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PIT technique of forcing cars off the road
Question: I'm fascinated by this and trying to follow it. What might this mean for Kait's case?

Asked on Friday, July 20, 2007 at 03:03:27 PM
Reply: One (just one) of the crime scene photos we were able to get from the APD photo lab, showed damage to the left corner of the rear bumper of Kait's car. It's not easy to see in that badly lighted photo, but it's definitely there.

Days after the shooting, the case detective, Steve Gallegos, asked Kait's dad, "Is the rear-end damage old damage?" Don said, "Yes," because he wasn't shown the picture. He assumed Gallegos was referring to the trunk.

Kait's boyfriend accidentally had closed the trunk with the car keys inside and had pried the trunk open to retrieve them. That car belonged to us -- we just let Kait use it -- and we told Kait that we wouldn't finance the repair. Since Dung did the damage, he would have to get it fixed. In the meantime, he tied the trunk lid down with a rope.

That's the damage Don thought Det. Gallegos was referring to.

The damage to the bumper was not there earlier in the day when Kait was over at our house. It occurred between the time she left our house at about noon and the point when she was killed.

The fact that knowlegable outside investigators, who have reviewed the scene photos, have kept pointing out the damage to the bumper as significant has bewildered me. Especially a highly respected member of the Bernalillo Cold Case squad, (a personal friend of our PI, who agreed to review the APD scene reports and photos and render an unofficial opinion).


On the basis of review of available material in the matter of the death of Kaitlyn Arquette, the following observations are made:

1) This was not a random drive-by shooting

2) The shooting occurred after Kaitlyn's vehicle had struck the utility pole

3) The accuracy of the shots suggests they were fired at a very close range, at a non-moving target.

4) Had the shooting taken place while victim's car was in motion, it would have veered to the right of the roadway due to the left-to-right camber of the pavement. Also, the victim's falling to the right would have turned the steering wheel in that direction if she was grasping the steering wheel at the time of shooting.

5) Damage to the left end of the rear bumper suggests the rear of her vehicle was struck and pushed to the left by a second vehicle which veered her car across the median and into the utility pole.

6) This shooting was intentional and Ms. Arquette was the specific target.

I didn't understand #5. It seemed to me that if someone hit Kait's car on the left side, it would veer to the right. Instead, it veered to the left.

It was JUST TODAY, that I followed up on information from someone on this message board and used Google to search such subjects as "Rammed from Behind," (you can imagine the pages that took me to). But I also learned about the PIT technique for forcing cars off the road. Taught to police. Known by some criminals. But not employed in "random drive-by shootings."

We never were able to get copies of photos of the second-day work up on Kait's car. The supervisor of the APD photo lab originally told us there were nine rolls of negatives. Once we placed a legal request for access to them, she told us that five rolls of negatives had suddenly disappeared. "I don't understand what's going on," she said. "We don't have the things we ought to have."

ALL reports of the second day work-up on Kait's car also mysteriously vanished. We never have understood why. The Criminalistics Supervisor in charge of Kait's scene, who has now left APD, has told our PI that reports were sent to the case detectives and the records department. He couldn’t imagine why they weren’t in Kait’s case file. What was discovered during that work-up that wasn't wanted known by particular people who were in a position to remove them from both the case file and the photo lab?

Now that I've belatedly learned about the PIT technique, I can only speculate that those reports and well-lighted photos might have indicated that Kait's car was forced off the road by someone who was trained in the PIT technique.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
the PIT technique
Question: If the PIT technique was used to force Kait off the road, it sounds like a cop car was involved.

Asked on Thursday, July 19, 2007 at 12:52:06 PM
Reply: It would seem to suggest that.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
damage to Kait's left bumper
Question: You said that that crime scene photos show damage to the left corner of Kait's rear bumper. That suggests that someone rammed her from behind and forced her off the road.

But if she was hit on the left side of the bumper, wouldn't her car veer to the right? Instead it veered left, crossed the medium, and ended up on the side walk in the opposite lane. How could that happen?

Asked on Thursday, July 19, 2007 at 12:22:18 PM
Reply: I was confused by that too, until I found a Web site that explained it.
It even has a diagram to show how it's done.

The PIT maneuver (also called tactical ramming) is a method, popular with US police departments, by which one car pursuing another can force the pursued vehicle to abruptly turn sideways to the direction of travel, causing the driver to lose control and stop.

"The PIT begins when the pursuing vehicle pulls alongside the fleeing vehicle so that the portion of the pursuer's vehicle forward of the front wheels is aligned with the portion of the target vehicle behind the back wheels. The pursuer gently makes contact with the target's side, then steers sharply into the target. As soon as the fleeing vehicle's rear tires lose traction and start to skid, the pursuer brakes quickly while continuing to turn in the same direction until clear of the target. The target will turn in the opposite direction, in front of the pursuer, and will either spin out or abruptly exit the roadway."

Police departments give courses in how to use the PIT technique.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Question: I am very happy to see that the Albuquerque Tribune wrote an article about Kait, so the case won't be forgotten in Albuquerque. I also want to thank the person who let everybody know about it on the message board. I hope and pray that somebody will finally talk and the case can be solved. If Sharon knows anything, I don't know how she can live with herself knowing how you suffer. And the same goes for Dung, you fed him and were nice to him and he payed you back like that. But you know, they will have to answer for that one day. God bless you and give you the strength to keep on going.

Asked on Wednesday, July 18, 2007 at 04:52:40 PM
Reply: The media has been very, very good to us. They haven't let Kait's case die. As for Sharon and Dung, yes, both of them know what happened. But I have more hope of Sharon contacting us than Dung. Sharon was, in a way, a victim also. Dung was not.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Reply: The media has been very, very good to us. They haven't let Kait's case die. As for Sharon and Dung, yes, both of them know what happened. But I have more hope of Sharon contacting us than Dung. Sharon was, in a way, a victim also. Dung was not.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Question: The Sept. 18, 2007, issue of the Albuquerque Tribune has an article by Joline Gutierrez Krueger: "Victims' families want closure to cold cases," which features Kait's case and one other.

You can read it on line at

That page also includes links to previous articles about Kait's murder.

Asked on Wednesday, July 18, 2007 at 11:34:35 AM
Reply: Joline is an excellent writer, dedicated to keeping victims' stories alive.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Still thinking of your family and Kait
Question: I know that today has to be one of the toughest days of the year, and you are in my thoughts and prayers more than ever. I first picked up your book many years ago, and when I stumbled across it more recently, I was sure that there must have been justice by now. It's heartbreaking to know that Kait's story isn't even one-of-a-kind, but that police departments all over the country (and world) have coverups. Yet the world has not forgotten and there is still hope. I hope that justice will prevail.

Asked on Monday, July 16, 2007 at 12:52:32 PM
Reply: Whether justice prevails or not, we need to know the truth about what happened and the reason for an apparent cover-up.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
To the Arquette Family
Question: My thoughts, prayers, hopes, and dreams of justice are with you during such a rough time of year.

Be strong, stand firm and keep fighting for the truth.

Asked on Monday, July 16, 2007 at 11:22:15 AM
Reply: Thank you. We will do that.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Thinking of you...
Question: Hello, this is Kirsten, I just wanted to let you know that my heart is with all of you tomorrow and you are in my prayers.

Asked on Sunday, July 15, 2007 at 08:45:57 PM
Reply: Thank you for your caring, Kirsten.

It seems impossible that today is the 18-year anniversary of the shooting. We've now been without Kait for the same length of time that we had her.

Yet it seems like yesterday that the phone rang in the night and we were called to the hospital to watch her die.

It also seems impossible that with a best selling book, national TV shows, and reams of information from tipsters, crime scene analysts and private investigators, certain members of the police department have managed to block the investigation of this case for this long.

On July 16, 2004, The Albuquerque Tribune quoted the new APD Cold Case Detective, Don Roberts, as saying:

"It's absolutely an open case. It absolutely will be worked. It's of great interest to me. It's on my desk right now. It's probably the biggest case that I have." Unlike his predecessors, Roberts was open to new input and willing to meet with our private investigator and follow up on her new information. But as soon as he started to make arrangements to interview Paul Apodaca, (the first man at the scene, who was never interviewed by APD), he was transferred out of the Cold Case Squad and placed in the Pedophile Unit.

We don't believe that was coincidence.

On this heartbreaking anniversary, we beg honest police officers with knowledge about this cover-up, to contact us either on this board or by private e-mail, and tell us the reasons for it and who is behind it. We promise to protect your identities. We know how much courage it will take to break the Blue Code of Silence, and we would never put someone who was willing to do that in danger.

Answered by: Kait's parents
Question: Has anyone given you any information or is the public to chicken to give out information?

Asked on Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 09:40:07 AM
Reply: A number of people have contacted us with information that our private investigators have followed up on and verified.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Reply: A number of people have contacted us with information that our private investigators have followed up on and verified.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Robin? Kerry?
Question: Are Robin and Kerry doing anything? Or have they lost their hopes?

Asked on Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 09:36:14 AM
Reply: None of us has lost hope, but we've all moved on with our lives, despite the fact that our personal investigation continues.

Robin's home page is There, you'll be able to listen to excerpts from her musical CDs for children.

Kerry's home page is She and her business partner are co-owners of Cantata Publishing and specialize in books about scrapbooking.

My "Lois Duncan" home page is at That's mostly for young readers who are interested in my suspense novels and professional life.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
wat happend to dung?
Question: wat happened to dung? i heard he killed himself

Asked on Friday, July 13, 2007 at 11:44:20 AM
Reply: If Dung's dead, I don't know about it.

Following Kait's funeral, he was stabbed in the stomach. He survived and healed quickly. He told police he attempted suicide because of grief and because he believed that he was a suspect in Kait's murder.

Our family doesn't accept that for several reasons:

(1) Stabbing yourself in the stomach is not a common way to commit suicide -- if you're going to use a knife, why not make it less painful and slit your wrists?

(2) A Vietnamese intelligence agent contacted us to say, “To kill oneself violates the first rule of Confucius. The Pious rule is basic in Vietnamese and Chinese culture, unlike the Japanese hara-kiri. My guess is that the boyfriend belonged to a gang, and Kait was a threat in some way so she was killed. It’s possible that the stabbing was a self inflicted punishment order or carried out by the gang to punish the boyfriend for putting the gang in jeopardy. Self mutilation as a punishment for infractions is not unknown in the Vietnamese culture."

(3) Dung was not so grief-stricken that he didn't have another lady-friend within weeks of his recovery.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
sorry for what happned
Question: im really sorry for what happened to kait. i really didnt kno of this until one day in school we started an author study on lois dunca. then i decided to read the book who killed my daghter. it was a real good book by da way. and then i decided to look into thins on the computer and kait was real pretty by da way. i hope u will solve this mystery soon. i kno u wont give up. i kno its been a long time already but i kno u will find out soon. by the way dont belive in the phycics they lie... a lot lol but n e wayz good luck

Asked on Friday, July 13, 2007 at 11:41:31 AM
Reply: You're correct, a lot of people who profess to be psychics are con artists, ripping off desperate people made vulnerable by grief. And many others, although not intentionally dishonest, are not as gifted as they think they are. Often times the information they receive doesn't come through clearly and they misinterpret it and inadvertently steer people in the wrong direction.

Because I was, in 1989, a contributing editor for Woman's Day and was able to get an assignment to interview the top psychic detectives in the nation, we were fortunate enough to have access to psychics that I, personally, believe are authentically gifted. These were people who worked with police and/or the FBI and had excellent track records.

Even so, we've never treated psychic readings as "solid information." We've treated them just as we have information from other "tipsters" -- helpful, but not to be accepted as valid until they've been proven to be true.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Similar Case
Question: Dear Ms Arquette
As I read your tragic story, I couldn't help but remember another case I read about. They may not be connected at all, but then again, it wouldn't hurt to look into it. I learned of this other case in a book: "Boys on the Tracks" by Mara Leveritt. These boys were murdered when they happened upon a drug drop in Arkansas. Ms. Leveritt, who is an investigative reporter and one of the boy's mothers found a connection to the CIA, and MENA. This led all the way up to then Gov Clinton.
The book documents the research and evidence and who was involved much better than I can say here. You mention a network between California, New Mexico and Texas. Arkansas is just over the state line from Texas, if I am not mistaken.
I think even if there is no connection between the cases, still you are involved in a similar fight and perhaps can help each other with ways & means you have used to get at the truth.
I deeply hope that some day the truth will be uncovered.
[From Adrienne]

Asked on Friday, July 13, 2007 at 07:08:36 AM
Reply: I'll definitely read this book. Thank you for letting me know about it.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
To Kait's friend Carla
Question: What an absolutely beautiful letter!

Kerry (Kait's other big sister)

Asked on Friday, July 13, 2007 at 06:52:15 AM
response to "An Old Friend"
Question: How nice that you remember Kait that way!
I miss her so much!

Robin (Kait's oldest sister)

Asked on Thursday, July 12, 2007 at 02:52:20 PM
An old friend
Question: Lois and Don:

I was thinking about Kait today and wanted to write to say how sorry I am that this case has not been solved like a great Lois Duncan book or a Cold Case episolde, but also to let you know that Kait is very much alive in my memory. I hope you all are doing well, as well as can ever be expected after your tragic loss. But what was great about Kait was her enduring spirit, her love of life and her incredible sense of humor.

I have so many memories of your home, learning to ski with your family (and Don coaxing me down a run by teaching me to snow plow); Kait's love of our dog, Clio; Sandia Prep; a trip to Disneyland together; watching movies in your den; swinging wildly into mud puddles from your tire swing. There are so many moments that I recall that bring me so much joy. It was a gift to have a friend like Kait.

While I can't offer any help on solving her murder, I can at least remember Kait as a wonderful friend with a delightful sense of humor. And I can recall your family with much love and warmth.

Wishing you the best and that someday this heinous crime can be resolved and that you have some peace of mind (not that it will ever make your loss any less horrendous).

Best to you and your whole family!



Asked on Wednesday, July 11, 2007 at 11:19:54 PM
Reply: Thank you for sharing those happy memories, Carla. One that you neglected to mention, but which I'll never forget, is the vision of you and Kait going trick-or-treating on Halloween, and you were dressed up as a Kleenex box!

On the subject of memories, there's one that's kept nagging at my mind for all these years, because it was so out of character. A couple of days before the murder, Kait stopped by our house while her dad and I were eating dinner. She said, "I just want you to know that nobody ever had a happier childhood than I did. If I have children, I hope I can be the same kind of parent you are." Then she left.

Kait had never said such a thing to us before. In fact, it always embarrassed her when people got "slushy."

I've wondered if she subconsciously sensed that something was going to happen to her and that was the goodbye message she wanted to leave with us.

Answered by: Kait's Mom
Congradulations! for being a BRAVE mom!!!!!!
Question: Have you ever tried contacting the manegr of Kaits\'s building. When you called the manger because he changed the locks he had soem information on Dung and his friends. Did you ever call him to ask some more information?

Asked on Wednesday, July 11, 2007 at 11:35:55 AM
Reply: I’m glad you’ve given me the opportunity to talk about that. So many new pieces of information have surfaced since Kait’s death, that I tend to forget the “minor” events at the beginning, which may be more significant than we ever thought.

As I describe in WHO KILLED MY DAUGHTER?, (pg. 31 of the paperback), the day after Kait died, Dung told me the apartment manager had changed the locks so he couldn’t get in. Kait had rented the apartment in her name and Dung had been staying there as her “guest.” Feeling sorry for Dung, I phoned the manager and told him Dung had our permission to stay there until the lease ran out at the end of the month.

The manager told me, “The last thing I want to do is create more problems for you, but there’s no way I’m going to let Mr. Nguyen back in there. Kait was a real sweet kid – my wife and I thought the world of her – but Nguyen and his cronies are something else.”

He told me there were times when Kait ran to their place, begging to sleep on their couch, because she was scared. She asked the manager to change the locks to keep Dung’s friends out, but those friends smashed a window and got in that way. Another time she locked Dung out, and he kicked in the door.

That information was in the apartment file. APD did not want that file. Everyone else wanted it – local reporters, the defense attorneys for the Hispanic suspects, researchers for “Unsolved Mysteries,” all were visiting the apt. office to make copies. But it wasn’t until 1992, when I told DA Bob Schwartz about the file and requested that the DA’s office obtain a copy, that APD was pressured into doing that. It’s now in Kait’s case file, unless somebody at APD has removed it.

After my book came out, I tried to interview the apartment manager in person. But he was gone. He and his wife had fled the state with no forwarding address. When I talked with the new manager, he told me Dung had tried to re-rent the apartment. When the new manager refused to rent to him, because of his former conduct, Dung had an attorney threaten a lawsuit claming “racial discrimination.”

Eventually the original manager and his wife returned to Albq. On 8/30/01, our PI finally met with them. They elaborated upon the information in the case file and also described how, the day after Kait died, Dung and his friends were out in the apartment parking lot, spray-painting a beige VW bug black. Tenants were complaining because black paint was spattering their cars. The manager reported that activity to APD. APD wasn’t interested.

This was TWO DAYS AFTER THE SHOOTING! The media was all over the case, describing how a beige VW bug was seen fleeing the crime scene and asking anyone with information about such a vehicle to contact APD immediately! The grieving lover (who, at that point was the only suspect and didn't own a car) was spray-painting a beige VW bug the next morning? Why wasn’t APD interested?

At first, the former manager and his wife agreed to sign a notarized affidavit confirming their statements. Then they abruptly changed their minds. They told our PI that they were afraid for their lives.

Answered by: Kait
Any Hope?
Question: Hi I read your book and felt very sad. I was wondering do you have any hope that you will ever find out the killer. Well, I hope you do. Keep it in there I have a feeling you will find the real killer. Your a very strong mom!!!!Bravo!!!

Asked on Tuesday, July 10, 2007 at 03:56:46 PM
Reply: Thank you for your support. We're doing our best.

Answered by: Kait's Mom

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