Archive for September, 2008|Monthly archive page

5108 Birchleaf: What the Paperboy Saw

I know.  The search warrant actually referred to the person as a New York Times delivery person, but I took literary license with the title.  Okay?

Excerpted from 2/14/08 search warrant.  (Click to enlarge.)

Excerpted from 2/14/08 search warrant. (Click to enlarge.)

At some point between the hours of 4:00 and 5:00 a.m., the New York Times delivery person saw an SUV similar to Jason Young’s Ford Explorer parked in such a manner that it appeared someone was loading or unloading something.  Additionally, this witness states that “all of the lights, inside and outside the home, were on.”

From this witness’s statement, we can draw the conclusion that, in all likelihood, the killer was still present at the home when the delivery person observed the home.  With lights on inside and outside the home, did the witness observe any human activity inside or outside the home?  What about the dog?  Was Mr. Garrison seen or heard by the delivery person?

How should the statement about the position of the vehicle be interpreted?  What would make this witness believe that something was being loaded into or unloaded from the SUV?  Simple logic would suggest that the SUV was backed up to the home –most likely to the garage.  Perhaps, the rear cargo door was open, as well.  If so, it’s also possible that the dome light in the SUV was illuminated.  Assuming that the witness was correct in his or her assumption that something was being loaded or unloaded, what items were being loaded or unloaded?

Lastly, what exactly does the witness mean by the statement that “all of the lights, inside and outside the home, were on”?  Consider the windows and doors that would have been visible from the street as depicted in the following photographs.

There is one more window that might have been visible to the NY Times delivery person.  That would be a small window into the attic room, which is positioned just above the garage roof on the end of the main house.  It can be seen in this interior photograph — small window with a blue-green valance and air conditioning unit inserted.

Which rooms appeared to have been illuminated when the paperboy was present?  Every light in the house including the attic room?  If so, why?

Which exterior lights might the witness have observed?  Perhaps, a front porch light, a garage light, a driveway light.  Probably the pair of lamps on pillars at the entry to the driveway, one of which can be seen in this photo of the mailbox.  It appears to be illuminated in this photo, so perhaps these lamps are always on.

The next question that comes to mind is, Which lights were on when Meredith arrived at the home the next afternoon?  Since the murderer was still present when the paper delivery person observed the home on November 3, 2006, it’s possible that he turned some lights off prior to leaving.

The last, and perhaps most important, question is Why did the killer have so many lights on and risk drawing attention to unusual goings-on at the Youngs’ residence?   In doing so, he made himself all the more vulnerable to being identified and apprehended.  Some might suggest that he was cleaning up or searching for valuables or other items that he needed.  Others might theorize that he left lights on for Cassidy’s sake for when she would awake the next morning.  Perhaps, instead, he was searching for someone.  Isn’t it possible that Cassidy and/or the dog became frightened and hid, and he felt he needed to find and secure them before leaving?   Or perhaps, he wanted to draw attention to the house in hopes that a neighbor would become concerned and investigate, thereby discovering and rescuing Cassidy from the gory scene.  Then he wouldn’t have needed to call Meredith with the absurd request of retrieving a printout of a belated anniversary gift from the printer.

Below is another photo of the house to which I have added labels identifying the various rooms of the home.  Click the photo to enlarge for easier reading.

As always, I am interested in your thoughts.  Feel free to add a comment here or discuss it at the forum, Friction Powered Exchange.