The Long Walk Home: The Asenath Dukat Project
[The information contained on this site is not approved or connected to the City of Upper Arlington. Nobody has ever been charged with the murder of Asenath Dukat or the assualt on Canterbury Lane on May 7th, 1980. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.]
Through a partnership with the Upper Arlington Police Department, we have gained insight that will become discoverable upon the release of public records. The case is currently in inactive status. This does not prevent the UAPD from investigating new, actionable information if it is brought to their attention, however they are actively preparing the case files for public release.
Based on our investigation and discussion with the UAPD, suspect1 and suspect2 have enough circumstantial and scientific evidence, as well as a personal connection between them, to warrant a primary focus of the case moving forward.
The key to this case is making connections across the three abductions that occurred on May 7th, June 3rd and September 27th 1980. If you look at the timeline of events and witness statements, the UAPD investigators were often flummoxed by the conflicting descriptions provided by witnesses and the associated timelines as to where and when the suspects were seen. This is likely because the police were initially looking for a single perpetrator of these crimes, not two.
For example if a witness saw suspect1 at the scene and provided a description, it would conflict with a second witness who saw suspect2. As mentioned in the narrative, both suspect1 and suspect2 had very different height, weight and hairstyles. These witness conflicts could have potentially provided exculpatory evidence for each of the suspects at that time. At the same time, as reported in earlier chapters, it is highly unlikely that these crimes are not connected, namely three girls of similar age, similar attack patterns, time of day and proximity to each other. We also know that both suspect1 and suspect2 were the same age, lived six houses apart and had a personal relationship.
The key question remains, based on the high likelihood of the connectivity of the three crimes, not were the suspects involved in the three abductions, but were they together for the first two and what role did each of them play (we know that suspect1 was incarcerated during the September 27th attack and suspect2 acted alone).
What we recently learned from the UAPD cannot be denied and is the most critical evidence to date.
The UAPD has conclusive scientific DNA evidence placing suspect1 at the scene of the Asenath Dukat murder, but no physical evidence tying suspect2 to that same scene. They have refrained from charging a deceased individual for murder. They have chosen not to release that information as they do not believe that is the end of the investigation.
UAPD also have conclusive scientific DNA evidence placing suspect2 to the May 7th Canterbury Lane attack, but no physical evidence to place suspect1 at that same scene. They are unable to charge suspect2 for the May 7th crimes as the statute of limitations has passed for the crimes committed in that event.
For this reason, the UAPD has continued to investigate the case, despite the conclusive evidence tying suspect1 to Asenath Dukat’s murder in order to continue to seek conclusive evidence to allow the prosecution of suspect2 for the murder of Asenath Dukat.
We do know, without a doubt that suspect2 was found guilty to the third abduction of a young girl on September 27th, 1980.
The UAPD has visited suspect2 as recently as Q4 2018 who continues to remain silent, referring the UAPD to his unnamed attorney.
The Upper Arlington Police Department has faced criticism over the last 39 years for not bringing forward arrests for these crimes, however upon our investigation we’ve discovered they had likely identified the correct, suspected individuals within days (in the case of Suspect1) and weeks (in the case of Suspect2) of the murder and have actively investigated and monitored the suspects every day since.
Suspect2 is top left, suspect1 bottom left, next to the UAPD composite sketch from Dukat murder.
* Suspect2 failed a polygraph test about his alibi and whereabouts at the time of the murder.
* The UAPD found footprints at the crime scene that were similar to inked impressions of Suspect2’s shoes.
* A nurse at First Community Village was certain she saw Suspect2 riding a red bike on the village grounds at 4:30 p.m. on the day of the murder. (The associated link states we had “reason to believe” the nurse had identified Suspect2. We can now confirm that identification.)
* The murder of Asenath Dukat was very similar to the May 7, 1980 attack on Canterbury Lane, and DNA evidence has linked Suspect2 to the May 7 attack.
* Suspect2 abducted a girl near the Olentangy Commons apartment complex on September 28, 1980 (associated image from trial for this crime). He spent nearly three years in prison for that crime. The September 28 abduction was very similar to the May 7, 1980 attack on Canterbury Lane.
Those similarities include:
As noted above, there were also many similarities between the May 7, 1980 attack on Canterbury Lane and the murder of Asenath Dukat. In less than five months, three very similar crimes happened in close proximity to each other – and Suspect2 was definitely involved in at least two of those crimes.
* Suspect2 was interviewed and given a polygraph exam in regards to the rape and murder of 8 year old Asenath Dukat on 6/6/80 and 6/7/80 respectively. He claimed complete innocence and provided an alibi that stated he wasn't at the scene (although near it).
* What is the likelihood that a misidentified innocent suspect (who in retrospect uniformly failed the poygraph exam), who had nothing to do with that rare and specific crime, would subsequently commit a very similar, very specific crime roughly two months later? In simpler terms, if you were mistakenly identified as rape and murder suspect against a child with no proclivity to commit this type of crime, would you follow-up that traumatic questioning by going and committing that very same crime that you were recently questioned about?
* Suspect2 owned a dark red Concord 27” 10-speed bike. The alibi concocted by Suspect2 put him on that bike about a half-mile from the crime scene at the time of the murder. Of course, Suspect2 failed a polygraph regarding the details of his alibi. Assuming he wasn’t being truthful about his whereabouts at the time of the murder, why would Suspect2 concoct an alibi that put him so close to the crime scene, at the time of the murder, on a red bike?
* A subject matching Suspect2’s general description was seen in the area on the day of the murder.
* Suspect2 grew up six houses north of Suspect1 on the same road near Northam Park, and DNA evidence has linked Suspect1 to the murder of Asenath Dukat.
* Just before his June 7, 1980 polygraph exam, Suspect2 admitted he had been to the crime scene before with Suspect1. Why would Suspect2 tell police he had been to the crime scene with somebody who was definitely involved in the murder? If it was purely coincidental, what are the odds that Suspect2 just so happened to name the killer?
* It should be noted that Suspect2 was a suspect in even more crimes in 1980, particularly a series of attacks on the OSU campus.
* Despite substantial circumstantial and physical evidence associating Suspect2 with the crimes on May 7, 1980 and June 3, 1980, Suspect2 refuses to cooperate with the investigation or attempt to clear his name in any fashion other than silence::
A media photo of Suspect2 at his trial for the 9/28/80 abduction.
One of the most important questions in this case regards the connection between Suspect1 and Suspect2. There seems to be one moment when the investigation brought them together for a fleeting moment, and it’s an interesting interaction.
In the pre-interview before Suspect2’s polygraph exam on June 7, 1980, the polygraph examiner learned that Suspect2 and his friend, Suspect1, used to go to Frankenstein’s Cave to do drugs. (According to the case files, Suspect2 referred to Suspect1 as his “friend.”) Significantly, Frankenstein’s Cave is roughly 50-100 feet from the spot where Asenath Dukat was murdered, and DNA evidence has linked Suspect1 to the crime.
It is not entirely clear how or why Suspect2 disclosed the information about visiting Frankenstein’s Cave with Suspect1. Did the polygraph examiner specifically ask Suspect2 about this? Or did Suspect2 volunteer this information for whatever reason? One could assume that Suspect2 would have been asked about Suspect1. After all, they were roughly the same age and grew up six houses apart from each other on the same street. However, the timing of the investigation into Suspect1 casts doubt on this assumption.
Both Suspect1 and Suspect2 attracted police attention during the earliest stages of the investigation, while the UAPD tracked down dozens and dozens of tips and leads. (A June 8, 1980 Columbus Dispatch article states the UAPD had already questioned “50 to 60 suspects.”) A lead detective interviewed Suspect2 at 7:00 p.m. on June 6 and again at 9:15 a.m. the next morning. After the two interviews, Suspect2’s polygraph exam was scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on June 7. Also on June 7, the UAPD started to investigate Suspect1’s whereabouts on the day of the murder. In fact, Suspect2’s polygraph exam happened at roughly the same time as the initial interviews of Suspect1’s friends and acquaintances. Accordingly, at the time of the polygraph exam, the UAPD didn’t even know whether Suspect1 had an alibi or not. As a result, it does not seem likely that Suspect1 was a prime suspect when Suspect2 took his polygraph exam. Furthermore, the detective who initially interviewed Suspect2 on June 6 and 7 did not ask Suspect2 about Suspect1. If the UAPD had considered Suspect1 to be a prime suspect at the time, it seems likely this detective would have asked Suspect2 about Suspect1 on either June 6 or 7. Again, all of this raises the question: How or why did Suspect2 disclose to the polygraph examiner that he had been to Frankenstein’s Cave with Suspect1?
In an interesting development, after taking his polygraph exam, Suspect2 seemed to backtrack on his previous comments. On June 10, 1980, a UAPD detective (the same detective who interviewed Suspect2 on June 6 and 7) asked Suspect2 about his association with Suspect1. This time, Suspect2 said that he was not a very good friend of Suspect1 and that the trip to the river with him was “a couple of years ago.” (Frankenstein’s Cave goes under Route 33 and exits on the other side at the Scioto River.) Pictured below is Suspect2's answer when asked about last seeing Suspect1.
Suspect2’s June 7, 1980 polygraph examination was an important factor in the early investigation. The UAPD polygraph examiner determined that Suspect2 had been truthful in his answers. Almost 10 years later, however, it was determined that the polygraph examiner had misread the results and that Suspect2 had not been truthful. Because of the misread results, Suspect2 was tentatively cleared and his picture was not shown to key witnesses during the earliest stages of the investigation. For example, numerous witnesses saw a subject (or subjects) with some variation of dark hair, dark pants, and/or a white shirt throughout the area. One of those witnesses was shown photographs of possible suspects on June 13. Then, on June 16, another one of those witnesses was shown photographs of possible suspects. We do not believe a picture of Suspect2 was included among the photographs on either June 13 or June 16. But a picture of Suspect1 was included both times. (In fact, one witness tentatively identified Suspect1. The other witness did not pick out any of the photographs.)
The UAPD began actively investigating Suspect2 after he attacked a 13-year-old girl on September 27, 1980. Because of the misread polygraph results, the UAPD pursued other leads and suspects for nearly four months before focusing on Suspect2. It is impossible to know whether the case would have turned out differently if law enforcement had started investigating Suspect2 immediately after the polygraph exam. However, it is interesting to note that Suspect2 was tentatively cleared just as the UAPD started investigating Suspect1. Suspect2’s polygraph exam was on June 7, and the UAPD first interviewed Suspect1 on June 8. One can only wonder what would have happened if law enforcement had actively investigated both suspects – at the same time – in the immediate few days after the crime.
There are multiple indications that two people could have been involved in the murder of Asenath Dukat. Several witness accounts near the crime scene support this possibility.
On the day of the murder at approximately 3:10 p.m., a witness who lived on Waltham Road saw a man near the corner of Waltham and Hillside. According to her June 14, 1980 interview, this witness could have possibly seen two men, not just one. This witness was hypnotized on June 17. While under hypnosis, the witness apparently identified the photographs of two different men who were similar to the man she saw.
At the end of the hypnosis notes, it says:
“Possibility of 2 persons involved"
"Check out who # 4 on left + # 2 on right is”
(We have included these hypnosis notes below.)
At approximately 3:30 p.m. on the day of the murder, a woman who lived on Abington Road saw two “juveniles” looking in the grass near the fire hydrant at the corner of Waltham and Route 33.
While out looking for Asenath around 3:50 p.m., two nine-year-old boys who lived on Malvern Road saw two 18-to-20-year-old men by the phone booth at the service station on the corner of Waltham and Route 33. According to one of the nine-year olds, one man had blond hair and the other man had light brown hair. The boys rode their bicycles into First Community Village over the service road off Waltham, rode through the village grounds looking for Asenath, and then returned to Waltham over the service road. As they returned to Waltham, the boys saw the same two men hanging around the entrance to the service station.
With two good suspects and so much circumstantial evidence, why weren't charges filed? After reviewing the police files, we believe there are finally some answers to that question.
For ease, instead of “Suspect1” and “Suspect2,” this post will use the names used in the Crime Junkie podcast about this case. That episode is dated June 8, 2020. Suspect1 is “Brad.” Suspect2 is “Carl.”
The Long Walk Home Team
References: *Columbus Dispatch, 6/8/80 **Columbus Dispatch, 6/14/80 *** Columbus Dispatch, 6/13/80; 10/1/80 **** Columbus Dispatch, 6/17/80 *****Columbus Dispatch, 9/5/80 ^Columbus Citizen Journal, 6/5/80 ^^ Columbus Citizen Journal, 5/18/81 ^^^ Columbus Dispatch, 6/18/80; Columbus Citizen Journal, 6/19/80; Upper Arlington News 6/25/80