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CRJ 499 Papers
WK 5
Crime Scene Investigation Walk-Through
Overview
When you arrive at the scene of a crime, you must follow certain procedures to ensure
the admissibility of evidence. For this assignment, you will use a case file of a real crime
scene and assume the role of the crime scene investigator. You will create a
presentation in which you document your process, present your findings, and provide an
evaluation of the scene in a narrated PowerPoint.
To help you prepare for this assignment, use the Mock Crime Scene (link below) to
review the steps of evaluating a crime scene.
• https://www.mesaazpolice.gov/about-mesa-pd/forensic-services/mockcrime-scene
Instructions
Choose one of the following cases from your textbook resource:
• “He Hit Her Until She Fell… and That Was Just the Beginning,” Brandl, pp. 363–
373. (Attached)
• “A Mutilation Murder,” Brandl, p. 670. (Attached)
Then, create a 5–10 minute presentation in which you:
1. Identify the tools you used to evaluate the crime scene. Provide a rationale for
your choices.
2. Outline the steps you took to secure the crime scene.
3. Describe the techniques and procedures you used to process the crime scene,
including a list of the evidence collected. Explain the reasons for your
procedures.
4. Describe the steps you took to preserve the evidence and provide an explanation
for your process.
5. Provide photos of the crime scene.
6. Create a crime scene map that illustrates the crime scene upon arrival.
7. Narrate your presentation to walk the audience through the crime scene.
8. Use at least two quality sources and cite them on a references slide.
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From the Case File A Mutilation Murder
The Crime
The New York City Police Department requested the assistance of the FBI after police detectives came to an
apparent dead end in their investigation of the murder and mutilation of a twenty-six-year-old woman whose body
was found on the roof of a Bronx public housing apartment building where she had lived with her parents. An
investigative task force of twenty-six detectives and supervisors had interviewed more than 2,000 individuals, many
of whom lived or worked in the apartment building. Record checks of known sex offenders in the area were of no
assistance. The police had twenty-two “good” suspects but nothing conclusive.
A fifteen-year-old boy had discovered the victim’s wallet in the stairwell as he was leaving the building on his way
to school. Upon returning home from school for lunch that afternoon, the boy had given the wallet to his father, who
went to the victim’s apartment to return it. The victim’s mother then called the day care center where the victim
worked to notify her daughter that her wallet had been found. At that time the victim’s mother was told her daughter
had not shown up for work that morning. The mother, the victim’s sister, and a neighbor then proceeded to search
the building and discovered the body. The body was located at 3:00 p.m.; the victim had left her apartment at
approximately 6:15 a.m.
The victim was found nude. She had been beaten about the face and strangled with the strap of her purse. The cause
of death was determined to be strangulation—first manual and then ligature. The victim’s jaw and nose had been
broken, and several of her teeth were loose. She had sustained several other facial fractures. Her nipples had been
cut off after death and placed on her chest. There were bite marks, which were determined to have occurred after
death, on her thighs. Numerous contusions and lacerations were present on her body. “You can’t stop me” was
written in ink on the inside of her thigh, and “Fuck you” was written on her abdomen. A necklace pendant she
usually wore was missing and presumed taken by the killer. Her underpants had been placed on her head and pulled
over her face. Her nylons had been removed and loosely tied around her wrists and ankles. Her earrings had been
removed and placed symmetrically on each side of her head. An umbrella and writing pen had been forced into her
vagina, and a hair comb had been placed in her pubic hair. Semen was recovered from the victim’s body; it appeared
that the killer had stood over the victim and masturbated. Human feces were discovered on the roof landing and
were covered with the victim’s clothing.
Key Crime Scene Characteristics
The crime did not appear to be planned. All the instruments used to perpetrate the crime were the victim’s (e.g.,
purse strap, umbrella, pen) except for the knife used to remove the victim’s nipples. This knife was probably small
enough to have been routinely carried by the killer. He probably first hit the victim with his fist to render her
unconscious and then used his hands and the purse strap to strangle her. These are weapons of opportunity. He did
not have a gun, rope, tape, or gag. If the perpetrator had such “tools,” it would indicate a degree of planning. Rather,
this crime appeared to have been a spontaneous event. In addition, the victim did not appear to have been threatened
by the perpetrator’s presence. She did not attempt to flee or scream prior to being rendered unconscious by the
offender. The initial violence to the victim was sudden.
Although the crime was unplanned, it did appear to be well rehearsed and thought out. The positioning of the body,
the mutilation, the placement of the umbrella and pen, the removal and placement of the earrings, the writing on the
body, and the bite marks indicated that the perpetrator was acting out something he had seen before. The crime may
have been based on sexual fantasies possibly rooted in sadistic and violent pornography.
The offender was best classified as disorganized (see a later discussion for details on this classification and the
importance of it). The crime appeared to be a spontaneous event; the victim was not stalked but confronted. The
victim appeared to have been immediately overcome with sudden violence and rendered unconscious. The victim
was not moved from the general crime scene. The body was left in view at the location in which she was probably
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killed. There were sexual acts performed on the body after death. Evidence and the tools used to commit the crime
were left at the scene. All these crime scene characteristics are reflective of a disorganized offender.
The crime was high risk. It was committed in daylight. Considerable time was spent by the offender in perpetrating
the crime (e.g., removing earrings, masturbating, defecating). The victim was at low risk of becoming a victim. She
was a quiet woman, small in stature (4’11,” 90 lbs.). She was plain-looking and did not date. She lived with her
parents. Her lifestyle did not expose her to much risk for victimization. The area in which the crime occurred had a
low rate of violent crime, further reducing the likelihood of victimization.
The Resulting Crime Scene Profile
The profile suggested that the offender was a white man, between twenty-five and thirty-five years of age, and of
average appearance. The methodical organization of the crime scene—positioning of the body, placement of
earrings, and so on—would be unusual for an impulsive teenager or someone in his early twenties. It was not likely
the perpetrator was in his late thirties or forties because someone of that age would have probably committed earlier
murders and it would be difficult to commit such crimes over the span of years without being apprehended.
According to the profile, he was of average intelligence and a high school or college dropout. He was most likely
unemployed; if he was employed, it was in a blue-collar or unskilled job. Alcohol or drugs did not play a role in the
crime. The suspect was socially inadequate and not married. He lived or worked near the crime scene. All these
characteristics are typical of disorganized murderers.
The fact that the crime was a spontaneous event further increased the probability the offender lived or worked near
the scene of the crime. He had reason to be there at 6:15 a.m. If he was not planning to commit the crime at that
time, he had to have some other reason for being there—probably because of employment or because he lived in the
apartment building. The crime being high risk and the victim being at a low risk for victimization also suggested the
killer felt comfortable in the area.
The sexual acts performed on the victim showed sadistic tendencies and obvious mental problems. The perpetrator
likely had a collection of pornography. A rage or hatred of women was present in the crime. That he inflicted these
acts on a dead or unconscious victim indicated an inability to interact with a live or conscious person and reinforced
his social inadequacy.
The Outcome
After receiving the profile of the killer, the police reviewed their list of twenty-two suspects. One person seemed to
resemble the profile more closely than the others. The suspect’s father lived on the same floor of the apartment
building as the victim and had initially told the police his son was a patient at a local psychiatric hospital. Now, upon
investigating further, the police learned the son had been missing from the hospital the day and evening prior to the
murder. Investigators also discovered he was unemployed and had dropped out of school. He was thirty-two and had
never married. He had no girlfriends. He suffered from depression and was receiving treatment at the psychiatric
hospital. He had attempted suicide before and after the offense. A collection of pornography was discovered during
a search of the suspect’s father’s apartment.
The suspect was arrested, tried, and found guilty of the homicide. He never confessed to the crime, but it was proved
that security was lax at the hospital in which he was staying; he could come and go as he wished. The bite marks he
inflicted on the victim were the most influential evidence against the suspect at trial. He was sentenced to twentyfive years to life for the crime.1 (Note: This crime occurred before DNA printing was available.)
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From the Case File He Hit Her Until She Fell . . . and That Was Just the
Beginning
It was a cold Super Bowl Sunday on January 26, 2003, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Jackie Lawer and her
friends1 were having a party. Jackie was twenty-four and worked as a bartender at a popular restaurant and tavern in
Milwaukee. She had a lot of friends and knew a lot of people. She was typically happy and enjoyed life, and this
particular Sunday was no different. The usual crowd was at the party—mostly people who worked together at the
restaurant. As the game ended and the party came to end, one of Jackie’s friends, Patrick Hubbart, twenty-two,
agreed to give Jackie a ride home. Patrick wasn’t her boyfriend; they were just good friends. They joked and
laughed as they rode to Jackie’s apartment building on the trendy east side of the city. It was about 2:30 a.m. when
the pair pulled up in front of the building. Jackie and Patrick said good night, and Jackie hurried to the front door of
the apartment building. Patrick watched as Jackie walked up the front sidewalk of the building toward the front
door. As he drove off, he saw Jackie approach the door. He then did a U-turn and again drove past the front door of
the building. He could no longer see Jackie, so he assumed she made it safely into the building. Patrick then headed
home to get a little sleep. He had to take his parents to the airport in just a few hours.
Just before 8:00 a.m. on January 27, the Milwaukee Police Department received a phone call from a citizen who
reported a body lying in his backyard. Officer Sanchez responded to the location, as did Detective Olson. As written
in Detective Olson’s report,
[t]he human body was face down just off of and east of the alley pavement at the rear of 2471 N. Palmer. The body
was located just south of a foundation wall that runs west to east from the alley along the probable north property
line of 2471 N. Palmer for almost 20 feet. The victim’s head was in a northeast direction just south of the wall and at
the base of a tree six feet east of the alley pavement. The victim’s feet extended in a southwest direction toward the
alley. It could not be immediately determined if the person was male or female, as the upper torso had a bloody
yellow jacket pulled up the body and over the head. The lower torso of the body was nude except for a sock that was
on one of the feet.
Milwaukee Fire Department arrived and began resuscitation efforts on the body just after PO Sanchez arrived. While
this was done, PO Sanchez taped off the scene to prevent scene contamination. PO Sanchez indicated that as the Fire
Department personnel attended to the victim, they removed the bloody yellow jacket from the victim’s body and
moved it to the south of the body. Firefighter Irrizary found a driver’s license in the lower, left front coat pocket of
the bloody yellow jacket and gave the ID to PO Sanchez. The victim’s body was then conveyed from the scene by
the MFD to St. Mary’s Hospital.
The driver’s license belonged to Jackie Lawer. She had a faint pulse and a core temperature of 81°F. The outside
temperature was 4°F. Doctors at the hospital reported to the attending detectives that Jackie had severe injuries and
lacerations to the back of her head. Jackie died on January 27, 2003, at 3:45 p.m.
Investigators collected numerous items of possible evidence in the area where the body was found. There was so
much trash in the area that investigators were uncertain if any or all of the items actually related to the crime.
Investigators collected the clothing that was removed from the body by the fire department. They also found and
collected from the immediate vicinity what appeared to be a towel with blood on it, three used condoms, five keys
on a key ring, an unopened pack of Marlboro Ultra Light cigarettes (from the pocket of the victim’s yellow jacket),
blood from the grass where the victim was found, a partial wrapper for fudge chocolate chip cookies, an ATM slip,
an envelope, a broken flashlight, and the victim’s ID.
While investigators were collecting the evidence where the body was discovered, other detectives went to the
address listed on the victim’s ID with hopes of contacting and notifying friends or relatives. As these detectives
approached the apartment building where Jackie lived, they found a large amount of blood near the door of the
building, with a blood trail leading to and ending in the street in front of the building. Also near the door was a
hamburger still in its wrapper.
The area in front of the building and the street were secured, and a neighborhood canvass was conducted by officers.
None of the twenty-four people who lived in and around the apartment building had seen or heard anything the night
before. When one of Jackie’s neighbors was asked by the police if she had noticed the blood on the front stoop of
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the building, she said she had seen it as she left the building in the morning but had thought someone dropped a red
slushy on the steps. The attendant who was working the previous night at a nearby gas station was also questioned.
He reported that someone matching Jackie’s description had entered the store at about 3:45 a.m. Upon checking the
cash register receipts and the video surveillance, police confirmed this person was indeed Jackie, and she had
purchased a pack of cigarettes and a hamburger. The surveillance video showed several people entering the store
before Jackie, and several entered after she left; investigators wondered if any of these people were responsible for
her murder.
Photo 10.1 The area in which the victim was found. Notice her yellow jacket and numerous other items at the scene.
Photo 10.2 A close-up of the victim’s bloody jacket and other items.
While the police were inside Jackie’s apartment, the phone rang. An officer answered it, and the caller was Patrick.
Investigators told Patrick that Jackie was in the hospital and they needed to talk to him. Upon being questioned,
Patrick told the police about the party and that he had given Jackie a ride home and dropped her off at about 2:30
a.m. He denied doing any harm to Jackie. He stated that he did not have a romantic or intimate relationship with
Jackie and had no reason to do any harm to her. Patrick gave the police the names of the other people at the party,
and investigators contacted them as well. Patrick was of special interest because as far as the police knew, he was
the last one to see Jackie alive. He also had what appeared to be some scratches on his body and a cigarette burn on
his face. While searching Jackie’s apartment, investigators found pieces of paper with boys’ names and phone
numbers on them. They also heard from Jackie’s friends that Jackie had recently been concerned someone had
entered her apartment and put pennies in her bathtub. On another occasion she told her friends she thought someone
was in her apartment while she was taking a shower. Investigators were still most interested in Patrick. He was the
prime suspect—really the only suspect. At the very least, they figured the perpetrator was most likely someone that
Jackie knew. Patrick agreed to a physical forensic exam and the collection of DNA. He also agreed to have his
apartment, his vehicle, and his parents’ house searched. Investigators found nothing that linked him to Jackie’s
murder.
On January 28 an autopsy was conducted on the victim by Dr. Mainland. The autopsy was witnessed by Detective
Valuch. As stated in Detective Valuch’s report,
Dr. Mainland examined the victim prior to the autopsy and observed the following injuries. Victim had a 7/8” long
laceration behind her left ear. There was a laceration to her right ear lobe. There were abrasions to her right buttocks
and the back of her right leg and also on the back of the victim’s right bicep. Dr. Mainland believes that these
abrasions were what she described as drag marks. Dr. Mainland observed blunt force trauma to the victim’s head,
specifically there was a contusion and laceration to the back of the victim’s head. There were two contusions and
lacerations to the back of the victim’s right side of her head and one to the top of the head. At the conclusion of the
autopsy, Dr. Mainland stated that the cause of death was due to blunt force trauma, specifically head injuries. Dr.
Mainland stated the victim was struck in the head at least six times and probably more like eight or nine times.
Photo 10.3 A close-up of blood splatter on the tile and concrete near the front door of the victim’s apartment
building.
Photo 10.4 The front entrance of the victim’s apartment building. Notice the blood at the approach to the front door.
Marker #8 indicates the hamburger still in its wrapper. The other markers indicate bloodstains.
Photo 10.5 A wide view of the front of Jackie Lawer’s apartment building secured with crime scene tape.
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Photo 10.6 The front of the victim’s apartment building with crime scene markers indicating bloodstains.
On Wednesday January 29, Dr. Mainland again examined the victim for any bruising, which may have shown itself
overnight. Dr. Mainland noticed what she described as extensive bruising to both of the victim’s hands, specifically
the back of the hands. Dr. Mainland noted extensive bruising on the victim’s right palm and on both of the victim’s
forearms. Dr. Mainland described this bruising as being defensive wounds. Dr. Mainland also noticed what appeared
to be a bite mark at the victim’s right breast, specifically at the nipple area. Dr. Johnson, a forensic odontologist,
confirmed what he believed to be a human bite mark to the victim’s right nipple area.
In putting the pieces of the incident together, the police reasoned that Jackie had been dropped off at her apartment
and had entered the building. About an hour later she had left her apartment building to go to the corner gas station
to get cigarettes and a hamburger. As she made her way back to her building and approached the front door,
someone hit her over the head with a blunt object. Her body was then taken to the street (which would account for
the blood found on the street) and placed in a vehicle that was then used to transport her to where she was eventually
found. Although investigators believed they knew what had happened, they had no idea who did it or why. Little did
they know that by the end of the next day, Friday, January 31, they would have both the killer and a confession.
On the morning of January 31, five days after the homicide occurred, the police received a phone call. The man
identified himself as Tyrone Harris and said he was a friend of a woman named Jennifer Mohammed. Harris
explained he was a barber and that about a month ago, Jennifer came into the barbershop with her son to get a
haircut. After this visit he and Jennifer became friends. Harris said that on January 28, Jennifer called him at the
barbershop and asked him if he had heard about that girl getting killed. Harris told her that he had but did not know
any of the details. Jennifer then told Harris that her boyfriend had committed the crime. According to Harris,
Jennifer said her boyfriend had not meant to do it, that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time. Jennifer
continued to tell Harris about the details of the incident. According to the police report, she stated that “he took her
clothes off to get rid of some of the blood and that he was partially nude because he took off his clothes because of
the blood.” Jennifer also told Harris that her boyfriend had said he was going to take the victim to the hospital
because of her injuries but that he never did. She also said that her boyfriend had gotten $11 from the victim because
he robbed her.
This sounded like specific, credible, and believable information to the detectives. With the information in hand, the
next step was to talk to Jennifer Mohammad. Later in the morning on January 31 the police located Jennifer at her
home, interviewed her briefly, and transported her to the police department for a more detailed interview. On the
way to the police station, Jennifer led detectives to where her boyfriend’s vehicle, a blue 1987 Dodge Ram pickup
truck, was located. Arrangements were made to tow the vehicle so a search of it could be conducted by crime lab
personnel.
During her interviews with the detectives, Jennifer told them that her boyfriend, Kimani Ward, slept in the basement
of her house. She explained that on January 26, Super Bowl Sunday, Ward had left the residence at about 3:00 p.m.,
stating that he was going to “take care of some business and sit with his friends in the bar.” He drove his blue pickup
truck. The next day at about 5:30 a.m., she went into the basement, and Ward was not there. She left the house and
returned about 9:00 a.m. Ward was then home. She asked him why he had gotten home so late, and he replied that
he “was on the east side.” She told the police that this led to an argument between her and Ward, and then Ward left
the house. Later on Monday, at about 4:00 p.m., Ward came back home and told Jennifer he needed a stiff drink and
to change his life. She noticed something seemed to be the matter with him because he was shaking and sad. Ward
asked Jennifer, “Are you ready for this?” He explained that he had seen a girl on the east side and thought she had
some money. He told Jennifer that he was in his truck and snuck up behind the girl and hit her in the head with a
crowbar. Jennifer also said that Ward told her that he didn’t mean to use a lot of force. Jennifer asked him how much
he had gotten from the girl and he responded $11, which he said he had used to put gas in his truck. He said that
after he hit the girl, she had fallen down, so he picked her up and carried her to his truck and put her in the flatbed.
Jennifer told detectives that Ward said he had considered taking her to a hospital, but he thought if he did he’d get in
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trouble. Jennifer also told the police that Ward had bought a newspaper because he said he wanted to know if the
police had a suspect; she thought that was also strange because he never read the newspaper. He also told her that he
had put bleach in the back of his truck and washed it. He had blood on his shoes and he had put bleach on those as
well.
Shortly after Jennifer Mohammad was conveyed to the police station for questioning, other detectives located Ward
at his residence and transported him to the police department for questioning as well. The following is the detailed
statement provided by Ward, as written by Detective Gary Temp in police supplemental report 2–15:
On Friday January 31, 2003, at 11:30 a.m. in room 414 of the Criminal Investigation Bureau, I advised Kimani K.
Ward of his Miranda rights in the presence of Detective Randy Olson. Ward states he understands his rights, is
willing to waive them, answer questions, and make a statement.
Regarding the homicide of Jackie Lawer on 1-27-03 at 2423 E. Bellview Place, Ward states that he is responsible for
Jackie’s death. Ward states he struck Jackie in the head with a tire iron while robbing her.
Ward states that on Sunday 1-26-03 he went to the Shortstop Inn on S. 19th and W. Lincoln Ave. Ward states he
can’t remember what time he got there. Ward states that while at the tavern he had eight shots of vodka and five
beers. Ward states he has friends at this tavern and is friends with the owner’s son. Ward states he left the tavern
about 3:00 a.m. on Monday 1-27-03.
Ward states that when he left the tavern he drove his 1987 Dodge Ram pickup truck light blue/dark blue with
Minnesota license plates to the east side of Milwaukee. Ward states that the reason he did this was that he was going
to break into some cars because he needed some money.
Ward states that he first saw the victim (Jackie) walking away from the Citgo Gas station at Maryland and Farwell.
Ward states he did not know the victim. Ward states the victim was walking alone. Ward states he then thought
about robbing the victim because she probably had money on her because she just left the gas station. Ward states he
figured the victim would have at least $40 on her. Ward states the victim was wearing a yellow coat with a hood and
blue pants.
Ward states the victim walked north on N. Farwell to E. Bradford. Ward states he then drove his truck north on N.
Maryland and turned and proceeded east on E. Bradford. Ward states he then turned south onto N. Downer Ave and
parked his truck facing south in front of 2475 N. Downer Ave. Ward states he lost sight of the victim when he
parked his truck.
Ward states that when he got out of his truck he took a “crow bar.” Ward described this crowbar as a star type tire
wrench. Ward states the tire wrench has three sockets and one flat end. Ward states he walked west on the north side
of E. Bradford. Ward states he then walked north in the 2500 block of N. Stowell. Ward states as he was walking he
was looking into cars for something to steal.
Ward states that he was about mid-block when he saw the same white female walking by herself north in the 2600
block of N. Stowell. Ward states he ducked behind a car so the victim would not see him.
Ward states he started following the victim north on N. Stowell. Ward states he was about 15 feet behind the victim.
Ward states he was deciding if he should rob the victim as he followed her. Ward states the victim turned and went
west on E. Bellview Place. Ward states the victim walked up to the front door of an apartment building at 2423 E.
Bellview Place.
Ward states he suddenly made up his mind that he would rob the victim. Ward states the victim was by the front
door and he ran up on her. Ward states he ran up on the victim and began hitting her in the head with the “crow bar.”
Ward states he was swinging the “crow bar” in an overhead motion downward toward the victim’s head. Ward
stated he hit Jackie three or four times but it could have been more. Ward states Jackie never fought back. Ward
states he hit the victim until she fell down.
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Ward states that after the victim fell he saw she wasn’t moving. Ward states he then ran back to his truck. Ward
states he saw blood on the victim’s hood at first. Ward states he ran the two or three blocks back to his truck.
Ward states he got in his truck, made a U-turn on N. Downer and drove back to 2423 E. Bellview Place. Ward states
he parked his truck in the middle of the street facing west. Ward states he then got out of his truck and ran over to
the victim who was lying in front of the front door of the apartment. Ward states there was a lot of blood by the
victim and she wasn’t moving. Ward remembers her eyes being open.
Ward states he then dragged the victim to his truck. Ward states he grabbed the victim under the arms and dragged
her to his truck. Ward states he lowered the tailgate of his truck and lifted the victim onto the truck-bed. Ward states
he lifted the victim’s upper body onto the truck first and then swung her legs up onto the truck-bed. Ward states he
then got up onto the truck-bed and pulled her the rest of the way in.
Ward then described to detectives where he had driven with the victim in the bed of the truck. He stated that he had
stopped and pulled his truck over on the side of the road five different times, gotten out, and climbed into the truck
bed to look at the victim. He stated that each time her eyes were open and she did not appear to be breathing. He
stated that one of the times he stopped his truck it was near a hospital, and he looked at the emergency room and
thought about dropping the victim off there. The report continued:
Ward states he eventually stopped his truck in an alley at the rear of 2471 N. Palmer St. He stated his truck was
facing south in the alley. Ward states he got out of the truck and pulled the victim’s body off the bed of his truck.
Ward states as he pulled the victim’s body off of the truck her pants and underwear got snagged and were pulled off.
Ward states he then left the victim’s body behind 2471 N. Palmer St.
Ward then states that at this time he could see her vaginal area. Ward states the victim’s coat was pulled up and he
could see her breasts. Ward states he thought to himself he had come this far he might as well have sex with her.
Ward states he put a rubber (condom) on. Ward states he then tried to place his penis into the victim’s vagina. Ward
states that the victim was unconscious. Ward states he tried to have sex with the victim for about one minute but
could not stay hard. Ward states during the sex act he may have bitten the victim’s breast. Ward remembers he was
hard enough to “get in” (penetrate) the victim, but was having trouble staying hard so he stopped. Ward states he
had sex with the victim because he remembers thinking that she died for nothing. Ward states he can’t remember
what he did with the condom he used during the sex act.
Ward states he took the victim’s pants into the cab of the truck with him. Ward states he drove out of the alley and
went back to North Ave. Ward states he began driving west. Ward states that when he was stopped at a traffic light
he searched through the victim’s pants.
Ward states he took $11 out of one of the pants pockets. Ward states it was either two fives and a single or one five
and six singles. Ward states he later used this money to put gas in his truck.
In the interrogation Ward then stated the various places he had driven and the location where he had gotten rid of the
crowbar, the victim’s pants, and his K-Swiss shoes, coat, long underwear, and jogging pants. Ward stated he then
went home and entered his house naked. He stated that later in the day he poured some bleach into the bed of his
truck and then took the truck through a car wash in order to get the blood out of the bed. He said he then found a
trash dumpster and threw out some old tires and other things that were in the truck bed. The report continued:
Ward states he did tell his girlfriend Jennifer about this incident. Ward states that he told Jennifer about the robbery
and homicide. Ward states he didn’t tell Jennifer about the sex act. Ward states he didn’t tell Jennifer as many
details as he told us.
Ward states he did agree to ride with us in a squad car and point out where everything occurred. Ward states he did
show us where he got rid of the victim’s shoes, had sex with her and dumped her body. Ward states he also pointed
out locations where he disposed of the crow bar, victim’s pants, and his own clothing.
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Ward states he wants to tell the victim’s family he is sorry and he didn’t mean to hurt their daughter like that.
Ward states that the bag of women’s underwear found at his house he got when he has broken into cars. Ward states
he has no idea why he kept the underwear.
Ward states he has never done anything like this before in his life. Ward states he still doesn’t know why he did this.
From 2:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Ward was with us in squad 124 A driving around various locations in the city. At 3:40
p.m. Ward used the restroom at District 5 police station. At 4:30 p.m. at 4912 N. 108th St. (his residence) Ward used
the restroom, brushed his teeth, and got a pair of shoes. Ward also changed into a sweater and left his coat and t-shirt
at 4912 N. 108th St. Ward also said to his family members at that time “I fucked up, I’m sorry for bringing this to all
of you.”
In room 414, Ward smoked freely, was given water, Coca Cola, two cheeseburgers and french fries. Ward also had a
Sprite from McDonalds on E. North Ave, while with us in the squad car. In the squad car, Wards hands were
handcuffed in the front of him. In room 414 Ward was not handcuffed. One break 5:50 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The entire statement was read to me by Detective Temp and is true and correct. (signed Kimani Ward) Ended 10:00
p.m.
As a result of the information provided by Ward regarding the disposal of clothing and other evidence in the crime,
the following items were found, photographed, and collected:
• Two black slip-on shoes and one black fur-lined glove, believed to have belonged to the
victim. One of the shoes had a visible blood smear on it.
• Two black leather K-Swiss shoes, which belonged to Kimani Ward.
• A black jacket and blue pants, which belonged to Ward. The pants contained a visible
blood splatter on the right thigh area.
The search of the Ward’s truck revealed three areas in the truck bed near the tailgate where blood and hair evidence
was located. Analyses conducted by the crime lab revealed that the DNA obtained from the blood on Ward’s pants
and from the blood found in his truck matched that of Jackie Lawer. Another bloodstain in the truck came from an
unknown male subject. Semen was not identified from any samples taken from the victim. The DNA obtained from
the bite mark area on the victim contained DNA from at least three sources (possibly from the medical personnel
who attended to the victim) and could not be matched to Ward.
Kimani Ward was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the crimes he committed against
Jackie Lawer.
Photo 10.7 The perpetrator’s pants, which he discarded before returning home. Notice the blood splatter on one of
the pant legs; the blood was matched to the victim through DNA analysis.
Photo 10.8 The perpetrator’s truck, which was used to transport the victim after she had been attacked. The photo
was taken after the truck had been impounded by the police.
Photo 10.9 A close-up photograph of the bed of the perpetrator’s truck. Notice the bloodstain that was found in the
crack of the bed and tailgate. The blood was the victim’s.
Page 7 of 8
Case Considerations and Points for Discussion
1. How was Kimani Ward first identified as a suspect in the murder of Jackie Lawer?
What value did DNA analysis, and physical evidence more generally, provide in this
investigation?
2. The investigation appeared to be at a standstill until what happened? Did the police do
anything to make this happen? What was the role of the media in the investigation?
3. From the description of the investigation provided earlier, does it appear that the police
made any mistakes in the investigation? If yes, explain.
4. Perpetrators are often identified as a result of mistakes they make in committing the
crime. What do you think was the biggest mistake that Kimani Ward made in
committing these crimes?
5. Investigators learn something from every investigation. What do you think were the
biggest lessons learned by the police as a result of this investigation?
Issues in the Investigation of Death: Manner of Death
All deaths can be explained in one of four ways: Deaths are the result of natural causes (e.g.,
heart attack or illness), accident (e.g., vehicle crash), suicide (e.g., willfully jumping from a
building), or homicide. The way in which a person dies is referred to as the manner of death.
According to annual mortality statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, the overwhelming number of deaths are as a result of natural causes (approximately
93 percent), followed in frequency by accidents (approximately 5 percent; approximately 28
percent of which are traffic accidents), suicide (1.5 percent of all deaths), and homicide
(approximately 0.5 percent of all deaths; see Exhibit 10.1).
Manner of death: The way in which a person dies: homicide, suicide, accident, or natural causes.
Exhibit 10.1 Quick Facts About Death2
With regard to all deaths:
•
•
In recent years in the United States, approximately 2.6 million deaths have occurred
per year.
The most common cause of death is cardiovascular disease.
With regard to accidental (unintentional) deaths:
•
•
•
In recent years in the United States, approximately 120,000 accidental deaths have
occurred per year.
Approximately 28 percent of these deaths were the result of vehicle traffic accidents,
27 percent were the result of accidental poisoning, and 22 percent were the result of
unintentional falls.
.5 percent of unintentional deaths were the result of an accidental discharge of a
weapon.
With regard to suicides:
Page 8 of 8
•
•
•
•
There are approximately 42,000 suicides a year in the United States.
Suicide among males is four times higher than among females and represents 79
percent of all U.S. suicides.
Firearms are the most common method of suicide among males (56 percent);
poisoning is the most common method among females (37 percent).
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among persons fifteen to twenty-four
years old, the second among persons aged twenty-five to thirty-four, the fourth
among persons aged thirty-five to fifty-four, and the eighth among persons aged
fifty-five to sixty-four.
With regard to homicides:
•
•
•
•
•
In recent years in the United States, approximately 13,000 homicides have occurred
per year.
Approximately 53 percent of victims and 53 percent of offenders are black.
Approximately 79 percent of victims and 89 percent of offenders are male.
Approximately 61 percent of victims and 51 percent of offenders are aged seventeen
to thirty-nine.
Firearms are used in approximately 71 percent of homicides.

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