With the digging came the smell of death. There was no escape. It clung to every hair in their noses; it was the stench of rotten chicken left to molder. It was also the smell of mourning, of lives needlessly lost. That they found not only bodies, but the vestiges of daily existence — a suitcase, a purse — brought home those losses even more poignantly.
At least it was shared toil, and work that didn’t respect rank. Troopers, sergeants and lieutenants all took their turn at the shovel or the screen. This was, after all, the criminal justice system making good on its word. Come spring, they had promised, we’ll start digging up bodies.
4/23/84: Trooper WAYNE VonCLASEN checks grave sites at Knik River bridge, locates suitcase and purse buried at grave site #6 belonging to TAMMY PEDERSON. Spot pointed out by HANSEN.
4/24/84: Lieutenant JENT, Sergeant FLOTHE, Lieutenant KASNICK, Trooper VonCLASEN dig up body #l at grave site #2 near Jim Creek east of Old Kink River Bridge on north side of river (later identified as Sue Luna).
Lieutenant JENT, Sergeant FLOTHE, Lieutenant KASNICK, Trooper VonCLASEN dig up body #2 at grave site #4 parking area Old Knik River Bridge (later identified as Malai Larsen).
Purchase Butcher, Baker