Executions · Washington

Man executed for the sexual abuse and murders of 3 children 

January 5, 1993

Walla Walla, Washington 

Westley Allan Dodd is hanged for the molestation and murders of 3 children

Dodd had previous molested approximately 30 children when he decided to advance to murder. His first intended target was an 8-year-old who was able to escape Dodd and report him to police. Dodd, despite his criminal record of sex offenses, served 118 days in jail and a 1 year probation.

His first 2 successful victims, brothers Billy (10) and Cole (11) Neer, were told to follow Dodd. Once they were far enough away from possible witnesses, the boys were molested and stabbed. Billy, found while still alive, was taken to a hospital where he died. Cole’s body was found several hours later when his parents reported the two missing and police knew a second victim was a possibility.

Although Dodd was scared he would be linked to the murders, the rush he felt drove him further. He considered various means of torture and murder including castrating a victim allowing him to bleed out and keeping the child alive after castration so the victim could watch in terror as Dodd cooked and ate the mutilated genitalia.

Dodd’s next victim, Lee Iseli (4) was abducted while playing alone on a playground. He was taken to Dodd’s apartment where he was abused and tortured before being hanged in Dodd’s closet. He took pictures documenting the horrific end of the young boy, hid the child’s body under some blankets, and left for work. When he returned, he wrote a diary entry about finding “a place to dump the garbage” referring to Lee’s battered body.

Other diary entries were written with the fantasies of future murders, including: 

“Incident 3 will die maybe this way: He’ll be tied down as Lee was in Incident 2. Instead of placing a bag over his head as had previously planned, I’ll tape his mouth shut with duct tape. Then, when ready, I’ll use a clothespin or something to plug his nose. That way I can sit back, take pictures and watch him die instead of concentrating on my hands or the rope tight around his neck — that would also eliminate the rope burns on the neck . . . I can clearly see his face and eyes now…

“He suspects nothing now. Will probably wait until morning to kill him. That way his body will be fairly fresh for experiments after work. I’ll suffocate him in his sleep when I wake up for work (if I sleep).”

Dodd felt a theater would be the best place to find another victim and he targeted a 6-year-old as he attempted to use the restroom unattended. The boy screamed as Dodd pulled him outside, but the boy’s mother’s boyfriend stopped Dodd who held him until police arrested him.

At first, Dodd denied having a part in the murders but soon confessed with apparent delight as he recounted the details. He was convicted and sentenced to death, choosing hanging over the default execution of lethal injection stating “Those kids didn’t get a nice, neat painless easy death. Why should I?” He also denied any appeals as he told the court, “I must be executed before I have an opportunity to escape or kill someone within the prison. If I do escape, I promise you I will kill and rape and enjoy every minute of it.”

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