Loud and Clear: Lake Headley & William Hoffman – True Crime With an Aftertaste

Press photo of Bolles Car after explosion
Loud and Clear is the recounting of a search for the truth behind the Don Bolles murder in 1976. The investigative reporter, who specialized in ruffling feathers of organized crime was blown up in his car while at the, then, Hotel Clarendon in Phoenix. The reporter was there to meet with an informant who never showed. The blast from the bomb did not kill Bolles immediately and in the parking lot he named his killer and the organization’s behind it, John Adamson, Emprise and the mafia.

Written by Lake Headley with William Hoffman, the book tells about Headley; who was a private investigator, taking on an assignment from a support group who believed that the convicted Phoenix contractor Max Dunlop was innocent. Included in this was James Robison a plumber who was also convicted of the bombing. The reader is taken through the paces that Headley followed to find the truth.

Finding this book on the non-fiction aisle in the local library intermingled with Pat Garrett’s The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid, The Frontier World of Doc Holliday and Last Rampage meant that it obviously had to do with the Southwest. Anyone who reads the book will find a fascinating and disturbing look at the American justice system back in the 1970s and through the 1980s.

Reading about the p.i. and his search for information on who really killed the reporter is an eye opening experience. While the conclusion of the book had Dunlop out of prison and Headley, along his new girlfriend, recovering from an attempt to destroy evidence kept in their apartment that almost killed the couple, the ending of this “miscarriage” of justice was far from over.

Investigative reporter Don Devereux who was almost run down by a pickup truck early in his part of Headley’s investigation, still writes about the crime and the coverup run by police and local government officials in the state of Arizona. Once the book is finished, head over to the Internet and type in Max Dunlop and James Robison into the search bar to see the end of the story.

Or, conversely just type in Devereux’s name and this will lead you over to his blog.

Both men were railroaded by what can only be described as high-level kangaroo court where they were guilty because the prosecution wanted them to be. The book, Loud and Clear points out repeatedly that the only motive that the state wanted to pursue was the one that made the least sense. It was also the one which allowed known shady dealers and crime figures in the world of gambling to get off scot free. Not to mention a big political name who was already infamous for exploiting Native Americans.

Perhaps none of this is too surprising when one considers that Phoenix has been the haven of retired mafia figures for years as well as a stomping ground non-retired gangsters who have utilized the area for a number of reasons. If not surprising, it is at the very least terrifying to see how a few dedicated men whose pay packets obviously do not come from just the American taxpayers dollars, can usurp the legal system to allow killers to go free.

The late Lake Headley (he died in 1993) and William Hoffman present a clear case of purposeful misdirection and destruction of evidence by the people who are sworn to protect the innocent. While the book itself ends on a somewhat positive note, it was published in 1990, it is the later epilogue of event that chill.

Loud and Clear makes it seem quite dangerous to live in Arizona and reminds the reader to be very careful who they list among their friends if they do live in the “mafia” state. A real five star book for true crime readers who don’t mind that the story was not over when it was published.

Last Rampage: The Escape of Gary Tison by James W. Clarke – Death on the Road

Cover of book by James W. ClarkeQuartzsite is not just the burial place of a historical figure, Hi Jolly lays at rest there with a favorite camel to keep him company in the “Hereafter,” it is also a spot where Snowbirds flock every winter to keep warm while the rest of the country shivers in the blustery cold. This small quiet burg also has a horrific dark side. In 1978 Gary Tison, escaped from an Arizona prison and his route of meandering escape, that ran over three states, took him right through Hi Jolly territory.

Living up to his reputation as being a cold-blooded killer, Tison’s trip through the quiet Arizona town was marked with murder. In James W. Clarke’s book “Last Rampage: The Escape of Gary Tison (Houghton Mifflin Company 1988) the second chapter of the book is devoted to the Lyon’s family murders. This wholesale slaughter took place just outside Quartzsite off I 95 on the Yuma side of town.

After Tison Sr. and Randy Greenawalt shotgunned the 24 year-old Marine Sergeant John Lyons, his wife Donnelda and their son Christopher to death, along with John’s niece Teresa Tyson, who died after the attack from her injuries, they took the family’s car and continued their wandering path to Mexico.

James W. Clark writes about the escape and his novel follows the journey and interactions of this small group of men. The author reveals that he and his young family were very near the fugitives as they fled authorities. In Colorado where Tison and his group murdered a honeymooning couple for their van, the writer and his wife spent a sleepless night. They were convinced that some unspeakable evil was watching their temporary campsite and only later did they learn that Gary Tison, Randy Greenawalt and Tison’s three sons were literally yards away.

Clarke does a good job documenting the flight of Tison and co. He lists all the various players and does a good job with backstory on each. He also remembers to pay attention to the victims of Tison and Greenawalt. At no time does the author forget to show the cost to surviving family members of the blood-soaked journey of the fugitives.

The book also looks at the power Tison had over his family and others who came into contact with him. A picture is drawn of a charismatic and manipulative man who appears to be pure evil. Tison’s end, dying of dehydration and exposure in the Arizona desert yards away from water, is one of poetic justice and not for the faint hearted. The man suffered an incredibly painful death and one that many would feel is still inadequate for the crimes he committed.

While telling Tison’s story, Clarke also reveals the corruption that was prevalent in 1970s Arizona penal system. He touches briefly the Don Bolles murder and the connection with Tison.  While the newsman’s death was the direct result of his investigating the mafia, the corruption pointed out by Clarke had to do with the correction system and its apparent policy of hiring inept individuals to run their prisons.

Consider this: The governor of the prison where Tison escaped was given multiple warnings that Tison was planning to illegally leave the institution and did nothing.  It is amazing that the Lyons’ and Judge’s families did not take the man to court as being an accessory to the murders committed by the fleeing criminals.

This is a chilling and disturbing account of one of the most horrific murders committed in the Southwestern desert. Prepare to be upset and frightened. In a short “review” of the book, I mentioned that reading this would reveal monsters scarier than anything made-up. Gary Tison, and his accomplice Randy Greenawalt, are terrifying.

James W. Clarke has written a book that should be read in the daylight while surrounded by others. Avoid reading at night, in the desert, alone. This true tale, despite the criminals being gone now, proves that truth is stranger than fiction and much more disturbing. Just as disturbing  perhaps as the made for TV film in 1983 starring Robert Mitchum and James Spader which purports to tell the story of Tison and his sons, Killer in the Family. A movie that one can be forgiven for missing considering the real facts of Tison and his bid for freedom.

One to the Wolves: On the Trail of a Killer by Lois Duncan Exclusive Interview

One to the Wolves: On the Trail of a Killer by Lois Duncan Exclusive Interview

Lois Duncan’s book, One to the Wolves: On the Trail of a Killer is currently out in eBook form – published by Planet Ann Rule – and will soon be available in print, and as the 25th anniversary of her daughter’s death approached the writer took time to give the Guardian Liberty Voice an exclusive interview. On July 9, 2014 Lois corresponded with Michael Smith via email and apart from answering questions provided some pictures of herself and Kait.

Dr Cyril Wecht and Dawna Kaufmann: Exclusive Interview on Book Final Exams

Dr Cyril Wecht and Dawna Kaufmann: Exclusive Interview on Book Final Exams

The Guardian Liberty Voice has the privilege of an exclusive interview with Dr. Cyril Wecht MD. JD. and Dawna Kaufmann. They have written three true crime novels together and their latest is Final Exams from Ann Rule Presents.


Dr Cyril Wecht and Dawna Kaufmann: Exclusive Interview on Book Final Exams

Dr Cyril Wecht and Dawna Kaufmann: Exclusive Interview on Book Final Exams

The Guardian Liberty Voice has the privilege of an exclusive interview with Dr. Cyril Wecht MD. JD. and Dawna Kaufmann. They have written three true crime novels together and their latest is Final Exams from Ann Rule Presents.


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