May 26, 2012

Detroit police and EMS determine that a man died of natural causes, and it's the mortician that finds the gunshot wound.

Which also means that the police did not preserve the evidence needed to investigate.
Police technicians did not scour the room or take photos until later. There was no immediate preservation of possible clues. Visitors tracked in and out. His family took Brooks' cell phone. And, unless this was a suicide, a killer had precious hours to elude capture.

Even the clothes Brooks wore had been stripped off and discarded, as is customary when a funeral home picks up a body. The clothing was retrieved, but also is now most likely tainted as evidence.

"I am pissed off," Shakira Bonds, 20, one of Brooks' daughters, told the Free Press on Tuesday. "I don't know who to go to."
The dead man, Leslie Brooks, was 59.

ADDED: This seems vaguely relevant:


David said...


Ron said...

I believe Detroit has only a clearance rate of 21% for murder....

Flint, not much different.

madAsHell said...

Can't we just turn out the lights in Detroit?

rhhardin said...

Gunshot wounds are natural causes in Detroit.

David said...

Ron is right about the clearance rate. In Detroit people get away with murder all the time.

I suppose you could say this was an understandable mistake, but I think it's darker than that. The authorities did not care enough to really look hard. Just another dead black guy in a dying city. Why waste any extra effort.

My grandfather grew up in Detroit around the turn of the 20th century. He entered the work force at age 15 in 1901. The city was growing rapidly, fueled by innovators and providing work for immigrants like my grandfather. It was a time of great optimism and opportunity. What has happened in the last 40 years is terribly sad.

edutcher said...

Known in the Motor City as Transdermal Projectile Implant.

Chip S. said...

Can't we just turn out the lights in Detroit?

That's the problem. This homicide probably occurred in the area where they've turned off the lights. Nobody could see anything until the corpse was under the mortician's lighting.

karrde said...


I think bleeding to death is a natural result of a gunshot wound.

Absent medical intervention, that is. (I think if the gunshot-wound-victim doesn't die immediately and can get medical care rapidly, they have good odds of survival. Unlike in the movies, when a gunshot-wound is fatal unless the victim is also the hero.)

Known homocides in the City of Detroit have been running at about 34 per 100,000 residents. At least they were in 2010, according to Wikipedia. (A search for more recent data produce similar results, but without easily-tracked citations.)

Also, there are claims that ~70% of homicides in the City go unsolved.

The suburb of Detroit that I live in has rarely seen more than two homicides a year for the past three decades.

That knowledge sits very strangely in my mind.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...


I think that a small-caliber bullet directly to the heart doesn't produce any external bleeding you'd notice, especially if the victim is wearing a black shirt over a black T-shirt.

That said, it's incredible that no one thought to make even a cursory examination before discharging the body for burial.