Several readers of the Bobo Shinn series have called and e-mailed to ask about Michael Morse, private investigator Bill Dear’s primary suspect in Bobo’s disappearance. Those readers have long heard that Morse did not commit suicide, and say those rumors are based on the position of his body when he was found.
We can tell you that we have seen the photos of that scene – there are a number of them in Dear’s private case file – and while it’s true that his body is positioned in an unusual way considering the circumstances, we must report also that we have reviewed the medical examiner’s autopsy report and it was officially deemed a suicide. That is also the official determination of law enforcement investigators, by the way.
However, as an interesting side note, the autopsy was performed by Dr. Fahmy Malak, who, as some readers may recall, was known for erroneous testimony in criminal cases, according to multiple media reports in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In fact, according to an article in a 1992 edition of the Los Angeles Times, Malak “misread a medical chart and wrongly accused a deputy county coroner of killing someone,” and in another, “he based court testimony on tissue samples that DNA tests later indicated had been mixed up with other tissue samples.”
That’s not to say Malak made an incorrect determination in the suicide of Michael Morse, however – it’s simply a side note that we thought our readers might find interesting.