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Tags Michael Peterson , murder cases , North Carolina cases

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Old 28th June 2017, 12:25 PM   #1
Planigale
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Peterson case BBC coverage

This does not seem to be covered here. I do not know if the BBC podcasts will be available to all, but usually they are. This is a well presented review of a problematic case. I have not finished listening but thought I would share the link.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/arti..._contentcard20
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Old 28th June 2017, 02:23 PM   #2
Chris_Halkides
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feathers of a bird

I am looking forward to how they treat the owl theory. IIRC there were small feathers found in Kathleen's scalp, but I don't believe that they were ever identified. DNA might have been able to do so.
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Old 29th June 2017, 06:58 AM   #3
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The reasons for the presence of red neurons

One of the issues that came up in this case was the existence and significance of red neurons. It's outside of my comfort zone, but this blog entry makes me wonder whether or not the prosecution might have been overinterpreting the pathology.
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Old 1st July 2017, 02:00 AM   #4
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To fill in now I have learnt more. The victim Kathleen Petersen fell or was pushed down stairs. The only person at home was her husband Michael Petersen.

There was significant concerns about the forensic blood spatter analysis that arose after Michael Petersen was convicted with the forensic scientist being sacked.

The husband was bisexual and his sexuality was used to blacken his character in the trial.

The death of a friend who fell down stairs and died when Michael Petersen was present was introduced to suggest that he may have been a serial murderer without any actual accusation.

It appears that there is good evidence that the actual assailant was an owl.

There are many dubious elements in the prosecution and investigation. It is possible that Michael Petersen was guilty, but it is difficult to be certain because of the errors originally made. Certainly the outcome with an Alford plea which is not an outcome that makes one confident that justice was done.
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Old 1st July 2017, 02:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
To fill in now I have learnt more. The victim Kathleen Petersen fell or was pushed down stairs. The only person at home was her husband Michael Petersen.

There was significant concerns about the forensic blood spatter analysis that arose after Michael Petersen was convicted with the forensic scientist being sacked.

The husband was bisexual and his sexuality was used to blacken his character in the trial.

The death of a friend who fell down stairs and died when Michael Petersen was present was introduced to suggest that he may have been a serial murderer without any actual accusation.

It appears that there is good evidence that the actual assailant was an owl.

There are many dubious elements in the prosecution and investigation. It is possible that Michael Petersen was guilty, but it is difficult to be certain because of the errors originally made. Certainly the outcome with an Alford plea which is not an outcome that makes one confident that justice was done.
Did he lose a prior wife to misadventure? I could easily google but feel this thread is interesting.

ETA I have been reading wiki and this is redolent of Queen vs Mark Lundy, maps with perfection

The prosecution maintained that the murder was most likely committed with a custom-made fireplace poker called a "blowpoke". It had been a gift to the Petersons from Kathleen's sister but was missing from the house at the time of the murder investigation. Late in the trial the defense team produced the missing blowpoke that they said had been overlooked in the garage by police investigators. Forensic tests revealed that it had been untouched and unmoved for too long to have been used in the murder. A juror contacted after the trial noted that the jury dismissed the idea of the blowpoke as the murder weapon.[11]

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Old 1st July 2017, 04:02 AM   #6
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NCSBI laboratory scandal

I seem to recall that the original conclusion about the friend (not a prior wife) who died was that it might have been from von Villebrandt's disease. The blood spatter "work" was done by Duane Deaver, who was later let go, IIRC. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation had a crime lab that was at the center of a large scandal. The Raleigh News and Observer had a series of articles on this laboratory, which had a poor culture (a training manual referred to people who testified for the defense as defense whores). The lab gave misleading or false testimony on presumptive blood testing in some cases, including that of Gregory Taylor.
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Old 1st July 2017, 04:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Did he lose a prior wife to misadventure?
You might be thinking of Drew Peterson who was convicted of killing his previous wife named Kathleen after his then wife Stacey mysteriously went missing.
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Old 1st July 2017, 06:50 AM   #8
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I hadn't realised the podcast series linked in the OP isn't complete and seems to be ongoing, though there's no indication of when the next episode will be available or how many episodes are planned. 5 episodes so far and they haven't even got to trial yet. They're really milking it. If all the needless repetition was removed, the 95 minutes I've listened to so far might fit into about 20.
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Old 1st July 2017, 07:59 AM   #9
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Whilst I do not want to get all Hitchcockian and get the thread moved to CT, following on from a homicidal owl, I now read about a criminal crow that fled with the knife from a crime scene http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40436177.
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Old 1st July 2017, 08:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
I hadn't realised the podcast series linked in the OP isn't complete and seems to be ongoing, though there's no indication of when the next episode will be available or how many episodes are planned. 5 episodes so far and they haven't even got to trial yet. They're really milking it. If all the needless repetition was removed, the 95 minutes I've listened to so far might fit into about 20.
Apologies on behalf of the BBC this seems a bit of a filler. Radio 5 is mainly for sport enthusiasts so they probably need lots of reinforcement, with a bit of luck it will become a thirty minute program on radio 4 where the less intellectually challenged hang out.
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Old 1st July 2017, 09:12 AM   #11
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Here is a Dateline series you can watch:

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/dateline/52063577

There was also a very good series, "The Staircase," but you might have to get that on Netflix or something similar.

I think the owl theory is ridiculous, but that's just me.
They didn't use his bisexuality to blacken his character; it was part of the theory of the crime. Kathleen had discovered his shenanigans with male prostitutes that night (there was evidence she received a fax and went into the office and turned on the computer, if I remember correctly). Supposedly this initiated an argument, which was motive, according to the prosecution.

Peterson blew it in the 911 call when he claimed Kathleen was still breathing. When emergency personnel arrived minutes later, the blood was congealed and some had even dried. That was just the beginning of getting to the truth.
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Old 1st July 2017, 10:00 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ampulla of Vater View Post
Here is a Dateline series you can watch:

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/dateline/52063577

There was also a very good series, "The Staircase," but you might have to get that on Netflix or something similar.

I think the owl theory is ridiculous, but that's just me.
They didn't use his bisexuality to blacken his character; it was part of the theory of the crime. Kathleen had discovered his shenanigans with male prostitutes that night (there was evidence she received a fax and went into the office and turned on the computer, if I remember correctly). Supposedly this initiated an argument, which was motive, according to the prosecution.

Peterson blew it in the 911 call when he claimed Kathleen was still breathing. When emergency personnel arrived minutes later, the blood was congealed and some had even dried. That was just the beginning of getting to the truth.
Not sure I understand the relationship. I have banged my head, it bled and the blood congealed and dried, I am still breathing.
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Old 1st July 2017, 10:15 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
I seem to recall that the original conclusion about the friend (not a prior wife) who died was that it might have been from von Villebrandt's disease. The blood spatter "work" was done by Duane Deaver, who was later let go, IIRC. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation had a crime lab that was at the center of a large scandal. The Raleigh News and Observer had a series of articles on this laboratory, which had a poor culture (a training manual referred to people who testified for the defense as defense whores). The lab gave misleading or false testimony on presumptive blood testing in some cases, including that of Gregory Taylor.
One problem seemed to be suspect centred investigation. The forensic scientists sought evidence to convict suspects and ignored or failed to report exonerating evidence. The crime should be investigated not the suspect, the evidence should be neutrally interpreted.

Blood spatter seems to me to be in danger of becoming a pseudoscience with convincing experts over interpreting evidence and becoming popular with prosecutors by providing incriminating testimony. Duane Deaver, seems to have concealed exonerating evidence over interpreted evidence and was strongly pro-prosecution.
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Old 1st July 2017, 10:16 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Not sure I understand the relationship. I have banged my head, it bled and the blood congealed and dried, I am still breathing.
I suspect Chris's red neurones are relevant here.
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Old 1st July 2017, 01:09 PM   #15
Ampulla of Vater
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Not sure I understand the relationship. I have banged my head, it bled and the blood congealed and dried, I am still breathing.
She couldn't have still been breathing at the time of the call, as the blood was an hour or more old. It didn't fit Peterson's narrative.

There were other things at the scene that did not add up too, but honestly it's been a long time since I delved into that case and I can't remember much.
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Old 1st July 2017, 01:59 PM   #16
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What Chris is referring to...

In this case, rare red neurons, consistent with acute ischemic neuronal necrosis, are present in cerebrum and cerebellum. These findings are consistent with the decedent having a significant episode of widespread brain ischemia at least a few hours prior to death.

(Neuropathologist, Dr. Thomas Bouldin told jurors one particular item stood out when he examined Kathleen Peterson.

"This brain had experienced a period of decreased blood flow approximately a few hours before death.")
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Old 1st July 2017, 02:39 PM   #17
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Owl right

I am going to post a few links about the owl theory. "Her autopsy revealed seven lacerations, including very deep ones in the back of her scalp, and pine needles stuck to one of her hands, which both held clumps of her own hair. As Pollard discovered, the strands in the victim’s left hand contained three small feathers. Also, as Pollard and several ornithological experts noted, the pattern and shape of the cuts on Kathleen Peterson’s head suggest a weapon quite unlike a fireplace tool." link.

"Dr. Alan van Norman, in the first affidavit, wrote that two lacerations on Kathleen Peterson's scalp appear to be a pair, with each laceration having "the appearance of a trident with three limbs converging to a point at roughly 30 degrees from each other and a fourth limb converging to the same point at nearly 180 degrees from the center limb of the other three limbs. link2

"Although this hypothesis has been scoffed at and made into a joke by those who believe in Mr. Peterson's guilt, it is supported by some of the physical evidence found at the scene," the motion states, such as drops of blood on the front walk, hair pulled out by the roots in Kathleen Peterson's hands and bloody twigs and two feather fragments in her hair." link3
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Old 1st July 2017, 02:41 PM   #18
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There are two causes for red neurons

"You're half right, Vosbeck, and you made the error I was hoping for!

First, this is an acute cortical contusion. Contusions typically occur at the crest of a gyrus, which is one way you can differentiate them from ischemic injuries, such as strokes (strokes tend to occur at the base of a sulcus).

Second, the lesion is surrounded by hypereosinophilic neurons. The 'red' neurons look identical to those caused by hypoxia. However, they are not the result of hypoxia. For some reason, neurons adjacent to regions of physical trauma turn red, probably because they are physically injuries themselves. The big lesson here is: do not confuse 'red' neurons close to a contusion for hypoxic injury! This distinction is important because it takes time for hypoxic neurons to turn red. The literature varies, but the timeframe is somewhere between 1 and 3 hours for neurons to turn red. So, if you call this hypoxic injury you imply survival after the head injury and that may cause a number of difficulties with the case." link
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Old 1st July 2017, 02:48 PM   #19
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That's a wrap, baby

"The judge also agreed that comments by Deaver captured on video were “unbecoming.” In May 2009, the judge wrote, Deaver was recorded saying, “Beautiful. That’s a wrap, baby,” after a fellow agent managed to replicate a stain on a T-shirt.

SBI officials said the comment was unprofessional and hurt the credibility of the SBI for the jury in a Davie County murder trial. Deaver was not fired for the underlying experiment, which many bloodstain pattern experts have derided as pointless and unscientific." link to Raleigh News and Observer article

From Joseph Neff, a reporter whom I respect: "Joseph Kennedy, an expert on criminal law at UNC law school, found Deaver's misconduct "mind-boggling" and was especially troubled because Deaver was an expert witness in a circumstantial case with no confession and no eyewitnesses. Peterson's guilt or innocence turned on forensic expert testimony, Kennedy said." link2

I didn't look at the motive very carefully when I first heard about this case, but my impression was similar to the writer of the Audubon piece: "The motive presented at trial in 2003 was an unlikely mélange of Peterson’s desire to cash in on his wife’s life-insurance policy and a furious fight between the couple—after she discovered he was having a long-term affair—that led to her fatal beating." No eyewitnesses, no murder weapon, no confession, and a mish-mash of a motive. I am not sure that Mr. Peterson is innocent, but the case against him fails to rise to the level of BARD IMO.
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Old 2nd July 2017, 10:17 AM   #20
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murder most fowl

Mr. Peterson's neighbor Larry Pollard was probably the first proponent of the owl theory. Here is his statement. Was Kathleen's temperature body taken? That might have helped establish the TOD.
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Old 2nd July 2017, 11:53 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
... I am not sure that Mr. Peterson is innocent, but the case against him fails to rise to the level of BARD IMO.
That's my view as well. And I think that's why the prosecution offered him the Alford plea.

Synchronicity. A couple of weeks ago I was at my parents house fixing an old fence. There were a couple of Red-Shouldered Hawks flying around being very protective of their little fledgling. I got my camera out and took a couple of shots of a hawk on a telephone pole. Then I had to do some adjustments in the menu of my camera and when I looked up the Hawk was gone. Then I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the hawk had actually swooped down, when my back was turned, and was now about 20 feet away from me on top of a palm tree. She(or he) let out a few ear piercing shrieks before looking down at me and giving me an icy stare.

It was only later that I realized that, perhaps, the hawk was going to make a run at me when my back was turned. Fortunately for me, I happened to be standing underneath my mom's old clothes line. So I googled hawk attacks and found these:

https://www.quora.com/How-badly-woul...-a-large-eagle

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/haw...o-neighborhood

http://www.tampabay.com/features/hum...rement/2271852
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Old 3rd July 2017, 06:57 PM   #22
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pure T filth

From Freda Black's closing: "You saw the rest of the things on his computer. Once again, these things are so filthy we can't even show them on TV. Filth. Pure T filth. This isn't people involved in a relationship. This is any which-a-way. Absolute -- this is called hard core porn. Do you think she approved of this type of activity while he's off at work, or sleeping? I argue to you that doesn't make sense. And that's not the way that soulmates conduct themselves. That is not."

You really have to hear her say this in a molasses accent (it's in one of the Staircase episodes. These remarks fall into a gray zone IMO. BTW There is also a thread at Injustice Anywhere on this case.
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