Forensic Files - Picture This   View more episodes

Aired at 02:30 AM on Sunday, Jun 20, 2010 (6/20/2010)      View all transcripts from this day

Transcript

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00:01:17>> Narrator: The mouser family haanned a traditional funeral service for their 14-year-old daughter genna until her friend sarah hollander told them about a conversation that shlos toake people happy.
00:01:41She loves to make people laugh, him, and he loved her.
00:02:14He was very active in her life.
00:02:16>> Narrator: In the search for genna's killer, investig looked inside the mousers' home but found no clues >> everything was basically in to indicate that genna was fighting and screaming AS SHE WENT OUT THE DOOR.>> Narrator: This raised the possibility that genna left home voluntarily.
00:02:39>> What the sheriff's department did was try and identify any boy she might have know, or maybe if a boy she might have left the house with, even though she was grounded, maybe she'd get in a r with him and drive away.
00:02:50>> Narrator: Police were able to identify the two boys genna mentioned in her diary.
00:02:56Both had alibis for the day of the murder.
00:02:58So police turned their attention to the whereabouts of genna's family members.
00:03:05Genna's 18-year-old brother jerren had a solid alibi.
00:03:08>> The neighbors have him placed there for an hour, hour-and-a-half or so, and that's the time period where genna disappears.
00:03:16>> Narrator: Genna's mother, kathy, was teaching an aerobics class at the local gym, so her alibi checked out, too.
00:03:23Genna's stepfather, doug, said he went to work for a few hours.
00:03:27When police tried to verify his alibi, they discovered the security cameras at doug's office were turned off that day.
00:03:35>> When he went into the lab, he's got to go through a security gate where all the cars that are coming in are cleared.
00:03:41Initially, the person who was in the booth at the time said they didn't remember seeing him or >> doug mouser could give no description of the security worked at the lab for a number of years, you would think he would know the security guards, remember them, be able to give some description.
00:03:57He could not.
00:03:58>> Narrator: So doug provided a second alibi -- that he bought lunch at a local fast-food restaurant.
00:04:04Coincidentally, the restaurant's security cameras weren't working, either.
00:04:10>> If he didn't have bad luck, he would have no luck at all.
00:04:15..
00:04:20You going into places that are supposed to have video cameras, and none of them record you.
00:04:27>> It was sort of exasperating because of snafus, if you will, you know -- we didn't have any tapes.
00:04:33We didn't have any solid stuff to show that he was there.
00:04:37>> Narrator: When police looked in doug's car, they found no blood or any evidence suggesting foul play.
00:04:44And there was no evidence the car had recently been cleaned.
00:04:49But underneath the car, investigators found something trapped in the undercarriage.
00:04:57>> There was a significant quantity of this dried plant material, some of it very large pieces.
00:05:02And those were removed and analyzed later, but had this plant material been there for weeks, you certainly wouldn't expect to find such large pieces of it still attached to the undercarriage.
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00:09:05>> Narrator: Doug mous police he was the last person to leave the house on the morning his stepdaughter went missing.
00:09:13He claimed genna was cleaning her bedroom when he left.
00:09:17>> There was no physical evidence that linked him, know, like hair samples or dna or anything like that.
00:09:25>> There was no physical evidence -- none.
00:09:28There was zippo, zero, nil nada, nothing.
00:09:34plant material underneath doug's car, wh botanist dr. fred hrusa.
00:09:44Specimens you'd expect to find underneath a car -- grass, dirt, and debris.
00:09:49But he also found large quantities of yellow star thistle, a weed.
00:09:57>> I saw the yellow star thistle, and then I saw the small scraps that had been taken off the body, and I was able to compare that to material that had been collected from the area around the body and also from the trees that were in the overstory above the canyon where the body was found.
00:10:12>> Narrator: hrusa was lo "diagnostic characteristics," unique asp differentiate it from others of the same species.
00:10:36Sequence of developmental EVENTS.arrator: hrusa discovered the star thistle under doug mouser's car was found near genna's body.
00:10:50While this was significant, it wasn't enough to tie doug mouser to the murder.
00:10:57>> Yellow star thistle is not a rare plant.
00:11:00It is an extremely common plant, so in any given area -- especially of northern california and at lo elevations -- yellow star thistle could be there.
00:11:10>>He evidence that was found underneath his car came from theime scene.
00:11:16It's too common in california, and that with the other flora under the car, it shows that he's been off-road.
00:11:24So he could've picked it up anywhere.
00:11:27>> Narrator: Investigators agreed, so they turned their attention to the linear marks found >> the marks were made by a and appearance that would not be normally found in nare.
00:11:43>> Narrator: While looking inside doug mouser's car, detective bosma thought he found what caused them.
00:11:50>> The hair on the back of your neck stands up, and you're going, "this could be one of the " >> Narrator: But he didn't tell anyone about his discovery.
00:12:00Instead, he sent photographs of genna's skin marks to gary robertson, pioneer in the field of photogrammetry, to see what he thought might have caused them.
00:12:13Robertson wanted to identify the exact size of the marks down to the micromillimeter, so he scanned every autopsy photograph of the marks, which enabled him to create a three-dimensional >> we're extracting the measurement, say, from the left photograph, extracting it from the right photograph, and the computer software merges that into a three-dimensional measurement or a model that we can extract and view later.
00:12:44>> Narrator: Judging from the size and shape, robertson suspected that at least one of the marks was caused by the top part of a seat belt buckle.
00:12:55This was precisely what hans bosma thought, too, but he wanted robertson's independent analysis.
00:13:03>> Normally, I don't have any information, so I wasn't aware of anything about the vehicle.
00:13:08>> Narrator: Next, robertson flew to modesto, california, to conduct an experiment in doug mouser's car.
00:13:15He wanted to try to re-create the same skin pattern that was on genna's thigh.
00:13:18He placed a live model the same height and weight as genna in the backseat of the vehicle over the rear seat belt buckle.
00:13:21It was a hatchback, and one of the backseats was broken and was kept flat.
00:13:23The model remained in the same position for 15 minutes, the time it would've taken to drive from genna's house to the dump genna's leg.
00:13:57>> When he placed her in there, there's carpet on the back of that seat back because it lays flat, so you have a nice carpeted area.
00:14:06The carpet bead folds over as he pulls or pushes her over that particular area, and that carpet bead was what one of the indentations were on her leg.
00:14:20>> Narrator: Just to make sure, robertson put the model's pictures into his computer and compared them to the marks on genna's leg.
00:14:29It was a virtual match.
00:14:32>> The beading which would cause the orientation on that matched, as well.
00:14:47Also, the length matched.
00:14:50>> Narrator: Interestingly, the ripped carpet in the backseat of doug's car was unusual, something you wouldn't find in other cars.
00:15:00>> When he came back and said, "it's a match," boy, we were just ecstatic.
00:15:04We finally were gonna be able to nail this guy.
00:15:06Now we got him because now we can put genna in that car.
00:15:10>> All the pieces fit together only one way, and that's showing doug mouser guilty of killing genna.
00:15:17>> They didn't theorize [bleep] excuse me.
00:15:21They didn't theorize [bleep] I'll say that on the screen.
00:15:25I'd even say it in a courtroom.
00:15:26They have [bleep] any theory other than he threw the body -- he killed her and threw it over ..
00:15:33And that she was in his car because of the mark on her leg.
00:15:36That's all there was.
00:15:39>> Narrator: Based on the forensic botany and ..
00:15:44Doug mouser was arrested and charged with his stepdaughter's murder.
00:18:07>> Narrator: Prosecutors his 14-year-old stepdaughter genna?
00:18:15>> How can you possibly imagine someone doing something so horrible?
00:18:20I can't imagine it, but it happens, unfortunately, all the time.
00:18:26>> Narrator: Prosecutors found evidence that genna didn't always do what her parents asked.
00:18:31>> She saw a counselor with some regularity.
00:18:34She had oppositional defiant ..very defiant, very aggressive, very confrontational with the family, with the parents.
00:18:44>> Narrator: The mousers' telephone records provided a possible clue.
00:19:05Doug caught genna on the phone, lost his temper, and struck her.
00:19:10>> Hello?
00:19:11Genna?
00:19:12>> Narrator: Prosecutors believe doug's impulsive act of violence threatened his career.
00:19:18>> He couldn't risk an allegation that he had hit her, struck her.
00:19:21He was working at lawrence livermore lab, and he had security clearance, so any kind of a criminal conviction on his record would've been very difficult for him and put his job in jeopardy.
00:19:31>> Narrator: With genna unconscious, and not sure what to do, prosecutors think doug panicked and strangled her to death.
00:19:40[ Telephone beeps ] he removed genna's clothing to eliminate possible trace evidence.
00:19:48When doug pushed genna's body into the backseat of his car, he displaced the carpet.
00:19:54The underside of the carpet and the seat belt buckle left signature marks on her skin that wouldn't disappear since there was no blood flow.
00:20:04Doug chose a dump site 15 the road, which picked up the bits of star thistle the same stage of development that was found on genna's body.
00:20:26Prosecutors think doug simply got lucky when the security cameras at both his office and the fast-food restaurant weren't working.
00:20:36But doug made a crucial mistake during his interrogation.
00:20:40He said he used his computer ..
00:20:44But his employer found no eviden >> they couldn't find any evidence whatsoever that he had done to his computers what he said he di basically, we caught him in a lie.
00:20:59>> Narrator: Doug mouser was tried and convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
00:21:08He continues to maintain his innocence.
00:21:15>> For me, this is the greatest failure of my life.
00:21:19The only way I live with the situation is that I did the best that I could.
00:21:27Did everything that I could think possible.
00:21:32>> Definitely a jekyll-and-hyde personality there.
00:21:35 calm and cool, and the next moment, he's something totally different.
00:21:42>> I think she would be really happy to know that people love her so much to fight to find the real answers to what happened to her.
00:21:53And she would be happy to know that we haven't forgotten about her.
00:21:58>> Narrator: The case against circumstantial, but the photogrammetry helped convince the jury.
00:22:09to solve the case.
00:22:12And without photogrammetry, this case would have gone unsolved.
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00:25:14Kevin, let'so back to 1975.
00:25:17Ah, that's the year our old touring buddies, a scottish band called nazareth turned an old everly brothers hit into one of rock's first power ballads.
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00:26:19in 1977, my friends, progressive rockers kansas created one of the most unique and haunting ballads of theecade.
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00:27:37♪♪ come on, babydon't fear the reaper ♪♪
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00:27:44ONE OF THE '70s HARDEST ROCKING BALLADS CAME From an ex-member of the new york city police department, my buddy, eddie money.
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