DO SCOTT DYLESKI'S STATEMENTS SHOW INTENT TO KILL AND GUILT,
OR THE PANIC OF A MIXED-UP KID LINKED TO THE VICTIM
BY HIS CREDIT FRAUD SCHEME?
by Kathryn Joanne Dixon
On August 7, 2007, Deputy District Attorney Harold Jewett resumed direct examination of Jenna Reddy, Scott Dyleski’s girlfriend.
Reddy had previously testified before an “investigatory” grand jury last October just after the murder of Pamela Vitale. Attorney Gloria Allred represented here then and still does, although Ms. Allred was not present in court on August 7. The issue of whether or not Ms. Reddy has been granted immunity was not addressed by the public defender on cross examination in any attempt to impeach her. Ms. Reddy is not accused of any crime related to the Dyleski murder trial. .
Reddy testified that Dyleski seemed surprised when his mother told him over a cell phone that their neighbor had been murdered. Reddy and Dyleski were hanging out with their friends Robin Croen and Oscar on Saturday night, October 15, 2005, when Dyleski's mother telephoned her son. Reddy testified that Dyleski seemed surprised when his mother told him over a cell phone that their neighbor had been murdered.
Reddy and Dyleski began talking about methods of murdering people.
Reddy testified, “We were talking about killing somebody.” Dyleski said, "If you want to feel more pain, either bludgeon them or beat them." He also said, “Shooting people would cause less pain than bludgeoning someone.” Dyleski said it would take either 36 or 39 bludgeoning "whacks" to kill a person.
Reddy testified that on Saturday night she observed Dyleski naked and saw his hands, arm and wrist were swollen and scratched.
She testified again as she did the day before, that Dyleski said a man stopped car near where he was walking early Saturday morning, and a woman in the passenger reached over and grabbed Dyleski while he talked to the driver. She did not provide any description Dyleski may have given her of the driver, and neither Jewett or Leonida asked her for one. Regarding the woman, Dyleski said, “She looked frightening” and she had Vitale’s appearance."
Jewett showed Reddy some of Dyleski's drawings of a figure holding a knife and of a face with its mouth sewn shut. Each was “signed” with a symbol which looks like a stick figure with a circle for head. Inside the circle is a star. On Pamela Vitale’s back a symbol resembling an “H” or a Cross of Lorraine was carved. Jewett is attempting to link these symbols and prove Dyleski left his “signature” on the deceased.
Jewett asked Reddy what book Dyleski put into his backpack which he gave to her to hold. "Silence of the Lambs," she replied.
On cross-examination, deputy public defender Leonida tried to minimize the character assassination of Dyleski which Jewett skillfully drew out of the reluctant Reddy. Leonida elicited testimony from Reddy that Dyleski did not speak about serial killers every day and never stated he wanted to be one. Reddy testified in her circle of friends, the topic of removing people’s organs came up and was only a joke. The couple joked about eating children, but the conversations were ridiculous. Reddy never intended to eat a baby and she was, in fact, a counselor at as summer camp for children.
"Did you ever eat any of them?" Leonida asked.
"No," Reddy said.
Reddy said her sadomasochistic sexual relationship with Dyleski consisted of scratching biting and punching each other in the arm, and nothing else. Reddy and Dyleski never tortured, chocked whipped or bound each other or wore leather outfits.
Reddy testified that Dyleski also liked the book Alice in Wonderland.
Reddy said that all her friends were speculating on Saturday night about who killed Vitale and about different ways of killing people. She was unsure who brought up the number 36 during these conversations, she told the defense counsel.
The Contra Costa County medical examiner has testified that Pamela Vitale had 26 wounds to the head and many other wounds to her body.
Reddy was less reluctant to testify when Leonida cross-examined. She described Dyleski. "He was an interesting person to be around. He seemed a lot more intelligent than many other friends. He was someone I felt comfortable talking to. I trusted him with all of my problems I was handling at the time."
Leonda asked, "So if someone asked you about Scott Dyleski, the first thing wouldn't be sadomasochism?"
"No," Reddy said.
"Is a lot of Scott's art similar to Velvet Acid Christ art?"
Reddy testified that anyone who had watched the Johnny Depp movie "From Hell" would know about Jack the Ripper and his removing victim’s organs.
"You ever see him (Scott Dyleski) fly into a rage?" Leonida asked.
"No," Reddy said. “He was calm and collected. He didn't lose his temper."
"It never occurred to you he might've murdered someone?"
On re-direct, Jewett asked Reddy about conversations she had with Dyleski regarding religion. She replied: "He and I used to have conversations regarding God and the devil. At the time, he believed that neither were necessarily good or evil."
Next, Jewett called Marcus Miller-Hogg, Kim Curiel's brother to the stand. Miller-Hogg lives in Walnut Creek. He testified he telephoned the Curiel household on Saturday to talk with Esther Fielding, but she was at work. Instead he talked with Dyleski who told him he hurt his wrist and hand and they were swollen. He wanted advice on how to treat his injuries. Miller-Hogg told Dyleski to use ice and Arnica. Miller-Hogg asked Dyleski how he was injured and Dyleski said he was walking behind a barn to look at a waterfall on the Curiel property and fell into a ravine. Miller-Hogg testified that he is familiar with his sister’s property and he told Dyleski there is no waterfall in October, a dry time of year. Dyleski said, “I went to look at it anyway.”
Jewett's next witness was Michael Sikkema. Sikkema and his wife Hazel McClure and their two toddlers were the “third” family who lived with two other families at 1050 Hunsicker Canyon Road -- the Curiel family and the family consisting of Esther Fielding and her son.
Jewett immediately addressed the issue of possible bias. He asked whether Sikkema resented at least one deputy sheriff who arrived at the Curiel residence to search and interview people. Sikkema replied affirmatively.
Sikkema testified that he saw Scott Dyleski arrive at the Curiel’s residence on Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. When Jewett pressed him, Sikkem testified that he may have told the deputy sheriffs who interviewed him that Scott arrived between 10:30 and 11:00. When Dyleski arrived, Sikkema was making breakfast for his children. He spoke to Dyleski briefly, perhaps for two minutes, when he arrived home. Dyleski went into the bathroom to clean up before he began talking to Kim Curiel, his mother and other people. When Sikkema saw Dyleski walk through the front door, he had gouge marks on his cheeks and nose which “looked fresh”. Dyleski looked “kind of out of it” and “like he was stoned.” Dyleski told Sikkema he walked into a bush while walking on a trail by a barn and waterfall.
Sikkema said that about two weeks before the murder Dyleski had a marked change in his behavior and became withdrawn and isolated
Sikkema asked Dyleski about the story that he told members of the household regarding his taking a walk on Saturday morning and encountering a woman who stopped the car, reached across the passenger seat and out the window to grab his arm and scratch him.
Sikkema testified: "He told me it was a hallucination and he had a history of hallucinations and had undergone some kind of mental treatment at some point.”
Sikkema testified that he asked Dyleski if he was using drugs. "He said words to the effect that he didn't need to use drugs because of the way his mind already worked."
On cross-examination, Sikkema testified he “definitely” saw Dyleski arrive between 10:00 a.m. and 11:a.m. and maybe between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m. He testified that Dyleski was wearing laced up boots that morning. Leonida showed Sikkema a pair of shows asking whether Dyleski wore them on that morning. Sikkema said “no.”.
On re-direct examination, Jewett elicited testimony from Sikkema that he had told deputies at one point during the interview that Dyleski arrived home sometime between 10:30 and 11:00 and later in the interview said that Dyleski arrived at 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. Sikkema retorted that he was interviewed by the deputies at 3:30 a.m. so he was not altogether “clear”.
Next, Jewett called Hazel McClure, Sikkema’s wife, to the stand. She testified that she and her husband Sikkema lived at the Curiel residence from February 2005 to November 1, 2005. McClure worked on Saturday October 15, 2005, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. When she arrived home she heard sirens and saw about ten police cars drive by and up the hill. She did not know what had happened. McClure became aware of a controversy in the Curiel household on Sunday when Fred and Kim Curiel and Esther Fielding returned from a neighborhood meeting. Scott was present when they returned and they talked to Scott about credit card information being comprised in association with a computer in the house. Fred wanted to check the computer.
McClure testified that the next day, Dyleski pulled her and his mother aside and said he did not do the credit card fraud.
On Monday or Tuesday, Dyleski told McClure that “It’s worse. My DNA is on her.”
“How could it be?” McClure asked. Dyleski said he was walking and a car pulled up. A woman asked if he lived in the area and grabbed his arm and scratched him. Dyleski said his DNA was under her fingernails. He said he knew it was Pamela Vitale. “The way she looked matched a description he heard from Kim Curiel.” He did not say whether he gave Kim the description or not. He pointed to his arm. McClure saw an slight abrasion but it did not particularly look like a scratch. Scott said the woman asked “Do you live here?” At first McClure denied that Dyleski said the woman said “You’ve got to believe.” But later in her testimony, she clarified, saying it was possible Dyleski said the woman made that statement to him.
McClure talked to the police who came to the Curiel residence with their guns drawn.
McClure said she was friendly with Dyleski and got along with him. “We talked bout his future plans in college and after graduation. We talked about his getting a GED. McClure wanted Dyleski to graduate high school, rather than obtain a GED. McClure saw Dyleski’s art work, and said it was “very sad”. She said some his art depicted knives.
She said Dyleski liked to cook for everyone and he took piano lesions and liked music. McClure said one of the musicians Dyleski liked was Marilyn Manson. She said he covered his room including the windows with posters so that it was very dark inside it. Dyleski talked about volunteering with PETA. One time, the dog Jazz was in pain and she asked Dyleski to help. Dyleski gave medication to the dog. Dyleski did not show much emotion when Jazz died.
On cross-examination, Leondia elicited McClure’s testimony that she talked to Dyleski about DNA after Kim and Fred Curiel had a conversation with Dyleski about the credit card fraud.
McClure pointed out that when the police came to the Curiel home with guns drawn they had no search warrant.
On cross-examination, Jewett asked McClure whether she understood the police were “freezing the scene” until they could get a search warrant and that in fact they were in the process of getting a search warrant. She denied having this understanding.
Next, Jewett called David Curiel to the stand. David Curiel, age 39, is Fred Curiel’s brother. David Curiel works as a personal trainer and he testified he occasionally lived on at his brother’s home at 1050 Hunsicker Canyon Road. He testified that about 12 people, including Dyleski and his mother lived at that home in October 2005.
In October 2005, David Curiel occasionally slept on the couch in the Curiel household. He was working on Saturday, the day of the murder, but on Sunday he returned and became aware of the credit card issues. He stayed in the household on Sunday and Monday nights. David Curiel saw scratches on Dyleski’s face on Sunday. He asked him “Get bitten by a cat? Dyleski did not respond.
On Tuesday, David Curiel heard Dyleski and his girl friend talking downstairs. Dyleski’s voice got louder and he said to Jenna adamantly, as though making a point, “Once they find my DNA on the body, they’re going to come after me.”
David Curiel went downstairs to look at Dyleski to see if he was joking. He was not joking.
David Curiel tried to compose himself. He was a “little shocked”.
Jewett showed David Curiel and long black glove. Curiel said “Scott wore a number of gloves. He wore a glove like that to a party. He wore black gloves, black coat, black clothes, and safety pins on his clothes. Jewett showed Curiel a black coat-like item or shawl. David Curiel said he saw Dyleski wear this. David Curiel identified a symbol Dyleski used on a paper that Jewett showed him.
Sometime after Dyleski was arrested, David Curiel cleaned out Dyleski’s room and moved in. On January 28, 2006, David Curiel was cleaning the room again because there was going to be a party. He had shoved his clothes into a dresser drawer in Dyleski’s room that he was occupying. No other person used that room but David Curiel and no other person stored their clothes in that room. He came home after a blind date and slept. The next day about 9:30 a.m. he searched for some scratch paper. He looked for scratch paper in the dresser drawer and pulled out five small pieces of paper. He recognized Dyleski’s handwriting. There were names, addresses, financial information sand websites on four pages. One the last page was a list of bullet points, which stated:
"Knock out/kidnap, question, keep captive to confirm PINS, dirty work, dispose of evidence, cut up and bury."
David Curiel started screaming for his brother Fred who was downstairs. He gave the paper to Fred who read it. He testified that Fred almost passed out.
David Curiel put the five pages in a small plastic bag and immediately called the Sheriff’s office., A deputy arrive din 20 minutes to take his statement.
David Curiel identified a series of photographs of the Curiel household and Dyleski's room. He said there were more posters in his room prior to the arrest.
At 4:30 p.m., Jewett concluded his direct examination. Tomorrow David Curiel will return for cross examination. Jewett said he will call Kim and Fred Curiel and Esther Dyleski to the stand tomorrow.
In between witnesses' testimony on August 7, 2006, Jewett provided a receipt signed by the defense, showing Leonida had actually obtained Fred Curiel's receipt from Jewett. Leonida then acknowledged she had made a mistake, and that she must have received the receipt in the past but overlooked it. She dropped her motion and apologized to the court. Jewett dropped his motion regarding the investigator influencing Fred Curiel. Click to read more about this issue.
Kathryn Joanne Dixon © August 7, 2006