Another chapter in the Raymond D. "Beaver" Tempest Jr. murder trial -- now 22 years old -- has begun. Tempest approached the New England Innocence Project. They agreed to help him seek out DNA testing in an effort to clear his name. Betty Anne Waters is Tempest's lawyer. She is best known for her fight to free her late brother, Kenneth Waters (convicted for stabbing a neighbor). Waters was freed 2 decades after the crime.
Note: Caught received an anonymous letter regarding this complaint that raised several questions. After reading this complaint, please read the answers to those questions. Also see Part Two after reading this.
On April 22, 1992, Raymond D. "Beaver" Tempest was found guilty of second degree murder after a three-week trial in Providence County Superior Court. On June 15, 1992, he was sentenced to eighty-five years in prison by Judge John Bourcier. The crime for which Beaver Tempest was convicted occurred on February 19, 1982 at 409 Providence Street in the city of Woonsocket, Rhode Island. A young woman named Doreen Picard, a third floor resident of this address, was found brutally murdered in the basement. A second woman, Susan Laferte, who lived on the first floor was also discovered in the cellar nearby. Susan had also been severely beaten, but survived.
Beaver Tempest has staunchly maintained his innocence from day one and asserts this entire document is the true, factual account of the case. The evidence reflects that his arrest and conviction were the result of the coercion of witnesses by corrupt police officials and the over zealousness of prosecutors. It now seems clear that the Woonsocket police and A.G. James Ryan and Randy White knew who really killed Doreen Picard but covered up the obvious facts seen hereinafter to protect the guilty and convict the innocent. The family of the murderer had strong political ties and plenty of money. This complaint will also show that the police had a prime suspect as early as the second day of the investigation and that Susan Laferte identified this person as her attacker.
This case apparently was also used as a means to keep the brother-in-law of a high ranking police official, Rodney Remblad, from receiving a long prison sentence after being arrested by local police and Federal Agents for his involvement in a stolen car ring in 1987. Beaver's brother Gordon, was a lead investigator then. This police official, Remblad would use this case as a stepping stone for his promotion to the position of Chief of Police of the Woonsocket force.
This seems to be a classic case of greed, corruption, abuse of power, manipulation of the press and runaway political ambition at the highest levels within the criminal justice system in the State of Rhode Island. It is also a case where the police abused their power to convince witnesses to lie, while the Deputy Attorney General, James Ryan, of the State of Rhode Island blindly turned the other way. This case has also wrongfully resulted in the suffering of other fine police officers and their families because of false accusations that were made in a police cover-up.
A.G. Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Attorney Margaret Curran both received prior notice of these facts on June 7, 1999 and refused to act or prosecute the real criminals who remain free. The shame of it all is that this is the result of the failure of a system that was meant to protect each individual's rights. It is the failure of our judicial system in the truest sense, which continues even when the documented proof has been presented to the system.
This complaint is an attempt by the Tempest family to bring this wrongful conviction and abuse of power to the attention of anyone who will listen. They are hoping and praying that someone will have the fortitude to help them expose this terrible wrongdoing. They have vowed not only to continue this fight until they prove Beaver's innocence and free him, but to expose those who are responsible for this atrocity so that it does not continue and happen again to other innocent people. Great effort has been made to verify as many facts as possible so that the reader will have a true understanding of what really led up to this conviction.
BACKGROUND AND FACTS
At approximately 3:30 PM on February 19, 1982, members of the Woonsocket Police were sent to 409 Providence Street after two women were discovered badly beaten in the basement at this location. A tenant at that address, Lisa Welles, age fifteen, returned home from school and discovered the first floor tenant's three year old daughter, Nicole Laferte, playing in the hallway. Lisa said that the door to Nicole's apartment was locked, but she noticed the light was on in the cellar. Knowing that Nicole's mother Susan would not leave her daughter alone like this, Lisa took the child to her apartment and told her father Douglas Heath, that something was possibly wrong.
Mr. Heath and Lisa went to the cellar where they discovered the two women lying on the floor. Both appeared to have been badly beaten. One woman who was later identified as Doreen Picard, was pronounced dead at the scene by the rescue personnel. The second victim, who was suffering from severe head injuries but was still alive, was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island where she underwent emergency surgery. She was identified as Susan Laferte. Because of the initial investigation, it appeared that Susan was the intended victim of this attack but was saved when Doreen stumbled upon the assault as she entered the basement to do a load of laundry. It appeared that once in the cellar, Doreen did not see Susan being assaulted until it was too late. It appeared that Doreen attempted to flee but was caught from behind by the suspect and dragged to an area of the cellar where she was murdered.
Because of the extent of the injuries to both victims' heads it was first suspected by the first officers on the scene that both victims had been shot in the head at close range. At this point the case was being investigated as a double shooting for at least the first hour of the investigation. This later changed after the arrival of the Medical Examiner, Dr. Arthur Burns. After examining the wounds on Doreen Picard's body , the doctor felt that the weapon used was similar to a shingler's ax.
Investigators continued with the ax theory right up to the 23rd of February when the actual murder weapon was discovered. . It turned out to be a twenty eight inch length of galvanized metal pipe. The same type of pipe used to make antenna masts. The pipe was discovered in the area of the first floor front entryway by Sgt. Richard Flood and Officer Marc Baillargeon.
This area was possibly searched on the day of the murder, but the weapon was overlooked. One officer, Sgt. Michael Sweeny, remembered that he saw the pipe on the day of the murder in this area. The prosecution was not aware of the search until the day Sweeney was scheduled to testify at trial. When Sweeney advised Prosecutor Ryan of this, he was sent home without testifying. Obviously, Sweeny's testimony would have damaged the state's case. When the prosecution was informed of Sweeny's subpoena, the prosecution decided to call Sweeny after all.
Sweeny testified that when he saw the pipe, he did not think anything of it. He said that he was looking for a gun then, also that it was not unusual for people to keep weapons like a pipe at entryways to protect themselves from possible intruders. He did remember telling a detective about the pipe that same day, but could not recall whom he had told.
The story in the Woonsocket Call, the local newspaper on February 20th, verified that the police were looking for an ax as the suspected weapon. The headlines that night were "ONE DEAD, ONE HURT IN AX ATTACK"
From the outset, the police department conducted a poorly coordinated investigation. Several pieces of evidence were either overlooked during the initial search by detectives or destroyed because of improper security of the crime scene. A good example is when a bloody footprint that was discovered in the rear hallway was destroyed when a woman was allowed to clean the floor.
With all these blunders, which were obviously the result of poor police work, the prosecution still would try to prove that this was all part of a conspiracy by certain police officers to protect Beaver Tempest from arrest. During the trial, it was proven beyond any doubt by Attorney William Dimitri, Tempest's lawyer, that this was all the result of a poorly conducted investigation. It was also later determined that several pieces of evidence had been lost either at the State Forensic lab or after being returned to the Woonsocket Police. This lost evidence is mentioned in the State Police report that was submitted by Lt. Johnson on October 12, 1987(exhibit 1). This report was highly critical of the mishandling of evidence which led to its contamination. It is also very possible this evidence was exculpatory for Beaver, and exculpatory as to the real murderer the State is still protecting.
Because the rumors of Beaver's involvement in this murder and a possible cover-up by the police continued for some time, Beaver agreed to take a polygraph test to prove his innocence. This was done on April 13, 1984. The test was administered by an expert from the State Fire Marshall's office. In a statement by Sgt. Lucien Ouellette, (exhibit 4) one of the Woonsocket Detectives assigned to take Beaver to this test, he wrote that the polygraph operator stated that, "Beaver was not responsible for the murder of Doreen Picard or the assault on Susan Laferte." Ouelette further stated in this report that he was told, " there was no question in the mind of the operator that Beaver had nothing to do with the murder or the assault." The only problem with the results of the test was that both Sgt. Pennington and Sgt. Connell were not satisfied with the way the test was administered. Neither of these two detectives have any training or experience in the use or operation of a polygraph machine.
From the way they conducted their investigation, it was clear that these two detectives had developed one very serious flaw, one that all good detectives usually try to avoid. They developed " tunnel vision" when it came to Beaver Tempest. The only other alternative which makes much more sense if Pennington and Connell were knowingly, willfully, and deliberately covering up the truth. The facts speak for themselves, but who ordered the cover up?
On the night of February 26th, 1982, North Smithfield Police notified the Woonsocket Police Detective Division that a woman from their town had received several phone calls on the nights of February 24th and 25th from a male subject claiming to be the murderer of Doreen Picard. North Smithfield Police identified the woman as Darci Authier of Sayles Hill Road of North Smithfield.
Mrs. Authier and her husband were interviewed by members of the Woonsocket Police on February 26th. According to Darci, she received the first several calls from the same male at approximately 8:00 PM on Wednesday night, the 24th.
Darci stated that she received four calls that night and more the following night from this person. During the calls, he told her that he was the person responsible for the murder of Doreen Picard. He went on to describe how he committed the murder. Darci told the detectives that he always referred to the weapon as " the tube". He told her how he had a knife to sharpen one end of the tube and that he was preparing one to kill Darci with.
From the interview of Darci, it appeared that the male caller knew facts that were not known at that time to the general public. For example, he claimed that he pulled her by the hair, punched her in the eye and pounded her in the face. He also told Darci that Doreen tried to run and tripped on the stairs. It did appear that Doreen was dragged from behind from the area of the stairs, because both her slippers were found in the middle of the floor facing the stairs. Investigators felt that they came off her feet as she was dragged backwards. An examination of the weapon that was recovered at the scene did appear to have been sharpened on one end. The medical examiner also noted in his report that an amount of Doreen's hair had been pulled out and was clenched in her hands.
The Woonsocket Police felt that based on what Darci was told, the person who was calling her was probably the murderer. Who ever he was, the police felt there had to be a reason he knew so much about Darci and her husband. The answer to this was obtained from her husband Gerard. According to Gerard, he use to be employed for a company in North Smithfield named Starcase. This company was a franchise that installed a form of cable television in Northern Rhode Island. During his employment there, Gerard told the detectives that he did work for a sub-contractor named Color King. This company, Color King, was owned by a person known to Gerard as Donald Dagesse.
The caller made reference to the weapon as "the tube". This word is commonly used by people in the business of installing television antennas and is considered the masting for the antenna. Starcase, which was owned by Dagesse, is a company that installs antennas. The 28 inch piece of galvanized pipe, which is believed to be the murder weapon, is similar to antenna masting.
The Woonsocket Police did not reveal to the Authiers that Dagesse was already considered a suspect. When this information was passed on to the head of detectives, it was decided to interview Darci Authier a second time to see if she could make any connection to Donald Dagesse.
On the 26th of February, Sgt. Pennington and Sgt. Connell had Darci come to the Woonsocket Police station to get a formal statement from her. While she was in the station, she was asked by the two detectives if she would listen to two tape recordings of some men talking. Darci was not told who these men were.
Darci listened to a tape recording which was that of Donald Dagesse talking with a detective. When Darci heard Dagesse's voice, she told the two detectives that it sounded like the person who called her, but that the person on the tape was talking slower than the man who called her. According to the detectives who made this tape, they informed Pennington and Connell that Dagesse changed the speed of his speech when they began to record his voice in what they felt was an effort to alter his voice.
Feeling that Darci had not made a positive identification of Dagesse's voice on the tape, they asked her to listen in on a phone conversation of two men talking. Again she was not told who was on the phone and instructed to just listen. After a minute of listening to the two men talk, Darci became visibly shaken. According to the report left by Connell and Pennington, it is stated that Darci told them that the man on the telephone was without a doubt the same man who had called her. She told them, " It was just like talking to him all over again." She was asked six times if she was sure that it was the same man and she said that it was the same voice. She was positive.
The man on the telephone, who was positively identified by Darci, was Donald Dagesse. At the time the call was made, Dagesse was at St. Joseph Hospital visiting Ernie Laferte. He was in the company of a Woonsocket Police officer when this call was made. Besides Connell and Pennington, two other detectives witnessed Darci Authier's reaction and identification of Dagesse on the telephone.
In a report submitted by Sgt. Connell and Sgt. Pennington on February 29, 1982 regarding this interview with Darci, it states," At the Police Station, she explained in detail all of the calls that she received. Many of the details in these calls were of a nature that would not be of a common nature, and as such would not be known to the general public." The report then tells the reader to see Darci's statement for specific details. By now you have to be asking yourself how Pennington, Connell and the A.G. can even attempt to indict Tempest. And there is a lot more.
Through these calls made to Darci, certain pieces of the case can now be connected. First of all, the fact that Darci's husband used to work for Dagesse would explain why the caller knew so many facts about her. Secondly, Darci unknowingly identifies the voice of Donald Dagesse as that of the person who told her that he had murdered Doreen Picard. The same Donald Dagesse who is already a prime suspect for other reasons.
Over the next few weeks the investigation would begin to develop several other strong leads that all pointed to Dagesse as the main suspect. One of the first strong pieces of evidence that developed was mentioned in an interview with Susan Laferte's sister-in-law, Evelyn St. George, dated March 1, 1982. According to Mrs. St. George, on the night of the funeral for Doreen Picard, she and other relatives had gathered at Susan's mother's house at 61 Providence Street. While everyone was sitting in the living room, Donald Dagesse walked in and sat down across the room from her. Mrs. St. George stated that at this time she had her niece Nicole Laferte on her lap. (It was believed from the first day of the investigation that Nicole saw the man who assaulted her mother and murdered Doreen). As Dagesse sat down across from the two, Nicole stood up on St. George's lap and whispered into her ear," I think that's the man that boomed mama." Nicole then got off of St. George and walked to where Dagesse was seated and said to him, "You're the bad man that boomed mama" according to the report. Dagesse appeared embarrassed and didn't know what to say.
Although no motive had ever been established in this murder prior to Beaver's arrest, Donald Dagesse suggested probably the most logical one in a conversation he had with St. George only six days after the murder. According to Evelyn, she was alone in the waiting room of St. Joseph's Hospital when Dagesse walked in and began a conversation with her. During the conversation Dagesse told St. George that he felt strongly that it was an act of passion and that a friend of Ernie's had confronted Susan in the cellar and tried to make a pass at her. When Susan resisted, Dagesse speculated that this guy went crazy and figured if he couldn't have her then no one could. Mrs. St. George stated in her report that all the time that Dagesse was talking to her she noticed that he had a strange look in his eyes. She said that she kept moving away from him but he would move closer to her. Finally, Dagesse sat close to her and pointed with a finger almost touching her nose and said, " For all you know, this guy could be right under your nose." She became so upset that she got up and broke off the conversation.
St. George did testify for the defense, but was very hostile towards Dimitri and was reluctant to admit to the facts in her original statement. One can only surmise she was intimidated by the police as were other witnesses as we will see later.
There were several other times that Nicole Laferte would come into contact with Donald Dagesse and make statements to the effect that either he was the man who boomed her mother or asked him if he was that bad man who boomed her mother. It should be noted that after Susan's release from the hospital, Beaver and his wife Janice visited Susan and her family at their home. During these visits, Nicole had an opportunity to see Beaver, but never once did she say to him or anyone else that he was the bad man who boomed her mother or asked him if he was responsible in any way.
Nicole's remarks about Dagesse added to what seemed to be mounting evidence against him. There was now enough evidence for the police to consider him a prime suspect. Officers guarding Susan at the hospital were instructed to keep a close eye on Dagesse when he showed up at the hospital. It was also decided to conduct a surveillance on Dagesse. Although this was done, there were few reports found to document this action by the police.
Dagesse claimed to have been at work at Color King on the day of the murder. This was supported by two other employees of Color King, a Susan Tardi, who was the secretary and Donald MacIlvane, Dagesse's business partner at Color King. Both gave brief statements to detectives that Dagesse was in the building all day.
Even though Pennington and Connell accepted Dagesse's alibi, one detective who did not was Sgt. Flood. The day after Tardi was questioned, Flood decided to call her at Color King and pretend to be a businessman who had been in town during the afternoon on February 19, 1982 and was looking for Dagesse. Flood told Tardi that he had called the office at around 3:00 PM looking for Dagesse. Tardi told Flood, not knowing that he was a detective that Dagesse had in fact been out of the office during parts of the afternoon on February 19th. This change in Tardi's story about Dagesse now placed a hole in his alibi and should have alerted Pennington and Connell to check further into Dagesse's alibi if they wanted to find the truth.
Flood submitted a report regarding this phone conversation with Tardi, but it was somehow lost before the case went to trial. Proof of this taking place though can be found in a report left by Det. Paul SanSouci dated 2-26-82 when he and Sgt. Flood re-interviewed Dagesse. SanSouci briefly mentions it in the second paragraph.
In this same report, the detectives state that from questioning Dagesse, they find more discrepancies in his story. One important fact is that Dagesse tells them that he did not leave his office at all that day, not even for lunch. This is contradicted by a report that was submitted by then Captain Rodney Remblad on February 28, 1982 .
According to Remblad, at approximately 2:00 PM. on February 19, 1982, he and a friend stopped at a coffee shop in North Smithfield that is located in the area of Dagesse's office. At that time Remblad states that he saw Dagesse in the restaurant and that Dagesse appeared to be in a hostile mood because of an argument that he had earlier with his wife. This same restaurant is no more than ten minutes away from 409 Providence Street. What's even more significant is that if this is true, then Dagesse is not where he and his two alibi witnesses claim he was all day on the 19th. He is out of the office an hour before the murder, and in a hostile mood.
Again, Pennington and Connell had more reason to suspect Dagesse but chose to disregard or cover-up several obvious discrepancies in his alibi. Before this case would go to trial it would be obvious from reading all the statements regarding Dagesse's alibi that there were eight different inconsistencies in it. It is inconceivable that the Woonsocket Police and A.G James Ryan could have missed all this, and more.
Another very important statement that is made by Dagesse to Sgt. Flood and Det. SanSouci on 2-26-82 is where Dagesse demonstrates for the two detectives how the suspect had the pipe in both hands and used a downward thrust on the victims. This fact should have been known only by the police and the medical examiner, not by Dagesse. In fact, the description of the downward thrust is the same description that the medical examiner later used to describe how the injuries were inflicted to both Susan and Doreen. All these important details are mentioned by Dagesse just one week after the murder.
Probably the most damaging evidence against Dagesse is mentioned in a report by Patrolman Charles Demers on March7,1982, (exhibit 10). Demers and his partner were assigned to the guard detail at St. Joseph Hospital. At 6:15 PM , the two officers were approached by a nurse and informed that Susan had written down some letters that she believed to be in the last name of the person who assaulted her.
This was done by the nurses while they were checking on Sue's progress in recovery and not at the request of the police. At that time, one of the nurses asked Sue to write the last name of her assailant. Sue wrote down the letters ANEG or GDAD as being part of the suspects name. Because of this, Demers contacted his superiors and informed them of what had happened. A short while later two detectives arrived at the hospital in an attempt to have Sue identify the suspect.
In the presence of these officers, Sue wrote the letters D A and followed by a Y or a G. She was asked to do this several more times and was consistent in repeating these letters. Sue was unable to speak, but could only communicate with the nurses and officers with head movement.
Sue was asked by one of the nurses if the suspect's name began with the letter "D". She responded that it did. When asked if the next letter was an A. Sue did not respond. One of the detectives then recited several first names, but Sue did not respond to any of them. Finally one of the nurses asked her if the person who assaulted her was Donald Dagesse and Sue nodded her head yes. She was asked two more times by the detective if the name was Donald Dagesse and she nodded yes each time.
Within sixteen days, the investigation had revealed all these incriminating facts implicating Dagesse, yet Pennington and Connell felt he had a solid alibi. The question of how they could disregard such strong evidence can only be answered by Pennington, Connell and whoever decided to keep all this from the Grand Jury.
Both detectives have been quoted in the press and have testified at various hearings related to this case that they felt from the first day that Beaver was guilty of this murder and that there was a cover-up. If this is true, then what evidence did they have from the first day that pointed to his guilt? Secondly, how could they feel that Beaver was guilty when there was so much evidence within the first three weeks that pointed to Dagesse.
After several weeks in which there was no follow up on the mounting evidence against Dagesse, the investigation appears to be stalling. All detectives are returned to their normal assignments and Connell and Pennington are left to solve the case. Over the next several months, various leads are checked out but with negative results. Rumors continue to circulate throughout the city about various suspects and that there was a police cover-up.
From late 1983 to 1987, various attempts by the Attorney General's office to clear the case fail. During the month of May, 1984, then Attorney General Dennis Roberts assigns the Rhode Island State Police to assist the Woonsocket Police with the investigation. They will also look to see if there was any cover-up on the part of any member of the Woonsocket force.
The two State Police Detectives are assigned to work with Connell and Pennington. From the summary report of the State Police,(exhibit 1) it is clear that Connell and Pennington have told them that Beaver Tempest is their prime suspect and seem to guide them in that direction. It is also known that the State Police never saw all the reports pertaining to Donald Dagesse and accept that he had a strong alibi.
After conducting their investigation, the State Police are not able to gather enough evidence to arrest Beaver Tempest. What is determined though by the State Police investigation is that, in their minds, there did not appear to be any intentional cover-up on the part of the Woonsocket Police, at least regarding covering up for Tempest. Had the State police seen what is in this complaint they would have seen the real cover-up. In fact they state in this report ( page 25 paragraph 3 and 4) that the case is not solved because there was a lack of leadership and follow through on the part of the Woonsocket Police and the manner in which evidence was seized from the crime scene.
Earlier in 1987, Tempest, along with Chief Lynch and Captain Jalette, met with prosecutors from the United States Attorney's office in Providence, Rhode Island, to open an investigation into corruption on the part of Remblad. Also mentioned at this meeting were Stanley Irza and then Captain of Detectives Roger Remillard. A similar attempt had been made approximately a year earlier with the State Attorney General's office, but somehow Remblad was tipped off about it.
In November of 1987, a local man named Stanley Irza is arrested by members of the FBI and Woonsocket Police on several stolen car charges. One of the arresting officers and key investigators in this case is Gordon Tempest, now a Lieutenant on the Woonsocket Police Department. As a result, Irza faces both federal and state charges. Irza is well known to both the local and Federal authorities for his long time involvement dealing in stolen cars, fencing stolen property, as well as drug dealing. He is also the brother-in-law of Commander of Detectives, Rodney Remblad. This arrest, most likely, is the reason Remblad had it in for the Tempest family.
The arrest of Irza would now become the beginning of the end on the Picard case. Both Irza and Remblad would benefit as a result of this case. Irza, with the help of Remblad, would use the Picard case to cut a deal on his charges. Remblad would take advantage of Irza's information and use it as a stepping stone for his promotion to the position of Chief of Police.
In various newspaper stories prior to the trial, members of the Tempest family are quoted as saying that Beaver is being framed by Remblad and Irza. Within days of Gordon and Beaver's arrest, various members of the news media are told that the Picard case is also being used to remove Chief Lynch from his position as well as Captain Maurice Jalette, who heads the Special Squad. Both Tempest and Jalette have been involved in several investigations into the illegal activities of Irza and his associates as well as other criminals with ties to Remblad.
Remblad denies that Beaver has been framed. In a story in the Providence Journal on September 29, 1991,Remblad denies that he is after Lynch's job and calls this accusation "absolutely ludicrous" and said that he is not sure he would even want to become chief.
Although Remblad is not the highest ranking officer, he is named Acting Chief. In January, Lynch is found innocent of all his charges after a hearing before the Personnel Board. Two months later Lynch retires under relenting pressure. Again Remblad is named acting Chief. In a later interview with the Woonsocket Call, Remblad states that he has striven to someday become the Chief of the Woonsocket force. An obvious change of heart from his comments in September of 1991.
On December 22, 1987, Irza contacted Captain Remillard and arranged to meet him at Irza's auto dealership in Woonsocket. During this meeting, Irza informed Remillard that he knew the identity of the person who murdered Doreen Picard.
He identified this person as Beaver Tempest and also claimed that a Danny Shaw and Robert Monteiro were outside the house on Providence Street waiting for Beaver when the murder occurred. Irza would not sign a statement until he cut a deal. With the help of Remblad and Pennington, Irza is finally able to get a deal on his charges for his cooperation , six months in a Federal Work Camp. This deal is made over the objections of the Worcester FBI Field Office, where the case was initiated and without the knowledge of any of the officers from Woonsocket who knew of Irza's criminal activities.
Danny Shaw is well known to local police and has an extensive record for assaults, larcenies and drug dealing. On several occasions Shaw informed Gordon Tempest and other police officers that he was involved in the theft of the personal vehicles owned by both Remblad and Remillard in the mid 70's . Shaw described these as give-ups, where both Remblad and Remillard gave the keys to Shaw who in turn drove the cars from Lincoln, R.I. to a car crusher in Worcester, Ma. named Linders. Once the cars had been disposed of, they were then reported stolen to the local police.
Shaw stated that the reason that the cars had to be crushed was because they were previously stolen cars that had been sold to the two officers by Stanley Irza after the numbers had been altered. Remblad had been tipped off that the F.B.I. was going to seize the cars, so Shaw was paid to dispose of them. Shaw is also known as a close associate of Irza , and has admitted that he has sold drugs for Irza and been involved in several other illegal activities with him.
On page one of a four page log submitted by Captain Remillard, for the entry January 6, 1988, Remillard reports that Irza will supply him with enough information to possibly squeeze the other principals in the case. It appears that Irza is attempting to get by with minimal involvement on his part.
It is later determined that it was Remblad who sent Irza to Remillard with this information so that Remblad could keep a low profile. In several news reports that resulted after the arrest of Beaver and Gordon, Remblad tries to play down his role in this case. But from reading the reports, it is evident that he was the driving force behind Irza as well as other witnesses who would eventually come forward.
Irza would later testify that he was responsible for most of the witnesses coming forward in this case. He also testified that the first person he told was his bother-in-law, Rodney Remblad. If this is true, then Remblad never submitted any reports of this. It seems clear that he manipulated others like Remillard to unwittingly do his dirty work.
Irza's information now gave the names to the investigators. One of them would eventually become the critical break that they needed. Danny Shaw now became the target of several months of harassment by the police and prosecutorial misconduct by Deputy Attorney General James Ryan. The squeezing , as Irza had previously mentioned, now begins.
DANNY SHAW - THE STAR WITNESS
Shaw maintains his innocence and complains several times to both Gordon Tempest and Captain Jalette that Remblad is hounding him and trying to get him to lie about Beaver being responsible for this murder. Shaw tells them as well as others that Beaver did not do it and that he, Shaw, was not there.
In early 1991, Shaw is brought before the state wide grand jury that is hearing this case. The grand jury is headed by James Ryan and he was assisted at times by Prosecutor Randal White. Together, these two prosecutors would use the power of the grand jury to intimidate Shaw with threats of indicting him and repeatedly refusing to accept what Shaw told them was the real truth.
From his very first visit before this grand jury, Shaw emphatically denied that he was with Beaver Tempest on February 19,1982, at 409 Providence Street or anywhere else with him that day. He did admit that he had gone to 409 Providence Street the day before along with Beaver.
Thinking that Shaw might have been mistaken of the day he went there with Beaver, Ryan began to question him as to whether or not Susan Laferte was assaulted in his presence. Shaw said she wasn't . Ryan asked him if he was absolutely sure that it was the day before the murder that he and Beaver were there Shaw's answer was, "Without a doubt. Without a doubt." The question was repeated by Ryan and again he got the same answer from Shaw.
Shaw is then asked if he remembers having a conversation with Stanley Irza the day after the murder outside a restaurant called Dube's, on Park Avenue. Shaw states that he does not remember this conversation and states that it was over eight years ago and which made it difficult to answer questions. The questioning goes back to the day of the murder and again Shaw denies that he was there on that day. It is obvious from the amount of times that Ryan asked Shaw if he was at the scene on the day of the murder, that Ryan isn't hearing the answer he wants. What is obvious is Shaw has been consistent with his answers and will continue to be on future visits to the grand jury.
A response made by Ryan to one of Shaw's answers on this same day is a good example of the type of misconduct he exhibited and which can be used to manipulate the jurors to go along with Ryan's feelings. In this transcript [tape 5 side 2 Page 54 (exhibit13A)] Ryan makes a statement in response to Shaw's answer as follows:
Mr. Ryan: In other words, what you are telling me right now is that you didn't admit to anything on Saturday, is that right?
Shaw: I admitted to being there the day before.
Mr. Ryan: Well,that's nothing.
Shaw: And the conversation...
Mr. Ryan: The day before doesn't matter.
A pattern of manipulation by Ryan sets the mood or attitude of the jurors, telling them it's not important Shaw was there the day before. He refuses to accept this fact. What Ryan doesn't realize is that over a ten year period this story has been repeated over and over. And each time it is retold, it makes the transformation from, Shaw was there the day before to Shaw was there the day of the crime. This is what Ryan needs Shaw to say.
Shaw was brought back before the grand jury two more times. Each time he told the jury that he was intimidated by Commander Remblad. He also explains that during a meeting with Remblad prior to his first appearance before the grand jury, that he was highly intoxicated when Remblad was questioning him. He also attempted to tell the jurors that he had no recollection of what he said to Remblad that day because he was so drunk, and if he did say some things to him, they were lies.
What probably wasn't known to Jim Ryan as well as the grand jurors is the type of relationship that Remblad and Shaw had. These two, Shaw and Remblad, have known each other for several years. Their contact with each other over the years has been both professional at times and personal at others. Shaw has told various police officers that he has been present with Remblad and Irza while illegal activity was taking place. This has also been verified by other close criminal associates of Irza's who have supplied these same officers with various information of Remblad's criminal activities.
Shaw is also warned several times both by Ryan and White that he can be charged with perjury if he lies to the grand jury. Shaw insists that he is telling the truth and that Beaver didn't do it. On the transcript marked Tape 8 side 1, on page 17, Shaw angrily denies having been at the scene of the murder on the day it occurred, or knowing who did it. He again states that the police continue to harass him. He states that Pennington and Remblad continue to tell him, "You were there, you were there".
Shaw's testimony about where he was on the day of the murder was backed up by a former girlfriend of his, named Carol Kane. Kane testified that during the time the grand jury was in session, Shaw called her several times asking her if she remembered where he was on the day of the murder. She remembered Shaw going to work that day. Kane would not lie for Shaw or protect him because of all the problems he caused her after they broke up. She was just being truthful. If Shaw really knew where he was on the day of the murder, why then would he check with Kane as well as several other of his close friends at the time to find out. One doesn't forget witnessing a murder.
One of the friends he checked with and who is mentioned in this transcript, tape #9 side 1, page 30, is Ronald Vaz. Vaz will be discussed further in this complaint. But it is important to note that Shaw mentions calling Vaz to see if Vaz knew where Danny was on the day of the murder. Vaz would later become the most important witness for the prosecution.
What is very obvious from reading Shaw's transcripts is that he is consistent when he testifies that he was not present on the day of the murder and that Beaver did not commit this murder. He also is consistent in telling the grand jury that he has been harassed over the years by the police regarding this case.
With the use of a friend of Shaw's , Terry Gelinas, Remblad is able to convince Shaw that Beaver Tempest is telling people that Danny Shaw was with him on the day of the murder. Danny and Gelinas confront Beaver in a local bar over this and Beaver denies it to Shaw.
Shaw is now drinking heavily and using cocaine daily. He is continually high. Remblad takes advantage of this and keeps the pressure on Shaw. The continued pressure from the police and Gelinas convinces Shaw that Beaver is lying about him being there on the day of the murder.
Shaw eventually contacts Remblad and tells him that he was there on the day of the murder. Each time he meets with the police, Shaw is intoxicated. Shaw finally gives Remblad and Pennington a signed statement that he was with Beaver and Robert Monteiro on the day of the murder. In this statement Shaw gives minimal details. He claims that he was only present when Beaver got into an argument with Sue Laferte in the cellar. Shaw said that he left the cellar as Beaver was assaulting Sue. He claims that he was not there when Doreen came down. Shaw would later give a second signed statement on the 6th of October 1990 adding that he did in fact witness the murder of Doreen Picard.
Shaw now has the full time services of the police department to drive him from bar to bar. He is drinking more and more with money given to him as informers fees by Remblad and Pennington. He is also constantly causing trouble at local bars and is taken out by the police. He is never charged with any crimes, although several members of the department privately complain that he should have been on several occasions.
Whenever it became apparent that Shaw was too out of hand again, he was placed into various rehab facilities to be treated for drug and alcohol abuse . This pattern continues for several months. It is eventually disclosed that the state has spent over thirty thousand dollars treating Shaw for his dual addiction. He, at one point, is allowed to travel to California with his girlfriend and her children for a week stay at Disneyland at the expense of taxpayers.
Remblad also has succeeded in manipulating the Woonsocket Call and it's editors and several front page stories are printed daily. It is not unusual to have four or five stories about this case in the newspapers. Several of these stories accuse the Tempest family of threatening witnesses in the case and claim that their power and intimidation are the reason the case remained unsolved for so long. These stories are very one-sided. Remblad arranges for several of the witnesses, who will testify against Beaver, to give detailed interviews which continue to portray the Tempest family, particularly Raymond Tempest Sr. and Gordon, of abusing their power to intimidate the witnesses.
The Woonsocket Call also prints several front- page stories accusing Chief Lynch of helping cover-up this case from the beginning. Even after Lynch was cleared of all his charges and it was proven at his hearing that there was no cover-up by anyone, the Woonsocket Call continues it's vicious attack on Lynch. It is obvious from the nature of the stories that the editors are getting their information from someone close to the Picard case. One of the assistant city editors, Larry Berman, privately admitted that most of the information supplied for the stories is being supplied by Remblad, Roger Remillard and the Public Safety Director John Dionne. Dionne is an ally of Remblad's and will appoint him to the position of Chief after Remblad finishes first in the testing procedure.
Shaw's expanded version of what occurred in his February 19th, 1982 statement could have been easily disproved if Remblad, and Ryan wanted to fulfill their constitutional duty under the law. Of course that means not presenting this perjury to the grand jury and no indictment. The information Shaw supplied about the murder itself could easily have been disproved because what Shaw was saying did not go along with the physical evidence at the scene. It was impossible for the crime to have occurred the way Shaw claimed. Witnesses may lie, but physical evidence doesn't lie. But these two were more interested in clearing this case at anyone's expense. Ryan, like Remblad and Pennington were hungry for an indictment . Time was running out now and dismissal of this grand jury was only a few weeks away.
Moreover, in Shaw's second statement, again if they had checked out the story about the day after when he claims he was at Ray Tempest's house they would of again realized that Shaw had to be lying. First of all, there was a detective log kept on this case on 2-29-82, as is on all cases. This log indicated that both Gordon Tempest and Captain Jalette were at 409 Providence Street along with several other detectives at the time Shaw claims he was with them on Redwood Street. They had been assigned there to conduct a search of the crime scene and then to later canvas the neighborhood. Also if they had gone to the house where the Tempest family lives in 1982, they would have discovered that in 1982 the cellar windows were boxed in and could not be opened. Even if they could be opened, does it make sense that they would have them open in the middle of February? This was just a convenient way of including Jalette in on the alleged conspiracy.
It didn't stop here though. Shaw was now made to realize by Pennington, Remblad and Ryan that he needed someone to corroborate his story. It would strengthen Shaw's credibility. Shaw knew where to get his backing from. A long time friend and criminal associate of Shaw's, Ronald Vaz. Shaw would later admit that it was he who sought Vaz to back his story and told him what to tell the police. This would be a move that Shaw would later regret.
Ronald Vaz, by his own admission is a former drug dealer and user. It was disclosed prior to the trial that he was involved in the murder of a drug dealer in New York City and was also a suspect in a murder of a woman in Baltimore, Maryland. Information also revealed that Vaz was involved in more than six insurance fraud cases where his personal trucks were burned and he collected on the insurance. He also had a similar incident with his house.
Vaz is brought before the grand jury and testifies that Beaver admitted to this murder. He also claims that Beaver would admit four more times while at Vaz's house that he committed the murder. In this transcript, dated May 23, 1991, Vaz tells the grand jury of Beaver's admitted involvement in the murder. His story does exactly what they needed. It corroborates Shaw's story. During his testimony it is obvious that Vaz protects Shaw by not implicating him in the murder other than being there.
As the weeks passed, the stories in the Woonsocket Call continued. It seemed that Shaw was in the spotlight every other day with stories of threats and beatings. He even claimed at one time to have been shot at. It appeared that the police had lost control of their star. He was now controlling them.
The Tempest family were anxious for the trial to start. They had been able to gather enough evidence to prove that Shaw was lying all along and that the police and the Attorney General's office should have known this. The family also felt that it was a matter of time before Shaw ended this game and would eventually tell the truth again.
This occurred on December 14, 1991. The phone rang at the home of Raymond Tempest Sr. at 12:30 PM. Beaver answered the phone and to his surprise the caller was Danny Shaw. Beaver told Shaw that he couldn't talk to him as he was a witness in the case. Shaw told Beaver not to talk but to listen to what he had to say.
Shaw in an emotional voice, told Beaver that he was sorry that he had lied to the police and to the Attorney General's office about Beaver's involvement in the Picard Murder case. He went on to say that the police had coerced him into saying that Beaver had killed Doreen Picard and that Danny was an eye witness to the crime. Beaver at this point handed the phone to his father, Raymond Sr. and the conversation continued. Shaw continued to cry and explain how he was used , most times under highly intoxicated conditions, to fabricate stories in an effort to strengthen their case against Beaver. He admitted that he had finally broken down after continued pressure and lied to get the police off his back. Danny admitted that he was controlled and manipulated by the police so that he would stick to the stories that he had told. He specifically mentioned Commander Remblad, who he blamed for all of his involvement. He said that Remblad knew that he had a drinking problem and instructed the officers guarding him to keep him drunk. He told of times that certain members of the Woonsocket Police Department would supply him with alcohol and transport him from bar to bar in an effort to pacify his needs. He ended the conversation by telling Ray Tempest that he was going to go the Attorney General's office to tell them that he had lied about everything that he had said implicating Beaver Tempest in the murder.
Later that same afternoon, before Shaw was able to go to the Attorney General's office to retract his statements about Beaver, he was struck by a car and hospitalized for approximately one week.
On January 8, 1992, following his release from the hospital, Shaw went to the Attorney General's office and told Jim Ryan and a second prosecutor that he was lying all along about witnessing the bludgeoning death of Doreen Picard nearly ten years ago. He also told them that the Woonsocket police forced him to fabricate his story. The Attorney General's office immediately tried to do damage control and played down the importance of Shaw as a witness.
That same night Shaw contacted a member of the Massachusett's State Police working for the Worcester, Mass. Crime Pac. This trooper, Tom Green, arranged for Shaw to meet him in Blackstone where he was taken to the Uxbridge, Ma. Police Station to be interviewed. Also contacted to interview Shaw was Special Agent Art Ryall of the Worcester Office of the F.B.I.
In a five hour recorded statement, Shaw gave details of how he was continually kept drunk by the police while in their custody in an effort to pacify him. This was being done ironically by the same people who would on several occasions have him admitted to alcohol and drug treatment facilities each time his behavior became too erratic.
Shaw also stated he had been kept in protective custody in the State of Maine. The person who had charge of Shaw was known to him as George Hocksteader, formerly from the Woonsocket area. According to Shaw, Remblad and Ryan had instructed George to keep Shaw drunk so that he would not want to return to Woonsocket. Shaw stated that he was continually intoxicated and that if the booze ran out, George would supply him with drugs.
During his stay in Maine, Shaw claimed that Hocksteader would take Shaw to a hardware store where George's girlfriend was employed. On more than one occasion, Shaw states that Hocksteader would have Shaw steal space heaters from the store with the help of the girlfriend.
This information was passed on to investigators with the Maine State Police, and after an investigation, Hocksteader and his girlfriend were arrested and charged with theft. Both of them admitted to the Maine State Police that what Shaw told them was true. Hocksteader also admitted that he was instructed by Remblad and Ryan to keep Shaw drunk. Shaw continually told these investigators that Remblad wanted Chief Lynch's job and wanted to get rid of Gordon Tempest and Moe Jalette. He said that Remblad also wanted to hurt Ray Tempest and his family. This, no doubt, was for putting Remblad's brother-in-law Stanley Irza in jail. It also must be noted Irza should not have owned a dealership with a felony record. Gordon Tempest was also involved in putting officer Aldo Aiudi in jail who was part of Remblad's clique.
Hocksteader is known as a close associate of Remblad. Hocksteader was compensated, by the State of Rhode Island through Remblad, for keeping Shaw in protective custody. Shaw claims that Remblad would get some of this money back from Hocksteader. Remblad, also at one point, had told the press that Shaw was being kept at an undisclosed location in Maine and watched by a former Rhode Island State Trooper.
After Shaw was with the authorities from Massachusetts, a call was made the Rhode Island State Police as well as the Attorney General's office and the local F.B.I. office in Providence, R.I., informing them of what Shaw was saying. Shaw spent the night at an undisclosed location in Uxbridge.
No one from Rhode Island appeared interested in Shaw or wanted to interview him. On the morning of January 9th, 1992, Shaw was taken to his home after a call was received from the Rhode Island authorities making this request. The police officials who drove Shaw home spotted two unmarked police vehicles at either end of the street where Shaw lived. The officers suspected that Shaw's house was under surveillance by Woonsocket Police.
At approximately 5:30 PM that same day, Shaw's home was raided by members of the Rhode Island Attorney General's staff. They had a search warrant and were looking for tape recordings that Shaw claimed he had of Remblad.
There seems to be several things that cast doubt on what the Attorney General claims happened during this raid. First of all, Shaw claims that he made a comment to Pennington, one of three people who conducted this search, about comments made to the press by Pennington. Shaw stated that after he recanted, he received a threat from Ronald Vaz. Shaw told Pennington that he was upset over this fact and made a comment, "Suppose I was just kidding. You could have gotten me killed." Within minutes of Shaw making this statement, he watched as Pennington went out to his cruiser and made a phone call.
According to Shaw this was just before the local news came on television at 6:00 PM. When the local news did come on, all three news stations had a late breaking news report that Shaw had taken back his recant from the previous day. It appears that Pennington either called the news stations himself or someone he called was responsible. One local reporter informed members of the Tempest family that the call came in to its news room at 5:55 PM., just as he was getting ready for the nightly news report.
Also strange is the fact that one of the searchers of Shaw's home was the head of the Attorney General's drug unit, Raymond Moffet. Why would a person of his position be sent to conduct a search of a two and a half story building when he has several subordinates who normally conduct searches. Even if this was considered important, it is highly out of character for Moffet to do this. The time that these officials took to conduct the search is also a good indication that they were not really searching for the tapes. To do a proper search of a building of this size would take well over two hours. Shaw stated that they finished shortly after the news came on and they had not located any tapes.
The story that appeared in the Woonsocket Call on January 10,1992, also adds doubt to the real intention of the searchers. In this story, (page 1) Ryan stated that Moffet and the others were shocked to find Shaw home when they got there. Pennington is also quoted as saying," I was really surprised to see him home because we heard he was in protective custody". This is an obvious lie because the two officials who dropped Shaw off were doing so at the request of the Attorney General and also because the house was under surveillance when they got there. This was just another example of what the Attorney General's office will do to protect their integrity and save this case.
It now appeared that the case was in jeopardy for the Attorney General's office. They denied this, but Tempest's lawyer, William A. Dimitri knew they were just putting up a front. Dimitri was pleased when he found out that the prosecution had lost their star witness. He also expected that they would do anything to replace Shaw as the State's top witness. They needed to replace Shaw to save the case and from what has occurred it's apparent they were capable of anything.
THE NEW STAR
They didn't have to wait long. Exactly nine days later Ronald Vaz came through. On January 17,1992, Vaz gave a very expanded statement to the police. This time he claims that Shaw was an active participant in the murder of Doreen Picard. Vaz claims that Shaw had told him that he had punched Doreen Picard in the head before Beaver killed her. The statement Vaz gives also states that Beaver and Shaw had been to Vaz's house several times since 1982 (over 50 times) and that each time they were there both men admitted to him their roles in this murder. Vaz also states that Beaver and Shaw implicated Robert Monteiro in the murder. They claim that Robert drove them to and from the scene.
The statement Vaz gives is nine pages long. In this statement he included everyone that Danny Shaw would have testified against. One thing that is first noticeable about this statement is that it is only signed by Ronald Vaz. A statement with so much incriminating evidence and of such importance was not signed? Whoever took this statement from Vaz would remain a mystery for several weeks. No matter who took it, it was only a short time before the Attorney General's office was able to come up with a new star witness, Ronald Vaz.
Vaz's explanation as to why he did not supply all of this information before was accepted by the Attorney General. Vaz was asked when he appeared before the grand jury on May 23, 1991, if he had told all the truth and he said that he did. He now admits that he had lied at that time to the grand jury, and also at Beaver's bail hearing in July 1991. The state's star is a known perjurer, but this was allowed. Anything that would help save the case was alright as far as the Attorney General and the police were concerned. His integrity was never questioned by the police or Ryan. He gave them what they wanted and that was all that mattered.
Shaw made attempts to inform the Attorney General that it was he who got Vaz to lie in the first place and that he was now just replacing Shaw as the main witness. A Witness Statement written by Sgt. Pennington on 4-9-91 support's Shaw's story. According to Pennington, Vaz told both he and Remblad that Shaw had been to his house a week earlier that week and asked Vaz if he could remember where Shaw was on the day of the murder. What Vaz told the two detectives on 4-8-91 not only supports Danny Shaw, but contradicts Vaz's statement and testimony.
The Attorney General had taken care of Shaw by destroying his credibility in the press. The Woonsocket Call would now do an editorial explaining to the public why Shaw now should not be believed. This is a complete turn around by the Woonsocket Call from a few months before. This is also a good example of the press being used by the police and the prosecution to try a case in a one sided manner.
When Shaw was with the prosecution and police, they first defended him while he was lying and gave him immunity. Now he tries to tell the truth, just like he tried during his visits to the grand jury to stop this miscarriage of justice, and he is called a liar and threatened to be arrested. Another observation is that when Shaw was being used by police and the prosecution, he was constantly drunk and causing trouble. He should have been arrested several times but wasn't. Now that he recants, Danny has stopped the drinking binges almost completely and he sounds like a rational person again they want to arrest him! As Danny would tell it, he drank so much then because the police constantly kept him that way. He also said that it made it easier for him to continue playing the role of the star witness, which he was driven to do by Remblad and Pennington. He felt very guilty about what he was doing.
The Attorney General had three choices. They could drop the indictment because of Shaw admitting that he had been forced to lie; they could go back before another grand jury and try to be fair; or they could proceed with the case. They chose the latter. The public wanted this case solved and Beaver Tempest was going to be the sacrificial lamb, no matter what it took.
With Vaz on center stage, the police continued to show that they would stop at nothing to get a conviction in this case. Before the trial started a second prosecution witness, Sherri Richards, John Allard's girlfriend, went to Attorney Dimitri and gave a signed statement that the police had also coerced her to lie. This should have caused the prosecution to worry about losing an important witness. This was also the second accusation made alleging illegal tactics by the police. But to no one's surprise, the police came up with a fill-in witness to replace Richards.
In early January, the police took a statement from a local prostitute who claimed that on the day of the murder, she was baby sitting Beaver's three children at his house on Winter Street. She also claimed that Beaver came home that afternoon at around 4:00 PM and had on a bloody T-shirt. While he showered, she was asked to wash the blood from the shirt. She further stated that Beaver's brother Gordon came to the house to get him and the two left the house together. This new evidence was released to the press by Remblad resulting in more adverse publicity.
There were several major problems with this new statement. First of all Beaver did not live on Winter Street during that time frame. Second, Beaver only had two children back then, not three. Also how could Gordon have arrived there when he had been called in to work at approximately 3:30 PM.? They not only had these problems with this story, but they also had to figure out what to do with Sherry Richards who really had the Tempest children at her home that day. This problem was taken care of by Pennington who claimed in a Woonsocket Call story on January 12, 1992, that Sherry told him that she might have been mistaken and only had the children half a day. The only problem with this is that when Gordon called Sherry's looking for Beaver on the day of the murder, she told Gordon that the children were still with her. It's a wonder the police didn't try to get Gordon to change his story to help the case.
If the police were wrong for accepting this statement, then the Attorney General's office should be held even more accountable for allowing it. It was as if the police could come up with multiple witnesses in case one backed out then they could reach into their pool of perjury and pull out a replacement.
The problem was resolved when the police got Sherry Richards back on their side. She would later tell one of Beaver's daughters that Pennington threatened to put her in jail on an old drug charge if she didn't say what they wanted. No matter what the reason, the police now had two witnesses who were claiming to have been the baby sitter. One of them had to be telling the truth, and the other one had to be lying to the police. Under Rhode Island law, it is a misdemeanor to give a false statement to the police. It was obvious that the prostitute had lied, but nothing was ever done about it, by either the police or the Attorney General's office. It is also perjury to use false information under R.I. law.
Due to the voluminous transcripts and records, see Section II of this complaint which covers the trial. For starters the trial judge stated that Ryan's opening statements alone were so inappropriate that he has seen cases reversed for less. Trial Counsel Dimitri also moved for a change of venue [location] due to all the adverse and erroneous publicity fed to the media apparently by the police.