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Forrest City Police Dept.

Database Entry No.: 20-003463.332 




Reference No.: 28459

Sample ID: 20104 and 20105

Report by: LM, Forensic Analyst


The following items were submitted for examination:

Item A: Scalpel

Item B: Knife


The scalpel and knife were swabbed for analysis purposes. Blood samples were found on the blade of the knife and the sharp edge of the scalpel.  Trace biological material was also obtained from the handle of the knife and the scalpel.  DNA recovered in all four samples was amplified using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for analysis.

SUMMARY:  DNA analysis was successful in identifying the samples as follows.


Sample: Knife Blade         

% Match: 98.3%

Description:  Human

Match:  Ryan Cleaving

Sample: Knife Handle        

% Match: 98.5%

Description:  Non-Human

Match:  Orangutan (Pongo abelii)      

Sample: Scalpel Edge         

% Match: 99.1%

Description:  Human

Match:  Rebekah Wall

Sample: Scalpel Handle        

% Match: 99.5%

Description:  Non-Human

Match:  Orangutan (Pongo abelii)  


(1) The knife left at the Rebekah Wall murder scene contained blood trace belonging to the first victim, Ryan Cleaving. The scalpel left at the David Heart murder scene contained blood trace belonging to the second victim, Rebekah Wall.  


(2) No trace evidence or DNA was recovered that belongs to the killer.  This likely indicates that the killer has a working knowledge of crime scene forensics and was able to avoid leaving any useful trace evidence on the murder weapons that could be used to identify the perpetrator.


(3) The presence of non-human DNA on the handles of both weapons appears to indicate that the killer is taunting law enforcement with his knowledge of forensic science as well as the works of Edgar Allan Poe.  In Poe's story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," a surprise twist at the end reveals that an orangutan was the killer in the story. In the instant case, it is presumed that the killer obtained orangutan blood surreptitiously and planted it on the handles of the knife and the scalpel.  

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