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Evidence On Insects Likely To Continue: (Westerfield Trial "Creeps" Along At An Ant's Pace!)
Union Trib ^ | June 29, 2002 | Alex Roth

Posted on 07/28/2002 8:56:21 PM PDT by FresnoDA

Evidence on insects likely to continue

Trial winding down; closing statements may be this week

By Alex Roth

July 28, 2002

Expect to hear more evidence about insects as the David Westerfield trial enters what could be the final week of testimony before jury deliberations.

On Tuesday, prosecutors are scheduled to call Dr. M. Lee Goff of the University of Hawaii as their final rebuttal witness in a trial that has lasted 23 court days. Goff is a forensic entomologist and the author of "A Fly for the Prosecution: How Insect Evidence Helps Solve Crimes."

Whether Goff will be the final insect expert in the case – jurors have already heard from three witnesses with expert opinions about the behavior of insects on human remains – is unclear. Westerfield's lawyers have said they will take at least a day to present evidence to rebut the prosecution's rebuttal.

The trial will not be in session tomorrow because the lawyers and judge are scheduled to hash out the legal instructions that will be read to the jury after the close of testimony. The instructions guide jurors on the law to be applied in the case.

Given the time estimates of the lawyers, it seems likely that closing statements won't come until Thursday, or the following Monday at the earliest. So far there haven't been any Friday sessions in which the jury was present to hear testimony. The judge said the jury will deliberate Mondays through Fridays.

As the case winds down, the battle of the insect experts has emerged as perhaps the final arena in the murder trial. Westerfield's lawyers say the insects found on 7-year-old Danielle van Dam's body prove that it couldn't have been dumped until after Westerfield was under 24-hour police surveillance.

Danielle was reported missing from her home Feb. 2, and her body was found by volunteer searchers Feb. 27 in a remote area off Dehesa Road near the Singing Hills Golf Course in El Cajon.

The defense called two entomologists who testified about blowflies on the girl's body. Westerfield's lawyers say the experts' testimony proves that the remains couldn't have been dumped until mid-February. Westerfield was under constant police surveillance beginning Feb. 5.Photo

The prosecution countered with a forensic anthropologist who said the body's extreme mummification might help explain why blowflies weren't able to access the remains immediately.

Westerfield, a self-employed design engineer who lived two doors from the van Dams in Sabre Springs, is accused of kidnapping and killing Danielle. He is also accused of possession of child pornography, which the prosecution claims shows that he had a sexual interest in girls.

Prosecutors said the pornography – some of it depicting violent sexual attacks against young girls – was found on Westerfield's computers and on computer disks stored on his office bookshelf.

In a trial of numerous shifts in momentum, legal experts say prosecutors scored a significant blow last week by calling Westerfield's son as a witness. Neal Westerfield, now 19, testified that the computer child pornography in the house was his father's, not his.

Earlier in the trial, the defense presented a computer expert who testified that Neal Westerfield might have been the person who downloaded some of the pornography.

"This is a young man who clearly cares about his dad and has a good relationship with him, so he has no reason to say anything bad," said Peter Liss, a Vista criminal defense lawyer. "He was just truthful."

In this respect, the defense's strategy of trying to blame the son for the child pornography in the house appears to have backfired. Criminal defense lawyer Robert Grimes said the jury is likely to view Neal Westerfield as "basically a nice young college kid" who testified honestly.

Westerfield's lawyers chose not to cross-examine his son. They will indicate this week whether they will call any witnesses to try to refute his testimony.

TOPICS: Society
KEYWORDS: danielle; daniellevandam; kidnappig; kidnapping; molestation; pedophile; vandam; westerfield
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To: FresnoDA
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(06-26-2002) - Death Penalty Would Mean Loss of Second Son

By David Gotfredson, LOCAL 8 News

It may be impossible to imagine the range of emotions a mother goes through following the death of a son. But at the age of 69, Laura Nan Westerfield is facing the possibility of going through that painful experience a second time.

Laura Westerfield’s youngest son, Earl Edson Westerfield, died of AIDS at the age of 36. Now her first born, 50-year-old David Westerfield, is facing the possibility of a death sentence in one of the most heinous crimes in San Diego County history: the kidnapping and murder of 7-year-old Danielle van Dam.

Laura Westerfield lives alone in a one-bedroom apartment behind the walls of a gated, senior complex in Clairemont. An avid reader of novels, Ms. Westerfield fancies herself an amateur sleuth.

“I love to read mystery novels. It used to take me until the final two chapters to guess who did it. Now, I can guess before I’m halfway through. There’s always something that gives you a clue,” she recently commented.

But, when it comes to the real-life mystery of her son’s murder case, Laura Westerfield has no clues. Asked about possible psychological events in David Westerfield’s childhood that could lead him to cold-blooded murder, Ms. Westerfield responded, “There’s nothing.”

"He didn’t cut off puppy dog tails. He never hurt anybody in all his life,” she said.

Confronted with the pile of evidence in the murder of Danielle van Dam, Ms. Westerfield alternates between defending her son and disbelief.

“I am predisposed to the fact that he did not do this. (David) wouldn’t do something like that.”

“What happened? Can somebody tell me what happened? How could he have possibly done it? I did the best I could. He’s a great person. I have no idea how the hell it happened. Something happened to him.”

Of the van Dam family, Ms. Westerfield says she understands their pain.

“I should know how awful it is to lose a child,” she said. “When Danielle first went missing, I cried for the mother. Poor little girl, I would have loved to hug her.”

David Alan Westerfield is the oldest of three children. His sister, Tania Pecina, lives in Clairemont in the same house where she and her siblings were raised from the time they were teenagers. Pecina has three children: one from a previous marriage and two by her present husband. Westerfield’s brother Earl, the middle child in the family, was openly gay and died of AIDS in 1990.

The family was aware of Earl Westerfield’s sexual preference from the time he was a young boy, according to his mother. “I started noticing there was something different about Earl about the time he was five years old,” she said.

Earl Westerfield’s infection with HIV, which he contracted from a longtime companion, eventually led to his hospitalization. The Westerfield family supported him financially through a series of costly treatments until his death at an Oceanside hospice called Fraternity House.

“I hugged Earl the day before he died. I wrapped my arms around him and he was just bones. I told him he could die. He asked me if it would be okay and I said yes,” recalled Ms. Westerfield. “It was a hard time for the family.”

David Westerfield was not overly distraught by his brother’s passing, according to Ms. Westerfield. “Alan was close to his brother, but he dealt with it,” she said. (In conversation, Laura Westerfield refers to her son by his middle name, Alan, because his father was also named David).

Ms. Westerfield’s late husband, David Horatio Westerfield -- who died in 1993 of colon cancer -- served as a lawmaker in the Maine House of Representatives in 1961. He and Laura Westerfield divorced when “Alan” was 26.

David H. Westerfield graduated in 1949 from Point Loma High School and attended San Diego State University for three and a half years. He studied archeology but never received a degree.

“He never did quite make it. He didn’t think it was important,” Ms. Westerfield said of her late husband.

Preferring artistic endeavors, David H. Westerfield held a variety of jobs during his time in San Diego, including landscape architect, still photographer, portrait artist and magazine layout editor. Laura Westerfield herself also worked for a number of years doing layout and editing for Dicta, a San Diego law magazine.

Ms. Westerfield describes her son’s relationship with his father as normal, although she admits her late husband was authoritative, if not strict. “Well, I wouldn’t say strict, but he wouldn’t give you more than two or three chances to do what he said,” she remembered.

David H. Westerfield filed for divorce in 1978, although it was Laura Westerfield who first left home. “I finally got out of that situation after 25 years of being subjugated,” she said.

“We grew apart. In fact, I was bored – empty nest syndrome. It wasn’t very difficult, just one of those things that had to happen.”

“I ran away from home. I left him the house. I left him his daughter. Both the boys were gone. They moved out of the house when they were 18. That was the rule of the house. When you’re 18, you move out. You’re old enough to look after yourself. And Alan was. He was old enough at 14.”

“We supported (the children) as best we could when they moved out. Set them up in apartments. I had been saving some money for them. All the things moms do.”

Regardless of the problems in her marriage, Ms. Westerfield insists there was never any physical or sexual abuse within the family, and certainly none involving her son “Alan.” She describes the family unit as close during David Westerfield’s childhood.

“We talked about everything under the sun at the dinner table. It was a rule. You had to be there at six o’clock every day.”

David Alan Westerfield spent most of his life in San Diego County. Born in National City’s Paradise Hospital in 1952, he lived with his parents and siblings in Point Loma and Clairemont until he was five. That’s when the family moved to Maine, where they stayed for 11 years, according to Ms. Westerfield.

At the age of 15, David Westerfield returned with his family to Clairemont – his mother is a San Diego native – and attended Madison High School where he graduated with the Class of 1970.

Laura Westerfield says her son tried out for football at Madison High but left the team after playing just one game. She says “Alan” became upset with the coaches and players for what he perceived as poor sportsmanship.

“The coaches wanted the players to (hit) the opposing players with known injuries. Alan was disgusted by this and told me he didn’t want to play football anymore,” she said.

On another occasion, Ms. Westerfield remembers her son getting into a fight with one of the other football players and punching him in the face.

Ms. Westerfield says her son was not exceedingly popular at school. “He was the biggest square you’ve ever seen,” she recalled, using her fingers to outline the shape of a box. Asked whether her son ever smoked marijuana, Ms. Westerfield said, “Not that I know of. Alan was just too square.”

A neighbor who lived across the street from the Westerfields for three decades described David Westerfield during his teenage years as a loner. “He was a very quiet, private person. You couldn’t get two words out of him,” the neighbor said. “I don’t think he had any friends at school ever.”

Classmates describe David Westerfield as being involved in math and engineering clubs, though his high school senior yearbook does not list him as a member of any social, athletic or academic group.

After graduating high school, Westerfield attended Mesa College for three years, and worked at Saska’s restaurant in Mission Beach during the early 1970s, his mother said.

Madison High School was also the place where David Westerfield met his first wife, Deborah Kyle. They were high school sweethearts. The two married in 1973, when Westerfield was 21 and Kyle was 19. They were married for six years and had no children before divorcing in 1979. Kyle now lives in Rancho Penasquitos.

Eight months after his divorce, Westerfield married Jackie Neal in December of 1979. He was 27; she was 21. Eventually, the couple had two children, Lisa and Neal Westerfield. (Neal’s first name also is David but he goes by his middle name.)

Alan was a good father to his children,” according to Ms. Westerfield. “He hugged his son. Something I could never get his father to do.”

During his 17-year marriage to Jackie Neal, David Westerfield’s career as a design engineer developed. He worked for several North County companies before creating his own business in 1995, Spectrum Design.

Westerfield currently holds three U.S. patents: one for a surgically implanted knuckle prosthesis, another for a continuous passive motion device used in knee surgery rehabilitation, and a third for a metal pulley. Friends say he also designed the mechanism for a popular line of electric garage door openers.

Sources close to the family described Westerfield as a demanding husband who enjoyed a party lifestyle, often returning home in the early hours of the morning. He and his wife Jackie Neal separated in July of 1995. She filed for divorce three months later and the dissolution became final in June of 1996. The couple received joint custody of their two children, now ages 21 and 18. Lisa and Neal Westerfield live with their mother in Poway and attend college.

In recent years, David Westerfield’s drinking and womanizing became more prevalent, according to his mother. These traits he apparently had in common with his father.

“Alan’s a horn dog. That’s what my daughter calls him. She called her father that, too,” said Ms. Westerfield. “I think Alan taught his father a few things about (womanizing). They would go out together after the divorce.”

On March 2, 1996, San Diego Police arrested David Westerfield for the first time. An officer noticed Westerfield “weaving from side to side” on Northbound Interstate 15 near Highway 52. Westerfield did poorly on a field sobriety test and was booked into jail with a blood alcohol level almost twice the legal limit.

The DUI appears to be David Westerfield’s only criminal conviction and it came as a complete surprise to his mother.

“Alan never drank. Never. That’s why this whole last year is so out of character. He had a DUI. Ick!”

Court records show that Laura Westerfield has two drunken driving convictions of her own, one from 1983 and one from 1990. In 1991, Ms. Westerfield also was convicted of driving on a suspended driver’s license, according to court records.

David Westerfield purchased his home on Mountain Pass Road in Sabre Springs in June of 1996, according to property records. (The van Dams moved into the neighborhood two years later.)

In October of 1998, a woman Westerfield had been dating for about two months moved into his Sabre Springs home with her two children from a previous marriage, a boy and a girl ages 14 and 11 respectively. Tamera Weibrecht apparently was engaged to Westerfield for a short time but the relationship did not last long. Weibrecht and her two children moved out nine months later because of Westerfield’s “party lifestyle,” according Weibrecht’s present husband Jim Graves.

“He liked to party, but at some point that gets pretty old. At some point you have to give that up and settle down,” said Graves. “That’s what Tamera wanted to do. She also had an interest in religion and (Westerfield) didn’t want anything to do with religion.”

Weibrecht had no comment regarding her domestic relationship with Westerfield, which ended in 1999. Graves says police officers have spoken with both of the children and there is no evidence of any sexual abuse involving Westerfield and Weibrecht’s kids.

In 2000, Westerfield found himself living with another woman in virtually the same scenario.

Susan Lelek said she met Westerfield at the Big Stone Lodge in Poway and dated him about three months before moving into Westerfield's Sabre Springs home. At the time, Lelek had a teenage daughter and an adolescent son by her second marriage, as well as two adult children from her first marriage. Lelek said her teenage daughter would stay at Westerfield's house every other weekend while Lelek was living there.

Lelek's relationship with Westerfield lasted on and off a couple years until the two "grew apart," said Lelek. She later testified that Westerfield's drinking led, in part, to their separation. Lelek told the jury that Westerfield would change when he was drinking. He would become quiet, upset and depressed, she said. She also testified that Westerfield would occasionally become "forceful" while under the influence of alcohol.

Lelek recently defended Westerfield during an interview at her family's home in Mira Mesa. Lelek says photographs taken by Westerfield in his backyard of her teenage daughter lounging in a bikini poolside were not sexual in nature.

Police officers found the photos on a computer disk in Westerfield’s office. Prosecutors entered the images into evidence at the preliminary hearing, as well as Westerfield’s criminal trial.

Lelek insists the photographs were “blown way out of proportion” by the prosecution. “Those were just a few of hundreds of photographs David took by the pool during barbeques with his children and their friends,” Lelek said.

“Yes, the towel was over her face. Yes, her legs were spread, and the angle was sort of looking up, and her hand was in a strange position, but that’s just the way teenagers act sometimes. It was totally innocent.”

Laura Westerfield was unaware that her son had lived with either Lelek or Weibrecht. David Westerfield apparently maintained a distant relationship with his mother. Ms. Westerfield recalled that her son had sent her a Christmas card each year.

“I did not see Alan a lot over the past year,” said Ms. Westerfield. “I saw him at Tania’s house. But I didn’t ask about his lifestyle in any way, shape or form. It was none of my business. When your kids get older, you don’t ask a lot.”

Westerfield never visited his mother’s apartment either. “I knew where he was. He knew where I was,” Ms. Westerfield said. “We spoke on the telephone.”

Ms. Westerfield first discovered her son had been arrested as a suspect in the van Dam kidnapping from television news reports, though she claims she had a premonition something was happening with her son the night Danielle went missing.

“Alan and I have a connection,” she said.

The news was devastating.

“You can’t imagine how much it hurts. I’ve cried until my eyeballs are poking out,” Ms. Westerfield said.

“How would you feel? I turn on the television every day and there’s my son, ‘the murderer.’ ”

Ms. Westerfield had no contact with her son following his arrest until the first day of his preliminary hearing on March 11, 2002. She attended the hearing in person – after taking three buses to the downtown courthouse – making eye-to-eye contact with her son in open court.

During a break in the hearing, a member of the defense team approached Ms. Westerfield and whispered something to her.

The attorneys apparently wanted Ms. Westerfield to understand that jailhouse deputies read mail before it is delivered to inmates. They did not want Ms. Westerfield writing anything confidential in correspondence to her son.

Laura Westerfield since has written one letter to her son in jail. He did not reply. They have not spoken on the telephone and Ms. Westerfield has no plans to visit him behind bars. “I’m waiting for him to contact me,” she said.

If it turns out David Westerfield is found guilty of the special circumstance of murder during the course of a kidnapping, relatives likely will be called to testify on his behalf during the penalty phase of the trial. Ms. Westerfield says she will not be in attendance.

Instead, she will watch the decision come down on television in her apartment, just as she did on the final day of her son’s preliminary hearing.

“When the judge announced his decision at the end of the hearing,” she said, “Alan was crying. He was crying. A mother can tell.”

David Gotfredson: (858) 495-7555;

61 posted on 07/29/2002 8:44:49 AM PDT by Freedom2specul8
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To: ~Kim4VRWC's~
Here's the KFMB story with the pics. A Mother's Tale

Okay, except for the hair line. It's a combo deal.

Hey, Kimmie, there are RV pics on the Stealth Ninja Dave page under Evidence. A poster from another forum kindly let me post her pics from a Dophin RV, which is the equivalent to a Southwind, which is what David owned. The storage bays on the Southwind were smaller than on the Dolphin. I'll update tonight, the poster's questions that she asked a group of kids and parents. Interesting. Reinforces what a number of people thought about Danielle getting into the RV.

62 posted on 07/29/2002 8:47:36 AM PDT by Jaded
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To: MizSterious; All
Good sleuting Miz...another thing that makes you go hhhmmmm.....

Man sought for questioning in student's disappearance

Staff Writer
LOS ANGELES ---- There is a new lead in the disappearance of a UCLA student from Sabre Springs, officials said.

A composite sketch of a potential witness has been developed in the search to find 19-year-old Michael William Negrete, last seen early Dec. 10 in his Dykstra Hall dorm on campus, authorities said Tuesday.

Artist's Sketch

Police are searching for this man in connection with the disappearance of Michael Negrete.

"The person depicted in that sketch was seen in the dorm that night," said Los Angeles County sheriff's Detective Sgt. Joe Purcell. "We just really need to identify this man and talk to him. That's the best thing we have going."

It isn't known what the man was doing in the dorm that night, Purcell said. He said information about the potential witness was developed by sheriff's detectives, who got the case about mid-May from the UCLA campus police.

The man being sought is described as white, about 35 years old and 5 feet 8 inches tall with a heavy build. Purcell said he wore a shiny gray jacket with a turquoise design.

Negrete was 18 when he logged off his computer in the dorm shortly before 4 a.m. Dec. 10. He had been playing a computer game with a friend, Purcell said. He said when Negrete's roommate awakened the next morning, the teen was gone.

Negrete's family in Sabre Springs has provided a $100,000 reward for anyone who provides information that directly leads to finding him.

"We think finally something might happen (to help find him)," said Mary Negrete, the missing student's mother.

Tips from the reward offer haven't led anywhere, she said, but the family has to take all calls, "because you never know which one will be the one you want."

"The hardest thing is Michael's lost to us one way or another, because he's not here," she said. "Just the fact that he's lost is the hardest thing, compounded by the fact that we don't know why he's lost to us or where to go with this feeling."

Anyone with information about the potential witness can call Purcell at (323) 890-5500.


Contact Jo Moreland at (760) 901-4085 or e-mail

Posted by jameson on Jul-29-02 at 09:51 AM (EST)

February 7th 2002, on the John and Ken show, a quote by Damon Van Dam

"I was in Los Angeles in 1999 when Michael Negrete disappeared, I am a friend of Miguel Negrete, Michael’s father, and I worked with the men when it happened"



63 posted on 07/29/2002 8:51:21 AM PDT by FresnoDA
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To: ~Kim4VRWC's~
Heck, ya already had it.

Horn-dog statement. He has been divorced since 1996, apparently separated longer than that. Sooooo....his fond parent never said he cheated on his wives, just that he was a horn-dog. Could that perhaps be her definition of his "dating habits" while single? Trolling the bars, that's just what some folks do. Me thinks too much is being read in to a statement by a woman with whom he appears to have somewhat estranged relationship with. IMO.

64 posted on 07/29/2002 8:53:27 AM PDT by Jaded
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To: FresnoDA
Time for a repost..some haven't seen it yet.

John Jamieson and Valpal1's comments

Combining your excellent posts...along w/some extra comments

Here's what I think the prosecution has proven "beyond a reasonable doubt":

1. What.. Homicide and kidnapping

2. Who - deceased victim Danielle Van Dam

3. When - Sometime between 2/1 and 2/17 (Exact date and time of death and date and time of dumping both unknown)

4. Where removed from her home-, and killed somewhere within the area between her home and body location on Dahesa Rd.

5. How - Exact cause of death unknown. More than likely suffocation, determined by elimination method Danielle van Dam is dead, her pajamas were removed and her nude body was illegally dumped off of Dehesa Road Person(s) who dumped her is also unknown, But a suspect was arrested and charged. Manner of death is also unknown, posion, drugs, stabbing, strangulation and bullet have been elminated. ME could not elimate suffocation.
Young girls don't just die, she's seven, not seventy-seven. Accidental suffocation of seven year olds generally involve appliances like refridgerators or accidental asphyxation by caught clothing. Course, it's highly unusual for children to disrobe for hide-n-seek or for corpses to shed clothing that strangled them, so nudity in an accidental suffocation is a red flag to investigators and most manuals will tell you in such cases to look for pornoghaphy and autoerotic paraphanalia. Although that would also be highly unusual behavior in a seven year old as well.

There is ample proof that she had no organic desease or defect (natural causes). Claims that she could have died by her own acts of misadventure do not explain the location of the body. Claims that her nude body was placed there to cover up an accidental death that no one caused lack basic logic.

Either the minimal forensic evidence in DW's home and RV was left there through prior casual contact (cookie sale) and transference or it didn't. But it most certainly did not get there by Danielle wandering over and accidently suffocating in the nude while no one was around

6. Why - Criminal intent or to prevent discovery of other crime (felony murder).
7. Defendant --David Westerfield, neighbor of Danielle.

8. Known previous contact--Danielle van Dam was once in David Westerfield's home to sell him girl scout cookies. Brenda and DW had spoken in a bar and grill called "Dads" on 2 separate occasions.. Stipulated by both sides.

9.Known evidence --Danielle's dog hair, her prints, her hair and blood found in motorhome. Blood from both Danielle and David Westerfield on DW's jacket. DW had scratches on his arm and possibly legs. Fibers with common source.. found on or near Danielle's body and David Westerfields home. Child pornography, both legal and illegal found in DW's home office. Danielle was found nude, with her necklace on. Various fibers, hairs vegetative growth located on and around her body.

Special Notes

65 posted on 07/29/2002 8:53:35 AM PDT by Freedom2specul8
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To: ~Kim4VRWC's~
He became forceful only Once. What is forceful? Did he yell at her? Some people consider that to be abusive. Heck, then I've abused alot of people.
66 posted on 07/29/2002 8:58:50 AM PDT by Jaded
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To: Jaded
Yeah! I just didn't pay attention the pics before...

There is definitely a strained relationship. I agree with you on that. She calls him alan, he goes by dave, parents kicked him out way too young ..unless he was a problem child who needed tough love..they made it sound like he had a horrible father. So that could have created bitterness, and could be the root cause of his drinking problem..
67 posted on 07/29/2002 8:59:02 AM PDT by Freedom2specul8
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To: Jaded
Front Pages
Edited by Sarah Sabalos LaSpaluto

The Other Van Dam Story

—Thomas K. Arnold

Talk show host Rick Roberts made headlines with his KFMB-AM radio show about Damon and Brenda van Dam’s allegedly swinging lifestyle. But he wasn’t the only radio personality—or media outlet—to cast a critical eye on the backstory of the Danielle van Dam kidnapping case.

John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, whose John and Ken Show airs weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m. on Los Angeles station KFI-AM, devoted three shows to the case, even traveling to San Diego to broadcast from the van Dams’ Sabre Springs neighborhood. The week before that, they were the first to cast aspersions on the van Dams, a full day before the Roberts broadcast.

The Millennium Children’s Fund had just announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Danielle. Fund administrator Douglas Pierce had visited with the van Dams, and the next day he called a press conference in Los Angeles at which he voiced suspicions about the couple’s behavior. For an hour, Pierce blasted the van Dams for their apparent lack of emotion and general rudeness to him.

“I don’t know how much was true and how much was hysterical, but that’s what made it fascinating. We tried to unravel it on the air,” Kobylt says. “In retrospect, I think he did peg their personalities very well—the lack of emotion, the detachment, the obsession with the media message—and perhaps he got the vibe that they live a different life than most people.”

As soon as Pierce finished on-air, John and Ken introduced their next guests: an angry Damon and Brenda van Dam, who lambasted Pierce as a nut case. “We had scheduled them in advance, but when they heard Doug was on the show, they canceled, only to change their minds right before show time,” Kobylt says.

After the interview, John and Ken picked apart the conversation and spoke critically about the van Dams’ lack of emotion and their defensiveness about questions pertaining to their own behavior and actions the last night Danielle was seen. The next day, the swinger story broke in The San Diego Union-Tribune—furthered that evening on San Diego radio by Rick Roberts.

“It’s a very dramatic story,” says Kobylt. “Everybody got obsessed with it pretty quickly... We have a pretty fair audience in San Diego—we’ve even made it into the top 10 on occasion—and we started getting calls from people who live in the neighborhood and know the van Dams. As a result, it might as well have been in L.A. I tend to look at the whole [Southern California] area as the same, anyway.”

Mr. and Mrs. van Dam(By press deadline, the van Dams could not be reached for comment by San Diego Magazine.)

While the van Dam case has been duly covered by most of the mainstream media, the Star tabloid stoked the flames of controversy with a front-page banner that screamed, “The new JonBenet—what Danielle’s mom and dad are hiding.” Inside was a two-page story headlined, “Tragedy of little Danielle—and the dark sex secrets her parents are trying to keep hidden.”

Quoting the proverbial unnamed sources “close to the probe,” the Star reported that later-arrested suspect David Westerfield “was aware of the van Dams’ sexual activities and had approached Brenda about hosting a sex-swap party in his house.” The Star said Brenda had admitted to police “that the couple belonged to a swingers’ club called Club CB” and that sources say she “flirted outrageously and danced with Westerfield” the Friday night Danielle disappeared. “He [Westerfield] knew that Brenda and her friends were sexually involved, and he wanted to be part of the action, but for whatever reason, he was not invited by Brenda to accompany her and her four friends back to her home that night for more partying and sex,” the Star says it was told by a source.

68 posted on 07/29/2002 8:59:06 AM PDT by FresnoDA
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To: Jaded
I know, we don't know what forceful is....wonder why they didn't 'ask'...
69 posted on 07/29/2002 8:59:35 AM PDT by Freedom2specul8
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To: Jaded

NO JURY TODAY.....just attorneys....?

Attorneys, Judge Craft Jury Instructions

Final Testimony Expected Tuesday

Posted: 7:42 a.m. PDT July 29, 2002
Updated: 7:59 a.m. PDT July 29, 2002
SAN DIEGO -- Attorneys in the trial of accused child killer David Westerfield will spend Monday crafting the jury instructions that Judge William Mudd will give the panel before it begins deliberations.

Westerfield, 50, is charged with murder, kidnapping and special circumstance allegations that could lead to the death penalty if he's convicted of killing 7-year-old Danielle van Dam. He is also charged with misdemeanor possession of child pornography.

Prosecutors are expected to wrap up their rebuttal case Tuesday with testimony from M. Lee Goff, a professor of forensic sciences from Hawaii.

After that, Westerfield's attorneys will have a chance to rebut the prosecution's rebuttal evidence. Then, closing arguments will begin.Dr. Bill Rodriguez

In testimony Thursday, Dr. William Rodriguez (pictured, right), a forensic anthropologist, told the jury that the victim had been dead between four and six weeks when her body was discovered Feb. 27.

The prosecution expert's estimate caused some consternation in the courtroom because the time period would go back before Feb. 2, the day the second-grader was discovered missing.

However, Rodriguez earlier said it was impossible to set a precise "post-mortem interval," or the time between when a person dies and when the body is found, because there are too many variables.

The body was mummified and in an advanced state of decomposition when it was found alongside a road in the East County community of Dehesa.

"The conditions were ideal for mummification," Rodriguez said. "It was apparent it was a rapid mummification."

Rodriguez explained that mummification would inhibit insect activity. Insect activity was used by defense expert Neal Haskell to determine the body had been at the Dehesa site from Feb. 14 on.

Haskell testified three days earlier that he based his conclusion on the blow flies found in the body.

The defense contends Westerfield could not have dropped the body where it was discovered because he was under intense surveillance by the police beginning Feb. 5.

Rodriguez said Haskell left out an important factor in warm and dry climates: ants.

"They (ants) will literally carry away blow-fly eggs and larvae and feed on them," Rodriguez told the jurors. "You might look at that body and say there's no blow-fly larvae, no eggs, this body was not here a long time."

But Rodriguez testified that the quick mummification of the young girl's body would be a barrier to blow flies because tissue would be too hard. However, with mummification creating a "hard case" around her body, internal organs would retain moisture, he said.


70 posted on 07/29/2002 9:01:47 AM PDT by FresnoDA
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To: Jaded
Court in session: judge mudd refuses to reduce charge of MI to MII at this time. Is willing to look at later.

Judge agrees that parents did not give anyone permission to remove danielle from her home.

71 posted on 07/29/2002 9:03:01 AM PDT by Freedom2specul8
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To: ~Kim4VRWC's~
Kim, what source are you using? I can't get KOGO or Channel 10 in San Diego to load.
72 posted on 07/29/2002 9:19:25 AM PDT by shezza
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To: shezza
ctv...but it of course keeps breaking for commercials.
73 posted on 07/29/2002 9:20:07 AM PDT by Freedom2specul8
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To: shezza
now they're talking over the judge..but keeping the camera on in the courtroom.

Kind of boring routine stuff over little details...such as what to put on the caption of the jury instructions if anything. Judge agreed to go back to that again later after the evidence is finished being presented to the jury.

74 posted on 07/29/2002 9:21:56 AM PDT by Freedom2specul8
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To: Jaded

Thanks Cyndi...for the great VD song parody....

Cyndi Lauper Closes Gay Pride Weekend

More Than 100,000 Attend Two-Day Festival


POSTED: 7:32 a.m. PDT July 29, 2002

A performance by pop star Cyndi Lauper brought the two-day Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival to a close Sunday night.

Cyndi LauperLauper (pictured, left, at center), who reached stardom in 1980s with the song "Girls Just Want To Have Fun," performed at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. The performance was the last event in a weekend of activities that included a commitment ceremony for gay and lesbian couples and the annual Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade through Hillcrest. More than 100,000 people lined the street to watch the event.

EEEWWW!!!!......performed at the Organ Pavilion

75 posted on 07/29/2002 9:21:56 AM PDT by FresnoDA
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To: FresnoDA
Sometimes we just have to wonder why you insist on tainting the threads with BS like that.
76 posted on 07/29/2002 9:37:06 AM PDT by Freedom2specul8
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To: spectre
Paging spectre...cleanup, post 76....
77 posted on 07/29/2002 9:40:21 AM PDT by FresnoDA
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To: ~Kim4VRWC's~
I know, we don't know what forceful is....wonder why they didn't 'ask'...

The prosecutor didn't want to risk the answer that 'forceful' meant just yelling and the defense decided to leave this largely undefined comment slip by lest it be something serious. No matter what it was, it only happened ONCE. Hardly the bahavior of a guy who is out of control.

78 posted on 07/29/2002 9:43:00 AM PDT by connectthedots
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To: FresnoDA
You mean #75..
79 posted on 07/29/2002 9:44:37 AM PDT by Freedom2specul8
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To: PoisedWoman
Contrast her near-grimace of a smile with radiant little Samantha Runnion's and you see the difference between a truly loved child...

I don't think you can compare a video outtake pic with a posed pic. Better to look at Danielle's school pic. She looks like a normal child and was according to all around her. Kids when twirling for a videocam ham it up and pose and make faces.

Having said that, I don't perceive what you do in the video outtake pic you are referencing---different perceptions, same image.

80 posted on 07/29/2002 9:47:29 AM PDT by cyncooper
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