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Old 10-26-2009, 10:54 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattc
You know what really concerns me about this case (aside from the obvious fact that a human being was killed)... The police botched the ballistics testing, and didn't realize it until years later when they did a random re-test.

Think about how many people are in prison (or even died on death row) based on a ballistics finding being the key piece of evidence. DNA evidence is one thing, but I get really scared when "scientific" sounding tests such as autopsy reports or ballistics tests can be used to put some away....

There have been a few cases on UM alone in which autopsy reports were wrong, or ballistic tests were botched. How many others are out there that we don't know about... It's scary to think about!
While I agree it's disturbing, it's difficult to think of a case where ballistic evidence alone convicted anyone. At best, it tells you what specific gun was used (at best, mind you). It doesn't tell you anything about who shot that gun.

While not perfect, scientific evidence is much better than eyewitness testimony, especially if properly used to build a cumulative circumstantial case.
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:00 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastermind
That's a pretty well thought out plan and execution for a random act.

You know it does occur to me that the person who killed Morris, could have known the schedule of when Morris works. Heck he could have called in before and asked if Morris was there and hung up.

Worse comes to worse, if the person that comes isn;t Morris, then all they have to do is just walk away and try again. All you have to lose is gas and the price of a phone call. You don't even have to pay for the pizza.

Questions:

1. Does anyone know if the pizza was taken or was the pizza left there?
2. Was Morris the only delivery driver?
Barring complete LE incompetance, If morris wasn't a random victim, the case would have likely been solved years ago. It's the randomness that makes this a UM.

If investigation had shown that Morris had an enemy who hated him so much as to kill him (from the brief info presented on him, highly unlikely), that person would have been an immediate prime suspect. Even if cops couldn't find enough evidence to charge him, the tone of the segment would have been clear.
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:12 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by egswanso
Barring complete LE incompetance, If morris wasn't a random victim, the case would have likely been solved years ago. It's the randomness that makes this a UM.

If investigation had shown that Morris had an enemy who hated him so much as to kill him (from the brief info presented on him, highly unlikely), that person would have been an immediate prime suspect. Even if cops couldn't find enough evidence to charge him, the tone of the segment would have been clear.
1. There are plenty of non-random murders that have been unsolved. Several have been profiled on UM.

2. If Morris was involved in something illegal, his enemies would not be visible to his friends. That life would be hidden from the world.

Looking at this case more in detail a couple of things come to me:
1. Usually in robberies, like a taxi cab mugging, the robber takes only the work money. They usually are not interested in the victims personal wallet, except maybe for the purposes of finding the victims identity. This whole thing may be a simple robbery that turned into murder whn Morris retaliated.

2. How many people know that there is a separate wallet used by pizza deliveries? I guess if you thought about you would realize it, but would your average person know that? This makes me think that the perpetrator might be someone who used to work in a pizza delivery. Or even that this might be an ex-delivery person of the pizzeria.

3. This person's plan is actually a pretty good way to make money and get away with it. Providing you don't murder anyone. While it's possible this was the killers first robbery, I tend to think he's done this type of thing before. I wonder if there are some cab robberies in the area?

4. There is a connection between the killer and the fake address. He would have to have driven or lived near that address to know that he could use it for the ambush. Heck he may lived one house from the address.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:09 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egswanso
While I agree it's disturbing, it's difficult to think of a case where ballistic evidence alone convicted anyone. At best, it tells you what specific gun was used (at best, mind you). It doesn't tell you anything about who shot that gun.

While not perfect, scientific evidence is much better than eyewitness testimony, especially if properly used to build a cumulative circumstantial case.
I know this was posted a while ago, but I just wanted to quickly respond. I agree with you that usually ballistic tests alone do not convict someone, but they can do more than tell the LE which gun was used. If a ballistic's test is botched, then the gun in question obviously is tied to the owner of the gun, who immediately becomes the suspect. Then, the LE can take circumstantial, seemingly innocent evidence (such as life insurance policies taken out years before, etc) and tie it into making the "suspect" look even more incriminating.

The one case I can think of is Francis Newton (this is not to say she wasn't guilty), but she was executed for shooting her family, and the key evidence at trial was the ballistic's test that showed her gun was the one used in the shooting. Then, the cops looked into her background, and found that she had taken out life insurance policies on her family several months prior.

As I said, I'm not saying she didn't do it, but let's face it, the average citizen, juror, etc, is banking on ballistic's tests to be accurate. If a cop gets on the stand and says that the tests came from this person's gun, that is incredibly damning evidence.

I just wonder how many times this type of botching happens, and how, in many cases, defendants simply can't afford to get the ballistics re-tested.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:16 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattc
I know this was posted a while ago, but I just wanted to quickly respond. I agree with you that usually ballistic tests alone do not convict someone, but they can do more than tell the LE which gun was used. If a ballistic's test is botched, then the gun in question obviously is tied to the owner of the gun, who immediately becomes the suspect. Then, the LE can take circumstantial, seemingly innocent evidence (such as life insurance policies taken out years before, etc) and tie it into making the "suspect" look even more incriminating.

The one case I can think of is Francis Newton (this is not to say she wasn't guilty), but she was executed for shooting her family, and the key evidence at trial was the ballistic's test that showed her gun was the one used in the shooting. Then, the cops looked into her background, and found that she had taken out life insurance policies on her family several months prior.

As I said, I'm not saying she didn't do it, but let's face it, the average citizen, juror, etc, is banking on ballistic's tests to be accurate. If a cop gets on the stand and says that the tests came from this person's gun, that is incredibly damning evidence.

I just wonder how many times this type of botching happens, and how, in many cases, defendants simply can't afford to get the ballistics re-tested.
Or DNA testing botched, or fingerprint analysis botched, or other forensic test botched. Scientific testings is not fool-proof and most, if not all, defendants, do lack the funds to re-test and re-examine. Who knows how common it is, but almost certainly more common then we would like; we should all keep this in mind when we are so positive someone is guilty and bad-mouth defense attorneys for defending their clients.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:42 PM   #36
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I think egswanso has been superb in this thread.

I agree that the only sensible explanation is that the entire 2nd half is irrelevant and that the guns are not the same

EDITED TO SAY: Speaking of guns, does anyone have a loaded one right now because this craptastic School Gyrls song popping up every time I hit the bottom of the page is driving me bat**** crazy.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:33 PM   #37
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Or DNA testing botched, or fingerprint analysis botched, or other forensic test botched. Scientific testings is not fool-proof and most, if not all, defendants, do lack the funds to re-test and re-examine. Who knows how common it is, but almost certainly more common then we would like; we should all keep this in mind when we are so positive someone is guilty and bad-mouth defense attorneys for defending their clients.
Keep in mind though, that the police testing is simply done to find a suspect. In most cases this (and hopefully should be) unbiased. The police most of the time could care less who the suspect is as long as they have a suspect.

The defense is ultimately trying to find evidence that exonnerates his client. He is biased. If he has a DNA is done that shows his client is innocent...he may be less inclined to be skeptical of the way the test was done as long as he has some DNA evidence that he can present to the trial.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:19 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastermind
Keep in mind though, that the police testing is simply done to find a suspect. In most cases this (and hopefully should be) unbiased. The police most of the time could care less who the suspect is as long as they have a suspect.

The defense is ultimately trying to find evidence that exonnerates his client. He is biased. If he has a DNA is done that shows his client is innocent...he may be less inclined to be skeptical of the way the test was done as long as he has some DNA evidence that he can present to the trial.
It's not really a question or biased or unbiased, but of valid or invalid. If the methodology is faulty, so are the results. All scientists, both state and defense, should be seeking the truth, but obviously, science is not a monolithic unit and you may have two equally competent scientists claim two separate truths.

Mind you, I'm not saying all, or even a substantial number, of scientific tests are invalid, just that we must always know the methodology and context: a 20-point fingerprint match is pretty dead-on; a 6-point match, pretty lousy, etc. Many other tests we think as "scientific" are really just subjective, as well (hair comparison analysis, handwriting analysis, etc.), so we should accordingly give them less weight.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:03 PM   #39
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Allow me to address some of your questions. My name is Cliff, and Morris Davis was my brother. Many of you have deduced correctly that there was, in fact, a major screw-up(among many in this case) involving ballistics assessment. The gun in this story was not the murder weapon. No, my brother was not involved in anything illegal. He was, as several of you have stated, in the wrong place at the wrong time. No, the pizza was not taken, and yes there was another driver working. Additionally, Morris was filling in for another driver who had a death in the family. The case has never been solved, and likely never will. I am heartened that you all have paid attention and also to hear the concern voiced for our family and the effects of this crime. Any questions? Just ask. Blessings.
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:35 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffD
Allow me to address some of your questions. My name is Cliff, and Morris Davis was my brother. Many of you have deduced correctly that there was, in fact, a major screw-up(among many in this case) involving ballistics assessment. The gun in this story was not the murder weapon. No, my brother was not involved in anything illegal. He was, as several of you have stated, in the wrong place at the wrong time. No, the pizza was not taken, and yes there was another driver working. Additionally, Morris was filling in for another driver who had a death in the family. The case has never been solved, and likely never will. I am heartened that you all have paid attention and also to hear the concern voiced for our family and the effects of this crime. Any questions? Just ask. Blessings.
Wow, thanks for coming to the board to clear up some of the things that were confusing in the Unsolved Mysteries segment ran about your brother. First, I'd like to extend condolences to you and your family for the loss of Morris. The one question I have for you is has there ever even been a suspect or person of interest in your brother's murder? Because the murderer would have had to have been a local in the area (to know about the house for sale and know that it was not occupied) and may have also been an ex-pizza delivery driver (for knowing that the drivers carried two wallets). Did the police ever come up with someone in the community or nearby area?
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:33 AM   #41
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Yes, thank you for posting, Cliff, and my sincere condolences to what happened to your brother. This has always been one of the most haunting and baffling "Unsolved Mysteries" cases for me since there doesn't seem to be any known motive for anyone would want to murder Morris.

Since you said Morris was filling in for another employee that night, my question to you is: did police check to see if this other employee had any known enemies that might have wanted them dead? I always wondered if the killer placed the pizza order expecting someone else to show up at the house and Morris was simply a victim of mistaken identity.
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Old 08-31-2013, 06:37 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffD
Allow me to address some of your questions. My name is Cliff, and Morris Davis was my brother. Many of you have deduced correctly that there was, in fact, a major screw-up(among many in this case) involving ballistics assessment. The gun in this story was not the murder weapon. No, my brother was not involved in anything illegal. He was, as several of you have stated, in the wrong place at the wrong time. No, the pizza was not taken, and yes there was another driver working. Additionally, Morris was filling in for another driver who had a death in the family. The case has never been solved, and likely never will. I am heartened that you all have paid attention and also to hear the concern voiced for our family and the effects of this crime. Any questions? Just ask. Blessings.
Thank you so much for coming here, Cliff. First, I'd like to offer my most sincere condolences for you and your family's loss.

Most of us already know that the ballistics test shown in the segment turned out to be a false positive. Ballistics are not nearly as accurate as DNA or fingerprints because they can be alternated by simple wear and tear, plus tools and guns are often made on assembly lines, giving them plenty of similar but minute features. Did the police ever come up with any other viable suspects? It seemed like Great Falls is a fairly small community and the murderer had to have been someone familiar with the area. Perhaps your brother's case had similarities to other cases in the area or even other parts in the country.

The case may never be solved, but I have always considered the possibility that the perpetrator may either be dead, or already in prison for other crimes. However, even if either of those turned out to be the case, it is still heartbreaking to go on living without any closure. Again, thank you so much for joining our community online!
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:40 PM   #43
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I don't think the killer was targeting Morris, another employee or anyone in particular. It sounded like the motive was robbery and Morris was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I believe this was back in the day when it was more common for delivery drivers to carry more $ on them than nowadays. And sadly, Morris wasn't the first or last pizza delivery driver to have something bad happen to him.
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:32 PM   #44
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I don't think the killer was targeting Morris, another employee or anyone in particular. It sounded like the motive was robbery and Morris was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I believe this was back in the day when it was more common for delivery drivers to carry more $ on them than nowadays. And sadly, Morris wasn't the first or last pizza delivery driver to have something bad happen to him.

Pizza delivery drivers still get robbed. I read about it multiple times a year, usually teenagers, twentysomethings. They rob the pizza delivery guy of all he has, even if it's nothing much, including the pizza.

Anyway, this incident reminded me of something I had forgotten about. Someone I knew, he used to deliver pizzas 15-20 years ago. He was sent to a not so nice neighborhood to make a delivery at an apartment complex. he told me when he knocked on the door, and it opened, and he saw there wasn't any furniture inside, he told me the first thought that came to his mind after he saw the dim and bare interior of the apartment was, "Oh Sh....".

Anyway, he didn't get shot, but was robbed at gunpoint. I don't think he worked in pizza delivery, at least in that county, for much longer.

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Old 10-24-2013, 12:14 PM   #45
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Quote:
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Thank you so much for coming here, Cliff. First, I'd like to offer my most sincere condolences for you and your family's loss.

Most of us already know that the ballistics test shown in the segment turned out to be a false positive. Ballistics are not nearly as accurate as DNA or fingerprints because they can be alternated by simple wear and tear, plus tools and guns are often made on assembly lines, giving them plenty of similar but minute features. Did the police ever come up with any other viable suspects? It seemed like Great Falls is a fairly small community and the murderer had to have been someone familiar with the area. Perhaps your brother's case had similarities to other cases in the area or even other parts in the country.

The case may never be solved, but I have always considered the possibility that the perpetrator may either be dead, or already in prison for other crimes. However, even if either of those turned out to be the case, it is still heartbreaking to go on living without any closure. Again, thank you so much for joining our community online!
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