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Wayne Eugene DuMond was a serial rapist and killer whose crimes and efforts to gain his freedom from prison vexed the political careers of three Arkansas governors: Bill Clinton, Jim Guy Tucker, and Mike Huckabee. Suspecting that DuMond might have been framed for the rape of a Forrest City (St. Francis County) woman because DuMond’s accuser was a distant cousin of Clinton, who was by then president of the United States, Governor Huckabee arranged his parole to Missouri in 1999. DuMond was convicted soon thereafter of the rape and murder of a Missouri woman and was suspected of raping and killing another woman. When Huckabee ran for president in 2007–08, DuMond’s parole and subsequent crimes became a major detriment because they focused attention on Huckabee’s liberal policy of commuting sentences so that prisoners could gain their freedom.
Wayne DuMond was born on September 10, 1949, in DeWitt (Arkansas County), one of two sons of Ira Eugene DuMond and Ethel Christine DuMond. His father, an automobile mechanic, also had two sons and a daughter by another wife. DuMond was a soldier in the Vietnam War and worked as a handyman and carpenter in communities around DeWitt and Forrest City and in Texas. He was married three times: to Lywanda Jean Strain at DeWitt in 1968, to Mary Lou “Dusty” Davis at Ethel (Arkansas County) in 1983, and a woman identified in sources only as “Terry Sue” at Smithville, Missouri, in 2000 after his parole from Arkansas. He had three sons with his first wife; the marriage had apparently ended by 1983.
DuMond demonstrated criminal proclivities soon after his military service, and he boasted in interviews that even as a soldier, he had helped “slaughter” a village of Cambodians. He and two other men were accused of beating a man to death, a fellow soldier, with a claw hammer in Lawton, Oklahoma, on August 8, 1972. While DuMond admitted his role in the murder, prosecutors did not charge him after he agreed to testify against the other men. A year later, he was charged with assaulting a teenaged girl in a parking lot in Tacoma, Washington, and received five years of probation upon his agreement to take drug counseling. In 1976, he was charged with raping a woman in DeWitt, but the charges were dropped before trial on the condition that he undergo counseling.
DuMond’s notoriety followed the rape in 1984 of a Forrest City cheerleader, Ashley Stevens, who was a third cousin of Governor Bill Clinton. In March 1985, before his trial, DuMond said two men broke into his home and castrated him. No arrests were made, but St. Francis County sheriff Coolidge Conley kept DuMond’s testicles, recovered at the scene, in a jar of formaldehyde on his desk. There was some suspicion that DuMond had castrated himself to gain sympathy—there were no signs of struggle, his arms showed no signs of being tied as he claimed, and a near-empty bottle of whiskey sat nearby—but the prosecutor doubted the mutilation was self-inflicted. DuMond later sued the county government for the public display of his testicles and received a settlement. A jury convicted him of the rape, and he was sentenced to life in prison plus twenty years.
When Clinton ran for president in 1992, DuMond’s conviction surfaced in the media, followed by a campaign for his pardon. He was alleged, by right-wing outlets, to have been the victim of a frame-up arranged by Clinton. Unequal Justice: Wayne DuMond, Bill Clinton, and the Politics of Rape in Arkansas—a 1993 book by Guy S. Reel, a South Carolina journalism teacher and former newspaper reporter in Arkansas and for the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee—characterized DuMond as a war hero who was falsely convicted of rape against all the evidence. Jay Cole, pastor of a church at Fayetteville (Washington County), had championed DuMond’s innocence on his radio show almost from the day of his conviction.
While Clinton was out of the state campaigning for president, Lieutenant Governor Jim Guy Tucker reduced DuMond’s sentence to a little more than thirty-nine years, making him eligible for parole in several years. Tucker resigned in July 1996 after his conviction of crimes in the Whitewater investigation, and Lieutenant Governor Mike Huckabee succeeded him and began working for DuMond’s release. “My desire is that you be released from prison,” Huckabee wrote DuMond in January 1997. He explained that he was denying DuMond’s request to have his sentence commuted to the time he had served but was recommending supervised parole instead. Huckabee met with five of the seven parole board members to discuss DuMond’s release, and the board soon paroled him on condition that he have a firm plan for living in another state.
The board approved his parole in January 1997, but it would be October 1999 before he was released to move to Missouri; he briefly lived with his stepmother at DeWitt. His second wife, Dusty DuMond, had campaigned for his release and pardon since his conviction, but she died on January 8, 1999, of injuries suffered in a Christmas Eve car wreck while she was traveling to Ohio to visit relatives.
DuMond moved to Smithville, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City, in August 2000 and married a woman named Terry Sue, who had been in a church group that had traveled to the Arkansas prison to visit him. Only days later, on September 20, Carol Sue Shields, thirty-nine, of nearby Parkville was raped and murdered. The next June, Sarah Andrasek, twenty-three, who was pregnant, was raped and murdered.
On June 22, 2001, DuMond was arrested and charged with Shields’s murder and was convicted in the summer of 2003. Charges were being prepared for Andrasek’s murder in the fall of 2005, but DuMond was found dead in his cell at the Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron, Missouri, on September 1, a day after the Missouri Court of Appeals unanimously upheld his conviction in Shields’s murder.
When Huckabee announced in 2007 that he would run for president, the DuMond rape and murder cases surfaced immediately. The following month, a video of Shields’s mother, Lois Davidson, talking about Huckabee’s freeing of the man who murdered her daughter spread across the Internet. “If not for Mike Huckabee,” she said, “Wayne DuMond would’ve been in prison, and Carol Sue would’ve been with us this year for Christmas.” The video was made by Keith Emis of Fayetteville, who sought out Davidson and persuaded her to make the video after seeing her interviewed on television.
Huckabee maintained that Shields’s rape and murder should not be blamed on him but on Tucker and Clinton, whom he said were responsible for DuMond’s parole from the penitentiary. “Clinton knew it, Tucker did it, and now they try to blame me for it,” he said. Huckabee denied that he had urged parole board members to parole DuMond, but members either disputed his account or refused to discuss it.
The DuMond episode saw more press coverage after Maurice Clemmons’s murder of four policemen in Washington in 2009; Huckabee had commuted Clemmons’s sentence in Arkansas in 2000.
DuMond is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery at Ethel.
For additional information:Caldwell, Elizabeth. “Woman: Don’t Free DuMond.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, September 24, 1996, p. 1A.
Frago, Charlie. “DuMond Found Dead in His Cell.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, September 1, 2005, p. 15A.
Harkavey, Ward. “The Castration of Wayne DuMond.” Village Voice, March 6, 2001. Online at http://www.villagevoice.com/2001-03-06/news/the-castration-of-wayne-dumond/ (accessed February 18, 2015).
“Murdered Women’s Mothers Blame Huckabee for His Part in Killer’s Release.” Kansas City Star, December 5, 2007, p. 1A.
Stumpe, Joe. “Huckabee Doubts Based on Evidence Judges Didn’t Buy.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 2, 1996, p. 1B.
Waas, Murray S. “Special Handling: How the Huckabee Administration Worked to Free Rapist Wayne DuMond.” Arkansas Times, September 1, 2005. Online at http://www.arktimes.com/arkansas/web-special-dumond-case-revisited/Content?oid=862759 (accessed April 27, 2015).
Ernest Dumas Little Rock, Arkansas
Last Updated 12/5/2015
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