|Devastation! That is what I felt when I received a text message about the Walters family tragedy back in January. I was really rattled and had to take a walk to settle down. I immediately felt a sense of guilt. (Yes, Duh-G, Charles, Todd, et al. I felt very guilty!)Guilt is a common human emotion for some of us who have the capacity to go through some introspection and think, WHAT IF? What could I have done (or not done) that could have helped avert what I think is probably the greatest (work-related) tragedy in the history of the LVMPD!Why would I feel guilt along with devastation about the overall tragedy? Because Lt. Hans Walters had the honor and integrity to stand up for me and do the right thing when we were both targeted by Sheriff Gillespie’s assassins. Oh yes…they ended up targeting more people than just Lt. Walters and me.I had also sent Lt. Hans Walters several emails in the last few months of his life; one was sent approximately 10 days before his death. I sent him another around Christmas to remind him of what had happened to my career and to ask why he didn’t testify about what really happened with Cpt. Fasulo. The text that I received reported that Hans Walters had gone ‘wacko’ and shot his family and set his home on fire. I didn’t know if he was barricaded or not. I actually wondered if he would get on the phone and try calling anyone or if he had sent any emails or other electronic messages. We don’t know any of these answers from the Incident Report that was released.
I thought about whether there was something that I may have done or something that I may have put in those emails that could have contributed to his actions. My emails were harsh and I sent them because I was upset with the man that I had respected for his strength and commitment to Truth and Justice. Hans was a professional… but he was not truthful in my arbitration hearing in May of last year. He did not respond to many questions because he was clearly under pressure from Cpt. Fasulo and the Metro Mafia that wanted my job. He testified under oath for approximately three hours and I had never seen anything like it. I’m pretty sure that Labor Attorney “Tricky” Nick Crosby had never seen Walters like this either. Crosby had questioned Walters in at least one prior hearing. At times he demonstrated total resignation. He repeatedly answered, “Whatever you say,” or “I don’t recall,” and gave similar answers which were all recorded by a court reporter that I had to pay for. I pointed his testimony out to him and reminded him of the facts (using extensive email records which clearly documented our actions and our feelings while he was being harassed by Cpt. Charles Hank and Cpt. Todd Fasulo). He warned me that Cpt. Fasulo was out to get me. He put this in writing in one of his 11 “steno” notebooks found during the supposed investigation. To this day… I feel guilty because of the possibility that I pushed a man who had already been pushed too far.
Sheriff Gillespie: What the hell are you and your captains made of? The investigation report completed by the Henderson Police Department and released along with a 9-1-1 audio last week is nothing more than a WHITEWASH! I would understand if this was just the version given to the media because they don’t know any better…but DON’T YOU CARE to determine what caused one of your officers to commit a ‘double murder’? They do psychological autopsies in the military and as a part of other ‘real’ investigations because some people want to prevent these tragedies. Just because the media frenzy lasted a few short days does not mean that this was not a huge event in the history of the LVMPD. If you are content to accept only the ‘Incident Report,’ then you are truly pathetic. On the other hand, if you know that there is more to this investigation and you are reviewing important information that could be revealing, then at least admit it and fight the media requests. I’m not even sure anymore as to who is trying to fool whom.
The report that I was sent looks like an ‘incident LOG’ rather than an investigation report. I didn’t see it as a link or as part of a story on Channel 8 TV or other media locations that often upload copies of actual police reports. Is the report being suppressed and only ‘summarized’ by our friends in the media? I’m sure you don’t release all 9-1-1 audio records, but this one has massive impact on the listener and it wasreleased – how convenient and what a powerful distraction! How do you and your ‘boys’ avoid any accountability for this tragedy by crossing your fingers that everyone is so stupid that they will just accept a ‘vanilla’ report and not dig deeper or demand answers?
Are you all made of Teflon? This question includes a question that I have after seeing a CAD screen of a curious (possible domestic violence) incident at an Assistant Sheriff’s residence last week). How do you so successfully suppress information… or make it look like the HPD is taking a conservative approach to the release of information?
Do you have actual ‘hit’ men or messengers that can threaten or harm us (the cowering and cowardly media folk and current and former employees) if we ask hard questions, stand up against you, and refuse to sign your gag orders? A comment in a story on Attorney Amesbury in the news today indicated that a group was sent to California to threaten Amesbury. I don’t doubt that you and your ‘gang’ are capable of anything right now. You have a tremendous amount at stake – and it is NOT your legacy or the possibility that they will name a building after you (even if you hold the office for 12 destructive years).
I first learned that a ‘report’ on the Walters incident had been released to the media when a TV reporter called me because she saw my name in one paragraph of the report. She wanted to interview me about ‘warning signs and prevention.’ I then emailed a newspaper reporter who got back to me to talk about the Incident Report that he had written about. He actually sent me the PDF of the report so I could read it. I knew that this was not an ‘investigative report’ and the top of the report actually read INCIDENT REPORT.
I could not bring myself to listen to the audio. A friend of mine who retired from the LVMPD after 30 years (as a lieutenant) told me he couldn’t even sleep the night he listened to the audio. Apparently, it was pure horror! How could a man shoot his wife and then his own child and calmly explain that because his son saw what happened he had to shoot him too? If the son had not seen it, what would have been the next step in the plan? Or was Hans Walters pushed over the edge and totally out of control? Another current lieutenant wrote to me, ”Yup, something or someone pushed him over the edge!” Anyone who asks will find dozens and dozens of current and former members of the LVMPD that find this entire situation to be inexplicable. One person wrote that Lt. Walters was ‘boiled in his own juices’ – this, in reference to how the LVMPD treated him.
From the feedback that I have received, no news supervisors want to take the matter any further than the initial story. One reporter interviewed me on the phone about ‘warning signs’ for a story that was going to be done, but it ended up not broadcasting and it was totally shut down once people listened to the audio. Apparently the damage done by the 9-1-1 audio and the ‘wife on painkillers’ was enough to put this matter to rest. Astounding! I learned that the media had actually started requesting the report the day after the crime. Look back to what Sheriff Gillespie knew (or should have known) back then and that there was possible information on the reason for the crime on a 9-1-1 recording.. He wouldn’t have had to release it until HPD was ready, but he could have provided some assurance to the people of Las Vegas. He said, ‘reserve judgment’ – but he certainly could have listened to the 9-1-1 audio and given some preliminary information.
There is more to the story that isn’t being told here, TRANSPARENCY-PRETENDERS! Sheriff Gillespie and those who could have helped and who should have helped are going to be held ACCOUNTABLE! This includes the Employment Diversity Section because both Hans and I reported discrimination and harassment to EDS. The accountability could also extend to Internal Affairs and Labor Relations. Lt. Walters was forced to put information in more than one Statement of Complaint against me that was not accurate/truthful.
I read nothing on whether the Police Employees Assistance Program provided information or whether they were even contacted by HPD. If a mental health counselor is going to be listed in the Incident Report by name, then I wonder why detectives would not at least mention that they covered all of the bases; that they at least ‘inquired’ about any support given to Lt. Walters and his family. The report does address the mental health counseling that both Hans and his wife were receiving. I’m not sure if that should have been released because of medical confidentiality…it might be more important to list things like the medications that may have contributed to the incident – you know, those that can cause suicidal and homicidal ideations!
I complained to a newspaper reporter who wrote that Michelle was shot in the eye; she wasn’t! The report indicates that she was actually shotabove the eye. I really don’t care what clothing everyone was wearing… The important facts are the circumstances leading up to the incident and what the tormentors were doing to Hans for at least two years while he was a lieutenant.
I just about flipped over when I read that the ARMOR(Bomb Squad/Terrorist Incident Responders team) ended up treating Lt. Hans Walters’ locker and desk as if he were a possible terrorist. I wonder what day this was in respect to the day of the incident? I wonder who came up with this idea? Did they really think Hans wanted to harm his coworkers or do damage to his police station? WOW…what may have led up to that? Yes – they had to go to the station and ‘clear’ his personal workspaces. They even ‘broke in’ to his desk… Hmm— was anything ‘removed’ by Doug’s bomb boys? What was that ‘picture’ on his desk all about? There was apparently a ‘handwritten note’ and other information that a relative provided to Internal Affairs (Cpt. Jones and Lt. Steiber). Well folks, is there something that the ‘report’ should have contained that would be explanatory or of value to the citizens in Las Vegas? Maybe that would have slammed the LVMPD, so the plan was to blame it all on the prescription drug problem and a crazy lieutenant… more convenient, wouldn’t you say?
They found cell phones, a camera, and computer records at work and at home…but there is no comment on any of the ‘findings’ from a review of this evidence. Evidence was impounded…including 11 “steno” notebooks that I know Hans was always writing in. I even told the detective (Hosaka) about these notebooks and he told me they found them. I thought that maybe they were at his home. We had subpoenaed these items for my hearing and Hans brought at least one of them last May. When I read the report, I learned that they were found in his work desk. Somebody else must have told them about Hans’ notebooks. He kept them as religiously as some people keep a diary.
A news story indicated that there were “dozens of interviews with police, firefighters, neighbors, relatives and co-workers.“ This is a bunch of crap. The vast majority of the names of ‘interviewees’ in the Incident Report were first responders (police and fire personnel who had nothing more to say than what they did at the scene that day). They had nothing to offer except some eyewitness information of Hans’ last moments and statements he made. Did anyone remember the Review-Journal article where a neighbor named Brewer (?) said he heard a male voice yell, “I did not do this”? When I read that during the first or second day after this incident, it was very perplexing. When I brought it up to the detective he told me it never happened – at least if I am remembering correctly. Well, Mr. Brewer… step up and tell us more: Did detectives ever talk to you?
From reading the report they talked to a lieutenant at EAC who was ‘given’ an item by Lt. Walters and offered another item. I guess they are suggesting this was the giving away stage of suicide and pre-planning. They talked to a police friend of the Walters family – an officer who would run marathons with Michelle. They talked to me (after I called them and waited a week or two). I’m not sure why the one paragraph (from a phone call that must have lasted close to an hour) showed up in an Incident Report. I offered the possibility that Lt. Walters had a father who had committed suicide. I seemed to recall that information coming from Lt. Walters while we were spending time talking (at coffee or on the Harmon/I-15 overpass while working graveyard). No verification was ever provided on this topic one way or the other. Could family members or death records establish that Hans’ father had killed himself or NOT? At what age might this have happened – if it happened? I thought this was an important (non-Metro) aspect to the investigation.
The report indicates that Hans was married once, but his first wife left him for another member of the LVMPD. The report indicates that Michelle may have left Metro in frustration because she did not get to transfer out of her academy instructor position to the location that she had been promised. Now this is starting to sound a little bit more like the LVMPD that some people KNOW!
There was some discussion about the expense of fertility treatments years ago and also about possibly short-selling the family home. I know what it is like to have two full time jobs/incomes and then have this abruptly cut in half (or more than half). There is nothing definitive about possible financial struggles/immediate urgency that can push some over the edge. There is no mention of life insurance or beneficiaries or even who might get (or never receive) all of the money in the Public Employees Retirement System (police pensions) for Hans and Michelle.
If Hans was planning on this to unfold and he had not intended to shoot Max, then what was supposed to happen? The Incident Report indicates that he shot Max because Max had seen him shoot Michelle – as if this was not supposed to be witnessed! Was Max to be left alive? How would he have escaped a burning house?
There is information from Michelle’s brother/family. The report suggests that Hans was sharing the challenges he was facing with her family, but maybe not informing his own family about another back surgery that was planned in February. Where is the information from the Walters family? The report seems to indicate that information was obtained over the phone from Wyoming many days after the incident. Of course, it would be very sensitive and difficult to speak to the family under these circumstances. It might be even more difficult (even for an HPD detective) to obtain information if the family was bitter about Metro. Yes, it is possible that they were aware of the drama over the prior two years! It is possible that they were very bitter about the demeaning treatment and lack of respect shown to Hans.
Did Hans Walters transfer to the Enterprise Area Command (EAC) voluntarily? I know that he told me that Cpt. McCarthy had talked ‘sh*t’ about the two of us in January of 2011 (when we were exploring the possibility of working together at EAC), so he abruptly changed his mind and stayed at the Convention Center Area Command. I had a chance to work for Hans once again at the supervisor’s ‘bump,’ so I transferred too, and we would end up working for the ‘prince’: Cpt. Todd Fasulo. Fasulo said we had a ‘clean slate,’ but ended up carrying on with the ‘employee carnage’ that Cpt. Charles Hank had started.
Did Hans Walters feel he could handle an abrupt shift change at Enterprise Area Command? Sleep deprivation, coupled with a challenging home environment, can cause major problems. If Hans had to come home and try to sleep in the daytime because he worked all night, and had to worry about getting Max to and from school, and also worry about his wife, then he may have experienced a pile of frustrations and overreacted to it all. We all lose our patience and good judgment when we work graveyard. In fact, drowsy driving/functioning while sleep-deprived is now considered just as bad as drunk driving.
Was Hans Walters restricted in having an opinion or speaking out or even replying to me or others? I know that there were ‘gag’ orders out there. Was he ordered to send my emails to Kelly Sweeney or Mike Snyder in Labor Relations? I know that he wrote one to them that he sent to me inadvertently. I know that Detective Hosaka asked me, “Who is Kelly Sweeney?” but I was never told the relevance.
I’m still devastated and there are so many more questions about the Incident Report. Can we at least have some media members ask for ALL of the different reports that were prepared? Even if they just list the overall investigation documents and then refuse to release information, we will at least have more than a pathetic little Incident Report that I would not show as an example of a ‘double-murder and suicide’ investigation to any of my criminal justice students or to anyone for that matter.
The only thing that will be more devastating and unproductive than the Incident Report is if everyone just closes the books and accepts the WHITEWASH! If anyone does not think this investigation has obscured/concealed/ignored/