(Part 2) The murder of Officer Chris Kilcullen, in broad daylight, devastated the community he served. Our own Detective Dan was the first to arrive on scene and tend to him, while the armed suspect fled, leading multiple law enforcement agencies in a treacherous, high-speed chase up a remote logging road. Where the road dead-ends, a tense standoff commences and our own Detective Dave steps in as the crisis negotiator. In this two-part episode, Detective Dan reflects on the worst day of his law enforcement career alongside Chris’ widow, Kristie, and Chris’ former lieutenant, and partner, who remember the kind of man and police officer he was.
Ret. Officer Risko
Risko is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan and was born and raised in Chicago, Il. Prior to becoming a police officer, he served 3 years as a paratrooper in the US Army. After leaving the Army, Risko became a police officer and his career in law enforcement spanned nearly 30 years. During that time he worked on patrol, as a FTO, narcotics detective, and motorcycle officer. He was also a member of the SWAT team. He served an additional 8 years as a member of the National Guard while working as a full-time police officer. Risko is a member of the Peer Support Team which offers assistance to people in law enforcement after critical/traumatic incidents. Risko has a master scuba diver rating, has assisted in scuba instruction, and volunteered at a coastal aquarium, an activity he enjoyed with his best friend and work partner, Chris Kilcullen. He’s married and has 3 adult children.
Lt. Bills recently retired after serving her community for over 25 years. She has worked on patrol, bike patrol, Crowd Control-Bike Officer, background investigations, and as a crisis negotiator. Bills volunteered for her department’s Honor Guard and served for 10 years. She was eventually promoted to Sergeant and then Lieutenant which saw her supervising Special Operations, Investigations, and serving as a Watch Commander. In addition to her supervisory roles, she served as the Crisis Negotiation Team Sergeant for 4 years. Bills graduated from the FBI National Academy and the Senior Management Institute of Policing. She is married to a wonderful woman and they have a son who became a police officer. Her hobbies include playing ice hockey, ski patrol, and all things two-wheeled (bicycles & motorcycles. Lt. Bills feels most privileged to have been asked to be the family liaison to Kristie Kilcullen after Chris Kilcullen’s murder.
For more information on the Chris Kilcullen Memorial Scholarship Fund, please go to www.oregonstudentaid.gov.
Yeardley [00:00:11] When a serious crime is committed in a small town, a handful of detectives are charged with solving the case. I’m Yardley and I’m fascinated by these stories. So I invited my friends, detectives Dan and Dave, to help me gather the best true crime cases from around the country and have the men and women who investigated them tell us how it happened.
Det. Dan & Det. Dave [00:00:36] I’m Dan. And I’m Dave. We’re identical twins from Small Town USA. Dave investigated sex crimes and crimes against children. He’s now a patrol sergeant in his police department. Dan investigated violent crimes. He’s now retired. Together, we have more than two decades experience. And I’ve worked hundreds of cases. We’ve altered names, places, relationships and certain details in these cases to maintain the privacy of the victims and their families. So we ask you to join us in protecting their true identities as well as the locations of these crimes. Out of respect for everyone involved. Thank you.
Yeardley [00:01:18] Hey, small town fam. Welcome to part two of Kilcullen 248 End of Watch. It’s the story of Chris Kilcullen, who was killed in the line of duty. Part one finished with detectives Dan and Dave in a standoff on a mountain road with the woman who shot and killed Officer Chris. If you haven’t listened to Part one yet, you should definitely go back and do that before continuing on. So just to refresh your memories on who we have at the microphones today, of course, we have detectives Dan and Dave.
Det. Dan & Det. Dave [00:01:51] Good morning. Morning.
Yeardley [00:01:52] Good morning. Good morning. We also have Kristie, Chris’s widow.
Kristie [00:01:58] Good morning.
Yeardley [00:01:59] Chris’s best friend and former partner, Risko.
Risko [00:02:02] Glad to be here.
Yeardley [00:02:03] We’re so glad to have you and Chris, his former boss, Lieutenant Bills.
Lieutenant Bills [00:02:07] Hello.
Yeardley [00:02:08] Thank you all so much for being here. And I was thinking before we get back to where we left off in part one, Kristie. I would love it if you would give us a thumbnail portrait of Chris, the man who he was as a husband, a father, your best friend. Would you mind? What’s your favorite story about him?
Kristie [00:02:32] Mm hmm.
Det. Dan & Det. Dave [00:02:35] How did you meet?
Kristie [00:02:37] That’s actually a great story. Let’s start with that. So back in college, I was dating another guy by the name of Chris and I call him Chris, number one. It’s in chronological order, not importance. I was dating Chris, number one and Chris number one and Chris number two, which is my Chris. We’re friends. So I met him casually that way. Wait a couple of classes together we would chat. Nothing significant. I move away, I move back. And I am at my mom’s house one day. And my sister was good friends with my Chris and she happend to be on the phone with him and she said, well, you’re never gonna guess my sister’s here. He’s like “oh, right on, let me talk to her”. We’re chatting and he tells me now that he is a police officer, and at the time, my mother was a huge scanner junkie.
Yeardley [00:03:29] What is that?
Det. Dan & Det. Dave [00:03:30] So back before we encrypted our radio channels, people would buy scanners and you could listen to all the you know, the fire and local police departments. You could hear all the radio traffic.
Yeardley [00:03:40] Oh.
Det. Dan & Det. Dave [00:03:41] So people would monitor those things, you know. Before social media. So now you can kind of tell where things are going down in your area.
Kristie [00:03:48] So she had a mobile one and she had one that plugged in. So if there was action, she’d be like, we got to go. Some happened, right? So in the car, we’d go drive down and so she was a stalker, if you will. So I’m in her kitchen talking to Chris, who I haven’t talked to in years. And he tells me I’m now a police officer. My mother freaks out. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. I’m like, Mom, chill out. Chill out. She’s like, ask him his designator, ask him his designator. And I don’t even know what that meant. So I’m like, okay, this is really uncomfortable. My mother’s freaking out right now and she wants to know what your designator is. He says two Adam 32, at the time. And I said two Adam 32. And she goes, Oh, my God. Oh, my. Hang up. Hang up the phone. An I’m like mother, you’re freaking me out. And so we say our pleasantries. And I said, Mother, what is your problem? Right. And she says, I have been wanting to set you up with him for years. He’s got a sexy voice. And he’s the only officer who says please and thank you to the dispatch. True story.
Yeardley [00:04:50] So two Adam 32 is the way he identifies himself to his dispatch. So when you told your mother that she was like, I know that guy.
Kristie [00:04:57] She knew the voice and the designator immediately.
Yeardley [00:04:59] That’s amazing. It really feels like kismet.
Kristie [00:05:02] Yeah.
Yeardley [00:05:04] Oh, I have a question. Did one of you say Chris was a motorcycle cop, but he didn’t actually like riding motorcycles? Do I have that right?
Risko [00:05:14] Yeah. Chris really wasn’t the best motorcycle rider.
Lieutenant Bills [00:05:18] That’s true. That’s very true.
Risko [00:05:19] He really didn’t even like riding the motorcycle.
Yeardley [00:05:23] Did he go too fast? Was he just.
Risko [00:05:24] No,he was just crappy at it.
Kristie [00:05:27] He was not an adrenaline junkie and he wanted to have a child. I told him the only way I would give you a child is if you get a day job. And the only guaranteed day job at their department is motors.
Yeardley [00:05:41] Oh, OK.
Risko [00:05:42] So he hated going fast. He hated going slow because for our trainings we had to do these what we call cone patterns. And he had to navigate these traffic cones and he hated it. So most of his day was spent on the phone making up some stories about why he had to be on the phone.
Yeardley [00:06:03] He sounds really fun and funny. OK. So we’ll continue to fill out the picture of Chris, the man. For the time being, let’s get back to where we left off in part one, which is basically every police officer in Springfield and the surrounding counties has chased this female suspect who killed Chris up a remote logging road up a mountain. And they’re in a standoff with her where she’s just sitting in her car and law enforcement has her surrounded with guns drawn. Police are ordering her out of the car. She’s not complying. And then she suddenly blurts out that she has a baby in the car. Nobody can actually see the baby. But also, nobody wants to take that chance. At the same time, every police officer up there knows this suspect has a gun and she’s already used it.
Det. Dan [00:06:57] Yeah. So what’s she going to do if she just starts shooting out the back of this car? There are police officers everywhere. She’s going to hit something. So you’re drawing lines in the sand saying if she drops her hand down again, I’m only 20 yards away from her and I’m accurate with this rifle. But she just never crossed that line. So my brother, he had just become a trained crisis negotiator.
Det. Dave [00:07:24] Yeah, I’d been a few months, you know.
Det. Dan [00:07:26] And my brother basically becomes the voice on the hill, my brother’s the negotiator up there and he is talking to this suspect. She’s all over the map, but he’s starting to get some mileage out of her. She’s listening to you.
Det. Dave [00:07:41] Yeah, talking with her was difficult. It was largely gibberish from her end. Stuff you couldn’t make sense out of. Officer Larry, that is with our police department. He seemed to get a lot of traction with her early on. Later on, it turned into where he and I would flip flop back and forth negotiating with her. And then towards the end of this two and a half hours, a Eugene negotiator joined in and the three of us worked trying to bring this to some sort of resolution.
Yeardley [00:08:11] Dan, what was that like to watch?
Det. Dan [00:08:13] It was impressive, Larry and Dave and this other officer, none of them had ever worked in a situation like this before together. And it was like choreographed dance. They all played off of each other. They were so locked in in the moment that it was a natural transition each time from Dave to Larry. And it just went perfectly with the ultimate goal. I mean, everybody up on the mountain had the goal of this ending safely for her and for us.
Yeardley [00:08:47] Of course.
Det. Dan [00:08:47] Yeah.
Det. Dave [00:08:48] So she makes no sense. She goes from I shot that cop. She made admissions there. She would talk about wanting McDonald’s Happy Meals. I mean, it was just like over and over and over again.
Det. Dan [00:09:02] She was stuck in a loop for sure. You would hear the same thing over and over again. It was just like shuffle. Really.
Det. Dave [00:09:08] Yeah. So once you could tell she back in the goofy loop, the next negotiator takes over and tries for a few minutes and you get some traction with her. I mean, we’re trying all kinds of tactics, being very assertive to, hey, we’re here to help you. We want to help, like, what can we do for you? All kinds of stuff. She wanted certain people to be brought up to the scene. She wanted us to take her away from the scene to go see people. This is like one of those academy scenarios where they say you’re the role player, you’re the bad guy. You do everything you can do to make sure this is not successful. And that’s the type of person we’re dealing with up on that mountain.
Yeardley [00:09:45] And what was the end game? You’re just trying to get her out of the car and get handcuffs on her now.
Det. Dan [00:09:49] The state police had a sniper who was positioned a little further up the hill and had a better view into the car. And he’s looking through a scope. And I remember he had relayed information to the rest of us. I pretty much can see the whole interior of that car. I do not see a child in that car. So we got some information that way.
Det. Dave [00:10:08] But you still never know.
Det. Dan [00:10:09] You still never know.
Det. Dave [00:10:10] Kid could be down in the floorboard. I remember the sniper Dan’s talking about. I was next to that sniper for a large portion of this. He had moved positions and she had this pension for leaning over the center console and angling her body towards the passenger seat. So you would just see, like her left ear. You can only see the side of her head. She’s leaning over. It was just odd. And we’re like, when’s the time she’s going to come up with that handgun again? And honestly, I was like, well, I’ve got a guy next to me that is gonna handle that. The moment he sees the barrel, she’s gone. At some point, this is within minutes of the resolution of this. She starts to drive forward. Suspect starts to drive forward towards the woods. And everyone’s looking at each other like, where’s she going? She’s got 10 feet left and then she’s into a tree. And then all of a sudden she starts to turn and she’s turning towards us on the uphill side. And I remember clearly I put my gun away while we were negotiating because I’ve got a long rifle right next to me. I remember pulling my gun and going, all right. If she gets a little better angle on me, I’m just going to start pouring rounds into that car because we’re not letting her see where all of our positions are. And had a sniper right next to me because I’m giving her three more feet. And I was like, OK. And she stopped two feet short.
Yeardley [00:11:39] Oh, my God.
Det. Dan [00:11:41] I remember she reached over to the passenger side and she grabbed her purse and she held her purse out. And I’m thinking that gun’s probably in the purse, but I can’t be sure. And she held the purse out and she was shaking the purse out of the window, not upside down. She’s just shaking this purse and then she drops it and she sits back in the car. But now things are starting to speed up a little bit. She’s starting to comply a little bit. I mean, the least amount of degrees of compliance. But she’s kind of doing what we’re asking at this point.
Yeardley [00:12:13] How many hours are you into this negotiation?
Det. Dave [00:12:16] This negotiation was two and a half hours from end of stop to the moment she’s in custody. I mean, we had Officer Darren and his dog Cyrille was up there. I remember thinking. When she had her arm out the window, oh, send the dog. What a bite on the tricep, that would be like, oh, this is perfect. And then she brings her arm back in. But even when we finally convinced her to get out of the car, you have an arrest team that’s faced off with her. You’ve got all sorts of use of force options. We had a dog. We had multiple people with pistols. We had someone with a Taser. A person with a beanbag.
Det. Dan [00:12:54] Do you remember the two shots with the beanbags?
Det. Dave [00:12:56] Yeah. Two shots from Wayne County sheriff’s deputy. We didn’t want her to be able to look in the rearview mirrors and see where people were behind her. So a sheriff’s deputy took two shots and took out both her rearview mirrors with a beanbag from about 30 yards. And I was like, that’s pretty good shoot.
Yeardley [00:13:14] That’s pretty awesome.
Det. Dave [00:13:15] Because these beanbags dove, they go all over the place. Great shot. So we finally get her where she’s gonna get out of the car. And that’s when I recognize who this person is. Two weeks prior to this, I had been sent to a burglary call and an apartment complex close to downtown. The call had some weird details. I remember going there and speaking to this person. She invites me inside and says, hey, my house got broken into. What I remember about that is that she had dead bolted the door behind me when I went inside her apartment. And it’s a cluttered mess inside this apartment. And she said someone broke into my house today and I said, OK, well, what kind of property was stolen? And she said nothing was stolen. But I know someone broke into my house because, look, there’s devil’s food cake on my kitchen counter. Cake mix, like Betty Crocker.
Yeardley [00:14:09] Like in a box or just scattered on the counter?
Det. Dave [00:14:12] In a box, like you just got it at the supermarket. And I remember thinking to myself, OK, this person’s got some issues, like we got some mental health issues. I remember telling her, you got burglarized. You scored like you got cake mix. I’m not going to take a report for that. Like how many people break into your house and deliver you a cake? And I remember telling her, like, hey, it’s documented as an incident. I’ll put some notes in the call, but I’m not taking a police report on this. And I went to leave and she blocked the door. She’s like, you’re not leaving. And I was like, I am leaving. And I remember feeling the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, like, is this where I get framed for this cop raped me when he came out to take my burglary report. Like, this is not good. And I finally convinced her I was like, hey, I’ve got a priority call. I need to go to get out the way I get outside, I’m like, OK. I tell dispatch there’s some mental health issues here, like just make a note on her file. So when she gets out of the car, suspect gets out of the car on this logging landing. I recognize this person.
Yeardley [00:15:16] It’s cake mix.
Det. Dave [00:15:17] The cake mix lady. And I was like, holy shit, I never recognized her because you’re looking into this kind of shaded car. I had no idea who it was until she got out. And I remember she’s given very clear and very professional voice commands about keep her hands visible. And she started walking towards the officers and their hands went down towards her waistband and she got tackled and then she’s taken into custody. So when you see her booking photo, she’s got road rash on her face because she got Terry Tated like office linebacker, taken off her feet and tackled and taken into custody. And then everything slows down.
Det. Dan [00:15:59] One of the things I want to note up on that mountain by the end of this two and a half hour standoff that we’re having with this murderer, there are a lot of people up there. Like Dave mentioned, the tow truck driver counted over 80 police cars up there. That’s a lot of people. A lot of those cars had two people in them. We just increase the population of that mountain by two thousand percent. I mean, there are a lot of people up there. And while this thing went on and on and on, we don’t have like a firing line of 100 people what the leadership up there had done. And I commend him for doing this. We took shifts so you’d have four guys on guns behind the car to cover the car for 15 minutes and then we’d switch out to keep people fresh because you have to keep your head in the game. I actually never left the stump until very late and they had me spell. But I was up there for probably an hour and 40 minutes.
Yeardley [00:16:56] They had you what?Spell?
Det. Dan [00:16:57] Spelled a spell.
Det. Dave [00:16:58] A break.
Det. Dan [00:16:59] A break.
Yeardley [00:16:59] Oh, yeah.
Det. Dan [00:17:01] So I took a break and then at the end of this, I was back up close to the arrest team covering this woman when she was taken into custody. And like Dave said, she had one hand in the air and then she kind of turned her body a little bit. From my perspective, because you are in a different spot,.
Det. Dave [00:17:19] Right.
Det. Dan [00:17:19] She had bladed herself and turned a little bit and put her right hand kind of down by her waistband. I mean, classic, like I’m about to draw a gun on you. We’ve all seen it. Everybody’s seen a movie like that. That’s what she was doing. And then all of a sudden, I just see her body and face sliding along the gravel as this linebacker took her out. And that was it.
Yeardley [00:17:43] What got her out of the car?
Det. Dave [00:17:45] My recollection is we promised to take her somewhere, let her see a certain person. Like, if you get out of the car, we are gonna take you down the mountain and we’re going to take you back to the city and you can see or speak to this person. Honestly, when she got out, I was like, holy shit, this happening because for two hours being on a different planet. It’s odd. And Lieutenant Bills can talk to this like you’ve been a part of many more negotiations than I have. But it’s hard to get any traction with somebody who’s out there.
Lieutenant Bills [00:18:17] Yeah, it’s hard to find that connection and build that rapport to be able to get them to trust you to come out. And when they’re all over the map like that, you just can’t get a hook, especially if they’re mentally ill or pretending to be mentally ill. It’s difficult and it’s frustrating. It’s really frustrating.
Det. Dave [00:18:32] Yeah.
Yeardley [00:18:32] Is that when you discovered there was actually no baby in the car?
Det. Dave [00:18:36] Yeah.
Yeardley [00:18:37] I mean, that’s incredibly manipulative. You have to wonder if she’s actually mentally ill or just faking it.
Det. Dave [00:18:46] Right.
Yeardley [00:18:47] And what about the gun?
Det. Dave [00:18:48] Once we got out of the car, we go check around the car and the gun was inside the car.
Det. Dan [00:18:53] I remember there being like a lot of fast food wrappers on the floorboards. It was a mess. The car was a mess.
Yeardley [00:19:00] And how was she? Roughly.
Det. Dave [00:19:01] Forty’s.
Kristie [00:19:02] 48.
Lieutenant Bills [00:19:03] 48.
Kristie [00:19:04] I would like to say something about the Hill.
Yeardley [00:19:06] Yeah?
Kristie [00:19:07] People ask me all the time if I’m sad or upset in any way that she wasn’t killed up on that hill. And I, for one, am extremely grateful that you guys didn’t shoot her, because had you shot her, even if it was justified and it would’ve been the media would have crucified you. When people used to ask Chris if he had ever shot anybody, he would always say no. The day I do, my career is over. Even if it’s justified, my career is over because all the armchair quarterbacks and all of the keyboard warriors without any information would crucify him. And so I, for one, am very grateful you didn’t take her out that night because had you. You guys would have had to deal with the death of Chris. Threat of your career and all these people who watch TV and think that, you know, well, why didn’t you just shoot him in the foot? You know, all these ridiculous things. That’s not reality. It just makes me so angry. So I’m glad that you didn’t. And I have so much respect for all of you for not because of that for your own self care. But also, Chris was a heavy gate for mental health.
Risko [00:20:28] Right. It was the right thing for you guys not to shoot her.
Kristie [00:20:32] Yes.
Lieutenant Bills [00:20:33] And it gets back to that belief that I have is that everybody there had that measured professionalism that we expect cops to have. We are professionals, and I’ve always been somewhat mixed about that day in terms of the outcome, not because I’m angry that she wasn’t shot. You guys did the right thing. And I’m eternally proud of you for what you did under those circumstances. My piece about it comes about later on watching the system and with her still being around. It’s like a wound that gets opened. Time and time again, every time we have revisited.
Yeardley [00:21:19] So despite witnessing the worst side of people, every time you leave your houses as law enforcements, every time you go to work, this particular tragedy hits very close to home for each one of you. In fact, it hit very close to home for the entire community. So you know me. I’m always curious where each of you put this experience inside of your hearts and souls.
Det. Dan [00:21:46] I know what it did to me. And it it really shook me up. It made me feel like I was mortal again out there to some degree in it. Also, we’ve talked about this a little bit. I also thought it doesn’t matter what I do out here when my number comes up, my numbers up, and I can be the safest guy out here and it doesn’t even matter anymore. And I became a little reckless after that and put myself in some pretty stupid situations until I got some help.
Lieutenant Bills [00:22:18] When an officer is murdered in the line of duty, you’ve got the effect on the family, which is first and foremost. I mean, that’s really the most important people we need to be caring for. For me. I mean, I as the family liaison, I spend a lot of time with the family, with Kristie and the kids. I lived at Kristie’s place for a bit to try to be there for them and help them out. Can I tell the story about that first night?
Yeardley [00:22:44] Mm hmm.
Lieutenant Bills [00:22:44] So that first night we ended up being downstairs and we were in, I guess, the guest bedroom.
Kristie [00:22:52] At our house.
Lieutenant Bills [00:22:52] At your house. Yeah. And I got to be witness to this woman who had just lost her husband. We’re just laying on the bed. And she started saying a prayer for everything for which she was grateful. One thing after the other, showing gratitude and grace. And not a lot of people know that, they don’t get to see that piece where, you know, there’s gratitude.
Kristie [00:23:16] Yes.
Det. Dave [00:23:17] Not a lot of people would have that ability to do that.
Lieutenant Bills [00:23:21] Right.
Det. Dave [00:23:21] Right. You wouldn’t recognize what you’re grateful for on a day like that.
Lieutenant Bills [00:23:26] Yeah.
Det. Dave [00:23:26] I didn’t know that, Kristie.
Kristie [00:23:28] I think even in your darkest days, there’s always something being grateful for. And I think being grateful for things is one of the things that gets you through the icky.
Yeardley [00:23:37] That’s well said.
Lieutenant Bills [00:23:39] Yeah, there’s grief to this day and it’s been many years since. For me, there’s my career before Chris was shot and my career’s end. And I decided the day that I could retire, I’d retire. And I think it was a good call. But, you know, it’s still there.
Risko [00:23:55] Yeah. It’s there all the time. I got involved in other stuff, so I really immersed myself into scuba diving again. And it was something that Chris and I would do. So I really, really, really got involved in it. Diving really just puts you in that moment. You can’t really think about other stuff. You’ve got too much other stuff to worry about, you know. Are you at this depth?
Yeardley [00:24:21] Sure.
Det. Dave [00:24:22] That’s what I find in this job, is there’s times where you just can’t turn your brain off. God, I wish I could stop thinking and saying things, you know, visions and images of stuff you’ve seen. And this incident, it impacted hundreds of lives around here. I remember the service and the number of other agencies and officers who came to our town to pay respects. And I remember the community and I remember after the service getting a lot of thank you’s and we appreciate you and please be safe. I remember just being proud to be a police officer. I get booed my pride.
Yeardley [00:25:07] Can you talk a little bit about Chris’s service?
Risko [00:25:09] Yeah. So this arena that we have in town, the university plays basketball games there and volleyball games. We have concerts there. It holds ballpark, 10,000 people. And it was full.
Lieutenant Bills [00:25:23] The piece that I remember for the turnout for the service was Chris’s youngest daughter was four and she had ants in her pants like every four year old would have. And I remember I was walking her down the middle of the rows and between all the seats and they were filled and she’s holding my hand. She’s got this really cute little princess dress on and she looks at me and she called me Bill. An she said Bill, Bill? Yeah. Are these people here for my daddy? I said, yeah, they’re all here for your daddy.
Det. Dave [00:26:02] Yeah, that arena was. It’s hard to get a seat in that arena, which says everything about who Chris was to this community, that he had some reach. Dan’s talked about it before. We had one of our former frequent flier type guys that we always dealt with on patrol. He took his son to the service to tell his son, basically, this is an example of what you want to be in life. It’s like, what are you doing here? And he really, truly just wanted to pay his respects. Talk about reaching across aisles like we’re talking to somebody that we’ve arrested dozens of times. And he went there to pay his respects.
Det. Dan [00:26:42] I was in the restroom when that happened. And the reason why I was in the restroom is because when the bagpipes started.
Lieutenant Bills [00:26:48] Gosh.
Det. Dan [00:26:50] I was like I mean, I lost it. And, you know, I’m sitting there with the rest of my department and. And I lost it. Like ugly crying. It was bad. And one of my coworkers put his hand on my back and started rubbing my back. And he said, you take all the time you need. And so I got up, I walked and I went into the restroom and there wasn’t anybody in there. And it was quiet. And I couldn’t hear the bagpipes anymore. And then this gentleman that I’d come across several times early in my career who had substance abuse problems. He,I didn’t even recognize him almost and He said Dan, you remember me? And I said, Oh, my God. Yeah. And he said, This is my son. And I squatted down to shake his little boy’s hand. And he said, these are good guys and you should always run to them when you need help. And he looked at me and he said, thank you for always treating me with respect and. Doesn’t like the little things that I take out of that service in the streets during the procession that were lined with people and people saying thank you because we don’t get that very often. It was amazing to be told. Thank you.
Yeardley [00:28:09] What about for you? Kristie, seeing that turnout in that stadium.
Kristie [00:28:13] That was a hard, hard day. It was a week to the day that Chris was killed. So it was still fresh. I was still in shock. It was overwhelming. I was so grateful that so many people came out because I didn’t think that many people loved cops. We had a limo that came and picked us up at our house and then took us out to where Chris was shot and then took us on a route, eventually leading to the arena where his service was. And all along that route, there were families, little kids with signs. It was amazing.
Yeardley [00:28:50] Yeah.
Kristie [00:28:51] Only recently have I actually read the police reports from this day. I didn’t know where exactly in the road he died. And I don’t like the intersection where it happened. I don’t get warm and fuzzy from it. Some people you don’t go there and they get something from it. I don’t know where he was murdered. So whenever I’ve been there and it’s only been a handful of times, I was out the road. I don’t look because I don’t know where it’s at. I don’t want to know where it’s at. Couple of weeks ago, I read the reports on a Saturday and I found that exactly where it was at. And I jumped in my car and I drove there. I got out of my car. I had my head down. And I finally just looked at the spot like, there it is. And it was horrible healing at the same time. It’s of like when you have a secret, you finally let the secret out. You’re like, so here I am on the side of the road Saturday afternoon. All these people driving by, I’m staring at a spot on the ground. And yeah. So I appreciate you guys doing this because it’s allowing me and it’s allowing Risko and Bill to put some light on it and help us with our healing journey, because that’s what it is. You don’t get over it. You don’t heal. You’re not all better. It’s not a cold. You get over. It’s something you deal with for the rest of your life. So thank you.
Yeardley [00:30:19] Of course. All right. So Chris’s murderer has been arrested and charged. But you suspect that she also has some mental health issues based on the cake mix encounter you had with her Dave. How do her potential mental health issues affect what happens next?
Det. Dan [00:30:37] So we can talk a little bit about the investigation. I wasn’t a detective then, but I had some visibility into some things that happened and they came to light during this investigation. Detective Don, who we’ve had on the show before, he was the lead case agent for this case, and he interviewed this woman. And we found out some interesting little facts. Like I said before, she was big into fast food.
Yeardley [00:31:03] Can we gave her a name?
Det. Dan [00:31:05] I don’t want to give her a name. I’m not going to give her a name. She hasn’t earned that. This woman earlier in the day had been to a fast food drive through and was armed with her gun. And I guess she was taking a while to order. And the person behind her started honking like, move forward. Let’s go. What’s taking so long? And she reached over and grabbed her gun. And she’s a big woman. She’s in a small car. And she’s trying to turn her body in a way where she can get shots off at the person who’s behind her.
Yeardley [00:31:42] Who is aware of this? And why are the police called?
Det. Dan [00:31:45] She wasn’t able to get a shot off because she couldn’t turn in a way where she would be accurate. She never fired around.
Yeardley [00:31:51] But does somebody see the gun? No one saw the gun. So how do you find this out?
Det. Dan [00:31:56] She told Detective Don that that happened earlier in the day. And then when she was driving on the freeway back home, she saw Chris and his police uniform and she decided, I’m going to go after him. And she swerved and tried to hit him. And Chris was able to avoid being struck by her vehicle. And that’s where the chase began.
Yeardley [00:32:24] And how long was Chase between Chris and this woman.
Det. Dan [00:32:29] Four Miles?
Det. Dave [00:32:30] Yeah, it started right at about Interstate five. And it’s one of those where I think Chris probably did have his blinders on that day. But that was so egregious that he’s not the one who’s going to overlook that. And so he says that’s a problem. That could be a problem for the public. And the chase is on. So four, five miles, six miles.
Lieutenant Bills [00:32:52] Yeah, just about.
Kristie [00:32:54] All this time, I’ve been angry at Chris for not putting the blinders on, and then only recently since I’ve been reading the reports, did I know or it sunk in how aggressive she was with him. All these years I would say, why didn’t you just turn off on our intersection and just come home? Why didn’t you just take that exit? Why didn’t you take that exit? But now, after reading the reports and in reading about how she tried to swerve into him and then she got in front of them and slammed on her brakes, he couldn’t. And that’s another thing about grief and timing and such that now I’m able to read those reports and now I’m able to let that anger go like he could. You know, it’s one thing to kind of look the other way when somebody made a lane change or has expired tags. But if somebody is out to hurt you or others, you guys can’t let that go. You can’t put your blinders on. You have to go and. Whereas I used to be angry, I’m now I’m proud of.
Det. Dave [00:34:13] So investigation wise, her statements are much like how it went up on the mountain that she’s all over the map makes very little sense, has moments of clarity. But it’s one sentence and then 50 that are completely gibberish. And then another moment of clarity. They’re fleeting. And she gets booked on a charge of aggravated murder. And so she sits in the jail. And I think all of us had this notion that we already know which direction this is going ahead. Prosecution wise is that she’s going to have to be found able to aid in her own defense. She’s going to have to be found competent to stand trial in a criminal court.
Yeardley [00:34:53] Other than the cake mix incident with you, Dave. Did the suspect have a record or any other interactions with law enforcement?
Kristie [00:35:00] She did have interaction with Junction City police. December of 2010, where she was driving erratically.
Yeardley [00:35:10] And this is just a few months prior to her encounter with Chris.
Kristie [00:35:13] Yes. They pulled her over. She was acting very weird. The officer acknowledged that she wasn’t under the influence of anything, but he did ask dispatch to make a note of her mental condition and that maybe a DMV notification or notification to the doctor was an order. And then she was actually driven from that city home because she was in such bad mental shape that she couldn’t drive.
Lieutenant Bills [00:35:42] From the information that I have, it’s surprising that she was able to get a license, keep a license, buy a firearm. There’s a whole bunch of pieces that you look at and you wonder how and why did we get to the point we got to on that day where she murdered Chris?
Det. Dave [00:35:58] Officers are always looking at intent and competencies with things. And my thought was while she was able to get a driver’s license, she was able to get a handgun. She was able to lead a police officer on a pursuit. She was able to use her weapon to harm that police officer. She was also able to elude us for 20 miles up into the mountains. She was able to have the wherewithal to announce that she had a baby in the car with her to buy her some time. There’s a point where we all look at this and go, OK, is she malingering? Is she putting on a show? Because now she wants to avoid the consequences. And there’s that part of me where I’m like, this is bullshit, the way she’s being treated. She’s a patient. She’s not a inmate. She’s a patient because they were never able to find her competent to stand trial. So she avoids the consequences of a criminal trial and she accepts or is forced to accept the consequences of being a patient at the mental hospital.
Lieutenant Bills [00:37:04] But the part that’s hard for me to swallow to this day is that the way the state works is she’s been sent to a place where she actually has permissions and liberties to be able to walk and to go out into public with supervision. And she’s not locked up in a hospital. She’s in a house.
Det. Dave [00:37:21] Right. It’s a controlled access house, but they get field trips and we all look at it and go. Why does she have any privileges? We see what she does when she’s having a bad day. She harms people. So why should she be able to walk and breathe the same air that the rest of us are? She’s in a community across the other side of the state. And do those people know what’s walking around them when they’re out on one of these field trips?
Kristie [00:37:46] No.
Det. Dave [00:37:46] No idea.
Det. Dan [00:37:47] Here’s a little context. Just in the last couple of weeks where this woman is staying, there are men there, too. And like they said, they’re able to go on these little excursions. They can go on walks, they can go to the store, and a murderer simply just walked away.
Yeardley [00:38:07] Wait What? One of the patients walked away?
Det. Dan [00:38:08] One of the patients walked away, even though they were supposed to be being supervised. They just walked away watching the news last night. I saw that he was captured in Southern California.
Yeardley [00:38:18] In a completely other state.
Det. Dan [00:38:20] Almost a thousand miles away.
Det. Dave [00:38:22] Pretty neat, huh?
Yeardley [00:38:23] I guess my question is, even if you have mental health issues in your sentence, is that you get locked up in an institution. At what point is your crime so bad that you actually get locked up in an institution and treated like a prisoner as well?
Det. Dave [00:38:41] I don’t have the answers there in a treatment environment, not an incarceration environment. It’s a different approach.
Lieutenant Bills [00:38:48] Yeah, the piece about that is if by some miracle she gained lucidity and was able to aid in her own defense, we could probably go to trial on it at some point in the future. I mean, the case is not closed yet, but every state is different. And in our state, you get that assignment of being at the state hospital. And if you can show some small measure of ability to be OK then you get to go to these houses elsewhere, and it’s that gray zone where she’s committed a murder. She’s a murderer and she gets to go on field trips. It feels like such an injustice. And it’s hard to swallow because every once in a while we have to revisit what happened in court and, you know, talk about it again.
Yeardley [00:39:34] To make sure that she stays there?
Lieutenant Bills [00:39:36] Right.Yeah.
Kristie [00:39:37] Her every move is protected by HIPPA here in our state. So much so that when she goes out on these outings, they can’t notify the victims for fear that we would do some sort of retribution, which, you know, obviously I would never do anything. But couple of years ago, one of her outings was to a local water park. And of course, we weren’t notified of it. Well, we took our kids there the week prior. Can you imagine if we’re going down the water slide right at the bottom of the water slide? Boom. There she is. I mean, she gets to go to water parks. She gets to go to the local rodeo. She gets to go to the movies. Killing Chris was the best thing she could have done for herself because now she has someone that takes care of hre, cooks for her, gives her her medication, takes her on these field trips. There is no incarceration. She’s at camp.
Yeardley [00:40:34] It certainly seems like a very light sentence and not in line with the crime that was committed.
Lieutenant Bills [00:40:40] Right. And meanwhile, you’ve got, you know, kids and family who their sentences a lifetime of not having the person they want most around and definitely an altered life.
Yeardley [00:40:50] Yeah, that’s well said.
Det. Dave [00:40:52] Justice wise, you want your pound of flesh. We I mean, get an ounce of it, you know.
Lieutenant Bills [00:40:57] And I want to be better than that. I really do. But in my heart and the way I feel, it’s not fair.
Kristie [00:41:02] I don’t want a pound of flesh. I don’t hate her. What I want is for her to be locked up so she can never, ever, ever hurt somebody again. And I don’t have that. She want to hurt somebody. She could in a heartbeat. And so that’s what makes me scared. I’m scared. I’m scared of her. I’m scared of what she could do. I’m scared of her destroying another family. I don’t necessarily want her dead. You know, it’s so funny. Before this, I’d watch your shows and you’d always watch the Datelines. And you think I’d want him dead. I’d want to kill myself. And I don’t feel any of that emotion for her. I am numb to her. I just want her away where she can’t hurt anybody else. That’s all I want. I’ll never get that till she dies.
Det. Dan [00:41:46] I think a lot of people that are not in law enforcement are not aware of how this process works in our state. Don’t fully understand. They think, well, she’s obviously got some mental disabilities. She’s having issues. That’s the right place for hers to be under the care of the state hospital. I agree with that. The problem is she’s not locked up. She is go on field trips. That’s the hard thing for us to understand. And I think the general public is probably not aware that she gets to go on field trips and that she gets to go to the store and the movies in the waterpark. They just think that the state hospitals, what you’ve seen in the movies, they go to the asylum and we throw them in the in the room, lock the door and throw away the key. That is not what is happened here. Not even close.
Det. Dave [00:42:33] That’s absurd.
Kristie [00:42:34] I don’t think people from our community know that we have those places here. The state hospital specifically said she would not be housed here because they’re worried about what people here may do to her on an outing. So they intentionally put her across the state so she wouldn’t run into us. Now, I want to make this very clear to protect her, not us.
Lieutenant Bills [00:42:55] That’s pretty twisted.
Kristie [00:42:58] Yeah.
Yeardley [00:42:59] So I’d like to change tacks for a minute and ask you, Kristie, how your girls are dealing and also, how did you break the news to them about Chris?
Kristie [00:43:11] That is the number one worst thing about this gig is the kids. I couldn’t handle anything. I’ll be destroyed, but I’ll be OK. But the kids, when you’re a parent, when you’re a mom, your job is to take away the icky and you can’t take away this icky. And this is the worst icky ever. So Katie was four and older daughter was eleven. An older daughter came in the house after I was told. And she went up in her bedroom because she knew something was wrong. And I went up in there and I told her and she was just in shock. Very little emotion just stared at me. I don’t even remember if she cried. I immediately called her cousin, which was her best friend at the time, and she came out to console the older daughter, the younger one. She didn’t find out until the next day Chris’s folks came out and they eventually took her away to their house because after the Hill happened, all the cops came to our house and there was cops everywhere lining our street. There were everywhere and it was too much. So my older daughter hid in her bedroom and the younger one went away with Popa and Nana. Then when they brought her back the next day. We all gathered in our livingroom. And Popa and Nana were there and I just got on my and knees and I said. That daddy was in heaven. And a mean lady shot him, but he wasn’t in any pain. And we’ll see him when we go to heaven. She was four. She didn’t understand. You know, she’s like, oh. And then she went to go play. The hardest part for me was telling her it didn’t sink in. But then the days that followed is dad coming home now? It didn’t sink. It didn’t register. So it’s like Groundhog Day over and I’d be like, no remember, we talked about that lady shot him and he’s in heaven? Well, I really miss him. Okay, I’m gonna go play. And then other clear blue. Is Dad coming home now? Where’s Daddy? I want to do this. I want to do that. And I’d be like, honey, remember we talked about that? One time we were driving through a parking lot. It was maybe four weeks later and she thought she saw him. And there was a man that looked a lot like him. And she goes, Daddy! And I just had to say, no, honey, it’s not our daddy. Daddy’s in heaven, remember? And that’s when she first really cried. We were with Chris’s folks at the time, and it was a horrible, horrible moment. Put me in a funk for a very, very long time.
Yeardley [00:46:39] Risko, how did you find out what had happened?
Risko [00:46:42] One of my teammates called. So Chris and I were on a team. So we had, I think, eight people at the time. And one of the dudes called me up and said, I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if there was a crash or Chris had a medical condition or whatever, but they are doing CPR on him on the side of the road. So I just hurry, scurried got back into uniform and went lights and siren into town. So I got to the office and my other coworker and partner in crime, Berry, told me that Chris was dead. So I get to the office and, you know, I get this devastating news. I didn’t even know what to do, but I heard that the neighboring agency was in pursuit with this person. I just want to go. And I was told that absolutely not. Are you going to go? And then I learned that I was on logging roads and all kinds of stuff, and my motorcycle certainly wouldn’t have been very productive on that type of terrain. So I just kind of wandered around aimlessly for a few minutes and I just waited for the news. Then I ended up catching ride with somebody I don’t even know who I caught a ride with in a police car out to Kristie’s house. And it was then that I don’t find my wife. You’re good. All right. And because of what Kristie was saying about how social media gets out there, how the news media gets information out there. I ended up calling my parents.
Yeardley [00:48:25] To set the facts straight or to let them know that you are all right?
Risko [00:48:30] To let them know it wasn’t me.
Det. Dave [00:48:32] There’s so many officers around here that day that their families experience the same thing. Other people reaching out to them, ill timed and ignorant about what a phone call like that means to a loved one of a police officer. Every cop that was working and probably many that were off their families went through the same thing that day. Dan and I, our parents went through the same thing that day. Getting calls, as you know. Are your sons OK?
Risko [00:49:01] Yeah. So I just called them. I called my sister. I just called and said, you can pass this information on to other family. Just let him know it wasn’t me.
Yeardley [00:49:11] Right.
Det. Dave [00:49:12] There is good that’s come out of this. I hate to say it that way, but scholarship foundation, the memorial ride, that kind of stuff.
Kristie [00:49:20] Yeah.
Det. Dave [00:49:21] I think it’s important to highlight all that stuff.
Kristie [00:49:23] Yeah. So Chris was extremely active in this community and he loved this community. He’s from here born and raised with the local college here. And he was this town through and through. My efforts to keep him alive. A group of us got together and we wanted to put together a scholarship that would go to folks that want to stay in this community, that want to make this community better. So we raised over fifty thousand dollars and we have a scholarship that will last forever. And every year, the interest from the scholarship is granted to somebody from this community that is trying to make this community better.
Yeardley [00:50:09] Of all ages, like adult ages? You don’t have to be in college?
Kristie [00:50:13] No, it is. So it goes to a student of our local college that wants to stay here and make this community better. And the reason he is, is because we want to make little Chrises. As you know, he may be gone, but we can support little Chrises that go out. And it doesn’t have to be law enforcement fact. I don’t think we’ve granted any scholarships for anybody in law enforcement, social work, teachers, nurses. If you have a heart for this community, we want to give you money. And so the finalists are interviewed and decided by a panel that I’ve chosen. And they are all people in Chris’s life, one of which is Bill’s. She’s on the committee. Chris’s folks are on the committee, various friends and coworkers. And so every year we get to give away money to many Chrises. It’s awesome. That’s fantastic. How do our listeners find that? It’s called the officer, Chris Kelkal Memorial Scholarship. And we get to talk about Chris, and it’s awesome.
Lieutenant Bills [00:51:10] Do you want to talk about the dandelion?
Kristie [00:51:13] You can go ahead.
Lieutenant Bills [00:51:14] So, you know, most people see dandelions and they see weeds. Right. You know, but round upon them, get rid of them. Chris saw a beauty in the dandelion and didn’t see it as a weed. And the idea is that there’s beauty in all those things out there that we might not find so beautiful. And part of the scholarship really is when dandelions dry up and they blow off and you’ve got all those little bits. Those are the many Chrises.
Kristie [00:51:38] That’s our logo.
Lieutenant Bills [00:51:39] That’s Dandelion logo.
Yeardley [00:51:41] Oh, fantastic. That’s so great. And what’s the memorial ride?
Kristie [00:51:46] So for five years after he died as part of the fundraiser for this scholarship, we did a motorcycle ride. It was 240 miles, which was his badge number. And it was great. All these motorcycles would get together and we’d have a day of talking about Chris and we’d ride and all the money, like I said, that we made went straight to fund this scholarship. Fifty thousand dollars we raised in this small little community, 50 grand from Dutch brothers fund raisers to pancake feeds to selling bracelets to the motorcycle ride to people just opening up their checkbooks. I mean, after Chris died, I, of course, received a million cards. I would get my favorite cards. My favorite cards were from you could tell from older people because the handwriting was, you know like.
Yeardley [00:52:34] Sure, wiggly.
Kristie [00:52:36] Yeah, wiggly, absolutely. And inside would be like these two dollar checks. Right. And like, you know, they’re on Social Security and they’re doing everything they can to help.
Yeardley [00:52:45] Yeah.
Kristie [00:52:45] How awesome is that? Right? So those two dollar checks, it all added up to fifty thousand dollars. And then some people can still this day continue because the more money we have in the fund, the bigger the interest, the bigger the scholarship. So it’s our way of keeping Chris alive. It’s our way of spreading his seeds all through this community. It’s the good stuff.
Yeardley [00:53:09] Yeah, that’s so cool. We will put a link to the scholarship fund on our Website, on our resources page for our listeners. That’s at smalltowndick.com. So if you want to check it out, you can.
Risko [00:53:36] Man, I need it’s like good God. It’s heavy.
Yeardley [00:53:41] It’s heavy. I thought perhaps that we would end on a lighter note and talk a little bit about if you know, why Chris became law enforcement. But also before he became an officer, that he was a radio host. This is awesome.
Kristie [00:53:58] So, yes, when I met him, he was a DJ. I know he used to spin the vinyl.
Yeardley [00:54:04] It’s so good.
Kristie [00:54:06] And so, yeah, he was on a local radio station. So his prior life prior to law enforcement was his radio gig.
Yeardley [00:54:14] Did you ever you used to listen to him?
Kristie [00:54:15] Oh, heck, yeah. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Yeah. His nickname was Killer.
Yeardley [00:54:24] Sure.
Kristie [00:54:24] I know, right? And that was because he was a killer with the ladies.
Yeardley [00:54:29] OK.
Kristie [00:54:29] He was very, very charming. And I love you, Chris. But he wasn’t Mr. Rico Suave, a you know, he liked his donuts.
Yeardley [00:54:41] Sure.
Kristie [00:54:42] Yeah. But he was very smooth and charming and that got him far. And so he was a local celebrity, I guess on the radio, you know, all the girls would call in. And can you request this song? So, yeah, he was a DJ.
Radio (Chris Kilcullen) [00:54:59] It’s 12:52 with Killer Kilcullen blasting through with YouTube, kicking off another hot streak, on Eugene’s choice. 104.7 KDUK it’s Chris Kilcullen, we got 19 minutes… KLCX You’re home for continuous will ride bad company. And here comes trouble. Chris Kilcullen on your Saturday… Tracy Bird and the Watermelon Crawl. I tried doing the watermelon crawl and I got some really weird looks. Hi, this is Chris Kilculleen from KDUK.
Radio (Heather) [00:55:29] Hi.
Radio (Chris Kilcullen) [00:55:30] Hey, listen. Have you ever heard of this guy named Corey before?
Radio (Heather) [00:55:33] Yeah, I’m going out with him.
Radio (Chris Kilcullen) [00:55:34] You’re going out with him?
Radio (Heather) [00:55:35] Yah!
Radio (Chris Kilcullen) [00:55:36] Oh, really? Well, you know, we’re doing this thing is the radio station about his prom date over the air stuff. And he wanted to ask your question, Corey! Corey, are you there?
Radio (Corey) [00:55:47] Yeah.
Radio (Chris Kilcullen) [00:55:47] Hey, let me let me introduce you guys together. Just in case you don’t know each other. Hey, Heather, this is Corey. Corey, this is Heather.
Radio (Corey) [00:55:55] Hi.
Radio (Chris Kilcullen) [00:55:55] Have you guys met each other before?
Radio (Heather) [00:55:56] Yeah.
Radio (Corey) [00:55:57] Yeah.
Radio (Chris Kilcullen) [00:55:57] OK, so. OK. Well, that’s really good. Hey, Corey.
Radio (Corey) [00:56:00] Yeah.
Radio (Chris Kilcullen) [00:56:00] Why don’t you go ahead and do the deed man.
Radio (Corey) [00:56:03] Heather.
Radio (Heather) [00:56:04] Yeah.
Radio (Chris Kilcullen) [00:56:06] Oh, I’m going to cry. I’m going to cry.
Risko [00:56:11] I always joke with him. Hey, do the weather “with 50 degrees outside, it’s partly sunny” you know, that sort of thing.
Radio (Chris Kilcullen) [00:56:19] …with the Lemon Valley calling for partly cloudy skies about Lou’s dipping down right about 35 and for Tuesday, partly sunny after some morning fog or low clouds, highs creeping…
Yeardley [00:56:27] He’s really good. And you can tell how much he love it.
Kristie [00:56:31] It’s so great that paid his college. And then he worked for his stepfather’s construction company and they worked him hard. And he thought, I don’t want to work this hard for the rest my life. Right. So that really encouraged him to get his degree. And he was working for the local. I don’t know what you would call it. The youth.
Lieutenant Bills [00:56:57] It was a social service agency that worked with high risk youth.
Kristie [00:57:00] Yeah, he worked there for several years and he realized that he wanted to make a difference. And he realized the kids were in that program, were already going down the wrong path. He wanted to get in earlier. And so he thought he could make a difference on the front lines, which is law enforcement. And his dad also was law enforcement as well before he switched hats and became a lawyer.
Yeardley [00:57:25] Okay, so interesting.
Det. Dave [00:57:28] I remember from the service, Risko was a collective of nicknames that you guys had for each other.
Risko [00:57:33] Yes. So the thing about me is I’m the guy who sits at the back of the room and heckles. I don’t like to get out in front of people very often, which is surprising that I’m even doing this where nobody can see me. But Kristie asked me, would there be any way that you could speak at the funeral?
Kristie [00:57:56] Did I say it that way? Well, kind of. I did not.
Lieutenant Bills [00:57:59] No, I think you did. I did. I think you did.
Risko [00:58:01] And so, you know, it really took me a few days to think about that. And finally, I grew a set and I was like, OK. And so I just came up with this list. You know, we had names for Chris.
Yeardley [00:58:16] Like?
Risko [00:58:18] Chris. Kind of looks like Cam from Modern Family.
Yeardley [00:58:21] Oh, really?
Lieutenant Bills [00:58:21] Yeah.
Yeardley [00:58:22] OK.
Risko [00:58:23] So it would be Cam or Cam Colon. And then he had recently taken up road riding, pedal bike, road riding. And so, you know, you have to wear this little shorts. So then I started calling him and “plum smuggler” because of the shorts that he wore.
Lieutenant Bills [00:58:40] And then there was the nickname Jigs. I still call him Jigs, which is as your youngest going to hear this?
Kristie [00:58:47] Yes, at some point, but not until she’s 21. So go ahead.
Lieutenant Bills [00:58:49] OK. So Jigs was short for Gigolo. And I mean, he really could smooth talk anybody, and I knew him before he was with you. So these stories are, of course, all before then.
Kristie [00:59:02] Well, I know the stories, too. It’s OK.
Lieutenant Bills [00:59:03] Yeah. But he was so smooth and he would have like the rattiest ass t-shirt on and jeans with holes on them and women would come up and talk to him and we’d all be like, really, this is happening right now. And so for me, he’s Jigs.
Risko [00:59:18] Well and then we call him silver and gold, because when he was work in the street crimes unit, he grew a goatee and mustache and it was kind of silvery, but he’d look like the snow man dude on Rudolph the red nosed reindeer I think, who sings silver and gold.
Yeardley [00:59:39] That’s so good.
Risko [00:59:40] So, I mean, that was one of them as well.
Kristie [00:59:43] My favorite was how you ended that.
Yeardley [00:59:45] How he ended his speech at the service.
Kristie [00:59:48] Mm hmm. You want to talk about that?
Risko [00:59:50] Give me a second. So I said, you know, I had all these names that we joked about and laughed about and, you know, just given Chris shit day after day after day and he’d give it right back. But in substance, I said, you know, we had all these names for him. But there’s one. The one name that I was most ashamed that I had for him was the one I never said it was the one. I never said and it was best friend.
Det. Dan [01:00:42] People have come to me and, you know, know what I went through myself with this incident and they say, oh, you have PTSD. And I said, no, no, I don’t have PTSD, I have an injury. And this day injured me mentally and morally injured me. And it doesn’t take me out of the game. But I had to deal with that injury a little bit. I needed a rehab that injury. And I don’t think a lot of people understand that when you see what you see and you have to deal with what we deal with, that car accidents and horrible things that happen to people and children, that it leaves a huge mark on you.
Kristie [01:01:23] Because you’re human.
Det. Dan [01:01:24] Yes, we are human. We’re not robots.
Kristie [01:01:26] No.
Lieutenant Bills [01:01:26] No. And our job is somewhat of a suck it up buttercup kind of profession where you don’t want to show those weaknesses and those vulnerabilities. But the reality is. And one thing I’m so grateful for you on that Mother’s Day episode was unveiling the injury. And I truly believe that you probably helped a lot of cops out there by destigmatizing and talking about it and talking about how awful it was. And I think we have a responsibility for that. And, you know, I’m grateful for you for that for sure.
Det. Dan [01:01:57] Thank you.
Yeardley [01:01:59] Should we talk about this little cup final?
Kristie [01:02:03] Yeah.
Yeardley [01:02:04] So we have a itty bitty little red solo cup in the middle of our table that has an ounce of really special Jamison in it. That is, how does the bottle have his name on it?
Kristie [01:02:20] A friend of mine actually went to the distillery.
Yeardley [01:02:23] And had it blended for him.
Kristie [01:02:24] Yes.
Yeardley [01:02:25] That is an actual shot of Jamieson that was blended specifically for Chris’s memory. And Kristie was kind enough to give us all a shot before this episode. And we put one in the middle of the table for Chris. Yes.
Det. Dan [01:02:41] And we have Chris’s badge here, too. He’s here with us. Chris is here.
Yeardley [01:02:45] He’s here with this. Chris, thanks for spending the day with us. We’re so grateful. Thank you all so much for coming. It really is. I don’t have the words.
Det. Dave [01:02:59] Thanks for coming, guys. Honestly, we knew as a big ask and we appreciate how candid and open you were.
Det. Dan [01:03:09] I wish I would’ve met you guys in different circumstances, but here we are, and I think there’s a reason why we all are put in these situations and brought together. And I love all of you. Thank you.
Lieutenant Bills [01:03:25] Thank you.
Yeardley [01:03:36] Small town Dicks is produced by Gary Scott and Yardley Smith and co-produced by Detectives Dan and Dave. This episode was edited by Soren Begin, Gary Scott and Me, Yeardley Smith. Our associate producers are Erin Gaynor and The Real Nick Smitty. Our music is composed by John Forest. Our editors extraordinaire are Logan Heftel and Soren Begin, and our books are cooked and cats wrangled by Ben Cornwell.
Det. Dan & Det. Dave [01:04:04] If you like what you hear and want to stay up to date with the show. Visit us on our Web site at smalltowndicks.com, and join the small town fam by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @smalltowndicks, we love hearing from you. And if you support us on Patreon, your subscription will give you access to exclusive content and merchandise that isn’t available anywhere else. Go to Patreon.com/smalltowndickspodcast.
Yeardley [01:04:32] That’s right. Your subscription also makes it possible for us to keep going to small towns across the country.
Det. Dan & Det. Dave [01:04:37] In search of the finest rare true crime cases told, as always by the detectives who investigated them. So thanks for listening, small town fam.
Yeardley [01:04:47] Nobody’s better than you.