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Skimming through the decision makes me long all the more for a transcript of the trial. I have been inclined toward Fr. Robinson's innocence, largely based upon your reporting of the compelling evidence regarding the unmatched male DNA on the underwear and fingernail. (This opinion solidified after reading media reports detailing the state's clumsy and contradictory arguments surrounding the DNA, the underwhelming letter-opener-as-murder-weapon evidence, the missing scissors, the missing contemporaneous interview notes with Robinson, no compelling motive narrative, seeming absence of even remotely related behavioral history by Robinson, and the ever-ridiculous claims of satanic ritual abuse.)

What I was unaware of until reading the decision, however, was the amount of contradictory statements given by Fr. Robinson, some of which strike me as showing consciousness of guilt. The supposed confession he claimed to hear from the "real killer", for example, really raises an eyebrow. And the revelation of the other priest immediately pointing the finger of blame at Fr. Robinson is particularly striking. It's hard to imagine any coworker, much less a priest, instantly implicating someone in a murder without serious cause. And unless I read it wrong, Fr. Robinson said nothing when the accusation was made.

Ripped from their context, it's hard for me to weigh the cumulative value of this seemingly damning evidence. There are logical and innocent answers possible for most of these events. Absent the trial transcript, though, I've no clue as to what innocent explanations were offered by the defense. One simply cannot dismiss or turn away from the singularly compelling fact of the unmatched male DNA, but reading this decision is giving me pause.

Thanks for your writing on this case, Laura. It's been top notch. You are a real talent and a pleasure to read. Here's looking forward to more of your thoughts on the case.



There was an explanation as to why some of the documentation of the investigation were gone. At trial, one of the original detectives (Kina or Marx -- I can't remember) in the case said under oath that they were ordered by Asst. Chief Ray Vetter to give all reports to him. The customary procedure was to retain one copy, give one copy to the record room, and give one copy to the supervising officer. In this case, Vetter (who in my opinion ended the original investigation of Robinson with the help of Msgr. Jerome Schmit) ordered all copies to be given to him. On the stand, Vetter did not dispute that this was his order, but when asked where they were now his reply was along the lines of "I don't know."

Lets be honest. He isn't going to say "I destroyed them."

A Voice of Sanity

These 'affirmations' make me question the value received from such expensive courts which crank out endless pages of paper yet seemingly apply such trivial amounts of thought. Over and over we see convictions affirmed when any reasonable person, considering these convictions calmly and without the public hysteria which surrounds the original verdict, ought to be troubled by the quality and quantity of the evidence offered.


Laura - I know that the media reports made much of the satanic aspects of the trial, but I do not see that the court allowed satanic ritual to be entered into evidence.

For the sake of discussion, had the murder happened at a Temple with some of the religious symbols been a Menorah or a Star of David or a Yarmulke and a rabbi testified that they were used in a "bastardized version" would you still be thinking that the court permitted satanic ritual to be entered into evidence?

Believe me, I think that there is more to this story. I think that there is another player in this who we are hearing very little about. I used to wonder why the Lucas County Prosecutor didn't go after the Diocese of Toledo for obstruction given the whole search warrant thing, but I now think that the prosecutor is keeping some of their cards close to their vest should this case ever go to a retrial.

We know now that the Appeals Court didn't give them their retrial. They say that they are going to take it to the Ohio Supreme Court. I wonder who is paying for all of this?


I was a security officer at Mercy Hospital in 1980.
I was young and this was my first real job.
My ambition was to go toschool and become an attorney.However a very short exchange between FR Jerome Swiataki and I 40 feet from the Chapel three days after the murder led me to believe that he killed the sister. Additionly his words to me were almost Prophetic in that he made it very clear that he was a Priest and I was a little Nobody and nobody would ever believe me!!!!

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