True Crime Rocket Science [TCRS] is unique. It is preoccupied with the why of crimes and criminals, and thus is above all focused on anthropodicy, aporia and the science of man. We find out why people do what they do by finding out who people are. And who is a function of identity, social dynamics and backstory.
Through cogent true crime analysis, especially into criminal psychology, we have a unique opportunity to learn to understand those around us, and principally, ourselves.
This page is dedicated to coverage of current crime news, comments, discussions and brief analysis. Use this page for updates on America’s most high-profile criminal cases, as well as to find your way to what’s happening where on True Crime Rocket Science [#tcrs].
Updates include new book releases, news of what’s coming soon, true crime documentary analysis and reviews, interviews and giveaways.
This page also serves as an ongoing archive for true crime news. Your suggestions for true crime news from wherever you are in the world are most welcome.
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Guidelines for users of this site: Commentators are urged to examine and interrogate the merits of the cases covered here, rather than malign or attack one another. Argue the case, argue the criminal, argue the law or argue the facts instead of arguing with each other.
June 19th, 2019
1. OJ Simpson’s Twitter debut sparks outrage and calls to action – The Guardian
2. Weinstein’s ‘Dream Team’ of Defense Lawyers Falls Apart – New York Times
One by one, the lawyers representing the movie producer against sexual assault charges in Manhattan have bowed out.
June 18th, 2019
1. Did Van Gogh commit suicide, or was he shot by someone else? – LiveScience
Naifeh noted that there was no evidence linking the gun either to Van Gogh or to the manner of his death.
“What forensic evidence is there to tie Vincent van Gogh to this gun? And, even if there were forensic evidence tying Vincent to this gun, what does this say about who pulled the trigger?” he asked: “Those are the two big questions, and I do not see any answers.”
Although Van Gogh is one of the most famous artists in the world — one of his paintings of a farmed field, completed a year before his death, sold for $81 million in 2017 — he sold only one painting during his lifetime, for 400 francs.
The most expensive Van Gogh painting to date was sold for $82 million in 1990, the “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” from 1890. Gachet was the doctor who would ultimately attend his death later that year.
2. Missing Colorado Mom Update: DNA Testing Of Tooth Fragment Allowed By Judge – International Business Times
3. Amanda Knox breaks down in tears in Italy – Reuters
June 16th, 2019
June 15th, 2019
O.J. Simpson joins Twitter: ‘I got a little gettin’ even to do.’ – Chicago Tribune
5. Gun that likely killed Vincent van Gogh goes on auction – New York Post
June 14th, 2019
June 13th, 2019
1. The feedback so far on OBLIVION is positive.
Read the first review on Goodreads.
The plaintiff’s forensic pathologist was none other than the famed Dr. Cyril Wecht, known for his consultation on other high-profile cases. Dr. Wecht performed a second autopsy on Rebecca on October 28, 2011, three and a half months after her death. Her body was exhumed and shipped to his facility in Pittsburgh. He found the cause of death to be asphyxiation due to hanging, and the manner of death “undetermined.” Revealing his findings on the Dr. Phil show, Dr. Wecht said there was a rush to judgment in the case and this “bizarre situation” demanded further investigation.
Once retained by the plaintiffs for the wrongful death suit, Dr. Wecht did further investigation and came to a…definitive conclusion…At trial, Dr. Wecht testified, “In my opinion Rebecca Zahau’s death was a homicide. She was manually strangled, and it was set up to look like a suicidal hanging.” He found the fractures to her neck were more consistent with strangulation and questioned why her neck was not broken from the nine-foot fall. In attorney Greer’s closing to the jury, he said the drop hanging would have decapitated Rebecca, but since there was no fracture to her vertebra, it was consistent with someone slowly lowering her down. The bed only moved seven and a half inches. If she was falling, the bed would have moved significantly more.
Dr. Jonathan Lucas of the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Officer performed an autopsy on Rebecca on July 14, 2011, the day immediately following her death. He found the cause of death to be asphyxiation from hanging and ruled the manner of death a suicide. Although Dr. Lucas was listed by the defense as a witness for the trial and the defense informed the court he would be testifying, for reasons never disclosed in open court, he was never called. The defense instead called Dr. Gregory Davis, a forensic pathologist from Kentucky. He agreed with Dr. Lucas’ findings.
Dr. Lucas found Rebecca sustained neck fractures to her left hyoid bone, left thyroid bone, and the cricoid cartilage. Were these fractures caused from the length of the drop or were they from a manual strangulation, such that Rebecca was dead before being thrown over the balcony? Dr. Lucas found they were consistent with a drop hanging, and Dr. Davis agreed with this conclusion. Dr. Davis further testified with a manual strangulation, one would expect to see bruising and fingerprint marks. None were found on Rebecca’s neck.
The hyoid bone also featured in the Rohde trial:
The court heard the pathologist concluded Susan committed suicide because there was no “definitive fracture of the hyoid bone or the thyroid cornua” – an injury that usually [occurs] with manual strangulation.
The fact that Shan’ann Watts had no fractured hyoid bone is therefore noteworthy. How was she asphyxiated without injuring her?
3. Amanda Knox: Kercher family label her return to Italy ‘inappropriate’ – The Guardian
Amanda Knox writes a missive on Medium ahead of her speech in Italy accusing the media of a Trial by Media. Was it because of the media that she got convicted, or because of the media that she was exonerated? Or both? Or neither?
Why Amanda Knox returned to Italy years after her harrowing murder case – Washington Post
6. Cuba Gooding Jr. Charged With Forcible Touching of Woman, Police Say – Hollywood Reporter
June 12th, 2019
2. Episode 3 of Death at the Mansion is this Saturday, June 15.
SHE SAVED HIM CAN YOU SAVE HER – what does it mean? – CrimeRocket II
Amanda Knox: First return since leaving jail in 2011 – WantedIn Milan
4. Wife murderer Rob Packham gets 22 years – News24
Packham had inflicted more than one blow on his middle aged wife, who was of “petite stature”. He had broken the strongest bones in her skull, and “attacked her in the sanctity of her home”.
Judge Steyn also referred to the case of former property mogul Jason Rohde, who was also convicted of murdering his wife, and defeating the ends of justice by staging the crime scene to make it look like a suicide.
June 11th, 2019
1. OBLIVION #9 Amazon Bestseller in the Hoaxes & Deceptions category.
It’s June 2019. When is 2825 Saratoga Trail going to be auctioned off?
25 years later, OJ Simpson says he’s moving on – Star Tribune
June 10th, 2019
1. OBLIVION, the 8th book in the TWO FACE series is available now exclusively on Amazon Kindle.
Another YouTuber commenting on the enigma that is Chris Watts…
2. Amanda Knox is trying to drum up attention ahead of her trip to Italy.
June 9th, 2019
1. Coming soon, book 8 in the TWO FACE series.
Some interesting speculation here from Armchair Detective. Why does the GPS data refer to Watts starting his truck at 5:18 but only backing it up to the garage at 05:27? Watts also refers to this exact time – 05:27 – while standing beside Trinastich’s TV. The Vivint data shows the garage door opened at 05:27.
June 8th, 2019
2. Michelle Dewberry’s comments on Madeleine McCann search sparks big reaction – Hull Daily Mail
3. Gauguin blamed Van Gogh over ear incident – The Art Newspaper
4. Prince William’s Lawyer Tries to Suppress Rumors of Affair – Daily Beast
June 6th, 2019
Why would he need to “tell” her, and thus prepare her, get her defenses up before attacking her?
“I’m just finding this case too overwhelming…”
My book on Rebecca Zahau is currently a #42 Amazon Bestseller in the Hoaxes & Deceptions category.
June 5th, 2019
1. A Theory about the Watts Case
June 4th, 2019
1. This isn’t new but nevertheless worth reviewing.
Van Niekerk added at the same time it renders the State’s narrative, that he managed to attack his entirely family with an axe; engage in a severe struggle with Marli; and dragged Rudi around whilst the latter is lying in a pool of blood without stepping in any blood at all; highly improbable, if not impossible.
“If van Breda’s appeal against his conviction on premeditated murder is upheld but substituted for conviction on murder, it is also submitted that an appeal against the life sentences imposed also has a reasonable prospect of success,” she said.
The National Prosecuting Authority will file its replying affidavit next Friday.
5. South African Wine Farmer in Land Dispute Is Shot Dead – New York Times
June 3rd, 2019
June 1st, 2019
1. Chris Watts Update: Convicted Killer Featured In A New Documentary Detailing the Murders Of His Family – International Business Times
True Crime Premieres this weekend – Washington Post
Death at the Mansion: Rebecca Zahau (Oxygen at 6) Zahau was found dead outside the home of her wealthy boyfriend in 2011.
Family Man, Family Murderer: An ID Murder Mystery (ID at 10) The story of Chris Watts, who killed his wife and daughters.
Truth Behind the Moon Landing (Science at 10) A dissection of popular conspiracy theories.
2. Madeleine McCann Documentary on Investigation Discovery:
3. The cult of Manson is still going strong – The Times