On May 15, 1993, Jessie Misskelley, and his older friend David Sims, who was 22-years-old at the time, and his younger friend, Dennis Carter, who was 15, had called the police from a bowling Alley stating they had seen three little boys, who were around 8 or 9 years old fleeing from a man near some train tracks. When the police arrived, they pointed the finger at a man named Tracy Laxton, saying that Laxton not only had tried to lure three little boys into the woods just moments prior, but had approached them as well, offering to let them drink in his camp in the near-by woods.

Ultimately Laxton was investigated and cleared, but the people who implicated him in the murders was shocking.

From the report:

Upon seeing officers, they came up & stated that they were walking on railroad tracks & had just bought something to drink at (indecipherable) and three white males who were (indecipherable) walking on tracks. Saw them & started running (indecipherable). Above described #1, #2 & #3 stated that as they got up on the tracks behind Goodyear they observed a W/M with reddish/blond hair come out of the woods and started trying to talk to them he said his name was Tracy & that he was from Mississippi & that his car had broken down at a church in Mississippi, Subject #1, #2 & #3 stated that the guy asked if they wanted to come over to his camp & drink some beer, #1, #2 & 3 stated they got scared because of the recent murders of the white males & that they ran to the phone in front of Howards Donuts & called the Police, then walked to the bowling alley. See Attached Subject Descriptions on #1, #2, #3

(The police report filed on May 15, 1993.)

(The police report filed on May 15, 1993.)

Following his confession to police, Dennis Carter, who had taken part in accusing Laxton, expressed that he wasn’t surprised that Jessie was arrested for the murders.

“Dennis states that he was not really surprised when he heard that Jesse was arrested for the homicide. States that he was always nice to him but it didn’t really surprise him that he was involved. States that Jesse never mentioned the murders to him.”

Link to transcribed notes of interview with Dennis Carter

David Sims, the other participant in the Laxton accusations also said the following about the events on May 15th:

“Jessie Misskelley never said anything about knowing about the murders, except the night we were at the police dept & he said (Jessie) that he thought Damien & Jason did the murders.”

(July 16, 1993 statement by David Sims discussing the Laxton incident.)

Sims further told the police that Jessie was “scared of Damien.”

(Excerpt from David Sims’ July 16, 1993 statement to police.)

The three 8-year-old boys that Jessie Misskelley and his two friends, David Sims and Dennis Carter had claimed they saw fleeing from Laxton were never found.

It was this incident that directed police to Jessie Misskelley on June 3, 1993 and the eventual confession to the murders of Stevie Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers.


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