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The Mena Connection
This is the revamped, 2019 version of idfiles.com. The original ID Files website was created by Mark in 1996 and was named one of the best on the web by Microsoft that year. Mark not only got recognition, he got death threats. A good guess as to what the threats were about is the original homepage which states that the murders of Kevin and Don are a crime of Mena. Mark, refused to be intimidated, and he did not change a word. The original homepage commentary is reprinted verbatim below. We have not and will not change it. Linda, Jean, and Mark knew about Mena early on. They were, after all, experiencing the consequences of massive drug smuggling into Mena, Arkansas by Barry Seal as a DEA informant and CIA contract pilot, an arrangement set up by then Vice President George H. W. Bush, to oblige the wishes of President Ronald Reagan to finance the Nicaraguan Contras. Governor Bill Clinton did his part by protecting the illegal operation from which he surely reaped huge financial benefits. In spite of the best efforts of three presidents to keep it secret, Mena has been exposed. Jean and Linda were ridiculed and called crazy for suggesting that anything illegal was going on at the small airport in Mena. It took over 30 years, numerous tenacious investigative reporters, a handful of ethical news outlets, and a movie, “American Made,” starring Tom Cruise before a duped America became aware of the atrocities of Mena, and it is certain that time will confirm the Mena connection to the murders of Kevin and Don and God only knows what else. The legacies of Reagan, Bush, and Clinton will not exclude Mena, as they had hoped.
Update: August 23, 2019
The Mena Connection
By Jean Duffey
Question: What is more important than holding the killers of Kevin Ives and Don Henry accountable?
Answer: Protecting the legacy of three U.S. Presidents.
Question: Now that the criminal complicity of these presidents has been exposed and is not disputable, what is the justification for continuing to protect the killers?
Answer: There is none, not that there ever was.
Below is a fact sheet of mostly circumstantial evidence that the murders of Kevin and Don are linked to Mena. According to Paula Casey, Arkansas U.S. Attorney (1983 to 2000), circumstantial evidence is good evidence.
PAULA CASEY’S COMMENT:TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 1998
- “Circumstantial evidence is what you brought against Mr. Harmon this time. That didn’t seem to make a difference to the jury. They only deliberated for an hour.”
- PAULA CASEY:
- “Well there was some direct evidence in the case, but a lot of it was circumstantial evidence. But, circumstantial evidence is still evidence and it can be very compelling.”
That’s what she says, but Paula Casey refuses to even look at, much less consider, the cumulative evidence that connects at least two Saline County murders to the crimes of Mena. But then, maybe she already knows and is doing her part to thwart justice.
But, remember, there is no statute of limitations on murder.
The Circumstantial Evidence
Reports to authorities of low-flying planes along rural Saline County train tracks late at night were ignored. Residents around a mile-stretch of tracks described activities of low-flying, small engine planes, coming from the direction of a well-lighted Children’s Colony, lining up with the tracks, slowing to stall speed with their lights off for a few seconds, then revving back up to fly away. Witnesses speculated that these occurrences were drug drops, and several reported them to Saline County Sheriff authorities, but no investigator ever followed up even to feign interest. A reasonable assumption might be that the residents were witnessing illegal drug drops protected by law enforcement.
August 23, 1987, Kevin and Don were murdered in the same area of the plane activity, and their bodies were laid across the tracks for a a train to run over. The cover-ups began immediately. The initial investigation, conducted by the Saline County Sheriff James Steed was the worst orchestrated sham imaginable.
The murders made for sensational news and there was such a public outcry that Judge John Cole impaneled a county grand jury. Knowing that attorney Dan Harmon participated in the murders, Cole appointed him to head the investigation in order to control it. To make it look like he was cleaning up Saline County, Harmon indicted several drug dealers and dirty cops with which he was at odds. Harmon was hailed a hero, but actually witnesses and informants who had information about the murders of Kevin and Don were murdered themselves. So far, two investigations went nowhere. Then a state police investigation went south. Linda couldn’t grasp the incompetency or whatever it was that was happening.
In 1990, Jean Duffey’s drug task force began a legitimate investigation but Jean and her investigator, Scott, realized that an investigation of a drug operation using planes was beyond the capability of their small task force. Jean knew that Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Govar was leading a federal grand jury investigation of drug trafficking and public official corruption in Saline County, so she made an appointment to visit Govar. Instead of meeting Govar, Jean and Scott were ushered in to see Govar’s boss, Chuck Banks. Scott showed Banks an aerial map of the tracks, the path of the plane activity, and witness statements. This apparently turned out to be a warning to Banks that the task force might expose Mena, and neither Govar nor the grand jury heard the information.
An orchestrated massive media smear campaign was soon launched against Jean. John Cole issued illegal felony warrants for her arrest on bogus charges and said he would deny her to bond out when arrested, so Jean went into hiding. There was also a purported $50,000 on Jean’s head so even when Cole was forced to withdraw the warrants when confronted with Jean’s Motion stating the law, Jean chose to stay in hiding to await the imminent indictments promised by Govar. While in hiding, an Arkansas Gazette reporter, Chris Day, called Jean to tell her what he learned from a high-level informant. It was too absurd for Jean to believe, but it actually happened the way Chris said it would. Chuck Banks shut down Govar’s two-year-long federal grand jury investigation and cleared all Saline County public officials of corruption and any other wrong-doing. In return, President George H.W. Bush rewarded Banks with a federal judgeship nomination. Although circumstantial, this evidence is HUGE! What reason would a sitting U.S. President have for interjecting himself into an investigation of corrupt county officials in Arkansas? That would, of course, have to be because an investigation would expose something that had to do with national security, a secret government operation, terrorism, or maybe something like illegal activity at the highest level. A secret government operation and illegal activity at the highest level both fit the circumstances.
In spite of efforts by Harmon and Cole to put Jean away, Jean was cleared. Linda had figured out the evils of Harmon, so Linda and Jean finally met and began working together. The Mena connection was made for them. For Jean, it was the interjection of President Bush. For Linda it was a tape she got from Arkansas State Trooper Detective Russell Welch in Mena. The tape was barely audible then, and is completely inaudible now, but it is an interview with a prison inmate who said that the drug drops in Saline County came from Mena. Covering up the crimes of Mena is what has always made the most sense. It is, in fact, the only thing that has ever made sense.
Linda and Jean shared task force files with John Brown, a deputy who worked a short time for Saline County Sheriff Judy Pridgon. The files contained Scott’s interviews of residents around the tracks who suspicioned the plane activity was drug drops. An informant gave John information on a pilot named “Joe” who claimed to have dropped cocaine and money at the same stretch of track. “Joe” was located and interviewed by John Brown and corroborated the residents description of the plane activities . “Joe” described how the lights from the nearby “children’s colony” directed him to the tracks. “Joe” said he lined up with the tracks and used railroad lights that hung horizontally on an arm to mark where to kick the packages out of a small sliding door by his feet. However, when John walked the tracks, there were no such railroad lights. Chalking it up as disinformation John moved on. Some time later, John was telling Linda and Larry the story. Larry, a train engineer, had run those tracks for years and said that the lights did hang horizontally on an arm at the time the boys were killed but had been changed recently to stand vertically.
John Brown later turned against Linda and Jean. They don’t know why. Was he threatened? Was he blackmailed? They just don’t know, but they were on their own again. Jean found “Joe” in Amarillo, Texas and drove there to interview him. “Joe” showed Jean copies of paystubs from the U.S. Treasury and several other official-looking documents, but “Joe’s “ real name was redacted, and Jean could not verify that “Joe” was a “contract pilot” for the CIA as he claimed, but she found “Joe” to be sincere and appropriately cautious, and she tended to believe him. Finally, “Joe” insisted that the “packages” he flew to various locations were driven to Waco in freight trucks and the truck drivers said they were picked up from a small airport in Mena, Arkansas. There didn’t seem to be much reason for “Joe” to make up such a story, but Jean had to leave it at that and move on.
On July 26, 1998, Mark Keesee, the original webmaster of ID Files, got three e-mail death threats that were routed through Thailand and bizarrely dated July 26, 2000. This is as direct as evidence can get. The homepage of idfiles.com stated, “police officers murdered [Kevin and Don] because they witnessed a police-protected drug drop. The drop was part of a drug smuggling operation based at a small airport in Mena, Arkansas.” The logical assumption is that the website might expose the crimes of Mena. Mark reported the threat to the Little Rock FBI Bureau who, according to FBI Bureaus in Houston and in Sacramento, ignored normal procedure and went to the U.S. Attorney Paula Casey before investigating the threat. Paula Casey declined to prosecute. So, did Casey decline to prosecute because the FBI did not investigate and she had no one to prosecute or did Casey tell the FBI not to bother to investigate because she wasn’t going to prosecute? Either way, it smells of complicity.
There are many parallels between the investigations of Mena and the investigations of Saline County, not the least of which are the 4 legitimate investigators who refused to quit even when ordered. The thwarted investigations had proximity of time, location, and method.
- Both Mena and Saline County had upwards of 7 investigations, from the local to the federal level, shut down by higher authorities.
- Each location had two legitimate investigators, who refused to let go, so were discredited, investigated, fired, threatened, and worse.
- In Mena:
- Arkansas State Trooper Investigator, Russel Welch, who refused to back off was send weapons-grade anthrax and very nearly died. He retired but continued to investigate.
- IRS investigator Bill Duncan refused to back off. His career and personal life were destroyed.
- In Saline County:
- Saline County Drug Task Force Director Jean Duffey ignored directives to turn a blind eye on corruption and was smeared in the media, had $50,000 on her head, and had her law license revoked.
- FBI Special Agent Phyllis Cournan, had to fight the “good ol’ boys” at every turn. She was harassed, discredited, and finally fired. She has been too afraid to talk.
U.S. Attorney Asa Hutchinson thwarted Bill Duncan’s investigation of Barry Seal for tax crimes. In August, 2017, Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed Kirk Lane as Arkansas State Drug Czar. According to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, Lane is a prime suspect in the murders of Kevin and Don.
After Barry Seal was assassinated, his ex-brother-in-law and first pilot, Billy Bottoms, became an internet detractor, calling any illegal activity at Mena a “hoax” and any drug activity a “myth.” Bottoms directed most of his communication to Detective Welch and a great deal to Linda and Jean. One thing was certain. If Bottoms said something happened at Mena, it didn’t. If he said something didn’t happen at Mena, it did. And he’s still at it. Just this summer (2019) Bottoms sent a message to Jean through Barry’s widow, Debbie Seal, that drugs from Mena never, never went to Saline County. So which is it? No drugs in Mena or no drugs from Mena went to Saline County?
The above is merely a summary of the cumulative evidence, but the complete story is within these pages of ID Files. Make up your own mind about whether the evidence is compelling enough to warrant a legitimate investigation, which has never happened. The Arkansas Bureau of the FBI, the Arkansas U.S. Attorneys, the Arkansas State Police, seven Saline County Sheriffs, and the Benton City Police have all had multiple opportunities to conduct forthright investigations, but haven’t. We’re certainly not suggesting a Congressional investigation. Every American knows those things never produce competent results, although costing millions of dollars. It appears that there is nowhere to seek justice.
Perhaps the best evidence (although circumstantial) is the complete lack of evidence. Of the 2000 FBI documents obtained through an FOIA request, not one mentions Mena. This is curious, since Jean and Linda talked to Special Agent Phyllis Cournan at length about their beliefs that the murders are connected to Mena. It is made clear within those 2000 documents that cops were involved in the murders of Kevin and Don, that public officials participated in cover-ups, that sham investigations were conducted by authorities, and that legitimate investigators were discredited, but not one word about Mena. There are an admitted 15,000 withheld FBI documents. What could those documents possibly hold that cannot be released after 32 years since the murders and decades after every investigation has been shut down. The absence of information is certainly circumstantial evidence but it speaks loudly.
Let’s speculate for a moment that a high-level connection to the Clinton’s has come forward. (IT’S NOT THE EX-WRESTLER. HE AND THE PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR WHO PROMOTED HIM TURNED OUT TO BE COMPLETE FRAUDS.)
This would be someone completely unexpected but absolutely legitimate, who knows that money was being dropped on that mile-stretch of tracks and taken to Bill. Where would Linda and Jean take him/her if they want to assure his/her safety? Is there absolutely nowhere? Because the murders are connected to Mena, there is not.
The Original Homepage Article
Murder on the Tracks
August 23, 1987, in a rural community just south of Little Rock, police officers murdered two teenage boys because they witnessed a police-protected drug drop. The drop was part of a drug smuggling operation based at a small airport in Mena, Arkansas. The Mena operation was set up in the early 1980’s by the notorious drug smuggler, Barry Seal. Facing prison after a drug conviction in Florida, Seal flew to Washington, D.C., where he put together a deal that allowed him to avoid prison by becoming an informant for the government. As a government informant against drug smugglers, Seal testified he worked for the CIA and the DEA. In one federal court case, he testified that his income from March 1984 to August 1985, was between $700,000 and $800,000. This period was AFTER making his deal with the government. Seal testified that nearly $600,000 of this came from smuggling drugs while working for — and with the permission of the DEA. In addition to his duties as an informant, Seal was used by CIA operatives to help finance the Nicaraguan Contras. The CIA connection to the Mena operation was undeniable when a cargo plane given to Seal by the CIA was shot down over Nicaragua with a load of weapons. In spite of the evidence, every investigator who has tried to expose the crimes of Mena has been professionally destroyed, and those involved in drug smuggling operations have received continued protection from state and federal authorities.The demise of this cover-up will be the internet. This website continually posts information shared by investigators who have been involved from the beginning and from researchers and investigators from all over the country who have traced pertinent information. It is getting harder for the mainstream media to ignore the obvious. There were CIA operatives who took advantage of the protection their positions gave them, and they participated in saturating our country with drugs. Kevin and Don were victims of this atrocious crime, and it is up to us to expose those responsible. The information presented on this website is based on police reports, federal documents, court records, newspaper articles, sworn depositions, eye witness accounts, and other credible sources. However, this site is unique in that it weaves together the web of lies, deceit, and injustices perpetrated by federal, state, and local officials and explains how the continuation of local public corruption is necessary to preserve the secrets our federal government does not want us to learn. This story has as much national consequence as any story in America. However, it does not have a conclusion, because no one – NO ONE – to date, has ever been indicted for the crimes of Mena, including for the murders of Kevin Ives and Don Henry. The cover-ups have been continual and perpetual.
© ID Files 1996