Werner Spitz, the world’s most forensic pathologist

WM3.org calls Werner Spitz “perhaps the most well-known forensic pathologist and forensic scientist in the world”. Independent experts from the band Disturbed agree, calling Spitz “the world’s most respected forensic pathologist”.

Trial junkies got a chance to see Werner Spitz at work on Saturday when he testified for the defense in the Casey Anthony trial. Spitz claimed that the duct tape on Caylee Anthony’s mouth was placed there after her body had decompsed. Spitz also suggested that the medical examiner’s office staged photos showing Caylee’s hair on her skull.

He also testified for the defense in the Phil Spector murder trial. Back then Spitz claimed that Lana Clarkson spontaneously committed suicide in Spector’s foyer with one of Spector’s guns.

Werner Spitz was hired by Damien Echols’ legal defense team in 2006-07. He appeared at a big Echols dream team press conference in November 2007. Spitz claimed that, contrary to the original autopsy findings, the injuries to Steve Branch’s face and Chris Byers’ groin were caused not by a knife attack but rather by post-mortem animal predation.

It’s a great theory if you’re a WM3 defense lawyer or supporter, since it means that Jessie Misskelley was lying on the multiple occasions when he described watching Jason Baldwin use a knife to inflict those exact injuries.

If you’re not a defense lawyer or supporter, it’s a strange theory. Spitz says all three boys died by drowning, and their bodies were found submerged in water, so how exactly did the animals (Spitz specified “dogs” at the press conference) accomplish this predation? Did the dogs drag the corpses from the creek, inflict these injuries, then put the corpses back in the creek? And why did they inflict such varied, localized injuries — one corpse’s cheek, another corpse’s genitals, a third corpse left untouched?

At the Phil Spector trial, Spitz reported his appearance fee as $5000 per day plus expenses. No one can accuse him of not providing his clients value for their money. If you’ve donated money to the “free the WM3” cause, rest assured that money is being spent wisely.

Nevertheless, the Spector jury didn’t buy his suicide theory, and it’s unlikely he’ll succeed in getting Casey Anthony off the hook. Is his alternative theory in the WM3 case any more believable?

8 thoughts on “Werner Spitz, the world’s most forensic pathologist”

    1. You’re right. The original post was written during the Casey Anthony trial, before jury deliberations, and I wrongly expected the jury to find her guilty.

      1. You’re not suggesting that the jury in the Casey Anthony case was wrong are you? I mean, she was acquited by a unanimous jury. We know from the WM3 cases that juries cannot possibly make mistakes and that all court proceedings and trials are fair beyond any doubt, right? Isn’t that what this web site is all about — preserving the infallibilitiy of the justice system?

        1. I believe Casey Anthony killed her daughter. I don’t know enough about the case details to pass judgment on the jury members.

          Isn’t that what this web site is all about — preserving the infallibilitiy of the justice system?

          Nope. Nothing on this site argues for “the infallibilitiy of the justice system”. The argument here is far more limited in scope: that Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley committed the murders for which they were convicted, and that the “free the WM3” movement was based on willful omission and distortion of the evidence.

  1. He never specified dogs, he said animals, and went as far as to name possums and turtles and many others as possibilities. Who writes this? Give your side some credibility and write stuff as it is accurately, whether you believe it’s right or wrong. No wonder this side of the argument is seen as a total joke.

    1. This blog post is accurate. Dr. Spitz says “animals” but then goes on to say “dog or other carnivorous animal”. And possums and turtles are not mentioned at all in this press conference.

  2. I’m not impressed with your reasoning. I’m not convinced the WM3 are innocent, but you really haven’t made a point here that tips the balance in either direction.

    1. The point he is making is that just because an expert (or several experts) says something doesn’t mean it is true. They are paid handsomely, can gain fame from a high profile case, and have the potential to be wrong just like everybody else.

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