Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society
has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement
or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct
W. H. Auden (1907-1973)
Time Line of Events
November 30, 1984 -- Josie Morgan (Fred Van Dyken's Ex-Mother in Law) reports to the Great Falls Police Department that her 1979 black Chevrolet Monte Carlo had been stolen.
That evening Chris and Sandy Tigart (friends of Fred Van Dyken) report to the Great Falls Police Department that their home had been burglarized. A Charter Arms .357 revolver, a wallet, jewlery and a check book were stolen in the burglary.
Also that evening, Fred Van Dyken cashed a number of the Tigart's stolen checks at various Great Falls establishments and is seen driving a black Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
Van Dyken tells a friend, Mike Masikka that he has a .357 revolver in the Monte Carlo's trunk and asked Masikka if he "knew anybody [he] wanted to waste or anything."
December 1, 1984 -- (morning) Detective Joseph McGuire of the Great Falls Police Department called Van Dyken to inform him he was a suspect in the burglary of the Tigart home.
Later the same day Van Dyken admitted to Chris Tigart that he had stolen the items from the Tigart home and would like to return them.
Van Dyken drove the Monte Carlo to the Lincoln, MT area where he had discarded some of the stolen items but failed to find them. He then continued to Missoula where he contacted Jeff Braida.
December 5, 1984 -- Van Dyken along with Jeff and Tim Braida spent the evening drinking and playing pool.
During the evening Van Dyken pulled the .357 revolver from under the seat and showed it to the Braida brothers, declaring while pointing his index finger at the window (as if holding the gun), "If a cop pulls me over, I'll just blow them away."
December 6, 1984 -- Van Dyken drove the Braidas to their parent's home sometime after 2:00 a.m. and indicated he was going to his younger brother's house.
Times below are from the Missoula 911 dispatch center logs.
2:49 a.m. -- A gasoline theft is reported by the clerk at the SuperAmerica gas station at 1701 Brooks St. dispatchers record the description and license number of the suspect car, a black 1979 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
2:51 a.m. -- City police are dispatched to the SuperAmerica station. Dispatchers had by that time sent the the car's license number to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) in Washington, D.C. to check its background.
sees the Monte Carlo
and asks dispatchers to repeat the license
He also is told the NCIC check had not returned.
Dispatchers send the license number to NCIC for
City police officers arrive on the scene within 40 seconds. They put the fallen officer in a patrol car and rush him to St. Patrick Hospital six blocks away.
2:59:45 a.m. -- The CJIN/NCIC computer system reports back that the Monte Carlo had been reported stolen Nov. 30 from Great Falls.