I’m fortunate to live in a county where the criminal justice system works as intended and is full of dedicated and honest people.
Along that line, our local rag just ate some crow. My respect for those editors just increased.
A county resident made international news by killing his pregnant wife and two young girls. Motive? Wanted out of the relationship. The crow part?
Rourke filed a motion to seal the autopsy reports citing the potential tainting of still-to-be interviewed witnesses. In October, a Greeley Tribune-led coalition of media partners responded by suing the Weld County Coroner's Office to release the reports.
Turns out Rourke and Weld County Coroner Carl Blesch had a compelling reason to keep the autopsy reports under wraps.
As has now been widely reported, Shanann had a blood-alcohol content of .128 percent at the time of her autopsy. Although a raised BAC is a natural part of the decomposition process, Shanann was 15 weeks pregnant at the time of her death and Rourke worried the media would spin that information to raise suspicions about her innocence.
Not to be overlooked, Shanann had just returned from a work trip the night she was killed, which meant investigators needed to confirm she hadn't been drinking by interviewing anyone and everyone she might have come into contact with in Arizona, at the airport and even on the airplane.
"Had there been reports in the media that Shanann had a BAC of .128, it might have made people question what they had seen," Rourke said. "Because those reports had not been made public, everyone we interviewed was certain that they never saw Shanann drinking anything other than water."
No need for me to elaborate the gruesome details. Those who want them can find them on their own along with the name of the scum who was sentenced to three life terms without parole plus eighteen years.
I have the profoundest respect for the men and women who deal with this shit and the damage it can do to their souls. I’m also grateful I don’t have to do it.
This case never went to trial. That said, I respect those citizens who sit on juries.