Westley Allan DoddIn 1989, Westley Allen Dodd sexually assaulted and killed three boys ages 11, 10 and four. His methods were so heinous, forensic psychologists dubbed him one of the most evil killers in history.
Westley Allan Dodd - His Childhood YearsWestley Allan Dodd was born in Washington State on July 3, 1961. Dodd grew up in what has been described as a loveless home and was often neglected by his parents in favor of his two younger brothers.
A Child Molesting ChildrenAt age 13, Dodds began exposing himself to children passing by his house. Realizing the dangers of getting caught, he began bicycling around the streets looking for opportunities to expose himself. His parents, distracted by their own problems of getting divorced, were aware of Dodd's strange sexual behavior, but avoided confronting the boy about it or getting him help.
Even less attention was given to Westley after his parents divorced. His desires expanded from exhibitionism to physical contact. He first molested those closest to him. His younger cousins, ages six and eight and the child of a woman his father was dating, became regular victims of his growing perversions.
Entrusted Caretaker of ChildrenDodd grew up to be good-looking, fairly intelligent and personable teenager. These qualities helped him in finding part-time jobs where he was entrusted with the care of children.
He would often baby-sit for his neighbors, seizing the private time to molest the children he was caring for as they slept.
He worked as a camp counselor during the summer months, taking advantage of children's trust and admiration for him. Dodd spent most of his teen years devising new and better ways to abuse children, putting any child that came near him at potential risk of being abused.
He learned how to combine the adult persona with a sense of conspiratorial camaraderie to completely control his young, innocent victims. He could cajole them into playing doctor, or dare them to go skinny-dipping with him. He took advantage of their natural curiosity and often normalized what he did by offering it as a "grown up treat". But Dodd could not master not being caught. On the contrary, he got caught a lot molesting kids, starting with his first arrest at 15 for exposing himself. Tragically nothing much was ever done, but to remand him to professional counseling.
Refining TechniquesThe older he got the more desperate he was to find victims. He discovered he could use more force and less cajoling and began approaching children in parks, demanding that they follow him into a secluded area or that they remove their clothing.
In 1981, after a failed attempt to capture two little girls which was reported to the police, Dodds joined the Navy. That did not stop his pedophiliac desires which were growing into sadistic fantasies. While stationed in Washington he began hunting children who lived on the base. He prowled the nearby movie theater rest rooms and arcades in his spare time.
A Failed SystemAfter the Navy he got a job at a paper mill. His debased proclivities never ceased to occupy most of his thoughts and purpose. Once he offered a group of boys $50 to accompany him to a nearby motel to play strip poker. He was arrested, but the charges were dropped even though he admitted his intentions to molest them to the authorities. Not much later he was arrested again for an attempted molestation and served 19 days in jail and was again ordered to seek counseling.
This wouldn't be the last time Dodd was caught. In fact, it could almost appear as if he wanted to be caught after being arrested several other times for assaulting the children of friends and neighbors. But as usual, Dodd's penalties rarely added up to any real jail time because many parents were reluctant to put their traumatized child through the court system.
In the meantime, Dodd's fantasies were escalating and he began to carefully plan his attacks. He kept a diary, filling its pages with his morbid fantasies of what he would like to do to his future victims.
Diary Excerpts"Incident 3 will die maybe this way: He'll be tied down as Lee was in Incident 2. Instead of placing a bag over his head as had previously planned, I'll tape his mouth shut with duct tape. Then, when ready, I'll use a clothespin or something to plug his nose. That way I can sit back, take pictures and watch him die instead of concentrating on my hands or the rope tight around his neck -- that would also eliminate the rope burns on the neck . . . I can clearly see his face and eyes now..."
"He suspects nothing now. Will probably wait until morning to kill him. That way his body will be fairly fresh for experiments after work. I'll suffocate him in his sleep when I wake up for work (if I sleep)."
The CrimesPossibly the fact that he had now molested about 30 children with impunity helped Westley go a step further towards violence. His yearnings became increasingly difficult to control, and his fantasies darker. He went from sketching torture racks to actually building one. He stopped cajoling and persuading and began ordering. He began to tie up his victims. He became consumed with thoughts of torture, mutilation and cannibalism.
The Desire to KillIn 1987, at age 26, he could no longer ignore his desires to kill his victims. He made up his mind to do it. His first attempt failed when the eight-year-old boy Dodd's lured into the woods managed to escape back to where his mother sat.
He told his mother to call the police and Dodd was apprehended. Dodd received yet another slap on the wrist, in spite of the fact that prosecutors stressed his history of sex crimes. He served 118 days in jail and one year probation.
His fantasies sunk to new depths, and he began to depersonalize his targets, thinking of them as "it", rather than he or she. He wrote in his dairy "if I can just get it home...".
On Labor Day weekend at David Douglas Park, he hid beside a trail. His plans were frustrated by hikers, watchful parents and by the whimsy of the children themselves, who would come tantalizingly close, only to dart down a side path or skip back the other way from where he hid.
Dodd gave up, but returned to the park in the early evening hours, this time determined not to fail.