Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Guy Heinze, Jr - The Unanswered Questions.

Guy Heinze Jr
Just as in the case of Robert Pruett I first became aware of the Guy Heinze Jr case after watching the BBC documentary Life and Death Row (see link below to watch the Heinze episode). The thing that intrigued me most about this case was the fact that one man was allegedly responsible for the brutal beatings of nine people, eight of whom died from their injuries. I have covered this story in more detail in a past blog post. After reading some of the comments left on the post I decided to put together some of the major points, brought up by a specialist consultant for the defence during trial, that would appear to indicate Guy Heinze Jr is not guilty of this crime. Is this man, handed a life without parole sentence in 2013, really guilty of killing his own father and seven members of his extended family?. I will leave you to make note of the points made and ask you draw your own conclusions. I look forward to reading your thoughts in this post's comments section. 

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.

Michael Knox was extremely critical of the way law enforcement handled the crime scene and the evidence that was taken. He implied that evidence had been stored together and that the crime scene itself had not been properly sealed off until several officers had been through the home. He also commented on the testimony of one of the witnesses who revealed the family's dog, known for barking at strangers, was tied up on the porch and had not barked to raise the alarm. However, the same witness revealed she had woken up briefly at around 2am on the morning of the murders because of 'dogs barking'. Michael Knox also questioned Guy Heinze Jr's alleged motive - that he had carried out the murders for a bottle of prescription medicine. Knox testified he found it hard to believe that a person would wipe out his entire family in such a brutal manner for the sake of a 'bottle of weak pain pills'. 

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. 



15 comments:

  1. And what is the source of your information?

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  2. As indicated in the post, I have taken the points directly from the testimony made by Michael Knox (specialist consultant for the defence). This testimony, along with the cross examination of the witness and rebuttal, can be found in the Heinze Jr trial documents.

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  3. Are you saying that you have a copy of the transcripts?

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  4. I am unsure, from the four lines I have typed above, how you came to the conclusion I had trial transcripts? The points made in my post were brought up in testimony - they are covered in everything from other blogs to research documents, depending on the sources you prefer or trust. Several of the key points are made, from the horse's mouth in the documentary.

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    1. I should add that, while I have obviously paraphrased, Michael Knox's testimony is in the trial documents. Along with every other witnesses' testimony.

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  5. I dont know why you have such a bug up your butt about my comments. I have been polite. The only things that matters are certified trial transcripts and a certified court record -- neither of which you have actually seen. BBC documentaries and news accounts are irrelevant. smh

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    1. You asked a question and I answered just as politely, I am unsure why you think I have a bug up my butt? I am not going to descend into a childish argument with you. I accept your opinion, although my sources are sound, I don't understand how I can get any more 'actual' then the witness 'actually' testifying but I accept you believe the sources questionable. Please, if you can or want to discredit anything I have said in the post I am - and I geniunely more this - happy to listen to and take note of your opinion. Otherwise, I smh too. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  6. You were rude and continue to be rude. You are not genuinely interested in anything. And no, your sources are not sound. You have cherry picked sound bites from a biased bbc documentary and some language you lifted from news reports. Again, only the trial transcripts and court record are relevant. Dont worry, I'm out of your little clubhouse.

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  7. Are you serious?? You need to look up rude and see who mentioned body parts like a 5-year old! I was not rude, your last message and the one before WAS. You accuse me of cherry picking from news reports....which ones? I am interested to know? As for a biased BBC documentary, I agree the BBC can be biased, but this is a witness giving evidence, I very much doubt they set up a fake trial just to bias opinion?? You are very right about the trial documents etc being relevant but you don't back up anything you are saying with evidence or even a hint as to where I am apparently wrong. I will always appreciate an opposing view, that is how I learn usually look at any number of comments on other posts where I have learned new information. However, I won't accept someone coming on to the blog, halfway through their comments accuse me of being rude and then just shout foul...that is too easy! As for a clubhouse, we are adults for goodness sake, just say what you mean instead of talking in riddles, making accusations and shouting me down. I am not going to reply to anything you write from here, because anything I do say you are reading as rude and completing flipping to mean something YOU want. If you had issues with certain points, you should of said which ones and why?! Thank you!

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  8. I think the observations Knox made should be critically examined ....because it is a very big case and to some extent it kinda exonerates guy Heinze from the case especially when the blood found on him wasn't enough to link him to the case ..
    I still needs thorough scrutiny and investigation

    U got an awesome blog here Joanna

    elitism6.blogspot.com

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  9. I don't think it exonerates Guy Heinze Jr, after all the prosecution were saying he changed his clothes - he just didn't change the shorts he was wearing as underwear. They also implied he could of cleaned up, just not to what extent. This is open to interpretation,cleaning up to one person maybe a hand wash and a face splash...to another it maybe a shower. Knox was trying to elaborate that the perp would of have had to clean up extensively, to the point of scrubbing his skin clean. Also, when cross examined by the prosecution, much of Knox's testimony was referred to as nothing more than a 'criticism' of law enforcement - as oppose to an attempt to make a solid defence. Much was made of his 'photograph' testimony because he had only viewed pictures of the crime scene. I think Knox's testimony, at the very least, indicates Guy Heinze Jr could not have committed the murders alone (if he did at all). The jury were heading for a hung jury untill one of the jurors was removed. You have to wonder why Guy Heinze Jr's defence team decided to take a LWOP deal rather than risk a retrial. It was said at the time that the reason for this was beause it would give the prosecution an opportunity to go away and debunk Knox's testimony. Thanks for your compliment Okala - I will be checking out your blog too.

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  10. I am not familiar with the whole case but if they felt so strong about him going to clean up, why didn't they go check out where he cleaned up? There would have been evidence there I would think. I also can not believe one man could do all that beating by himself. That many people i would think could overpower
    him unlike shooting a gun. I hope he wins an appeal because there seems to be a lot of unanswered questions. I truly believe Guy Heinze Jr. is not guilty.

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  11. 100 percent have reasonable dought. I think its terrible that he wAS CONVICTED OF THIS HORREDOUS CRIME. just impossible for one man to do this with grown men In the home. I mean I could go on and on of all the evidence that brought reasonable doubt, I'm disgusted honestly.

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  12. Are the transcripts posted anywhere online? Without reading them how can anyone have an opinion?

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  13. 4 years later and still no appeal. Wise up! His own attorneys stated that if the case were retried, he would be convicted again and sentenced to death. Therefore, it is not in his best interests to file an appeal.

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