Judges used logic to acquit Truscott…

I’ve been reading and re-reading an article from the Globe and Mail for the past week that details the decision for the acquittal of Steven Truscott in the 1959 rape/murder of Lynne Harper.

I can’t help notice the similarities between Lynne Harper’s and Theresa Allore’s cases in terms of location and manner of death. Both Theresa and Lynne appear to have been “garrotted”. (The sleeve of Lynne’s blouse was torn and adapted as a ligature. Theresa was probably strangled using her scarf that was found torn in two pieces in the field. Both Lynne and Theresa were found in a field/copse semi-naked and shoeless.)

The judges make some good points in determining that Truscott couldn’t have been responsible for Lynne’s death.

I wonder if the judges would say the same thing about Theresa’s death…that it couldn’t have been a friend who killed her because more signs of struggle would be evident…and that there was no way she could have walked bare foot to her final resting place. (If Theresa’s body wasn’t in such an advanced state of putrefaction, I also wonder if the coroner would have also found lacerations on her feet/legs.)

It’s also interesting to note that in in 1997, when Truscott asked for DNA tests to exonerate him, he discovered that the court exhibits had been destroyed. (Sound familiar??)

Truscott seems to have been acquitted based on “logical interpretation” of the evidence. I think that’s what most of us are trying to do in determining how Theresa died and who might have killed her.

Here are excerpts from the Globe and Mail story….

Truscott acquitted in death of Lynne Harper
KIRK MAKIN
Globe and Mail Update
August 28, 2007 at 1:30 PM EDT


……..The judges presiding over the (Steven) Truscott appeal – former Chief Justice Roy McMurtry, Mr. Justice Michael Moldaver, Mr. Justice Marc Rosenberg, Mr. Justice David Doherty and Madam Justice Karen Weiler – said that some of the most improbable elements of the case involved the way Ms. Harper’s body was found.

“The victim was largely naked and had evidently walked into the copse with bare feet. There were lacerations on her leg that appeared to have been caused by barbed wire. She had been expertly strangled with a sleeve of her blouse.

“While far from conclusive, that gruesome picture – no struggle, the use of her blouse as a garrotte and sex while she was dead or dying – seems out of place with the actions of a 14-year-old schoolboy whose sexual advances were rebuffed by a 12-year-old classmate,” the court said.
Logic suggests that Ms. Harper would have put up a struggle had her friend been attacking her , the judges added. “It also suggests that ….the mode of strangulation – likely carried out in a fit of frenzy – would have been manual, not ligature, and not with a piece of Lynne’s blouse that had to be torn and adapted to a specific use.”

Her bare feet and leg lacerations were decided puzzling if Mr. Truscott truly lured her into the bush voluntarily , the Court said.”That being so, we can think of no reason why Lynne would have removed her shoes and socks before entering the woods,” it said. “The ground in Lawson’s Bush was not at all conducive to walking bare foot. As is apparent from photographs of the scene, it was completely covered with broken branches, twigs, roots, foliage, stones and mud.”

Maritime Missy

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