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The Victims The Place The Investigation Time it was The CrimeThe Convicted

 

Evidence Findings

These are the evidence findings from the physical evidence as presented in the Crime Laboratory reports.  

FINDINGS:  Lisa Sakevicius May 12, 1993. 
1-Boy all four knots the same. 
Crime lab ID# 5718 [Chris Byers] - ligatures all the same.  Black strings on right side.  White strings on left side. 
Crime lab ID#5716 [Michael Moore] -ligatures on left side are the same and same as 5718.  Black strings on left side.  Black strings on right side. 
Crime lab ID# 5717 [Steve Branch] -All dissimilar to each other and to the other two. 

FINDINGS:  Lisa Sakevicius, GWG notes.  May 13, 1993. 
93-5716 - Moore.  93-5717 Branch.  93-5718 - Byers. 
Byers - All 4 the same + were double half hitches.
Moore - Left wrist left leg square knots.  Right wrist seris of 3 - hitches.
Skin on string of Byers.  Private lab can do. 
Kermite - she will ask advice off.
Has some soil samples. 
Private lab - will do small sample of 5
McKern Isn - Chicago, ILL
*Lisa says skin found in strings possibly cuticule - best chances that this skin is not that of the boys.
*Badge has been found.  - will check for latent prints.
93-05716 LP 1 Box w/ a fingerprint in mud

FINDINGS:  ASCL Lisa Sakevicius, May 24, 1993. 
Two dark brown Caucasian head hairs were recovered from FP5. [Among shaved head hair from wounds from Steve Branch]  The hairs are not consistent with having originated from the same person as the known sample (FP5).  Some microscopic similarities and dissimilarities exist between the two questioned hairs (FP5) and those from E22A.  Examination is inconclusive at this time.  The hair sample received from Damien Echols (E22A) was inadequate in the number of hair submitted and the regions of the scalp sampled.  The laboratory requests an additional sample from Damien Echols in order to conduct a more accurate hair comparison. 

FINDINGS:  ASCL Report, Kermit Channell, June 1, 1993.  (Covers Arkansas Q1 to Q54).
Human blood identified on Q52.  [Shirt, Steve Menard]
Blood, too limited in quantity for further characterization was identified on Q44.  [Knife, Michael Headlee]
Blood, not further characterized was identified on Q1 and Q3.  [Oral swab and smear slides and nasal swab and smear slides, respectively.  Submitted by medical examiner's office.]
No blood was found on any other questioned items. 
Tissue was recovered from Q37 and Q39.  [Knife, Richard Cummings and ligatures, Michael Moore, respectively]
No semen was found on any items.
Samples have been retained.  

FINDINGS:  Gitchell notes, June 23, 1993
Crime lab 227-####
Skin samples @ NC Lab.  Not enough to obtain results.
Small spot (Miskelly-) No sleeves-Gray-T-shirt-Human Blood (Unable to do anything with)  Taken from residence during search.  [Q85, E114 shirt]

FINDINGS.  ASCL Report June 23, 1993.  Human blood, too limited for further characterization, was identified on Q85. [Gray shirt, E114, Misskelley]  No blood found on any other items. (Q55-Q119)

FINDINGS.  ASCL Report June 29, 1993.
 
Reference reports 93-05717 and 93-05718

Examination of the ligatures revealed two (2) pieces of black shoe string; one (1) each tied between the wrist and leg on the right and left side.  The knots on the wrist and leg on the left side were both square knots.  The knot on the wrist on the right side was a series of three (3) half hitches.  The knot on the left on the right side was a series of four (4) half hitches. 

Hair and fiber examinations were conducted on most of the submitted items. 

A single black polyester fiber microscopically similar to those used in the construction of E78 [Black t-shirt, Damien Echols trailer] was recovered from E134 [One knife with a black leather sheath. submitted June 9, 1993].  Also recovered from E134 was a single blue polyester fiber microscopically similar to those used in the construction of E109.  [Blue toilet seat cover, Jason Baldwin house]. 

A single green cotton fiber microscopically similar to those used in the construction of E79 [One blue Muscle Beach T-shirt, Damien Echols trailer, D9] was recovered from E3 [pair blue pants, crime scene].  Two (2) green polyester fibers microscopically similar to those used in the construction on E79 were recovered from E3 and E5 [blue/yellow cub scout cap, crime scene]. 

A single red rayon fiber microscopically similar to those used in the construction of E99 [red house coat, J5, Jason Baldwin's trailer] was recovered from E2 [Black and white shirt with checkered pattern, crime scene]. 

It is pointed out that fibers do not possess a sufficient number of unique individual microscopic characteristics to be positively identified as having originated from a particular person to the exclusions of all others.

A number of hairs were recovered from various items submitted.  Only those deemed of forensic value are mentioned in this report. 

Two (2) brown Caucasian head hair fragments microscopically similar to the hairs in E70a [Pulled head hairs from Damien Echols] and E35a [Pulled head hairs from Tim Dodson] were recovered from FP5 (Case 93-05717) [Among shaved head hair from wounds from Steve Branch.].  Some of the hairs in E70a and E35a were very similar to each other.  The hairs in FP5 (Case 93-05717) were of this type and could have a common origin with either E70a or E35a. 

A dark brown dyed hair of unknown origin was recovered from FP7 (Case 93-05717) [although 5717 refers to Steve Branch, no FP7 is listed from Steve Branch].  A light brown Caucasian hair of unknown origin was recovered from E5.  [blue yellow cub scout cap/crime scene ] LS1 [Hair removed from tree root at the crime scene.] consisted of a brown Caucasian (possible) pubic hair of unknown origin.  Numerous Caucasian hairs of unknown origin were recovered from BR1.  [BR1 is listed as one pair of blue jeans, one black thermal undershirt, one pair of white socks, two "Bic" razors, one plastic bag, and one tan short-sleeved shirt.]  A single Negroid hair fragment was recovered from FP10 (Case 93-05718). [one white sheet, Christopher Byers].  A brown Caucasian (possible) pubic hair fragment of unknown origin was recovered from E134  [One knife with a black leather sheath. submitted June 9, 1993].  Should additional hair standards be submitted, these hairs will be re-examined.

It is possible that hairs not deemed of significant forensic value at the time of this report will become significant upon the submission of additional standards. 

It is pointed out that hairs do not possess a sufficient number of unique individual microscopic characteristics to be positively identified as having originated from a particular person to the exclusions of all others.

The hairs and fibers will be retained in the laboratory pending possible future comparisons.

FINDINGS:  ASCL Trace Evidence, Steve Branch, June 29, 1993.

Reference report 93-05717. 

Examination of the ligatures revealed a black shoe string on the right side tied in three (3) half hitches with an extra loop around the leg to a single half hitch with a figure eight around the right wrist.  The left side consisted of a white shoe string tied in three (3) half hitches around the wrist to three (3) half hitches around the leg. 

No evidence of forensic value was recovered from FP1, FP3, FP4, or FP5.

FINDINGS:  ASCL Trace Evidence, Christopher Byers, June 29, 1993.

Reference report 93-05718. 

Examination of the hair in FP9 [hair from perineum, Chris Byers] revealed vegetable material and a single Caucasian head hair fragment microscopically similar to the hairs in FP2 [pulled head hair, Chris Byers].  This hair is consistent with having a common origin with the hairs in FP2. 

It is pointed out that hairs do not possess a sufficient number of unique individual microscopic characteristics to be positively identified as having originated from a particular person to the exclusions of all others.

Examination of the ligatures revealed one (1) black shoe string tied in a double half hitch around the right wrist to a double half hitch around the right leg.  The ligature on the left side also consisted of a double half hitch around the wrist and leg but was tied with a white shoe string.

No evidence of forensic value was recovered from FP1, FP3, FP4, FP5 or FP6.

FINDINGS.  ASCL Report.  September 9, 1993.  Supplemental Report, Reference Report Dated 6/29/93.  Items submitted and examined:  BR12  One (1) wooden stick.  BR13 One (1) wooden stick.  E140 One (1) knife from Donald Warwick.  E143  a:  Known head hair sample from Jason Baldwin.  b:  Known pubic hair sample from Jason Baldwin.  c:  Known body hair sample from Jason Baldwin.   E146  a: Known head hair sample from Jessie Misskelley Jr.  b: Known pubic hair sample from Jessie Misskelley Jr. c: Known body hair sample from Jessie Misskelley Jr.  Results of analysis:  Fibers were collected from BR12, BR13, and E140.  They were compared to previously submitted standards.  No matches were found.  Due to submission of addition standards, a caucasian head hair recovered from the ligatures (FP8 - 5718) [ligature, Christopher Byers] was found to be microscopically similar to hairs in E143a.  This hair is consistent with having a common origin with the hair sample E143a.  


FINDINGS.  ASCL Report.  September 29, 1993.  Supplemental Report, Reference Report Dated 6/29/93.  Items submitted and examined:  E147:  One (1) knife with a black sheath.  (Handwritten note in margin:  Crime lab report on knife found at school.)  Results of analysis:  Two (2) caucasian head hair fragments were recovered from the handle of E147.  They were too small to be of further comparative value.  Fibers were collected and compared to those items recovered at the scene.  No similar fibers were found.  The fibers are being retained for possible future comparisons.

FINDINGS:  Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, January 5, 1994

Items Q1-Q9 were examined and compared to the known samples submitted.  Q1 [slide with one hair from wounds from Steve Branch] and Q2 [slide with two hairs from wounds from Steve Branch] consisted of two hairs with razor cut proximal ends.  These hairs exhibited some similarities to both the known hair of Echols (K4) [slide with known hair from Damien Echols] and Dodson (K7) [Three slides each bearing hairs and each slide identified as Mr. Dodson].  These hairs could have originated from one of these individuals or another individual whose hair exhibits similar microscopic characteristics. 

Q10 [FP6, hair, lower leg, Christopher Byers] consisted of one hair exhibiting microscopic characteristics consistent with the known hair of Echols (K4) [slide with known hair from Damien Echols].  This hair could have originated from Mr. Echols or another individual whose hair exhibits similar microscopic characteristics. 

The remaining Q hair samples were either dissimilar to the know hairs of the suspects or in this examiner's opinion lack sufficient microscopic characteristics for an adequate comparison. 

Fiber Comparisons: 

Numerous fiber examinations and comparisons were conducted.  Samples Q18-Q34 were examined for fibers.  These fibers were removed for comparison with the known samples.  The questioned fibers which were matched to the known fibers are as follows: 

Q11 [fiber from E134 knife in black sheath] consisted of two black polyester fibers.  One of these were flattened and identified by Criminalist Sakuvicus as having been done during her analysis.  These polyester fibers were found to be consistent with the known polyester fibers in item K66.  [E78 Black t-shirt, Damien Echols trailer]

Q12 [fiber from E134 knife in black sheath] was determined to be a blue polyester fiber and to be consistent with the known fibers in item K37 [E109, J15 Toilet covers, Jason Baldwin trailer]. 

Q13 [fiber from E5 - cub scout blue/yellow cap crime scene] was determined to be a green polyester fiber.  The fiber had been partially flattened.  The fiber was found to be consistent with the known fibers in item K79.  (This was corrected in a January 14, 1994 supplement to state K22).  (K22) [E79, D8 blue green shirt closet, Damien Echols trailer.]

Q14 [fiber from E2 Black and white shirt with checkered pattern, crime scene] consisted  of a red rayon fiber which had been partially flattened.  The fiber was found to be consistent with the known fibers in item K42.  [J5 Red garment, housecoat, Jason Baldwin trailer]

No comparisons were conducted on the cotton fibers found in items Q15 - Q17.  Q15 two fibers on slide labeled "93-05716 E9 QF blue green cotton match w/E79". [E9 Striped shirt with surf board design, crime scene [E79 One blue Muscle Beach T-shirt, D9.]  Q16 [r] One microscope slide bearing one fiber and labeled "9305716 E1 QF Red cotton match w/E92". [E1 Boy scout shirt, crime scene][E92 One red and white striped pull-over shirt, D22.]  Q17 [r] One microscope slide bearing three red fibers and labeled "9305716 E3 red cotton match w/E92". [E3 pair blue pants, crime scene]  [E92 One red and white striped pull-over shirt, D22.]

Footwear Comparisons: 

The plaster casts of the footwear impressions (Q35) [E15 & E16 plaster cast footprint" and each containing a plaster cast of a footwear impression] and the impression in the soil (Q36) [One clump of soil bearing a footwear impression and identified as recovered from scene.] were consistent with having been made by a tennis-type shoe sole.  In this examiner's opinion these impression were not made by the submitted footwear (items K102-K111).
 
[K102 E149 white Converse tennis shoes removed from Buddy Lucas 10-14-93. 
K103 One pair BLK/white tennis shoes recovered from Buddy Lucas. 
K104 Q127 Q128 one pair of Black "Reebok" tennis shoes. 
K105 One pair "Adidas" white and blue high top tennis shoes recovered from Buddy Lucas that belonged to Jessie Misskelley recovered 6-10-93 9305716 E139 LS." 
K106 contained all of the following shoes, packaged separately.  E91, 95, 129, 110, 105. 
K107 "E105 one pair of purple and white "Nike" tennis shoes from Jason's 93-05716 Q74 Q75"
K108 "E110 pair green canvas and rubber lace up boots from Jason's 9305716".
K109 "E91 One pair black boots from Damiens belongs to Jason Baldwin 6-3-93 9305716 E91"
K110 "E129 One pair boots worn by Damien Echols at time of arrest 6-3-93 9305716 E129"
K111 "E95 One pair "Reebook" black tennis shoes from Damiens 6-3-93 9305716 E95"

FINDINGS:  Arkansas State Crime Lab, Lisa Sakevicius, January 17, 1994

Fiber comparisons were performed between CB1  [One red sweatshirt and one black T-shirt, Chris Byers house], MM1 [One red shirt and one pair of black pants from Michael Moore's house], MM2 [One red sweatshirt and one red and white T-shirt from Michael Moore's house] and fibers previously found similar to items in this case (reference report dated 6-29-93). 

The red shirt in MM1 was constructed of red cotton fibers which were microscopically similar to the red cotton fibers recovered from E1 [Q16, E1 Boy scout shirt, crime scene], E3 [Q17, E3 pair blue pants, crime scene]  and BR1 [One pair of blue jeans.  One black thermal undershirt.  One pair of white socks.  Two "Bic" razors.  One plastic bag.  One tan short-sleeved shirt.]  These fibers could have come from the red shirt in MM1.  [Note Q16 and Q17 fibers were also said to match E92, One red and white striped pull-over shirt, D22.] 

It is pointed out that fibers do not possess a sufficient number of unique microscopic characteristics to be positively identified as having originated from a particular item to the exclusion of all other similar items. 

The hair samples, E152 , E153, E154, E155, E156, E157, E158, E159, E160, E161, E162, E163 and E168 [below] were compared to the questioned hairs in FP5 (93-05717) and FP8 (93-05718).  The questioned hairs in FP5 (93-05717) [Two dark brown Caucasian head hairs were recovered from among shaved head hairs, Steve Branch] were found to be microscopically similar to the hairs in E156 [head hairs from Steve Branch (Sr.)].  E156 cannot be excluded as a possible source for these hairs. 

[E152 pubic hair sample, Buddy Lucas. 
E153 pulled head hair, Buddy Lucas. 
E154 combed head hair sample, Buddy Lucas.
E155 head hairs from Melissa Byers.
E156 head hairs from Steve Branch. (Sr.) 
E157 head hairs from Sherri Branch. 
E158 head hairs from Dawn Moore (Alabama designation says hair, Diana M. Moore.
E159 head hairs from Terry Hobbs
E160 head hairs from Ryan Clark "E-160 Ryan Clark". 
E161 head hairs from Amanda Hobbs. 
E162 head hairs from Pamela Hobbs.
E163 head hairs from Diane Moore.]

It is pointed out that hairs do not possess a sufficient number of unique microscopic characteristics to be positively identified as having originated from a particular item to the exclusion of all other similar items. 

Examination of the cigarette butts in E177 [One plastic bottle containing cigarette butts] revealed them to be consistent with Sherman's 164 - Hard Pack.  The possibility that the cigarettes were hand rolled could not be eliminated. 

Examination of the remainder of the items listed in this report was unremarkable.  [Items analyzed were E148 to E177 and CB1, MM1 and MM2.]

FINDINGS:  Soil comparison, Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, February 18, 1994.

Examination of the soil from the boots [E110, green boots, Jason Baldwin] revealed it to be similar in color to the known sample identified as from the west bank (item 3, E165) [soil, west bank].  The mineral composition showed both similarities as well as some dissimilarities when compared to this known sample.  As a results of these comparisons it is this examiner's opinion that the soil on the boots did not originate from the exact location as the known soil sample from the west bank.  The possibility does exist that the soil may have originated from the same vicinity as the known sample or it may have originated from a different location. 

The soil from the boots was found to be dissimilar to all of the other known samples and in this examiner's opinion did not originate from any of those locations. 

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