E. Turvey, MS
Knowledge Solutions LLC
1961 Main St., PMB 221
Watsonville, CA 95076
September 26, 2001
Mr. Steve Biskar, Attorney
Orange County Public Defender
14 Civic Center Plaza
Santa Ana, CA 92701
bus: (714) 834-2144
fax: (714) 834-2729
Re: California v. Gerald Johnson, GG00WF0080
Mr. Steve Biskar, the attorney representing Gerald Johnson in this matter, asked this examiner, Brent E. Turvey, MS, to examine the investigation, crime scene evidence, and forensic documentation relating to the homicides of Jose R. Najera and Elena C. Najera, for the purpose of assisting with crime reconstruction efforts.
In order to complete this task, this examiner was provided with and examined the following case material relating to the homicides of Jose R. Najera and Elena C. Najera:
After a careful examination of the case material described above, this examiner has reached the following conclusions:
Conclusion #1 The crime scene in this case was staged to appear as though an assailant entered the house through a bedroom window and then committed the homicides.
Conclusion #2 This crime was motivated by cumulative rage, and was not motivated by profit or sexual gratification.
Conclusion #3 [REDACTED]
REASONING FOR CONCLUSION #1 The term crime scene staging refers to the alteration or simulation of physical evidence at a location where a crime has occurred, or where a crime is alleged to have occurred, in order to mislead authorities and/ or redirect their investigation by attempting to simulate an offense, or event, that did not actually take place (Turvey, 2000). It is the opinion of this examiner that the crime scene in this case was staged to appear as though an assailant entered the house through a bedroom window and then committed the homicides. The basis for this opinion resides in the consideration of the following facts:
a) The bloodstains are on the base of the window frame and outside of the house on the wall below the window frame. However, this examiner saw no evidence of blood inside the window, or in the room (see photos CS#4 18A & 19A, and crime scene video). This would be expected if someone with bloody hands and bloody clothing exited the house through this window.
b) The bloodstain outside of the house on the wall below the window frame does not appear to be the result of a dynamic exit or entry. If it had been, the large stain on the exterior wall would have smeared in the direction of gravity, slipping under the weight of the assailant. As such, this stain appears to be the result of direct pressing rather than a moving body part bearing weight.
c) The bloodstains on the base of the window frame and outside of the house on the wall below the window frame do not appear to have been smeared or otherwise altered. The bloodstains are essentially in tact. Smearing would be evident if another person entered the house through the window after the initial transfer by the assailant. This finding precludes the possibility of a second entry through the window after the initial transfer of blood to this area.
REASONING FOR CONCLUSION #2
An anger motivation is evidenced by an assailants use of punishment-oriented force (Turvey, 1999, p.97). In the case of a homicide this may also be referred to as overkill. The term overkill is used to describe the infliction of trauma or injury, beyond that necessary to kill the victim (Burgess et al, 1992, p.354). In this case, the cause of death for both victims was determined to be exsanguination from multiple stab wounds. It is the opinion of this examiner that the injuries to the victims in this case evidence overkill, and that this crime was primarily motivated by cumulative rage. The basis for these opinions resides in the consideration of the following facts:
- Twenty-four (24) sharp force injuries primarily concentrated on the posterior thorax (up and down the back), left arm and forearm, right thumb, anterior right chest, and bilateral face and ears. This is a high number of injuries, some of which are to the head area. Eighteen (18) of these injuries were inflicted while the victim was facing away from the assailant.
- Twenty-one (21) sharp force injuries, one of which was to the mid-forehead. The rest of which are generally located in the anterior shoulder, chest, abdomen, thigh, right hand, left forearm, and left hand. There are also six (6) areas of posterior injury generally located in the left upper back, the left lower lumber region, the left hand, the right elbow, and the right hand. This is also a high number of injuries, however more of this victims injuries are defensive in nature. That is to say that the evidence supports the conclusion that this victim put up a considerable fight, resulting in greater anterior injury. However, this finding does not diminish the evidence of overkill suggesting interpersonal rage.
- The TV, VCR and stereo in the living room
- The TV and computer in the sons bedroom
- The electric keyboard and electric guitar in the sons bedroom
- The TVs and VCR in the mothers bedroom
- The mothers purse
- The fathers wallet and checkbook
REASONING FOR CONCLUSION #3
I swear and affirm to the best of my knowledge that the above statements are true under penalty of perjury.
Brent E. Turvey, MS
Burgess, A., Burgess, A.W., Douglas, J. & Ressler, R. (Eds.) (1992) Crime Classification Manual, New York: Lexington Books
Gross, H. (1924) Criminal Investigation, London: Sweet & Maxwell Ltd
Turvey, B. (1999) Criminal Profiling: An Introduction to Behavioral Evidence Analysis, London: Academic Press
Turvey, B. Staged Crime Scenes: A Preliminary Study of 25 Cases, Journal of Behavioral Profiling, December, 2000, Vol. 1, No. 3