Why did Lawrence Police Officer William Garrett shoot and kill Rick “Tiger” Dowdell on July 16, 1970? The 263 relevant pages of a Kansas Bureau of Investigation file into one of Lawrence’s longstanding mysteries do little to help answer questions that have been raised over the last 52 years. But with the help of newly obtained investigative documents, Lawrence Times reporter Conner Mitchell has shed a bit more light on the case in this extended series.

We are very grateful for the Dowdell family’s trust and support of our push to obtain the records in this case.

We also sincerely thank our subscribers for making this series possible. We couldn’t do this without you. This kind of intensive research and storytelling takes a lot of time, and these kinds of records are expensive to pursue.

If you believe journalism like this is important for Lawrence and Douglas County, please support us with a paid subscription to the Times.

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Who killed Nick Rice?

IN JULY 1970, 18-year-old Nick Rice was shot and killed on the KU campus. The circumstances of the killing were murky, and the shooter was never publicly identified — until nearly 51 years later.

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