Dr. Werner Spitz testimony (professional medical doctor and Forensic Pathologist)

Discussion in 'Witness Testimonies and Closing Arguments' started by wenwe4, Jun 18, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. wenwe4

    wenwe4 Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

    Dr. Spitz....involved in case of Mary Jo Kopetne (sic? object -

    what other trials involved in recognize you for object-
    published various articles,books,lectures, publications...4 books text books. ..last one 2006...CM shows a copy in court....published Mechanism of death in fresh water drowning....subject matter of drowning published numerous....publication list 96 scientific peer reviewed articles ....testified as expert witness in courts in US - all 50 states including Alaska and Hawaii...foreign countries...Canada, middle east, Europe, done work for UN and given opinions to court in Costa Rica....last 7 years times testifed as expert witness? probably around 300 times...maybe somewhat more....around 30 times avg per year....there have been years more frequent.....certify Dr. Spitz expert witness in forensic pathology.

    CM - Spitz
    how first came involved w/kc case? received call from JB law firm...asked to possibly agree to consult w/firm on this case..whether special requests ....object- hearsay non-response to question-sustain

    first thing did after speak to JB law firm....attend post mortem exam....autopsy by Dr. G...request allow be in attendance? object- sidebar

  2. Loading...

  3. wenwe4

    wenwe4 Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

    CM w/Spitz

    conducted 2nd autopsy ...@ Bryant funeral home and cremation services in Orlando...Dr. G complete her report before conduct 2nd one? don't recall don't think so....autopsy first observations remarkable to you....came equipped with all equipment but didn't bring a saw thought that autopsy completely done...it had not been done the way it should done....skull had not been opened to inspect...inspect.....hands a bag with a adult human bone skull...not plastic or fake....brought it (object sustain)

    demonstrate open skull - that Dr. G did not do...opened take top 1/2 off with a saw used to remove cap and skull look @ interior of skull..showing...outside inside....autopsy photos taken? yes hedid....appraoch w/pic...photo #BY - photo accurate - skull opened during autopsy....kc looking somewhat ill...a little nasuea ...turns away from pictures....big graphic up in front of jurors...she looks up...Dr. Spitz move down - lavellier mike...

  4. wenwe4

    wenwe4 Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

    Enlargement of autopsy photo..what is remarkable?

    base of skull....lid is here taken off by sawing all way around...look into bones and see ...vetrebal column...spinal column goes in the brain...front and this is back...should be reversed...right side and left side....this is reverse flip it over right side go on top

    left side base of skull you see black flecks of material....represent decomp large and permanent ...brain fills this entire space is gone...brain has disolved ...some parts iron, magnesium, choloride, stay....ashes to ashes dust to dust....dust remains ...just less than an ounce....some of the dust has been removed - gone...could have been water...these dust are attached and came down...indicate the position of this skulll over the decomp process...takes a lot of time...specks repesenting to be left over after the entire brain is gone...indicates brain has disappeared and those elements sunk by gravity...very little by little over months this has occurred....

    what position of the skull? skull was positioned in left side down...if this is ground something like this....position it would have been during decomp.....base of the skull and that are the same....the specks are localized in this area....left side...skull would have been positionined like this....maybe with face a little bit up...seems to be somewhat more to the back a little like this....

    CM thanks him allow him to return....jury enough time to look @ pic?

  5. wenwe4

    wenwe4 Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

    Dr. Spitz examined entire skeleton very few bones missing....skull not been opened ..show jury what he found...he didn't find discoloration of certain parts of skull...place where ear is...mechanism of ear...side of ear...base and inside ...no fractures or blows identified on skull..skull intact and undamaged..some damage to some long bones on the leg....post-mortem by animals chewing on the flesh on bones...no damage other than that...area longer bone of the thigh - fairly long bone in a child 3 years old about 5" opened by first ME....he surmised they probably opened to take marrow....object....he thought they had done this to for purpose of removing material to get access to bone marrow cavity...purpose removing certain material helpful in diagnosis...subsequently learned this was not the case...based on this exam - cause of death remained unknown....for him some extent as well..

    REad Dr. G's reference to duct tape? understand some sections of duct tape on lower face were loosely - not a shred of soft tissue no skin muscles, fat, nerves,

    without gloves or apron touched - nothing to contaminate him - just as little to infect him or not allow him handle remains of 3 year old child...he didn't need all the material he brought....tape was not there when he saw...pictures duct tape showed on the right lower side hanging on hair and roots of vegetation in the area this was excavacted - lower partially under the surface of the ground...vegetation had grown into the material..plants benefit from minerals and chemistry generated by decomp.

    Dr. G's report duct tape was clearly placed prior to decomp...what opinion do you have? some problem with it...when duct tape applied to skin- decomposes...duct tape becomes loose on the skeletal structure - in this case only thing held duct tape on face was roots and hair...don't know fashion duct tape came in contact....nothing on bone to suggest duct tape...nothing on duct tape to suggest it was on skin...his strong feeling and opinion that duct tape placed there to hold lower jaw in place....decomp with no trace of flesh on this head...if he would have picked it up like this...lower jaw would have dropped...just like he will show...this lower jaw is attached by ....touch this to remove it and lower jaw falls off...duct tape attached to the skull..would have been held somewhat by roots and maybe by fact there was hair between ducttape and lower jaw...would you expect dna on duct tape if placed on face? he would have expect dna yes...if duct tape would attached to the face...dna on theface from the duct tape..he put duct tape on his arm...when removed pulled out hairs with roots from the duct tape...no doubt in his mind - would have had duct tape on skin some presence of dna on that duct tape ...simple reason contact pressure between duct tape and skin....decomp less where there is no air coming in....bacteria cause decomp...

    opinion tape not put on the face before decomp even antemortem...later event not an early one....after decomp...adipocere is stage

  6. wenwe4

    wenwe4 Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

    Adipocere will develop in optimal conditions within 10-12 days....no more soft tissue on this skull..
    reviewed all reports....determine if any evidence as to cause of death in this case? well there are - rule out certain causes of death...cannot answer what this child really died from could have ....rule out some conditions but not all.....rule out suicide, cannot rule out accidental death.....different between cause of death and manner of death...
    what opinion manner of death means natural, accident, suicide, homicide...4 classifications for manner of death....cause of death...pneumonia - or puncture wound - lots of those...

    cannot tell you in this case manner of death...based on exam as it is today cannot say manner of death....practicing for approxing or supervised residence on autopsy 60,000 - prctice for 56 years...no further questions\

  7. wenwe4

    wenwe4 Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

    JA w/Dr. Spitz...given all info from 1st autopsy, went to A home,

    adequate medical/legal investigation re: surrounding death need to know entire background not just medical aspect. he understands asked questions...he cannot tell now each and every question asked enough sufficient questions to get a good idea..he asked JB and Cm and think spoke to people in the home some of them he met there...in the A home...don't remember who those people were...did have police reports....which ones? couldn't tell ...didn't know there were different ones...what understanding of facts leading up to find body..

    understand there was some time lapse of time of month between disappearance of child and police report made...facts of last time anyone saw a victim always extreemely important in med/legal investigation....yes everything needs to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle...item by iteself...don't eval...

    understand of when Caylee was last seen alive? knows caylee was allegedly taken to a babysitter....understanding something occurred - what info you had of background of this case that you acknowledge it is essential...what facts you had...don't know had any facts when she was alive...cannot recall in formation.....allows Spitz to recite to him what was going on while she was alive....Dr. G had more information that Spitz knew....Spitz knew whatever she put in the report - toxicology, lots info in there....if she wrote info in report he read it....what did she write in her report about child's life...don't recall....common summarize facts of investigation.....summarize that...some people do and don't...he doesn/t but many people do....one must look and read police reports and determine what led up to this child dying...yes we do read police reports....you don't remember any of the facts of thecase....not true- you asked me what I knew about Caylee before she disappeared = last seen alive...he doesn't recall..healthy young 3 y/o child....

    what do you recall about facts leading up todeath you consider significant....thought there was a pool in the yard @ house, creates possible drowning...understand for a month went by without notify authority child was missing....any other facts of child misisng? ones you felt significant in rendering opinion to CM

    failure of Dr. G to open skull - violate protocol = which one? autopsy on a child that has ultimate exam by forensic pathologist made national news....we open the head...objection non-responsive ..what protocol is violated?

    protocol is head is opened in any individual where there is possible involvement of the skull, the meninges ,and brain and any structure theoretically benefit from skull opening exam...the skull the head is part of the body..when do autopsy you examine whole body...you buy house you buy whole house not a house without a basement.....the whole entity...complete structure....body and head complete structure...there could be all kinds of head need to know about....no significance from the head down? no publication - don't know where that is published - he has trained lots ME to practice forensic path....he helped to make that document...doesn't know where been out of forensic path for some time now...to not open the head is a failure of the autopsy ...another thing if autopsy every ME will tell you...shoddy autopsy....you provoked me to say that...upsets my profession for 56 years...object to narrative and not respond to question..

    skull is opened in traditional autopsy in non-skeletonized remains...examine the brain within the skull...one reason but not the only one...each case dictates other things...he would never have known how the head was positioned if he didn't open it....discuss in a minute...

    opening on the autopsy cutting the ribs on the sternum...you are not going to open that if only skeleton just like .....look inside head without opening it? you have to show me to do it! little hole right in bottom? what?

    aware of this book? edited and wrote in it....every medical legal investigation of death by Spitz and fisher - articles on virtually every aspect...most written by yourself....articles written by Bass and Haskell, object - sustained

    authoritative treatise on medical/legal investigation of death....where in this book it establishes a protocol opening skull on skeletal case....not a book on protocol it is wounds and what happens after death...doesn't tell you how to do autopsy....you will find by reading this book - skull is opened in nearly every one...

    Dr. Wm Bass contain a protocol? object 0verrule - repeat object...CM objecting 611- and ....overrule

    chapter on forensic anthropology that you edited does it contain anything bout opening skullls....it isn't a protocol book ...nothing in there about opening skulls probably....in order to find manifestations head must be opened....talks about findings in the head you will find..

    Minnesota protocols.....section 5 titled Modeled protocol for disenterment and remains...drafted in consult Minnesota Human rights committee - approach and have him read it? you may

  8. wenwe4

    wenwe4 Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

    JA to Dr. Spitz - you like high profile cases?

    involved in Phil Spector case, OJ case....yes
    menedez brothers? no

    when opened skull you broke it didn't you? I broke it I didn't know I broke it...I don't know that I did that I saw break...

    Spitz did not do any chemical tests...scraped some if it and gave it to....kept it for possible testing by police lab...
    don't remember who did it...don't remember it is brain dust or debris do you? that is settlement of a decomposing brain and surrounding soft tissues by decomp...believe me this skull of Caylee is not the first decomp skeletal remains opened and found this kind of residue ....routine finding and mentioned in his book....without examining can't know if brain dust or just dirt...not just dirt...residue by decomp brain by gravity...

    get information about area where skull was found...Spitz went there - given info this are a is under water occassionally....yes understand that...underwater...residue of brain dust...not just sediment...yes it is decomp brain falling...it couldn't be dirty water enter skull ...this sediment is so common in skeletal remains subjected to extensive decomp of brain and soft tissues...almost as definitive a finding as to say this is lower jaw...dont need to research it ...it speaks for itself...don[t need to bother to have sediment examined by geologist, chemist, know better than anyone else you know that is brain dust...if someone wants to analyse it they can....that is Spitz opinion

    wash the skull to get trace elements from skull...aware that ME took saline put it thru the hole where he put finger/pen - swished and removed whatever came out...no posible way the settlement of water....reason sediment is on that side is cuz weight to it ....not first autopsy..object sustained cm's

    requested by prosecutor of Riverside Calif...skeleton buried in mountains of Riversice opened skull - same residue sediment in the bottom noted sleeping drug in the sediment...that is why finding here....determine skull must have been on left side...otherwise he would not be here...this brown sediment did not respond to swishing it is sticky ...sticks to bone....it will be there....in other case sent the sediment for chemical analysis....there was someone to give it to from prosecutors office. an advantage having 2 people doing autopsy....if he was there with Dr. G he would havedemanded .....open...instead of inject fluid into closed box could have avoided Kerfufle...he doesn't have a lab to analyse....put your skull back together & approach witness?

    your theory this skull decomposed on left side of the face...@ time of decomp brain is still relatively intact....skin on face and hair on skull,....decomp hair is sluffing off the skull....force of gravity hair would naturally fall this way...no hair would move but directly fall not sure....hair is kind of clumped together ....much of tissue is received creamy salty stuff keeps hair together...when disappeared the hair will stay on the scalp...many people come and move it the hair would move to...
    skull in this position, skin and brain completely decomp...hair still in place? it would have fallen....difficult to hear)

    mass of hair top of skull ...hai would go down no t up..mass would fall this way...some would fall that ...mass of hair would be on the side? some could be on right side...some would fall off the back...some spread on skull when picked up (kc turns away) sticky material....#219

  9. wenwe4

    wenwe4 Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

    Dr. Spitz showing handkerchief over skull hair area....hair is matted and is tell me there is water ...maybe water washed around it...and spashed bone to the hair...the liquified skin was glued to the bone....water displaced hair but not the residue? don't know if that happend but could hve happened and seems quite likely because there is no hair on base of the skull....now there is hair on base of skull....how did that hair get there? hair can't get there by sloughing off the skull? adipocere sticky....

    did you look @ this hair - do you know it is sticky? saw pictures...I know it is sticky have seen it before....decomp finishes dries up and adipocere still there - sticks hair to bone...photo does not support the theory you have theorized ...hair is not slid to side...this is to be expected...areas submerged at times....totally consistent with it..

    lets proceed to other duct tape....applied after fully skeletonized after skin deteriorated....after skin was decomp....thru process of adipocere...you see it looking @ you and me....not handled much @ scene...object to narrative....finish answer question asked..

    how did this person do this ...apply ducttape on the skull? took a piece of duct tape in a roll - tore off number sections and stuck them on skull to possbily do what he did...show it with strings attached to lower jaw the rest of the face...

    first level...skull and body decomposed @ location found on left side....person came over and pick up the skull from the ground? don't know duct tape applied skull on ground or elevated...fairly good forensic pathologist but cant say....if it was on it's side person would pick up to place duct tape on the sides....don't know...mandible and skull not connected when moved around...soft tissues hold skull to lower jaw are gone....pick up skull - lower jaw fell down...pick up skull and mandible....hasn't duct tape yet...need to place mandible back in anatomical position of the skulll....possibly don't know how well it was attached...in pic see here no mandible here....in reports mandilbe found in original anatomical position...

    pick up jaw, put back in anatomical position, placed ducttape on both sides...picture don't show it on both sides...if you hve picture show duct tape on both sides ok....if your purpose ...

    if you are trying to attach mandible to the skull have to do it on both sides...depends on how long duct tape is...he remembers it on one side....otherside doesn't remember..

    your purpose to connect jaw to skull if want better bond....do it on both sides..know there are 3 pieces ducttape why take 3 pieces to stick mandible to skull...2 pieces duct tape superimopsed one over the other...pieces not terribly long may not reach both sides - extended to both sides....each piece 6 to 8 inches long 3 pieces..a 4th piece feet away....

    each piece duct tape put mandible back on the face...no glue on skull - no residue of ducttape on skin - ducttape on bone....this is bone not skin....bone why different bone more solid and dense than skin...if not any residue on skin why would there be residue on bone....duct tape not actually stuck to the bone when found...why isn't it stuck to bone? water introdcution - remove stickiness of glue...person removed skull attached mandible put 3 pieces of duct tape and set it back where it was....or take it with put duct tape and bring back...why is hair only thing stuck to tape/ hair would stick to tape...hair stuck...how could hair be stuck to tape if hair decomposes ...

    not sure tape was really still in condition that is sticky...

  10. wenwe4

    wenwe4 Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

    Dr Spitz alleges ME rearranged the hair on the skull for the picture..

    redirect- cm

    any other reasons to open skull? first of all just for to mention...medical legal investigation of death ....don't know page...occassionally there are fractures that will not fractrure on exterior of skull .....put skull back together...this kind of force applied ...when open skull you can find fracture on inside but not outside of skull...in some deaths there hemmorage on base skull,area middle ears...behind lower jaw..contain a coloring in the bone diffiuclt to remove from blood accumulated there...what other tyes of death cause hemorrage....affixiation...smothering....occurs - smother someone blood pressure goes up blood vessels break....cause hemmorage and discoloration - doesn't happen everytime but when blood decomps it leaves a residue...

    asked if sent brain dust forchemical analysis...didn't do that no facility to do that...read all reports by Dr. g...learn from autopsy sent to Gainsville toxicologist...object overrule

    read results of toxicology - dr goldberger find poison ...object- overrule....chloroform - no..not....

    asked about ducttape...do you know how many people handled skull before photo in ME office - don't know....skull manipulated ...manos means hand...handled ...on brown paper - skull put there by hands....hair rearranged....hair looks somewhat different...position placement of hair from the scene...no other way...somebody had to do it..

    witness excused

  11. mombomb

    mombomb New Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    One more for you Kimster - Thank you!



    A medical doctor and forensic pathologist.

    Medical school - University of Geneva 1946-50; Hebrew Medical School 1948-53 and received diploma to practice medicine. 1 year Internship and 5 year residency in pathology; and additional residency in pathology and forensic pathology. Forensic pathologist does autopsies - accident, suicides, homicides or natural deaths.

    Academia - In 1959 he came to U.S. on a grant from the University of Maryland where he held an academic appointment and worked in the ME's office for the State of Maryland. In 1961 he left the U.S. and worked for 2 years at the University Medical School of Berlin and held an academic appointment. He then returned to Baltimore to the ME's office of the State of Maryland and was associate professor at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland and assistant ME and then deputy chief ME for the State of Maryland. In 1972 he went to the ME's office of Wayne County, MI and was appointed chief medical examiner. He was also full professor at at Wayne State. He also taught toxicology at University of Windsor, Ontario.
    He was also Chief Medical Examiner for Maycomb (sp) County, Mi.

    He is a fellow in the American College of Pathologists and the Society of Clinical Pathologists, and fellow of Academy of Forensic Sciences. Serves as Vice President of the World Congress of Legal Medicine. He is licensed to practice medicine in all the countries of the European Union and in Michigan, Virginia, D.C. and Maryland.

    He has received quite a number of awards. The awards from LE are from local police, FBI, various types of law enforcement organizations primarily because he gives courses and lectures and serves as consultant to them when asked to interpret various cases.

    He has consulted - special consultant for Johns Hopkins, VA, Rockefeller Commission (Pres. Kennedy assassination), forensic panel for the house of representatives (MLK and JFK assassinations). He was involved in the case of Mary Joe Kapekny.

    OBJECTION BY JA - beyond experience - SUSTAINED

    What other cases?


    He has published 4 text books, the last in 2006. He has published 14 articles related to drowning. He has published 96 articles peer reviewed by other pathologists.

    Expert witness - testified in all 50 states and in Canada, middle East and Europe. He has also worked for the United Nations and given opinions in court in Costa Rica. In the past 7 years, he has testified as an expert witness around 300 times - average of 30 times.

    Witness is accepted as an expert in forensic pathology.

    His first contact in this case was a call from JB's law firm and was asked to possibly, if he agreed to consult with the firm, and also whether he had special requests....

    OBJECTION - hearsay and not responsive - SUSTAINED

    He requested to attend the autopsy by Dr. G.

    Did you request to be in attendance?

    OBJECTION BY JA - May we approach?

    Sidebar #4

    He was not allowed to attempt the autopsy. He wanted to because it is useful to have seen the body in the condition as it was at that time so that he had the same exposure to the body. Also, if there are two people of the same specialty, there is an advantage. It is customary.


    He conducted a second autopsy when the official autopsy was completed. He did this at the Bryant Funeral Home. He did not think Dr. G had completed her report at that time.

    Remarkable first observations - he did not bring a saw because he felt the autopsy would have been completely done. He feels that profession dictates that there should be an examination of the interior of the head and that had not been done because the skull had not been done. He did this. He was shown an exhibit and took out a skull of an adult human being. He brought it because he thought it was necessary...


    He showed what opening of the skull was - a saw is used to saw the skull all the way around and to remove the cap so as to look at the interior of the cap. He took photos - Defense DY marked as D-26. (ICA looking away). CM had an enlargement of the photo. (ICA whispering to DS)

    SIDEBAR #5 - no court reporter.

    Photo represents the base of the skull with the lid off. Black flecks are seen on the inside of the skull which represent the last and permanent result of decomp. There should be about an ounce of this dust, but there isn't. The location of the spots indicate the position of the skull over the decomp process. Gravity determines the location of the spots. The skull was positioned during decomp with the left side of the skull down.

    He reviewed Dr. G's autopsy report. What deficiencies did he find?


    There were very few bones missing. The skull had not been opened. He did not find any discoloration of certain parts of the skull, no fractures. There was damage to long bones due to postmortem predation. (ICA wiping her face). He thought the bone had been opened....


    He thought the ME had opened the bone to gain access to the bone marrow cavity. He learned later that that was not the case.

    Based on this exam, the cause of death remained unknown.

    He read Dr. G's statements regarding duct tape. He understood there were sections of duct tape on the lower face, that were loosely on the face. There was not a shred of soft tissue on the skeleton. He saw pictures of the tape being to the right side of the lower face...


    hanging on hair and roots of vegetation under the surface of the ground.

    Dr. G's report indicated the duct tape was clearly placed prior to decomp and he has a problem with that. When duct tape is applied to the skin and the skin decomposes, it becomes loose on the fact. The roots and the hair are the only thing that kept the duct tape there. There was nothing on the bone that would suggest bone. He has difficulty identifying when it was placed, but it is his strong feeling and opinion that it was placed there to hold the lower jaw in place.

    He would have expected there to be DNA on the duct tape if it had been placed on the face. Decomp is always less in an area of pressure where there is no air coming in. He thinks the duct tape was a later event - after decomp.

    Adipocere is a stage of decomp when the tissue becomes slimy, smelly and soap like. It develops....

    SIDEBAR # 6

    It takes, under optimal conditions (warm), 10 or 12 days for adipocere to form. There was no indication of adipocere seen at autopsy.

    Causes of death can be ruled out in this case. She could have died of certain conditions that at this point can't be seen. He cannot rule out accidental death.

    Manner of death in this case - (homicide, suicide, natural causes or accident) he could not say in this case.

    He has conducted or supervised about 60,000 autopsies in his 56 year career.

    SIDEBAR #7


    Manner of death investigation requires additional information. He was given the first autopsy report, he went to the scene, went to the A's. He asked questions sufficient to allow him to have a good idea of what happened. He asked JB, CM, the A's. He read the police reports.

    What were the predicating facts? He understood there was a period of a month between the disappearance of the child and when a police report was made. All the info needs to fit together. He knows the child was allegedly taken to a babysitter. He then stated he did not know if he had any facts of when Caylee was alive.

    Did Dr. G have more info than he? He is aware of whatever she put in her report. He did not recall what that info was now. He recalled facts that he thought were necessary for him to form his opinion.

    What do you recall about the facts leading up to her death? There was a pool in the house which creates a possibility of drowning and a month went by without the child being reported missing.

    The failure of Dr. G to open the skull was a violation of protocol - especially in a case making national news.

    OBJECTION BY JA as non-responsive

    The protocol is that the head is opened in any individual where there is a possible involvement of the skull, meninges, brain and any structure that would theoretically benefit from an opening of the skull. There is no published protocol - he did not know where it is published. He does know he has been trained and has trained others this. He is a member of the committee that made the document that says it should be examined.

    He thinks to not open the head is a failure of the autopsy. He feels it is a shoddy autopsy.

    One reason to open the skull is to examine the brain. He would never have known how the head was positioned, if he had not opened it.

    He did not agree that certain protocols are not necessary when the body is skeletonized.

    He is somewhat familiar with his last book. He wrote most of the trauma sections. There are articles by Vass and Haskel?


    He agreed it is authoritative. It is not a book on protocols or on how to do an autopsy. The book shows that the head is opened in just about every type of autopsy performed. The chapter on Forensic Anthropology by Dr. Vass...

    OBJECTION BY CM - bolstering - OVERRULED

    Does Dr. Vass's chapter on forensic anthropology that Dr. Spitz edited talk about opening the skull? He again stated it is not a book on how to do autopsies, but it does talk about the findings in the head, which requires that the head be opened.

    Are you familiar with the Minnesota doctrines - section 5? No. JA then gave the witness the document. He stated the document was written by lawyers, for lawyers, in legalese and he doesn't understand it. He was asked to read Section 5.


    The witness was asked to look at Section 5 and determine if he had ever seen it. He stated he had not seen it before.

    Dr. G's failure to not open the skull violates HIS protocol? No. A proper exam requires it, especially a case of national significance.

    High profile nature of this case? It is significant that the pathologist recognize that this case requires more questions to be answered than someone 85 who if found dead in bed from heart disease.

    How many media interviews have you given in this case since being hired? He gave one in Orlando and a local paper in Detroit. How about TV 6 in Detroit this week? He stated that is the one he mentioned. He gave an interview to Tony P and one this week to a woman in Detroit, however that one did not discuss facts in this case. He did not recall being on the Today show in 2009 or 48 hours.

    He was involved in Spector, O.J. Simpson, not Menendez.

    He did not recall breaking the skull when he opened it. He agreed there was a crack.

    Regarding residue in skull, he did not do any chemical tests. He did scrape some of it and kept it for possible testing. He was then told it was tested by the County or someone or that some police lab tested. He didn't recall who told him that.

    Is it dirt or debris? It is the sediment of decomposing brain and gravity. He stated the residue is a routine finding. It is not dirt.

    He went to the remains site and is aware the area is occasionally under water. Could it be sediment of dirty water as it sits under water? He stated that the sediment is so common in skulls that it is almost as definitive a finding.... It speaks for itself. It would be fine if someone analyzes it and until such time it is his opinion that it is brain dust.

    The skull was saline washed during autopsy.

    In a Riverside CA case he opened the skull and found sleeping medication in the brain dust.

    This sediment stayed put even after washing because it is sticky.

    If he had been there with Dr. G, he would have insisted that the sediment be tested and there would not be an argument now.

    HE IS NOT A CHEMIST. He doesn't have a lab.

    It is his theory that the skull decomposed on its left side with the face slightly elevated. The hair would move, but maybe not fall on the left side. The hair would stay on the skull until someone moved it. Some of the hair would fall off the right side. The hair on the back would stay on the shrubbery due to the adipocere.

    He was shown a photo and recognized it as the skull as it was at the ME's office (ICA is looking away). Did the hair mass fall to the back, not the side?
    The child had long hair and the hair is sitting on the base of the skull. The hair on this picture speaks for itself, much of the hair is on the base of the skull. He used his handkerchief to demonstrate with his exemplar skull how the hair would be. He did not see any evidence in this picture of "fallen hair". Maybe the water washed around the hair and splashed the hair onto the bone - wetted the liquified scalp and glued it to the bone. He doesn't know if the water displaced the hair and not the residue.

    He only looked at the hair in the pictures. He knows it is sticky because he has examined other hair. (ICA still not looking).

    It is his opinion that the duct tape was applied after the skin had deteriorated or decomposed, possibly to hold the lower jaw to the rest of the face. IF the body is completely skeletonized, then the jaw is connected until the skull is picked up. In his theory, the person who applied the tape had to pick up the skull, pick up the mandible and apply the tape. He agreed when this skull was found, the mandible was in virtually its anatomical condition.

    If you are trying to attach the mandible to the skull, would the tape have to be attached on both sides? He doesn't know. He remembers it being only on one side. He was aware there were 3 pieces of tape. What he gleaned for the picture is two on top of one another and they weren't very long to reach the other side. Maybe they needed the third to extend the total length across. JA told him each piece was 6 to 8 inches long. There was a 4th piece 9 feet away. His theory is that the tape was stuck directly to the skull. There would be no residue on the skull. He realized the duct tape was not stuck to the bone when found. The water would have removed some of the glue. The person could have taken the skull away to put the tape on. The hair would have stuck to the tape. He was not so sure the tape was really still in a condition that it enables stickiness due to the heat and water.

    He was aware that Dr. Otz had to cut the hair to remove the tape.

    Regarding S-215, he recognized it as a photo of the skull. Did the person who put the tape on, drape the hair back over the skull. The person who took the picture put the hair there. It wouldn't be the first time.

    Regarding S-209, he recognized it as a photo of the skull as it was found at the scene showing the strands of hair draped over the skull (ICA still not looking). It is his opinion that someone draped the hair over the skull for the purposes of the photo. 209 and 215 looked different because someone rearranged it.


    Any other reasons for opening the skull other than general autopsy reasons? Yes - to see fractures on the inside that can't be seen from the outside, also there could be some coloring on the inside that could have been from hemorrhaging caused by smothering or asphyxiation.

    He did not send the brain sediment off for analysis. He did learn that they were sent to Dr. Bruce Goldberger in Gainesville. No poison was found, no chloroform was found.

    Regarding the duct tape, he doesn't know how many people handled the skull before it was photographed by the ME. It would have to have been manipulated, and in the process the hair had to be rearranged.

    Witness is excused.

    SIDEBAR #8

    Jury excused to 9:00 a.m. Monday

    HHJBP - 1/6/11 Order granting state's motion for sanction/motion to compel - make sure you read this in order to comply. Be prepared to work next Saturday, if necessary, up to 3pm. One witness a day is not going to get us where we need to be. I'm not going to hurry you - we will just extend the working hours - longer on Saturdays and if necessary we will extend the work hour to 5:30 to 6:00 and I will make that determination at the close of business Tuesday.

    Court in recess until 9:00 a.m. Monday
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice