Charlie Crowe had been a detective for 12 of the 17 years he had been on the Bloomington, Ill., Police Department and the lead investigator on most of the 30 murders the city had recorded in his time as a detective.
These are his hand-written notes from his first two interviews with Hendricks—first in a neighbor’s house about an hour after Hendricks had arrived home to find multiple police cars in front of his home, second a couple hours later at the Bloomington Police Department.
Nov. 8, 1983, 11:30 p.m.—Cramer home
Left for Wisc midnight…made phone call home at 11:30 this morning. No answer…she had dinner appointment in Delavan at Mary Ann Palmer’s…called our department at 6 tonight…Secretary is Bev Crutcher, Cropsey…left about midnight for Wausau, Wis for business sales…cold calls…no appointments…made first call about 8 a.m. in Wausau hospital…then to St. Michael’s Hospital in Stevens Point between 9 and 10 a.m….then to Portage, Wis., only hospital in Portage…then to Madison…made six calls…orthotist, hospitals, surgical supplies…checked into Red Roof Inn in Madison sometime around 12:30 or 1 p.m., checked in before I made the Madison stops.
Got back to hotel about 3 p.m. I tried to call Susie at 3 p.m. because that’s when the kids come home from school…all calls placed on my credit card…call from Portage about 11:30 from the hospital…no answer…when no answer at 3, I called my sec and told her to call Susie and just tell her I was fine. I thought she may have gone on to Maryann’s early…Susie was to be there at 5:30 for dinner…It must have been 5:30, I called Maryann…she said Susie was not there yet. I told her she was coming, to have Susie call then. I gave her the phone number where I was. About a half hour later we talked and I didn’t know if she called me or I called her…she said Susie wasn’t there yet. I told her don’t be concerned. She probably just misunderstood and wasn’t coming for dinner. Right after the 5:30 call to Maryann, I called Karen, told her to knock on the door…phone didn’t work…told Karen to have Susie call me.
How do you know the phone wasn’t working? It was ringing in my ear. Did you ask Karen to see if the car was there? Susie always puts car in garage every time she uses. First time I called Karen, I didn’t tell her to call me back…I was concerned, but I knew they would be home. I was in the motel room. I was trying to sleep so time doesn’t mean anything to me. I called Karen back around 6:30. Actually I never asked Karen to go down before. I just asked her if she had seen Susan around and she volunteered to go down there. On the second call, she volunteered to go down and check again…Karen was concerned. I tried to settle her down because I wasn’t that concerned. She went down and checked with one of the neighbor girls to see if she had played with my kids. I might have called her three times. Karen told me she had to go out for a while but John would look.
One of the times she gave me the Bloomington police department number. I called BPD, told them that she was probably in an accident. They told me to call state police in Peoria. They have jurisdiction over Delavan. I called state police in Peoria. I wasn’t really satisfied with the answers the police gave me. They told me there wasn’t any accidents, so I started home. Susie is so…she just doesn’t…she’s always on time. If you can’t reach her all day, you know something is wrong. She had a doctor’s appointment this morning. I think it was a test at the hospital. She went to doctor. She saw Rudnicki about this test. She had a nodule in her throat.
I left at 10 after 7…I looked at my watch, drove straight back to Bloomington. I stopped somewhere to call Karen to see if she pulled in yet…when I got here the police were here.
At 12:22 a.m. Hendricks gives permission to search house and car.
When I left, wife was in bed in her nightgown in the master bedroom. The girls were sleeping in their bedroom, in separate beds, and Benji had crawled in with Grace. I think I remember latching the back patio door. The front door was locked. I think it was locked. I always check it. Didn’t lock the garage door from garage to house, left through the garage door in my car. Left at midnight because it’s normal. I worked through the night about once a week or 10 days. Usually when I go on sales trips, I leave at 2 or 3 a.m. I have my own plane and I usually fly.
When did you first become concerned about not reaching Susie? Probably not until, well that’s hard to say. Probably when I called Maryann and she said Susan wasn’t there.
I stopped at Perkins at about midnight and got a cup of coffee to go from girl at front counter. I was wearing these blue pants and this shirt. I don’t mean jacket. I might have had this camel shirt over my blue one. I would have had my black shoes on. The rest of my clothes are in the car. I changed my clothes at a rest stop about halfway up there between Portage and Madison on I-90. I changed into my suit, grey suit. It is in the garment bag. I don’t like wrinkling my suit on a long drive.
Do you have any of these in the house? Guns? No. Hatchets? Old axe in garage. Carpenters four ball ping hammers. Later asked what color axe was. He said it was red. My relatives are in southern Illinois. Allendale. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hendricks. Left Kramer home at 12:50 a.m.
Nov. 9, 1983, 2:35 a.m. at Bloomington Police Department
O’Brien reads rights.
Susan was awake when I left. I kissed her and gave her a hug when I left. She was covered…we were in bed together before I left, about an hour. Last time sex was Sunday morning. I believe before we went to church. Just a group of Christians that meet. 312 W. Kelsey.
Rebecca Karen 9; Grace Esther 7; Benjamin Caleb 5. Becky and Grace were in their beds and Benji had crawled into bed with Grace. I kissed them goodbye.
I don’t specifically remember checking but it’s usually habit to check the doors to make sure that the vertical locks are in place and the wooden bar is in place on the patio. I made the bar myself. Have a garage door opener in each of the cars.
Can you physically open the garage door by pulling up? No.
Is your wife paranoid about burglars? No.
Have had business two and a quarter years…doing quite well.
Would you wife have let someone in after you left? Yes, she could have. I don’t think she would open the door to a stranger. I was more careful than Susan. I really had to get on her at night to lock the doors. Have lived there since July of ’81.
All the calls were coming from my room…all on my credit card.
Did you make any local? Can’t think of any.
Are these customers that you have had before? Some are, some not.
Were you and Susan having any kind of troubles whatsoever? No. We were very happy. As a matter of fact, we were talking about adopting a boy. In the last hour we were together. That’s why I was trying to call her today, to give her some thoughts on that. Trips are one or two days in length.
How long before had you planned this trip? Just last week. Had told sec to get things arranged as far as customers go. Moved motorcycle to garage on Monday. I own the aircraft but I rent it out. Jim Bection (works for krunk’s) was supposed to have the plane Tues and Wed. Rest area I stopped to change clothes was between Madison and Portage on I-90. They have rest rooms but it was dark so I just changed by the car.
“Would you take a lie test for us?” “I’m concerned. What would you do if I failed it?”
Dave, did you kill your wife and kids? No.
Why wouldn’t you? Because I’m very concerned that you might get the wrong results. I think I would rather talk to my attorney before I take a polygraph test.
3 a.m.—Accused him of killing his family.
Wife attended shower in Morton…she arrived home about 10:45 p.m. I babysat. She went with Sharon Zwanzig, 1002 E. Olive, Becky Moews, 207 S. McLean. They went in Sharon’s car. Susan left 5:50 p.m. PJ 2030 This is the number that came into mind. I didn’t look. I think I had a license number like this. I think I have been using PJ2030 for years. XA 7803.
Why only one phone call on the slip? All Red Roof Inns charge you 35 cents flat fee. Then you can make as many local calls as you want.
Told DH we wanted the clothes he was wearing…asked him if he wanted to go to the neighbors and get night clothes and then we could take him at that time. Or we could wait and get clothes from his house…he decided to wait to get clothes from his house.