Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Buddhist Temple Massacre

Crucial Leads

On September 10, one month after the massacre, two incidents occurred on the same day.  Consider them carefully.

1.) Investigators received a phone call from a man in the Tucson Psychiatric Institute who claimed he could tell them exactly who had been involved in the massacre.  He gave his name and hung up.

2.) The Office of Special Investigations at Luke Air Force Base called to report that base police had found a .22-caliber rifle similar to the weapon suspected in the slayings.  In fact, they had spotted it on August 20 during a routine traffic stop, but had not realized its significance. No one had told the base police what to look for, so they did not realize that they should confiscate it. At that time, the rifle had been on the passenger side of a vehicle driven by a boy named Rolando Caratachea, 17.  Behind him in another car was Jonathan Doody, 16, who was of Thai descent, and they'd been stopped for "suspicious activity."  The next day, the police again stopped the boys, only this time they were in the same car.  The police asked Caratachea where the rifle was.  He told them it was in his car, which was parked at Doody's house on the Air Force base, not far away.  The police searched the car and found the rifle.  Since it was partially concealed, which violated state law, they called a sheriff's deputy.

The deputy came and ran a check on the boys, who had no record and were not suspected of anything.  He gave the rifle back.

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