>> 25 years after Christmas murder spree: ‘It will never be forgotten’
The officers were interviewed at The Moraine Embassy, a now closed Dayton tavern whose customers included police officers, journalists, factory workers and downtowners.
>> Moraine Embassy Grill closes (May 15, 2013)
Doyle Burke (left) was a Dayton homicide detective in 1992 who worked the infamous "Christmas killings" case. John Huber (right), a Dayton police seargent at the time, spotted the car with the four killers inside leading to their arrest. The heinous crime, that took place over the Christmas weekend, was committed by a gang of youths. They killed six people and injured two. LISA POWELL / STAFF
The "Downtown Posse," a group that before becoming murderers, spent most days bumming money on Courthouse Square, included then 19-year-old Marvallous Keene and three others — his girlfriend Laura Taylor, 16; Heather Matthews, 20; and DeMarcus Smith, 17.
Marvallous Keene was executed by lethal injection at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville on July 21, 2009. He was 36.
The others remain in prison.
>> Who was Marvallous Keene, the man executed for the 1992 ‘Christmas killings’?
Their killing spree resulted in the deaths of Sarah Abraham, Joseph Wilkerson, Richmond Maddox, Wendy Cottrill, Marvin Washington and Danita Gullette.
Jeffery Wright and Jones Pettus were shot during the rampage that happened at multiple locations around the city, but survived.
>> The notorious ‘Christmas killings’ of 1992: Map and timeline
Laura Taylor is serving a life sentence at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville for her role in the "Christmas killings," a 1992 Dayton crime spree. OHIO DEPARMTENT OF REHABILITATION & CORRECTION
Here are five shocking things we learned from the book:
1) The group tried to rob another person before targeting Danita Gullette, an 18-year-old high school senior and mother, in a phone booth.
Wade Lawson: "Gullette on the phone... they walked up and said, 'Merry Christmas, bitch,' and began shooting her... 'Merry Christmas bitch' and boom, boom, boom... shot nine times."
Doyle Burke: "Danita was trapped in that phone booth... How to just go up to somebody (and say), 'Merry Christmas bitch, here you go,' (then) walk out with a pair of gym shoes (and) take somebody's $5 to $6 worth of items?"
2) The four lurked near an ATM on Salem Avenue with the intent to attack.
Tom Lawson: "This foursome set on the ATM machine... and their goal was the next person,... after they get their money, they would kill them... It was Christmas night."
>> 5 of Dayton's most shocking murders
3) Sarah Abraham gave the gang everything she had when they robbed her family's store, the Short-Stop Mini Market, then located at 1201 W. Fifth St. They shot her in the face and head anyway. Customer Jones Pettus was also shot. Jimmy Thompson, 71, escaped injury after pretending to be shot. Moments before shots rang out, Thompson had given "innocent-looking" Laura Taylor a nickel to help her buy a soft drink after she was short the money needed.
Doyle Burke: "Our concern really was the capture. Whoever it was, however many there were; this was a series of senseless killings. No one was safe... The capture was of paramount importance."
The front page of the Dec. 30, 1992 edition of the Dayton Daily News devoted coverage to the Christmas weekend spree killings that left six dead and two injured.
4) After killing Joseph Wilkerson, the gang wrecked his house.
“(They) partied in his house for several days, while he laid there in bed with clothes over top of him, dead.”
>> 7 of the Dayton area's most notorious criminals
5) Taylor's "insolence in the face of serious charges" shocked the detectives.
Wade Lawson: "I don't think I've ever met what I would call, a hardened person at 16 years old. A cold-hearted girl... She was so hard. She didn't even go to the restroom or asked to go to the restroom. She urinated in the (interview room) chair she was sitting in... Hope I never run into another person like her."
Rhonda Gullette (left) and her niece, Dominique Gullette, look at photographs of Dominique's mother, Danita Gullette, in 2007. Danita Gullette was shot while using a pay phone on Neal Avenue in 1992. The shooting was part of a Christmas weekend killing spree that left six dead and two injured. FILE / DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE