State of Wisconsin v. Peter Kupaza,
Sauk County, Case No. 00-CF-26


The following is a public document that has been read into evidence in open court before the jury and members of the press. It is a list of my opinions regarding the case and the facts upon which they are based.


May 30, 2000

MEMORANDUM

FROM: Brent Turvey, M.S., Knowledge Solutions, LLC, Ph. (831) 786-9238

TO: Catherine Ankenbrandt & Rhoda Ricciardi, Attorneys, State of Wisconsin, State Public Defender, 120 Third St., Baraboo, WI 53913, Ph. (608) 355-3180

SUBJECT: State of Wisconsin v. Peter Kupaza, Case No. 00-CF-26

I have reviewed all of the discovery material provided to my office from April 3, 2000 until this date. The purpose of this memo is to summarize the issues that I have subsequently formed conclusions about in regards to this case, and their basis.

It is this examiner's opinion that the residence of Peter Kupaza, at 1118 Pleasant View, Apt. 107, Madison, WI, is not the location where this victim was dismembered. The basis for my opinion on this issue resides in the consideration of the following items:

  1. The absence of significant bloodstains and/ or bloodstain patterns at the residence, which would be expected with the degree of manual disarticulation and skin removal evident in this case (i.e. under carpets, beneath tiles, behind baseboards, etc.). It is important to note that a single, small bloodstain was found in the bathroom on the edge of the baseboard only a few inches from the tile floor. This is highly consistent with incidental transfer from an accidental cut related to shaving of the foot/ ankle area, as well as other incidental injury scenarios.
  2. The lack of evidence related to human tissue or body fluids associated with the victim's disarticulated joints, such as fatty tissue, skin, and synovial fluids, discovered at the location. Any of these would be somewhat expected with the nature and degree of manual disarticulation and skin removal evident in this case (i.e. under carpets, beneath tiles, behind baseboards, etc.).
  3. The lack of evidence such as detailed in items 1 and 2 associated with Peter Kupaza's vehicle, a 1997 Silver/ Gray Nissan Altima.
  4. Fiber evidence associated with a duffel bag used in the disposal of the victim's body is excluded as having come from either the residence or vehicle discussed above. This supports the association of the victim's nude, deceased body with another location.

It is this examiner's opinion that this crime contains a number of components that, in concert, could be used to support the interpretation of a sexual motivation. It should be noted that by themselves any of these components would not be as compelling. However, when combined they suggest the strong possibility of a sexual aspect within this crime. The basis for my opinion on this issue resides in the consideration of the following items:

  1. The victim's body was found nude, which is not entirely explained by the possibility that the removal of the victim's clothing may have been part of a precautionary act.
  2. The victim's body shows no evidence of injury caused by premortem violence. Moreover, there is a significant lack of what is commonly referred to as "overkill" (i.e. multiple blows to the face, crush injuries to the skull, multiple stabs, etc.), which would be suggestive of offender anger and/ or a violent confrontation.
  3. The offender(s) spent an inordinate amount of time with the victim's body in the postmortem interval. Specifically, there is evidence of careful attention paid to the skillful separation of the victim's joints with a sharp instrument, the removal of the skin covering the victim's head with a sharp instrument and the removal of the skin on the victim's thighs with a sharp instrument. It is important to note that the careful dismemberment of the victim is not entirely explained by the possibility that it may have been part of a precautionary act to prevent victim identification. This is given the increased risk of offender discovery involved in such a time consuming effort, and the disinterest in the removal or obliteration of the victim's hands, fingers and teeth.
  4. The victim's feet were not found. Feet are a commonly and readily fetishized body part. The majority of the victim's dismembered body was located subsequent to a directed search effort in the same general area. Given this, in concert with the nature of the postmortem activity in this case, the victim's feet are conspicuously absent, in my view.

It is important to note at this point that despite the typical persistence of sperm and hair evidence in the vaginal vault and anal cavity subsequent to sexual activity (including rape), and the death range estimated, a sexual assault exam was not performed in this case. It is also important to note that despite the extensive drug toxicology performed at the time of autopsy, and despite the level of alcohol in the victim's blood (the victim was not known to drink), no toxicological screens for poison appear to have been conducted. This examiner is at a loss as to why neither of these things was done at the time of autopsy, as they would seem to be important steps in reconstructing the victim's demise.

It is this examiner's opinion that this crime evidences an offender(s) with medical knowledge. The basis for my opinion on this issue resides in the consideration of the following items:

  1. This victim was not dismembered with commonly associated chopping instruments such as a hatchet, cleaver or machete applied to areas of bone (such as a butcher might use).
  2. There is no evidence that a sawing instrument such as a hacksaw, band saw, skill saw, or radial saw was used.
  3. There is evidence that the offender(s) separated the victim's head, arms, legs, and feet at their respective joints with the utmost deliberation, precision and care, using a very sharp cutting instrument not unlike a scalpel.

Based on these facts, the time requirement, and the significant emotional requirement involved, it is further the opinion of this examiner that the offender(s) responsible for this crime has experience with performing precisely this kind of disarticulation, most likely with another human victim.

_________________________
Prepared by
Brent E. Turvey, MS
Knowledge Solutions, LLC