Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Michael Fletcher: A Simple Case of Murder

The Autopsy

Leann Fletcher
Leann Fletcher

Leann Fletcher lay on a stainless steel table covered in a blue-green surgical sheet. The table was fitted with a trough around the edge to catch any fluids that might drain. Except for the fact that the sheet covered her entire body, the autopsy room looked remarkably like a surgery. It was clean and sterile, with tiled walls and floors and a large stainless steel sink on one wall. A microphone hung down next to the lamp that illuminated the body, bathing it in an eerie, unnatural glow and making her look even paler than she was. Rigor had come and gone, and the signs of lividity had faded somewhat. Her eyes were now closed, and except for the large amount of blood covering her face, she looked even more at peace than before.

With a thick Eastern European accent, Oakland County Medical Examiner Ljubisa Dragovic lifted the sheet and began to describe what he saw. He was speaking to the tape recorder, the output of which would be transcribed by an assistant.

"This is the case of a 29-year-old white female who was the alleged victim of an accidental shooting in her home on August 16, 1999. No other history is available at this time.

"The body is clothed in a blood-stained pink tank top and brassiere. There are no other clothes. This is a well-developed, unembalmed extremely traumatized body of a white female consistent with the stated age of 29."

Dragovic touched her body for the first time, measuring Leann's height and noting the state of rigor for the record. He consulted a clipboard hanging from the table and read her weight into the record. He pulled the sheet back up over her body, so that just her head, neck and shoulders remained visible.

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