Dr. Neal Haskell likes bugs. Especially flies.
Like Dr. Arpad Vass, who is Dr. Haskell’s relied-upon colleague, is an expert married to his field. The science of Forensic Entomology is his passion.
He’s been a bug man for nearly five decades he said.
It was a big day for the Prosecution in the State v. Casey Anthony trial. There was important information about bugs, and a great deal of crime scene evidence introduced today. Most importantly, the prosecution appears to be leading up to the release of the heart sticker evidence.
The testimony of Dr. Haskell brought home the reality regarding the length of time Caylee spent in the car versus the woods.
According to Dr. Haskell and the kinds of bugs found at the grave site, the body of Caylee Marie could only have been in the trunk of the Pontiac Sunfire for a couple of days before it was removed (and placed in the woods off of Suburban Drive).
Casey Anthony kept a trash bag full of garbage in the trunk of her car – seemingly to cover up the smell from Caylee’s body decomposing. Paper towels, found in that trash bag, among the garbage, were full of the kinds of pupae, and larva found in the early stages of decomposition.
Therefore, says Dr. Haskell, this is indicative of “someone” using the paper towels to clean up the fluid that resulted from the early decomposition process.
It is incredibly difficult to imagine a mother cleaning up the fluidly result of her own daughter’s decomposition.
It is sickening.
I found a very interesting article about the work of Dr. Haskell in the NY Times, written by Elizabeth Svoboda. This article describes how a case was solved as a result of the findings of Dr. Haskell.
This May 11, 2009 New York Times article is about a daughter killing her mother (excerpt below), and is entitled The Truth, Revealed by Bugs: The Case of Brookey Lee West
Dr. Haskell determined that blow flies, insects that usually appear on corpses right after death, were nowhere to be seen on Ms. Smith’s body. Instead, most of the larvae Dr. Haskell found came from scuttle flies, or “coffin flies,” insects that cannibalize dead bodies after they have undergone initial decomposition. “We knew it was a long time since Mom had been seen, and I thought, ‘If we have the blow flies, we can tell what season she went missing,’ ” Dr. Haskell said. “When I got the insect specimens, I was really disappointed.”
But then Dr. Haskell realized the significance of the blow flies’ absence: Ms. Smith had to have been put into the garbage can either directly after she died or while she was still alive, barring the blow flies’ access to the corpse. (Coffin flies, on the other hand, could have gotten to the body because they often tunnel through tiny nooks and crannies.) “That showed me that West had to have lied about what she did with her mother,” Dr. Haskell said. After only two hours of deliberation, a jury pronounced Ms. West guilty of her mother’s murder. Ms. West is serving a life sentence at a prison in southern Nevada.
Henkel Duct Tape
There was discussion of the Henkel Duct tape today. The Anthony home was searched on December 11, 2008, the same day Caylee Anthony’s remains were discovered by Roy Kronk, the Meter Reader.
Ronald Murdock, a forensic supervisor with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, was on the stand today. Mr. Murdock collected the gas can, and photographed a sheet of heart stickers, similar to the heart-shaped sticker that was found near Caylee’s remains.
Also today, Jose Baez mentioned “pavers” during one of his cross examinations. This got me thinking about the defense theory, and an a-ha moment (about the defense plan) came to me, which I will discuss in a moment.
Testimony from Robert Murdock also told us that the roll of unique Henkel duct tape was not discovered during that December 11th search of the Anthony home. The only remnant of duct tape found in the home was on the old red gas can found in one of the Anthony’s sheds.
The Defense, of course, would like us to believe that Casey Anthony did not have access to that tape. Baez did not say it, but he will say George had possession of the duct tape, therefore he placed the duct tape on Caylee.
It is clear the defense is going to put the tape in George Anthony’s hands. In fact, there are photos of the tape used at the Caylee search command center.
Poor George Anthony, little did he know that the tape he used to put up signs at the Caylee search command center, would become the tape that the defense would like to use against him.
Remember when Baez said in his (bizarre) opening statement, “Follow the duct tape”?
There is every reason to believe this is what Baez means – Follow the duct tape because it will land in the hands of George Anthony.
The Cement Pavers
Jose Baez mentioned the word “pavers” today when questioning a witness about a close-up picture at the site where the remains were found. Why? Is he dropping hints now?
I think so.
I am speculating, but I predict that another theory of the defense is going to revolve around the cement pavers found on Suburban Drive, around the vicinity of the remains.
Remember when, before the remains were found, Dominic Casey, on two separate occasions, went peeking around those woods for something? Jim Hoover, Private Investigator, was there also, video taping Dominic Casey.
Hoover testified that Dominic was looking for tell-tale “pavers,” indicating that he thought the body of Caylee Marie Anthony was in the vicinity of these pavers.
The fact that Hoover and Dominic Casey were so close to where the body was ultimately found, raised a great deal of suspicion in this case. Anger, too.
When John Allen and Yuri Melich found out Dominic Casey was searching this area, they were disturbed that law enforcement was not called.
The speculation at the time? That one of the Anthony’s was at the other end of the line speaking to Dominic, describing to him where to look for the pavers, hence the body.
Many of us following the case speculated that it may have been Lee on the other end of the phone directing Dominic Casey’s movements, though we don’t know for sure.
Will evidence prove that it was George Anthony providing direction to Dominic Casey???
If, in fact, that is true, it fits very nicely into the defense’s theory that George Anthony was the one who placed the body of his beloved Granddaughter into those woods.
In fact on December 11th, or 12th, when Caylee’s body was found, Yuri Melich and John Allen told the Anthony’s where Caylee was discovered. And in an excited utterance, Cindy told the two detectives that it can’t be Caylee because they, the Anthony’s, “had someone search that area already.”
This is total speculation, but what if Dominic Casey says he was not speaking to a Psychic, but was speaking to George Anthony that day?
Could that serve as reasonable doubt, if true?
The 3-D Version of Suburban Drive
The final witness today was a videographer hired by the State to reproduce a 3-D representation of the grave site on Suburban Drive.
The video also included how the bones were distributed in the area, which gave a good representation of how the bones were scattered.
The video was not in the least bit graphic – it was a digitally enhanced computer animation of the area, but Casey Anthony could not look at it.
I wonder why?