This is Detective ARMANDO SALDATE'S report of his interrogation of ROGER SCOTT and - purportedly - of SCOTT'S confession. SCOTT did indeed confess - MILLS taped SCOTT'S restatement of his confession that evening - so SALDATE had no need to fabricate a confession for SCOTT. But still, this report shows a couple of interesting coherences and raises quite a few questions about the truthfulness of many facts and details told herein.
First, SALDATE lets slip a little insight into his true methods of operation. Throughout the Debra Jean Milke Case and other cases he has worked on, SALDATE claims an almost magical ability to get instant confessions. He just says he will not tolerate lies, demands the truth, and the suspect immediately confesses. But here we see that SALDATE gets SCOTT to confess by threatening to have the police go into his sick mother's home and turn it upside-down in a search, something SCOTT feared would kill her. When testifying at the Voluntariness Hearing, SALDATE squirmed and tried to deny this prior to being confronted with his own report.
Second - a technical matter of this entire report - it's interesting to perceive that this report was written more than five hours after SALDATE'S report about his interrogation of Debra Milke was typed, therefore chronologically twisted. This describes a pretty illogical technique of narrating interrogations initially held one after another. As the later composed case synopsis reveals, SALDATE was already in touch with County prosecutor NOEL LEVY on this December 6th, 1989 and it needs to be questioned whether LEVY had told or suggested to SALDATE 'how to write the reports'. That would be a shocking suspicion, but indeed, it's exactly what appears to have happened.
Also, we see, by SALDATE'S own account, that SCOTT'S first story was that STYERS had killed CHRIS because he couldn't stand him. He goes into detail about how STYERS finally worked up the nerve to kill CHRIS, and he never even mentioned the boy's mother, Debra Milke. Only later, as they were driving out to find CHRIS'S body, did SCOTT claim Debra was involved. The fact that SCOTT'S implication of Debra was an afterthought - and not his original story - is something that SALDATE hid when testifying in front of the Grand Jury. And, when MILLS asked SCOTT about Debra's alleged role during the taped interrogation, SCOTT became hopelessly confused and incoherent.
The rundown of the following report shows even more. It depicts how SALDATE - not convinced by ROGER SCOTT'S implication of JIM STYERS and still at the police main station - did not order the arrest of the alleged main perpetrator STYERS, but instead had suspect SCOTT lead him and DET. MILLS to the dead body of CHRISTOPHER. Only when ROGER extended his incrimination and put additional blame on Debra - a young, inexperienced mother, hit with the terrible tragedy of the loss of her only child - the cop stopped at the Cactus Park Briefing Station, talked to his superior and had both JIM STYERS and Debra Milke arrested.
Clip #1: Roger Scott's Incrimination (24:43)
On 12-3-89 at approximately 1258 hrs, I contacted ROGER SCOTT inside an interview room at 620 W. Washington. The purpose of my contact was to interview him in regards to this death investigation. The following is a paraphrased account of his interview.
On 12-3-89 at approximately 1250 hrs, I entered an interview room with DET. BOB MILLS for the purpose of interviewing ROGER SCOTT. DET. MILLS sat next to ROGER and was continuing his interview until approximately 1258 hrs. At that time I assumed the interview and identified myself to ROGER. I then told ROGER that I felt he was involved in the victim's disappearance and for that reason I was going to read him his rights. I then removed the Miranda rights card from my badge case and read the Miranda rights verbatim to him. ROGER responded yes to understanding his rights and I began my interview.
I first explained to ROGER that he had been telling detectives all this time about a subject named PHIL and I did not believe that this subject existed. I told ROGER that I was just getting involved in the interview because I had been talking to his friend JIM.
ROGER then told me that I was right and that PHIL did not exist. He said the only reason he made up PHIL was because he did not want to get involved after JIM told him that CHRIS was missing. I then asked ROGER if he had accompanied CHRIS and JIM to the mall and he told me that he had. He said that JIM parked the car outside Sears and that the three of them walked into the store. He said he stopped momentarily at the tools and before he knew it, JIM and CHRIS had walked away. ROGER then looked up and could see his friend JIM walking ahead of him but since there was a large crowd he could not get to JIM before he lost them. He looked for JIM inside Sears for some time and then decided to go into the mall area. He said he did not see JIM again until a little bit after 3:00 PM when JIM told him that CHRIS was missing. At that time he told JIM that he did not want to be involved because he had to get home to take care of his mother. ROGER then told me that he understood because he lied about PHIL that I probably would not believe anything he had to say. ROGER did say that a PHIL does exist, however, he is an elderly man who lives near his home and has colon cancer.
I then told ROGER that I knew that CHRIS was dead and that sooner or later he would have to tell me the truth. I told him that I strongly believed that he was involved in CHRIS' disappearance but ROGER continued to deny it. ROGER said that the only reason I thought he was involved was because he lied about PHIL. We continued to talk and I told ROGER that sooner or later, he would have to tell me what occurred. I told him that I thought he was not a cold blooded killer and that I was sure that his conscience would not let him continue to lie. ROGER, however, continued to deny knowing anything about CHRIS' appearance and continued to say that he, JIM and CHRIS arrived at Sears together until he lost track of JIM and CHRIS. At approximately 1338 hrs, I told ROGER that I was going to leave him alone in the room for several minutes and that I would be back to continue our conversation.
At approximately 1352 hrs, I returned to the interview room by myself and continued the interview. ROGER and I spoke about his past and his current responsibilities with his mother. He also told me that he had other responsibilities with neighbors that he also took care of. We spoke about his state of unemployment, several personal areas, about his life. I continued to tell him that it was important for him to tell me the truth. ROGER kept denying that he had any involvement in the disappearance of CHRIS and kept telling me that the only reason I believed he was involved was because he had lied initially about PHIL. I then pointed out to ROGER hat JIM had told security persons initially that he and CHRIS were by themselves and that did not correspond with his story about telling JIM that he did not want to get involved until 3:00 PM. ROGER said he could not explain that, only to say that JIM was probably trying to protect him on his own. I told ROGER that we all knew that CHRIS was already dead and that finding his body was not as important as him telling me the truth. ROGER continued to deny any involvement in CHRIS' disappearance.
At approximately 1505 hrs, I told ROGER that I would again leave him alone with his conscience, but that I would return in a few minutes to continue our conversation. I told him that when I returned we were only going to talk about the truth about what actually happened and that I was not going to listen to any more of his denials which I knew were lies. ROGER then moved his head in an up and down motion indicating that he understood. I then left the room.
At approximately 1535 hrs, I again contacted ROGER and ROGER asked for cigarettes and a pop. I told him that I would get that for him in a few minutes but that it was necessary for him to tell me the entire truth and that I was not going to tolerate him telling me any more lies. I also told ROGER that it was my belief that he knew where CHRIS' body was and the least he could do was to tell us so we could recover it. ROGER then began moving his head from side to side, indicating no, but would not respond out loud. I told ROGER that we were going to send officers to his home to speak with his mother and he immediately responded that it would kill her. I told him it was going to be necessary since he continued to lie about his involvement and we needed to verify certain things.
ROGER then told me that JIM had never liked the kid and he said that he didn't think that JIM would go through with it.
ROGER said that he had been telling the truth about going to the different locations and taking CHRIS for pizza. He said after the pizza that he and JIM drove to a location which they had been at before and had pre-selected as the location where they were going to kill CHRIS.
ROGER then explained that JIM had a .22 caliber revolver, 6 shot, which he took out with him. He said he parked his car along the roadway on 99 Avenue and that JIM and CHRIS got out of the car and walked back into the wash. He said JIM had previously told him that he was going to leave him near the road because he wanted him found right away. ROGER said that he then drove away, then made a U-turn and came back and that JIM was supposed to be waiting by the roadside. ROGER said that he did not hear any shots and did not see JIM. He continued past the wash, waited just north of the wash, but again did not see JIM. He said all the windows of the car were down but still he could not hear any shots. He then made a U-turn, headed southbound and pulled along the roadway at the opening of the wash. He said he then began to hit his horn very lightly because he did not want to attract attention. ROGER said he still did not hear any shots nor did he see JIM. He then drove further south, got out of the car and began to walk towards the wash, still not hearing or seeing anything. ROGER said he changed his mind and walked back to the car and again made another U-turn, headed northbound and again began to use his horn very lightly. He still did not see anything. He then parked his vehicle again northbound across the road and headed into the northern section of the wash and then he heard three shots. He said a short time later, he saw JIM walking out of the wash on the south side towards the roadway. He said he then walked back to the car, made a U-turn and headed southbound and saw JIM with his thumb out as if he was hitchhiking. He then picked up JIM and JIM immediately told him that he had shot CHRIS three times in the head.
ROGER then became concerned and said he knew that he was in serious trouble but he was not going to be held responsible for killing CHRIS because he did not do that. I asked ROGER if he knew where the gun was at and ROGER paused and then said that JIM gave him the gun to get rid of it but that he had not. He said that JIM gave him the gun initially and told him to get rid of it but that JIM also told him that he could keep it if he wanted it. ROGER said he kept the gun and that it is in his closet at his home.
ROGER then began telling me that he applied for Social Security but had been refused. He then mentioned that he had gone to an attorney who he thought was free but later tried to charge him $250.00 before he would file a case. ROGER said he only went with JIM because he needed the $250.00 to file the Social Security case. ROGER then mentioned that CHRIS was supposed to have a $5000 life insurance policy and that JIM told him that he would give him $250.00 if he was to help him. I then asked ROGER if he would show us where the body was at and he agreed.
DET. MILLS and myself then took ROGER from the main Station and headed towards the area of 99 Avenue and Jomax Road where he said the body was at. Just after leaving the main station, ROGER said if he could tell us some more while he was in the car or would we rather wait until we returned and I suggested that he go ahead and tell us. ROGER then said that we probably felt that he and JIM were the only bad ones in this situation but that he was going to tell us something about the baby's mother, ROGER went on and said that the baby's mother knew all about the killing and in fact the only reason that CHRIS was killed was because the mother wanted it done.
ROGER said that JIM had told him that DEBBIE was pressuring him into doing it quick and that JIM at one time got upset and told DEBBIE why didn't she do it but that DEBBIE refused. ROGER said that JIM told him that DEBBIE did go out with him at one time and that they were going to kill CHRIS, however, there were too many people and they decided to go back home.
At this time, JIM (note : has to be ROGER) suggested we take the freeway to Union Hills Drive and then head west to 99 Avenue. We then noticed that we needed gas and decided to stop at Cactus Park Briefing Station to get gas. At this time I called SGT. ONTIVEROS and informed him about the mother's involvement and he told me that she was now in Florence.
ROGER continued to talk and we finally got in the area of 99 Avenue and Union Hills. We then drove north on 99 Avenue and past a dip in the roadway and a wash and he immediately told us that we had passed it. We then made a U-turn and returned to the wash and he pointed out that CHRIS should be an the west side of the roadway in the wash not too far beyond the roadway. ROGER said JIM wanted to leave him not too far from the roadway so he would be found in just a couple of days and they could collect the insurance money as soon as possible.
During the trip to the drop site, ROGER had mentioned that JIM had taken off a pair of shoes that he supposedly used when he walked CHRIS into the wash and that he had given him the shoes to get rid of when they arrived at Sears before making the missing person report. ROGER then told us that he had left the shoes in a planter near where they parked the vehicle. We then returned ROGER to the area and found a pair of blue Nike tennis shoes exactly where ROGER pointed out. The shoes were retained and identified by ROGER as being the same shoes he had placed there.
A taped interview of ROGER was completed after we returned to the main station. This taped interview was attended by DET. MILLS while I was enroute to Florence to interview the mother. The taped interview has been transcribed and is attached.
After the interview, ROGER was taken to the main jail and booked for First Degree Murder.
For accuracy, you can view the original report in a scanned version here: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6.
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