Clark Arrested For Murder 12/15/93
By William Simonsen
Polson, Mont. — Joseph Shadow Clark, said his teachers, would be the last kid they’d ever pick to be charged with murder.
His high school counselor called him “a good kid, quiet, never in trouble.”
He was active in his church, a Royal Ranger and bright student who received an academic scholarship to a Quaker liberal arts college.
His arrest for a double murder last week stunned his friends, fellow students and his hometown of Bigfork.
Clark, 18, was arrested Dec. 7 in Oregon and charged with the August murder of a Ferndale couple.
Clark, a 1993 graduate of Bigfork High School who was attending George Fox College in Newberg, Ore., allegedly acted alone in the killings, said Lake County Sheriff Joe Geldrich.
Clark was charged with the Aug. 12 deliberate homicide of John Bosco, 41, and his wife Nancy, 32, at their home.
Clark was arrested after questioning by Oregon authorities and investigators from the Montana Criminal Investigations Bureau.
Clark’s father, Joe Clark, said Monday, “I can tell you right now that he’s innocent.”
“Remember he’s innocent until proven guilty,” he said.
John and Nancy Bosco were found dead at their home, in their bed, nude, on Aug. 19.
The Boscos purchased the home on Kelly Drive from Clark’s parents a little more than one year ago.
Authorities will not say if Clark has confessed to the crime.
Deputy Lake County Attorney Robert Long said a confession means that the person involved confesses to all aspects of a crime. “I don’t know that he did that,” said Long.
Long said he had not had an opportunity to review all of the reports from Clark’s questioning in Oregon.
Joe Clark said, “He hasn’t confessed to anything.”
Joe Clark said his son has never been in trouble with law enforcement authorities in past, and had no criminal record.
Paul Sullivan, a counselor at Bigfork High School said Clark “was a good kid, quiet and never in trouble.”
“When we heard,” said Bigfork High teacher Sid Ashim, “the teachers all agreed he’d be the last kid we’d pick to get arrested for murder.”
George Fox College is a small private four-year institution founded by Quakers in 1891.
Joe Clark said his son was attending the college on a full academic scholarship
About 1,800 students attend the college. Newberg is a town of about 13,500 located about 35 miles southwest of Portland, Ore.
College officials closed the campus last Friday afternoon so shocked students could meet with college counselors.
Freshmen, like Clark, entering the college were required to be in attendance by Aug. 28.
Clark was accepted by the college last March, college officials said.
Officials said the break in the case which led authorities to Clark came about two weeks ago when the chief of security at the college called the Flathead County Sheriffs Office.
Flathead County Sheriff Jim Dupont said detective Mike Sward took the call from the security chief who said he had some vague information about a student talking about a killing in the area.
Sward determined the information concerned the Bosco murders and referred the security chief to the state Criminal Investigation Bureau, Dupont said.
He said Sward also called the CIB with the information.
Two investigators from CIB, Ward McKay and Arlyn Greydanus, went to Oregon on Dec. 6 to follow up the lead, said Lake County Sheriff Joe Geldrich.
Geldrich said Clark told friends about the crime and the friends reported it authorities.
He said Clark was picked up at his room in Edwards Residence Hall on the college campus and taken to the Newberg Police Department.
Geldrich said McKay and Greydanus along with Newberg Police detectives Ken Summers and John Goad questioned Clark of Dec. 7.
Late that afternoon, Clark was arrested by Summers, said Geldrich.
During questioning Clark told investigators he gave the murder weapon to a friend who lives in Kalispell before he left for college last fall, said Geldrich.
Geldrich said Clark’s friend is not implicated in the crime.
Geldrich said he went to Kalispell Dec. 8, and picked up the weapon.
He said no search warrant was obtained to get the weapon.
Friday he said the weapon, a 9mm Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol, had been tested by the State Crime Lab, and confirmed to be the weapon that killed the Boscos.
It is not the pistol John Bosco’s father said was missing from the Bosco house after the murder.
Geldrich said he did not believe robbery was the motive behind the murders.
He said a few small items were unaccounted for, but nothing of any great value.
The murders were discovered Aug. 19 when a neighbor suspected that something was amiss at the house. She noticed that all the windows were open, and the doors locked.
The neighbor knew that John Bosco was scheduled to make an appearance in a Colorado court on a felony charge of forgery Aug. 16.
She notified authorities, and the Bosco’s bodies were discovered.
John Bosco was shot in the head, Nancy was shot once in the head and a second time in the back, authorities said.
Geldrich said the telephone line had been cut and the power shut off to the house.
He said there was evidence of a break in through a window in the basement bathroom of the house.
Geldrich set the time of death as sometime Aug. 12.
Joe Clark said his entire family had been on vacation in Alaska, arriving back in the area only two days before the date of the murder.
He said Aug. 12 was one of his children’s birthday. He said the family spent the entire day celebrating the birthday. “All of his hours are accounted for,” said Joe Clark.
After his arrest, Clark was held in the Yamhill County (Ore.) Jail until a warrant could be issued by Lake County authorities, Geldrich said.
A complaint was issued by Robert Long, deputy Lake County attorney the evening of Dec. 7.
Lake County Justice of the Peace Chuck Whitson issued a warrant for Clark’s arrest late in the evening of Dec. 7, charging him with two counts of deliberate homicide.
Whitson asked that bond be set at $250,000 in the case.
On the afternoon of Dec. 8, Clark appeared at a hearing without an attorney before District Judge Wayne Harris in Yamhill District Court in McMinnville, Ore., where he was charged with being a fugitive from justice, and waived his extradition rights.
Geldrich said no fugitive from justice warrant was issued for Clark. He said under certain circumstances law enforcement agencies are allowed to hold prisoners for other laws enforcements agencies if a warrant is about to be issued.
Clark choose not to contest his extradition and was transported back to Montana Dec. 9 by McKay and Greydanus.
He arrived at the Lake County Jail at about 8:20 p.m. last Thursday.
Clark appeared without an attorney before Lake County Justice of the Peace Chuck Whitson at about 10 a.m. last Friday.
Long requested that bond be revoked for Clark.
Whitson ordered Clark held without until trial.
Whitson appointed public defender Ben Anciaux as Clark’s attorney.
Clark remained silent during the appearance.
His parents were in the courtroom during his appearance.
Whitson set the preliminary hearing in the case for Dec. 20.
But Long later said state law allows the prosecution 10 days from the initial appearance to file an affidavit and information relating to the case in District Court.
Long said he will file the necessary court documents before Dec. 20, but that Clark would probably not make another court appearance until Dec. 22, when he would appear in District Court.
Several weeks ago Geldrich said sample taken from the body of nancy Bosco were sent to a California lab for DNA testing.
He said samples from Clark would be sent for DNA testing “as soon as possible.”
On June 7, 1991, over a year before the sale of the property, the state Department of Commerce, Building Codes Division filed a lawsuit against Joe Clark, the father of Joe Shadow Clark, over the use of a shop building on the property where he manufactured furniture.
The state denied the Clark’s business, Frontier Furniture, a building permit to build an addition to the shop building.
Peter Bosco, the father of John Bosco, said last week that his son did not discover the problem with his planned use of the shop building until the sale was almost completed.
Fred Hanson, who said he was the real estate salesman in the sale of the property, said Monday that he wrote a note that the shop could not be used as a commercial business on the buy/sell form for the deal. Hanson said he made every effort to inform John Bosco that the shop building could not be used for commercial purposes.
John Bosco intended to use the shop building for his cabinet making business his father said.
Peter Bosco said the state’s attorneys told his son that he could use the old part of the shop building for his business, so he went through with the deal.
Court documents show that the case against Joe Clark over the shop building is still pending.
John Bosco was not happy about the condition of the shop when he took possession of the property, said Peter Bosco. He said his son was forced to spend over $10,000 to make the building suitable for his use.
Joe Clark said the friction between the two families alleged by Peter Bosco, “Is completely bogus.”
Peter Bosco said Nancy Bosco told him Joe Shadow Clark drove by the house in an old truck shouting obscenities on numerous occasions after the Boscos moved into the house.
Joe Clark said Nancy Bosco was confused. “It was my other son,” he said.
But Peter Bosco said his son and Joe Clark talked the over problems until they were resolved.
Under Montana state law, deliberate homicide can be punished by death, life imprisonment, or by a prison sentence of not less than 10 years or more than 100 years.
Long said he has not decided if he will seek the death penalty or not.
Antoinette Bosco, the mother of John Bosco, said she spoke with a psychic several weeks ago about the murders.
She said the psychic predicted the murders would be solved in December and that the murderer was someone who did jobs around the house.
She said the psychic said the murderer was “someplace out west” of Montana and “that he was just a young kid.”
Clark Murder Confession 9/7/94
By William Simonsen
Polson, Mont. — Convicted murderer Joseph Shadow Clark told investigators that he had been having a recurring nightmare about breaking into the home of John and Nancy Bosco every night for three weeks before he murdered them.
“…One night I woke up and did it,” Clark told investigators while making a statement Dec. 7, 1993, in Newberg, Ore.
Clark said he woke up the next morning, not sure if his sleep had been disturbed by the dream, or because he had finally acted out the dream during the night.
“I would like to know why I did it,” Clark told investigators Ward McKay and Arlyn Greydanus of the state Criminal Investigation Bureau.
The Bigfork Eagle obtained permission from District Court C.B. McNeil to view investigative reports, forensic reports, transcripts of interviews, crime scene photographs and prosecution files that had previously been sealed.
But reports from the forensic psychiatrist were held back at the request of Clark’s attorney, Stephen Nardi.
Also not released, due to objections from Nardi, was the pre-sentence investigation report prepared by the state’s parole officer for Lake County.
The original intent of the Eagle was to discover a motive, a reason, a purpose for the murders.
No motive is apparent in the official records other than the statements made by Clark about his haunting nightmares.
Lake County Deputy Attorney Bob Long said he is not required by state law to prove motive in a murder, “Only that the suspect did it.”
Clark told investigators he doesn’t understand why he broke into the home of two Ferndale residents and murdered them during the early morning hours of August 12, 1993.
Clark told investigators McKay and Greydanus of the state Criminal Investigation Bureau that he bore no grudges against the Boscos.
“I didn’t even know them…which is really weird as far as why I did that, I don’t know,” he said.
“Well, you know, I realize that I have messed up. But I’m not a bad person, and anybody you talk to will tell you that.
“I think it’s bad…but I don’t think it’s the end of the world for me, you know.
“I shouldn’t be condemed, you know, for doing one little, one thing.”
“I’ve done a lot of good things, and sure they don’t make up for doing that bad thing.”
The Boscos bought the home where they were murdered from Clark’s parents about six months before the murder.
Clark said he bought the gun he used to shoot the Boscos from an acquantance early in the summer of 1993.
It was already in his car, when he woke up in the middle of the night and drove to their home on Kelly Drive in the Swan Sites subdivision.
When investigators asked Clark what he intended to do when he got the Bosco home, he replied, “My intentions? I probably didn’t have any. I wouldn’t do that on purpose.”
Clark said he parked in the Bosco’s driveway, took his flashlight and gun and got into their house.
The power was shut off and the phone line was cut into the Bosco home, officials said.
Clark said he didn’t remember shutting off the power.
But he said “it’s probable” he shut the power off and cut the phone line.
The power to the Bosco home was turned off at 1:47 a.m. investigators discovered. An electric clock on the kitchen stove was stopped at that time.
Clark said he was alone during the murder “as far as I know.”
Investigators theorize Clark got into the house through the window of a ground level bathroom, which was left open.
Crime scene photographs show that no screen covered the window.
Clark told investigators he did not remember climbing the stairs to the second floor bedroom where the Boscos lay sleeping, but he did remember standing in the doorway to the room.
John Bosco was shot first by Clark because he was closest to the door, said Clark.
“I just remember hearing or seeing the shot being shot,” he said.
“I just remember a point…sticking the gun out and shooting. I didn’t aim or anything.”
“I just pointed it towards him. I didn’t point at a specific part of him.”
Clark said he was about four feet away from John Bosco when he fired the first time.
The autopsy of John Bosco, performed by State Medical Examiner Dr. Gary Dale of the State Crime Lab, said he died from one gunshot wound to the head.
The fatal bullet entered his skull about two inches below the top of his head, very close to the center of his forehead.
The bullet had spent its force by the time it went throught the back of John Bosco’s head and was found lying under his head on the pillow.
John Bosco never moved after he was shot, said Clark
Clark said after he shot John Bosco, he heard “some kind of clicking sound or something” from Nancy Bosco.
Clark said he had an “instant reaction” that she had a gun.
Officials found that Nancy Bosco had put her eyeglasses on, and had knocked the telephone off the bedside table before she was shot by Clark.
She screamed in terror.
“I wouldn’t say it was a scream, but it probably was. It seems like it would be a scream, you know, just being the circumstances (it) seems like that’s what the action would be,” Clark said.
Clark then turned his gun on her.
But shooting Nancy Bosco “it wasn’t like me actually shooting, shooting her, or shooting at her,” Clark said.
Clark said he “just fired in her direction” three times.
Two of the shots hit Nancy Bosco.
The autopsy report from the State Crime Laboratory said one shot (probably the first shot at her) entered Nancy Bosco’s back about 16 inches below the top of her head, and 5/8 inch left of her spine.
The bullet hit one of her ribs, her lung, and shoulder blade before in left her shoulder.
The same bullet then went into her head below her jaw, then hit bone and ricocheted out her eye, breaking the lens of her glasses.
Autopsy studies show she must have been in a defensive crouch, similar to the fetal position, for the bullet to have traveled on its path.
The bullet from the second shot entered the right side of her head, next to her ear, 5 7/8 inches below the top of her head.
The autopsy showed that bruises on her right calf and left thigh occurred shortly before her death.
Because the bodies of the Boscos were nude when discovered one week after the murders, rape was suspected by officials.
Forensic samples were taken from both bodies.
More samples were taken from Clark after his arrest.
DNA testing showed conclusively that semen samples recovered from Nancy Bosco, and the sheets on the bed, did not come from Clark.
The friend said the Boscos were “trying to have a baby” before they were murdered.
Clark said he left the room after shooting the couple.
“It’s possible that I touched her (after killing her),” said Clark.
“I didn’t touch her in any sexual way.”
But crime scene photographs show that Clark did indeed touch Nancy Bosco before he left the bedroom that night — he placed a pillow over Nancy Bosco’s face when he was finished shooting her.
Investigators found the bullet from Clark’s fourth shot in the roof of the porch outside the bedroom were it became wedged after passing completely through the wall of the house.
Clark said he did not recall picking up the spent cartridges from his gun after he was done with the shooting.
But no cartridges were found in the bedroom or anywhere else on the Bosco’s property.
Clark’s gun, which was positively identified by ballistics tests as the murder weapon, is a 9 mm Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol.
When the pistol is fired, the spent shell casing are ejected onto the ground.
Clark said he did not remember wearing gloves during the murders, but none of his fingerprints were found anywhere in the house.
Clark told investigators he did not recall taking anything from the house.
But officials knew a hand gun was missing from the house.
Investigators took great pains in an attempt to identify and locate the missing gun. Clark’s bedroom in his parent’s house was searched.
His car was searched, and his dorm room at college was searched.
Several weeks after Clark’s arrest, his attorney brought a .357 magnum Ruger revolver to the office of Deputy Lake County Attorney Bob Long.
It was found by Clark’s parents hidden in a packing box inside of a trumpet case.
Clark told investigators that after he murdered the Boscos “I guess I just went to bed, I really don’t remember.”
He said he wasn’t sure he had even committed the crime until he heard about the murders from fellow employees in his father’s furniture shop.
“I have no idea why I did it. I don’t know why I would want to do it.”
Clark said he was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs when he committed the murders.
The dreams about the crime continued for Clark even after he committed the murders.
“I had dreams about (the murders) after, the following weeks, I still had dreams of doing it,” he said.
But Clark might not have ever been caught if he had not told a fellow studnet about the crime.
He was arrested in Newberg, Ore., on Dec. 7, only days after he told a fellow student about killing the Boscos.
Clark left Montana in late August, 1993, shortly afer the Bosco’s bodies wre discovered to attend George Fox College at Newberg.
College friends told investigators of extreme mood swings in Clark becoming worse as the semester wore on at the Quaker college about 40 miles from Portland.
Two students from his dormitory said Clark began to drink beer for the first time in his life.
One other students said Clark showed him blotter paper doses of LSD and claimed he had taken the drug during a trip back to Bigfork at Thanksgiving break.
Clark approached one resident of his dorm, a psychology major, for help in interpreting dreams.
Clark told the young man about the dream he had of entering the Bosco house killing the couple.
The student took notes about the dream, but never suspected the dream had become reality.
His notes would become evidence for the prosecution after Clark was arrested and charged with murder.
Another college friend said Clark was in a particularly foul mood one evening while they were driving to a Portland computer store.
He confronted Clark about his increasing moodiness on Dec. 3, 1993.
The student later told investigators, “He said he had this dream of killing somebody. Then he said one day it wasn’t a dream anymore.”
The student said Clark felt, “Something overtook him and made him do it.”
The student said Clark told him, “I did something that could put me away for the rest of my life.”
The student said Clark then used his had and fingers to pantomime shooting a gun.
His friend knew Clark had a gun in his possession, because Clark had shown it to him during September.
The student was frightened by Clark’s admission and contacted college officials on Dec. 6, 1993.
They were referred to Greydanus and McKay, who listened to the student’s story and drove to Oregon immediately.
It was not the first time in their investigation that Greydanus and McKay had heard about the Clark family.
When the agents traveled to Colorado in October, 1993, to investigate ;leads in the case there, they interviewed Nancy Lauthe, John Bosco’s ex-common law wife.
She told the investigators that the Boscos had been having difficulties with the Clarks, and suggested they look for evidence of a connection to the murders.
The investigators probably knew they had their man when, within the first few minutes of their first interview with Clark, he asked, “Do you guys have enough to convict me?”
Clark told the investigators that he no longer had the murder weapon in his possession, but had given it to his friend, Chris Dimler, during his trip to Montana in late November. Dimler was to keep it, along with other possessions, until Clark’s return from Oregon.
Lake County Sheriff Joe Geldrich obtained a search warrant and found the gun at Dimler’s apartment in Kalispell.
Clark was brought back to Lake County by McKay and Greydanus on Dec. 8, to face charges.
But the students in his dorm had not heard the last from Clark.
Dec. 12, Clark placed calls from the Lake County jail the student who had talked to the investigators first.
Clark was extremely angry and demanded to know what they had told officials.
He asked the student who went to officials with the story, “Why did you talk?”
The student told him, “Because you need help.”
The next day Clark called another student and bragged he had come up with an alibi. Clark said he intended to claim he was at a movie with his sister and one of her friends the night of the murder.
Clark’s attorney was warned that any further calls from Clark to the students, who might have to testify as witnesses in the case, would not be tolerated.
“It would be nice to know why I did it…maybe I should talk to a psychologist or something, you know,” said Clark.
Clark will have the time and the opportunity to seek professional counseling.
On July 27, Clark was sentenced to 220 years at the Montana State Prison. As part of a plea bargain agreement, he will not become eligible for parole for 41 years, when he has reached the age of 60.
© 2013 William Simonsen. All rights reserved.
Clark Prison Interview 11/23/94
By William Simonsen
Deerlodge, Mont. — After spending the first few months of his 220 year sentence in prison, Shadow Clark said he is not guilty of the murders of the August, 1993, murders of two Ferndale residents. It was not the same story he told investigators or the judge at his sentencing.
Clark said he was with friends in Kalispell at the time of the murder.
He said someone else used his gun to commit the murders.
Clark, 19, pleaded guilty to two counts of deliberate homicide of John and Nancy Bosco as part of a plea bargain last August.
During an interview at Montana State Prison last Thursday, Clark said he did not want to plead guilty to the murders.
“I told my parents I didn’t want to, I told my lawyer I didn’t want to, I told the guard I didn’t want to” plead guilty, said Clark.
“The lawyer said, like, ‘There’s no way to win. If you don’t plead guilty and you take it to trial, you’re gonna lose and then they will give you the death penalty,’” Clark said.
Clark, 19, said his fear of receiving a death sentence, or a sentence of life imprisonment without parole, drove him to plead guilty.
Clark, a 1993 graduate of Bigfork High, is currently being held in a maximum security unit at the prison.
As part of the plea bargain Clark will not be eligible for parole until he is 60 years old.
He currently works in the kitchen of the prison about nine hours per day.
He and other inmates from his unit are allowed about one hour of exercise time in the gymnasium each day.
Clark said he spends most of his time locked in his cell with his cellmate.
Official investigation reports show Clark confessed to the crime.
But Clark said two investigators from the state “threatened” him and scared him into making the confession.
“They wouldn’t take no for an answer,” he said.
Clark said Ward McKay and Arlyn Greydanus of the state Criminal Investigation Bureau told him to “make it easier on yourself” and confess to the crimes.
“I don’t know if I’ve been framed or not, but they needed somebody to blame” for the murders, Clark said.
“I’d like to get it back in the courts because I think it was pretty much coercion to get me to plead guilty,” he said.
He said he thought the investigators questioned him because they felt he might have known who committed the crime.
Clark said he is not guilty of the murders because “you can’t be in two places at once.”
He said he was with three friends in Kalispell until 3 a.m. the day of the murder.
Investigators determined the murders were committed just before 2 a.m.
Clark said three friends visited him while he was being held in jail in Polson awaiting trial to tell him he was with them the night of the murder.
He said his friends told him they would testify to his whereabouts, but were never contacted by law enforcement officials or his attorney.
Clark said he thinks the investigators would change the time of the crime so he could be found guilty.
The Boscos purchased the house where they were killed from Clark’s parents about six months before the murder.
Clark said he had me the couple only once, when they came to look at the house before finalizing the purchase.
“Why would I do it,” Clark said.
“I’ve got no reason to kill anybody.
“I’ve never even hit anybody before.
“That’s a pretty big step from ever hitting anybody to killing someone.”
Clark denied he ever told Greg Tompkins, a fellow student at George Fox College, he committed the murders.
Tompkins notified college officials about Clark’s statements. The college officials notified law enforcement officials, who then questioned Clark.
Clark said Tompkins had “just basically seen the gun.”
Clark said he showed Tompkins his 9mm Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol. It was later determined by state forensic specialists to be the murder weapon.
Clark said he had the gun with him during part of his stay at college.
He told police he left the gun with a friend in Kalispell when he came back to Montana on Thanksgiving break.
After Clark’s arrest, his gun was found at the residence of his friend.
Investigation records show Clark told investigators four shots were fired during the murders.
The records show four shots were fired during the murders, one bullet struck John Bosco, two bullets struck Nancy Bosco and one bullet missed both of the Boscos and lodged in the roof of their house.
Officials kept secret the number of shots fired during the murders, releasing only the information that three shots had struck the couple.
Last December, Clark told Greydanus and McKay he fired four shots during the murders.
But last week Clark said one of the investigators told him one shot hit “the guy”, so he “guessed” there were a total of four shots fired.
Clark said his gun was used by someone else in commission of the murders.
He said he did not keep the gun locked up. He said ” lots” of people had access to the gun.
“My friends, my parents, my brother, his friends” could have taken the gun from his car and used it to murder the Boscos, said Clark.
Clark said he bought the gun that was later used as the murder weapon on impulse.
“I just wanted it,” he said.
Clark said he only practiced shooting the gun on two occasions. He said he was “not a very good shot.”
The autopsy report on John Bosco said he was shot very close to the center of his forehead from a short distance away.
The autopsy report on Nancy Bosco said she was shot twice while cowering in the couple’s bed.
In his statement to McKay and Greydanus, Clark said he had recurring dreams about committing the murders for some time before he woke up in the middle of the night and went to the Bosco’s house.
Shortly before he murdered the Boscos, Clark was on vacation with his family in Alaska.
Last week Clark said he began having the dreams about the murders while he was on the family vacation.
Clark told another student at the college about his dreams last fall.
Clark said last week he told his fellow student about several different dreams.
“The cops, they kind of stuck them all together trying to make them all one big thing,” he said.
Clark said he never used drugs before or during the crime.
But Clark said he took LSD while he was home visiting last fall.
He said the drug had no effect on him.
“You know what’s strange? About that time I actually felt like I had done it because of the dreams. They were kind of similar,” he said.
“Now I don’t even remember it.”
He said it was “not very likely” that he awoke and acted out his dream of murdering the Boscos, as he confessed to state investigators.
Clark said he had never broken into another person’s house.
“I think I would have better things to do.”
Clark said if he wanted to sneak into another person’s home, he would chose another house, “because I know that house, I helped build it.”
Investigation reports said the murderer turned off the power to the house and cut the telephone lines before he committed the crime.
The reports said access to the house was gained through a bathroom window in the basement of the house.
Clark said while his family lived in the house, his parents slept in the bedroom where the Boscos were killed.
Clark said one year ago he didn’t “expect to be anywhere.”
“I’d just started putting stuff together, I guess you’d say, and started figuring stuff out.”
Clark said he was not going back to George Fox College for the second semester last year. He said he intended to attend FVCC instead.
He said it took all of his savings plus a grant from the school to pay for one semester. He said the cost of tuition, and room and board, at George Fox College was about $15,000 per year.
Clark said he would have taken courses in computer science if he had continued in college.
The supervisor of his unit in prison said he expects to assign Clark to computer-related tasks in the food services department in the near future.
Prison officials enrolled Clark in a psychological counseling program, Clark said.
“But I haven’t seen anybody yet.”
“I know other people in it and they try to stick you on a bunch of drugs,” said Clark.
Clark said he intends to finish his college work with correspondence courses while serving his sentence.
Clark said he was taught karate by his father during his childhood, and “should be able” to protect himself from other inmates “if I could ever get myself to do it.”
“People here say I need to do something when people pick on me, but I never do,” he said.
Clark said the thing that frightened him most about prison is the level of violence.
“It’s pretty violent, even though it’s a pretty mellow joint.
“It’s violent for me coming from a Christian home and Christian college,” said Clark.
Clark said he was he was being pursued by sexual predators in the maximum security unit where he is being held.
District Court records show he filed for a review of his sentence on Sept. 27.
A sentence review is judicial process where the a sentence of one person is compared with the sentence given to another person convicted of a similar crime.
Sentence reviews do not consider legal issues, only if the sentence is “proportionate” said Deputy Lake County Attorney Bob Long.
Long said considering Clark could have gotten the death penalty for his crimes he is confident the sentence will be upheld.
Clark said he also contacted the Montana Defenders Project at the University of Montana Law School about appealing his case to a higher court.
© 2013 William Simonsen. All rights reserved.
Inside Montana State Prison 11/23/94
By William Simonsen
Deerlodge. Mont. — Through the small windows the sweep of the broad valley can barely be seen beyond the high fences topped with concertina wire and guard towers at every corner.
There is little time for gazing through the windows for the occupants of this room.
Their thoughts are occupied with survival.
The window is bulletproof and shatter resistent.
It is reinforced with metal bars.
It is in a cell in Maximum Security Unit One at Montana State Prison.
The unit is a world unlike any other.
It is not of the planet earth, though it is inhabited by men.
It is like one of the circles of hell.
To get to this unit inmates or visitors must pas through two sets of double electrically-operated remote controlled doors, a electrically operated gate and three more sets of doors.
When the final door slams shut, it is as sharp and final a sound as a coffin closing.
Walking across the prison yard to the unit it resembles a small college campus with paved walks and people bustling about, even on this cold November morning in the snow.
There are men in those towers with high-powered rifles ready to quell disturbances in the yard.
The cross-hairs of the rifle’s telescopic sights focusrsndomly on everyone walking across the yard.
Violence, depravity and fear live here.
Trapped in this place are men who have murdered, raped and maimed. Many men.
They would not flinch from committing these acts again — in truth, they might enjoy it.
The noise and the smell of the crowded unit are overpowering.
The clanging of electrically operated doors and the voices of the inmates echo off the hard smooth concrete and steel surfaces of the building.
Although the units are clean and well-maintained, there are smells that overpower even the strongest disinfectant — the acrid smells of fear and anger.
Violence lies just below a very thin veneer of civilization in this place.
Only men the prison administration considers dangerous offenders are assigned to this building.
The voices are not unlike the voices of men in groups spearated from women anywhere.
If not for the bars on the windows, it could be a college drom or an army barrack.
The menace and the knowledge of violence and danger behind the voices is singular.
In a college dormitory if a young man plays a prank on roommate, the roommate may threaten his life, all in good fun.
No pranks are played here. Threats against cellmate’s lives are not a laughing matter.
There are four wings in this two-story building.
About 20 cells on each floor of each wing open onto a day room about 25 feet square.
Tables and stools are bolted to the bare concrete floor in the day room.
When inmates are not at their jobs or at the gymnasium, they spend their time in the day room, or locked down in their cells.
When an inmate is in his cell a series of eight locked doors and gates separates him from the outside world.
An observation cubicle, like a small airport control tower, hangs in the center of the unit.
From behind its bulletproof glass and bars, a guard controls all of the electric doors in the unit.
In order to gain access to the cubicle, the guard inside must pass a key through a slot to guard outside and both must run their keys in separate lock simultaneously.
The prison is divided into three areas. High security, where all prisoners wear tan shirts and pants, is divided by an internal fence system from low security where all prisoners wear blue denim.
The prison chapel straddles the dividing fence.
The prisoners are segregated inside the chapel into high and low security areas.
The third area of the prison, where death row inmates are held, is in a far corner of the prison, separated from the rest of the prison by space and more fences and gates.
Prisoners on death row are not allowed out in the prison yard.
They have a separate exercise area in the center of their cellblock with an open roof.
In an twist of irony, the cells are called “houses” by administrators and inmates at the prison.
But perhaps the name is more fitting than ironic.
The cells, about 8 by 12 feet in size, are home to two men,
The bunks are metal, the window in the door that leads to the day room is even smaller than the window to the outside.
Small signs of freedom are evident in one of the day rooms.
A half-completed jigsaw puzzles and a monoply game are set out on one of the tables.
A television set is on the shelf of one of the cells.
They are privileges that can be taken away to enforce rules and keep order in this chaotic place.
The men who live here are not allowed to open doors.
They are not allowed to decide whether to walk through doors.
Those decisions are made for them by others
Before any of the inmates may walk through a door, they must wait for the unseen hands to throw a switch to electrically open the door.
Their ives are completely regulated, from the time they wake up in the morning, unti lights out each night, each minute of their time is controlled.
The men in the cellblock glare at visitors through hostile expressions set off against dead eyes.
They are waiting.
Waiting for their time in this hell to end. Or merely waiting for the next explosion of violence from another prisoner.
Waiting for something to happen.
They are like lost souls drifting on a river of time without any familiar places or signposts guiding their way.
They have either stepped outside the normal course of human existence, or have been, by courts and law, been banned to the nether regions of human existence.
They know they have been banished.
They know they have been judged evil by the rest of humanity.
And that knowledge feeds their anger like dripping hot acid.
One day room and its adjoining cells houses prisoners who have been judged to be mentally unable to cope with the rest of the men in the cellblock.
They are the true lost souls of the beast.
Some are old, some are infirm, some are merely not smart enough to fend for themsleves.
They are kept separate because officials fear they will fall prey to the predatory prisoners in the unit.
The are also the only inmates who smile — either because they know they are protected, or perhaps because they have lost even the knowledge of where they are living.
Other inmates loiter in groups of two or three outside the dayrooms, in the main halls of the unit.
They watch any activity like carrion-feeders ready to drop upon the unwary to feed.
Some pretend to be doing the chores necessary to keep a semblance of order in the unit — laudering uniforms, serving food, and other menial tasks.
But they are wary. They watch everyone around them.
They know that their primary task is to survive.
One inmates is occupied setting up a small table with key fobs woven from horse hair.
It is beautiful intricate time consuming work.
Inmates in maximum security are allowed to work with horsehair, but forbidden wood carving. To carve wood, knives must be used.
Knives are not allowed here.
Getting out of the cellblock is every bit as complicated as getting in.
Visitors must pass back through the gates and doors, under the unseen eyes in the towers, and show proper indentification.
Visitors hands are stamped with ink that glows only under ultraviolet light.
A visitor could be knocked unconscious and his clothes taken to replace an inmate uniform, but his hand can’t be taken and substituted for inmate’s hand.
Although the wind blows through the chain-link perimeter fence unimpeded, the air smells fresher and cleaner outside the fence.
© 2013 William Simonsen. All rights reserved.