Buddy Lucas appeared to come to the attention of the WMPD after Jessie Misskelley told police he gave a pair of Adidas tennis shoes to a friend. He identified the friend as Buddy in his initial confession, given on June 3rd, 1993, to police:
DETECTIVE RIDGE: What kind of shoes were you wearing?
A235 MISSKELLEY: My uh, Adidas
DETECTIVE RIDGE: Adidas tennis shoes?
A236 MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm
DETECTIVE RIDGE: Okay, what kind of shirt were you wearing?
A237 MISSKELLEY: I was just wearing a regular one of my old greasy up t-shirt
DETECTIVE RIDGE: Okay, was it a designed shirt, like this bull-run type shirt, or was it just a plain white. . .
A238 MISSKELLEY: Plain whit
DETECTIVE RIDGE: Old t-shirt. Where are these shoes at now?
A239 MISSKELLEY: A friend of mine, he borrowed them
DETECTIVE RIDGE: Who is that?
A240 MISSKELLEY: Buddy Lucas.
DETECTIVE RIDGE: Buddy Lucas?
A241 MISSKELLEY: He borrowed them from me.
On June 10th, 1993, Buddy gave police a statement that Jessie had given him some blue and white Adidas shoes "months ago". He claimed that the shoes were given to him to replace his own shoes that had gotten muddy while riding four-wheelers. The police report, taken on the same day, provided more details about the incident. Detective Bryn Ridge explained that Buddy had informed him he had been given the shoes in February. The shoes were collected by the detective for further analysis. Ridge wrote that Buddy told him he used to be friends with Jason Baldwin, but that it had been a long time since he had seen him. Ridge wrote the following in his report:
He further stated that Jessie had been camping with him in the past and he thought it was not like Jessie to have done what he is said to have done. He further stated that Jessie was very strong and that he liked to fight. Also he stated that Jessie seemed to like small children. Buddy finally stated that he knew that if Jessie was haning [sic] around with Damien that Damien could have talked him into doing almost anything.
Budy [sic] stated that he had known Jessie to huff gas and smoke marijuanna [sic] and that when he on gas he will be very unsteady on his feet and would do anything that anyone told him to do.
In September of 1993, Buddy gave police an additional statement. This one described an incident where Jessie was described as holding a knife to another teen's throat. Jessie reportedly said, "If you mess with Jessica again, I am going to hurt you."
In October of 1993, Buddy was again brought into the police for questioning. His interview was described as being recorded. Buddy told the detectives about a barbeque his family had on May 5th, 1993. He explained that following the event, he and a cousin went over to Jessie's house where he was told by Jessie's father that he had left. Buddy said he saw Jessie walking off with another individual, heading toward West Memphis. The following day, May 6th, 1993, Buddy stated that Jessie confessed to him that he had been with Jason and Damien in West Memphis the night before and that he had gotten into a fight.
In a signed and typed statement, recorded as taken on October 14th, 1993, Buddy described the shoes as being "black and white (converse)".
Two pairs of shoes were listed on an evidence submission form dated October 18, 1993. "One pair of white tennis shoes removed from Buddy Lucas, and one pair of black and white tennis shoes recovered from Buddy Lucas".
In the interview, Buddy said that it was on that Thursday that Jessie gave him the shoes. The detective asks where the shoes were at the time of the interview and he says that they've been worn a few times by himself at Rice Field, and that they were being worn that day by someone named Robert. This conflicts with the statement Ridge made in his police report that the shoes were taken into his custody. The detective subsequently tells Buddy that later on he plans to get the shoes.
Before the trials, Buddy was approached by Ron Lax, private investigator for the defense. He recanted the information he previously gave to investigators and made the decision not to testify against Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley. John Fogleman placed a phone call to his mother, Mary Hudson, wherein she stated that Buddy had given the police several pairs of his shoes and was given a pair of boots in exchange. The audio contains additional information, including Buddy's claim that police investigators "hollered" at him. He claimed that he made the decision to speak to Lax because he was "nice" to him.
Transcription of the telephone call between John Fogleman, Mary Hudson, and Buddy Lucas may be found here.
The Blue and White Adidas Tennis Shoes
Though Buddy Lucas did not testify at trial, John Fogleman referred to Jessie Misskelley stating that he gave Buddy a pair of blue and white Adidas that he said he wore on May 5th, 1993.
A transcribed version of the original confession may be found here.