A Pile of Manure

It had been a long time since I had a chance to visit with my friend who was living in Omaha, Nebraska at the time of our last visit. We had grown up in the 80’s in a small town in western Nebraska, just over a 1/2 mile apart. Despite the close proximity in time and location however, the two of us ended up growing up quite differently, but still maintained a solid friendship.

We could both recall many wonderful memories of our past adventures together, but when we got to talking that night, I wasn’t expecting to hear what he had to say.  I was asking him about an entirely different unsolved murder case when I mentioned a name from our past, and he went right into telling the story.

It was simple. Cocaine was huge hit in western Nebraska and a few people with money were willing to delve into it and it’s profitability making it easy to get if you knew the right people. Well, he must have known the right people, because he could always get it. But there is one rule you never break. Don’t stiff your dealer, or you could end up dead. This all fits together, keep following…

I couldn’t believe I was getting this on tape. He just flat out said that the dude didn’t pay up on $600 worth of fronted coke so they shot him in the head and buried him in a pile of manure in a rural area of western Nebraska. I was glad to hear my friend wasn’t the trigger man, but that name came up again.

I was somewhat astonished. Not at the fact that I had further confirmation that local government officials were dealing cocaine, but at the ease at which my friend told me about it on tape. Couple that with the fact that he and another female I really enjoyed hanging with, were just implicated in capital murder (with the third individual who was the shooter). He said he didn’t care because they already convicted someone of the murder… the brother of the shooter. (yeah, crazy right?) Even crazier, I came close to getting killed by this same guy, completely oblivious at the time to the dangers around me.

Did I just hear my friend say he witnessed a murder of a man at the direction of a local official? Listen to the tape yourself…  Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending how you look at it, most of the tapes have been turned over to the FBI or other legal counsel. There is reportedly a Netflix documentary in the works that may contain more information on the illegal cocaine trade in western Nebraska. However, local folks have been waiting over 30 years for some sort of final resolution on this particular story. I am told by the producers that the season-or-two long documentary will be called “Item Number” in reference to a particularly damning piece of evidence.

Unfortunately, my friend passed away since our last visit and before the film producers could interview him on camera, but the memories remain of a man with no apology for who he was or for owning up to anything. No one pushed him around. He was never bothered or threatened by anyone. I was fortunate to have been on his good side and I am forever thankful for his friendship. It was this same man who saved my life one night after picking me up stumbling down the highway at 1 am on a new year’s day. That is how this story started, with a mention of a name. The name was that of the shooter referenced above. I had been drinking heavily that night and did not pay attention to where he took me. My friend told me that it was the shooter’s house we ended up at for a couple hours after he picked me up. Evidently I was being a little too bold and mouthy toward the homeowner and my friend recognized that and told them to back off, then he took me home, keeping me from becoming another Scotts Bluff County WING statistic. 

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