Tag Archives: Forensic Expert

Oscar Pistorius: Forensic Expert Roger Dixon

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Roger Dixon

Defense witness: Forensic “Expert” Roger Dixon

When forensic expert Roger Dixon was called by defense lawyer Barry Roux as a witness in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, he was announced with a kind of victorious pride. It was very clear and almost exaggerated that this witness absolutely has no objection to be filmed by TV cameras. One got the feeling that this will be the best witness yet and after his testimony the case may as well be closed and handed to the defense with a defeat to the state.

But Advocate Gerrie Nel, as the prosecutor, was obviously not reckoned with.

Roger Dixon, a geologist at the University of Pretoria and a former policeman with more than 18 years of experience to his name, was tagged unqualified to testify, early on in the line of questioning ‘fired’ by the prosecutor.

Defense dealt a blow when Forensic Expert got hammered

Mr Dixon was involuntary humbled. He had to admit in front of TV cameras from all over the world, as well as millions of South Africans following every word spoken in court, that indeed he did not have sufficient expertise in some areas in which he was testifying. These areas include ballistics, blood spatter, sound and visibility tests.

This, however, did not stop him from challenging the state’s ballistic expert, Captain Chris Mangena, in his claim that Ms. Steenkamp was first shot in the hip as she was facing the toilet door, then fell backwards and was shot in the arm and head as she tried to protect herself from the raining bullets.

Roger Dixon was of the opinion that Reeva was about to open the door when four shots in quick succession struck her. He also testified that the instrument he used to help him ascertain complete darkness in Oscar’s room at the time of the incident, was his eyes. It was at this time that Mr Nel helped him along to concede non-qualification in ballistics or pathology and that he has no affiliation to a forensic body.

Mr. Nel has requested several reports from this witness to be brought to the next session of court. An interesting day is sure to follow as the case continues.

Will the Defense be able to produce (belatedly) a Forensic Expert that can actually be called an expert?



.Ref.: www.independant.co.uk

Photo courtesy of: www.timeslive.co.za

Oscar Pistorius Trial: Forensic Expert

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Expert Forensic Scientist’s opinion: Oscar Pistorius case

The background of this expert: 

Dr David Klatzow holds a PhD in Medical Biochemistry and stands out among our few forensic science experts. With more than twenty-eight years experience, he has appeared as witness in numerous cases, as an advisor to both plaintiffs and defendants. Some of the high profile cases were: the Helderberg crash, Guguletu 7, Piet Retief massacre and the murder of Brett Keble.

In November 2011 whilst lecturing in Durban, Klatzow said South Africa would be in deep “trouble” if forensic scientists continued to work hand in hand with the state because some police officers did not collect evidence thoroughly.

Nothing has changed yet!

In a recent radio interview, he pointed out the ‘stupid’ actions of certain officers in this investigation. Specifically the officer that picked up a gun without gloves and the scene that wasn’t cordoned off, allowing some persons entrance to take cellphone photos.

Resulting effects:

Dr. Klatzow used the following example: Barry Roux has shot many holes in the police vehicle, but has by no means stopped it in its tracks. It is still moving with enough evidence to give the state a strong case.

Mr. Roux fired some shots just for the fun of it.

Answers that Oscar Pistorius will have to supply

In the days to come, there will be the classic ‘Gunfight at dawn’ where the two gunslingers involved will be the state forensic investigators and the forensic investigators hired by Oscar. Especially regarding the trajectory of the bullets.

Questions that will be asked to Oscar Pistorius:

  • What was it that he heard to make him think it was a burglar.
  • Why did he think his life was endangered.
  • Why did he not speak to the intruder or fire a warning shot.
  • Why did he not use the panic button in his home.
  • From where exactly did he shoot.
  • If they were in bed by 10 o’clock, why is there proof that Reeva had eaten 2 hours before death.
  • At what pace did he fire the 4 shots.
  • What sounds did he hear in between the shots.
  • Why did he forget to check if Reeva was safe.
  • Why would Reeva go to the toilet at 3 in the morning with her cellphone and lock the door.

This game is not even nearly finished and the last whistle is still a long way off!

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Ref.: http://www.timeslive.co.za/



Image: Courtesy of:  klatzow.co.za