Baseline Killer case: Valley lawyer claims proof evidence went untested - East Valley Tribune: Tempe

Baseline Killer case: Valley lawyer claims proof evidence went untested

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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 4:01 am | Updated: 7:25 pm, Fri Jun 14, 2013.

As a lawsuit against the City of Phoenix makes its way through the courts, new documents allege the crime lab handling the evidence failed to test critical items.

The documents, obtained by ABC15, were sent to several family members of victims now suing the City of Phoenix for failing to stop Mark Goudeau.





Goudeau, the so-called Baseline Killer, is on death row after being convicted of killing nine people and raping and robbing others during a crime spree in 2005 and 2006.

The new documents were prepared by a DNA expert in Massachusetts for Valley attorney Marc Victor.

Victor represents the families suing the city regarding the handling of evidence.

"It's not frivolous, it's what I would call a slam dunk kind of a case," Victor told ABC15.

Victor hired the DNA expert to analyze the Baseline Killer investigation evidence and handling of the evidence by the Phoenix Police Department crime lab.

In the documents, Forensic DNA Consultant Mary Kate McGilvray said the crime lab "failed" on several occasions, had "reckless disregard" and failed to test the evidence in a timely manner.

The document focuses on the evidence from a rape in a south Phoenix park.

Victor says the lab failed to test two DNA swabs from the victim along with the victim's underwear.

"They take the right breast swab and they order those for testing at the Phoenix crime lab, the left breast swabs are not sent for testing, they're put in the freezer," said Victor.

McGilvray also noted in the documents that Phoenix Police detectives had submitted a priority request on all of the evidence, but Victor and McGilvray claim the evidence sat for several months before the additional evidence was tested.

"I believe the detectives did a good job," said Victor. "They got the ball down the field and it just stopped, they (crime lab technicians) simply dropped the ball."

Victor says he believes there was a communication breakdown as well.

"I believe the detectives thought it was all tested, and we believe at this point the detectives were told it was all tested, and then found out and said 'test everything, everything now,'" said Victor.

According to the report, as the evidence sat in the freezer from the 2005 rape, Goudeau's crimes continued.

"There were actually eight people murdered during that time frame, that would not have been murdered had Mark Goudeau simply been taken into custody," said Victor. "I do have a detective who was very involved in the Baseline Killer investigation who is going to be on our witness list."

Victor says the additional swabs that sat in the freezer were not tested by technicians because an initial swab that was analyzed was difficult for technicians to extract DNA, therefore, the remaining swabs were held.

"They're chasing pot smokers like crazy and testing green leafy substances while serial murderers and serial rapists aren't getting enough attention, this is an outrage, a huge public safety problem," said Victor.

Goudeau's DNA profile was already in the system from a previous felony conviction.

Once lab technicians tested the remaining evidence Victor says, "Bam, match right to Mark Goudeau from that breast swab and the rest is history, they go out and pick up Mark Goudeau, end of case."

The trial between Victor and the City of Phoenix is expected to begin in September.

To be clear, ABC15 contacted the Phoenix Police Department for reaction to this story and the report conducted by Victor's expert, but department officials were unable to comment due to pending litigation.

It is standard procedure for the City of Phoenix Police Department to not comment on pending lawsuits.

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