The Testimony of Det. Frank Tomlinson, Part 1

Warning: The N word is used below.
Detective Tomlinson is being questioned here by prosecutor Ron Coen.
In part 2 tomorrow, you will read about how Holmes’ attorney, Earl Hanson, really goes after Frank…and Mr. Hanson then asks the Court to drop the case for lack of evidence.
Motel 2
MR. COEN: Call Detective Tomlinson.

Called as a witness by the People, was sworn and testified as follows:

Q: Detective Tomlinson, what is your occupation and assignment?
A: Police officer for the City of Los Angeles assigned to Robbery-Homicide Division.
Q: Directing your attention to the 7th of December 1981: Did you have a conversation with the defendant?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: Prior to that conversation did you advise the defendant of certain Constitutional rights?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: Was this from memory or from a card?
A: From a card.
Q: Do you have that card with you, sir?
A: Yes, I do.
Detective Frank Tomlinson, Ret., founded the Center for Biblical Counseling in Simi
Valley in 1984. He is, as of this writing, the Pastor of Counseling Ministries at Cornerstone
Center for Biblical Counseling in Simi Valley.

Q: Would you please read the card as you did to the defendant on that date?
A: I told him that he had the right to remain silent and if he gave up the right to remain silent anything he said could and would be used against him in a court of law; that he had the right to speak with an attorney and to have the attorney present during questioning and if he desired and could not afford one an attorney would be appointed for him without charge before questioning.

Q: You asked him if he understood his rights?
A: Yes, I did. I had a conversation with him in regard to him understanding his rights after that.
Q: What was said?
A: When I advised him of the rights I just read to him I reminded him that I had advised him of those rights a couple of days prior and that on that occasion he stated that he understood his rights and had no questions about them and, as a matter of fact, he had stated on that occasion that he knew his rights prior to my telling him what they were. I told him that his rights were so important that I wanted to go over them point by point with him so that he understood exactly what they were and I told him once again that he had the right to remain silent and he stated
that he understood his rights and I told him that he had a right to an attorney and that if he wanted one and could not afford one one would be provided and he stated that he had no question about that. I asked him if he wanted to give up his rights so that we could talk, the right to remain silent and to an attorney, and he nodded in the affirmative. So I told him that I wanted him to understand that if a case was filed on him and that we subsequently ended up in court that I would be sitting in a witness box and he would be at the counsel table and that everything that he told me I would testify to in court and he stated that he understood that.
Q: And at the same time, as you said earlier, he gave up his right to remain silent and he gave up his right to have an attorney present during questioning?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: At that time regarding this case what was said?
A: At that point I told him I would just like for him to tell me everything that happened in regard to the murders and he stated that after Nash was robbed that Nash made him tell who had robbed him. He said that Nash held him at the Nash house, took his address book and wrote down names of his family. He said that he did that in front of him and that Nash told him that if he ever talked to the police he would kill someone in his family and he said that is why he is afraid to tell me what happened.
He then said that he – indicating Nash – had him taken at gunpoint to the house on Wonderland and that he, he himself, knew what was going to happen there but he had no choice, that he had to set things up and let them in. He said he was there when the murders occurred but that he himself did not hurt anyone, that he was just there.

At that time I told him that one of his palm prints had been found in a location and in a position above one of the victims and he stated that he had not hit anyone and I told him that I had just realized that perhaps Nash had made him strike one of the victims thinking that if he himself were involved in the murders that he would be afraid to talk and I assured him that he was just as guilty of first degree murder for what he had told me in regard to going to the house to allow killers inside so that the people could die as he would be if he had struck one of the victims and he again repeated that he himself had not hit anyone and he said that he did not know how his palm print would have been near one of the victims.

Q: Did he tell you that he actually let the killers in so that people could die?
A: Yes. He stated that he had no choice in going there and that he had to set things up and let them in.
Q: Did you ask him anything regarding the killers?
A: Yes. I told him that I had gotten a statement from Dawn Schiller regarding the fact that she claimed he had told her that “Nash’s niggers” were the ones that made him go there and let them in.
Q: Those were her words?
A: Yes. Those were her words. And he stated that could not be specific and give me a race. So I asked him that if I arrested Nash and Diles for the murders would I be making a mistake? And he stated “No. Ed Nash is the most evil man I have ever met. He has people around him that would kill for him even if he was dead” and that he knew John’s 16-year old girlfriend. He knows this to be a fact and therefore cannot tell me anything specific in regard to the murders or testify against Nash because he would be jeopardizing his own family. He said that he knew he would probably be killed in jail but that so far Nash had left his family alone and he could only assume that that had occurred because he had not talked.
Q: Basically, Detective Tomlinson, was that the conversation?
A: Yes.
MR. COEN: Thank you. I have nothing further.