Flo Barnett Coroner's Report

From: Spurgeon@is2.nyu.edu (Keith Spurgeon)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Re: Who Has Seen Flo Barnett Coroner's Report
Date: Sun, 08 Oct 95 20:29:27 GMT

In article <456bn0$27p@hollywood.cinenet.net>,
   tommyc@cinenet.net (tom collins) wrote:
>From: tommyc@cinenet.net (tom collins)
>Message-ID: <456bn0$27p@hollywood.cinenet.net>

>The coroner's report on Flo Barnett would certainly make interesting
>reading. Does someone on the net have this to share or is it only
>available in hardcopy from the gummint?
Here it is.

She was shot three times.  The only suspect mentioned is her husband,
which may explain a less than vigorous investigation if the shooting was
considered a mercy killing.  Two suicide notes were found.

A bit of background:  Flo Barnett was David Miscavige's mother-in-law.
Shortly before her death, reportedly, she spoke of filing suit against the
Church of Scientology and naming Miscavige in it. (Did I get that right?)
 I would appreciate other background, and the outcome of any further


----------begin quote

                              Case Report
County of Los Angeles
Examination at Forensic Science Center
Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner

Pronounced By:  Dr. Webb   Case Reported:  9-8-85    Time: 2030

By:  Det. Fueglein  of LASO -  Homicide          Phone: 974-4341

Name of Decedent:   First        Middle        Last
                    MARY         FLORENCE      BARNETT AKA MILLER

Date of Death:      Month, day, year      Hour
                      9     8    85       2015

Marital Status:   Birthplace of Decedent:   Date of Birth:   Age:
Married           Missouri                  6-7-33           52

Primary Occupation:
Medical Transcriber

Usual Residence:
Street Address                City          County        State
19009 Laurel Park Rd. #321    Carson        Los Angles    CA

Place of Death:   Dominguez Valley Hospital
Street Address                City          County
3100 South Susana Road        Compton       Los Angeles

Place of Injury:   at Work:   Month, day, year:    Hour:
Residence          No           9     8    85      1922

Location:  19009 Laurel Park Rd. #321

VISUAL BY:   Camille Barnett             Phone:  637-9521
Address:     19009 Laurel Park Rd. #321, Dominguez Hills (Carson)
How related: daughter
Info or ID obtained by:  Debrah Kitchings  9-8-85 at 2300 hours

NEXT OF KIN:  James P. Miller, 19009 Laurel Park Rd. #321, Carson
Relationship: Spouse   NOTIFIED - Yes by At Scene   Date 9-8-85

Name:  Debrah Kitchings      Date/time: 9.8.85 at 2355 hours
(Marked as coroner's case.)

Door Sealed               PA         CME      X  Not
Reported PA               Yes     X  No
Evidence taken            Meds    X  Other       Not
Prints                 X  Yes        No
Clothing               X  Yes        No
A.S. Photo             X  Yes        No
Hosp. Report           X  Yes        No
Property               X  Yes        No
Note                   X  Yes        No
Rec. No.  31289 31290

Age 52  Race appears Cauc  Ht 63  Wt 114  Hair Brown  Eyes Brown
Teeth U own    Mustache No   Scars &     Recent hesitation marks-
      L own    Beard No      Amputations  both wrists
Tattoo/Deformity  None noted
                         INVESTIGATOR'S REPORT

Detective Havercroft, LASO Homicide, 974-4341
LASO FILE #085-12782-1692-011
Camille Barnett, the decedent's daughter, 19009 Laurel Park Rd., Space
321, Carson, 637-9529

The decedent is a 52-year-old female who suffered gunshot wounds (3) to
the left upper quadrant and one to the head, either as a result of a
homicide or a suicide on September 8, 1985.  She was transported from
the scene (her residence) to the hospital by Goodhew Ambulance #18
where death was pronounced by Dr. Webb at 2015 hours.  There were two
suicide notes found in the decedent's bedroom.  The weapon was
recovered by LASO. The decedent's husband, at the time of this report,
was a suspect due to the number of times the decedent was shot.

I arrived at Dominguez Valley Hospital in Compton at 2125 hours this
date at the request of LASO Homicide, in order to obtain GSR evidence.
I was met by Deputy Thompson of LASO Carson Station, who directed me to
a treatment room in the Emergency Room area of the hospital.

I observed the decedent on a transfer table.  She was clad in panties.
Examination revealed three gunshot wounds to her left quadrant and one
to her head, right temporal area.  There were fresh hesitation marks on
both of her wrists.  I used GSR Kit #5329 on the decedent at the
hospital and removed the decedent from the hospital to the Coroner's

I responded to the decedent's residence and met with Detectives
Mulitimore and Havercroft.  Sheriff's Photographer, Deputy Lowry, was
also at the scene. Det. Havercroft provided me with the following

The decedent had had recent surgery for a brain aneurysm but apparently
it was not life-threatening.  At approximately 1922 hours this date,
the decedent's husband was in the living room of the family residence
when he heard a shot coming from the bedroom.  He ran into the bedroom
and found the decedent on the bed, a rifle still in her hand, with
apparent gunshot wounds.  Paramedics and police personnel were called
and the decedent was transported to the hospital where she expired.
Detectives felt, at the time of this report, the decedent may be the
victim of a homicide due to the number of times she was shot.  However,
they were still interviewing at the time of this report.

Detectives recovered five empty casings at the scene and three expended
projectiles and were not finished at the scene at the time of this
report.  They also recovered a .22 semi-automatic rifle "Ruger 1022"
Serial #11132327.  There were two suicide notes dated September 6,
1985, on the nightstand near the decedent's bed.  One note was to her
husband and the other to her daughter.  (See copies in case file.)

The decedent's daughter told me her mother had been quite ill since her
surgery for an aneurysm in March, 1985.  Although she was not in pain,
she became quite depressed as the surgery seemed to debilitate her.
She was being treated at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.  Her prognosis for
recovery was good.  She was taking Aldomet for high blood pressure and
Dilantin to prevent seizures after the surgery.  Approximately two
weeks ago she mentioned she "felt no hope of getting better".  Two days
ago, her daughter found the decedent covered with blood from her chest
to waist.  She asked what happened and was told "I had a nosebleed".
She also came into the decedent's room unannounced and found the
decedent writing something on a piece of paper.  She quickly hid the
paper and when the daughter asked what it was, she said "it's just a
letter to my doctor".

I placed the GSR kit into the Evidence Locker at the Forensic Science
Center.  I also took fingernail and hair standards upon my return.

The two suicide notes were placed into Property along with a
handwriting exemplar.

Please notify Det. Havercroft TWO hours prior to post, 974-4341.

The decedent was identified by hospital identification band.  Her
daughter also identified her to me.  It should be noted the decedent is
married to James Miller, but never changed her name.  She still uses
the last name of Barnett on all documents.

                                   Debrah A. Kitchings #058640

                                   September 9, 1985
Handwritten notes:
Sgt Benedict will notify
        (unreadable sig)

Just notified of need to be
in ????? at 1:30
Have tried to call
above, busy x 10.   10:00 a.m.

Did get a Sgt who will beep him to
let him know.
          (unreadable sig)  10:15

(The next page is a form entitled "ORDER FOR RELEASE" which indicates
that the decedent was legally married and had living children. This
form outlines Health and Safety Code 7100 pertaining to disposition of
the remains of the deceased. It authorizes the body of the deceased to
be released for cremation upon completion of the investigation into her
death.  The authorization is signed by James P. Miller.  The body was
to be released to the Cremation Society of California, Inc., 920-A West
Glenoaks Blvd, Glendale, CA.)
                            AUTOPSY REPORT
I performed an autopsy on the body of             BARNETT, MARY
                                                  ALSO KNOWN AS:
                                                  MILLER, MARY

Los Angeles, California on SEPTEMBER 11, 1985 @ 1600 HOURS

>From the anatomic findings and pertinent history I ascribe the death

Anatomical Summary:

  I.  Gunshot wound of head, through-and-through.
      A.  Entry - right temple, contact wound.
      B.  Course - skin, right retro-orbital, floor of right
          middle fossa, sphenoid bone, left (retro) orbit.
      C.  Exit - left temple.
      D.  Trajectory - right to left.

 II.  Gunshot wounds of chest (3), through-and-through.
      A.  Entry - precordial (inframammary).
      B.  Course - breast (L), chest wall, left hemithorax,
          left lung.
      C.  Exit - left lateral thorax.
      D.  Trajectory - upward 45 degrees, right to left, front to
      E.  Fractures of left 6th,7th and 8th ribs.

III.  Status post resuscitation with resuscitative fractures
      left ribs 1-7.

 IV.  Incised wounds of wrists, 4.


The body is identified by toe tags.  It is the body of an unembalmed
middle-aged Caucasian female appearing to be the stated age of 52
years, weighing 114 pounds and measuring 63 inches in length.  The body
is well built and fairly well nourished.  There is no abnormal skin
coloring or pigmentation with the exception of traumatic bruising of
the left chest wall which is responsible for producing extensive
purplish-red discoloration of the inframammary region and the lateral
chest wall.  Tattoos are not present.  Rigor has presumably been
altered/abolished by prior transportation and photography, as has
livor.  External traumatic lesions consist of a gunshot wound which is
through-and-through of the head, 3 through-and-through gunshot wounds
of the left chest, and 2 incised wounds on each wrist.

The head is normocephalic and is covered by brown hair.  Examination of
the eyes reveals that the irides are brown and the sclerae are white.
There are no petechial hemorrhages of the conjunctivae of the lids.
Inspection of the mouth reveals an endotracheal tube has been inserted.
The upper teeth are absent and uncompensated while the lower teeth are
present.  The neck is unremarkable except for the presence of 2
punctures on the left (therapeutic).  There is no chest deformity.
There are bilateral breast implants and short transverse inframammary
scars on the right and left.  There is extensive purplish discoloration
involving the inframammary and lateral left chest.  There is no
increased AP diameter.  There is a right lower quadrant and a right
infraumbilical midline surgical scar of the abdomen.  The genitalia are
those of an adult female.  Examination of the extremities reveals there
is no joint deformity, abnormal mobility or edema.  There are no needle
punctures noted.  There is light blue ecchymosis of the antecubital
fossa.  No needle tracks are present.

There are 2 short linear incised wounds that are extremely superficial
that involve the anterior surface of the right wrist which measure 0.8
inches and 0.9 inches in overall length.  Located on the anterior
surface of the left wrist, there are 2 short linear, diagonally
oriented, incised wounds measuring 0.75 inch and 0.62 inch.  Those
incised wounds of the right wrist are associated with a limited amount
of underlying hemorrhage.  The wounds are consistent with those of
several days' age but are extremely superficial and may be more acute.


The gunshot wound of the head is a through-and-through wound.  The
entry site is situated on the right temple where it measures 3.6 inches
from the vertex and is 2.75 inches right of midline.  The wound is
circular, having a diameter of 0.175 inch and is surrounded by a very
faint impression of an abrasion.  There are 360 degree minute tears of
the edge.  Abundant gunpowder residue is located in the wound and
immediately underlying tissue.

The course of the projectile is through the skin and soft tissue,
producing hemorrhage to the right temporalis muscle.  The bullet enters
the right retro-orbital tissue and passes into the cranial cavity
through the floor of the right middle fossa.  Traveling directly across
to the left, it produces a wide crush fracture of the body of the
sphenoid bone.  it then enters the left retro-orbital fissure and
produces several fractures of the floor of the left middle fossa which
are linear beneath the lesser sphenoid wing and along the petrous bone.

The exit wound is oblong and located on the left temple where it
measures 0.35 inches left of midline and 4.1 inches from the vertex.
The wound measures 0.45 x 0.12 inch and at one o'clock has a 0.06
thickness of reddish abrasion.

The trajectory is right to left and horizontal.


The three (3) gunshot wounds of the chest will be described together
since they are similar in all characteristics.  The 3 wounds are
through-and-through wounds involving the left chest.

The 3 entry wounds are located along the inferior-medial quadrant of
the left breast outlining the inframammary margin.  The wounds are all
of small diameter and have reddish marginal circumferential abrasions
without sooting or tattooing externally.  The tissue is submitted for
microscopic confirmation.  The measurements are indicated on the

The course of the 3 projectiles is through skin and soft tissue.  One
projectile does pass through the breast implant.  All enter the
anterior chest wall between the 6th and 8th ribs producing fractures of
ribs and perforation of the intercostal spaces.  One bullet travels
through the anterior-inferior aspect of the lower lobe of the left lung
(anteromedial basal segment).  Fractures and perforations occur almost
immediately of the posterolateral wall between the 6th and 8th ribs on
the left.

The 3 exit wounds are situated along the posterolateral surface of the
left thorax measuring 6-1/8 inch left of midline between 13-1/8 inches
and 18-3/4 inches from the vertex.  All of the wounds, except for
measurement, are identical, consisting of ragged  small wounds lacking

The trajectory is front to back, 45 degrees upward, and 45 degrees
right to left.


The body cavities are entered through a Y-shaped incision.

An endotracheal tube has been inserted into the larynx and trachea.
Both the hyoid bone and the larynx are intact without fracture.  There
is no hemorrhage present in the adjacent throat organs (investing
fascia, strap muscles, thyroid or visceral fascia).  There are no
prevertebral fascial hemorrhages.  The left pleural cavity contains 40
cc of unclotted blood and the left lung is partially collapsed.  There
are rib fractures that involve the left 7th rib (anterior) and the
posterior 7th and 8th ribs.  There are perforations of the 6th and 7th
intercostal spaces that involve the anterolateral and posterolateral
regions.  The right lung is fully expanded and the right parietal
pleurae are intact.

There is no evidence of injury below the diaphragm.  There is no fluid
accumulation within the peritoneal cavity, nor is there evidence of a


The aorta is elastic and of even caliber throughout with the vessels
distributed normally from it.  There is 1+ to 2+ atherosclerotic
involvement of the vessels producing a tree-barking of the intima.

The heart weighs 340 grams.  The pericardial sac is intact and a small
amount of serous fluid is present.  The heart has modest concentric
myocardial thickening with the left ventricle measuring 1.7 cm and the
right ventricle 0.35 cm.  The chambers are normally formed and the
valves are thin, leafy and competent.  There is no endocardial
discoloration.  There is no necrosis, atrophy or scarring of the
papillary musculature.  The interventricular septum is intact and the
great vessels enter and leave in a normal fashion.  The coronary ostia
are normally situated and widely patent.  The right coronary artery is
the dominant vessel.  There is concentric thickening of the circumflex
artery.  No infarcts are demonstrated.


There is no edema of the larynx.  There is no fracture to the laryngeal
cartilage.  A considerable quantity of softly clotted blood is found
within the trachea and bronchi of the left lung.  The right lung weighs
560 grams and the left, 515 grams.  There is a wedge-shaped contused
area involving the inferior lingular division of the upper lobe of the
left lung.  There is a perforation of the anteromedial basal segment of
the lower lobe of the left lung.  The right lung is mildly congested
and edematous.  No thromboemboli are found within the pulmonary artery
and its branches.


The esophagus is intact throughout.  The stomach is mildly distended by
gas and it contains a moderate quantity of brownish amorphous material
of unrecognizable origin.  The in-situ and external appearances of
small intestine and colon are unremarkable.  The appendix is surgically


The liver weighs 1645 grams and has an intact capsule.  The consistency
is soft.  The surface is smooth.  The liver is not cirrhotic.

The gallbladder is present.  It has a thin pliable wall.  It contains
bile but no stones.  There is no evidence of dilatation or obstruction
of the extrahepatic biliary ducts.


The combined weight of the kidneys is 300 grams.  They are normally
situated and the capsules strip easily revealing a surface that is
reddish-brown and smooth.  On cut section  the corticomedullary
demarcation is preserved.  The cortex is without narrowing.  The
pyramids are unremarkable.  There is no increased peripelvic fat and
the ureters follow a normal course to the trigone of the bladder.  The
urinary bladder is intact and unremarkable.  The uterus is absent.  One
ovary is identified.


The spleen weighs 125 grams and is pinkish-red with an increased
follicular pattern.  The bone is unremarkable.  Lymph nodes throughout
the body are small and inconspicuous.


The thyroid is bilobed, symmetrical, and meaty.  Both adrenals are
autolysed.  The thymus is not identified.  The pituitary is amputated
by the injury which fractures the sella turcica.


There are subgaleal hematomas that involve the lateral aspect of the
left temporalis muscle and the greater portion of the right temporalis
muscle.  A healed craniotomy site involves the lateral left parietal

A very meager amount of subdural hemorrhage is present.  There is a
crush fracture of the entry involving the floor of the right middle
fossa with extension through the body of the sphenoid and linear
radiating fractures across the floor of the left middle cranial fossa.
A surgical clip is attached to the internal left carotid artery.

The brain is intact with the exception of small lacerations that
involve the inferior surface of the poles of the temporal lobes that
are related to the basal skull fractures.  Otherwise the brain is
intact and there is no bullet track within it.  A normal convolutionary
pattern is observed.  The leptomeninges are thin and transparent.  On
coronal sectioning there is a uniformity of cortical gray thickness.
The white matter is without softening, discoloration or hemorrhage, and
the basal ganglia are intact.  Anatomic landmarks are preserved and the
ventricular system is symmetrical without dilatation or distortion.

Pons, medulla, and cerebellum are unremarkable.  There is no evidence
of uncal, cerebellar, or midbrain herniation.

Examination of the vessels at the base of the brain have a normal
pattern of distribution.  The surgical clip located on the left
internal carotid artery has been mentioned.  Otherwise the vessels are
without abnormality.


Representative tissue from various organs is preserved in 10 percent
formaldehyde and placed in the hold jar.


Blood has been submitted to the laboratory.


Photographs are taken prior tot he course of the autopsy.


The body has been fluoroscoped and x-rays taken prior to the autopsy.


The case is that of a 52-year-old woman who died as the result of
multiple gunshot wounds which were self-inflicted.  The gunshot wound
of the head was immediately fatal and occurred following the 3 gunshot
wounds to the chest which had produced a very small left hemothorax.
In addition there were 2 recent incised wounds that involved the right
and left wrists.  Two suicide notes were left and the decedent had
become depressed following surgical intervention for an aneurysm of the
carotid artery.

JOAN SHIPLEY, M.D.                         10/27/95

T 10/22/85

The subsequent page (form 15) is entitled "MEDICAL REPORT" and consists
of a form which appears to be signed by Dr. Shiply. This has been
filled out to indicate the cause of death as stated in the autopsy
report above: a suicide by multiple gunshot wounds. It indicates that
blood samples were taken for typing and for toxicology, and notes that
other forms were filled out and dictation completed.

Form 16 follows and is an "AUTOPSY CHECK SHEET".  It appears Dr.
Shipley made her notes of the anatomical findings at autopsy on this
form. The information on this page is included in the autopsy report

Next there are four pages, each numbered (form) 17 and titled "Report
of Toxicological Analysis".  The tests requested were: (1) Cocaine, (2)
Phencyclidine, (3) Morphine and Codeine, and (4) Ethanol and
Barbiturates. All are marked "ND" except Ethanol, and it is marked


PARTICULARS OF DEATH FROM Dominguez Medical Center, 171 W. Bona St. LB
Death was pronounced on the 8 day of September 1985 at 2005 o'clock pm.
By  Dr. M. Webb     Hospital No.  0034587
Admitted 8 day of September 1985 at 1950 o'clock
by Ambulance   from Home

Admitted by: Melvin Webb, M.D.   Attending Physician: Melvin Webb, M.D.


(Several non-applicable sections not filled out.)

In my opinion, the immediate cause of death is:  GSW TO HEAD.

                        (unreadable signature)
                        House Surgeon, Physician or Officer of Hospital

Four pages follow.  Form 20 shows two full-body diagrams, one from the
front and one from the back. On these diagrams are marked the entry and
exit wounds of the three shots to the chest, the locations and sizes of
the two lacerations to each wrist, the appendectomy scar to the right
lower quadrant of the abdomen and the two "therapeutic punctures" on
the left neck (as mentioned in the autopsy report). Form 20D consists
of diagrams of the brain as seen from the right, left, top and bottom
and of the spinal column and shows the trajectory of the bullet wound
to the head on one diagram. On Form 20F, there are four illustrations
of a head, right, left, front and back views, on which the trajectory
of the gunshot wound to the head is drawn, and entry and exit sites
including wound sizes are indicated.  Form 20G consists of three
diagrams of the skull and indicates the fractures as described in the
autopsy report.

                            GSR DATA SHEET

   Probable Accident
   Probable Suicide
X  Questionable Suicide Possible Homicide
   Probable Homicide
X  Homicide Investigator Requests Rush

X  Right Handed     Left Handed     Unknown      Male    X  Female

Occupation:  Medical Transcriber
Activity Prior to Shooting:  Unknown
Have the  decedent's hands  been touched  by anyone prior to taking the
GSR sample?    X Yes    No
If yes, by whom?    X  Paramedics       Family       Police
                    X  Hospital Personnel            Other
Was the weapon found in the decedent's hand?   X  Yes        No
If yes, which one?  X  Right        Left

Shooting Occurred:   X  Indoors      Outdoors       Unknown
Location of Body:    X  Indoors      Outdoors       Automobile
                        Hospital     Other

Number of Shots Fired:  Possibly 5

Date  9-8-85   and Time          of Shooting
Date  9-8-85   and Time  2135    GSR samples were taken.

GSR evidence collected     At Scene     At FSC     X  At Hospital
     Other                 By:  Debrah Kitchings

Body transported to FSC via  X  Coroner's vehicle        MTS

     Revolver     Semi-automatic/automatic  X  Rifle       Shotgun
     Other (e.g., Derringer, Single shot pistol, etc.) Semi-auto
                                                       Serial #11132327
     Made/Model  Ruger 1022           Caliber   22

Brand of Ammunition   Unknown      Type of Ammunition   Unknown

Comments:  3 expended projectiles recovered by LASO at scene
           unknown brand.

                              Debrah A. Kitchings   9-8-85
                              Investigator          Date

The last  page of  this document  is and "AFFIDAVIT PURSUANT TO SECTION
630 PROBATE  CODE" and  states, in  part, "James P. Miller, being first
duly sworn,  deposes and  says:  Mary Florence Barnett (Miller) died in
the County  of Los  Angeles, State  of California  on the  8th  day  of
September 1985,  that the  said decedent  left no  real  property,  nor
interest therein,  in California,  and that  the total  value  of  said
decedent's property in California, does not, and did not at the time of
the death  of decedent  exceed the  sum of $60,000 ($30,000 crossed out
and $60,000  written in)  including the following personal property now
in the  possession of the Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner of Los Angeles
County, California.

The approximate  value of  the esttae  IN THE  DECEASED'S NAME  ONLY is
$8,000.00.   That all of siad property is the community property of the
decedent; That  said decedent  died intestate;   That the following are
the names,  relationsahips and  addresses of the surviving relatives of
tgeh decedent.  James P. Miller (spouse).

The bottom  section is  a CYA notice for the medical examiner signed by
Flo's husband regarding personal effects, etc.

Background courtesy of Windy's Web Design

Other Scientology related deaths