Sum it Up #25

It has been a while since I did a “Sum it Up” post. They will still be numbered but will not appear weekly anymore.

I have received many questions from DCC readers and others about Elizabeth Short’s case (the Black Dahlia). Because of the slow down during the summer months, I have decided to keep collecting questions until the end of July/early August. I will then make a post in which all the questions will be listed. That post then goes to Steve Hodel and he graciously agreed to answer all questions without ever setting a limit. I look forward to his answers!

The Barrister Magazine has a very interesting article about forensic entomology. Entomology is of course the study of insects and other arthropods.

This article explains its use in criminal investigations and how it may be of benefit to barristers, both prosecution and defence, when building their cases.  A common application of forensic entomology is in the estimation of time since death (post-mortem interval or PMI): two to three days after death of a human, it can be difficult to estimate the PMI by standard pathological techniques.  However, entomology can assist in determining minimum PMI both within and beyond these first few days and thus indicate a time frame of death which may help to implicate or exonerate a defendant.” The article explains how this is all done, what insects they are looking for, and what can be expected in court. A fascinating read!

Australia is the spotlight again. A third inquest will be held in one of Queensland’s most mysterious cold case: Julie-Anne Leahy, 27, and her friend  Vicki Arnold, 26, were found dead in a car 15 days after the pair had gone  missing in Atherton in 1991. Police remain steadfast that this was a case of murder-suicide but the families disagree. They wish for the case to be re-examined and for forensic analysis conducted on the remaining evidence. A further pre-inquest conference will be held in Brisbane in  September, 2011. This is one inquest to watch since key evidence has been destroyed and a witness crucial to the case, has passed away.

In Kentucky, Claude Russell turned himself in for the cold case murder of Chantell Humphries on June 24th, 2002. Chantell was found shot to death in a field near Wallonia Road in rural Trigg County. Russell is charged with capital murder and is awaiting trial.

My friend Aaron Paul Lazar has a new book out that I am dying to read! Healey’s Cave is the story about Sam Moore’s little brother Billy who vanished fifty years ago. No body was ever found. No leads, no sightings, no ransom notes, nothing. What is present is an overload of guilt on Sam’s side since he failed to accompany Billy on his final, fateful bike ride. My next read that will possibly keep me up all night. I will let you know soon. By the way, you can follow Aaron on Twitter.

I hope you are enjoying the summer months. Our next #cclivechat on Twitter will be on August 5th in which the case of Suzie Lamplugh will be explored. The cold case chat after that will be on September 2nd.



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