Govar info tattoos
On the afternoon of May 5th, 1993, at about 1:30pm, Ken Govar was driving along I-40. Govar was driving a blue Dodge Ram Charger pick-up when he spotted a hitchhiker in the Carlisle/Hazen area. He pulled over and picked the man up, describing him as being approximately 26 to 28 years old, fair complected with freckles, blondish red hair, bushy sideburns, and recent beard stubble. The man was between 5'8" and 5'10". The man was very thin.[1] [2]

The hitcher told Govar that he was from Knoxville, Tennessee. Govar suspected the man was lying about being from Knoxville because he mentioned working at the Toyota plant and the hitcher assumed the plant was in Knoxville, when in fact it was in Lexington, Kentucky. The hitcher informed Govar that he had been looking for work as a tree trimmer; however, Govar noted that the man appeared to have mechanical knowledge relating to cars. Ken Govar stated the following: "You know I’ve been around tree trimmers, I know tree trimmers. They don’t – these guys – they don’t – IQ of 20 and they have cauliflowers hands. I mean their hands may feel like a foot when you shake hands with them and he didn’t – he was not that kind of tree trimmer you know, he was real knowledgeable about cars uh uh he – I don’t know what this problem with his personality was but this anger was obvious as soon as he got in the vehicle."[3]

Govar described unique tattoos he observed on the man. In his statement to police he said, "Well, on the right inside forearm, he had a 2” X 2” of a bone, just a bone and it was flesh colored and it had red blood in the background, like splattered blood and it was a square tattoo like but this was not black and white or gray like you see a tattoo, this was red, the red stood out – bright red." In reference to another one, he said, "It’s kinda sick. Then on the other arm, on the forearm of his left arm, he had a 6” to 8” tattoo of a devil sitting on it’s haunches with three claws up on his hands and the face, looked like kinda dinosaur sitting there on his haunches, with these claws up like this but he had the face of a traditional devil, like you would draw a devil with a pointed chin and you know the horns and everything. That’s what the face of the thing – but it was a terribly terrifying tattoo, I mean you looked at it you were terrified. It was horrible."[4]

Though the hitchhiker said he was from Knoxville, TN, he asked to be dropped off at a truck stop in West Memphis, AR. In the statement, Govar said the following:

GOVAR: No, no, I told him that I’m going on around I-55, the loop on Memphis, and taking 78 south to Tupelo to go to Columbus. I said I can get you on the other side of Memphis at a truck stop and you’ll have a straight shot on into Knoxville. And he said but I need to get off right here. I need to

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get off up here. He showed me exactly where he wanted to get off.

SMITH: He didn’t say why?

GOVAR: No he didn’t say why. I got the impression he was gonna meet someone or something but he was going there and I said well I’ve got to get some oil but I’m gonna swing over to the other side to get – you want me to go over here where you can get something to eat at one of these McDonald’s or this big truck stop on the north side. He said no I want to go over there to that place right down there on the right.

SMITH: What was he pointing at?

GOVAR: He was pointing at this particular convenience store.[5]

In 2005, Martin Hill (Jivepuppi) corresponded with Ken Govar via email. He posted the emails on his website.

Martin sent Govar a lineup of photo, including Tracey Laxton, William Welch, and Jeff Looney. Govar stated that none of the three men matched the description of the person he picked up on May 5th, 1993. Additionally, he looked at photographs of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley.

It has been theorized that the hitchhiker might have been Richard Cummings; however, Govar has never identified Cummings as the individual he picked up. Additionally, Cummings was living in West Memphis, AR at the time and was described as having a vehicle.

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