Forensic Files - Picture This   View more episodes

Aired at 10:30 PM on Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 (6/19/2010)      View all transcripts from this day


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00:01:23>> Narrator: The mouser family had planned a traditional funeral service enna until her friend sarah hollander told them about a conversation that the two once had about funerals.
00:01:37>> We go want her funeral to portray something that she wasn't about.
00:01:56>> Narrator: So the mousers allowed sarah to help plan the funeral service, one that was closer to genna's wishes.
00:02:05Doug mouser took his stepdaughter's death partic was 2 years old and treated her >> she truly did have a great relationship with him and loved him, and he loved her.
00:02:20He was very active in her life.
00:02:24Genna's killer, investigators ed inside the mousers' home but found no clues.
00:02:31>> Everything was basically in its place, nothing knocked over or anything to indicate that genna was fighting and screaming as she went out the door.
00:02:39>> Narrator: This raised the possibility that genna left home voluntarily.
00:02:45>> What the sheriff's department did was try and identify any boy she might have know, or maybe ifa boy she might have left the house with, even though she was grounded, maybe she'd get in a >> Narrator: Police were able to identify the t both had alibis for the day of olice turned their attention to the whereabouts of genna's family members.
00:03:11Genna's 18-year-old brother him plac there for an hour, hour-and-a-half or so, and that's the time period where genna disappears.
00:03:22>> Narrator: Genna's teaching an aerobics class at the local gym, so her he went to work for a few hours.
00:03:35Alibi, they discovered the security cameras at doug's office were turned off that day.
00:03:41, he'sre cinin a cleared.
00:03:47Initially, the person who was in the booth at didn't remember seeing him or his car come through.
00:03:54Description of the security guard, and for a man who'd worked at the lab for a numberink he would know the security guards, remember them, be able to give some he could not.
00:04:04>> Narrator: So doug provided a second alibi -- that he bought lunch at a local fast-food restaurant.
00:04:10Coincidentally, the restaurant's't working, either.
00:04:51novidee the car had recently been cleaned.
00:04:55But underneath the car, investigators found something trapped in the undercarriage.
00:05:03>> There was a significant quantity of this dried plant material, some of it very large and those were removed and analyzed later, but had this plant mate weeks, you certainly wouldn't expect to find such large pieces of it still attached to the undercarriage.
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00:09:21>> Narrator: Doug mouser told police he was the last person to leave the house on the morning his stepdaughter went missing.
00:09:29He claimed genna was cleaning her bedroom when he left.
00:09:33>> There was no physical evidence that linked him, you know, like hair samples or dna or anything like that.
00:09:41>> There was no physical evidence -- none.
00:09:44There was zippo, zero, nil, nada, nothing.
00:09:47>> Narrator: Yet, investigators found some suspicious plant material underneath doug's car, which they sent to forensic botanist dr. fred hrusa.
00:09:58He identified the usual specimens you'd expect to find underneath a car -- grass, dirt, and debris.
00:10:05But he also found large quantities of yellow star thistle, a weed.
00:10:13>> 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.
00:10:28>> Narrator: hrusa was looking for what botanists call "diagnostic characteristics," unique aspects of the plant that differentiate it from others of the same species.
00:10:40>> Every plant has a life cycle and a life sequence.
00:10:43Early in the season, they look different than they do late in the season, and prior to death, plant materials -- all species -- go through a sequence of developmental events.
00:10:55>> Narrator: hrusa discovered the star thistle under doug mouser's car was identical in development to the star thistle found near genna's body.
00:11:06While this was significant, it wasn't enough to tie doug mouser to the murder.
00:11:13>> Yellow star thistle is not a rare plant.
00:11:16It is an extremely common plant, so in any given area -- especially of northern california and at low elevations -- yellow star thistle could be there.
00:11:26>> You can't show that the evidence that was found underneath his car came from the crime scene.
00:11:32It's too common in california, and that with the other flora under the car, it shows that he's been off-road.
00:11:40So he could've picked it up gators agreed, so they turned their attention to t on genna's thigh.
00:11:51>> The marks man-made object.
00:11:54They were clearly of a shape and appearance tha normally found in nature.
00:11:59>> Narrator: While looking inside doug mouser's car, detective bosma thought he found what >> the hair on the back of your neck stands up, and you're " >> Narrator: But he didn't tell anyone about his discovery.
00:12:16Instead, he sent photographs of genna's skin m gary robertson, a pioneer in the field of photogrammetr what he thought might have caused them.
00:12:29Robertson wanted to identify the exact size of the marks down to the micromillimeter, so he ned every autopsy photograph of the marks, which enabled him del.
00:12:45>> 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 measurem can extract and view later.
00:13:00>> 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.
00:13:11This was precisely what hans bosma thought, too, but he wanted robertson's independent analysis.
00:13:19>> Normally, I don't have any information, so I wasn't aware of anything about the vehicle.
00:13:24>> Narrator: Next, robertson flew to modesto, california, to conduct an experiment in doug mouser's car.
00:13:31He wanted the same skin pattern that was on genna's thigh.
00:13:34He placed a live model the same height and weight as genna in f the vehicle the rear seat belt buckle.
00:13:37It was a hatchback, and one of the backseats was broken and was kept flat.
00:13:39The model remained in the same position for 15 minutes, the time it would've taken to drive genna's leg.
00:14:13>> 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.
00:14:22The carpet bead folds over as he pulls or pushes her over that bead was what one of the the victim's leg matched precisely, down to microns.
00:14:56The width of the carpet and the orientation on that matched, as well.
00:15:03Also, the length matched.
00:15:06>> Narrator: Interestingly, the ripped carpet innusual, something you wouldn't find in just ecstatic.
00:15:20A be able to now we got him because now we can put genna in that car.
00:15:28Only one way, and that's showing doug mouser guilty of killing genna.
00:15:33>> They didn't theorize [bleep] excuse me.
00:15:37They didn't theorize [bleep] the screen.
00:15:41I'd even say it in a courtroom.
00:15:42They have [bleep] any theory other than he threw the body -- he killed her and threw it over ..
00:15:49And that she was in his car because of the mark on her leg.
00:15:52That's all there was.
00:15:55>> Narrator: Based on the forensic botany and ..
00:16:00Doug mouser was arrested and aughter's murder.
00:18:23>> Narrator: Prosecutors wondered, what motivated doug mouser to kill his 14-year-old stepdaughter genna?
00:18:31>> How can you possibly im someone doing something so horrible?
00:18:36I can't imagine it, but it happens, unfortunately, all the TIME. Narrator: Prosecutors found evidence that genna didn't always do what her parents asked.
00:18:47>> She saw a counselor with some regularity.
00:18:50She had oppositional defiant ..very defiant, very aggressive confrontational with the family, with the parents.
00:19:00>> Narrator: The mousers' telephone records provided a possible clue.
00:19:05>> Hey, what are you doing?
00:19:06>> I just got back from the mall with annie.
00:19:08>> Narrator: On the morning of her death, genna was on the telephone, violating her parents' rules.
00:19:14>> His name's scott.
00:19:15>> Really? he's a senior?
00:19:19>> Narrator: Prosecutors belive doug caught genna on the phone, lost his temper, and struck her.
00:19:26>> Hello?
00:19:28>> Narrator: Prosecutors believe doug's impulsive act of violence threatened his career.
00:19:34>> He couldn't risk an allegation that he had hit her, struck her.
00:19:37He 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.
00:19:47>> Narrator: With genna unconscious, and not sure what to do, prosecutors think doug panicked and strangled her to death.
00:19:56[ Telephone beeps ] he removed genna's clothing to eliminate possible trace evidence.
00:20:04When doug pushed genna's body into the backseat of his car, he displaced the carpet.
00:20:10The 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.
00:20:20Doug chose a dump site 15 minutes away, pulled his car off the road, which picked up the bits of star thistle the same stage of development that was found on genna's body.
00:20:42Prosecutors think doug simply got lucky when the security cameras at both his office and the fast-food restaurant weren't working.
00:20:52But doug made a crucial mistake during his interrogation.
00:20:56He said he used his computer ..
00:21:00But his employer found no evidence that doug logged in.
00:21:05>> They couldn't find any evidence whatsoever that he had done to his computers what he said he did.
00:21:12Basically, we caught him in a lie.
00:21:15>> Narrator: Doug mouser was tried and convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
00:21:24He continues to maintain his innocence.
00:21:31>> For me, this is the greatest failure of my life.
00:21:35The only way I live with the situation is that I did the best that I could.
00:21:43I did everything that I could think possible.
00:21:48>> Definitely a jekyll-and-hyde personality there.
00:21:51 calm and cool, and the next moment, he's something totally different.
00:21:58>> I think she would be really happy to know that people love her so much to fight to find the real answe to what happened to her.
00:22:09And she would be happy to know that we haven't forgotten about her.
00:22:14>> Narrator: The case against mouser was largely circumstantial, but the photogrammetry helped convince the jury.
00:22:22>> Photogrammetry was the key element, and it was used to solve the case.
00:22:28And without photogrammetry, this case would have gone unsolved.
00:22:32--Captions by VITAC--www.vitac.comrator: A self-proclaimed ..
00:22:40>> You want to forget about thes.
00:22:42>> Narrator:..Unleashes horror in a quiet neighborhood.
00:22:45>> You never know what is going on behind closed doors.
00:22:50That's one of th makes the case so scary.
00:22:53>> There were all sorts of things he wanted to invo with.
00:22:57>> He says, "you should pose " >> you kept thinking, "well, " >> authorities say each bag contained human bo.
00:23:06>> But it did.
00:23:06It kept getting worse.
00:23:07>> I mean, not even stephen king >> marin 911.
00:23:49What is your emergency?
00:23:50>> Um, I'm in woodacre, and i thought I just heard six shots on a gun go off, and then i thought running down redwood.
00:23:59We heard someone get in a car.
00:24:01>> Narrator: Woodacre, california -- an affluent marin uburb 20 miles north of san francisco.
00:24:11The car from what you were hearing?
00:24:13>> No, nothing.
00:24:13>> Okay.
00:24:14Es later, a second call to 911.
00:24:17>> 911.
00:24:17Is this an emergency?
00:24:20>> What's the problem?
00:24:22>> My tenant's mother and her >> we have officers on the way out there.
00:24:27>> Narrator: D steve nash of the marin county sheriff's department responds to the scene.
00:24:34>> I observed a male lying on the floo also observed a female lying in the bed, with a lot of blood within the scene.
00:24:45>> Narrator: Investigators identify the shooting victims as jenny villarin and her ing for jenny's 22-year-old daughter, selina bishop.
00:24:56CSIs FIND A NUMBER OF 9-Millimeter bullets.
00:24:59All apeen fired from the same weapon.
00:25:03There are no fingerprints, no trace evidence, and no apparent motive.
00:25:08And the mystery only d when investigators try to track down selina.
00:25:15>> Selina worked at am her house.
00:25:22>> Narrator: But she is nowhere to be found.
00:25:25Her co-workers at the two rd cafe haven't seen her in days.
00:25:29Investigators then question se possible lead.
00:25:34>> We had been told that she was en route to yosemite or was already at yosemite with her boyfriend, campis to start checking all of the nowhere.
00:25:49Selina's aunt, olga land, issues a frantic plea.
00:25:52>> Selina, if you see this, we nd we miss you and we ..please.
00:26:01We refused to even think that s bad enough, so selina was coming back.
00:26:11>> Narrator: Officers try toeen witheroyfr at a bar in berkeley.
00:26:22His name was jordan, supposedly.
00:26:25>> We found out from selina's friends and co-workers that her boyfriend, jordan, was very elusive.
00:26:31He didn't want to be photographed.
00:26:34>> Co-workers are telling investigators about this guy she