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Case Report

STATE OF OHIO

DEPARTMENT OF LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY

DIVISION OF STATE POLICE

Request for Examination of Evidence


Crime: Murder/Suicide ?

In County of: Lorain

Victim: Samuel F. Herrick

Suspects: Michael Brown; Samuel Herrick; Caroline Stevens; Donna Stevens.

Submitting Agency: Ohio State Police, Troop C, Oberlin, OH

Submitted To: Oberlin Crime Lab.

Forward Replies to: Capt. R. Q. Thompson, Commanding, Troop C, Oberlin OH 44074

Investigation by: DSG. R. E. Hook


Brief History of Case

Victim found dead on couch,Apt. 2, 110 West Park St. One gunshot wound through right side of head. Firedamage to nearby area; victim undisturbed by fire. Arson suspected (FireChief L. M. Hartman). Handgun found on floor near body. On nearby table,two glasses, one 1/8-full bottle of brandy, ashtray containing three cigarettebutts and one match. On floor, two cigarette butts. No forced entry.

Photos and sketch of crime scene to be forwarded to Laboratory by Troop C Identification Bureau.

List of Specimens from Crime Scene -- examination requested from this lab

  1. Blood - (100 cc) from victim
    • request toxicological analysis (alcohol)
    • request toxicological analysis (other drugs)
  2. Two (2; L, R) handwashing samples - from victim.
    • request lead level (consistent with recent discharge of firearm?)
  3. "Suicide" note from apartment.
    • request ink comparison to pen(s) (see below)
    • request handwriting comparison to samples(see below)
  4. Shopping list from apartment
    • request handwriting comparison to #3 this list.
  5. One (1) black felt-tip pen from apartment.
    • request ink comparison to note (see above)
  6. One (1) glass ashtray from apartment.
    • request fingerprint testing
  7. Two (2) glass tumblers from apartment.
    • request fingerprint testing
  8. One (1) empty bottle of brandy from apartment.
    • request fingerprint testing
  9. One (1) one and a half inch (1 1/2") square pieceburned carpet from apartment.
    • request analysis for accelerants
  10. One (1) one and a half inch (1 1/2") square pieceunburned carpet from apartment.
    • request analysis for accelerants

List of Specimens from Crime Scene--examination not requested from this lab

  1. One (1) .44 handgun from apartment (rifling matches striations onbullet found in victim's head).
  2. One (1) spent cartridge from apartment (matches typeammunition in # 3).
  3. One (1) open box ammunition from apartment (matchestype found in victim's head in autopsy; striations match rifling of # 1this list)
  4. Six (6) burned cigarette butts from apartment.
  5. One (1) burned match from apartment.
  6. One (1) paper bag ("The Science Store") from apartment.

List of Specimens from Suspects and Other Locations--examination requested from this lab

  1. Two (2; R, L) handwashing samples from Michael Brown
    • request lead level (consistent with recent discharge of firearm?)
  2. Fingerprints of Michael Brown
    • request fingerprint testing
  3. Handwriting sample of Michael Brown
    • request handwriting comparison with #3 first list.
  4. Blood sample (plasma) from Michael Brown
    • request toxicological analysis (alcohol)
    • request toxicological analysis (other drugs)
  5. One (1) packet unidentified white powder from MichaelBrown
    • request identification of substance
  6. One (1) black felt-tip pen from Michael Brown
    • request ink comparison to note (see above)
  7. Two (2; R, L) handwashing samples from Donna Stevens
    • request lead level (consistent with recent discharge of firearm?)
  8. Fingerprints of Donna Stevens
    • request fingerprint testing
  9. Handwriting sample of Donna Stevens
    • request handwriting comparison with #3 first list.
  10. One (1) black felt-tip pen from Donna Stevens' room (78 Sherman)
    • request ink comparison to note (see above)
  11. Two (2; R, L) handwashing samples from Caroline Stevens
    • request lead level (consistent with recent discharge of firearm?)
  12. Fingerprints of Caroline Stevens
    • request fingerprint testing
  13. Handwriting sample of Caroline Stevens
    • request handwriting comparison with #3 first list.
  14. One (1) black felt-tip pen from Caroline Stevens' purse (78 Sherman)
    • request ink comparison to note (see above)
  15. One (1) metal flammable-liquid container from 78Sherman
  16. Kerosene sample from large container at 78 Sherman
    • request comparison to accelerant (if any) found in carpet
  17. Gasoline sample from large container at110 West ParkStreet (common shed shared by residents)
    • request comparison to accelerant (if any) found in carpet

Reports

Autopsy report from Marc Paulus, Lorain County Coroner

Crime scene report (murder/suicide) from DSG Ruth Hook, investigating officer at the scene

Crime scene report (possession of controlled substance) from DSG Timothy Larsen, investigating officer at the scene

Fire investigation report from Leonard Hartman, Oberlin Fire Chief


Statements Available for Review upon Request

Mrs. Camilla S. Berry -- neighbor of deceased

Mr. Richard L. Neilson -- neighbor of deceased

Mr. Michael D. Brown -- acquaintance of deceased; arrested at scene for possession of illegal substance

Ms. Donna E. Stevens -- fiancee of deceased

Mrs. Caroline H. Stevens -- acquaintance of deceased; mother of Donna Stevens

Mr. Christopher A. Gunn -- friend of deceased

Mr. Charles S. Johnson -- client of Caroline Stevens