Discussion in 'The Springfield Three' started by christine2448, Jul 16, 2009.
Please continue general discussions here. Thanks.
Some people have been critical of SPDs forensic investigation because of a picture (or possibly on the 48 Hrs program, I dont recall which) showing investigators handling bags similar to grocery bags which contain the individual evidence collection bags which hold the evidentiary samples collected at the crime scene. The criticism comes from the fact that the forensic investigator(s) is shown not wearing gloves. If this picture comes from the 48 Hrs program then it is likely that it is a re-creation staged for the filming of the program as are several scenes in the program. Regardless of that fact, it is known and accepted that vinyl gloves (which are often preferred over latex because of possible allergic reactions to latex) under certain conditions can leave friction ridge contamination from the wearer:
Universal precautions that are used by forensic personnel at crime scenes are necessary to protect the crime scene processors from chemical and biological hazards. These precautions also serve to ensure that the scene is not contaminated by actions of the crime scene examiners. A particular type of glove that is routinely used in crime scene processing does protect against hazards but is not effective against scene contamination.
Most individuals who are involved in the processing and reconstruction of crime scenes and associated evidence understand the absolute necessity to protect their skin from coming in contact with items of physical evidence. Additionally, crime scene personnel must not contaminate evidence that is being recovered during the collection and examination phases of the crime scene processing. For these reasons, gloves must be worn. However, many crime scene technicians and investigators have the misconception that gloves will prevent fingerprints from being left on handled items. Saferstein recommends that crime scene processors wear two pairs of latex gloves as a minimum . This doubles the protection of both biohazard transmission and evidence contamination. Gerberth states that approved disposable gloves should be used at the crime scene . Lee recommends latex gloves for the handling of evidence that is located in crime scenes . Although latex gloves are often referred to in crime scene manuals and texts, some authors explain that liquid barrier rubber gloves are preferred.
when the outside surface became contaminated with a transference material, the glove membrane was sufficiently thin and of a density that allowed the glove to transfer the friction ridge shapes to the substrate. Although the glove may provide adequate protection from chemical or biological hazards for personnel, it is insufficient to protect the crime scene from friction ridge contamination.
Glove protection protocols to avoid latent print contamination is critical. Either a double glove should be worn or cotton gloves should be worn underneath the vinyl glove shell. The double glove method may be less comfortable because of the amount of heat it generates. Both the double glove method and the wearing of a cotton under-glove proved effective in keeping inadvertent latent prints by the crime scene personnel from contaminating the crime scene. Single glove wear, and in particular, vinyl examination glove wear, could significantly contaminate fingerprint evidence that is handled by crime scene processors at the scene.
David A. Lounsbury
Director, Institute for Forensic Excellence
Florida Gulf Coast University http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net/GlovesAtCrimeScene.html
So what exactly does SPD have in forensic evidence?
We have already seen in the abduction cases of Joan Butler and Theresa Brown & Christine Rusch that it is entirely possible for the victims to be subdued and abducted from their homes and the perpetrator not leave any forensic evidence behind. I personally dont believe that SPD has any DNA developed from blood, saliva, or seminal fluids left at the crime scene by the perpetrator(s). But if SPD has been able to develop DNA from evidentiary samples then it would most likely eliminate all of the usual suspects except Bartt Streeter and Dustin Recla since no arrests have been made. If Reclas DNA was found in the house he could always claim that Suzie invited him over one night since they had previously dated. Without additional evidence his DNA alone would probably not be enough to bring charges. Other male friends could make the same claim that Suzie had asked them over but it would be harder to substantiate as fact since they had not previously dated Suzie. The final option is that if there is DNA then it belongs to an unknown who is not in the CODIS database.
We are told that all prints have been identified except one partial print.
If SPD has hair sample(s) with the root sheath in place than the DNA generated from PCR technology would have told them what percentage of the population to which the donor belongs. Several, if not most of the usual suspects, probably fall into that same percentage so this hair evidence could not be used to single out a suspect from that pool of suspects. If the hair sample has no root sheath attached then analysis can only compare the sample against a known sample from a suspect and compare their characteristics to each other. If they were to have a strong match between the samples it is probably not enough to bring charges without additional evidence. Remember, At this point, no one can say that a hair came from a particular individual.
Apparently SPD found no known fibers in their collection of evidentiary samples, or if they did then they have been unable to match them to clothing or other personal effects owned by any of the usual suspects.
So what did I miss? Where did SPD fail in their forensic investigation? Just because an arrest has not been made based on forensic evidence doesnt mean that SPD didnt do a proper collection of evidentiary samples. Just because this crime has not been solved doesnt mean that SPD botched the investigation. Not all crimes get solved regardless of what Law & Order or CSI would have us believe.
Thread 1 http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8961&highlight=springfield
Thread 2 The Springfield Three--missing since June 1992 THREAD NO. 2 - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community
Thread 3 The Springfield Three--missing since June 1992 THREAD NO. 3 - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community
Media Links Thread Media Links NO DISCUSSION - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community
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Excellent work Hurricane, and a very interesting read.
Your last sentence especially hits the nail on the head. L&O and CSI may be entertaining, but that's all they are. Too many people watch these shows and assume things are representative of actual criminal investigative work.
Odyssey, thanks for your comment. What I found to be most interesting were the facts on luminal. Even though I knew that it was only a presumptive test for blood we are led to believe by these TV shows that it is everything in the identification and collection of evidentiary samples of blood. And I always thought that if forensic investigators had hair samples from a crime scene then DNA could be derived through PCR technology. It turns out thats not the case either.
It has no bearing on the 3MW case, but I also found these two statements interesting:
Since the early 1990s, while crime rates have been falling, detectives have been solving a fewer percentage of their cases. Our streets are a little safer, not because of better criminal investigation, and forensic science, but because of the protracted war on drugs.
A person who will make a good uniformed officer is not necessarily one who will make a good detective. Law enforcement recruits are hired to be good cops, not good detectives. If this werent the case, eyesight, physical strength and agility would not be required for the job. Detectives have to be thinking people, cops are reacting people. In other words, being a cop is not the best prerequisite for detective work.
Thanks for posting.
FYI...at the bottom of every page you can find related links ("similar threads")....check it out.
Hurricane glad to see someone is digging deeper into the actual type of investigation that occurred. THe differences in police work in 92 is not much different than today. That is extremely important information about this case. I have found nothing in my research that suggests that there is any kind of coverup or inappropriate behavior on the part of LE. I think this case is unique. WIth 30 officers working the case from the onset there had to be a procedure followed and that would have differed from the norm since Springfield had never encountered anything like this. The FBI was involved from the second day and on several occasions the MHP was involved. I have also found in other counties that the SPD cooperated giving the files to those agencies. THe problem is that the longer the case has remained unsolved the the more negative and critical the people have become. I am sure this is frustrating for those who were involved. When people cannot accomplish what they want they become frustrated. When people second guess there every move it compounds the problem.
Too bad we don't know whether Bartt Streeter's DNA or fingerprints were found at the house or not. Bartt had still been estranged (and disowned, IMO) from his mother and sister since his fight with his sister several months before in which the newspapers alleged he had stabbed his sister with a fork. He had never been to the new house since his mother had moved there, I believe. He didn't go to his sister's graduation nor did he show up at the scene after the crime as did many other concerned friends and relatives.
His mother and sister moved to Missouri from Washington State without him. It appears that his mother always favored Suzie over him. I think there was a lot of built-up resentment there.
If Bartt's fingerprints or DNA had been found at the house, that would have made him even more of a suspect.
When you couple that with his actions after the disappearances; leaving the state, his later kidnapping attempt of a young girl in Las Vegas and death threats of witnesses in that case and his non-participation in the search for his mother and sister to the present day, one can only wonder what he's running from. His many failed relationships, his other arrests over the years and his non-support of his children (to this day) do nothing to enhance his character, either. His own father even stated he should be investigated.
As far as his alibi goes, it's been a pretty gray area as far as the reporting on it goes. So far, no one on this board has been able to satisfactorily explain (to my satisfaction, anyways) his whereabouts that night, other than to state that the police said he passed the poly.
This weekend I caught some of the cable TV "true crime" shows and I saw three examples of guilty perps "passing" the polygraph. All the poly's were administered by Law Enforcement who, presumably knew what they were doing. All three cases involved planned crimes by men with no criminal records who probably expected to be POI's and were prepared to be questioned.
I went on the internet and found many sites that offered advise on how to "beat" the poly, or otherwise how to get through one when you have something to hide. Overall, I came away from this research unimpressed that anyone might have been "cleared" by a poly.
In the past, I read a book about polygraphs and the author was pretty confident that he could solve "employee theft" cases if he got to the suspects soon after the crime. The two big tip offs of guilt were reluctance to take the test and the subjects response to the statement by the operator that "serious deception is detected". (this author would always state this following questions relating to the theft regardless of the subjects response to the question). He claimed that many subjects who "passed" the first question, broke down and "failed" when confronted with the "lie" that deception was indicated.
Overall, I think that a guilty subject who knows that polygraphs are not infallable and has an absolutly solid "cover" story and is able to project confidence and consistancy throughout the session, has a very good chance of "passing" . I don't think anyone should be "ruled out" by a poly alone; in fact I don't think anyone without a rock solid aliby should be ruled out at all.
The fact that Suzi was going testify against the grave robbers the following week is such a strong connection that they would have to be the #1 (or perhaps 1,2&3) suspects. After that, you have Bart. Every guy with any type of relationship to Sherrill would have to be looked at. Then Suzi and Stacy. The perp(s) could be a stranger, of course. Probably someone who had suceeded with just one victim. (I doubt anyone would try a "multiple" for his first abduction/rape/murder.) This could be a very hard case to solve and I am not jumping to any conclusion that the investigation was botched. We obviously don't have all the facts. My concern has always been that an awful lot of resources were directed towards longshot "leads" and "tips" from the public, while little information has been made available as to how the obvious "prime" suspects were eliminated. As long as I have followed this case, there has been this little suspicion that the Perp was prematurily eliminated early in the investigation; perhaps by a "passed" polygraph.
If Bartt was estranged from his mother and had no contact with her since before she moved into the new house two months before the disappearances then there would be no reason for his prints to have been in the house.
Until I read something different that he had been to the new house since his fight with his sister then I'll consider him not a suspect.
Just because LE said he passed the poly and was cleared isn't enough proof.
Maybe it gets lost in the semantics somewhere but I dont think that the N-L ever alleged that Bartt stabbed his sister with a fork. If you have an article that states such could you post the date of publication? The only thing I have been able to find is the Aug. 24, 1992 article where the N-L apparently questions him about the spring fight he and Suzie had while living together and how it alienated him from Sherrill. Bartt denies as rumors from the public that he stabbed Suzie with a fork or that she was badly bruised. And he thinks that it was the 48 Hrs program people who asked him about Suzie being badly bruised. No one has produced any medical records to substantiate a stabbing, or a beating for that matter. We all know that the human mouth contains lots of disease causing bacteria. Assuming that if such a stabbing were to occur the fork was most likely used and not clean, and needed to be washed. If it broke the skin then medical attention would be required.
You need to look further into the alleged Las Vegas kidnapping to find out exactly what happened there.
Likely because he is a criminal? Likely because of why? Ringleader? Gotta know some associates to have a ringleader. There is nothing to even tie him to the crime scene or the women, so until something is proven regarding Cox, he is just another suspect. He is the guy we know the least about.
I believe that none of the original suspects were ELIMINATED. They would not have been part of the latter reviews and grand jury proceedings if they were. No credible source has ever said they were cleared. The only one that was eliminated as a suspect was Kovaks because it was impossible for him to have done it. They may have not been the focus after the first couple of weeks. Even Bartt was grilled by the police in 96 as he told the NL.
I have never believed the Cox south location, I think it could use some more information to make it a credible lead. GPR scans for bodies are about as reliable as polygraphs for suspects. Sometimes they are right sometimes not.
Well, in the article below, Bartt referenced Suzie being stabbed with a fork, so it can be assumed the reporter brought it up. There must have been a source that the reporter got it from. Being "stabbed with a fork" or "having bruises all over" didn't just materialize out of thin air. Suzie or her mother more then likely told someone about the fight and just because there are no medical records doesn't prove anything. The wound could have been superficial and didn't require medical attention or Suzie didn't seek medical attention because it was a family matter.
Whatever way it happened is really immaterial. We do know there was a fight.
As far as looking further into the kidnapping attempt, what would be the purpose? The police report states that he attempted to forcefully take the girl from the arms of the babysitter several times, that he flicked a cigarette into the child's face, that he was violent while detained and was peppersprayed, that he used foul language in front of women and children, that he threatened bodily harm to those around him, that a stipulation of his probation/parole was that his home be checked for stolen property and obtain counseling for impulse control and anger management.
I don't need documentation from a hospital or a shrink to prove he's violent and exhibits sociopathic tendencies. It's obvious that he's a violent person and many things point to him being a suspect. I'm looking at a pattern of violence that continues till the present day in Punta Gorda, FL, not a few isolated incidents. The fact that he doesn't even provide support for his own children and has three DUI's doesn't help his case either.
Instead of me always having to prove and backup my view that he's a very good suspect, how about some proof from someone that he couldn't have done it?
Like his alibi, for instance. He was drunk on someone's couch, therefore he couldn't have done it? He was fishing at Truman Lake, therefore he coudn't have done it? We've never actually heard exactly what he was doing when the women disappeared. Why all the hush-hush around his alibi? Are we afraid that it might be picked apart?
Anyone know who this is? He entered the house early in the day? Alone? Before Henson and Kirby who entered later in the day at 12:30 pm?
If Henson, Kirby, Streeter, McCall and Appleby were the only ones going to Branson, who would this other young male friend be? And why the anonymity?
I was never under the impression that only those people were going to Branson. I could be mistaken, but it sounded more like a larger group.
You are free to believe whatever you choose. I want to deal only in facts, not rumors. Some of Suzies best friends are on record as saying that there was no stabbing or bruising at the time of what amounted to a shoving match between her and Bartt; and that Suzie did not sustain any injuries; certainly not any puncture injuries as a result of their fight. My research has not uncovered any facts that would substantiate the rumor of the stabbing (and by the way it was being told at one time that the stabbing was with a knife). The last time this alleged stabbing came up in thread #3 here on WS Kathee said that it didnt happen either. You dont know that the N-L asked Bartt about it, as you assume, and that if he had not responded to the rumors of him having stabbed his sister when he made his comment then you would not know anything about it at all. But if you want to continue to believe it, be my guest.
I still would recommend that you look into it further in order to get to the truth as to what really happened there. The fact that you believe that he is violent and a sociopath in his post-abduction behavior and he may very well be, has no bearing on this case involving his mother and sister and would probably not be admissible in a court of law.
If it is your theory that he committed this crime then it is up to you to present your evidence as it would be presented in a court of law, as it pertains to this case. To just say I have a theory, prove me wrong gets us nowhere. No one has time for that.
All of these kinds of rumors have been looked into immensely by LE and news investigators in an effort to try and prove them or not. And suspects too. I traveled some distance to look at a court record file and was required to sign a log sheet that was kept in the file so that court records could keep track of who had been into the file. As I signed it I noticed that the last person to sign in was someone from KY-3 News in 1996. So more than four years after this crime occurred theories were still being looked into by people who cared about getting to the truth and solving this case. I knew from that then that what I was working on was probably not a novel idea.
That is possible.
Just "a shoving match" over a loud stereo caused his mother to mail him his birth certificate and be alienated from him? Mailing someone their birth certificate as a form of alienation sounds too corny and made up to me, especially since he was already 28 years old. Couple that with him throwing in all the other reasons in that interview about why they didn't get along sounds like a smokescreen and a subject changer to me and has nothing to do with the fork incident.
She alienated him quite a few times in the past? Why? Was he that much of a problem? I wonder what the reasons were for all those other problems?
It's no more a rumor than Bartt's alibi is. There are no publicly-documented facts on his alibi so that would also stand to be a rumor.
Putting all that aside, the Vegas incident is documented.
Perhaps when Sherrill took Suzies side of the argument Bartt threatened his mother with moving away and she mailed him his birth certificate as a way of her defusing the threat. Perhaps Bartt was already contemplating moving from Missouri that spring. Perhaps Sherrill had came across the birth certificate during the recent move into 1717 and decided at age 28 Bartt should be responsible for it and mailed it to him. There is absolutely no way to know what her mailing the birth certificate to him meant.
Again, here is some of the evidence against the rumor of the stabbing:
Some of Suzies best friends are on record as saying that there was no stabbing or bruising;
That Suzie did not sustain any injuries.
I have not uncovered any facts that would substantiate the rumor of the stabbing.
From her research Kathee said that it didnt happen either.
Where is there any evidence proving that this is anything more than just a rumor?
What Bartt gave LE as his alibi may not be true, but it is not rumor. Some of the alleged alibis that you have listed probably are rumor unless you can document their sources.
1. A piece of unverified information of uncertain origin usually spread by word of mouth.
2. Unverified information received from another; hearsay.