Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Contract Murder of Kathryn Ann Martini-Lissy

Gathering Evidence

As he continued to methodically examine the hotel room, Davis observed a black purse, unzipped, lying on top of the nightstand along with a pair of sunglasses. When he examined the purse he discovered that it did not contain any identification, nor did it contain a wallet, credit cards, or money. All he found inside it was a set of car keys. The missing items from the purse suggested robbery as a possible motive.

Next to the bed on the floor, in front of a nightstand and slightly south of the woman's feet, which hung over the side of the bed, lay a pair of crumpled white slacks, presumably Kathy's, that had been turned inside out during the process of being removed from her body by either herself or the assailant. Nearer to the nightstand, Davis observed, lay a Tampax tampon.

The tampon didn't look like it had been used, at least not for its usual purpose, because it didn't have any blood on it. Davis wondered if the tampon had been dropped there unnoticed by the woman. But then, he reasoned, a woman who by all appearances seemed so neat and clean wouldn't have simply left it there. If she had known that she had dropped it, he felt that she would have picked it up and put it back in the box with the others. But where was the box? Not seeing it in the immediate area, Davis made a note to look for it when the room was processed more thoroughly. The tampon definitely seemed out of place to him, and seemed stranger still when he got down on his hands and knees to look at it more closely. He called Schuessler over, and pointed out that it appeared to be stained with a substance he could not immediately identify. Schuessler agreed that it was stained with something, and made a note to analyze it later at the crime lab. As they searched around the room they made a cursory examination of the contents of the trash cans inside the room and found no evidence, such as other tampons, that Kathy had been using tampons or having her period. They did not find a box of tampons, either.

A brown, soft leather satchel, apparently undisturbed, lay on a writing table next to the east wall of the room. Several official-looking documents, which Davis and Poppe believed the victim had carried into the room inside the valise, were spread out on top of a coffee table that was positioned in front of a sofa and next to a wicker side chair at the north end of the room. A full glass of what was soon determined to be water sat on a circular end table between the couch and the armchair, prompting the detectives to conclude that the woman had been doing some type of work prior to her demise and hadn't wanted to impair her mental faculties by drinking anything stronger.

At one point Davis walked behind the wicker chair to a group of windows and a sliding glass door that led out onto a balcony. He pulled the curtains back and found that the door was locked. Like the front entrance door, he saw that it had not sustained any type of damage from someone trying to break in. Davis considered whether the absence of any signs of forced entry might mean that she had known her attacker. It was a possibility. Davis, being a seasoned detective, knew that it could mean a number of things, including the possibility that she had left the door ajar. The detectives also theorized that the killer might have shoved his way into the room as Kathy entered, or might have stolen a key to the room and waited inside for her to return. In their search for answers, the investigators worked long, tedious hours questioning hotel employees, other guests, known business associates and so forth. It was their intention to reconstruct Kathryn's last hours as completely as possible.

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