Arizona and that he be granted full and complete immunity for any and all crimes he had ever been involved in.
And that the state release him from custody immediately after the retrial. Well, I refused those those conditions and we recharged him with first degree murder subject to the death penalty. What he was originally charged with. He then filed a special action in the Arizona Supreme Court arguing that the U.S. Constitution's Double Jeopardy Clause prevented the State from doing that. You can't recharge me with murder. You've done that once and I went through it and actually I got sentenced, which was an interesting point. And he said, “And and even if you could do that, I've performed everything that was asked of me under the plea agreement.” Well, I filed an Answer to the action and advised the court, take the case, decide the issues, because they're going to come up again if you don't. Adamson then moved to dismiss his action but the court would not let him do it. They said “No. We're going to decide the issues.” And they did. They denied him any relief. They said that the double jeopardy clause didn't help him because he waived that when he signed the plea agreement. And they found that he did not perform all that was required of him under the plea agreement. Adamson would go to trial on the original charges. He then immediately went to the Federal District Court claiming the same thing. But they refused him. When he finished with that he went to the 9 th Circuit Court of Appeals and they also refused him, but that took a n ber of months. At that point, Adamson offered to testify. “I'll go I'm losing so far, I'll go back to the original plea agreement.” But we refused to do that. And I find that interesting. One of the questions I get is, why didn't you do that? And I think, “What? Go back to the situation we had before, and give him the chance to do it again?” I mean, that just seemed ridiculous to me. Soon after that, in 1981, Max Dunlap went to Federal Court and he demanded that he be given an immediate trial. And if he wasn't given an immediate trial he said his right Constitutional right to a speedy trial would be denied. But the District Court refused to do that. And in 1982, the 9 th Circuit agreed with the District Court, Dunlap would get no relief. Unfortunately, however, at that point we, the state, had no case against Dunlap or Robison without Adamson. And they were both released from jail. We then took Adamson to trial in Tucson before the judge who had accepted his guilty plea, Judge Ben Birdsall. And he was convicted by a jury of first degree murder and the judge sentenced him to death. Now that brought up – it's still an interesting little tricky legal question. If the judge, when he accepted the guilty plea, accepted the the whole agreement, he accepts the plea and he says, “Yes. I think this is a reasonable agreement.” He sentenced him to 48 to 49 years then. And it was raised in one of the cases never really decided that, wait a minute, if he thought that, that was an appropriate sentence at that time, how could he now, same judge same facts, give him a death sentence? Nevertheless, interesting little question for us guys to figure out when we're hovering over those books in the law library.
Adamson's conviction and sentence were affirmed by the Arizona Supreme Court and again he went to the United States Supreme Court and they refused him. That's on a little old thing called the Writ of Certiorari, and most of those are refused. Then he asked the Federal District Court to reverse his conviction, but that court refused him and three judge panel of the 9 th Circuit agreed with the District Court. “Nope, we're not going to do anything with you.” However, the full 9 th Circuit decided that all of the judges on the 9 th Circuit should hear Adamson's arg ents. That's called en banc, a nifty little phrase, en banc or en banc. And that's what they did. They heard it and they reversed his conviction saying that the Double Jeopardy Clause prevented his being tried a second time, and that there may have been -- that's the way they really said it -- there may have been a reasonable dispute about the terms of the agreement. We then appealed that decision to the United States Supreme Court. It's now 1986. A year later, the United States Court , 1987, reversed the 9 th Circuit Court of Appeals. I sometimes chart this on the wall.
We're not done yet. I mean, it goes on and on. As a matter of fact for the lawyers, if you look for entries for the Don Bolles, Max Dunlap, Robison cases in Westlaw, you'll see 19 different entries for the case. It just goes on and on and on. But the U.S. Supreme Court said that Double Jeopardy did not prevent the state from trying him again. And one of the reasons was, you signed a plea agreement. You waived that when you signed the plea agreement. Two, they said there was no dispute about the terms of the plea agreement. They said Adamson knew exactly what he was doing. And they implied and another court said it in another spot, he gambled. He went for a gamble and he lost. So at the end of 1987, we find Adamson in prison, Dunlap and Robison free, although Robison was only free on this charge. He was there on other charges that had nothing to do with this case. So, he didn't go anywhere. He was still serving time at that time. And things stood like that for quite awhile. But all during this time, leads kept coming in to the police and to the Attorney General's office. And I mean, kept coming in from all over the place. Leads about other people who may have killed Don Bolles and leads about “Check on this and you'll find Adamson is lying.” So finally, the Attorney General, at that time Bob Corbin, he said, “Hold it. Stop. We're going to take all of these leads, including all the ones we got before that haven't been run down and present them to a Grand Jury to see if they believe that anybody other than the people who have been, could be charged with murder.” And Corbin offered Adamson the old plea agreement, a prison term for his testimony. And Adamson testified before that Grand Jury. And a n ber of other people did. It took probably, I think I was told, 18 months. After a n ber of months, the Grand Jury found no credible evidence to believe that anyone else was involved in the murder and no evidence that Adamson lied. They issued no indictments. Now, it was about that time, during that 18 months, I was appointed to a Superior Court judgeship and I had nothing more to do with the case. I mean, I was really not even allowed to talk to those guys who were doing anything with the case. And I didn't. I very seldom ran into them.
With Adamson's plea agreement once again in force, Dunlap and Robison were charged with murder and an added charge of conspiracy this time, with what happened after the first trial. Dunlap was convicted of 1 st degree murder and conspiracy. This time Dunlap was given a life sentence on the murder charge and he got two years on the conspiracy. Robison was acquitted but he was not released, because he was still serving time on the other charges. Once again, Dunlap appealed. This time, to the Arizona Court of Appeals. Now that was because it was a light sentence. The Supreme Court was really the only one at that time still who hears appeals in death penalty cases. In 1996, the Appeals Court upheld his conviction. The Federal District Court , which he went to next, denied him any relief. And just last November, the 9 th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the District Court in a memorand decision, which means unfortunately, it's not published so you can't read it. But I had I've had it read to me over the phone. It's just two sentences really. Dunlap got no relief. The 9 th Circuit would not give him any relief this time. Now, we don't know yet whether he will take that denial to the United States Supreme Court. I can't imagine why he wouldn't. He's done all the rest and he has a free attorney, the attorney's in Flagstaff . And he's a good attorney but, they haven't done it yet as far as I know. It's now 30 years later and unfortunately, the story of the Don Bolles case murder lives on in the courts. It may remind you, it certainly did me at the time of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce. Has anybody ever heard of that? The Charles Dickens court case from Bleak House . That case only lasted 26 years. Well, we've got that beat.
There's also an aftermath to the Don Bolles murder cases. Did they reduce or eliminate organized crime in Arizona ? Well, to me that's very interesting. A few months ago I asked a n ber of current police and retired police who were policemen during this time, “Do you think it has reduced organized crime?” The answer I got and I think you would get this from just about any police officer who knew anything about the Don Adamson cases, “No. It didn't eliminate it. Did it reduce it? Probably not, but we have no way of knowing.” Well somebody said, “Well you haven't seen any bombings since then. And you haven't seen any organized crime activity in the sense of the Mafia” and that's true. But I I liken that to to the State of Arizona and when I talk about death penalty, other than Don Bolles, I often mention this. That I am one who is in favor of the death penalty. I think it's a good deterrent. I know you get into those arg ents, although I usually don't argue that anymore because you get nowhere. I mean, if you're against it, you're against it and nothing's going to change you. And if I'm for it, I'm for it; and I've heard nothing that would change me yet. But nevertheless I say, “Wait a minute, what are your argue ” “Oh, wait a minute, it doesn't deter because look at ” – at times it was the State of Michigan . “They eliminated the death penalty and the homicide rate didn't go up.” And I said, “Well wait a minute, I can top that. In 1920, Arizona had a statute that required -- didn't give anybody a choice -- it required death if you robbed a train.” And I said, “We haven't had a train robbery since 1920.”
Yeah, you're right! That's a stupid arg ent. But, wait a minute! We haven't. I mean, do you remember any train robberies that you read about? And I always thought, because I do a lot of reading on that sort of stuff, how do you rob a train? I mean you don't really rob a train, you rob somebody on the train, I would guess. Well, only a lawyer would think of that.
What most people say, if they're going to go further with it, hasn't eliminated or reduced organized crime. It certainly exposed the organized crimes threat that we had here. Yeah? But, that was 30 years ago. And there hasn't been much exposure since. There really have been very few organized crime stories. And they say we are more aware of the fact that it can happen at this point. And then they add, “There is organized crime today, but it's not the Mafia, it's the gangs.” And oh, goodness gracious! I was really surprised sitting down talking with a couple of officers, how much organized crime there is from gangs. And a n ber of different gangs. And, of course, I still wonder, you know, what is organized crime? I mean, when you think of that, you always think of the Mafia, I'm sure. But, it doesn't say that. Mafia, organize -- it's just organized crime. There's a definition in the federal statutes that defines it. It really doesn't say anything. It just says it's organized ‘cause it's organized. And they do bad things. Well, the gangs do that. I mean, that's organized crime too. As a matter of fact, I say Adamson, who was a very intelligent guy when he got the booze out, of course I interviewed him, talked to him in jail a n ber of times. He was quite intelligent. And I -- he was, he seemed to be quite well read. I couldn't figure out when would he do all that reading, if he was boozed up all the time?
But he seemed to. But I say, “Wait a minute. What he did was organized.” I mean, they decided -- they had a plan. They bought the stuff to carry out the plan. And they carried out the plan. They got caught, but they carried out the plan. So that seems organized to me. And the other thing that's I talked about, less now then it was years ago, is the plea bargaining. You're prob – you're not aware of this, I'm sure, but that phrase doesn't appear in the U.S. Constitution or the Arizona State Constitution. And there is nowhere that a statute tells you, “Here's how you plea bargain.” What what we have is not really a statute. It's a rule. It says you can really plea bargain on anything. But nobody tells you how to do it. Nobody tells you there's no rule, there's no statute. What happens if your defendant goes the way Adamson did? Says, [phft] plooey! I'm not going to do it anymore. Well, the U.S. Supreme Court did. The only case that's held that way up to then and so far, and if you look that case -- U.S. Supreme Court case up in the little service that tracks how many times it's been cited, it's been cited 91 times. It's answered a n ber of questions with plea bargains throughout the state. Now with that, I usually fold my tent and silently slide away. But, you may have some questions about the Don Bolles murder cases. So, there's one right there in the front row.
Question: Were you ever concerned for you own life?
Oh! yeah, I usually don't bring that -- only because I forget it. We were guarded by the city police and DPS for two weeks. I mean guarded. I went my two kids, my wife, me. I would go to the men's room at the office and he was with me to the men's room. They had a woman go with my wife, but they waited outside the door. But it the officers went with my kids to school. Now all of that was because just a few days after I was appointed and it was known, it was out in the paper, somebody blew up the mailbox at the house across the street from us. And the police figured that's a signal, “Watch out what you do.” And so, from that point on, the police wanted to live in our house. They said, “That's that's the way we really can guard you best.” And my wife said, “Oh no. You're not going to live in our house.” And they didn't. But what they did was, 24 hours a day, they had cars parked around the house with officers in the house. And they had trip wires. As a matter of fact, that happened with some company we had one night. You can't see wires. They -- and the police didn't stop them. They didn't have to. They tripped the wire and ooh! All hell broke loose. It's the only time that happened, though. So yes, the answer was yes, we did. And then finally my wife said, “We're not going to that anymore.” And I said that, and they they really said, “Oh Lord! You can't take that kind of a risk.” She said, “No, we're going to take it.” and we did. Yes, you had a question?
Question: What happened to Max Dunlap?
Max Dunlap is still in prison, and he's, as I say, he's still appealing.
Question: Who does all the appealing? If Neal Roberts is no longer here, other attorneys must be stepping into the briefs.
Oh yeah. He's got one guy now who has a firm in Flagstaff . That's who's doing it. But it's gone from attorney to attorney. Neal Roberts never really had anything to do with Max Dunlap's case. And that's another question I get. Somebody's probably going to ask this, “Why wasn't Neal Roberts charged?” Well, there was nothing to charge him with. And Adamson even said, “I never told, Neal Roberts. And the conversation I had with Dunlap when he offered me the job was outside of Neal Roberts' house.” Maybe he did that on purpose. But there was nothing to tie Neal Roberts in except he was an associate of all these guys. He seemed to used to like to rub elbows with these guys. You know, there's people like that, who really like to rub elbows with those dirty people. one yes?
Question: Who pays all these all his restraining costs?
Question: Oh great.
‘Cause he's got he literally has no money anymore. So, it comes out of your pocket, indirectly of course. You haven't had anybody remove your wallet lately, I suppose. But, yes.
Now another question I'll get I'm sure is “Why was not Kemper Marley charged?” Well, you can't find anything in what I said that would show that Kemper Marley knew what was going on. And we tried. Nothing. And Adamson said, “I didn't even know the guy. I never saw him.” And he said, “The only way I knew the name is Max Dunlap told me, ‘Kemper Marley'. That was it. Kemper Marley.” Now you can't charge a guy with murder because he says to his friend, “Boy, I'd like that guy killed.” As a matter of fact, some of you have probably said that. Maybe in jest, but you've said it, “I'd like that guy killed.” And then he goes out and he murders the guy. That's what happened, but we couldn't charge him. I gave a talk on this case to the well at the Arizona Historical Muse in Tempe . Has anybody been there? Oh beautiful building, beautiful building. But I gave it to a crowd of people much like you, and somebody did ask about Kemper Marley. And I said, “Did you, as you were entering the historical muse , look up?” Nobody had. But if you look up, you will see that is the Kemper Marley Center because he gave, I think it was $5 million dollars or 3 to set that whole thing up. And before I gave the talk, I called the hierarchy over there and said, “Wait a minute, you know, I'm going to mention Kemper Marley. Is somebody going to throw something at me or maybe cut me off?” And they said, “No, that's okay.” And when I mentioned it to the people there, “Oh yeah.” But most people don't notice that. You really have to look up to see it, but it's there. No, there was no evidence to charge that guy. Somebody had a question up here.
Question: That was the question.
Ah. Okay. Over here. Yes, yes sir.
Question: You said there was nothing to tie Neal Roberts, yet there were at least two occasions in which he was quoted as saying, “We want to be heard loud and clear.” That's what the bomb in your _____________ foreknowledge of the ________ loud and clear quoting Neal Roberts _________. Secondly, if he had no ties to the case, why was he given immunity? Can you discuss the immunity situation?
Question: Why the cops gave it him? Were ____________ and why that wasn't invoked?
He wasn't given immunity.
Question: He was not?
He was not. I never talked to Neal Roberts about immunity. That was done by, I think, someone from the County Attorney 's office. And it was never cons mated. He just never got it. And there was no reason to give it to him. If we had evidence to charge Neal Roberts, I really don't know at this point whether we would have given him any kind of immunity at all. Adamson seemed to, well not seemed to, he told the whole story. And, if you go on Adamson there was no Neal Roberts there at all. Nice looking guy, everybody said, “Very good lawyer.” I didn't know him as a lawyer. He just hung out with the wrong people.
Question: Wasn't there a meeting somewhere in that Roberts offered _______ to someone?
There was one meeting that was held, Roberts wasn't there. And when he was offered the job, that was out front, outside. And Dunlap may have done that on purpose.
Question: But why was Robertson never interrogated ___?
Oh, he was! Oh, he was! He was! He was! Time and again. He knew nothing that we could determine. And we couldn't prove that he did. He's gone now, you know, he's dead. And Adamson's dead too. Anybody else have questions?
Question: The fact _______ here's this plea agreement that lets off a guy who obviously was a murderer, blew somebody up
Question: Could you just comment on the agreement?
Are you sure you want me to? Cause this may take
I've done a lot of research of plea agreements and it's been prompted by the statement recently by the County Attorney here. You may remember this, “We will no longer plea bargain on serious cases.” Well, I've heard -- I've been doing this prosecution and legal stuff since 1957. I've heard that time and again. You may remember the Attorney General of the State of Pennsylvania said, “We are not going to plea bargain on anything anymore.” You didn't see the small print. The small print was “Unless it's necessary.”
Well it's always necessary. And Alaska -- the Attorney General of Alaska . He wasn't Attorney General when I was there, but the Attorney General of Alaska one time said, “We're not going to plea bargain anymore because that's not in the interest of the public.” It is. Which I'll get to in a minute. They said, “No, we're not going to do that.” And the small print was, “Unless it's appropriate.” Well, it's always appropriate. That's why you do it in the first place. Now, a lot – well, not a lot, all the statements I've ever seen like that, they're great for votes. And you think that, Wow! This guy's not plea bargaining anymore. I do really don't know the local County Attorney, but I did notice after I read that, which was in December as I recall, that he did plea bargain with a guy about three weeks ago, that was a death case. And he said, “Well he's never he's not going to get death now, he'll only get life.” Well, that's plea bargaining. That's what you do. The reason it's done is, well, the reason it's done, unfortunately, oh boy, 90% of the time or maybe more, is to lighten case load. You get rid of the case. And there is some fuss
You okay? There's some reasons for that. Everybody knows that the County Attorneys are overloaded with cases and they'll tell you that. Especially every election time, we're overloaded and at budget time. We need the people. And it's probably true to to, at least, to a degree. But if you got a guy, the the example I used to use was some of you may remember when writing a bad check was a felony in the state of Arizona , oh boy. Well I I was used to be the County Attorney in Tucson , in Pima County , and whew! You had so many check cases. But when they'd bring a case in to the police, you didn't file one count, you filed 5 or 10. Well, they were all punished by the same thing. And if this guy said, “I'll plead to one.” The inclination was to say, “Fine. You'll plead to one.” Because, history showed us, through the sentencings we used to get from the judges, he's not going to get any more for 10 than he would for one. They usually just ran them [prrr p] all together. So, sure! Plea bargain that case. My, gripe with plea bargaining is, one..one of my gripes is it's sort of solved now, but the victims really never had a say in it. They do now. And they, this County Attorney will go to the victim before they plea bargain, the Attorney Generals office did the same, and say, “This is what we plan to do. What do you think?” And their opinions have sometimes changed the plea bargain or thrown it out. But my concern, over and above that, it's too often done as a way to reduce cases. And to me that's bad. Now when I was the County Attorney in Tucson , I was visiting the County Attorney in New York City . And one of their top prosecutors at the time gave us a tour of the office and gave a little talk about how they ran things and he said, “We plea bargain every case that comes in door. Every one. Because we couldn't exist otherwise, except for the high publicity cases.” Now, one thing that we haven't seen it in Arizona , maybe Becky can correct me if I'm wrong, so far. But, across the country in other states, defense attorneys are now arguing, “Wait a minute, my guy did essentially the same thing that guy did, why did you plea bargain with him and not me?” Oooh! That's a tough one to answer. y I think the answer probably should be, “Because he gave us more in return than your guy.” But sooner or later we're going to have an equal protection arg ent, which really is, you don't treat us all the same. You give favors, in a sense, to one over the other. I don't -- it hasn't gone anywhere so far, but I think we're going to see much more of that. As far as the public is concerned, and I've heard this with the research I've done recently, there are a n ber of legal scholars who say we should do away with plea bargaining. The scholars I've read have never tried a case, so they really don't know what it's like when you get out there in the front line.
But there are certain cases you can't continue with unless you plea bargain. This is a good example. I mean [zzzssff] , before we had Adamson, we had nothing. Now, you may say, well if you wait long enough, it's going to build up. Maybe. Maybe. But that's that's a good reason why plea bargaining should not be outlawed. I don't think it ever will be. But, even if it is outlawed, Aah! There are ways around it. And one of the ways around it is, you just don't file the case. Or, if this guy committed a 1 st degree murder and you know it's a 1 st degree murder, you file it 2 nd degree murder. Well, you've actually plea bargained, but it doesn't appear that way on the papers, because he walked in with a 2 nd degree charge and he ended up with a 2 nd degree charge. There are ways you can get around it. Okay. Any other questions that I should be a woop! There's one in the back.
Question: ______ in plea bargaining, did you ever have any occasion to question the veracity
Question: of your witness whose does he get a favor or get out of it by turning the finger on the other guy?
You bet. I've never se , in my experience, never seen a plea bargain that did not say, “If we catch you lying in interviews, anywhere, plea bargain's off.” And as a matter of fact, I didn't say it here because I had that time limit, but I'll say it now. One of the times we thought we had Adamson, and it was when he bought the device in San Diego , this is a nifty little story. His girlfriend said, “We bought it in San Diego .” “Where did you buy it?”, Gail was her name. “Oh boy! I just don't know. I don't know.” You know, [bl p] and she went past places and the place, she just couldn't determine where it was. He said, “Sure, I think I can show you where it is.” So the police took him over, and he did. He went to the shopping center where it eventually turned out that that's where he bought it. And he said, “Here. This shopping center.” And it was a sporting goods store there. And he said, “Go in there, have them check their records.” And he said, “ You'll find that the day I bought it, they were shi they had a big shipment they were getting ready for. Everybody in the store was getting ready for the shipment to New York .” Well, the police went in. The woman went through all their records and the answer was “No.” They'd never had a big shipment to New York . And Oooh! They thought they had him, but as they were leaving the woman said, “Oh, I do remember one to Manhattan , however.” Ah ha!
And sure enough, [bl p] she went through her records and, yeah! There was one in Manhattan . Now, if he if there was not a Manhattan , and he had not purchased that -- they couldn't remember his face at all because they sold so much stuff. If he had not bought it there, the likelihood is that we would have said, “No the plea bargain's off.” And one of the questions is, and one of the questions that came up in the Adamson case before every court, “Well, you shouldn't decide that. A judge should decide it.” Well, the U.S. Supreme Court had no problem with that. I had no problem with that. But there's no question about it, under most plea bargains that, yeah, the prosecutor has to decide whether you're lying or not. Okay any more questions?
Thank you. I'm enjoying this you can tell. And I left a pen here. I'm not coming back. I'm just getting this pen.