Interview of Alan Swanson

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After JEAN PUGH had made contact with public defender KENNETH RAY on Thursday, October 5th, 1990 (during the phase of Debra Milke's own testimony at her trial) the defense attorney visited to interview MS. PUGH and find out whether the information she had disclosed during the telephone conversation was credible. When KEN RAY found that MS. PUGH'S statements made a great deal of sense he informed the county attorney's office that he intended to call JEAN PUGH and CAROL GRIFFIN as witnesses on behalf of the defense. To prepare for that testimony the county attorney office sent their investigator STAN REICHSFELD along with Phoenix detective ROBERT MILLS to MS. PUGH and her fellow worker ALAN SWANSON. The following is the transcript of the interview of ALAN SWANSON as tape recorded on October 9th, 1990. MR. SWASON consistently confirmed the statements of MS. PUGH, but opposing to MS. PUGH he wasn't called to testify at DEBRA MILKE'S trial, therefore this transcript is not a part of the legal records.

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Tape-recorded interview of Alan Swanson
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Interview of Alan Swanson

Stan Reichsfeld: Time now is approximately 5.20 p.m. Investigator Stan Reichsfeld and we'll be interviewing Alan Swanson. We're still present at 9805 West Jomax. Also present is Phoenix Detective Bob Mills. Okay, Mr. Swanson, we established that your birthday is October 22nd of 1947.
Alan Swanson: Yes it is.
Robert Mills: Okay. And you could be having a Happy Birthday here in just a few days, right ? Ha ha (laughs) ...
Alan Swanson: This month.
Robert Mills: Okay. As you know, we're here we talked to Jean and we talked to Carol and we're trying to find out whatever information you may have regarding some child's hurt at or around December 2nd. Jean has indicated that you and her son were up at her house on the mountain ...
Alan Swanson: Yes.
Robert Mills: ... on the day?
Alan Swanson: Yes.
Robert Mills: Okay. Have you talked to Ken Ray, the attorney?
Alan Swanson: Oh ...
Robert Mills: ... who talked to Jean the other day? Tall guy with a beard?
Alan Swanson: Yeah, ah ...
   (telephone rang in the background)
Alan Swanson: Well, they did the talking, I ...
Robert Mills: Okay.
Alan Swanson: I didn't ... I don't have that much to contribute. I didn't, I heard the series of shots ...
Robert Mills: Okay.
Alan Swanson: But I never got up and went outside to the vehicles. I didn't think that it was unusual because six years in the army I've been around weapons of all sizes and not, you know, out here, especially, you know, you hear different size caliber weapons. I've even heard a cannon toy you know ... somebody made a cannon.
Robert Mills: Yeah, that's what Jean said. Yeah.
Alan Swanson: And I saw the [inaudible] smoke ... they fired three times on one Saturday and I know exactly where it was fired, the direction it was being fired ...
Robert Mills: Uhu.
Alan Swanson: ... but this day, ah, Jerry and I worked there, heard the shots ... I don't know, we didn't have TV on, we were just sitting here talking, just getting ready for barbecue, like Jean said, and something was said about it and I said 'yeah' and Jean went out, checked the barbecue or something, I don't remember now, and never heard anymore. You know, just ... the two different sets, they weren't ... there was nothing normal about 'em because generally when you're target practicing you have a rhythm. When you target practice you point the gun at the target and you fire your shots. These weren't - ah, I would call it - spontaneous. There was no, there was no sense and no rhythm. That's, you know ...
Robert Mills: How many, how many shots do you think you heard?
Alan Swanson: Well, there's, I know there's two different sets and they'd have been five or six.
Robert Mills: Total or in each set?
Alan Swanson: No, total.
Robert Mills: Total? Okay.
Alan Swanson: I know there was three or four in the first one.
Comment: ALAN SWANSON had the exact same perception of these five to seven shots as CAROL GRIFFIN and JEAN PUGH. However, SWANSON did not testify at trial. The value of these three testimonies in regard to the true proceedings of the murder of CHRISTOPHER MILKE was later demonstrably carefully hidden by County prosecutor NOEL LEVY. Not only these three testimonies, but also other facts contribute to the claim that CHRIS was not murdered between 1 and 2 p.m. [like NOEL LEVY asserted in his closing argument] but give every serious reason to conclude that the killing actually happened at or around 11 a.m. This means that the indictment and conviction of Debra Milke was founded on the wrong facts.
Robert Mills: Okay.
Alan Swanson: I'm sure. I'm not positive but I'm, I'm, I'm pretty sure there was three ... I know there was three, maybe four in the first one and then I don't know how long there was in between. Seem like probably five minutes, I think. And then there might, I'm sure there was three, I know it was three in the second. But they weren't repeated. There was a shot, pause, shot, shot.
Robert Mills: How long do you think the pause was?
Alan Swanson: No more than two or three seconds.
Robert Mills: Hm, okay. Could you tell where they were coming from?
Alan Swanson: Ah, I know they were coming from what we call Gasline Road.
Robert Mills: Okay, on the other side like Lake Pleasant Road?
Alan Swanson: Yeah, that were Southern Union Gas road there ... gasline and there's a road. Everybody uses it I think, except me. Anyway, ah, I knew they were coming from that direction because I have a sense of, some sense of direction when I hear a noise. I guess, part of it is military training, just something that ...
Robert Mills: Okay.
Alan Swanson: Anyway, ah, with the windows and everything I knew, you know, what windows were open and what direction they were coming from. And there was a conversation, I don't remember what it was that Jean said, something about the shots and I said 'ya, I heard 'em', and that's when she went outside. I don't remember it now.
Robert Mills: Were they close to the house?
Alan Swanson: Ah, no, but I know they were 22 or 25 caliber.
Robert Mills: Small caliber?
Alan Swanson: Yeah.
Robert Mills: Okay.
Alan Swanson: And, ah ... but I knew they weren't too close because of the sound. And that Jean said she saw the vehicle [inaudible] over at Gasline Road.
Robert Mills: Okay.
Alan Swanson: ... because we had people there target practicing before and I got us a fairly good set of binoculars and sometimes there's people out there within a mile and a half of the house. I'll go over and I'll look ...
Robert Mills: Aha.
Alan Swanson: ... especially since this incident happened. I start looking to see which way they're firing.
Robert Mills: Yeah, cause there're a lot of houses on your side of the road.
Alan Swanson: When you have, when one side of your house is glass that sixty foot tall you are very particular which way the bullets are going.
Robert Mills: Okay. How far is that area Gasline Road to your house? I take it, Jean pointed out the area to you where she saw the vehicle?
Alan Swanson: Yeah.
Robert Mills: How far do you think it is from your house to there, the area ...?
Alan Swanson: Half a mile a crow flies. Maybe I'd say, you know I'd say three acres and ...
Robert Mills: Straight line?
Alan Swanson: Yeah. I'd say half a mile a crow flies ...
Robert Mills: Okay.
Alan Swanson: See, that's the things about this desert, ah. Sound travels really easy ...
Robert Mills: Yeah. Echo off the mountains.
Alan Swanson: ... cause I've been, we've been [inaudible] some night out here and we could hear the neighbor's phone ring and that's ... that's down here at the bottom of the hill, Robin eighty, that's over a half mile away I can hear the phone ring.
Robert Mills: Yeah.
Alan Swanson: They got window open and late at night I, I hear the phone ring.
Robert Mills: I can't think of anything else.
Stan Reichsfeld : Did - the area where, where Jean showed you where the car was - would you say that's approximately where the shots were, in that distance, would that be about right?
Alan Swanson: Ah, possibly, ah, I know the approximate location where the car was, not the exact location.
Stan Reichsfeld : Yeah.
Alan Swanson: But, I mean, we've been up the road. Now, who is going that way once - cause it's people [inaudible] dumped -
Robert Mills: Right.
Alan Swanson: ... stopped out here in the desert, and there's a phone when you wanna call, but they're only open eighth to five. And we went up there one day 'cause we saw a vehicle, one vehicle [inaudible]. We could, you can't go ... I cannot make up the south side of the hill because it's so tore up, only four-wheel drive make it up. I could make it to the bottom without four-wheel-drive but you cannot make it to the top. From the south you have to come in from the north to get down the hill. So I know a passenger car couldn't get up cause it's, it's tore up too bad. You can go up Happy Valley, come up the road and you get to the bottom of the hill and then there's other four off the road. People driven out there and they just tore it all out.
Robert Mills: Okay.
Alan Swanson: Good. I know the approximate location where the car was.
Robert Mills: Do you know about what time it was that you heard the shots?
Alan Swanson: Ah, right around eleven.
Robert Mills: Is that from you independent memory, or ...?
Alan Swanson: Ya. It was around eleven.
Robert Mills: Okay.
Stan Reichsfeld: What makes you say it was around eleven?
Alan Swanson: Well, it sure sounds strange but Jerry's son's up there and when he comes up, Jean's a good cook, and he's a very hyperactive person. He, he ,he even needs six meals a day and not put on weight. I can't. He can. Anyway, we'd already, she'd already fixed him breakfast, we've been in the house he got up here at about eighth, I guess. We had breakfast, and then we worked for about an hour or so, and we came out and, ah, he came up with the barbecue gas and that was, it was after ten cause there was, ah, there was something on TV I was gonna watch at ten and we got in there too late and I got upset and I said 'Hell, we already missed the first half hour. What's the sense of starting now ?' We turned it on, it wasn't ... I don't know, it wasn't even I don't even remember, it was a game, it was one side so I shut it off and hadn't turned the radio on yet. And it was, after that the shots.
Robert Mills: Okay. I can't think of anything else. Do you have any questions to us at this point?
Alan Swanson: No.
Robert Mills: Okay, one more thing that has come to mind. Jean has indicated that she has a source of information that, ah, is unknown to us at this particular point, ah, that someone has conspired, or, apparently conspired to cover up some kind of information. Do you know anymore about that?
Comment: It's clear why DET. MILLS would ask about this point. MS. PUGH had indeed indicated in her first telephone talk with defense attorney KENNETH RAY that she obtained independent information, claiming that the allegation of a conspiracy was nothing but an invention and that governmental officers knew about it. A copy of this tape was produced and submitted to the court and the County Prosecutor's Office. Logically, among NOEL LEVY and ARMANDO SALDATE this information must have caused quite a bit of some concern. MILLS was apparently ordered to investigate what information SWANSON may have had. Why else would STAN REICHSFELD be backed by DET. MILLS? That didn't happen in other interviews prior to the trial.
Alan Swanson: No. No, I don't. My mind functions better on heavy equipment 'n yard work and when it come to business world an finances and real estate that's her field. When it comes to the yard and equipment she says 'that's your baby Alan, you handle that. I handle real estate, you handle the yard'. So, there's a lot you know that that she handles, and there's a lot that I handle and there's a lot that we don't get communicated anymore.
Comment: MILLS could now be sure that ALAN SWANSON did not comprehend the serious meaning of the accusation towards police and governmental officers. Now that he had made sure SWANSON didn't have further detailed information he knew he wouldn't be a threat. MILLS could now conclude the interview.
Robert Mills: Okay, okay, Okay do you have any - before we shut that off, do you have any questions of us?
Alan Swanson: No, no, I can think of anything right now.
Robert Mills: Okay.
Stan Reichsfeld: Time now is approximately 5:30 p.m.

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The Debra Jean Milke Case

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