Hello, podcast listeners, my name is Chris Walker, host of The Syndicate, the new podcast about how a group of college friends took advantage of Colorado's medical marijuana laws to create one of the longest, most lucrative smuggling runs in U.S. history. Subscribe to the syndicate right now on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
And stay tuned to the end of this episode for a special preview of the trailer.
See 13 originals. Marin County is a relatively small county in Texas, it's a total population, somewhere around ten thousand people. When people think about Texas, about more cattle and desert and cactus, now that this region of Texas, you know, we have trees, we have hardwood refineries and lakes and hills. And it's typical to Alabama, Georgia, that type terrain.
I've been the sheriff of Marion County, Texas, seven 1/2 years. You never know who's going to be living next door to you or who you're going to be dealing with, and it amazes me, some of the people that turn up, I wonder, how'd you find me again?
What attracted you here online? What's your emergency? I'm on a motorized round over here on one of Jack's liquor stores. And there's a house on fire back here. There's a man sitting in a blue Jaguar watching it burn, OK? I asked him about his home burn and he said yes. And I asked him if he wanted to move further away from the fire. And he said he wasn't worried about the fire. He said he was worried about the bullets that were going to fly.
OK, we'll send someone right out. My name is Chuck Rogers. I've been a police officer for this is my twenty seventh year. I'm the criminal investigator, Frank County Sheriff's Office in Jefferson, Texas. Well, on this particular night, it was early Monday morning, July eight, 2013, it was about five a.m. I was a patrol deputy and my responsibilities were, you know, patrol the entire county. And I was in an area of Lake of the Pines, which is here in northeast Texas.
I had been through this area maybe no more than 15 minutes before this call came out of Marion County to satellite by satellite. Be advised, we have a stretch of fire between something behind one on Jackson and seven twenty nine.
As I was heading west towards the call, I could see very large glow when I pulled up at one eyed Jacks, which was an old abandoned liquor store. I could see the building fully engulfed. It was a structure.
It was the house that was behind the store. You could feel the heat and there were already a couple of firemen on scene. I'm Denzel Walter Messman Junior. Well, 2013, I was fire chief. Well, when I pulled up on scene, I found the house totally engulfed with hot fire. After I set up the drugs, I noticed a blue Jaguar with a gentleman slumped over facing the house, which I thought he'd passed out. I seen him when I first pulled in.
He had no shirt. These pants was blue jeans and it was unzipped. Also, he had a brown socks and no shoes. And when I went over to get him to move, I noticed that when I tried to wake him up, I found that he had no pulse whatsoever. In his right hand, he had an automatic handgun in blood over his chest, over his heart. That stays with you. Yes. You think it's a movie, but it's not it's real life.
If I'm going to tell you the story, July 8th, 2013 seems as good a place to start as any. Without the. Oh, the darkness comes. Oh, through the Night said. Fend off the enemy, sing the jubilee with all the fire we can bring. My name is Jackie Taylor, and this is relative unknown. After receiving the radio call from dispatch, officer Chuck Rogers arrives on the scene and turns on his body.
Mike, you couldn't pull up a little bit for me, could you? Is Rogers gets out of a squad car, fire chief Denzel Walter Messman Jr. is there and he points to the blue Jaguar.
All four windows are down. And as they walk over, Messman aims his flashlight at the shirtless man sitting in the driver's seat. The EMT that was Hayasaki take him right off the they just left already, OK. OK, was the vehicle just sitting here when you got here. OK, right quick. Deep. You know this guy, did he live here. I don't, I don't have you OK. Officer Rogers then makes a phone call to his boss, the sheriff of Marion County, Texas, David McKnight.
There's a structure fire at one of Jack's headed out here, pulled up in front of the store.
It was somewhere around two 30 that I got a phone call from deputy to Rogers Fire. And he said that he was initially called to a house fire. He went up.
Our fire chief walked up to this guy where not breathing. There was a man that had apparently shot himself in the head.
So his own personal arm, Timbits pistol, sitting on his lap there, still in his hand. There's an obvious exit wound in the back of the head. There's blood behind the driver's seat. It looks like it's dripping down the seat and onto the floorboard. Looks like there's a spent shell casing, like by the back seat. I don't know who he is yet. We've run the tag. They haven't given me a return yet.
After he told me that, well, I immediately started getting up and get dressed. I knew I had to go to the scene.
Sheriff McKnight begins the hour long drive from his house and radios for assistance to his father. One Holgado Farma Kinsler father, one.
Back at the scene, Officer Rogers is told who the man in the blue Jaguar is. Do you know this guy? What's his name? Oh, well, I'll go see if you can find anything on all. The only the only thing I'll ever seen him with any one. A female. Paul Dohm is the man's name. Rogers is told that Dohm is married to a woman named Vivian and they live together in the burning house along with Vivian's son, Ed, as officer Rogers takes photos of the body.
Chief Messman and his team are fighting the fire. The house fire. I want to work as far as you can get into it, because it goes up so fast.
So many different chemicals involved between the furniture and curtains of plastic and it burns hotter. It's like taking a match and put it into a matchbox once it would get to go. We spent about four hours out there to get it down where we can get close enough to start really work on it, and that's when I noticed that one of the firemen threw his hands up and backed off, which is why there's a body in here.
Sir, the guy that shot himself and so they're thinking the guy's married, nobody can locate his wife. OK, they're saying they did find a body here in the house, so that's that's what they just come and tell me.
So as the firemen got my attention, of course, I took my flashlight over because he was still trying to get the fire down. As I went over, he was pointing to me what he thought he saw. And so as he's fighting the fire, I'm taking my flashlight and trying to look and make sense of what we're looking to.
And there's something right in I want to look at if we can see in our case, the. Hold up this particular point just looked like a charred lump of meat. I hate to describe it that way, but like you might do a brisket or something, it just it's just a lump of meat. And we were 100 percent certain we were seeing a large bone, possibly a leg bone. By this point, Sheriff McKnight had arrived and began coordinating what was now a crime scene.
I talked to David Rogers, I've got to find way to go and show me where he saw the remains. It was still dark, still a tremendous amount of smoke.
It was a very hot fire is totally engulfed and just kind of the fire is out over.
We could see that just looked like a burnt part of a leg or possibly arm bone. And that was a small amount of flames still left on it.
But it was bigger than, say, hostile or some kind of dog is fairly sure it was human remains. Immediately, we got to fire trucks to bring over and concentrate their efforts on this area and try to cool this area where it would reach a point where we could actually get in there and see what we had. The human remains were on the western side of the house and the crew that was on the eastern side just trying to mop up and get the fire completely out.
They came over and said they thought they had found more human remains. And I went over and saw a school. And then I really thought, you know, I don't have one person. I got two people. This kind of stuff is not easy to talk. It's not easy, dodgiest. We normally will average a homicide a year. And six months after winning office, they get into a double murder suicide. It was a kind of I got initiated really quick and I'm I'll be completely honest.
I was overwhelmed by this.
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A tip from a trash collector leads investigators to three bodies at a home in Marion County. The trash collector was making his rounds at about two o'clock this morning when he noticed a house on fire on FMP seven twenty nine near Lake of the Pines.
CBS Nineteens Field Sutton joins us live from that house tonight. And that investigation is still going on tonight.
Justin and Julie in Texas Rangers, Marion County Sheriff's Department and firefighters are all still out here tonight. They're making a detailed map of exactly what happened this morning. And looking on back at the house, you can see how incredibly just just just destroyed that it was. And just in the last hour, we can tell you that they took away the two bodies that were found inside. There was also a man dead of a gunshot wound in a car outside.
The theory investigators are working with is that man killed his wife and stepson and then killed himself.
And fields of the sheriff have anything to say about how the mother and son died inside the house. I mean, do we know whether they were dead before the fire started? You know, we don't know yet. The biggest challenge here is going to be that those two bodies were so thoroughly burned and the fire, the hope is that an autopsy can bring some answers, but unfortunately, there are no guarantees. One thing it's really important is say, if you woke up and you have a body, you say a couple of leg bones, good arm bones and the skull, he said, well, that's enough.
We know it's a dead body. Well, it don't work like it. Once we pick up the pieces that are big enough to bag. Well, then the rest of the surrounding area, I se we actually see. We have screens made out of progressively smaller screen where it all has to be passed is the reason you can have something as big as a quarter Hatboro when they give you a cause of death.
As Sheriff McKnight was gathering evidence, Officer Rogers went looking for witnesses.
You're sitting in my home, you. Vivian Dohm on the house and the property at Sadun, and she and Paul had rented out lots for people to live on in their travel trailers at the time, only one other lot was occupied. Bernard Browder, let me just knock on his door, Fernande Browder had his trailer in the back corner of the property about 100 yards from the fire. Well, up here, there's a lot of allergies, so I know is running.
Real bad, so I took some Nyquil, which makes me sleep real deeply, I don't wake up. So when I heard the pounding on my door about daylight, I got up. I was still half asleep. Couldn't understand why the deputy sheriff kept asking me all kinds of questions but wasn't telling me anything. They had every law enforcement agency. There was ATF, Texas Rangers out here I would throw with out here. So I kept looking at the house and it was foggy and smoking, and finally I noticed the house was burned down.
That's when I got shot. Oh, we're very good to me. He was always ask me anything he could do for me. And I was always looking for ways to make life easier for him because he was always in pain with his leg. And he tried to take pain pills and they but they didn't help. But he was always in pain. He was just like an old country boy, and I guess I was close to Paul, just about anybody was.
But he had a secret, so I didn't go back in his background. He didn't go back into my. I thought the world of power and baby and both, so they were always good to me.
Paul was 73 years old and tattooed with long hair.
Vivian was eighty five years old, frail and legally blind.
And Vern says when Vivian's son Ed, sixty one years old, got sick with brain cancer, Vivian asked Paul if Ed could live with them so she could take care of him.
He was taking his chemotherapy or whatever, he was very pale, he didn't have no hair and he wasn't able to really walk, so he was carried in and he stayed in bed and Damien took care of it. He was supposed to not have survived more than a month, but he kept getting better because Vivian was a nurse and she took care of him. Paul, well, he was driving because he was getting better instead of worse, but still he couldn't do much on his own, so er depend on power for anything.
You got to remember old people like that, they like to comfort and a stepson was like an intrusion in on the family, but I have never seen that man do anything wrong. Furn says it wasn't until the morning of July 4th that he noticed something strange. Well, during the day the Dow was in there by himself, but I noticed the Dow was out running around. I didn't think much of it. But then the Dow, we're sleeping under my trailer.
So I want to check to make sure that it plays a dog food out, and that was a sign that Paul had power on the screen door, that he was in Louisiana would be back in three days.
But Vern didn't know that the DOMS had made plans to stay local. They've been invited to their friends. There was no excuse for a cookout. And when the domes didn't show up, Don Wasniewski tried to call Vivian.
I wasn't getting any answer, and it wasn't like Vivian not to return a call if you left a message and I felt compelled to go over there and see what's up.
I walked up to the sliding door, that's the door that we always went in and out of, and the curtains were pulled and there was a note on the door that said gone to Louisiana. I thought that that was really strange because we had made arrangements. I knocked on the door and nobody answered. I didn't hear the dog bark either, so there was a side door that led into the kitchen.
I opened the door and I just stuck my head in and I said, Anybody here?
Before I entered the kitchen, I could see Paul sitting in the chair in the living room and he looked very uncomfortable. I said, Paul, are you OK? And he said, well, I'm all right, I just don't feel very good. And I said, Do you want me to come in? Can I come in and, you know, see if you're OK? No, no, I'm I'll be all right. And I said, well, did Vivian go somewhere?
He goes, Yeah, she's not here. So I said, OK. I said, If you're all right, I'll leave. And he goes, Yeah, that'd be fine. I turned and closed the door. And when I got in my car, I literally felt the hair on the back of my neck just stand up. She sensed something was wrong. But what Don didn't realize was that had she come through the kitchen on the other side of the wall, she may have tripped over Ed's body.
Or if she'd walk through Paul's workshop, she would have tripped over Vivian's body because Paul Dohm had shot them both to death. Then he sat in the house with them in the Texas heat for more than three days and in the early morning hours of July 8th, he set the house on fire and watched it burn. And then after warning the garbage man about bullets flying dome shot himself in the head. If you'll see anything else real here, just let me know if you don't mind.
Later that morning, a man who lived down the road and said he was a friend of Paul DOMS was trying to get Sheriff McKnight's attention while we were processing, saying there's a guy that kept walking around the age of crime scene. Two or three times he came inside the tape and I went out and told him, you know, you'll have to get outside the tape. To be honest with you, I didn't pay attention to him. I was busy.
And they just struck me as being a rubberneckers that wanted to get up there and see what's going on. And I finally told him about the third time that he came in, and I'm trying to be nice to you. Where did you come back again inside this crime scene tape we're going to file charges on. And so he just kind of shrugged his shoulders and said, well, the hell, we all are going to say you need to looking at the wrong.
First thing it struck my mind, they will get more bodies out there, and so we went out there, I got one of the to go out there with me in case there was somebody in there. You know, I still have it's old dilapidated motor home and weeds and stuff going up around it.
So we went in it and we saw those real dark colored, just a wooden steamer that Trump. And I'm still thinking when you'll find more bones about this and we open it, was that they had to hire us to out and we started finding all kinds of Hells Angel paraphernalia.
I mean, covers and patches and gloves and jewelry and just tons of stuff.
So I started looking at it and the name Clarence Croucher, Butch Grouch, came up in addition to the Hells Angels patches, the steamer trunk was filled with photos, letters and stacks of law enforcement documents. There were hundreds of newspaper articles about the Hells Angels and a high profile criminal trials. And the central character in these trials was a man named Clarence Butch Crouch.
McKnight took the steamer trunk to the Marion County Sheriff's Department and began sifting through it.
We came back and had his trunk in his trunk with a tremendous attention grabber for everybody. And so we were going through the surface in the trunk. It is very interesting. I found a letter that evidently piled on head when he turned 65. He tried to establish Medicare. According to the letter, the leg pain that Vern Browder mentioned had become unbearable to Paul Dohm.
And he didn't have health insurance, so he applied for Medicare.
And then Medicare sent him back a letter stating that his Social Security number wasn't associated with anybody and it didn't register in their system. So Paul Dohm sent them another letter, this time with a different Social Security number and a different name, Clarence Crouch.
So I took the Social Security number one over our dispatch communication center and got the dispatcher on the Social Security number and later came back to what came back. Is subject unknown or contact a certain phone number with about 30 minutes. Somebody called me from the Justice Department. We're going to help you get this number. Why are you going to the criminal justice system? And so I told him what we are going on and the ball started rolling.
Now, as McKnight continue the conversation, he learned that the Department of Justice oversees the witness protection program and they'll neither confirm nor deny the identity of a protected witness. But even without being officially told. So McKnight figured that Clarence Crouch and Paul Dohm or the same person. So I told him we might have one of your snitches down there. And three or four days later, deputy U.S. marshal, they came down and the U.S. Marshals wanted all the Hells Angel paraphernalia that had identified fall down was actually being Clarence Crouch.
I'm thinking the reason they probably asked for is even with him to see they wanted to protect the identity of this witness protection person. They didn't want to get out of the public eye. The media, federal authorities have a tremendous amount of power as it pertains to federal law, but they have limited amount of power. And when it comes to state law and this is a state case, our district attorney consulted with the Justice Department and it was determined that this evidence has no value to them.
So McKnight kept the trunk in the patrol room at the station. It was hard to ignore, especially one item sitting at the bottom. There was a manuscript in there, a big, thick manuscript that was you could tell it was the makings of a book. It was written with an old typewriter and the four hundred seventy eight single spaced pages were all yellowed and bound together with string. On the cover page was a three word title, Hate and Discontent.
Everything in the trunk was interesting with the manuscript was by far the most dangerous, and yet I wished I could preserve it effectively because I didn't want get into tampering with evidence situation, but I wished I had arranged to keep sometimes I wish I had time. I could sit down and read it. But every time I came from this page to the office, I would stop and pick it up and read another few pages. And it's like, you're right, it is hard to put down.
Word spread quickly that Paul Dohm was really a former Hells Angel turned government witness named Clarence, which crouch. It was about four or five days after the incident, I was an officer and a gentleman came in, he was 70, 75 years old and lived in Arkansas, and he was a pretty long haired, gray haired, tidied up, pretty good hair and used to say. And he told me that he was a Hell's Angel.
These are not steel, I am I'm not active, but he is gentleman, you know, he had heard about what we had going on. I was well, I can't really discuss a whole lot of it with you as well. They take a really dim view of the what they call the covers or whatever that is in the possession of anybody except the Hells Angel. And he said normally when when they had somebody died or when they got put in jail, that was our deal, that some club member came and collected the covers and took them back with.
They want to know if they could have the colors, I know you're. And he didn't he didn't really raise that much of a ruckus over his nice guy. I visited with him 30, 40 minutes. I would really have enjoyed sitting there with him and hear some of his own stories about how probably in my best interest not to get too deep into that.
At that time before the Hells Angel left, he told Sheriff McKnight one last thing.
He made a remark to me that Butch can't scratch no boots.
This guy said, I'm not really afraid of anything, but I was afraid of him. So he was one bad dude on the. By this point, you've probably wondered why I'm the person telling you this story. Well, Butch Crouch, also known as Paul Dohm, was my father without the. Or the darkness comes. I didn't know my father very well, but the decisions he made almost 40 years ago left a huge hole in my life and I've been hiding from my story in the past until now.
This is relative unknown who threw the nine? Coming this season, I cut down the shotgun, we pulled up and stopped and the machine gun opened up and I started shooting.
I saw the knife thrown and then I fired a shot at him. When he said he was in the Hells Angels, I was like, holy shit, what the hell did I got myself into?
He was giving out details of this crime and details of how she was buried, that only somebody that was there would have known about what could bring somebody to the point that they would roll like this for no reason at all. I have no love for any of these snitches because they're all scumbags, but the family members are pure victims. I didn't sign any papers. I didn't agree to any of this. And that's my ongoing fight. And I'm not going to stop until everything is rectified within the witness protection program.
Butch, why did you join Hells Angels? I joined because of a brotherhood. We would all stay together and we would all our kids would be Hells Angels. And, you know, it was something that we'd all grow old and be proud of.
Relative unknown as a creation and presentation of C 13 originals, a division of kadence 13 and Roomer Inc executive produced by Chris Corcoran, Zach Levit, David Beilinson, Michael Golinski and Sooky Holly, written, produced, directed and edited by Zack Levit, produced and edited by Perry Croll. Our theme song is Change on the Rise by Avi Kaplan Original Music composed by Joel Goodman, Mixed and Mastered by Bill Schulz. Production Support by Ian Mont and Lloyd Lakeridge Field Recording by Rich Berner, Michael Golinski, Perry Croll and Connor waddingham production, engineering and coordination by Sean Cherry and Terrence Malick on Artwork, Marketing and PR by Kurt Courtney Josephine of Frances and Hilary Duff.
I'm Jackie Taylor and thanks for listening to Relative Unknown. I feel the change on the. I feel the change on the. As promised, here's a special preview of the new podcast, The Syndicate, but don't forget, you can listen to episodes right now by subscribing on Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcasts.
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