Monthly Archives: February 2015

If Boulder wasn’t ready to handle the Jon Benet Ramsey murder, is any small town ready to handle anything similar?

The following is taken from the following ABC News link: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/police-chief-jonbenet-ramsey-crime-scene-mishandled-29217627?cid=fb_abcn_sf

 

In his most extensive comments on the JonBenet Ramsey case, the formerColorado police chief who led the investigation into the high-profile 1996 slaying of the 6-year-old beauty queen acknowledged online that officers botched the initial handling of the crime scene.

Mark Beckner, former chief of the Boulder Police Department, participated Saturday in an “Ask Me Anything” session on the social-networking and news site Reddit. He told the Daily Camera on Tuesday that he didn’t realize his comments would filter out to the rest of the world.

“I talked to the organizer, and my impression was that this was a members-only type group that talked about unsolved mysteries all around the world,” said Beckner, 59.

JonBenet Ramsey was found dead in the basement of her family’s home on Dec. 26, 1996, after her mother, Patsy Ramsey, called 911 to say her daughter was missing and a ransom note had been found.

In the Reddit forum, Beckner said police should have separated JonBenet’s parents and gotten full statements from Patsy and John Ramsey that day. The case was initially mishandled due to a “perfect storm type scenario,” he wrote.

“It was the Christmas holiday and we were short staffed, we faced a situation as I said earlier that no one in the country had ever seen before or since, and there was confusion at the scene as people were arriving before we had enough personnel on the scene,” he wrote online.

No one has been prosecuted in the case. Court documents released in 2013 show a grand jury recommended indictments against the Ramseys, contrary to the long-held perception that the secret panel ended their work in 1999 without deciding to charge anyone.

At the time, then-District Attorney Alex Hunter didn’t mention an indictment, saying only that there wasn’t enough evidence to warrant charges against the Ramseys, who had long maintained their innocence.

In 2008 — two years after Patsy died — former District Attorney Mary Lacy cleared the Ramseys of any role in their daughter’s death, based on DNA evidence that pointed to the involvement of a third party.

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Off site interrogation/unofficial detention by American Law Enforcement.

The link appearing below is to an article outlining the alleged existence of a warehouse in Chicago that is used as an unofficial location for interrogation in which detainees are allowed none of their constitutional rights to counsel.  I know from personal experience that the concept of an offsite location was used by local law enforcement.  At least one witness in a case was asked to appear in at a warehouse for questioning on a Saturday night.  The warehouse was not even in the same county as the incident being investigated.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/24/chicago-police-detain-americans-black-site

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USA Today is following the Fowler Trial Too.

Here is a link to USA Today’s coverage of the latest developments in the Leila Fowler murder.  The facts seem to contradict the inside sources so often cited on the local social media sites.

http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/2015/02/18/23609521/

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The truth based on evidence coming out in the Leila Fowler Case.

The following is from Channel 10 KXTV’s George Warren:

http://www.news10.net/story/news/2015/02/17/attorneys-say-leila-fowler-murder-case-crumbling/23573793/

SACRAMENTO – The attorneys defending the 14-year-old boy accused of savagely stabbing his younger sister to death are arguing for his release from juvenile hall pending trial because they claim new evidence suggests he’s innocent.

In a motion filed Tuesday in Calaveras County Superior Court, the Sacramento law firm of Reichel & Plesser offered a point-by-point analysis of evidence, some of it discovered just last month, they say supports the boy’s claim that an intruder killed 8-year-old Leila Fowler on the morning of April 27, 2013.

The knife

The contract pathologist from Stockton who performed the autopsy concluded Leila died from being stabbed and slashed by a knife-like weapon more than 20 times and he noted there was no indication the weapon was a serrated knife.

According to the defense bail motion, investigators discovered a small amount of Leila’s blood under the wooden handle of a serrated steak knife with a slightly bent blade found in the kitchen, which they assumed was the murder weapon.

But the defense team says the pathologist, Dr. Robert Lawrence, specifically excluded the steak knife as a possible murder weapon when it was shown to him during the autopsy.

The cleanup?

The bail motion pointed out the large amount of blood spatter, pooled blood and the number and nature of Leila’s wounds suggest the perpetrator would have been covered with blood following the attack.

But photographs of the boy, then 12, taken at the hospital shortly after the murder show no blood on his body or clothing. A close- up of his dirty bare feet suggest he had not recently bathed.

But photographs of the boy, then 12, taken at the hospital shortly after the murder show no blood on his body or clothing. A close- up of his dirty bare feet suggest he had not recently bathed.

No blood-soaked clothes were found in spite of an extensive search of the neighborhood.

The court filing also revealed that law enforcement collected all the drains and traps from sinks, showers and tubs in the Fowler’s Valley Springs home and found no evidence of Leila’s blood or cleaning products in the plumbing.

Evidence of an intruder

According to the bail motion, evidence of an intruder in the Fowler house was not made known to the defense until last month when a DNA test requested by the defense team showed male DNA on a strand of Leila’s hair found in the cleft of her buttocks.

The motion says the California Department of Justice, which conducted the test, concluded the male DNA found on Leila’s hair may come from a male relative of Barney Fowler, Leila’s father — although all male relatives who live in the house or had recently visited have been excluded.

Attorney Steven Plesser said in an interview that additional testing is underway to determine whether the DNA is from blood, saliva or semen.

On Friday, Plesser will argue for the Fowler boy’s release into the care of his stepmother’s parents in Stockton pending his trial, scheduled for May 18.

“The family wants him out,” Plesser said. “Nothing has been presented to them to prove to them that he did this crime. They don’t want him to waste any more of his youth behind bars while the prosecution’s case seems to get weaker and weaker.”

Calaveras County District Attorney Barbara Yook did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment.

I can tell you from personal knowledge this isn’t all that will come out at trial.

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CBS on Fowler Trial

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Excerpt from the Union Democrat Regarding the Fowler Trial

By Abby Divine

Defense attorneys are petitioning the Calaveras County Superior Court for the release of a 14-year-old Valley Springs boy who allegedly stabbed his sister to death in 2013.

The boy is charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing of his sister, Leila Fowler, on April 27, 2013. He was 12 years old when the death occurred. He is now 14 and has been held at a Placerville juvenile detention center since his arrest on May 11, 2013. 

 Initially the boy told Calaveras County Sheriff’s investigators a male intruder had killed his sister. A manhunt ensued, but investigators focused on the boy as evidence was gathered. 

Steve Plesser, one of the boy’s Sacramento-based defense attorneys, said Wednesday he wants his client released and returned home because DNA tests results suggest the boy is not guilty of the crime. 

A hearing to petition the judge for the boy’s release from custody is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 20 in Calaveras County Superior Court.

The trial was continued to 9 a.m. May 18 at the Calaveras County Superior Court, after a hearing Tuesday. 

For the complete story, see the Feb. 5, 2015 edition of The Union Democrat. 

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Fowler Trial Gets Another New Trial Date

Defense testing of DNA and blood samples lead the prosecution in the Leila Fowler murder case to further test samples in its possession.  Those tests lead to results that were provided to the defense shortly before Christmas.  The results are important enough to potentially impact the outcome of the case.  Enough so that not only has the trial been reset for May 18, 2015 to allow for complete testing, another hearing is scheduled for Friday February 20th to allow the defense to request Isaiah Fowler’s release pending trial.

The court’s rational for keeping Isaiah institutionalized for nearly two (2) years is that the evidence available at the time of his arrest failed to indicate the presence of anyone else in the house at the time of the murder.  However, physical evidence analyzed in the interim does not fully support that hypothesis.  As a result, the court is being asked to to rethink its position regarding Isaiah’s incarceration.

The news of these developments lead to a rash of comments on various social media platforms and the voices of the misinformed were loudest.  Also loudly heard from was at least one voice who refused to talk with defense investigators during the summer of 2013 and could be perceived as protecting a potential suspect.

Everyone has a right to an opinion and so too a right to express those opinions.  Having the right does not mean that you must exercise it, particularly when those opinions are based on ignorance of the facts.

http://fox40.com/2015/02/04/new-evidence-in-leila-fowler-murder-case/

http://www.news10.net/story/news/2015/02/03/dna-evidence-could-clear-leila-fowler-brother/22828999/

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