Homewood Mountain Rape Case Study

Improved Essays
On May 11th, 1978, a young white couple was abducted in the Homewood neighborhood in Chicago (4). The next day their bodies were found in an abandoned house in East Chicago Heights, which is now known as Ford Heights. Both of them had been shot, and the young woman, Carol Schmal, had been gang raped. The male victim’s name was Lawrence Lionberg. Following a tip, which later turned out to be false, two men were arrested for the crime. The main witness to the crime was a young woman named Paula Gray, who was mentally challenged. Charles McCraney, who lived near the murder scene, also provided tips to the police. An eyewitness named Marvin Simpson gave a statement to police 5 days following the murders saying that 4 totally different men than …show more content…
At the trial, it was stated that at least one of the rapists was a type A secretor (1). This trait is shared with about 25% of the population, yet its value in the case was overstated. The analyst who tested this evidence testified that two of the men who were charged were type A secretors. Three of the hairs that were found in the trunk of the suspect Williams’ car were determined by the expert to have “matched” the hair of the victims. The value of these results were overstated by the expert witness. Just because the rapist was a type A secretor, and that he claimed 2 of the suspects are type A secretors, doesn’t mean those 2 suspects could have done it. Based on the type A blood secretion alone, the rapists or attackers could have been anyone from the 25% of the population who has this trait. Also, it was later proven that these two suspects were not in fact type A secretors. Furthermore, the statement that the hairs in one of the suspect’s cars belonged to the victims at this time was not possible. The only thing that can be said about looking at the shaft of the hair, that’s forensically relevant at least, is the race of the person who the hair belongs to, the color of the hair, and if it is even human hair at all essentially. DNA testing was introduced until the 1980s, so the DNA could not be used on this hair to positively identify it as belonging to either of the two victims. So, it should not have been said that the hair belonged to the victims as that could not be positively determined without DNA

Related Documents