A sexual molester, he slipped through proverbial cracks, a slave to his addiction until he had to kill; why wasn't he stopped?
WALLA WALLA In Westley Alan Dodd's troubled dreams, desire turns to disgust.
He sees the bodies of Cole and William Neer, the 11- and 10-year-old brothers he sought out for sex and then stabbed in a Vancouver park in September 1989.
''I cry about that every night,'' the former Lewiston-Clarkston resident said during an interview at the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla.
Until recently, Dodd, 30, has expressed little remorse for the brutal stabbings of the Neer boys or the abduction, torture and strangulation of 4-year-old Lee Iseli, also in 1989 in Vancouver.
He also has confessed to molesting nearly 100 other children since he was 13.
Dodd said each time he molested or later, killed, he insulated himself from the horror of what he'd done by planning his next crime. But now, after two years behind prison bars with little to do but think, the nightmares have finally begun.
''It's hard to think about,'' he said with a catch in his normally calm and detached voice.
Dodd is one of Washington's 10 death-row inmates, but the only one not resisting execution. His request to waive the automatic appeal of his sentence and to be put to death immediately is set for a hearing Tuesday before the
state Supreme Court.
''It's never really been that I want to be executed, it's more I have to be executed,'' Dodd said.
If the sentence is overturned, he will kill again, he wrote to the Supreme Court. His 32-page brief ends with, ''I must be executed before I have an opportunity to escape or kill someone within prison. If I do escape I promise you I will kill and rape again and enjoy every minute of it!''
During the interview at the prison, Dodd seemed less adamant about wanting to die, but weary and insistent, if given another chance, he would not change.
''It's too late,'' he said. ''Every time I've been given a break, I've gone out and done something worse. ... I just don't care anymore. I don't want to hurt anyone I never did.
''When I was a kid and went camping, if I stepped on a snail I felt real bad. Now 20 years later, I'm killing kids.''
Dodd had established a pattern by the time he arrived at Lewiston
By the time Dodd moved to Lewiston in February 1983, he already was an experienced child molester. In fact, he came here to live with his father because the first charges against him that stuck a conviction for communication with a minor for immoral purposes cost him his job at the Red Lion Motor Inn at Richland.
Dodd had taken a 6-year-old boy into a pump shed and made the boy watch as he put a pen refill down his own penis. His sentence was six months, but he served less than 20 days.
At Lewiston, it didn't take Dodd long to find a new job or his next victim.
He found temporary work with Group W cable during a promotion at the Nez Perce County Fairgrounds handing out soft drinks and popcorn to those who stopped in.
''A boy came in and wanted to help. ... He came back two or three times on different days. I kind of had in mind he was a boy I might like to molest,'' Dodd said.
He quickly ingratiated himself with the family and became a companion to the 9-year-old boy, whose parents were divorced.
''When he had problems, he'd come to me,'' Dodd said. They read Garfield books together, watched movies, played pinochle and gave each other body rubs.
Dodd molested the boy twice, in March and April 1983. The first time was at the boy's home while Dodd was babysitting; the second was at Dodd's Clarkston apartment.
Both times, Dodd thought the child was asleep. He found out later the boy was awake.
''He was seeking male companionship and I did that to him. I was thinking of writing him a letter, but I'm not sure what I'd say. I think that bothers me more than the others I molested,'' Dodd said. ''I really liked him.''
The relationship continued for a year, but with no more sexual contact. During this time, from March 1983 to February 1984, Dodd worked as night manager at the Clarkston Circle K store.
When Dodd first moved to Lewiston, he was under court order to get counseling. In June 1983, after he missed six of 12 appointments, psychologist Stephen E. Lindsley of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare informed Dodd's attorney he was discontinuing therapy.
Lindsley wrote to Dodd telling him if he decided to seriously work on his problems, ''the door will be open. I believe your sexual disorder is of a magnitude that it needs to be dealt with. You are still within a high-risk category.''
Dodd then began counseling at the Asotin County Mental Health Center, but again after missing appointments, therapist Donald G. Sloane also refused to see him. Sloane informed Renton County District Court in a letter dated May 1, 1984.
Dodd lost his job at Circle K when he was charged with violating probation on the Richland conviction (for not following through with treatment). He served 40 days in jail at Kennewick, then returned to Lewiston and got a job at Taco Time.
Meanwhile, the young boy Dodd befriended began having problems. His mother took
him for counseling, and the boy told the therapist what Dodd had done to him. His parents reported the two incidents of molestation to the police that May.
Dodd was arrested in June 1984 by Lewiston police for lewd conduct with a minor. He also made a full confession to Clarkston police and was arrested there for indecent liberties with the same youth. He was never prosecuted in Asotin County and the case is still open.
On Aug. 1, 1984, at Lewiston, 2nd District Judge John H. Maynard sentenced Dodd to 10 years in prison, but commuted the sentence to one year in the Nez Perce County Jail. Dodd served four months of the sentence, some of it with work release, and then was set free.
Dodd said he's gotten away with a lot because people think he's a ''nice guy'' kind of the boy next door. He speculated maybe that's why he got such a light sentence in Nez Perce County.
In a telephone interview, Judge Maynard, now retired, remembered Dodd as clean-cut looking and recalled courthouse clerks thought he was the type of guy they'd take home to meet their parents. ''Anyone knows if you make a good appearance, you do better,'' Dodd said. ''The shorter the hair, the shorter the sentence.''
However, Dodd admits he wasn't a nice guy. In jail, he fantasized about young boys and clipped pictures of nude children out of National Geographic and masturbated while looking at them. One day while working in the jail kitchen, something happened that caused him to feel troubled.
He looked out the window and saw the victim and his mother coming out of the Lewiston Police station. The boy looked up to the third floor of the courthouse, where the jail is located.
''He stopped and looked right at me,'' Dodd said. ''It got to be too much. Why did he stop and look at me? I began thinking of suicide.''
Dodd said he made a request to call his counselor, and ironically, that's what set him free. His work-release job was at the Foreignour restaurant in Lewiston Orchards. One day, he got a call at the restaurant from a jailer, who told him he was being released early.
''It wasn't safe to let me go, but they thought if I had a problem I would talk to my counselor. ... About one month later, I started molesting again,'' Dodd said.
For the next year, from January to December 1985, Dodd worked at Lewiston as a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman and then as service manager for the same company. ''I hated selling vacuum cleaners. I hate lying to people,'' he said.
In early 1986, Dodd relocated to Kennewick, where he moved into an apartment building inhabited largely by single mothers and their children.
'I've been getting incredible breaks from everyone'
''Mr. Dodd's history of deviant assaults on minors is the most extensive I have ever encountered in an offender of his age,'' Dr. Kenneth Von Cleve of Eastside Mental Health in Bellevue wrote in an 1987 evaluation presented to the court in King County.
Even Dodd expressed amazement that he got away with so much for so long.
''I got away with a lot of things they did know about and they didn't know about,'' he said. ''I've been getting incredible breaks from everyone.''
When he was 13, Dodd began exposing himself to passing schoolchildren from his second-story bedroom window. After someone reported seeing him, the police came to the house, but Dodd said the cop didn't even try to find out who was responsible and ''nothing was done.''
During his teen years in Richland, Dodd said he molested young relatives, tricked other children into touching his penis and continued to expose himself while riding his bicycle or walking.
At about 16, Dodd said he confessed to several incidents and police referred his case to juvenile authorities, who decided not to press charges but recommended counseling.
At 18, Dodd was arrested for solicitation of a minor for immoral purposes after trying to get two girls into his car. The charges were dropped because he was planning to join the U.S. Navy. In 1981, at age 19, Dodd enlisted and volunteered for submarine duty. He was stationed at Bangor and Bremerton, Wash., and began to proposition boys who hung around the area.
While at the Seattle Center in May 1982, Dodd offered four boys $50 each to go to a motel and play strip poker. He admitted it to police and was taken to jail, but the charges were dropped.
The Navy learned of his behavior about this same time he was caught offering money to boys on the base to commit sex acts and pulled him off submarine duty, but no other action was taken, Dodd said.
During weekend liberty at Richland, Dodd attempted to get a 9-year-boy to pull down his pants. He was driving his stepfather's car and someone got the license number.
During the summer of 1982, Dodd went AWOL. When he was caught, he was given an administrative discharge, at his own request he said, and because of the earlier incident reported to the Navy.
Meanwhile, a warrant for Dodd's arrest had been filed in Richland over the incident in which he asked the boy to pull down his pants.
In December, Dodd committed the crime that finally netted him a felony conviction. He lured a boy into a shed and had the youth watch as he put a pen refill into his own penis. After he served less than half of the 40-day sentence, Dodd moved to Lewiston.
When he returned to the Tri-Cities in 1986, Dodd said he was reported at least once to Kennewick police for molesting a 4-year-old. Dodd said he never was questioned by the police, although a file was opened on the case.
In fall 1986, Dodd moved to Seattle and regularly molested a 2-year-old boy. But when the child was no longer ''available'' to him, he decided to go ''hunting'' like he did during his teen years.
''I was a pedophile for 14 years and I got to the point I thought I needed to kill,'' he said. ''I thought if I'm going to do it I'm going to get all I can out of it. ... It was kind of like drugs. It was like a need. I thought more and more I needed to kill. That idea became exciting.''
He was caught during his first attempt at murder.
In June 1987, he was arrested for first-degree attempted kidnapping after trying to lure a boy into an abandoned building in Seattle. Dodd said inside his car was a briefcase containing a knife, rope, pictures of nude children and a written plan for kidnapping and murder, but the police never found any of the items.
The charge was reduced to attempted unlawful imprisonment and Dodd was sentenced to one year in the county jail, which was suspended on condition he complete a sexual deviancy program.
He served 118 days on the charge and then was extradited to Lewiston on a bench warrant that had been issued more than 10 months before for contempt of court. He had failed to appear for review hearings.
His court-appointed attorney, Jeff M. Brudie, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, challenging the legality of holding Dodd in custody. Brudie argued because Judge Maynard had commuted, not suspended Dodd's sentence, the court no longer had the authority to order his presence for review hearings.
Any authority the court held over Dodd ended when his sentence ran out Aug. 1, 1985, Brudie said.Second District Judge Ronald D. Schilling agreed and Dodd was released from the court's jurisdiction Nov. 4, 1987.
Had the 10-year sentence been suspended, Dodd could have been placed under the supervison of the Idaho Department of Probation and Parole for the entire length of the sentence.
Back in the Seattle area, Dodd began therapy with Von Cleve. He met with him for nearly a year. In August 1989, Dodd moved to Vancouver. He has said his intent was to kidnap, rape and murder as many children as he could.
On Sept. 4, 1989, he killed the Neer boys. Lee Iseli was kidnapped Oct. 29, 1989 and killed the next day.
On Nov. 13, 1989, he was arrested in Camas, Wash., for attempting to carry a 6-year-old boy out of a movie theater.
Did he want to be caught?
Bitter over system's failings...
Dodd said he's been asked before if he wanted to be caught when he grabbed that child in Camas, put him under his arm and took off down the street. Or was he simply so bold because he'd already gotten away with so much?
Dodd doesn't have an answer to that question. But during the prison interview he did express bitterness over the looseness with which the system treated his crimes, although blaming no one but himself for what he's done.
''Maybe I subconsciously wanted to get caught, but I liked what I was doing,'' he said.