Sunday, October 12, 2003

Expert on the smells of the '60s testifies at trial of Dr. Knox

In this update on the trial of Dr. Cecil Knox in the W.D. Va. in Roanoke, one witness is reported as saying that "she certainly would know the smell of pot because she's 'from the '60s.'"

The article on the trial also reported on the voodoo bear and the dead squirrel:

"The stuffed brown bear bearing a flag with the first name of federal prosecutor Rusty Fitzgerald made its appearance during the early weeks of the trial. It was seized during a raid at Knox's practice, Southwest Virginia Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, in February 2002. Fitzgerald introduced the bear as evidence in the early weeks.

Fitzgerald questioned former practice employee Tiffany Durham about the stuffed animal, which also had pins sticking in it and a target drawn on its head. Durham testified that the daughter of another former employee of the practice wrote his name on the flag. (The daughter was not charged in the case.)

Chief U.S. District Judge Samuel Wilson interjected.

"You didn't think you were doing Mr. Fitzgerald any harm by sticking pins in the stuffed animal?" Wilson asked.

Durham replied that she didn't think she was doing any harm. Fitzgerald was sick one day, but no link to the stuffed bear was ever established.

The squirrel carcass

Former practice employee Donna Stone first raised the specter of the dead squirrel in Knox's office. Durham later confirmed the report of the dead squirrel in Knox's office and elaborated on its demise.

She said she followed the smell to Knox's office, where the squirrel must have crawled up into one of the arms of a sweater that was lying on the couch.

Durham thought that at some point, someone must have mistakenly sat on the squirrel and squashed it. The squirrel remained in the sweater arm until Durham discovered it.

During a break in proceedings days later, lawyers from both sides of the case acknowledged that squatting squirrels are an underreported menace."

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