Killers Tailed: Chenault Enterprises & the Circus Escape

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Killers Tailed: Chenault Enterprises & the Circus Escape

Postby jhancock » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:13 pm

On earlier message boards, some would state that there was no evidence that POI was tracked or followed, or even wanted for more questioning, by the sheriff's office. Below are just two of many documents indicating that the PCSO were interested in his whereabouts in the months that followed the murders.
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Re: POI was tracked by police

Postby dawghouse » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:30 pm

Funny how those particular poster(s) don't have much to say (spew)lately...
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Re: POI was tracked by police

Postby bliss » Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:23 pm

does the last one say he went to Redding Ca. after leaving Klamath and then they lost track of him?
wonder at what point they were tracking him, stopped, and then obviously wanted to track him again.
does seem at least one or more of the PCSO did want the case followed through.
any idea, is chenault enterprises a newspaper? sounds like maybe he was continuing the scams while trying to claim ssi disability
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Re: POI was tracked by police

Postby not sure » Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:26 pm

He was in Chico for a while after the murders because he had a job as the Town Crier. He was photographed in full costume and the picture was published in the Chico News and Review. Marilyn posted that Dee Lake told her about the Town Crier job after she and Marty were divorced.
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Chenault Enterprises

Postby dmac » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:17 pm

I've been looking for AGES to see if Chenault Enterprises was a legit company, whether Marty was being truthful that he was employed there and, if so, what the hell did Chenault do as a company? Personally, I figured it was related to cooking or carny to fit Marty's pedigree, yet saw no reason to believe the former. However, there was no mention anywhere on the web of a Chenault Enterprises in Milton-Freewater (M-F).

After months of repeated searches, one hit: a lady who mentioned doing secretarial work at Chenault in M-F while going to college across the border in Walla Walla. I found an email address for her and asked if she had any info on the company, but got no reply. Emails to local museums, libraries, and historical societies went unanswered. But the lady who said she worked there? Looking again, it turns out she was the sister-in-law of Adrian Chenault.


So, sure enough, in 1974 Chenault was doing promotion for the Gatti-Charles Continental Circus (later renamed American Continental Circus, now called Circus Gatti). Research shows they did many shows in Oregon, Washington, California, and Arizona. But that doesn't mean Chenault really was an employee- maybe he was just subcontracted to do promotion, as the article above suggests. What did Marty say he was doing? What did he tell the therapist? He was running away to join the circus, that he was selling tickets for a carnival "up north".

Chenault Enterprises may have been doing such promotion- which is right up Bo's alley: selling tickets is how different to selling fake advertisements? Chenault may also have been a carnival company, not just promotions/sales. Either way, it's now totally believable and lines up like ducks in a row that Bo and Marty bailed from Keddie after killing four, ran to hide out at the Arcade Hotel, where they split up when they checked out (shortly after Marty's last visit to his Reno confession therapist), regrouped, then did their carny thang as a team, ending up in M-F, Oregon, before paying a visit to relatives in Texas, while passing through town with a carnival.

Another piece of the puzzle falls into place, indicating Bo and Marty were still a team LONG AFTER their work of April 12, 1981.

August 12, 1981 Ramona lake received a card from Martin Smartt saying "Bo" was dead. Martin said he was in Walla Walla selling tickets for a circus. (Marilyn Smartt/Bradley)

"Bo is Dead" is code for what, exactly? "Bo is sitting on my lap, licking the stamp for this postcard"? Even though the timeline entry was falsely dated August (when LE contacted Remona), she actually got the letter in June and Bo's relatives say Marty and Bo visited them in Texas sometime around late May or early June 1981:

On 8-12 and 8-13 I made unsuccessful attempts to contact Romona. At 0710 hrs on 8-14-81 I contacted her by phone and asked about the letter from Martin Smartt. She said it had been a card and on the envelope he had written, "Tell Marilyn Bo is dead." I asked if she still had the card and envelope and she does not think so, but will look. I asked if she remembers where it was mailed from and she thinks from Vancouver, WA. I asked when she had gotten it and she said around the first part of June. I asked if she had since heard from Martin Smartt and she said he had phoned sometime around when school was over for the summer asking what people knew about the 187. At that time he was in Walla Walla selling tickets in a circus or something.

8-14-81 1400 hrs I contacted Romona Lake at the concession stand at the Fair. She said she has not had time to look for the envelope with the address where Martin Smartt could be contacted. I asked her how well she knew Bo and she said she had met him once and took an instant dislike to him. I asked her about Bo using the name "Bobby Lake" and she acted genuinely surprized [sic] and upset about it.

Romona again said she was sure Martin Smartt had mailed the card/letter from Vancouver. She explained the card as being one that is written on, folded, and mailed.

and, finally:

8-28-81 Mona brought in the attached envelope with the address Martin Smartt can allegedly be contacted through.
Address on envelope:
c/o Marde Smartt
Milton-Freewater OR 97862

His relatives say Marty and Bo visited them in TX in the "latter part of May or early June." Marilyn and the Lakes got that letter in "the first part of June", yet Marilyn didn't tell PCSO until August, and it took 2 weeks of foot-dragging for PCSO to retrieve the envelope with Marty's 'alleged' address. If anything, this proves PCSO didn't care: they did nothing beyond cursory requests for info on the killers, and were lazy as hell about doing THAT much.
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Re: Marty Smartt was tracked by LE- Chenault Enterprises

Postby dmac » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:11 pm

Here's a bunch of old details I didn't post, if it helps in research of the Chenault and BMM Carny angle:

A search of Milton-Freewater phone books and city directories from the 1970s and 1980s show no surnames or businesses listed under Chenault.

We found obituaries for Adrian Chenault (1928-2003) and his wife Cheryl (1944-1998). Cheryl’s obituary contains the following:

“ On April 16, 1971 she married Adrian Chenault in Richland (WA). They were partners in Chenault Enterprises, a promotional sales company, until retirement in 1990.”

Adrian’s obituary makes no mention of Chenault Enterprises. It does say:

“He re-settled in Walla in 1959, before embarking on a traveling career wherein he was promoted for (sic) John Paul Gatti Circus, a career from which he would retired (sic) in 1990.”

Both obituaries describe the deceased as being “of Milton-Freewater.”

The 1998 phone book has no listing for Chenault in Milton-Freewater. The 2003 book has Adrian Chenault listed at 503 NW Eighth Avenue.

I think Chenault Enterprises was a shady fake name, I think Chenault did a lot of carny stuff and setting up punch-and-run phone scams was just one angle. I'm holding back a lot of details because I don't think Chenault is going to answer much for us. We know Bo and Marty joined the circus carny route, and lived together for a long time after the murders. I kinda lose interest in that- DOJ kinda closed that window out of respect for the fact they are hiding the true meaning of the murders. I'm more interested in the true meaning. We know Marty and Bo and Marilyn killed John, Dana, Sue and Tina. Bo was a full participant, running the show- and he had NO PROBLEMS hurting or killing women and children- that bullshit lie is over with. Bo killed women and children- little boys and girls. Grow up.

The fact is others were involved and we haven't found them yet. We will and LE knows we're looking.
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Chenault Enterprises- The Circus Escape

Postby dmac » Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:40 pm

Obit for Mrs Chenault:


I spoke with Adrian Chenault's ex-landlord some months ago. She said he was a pretty shady guy who kept to himself, didn't socialize with her or other tenants/neighbors, and that he ran a lot of high-stakes poker games. Not a lot to go on- The Chenaults don't come off as very powerful people, but schemers living on the periphery of the shady carny lifestyle, much as Bo did via his similar sales scams.



The 1981 circus season had an auspicious beginning. At a February trade show in Gibsonton, the Tampa community famous as a winter haven for carnies, three men got into an argument which resulted in a murder. The spat apparently began inside and, when one man and his nephew (Kissel and Grein) went outside, they were fired upon by the third, Prather. A crowd of carnies blocked Prather from escaping, dragged him from his car, and nearly beat him to death before police arrived.

Deb has said Marty and Bo visited her family in the Dallas area (Lewisville) during late May or early June of 81, with Bo sticking around a couple weeks before getting the boot by her dad. Looking for any carny/circus activity in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area near the estimated time uncovers just one show, the Royal Crown Circus (based near San Bernardino, CA). It was in the right area at the right time, and was so big a show it could draw a profitable crowd long enough for Bo to be around for weeks.

Circuses don't begin touring until late spring, and RCC began their short season later than most. The following info comes from the industry rag, the Circus Report, which is directed more at the Big Top shows than small carnivals offering only rides and concessions for community/county fairs. Three issues of CR are missing from the 1981 collection found online (April 27, May 4, May 11), but I've pieced this together:

RCC's 81 tour began in May in El Paso, TX. Royal Crown and Royal Imperial Circuses appear to be related, as the RIC shares several staff, and their 1981 tour was reported to be a virtual repeat of RCC's 1980 circuit, town-for-town. Also, RCC had joint ventures with Brinkman circuses. Bo and Marty could have bounced between these outfits- and others.

1981 Royal Crown Circus dates:

?-? El Paso, TX
?-? ???
20-21 Abilene (183 miles from Deb's town)
24-30 Ft. Worth (33 miles)

2-3 Arlington (31)
6-7 Grand Prairie (27)
10-16 Dallas (25)
19-21 Wichita Falls (117)
24-25 Lewton, OK
28-29 Midwest City

2-5 Oklahoma City
8-12 Tulsa
15-17 Wichita, KS
20-21 Hutchinson
24-25 McPherson
31 Lincoln, NE

1-6 Lincoln NE
7-10 Kansas City, KS
13-16 Kansas City
19-20 Independence, MO
23-24 Liberty
27-28 St. Joseph
31 Lincoln, NE

1-6 Lincoln NE
9-13 Omaha
16-18 Council Bluffs, IA
25-26 Waterloo
29-30 Dubuque

1-3 Dubuque
6-7 E. Moline, IL
10-11 Moline
14-17 Rock Island
20-21 Davenport IA
24-25 Cedar Rapids
28-31 Des Moines

The RCC tour began in El Paso, TX. Due to missing data, we don't know their stops between El Paso and Abilene, but the following three stops (Ft Worth thru Dallas) were all within 30 miles of Deb's home. That's roughly 25 days when this circus/carnival had the kind of access necessary for Marty and Bo to visit. Royal Crown were not only in the right place at the right time, they were a big enough show to be in the area that damned long. Also, they were based in Southern Cali, meaning Bo and Marty needed only get from Walla Walla to the LA area in time to catch the ride to TX.

It helps, of course, that Royal Crown also made it's way to within a couple hundred miles of Chicago.

While this isn't absolute proof Marty and Bo were with RCC, it is not just the ONLY show I can find near Dallas that year, everything else about RCC falls into perfect place for it to be the right show: Size, time, locations, duration. It will be hard to beat RCC as a candidate.
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Re: Killers Tailed: Chenault Enterprises & the Circus Escape

Postby dmac » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:30 pm

I still find Royal Crown Circus to be the most viable candidate for how Bo and Marty got from Walla-Walla (Chenault) to Texas and beyond. They also would have been pulling crimes and stunts all along the path of this circus, from where they joined to where they bailed. I'm not saying murders, but at least the same old crap Bobby Lake was known for. But they were also emboldened by having just gotten away with murder via help from corrupt LE, so god knows what more they felt they could get away with.
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