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