The Interrogation and the Hair: Who is
really on trial here?
On Wednesday we learned that Detective Grogan, the lead
detective in this case, interrogated Scott using a hidden video camera and
hidden tape recorder. We also learned that the video camera did not record
sound, and the tape recorder malfunctioned. Holmes testified that she and McGill
were instructed by Grogan to setup up the hidden recorders, they tested the tape
recorder and it worked fine, but McGill left the tape recorder on so the
batteries went dead. Thus, no audio tape recording. Holmes also testified of her
efforts to have an expert try and recover the interrogation, but was told it was
impossible. She further stated that the video and audio tapes were in her desk
drawer for the better part of the year. She said she was waiting to hear from a
company in southern California that Grogan thought might be able to recover the
interrogation and just forgot about them.
First, I am very angry that the police circumvent the Miranda Rights by calling a suspect a person of interest. I am very angry that any police officer would secretly video and tape record any interrogation that has to do with a criminal investigation. I am very suspicious that the interrogation didn't go as Grogan planned, so the audio portion was destroyed and this flimsy story concocted to explain why the audio portion is not available -- painful recollections of the infamous lost 18 minutes of the Nixon tapes flooded through my mind. Grogan has yet to take the witness stand, and I expect that when he does, he will come under just as heavy scrutiny as Brocchini did. I certainly hope the Modesto Chief of Police is taking a long, hard look at his detective squad and making some much needed changes. If he isn't, the Modesto City Council should be taking a long, hard look at him.
On Thursday we finally learned what we should have been told in the Preliminary hearing -- the LE's own expert said the two hair fragments sent to the CA DOJ for testing were two separate hairs, not two parts of one hair. And, it took the Judge intervening to ask the direct question of the witness, as the Prosecution seemed to be doing everything it could to avoid the truth.
Judge Delucchi expressed his own confidence in Hendee's testimony that a single hair went into the evidence envelope, and his own conclusion of evidence tampering when he said some way, some how two hairs came out. He also expressed his faith in the jury's ability to understand the significance of the testimony.
With the hair's credibility destroyed, the prosecution now has NO physical evidence to link Scott to the murders. The pubic hair found on the duct tape attached to Laci's clothing was also negative for Scott.
The pubic hair on the duct tape raises an interesting question. Oswalt suggested it might be Laci's. But how would Laci's pubic hair get on the duct tape? Laci had on underpants and pants. The duct tape was on the outside of the pants. Why and when did the duct tape come into contact with Laci's pubic hair? Everyone seems to have totally excluded the possibility of this being a sex crime because Laci was nearly 8 months pregnant. Most people don't consider a woman in her 3rd trimester sexually appealing (at least not to anyone except an adoring husband/lover).
Of course, the other possibility is that Laci was undressed after she was murdered so her clothes could be changed, to match what she was wearing the day before. Unfortunately, whomever changed her clothing, put on the wrong pants.