Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ed Graf: Texas; New findings based on modern arson science could exonerate him of murdering his 2 young stepsons in 1988 fire. Waco Tribune.

STORY: "Findings could exonerate man convicted of murdering stepsons in 1988 Hewitt fire," by reporter Cindy V. Culp, published in the Waco Tribune on August 15, 2102.

GIST "One of the nation’s leading fire experts has concluded that a 1986 blaze that claimed the lives of two local boys could not have been started intentionally with an accelerant fluid — a finding that directly contradicts the murder case prosecutors built against the boys’ stepfather, Ed Graf. Graf, 60, was convicted in 1988 of murdering the boys in a shed behind their Hewitt home and is serving a life sentence in a Gatesville lockup. But scientist Douglas J. Carpenter wrote in a recently released report that the amount of carbon monoxide inhaled by the boys, as measured through blood tests conducted at autopsy, can be explained only by an accidental fire. Conditions inside the backyard storage shed where the fire occurred likely would have knocked the boys unconscious within one minute and been fatal within two minutes, he estimated. “A fire started from an accelerant in an open area of the shed would have quickly generated intense heat and flames and would have killed the victims before they could have breathed enough carbon monoxide” to achieve the blood test results, Carpenter wrote. That finding is the most striking assertion made by four experts commissioned by Waco attorney Walter M. Reaves Jr., who is representing Graf, as part of a court filing Monday. The filing, known as a writ of habeas corpus, is aimed at getting Graf out of prison. But the reports go much further in questioning the evidence used against Graf at his 1988 trial. The experts detail how officials at the time relied on fire characteristics known as “arson indicators” that since have been proved unreliable by research. The Texas Forensic Science Commission last year condemned such indicators as junk science, triggering a statewide review of arson cases."

The entire story can be found at:


I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.