Dr. Goslinoski’s Report – And an Opposing View
It all really started here nearly four years ago, with a murder. Then an autopsy was performed to help solve that murder.
And here we are now, 72 hours from the start of the trial that may answer some of the enduring questions about the murder which took the life of an amazing and promising man.
As we draw closer, there seem fewer and fewer words to say, but there remains one last piece of unfinished business.
Consistent with our original goals, offering this document may be an appropriate and sober way to begin the next phase.
And consistent with our C-SPAN pedigree, we present it with an expert’s contrarian opinion.
Excerpts from the autopsy, the complete document, and the expert’s view…after the jump.
AUSA Glenn Kirschner has already said in several pre-trial hearings that Deputy DC Medical Examiner, Dr. Goslinoski’s testimony will be “…powerful…” and that the autopsy’s findings of the method of Robert’s murder (unusual precision), the absence of evidence (no defensive wounds, no blood on his hands) and the confounding time line will provide a forceful indictment against the defendants.
The defense has already signaled a possible line to refute this “powerful” presentation: Goslinoski is not a board certified Medical Examiner and thus not qualified by DC Court rules to testify as an expert. Additionally, she holds a DO, not an MD degree. While we take no position on the qualifications of these different medical practices, it’s not beyond belief to think others may disagree.
The autopsy was conducted August 3rd, 2006 in the presence of the MPD’s Det. Gail Russell-Brown from the Violent Crimes Branch and Officers Chuck Egan and Brenda Floyd of the Mobile Crime Lab Unit.
“The body is that of a well-developed, well-nourished adult Asian male that measures 5′ 31/2″ in height, weighs 152 pounds, and appears compatible with the state age of 32 years,” it begins with clinical precision. Rigor is present and difficult to release and livor is present in the posterior and not fixed – suggesting Robert was lying on his back for a limited period of time. Sexual assault kit #000418 was used to obtain possible evidence. In other matters, except the three stab wounds, Robert externally appeared to be in good health with no abnormalities.
There was ample evidence of efforts to resuscitate Robert:
“An endotrachial tube is in place. Vascular access is established with a left subclavian central line and a right femoral central line, (both with large bore catheters). Additional needle puncture marks are noted at the left side of the neck, at the left antecubital fossa, on the back of the left hand and on the front of the right ankle. Needle puncture marks are also present at the central lower chest region consistent with pericardial centesis or a direct injection into the heart.”
This, with the chest tubes found, are consistent with early efforts to resuscitate Robert…the prosecution will argue on scene; the defense may argue otherwise.
“Three stab wounds described below are numbered solely for the purpose of organization of this report, and not to imply any knowledge of the actual order in which these wounds were inflicted. Paths of stab wounds are defined by consecutive slit-like perforations of adjacent tissues associated with acute hemorrhage.”
Two wounds are in the medial (vertical midline) plane; one is to the right. All three are “…oriented at the 10 o’clock to 4 o’clock axis…” according to the report. In each wound the 4 o’clock (or medial) end is “…squared off, or blunt…” while the 10 o’clock (or lateral) end is “…pointed or sharp,” and the direction for all three wounds is noted to be “…front to back, right to left and slightly downward.”
Wound 1 perforates the front of the pericarial sac and penetrates the aortic root – with noted blood accumulation in the pericaridal sac with additional damage to the mediastinum. Wound 2 pierces the 4th intercostal space and penetrates the middle and lower lobes of the right lung. Wound 3 perforates the small intestine (“…at the 1st part of the duodenum”), the pancreas and a single perforation of the inferior vena cava.
“Examination of the gastrointestinal tract revealed an accumulation of liquid and congealed blood in the lumen of the small intestine. Hemorrhagic intestinal contents is contiguous from the site of the perforations in the 1st part of the duodenum, throughout the rest of the duodenum, and then approximately 24-25” into the jejunum. “
The internal examination yields few surprises. Serosanguinous – blood or blood-related – fluids are found in various tissues and the external chest tubes, totaling approx. 1250 ml. Of that, approx. 200 ml of blood was found in the pericardial sac, which had no other defects. Other than the aforementioned perforations to the lung and G.I. tract, Robert Wone appeared to be in normal or good health in his gastrointestinal, genitourinary, heolymphatic, musculoskeletal, endocrine and CNS systems.
“Samples of blood from the heart and femoral veins, vitreous fluid, bile, urine, and gastric contests were collected at autopsy and submitted for toxicologic analyses.”
If only those samples had not been disposed.
The report was submitted August 18, 2006.
We reached out to a forensics professional who offered their opinion on Dr. Goslinoski’s report. This person, who wishes to remain anonymous, has advanced degrees and experience in crime scene reconstruction, toxicology, and other forensic sciences, has worked with major U.S. city police departments, and is a court-qualified expert. They are the opinions of this writer alone.
“The autopsy reveals that the heart, coronary artery and the inferior vena cava were perforated by stab wounds. The coronary artery and vena cava are major blood vessels.
“Perforation of either one can (and almost always does) lead to death in minutes – four to seven minutes tops, not 30 minutes. In other words, Wone was not alive for a “significant” period of time after his wounds were inflicted. Death would not be immediate, but it would probably take less than five minutes.
“What is described as the third stab wound perforates the small intestine, the pancreas, and the inferior vena cava. The inferior vena cava is a huge vein, and it would have bled like crazy. The same stab wound opened up the small intestine right next to it. Therefore, it’s not shocking that you get blood pumping into the small intestine. It’s a narrow tube, so filling two feet of it is not hard to do.
“And someone somewhere came up with the idea that having blood in the small intestine means that Wone was alive long enough to be “digesting his own blood.” That’s simply not true. “Digestion” implies that blood had somehow entered Wone’s G.I. system at some point earlier in the digestive process (mouth, throat, stomach).
“There were no injuries to those areas of the G.I. system and no indications that Wone had been forced to ingest his own blood – he was apparently completely incapacitated and still had his mouth guard in – so “digesting his own blood” is a pretty silly statement.”
–posted by The Editors