“I’ve gone 36 years kind of wondering what did I possibly miss in the guy,” Former friend of death row inmate Bigler ‘Bud’ Stouffer speaks with KFOR

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A man who said he spoke with death row inmate Bigler Stouffer just hours before he shot Doug Ivens and killed Linda Reaves spoke with KFOR on Wednesday.

“Please, I’ve been shot,”  Doug Ivens told 911 dispatchers in January of 1985. “Bud Stouffer shot me and one other person and I’m dying.”

Ivens is talking about death row inmate Bigler “Bud” Stouffer.

image of inmate
Bigler “Bud” Stouffer

Stouffer was convicted of shooting Ivens and fatally shooting Ivens’ girlfriend, Linda Reaves, in July of 1985.

“I spoke with Bud just like you and I are talking, and I think it was that night, I mean shortly after, that the murder occurred,” a man who News 4 is keeping anonymous told one of our crews on Wednesday.

That former friend of Stouffer’s contacted KFOR on Tuesday after Stouffer asked a federal judge to temporarily block his upcoming execution, which was ultimately denied.  

“I mean this guy in our short conversation was just as calm, not nervous or anything,” he said, talking about that conversation he had with Stouffer hours before the murder.

That conversation, and something Stouffer’s then-girlfriend told him the week of the murder, are still burned in his memory.

“She said Bud and her soon to be ex-husband, Doug, were about to ‘go to blows.’ She didn’t explain why or anything,” he said.

During Stouffer’s trial in 1985, prosecutors said he went to Ivens’ home, asked to borrow Ivens’ gun and then shot Ivens and Reaves, a Putnam City elementary teacher.

Linda Reaves
Linda Reaves

She died instantly. Ivens survived the shooting.

Stouffer has claimed he’s innocent all these years.

He told the pardon and parole board during his clemency hearing last week that he believes he was lured to the scene of the crime by Ivens and that there was a struggle over the gun. However, the state said there’s no evidence of a struggle.

Stouffer was sentenced to death in 1985. In 1999, an appellate court ruled he had inadequate legal counsel. That led to a re-trial and he was convicted again in 2003 and once again sentenced to death.

Also in 2003, a hit man for hire testified that Stouffer hired him from death row to kill three people who were witnesses in the case, including his attorney who represented him during in 1985 trial.

Stouffer address that during his clemency hearing last week.

“That was manufactured. Probably part of the set up to make sure I stayed in prison,” Stouffer said.

Stouffer also allegedly threatened another attorney who represented him in 2003.

“You made statements that if he doesn’t win, he’s gonna be bumped off by you?” Pardon and Parole Board member Richard Smothermon asked last week.

“I said we’ve got enough evidence, so if you don’t win this case, you outta be shot,” Stouffer replied. “I did not intend it as a threat. I said it in passing as a joke.”

The pardon and parole board voted 3-2 to recommend clemency, suggesting Governor Stitt commute Stouffer’s sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Governor Stitt has not yet made his decision.

Stouffer is scheduled to be executed on December 9th.

“I’ve gone 36 years kind of wondering what did I possibly miss in the guy and kind of questioning my own relationships,” Stouffer’s former friend told News 4. “Are these people that I think are normal, are they capable of this type of act?”

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