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Up For Parole
DENIED. The parole of Richard Clowers has
been denied. Clowers received the maximum continuance and his next
parole hearing will occur in September 2022. Thank you to everyone
petition to block this parole.
Richard Dean Clowers
and Janice Brainard; Dawn Waszo
Minimum/ Maximum Sentence:
June 30, 1978 William and Janice Brainard were planning on
taking their granddaughter Dawn Waszo, age 5, to a family reunion
in Illinois. The car was packed and the Brainards were planning
on leaving first thing Friday morning. The Brainards, who were
in their mid 40's, had been given custody of Dawn after multiple
charges of abuse were filed against her step-father Richard
Dean Clowers. The Brainard family filed the charges after they
discovered bruises on Dawn's left ear, neck, buttocks and lower
back. It also looked as if Dawn's hair was chopped instead
of cut. After the injuries were discovered Dawn refused to
go home with her mother and Richard Clowers.
After an investigation
Trumbull County Ohio Children's Services substantiated the
abuse. It was learned that Dawn had been
forced to eat until she vomited, forced to brush her teeth
while being struck in the head with a blow dryer, and that
Richard Clowers had struck her on more than one occasion and
the purpose of chastising her. Louise Clowers, Dawn’s
mother and the Brainard's daughter, agreed to let the Brainards
have custody of Dawn so she could work on her marriage with
Richard Clowers in hopes of one day getting her daughter
As the Clowers marriage
continued to deteriorate Louise realized the only way she was
going to get Dawn back was by
Richard Clowers. Richard Clowers made it perfectly clear
many times throughout the marriage that he blamed the Brainards
and Dawn for his marital problems. After Louise filed for
all Richard Clowers could do was talk about how much he hated
her parents. Louise told police "Richard had advised her
[Louise] that eventually he would get even with them [her parents],
and that he would make sure sure it would get done in a way
that he would not end up in jail."
At 9:30AM on June
30, 1978 Henry Bontrager, an oil well worker, was making
his rounds and was checking on two oil wells in
a secluded, heavily wooded area. While walking on an unpaved
access road Bontrager spotted the body of a woman. The body
appeared to have been hidden down a gravel embankment at
the edge of heavy undergrowth. The woman was wearing a nightshirt
was nude from the waist down. Bontrager immediately called
searching the area. An hour later police found two more bodies
400 feet deeper in
a shallow ditch and covered in freshly cut brush. The victims
were identified as a male adult wearing a pair of green shorts
and a female child, wearing only a terry cloth bathrobe.
None of the victims had identification. After seeing a news
about the victims Louise Clowers called police and told them
about Richard Clowers. The bodies were identified and William
and Janice Brainard and Dawn Waszo. A warrant was immediately
issued for Richard Clowers.
On July 1, 1978, after
a statewide manhunt, Richard Clowers turned himself in to police.
He stated "I am Richard Clowers,
you are looking for me". Clowers was a mess. His shirt
was dirty and torn and his jeans were frayed at the bottom.
His jeans and boots were covered with mud. His hair was unkempt
and he had scratches on both arms.
Clowers initially told
police he would tell them everything and then refused to talk. In
several interviews, which lasted two to three hours each,
Clowers would not admit or deny guilt. He did tell the police
where to find the Brainard's car. The vehicle was so well hidden
deep in the woods the detectives did not find it until they
were practically on top of it. He also made the statement, "You
don't understand, I don't mind going away for number one,
and number two, but they [fellow prisoners] will get me for
The coroner determined
William Brainard was shot three times. Once in the elbow area
of the right
arm, once in the upper
right arm and once in the back. The first two injuries were
determined to be defensive wounds. Janice Brainard was shot
once in the head behind the right ear. Dawn Waszo was shot
once through the top or her head at close range. The weapon
was pressed so closely to her head the barrel impression
was readily visible.
When police found Clowers'
truck they found his blood stained work clothing inside. The
Clowers clothing was determined
to be the blood of William Brainard. In addition, blood found
in the trunk of the Brainard's car was determined to be that
of William Brainard. They also found Janice Brainard's blood
the interior of the Brainard's vehicle.
As Clowers was preparing
for trial he was advised that police would be talking to
Karen, his ex-wife. Clowers immediately
became withdrawn and requested his attorney. Two days later
Clowers voluntarily and unexpectedly pled guilty to three
counts of murder for shooting and killing William and Janice
and Dawn Waszo. He received three consecutive life sentences.
Richard Clowers is a cold
blooded triple murderer. He is also a child killer. Clowers
has never shown any remorse and 34 years
later he still torments the Brainard family by refusing
to give any details about what happened to their family members.
Releasing Richard Clowers would pose
a tremendous risk to the community and would deny justice
William and Janice Brainard and Dawn Waszo. Based on the
fact Richard Clowers premeditated and carried out the execution
of three people, including the murder of an innocent five-year-old
child, we believe Richard Clowers should be required to serve
his maximum sentence of three consecutive life terms.
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