Dr. Wecht interview on this case

Discussion in 'Justice for JonBenet Discussion - Public Forum' started by koldkase, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Carol

    Carol Member

    I saw a two-hour re-run several weeks ago on 48 Hours about a case in Fort Collins, Colorado (what is it about Colorado?) where a man who had spent nine years in jail was released based on "touch DNA" on the victim's body that did not belong to him. The two scientists who discovered this touch DNA were described by host Susan Spencer as the two scientists who finally exonerated Patsy and John Ramsay in the murder of their daughter.
  2. RiverRat

    RiverRat FFJ Sr. Member Extraordinaire (Pictured at Lef

    Exxxxxxccellant post!!!

    Amen, Sister Dee! That's why Patsy is learning to MoonWalk instead of the SideStep....

  3. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    Scientists didn't exhonerate the Ramseys, Mary Lacy did--BY THE LEGAL AUTHORITY OF NOTHING. (See my tagline at the bottom of my post.)

    I saw the same program and am familiar with that case--though my old brain can't recall the names this minute. :blush:

    One thing I noticed: the "touch" DNA that didn't match the man who was convicted DID match the boyfriend, WHO ALSO LIED ABOUT SEEING THE WOMAN/VICTIM THE NIGHT SHE WAS MURDERED. Guess what? The boyfriend has never been arrested. One has to ask why, if that "touch" DNA is so indisputable? He also managed to leave the state, as well.

    Here is why, IMO: it's impossible to convict someone in a murder case when another (unrelated) person has already been tried/convicted for the murder first, even though that conviction was overturned on the basis of new evidence. The first suspect will always be reasonable doubt for a jury.

    And because "touch" DNA has never been entered as evidence in a trail at this time, it's untested evidence, as well. The first trial to use it will set the precedent, and I imagine it will be extremely expensive, because so far, the science has not been tried in court. It will take many scientists testifying, backed up by the research, and contested by scientists countering the "touch" DNA science, as well.

    The problems with "touch" DNA are clear: when you break evidence down to molecular DNA in skin cells, left by transference with a touch, you're going to have a very difficult time PROVING when, as well as HOW, those cells got there.

    To wit: there was a SECOND contribution of "touch" DNA, from a second male, on the victim in this case we're discussing. If you're going to try to convict someone on "touch" DNA because it's there, then how are you going to explain the second "touch" DNA contributions? It's a double-edged sword.

    So the Ramseys can't be "cleared" because of "touch" DNA until the person who matches the DNA is found and connected to the crime in some OTHER way, then tried and convicted, as well. I heard the Bode scientist in the Ramsey case SAY to a TV reporter, when illustrating the technique used to collect the "touch" DNA, that SHE DISCARDED ARTIFACT AND OTHER DNA. Whose DNA did she trash, and why? In court, she'd be called on that and it would be powerful evidence she was biased in her process. I'd bet money it was Ramsey DNA, because Patsy said she dressed JB in those longjohns--pulling them over the legs of a sleeping child, so she obviously had her hands on the waistband. But what if John's or Burke's DNA was there, as well? We'll never know, will we?
  4. Carol

    Carol Member

    Thank you for the explanation, Koldkase. I think the man who was released from prison in Colorado is Tim Masters. The woman who he was wrongly accused of murdering was Peggy Hettrick. The murder took place in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1987. I didn't know that touch DNA has never been used in court. Then, why was Tim Masters released from prison based on touch DNA found on the victim that wasn't his? At the end of the program, there was touch DNA of two other males besides the ex-boyfriend found on Peggy Hettrick. They have not been identified. I guess what I'm saying is that reporters like Ms. Spencer just assume that the Ramsays have been cleared because of touch DNA. After watching the 48 Hours story on the Fort Collins case, I would say that Mr. Masters probably should not have been arrested because there was no evidence against him except very circumstantial evidence. But the touch DNA belonging to someone else does not mean he is innocent. It was a 2-hour program and I was rooting for Mr. Masters because he was only 15 years old when the murder occurred and there wasn't really any evidence against him. But when I heard the two scientists who finally cleared him were the same ones that "cleared" the Ramsays, my heart sank a little and I began to wonder if maybe Masters could still be guilty.
  5. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    Thanks for filling in the holes (in my brain haha). Take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt, because I don't know this case that well. Any corrections are always appreciated!

    Masters had his conviction overturned by a higher court, based on the defense's argument using the "touch" DNA results, right? I am thinking that the prosecution was accused of not providing the defense with all the evidence, too? Oh, yeah, that was the legal pin used to get the verdict vacated because the lead detective kept bringing large boxes of files into court for the appeal hearings and the defense finally picked up on not having all the documents the detective kept pulling out of that file. So equally compelling, along with the "touch" DNA from THREE OTHER MEN, was the argument that the prosecution withheld evidence. Am I remembering that correctly?

    To the point of your question about the "touch" DNA as evidence at trial: what Master's had was an appeal hearing, not a "trial" per se. This only means the verdict was overturned on technical issues. So Masters could be tried again, as basically he won the right to a NEW trial, as if he'd never been convicted in the first place because the appeal judge concluded the trial was not "fair", and so overturned the conviction.

    At any rate, a word of caution: Masters may not officially be "guilty" in this murder, but until the killer is caught, who knows if he is factually guilty? He was young and he did something stupid that will haunt him forever, if he is innocent. But as with the other "suspect" the defense attempted to use for reasonable doubt until HE ended up ALSO NOT MATCHING THE "TOUCH" DNA--I am speaking of the dentist who lived nearby with a prior conviction for voyeuristic sex crimes, there are some strange circumstances that APPEAR to tie people to crimes in many cases, and they may look very suspicious. Masters did VIEW the body and then made some immature drawings speculating on the crime, based on what he saw, he said. His admitted posthumous interactions with the victim in the field before her body was even called in by LE would give anyone pause. Am I wrong in thinking Masters did not call LE when he found the body, but admitted his odd behavior when the drawings were found in his bedroom? Gosh, I can't remember who alerted LE. Do you?

    Since Masters lived across the street, though, within view of the body, and admitted he saw it and then went for a closer view, it's understandable he came under suspicion. To me, from the TV program, there was reasonable doubt, but I wasn't on the jury and TV programs are notorious for presenting one side of the story. They did that with the Ramseys far more than they presented a balanced report, and by now, don't present the evidence against the Ramseys at all anymore. (Lin Wood made sure that happened.)

    I agree that the ex-boyfriend lied to LE about having physical contact with the victim that night and that is suspicious and reasonable doubt to me, along with the "touch" DNA that proved he lied. He had a "girlfriend" with him when he said he last saw the victim in the parking lot of the bar the night she was murdered, and that woman was his alibi. How many times have we seen a girlfriend lie about an alibi? Since the victim was murdered elsewhere and then dumped in the field, who can say what the truth is with all the "touch" DNA on the victim's body?

    That's the double-edged sword. If it wasn't ALL of the donators of the DNA, then which one? How did the DNA of those NOT involved get on the body/clothes? It's a mystery, and until the research supports an answer (that I doubt is going to be infallible), "touch" DNA is just not going to convict anyone without further corroborating evidence. But it may be reasonable doubt, as has been said of the DNA in the Ramsey case.

    Do you remember what it was the defense fell short of asking for DNA testing on? It was briefly brought up at the end of the program that the defense had not requested DNA testing on something...because I remember thinking that was because one result would go against Masters' defense in a new trial? I know the dentist's DNA didn't match, so he was "cleared", as suspects are now "cleared" on "touch" DNA evidence which may simply be artifact.

    Personally, I find the placement of the body in that field very important evidence. Why not dump it out in the woods? There is a reason, and it could be twisted (to "see it" and/or observe the scene when LE found it), or it could be malicious (to implicate Masters or someone else), or there could another reason. But it had to be someone related to that area. Too much wilderness out there to stop and drag the body across a field with a trailer across the street and a neighborhood within view when the killer could simply dump her quickly somewhere much less likely to be observed. The killer wanted the body found, that's clear.
  6. Cherokee

    Cherokee FFJ Senior Member

    Well worth repeating ...

    Scientists didn't exhonerate the Ramseys,
    Mary Lacy did --
  7. RiverRat

    RiverRat FFJ Sr. Member Extraordinaire (Pictured at Lef

    Damn Right!!!

    Don't Be an Enabler, Blow the TouchDNA Dust off your SpoonFed Brains and Be a Believer of Ramsey Guilt....JonBenet was NOT just a photograph....six years old forever....laying all alone with Patsy at her feet....both ignored by far too many for far too long.... Fleet White, Priscilla White, Steve Thomas, they DID NOT risk it all just over some small unreasonable doubts.

    I am so sorry, Baby Girl - you are not forgotten by all.....you are not a joke, not a scummy punk band, and NOT just a money-maker for a Gang of Skanks....to us, you are so much more and somehow, we shall continue our mission and expose the person who hurt you - and the one that killed you....
  8. Carol

    Carol Member

    Dear koldkase, you remember more than I do about Tim Masters' case and I just saw the program for the second time! Yes, he was granted an appeal based on incompetent legal representation and the fact that not all the cops' and prosecutors' evidence was turned over to the defense. For example, the prosecution's chief witness against Masters was a pshychologist who viewed all of Masters' drawings. He concluded that these drawings suggest someone who is capable of Ms. Hettrick's murder. But the prosecution didn't turn over ALL this psychologist's findings. He concluded that, based on the surgical precision of the woman's stab wound, a 15-year-old boy in a dark field at night with a mini flashlight in his mouth couldn not possibly have made that female circumcision. The eye surgeon was brought up at the appeal as a possible suspect, but he had committed suicide by then. His wife provided DNA and it did NOT match any of the touch DNA on the victim's body. But touch DNA from the ex-boyfriend was found inside her panties. Years after the crime, when Masters was finally arrested, he was living in California. Detectives found more of the same type drawings. I'm not saying this makes him guilty. But it really bothered me that teenage boys and men could depict women in such a vile and violent manner, even if only in drawings.
  9. AHimoe

    AHimoe Member

    Wecht's comments on the "touch DNA" evidence

    Whitewitch wrote:
    "I'm curious to know, what, if anything, did Wecht have to say about the "DNA" evidence? I don't have time to watch the videos right now so hoping you (KK) can answer my question."


    This is a link an interview by a Pittsburgh TV station with Dr. Wecht on "touch DNA" at the time it was first announced that it had "cleared" the Ramseys. I believe the video is still on the site.
  10. Learnin

    Learnin Member

    I just read your post, here, Cherokee. Very good. I have a feeling, like you, that this was just a lab (BODE) trying to blow their own horn and giving Mary Lacy what she wanted. They matched some markers, and, BINGO, "look at what we did". They're never going to get a hit on this stuff and they know it. But they don't have to because, barring a confession, they know they're game is never going to be proven for what it is.

    The reason we can be sure of the game being played here, is that they didn't test the murder weapon as has been noted on other threads. If you wanted to check for touch DNA, the rope would have been the place to look. These people make me want to puke.
  11. Cherokee

    Cherokee FFJ Senior Member

    You and me both, Learnin.

    And you're right, there will never be a "hit" on the partial DNA. It was nothing but pre-crime-scene contaminant, and anyone with a brain knows it. But hey, if you're Mary Lacy and desperate to clear the Ramseys, anything will do. The key is to not release Bode Laboratories report for verification, insist that no independent testing can be done, say you won't take any questions on the report or your decision to exhonerate, and have the media lie down like a bunch of Saturday night whores and refuse to do their job of asking why the report cannot be questioned. And that's exactly what's happened. My kingdom for an investigative reporter from a major media outlet who has the cajones to REALLY report the facts and ask the tough questions in this case.

    It makes me more than sick. But then, this case has done that for almost 13 years now. It's something I'll always have to live with because the powers that be REFUSE to do the right thing and investigate the corruption surrounding the case and how the Ramseys got away with what happened December 25, 1996.
  12. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    When government corruption becomes so blatant as this, the citizens begin to see that it is not working. Once confidence in government is so undermined, there's a slippery slope waiting to happen.
  13. fr brown

    fr brown Member

    In this interview Wecht asks whether every male who had contact with JonBenet's corpse had had his DNA tested. I didn't think it was likely that there could have been many of those because I had this idea that the body was rushed to autopsy. (I also assumed that the coroner himself had removed her clothes, but I don't think I've seen that explicitly stated.)

    So I was surprised to read in the autopsy that the coroner first saw JonBenet's body at the Ramsey home around 8pm on the 26th and didn't perform the autopsy until 8am the next morning. Her corpse spent the night at the morgue, presumably. Do we know how many people had access to it?
  14. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    No, we don't. All we have is Team Ramsey's word that "everyone" at the morgue who came in contact with the body was tested. Since we know how biased Hunter and Lacy are, not to mention Lou "Mother Goose" Smit and his sidekicks Ollie and San Agustin, I personally don't trust one thing that comes out about the "touch" DNA. Since the Ramseys withheld the alleged "package of Bloomies" for five years, and since that means we don't even know if this was the actual package from which the Bloomies found on the body came, and since Team Ramsey's head spinner Lacy never told us about THAT "evidence" being processed for JB's fingerprints or more DNA matching the controversial "touch" DNA, we'll never know, will we?
  15. Elle

    Elle Member

    Here's some information fr. After Dr. Myers short visit, the Medical Examiner Patricia Dunn takes over, with Dr. Myers continuing his examination the next morning, 27 December, 1996

    Bonita Papers:

  16. fr brown

    fr brown Member

    Was the cheek mark really red at the time that Dunn looked at it? It was brown and/or purple by the time Meyer did the autopsy. Red would nudge the cheek mark a little bit more toward stun gun territory in my mind. Other attributes argue against that, though. And I note that JonBenet's head was turned to the right which means her right cheek might well have been pressed against an object for some time.
  17. Elle

    Elle Member

    I'm wondering what a Petechical hemorrhage looks like as they are mentioned below. (?). The medical people here will know.

    No mention of this strange mark by Dr. Meyers, fr.

  18. DeeDee

    DeeDee Member

    It isn't mentioned much, but was Dr. Dunn present at the autopsy? If so, were her notes ever made public?
    You now that there were TWO doctors examining her body that first time at the house and NEITHER performed the liver stab and/or vitreous fluid from the eyeballs to attempt to pin down a more accurate time of death. This WAS a crime- and this WAS a child. It's not like it was an 80-year old who died in bed. This was MURDER. The TOD should have been more important to them. Then again...maybe they had their reasons....
  19. Elle

    Elle Member

    According to the following information DeeDee, Dr. Dunn was not present.

  20. fr brown

    fr brown Member

    You can look for "petechial hemorrhage" in Google Images. They are burst capillaries.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009
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