Just one week after police discovered the body of Vicki Dishon a/k/a Sonnie Waller, buried under the storage building near her trailer in Paamul came the shocking decision by Judge Alex Ramiro Buenfil Ayala, 2nd Criminal Court of Quintana Roo, that the case against her husband Douglas Francis Dishon, a/k/a Ben Waller would be thrown out for “lack of evidence.”
This decision was handed down by the Mexican judge in charge of the case despite the fact that Dishon confessed to the burial of his wife in June, 2009 (and reportedly confessed to murder, to a civilian while he was in the hospital).
Quintana Roo Head Prosecutor Bello Melchor, has not made an official comment so far about the outcome of the murder charges, although prior to the decision by Judge Buenfil, he emphatically stated that Dishon had to confront the murder charges against him in Quintana Roo and that it was not a matter of a simple deportation.
The only official who has made a public statement since the decision by the judge has been the Assistant Director of Immigration in Playa del Carmen, Oscar Ruiz Cabañas Rodríguez, who simply said that Douglas Dishon was a “persona non grata” or an undesirable person, and as such was deported.
Well, anybody here that has immigration status can be found to be a persona non grata, and we only have to do something illegal. No mention was made of his murdering his wife in the State of Quintana Roo. Very disappointing on the part of the good guys.
The droped charges against Dishon were for first-degree murder. Dishon was immediately escorted to Cancun International Airport, where he was put on a plane to Texas in accordance with an extradition order. He will now face charges of child molestation, stemming from incidents prior to 2005, which charges he was running from in the first place.
Now, the facts as portrayed in the local Mexican newspapers have been somewhat confusing, I’ll grant you that; however, the fact remains that Dishon led investigators to where he had buried her body.
Some of the confirmed facts are that Douglas and Vicki Dishon left Arizona to run from charges against both of them (for Vicki it was conspiring to hide evidence from law enforcement during the investigation) in 2005. They took their camper and plenty of money and headed to Mexico. It’s not known exactly where they lived during this time or if they had proper documentation to be in the country; however, they ended up in Paamul, approximately 1 to 2 years ago.
Soon after Dishon married Vicki, he began molesting a female family member. The girl finally told her mother who refused to believe her story. She eventually went to the police.
Police say that Vicki began a pattern of drug and alcohol abuse to cope with the secret she was keeping. However, the victim couldn’t forget and was later wired in order to extract a confession from the perpetrator of the sexual abuse. Dishon, same as in Mexico, admitted to the sexual abuse, but dismissed it saying that these things happen in all families and they just don’t talk about it.
Apparently Vicki bought into this ridiculous story and absconded with Dishon to live in Mexico, where they later settled into a peaceful, close-knit community of “Gringo” expats in Paamul, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
The Dishons continued their secret life of lies and abuse, but now in Mexico. Neighbors say that Dishon was a violent man, prone to beating his wife. In June 2009, Vicki apparently suffered a blow to the head. Some reports include bruises on other parts of her body. According to forensics, this blow to the head was not the cause of her death. Cause of death: asphyxiation.
It is likely that she suffocated because of the duct tape that completely surrounded her head, covering her nose and mouth. She was also found with her hands and feet bound, leaving it unlikely that she put the duct tape on herself.
Mexican homicide investigators believe that there is a great probability that she was buried alive, as she was found under 16 inches of concrete that was the floor of the storage building. These are some undeniably chilling facts.
Surprisingly, Dishon himself never really denied burying her under the concrete, but did have several fanciful (and not very credible) stories about the circumstances surrounding his need to bury his dead wife. See previous MCT story.
How was all of this discovered? Apparently the good people of Paamul suspected foul play and went to the police sometime in December, 2009. At some point in the police investigation, Douglas Dishon overdosed in a suicide attempt and was taken to the hospital, where he again confessed to another person. This is contrary to the original reports that he fought with police.
One neighbor said, “Dishon did not fight with Mexican police. I have a trailer in the community where he lived; I knew him and was there when he overdosed and was taken to the hospital. He was in a hospital ward when he confessed to a civilian who then informed the authorities. The Sheriff's office knew nothing until being contacted by Mexican officials.”
According to some reports Dishon then led the Mexican investigators to the grisly burial site of his wife where investigators unearthed the horrifying remains of a woman in advanced state of decomposition, along with her bible, photos and memorabilia, which he had buried with her.
By Mexican law the prosecutors have to present their case to the judge for his assessment of sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. Now, you would think that with a confession, knowledge of the location of the body and the body (obviously not a death by natural causes) that you’d have a pretty good case. Not so, according to Judge Alex Buenfil Ayala.
Having worked in criminal trials myself, I can tell you that it’s sometimes possible that a murderer can get away with his crime, usually as a result of a prosecutor trying to prove a higher degree of crime than what he has evidence, or an illegally obtained confession, or inconsistencies of forensics reports, just to name a few.
But what happened to justice for Vicki Dishon, a/k/a Sonnie Waller, herself a victim of deceit and abuse by this depraved maniac?
The Mexican newspapers have expressed their outrage at the “questionable” Judge Alex Buenfil, saying that he supports the perception that Mexico is a corrupt country where justice is impossible.
They cite other instances of the Judge pulling a fast one, granting the release of Willie “Zeta 34”, a known member of the drug cartels, who had been sought for various horrific crimes of extortion and other allegations, as a prime example of just one of the Judge’s questionable decisions. Willie “Zeta 34” was released for “lack of evidence” barely 24 hours after he was arrested, leaving the months and months of investigation by authorities useless.
The Dishons were owners of an antique shop called the Cherry Stage Stop Antiques, located in Dewey, Arizona. The Dishons were known to always have money, at least as much as a $1 million US or more.
Is it possible that Gringo with money + Mexican judge = get away with murder? Is it possible that Judge Buenfil simply didn’t want this problem on his desk and so better to ship off the bad guy to the States for them to deal with him? We’ll never know, but it appears that the justice system here failed Vicki Dishon.
Douglas Dishon is now in an Arizona jail for good old-fashioned American justice. According to authorities there, it is very unlikely that he can be tried for a murder that he committed in Mexico, which was thrown out of court for “lack of evidence.”
Most expats move to Mexico to get away from the increasing violence and tragic social dysfunction in the United States. But unfortunately some move here to run away from the violence and tragic social dysfunction that they, themselves, wreaked on their communities in their home country. We call them “End of the Roaders.” Amongst expats living in Mexico there is a grim joke: Mexico is full of Americans, most are either “wanted” or unwanted.
As one of Dishon’s neighbors so gracefully put it:
“I lived in Paamul Mexico and knew this animal. All of us here are very disappointed that the Mexican Officials did not keep him here and prosecute him for MURDER. We can only hope that JUSTICE is served in the USA for the child molestation charges he is facing there. May God give his victims the strength to see this through to the end.”
Let’s hope so, for Vicki Dishon’s sake. Justice in Mexico, for Vicki Dishon, is over. It’s the end of the road.
Mexican Caribbean Today will continue to follow this story and hopefully justice will be served, at least for some of his victims