Keith McKaskle, who was allegedly at the tracks that night, turned over information he had about the boys’ murders to Richard Garrett. Believing he had talked to the wrong people, McKaskle had made his own funeral arrangements, told family and friends good bye, and within days was murdered himself – stabbed 113 times. His murder remains unsolved.
In August 1989, Ronald Shane Smith was sentenced to ten years for the 10 November 1988 murder of Keith McKaskle. McKaskle had earlier expressed fears for his life, linking them to his knowing something about “the railroad track thing”. Smith may have been paid to kill McKaskle, as a prison inmate said he had been approached and offered $4,000 to kill McKaskle himself.
Richard Garrett, Interview (news footage):
Richard Garrett: “I think that Mr. McKaskle was probably suffering from a lot of paranoia, and right now the indications are that nobody else was involved.”
Reporter: “Might there have been a reason, though, for his paranoia?”
Richard Garrett: “I’m sure there was a reason for his paranoia.”
Reporter: “Because he had talked to the police or the prosecutor?
Richard Garrett: “I don’t know that that would be the reason”
Reporter: “What about the murder. Is it connected at all with the grand jury investigation?”
Dan Harmon (Saline County Prosecutor): “Not that we know of.”
Don Birdsong, Arkansas State Police (news footage):
“Nothing would link this investigation to the deaths of Don Henry or Kevin Ives, and I don’t foresee anything in the pursuance of the rest of this investigation that would be anything that would make me change my mind.”