Saturday, June 30, 2012

RE: Michael Morin's Suicide

People who know me as an investigator, know I have a deep attraction to murder cases.
Particularly homicide/suicide. Meaning was it a homicide? A suicide?
Or a homicide staged as a suicide?
Investigative skills in Death Investigation, come in handy when insurance companies are investigating cause of death. Because of contractual law, insurance policies do not pay out on suicides...except under certain conditions, specific exceptions and exemptions.

That said I have been closely following the case of Michael Marin, an attorney who, it appears, hit more than few bumps in the illegal road he paved  and was ultimately, unwilling to face the consequences. He took what witnesses and law enforcement suspect was a poison at his trial.

This is a quote from the article that follows.
"This is one of the strangest cases I've seen in a long time," said Jeff Sprong, a spokesman with the Maricopa County sheriff's office. "We're hoping to find out exactly what he was thinking and exactly what he took."
As an outside observer looking in from day one of this case, I couldn't agree more,

And I'm also thinking Marin was a complete and total chicken.
A narcissistic chicken.
Rather than face his punishment like a man, he turned into a chicken and  crossed the road to get to the dark side.
He killed himself in front of everyone...
Everyone who knew he did wrong
Before his suicide,  his worst case scenario already happened -- his scam was revealed,  exposed,  he got charged.
He survived the public humiliation, embarrassment, arrests and the mugshot below.
The need to poison himself in the courtroom and further traumatize MORE people....
rather than suck it up and do his time?
What was that about?
Imho, the worst was behind him.
He didn't need to run anymore.
Yes, he had to trade his Rolex for handcuffs ....
and designer suits for orange jumpsuits for a while.
A long while.
Still, I am of the opinion, doing time is no reason to take yourself out.
Otherwise... our prisons would be empty.
Personally I hope Marin does not rest in peace.
Because the people he stole so much from will never recover from his breach of trust.

Suicide by poison suspected in Ariz. court death
Source: Odd News News
Originally published: Jun 29, 2012 - 5:13 pm

In this undated photo provided by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, 53-year-old Michael Marin is shown. The former Wall Street trader and attorney is suspected of fatally poisoning himself as he was found guilty of arson of an occupied structure in a Phoenix courtroom on June 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff)

Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) - As the word "guilty" filled the silence of a Phoenix courtroom, defendant Michael Marin closed his eyes, put his head in his hands and appeared to put something in his mouth. He then took a swig from a sports bottle.
Minutes later, the 53-year-old Marin was dead.
Now investigators are trying to confirm their suspicion that Marin popped a poison pill after the jury found him guilty of arson, a bizarre ending to a case that began in 2009 when he emerged from his burning mansion in scuba gear.
Prosecutors said he torched his home when he couldn't keep up with the payments. Marin, an attorney and father of four, faced seven to 21 years in prison.
"This is one of the strangest cases I've seen in a long time," said Jeff Sprong, a spokesman with the Maricopa County sheriff's office. "We're hoping to find out exactly what he was thinking and exactly what he took."
Detectives will get the liquid from the sports drink tested for poisons. An autopsy was being conducted Friday to determine if any poison was in Marin's system, but results weren't expected to be released for months.
Marin's four grown children, who live in Arizona, did not return requests for comment, nor did his attorney, Andrew Clemency, or prosecutor Chris Rapp.
Marin, a former Wall Street trader, had summited Everest and wrote on his Facebook page that he had scaled six of the world's seven tallest mountains. He also was an art collector who had original Picassos.
Prosecutors painted him as a desperate man who had $50 in his bank account in July 2009, down from $900,000 a year earlier. He also had a monthly mortgage payment on the mansion of $17,250 and an upcoming balloon payment of $2.3 million.
Marin also owed $2,500 a month on a different home and owed $34,000 in taxes, prosecutors said.
On July 5, 2009, Marin told investigators that he escaped a blaze in his 10,000-sqaure-foot mansion in a posh part of Phoenix using a rope ladder and wearing scuba gear to avoid inhaling smoke.
Fire investigators later determined that the blaze was intentionally set. As Marin was led off to jail, he told reporters that he was innocent and "utterly shocked" that he was being arrested.
On Thursday, a jury found Marin guilty of a felony count of arson of an occupied structure.
After the verdict, he appeared to put something in his mouth, according to video footage. Soon after, a bright-red Marin coughed, reached for a tissue, buried his face in his hands and appeared to sob, The Arizona Republic reported.
Marin then began making noises that sounded like snores and whoops as he began convulsing and fell on the floor face-first, according to the newspaper.
Sprong, the sheriff's spokesman, said an investigator in the courtroom tried to resuscitate Marin. He was pronounced dead soon after at a hospital. Sprong said the department planned to interview his family and search his home.
Records show that other defendants found guilty of arson of an occupied structure, on top of other serious charges and when other people's lives were at risk, have received more lenient sentences than the one Marin faced.
For instance, a Phoenix man was sentenced to 10 years in prison and three years' probation after being convicted on charges that included arson of an occupied structure. Prosecutors said he endangered 12 people, including six children.
Franklin Zimring, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in criminal sanctions, said a sentence up to 21 years in prison seemed overly long in Marin's case.
"What makes the potential sentence both seem quite long and seem, in some sense, inappropriate is that the life that was put at risk was that of the offender," he said.
Zimring said Marin likely would have been eligible for a shorter sentence had he agreed to a plea deal.
Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the Maricopa County attorney's office, said talks about a plea deal had broken down and the case moved to trial. He could not say which side was more responsible for the breakdown.
Cobb said that after Marin was convicted, prosecutors would have sought a harsher sentence for him, anywhere between 10 1/2 and 21 years in prison.
Among Marin's last posts on Facebook, in November 2009, was a photo of his four children that said there was something more important to him than his Everest conquest.
"More than anything else I may have accomplished in this life, this is what really matters to me: the blessing of knowing the amazing individuals I am privileged to call my children," he wrote.
Follow Amanda Lee Myers on Twitter at

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Carrie Underwood

Who Took The Wheel?

I've been an auto accident investigator a very long time. And I've seen some serious miracles out there. Sometimes an accident victim will tell me a the story about how he or she survived a huge hit. How they lived  is sometimes, something I can not believe or fathom --  the facts of the collision defy logic, analysis, reason, statistics.
So this single mother told me recently, how stressed out she's been over her impending divorce.
And how she admits she was distracted, despite  that long dark stretch of highway with no lights, pouring rain and oncoming traffic ahead.
The woman said she looked up at the very last minute and saw a passing lane ahead on the left and a truck headed right to her. She said as her body braced up she instinctively sang out out: "Jesus take the Wheel".
She said she sang it just like the Carrie Underwood song.
She said the car spun a full 360 degree, according to witnesses. And the car came to a dead stop.
Nothing was hit.
And she said... she knew immediately...
post impact....
"Jesus DID take the wheel.  Otherwise I'd be dead."
And she said , just as her car did a 360, she did the same with her life.
Turned it around. Complete 360.
That would be the reason why I am posting this song.
Not for the purposes of religious conversion...
more on a broader scale.
Beyond that, as an accident investigator, I have always loved the song for the message it contains.
I believe there a greater force of good.... a higher power.... somewhere out there, or within each of us... we can all tap into.
Whoever you believe in as a higher entity or entities, I think there is sufficient evidence, in times of crisis,  that calling out to who you believe in... can indeed summon the angels, the cavalry, or maybe even, the head honcho.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sacred Spirit - Yeha Noha

Interview With A Wise Woman

Right now... everyone around me, human and canine, is exhausted and asleep. Their energy is spent.
Not mine evidently.
I hear their individual breaths if I listen hard enough.
It is 9:32 pm in the Pacific Northwest US and the sun is still out over Port Gamble Bay.
We are so close to Alaska... I often feel our endless days of summers, sunsets past ten, dawn again around 4... are almost unworldly.
All of us here on Port Gamble Bay, our motley crew called a family, we have traveled many miles, over meany decades, to find each other and this odd yet precise point  in space in time.
Tonight, I feel intense gratitude to be home safe and sound.
And I want to share this gratitude... and wisdom garnered from a chance encounter...
with whoever happens by the blog.
I want to write about a case.
I am limited in what I can say, so I will put this carefully.
I worked an investigation in the past day or so, where a driver, who was a very bad man, ran over a woman in a kind of a wheelchair-like device that got sort of got sucked under his truck.
The guy who hit her acted like he could care less.
Strangers emerged from nowhere.  Supermarkets, banks.
It was very inspiring to hear how many sets of strong mens' arms lifted a 350 pick up off that woman's body and freed her.
The paramedics and ER staff saved her.
I was blessed  that I was sent to get her statement, because her words inspired me.
See this woman, a 100% Native American who is quite spiritual...
a tribal elder...
told me a story of forgiveness, survival and redemption.
Despite the multitude of crushed bones replaced in her body now by metal, pins, plates, and rods...
Despite the fact doctors do not know if she will ever walk again... 
the first thing she spoke to me of was forgiveness.
Not her injuries, not her pain.
It was all about how soon she will choose to forgive this man who crushed so many bones...
She hasn't forgiven the man yet, she said.
She knows she will though.
And as I proceeded to take photographs... pictures... and move around her body in the hospital bed with my camera...
I found myself consciously having to focus on injuries in the lens... and not the thoughts in my head -- being what this poor woman will have to endure the rest of her life.
She keeps talking in this soft, almost hypnotic voice.
I am done. Normally I just hop up say my good-byes and leave.
This time I put my camera away, closed my notebook, picked up my case case file and them  slumped back  into the overstuffed chairs one of the nurses brought in to face the injured woman for my interview.
The interview is over...
I'm just not ready to leave. 
She is so calm.
She is so grateful... and graciousness.
She tells me of growing up on the reservation. She tells me tales of darkness and tales of light.
My pen is away. I rely now on the sponge called my brain.
She is proud. Dignified.
Two nurses enter the room, I just sit there.
She does not complain when the nurses lift her to change a dressing.
I reach for my camera to document her pain and suffering...
to photograph her grimacing lips and tortured eyes...
and assure the nurses,  as I always do, none of their faces will be in the pictures.
When the nurses left, I asked her why she is this way.
She aked, "What way?"
I respond, "Just so...I dunno... rationale or calm about the whole thing?"
She laughed and said the EMT doctors and hospital staff asked the same thing.
She said she gave us all the same answers.
"Because I choose to. Because we choose how we respond to everything good and everything bad. I choose to not to complain and to be happy I am not dead."
And that was that.
I didn't know what else to say because she said it all.
I think we all have to think that at any point...
any second...
something can go down in our worlds to change it.
How we "process" that change is the key, I truly believe, to our emotional and physical well being.
That said, I am grateful to have made it through another day.
And equally grateful you have somehow found your way to this blog.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Motivation On Monday

Today, I'm all about motivation... self-motivation... because it's just what I need to take a running start and lift off into another week of vast unknowns. Normally the lift-off and trajectory into a week of investigation is a both a thrill and pleasure. Sometimes I even step off at the very top of the roller coaster.  This morning, it is different. I can't find the adjective. Surreal. Third worldly. Uncertain. There is a unusual ripple beneath the surface of calm with which I choose to approach Mondays. 
I DO know why.
I have had a mix of way too much bad stuff go down in the past few weeks.
Start with death threats and on-going hate mails from a recent post about a cold case.
Stir in an excessive amount of personal turmoil.
Add a crash or two...
And the end brew is a wicked one.

I confess. The stress has been a bit much for me lately.
Still, it's way less stress than most people are experiencing now.
So really, I'm not complaining, just releasing.
In freeing my thoughts, I free my spirit.
And I hope,  also to free other living spirits who feel imprisoned by an injustice, loneliness, despair, their past, their financial desperation. Life is a raw, visceral experience when you live on the edge.
So many people are uncertain about the future. So many feel empty, lost, hopeless. Alone.
That loneliness.... I have both experienced,  witnessed and stared into it.
Loneliness and/or desperation form a huge, black, soul-sucking void. 
It takes great courage and strength to not jump in, or be sucked in...when you feel the options are limited.
Some of us feel like nothing more than ants in the colony,  hamsters on the wheel, empty shells.
And unless you have a secure job and a savings account...
or a whole tribe of family and friends...
You may be feel like most people on this planet these days --  alone, broker than broke and worried about the next meal. Or worse, whether you want to... or can... make it to the next day.
I am in a safe place. A safe house.
Many are not.
I'm going to see a family of five (three minors) today who I am thinking will lose their house because of their breadwinner's injuries.
So I woke up, determined to  be motivated,  to be positive.
I went first for the toothbrush, then the dogs and their walk, then to my email.
More hate mail here and on Facebook.
So this morning I said... Enough.
Today I turn the tables on the negative energy.
So I'm going to post one of my favorite all-time motivational videos on Facebook.
And I am posting another video here. This one,
while "schmaltzy"....AKA corny....
says what I would say if I wrote a blog post about what I believe without pictures.
Once, when I was at the very bottom of the earth, in as deep a hole as I could ever be in...
feeling unloved, unwanted, hated, alone, in despair...
a voice said to me..."attitude is everything."
So I looked at myself and realized, truly, it is my own attitude that determines not only my day...
also my fate.
I climbed out of that great big hole. It took me years and years. One pile of mud after another had to be cleared away.
Bottom line, it happened for a reason.
Which has me wondering...
maybe it's  the same reason you found your way to this blog and the You tube below...
I hit send now and cast these words in into the cyber wind.
Like a note in a bottle,... and like all bloggers I suppose...
I hope these words find you.

"Everything Happens For a Reason"

Friday, June 22, 2012


I have definitely had better weeks. I am so glad it is Friday and so happy I have finished my last case of the day out there. It appears Seattle has skipped spring altogether and now, maybe summer isn't a happening thing either.
It is cold and wet,  60 degrees outside. Thunderstorms are expected. So I got my scene photos and measurements in early this morning.
Then I stopped in a small town to talk to a young man who had the presence of mind to duck and  wrap his arms around his head right before a car crash. (Most people instinctively tense up when they see it coming.) Had he not done that, he would have sustained a massive brain injury along with the five broken bones  he did get from the hit.  It's always these instinctual moves people make prior to, or at the point of impact, that can make the difference between living and dying.
So got all these images in my head from the week past....
all kinds of wrecks...
and thoughts that keep going in circles.
So when I heard Matt made a new 2012 You Tube I went straight for it.
It lifted my spirits.
It made me smile.
And it just goes to show what one person with a dream can accomplish.
Matt is from Seattle by the way...
We grow 'em good out here.

Where the Hell is Matt? 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Divine Justice

The older I get, the more I believe, there is some greater force at work out there in the universe. That force, one of light, somehow serves up justice when justice comes undone in the courtrooms of mortals.
Divine justice may take days... weeks... years... decades.
Yet I have never seen it not to be true... that "what goes around, comes around."
Inherent in our our legal system are so many rights to protect the innocent, the guilty slip through the loopholes and walk free.
Casey Anthony for one.
OJ was set free... though he didn't last long.
Still he managed to get in more than a few rounds of golf until he blew it big time in Las Vegas.
For me... when after twenty years... you finally get to speak the name of a man you believed killed your friend, without fear of being killed or sued yourself... that is justice.
Not just regular justice. Poetic justice. Divine Justice.
For 20 years the victim's family and cherished friends have suffered in silence.
The song below is for all of you.

Johnny Cash -God's Gonna Cut You Down

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012


It is said a secret is only a secret if more than one person knows it.
I would agree.
In my experience, when someone tells someone a secret...
and the person sharing the secret says "don't tell anyone else..."
that's simply an invitation  for the person keeping the secret to tell someone else.

I believe "information is power"
That's why Elizabeth Roosevelt Longworth said, many moons ago,
"If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody come sit next to me."

The theory is quite simple:
If you have info no one else has...
and you use it against a person...
or you use it to control a person...
or you use it to impress a person...
or you use it to betray, enhance or entrance a person...
you are using information as power.

That's why attorneys, private investigators, police agencies, medical providers are now going to the extreme to protect the power of privacy when it is to the public's, or the law's, advantage.
Thus, all the paperwork involved in medical and legal proceedings designed to keep private information safe.
There's the HIPPA Privacy Act.
Countless releases and authorizations.
Attorney/Client confidentiality.Attorney/Investigator Work Product privilege.

However, there's also a counter balance, the FOIA -- Freedom of Information Act.
And the Public Disclosure Act which is also called the Public Records Act.

So on the one hand, information...which is power... is protected via privacy laws.
And that same information,... which is power... is released via  public disclosure laws.
It is a most precarious balance.

OneRepublic - Secrets

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I think the best part of blogging is how fluid it is.
Put something up, change your mind, take it down.
It's not like publishing a newspaper. or book.
You got no editor, you got no word limit...
all you got is what's in your head and what you are willing to  type on the keyboard and release into the vast galaxy called cyberspace.
 The song I had earlier today on my blog made me kind of sad given the events I've blogged about this past week.
So I decided to take the sad song down and lighten the mood in my head and on the blog... by re-posting  one of my favorite all time songs/performances by Hugh Laurie.
Many of you know him as House.
He is also a fabulous musician and songwriter.
I have posted this on the blog before. Twice I think.
I post it this evening for therapeutic purposes.
And also for selfish ones.
The life of a private investigator always carries a measure of risk.
You never know if something bad  will happen.
And with the hate mail I have been getting lately, that concept truly hits home.
Part of my job is looking at what people left behind when bad things happened to them... I want  to leave a nice neat tidy blog before I head out for another week of professional unknowns.
I think this song is a nice leave-behind until I get back.
See you on the flip side.

Hugh Laurie - "Mystery" song

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Raw Nerves

Renee Duskin  August 23, 1962-July 4, 1994

When people die, what's left behind is spirit and raw nerves. Spirit, being the person who passed. Raw nerves being the exposed ragged edges of the tattered spirits of the living, who mourn the dead.

For whatever the reasons the universe brought me to Renee Duskin, her family and her story.... almost twenty years ago...
that same higher power, force, fate, whatever you wish to call it, including coincidence...
brought me right back full circle this past week, upon hearing the news, from her brother, via the police, that his deceased sister's former boyfriend was found dead.

This former boyfriend, a well-respected attorney was a suspect in her murder according to newspaper stories.
I was friend of the family's.
Very confused and curious.
Did Renee kill herself or did someone else?

So I did the research anyone, with the family's written permission could do.
And what I found was the same thing other people were finding out. That something was definitely not right in the suicide determination.
And all indicators -- from the scene to trace to GSR tests to forensics to tox screen to interviews with witnesses, independent and otherwise...
everything, right down to the death scene and autopsy photos...
(which I might possibly have viewed before the family did, if they ever did...)
indicated something was afoul, amiss.
In other words... and in my opinion... it was NOT a suicide.

Now I am not going to name any more names in this post.
Or go over the whole story gain.
All you have to do is scroll down a  little bit and see the blogs I wrote about Renee's death.
Some comments on that blog are real nasty.
However... these same people think I am being nasty, by writing about a man who just passed and left a grieving family. A a platoon of friends. A posse of angry people who wish to defend the man, father, friend, brother, son they believe was falsely accused and is being disparaged.
Can you blame them?

I get it. I truly do.
However, I know more than just a bit about homicides/suicides.

Life insurance companies especially, are interested in these  kinds of cases because a lot of policies do not pay out in the case of a suicide within a specific time period.
So Renee's insurance company did not want to pay her beneficiary,  who was...go figure... her suspect boyfriend.
And who was, by the way, allegedly pressing the life insurance company for a fast payout.
So while the police were looking at this in criminal court,
the insurance company was looking at this in civil court.

Each court has its own standards of determining guilt.

A criminal court must prove guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt" -- meaning the jury or judge is 100% convinced the person did it. Not a doubt there. At  least not a reasonable doubt there.

A civil court must prove guilt based on the preponderance of the evidence -- meaning the evidence is more like than not the person did it.

In the case of Renee Duskin, no criminal court charged anyone with homicide.
In civil court, it was determined that Renee's death was not a suicide.
And, I  believe, under "cause of death," Renee's death certificate was changed from "suicide" to "undetermined."
While I could be wrong about these fact as it has been close to 20 years, I do remember the sweet moment of victory for Renee's family when that death certificate was changed.

So to the point... and  the end of this story.
I am still getting hate mail and comments on my posts.
I publish them unless they are obscene or nothing but threats and name calling.
Some say "take your blog down, this man is dead, what about his children?"

To that I say...  when those kids enter his name in any search engine: mega search, dogpile, google, bing,  the  newspaper articles come up too.
There wasn't just one article published on renee's case. there were many.
Yes my blog comes up.

Should I take it down?
No, I think not.
It is something I chose to write about because I feel deeply about the subject and did indeed experience it as much as a non family member, a friend, could.
So when when the issue of Renee's mysterious death arose, I felt catapulted into the past. However,I  have been aware that there are two opposing sides here.
And a great deal of volatility.

That's why I called Renee's brother and read him this very piece before I posted it.
I wanted to address, with him and with my blog readers a very important issue -- the children of the decendent. They are minors.
They are innocent.

My theory is this -- and it is based on experience having worked with this issue before.
If the alleged suspect's  children ask about him, before they surf the net...
before someone in school brings it up...
the family will likely have spoken to the children about their deceased father.
If the family to chooses to do so, should the kids ask...
they can say he was accused falsely.
His family can tell his story any way they want.
Renee's family can tell her story any way they want.
And I can tell my story any way I want.
Because I am a blogger!
Just one more  measly voice among millions, perhaps billions...
one more ant in the colony called earth with an opinion.

My husband, a soldier... his father, my father, my family members and most likely someone in everyone's family.... has a family member who has... or is... currently fighting in a war somewhere to defend this country.
They fought for America's ideals, which happened to include free speech.
This blog post would be an example of that.
Free speech.
I never expected to blog about Renee again.
Then again, I never expected to get the emails I did tonight.

 I like to say, "There are three sides to every story -- your side, my side and the truth."
Let's leave the truth to the police and media now.
Thankfully, they too protect me and my freedom of speech.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday - Jump Start

I want to see if I can keep the blog going and my life on track at the same time until business slows down again. Summers are slowest for the personal injury cases I work, however,  other cases do pick up in terms of heat-related mayhem and madness in terms of angst, arguments, domestics, shooting, murders. When people get physically hot under the collar, they also get psychologically hot too.  The higher the temperature, the hotter people's heads get I think.

So I am heading out today to do the usual cases including a medical malpractice, which...I believe... along with slip and fall cases, are the hardest for attorneys to wins. I go into hospitals all the time, barely a week passes that I haven't met an injured person in an ICU or ward somewhere north, south, east, west of Seattle.

In the world of what docs call "medical misadventures", and lawyers call malpractice,  I have noticed mersa and flesh eating bacteria running rampant in hospitals.... so I do gear up when advised...
and take precautions when entering the hallowed halls of the ill and wounded among us.

That said, I saw this and thought it was a perfect match to my admittedly bizarre sense of humor and today's blog topic. Whoever this was...  knew what he or she was talking about. And they were one of the folks who liked to get the last word in.

Monday, June 11, 2012

RE: Commencement:The Speech Below

The following You Tube, the Wellesley high school commencement speech below,  is now going viral... so if you've heard it, forgive me. I've been listening to talk radio stations using it as today's fodder. I decided when I could, I would post the entire speech after I heard it on National Public Radio.
I am curious what others think of this. I have mixed feelings for sure.
If I were a graduating student, ripe with dreams, filled with promise.... I might find it both amusing and depressing. Not inspiring.
As an adult... which I am... I find quite truthful, entertaining and painful at the same time.
Because it's a longer clip, I will cut to the chase.
Please take some time to listen to this.
I can guarantee, you've never heard a graduation speech like this one before.

You Are Not Special Commencement Speech from Wellesley High School

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Re: The Renee Duskin Case

This will be a blog post more for me... than for you the reader.
I need/want to vent.
I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing...
because this cyber blog thing is a whole new thing to everyone.
There's no AP style book for bloggers.
How we use our blog spaces and places is up to us.

So here's the deal.
I decided to start blogging again after a long gap for a whole lot of reasons I will spare you.
Suffice to say most of those excuses involve lack of time...
which seems to be a common dilemma for most of us struggling to earn an income, stay healthy and have a life in this tanking world economy.

That said, I wrote a blog post a couple days ago.
It just happened to coincide with a personal,  life altering event and I wrote about it.
It is called "Another Bad Guy Bites The Dust" and it's just below the song below this post.
I wrote it for me.
And I wrote it for Renee's family.
I wrote it with Renee's brother approval.
Because I wrote for a purpose.
I felt Renee's death was a murder staged as a suicide.
And it happened to a friend.
And I happened to care.
And just as other people believe the guilt often run free,  so do I.

So, yes... I repeat... I do believe for a fact... Renee Duskin was murdered.
And I do believe I know who did it.
So I believe, does  Renee's family, Renee's friends, her work associates, her clients, and all the people  who came forward under cloaks of confidentiality or anonymity.
Even, in my opinion, the police and then prosecutor know who did it.

Who did it was her estranged boyfriend....
a prominent Attorney in Everett Washington, which is located in Snohomish County.

I believe I can legally mention this safely now, not only because: it was in newspaper articles,  in public records and everyone but a few people know he did it anyway.
I will also reiterate that this is purely my opinion and I could be wrong.Only, I think I'm right.

Renee DID NOT kill herself.
My opinion, unproven by law, purely conjecture is she was murdered by Tim Robbin about 18 years ago.
I would've put the guy under citizen's arrest years ago if I didn't think he'd kill me first.
And if this blog post is the last time it is ever said by anyone, at least I said it.
I will spare the "why's",  the evidence, the thought patterns...
there's much in the blog I wrote before this.
Yet I want to respond to  a comment made in the comment section  by a family member of Tim's.
 It was an eloquent, intelligent,  linear and completely understandable response given the fact his brother has died and left a grieving family behind.

However he could not have been more wrong in what he said about me. Yours truly.
He said I get some kind of gain out this? Are you kidding me?
This is NOT my idea of good time on a Sunday.
I do not enjoy writing about this knowing there are children, nieces, nephews,  parents, siblings associates of Tim's out there grieving just as Renee's family did.

The family member stated the suicide defense. Renee killed herself, she was depressed and the Tim was falsely accused.
Fair enough.

Yes she was depressed because her mother died.
Who wouldn't be?
Especially when you have such an awesome mother you are so close to?

Every piece of evidence indicates Renee was not clinically depressed and certainly not suicidal.
She had no desire to kill herself.
Evidence, witness reports, letters, her datebook, everything, indicates she was happy,  upbeat and couldn't wait to get on to life WITHOUT Tim.
She just wanted him out of her beach house. He wanted to stay in the beach house and said she should be the one to leave.
Can you say "War of The Roses?"
It wasn't very quiet around Tim and Renee.
It got really nasty when they decided to split.
While heresay now, the fact that she told someone close to her something like  "If anything happens to me look at Tim first" certainly has some bearing here, don't you think?

Renee had a tight-knit family -- brother, sisters, nieces, nephews, plus uncles and aunts who were just like parents. And countless,  devoted friends she confided in.
Renee was so not alone, so loved and so in love with life and in the very end, the day of the murder,  so out of love with Tim.
Her calendar and conversations  reflect an active, pre-planned life the day before and in the hours before her murder.
And the days long after she'd be dead.
She was so looking forward to the future.
She had plans that very night.

I believe this "she was depressed because her mother died and killed herself" defense was the line of  defense, Robbins used to explain why someone with such a zest for life and an admitted hatred of guns would put his gun in her own mouth and pull the trigger while he was there, in her house.
Right before she was due at the neighbor's house for dinner.
That neighbor was a friend she confided in and watched much of the day's activity through a window with her mom and dad.
This is all in police files.

The neighbors  saw Tim arrive at the house (he was not supposed to come home that day).
The same neighbors saw Tim wash his hands through a window and then flee the scene.
Little kids heading up the dirt road report him racing down the dirt past them at  a high rate of speed, his face bright red, his eyed wide, gripping the wheel, not even seeing him.
Tim was at the scene when Renee shot herself.
He  left the scene and didn't call 911.
I believe it was a neighbor  who ran back the the house after Tim left and found Renee dead who cried out to someone to call 911.
The crime scene photos are still embedded on the cellular soft-drive called my brain.
She was kneeling on the ground beside the beds. Her hands in a prayer position.
I will spare the other details.
Suffice to say, a suicide it was not.
In my opinion.

It wasn't for lack of anyone's effort on any part Robbins did not get charged.
I suspect the Snohomish County detectives initially bought the suicide story at first...
Then I think they did everything they could once they realized what Robbins was about and what really happened.
The Grand Jury tried.
Not enough evidence.
Everyone could only dig so deep because, suffice to say, to everyone but his family and close friends... Tim was very scary. He knew how to both sue and hurt people. He liked to hunt and had weapons. Still, he was handsome and seemed nice enough. Some of his clients loved him and remain intensely loyal to him to this day.

You know how everyone says after someone freaks out and shoots a group of people or becomes a serial killer, they almost always say something like this?
"We had no clue. I was his best friend and he was the nicest guy. He'd never do that"
This would be one of those cases.

I am of the opinion that it  was because of Tim's brilliance as an attorney... because he knew how to beat the system that he beat the system.

Yes, I am defending myself in this blog and I am defending the post I wrote earlier because I DO know these things...
I am not making them up.
And had not the haters chosen to descend on my email and blog like locusts, I would have let it be.
The facts of Renee Duskin's murder are, in my opinion, verifiable and on file.
Of course, I could be wrong here... last I knew, determination of death was changed from "suicide" to "undetermined"

There are Public Disclosures laws and the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) that allows public access to police investigation files that are not under active investigation. And  Renee's family allowed a few people, myself included,  access to all files the police would allow, in the hopes we could comprehend the incomprehensible.
When we thought suicide was suspect and set about to find the truth.
Just no doubt, as robbins family is doing now.

When we and other citizens looked deep, it was like like we stuck a stick in a hornet's nest.

So when I posted the article I did so because Tim had passed away and could not hurt me, or  Renee's family or other people anymore.
Then, out came the haters.
People hating me for writing the truth.

If you don't believe me, or agree with me.... no worries.
I'm all about free speech.
I anticipate, expect and accept that.
What I will not accept -- in silence --  is some of the emails I am getting.
Some  come in through through the comments section of these blog posts and I delete them and do not post them.
And some come in my email.

The good news is any hate letters and threats sent to me by email can be traced via my computer forensics expert friends. Sending hate or threats over state lines via the internet is a Federal offense. The F.B.I. is always open to new business. And as a blogger I am allowed to state my opinion.

The other good news is this is MY blog and I will continue to delete and not publish the rude, crude and lewd responses I am getting... I suspect... from Tim Robbin's friends.
See, Tim has a posse. Some of us believe that posse is still out there.

This blog is about Renee Duskin's life.
They recognize and acknowledge that she lived, loved, was loved and in my opinion, murdered.
And the man who we believe killed her, was found dead -- with a handgun and a note-- almost two decades late.
We believe it IS newsworthy

Cold cases always stay warm in the heart of the victim's family and friends.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

One More Bad Guy Bites The Dust

I got some very intense news last night.

Almost 20 years or so ago, the sister of my close friend and work associate Brent was  found dead of a gunshot wound to the head.
Some of us believe she was murdered  by her boyfriend. Others my not agree.
Her boyfriend was Tim Robbins -- only he's not the famous Tim Robbins the actor and soon-to-be divorced husband of Susan Sarandon.

This Tim Robbins lived with Brent's sister, Renee Duskin at Kayak Beach on the Tulalip Indian Reservation just north of Everett Washington.
Renee was an awesome woman, loving, generous, great spirit, enormous abilities and potential.
Brent loved his sister as much as she loved him.
Everyone loved her.

Tim Robbins, the Everett Washington Attorney, chose her.
Renee could fish, hunt, fix a car, fix a meal, skin a bear,  style hair at a salon she worked at  and run the books for her boyfriend Tim's law firm.
She was every man's dream girl.
But then...
Tim wasn't every man.

Let's just say, some are of the opinion, allegedly, he was deeply disturbed.
Fairly handsome... nonetheless disturbed.
And it is quite possible, his version of a dream girl revolved around a nightmare in his head.

At some point he stopped loving Renee and allegedly, decided to kill her.
To most, she said she was more than happy just to break up.
She was done with him, his cheating and verbal and physical abuse.
She wanted him to go.
However he seemed unwilling to leave it at that...
because she refused to leave the beach house that was in her name.
Yes, she  wanted him out, BUT..... he wanted the beach house.

For that and a number of other reasons, many of Renee's family and friends like me believe
Tim Robbin's put the gun in her mouth.
And we believe he pulled the trigger.
Or somehow, forced her to do it.
This is just an allegation and has not been proven.

It was investigated by the police. Great police detectives. There were other investigators.
 They couldn't get a grand jury indictment. In my opinion, that's because Tim was a very clever attorney and we believe he planned this murder staged as a suicide carefully and brilliantly.
As a criminal defense attorney, he knew how to play his cards and he played them well.

So some people believe he got away with it.
For almost 20 years.
This, of course, made most of us who knew Renee kind of crazy to think a killer could run free.
And a "alleged" killer who is a practicing lawyer no less.

However all we had were our strong suspicions and endless tales of  Renee's and others' torment in Tim's hands.
One detective compared Tim Robbin's demeanor to another homicide case he handled, that of Charles Campbell, a cold blooded murderer executed in Washington State in 1994.

In Renee's case, there  wasn't the evidence needed against Robbins to bring about an arrest and conviction. 
And to this day we -- many among Renee's friends and family's believe he killed her....
that she would never kill herself in such a way, with his gun.

Regardless the case remained cold.
Almost 20 years....
until the phone call last night when Brent told me he received a phone call that Tim was dead of what we thought was a  suicide.
We have gathered what few facts we could.
A gun was involved.
He was dead and found with a note.
He had a girlfriend with two young daughters.
Other than that, there's  been not a whisper of Tim Robbin's death in the news.
Not a whisper.
Until this blog post.
This post was written with Renee's brother's permission.
What follows is an article about Renee's death.
It is our hope by writing about this and releasing it,  the media may speak out for Renee and other victims of domestic violence and murder.
We are all anxiously awaiting to see what the police and media say.
What happened to Timothy Robbins? Was it a suicide? Or a homicide.
Who? What? Where? When? Why?

No answers will bring Renee back.
However, they will put those of us who've lived and breathed this tragedy for almost two decades a potential measure of peace to know the old saying is indeed true:
"What goes around comes around."
Perhaps what what done to Renee by Tim was done to Tim -- by himself, or someone else.
I could be all wrong here.
Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
However... I am not alone in my thinking.

20 Years Ago... the Original Story

Here's a link to the original article.
Just click here and you'll get there:

Wandering on Wednesday

Whoever "they" are, they say three times is a trend, which is what I am going for. A trend of daily posts to this blog despite how busy I am.  So this would be day three.

Today I am both hunting and gathering -- hunting for a no-show from yesterday in the hopes of gathering information.  Those who read my FB wall know a PI can travel hours to find or meet one person... and then that person is nowhere to be found.

When I find the person... a huge adrenalin rush.
When I do not find the person... I'm frustrated and I suspect, no joy to live with.
Not in a mean way, just in an obsessed way.

It's just we P.I.'s become so focused on our cases, our subjects, our targets, our witnesses, our informants, what we perceive as our game changers...
that we become laser-guided heat seeking missiles.

So I am clearly too obsessed to write now. I am compelled to go to find an elusive subject today. 
I'll be stopping at a collision yard near a military base along the way.
There's a car there to photograph before the insurance company tows it away.
It's totaled and so is the person who was in the driver's seat.
I need to document the car's damages because it speaks to the victim's.

So you drive safe today...
And remember... "never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly."


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Embracing The Pain

So I asked this guy I  interviewed the other  day, as he showed me the pictures his buddy took of his leg on his cell phone, "how did you handle the pain?"

The pictures I clicked through on his phone were grim.
His leg was broken in three places with two bones sticking right up and out of the leg, one bone sort of dangling, broken in half.
Plus the the side of his leg  years old or so.
His leg was sliced open and you could see inside.
It was a view I rarely see except in the Medial Examiner's photos, post mortem.
This guy was still alive, he was  24 or so.
I marveled at his composure for someone so young who endured such a horrible experience.

I know I'd be screaming for help or I'd black out, but I sure as spit would not have the composure the airlift crew, witnesses or ER team.
Yet I'd looked at his tox screens, his blood alcohol levels.
And he was clean on the meds, and under the limits on the alcohol.
Which really isn't conclusive because by the time test are done in cases like these, the blood alcohol content drops and not all substances are tested for in the lab.
And none of that mattered anyway because he was not at fault.
The guy who hit him was.
The guy who hit him, the DEF said, told the police he was blinded by the sun while this young man was legally walking during the day through the one and only cross walk, with a light even,  in the rural town  where we met.

I got almost my questions answered, all my investigation done, it was time to leave.
I just needed to know one more thing.
Not a" why", rather... a "how."
And for me, it was purely personal.

"How did you handle the pain?" I asked him as I looked one last time at the xray of the leg now contained in a cast covering the wounds and what I saw were a huge rod, pins, plates and stitches.

He was a country boy, a good old boy, a tough kid raised on blood sweat and probably, minimal tears.
I am always curious about pain because I see it all the time, feel it myself every now and then. And each person handles it differently.From what I'd seen on the pictures, I figured his his pain level was about 50 on the 1-10 scale.

"Pretty bad huh?" he asked, as he leaned over my shoulder and looked at me staring at the picture.
I nodded and waited for him to answer my question. There was a long silence then he said this:

"Well, can't say I didn't scream at first. Man I was cussing at everyone. Then I saw one of my buddies was upchucking  and another was crying and people all around me saying I was gonna' be okay and then I thought, I ain't so sure about that. So I kinda realized maybe the pain was my friend and  might as well dive into it because as long as I felt it, I was alive."

That's when he said, he settled down.
He said he knew the pain was there, he just "moved it aside in my head", because he said he had no choice. He said it's not like the pain wasn't there. He just knew fighting it would make it worse. So he said, "I just sorta' embraced the pain, ya know?"

 His demeanor was so calm, by the time he reached the ER the doctors asked him over and over, "what drugs did you take, how come you're so calm?"  Thus the multiple tox screens.

"Impressive," I told him. Though it was much more than that.
I thought of all the whining I do when I am in pain.
And then I thought of what I consider pain -- emotional or physical -- is really nothing compared to his at that time.
Not like having a bone stick out of your leg.
Or having to endure countless rounds of chemo,  cancer,  fybro,  kidney stones, heart disease, gastro problems, arthritis,  endometriosis, arthritis, ALS, scoliosis, I could go on forever.

It is time now to get ready hit the road. I have yet another another injured person to see...
someone so hurt they can't come to the attorneys,  so the attorneys send me to them.
I consider my job a privilege, a blessing and major eye-opener.
And whatever pain comes my way, I will embrace it.
Just because I can.

Monday, June 4, 2012

I Won't Give Up - Jason Mraz Lyrics

"Never Ever Ever Give Up."

Okay, so my first attempt to breathe new life in the blog was a complete failure.
I got busy.
I know, I know... "excuses are the pillars of fools."
However I, and many of my fellow P.I.'s,  got much busier than usual.

The police were pre-occupied with a number of shootings -- some mass killings -- here in Seattle.
There were also alot of very little kids who got their parents handguns and killed or critically wounded other kids. 
Some cases that fell by the wayside, were handed off to people like me.

It seems while statistics says less people are driving drunk, high...
it appears to me, when people do drive under the influence, they are obliterated and obliterate others. 
For a P.I., new business comes from hard times.
And let's just say, these are very hard times.

People are sinking in a financial quicksand and can barely keep their heads up enough to catch a whiff of clear air or see there is a horizon out there.
Loss of money often separates the ethical person from the unethical.
Some people choose dark paths. Fraud. Deception. Theft. Home Invasion. Robbery.
On-line dating websites are favorite fishing holes for the black widows and widowers.

And then there's always the lovely word that brings rats out of the woodwork.
It has been said... where there is a will, there are 100 relatives.
I am here to attest to the truth of that.

Every day, people are pursued, courted or captivated by  new friends or lovers disguised as predators who are after their assets.
You can tell people they are hanging out with a bad person, you can show them records, or videos or whatever they hire you to prove to them they are being deceived.
Some do step away.
Yet still, every day, bodies are being pulled out life's various rivers of denial.
If only they reached out for a branch and held on.

Winston Churchill gave me today's blog title. It's my favorite quote of his.
The World War was raging.
The world was collapsing.
He said those simple words and the good guys fought on....
 and for a blip in time....
a most important time in world history indeed...
millions of people were liberated from some very serious oppression.

So here I am again.
The elusive P.I. writing a different way.
Shorter, faster, to the point.
And hopefully, daily.
My only nemesis is time.
And often the lack of an empty chuck of it.

Ultimate goal?
To build this blog into a cyber place, a cyber space, where people can not only gather info, or learn about the dark side to protect themselves from it...
It'll be a place we all can go,  the good's a safe house for our collective brain trust.

So today's message before I hit the road is simple.
"Never ever ever give up."

When you are sinking and you think no one is around, give a shout out.
When you feel like you've lost someone you love because you've behaved badly, behave differently.
When you feel your body is failing you, do not fail it by giving up. 
Fight back and you might be surprised how powerful you truly are.
There is no expiration date on the human body. Or the human spirit.
So long as you "never, ever, ever give up."
Thank you for that, Mr. Churchill.