Newspaper accounts indicate several hit men operated around southeast Kentucky back in the eighties.
Specifically, these hit men were allegedly hired to murder Dennis Patrick, a (supposedly) lowly Whitley County, Kentucky court clerk with a mere net worth of $60,000. Patrick claims he has no idea why anyone would want to murder him. (1)
A 1997 court document from the Kentucky Court of Appeals shows Ray Speicher brought suit against Dennis Patrick for unauthorized check transactions totaling over $300,000 between the years 1982 and 1985 while they were 50-50 business partners in Whitley County Oil.
Around the same time, Patrick discovered Speicher had transferred $4 million worth of oil leases to a James E. Josey of Fort Worth TX. (Did anyone question how Patrick, a man with a supposed net worth of $60,000 had a fifty percent share of $4 million of oil assets?)
According to the March 1989 newspaper account:
Several months after the transfers, federal agents arrested Henry Patrick Talley…and charged him with conspiring to kill Patrick.
The newspaper does not indicate how this information about Talley came to light. It does say he pled guilty and confessed Josey hired him to kill Patrick and his wife.
Three months later, a man named Burson is arrested after two tear gas attempts on the Patrick home. He pleads guilty to firebombing the Patrick home, and again, Josey is named as the man who paid him to do the job.
Then yet again, Josey and another man, Anthony Tricomi, are recorded by federal agents, yep, you guessed it, discussing how to kill Patrick.(3)
There is no record of any Anthony Tricomi in the Federal Bureau of Prison website. Burson is listed as “not in FOB custody” with an unknown release date. A Henry Talley was released in 1991.
Where were Tricomi and Burson when the three women, Betty Carnes, Jennifer Bailey and Greta Henson were murdered?
Dennis Patrick’s incredible luck with Bill Clinton’s Buddy
It seemed 1985 was a bad year for Dennis Patrick. Except he happened to have an incredible stroke of financial luck that summer. A friend recommended he open a brokerage account at Lasater and Co. under the name of his business, Patrick and Associates. Patrick allegedly did not act on the recommendation, only to be informed a month later by that same friend that he opened an account in Patrick’s name anyways, putting the money up himself. Amazingly, the account had already netted a hefty $20,000 profit.(1)
To be a circuit clerk of courts, oilman and businessman, Patrick begins to appear (or play) very dumb at this point:
He says he believed Lasater and Co. when they reassured him there was no risk of loss.
He says he believed them when they assured him he would make up to $20,000 a week.
He was not concerned in the least that someone had opened up an account in his name without his knowledge or permission.
He says a few months later Lasater and Co. sent him trading records he did not understand.
The Dan Lasater Dennis Patrick claims he didn’t know
Bill Clinton established the Arkansas Development Finance Authority as governor of Arkansas, primarily to issue tax free bonds that funded low interest loans to “projects from housing to business development.”(5) The author of “The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro” states
The ADFA primarily served two masters: the Stephens, Inc. investment bank that received seventy-eight percent of ADFA’s underwriting fees and sales of housing and industrial bonds…and Clinton crony Dan Lasater, whose Lasater and Company firm underwrote $664 million in municipal bond issues after the creation of the ADFA.(8)
Essentially, Dan Lasater, Dennis Patrick’s broker (that he claimed he didn’t know) poured enough money in Bill Clinton’s gubernatorial campaign that when Clinton was re-elected (after a term out of office) Lasater’s firm received fifteen percent of the state’s bond underwriting business, whereas before Clinton’s election, they received none.(4)
According to the Congressional Record Volume 140 Number 86,
While he was reportedly under investigation by the Arkansas State Police for drug dealing, President Clinton and the Government of Arkansas gave him [Lasater] $664 million in bonds to sell for the State, which garnered him $1.6 million in commissions.(7)
Suit was eventually filed against Dan Lasater for mail, wire and securities fraud. His unauthorized T-bonds, futures, trades, and high risk activities with several savings and loans were part of the disaster that ended in the billion dollar bankruptcy for hundreds of savings and loans. Lasater was finally arrested for cocaine and cocaine trafficking; he was sent to prison in 1987.
In the meantime, Dennis Patrick had $50 million of trades ran through his brokerage account at Lasater and Co, he claims without his knowledge. (1) At the same time, people are supposedly trying to kill him.
Weapons, Drugs and Murder…Oh my!
The first company to receive a “tax free low interest bond issue through Clinton’s ADFA was Park-On-Meter” (1):
Mr. Reed claims Park-On-Meter made weapons parts as a subcontractor for Iver Johnson’s Firearms, of Jacksonville, Arkansas. It was this company which, by Mr. Reed’s account, was the primary contractor for building the untraceable weapons components.
But Park-On-Meter’s interest was not only in untraceable weapons. In “Phoenix Rising: The Rise and Fall of the American Republic” author Donald Lett Jr. states:
It was later exposed that the company wasn’t even making parking meters, but rather was building retrofit nose cone parts that were being shipped to Mena [Arkansas] in order to smuggle cocaine in the country. (6)
So Dennis Patrick’s broker, whom he supposedly did not know, where he had an account opened without his knowledge, and $50 million worth of trades ran through said account, was involved with the ADFA that had ties to illegal weapons manufacture and drug smuggling. A lowly Whitley County Kentucky circuit court clerk. Doing business with a firm with ties to possible illegal weapons manufacture and documented drug trafficking.
The $100 million a month cocaine operation at Mena continued for over 10 years without one major drug bust. So where was the cocaine coming from? Most, if not all, was tied to the Iran-Contra hostages, drugs and money laundering scandal created by the CIA and George Bush.
A March 1, 1989 newspaper article in the Toledo Blade states the airport in Mena was
…headquarters for a massive drug-dealing, arms-smuggling, and money-laundering operation.
The Blade article says the Mena airport is directly linked to the Medellin cartel. The article also goes on to state:
Sources familiar with the ongoing activities in Mena speculate that the area is one of several places used to ship private aid to the Nicaraguan contras. (10)
To recap, $100 million a month in cocaine was coming into the country from the Medellin cartel (remember Pablo Escobar?) and Patrick’s broker gets busted distributing some of this cocaine. When you consider the amount of trades moving through Patrick’s account at Lasater and Co., it suggests cocaine from the Mena airfield might have ended up in southeast Kentucky… in Whitley County and beyond. I’m starting to understand why the ATF investigated Dennis Patrick for drug trafficking. (1)
Sally Denton, author of The Bluegrass Conspiracy: An Inside Story of Power, Greed, Drugs and Murder asserts there were “some private landing strips in Lexington, Kentucky…” Roger Morris also contends in his book, Partners in Power: The Clintons and Their America that “Mena was the US hub for the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and other contraband from ‘meticulously maintained’ rural airports in six other states: Alabama, Mississppi, Kentucky, Louisiana, Florida and Arizona.”
I have spoken with a former resident of Bell County, Kentucky who was convicted in the 1990s for drug trafficking. Under condition of anonymity, I was told the drugs they and their partner were running, came from Escobar.
Is Dennis Patrick actually in witness protection?
The Hit Men
I began researching this story when I realized the similarities in the Betty Carnes, Jennifer Bailey, and Greta Henson murders. I believe all the murders were hired hits. Then I found the accounts of the hit men like Burson, Tricomi and Talley operating in southeast Kentucky during the same time period. The hit men interested me, especially when I realized at least two of them could have been free and in southeast Kentucky when these women’s murders took place.
Is it inconceivable the murders of Jennifer Bailey, Greta Henson, and Betty Carnes could have been carried out by men like this?
For the record, there is no link between these women’s murder cases and Dennis Patrick that I can find.
What’s important is establishing the presence of hired hit men in southeast Kentucky during this time period helps determine suspects that could have committed these murders. It also provides more reasonable doubt that Delmar Partin is imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.
Interestingly, the prosecutor in Partin’s case, Tom Handy, was acquainted with Dennis Patrick, maybe even friends. They both served as officers in the Fifth District Republican’s Club together. From the Corbin Times-Tribune, February 21, 1977:
Was James E. Josey framed for conspiracy to commit murder?
Another theory is Patrick Dennis could have been so angry with James E. Josey and the transfer of $4 million worth of oil assets that he framed him for conspiracy to commit murder. Where would he find the help to carry out such a plan, if that happened?
Lasater, Patrick’s broker that we are to believe he didn’t know, was obviously no stranger to crime and certainly knew plenty of people with checkered pasts. According to this Washington Post article dated May 2, 1996:
In one of the oddest bits of testimony elicited in months of Whitewater hearings, the senators produced a state police investigator’s decade-old report on a trip Lasater, Thomasson and some associates took to Honduras in which one of the group suggested killing a local official there who was blocking their purchase of a ranch.(8)
Could Lasater have provided the pawns to carry out such a devious plot against Josey? Attempts have been made to contact Josey and Burson for their input in this piece, but have been unsuccessful.
(1) The Economist. “Ghosts of Carelessness Past: The Lasater Affair”. May 1994
(2) Commonwealth of Kentucky, Court of Appeals. 1997-CA-002545-MR
(3) “Victim nets award in murder plot.” Kentucky New Era. March 9, 1989
(4) “The Ethical Snarl Of Hillary Clinton And A Troubled Ally.” Chicago Tribune. Feb. 3, 1994
(6) Phoenix Rising: The Rise and Fall of the American Republic. Donald Lett, Jr.
(7) Congressional Record Volume 140, Number 86. June 30, 1994
(8) Whitewater panel looks at Clinton ties to Arkansas bond dealer. Schmidt, Susan. Washington Post. May 2, 1996.
(9) The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro. Thomas and Keith. 2004.
(10) “Smugglers use airport as home base.” Anderson, Jack. The Toledo Blade. March 1, 1989.
Most people in Bell County Kentucky are familiar with the unsolved murders of Jennifer Bailey and Greta Henson. There are many other unsolved murders or missing persons cases in which the families have no closure, like the case of Robbie Hoskins or the case of Katherine Heck, both missing now for several years.
One murder case I came across that left me scratching my head was the conviction of Delmar Partin for the beating and beheading of Betty Carnes, a crime that occurred Sept. 26, 1993 at a manufacturing plant in Barbourville, Kentucky.
Tremco Inc. is a manufacturing/military-industrial contractor for Oak Ridge laboratories as well as a former contractor for the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion uranium enrichment plant. At the time, Tremco was located thirty miles away from Cumberland Gap, which explains how I initially stumbled onto this 20 year-old murder case: I was searching for local companies with ties to the nuclear industry.
Partin and Betty, coworkers at Tremco Inc., were previously involved in an affair. A Daily News August 18, 1994 newspaper article states:
Handy [the prosecuting attorney] said Carnes and her husband were separated in January 1993, and that she and Partin had an affair from that time until around Easter that year.
It is unclear if the affair precipitated the separation. We do know the timing of the separation of Betty and her husband coincides with the timing of the affair with Partin. The prosecutor is quoted in the same news article, saying:
This defendant, Delmar Partin, was the person who had the motive, and the person who had the last opportunity, and the person who had the will to commit that murder of Betty Carnes.(4)
Except this is not entirely true. Other people could also have been very angry with Betty: her husband Phillip, as well as Partin’s wife. Had Betty been romantically involved with other coworkers?
Beating, decapitating, and cleaning house- all in under 25 minutes
The prosecutor brought up Partin’s opportunity to commit the crime. However, the evidence presented at trial immediately raises doubt that Partin could have committed this crime. The question remains: how could the jury convict so quickly when the case is littered with reasonable doubt? The circumstances concerning the crime which clearly raises questions about Partin’s guilt are as follows:
-September 26, 1993: Betty Carnes was murdered, supposedly at the Tremco plant in Barbourville
-September 26, 1993- Delmar Partin is seen at the Tremco plant. Although it is his day off, he is there to drop off a magazine and some ammo to a coworker. There was no report of a gun used in the commission of this crime. What were the circumstances under which Partin was bringing these items to his co-worker on his day off? Was Partin actually lured to the plant the day of the murder?
-September 27, 1993: Betty’s body is discovered at the Tremco plant, beaten and decapitated, stuffed in a hazardous waste barrel slated for incineration. Delmar Partin is later arrested for the crime. (*Note: what prompted the employee to open a barrel that was scheduled to be incinerated?)
-Despite the bloodiness of the crime, the area in the plant where the crime allegedly occurred was surprisingly clean, save for blood spatter on the ceiling above the 55-gallon drum where Betty’s body was found. Barbara Wheeler, the KSP crime analyst at the time, said hair found in this blood spatter was determined not to belong to Betty. However, Wheeler said no DNA testing of the hairs were performed because no follicles were present. No mention is made if the blood spatter on the ceiling was DNA tested to determine if it actually belonged to Betty or an assailant. (1)
-Conveniently, a bloody apron and gloves were easily located in a room adjacent to where the body was found, which led investigators to conclude the murder took place at the plant. (1)
– No blood was found on Partin’s clothes, car or home.(2)
-The most time Partin had to commit this crime was 25 minutes. 25 minutes to bludgeon, decapitate, scour the crime scene area of blood, launder or change his clothes, wash up, and “pull himself together” after such a dramatic act. If Partin did commit this crime, and completed such an effective cleanup job, why would he leave bloody gloves and an apron behind to be found? I believe this evidence was planted to frame Partin. Otherwise, Partin would have placed the gloves and apron in the drum with the body to be burned.
-A coworker testified “there was nothing unusual about [Partin’s] demeanor when he left the lab area.” (1) In my opinion, this is because Partin did not commit the crime, had no realization Betty had been murdered and was stuffed in the drum in the plant, and therefore had no reason to behave any differently.
-Betty was missing almost an entire day before her body was discovered.(4) To assume this murder was committed and cleaned up in 25 minutes of those missing 24 hours, is incredibly irresponsible of investigators.(3)
Opportunities to acquire important evidence were ignored
-No DNA testing was performed on a hair follicle found in Betty’s hand.
-KSP Detective Grant Adams admitted under oath he did not take fingerprints at the scene, saying he assumed the assailant was wearing gloves. This immediately raises reasonable doubt that Partin was the murderer. Without fingerprints from the crime scene, we’ll never know how many other individuals were in that room with the drum containing the murdered body of Betty Carnes.(3)
-From what I can ascertain, no DNA testing was performed on the blood spatter on the ceiling above the crime scene that contained an unknown person’s hair. Clearly the presence of a third, unknown party whose hair is found in blood spatter at the crime scene, establishes reasonable doubt.
The truth is simple: there is no clear, convincing, let alone convicting evidence that Delmar Partin is Betty Carnes’ killer. Until this case is re-opened and evidence finally tested for DNA, Partin sits in a prison convicted of a crime I believe he did not commit. There is no honor, no justice in imposing a life sentence on a person, with not one speck of blood evidence or DNA to convict.
Assumptions make a mockery of justice
There were so many presumptions made in this case, and no physical evidence to support them. I’ve outlined several of these glaring assumptions that may have helped send an innocent man to prison:
1. Investigators assumed Betty never the left the plant in the almost 24-hour long time period she went missing.
2. Investigators assumed Betty was murdered at the plant.
3. A fiber found in the barrel containing Betty’s body was assumed to be from the same shirt Partin was wearing that day. However, the defense attorney revealed “many people at the plant wear such work shirts.”(4) There was also conflicting testimony on the color of the shirt Partin was wearing to and leaving the plant. If they cannot even decide what shirt he was wearing, how can they say definitively, this fiber was from his shirt?(1)
4. Delmar Partin was assumed to be the only person angry with Betty, because she supposedly ended their affair. Yet no mention is made if investigators assumed Betty’s husband was angry, who had to endure her affair with Partin. Or if Partin’s wife was angry. I would wager neither of these people were happy about Betty and Partin’s relationship. This establishes even more reasonable doubt, and certainly excludes Partin as the only suspect with motive.
5. Hair fragments found in a pocket knife and paper towels in Partin’s home were assumed to be Betty’s, even though there was no DNA proof of this. (1) Did the prosecutor expect the jury to believe that Betty’s decapitation in which “…head had been severed from her body…cut along the chin line to around to the shoulders…[and] it was an even cut,” (4) had been accomplished with a mere pocket knife? I submit that would be impossible. Messy, and impossible. Not to mention, no one is cleaning up a decapitation done with a pocket knife in under 25 minutes. Not even if they had the whole crew of Merry Maids to help.
August 1990: Jennifer Bailey violently murdered
January 1992: Greta Henson violently murdered
September 1993: Betty Carnes bludgeoned and decapitated
All three of these murders were violent, bloody, and involved some kind of dismemberment or mutilation.(7) Were these murders, coincidentally occurring during the Cumberland Gap Tunnel construction, connected?
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported in 2005 that Parsons Brinckerhoff had hired at least 30 inspectors with criminal records to work in a subsidiary of the company that held a $150 million contract with FEMA.(5) Interestingly, Parsons Brinckerhoff was one of the main contractors at Cumberland Gap Tunnel. If Parsons Brinckerhoff will hire inspectors with embezzlement, drug and robbery charges to ensure the safety of citizens, do you think they are above hiring construction personnel with criminal records to work on a tunnel?
Did law enforcement investigate or interview any of the out-of-state workers who were in the area at the time working on the Cumberland Gap Tunnel construction?
There is one more coincidence between the Bailey, Henson and Carnes’ murders. Even though the Carnes murder allegedly took place one county over, in Knox County, it was a Bell County judge who was appointed special judge over Partin’s bond hearing. The judge even rejected a request from the prosecutor to reinstate a higher, original bond of half a million dollars for Partin. Thus, Partin was freed on bond after “six properties and an unspecified amount of cash were posted to allow for Partin’s release.”(6) To tie in to the Bailey and Henson murders, the two women were cousins from Bell County; and one of the judge’s family members were associated with one of the cousins.(7)
Tremco Commercial Sealants and Waterproofing: a “frequent partner in military construction projects”
(1) “Decapitation case defense rests quickly.” Daily News, August 23, 1994
(2) “Decapitation case deliberated.” Kentucky New Era, August 24, 1994
(3) “Time now a key in decapitation case.” Daily News, August 21, 1994
(4) “Decapitation trial begins in Knox.” Daily News, August 18, 1994
(5) “Some FEMA inspectors had criminal records.” Sarasota Herald-Tribune, April 25, 2005
(6) “Man who allegedly decapitated co-worker freed.” Kentucky New Era, January 17, 1994
(7) confidential source from Bell County with credible knowledge of the victims