Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Owen Beattie in the news

Ever wonder what University of Alberta forensic scientist and author of the ground-breaking Franklin book Frozen in Time, Professor Owen Beattie, has been up to since he retired?

The retired professor's skills and experience remain of great value, though not just for our little Franklin world. He was called to testify as an expert witness in the bizarre first-degree murder trial of Mark Twitchell in Edmonton:

An anthropologist says it's impossible to tell what killed a young man from his charred bones found in the bush near Draper Road. Owen Beattie testified Tuesday in the first-degree murder trial of 33-year-old Dax Mack. Mack is accused of killing his roommate, 25-year-old Robert LeVoir. Beattie says he and his team spent days uncovering 4,539 cremated pieces of bone, including 87 tooth fragments, from the site in April 2004. He says the remains were from a man aged 20 to 30, but he couldn't determine how the man died. Crown prosecutor Steven Koval told an Edmonton jury earlier this week he intends to prove Mack shot LeVoir five times, then burned his body over three days.

More here.

It's a truly grisly tale. Twitchell is accused of killing Johnny Altinger on Oct. 10, 2008, cutting up his body, burning the parts and dumping his remains down a manhole. The Crown alleges the crime followed one of Twitchell's movie scripts in which a man is lured over the Internet and attacked. Altinger was lured to Twitchell's house over the internet and was either attacked, according to the Crown, or accidentally killed, according to Twitchell, before being dismembered and stuffed in a duffel bag.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Neat to see that he's putting his skills toward bringing evidence to light in criminal cases. I wonder what the prosecution's expert witnesses will say. Thanks for the update.