Author Topic: Example of a circumstantial case.  (Read 94 times)

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Offline David1819

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Example of a circumstantial case.
« on: June 10, 2017, 06:09:PM »
Circumstantial evidence (inference/chain of reasoning from facts) Its been alleged there is too much or a 'mountain' of circumstantial evidence against Jeremy. Its become apparent to me that those making such a claim do not understand what constitutes circumstantial evidence or how to construct a circumstantial case.

Here I will use another 1985 murder case that also has an alternative suspect as an example.

Why is Gerhartsreiter guilty of the 1985 murder of John Sohus? I give you just three pieces of circumstantial evidence. (quality over quantity Adam  ;) )

No1 - No pipes or plumbing where the body was found.

Dana Farrar, who knew Gerhartsreiter as Chichester, recalls noticing new turf and disturbed earth in the backyard of the Sohus family home on Lorian Road. She said Gerhartsreiter attributed it to a plumbing problem.

The remains were in the same area where Ms. Farrar had noticed disturbed earth in 1985. There were no pipes or plumbing in this area of the property.

No2 - A chainsaw and the victim being cut into pieces.

A few months before the Sohuses disappearance, defendant borrowed a chainsaw from a church friend, and asked another acquaintance from church where he could dispose of drums of chemicals. Defendant returned the chainsaw to his friend about a month after police took Mrs. Sohus’s sister’s missing person report.

Although the prosecution did not try to prove defendant actually used the chainsaw to dismember Mr.Sohus’s body, the jury could have reasonably inferred that from the evidence that the lower half of the body was discovered inside a fiberglass drum.

There was no evidence at trial that the chainsaw was used to dismember Mr. Sohus. Nevertheless, the prosecutor represented, and the trial court agreed, that the chainsaw evidence was relevant “to show that at the time these actions were all occurring in 1985, the defendant’s mental state was such that he was trying to figure out how to dispose of things such as bodies by asking about drums of chemicals, by borrowing chain saws, which he normally wouldn’t use in his normal habits and customs.” In fact, witnesses testified they never saw defendant operating power tools or doing any sort of physical labor, not even gardening.

No3 - The type of bags used to place the body parts in.

Following high school, defendant attended the University of Wisconsin.

Forensic scientist Lynne Herold, with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, determined that the fiberglass drum was buried three feet from the surface of the ground. The Site A bags included a “University Book Store at Milwaukee . . . Wisconsin” bag, which was the type of bag used at the bookstore at the University of Wisconsin.
"Truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is."

"The idea that he could invent a tale of a killing spree by a mentally disturbed woman to be lent credibility by further violent episodes over the following decades is hard to credit."