PDA

View Full Version : Rape kit performed during autopsy ...


OriginalJerseyGirl
10-06-2005, 07:49 PM
After MUCH research with "a partner", it does NOT seem likely that the rape kit performed on Janet during the autopsy was standard procedure in a homicide investigation. Does anyone know for sure? If it is not standard, then why would they do one in this case? Some possibilities:

1) they found some damage to Janet's body that prompted them to do the kit.
2) Raven said something that made them wonder if she'd been raped.
3) Something at the crime scene may have indicated the necessity to do a rape kit.
4) When the husband is suspected from the get-go, perhaps it's something they do to cover their bases so that the husband's defense attorney can't say in court later that LE put blinders on immediately, focusing on the husband while letting the "real killer" get away.

I feel that this is an important issue. If a rape kit is not a standard part of a homicide investigation in NC, then what prompted them to do it this time?

ETA: One of our posters with possible inside information did seem pretty focused on the idea of rape. Is there some connection?

SouthEastSleuth
10-06-2005, 08:12 PM
This is really interesting...

If not routine, then SOMETHING prompted the ME to do a "sexual assault kit." I keep thinking about Raven "finding" Janet in a kneeling position, and saying this was not odd, as she often assumed that position when she had "really bad cramps." My mind is not making the complete circle (yikes!)...but is there some correlation between Raven feeling it necessary to say that Janet was on her knees with cramps, etc...with the fact that we now know she was pregnant...and then SOMETHING that would lead the ME to do a sexual assault kit? Perhaps these are all stand alone things, having no links whatsoever... But I keep thinking there could be some connection, in some shape, form, or fashion.

And logic would dictate, if not routine, that that something would have to be either something SAID to LE by Raven, or, something observed at the scene itself...

Ok, I have to keep thinking about all of this. Then maybe I can make a not-so-babbling post!

Jenifred
10-06-2005, 08:18 PM
Wouldn't a rape kit be natural to do at the scene of a murder of a woman? Things it might point to would be:
1. Who the victim's last partner was
2. If the victim was sexually active with someone other than spouse
3. If there was actually a rape
4. If a rape occured, then it might contain perp's DNA

I think that you all are putting too much emphasis on it. I'm guessing that it's more routine that you think.

OriginalJerseyGirl
10-06-2005, 08:22 PM
We have searched high, low, and in between, and we have found nothing at all to indicate that this is a normal part of an autopsy. If someone can find some information to the contrary, please do post it. I can't make sense of this.

chicoliving
10-06-2005, 08:35 PM
Wouldn't a rape kit be natural to do at the scene of a murder of a woman? Things it might point to would be:
1. Who the victim's last partner was
2. If the victim was sexually active with someone other than spouse
3. If there was actually a rape
4. If a rape occured, then it might contain perp's DNA

It seems so to me....and a standard pregnancy test too should be done on any deceased woman in their childbearing years. To me its just all common sense but I have no idea what is standard for LE there.

SouthEastSleuth
10-06-2005, 08:40 PM
Still looking, but, so far, every single case I can find of a "sexual assault kit" being done post-mortem has been for specific reasons -

- The victim was found partially clothed
- The victim was known to have been assaulted
- There was injury visible in the genital area at autopsy
- Evidence collected or visible at the scene, of a sexual nature (ie., semen stains, etc.)
- Something about the scene itself suggests a crime of a sexual nature

No where can I find even one post-mortem collection of a sexual assault kit that wasn't mandated by something specific in the crime or crime scene.

Still looking though!!

Jenifred
10-06-2005, 08:44 PM
SES, you've got a good point. Janet was fully clothed. I forgot about that. But I still think that it would be good practice to do this on all women victims.

OriginalJerseyGirl
10-06-2005, 08:46 PM
Apparently, there are laws regarding life insurance providers and autopsies. I don't have the time or the intellect to research and understand all of those nuances but I don't know if that could play into how detailed an autopsy is.

OriginalJerseyGirl
10-06-2005, 08:48 PM
Autopsy (http://my.webmd.com/hw/health_guide_atoz/hw2451.asp#hw2465)

Completion of the autopsy may require examination of tissues under a microscope, further investigation of the circumstances of death, or specialized tests (such as genetic or toxicology tests). The tests performed may vary based on the findings at the autopsy dissection, the circumstances of death, the questions asked about the death, and the condition of the tissues and body fluids obtained at autopsy. Toxicology testing is not generally performed in every autopsy, particularly those not required by law. Genetic testing is not usually done unless the family has been consulted...

OriginalJerseyGirl
10-06-2005, 08:49 PM
Autopsy (http://my.webmd.com/hw/health_guide_atoz/hw2451.asp#hw2465)

Following the autopsy, it may take several weeks for the results of specialized tests to be completed. For this reason, a final written autopsy report may take weeks to months.

terminatrixator
10-06-2005, 08:51 PM
I will try to come up with information on this and post sometime tomorrow.

OriginalJerseyGirl
10-06-2005, 08:51 PM
Autopsy (http://my.webmd.com/hw/health_guide_atoz/hw2451.asp#hw2465)

Autopsy procedures may differ for each deceased person depending on the medical history of the person, the circumstances surrounding the death, questions the person's doctors and family members would like answered, and the findings at the initial dissection. It is important that the family members and doctors discuss their questions and concerns with the pathologist before the autopsy is performed, so that the autopsy can be individualized and samples can be obtained that may allow performance of specialized tests. Samples may not be retained for specialized tests (such as genetic, toxicology, or paternity testing) unless specific requests are made at the time of the autopsy.

OriginalJerseyGirl
10-06-2005, 08:53 PM
Autopsy (http://my.webmd.com/hw/health_guide_atoz/hw2451.asp#hw2465)

Autopsy results may affect insurance settlements or result in legal action.

OriginalJerseyGirl
10-06-2005, 09:04 PM
Autopsy Screenwriter's Guide (http://web2.iadfw.net/uthman/Autop.html)

I guess there's a web site for everything. :rolleyes: In any case, there is a brief description of parts of a female exam as opposed to a male exam. I don't feel comfortable posting the details here so you'll have to click the link. Scroll about 2/3 of the way down.

OriginalJerseyGirl
10-06-2005, 09:11 PM
Autopsy (http://my.webmd.com/hw/health_guide_atoz/hw2451.asp#hw2465)

Autopsy procedures may differ for each deceased person depending on the medical history of the person, the circumstances surrounding the death, questions the person's doctors and family members would like answered...If this is not standard but Raven brought up the notion of rape, I wonder if that would be considered a question that a family member would like answered. Could this also have been done as a result of questioning done with associates of Raven's? Perhaps Raven said nothing of the sort at the scene but was making claims to friends after that night. If LE later questioned those friends, and found out about Raven making claims of rape, would that have been enough to add those tests in?

Okay, I'm done for tonight. Hopefully someone can find something more definitive.

Good night, all. :blowkiss:

texasgirl
10-06-2005, 09:36 PM
We have searched high, low, and in between, and we have found nothing at all to indicate that this is a normal part of an autopsy. If someone can find some information to the contrary, please do post it. I can't make sense of this.
Just asked DF about this and he said only if there is reason to believe that she might have been raped would an acutal "rape kit" be brought out. Very interesting...I am going to have to think on this too because this is big news to me!

terminatrixator
10-06-2005, 10:13 PM
Unless they were testing to see if there was semen there and to check out Raven's alibi. If they had sex, or was signs of sex that day, let's say one or two hours prior, etc. or that day.

Maybe they noticed bruising there during the autopsy and decided to just check? Maybe he kicked her there or hit her there after she told him she was pregnant? These are just purely speculation, however, there is a reason for everything....well everything BUT MURDER!

I'll do some research on this tomorrow!

lauriej
10-07-2005, 03:23 AM
..i recall the 1st i had heard of rape as a possible motive...:

#428 (http://websleuths.com/forums/showpost.php?p=680985&postcount=428) http://websleuths.com/forums/images/buttons/report.gif (http://websleuths.com/forums/report.php?p=680985)
http://websleuths.com/forums/images/statusicon/post_old.gif 06-11-2005, 10:09 PM
Rooster (http://websleuths.com/forums/member.php?u=6489) http://websleuths.com/forums/images/statusicon/user_offline.gif vbmenu_register("postmenu_680985", true);
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 102




"I don't know who.:( But I have theory...I think someone was watching her and the house, with intention's to rape her.(I hate even typing this...it make's me sick.) They waited until Raven left to his game. Now keep in mind if they had been watching the house they probably knew if they saw Raven leave in his Soccer clothes, with his soccer bag. (don't know if he had one...I'm just speculating.) Then they would know they had (however long), as long as a soccer game take's, to do what they intended.
I think Janet fought the rapest/murder and he killed her. I think maybe he was only intending to rape. But ended up killing her because she fought back.
He then probably ran...

This is all theory."

.............i debated back and forth with rooster back then......my side: a rapist, rapes......a murderer murders........( 2 very different mind-sets..)

...it's very intersting that a rape kit would be done on a victim that had been clearly stabbed........( well, except to raven...who said she'd "been hurt"...."been shot".....)

...good info JG.......
...poor janet.........how dare he end her life in such a cold and utterly sad manner ........

OriginalJerseyGirl
10-07-2005, 06:55 AM
.............i debated back and forth with rooster back then......my side: a rapist, rapes......a murderer murders........( 2 very different mind-sets..)A rapist would also probably have done some degree of damage to the clothing that Janet was wearing. From what we know, she was fully clothed. Perhaps there's something about which we don't know but nothing I've read so far has given me the impression that anyone had tried to remove any of her clothing.

My husband works in the medical profession so only has experience with clinical autopsies. His adamant belief, however, was that when the coroner is involved, a rape kit would be done on any female murder victim. So unfortunately, all of the people we've been asking have been giving us different answers! :doh: I guess I'm going to start looking again.

Thanks for all of the dialogue on this.

OriginalJerseyGirl
10-07-2005, 07:26 AM
NFI - Pathology (http://www.forensischinstituut.nl/NFI/en/Typen+onderzoek/Items/Pathology.htm)

"... Protocol, a series of agreed-upon written and documented procedures, is observed in the strictest sense of the word.

Protocol ... "

(link gives a brief description of the protocol).

************************************************** ********
Side note - some other forensic procedures are listed and briefly described. Interesting stuff.

OriginalJerseyGirl
10-07-2005, 07:31 AM
Autopsy Service (http://www.pathology.unc.edu/labs/textfiles/dialog_autopsy.htm)

MEDICAL EXAMINER JURISDICTION: (Page 4 MIM#406) The county medical examiner is an officer of the State of North Carolina. The medical examiner's primary purpose is to detect, analyze, and document the medical aspects of certain types of deaths. The following types of deaths in North Carolina must be reported to a Medical Examiner: homicide; suicide; accident; trauma; disaster; violence; unknown, unnatural or suspicious circumstances; in police custody, jail or prison; poisoning or suspicion of poisoning; public health hazard (such as acute contagious disease or epidemic); deaths during surgical or anesthetic procedure; sudden unexpected deaths that are not reasonably related to known previous disease; deaths without medical attendance; and migrant agricultural workers and their dependents. The Medical Examiner has discretion as to whether a given death is within their jurisdiction. However, every death that is due to or might reasonably have been due to a violent or traumatic injury or accident, is to be investigated by the Medical Examiner. This includes all murders, suicides, accidents, poisonings, etc. Note that every death due to a violent cause is to be investigated, regardless of the duration of survival (including hospitalization) of the decedent after injury. If there is any question as to whether a case should be investigated by the Medical Examiner, call the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) for consultation at 1-800-672-7024.

AUTOPSY REPORTS: Autopsy reports will be issued within the following timeframes. Reports will be available on the Clinical Workstation after completion.

Provisional Autopsy Report - 2 Work Days
Final Autopsy Report - 30-60 Days

OriginalJerseyGirl
10-07-2005, 07:49 AM
NC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (http://www.ocme.unc.edu/rules/guidelines.shtml)

The ME must make a record of his/her findings and of the circumstances of the death on the "Report of Investigation" form and on such diagrams, etc., as may be needed to completely document the case. These records are to be sent to the OCME within 14 days of notification of the death. The ME should keep a copy of all documents for his/her records.

The ME Report of Investigation and the autopsy report once received and reviewed at the OCME are public records.

************************************************** **********
This is just a complete guess but it sounds to me like if there were any visible injuries that would have prompted the ME to do a rape kit, those injuries would have to have been noted on the diagram. As we know, nothing of the type was noted.

OriginalJerseyGirl
10-07-2005, 08:00 AM
We might be able to answer this question with the information we already have.

The autopsy report itself states the following:

Additional Procedures:
Radiographs - None
Microbiology - None
Chemistry - None
Evidence collected - The t shirt is retained along with a sexual assault kit that includes a blood sample.
Personal Effects Disposition - The remainder of the clothing and the personal effects will be released with the body.

************************************************** **********
The fact that the sexual assault kit is listed under additional procedures leads me to believe that it is not a standard part of the autopsy.

SouthEastSleuth
10-07-2005, 08:05 AM
It also occurs to me, and this is speculative for sure, that IF the ME had any concerns that Janet had been sexually assaulted, etc., then wouldn't they have kept ALL of her clothing, not just the t-shirt? It would seem that all of a victim's clothing could be a critical part of the "rape kit" evidence... Again, just thinking out loud, and this could have no basis whatsoever.

OriginalJerseyGirl
10-07-2005, 08:20 AM
I wonder if it's possible that someone close to the investigation knew that a rape kit had been done, and so that person subsequently developed a story about rape being the possible motive?

OriginalJerseyGirl
02-09-2006, 01:53 PM
Did we ever find out if a rape kit is standard in Durham? And how about the blood test that was performed on Janet that showed that she was pregnant. Is that standard?

RainbowsAndGumdrops
02-09-2006, 02:10 PM
I thought that the pregnancy was determined by the changes in the female organs. Isn't that what the autopsy said?

OriginalJerseyGirl
02-09-2006, 02:16 PM
The article referenced in this old post is no longer available but the pertinent part was contained in this post. From an article in the Herald Sun:

"A blood test discovered that she was in an early stage of pregnancy."

Here's a link to the original post:

Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community - View Single Post - Media Links Only Please, No Discussion (http://websleuths.com/forums/showpost.php?p=784784&postcount=29)

SouthEastSleuth
02-22-2006, 03:21 PM
I wonder if it's possible that someone close to the investigation knew that a rape kit had been done, and so that person subsequently developed a story about rape being the possible motive?

You know, I think this is still a really good question. I mean unless doing a rape kit and pregnancy test are STANDARD, then SOMETHING would have motivated the ME to do these tests... I guess I could see, perhaps, that the preg test MIGHT be standard, but a rape kit? Seems like that would ONLY be done if there was evidence pointing in that direction?

OriginalJerseyGirl
02-22-2006, 04:15 PM
And why is it so difficult to find information on standard procedure??? :banghead:

BirdHunter
02-22-2006, 07:38 PM
You know, I think this is still a really good question. I mean unless doing a rape kit and pregnancy test are STANDARD, then SOMETHING would have motivated the ME to do these tests... I guess I could see, perhaps, that the preg test MIGHT be standard, but a rape kit? Seems like that would ONLY be done if there was evidence pointing in that direction?You know, I have heard just the opposite. That the rape kit is automatic as to rule out that as a motive for the murder. The pregnancy test is only done if the victim appears to be pregnant or there is some reason for LE to believe that this might be possible. For example, if someone told them she was.

ewwwinteresting
02-23-2006, 12:59 AM
You know, I have heard just the opposite. That the rape kit is automatic as to rule out that as a motive for the murder. The pregnancy test is only done if the victim appears to be pregnant or there is some reason for LE to believe that this might be possible. For example, if someone told them she was.
:waitasec: Hmmm....who would have known Janet was pregnant when she was not that far along....hmmm......maybe Mr. :loser: ?

OriginalJerseyGirl
02-23-2006, 09:23 AM
That IS interesting! I wish we could know for sure. Because if someone gave the ME a reason to check for pregnancy, then that would solve the question about whether or not anyone knew that Janet was pregnant. If we could find something to tell us what the standard tests are and pregnancy testing is NOT on that list, then clearly Janet knew she was pregnant, and she told SOMEONE about it. If I'm not mistaken, in the one interview that the family did a while back, it was stated that the family was shocked when they heard - they had had no idea that she was pregnant. So it would have had to be someone other than Janet's family that led the investigators to look for pregnancy.

Jenifred
02-23-2006, 03:25 PM
If I'm not mistaken, in the one interview that the family did a while back, it was stated that the family was shocked when they heard - they had had no idea that she was pregnant. So it would have had to be someone other than Janet's family that led the investigators to look for pregnancy.So that obviously leaves us with only a few options--friends (co-workers, maybe that's why they were so concerned) or (let's all say it together) RAVEN!!

Just think of the implications if Raven knew she was pregnant. Those would be pretty serious, don't you think?

RainbowsAndGumdrops
02-24-2006, 07:51 AM
Does anyone here have a copy of the autopsy report. I deleted the copy I had because it was just plain disturbing to read about how someone dies. I would like a copy again to check some facts about a lack of blood pooling around the heart and the pregnancy. I tried to find it online again today without success. I would like to double check my facts, but I would swear up and down that when doing the autopsy, there were physical changes in Janet's body noted that indicated that she was pregnant. I do not recall the autopsy stating a blood test was done to confirm this. I also do not recall it being listed in the evidence collected. Am I saying a blood test wasn't done, no. But I am saying that I believe that the autopsy gave them the reason to believe that she was pregnant. Noone would have had to mention a thing.

OriginalJerseyGirl
02-24-2006, 08:53 AM
I'm sorry R&G. Your recollections are just plain incorrect. There were no physical changes to indicate that Janet was pregnant. It was indeed a blood test that discovered it. I do have the autopsy report but I have it saved to my hard drive and not in a format that can be posted. To be honest, I wouldn't post it even if I could out of respect for the family. But if you check around the forum, everything you need is here. We had some lengthy posts about the type of test that was performed, what can be inferred from it, and so on. We also have listed in several locations what was noted about Janet's uterus. Hope this helps.

ETA: This thread has some info. Post #8 is a post that I put together, mentioning what was stated about Janet's uterus along with some information from WebMD:

Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community - Did Raven know Janet was pregnant? (http://websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29433&page=1&highlight=uterus)

OriginalJerseyGirl
02-24-2006, 09:16 AM
R&G, here's a link to an online form to request the autopsy report:

NC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (http://www.ocme.unc.edu/docrequest.shtml)

Unfortunately, I don't know how much help it will be as many of us that requested the report this way still have not received it. Your best bet might have been to hold on to that copy you had on your computer. Those of us that had a copy were extremely fortunate to have gotten our hands on it in the first place. In many cases, that report isn't available at this stage of the game.

Well, hopefully the link above can help.

RainbowsAndGumdrops
02-24-2006, 09:22 AM
Thanks JerseyGirl. Without having to find a copy of the autopsy report, your post #8 that you referenced above did include the information that I was looking for. Now I just have to sit here and go Hmmm...

OriginalJerseyGirl
02-24-2006, 09:24 AM
You're welcome. :) Please feel free to let us know your impressions. That part of this case is very intriguing to me, and I'd love to hear what other people think.

SouthEastSleuth
02-24-2006, 12:35 PM
I know this info is elsewhere, but in light of this discussion, I thought it might be useful to quote the ME report, regarding pregnancy, etc., here as well:


"Reproductive tract: The uterus is unremarkable. The ovaries are unremarkable."

...and then later:

"A postmortem beta HCG shows that the decedent was pregnant at the time of death." (The "toxicology report" notes simply that there were two blood specimens taken postmortem, one from the aorta and one from the vena cava.)

OriginalJerseyGirl
02-24-2006, 01:28 PM
WARNING - potentially disturbing topic below:

SES, your post brought a weird thought to mind. You don't think that anyone would be stupid enough to think that if they killed a pregnant woman early enough, there wouldn't be evidence in the form of a visible fetus (or otherwise) to realize that she was pregnant, do you?