I’m so glad to read this article. It’s 2017 and I just came across it. I want no one to forget. I am the jogger that was on Bona Dea that day and I can speak with complete confidence that Gary Dunn would have taken my life…I was in good physical shape but the fact remains I have no idea how I broke free from him. God, adrenaline, I don’t know. This man is a monster…as a character witness in the Dirksmeyer trial, he is 100% capable of that murder! 100%. And capable of others! That is my truth and I’ll stand firm in it!
Original Story Posted August, 2015
The title quote is attributed to Gary Dunn when he attacked a jogger. He was convicted of assaulting that jogger in Bona Dea Park adjacent to Russellville, Arkansas, the incident taking place on 8/25/02. That’s in the court record. He went to jail for that. He served about a year, when he was supposed to serve six. Had he served his full term, the murder of nineteen year-old Nona Dirksmeyer might not have happened on December 15, 2005 in Russellville, Arkansas.
Dunn had hit that jogger in the head with a tree limb, knocked her down, and somehow, probably because of her excellent physical condition, she was able to escape. The police found him close by.
There was another incident involving Dunn where he stalked an Arkansas Tech cheerleader on 2/24/07 when she came out of Walmart about 3:00 A. M. She saw Dunn looking at her, and then follow her. She didn’t stop at her planned location but went on to find a policeman who questioned Dunn. He tried to act innocent.
There was a condom wrapper found in Nona’s apartment after the murder. A couple of experts said Gary Dunn’s DNA was on the condom wrapper. One said he tested saliva on the condom wrapper, and the other said forensics photos showed teeth marks where the condom wrapper was torn open. What’s important about that? Dunn’s wife, now ex-wife, testified in both trials that Dunn liked to open a condom wrapper with his teeth. She also testified that he sexually assaulted her. I read in one report that mitochondrial DNA might have been involved. With those not familiar, mitochondrial DNA comes from outside the nucleus where the chromosomes provide the strongest evidence of DNA, but mitochondrial DNA is still strong enough to identify someone.
A jury in 2010 and another jury in 2011 could not find Dunn guilty of murdering Nona. The 2011 jury was hung at 8-4 for acquittal. The 2010 jury did not hear about Dunn attacking the jogger, but the 2011 jury did. Whether the 2011 jury heard about the stalking incident I don’t know. They should have.
Why couldn’t either jury convict Dunn who lived directly across from Nona in the apartment complex? I assume because the defense’s DNA expert said there was a second male’s DNA on the condom wrapper found in Nona’s apartment after the murder.
One woman juror said with more than one male involved, she couldn’t convict Gary Dunn. Well lady, I’m not sure why Gary Dunn would possibly rip the condom wrapper open with his teeth, and then pass it along to some other man for him to go sexually assault and then kill Nona. I do believe men open condom wrappers to use themselves.
To me the condom wrapper puts Gary Dunn in Nona’s apartment. Convict him, and then worry about whether there was a second male involved.
Of course one male juror, possibly a fan of CSI, thought Dunn would have tidied up before he left the murder scene, and picked up the condom wrapper. Dunn didn’t tidy up too well when he attacked the jogger in 2002. He left the tree limb.
Was Nona sexually assaulted? That question still seems open to debate. Once Nona was dead, perhaps the killer did not want to participate in necrophilia.
Dunn and his mother claimed they were out shopping, etc., when Nona was murdered. Turns out receipts from the places they went were all for the 13th or 14th of December, not the day of the murder, the 15th.
When Dunn was in jail awaiting trial, apparently the police were able to talk to his mother and ascertain that she asked Dunn if he murdered Nona, and he told her no. That means the alibi she was trying to provide him for the 15th turned out to be a double lie. Sounds to me like Momma is willing to protect Dunn no matter what he does.
Nona’s boyfriend, Kevin Jones was first charged with the murder on 3/31/06, and subsequently tried. He and a friend of his found Nona’s body the night of the murder, Dec. 15th, 2005, and the FBI said it was staged. I assume they thought Kevin killed her between 11 and 1 P. M. and came back to contaminate the scene so nobody would suspect him. Kevin was acquitted. From all that I’ve read, the police rushed to judgment with Kevin as the prime and only suspect. He later sued for damages, but the judge ruled the statute of limitations had run out, although there was a dispute about evidence that might have not come to light until after Kevin’s trial, and the statute of limitations should have been extended.
Nona was killed with the base of a lamp that she had in her apartment. FBI said she was killed by someone who is right-handed, like Jones, and not Dunn who is left-handed. Like, maybe, Dunn couldn’t have used his right hand to smash her head so it wouldn’t look like him.
Rest well tonight, you ladies in Russellville, Arkansas. There is a killer among you. If he breaks into your house while you are alone, and is about to kill you, if he says, “I’m going to kill you, you f’king bitch”, at least you might know who your killer is. That should be of comfort, especially if you are a lady juror who sat on either one of those Gary Dunn trials.