RIDGE: This is Det. Bryn Ridge of the West Memphis Police Department, currently in Phoenix, Arizona. The time in West Memphis is 4:14PM, here in Phoenix it's 3:14PM, it's an hour difference, is that right?
DENNIS: That's right
RIDGE: Currently in an interview at the Phoenix County Jail with Dennis Lee Dent and also present in this interview will be John Fogleman. Uh, Dennis, you understand that this conversation is being taped?
DENNIS: Yes sir
RIDGE: Is that okay with you, do you have any problems with it?
RIDGE: If we can get you to remember back, we've been talking here for sometime and we've been jogging your memory and you remember some events that happened back in May of last year, which was 93, todays date is 01/07/94. What can you remember that occurred back in May of 93?
DENNIS: I remember uh, it being Mother's Day, on that particular day I know that Jason and his brother, Matt had gone to school, had gotten home around 2:30, which was approximately the time I called the man in the newspaper ad about buying some antique lamps. Uh, this man came over to the house at approximately 3:30, maybe 4 o'clock, to look at the lamps. He looked at it, he bought the lamps, he gave me \$10.00. Jason uh, by that time, had mentioned that he was going to go and cut his uncle's grass, Uncle Hubert, and uh, which was uh, already agreed upon because he was to suppose to have cut it the day before and uh, and it had rained or something. His Uncle Hubert had called him and told him to come and cut the grass. So, uh after uh, about 4:30, I took off to Wal-Mart Store, to uh, purchase some flowers for a Mother's Day gift. While up there, I observed uh, Matthew on the video game. Uh as for as any kinds from the neighborhood being with him, I can't recall any of the people there. Uh, I then came back home and ate dinner and washed clothes and uh, to the best of my knowledge around 8, uh well a minute I missed a part about Kenny coming over. Kenny come over in the afternoon, he was looking for uh, I'm sorry, uh Jason. Yeah, he was looking for Jason to uh get a tape and a uh, I mean a ninetendo tape from him, that belong to Jason. And Jason wasn't there and uh, as for as I know he wasn't there. Uh, I was outside talking with this man and the kids were running in and out, you know. Jason's friends coming and Matthew's friends and they were all just coming and hanging together. They were in there playing the ninetendo games and nobody never said anything about it.
RIDGE: Alright, can we back up just a little bit? Now, you said they came in from school about 2:30. How does Jason get back and forth to school?
DENNIS: Uh, he rides the school bus.
RIDGE: Okay, school doesn't let out until about 3 to 3:15, and even a little bit later than that. The school bus would drop off the kids there close to your house, is just actually just right down the corner from where they were living.
So, when you say 2:30, now wouldn't it be closer to 4 o'clock?
DENNIS: You know, I might be getting them confused, because Terry and uh, doesn't ride the same bus that Matthew and Jason.
RIDGE: But, they will get off of the buses within just a few minutes of each other
DENNIS: Yeah, not too far apart
RIDGE: And it's close to 4 o'clock, according to the bus schedule.
DENNIS: Okay, well I know they pick them up right there in front of their house every morning at 7 o'clock, 8 o'clock.
RIDGE: So, when they got off the bus it would have been closer to 4 o'clock and not 2:30. That's not a lot of difference, but that's about an hour and a half.
DENNIS: Okay, you probably about right about that.
FOGELMAN: Okay, now what do you remember?
DENNIS: Well, now all I remember was Gail had fixed tuna casserole
FOGELMAN: I mean about the time?
DENNIS: Oh, about the time, all I remember was
FOGELMAN: Do you really think it was 2:30?
DENNIS: I know she goes to work at 2:30
RIDGE: Was she already gone?
DENNIS: She has to be at work at 2:30
FOGELMAN: Oh, okay
RIDGE: Was she already gone when they got there?
DENNIS: Yeah, yeah they were gone
RIDGE: Okay, do you remember about how long she had been gone?
DENNIS: Well, yeah I guess she had been gone for a half hour, an hour, about an hour I guess before the kids there, because, you know to come to think about it, she has to be at work at 2:30, the kids don't get home til about 3:30. I don't know why I said 2:30. Anyways,
RIDGE: Now when Jason comes in from school and Matt, everybody comes in from school, you had called this man about buying a lamp, an antique lamp.
DENNIS: I called to sell him a lamp
RIDGE: Okay, he had some kind of an advertisement in the paper, where he bought antiques?
DENNIS: Actually it wasn't him, it was another person that did the advertisement, but she, this lady that I talked to referred him and gave me his number.
RIDGE: Okay, great
DENNIS: I scribbled the number down on a piece of paper and
RIDGE: Did you call this lady and then get a hold of this man after the kids had come in from school?
DENNIS: Uh, just before they got in from school.
RIDGE: In from school?
DENNIS: Yes sir
RIDGE: Okay, and then, about how long did it take him before he came to your house? Was Jason there from school or had he already left to go mow the yard?
DENNIS: They had just gotten there, they probably had been there probably five or ten minutes before this man got there.
DENNIS: To buy the lamp, okay. The man had made a statement about, you sure have a lot of kids, you know.
RIDGE: So, there were kids all over the place?
DENNIS: Yeah, kids were coming in and out of the house all the time.
RIDGE: And, now the next thing that happens is that, he gives you an amount of money for this lamp, how much did he
RIDGE: Okay, when was it when Jason left before you made this sale or after you made this sale.
DENNIS: It was probably right at the time the sale was going on, because, you know, I was busy talking to this man and he had already ate a little snack, they always eat a little snack when they come in from school
RIDGE: And, you've mentioned tuna fish or something and he left, did he tell you where he was going or did he just, or you assumed to know where he was going?
DENNIS: Earlier that day Gail had mentioned to me about he may possibly go and cut his uncle's yard today because, he was suppose to have cut it the day before, but he couldn't, because it had rained. Now from there, I think, all I remember is that, he said he was going to his Uncle Hubert's house. Now as for as, I remember Kenny coming over earlier. Little Kenny came over to see Jason and somehow or another Jason and him wasn't together at the time or something. Now, Kenny came back later on after Jason had taken off to go cut his uncle's grass.
RIDGE: Now when Kenny came back later, was he with anybody else?
DENNIS: Naw, as for as I remember, he was by himself.
DENNIS: And uh, I remember Little Terry was down the corner playing basketball, so I didn't worry about him, because I knew he was being taken care of and watched over by the people on the corner down there.
RIDGE: Matthew, where was Matthew?
DENNIS: Matthew was at the Walmart Store.
FOGLEMAN: When Little Kenny came back, were you the only one there?
DENNIS: Uh, yes I believe I was
FOGLEMAN: So, nobody was there with you when Little Kenny came back?
DENNIS: Except for the neighbors that may have been outside
FOGLEMAN: But, I mean in the trailer.
DENNIS: Yes sir
FOGLEMAN: Okay, go ahead
DENNIS: Uh, I left there myself and went on to Walmart and got Gail some flowers and uh
RIDGE: Who did you see at Walmart?
DENNIS: I saw Matthew sitting out there playing a video game.
RIDGE: Okay, did you actually go in the Walmart?
DENNIS: Yes sir, I did
RIDGE: Okay, what were you doing in Walmart?
DENNIS: Returning a pair of work gloves
RIDGE: Right, about how long did that take you?
DENNIS: Well, about 15 minutes, because uh, they had to go look it up on the shelf or something, it was something, I don't remember what it was.
FOGLEMAN: How much change did you get back?
DENNIS: It was about \$10.00 and a little bit of change.
RIDGE: Okay, a few minutes ago you said something about that Jason left and then it was 30 minutes about 30 minutes when you went to Walmart
RIDGE: Okay, so when you come out of Walmart, is that when you saw Matthew or did you see him when you went in?
DENNIS: I saw him when I came out.
RIDGE: So, about 45 minutes had gone by from the time Jason left until you come out of Walmat and see Matthew.
DENNIS: Uh, I had to walk there and the walk took me probably about 10 minutes
RIDGE: So we're getting closer to an hour
RIDGE: Since Jason has left, right?
DENNIS: Something like that
RIDGE: Now, when you left Walmart you mentioned you went to Kroger
DENNIS: Yes sir
RIDGE: What did you buy at Kroger?
DENNIS: Uh, a basket of flowers
RIDGE: A live flower?
DENNIS: Plants, plants, it was a basket full of plants.
RIDGE: Okay, and you mentioned that was for a Mother's Day gift?
DENNIS: Yes sir
RIDGE: Okay, then you went home
DENNIS: Yes sir
RIDGE: And, that takes another 10 minutes
RIDGE: Okay, when you got home, how long was it before Ken showed up, and asked for this tape?
DENNIS: Ken showed up probably, I would say about 7 o'clock, maybe 6 o'clock. I would say more like 6 o'clock, 6:30 or 7 o'clock maybe.
RIDGE: Somewhere in that range, okay
FOGLEMAN: Who was there when he showed up there this time?
DENNIS: I was there by myself
RIDGE: Then what time does Matthew come in?
DENNIS: Matthew had come in probably right, about the time Ken came up, maybe a little after.
RIDGE: So, we are getting somewhere around 7 o'clock?
DENT: 7 o'clock or 7:30, somewhere like that.
RIDGE: Okay, so where was Terry, had he come home yet?
DENNIS: Terry was home by then.
RIDGE: Okay, now the next time you see Jason, about what time is it?
DENNIS: Uh, probably about 8 o'clock, 8:30, because uh
RIDGE: Okay, did you receive a phone call from Angela somewhere between 8 and 9, somewhere in that range and she was asking about, where the kids were?
DENNIS: Yes sir
RIDGE: Well, when she called, the best estimate, about what time was it when she called?
DENNIS: The best estimate that she called was probably about 9, 9:30 the time she usually takes her break.
RIDGE: Okay, and when she said that you told her that Jason wasn't home yet. Okay, he must have come home just right after that, right?
DENNIS: Well, he come home once and left for a short time to go return the tape. Then he came back okay, that had to be around 9 o'clock then.
RIDGE: Okay, then he came in just shortly after she hung up from talking with you on the telephone then?
FOGLEMAN: Did you actually see him when he came in or did you just remember because of hearing him talk or
DENNIS: I just remembered cause, I remembered telling him about the tape. Just asking him had he eaten and about his homework.
FOGLEMAN: How was he dressed?
DENNIS: Well, to the best of my knowledge he was wearing his baggy pants and his, probably a black tee-shirt, that's what he usually always wear.
RIDGE: What kind of shoes does he normally wear?
DENNIS: Sometimes uh, big old boots, you know, military type boots.
RIDGE: Okay, now if he was going to go and mow the yard, of course it's messy, it's wet. Would he have worn those boots, do you think or would he have worn tennis shoes. What do you think he would have worn?
FOGLEMAN: Or, do you remember what he was wearing when he came back in?
DENNIS: I really couldn't be honest with you, what kind of shoes he was wearing or what he was wearing. It's been a good long while back.
RIDGE: You don't remember for sure what he was wearing?
FOGLEMAN: Do you remember if his clothes were dirty or muddy, or were they cleaned or
DENNIS: Well, most of the time they were dirty anyways, you know. Kids playing out there in that field back across the street and uh, the old patch of woods back there.
FOGLEMAN: So, you don't remember?
DENNIS: No sir, I can't say for sure if his clothes were muddy or not.
RIDGE: So, when he left shortly after coming in from school, eating him something and leaving, when he left, it's after dark before you see him again, is that what you told us earlier?
DENNIS: Yes sir
RIDGE: Okay, was it dark when Matthew came in or was it still daylight when Matthew came in?
DENNIS: It's getting dark then, about 8 o'clock.
RIDGE: When Ken came by, the second time, was it dark when Ken came by?
DENNIS: It was just getting dark too. To the best of my knowledge Matthew and Kenny got around the house about the same time.
RIDGE: Okay, that's just the best you can remember that day? And, what makes you remember that day in particular?
DENNIS: It being Mother's Day. Uh
RIDGE: You mentioned that you broke up with
DENNIS: Yeah, me and Angela had, wasn't, well we were trying to work out a relationship, but then at the time, she was wanting to get back with her husband, Terry.
FOGLEMAN: When did you all break up in relation to that day?
DENNIS: That night, words were spoken, you know, we didn't want to be together with each other
RIDGE: When she came in from work, that particular night?
DENNIS: Yes sir, I can remember because uh, I got mad and threw the dam flowers off in the lake, you know. If that's the way you feel about it
FOGLEMAN: So, it was that night when you all split up?
DENNIS: We didn't split up, but we just terminated our love for each other, but I didn't actually leave until two days later.
FOGLEMAN: Okay, do you remember what day of the week that was when you left?
DENNIS: I'm thinking it was Wednesday, because I had just subscribed to the Commercial Appeal Newspaper and I got my first issue that morning.
FOGLEMAN: The morning you left?
DENNIS: Naw, the morning that, of Mother's Day.
FOGLEMAN: Okay, what I asked was, do you remember the day of the week it was when you left?
DENNIS: It was Friday, it had to be Friday.
RIDGE: You didn't get the weekend edition, you just
DENNIS: I just got the one issue.
RIDGE: One issue, okay.
DENNIS: And, she got, I mean, she was getting more issues, but uh, you know, I wasn't there to receive them.
FOGLEMAN: But the only one you got, was one
DENNIS: The only one I seen was the one issue, yeah. I only seen one issue.
RIDGE: Did somebody come by the house and sign you up, to take these papers or had you called the number, you know a lot of times you can call a number at the newspaper and they will start delivering. Do you remember how you signed up?
DENNIS: You know, they had some kind of a deal. I can't remember if I saw it on TV or on the radio. I think it was on the TV I saw the deal. Uh, where you would get a free telephone or a free radio or something if you do it, so, I said, yeah I'll do it, you know, I'll subscribe to it. I give her the telephone, but I never did
FOGLEMAN: These are events that you described about the Walmart and Kroger. This was the day, before you got the paper, is that what you're saying?
FOGLEMAN: Is that what you're saying why you remember
DENNIS: This was Mother's Day now. I can't remember if that newspaper came on Mother's Day or the day after Mother's Day.
RIDGE: We realize that this a long time ago, I mean it's getting hard to remember. Uh, you remember and talking about a knife that Jason had at one point. Uh
DENNIS: I remember him talking about, oh, the boys were talking to him, Matthew had been talking about a, some kind of knife that his dad had given him or his dad, Larry, had given him a knife. Some kind of survival knife.
RIDGE: Okay, describe it
FOGLEMAN: What did you say about the handle? What did you tell us about the handle.
DENNIS: I was just saying it being a survival knife, I think I had seen one laying around the house at one time, that had a little old compass on it. A little old thing, where you stick your survival matches into.
FOGLEMAN: How did you get into the part where you put your matches?
DENNIS: You would screw it off, you screwed it.
RIDGE: How long would that knife had been? About how long was it?
FOGLEMAN: Just estimate
DENNIS: I don't know. I ain't gone say or not. I remember seeing a knife. I don't ever remember ever seeing one there. I'm telling
FOGLEMAN: I thought you just said, you saw one around the house?
DENNIS: Naw, I'm saying that Gail said that it had been around the house and she had broken the blade or her husband had broken the blade or some body broke the blade on it, but
FOGLEMAN: I maybe confused, I thought you said earlier that Jason said that and not Gail, was it Gail that said that, or was it Jason?
DENNIS: It may have been all of them, to be honest with you, cause uh
FOGLEMAN: You don't remember who said that?
DENNIS: Naw, all of the talking, you get two or three different conversations going about
FOGLEMAN: Where does his dad live? Larry?
DENNIS: Larry, somewhere around Little Rock. A pretty good ways from here, I don't know exactly where it is. I've never been there.
RIDGE: We've talked a little about Damien and his girlfriend. You said her name was Dominic. You know here, you've seen her before?
DENNIS: Yes sir, I've met here
RIDGE: Damien, you've seen him before?
DENNIS: Yes sir
RIDGE: Uh, what kind of clothes did you see Damien wear?
DENNIS: Well, to me the clothes he wears is something like they wore back in the old days. Uh, the long coats, black coats, the black boots, black tee-shirts, uh, black pants too, as for as I can remember.
RIDGE: Do you ever remember him wearing any kind of jewelry, I mean that appeal to you, or
FOGLEMAN: Or didn't appeal to you?
RIDGE: That you thought looked strange or unusual, or anything like that?
DENNIS: Uh, I remember seeing one with a bat on it one time
RIDGE: You're talking about a uh, animal bat, not a baseball bat?
DENNIS: Right, animal bat
RIDGE: Okay, what was it off, pendant or necklace?
DENNIS: Uh, more like a pendant/necklace thing, you know.
RIDGE: How about earrings, did he wear earrings?
DENNIS: Yes, I believe he had about three or four holes in his ear there.
FOGLEMAN: Did you ever notice any of his tatoos?
DENNIS: No, I didn't know he had any tatoos
RIDGE: How about a watch or an arm band, or belt or anything, that kind of stuff.
DENNIS: Uh, seem like he use to wear some kind of arm band, I don't remember what it looks like though.
RIDGE: Anything unusual about it?
RIDGE: Any kind of a design on it
DENNIS: I don't remember seeing nothing, I mean that would put him in the category of being in anything like this.
RIDGE: Okay, Satanic, well. You've seen this motorcycle gangs, uh Harley Davidson, such as that, now a lot of times you would see them wear uh, belts, studded arm bands and stuff like that, now is that the kind of arm band maybe he had, or belt to that nature, or
DENNIS: No, I think this one was a band that you put a watch on, the leather bands, seems like
RIDGE: Like a leather band?
FOGLEMAN: You don't remember
DENNIS: I don't want to say that because, you know, I'm not really sure about that
FOGLEMAN: We don't want you to say something that you are not sure about. Let me ask you something, on your left wrist, what is this right here?
DENNIS: It was suppose to have been part of a chain, but I never
FOGLEMAN: Oh, it was the start of a tatoo?
DENNIS: Yeah, it's one that never got finished.
RIDGE: Anything else that you can think of? When was the first time that you thought back to this day, and you started putting events together for that day?
DENNIS: I was sitting in jail in Shelby County and it was two days after I got arrested that I know that Jason got arrested, cause I had been talking to Gail all the time and uh,
RIDGE: Did you talk to her on that day?
DENNIS: On the phone you know, and yeah, I talked to her the day he got, maybe it was the day after he got arrested, I don't remember, but I can write down the facts that I know, you know, I can vouch for Jason, but I can't vouch for Damien or any of them other guys.
FOGLEMAN: Now, this was at least the month after
DENNIS: Yeah, it had to be, because I got arrested uh I don't remember what day it was, I think it was the 10th, I got arrested on.
FOGLEMAN: The 10th of when?
FOGLEMAN: June, July or August, May?
DENNIS: Hang on a minute, September,
FOGLEMAN: How did you stay in jail, let's go at it backwards.
DENNIS: I stayed in jail five months
FOGLEMAN: Five months, when were you released?
DENNIS: I got out September the uh, I can't remember, I'm sure it was September 2nd
FOGLEMAN: August, would have been one, July would have been two, June would have been three, May would have been four, April would have been five, where you arrested April the 10th?
DENNIS: Naw, naw
FOGLEMAN: Are you sure you were in jail five months?
DENNIS: Well, not in jail, all the time I did together was five months.
FOGLEMAN: Okay, if you were released September 2nd, April 2nd, from April the 2nd to September 2nd, would have been five months.
DENNIS: I don't think that's right. But, I'm just saying that this was, I don't remember what day he got arrested, but it was two days after I got arrested.
FOGLEMAN: It was two days after you got arrested?
RIDGE: You're certain of that?
DENNIS: I'm certain of that
RIDGE: Just so, I'm certain of one thing here, now he got home a little bit before 4 o'clock that day, and he left about 30 minutes later, you said, okay. So, that, very latest he left was 4:30, so from 4:30 to sometime after 8 o'clock, probably before 9 o'clock, you don't know where Jason was?
DENNIS: Other than he was suppose to be over his Uncle Hubert's cutting grass.
RIDGE: From 4:30 at the very earliest, he may have been home is 8:30, is the way it sounds all of the conversation we've had.
DENNIS: That sounds right, so
RIDGE: So, about a four hour period of time, you don't know first hand where he was?
DENNIS: No sir, I can't say first hand that I was there at his uncle's.
RIDGE: Two days after you were arrested, he was arrested?
FOGLEMAN: Okay, let me interrupt here a minute. How did you know that he was arrested, is it because Gail called you.
DENNIS: Because I had been calling Gail from jail and it was a big blow for her, that both of us were all ready locked him in jail, you know. I got locked up two days before he does, and he
FOGLEMAN: Why was it a blow for her, was she not back with Terry yet?
DENNIS: Well, naw, I don't. I guess not a deep blow, but I guess that it's something that you can relate with, you know. Would stick in your head, something like that.
FOGLEMAN: Was it two days after you were arrested that you talked to Gail and told her, what you remembered, or what are you saying about the two days?
DENNIS: Okay, so I didn't get to use the, two days, I was in the holding cell down town, couldn't use the phone and when I finally did get a chance to use the phone, uh a guy upstairs was watching TV, the first thing that comes on the news is uh, Jason Baldwin, accused of this murder. So, I get on the phone man, I'm trying to call her at work and they were telling me that she was about to have a nervous breakdown and I do finally get a hold of her at home, you know. And, this is when she tells me, you know, what Jason is being arrested for and all of this, and I said look Gail, if it's anything I can do, I said, uh, I'll this statement to your lawyer and I said, I don't know about getting it notarized and all of that stuff, because I don't think I can do it up here, you know.
RIDGE: This is Det. Ridge, we are back on the tape, the time is 4:46, and West Memphis time is 3:46. Okay, is there anything that you can think of that occurred on that day, the day that the boys were murdered or where Jason was that day?
DENNIS: The only thing I can remember, I was laying there on the couch and waiting for Gail to get home, she gets home about 11 o'clock, and waking up, and looking at the moon being a full moon outside.
RIDGE: You mentioned once before that uh, Jason had a girlfriend that lived a long way off.
DENNIS: Uh, yes sir, I can't, I don't really know exactly how far she live
FOGLEMAN: She lives at Lakeshore, is that what you're saying?
DENNIS: Right, he had made a comment about her, cause that's a long way to, you know to skate with him at the skating rink on Friday and Saturday nights. And, this girl obviously liked him because she calls several times for him before, you know.
RIDGE: That particular day that we are talking about, uh, that you went to Walmart and bought the flowers, and everything. Do you remember her calling that day?
DENNIS: I remember a girl calling uh, for Jason, now whether it be the same girl, I wouldn't
FOGLEMAN: Was that when he was at home or not?
DENNIS: I was at home
FOGLEMAN: Naw, was he at home?
DENNIS: Oh, no he wasn't at home
FOGLEMAN: Do you know whether or not after he got home til that night, to stay whether he had any calls or whether he made any calls?
[note: the original transcriptionist obviously attributed Dennis' comments to Fogleman here]
FOGLEMAN: I don't recall him making any calls, that I know of. Now, I said that I was back there washing clothes too, and drying clothes, so it is possible, go on through the living room you know, back there by his room, there is a long cord he carries, he could carry it to the street if he wanted too.
FOGLEMAN: Do you know whether or not Damien was there, that night?
DENNIS: I know for sure that he was there that night, because uh, his mother had called. Like I said, he wanted to go and take that ninetendo tape back to Kenny, because
FOGLEMAN: Wait just a minute, wait just a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. I am going to be fair to you now. You're talking about Jason, I said Damien.
DENNIS: Oh, Damien, oh, no sir, I don't even recalling seeing Damien that day.
FOGLEMAN: Now, you are not saying that he wasn't there, but you don't remember seeing him?
DENNIS: I just don't remember seeing him, he could have been in another part of the house, you know, or while I was out there talking to this guy about buying this lamp, you know.
RIDGE: Can you think of anything else, okay. I'm gong to go ahead and complete this interview, the time is 4:49, West Memphis time, 3:49 here in Phoenix.