Monday, October 3, 2022

William Ray Cole and Dennis Willson Suspects


Goler Wash Road

On October 6, 1969 a report was made to the Redondo Beach Police Department that a gun was stolen from the vehicle of the reporting party while he and two friends were rock hunting in the Goler Wash area. The victim in the case, Ivan Bryant, told authorities while rock hunting he and his friends noticed some hippies walking near the area and assumed they were simply hiking. When he returned to his vehicle the gun that he had left on the front seat was missing. The car was not locked.

The three men immediately thought of the group of hippies that had passed by and took off after them. Once they caught up to the group the men questioned the hippies about the gun. The hippies feigned ignorance about the gun. The men however were able to get the names of the two adults in the group. They were William Ray Cole and Dennis Willson.

The men did not pursue the matter further with the hippies. Once Bryant returned home to Redondo Beach, he reported the stolen gun. Redondo Beach Police in turn handed the information over to Inyo County where the theft occurred.

In the report Cole is named as suspect #1, a physical description is given as well as a Canoga Park address. Suspect #2 is named Dennis Willson with a physical description: age 23, 5' 9", 170 pounds, black hair. The address given for Willson was 1400 Sunset Blvd. Pacific Palisades.

The age of Willson is about right but the real Dennis Wilson was six feet tall and had light brown hair. The address is a bit off and should have been given as 14400 Sunset Blvd. Also, Wilson is misspelled.

I think it was someone else, in the Family, that used Dennis's name, but who?

Here are the documents.

In addition to the documents there are also some of the detective's "scratch", informal notes they make when conducting an investigation. On the first one Cole and Willson are written down and there's a little note next to Willson that says "Doris Day's Son".  I'm not sure if the detective thought Dennis Wilson was Doris's son or if whoever he got the information from was trying to tell the detective that Terry Melcher was a friend of Wilson's.

The next bit of scratch says that Bill Vance robbed Jack Jones along with Zero and Vern

Bill Vance was arrested under the name David Lee Hamic during the Barker Ranch Raids. He was charged with 10851 which is a stolen vehicle charge, 496 PC receiving stolen property and 272 PC contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was not charged with stealing a firearm or burning the Michigan loader.