State of California v. Douglas S. Mouser
County of Stanislaus, Case No. 139818
The following is a public document that has in essence been read into evidence in open court before the jury and members of the press.
Date of Report: 9/9/99
Client #: 10279
Richard S. Herman
928 Twelfth Street, Suite 501
Modesto, CA 95354
Case Name: Peo. vs. Douglas Scott
Report Type: Crime Scene Reconstruction
At the request of Richard Herman, attorney for defendant Douglas Scott Mouser, the physical evidence aspects of the crime scene were reviewed with the purpose of attempting, to the extent feasible, a crime scene reconstruction. To this end, the following materials were reviewed: initial investigative report, those follow-up investigative reports dealing with physical evidence, crime scene photographs, crime scene videotape, autopsy report and autopsy photographs, crime laboratory photographs and reports and accompanying bench notes. Additionally, I viewed the crime scene on 9/9/98.
In my opinion, it is Likely that the victim Genna Gamble was killed in the vicinity of where her body was found. I would discount the possibility that she was killed else where, transported to the location where she was found, and dumped otter the embankment from the roadway. The basis of my opinion on this issue involves the following points:
1) The nature of the injuries inflicted on the victim would have resulted in bleeding from the nose if the body had been transported any significant distance. This type of bleeding was in fact observed at the autopsy. If bleeding from the nose area had occurred during a transportation, it is my opinion that blood would be expected in the vehicle used for transportation. If the body had been wrapped to prevent contamination of the vehicle with blood, some smearing of the blood would have been apparent on the body at the scene; no such smearing is observed
2) It is my opinion that the approach of the body to the final position in which she was found was from the West, i.e., from downhill and from the direction of the water. I base my opinion on several things; 1) when found, the victim's hair was damp, 2) the crime scene photographs show a disruption of the vegetation and soil, i.e. a trail, between the stream bank and the tree where the victim was found, 3) the crime scene and autopsy photographs show a number of bits of duckweed plants on the body of the victim. These are obligate aquatic plants of the family Lemnaceae. This type of vegetation was seen in abundance close to the edge of the stream when I observed the scene in September 1998, 4) caked mud is observed on the body of the victim which is dissimilar to the granular soil seen at the specific location where the victim was found or the embankment, and 5) the presence of a polypropylene fiber on the body of the victim. (The latter point, if taken in isolation, would in my view not constitute strong evidence: taken as an ensemble with the other three points, however, it represents an ancillary element of my opinion).
It is my opinion that Genna Gamble was wearing socks shortly before death. The basis of my opinion is that sock marks, i.e., a mark due to the constriction caused by the elastic of the sock, are seen on the body at the time of autopsy. I have no basis of expressing an opinion as to whether the victim was wearing shoes as well as socks shortly before death, but in the same sense I cannot discount that possibility,
At the time of autopsy, a photograph of the right back and side area shows a mark that may constitute a shoe impression, This impression was computer enhanced with respect to color, contrast, and brightness. The character of this mark is, m my opinion, consistent with a shoe impression.
The body of the victim shows a profusion of linear abrasion marks. They do not, however, represent totally random marks. They have a complex but not chaotic distribution over the body. In my opinion consideration must be given to those areas of the body where marks are absent as well as those areas where marks are present. In my opinion, the possibility cannot be discounted that at some point the victim was dragged while being supported by both arms and both feet. The marks on the body are consistent with this interpretation. I am not prepared to say that they are inconsistent with all other interpretations.
If the body of the victim had been transported in the trunk or hatchback portion of a vehicle with carpet-type upholstery, I would expect a transfer of polyester fibers to the body. The lack of such fibers on the body is, in my opinion, significant.
Thc mark on the thigh of the victim is, in my opinion, consistent with underwear; I do not believe this mark is consistent with having been made by anything that is restricted to one plane. Stated differently, in my opinion the mark wet made by something wrapped around the thigh of the victim as opposed to the thigh of the victim coming into contact with a flat surface.
John I. Thornton