Mildred Landesman Murder: Punks on LSD

THE ARRESTS At approximately 5:30 a.m. on August 22, 1982, Officer Taylor of the Anchorage Police Department observed a 1973 Buick LaSabre being driven in an erratic manner with its high-beam headlights on. The driver, William Plumley, was arrested by Taylor for driving in a reckless manner. Shelly Bosch and James Ridgely, passengers in the vehicle, were arrested for joyriding. All three were subsequently charged, inter alia, with first degree murder. Thoughts quickly turned to allegations the three were high on LSD.

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1973 Buick LeSabre (example)

At the scene of the stop, Taylor asked Plumley to get out of the car. After observing a machete between the driver’s door and seat, Taylor asked the other occupants to exit the car. He then frisked Plumley and asked him for identification. He asked Plumley whose car he was driving. Plumley responded that the car was not his and that he had found it near Talkeetna. Taylor then arrested Plumley for reckless driving, handcuffed him and placed him in a patrol car. Plumley was not advised of his Miranda rights at this time.

Four backup officers arrived within minutes of the stop. One of these officers, Officer Feichtinger, assisted Taylor in questioning Ridgely and Bosch. Both Ridgely and Bosch were juveniles. Both were questioned about the ownership of the car and both told the officers the car had been found near Talkeetna. At this point, neither juvenile had been given Miranda warnings, nor had they been placed under arrest. Ridgely’s parents were not successfully contacted. Bosch’s parents were contacted and asked the police to take Bosch to McLaughlin Youth Center (MYC).

At some point during the questioning of Bosch, she indicated to Taylor that the three had taken LSD prior to the stop. Feichtinger was aware of that information prior to questioning Ridgely. Taylor testified Bosch was nervous and had dilated pupils. Feichtinger described Ridgely as “unconcerned” and noted he was shivering.

At the scene, Taylor ran a check on the registration of the vehicle and learned it was registered to a Mildred Landesman. There had been no report of theft by Mrs. Landesman. Ridgely and Bosch were then arrested for joyriding.

After Ridgely was arrested, Feichtinger testified he advised Ridgely of his rights and questioned Ridgely once again. Subsequently, Ridgely and Bosch were transported to MYC where they were detained at approximately 7:00 a.m. The transporting officer indicated to the MYC staff that both may have consumed LSD.

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