Normal Topic Theodor C. Caron, Jr. Passed a Polygraph Test About Murder of Pamela Brown - 27 Years Later, DNA Implicates Him (Read 3784 times)
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Theodor C. Caron, Jr. Passed a Polygraph Test About Murder of Pamela Brown - 27 Years Later, DNA Implicates Him
Feb 18th, 2009 at 2:52pm
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In yet another example of misplaced reliance on the pseudoscience of polygraphy misdirecting a criminal investigation, the Times Argus of Barre, Vermont reports on the arrest of a man for a murder regarding which he passed a polygraph test some 27 years ago:

Quote:
http://www.timesargus.com/article/20090218/NEWS01/902180359/1002/NEWS01

New break in old Barre murder: Man faces charges in death of Pamela Brown

Staff, wire report - Published: February 18, 2009

BARRE – Police believe they've found the man who killed 18-year-old Pamela Brown almost 27 years ago and left her body in a wooded area behind a church in Barre.

Theodor C. Caron, Jr., 47, of Barre, has been accused of Brown's murder based on 27-year-old DNA evidence from the body of Brown, who had been seen with Caron the night before she was found dead, according to court documents released Tuesday.

Evidence collected from Brown was first linked to Caron by a random DNA check through a national database.

Caron's DNA was entered into the database after he was convicted in 2006 for driving under the influence.

He is scheduled to appear today in Vermont District Court in Barre to answer to the murder charge in a case that stunned the Granite City amidst the celebrations of its Ethnic Heritage Festival. Details of the charges will be made public at the hearing. He is now in jail on unrelated charges.

Elaine Brown, the mother of the 18-year-old murder victim, didn't know what to make of the news that her daughter's killer may have been found after nearly three decades.

"I'm not sure of my reaction at this point," said Brown, who was reached by phone at her South Barre home. "They're pretty mixed up."

Brown clearly did not want to talk about the case Tuesday night.

"Let's not go into this please, we'll all talk about this tomorrow," she said, before hanging up the phone.

Three young boys found the body of Pamela Brown behind St. Monica School near downtown Barre on July 17, 1982, the day after the boisterous festival had closed many downtown streets. She had been strangled with the cord of the blouse she had been wearing, and the condition of Brown's body and clothing was "highly indicative of a sexual crime," said a police application for an arrest warrant filed in the Barre court.

Caron was interviewed by police after Brown's death, but he passed a polygraph test at the time and no blood or saliva samples were collected from him, according to court documents filed in support of an arrest warrant.

Last year, a state police detective reviewed the 1982 polygraph results and said he questioned their reliability.

A DNA profile of evidence taken from Brown's body was entered into national DNA databases in 2002. Caron was required to give a DNA sample after he was convicted of a third drunk driving offense in 2006, police said.

Caron was linked in December 2007 to the sample taken from Brown's body by a match in Vermont's DNA database. The court document indicated the case was investigated over several months, but there was no explanation why Caron wasn't charged with murder until Tuesday.

Vermont law requires a separate sample after a computer DNA match. So last April, police watched Caron as he walked into a state office building in Barre carrying a cup of coffee. Police later collected the cup as well as a discarded cigarette. DNA from both samples linked Caron to Brown's body.

Another witness from 1982 said Caron was known to be "mean to women, would slap them and push them around if he didn't get his way."

Witnesses placed Caron with Brown the night before she died, police said. Caron also asked a friend to lie about his whereabouts the night of Brown's death and gave inconsistent explanations to authorities, police said.

In an interview last year, Caron told police he didn't remember much about the case, but he said he'd seen Brown the night before she died.

Gregory McNaughton was the Washington County State's Attorney at the time of Brown's death.

He said the gruesome murder was the last straw for the annual Ethnic Heritage Festival, which drew 20,000 people to Barre, tripling the population.

"The Heritage Festival had just gotten too big too fast and there were lots and lots of people showing up at that festival with only one goal in mind and that was to get as intoxicated as they could," said McNaughton.

And then Brown was murdered.

"It was basically the end of the Heritage Festival," said McNaughton.

Brown's murder was one of four homicides in Washington County within a few months, which, together, left residents shaken, said McNaughton.

"I think that it certainly gave everybody, you know, an eeriness and a fear," he said. "Up to that point, in '82, we virtually hadn't had a homicide in Washington County for like six or seven years, and then in a three-month period we had four."

McNaughton said he hasn't been dwelling on the unsolved case, but he did think about it in the years that followed.

"From a professional standpoint it bothered me that we didn't successfully resolve it, and I would have liked to have had that accomplishment," said McNaughton. "And when it was a hot July day in the years immediately after that, it was hard not to remember, and think, a year ago or two years ago we were investigating such and such and…it would have been nice if we could have resolved it."

This story was reported by Times Argus Staff reporter Thatcher Moats and Associated Press reporter Wilson Ring .
  

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Theodor C. Caron, Jr. Passed a Polygraph Test About Murder of Pamela Brown - 27 Years Later, DNA Implicates Him

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