Driven to Kill
Dodd had walked approximately fifty yards away from his car when three boys, each about seven years old, passed him on their bikes. He stopped momentarily in his tracks, returned to his car and retrieved his knife. He decided that when the boys returned along the bicycle trail he was going to separate them if he could, murder two of them quickly and then rape and murder the third one utilizing the stratagem he had already worked out so many times in his mind. But just when he left his car with the knife, they foiled his plans when they turned around and rode away from the park. He returned home again and wondered whether the boys would have stopped if he hadn't gone back to his car for the knife. Now more determined than ever, he vowed to himself to return to the park the next day after deciding that the noon to 3:30 p.m. time frame seemed best. There were more children in the park during that time, and the holiday would surely bring out even more kids.
When Dodd awoke at 9:35 a.m. on Monday, September 4, Labor Day. After deciding that he probably wouldn't want to return home before he accomplished his self-imposed mission of death, Dodd packed a lunch to take with him to the park. He also began to reason again that he would be better off to take his victims somewhere else to murder them. If he left murdered children in the park, he decided, he would likely lose his "hunting ground" for up to two or three months. Police would start watching the park, and parents would be afraid to allow their children to go there unaccompanied. But if the kids just disappeared, he'd be free to return for other victims. Before leaving for the day, he had written in his diary that the park was even better than the river in Richland, Washington, in the eastern part of the state, where he used to molest children and expose himself. He didn't want to do anything that could jeopardize his being able to roam the park safely.
At 1:15 p.m. he spotted two boys, each perhaps nine to ten years old, on their bikes. They stopped along the trail, and Dodd walked past them for a closer look. After passing by he watched them from a distance for a couple of minutes, then walked by them again. As he walked away from them the second time, they followed behind him for a short distance. He became excited when he thought that he had finally found his perfect victims, even if they were a little big. In the next instant he turned to confront them, separate them if possible, but they did the unexpected. They turned off onto the fork of another trail and pedaled away from him without looking back.
A couple of hours later a boy, about seven years old, rode his bike past Dodd on the trail. Dodd turned to run after him, to "run him down," he wrote in his diary later, when he spotted the boy's father a short distance behind. The boy's father, he wrote, "came into view as I saw the boy's great-looking butt on the bike seat. Although again disappointed, Dodd never relented in his hunt for a victim. Today, he somehow knew, was going to be the day.