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Jury Visits Leik's Basement

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Collins Jury Makes Its Daily Trip To County Building
Jury Visits Leik's Basement

By William B. Treml

A pie inre may be worth a.
-housand words but Circuit

^ourt Jud
;hinks a i
ter than both.

'"'fi W. Conlin
; look is bet-

The 14-person jury hearing
' 'ohn Norman Collins mur-
;i i irial have, in the past two
iveeks, heard literally thou-
sands of words spoken from the
witness stand about the base-
ment in the home of State
Police Sgt. David A. Leik at
1507 Roosevelt Blvd. in Ypsilan-
ti. It is in that basement that
Prosecutor William F. Delhey
contends Collins, the 23-year-
old college senior, murdered
Karen Sue Beineman more than
a year ago.

The seven men and seven
women on the jury have also
seen a scale drawing of the
^acpTnent introduced as evi-
' by Delhey. That drawing
s every foot of the base-

with each appliance and
permanent fixture labeled.

Walter L. Holz, head of the
Wchigan Department of

ih's Criminalistic Division,
yesterday spent a good part of
his second day on the witness
stand describing the basement
and what he found in it to Chief
Defense Counsel Joseph W.
Louisell under cross examina-

But yesterday because of
what Judge Conlin called a "le-
gal matter," the trial was
abruptly recessed at 3:15 r '"•
and the jury was spirited from
the County Building to the Leik
home accompanied by the
prosecution and defense staffs.
At the state policeman's home
the jury was given a tour of the
basement and then returned to
where they have been staying
under guard since the trial
started JF' ""

The "I) Drought about
by the unusual house tour may
have been a welcome relief to
the jury which was subjected
yesterday to an interminable
and at times boring cross
examination of Walter Holz by
Louisell. While the defense
attorney attacked Hoiz's direct
examination testimony about
the comparism of human hair
with some vigor, much of the
day was spent in a weary and
dreary argument centering on
the apparently vast technicali-
ties of the composition of a sin-
gle hair.

If the jury had never heard
of "m e d u 11 a" "medullary
^rea" and "pattered medulla-
tioif^of a human hair before,

they received a crash course

At one point it seemed Loui-
sell might move into an area
involving ancient tribesmen
when he said: "Well, we're
only ta""""- about hair from
the Cai race. We're not
concerneu wiiii the Australian
aborigines. At this time."

Virtually the only two points
Louisell made in his question-
ing was an admission by Holz
that he was "not aware of" oth-
er scientists who have matched

later testified that they came
from a common source; and an
agreement that head hair from
members of the Caucasian race
is not unique.

But those admissions were
the last Louisell was to force
from Holz who spent most of
the morning and all the after-
noon yesterday on the witness
stand. The Lansing official was
still on the stand when Judge
Conlin declared an early recess
at 3:15 p.m.

Holz was scheduled to resume
the stand for further cross
examination this morning. He
is the 35th witness called for
the state by Prosecutor Delhey
and the first degree murder
<"i 'i is now in its third week.

. z told Louisell he does not
feel it is necessary to compare
1,000 samples of hair to obtain
a "meaningful comparism" and
when asked if any laboratory
except his uses "dry mounts"
in hair comparisons, Holz
named science centers in


Toronto, Ontario (where a
defense scientist lives), Phoe-
nix, Ariz., and San Diego, Calif.

The witness said he made "at
least 20" tests for blood in the
Leik basement. One of those
tests was made of a small spot
Located 15 inches in front of the
clothes dryer and Holz said
analysis showed the spot to be
Type A blood,

Several stains found on a
sleeve of a blue and white boys'
snirt which was hanging over a

ite^mi^a^&J^ b-.--^-.lC'^•lt
n Iy opi^W^K^^WH^TOrh'
bat it was not possible in
it, Holz said.

"Did you ever learn that this
shirt belonged to one of the
Leik boys?" Louisell asked.

"I may have," Holz replied.

"Did you ever secure infor-
mation on the type of blood of
the three Leik children?" was
Louisell's next question.

"I never received anything
in writing or from a reliable
source," the Department of
Health official said.

"Wasn't it a possibility that
the blood was from one of the
Leik children?" Louisell asked.

"It was possible," Holz said.

The witness said he was
"never able to conclude" that a
third spot on a wall adjacent to
the clothes dryer was blood. A
fourth spot on top of a record
player was established as a
substance other than blood, he

In the hour-long cross exami-
nation in the afternoon Louisell
and Holz engaged in a brisk
exchange • "meaning" of


a toxicologist report of .03 ethyl
grain alcohol being found in
Miss Beineman's blood.

"I'm not qualified to iia.'
what that means," Holz told

In a double question, "-"
chief defense counsel askii;

Holz: "Have you ever found
ethyl grain alcohol in the blood
of a person without that per-
sonhaving ingested alcohol
shortly before death? Y o u
would never find any alcohol in
the blood of a person who had


"I don't agree to that," the
witness replied. "It (alcohol
content) can occur as a result
of decomposition in the body,
from fermentation break-down
of sugars in the body."

Holz said alcohol breaks
down "to some extent" after

As he had done with an ear-
lier state witness, Curtis Fluk-
er "I"" "<- 41"" '-^c Department
ol asked sever-
al tluc.tuuna ui Holz on the
alkaloid-type drug found yo.
Miss Beineman's blood ^t'-esm
at the time of the a

(Alkaloids are one of a cla-sn ui
basic nitrogenous organic com-
pounds occurring in plants,
such as nicotine, atropine, mor-
phine or quinine. Caffeine, a

| major factor in coffee and tea

)is also an alkaloid.)

1 H o 1 z t e s t i f i e d that the

1 alkaloid found in Miss Beine-
man's blood strc. 'wed
"similar" charade; i^iK'.s of

; caffeine and a test for barbitu-

' ates came out negative.

The remainder of the after-
noon was spent with Louisell
questioning Holz on the signifi-
cance of diameter measure-

; ments made of hair segments

; found in the Leik basement and
in the underclothing of Miss
Beineman. At Louisell's sugges-

, tion, Holz drew a sketch of a

''.; "Caucasian head hair". Holz
said he measured a total of 61
hair segments found in the
murder victim's clothing and
those individual hairs had a cir-
cumference ranging from 36 to
95 microns. The hairs taken
from the floor of the Leik base-
microns, Holz said.

He said these measuremc
were "adequate for an aver-
age" and he disagreed with a
Louisell contention that a sam-
pling of 61 hairs was "absolute-
ly meaningless."

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