ARTHUR GARY BISHOP
A Beautiful Boy
Eleven months passed before Bishop killed again. He was browsing through a local supermarket on October 20, 1981, Bishop later told detectives (quoted in the Deseret News), when "I saw the most beautiful little boy kneeling in the aisle." Four-year-old Danny Davis was fumbling with the market's gumball machine, trying in vain to extract a treat without paying. Bishop offered him candy, but the boy refused it. Giving up, he rose to leave the store, then glanced back and saw Danny trailing him toward the exit. He waited for the boy, then led him toward the parking lot.
Danny's grandmother missed him when she finished her shopping. Suddenly alarmed, she called for the store's manager. Employees and customers joined in a search, but they were already too late. Several shoppers recalled a boy at the gumball machine, assisted by a smiling young man, but they could not identify photos of Danny Davis. Hypnosis clarified the descriptions slightly, put positive IDs remained elusive. One report described a boy of Danny's size and age leaving the market with two adults, a man and a woman.
Once again, as in the Daniels case, searchers fanned out through the nearby desert and mountains. Temperatures dropped into the thirties overnight, reminding police that Danny was last seen wearing only a T-shirt, blue jeans and rubber "thong" sandals. When their quarry failed to turn up on the first day or the second, divers plumbed the depths of Big Cottonwood Creek, east of town. Sheriff's deputies dragged ponds, searched roadside ditches, poked through garbage in a hundred alleys.
All in vain.
The hunt for Danny Davis rapidly became the most intensive search in Salt Lake County history. Fliers were printed with the missing boy's photo, copies sent to law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. A $20,000 reward for information brought no takers. Calls for help to the FBI, Child Find and the National Crime Information Center produced no useful leads.
"Roger Downs," residing half a block from the market where Danny disappeared, had nothing to share with police when they knocked on his door. Again, the questions were routine. And again, no one realized that the same clueless neighbor had lived in close proximity to vanished victims Alonzo Daniels and Kim Peterson. Neighbors later recalled to police and the press that "Downs" had an unusual fondness for children. At the same time, however, he often played host to groups of "rowdy hippies" and scruffy-looking bikers, including one youth who liked to set fires until "Downs" punched him out and banished him from the house.
All this, they remembered years later. Too late.
"Roger Downs" was not tempted by the public reward offer for information leading to Danny Davis. He had money to spare from his latest embezzlement scheme. Several weeks before the Davis kidnapping, bookkeeper "Lynn E. Jones" had gone to work at a Salt Lake City ski shop. When he failed to return from lunch one afternoon, the proprietor found $10,000 missing from the storealong with "Jones's" personnel file.
By the time police visited his rented house to question Bishop, Danny Davis was already dead. After molesting Danny, Bishop had silenced the boy's sobbing by manually pinching his nostrils and covering his mouth. The next day, Wednesday, Bishop made another trip to Cedar Fort, planting his third victim beside the other two.
It seemed to be a foolproof plan.
Police in Salt Lake City didn't have a clue.