Thursday, April 27, 2006

Updates from yesterday

David Yonke of the Toledo Blade provides an update of testimony from yesterday.

An interesting article about Forensic Serology. It really gives a lot of information for anyone who is interested in reading more about some of the details we've heard during this trial as far as blood evidence.

WTVG 13 also provides a daily written account of highlights of the trial. All of the local television stations listed on the sidebar also have video highlights available.

While this trial is of course to determine the innocence or guilt of Father Gerald Robinson, regardless of the outcome Sister Margaret Ann Pahl was murdered.

This website has a link to a 2004 Blade article called "A Family Remembers Its Sister, Slain Nun's Piety Obscured in Details of Bizarre Death.

And if there was any question as to the international attention this trial has gotten, The Guardian in England has an Associated Press report.

Since local rumors are again swelling about ritual murders happening near Swanton back in 1985. This might be helpful as far as refreshing fiction from fact:

Five years after the Mercy Hospital nun was strangled and stabbed, tips, surveillance, and an infrared aerial sweep of Spencer Township prompted Lucas County Sheriff James Telb and investigators to spend two days excavating a woody area in western Lucas County. They were looking for the bodies of 50 to 60 babies and children who reportedly had been sacrificed over several years during cult rituals.

"We hear these things for 4 1/2 months, we had to act on it," the sheriff told The Blade yesterday.

Investigators found nothing of substance, and the dig was abandoned.

Sheriff Telb said yesterday he was not contacted by investigators reviewing the 1980 murder case, and he's unsure if there are any links between it and the 1985 tips about satanic rituals that his department pursued.

In fact, he acknowledged, children most likely never were sacrificed in the area they searched. A missing child who reportedly had been sacrificed, Charity Freeman, turned up years later in California. She had been abducted by her grandfather.

"If there were [human] bodies there, we would have found them," Sheriff Telb said.

Still, Sheriff Telb noted, surveillance reports on the area preceding the digs indicated some sort of ritual, and investigators found animal bones, knives, and a cache of children's clothing.

If there was an award for one of the most biased headlines...this far it would go to New York Post 'SATAN CULT' PRIEST ON TRIAL IN '80 NUN SLAY - CHILLING EVIDENCE IN UNHOLY CRIME AS DECADES-OLD MYSTERY UNRAVELS

I guess that's a good reminder that while I may not agree with our local media at times, at least they have handled this more professionally than the New York Post.


Anonymous said...

I saw that terrible headline. Made me want to puke. I also find a lot of the commentary by a couple of Court TV anchors to be way over the top.

Lisa Renee said...

That's an added advantage of the online Court Tv extra, you get the testimony only. No Court TV reporters views or opinions of it.

Michael said...

The more I hear and read about the NY Post, the more I am hesitant to call it a credible media outlet. It's more like the National Enquirer.

Hooda Thunkit said...


The New York Post????

Well, if you're going to set "the bar" THAT low, even the Blah could look good.


Lisa Renee said...

True but I felt it was fair to give credit to our local media, despite some early concerns they have done a pretty good job in trying to be professional and accurate.

Since I've been viewing the videos at times I disagree on what they found was most important but at least they are not skewing the story with headlines like the NY paper did.


Anonymous said...

Lisa, I've missed quite a bit of the testimony. What points do you think were missed that we should know?

I taped Henry Lee, so will watch that tonight. I thought Paulette Sutton was a good witness.

Lisa Renee said...

I'd recommend Cassandra Agosti, Sutton's testimony was I think important but you saw that.

Lee's didn't do much for me, he really didn't provide a lot of information. Several of today's witnesses did not want to be video taped so I have no idea what the basis of their testimony was beyond what the Blade reported, that they were used to establish the time line.

Something is going on with the nail clippings they took from Sister as far as getting attention. I think that's going to come up later maybe even from a defense point of view.

Most of the DNA witnesses just repeated what Agosti said, except for the one from Louisiana, Megan Shaffer, that's when more was brought up on the fingernail clippings.

It almost as is if this time the Prosecution is trying to imply that some of the questions with the DNA evidence like the sample that was identified as male but not being Father Robinson's was there due to mishandling of evidence. Focus was put on there being no sterilization between uses of instruments used to get the nail clippings and the envelope used for the clippings not being sterile. This was also brought up during Agosti's testimony as to the prosecution asking if the one sample from Sister's undergarments could have come from an ET.

That's what I would suggest, since I think those will be brought up again later.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Lisa. I'm trying now to catch up. I'm watching my tape of today's testimony. I didn't know there were several witnesses who weren't on camera; the only one I've heard about so far is the 80-year-old man. So much testimony, so little time. I should quit my job so I can do this full time.

I didn't even know about the fingernail clippings till you mentioned them.

I, too, didn't think all that much of Lee's testimony (nothing against him; it's the content of what he was there to discuss that seemed like a letdown). I guess I keep looking for the big deal to emerge and I'm just not seeing it.

Right now I'm listening to the Court TV reporter explaining the "dynamic" nature of the stain, and saying it takes away the point made in the defense demo comparing the tracing of the scissors with the letter opener -- I guess because it was a static comparison. But I don't know how that assumption can be made by her until or unless she has seen a dynamic stain made by the scissors.

Maybe she's right and I'm just not getting her point. My impression of that demo was that it was powerful.

merle said...

Lisa renee,
I am the analyst for 36.I hope that i appear to fair and unbiased.
Any comments would be appreciated.

Lisa Renee said...

Merle, I haven't found your coverage to be biased at all. Infact I wish you were given more air time for your thoughts on the trial. That would be my only 36 related complaint.

I think Thursday's spot with you was especially well done.