Westley Allan Dodd, the child killer executed in Washington State Jan. 5, told a Provo psychologist that he once made a pact with Satan to kill children.

Dr. Al Carlisle said he was the only mental health professional to take Dodd up on his offer to be interviewed before his death by hanging.He found that Dodd was an empty person who filled the voids with molesting - and later murdering - children.

"He wanted the mental health profession to understand why it occurred," said Carlisle, a psychologist at the Provo Canyon School who was a psychologist at the Utah State Prison for 18 years and interviewed killers Ted Bundy and Arthur Gary Bishop.

Learning what makes killers tick will benefit society, Carlisle said. "The more we understand about these people and know the step-by-step process, the better chance we have of intervening in other cases."

Carlisle made four trips to Walla Walla, Wash., to interview Dodd, and has 20 hours of audio tapes and five hours of video tapes from the sessions.

He said Dodd sent him about 200 pages of written material, much of it a rewrite of his detailed journal.

As a child, Dodd was not liked by his peers. He became withdrawn, retreating to the band room to practice so he didn't have to interact with them. "He was a very, very empty kid," Carlisle said.

As a young boy, Dodd rode his bike to a pond to swim alone. Then he began doing little things a step at a time - swimming naked, then walking on the shore naked and finally riding naked around the pond on his bike. "It was him and his fantasies," Carlisle said.

Eventually, at about age 12 or 13, Dodd exposed himself to some neighborhood children, who laughed, pointed and beckoned their friends.

Dodd told Carlisle that the first time he exposed himself was the most exciting thing that ever happened to him.

Dodd told Carlisle the police and other parents contacted his parents after two incidents, but his parents did nothing about it. Dodd felt he didn't belong to his family, that his parents cared more for the other children in the family.

Dodd progressed to molesting. "He developed an addiction for this," Carlisle said. "He began to live in his fantasies."

Dodd told Carlisle he didn't want to molest children but always felt if he gave that up, he would be completely without fulfillment.

He was kicked out of the Navy because of the molesting and was arrested several times for molestation.

Eventually, Dodd didn't find molesting exciting any more.

Carlisle said Dodd started to plan tortures and murders to increase the excitement, thinking that if he killed the children after torturing them he hadn't really hurt them.

He started studying the occult, too. "He didn't have much of a belief in God and he didn't have much of a belief in Satan, either," Carlisle said. But at one point Dodd made a pact with Satan to kill children, he told the psychologist.

In 1989, Dodd went to a park to check out the logistics of committing a murder there. He saw two brothers, began talking to them, lured them out of the sight of others, eventually molested them and then stabbed them to death.

View Comments

Several weeks later, Dodd abducted a 4-year-old boy, molested him at Dodd's apartment and then strangled him.

Dodd twice tried unsuccessfully to kidnap children from movie theaters. The second child screamed, and onlookers chased Dodd. His car broke down and he was arrested.

Carlisle said Dodd cannot just be categorized as a monster or a psychopath.

"He really did have a good side," he said. "The bad side was so overwhelming, so controlling, that the good side was primarily superficial and lacked depth."

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.