John Brown

Jay Campbell and Kirk Lane filed a defamation suit against Pat Matrisciana, because Linda and I included a statement in our documentary naming Campbell and Lane as suspects in the murders and cover-ups. John Brown suddenly switched sides.  He wrote and signed the below affidavit, which put him squarely opposing Matrisciana in the law suit.  Matrisciana’s attorney, John Hall scheduled Brown’s deposition through the attorney of Campbell and Lane as Brown was now their witness.  However, Brown was a no-show, and I chronicled the follow-up of that day in the below article, “John Brown: The Witness Nobody Wants.”

Matrisciana filmed his response to Brown in the video clip below.  The video clip was made before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the jury’s decision and found that there was ample evidence to name Campbell and Lane suspects.  See excerpts from the Eighth Circuit Opinion.

john brown's affidavit Transcribed


KIRK LANE                                                                           PLAINTIFFS

vs.                                    NO. LRC970328

AND PAT MATRISCIANA                                                DEFENDANTS


I, John Brown, after being duly sworn, state: 
       1. My name is John Brown. 
       2. I have been named by Pat Matrisciana as a source of information for allegations pertaining to Jay Campbell and Kirk Lane contained in a video entitled Obstruction of Justice and produced by Mr. Matrisciana. 
       3. Pat Matrisciana asked me about a statement that people allegedly meeting the description of Jay Campbell and Kirk Lane pulled up next to a telephone booth where Kevin Ives and Don Henry were; grabbed the boys; threw them in the back of a police car; and drove away with them on the night of the boys’ death and I told him that any such statement was uncorroborated and I did not think that there was anything to it. 
       4. I also told Mr. Matrisciana that he should not implicate Jay Campbell or Kirk Lane as being involved in the deaths of Kevin Ives and Don Henry because there was no documented justification for such an implication. I warned him against making such a statement in the video and told him that if he made such statements he would be sued. In fact, prior to the video being produced I even informed Mr. Matriciana that I had a signed confession from an individual(unrelated to Jay Campbell and Kirk Lane) taking responsibility for the deaths of Kevin Ives and Don Henry. 
       5. I have watched the video and since watching it have not told Pat Matrisciana that the statements in the video pertaining to Jay Campbell and Kirk Lane are true. After watching the video I did notice, however, that the portions of the video containing statements from me were edited and spliced to give the appearance that I made a statement that was never made by me. 
       Further, affiant sayeth not.



       I, John Brown, do hereby state that the statements and allegations contained in the above and foregoing document are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.

                                                                                         John Brown

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 19th day of March, 1998

CAMPBELL PLD                               

John Brown: The Witness Nobody Wants

Update: Tuesday, May 5, 1998

John Brown: The Witness Nobody Wants

By Jean Duffey

John Brown was scheduled to give a deposition at 10:00 A.M., Friday, May 1, in the office of Darren O’Quinn, the attorney for Jay Campbell and Kirk Lane. Brown was not there at 10:00, but O’Quinn said he had notified Brown in writing and confirmed the date with Brown in a follow-up telephone call. Assuming Brown was running late, John Hall, our attorney, and I proceeded to cue up audio tapes in preparation for the deposition. When Brown had not shown by 10:15, O’Quinn tried to call the number he had for Brown, but there was no answer.

Hall and I proceeded to proof read the transcript of the video tape of a July 18, 1994, meeting of several investigators, including John Brown. We played a section where Brown discusses Campbell and Lane being possible suspects “very early on in the Henry and Ives homicide investigation.” Larry Patterson, a state police officer participating in the taped meeting, mentions the existence of several state police intelligence reports about Campbell being “involved in stuff he shouldn’t be involved in.”

This was an apparent surprise to O’Quinn, since both statements were in direct conflict with Brown’s sworn affidavit. O’Quinn asked Hall if there was more on the tape. Hall responded, “plenty” and handed O’Quinn a copy we made for him. It was now nearly 10:30, so I looked up several numbers I had for Brown and handed them to O’Quinn. O’Quinn suggested I call Brown.

I said, “It’s not up to us to get him here, he’s not our witness.”

O’Quinn replied, “He’s not our witness either.”

I responded rather indignantly, “Of course he is. He signed a sworn affidavit for you, not us.”

O’Quinn took the list of numbers and paged Brown. When Brown responded, he claimed he was confused about the date. While Brown was on the phone, O’Quinn, Hall, and the court reporter agreed to be available the rest of the day, but Brown was not agreeable, so Hall and I packed up and left.

With discovery deadline approaching, it looked like we would not get Brown’s deposition in time to file our motion for summary judgment, so Hall and I discussed whether or not we even needed it. We went through the evidence we had obtained in preparation for the deposition, and concluded it was more than adequate to prove Brown’s affidavit is a pack of lies. We decided we didn’t even want Brown’s deposition, but Pat Matrisciana (who is being sued by Campbell and Lane) wanted to give Brown the opportunity to explain his obvious about-face. Pat, who has an undying faith in people’s propensity to do right, hoped that Brown would “redeem himself.”

Although Brown had been given several chances to give a deposition (six deposition dates had come and gone), Hall and I decided to give Brown one more chance – he could take it or leave it. Hall called O’Quinn and the court reporter and all agreed to come in Sunday, May 3 at 3:00 P.M. They were bending over backwards to accommodate Brown.

I paged Brown from Hall’s office and after the hellos the conversation went like this:

Me: Your depo has been rescheduled for Sunday at three.

Brown: I’ve got a client in Dallas I have to see.

Me: Reschedule him.

Brown: I can’t. Do you want me to lose a thousand dollars?

Me: I’m not real interested in how you have to manage it, John. You’ve avoided at least three requests for us to take your depo, and this’ll be the last chance you’ll have to explain your position.

Brown: What do you mean?

Me: To explain whose side your on.

Brown: You know whose side I’m on.

Me: No, I don’t. Well, yes. I guess I do. You’ve gone over to their side.

Brown: You know better than that.

Me: All I know is the sworn affidavit you signed speaks for itself, and unless you give a deposition, that’s the only statement we have that you made under oath, and we’re going to have to prove it’s false. If you don’t show up Sunday, we’re going to put into the record a taped telephone conversation you had with Pat a couple of weeks ago. Here’s part of it.

I played two or three minutes of the tape into the phone receiver.

Me: Do you remember that conversation?

Brown: Yes.

Me: Do you remember calling Campbell and Lane idiots, and do you remember that some of the statements you made to Pat make you sound like the idiot?

Brown: Why are you doing this?

Me: Because you give us no other choice. We have to neutralize your affidavit before motion cut-off date or Pat could lose this law suit. You’re choices are to give your depo or we use the tape, and frankly, John, if we introduce the tape into the court record, it’s going to ruin you.

Brown: Is John Hall there?

Me: Yes.

Brown: Can I talk to him?

Me: I’ll let him know you’re holding.

I put Brown on hold and told Hall, but Hall was on another line and Brown hung up before Hall answered. The next thing we heard from John Brown was at 4:35 that afternoon. He faxed Hall a letter addressed to O’Quinn and Hall.

Brown’s letter is an attempt to manipulate the events to make it appear he is being mistreated. He gives his account of our conversation but changes it enough to support his claim. Then he goes on to make a bizarre statement that he will take the “Fifth Amendment” if he continues to be harassed or threatened.

In the first place, no one threatened or harassed him. To the contrary, everyone has bent over backward to accommodate him. In the second place, we don’t care if he takes the “Fifth.” The Fifth Amendment is the right against self-incrimination. We know John Brown perjured himself, and we don’t need his admission to prove it. He might be wise to take the “Fifth.”

As far as his claim that I said “you need to remember what side you are on,” John Brown has no side. He is useless to either plaintiff or defendant, because his false affidavit discredits any testimony he would give for either party.

We gave Brown the opportunity to protect himself from a possible perjury charge by explaining under oath why he signed a false affidavit. Brown has chosen to avoid giving a deposition, and John Hall is obligated to protect his client, Pat Matrisciana. If that means proving John Brown perjured himself, then that’s what he’ll do.

The entire transcript of the telephone conversation between John Brown and Pat Matrisciana has been transcribed by a court reporter and will be posted soon on our website. That and Brown’s affidavit are in direct conflict and both have become part of the court record which will likely destroy Brown’s credibility and render him useless to anybody as a witness in any case from now on.

Having to deal with a traitor was not a choice we made. It was a choice John Brown made for us. It has taken John Hall, Linda Ives, Pat Matrisciana, myself, and several others a great deal of time, money, and energy to neutralize Brown’s affidavit. It had to be done to save Pat’s defense, so we did it. If Brown is destroyed in the process, I hope that will be a message to other dirty, lying cops.

John Brown: With Friends Like Him, Who Needs Enemies

If a defendant fails to appear on a violation charge (a criminal offense punishable by a fine only and no jail or imprisonment), he can be charged with failure to appear as a Class C misdemeanor. ( Ark. Code Ann. §5-54-120.)

Update: Tuesday, April 17, 1998

When Good Guys go Bad

By Jean Duffey

The first person on the case was Saline County Sheriff James Steed who was joined by State Medical Examiner Fahmy Malak. Together they contrived the ridiculous scenario that Kevin Ives and Don Henry smoked so much marijuana they fell asleep in front of a train.

Then along came Dan Harmon who Linda believed for years was her knight in shining armor. His 1988 grand jury investigation resulted in the deaths of several witnesses, and by late 1990, Linda realized Harmon had controlled the investigation to cover up his own involvement in the murders.

Then along came State Police Investigator Barney Phillips, who complained from the onset that he “did not want to have anything to do with the case because I don’t want to step on toes of people I work with.” He, in fact, not only did nothing to advance the investigation, Linda and I found reports he fabricated.

Then along came State Police Detective Don Birdsong. No bells went off at the time, but Linda later reflected that his entire effort was at the direction of Harmon. When Birdsong withdrew from the case, he was appointed the prestigious position of state police liaison to Governor’s office.

Then along came Phyllis Cournan, the zealous FBI agent who put her heart and soul into the investigation for 18 months. But when the inevitable connection to Mena was made, Cournan sided with her superiors’ decision to shut the investigation down, because, they told Linda and Larry, “there is no evidence a crime was committed.”

Linda has been dealt one blow after another from the beginning of what we so impersonally call the “train deaths” case. To Linda, it all began with the worst news a mother can hear: her child is dead. And as the numbness of grief wore off, she found herself battling a cover-up that began on the tracks that night.

It has been hard, but Linda always manages to pick herself up and forge ahead. After the FBI delivered its own brand of indignities, she drew strength from knowing she had a cop on her side who professed undying devotion. John Brown was a new deputy in Saline County in 1992 and was assigned to work the case. He won Linda’s confidence, and even when red flags went up about some of Brown’s investigative techniques, she always defended him saying: “I know his heart’s in the right place.”

With Brown at her side, she decided to push forward the production of “Obstruction of Justice,” our video telling about the seven investigations that have been thwarted. Linda wanted John to be part of the video, and he happily agreed. I also agreed but only if Linda and I were given editorial control over our own stories. Pat Matrisciana, the videos producer, complied and gave John the same consideration.

Sometime during the editing phase, John Brown told Pat’s editor that two cops named Jay Campbell and Kirk Lane killed the boys. This was written into the narrator’s script and sent to Linda and me. Our first inclination was not to name names, but after stewing over it a few days, we decided to reword the statement to “Witnesses have implicated . . . Jay Campbell, Kirk Lane . . . .” This we knew we could prove.

A year after the video was released, Campbell and Lane filed a law suit. Linda was thrilled; not that Pat had been sued, but that she could obtain information during discovery that would never otherwise be made available to her. Pat said on a radio interview; “When notice of the suit was served, you’d have thought Jean and Linda were opening Christmas presents.”

The case got under way last month with their attorney taking Pat’s deposition, during which Pat explained how the names came to be in the video. Pat’s attorney thought his deposition went well and prepared for Linda’s deposition April 3, which also went well. Pat’s attorney scheduled me for a deposition, but they declined the offer to set John’s. We didn’t know why until we talked to Pat that evening.

John had already met Campbell and his attorney behind Pat’s back. Pat said he admonished John for meeting with them without his attorney being present, but John claimed he knew how to handle himself. Linda was skeptical but did not want to think the worst. Unfortunately, neither of us could have anticipated just how bad the worst could be.

During my deposition of April 8, a reference to an affidavit was made. Our attorney asked for a copy which was handed to him on the way out. Linda and I were unable to move when the elevator door opened.

John Brown had turned. The sworn affidavit he signed made that abundantly clear. (affidavit transcription)

We are all reeling from the shock and scrambling to combat the damage. We have no explanation, but I’ll be writing updates as information develops. For now, all that comes to mind is, “then along came John Brown.” As for Linda; I asked her yesterday how she felt. She closed her eyes, shook her head, and said; “I’ve come to expect it.” We both fought back tears.


John Brown's Fate

Brown made an unsuccessful bid for Saline County Sheriff.  As a side note: it is with pleasure that we report no one’s run for Sheriff has been successful since 1988 if Linda Ives has campaigned against them.

Brown’s past caught with him, and he went to prison on sex with a minor charges.  He died in prison.  We do not wish to take pleasure in Brown’s  demise, as his ex-wife and the mother of his boys is a loyal supporter of Linda’s.