September 3, 2014

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He never identified Allen but one child seemed to have fun trying

This story originally ran Sept. 21, 1997.

William Oliver is brought into the police viewing room at 12:45 p.m. Nov. 4,1993. He stands on a chair in front of the
viewing window with his hands clasped in front of him.

Lorain police Chief Cel Rivera, a captain at the time, stands next to him with a phone, directing the lineup.

The child watches closely as Rivera asks each person in the lineup to step forward one at a time.

Three minutes later, William begins imitating Rivera and says: “Step back. Have Number 4 come up.”

At 12:49 p.m., the child sits down in the chair and leans closer to the viewing window.

He picks up a phone like the one Rivera uses. A detective takes the phone away from him.

At 12:50 p.m., William picks up the phone a second time and puts it to his ear. This time, the phone is not taken away from him, and he begins to speak into it.

“Number 4, step up,” William says. “Number 4, stand back.”

Rivera: “You can step back, Number 4.”

William: “Number 5, you can step up. You can take your shirt off.”

Rivera: “Take a close look at their faces, OK? You can hold the phone but look at their faces.”

Rivera: “Number 5, step back.”

William: “Step back, 5.”

Another detective in the room says: “William, I want you to look at every one of their faces one at a time, OK?

Take a real close look at each face.”

William: “That’s him right there with the orange.”

He points to the man in the Number 1 position in the lineup who’s wearing orange pants.

Joseph Allen wore dark pants.

Rivera: “OK.”

William Olliver is taken from the viewing room.