Saturday, March 01, 2008


When we opined about events in Buffalo, NY on November 17, 2008 (Refusing to Admit Error -, Lynn DeJac's conviction for murdering her 13-year-old daughter, Crystallynn, had just been vacated, and DA Frank Clark was preparing to re-try her. Lynn's conviction was reversed when the DNA of her former boyfriend, Dennis Donohue, was found in Crystallynn's bed and in her vagina. Donohue was finally being investigated for two other strangulation murders, one of which occurred AFTER Crystallyn's death, which bore striking similarities to Crystallynn's murder. Lynn had said from the moment she discovered her daughter's body that Donohue killed the child, a claim that the judge who sentenced her called "a red herring."

DA Clark remained adamant, however, that Lynn murdered her daughter, and vowed to retry her. When police detectives Dennis Delano, Mary Gugliuzza and Charles Aronica said Lynn had neither the time nor the strength to subdue and kill her daughter, Clark went ballistic. "It’s absolutely inappropriate for them to express an opinion on the question of guilt or innocence, when a matter is still under litigation," he said.

Still, what had to be worrying Clark and everyone else who participated in Lynn's frame-up back in 1993, was the fact that they gave Dennis Donohue a free murder, and kept him on the streets to kill again. That's because the prosecutor gave him COMPLETE IMMUNITY against prosecution for Crystallynn's murder in exchange for testifying against Lynn. Just that is outrageous beyond words, but this gets even worse.

Even though a different prosecutor made the immunity deal, Clark knew he had been painted into a corner. The last thing he or any of the authorities involved in the case needed was a thorough airing at Lynn's retrial of all the prosecution's dirty dealing and lies that put her into prison in the first place. Enter the celebrity forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden who, conveniently, is chief forensic pathologist for the State of New York. That means Buffalo and Erie County didn't have to pay him $250,000, the fee he got to testify at Phil Spector's trial that Lara Clarkson committed suicide. Dr. Baden came through for Erie County the way he came through for Spector. He declared that Crystallynn died of an accidental overdose of cocaine, and that the head injury she suffered probably occurred when she was totally messed up from cocaine and fell. No murder. No retrial. No embarassing questions. Back to business as usual. There was even a bonus for the state with this resolution -- the "fault" for Lynn's conviction was laid at the feet of her defense lawyer, Andrew LoTiempo, for not retaining a forensic pathologist to contest cause of death.

These authorities weren't too worried about Lynn's objections to this 180 degree flip. She should just be grateful to be out of prison. Besides, she had been so smeared in the public mind over the past 13 years that she had no credibility left. What they didn't bank on was Det. Dennis Delano refusing to play the game. He released, among other things, the crime scene video, so the public got to see what Crystallynn's bedroom actually looked like. The video is posted at Det. Delano went to Washington, DC at his own expense to consult with experts regarding how Crystallynn died.

Now THIS was a REAL problem. Dennis Delano was a veteran police detective with a perfect record. He was CREDIBLE. So the police came down on him like a ton of bricks. They suspended him without pay, took his badge and certainly are going to go after his retirement, alleging that the crime scene video he released was from an open investigation, so such release was a violation of department policy. Open investigation? Don't they read their own press releases? They've done everything they can to slam the door shut to any investigation of Crystallynn's death, claiming it was an accident. Do they really think the public is stupid enough to buy into this? They've announced that Det. Delano's fellow officers do not support him. We know how this works. The brass tells every cop, every employee of the police department, that any and all contacts with the suspended officer must be reported. Anyone who reports a contact -- ran into him in the grocery store and mumbled "hello" in passing, for example -- gets a complete debriefing. There is no question one's job and pension are on the line, so no cop will lend any public or private support to Det. Delano.

The crimes here are ongoing. The police commissioner, the police chief and the district attorney -- plus a lot of others who facilitate them -- are engaged in a conspiracy to obstruct justice. Not only should they lose their jobs, they should be prosecuted. They are criminals.


Lakeith Amir-Sharif (Sharif) said...

My name is lakeith Amir-Sharif (Sharif) and this story is not surprising.

The arrogance of this nations district attorneys is frightening. The power and resources given district attorneys to prosecute citizens coupled with their inability to admit when one has made a mistake is a deadly cocktail. I live in dallas Coutny Texas which leads the country in wrongful convictions. I am scheduled for trial on April 21, 2008 at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in downtown Dallas. The things I have witnessed and experienced thus far (4 yrs. and counting, while awaiting my first trial) are simply unbelievable that you wouldn't beleive it was occurring inside America, The Beacon Of Democracy; but it is.

Despite the promises of newly-elected DA Craig Watkins,

It is very likely that it will be several years and thousands more wasted in tax dollars before my innocence is finally accepted by the DA's office and the State of Texas. It is my prayer that my work with Kay Lee and others at Making The Walls Transparent (MTWT) will one day have a lasting impact on the quailty of justice here in the State of Texas for all people.

Anonymous said...

When the arrogance and pride of any legal official overrides justice, our society will eventually decline into lawlessness. DA Frank Clark is the best example of the worst in our justice system. Thank heavens he will not be running for office again. But the big question, why on earth was he repeatedly voted into office? Voters hold the choice yet rarely do any of them know who they are really voting for when they cast their ballot. Our justice system will not improve nor will there truly be justice for all until we...the voters...make each vote as important as our next breath.