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Night of the shooting questions
Question: Hello Mrs. Arquette!
I have followed your message board on and off through the years. I paged back over the past year\'s messages and caught up this weekend, and there are a couple of things I am curious about.
1. Had Kait updated her driver\'s license or vehicle registration to reflect her new address? (I never updated my info until after I graduated from college, but maybe that\'s just me..) If she had not, how did the police end up at her apartment to notify Dung? Did you ask them to inform him after they informed you? Or did they backtrack, using the directions in the car, and tell Sharon Smith before even you had been notified? And if so, did she direct them to Dung and then phone him? (Perhaps how he knew before the cops officially told him.)
2. Who actually called for the ambulance? If I understand, Mary Ann Wallace SAID she called for backup (but didn\'t) and Merriman SAID he called for an ambulance (but didn\'t). So where did the call for the ambulance originate from?
3. Was Kait still buckled in, or was there autopsy finding of any head/chest bruising from being flung forward against the steering wheel or being caught by the seat belt?
Just things I wondered about as I looked at the photos and read up. I can\'t tell you how sorry I am for your loss, and how sorry I am that the people who are supposed to help are, likely, the culprits themselves. I hope you all are well.
Best wishes,

Asked on Monday, February 15, 2010 at 04:35:50 PM
Reply: Good questions, Shawnie.

Kait's driver's license still gave the address of our family home (which is how the hospital was able to contact us). Police got her apartment address from Sharon Smith, whom they talked to before they talked with us at the hospital. I may also have given Det. Gallegos that address at the hospital.

No, the cops didn't phone Dung before going to the apartment at 3 a.m. They allegedly "woke him up" when they arrived to tell him.

It's not totally clear who actually called for rescue. Merriman says he did, and no one disputes that, so he may well have done so. However, the ambulance that arrived first at the scene was already in the area when the call went out, which is why it got there before the fire rescue team.

There's nothing in the reports to indicate that Kait was buckled in. Actually, she couldn't have been, or she wouldn't have fallen sideway across the seats. So she either hit the pole, undid her seat belt in order to get out, and was shot before she could do so, or she wasn't wearing a seatbelt at all. (That would not have been unusual for her. she didn't always buckle up as she should have.)

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Question: Dungs friend/alibi was with kirtland afb. thats the easiest and safest way to get drugs in. so the cover up is for agencies/people higher than the apd.

Asked on Friday, February 12, 2010 at 09:11:56 PM
Reply: That's an interesting speculation and a possibility that has been suggested to us before. Past employees at the NCO Club on Kirtland AFB and servicemen stationed at Kirtland in the late 1980s, describe a large drug operation in which drugs from Puerto Rico and Antigua were flown into the US by para-rescue teams, who would stop at Kirtland for refueling before proceeding on to California. Sources say those drugs were distributed in the main NCO Club and adjoining lounges. Sources have identified a group of APD officers, who frequented the (NCO) Roadrunner Lounge and solicited women to attend late night parties at the auto body shop where the VW Bug fled after leaving Kait's scene.

We feel sure Kait's murder was linked to her knowledge of the New Mexico drug scene. But there were so many facets of that scene that it's difficult to pinpoint any particular one as the direct cause of her death.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Marianne Wallace
Question: Did anyone ever contact you about her.

Asked on Tuesday, February 09, 2010 at 02:26:05 PM
Reply: I promise confidentiality about private correspondence, so I cannot respond to that question.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
APD Cold Case Unit
Question: Have you thought about goiing back to the APD Cold Case Unit and trying to get them to investigate Kait's case?

This morning's Albuquerque Journal showed Cold Case detectives Mark Wilson and Tod Babcock working at the scene to search for the body of Michael Synder from 2002.

Asked on Wednesday, February 03, 2010 at 11:02:32 AM
Reply: TOD BABCOCK is now a member of the APD Cold Case Unit?!!! No wonder they have no interest in investigating Kait's case.

Babcock is one of the cops linked to the auto body shop where the VW tried to take refuge after fleeing Kait's scene.

The owner of that shop, Frank Arellano, stated in a deposition that his buddy, APD Officer Tod Babcock, used the shop at 824 Arno after hours to fix his car. He also baby sat for the Arellanos.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
the FBI and the local police
Question: Did the FBI ever become interested in trying to help you solve this crime or investigate the drug ring? Exactly what were the Albuquerque police afraid of? Did you ever find out who the VIP buying drugs was? Loved your book,wish you hadn't had to go thru it all. Colleen

Asked on Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 02:27:21 PM
Reply: We don't kno what may be going on behind the scenes with the FBI.

We can't imagine what APD could be afraid of, unless that some of their own people were either involved in the murder or protecting the criminal activities Kait was going to expose.

We don't know for sure who the VIP was, since so many political VIPs were/are involved in the NM drug scene.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
how did you write this book!!!!!!!!!
Question: hi im a student in evans middle school i started to read who killed my daughter i really want to know how you had the bravery to write this book and another thing that i would what to know is who do you think killed her? how long did the investigation last?

Asked on Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 11:29:24 AM
Reply: Writing the book didn't take courage. It just took tenacity. I'd kept a journal right from the start, because I was afraid that, in my grief, I might misremember something important, so I made notes about everything that happened. and I recorded every phone conversation, so it was impossible to misquote anybody. (New Mexico was a state in which it was legal for one party to record a phone conversation without the other party's knowledge.) Then, as I said in the post below this one, I just sat down and did it. In truth, I can hardly remember writing that book. The words fell out of my fingers onto the computer keys and the words appeared on the screen as if they were being dictated by Somebody Else. This is the only book I've ever written where the editors never asked me to change a single word.

My own speculation, (and that's all it is -- a speculation), is that Kait was killed by a hired hit man, working in conjunction with at least one accomplice who drove the car. Paul Apodaca is one possibility, but there are others. The question is, who hired him and why? And who, at APD, was behind the police cover-up? I do not hold the whole department responsible. There were honest investigators, trying to do their jobs right, who were being blocked, given false information, and deliberately sidetracked.

The APD investigation, (if you can call it that) ended with the arrest of the Hispanic suspects in the spring of 1990. Despite the fact that, after charges against the Hispanics were dropped in the spring of 1991, DA Bob Schwartz directed APD to investigate the Vietnamese suspects, they would not do so.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Question: What sort of videos did Go Video sell or rent? I mean, were they like Blockbusters, or did they have a specialty?

Asked on Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 02:21:25 PM
Reply: I don't know.

If anyone out there does have information about that, please either post it or send us a private e-mail.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Ferman Garcia
Question: Was Ferman Garcia, owner of GO Video, aware in his drunken stupor that you now live on the east coast?

Asked on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 02:55:01 PM
Reply: I have no idea what he did or didn't know about me. When he posted this, I didn't even know who he was. (That post that he was so upset about was posted by somebody else a year or so before that. He must have Googled his own name and stumbled upon it long after the fact.)

Of course, after reading his death threat, I've had him checked out. He was manager of Go-Video at the time of Kait's death. He DOES have three sons on the force -- Eric, Danny and Allen. Eric was the APD gang supervisor.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Best wishes
Question: Mrs. Duncan -

I remember reading all of your books voraciously when I was about 13, including Who Killed My Daughter. I'm 24 now, and for some reason today I remembered your daughter's case, having not thought about it nor heard anything for 11 years. I did a google search, hoping that in the meantime there had been some sort of resolution. I am so sorry that there hasn't been formally. I hope that you and your husband are gathering information that, even if you can't share it publicly and even if it never results in a formal conviction, helps you to have closure. It's so disheartening to see the lack of cooperation with the police. I guess all anyone can do is have faith that things will work out the way they are meant to, whether that means this monster getting justice now or in the next life. My prayers are with you, and other families who have suffered tragedies like this.


Asked on Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 10:03:56 PM
Reply: Thank you for caring enough to follow up on this, Leigh. Please keep checking this message board. People with knowledge occasionally post revealing statements here, either because they are good people who want to help us or because they are angry enough at the material posted on this Web site so they react violently and say too much.

One of the latter was Ferman Garcia who, on
8/26/08, posted, ""Take my name and GO Video (the business he owned when Kait was killed) off your website or you just as dead aS your daughter. I have connections with APD and the sherriffs dept. fuck with me you will die bitch."

Ferman Garcia does have three sons at APD. I don't imagine they were very happy about his post.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Question: This post is by Lois.

I hope that you alll will go to the Real Crimes web site at and read the newly posted case about the murder of Paul Fitzjerrel in Gallup, NM. Like most people, (apparently even the prosecutor, Bob Schwartz), I wasn't aware of the Garrity Law -- a special, protective right awarded to police officers to prevent self-incriminating statements from being used against them in court.

The police union counsels all their members to insist on Garrity whenever they are accused of crimes. “By doing so you will ensure that your statements and reports cannot be used as evidence against you in any proceedings before any agency bound by the rules of evidence,” says the FOP guide sheet. “Our advice is that we all use the procedure all of the time.”

That law should be stricken from the books!

Asked on Friday, January 22, 2010 at 02:32:42 PM
your Facebook page
Question: I just discovered that you have a Facebook page and its open to the public. We don't have to be accepted as friends to read it. I think thats great. i love keeping up with your personal life and seeing posts by your kids even though I know you wouldn't accept me as a friend because you don't know me.

Asked on Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 03:22:45 PM
Reply: You're right, I don't accept many people as "friends" unless I know them personally or they identify themselves in separate e-mails as to who they are. But anyone on Facebook can read that page, even if they can't post on it.

I thought I was going to hate Facebook when my daughter, Robin, forced me onto it, but I'm sort of addicted to it. It's brought many interesting people back into my life. Like my former journalism students -- I've always wondered what came next for them -- and many have become successful professional writers. That makes me proud.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Were they informers?
Question: Hi Lois,
I have just read your book and was captivated the whole way through but one thing that struck my mind was were Dung and his gang police informers which was why the police covered it all up and said it was a random shooting? Most definitely from the evidence provided it was most definitely a police cover up and quite frankly the police' behaviour was bizarre to say the least.
Someone somewhere knows something and how they can live with themselves day in and day out knowing what they know is awful.
I hope one day something comes out and you get to find the real truth but from the ending of your book you and Robin had pretty much got it.
Best wishes
Jo Hilton (UK)

Asked on Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 12:01:30 PM
Reply: That's a very good question. We considered it, but were informed by experts on Vietnamese crime that the Vietnamese would never do that. It's not part of the culture to cooperate that way with the authorities. However, it is possible that Dung's group was involved in a drug operation, (perhaps smuggling of expensive white Asian heroin from the Orient via the import shop where Kait worked?), and that certain members of APD were protecting that operation.

Hit those links on the Web site and read about those particular elements of the case. I think you will find them interesting.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Police Corruption
Question: It is not a question Lois it is a statement. I have also experienced police cover-up with the death of my sister in their custody. It is a travesty in this society that calls for more accountability, better reporting and interiewing of witnesses, more transparency and training of a change of mentality that "they are not God."
That maybe they don't get paid enough so they resort to corruption and let the most evil of evils go on, e.g. drug trafficking. I also had to write a book to try and get attention to this fact.

I would love to meet you and talk to you and/or help you. Can we not present ourselves in some way to fight this other than just writing and trying to get attention, while waiting for justice to be served on our justice system?

I am sickened by your story and well my life has never been the same since I lost my sister right before 9/11 and then the police were heroes. Shame on our police forces. Cynthia M. Andersen (Facebook participant) Arvada, Colorado

Asked on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 07:01:01 PM
Reply: Please post the title of your book on this message board so readers will be able to order it. Then, contact me by private e-mail, by using the contact link on Kait's main Web site, and tell me the details about your sister.

I am so sorry.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Mariann Wallace
Question: Mariann Wallace
Title/Organization: Police Officer: Police Department
Work phone: 505 277-2241

Graveyard shift

Asked on Friday, January 15, 2010 at 01:36:26 PM
Reply: Thanks again.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Mary Ann Wallace
Question: Just inquired about Mary Ann at the UNM P.D. She works the graveyard shift. Anyone brave enough to contact her re the Arquette case would be lucky to talk to her on duty at that time.

Asked on Friday, January 15, 2010 at 01:28:47 PM
Reply: Thanks.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
APD plus drug dealing plus body shops?
Question: Is this a pattern spanning 20 years?

Albq. Journal:

APD Brad Ahrensfield, an instructor at the police academy and 14-year veteran of the department, was charged with obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI. Ahrensfield, who allegedly leaked information about a narcotics investigation to potential targets has been placed on an unpaid leave of absence pending an internal affairs probe and the outcome of a criminal case.
According to the indictment, a local and federal law enforcement task force investigated a local auto repair shop and car dealership in September for possible drug trafficking and stolen merchandise.

Ahrensfield was not involved in the investigation but somehow learned about it, then told the owner of the shop about the investigation. The alleged leak apparently brought the undercover investigation to a halt.

Asked on Friday, January 08, 2010 at 03:42:10 PM
Reply: Yes, there does seem to be a pattern. This is far from the first report we have received about auto body shops/garages in the Albuquerque area being involved in drug activities which are protected by certain police officers.

Does anyone know of any others?

Answered by: Kait'w Mom
Offc. Wallace and the ambulance
Question: Lois, you mentioned in the post below that Wallace claimed to be at the scene "directing traffic".

Yet I remember reading in an earlier post the EMTs stated that "when we got there, the place was deserted and we almost missed the car." or something to that effect.

Someone is lying. Who?

Would the EMTs have any reason to hide anything? Would they have time to alter the scene? Probably not. They would not have been there long enough to do that AND pull Kait from the car, get her on the gurney and in the ambulance and drive to the hospital.

Also, Merriman & Wallace's appearances at the scene (driving by, being a block away) seem to be too coincidental. Granted, off-duty police drive on the streets all the time just running errands like every other person. And on-duty officers have been in the right place at the right time. Those 2 things, separately, are possible. But together? And on the night of a shooting? I get the feeling that they were SUPPOSED to be there at that time.

Have you heard anything more about the uniformed officer who was standing at Kait's car when the wedding party drove by? I think that person is key.

Asked on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 at 01:10:28 PM
Reply: The medics were not lying. Our PI conducted taped interviews with each of them separately and then together, and both have signed notarized statements. Their memories of that night are exactly the same. Their credentials are impressive. One went on to become an EMT with a helicopter crew at Sandia National Labs, and the other became the Bernalillo County Fire Chief.

Det. Merriman might have stumbled upon the scene by accident. He was off duty, but had been called in to help with another case earlier that evening and states he had been transporting witnesses back and forth to the police station down town. It's also possible that he might have left the scene for just a few minutes to move his car, to give the ambulance room to pull up when it arrived. (I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.)

Wallace's statements conflict with everyone's -- Merriman's, Paul Apodaca's, her sergeant's (who says Wallace didn't call in a possible homicide the way she claimed she did, it was Merriman who did that), and the medics'.

We have not heard anything further about the "mystery cop" who was seen standing next to Kait's car before Merriman got there.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Officer Wallace
Question: Was Marianne Wallace linked in any outside way to people involved in Kait's case? Did she hang out with the vietnamese?

Asked on Monday, January 04, 2010 at 02:51:31 PM
Reply: We have no reason to believe that Officer Wallace "hung out with the Vietnamese."

She did state that she was a friend of the APD narc who is the brother of Lee Padilla, the man Paul Apodaca told our P.I. he was in the area buying drugs from on the night Kait was shot. SOMEBODY drove Paul's VW away from the scene, leaving Paul stranded there after off-duty Detective Ronald Merriman drove past and saw both Kait's wrecked car and a second car at the scene. By the time Merriman could make a U-turn and return to the scene, that second car, the VW bug, was gone. It seems probable that either Lee Padilla or Paul's brother, Mark Apodaca, (currently serving time for murder), was the driver of that car.

Maybe both were in that car. Witnesses, half a block north, saw a VW bug with more than one person in it pull into the parking lot of the auto body shop next door to their home after fleeing the scene of the shooting. That shop has been identified as a hang-out for renegade cops, several of whom have since been convicted of felonies. Somebody posted on this board that Officer Wallace "hung out in the area" but did not state specifically that she frequented the body shop. We have no information that she did.

We don't know how this all fits together. But, like you, we would like to know more about Mary Ann Wallace.

She has stated she never left the scene, even for an instant, but if she was truly there, "directing traffic," why didn't she wave the ambulance over as it by-passed the scene?

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Officer Mary Ann Wallace
Question: I've been following this case with interest and would like to hear more input from people who are familiar with Officer mary Ann Wallace. The first officer dispatched to the scene and she got there within one minute? She must have been half a block away. What was she doing there?

Asked on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 02:52:13 PM
Reply: Good question.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
New Information from former APD employees
Question: Hi Lois,
Have you been giving your PI the information you've been receiving from the former APD people? and if so, has she gleened anything from the information that's getting closer to solving your dilemna?

Wishing you and your family a blessed holiday and happy, hopeful New Year!

Asked on Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 12:49:21 PM
Reply: I'm afraid those questions are off limits. But thank you for caring.

Happy holidays to you, too, and to all thos kind people who frequent this page and have an interest in her case.

Answered by: Kait's Mom

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