Sunday, August 30, 2009

Slaying details of Oklahoma City pastor shocking


ANADARKO — Police found the mutilated body of the Rev. Carol Daniels in a "crucifix position” behind her church altar last Sunday, The Oklahoman learned from sources close to the investigation.

Sources confirmed that Daniels’ bloodied corpse appeared to have been left in the form of a cross with both arms outstretched to the sides. Sources also said investigators were disturbed by two other facts at the crime scene:

• The killer took Daniels’ clothes, perhaps to hide evidence or as a grisly trophy.

• The killer methodically took time to spray a dissolving chemical around the body in an apparent effort to destroy any DNA evidence.

Police found Daniels’ nude body at 12:09 p.m. after being notified by an elderly couple who found the Christ Holy Sanctified Church doors locked and the reverend’s vehicle parked in front. A medical examiner’s report obtained through an open records request showed that the killer inflicted deep, gaping wounds to the throat. The wounds nearly decapitated Daniels’ head, said Dr. William Manion, a forensic pathologist in Burlington County, N.J.

Severe lacerations were also found on her left breast, back, stomach and hands — th! e latter a sign that the 61-year-old Oklahoma City woman likely tried to fight her attacker.

Daniels’ hair was also burned.

Brent Turvey, a criminal profiler and private forensic scientist, said the evidence doesn’t appear to indicate a cold-blooded, serial killer.

"This is someone who felt they had been pushed way too far, or wronged by something she had done,” said Turvey, an Oklahoma City University adjunct professor. "They felt like they had to do these things. But this person was in a complete rage — a blind rage.”

Turvey contends a serial killer would have taken one piece of clothing as a trophy, not all of the clothing.

"The taking of the clothes was not done for a trophy, but was rather a practical act,” Turvey said. "The use of a dissolving spray was also a practical act.”

Turvey suspects the position of the body might have been coincidental.

"It’s either one of two things,” Turvey explaine! d. "It could have been deliberate.

They’re in a church; they put her in this position, perhaps a defiant way of saying, ‘Screw you and your God. Look how your God didn’t help you.’

"Or it was not at all deliberate, and her body just fell that way. It’s highly common to find a nude body lying on the ground with their arms outstretched like a cross. In fact, it happens all the time,” he said.

Homicide investigations in Anadarko don’t happen often. Daniels’ death is only the second homicide since January in this Caddo County town of 6,600 residents, and this one has left investigators puzzled.

"We have no suspects,” Capt. Dwaine Miller of the Anadarko Police Department said Thursday. "We have no idea who did this.”

Since Miller’s statement, all authorities have declined comment.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has now requested FBI behavioral science experts to help catch the killer.

"Callin! g in an FBI profiler is a move of utter last resort,” said Turvey, who has worked more than 800 homicides and 30 death penalty cases in 15 years. "That is more about PR than substance.”

Video surveillance retrieved from a nearby convenience store to the north shows Daniels driving up in front of the church on Broadway Street about 10 a.m. On the south side of the church is a back door that opens into a small alley. Investigators removed that back door for potential evidence, leaving a black, plywood board in its place.

The video has since been sent to a lab for enhancement, but it is unknown whether it will reveal anything relevant.

"We had two cameras,” Miller said earlier this week. "One showed Ms. Daniels’ car.

The other camera points in the opposite direction. Had it been angled in a slightly different direction, it would have pointed to the back of that church and right at that alley.”

In the article above, three things:

First, replace the phrase "practical act" with "precautionary act". That's what I actually said.

Second, arms wind up outstretched all the time WHEN the body has been rolled over, dragged, or moved as an artifact of body mechanics. That just needed clarification.

Third, rage applies to the actual crime, not the clean-up. This is also very common: once the anger is gone self-preservation sets in.

Brent E. Turvey, MS

Oklahoma City pastor's autopsy shows neck wounds were fatal


Published: August 29, 2009

ANADARKO — "Brutal and severe” injuries to the neck are what killed the Rev. Carol Daniels, a renowned forensic scientist who reviewed preliminary autopsy reports said Friday.

Multiple other wounds, including mutilation of her left breast, most likely were inflicted postmortem, said Brent Turvey, a private forensic scientist and criminal profiler, and an adjunct professor with Oklahoma City University.

Daniels, the pastor of Christ Holy Sanctified Church in Anadarko, was found dead inside the church shortly before service time Sunday. Authorities said she died of multiple sharp-force injuries.

Neither the state medical examiner’s office nor the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation would comment on the reports obtained by The Oklahoman through an open records request.

Turvey said he doesn’t think the killing was a ritualistic sacrifice by a serial killer.

"I believe there is no motive other than it appears to be an anger-oriented sexual homicide,” Turvey said after reviewing the reports.

"Her hair was burned, and she was found behind the church altar,” he said.

The autopsy diagrams show what appear to be defensive injuries to Daniels’ hands, which Turvey said indicates she was possibly "fending off a knife,” and fighting her attacker.

The medical examiner’s report depicted massive gashes encircling her neck with other major wounds around her left breast area.

Likely a knife attack
Dr. William Manion, a forensic pathologist and deputy medical examiner in Burlington County, N.J., told The Assoc! iated Press on Friday that the medical examiner’s report shows Daniels likely was attacked with a knife and died quickly after her throat was slashed.

"The most fatal injuries are those around her neck,” Manion said. "I would say, based on the fact that both sides of the neck have major wounds associated with them, that she would be nearly decapitated.”

Turvey agrees that the report clearly shows the neck wounds caused her death, but all the other injuries, including the massive chest wounds and gash on her back, were most likely inflicted postmortem.

"That means that after she’s dead, the killer keeps doing things to her,” Turvey said.

Manion, going on previous descriptions that the body was left in an unnatural position, said that posing or staging of a body is extremely rare and usually means the killer wanted to thwart investigators or shock whoever discovered the body.

"It’s something to repel and nauseate people, s! omething very shocking to try and upset people investigating the crime,” Manion said.

The evidence from the autopsy reports and the information released so far show signs of a sexual slaying possibly carried out by someone Daniels knew and who knew her schedule, Turvey said.

OSBI has called in FBI behavioral science experts to help track down the killer, said Jessica Brown, OSBI spokeswoman.

Turvey said he believes agents should stick close to people Daniels knew, including any romantic relationships or possibly someone she was counseling.

The theory that the killer knew Daniels and was enraged is one shared by Manion, "In the case of a robbery ... he’s not going to hang around and keep slashing at her, stabbing her over and over, and take time to stage the body,” he said.

From a forensics standpoint, Turvey said, it seems likely the nudity and the attack on her breast indicate the crime was a sexual homicide.

Turvey said authorities should be careful not to assume the killer is a man, because the crime could have been committed by a female — specifically a jealous woman.

"For example, the burning of the hair,” Turvey said. "That’s something a female might do.”

Contributing: Associated Press

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Criminal Profilers Meet at Grossmont College

The Tenth Annual Meeting of the Academy of Behavioral Profiling (ABP) will be held this year at Grossmont College in El Cajon, California on August 8th & 9th.

"Our first meeting was in Monterey, back in 1999," says Brent Turvey, a forensic scientist and criminal profiler in private practice, as well as the Secretary of the ABP. "We got a lot accomplished in that first year, including uniform terminology, a strong code of ethics and written practice standards. All of these have been published and regularly updated in the textbook Criminal Profiling, in its third edition now, which our more senior practicing members have contributed to over the years."

Since its inception in 1999, the ABP has grown to over 150 international members with diverse professional backgrounds such as forensic psychology, forensic psychiatry, criminal investigations, criminology, and forensic science. They are all bound together by their work in relation to crime, criminals, and forensic examinations.

The upcoming meeting at Grossmont College promises to be among the most important, as changes are coming. "The profiling discipline has matured," explains current ABP President, Dr. Wayne Petherick, a forensic criminologist and professor of criminology at Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia. "There are many different kinds of criminological assessments performed by our members, because the knowledge and skills developed for profiling can be used in other forensic examinations. The ABP is evolving to keep up with those kinds of advancements."

"For our members the annual meeting is a chance for students and professionals to get together, share ideas, and remain current with methods and developments in recent cases," states Michael McGrath, MD, a forensic psychiatrist and past President of the ABP, currently serving as its Ethics Chair. "For the other professionals and even the general public, it is an opportunity to learn about forensic casework from people who are actually doing it and know what they are talking about. There are a lot of misconceptions out there."

The schedule of presentations at this years meeting, which is open to the public, includes lectures on the subjects of forensic criminology, criminal profiling, homicide solvability, motivations of law enforcement offenders, forensic victimology, ethics, and staged crime scenes.

Those interested in attending should visit the ABP's website at, or contact Dr. Stan Crowder at

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Man granted new trial in 1981 slaying of two North Tonawanda students:
Appeals court calls testimony by expert in case ‘quackery’

By Thomas J. Prohaska

The Buffalo News

A man convicted in the slayings of two fellow North Tonawanda High School students in 1981 will get a new trial because testimony by an expert witness in the case amounted to nothing more than “quackery,” a federal appeals court has ruled.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals said Friday that then-Niagara County District Attorney Peter L. Broderick Sr. knew his witness, Richard D. Walter, inflated his credentials and “was committing perjury.”

Among other things, Walter claimed that he “had personal involvement with at least 5,000 to 7,500 cases” at the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

Doing research from prison, Robie J. Drake, the convicted killer, discovered that Walter’s job in Los Angeles was to clean the laboratory.

Walter also said he testified in court as an expert in Los Angeles many times; in fact, he testified once as a technician on a minor point. He also said he was an adjunct lecturer at Northern Michigan University; in fact, the court said, he spoke in a class as the professor’s guest.

More important to Drake’s conviction, Walter offered what the appeals court called “a fictional syndrome of sexual dysfunction” to satisfy Broderick’s desire to offer the jury a motive for Drake, then 17 and also a North Tonawanda senior, to have killed the two victims, who were apparently kissing in a parked car at the time.

Current Niagara County District Attorney Michael J. Violante, who had nothing to do with the 1982 trial, pointed out that Drake confessed to firing a fusillade of rifle shots into the car in which Amy Smith and Stephen Rosenthal died on the night of Dec. 5, 1981. Rosenthal’s rusty 1969 Chevrolet Nova was parked in a factory parking lot next to a junk yard.

“This guy claimed that he thought the car was empty and he was using it for target practice. He shot through the windows and killed two kids,” Violante said.

A Buffalo Evening News account at the time said Smith was shot twice in the head and Rosenthal was shot 16 times. Drake also confessed to stabbing the groaning Rosenthal twice, telling police, “I didn’t mean to kill him or anything.”

He also admitted to trying to dispose of the bodies by driving the car to the nearby Niagara County landfill on Witmer Road in Wheatfield. While he was putting the girl’s body into the trunk, he was caught by two North Tonawanda policemen on routine patrol.

Drake, who was sentenced to two consecutive terms of 25 years to life in prison, has been behind bars ever since.

The federal court said Broderick had plenty of evidence: Drake’s confession and circumstantial evidence of a sex crime against Smith, including autopsy reports of bites on her chest. A second autopsy determined those were inflicted after the girl was dead.

However, the 29-page ruling said things started to go awry when Broderick learned that a test slide from the Erie County medical examiner’s lab, which he was told showed traces of Drake’s semen on Smith’s body, could not be found. The next day, the medical examiner told Broderick the slide had been found but there was no evidence of
semen on it; a pathologist had erred.

Broderick, who retired as a Niagara County judge at the end of 2007, did not return calls seeking comment Monday. In a 2003 deposition cited by the appeals court, Broderick explained: “I had people who caught this defendant in the act of putting a naked girl in the trunk of a car, and all I needed was some reasonable explanation for why this thing happened, and when I lost the sperm evidence a couple of weeks before trial, I was just looking for somebody to give an explanation as to why this happened. Not that I needed to, but I think juries are always interested in knowing why.”

Dr. Lowell Levine, a forensic dentist who found the bite marks on the dead girl, suggested that Broderick call Walter, a prison psychologist in Michigan.

During a 52-minute phone call on Oct. 7, 1982, Broderick and Walter discussed the case. Later, Walter called back and said “picquerism” was involved. He said that was a syndrome in which a perpetrator obtains sexual satisfaction by sniper activity or stab or bite wounds.

The appeals court called this “fictional” and, “medically speaking, nonsense.”

North Tonawanda City Judge William R. Lewis, who was Drake’s lead defense attorney in 1982, said that he thought something was fishy at the time.

“This testimony fit too much like a glove. Everything Robie Drake did seemed to fit this ‘picquerism,’ ” Lewis said Monday.

The defense wasn’t helped by Broderick’s strategy of not telling them he was going to call Walter to the stand until the day before he did so.

“I remember saying in my summation, ‘Who ever heard of picquerism? You can’t even find it in the dictionary,’ ” Lewis said.

The appeals court said Walter’s testimony was a key factor in leading the jury to convict Drake of two counts of intentional murder, and that’s why he should have a new trial.

Drake exhausted all his appeals in state courts before he was able to work his way into the federal courts. U. S. District Judge John Elfvin rejected his appeal, but in 2003 the Second Circuit ordered that an effort be made to find out if Broderick knew Walter was lying.

After depositions by Broderick and Walter, Elfvin ruled Broderick didn’t know Walter was making false statements and that the falsehoods were not material to the jury’s verdict. Wrong and wrong, the appeals court ruled.

Violante said he contacted the families of the victims after the ruling came out Friday.

“They were shocked, as anyone would be,” he said. “I’m shocked that it took 27 or 28 years for the process.”

Brent E.Turvey, MS, also author of Criminal Profiling, 3rd Ed. with Elsevier Science (2008), can be reached at