CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, November 19, 2004

Extreme Makeover for "The Snaggletooth Killer"

Raykrone1 Bad enough to be twice be convicted of a murder he didn't commit; imagine how Ray Krone felt, on top of that, to get not a cool criminal nickname like "Zodiac" or "the Nightstalker" but a belittling one: "The Snaggletooth Killer," based on his crooked teeth.  Bitemark evidence had been the central basis of conviction.  Fortunately, at Mr. Krone's second trial in 1996, the Phoenix, Arizona judge expressed doubts about his guilt and sentenced him to life instead of death.  In 2002, he was exonerated based on DNA evidence.  And in a final, astonishing chapter in Krone's reversal of fortune, he's been selected to appear on the ABC reality series "Extreme Makeover," where he will receive, among other things, extensive dental work.  Let's hope it turns out great; he certainly deserves a break after 10 years in prison, including two on death row. UPDATE: Here's an update based on the show. As for the comment about the possibility that Krone is in fact the real killer, the DNA matched a convicted rapist who lived in the neighborhood, who committed vicious rapes while Krone was in prison.  This is the double tragedy of wrongful conviction; Ray Krone suffers, and other innocent victims of the real criminal. Jack Chin

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I am Rays Krone sister and I just want to say thanks to you all for making more people aware of all this crazy stuff. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: amy wilkinson | Dec 2, 2004 7:23:29 AM

I just saw Ray on Extreme Makeover and he
looks great. Now his outer beauty matches
his inner beauty. I'm sorry that you lost
ten years of your life in prison Ray, but
don't be afraid to show your emotions and
to live life to your fullest. You seem like
a very sensitive and caring man and maybe
this negative experience can be turned into
a positive one, such as speaking to children.
You're an inspiration in my book. Best wishes Ray.

Posted by: Robin | Feb 10, 2005 7:19:30 PM

Today's TV appalls me. A man on death row, for viciously murdering a barmaid, was released from jail after 10 years in prison. Additionally he was made a hero by having a complete surgical beauty makeover on National television two years after his release.

He was released because his DNA didn't match the saliva at the crime scene. On National TV his teeth imprints were shown in comparison to one set of teeth prints from the victim's body.

My attention kept drawing toward the right side of the victim's injury where there were a couple of marks. The accused clearly did not have these two additional imprints on his teeth molds or in pictures or videos shown of close-ups of his teeth. He did however have very crooked teeth and focused our attention on how people put him down by calling him the "snaggled tooth" murderer.

There was a brief introduction explaining his character and a down play of his interaction with this bar maid who apparently had told people she was interested in him, he was a frequent customer of this facility, he drank and played darts at this bar often, and that he denied feeling for her the way she claimed she felt about him being anything more than just a regular customer with no sexual interest in her.

His lawyer was convincing despite the fact there was strong stereotypical evidence that he could have committed this hannus crime. His DNA did not match that of the sample of siliva and therefore he was perceived as innocent and set free under President Bush's new ruling regarding DNA.

Just as people can be deceiving, so to can pictures. Regarding deception, this man admits he has "trouble showing emotions" and often shows "little reaction". I see this as a mode of deception learned and used by children in order to protect themselves from harms way.

People tend to generalize that professionals are to be fairly faultless.

My analysis of critical thinking takes into consideration the following:

1. To ere is human.
2. We all like to think positive and perceive others as harmless when they show themselves to be victims.
3. When you remove decision-making ability from the professional, you get a higher incidence of error.
4. Our president is not a professional DNA interpreter, but he decided to free, from prison, all people who don't pass the DNA test. Now we think: "What samples of DNA are reliable and which ones could fall short of testing standards due to contamination and other factors? What doesn't the average person know about DNA testing?" When information is not conveyed, we come up with inconclusive results.
5. What communication skills could have kept this man in jail? Does time, human error, lack of information, assumption, etc. change beliefs?

What evidence could have led to a different DNA conclusion?
1. Is this barmaid a whore? Are there multiple body fluids on her? I don't think so.
2. Can alcohol and drugs in saliva change/break DNA? Thousands of DNA can change in one second of time. Marijuana itself has been known to change the structure of DNA.
3. What DNA could be obtained from this girl? Could there be DNA for example on her hands that did not belong to the murderer? Can you picture her walking around after bar hours picking up all the beer glasses by the rim? If someone is being bitten, isn't it likely that they will take their hands and try to push at the sight of the bite to get the assaulter to stop biting them? We all have an ability and instinct to protect ourselves from being harmed. When a woman is down on the ground prying a man off her and trying to keep him from biting her, she's going to put her hand there and push him away as hard as she can. Maybe she doesn't have the ultimate weapon women are told to use to defend themselves with when going to their car late at night (the car key). Rather, she wears on her finger a diamond ring made of metal. A ring would make a great tool to pry an assaulter's teeth away from the body. A barmaid that’s walking around carrying beer glasses by the rim is going to have a great deal of saliva on her ring finger.
4. If you haven't been able to reason with what I am saying yet, look at the ring print on the right side of this bar maid's wound where we assumed we were looking at a snaggled tooth imprint that this man clearly does not have. On tv he diverted our attention away from the right side of the wound to the teeth in his mouth on the left side of his jaw where he has an unusual tooth. It may be consider a snaggled tooth, but it's just a small unusual tooth crammed between two other teeth. Look at the photos for yourself and imagine a woman's ring half way lodged into the side of a man's mouth as he's biting down, and there you will see what was interpreted as the false imprint of a snaggled tooth, two marks that resemble that of teeth that are longer than the other teeth. The impression of a ring lodged into the side of a set of teeth imprints is not going to appear as a complete circle. The stone of the ring makes one indention while the bent edge of the ring's circle appears as another mark similar to a snaggled tooth. Look for the imprint of the ring; it is clearly visible.
5. Analyze the evidence, look at the marks, listen to this man and watch his emotionless demeanor. Do you still hear what he and his lawyer say about how he's been a victim too? Does your conscience say you should continue to feel sorry for him because you know how demeaning it feels to be wrongfully accuses and called names? Does he deserve the Nation's praise, to be paraded around as a hero?
6. Now do you see why we mustn't use DNA to dictate who is released from prison? Why it is necessary to get evidence quickly and efficiently before it goes unnoticed while we mourn for criminals and listen to their nonverbal and verbal communication not realizing they are cunning professionals that have studied and analyzed every morsel of evidence in order to deceive us so they might not go to the Death Chamber?
7. Imagine for a moment what Donald Trump might say to George Bush as his Apprentice: "You didn't plan your strategy in a timely manner; you failed to work effectively as a team leader; and "You're Fired"!
8. America does not use Lie Detectors as evidence. Before DNA is permitted as evidence to set criminals free, there should be strict regulations as to the collection, viability and use of samples, a team of experts should be utilized to evaluate all the evidence in order to draw necessary conclusions and all evidence should be brought into play as vital and necessary before criminals are released from prison.

Posted by: Jane Doe | Feb 11, 2005 3:09:40 PM

To Jane Doe: You're a wacko, and furthermore, you can't spell or put together a coherent sentence. It's a hateful person who does not want justice for the wrongly imprisoned, of whom there are plenty. Thank God for DNA technology. In addition, our justice system is based in part on the philosophy that it is better for 10 guilty men to go free, than for one innocent man to be unjustly penalized.

Posted by: gyneth | Feb 13, 2005 12:35:16 AM

I have had the honor of getting to know Ray Krone and I am an officer, of all people would have judged Ray harshly from the start but after hearing his story and getting to know hin found him to be a honest and trusting man. He may say he does not show emotions well but I did not find him to be dysfunctional in any way emotionally. I admire his ability to turn around the injustice done to him by speaking out. More people should have that kind of attitude.

Posted by: YCarter | Feb 24, 2005 4:33:08 PM

Jane Doe seems to be saying that Ray Krone is really guilty. I agree with gyneth that Jane Doe's arguements make NO SENSE. I guess Jane Doe missed the part about the guy in prision that the DNA DOES match, who also knew the victim (and Ray Krone). Ray was convicted on circumstantial evidence and testimony from a so called "expert" who also "matched" the victim's bite mark to other people's bite molds! Ray is innocent and there is much more eveidence of that then "just" the DNA that Jane Doe so readily puts down. How is using DNA evidence different from using fingerprints???? that is the real comparision, not DNA to lie detector tests!

Posted by: JDN | Mar 18, 2005 3:42:58 PM

poor Jane Doe.. thinks she is smart,, but so uninformed. We found Kim's killer,, sitting in jail for another crime. All the DNA from Rays case match him. He is the killer and there ain't any doubt about that. But,,, because Maricopa county said without any doubt it was Ray Krone,, now Mr. Phillips (real killer) has a great defense. They still have not brought this man to trial and my brother was proven innocent in April of 2002. The System failed my brother, my family, Kim, her family, friends, people of Arizona, etc etc etc.. Jane Doe,, go back to sleep.

Posted by: amy | Jan 18, 2006 10:08:50 AM

That Jane Doe is truly a wacko for thinking that poor Mr. Ray Krone is the killer. I saw the show and he was a true sweetheart and didn't deserve to have 10 years of his life wasted away in dark and dingy prison due to incorrect evidence. I feel for him and his family,it was a truly tramatic experience knowing their loved one was in prison for crime, let alone murder, he didn't commit. All I can say is to Mr. Krone is keeping living life to the fullest and pay no attention to the belligerent and idiotic people of the world. You have family and friends who love you very much and that's all that matters. Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind. :)

Posted by: BlazeG | Mar 3, 2007 10:32:34 PM

Well i think Ray was convicted on circumstantial evidence and testimony from a so called "expert" who also "matched" the victim's bite mark to other people's bite molds! Ray is innocent and there is much more evidence of that then "just" the DNA that Jane Doe so readily puts down. How is using DNA evidence different from using fingerprints? that is the real comparison, not DNA to lie detector tests



Wide Circles

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