June 2 marks the 40th anniversary of the bombing that killed Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles. Bolles was killed by a bomb that was placed in his car at the Clarendon hotel in downtown Phoenix where he went to meet a source. Paul Rubin a former Phoenix New Times reporter who has written extensively about the case, and George Weisz, a former investigator at the Arizona Attorney General’s office whose work led to a conviction in the murder, will talk about the Don Bolles case.
Ted Simons: Coming up next on "Arizona Horizon" -- the fight for Fallujaha rages on in Iraq. What role the U.S. is playing in the battle and today marks 40 years since the car bombing that fatally injured Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles. Those stories next on "Arizona Horizon."
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Ted Simons: Good evening, welcome to "Arizona Horizon". I'm Ted Simons. A meteorite lit up the skies over the western United States overnight creating a bright flash and loud boom that rocked homes throughout Arizona. Radar footage shows the mete rite may have fallen to the ground in the eastern community of Sibique.
Ted Simons: started about 45 degrees high in the sky. You could see green to the edges and pieces of it coming apart. At the very ends of it, there was a lot of pieces of it breaking up. It just disappeared as it got about 20 degrees off the horizon in the east. It was quite a sight. Nice.
Ted Simons: scientists say the meteorite was likely about ten feet in diameter moving more than 40,000 miles an hour when it hit the atmosphere.
Ted Simons: 130 Iraqi soldiers reportedly killed in a series of attacks yesterday as the fight against Isis for the control of Fallujaha rages on. To update that and other international stories, we welcome former NATO ambassador and ASU Mccain institute executive director Kurt Volker, who appears each Mon on "Arizona Horizon."
Kurt Volker: Great to be here.
Ted Simons: this fight for Fallujaha, what is the U.S. -- is it basically air strikes?
Kurt Volker: It's a combination. We're doing air strikes, training and advisory for the Iraqi military and we have some special forces on the ground. We have brought in some closer support in places elsewhere in Iraq designed to help the Iraqi military. Still not large numbers. We're not the ground presence but it's a more robust military role than six months ago.
Ted Simons: that is helping?
Kurt Volker: it is helping the fight. It's allowing the Iraqi military and frankly some of the militias that are there to then get out to the front and take the lead T.
Ted Simons: The militias are Shiite militias here at battle. There's concern that that just complicates matters.
Kurt Volker: that is it. What if you win the battle in then what. You have Shiite militias, some with close ties to Iran, working with the Iraqi government seen by a lot of sunnis as overly controlled by Iran action going after the city, traditionally a Sunni populated city. Even if you drive Isis out you still then have to figure out how do you have the Sunni population that is not Isis regain control of the city.
Ted Simons: does securing the area stabilize things?
Kurt Volker: It could but we don't know yet. It's all in what happens after. Someone once said the most important part of the war is what happens after.
Ted Simons: So with that in mind, we were already hearing about atrocities occurring as Isis controls that city and others. Once this is over, say the militias and the Iraqi soldiers move in. Will we see a different kind of atrocity?
Kurt Volker: well, I think the first thing you'll see is if the militias and Iraqi forces are winning Isis will pull back. They are not going to stand and fight and be defeated. They will leave booby traps and a semi destroyed city in hopes that takes a further toll, then conduct attacks else where like the suicide bombers we saw the other day. Isis is go to play to its advantage, which is smaller, suicide bombing, unpredictable. When you have that it's going to be a very bloody, awful effort for the government to regain control of Fallujaha, then you have to worry about a civilian population getting back in safely.
Ted Simons: that's just Fallujaha. You have other cities waiting to be liberated.
Kurt Volker: Iraq and Syria. Isis has lost territory in Iraq and Syria. They have been able to inspire copycat groups or directly affiliated groups in Libya, in Afghanistan, sub-saharan Africa, elsewhere in the world.
Ted Simons: next month the NATO summit convenes. Biggest concern. What would the major topic of conversation be?
Kurt Volker: They are going to be reinforcing the ability of the alliance to defend the allied countries in the eastern part of the alliance. That's the Baltic states, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland. Russia has been rebuilding its military, acting very provocatively, invaded a couple of its neighbors, threatening nuclear use, even doing bombing runs against our destroyers. They are being very provocative. NATO is going to put in place forces in each of the Baltic states, maul numbers, but it's symbolic that it's an international effort.
Ted Simons: I know President Obama has said NATO nations need to do more, pay more for defense, ease the U.S. burden. Are people listening?
Kurt Volker: yes, and no. So the trend is better. Before the trend had been everybody is cutting and we're having to make up the difference. Now the trend is the budgets have stabilized, some have gone up. Astonia has always spent 2% on GDP defense. Lithuania reinstituted the draft. They are small countries and can't defend themselves against Russia. If Russia were to try something, which is why the whole alliance is important.
Ted Simons: President Obama saying NATO nations need to do more. A lot of people saying that. Donald Trump says NATO is obsolete.
Kurt Volker: I don't believe that at all. I think if you think about the world, the United States lives in. We want to live in a world where our values and interests are respected. Freedom, democracy, market economy, security, human rights, rule of law. Our allied countries in Europe are countries that realize and defend those value more than anybody else and they go with us when we have to go places like Afghanistan orzo or Bosnia. I agree with President Obama and Donald Trump when they say we would like to see our European allies pay more but we still derive tremendous benefit acting together as an alliance.
Ted Simons: when Donald Trump says something like this, he's willing to talk to North Korea, he thinks Japan and South Korea should develop nuclear weapons and are available. When he says these things what is the impact around the world?
Kurt Volker: I have to be honest that our allies are very, very concerned by the things they hear in the course of this campaign from Donald Trump. Now, what we don't know is what he would really do and who the policies would be but we had this hear Japan getting newscast liar weapons or cut a deal with Russia, if you're in Astonia you think what does a deal with Russia mean. What part of our territory will be given away? What part of our population will be given away? They are not interested in that and it scares them.
Ted Simons: but over all, NATO is still viable. He says it's obsolete. You stay it's still viable. Does it need reorganization, revamping, renovation?
Kurt Volker: It needs leadership. It needs both American leadership to define what are the challenges that we need to confront as an alliance and what is our forward vision. Our goals. I would argue for many years we have been in a very passive role. You hear phrases like handed over to NATO, lead from behind, we haven't been looking to build a Europe whole, free and at peace as aggressively as before. If we don't have those goals NATO fails flat and everyone hunkers down. You add the crisis in the E.U., the rise of the right, strong leadership from the United States and the few key allies like Germany or the U.K. would really be what's necessary to revitalize NATO,. The premise, however, if any of us is attacked, these democracies, this community, we respond together to protect ourselves is still good.
Ted Simons: A viable premise and a strong premise and it will work if something happens in Poland, for example.
Kurt Volker: that's right. We are the strongest community of countries in the world. We have the ability. It's important that we do this. If we set the right trends we'll be happy with the world we're going to live in in the future.
Ted Simons: good to have you. Thanks for joining us.
Kurt Volker: thank you.
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Ted Simons: 40 years ago today a car bomb fatally injured Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles. Don was -- the bomb was placed hundred dollar his car at the Clarendon hotel in Phoenix where he went to meet a source. After years, many questions remain as to who was behind the bombing and whether or not justice was served. Paul Reuben joins us and George Weiss, former investigator at the Attorney General's office whose office led to a conviction in the murder. Good to have you.
Ted Simons: we're going to go basic. Paul, who was Don Bolles?
Paul Rubin: He was a veteran reporter for the Arizona Republic, started in the early, mid 60s, right, George? He was an investigative reporter before Watergate. The real deal in Arizona, which was a much smaller place. Phoenix much smaller than it is now obviously. He became famous or infamous in some circles for exposing wrongdoing by some pretty bigwigs in town.
Ted Simons: why was he targeted?
George Wiesz: Oh, follow the evidence. The story that comes from the person who put the bomb under the car and for those who don't know there were six sticks of dynamite placed under his car that blew him up. It was a blast that tore through our minds and ripped through our hearts. He was targeted according to testimony because he had done stories regarding very powerful figure in Arizona at that tame, Kemper Marley. Kemper Marley either wanted to have Don Bolles taken care of in some way or somebody very close to him, person made max Dunlap, who was convicted, did it on his own for this father figure that he was very close to.
Ted Simons: we have archival footage of the Clarendon hotel, the parking lot 40 years ago. He went there to meet John Harvey Adamson, correct?
Paul Rubin: yes. Adamson was a low level street thug kind of guy who had told Bowles in a phone call that he had some information about some things that might interest Bolles, who ironically at the time of his demise really wasn't doing too much investigative reporter. He -- reporting. He was covering the legislature, which can be an adventure in itself. Once you get the fever for it, he went down there dutifully to the Clarendon 40 years ago today.
Ted Simons: We're seeing the Datsun in the parking lot. An image -- the public reaction after this occurred. Was it major? Was it confusion? This is 1976, Phoenix is a much smaller town, not so many media outlets. What was the reaction?
George Wiesz: awesome shock. Everyone was in shock whether you were a reporter worrying about why is this happening to a reporter to police officers to the public. There had been a series of actually violent bombings that were mob related about a year before this. But this was a reporter doing his job. Being killed for doing what he is supposed do. Doing it around high noon on a hot street in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. That was unheard of. That was unheard of anywhere else in the country.
Ted Simons: this played out for 11 days after the bombing because, Paul, this kept -- amputated --
Paul Rubin: It was awful.
Paul Rubin: He was conscious at the time for a good period of time afford and gave a road map to the investigation, naming Adamson, who was fool enough to give his real name. He said the words 'em price, the big dog racing controversial concern out of Buffalo, New York, and he also mentioned the words Mafia. You can go where you want there.
Ted Simons: John Harvey Adamson. Some characters here. Figure out who they were. Who was he?
George Wiesz: John Harvey Adamson was kind of a local thug. He was a guy who was involved with some arsons and doing some different scams around town, different thefts. He was a player around town. He knew some of the people politically, he knew some of the people in the underworld. He's the one who came forth and actually prosecuted and testified he planted the dynamite under Don Bolles' car while he was in the lobby of the Clarendon hotel.
Paul Rubin: it was detonated by a cohort of Adamson, who was waiting in a truck on the street. Remote controlled it.
Ted Simons: I want to get to that in a second. Max Dunlap. Who is he?
Paul Rubin: he was a very interesting character for me in my reporting on this case ten years after the fact. Both George and I were at U of A in June 1976. For me it was like what the heck is going on up there. Dunlap when I got to know him was a local boy who was president of the class in north high school. Popular, business man, father, devoted father of seven or eight kids who loved him. He also had a dark side that was he was engaged in low Chevrolet nefarious schemes with Adamson that came to light after the fact. We mentioned Kemper Marley, who when he walked into this beautiful studio at the Cronkite school I saw a sign the Marley foundation paid for where we're sitting here right now.
Ted Simons: Don't go there. Don't say that.
Paul Rubin: Why is that sign there?
Ted Simons: it's there for a different reason.
Paul Rubin: I stand corrected. It's just an irony that Mr. Marley's name is here.
Ted Simons: well, it is interesting because the Marley family has tried to rehabilitate the name after all these years. Who was Kemper Marley?
George Wiesz: Kemper Marley also had a number of different sides. He owned the largest liquor distributor in the state. He was a rancher. He owned a lot of land in Lake Havasu that max Dunlap was involved with. In fact max owed Kemper Marley several million dollars at the time of the bombing. He was trying to get a position on the Arizona racing commission. That's what Don Bolles wrote about and those articles caused Marley to be embarrassed and come off the racing commission, also important because he sold all the liquor to the racetracks.
Ted Simons: we still, Paul, don't know, did Kemper Marley say do it, did he just in passing say I wish someone would take care of Don Bolles, or was max such a sycophant he decided to take matters into his own hands?
Paul Rubin: Kemper was a father figure to max. They were personally very close. Kemper was never indicted. The prosecution never thought they had enough evidence to get a likelihood of conviction. He ended up, Kemper did, suing -- sued IRE, but he lost. He got a token amount. One of those facts was Bernie Wynn, who was Don Bolles' editor testified that governor Castro had come to Bernie on a a few months before and said Kemper Marley says if the republic doesn't shut up Don Bolles, that Kemper will.
Paul Rubin: It's plausible but Kemper Marley was a very strong willed, powerful guy. He could have said that and still a bunch of HOO.
Ted Simons: you mentioned the guy that set off the bomb.
Paul Rubin: Jimmy the plumber Robeson.
Ted Simons: This was a tough guy. Muscleman.
Paul Rubin: yes. He is still alive. He's in California. Both Dunlap and Robeson were convicted, sent to prison. Then won retrials years later. Dunlap was convicted as a retrial. Robeson was acquitted but stayed in prison for several years because he had tried to get John huntry Adamson killed from his prison cell through a third party, obviously. He was released five or six years ago and lives quietly in California doing his thing. Whatever that might be.
Ted Simons: you mentioned the IRE. What was that?
George Wiesz: Investigative reporters and editors. After Don was killed there was outrage everywhere. Of course a lot of that was in the journalism community. Nationally people said what can we do? There was an experiment that actually became realty that they said let's bring as many reporters as we can to Arizona, join with Arizona reporters, and carry on Don's work. So a team of 40 reporters were here that basically wanted to do an insurance policy for reporters forever. If you kill or hurt one reporter, 40 more will come to take his or her place. That was the goal.
Ted Simons: what was the impact? The republic didn't even run the IRE stories.
Paul Rubin: That was interesting. I wasn't here. I was about to ten years later go work for new times. We love anniversaries in these things. It was beyond my comprehension that the republic, which had great reporters, John winters, Kelly one of the great reporters of any era, he wrote stuff that never got published. The new times, which was then an up start, up and coming thing, published it which brought them to prominence not only locally but nationally. You have an idea why they didn't run it?
George Wiesz: First they worked very -- they were very big contributors: They had said they had done stories before and but they also wanted to verify more things. So that's -- it was the Friday before the series was supposed to start, a 23-day series around the country. I was a member of the team on that Friday night that that Sunday story was not going to hit Arizona.
Ted Simons: All right. When I mentioned that there were still questions regarding this case, got a rise out of you. Do you think that we know enough that the people who did this were caught and paid the price?
George Wiesz: I think the evidence shows that the people who were prosecuted and convicted, yes, were the people responsible for the murder of Don Bolles. People sometimes there are some people out there who wanted to deflect the actual evidence, but if you look at the evidence, there's only probably a few of us who really have looked at every page of thousands and thousands of police reports and every hour of testimony listened to to really know everything that's there. But we followed up every lead, every theory. You have to follow the evidence. There has been a question of whether Kemper Marley directed max Dunlap to do the bombing or did max Dunlap who was like a son to Kemper take it upon himself. That's a link wring question. There are things we can do to maybe shut some light on. That.
Ted Simons: Mafia. Why did he say that?
Paul Rubin: Adamson could have led him to believe there was talk about the racetracks. Very viable story at that time with the funk family, allegedly mob connected, et cetera, et cetera. This is kinds of like last night the JFK assassination for Arizona in that there's so many avenues and spider webs of relationships and things that really are not resolved and may never be despite the good works that George and others have done, there was police work that was by the Phoenix police that had really great police work but also some really rotten cops that were doing things during the investigation that may not have led to the wrong people being charged but definitely led away from certain truths that will never be evident.
Ted Simons: So justice was served in this case?
George Wiesz: Yes.
Ted Simons: Will we ever get the full story in this case?
George Wiesz: well, from our standpoint we think most of that is there. Like I said, I think there are some more things that could maybe shed more light on some aspects of the case, but I think if you follow the evidence it's pretty clear and why we got the convictions we did. We even had a prosecution of one of the Dunlap attorneys involving a perjury before the grand jury about something that came up new, payments going from max Dunlap to Jimmy Robeson literally months after they said they first met each other ever before.
Paul Rubin: max done lamb is deceased.
Ted Simons: yes.
Ted Simons: So symbolic of a Wilder, more crime-riddled Arizona, Phoenix? The place seemed like it was crawling with mobsters.
Paul Rubin: there was a lot of violence, people getting blown up in parking lots. All kinds of movie level drama going on. But just as a bigger quick issue, I think there's 42 journalists in Mexico got blown up or shot to death or hacked up last year alone. George made a point earlier this is where the IRE teams come in handy in different jurisdictions.
George Wiesz: Exactly. When you have a reporter in Mexico or somewhere else going after cartels and he's tortured then killed, why don't reporters get together now like we did back then to do an insurance policy for reporters there or an Iran where "Washington Post" reporter is kept hostage and others are tortured, why not have reporters getting to en masse and do what we did with the Arizona project? The point is to remember Don Bolles right now so it never happens again.
Ted Simons: good place to stop. Good to have you both here. We appreciate it.
Ted Simons: Friday on "Arizona Horizon" it's the "Journalists' Roundtable." A federal judge appears ready to refer a criminal indictment against Joe Arpaio. The state's handling of last month's special election. That's on the next "Journalists' Roundtable." I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening.
In this segment:
Paul Rubin: Former Phoenix New Times reporter ,George Weisz:Former investigator at the Arizona Attorney General's office
Also in this episode:
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