Confessed murder Jeramy Alford, who is a suspect in the death of Chris Jenkins, has claimed involvement with a gang of killers called the Dealers of Death, or DOD, that has murdered 30-40 people (but not necessarily those fitting the profile). He says the alleged leader of the gang is a man called "Zmiley."
The retired New York investigators who originally released the smiley face killer theory (Nationwide Investigations) have said that Alford's involvement has not been corroborated by outside sources.
Readers - feel free to discuss your thoughts about the DOD gang in the comments section at the end of this post this post.
The following contains excerpts from a story that appeared in Milwaukee Magazine.
To read the full story, go to Milwaukee Magazine.com.
Source: The Smiley Faces, Jessica McBride, Milwaukee Magazine, 10/27/08
After three months of research into the case, Milwaukee Magazine has learned a gang called the “Dealers of Death” claims involvement in the deaths of some of these men. Convicted murderer Jeramy Alford, who is also a suspect in a river death that police now believe is a homicide, told the FBI last year that the gang had murdered 40 of the men. One admitted gang member: a man nicknamed “Zmiley.”
In a letter obtained by Milwaukee Magazine, the FBI said there’s no evidence the gang exists, but admits Alford discussed the gang. (Both the FBI and the New York cops talked to Alford.) Milwaukee Magazine also has discovered documents from the New Brighton, Minn., police department in which two men associated with Alford, including Zmiley, admit belonging to the Dealers of Death.....
Milwaukee Magazine has interviewed police in Iowa and Minnesota and examined investigative documents in New Brighton, all of which paints a portrait of a gang called the Dealers of Death with links to Jeramy Alford.
The Alford brothers are from rural Iowa, near Cedar Rapids, which is 75 miles from East Dubuque. They’d also lived in the Minneapolis area, sometimes shuttling back and forth between states.
“They were a transient family who became well-known to us,” says Detective Bob Knoop of the Williamsburg, Iowa, police department. “They lived in subsidized housing and then in a trailer park. We had been watching them for illegal drug activity. Jeramy was one of those guys who couldn’t keep out of the way of the police.”
In 2005, Knoop says, Jeramy Alford was arrested for harboring runaways. Police discovered he’d branded one of them, using a hot razor to create the beginnings of a five-point star. “He told them he would take them to Minnesota and make them part of his gang,” Knoop says. Alford claimed his group was a political subdivision of a Chicago gang; another cop remembers the name as the “Dealers of Death.”
David Miller, who prosecuted Jeramy Alford for the murder of Douglas Miller, says Alford had tried to falsely blame that homicide on fellow gang members nicknamed Zmiley and Roach. As a result, the police questioned these two men.
[Note: In 2007, Jeramy Alford was sentenced to a life term for murdering Miller, with the help of his brother Luis Alford, using a metal bar, hammer, barbecue fork, knife and soda case. Miller was beaten, stabbed and burned before being dumped in his car in an Iowa river. ]
Zmiley told police that the Dealers of Death had 300 members. “I was once a part of a little clique they had called the DOD,” the records quote Zmiley as saying. DOD stood for “Dealers of Death” and was based in Iowa, he said.
Zmiley said he was on antipsychotic medication, lived in a tent by the river, was a regular at Brothers bar in Minneapolis, and had engaged in violence in the past. He claimed Alford confessed to murdering a college student in an Indian costume. But Zmiley remembered the victim’s name as Andrew, not Chris Jenkins. “He [Alford] just said, ‘I killed this stupid looking dude and I threw him over the bridge,’ ” Zmiley told police. [Note: Minneapolis media also reported that a female informant told police that Alford had bragged about killing Jenkins.]
Roach, who has a Minnesota criminal record, also told police he’d been a member of a gang he referred to as “DOD” and then called Dealers of Death. He said Jeramy Alford was the leader. (Zmiley told police someone else had taken over the gang after Alford was incarcerated.) Alford declined to be interviewed by Milwaukee Magazine. But when questioned by FBI agents, he claimed the DOD gang had murdered 40 young men.
Detective Gary Sykes of the New Brighton police department, who investigated the Miller homicide, is convinced the DOD gang robbed people for drug money, mostly in Minneapolis. “They hung out on the street all night and slept where they could during the day. Did Alford kill Chris Jenkins? It’s possible. Is he involved in other deaths? They are capable of almost anything, especially Jeramy. They have no compassion for human life. They were just plain weird.”