CRIME HUNTER: Father’s Day Massacre still vexes cops

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James King didn’t know much of anything by time he hit the end of the line in 2013.

Suffering from dementia and shunned for more than two decades, cops always believed he was the one with the answers in one of Denver’s most notorious homicidal outbursts.

What went down became known as the Father’s Day Massacre.

On Sunday, June 16, 1991 — Father’s Day — a gunman walked into Denver’s Wells Fargo Center and held up six tellers in the counting room.

In the process, the robber shot and killed four unarmed bank guards and fled with $200,000 in cash.

About one month later, detectives arrested and charged King, a former Denver cop, with robbery and murder. He was also a security guard at the United Bank of Denver.

Authorities remove the bodies from the sight of the massacre.
Authorities remove the bodies from the sight of the massacre. Photo by SCREENGRAB /YOUTUBE

Dead were Phillip Lee Mankoff, Scott Raymond McCarthy, William Rogers McCullum Jr. and Todd Allen Wilson.

King’s trial was broadcast gavel-to-gavel on CourtTV and in the end he was acquitted.

Despite the passage of three decades since the heinous murders, opinion remains split on James King.

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“There were insurmountable problems with the prosecution’s case. There was substantial evidence at the trial that it could not be him,” his lawyer, Scott Robinson told The Denver Post in 2013 at the time of King’s death.

Prosecutor Bill Buckley thought he had an iron-clad case with five witnesses and a treasure trove of circumstantial evidence.

“I believe he did it,” Buckley said. “Unless you hear he confided in someone, he took his secret to the grave.”

Among the evidence against King:

— The bank employee witnesses, five of whom ID’d him as the killer;

— He shaved off his moustache after the bank job and confessed he ditched his .38 calibre police service revolver;

— Whoever the killer was left no traces and gathered the spent shells and wiped away fingerprints;

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— In addition, he videotaped crime scenes in his police job and admitted he was in the area the day of the murders looking for a non-existent chess club.

However, it was the bullets doctors removed from the dead guards that were the most compelling. Locals cops often handed out different makes of ammo to officers and it would get mixed together.

While there were a lot of things that tied former Denver cop to the murders there was just as much that didnt add up.
While there were a lot of things that tied former Denver cop to the murders there was just as much that didnt add up. Photo by HANDOUT /DENVER POLICE

Cops said the 17 slugs removed from the guards were from five different brands — just like the cops.

At his trial, the defence brought up evidence that suggested an accomplice — or someone else — was the true killer. That was enough for the jury but not for the community at large.

King was bitter that the police department he so faithfully served had turned on him.

“For me growing up, my dad being a policeman, whenever I saw someone had been charged with a crime I just believed they were guilty,” his son said in 2014. “But they just twisted and manipulated the truth (in his father’s trial.)”

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His wife stood by him until her death in 2009.

Over the years, King lived quietly and avoided the public at all costs. A model train set his lone indulgence.

If he had scored $200,000 like the cops said he did, King wasn’t showing it.

“He was absolutely angry and bitter about people in the police department who turned on him and misread the evidence,” Robinson said.

The bank’s head of security said King could not have orchestrated the heist because there had been security changes at the bank that came after the former cop stopped working there.

“He would have been caught in a security man trap the minute he tried to leave the bank,” James Prado testified.

Robinson added: “My sneaking suspicion was (the killer) was a guard who came after King, and he had an accomplice.”

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The cops claim they know who the killer was — James King.

Cops in Texas have arrested Shawn Casey Adkins in the 2010 kidnapping and murder of Hailey Dunn.
Cops in Texas have arrested Shawn Casey Adkins in the 2010 kidnapping and murder of Hailey Dunn. Photo by HANDOUT /TEXAS RANGERS

MOM’S BEAU BUSTED IN TEEN’S 2010 COLD CASE MURDER

It took authorities three years to find the body of 13-year-old Texas cheerleader Hailey Dunn.

It took even longer to capture her suspected killer.

Hailey mysteriously disappeared on Dec. 28, 2010, from Howard County, Texas. Now, cops have charged her mother’s former boyfriend, Shawn Casey Adkins, with capital murder.

For years, detectives called him a person of interest.

At the time, Adkins told investigators Hailey had left home to visit her dad who lived half a block away.

Hailey’s mom was thrilled.

“First and foremost, I’m so elated and I’m so relieved that it’s finally happened,” Bonnie Dunn told Inside Edition. “Every day, every night since we’ve gotten her back, that’s been our big task, that’s what we’ve wanted to see.”

Her father always suspected Adkins was the killer.

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun

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