RIDGE: Okay, this is Detective Bryn Ridge of the West Memphis Police Department, currently in the Corning courthouse. Today's date 1 26 of 94, the time 9:38AM. In the office with me is Ryan Clark.
RIDGE: Ah, how old are you, Ryan?
RIDGE: Okay, just a few minutes ago, I talked with your mother, Melissa, and your, you were there when I asked her permission to interview you?
RIDGE: Okay, and you heard her say it was okay?
RIDGE: Ah, Ryan, what I want to talk to you about, ah, is a knife. You may be familiar with it, you may not. Ah, there is a knife that your dad had, I understand a Kershaw? Knife?
CLARK: Ah, he had a knife, but I don't know no name.
RIDGE: Okay. It's...the knife when it's folded down is like almost nine inches long. It's a lock-bladed knife.
CLARK: Like a buck knife?
CLARK: Well, he never did have no buck knife.
RIDGE: It's not a buck knife. Okay. Ah...how bout a blade, it's like a rough blade. Does that ring a bell to you?
CLARK: Not like a curved lock blade.
RIDGE: (aside) Yes, we're taping. Hold on just a second.
And if you would...Mike Allen just walked into the room. Can you go to Inspector Gitchell and get me that knife that we're concerned about? Can you get me that knife? For just a second?
RIDGE: Does this...you remember this knife?
CLARK: Oh yeah.
RIDGE: You do. Okay, and is this the knife that goes into this pouch?
CLARK: Um hum.
RIDGE: Okay. Alright, that's what I'm going to ask you some questions about.
RIDGE: Ah...first...do you know...when that knife was, when the first time you saw that knife?
CLARK: I think he got it for his birthday, I'm not sure. Or Fathers Day I think.
RIDGE: Okay, John got it. Okay. Was Fathers Day. Now is this...
CLARK: It might have been his birthday or Fathers Day. I think it might have been even Christmas, I'm not sure.
RIDGE: Okay. So...ah...before the murder. Do you know if it was before or after the murder?
CLARK: Ah, I think it...I think he had it before, I'm not sure.
RIDGE: Okay. Did you ever play with the knife?
CLARK: Ummm...no. I had a little ol' bitty, just pocket knife that had scissors and, you know.
RIDGE: Okay. But this knife, did you ever pick it up? Look at it? Mess with it? Ah, play with it, or anything like that?
RIDGE: Okay. Do you know of Chris ever picking it up and playing with it, taking it with him or doing anything like that?
RIDGE: It's not any trouble, or anything. See I want to make sure, you know.
CLARK: No, we...he always, he always kept it in his room, we never did mess with it.
RIDGE: Okay, Mark kept it in his room?
CLARK: Um hum.
CLARK: Or he kept it by his chair.
RIDGE: Okay. Did you ever..in...by his chair, now thats, I guess that's in the living room or dining room?
CLARK: Yeah, but den. It's in the den.
RIDGE: Den. Okay. So if Chris...course Chris is a normal 8-year old kid.
RIDGE: Ah, if he had wanted to play with this knife or get this knife, he had access to it?
CLARK: Well, in the kitchen, well, there's a whole bunch of knives. We had like, like one of those like big old pots of wood that all the knives go in.
CLARK: And he could have gone in there and got one of those knives, but...ah.
RIDGE: Well if this one is, is in the den...by, by your dad's chair
CLARK: Yeah (overlapping) Then he probably could have got it.
RIDGE: Then if Ryan wanted to get it he could have.
CLARK: Yeah, yeah he could have.
RIDGE: Okay. Do you ever know of Ryan having the knife?
RIDGE: No. No. I'm sorry. Chris...having the knife.
CLARK: No. Having it, no. I never did...I never did see him mess with it. He never did mess with knives. He never did.
RIDGE: Ah...do you ever remember him maybe cutting himself with a knife or anything like that? I mean just...ah.
CLARK: Well...he might have. I don't know. He always used to...take toys apart and...hit his hand with a screwdriver, cause I remember that.
RIDGE: Okay. And he, he bled I take it?
CLARK: Not really. Just...break the skin, really.
RIDGE: Oh okay. Alright, so, this knife would have been accessible to him if it's down in the den by the chair? Say if Ryan came in and nobody was else around, if Ryan wanted to get to the knife, he could have, and you wouldn't have known anything about it?
CLARK: Me?...I'm Ryan.
CLARK: (overlapping) Chris get the knife?
RIDGE: I'm sorry. I'm, I'm, I'm getting confused. If Chris came in from school, or if he was there at the house, and maybe you were outside playing, or...somebody else's not there.
CLARK: He, he probably could have got the knife, yeah. He could have got the knife.
RIDGE: But you don't
CLARK: He probably could have got every knife in the house. To some...it's just wide open.
RIDGE: Okay. So he had access, to that knife or any other knife in the house.
CLARK: He could...yeah he could have got the knife. Or I could have got the knife. Anybody could have got the knife.
RIDGE: Yeah. But...alright. The next thing is, do you remember any time that he may have cuttin' himself with the knife?
RIDGE: That he may have hid from Mark, or your mom, or...anything like that? You know, if, if he's got a knife that he wasn't supposed to have and he cut himself. Do you, you remember him ever cutting himself that he didn't want mom and dad to know he got cut?
RIDGE: That doesn't ring a bell?
CLARK: Uh uh.
RIDGE: Okay. Alright...ah...do you know what Mark did with this knife?
CLARK: What do you mean?
RIDGE: Did he, did he hunt? Did he use the knife when he went hunting?
CLARK: Hey, he used to carry it around on his belt whenever he went hunting. He had, like, two knives he used to carry around. He had one, like, it was uh, uh...he used to carry the jig not, the jigsaw knife, then it was another little ol bitty knife that was shorter than that.
RIDGE: Okay, you're calling this one the jigsaw knife?
CLARK: Yeah, the jigsaw with the ridges on the top...
RIDGE: That's the one we just showed you? That's in a nylon holster, and it's a Kershaw.
CLARK: Yeah, Kershaw, whatever.
RIDGE: Okay. Ah...did ah...Mark deer hunt?
CLARK: Yeah. We, we always used to go deer hunting.
RIDGE: You deer hunt too?
CLARK: We killed one, we, we just got through killing one, just a little while ago. Well, back in bow season.
RIDGE: Bow season? Where'd you hunt?
CLARK: we hunted up at, ah...well...it...you know where ah, Crawley's Ridge is?
CLARK: We hunted up there, on this guy's land.
RIDGE: Okay. Did you get one?
CLARK: No. I shot at him first, but I missed.
RIDGE: Okay. Alright ah...alright. Do you know who, or if Mark may have given this knife to somebody?
RIDGE: You don't remember him ever giving it to somebody else?
CLARK: Uh uh.
RIDGE: Okay. So you don't know how we came to have the knife?
CLARK: Uh uh. I don't know.
RIDGE: Alright. Well I'm going to conclude the interview. The time is 9:45 AM.