Flo Barnett Coroner's Report
From: Spurgeon@is2.nyu.edu (Keith Spurgeon)
Subject: Re: Who Has Seen Flo Barnett Coroner's Report
Date: Sun, 08 Oct 95 20:29:27 GMT
In article <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org (tom collins) wrote: >Path: cmcl2!yale.edu!spool.mu.edu!daily-planet.execpc.com!sundog.tiac.net!news.k ei.com!simtel!news.sprintlink.net!in1.uu.net!winternet.com!news.cinenet.ne t!not-for-mail >From: email@example.com (tom collins) >Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> > >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 investigation. keith ----------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 IDENTIFICATION: 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 NOTIFICATION: NEXT OF KIN: James P. Miller, 19009 Laurel Park Rd. #321, Carson Relationship: Spouse NOTIFIED - Yes by At Scene Date 9-8-85 BROUGHT IN BY: 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 PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: FACE I.D. VIEWABLE: X Yes No BODY CONDITION: Good 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 INFORMATION SOURCES: 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 SYNOPSIS: 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. INVESTIGATION: 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 Vehicle. 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 information. 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". EVIDENCE/PROPERTY: 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. AUTOPSY NOTIFICATION:*** Please notify Det. Havercroft TWO hours prior to post, 974-4341. IDENTIFICATION AND NOTIFICATION: 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 Investigator September 9, 1985 Handwritten notes: 11:00 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 85-11522 I performed an autopsy on the body of BARNETT, MARY ALSO KNOWN AS: MILLER, MARY at the DEPARTMENT OF CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER-CORONER Los Angeles, California on SEPTEMBER 11, 1985 @ 1600 HOURS >From the anatomic findings and pertinent history I ascribe the death to: (A) MULTIPLE GUNSHOT WOUNDS 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 back. 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. EXTERNAL EXAMINATION: 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. GUNSHOT WOUND OF THE HEAD: 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. GUNSHOT WOUNDS OF CHEST: 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 diagram. 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 abrasions. The trajectory is front to back, 45 degrees upward, and 45 degrees right to left. INITIAL INCISION: 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 peritonitis. CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM: 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. RESPIRATORY SYSTEM: 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. GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM: 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 absent. HEPATOBILIARY SYSTEM: 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. GENITOURINARY SYSTEM: 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. HEMATOLYMPHATIC SYSTEM: 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. ENDOCRINE SYSTEM: 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. CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM: 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 bone. 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. HISTOLOGIC SECTIONS: Representative tissue from various organs is preserved in 10 percent formaldehyde and placed in the hold jar. TOXICOLOGY: Blood has been submitted to the laboratory. PHOTOGRAPHS: Photographs are taken prior tot he course of the autopsy. RADIOLOGY: The body has been fluoroscoped and x-rays taken prior to the autopsy. CONCLUSION: 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 DEPUTY MEDICAL EXAMINER JS:dwrf:c 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 above. 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 "negative". HOSPITAL REPORT - CORONER'S CASE 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. ADMITTING HISTORY: SELF-INFLICTED GSW TO HEAD IN FULL ARREST SYMPTOMS: FULL ARREST INJURIES: GSW TO HEAD AND CHEST DESCRIBE INJURIES: WOUND TO R TMEPORAL AREA, LEFT CHEST. (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 INFORMATION ABOUT DECEDENT/SHOOTING: 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 FIREARM: 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 AMMUNITION: 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.
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