Forensic Analysis

Re: The unsolved 1948 murder of Mary Jane Reed 

The following is a compilation of facts as stated by 10 independent forensic experts from hard evidence gleaned from the captioned female subject’s exhumed bones, post mortem examination photos, x-rays, Ill. State Police video/video sound tracks, Ill. State Police reports, Ogle County Sheriff’s reports and witness statements.

Back ground: After extensive litigation to determine the legal rights and duties of the parties, (The above captioned victim’s brother Warren Reed and the Mary Jane Reed Foundation (Plaintiffs) v.s. (Defendants) Ogle County Sheriff, Coroner & Sates Attorney), the body of Mary Jane Reed, “The deceased victim” was exhumed on August 29 of 2005.

The Court ordered that the Plaintiffs were to not only be present at the exhuming and post mortem exam, (Except for Michael Arians, Warren Reed's VOVC Advocate) but were to receive all and any information gleaned from said post mortem examination by the Ill. State Police, Ogle County Sheriff, Ogle County Coroner, Ogle County States Attorney and their operatives or agents.

In March of 2009 after nearly two years of additional litigation and four years after the exhuming of “Mary Jane Reed,” the Plaintiffs finally received what they believed to be a complete file of all of the information obtained from the 2005 exhuming and post mortem examination of  (Plaintiff) Warren Reed’s sister, “the above captioned victim.” The “Complete file,” was as captioned above.

(It should be noted that upon opening the female victim’s casket it was obvious to all observers, including the doctors that the victim had at some point been decapitated prior to her 1948 interment.) 

No less than ten board certified expert forensic anthropologists examined the victim’s cervical bones and or X-rays of the same. All of them determined that the skull & vertebra that was exhumed and examined (to include the X-rays), were from two separate individuals of the same gender and of similar age within seven to ten years.

One additional expert could only verify that the skull and C-1 vertebra were with certainty no doubt from the same individual, however felt there was reason to question the ethnicity of the skull as NOT being Caucasian.

All eleven experts concurred that there were NO knife/scalpel marks/scrapes on any of the vertebra they examined. Nor were there any fractures or foreign intrusion to any of the C-1 through C-7 vertebra.

Additionally all eleven experts concurred that it would be IMPOSSIBLE to decapitate a human being alive or dead without noticeably physically damaging one or more of the cervical vertebra to some degree.

(It should be noted that the X-rays of the female victim were taken before any physical examination of the body was accomplished and directly after she was removed from her casket from within the burial vault. Additionally that the victim was zipped up in a durable vinyl like body bag of the 1948 era which was still very much in tact.)

All of the experts examined the x-rays that the Plaintiffs finally received after two years of litigation and four years after the exhuming and post mortem examination.

Each expert concurred that two separate x-rays of the cervical column of the deceased clearly imaged that the C-1 vertebra of the subject victim suffered severe foreign trauma/intrusion, which broke the C-1 vertebra in a jagged manner at two places, front and rear. Further more that the lateral bone matter connecting the right and left articulation facets of this vertebra could not be seen in the x-rays.

The skull imaged in the x-rays, ISP photos and ISP video was verified and identifiable beyond doubt as the skull that was given to the Plaintiff’s independent forensic experts for their examination.

All six forensic experts agreed with certainty that the C-1 vertebra given to them for their personal examination did in fact articulate perfectly with the base of the above captioned skull.

Further that the C-2 two vertebra did not remotely come close to matching/articulating with the C-1 vertebra, however did in fact articulate perfectly with the remaining C-3 through C-7 vertebra as imaged in the x-rays.

Additionally, the broken C-1 vertebra as imaged in the post mortem x-rays was not provided to the experts because it was not given to the Plaintiffs by the authorities at any time for further examination. AND that the C-1 vertebra provided to petitioners was not visible in the x-ray, most likely due to the fact that it still adhered to the base of the skull, which obscured it from view by the x-ray.

Finally we are left with the fact, that at the time of the post mortem x-ray there were in actuality two C-1 vertebras in the body bag with the victim. One which was pristine in condition, articulating/matching the skull in a normal manner and another C-1 vertebra which was severally fractured, however its remaining facets still articulated normally with the C-2 vertebra.

The final analysis, (In that the skull buried with the female victim does not belong to this captioned female subject/victim and the fact that all human beings possess one C-1 vertebra, not two.) can only be that a significant degree of desecration occurred to the female’s corpse after her body was discovered and while it was under the care, custody and control of Ogle County authorities and/or their agents. (ie; Sheriff, Coroner and/or their on site investigators, doctor performing the post mortum examination and/or mortuary personnel.)

Mary Jane Reed
11/15/1930 - 6/??/1948