Anatomy of Murder

A murder case has many layers: the victim, the crime, and the investigation. To truly understand it, you need to dissect each piece of a tragic puzzle. Join Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Scott Weinberger every Wednesday for an insider’s perspective, as they reveal to you the Anatomy of Murder.



Wed, 25 Aug 2021 07:00

A young college student is murdered, sending shockwaves through the community. But another murder, eerily similar, makes investigators question if a serial killer is loose in this college community. For episode information and photos, please visit

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If you're looking for a new show unlike anything you've ever heard before, check out audio Chuck's latest series killed. Each episode of killed covers a story that you may have never read because it was killed before it got published. I'm Justine Harman, who some of you may know from my show OC swingers, and I'm here to bring these dead stories back to life binge killed right now to get the full story. Hi everyone, Ashley Flowers here and I have exciting news to share. My debut novel, all good people here is officially out now. Our fans are blowing up our social talking about it. You do not want to be left out and the worst thing that could happen is for someone else to spoil it for you because there are some wild twists in this book. If you love true crime content, mysteries, and a grown up Nancy Drew style detective work then I have a good feeling you won't be able to put this book down. So what are you waiting for? Grab your copy of all good people here now, wherever books are sold. It was the case TV stations in Indianapolis, TV stations in Chicago carried stories about it for the first time. I get a phone call one night from my sister in Texas and said, were you just on TV? I've got 1 defendant, 2 separate murders linked. Now everyone's looking at me because if he's found not guilty, guess who gets blamed? Me? I'm Scott Weinberger's, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. Lazy Former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of Investigation Discovery's true conviction and this is anatomy of murder. Homicide cases have many complexities, but this is one of those true whodunits for today's case. I spoke with Hal Johnston, who's a retired Madison County, Indiana prosecutor. My father was a U.S. Navy veteran. World War Two became Circuit Judge. So I grew up in a law family, a friend of mine. One day over lunch, he said, you know, he said, you've got a really good temperament. I think you'd make a good policeman. I had never thought in my life of being a policeman. I went through the Academy, was training, commissioned and spent three years as a uniformed officer in Bloomington. And my family wasn't very happy about that. So I went ahead and started law school, and that's when I discovered the prosecutor and was like, these are the guys who really put them in prison. So that led me into the prosecution. Not only had Hal been a career homicide prosecutor, he also served a distinguished career in the military. After a couple of years, I really wanted to get in the military, so I volunteered for naval aviation and went into U.S. Navy. So I put my law degree in active for four years because I was on an aircraft carrier, serving as what's called a tactical aviation intelligence officer, served in the Persian Gulf, and I'd been a paratrooper also in the Navy, had gone through Army Airborne School. So I transferred over to an infantry brigade with the National Guard. He has been a true public servant for many, many years. 2001, 911 hit. My brigade was activated and I've done three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and then retired out of the army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2014. His background really works into making him the powerhouse that you'll see that he is. Our case begins on September 7th, 1997. Braun Baker, an 18 year old, would often go to visit his sister Brooke, who was a student at Vincennes University. Brooke was a really well liked student at Vincennes University. She was studying journalism and her dream was to be an investigative journalist. Brooke was interesting. She did not drink alcohol at all, and she was not involved in drugs at all. She would go to parties, but she wouldn't consume anything. And part of that, I think, from the more I learned about her, she really wanted to be a woman in control of herself. And Vincennes university. For those that aren't familiar with it, it's a school of about 5500. So while it's a large school being where it is, it still has a small town feel, and she lived off campus in a home that was only about a block away. She had gone through a series of roommates. She didn't move into a dormitory, but she found friends to kind of stay with. She was almost like she was couch surfing the summer. She stayed with her cousin for a few weeks, and then the cousin graduated from Indiana University and she moved out to Los Angeles. So at the time, she did not have a roommate. So Bron Baker went to his sister's house. 19 years old, she would leave her door often unlocked for him, but he also had a key just in case, and he'd gone by to see his sister that day multiple times. No one answered, and so eventually he just let himself in. The apartment was dark and quiet, and he sat down and assumed she wasn't home and started to watch some TV. Here's the thing, though, that was really interesting. When Braun came in, he heard water running in the bathroom, and he went back in. The bathtub was almost overflowing, and in it were towels. And as he found water in the bathroom, he also saw into the bedroom where he saw his sister. At first he thought she was asleep because her body lay motionless, looking from afar, peaceful. But as he got closer, he saw that she was anything but. After he realized she was unresponsive and what had happened to her, he immediately called police. Well, I received a call at home that there had been a homicide. One of the things I've done over the years is to go to the scene. I'm not there to interfere with the police, but I'm already trying to learn as much as I can about the case. She was in her bedroom. Now, the house was an older house, so it was like a series of small rooms, and she had turned the front room into her bedroom and there was a doorway then leading into what she was using as essentially a living room, then another small room off to the side and then the kitchen in the back. This is a small house. Probably around 1910 wood frame single family dwelling would have been 1910, nineteen 20s per bedroom. She simply had a mattress on the floor. There was no real furniture and just piles of clothing everywhere. First, officers to arrive at Brooks apartment quickly established Brooke dead and stabbed in what looked like a vicious attack. It was very, very violent and I've seen a lot of different homicides. She was nude, she was displayed, she was on her back, but the stab wounds were almost all in her back. When Hal Johnson talks about her being displayed, we're really talking about the body being positioned or posed by the killer. Although she had been stabbed almost a dozen times, the killer chose to flip her on her back, placing her in that posed position. Her arms were literally spread out, almost in a crucifix position. In the cases of female victims, posed bodies were more likely to include a sexual assault component and sometimes just to shock the investigators. Almost a catch me if you can type of element. Our assumption was at this point that was most likely a sexual offense, but we saw no evidence of forced entry. So our first thought is this is someone who knows her. And so you really have to start to wonder about the makeup of the killer, whoever it was. Is it to shock the Finder or is it to give some sort of pleasure to the killer, him or herself? She had severe bruising around the head. She's been beaten. I think there were eleven stab wounds, but what the doctor discovered was that there was evidence of hesitancy. So some of the wounds were maybe half inch or half inch deep, and then a couple of them went really deep in. So let's just add a few of the crime scene facts together, you know, no forced entry. As we've said, the victim had extensive bruising around her face. She had defensive wounds, you know, a real sign of a violent struggle. And when police came to process the scene, the towels appeared to have blood on them. And So what we appeared to have was a scene that in which the individual had cleaned up. So what this indicated to us is with no forced entry, the perpetrator felt comfortable enough to have the time to go back and clean things up, that he knows that she doesn't have a roommate, so no one's going to come by. Adding to the discovery inside the crime scene was in the sink. There was water running, and there were several utensils floating around in that water in the sink. They photographed it, they took all of the materials out of the sink and as they were moved them one was a very, very long looked like a bread knife, maybe had a 12 inch blade to it, wooden handle and it was bent. And just to hypothesize for a moment about this killer, there are certain things that at least start to have you go in various directions. There are certain things that are somewhat disorganized and other things that are organized. Killers that are highly organized often don't leave many clues behind. But yet there was still the water was running, that knife was found in the sink. And if that knife is actually the murder weapon, the fact that it's left behind really kind of goes to someone who. May not go with the organized component of a killer that actually goes to the lengths of posing or displaying his or her victim. Now I'll use his because killers that do these things, the posing of the bodies, are more often than not based on the numbers of men. But I want to look at the murder weapon for a moment. Or at least what is thought maybe to be the murder weapon this knife found in the sink. And not to get overly gruesome, but if we just want to talk. Evidence and meaning for a moment that bending of the knife, if it was in fact used, then that means the bending was probably because it was hitting off of some type of bone. You know, she's been stabbed in the back. It's possible that this is the weapon and he had a rib invented or something. And one more thing to note about Brooke Baker's body she had markings, bruising around her ankles and her wrists, which led investigators to quickly deduce that she had likely also been bound. My initial thought was this should be solved fairly quickly. It's going to be somebody she knows, and I'm confident that within a day or two, you know, we're going to have somebody under arrest. That, of course, didn't quite turn out that way. Scott Hall's comment really goes to the truth of it, that none of this is an actual science, and I think all of us in this line of work can think back to various instances that we have had similar thoughts and been sorely disappointed in the actuality. How about you? That's 100% true, especially when a murder weapon is found at the scene of a murder. You know, there are several forensic things that you can take advantage of. If it's a handgun, clearly you've got shell casings, fingerprints, things that are associated with a quick clearance of a crime usually involve the murder weapon being found at the scene, so you know it's coming together pretty quick. But it was an aggressive statement to be made. Let's talk a little bit about where this is taking place. Vincennes, IN which is the county seat of Knox County. It's a town of about 20,000 people, but it also has a University of Vincennes University. Brooke was born and raised in Knox County. She graduated from high school and she was attending Vincennes University trying to get a degree in journalism. Our focused in on interviews was people from the university who she knew, potential boyfriends and that type of thing. You know, I really see two communities to speak of in this case. You know, the small town of it sends but the community of the university she was attending, both clearly rocked by the murder of Brooke Baker. It's a kind of town in which you really feel you can walk around and crimes like this just don't happen. I mean, the the murders were infrequent, so it really sent shockwaves through the community and really sent shockwaves through the university because this is the type of town you could walk around at three or four in the morning. And you really didn't have to worry about anything like this happening. So it was a community that felt safe, and suddenly it didn't feel safe anymore. And everyone takes anything that happens within those community walls, those college walls, if you will. Very seriously. They're public meetings held and there was outrage. You know, why aren't the police doing anything and politicians wanting to kind of go at each other? With a fully processed crime scene and now serological evidence collected in the autopsy confirming this was a sexual assault, homicide investigators began to develop their plan and throw out a wide net of potential suspects. But obviously in these cases you always allow the evidence to lead the way. We're investigating a male who knows her because he's able to get in. So we began investigating some of the men with whom she had had intercourse. And we would have to track them down and do a DNA analysis. And almost all of them cooperated. And then we had to wait for the DNA to come back. And that should take anywhere from, you know, three to four weeks because the laboratory is not going to rush things. They've got a protocol. And, you know, one thing I said was follow the protocol because if I ever have to present this in court, I don't want to have a problem. That is so at the top of our list as prosecutors and often law enforcement, we think about down the line. And so I'd get a phone call. No match. Another month, another individual sent in the sample. No match. You can hear the frustration in how's voice? Another no match. You know, we've talked at length on this podcast about the collection of DNA and how the slow but effective advancements in the technology has occurred over years. But this still is 1997, and that is moving slowly. For this investigation, we did visit Indianapolis State police headquarters. Because DNA analysis at that time is being conducted by the state police in Indianapolis. They were showing me the actual evidence itself because I wanted to make sure the chain of custody had been handled correctly. The rape kit used during the autopsy, so the box itself with the rape kit is 137. The components within it then have there's 137A137BD semen sample had been given the designation 137 F and I said, well at least. They have a name for the guy, I said. It's 137 F through the rest of the investigation, if I got a phone call or a message, it would be no match on 137 F that's just what we heard over and over and over again. This is a great detail, and I think an important one. It puts the investigator into a mindset. The owner of DNA 137 F was likely the killer, the target of this investigation, and their sole focus of connecting 137F to a name. So we're looking now for 137 F now. What we wanted to do, though, was be careful to not make any assumptions because we just didn't know. I mean, was Brooke killed by some girlfriend who was angry because Brooke had a relationship? We just don't know. And any homicide investigation wouldn't be careful about making assumptions and sticking to it, because then you get confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is a tendency to selectively search for emphasized information that's consistent with a preferred hypothesis, and that sounds like a lot of words. You know, it's where opposing information is is ignored or dismissed. And you know, it works really on both sides when investigators are talking to witnesses and they're not listening to all of the information. Because sometimes the investigators themselves may have a mindset of what they think may be or may be important to the investigation, and so confirm bias. Is a theory. It works on both sides of witnesses giving information and investigators developing that information. So, you know, I think everyone needs to be aware of that, but I don't think it plays very much into the average homicide case. The complexity of DNA analysis and trying to track down all these different boyfriends or potential boyfriends, and then over and over and over again the sample was inconsistent with the contributor. And over and over, they just keep hitting dead ends. By the end of that year in December, they had already asked for samples and gotten DNA samples from 13 potential suspects, and every single one of them ended up no match. But with this being a college community, there are so many potential leads, so many rumors feeding into all of this, that really the paths they have to go down is seemingly endless. The problem with Vincens University, the rumor mill is just going wild over there and people would call and say, oh, I have information, you know, you need to look at this person because he said such and such. Well, then you would spend days trying to track that person down. Or they might have moved back home by then and we got to travel all over the state to interview them and you find out they didn't quite say what somebody claimed they said. So a lot of dead ends in this case. It was time consuming, but one of those leads ultimately comes back to someone who has. Nothing to do with being a student at all, but very much someone who was at least supposed to be on the right side of the law. Most of you probably know that I love a good mystery, and playing games on my phone is sometimes exactly what I need when I'm taking a break from work. Enter June's journey. It's a hidden object murder mystery game set in the heart of the 1920s. You search for hidden objects and collect clues across thousands of vivid scenes to help June as she investigates the mysterious death of her sister. With new chapters every week, there is always a new case waiting to be cracked. You can chat and play with or against other players by joining a detective club. Now celebrate the game's fifth anniversary with a two week birthday Bash, June's journey Golden Soiree. Exciting surprises await in June's journey every single day during the 5th anniversary celebration from September 19th to October 2nd, including special events, daily rewards and unique decoration items. Followed the official Junes journey Facebook page and become an. E-mail subscriber for even more perks, including a chance to win one of just 10 gold plated charm bracelets, joined the 5th anniversary party now through October 2nd. Download June's journey for free. Available on Android and iOS mobile devices as well as on PC through Facebook games. As investigators looking into the murder of Brooke Baker clearly found out, solving her murder was going to be easy and several potential leads had already been cleared by DNA. Then, a turn in the form of a brand new lead, some of Brooks friends were talking about Mike Nardine, who was the landlord, and that Brooke had made comments that he felt uneasy around her. This landlord was also part of the college law enforcement sometimes he would try by at night and shine the light up on the House. And then there was more. It seemed the landlord may have made a few unannounced visits to collect back rent, even reportedly while she was in the shower. Now some people in the community seized on this. The rumors are running rampant. They're pointing at him saying he's the one who did this. Now this could be a huge problem for investigators, members of the public likely trying to do the right thing, getting caught up in the so-called telephone game tips, hearing something or adding opinion as if it was a fact or a detail. Remember how Johnson's background helped him in lots of ways. First of all, this is a guy who in many ways has seen it all. He has been in combat more than once. He has seen people turn right when everyone else thought they were going to turn left, and I think being able to take a step back. Can be much more methodical. Really helps in the investigation to make sure that he too, together with the other team members working on this case, aren't going to get that tunnel vision. They're going to stay open minded because when the public starts to decide who it has to be, well we can all imagine why that can be potentially very dangerous, not only for the investigation but for the person who is targeted as the focus of that Community interest. You know, we've seen cases where people have taken the law into their own hands only to learn. That someone else had been arrested. We interviewed him. We determined he was working that night. He voluntarily gave a DNA sample and he was excluded. There was no evidence that he had made any sexual advances to her or anything like that. No indication that he had ever suggested to having sex or anything like that. Seemingly solid lead that really went nowhere. And there is a real important point to be made here, and I know one anesthesia that you have looked into in your cases as well. You need to run down every lead as you know, not only doing that to limit your ability to find a new suspect, but if it comes back in a prosecution of the case that you did not follow every lead, that could be an opportunity for a defense. I can't tell you how many times I've had to literally hit my forehead while I'm investigating saying, Oh my gosh, how did they not follow up on this? And again, there's always so many moving parts in the investigation. But as a prosecutor we know that when you go into court that the defense may very well use that open-ended question to their advantage. We have to go through everything because we can't receive information and do nothing. Because if I go to trial and the defense attorney comes in and says, did you receive a report on this state indicating that a witness was willing to give a statement and you didn't interview that person, that's what I didn't want to have. I wanted the police people to say yes, we interviewed. Person who was tape recorded. Here's the conversation, here's what we learned. It was another dead end. So no matter what the information was, no matter how crazy it sounded, we would follow that up. And so that's very time consuming. One obvious thing for investigators was still trying to develop a timeline on the night that Brooke was murdered. Some of the interviews pointed towards a possible sighting of Brooke that night, hours before the murder. Then other information and witnesses gave different accounts. It really wasn't becoming crystal clear. And just think about the difficulty in that. I mean, it's a night that college kids are out and about. There is just party after party down fraternity row and the various houses that are near the campus. So it's really having to go to the students to say, who remembers where Brooke was? Did you see her? Where was she? Not only if they saw her, but when? We did find a young man that she had met at one of the parties on the north side of the campus. She walked with him back home and they had consensual intercourse. Obviously, this is a big deal. Remember, the autopsy did recover semen, which could confirm and connect that potential suspect to our victim. We tracked him down and he gave us the clothes he was wearing. He gave us a DNA sample. He gave us a full statement. He said, look, I was in there, Brooke and I had sex. We were done, and I left. So you have a name, you know, someone who had, by their own words, a sexual experience with her that night and, you know, have DNA that you know is from semen. So is that going to connect? But let's just say that it does. Now, was that consensual and then someone came afterwards? Or is this just a ruse on the part of this guy to try to cover his tracks for the brutal acts he committed that night? So we did the DNA analysis. It was not consistent with him. So that was the last person that she was with. He put the time he left around 1:00 to 1:30 AM. So for interval of death purposes, this is 1:30 in the morning on Sunday, and then Braun found her in the early evening, so probably a good 15 hours had passed. So the question you might have is, well, if he says that they had sex that night, well, why wasn't his DNA on her body? Well, OK, let's go back to health Class 101, which we may remember from junior high. There are different ways to cover that. First of all, was a condom worn? Also, they are partying that night. They are drinking because there is some sort of sexual relationship between them. Doesn't mean that it was fully consummated or that there would ultimately be any. Biological matter, for lack of a better word left behind, and I think we can leave it there. And they also use science to confirm his story because they were able to determine in the timeline of when they spent time and when they may have had consensual sex that even if it was involving him, the timeline wouldn't match the serological sample. So a couple of things here. You know we are letting out. I'm a Brooks more personal details, if you will, and I just want us to remember this is we're talking about this because we were trying to figure out about who brutally killed her that night. She was a young woman, whether she was a young woman or a man, whatever. A person's makeup people have the right to have whatever type of relationships they want, but investigators only care because they're trying to figure out who killed her. But every bit of everyone is relevant in trying to come to that end, but nothing is panning out. None of the people she had been intimate. With are responsible. None of these friends or people that would have had access to her apartment or panning out. And so if it's not a jilted ex lover, if it's not a someone who had a key, then is there something else, maybe more complex at the root of this all? And there's another rumor floating out there that paints a different picture about what may have happened to Brooke, and that is talk about a secret on that campus. People we interviewed that knew her talked about a story that she was working on where she claimed there had been a rape at a local fraternity. With weeks now leading into months, police were on to a new potential theory. Could this murder have been an attempt to silence Brooke as she was about to break a story as an investigative journalist about a potential unsolved sexual assault on campus and that nothing was being done about this? And she said she was going to blow the lid off this case and the whole thing, and she was telling people about this. And there was a definite fear factor within Brooke, to the point that she actually reached out to the head of the journalism department to say that she was being threatened. And the head of the journalism department over at Vincennes took it so seriously that he actually walked her over to the campus police to file a report. So, you know, and this also adds another level of the focus that investigators need to maintain. You know, a lot of people on campus are pointing fingers. We've heard this already in this podcast, but now we have another case of a potential. Assault on campus and investigators really need to remain focused on the evidence that's in front of them. And it also makes it messier on other levels because whether this is true or not, whether there was this actual sexual assault or it was again just a product of the rumor mill, the university itself may put their back up. Because in today's day and age, we all know that there can be potential liability, there can be lawsuits, there could be claims of whether from. The survivor if that was in fact a sexual assault or even if it is from Brooks own family, if there is liability in part of the university for knowing that as part of her work there and time as a student that she was ultimately victimized because of something she was doing on behalf of the university. So it really starts to add these complex layers that have to be weighted through to see if there is validity in this being the cause or part of the reason she was killed. What happened was as we interviewed people about this alleged rape, they identified the fraternity involved in it. We found a police report on it. A boy and girl had consensual sex on the front porch of this fraternity during a drunken party and the boys girlfriend caught them at it and they had a big blow up. And so the other girl went home and told her roommates about it was consensual. But then the next day she decided, well, I'm going to go tell the police. About it. And he came in and said we had consensual sex. She basically said it was consensual sex. There was no rape case. It it didn't happen. So this really throws cold water onto that theory being a reason why someone would murder Brooke. And if you really think about the crime scene, does it seem likely that if the killer wanted to silence Brooke because of a story she may have been working on which wasn't even true, Woody stabbed her multiple times and take the time to post the body to me? Not really. It was about a year and a Half Men. The case is getting colder and colder after multiple failed DNA matches and no real conclusive evidence and waning theories. For the Baker family and investigators, the level of frustration was high. The university students are moving on. It's harder to find them. The conspiracy theories in the community are kind of talk themselves out. The number of phone calls we're getting, the bleeds is drying up to where we're not really getting any at all. And this case is going even beyond the borders of Indiana. While Illinois, we obviously know, is the state next door, it's going as far as California. You know, it's a very familiar move in cold Case investigation. And in some circles, they called BTTB, which is back to the beginning. All of the friends and acquaintances that one Brooke spent time with and #2 had access to her apartment, and that's when investigators sent it into the former roommate at her apartment. Brooks's roommate, who had lived with her for a couple of weeks, who had just graduated from Indiana University, had a boyfriend, and she and the boyfriend had moved to Los Angeles. Well, the boyfriend was a person of interest because he knew Brook. They had been together. He had access to the house. And you start to maybe ask yourselves, well, are they just grasping at straws, looking at anyone who could potentially have had contact with her? Or is this a person that because of their history, is putting them on police radar? Or is there something more and just maybe taking these various shots in the Darks will lead to Brooks killer? At Indiana University, he was known as a significant drug dealer. He had been stopped one night and arrested for some minor misdemeanor. He had like $5000 in cash on him and a gun. The local authorities in Bloomington are like, this guy's no good. He's a cocaine dealer. He's going to school, but this is all just a front for him to run cocaine. So he ends up out in Los Angeles. So I mean, talk about a creepy guy. This is him. And he had been to Vincennes and we had witnesses where he had been there with this cousin this and their boyfriend. Girlfriend. So based on that, we were able to say, who knows? I mean, we just don't know what had happened here. So I was able to generate probable cause to get, and the warrant was simply to take him into custody long enough to obtain a DNA sample and then let him go. It was not an arrest warrant. You know, and if you got a California search warrant based on Indiana probable cause, that may sound tricky, but as you know, actually it's really not. At the end of the day, probable cause is probable cause. You have to get the information from the jurisdiction it's in. But then it's a judge in the other jurisdiction, in this case California, that has to consider and it's actually something that is not that uncommon. You know, we have to go to other states for various reasons, whether it's to pick someone up. There's an arrest warrant in this case, like a search warrant. And while we are asking for something to be done there, you have to give the basis, which is what occurred in often another state. So there is that level. Of unfamiliarity with the case and the way things are done in the other place that potentially factors into the judge that's making the decision always is an extra reason why you always have to cross your T's and dot your eyes. You know all of the Athenians are standing in front of the judge who are the investigators, right? They're the Athenians, and this was a warrant only to obtain a sample and wait for the results. So we contact LA Homicide and LA homicide contacts the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office and they said OK Fly A-Team out here, bring your prosecutor which LA police thought was interesting to have the prosecutor along. But I had to write a search warrant for California. So I ended up with like a 60 page document because it started with a map of Indiana because I'm going to be in front of a you know Los Angeles Superior Court judge like where the Hell's been sends Indiana and it outlined everything in the case. The judge read it and signed a California. Search warrant based upon the Indiana probable cause. It was an interesting legal proceeding. I'd never done anything like that before. We identified this boyfriend in new where he lived. So now we're going to go out with LA Homicide police, which is interesting because these guys drive real fast and they don't care about red lights. We're like from Indiana, like, well, you know, we kind of obey the traffic laws here. And they told us, they said, hold on, because we're going. I had to laugh when house talking about that because there is something to it. I had to laugh too. I myself have trouble to other jurisdictions to affect an arrest with the help of local law enforcement as they know the lay of the land and it can be quite the colorful experience. But the mission in this case is to get that sample and that's what's most important. Now I coming out of New York City, I think the homicide detectives I've driven with probably drive very much like the homicide detectives in LA I I can't tell you how many times I've told them like where your seat belt and their answer is always the same. We're wearing a seat belt. Maybe we don't get out in time if someone's pointing a gun at us or if we're about to go catch that person that we're chasing. And so I don't know if the safest, they definitely drive differently, but it also goes towards the difference in mentality based on where the crime occurs. You know, when you're in a different city, they want to impress you, those detectives. And those other cities want to show you that they really know the ropes in their own town. But it's also reassuring that they know the streets. They know the shortcuts of getting in and getting out of places without being known, without being seen, without being detected. And I'm sure in this case has exactly what they wanted to do was at least get this sample as soon as possible to see could this actually be the guy thousands of miles away? So like 6 LA detectives go out and basically grab this guy and bring him in and we get the DNA sample from him. Now, while they're all in California, the question is going to be after all this effort, what is going to be the result when they now finally get to this guy? Would it actually bring a killer to justice? Detectives go out and basically grab this guy. And of course he said, hey, I didn't have anything to do with this. You know, the cops in Indiana hate me and that's why I moved out here and this is my girlfriend and all that, so. So investigators are back from California and all they can do is wait. Will there be a match to 137 F? This DNA profile has actually taken on a life, a name of its own. We had to wait several weeks and once again negative on 137F. So an enormous amount of work, but that's how painstaking we were in this case. You know, honestly, you and I know you always go where the evidence leads you, and in this case it led to disappointment and I'm sure they may be questioned. The validity of the sample they were using, dozens of potential leads over 18 months resulted in no match. I'm sure there were questioning that. You have to follow the physical evidence, you can't discount anything on the pathology report and so you have to come up with an explanation already. I'm thinking about a charge of rape and a charge of murder, but of course rape is difficult to prove when you don't have the victim there to say it was non consensual. So I'm going to have to really build this based solely on physical evidence. The frustration level in these cases can really almost feel overwhelming sometimes because every one of those investigators, I'm confident, is picturing the way Brooke Baker's body was left. And so they want every one of them to be the answer, just to give Brooke and her family that closure. That sense of justice that she deserves, but over and over, no matter where they go and what they do, they are still just hitting roadblocks and dead ends. And it really takes that inner strength of these investigators to say, you know what? This one didn't work out again, but we're just going to pick ourselves back up and look somewhere else because they were just determined to get those answers. Then the decision was made to take another approach, move from DNA science to forensic psychology, also known as behavioral science. This is a good year and a half into the investigation. We arranged to travel to Quantico, Virginia, and meet with the FBI profiling team. That's very, very interesting. Here is how the FBI profiling team works. The team consists of a variety of experts in a variety of areas. So they have pathologists, they have forensic psychiatrists, they have crime scene. You know reconstructionists, all types of experts are probably eight or nine people. I basically had to prepare the case as though I were going to trial. We went through everything we had the. Crime scene diagram, the victimology photographs, pathology, all these reports, all of the investigations that we had done. And it took us several hours to present this. And then they had us leave the room and they kind of deliberate. It was interesting. So we're like sitting out in the waiting room for a couple of hours and they called us back in. And the idea is they want to be able to critique what you're doing and then try to give us their sense of who we're looking for. You know, honestly, guys, you know, we recently featured one of the FBI's top profilers on one of our episodes of True Conviction. It could be such an effective tool, and it's so interesting. When you're attempting to profile, you know, maybe look at a certain type of person or a habit of somebody that you may have looked over before. I've always been fascinated by it, and I'm the first one to say this is not my area of expertise, but I know, hopefully how to ask the questions of those that have it, and while I have had individuals. Profiled my case. I've never gone through one of those basic procedures, those interviews, if you will. But the profile is the first thing they said is you're doing a good job of not focusing on one person. You're keeping your options open, they said that's good. There's no confirmation bias here. You're doing a good job of excluding people. You're doing a good job of tracking down leads, no matter how crazy they are. What you're doing is good, your technique is good, your tactics are good. Keep going on that when you think about the psychology, the way it plays. And, you know, there's an art to it I've always found very interesting when you look at these killers. There is an aspect that the FBI profilers look at whether killers are organized and disorganized, and that helps answer some of their questions. An organized killer is more likely to cover their tracks. They're often more premeditated, where disorganized. It is. Maybe something like leaving a knife still floating in the sink, that it's not as planned as other crime scenes speak to, but this one really has again. In my very amateur view, based on what I've read, signs of both. Then they said, here's what you're probably looking for. They said it's most likely a white male that she knows, most likely a university student, and he lives close to Brooke. Why would they determine that the killer may have lived or resided a few blocks away from the homicide? You know, no one saw any vehicles in the area at the time, and he probably arrived and fled on foot. Most likely very sexually active and very sexually aggressive. You know, this was an extremely violent attack, clearly overkill stabbing, which is very personal. We've talked about it a lot in this podcast over recent episodes and the sexual assault component. Like Anasia you said, leaning or posing the body in a postmortem way. They said it's most likely his first kill. Why did they think it was the first kill? You know, for me, several mistakes were made here and evidence was left at the scene. So that leads me to believe it may have been the killer's first strike. Just for a moment, to back up to the question of why the killer posed the body, whether it was from some sort of sexual satisfaction or for shock value, just as an interesting note that the profilers in this case concluded that it was for shock value. They said no, don't rule anything out, you know, could have been a transient brook. Lived near some railroad tracks. Never knew somebody got off the train. So now they're armed with this profile and they really have to go back to square one, and they do. If you're a year and a half into a murder case and you've interviewed scores of people and done dozens of DNA analysis and you're not getting any closer to anything, it was really feeling cold. They actually get an idea that leads them looking into the past almost 10 years before there was actually another unsolved murder from years earlier with similar circumstances. Once again, a young college student, white female, lived alone, sexually assaulted, stabbed. Yeah, a lot of similarities there. I mean, similar victimology and the like, and that had never been solved. And now the question is, is this all the work of a serial killer? That well, there's one way we'll catch him if he kills again. And before this case is over, there will be another tragedy in Vincennes, IN. Join us next week for the conclusion of our episode 137 F See you then. Anatomy of Murder is an audio Chuck original, A Weinberger media and forseti media production summit. David is executive producer.