Browne and Aguirre


There are of course Bench Bar Press Guidelines in the State of Washington for public statements made to the press by lawyers and law enforcement that they as well as the press are supposed to adhere to, but what the heck those are only “Guidelines”, so why pay any attention to those darn things…right?

John Henry Browne, Richard Aguirre’s Defense Lawyer must be just loving some of the Spokane Press, a lawyer whose reputation precedes him when it comes to things like this. It kind of makes me wonder out loud whether there are book and screenplay rights attached to the representation agreement between Mr. Browne and Mr. Aguirre.

If a defense lawyer can try his case in the media pre-trial without the media questioning anything, why not give it shot and try put the defense theory, or in this case, theories in the publics mind before a jury is even empaneled…if you can get way with it why not do it… right?

The media can always help the lawyers cause by not fact checking or writing inaccurate information as was the case in this Spokesman Review Story.

This statement made in the SR story isn’t the least bit accurate, but then again neither is the spelling of John Henry Browne’s last name.

But sometime after

I can tell you with absolute certainty that none of the 41 pieces of evidence submitted to the WSP Lab on February 3rd, 1986 at 11:30 AM were submitted for DNA testing, they were however submitted for blood and other testing. I can also tell you with absolute certainty that the WSP did not do DNA testing in 1986, there were very few labs that did DNA testing. As a matter of fact, the FBI Lab didn’t even have a DNA Unit until 1988 and even then, they hadn’t compiled a data base as large as the two primary DNA Labs, “Lifecodes” and “Cellmark Industries”, both private labs who did most of the Law Enforcement DNA Analysis. Just a quick read of the Ruby Doss Murder Investigative Reports would have given any reporter that information, or even a quick call could have provided accurate information.

Is the fact that in 1986 the evidence was NOT submitted for DNA testing important? I guess we will have to see how that plays out if charges are refiled and it ends up in trial.

This one is a real beauty!

It was basically a mess

How often does a Defense Attorney come out publicly during the media manipulation period saying the Prosecution did a great job, they must come up with something and saying it was a good investigation probably wouldn’t sit too well with the client.

Three hundred pages of motions a lot if it dealing with DNA? Well hell yes, any defense lawyer would motion the crap out of the court to keep evidence that Mr. Aguirre’s DNA was at the scene of a murder out of the trial and especially since it would completely ruin the original Defense that Mr. Aguirre was thousands of miles away in the military.

The obvious question a reporter would ask Mr. Browne after his statement would be:

“So, Mr. Browne, exactly how many of those motions did the Defense win?”

“Was the Court going to allow evidence of Aguirre’s DNA being found at the scene of the murder to come in at trial?”

“If the State refiles the case will the DNA evidence linking Aguirre to the scene be heard by the Jury?”

It looks like Mr. Browne answers the last question and provides a peek at what Mr. Aguirre’s Defense will be if the case is refiled and goes to trial in a far more balanced and accurate PNW Inlander story.

Aguirre was initially linked

“Browne contends that the condom is not definitive proof.” It appears to me that Mr. Browne is conceding that his clients DNA was in the condom and is giving away his Defense strategy if the case is refiled and retried, a strategy which would likely go something like this;

“Members of the Jury, just because my client’s DNA was identified in the condom located at the crime scene doesn’t mean he murdered Ruby Doss, it just means he may have had sex with a prostitute in that area.”

I can hear it now!

The truth is that the media play by the Defense began back in April of 2017 long before the new developments, when Mr. Aguirre had an hour-long interview with Mitch Ryals of the Inlander. There is some great stuff in the April 2017 story from several perspectives. I love this one.

Aguirre acknowledges

So, what’s cool from the Prosecution perspective about Aguirre’s statement to Ryals that “he visited prostitutes in Spokane “twice”….”? I’ll tell you what’s cool, and Mitch Ryals even covers it in the same story.

Perhaps one of the strongest

Aguirre’s statement to Ryals specifically corroborates the important and significant statements made to police by Aguirre’s friend, Lawrence Cole. The big question in my mind is whether Detective Hollenbeck recorded interview statements of Lawrence Cole? If Hollenbeck did record the Cole interview it would be pretty darn hard for Cole to back track and recant as is often the case with witnesses and especially in murder cases where the Defense has an opportunity to interview them and in some cases, try and turn them around.

Well Mitch… if I were back in the saddle… I’d be knocking on your door! 😊

In the SR story we find this statement:

In a pretrial motion

Which clearly states that that in the Defense’s own motion they listed a witness who was a lab worker in New York and who was expected to testify that she “must have disposed of the condom”. That’s pretty clear I would think… the NY (Lifecodes) lab worker fessed up to the Defense that she must have disposed of the condom… makes sense to me especially since at the time DNA testing was in it’s infancy.


This also makes perfect sense to me Mr. Browne:

Somehow, the condom in this case


Even though your own witness admits it was she, it’s is always a good tactic to throw in the good ole, it was the rotten cops that did it line (I wish I had a nickel for each time it happened to me), which works if no one bothers to ask a few questions…like for example;

“Wait a second Mr. Browne your own witness said she disposed of the condom, and now you are alleging that Hollenbeck got rid of it for some reason… is that correct?”

“Mr. Browne do you have specific evidence that Hollenbeck disposed of the condom as you appear to be alleging, if so what is the evidence?

“If the condom contained your client’s DNA why would Hollenbeck want to dispose of it?”

Pretty simple questions I would think, but there are many other unasked and unanswered questions that may be answered if the case is refiled and tried.

Is working the media SOP for Mr. Browne? This story might answer the question for you.

“His best work is not in a court of law, but really in a court of public opinion. He’s a master at humanizing his client, and that’s an important role,” said Dan Satterberg, chief prosecutor in Seattle’s King County, where Browne is based. “He is accessible and quotable. And he loves to talk to the media. He doesn’t waste any time getting a positive portrayal of his client.”

This story undoubtedly will raise some eyebrows! Yes, I was the Lead Homicide Investigator on the Ruby Doss case back in 1986, and yes, I will be a witness if the case is refiled and retried, and you don’t ordinarily see a witness writing a story like this but even if Hollenbeck, Haskell, Driscoll, or the other assigned Prosecutors don’t like the fact I wrote this story, in my view it had to be written to set some of the record straight. I’ve been careful not to discuss the evidence specifically as hopefully the truth, whatever it might be, will come out in a trial and justice will be served for both Mr. Aguirre as well as Ruby Doss.

Yes, that little girl lying dead on the autopsy table was a Prostitute like others I have seen on the same awful table, but she was also a human being, just like you and I, she was a daughter, a sister, and a mother. She laughed, she cried, she sang, and she danced, not unlike all of us, she deserves her day in Court just as Richard Aguirre deserves his right to prove his innocence, anything less for both would be a travesty.

It would be easy for some people to just forget about the Prostitute Ruby Doss, well I can’t, I still see her, and I always will, but I don’t get to see her the way others have, the picture I have in my mind isn’t pretty or full of life. African American Prostitute or not, NO MORE GAMES, NO MORE STRATEGY, NO MORE ACCUSATIONS, JUST LET THE JURY DECIDE WHAT THE TRUTH IS!!!




Inlander The Fuzz

  1. I’m not sure what anyone would expect Meidl and Condon to say publicly…other than…” Dog gone it!” I still can’t figure out why folks can’t grasp the FACT that it was former Mayor Mary Verner’s written request to ask DOJ to look at the SPD which got the ball rolling and NOT Condon and Straub.


  1. There are many things I could comment on, but I will for the most part refrain. For Folks that don’t recall former SPD Chief of Police Anne Kirkpatrick was John Urquhart’s Undersheriff for a short 18 months when all the stuff began to surface. In my opinion it was Kirkpatrick who started the downward slide of SPD.


  1. Could it be the adverse DOJ Audits of Federal money given to the SPD in the past for staffing certain programs, or is it because the new head honchos feel Spokane is a “Sanctuary City”?

  1. This one is a no-brainer and especially for anyone who has investigated hundreds upon hundreds of Rape Cases. Simply show the same compassion you would for any victim, be completely objective and honest with the victim, there is never a reason to disbelieve a victim unless there is sound, solid, and corroborative evidence to prove you shouldn’t.

I could probably go for days on this one, but you get my point.


  1. If people only knew how many serial rape cases might be solved if some for once decided that rape is a horrendous crime and tougher than a murder to investigate!


I have lots of things in the story file, just waiting for some PRRs to come back and you know how that goes. One interesting story will be regarding an upcoming murder case where hatred toward an individual by one elected official has resulted in an effort to keep Justice from being served.






It is good to see the Spokane Fire Department is looking beyond gender in the hiring of its Administrators, this could be a good sign and a step in the right direction.

What is quite interesting to me about this hire is something most people aren’t aware of other than Firefighters and Cops and has been quietly hidden from the Public.

Trisha Wolford has a substantial background in Arson Investigation.

 “Wolford, who will transition into her new role in Spokane in a few weeks, comes from the Bozeman Fire Department in Montana, where she held the position of deputy fire chief since December 2015. While there, she was responsible for operations and activities of the fire investigation division.”

“Before her work at the Bozeman Fire Department, Wolford worked for the Anne Arundel County (Maryland) Fire Department as firefighter and paramedic prior to promotion to lieutenant, the news release states. After completing training at the Anne Arundel County Police Academy, she was assigned to the Arson and Explosives Unit of the Fire Marshal Division.”

The facts are the Spokane Fire Department has handed off Arson Investigation to the supposedly overworked Spokane Police Department, much to the dismay of several of the Firefighters I have talked to about this issue. Since Assistant Chief Wolford does have a background and should understand the need for a quality SFD Arson Investigation Unit like nearly every other Fire Department in the Nation, including Bozeman where the Assistant Chief comes from, perhaps she will have enough influence to change things back to the way they should be.

The excuse SFD or Mayor Condon are apparently using for the change is this:

Arson Investigator

Lt. Wohl stated that the arson investigator has no powers to investigate; they expect SPD will investigate, per their understanding from the Mayor’s Office.


What that means is the Mayor and SFD Brass don’t want to spend the money to send a couple of Firefighters through the Washington State Law Enforcement Training Academy and have them Commissioned with the State of Washington to investigated, and make arrests in Arson cases. Aside from the State Law Enforcement Academy Arson Investigators are required to graduated from very extensive training regarding identifying such things as Fire Cause and Origin, Arson Crime Scene Investigation, and the like. Sure, it ends up being costly training, but if someone doesn’t have it who can testify on the witness stand in Criminal and Civil cases, the Investigation isn’t worth a crap. That quite simply means some SPD Detective will have to receive the Arson training.

Arson Investigation 1Media Release


Back in June I advised the City Council of the new plan, they of course weren’t aware of it, but I did get this response from one City Council Member, which makes me wonder exactly where the new SPD Arson Investigator Position might be hidden in the current budget process.


Sunday, June 25, 2017 10:24 PM

“From what I understand, there is a task team discussing the idea. I did speak with a SFD arson investigator and he is on the committee. He explained that they would continue to do the arson investigation — but would turn over to SPD for criminal investigation when necessary. He thought the discussions were going well and did not express concern at this point. I will keep you posted. And, I don’t know if Council has to approve, but there is concern over SPD having the manpower to do it.”


Internally SPD has offered the new job up, but the last documents I have show there is only one position that was or is open, I don’t know whether someone got the job or not, but I would imagine there were lots of people interested because any fool would be able to figure the position will be good for a bunch of overtime pay, especially if it is a ridicules single staffing position.

Yes of course I know exactly what the silly explanation for this change is, and it is another one of those easy sells to the Public Safety Committee and the City Council who’s naiveté when it comes to Public Safety is taken advantage of time and time again.


Arson Investigaton 2


The facts are that SFD for years had a top-quality Arson Investigation Unit, with damn good Investigators, many of whom I worked closely with when an Arson turned out to be a Murder, or someone was injured in an Arson fire, we just helped out, they did the important work.

For those of you who follow SPD Crime Reporting Data, don’t be fooled by the low number of Arson’s reported to the State and FBI, it takes a hell of a lot of work in many cases to actually identify whether or not a fire was Arson, and then when the cause is known do the work to find the suspect and tie them to the crime ain’t no cake walk, especially in Serial Arson Cases.

From my perspective SPD would be a lot better off, as would the Community, if Detective positions were used to investigate things like Property Crimes, and Vehicle Theft for example.

Keep an eye on your Fire Insurance rates!




Anti Corruption Building


Interestingly on the day prior to the election, without fanfare, and after a concerted effort, primarily by Spokane City Councilmember Breean Beggs (Congratulations), to find a replacement for former Office of Police Ombudsman Commission Chairperson Deb Conklin the City Council confirmed the appointment of Lawyer Elizabeth Kelley to replace Conklin.

Elizabeth Kelley

I have hopes that this very late in coming move will begin the process of being able to watch the OPOC change from the agenda driven, self-serving, behind the scenes backstabbing Conklin brought to the OPOC and move it in a direction that is in the interest of the entire Community, including Cops, and not just a few.

As I have mentioned time and time again, the mostly powerless, because of the Police Union Contracts, OPOC in order to be the least bit effective must put political ideology aside and function as a unified group of individuals who have respect for each other’s opinions and ideas specifically relating to their mission of Police Oversight, otherwise you end up with exactly what the Police Unions expected when they agreed to the union contracts.

I seriously doubt there will be much in the way of true independent oversight that will come out of Mayor Condon’s ongoing secret negotiations with the Police Unions, so what we got is what we got, despite the overwhelming Citizen’s vote to provide independent Police Oversight in the City Charter.

Along with the ouster of Conklin, soon Conklin’s side kick and informant Martha Huseman will also be gone because she was unable to pass the Civil Service Exam for the position she now holds, even though I have reported on some of Huseman’s and Conklin’s efforts to usurp the Civil Service process, I haven’t reported the entire back story and it appears there will no longer be a need to do so.

Does it concern me that Ms. Kelley is a lawyer? Not at this point, and I probably won’t be concerned as long as she doesn’t offer legal advice to the OPOC and quietly sticks to her experience as a Criminal Defense lawyer during her decision-making process. There has been far too much legal advice given to the OPOC from lawyers not under contract to the OPOC, and not members of the City Attorney’s Office, some of which is in direct conflict with legal advice given to the OPOC by those actually responsible for providing them with legal advice.

What does interest me about Ms. Kelley is that she has worked in some of the same places I have outside of the US, so we may have some of the same experiences in that regard, although I doubt she was ever made to stay in her hotel room with a couple of guards making sure she didn’t go anywhere (long story).

She might even recognize the building pictured above (someone managed to surreptitiously get a photo of for a case), and we could share a laugh or two about it someday.

I’m now faced with a challenging dilemma; exactly what direction to take given the circumstances. In December 2016 and early January 2017, I received information regarding the completely dysfunctional OPOC ala Rachael Dolezal which included a number of documents, my investigative reporting evolved into later having to do PRRs in some cases to get official copies of documents I already had in my possession because no one would step up and admit what was going on. So much to the chagrin of my friends Terri Pfister, and Lori Farnsworth once again I had to bother them just to bring transparency to the issue. The PRRs I was forced to submit because of lack of action by City Leaders remain ongoing and a challenge to complete by the understaffed, under budgeted, underpaid, City Clerk’s Office. Hell, I even made an offer both publicly and privately to pull PRRs if the City Council would do something about getting rid of the problem child, they of course chose not to do much of anything until just prior to November 6, 2017 just prior to election day. So, my dilemma is where do I go from here, and do I embarrass a bunch of folks with what I have as well as initiate another Public Records Act lawsuit against the City of Spokane…I gotta think about it for a while.

As far as other media coverage of this important issue is concerned only the Inlander covered some of the dysfunction. The Spokesman Review just doesn’t do Investigative Reporting like they have in the past with the new and supposedly improved fluff and puff philosophy, to the dismay of some of the staff I might add.

Shar A. Lichty, Mayor Condon’s opponent in the last election and Peace and Justice Action League Activist put out a call for her constituency to flood last night’s OPOC meeting with folks objecting to Conklin’s dismissal, it really didn’t amount to much and basically just demonstrated the importance of the OPOC not letting a particular agenda influence oversight one way or the other.