Forensic Files Got it Wrong – PART 1: Bloody Footprints

Murder Porn: Crime shows that depict real events, usually homicides. Especially popular with middle-aged married people.

For the record, I was into Murder Porn way before I was middle-aged and married. In the genre of Murder Porn, Forensic Files is the gold standard. It has dramatic reenactments,  the haunting voice of Peter Thomas and, obviously, an emphasis on forensic science.

By watching all 400+ episodes multiple times I have learned that:

  • The more hysterical a 911 caller is, the more likely they committed the crime
  • If a woman is murdered, it was probably her husband
  • The criminal justice system is filled with dead-eyed white guys wearing bad toupees (see below)*

Most episodes have done a good job convincing me that the correct person was convicted. There are three episodes, however, which left me feeling like they got the wrong guy.

This is one of those episodes.

“Purebread Murder” – Season 14, Episode 1

Synopsis: A young woman is brutally murdered. Her neighbor, Carloss Robinson, is convicted because he left bloody footprints and fingerprints at the scene – plus a footprint embedded in a hamburger bun (hence the punny title).

Robinson claims he entered the victim’s apartment, discovered her body in the bathtub, and then fled the scene. He says that he didn’t call the police because he is black and was afraid he would be framed for her murder.

According to the National Registry of Exonerations, “black people are 7 times more likely than white people to be wrongly convicted of murder”.

Let’s walk through the evidence:

Semen: Robinson’s semen was found inside the victim.

Robinson lived next door to the victim and claims to have had consensual sex her just prior to her murder. He says he had to make a quick exit when he “heard a sound at the door and a man’s voice”.

The prosecution claims that there was no evidence that anyone besides Robinson was in the victim’s apartment when she was murdered. However, semen from another man was found inside the victim. This could corroborate Robinson’s version of the story – especially if the semen belonged to her abusive ex-boyfriend. Unfortunately we will never know who the other man was because the prosecution did not test the semen.

Blood: Robinson had some of the victim’s blood on his shirt. He also left behind footprints and fingerprints in the victim’s blood. 

After returning to his apartment Robinson could hear loud banging sounds (the attack, presumably) coming from next door. He says he went back over to check on the victim, discovered her dead body in the bathtub, and fled the scene.

Bloody spot: The shirt Robinson was wearing the night of the murder had “several small spots of blood” that were tested for DNA. One of the spots was his, and one was the victim’s.

The victim’s throat was slashed, which would have produced a powerful stream of arterial spray (think Lady Stark at the red wedding). Therefore, the killer’s clothes would have been saturated in the victim’s blood. The fact that Robinson’s shirt only had a tiny spot of blood on it supports his claim that he discovered her body postmortem. 

Bloody Handprint: Robinson left behind his palm and fingerprints in the victim’s blood. Whenever you have a suspect’s fingerprint in the victim’s blood, this is like gold for the prosecution. But, it doesn’t always indicate guilt; sometimes it indicates contamination of a crime scene.

8.PNG
The victim’s body was dumped in her bathtub. A scrunchie was used to plug up the drain and the tub was filled with water. By the time the body was discovered by police all of the water had all drained out, leaving brown residue behind.

This crime scene photograph (above) shows a palm print with blood dripping down the side of the tub. You can see the blood drips down past the water line, which means the print was left by someone after at least some of the water had drained out of the tub and the bloody residue had time to dry. 

So, again, the evidence seems to support Robinson’s version of events.

Hamburger Bun Footprint: Robinson’s footprint was discovered embedded in a hamburger bun 

9
This piece of evidence was the prosecution’s ‘smoking gun’. They claimed that, because the buns were moist enough to make a clear impression of his foot, Robinson must have been the killer.

In the prosecution’s version of events, Robinson murdered the victim, emptied out a bag of hamburger buns (which he used store his murder weapon) and then left his footprint on the bun while fleeing the scene. The prosecution claims that, had Robinson entered the apartment after the murder, the buns would have dried out too much for him to leave a clear footprint. Sounds like shaky logic and… did anyone actually test this theory?

Bloody Footprints: Robinson’s bloody footprints were found in the victim’s apartment.

According to the prosecution, Robinson soaked the victim’s body in the tub to erase DNA evidence, stashed his murder weapon in a bag so it would not drip blood on the floor, and then carelessly tracked bloody footprints all over the place.

If the killer showed signs that he cleaned up the crime scene, and Robinson left behind bloody footprints and fingerprints, doesn’t this suggest that Robinson and the killer are two different people?

In conclusion, I think Robinson was wrongly convicted because he happened to contaminate the scene of the crime. What’s more, I think that the forensic evidence used to convict Robinson does not implicate him and actually corroborates his version of what happened.

Robinson has been in jail since 2000. In 2017 a judge denied Robinson’s request to have the other man’s semen tested.

11 thoughts on “Forensic Files Got it Wrong – PART 1: Bloody Footprints”

  1. Hey I just read this article and I am so grateful that you took your time to explain this episode and seek justice for this man.

    God bless

    Like

  2. I completely agree with you. The statistics regarding domestic violence are overwhelmingly in favor of Mr. Robinson’s innocence. With such an abusive relationship history with the ex-boyfriend, one that the victim was desperately trying to get away from, why on Earth did this investigation focus on Carloss? A married father of 4? Why on Earth would the victim’s ex be taking a casual stroll through her neighborhood and saunter up to police like Nosey Rosey? The only way this conviction makes sense is if corruption is at its core. The ex must have had friends in high places with enough dirt on them to force the investigation away from him. Why would anybody blow the whistle on this guy, he’s clearly capable of murder and self- preservation overrides justice. I still have hope that Carloss will be vindicated before he leaves this world but I’m afraid it won’t happen until everyone is old and gray.

    Like

  3. I watched this episode and thought the conclusions were bullshit, too. The hamburger bun didn’t prove anything more than his presence in the home after the murder, which he had already admitted to.

    What kind of moron leaves behind bloody footprints after they commit a murder?

    Her own ex shot her IN THE FACE, demonstrating he was capable of the kind of brutal violence that took place at the crime scene.

    Like

    1. I just want to know how did Carloss entered the apartment if he just found out that Christina was murdered. There were no force entry. They didn’t tell the story on how Robinson entered the house

      Like

  4. I just saw the episode of Forensic Files and I was shocked that they believed that the evidence provided showed Robinson’s guilt. Most of the time they do a good job of showing all the nails in the coffin. This time the evidence was so sketch. I am appalled that the Judge would deny to test the second semen sample. I am annoyed that they called a “bread footprint” the smoking gun. I am concerned that the wrong man is in prison.

    Like

  5. It is the ultimate irony that someone who has watched a 23 minute TV segment thinks they can judge better than the 12 jurors who actually sat in the courtroom for almost two weeks, listened to and considered all the evidence, and came to the unanimous conclusion the defendant’s guilt had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Like

  6. Another convicted thug in jail and a heard of people believe his lies. He consistently lies everytime he’s asked a question and only after her gets nailed does he explain the findings.. stop the lying he’s sadly
    where he needs to be.

    Like

  7. I have been binge watching forensic files since I was stuck at home with COVID. I saw the carloss robinson episode twice. Both times I thought the conclusion was total bs. I wondered if there were any episodes were forensic files got it wrong so I did a google search and found this page, a page about the exact episode I was questioning. I can totally buy that a black man in Iowa cheating on his wife with his neighbor would be scared to call the police after finding that woman dead. This was gonna be pinned on him anyway. 100% .

    Like

  8. What some people refuse to acknowledge, because I guess it’s hard to accept or understand, is that if Carloss was a white man and all the other details were the same he wouldn’t be in jail. They would have gone the extra mile to try and prove that the ex, a black man, was involved- instead of coming up with the cockamamie hamburger bun thing.

    Like

  9. What some people refuse to acknowledge or accept is that juries decide cases on facts and evidence; not biases or political agendas. BTW, the “ex”, also a person of color, was a suspect early in the investigation. However, he had an iron-clad alibi that was established in court. On the other hand, the defendant left his footprints, fingerprints and handprints all over the crime scene. You don’t become a credible critic because you happen to spend a lot of your time watching TV.

    Like

Leave a Reply to AB Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s