Massameno inadvertently gets at one of the biggest problem

But your TV still says he’s a serial killer

canada goose outlet shop (Sameer Abdel Khalek, courtesy of the Innocence Project.) canada goose outlet shop

canada goose outlet usa Theshow opens with afoggy camera lens panning across a street populated with ambulating black canada goose factory sale people, then shifts to the moon, then back to the people. canada goose outlet usa

canada goose outlet online reviews The slick voice of veteran journalist Bill Kurtis thenstarts a noirish narrative. “Five minutes’ drive from the capitol dome lies Hartford’s north end,” he says. “Tattered around the ages, but hard underneath. All victims were young women, most were black or Latino and most were prostitutes. Over 20 minutes, the episode depicts how police, prosecutors and a resourceful bite buy canada goose jacket mark analystbuilt their case against Swinton,a 34 year oldappliance repairman, for the better part of a decade. canada goose outlet online reviews

canada goose outlet boston The problem is that Swinton was innocent. He was exonerated in March after serving 18 years in prison. canada goose outlet boston

canada goose outlet toronto factory “Cold Case Files”ran on theA cable network for five seasons from 1999 through 2006,and was revived again last year for 10 episodes. The older episodes are still syndicated and available online at A website. So theireffects on viewers could be more potent. canada goose outlet toronto factory

canada goose outlet trillium parka black Yet the show is “a treasure trove of potential innocence cases,” says Chris Fabricant, who, along with Vanessa Potkin, represented Swinton for the Innocence Project. “We currently have three cases that we found through one of those shows. We have one other bite mark case, and we have a tool mark case involving a man convicted of serial pipe bombings. But I feel like we could spend a week watching those shows and find a lot more clients.” canada goose outlet trillium parka black

canada goose jacket outlet toronto Kurtis, perhaps best known these days for his role on the NPR news quiz show “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,”chronicles Terry’s murderinbalefultones “darkness takes hold early, and neon spits to life. Tavern doors lurch open, and the regular crowd shuffles in.” Or my personal favorite “in the first hours of morning, night and day fight for Canada Goose Coats On Sale control of the sky.” canada goose jacket outlet toronto

canada goose parka outlet It’s fitting that a tabloiddocumentary would memorialize Swinton’s conviction, because his case itself is a good example canada goose coats on sale of buy canada goose jacket cheap the damage done by sensationalist media coverage, myopic law enforcement anddubitable forensics. It alsospeaks to the way the criminal justice system treats people with social disorders and cognitive disabilities. canada goose parka outlet

canada goose outlet houston Swintonwas first put on the police radar because he hadbeen seen at a bar talking to Terry on the night she died. But Terry left the bar with another man, and nobody saw her and Swinton together outside the Canada Goose Online bar. Instead, it was Swinton’s odd demeanor that,a few days after her body was found, led an anonymous callerto tellpolice that Terry had been teasing Swinton. Canada Goose Parka The caller added that she “had a bad feeling” about Swinton, and that he was “a creepy kind of guy.” canada goose outlet houston

canada goose outlet reviews Swintonhad talked toTerry that night, along with several other women. He had also left them all with his business card generally not the practice of a seasoned serial killer. Hartford police investigators James Rovella and Stephen Kumnick, who feature prominently in the “Cold Case uk canada goose Files”episode, were assigned canada goose store to the case. canada goose outlet reviews

canada goose outlet store uk Early in the investigation, Swinton comes off as a man with absolutely nothing to hide. Oddly, this only seems to make Rovella and Kumnick more suspicious. For example, when the detectives first showed up to ask Swinton about Terry’s death, heimmediately invited themin to his apartment. On “Cold Case Files,” Kumnick calls this “a bizarre reaction.” When Swinton voluntarily answers the detectives’ questions,Rovella says,”Was he free and speaking? Probably a little freer than he should have been if he’s a suspect.” Swinton then invites the detectives to look around his place. canada goose uk outlet They find nothing incriminating. But this, Kurtis intones,”did little to allay the detectives’ growing suspicion that Al Swinton is their killer.” canada goose outlet store uk

canada goose outlet in chicago Swintondid do one thing that probably should have raised the investigators’ suspicions: He claimed he had been out of town the weekend of Terry’s murder. The policealready had witnessessaying that he was in Hartford. It isn’t clear why Swinton did this. Perhaps he was confused. Perhaps he was nervous. Perhaps he misremembered. It’s certainly understandable why that might make police want to investigate him further. The odd thing is that it seems to cheap Canada Goose have been Swinton’s openness and willingness to cooperate that convinced Rovella and Kumnick he was their killer. “You don’t want to get tunnel vision,”Rovella says, “but this guy was sending out all the signals.” Kumnick chimes in, “We walk to the car, and we look at each other, and we know. He’s done it. And the key is, okay, how do we prove it?” canada goose outlet in chicago

canada goose outlet in uk The detectivesnext obtained a warrant for hair, saliva, blood and bite plate samples from Swinton. Yet despite the violent nature of the crime, the police weren’t able to match Swinton’s hair or blood to any biological material found on or near Terry’s body. To hammer home the point, Rovella tells “Cold Case Files” that Swinton has atelltale, inward facing toothamong both his upper and lower teeth. This, in other words, was a slam dunk. canada goose outlet in uk

canada goose outlet in montreal We know today that bite mark matching is hokum. There has been no scientific research to substantiate either of the underlying premises of the field that we all have a unique bite pattern, and that even if we did, human skin is Canada Goose Jackets capable of recording and preservingthat uniqueness in a way that makes it traceable to one canada goose uk shop person, to the exclusion of others. The scientific research thathas been doneundermines both claims. But the courts have yet to catch up to the science. So bite mark analysts still get to testify, where they’re often able to persuade jurors. And thepop culture perpetuation of the bite mark mythology is a big reason why. canada goose outlet in montreal

canada goose outlet in usa Other evidence implicating Swinton falls apart under scrutiny. First, intalking with the detectives, Swintonalso mentioned that he knew four of the other women who uk canada goose outlet had recently beenslainin the Hartford area. There’s a pretty good explanation for this, says Fabricant: There were just a few bars that catered to low income black people in that part of the city. Swinton and the women he mentionedwere all black, and from the same general part of Hartford. Those bars are where Swinton met them. Swinton mentioned that he had known the women because he was concerned that several women he knewhad ended up dead. canada goose outlet in usa

buy canada goose uk Second, on both “Cold Case Files” and in court,the policesaid that inearly interviews, Swinton revealed details aboutTerry’s death that wereknown only to law enforcementand to Terry’s killer. Specifically, Swinton said that the killer had “beat on her,” which, according to the state, was a detail that had not yet been made public. Butbefore he had made that statementthe police had canada goose uk outlet shown Swintonpictures of Terry’s body (photos that”Cold Case Files” gratuitouslydisplays over and over). canada goose The photos make it pretty clear that Terry had been beaten. buy canada goose uk

canada goose outlet in vancouver Six weeks after Swinton was indicted in 1991, a judge threw out the charges, citing the inadequacy of the bite mark evidence. But the judgedidn’t do that because ofdoubts about the ability to match a plaster dental mold to bite marks in a crime scene photo. Instead, to implicate Swinton with the bite markas the only physical evidence, the state would also have to show that the bite attributed to him had been administered near the time that Terry died. canada goose outlet in vancouver

canada goose outlet store calgary Swinton then became somewhat obsessed with solving the murder. “He got his kicks doing that,” Kumnick says, “knowing that we knew he killed, and he was going to walk out each day he came in.” The narrator Kurtis can barely contain his contempt. He tells viewers that Swinton “seems to delight in the fact that he got away with it.” canada goose outlet store calgary

canada goose outlet 2015 Two years later, a freelance journalist namedKaron Haller wrote a profile of Swinton in Connecticut magazinethatwould become a key piece of evidence against him. Haller(who died of breast cancer in 2005) had tried multiple canada goose clearance times topersuade Swintontalk to her before he finally agreed. He showed up late,dressed in a suit and tie an outfit Haller canada goose clearance sale describes on “Cold Case Files”as Canada Goose Outlet “dressed to kill.”Haller then plied Swinton with (according to her own testimony) “several” glasses of whiskeybefore proddinghim about Terry’s death. canada goose outlet 2015

canada goose outlet mall ToHaller’ssurprise,Swinton had brought with him afile of newspaper clippings aboutTerry’s murder,as wellclippings about the deaths of the four other women he canada goose coats knew. She tells “Cold Case Files” thatSwinton collected the clippings to “relive a fantasy.”She also tells the show that Swinton displayed no sadness over the deaths. If that was true, it could well have been attributable to his awkwardness or perhaps to the fact that by then, Haller had gotten him drunk. canada goose outlet mall

canada goose outlet real For the most part, the interview was mostly a rambling, incoherent mess. Swinton waxed philosophical, complained about his lot canadian goose jacket in life and offered various theories about who may have killed Terry and the other women, and why. The only thing Swinton consistentlyand repeatedly said throughout the interviewwas that he was innocent, and that he was being framed for Terry’s death. canada goose uk black friday Curiously, Haller omitted Swinton’sprotestations of innocencefrom herConnecticutmagazinearticle, which ran under the headline, “The Suspect, Alfred Swinton. The Judge Set Him Free. But His Own Words Make You Wonder.” The only vaguely incriminating statement Swinton made to Haller came toward the end of the interview. Haller asked Swinton why the killerdidn’t just stop hurting women. According to Haller, Swinton answered in the first person, “If I knew that I could stop tomorrow. If I knew that I would stop tomorrow.” The audio recording played in the “Cold Case Files” is grainy and polluted with background noise, and it’s at least possible that Swinton says “I could stophim tomorrow.” It’s also possible that this is what Swinton meant, and just misspoke or failed to enunciate. Again, he’d had several whiskeys. In any case, that statement would only further seal Swinton’s fate, and later be cited by the Connecticut Supreme Court in an opinion rejecting Swinton’s request for a new trial. canada goose outlet real

canada goose outlet winnipeg Seven years after his initial arrest, Swinton was arrested again. Investigators had turned to a company calledImage ContentTechnologies, which claimed it could scan old photographs, then use patented softwarecalled Lucis, whichoutlined details that would otherwise be impossible to see. At this point in the show, a Connecticut crime lab official says that they would onlyhave used the company’s technology if it was “100 percent accurate” and that “there can’t be any chance that it would create an artifact or give us misinformation.” canada goose outlet winnipeg

canada goose outlet black friday They then brought in another bite mark analyst named Gus Karazulas. The image was “put it into the computer, and Lucis brought the mark out beautifully,” Karazulas says on the show. The alleged new details convinced Karazulas that Swinton was undoubtedly the source of the bite on Terry’s breast. canada goose outlet black friday

canada goose outlet montreal But he would still need to showwhen the bite had been administered. Karazulas then resorted to some bizarre methodology: He used the plaster mold of Swinton’s teeth to “bite” his own arm. He then timed the bite as it changed colors, and recorded Canada Goose sale the point at which it was the same color as the photographed bite on Terry’s breast. By Karazulas’s calculations, the bite had to have been administered 10 minutes before Terry’s death. canada goose outlet montreal

canada goose outlet vancouver There are lots of problems withthis experiment. First, it was based on the assumption that the color of a bruise or an abrasion doesn’t change after death. That isn’t true. Second, the color a wound takes on in a photograph Canada Goose online can vary widely depending on factors such as the lighting in the room where the photo was taken, the angle of the camera, the white balance setting of the camera, and what colors surround the wound itself. To match his own wound to Terry’s wound to a shade of color precise enough to estimate her death within a few minutes, Karazulas would have had to have replicated all of those variables. cheap canada goose uk He also would have had to have applied thesame amount of pressure to his own wound that Terry’s assailant applied when inflicting hers. And the entire experiment assumed that Karazulas’s body would react to a bite in the exact way Terry’s did. canada goose outlet vancouver

canada goose outlet winnipeg address “It’s either science or it isn’t,” assistant state’s attorney John Massameno tells “Cold Case Files.” “It either works or it doesn’t.” The problem, though, as is often case case in “pattern matching” fields of forensics, is that they aren’tscience, and because they aren’t science, they aren’t subject to the rigors of scientific inquiry. Karazulas, for example, wasn’t blindly given plaster molds of the teeth of multiple people and asked to identify which matched those in the photo. He was given only the plaster mold of Swinton, along with the knowledge that Swinton was the chief suspect. canada goose outlet winnipeg address

canada goose outlet new york Yetthe evidence was enough to convince Connecticut prosecutors, judges and ultimately a jury. Massameno inadvertently gets at one of the biggest problem with these areas of forensics because they’re highly subjective, guilt or innocence often hinges not on sound science, but on which expertsare most persuasive to jurors. “They were able to render their verdict with confidence I think in large part because of the enormous confidence that Dr. Karazulas exhibited in his own conclusion.” The show canada goose black friday sale then ends with Karazulas confidently telling the camera that “if I make a mistake, a man goes away for the rest of his life. So there are no difficulties, no tests that we cannotbearto make sure we don’t convict an innocent person.” canada goose outlet new york.

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