Westley Allan Dodd
|Westley Allan Dodd|
July 3, 1961|
|Died||January 5, 1993(aged 31)|
|Cause of death||Hanging|
|Other names||The Vancouver Child Killer|
|Number of victims||3|
|Span of killings||September 3, 1989–October 30, 1989|
|Date apprehended||November 13, 1989|
Westley Allan Dodd (July 3, 1961 – January 5, 1993) was a convicted American serial killer and child molester. He has been called "one of the most evil killers in history". His execution on January 5, 1993, was the first legal hanging (at his own request) in the United States since 1965.
Westley Allan Dodd was born in Toppenish, Washington, on July 3, 1961, the oldest of Jim and Carol Dodd's three children. Dodd claimed he was never abused or neglected as a child. He also reported that he grew up in a wealthy, happy family. However, The Seattle Times reported that Dodd described in a diary written during his imprisonment that his father was physically and emotionally abusive, and that he witnessed violent fights between his parents. On July 3, 1976 — Dodd's 15th birthday — his father attempted suicide following an argument with his wife.
Dodd began sexually abusing children when he was a teenager; his first victims were his own cousins. He joined the Navy in his early 20s, but was discharged for molesting his base commander's children. He was arrested several times over the next few years for child molestation, each time serving short jail sentences and being given court-mandated therapy. All his victims (over 50 in all) were below the age of 12, some of them as young as two. Most of them were boys. Dodd's sexual fantasies became increasingly violent over the years; as a young man, he wrote about wanting to eat the genitals of his victims. A psychiatrist who evaluated him following one of his convictions said that he fit the legal criteria for a "sexual psychopath".
He killed brothers Cole and William Neer (aged 11 and 10, respectively) in Vancouver, Washington in the fall of 1989, and tortured, raped and murdered four-year-old Lee Iseli. In November 1989 he attempted to abduct a six-year-old boy from the Liberty movie theater in Camas, Washington. He was caught when the child's mother's boyfriend chased him down and tackled him.
He was arrested by the Camas police and interviewed by task force detectives. Portland Police Bureau Detective C. W. Jensen and Clark County Detective Dave Trimble obtained Dodd's confession and served the search warrant on his home. The police found a homemade torture rack in his home, as yet unused.
Several books have been written about the case, including: When The Monster Comes Out Of The Closet by Lori Steinhorst, who communicated with Dodd in writing and by phone almost daily for 18 months prior to his execution; Driven to Kill by true crime author Gary C. King; and Dr. Ron Turco's book about his experience during the initial investigation to assist in developing a profile of the killer.
Arrest and trials
Dodd was sentenced to death in 1990 for molesting and then stabbing to death Cole Neer and his brother William near a Vancouver, Washington park in 1989, as well as for the separate rape and murder of Lee Iseli, aged 4.
Less than four years elapsed between the murders and Dodd's execution. He refused to appeal his case or the capital sentence, stating, "I must be executed before I have an opportunity to escape or kill someone within the prison. If I do escape, I promise you I will kill prison guards if I have to and rape and enjoy every minute of it." While in court he said that, if he escaped from jail, he would immediately go back to "killing and raping kids."
Dodd was executed by hanging at 12:05 a.m. on January 5, 1993 at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. By Washington State law, Dodd had to choose the method of his execution, and state law gave Dodd two options: lethal injection or hanging. Dodd chose hanging, later stating in interviews that he chose that method "because that's the way Lee Iseli [his final victim] died." He also requested that his hanging be televised, but that request was denied. His hanging was the first use of hanging for an execution in the United States since George York and James Latham were hanged by Kansas in 1965.
His execution was witnessed by 12 members of local and regional media, prison officials, and representatives of the families of the three victims. He ate salmon and potatoes for his last meal. His last words, spoken from the second floor of the indoor gallows, were recorded by the media witnesses as:
|“||I was once asked by somebody, I don't remember who, if there was any way sex offenders could be stopped. I said, 'No.' I was wrong. I was wrong when I said there was no hope, no peace. There is hope. There is peace. I found both in the Lord, Jesus Christ. Look to the Lord, and you will find peace.||”|
Dodd was pronounced dead by the prison doctor and his body transported to Seattle for autopsy. The King County Medical Examiner, Dr. Donald Reay, found that Dodd had died quickly and probably with little pain. He was cremated following the autopsy, and his ashes turned over to his family.
In popular culture
Dodd was the basis for an unseen character in the 2002 film Insomnia, starring Al Pacino. He was fictionalized as a man who murdered a young boy in a way similar to Dodd's murder of Lee Iseli. Dodd was also mentioned in Michael Connelly's novel The Concrete Blonde.
- Westley Allen Dodd - Child Serial Killer and Child Molester; One of the Most Evil Killers In History
- Egan, Timothy (29 December 1992). "Illusions Are Also Left Dead As Child-Killer Awaits Noose". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- Griffiths, Richard (producer and director). "Murder by Number" (video). Atlanta, Georgia: CNN
- Tithecott, R. (1997). pp. 43. Of men and monsters: Jeffrey Dahmer and the construction of the serial killer. Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press
- Ostrom, Cindy. "Westley Dodd: A Long, Steady Slide Into Dark Desperation". Seattle Times.
- Scott, Shirley Lynn. "Westley Allan Dodd". TruTV Crime Library. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- "Driven to Kill". The True Crime Website of Author Gary C. King. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- Ronald Turco[dead link]
- Westley Allen Dodd - Child Serial Killer and Child Molester
- "Dodd strangled, autopsy finds". The Bulletin. The (Bend, Oregon) Bulletin. 7 January 1993. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- Dodd Died Quickly, Autopsy Finds; Body Returned For Cremation[dead link]
- Shirley Lynn Scott. Westley Allan Dodd: Diary of a Child Predator. Crime Library. Retrieved on 2007-11-10.
- Carol M. Ostrom, Jack Broom. Westley Dodd: A Long, Steady Slide Into Dark Desperation. The Seattle Times (1993-01-03). Retrieved on 2007-11-10.
- Gary C. King. Driven to Kill. Gary C. King works. Retrieved on 2009-08-16.