March Madness at Oklahoma State University

I recently had the good fortune to catch the OU-OSU bedlam game in Stillwater where I have some good college memories…….

Welcome back.   The date was February 16, 2013 and the time was 12:45 PM as T. Boone Pickens along with 13,611 ticketed seat holders and another 400 or so standing in the walkways at Gallagher IBA Arena saw the good old rowdy days of basketball from Stillwater’s past return.

This week with basketball on so many people’s minds, including mine I’ve got to start off my column there. The Oklahoma State Cowboys, under fifth year head coach Travis Ford now are the leaders of the Big 12 Conference and will be playing powerhouse Kansas tonight in Stillwater.

Win or lose OSU will get invited to what sports writers call “March Madness.”  I had the opportunity to talk with Coach Ford Saturday afternoon and at least off the court he seems like one of the nicest and most down to earth guys I’ve ever met. He has worked his way up the ranks and history has shown that given a little time he can transform loosing programs into winning ones and that’s what he’s done in Stillwater. I’m sure OSU won’t be his last turnaround story. Yes, one day Travis Ford will one day soon move up the coaching ladder but until then I see nothing but great things in OSU’s basketball future.

Now on to a couple of guys who play for Travis that you may not know too much about yet. Although all of the OSU Cowboys are playing great team ball, 6’7” 230 lb. sophomore Le Bryan Nash out of Dallas, Texas is special. Nash is quick of foot with lots of spring in his legs and his every with the ball seems like some sort of circus shoot that goes in most of the time. One of two McDonald’s All Stars on the team, the honors he earned last year alone would fill a trophy case. He’s a swell kid and making an important difference to the team.

The other player I want to bring up I expect will also be moving up in baksetball before long, although I hope later rather than sooner. The opportunity to see him play is another good reason to get to an OSU as soon as you can. Number 33 6’4” 225 lb. freshman Marcus Smart from Flower Mound, Texas has NBA written all over him. After being named a McDonald’s All American, his high school achievements on the court brought him scholarships offers from North Carolina to Kansas and everywhere in between. He is living up to all the expectations of greatness and I discovered during a postgame interview he is also very personable and mature. With all that said here’s this week’s scoop.

You long time readers know that I have predicted the last three NCAA tournament winners so here it is: I look for OSU to go far. A Cinderella team with the rowdiest fans in the country, this bunch will definitely still be playing when many other teams have gone home. After tonight there are two more games before the tournament starts. On Saturday March 2nd the Cowboys will play Texas at 3PM and on Saturday March 9th they will face Kansas State at 12:30PM. Also after the games be sure to check out Eskimo Joe’s as my traveling partner and photographer daughter Loretta and I did. A BHS senior, she was recently accepted at OSU so you know a meal there was a must. If you go be sure you have some time. A two and ½ hour wait is not unusual but what fun!

If you want to see some photos of the game visit Photography by Loretta Lewis on Facebook.

Next week its still basketball as Loretta and I join 19,675 other enthusiastic Thunder fans on Sunday night when they take on the Chicago Bulls at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City. This is my first visit to the Center and we also plan to tour the bar and restaurant in the new Devon Energy Tower nearby. I’ll be bringing you a full report next Wednesday.

Till then I’ll see ya down the road…….


Polygraph Testing and Buried Bodies…..

             I received some strong responses to last week’s article…..

                        Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 Welcome back.   Polygraph test: it’s the subject of the story I wrote last week and I thought it was interesting for sure but I had no idea of the controversy surrounding this procedure. I have been contacted by people from as far away as New England who don’t believe that polygraph works. I would like to add a note of caution that whenever in doubt about legal issues, including whether or not to take a lie detector test, it is wise to consult an attorney. And with the mention of the word attorney I know that many of you long time Bartians were sad to hear of the death of Alan Carlson.

Many of you may have known him much better than I either socially or through business or legal dealings. I met Alan on the basketball court when he first came to town in 1974.  He was a sought after player in the industrial leagues around the area and he and I played together several times on a Dunlap Construction team. He was just as driven on the court as in his profession and you quickly realized you would much rather play with him than against him if you didn’t want to get beat. Noon hour pick up games at Y were the same. A hard working, talented lawyer, Mr. Alan Carlson was a man who will not soon be forgotten.

Now with that said, my story about the polygraph machine continues. There is a tie-in between this story and the one I wrote before it regarding the search for two dead Mexicans. The tie-in is immunity. I’m no lawyer but according to

“State and federal statutes may grant witnesses immunity from prosecution for the use of their testimony in court or before a grand jury. Sometimes, the testimony of one witness is so valuable to the goals of crime prevention and justice that the promise of allowing that witness to go unpunished is a fair trade…. Although the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants witnesses a Privilege against Self-Incrimination, the U.S. Supreme Court has permitted prosecutors to overcome this privilege by granting witnesses immunity.”

Would any D.A. in the United States give immunity to a two time convicted murderer in order for that person to agree to lead authorities to the graves of two more murder victims? And allow the informant to avoid punishment? I don’t think so. Not even if Jimmy Hoffa was buried here. Many of you are asking, what’s next now?  I’ll try to answer that.

Washington County investigators have a tremendous work load, investigating dozens of more recent crimes. Deputies are plenty busy but the case is moving forward.

As for the two dead men, who had gotten mixed up with the wrong people during a drug smuggling operation, well they have been buried together for close to thirty years and it looks like they may have to wait just a little longer for the end of their story to be told.

On a lighter note; basketball fever is here and with that comes the college season’s March Madness playoffs. On Saturday February 16th OSU will be playing OU at 12 PM in Gallagher-IBA Arena and I’ll be there. This is their annual Bedlam game and with both team on winning streaks and a chance for both to go to the tournament it should be a great one. It’s only a two hour drive and tickets are cheap so check it out!

Till next time I’ll see ya down the road….




Polygraph Tests

  Since this story ran I have received a lot of comments from people questioning the validity of polygraph testing. Look for more on this, and the case of the two dead Mexicans, in upcoming posts.

Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 Welcome back.   To all the bad guys: the term polygraph or lie detector test means trouble for you. Today’s new technology has a 93% accuracy rate so most liars don’t want anything to with it and seldom show up for scheduled tests. Last Friday with nothing to hide I expected my experience with a polygraph test to be entertaining and it was. I hope you think so too.

Polygraphs have been around since the 1920s. Back in the early day, the basis of the testing was measurement of blood pressure, heart rates and breathing patterns which is still in effect today and is now tabulated by computer. With a properly trained examiner the computer can also determine if a subject is on drugs.

Oklahoma is one of 28 states that require polygraph examiners to be licensed. I learned that this is a lengthy process which is overseen by a 5 person State Board governed by Oklahoma’s Attorney General. After licensing, examiners are required to take continuing education classes to keep their skills up to date. There are only a few people who can comply with the rigorous standards of this profession and Roy Clugston out of Tulsa is one of them.

At the start of his career Roy spent fourteen years as a detective with Tulsa’s robbery and homicide units. It was during this time that he first got into the truth and deception business. Since then he has been involved with a range of criminal investigations, from the kidnapping and murder of two women of means in 1977 by Larry Chaney which took place in south Tulsa County to the rape and murder of kindergartener Tammy Michael Moody by a school janitor.

Roy has been a polygraph examiner for thirty-three years and he has performed literally thousands of these tests.  These are some of the things I found particularly interesting about his profession:

Most of his work is done on cases concerning divorce, child molestation and sexual assaults. The assaults are committed against wives but not always.

Defense attorneys use polygraph tests a lot and one myth is that the results are not admissible in court. They are.

In order to perform a test accurately the trained examiner has to know all the facts of a case. He uses this information to build rapport with the subject of the test. The examiner has to establish a relationship with this person way before anything can be hooked up.

All the questions are reviewed before the test begins and there are no tricks or games played to confuse the person who is being tested. Basically the examiner has to understand any slang or cultural idioms a subject might use and be able to use those words in his own speech.  Being a man who idolizes Will Rogers and who always tries to tell the truth, I ain’t scared but I can tell you its very intelligent stuff and way over my head.

Roy told me that the atmosphere in the room where the test is done is also important. His office has several comfortable leather chairs and a very calming environment. You also have to bring any medications you are taking with you and the test costs $500. That might seem like a lot but with the machine costing up to $16,000 and the years of training and continuing education required, it sounded cheap to me to find out the truth of someone’s accusations.

As he put the wires and gadgets around me, Roy told me that he graduated in the first class at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.  He said President Nixon had signed his graduation certificate. With all his experience if I had anything to lie about I think I would just give it up without the machine.

Roy won’t test children under 14, people with pacemakers or who have recently had heart attacks, or the insane. Another interesting fact is that anyone in law enforcement or who is governed by CLEET regulations can be forced to take a lie detector test. CLEET is the state licensing authority for guards and private investigators. Elected government officials are exempt as are most other citizens of the United States because the bottom line is that most polygraph tests can only be performed if the subjects volunteer.


Till next time I’ll see ya down the road….





The 1980s

 My thoughts about a decade that brought  big changes around the world. Also a search for buried bodies begins……………….

Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 Welcome back.   The early years of the 1980s brought many significant historical events. The use of personal computers exploded around the world and changed all of our lives forever. Canada gained its independence and Margaret Thatcher became the Prime Minister of England. An El Nino weather pattern was also causing natural disasters around the globe. At the same time, a worldwide economic recession was going on.

In the United States Ronald Reagan was elected to his first term as President in 1980 and later that same year John Hinkley shot and killed John Lennon. In 1981 President Reagan was also shot (but fortunately survived) and Anwar Sadat, the President of Egypt, was assassinated.

It was also in the early 80s that Michael Jackson, Madonna and Whitney Houston became famous. On the big screen Chariots of Fire, Gandi and Terms of Endearment brought in millions at the movies. MTV was launched during this period, introducing music videos to the general public.

Another big story happened in Washington State when Mt. St. Helens erupted, killing 57 people.

Across the nation the use of drugs, especially cocaine, was becoming a major problem. The hippie days of peace, love and pot smoking was over, replaced by drug smuggling gangs and turf wars.

The local scene was no different when Washington County made history. The biggest pot growing bust in Oklahoma history began when Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs agents Jerry Harris and John Guy were contacted by a young Dewey boy who said he knew where there was a large area of cultivated marijuana. He said he could lead the agents to it and wanted to know if he could claim a reward. After striking a deal with the two agents for $250, the boy took them to the field where the bust was made.

The cultivated area was so large that county surveyor Richard Quitter was called in to determine the size of the crop. His estimate of 10 to 12 tons of pot caused every newspaper in the state to send reporters to cover the story. With all the publicity it wasn’t long before local contractor Ernie Milligan was called in to dig a huge hole to put the weed in and when the crop was set on fire you could see the smoke for miles and I imagine the local stores sold out of twinkies.

Growing their own wasn’t the only way for the 80s crowd of pot smokers to get their high. In those days Mexican nationals were becoming regulars in the area, bringing weed from border towns in Texas and New Mexico to Oklahoma.

This is where I left off last week with the two dead men buried in a pair of 50 gallon oil drums. I had heard this story a few years ago but I didn’t give it much thought until I was recently contacted by a convicted murderer who said he had some information about the killing. After he gave me details about these murders he sent me several aerial maps of the property where he said the bodies might be found. With all this said, I have become convinced that this crime did happen. After contacting the authorities, the property owner and several experienced men with metal detectors, the hunt is on and I’ll keep you informed.

Till next time I’ll see ya down the road…….