Identification of the Remains

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Eyewitnesses say that Perry Jones died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen during the February 28 raid.  The Autopsy Report of his alleged remains attributes his death to a gunshot wound to the mouth.  His wife was not allowed to view the remains before burial.  Photo from Newsweek, May 3, 1993. 

The last identification of the Branch Davidian remains was that of 5-year old Serenity Sea Jones on August 17, 1994.  According to Judge James Collier, the Justice of the Peace for Precinct 2 of McLennan County, Texas, no more identifications have been made to date (June, 1996).

Review of the ID Matrix reveals that identification of the Branch Davidian remains was conducted by dental examination, by fingerprint examination, and by DNA studies.

Dr. Rodney Crow supervised the identifications made by dental records, according to the Autopsy Reports.  We have seen in Eenie Meenie Minie—DOE! that Dr. Crow visited the concrete room on April 21 when the hole was 18 to 24 inches in diameter.  Yet, in The Locals Speak, we see that Dr. Crow was the person who went on the Maury Povich show and said that the hole in the roof was eight feet in diameter, and that three of the children had blunt force trauma caused by the falling concrete.  Dr. Crow's promotion of the false story does not inspire confidence in the identifications he supervised.

The fingerprint exams were apparently conducted by FBI agents under assignment to Dr. Peerwani's office.  The DNA exams were conducted by the FBI laboratory in FBI headquarters in Washington, DC.  Yet this is the same laboratory that concocted evidence of a urea nitrate bomb in the World Trade Center bombing in New York City (see the Dr. Frederic Whitehurst testimony, re: FBI falsification of evidence.)  Who would place trust in identification work performed by the FBI lab?

In reviewing the identification process we find a number of different situations: (1) Whole bodies were assigned identities, (2) Body fragments were assigned identities, (3) Some identities have never been assigned bodies or body parts, and, (4) Some bodies and body parts have not been assigned identities.  We also find (5) obviously mistaken identities.

  1. Whole bodies were assigned identities.  Examples:
  2. Body fragments were assigned identities.  Examples:
  3. Some identities have never been assigned bodies or body parts.  Examples:
  4. Some bodies and body parts have not been assigned identities.  Examples:
  5. We also find obviously mistaken identifications.  Examples:
As we have already seen, the FBI's flagrant mishandling of the evidence began long before the evidence arrived at the FBI labs.  By standard procedure in such cases, the forensic anthropologists should have been on hand applying standard recovery practices during the excavation of these remains.  Several Autopsy Reports contain references to an "extra parts" bag.  The Autopsy Report for Rosemary Morrison is poignant in this regard: "The body bag also contains unrelated body parts including an extra radius and ulna and incomplete radius and ulna which will be assigned to other bodies by the Senior Anthropologist.  In addition, long brown detached scalp hair are also present."

Facial reconstruction was done in an attempt to identify the victims of John Wayne Gacy, as described in How the Pros Identify Corpses.  There is no indication that facial reconstruction has been attempted on the skull of Mt. Carmel Doe 51 A.  Had a reconstruction been attempted, perhaps sketches could have been circulated to the families of the Branch Davidians for identification.  Why were the remains of this 2-year old not worth the effort?

Nor is it easy to understand how many unassigned body parts remain unmatched with bodies.  In How the Pros Manage Disaster Scenes we saw that anthropologists can estimate how tall someone was by measuring bones and then consulting regression equations.  These regression tables have been developed over decades of research.  Bone suites should not have been hard to create from these remains.

Recall that in attempting to identify Gacy's victims, anthropologist Clyde Snow drew up charts listing 35 characteristics of the skull.  Then he compared every characteristic of each skeleton to the photographs, descriptions, x-rays, and family accounts of old injuries their children had suffered.  There was no such effort made in Waco.  Again, what made these victims different?

While unmatched body parts are troubling, the presence of an almost complete body of a teenage girl (unidentified, Mt. Carmel Doe 59) is truly unsettling.  The remains were that of a white person, with a head.  Cheekbone structure provides a definitive clue to racial background (Ubelaker, pg. 91).  The two teenagers for whom no remains were found, Sheila Renee Martin and Lisa Marie Martin, were black and thus are no match for these remains.  Who was this person, and how did her remains come to rest in the concrete room?

What happened to the 3-year old Crystal Martinez and the four-year old Isaiah Martinez that Clive Doyle knew when they were all living at the Mt. Carmel Center?  And what of the remains called Does 53 and 57?  If the remains were not those of Crystal and Isaiah, who were these children?

The renowned forensic anthropologists from the Smithsonian Institution, Drs. Ubelaker and Owsley, who were helping Dr. Peerwani in his efforts, are certainly familiar with state-of-the-art techniques for identification.  Like Clyde Snow, they are authorities in the field.  Going to extraordinary lengths to identify the dead is routine practice among forensic anthropologists.  Yet comparatively little was done to identify the victims of the Waco Holocaust.

Treatment of Relatives in Identification Process

Mary Jones, widow of Peter Dale "Perry" Jones, lost a husband, two daughters (Rachel Koresh and Michelle Jones) a son (David Jones) a son-in-law (David Koresh) and six grandchildren: Chica and Little One Jones, twins; Serenity Sea Jones, and Cyrus, Star and Bobbie Lane Howell Koresh.

Eyewitnesses among the Davidians say that Perry Jones died on February 28 of gunshot wound to the stomach; but the Autopsy Report on the body identified as Perry Jones reveals death by gunshot wound in the mouth.

The bodies of Mary Jones's loved ones were buried, without her permission, in October, 1994.  The burials took place in Rosemound Cemetery, in Waco.  She was not permitted to see the remains before burial.  She does not believe her husband's body was correctly identified.  "Interview with Carol A. Valentine, Waco Remembrance, July, 1995".

Ruth Mosher, mother of Sherri Jewell, confirms that the FBI lab identified the remains of her daughter by DNA testing.  The FBI refused to give the body back to her until she had agreed to cremation.  At first she refused, but later relented.  She does not believe she received her daughter's remains.  "July 1995 interview with Carol A. Valentine, Waco Remembrance."

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