OK OK - Brittany Phillips, 19, Tulsa, 27 Sept 2004

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by SeriouslySearching, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. JnRyan

    JnRyan Well-Known Member

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    The profile hints at someone that is a traveler. Could the killer have been someone in construction? We don't know how old the complex was at the time or if it had undergone extensive renovations in the past. Someone knew or found out about the common attic space. Someone in construction? City permits? Who built the complex? The killer may have not worked on this complex, but they worked for the construction firm that built it and that firm used that design elsewhere so the killer was familiar with it.
     
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  2. Scholes18

    Scholes18 Member

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    Wow! Thanks for posting the Unresolved episode! It was really well done. I continue to be blown away by Brittany's mother and the way she advocates for her daughter. And Mr. Whelan did a really great job. Can't sing his praises enough.

    There were a few things that I hadn't heard previously or that I was confused on:

    1) A friend tried to check in on her at her apartment, but didn't get an answer. The friend asked the police to perform a wellness check. I'd previously read some conflicting accounts - one reported that a friend discovered Brittany's body. Anyway - I think this is provides some clarification.

    2) There was definitely an altercation (Brittany was pushed against a wall opposite where her body was discovered) AND it sounds like there the apartment was ransacked. Still no info on whether anything was actually stolen. Also, I'd read some conflicting reports on whether or not there were obvious signs of a break in (via the windows or doors), and it sounds like the answer is 'no' outside of the screen on one of the windows being removed.

    3) DNA at the crime scene was taken from 2 separate samples that pointed to the same individual. Police insist they've tested virtually everyone that she knew.

    4) The attic access point was definitely big enough for a good sized man to fit through. Access point was located in the closet.
     
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  3. Scholes18

    Scholes18 Member

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    The only problem I see w/ the attic scenario is that the person would have had to gain access to the attic via one of the other apartments, right? It would be interesting to know whether any evidence was found in the attic... I wonder if anything in the attic was tested for touch DNA? Were any 2nd floor units vacant at the time? Did any other units show signs of a break in? All of that seems pretty important because if he got in via the attic, then you can start to make some assumptions about how he would have known about the shared attic space (as you said, possibly a maintenance/construction/permits/design/or utilities guy).
     
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  4. artemorticia89

    artemorticia89 New Member

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    I've done a lot of researching about her case and I really hope her killer is found and her murder is brought to justice. She had a whole life ahead of her and it was very unfair that it was taken away from her in a blink of an eye. What I don't understand is first off, if they have the killer's DNA and they have been able to create a phenotype- why can't they enter his DNA through an ancestry database and even if he is not in the database, it could link him up to family members which will be a step closer to solving who the culprit was. Another thing is, I think people need to broaden the horizons on what could have possibly happened. They are saying the only way the killer could have got in quietly was through the french doors on the balcony or through an attic so it meant that somebody that knew the place well had to have come in like maintenance for example. I highly doubt somebody would go through all that trouble just to quietly get into someone's apartment. She had just moved into the apartment which means she probably did not have a whole lot of stuff to begin with so what did she have for a motive of robbery that someone would go through all that trouble? Its clear that what we have is a classic sexual motive due to the circumstances of what happened to her but I highly doubt that someone would climb up a balcony to get through french doors or shimmy through an attic just to break in and rape her. I think its a possibility that Brittany might have knew her attacker or had just met him so that could have been a possibility why nobody knew about a guy that she had just met-one scenario that would make sense to me is she possibly met him in class and invited him over when he attacked her because she didn't want to have sex with him. I think another possibility that could have happened was as she was coming into her apartment, she might have been quietly ambushed as she was unlocking her door which would be one of the few reasons why there was no sign of a forced entry when police discovered her body. Have the police investigated anybody that was in her college classes with her, or any neighbors that lived within the vicinity of her apartment unit? I think something completely different had happened than what has been theorized and until people open their horizons on that spectrum, her case will remain unsolved which is really sad. Another thing I found out while doing research, was an eighteen year old girl named Robertina Inez Hellman was discovered dead in the bathroom of her apartment in 1991. she did not live in glen eagles she lived at eagle point apartments. even though the murders were over a decade apart, both girls were south Tulsa girls and their apartments were in south tulsa. not to mention, there were no signs of forced entries with either of the girs' apartments- tpd website says Hellman died of strangulation just like Phillips did but other sources that i have just found says that Hellman was actually drowned in if her own bathtub. You think it could be a possibility that there was an unknown serial killer in Tulsa? A lot of serial killers have been known to take breaks and lay low for a while so they are not caught and if a serial killer is truly smart and does not want to be caught, they won't murder their victims in the same fashion. Sad part is we dont know what has truly happened, and I dont think any of us will...
     
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  5. oksooner

    oksooner Member

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    I drove by those apartments today. Sure wish they would find the scum bag through familial DNA. Her mom deserves justice
     
  6. Scholes18

    Scholes18 Member

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    I have a lot of questions about this also. I’ve done some research, but I admit I may not have the best understanding. Basically, there are several sources of DNA profiles that could potentially be used for doing familial searches:
    1. Consumer sites like Ancestry.com and 23andme.com: these don’t make their DNA databases accessible to law enforcement – supposedly, 26 million people have done DNA test kits through consumer sites. Law enforcement can’t use any of it unless the user loads their own results into GEDmatch or another open database.
    2. GEDmatch is where people can upload their DNA test results from Ancestry or 23andme, but only about 1.2 million people have done this. Law enforcement and companies like Parabon Nanolabs can use GEDmatch to search for familial DNA.
    3. CODIS is a database only accessible by law enforcement – there are about 17 million profiles in CODIS. Most states run DNA evidence against CODIS for matches. The problem is that only a handful of states allow familial searches in CODIS.
    So unless I’m missing something, in most states the only way law enforcement and/or Parabon can do familial testing is through GEDmatch, which is a relatively small database. The Unresolved episode on Brittany indicates that they’re using Parabon to do familial testing, but there doesn’t seem to have been any close family matches: “from the analysis, it wasn’t a real good one, but they are looking at some like 5th or 6th or 7th or 8th cousin…”. I do not know if Oklahoma allows familial testing through CODIS.

    Yes. From the Unresolved episode: “However, police insist that virtually every young man tentatively connected to Brittany has submitted a DNA sample, and has had said sample compared against the suspect's DNA profile. This includes all of Brittany's ex-boyfriends, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, classmates, etc. Investigators ran more than 3,000 individual tests, and none came back as a match; implying that this individual, whoever he was, was someone that Brittany either did not know, or did not tell anyone about.

    I agree with you that the motive probably wasn’t robbery. And I also agree with you that it’s most likely the killer ambushed her and came in through her front door. However, I don’t think anyone should rule out the attic or the French doors – whatever the killer’s motive was, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that his means and/or opportunity were influenced by his knowledge of the attic space or their ability to get up to the French doors.

    I do think the question of how the killer got into the apartment is really important to answer. If he came in through the attic, then he must have known about the shared layout beforehand… and if that’s the case, then you can create a shortlist of people who would have had that information, and you can start to build a list of people to clear (maintenance workers, utility employees, contractors, current/former residents, etc.)

    But if he came in through the front door, then then I think the list of suspects is pretty much anyone who matches the DNA composite sketch that was in the area at the time. It's probably a pretty long list.

    It’s possible. John Robert Williams was active in OK during that time, but Brittany's case doesn't really fit his MO. There may have been another killer active around Lawton at that time, but his MO is different also.

    There's a website murderdata.org that lets you search murder victims by year, age, race, gender, and whether or not the case has been solved. I've pulled some initial research to see if there are any unsolved cases similar to Brittany's (same age, race, in OK and neighboring states), but I haven't had time to go through it. It's kind of complex, because the site doesn't give the name of the victim, so you sort of have to google unsolved cases in the area where the murder occurred, then, if you find the right case, you can compare whether or not facts are similar. The cases in Tulsa that I've looked at aren't very similar to Brittany's, but I only went back to 1994.
     
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  7. Razz

    Razz Well-Known Member

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    It's probably too late now but I wonder if it could have been someone visiting or staying for a short time with a friend who lived in the apartments.
     
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