September 16, 1995 in Nation/World

Fbi Shoe Expert Goes To Sole Of O.J. Defense Says Simpson Expert Erred In Finding Second Set Of Prints

Los Angeles Times
 
Tags:trial

The FBI’s ranking shoe-print specialist appeared to kick major holes in one of the most intriguing parts of O.J. Simpson’s defense Friday, when he testified that famed forensic scientist Henry Lee erred when he claimed to have discovered unrecognized bloody imprints at the scene where Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman were slain.

Defense attorneys have suggested that the imprints Lee said he found on the walkway outside Nicole Simpson’s condominium, as well as on Goldman’s trousers and on an envelope found at the site, were left by the shoes of a second assailant.

But FBI Special Agent William Bodziak, who analyzes footprints for the agency’s crime lab, testified that what Lee characterized as impressions on the walkway actually are the tool marks and footprints left by the workmen who originally poured it.

As it turns out, the walk - which previous testimony consistently described as tiled - actually is a poured slab of colored concrete inscribed and grouted to create the sort of faux-tile effect frequently used in so-called Southwestern landscaping schemes.

Bodziak displayed numerous photo blowups to support his contention that the marks Lee, who worked from photos, saw as blood imprints, actually were artifacts left years ago by the masons who did the job.

He also testified that another stain Lee himself photographed on June 25, 1994, more than a week after the slayings, simply wasn’t there the night of the crimes.

It does not appear, Bodziak pointed out, in any of the photographs Los Angeles police investigators took the morning after the killings. The agent praised that photo evidence as thorough and of “high quality.”

Bodziak speculated that the stain Lee found was left by someone who walked through the scene in the intervening days, possibly crushing underfoot the numerous berries that litter the site.

It was the most damaging rebuttal testimony yet offered by the prosecution, in part because it seemed to strip the mantle of infallibility from the shoulders of Lee, the dean of American forensic scientists and a witness who appeared to make a favorable impression on the Simpson jurors.


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