A year and a half after his death, the family of former Hollywood Park Mayor William Bohlke is disputing he was killed by an enraged donkey at the family’s ranch.
His wife, Tonia, and youngest son, Brian, said they want the Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office to re-open the investigation, believing perhaps his political enemies murdered him.
They also said since there was no autopsy, they now want his body exhumed.
Edgar Baez, the family’s attorney said, “If it was a donkey, where are the bite marks? Where are the hairs? Where is the residue we should find on the body? Where are they?”
However, Sheriff David Soward told KSAT 12 News, “I’m confident in the investigation and the results. There was no murder, no evidence or murder. Case closed.”
Bohlke’s son said, “If he and I were in the same room together, I would just ask him to prove to me how that was an animal. He has no proof, zero proof.”
In their reports, sheriff’s investigators said his body was lying in a fetal position beneath a trailer loaded with pipes, the donkey showed large amounts of blood on its body, and there appeared to be a hoof print on his lower back.
But a forensics expert hired by the family said it appeared Bohlke’s injuries showed he was beaten with a pipe, electrocuted and stomped to death.
Baez said the expert studied photos to form his opinion, noting there were too many inconsistencies in the case.
The family said they dispute perhaps Bohlke’s was trying to crawl beneath the trailer trying to get away from the donkey, and they believe what appeared to be blood was merely reddish-mud from a nearby stock tank.
Besides Bohlke’s son said according to the longtime Donkey and Mule Association, “There is not one record of a donkey killing a known human.”
Quoted soon after the incident, the sheriff, then chief deputy, said stud donkeys can become “aggressive and mean” sometimes triggered by a female in heat.
Yet Bohlke’s family said the donkey had never given them any problems, and initially, investigators thought it might have been a bull.
They said Bohlke, an Air Force veteran who flew in Vietnam, enjoyed being with all the animals on his beloved ranch.