The Murder of Daniel Williams
The detectives assigned to Daniel's case went back to the victim's rap sheet. They pulled all of his arrestee information forms, called 510s (pronounced five-tens) after the LAPD form number. In addition to biographical data about an arrested subject, the 510s listed the names and addresses of friends, relatives, associates, and anyone with the person at the time of the arrest.
On one of Daniel's 510s, the detectives found someone named Ron.
"Ron, in fact, was mentioned on the five-tens as being a boyfriend or an acquaintance of Daniel's," Baitx says.
Armed with Ron's last name and date of birth, detectives started looking for Daniel's boyfriend. They eventually made their way to another rehab clinic where Ron had been undergoing counseling. Ron wasn't there, but the detectives left a message for him.
Not long afterward, and much to the detectives' surprise, Ron called the Newton Division station and asked to speak to the police officers who were looking for him.
"Once he realized that the detectives wanted to talk with him, then he made himself available," recalls Baitx, who at the time was working on another homicide.
Ron eventually came in for an interview and denied any involvement in Daniel's murder. Yes, he said, he had been upset that Daniel had concealed his HIV infection. It had added tension to an already rocky relationship, Ron said, but he had not killed Daniel. He was not near 12th and Compton when Daniel was shot. He had been out of town and had been with someone else.
Ron gave the detectives the name of the person he had been with. When they checked out his alibi, they were once again surprised to find out it was true.
So much for Ron as a "person of interest."
That left the cops with little physical evidence, no eyewitnesses, and now no suspect.
"You're back to square one," Baitx says.