The West Memphis Series Part II: Guilty By Plea And Have Been Set Free

Jonesboro, AR- In a shocking development, four days following the first installment of the West Memphis Three on www.blinkoncrime.com, on August 19, 2011 Damien Echols, Charles Jason Baldwin and Jessie Miskelley, through an Alford plea, were convicted of three counts of first degree murder following an agreement made by Prosecutor Scott Ellington and their respective defense attorneys for the murders of eight year old boys James Michael Moore, Christopher Byers ( Murray) and Stevie Branch.

Judge David N. Laser agreed to and imposed suspended sentences for time served to Echols, Miskelley and Baldwin; all were released and immediately declared their innocence during the ensuing press conference.

In Part I of our series, we touched briefly on the development of new evidence and possible murder weapon, the blue handled- mountain ice axe, which inexplicably was never presented at trial.  It had been admitted into evidence after being retrieved from its owner, following it’s return by  Jason Baldwin’s, younger brother Mathew.

Requests to confirm whether or not the ice axe was maintained in evidence at West Memphis Police Department were non-responsive at the time of this publication.  Part II continues first with what the jury never heard.  A podcast of my interview on the case following the release of the WM3 can be found here.

Premature Illumination

One of the larger points of contention in the murders was the lack of blood evidence at the scene.  The lack of blood or blood spatter at the scene with such gruesome injuries spawned the defense theory the ditch was a dump site or secondary crime scene.  This was largely due to the fact that the jury would never hear about the results of luminol tests; it was suppressed by motion of the defense In both trials.

Luminol enhanced chemiluminesence (LCL) technology in 1993 was geared toward examining items of evidence in a lab under black light for optimum photographic results, or its secondary application for use in an enclosed environment which can be manually darkened and a portable black light ( we now call this an alternative light source or ALS) brought to the scene.

LCL when sprayed onto a surface containing  remnants of blood, or more specifically the iron in blood, will create a glowing reaction when iron, invisible to the naked eye, is present.

In 1993 under Arkansas law, Luminol testing was considered new, novel, and not accepted as scientific evidence.

While the methods for collection, testing and controls have advanced significantly since 1993 and LCL testing is widely used in criminal case work, analysis of the findings in the instant case flatly dispute the notion that there was no blood associated with the crime scene along the ditch bank of Robin Hood Hills.

Contrary to the misconception that there was no evidence of blood at the scene, the results of two consecutive days of luminol tests at the scene were enlightening.

As Kermit Channell and Donald Smith, from the Arkansas crime lab could not bring the “outside in” they were forced to set up shop in the woods along the banks of the ditch.  Also present for testing  both days were WMPD Detectives Mike Allen, Tony Anderson and Bryn Ridge.

Donald Smith’s report below in it’s entirety below, The other reports can be found here.

STATE CRIME LABORATORY
P.O. Box 5274
Number 3 Natural Resources Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas 72215

REPORT OF LABORATORY ANALYSIS

Investigating Officer / Agency / Address
Sgt. Mike Allen
West Memphis Police Department
100 Court Street
West Memphis, AR 72301
Laboratory Case Number: 93-05717

Date Received in Lab: 05/07/93
How Evidence Received: M E / Matthew Elliott
Agency Case Number:

Suspect (s):

Victim (s):
Steve Edward Branch

Date of Report; 06/10/93

FIELD INVESTIGATION. WEST MEMPHIS TRIPLE HOMICIDE. MAY 12 and
MAY 13. 1993 LUMINOL:

This analyst and Kermit Channell, Serologist responded to request to perform luminol on
a potential crime scene area on May 12, 1993. We left that afternoon, arriving in West
Memphis at approximately 6:30 P.M., proceeding to the Police Department.
Officers Tony Anderson, Brian Ridge, and Mike Allen accompanied Kermit and myself
to a swampy area in the northern edge of West Memphis where the victims were found.
A general survey of the area in the daylight hours was conducted. Approaching darkness
fresh solutions of luminol reagent were prepared. When the area became dark, using
flashlights for light support, the part returned to the area and proceeded to spray and
locate areas of luminol light emission activity, a presumptive test for the presence of
trace quantities of blood. The following observations were noted:

(1) At a trail along a stream bed an approximately 11 foot high bluff overlooking the
stream positive reactions were noted on either side of a tree with more reaction noted to
the right side of the tree, facing the stream bed.

(2) An Area with used plastic sheeting west of the trail and the bluff gave more positive
reactions were noted.

(3) At the west bank of the stream bed, to the right of some trees, an area gave positive
reaction. It was explained by the Police Department that this was where two of the
victims were placed when they were recovered from the stream bed.

(4) In the stream bed, below the described (at one time) water line, positive luminol tests
indicated where one of the victims was found in the water as related by the West
Memphis Police Department.

(5) On the east bank of the stream bed were a pile of sticks and a depression in the soil
where luminol tests showed a concentrated area of positive reaction.

[PAGE 2]

(6) North of this point luminol tests gave positive reaction to a large area of
concentration (described by West Memphis Police Department where the third victims
was placed upon recovery from the water).

(7) North of the point #6 near some tree roots, another large area of concentration of the
luminol reaction was noted.

(8) Trace amounts of positive luminol reaction was noted on the slope west of the area
where two of the victims were recovered and placed. (reference area #3). The areas north
and south of where the third victims had been placed (5) and (6) were unaccountable
known activity by the Memphis Police Department or rescue / recovery operations.

From these areas of noted luminol reactions for the presumptive presence of trace
amounts of blood the following opinion is rendered:

The traces of presumed blood detected along the trail (2), and at the bluff (1), and one the
slope (8) appear to be transfer of blood by the rescue and recovery teams.
Reaction in the areas where the recovered victims were placed is the apparent result of
trace blood transfer from the victims (3) and (6).

The area below the water level on the west side of the stream was accounted as where
trace amounts of the victimís blood diffused into the mud in the stream bed.

The areas (5) and (7) indicate activity prior to recovery of the victims and relate to
activity to the victims when perhaps they were being attacked.

It should be noted that the luminol testing was performed some days after the discovery
of the victims and at least one rainfall had occurred. There were no visible signs or
indication of blood at any of the locations that we investigated.

[PAGE 3]

Upon the group returning that night to the police headquarters Inspector Gitchell and his
staff were advised of our findings. It is our opinion the crime had taken place where the
bodies of the victims were recovered. Inspector Gitchell was further advised of the
inability to document the luminol reaction of the evening because of the light leaks from
stars and the back scattered light from West Memphis. To document the luminescence
Inspector Gitchell was advised that we would have to place tenting over the areas of
interest and to block out all stray light possible.

The luminescence requires near total darkness to document luminol reactions in the open
field.

It was decided that Kermit and I should stay over the next day perform the tests again
and photograph them.

The morning of May 13, Inspector Gitchell provided us with equipment, supplies and
manpower needed to document the areas of positive luminol reaction. A test with plastic
covering over the canvas was erected and photographs were taken of the positive areas
noted of the previous evening again with fresh luminol application.

Because of the limitations due to some light leakage, physical activity in the area
destroying some of the reaction, the weather conditions of some light rain the night
before and the originally low concentration levels in the areas on the bluff (area #1), along
the trail (area #2), where the victims were placed (area #3), and the area in the stream bed
where the body was recovered (area #4) and the area above the recovery area (area #8)
we were not able to document photography as we observed these areas the evening of
May 12.

The tented area over the areas where the victim’s body was placed (#6) and the
questioned area (#5), subdued the light to a degree that a less than perfect photograph
could be obtained. These photographs still documented the areas of interest, showing
luminol reaction in respective areas. These photographs were without the benefit of flash
painting application to reference the areas photographed. A still photo of the questioned
area from the original camera tripod location does reference the questioned area. The
photographs were processed revealing the luminol reaction at areas where the victim was
place (#6) and the questioned area (#5)

[PAGE 4]

The tent was moved and photographs were taken of the questioned area by the tree root (#7). Photographs of the areas (#4, #5 and #6) with surveyor flags mounted were taken to reference those areas tested and photographed. All photographs were left with Inspector Gitchell.

[signed] Donald E. Smith, Criminalist

Soil samples were submitted on May 14, 1993, but for unknown reasons not tested until 4 months later, and did not react to the luminol.

The result was considered inconclusive as it was not likely to detect blood from a four month old soil sample in the first place.

Although the luminol reaction results were not admissible in the trials, for analysis purposes, it tells an irrefutable story.   The obvious counter-argument could only be that investigators were new to the technique, some of the initial testing was unable to be photographed, or to any conspiracies, that detectives simply made up results for some purpose.

However, as none of  the investigators present had the autopsy results prior to the testing, and most certainly did not have Jessie Miskelley’s “account” to draw from, outside of the known injuries and other more circumstantial evidence in this case, these findings certainly further support there were multiple perpetrators in this crime- and that  it all went down right there.

In 1998, Damien Echols filed a Rule 37 hearing for causes of incompetent counsel and due to his “actual innocence.”  Jessie Miskelley lost his appeal to overturn his conviction also in 1998, but It was not until 2008 that Baldwin and Miskelley filed their Rule 37 petitions.   For purposes of evaluation,  I am including affidavits , exhibits and testimony excerpts from some of the expert witnesses at all three hearings and subsequent related appearance spanning from 1998- 2008.

Brent Turvey, of Knowledge Solutions, LLC  trained under renowned blood spatter expert Dr. Henry Lee, did not consider any of the luminal reports when hired by Dan Stidham in 1998  for  his expert opinion in his representation of Jessie Miskelley requesting a new trial.  Turvey’s report found (here) was largely the impetus for future defense experts for all three defendants to “weigh in”.

While Turvey’s work was largely unsupported once his infamous “bitemark” was debunked and he bought into the “Baldwin knife” which has since been abandoned by all subsequent defense experts, as the first guy up at bat so to speak, his testimony demonstrated the burgeoning direction to the CSI Effect the West Memphis Three would take toward their ultimate freedom.

I explore Turvey’s initial observations taken directly from his report, in the beginning of each unique victim’s autopsy segment, followed by updated relevant expert information and my subsequent analysis.

Autopsy By Coroner- Autopsy By Proxy

In the interest of brevity,  I intend to focus on the dissenting views of the experts, and I stipulate that in no report that I have reviewed, was there evidence of sodomy or object penetration of any of the boys.

While I believe Dr. Perretti’s prior experience with cases that involved same did form his opinion on the possibility as it relates to some of the injuries,  I do not believe that such testimony should have been permitted at trial, nor would it be permitted today.

Memphis Triple Homicide May 5, 1993
James M. Moore #ME-329-93
Steve E. Branch #ME-330-93
Chris M. Byers #ME-331-93

LOCATION: On May 6th, 1993, all three victims were found, bound wrist to ankle with shoe laces, in the water of a drainage ditch, in a heavily wooded area called the Robin Hood hills, behind the Blue Beacon Truck Wash in West Memphis, Arkansas. An equivocal forensic examination of all available crime scene and autopsy photos, crime scene video, investigator’s reports, witness statements, family statements, autopsy reports and numerous other sources to be listed as referenced in the endnote section of this report. The purpose of this preliminary examination was to competently assess the nature of the interactions between the victims and their environments as it contributed to their deaths as indicated by available forensic evidence, and the documentation regarding that evidence.

James M. Moore

James Michael Moore autopsy found here.
The following forensic information is taken directly from the official autopsy report filed by Dr. Frank J. Peretti of the Arkansas State Crime Lab, Medical Examiner Division, dated 5-7-93, Case No. ME-329-93 and/ or from The official coroner’s report filed by Kent Hale, Crittenden County Coroner, dated 5-6-97.

The purpose of this section is not to present an all inclusive, detailed account and explanation of every piece of information in these reports, but rather to explore these reports, with the corresponding photos, for consistency, possible omissions, and to review injuries or patterns that this examiner deemed to be significant to the case.
Wound Pattern Analysis
This victim received more traumatic head injuries than any of the other victims in this case. Dr. Peretti states that defense wounds were present on the victim’s hands. These wounds were very few, indicating that victim was incapacitated quickly after the attack began. So the nature of these head injuries, and the limited defensive type wounds, combine to indicate sudden, forceful, and repeated blows that resulted in abraded contusions, multiple lacerations, and multiple skull fractures.

There is an unexplained directional pattern abrasion just below the victim’s right anterior shoulder area.

This unexplained injury does not correspond with any of the physical evidence collected at the location that victim was discovered. It is furthermore inconsistent with any of the naturally occurring elements that exist in that environment. The best conclusion that this examiner can reach is that this pattern abrasion was created by forceful, directional contact with something that was not found at that crime scene, whether it be a weapon, a surface or something else capable of creating that pattern.

The shoelace ligatures used to restrain this victim did not leave deep furrows, and also did not leave abrasions. This indicates that the victim was not struggling while the ligatures were in place. This indicates further that the victim was very much unconscious when the ligatures were affixed to his wrists and ankles.

We know that the victim drowned, that is to say that hemorrhagic edema fluid was present in the victim’s lungs, indicating that the victim was breathing when he was placed into the 2ft of water in the drainage ditch at Robin Hood Hills.

Together, these facts suggest that the purpose of the ligatures in this victim’s case was to keep the victim from moving around or being able to swim should he regain consciousness once he had been thrown into the water. It is this examiners opinion that the assailant in this case demonstrated all manner of awareness and cognizance at this location. The assailant knew that this victim was not dead when they threw this victim into the water, and that the ligatures would assist to complete the act of deliberate homicide should the victim become conscious.

Lack Of Injuries
When compared to the other two victims in this case, who were found at the same location, bound nude with shoelace ligatures in the same fashion, the most striking discrepancy is the lack of injuries suffered by this victim. In the crime scene and autopsy photos made available to this examiner, there were no readily discernible bite marks visible, the genitals have not been visibly disturbed or molested, and there are no discernible stab wounds. This lack of attention is very telling, and will be discussed in the Offender Characteristics section of this report.  There is also, again, a lack of mosquito bites to this victim, which, as mentioned earlier, suggests that he received his injuries elsewhere first. This because the injuries took time to inflict, time during which many mosquito bites would have been received, even after death.

Analysis: I find the statement that he had the least amount of injuries, yet the most severe head injuries in dire conflict, as he died from multiple injuries, and drowning.  The fractures to his head and lacerations to his left and front right skull were enough to cause his death within minutes on their own, and there can be no doubt that he received them while he was already unconscious because of the lack of injury at the ligature sites. There is very little hemorrhage involvement with the open lacerations, and all lacerations were abraded; one with a dovetail and upside down L producing an ovid fracture.  In Jesse Miskelley’s confessions, he says one of them was moving as he was put in the water while he was leaving.  I believe the reason he never mentioned that Michael Moore was beat about the head with an instrument of some kind is because he never saw that.  Michael was located in the ditch just below the oak with the exposed root that had the luminol result “shaped like a V”,  which would be consistent with him struggling to get out of that water, on that bank, with a cast off or blood spatter pattern consistent with someone beating him toward the bank and in front of that tree.

Mosquito bites: Only females take a blood meal, so that potentially reduces the population by 50%, and at no time will they bite a deceased person.  They are attracted mostly by carbon dioxide, released from a breathing person.  Both Dr. Haskell and Dr. Goff agreed to this ultimately.

What is further curious to me, is that while Turvey was hired by Miskelley,  who confessed at least three times by the date of the generation of this report, does he not note the obvious discrepancy for the placement of Mike Moore upstream, or that he was found on his right side with the left side surfacing when in effect dislodged by Det. Mike Allen.  Moore was also hogtied differently, with different knots than the other 2 victims, with ONE black shoelace.  There is a reason that Turvey was not given Miskelley’s updated confession following his conviction, and instructed to disprove it; he would not have been able to.

Steven Edward Branch

Stevie Branch autopsy found here.

Wound Pattern Analysis
There are numerous violent, traumatic injuries to this victim’s face and head, as well as numerous superficial scratches, abrasions, and contusions noted throughout the rest of his body. Dr. Peretti, however, does not note the presence of extensive defensive wounds.

This indicates a violent, overpowering attack on this victim that he was unable to put up resistance against. The constellation of wounds are very similar to those inflicted on James Moore, however they are much more intense and include the victim’s face.

This level of attention paid to the victim’s face, in terms of depersonalization and rage, is indicative of familiarity and that will be explored later on in this report.

Furthermore, there is the existence of patterned injuries all over this victim’s face that could be bite marks. Since the ME may have missed this crucial evidence, other areas of his body may show bite mark evidence as well. The autopsy photos of this victim supplied to this examiner were not of sufficient quality to make an absolute determination of any kind, and would require a thorough examination by a qualified forensic odontologist for an informed, conclusive analysis. [note: Dr. Thomas David, board certified forensic odontologist, has confirmed the wound as a human adult bitemark and excluded Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley as the offender using bite impressions obtained from the men in prison] Bite mark evidence is very important in any criminal case because it demonstrates behavior and lends itself to individuation. It can reveal to an examiner who committed the act, because bite marks can be as unique as fingerprints. And, once established, it also reveals the act itself; biting.

Another unidentified pattern compression abrasion can be found on the back of Steve Branch’s head. The source of this injury caused a 3? inch fracture at the base of the skull with multiple extension fractures that terminate in the foramen magnum (that’s the hole at the base of the skull where the spinal cord connects to the brain). Upon close examination, this pattern injury is consistent with compression made from footwear. Again, without better photos supplied to the examiner showing a variety of angles, it’s very difficult to make a positive identification of any kind. But the pattern is consistent with a footwear impression, and would require a footwear impression expert to analyze and make an informed, competent determination.

The shoelace ligatures used to restrain this victim did leave deep furrows, and also did leave patterned abrasions on both the wrists and ankles. This indicates that the victim was struggling while the ligatures were in place. This indicates further that the victim was very much conscious before or after the ligatures were affixed to his wrists and ankles. We know that the victim drowned, that is to say that hemorrhagic edema fluid was present in the victim’s lungs, as well as in the victim’s mouth, indicating that the victim was breathing when he was placed into the 2ft of water in the drainage ditch at Robin Hood Hills.

Together, these facts, again, suggest that the purpose of the ligatures in this victim’s case was to keep the victim from moving around or being able to swim should he regain consciousness once he had been thrown into the water. It is this examiner’s opinion that the assailant in this case demonstrated all manner of awareness and cognizance at this location. The assailant knew that this victim was not dead when they threw this victim into the water, and that the ligatures would assist to complete the act of deliberate homicide should the victim become conscious.

Lack Of Injuries
There is again a lack of evidence to support any sort of strangulation. Dr. Peretti states that his examination of the neck of this victim revealed no injuries, and the photos that this examiner has seen support that conclusion.

Analysis: He missed the wound to Stevie Branch’s penis entirely. While not contained in his formal autopsy report, it was proven during the trial that Dr. Peretti’s colleague  was called into evaluate what Turvey was calling “bite marks” and was ruled out.  The fact that bite impressions did not match Echols, Baldwin or Miskelley was in no way exculpatory, and I will save you the bite by some animal with a rough tounge report nonsense I had to read .

The 3” fracture at the base of the skull, which “spiderwebbed” into subsequent fractures, also very likely severed his spinal cord,  so one must assume this injury was also quite perimortem.

Steve ‘s left face was found to be abraded on the entire left side, and is consistent with someone either stomping on right side of his neck and fracturing it, with an obvious boot print, if the left side of the face was on the ground.

The gouging wounds- likely had to be inflicted following the fracture due to the lack of hemorrhage in comparison to the severity of the wound, and all experts agreed the injury was likely perimortem.  So the question becomes- why?

Seems like a very important question, second only to what caused the trauma, based on the constellation of terminal injuries already inflicted on him.   Wouldn’t the only thing left  to do at that point  be to submerge him?

It is my theory- therein lies the problem.  Byers was put in the ditch first, and we know he was already deceased, therefore, he sinks.  Stevie Branch is placed in the water next to him, and he either begins moving or floats and the suspects thinks he is still alive, and uses an implement to force him into the ditch bottom until he succumbs and stays submerged.  I will leave out the specifics of the gouging wound as to why I think that resulted in the usage of the other end of the ice axe on Michael Moore.  The luminol result,  found in  the ditch bed itself, after it was drained,  slightly downstream from Byers and Branch,  but still upstream from Moore could also support this theory.  We know that Byers had already bled out,  but Branch was still alive when he was put into the water and the only significant bleeding wound on his person capable of  leaving blood evidence in the bottom of the ditch to survive it simply being washed away in the creek, there is a high degree of probability he bled directly into the dirt.  He was found face down.

Christopher Byers

Christopher Byers autopsy found here.

It should be noted that this victim’s injuries were the most extensive, most violent, and most overtly sexual of the all the victims in this case. The nature and extent of this victim’s wounds indicate that the assailant spent the most time with this victim.

Additionally, this victim’s toxicology report revealed non-therapeutic levels of carbamazepine in the blood. All of these differences are very important, and will be explored in the later sections of this report.

Wound Pattern Analysis
There are numerous violent, traumatic injuries to this victim’s head, specifically to the base of the skull. There was also evidence of the violent emasculation of the victim’s sex organs, extensive lacerations and bruising to the victim’s buttocks, as well as numerous superficial scratches, abrasions, and contusions noted throughout the rest of his body. Dr. Peretti also noted that there were numerous healed injuries of varying nature on this victim. Dr. Peretti, however, did not note the presence of defensive wounds.

Again, this indicates a violent, overpowering attack on this victim that he was unable to put up resistance against. The general constellation of wounds to this victim is more advanced, more extensive, more overtly sexually oriented and includes the use of a knife.

This knife was used not only to inflict multiple stabbing and cutting injuries to the victim’s inner thighs and genital area, it was used in the emasculation process. There is, unmentioned in either the ME’s or Coroner’s reports, what appears to be a clear impression of the knife handle on the right side of the large gaping defect left behind after the removal of the victims penis, scrotal sac, and testes. This was impression was created when the knife was thrust full length into the victim by the assailant, during the process of emasculation. This indicates forceful, violent thrusts. The nature of this emasculation, as indicated by these wounds, is neither skilled nor practiced. It was a rageful, careless, but purposeful act carried out in anger.

It is the opinion of this examiner that this injury would have resulted in massive, uncontrollable blood-loss, from which the victim could not have survived without immediate medical attention.
It should also be pointed out that the nature of the stab wounds inflicted on the victim’s genital area, separate from those received during the emasculation process, show marked irregular configuration and pulling of the skin. This indicates that either the knife was being twisted as the assailant stabbed the victim, or that the victim was moving as the blade was withdrawn.

The second set of injuries is described as five superficial cutting wounds on the left buttock (pictured on the left in this photo at the right). It should be noted that these injuries are actually lacerations, as indicated by the bridging between the open tissue, and the irregular edges. Both indicators are apparent upon close examination of the photographs. It is the opinion of this examiner that this set of injuries is most consistent with the parental whipping given to Chris Byers by Mark Byers. It is further the opinion of this examiner that after having received this set of injuries, which tore open the skin and would have resulted in some severe bleeding, the victim would have been unable to walk or ride a bicycle without incredible pain and discomfort.

The third set of injuries is the multiple linear superficial interrupted cuts on the right buttock region (pictured in the photo above on the right). These injuries are not consistent with having been made by a belt as they are cuts. The edges are not irregular, and the cuts are interrupted, again indicating movement by the victim or the assailant during the attack.

Furthermore, there is the existence of bruised ovoid compression injuries all over this victim’s inner thigh that could be suction type bite marks. Since the ME may have missed this crucial evidence, other areas of his body may show bite mark evidence as well. The autopsy photos of this victim supplied to this examiner were not of sufficient quality to make an absolute determination of any kind, and would require a thorough examination by a qualified forensic odontologist for an informed, conclusive analysis.

Bite mark evidence is very important in any criminal case because it demonstrates behavior and lends itself to individuation. It can reveal to an examiner who committed the act, because bite marks can be as unique as fingerprints and positively identify a suspect. And, once established, it also reveals the act itself; biting. The shoelace ligatures used to restrain this victim did leave deep furrows, and also did leave patterned abrasions on both the wrists and ankles. This indicates that the victim was struggling while the ligatures were in place. This indicates further that the victim was very much conscious before or after the ligatures were affixed to his wrists and ankles.

We know that this victim did not drown, that is to say that no hemorrhagic edema fluid was present in the victim’s lungs, or well in the victim’s mouth. This indicates that the victim was already dead when he was placed into the 2? ft of water in the drainage ditch at Robin Hood Hills. This is, again, very different from the other two victims in this case.

Dr. Richard Souviron forensic odontologist: all mutilation is peri and post mortem, no knife was used.

On a final note, Mr. Hale states in his supplemental report on Chris Byers that there is a stab wound on his head. This is actually incorrect, and rectified by Dr. Peretti who states in his autopsy report of Chris Byers that the same injury is a 1¼-inch laceration to the left parietal scalp.

There is also, again, a lack of mosquito bites to this victim, which, as mentioned earlier, suggests that he received his injuries elsewhere first. This because the injuries took time to inflict, time during which many mosquito bites would have been received, even after death.

Additionally, unlike Steve Branch, there is no overkill present in this victim’s face. That is to say that this is another of the marked differences between the killings of Steve Branch and Chris Byers which is very important to note, and which will be explored more thoroughly in this report.

Recommendations
It is apparent from the physical evidence in this case that Chris M. Byers was attacked with sudden, violent force from which he defended himself in only a limited fashion. It appears as though this attack took place, at least in part, while his cloths were off and while the shoelace ligatures restrained him. He was sexually assaulted (an assault of a sexual nature, to areas of the body considered to be sexual, that does not include sexual penetration), and associated stab wounds indicate that he may have been conscious during several phases of the attack.

Analysis:  How does he miss that the dosage of (car) was sub therapeutic, meaning below the level at which he was described and confuse it as non-therapeutic, in his estimation, as a possible means to subdue him.  He completely missed the fact that it is likely that the level, found in his blood, was greatly reduced because there was very little blood volume left in his body.  AND, it was a prescribed medication.  Turvey does not mention the other factors that support Byers died first,  and he died quickly and violently.  While he did have stomach contents,  he did not have any urine in his blatter and there was substantative evidence his bowels had evacuated at the scene,  commonly a result of an immediate violent death.

Consensus or Conundrum- Depends Who You Ask

Regardless of which expert one believes, within the confines of each report,  is the absence of the belief with any certainty that the “Baldwin” serrated knife was used.  What they all agree on, is that the gouging injuries to Branch and Byers were very similar.  They all agree that there was evidence of blunt force trauma, significant curvilinear fractures,   what is commonly referred to in Forensic Pathology today as “chop wounds”, other sharp force trauma.

Thoughts onPost Mortem Animal Predation

I agree it is possible that snapping turtles could have caused what looks to be possible claw marks and at least one possible bite mark.  I am emphasizing possible because I don’t think one can rule out animal predation 100%

Bryn Ridge himself testified he has seen snapping turtles in that area, some time ago.   That said, there was not so much as a crawfish found in that creek as it was being pumped out, and that included a screen.

Dr. Spitz went as far as to suggest that somehow a carnivore of some kind was the cause of the animal predation although all oter evidence suggests that the boys were completely submerged, as well as their clothing, and there was obviously no animal tracks or other artifacts at the scene that would make that theory sound anything remotely believable.  Thankfully, he  stopped short of suggesting that a new breed of homicidal carnivores with a cleaner crew who could walk upright was responsible.

Fortunately I Dressed For Bushwhacking

Starting with one of the most important parts of the autopsy evidence, is the very fact that detectives knew VERY LITTLE about it outside of the cause of death, until late May at the earliest.  So little in fact, that Gary Gitchell, Lead Investigator, wrote a list of follow up questions to the crime lab on May 26. (need link here)

Frank J. Peretti, MD preformed all three autopsies on May 7, 1993, and filed reports on May 10th for cause of death only.   Those causes of death btw, were all listed as homicide by multiple injuries, period.  Nobody knew that two boys died from drowning, and not all three.  This is particularly concerning because the first conversation that Steve Jones and Det Sudbury had with Damien Echols was  on May 7th prior to autopsy and in his subsequent interview with Det Bryn Ridge on May 10, when asked by Ridge how he knew about that,  Echols told Ridge that Jones told HIM that whoever did this “urinated” in the mouths of the boys.

Urine was found in the stomachs of 2 of the victims, but that information was given by phone only to Gitchell, and not before May 16th, 1993.  There is no possible way Damien Echols could have had case- specific information unless he was there or knew someone that was that told him what occurred, as the detective interviewing him at the time was clueless to that fact during the interview.

There are certainly many statements by both Echols and Miskelley prior to arrest that indicate they had prior knowledge of the murders,  but I have been able to ride the see saw on those for the most part, like many.

The fact that Echols knew that there was urine in the stomachs of two victims,  when it was intentionally ommitted from the report can only mean he was there, or knew someone who was,  and in my opinion, both.

To be continued,  West Memphis Three Part III

Sources:

Crime lab Index: http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/img/crimelab.html

Chris Byers autopsy:

http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/autcb.html

Michael Moore:

http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/autmm.html

Stevie Branch:

http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/autsb.html

Turvey Report: http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/b_turvey_profile.html

Related Posts:

1,383 Comments

  1. Mom3.0 says:

    Research from various sources- please excuse and duplicate info- its late and I am tired.

    raccoons-

    snipped-

    In the natural world, raccoons snare a lot of their meals in the water. These nocturnal foragers use lightning-quick paws to grab crayfish, frogs, and other aquatic creatures. On land, they pluck mice and insects from their hiding places and raid nests for tasty eggs.They can be found in hardwood forests, along any body of water, and they stay active even in the middle of winter. Wherever the raccoon is found, its habits remain similar; they are always on the prowl for food.

    The raccoon’s paws look a little like human hands. The raccoon’s toes are flexible and it is very good at grabbing, pulling things apart and holding things. The raccoon is a very good climber and can go down a tree backwards or face first!The raccoons usually walks, but it can run at speeds of up to 15 miles an hour. It is also a good swimmer and often hunts for food in the water. The raccoon makes a variety of vocalizations including hisses, whistles, screams, growls and snarls.

    The raccoon is omnivorous and opportunistic. Common foods include fruits, nuts berries, insects, rodents, frogs, eggs and crayfish. In some rural areas, corn is a large part of the raccoon’s diet. In suburban and urban areas it often forages through trash cans for food.

    If water is near, the raccoon will sometimes put its food in the water and roll it around. It looks like it is washing its food, but it is not. The raccoon is softening the food and looking for foreign objects on the food.

    http://www.nhptv.org/NatureWorks/raccoon.htm

    They Eat mice, small birds, snakes, frogs, insects, crawfish, grass, berries, acorns, corn, melons — the list is almost endless. Garbage cans and dumps can be a major source of food in urban areas. Field crops or gardens near wooded areas may suffer severe damage from raccoons. Ripening corn is frequently eaten and much is wasted. They raid nesting cavities of birds. They will on occasion kill small lambs, usually by chewing the nose.

    Raccoons enter poultry houses and take several birds in one night. The breast and crop can be torn and chewed, and the entrails sometimes are eaten. There may be bits of flesh near water.

    Eggs may be removed from poultry or game bird nests and eaten away from the nest, usually within 28 feet (9 m) of the nest.

    A distinctive five-toed track that resembles a small human hand print. Tracks are usually paired, the left hind foot beside the right forefoot. Raccoon and opossum tracks can be difficult to distinguish in soft sand where toes do not show

    http://icwdm.org/Inspection/livestock.asp#Raccoons_

    claw
    http://tinyurl.com/chnyjvp

    It’s common to find raccoons raiding garbage cans and dumps, and many urban raccoons “commute” to their food sources via storm sewers, sometimes traveling miles underground from denning woods to restaurant dumpster banquets.

    A large number of raccoons are struck by cars as they are feeding on other road-killed animals such as snakes, turtles and possums Raccoons use their front paws to feel for food items in murky water or leaf litter. Raccoons are omnivores, meaning they eat both animals and plants. In actuality, raccoons will eat just about anything they can get their hands on. Their diet is made up primarily of fruits, vegetables, acorns, earthworms, fish and other aquatic animals.

    Raccoons have a strong tactile sense and greater manual dexterity than most other animals. Both their common name and their scientific name refer to the use of their hands and to their apparent habit of washing their food before they eat it. The common name, “raccoon,” comes from the Algonquin word meaning “scratches with hands.” Their scientific name, “Procyon lotor,” is from Greek and New Latin and means “before dog washer.” “Before dogs” refers to the belief that dogs are thought to have evolved from an early ancestor of the raccoon. Lotor means, “I wash.” raccoons are climbers. Moreover, they are strong animals capable of seizing and pushing or pulling objects with considerable force.

    cont part 2

  2. Mom3.0 says:

    part 2 research cont-

    The toes of the front feet of the raccoon are not only long and slender, but they also possess a highly developed sense of touch, and play large role in the raccoon’s harvest of plant and animal foods. The notion that a raccoon washes or must moisten food is a myth. Salivary glands are well-developed and the tendency for this mammal to manipulate food items in water is not related to a need to wet or wash them; in fact, many foods are consumed unmoistened.

    Much of the activity probably functions in locating, capturing, identifying, and orienting (placing in the mouth) food. Raccoons sample food and other objects with their front paws to examine them and to remove unwanted parts. The tactile sensitivity of their paws is increased if this action is performed underwater, since the water softens the horny layer covering the paws

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raccoon

    The 5 toes of each foot are slender and have sharp claws. The soles of the feet are naked. Adults weigh about 4.1-13.6 kg (9-30 lbs). Birds such as ducks and their eggs, turtles and their eggs, mice, voles, bats, cottontails, muskrats, ground and tree squirrels, fish, snakes, and frogs are examples of raccoon prey. Invertebrates (insects, earthworms, freshwater mussels, and especially crayfish) are a major dietary component, too. The raccoon eats both the flesh of dead animals (carrion) and garbage.

    Raccoons walk, trot, or run on the soles of their feet. Their speed while running is about 16-24 km/h (10-15 mph), a pace they do not usually maintain for long. The normal means of escaping danger is by climbing the nearest tree, and raccoons are skilled in rapidly moving up the tree trunk. Raccoons, by rotating their hind feet, can descend from trees head-first. This species is an expert swimmer and can swim long distances.

    http://www.esf.edu/aec/adks/mammals/raccoon.htm

    And lots of pics of tracks ect-

    http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/wildlife/PUBL/wlnotebook/FSRaccoon.htm

    they are most active all night long, from about an hour before sunset to an hour after sunrise. The boars tend to move farther than the sows at night. During the daytime, raccoons that live in swamps or marshes Raccoons use more than one resting area and seldom use the same site two days in a row. The distances between their various resting sites may be a mile or so.

    More info on other wildlife that might’ve been present in the area:

    http://www.lakegeorgeassociation.org/What-We-Do/Education/Mammals-of-Lake-George.htm

    Part 3
    research cont-

  3. Mom3.0 says:

    Part 3 Research cont-

    video discussing attack of two women-

    http://www.mefeedia.com/news/24164217

    video of raccoon in water in an urban area:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9GJEllm-jQ

    story of little boy who was bitten picture of bite wound
    http://tinyurl.com/ck8qltc

    I realize that any wounds on the little boys would be different as it is my understanding that some of the wounds happened after death… and also wounds after emersion in water look different regardless…

    but thought I would give this information on raccoons and what damage they are capable of…

    I was able to locate pics of some “scratch marks” from this case – I will not link directly to them- as I do not feel it is my place to do so.

    But for anyone who wishes to research these marks just look up part 4 of the defense teams discussion panel on youtube-

    Again my prayers to little Stevie, Mike and Chris, to their families and to the town.
    AJMO

  4. A Texas Grandfather says:

    Mom3.0

    I have witnessed all of the behaviors expressed in your posts. Racoons will work hard to get to a food source that can be smelled. They like seeds too. Their diet is more varied than humans. It is amazing to see the amount of destruction they can create when foraging for food. The only animals that they will back away from is the possum or a bear.

    In regards to the possibility that a racoon or a possum created the wounds on the young boys, I don’t think so. This little area of the creek did not contain a sufficient amount of food to make it worthwhile. In addition, the odor of humans will make a possum or a racoon back away because they have learned to fear them.

  5. Mom3.0 says:

    TGF Hi thanks for weighing in with your thoughts-
    Raccoons do not always back away from possums either-
    see here;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMgHhcEUa2g&feature=related
    and
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD6f4BGs-Ok

    As to your thinking that this area did not contain a sufficient amount of food- Id have to disagree, as my research shows this area would have contained sufficient food sources- there were several water sources- ponds, ditches- and the bayou-

    research shows there were frogs, turtles, snakes, mice, grass ect in those waters- also their was ample trash from nearby apartments- and roadkill from nearby highways- food and trash from nearby truckstop and as my research shows, raccoons are quite capable of clawing and gouging their food and biting it as well as removing parts to consume elsewhere… and as my research shows raccons travel in sewers and culverts ect miles sometimes…

    TGF- did you watch the videos? In urban areas raccoons do not fear humans – they have often learned NOT to fear them -they often go right up to them and sometimes do attack them and their cats and dogs ect- and they need not be rabid to do so.

    here are some more links:
    http://www2.wspa.com/news/2011/jun/30/dhec-concerned-about-rabies-after-greenville-boy-a-ar-2050559/
    and
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzNLXuW4rv8

    As my research shows raccoons do not rely on their sense of smell they mostly rely on the sense of touch…and they would have had no trouble sniffing out or feeling out this type of food source- as there would have been blood and fecal matter ect. I am sorry to be so blunt but sadly because of where and how these little boys were disposed of- (and as Blink opines killed there) animals including raccoons and muskrats ect would have had no problem finding the food- there is no way to say that nicely. I apologize if anyone is offended by that sharing of facts.

    TGF you previously wrote:
    “My experience with wildlife tell me that animals did not disturb the bodies in any way. That was a defense move to cover the damage to the boys by whatever the instrument (the ice axe) was used to create the terrible head blows that produced the fatal cranial injuries.”

    I am not so certain TGF- just because these little victims may have been subjected to animal predation in death- does not mean they were not brutally murdered- nor does it mean they werent murdered by JB DE or JM…

    As far as I am able to research right now- there are no stab wounds- the serrated knife was brought up as the murder weapon mostly due to these “scratches” why would any killer scratch a victim with a knife or a axe? why not take advantage of the weapon and use it as it was intended?

    Many mistakes were made in this case- and it is at least feasible that an expert mistook animal predation for wounds attributed to a serrated knife…

    I agree that the defense could be using this as a deflection against their clients guilt- but that does not mean it isnt true…I agree the cranial injuries were the cause of death- I am not certain that an ice ax caused these fatal blows…

    BTW TGF in your earlier post you wrote about the screens and the pumps ect- you are correct about a different screen being placed in the ditch- my previous post has Ridge stating that there was one.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts TGF I really respect and value your perspectives.
    AJMO

  6. Mom3.0 says:

    Still researching-
    I have not watched the HBO docs yet-I have decided not to, at least until I have researched all I can on my own.

    Grace you mentioned that you have found some interesting things and that you recently did watch the docs. I am very interested to hear more of your insights.

    As I was researching today, I came across a link to the trailer of the new HBO doc Paradise Lost 3- I watched it, and to my surprise the very same “scratches” I have been discussing are shown in the trailer.

    Blink IIRC you also said that in the previous docs the boys bodies were shown.
    I am not sure how to feel about this- but I can see the merit of viewing this graphic evidence….But I can also see the wrongness for lack of a better word, of showing it too.

    I am posting the link to the trailer so those that wish to further educate themselves and can see the merit of viewing this will be able to do so.

    Seeing how most have HBO, and this new movie will be shown in January, I guess it wont be too long before most of us are bombarded by these images anyway. So I think linking to these images here, where we can discuss our thoughts and feelings, inorder to promote further advocacy for these little boys is much better than the alternative.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBhndqS_82Y&feature=player_embedded

    AJMO

  7. A Texas Grandfather says:

    Mom3.0

    The reason I posted about the lack of food in the creek is they reported practically zero animal life in the creek at the time of the pump-out. A racoon or a possum would have visited the garbage cans or dumpsters across the way in the apartment complex. The volume of food readily availabe would have made that location a preferred one.

    Possums will eat anything they can get their mouth around. I once watched a possum go into a dumpster and eat a plastic container that had been used to hold a cheese dip. He didn’t just lick the cheese, he chewed and swallowed the container and the cheese. A possum’s favorite food is a snake.

    Racoons will run from humans. The only way to prevent this is to blind them with light. They are not afraid of a single dog, but will climb a tree to escape a pack of dogs. Coon hunters use dogs and light to get them.

    Regarding the screen in the ditch. Ridge did state that it was there, but did not describe its placement. The photos did not show a screen although it could have been placed in front of the sandbags used to dam the creek and did not extend above the water when the photos were taken.

    These boys were young, just barely eight years old. Their head bones were soft and had not totally fused, so it would not take an extremely powerful blow to create the damage found.

    We don’t have any documentation of the type of animal life known to live in or vist the creek other than some people talking about snaping turtles, which probably did not exist. One would think that any expert testifiing to animal activity would have conducted an audit of the area over several days to determine just what was there.

    You need not worry about offending me regarding the activities of animals. I have lived on a farm in southern Arkansas and observed all types of animals in the wild and in urban areas all my life. We live about a dozen miles from the nearest town so I have the opportunity to observe a lot of wild life. We have racoons, possum, ring-tails, wild turkey, foxes, squirels,rabbits, wild hogs, deer, bobcats and mountain lions and of course several varieties of snakes and lizzards. It is too dry to attract bears or we would probably have them too. In addition, we have identified fifty-eight species of birds.

    I have seen my share of auto accidents where many people were injured or killed and have helped to remove the injured and the bodies. I am not squemish.

  8. Xara says:

    I found some info on turtles, thought some might find it interesting.

    http://herpsofarkansas.com/Turtle/HomePage

    And I also found this to be interseting as it relates to the specific area:

    Ryan Clark, the brother of Steve Byers, has submitted a declaration attesting that on a number of previous occasions he had taken alligator snapping turtles out of the very area where his brother’s body was found submerged. (See Exh. EE.)

    Link:
    http://www.jivepuppi.com/court_filing_10_07.html

  9. Ragdoll says:

    What a tenacious bunch. I applaud you all for extensive research y’all are bringing to the table.

    I have a stupid thought….

    Why not have a snapping turtle bite test? Using meat or chicken or something…and compare them to the bites found on the photos?

    I know it can be done….I’ve seen it done on Jackass (aptly named I might add). Seriously…..why wouldn’t bite marks of these creatures be compared to the ones found on our wee cubs? If those boys were bitten while they were alive, they would have been heard.

    FWIW, human bite marks are quite distinctive. Wouldn’t the ME know the difference?

  10. Ragdoll says:

    Meant to include this link….very interesting.

    http://forensic.to/webhome/bitemarks1/

  11. A Texas Grandfather says:

    Exara

    Thanks for the report by the young man about removing aligator snapping turtles from the area.

    A snapping turtle is the single turtle species in its various forms that is unable to pull its head and neck into its shell. They also have sharp claws. Unless one has experience in handling these critters, the chance of getting a painful bite or scratch or both is very great. Boys have a tendency to stretch the truth when it comes to accomplishing something such as this. I have four boys and I have listened to such stories when they were little guys.

    Bottom line: I put very little credance in this story.

    Yes, Ragdoll we are still trying to find the truth. Mom is logically searching and examining everything and Jack is doing the same when he can find the time.

    In regards to your bite marks and scratch marks by a snapping turtle, perhaps someone could get Jack Hannah’s opinion. He is the gentleman that is associated with the Columbus, Ohio zoo and brings his animals to the various TV shows.

    It would be interesting to place a twenty-five or thirty pound turkey that had the feathers removed into a tank with some hungry snapping turtles to observe how they would feed on them. They could also be video taped for further study. More forensic knowledge is needed in this area.

  12. Mom3.0 says:

    TGF, Hello thanks so much for willingly sharing your thoughts and experiences. I havent researched possums yet- but from what you have shared, it seems they too, should be considered when speaking about animal predation.

    To tell you the truth, I have put off researching them, because they give me the willies….As for the raccoons, I am glad that you agree that the apartment complex and the truck stop dumpsters ect, would have been ideal places for the critters to seek food- this would lend credence to the woods, which encompassed 3 acres, as being part of that suitable habitat- as again there was water sources ect- and as my research shows:

    Raccoons typically live within a home range of 3-5 square miles. Boars tend to roam farther… up to 20 square miles. All raccoons will roam farther than normal if food becomes scarce.

    The sow, however, begins her search for a secure den site in which to bear and raise her young. She generally selects a hollow tree lined with nothing more than the old rotten wood of the cavity itself. She may also use an abandoned beaver lodge, muskrat house, abandoned woodchuck burrow, brush pile, dense clump of cattails, CULVERT, STORM DRAIN, VACANT SHED, barn loft, and even an attic or a chimney in urban areas.

    ** snipped from May 7th Commercial Appeal article which discusses area notice the description seems to fit an ideal raccoon habitat-
    -
    Authorities said they drained the ditch to search for additional evidence. Police were also searching a culvert where bicycle tracks and small sneaker prints were found.

    The culvert, which connects to the drainage ditch, runs under Interstate 40 near a truck wash. The ditch was a few hundred yards north of where the children were last seen, and less than a half-mile from the children’s homes.

    They were behind the Mayfair Apartments in a wooded, undeveloped area known to residents as Robin Hood Park.

    “It’s several little ditches or streams that run through the area, from a trickle to two to three feet of water,” Gitchell said…..

    The boys were last seen cutting through the yard of a resident who lived on Goodwin Avenue, just south of the brush-choked bayou.*

    -
    Raccoons use more than one resting area and seldom use the same site two days in a row. The distances between their various resting sites may be a mile or so.

    Yearling females don’t tend to travel very far from where they were born. On the other hand, yearling males may travel up to 5 miles away from their birth den. Adults are no stranger to long treks. As a local population of raccoons grows and the food resources diminish, raccoons typically disperse up to 30 miles away from their birth site. Some have been reported to travel as far as 160 miles or more, though such great distances are rare.

    My point in sharing these excerpts of research, are to show- that if we agree that the apartments ect would be a raccoon haven, we should be able to agree that there would be raccoons in those woods and they most likely would have been in and around the ditch at least part of the time-
    in other words-
    since we agree raccoons would have sought out such an area- then we should be able to agree that area would include the ditch where the boys were found- which would mean that raccoons traveling between the truckstop and the apartments ect- would have had no problem in sensing the new food source- finding the food source, and at the least, exploring the new food source, although not being able to feast on the food source,before they were scared off—

    TGF I will address more of your thoughts in my post to xara-
    but in closing I want to say
    Thanks again TGF- for your willingness to hash over things with me- as to your thoughts on the screens, I agree unfortunately, AGAIN, LEO failed to document everything, so we will not be able to know for sure what was done.

    TGF,I am also glad to know that you are not offended by the graphic nature of our discussion.

    For those who are, again I apologize, and I assure you, I am not trying to be disrespectful to these little boys or to their families, when discussing such horrible details ect.

    AJMO

  13. Mom3.0 says:

    Hello xara- thank you for bringing up the topic of urtles, I found your link very informative and well worth the read-

    xara I have been researching turtles too- Ill link to some of my research in later posts-

    Before I continue I would like to again point out that regardless of animal predation- these little boys were killed and disposed of- There is no getting around that- and again, discussing or suggesting or even proving animal predation, does not prove that JB DE and JM didnt commit these murders-

    Hi TGF you wrote:

    We don’t have any documentation of the type of animal life known to live in or vist the creek other than some people talking about snaping turtles, which probably did not exist. One would think that any expert testifiing to animal activity would have conducted an audit of the area over several days to determine just what was there.

    TGF first yes- I agree One would think that any expert testifiing to animal activity would have conducted an audit of the area over several days to determine just what was there.- but they didnt- they failed to do this-

    BUT what we do have, are statements before any debate IRT animal predation ever came up – meaning before there was reason not to… there were people talking freely such as here:

    http://westmemphisthreediscussion.yuku.com/topic/2714/CA5-7-93-Playground-Irresistible-to-Kids-Now-Holds-Grief

    snipped:

    “I play back there all the time,” said Chris Husband, 14, who said he sometimes played there with Christopher Byers. “There’s ramps, bike trails,
    hills; it’s fun back there. We catch turtles and snakes and stuff.”

    But he said he and his friends also have found hypodermic needles in the area, as well as a 22 rifle and “a pistol that was all messed up.”

    –Now I bring this quote up for two reasons – one to show there were turtles and snakes and that the kids were aware of them- and also to bring up the rifle- we both know that the preferred method of hunting animals like raccoons is a 22
    See here;

    http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/wildlife/PUBL/wlnotebook/FSRaccoon.htm

    The hounds range far searching for the scent of a raccoon. Once they have found the scent, they begin trailing the animal, baying and loudly yowling. Hound owners, who know the terrain and the voices of their dogs, follow the progress of the chase.

    The outcome between hound and raccoon is always uncertain.
    An especially intelligent and experienced raccoon can lay a trail that the finest dog cannot decipher.
    Once the hounds have treed a raccoon, the hunter shines a headlamp on the animal to ensure an accurate kill.

    The hunter usually uses a .22 rifle for quickly and humanely killing the animal.

    TGF- we know from Ridges statements that he was afraid of snakes in the water- why? by your thinking, he had no proof there were snakes in the area- so why fear them?
    Well, ofcourse it is because wildlife does not always come out to say hi- how do you do- before being sighted or before attack ect-

    BUT common sense tells a human that the area they are in, is an ideal habitat for such wildlife -regardless of sighting it or not- they need to be aware-

    We know from statements given by Ridge and Allen that they were not looking for animals not turtles not mosquitos- not raccoons – they were focused on the boys -as they should have been-

    But as we know, they made many mistakes and they as well as searchers and other LEO contaminated the scene- they trampled evidence destroyed foot prints and the like- so again we will never know exactly what was there in that ditch or in those woods but our common sense can lead us- as well as previous statements given – as well as research ect-

    TGF, We can agree there must have been wildlife in those 3 acres of woods and we can agree there must have been aquatic life in those waers right? We know this from our own experiences- it is not feasible to think that watrer was devoid of all life- it is feasible IMO to think that the wild life were scared away- and or just overlooked ect -
    Common sense tells me There must have been many rabbits and insects and snakes and mice in that area- we can agree on that right? well we didnt see them- and there are no first hand accounts of them being in the area- but we know they were- common sense tells us this- IMO same goes for raccoons and snails and dragon flies ect and for the aquatic life- such as water spiders, snakes and turtles ect.

    AJMO

    Cont part 2

  14. Mom3.0 says:

    Part 2
    me again Hi-

    Why do you say the snapping turtles probably didnt exist TGF?

    See here;
    http://www.ehow.com/info_8420825_turtles-found-arkansas.html

    snipped:
    Arkansas boasts 16 turtle species including terrestrial and aquatic varieties. From April through October, these reptiles feed, bask in the sun, swim and mate. Arkansas turtles range in size from 4 to 20 inches and may live to be 30 years old.

    Two varieties of snapping turtles are found in Arkansas – the common snapping turtle and the alligator snapping turtle. Snapping turtles have a long tail, dark brown, rough shells and range in length from 8 to 18 1/2 inches. Since their large heads cannot fit into their shells, snapping turtles rely on their strong jaws for defense and will bite if provoked. They prefer to live in stagnant ponds, swamps and slow-moving rivers.
    and here:

    http://www.herpsofarkansas.com/Turtle/HomePage

    In that statement I linked from Mr. Byers (awhile ago) he says that the boys would catch turtles and bring them home to the pool- and as xara shows with her link Chris’ brother states:

    24) Ryan Clark, the brother of Steve Byers, has submitted a declaration attesting that on a number of previous occasions he had taken alligator snapping turtles out of the very area where his brother’s body was found submerged. (See Exh. EE.)

    As you, yourself have said TGF- one reason the boys would have been in the area is to observe the wildlife- mainly birds IIRC- well considering the aforementioned points research ect… isnt it quite feasible they also were there for turtles and raccoons and snakes ect ect ect?

    According to a memorandum filed by JB for further DNA testing- animal hairs were found on the victims yet were not tested to determine exactly what animals these hairs came from:

    http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/motions/jb_memo_fiber_release.html
    Snipped-

    Bode Technology informed the parties that on the various hair slides prepared by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in this case, and elsewhere in the evidence submitted to it, there were a number of animal hairs. This scientific opinion was arrived at after the defense (with the agreement of the State)

    Further reading:
    DNA testing now establishes that there is no evidence that Petitioners were
    involved in any sexual activity with any of the victims. Significantly, the defense’s experts on forensic pathology, and medical issues, are unanimously of the view that injuries described at trial as having been made by one or more knives are not knife wounds, but rather artifacts of animal predation, mostly post-mortem.

    In reviewing the evidence in this case, Bode Technology informed the parties that on the various hair slides prepared by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in this case, and elsewhere in the evidence submitted to it, there were a number of animal hairs. This scientific opinion was arrived at after the defense (with the agreement of the State)

    -6-

    approved a microscopic examination of hair evidence to differentiate between human and animal hairs, in part because the Bode Technology, Inc. laboratories did not, when it first started testing the samples in this case, conduct DNA testing of animal tissue or animal hair as part of its normal forensic work.

    Certain of the injuries observed on the victims were consistent with non-human bite marks; the extrusion of tissue from the area of lips, eyelids, and wounds on faces consistent with animal feeding behavior. Also, pathologists working with the defense have identified a series of wounds that Dr. Peretti had opined were knife wounds as wounds actually caused by animal claws.

    The defense submits that under the facts as they have been developed in this case, and given the State’s theory at trial, as well as given Petitioner Baldwin’s claim of innocence, and satisfaction of the requirements under A.C.A. 16-112-201 et seq., the various animal hairs impounded, and kept in laboratory settings, should be released for further microscopic and DNA examination.

    —So again- LE and the prosecution as well as the early defense failed Noone tested these animal hairs- which were found- now everyone can holler about money setting these 3 free, which I agree with up to a point- but in my opinion it can also be said that LACK of money sentenced them to life in prison- and to death by execution

    There is no argument that these hairs should have been tested right? this could go to show that animal predation occurred- or it may have shown that the victims had secondary hair transfers from beloved pet dogs or cats- ( which would lend credence to the other secondary hair transfers from home such as the “Hobb” hair…without the prosecution eliminating this avenue- doubt has been established- which is a huge failure by all parties- and a huge disservice to the victims, their families the town and to those accused as well.

    AJMO
    Cont part 3

  15. Mom3.0 says:

    Hi Ragdoll- nice to see you thanks so much for asking that question and for sharing the link-

    Your question was not dumb Ragdoll you wrote:

    I have a stupid thought….

    Why not have a snapping turtle bite test? Using meat or chicken or something…and compare them to the bites found on the photos?

    I know it can be done….I’ve seen it done on Jackass (aptly named I might add). Seriously…..why wouldn’t bite marks of these creatures be compared to the ones found on our wee cubs? If those boys were bitten while they were alive, they would have been heard.

    FWIW, human bite marks are quite distinctive. Wouldn’t the ME know the difference?

    I know exactly what you are referring to when you bring up Jackass-
    Stevo- subjected himself to the bite of an alligator snapping turtle- on his butt cheek- OUCH-

    OT

    Let me take this opportunity to state as a mother of a teen – I was very sorry to hear of the death of one of the JackAss contributors, Ryan Dunn- RIP -please do not drink and drive people-

    Next, let me give a word of encouragement to Stevo- as I would like to commend him for his sobriety- and I would like to tell him- to keep up the fight- I am proud of him.

    —Back on topic

    Ragdoll- yes forensic odontology is a well recognized science-
    See here:
    http://www.forensic.to/webhome/bitemarks/

    Unfortunately, in the beginning of this case – it was thought that all the injuries to the victims were caused by a knife, a serrated knife- later the defense brought up human bite marks- then later animal predation was suggested.

    So in essence, the comparisons were never made or they were made from poor photos- not from measuring and analysis of the victims themselves.

    Also, KIM that any comparison would have to be done with something other than a chicken, most likely a pig and it would need to include both living and dead tissue- as these injuries are said to have occurred after death.

    Regardless, a forensic expert in this field, could have determined that these wounds were bitemarks from their expertise and from comparison to other victims/photos ect-

    As xara’s link shows this was done later- and several experts did testify to these injuries being from animal predation – bites and scratches-

    In fact- according to xara’s link certain animals attack and begin to feed on certain areas of the body first- the nose, the midsection or any orifice ect.

    Ragdoll, I am not sure what you mean when you say that the boys would have been heard if they were bitten while alive- not necessarily- if it was animal predation close to or after death then no- and KIM, the beating could have silenced their cries- and as we both know many victims are silenced with gags or other methods or are knocked unconscious- and as we also know – there was testimony that those woods surrounded by the highway would have rendered any cry mute….

    Ragdoll, you asked if the ME would know he difference- well IMO it would depend upon the ME would it not?
    Again many mistakes were made in this case- so I am not comfortable in what may or may not have been overlooked.

    Thanks for the link Ragdoll- human bitemarks are very distinctive.
    FWIW I do not believe these little boys were bitten by a human- and again, I am not sure they were victims of animal predation either- but I can not rule it out- as of yet.

    What keeps going through my mind- is what happened to the remains of little Caylee Anthony while her body was in that wooded area so near the road-
    We know that animal predation occurred- yet- there wasnt any evidence gathered- no scat- no tracks- no animal carcasses- but her remains were scattered and her bones showed signs of bitemarks-

    If she had been found hours after being disposed of- would the experts have thought she was beaten or bitten by her killer?

    Perhaps at first, until they ruled it out- I know without a doubt that the experts and the prosecution would have worked hard to eliminate any avenue-
    No animals were found in the area where little Caylee was thrown– none were seen by searchers or personal on their hands and knees painstakingly sifting inch by inch- no tracks were photographed- yet we know animal predation occurred-

    Couldnt it be much the same in the case of little Mike Chris and Steve?

    Again just because there may have been animal predation doesnt mean any of these little children were not murdered and disposed of like so much trash- and left to nature- to do as it will…

    AJMO

  16. Mom3.0 says:

    Part 3

    some research on turtles

    During late spring, look for snappers in upland sites as they are dispersing or searching for places to lay eggs. Road killed snappers are common at this time. However, no matter what the capture method, a current fishing permit is required.

    http://mdc.mo.gov/conmag/1996/06/common-snapping-turtles-catching-cleaning-eating?page=0,1

    and

    http://www.epmonthly.com/clinical-skills/visual-dx/when-turtles-attack/

    and
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6XI8MjQdck

    and
    http://www.wytv.com/content/news/local/story/Snapping-Turtle-Injures-Warren-Teen/w8I3gtYQcESp8IBIiIeErA.cspx

    and

    http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-21925.html&&

    more to come

  17. Mom3.0 says:

    snapping turtle thread:
    http://www.wm3blackboard.com/forum/index.php?topic=1286.0

    Turtle bites boy
    http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/non_aviation/read.main/877844/

    interesting comments on article about the reporter:

    http://tinyurl.com/c9za6tc
    and
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7jNrO43c2o
    and

    baby
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is0TW5C5m04

    lots of interesting youtube videos and forums to research if you so choose… showing/discussing finding & capturing pet alligator turtles
    yes I know its illegal.

    AJMO

  18. Ragdoll says:

    Thank you for responding Mom3.0.

    They were just thoughts that came to mind when I was thinking about ‘the scene’.

    You are right….the results would depend on the ME. I don’t recall if they bite marks were assessed and reported on the autopsy docs. I’ll take another boo at that. You would think it would be an obvious observation for the ME to make, but as you said, this whole investigation was inconsistent, incomplete and ill prepared.

    Mom, you will ALWAYS have a few up on me when it comes to details. I don’t recall there being ‘bite marks’ on Caylee’s remains. This is where ‘interpretation’ comes in. I always thought that the scattering of her remains took place after the water levels went down. It never occured to me that bite marks could have taken place while she was submerged (it’s so difficult to talk about her in this state).

    I’m bringing up the Jackass clip again…as dumb as it sounds. When Steve-O was bit by the snapping turtle on his butt, it left a mark very much like this……. <——— the mark was reddish purple (very deep). Surprisingly, it didn't draw much blood. The turtle had a firm grip and was 'clasped' on that butt check for a minute, without letting go. I hope this helps a little bit. He screamed at the top of his lungs, so no doubt that hurt like an SOB. (whodda thunk stupid could make you rich?????)

    If those bites were human, a COMPETENT M.E. would see it with their naked I….you would think. Regardless, you're doing a fantastic job Mom. If I come across anything that I think might be useful, I'll post, but it's already in great hands!!!!! Big hugs XO

    ATG – It's great to see you, my friend! I know the time you've put into this is invaluable, especially to the families. Quiet heroes, you all are <3

    Big love!

  19. Ragdoll says:

    -snipped-

    Mom3.0 says:

    November 22, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Let me take this opportunity to state as a mother of a teen – I was very sorry to hear of the death of one of the JackAss contributors, Ryan Dunn- RIP -please do not drink and drive people-

    Indeed, it’s very sad to see a life literally thrown away b/c of bad choices. It’s comforting to know Ryan Dunn lived in the moment, laughed hard and loved fully.

    So Mom knows of the episode. Do you recall the marks the snapping turtle left behind?

    Also Mom, I sincerely appreciate your clarifying some very important details…or at least, shedding intense light on them. The sexual activity, I questioned too. I understand the body will evacuate after death. That could mean the enlargement and loosening of the muscles in the area (I don’t want to be disrespectful). My aunt and uncle came within a thread of losing their lives from carbon dioxide poisoning. Both of them, unconscious, had completely evacauated.

    I can’t rule it out either. Our boys were submerged. That could’ve resulted in the complete elimination of DNA evidence, could it not? What if 1 boy was sexually assaulted as apposed to all 3? Again, this all involved the competency and experience of the M.E. What wasn’t documented is the real b*tch.

    One last question….do racoons venture into swampy terrain or culverts?

    Again, great posts, all of you. I’m still catching up and hitting the links. It’s great to see thorough posts. Y’all raised the bar on victim’s advocate blogging! Best of the best hang here. Well done <3 <3 <3

  20. Ragdoll says:

    Big apollogies!

    I see my snapping turtle bite exhibit did not process properly. I’ll try again. Essentially, this is what is looked…..

    It’s a very generic facsimile. I was never good at drawing :D

  21. Ragdoll says:

    For some reason, it’s not showing up. One more try…

    (without the ‘.’….and if this doesn’t work, then so be it).

  22. Ragdoll says:

    Still not working, but I found the jackass link. Please view with no volume if children are present (parental discretion)…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2XDmvFQJjY

    (1:45 is the actual bite mark…VERY DISTINCTIVE)

    …and one taking a destructive bite of a watermelon….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDcd9KjUBc4&feature=related

    They are fugly creatures. I agree with Mom3.0!

    Lol. I was wondering who was going to bring this up :)

    B

  23. Xara says:

    Mom3.0~ For me, post-mortem animal predation is significant more for what it disproves that what it proves.If you believe that animals were responsible for everything but the head trauma,(and I do),then that disproves not only Jesse’s confessions, but also Carson’s testimony, the “lake knife”, or any knife for that matter,or even the ice axe.

    It would also explain the lack of blood in area, if you believe they were actually attacked on the ditchbank….and I’m not sure that I do.And not just beacause of the lack of blood, it also bothers me that there are 5 socks and 2 pairs of underwear missing….to me that indicates that they were moved to the ditch sometime after the initial attack.

    I know I am in the minority here, not only do I believe there is
    reasonable doubt, I believe them to be factually innocent. Having said that, I hope everyone here understands that it doesn’t make me any less of an advocate than you are. It just makes me an advocate for 6 instead of 3.

    I hope I have not offended anyone with this post, I tried to choose my words carefully.

    Xara-

    Not offensive in the least. While I do not agree, specifically on the underwear/socks issue, and animal predation of anything non-aquatic as indicated in Neal Haskell’s findings, but I respect your stance and your assertion of advocacy for all.

    The creek flowed into the bayou, the socks and underwear were the lightest items, they could have easily followed the minimal current, but I think it most likely, being 8 with minimal supervision as it was ( Byers and Branch) they may not have been wearing any.

    B

  24. A Texas Grandfather says:

    Mom3.0

    Your link to the Warren teen story would be funny except for the fact that the boy could have lost his nose. Unfortunately most boys today have not been taught the proper caution when dealing with wildlife. That snapper was protecting him/her-self and the kid was invading its territory or space.

    If they found animal hair with the clothing, was it identified? If not, then maybe they thought the identification was not important. This case has a lot of poor and outright misinformation included as posible fact.

    Water snakes will live very near a body of water. A cotton mouth water mocason spends a lot of time in the water. They are poisonous and dangerous. They can bite a fish under water, but usually take it to the bank to consume it.

    A lot of people are afraid of snakes. We had one in our class at school as a lad who loved them. He was always on the look-out for snakes. When we went on overnight camping trips as boy scouts he would take several gallon size jars with big mouths. We never had to worry about snakes when he was along. He would find all in the area and put them in one of his jars.

  25. Mom3.0 says:

    Nice to see you all adding so much to the discussion thank you.

    Ragdoll- you asked if bites were mentioned in the autopsy….
    Bitemarks or possible animal bitemarks were brought up
    according to this post:
    snipped:

    Peretti identified superficial bitemarks in his reports and I believe on the stand.
    Unfortunately noone elaborated further on the subject.

    Also: the WMPD suspected possible animal activity at the time as well. Unfortunately, nothing was expanded on in this category.

    1999 – bitemarks, while I didn’t pay much attention to “human” bitemarks, I won’t forget what Burnett said, “how do we know they are human bitemarks”

    http://www.wm3blackboard.com/forum/index.php?topic=1286.30

    at this same link the form which mentions the slides with hair
    28 hairs that were found on chris’s body, can be viewed.


    At the link below- everyone can read the thoughts of several experts including Neil Haskell-

    http://westmemphisthreediscussion.yuku.com/topic/7651/t/Updates–Hearings-News-articles-links–notes–court.html

    “Neal Haskell was first to state injuries were animal predation and not made by a human. Haskell thought it might have been crawfish or other fresh water fish responsible”

    You are right Ragdoll so much is interpretation even by the experts themselves-

    But in viewing some of the photos of the victims, it is my interpretation, that a serrated knife or axe did not cause the injuries I saw.
    Again, why would a killer, any killer, scratch his victims with the weapon – instead of stabbing and slicing and cutting?

    I have not seen all of the pictures- still patiently waiting for Blinks part 3—- so I am unable to make the leap to state NONE of the injuries were caused by these implements- nor I am I going to state as fact that NONE of the injuries were caused by animal predation or necrophasia, which is the eating of dead tissue by animals.

    What becomes painfully obvious in researching this case, is that each and every expert gives their own opinions and changes those opinions- and with the many mistakes made in this case, it is almost impossible for any expert to come in and say yay or nay to any scenario or theory…

    Haskell could not thoroughly view the evidence of the fly larvae found in 2 of the victims eyes- which we all know could have helped to narrow down time of death- and place of death ect-

    But because the ME did not keep this larvae, or test this larvae Haskell could not make a determination- fly casings ect -were not collected- add to that the removal of the bodies from the ditch and the placement on the banks – also contaminat43ed this evidence- again it is almost impossible to conclude anything….

    The injuries to the boys- the suggested uman bites or animal predation/necrophasia- well again, evidence was contaminated- these wounds were never tested for animal saliva or for enzymes or rabies ect-

    As TGF said – no one made a determination of what animals-insects ect were in and around the scene- in the ditch- the water was not drained immediately nor was it done by CSI- Ridge went in the water as well as others so all that evidence is lost or contaminated… The water itself was collected but never tested then lost…

    Again, unlike in the Caylee case, CSI did not painstakingly collect every inch of evidence -the brush was not cleared- sections were not mapped -dirt was not sifted- On May 12th IIRC, LEO walked the area- not all of the area- just certain points- walking hand to hand searching for evidence- that is all – The luminol testing was not done until days later-
    Evidence was lost or was never collected or it was contaminated.

    The clothes- again- why are the clothes so clean? all but Mikes cub scouts shirt? they show no signs of mud or blood or dirt or sweat…
    Where are the third boys clothes? Again there are no pics or what the 3rd child was wearing…Stevie, according to some witnesses was in red and white shorts (which seem to be found in certain pics- but not photographed later…)

    The sock is missing- the possible underwear… the dark “clothlike” material found in Mikes hand- gone not photographed…Mikes wallet was found in the other boys pants, which bike had a broken reflector? it was found in a little victims pants- from where why no pictures why?

    So many questions so much speculation- maybe the sock and underwear floated to the bayou..and maybe it didnt- there are countless photos showing Styrofoam cups in the water- these are light they hardly moved….

    What this case is surrounded by is speculation- anyone trying to figure out what occurred MUST speculate on evidence -because LE did a pizz poor job of searching -collecting -preserving- documenting- testing and holding on to the evidence. –

    AJMO-
    Cont 2

  26. Mom3.0 says:

    part 2

    Ragdoll, thank you for the link to that clip- i do not think it was dumb for you to bring up the subject nor do I think it is stupid to discuss the matter…

    Steve sure did get it bad- the injury- yes you are correct- they were deep puncture marks- puncture marks do not bleed much- IME-

    We only saw Stevo’s injury immediately after the “attack”- bruising and scaring would occur later-
    here are some pics of wounds caused by common snapping turtles:

    http://tinyurl.com/ccpm7rn

    and

    http://tinyurl.com/ccy4huk

    and

    http://tinyurl.com/ct9el38

    and

    http://tinyurl.com/bt7petd

    Please KIM these bites are from adults- and from kind of pig turtles also the victims are obviously alive-
    So when comparing them to these little 8 year olds wounds, we need to understand these boys were not adults – they probably werent alive at the time or they were close to death…
    and we can not be sure of the size of the turtle or other animal… or how many or if different species contributed at different times…all of this would need to be taken into account in any comparison-

    Having said that- it is not hard for me to imagine– IF these wounds to little Mike, Stevie and Chris were a result of animal predation, then they could most certainly be mistaken for defensive wounds to the hands….especially to an inexperienced ME or other…

    AJMO

    cont part 3

  27. Mom3.0 says:

    Part 3

    sorry for the typos= my key board is old and is not helping my poor typing skills- the spelling errors and grammatical errors are all mine :)

    Great points Ragdoll- IRT the one time theory of a sexual attack-
    You are correct, a body will evacuate upon death- this will also happen, as you stated, in certain instances before death- (glad to hear they were okay) loss of blood pressure will also cause an evacuation- I mentioned this earlier when discussing the Bojanges man…

    Ragdoll, from my research, I have found that DNA evidence will be lost upon submersion in water- especially IRT 1993 testing available- However not all evidence is lost- it depends upon temp of water- the amount of time in water- amount of evidence and type of evidence-

    I do not think one of the boys was raped- at least not completely…please excuse my lack of tact- but there is a difference between digital rape and other- meaning a digit or small object would tend not to scar the tissue –
    So IMO it cant be ruled out totally..

    As to orally, it is my understanding that none of the boys had bruising in the back of their throats- and the ear wounds- which were thought to be caused by forced fellatio- are only on one side- this tends to point to a different finding then a rapist holding the ears…experts opined that these ear wounds were most likely caused by necrophasia- minnows- ect

    Please excuse this thought, it pains me to bring up this scenario- but I feel I must- none of this — negates a finding of these little victims being raped or being forced to partake in a rape…meaning a child or small adult could have sexually abused the children or made them hurt their friends… I think there would be less damage in such a scenario…

    I feel awful for voicing that scenario-
    again I apologize.

    But it can not be ruled out, especially if one takes into accont the size of the boys the size of JB or the accounts of the 4th boy seen with thStevie mike and Chris… but never identified. Nor does it rule out LG or Mikes sisters account of seeing 3 boys/teens emerging from the area of the woods, when she went to call mike for supper–TMK none of these boys were identified.

    Yes, Ragdoll I am plenty sad/mad at the lack of a thourough investigation and/or documentation-

    Why werent these 3 -JB DE and JM photographed after arrest/ why werent they examined for bodily injuries? scratches -bites ect- on their knees, knuckles, thighs – privates ect? IDK

    Ragdoll you asked

    do racoons venture into swampy terrain or culverts?

    YES YES YES most definitely they do-

    AJMO

    I need to end this with a prayer for little Mike Stevie and Chris- I am so sorry for what happened to you- may you rest In Peace-in the arms of the Angels

  28. Mom3.0 says:

    hi TGF-
    yes I too could find the humor in theat story- I hope the teen can now look back and see the humor too- and I hope he learned his lesson-

    I agree with everything you wrote in your post TGF-

    with this comment too-
    “This case has a lot of poor and outright misinformation included as posible fact”

    As I said even the experts have been reduced to mere speculation-

    The animal hairs were never tested TGF- JB’s defense later called for them to be…

    as I wrote to Ragdoll the wounds were not tested for saliva or enzymes or animal diseases either…

    TGF I wanted to share these links with you and all-

    I found them to be very interesting-

    Snipped:
    Both species of snapping turtles are opportunistic feeders known to consume a wide variety of food… duckweed, water hyacinth algae carrion fish reptiles birds amphibians small mammals.Snapping turtles have been used to locate drowning victims in lakes. In such instances, long wires were attached to the shells of snapping turtles Once the scavenging chelonions located the remains of the deceased, the investigators could recover the bodies.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=rBbuYFjiTNMC&pg=PA86&lpg=PA86&ots=L24RBOpKgT&dq=turtles+find+drowning+victim

    –and

    Snapping Turtles were once used by police to locate human drowning victims. Tethered turtles were released into the water and would seek out decaying corpses using their powerful olfactory senses.They are readily attracted to carrion and can be lured into traps or for close viewing with a dead fish or other meat secured to a line. From late May to early July it is not uncommon to find them crossing roads as they move from one water body to another, or females search for nest sites.

    http://www.naturenorth.com/Herps/MHA_Turtles_Lizards.html

    snipped from below link:

    A trail of turtles finally has reached a Corning man’s doorstep.

    Stout had an Arkansas permit to sell the turtles, but the turtles were
    originally collected from the wild in Arkansas, which is illegal, and then
    purchased by Stout. Stout falsified records by claiming the turtles were collected in Texas legally with a nonresident small-game license.

    http://tinyurl.com/83po25t

    AJMO

  29. Mom3.0 says:

    xara- I am glad Blink gave you a pep talk- Your thoughts/posts are not offensive-

    I find them to be invaluable, as it gives us a different perspective and helps to balance the scales as it were. So thank you for speaking up

    xara, You are right that animal predation would go to further prove the statements of Carson and Misskelly as false and fictional- I must admit I had not thought of this- as again I do not include the testimony of Carson or the confessions of Misskelly in my thoughts-

    They are not truthful.

    Although I am waiting for Jacks posts to definitely make a determination on Carson and the soft ball girls- right now I have disregarded these statements for all the reasons I mentioned before.

    I am not sure if I believe this area was where the boys were attacked- it seems to me if one takes Misskellys or Carsons statements as fact, then THAT would prove that ditch bank was not the scene of the murders- No blood ect- however that does not mean a different area of those woods was not the scene- as I said LEO did not scour the area- and much of it was contaminated by searchers and others- on ATV and the like.

    Many things have me wondering about the crime scene xara- and I do think it is possible they were killed elsewhere and transported-
    One thing that bothers me is the fact that all three boys bindings had the same amount of slack- as if they were tied purposely for transport or due to initial livermortis…the slack allowing for the release of muscles later…

    Also it bothers me that these binding were tied in such a way..I know most take this as evidence of 3 different perps tyng the knots- well I do not – I think it is possible one perp tied 3 different knots inorder to throw off the investigation—anyone watching Columbo would have done much the same…

    I do not know if these 3 did it xara, I am not sure- but what I am sure of is- these 3 might not have done it- and all the evidence that is used against them could be used to claim guilt on any # of innocent people-

    I know for a fact I wouldnt want to sentence 3 teens to life in prison or 1 to death based on this investigation and this highly questionable circumstantial evidence.

    AJMO

    I want to wish everyone, even our Canadian friends- a Happy Thanks Giving-

    PEACE, health and happiness to all

  30. Cindy Blair says:

    Hi Ragdoll, prepare to hurl again, Peter Jackson has also got himself tattooed with Damien, cheers, Cindy
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=10768361

  31. Xara says:

    Thank you Blink for responding and for understanding/respecting my stance. Also, thank’s to Mom3.0 for finding value in my post’s.

    I should have been more clear in my last post….I DO believe that they were attacked in the woods….just not on that ditchbank.
    Also FWIW….I agree with you on the bindings.

  32. Ragdoll says:

    Hello my friends!

    Mom3.0, I’ve had you on my mind (in a good way!!!!) Sending you infinite love.

    Thank you for all your research, links and feedback. What came to my mind is what an kick @$$ teacher you are!!!!! Im also grateful that our wee cubs and shiny angels have you and BOC to continue in the search for the truth.

    I’ve read your posts, followed the links. My mind is processing and as always, there are more questions than answers.

    I always come back to this….if not these 3 punks, then who? The mystery man is just that to me…mysterious, but not a suspect.

    I got more reading to do. I am hovering/lurking here.

    Mom, when you consider all the information you’ve pulled together, have you experienced any epiphanies??????

    A big load of love to you, sweet friendy XOXOXO

  33. A Texas Grandfather says:

    Mom3.0

    Regarding your remarks about the clothing. I believe that the police actually found most all the clothing. The problem was the way that they processed the evidence. If ever there was an amateur bunch of LE people trying to do professional work, this case has it in spades.

    Because of the lack of proper skills and proceedures, the missing clothing could have been simply lost between the crime site and wherever the evidence was stored. Or, as I have thought and posted previously, the killer(s) simply picked up the missing items and dropped them into a dumpster or garbage container at the nearby truck wash.

  34. Ragdoll says:

    @ Mom3.0 says:

    November 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    -snipped-

    Please KIM these bites are from adults- and from kind of pig turtles also the victims are obviously alive-

    You rock, Mom! I was going to ask your thoughts on that very matter. Specifically, I was wondering if bites marks could change from an enraging welt/puncture wound to a severe, distinct blody bruise on human remains.

    @ Cindy Blair says:

    November 24, 2011 at 2:19 am

    These tattoos are simply ‘I told you so’ and ‘rebellious’ statements, imo.

    Pathetic.

    Thank you for the link, Cindy! XO

  35. mbs says:

    I’m new to this case, and had a question maybe someone who knows more about it could answer. I read that Chris Byers bled to death, due to stab wounds/castration. Now, many experts think there were no stab wounds, and all of those injuries were caused by animal bites post-mortem. So what was Chris Byers’ cause of death? If the wounds were caused post-mortem, they wouldn’t bleed, right? How did he lose so much blood? Or is that incorrect, did they not determine he actually lost blood? Wouldn’t that be obvious? This seems like such an obvious issue, I’m sure it’s been answered, just can’t find it anywhere. Basically, my question is how could Chris Byers have bled to death if his wounds were caused by animals post-mortem?

  36. Rose says:

    If Depp was BFF with Hunter S Thompson dating to 1994 and “channels” him even now, that says it all.
    Why anyone would pay even a tiny synapse of attention to Depp’s beliefs, interests or preferences, pro or con, is beyond me. Truly not case relevant to guilt or innocence of WM3. But, birds of a feather….

  37. mbs says:

    Also, I did see Spitz and Baden’s testimony, indicating they thought all 3 boys drowned, but I couldn’t find any explanation of Chris Byers’ blood loss. His autopsy report seemed to say he had lost a lot of blood. His organs showed “diffuse pallor”, which I believe means extreme blood loss. This is such a sad case, it’s hard to even think about what those little boys went through.

  38. GraceintheHills says:

    mbs says:
    November 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm
    I’m new to this case, and had a question maybe someone who knows more about it could answer. I read that Chris Byers bled to death, due to stab wounds/castration. Now, many experts think there were no stab wounds, and all of those injuries were caused by animal bites post-mortem. So what was Chris Byers’ cause of death? If the wounds were caused post-mortem, they wouldn’t bleed, right? How did he lose so much blood? Or is that incorrect, did they not determine he actually lost blood? Wouldn’t that be obvious? This seems like such an obvious issue, I’m sure it’s been answered, just can’t find it anywhere. Basically, my question is how could Chris Byers have bled to death if his wounds were caused by animals post-mortem?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Hi mbs, and welcome! According to CB’s autopsy report which can be found at the Callahan site, CB died of multiple injuries. I cannot tell from the autopsy report how much blood he lost. But, here’s my two cents worth. Had exsanguination (bleeding to death) been the primary mechanism of death allegedly caused by the ‘emasculation’, many medical examiners would have added the term “exsanguination” on the list of causes/diagnoses in the report; it is not listed in this report. I also saw no mention of an empty aorta, which is a sign one may observe when the deceased has bled out. One can also observe an ‘empty heart’ on autopsy in children who have bled out due to severe head injuries.

    After reading over all three of the autopsies several times, I am intrigued by something: Each of these boys had basilar skull fractures. MM, in addition to a basilar fracture, had additional fractures situated in his frontal, temporal and parietal bones. Basilar skull fractures generally make up only 4% of skull fractures in children, so they are fairly rare, and are usually seen in severe car accidents or high velocity blunt trauma. I am just throwing this out as grist for the mill, but what if there were only two perpetrators? One who attacked and fractured MM’s skull in multiple areas AND at it’s base, and another who attacked CB and SB and delivered similar deadly basilar fractures.
    Regardless, basilar skull fractures–especially the extent of those described in these cases–are grave injuries that have great potential for fatal complications and would have likely led to the boys’ deaths if they weren’t rescued in time, even if they hadn’t been submerged, in my opinion.

    CB could not have bled to death if the emasculation wounds were inflicted postmortem.

    Excellent and well researched response Grace- I would only add that the basilar fractures definitely varied in degree and imo, force, as an example- Steve Branch’s likely also paralyzed him instantly. I truly believe they support how quickly this crime was committed at the ditch bank.

    Correct, Chris Byers was deceased before he hit the water, and imo, that is not well documented, but irrefuatable.
    B

  39. Krayon says:

    Still no part III Blink? Really?

    My apologies, I try very diligently not to disappoint, I am hopeful to complete the series in January.
    B

  40. Mom3.0 says:

    Hello everyone-
    I unfortunately have been unable to post until today, but I have been trying to check in and read often.

    Ragdoll, sending infinite hugs back
    thank you for reading through my research and for all of your input.

    I really appreciate it-

    You asked if not these three then who?

    First Ragdoll, I am not saying that these 3 didnt do it-
    the truth is I do not know

    Heres what I keep coming back to-

    Several witnesses saw these three little boys up until about 6:30

    Several times only two were seen together and several others, saw one by himself-

    Still others place the children in different clothing then what was found- or what they were last known to be wearing- at least 3 IIRC place back packs with the boys-

    The 3 little boys were seen by parents and neighbors and classmates several times during the early evening.

    Still others seem to place several different kids in and around those woods.

    Here are a few:

    http://westmemphisthreediscussion.yuku.com/topic/890/t/Who-s-Who-in-the-WM3-Case.html

    Moore, Dawn
    Sister of victim Michael Moore who claimed that while looking for Michael on May 5, she saw one white and two black boys coming out of Robin Hood Hill Woods. Never called to testify. KIM Dawn did see her brother and his friend turn the corner- – but couldnt catch up to them after following their course- she then saw the unidentified boys emerging from the woods….

    Martins, Betty
    Woman who claims she and her son Jeff saw the three victims and another boy at approximately 5:00 P.M. on May 5.

    Williams, Kim
    West Memphis girl who claims to have Steve Branch and Michael Moore (though not not Chris Byers) enter Robin Hood Hills woods around 6:00 P.M. on May 5, 1993. Also reports seeing one white and two black boys leaving the woods. Never called to testify.

    Martins, Robert Jeff
    Claims to have seen four boys, including the three victims, on Goodwin Ave. around 5:30 P.M. on May 5.

    Woody, Bryan
    Saw four children near the 14th Street entrance to Robin Hood Hills around 6:30 P.M. Only saw them from the back and assumed one was Branch due to one of the children’s hair. Testified at Echols/Baldwin trial.

    Ragdoll- many children are killed and a murderer is never found-…their cases remain open and unsolved….

    Despite LEO doing their best to investigate and come up with persons of interest and perps in murder cases – all leads may go nowhere…they may lead to a dead end-

    Just because LEO were unable to find the killers in these instances they do not suddenly say HMMM we did it our case is an eleven then proceed to choose the most likely perps from the # of rumors and tips about the people they have interviewed or suspected in order to claim victory over evil and inorder to prosecute a “killer” and close their case…

    Sometimes the most likely suspect didnt do it- and no matter what, the information/theory just does not fit the evidence-

    Yet LEO does not then form a theory that would fit…. nor do they stick to this theory…nor do they take the word of “witnesses” or the hearsay of others…only to disregard certain parts/ information that can not fit…
    nor do they take the fictional untruthful “confessions” of people to make their case inorder to prosecute the most likely suspects…

    That wouldnt be justice- and in that case the real killers would never be found…

    LEO try their best to get the bad guys but sometimes they dont- and sometimes they think they got the right guys only later to find out that they were wrong, and all the evidence they thought was irrefutable was wrong…..

    Heres my question-

    Why MUST it be these 3 “punks” who did it? What evidence leads anyone to the definite conclusion that these 3 are the killers?

    AJMO

  41. Mom3.0 says:

    TGF- Hello. Thanks for your thoughts- my apologies on not responding sooner.

    You wrote; ** my thoughts

    Regarding your remarks about the clothing. I believe that the police actually found most all the clothing.

    **TGF I am not sure they found all the clothing or most of the clothing or even that the clothing they did recover was what the boys were wearing- and IF it was- besides little MM who was wearing what? As I said- several witnesses place the children in different clothing- clothing that was never recovered- could they have been mistaken? Ofcourse- the parents themselves werent sure what clothing the children were weqring- Having said that we can not know if all the clothing was found – or if the boys underwear ect was lost or if they never wore it… It is a fact that we have no documentation on the clothing on who was wearing what (other than little MM)-

    No photos no lab results- of the photos we do have- besides little MMs shirt none of the clothing is dirty or muddy or bloody – the little Polka dot shirt is stained- lookws to be an old stain- which shirt had the candle wax? where is the photo? Some clothing was found insdide out…which side had the candle wax? where is the testing- Again what was the 3rd victim wearing ? where are the clothes? If we assume the underwear and sock floated away- can we deduce that perhaps they were wearing undershirts too that floated away? and if we can say that…. then how do we know any of the fiber evidence that was touted as evidence against the WM3 was not in fact a “match” to any of the victims “lost” clothing…and if we go that far- what of the family and the friends, and the utility workers and the boys seen in the area, and the searchers and LEO was their clothing those that were worn in the area was it confiscated and tested to make sure it wasnt microscopically similiar to fibers found on the victims?

    There are photos of the scene several photos we have AA utility workers drainging the ditch- could their hair be a match to the “negroid ” hair found? There is a photo of an LEO wearing a very old well worn tshirt..could this be the match to the red fiber that was found?

    You wrote:
    The problem was the way that they processed the evidence. If ever there was an amateur bunch of LE people trying to do professional work, this case has it in spades.
    **Agreed TGF- but this unfortunately was not the only problem- processing the evidence is the least of this bunches problems IMO

    Because of the lack of proper skills and proceedures, the missing clothing could have been simply lost between the crime site and wherever the evidence was stored.

    **Yes it could have been TGF- and with this possible explanation…we must also take into account that would/could render all fiber evidence useless….

    Or, as I have thought and posted previously, the killer(s) simply picked up the missing items and dropped them into a dumpster or garbage container at the nearby truck wash.

    ** Yes TGF true- the perps could have done this but TMK LEO never confiscated these items from nearby trash so we can not know….

    SO much we will never know and LEO didnt know it either…. and LEO didnt bother to know…yet we are to believe their case against these 3 was “an eleven” and we are to believe they are sure they got the right perps …

    if we are unsure of the evidence…did they miss the crucial piece that would point to the killers?- could it have been someone other than the WM3? If we can not answer that, if we are unsure -then how in the world could they be so confident in their “case” then?

    IDK-
    AJMO

  42. Mom3.0 says:

    I will be back later- Just wanted to say welcome to mbs and thank you to Grace for weighing in- great post Grace_ I have some questions I hope you will help me with later.

    Ragdoll Ill trey to answer your other questions when I come back

    Thanks to Cindy and Rose for sharing your thoughts-

    AJMO

  43. Ragdoll says:

    Mom,

    No worries! I’m certain as time goes on, I will find more answers in your future posts. Take some time for you!

    Sending my love to all~~~~~~~

  44. Mom3.0 says:

    Hello mbs- Welcome to BOC

    Thank you for posting your questions and thoughts.
    I am glad Grace answered your questions, if its okay, Ill give you my thoughts FWIW-

    You wrote:
    I read that Chris Byers bled to death-

    From Perritti’s testimony IRT little Chris:

    Peretti: The top of the skull – there were no fractures. The calvarium, this is the top of the skull. However, the base of the skull – back of the head here you can feel the base of the skull, um – that showed a fracture that measured 3 and 1/2 inches in length and extended from this fracture were multiple um – smaller fractures which involve the entire base of the skull. So, it goes back to what I explained earlier, it’s like if you have an egg and you drop it you see all the fracture lines. So that’s what happened at the base of the skull. And associated with this we have um – hemorrhage of the brain, contusions or bruising of the brain, but also on the left posterior medial cranial fossa – the base of the skull is divided into regions, we have the interior portion where our eyes are; we have the middle portion basically where the ears are attached; and we have the posterior portion – or the back, or the neck of the skull. So we divide it up because we’re symetrical right side and left side. So on the left posterior side medial – by medial, I mean towards the midline – ok. Um – towards the spinal column, not away from the spinal column. We have a 1/4 inch oviod punched out fracture.

    That the fracture was punched out, it was round, measured 1/4 of an inch and it was punched out into the brain.

    and:

    Peretti: [unintelligible] between the upper lip and bridge of the nose was a semi-lunar pattern abrasion. Abrasions were present on the lips, the mucosal surfaces of the lower lip showed a 5/16 of an inch laceration. The frenulum, that’s the piece of soft tissue that when you lift up your lips it’s right in the midline, that was bruised and surrounded by a bruise measuring 1/2 inch and there were multiple bite marks present on the mucosal surfaces of both right and left sides of the cheeks, in other words, inside your mouth. Also, internally–also, the left ear was contused with multiple scratches. On the left parietal scalp region, this general region, there was a 1 and 1/4 inch laceration. When we did the autopsy and reflect the scalp, there was edema, swelling and multiple bruising of the scalp. The calvarium or the top of the skull was not fractured, however, the base of the skull was extensively fractured like an eggshell and also, on the left posterior medial cranial fossa–the base of the brain is divided up into the regions, we have the anterior region where the eyes are, the middle region generally where your ears are and the posterior in the back and on the back of the base of the skull on the left side, we had a 1/4 inch ovoid–a round, a roundish fracture, that was punched out into the brain, going into the brain. Okay, the brain also showed multi-focal hemorrhage and there were associated fracture contusions.

    Davis: Doctor, comparatively speaking, can you rate the severity of the head injuries of Chris Byers? How did they compare with the severity of the injuries to the other two boys?

    Peretti: Well, I think they are all equal in degree. Some may have a little more injury than the others but basically the same types of injuries.

    Peretti: That he died of multiple injuries.

    You wrote-
    Now, many experts think there were no stab wounds, and all of those injuries were caused by animal bites post-mortem.


    mbs, TMK none of the experts have opined that all of the injuries occurred post-mortem- it is my understanding, that some could have occurred anti-mortum and also peri-mortem…..

    You wrote-
    So what was Chris Byers’ cause of death?

    Little Chris’s cause of death was attributed to multiple injuries-

    According to Perriti, He had a hole punched out of his brain- many fractures- he had many scrapes and scratches contusions ect-
    He could have bled out some…. a person before death, often succumbs to shock- shock will cause pallor- so will lividity after death- which is the settling of blood in areas – Chriss body showed signs of lividity- which means at the time of death he had not lost all blood.

    You wrote: Or is that incorrect, did they not determine he actually lost blood?

    He did loose blood mbs- but how much can not be determined and please also remember- some blood was washed away in the water- which could have happened post-mortem and also we must keep in mind that when the boys bodies were moved and placed on the banks they also lost some more blood……..

    So how much blood was lost , when was it lost?

    Perriti did not collect the blood left in the body, nor did he note exsanguination, as grace told us, as a cause of death-
    and grace also, so nicely, pointed out- that chris did not have an empty heart/aorta- which would tend to show that little Chris did not die from loss of blood from any wound- let alone the emasculation which Jesse “confessed” and Carson described-

    You wrote:
    Basically, my question is how could Chris Byers have bled to death if his wounds were caused by animals post-mortem?

    mbs- with Graces help, I think it it is at least probable that little Chris did not die from bleeding to death- he most likely died from his extensive skull fractures- so this would not have any bearing on whether animal necrophasia occurred, or whether it was peri-mortum or a combination of each

    Perriti stated that Chris’s injuries were not that different from little Mike or Stevies( other than the emasculation) so is it at least possible, that they died in the same manner? by the same perp? and that the emasculation and other gouges were caused by animal predation and necrophasia?

    Could the other experts be correct, that all three died from drowning and multiple skull fractures?

    Could Perritti even though he also is an expert, just be mistaken… could he be wrong?

    AJMO

  45. Mom3.0 says:

    Grace ,
    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us-

    You opined that the skull fractures were extensive and that they would have resulted in death if not treated…can you give us your opinion on how big a window of time you are talking about?

    Also if you wouldnt mind, you said that you read through the autopsies several times, in your opinion, could this blunt force trauma- be attributed to beating the face of the victim, or would it be more likely to striking the victims head…and could this occur on/against a ditch bank?- Meaning would it have to be a rather hard surface, and last if these type of injuries are seen in accidents- possibly car accidents or horse riding accidents….would the victims have had to fall from a rather tall height? -

    Thanks for any information /opinions you can share Grace-
    AJMO

  46. Mom3.0 says:

    Hi Blink,

    IRT your response to grace:

    Excellent and well researched response Grace- I would only add that the basilar fractures definitely varied in degree and imo, force, as an example- Steve Branch’s likely also paralyzed him instantly. I truly believe they support how quickly this crime was committed at the ditch bank.

    Correct, Chris Byers was deceased before he hit the water, and imo, that is not well documented, but irrefuatable.
    B

    - Perritti disagrees with you to some extent on the varying degrees/difference to the severity of the fractures ect- Blink-

    FWIW I think you are both correct-
    I think it is likely all of these injuries happened in the same way- possibly with the same force, I am not sure however that they resulted in the same damage…

    I was unaware of the injury that would likely have made Stevie paralyzed- can you please point me to this information??

    As to your last comment Blink:

    Correct, Chris Byers was deceased before he hit the water, and imo, that is not well documented, but irrefuatable.
    B

    First, I am not aware of the thoughts of Spitz and Baden which mbs mentioned in his post….IRT possible drowning of all three victims-
    Could you or mbs point me to this info???

    and next-

    I agree that the injuries tend to point to a severe nature and one that had to occur close by inorder for at least two of the boys to drown….but what makes you so sure that it had to occur on the ditch bank Blink, couldnt it have happened in close proximity to the ditch? and then the boys were moved/dragged ect to the water?

    I hope you can answer my questions and point me in the right directions thanks…

    AJMO

    I am referring to the ditch bank as close to the water, and yes, I believe they were dumped in the water directly from there, both sides.

    I owe you a response on Stevie’s 3″ fracture indicating which vertebrae were crushed, and the likely foot pattern image. I apologize but I am not on the system with that “cloud” for me to pull from at the moment and I wanted to make sure your post was up.

    Have missed you, if I have not had 10 seconds to say-
    B

  47. Mom3.0 says:

    Thanks for your response Blink- understood. I just am not sure about how close the proximity had to be…couldnt it have been somewhere in the area, and then placement in the water, and not necessaryily on the ditch bank…Im sorry bI am trying to understand your thoughts on why the killing had to take place on the ditch bank… and I hope you will be able to elaborate on this in the future, as well as on little Stevies injury….

    I have missed you too, Blink. “Real life” is kicking my butt as of late… I cant seem to find my stride…. glad to be back and I hope I am not bogging you down with so many posts, but I happen to have some time today, so I am taking full advantage.

    Ragdoll Hi- you asked if I have had any epiphanies….well I do not know about that, I have not uncovered anything that would make me shout guilt or innocence, if that is what you mean… but I have formed some very interesting questions and concerns.

    I am not going to post the research/info just yet, as I have not organized it, and I think I might need to run it by Blink first…

    xara- you are welcome- thanks for letting me know you are in agreement IRT the bindings and that you too think they were killed in the woods or the area,but not necessarily on the ditch bank.

    Kind of off topic-

    just wanted to give my 2 cents on the tattoos- I dont think getting a tattoo with Depp or Jackson necessarily means anything more than: thank you for your support and I am happy to be free…IF DE is innocent, then he could just be commemorating his freedom and friendship with those who were instrumental in his release-

    As for Hunter S Thompson, I think the guy was weird, but he was very smart and had alot of insightful things to say about a variety of subjects- and I do not think it is weird that Mr. Depp was his friend, as he had to study him inorder to play him…having said that, I do find it weird that he channels him…. but to each his own.

    AJMO

  48. Mom3.0 says:

    Okay-
    Question-

    Could an expert be mistaken or wrong?

    and if we determine that an expert has been wrong in one aspect or case, does that mean that he/she is wrong in every aspect or in every case?

    Spitz- as you all know I think Dr. Spitz was wrong in his expert testimony in the Caylee case- but does that mean he was wrong in his previous cases or in Stevie Mike and Chris’s case?

    as you know, I think Baden was right in his initial thoughts in the Caylee case, but later, he seemed to back his wife and changed his thoughts, IMO making him wrong- does that mean he was wrong in his previous cases, or subsequent cases, or in this case?

    Perhaps IDK not necessarily…

    Does this make me doubt their expertize in this case, yes. unfortunately, despite their extensive knowledge ect- it does make me wonder if they could be wrong in this case.

    IRT Perriti-

    Could he be wrong?
    Has he been wrong?

    Just because a person is said to be an expert by the court, does not mean that they are truly an expert- remember the occult guy? Just because an expert gives his opinion, does not mean that their opinion is correct- like most things in this case Perriti’s handing of the case ect is questionable.

    Did you all know that Perriti was determined by the judge during the Rule 37 hearings to be an expert on turtles, and it is this “expert” testimony that the judge credited with determining that the wounds to the boys, including the emasculation, was not done by turtles or other animals?

    Why did the court determine Perriti to be a turtle expert? Well, it seems that Perriti raised and kept many turtles, and in doing so, he observed their eating habits as well as some other behaviors/activities… what did Perriti testify to IRT turtles.

    Snipped from a post on yuku of play by play of the Rule 37 hearing:

    He (perrritti) was then asked whether or not he thought the injuries were made specifically by turtles. Peretti said he thought it wasn’t possible because he knew how turtles fed and attacked their prey.

    He said turtles, especially snapping turtles, feed by holding down their food with their webbed feet splayed. He said they would dig their claws into it, and bite off chunks of flesh.

    He said they basically crush, rip, and then swallow.

    Holt asked if any of those animals mentioned or even turtles fed under water. Peretti said they did not and he didn’t know of any animal that could.

    He said if turtles had been responsible, there would have been claw marks, because turtles dig into their prey with their claws.

    He mentioned that he became ‘annoyed’ at the meeting in 2007 with the defense experts because they had changed from human bite marks to animals. He said he was criticized by these folks for missing a ‘bite mark’ in 1998 and now they were criticizing him for missing animal bite marks.

    –Okay – The judge has said that Perrittis “expert” testimony helped him greatly to determine their was no animal predation esecially that of turtles-

    See here: (Warning- snapping turtles feeding on live bait)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5uaYvP_uTY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtlTQ7xmYtY&feature=related
    and
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlYZrryd1NA&feature=related

    and

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZvCnss1uwc

    and

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hFIEaTnuk&feature=related

    and

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ms-ksti4Bm8

    - Perrittis expert testimony was that turtles do not eat under water that they crush their prey and claw it and rip it…and that no animal, to his knowledge would eat underwater…not turtles not fish? nothing?

    Well as my research shows, turtles do eat underwater, and they sometimes do not claw their food, and that when they do, the injuries do not always look like claw marks..and again my research shows that turtles sometimes do emasculate their “prey”

    If Perritti was wrong about the turtles eating under water, couldnt he also be wrong about the injuries to the boys including the emasculation, not being from turtle/ animal predation or necrophasia?

    Why did Burnett accept Perritti as a turtle expert? why did his expert testimony on turtles, negate any animal predation- such as from raccoons or fish ect- IDK

    Again, IF animal predation or necrophasia occurred, we do not know the size or the number of species involved… nor do we know the exact amount of time the animals were scavenging before they may have been scared off…

    Can we be absolutely sure none of the injuries even those to Chris’s genital region were not caused by predation or necrophasia?

    Cont part 2

    sorry for the length and for the gory feedings..

    AJMO

  49. Mom3.0 says:

    Part 2 cont-

    Can the expert Perritti be wrong? Could he be too personally involved in the case and in proving himself right, then in finding the truth? Could Perritti’s determination to be right, also have led to other mistakes in the case- such as not sharing pertinent info with LEO at the time?

    IDK… but its possible-

    See here again:

    Burt then went into the fact that Peretti was asked by the State to review the testimony given by defense experts Spitz, Baden, Souviron, and Ophoven.

    He said he only read part of Spitz, all of Baden, and some of Souviron.

    He said he couldn’t read much, because the defense expert’s opinions were ‘ridiculous.’

    He was pressed by Burt, became irritated, and then stated angrily that Spitz was ‘incoherent,’ Baden ‘reasonable,’ and Souviron out in ‘left field.’

    He said Spitz’ description of a dog shaking the bodies, smacking them against trees did not make sense.

    He went further and said that he felt their testimony was nothing more than a personal attack against him, to make him look incompetent.

    He said only Baden said that the autopsies conducted were fine. He said he didn’t think their opinions meant much, because they had not looked at the actual bodies. He said he didn’t feel badly for not supplying the information the experts asked for, because he had asked for photos and other materials from them, and did not receive anything.

    He went further and said he felt important being attacked by all these experts.

    He said he was only one person who was right, why did they need so many to prove he was wrong. If they were right, why didn’t they just choose one expert and have done with it.

    Peretti was steaming angry.

    When asked about his lack of certification, Peretti said it did not mean much or prove that he was wrong or not competent to do the job.

    When Burt asked if the Arkansas Crime Lab was accredited, he said it was not necessary to perform their duties.

    When Burt pressed again, Peretti said they were applying to become accredited. To this, Burt said he would take this as a negative answer.

    and lastly-

    He said other than Sturner, he did not consult with anyone else. (on the autopsies) Peretti admitted that when he consulted with Sturner about the autopsies, animal predation was raised, but there was no evidence of it. He said that all injuries were made by a cutting instrument.

    and just recently:
    snipped from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette

    Arkansas Democrat Gazette 11/27/2011
    2 at Crime Lab carry scars of 3 boys’ deaths
    After 18 years, a few lessons learned

    By C.S. Murphy

    Peretti’s professional opinions on the killings have been attacked by more than half a dozen forensic experts expounding various theories in court and with the media. He struggles to contain his ire when discussing the case.

    “It makes you angry the way that money buys injustice.”

    Peretti grows agitated when he describes opinions of expert witnesses who claimed “wild dogs grabbed [the dead boys] and shook their heads and hit them against a tree.Stuff like that came into court and people believe that!

    “After a while you just get tired of constantly, constantly defending yourself.”

    Experts hired by defense attorneys put forward the theory that the boys’ numerous injuries weren’t caused by a knife or even humans, that they were inflicted instead by turtles or other animals.

    By odd coincidence, Peretti has raised hundreds of turtles as an avocation for more than 20 years. In fact, Circuit Judge David Burnett, who presided over the original case, certified Peretti as an expert on turtles.

    Much of Peretti’s frustration has been rooted in his inability to discuss the case while the defendants’ attorneys and their chosen experts held news conferences, free to pick apart his forensic conclusions.

    “I have to sit back and take it,” he says. “The Italian in me comes out.”

    continued:

    White sheets under the boys were creased crimson from wounds still bleeding, even after hours of being submerged in water. Their pale skin was smeared with dried mud and specked with deadleaves.

    Steve’s left cheek was mangled with deep wounds that had turned his spiky blond hair red.

    By contrast, Michael’s and Christopher’s faces seemed eerily pure, like babies who had cried themselves to sleep – eyes closed, lashes wet against soft round cheeks.

    But a previously undisclosed May 26, 1993, letter shows that there was little open communication between the Crime Lab and West Memphis police at the time.

    Peretti readily acknowledges that he shared as little information as possible with law enforcement in the days after he examined the boys. He believed information was being leaked to reporters who were scrambling for any morsel of information about the case.

    The community was in a panic, Peretti says. Some rumors were being reported as facts.

    Peretti also admits that he tried to draw the FBI into the investigation because he feared that the West Memphis Police Department was in over its head. The FBI declined.

    “I knew that from day one this was going to be a high profile case, and it was probably never going to go away,” the doctor says. “When you’re doing the autopsy, you’re not thinking ahead to what some defense witness is going to say.”

    The pathologist’s silence in 1993 didn’t sit well with Gary Gitchell, the lead West Memphis police investigator.

    In a three page letter to Channell three weeks after the bodies were sent to the Crime Lab, the West Memphis police inspector said his department “desperately” needed information from the lab.

    The letter contained a list of 16 questions that had yet to be answered, including the most basic: “Time of death?” and “Cause of death?”

    “Were the kids sodomized?” “Can you provide a wound diagram and explain injuries the boys received?” “Any residue found under nails of boys?” “Is there anything which would indicate a black male involvement?” “Can you tell us which kid was killed first?”

    “We realize you have other cases coming in and must go to court on other matters, however, this case has received National recognition and without the Crime Labs information our hands are tied,” Gitchell wrote. “We feel as though we are walking blind folded through this caseat this moment.”

    Gitchell, who has since retired and moved out of the area, couldn’t be located for an interview.

    Peretti says the case has shadowed him through the years. He’s been threatened and followed by those who believe in the innocence of the men convicted of killing the boys.

    “People don’t know all the facts,” he says. “They only read the garbage.”

    Peretti compares supporters of the three men to a cult.

    “They are being worshipped as child killers,” he says. “In my 25 years as a pathologist, I’ve been involved with high-profile cases, but I’ve never had groupies attack me like this.”

    Numerous defense attorneys in unrelated cases have questioned the pathologist over the years about his findings in the case.

    “They bring it up to try to discredit me,” he says.

    But Peretti stands by his findings and has tried to adopt a sense of humor about efforts to debunk his opinions.

    “I feel honored that they had to hire seven forensic pathologists to try to take me down.”

    IDK, but it sure seems that Perriti feels slighted…and based on his statements, I think it would be extremely hard for him to admit he could be wrong- because that would mean the “cult like groupies” and the seven opposing experts were right and he was wrong….

    Has his ego taken precedence over the facts? could he be wrong and refuse to see it? IDK

    PS I will commend him for wanting the FBI brought in…why did they not come in? and I will commend him for trying to do his best, and for caring, I just think he may have gotten caught up in defending himself and his work and not in finding the truth….PS why oh why didnt he share the info with LEO? Perhaps if they had the info, at least some of it, they would have not taken the whole devil worship cult sacrifice BS so seriously…

    PSS How does Perritti know that these 3 men are guilty? He was the medical examiner, not the prosecuting attorney, not LEO, how can he say they are being worshipped as child killers?
    IDK

    Seems personal to me…

    AJMO

    My prayers for little Mike Steve and Chris, for their families and the town.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment