My memory of the murders (Lost Memories of a Sociopathic Killer) my father committed came back to me on a Thursday. On Saturday morning I called information for retired homicide detective Dan Nazerchuk’s home phone number. He was the lead investigator that helped convict my father of murder 17 years earlier.
I was nervous about it but knew it was the right thing to do. My biggest fear was that news of this might get out and affect my family and career. I’m married with a beautiful daughter and heavily involved with the community and her school. I also own a small business and most people & associates around me knew nothing of my father.
It is hard to explain the mixed emotions that I was having about this. I knew I was doing the right thing, but also felt that I was somehow betraying my father. It doesn’t make any sense to feel that you are betraying someone that committed several murders, abused you as a child and destroyed countless lives, but it is something I had to deal with. I prayed about this and found the courage that I needed. I simply took it one step, one day at a time.
Well, Nazurchuk set an appointment for December 1, 2004 with cold case detectives. That’s an important date because it turned out to be exactly 17 years to the day from the date they found the bodies (on December 1, 1987). I would not learn this until later. In another twist of fate that is far from coincidence, someone from Washington DC had contacted cold case detectives about two missing relatives from their family…the week that I called Dan Nazerchuk. Until that week they had not identified the bodies of these two young men. They tagged them as Amos & Andy. Now, in a matter of several days they have the possible names (for the first time) and I am about to walk into their office and give them the name of the killer. They had pulled out the case file for the first time in 17 years just before I called as a result of the lead from a family member of one of the victims.
On December 1st I met Dan Nazerchuk at the Police Headquarters building. We hugged and spoke briefly. He was surprised and happy to hear that I had a family of my own. He then took me upstairs and introduced me to cold case detectives Ray Allen and Duwana Pelton. They had the case file on the desk in a conference room with a tape recorder. They were pleasant, but it was obvious that they were skeptical. I am sure that they were looking at me as a possible suspect with what I was about to tell them.
Once the formality of our greeting was over Nazerchuk left and they asked me to tell my story. I did. When I was finished, you could see the disbelief in their faces. I could tell they now trusted me and believed my story. I asked them if it described the case that was sitting on the table, and they simply said “to a T. You just described a murder scene in perfect detail”, said Corporal Pelton. She then told me with complete fascination the fact that they had been given a name for the two suspects just a few days before I called. They said, “If true, we have never had anything like this happen in twenty years of working cases like this.”
I was about to make it more interesting for them. In hopes of getting my father to confess to another murder (number 4) that he committed we would drive to Death Row together to record a conversation with my father. But first, I had to come up with a plan to get my father to talk. Now, the tables were turned. It was my turn to con him and give him that familiar “can’t rationalize this feeling” experience that he had given me so freely while he was murdering people.
I had learned to act natural around my father under extreme pressure and now this experience was about to be put to the test. I was headed to Death Row with a couple of homicide detectives that would set up in a hidden room while I met my father with a surprise visit and a wire. That’s not all I had, though. This time I put my Faith in God. I did not have that feeling of panic and anxiety. I entered the room calm and at peace. He was happy to see me.