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, of course, 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
  • The criminal justice system is run by dead-eyed white guys wearing bad toupees (see below)*
  • When a woman is murdered, chances are her husband (or boyfriend/ex) did it

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Most episodes do a good job convincing me that the correct person has been 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 stupid 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”.

When brought in for questioning, Robinson was left in the interrogation room and cameras caught him getting down on his knees to pray. Was that a sign of guilt? Or was Robinson praying because he knew the odds were unfairly stacked against him?

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**. 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. When 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.

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.

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This crime scene photograph 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 

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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 one who emptied out the bag – which he then used to store the murder weapon. Here is why it bothers me: If the buns were emptied during the time of the murder, of course they would have still been moist by the time Robinson got there.

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.

*I picture them running out and buying a toupee special for their TV appearance
**Think Lady Stark at the Red Wedding
**Blood is extremely slippery so it can easily move through the circulatory system.

4 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

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  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.

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  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.

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    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

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