Dana in the Dorisses' Foster Home

facts surrounding the Keddie Murders, for beginners and up

Dana in the Dorisses' Foster Home

Postby jhancock » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:48 pm

Dana had little to no parental guidance or support during the time of the homicides; his father was an alcoholic and his mother was mentally unstable. I'm not spreading cruel rumors here--Gary Wingate, his father, discusses these issues in Part I of the documentary and its deleted scenes. Dana had started to get into trouble, slashing car tires, stealing, drinking, and so on. From our interviews with Dana's dad, his three sisters, and the man who ran the group home, Dana was looking for a positive outlet. At the group home he participated in the daily activities and chores. From what I gather, the group home provided him stability that he was not getting from his mother and father. In the documentary, Gary also said that Dana preferred spending time away from home and away from his family, whereas the three sisters (especially Cynthia and Renee) preferred to remain close to home. You can read some additional reports in the case files that describe Dana as a burgeoning "ladies man" as well.

Interesting note: during our phone conversations with Henry Thompson for Part II of the documentary, he was always with Lisa Wingate, one of Dana's sisters.
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Re: Why Was Dana in A Group Home?

Postby quincygirl » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:20 am

From what I have read on this board, it seems as though Henry was harassed by LE in regards to his whereabouts during this crime, and he doesn't seem to be directly involved but it still gives me the creeps that Lisa was with him during your interviews. Lisa had/has her own issues with mind altering substances and has never been the most stable person, I lost track of her many years ago....I don't remember seeing any deleted scenes with her...can you direct me to them? Why would you want to hang out with someone that falsely confessed to murdering your brother?
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Re: Why Was Dana in A Group Home?

Postby Ausgirl » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:01 am

Dana was also in trouble for shooting a cat up with insulin before the poor thing was set on fire alive.

He was smashing up lights at the airport - kind of a seriously dangerous thing to do? Don't planes use those lights to safely land at night? If Dana had worked at an airport, he'd know that.

Slashing tyres, stealing, drinking... Drinking, with insulin-shot level diabetes. It's a deathwish waiting to happen, and he'd fully know that.

Dana was a seriously messed up kid who got the point where he KNEW he needed help. And found it.

So here's some interesting observations:

Dana was killed FIRST.
Dana was killed SLOWLY. Dana was the ONLY victim strangled. Manually. Strangulation is a very personal and up-close way to murder somebody. That person is looking the killer in the face for what? 3-4 whole minutes, before they pass out/die? That's sustained rage, right there.
Dana is the ONLY one with his hands free.
Dana is the ONLY one who did not have ANY knife wounds.
Dana is the main (the ONLY?) recipient of major blows from weapon 4. There's enough evidence to reasonably consider that these blows happened POST MORTEM.
Dana's murder is significantly different from Sue and John's in almost every regard.

Dana was beaten black and blue. Then strangled. Then hit in the head with a hammer (the order here is not necessarily how it happened). THEN he was beat up AGAIN - flogged while lying on the floor, DEAD - with Weapon 4.

Somebody really, really had it in for Dana, didn't they?

And he was such a troubled, kid - doing stuff that put himself in danger, let alone stuff he did which hurt others, and/or potentially could have. Pretty horrible things. Poor cat.

Trisha also said that Phillip did not like Dana because Dana was taking out Trisha.

Phillip is that loopy friend of Wade Meeks mentioned here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=363

You know, the one with pretty severe mental issues and a drinking problem, who was all over the map (including taking a square dance class plastered drunk?) with Wade that day, and who claimed to have been there and seen things (fairly accurately) and stuff. And had it in for Dana, maybe?

What if some of Dana's injuries (the facial beating) happened ---- before the crime? John's too, for that matter.

And a man who was a REAL good buddy of Wade Meeks, too, who happened to hate Johnny like spit -- whose wife says he had an altercation with Johnny right before the murders -- whose wife says he wanted to break Johnny's hands and totally hated teenagers, and so and and so on -- and whose wife was sleeping with his real good buddy Wade Meeks.... THIS guy is the guy who ends up confessing to the murders. But not of John and Dana, who I'd be guessing would be prime targets for Marty's rage.

Curiouser and curiouser.
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Re: Why Was Dana in A Group Home?

Postby dmac » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:00 pm

Dan Dorris, Dana's foster dad at the time of the murders, spoke to us a couple times just prior to his death in late 2013. Below is a summation of the conversations:

    Dana came to live with the Dorrises after the incident at Nugget Motors, a car lot near where Safeway is presently (Dana was charged with damaging several thousands of dollars in tires). The Dorrises were asked to foster Dana, as the probation officers didn't like his mother and deemed her unfit, and Dana's father was out of the picture. Dan never once met Dana's mom but, after Dana died, his father did show up and spoke with Mr. Dorris

    Dana had to pay restitution for the tire incident, so the probation officers employed him at both Gansner Airfield and the Fairgrounds When asked about rumors of Dana smashing lights at the air field, Dan did not recall him ever getting into any trouble at either job location.

    The Dorrises didn't open the larger group home until after Dana's death so, at the time Dana stayed with them, the Dorrises had their children and a few foster kids staying in their home. They would see Rod DeCrona every once in awhile, as Rod's girlfriend worked for the Dorrises, helping with household chores. It was not unusual for Rod to visit or come to pick her up, and they eventually married.

    Dana was diabetic and insulin-dependent and was generally quite good about carrying his insulin and needles with him. In that respect, he was pretty good about taking care of himself. During his entire time with the Dorrises, Dana only had one diabetic episode.

    Without elaborating, Dan said he didn't quite understand the way Dana did things sometimes. Dana never spoke of his home life, and his mother was very disliked by the probation officer overseeing Dana.

    As for hobbies, Dana primarily liked to hang out with his friends. As such, Dan knew Johnny, yet did not know Sue or any of the other Sharps. Dana and Johnny, etc., were 'just teenagers', going through what kids their age have to.

    April 11: The Dorrises received a call from Dana Saturday afternoon, asking if he could stay the night at Johnny's, and they said 'yes'. Dana was supposed to have a ride to Keddie, but that person cancelled on them so they ended up hitchhiking. It was quite common for the kids to hitchhike until after the murders, so it was not unusual for LE/probation officers to see kids hitch-hiking and think nothing of it. After Keddie, the cops cracked down on hitching.

    PCSO came to the Dorrises' home on Easter morning to inform them of Dana's death, and asked Dan and Pat to come to the funeral home to identify Dana. The cops never discussed anything with Dan after that, although they may have with his wife. Police collected all of Dana's belongings, and the Dorrises never received any personal items back.

    Mr. Dorris repeatedly asked us to please keep him informed on everything, and was very nice. He said to call anytime and he would do his best to remember, "but I am 79 years old now." Mr. Dorris was extremely heartbroken over the situation and was also upset law enforcement made no effort to keep them informed of any progress in the investigation.
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