arrived there about 3:20 with little or no conversation along the way. Senk appeared to sleep during the trip.
Upon their arrival at Ridgeway, the party had coffee and snacks. At about 4:30 A.M., Williams and Cronin began questioning Senk about his past sex life in general and not about any specific accusations. At this time, Senk was in a combination kitchen-report room where he remained for the rest of the day, except for brief periods when he left for the bathroom.
At about 8:45 A.M. on January 19, Mrs. Senk returned to the Warren Substation and was told that her husband had left a message for her to go to the home of his parents in Polk, Pennsylvania. She was also told to direct further inquiries about her husband to Lt. Stanton at headquarters in Harrisburg. Mrs. Senk testified that she made no further efforts to locate Senk on that day since his parents did not have a phone.
At about 9:00 A.M. on January 19, Williams and Cronin went to a nearby restaurant for breakfast. On their return, about 10:00 A.M., they brought Senk an egg sandwich and milk which he had requested and the conversation was suspended while Senk was eating. However, while they were gone, Detective Bundy began questioning Senk for the first time relative to his part in the alleged assault on Mrs. Flanders. Sometime between 9:30 and 9:45 A.M., when he and Senk were alone, Detective Bundy shoved the McKean County warrant across the table to Senk and said, "I have a warrant for your arrest."
Detective Bundy then took an unsigned statement from Senk concerning the McKean County incident and typed it up.
After Senk finished eating, Williams and Cronin resumed their conversation with Senk, continuing until sometime before noon. At that time, Troopers McCole and Salada arrived from the Hazleton District and talked with Senk until shortly after noon when they went out for lunch.
However, before McCole began questioning Senk, he testified that he told Senk that he need not answer any questions.
The officers returned from lunch about 1:00 P.M., bringing back the hamburgers and coffee which Senk had requested. Senk finished eating about 1:30 P.M. at which time Cronin and Salada resumed their conversation with him, concluding it at 2:45 P.M. At that time, Williams and McCole took over and continued questioning Senk until about 3:30 P.M. when Lt. Stanton and Sgt. McCartney arrived from Detective Headquarters in Harrisburg. They talked with Senk until about 5:00 or 5:30 P.M.
at which time all conversation with him terminated for the day.
At 7:00 P.M., Bundy and Salada took Senk to the Elk County Jail, since, as Bundy testified, that facility afforded the only available accommodations for Senk. Bundy also testified that he showed the McKean County warrant to Mrs. Sandburg, the matron. Mrs. Sandburg described Senk's physical condition as good and his appearance as neat. At 8:00 P.M., Salada delivered hamburgers and milk to Senk since the jail's kitchen was closed when he arrived. The matron's husband gave the sandwiches and milk to Senk who was confined in a cell by himself. The matron and her husband resided on the second floor over the cell block and they described the outside temperature as very cold, and the inside temperature as very warm.
Mr. Sandburg locked the jail up at 9:00 P.M. on January 19, 1962, and no one spoke with Senk from 8:00 P.M. that evening until 7:30 A.M. the next day when Mr. Sandburg served Senk a breakfast of double coffee, toast, bread, bran flakes, and cream. Senk registered no complaints with Mr. Sandburg and his appearance remained neat and natural.
At 9:30 A.M. on January 20, Bundy and Cronin picked Senk up at the Elk County Jail and returned him to the Ridgeway Substation, arriving there about 9:45 A.M. At 10:00 A.M., Kenneth Blair, a laboratory technician from Ridgeway Hospital, took a voluntary blood sample from Senk for the purpose of typing it. Senk's blood was found to be Type "A", the same as the victim's, while a spot of blood found on the victim's summer shorts turned out to be Type "O".
A PSP polygraph examiner, Corporal Charles T. Baker, arrived from Greensburg about 10:00 A.M. and about 11:00 A.M. began talking with Senk alone in the kitchen-report room. At Senk's request, Baker explained the techniques and objectives of the examination, but Senk refused to submit to the test. Like some of the discussions held with other officers, the conversation eventually centered around the subjects of religion, sin, and penitence, so that when the polygraph examiner concluded his interview at noon, Senk requested that he be permitted to talk with a minister. Corporal Baker left Senk at 12:05 P.M. and notified Lt. Stanton of Senk's request. Stanton then spoke with Senk for about 15 minutes.
At 12:20 P.M., Lt. Stanton selected the name of Rev. James H. Cousins, a Methodist minister in Ridgeway, from a telephone book and called his home. Since the minister was not available at the time, Stanton left a message to have him call the barracks as soon as he returned. Rev. Cousins returned about 10 minutes later, called the barracks and was requested by Lt. Stanton to come to the substation.
During the noon hour, the officers went out for lunch, and upon their return about 1:00 P.M., they gave Senk the sandwiches and milk he ordered. He ate while awaiting the minister's arrival.
Rev. Cousins arrived at the substation about 1:30 P.M. After a short conversation with Lt. Stanton, the minister "spent between a half hour and an hour" with Senk alone behind closed doors.
The minister found that Senk was "composed; he looked well. He conversed quietly, he did not seem at first to be in any way distraught or distressed."
Stanton testified that he was using the minister as an aid in the investigation and that he would not have called him if he felt he would hinder the investigation. Stanton also asked Rev. Cousins if he would reveal what Senk told him. However, Rev. Cousins told Stanton that "it was against his religious principles or against the rules of the church, and that he would have to think very deeply before he would relay any information to us."
Rev. Cousins left the substation about 3:00 P.M. After he left, various officers, including Stanton, Cronin, McCartney and Salada, at different times continued their discussions with Senk along a religious vein until sometime between 5:00 and 6:00 P.M. when Senk suggested to Stanton and McCartney that Rev. Cousins was a disguised police officer who had attempted to deceive him. In response, Lt. Stanton offered Senk the telephone book to call the minister himself. Senk accepted but the minister was not home. At about 6:00 P.M., Senk again called Rev. Cousins and asked him to return to the barracks. Rev. Cousins agreed.
Supper was served between 6:00 and 7:00 P.M., with little or no conversation.
Rev. Cousins arrived back at the substation around 7:00 P.M. and spent the next hour alone with Senk behind closed doors.
Rev. Cousins came out of the room about 8:00 P.M. and informed Lt. Stanton that Senk wished to talk with his wife and mother. Sgt. Weir was sent to pick them up at Polk. Rev. Cousins returned to the room with Senk and left about 8:30 P.M.,
when Senk was taken to a bedroom where he stretched out on a bed. He appeared to sleep until the minister returned.
At about 12:30 A.M. on January 21, Rev. Cousins returned to the barracks, at which time he asked a Dr. Consolo to stand by in the event he were needed.
Senk's wife Mary and his mother arrived at the substation at 1:00 A.M. Rev. Cousins and Mary Senk then talked privately with Senk for about 15 minutes in the bedroom where he had been resting. Mary Senk then came out of the room crying and told Detective Williams that Senk said he killed the girl.
Senk's mother entered the room and remained there privately with her son and the minister for about 10 minutes.
At that point, the minister left the room and Lt. Stanton entered, but Senk and his mother continued to talk for sometime out of the officer's hearing. When Senk requested to talk with his wife again, she was called into the room and the three conversed for approximately another 10 minutes in such a way that Lt. Stanton could not overhear.
At 1:35 A.M., Senk's wife and mother left the room and Senk grabbed Lt. Stanton by the sleeve of his coat and said, "Lieutenant, I better tell you before I change my mind." For the next ten minutes Senk related his involvement in the crime to Stanton, after which he agreed to have it reduced to writing. Senk and Stanton came out of the room about 2:00 A.M. and entered the office-kitchenette. At this point, Rev. Cousins bade farewell to Senk and gave him a copy of a devotional booklet from his church. In addition, the minister testified that Senk at that time was "in every sense in command of himself."
In the meantime, Senk's wife and mother left in a police car to be driven to the mother's home in Polk and, after Rev. Cousins left, Sgt. Williams started to type the narrative statement in the presence of Senk and several other officers.
At about 3:00 A.M., Williams finished typing the statement. He handed Senk a copy and read it aloud for him to follow along. Senk made some corrections with pen and ink and then signed it in the presence of Williams, Cronin, Salada, McCole and Stanton, who also signed as witnesses.
After Senk, McCole, Cronin, Salada and Williams had coffee and cookies, they departed, at 4:10 A.M. for Bloomsburg, stopping at 7:00 A.M. in Lewistown for breakfast. Senk appeared to sleep en route from Ridgeway to Lewistown but remained awake from Lewistown to Bloomsburg. Upon arrival at the Bloomsburg barracks shortly after 8:00 A.M., Senk was placed in a bedroom where he stayed until 10:30 A.M. when he was awakened. After washing and shaving, Senk and four officers left between 10:45 and 11:00 A.M. by car for Centralia to enable him to reenact the crime. They returned to the Bloomsburg barracks at 12:15 P.M. where he was fingerprinted and again taken to the bedroom. He was allowed to rest until 3:00 P.M. At that time, Senk was taken to the office of a Justice of the Peace for a preliminary hearing. News pictures were taken of him in police custody at that time, and the Commissioner of the PSP issued a news release detailing the history of the crime, the investigation, the fact that Senk had confessed, and his past criminal record. After the hearing, Senk was committed to the Columbia County Jail on a charge of murder.
At about 1:00 P.M. on January 22, Senk signed a pauper's affidavit, prepared and submitted by the district attorney, in support of his petition for the appointment of counsel. Counsel was designated that same day, and his first interview with his attorneys was held on January 23, 1962.
At about 2:00 P.M. on January 22, Senk was again returned to the scene of the crime where he was observed by two groups of residents of Centralia. At that time, Senk also identified a 1955 Pontiac station wagon similar to the one he used on July 11, 1961. He was then returned about 5:00 P.M. to Columbia County Jail where he remained until his trial.
The trial judge resolved the credibility issues centering around Senk's custodial interrogation in favor of the Commonwealth's witnesses and against Senk and his wife. He also concluded that Senk "was interrogated without force, threats, violence, ill treatment or deprivation of food or sleep at various times by various officers about his past conduct in general and his knowledge of the particular crime in question specifically beginning on Friday, January 19th, at about 4:30 o'clock A.M. and ending on Saturday, January 20th, at approximately 5:00 o'clock P.M." He also noted that the police testified that Senk did not request counsel, but that Senk testified that he requested counsel on several occasions. The trial judge, however, concluded that Senk's testimony "in this regard is vague and indefinite as to the number of times, when and to whom the requests were made." Finally, the trial judge found that Senk was not told that he had a right to counsel or to remain silent, except for the warning contained in the opening paragraph of his confession. The trial judge, however, did find that:
"From all of the surrounding circumstances, we are satisfied the defendant was well acquainted with his rights, that he knew full well what he was doing, and after talking his predicament over with his mother, wife, and minister, he decided to unburden his conscience and confess his guilt."
Opinion of November 24, 1964, page 20.
I. THE FOURTH AMENDMENT CLAIM
In his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, petitioner first claims that his confession should have been excluded from evidence since it was tainted by his illegal arrest and detention.
In Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S. 471, 485, 83 S. Ct. 407, 416, 9 L. Ed. 2d 441 (1963), where federal narcotics agents burst into the bedroom of the defendant Toy without probable cause and obtained incriminating statements from him, the Supreme Court held that:
"Verbal evidence which derives so immediately from an unlawful entry and an unauthorized arrest as the officers' action in the present case is no less the 'fruit' of official illegality than the more common tangible fruits of the unwarranted intrusion."