|Guy Heinze Jr|
Michael Knox was a sociology and forensic evidence consultant for the Heinze Jr defence team, as well as offer his expert opinion on the crime scene, the crime itself and procedures he also completed partial blood pattern analysis from crime scene photographs. Below are the major points, in my opinion, made during his testimony and cross examination by the prosecution.
1. Knox questioned why a pair of handmade nun chucks (two pieces of steel piping approx five inches long held together by an S clip) were not collected by law enforcement during the evidence sweep of the house. Law enforcement said the nun chucks, found in some tires next to the family's trailer, were placed there AFTER the crime. Knox found this to be unlikely and went on to say that several injuries on the victims, logged as cockroach bites by the Medical Examiner, could of been caused by these nun chucks. Knox also stated that ALL of the victims had injuries that indicated being beaten by a long, thin weapon (the rifle in evidence) but that there were also injuries consistent with a smaller, blunter and heavier object.
2. The crime scene was a gory blood soaked mess. Knox said there was absolutely no way the perpetrator walked away from the scene without being significantly covered in blood. He also went on to state that it would of taken the killer more than a quick clean up or shower to rid themselves of the blood transfer. Knox said the killer would of had to take a significant length of time scrubbing themselves clean, using a brush. He went on to say that the blood spatter would of gotten into every crevice of the killer's skin. Yet Guy Heinze Jr had a small amount of blood on his hands, his flip flops and a bloody smudge on his shorts/underwear.
3. Knox questioned why Guy Heinze Jr's car was not tested for blood. He said even IF he had driven away from the scene (tracks in the dirt indicated a vehicle had arrived and left) cleaned up and returned there would of been blood transfer in the vehicle. No matter how much cleaning was done, Luminol would of shown something. Yet this technique was never used by law enforcement. Despite the fact a mobile phone, allegedly covered in one of the victim's blood, was retrieved from the trunk.
4. Knox acknowledged blood had been found on the bottom of Guy Heinze Jr's flip flops. This transfer will of occurred when he entered the trailer and found the scene said Knox. This is supported, he continued, by the fact that only two of the victim's blood was present on the soles.
5. Knox pointed out a pile of clothing covered in spots of blood in one of the bathrooms. None of the victims were found in this room and yet the clothes were not taken to be tested. While Knox acknowledged the spots could of dripped from the end of a rifle, he also added the blood could of just as easily been that of the assailant and the clothes should of been taken into evidence.
6. Knox testified that there was evidence to show Chrissy Toler, her boyfriend Joseph West, 30 and her younger sister, Michelle Toler, 15 had changed positions and moved around the room in which they were killed. He even indicated further evidence to suggest that Chrissy Toler had tried to escape the horror through a window. How on earth did Guy Heinze Jr subdue and murder three mobile individuals and a small child (Chrissy's son, Byron 3 was also in the room and badly beaten but survived his injuries) without getting any blood on him? receiving no injuries? and without any of the victims raising the alarm? Who stopped Chrissy Toler from exiting that window, while also beating or at least holding back her boyfriend?
7. Knox testified on the pictures of the room where Russel Toler, Sr was beaten to death. He went on to say that Toler, Sr had put up a huge fight for his life and that there was clear evidence he had been struck while standing/lying in four separate locations of the room. He also testified that the evidence in the picture indicated at one point that Russel Toler, Sr had been struck from both sides of the bed at the same time. This could clearly not be done by one person alone and would indicate there was at least one other assailant.
8. There was blood spatter evidence to indicate that Brenda Toler had a pillow placed over her face while she was being beaten. Evidence also indicated she had furiously fought back and waved her left arm. The arm had a smudged print that indicated it had been held back to prevent her hitting her attacker. So how did one attacker manage to use one hand to hold the pillow over her face, another to hold her arm back and then seemingly a third hand to carry out the brutal beating?
9. Guy Heinze's father, Guy Heinze, Sr, was the only person who was killed in his sleep. Asleep on the floor, cast off spatter indicated he had put up no resistance when being killed. However, all seven of the other victims put up a fierce battle for their lives, leading Knox to testify that the person(s) responsible would not have walked away from the trailer without their own injuries - visible injuries at that.
10. Knox testified that the blood found on Guy Heinze Jr's shorts was nowhere near enough to indicate he was responsible for the bloody beatings of nine people. He went on to say the blood that was found was smudged, indicating it had to have been transferred from somewhere else, and not cast off spatter. Guy Heinze's shirt, Knox testified, was also clear of blood something that would of been impossible to achieve in the wake of the violent struggle eight people put up in defence of their lives. Knox stated the crime scene was a 'blood bath' and that Guy Heinze had nowhere near the amount of blood on him he would expect to be found on the assailant. Instead, the blood found on Guy Heinze Jr's clothes was more indicative of being as a result of transfer when he entered the trailer and found the bloody scene.
|The Family's Cordoned Off Trailer Home.|
Whatever your individual opinion is on the Guy Heinze Jr case, it seems clear to me there are just too many unanswered questions surrounding the murders. How his trial did not end in acquittal is beyond me and I have to admit, the more I read about the case the more I believe Guy Heinze Jr may well be an innocent man. In fact, I believe that law enforcement took the fact he was a drug addict with a unaccountable alibi and developed tunnel vision. They didn't even consider, never mind look for, other suspects because Guy Heinze Jr was their man from the get go. Michael Knox ended his testimony by adding there was no documented case of one individual killing six people, never mind eight.
Below is the episode of the BBC documentary Life and Death Row entitled Judgement, which covers the Guy Heinze Jr case through trial and the verdict.