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Retired FBI Agent: Lawson's Murder Can and Should Be Solved

Tom Parker, a retired FBI agent who recently stepped down from assisting the Arcata Police Department’s investigation into David Josiah Lawson’s murder, says he’s convinced the case could be solved in a just few months, if not weeks, if he were able to bring the right people on board. “We’d have this thing finished up,” he says, during a far-reaching KHSU interview the North Coast Journal was invited to join and which is airing today with host Lorna Bryant. “That’s not patting ourselves on the back. That’s the reality of this case.” Joined by attorney Shelley Mack, who represents Josiah’s mother Charmaine Lawson pro-bono, both Mack and Parker expressed frustration with the lack of progress and by what they see as initial missteps by both APD and the District Attorney’s Office that have left the case unsolved. Meanwhile, Parker says the case — which he has also been working on pro-bono — continues to languish with basic investigative steps left untaken and the recommendations he was retained to provide ignored, including collecting certain items and conducting a specific forensic test on the murder weapon that he believes would reveal vital evidence. Instead he believes the department is intent on pursuing what he described as an investigative technique that “may have been logical in the very beginning but it had outlived the likelihood that it was going to work.” Parker says when he began raising questions about why other avenues were not being pursued, “I basically got blank stares back from them.” After conditions he set down to stay — which included bringing on his own team to take over the investigation — went unfulfilled, and convinced that then Police Chief Tom Chapman was at best withholding information and at worst lying to him, Parker says he was left with no choice but to resign last week. Chapman would follow soon after . Asked if he believes the police department turned over all the files in the case to him, Parker says he can’t be sure but what he did see raised red flags. “To be very candid about it, if those were the complete files and all these holes did exist, it just added credibility to my observations and my opinions that there were major problems in this investigation with things not being done that should have been done and…

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