pomc logo pomc header
 
 
home chapters forms Murder Wall Parole Block Second Opinion Ask The Experts
 

Contact Information:

Phone: (513) 721-5683
Fax: (513) 345-4489
Toll Free: (888) 818-7662
E-mail: natlpomc@pomc.org

 

Donate

 

 

Home >Online Support Ask The Experts >Charles Horney

Charles "Chic" Horney (Crime Scene Investigator/Detective)

I would like to know what is a backdraft in a fire? My son was murdered in a fire in May of 93 and they told me he went through two backdrafts. What is that?

A backdraft is an explosion of fire within a confined area which is caused by the introduction of oxygen.

Example : There is a small fire in a bedroom and the doors and windows are closed. As the fire progresses it begins to use up all the oxygen in that confined room. The room is than filled with gases from the materials that burned in that room. The fire is reduced to a smolder or small flame. When the doors or windows are opened or broken in, the oxygen is introduced and the gases in the room are ignited and the room turns into a giant ball of fire. There is a great force and tremendous heat as a result of a backdraft. One of the reasons fire prevention officers tell you if you feel the door to a room is hot don't open it, it's to avoid a possible backdraft. I hope you have a better understanding of a backdraft and I hope I was of help to you.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My family member was murdered almost 4 years ago. She had been severely beaten, she had broken ribs which lacerated the pleural cavity, she had a broken nose, many, many abrasions and contusions. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled both manually and with a ligature. Her hyoid bone (neck) had also been broken. My husband and I found her approximately 24 to 36 hours after her death. The perpetrator went to the police and confessed to this crime a few months later. He was charged and we went to trial. The trial ended in a hung jury. Our D.A. did not retry this case and this man who had been held on a $250,000 bond was released from jail. The only evidence we had was his confession. All DNA was inconclusive. I just don't understand how such a brutal crime could occur in someone's home and the perpetrator not leave something as evidence. Could it be that evidence was not properly collected? We are very distraught that this man has not been held accountable for this horrific crime. Any insight you can give will be greatly appreciated.

I would first like to express how sorry I am for your loss. In reference to your case outcome it is hard to say why the case ended the way it did. You have provided me with minimum facts about the case. However, this episode that ended with the murder took some time. With all the trauma that you describe, it's hard to believe that some other physical evidence was not found. Usually in an assault this violent, both physically and sexually, more than just blood is found at the scene. Sperm, vaginal fluids, hair, skin, fibers, human tissue, and fingerprints are just a few things that are recovered in a good crime scene investigation. When a scene lacks this type of evidence an investigator may believe that the location the body was found may not be the scene of the murder. Some times a murder can take place at one location and the body place at another location.

As far as a confession of a suspect, I can tell you that anyone can confess to anything. The suspect must be able to support their confession to police. They must have detailed knowledge of the crime itself. Things that only the killer would know. Things that show the killer was at the scene when the incident took place. The suspect's medical and mental state - is he capable of committing the crime?

Like I said, you have provided me with minimal information. Were there witnesses or statements taken? Relationship of suspect and victim? Were there threats or domestic problems prior to the murder. Did the suspect have contact with the victim prior to the murder? Was there a motive for the murder? These are important things to know. The crime scene itself is complicated and it's hard to say if the scene was processed properly or not.

Some towns and law enforcement agencies are ten years behind others in technology, and your town may be one lacking in the technology to do a good crime scene investigation. The DA in any town usually won't put a murder case on trial unless they can win. A case can be lost in court as a result of many things. Some losses can be because the jury itself, their mood or their intelligence levels, improper case investigation, improper crime scene processing, credibility of witnesses and law enforcement personnel. In my past experience I have concluded that more murder cases are lost because of the crime scene process. We have many expert legal advisors in the organization that may be able to answer more of your legal and courtroom questions. I hope I have been of some help to you.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yesterday we had a hearing to suppress the evidence on my son's murder. The defense attorney says the warrant should be disallowed. The questions asked where the place of residence search was no the place where the shooter lived but only stayed. The caliber of gun was not listed in the warrant or that the shooter even carried it. The police officer that testified was very upset because this was a standard form they used. I would think that based on his life experiences he was doing his job. The judge did not rule one the motion yet and has given use until court Monday to find some precedence. Can you help? We do have someone that can testify he carried the gun but we found him later and the second party to the shooting is go to testify against the shooter. Any information would be appreciated.

I understand your frustration with the trial process. Defense attorney's do whatever they can to get their client found not guilty in a trial. Suppressing evidence, discrediting witnesses, and finding fault in police procedure are the three most used tactics. You have to hope that your DA is smarter than the defense and has well prepared his case for trial. If he did his homework, then justice should prevail. I don't know much about your case but what I can tell you is when you are dealing with search and seizure warrants, you are on constitutional grounds and law enforcement needs to be specific when hunting for evidence, especially in a murder case. As far as a residence is concerned, a S&S can be obtained for any location. The prosecution can show the suspect went too and could have hidden evidence.

What you have to understand is that there are time factors involved relative to when the murder took place and when these warrants were issued. If the murder took place today and three months from now police conduct a residential search, you could have problems getting the findings in trial. If you had a witness who came to the police six months after the murder and said I was in the killer's house and hoe showed me a gun and he told me he killed someone with it, if this gun was described to the police as the same type as the one used in the murder, than yes, that's a good warrant.

Some search and seizure warrants, depending on the state, are really fill in the blanks. What is crucial here is what you fill in those blanks with. Usually with a search warrant there is an affidavit completed by the investigator and submitted to the judge. This contains all the detailed facts, probable cause, and expertise involved in the case. The judge will issue a S&S if this document is in order and everything is on proper constitutional grounds. A S&S warrant is more than just filling in the blanks on a standard form. In reference to the caliber of the gun not being listed in the warrant is critical if the investigator knows what caliber was used to cause the victim's death. It is also critical not indicating that the suspect carried the gun.

If the DA can justify the absence of these facts than you still have a chance to get the warrant in. The justice system is strange and unpredictable. I hope things work out for you.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My mother was murdered on December 15, 1999. Shortly after, my father was asked to take a lie detector test. This was supposedly due to evidence that was being submitted for an FBI profile. He didn't pass the test on a couple of questions. My father was a school bus driver, and was on a route at the time of the murder--plenty of witnesses. We were told later by an independent prosecutor that we had hired for advice that a lie detector test given to victim's families aren't necessarily accurate so close to the murder date. I do know that my father feels a large amount of guilt due to the fact that he was thinking about retiring that year, and feels that if he would've, he would've been there. He repeated that a lot. Their dog had also gotten run over before the murder, and we had asked him if he wanted another one, but they just weren't ready for another dog--they'd been very close to that one. But he also thought that if he'd had a dog on the property, Mom would've had more warning of someone being on the place. Not to mention that they'd been pretty unseparable for the last 50 years. The police have not focused on him for the last year, but it caused hard feelings for my dad. He felt betrayed at a time when he needed people the most. Is there any backlash that could come out of this?

In response to your question let me first say that I am sorry about your mom's death. I know it must be hard for your dad as well as losing his wife and the house pet, both of who I'm sure he loved very much.

Trying to answer your question with so little facts is hard but I'll try my best. Just because an investigator asks someone involved in a case to take a polygraph doesn't mean they suspect that individual. I don't know what questions your dad had problems with, or what evidence the investigator has but what some investigators will do is ask someone involved in a case to submit to a polygraph for the purpose of the process of elimination. To eliminate a spouse or someone very close to the victim as a suspect is a major step in an investigation. The investigator can focus on other suspects and use the polygraph results to his advantage. Other witnesses or suspects who are later interviewed may accuse your father and the investigator can say that he passed the polygraph, putting more pressure on the individual being interviewed. It will also benefit later if the suspect is arrested and charged. At trial the defense may try to put the blame on your dad as a tactic used to produce reasonable doubt to the jury. The prosecution can then fall back on the fact that your dad passed the polygraph. Polygraphs are not accepted in court as being accurate, but they are used as a tool and the results are an important part of the investigators case file.

Your dad should not be upset because he was asked to submit to a polygraph (lie detector). This could benefit him and the investigator in the future. The fact that your dad submitted voluntarily to the test is also a show of trust and cooperation with law enforcement. There is a great amount of stress directly after a murder but a polygraph is only as good as the person giving the exam. A good polygraph examiner is consistent in all stages of the process. I can't predict what the next step will be in the investigation and no one can, but just let the investigators do their job and justice will come. There is no statute of limitation for murder and it could take a long time.

I hope I answered some of your questions. Good luck.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm not sure where to begin, or who I should ask for help. I am a 50 year old housewife, with one wish left to fulfill in my life. When I was a child, my stepfather killed my brother, and buried him somewhere in a desert. I have repeatedly asked my mother where, as I want to claim his remains. I do not, nor have I ever gotten along with my mother, so I have reached a point in my life where I find no need to protect her from anything having to do with the role she played in my brother's murder. The murder happened perhaps 40 years ago. All I have to go on is the fact that my brother had Polio as a very young child so his bones should show the results. Also that wherever he was buried would perhaps have been developed by now, and perhaps his skeletal remains were discovered. I have been in contact with my step sister and step brother, asking if they might remember the place we were at the time. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, due to childhood sexual and physical abuse, so my memory is in bits and pieces. Sir, if you have any ideas as to where I should begin my search, or perhaps know anyone I could contact, I would so greatly appreciate it. I have a letter my mother recently sent me, with the lies and stories she has told to explain the death. But there is no death certificate for my brother. I wonder if there is a way to do a search to prove my story. Once again Sir, I thank you and pray for some ideas.

I know what you have been going through for the past fifty years has not been easy for you or your family. It is difficult under the circumstances to assist in your quest. What makes it difficult are several things. The fact that the incident has never been reported to a law enforcement agency limits the examination of police reports, evidence, photos, witness or suspect interview results, court documents, and medical reports, and the fact that the possible suspect is deceased. The fact that this happened so long ago is also a factor. The possibility of finding human remains forty years later in a desert environment makes the chances more difficult. However, it is possible and it's possible that some remains were recovered sometime ago but have not yet been identified. I think what you need to do at this point is to report this incident to a law enforcement agency. I think that the area of origin is Arizona. If your stepfather did kill your brother and buried him in the desert, it was not far from the house you were living at the time. Maybe the police in the towns you mentioned in your email including the State Police would be good places to start. Also the State Medical Examiner's Office could be a valuable tool in getting some answers. They have unidentified remains that they keep on file. I find it hard to believe that your brother's disappeared without any suspicion or inquiry even forty years ago. He had polio and I'm sure that there are some hospital records somewhere that would show that this child was receiving medical treatment and that an organization such as The March of Dimes or Easter Seals were somehow involved and monitoring the child's care and progress and maybe even assigned a case worker in those days. I'm not sure what the process was back then, but I believe that a child with polio forty years ago was known about. I believe that you also need to establish a source of communication with someone close to your family at that time period. Try to find where your brother was born and see if there are immunization records for him in the State's Health Department. The main thing here is to report this incident to law enforcement. Your quest will be a difficult one, but I wish you luck.

I hope I provided you with some help and direction.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
How would I go about getting police reports on My mother? She was murdered by my father. I was really young and I would like to know more about what happened.

You should be able to get a copy of incident report by requesting them from the Police Department in the jurisdiction where the murder took place. I don't know when the murder took place but some older records are transferred to microfilm and usually takes longer to get copies. Murder files are usually kept for a very long time. You can also check at the court house to see if there are any court or trial records on file. The local newspaper is also a good source of information, they have great archives to search.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In 1969 my brother was beaten to death while in the custody of a small community police department. There were witnesses. He was 18 years old. There was evidence but in 1969 there wasn't much you could do and my father couldn't afford an attorney. It is a complicated case and I am reluctant to disclose the details. But I as the brother I have been haunted by the injustice my entire life. My question is that since it was covered up and officially recorded as a murder is there any course of action that I could take?

I am sorry to hear about the death of your loved one. It's been over thirty years since the death of your brother. You say there was evidence and witnesses in this case. You would ask the district attorney to reexamine the case. If that don't work then go up the chain of command. Contact the Attorney General of your state or a congress representative in the district where you live and ask them to review the evidence and witness statements. The real problem in our case is time. Witnesses that were available in sixty-nine may not be available now. If they are available now their credibility may be an issue. You mention that evidence was present in the case. Is it physical or material and does the evidence still exist. You will need an expert to guide you through the process. You may want to discuss having the body exhumed and having an independent autopsy done. You must weigh all your evidence and witness statements before you go forward. You may want to contact an attorney to see if your case warrants a wrongful death action. I wish you luck and hope you find peace. I would be happy to examine any documents or photos related to the case and further advise you.
Good Luck.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On Jan. 8, 2002 my younger brother passed away after five days on Life Support due to a blunt force trauma which resulted in the destruction of and removal of 2 lobes of his brain. The immediate cause of death on death certificate was listed as closed head injury and alleged assault as how the injury occurred. I am pretty much convinced that his injury was caused by an assault, but as the details of the NY Eve party he attended are sketchy I can understand the local police Dept's challenge in it's investigation. This occurred in Pennsylvania, I live in Missouri. Today marks four weeks that have passed and all the info I can get from the detective is that his coat was retrieved from an individual who stole it from him on the night in question and they are in the process of interviewing about 15 people who were at the establishment at 2:30 am when the local PD was summoned due to a fight on the premises. Records indicate my brother spoke with an officer at that time and he was reportedly restraining people from becoming involved in the fight. About 3 hours passed before he was seen again. This time he was seen by the establishment's manager inside the establishment at 5:30 am when the manager returned to the establishment to retreive a women's purse that had been left there on NY eve. My brother remained in the establishment, supposedly sleeping in an upstairs meeting room for an additional 8 hours before my father who had called the place was told that he was sleeping. Dad picked him up, got him home and he slept for another 8 hours before he awoke, was obviously disoriented and incoherent and 911 was called.

My question is how long is too long and how can I be assured that the investigation is being actively pursued. In talking to the detective I am getting the impression that they are thinking an accidental fall or something other than an assault as they were not able to provide any substantial progress after interviewing 15 people. I am hoping I am wrong and have an inkling of hope to date only because I have not been notified that the investigation have been closed. Is there a point in time that I can request another agency (State Police) become involved if the local PD doesn't seem to be getting anywhere.? I am kind of torn between being vocal at this point but I also feel like the longer this is allowed to just "be on the files as open" and little if anything is pursued that chances of solving greatly diminish. Any suggestions?

I would first like to express my sorrow for the loss of your brother. The questions you are asking are not out of the scope of my expertise. I have conducted murder cases and hope I can be of help. It is important to know who determined the cause of death. Was it Medical Examiner of the State, ME Office or was it the ME at the Hospital where your brother died. An autopsy was probably conducted by the State, ME who is responsible for determining the cause of death. The cause of death is important and has great effect on the direction of the investigation. Is the case being investigated as a murder or a suspicious death? This also effects the direction of the case. These are some questions you may want to ask the investigator for future reference. The person who was in possession of your brothers coat, was he charged with anything related to the incident and is he a suspect in the death? This is also something you may want to know for future reference. But to answer your main question about length of an investigation in a case like this. Investigators don't like to rush a case especially when a victim has died. There is much work involved. When there is no physical evidence it's even more difficult. The investigators have to rely on their interview skills to find information. After the interviews they have to follow up all the information they have received and try to determine what is the truth and what isn't. In some cases the same witnesses may be interviewed several times. One interview may lead to the interview of several more witnesses. It takes a long time to complete an investigation in a case like your brothers. Investigators would like to tell the progress in the case but very limited to what they can tell you at certain stages in the investigation. The reason "CASE INTEGRITY". You would be amazed if you knew how a case can be destroyed just by a small information leak.
Don't try to put a time limit on a complicated investigation. It may take a long time. You also asked if another agency can be involved in the investigation. Usually jurisdiction is the case of death investigations. I believe only the DA can involve other agencies. The cause of death is the most important issue in your brothers case. You may want to contact Dr. Harry Bonnell at POMC with questions or issues relative to autopsy report. I would be happy to review any documents or reports relative to this case and advise you further. I hope I have answered some of your questions. Good Luck.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My son died on May 21, 2001. We were initially told it was a suicide and that he had killed himself over the breakup with his girlfriend. He didn't have a girlfriend. We were told that the suicide was an overdose of drugs and alcohol. A toxicology was being performed and the Medical Examiner's office and the detective in charge of the case was certain that when the toxicology came back it would prove their "opinion" of suicide as a manner of death. Well, low and behold, the toxicology came back and the Medical Examiner has in fact ruled that the cause of death as "UNDETERMINED".

Mu husband, daughter, and ex-husband and his wife all went to my son's apartment a couple of days after we buried him so that we could clean his apartment out. While there, I discovered a few things that were a bit disturbing to say the least. There were 3 full beer cans sitting on his coffee table in the living room, a unused but out of package condom on the floor in his bedroom. a spot of blood on the wall in his bedroom. And the clothes he died in, they were incinerated by the funeral home. These are a couple of things.

Since his death, I have learned that the girl that he "supposedly" killed himself over had 3 other young man die in her life in a one year period. One boyfriend committed suicide, one boyfriend died of renal failure and the 3rd young man was in fact murdered one month prior to my son's death. But this girl is not under suspicion...at least not by detective in charge of the case. I have learned that the apartment was not fingerprinted, that the 3 half full beer cans were not examined, that the blood on the wall was not even discovered by the detective, that the condom was missed, that the cell phone that contained the "so-called" suicide message was never retrieved by the police, that they never even heard this so called suicide message. The boyfriend of this supposed girlfriend had an altercation with my son but he was never questioned, that my son was brought to the medical examiner's office clean shaven...these are just a few of the problems with the investigation. There are a few inconsistencies here that I can not seem to get the detective in charge to really look at. Yet, when I spoke with a different detective, his words to me were, "I am not ready to say that this is a homicide but I am not ready to say it isn't a homicide." I have spoken to an ex-homicide detective who knew my son very well and she believes very strongly that my son was murdered. That has been my feeling all along but I can't seem to get through to the detective.

I had to pay for a hair analysis to prove that my son never did drugs like certain people were trying to convince me that he was. There was pot found in his apartment yet none was found in his blood, urine or hair. I had to pay for a second toxicology to be done on my son's blood because I don't trust the medical examiner's office in Dallas one bit. There was a 3rd degree burn scar on my son's chest that the medical examiner never saw. That scar never went away. His money clip was found on his body along with a paycheck that had been signed over to me for a car payment and approx. $300.00 in cash as well as his cell phone clip. The position of my son's body was in a very peculiar position. I'am sure you will see this when Dr. Bonnell gets the information that I will be sending as soon as it comes to me. The case is still open but they are wanting to close it. At first they were going to close the case as a suicide, then an accidental overdose, then an accidental death, and the last time I talked to the detective which was on June 30, 2002, they were going to close it "Undetermined". How can they be so dam fickle?

I have been asked by several people if it was possible that someone could have slipped him some GHB or other poison. I have said sure but since the police didn't bother to collect evidence other than 3 empty pill bottles and a bag of white pills that turned out to be Tylenol, I would never know if anyone had or not. By the way, what was found in my son's body was 16% alcohol, and 149 mg of propoxyphene...not enough to cause his death. And we don't know what caused his death or what time he died. I know according to my ex-husband that there were two other people who had a key to my son's apartment. I tell you this because the reason the police refuse to look at my son's death as possible homicide is because there was no forced entry...the fire department had to kick the door in...there was no gunshot wound or stab wound. That is why they will not look at this as a homicide. But they failed to collect evidence that could have proven it when they assumed that his death was a suicide.

Sir, I am sure there is a lot I have said unsaid but I figure that since I will be sending all of this to Second Opinion Services, Hopefully within the next two weeks. I will be sending the crime scene photos, a 4 page police report, a copy of autopsy and toxicology report, a copy of death certificate, and all the questions and inconsistencies that I can possibly remember. I have interviewed may of my son's friends... something the police have not been done...they all say the same thing... my son did not kill himself and they will never believe that he did. Thank you for listening. I really need answers but have little hope obtaining them.

Greeting. I am sorry to hear about the death of your son. From what you have described about the case it sounds like many things have been left undone. I don't want to criticize at this point in the investigation. I am looking forward to reviewing the documents relative to the case and the second opinion by Dr Bonnell. The cause of death is critical in what steps you need to follow. Without seeing those documents I still have many questions to ask you about your son and the facts of the case. I will ask those questions at a later time. But to answer your question relative to the body being exhumed. The cost of the process will be on you. However, if you can raise enough reasonable suspicion that the case is a homicide and present it to the District Attorney, than the state can bare the cost. If you decide to have the body exhumed you must show cause to the court. It can only be accomplished by court order. I would wait to hear Dr. Bonnell's conclusion on the cause of death. As you go through this ordeal the most important thing you can do is document, document, document. I look forward to further contact with you.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
is there any situation during the interview process where the tape would be stopped and then started again? this involves taped interviews in regard to my sons murder that were done by the police and the investigator for the district attorney's office. i notice on some they give the time, date, person they are interviewing and then at the end state the time and that they are stopping the tape. others, they just state who they are interviewing, how they are related to the case and give the date, but not the time. i've always thought they would never stop/start the tape for any reason whatsoever. is this true??? thanks so much for your help and the service you provide.

Thank You for the really good question. Interviews are a skill that one obtains from experience in the field. An interview is simply a question and answer session that is put into audio recording. You can bet that during this interview there is someone in the room writing down the questions and answers. Sometimes the tape will be stopped so the person who is documenting the writing part can catch up. It can also be stopped so the subject being interviewed can take a break for what ever reason. The Detective may want to take a break, or he may read something in the subjects behavior and may want to stop and rethink his strategy or to give the subject time to react to certain questions that were asked. It is normal for the tape to be stopped without date and time stated. Keep in mind that the person being interviewed completes a document waiving certain rights and he is giving this statement volentary. The time and date the interview starts and stops is recorded on what we call a rights form. Now things change when the interview goes into the stage where the subject is asked accusatory questions. In that stage everything is recorded and written down with time date etc. They will even indicated something like, subject requested cigarette at 10:00am smoke completed at 10:10am. Interview resumes at 10:11 am . This stage usually leads to a confession or an arrest so it all has to be legal and properly done. Audio interviews are good because once the voice is recorded it can be used for voice comparison or annalists at a later time. It would be hard for someone to say in court! I didn't say that. The process of documenting is determined by the investigators depending on the circumstances of the case and the type of individual being interviewed. Thanks for a great question I hope I answered it for you.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
thanks for your prompt answer. let me add a few things. it was the district attorney's investigator interviewing the uncle of my deceased son. my son had worked with him daily, and the uncle picked him up and dropped him off at the home where he was killed. the uncle had daily contact with my son's and many serious conversations. he relayed to me what he was asked and his answers. the interview was done with the investigator calling the uncle on a speaker phone, with the uncle on a cell phone. he stated he had a recorder going and wanted to ask some questions, which he did. in the 9.9 minutes tape, it was stopped and started 6 times. it was not done at the time of the interview, but later. now, this tape was copied for me under the public information act. of the 9 cassette tapes i received , with interviews from the investigator and the homicide detective, this was the only one that had been messed with. the man who examined and reviewed the tapes, said there is gaps in the dialog and at one point the tape starts mid word. so there would be no bathroom, smoke breaks in this situation. please advise as to what you think of this! thank you for your service and prompt response. ps during the interview you hear the investigator going through paperwork i provided him with, to find the things he wanted to ask the uncle.

I wish I knew more details about the case. Is your son's uncle a suspect. I have never heard of a investigative interview being conducted on a speaker phone with the other party on a cell phone. I mean how can you say in court that you spoke to someone but didn't see their face. Are you really interviewing the person you think you are. I don't believe any conversation like that would fly in any court. All interviews that I conduct are in a controlled environment. If the subject was on a cell phone being interviewed than there could be many reasons for breaks in a conversation. Bad signal or defective equipment. I don't understand this method of interview.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My son was found seven months after a fire in a storage room of a garage. He was found by a cleaning crew that was cleaning up the mess so that repairs could be done to the home and garage. When he was found an investigation was started into his death as well as the fire. Although, it had been seven months since the fire there was still evidence of it being an intentional fire with the use of accelerants. My question is should the Fire Marshall have noticed this and taken that into consideration when determining the cause of the fire? He stated that the fire was an unintentional fire of unknown origin. My son (was six foot tall and 150 LBS) was found in a storage room that was three feet wide and seven feet long at the back of garage the fire originated in the garage and spread to the house. My son was not burned during the fire and because of the time lapse from fire to finding him an accurate cause of death was not possible to determine.The fire dept. had to come back out twice to put the fire out because it re-lit. Is it wrong of me to think that the fire dept. should have looked for hot spots and/or victims while they were there?

I am sorry to hear about the loss of our son. In reference to your question I will answer it the best I can without seeing the crime scene and knowing more about the case. From what you say I think that someone failed to conduct a thorough investigation. In a dwelling fire of any magnitude the Fire Department search and rescue teams sole purpose is to locate a victim in that fire which includes a canvas of the entire structure where the fire was contained. However in some cases failing debris can conceal evidence and victims. The firefighters involved in putting the fire out make certain observations which assist the Fire Investigator in determining the fire origin and cause. In his case I don't see how the fire could have been determined non incendiary if the origin of the fire could not be determined. Fire fighters are not experts in the determination of fire origin and cause. Only an experienced investigator with a back ground in fire origin and cause can make the determination relative to cause and origin of a fire. I would check as to the qualification of the first official who conducted the original fire cause and origin. If an accelerant are present seven months after the fire, you can be sure that they were even more obvious in presence at the time of the fire. This case could have many twists to it if there is foul play and I have several questions but will not ask them at this point. I can't comment on the autopsy without reading the report or seeing photos. After seven months I would assume that the body was badly decomposed. This does make the Medical Examiners job difficult but modern technology is amazing. It all depends on how far advanced in technology your area agencies are. I hope I have answered your questions.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My son was shot about a month and a half ago but there is still no suspects in his shooting. I was wondering if it could be determined from the bullet or the shell casings what gun the bullet fired from? And if so, how?

The answer to your question is yes. Most ballistic labs are using a system similar to the FEDS DrugFire System. They can tell if a projectile has been fire by the same gun, and they can tell if the same gun has been used if a shell casing has been recovered. However they must have the gun to be able to match either the projectile or the shell casing. The projectile when traveling through the barrel gets striation marks imbedded in the lead. These marks can be matched to the barrel. The casings when chambered in the weapon also take on certain marks. In addition to chambering the firing pin also strikes the primer leaving an indentation and is almost like a finger print. Modern technology is great. Without the gun the technicians can really only detect the weapon caliber and type (revolver, automatic, ect.) Good Luck

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello I am hoping you can help me , I am the person in our family who is doing most of the contacts with the detectives assigned to the homicide case of my brother who was murdered on christmas 2002 in his own apartment, no forced entry No suspects. I want to know what I can do to keep the detectives focused on this case as it seems to be on the back burner I call at Least once a week and am told nothing new, they have no leads. The murder occurred in the 13th precinct in Manhattan, New york. Because my brother was discovered by my husband and my other brother a lot of time was spent questioning my family and collecting DNA from my husband and my other brother , and we were postponed initially by police telling us it would be at least 8-12 weeks before the medical examiner would make a ruling of homicide. The medical examiner called me on March 12th and informed me the case was ruled a homicide. Now that It has finally been determined a homicide the detectives are saying they have to wait for the official paperwork before we can do a reward or posters for information...??? Does this sound legitimate. The surviving members of my family live on Long Island so it's at least an hour away for us to physically go see the detectives. My family is becoming increasingly angry and frustrated by the lack of information and activity on this case. Please help if you can.I want to work cooperatively with the police to find the killer and get answers about what happened to my brother..

Sorry to hear of the loss of a loved one. I think you are doing the right thing by touching base with the Detectives on a regular basis. I would suggest that you keep a organized log of all your contacts, document dates and times and who was spoken too and the results of your conversation. You don't want to rush the detectives because a case that is rushed usually is not thorough and is usually damaged in court by the defense. A homicide case will never go away and it may take a long time to solve so be prepared for a long wait. You want the case to been done right and get a conviction. I don't know a lot about the case but it sounds as if the suspect may be someone close to your brother or someone known to your brother. If this is the case the detectives aren't going to tell you much about the case. That is because what they tell you may leak to others close to the case or a suspect who may be a family member or friend. They don't want anyone to know what they are doing in their investigation. Don't be in a hurry to put up reward posters, when the case gets to the point when all leads have been followed up than the detectives will be glad to have any help they can get from the family. Homicide cases are not put on a back burner. An Assistant DA is usually assigned to a Homicide Unit and all cases are monitored by more than one body. Sometimes detectives give a case time to settle and allow suspects to make mistakes which create leads. Don't worry let the case take it's course and just document all your family contacts. I hope I answered your questions. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Can a Taurus 9mm hand gun be fingerprinted after setting for over a year? If you are ruling out foul play why not do a drug test ? Why not check stomach contents ? Glass he drank out of not in crime photos. Wife's story changed , she could not keep it straight if he was up when she got to my home or he was not up. I believe she was in the room the whole time and she shot him. There was a bullet hole in the wall cops were not worried about. There was a bullet in my kitchen they did not want. The lead detective told me he had confused this case with another that was similar. His computer was not ck for suicide note.

I will answer your questions the best I can given little information about the case. Prints can be recovered as well as DNA if any are present. Important factors for recovering latent prints are, is the surface suitable, is there a issue of cross contamination, what is the condition of the environment the weapon was stored in and was the weapon properly processed. These are just a few determining factors in recovering latent prints. If a thorough investigation and autopsy were conducted than a toxicology report should have been done. I'm not sure about stomach content I think it all depends on the circumstances of the death. You can ask a POMC pathologist that question. Detectives can tell if a witness is lying and they may wait until other facts and evidence unfold to confront a witness with false statements. I think any bullet at the crime scene should have been recovered whether in a wall or anywhere else. This could be evidence of a prior incident at that location. I can't speak for the confused detective or the computer factor because I don't know all the facts of the case.I hope I answered your questions.What was the motive of the wife.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
WHEN MY TWO YEAR OLD BABY GIRL WAS MURDERED, AND I LET THE LEAD DETECTIVE KNOW AND SENT HER EVIDENCE THAT THIS WAS A DEPRAVED INDIFFERENCE MURDER, SHE WOULDN'T EVEN EXCEPT MY EVIDENCE AND CLOSED THE CASE AND LET THE MURDERER OF MY TWO YEAR OLD BABY WALK WITHOUT EVEN LOOKING AT WHAT I PRESENTED. MY QUESTION IS HOW CAN I GET THIS DETECTIVE TO INVESTIGATE WHAT I GAVE HER OVER FOUR YEARS AGO. THIS EVIL BOY IS WALKING AROUND FREE WHEN I HAVE ENOUGH EVIDENCE AND WITH THE HELP OF THE POLICE KNOW HOW TO GET EVEN MORE. THANK YOU

Sorry for the delay in response. What you can do is contact the DA's office and request the case be reviewed. You can also contact the police chief and ask him to investigate the case status. I am curious to know the Medical Examiners determination. A detective can't close a death case without looking at all avenues. If you get no help call your political rep or seek your own attorney. A private investigator may also be of some help. However cause of death is important and you may want to contact the ME for their opinion.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks for responding to my question to my question on how to get the detectives to reopen a closed murder case of my two year old baby. We all know how and who killed my baby misty, it was my wife. But here's my problem her ex for at least 10-13 days that i know of for sure had my wife and baby's life in his hands. what this EVIL NON-HUMAN did was [he had abused Teresa [my wife] for 9 years before she fled him from Oregon to californian where she met me and I gave Teresa and her 4 children safety and security something EVIL boy never did her totally abused her beating her and going out on her the whole ten yards. [Teresa tried to commit suicide at least once that I know of her Aunt told me this after Teresa killed Misty our baby together and killed herself], get Teresa a gun to kill herself I have my home phone records showing a step by step hour by hour log of him getting this gun over a 10-13 day period. Again a phone bill that came in after I lost my loved ones and my life was altered from that moment on. Detective Horney I have so much evidence that will put Evil boy away that it's not even funny. I guess Evil boy when Teresa went into a suicide state of mind said to himself this is the way to get my kids back, help teresa every step of the way. But Evil boy mad a mistake a very big mistake way at the last moment when he took his kids BUT didn't take Misty knowing what Teresa was going to do EVIL boy COMMITTED " DEPRAVED INDIFFERENCE FOR LIFE MURDER" The DA and lead Detective for some reason wanted this to be a SIMPLE murder/suicide this is anything a SIMPLE murder/suicide. If ther's anything else you might be able to help me with It would be great. I'll tell you this I haven't waited over 4 years to let this EVIL boy walk. Do you know how I can bring evidence before the GRAND JURY? I know if common people hear the evidence we will be on our way to "BRINGING JUSTICE TO BABY MISTY" I hope to hear from you thank you very much.

It has been ruled a murder/suicide and I guess the law enforcement agency can show evidence to prove that. It will be difficult if you can't provide direct evidence that shows someone else is involved in this crime. I don't know what evidence you have on this other individual but maybe if you consult an attorney and you can inquire into the elements needed for a wrongful death investigation. I know from experience that in cases like this closure is never easy to deal with especially when there are so many unanswered questions and other possibilities. You may want to confide in others at a victims group organization in your community. You will be surprised as to how helpful they can be. I wish you luck in search for closure.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am writing you in hopes that you may help me. I am writing a paper in school (ACC, Austin, TX.) on Hit and Run. It really gets under my skin to hear a member of the Media refer to it as a hit and run accident. Granted, one can hit someone, and it is an accident, but the perpetrater runs, it is no longer an accident. I know that the Legislation is getting better, or I hope that it is, but I have only been able to find the old rules thus far. I got your e-mail address from the POMC website. I have a very close friend who's only son was murdered that way. The law seems to be improving, but the Media just doesn't get the picture. So, I was hoping that perhaps you could email the most recent laws pertaining to Hit and Run.

I hope I can be of some help to you. Laws pertaining to certain crimes are different state to state. But Texas law is a bit more strict than a lot of other states. Your right about the media describing situations in the news. But the reporters are guided by key words not facts in most cases. They use words and phrases that are going to get direct attention so they can get viewers. In reference to hit and run a lot of factors come into play. The key factors are intent and negligence. Accidents do happen and people do die. But under what circumstances caused the incident. It's not hit and run it's called leaving the scene of an accident after personal injury or property damage. If there is a death as a result, it's called vehicular manslaughter. If it is premeditated and the vehicle is the intended weapon that it's murder in what ever degree the state feels is appropriate. A father who accidentally backs over his three year old child in the driveway is vehicular manslaughter but there was no intent, so what should be the fathers penalty. Now the wife who catches her husband cheating on her gets in her car and drives to the husbands girlfriends house and waits for the husband to exit the house, and as he walks to cross the street she accelerates the vehicle and runs him over killing him. This is different, she planned the murder and intended to kill him using the vehicle as the weapon. This is murder. As to hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident there are many excuses used for a reason. like fear, DUI, wanted on a warrant, suspended licences, no insurance, stolen vehicle, on parole, not my car and the list goes on. I could for hours about it. But I found a site that had a great deal of information about the subject and access to various state laws. Go to AllLaw.com under topics click on criminal than click on information on specific crimes. I think you will find enough to help you with your project. Good Luck in your quest.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My brother was found dead and was placed in the back seat of his car parked at a local school in March of 1996 in DE. He had been strangled from behind; nothing was stolen and there were no signs of struggle; my brother was 42, athletic, stood 6'4" and weighed 240 lbs. His murder remains unsolved; the police don't even know if he was killed on the 16th or 17th or where the killing actually took place; there is very little physical evidence. What we, his family, believes is that he was killed by the man and/or his family (generations of Italian construction company owners) of whom he had had an affair with his wife or by their hired killer (s). My brother had moved from PA to DE after the affair had been found out; he lived there for approx one (1) year prior to his death. We and the police know of the threats made by the husband and his family members both verbally and in writing, the latest being said to a good friend of my brother's five (5) months prior to his death. The investigating detective did finally (due to the pressure we gave him) after 7 months finally interviewed the husband. We were told that the husband did display anger during the interview but the detective decided that was just normal for a "hurt husband". No follow-up interviews were done. Too make a long story short, my questions to you are: Isn't strangulation considered a crime of passion??? Wouldn't you consider an affair a cause for motive for murder?? Shouldn't a strong motive cause a detective to fully investigate any person/persons and their stories/background?? Would having a suspect(s) out of a detective's jurisdiction and a two-hour drive deter him from fully investigating them? Would a detective purposely avoid investigating a crime with possible ties to organized crime?? I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on this matter.

I know how frustrating it can be when you have so many unanswered questions and thoughts. But sometimes investigators run out of leads and have to change the course of the investigation. Contact the Detective Unit and see if they have a Cold Case Squad that takes over when there are no further developments in a case. I will answer your questions the best I can with the amount of information you have provided. Some consider it a crime of passion especially when the victim is female I personally don't believe strangulation is a crime of passion. Strangulation is a silent weapon and a slow method of murder. However, if the suspect doesn't know what he's doing the victim could escape leaving a lot of trouble for the attacker. I would consider a secret affair a motive for murder, yes. All motives and reasonable suspicions should warrant in depth investigations which include interviews and follow up interviews. In a murder investigation there should be no boundaries relative to jurisdiction. Leaving the US is however is a problem. As to your last question, I hate even the thought of a corrupt agency. I would say no because a case solved linked to any organized crime organization is a big victory for a detective and an accomplishment. Hope these answers help you.

I am curious to know a few things. What did your brother do for a living. Why did he move to DE, I mean that particular state. Do you know if he continued an affair with the wife after he moved. Was he know for having affairs with married women and was he ever married or was he married during the affair. How often did he return to PA after he moved to DE. How do you know for a fact he was not killed in the car. How do you know he was strangled from behind and not suffocated. Did the police say what they believe was used in the strangulation. What type of threats were made and where are the threatening letters. I would really like to know the results of the interview of the wife/girlfriend. Your brother was a large and in pretty good shape man and I don't believe he was easily over taken or manhandled, strangling a man the size of you brother is quite risky. I would continue calling the Detectives and start a log book of dates and times you call, who you speak to and their responses. Keep writing down your thoughts and facts and your suspicions. If you have more questions feel free to contact me. Good Luck and hang in there your case may get a break. Sometimes waiting can be a good investigative tool.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MY SON WAS MURDERED JAN 31, 2003. I LAST SPOKE TO HIM APPROX. @ 10:00 PM. WE SPOKE APPROX. 30 MIN. HE SAID HE HAD FRIENDS COMING OVER. STUPID ME DIDN'T ASK NAME.(BIG MISTAKE. THIS COULD HAVE BEEN THE CLUE TO FIND THE KILLERS. MY FAULT AND I REGRET IT EVERYDAY) HE KNEW WHO THEY WERE. I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT IT WAS HIS GIRLFRIEND AND SOMEONE ELSE.THE LAST INCOMING CALL CAME IN AT 11:37. THE LAST CALL GOING OUT WAS TO 911. BECAUSE THIS WAS ALL DONE ON A CELL PHONE, HIS CALL WAS NOT RECORDABLE. NOW I HAVE NOT SEEN THE PHONE RECORDS TO SEE IF THE NUMBER APPEARED ON THE BILL AS A NUMBER OR INCOMING. THE 911 CALL ONLY LASTED 1-2 MIN. WE DON'T KNOW IF THE PHONE WAS HUNG UP, OR WHAT. WE KNOW THE CALL WENT DEAD.HIS ROOMMATES WERE OUT OF TOWN FOR THE HOLIDAYS.HE WAS MURDERED WED. BUT HIS BODY WAS NOT DISCOVERED UNTIL SUN BY HIS ROOMMATES. THEY CALLED THE POLICE. NOW HERE IS QUESTION 1. WHEN THE POLICE CAME AND LOOKED AT THE BODY, THEY COULDN'T FIND WHAT CAUSED HIS DEATH. I DO UNDERSTAND THAT HIS BODY WAS BADLY DECOMPOSED. (HE LIVED IN MIAMI, FLA.) BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T FIND ANYTHING THING, THEY ASSUMED IT WAS NATURAL CAUSES (HE WAS 27) OR FROM A DRUG OVER DOSE. THE POLICE SAID TO "CLEAN UP THE AREA."tHEY IMMEDIATELY CLOSED THE CASE. IS THIS PROPER PROCEDURES? HIS ROOMMATES WERE REALLY SHOCKED TO HEAR THIS.
THEY GOT BLOODY PRINTS TO ANALYZE. THEY SAID THEY IT WAS HIS AND THE PRINTS WHICH HAVE NOT COME BACK YET. NOW COMES THE PART THAT JUST DOESN'T FOLLOW THE RULES. MONDAY NIGHT ONE OF HIS FRIENDS CALL TO GIVE ME THEIR CONDOLENCES. THE POLICE NEVER CONTACTED ME. HE DID NOT KNOW THAT WE DIDN'T KNOW. I CAN'T IMAGINE WHAT WENT THRU HIS MIND HAVING TO TELL US THIS.THE POLICE NEVER NOTIFIED US. IN ADDITION, THE FOLLOWING DAY WHICH WAS TUESDAY THEY PUBLISHED AN ARTICLE IN THE MIAMI HERALD OF MY SON'S DEATH. THEY HAD PUBLISHED HIS NAME WITHOUT NOTIFYING ME. QUESTION 2: BEFORE THEY RUN AN ARTICLE TO THE PAPER OR NEWSCAST, AREN'T THEY supposed TO CONCEAL THEIR NAME BEFORE BEING RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC? I LIVE IN VIRGINIA. CAN'T BEGIN TO TELL YOU WHAT WENT THRU MY MIND AND BODY TO READ OF YOUR SON'S MURDER. ON TUESDAY MORNING I CALLED THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND TOLD THEM THEY NEVER CONTACTED ME. THEIR REPLY WAS "NO WE DIDN'T" NO APOLOGIES, NO SYMPATHY, NOTHING. NO REASON WHY EITHER.HOW MUCH COLDER COULD THEY HAVE GOTTEN?
I THEN CALLED THE MEDICAL EXAMINER IN FLA. HARD CALL. REALLY HARD. I SPOKE TO HER IN THE MORNING. SHE TOLD ME THE AUTOPSY WOULDN'T BE DONE UNTIL THE AFTERNOON. AFTERNOON CAME AND AUTOPSY DONE. HE HAD BEEN SHOT IN THE CHEST. GUESS WHAT? SURPRISE! THEY HAD TO REOPEN THE CASE.NOW THE CASE GOES TO HOMICIDE. NOW THEY INVESTIGATE. HMMM.. LET'S GO TO WHERE HE WAS FOUND. NO EVIDENCE !!!!!!!! THE POLICE SAID TO CLEAN UP THE AREA. THEY DID.QUESTION 3: UNTIL THEY DETERMINE THE CAUSE OF DEATH, AREN'T THEY supposed TO SEAL OFF THE AREA IN CASE THE NEED EVIDENCE? THERE WAS NO BLOOD AROUND HIM. I AM ASSUMING THAT HE MAY HAVE BEEN KILLED OUTSIDE HIS APARTMENT AND THEN DRUGGED IN AND SET IN THE AREA WHERE HIS BODY WAS FOUND.NOT DONE YET. HANG IN THERE WITH ME. I AND OTHERS HAVE TRIED TO PIECE THIS TOGETHER AND WE HAVE A STRONG SUSPICION ON WHO KNOWS WHO DID THIS TO MY SON.
MY SON HAD A GIRLFRIEND. SHE HAS A HORRIBLE BIO AT WWW.MYSPACE.COM WHERE MY SON MET HER. MY SON HAD TATTOOS, PIERCING JUST LIKE MOST KIDS THEIR AGE. HE LIKED TO LIVE LIFE ON THE EDGE. HE WASN'T PERFECT. I WAS TOLD HE DID DRUGS. yes, ITS WRONG. BUT ACCORDING TO HIS FRIENDS IT WAS OCCASIONALLY. HE COULDN'T DO IT a lot BECAUSE HE DIDN'T HAVE A JOB.IRREGARDLESS THE FACT THAT HE DID IT, HE DEFINITELY DIDN'T OWE ANYONE MONEY FOR DRUGS OR WHATEVER.YOU CAN TALK TO THE DETECTIVE WHO IS WORKING THE CASE AND HE CAN TELL YOU HE CANT FIND ANYONE TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT MY SON. HE WAS SOFT-SPOKEN, READY TO HELP YOU OUT, BE YOUR FRIEND FOR LIFE, NOT ARGUMENTATIVE, NOT CONFRONTATIONAL, HE WAS A GOOD BOY. CHECK OUT HIS WEBSITE. IT'S WWW.RJLOCKWOOD.COM. HIS FORMER BOSS DID THAT IN MEMORY OF MY SON. TALK TO HIM. HE CAN TELL YOU ABOUT MY SON AND THE TYPE OF PERSON HE WAS. OK BACK TO THE THE ISSUE.
OK THIS GIRL IS BIPOLAR, DRUG USER, STABBED HER DAD AND ALMOST KILLED HIM (DON'T KNOW IF MY SON KNEW THAT) HAD 3 CHILDREN 2 DIED BUT ONLY SPEAKS OF 2 OF THEM, RUNS AN ESCORT SERVICE AND THE LIST GOES ON. I HAVE SPOKEN TO HER 2 TIMES SINCE THE DEATH OF MY SON. BOTH TIMES SHE TOLD ME ME THAT MY SON WAS THE LOVE OF HER LIFE. HE WAS HER WORLD. THEY WERE GOING TO MOVE IN TOGETHER. HE WAS HER SOULMATE. HE WAS HER EVERYTHING. HE EVEN MET HER DAUGHTER. MY SON DID LOVE HER. HE TOLD ME HE WAS MOVING IN WITH HER. THEY DIDN'T MEET BUT 2 TIMES IN PERSON. THEY BURNED THE PHONE LINES AND THE INTERNET UP. THEY WERE IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH EACH OTHER. MY SON REALLY MUST HAVE LOVED HER BECAUSE HE HAD STRUCK OUT IN LOVE 3 TIMES AND WOULDN'T ALLOW HIMSELF TO MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN. IT REALLY HURT HIM WHEN HE BROKE UP WITH A GIRL. ANYWAY, THEY WERE supposed TO SPEND NEW YEARS DAY TOGETHER. HE WAS TO LEAVE THE NEXT DAY TO GO TO DC FOR A JOB FOR 2 MONTHS. WITH THIS MONEY HE WAS GOING TO USE THAT SO THEY COULD GET A PLACE TOGETHER.SHE WAS TO TAKE HIM TO THE AIRPORT. Well, FROM WHAT I, AM, SHE WAS AT A BIRTHDAY PARTY WITH HER FIANCE. THEY HAVE THAT ON TAPE. EVERYONE VERIFIES SHE WAS THERE.NEW YEARS DAY COMES. SHE E-MAILS MY SON. SHE DOES CALL AND GETS HIS ANSWERING MACHINE. HMMMMMMMMM ACCORDING TO 911 THE CALL WENT DEAD. SOMEONE HUNG UP THE PHONE WHILE MY SON WAS CALLING 911, HOW ELSE COULD MESSAGES GET THRU HIS PHONE. THE BATTERY DIDN'T GO DEAD. IF HE DIED WHILE HE WAS ON THE PHONE, THEN ANYONE THAT WOULD HAVE CALLED WOULD HAVE GOTTEN A BUSY SIGNAL. RIGHT?
SHE LIVES ONLY 30 MIN FROM MY SON. SHE WAS TO SPEND NEW YEARS DAY WITH HIM. SHE DOESN'T DRIVE UP TO MEET HIM AS PLANNED. LEAVES NO REASON WHY SHE DIDN'T VISIT. SHE SAID SHE DIDN'T GET AN ANSWER FROM HIM. SHE WAS TO TAKE HIM TO THE AIRPORT. HE DIDN'T HAVE ANY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION. DAYS GO BY. TODAY IS THE 6TH OF JANUARY. I ASSUME SHE HAS CALLED JUST A FEW TIMES BEFORE THIS DATE. SHE HAS LEFT MESSAGES THAT SHE ASSUMED IT WAS OVER BETWEEN THE 2 OF THEM. THE CALLS STOP FROM HER. HAD SHE CALLED ON THE 6TH SHE WOULD HAVE HEARD ON HIS MACHINE THAT HE HAD PASSED AWAY. GUESS SHE DOESN'T READ THE PAPER OR WATCH THE TV. I KNOW IT MADE THE NEWS THAT DAY.HIS NAME WAS EVEN GIVEN. THAT SUNDAY SHE CALLS AND TELLS ME SHE JUST FOUND OUT. IT JUST FEEL RIGHT. SHE HAS CHANGED HER CELL PHONE, SHE MOVED IN WITH HER MOTHER. IT DOESN'T FIT.
THEY DID A FOLLOW UP STORY IN THE MIAMI HERALD. THEY TALKED TO EVERYONE THEY COULD POSSIBLY GET THEIR HANDS ON. WHEN IT CAME TO HER, SHE STATED SHE HAD TO TALK TO ME FIRST.NOW I, AM, SPECIAL.SHE DID NOT NEED TO TALK TO ME TO TALK TO THE NEWS.THEY CONTACTED HER A COUPLE OF TIMES AND SHE REFUSED TO SPEAK. TO THEM. no, SHE DOESN'T HAVE TO SPEAK, BUT IF I THOUGHT 1 PERSON THOUGHT I MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THIS AND I KNOW I DIDN'T, THEN I WOULD SPEAK TO CLEAR MY NAME. I DO KNOW THAT SHE HAD A MAN THAT SHE WAS WORRIED ABOUT BECAUSE MY SON TOLD ME. HE WASN'T WORRIED BECAUSE HE THOUGHT IF HIS CELL PHONE NUMBER CAME UP IT WOULD HAVE A DC NUMBER NOT FLORIDA. MY PERSONAL OPINION IS THAT TYPICAL REASON WHY I DON'T KNOW, THE ANGRY BOYFRIEND "HIT" MY SUSPICIONS ARE THAT SHE NOR HIM(MAYBE) DIDN'T ACTUALLY SHOOT HIM BUT THEY KNOW WHO DID. I BELIEVE HE WAS SET UP. SOMEONE KNEW HE WOULD BE ALONE THAT NIGHT.
NOW HOW MANY PEOPLE TAPE A NEWS YEAR EVE PARTY? HOW MANY PEOPLE WOULD YOU WANT TO KNOW IS YOUR FIANCE IS IN THE PICTURE? BUT REMEMBER MY SON WAS YOUR EVERYTHING AND YOU WERE TO SPEND THE NEXT DAY TOGETHER.DID YOU THINK HE WOULNT SEE THE TAPE? NOW MY SON HAD ONLY BEEN AT HIS APARTMENT BUT A COUPLE OF WEEKS. I DIDN'T EVEN HAVE HIS ADDRESS. HE HAD NO BILLS, NOTHING TO FORWARD TO HIM.HIS ROOMMATES KNEW WHERE HE LIVED, BUT SO DID SHE. MY ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ARE DO I HAVE ENOUGH TO SUE THE POLICE FOR ALL THE WRONG PROCEDURES THAT THEY BOTCH. THE DETECTIVE DID STATE THAT BY CLEANING UP THE CRIME SCENE, THEY LOST ALOT. THEY HAVE STATED THAT NEITHER HE OR SHE IS A SUSPECT. BUT WE HAVE HEARD THAT BEFORE(IE, PETERSON, BLAKE, SIMPSON) THEY MAY HAVE NOT BEEN CONVICTED BUT THEY WERE NOT A SUSPECT AT FIRST. THE POLICE PUT THAT IN THE PAPER. THEY SAID THEY WOULD GIVE HER A LIE DETECTOR TEST BUT THAT'S A LONG WAY OFF. WHY CAN'T THEY DO IT NOW AND IF SHE'S TELLING THE TRUTH THEY CAN MOVE ON TO HIM. THEY BELIEVE EVERYTHING SHE SAYS. THIS JUST DOESN'T FIT. WHAT DO I DO? WHERE DO I GO?HELP!!!!!!!!!!MY SON WASNT PERFECT. HE HAD HIS FAULTS BUT HE SURE DIDNT DESERVE TO DIE LIKE THIS NOR ANYONE ELSES CHILD OR FAMILY MEMBER. I DONT REMEMBER US BEING GIVEN THE RIGHT TO KILL SOMEONE FOR HIS OWN GAIN. NOT ONLY DID THEY KILL MY SON BUT THEY KILLED A PART OF ALOT OF PEOPLE. OUR LIVES HAVE CHANGED FOREVER.

I'm sorry for your loss. I will try to answer your questions the best I can with the info provided. I'll try to answer your questions first than try to give you some direction.
Ref question #1 Not all agencies are the same, but every scene should be treated as a crime scene until evidence shows otherwise. I can't see any reason why this scene was treated any differently. Of course I can only base this on what you provide to me. Most overdose victims leave behind obvious indicators that usually lead one to believe an overdose is probable, however until toxicology results are available the case should at least be considered a questionable death and the scene should be thoroughly examined and processed.The fact that your was young and there was no indication of a terminal medical condition would be enough for me to examine much further. I would have treated the scene as a questionable death at this point. Police should have done a thorough examination of the body before it left the scene. Keep in mind police can't close a case until the ME determines the cause of death. I'm not surprised that little or no blood was found at the scene. A gunshot wound to the chest may not produce much blood. It depends on the cal. of the bullet and the location of the entry and exit if there is an exit.

Question #2 The media is restricted to releasing victim information if the victim is a juvenile, anything else that is considered public record can be released unless it's a national security risk or issue.

Question #3 The scene should have been processed as a possible homicide and all evidence should have been recovered and the scene should have been photographed. There are health issues associated with a death scene and the scene can only be secured until the crime scene process is complete. Some things I'd be curious to know is toxicology results, bullet entry and exit, bullet projectile cal., 911 call taped voice (yes they can record a 911 call coming in from a cell phone) what victim was wearing when his body was recovered, cellphone bill for the month showing all calls too and from that number, was there evidence of a struggle, was there forced entry to the house or apartment. statements of the girlfriend and room mates, profiles on all associated. Keep in mind your case is not a cold case and is in the early stages of the investigation. Hang tight and keep your contacts documented. Speak to those reporters they could be an asset later. In a murder case the detectives are only going to tell you what they have too. They must maintain case integrity. Even though your the victims mother valuable information to you could accidentally be leaked to a suspect and could damage the investigation. In order to litigate the police department you have to show gross negligence.
I hope I was of some help. Feel free to contact me again. Good Luck

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My daughter was killed in an accident Nov 29, 2003 . I live in deep south Georgia however I am not from here I was transferred here. I have spoke with law enforcement in Florida and they tell me that what happened should have warranted criminal charges. It is detailed but I need help please Sir.
My daughter had just turned 24 she has lived with me her entire life I was also a single parent her entire life.Theresa had a boy friend Kevin whom she had met in a club 6 months prior to her death. The young couple had ups and downs however I did not care for Kevin and his lack of motivation in life and excessive drinking patterns. I had confronted Theresa and suggested she think of finding different love for she deserved much more.Theresa continued expressing her love for Kevin. I received a phone call 2 to 3 weeks prior to Theresa's death from Kevin's father indicating he did not want Kevin near my house or Theresa near his and he did not like what was going on in my household.
I, Sir am openly gay however I do not flaunt it, I am a professional and my partner a teacher, Kevin took it upon himself to share this with his parents who lived in the real backwoods of Georgia. Theresa and Kevin started sneaking around in their relationship.
Kevin lived 27 miles from my home in the deep country woods. Nov 28th I noticed my car missing I ran in the house to see if Theresa had a clue and I was thinking it was stolen. I noticed Theresa wasn't home and I concluded she went out with Kevin sneaking some place.
Theresa as the police reports state was going there to see if she could have a romantic evening and work on their relationship that had many problems. Theresa picked out a large bottle of wine some cologne dressed in high heel boots red lingerie stockings with garter a Santa hat made her last cell phone call to Kevin. Theresa drove to Newton County and met Kevin at a service station she wasn't familiar on how to get to his house so she followed him. It is reported she snuck in his bedroom window with him they proceeded to have "drinks" this was at approx 5 :15 am Kevin as stated claims he told Theresa the relationship was over she threw a glass of wine in his face he told her to leave. He also has stated he knew she was drunk. It was 32 degrees out in the woods Theresa had no range on her cell phone 6 miles to closest pay phone. I have a tape from a neighbors surveillance lighting at 5:33 am the car was seen drink fast out of there. In reports one hour later Theresa walked into a store clutching her cell phone extremely distraught crying that her boyfriend abandoned her and she wanted to get home. The lady was concerned for Theresa however instructed her to the interstate. Theresa made it 15 more minutes and left the road exceeding way over 45 speed limit, went air borne 20 to 30 'struck a tree the convertible mustang split in half she was ejected from the car. Theresa was missing 7 days I conducted most of my own searching in Newton County suspecting foul play from Kevin. I had a homicide detective assigned and a missing report as well. The police could not find Theresa and all my search parties no finding. My brothers came from Florida never having been here mapped her route from the Internet in Florida got detailed map of her route they arrived in Georgia Dec 6th 7 PM by 8pm my brothers found tire tracks and shined the boat light to the bottom of the embankment and saw many many pieces of the car. An autopsy was done and a BAU Theresa is to be believe by the wrongful death attorney 3 times the legal driving limit for alcohol. In the lawyers evidence it is calculated that more alcohol was served to her at Kevin's houe. Kevin is a legal resident of his parents house. I never wanted a wrongful death lawyer however I was told by the traffic specialist that if I could not link that Kevin told Theresa to leave by car I could not have charges of accessory to vehicular homicide.
The wrongful death case is very strong but I want Justice Kevin decided to kick Theresa out of the house. It is all over police reports and stated in the newspaper. This was a high profile missing persons case here in Georgia.
The real untold truth as me and my lawyer have concluded was a fight broke out in the parents home it woke the parents and I know this because their stories kept changing and they never ever offered to help in the search. And the fact remains they did not want her at the house.
Thank you for allowing me to ask questions. I am not even sure if you welcome this kind of mail but I am determined justice be served and I need guidance.

I am sorry for the loss of your daughter and I know you are looking for justice and closure. With the information you provided I can say that it is obvious the law enforcement efforts were really inappropriate considering the case circumstances. Law enforcement is as good as the resources available to them. Being a small department probably on a low budget, you get what you pay for. That is no excuse for the lack of service in your case. As much as I hate to say it, I don't believe there is enough evidence to pursue a criminal or civil case against Kevin. Unless it can be proved that Kevin forced or manipulated your daughter into driving the car while she was intoxicated and was responsible for her driving at such a high rate of speed, I don't see how any case either criminal or civil could be established. In a defense point of view it would focus on the fact that your daughter was twenty four years old and a responsible adult able to purchase alcohol and drink alcohol in your state. The fact that she purchased the wine prior to arriving at Kevin's house and also taking your vehicle without your knowledge and the fact that Kevin's parents didn't want your daughter in their house or with Kevin are just a few defense arguments. I could go on but that isn't very comforting for you and I'm sorry. This is just my opinion. If your attorney feels a wrongful death case will be successful than you should be guided by his advice.
In any event I hope you find some comfort and closure soon.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My son was found in a ditch on Nov. 4 2003. The person who he was last with told police he jumped out of the truck because he had been acting weird. The Pathologist told me and the investigating officers that my son did not die in the ditch he was placed there. He died from blunt force injury to the back of the head. When they first told us they said my son was shot in the back of the head.We were told that for the first day and a half. When they took the other boys truck and kept it for one week and brought it back to a place that works on cars and returned it to the owners. My first question is is that even long enough to go over a truck to get answers or evidence ? My second question is why hasnt the boy been arrested for any kind of crime? We know he lied about my son jumping and many other things. There is a lot more to this story I would like to share but I would like to get your opinion on my questions first. I have wrote Dr. Harry Bonnell so if you need to talk to him he has more information. I am so frustrated about all of this I feel like I am getting no help from anyone. I have asked the sheriff to let me send this to second opinion services but he says he wants to finish his investigation tells me nothing except they don't have enough evidence. I need some closure on this I know my son was murdered and placed in the ditch. I even have two different people who came forward and said they heard these people planning on hurting my son said they never thought it would go this far but as soon as they heard they went straight to the police and told them what they had heard .these people did not even know each other one boy was ignored and the other said he made a statement but had never heard from the police again. It is almost eight months later and we still know nothing. Please write back and let me know your opinion. I will give you anymore information you need .

I am sorry for the loss of your son. I know you are looking for closure, but a death investigation takes time and many things need to fall into place before someone can be charged and convicted.I must say the police have something to work with, a witness/suspect, a vehicle and a crime scene. Now they have to put the results together and come up with three elements, motive, means, and opportunity. Sometimes a blow to the head with a blunt object can give an appearance of a gunshot wound, like a blow with a hammer or a tire iron. It's the autopsy that reveals the wound type and cause of death. In reference to your first question, a week is long enough for a forensic team or crime lab to go through a vehicle. If physical evidence is found it could take several weeks or months to analyze and get the results. I can't answer question two because I don't know why the witness/suspect has not been arrested. I admit he is suspicious and is probably the focus of the investigation. The investigators don't have to rush because there is no statute of limitations on a crime of murder. In an investigation one subject interviewed can turn into many more interviews so the police may be busier than you think. They sure aren't going to tell anyone about the results of the investigation or facts of the case even parents or other relatives. One leak of information could destroy the entire case. Just wait, and start a log book and document every contact you have relative to the case. When I had cases that were this sensitive and I could have had enough evidence to arrest someone I would tell family only that the case was going well and progress is being made. I would not disclose anything until I made the arrest. If I were you I would be patient and don't discuss anything about this case with anyone, even family. If you have further questions please feel free to contact me. Good Luck

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I wanted to know why the sheriffs did not search for a possible weapon in the water. My daughter's body was found in a irrigation cannel where is floated there for about three weeks after she was killed. The sheriffs told me that the water would have destroyed all creditable evidence. Therefore, the did not look for any weapons or evidence in the water. My daughter was killed in one place and her body was dumped in another location. Therefore, there is no crime scene to investigate other then the water way where her body was found. I also want to know why it is taking so long to get DNA results. My daughter was killed January 2002. I was told that nuclear DNA testing turned up no results. This test took over a year to get results back. Then they sent the DNA from the same hair found in her fist to DOJ for mitochondria DNA testing. The sheriff's office sent the hair sample for testing in February of this year and told me that getting any results could take at least a year or more. The first detective assigned to investigate the case gave me an address and name of the suspect very early on in the investigation. He also described to me and my children in full detail how my daughter was murdered. Now the detectives deny that any of these events took place. They immediately removed the lead detective from the case and have replaced him with another detective who will not answer any of my questions regarding the progress of this case. I feel helpless and believe that this homicide case will never be solved. I also have no idea what my legal rights are as a parent of a murdered child.

I am deeply sorry for the loss of your daughter. I wish I knew why some police agencies investigate crimes the way they do and to be honest some of them are really backwards in the way that they do things. Most of it is money and resources available. Anyway, If this was my investigation I would have treated the location where the body was found as a crime scene and would have processed that area as if the murder took place there. If that is the only scene that you have you must make every attempt to find something. I don't agree that water destroys all credible evidence. A body found in water can actually be valuable in a forensic specialist eyes. DNA profiling can take some time but a year is quite long. If you have a suspect you must get a sample from the suspect to compare DNA. If you have more than one suspect than the time gets longer, remember you just can't get a sample from a suspect by asking for it. Probable cause must be established. If you have a suspect you must find them to get samples. In reference to the first lead Detective, I'm sorry to say he should have been removed from the case. He revealed too many details about the case and that damaged the case integrity which in a trial could be a defense attorney gold mine. Detectives are not ignoring you, they can't tell you things about the case. All I ever tell family members is that progress is being made or we are at a standstill waiting for some new developments. I know you are feeling your being left out but your really not. The investigators would love to give you good news but they can't at this point. Keep in touch with the detectives on the case provide them with any information you can and let them know that you are available to help in anyway. Keep a log of your contacts and jot down ideas you may have about the case. A murder case is never just put on the side and forgotten about. It could become a cold case when all investigative avenues have been exhausted but when new developments arise it's a whole new case again. Remember there is no statute of limitations on a murder. I hope I have answered your questions.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
my sister-in-law was found dead of a gunshot wound to the chest, 31 March 2004. The finding of the body was reported by her live-in boyfriend ( yes there was a history of Domestic Disturbance calls by neighbors). He told the authorities that the gun belonged to him and that he found her dead in the bedroom after returning from picking up some food. No one in the two story apartment complex admitted hearing anything. The first call my husband and I received from another family member informed us that she had committed suicide. When my husband returned from seeing his father and trying to get more information he was convinced that things did not add up. His sister was raised to know how to use a gun, and was a certified EMS Tech. He was convinced that she would not have used a handgun to shoot herself in the chest as a means of suicide. The next afternoon we were shocked to find out, by accident, that the gun was fired through a pillow. Her body was kept at Baptist Hospital for two days to complete the autopsy. We were told that the authorities did check both the sister and the boyfriend's hands for GSR. My father-in-law was emotionally unable to ID his daughter's body. As soon as the body was released, my husband went into the funeral parlor, two full days after the shooting, to officially ID his sister, this was the first opportunity the family was given to do this. His father had her cremated the next day. When we went to her apartment to help box up its contents the day after she was cremated, another sibling asked us to find the dumpster to dispose of two large plastic bags next to the apartment door. It was obvious that one of the bags contained a large thick comforter. We had all agreed that whatever could not be used or was not wanted would be donated to the local Battered Women's Shelter, so my husband asked why we were throwing away bed linens. We were completely caught off guard to be told that the comforter from the bed she was shot on and the pillow through which she was shot were inside that bag. The police had already said at the time that they left with the body that they had retrieved all that they needed and were finished at the scene. When the very first family member arrived at the apartment 24 hours after the shooting, they were informed by the boyfriend that he had cleaned everything up so that would not have, and had even bagged the soiled items for disposal. He also had already disassembled the king size bed she died on and removed it from the apartment, along with the matching dresser - both of which he explained that he had bought with his money. My husband agreed to take the bags to the dumpster since were to leave last that night. He did no such thing. He set them aside to take to the authorities on Monday morning, he wanted answers to why they were not taken at the time of the initial investigation. So much for second chances, while my father-in-law was alone at the apartment the next day the boyfriend conveniently dropped by and offered to take the trash out for him. We did not find out what had happened to the bag until the next morning when we stopped by to pick it up. My husband immediately drove up to the dumpsters, but they have a built-in compactor and there was nothing that we could do. The autopsy report is expected in the next week or so. The last call to the authorities we were told that homicide has not been ruled out. The apartment has already been emptied and cleaned. The shirt that my sister-in-law was wearing, bullet hole and all, is in Georgia with her grieving older sister. I have no idea what evidence could be left to investigate. I guess that our last hope is to have GSU evidence and the autopsy report to give us answers, we just aren't sure what the right questions are at this point. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated at this point.

I'm glad to be of help and hope you and your family have some closure soon. It's hard for me to imagine why so much important physical was not recovered at the scene and processed accordingly I wish I knew why the investigators failed to recover it. I have been involved in the investigation of several cases of suicide where the victim used a handgun to shoot themselves in the chest and used a pillow to muffle the sound. This method is usually very clean with very little blood present and limited damage to the body. The disadvantage to this method is that sometimes the victim will survive the attempt. You sound as if you feel foul play is involved and it well may be. I find it puzzling that possible physical evidence was bagged and left at the scene by the boyfriend for any period of time. However some people make critical mistakes and some people may want to be caught I don't know. GSGSRowever is a process that has to be done right away. Here is some information about GSGSRGood Luck and if I can be of further help feel free to contact me via POPOMC

Residue Examination of GuGun Composition of gunshot residue Firing a weapon produces combustion of the primer and powder of the cartridge. The residue of the combustion products, or unburned primer or powder components, can be used to detect a fired cartridge. Residue may be found on the skin or clothing of the person who fired the gun, on an entrance wound of a victim, or on other target materials at the scene. The discharge of a firearm, particularly a revolver, can deposit residues even to persons at close proximity, so interpretations as to who fired the weapon should be made with caution. (Thornton, 1986)The major primer elements are lead (Pb), barium (Ba), or antimony (Sb). Usually, all three are present. Less common elements include aluminum (Al), sulfur (S), tin (Sn), calcium (Ca), potassium (K), chlorine (Cl), or silicon (Si). A mercury-fufulminantased primer may be found in ammunition manufactured in Eastern Europe and used in the Middle East.(ZeZeichneret alal1992) Primer elements may be easier to detect in residues because they do not get as hot as the powder, and compounds (not just elements) may be detectable. (TaTassat alal1982b)In addition, primer residues may adhere to fired bullets and gradually ablate through the path of the bullet. Thus, primer residue may be found in targets or wounds at considerable distance from the muzzle (up to 200 meters).The cartridge case, bullet, bullet coating, and metal jacket also contain specific elements that can be detected. Virtually all cartridge cases are made of brass (70% copper and 30% zinc). A few have a nickel coating. Primer cases are of similar composition (Cu-Zn). Bullet cores are most often lead and antimony, with a very few having a ferrous alloy core. Bullet jackets are usually brass (90% copper with 10% zinc), but some are a ferrous alloy and some are aluminum. Some bullet coatings may also contain nickel. (RaRavreby1982).Modern gunpowder, or "smokeless" powder, can contain up to 23 organic compounds (FBI study). Nitrocellulose is virtually always present, along with other compounds containing nitrate or nitrogen. One of these compounds, didiphenylamineused as a stabilizer in the powder), can be detected using reagents containing sulfuric acid. (MaMaloneyt alal1982) Modern gunpowders are also described as "single-base" when the basic ingredient is nitrocellulose and as "double-base" when there is additionally 1 to 40% ninitroglycerinedded. Hardy and ChChera1979) describe a method to differentiate them using a mass spectrometer.In the physical examination of the scene or body for evidence of gunshot residue, it must be remembered that lead residues may mimic gunshot residue. Lead residues may be found up to 30 feet from the muzzle, and are always present on the opposite side of a penetrated target. Such a situation has been reported when an intermediate target (glass) was present. (MeMesslernd Armstrong, 1978)Though the amount of residue deposited tends to decrease with increasing range of fire, the actual deposits can be highly variable for ranges up to 20 cm.(Brown, CaCauchiet alal1999)Detection of Gunshot ReResidueTheajor methods for detection of primer residues are neutron activation analysis (NANAA atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAAAS and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive analysis (SESEMDA). For these methods, samples must be obtained from the skin surfaces of a victim at the scene. Delay in obtaining residues, movement, or washing of the body prior to autopsy will diminish or destroy gunshot residues. (KiKilty1975)Scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive analysis (SESEMDA) has become an excellent method for detection of gunshot residue. (AnAndraskond MaMaehly1977)The method of collection for residue is quite simple and easily carried out in the field (TaTassaet alal1982a) directly onto the gummed surface of a chuck, or holder, applied to the surface (skin or other material) to be tested. The chuck, with the residue on the surface, can be directly prepared for examination in the SESEMevice. A polyvinyl-alcohol (PVPVALcollection method has been developed that has the advantage of preserving the topical distribution of gunshot residues as well as sampling of other trace materials such as blood.(ScSchymand PlPlacidi2000)A major advantage of this method is that SESEMan reveal the actual surface details of the particles examined, for comparison with known examples of gunshot residue, and pictures can be taken. The large particles of partially burned powder and the spheres of residue can be distinguished from contaminant materials.An X-ray analyzer can be beamed directly onto the particles, so that the energy dispersive pattern (EDEDXcan be generated, giving the elemental composition of the particles. (NeNesbittt alal1976) A computer program to speed up the search for GSGSRarticles by SESEMas been described (Tillman, 1987)It should be remembered that any hand or body part that was close to the fired weapon may have residue appearing consistent with having fired the weapon (Thornton, 1986). Clothing should always be retained on the body up to autopsy, as this may modify entrance wounds, need examination for gunshot residues, or aid in interpretation of the scene.Gunshot residue analysis requires careful evaluation. False positives may be caused by contamination or transfer of GSGSRo the body by mishandling, or when the body is heavily contaminated by GSGSRrom previous shooting. False negatives result from washing of the hands (when this area is sampled) or by victim wearing gloves. A rifle or shotgun may not deposit GSGSRn hands.SESEMay also have usefulness for examination of bullets, as embedded materials from the target such as bone fragments may aid in reconstruction of the scene (DiDiMaioJ et alal1987). SESEMas been used to study tool marks made by the firing pin impressions in the primers of spent cartridges. Such findings could be useful to determine which gun was used to fire the cartridge. Grove et alal1972) found that SESEMould reveal clearly all surface detail in the impression and that 50% of shotgun impressions and 75% of rifle impressions could be positively identified on the basis of four or more individual characteristics, given similar class characteristics.It may be difficult to both find and determine the nature of gunshot wounds in a decomposed body. Determination of the range may be particularly difficult. Extreme care should be taken to avoid misinterpretation of the wounds. Sometime she question of whether the victim was holding the firearm arises in investigation. Lee (1986) has described an improved method for the detection of iron traces on the hands by use of a feferrozinepray. Prior to this, a hyhydroxyguinolineest was employed, but required fluorescent photography. (Stevens and MeMessler1974)Cases have been described in which suicide victims' hands were stained orange-brown from contact with gun barrels following death, presumably from perspiration coupled with a prolonged post-momortemnterval of contact. (Norton et alal1979)Latent fingerprints may be detectable on cartridges and expended shell casings. Such fingerprints, called latent because they are transferred via a substance on the skin ridges to an object. On a gun, such substances could include cleaning solvents or gun oils. Usually, the substances consist of perspiration mixed with oils from sebaceous glands. Conditions of increased temperature and low humidity decrease the persistence of fingerprints. Brass retains the fingerprints better than nickel-plated materials. (Given, 1976)Each firearm sold (other than black powder weapons) has a manufacturer's serial number stamped into it which may be used to identify the weapon. Registration of firearms provides a way of tracing gun ownership. However, attempts may be made to obliterate registration numbers by grinding or filing the metal. (Polk and GiGiessen1975)Gas chromatography has been used to identify gun oils in targets, and was very sensitive, even with stored specimens (KiKijewskind JaJakel1986).

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My 21 yr old son was killed in Philadelphia, PA. We were told by the police that he had committed suicide. They told us he had an introral gunshot wound to the mouth. He was found at the entrance of his office building in his car headlights on and car running on July 13,2004 at 12:50 am. The gun was missing(he was licensed to carry)his wallet and cell phone were also missing. They told us his left pants pocket was turned inside out. The gun was a glock 9mm. We were also told that the bullet never exited the body. The last person we know to have spoken to him was at 9:35pm 7/12/2004.She said he had hooked up his laptop computer in the dorm room on the Temple Campus where he was staying as a chaperone for 7th-8th graders in a summer progam and they didn't have his internet connection hooked up so he needed to go around to the office to work on a project, and he would call her back later that night. The police said 2 persons stopped a paramedic vehichle and told the it looked like the person in that car need assistance.The paramedics went over to my sons vehicle and said he had already been dead for awhile so all they did was turn off the car and call the police. When the police arrived they said the positioning of the body and the blood spatter appeared to be a suicide. They then towed my son in the vehicle to the medical examiners office.His car was never dusted for any prints and to my knowledge since we have asked on 3 occassions to see crime scene photos have not seen any. There is no suicide note to be found and everyone who worked with him,friends as well as family members see anything to indicate a reason for suicide. He went online the beginning of the month paid his regular bill payments. July 1st he had went and brought some new summer clothes. July 11th he went to the drug store and purchased toothpaste,deodorant and some other toiletries. Also on the 10th he went to block buster video and rented 3 comedy action movies. On July 4th he came home and went to our local police department in Abington township and found that he had passed the police exam which he had taken for the 2nd time and was scheduled to take the physical exam on the 29th. On the 8th he left the sgt. who has also been a neighbor and friend of ours a voice mail telling him that he passed the exam and was ready for the next step. He was a very responsible young man who had a full time job and took law enforcement courses at our community college part-time. Did I also mention that the security gunbox safe in the trunk of his car was stolen as well. The cell phone continued to be used and the first call not made by my son was at 12:13am on 7/13/2004 my son's last call was at 9:35pm 7/12/2004. The police also found a picture he had been riding around in his car since 2/14/2004 of him and a girl he met on the internet. She lives in Texas and he's known her since I guess january and has seen her 1 time. The detective told us he believed it was over her. She was the last person he spoke to on the cell phone and she said it was a normal conversation short cause he wanted to finish the project he was working on back at the office. When the people from the office went to the dorm room the laptop was on as she stated and no internet connection. The police never went to the office to question anyone even after they were told he was last seen there at 7pm on the 12th.They also told me he had gunpowder residue on his hands. I was told the only way that could be possible was to have shot the gun. I found out from my uncle and bother inlaw that you can get residue from not cleaning your gun which they know he seldom did. They located the person who had the cell phone. She claims to have seen this car for a period of time from a distance. She thought it was an undercover officer (he had the same make and model as do philadelphia police)Then she says she leaves and comes back to the area a couple of times. Finally she says she decides to go and look into the car and sees a body slumped over. She then goes to her neighborhood drug supplier tells him what she sees he supposedly puts on gloves goes to the car steals the gun wallet and all other items and gives her the phone for her tip and probably drugs according to the detective. She gave them the name of the person and picked his photo out. When they picked him up he denied the whole story and had no gun in his possession. That was the last bit of information I have been given. He asked us to give him another week since he had assigned new detectives to the case and he would get back to us. Well that was 2weeks ago and I haven't heard from him or the new detectives. The death certificates we recieved from the funeral director say pending investigation. I know my son and he would never do anything like take his own life. He loved life and his family too much. What if anything can we try to do to make them realize that something is seriously wrong with this......are we missing something. My own therapist has even told me since I have been in counseling for this that anyone who takes their life as violently as that we would see something and everything he did up until the day he died is not consistent of a person who commits suicide. Iknow I have probably left a lot out and threw a lot into all this. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sorry for the loss of your son and sorry for the delay in my response. It seems that everything you report would make one believe that this death is very suspicious. However the Medical Examiner has not ruled the case a suicide and that leaves the Police Homicide Unit an open case. Because of this you aren't going to get much information from the investigators, especially photographs. You may never see photographs. From what you say your son's pattern was not changed and I believe that if he had committed suicide you would have seen a sign somewhere along the line that something was suspicious. Young victims sometime act impulsively and may not leave signs that they plan to committ sucide.
In your case I am very suspicious of the whole chain of events. This could have been a robbery or another crime. Gunshot residue could have been from a struggle over the gun which could have discharged. I would hope that the female with the cellphone was charged with theft. The police probably don't find her as a credible witness therefore are going to be suspicious of what she tells them. You can be sure that the stolen gun will pop up somewhere sometime.
If the investigators canvass the streets I think they may come up with something and I'm sure the Police are working this case. Keep a log and document everything relative to this case. Don't feel that nothing is being done. Remember this case has not yet been ruled a suicide. You may want to attempt to contact the girl in Texas and see if you can get more information about the relationship. The computer should have been recovered and researched to see what your son's computer activity was all about. Especially the emails, there is probably alot of information in that computer. If the police haven't recovered it you may want to bring that to their attension. Be patient a death investigation could take a long time. You are right to be suspicious about the investigation alot of things don't add up especially the female with the cellphone and the drug dealer/pimp. I'm sure there was blood in that car and anyone with any street smarts knows that if they take anything from the car they are taking a chance on getting nailed with a possible murder. Philly PD has some good investigators and I'm sure they will come up with answers and resolve this case. I am curious and hope you keep me posted on the case progress. If you have more questions please feel free to respond via/POMC. Good Luck and don't give up.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I recently met with the police captain, new investigators assigned to the case and an investigator from the medical examiners office.They have officially closed the investigation and maintained it was a suicide. The individuals who stole the cell phone, wallet and the gun a glock 9mm which we have been told is the weapon which killed my son.The medical examiners office waited on the police investigators before officially ruling manner of death. He also informed me that the city of Philadelphia has never had an intra-oral gunshot wound to the mouth be ruled as anything other than a suicide.(this only leads me to believe they didn't look very hard to find any reason to rule it anything other especially since the initial investigators informed them from the beginning that it was a suicide.The cell phone and the gun have been recovered.The gun was actually illegally possessed by 3 different individuals and sold for money 2 of those times. I have found several conflicting statements in the new investigators report from the original ones who were actually the ones on the scene.They had originally told us that 2 unknown people stopped a paramedic vehicle responding to an accident a couple blocks away.Now these investigators recently assigned say that it was a female police officer and a tow truck driver who found my son dead in his vehicle still running and no weapon. I asked why wouldn't the original investigators assigned to the case be able to provide me with that information when I questioned who were the people who first found my son.The female police officer seems like that was a key piece of information.I also asked wouldn't she be required to file some type of a report or give some official account being a law enforcement person .I asked about an investigation of our son's activities and last persons to have come in contact with him leading up to his death.They gave me the name of a co-worker who was the last known person in his office to have seen him and said he had been questioned. Igave them this persons name and have since spoken to him and he states that he was never contacted by the philadelphia PD. We also asked if any charges were being filed they told me more than likely they were not pursuing filing any charges. The male who actually was the last person who had the gun in his possession is on probation for prior drug and weapons related offenses.I can understand if they can't prove murder.I would not want to see anyone wrongfully accused of a crime they didn't commit,but it is clear to me that laws were broken.We family members feel that not only was a though and proper investigation not done but the city also does not want to seek the small amount of justice from those individuals.I also inquired in reference to obtaining copies of the investigators reports etc. under the Freedom of information act and the captain basically told me there are privacy laws that would permit me from obtaining that information.I am just wondering is this because they ruled and closed the case as a homicide.I need to find out more information on the Freedom of Information act in order to get everything I need to forward to POMC SOS. I also questioned why an investigation was not done in reference to our son's mental health as well as our family.We are not talking about an irrational person who would so violently take his life in such a manner.Our son has never been under any duress and we have not found the smallest link in any way to indicate that he committed suicide.I don't know what all I can do to continue to be my son's voice and seek the justice he so rightfully deserves.He was a law abiding citizen who believed in the system and was pursuing a career in law enforcement.It's ironic that this same system is protecting the 4 individuals who in fact committed illegal acts.I look forward to your reply.

I am sorry that you feel justice has not been satisfied in your case and believe me you are among many who feel the same way. To answer your question in reference to investigative reports completed by detectives and the freedom of information act. The law enforcement agency has to only provide for public viewing the original face copy of the original offense report. Investigative reports and supplemental reports are confidential because they contain case sensitive material and information about other individuals who's rights are protected under the law. These documents can be produced by court order with a showing of good cause. Your case will be difficult because the cause of death ruling is a suicide. I agree that someone should have been charged in the theft of the handgun and cell phone, if anything it could have been used as a bargaining tool for information. From the information you have provided to me it seems that all efforts to interview and follow up with witnesses have not been exhausted in this case and that is unfortunate. I think if you want closure and feel you need to pursue this matter you must focus on the ruling relative to the cause of death and more in-depth interviews of potential witnesses. You will have to seek a second opinion on the cause of death and POMC has some very skilled pathologist who may be helpful in directing you in that area. A private investigator who is local could be produce some positive results in the interview process. In a lot of cases, probes into a case from the outside may causes the law enforcement agency to re-evaluate it's position and go back and dot the I's. In any event I wish you luck and hopes that you find closure.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My daughter died on Sept 26, 2004 by drowning in her FL pool. The police state that it was an accident. I would like information on how I locate her will. She left the children a trust fund of 1 million for the three girls for their daily living. She also left her husband an insurance policy of $250,000 but 500,000 if it was an accident. Husband never held a job she was the provider for the family. She was home alone at the time of her death. He took the children next door to a neighbors home to watch a game on TV. That was out of character because the children ages 14, 11, 5 usually stayed home with her. She was seen walking around her home at 3:15 PM in the afternoon after the storm to check on any damages. She had the home up for sale and moving to Tulsa, OK to a new home and a new job waiting for her. Both homes were in her name. According to her husband the home in FL was left to the children in case of her death. He refused to take a lie detector test. The police stated that her death was an accident by downing. She was an excellent swimmer. I would like to know how I could get to see her will?

What you can do is contact the Register Of Wills in your town or county. If the will was prepaired by an attorney, a copy of the will should be recorded with them. If you know who your daughter's attorney was you could contact them to verify that a will was completed. You can also ask some of your daughter's close friends if they were ever asked by your daughter to act a witness to her will. The life insurance may also be able to help you with it. Good Luck, sorry for your loss.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My son was killed 1-30-02. This was in the early morning hours and the 5 am news announced they had arrested the person responsible, they named him and gave his age, and said he had been arrested for 2nd degree murder. By Noon, the man was now un-named and no charges were filed as it was seld defense. This was the first red flag, as I had heard of charges being reduced, but not being done away with. I also thought our police dept, would certainly be leaving themselves open to a lawsuit, by naming the suspect and then oops, no charges!! I went to the police dept that day, was met with no assistance other than a photocopied statute of the law on justifiable homicide. Their whole case is the man never got out of the car! After 9 months, and the case being closed, and never really investigated, I was able to get a copy of the file under the "Freedom of Information Act." I read everything with a open mind. I then went back and began to list all the discrepancies after each police report, autopsy reports, and the information from the DA's Office. There was so many inconsistancies, I began to think this had been done by Barney Fife. I live in the south in a state that is known for it's corrupt politicians and that extends to our law enforcement. I will list some of the things that have made me convinced my son's death did not happen as they have stated. My son returned to the home he shared with his girlfriend, hermother, her mother's boyfriend, her step brother and his girlfriend. All were present that night. Their scenario is that the suspect and my son's girlfriend got to the home around 1:30 AM and pulled in the driveway with the car in park and parking lights on. Girlfriend is exiting the car. My son comes from the back of the home, down driveway, circles around the front of car, passengers side, by the girlfriend, around the back to driver's side and opens the drivers door. Suspect said my son is all in the car, hitting him and beating him up. Suspect has a knife, my son falls onto it, backs away from the car, circles the back of car and stumbles to neighbors backyard and falls out. Suspect leaves the scene. Suspect goes to his parents and his father calls 911. In the background you hear suspect say " I never got out of the car." Suspect cannot tell you what my son is wearing. He says he had a knife in the console of car and he held it tight and my son fell on it and when my son got away from the car, he got out of there. 2 1/2 hours later he is interviewed by the police, and he states my son is beating him in the car, and he reaches out of the car, to a pocket in the drivers side door and gets the knife with his left hand, transfers it to his right hand, and holds it up to the door frame, him remaining in the seat, but hand extended out of the car and my son fell on knife. Suspect left once my son was away from the car. The car is a black honda, the police located suspect and car around 2:45 am and did not impound the car to look for blood, dna, etc. They took pictures of this car at night. During this confrontation in the car, my son's cap remained on his head and did not come off until he fell out in the neighbors back yard. The pictures of where my son fell, the cap is pictured upside down in two, yet it appears right side up in the other 3 pictures. There is a watch, supposedly my son's , that is photographed, 3 feet further away than where his body fell. My son was stabbed once in the heart, pucturing the aerato. There are no defense wounds on my son. Suspect states in taped police interview, he was blocking blows with his left arm as he sat in drivers seat and my son was beating him. He did not require medical attention. Police take photo's of suspects injuries, and the picture shows his RIGHT ARM- At the scene, girlfriends mother states she heard her daughter say Put the knife away. but girlfriend says she never saw a knife. Girlfriends brother said he went and woke his mother up to tell her my son was hurt (Was she asleep or not) She was never interviewed further. My son could fight and another red flag was how could someone stab him in the heart if my son was throwing punches. I had met with the DA, their investigators, and have gone through 5 attorney's. I filed a civil suit, however in April of 2006 it will become null and void, due to no action. The girlfriends father has money and the mother has underage drug/drinking parties and is sleeping with a judge. Mother and daughter both stated to my son's grandmother Christmas 2001 that they lived in a protected house. I am so frustrated as I feel the Police have decided my son's death is just a throwaway, and I can find no one to help me. I need someone unbiased to tell me I am not crazy to think this is not the FULL PICTURE. Please advise what your opinion is. I appreciate your assistance.

Sorry for your loss. I will answer your questions the best I can with the information that you have provided. First I think you have to evaluate what is credible information and who the information is coming from. The media creates more problems in reporting the news and creates speculation. At the begining of any death investigation the investigators are not going to give the media any information that could harm their case. They sure aren't going to give media anything about charges that soon in an investigation, I would think. In reference to your question about releasing a suspects name, a suspects name can be released if the suspect is 18yrs or older. Only a juveniles identity is protected. The Freedom Of Information act that you refer to is limited. The Police only have to provide the incident report. The supplement investigative report has all the information about the case and the Police will not show it to you. If they did it could cause integrity problems for the investigators. You only got a little peak at the case reports. Let me touch on a few of your concerns before I tell what I think. I don't believe your son fell on the knife either. I also think the vehicle should have been processed. The absence of blood is not uncommon in a stab wound to the chest. Once the knife is removed the flesh closes and the victim usually bleeds internally. You didn't mention what happened to the knife. But because it wasn't stuck in his chest leads me to believe the victim didn't fall on it. I feel that everyone in that house should have interviewed, the information from witnesses may show what led up to the incident. You report that your son had no defense wounds. I believe they are absent because your son was the aggressor. Relative to lividity, it begins quickly. Once a person dies the body fluids settle to the lowest part of the body. Without seeing any reports such as investigative reports, ME report with toxicology results, and suspect and witness statements I can only speculate. What it looks like to me is your son and his girlfriend have been having problems in their relationship and the girlfriend started seeing someone else. Your son knew about it and decided to confront the suspect. He was probably hurt over it and became angry.You said he could fight, does he have an aggressive behavior and did he get into alot of fights.You said he came from behind the house, was he prepairing to surprise the girlfriend and the suspect for a confrontation. It was 1:30 in the morning and the suspect couldn't describe your son. Was it because the victim was successful using the element of surprise and it happened so fast.I think the suspect had the knife in the vehicle and most likely used it to defend himself. If the victim would have fallen on the knife I believe the knife would have remained in the chest cavity. I don't believe that the suspect brought this knife to the scene just to stab the victim with it. I believe that the suspect should have remained at the scene and rendered aide to the victim, but his behavior is not unusual considering the situation. The suspect was not charged probably because the main element was missing,(Motive). You can charge a person with two of the elements present, but one has to be motive. Again I base this on documents and photos that I have not seen. I have to go on what information you provide. I know this isn't what one may want to hear but certain facts and elements need to be present for a case to be prosecuted.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I would like to know how long it takes for evidence to come back from the crime lab? My nephew, his wife and their 3 little boys were found dead in their home on Feb. 6th 2004. They were murdered and then their home was set on fire. It's been 2 years now and we are being told they are still waiting on the evidence to come back from the crime lab. We have also been told that the fire makes things a lot harder. Is this true? I would be very gratefully for any help you could give me. I know it takes time, but I think 2 years would long enough. Thanks for your time and the work you do.

I'm sorry to hear about such a tragedy in your family. Two years is a very long time for the results of evidence.The longer evidence is stored especially physical the value of that evidence deteriorates and it's integrity is in question. Some evidence takes longer than others to analyze but evidence in a case of murder or suspicious death takes priority. Fire does destroy evidence especially physical, but it also creates evidence that skilled fire/arson investigators can use to find the cause and origin of the fire and helps them find the suspects. If you could tell me what type of evidence is being held up I may be able to give you a bit more information. Feel free to contact me at anytime.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My cousin was murdered in 1994. Some question and whsipers have lingered within my family about whether or not another my cousins mother was involved, we have caught her in numerous lies and her behavior was very suspicous following the death of her daughter and not what you would expect of a grieving mother, we are trying to find out if it is possible to get transcripts of her statements to police when the investigation was taking place just for some closure or maybe to find out why she would lie to her own family. Any information would be helpful.

If this case has been classified as a murder and is still open which I assume that it is.It is probably considered a cold case if no one has been charged. Any investigator would entertain any new leads or information into a cold case. If you could provide some new and valuable information they may share some of their information with you.
Normally a court order is the only way to see police documents. In a murder case an affidavid to obtain that information is very hard, almost impossible.I would speak to the investigator and see if he will share any info with you. Keep a log of all the information and suspicion that you have. It may be of value in the future.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On Feb 19th, 2005 we lost a daughter to murder actually it was a double murder. She had just moved into this man apartment on Jan 31st. My daughter was drugged with a nerve pill and her friend also drugged. After they had went to sleep the apartment was set on fire by kerosene. The mans body was identified by his family and he had some burns to his legs. Because of the amount of burns to my daughter we could not ID her she was sent to medical examiner in our state. She was identified by her by dental records. Her cause of death on her certificate was smoke and soot. My question is why was she burned so much worse then him? And she was not found at the point of origin of the fire that was the door of the apt, only way in only way out. Can you help me understand how this could have happen? Also the medical examiner wrote she was found in homicidal origin in a house fire and they were found close to each other. This case has been tried and the 2 men responsible were found guilty.

I am sorry for your loss. Death leaves many unanswered questions. Your question is a very good one and I think I can answer it for you. What determines the intensity of a fire is what we call the fuel load. The fuel load is basically what is in the house. Furniture, clothing, books, anything that can burn. Your daughter was probably in an area of the house that had a high fuel load and the fire in that area was intense and caused the body to be burned so badly. Let me give you an example. The fire in a room used as an office will burn at a higher temperature than a fire in a hallway. The office has paper and books etc., and the hallway has almost nothing. So the fuel load in the office is greater and will burn at a higher temperature producing a great amount of radiant heat. Your daughter died of smoke inhalation and didn't feel any pain as a result of the fire. I hope knowing that will help you in some way. I hope I answered your question. And feel free to ask other questions if you feel the need.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My estranged husband was shot on October 3, 2005 in his apartment. The story that I've discovered thus far is this: I last spoke to him on Sunday Oct. 2 at approximately 9:15 pm. He was out with some friends drinking. He stated he would pick me up in the morning, seeing as we ran a business together. The next thing I got was a phone call from his friends stating that my husband had been shot and that a detective needed to speak to me. The detective stated that my husband was deceased and his body was in Pittsburgh, PA for an autopsy. I then went to the apartment and no one other than the friends that had called me were there. I asked them what happened and they said they weren't sure but that the police had taken my husbands " new girlfriend" in for questioning. Not five minutes later she showed up and got out of a car to pick up her car. She was with a young man that she said was her brother( later I found out it was her live in boyfriend). She still had my husbands blood on her clothing( just blood spatter at the bottoms of her pants) and she had dried blood only on her left hand. I asked her to explain to me exactly what happened and she said that she had been working the night shift and that she had called my husband and they had talked and she said that he was very intoxicated and depressed. I disagree with that as I had spent the entire previous day with him and we were close friends and he was very upbeat and excited about his new apartment. She also said that they had exchanged several text messages that night and early morning and he even showed up at her job at approximately 3:00 am and was very drunk. She then said she didn't hear back from him and when she got off work at 6:30 am she went straight to his apartment to check on him. when she arrived she let herself in with her key and went upstairs to his room where she found him asleep with his 9 mm beretta next to him. She said she reached over him to get the gun and he woke up and sat up on the bed and asked her what she was doing and she said she came to get the gun. She said that they spoke for a few minutes about him wanting to die and she had the gun in her lap while they spoke. She said he had his crucifix and chain wrapped around the gun and she took it and threw it at him and told him that" he needed it more than her" She then said he asked her if she was going to shoot him and she said" at least if I did you wouldn't go to hell". She said he then grabbed the gun and said "let me show you how it works" and he worked the action of the gun. She claims she then took the gun back and put " what she thought was the safety on" and she said she thinks he grabbed the gun and they were struggling over it and it went off. She said at first she didn't know what happened because her face was burning and she opened her eyes and saw he was shot directly in the left eye. She said he sat there for a few minutes and then fell over and she tried to give him CPR being that she's a nurse. She then grabbed his cell phone and called 911. the investigating detective originally told me that this was a suicide and not a murder as it happened to fast to be a murder!! I had repeatedly called the detective and asked several questions about the case and he repeatedly put me off and at one point he told me that " you just have to accept that this was not a homicide but a suicide and please don't call me with any more information i will call you when the investigation is complete". I Such as my husband was out with another female friend the night leading up to his death and she had been at his apartment until about 1:30 am and when she left she left behind her underwear on his bedroom floor. Also A neighbor had originally called 911 just before 7:00 am when she saw the "girlfriend" outside the apartment screaming hysterically. Also another neighbor had witnessed seeing the "girlfriend" in the back alley of his apartment at around 3:00 am in her car on a cell phone ( when he was supposed to have been at her job, which there are no other witnesses or surveillance video to prove he was ever there) and she entered his apartment for about 10 minutes and left. My husband never made any reference to suicide or wanting to die. The better part of the text had to do with him threatening to tell her boyfriend about their relationship and her saying no I'll tell him and then I'm done with both of you. The police never questioned anyone except her. They never took her clothing or fingerprints from the THREE glasses found on the coffee table downstairs. They never even took her apartment key or sealed off the apartment until I brought it to their attention the next day when I went to get some clothing for his funeral. At that time the detective was present with me and my sister-in law and we found some letters from the "girlfriend" that I pointed out to the detective and he said not to remove them but when the apartment was released 3 days later those letters were missing and the police don't know where they are and they don't have them. I've since gone to the DA and requested a more thorough investigation to which they agreed but they still have not turned anything else up. I've also presented them with valid leads to go on and I've been able to also give them a lot of people to talk to about the "girlfriends" credibility but to no avail. They just this week told me that " Since my husbands death was initially looked at from the standpoint of suicide and the first 48 hours are the most crucial part of an investigation they unfortunately don't have enough evidence to charge the " girlfriend" with anything that will hold up in court. So from what I gather anyone can shoot someone and call it in as a suicide and get off free!? They said it happens alot! I know my husband did not kill himself! We have 3 children and he was a very happy person he would not be so selfish! I should also mention that in the 2 weeks leading up to this event the girlfriend had been trying to force my husband to divorce me and fire me from our business! Also my husband was shot in the left eye from a straight angle at a very close range. my husband was left handed and had at the time a broken middle finger on his left hand. He was also a veteran Marine sniper and was very well trained in the use and handling of weapons. He owned several guns but at the time had only his prized possession that his father had given him as a gift and that was used to end his precious life! My questions may never be answered but I will continue to fight for justice for him and our children for the rest of my life if I have to! I hope you can give me some professional insight into this matter I would be forever grateful.

Sorry for your loss. I think you did the best by hiring your own independant investigator. These incidents are very difficult and you can find inconsistancies in the simplist crimes. I don't know if I would classify this a suicide with the information you are providing. It could be a accidental shooting or a suspecious death. The friend that is a nurse was present and is the only living witness to the incident. She has blood on her clothes and was in close proximity when the weapon was discharged. The Police consider her their witness to the incident. They have to disprove her account of the incident before they can charge her with anything. What you have to really look for in a case like this is motive. If you think this nurse or anyone killed your husband you have to think what do they have to gain by killing your husband. The crucifix and the gun and the involvement of alcohol and the depression are indicators of suicide in this case. Maybe if the girlfriend would have never went to his apartment and woke him he may have slept it off. But we can't speculate as to what may or did happen. It's unfortunate that you lost your husband but I think you did all you could do with what you had available. You didn't mention the toxicology results or the autopsy results. I am curious. Anyway I know I didn't help much but I hope you find some closure.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In a crime scene is it possible to prove a person has been in your home and that you were In fear of your life so you shot the individual 4 times 2 times in the head once in the chest and once in the shoulder that shot came out and enter back in the body. The police report says murder and there were never any finger prints found anywhere in the home belonging to the person shot and there has never been a weapon found that killed the individual. The person doing the shooting claims he was in fear for his life yet there is no gun like he claims the other individual had. The body was found in the home between a coffee table and a sofa face down but the bullet casings are outside the home only one was imbedded in the kitchen Cabinet headed out to the back door. The person shot was in the living room. I could use any assistance in answering my questions you may be able to provide for me and it will be greatly appreciated. I would also like to know would I be allowed to see crime scene photos if I asked.There were drugs found in the premisis and miners there with parents should the parents been charged with any offense.

I will try to help the best I can. You are making a statement not really asking questions. I have to assume that the deceased is related to you. In any event, yes an investigation can reveal if someones been in your home. Only the person in fear can tell you if they were in fear of imminent danger. Yes I've know of cases where a bullet exited a body hit an object and re-entered the body. With two gunshots to the head a large amount of blood should have been present, and the investigators could tell if the victim was shot outside or inside the dwelling. Could the deceased have shot a gun from the outside into the house, that could explain casings outside. Police classified the incident as homicide. If no one was charged than they mean it's a justifiable homicide. As far as parents being charged for juvenile drug activity it depends whether or not they had knowledge of the activity. I hope this is what you were trying to find out.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My son was murdered in a teen club in New Orleans, LA. on February 2005, six months before hurricane Katrina. I was told that the detective assigned to my son's case would not be able to talk to me about the case because the detective was facing surgery for a brain tumer. This was told to me on august 24, 2005. I want to know is there a cold case unit in New orleans and what can I do to get attention to my son's murder? I believe that if the detective had such a personal life changing issue or crisis himself that he could not have devoted his strongest attentions to solving my sons murder.

I don't know if they have a cold case unit desiginated for the sole purpose of investigating old murder cases.I would hope that any unit supervisor who had a detective that was going to be out on extended medical leave would reassign his cases to another detective. The supervisor should be able to brief you on the case progress to an extent. The detective has to submit a progress report to his supervisor whether there are new developments in the case or not. The DA's office should also be aware of a murder case progress. I would start by contacing the Homicide Unit Supervisor, than the DA's office. If that doesn't work you could hire a private investigator or an attorney to look a bit deeper. Keep in mind, just because you haven't been contacted about new developments in the case doesn't mean the case is forgotten. Sometimes all investigative avenues become exhausted and the detective just waits for a new lead to follow up on. Sometimes it takes weeks, months, even years. I feel you should have had at least a phone call to give you some comfort that your sons case is still being investigated. I am sorry for your loss.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am the former Mayor of Oregon Ill. and Judiciary Chairman of Kane County Ill. While acting as Mayor of Oregon Ill. I was asked to investiagate an unsolved double homicide that took place in our town in 1948. (Mary Jane Reed and her date Stanley Skridla) I have been working on this case for ten years. After exhuming the female victim's body for clues, it was determined that she was buried with a different female victim's head. Please visit related web site by clicking on www.maryjanereed.com 1948 scenario: First Sheriff's Deputy of Ogle County in 1948 kills both male and female while they are on a date due to a jealous rage after a torrid releationship with female victim. Former Under Sheriff removes female victim's head and keeps it as a trophy after burning the head of the male victim to a char while still attached to his body. Male victim also shot 4 times in the genitals. Current Sheriff says publically that he welcomes any outside assistance on this case but refuses to call FBI for their help. FBI says they will assist, but need Sheriff to formally ask them for said assistance... I have been acting as an advocate for the female victim's brother, now 65 years old, for 10 years and have been in Court since 2004 fighting Ogle County officials for the truth and related Court ordered documents gleened from the 2005 exhuming of the female victim. Do you know of any person or organization that can assist me, or give me some direction to proceed to place the blame where it is due and bring closure to the victim's families? Experts state that the female's skull was switched while it was under the care custody and control of Ogle County authorities and or their agents in 1948. Again, an informational web site may be resourced at www.maryjanereed.com or by a google/yahoo serach of "Mayor Mike Arians/Mary Jane Reed murder, Oregon Ill.," "Warren Reed," or "The Mary Jane Reed Foundation."

It's possible that because the case is a homicide maybe the state medical examiner can call in the FBI to investigate. Just a thought because the state M.E has more power than one may think

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My 16 year old son was fatally struck by a truck. My son smoked pot but when the ME's office did the toxicology they didn't test for pot. Why is that? Also there were 2 kids on the road at 4am with my son and the detective nor my attorney's office never questioned them. Why would that happen? Lastly , the truck driving wasn't test for impairment in way of drug / alcohol testing? Is that even legal? Any suggestions would also be helpful in what I should do next.

I am sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family. You have provided limited information about the incident but what I can tell from what you have provided is that it seems the investigation revealed pedestrian clearly at fault and your attorney agrees with the findings. A finding of marijuana would not effect the out come of the investigation because THC stays in your system for a long period of time. Thirty days to six months depending on how often you smoke. So your son could have smoked pot a week prior to the accident and it would show positive in a tox report on the day of the incident so checking for THC really only tells that THC is present but can't pinpoint when it was introduced into the blood. In reference to the driver not being tested for impairment, because 1. Maybe the driver did not display any signs of impairment during the primary investigation and 2. Maybe he passed a field sobriety test. If two witnesses were present I'm sure some interview was conducted or some statement was taken, if not, I can't explain why it wasn't done. You may find more information from law enforcement if you could have access to the investigative reports and investigative supplement reports. These reports contain all the in depth information. These are not available to the public and usually require a subpoena. Your attorney can get these through the court. I hope this information was helpful, and I hope you find closure soon.  

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My son was murdered on or soon after 7/20/2011 and he was found on the evening of 7/24/2011 by a close friend that went to see him at his home.  My son was shot in the back of the head with a .38, it was a contact wound as soot was found inside his head and hair and flesh was burnt around the entry point.  The front door was locked but the back door wasn't when his friend found him.  When I arrived on the scene there were 2 uniformed sheriff's deputies walking in and out of the house and around the house with flashlights.  There were neighbors inside the crime scene tape.  I was interviewed by a sheriff's office detective who was unresponsive to my concern about how the crime scene was being handled.  The SLED was called in to assist in the investigation and handle the collection and processing of all forensic evidence, they arrived mid morning on 7/25/2011.  My sons body was removed by the coroner later that day.
At the time my son was found his friend said that nothing appeared to be missing but the place was totally ransacked.  Three suspects were identified within a couple of weeks, one of which was subsequently arrested for a previous murder. Their identities were confirmed by a neighbor who saw them repeatedly stop in the driveway of a vacant house and walk down the street to my son's house. The car was also identified with out of state license plates.  Around a month later my son's friend was cleaning up my son's yard and found live ammunition in the grass.  We were told by the sheriff's detective that it was probably dropped after the burglary as ammo safes were found in the yard.  This never made any sense as my son's friend was sure the ammo safes were in the house when my son was found.
On the evening of 7/26/2011 my wife and I were called in to be extensively interviewed by the state and local detectives.
In mid August the crime scene cleanup and moving company began their work.  My son's good friend was there to keep an eye on things and reported that a lot of my sons property appeared to be missing.

On 10/6/2011 I finally obtained an incident report for the robbery/homicide and to our surprise there was mention of a subsequent burglary which was discovered on the morning of 7/26/2011 by detectives when they returned to continue the investigation. There is only one incident report number as if the incidents occurred at the same time. Evidently not only was the house left unprotected for the night, it was left open and they didn't bother to set the burglar alarm.  The burglars took everything they could easily sell and packed it up in my son's luggage as it was also missing.  They even attempted to take his 20 gun gun safe which was found face down in the bedroom. Three suspects were arrested for selling my son's property but all charges were later dropped.
There was no usable forensic evidence collected (mixed DNA that can't be separated, they didn't even find any DNA of people we knew were in the house regularly), some recovered property was never processed, no one has been arrested for the homicide.  We've been told my son knew the suspects even though he was 26 and the suspects were 17 and 18, we've been told there was no forensic evidence because the suspects were suited up (keep in mind this is July in South Carolina), the other detective says there is no indication that he knew them.  We were told the front of the gun safe was processed but it was still face down when it was removed, the list of discrepancies and contradictions is endless.
My question is is this just an unfortunate string of events or was something more nefarious going on?  How do I get the Solicitor to reinvestigate the case?  The sheriff's office is not trusted by the community as many of their relatives are well known violent criminals including one arrested for a double homicide, how do we get them investigated?

Any enlightenment would be greatly appreciated.

First let me say I'm sorry for your loss. To answer your question. I believe this may have been a planned incident. You indicate that the report contains certain info and I believe you are not getting the full case report. What you need are the report supplements and detective's investigative reports. These are not easy to obtain. You may be able to get the court to have them released to you or you may have to hire an attorney. If the case is still open it makes it more difficult to obtain. These reports contain interviews, evidence processing, and the detectives activity in the case. The situation with the scene being contaminated is evidence of inexperience and lack of training in the law enforcement agency. To have a law enforcement agency investigated is not easy. You have to prove gross negligence. May be a letter to your governors office could get you started. I hope this was helpful information.

Now this person you refer to as your son's close friend who knows the entire layout of your son's home and can tell if the place has been ransacked and can tell if things are missings or out of place. He can even tell you the positions of the gun safes. That is a close friend that has spent quite a bit of time in ones home. Why did it take him four days to discover your son. If they were that good of friends didn't they keep in touch daily. Why is the close friend cleaning you son's yard and finding obvious items of possible evidence did you ask them to do that.. Why didn't the close friend tell you about the previous burglary when you were at the scene. This close friend must have been confided in by your son. This close friend knows more than you think.  

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What kind of evidence is collected when someone dies of a gunshot wound to the head and others who were present in the room say the person accidently shot himself?

It depends on the overall circumstances. In general I would recover the gun, any spent cartridges, the victims clothes. I would conduct GSR (gun shot residue) on the victim and anyone who was with the victim when the incident happened. If the victim was cleaning the weapon and accidentally shot themself during the process I would collect all the cleaning equiptment. Like I said it depends on the overall circumstances. Was this someone showing off with the gun, was it a game of russian roulette or did the gun go off accidentally hitting the floor.  I hope this helps.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My 22 year old sister was murdered 33 years ago and the crime has never been solved. My family and believe the person responsible is a family member.
All the evidence was destroyed in a fire, the warehouse where the nypd keeps all the evidence. Can we have the body exhumed to check for any dna that may be under her nails?

Sorry you still have no closure in your loss of a loved one. You can have the body exhumed through the court but I don't believe there will be any DNA value after all these years especially under the deceased fingernails. However POMC has a forensic pathologist that could better answer that question. I would contact the Police Department cold case unit and see if they would re-open the investigation based on your ideas about the suspect you believe responsible. Sometimes when a case is cold for a long time and Detectives re-interview possible witnesses and a lot of new information comes to light. And sometimes it don't pan out because witnesses pass away or move and can't be located. A good investigator would gladly follow-up on any lead to solve a cold case. I'm sure there is a file or documents on microfilm relative to the case that can be used to re-examine the case. I hope this was helpful. Good luck finding closure.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My son passed away last year at the age of 14, we weren't sure of the circumstances so there was a death investigation. It was later determined to be a suicide (he overdosed on anti depressants that he had not been taking every now and then and had a bunch and had one bad night and took all of them)

Now this case is closed but the police are refusing to give me the photos from the death investigation. I know it sounds morbid but these are the last photos of my son and I just want one copy of one of him. 
Oh, this is in Lee county, Florida
Is there anything I can do to make them give me a picture. Lee county central records told me I could have one for $2.00 but then referred me to Lee county Public Information where all hard copies and recordings are held and they are the one's that told me I cannot have a photo. They are giving me all the interviews (like the one from the young lady who knew he took them and didn't tell anyone, I want to know what she said to police before having time to think of a story to tell them or me.) I think she is lying to me. I just need closure and I (and my therapist) think this will help give it to me.

Sorry for the loss of your son. Those photographs will not be released to you. They are evidence. Even though the case has been ruled a suicide. I don't know what that lady told you about getting photographs but death investigation photos will not be release. You can easily get accident photos and property damage photos but not death investigation photographs. I've been doing this for over thirty years and trust me please, you don't want to see a death photo of your child. Drug overdose is not a pretty thing look at. The skin color changes and fluids constantly emerge from the nose and mouth. They become bloated and don't look nothing like themselves. If your therapist told you it would good for you than I would question their professionalism. Remember the good times and what he looked like when he was healthy. I'm sorry for your loss and will pray for your family.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My son was fatally shot while committing a crime, by a city police officer. My son was in the act of committing burglary while under the influence of heroin and cocaine. The incident was approximately  three and one half years ago. There was no legal action taken. There were no charges filed against the Police. I have no intent to file charges and in fact feel great empathy for the responding officer. He responded accordingly.

I am now preparing to present speaking engagements to be given in connection with a county not for profit organization. The theme of these presentations is "Heroin Is In Your Community".

I will be using a power point format which leads to my question. How can I obtain photographs of the crime scene, including graphic pictures of my deceased son?

I believe that the telling of my son's story in this manner will provide the most value in conveying to an audience, the reality, crisis and epidemic danger of heroin in our communities.

Thank you for any direction you may provide.

I'm sorry for your loss and thank you for the message the you are trying bring to your community. Normally the D.A would have to release those photos, but I don't think you will be able to get them since it was a police involved shooting.Even if it was a justified shooting, the civil possibilities are still present, like a wrongful death suit. I would consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction to see if there is a way to get the photos, but I doubt you will get them

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Can a police department legally dispose of evidence, files and reports from a double homicide case that has not been solvedand can you tell me why a double homicide case is found absolutely no where  in the state databases.  Someone told me that the only reason it would not be in the database is because it was never filed… how can that be and is it legal?  I feel if it is legal, something definatley needs to change and soon! 
 

some evidence can be disposed of if it poses a biohazard danger to personel or insect investation. it depends on where it is stored and type of evidence. Reference to the database if its an old case it may be on a paper documents or microfilm. cant explaint
it not being a report on file.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My son was murdered while changing a flat tire on June 15, 2015. The perpetrators of the crime have not been caught. The killer/killers came over to the house FIRST and shot up my vehicle in case my son called for help so we wouldn't be able to get to him. Then two hours later my son was dead. Secondly, my son had made it to an Exxon station and the surveillance camera shows the passenger in a white car shooting my son. My sons name was Jacob Bowman. He was only 20 years old. He was shot in the head killing him immediately. We live in Houston Texas and we don't feel that the police "HPD" or The homicide division did a good job from the beginning. 
Here's what we do know about this...our home surveillance camera shows a guy shooting up our car happened that night. Someone had to tell the killer/killers my sons exact location. Furthermore, witnesses say that he was on the cell phone while waiting on roadside assistance because it wasn't simply just a flat tire but he had hit a pothole and bent his rim. So witnesses say while waiting on roadside assistance he was constantly on his cell phone. We do think this was a planned murder and again, someone told his exact location that night and he may have been talking to the killer/killers. They didn't just go driving all around Houston after shooting up my vehicle to find him. After the police released his truck back to us… I had had a conversation and the homicide detective asked me if I knew the screen lock code to my sons cell phone in which I answered no, and also asking him if he still had the cell phone. Homicide detective Miller stated "yes we do". After getting off the phone I started thinking about it and walked out to my sons truck… Looked in the middle console and the phone was there. I immediately came back inside and called the detective to tell him he did not have it in his possession. He backpedaled a little bit and told me that he would come by and pick it up. Secondly, they keep telling me they cannot get into his android phone which has a pattern lock. I had an interview with channel 13 Houston to plea to the public and give them notice of the $10,000 reward. I called the detective before the interview to let him know in case there was something he wanted me to add. He asked me at that time to please come down to HPD the next morning at 10:30 AM. I guess he didn't want me bad mouthing HPD. Because when I got down there he had nothing further to tell me about the case except that they sent the phone to the FBI. I don't know if that is true or not because I can't get anyone to return my emails. That's another thing, in the beginning, they told us that they subpoenaed his cell phone records and now they are saying that they don't believe they got all the records. Detective Miller did say that he was going to subpoena them again. It's very frustrating because I know the police department has messed up from the beginning. We have surveillance video (2 separate ones) and we believe my sons cell phone holds the key.  We feel as if our son would have been a terrorist or a police officer they would've been in that phone in no time. It will soon be the one year anniversary of my sons murder. I don't know if the police are following up on any of the leads because as I said before ...I am not getting ANY return emails (nothing). HPD is sending a message out to all of Houston that you can just drive by and shoot someone and get away with it even with surveillance cameras and the technology we have today. I am more than frustrated with this situation. There are many stories of Houston homicide ignoring emails of family members. I need some advice on what to do because of course I never thought this would happen in my lifetime, so I have no experience with this. A lot of my frustration lies with HPD Homicide because they will not return my email and just answer me to whether or not they successfully subpoenaed the phone records or if FBI was able to get into the phone. It was an android phone… Nothing fancy… So I don't see why the FBI wouldn't be able to get into it. Also, the subpoenaed records should be able to tell us everything. As I said before, with all the technology we have today that cell phone should've already been opened. Also, the people that were thought to be involved in the very beginning were released just because of their word. They did not subpoena their cell phone records and now know one of them was lying about seeing my son that night. Aren't they allowed to subpoena a suspects cell phone records? I appreciate anything you have to offer and I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you in advance.


Very sorry for your loss. I have a few questions and please don't be offended.

You referred to witnesses who saw your son on his phone while he was near his vehicle with the flat.
Who were these witnesses and were they associated with your son in any way.

The video from your home was it a white vehicle involved and same as the one in the Exxon video where the suspect is seen shooting your son.

Did the PD get a copy of your video footage.

What directed the detectives to the suspects you mention that were released based on their word.

This sounds like a drug or gang related killing. Do you suspect your son of being involved in either of the two.

Have you spoke to your sons girlfriend or best friend about any of this.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First of all, thank you for replying to my email. Never any offense taken because we have always known everything good/bad about our son. For the question involving drugs, NO. He never dealt with drugs or anything of that nature. As for the witness… He was actually taking a friend home when he got the flat tire. This friend stated he heard him on the cell phone talking to several different people including his ex-girlfriend that he just saw that very night of the murder. My sons ex-girlfriend was in involved with "gang members", but I don't think my son realized it. As a matter of fact, that very night his friend said that he saw her (my sons ex) driving the white car seen in the surveillance video at the Exxon station. My son Jacob also got into a fight with "three gang members" because of her the night he was murdered. She always did everything in her power to try to get my son back and tried to make him very jealous which started a fight. She wanted my son back badly and went to any extent even in the past to get Jacob to give in and take her back.
I know in my gut this is not a coincidence. They did bring her in and kept her for 48 hours, but released her based on not enough evidence. She told them at that time she did not even see Jacob that night. They NOW know that she was lying about that, but they tell me the reason why she was lying is to protect her image. The homicide detective told me that my son and her had obviously had sex that night and she wanted to protect her image. I don't understand why she would want to protect your image because she was with my son for 3 1/2 years. She lived with us before they broke up. I have talked to her several times and she sticks to what she told the homicide detectives which I know is a lie. The homicide detectives insist that she had nothing to do with it... Based on what I ask??? Her word? Yes. Her word.
This is what we believe happened and what we know from his friend that was with him before he was murdered. My sons ex-girlfriend called my son and wanted to meet him at the corner store by her apartment. My son drove his truck there along with my sons friend. The ex-girlfriend took my son to her apartment in the "white vehicle".  His friend drove off in my sons truck and a couple hours later my son called him and told him to get back and pick him up because she was screaming rape… which scared my son. He told his friend "get back here and pick me up because this girls going to get me thrown in jail". "I'm done with her". Later that night, my son had the flat tire. He told his friend to get his sister to pick him up from the Exxon. So his friend got a ride home. In the meantime, my vehicle was shot up and then my son was dead right after.

The homicide detectives went on her word only. She is a drunk and a great actress. So to answer your question… Yes, she was released on her word only although they know now that she was lying. I don't understand why they cannot subpoena her phone records as well to prove that this was all a set up. I don't think his ex-girlfriend wanted him dead, but I think she sent those "gang members" out there to scare him. My son was not a street kid nor ever involved in any gang. He was in no way perfect, but he was a hard worker and 20 years old. Homicide detectives tell me that my sons phone holds the key, and that's why it was sent to the FBI because we didn't know the passcode, but they tell me that the FBI may not be able to open it either and like I stated in my first email it was not an iPhone.. Just a regular LG phone. I hope Im making sense. I'm trying really hard. I just don't understand why "they" have more rights than the murder victim or even the survivors.  If you could help me out with any of this I would totally appreciate it. I mourn for my son every day. He wasn't just my son he was my very best friend. I look forward to hearing from you again.  

I’ve kicked this case around with a few of my colleagues and we come up with the same result. This is based on information you have provided only. Without copies of reports or investigative facts it is difficult to examine the case in depth.
 The girlfriend knows the killers.
The friend knows more than he is telling. He may know the killers also and he knows more about the phone conversations between your son and the suspects. He is afraid.
The girlfriend was held for 48 hrs., and released on her word. 48 hrs., is a long time to detain someone.
Q: Did she submit to a polygraph examination, was she requested to submit to a polygraph. I know you      can’t use it in court but it’s a great investigative tool.
 The white vehicle in the video at the Exxon was it the same as the one in your home surveillance video and can you see if the driver is a female. Does the girlfriend have a white vehicle or does she have access to that type vehicle, like her parents vehicle.
How many shots were fired at your vehicles at your home. Were any shell casings or projectiles recovered.
How many shots were heard at the scene of your sons murder. Were any shell casings or projectiles recoverd at that scene.
Did your son have a gun with him that you know of or did his friend have a weapon at the time of the incident.
Does your sons friend have a criminal record or gang affiliation maybe your son was not the initial target.
There is a lot of circumstantial evidence in this case based on the information you provided. Too much to believe the Detectives will let this case go cold. Because gang members are involved the Detectives may have turned to the Gang Unit to collect intelligence for them and it may take some time. They can obtain all the phone records they need and they may be able to ping cellphone location during certain calls. This all takes time. A Detective just don’t want to make an arrest in a case they want to convict. I would assume the DA’s office is involved because if records or search warrants or subpoenas were requested than the DA is aware of the case. The detectives may not be in touch with you because if they give anyone information it can accidentally be leaked. It’s happened to me many times and I learned my lesson. So my response would be, I am making progress in the case and I will contact you with any new developments. That’s not what one wants to hear but I won’t jeopardize my case just so someone has comfort. I only hope the final outcome is comfort and closure for everyone involved.
Keep a log  of everyone you speak too, what was said the dates and times.

Contact the DA’s office and see if they are aware of this case and if they are involved in the investigation. You could also hire a PI who can access certain police documents

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Even though the autopsy was not able to determine a reason for my mother's death, because she died 2 weeks after undergoing aortic valve replacement surgery, her death was originally believed to be 'natural'. However - I sent a sample of her hair to a toxicology lab for testing and they found a number of very uncommon, potentially deadly, heavy metals, eight of which were at extraordinarily high levels. I checked the pathologies of the of heavy metals found in my mom's system against the the autopsy report findings, and the descriptions matched up perfectly - frequently almost word for word.  'Coincidentally' - my step-father happens to be a water treatment consultant who specializes in the filtration of these exact same toxins from industrial water supplies. He also greatly profited from my mother's death. 

However, when I brought the toxicology report in to the homicide investigations unit and presented it to the detectives, they told me 'We're not scientists. We don't know what this means. It could mean anything.' (The head toxicologist at the lab I sent the sample to assured me that the findings were definitely NOT normal). I spoke with my mother's surgeon and her general practitioner, and both of them agreed that, although no one realized it at the time - heavy metal poisoning may very well have been the cause of her death. Both doctors urged me to press for a more thorough investigation.  Unfortunately, because I'm not listed as my mother's 'next of kin', I don't have the legal authority to get the tissue samples released for a toxicology test.

My question is, what exactly is it that I need to do to convince the legal authorities that my mother's death merits investigation? 

Sorry for your loss. If the medical examiner has not ruled on a cause of death than that is where I would start. Get written documentation from those medical professionals who told you the metal levels are high and present that to the Medical Examiner. I would also send those documents to the District Attorney. Contact the CDC and learn more about the metals and how they can be ingested in a normal living environment. That documentation with the circumstantial fact that your step father works with those types of metals should raise some red flags. Ask those professionals if the level of metals in your moms blood are at a fatal range. Are there any reasons why your step dad would want to harm your mom. Has your step dads spending habits changed before her death. Is there a lot of debt. See if recent changes to life insurance have changed. I hope these things help. Good Luck

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My son was murdered on 9/24/2015 just 3 weeks after receiving joint custody of his almost 5 year old son. He had just moved to that town to be closer to his son and purchased a home for him and his fiancé. My ex-father-in-law was on the scene right as the police pulled up because my son hadn't shown up for work at 5:30 am and by now it was after 6:45 am. I have several questions, my first is that it was a very messy scene because my son was beaten to death by a baseball bat and some other object but yet half the Highway Patrol, City Police and County Police did not have on gloves and booties so as not to contaminate the crime scene.  My other question is that the people that murdered my son, his ex-wife and family, had a family member on the City Police force and we made them aware of this and wanted the city police force nowhere near the investigation but they did and even allowed their family member access to the crime scene and his in-laws house after they were arrested and evidence was being removed, he was in and out if the home.  Now months later we are preparing for trials and guess what, we have 8-10 pages of missing reports and the Assistant Attorney General was even shocked.  So what do we do now because I'm being told we may not have enough physical evidence to convict because between the highway patrol and the city police they have lost evidence,  that's 3 people charged with murder 1 walking free.  Please give me some advice so my sons family doesn't have to get Justice for him.

Sorry for your loss. It sounds like a brutal scene. It's difficult trying to trouble shoot a scene like that. You really are always going to have crime scene and investigative issues on a scene that involve more than one agency which is really bad in getting justice for the victim and family. Being experienced on the investigative and forensic side I have experienced many contaminated scenes. The DA has their work cut out for them. Initially when responding to a scene like this the primary units first concern to clear the scene from any potential threat or additional suspects on the premise. Also rendering aid to any victims on scene is primary goal. The primary units are not worried about stepping in blood or knocking things over and out of place. However the scene is now contaminated or disturbed. The crime scene unit now has to put the puzzle together with pieces missing. It's a hard task. Even for the DA who has to explain to the jury why. You say physical evidence is missing. Hopefully the Crime Scene investigator photographed the evidence before it was collected or moved. If things are missing than hopefully they are documented through photo and video. The DA may be able to enough into court and get a conviction. I would advise you to wait and see what happens before they start reducing or dismissing charges. Your question about allowing people on the scene. No one should be allowed on that scene until the investigators have completed their investigation. Once the scene is released from the investigative body they would have to obtain a search warrant to go back and sometimes it's hard to get a warrant to return. If they allowed people to enter before they completed than that is another issue for the DA. The missing reports you talked about can be re-written by the investigators. As long as they are investigative reports. Witness and suspect statements are more complicated to recover. Just hope the investigators recorded statements. I hope I have answered some of your questions. Good Luck, again I'm sorry for your loss.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My son was murder  02/06/2016 he was shot in the Back twice while driving. He was 18 years old at the time 4.0 gpa  student and worked at part-time.

I asked if police can get fingerprints on the bullets retrieve from the scene- I was told that only happens on TV. Can  that be done?
The car involved in my sons murder was found – can the police go after the register owner ? The car was not stolen it belongs to a suspect
In my son case but, not apparent witness . (Its family car)
Can’t they get finger prints from the car there 3 suspects involved in my sons murder. 1 was identity  the back set person
They have video as well but not a good  visible – cant it be sent to get better picture they have 3 videos and all three are not good they tell me
Why I’m not understanding why if you’re a suspect in a murder why can’t the police questioned  the suspects it doesn’t make any sense to me. You take some one life and you have rights to remain silent. Is there any way around this ?   

Can’t you tell from where the bullets were coming from what angel ?

Very sorry for your loss. I will answer your questions the best I can with the information you provided.

You can get fingerprints prints from spent casings. It is very difficult to get good results because the amount of fingerprint ridge detail would be so small that a match would be almost impossible. As a crime scene investigator I would have swabbed the casing for possible DNA. But again, bullet casings are small and limit the investigators possibilities. Police can go to the vehicle owner and question them about things like who was operating the vehicle and did they have permission to operate the vehicle. The vehicle is evidence and gives investigators a great amount of leverage. Fingerprints can be found in a vehicle depending on the interior surface. Yes you can tell the path of projectiles (bullets). Between the investigative skills and tools of the CSI and Medical Examiner it can be done. A suspect can be questioned but he can exercise his rights under Miranda and doesn't have cooperate. I hope I was able to answer your questions. Again I'm sorry for the loss of you son.

My son was chased from a stop light confrontation it led to his death. He was chased 6 blocks then shot twice. The detective have 4 videos  they were able to find, but I’m told they are not good visible. I have asked numerous times if they can enhance the video to get a better picture.

I’m told they can’t - Is there any way they can send the video  for enhancement anytime will help?

Some video can be enhanced depending on the type surveillance cameras. The FBI has a good lab. It's not easy though. Camera pixel quality, lighting and camera position are factors. It's more difficult if the objects are moving also. Objects moving and in a distance from the cameras are tough. Most businesses use lower grade cameras on the outside and better grade on the inside.

- Charles "Chic" Horney, Retired Detective

[top]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------