998 users online (147 members and 851 guests)  


Websleuths News


Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 26
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    7

    SC - Ronnie MacBay - Suicide or not? - Charleston, 1980

    I believe my brother was murdered, but the police and coroner ruled it a suicide. If you would like to help get his case re-looked at please read the article on my web page and sign my petition... Thanks for any help you give me.
    http://www.geocities.com/blueyesnsc2...?1074085622500

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    968
    Your web page with its black background and white typeface is so difficult to read and depressing, I doubt many people are going to wait long enough for those photos to load.

    It would seem the arm reach of 19 inches and distance to trigger of 27 inches would be very troubling, yet you don't post any information on this other than the conclusory statement.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    16,107
    Quote Originally Posted by BManning73
    I believe my brother was murdered, but the police and coroner ruled it a suicide. If you would like to help get his case re-looked at please read the article on my web page and sign my petition... Thanks for any help you give me.
    http://www.geocities.com/blueyesnsc2...?1074085622500
    I looked at your website and read the article. I believe that your brother definitely could have been murdered. Unfortunately, I just don't see how it can be proved. I feel so bad for you and your family. I can imagine how heavily it weighs on all of you. What evidence do you think could be obtained if the case were reopened? It sounds as if all of the evidence is gone. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Northeast USA
    Posts
    554
    Can you post the facts that are known? I'd like to get a look at info in the "police files, autopsy findings and inquest transcripts" the article mentioned you have seen. Hopefully you can build upon your website with this additional information. The news article doesn't give much by the way of facts. I'd like to know if if there was a new gun cleaning kit found (as the police allege he bought one), and if the shorts he is wearing in the picture were the only thing he was wearing while out that night. If not, were his clothes found- and where?

    Was he was a habitual drinker (sounds like it from the article)? Because some people can build a tolerance that would not make them as uncoordinated as most of us with that high blood-alcohol level.

    I don't buy the position they claim he'd have to be seated in while pulling the trigger. A bullet can have a 60 trajectory if he were leaning over the gun with the butt on the floor. After the shot, he'd probably have had time to sit back and move his hands. - - Bear with me, just rambling - - And IF he were seated back in the chair like that, the barrel could have been poked into his abdomen several inches- I know I can poke my fingers into my abdomen right there 3/4 of the way up my hand with ease- even deeper with a bit of discomfort...

    Were prints taken off the damaged round and the spent casing?

    How often did he use that gun? Who found your brother's body, and when? Why did they find him?

    I do think it's odd that his keys were never found. But several things that would make it seem more like a suicide, or maybe even a cry for help (it was a .22, maybe he thought he'd just be wounded?) are:
    a friend of MacBay's had recently killed himself
    the anniversary of his father's suicide had just passed
    A few days earlier, MacBay told his mother that he wanted to be buried next to his father and suggested a tombstone reading "here lies two drunks,"

    I'm sorry for your family. I hope you get some new leads.
    Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated. -Sun Tzu

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    1,031
    Mr Manning,

    One thing I would do. I would see if you could find the employer of your brother at the time of his death and ask him if he had fired, or threatened to fire, your brother that day. The article says that your brother had been missing days of work because of the drinking problem shortly before his death. It also states that your brother left early the day of his death because of feeling sick due to a hangover. That might have been the boss man's last straw. Many men see losing a job as a horribly depressing event that might mean depending on others for their support.

    I read your webpage several days ago and wanted to do some experimenting. My kids have an old toy rifle that was mine when I was a kid. My dad says it really isn't a toy but an actual rifle that was purposely stripped of it's ability to fire and the barrel soddered shut. I measured the gun. Though I don't think it is identical to the one pictured in the photos of your brother, the measurements of the barrel and trigger length were nearly identical. My hubby had a poker night last night and I asked several of his buds to help me out. I had them hold the gun as the ME says your brother held it. I made sure the angle would follow the path of the bullet that the ME found. Then I asked them to try to pull the trigger as if to fire it.

    The surprising results were that every guy could do it, despite the differences in their height which were considerable. I purposely used men of different heights without regard to the height of your brother because my husband is a golfer. In golfing you learn that club length is pretty much standard because arm length will correspond accordingly. If a golfer is much taller he doesn't need special long length clubs because his arms will also be longer than his shorter team mates and the difference is too slight to measure. If the gun had been held straight out in front of him at a right angle then arm length would be a factor. But since the gun was positioned parallel with his body and braced at his foot, arm length was no longer a factor.

    Another interesting thing I observed by watching these guys do this is that every one of them, except one, pulled the trigger with his left hand and braced the gun barrel with his right hand. The one that didn't turned out to be left handed.

    Also... none of them could duplicate someone else shooting the gun into a person at that angle without laying flat on the floor on their back if the victim was sitting. If the victim was standing, even using the tallest guy in the group, the shooter would still have to be crouched lower than a baseball catcher.

    I don't find it unusual that the position of your brother's body when found showed him leaning back in the chair supported by the chair back. I assume he was in pain after the shot and leaned back to be supported by something. It would have taken several minutes before he bled internally enough to succumb.

    I believe that his death came at his own hand but would not be so quick to declare it intentional suicide. It appears to be more like an accident to me... at least that's my hunch. He most likely cleared the jam in the gun earlier in the day and possibly decided to load and test it's operation without actually firing it when he returned home from partying that night. The very high content of alcohol would have almost certainly made his judgement impaired. But that volume of alcohol, especially in a person who has become an alcoholic, can also cause severe depression and distort bad events into catastrophic events. Even if he truly believed at that moment that he wanted to commit suicide, he would not have been of sound mind to make such a decision. But most suicide victims are not, which is why they see suicide as their best choice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    7
    Thank you all for your responses so far, they have been very imformative. I plan on making a much better website. There is just so much information that I have it would make the website load really slow, even slower than it is now with just those couple of pictures. I am fairly new to making websites and am still learning. I can however, give you a basic overview of the case and try to make it clearer than the newspaper article did.
    First off, to answer some of your questions...

    Hammerized:

    First off, When the medical examiner entered his apartment, he automatically stated that he would rule it as a suicide before any tests or investigations were done. According to the autopsy it was a "contact gunshot wound to the chest with penetration of the heart pulmonary artery, aorta and right lung which ended up being lodged in the neck". It said he died of "exsanguination". His blood alcohol level was .456 which is more than 4 1/2 times the normal limit for intoxication, it would be expected to result in severe intoxication. At .3 police would be required to take a person to the hospital for fear of alcohol poisoning.

    He left the bar appoximately at 3:00am according to eye witnesses. Several witnesses saw him fall down on his way back to his apartment several times. He was helped up by a man on the beach before making it back to his apartment. The man stated that he had given him one of his cigarettes which would explain the only white filtered cigarette in his ashtray in his apartment. According to police, they believe he had used his gun cleaning rod to remove the jammed bullet to replace it with another. According to balistic reports the gun cleaning rod had not been used that night to un-lodge any type of bullet from the gun because infact it was broken in three pieces.

    In answer to your question, yes he did drink quite a bit and was known, in the past to use drugs. However, no drugs were found in his system. Only caffeine and nicotine and alcohol. There were also no drugs found anywhere in his apartment.

    No fingerprints were ever taken off of him for gun powder residue, off the bullet or the gun itself. There was only one test done in the whole investigation and that was a metal test. They only tested the one hand that you see touching the barrel. He had the gun since he was 12 years old. He didn't use it very much, because it was broken. It was still able to fire, but according to police "it would jam 99 out of 100 times". It took a sober officer in court 30 minutes to load the weapon the way they said he had that night. I would think that someone that severely intoxicated would not have that much coordination to do so.

    His boss found his body the next morning when he went to wake him up for work. What I found strange in his testimony was that he found my brother in this exact same position several times before after he had been out drinking all night. So, in my opinion, would his body not have been in a different position if he infact had shot himself and not one that looked like he was resting like he had looked like so many times before? His boss also stated that he saw, on several occasions, when he had been drinking that much and would sit down to relax he would pass out.

    The police did not ask my mother the right questions when referring to whether or not he had ever threatened suicide. They asked if he had ever "discussed" suicide. I claim who hasn't "discussed" the topic of suicide once in their lifetime? Discussed and threatened are 2 totally different words with completely different meanings. This so called "friend" of his who killed himself was not his "best friend" as stated by police but merely an acquaintance.

    I'm not sure what he was wearing that night. No one asked any witnesses. If he had just been wearing those shorts and according to witnesses had fallen several times, would he not have been scraped or dirty on his legs? According to the ME, he had dirt on his chest and arms which would indicate he most likely didn't have a shirt on. It mentioned nothing about dirt anywhere else.

    Babcat

    His boss died about 10 years ago in an automobile accident, but according to statements from that night, he had not fired him. He considered Ronnie one of his best workers despite his shortcomings. He actually let him go home early that day because he wasn't feeling well. He is the one who went to his apartment to wake him up for work the next day.

    According to the ME and the police he would have been in the postion you see in the picture when he pulled the trigger for the bullet to go in the angle that it did. According to coroners report "The wound was 22" from the top of the head and 3/8" to the left of the midline". "The bullet passed upward of 60 degrees to the right 4 degrees and backward". "This would was considered a contact wound with powder burns around it, which indicated the victim held the weapon firmly to his stomach while pulling the trigger". Which, in my opinion, I would assume the body would be in a totally different position than was it was found in.

    I made a replica out of cardboard to the correct dimensions of the actual gun used that night. My wife and I did similar tests and it was easy for her to just bend over at the waist and pull the trigger in the same postion he was shot without much strain at all. Even if somebody did squat down to do this they still wouldn't have to get on their backs to do it, in my opinion. It seemed, in our experiement, a pretty simple task.

    With all the information I've gathered I could see it being an accident as well. But there are still some things that don't fit in my mind, for instance...If someone is going to kill themselves why would they have their gun cleaning kit out? He also, just the day before bought a weeks worth of groceries. I find it odd that if he knew his gun would jam 99 out of 100 times and he planned to kill himself, why did he buy groceries instead of a box of bullets? There was only one useable bullet in the house and that was the one found in his body.

    Another question that I have regarding whether or not it was accidental was that a man was seen entering the apartment prior to the shooting and leaving the apartment shortly after what seemed to be a shot heard. There was a 12 year old girl who lived in the apartment directly above his who was a witness to this. The police did not believe her statement, because she could not remember exactly what the guy was wearing. They discredited her because of her age, not even taking into account that she was taking college prep classes and was not your typical 12 year old.

    If there is any other information that you would like to request let me know. I will try to give it to you to the best of my ability.

    Thanks again for all your help and thank you to those who just responded with your support and encouragement.

    Brian Manning

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    1,031
    Mr Manning,

    OK... now I'm confused. But that's not really unusual.

    On your webpage you say:
    The police say he would have had to bend over and hold the barrel of the gun tightly to his chest to have killed himself. If this was the case then wouldn't his body have been in a different position?
    But in the post above you say:
    According to the ME and the police he would have been in the postion you see in the picture when he pulled the trigger for the bullet to go in the angle that it did.
    Assuming he had to bend over and hold the gun tightly to his chest as you say on the webpage, the experiments we did say the shooter had to be flat on his back, or at least hold the gun down at that angle. In the position you see him in the crime scene, the bullet would not have followed the path the ME found.

    The bullet hole is actually in his sternum. The barrel actually had to be pressed not only inward but also upward to travel that path.

    Now I might be inclined to say that nobody kills himself with a shot to the sternum by a 22 rifle. But I'd be a hypocrite if I did, since I had a friend in Jr. High kill himself the same way on December 27, 1979. But I certainly don't think it is common. (Truthfully I never thought I'd hear of another such case.) By the same token nobody murders somebody that way either. If an assailant had the gun he would have shot your brother between the eyes. A 22 is not very effective unless it hits a vital organ. At the very least someone wanting to kill him would have shot him directly in line with his heart. It was the nearly vertical bullet path that took his life since the bullet hit the lung and aorta.

    I believe your mother was misled by the police questioning her, and your brother most likely had not talked about contemplating suicide to her. The buying of the groceries doesn't necessarily mean anything since alcoholics don't think ahead and depression comes on them in waves. And people who drink often can perform tasks that require more dexterity much better than those who drink now and then. And I'm inclined to not trust the recollection of the 12-year-old neighbor. I doubt she made the story up, but she could have mistaken which night she saw the man. Even if this girl is extraordinary by academic standards, that would have no bearing on her credibility one way or the other. I have a nine-year-old in the gifted program that reads at highschool level and her maturity is about the level of any other nine-year-old.

    But even still I'm more inclined to believe this was an accident. Perhaps he didn't know the bullet in the gun wasn't jammed this time, and he was examining the end of the barrel and leaned forward over the gun to reach something and somehow hit the trigger. He could have broken the instrument that dislodged the jammed bullet that same night dislodging it.

    I believe if I were you, and simply was not convinced, I would want to know:

    1) why they could not match a slug, that traveled only through soft tissue and knicked a rib, to his gun conclusively. That's suspicious to me. Even this type of cheap jamming rifle leaves spiral markings unique to that weapon.

    2) why this gun wasn't checked to see if it had been recently fired.

    3) if there was evidence he had changed from pants to shorts after returning home and before the shooting.

    4) if there was evidence he climbed in through a window, used a credit card or ID card on the lock, or otherwise found an alternate way in when he got home. He may have lost his keys in one of his falls that resulted from his stumbling while he walked home that night. (My personal hunch is that the boss that found him took his keys.)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Babcat
    Mr Manning,

    OK... now I'm confused. But that's not really unusual.

    On your webpage you say:


    But in the post above you say:


    Assuming he had to bend over and hold the gun tightly to his chest as you say on the webpage, the experiments we did say the shooter had to be flat on his back, or at least hold the gun down at that angle. In the position you see him in the crime scene, the bullet would not have followed the path the ME found.

    The bullet hole is actually in his sternum. The barrel actually had to be pressed not only inward but also upward to travel that path.

    Now I might be inclined to say that nobody kills himself with a shot to the sternum by a 22 rifle. But I'd be a hypocrite if I did, since I had a friend in Jr. High kill himself the same way on December 27, 1979. But I certainly don't think it is common. (Truthfully I never thought I'd hear of another such case.) By the same token nobody murders somebody that way either. If an assailant had the gun he would have shot your brother between the eyes. A 22 is not very effective unless it hits a vital organ. At the very least someone wanting to kill him would have shot him directly in line with his heart. It was the nearly vertical bullet path that took his life since the bullet hit the lung and aorta.

    I believe your mother was misled by the police questioning her, and your brother most likely had not talked about contemplating suicide to her. The buying of the groceries doesn't necessarily mean anything since alcoholics don't think ahead and depression comes on them in waves. And people who drink often can perform tasks that require more dexterity much better than those who drink now and then. And I'm inclined to not trust the recollection of the 12-year-old neighbor. I doubt she made the story up, but she could have mistaken which night she saw the man. Even if this girl is extraordinary by academic standards, that would have no bearing on her credibility one way or the other. I have a nine-year-old in the gifted program that reads at highschool level and her maturity is about the level of any other nine-year-old.

    But even still I'm more inclined to believe this was an accident. Perhaps he didn't know the bullet in the gun wasn't jammed this time, and he was examining the end of the barrel and leaned forward over the gun to reach something and somehow hit the trigger. He could have broken the instrument that dislodged the jammed bullet that same night dislodging it.

    I believe if I were you, and simply was not convinced, I would want to know:

    1) why they could not match a slug, that traveled only through soft tissue and knicked a rib, to his gun conclusively. That's suspicious to me. Even this type of cheap jamming rifle leaves spiral markings unique to that weapon.

    2) why this gun wasn't checked to see if it had been recently fired.

    3) if there was evidence he had changed from pants to shorts after returning home and before the shooting.

    4) if there was evidence he climbed in through a window, used a credit card or ID card on the lock, or otherwise found an alternate way in when he got home. He may have lost his keys in one of his falls that resulted from his stumbling while he walked home that night. (My personal hunch is that the boss that found him took his keys.)


    In reply to the fact the police state that he had to lean over to pull the trigger. They stated this in the inquest trial to disprove my uncle who was the lawyer in the case. My uncle asked if he was sitting back for the angle of the bullet to go in the way it did, then how did he pull the trigger being the distance would have been to far for him to reach. The police gave an opinion that he believed that he would have had to lean up a little to have reached it. If he had done that than the bullet would have went in at a different than stated by the ME angle. According to the ME the victim held the gun firmly to his stomach before pulling the trigger In my opinion if he had done that than he would have had to lean over to pull the trigger but the ME never stated that he leaned over he believed he pulled the trigger in the position that you see him in in the picture. He based this on the fire and gun power burns on his stomach. He said that in this position the burns got bigger from where the gun rested to where the bullet entered the body. This whole case to me was based on opinion from to many people. Police believed there was no one seen that night coming from the apartment even though she described what he was wearing and what kind of flashlight he was carrying. Not to mention that when I had the story done for the paper the reporter had gotten in contact with her, she is now in her late 30's and she remembers that night still as vivid as she did then. So I know that it was that night she remembered that and not some other night. The police stated that Mr. Brown had crawled in through an open window in the kitchen. Mr. Brown told when he got on the stand he "called" in through the window from the bathroom when he was looking through it into the living room. The window was never open. Now as for the shooter being flat on his back to have pulled the trigger it wouldnt have to have happened that way. I set up my replica and sat back the way he was in the picture and my wife could have easily bent over at the waist and pulled that trigger without moving the gun at all. Now I know this may sound stupid because most people dont believe in psychics but she was a very well known psychic and had solved many murder cases for the Boston police before coming to Charleston. She stated that there was a man in the apartment that night and he was looking for his money that my brother was to have for him for selling drugs for him. He didnt find any and he leaned down and pulled the trigger and ran. The psychic said that my brother may have ran into this man before he got home and went to get his gun ready because he expected trouble. Before he could do anything he had passed out in the chair with the gun between his legs. The man simply came in and pulled the trigger. This man was also said to have taken the keys. In another statement from Mr. Brown several months later when the trial went to the grand jury he stated that someone was in the apartment the next night very late. At that point his mother was the only one to have a key. Except for the missing one my brother would have had to use that night to get in. So who was in the apartment? Why didnt Mr. Brown go check it out? I cant answer that one. Feel free to ask anymore questions Im hoping to get a better website up soon that will have all this information on it

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by nanandjim
    I looked at your website and read the article. I believe that your brother definitely could have been murdered. Unfortunately, I just don't see how it can be proved. I feel so bad for you and your family. I can imagine how heavily it weighs on all of you. What evidence do you think could be obtained if the case were reopened? It sounds as if all of the evidence is gone. My thoughts and prayers are with you.




    Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I dont know anyway to find any new evidence but from the inquest notes and eye witness reports they could look at them and see it had to be something more. The never proved he pulled the trigger no finger printing was done for gun powder residue so I dont know where to go next with it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    16,107
    Quote Originally Posted by Babcat
    Mr Manning,

    .... My hubby had a poker night last night and I asked several of his buds to help me out. I had them hold the gun as the ME says your brother held it. I made sure the angle would follow the path of the bullet that the ME found. Then I asked them to try to pull the trigger as if to fire it.

    The surprising results were that every guy could do it, despite the differences in their height which were considerable. ....
    Very interesting post, Babcat.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    1,031
    Mr Manning,

    How did Mr. Brown get into the house that morning to find your brother? If it was your brother's custom to lock the door, Mr. Brown would have had to find it odd that the door was unlocked. Was Mr. Brown his employer and his landlord too?

    Why would an assailant kill the occupant of the house while he was passed out on a chair by simply pulling the trigger of a gun already pressed tightly against the man's stomach, (which is odd to begin with) and then count on a 22 actually killing him? Why wasn't the house ransacked while this guy looked for his missing money? Why kill the man and take his keys but then not lock the door to make it appear even more like suicide? Did your brother have a car that the keys on that ring would operate, and was it missing?

    Did you check out this psychic's story about solving cases for the Boston police by calling the Boston police? As I've read, there isn't any psychics that have solved numbers of crimes for any police department. That is the stuff of urban legends.

    If you are confident the 12-year-old knows for certain the night she saw the man... maybe there is more to the story than an accident or suicide that involved only your brother. Maybe another man was there, maybe even a friend, aquaintence, or just a drinking buddie from that night. Maybe the two men were horsing around and somehow this gun went off. Maybe the man witnessed your brother accidently shoot himself, or maybe this man accidently shot your brother. And then he panicked and ran away. The article from your website says that the girl's story was inconsistent on the stand with her statement. If she remembers that night clearly even now, why was she inconsistent then? Or maybe her description of the man matched the sheriff's son... but I'm not easily given to conspiracy theorizing.

    At any rate, why would the mystery man risk coming back the next night after the body had been found? He would have to be the stupidest man alive to do that. I would want to know more about Mr. Brown. He found the body. He swears there was no keys there even though your brother did have keys. He sees the mysterious person in the house the next night. Isn't HE raising anyone's eyebrows?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Babcat
    Mr Manning,

    How did Mr. Brown get into the house that morning to find your brother? If it was your brother's custom to lock the door, Mr. Brown would have had to find it odd that the door was unlocked. Was Mr. Brown his employer and his landlord too?

    Why would an assailant kill the occupant of the house while he was passed out on a chair by simply pulling the trigger of a gun already pressed tightly against the man's stomach, (which is odd to begin with) and then count on a 22 actually killing him? Why wasn't the house ransacked while this guy looked for his missing money? Why kill the man and take his keys but then not lock the door to make it appear even more like suicide? Did your brother have a car that the keys on that ring would operate, and was it missing?

    Did you check out this psychic's story about solving cases for the Boston police by calling the Boston police? As I've read, there isn't any psychics that have solved numbers of crimes for any police department. That is the stuff of urban legends.

    If you are confident the 12-year-old knows for certain the night she saw the man... maybe there is more to the story than an accident or suicide that involved only your brother. Maybe another man was there, maybe even a friend, aquaintence, or just a drinking buddie from that night. Maybe the two men were horsing around and somehow this gun went off. Maybe the man witnessed your brother accidently shoot himself, or maybe this man accidently shot your brother. And then he panicked and ran away. The article from your website says that the girl's story was inconsistent on the stand with her statement. If she remembers that night clearly even now, why was she inconsistent then? Or maybe her description of the man matched the sheriff's son... but I'm not easily given to conspiracy theorizing.

    At any rate, why would the mystery man risk coming back the next night after the body had been found? He would have to be the stupidest man alive to do that. I would want to know more about Mr. Brown. He found the body. He swears there was no keys there even though your brother did have keys. He sees the mysterious person in the house the next night. Isn't HE raising anyone's eyebrows?



    Mr. Brown got into the house through the front door. The door was locked but not closed all the way as for it to catch in place. Mr. Brown stated he had found the door like that before when he went to get my brother up for work one morning and his keys were in the door then. My brother had been drinking at that time as well. Mr Brown was the landlords son and my brothers employer.

    I did check into the psychics story and it was true. I saw many articles as well to the fact that she had been on several talk shows and had even helped in the case of the sniper in Virginia. The police had seen that the rest of his house looked messey and didnt even consider that my mother had cleaned my brothers clothes the Sunday before and had folded them and stuck them in his drawers. They were scattered all over the top of the dresser like someone had been looking for something in there. If he had not been to work very much in the 2 days prior to his death he wouldnt have had to get in that drawer that much for clothes.

    I believe if someone did do it like the psychic said that he came in looking for the money and didnt find any. He was angry possibly drinking or on drugs himself and pulled the trigger, which I believe at that time was resting against my brother not tightly against him like they stated. In my research on how to determine whether or not someone has committed suicide you need to look for 3 key factors. 1. Gun power residue on the hands of the victim. They never did that test. 2. A caderic spasm which is when a set of muscle groups will contract around an object the victim is holding at the time of death. This was not present. 3. If this was a "contact gun shot wound" like they stated there was no mention of a muzzle impression on the body which meant he didnt hold it on his stomach but it was near it when the shot was fired. The fire from the gun left powder burn marks that went from small to larger as it went into him at the upward angle, if the muzzle had been in direct contact with his skin the burns would have been isolated to just around the hole the bullet had entered him not half way up his chest. He took the keys so he could come back the next night to finish looking, but that is just my opinion. He did not have a car.
    I dont believe that anyone of his friends were there because he and his friends when drinking tended to get pretty loud and the girl said she never heard anyone talking or yelling. The only inconsistant statements she made was to what the guy may have been wearing. That is why they dismissed the fact that she saw someone there. You have to remember she was woken up by what she thought was a knock on his door in the middle of the night. She waited a minute to wake up better and looked outside. She saw the screen door open and then the other wooden door where she could see light coming out of his apartment. The door closed she heard what she thought was a thud or shot a short time later and the then door opened again and the man came out shined his flash light on the wall across from my brothers apartment before dropping it. Then he took off up the walk at a medium pace. During the summer at that time it was very rainy and humid and you would have to slam the door to get it to shut because the wood would swell. I belive my brother came in locked the door as normal but because of swelling he didnt slam it hard enough for it to catch so it remained unlocked in place. I believe if the man did come back the next night he was pretty stupid, but that is what drugs will do to the mind. Mr Brown didnt not see anyone in the apartment he stated that he thought that he had heard someone moving around in there as if they were looking for something but he said he was half asleep and I guess dismissed it and didnt bother calling anyone about it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    1,031
    Mr. Manning,

    I have to tell you my husband has a completely different take on this than I do. He isn't into true crime as a hobby like I am. I think part of the time he thinks I'm whacko for being interested. But he is in the military, has been for the last fifteen years, and has a wealth more information about weapons than I do. And he knows a lot more about guys.

    He says there is no way your brother shot himself in that position and there is no way he shot himself leaning forward. He believes that the 60 degree angle needed for the bullet path would most logically be accomplished if your brother was laying flat out on his back (on the bed? on a couch?) Someone stood over him at his feet and lowered the rifle to his sternum and shot point blank. Most 22 rifles won't leave an exit wound and in your brother's state of inebriation and the pain from the bullet he would have been easy to manhandle into that chair afterwards. There wouldn't be any blood trail with a 22 wound and no indication that anything had happened in the bed.

    Hubby theorizes that someone played "good Samaritan" and offered to help him home that night knowing he was too drunk to use any judgement. Chances are it was someone he knew, if only as an aquaintance. The plan was to rob him once he passed out and that is why it appeared as if his drawers had been "gone through" (ransacked) etc. Maybe because he was angry that your brother had nothing to steal... or maybe because he got spooked at the last minute that your brother would remember him being there despite his condition... he made the choice to shoot him.

    It had to be unplanned and disorganized for him to shoot him where he did. Maybe he thought the gun would do more damage because he had little experience with guns. (Is it possible the "man" the girl saw was really a woman?) He chose to move your brother to the chair and put the gun between his legs (as he was found) to make it appear to be suicide. If this is the case, chances are the gun would have appeared to be wiped down, and only the deliberate fingerprints of your brother's hands where he would have touched the gun to fire it would be found. That is an indication of staging. He thought he had locked the door but it didn't close all the way, but he took the keys to come back at a later date and further search for something. (This also sounds more like a woman to me.) What he was searching for is up for debate. Did he know your brother well and knew what he was looking for? Was he only slightly aquainted and was looking for anything of value?

    This is hubby's take on it.

    We have a thirteen-year-old girl and an eleven-year-old girl in addition to the nine-year-old I told you about earlier. He thinks the girl's statement likely deviated on the stand because something in the questioning made her feel as if she should have done something more, like call the police right then. If the girl was made to feel as if she should have handled what she heard and saw differently, she would become scared, or possibly feel guilty, and then would tend to downplay how suspicious the character she saw looked. And the sound of a 22 firing nearly against the skin wouldn't have sounded like a gunshot if there was a wall or ceiling between his apartment and her family's apartment. She would have had no reason to believe someone had just shot her neighbor, so calling the police would have seemed like an over reaction. A twenty-year-old guy probably had friends in and out all the time late at night. After hubby put it that way... I have to agree.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    7
    Well someone did offer to help him home that night, he actually picked him up when he fell. According to what the guy told police and when he came to my parents house later after the trial, said my brother told him he was almost home and didnt need any help, but could he bum a cig off of him. When the police went into the house the next morning there was a strange cig in the ashtray. It had a white filter and the cigs my brother smoked all had brown. The police dismissed this as the one that was given to him on the beach. I believed that the guy may have been in the apartment but only thing that is weird is why would he come to my parents house and claim that he knew that my brother didnt commit suicide because he was to drunk. If he had killed my brother, then it would be kinda stupid of him to come saying that.


    I would have to agree about the girls statement. According to what I have read about what she said the police kept asking her if she was lying or exaggerating anything. She kept telling them no she was telling the truth, but they kept confusing her when asking her what the guy wore and what she saw so some of it varied.

    I dont think that it could have been a woman that did it because the girl later testified that she saw a heavy set man that looked like her brother but heavier who had come out of the apartment. Also she told police that she thought it looked like a man she had seen on the other side of Folly when she was at a friends house but she couldnt be certain.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    1,031
    Does the girl's description of the man in any way fit the description of the one who told your mother he had tried to help your brother home? I know you were just a little boy and memories fade about details, but your mother may remember if she is still with us. Did the girl mention that this man resembled the man she saw in build? She never saw the man from the front. And why would the man have had a flashlight if he hadn't been looking to "help someone home" in the dark? Did your brother have a flashlight that might have been missing from the apartment?

    If he shot your brother by accident (my husband says "no way by accident") or if he felt terribly guilty after he sobered up and realized what he did, I can see him telling your mother that your brother didn't commit suicide. An off handed way to relieve his own guilt and possibly make his victim's mother feel better.

    Try to think back. Among your brother's things at his house, since he had shopped just the day before, did anyone find some of his brand of cigarettes? An opened pack would be especially important. If there was an opened pack it is unlikely, though I admit not impossible, that this man needed to loan your brother a smoke. And what was found in the ashtray is most likely evidence that this man was in that house. Maybe the man knew that he had left the cigarette butt and thought about that later and the story to your mother was a cover story. Maybe his trip back to your brother's apartment was to retrieve that and anything else he might have thought he left of himself... not to take anything of your brother's. When he saw it was already taken into evidence he visited the house to tell his story to your mother and give a plausible reason for the butt being there.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast


Similar Threads

  1. FL FL - Ronnie Henderson, 73, Naples, 31 May 1985
    By SheWhoMustNotBeNamed in forum 1980's Missing
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-31-2016, 04:05 AM
  2. GUILTY TX - Ronnie Gammage, 27, Longview, 8 Dec 2012
    By demetra in forum Recently Sentenced and Beyond
    Replies: 229
    Last Post: 07-14-2015, 12:56 AM
  3. Charleston SC- LIVE Suicide "Bomber" on Ravenel Bridge.
    By redkatrampant in forum Up to the Minute
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-02-2012, 06:12 PM

Tags for this Thread