ARTICLE 32 HEARING TRANSCRIPTS
September 10, 1970: Staff Sergeant E-6 William Boulware
(The hearing reopened at 1421 hours, 10 September 1970.)
COL ROCK: This hearing will come to order. Let the record reflect that all parties present when we recesses are currently in the hearing room. At this time I call as my next witness, Sergeant Boulware.
(Staff Sergeant William A. Boulware was called as a witness, was sworn, and testified as follows.)
Questions by COL ROCK:
Q Would you state your full name and your rank?
A William A. Boulware, Staff Sergeant E-6.
Q And what is your branch of service and current military address?
A Army, 118th MP Company.
Q Were you on duty the night of 16-17 February at Fort Bragg, North Carolina?
A Yes, sir.
Q What was your duty assignment that evening?
A I was Desk Sergeant at that time.
Q Did anything unusual occur during the early morning hours of 17 February that you remember?
A The only unusual thing was when I received a phone call from the Chief Operator downtown Fayetteville.
Q And do you remember what time that was?
A Approximately 0342.
Q Do you remember the name of the Chief Operator, or did she identify herself?
A She identified herself, I think, if I am correct, as Mrs. Lander. [sic should be Landen]
Q And what did she say, if you recall?
A She informed me that she had a party on the line that she believed lived on Fort Bragg, and he kept uttering "stabbing, 544 Castle Drive, hurry, 544 Castle Drive, help", and she said she was going to transfer the call to my line, she did, and I heard words similar to the same thing I just said.
Q And would you please repeat those words then as you heard them?
A The first time I heard them was very faint and weak. It said, "544 Castle Drive, help." The next time he says, "544 Castle Drive, stabbing" and then he said, "hurry."
Q He said hurry?
A Hurry. This time either he dropped the phone or something happened. I heard a clinging noise like the phone hitting against the wall or floor or something.
Q All right, how long was it approximately before you heard any other sounds?
A Maybe half a minute. Maybe a minute. Then he came back on with the same thing.
Q Could it possibly have been more than one minute?
A I doubt seriously.
Q And what was said the second time?
A In a weak whisper, "544 Castle Drive, stabbing, help." He said it one more time and then it faded out and I didn't hear anything.
Q Did you say anything to the party on the line at any time?
A I tried to. First of all, I took it to be a domestic disturbance. I tried to inquire if it was between, an argument between him and his wife.
Q Do you remember your words?
A To be exact, no, I don't, sir.
Q But you attempted to determine if it was a domestic disturbance?
A Right, sir.
Q Have you ever had occasion to inquire from anyone in any other situation as to whether it was a domestic disturbance?
A Right, sir.
Q What type conversation do you use, what type words do you normally use when you are inquiring about a domestic disturbance?
A When they call up, usually they are hysterical or they just had a beating or being beaten, one or two things. If it is going on now, all I have to do is punch a line and tell the radio operator to send a patrol over there, and I am sitting here talking to them. But if it's over with, then there's no need for immediate expediency to get to the area, so we just dispatch the closest patrol in the area.
Q But you don't remember in this instance what questions you placed to the party on the line?
A I asked was anybody there now? I said, "Did your wife do it, or who did it?" And all he said was "544 Castle Drive, stabbing, hurry." That's when I reached back and -- the first time he said it, I -- when the operator first told me, I sent a -- told the radio operator to send a patrol over there, and kept talking to him. She didn't hang up; she kept us together all the time.
Q Where is the radio operator in relation to your seat as the Desk Sergeant?
A About, maybe two to three feet behind me.
Q How long did you remain on the phone?
A I remained on the phone until a patrol got there and they called me back, picked up the phone and said, "We're here now." I could hear them on the radio at the same time.
Q Do you know who told you over that phone that they were there, meaning the MP's? Did they identify themselves?
A All he said was -- I think he said Patrol 36.
Q He said Patrol 36 and what else?
A He said, "Get us an ambulance over here, get a couple."
Q Get a couple of ambulances over here?
Q And was it a male voice?
A Right, it was one of the patrols.
Q Between the last time that you heard someone say weakly, "544 Castle Drive, help" and the time that you heard someone say, "Patrol 36," approximately how much time elapsed?
A Maybe roughly ten minutes, I'd say.
Q Roughly, okay.
A When the patrol first arrived there, the front door was locked. I heard them call back and say they couldn't get in the front door.
Q You heard that through what source?
A The radio was right behind me, it's a big opening, I can lean back like this and hear everything that's going on on the radio.
Q All right, but I want to keep our testimony currently solely on the telephone part at this stage.
Q Now after the individual said, "Patrol 36 is here" and "Get a couple of ambulances," how much longer did you remain on that telephone?
A At this time I hung up immediately.
Q Now referring back to the conversations that you heard over the radio, after you dispatched a jeep to the -- or dispatched a patrol to the scene, what radio conversations did you hear from that patrol?
A When it first got to the quarters, the front door is locked and seemed all secured, and they inquired if I wanted then to break it down. I told them to check the rear. At this time they checked the rear and one of them came back on the radio and said there were two bloody bodies there, get Womack fast. And I assume his partner was inside the house and picked up the phone.
Q Now addressing your -- ourselves to the actions of Lieutenant Paulk, when the phone call came in, did you take any action with reference to notifying any superiors of what you had heard over the telephone?
A By this being an officer's quarters; usually the duty officer is contacted. The duty officer was in the building at that time, I believe, and I think the clerk went back and got him. He went over there along with the traffic patrol.
Q Did you receive any radio messages from the duty -- first, do you know who the duty officer was?
A Lieutenant Paulk.
Q Did you receive any radio messages from him?
A My first message from him was when he called -- I think he used the next door neighbor's phone.
Q And what was the substance of your conversation with him?
A Well, do you want it like he said it?
Q Yes, if you can, I'd prefer it that way.
A Well, said words to this effect. He said, "we've got three bodies," he said, I believe they're goners," and he said he thinks the old boy is still alive. What's holding Womack up? Or words to that effect.
Q And what's holding up Womack?
Q What did you do as a result of Lieutenant Paulk's statement?
A At this time I was still talking on the phone, I heard I think it was Womack 4 come in and they said they were lost.
Q Womack is what?
A That's the ambulance from Womack.
Q And it has a radio on it?
A Right, it's on our Bragg frequency, and they were at, I think it was at Lucas and Honeycutt. Anyway I told a patrol to turn on a light so that the ambulance could see them. I also sent another patrol to meet them.
Q To your knowledge was there only one ambulance enroute to 544 Castle Drive?
A At that time, only one.
Q Did you receive any description of the assailants from anyone there at 544 Castle Drive?
A The only description I received for all the assailants was from a traffic patrol which was Specialist Williams. He identified them as two male Negroes, one Caucasian and one female wearing a floppy hat.
Q And that came by radio?
Q What did you do when you received that message over the radio?
A Well, when he called it over the radio, all the other patrols monitored that transmission. Therefore we told them to stop any suspicious people in the area, fill out an interrogation reports, and if they find any suspects, 10 1 7.
Q I'm sorry. If they what?
A If they find any suspects, bring them in.
Q Now, you said "we," who is "we told them"?
A Well, I told the radio operator and the operator relayed the message to the patrols.
Q How do you know if all other patrols had monitored that particular transmission? Do you have a call-back procedure or what?
A At night most of the vehicles are sedans, therefore they all have to be on the Bragg frequency. Now it was related to the Buckneer (phonetic) patrols that were sent to different intersections in the area to stop people.
Q But all patrol radios are capable of picking up the signal regardless of whether they are in a hole, downhill, or in a place that is low on Fort Bragg?
A Every area has a dead spot. Unless they are in a dead spot they pick it up. That night they all picked it up because they all responded.
COL ROCK: They all respond.
Q And would you repeat once more what you told, it is you told the radio operator to put out on the air concerning looking for the assailants?
A Well, it was Williams who put it out. It was two male Negroes, one male Caucasian, and one --
Q I'm sorry. I'm talking about the description of them. What action you caused to be taken in the search for the assailants?
A Any suspicious people you see in the area that time of night, stop and fill out full interrogation cards on them, and bring them in.
Q Approximately how many patrols were out that evening? Excuse me, let me strike that. How many patrols would act on that information?
A All of them would act on it.
Q How many?
A Including the Duty Officer, I'd say roughly nine, ten.
Q Ten patrols?
A To include the Duty Officer.
Q Did you -- did any of your superiors instruct you to establish road blocks for purposes of apprehending the alleged assailants?
A Just to set up road blocks, negative. However, traffic was -- patrols were set up at certain, like at Corregidor Courts, there's only about four ways you can get out of Corregidor Courts, and patrols were sent and they were stopping any vehicles that had passengers in them leaving Corregidor Courts.
Q Was a patrol located at each of those four entrances?
A Well, they were patrolling up and down the streets. They weren't stationary.
Q Then are you saying that there were four patrols in Corregidor Courts immediately?
A There were eight patrols in Corregidor Courts. They were all there.
Q I see, okay. At what time did these patrols become operative in an attempt to apprehend the alleged assailants?
A Immediately upon getting the description. The time to be exact, I don't know.
Q Approximately then, as best you can? Take your time to reconstruct the events, and give me your best estimate.
A I'd say maybe, I'd say four or five minutes after they had talked to Captain MacDonald, and when he came back Williams put the description on the air, and that's when the patrols started looking for them.
Q Sergeant Boulware, I'm trying to get a clock time. Can you reconstruct the events as you understand them so you could give me your estimate of a clock time?
A In the vicinity of four o'clock, I'd say.
COL ROCK: I have no further questions. Do counsel for the government?
Questions by CPT SOMERS:
Q You had nine patrols, you say?
A There are eight regular post patrols, one traffic patrol, and then there was the Duty Officer.
Q One of the eight was a traffic patrol?
A Right, Williams, the one that called in the description, Specialist Williams. He was traffic patrol.
Q Do you know how many entrances and exists there are to Fort Bragg?
A To Fort Bragg, not right offhand, but in any specified area that you were in, I could block you off certain areas.
Q Well, can you give us an estimate? Are there 3, or 30 or 300?
A Roughly nine or ten.
Q Are there some roads off of Chicken Road?
Q Were you counting those?
A If you block Chicken off, you can't get to them. It depends on where you are going.
Q Now you count nine or ten major access roads. Is that right?
Q But in the vicinity of four o'clock you had patrols looking through the area of Corregidor Courts. Is that correct?
A Right. We have one patrol that patrols that area.
Q But your instructions to pick up people applied to all the patrols, did it not?
Q How many people were brought in as a result of this? Do you know?
A I remember about three, a couple of Sergeants that were getting ready to go to work; some guy that was in a phone booth at Mallonee Village, and that's all I remember. A couple of cars were stopped with --
Q Who brought the man from Mallonee Village in? Do you remember?
A His name is on the interrogation card.
Q Could it have been Sergeant Duffy?
A It could have been. I'm not sure, who was on patrol that night. It's been a long time.
Q The description you got from Williams was two male Negroes, one male Caucasian and one female with a floppy hat?
Q How distinct, how clear, how loud was the voice that you heard on the phone from 544 Castle Drive?
A Almost -- it was -- it was too weak to be a whisper. It was more so of a -- it was a faint fading voice, sounded flaky.
Q Can you identify that?
A "544 Castle Drive, stabbing."
CPT SOMERS: Let the record reflect the witness has said the words, "544 Castle Drive, stabbing" in what I would consider as a faint whisper. No further questions.
COL ROCK: Counsel for the accused?
MR. SEGAL: Yes, sir, would you indulge me for a moment, sir. I'm looking for something else with regard to this matter.
Questions by MR. SEGAL:
Q Sergeant Boulware, I'm not entirely clear as to the procedure that you followed as between a report of a domestic quarrel which was over and domestic quarrel which is in progress. Would you tell me again what you do?
A We have codes like Code 1 or Code 2, that means blue light and siren, or let's hurry over there. Maybe you can prevent someone from doing bodily harm to the other. But if in the event the argument is over, there's no need to go flashing over with blue light and siren. You're taking a chance when you do that. To start off, you might cause an accident. But if it's already over and not much need to hurry, because you know the two people are there, they apparently had their differences. Now the repercussion has got to be faced.
Q Well, is Code 1 the blue light and siren, and Code 2 is just a direction to go to the scene?
Q In view of a complaint. Now at what point after you received the first call from the operator did you give some direction for a vehicle to go to 544 Castle Drive?
A When the operator -- she talked to me first and she explained to me what she had. Then she asked me where was this address, and I looked and I said it was in the Corregidor Courts, its officers. And she said, "Well, I have a party on the line" and then she plugged me in, and I listened and I just leaned back to the radio operator and I said, "Get a patrol to 544 Castle Drive" and I was still talking to her while the patrol was enroute.
Q Was that a Code 1 or Code 2 dispatch?
A All I said was "ASAP," meaning in a hurry, fast.
Q Do you know what the instruction was that the radio operator put out in regard to that?
A To be specific, no, I don't.
Q Did you continue then to listen on the phone after you leaned back and told the --
A Right. We've got a prop, you can sit the phone on your shoulder and listen and talk to two people at the same time.
Q Now do you remember anything at all that you specifically said to the voice on the phone or any specific question you put to the voice over the phone?
A Not specific questions, no, I don't remember any specific questions. I believe I inquired were the parties there or not, and the only answer he gave was, "544 Castle Drive, stabbing, hurry. 544 Castle Drive, stabbing, help." He didn't answer anything I asked him. That's why I sent the Duty Officer. That's all he would say, "544 Castle Drive, stabbing."
Q You do believe though, you asked whether the parties were still there to the voice you were speaking to on the phone?
A Right, I asked when did it happen, how long ago, are you one of the people? And all he would say was "help" and dropped the phone the last time and he didn't come back no more.
Q When you asked that the Duty Officer be notified, did you do that through telling someone else?
A Right, the clerk sits over there on my left. I said, "Go get the Duty Officer."
Q Well, did Lieutenant Paulk come back to you, or did he leave without seeing you?
A He just wanted to know what was going on, and I told him I didn't know at the time. I said it's a DD at 544 Castle Drive. Him and his driver went over and by that time the traffic patrol was there and another patrol was there, and he arrived.
Q As far as you recall, that's all you told Lieutenant Paulk, that you thought it might be a DD?
A I told him the man said there was a stabbing.
Q You told him also there might have been a stabbing?
A I said all I heard was the faint voice, "544 Castle Drive, stabbing." That's all the man had said.
Q And DD I assume is your abbreviation for domestic disturbance?
Q Now you described there being nine patrols, plus the Duty Officer's vehicle in the area as a result of the message you sent out?
Q Are you including in that number the vehicles that responded to and that were actually at 544 Castle Drive?
Q So that at least four or five of the vehicles were apparently tied up --
A No, no, the patrols -- you see, immediately upon finding the bodies, the CID was the next called. The CID got over there, and he issued instructions on the spot, I assume, to secure the house. Nobody enter, leave or come around the area.
Q Excuse me. Who was he giving that instruction to?
A The patrol supervisor. I assume that's what he did, because the rest of the patrol called back in. They were on the road.
Q How many called back in that had returned to patrolling?
A I think one of them escorted the ambulance over at Womack -- I don't know. I don't know.
Q Well, is it fair to assume, Sergeant Boulware, that not nine patrols went back to patrolling this area, but that some were involved at 544 Castle Drive and some went back to patrolling because they couldn't perform any additional function at 544?
A The only patrols that I know that stayed there was the patrols the Duty Officer directed to stay there. All others was supposed to have been returned to the road.
Q When you say they were supposed to, you mean that's the normal procedure?
Q Now the message that you put out with the description and a direction to check suspicious people. I believe you said check suspicious people in the area. Am I correct in that regard?
A Right, and later on it was put out all over the post. When Lieutenant Paulk called back from -- I think he gave this one from Womack, I believe it was from Womack, I'm not sure -- but he called back and he changed the description as to one male Negro wearing an Army field jacket with NCO chevrons on the sleeves, two Caucasians, one female. She had on a floppy hat and she was wearing boots.
Q And when you received that information from Lieutenant Paulk, you said a message was sent out post-wide?
Q As far as the first message, however, to check out these people in what you described as the area, what area did you mean? Would that mean Corregidor Courts?
A Corregidor Courts, Mallonee Village, right around that area, part of Anzio.
Q Part of Anzio Acres would have taken into Corregidor Courts patrol?
A Right, right around in that area.
MR. SEGAL: I have nothing further, sir.
COL ROCK: Does counsel for the government?
Questions by CPT SOMERS:
Q Sergeant Boulware, when this first description from Williams was put out, did, in fact, patrols start reporting in from patrol duty?
A Right. Called in and said they stopped several cars, people -- that's when they started bringing people in. All the patrols were back pulling their duty, I assume. I'm not saying they were.
Q Were you getting calls to give you reason to believe that is true?
A Right, this is why I said I assume.
CPT SOMERS: No further questions.
COL ROCK: Sergeant Boulware, you are advised that you will discuss your testimony with no person other than counsel for the government or counsel for the accused. Do you understand?
WITNESS: Right, sir.
COL ROCK: You are permanently excused, thank you.
WITNESS: Right, sir.
(Witness saluted the investigating officer and departed the hearing room.)
COL ROCK: We will recess.
(The hearing recessed at 1455 hours, 10 September 1970.)