True CSI

Continuing on Five this week is the documentary series that shows how forensic science is used to solve real-life crimes. This week’s edition looks at the 1974 murder of a young Michigan art student. For 20 years the case lay cold, but with advances in forensic science making it possible to reassess the evidence, investigators grew closer to identifying the killer.

On June 14th, 1974, Cheryl Miller’s roommate returned home after a night of partying to find the 21-year-old lying dead in her own bedroom. When police arrived, they concluded that Miller had been the victim of strangulation and sexual assault. Using a microscope, forensic experts looked at a semen sample and informed police that because there was no sperm present, the assailant was sterile. “That was the extent of the analysis that was possible,” reflects forensic scientist Richard Bisbing. Other pieces of trace evidence were also passed on to Bisbing, including head, eyebrow and pubic hair. It was dark black hair that probably belonged to an Asian, Mediterranean or Hispanic man.

Following up this lead, Detective Thomas Reeder turned his attention to Miller’s social circle. The initial suspect was a former boyfriend of Miller’s, Abbass Esfehani. Suspicions of his guilt skyrocketed when it transpired that he had recently skipped the country and flown back to his native Iran. Luckily for investigators, he had left something behind in his apartment – a brush containing hairs that matched those found on Miller’s body. But as Reeder recalls, this evidence was only circumstantial. It was necessary to obtain a hair sample from Esfehani himself. When a specimen was obtained, the results were disappointing – comparative analysis did not produce a match.

Although Miller had been involved with many men, who were all questioned, there were no solid leads. But one name kept coming up again and again – Gabriel Ferris. Being blonde, Ferris did not fit the profile, but he had been close to Miller, and the two had had many sexual encounters. Ferris had a rock-solid alibi – on the night of the murder, he had been on his honeymoon. His wife, Terry Fick, confirmed his story. However, Ferris took an active interest in the investigation, often calling Reeder to ask whether he was any closer to finding the man who had killed his good friend.

In 1984, Reeder resigned from the police force having failed to find the murderer. It was not until 1994 that cold-case expert Roy Walton reopened the investigation. A random run of the automated fingerprint identification system had thrown up a match to some of the prints found at the Miller crime scene. The owner of the prints was quickly discounted as a suspect, but Walton decided to reassess other evidence. When reinterviewing Fick, Walton’s efforts paid off – her story had changed. She admitted to waking up on the night of the murder to find Ferris gone. With enough evidence to arrest Ferris, the case finally made it to court.

But Ferris’s attorney, David Moran, was distressed at the trail of circumstantial evidence and half-baked conclusions. “It was an extraordinary case,” he says. “It just made no sense on so many levels, that right away some of the red flags started to go up.” Digging up the old forensic evidence, Moran insisted that Ferris be given a fertility test. If he was not sterile, his name would be cleared. Indeed, Ferris’s results showed that he was not sterile and consequently the charges were dropped. But when the quality of the 1970s forensics methods came into question, an alarming new theory was formulated – with Ferris as the number-one suspect once more.

Continuing on Five this week is the documentary series that shows how forensic science is used to solve real-life crimes. This week’s edition looks at the 1969 murder of a trainee nurse in a small Canadian city. The young man who was convicted of the crime later became the focus of a campaign to clear his name, when new forensic techniques threw doubt on his guilt.

In January 1969, the Canadian city of Saskatoon was rocked by the murder of 20-year-old nursing assistant Gail Miller. On a bitterly cold morning, Miller’s body was found partially naked in the snow. She had been stabbed over a dozen times and raped. Police discovered a knife blade nearby but fingerprints could not be extracted.

The Miller case was the latest in a series of disturbing crimes, including a string of sexual assaults. Police believed that Miller’s assault bore similarities to the other rape cases, but inquiries yielded few leads. “They did a lot of groundwork, footwork, [but] they really didn’t have a lot to go on – they had no suspect,” says investigative journalist Peter Carlyle-Gordge.

All of this changed when a local teenager named Albert Codrain told police he believed his friend David Milgaard might be the killer. Milgaard, from nearby Regina, had arrived in town on the morning of the murder with two friends and had tried to enlist Codrain in a road trip. Codrain recalled seeing a blood-like stain on Milgaard’s trousers and reported that his friend seemed keen to get out of town in a hurry.

Police traced Milgaard’s travelling companions and soon elicited statements pointing to his guilt – one of his friends went so far as to say she saw Milgaard attack Miller. In short order, Milgaard was arrested, tried and convicted of the crime – despite his claims of innocence. In the ten years that followed, Milgaard’s various appeals fell on deaf ears, culminating in an escape attempt in 1980 that saw him go on the run for two months.

After Milgaard was recaptured, his mother, Joyce, launched a new effort to clear his name, enlisting the help of top lawyer Hersh Wolch. “Joyce was very businesslike,” Wolch recalls. “It was on merit that she wanted her son’s case looked at, not on emotion.” Wolch turned the case over to his colleague David Asper, who soon found discrepancies in the way the investigation was handled. “It struck me early on that nothing about this case made any sense,” he says.

Asper was surprised to discover that the physical evidence of the crime remained in storage, which meant that forensic experts could apply new techniques to the case unavailable at the time. In 1989, scientists re-tested Miller’s clothes and, although they could not extract DNA, they found clues that the killer was most likely right-handed and short – unlike Milgaard. Asper, meanwhile, was suspicious about Milgaard’s friends’ testimonies. Why did they point the finger at their friend? Asper hired private investigator Paul Henderson to track down Ron Wilson, one of the original witnesses. “Wilson told me, in essence, that police told him if he didn’t co-operate with them, they were gonna pin this case on him and he was gonna go down with David Milgaard,” Henderson says. The investigator also learned that Albert Codrain was severely mentally ill and his testimony against Milgaard should never have been allowed.

Further doubts about Milgaard’s guilt centred around the fact that police believed Miller’s killer and the rapist who had been terrorising the town were one and the same person. Yet Milgaard was an out-of-towner and could not have been in Saskatoon when those rapes occurred.

However, one major stumbling block remained. If Milgaard was not the murderer, who was? The lawyers had a breakthrough when they received an anonymous tip as to the identity of the culprit. With the help of modern DNA profiling, they were able to piece together a shocking story of coincidence and misfortune that had seen an innocent man spend 20 years in jail…

Continuing on Five this week is the documentary series that shows how forensic science is used to solve real-life crimes. This week’s edition follows the investigation into the cold-blooded murder and ritualistic mutilation of a pensioner in the small Welsh village of Llanfairpwll. As slivers of evidence were painstakingly collected, police called on profilers and forensic experts in the hopes of zeroing in on the killer.

On November 25th 2001, local police were called to the home of Mabel Leyshon when a delivery person was concerned that the 90-year-old had not answered her door. They discovered a broken window, and in the living room, Mabel’s body was found lying on a chair. On arriving at the scene, pathologist Dr Brian Rodgers noticed two fire pokers lying in a cross shape beside the body. But the most unsettling discovery was that Mabel’s chest had been sliced open and her heart removed. Nearby, there was a saucepan containing blood. Rodgers concluded that Mabel had been “laid out after death and mutilated”.

While it was clear that the killer had performed some kind of sacrificial rite, the lack of DNA left at the scene baffled investigators. No foreign fingerprints were found and only a smudge of blood was discovered on the window sill. “When you walk into a murder scene, you expect to find blood everywhere. There was none, apart from on the body itself,” said Officer Allison Hughes. The only other clue found was a shoeprint on a mossy piece of slate beside the broken window.

On analysis, the blood sample yielded a useful result – the DNA was male and obviously belonged to the killer. Clues from the autopsy – including the gruesome detail that the entire body had been drained of blood – helped flesh out a criminal profile. Experts suggested that the killer would have most likely suffered from delusions and probably lived alone or with his parents.

While police went about testing the DNA of every local male who matched this profile, Detective Dewi Jones investigated the shoeprint. The moss on the piece of slate had grown over time, which meant that the quailty of the print had been enhanced. Jones examined thousands of shoe soles. “I was even looking at shoes when I was out socialising,” he said. Eventually, a match to a very rare brand and design was found. However, the lead went cold when none of the owners of the shoes had a DNA match to the blood sample.

Meanwhile, another clue had surfaced. A lip mark was found on the bloody saucepan, which suggested only one thing – that the killer drank Mabel’s blood after she died. The police now had a clearer picture of what they were dealing with. As outlandish rumours were circulating around the small village, investigators decided it was time to go public with the true details of the case. After a television appeal by the police, a young art student came forward with a startling story. A few months earlier, he had heard a male student admit to having fantasised about being a vampire. Behaving aggressively, he had asked a girl to bite him on the neck.

Seizing this new information, the police tracked down the boy in question, 17-year-old Matthew Hardman. Apart from being outside the age range suggested by the criminal profiler, Matthew seemed to fit the bill. He lived at home with his parents, only 100 yards from Mabel’s house. His paintings were violent and his bookshelf was full of vampire novels. But was this well-mannered young man really capable of such a hideous crime? As police attempted to pull enough threads together for an arrest, the community continued to hold its breath for fear that the killer would strike again.

Continuing on Five this week is the documentary series that shows how forensic science is used to solve real-life crimes. This week’s edition follows the investigation into the murders of three members of the same family. Suspicion soon fell on the two people who found the bodies – the family’s son and his best friend – and police launched an audacious undercover sting to trap them.

In July 1994, police in Bellevue, near Seattle, responded to a 911 call reporting the deaths of three members of the Rafay family. Officers arrived to discover a nightmarish crime scene. The bodies of Sultana and Tariq Rafay and their daughter, Basma, were lying in three different rooms. Tariq was found on his bed, surrounded by vast quantities of blood from a head wound. “It was a huge, bloody mess,” recalls officer Jim Kowalczyk.

The bodies were found by Tariq’s son, Atif Rafay, and his best friend, Sebastian Burns, after returning from a night out. As police officers inspected the scene, they noticed that one of the rooms had been ransacked, suggesting the motive was burglary. They also found evidence the family had been killed with a baseball bat, while blood spatter residue indicated that two assailants were involved. Police gained further insight into the cold-blooded nature of the crime when they realised at least one of the killers had used the shower to wash himself after committing the deed.

Police knew that Tariq Rafay, a devout Muslim, had created enemies with his controversial views on Islam, and they toyed with the idea that his murder was a professional hit. However, this was dispelled when autopsy reports revealed he had been beaten 15 times in what prosecutor James Konat describes as a “savage fury”. In his opinion, the killer’s act “smacks of someone who had a very personal vendetta against him”.

The detectives’ first move was to rule out the two young men who discovered the bodies by checking their alibi. Police soon found it curious that Atif and Sebastian were remembered in every place they had visited – as if they had wanted to draw attention to themselves. “All these places, these people all remember them, which is, in itself, somewhat unusual,” says Detective Robert Thompson. Police suspicions were further aroused by Sebastian’s unemotional demeanour and the pair’s failure to attend the family’s funeral. When detectives learned the suspects had returned to their flat in Vancouver, they had no choice but to follow them across the border.

However, Atif and Sebastian refused to answer any more questions and called in their lawyers. Police then turned up the surprising information that the pair were trying to make a film, the plot of which concerned two friends being charged with a murder. This movie would require a lot of money to make, and Atif was already profiting from the death of his family by claiming his inheritance and cashing in on life-insurance policies. Was money, therefore, the motive for the crime?

Despite these suspicions, police were still unable to tie the pair to the crime scene. They turned to forensic science to build a case, and called on the help of Canadian police to acquire a DNA sample from Sebastian – which was quickly matched to that of hairs found in the shower at the Rafay house. “It’s not like it’s him standing there with a smoking gun,” says Thompson, “but to me it’s critical that his hairs are there and no one else’s hairs are.”

But investigators needed to go beyond circumstantial evidence and gain a confession from the suspects. To this end, Canadian police mounted an audacious undercover operation. Close surveillance of Atif and Sebastian had revealed them to be in thrall to criminals and a life of crime. Undercover police played on this weakness by posing as gangsters and inviting the pair to join in their lifestyle. As the suspects grew close to the undercover officers, they were encouraged to reveal their secrets – unaware their every move was being recorded…

Continuing on Five this week is the documentary series that shows how forensic science is used to solve real-life crimes. This week’s edition examines the murder of Betty Jeanne Solomon, who was found shot dead at her home in Greenburgh, New York. Police initially suspected her unfaithful husband – but soon realised that the case was not as straightforward as it seemed.

On January 15, 1989, Greenburgh police received a 911 call from Paul Solomon. He explained that he had just found his wife, Betty Jeanne, dead in their living room. Detective Richard Constantino, attending his first big case as lead detective, arrived at the scene with fellow detective Kevin Morgan.

They were surprised to discover that nobody had heard gunfire or screaming, despite the fact that Betty Jeanne had been shot nine times. Paul Solomon told the police that he had been out bowling from 6.30 to 11.30, and discovered his wife’s body upon his return. As the last person to see Betty Jeanne alive, Solomon was the detectives’ main suspect – but a search for evidence came up with little to support their theory.

Solomon was questioned at the police station, where the detectives got the sense that he was hiding something from them. They were right: he soon confessed that he had actually been at a bar, meeting his girlfriend, Carolyn Wurmas. This new development was crucial, as it meant that Paul Solomon had a clear motive for killing his wife. When Carolyn Wurmas was brought in for questioning, she said that she had been at the bar with Solomon from 7.45pm to 11.00pm. Could Paul Solomon have killed his wife before going to meet Wurmas?

Constantino’s theory that Solomon was the killer gathered momentum when it transpired that a 911 call had been made from the house at around 7.15, when a woman’s voice had screamed that someone was trying to kill her. Constantino put Solomon under surveillance to get more concrete evidence that he was their man, but came up with nothing.

When it emerged that Betty Jeanne had also been having an affair, the police wondered if her long-term lover could have turned on her. However, someone else entered the picture when the detectives spotted Carolyn Wurmas at Betty Jeanne’s funeral. Her presence there seemed more than a little strange to the detectives: “Left a bad taste in my mouth, morally,” recalls Constantino.

The detectives began to suspect that Carolyn Wurmas had killed Betty Jeanne to get her rival out of the way, but they were told she would only speak through her newly hired lawyer. “I believed, at this point, that she might be hiding something,” remembers Constantino. It transpired that Wurmas had become enmeshed in the Solomon family, making friends with their teenage daughter, and had a history of erratic behaviour regarding previous lovers. When Solomon began dating another woman some months after his wife’s death, Wurmas reacted by following the holidaying couple to Puerto Rico. She then phoned the woman’s mother posing as a detective, and warned her that Solomon had killed his wife.

The police learned about the call and became convinced them that Wurmas was the killer: she had revealed information about the crime which was never released to the public. But how could they prove it? The evidence against her was stacking up, including proof that she had been in touch with a private investigator who confessed to selling her a gun and silencer – but Constantino needed to find conclusive, forensic proof that she had been at the scene of the crime.

When Constantino re-examined the crime scene photographs, he realised that a glove that had been at the scene was now missing. Could this be the evidence they needed to put Carolyn Wurmas in prison?

Continuing on Five this week is the documentary
series that shows how forensic science is used to
solve real-life crimes. This week’s edition
reconstructs the investigation into the murder of a
man at an Ohio gas station. The case quickly
revealed a web of secrets and lies connected to
one of the community’s richest families.
In June 2001, the city of Akron, Ohio was shaken
by the slaying of Jeffrey Zack at a gas station.
Zack was killed by a motorcyclist who pulled up
alongside him at the forecourt, shot him in the head and drove off. After viewing the scene, detectives discounted the idea that this was a road-rage incident. “It looked to us like someone had intentionally killed the victim,” recalls
Detective Vince Felber. “Maybe this was planned.” CCTV footage and eyewitnesses were unable to shed much light on the identity of the killer, who hid his face behind a black helmet, and there were few clues at the scene. Detectives began to look into Zack’s background, and were intrigued to learn that he had received a threatening answer phone message days before. Even more shocking, Zack had once told his son that if anything untoward were to happen to him, he should look to a man named Ed George.
The George family name was well known around the town. “They were a very prominent family, very wealthy, very well to do. That was something that piqued our interest,” says Felber.
The connection between the Georges and the murder victim became apparent when Zack’s widow revealed that he had been conducting an affair with Ed George’s wife, Cindy, for the last ten years. The affair had recently ended in acrimony, and Zack had struggled to accept it was over. The revelation shattered local perceptions of Mrs George as a perfect wife and mother. When detectives went to question her, they were surprised to find her agitated and evasive. The Georges refused to co-operate with police and hired a team of lawyers to fend off their inquiries. Friends and associates of the family also declined to talk – all except for the Georges’ nanny. She came forward to report that Zack and Cindy had conducted their affair openly, and even claimed that the Georges’ youngest daughter was fathered by Zack. Police already suspected this to be the case, and the claim was confirmed when they conducted a paternity test on the child. The relationship between Zack and Cindy had soured as Zack turned violent and threatened to kidnap their child. Everything suggested that the Georges – individually or as a couple – had sufficient motive to kill him. But without further evidence, no charges could be brought. “We didn’t have enough to say Ed George was a suspect, we didn’t have enough to say Cindy George was a suspect,” says Detective Dave Whiddon.
The case did not advance until almost a year later, when a woman named Christine Todaro came forward to say that she believed her exhusband, John Zaffino, was Zack’s killer. Todaro identified Zaffino’s voice on the answer phone and stunned investigators with the news that he too had been seeing Cindy for almost a year before Zack died. Did Cindy use Zaffino to get rid of a lover who had turned violent and threatening? Todaro agreed to meet her ex while wearing a microphone, but Zaffino stopped short of confessing. “He never said, ‘I did it’, but what he did say was, ‘don’t talk about it, the police are listening’. He was extremely paranoid,” recalls Felber. Police soon uncovered numerous links between Zaffino and Cindy, including bank statements that indicated she paid for the motorcycle ridden by the shooter. They also found evidence that the pair had tried to lure Zack to a secluded spot in a park weeks earlier, in a failed attempt to kill him. Zaffino was found guilty of murder, but prosecutors were determined to convict Cindy for her role in the crime. Could they gather enough evidence to put her behind bars?

Continuing on Five this week is the documentary
series that shows how forensic science is used to
solve real-life crimes. This week’s instalment
focuses on the case of Mark Winger, who called
911 to report that he had shot dead an intruder
who was attacking his wife, Donnah. Police
closed the case the next day, but was the matter
truly resolved?

On August 29, 1995, detectives Charlie Cox and
Doug Williamson were called to the home of Mike
Winger in Springfield, Illinois. When they reached
the house, they were greeted with a chaotic, bloodsoaked
crime scene. Mark’s wife, Donnah, had
been attacked with a hammer, and her apparent
assailant was lying near her with two bullet holes in
his head. Both Donnah and the man would later die
in hospital, but while paramedics desperately
attempted to keep them alive at the scene, Cox
and Williamson talked to Donnah’s distraught husband to find out what had happened.
Winger told the detectives that he had been working out in the basement when he heard a loud noise upstairs. After finding that their baby daughter had been left alone, Winger said he went in search of his wife and found a stranger striking her in the head with a hammer. Mark felled the man with two gunshots to the head, and called 911.
It soon emerged that this man was no random assailant. According to Winger, Roger Harrington had been harrassing the family all week. An
employee of a local car service, Harrington had recently driven Donnah home from the airport, and had frightened her by driving too fast while ranting about a ‘demon’ who told him what to do. Furious
to hear about his wife’s ordeal, Winger had called the company and got Harrington fired.
The evidence seemed to suggest that Harrington had come to the house to confront Winger about losing his job and had attacked Donnah in a rage.
His car was outside the house, and contained several items that could have been used as weapons. He was also known to have displayed violent tendencies in the past.
However, even though the evidence seemed to line up with Winger’s version of events, some troubling elements remained. “There were still things that bothered us,” remembers Cox. “But not enough to warrant leaving the case open.”
Williamson was even more disturbed, recalling Winger’s suspiciously dry-eyed ‘crying’ during their questioning and wondering why he had not asked to be taken to see his wife in hospital when told she was still alive.
Another red flag for Williamson was the way that Winger had insisted on having a drink fetched from the fridge while he was being questioned. To the detective, it was clear that Winger had done this to point the police towards a written account of Donnah’s cab journey with Harrington, which was taped to the fridge, thus making them aware of Harrington’s apparent motive for being at the house. Williamson’s doubts were not enough to keep the case open, however, and it was swiftly closed. Roger Harrington was on record as a psychopathic killer, and Mark Winger was hailed as a hero who tried to save his wife’s life.
However, the story was not over. Several weeks later, Winger called Cox in search of information on the case; and, some time after that, requested his gun back. These odd events finally persuaded Cox to agree with Williamson: it was time to reopen the case – but they still had no hard evidence to support their instinct that something was not right.
Three years later, Cox attended a conference on blood spatter analysis, and wondered if this new, emerging forensic science could help them find out what really happened. But when the detectives went back to the evidence to have it analysed, they discovered that it had all been signed out by Winger’s lawyer: he was suing Harrington’s car service for millions of dollars.
Mark Winger’s story was starting to crumble in the face of shocking fresh evidence, including the testimony of a new witness. Were Cox and Williamson about to finally uncover the truth?

Returning to Five this week is the documentary
series that shows how forensic science is used to
solve real-life crimes. The first episode probes the
shocking murder of the wife and children of a
former state trooper. All the evidence suggested
the ex-policeman was to blame and he was
convicted of the crime – only for new clues to
emerge that indicated a second man was involved.
In September 2000, state police in Albany,
Indiana, were confronted with a most disturbing
crime scene when they responded to a 911 call
from David Camm, a former member of the force.
Camm claimed to have found the bodies of his
wife, Kim, and two children, Brad and Jill – shot
dead in the SUV in their garage. Kim was partially
undressed, suggesting she had been the victim of
a sexual assault, while her shoes had been placed
neatly on the car roof.
“It was a horrific crime – senseless, brutal,”
recalls investigator Wayne Kessinger. Officers
were initially at a loss to explain the motive. The
absence of a gun ruled out suicide, while there
were no missing items to indicate it was a robbery
and no signs of a break-in. In the absence of other
leads, police began to study their former
colleague’s story more closely.
Camm was playing basketball with friends on
the evening of the murders, only to return home
and discover the crime. Initially believing his son
was alive, he removed his body from the car and
laid him on the garage floor. Yet the scene was
suspiciously clean, prompting Camm to claim he
had taken care not to disturb the evidence.
Officers found it hard to believe that a man in
shock attempting to save his son’s life would be
so careful. Moreover, there was not enough blood
on Camm’s clothes to support his claim that he
had moved the boy.
As detectives probed further, they learnt that
Camm had been engaged in numerous affairs,
and, most shocking of all, autopsies suggested
that it was Jill and not Kim who had been the
victim of a sexual assault. Did Camm abuse his
own daughter? Confronted with news of Jill’s
assault, Camm did not appear to be too
surprised. “I thought that was a little odd,” recalls
investigator Sam Salisian. “If someone had told
me that, I would have been very upset.” Officers
speculated that his wife had been about to
expose him – thus giving him a motive. But the
most crucial evidence came when experts found
blood spatter on his clothes that could only be
explained if Camm were the shooter.
At the trial, the prosecution combined damning
forensic proof with a picture of the defendant as a
serial adulterer who most likely molested his own daughter. Camm’s lawyers succeeded in proving
that the murders occurred two hours earlier,
when Camm was seen playing basketball – but it
was not enough to stop him being convicted.
Three years later, however, a new defence team
launched an appeal based on fresh evidence
including unidentified DNA in the garage. “There
is forensic evidence that there was someone else
at the scene that night,” explains lawyer
Katherine Liell. The DNA was found to be that of
ex-con Charles Darnell Boney, who had a history
of violence towards women and – most tellingly –
a fetish for women’s shoes. When a palm print on
the Camms’ SUV matched to Boney, it seemed
investigators had at last discovered who placed
Kim’s shoes on the car roof.
Boney admitted to supplying Camm with a gun
but insisted that the ex-cop carried out the
murders. As Boney continued to change his
story, the charges against Camm were dropped
and he walked free – only to be arrested again an
hour later. Investigators now believed that he
worked in league with Boney, and two separate
trials attempted to establish the truth. Boney was
eventually found guilty of murder – yet
prosecutors persisted with their case against
Camm. Could they find him guilty a second time?

Returning to Five this week is the documentary
series that shows how forensic science is used to
solve real-life crimes. The first episode probes the
shocking murder of the wife and children of a
former state trooper. All the evidence suggested
the ex-policeman was to blame and he was
convicted of the crime – only for new clues to
emerge that indicated a second man was involved.
In September 2000, state police in Albany,
Indiana, were confronted with a most disturbing
crime scene when they responded to a 911 call
from David Camm, a former member of the force.
Camm claimed to have found the bodies of his
wife, Kim, and two children, Brad and Jill – shot
dead in the SUV in their garage. Kim was partially
undressed, suggesting she had been the victim of
a sexual assault, while her shoes had been placed
neatly on the car roof.
“It was a horrific crime – senseless, brutal,”
recalls investigator Wayne Kessinger. Officers were initially at a loss to explain the motive. The absence of a gun ruled out suicide, while there were no missing items to indicate it was a robbery and no signs of a break-in. In the absence of other leads, police began to study their former colleague’s story more closely. Camm was playing basketball with friends on the evening of the murders, only to return home and discover the crime. Initially believing his son was alive, he removed his body from the car and laid him on the garage floor. Yet the scene was suspiciously clean, prompting Camm to claim he had taken care not to disturb the evidence. Officers found it hard to believe that a man in shock attempting to save his son’s life would be so careful. Moreover, there was not enough blood on Camm’s clothes to support his claim that he had moved the boy.
As detectives probed further, they learnt that Camm had been engaged in numerous affairs, and, most shocking of all, autopsies suggested that it was Jill and not Kim who had been the victim of a sexual assault. Did Camm abuse his own daughter? Confronted with news of Jill’s assault, Camm did not appear to be too surprised. “I thought that was a little odd,” recalls investigator Sam Salisian. “If someone had told me that, I would have been very upset.” Officers speculated that his wife had been about to expose him – thus giving him a motive. But the most crucial evidence came when experts found
blood spatter on his clothes that could only be explained if Camm were the shooter.
At the trial, the prosecution combined damning forensic proof with a picture of the defendant as a serial adulterer who most likely molested his own daughter. Camm’s lawyers succeeded in proving that the murders occurred two hours earlier, when Camm was seen playing basketball – but it was not enough to stop him being convicted.
Three years later, however, a new defence team launched an appeal based on fresh evidence including unidentified DNA in the garage. “There is forensic evidence that there was someone else
at the scene that night,” explains lawyer Katherine Liell. The DNA was found to be that of ex-con Charles Darnell Boney, who had a history of violence towards women and – most tellingly – a fetish for women’s shoes. When a palm print on the Camms’ SUV matched to Boney, it seemed investigators had at last discovered who placed Kim’s shoes on the car roof. Boney admitted to supplying Camm with a gun but insisted that the ex-cop carried out the murders. As Boney continued to change his story, the charges against Camm were dropped and he walked free – only to be arrested again an hour later. Investigators now believed that he worked in league with Boney, and two separate trials attempted to establish the truth. Boney was eventually found guilty of murder – yet prosecutors persisted with their case against Camm. Could they find him guilty a second time?

Returning to Five is the series that shows how
ground-breaking forensic techniques and cuttingedge
technology are used to solve real-life
homicide investigations.
The first episode in the new run probes the
shocking murder of the wife and children of an expoliceman.
State police in Albany, Indiana, were
confronted with a most disturbing crime scene
when they responded to a 911 call from David
Camm, a former member of the force. Inside
Camm’s garage they found the bodies of his wife
and two children, shot dead in their SUV. Although
the car was a bloody mess, the rest of garage was
suspiciously clean and smelled of bleach.
Bizarrely, Camm’s wife’s shoes were placed neatly
on the roof of the vehicle.
To the veteran officers, the scene looked
staged, and Camm became the prime suspect.
The former cop claimed to have an airtight alibi –
he was playing basketball with friends at the time
of the murders. Nonetheless, police managed to
find enough contradictory evidence to see him
convicted of the murders.
However, the conviction was eventually
overturned when new forensic evidence surfaced,
including foreign DNA and an unidentified
handprint. Career criminal Charles Boney – who
happens to have a fetish for women’s shoes – is
implicated. But did he act alone or was he in
cahoots with Camm? Only cold, hard forensic
evidence can provide the answers.

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