STORY: "David Camm murder investigation flawed, researcher testifies," by reporter Charlie White, published by the Courier-Journal on October 10, 2013. (Look out for updates at the link below.")
GIST: "A criminal justice researcher told jurors in David Camm’s third murder trial Thursday that the investigation was flawed by premature judgment from investigators whose tunnel vision led them to miss, misinterpret and ignore evidence. Kim Rossmo, who holds an endowed chair at Texas State University, said he spent about 200 hours reviewing trial transcripts, depositions, interviews, maps, photos and other evidence. He described an investigative failure known as “confirmation bias,” a mental illusion that he said can cause fact distortion and wrongful convictions. “The problem comes when a police investigation shifts too quickly from the evidence-gathering phase to the suspect phase,” Rossmo said, noting Camm was named a suspect within 48 hours of the Sept. 28, 2000, murders. The most dangerous error was Charles Boney’s sweatshirt being ignored after it was discovered at the scene, Rossmo said, adding that identifying his DNA earlier could have led to finding the murder weapon, as well as other evidence and witnesses. Rossmo also called the theory that Camm left a pickup basketball game at Georgetown Community Church’s gym and then returned after murdering his family “extremely unlikely.” On cross-examination, Special Prosecutor Stan Levco attacked Rossmo’s findings that state police didn’t thoroughly investigate other potential suspects. Rossmo conceded he had not reviewed state police interviews with most potential suspects listed by Camm. Levco asked Rossmo if his analysis may have had confirmation bias since he previously stated he wasn’t looking at what police did right. Rossmo replied he viewed his work in the case as trying to piece together how “the ship has sunk.” Levco later hammered Rossmo’s testimony that the neighborhood wasn’t thoroughly canvassed, asking if he knew police interviewed 25 neighbors. Rossmo said he also had not seen those interviews among the case files, which Levco pointed out were provided to him by Camm’s defense team."
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