Laura Henderson-Ibach: Who else was involved?

Laura Henderson-Ibach, Part 3. Who else was involved in this case? by guest blogger Tiah


Ruble’s reputation was sullied by all his actions and lies and he chose to leave Kodiak. He has refused to speak to anyone regarding this case ever since. I strongly suspect that Ruble was somehow involved in Laura’s disappearance whether that involvement was direct or indirect. He knows what really happened. I think he and Laura’s attorney both know exactly what happened but chose to use the convenient fact that Mac was also downtown that night and talking t0 Laura, as a cover up.

The police and the prosecutors say that Jack hired Mac to kill Laura because of the custody case but could not find a shred of evidence of any money changing hands. In fact, they could not connect Mac to Jack at all. They knew of each other through James Kerwin, but Mac and Jack were not friends. Mac was a friend of Laura’s and had even dated her a few times. Why would Jack hire a friend of Laura’s to kill her?

After both trials and the conviction of both Jack and Mac, it was learned that a man had previously reported to police that he was contacted about killing a woman. The following is an exact quote from the first appeal. Sergeant Barry Paris admits he withheld this information from the defense.

Guy Carroll, testified that approximately six months before Henderson’s disappearance, a Kodiak drug dealer, Peter Bail, asked if Carroll was interested in making some money. When Carroll said yes, Bail dialed the telephone and handed it to Carroll.

The speaker, known to Carroll only as “Jack,” offered Carroll $25,000-30,000 to kill a woman. Carroll testified that he later told his friend Michael Putnam about “Jack’s” offer. According to Carroll, Putnam had already heard that someone wanted a woman killed. Carroll testified that Putnam told him the woman had to be killed because she was getting ready to inform on some people. Carroll further claimed that six months later — after Henderson disappeared — he was with Putnam when Putnam noticed Henderson‘s picture in the paper. According to Carroll, Putnam commented that Henderson was the one “we were approached on.” Carroll took this comment to mean that Henderson was the person “Jack” had wanted killed.

Carroll also testified that he first told the police about his conversation with “Jack” around the time that the grand jury’s investigation of McDonald was in progress. Although Carroll apparently had not known who “Jack” was when he spoke with the police, he testified at the evidentiary hearing that he had since heard Ibach’s voice and that Ibach was not the “Jack” on the other end of the phone. He testified that he now believes that the voice belonged to a Kodiak drug dealer named McLaughlin.”

James “Mac” McLaughlin told several people that he had killed Laura. Police chose to ignore this and in fact withheld that evidence.

According to at least one police officer, the reason McLaughlin wasn’t considered a suspect even after Carroll’s statement and several other people’s statements was, because they couldn’t tie him to Jack Ibach either. It was clear police wanted to convict Jack Ibach for the killing regardless of what the statements of others showed. More on that police officer later.

In an interview conducted by another Private Investigator, Sergeant Paris of the KPD admitted that the evidence against McDonald was the slimmest of any evidence he has seen in a murder conviction however, he believes McDonald is guilty because Ruble said he was the last person seen with Laura. Let’s not forget Ruble also lied several times about the events of that night.

Paris stated that the before mentioned Michael Putnam was a police informant who was placed in McLaughlin’s house to solicit information from McLaughlin. Paris said that Putnam came back and reported that McLaughlin made the statement that he was responsible for Laura’s death. Paris said he “felt” it was unbelievable. Beyond stating he felt it was unbelievable, Paris could come up with no other reason why he felt this way. Paris then said he didn’t believe Guy Carroll either. Again, he had no explanation why he didn’t believe him, he just didn’t. Paris did admit he withheld this evidence but said he doesn’t regret it because he thinks Jack is guilty.

The reason we have laws is to prevent police from deciding which evidence to share based on their “feelings”. Police’s duty is to follow the evidence and fully investigate that evidence. What purpose does an informant serve if the police do not believe him? Why would police use an informant if they didn’t feel he was not credible?

I think Paris simply wanted Jack and Mac to be guilty. Paris will come up again and again in this series about Laura’s death. Because Ruble convinced Paris that Mac was the last person with Laura, he was arrested within hours of Laura Henderson-Ibach’s disappearance – the charge was kidnapping and was later changed to kidnapping and murder. James Kerwin was also charged because he was with Mac. He was acquitted at the first trial.

As you will see in the next part of this series, the events police claim that happened will actually show that Mac and James Kerwin couldn’t have been involved.  But Officer Paris was not concerned with that, he knew they could twist the events and make it work. In the meantime, he focused on finding a way to arrest Jack for Laura’s murder as well.

The problem was there was simply no evidence of his involvement. NONE! So what do you do when no evidence exists? You create it. In the process of interviewing witnesses and police officers, the P.I. learned the following. These are his words:

In May of 1986 (Laura disappeared on March 28th, 1986) Mr. Ibach was arrested for sexually abusing his four year old daughter. The charges were dropped and it was recently learned through the interview of Officer Walton that the ONLY reason the charges were brought was to keep Mr. Ibach in Kodiak after Laura’s disappearance.

I spoke with Officer Will Walton of the Kodiak Police Department and he told me the reason for Mr. Ibach’s arrest on the molestation charges. He stated that Sergeant Barry Paris told Officer Bill Rhodes to arrest Mr. Ibach for “something.” Thus the bogus sexual abuse charge against Mr. Ibach which was later dismissed.”

If you look at the court documents you can see this is the case. Jack Ibach was charged with sexually abusing his daughter but never appeared in court for those charges. As soon as the charges for sexual abuse were dismissed, he was charged with murder and kidnapping.

Now read this:

And then this:

Throughout this post you can see that police were not interested in gathering facts. They did nothing to keep the witnesses statements from being tainted.  And even when someone admitted to killing Laura, police choose not to believe it and continue their quest to frame Jack Ibach and Mac McDonald.

I think Laura Henderson-Ibach’s attorney and Al Ruble convinced police that Jack must be involved and that allowed police to work out a theory and force the evidence to fit that theory.  Ultimately, very shoddy police work.

To be continued.