FBI admits to junk science possible evidence contamination and misleading the defense.
Recently the FBI admitted to America that its microscope hair comparison techniques used for decades was misleading and that its forensic scientists purposely over stated forensic results in a way that unfairly favored the prosecution in hundreds if not thousands of cases. Since admitting microscopic hair comparison science is essentially worthless, the FBI has been forced to confess that its scientists contributed to hundreds of thousands of Americans being unfairly prosecuted, over 30 of which were given death sentences. It is unknown how many of these convictions were of innocent individuals.
This now debunked science was used extensively in my case by the FBI and by the University of West Virginia forensic director who was formerly employed by the FBI. The analyst in this case was Max Houck. Mr. Max Houck performed several rounds of microscopic hair comparisons spanning a five year period in order to “screen” which hairs may be suitable for subsequent DNA testing.
Ultimately analyst Max Houck testified at trial, giving an extensively detailed explanation of the microscopic structure of human hair and how he was able to determine whether specific hairs may have come from certain individuals. At my trial, the testimony given by Mr. Max Houck is exactly the type of testimony the FBI now admits is fraudulent and misleading.
It is disturbing that the FBI and analysts like Max Houck operated for decades providing juries with obviously junk science and testimony knowing the lives of the accused hangs in the balance. In this case there is no question the jury was persuaded to believe that several hairs collected from the crime scene originated from me due in part to the misleading evidence of Max Houck. Mr. Max Houck has recently resigned, (per google weblinks and weblinks #2) over lab testing blunders which had apparently continued up until 2015. Incidentally Washing DC does not like multiple peoples DNA in one sample but in Florida this is ok? Does anyone else notice some inconsistencies in policy.
How the FBI’s revelation will affect my current appeal is unknown but it will certainly be a compelling piece of information for the court to consider, and I for one am confident it will contribute to proving my innocence. LINK: FBI ADMITS TO DECADES OF JUNK SCIENCE!
Previously Unknown and Missing Expert;
Many of you know or remember from previous readings that the state’s first piece of evidence was a single hair root that produced a partial, mixed DNA profile containing as many as 5 peoples DNA. The FBI reported that my DNA was a major contributor to the mixture.
For nearly 14 years everyone believed that the FBI DNA Examiner Anthony Onorato was the scientist whom conducted the DNA testing of the hair root. While investigating claims for appeal my attorneys spoke to Mr. Anthony Onorato and were shocked when he confessed he was not the expert who did the testing, and that it was another analyst by the name of “Mackenzie”.
Anthony Onorato admissions are especially bothersome considering that a review of his depositions, reports, and trial testimony indicate that he was responsible for the testing. Anthony Onorato repeatedly, and in great detail testified to the various steps he took while examining the hair root. Yet it was really a mysterious analyst name “Mackenzie”. One has to wonder why Mr. Anthony Onorato would wait 14 years to disclose this information and also why he would intentionally mislead everyone concerning his involvement.
Since interviewing Mr. Anthony Onorato, my attorney has learned that “Mackenzie” no longer works for the FBI and has been unable to locate him. A request was made for the FBI to assist in locating Mackenzie but with no results. Mackenzie’s name was never known or disclosed since my arrest in 2000 and until Anthony Onotato had a new interview in 2014.
My attorney has also asked Mr. Anthony Onorato to provide a sworn affidavit attesting to what he admitted. He refused. It is amazing to me that it took nearly a decade and a half for the FBI or Anthony Onorato to come forth with the name of the scientist (who can’t be found) that supposedly tested what is arguably the most pivotal piece of evidence against me. Yet another important bit of information the jury never heard.
Contaminated DNA Evidence;
In addition to Anthony Onorato admitting he did not conduct the actual DNA testing for the FBI; he concedes that the analyst “Mackenzie” handled the crime scene hair root at the same time, and in the same place, as my known saliva standard. Anthony Onorato admits that if this type of handling caused contamination, there would be no way to tell, and the safe-guards in place at the time would not have detected it. Mr. Anthony Onorato further conceded that my saliva standard was placed in the same “waterbath” as the crime scene sample overnight, in addition to several other instances of contact between the samples.
Alarmingly, Anthony Onorato states that this was common practice at the FBI back in 2000. Common practice or not, there is no denying that evidence handling like this is likely to have led to contamination in this case. Unfortunately Mr. Mackenzie cannot be found to determine if any other procedures he utilized caused contamination of the evidence.
In light of everything Anthony Onorato has admitted my attorneys have amended the pending “Motion for Post conviction Relief” (see downloadable pdf link below for the original) to include grounds detailing how the FBI’s failure to disclose Mackenzie’s identity or prevent contamination of DNA evidence has violated my US Constitutional rights.
I am relieved after all these years that I am finally beginning to prove the governments misconduct and mishandling of evidence. I hope this helps convince some of my readers that I did not commit this horrible crime.