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Pyongyang on the Prairie, Part 3: All in OCPD’s Crime Lab Family

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By Michelle Malkin  •  January 5, 2018 08:56 AM

Pyongyang on the Prairie, Part 3:
All in OCPD’s Crime Lab Family
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2018

Last year, on the morning of Dec. 6, 2016, I emailed Oklahoma City Police Department senior crime lab analyst Elaine Taylor. She’s the government forensic expert who was assigned to handle the DNA evidence in the case of former OCPD officer Daniel Holtzclaw.


(Click all thumbnails for full-size)

Taylor is also the mother-in-law of Det. Rocky Gregory, who co-led the police investigation of Holtzclaw from the outset. Det. Gregory collected and submitted DNA evidence items to his mother-in-law; their biased and unprofessional conduct regarding DNA evidence collection, testing and analysis has come under international scrutiny and public criticism from at least seven scientists and DNA experts. The familial relationship between Taylor and Gregory, which I first reported on Dec. 5, 2017, was not disclosed to Holtzclaw’s trial defense team or to the public defenders on his appellate team.

The city’s litigation division head has shrugged off the failure to disclose this key information and dismissed any actual or perceived conflict of interest.

I did not know of Taylor and Gregory’s relationship when I first reached out to Taylor about the Holtzclaw case last year. Here was the full text of my Dec. 6, 2016, email to Taylor (which I also sent to her supervisor, Campbell Ruddock, as well as to the OCPD public information officer at Taylor’s request):

I am a journalist who has investigated the Daniel Holtzclaw case.

Recently, a TV show called “Justice By Any Means” on the TV One network aired a story on the case.

This is a transcript excerpt I am hoping you can respond to:

Detective (Kim) Davis: “When we got the results back from his pants, we were told that there was female DNA on the inside of his pants, and we knew it wasn’t Jannie’s, so we knew there had to be someone else…another victim.”

Announcer: “Detective Davis asks each of the alleged victims to supply her with the clothing they were wearing at the time they were attacked. The goal is to find trace evidence of any sort of sexual encounter with Daniel Holtzclaw.”

Detective Davis: “As we keep getting DNA samples from them and we’re getting back from the serology lab ‘no match,’ ‘no match’…”

Announcer: “The twelfth and final DNA test conducted on the undergarments of a 17- year-old girl, the youngest of Holtzclaw’s victims, provides a hit.”

Benjamin Crump, Attorney for Jannie Ligons: “They had his DNA evidence inside one of the victim’s panties.”

Announcer: “The young woman’s DNA is also found on the uniform Holtzclaw was wearing the night of the attack.”

Melvin Hall, Attorney for Jannie Ligons: “They found vaginal DNA material on the inside of his trousers and that vaginal DNA matched the DNA of the 17-year-old.”

Can you please respond to the highlighted quotes in red and tell me if the assertions are true or false?

I am on deadline for a nationally syndicated newspaper column today on this story. My deadline is 3pm Eastern. Thank you.

Best,
Michelle Malkin

About six hours after Taylor received my email asking her about the accuracy of the TV One program’s statements on the Holtzclaw DNA evidence, Taylor forwarded my questions to someone’s personal Gmail address.

I discovered the message buried in thousands of pages of miraculously discovered emails turned over to me in September 2017. The document dump only took place after the OCPD had first claimed Taylor’s email account was deleted upon her retirement in February 2017, and then later unearthed several thousand messages after searching “the personal computer that was assigned to Elaine Taylor.”

So, who did Taylor write and why did she use her government-issued computer to send this person my questions — questions which have never been answered by Taylor or anyone else at the OCPD in more than a year?

A Google search for the address in question yields an entry for “Rocky Gregory of Meeker OK” on cubib.com, a public online data site.

The Gmail address also turned up hits on Instagram and Pinterest, which identify “Theresa Gregory” as the accounts’ owner.

Det. Gregory is married to Theresa Gregory, a former OCPD employee who once worked in the same police department crime lab as her mother, Elaine Taylor.

Welcome to another OCPD episode of “All in the Family.”

Public records show a Theresa Marie Gregory (nee Theresa Marie Taylor), age 41, residing in Shawnee, Oklahoma, with Rocky Lane Gregory, age 42; Elaine Marie Taylor, age 66, and William Bryan Taylor, age 68, are also linked to the same Shawnee address as Rocky and Theresa Gregory.

On Aug. 7, 2017, I filed another public records request with the OCPD, in part seeking:

“Copies of emails and attachments, and any other communications (digital or otherwise) that were exchanged between Ms. Taylor and OCPD Det. Rocky Gregory regarding the Daniel Holtzclaw case. This request includes (but is not limited to) emails on which either Ms. Taylor or Det. Gregory (or both) were cc’d or bcc’d.”

The city’s litigation division head, Richard Smith, informed me that the computer account of Det. Gregory was searched “and there are no documents that satisfy your request.”

Smith added snarkily: “I am not sure what you mean by any other communications.”

“Other communications” would mean, of course, other means of communications besides an official city email account. Public officials at the federal, state and local levels have been known to purposely evade and bypass disclosure laws by using secret aliases and personal email addresses.

On Nov. 16, 2017, I filed another public records request seeking:

“Copies of emails and attachments, and any other communications (digital or otherwise) from any and all accounts that were exchanged between former OCPD forensic analyst Elaine Taylor and former OCPD employee Theresa Gregory regarding the Daniel Holtzclaw case. This request includes (but is not limited to) any emails on which either Ms. Taylor or Ms. Gregory (or both) were cc’d or bcc’d.”

On Dec. 15, 2017, snarky Richard Smith was in fine form once again, responding:

“Please be advised that the ‘OCPD’ does not have any employees and Ms. Gregory left her assignment in the OCPD lab in 2012, but remains a City employee. Her computer was searched for any email from October 2013 to February 2017 for any emails to and/or from Elaine Taylor regarding Daniel Holtzclaw and there a (sic) no such emails.

“I trust this satisfies this Open Records Request.”

No, actually, it doesn’t.

If the city is claiming that no communications between Elaine Taylor and Rocky Gregory or between Elaine Taylor and Theresa Gregory regarding the Holtzclaw case exist, then to whom exactly did Elaine Taylor forward my Holtzclaw case DNA evidence questions?

Let’s return to my DNA questions for a moment — the ones that Taylor forwarded to the mystery email address. In my email, I showed Taylor and her crime lab supervisor, Campbell Ruddock, that the TV One special had broadcast false information about the DNA evidence:

Announcer: “The twelfth and final DNA test conducted on the undergarments of a 17- year-old girl, the youngest of Holtzclaw’s victims, provides a hit.”

Benjamin Crump, Attorney for Jannie Ligons: “They had his DNA evidence inside one of the victim’s panties.”

Announcer: “The young woman’s DNA is also found on the uniform Holtzclaw was wearing the night of the attack.”

Melvin Hall, Attorney for Jannie Ligons: “They found vaginal DNA material on the inside of his trousers and that vaginal DNA matched the DNA of the 17-year-old.”

The truth? None of Holtzclaw’s DNA was found on any of the 13 accusers or in any of their clothing.

There are no crime lab records, bench notes or police reports in any of the case materials and transcripts I’ve reviewed that have ever claimed that Holtzclaw’s DNA evidence was found “inside one of the victim’s panties.”

There are no crime lab records, bench notes or police reports in any of the case materials and transcripts I’ve reviewed that have ever claimed that “vaginal DNA material on the inside of his trousers and that vaginal DNA matched the DNA of the 17-year-old.”

In fact, as the crime lab’s own records show, the so-called smoking gun DNA evidence associated with the 17-year-old accuser was found in minuscule mixtures of what Elaine Taylor described as epithelial skin cell DNA on Holtzclaw’s pants, which included both female and unknown male DNA. The DNA from the fly of the uniform pants derived from at least three people. All four DNA samples taken by Taylor from Holtzclaw’s pants included DNA from at least one male. The pants had been placed in a paper bag handled by Det. Gregory with his bare hands.

No evidence of vaginal fluid was observed on the pants, as Taylor herself testified at trial. She stated that she saw nothing suspicious — no visible stains or deposits — on the fly of the pants using a very bright light and a magnifying glass. She did not test the uniform pants for body fluids or view them with an alternate light source that causes body fluids, including vaginal fluid, to fluoresce.

Despite failing to establish the presence of vaginal fluid through serological tests or by using an alternate light source, Taylor recklessly testified outside the bounds of science that it was a “very good possibility” that DNA matching the 17-year-old’s profile was likely to have transferred in vaginal fluid. Assistant District Attorney Gayland Gieger then falsely told the jury in his closing statement that it was a “fact” that DNA from the walls of the teenager’s vagina transferred in vaginal fluids — even though it is improper to assert the presence of a substance that has not been tested.

How can the nationally accredited OCPD crime lab allow such glaring forensic falsehoods — claimed by accuser Jannie Ligons’ lawyers Benjamin Crump and Melvin Hall, by the TV One documentary crew and host, and by ADA Gayland Gieger and Elaine Taylor herself — to be spread about the DNA evidence in the Holtzclaw case?

In response to my July 31, 2017 public records request for “(a)ll communications (electronic, written, faxed, text messages, or otherwise) by the Oklahoma City Police Department regarding the program called ‘Justice By Any Means’ on the TV One network about the Daniel Holtzclaw case, which originally aired in October 2016,” city attorney Richard Smith blew me off. He told my Oklahoma open records lawyer, Josh Lee, that “at the time of this request, the prior OCPD Public Information Officer (PIO) had been promoted and the new PIO does not recall ever seeing this request.”

(Note: Email/fax notifications were sent on my behalf to the OCPD via the Muckrock.com public records site on Aug. 15, Aug. 30, Sept. 14, Sept. 29, Oct. 16, Oct. 31, Nov. 15, Nov. 30 and Dec. 15, 2017.)

Smith then argued: “In response to this request, please be advised that Ms. Malkin’s request is vague, unreasonable, etc.”

And, he added: “In any event, please advise your client that the OCPD did not respond to the program.”

That response is nonresponsive, evasive and petulant. How arrogant to justify a public records denial with a flippant “etc.” My request was specific and perfectly reasonable. Nor did I restrict my open records search to communications that occurred after the program aired, as Mr. Smith smugly attempted to redefine my request.

I believe the public deserves to know who at the Oklahoma City Police Department communicated with the TV One staff about DNA evidence that was grossly and recklessly misrepresented on the program.

I believe the public deserves to know why the OCPD has failed to correct brazen factual inaccuracies disseminated about the Holtzclaw DNA evidence.

What was Taylor’s purpose in sharing my DNA-related questions with the owner of the personal Gmail account?

Was Taylor’s supervisor, Campbell Ruddock, aware that Taylor used her government account to forward my DNA-related questions to a private gmail account linked with her daughter and son-in-law detective?

How many other undisclosed emails to and/or from Elaine Taylor about Holtzclaw DNA evidence have been suppressed by the crime lab and city?

And what other email aliases and personal accounts have been used by OCPD personnel or other city officials to subvert public disclosure not only in Holtzclaw’s cases, but other cases as well?

Michelle Malkin is host of “Michelle Malkin Investigates” on CRTV.com. Her email address is writemalkin@gmail.com. To find out more about Michelle Malkin and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

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Pyongyang on the Prairie, Part One

Pyongyang on the Prairie, Part Two

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Watch:

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Categories: Daniel Holtzclaw, Feature Story