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August 14, 2019 37 mins

Catherine dives into the most talked about theory of all in the Janie Ward case: that someone killed Janie at the party with a baseball bat. 

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Speaker 1 (00:08):
School of Humans. The initially interviews were so short too,
That's the thing. It was so short, so it was
kind of just like she fell, this happened, It wasn't,
you know. They just weren't in depth. So far this

(00:29):
season we've been taking a deep dive into the official
police file. But ask anyone around Marshall about Janie Ward's
death and you'll hear a lot of stories and rumors
that aren't noted anywhere in the official report. It was
getting dark. The cops are busting up the party as
soon as that announcement was made, and it wasn't clear

(00:49):
whether it was right before right after during the chaos,
but like you know, people start running. Everybody's throwing their
boos and getting their car out of the air, throwing
their you know, your primary concern at that point, if
your teenager at a party are not supposed to be,
is getting rid of your boos, that's it, and getting
your house out of there. So it's a little more
understandable that they might not have noticed her or thought

(01:09):
there was anything too wrong, But still there were people
who did know what was going on and who saw
and who saw she and also seeing that she was
that bad off, and they could hear her gasping for
air and rattling, and they still threw in the back
of the truck and left her back through for herself.
We have interviews in the case file where party goers

(01:32):
recounted the events that occurred the night Janie died, but
some people, including Mike and Janie's family, have warned us
that we can't necessarily trust the information in the case file.
Some of the party goers were later caught in lies,
which to some greed is not surprising. Remember this was
a high school party with booze and weed. But to

(01:54):
a lot of people in Marshall, Arkansas, US, relying solely
on what we've learned from the official case file would
be seen as naive. On September ninth, nineteen eighty nine,
Janie Ward died under mysterious circumstances after collapsing at a
high school party at a cabin in the woods near Marshall, Arkansas.

(02:15):
Thirty years later, her death certificates, cause and manner of
death are still listed as undetermined. It's been thirty years
and no one can answer the question what killed Janie Ward.
We're diving into the theory that a lot of people
in Marshall still believe that Jane was hid in the

(02:36):
face with a blunt force object, causing a catastrophic injury
to her spinal cord, and that her death was covered
up because it affected powerful families in Marshall, families with
connections to people in the highest offices of Arkansas government.
I'm Catherine Townsend and this is Helen Gone. Since Jane's death,

(03:31):
rumors had been flying in the small town of Marshall, Arkansas,
including the one that Jane got into a fight with
a girl at the party. Sarah. Sarah was the polar
opposite of Janey. Jannie was in the high school band,
a member of Future Business Leaders of America. She worked
as a waitress. Sarah was rich, popular, and a cheerleader.

(03:54):
She won beauty pageants, and her father, Jerry, was a
prominent judge in town. But a lot of people around
town claim that Sarah's sweet facade hides a fiery temper.
After Jannie's death, a news channel talked to two other
teens who claimed that they had been assaulted by Sarah.

(04:15):
One had her nose broken. In the week leading up
to her death. Janie's parents said that she confided in
them that she was having issues with several girls at school.
Ron talked with Bill Beach about it. In a phone
call with him. Ron starts by saying that no one
at the party seemed to help Jannie. He could not
one pad the hipper in any way. Yeah, I heard

(04:39):
it like that. Uh, not a kick of her trend.
Heir of fact. He would have a cowboy that very week,
football with two of them, and poor girl up to
pick her. He that has a coup whip, brought a ball.
He'd come all juried. The welfare been up head, he

(05:01):
bet daddy. But if they don't foot bug a man,
he don't foot call and I her and I thought,
I you. Ron is saying that Janie told him she
was having issues with two girls at school. At first,
Sarah is not the girl Ron suspects Janie was having

(05:23):
problems with. But Sarah, along with Gary, Dawn and Billy,
was one of only three people who claim to have
seen Janie fall, and there was something else that made
the word suspicious. Sarah changed her story about what happened
at the party that night. She was interviewed twice. The
first one was just a very short statement, like the

(05:47):
rest of the kids, and they were all about sixteen
at the time, most of them. And she said that
she had been at the party with a couple of
girlfriends and then later there was a Q and A
with Bill Beach, and it was he went very easy
on her, and it was very short, but basically she
admitted that she lied that she'd been there with a
couple guys and a girl. Looked like a sort of

(06:09):
double date situation. And she said, you know, I said
I was with those other people because I wasn't supposed
to be out with the people as we And he
was like, oh, that's fine, you clear that all up?
You're fine. I mean he was he was really, really,
really easy on her. In the interview tape, Beach fills
in Sarah's sentences and says that the interview is just
a formality. And at the beginning of the tape you

(06:31):
can hear Sarah and her dad, Jerry, laughing about the
rumors going on around the town. Oh yeah, do we
talk about the daughter of the elected. I'll tell you what, Well,
all we want to do is just go back over
a few points and clarify, and that's how we're going

(06:53):
to try to do. Is that anything you want to do. Okoy,
just how wait can clarify something, Sarah, The first time
you and I talk, you talk about being down there
with concurring name brain and I I wasn't supposed to
be with the person I was in. Okay, but you
think you've corrected that now working each other. Beach says

(07:16):
you've corrected that now, so we're in good shape. Initially,
it seems troubling that Sarah changed her story, but I've
also been a teen girl who was afraid of getting
busted for sneaking out with a guy that my parents hated.
In the second interview, Sarah gave a few more details
about a conversation she had with Janie. This time, she

(07:36):
said that Jane jokingly called her a snob at the party,
and then I remember sing her getting out the truck
walking forward to the house. She said hello, she said
I snob. I thought, I'm sorry, I didn't see it.
Janie may have been kidding, but to Janie's parents, this
comment illustrated the difference between the people in power and
the ones with none. Comparing Sarah's interviews to the ones

(07:58):
of the other people at the party, I noticed She's
the only one who says that it was dark when
Janie fell. Most people say it happened and around dusk.
She's also the only person who said that Janey appeared
to be very intoxicated, but according to Jane's autopsy report,
her blood alcohol level was only point zero five, or
the equivalent of about one drink. And she said she's

(08:20):
she was intoxicated when I saw her her she she
acted in about pat well, that's the way everybody saw
her as the party. I don't know if she acted
that where she really was. Another rumor going around town
was that a girl was heard in the bank parking
lot on the night Janie died, saying that her daddy

(08:41):
would get her out of trouble. This quote is cited
in several newspaper articles, but it's never attributed to anyone
in particular, and no one can figure out who actually
said it first, but people start to assume it was Sarah.
A lot of people it seemed like after everything happened
at the party. The party, there was a rumor the
party was getting busted. Everything happened with Jane, there was

(09:03):
a crowd of people in that parking lot, and a
lot of people ended up going to the Daisy Queen
and hanging out, and then Sarah said that she also
was in that parking lot, and he asked her something
about did you see her, you know, when she's laying
there in the back of the truck, and she said, yes,
but I didn't touch her. And it was just a weird.
It was just weird. It was it was just it

(09:23):
just struck me as a lot the way she answered
that question. We'll be right back. People also talked about
hearing Sarah and her friends laughing about Jane at school.

(09:46):
Attempts to find anyone who actually heard this information firsthand
proved feudal. I experienced this several times in Rebecca's case,
and it was extremely frustrating. Recently, I was getting some
photos for Janie's case processed in Mountain View when someone
pulled me aside and told me they you for a
fact that a group of people had killed Rebecca. I

(10:09):
know they did it because they described the whole thing.
He said. They told me in detail, how they knocked
every single tooth out of her mouth. I told him
I'd seen Rebecca's autopsy report and their teeth were intact,
but he continued to insist that I was wrong. This
was only one of hundreds of rumors like this that
I heard throughout the course of the case. Bill Beach

(10:32):
tried to track down these rumors about Jane. One person
claimed that a woman who worked at Marshall High School
told her she heard Sarah talk about pushing Jane out
of a moving pickup truck. But when Investigator Beach reached
out to the woman, she said she never heard Sara
say anything like that, and whoever told him that must
be confused. But if Jane and Sarah did get into

(10:53):
a fight, what would they have been fighting about. Janie's
parents said that she had a problem at school with
the cheerleaders, but many other witnesses say everyone like Janie.
There was another rumor going on around that a fight
broke out over a guy. According to Bill Beach's interview
with Janie's friend Leslie, Janie had been dating a guy

(11:14):
named Don shortly before her death. That's the same friend
who said Janie borrowed her deaf leopard shirt and that
Jane spent the night with her on Friday before the party.
Does she have any boyfriends that she know? She liked
this guy? Leslie said. Janie told her that she and
Don had broken up a few weeks earlier because he

(11:35):
thought she was too young for him and because he'd
started seeing someone else. Jane had also mentioned i Leslie
that she dated other people in the past, but said
she wasn't dating anyone in particular at the time of
the party. Anybody else was school. She talked about night,
her girl day. She talked about pay in Ron's boxes.

(12:04):
We find an that Janie passed to her friends at school.
It reads, Hey girl, I'm so hyper, I can't wait
until lunch. I'm going to be loud. Come get me
tonight We'll paint Marshall read Oh. According to Carla and Tiffany,
I'm in love with James just because I talked to him. Oh.
I hate that they think you can't talk to a

(12:26):
guy without having the hots for that guy. It's sickening,
don't you agree. Like we said earlier, Jane didn't run
with the popular crowd, and that was made explicitly clear
in an interview with a woman named Sherry. She was
at the party and described herself as a friend of Jannie's.
The investigator asks her if it would be possible that

(12:46):
Jane and Sarah were fighting over a boy no, ok now,
quick as the guy that Sarah went to day would
not look to one for at Alabia at all. You know,
Sarah was pretty, she was a cheerleader. Wladyan Weaven's you know,
by all girl, I would glasses. Now, there's no way
that they be fine on the same way I go clear.

(13:11):
After the funeral, Janie's dad, ron couldn't escape the whispers
in town. And that's when he had what he claimed
was a very strange run in with Sarah. What what'd
you tell a story about that? So you were coming
in and buying a baseball bat? Oh? Yes? A few
days after Jennie's death, Ronnie went into Harps. Harps is

(13:33):
the grocery store in town, and he went around the
corner and there was Sarah looking at baseball bats. And
when she saw Ronnie, it scared her immediately and she
ran toward the door. I mean he just saw her
and stopped short, you know, and she ran toward the
door and backed out the door, looking at him and

(13:59):
ran And because what are the odds the timing that,
what are the odds? And I don't I'm I never
believed to coincidences anyway, you know, But because of the nature,
you know. He just he's like, you know, you can't
make that stuff up. But he's like, I ain't even
gonna tell anybody, you know, because it just sounds preposterous.

(14:22):
At first, this does sound sinister, but as an investigator,
I know that there's always a danger of making a
theory fit the evidence instead of the other way around.
But at the same time, you have to keep an
open mind. The smallest detail in an investigation can lead
to cracking a case, and that's why several instances throw

(14:44):
me off guard. Bill Beach took a group of people
to the cabin in the woods to demonstrate how Janie felt.
Among them were Jay who threw the party, Ron Rose,
who was driving the truck that took Jannie back to town,
and Billy and Gary Dawn, who both said that they
saw Janie fall. This is where marry Don backtracks on

(15:06):
his statement. Originally he said that he saw Janeye fall.
Now at the reenactment, he demonstrates what would have happened
if he saw her fall. It's very odd. It's also
strange that Sarah was not included in these reenactments, even
though she's one of the only people who said she
saw Janie fall. Also, police and prosecutors filed an affidavit

(15:31):
for a search warrant for the cabin. Initially, it was
denied by a judge. He approved it a couple of
hours later. The judge who initially denied the search warrant
was Sarah's dad, Jerry. It's just another small detail that
made Ron and the rest of the Ward family distrustful
of Sarah and Jerry. The Wards also thought that Jerry

(15:52):
and Sarah were being treated better by police and by prosecutors.
Jerry was a respected judge in town, and looking at
the police file, we find a letter where the prosecutor
on Jane's case, H. G. Foster, gives Jerry a heads
up on information about Janie's case. It reads, enclosed, please

(16:12):
find additional material which was furnished to me by the
Arkansas State Police and appears to have something to do
with the Jane Ward case. It appears that this will
be included within the state police file and will become
freedom of information. At that point, I feel certain that
Ron Ward will call the newspapers and make everyone aware
of these clearly unsubstantiated allegations concerning your daughter. I wanted

(16:36):
you to have this material before any of the press
got hold of it, and give you an opportunity to
share your thoughts with me about what I need to do,
if anything, with it. It is my inclination at this
point that it would be best to go ahead and
furnish copies of this material to the press so as
to diffuse any allegations that will subsequently be made by
Ronnie Ward of a cover up. On the other hand,

(16:58):
I'm not going to do anything with it unless and
until I hear from you. But when talking about ron Ward, H. G.
Foster finds him more of a nuisance looking at the
case file, there are a few examples of when the
police and prosecutors grow exasperated by ron Ward's persistence in
the case. In one letter, Foster calls ron Ward irate

(17:22):
when describing him to another prosecutor who he wants to
look into the case. It reads, I was wondering if
he would still be interested in fooling around with the
Janey Ward investigation. Investigation is in quotes. There's continued activity
and rumbling up here from the father of Jane Ward,
who is of American Indian extraction six foot six tall,

(17:43):
two hundred and sixty pounds and very irate. The showdown
between Jerry and Ron began to spiral after Ron launches
the Justice for Janey website in the early two thousands.
The forum quickly became a hotbed for speculation and accusation,
and Jerry responded to allegations against him and his daughter.

(18:05):
In one way comment on the forum, he says he
wants to sue the Wards and the journalist Mike Masterson
for libel and slander, and at one point he offers
up ten thousand dollars to cover court expenses for a
grand jury. In an interview with investigators, Jerry is exasperated
by all of the Wards allegations. Then they started getching
about a grand jury. We need a grand jury, and

(18:26):
nobody has some line for grand heere. I said, hey,
I'll give you the line for a grandjury. I'll give you.
I'll give you ten thousand dollars. You match it. I
all that. Well, they didn't do it. We're not going
to do it. All right, let's just follow that logic.
They're not going to assume me when I tell him,
you know, let's do it. You know, I'm a sarious

(18:49):
very serious. Uh doue me see my daughter, and let's
get on with that and we'll see how it. I'll
say that nantaisi incredit any evidence which comes out in
a cub case, then pop, you're going to have that information. Hello,
all right. So they didn't even want to do there,
and then they start talking about a grand jury, and
I said, okay, I'll go that way with you too.

(19:11):
You mass the money? What did they do? Now? Why? Why?
What's the logical conclusion? The logical conclusion is is that
I want to why Why don't they want to because
they want to keep the story going. Why because they
want to make people feel that hell my daughter and

(19:31):
I felt that says the damn thing. First sight. You
can't make me feel any worse. So that's not the reason.
Jerry suspects that the words don't have any incriminating evidence
to accuse his daughter of anything. In his interview with investigators,
Jerry said that Ron was ruining his daughter's life. They
are so ridiculous that they have done nothing but enhance

(19:53):
my faster and her. The person that's hurt by this
is my daughter. I feel so bad for her. He
quit coming home or not. She felt like people were

(20:15):
talking about her I knew they were talking on the Wednesday.
In the last episode, we talked about how Fammy Mallet
botched autopsies and some people said he deliberately lied to
cover up cases. Journalist Mike Masterson and the Wards think
that Janey's death was covered up and that the cover

(20:36):
up could have gone all the way to the top
of Arkansas's government. Looking at the case file, Mike and
the Wards both voiced their suspicions about how many pieces
of mail were addressed to the Governor's office. They asked,
why would the governor's office be interested in the death
of a sixteen year old girl in a small town.

(20:57):
We did find one peculiar envelope addressed to Ron Ward.
Inside was a typed letter that offered the Wards of
dollars to stop investigating. The return address was torn off
as we try to separate fact from fiction. In Jennie's case,
what we know for sure is that Marshall had become

(21:17):
a breeding ground of paranoia and the Wards were under
huge amounts of stress. You might say something about living
there in that environment in Marshall, Chersey County. We might
talk a little bit about why people wouldn't come forward,
what what would keep them from coming forward to tell
what they knew to authorities or to whoever it was,

(21:41):
the law, the powers that be, and it went all
the way to the governor, went all the way to
the straight State crime Lab, which the governor ran. I mean,
they covered all of his bodies. You know, they knew
where the bodies were buried. Literally, you knew where all
the bodies were buried. Literally, not only the witnesses. They

(22:05):
threatened us. They even called our house and told my
dad if he didn't quit looking into it, he had
two other kids to worry about. Dad had to pull
us out of school right after Johnny died. He did,
and he took me in, Matthew out of school, my
little brother, and we were out for quite a while.
But over the years, you know, we all suffered from PTSD.

(22:26):
But of course we were all paranoied and worried and
freaking out and stuff. Because you're lose one daughter and
you have some woman call your house and threaten your
other two children if you investigate the death of your daughter. Now,
if that doesn't make it suspicious, I mean, there was
just death threats, you know, to witnesses, our family, reporters.

(22:47):
You know it's all little paranoid or a lot of paranoid.
Not so much meat, not so much Ronnie. But we
was afraid to let our other two children out of
our sight. Worried about a fire, about your house being burned. Yeah. Yeah,
he didn't like to leave the house unattended because of

(23:10):
his records and things. You know he did. He did
get with him. It was like moving everywhere we went.
We also reached out to several journalists who have covered
Janney's case. One said he never received any threats, another
stopped responding, and another said they received a voicemail box
full of death threats for looking into Janie's death. All

(23:32):
of them declined to give an interview with us. The
Wards grew suspicious because Sarah's dad, Jerry, was the district judge,
and they are convinced he called in a favor for
his daughter. In his interview with police, Jerry calls the
entire theory nonsense. I know that there are those who

(23:54):
some kind of the cause of this rule. I can
tell you now that no fact that supports the theory
of the cover. What I will here that he is
my belief, and my belief is that there are those

(24:18):
individuals in this county who are either ignan are very,
very envious and much better. And because my daughter were
present at this particular party, they have created reasons to
assess and point to her as being a principle as

(24:38):
far as the build for this real concerned. He says,
it's a ludicrous that anyone would think he has enough
power in the state to cover up Janie's deaths. The
point I have ludicrous this accusation. Our comment is is
that I am supposed to be so powerful that I
reach not only into the County Poor of Office and

(25:02):
the city police department, but into the states as well
as the governor of Arkansas. Are a very very powerful man,
if you believe somehow. There's another word that keeps getting

(25:29):
brought up in connection with Janie's death or any death
when our Kansas suspect to cover up. It's called arkansis.
Arkanss is the conspiracy theory that claims that people in
the Arkansas government would kill their political enemies and have
the medical examiner rule it a suicide. It's particularly linked
to Bill Clinton, who is governor of Arkansas at the

(25:50):
time of Janie's death. To better explain it, we talked
to an expert in conspiracy theories, writer and researcher Mike Rothschild.
He's written on tons of conspiracy theories, including Arkansis and
the Clinton body count, and we wanted to talk to
him about how these stories get started and how they
can become ingrained in a small town. Arkanside is the

(26:10):
mistaken belief that the Clintons have a four decade long
trail of dead bodies behind them, that all of these
people in their orbit who have died of natural causes
or committed suicide, or been killed in accidents, or who
have actually been killed in some sort of crime have

(26:31):
all been victims of the Clintons. And this sort of like, oh,
he died by shooting himself three times in the head
kind of seeing has been given this nickname of Arkanside,
that anybody sort of in the Clinton circle is sort
of bumped off once they're no longer necessary for them.
I'm in no way endorsing this theory, but in Marshall,

(26:52):
I can see how a conspiracy theory could take on
a life of its own. When there's a lack of
communication and distrust between the police and the public, there's
always the risk of an investigation turning into an echo chamber.
The facts aren't straight or available, speculation intensifies, so much
of what is called a conspiracy can be written off

(27:13):
as just in competence. You have a lot of people
who just aren't good at their jobs and a lot
of people who are lazy. And I think that need
for answers, I think is very prevalent in conspiracy theories.
We don't want to believe that things just randomly happen.
We don't want to believe that the universe is sort
of cold and indifferent. We want to believe that someone

(27:38):
has it out for us. I mean, as bizarre as
that found, it's much more comforting to think that a
loved one was killed because of a plot, or because
someone was getting back at us or whatever. Then it
was just just bad timing. And there are a thousand
ways it might not have happened, but it did happen

(27:59):
this one way, and so we need answers, We need explanations,
and we need things to make sent Mike also explains
that it's human nature to need someone to blame, and
in Jamie's case, where the family isn't getting answers, it's
no wonder there needs to be a villain. There's always
someone that you want to blame. And it's really easy

(28:20):
to blame powerful, wealthy people rather than looking inward. And
most conspiracy theories do have a grain of truth to them,
you know, they're not just completely made up. There is
one small thing about them that's true. And then if well,
if that could be true, what about these other twelve things?
It sort of grows bigger and bigger and bigger, and

(28:43):
it's it just becomes harder and harder to contain. And yeah,
people who are wealthy and powerful have it easier than
people who are not. I mean, that's just that is
just the way it is. As Mike said, sometimes there
is a grain of truth and conspiracy theories. It might

(29:04):
be as simple as someone doing a favor for someone else.
When people with money and power are treated differently from
everyone else, even a situation that didn't start out as
a conspiracy can become one. And like I said, paranoid
people aren't always wrong. We'll be right back. The conflict

(29:39):
between Jerry and Sarah and the Wards split the town
in two. Some people think that Sarah killed Janne with
a baseball bat. Other people think this is totally unfounded
and ridiculous. But Ron and Mona Ward kept her story
alive and took her case statewide with the help of
reporter Mike Masterson. Mike uses his platform as a writer

(30:02):
to tell Janie's story every week in his column. This
brings more attention to the case and puts more pressure
on Arkansas officials to do something about it, especially when
the Wards find a forensic pathologist to exhume Janie's body
and do another autopsy. They find the pathologists through the
nonprofit organization Parents of Murdered Children. It has a service

(30:25):
called Second Opinions where volunteer prosecutors, pathologists, and law enforcement
review cases that families feel are not completely figured out.
This is Bev Warnock, the executive director the Parents of
Murder Children, and what they would do if they would
call us, We would ask them to get as much
information as they can, the autopsy, the police reports, anything

(30:45):
else that you know, they can get their hands on,
send it to us and then leap forward it to
our volunteers and they'll look at the case, they'll read it,
you know, and they'll come back with an opinion. And
that's really all we can offer. The family. You know,
it's not like we can go there and have them
open the case or anything. It's just an opinion that
might answer some of the questions that they have, and
it might be you know, it definitely wasn't an accident,

(31:08):
It definitely wasn't an overdose, or it was, and the
family has to try to accept that it really was.
It's just devastating for them to not really know and
feel that they're you know, they feel in their guts
that it wasn't what you know, they said and what
the police are believing. Among all the whispers conspiracy and

(31:34):
crazy rumors, we have to go back to basics, to
the one piece of evidence that the parents have, Jane herself.
In two thousand and two, the Wards took advantage of
the Second Opinion Service. In their letter, they laid out
everything they found suspicious, the sand under the clothes, the
fact that her clothes were wet, the bruising and injuries

(31:56):
ron saw, the x rays, and the rumors about Sarah,
and it didn't take long before they received a letter
from doctor Harry Bannell. Doctor Benel was a forensic pathologist.
He has performed thousands of autopsies and been involved in
many high profile cases, including the Green River killer investigation
and the Challenger's Space shuttle crash. In his letter to

(32:19):
the Wards, he agreed that the circumstances surrounding Jane's death
were suspicious. He wrote that he found no objective evidence
to prove she died from the fall described by witnesses.
He offered to conduct a second autopsy pro bono. The
Wards and their lawyer were able to convince a judge
to order an exhumation of Jane's body. After so many

(32:41):
years of fighting, the Wards were feeling hopeful that they
might get answers, even though the last thing they wanted
to do was pull their daughter out of the ground.
They believed that to get justice they needed another autopsy.
Ron and Mona stood beside the cement vault as workers
pulled Jannye's casket out of the ground. Her body was

(33:03):
delivered to the University of Arkansas Medical Facility in Little Rock,
and on October eighth, two thousand and four, fifteen years
after her death, doctor Burnell performed a second autopsy, and
he came to a completely different conclusion. Mike Masterson met
with doctor Burnell and was suspicious of the fact that
the Arkansas State Crime Lab did not allow Banell to

(33:26):
use their facilities. Doctor Harry Barnell was a pathologist at
the Beckoning Call of Parents of Murdered Children because he
was on their board, so he was involved in cases
around the country that needed answers. So doctor Burnell showed
up expecting to be greeted as sybyl as the doctor's

(33:49):
forensic pathologists. But that's not how Arkansas received him. They
told him he could not use crime lab to do
a second autopsy, that he'd have to do it on
his own somewhere. So he found a private place. And
this is doctor Burnell was a very respected, confident forensic pathologist.
He was very credible to me. He had no dog

(34:11):
in his hunt. Doctor Bernaldus came in to do an
honest job. He didn't know what he was going to find.
That's what he found, that's what he announced. Well, you
know then that really hit the fan in Arkansas because
now you have a guy coming in who's qualified giving
a manner of death which had never happened, and so
all of a sudden, the system went into full They

(34:33):
circled all the wagons pretty quickly. They realized they're going
to have to do something because it was laying out
there as homicide. Ron finally heard what he had thought
to be true all along. Someone killed Janie. Remember that.
In the first autopsy report, doctor Malleck notes that he
didn't see any bruising on Janie's body except for a

(34:56):
small bruise on her lower back. He also said she
sustained a hyper extension neck injury from falling on the
back of her head. He didn't note that anything was broken.
Doctor Burnell also says that Jane has a hyper extension injury,
but he says it's because something hit her in the face.

(35:16):
Doctor Burnell writes her head was not too far backwards
and there's a fracture of the spine in the neck.
Doctor Burnell also notes extensive damage to Jane's face and neck.
He notes an abrasion and contusion on the left cheek
and left forehead, a fracture with hemorrhaging of nasal cartilage,
and maroon discoloration across the face. He also agrees with

(35:39):
the two pathologists who were reviewed doctor Malick's autopsy. He
thinks the lateral X ray of Janey could be a male.
On the front page of his report, doctor Burnell says
the cause of death is blunt impact to the face.
The manner is homicide. ABC did an episode of their

(36:01):
show Primetime about Janie's case. They interview Sarah. During the interview,
Sarah was shown playing with her baby and sitting with
her father on a port swing. She completely denied any
involvement in Janie's death. I'm Katherine Townsend and this is
Helen Gone. Helen Gone is a joint production between School

(36:27):
of Humans and iHeartRadio. It is written and recorded by me.
Katherine Townsend. Taylor Church and Gabby Watts are our producers
and story editors. Executive producers are Brandon Barr, Brian Lavin,
and Elsie Crowley for School of Humans and Connell Byrne
and Chuck Bryant for iHeart. Our Field producer is Miranda Hawkins.

(36:49):
Theme and original score are by Ben Sale, available wherever
you get your music. Please visit us at Helen gonpodcast
dot com or follow us on social media. School of

(37:20):
Humans

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Catherine Townsend

Catherine Townsend

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