By Douglas Walker
THE US cops who arrested Kenny Richey before his Death Row sentence have sent gloating messages to him in jail.
The cheeky officers posted a ‘Thank You’ card to the inmate and wrote inside – ‘You’re now back where you belong’.
A separate enclosure shows a grinning Richey with the words ‘Are you still smiling?’ written below.
Last night the proud con says the card is now stuck on his cell wall and has accused the American detectives of hiding crucial evidence during his trial.
The package was addressed to ‘Ken’ Richey with the full Saughton prison address in Edinburgh and was sent using a 94 cent airmail stamp.
The envelope was franked in Lima, Ohio on 21 August 2008 and written on the top left hand corner was the sender’s address of Putnam Co Sheriff in Ohawa, Ohio.
Enclosed was a drab, brown greeting card with ‘Thank You’ printed on the front.
Inside written in blue ink was, ‘Welcome back, you’re now back where you belong’ and beneath were the signatures of Roy Sargent and Steve Stechschulte – the two officers who arrested Richey following the death of two-year-old Cynthia Collins.
Also enclosed was a photocopy of the local paper’s story of his death sentence in 1986. The article carried a photo of Richey grinning widely while being lead away by police officers.
Typed beneath the photocopy was, ‘Are you still smiling?’.
Richey, 44, was freed from Death Row in January after agreeing a plea bargain to quash his conviction for the murder of innocent Cynthia.
The toddler died in a fire in her Columbus, Ohio, apartment 22 years ago while drunken revellers partied outside.
Richey, from Edinburgh, always denied setting fire to the apartment building in a revenge attack on a former lover who lived below the dead girl’s flat.
Now retired, Putnam County Deputy Sheriffs Roy Sargent and Steve Stechschulte arrested the former US-marine on the night of the fatal blaze.
Shortly afterwards Richey told Deputy Roy Sargent that the prosecutor Randy Basinger was a ‘dead man’ and that ‘whoever testified against him had better hope he’s six feet under’.
Stechschulte was the lead detective on the case and the first person inside the apartment where Cynthia died.
He says the evidence in the case remains fresh in his mind and he has no doubt Richey killed the tot.
Upon his release in January, bitter Stechschulte insisted: “Knowing the facts that I knew, that man committed the crime. There is no doubt in my mind.”
Stechshulte is no longer serving with Putnam County police and is now a Law Enforcement Instructor at the Apollo Career Centre in Lima, Ohio.
Still furious about Richey’s release, last night he angrily confirmed sending the card and gave a chilling warning.
He raged: “It’s between Richey and the two of us – no one else.
“The man is a killer. You ask the family of Cynthia Collins what they think of him.
“He’ll do the same in Scotland – I can guarantee it.”
Richey is currently back behind bars after being accused of attacking a 63-year-old granddad.
Last night he said: “The two cops who signed the card were the arresting officers in the case.
“They hid evidence which would have proved my evidence from the very start.
“I couldn’t care what they think anymore, they are both lying son of a bitches. I hope they rot in hell.”
Since his release Richey has never been far away from controversy and was quickly banned from a number of nightclubs and casinos.
His life on the outside quickly spiralled out of control and in July he was beaten up by a man claiming to be a boxer after a booze-fuelled brawl outside his flat.
The previous night Richey had to be talked down from a factory roof after being surrounded by armed police.
He is also currently undergoing treatment for mouth cancer after being diagnosed in April.
Last week Richey told how he was set for pop stardom as a 17-year-old after former Bay City Rollers manager Tam Paton lined him up an audition for a new band.
However both were then sent to jail meaning his dreams were dashed. The pair were reunited in prison this week following Paton’s arrest on drug charges last Friday.