Bojangles is a fast food restaurant
specializing in fried chicken. In 1993, there was a franchise located
at 1551 N. Missouri, three quarters mile directly west along the bayou
diversion channel where the bicycles were found.
At 8:40 pm on the night of the children's disappearance,
the West Memphis police received a call from Marty King, the manager of
Bojangles. The notes from the police log read: "Bojangles
- B/M - towards Delta - bleeding - WW/cap - blue shirt - blk. pants -
cast R arm" The call went to Officer Regenia Meek.
As Marty King explained, a black male, muddy, disoriented
and bleeding had lodged in the women's restroom. There was blood
and feces on the floor, stall and walls. A toilet paper roll was
soaked to the core with blood.
Officer Meek arrived on scene at 8:50 pm.
She didn't enter the establishment instead pulling up to the drive-through
window. She was informed that the bleeding man had left. According
to court testimony, Officer Meek spent the next few minutes searching
for him. At 9:01 pm, she got a call. Someone was egging a
house. (From later notes, it was one egg.) Officer Meek responded.
The busy Officer Meek (8 pm and after)
Across the street and a few doors up from the Bojangles there is a Bonanza
restaurant. The police logs have two officers taking a dinner break
there: from 7:38 pm to 7:57 pm, Officer Billy Covington; and, from
8:23 pm to 8:57 pm, Officer Bruce Joiner. The latter overlaps with
the time of the Bojangles call, however the Bojangles man had been there
for a time before the call.
dispatched to Meek: "1400 E. Barton [Byers residence] - missing juvenile.”
8:08 On scene at Byers residence.
8:29, back in service.
8:29 - 8:42. Searched for the children. Cruised
the area and talked to several people (from court testimony)
8:42 call dispatched to Meek: "Bojangles - black male - towards
Delta - bleeding."
8:44 call from Meek: "Illinois license plate - 397501."
8:45 back in service from license plate call.
8:50 on scene at Bojangles. Takes information at drive
(After 8:50 until 9:00pm.) After taking info on Bojangles, she
searches for him.
9:00 back in service from Bojangles call.
9:01 call dispatched to Meek: "1004 Roy Pugh - egged
9:04 on scene at house egging.
9:18 back in service from house egging.
9:24 statement taken from Dana Moore at her house, 1398 E.
Barton, no police log.
9:25 statement taken from Pamela and Terry Hobbs at Catfish
Island, 7th and Interstate, Regenia Meek, filled out portions of the report and was cosignor, not in
police log or testimony.
9:34 call dispatched to Meek: "1101 N. Ingram - truck liquor
9:37/9:39, on scene at liquor business.
9:44, back in service from liquor business call.
9:44-10:28. From court testimony, searching for children.
Not in police log.
10:28 call dispatched to Meek: "500 bl Parkway - loud music."
No on scene time.
10:30, back in service from loud music call.
10:30-11:15. From court testimony, searched for children.
Not in police log.
11:15 Shift over.
The next day Officer Covington was speaking casually
to the manager of Bojangles and, in light of the murders, requested that
this be followed-up. (Covington was off-duty, in fact, he is the only
evening shift officer on duty the fifth of day who is not listed for the
sixth of May.)
The police notes for the May 6th visit to the Bojangles
5/6/93 Received call to go to Bo-Jangles + talk to the Manager.
5/6/93 9:00 P.M. Det. Sgt. Allen + Det. Ridge went to Bo-Jangles + talked
with the manager, a Marty King [address and phone redacted]. Marty King
related that they had a Black / male on 5/5/93 Between 9:00 - 9:30 PM
that a Black / male was found the ladies bathroom bleeding from the arm.
the Manager stated that the black man was 5-11, thin dirty, late 20's,
pair of sunglasses were left in toilet suspected by Black / male. Subject
had a blue cast type brace on his arm that had white Velcro on it. the
Black male appeared to be mental / + disorentated (Not intoxicated or
under influence of drugs) Police were called Subject left out on
foot + Walked East toward the back dumpster then [inserted here: Black
males clothing was denim sleeveless shirt, Black shoes, look like tennis
shoes. Black thin warm up pants.] came back out to Missouri + walked
torward Delta Service Station.
Det. Ridge took blood scrapings from North Wall inside women's bathroom
above toliet, took blood scrapings from inside of door to women's bathroom
+ Entrance hall to bathroom From Sitting Area at Bojangles. [signed] Mike
Bojangles description (summary from police log notes and 5/6
Blue cast with white Velcro on his right arm.
denim sleeveless shirt
Black thin warm up pants.
The Bojangles restaurant
became an "Earls,"
now a Mrs. Winners.
King described the Bojangles man as having mud on his pants similar to
the way the two officers had mud on their pants -- and this was after
the officers had been in the ditch with the victims.
Was there a second sighting of the Bojangles man?
During the door to door interviews there was this comment from a neighbor
"Bill H. - saw nothing but said we need to talk to Mrs. C. 735-xxxx.
She works for Schneider Truck Lines evening shift. She said a driver
saw a man with blood all over him Wed night."
Three trucks from Schneider National visited the Blue
Beacon Truck Wash after 7 pm on Wednesday.
The West Memphis police looked at two suspects as possibly
being the elusive Mr. Bojangles, although this was six or more weeks after
the crime. From police notes (misspellings intact):
6/24/93 Talked with a Larry Ceasar who has been known in the past to of
worn a brace on his right arm, from an injury (gunshot wound) to shoulder.
Larry Ceaser fits the general description of that given by the Bojagles
manager of a B/M that came into Bojagles on 05/05/93 with the exception
that Larry Ceaser has a full beard & is known to this investigator
as always wearing a beard. Larry Ceaser was asked about wearing
an arm brace during the month of May. Larry Ceaser who has a crippled
right arm stated he hadn't worn a arm brace since back around Thanksgiven,
this was verified in reference to arm brace by Otis Ceaser, & Robert
Ceaser, brother of Larry Ceasers. the radio log on May 5, 1993, reflected
that Paul Shrader unit #271 at 2:41 P.M. checked Larry Ceaser, radio log
reflected #271 Sharder was in the South East Part of West Memphis, Larry
Ceaser stated he remembed the white police checking him last month &
they checked him in front of the police substation in the Project. Larry
Ceasers denies every being at Bojangles on MO Street. [signed] Michael
06/28/93 Michael Scott 301 S. 20th B/M was talked to by Sgt. Mike Allen.
Michael Scott had on his arm a permanent cast on his right arm & a
cast on his left arm. Hasn't had a temporary brace blue in color with
velcro white stripes. Has had cast on right arm plaster white prior
to May 5th 1993 & received injury to left arm May 16th 1993. (Police
report on File) Denies being at Bojangles ever. (Manager of
Bojangles stated the Black Male was somewhat mentally ill & that brace
was not plaster but Blue Material type with White Velcro stripes.)
As of 6/28/93 the black male described at Bojangle's hadn't been identified.
[signed] Mike Allen
Marty King testified that he had never been approached
by the police again regarding this incident. The blood samples taken
by the police were declared lost.
Was Mr. Bojangles involved in the murders of the children?
Perhaps the most salient facts about him were that even though he was
bleeding and disoriented, he did not seek assistance. He did not
come forward later to explain his actions, in spite of his notoriety.
It appears as though he was avoiding authorities, perhaps his injuries
were related to criminal activity, perhaps he had an active warrant for
It is rightly pointed out that Mr. Bojangles could
not have likely have been a sole perpetrator or could have walked all
the way bleeding and disoriented from the Blue Beacon area without leaving
more of a trail of blood. This consideration has the Blue Beacon
woods as the site of the murders. Perhaps the murders took place
in a location nearer to the Bojangles restaurant. Perhaps Bojangles
had a falling out and fight with the other perpetrators. Or, quite
possibly, this event was anomalous and had nothing to do with the murders.
All of this remains as speculation, as the mystery of Bojangles
has never been solved.
The murder of Stephanie Crowe in Escondido,
California has a number of eerie similarities with the West Memphis
murders. In this case, the teenaged brother "confessed" and
implicated two of his teenaged friends. The occult was
blamed. In the Crowe case, however, the police kept an evidence
sample from a local disoriented transient, a bloody piece of clothing,
and just before the trial of the teenagers, the blood was matched to
the victim's DNA. The transient has since been convicted of the
murders. Because of the lost Bojangles evidence, this can never
be done for the West Memphis murders.