Pt.2-Cocaine, Killing, and Coverup

Dennis Flowers and Daughter Dana The question in this series is whether law enforcement ignored certain facts because it did not fit a pre-textual narrative or were simply instructed to look the other way resulting in  known facts and evidence never being considered. All this goes into the question of cocaine, killing, and coverup.

This Episode

In this episode I break down the facts of the case as reported by the police, medical examiner and witnesses.  I cover the known and undisputed facts and start to point out some discrepancies with the investigation.  As we progress through this series it will up to you to decide if a cover-up occurred or was it just bad police work, or did Dennis Flowers actually commit these crimes.


Facts of case as reported by the UPI in 1984

Pharmacist Lee Dickson, 33, was found shot to death in his garage Thursday and his wife Karen was found dead in a chair where she had been tied. Their unharmed 2-year-old son let police into the house. Police did not know if the boy saw his parents killed. He was taken in by a Fayetteville police officer and his wife.

Using dogs and an airplane, authorities tracked the 42-year-old suspect Thursday as he broke into two homes, demanding to use the telephone.Residents said the man called an attorney and said he had killed two people. He also threatened to kill himself, they said. At a home near Goshen, the man also asked for a drink of water then injected a substance into his arm, the residents said. Police said the man has a criminal record and a history of drug abuse. He has also been an outpatient at the Charter Vista Hospital in Fayetteville, a private hospital for mental illness and drug and alcohol problems. Security was tightened at the hospital Thursday night and early today and the grounds and nearby woods were searched for the suspect.

Prosecuting Attorney Kim Smith received a tip early Thursday to check the Dickson home and the Consumers Pharmacy where Dickson had been manager, police said, but they would not identify the caller. Dickson had lost his job Tuesday after the disappearance of some drugs, police said. A car belonging to the Dicksons was found abandoned in a ditch at Goshen, and a .44 Magnum pistol was left in the car. Police said they did not know if the pistol was used to kill the Dicksons. The man was also suspected of burglarizing a house in Fayetteville after leaving Goshen, taking weapons and money, police said.


As with most media reports the facts as reported above are mostly wrong. Wrong facts, either because they made up “facts” to fill in what they did not have, (most likely) or that police told them the wrong information.

What is known as fact is that Lee and Karen Dickson was murdered in their home on March 22, 1984. Within hours the police focused on one man as the killer – Dennis Ray Flowers.  The reason for the police’s focus is not clear in their reporting as we will point out in the weeks to come.  What is clear, is the police focused on Flowers and excluded any and all evidence that would point to another suspect.  Including loosing or destroying  certain evidence that did not fit a pre-determined time line and narrative.


I am a law enforcement officer. I believe strongly that most police officers do their job in the best way possible. Given the current anti-police  climate of America today, I do not wish to have this series be seen as another anti-police story, 1984 was a very long time ago.   I also know however, that pressure from above (certainly if corrupt)  can be applied to modify or change facts in a case.

This series will point out facts known to investigators and reported in certain documents and reports, yet either never acted on, ignored, or changed in subsequent reports.  The decision as to whether anything was done wrong will be yours – I will simply point out the facts and non-facts as reported.

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About the Author
Darren is a 30 year veteran of law enforcement and criminal investigations. He currently serves as an investigator for the Crawford County Missouri coroner’s office. He holds credentials as an instructor for the Missouri Sheriff’s Training Academy, has served as president of the Missouri Medical Examiners and Coroners Association, and is certified and credentialed in numerous fields of investigation. He holds the position of lead instructor and facilitator for the Coroner Talk™ community as he speaks and writes in the area of death investigation and scene management.

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