Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Daniel Williams

A Gunshot Wound

When the coroner's men rolled the body over, the detectives also discovered the source of all the blood that had spilled onto the sidewalk: a bullet hole in the back of the victim's skull.

A black purse lay near the body but it contained no identification. The lack of ID did not come as a surprise to the detectives. Prostitutes rarely carry valuables or identification. In a business as rough as streetwalking, where robbery is common and where cops frequently run prostitutes' names for warrants, traveling light is a survival skill.

With no information to go on other than what they gleaned from the crime scene, the detectives formed an initial theory about what may have happened to the victim. They had a likely transvestite prostitute shot in the back of the head. The presence of the victim's purse seemed to rule out robbery. The pulled down panties and used condom indicated the victim was engaged in or had just finished having sex when the killing took place. The lack of semen in the condom indicated that whoever had been wearing it may have been interrupted

The guy who pulled off the condom must have seen something, the detectives reasoned. Likely, he was either the perpetrator or a witness.

A murder investigation is a complicated puzzle. It has an unknown number of pieces and no picture on the box top to use as a guide. Each uncovered fact adds a piece to the puzzle and each piece reveals a little bit more of the as-yet-unseen picture.

"The lifestyle (is) something you take into consideration," Detective Baitx says. "You're definitely going to look at what he was doing for a living (and) the area he was living in to come up with how the case (is) going to be worked."

From what the detectives at the crime scene could see so far, the victim's occupation was pretty obvious.

"He was making a living having sex for money on the street," Baitx says.

 

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