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10.21.2003

Reasonable Doubt - Part 6

Today's piece is going to be part of a trend over the next couple of blogs, this time about the forensic experts the prosecution brought to the stand. These experts were the witnesses that were either there at the scene of Bailey's murder, or going over the evidence collected from there. What follows is going to be a basic summary of their testimony mixed with actual excerpts from the court transcripts.

I have to say, there's absolutely no need for me to do anything but basically present this, because there was nothing that connected Kirstin Lobato to the crime scene. That's the summary of all the expert witness testimonies. But just because I know its a cynical world out there, I'm also going to summarize the proscution's reaction to the lack of forensic evidence.

That is, there was nothing NOT connecting her to the crime scene, either. [cue the heavy drumbeat]

Okay, so it's a little more thought out than that, as you'll see below (that was only a summary, after all). Oh yeah, and the blog entitled "Reasonable Doubt - Part 3 " is more about this matter. Maybe I should have called this Part 3A or something.

Okay, so today I'm going to go over the forensic opinions formed by the guy who examined Bailey's body...

Lary Simms, Chief Medical Examiner, Clark County
Note to readers: the following list in italics is a specific account of the wounds described by Lary Simms, in the order he referred to them. This list can be considered gruesome, and so if you find such things distasteful, I strongly suggest you skip the following. Just be aware that it was a pretty brutal killing.

Stab wounds on the back left side of the neck
Scrapes and bruises on the left side of the face
Scrapes and bruises on the right side of the face
Bloody nose
Stab wound on the forehead
Stab wound in the left front of the neck (entering the cartoid artery)
Stab wound on the chin
Stab wound on the front of the neck
Scrapes and gouges around both eyes
Laceration of the lips
Multiple fractures on both upper and lower jaws
Wound on the left chest
Wounds on the left shoulder
Four stab wounds in the lower rib cage area
Scraping on the upper back
Multiple overlaying stab wounds to the anus
Stab wound to the scrotum
Severing of the penis at the base
Multiple wounds on the lower right arm and hand
Multiple wounds on the lower left arm and hand
Skull fractures
Six teeth knocked out, plus one partial


The prosecution said that Kirstin Lobato beat Bailey with a bat to cause the bludgeoning damage, since it is extremely unlikely a 18-year-old woman barely over 100 lbs could cause that sort of damage without the aid of a weapon. Simms, however, stated that "...he didn't have any skull fractures that were depressed like, you know, a bat would depress somebody." The prosecution calls on Kirstin's lack of physical strength as the answer to that, which Simms testified was possible.

Get that, ladies and gents? There's no evidence a bat was used...and the prosecution says: "Well, there's no saying she couldn't have used a bat?"

By that logic, there's no saying a sadistic band of aliens couldn't have zipped down from outer space and killed him, either. I mean, some of the wounds are sort of consistent with what you'd expect to see from aliens, you know, according to common knowledge about their method of probing.

Okay, maybe that was a bit uncalled for. I'm not really in the mood to be tactful, but perhaps I shouldn't talk about a dead rapist that way (see the September 26 blog entry for more on who he raped a few days before he was murdered...here's a hint: it wasn't Kirstin Lobato).

But back to the bludgeoning... Regarding the bleeding and fracture at the back of the head, which the prosecution says was caused by Kirstin Lobato beating him with a bat:

Q (Kohn): Is it more consistent with that concrete than say a baseball bat?
A (Simms): Yes.
Q: Because there are no indentions found in the head, is that correct?
A: That's correct.


If you do read (or have read) "Reasonable Doubt - Part 3" you'll see why blood spatter led at least one forensic expert to think no bat was used, but rather a downward pounding or punching motion. Of course, Kirstin had no wounds on her hands consistent with those that would be left behind if she had somehow been able to beat a man hard enough to fracture his skull with her fists. So the bat has to be the prosecution's answer, mostly because Kirstin had one in her car. They don't have another option, but the medical examiner clearly does not believe that the bludgeoning was caused by a bat, though again he admits it is within the realm of possibility.

There's also a discussion later between Simms and prosecutor Kephart about the fact that a 12-year-old would probably cause fracture indentations in someone's skull while beating them with a bat. The lawyers' questions don't delve that deeply into the issue of stab wounds, either, mostly because it was an aspect of the murder without a whole lot of confusion. The stab wounds were caused by, um, stabbing. Result: lots of blood, but nothing in particular pointing to Kirstin Lobato or anyone else.

But apart from that, there's something I think is more compelling and important that was brought up when defense counsel Kohn was asking Simms questions.

Q (Kohn): But as most of the homicides go that you've done, the four or 5,000, this was pretty brutal, wasn't it?
A (Simms): Oh, well out of the 4,000 autopsies I've done, I've probably done about 500 homicides, so I said that this is one of a group of about 12 that had this kind of repetitive injury associated with sexual mutilation.
Q: And brutality around the head and all that?
A: That was a prolonged attack.
Q: In any of these cases was a woman involved?
A: Not that I'm aware of, no.
Q: You indicated that you -- in the literature that you've read about cases like this, do you know of any women being involved?
A: Not that I'm aware of. This type of case is traditionally a male on male case and it does, in the literature, have homosexual connotations to it and that's actually been the majority of the cases that I've dealt with personally. But I've never read about or been involved in a case where this kind of injury pattern was done by a female.


Well, how about that. Me either. I researched it. Several times. And I found a big fat wad of nothing. Well, I found a section called "Murder and Post-murder Activities" in this little study. But that just backs Simms up. If anyone can find a case history where a woman committed the sort of brutality on par with the list of injuries described above, let me know. I'll post it. But I don't think there's much to find out there. Why? Because women murderers kill in entirely different fashion that does not involve sustained brutality, nor by using brutality that is so sexually vicious and/or repetitive. It is completely outside of what is largely ingrained in cultural and social psychology.

The prosecution response to this is to ask (quote): "But that doesn't mean that a woman can't do this?"

And Simms agrees. And it doesn't mean that a woman couldn't have done it. And I refer you once again to our mysterious visitors from the planet Caligula. I would also remind you that it's proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, not proven guilty with crap that is somewhere within the realm of reason.

More to follow.


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