Author Topic: Suspects And Confessions  (Read 464743 times)

Offline Chaucer

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #4425 on: September 23, 2020, 11:52:20 PM »
Can’t play Monday Morning Quarterback but we can examine those cases now, and see if they might provide answers.
 

Offline RaoulDuke24

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #4426 on: October 06, 2020, 11:44:38 AM »
I tend to disappear from this site for long stretches at a time, so I miss many of the discussions that take place. I used the search function to see if this guy has been talked about here before and nothing turned up. I will apologize in advance if this is a dead horse.

At some point in 1971, a man named Florien Arthur Turgeon was admitted to a VA hospital in Maine after suffering a nervous breakdown. On Oct. 5, 1971, he escaped and was never heard from again.

-- He was 50 years old at the time, so the age is consistent. He was Caucasian and had brown hair and brown eyes. I have not been able to locate a photo of him yet. He was on the smaller side however at 5'4" to 5'6" and 130-135 pounds.

-- The fact that he went to a VA hospital tells me he was a veteran. I also found a mention of him having served in WW2.

-- His last name "Turgeon" is of French descent, and there is the popular theory about the connection to the Dan Cooper French comic book. And Maine borders the French Canadian province of Quebec, so it would have been fairly easy for a comic book sold in Quebec to end up south of the border in Maine in a French household.

-- The fact that he was in the hospital for a nervous breakdown suggests he may have been unstable enough to do something crazy (like hijack an airplane) and he was experiencing this unstableness just weeks before the hijacking.

I've done a little bit of digging and I believe I may have found obituaries for his wife and son. I found an article about the large number of French Canadians who immigrated to Maine between 1840 and 1930, and it seems that there are a good many Turgeons in the area to sort through. There is a Florien Turgeon from a particular town in Maine and it appears that the social security records have him dying in Oct. of 1971 (the month of his disappearance) but VA records show him dying in Dec. of 1979. I'm going to keep snooping around and I'll report back if anything notable turns up.

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« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 12:13:57 PM by RaoulDuke24 »
 
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Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #4427 on: October 06, 2020, 01:38:25 PM »
Quote
5'4" to 5'6" and 130-135 pounds.

Really? how could this possibly be mistaken for someone 5' 10 - 6' 180 lbs...that would be 4" shorter than Tina.
 

Offline RaoulDuke24

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #4428 on: October 06, 2020, 01:43:31 PM »
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5'4" to 5'6" and 130-135 pounds.

Really? how could this possibly be mistaken for someone 5' 10 - 6' 180 lbs...that would be 4" shorter than Tina.

Correct. That's why I noted it as being a strike against him.
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #4429 on: October 06, 2020, 01:53:54 PM »
That's more like the end of the story...
 

Offline RaoulDuke24

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #4430 on: October 06, 2020, 03:00:39 PM »
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That's more like the end of the story...

Could be.

There are two camps when it comes to stuff like this. In one camp, there are those who believe that any suspect must be a perfect 100% match to the description put forth by Tina. And anyone who does not fit it exactly perfectly right should be instantly eliminated on the spot with no further question.

Then there are those who acknowledge how shoddy eyewitness testimony is and accept that Tina's description may not necessarily be gospel. Was Cooper male? Yes. Was he of middle age? Likely yes. Was he Caucasian? Likely yes, but there is also talk of him maybe being of Latin descent. Did he have dark eyes? It's better than 50/50 that yes he did. Was he somewhere closer to average height for a male? It's better than 50/50 that he likely was.

Was he for absolute 100% certainty either 5-10, 5-11 or 6-0 tall? I would argue no. There's probably a 95% chance that he was. Maybe 99%. But I don't think anything related to an eyewitness physical description can be 100%. Hell, there's even a case made for Barb Dayton.

As it relates to physical description, I think there's a difference between eliminating a suspect and making an argument against a suspect.

For example, I don't think the fact that Sheridan Peterson has blue eyes just flat out eliminates him as a suspect. It's definitely a strong argument against him, and it's probably the one thing that's holding me back with him. But I don't think an otherwise good suspect should be outright eliminated based on one minor discrepancy. I still think there's a strong chance Peterson could be the guy, despite the discrepancy with the eye color.

At the other end of that spectrum, if you presented me with a suspect who was a black female, we could safely eliminate that suspect as that's something that Tina could not possibly get so drastically wrong. Rackstraw lives toward this end of the spectrum. I think he's a great suspect, but the fact that he was only in his 20s at the time is hard to get past. Is he Cooper? I would say 99% no. Would I say 100% no? No, I would leave the door open a crack as I would with most any good suspect.

The height of Cooper has been discussed over and over. How accurately can you measure someone's height while they're sitting down? How close and for how long did Tina ever stand next to Cooper while they were both standing? (when she handed him the parachute manual; when he tried handing her a tip)

Is the fact that Turgeon was a few inches shorter than Cooper a strong argument against him? Absolutely. Should we completely stop investigating someone at the first red flag? I don't believe so. I believe you continue to investigate and see how many more red flags turn up. It may turn out that we find out a whole lot of compelling stuff about the guy and the one and only knock against him was that he was a few inches shorter than an eyewitness testimony about a guy who was sitting down. Or maybe we continue to investigate him and more red flags turn up and we decide "yeah it's not looking so good for this guy after all." 

Or what if we find other records of him being listed at a different height and there ends up being a discrepancy between one record and another? What if his military records say 5-10, 170 and then we scratch our heads wondering where the missing person database got their info?

I guess my point is that we all have our threshold for when we decide to eliminate a suspect. For some of us, it's very early in the process and can come as a result of something very minor. For others, that elimination doesn't happen until further down the line after more information has been gathered and we have a bigger picture about the guy.

To play hypothetical, what if there was a murder and a witness described the killer as being 5-10. A suspect was reported, but he was only 5-6. Do the cops just automatically eliminate him and say "Nope, there's no possible way he's our man." Doubtful. While acknowledging that this suspect is shorter than what the witness testimony said, they will still likely kick that guy's tires a little to see what else they can learn about him.

I'm going to continue to kick the tires with this guy a little and learn more about him. If you'd like to eliminate him right now, you are more than free to do so. And you're not wrong for doing so. 

 
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 03:15:28 PM by RaoulDuke24 »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #4431 on: October 06, 2020, 03:22:37 PM »
I'm a member of myself..

One has to use some sort of guidelines. why even have a description if one pulls completely away. you can certainly tell the difference between someone 5' 4 and 130 lbs against someone 6' at 180 lbs. it's apples and oranges. Tina would of easily noted Cooper was shorter than herself. at what point is the description crossing the line...Cooper being black? do you realize how small of a person you describe?

the average age-adjusted height for American men 20 years old and up is 69.1 inches (175.4 centimeters). That’s about 5 feet 9 inches tall. the average height for a woman is 5' 4"...he should stick out like a sore thumb.

You can find a lot of people that can check off a lot of things surrounding the case which hardly make him Cooper..of course the description will not be spot on but doubtful it would be this far off.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 03:24:32 PM by Shutter »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #4432 on: October 06, 2020, 03:42:21 PM »
People often confuse descriptions with other crimes. the average crime will last seconds to a few minutes. not much time to get a good description. Larry Carr speaks of this about bank robbers. they tend to get things wrong because the lack of time. this was entirely different. they spent hours with Cooper, not seconds or minutes. the passengers were the one's who had different views. why, because they had no reason to recall him so they blend in more with the typical crime description.
 

Offline RaoulDuke24

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #4433 on: October 06, 2020, 03:45:37 PM »
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I'm a member of myself..

One has to use some sort of guidelines. why even have a description if one pulls completely away. you can certainly tell the difference between someone 5' 4 and 130 lbs against someone 6' at 180 lbs. it's apples and oranges. Tina would of easily noted Cooper was shorter than herself. at what point is the description crossing the line...Cooper being black? do you realize how small of a person you describe?

the average age-adjusted height for American men 20 years old and up is 69.1 inches (175.4 centimeters). That’s about 5 feet 9 inches tall. the average height for a woman is 5' 4"...he should stick out like a sore thumb.

You can find a lot of people that can check off a lot of things surrounding the case which hardly make him Cooper..of course the description will not be spot on but doubtful it would be this far off.

6-0 is the high end for Cooper and 5-4 is the low end for Turgeon. Using the high end for Turgeon and the low end for Cooper puts them at 5-6 vs. 5-10. For a guy who was sitting down. I don't think someone who is 5-6 and sitting down on an airplane is sticking out like a sore thumb.

You are absolutely correct that you have to use some sort of guidelines. I don't think a difference in size that is roughly equal to that of a credit card is "completely pulling away."

At the very least, he's worth learning more about. What happens if we were able to definitively prove he was in Portland on the morning of the hijacking? And he worked the type of job that lined up with the tie particles? We would never find out that kind of stuff if we just closed the book on him immediately simply because he's not a 100% match to a 49 year old cold case. 
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #4434 on: October 06, 2020, 03:45:45 PM »
I often use this scenario...can you describe the people in front of you at the supermarket if you just left there an hour ago...now, the same supermarket gets held up and you are a hostage..can you get a better description sitting there for two hours of the people ahead of you?
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #4435 on: October 06, 2020, 03:47:06 PM »
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You are absolutely correct that you have to use some sort of guidelines. I don't think a difference in size that is roughly equal to that of a credit card is "completely pulling away."

Yes it is...we can now use 5'2 or 3" someone 5' 8" will easily notice someone 5' 4 or 6" right next to them..
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 03:48:41 PM by Shutter »
 

Offline RaoulDuke24

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #4436 on: October 06, 2020, 03:49:30 PM »
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People often confuse descriptions with other crimes. the average crime will last seconds to a few minutes. not much time to get a good description. Larry Carr speaks of this about bank robbers. they tend to get things wrong because the lack of time. this was entirely different. they spent hours with Cooper, not seconds or minutes. the passengers were the one's who had different views. why, because they had no reason to recall him so they blend in more with the typical crime description.

You are absolutely correct. There's no doubt that Tina had an upper hand here because she spent hours with him, not seconds. I think there's a 99% chance that her description of the hijacker is accurate. But I also leave open the door of possibility that minor things like eye color or height (again, sitting down) may not be 100% spot on. It's been 49 years, and still no Cooper.
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #4437 on: October 06, 2020, 03:50:17 PM »
You won't find him that way either...sorry. nobody even knows if he survived?
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 03:51:01 PM by Shutter »
 

Offline RaoulDuke24

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #4438 on: October 06, 2020, 04:09:17 PM »
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You are absolutely correct that you have to use some sort of guidelines. I don't think a difference in size that is roughly equal to that of a credit card is "completely pulling away."

Yes it is...we can now use 5'2 or 3" someone 5' 8" will easily notice someone 5' 4 or 6" right next to them..

What height do you personally use to eliminate a suspect?

5-9?
5-8?
5-7?

(Not trying to be a jerk here; honestly asking)

For me, 5-6 is certainly pushing it. If we get into the 5-2 or 5-3 territory I'm throwing in the towel unless there's just some sort of outrageous evidence about the guy as that's getting too far away from the description. We all have our threshold. If my original post had him described at 5-8 and 155 pounds, would you still be on board or is he eliminated at that size as well?

Where exactly would you say your boundary is? Again, not being confrontational here. Just curious.

Same thing with age. I can buy into a suspect who was 37 years old. It's a little on the young side, but within the realm of possibility. Rackstraw at 27 is really stretching things though, even at an old looking 27.

As far as race, I could buy into anything from a total white guy to someone with Latin, Greek or eastern European blood based on the olive skin tone description.

At the very least, it warrants further investigation because the database only gave a range of his height. So it's worth finding something more definitive like a military record to compare it against.

« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 04:19:29 PM by RaoulDuke24 »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #4439 on: October 06, 2020, 04:21:54 PM »
I try to stick with the description to a degree..5' 8" is stretching it as it is. again, Tina would say he was the same height. could Cooper now be 6'3" close to 6" ?

Olive skin is noted along with Latin. how can a completely white guy fit that description or even American Indian? Olive skin becomes a suntan and wipes out Latin or American indian or even a complete white guy? it starts going all over the place deviating from the original description to fit any given suspect. Cooper turns into Mr. Potato head..what about a light skinned African American..then we can start saying Cooper was black?