Too Much Blood

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Than Fiction:
Trial Commentary

Peterson Case


Along with pools of blood on the floor and lower steps, defense expert, Dr. Henry Lee testified his client's hallway also contained an astounding amount of blood spatter -- estimating there were 10,000 blood drops.

Henry Lee

Having been paid a pretty penny for his thoughts, Lee told Michael's jury the scene was so bloody, it was beyond what he would expect to find -- even after a brutal beating.

The scientist's traumatic words had a blunt force: "Too much blood for a beating."

Of course, if there was too much blood for a murder, there was surely too much blood for an accident.

Not unlike Mr. Lestrade's response -- when Dr. Lee was asked what event would result in a scene bloodier than that of a beating, he shrugged and said it was a mystery.

The mysterious incident becomes clear when the crime scene evidence is viewed as a whole. In Lee's word's "You have to look at the totality."

Bearing in mind the blood-soaked soles of Kathleen Peterson's feet and the wet blood spatter on top of dried spatter, it's reasonable to conclude that after Michael beat his wife and left her to die, she was able to revive herself. She struggled to her feet and probably surprised Michael, who panicked and beat his wife again -- mercilessly.

5,000 blood drops became 10,000 as Michael poked, punched, kicked and choked his "soulmate."

Afterward -- most likely realizing there was far, far too much blood for a clumsy slip down the stairs -- Peterson tried to clean away some of the blood with towels. The useless endeavor was abandoned. Time was becoming an issue, but calling 9-1-1 had to be delayed until the scene was arranged. He spent an hour hiding items, preparing fake props, re-positioning his wife's corpse, and -- among other odd things -- removing his shoes and socks.

Financial Fire