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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Dena D. Riley, junkie/gentle dog groomer

Dena_d_riley_sobbing_in_courtA loyal reader of this blog put me in touch with Karen L., who employed accused sado-sex killer Dena D. Riley (right) as a groomer in her Harrisonville dog kennel a couple years ago.
"Dena was really kind and gentle with the dogs," Karen told me. "She was one of the gentlest people around the animals I've ever had out here."
But Dena also had trackmarks and infected sores all over her body and talked openly about her drug use, said Karen, a former psychiatric nurse.
"She steadily talked about the drugs she got the night before, how she used it and how great it was," Karen said. "She'd use anything. I don't think she was a pot-smoker - she was a needle freak. She also liked pain pills."
Dena and a friend, Sheri, were homeless and living in Dena's car when an elderly Odessa vet took pity on them, Karen said.
"When the doctor's daughter told her mother about these girls being homeless and having to wash up in the gas station bathroom, the doctor's wife offered Dena and Sheri a job," Karen said. "They moved into the basement of the doctor's home in Odessa."
Dena Riley worked for only about two months before all the dogs were groomed and the work ran out, Karen said.
On the news about Dena?
"I'm really shocked," Karen said. "I've heard it said by people I've worked with in the past, that drugs can turn you into some kind of an animal. And that's got to be the case for her, because I just can't imagine her taking things that far."

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