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This does not bode well. Unfortunately, I am unsurprised with regard to the verdict. Lucas County has been teeming with SRA allegations ever since the murder of Sister Margaret Pahl—though hard evidence of these so-called satanic rituals/murders have yet to be corroborated. That is, unless you want to count a doll with a rusty nail through its head—recall the Lucas County incident in 1985.


I suspect Fr. Robinson might be paying the price for the misbehavior of some of his colleagues. I think any Catholic priest facing criminal charges at present would be facing a presumption of guilt in some people's minds.


Silly me! I thought it took evidence to convict. I guess it only takes membership in a currently unpopular group. Isn't Jury Nullification a term that refers to jurors ignoring the law and deciding by some other means the verdict in a trial? Such as "Let's choose a verdict to send a message to the criminals" Or "If we let this guy off it will cause a riot" or "We THINK he did it, even though there is no evidence to prove it" Or does the term just apply to situations like the OJ trial, where a defendant is let off regardless of the proof of his guilt? I think this is a case if Jury Nullification. I see no other reason for his conviction, certainly they had no proof he committed the crime. It's a sad commentary on our system.

Court watcher

I was in the courtroom each day of the trial and watched with great interest. I wanted to draw your attention to the following:

1. The pubic hair found was no where near the crime scene. It was down the hallway on an exit door. Given that this is a hospital, couldn't this hair have come from a laundry bin, resident's clothing etc? There was no testimony regarding pubic hair being found at the crime scene. Period.

2. RE: Scissors - The Coroner's report said originally that it could not 'rule out' scissors, it did not say specifically that the weapon WAS scissors.

3. RE: Depth of stab wounds. Sr. Pahl was stabbed repeatedly over 27 puncture wounds. To me, it's not surprising that the wounds did not go in much deeper than 3 inches, given how many there were, given the number of wounds and momentum it would take to make that many punctures. It's analogous to tenderizing a piece of meat, with a meat hammer - who hammers all the way thru?

4. The DNA that was found under Sr. Ann's nails was not Fr. Robinson's - but it was also not blood DNA. The experts explained the transfer of DNA can happen as easily as an uncovered sneeze. Imagine how many people worked on her, and at a minimum, contaminated the crime scene before it was secured? The presence of some other DNA is not all surprising.

5. RE: the letter opener was actually 3-dimensional with a raised edge. While it was dull enough to handle in your hands, in a stabbing motion it would be quite sharp -- much like scissors -- used in a stabbing method.

6. RE: Male DNA on her underwear -- Sr. Pahl's underwear was around her ankles. The DNA found on the underwear was not semen or blood. It was DNA that could have been transferred from anyone on the crime scene at anytime, because of how botched the crime scene was in the hysteria that was present.

7. RE: the Jurors. I think the jurors struggled with the entire case. And, while I agree that the case was thin on direct evidence. It was overwhelmingly full of enough circumstantial evidence, to warrant a conviction. To wit:

1. Fr. Robinson concedes he was in sole possession of the letter opener before the crime and after. What the defense will have you believe is that someone broke into his room, stole the letter opener, used it, cleaned it and then when security was at an all time high, just put it back. That's not logical.

2. The experts showed and quite convincingly how the letter opener fit like a key to a lock. I can tell you, that there was a stunning silence over the courtroom when they showed her mandible (jaw) with the letter opener in it, and how those wounds could have only been made by an item absolutely similar (which scissors were not).

3. One would have to believe that the letter opener was not the weapon, in order to believe that Fr. Robinson didn't do this.

4. Speaking of Fr. Robinson - he did himself no favors by wearing a priest collar and refusing to take the stand (although he had the right to not take the stand).

5. Fr. Robinson did himself no favors when he lied to police and got caught.

6. Fr. Robinson did himself no favors when he told police that he knew who the killer was and then took it back.

7. The Toledo Diocese did Fr. Robinson no favors by withholding 145 pages of documentation from law enforcement while they were investigating this murder.

8. The Toledo Diocese did Fr. Robinson no favors by interupting the interrogation.

9. Fr. Robinson did himself no favors when he failed the first polygraph and then had 'inclusive' results with the second, even though it was done on friendly ground and on friendly terms.

Perhaps what was more disturbing was the disposition of Fr. Robinson throughout the trail. Specificially, he was alert and animated, kidding and smiling when the jurors were on break. He was somber, pensive and sometimes even looked asleep when the jurors were present. It was like a toggle switch on and off and while that doesn't 'prove' anything, it was disturbing.

In the end, we may never know exactly what happened to Sr. Pahl. And, Fr. Robinson being accused of being both a pedophile and a liar do not make him a murderer. But, here is what I do think: the jurors wanted an out, they wanted to find him innocent but the state (surprisingly enough) did a very thorough job of putting on a case and the defense did a whole lot of nothing but grand stand for the hollywood media that was there (it was not one of Mr. Konop's nor Mr. Theebes, or Ms. Khoury's finer days)...

But, I also don't believe that Fr. Robinson is imprisoned for something other than what he was convicted of.

Brother Rolf

Brilliant observations. If anyone has doubts, read the book.

A Voice of Sanity

"2. The experts showed and quite convincingly how the letter opener fit like a key to a lock. I can tell you, that there was a stunning silence over the courtroom when they showed her mandible (jaw) with the letter opener in it, and how those wounds could have only been made by an item absolutely similar (which scissors were not)."

Every bullet fits every bullet hole. This is not conclusive. There is a suspicion that the hole was shaped by the testing and not by the assault.

In the Sam & Marilyn Sheppard case, the original coroner was just as certain that a similar bloody stain was made by a surgical instrument; Sheppard was a doctor; conclusion -- Sheppard was guilty. After years of searching no such instrument was found to have ever existed as the coroner finally admitted.

There is simply no proof of guilt in this case - none. As for your 'behavior evidence', this is the sort of nonsense all too often trotted out where no real evidence exists. See Wharton's Criminal Evidence (vol.2, sec. 915, pg. 507): "... circumstances, trivial in themselves, take on an exaggerated character the moment that suspicion is directed toward a person accused of crime; and because of this tendency, no circumstance should be admitted that cannot be shown to have a direct and obvious relevancy to the crime charged"; quoted on from People vs McCall.

I totally agree

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