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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: Homicide

In County of: Lorain

Victim: Julia Elizabeth Rochester

Suspects: Deborah Irene Forsythe, Beatrice Annabelle Rochester Miller, Simon Horatio Miller, Margaret Anne McLean Rochester, George Edward Rochester, Jacob Lewis Shelby.

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

The victim became suddenly ill during her birthday party on November 2nd. She complained of numbness and then succumbed to repeated convulsions. She died in the dining room of her residence. The suspects listed above were houseguests of the victim, with the exception of Deborah Forsythe, who lived with the victim.

Later the same night a fire started at a motel where the suspects had been lodged by the police and caused moderate to severe damage to three rooms. According to the fire chief, preliminary information points towards arson.

Relevant photographs to be forwarded to Laboratory by Troop C Identification Bureau.

List of Specimens -- examination requested from this lab

  1. Blood - (100 cc) from victim
    • request toxicological analysis (suspected poisoning)
  2. Hair - multiple strands from victim
    • request testing for metal content (suspected poisoning)
  3. Icing - (approximately 7 grams) from victim's slice of birthday cake
    • request toxicological analysis (suspected poisoning)
  4. Tube of decorator's icing from guest room used by Simon and Beatrice Miller.
    • request toxicological analysis (suspected poisoning)
  5. Three-quarter inch (3/4") square piece burned carpet from room occupied by George and Margaret Rochester.
    • request testing for accelerants
  6. Three-quarter inch (3/4") square piece burned carpet from room occupied by Simon and Beatrice Miller.
    • request testing for accelerants
  7. Three-quarter inch (3/4") square piece burned carpet from room occupied by Deborah Irene Forsythe.
    • request testing for accelerants
  8. Pen found in office used by Deborah Forsythe and Julia Rochester
    • request ink comparison to will (see below)
  9. Pen found in suitcase belonging to Margaret Rochester
    • request ink comparison to will (see below)
  10. Pen found in purse belonging to Beatrice Miller
    • request ink comparison to will (see below)
  11. Pen found in coatpocket of George Edward Rochester
    • request ink comparison to will (see below)
  12. Alleged will
    • request ink comparison to pens (see above)
  13. Ribbon -- from alleged will
    • request fiber comparison
  14. Ribbon -- from tieback in guest bedroom used by Jacob Shelby
    • request fiber comparison
  15. Ribbon -- from bookmark of book belonging to Margaret Rochester
    • request fiber comparison
  16. Ribbon -- from bow around stuffed ostrich's neck
    • request fiber comparison
  17. Three bottles of fluids taken from the guest bedroom of George and Margaret Rochester
    • request testing for accelerants
  18. Two bottles of fluids taken from the guest bedroom of Beatrice and Simon Miller
    • request toxicological analysis (suspected poisoning)
  19. One bottle of solid taken from the dressing table in the bedroom of Deborah Forsythe
    • request inorganic qualitative analysis
  20. Powder collected from the safe that contained the will of Julia Rochester
    • request inorganic qualitative analysis

Reports

DSG Ruth E. Hook -- investigating officer -- excerpts from case notes

Special Agent Jacob L. Shelby -- undercover investigator from the DEA -- internal report


Statements Available for Review upon Request

Deborah I. Forsythe -- companion and business associate of the deceased

Beatrice A. Miller -- sister of the deceased

Simon H. Miller -- brother-in-law of the deceased

George E. Rochester -- nephew of the deceased

Margaret A. Rochester -- niece (by marriage) of the deceased

Marjorie K. Stroh -- baker