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Juan Ignacio Blanco††

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James Allen RED DOG

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

   
 
 
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Sioux Indian - Rape
Number of victims: 5
Date of murders: 1990 - 1991
Date of arrest: February 10, 1991
Date of birth: 1954
Victims profile: Men (acquaintances in personal disputes)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Montana/Delaware, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Delaware on March 3, 1993
 
 

 
 

At 6:48 a.m. on February 10, 1991, Sandra Bray was awakened by an unexpected phone call from an employee of her husband Robert's named Joanna Stuart. Stuart, 52, said she would not be in at work that day because of a sudden illness.

She repeated it several times to Mrs. Bray, who thought it odd that Stuart was calling out sick since she had never missed a day of work during her many years working for Robert. One other apparent problem with this phone call was the fact that Stuart was not scheduled to work this particular day. Sandra Bray sensed that Stuart was not sick at all and, after hanging up with Stuart, woke her husband to tell him about the strange phone call. They decided to take a drive over to Stuart's residence in Wilmington, DE.

Upon arriving at Stuart's residence, the Brays discovered that Stuart was not home at all and that her car was missing. They also found it strange that Stuart's roommate, a 30 year old relative named Hugh Pennington, appeared to be gone from the house also. His car was still parked in the driveway. The last place the Brays decided to look in the house was the cold, damp cellar.

Once they reached the botton stairs of the cellar, their morning took a bizarre and grisly turn. Lying on his back and bound by duck tape at the hands and feet was Hugh Pennington. He was wearing nothing but a pair of underwear. Worst of all, he was dead. His throat had been slashed ear to ear. So savage was the incision in his neck that his head had been nearly decapitated from his body. The concrete floor was drenched in Pennington's blood and all around his corpse were bloody footprints. The Brays dialed 911.

Sgt. Mark Daniels of the Delaware State Police (who would later take part in the infamous murder investigation of Tom Capano and Anne Marie Fahey), arrived on the scene and took charge of the gruesome crime scene. It was during Daniels' examination of the scene that Stuart's neighbor came over to see why the police were outside of her friend's home at such an early hour. Little did Daniels know that the confrontation with Stuart's neighbor, an attractive thirtysomething female, would give him the most important element in solving a murder. A suspect.

Daniels questioned the woman and found her to be very helpful. She told Daniels that her husband Jim Red Dog accompanied Stuart to her house after the latter had spent an evening watching movies with her. But this wasn't what ultimately interested Daniels. What did interest him was the woman's confession that her husband was a convicted murderer.

Jim Red Dog, a full-blooded Sioux Indian and member of the Lakota tribe, had been in and out of jail his entire 37 years. He had received separate convictions for both manslaughter and murder. The fact is that Jim Red Dogg should never have been released from prison after his first murder conviction.

On the night of February 9, 1991, Red Dog had been out drinking and womanizing at a bowling alley with a buddy. After failing to pick up several women for the night, Red Dog and his buddy went their separate ways. Instead of going home, Red Dog drove to Stuart's house for no apparent reason, probably because he was drunk out of his gord, and knocked on her door. When Pennington answered the door, Red Dog forced himself in and ordered the man to surrender all of his money. At some point, the drunk Indian decided that Pennington's life was worthless and tied him up with duck tape and stripping him to his underwear and leaving him in the cold basement. Before he left though to go home, he his large hunting knife to viciously sliced Pennington's throat, who died in a pool of his own blood.

After arriving at his house, he told Joanna he had something important he needed to discuss with her. Joanna, was ready to leave anyway, allowed Red Dog to accompany her on the ride to her house. It was a mistake that in the end almost cost her life.

Once the pair were inside her house, Red Dogg forced himself on Stuart and her down to her bed. He raped her several times before passing out in her bed. Stuart, too frightened to move, remained lying in the bed next to him. In the morning, before the arrival of the Brays, Red Dog raped and sodomized Stuart before forcing her to drive him in her car to a deserted farm house in Oak Orchard.

Red Dog, his sexual appetite still not satisified, raped the poor woman once more while in the abandoned farm house. After he finished, he ordered her to drive to a friend's house to "pick up something." Red Dog, careless beyond belief, left Stuart in the car alone while he went in to chat with his friend. Stuart took this opportunity to escape from the clutches of her tormentor.

She drove home to find the police still at her house. She went on to tell her horrifying account of rape and sodomy and named Jim Red Dog as the perpetrator. The police informed Stuart that Pennington was dead and that Red Dog had most likely killed him. The police had also found Red Dog's bloody fingerprints all over the basement. Daniels had heard all he needed to hear to launch a massive search for Jim Red Dog.

Red Dog was captured the same day while crossing the Winchester Bridge in Wilmington on foot. A squad matched the description and photos of the wanted rapist-murderer to the man they saw walking on the bridge. When pulled him over and asked his name he answered them honestly. "What's your name?" they asked. "Jim Red Dog," he replied. The search was over.

Red Dog's 1992 trial was short but eventful often marked by the accused making obscene comments to Daniels whenever he passed him in the courtroom. In the end, Red Dog was found guilty. For the brutal sex crimes committed against Joanna Stuart he received eighty years. For the first degree murder of Hugh Pennington, he received death by lethal injection.

On March 2, 1993, 39 year old Jim Red Dog was strapped onto the lethal injection bed. His last words were quoted in the local newspapers the following day. Red Dog apologized to his family and told them he loved them. "The rest of you," he concluded, " can kiss my ass."


Delaware execute murderer

The New York Times

March 4, 1993

The Delaware prisoner was James Allen Red Dog, 39, a Sioux Indian of the Lakota tribe who had refused to appeal his sentence because he contended that doing so would violate his warrior's code.

Mr. Red Dog, who was visited in his final hours by a tribal medicine man from Montana, was executed by injection at the State Correctional Center in Smyrna, 15 miles north of Dover. Just before the lethal mixture of drugs was administered to him, he turned to his weeping wife, who was among the witnesses, and said, "I'm going home, babe."

Mr. Red Dog, a confessed three-time killer, had been relocated to Delaware as a federally protected witness in investigations of the militant American Indian Movement and of prison gangs when, in 1991, he committed the crime for which he was condemned to death. In a drunken rage, he killed a 30-year-old acquaintance, Hugh Pennington, by slitting Mr. Pennington's throat so severely that the victim was virtually decapitated. Immediately afterward he kidnapped and raped a woman.

He later pleaded no contest, saying he had been so drunk at the time that he could not remember anything about his rampage.

Mr. Red Dog's family supported his decision not to fight his sentence. Mr. Red Dog's relatives said in a statement that he was going to his death with dignity and that he was "proud that he's giving in return for what he took: a life."


Condemned indian gains special rite

The New York Times

February 28, 1993

A Sioux Indian convicted of murder and kidnapping will be allowed to have a tribal medicine man perform final rites for him before he is executed on Wednesday.

A Delaware Superior Court judge on Friday rejected a motion by lawyers for the condemned man, James Allen Red Dog, to block the execution.

Mr. Red Dog, 39 years old, grew up on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in northeast Montana. A confessed three-time killer, he was living in Delaware, on parole under the Federal witness protection program, in 1991 when he committed his latest crimes.

The authorities said Mr. Red Dog tied up Hugh Pennington, 30, slit his throat and left the Wilmington man to bleed to death and then kidnapped and raped a female witness. The woman eventually escaped and called police.

Mr. Red Dog pleaded no contest to charges of murder, kidnapping and rape; he said he was drunk and did not remember the killing.

As a result of Mr. Red Dog's crimes, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Delaware Democrat who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee, has introduced legislation that would require Federal officials to notify states when dangerous criminals are placed in their jurisdictions.

'Rational' Wish to Die

Mr. Red Dog asked for the death sentence and has refused to participate in any appeals. His lawyers, who are public defenders, filed a motion this week asking the court to order psychiatric and psychological tests to determine whether he was mentally competent or deranged and suicidal in his death wish.

But Judge Norman A. Barron of Delaware Superior Court said that he found "no substantial showing that Red Dog is currently incompetent" and that "the court will respect the rationally based wishes of the condemned prisoner."

Mr. Red Dog's death sentence, handed down last April, was automatically appealed to the State Supreme Court, which upheld it in November. Judge Barron later set March 3 as the date for Mr. Red Dog's death by lethal injection.

As prison officials began to prepare the execution chamber at the Delaware Correctional Center in Smyrna, Mr. Red Dog started preparations of his own. He sent for John H. Morsette, 52, a tribal medicine man he says he met almost a decade ago at an Indian purification ceremony in Montana.

Prison officials had initially balked at having Mr. Morsette there, saying that only a prison chaplain would be allowed inside the chamber, but they approved it on Thursday.

Mr. Morsette, of Poplar, Mont., has said that he did not remember the encounter but that he would come here to pray with Mr. Red Dog to prepare him for the Sioux afterlife.

Mr. Red Dog will be the second person executed in Delaware since 1946. The first was last year.


Red Dog

James Allen Red Dog, a notorious murderer, wanted to be executed even though his legal team fought to save his life by arguing he was mentally incompetent. The Supreme Court of Delaware issued a Rule to Show Cause to have Red Dogís lawyers explain why they should not be professionally sanctioned for opposing the wish of their client. Dan defended one of the Red Dog defense team arguing that it was simply wrong for the Supreme Court to sanction lawyers for trying to save a manís life. The Supreme Court sanctioned the lawyers but, in an unusual move, imposed no punishment on them.


Capital punishment debated

By Amy Bugno - UDreview.com

April 11, 2006

The Delaware Interdisciplinary Ethics Program hosted a debate on capital punishment Monday evening in Mitchell Hall. Delaware prosecutor Steven Wood and Jeffrey Reiman, philosophy professor at American University, presented cases before more than 100 students, faculty and community members. ?

Program Chairman Fred Adams said the debate was held to encourage students to think about the issue. ?

"We want the students to gain knowledge about social issues," Adams said, "and to know about what the reasons are people think capital punishment is or is not the appropriate punishment and how to weigh these reasons."

The Interdisciplinary Ethics Program also sponsored a student essay contest asking students in Delaware colleges to write about their opinions on this topic, awarding prizes up to $600. ? Wood led the debate with the story of James Allen Red Dog, a murderer who was sentenced to death after committing his fifth murder. Wood explained Red Dog committed his third murder while he was in jail and the fourth and fifth were after he had been on parole.

Wood used this case to prove his point that murderers placed in jail cannot be absolutely prevented from killing again, thereby proving that keeping murderers alive threatens the safety of the community. ? While dispelling common myths about the death penalty, Wood assured audience members the state of Delaware only sentences murderers to death in the worst of cases. ? "Certain crimes are so heinous that the death penalty is the only appropriate sentence," he said. ?

Reiman presented the anti-capital-punishment perspective by appealing to the sympathetic side of the audience. Using studies and polls, he explained there is currently no evidence suggesting the death penalty makes America safer than life sentences without parole. ? While admitting most people would want to execute someone like James Allen Red Dog, Reiman said there is a difference between what we "want to do" and what we "should do" as moral human beings. ? "It's not about the murderers," he said. "It's about us. And what kind of people we want to be. It's wrong for us to torture people even if they deserve it." ? Junior Adam Brady said he attended the event to receive extra credit points but found the topic interesting. Brady said he was impressed with both speakers and that they each presented interesting points. ? "Professor Reiman's point about how not executing really bad people would set an example [about the reluctance to kill in our country] was good," he said. "And Wood was really focused on the future safety argument, whereas before it was always about how we're giving them what they deserve." ? Although she has difficulty choosing a side on this issue, junior Laura Cheek said she learned some new perspectives from the debate. ? "I was unaware of how frequently juries pick life in prison without parole over the death penalty if offered to them, she said.

"It does make me think a little more about our innate feelings in regards to taking human life. But this is one topic where I feel both sides have legitimate arguments, and it is often difficult to be fully against one side."


SEX: M RACE: NA TYPE: T MOTIVE: PC

MO: Killed acquaintances in personal disputes

DISPOSITION: Condemned on one count, 1992; executed Mar. 3, 1993

 

 

 
 
 
 
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