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Old 03-23-2007, 04:42 PM   #1
crystaldawn
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Question Was Crystal Spencer murdered?

I would like to know you guys' opinions on that. I've been thinking about this case a lot recently and am not 100% convinced she was murdered. For those of you who need refreshed on this case she was the petite brunette who moved to Hollywood in hopes of stardom but ended up working as an exotic dancer. She had an older boyfriend named Anton who geniunely seemed to care about her. When he last spoke with her she was excited about a possible job opportunity in the Orient and was suffering from what appeared to be a cold. Not sure how long but I believe several days later her body was found in her apartment. Neighbors came forward and claimed they had heard horrible screams coming from her apartment days before her body was found but never reported anything due to fear.

The problem I have with 100% believing she was murdered was the lack of evidence. They never mentioned any type of forced entry, the apartment apparently was not in disarray so no signs of struggle and the autopsy couldn't even determine a cause of death so it was ruled natural. The only thing that seems to indicate foul play was the neighbors statements. Can the neighbors be sure it was Crystal's apartment they heard noises coming from or was it just in that area? What they said they heard sounded like someone being tortured yet there were absolutely no signs of trauma on Crystal's body. Doesn't that seem strange? I believe she was found partially naked in the corner of her apartment with the phone off the hook. I agree that does seem strange and possibly suspicious but what if she was suffering some kind of medical emergency? I can envision a possible scenario in which she was in the middle of getting dressed and something happened to her physically and she went to the phone to try and call someone for help when she collapsed and died. Lets not forget that Crystal was sick the last time anyone saw her which I think is a key point in this case. Her boyfriend said it was a cold but it could have been something more serious and just no one (including Crystal) realized. I'm not saying I think absolutely for sure that Crystal Spencer wasn't murdered, I just have a hard time believing that some intruder (or even someone she knew) could have entered her home and assaulted her to the point of killing her and there be no signs of a struggle or foul play in the apartment and no injuries to the body. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-23-2007, 04:59 PM   #2
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I believe she was murdered. For a person that young to evidently die on an evening when brutal screams were heard coming from an apartment, and for a person to be found dead, naked from the waist down in an odd corner of the apartment (which is how she was evidently found) --- I gotta think she was murdered. Who gets gravely ill, takes off anything they have on from the waist down, then crawls into a corner and dies?
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Old 03-23-2007, 05:07 PM   #3
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I have never seen this case, crystal, so I can only comment on what you presented. If there is not strong evidence pointing toward murder, then I tend to lean to the side of the medical professionals over all others. If the autopsy could not reveal the cause of death, then that means one of two things: she was murdered by someone so adept at covering their tracks that they must have had extensive knowledge in poisons etc.. OR she wasn't murdered at all.

If she was murdered, then the method must have been some sort of drug or poison (often times extensive toxicology reports are not done so it is possible the medical examiner missed something like thalium). This seems very inconsistent with torture or screams. Since eyewitness testimony is often dubious, I would not put much stock into someone merely hearing bumps in the night.

I assume she was fairly young, so just collapsing and dying would be rare (even with a cold or flu). This is sorta the controversy in the Anna Nicole case. People said she had pneumonia, but dying from this at 39 is extremely rare.

My bet is that this woman probably died of some sort of drug overdose. Exotic dancers, sadly, are often involved in the drug culture. But, it is weird that drugs were not found in her body. I am sure that the ME would have checked for all the usual suspected drugs.
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Old 03-23-2007, 05:24 PM   #4
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If you want to watch this case, Thiussat, I put it on YouTube.
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Old 03-23-2007, 05:36 PM   #5
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Thanks dyno, but I live in the boon docks and do not have high speed internet, so me trying to download it would be futile.

Thanks anyway. Maybe I will watch it the next time I am at my friend's house.
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Old 03-23-2007, 07:14 PM   #6
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I believe it was murder and i also believe the neighbors know more then what they claimed.
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Old 03-23-2007, 07:38 PM   #7
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Petite brunettes always seem to get themselves in trouble....

In all seriousness, I do believe that Crystal was murdered. I've never thought anything differently from the first time I watched the case until now. Nothing else makes sense, at least to me.
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Old 03-23-2007, 08:01 PM   #8
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Again, I haven't seen the segment. But I must ask, for those of you who think she was murdered, how do you get around the fact that the medical examiner could find no evidence of it? Usually when someone is murdered, they receive either a knife wound, a gunshot wound, asphyxiation, or blunt force trauma. None of these happened to her. That means if she was murdered it had to be some "internal" source like poisons. Poisons or drugs are not consistent with screams.
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thiussat
Thanks dyno, but I live in the boon docks and do not have high speed internet, so me trying to download it would be futile.

Thanks anyway. Maybe I will watch it the next time I am at my friend's house.
Thiussat, you should be able to watch the YouTube clips even on dial-up. You're not really downloading anything, just letting the video load.

You could find the segment then click on the two little bars at far left. That turns it into a right arrow and stops the video from playing. Then go away for 20 minutes or so and let the progress bar move all the way to the right. Then you press the right arrow and the video plays.

It might be less than ideal but you could set it up that way when you have something else to do, then come back and watch. My DSL was out for one day two weeks ago and I used dial-up to watch a few vids on YouTube.
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Old 03-23-2007, 11:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LooksLikeCRicci
Petite brunettes always seem to get themselves in trouble....
mmmm petite brunettes

I doubt she was murdered, this case is more memorable for the neighbours "Flock of Seagulls" haircuts
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Old 03-24-2007, 12:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
I doubt she was murdered, this case is more memorable for the neighbours "Flock of Seagulls" haircuts
I used to have a GF with that hair style, but after she got it, I RAN, I RAN so FAR AWAY!
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Old 03-24-2007, 01:28 AM   #12
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Well, I wouldn't run from her. The girlfriend looked pretty good to me, despite her hairstyle and my preference for brunettes. She was a former Miss America, Susan Akin who won the title in 1986, just two years before Crystal Spencer's death.

I believe it was foul play. If you look at the lengthy articles posted elsewhere on this site by Justin, they do indicate the apartment was disheveled and the phone cord was wrapped around Crystal's body. The term muffled is one thing that leads me to believe someone else was there.

Here's a section from one of those articles:

"A floor down, Jet Taylor was awakened by his soon-to-be wife--Susan Akin, a former Miss America--who heard the noises at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. Together, they listened to "moaning . . . but high-pitched . . . a muffled shrieking," Taylor said in an interview. "At first, I thought it was a sexual thing going on, an 'S & M' (sadomasochism) thing."

That impression quickly changed. Akin, then 23, a newcomer to Los Angeles pursuing her own screen ambitions, said they listened nearly an hour. The cries were "very rhythmic . . . at intervals--boom, boom, boom," Akin remembered. "All I could think about was somebody taking a cigarette butt to somebody and burning them. My gut reaction was that someone was being tortured."

They debated whether to pick up the phone. "We were always told: 'In California, you just don't get involved in domestic disputes,' " said Akin, a native of a small Mississippi town, who imagined that a boyfriend was involved. The decision not to summon police or an ambulance has always haunted her, she added. "I get so mad at myself--and so upset."

Here's more from a different article. Notice the very end, with investigators contacting Taylor and apparently trying to get him to agree to their version of an innocent death by sickness, so they can close the books and not have to annoy themselves with actual investigation:

"Jet Taylor, an engineer who lived downstairs from Spencer, said he heard ''incredibly scary" screams coming from Spencer's apartment on Saturday, May 6.

"It was some screaming, and hollering and gagging and choking," Taylor, who now lives in Mississippi, said. "You know how you can associate sounds with something you've heard before? These are sounds I've never heard. They were from her."

Taylor said that he got up from bed at about 2 a.m. and moved toward the part of the apartment nearest Spencer's.

"I put my ear up to the wall," he said. "That was one week prior to them finding the body. The next day, I went to the landlord and said they should check it out."

The building owners could not be reached for comment.

He said he told police when they came for the body that he thought she was murdered, but that they took no statement.

Taylor said he received a call from the Burbank police several months ago. "They called me and suggested it was not a murder. They said, 'Don't you believe she was just sick?' All of their questions were geared to that she was a junkie and that she overdosed."

**

While it's true no sign of foul play was evident during the autopsy, that autopsy also uncovered only slight traces of alcohol and marijuana. I didn't see any mention of other drugs. The apartment was described as hot, so perhaps she didn't have her air conditioning on. I remember May as being hot on occasion in Los Angeles.

Here's a bit more from an article, describing the scene when the body was found:

"The body was discovered about a week later--on Friday, the 13th--after neighbors complained of odors. The deteriorated figure was lying prone on the floor near the couch, dressed only in a red shirt. A police officer at the scene reported suspicion of homicide and "probable sexual assault." Coroner's investigator Debrah Kitchings noticed unusual disarray. Belongings scattered throughout the apartment suggested ransacking--or, possibly, a very disorganized lifestyle.

The body, Kitchings said, was entangled in Spencer's telephone cord, perhaps a sign of physical struggle. Or maybe Spencer had failed in an attempt to summon help, to call for an ambulance. With the body so decayed, not even Spencer's race was certain."
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Old 03-24-2007, 11:35 AM   #13
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Thanks for re-posting those, Awsi Dooger. I just can't imagine someone who was dying of natural causes would end up dressed as she was, where she was. The phone cord is also very suggestive. I also don't think that couple would make the story about the screams up.

Interestingly, the one person I find a little suspiscious in all of this is the boyfriend himself. Anton and Crystal had known each other for a year when she died, and it was eight months after he had found out she was a stripper. He speaks of how much the two cared for each other, they had evidently come through one emotionally traumatic moment together --- when he, the respected Ph.D. candidate, discovered she was a dancer, but said it was OK --- he, in short, descrbes a relationship that I would have described as being at a fairly advanced state at the time of this girl's death.

And yet, according to what he tells us, he spoke with her the evening of her death (apparently she called him), and then he didn't call her again, and obviously didn't hear from her again, for a solid week. He only found out about her death because the police called him.

There are a few possible explanations for this. Perhaps they were not as close as he described because he was not as comfortable with her profession as he pretended; perhaps it she who wasn't really as in to him as she would have let on (maybe she just liked being taken to things and out on dates, but ultimately didn't find him that attractive --- I could totally believe this, by the way).

Or, perhaps, he was the one who killed her after all; what better cover than to insist, after the cops determined it was not murder, that it in fact was? No one will suspect him if the official finding is ever overturned.

I realize that this isn't by any means a very likely explanation, but something about that week gap of time that receives basically no comment in the UM story troubles me.
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Old 03-24-2007, 07:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thiussat
I used to have a GF with that hair style, but after she got it, I RAN, I RAN so FAR AWAY!


Well actually after reading that article Awsi posted it does sound more like possible foul play than the UM segment mentioned. Her apartment possibly being ransacked, possible sexual assault. I didn't realize how badly decomposed her body was. I wonder if any signs of violence would not be visible because of that.
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Old 03-24-2007, 08:45 PM   #15
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Accurate autopsies are done on people who have been dead for decades, so I am not sure the decomposition matters that much. I am no medical examiner, but even with a somewhat decayed body they can detect gunshots, stab wounds and suffocation. Perhaps blunt force trauma might be a little tougher to determine, but I still think they would find structural damage or brain damage caused by blows to the head. Obviously they didn't. Anyone ever seen a real autopsy done? I have never had the "privilege" of seeing one done live, but I did see one on HBO done by Dr. Michael Baden. They cut the brain out of the skull and look it over. Then, they chop the brain in half with a butcher knife and examine it internally. They also take out each organ and look it over. I think if there had been trauma to her body they would have seen clear indications.

I ask again, since there were no sign of gunshots, stab wounds, suffocation, or blunt trauma, can anyone tell me how they think someone killed her? There is the possiblity of drugs or poisons, but that method of murder doesn't jive with screams and lound bumps.

Perhaps she was unlucky as was examined by an incompetent medical examiner? It's possible I suppose, but if there were suspicious circumstances to her death, I think the family should have had a second opinion.
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