Tom Streed was the initial investigator from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Homicide Division, investigating the Donna Gentile murder. He wanted a quick fix solution to the case and asked me to come in and talk with him without an attorney. He even tried to get my Sgt. to convince me to go without an attorney. I knew if I walked in without an attorney, I would never walk out a free man. As a result, my car was illegally impounded with a hold for homicide. Was this their way of getting me to come in? I couldn’t afford to pay the fees, the Sheriffs refused to release it to me and I lost it in a lien sale. One morning while having breakfast with Dick Lewis from the DA’s office I conveyed this story to him at the breakfast table. He stopped talking and turned beet red. Thinking he was choking on food I got up and was about to administer the Heimlich maneuver on him. Lewis said, “No I’m alright. Just pissed off. I’m going to make some phone calls when I get back to the office.” Lewis had not taken over the task force yet and was still head of the Muni Court. Consequently, Streed was removed from the Homicide Task Force the following day. #TurnaboutIsFairPlay
In December of 1985, a group of former officers met at the house of Sy Casady, former publisher of the Arizona Republic newspaper and current publisher of the Daily Californian newspaper, published four days a week with a circulation of over 30,000. He was a close friend of former Congressman Lionel Van Deerlin who wrote a column for the San Diego Tribune. Van Deerlin was interested in sending sworn statements from these officers to Congress, asking for an investigation into repeated reports of cover-ups and corruption within the San Diego Police department. It became apparent while meeting at Casady’s house that we were under surveillance by the department’s Criminal Intelligence unit. When reported to the F.B.I. they told us they were aware of the department’s activity and explained it in this way, “Imagine you are being watched from a hill looking down on you. Now imagine us on a higher hill looking at them watching you.” What was the department’s reasoning behind this? What did they have to worry about if they were so squeaky clean? #PoliceSurveillance
I was offered to drive a truck with a trailer carrying a race car to the Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, meet the owner there and he would give me $100.00 and a plane ticket back to San Diego. The vehicle sat out in front of my mother in-laws house overnight. About 60 miles east of San Diego off Interstate 8, I noticed there was too much play in the wheel and the steering went out. The trailer holding the race car fishtailed and left the roadway, As it turned over it flipped the truck over and down an embankment. I rolled over three times before coming to a stop. I dove out the window fearing an explosion. I crawled back to the freeway and signaled a truck driver who pulled over and called for an ambulance. I was transported back to San Diego to Grossmont Hospital. With bumps bruises and possible concussion. As I was waiting for the ambulance the C.H.P. Officer investigating the crash grabbed the steering wheel and as he moved it the tires moved. It was his determination that there was nothing wrong with the steering. I would rather have someone in a white lab coat tell me that. Was this just an accident or done with malicious intent. You decide. #Oddities
On October 20, 1984, I received a notice of violation from the City of Santee. It read, an inspection was done of my property by the Santee Planning Department. They found the chicken coop in my backyard was not according to code and I was given two weeks to correct the problem or go to court. Until I received this notice, I had chickens for four years without a problem. It just didn’t seem right with everything else happening to me now. I just tore the coop down and got rid of the chickens. I was not going to appear before a Judge and get fined. I don’t think this was a coincidence. I think someone called the City who knew what was in my backyard. There was an open field behind me and I got along well with my neighbors on both sides of me. This I admit could be a coincidence, what do you think? Coincidence or done with malicious intent. You decide.
Another oddity was the fact Captain Mike Tyler, head of the Criminal Intelligence unit of the San Diego Police Department dealt with prostitute Cynthia Maine, who was added to the list of murdered prostitutes, Tyler also owned Tyler’s feed in Alpine which supplied hay and grain to the stable where Donna Gentile rode and stabled her horse, Fantasia. Later before retiring, Tyler was the Captain at Eastern Division who ordered Sergeant Joe Cunningham and his officers not to cooperate with the Sheriff’s Department personnel investigating the Gentile homicide. When Tyler testified before the 1989-1990 Grand Jury, the Jury Foreman, J. Phil Franklin, in his Grand Jury report felt Chief Bill Kolender and Tyler were less than truthful and had frequent lapses of memory. You decide. #GrandJuryTestimony
Hardy tested me several times. When completed with the testing Hardy took the galvanic skin response device off of my fingers, released the air from the tube around my chest and the cuff from my arm and turned off the machine. He leaned forward with his hands interlaced together in front of him on his desk and said, “I have been a homicide investigator for many years and have interrogated and interviewed hundreds if not thousands of people for possible involvement in crimes. I can tell you with 100% certainty that you had nothing to do with the Gentile murder.” I broke out in a big smile with tears in my eyes. I knew I was innocent of any wrongdoing. But, now I had confirmation from an expert. #Polygraph