13 March 2000, taken and sent by Mashantucket Pequot Tribal
Nation United States Attorney Henry Sockbeson.
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 09:26:50 -0500
It went well. Dr. Lee and three other coroner's went over the
evidence. They agreed to draft a report that will raise questions
about the manner of death.
Some of their preliminary statements are as follows:
1. Dr. Michael M. Baden, "It is my opinion, on the basis
of the materials that I have reviewed, that Mr. Scott died as a
result of his inability to breath caused by compression of the
neck. The fracture of the thyroid cartilage is much more typical
for compression of the neck by baton, hands or feet than by
suicidal hanging." Dr. Baden also questioned the time of
death since Dr. Kevin Lee noted lividity in the lower extremities
at 7:25 am. This is inconsistent with the bed check time of 4:30.
"It takes many hours for such lividity to develop and, in my
experience, the prominence of Mr. Scott's lividity indicates that
he had been dead and hanging before the alleged 4:30 am cell
2. Dr. Peter Dean, "Old scars on the writs, from whatever
cause, can not safely be relied upon as evidence of current
3. Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., In light of these findings,
which are individually and collectively somewhat atypical in
suicidal hangings, I believe there is a reasonable and logical
basis to legitimately question the official ruling in this case
that the manner of death was suicidal. If I were confronted with
this case in my current position as Coroner of Allegheny County,
I would want to have further investigation conducted by my office
and homicide detectives."
Dr. Lee made an oral presentation that questioned the fracture
of the thyroid cartilage and the bruising on Mr. Scott's neck.
This is apparently inconsistent with hanging with a soft sheet
which typically does not result in damage to the thyroid
cartilage since the pressure from the sheet is uniform. On the
other hand, a hand or a baton would more typically result in this
sort of damage.
The four forensic pathologists will draft a preliminary report
that will state that there is sufficient basis to question the
manner of death and will recommend that further investigation
occur. These men are all well respected in their respective
jurisdictions and their CV will amply support their conclusions.
They stated their willingness to go to Australia to conduct the
Posted on 2002-01-24