How Much Can Parents Endure?
By Jean Duffey
As if the death of Kevin was not enough for Linda and Larry to endure, they experienced one devastation after another from the people they expected to give them answers about what happened.
- They counted on a thorough report from first responders, but the lead EMT was apparently threatened. Instead of a report he told Linda had taken him 5 hours to write, he turned in a short paragraph.
- They were assured by Sheriff Steed that his office did a thorough investigation of the scene on the tracks, but a friend of Don’s father found Kevin’s foot on the tracks 3 days later.
- They were anxious to hear the medical examiner’s report, but had to listen to Famy Malak insult them because he couldn’t adequately explain to them how the boys had smoked so much marijuana that they laid down side-by-side on the tracks in identical soldier-style positions while in a psychedelic stupor.
- They endured an agonizing exhumation hearing in front of Judge John Cole while Dan Harmon put on a self-described dog and pony show for the families.
- They had to endure a painful exhumation and second autopsy after which a team of out-of-state forensic pathologists determined that the signs of murder were clear.
- They then had to sit through a grand jury hearing while the gruesome details of the second autopsy were explained.
- They waited through months of a grand jury testimony which resulted in absolutely nothing other than several witnesses turning up dead.
- Then came the most devastating blow since they were told Kevin was dead. They realized Dan Harmon was using his position as special prosecutor to command a massive cover-up of the murders.
- It was devastating enough to learn that the one person Linda and Larry trusted the most had orchestrated a cover-up. Then a witness came forward in 1993 and passed an FBI polygraph test placing Harmon on the tracks with the boys the night they were murdered.
- They then realized that Harmon’s tireless zeal to control the case was to protect himself, but that was far from the last devastating blow.
- They watched the state police investigation end like a fizzled-out firecracker.
- They learned that the smear campaign against Jean Duffey was to discredit her task force’s legitimate investigation of Hamon and the murders. Jean’s task force was shut down.
- They watched Chuck Banks shut down Bob Govar’s federal investigation and clear Harmon of all wrong-doings for which Banks was rewarded with a federal judgeship nomination by President George H. W. Bush. YES, THAT REALLY HAPPENED!
- They had the gut-wrenching realization now that there was something much bigger at play than they could have imagined.
- Perhaps foolishly, they pinned hopes on an FBI investigation that began with a promise to charge Chuck Banks with obstruction of justice for closing Govar’s federal grand jury when the jurors were unanimously ready to indict Harmon and others.
The next devastation took Linda and Larry back to the beginning and hit them hard. After 18 months of interviews and evidence-gathering as well as generating a file of 17,000 pages, Arkansas FBI Chief I.C. Smith closed the FBI investigation with the explanation that they couldn’t determine that a crime had even been committed.
Was there outrage? Yes, but mostly from the followers of idfiles.com website. There was, in fact, such a backlash from website supporters that I.C. Smith took early retirement a month after he shut down the FBI probe.
By Linda Ives
August 23, 1987 – 17-yr-old Kevin Ives and 16-yr-old Don Henry were murdered, and their bodies placed on train tracks to be mutilated by a passing train – cover-up begins immediately with authorities (Saline County Sheriff’s Department) treating the scene as an “accident“.
Aug-Sept, 1987 – State Medical Examiner, Fahmy Malak, does autopsy … first leans towards suicide … then says they were passed out from the “psychedelic influence” of marijuana & didn’t hear train coming … rules deaths an accident.
Ives and Henry parents dispute rulings … huge outcry from public in support of families … 20 other asinine rulings of Malak make national news.
Linda Ives (Kevin’s Mother) Begins Her Long Crusade for Justice
April 4 & 5, 1988 – Kevin and Don’s remains exhumed.
April 6, 1988 – Dr. Joseph Burton (Pathologist – Atlanta) performed 2nd autopsy …took tests and records to a team of forensic experts.
Declare boys were murdered before being placed on the tracks… Kevin suffered rifle blow to head… Don stabbed in the back.
April 28, 1988 – Grand Jury convened to investigate boys’ murders.
Dan Harmon convinces Judge John Cole to appoint him to be “Special Prosecutor,” alongside his good friend Richard Garrett.
Fahmy Malak testifies… continues his lies… nothing happens to him… protected all the way up to then-Gov Bill Clinton … Malak later given raise in pay.
Grand Jury investigates … other than declaring massive drug trafficking in Saline County nothing is reported … however, witnesses begin turning up dead before testifying.
April, 1988 – Daniel (Boonie) Bearden – missing… anonymous tip says murdered… his shirt later found by the Arkansas River… never seen again… was friend of 2 other witnesses who were later killed later.
May 17, 1988 – Keith Coney (friend of Daniel Bearden) killed …was seen with Kevin and Don just before their murders … tells his mother “two men” killed boys… tells father “it was the cops”.
May 25, 1988 – grand jury declares Kevin and Don’s deaths “homicides”.
June 20, 1988 – Ronnie Godwin gives Arkansas State Police statements saying he witnessed 2 cops beating 2 teenagers at the Ranchette Grocery Store (near the train tracks) and throwing them into the car and driving off… Kirk Lane & Jay Campbell are later implicated as the cops. See more details here.
October 12, 1988 – Television show “Unsolved Mysteries” does special on Kevin and Don… Richard Garrett appears… asks for witnesses to call in to a tip line … those who called were threatened and told to keep their mouths shut.
October 12 , 1988 (same day as TV show) – Arkansas State Police receive letter which states … “Kirk Lane killed the Bryant children being investigated”.
September 19, 1988 – Richard Garrett signs affidavit that witness says Officer Kirk Lane planted drugs on him.
Nov 11, 1988 – Keith McKaskle is murdered … talked to Richard Garrett days before telling Garrett he was a “witness in the train deaths” … authorities refuse to link the murder to Garrett.
November 30, 1988 – “Unsolved Mysteries” airs update episode… Richard Garrett states “Saline County & Central Arkansas are over-run with drugs”.
December 31, 1988 – Grand Jury into Kevin and Don closes … Judge Cole doesn’t allow the Jury to render its final report.
Late 1988 to early-1989 – East Arkansas U.S. Attorney Chuck, Banks, appoints Asst. U.S. Attorney, Bob Govar to begin secret federal investigation into drug trafficking/ corruption around Central Arkansas … many links to Dan Harmon … turns into a federal grand jury investigation.
January 22, 1989 – Greg Collins – murdered … was subpoenaed to testify to federal grand jury regarding boys’ murders … Dan Harmon and Richard Garrett had interviewed Collins previously.
April, 1989 – Jeffrey Rhodes – murdered… body found in a landfill … friend of witnesses Keith Coney and Greg Collins.
July, 1989 – Richard Winters – murdered… his name shows up in reports in relation to Kevin and Don in a later FBI investigation… his murder called a “set-up” in FBI report.
February 27, 1990 – club owner Mike Crook gives statements to Arkansas State Police, relaying what a man named “Jerry” told him just after they boys were murdered … his statements match that of witness Ronnie Godwin, but “Jerry” identifies Kirk Lane as one of the cops beating the boys at the pay phone also said he saw Keith Coney with Kevin and Don at the grocery store right before the 2 cops showed up… Crook also states that murder victim Keith McKaskle was afraid that Kirk Lane & Jay Campbell were going to kill him. See more details here.
March-April, 1990 – Asst. Prosecutor Jean Duffey, appointed to lead the newly created 7th Judicial District Drug Task Force, reporting to 7th Judicial District Prosecutor Gary Arnold.
Jean Duffey’s Task Force easily finds the drug trail… immediate leads to Dan Harmon and other officials start popping up… Task Force members start connecting the murders of Kevin and Don to their drug investigations.
Harmon starts calling Duffey “crazy” while campaigning for Arnold’s position as prosecutor.
Duffey supplying info to Bob Govar’s federal investigation
May, 1990 – Harmon wins election, becomes prosecutor-elect… calls for Duffey’s firing… leads media smear in newspapers.
December, 1990 – Jean Duffey brings witness Sharlene Wilson to Bob Govar … Wilson testifies to enormous drug trafficking in the state… testifies to Dan Harmon being involved, and many other officials, local and state.
Leading up to around this period, Linda Ives hearing rumors about some of Dan Harmon’s nefarious ways… Harmon convinces her they are lies… Linda accepts his reasoning… but becoming leery of him.
January 1, 1991 – Harmon takes Office as Saline County Prosecutor and takes over Duffey’s task force … tries to get a grand jury indictment against Duffey but fails … there was absolutely no evidence of his accusations … Harmon gets Judge Cole to issue subpoena for Duffey to bring him the evidence she has against him … to protect her witnesses, Duffey ignores the subpoena, so Cole issues 2 illegal felony warrants for her arrest … $50,000 was put on her head (verified by the FBI), so she went into hiding for 9 months.
June, 1991 – US Attorney Chuck Banks shuts down Bob Govar’s federal grand jury and clears Harmon and all other public officials of any wrongdoing.
August 27, 1991 – Dan Harmon jailed for refusing mandatory court-ordered drug-test (as part of a tax-case against him) … spends 18 days in jail … Dan Harmon still remains Saline Prosecutor.
February, 1993 – Saline Detective John Brown starts investigation into Boys’ murders… gets threats from still then-Prosecutor Dan Harmon.
May 28, 1993 – Witness Sharline Wilsons signs confession letter in front of 3 State & Local Officials … Confession says she was on the tracks the night Kevin and Don were murdered… Confesses to stabbing one of the boys in the back… says that Dan Harmon was there … and also that Keith McKaskle (murder victim) was there as well. See Sharline’s Coerced Confession.
Wilson’s confession letter is ignored and tucked away in the case files for the next 23 years.
December, 1993 – Witness Tommy Neihaus comes forward … says he saw “five individuals” on the tracks with Kevin and Don … names Dan Harmon … Neihaus passes FBI polygraph … placed in protective custody.
December 1993 – F.B.I. starts investigation. See FBI files.
April 1994 – F.B.I. contacts Jean Duffey … F.B.I. clears Duffey of allegations made by Harmon, Cole etc… F.B.I. asks Duffey to come back to help with their investigation … Jean Duffey and Linda Ives finally meet.
Mid 1994 – F.B.I. Report states Richard Garrett appeared on “Unsolved Mysteries” asking for witnesses to call in tips… that would be the Unsolved Mysteries episode, aired October 12, 1988.
F.B.I. Report states “Individuals would call in with information and a formal statement was never taken. The individual would then be threatened by telephone to keep his/her mouth shut.”
One month after the airing of the original broadcast, second witness killed – Keith McKaskle… sets off a series of witnesses being killed in short order.
December 22 1994 – F.B.I. Report mentioning Richard Garrett’s appearance on Unsolved Mysteries again and states … “In light of a possible law enforcement cover-up, it is requested that the FBI remake a tape on “Unsolved Mysteries” to replace the current running tape.”
1994 – 1995 – Multiple F.B.I. Reports state: “Cover-up”/”Officials”/”Law Enforcement”/”Drugs” in relation to Kevin and Don’s murders.
Late 1995 – F.B.I. begins shutting down investigation, staring its own cover-up … F.B.I. Report states “Based on the foregoing, it is my recommendation that the FBI conduct no further investigation into this matter. Sincerely yours, – Ivian C. Smith Special Agent in Charge, FBI Arkansas.”
November 19 1995 – “Cocaine” package is found in Harmon’s wife’s Condo by local Police … package was supposed to be in evidence locker under Dan Harmon’s supervision… Wife arrested 11 days later.
March 23 1996 – Harmon arrested on Kidnapping charges.
May 1996 – Film maker Pat Matrisciana release the documentary “Obstruction of Justice” featuring the murders and cover-up of Kevin and Don … Mentioned as implicated in the murders are Prosecutors Dan Harmon & Richard Garrett, Sheriff James Steed, Officers Kirk Lane & Jay Campbell & Danny Allen.
July 1996 – Harmon quits Prosecutor job … Kidnapping charges etc reduced in deal.
October 1996 – Dan Harmon arrested on 11 felony charges including racketeering and drug charges.
May 27 1997 – Dan Harmon trial begins …
July 11 1997 – Dan Harmon convicted on 5 of 11 felonies including Racketeering, Extortion, and Drug Charges … Sentenced to 10 years in jail… would serve 9 years …
No evidence from Jean Duffey’s, John Brown’s, U.S. Attorney’s previous investigations that implicated Harmon was looked at, or introduced.
Late 1997 – Kirk Lane & Jay Campbell sue film-maker Pat Matrisciana over “Obstruction Of Justice” documentary.
October 1998 – Web designer for Linda Ives’ and Jean Duffey’s website dedicated to the murders of the Boys, idfiles.com, starts receiving death threats traced back to Thailand.
July 10 2001 – Kirk Lane & Jay Campbell lose their lawsuit on appeal … they tried to prove they were innocent of the murders, but the court stated … “Campbell and Lane have failed to disprove the disputed statements at the requisite levels” … and also … “…we note that neither had an alibi for the date and time of the deaths…”
February 2006 – Jay Campbell charged on multiple felonies including Drug charges.
April 24 2007 – Campbell convicted, sentenced to 40 years on 23 counts… by Judge John Cole(coming out of retirement no less) … charges include Racketeering, Drugs etc … just like Dan Harmon before him … in 2009, Campbell’s sentence reversed and sent back for new trial.
February 2010 – Jay Campbell sentenced to 15 years on 4 felonies including Drug charges… released early (not sure when) … walking street free today like Dan Harmon.
Mid-2010 – 4 years after getting out of jail, Dan Harmon gets arrested again for selling drugs out of his car, by a school.
2015 – Rodney Wright becomes Saline County Sheriff … Wright happens to be Dan Harmon’s nephew … as of 2019, Wright is still Sheriff.
Early 2016 – Former 30-year Little Rock Detective, now Private Investigator, Keith Rounsavall, takes up the case on a pro-bono basis.
August 24, 2016 – Linda Ives launches FOIA lawsuit to get the files on Kevin and Don’s murders released, in un-redacted form, from the various government agencies, including the F.B.I., D.E.A. A.S.P. and so on.
???” Late 2016” ??? – Former “WWF(E) Superstar” Billy-Jack Haynes contacts Linda Ives claiming to have been on the tracks when the Boys were killed … With zero evidence, his claims are currently (Feb-2019) being investigated.
November 2017 – After 2 Judges recused themselves from the FOIA case, a third dismissed some agencies such as the F.B.I. and C.I.A. … But ordered others, such as Department of Homeland Security, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys, to release documents for him to examine to decide if to release to Linda … Gave December 1 deadline.
August 2018 – Linda Ives’ attorney receives basically useless heavily-redacted documents from the D.E.A. … Judge orders D.E.A. to try again, or the court will do whatever redaction IT seems necessary.
2019 – Linda Ives and Jean Duffey continue the fight for Justice for the murders of Kevin and Don.
Dan Harmon, Kirk Lane, Jay Campbell, Sharline Wilson all currently walk free, and have never been investigated over the murders of Kevin and Don.
Richard Garrett and Fahmy Malak have since passed away.