The Case of the ‘Courteous Killer’: Politeness and Homicide Like Oil and Water!


“(He asked) if we would help him, that he just killed somebody and there was a dead body in his house, and if we would help him dispose of the body in the trash can alley. He was really calm and laughing about it, so we thought it was a joke at first,” – An unidentified neighbor in Tacoma, Washington

Manners and ruthless homicide are not frequent companions on the gritty streets, that we sometimes refer to as the ‘urban jungle.’ The case of a polite killer, asking for permission to dispose of a gunshot victim (incident occurs on September 7th in Tacoma, Wa.), is an exception to this rule. Does the chronicle have legs?

Indeed, it’s genuine! 20-year-old Anthony Tyrone Clark was arrested at 1:15 AM last Thursday, and booked for Murder One in the Pierce County jail, in Tacoma. The victim has been identified as a 16-year-old boy by the name of Devondre D. Davis, who died of a gunshot wound to the head.

tacoma body dump

An extension of the account of the unidentified neighbor who heard the horrifying request of the Anthony Clark character, is an unnerving encounter that her roommate had with (we’ll call) said ‘courteous killer.’ The roommate was taking her trash out to the dumpster bins, when she ran into Anthony.

A nonchalant Clark lifts the lid and shows her the contents. The roommate sees a body in the trash. He asks her what she thinks of it? “I think it’s absolutely bizarre,” she retorts. For non-believers, or those who suspect this is a Reality TV stunt, police spokesman Mark Fulghum clarifies the authenticity of these accounts to reporters from KIRO TV.

The location of the trash bins was outside a very looming-looking Gothic-style house, which is referred to as a triplex, since there are three different bunches of people living there. The address given in news reports is the 500 block of E. 36th Street, according to Mark Fulghum with the Tacoma Police. A KIRO TV story has a Google map of the spooky spot in question.

tacoma body site two
The gothic style house where the body was tossed in the trash.

Curiosity begs the question of crime activity levels in this particular vicinity of Tacoma? I noticed that a gang unit was first called by these flabbergasted neighbors. I noticed also that some biographical data on Anthony T. Clark has a shady tone to it. A burglary charge was mentioned somewhere. Stole jewelry, electronics, DVDs, and CDs from a woman’s apartment after smoking marijuana.

Crack cocaine plays into the picture as well, but I’m unclear just how. Was this a drug deal gone bad? Why was this poor boy shot so coldly, then dumped like he was just another bag of trash? I don’t know. Crack makes people crazy, but Clark went off on the deep end and doesn’t come back.

A trip to the ‘Funny House’ is in the cards for our courteous killer, with ecological skills of recycling still intact in his warped consciousness. Is there a lesson to learn from these strange testimonies? It’s sad to report, no, there isn’t a lesson here. It’s a one off. A one shot deal. The stiffness of the streets. An urban pulse where random violence is as common as did-li-squat.