Stevie Branch, Michael Moore, and Chris Byers. At the time of the murders, Cummings was approximately 23 years old. His mother had moved to Marion, Arkansas to live with a boyfriend a couple of months prior. Cummings' father remained in Norwich, NY. He would later tell investigators he had not been to visit his father for 2 to 3 years, during the summer time. In May of 1993, Cummings lived in the Mayfair Apartments, number 26, overlooking the woods.
Cummings came to the attention of the police because he had drilled "peep" holes into the wall of his apartment. The neighbor found the holes and contacted the landlord to have them filled in. The police questioned Cummings and noted that he seemed nervous throughout the interview. He was described as steadily tapping his foot.
The police asked Cummings about his alibi for the evening of May 5th, 1993. He explained that he got home from work around 6-6:30am and he went to sleep. He woke up around 1pm. Cummings was employed as a janitor at the Iron Skillet where he worked the overnight shift. Cummings said that he was familiar with Robin Hood Hills because he had walked his dog there a couple of times. During his interview on May 12th, 1993, he told police he knew the boys had been beat up and the penis of one of the boys had been cut off.
Police asked Cummings if they could search his apartment and he gave them permission to do so. During the search, police came across a box. When asked if police could open the box to inspect the contents, Cummings declined. He claimed the box contained pornography. Police did not search the box. Instead, police took several items from the residence, including articles pertaining to the murders of the three boys, various hammers, a tire thumper, and knives.
Police were informed that a similar type murder occurred in 1990 when a 12-year-old boy was abducted from a strip mall in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The boy was sodomized and then his body was found hanging from a tree, almost a four hours drive away in Ithaca, New York. The murder was similar in that the boy's ankles and wrists were bound with tape and he was recovered from the woods. Norwich, NY was noted as being about an hour's drive from Ithaca and is also located just off the Interstate leading to Pittsfield, MA. Lewis Lent eventually confessed to the murder. No connection has been identified between Lewis Lent and Richard Cummings.
After the search of Cummings' residence, the police officially declared that he was not a suspect in the murders.
The WMPD do not mention Richard Cummings having a roommate. However, a police report pertaining to Laszlo Benyo states that Richard and Laszlo lived together at the time of the murders. Moreover, the same document states that Richard was friends with L.G. Hollingsworth.
Was Cummings the Hitchhiker?
Richard Cummings has been suggested by some as being the unidentified hitchhiker picked up by Ken Govar. It is unknown whether Richard had tattoos at the time of the murders. Police descriptions of him state that no tattoos were visible. Richard was also younger than the individual identified by Govar. See The Hitchhiker for more details.
Cummings may be found in the National Sex Offender Registry. He was convicted of a third-degree sexual assault in Oneida County, Wisconsin. Though he shows up in the Wisconsin registry, he is living in Marion, AR and is not registered in AR.