MURDER & DISCOVERY STANDING THE TEST OF JUDICIAL REVIEW
INTRODUCTION: MURDER OR WAS IT SUICIDE
A lack of morals but some social values play a
larger role on Suicide then the general perception would allow. Bizarre
twists in logic could cause one to commit
Suicide for insurance benefits to go to “the secret person”.
districts because of the unbelievable yet true jealousy that exists
between various levels of Law Enforcement, Local, District, Territorial,
State, Federal, Senate Subcommittees and so forth, a bizarre boundary
line between the work of the criminologist and the medical examiner or
coroner is difficult to know. Obviously this would concern issues I
taught in Murder Parts 1-4. These were all forensic scientific
principals, which would given burden of proof issues immediately bring
one to the culprit. However, this examiner has lobbied for Medically
educated personal to be used as investigators for over
26 years and the most success I have witnessed
was on the cases of task forces I was a member. No matter the type of
doctor you are, the investigative mind set in many is relative to crime
solving methods of the 1800’s. In theory, the criminologist should
confine themselves to traces of the murder, while the forensic medical
examiner or coroner would give the exterior descriptions of the body and
perform the autopsy.
History demonstrates that such as
strict limitation of duties gives very limited results. For example
some pathologists confine their formal dictation of the exterior of the
body in such a medical yet professional manner, that the average
detective or investigator finds very little use for it. Look at the O.J.
Simpson Trial. Well never know if he did or
he didn’t as the criminal trial indicated he
did not yet the civil indicated he did! This
occurred because there investigators found little help in not only the
coroners testimony, but in the failures of everything I taught you in
Murder Parts 1-4 relative to protecting the evidence and the quick
interpretation for the quality investigators on the case. I opine that
if a medical investigator would have been sent out with the detectives
from the get go, the outcome of that case and most murder or suicide
case would come out with investigational findings which would stand the
test of Judicial Review no matter civil or criminal.
Conversely if the coroner happens to be
personally respects the difficult task of the operant, agent,
investigator or detective, experience shows, the Forensic Medical
Examiner is of tremendous benefits and service to the investigator.
Just as stated in the mission statement
our purpose is to bridge the gap between the egocentric of mankind and
let the tenants of the best of law and science work together to retake
the streets, homes and hearts of America. For example in the exterior
examination of a corpus delecti we find the vague boundary line between
police science and legal medicine. Of course this is where the most
difficult problems in homicide investigations are encountered. For
example was it Suicide or was it Murder. Team cooperation between the
Forensic Medical Examiner and the skilled Agent or investigator is the
best means of solving such problems. From my teachings, it is my goal
to make familiar the understanding of the problems of the work of the
investigator to the Forensic Medical Fraud Examiner and to make the work
of the Forensic Medical Fraud Examiner familiar with the difficult tasks
ahead for the skilled Agent or investigator.
These are based on laws of the Central
District, as that is where this author originally
wrote this section of the "Textbook For Forensic Criminal
Investigations". In any event, always
master the laws of the land.
Remember my BA is from the University of Minnesota, one of my Masters
Degrees is from the University of Boca Raton in Florida, and my
other five (5) degrees were earned in California. Now as I make
this addition I have moved to another state because of its offers the greatest
learning experience and wisdom in the area of Orthodox Medicine that
our nation has to offer; the great state of
Illinois. Thus, in other Districts
or States simply check the penal codes of the particular Jurisdiction.
Excusable Homicide _ Penal Code Section 195
A Homicide is excusable in the
When the homicide was an accident or
misfortune, or in doing any other lawful act
by lawful means, with usual and customary caution, and without and
When the accident was committed in the heat of
passion, upon any sudden and
sufficient provocation, or upon a sudden combat, when no undue advantage
is taken, nor any dangerous weapon used, and when the killing is not
done in a cruel and unusual manner.
Justifiable Homicide – Penal Code Section 196.
officers may by acting in their command in their aid and assistance,
obedience to any judgment of a competent court; or
necessarily committed in overcoming actual resistance to the execution
of legal process, or in the
discharge of any other legal duty.
necessarily committed in retaking felons who have been rescued or have
escaped, or when necessarily
committed in arresting persons charged with felony, and who are fleeing
from justice or resisting such arrest, such as pulling a gun and
shooting an Agent, Investigator, Detective or Officer.
justifiable when committed by any person pursuant to Penal Code Section
resting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, to do
great Bodily injury upon any
committed in defense of habitation, property, or person, against one who
intends by violence or
surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends a
Violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation of
another with intent to Cause violence to any person therein.
committing a lawful defense of a wife or husband, parent, child, when
there is reasonable ground to
apprehend intent to commit a felony or to murder. If the defender
engaged in combat, they must in good faith, have endeavored to decline
any further struggle before the homicide was committed.
necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful means, to apprehend any
person for any felony committed
or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully preserving the
Justification for homicide is absent where more force than was necessary
to resist the other party’s misconduct.
Murder is the unlawful killing of a
human being, or fetus with malice intent. P.C. 187. Such malice may be
implied. It is expressed when there is deliberate intention unlawfully
to take away the life of a fellow creature. P.C. 188 While still
retained in the concept of “abandoned and malignant heart” is in
judicial disrepute. In the People vs. Phillips, 64 C. 2d 574, 587 found
this concept to be “unnecessary and undesirable” in an instruction. In
fact this tem has been eliminated from the new codes.
Any murder perpetrated by an (P.C. 189)
explosive device, poison, lying in wait, torture and premeditated
killing even if the methods were arson, rape, robbery, burglary, mayhem
are punishable under Section 2288, which is murder in the first degree;
all other kinds of murders are in the second degree.
Section 192.1 (Felony) indicates that Manslaughter is the unlawful
killing of a human being, without malice. The tree types follow:
Voluntary which would be a sudden quarrel or
heat of passion.
The corpus delecti for voluntary
manslaughter is the same as for 2nd degree murder, with the
exception of malice aforethought.
In order for a killing which would otherwise
be murder to be reduced to manslaughter,
under The “rule of provocation”.
Killing which would otherwise be murder to be
reduced to manslaughter would be under the “rule of provocation”.
It may be no surprise that a familial history of suicide assist the
investigator. I f suicide has occurred before in the family this is an
indictor that support the theory of suicide. Sometimes threats to
commit suicide were reported to police to cover a homicide. It also
happens that relatives who want to show that the suicide was committed
“while of unsound mind” need suicide threats. The reasons will be come
A Suicide note is a strong
indication of suicide, particularly if written by hand and the identity
of the handwriting can be proved. Remember that a weapon may be put
into the hand of a dead body and retained there by the actions of rigor
mortis, and that in spite of the fact that a door is locked from the
inside of a room, this can be accomplished from the outside. Thus look
into the circumstances in which the act was committed. Remember from
Murder 2-4 you learned what happens to body parts close to a hard
surface. Look a color of the skin surrounding the weapon. In held
during suicide there may be a purplish color. If the gun was placed in
the hand after some time look for a brownish light purple striated
your success depends on commons sense, good judgment based on
experience, Professional curiosity based on desire, and not easily
satisfied, and knowledge of the evidence.
brings you to study the findings of the Autopsy. The Autopsy is
conducted by the medical examiner whose investigation may disclose the
cause of death as well as if there are hidden wounds and often the
manner of infliction. Thus locate or know the location of any wounds,
conditions of clothing, and surrounding property as well as diaries or
notes left hidden in a bank vault security box. Notices any stains
found upon the person or clothing and note these things for the
In the next
section Suicide or Murder Part 2 we will discuss ballistics and Shooting
Deaths. Further you will study how one may leave a room with a body in
it where to all investigators the exits appear to be locked from the
inside could have been escape routes from a fleeing Murderer.
“Every man of courage
is a man of his word”.
by Dr. Scott David Neff Chiropractic Orthopedist, MSOM, MPS-BT, CFE,
DABFE © TEXTBOOK FOR FORENSIC CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS