Commonwealth of Massachusetts Medical Examiner Dr. William Zane
testifies about Rachel's bullet wound and the path it traveled.
GUEST ENTRY BY RITANITA!
Logic to the Wind – by ritanita
Stephanie Page's cross-examination of Medical Examiner William Zane on Thursday, made my blood pressure go off the charts. It's natural for a defense attorney to paint an alternate picture of a case, but in this situation, Ms. Page managed to throw logic to the wind and attempt to browbeat a witness.
However, my first thoughts go to Rachel's family and friends. In her attempt to explain Neil Entwistle's "innocence", Page turned Rachel Entwistle into a baby-killer; a murderer. She further made Rachel a suicide. What a terrible thing to do to the memory of a loving daughter, sister, and friend.
Against all the testimony as to Rachel's state of mind, Page insinuated that she “might” have been suffering from postpartum depression. One wonders where this talk of depression comes from. There were no questions from Ms. Page concerning depression when she questioned her mother, her stepfather, and her friends.
Then, we can look at the forensic evidence. According to the ME, Rachel's toxicological screens came back negative for drugs of abuse and alcohol. She wasn't high; she wasn't drunk. She was a new mother with a precious child she loved.
There's the matter of the gun itself. The weapon, a 6-inch barreled target gun was presented into evidence earlier this week. Joseph Matterazzo testified that Rachel never showed any interest in the guns. He never took her out shooting. Why are we to think she would take the gun from the Carver home and kill her child and herself?
Just imagining these shootings can boggle the mind. Imagine Rachel clutching her baby to her breast and attempting to fire that gun, at that angle through the child. Physics says it can't happen. The barrel is just too long. Rachel was only 5'2'' and there is no way, that arm could reach out around the child so the bullet would also hit her in the breast. Likewise with the shot to the head. Put an imaginary gun with a 6-inch barrel to your head in the manner depicted in the chart. It's not going to happen!
Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab Forensic Chemist Deanna Dygan explains the tests she ran on the gun entered into evidence as the murder weapon, during the murder trial of Neil Entwistle at Middlesex Superior Court, in Woburn, Massachusetts, June 16, 2008
Rachel did have a few specks of gunshot residue (GSR) on her hands. Ms. Page made such a big deal about it. We learned about GSR in the Spector trial. It's unreliable. In fact, the FBI no longer tests for it. On the May 26th, 2006 Georgia Criminal Law Blog, it states, "the FBI has distanced itself from another test once regarded as a reliable test. They will no longer be performing gun shot residue analysis.” In addition, earlier testimony pointed out that gunshot residue was easily removed and transferable. The fact that there was a tiny amount of GSR on Rachel's hands, means nothing. She was shot, there was a gun in the room, and there were armed police officers in the room. For Ms. Page to attempt to indicate it was significant is totally disingenuous.
Finally, I think that, as Ron Kuby puts it, "impeachment by learned treatise" is a cheap shot. Ms. Page read pieces of information from Vincent DiMaio's book on gunshot wounds and Spitz and Fisher's tome on forensic medical investigation and asked Dr. Zane to answer, "Yes" to all the questions. When Dr. Zane answered "No," he became the target of rather acerbic comments. I only wish that the prosecutors had been able to elicit more complete explanations from this ME.
It was an awful experience to view this and I hope the jury feels the same as I do and has the wisdom to see the facts - not the things that definitely are what they seem to be.
Thank you very much ritanita!