Episode 4: The Benolken Murders, the police investigation and Special Agent Malone

In early April of 1982 James and Ann Benolken were murdered in their apartment in downtown Juneau, Alaska. This podcast recounts the story of the Benolken murders and the two subsequent trials that occurred in the aftermath of the brutal stabbings.

In episode 4 of the Murder, Alaska podcast we examine the Juneau Police investigation and a handful of the police that testified in State of Alaska v. Newton Lambert. We also focus on a liquor store clerk and a bank manager’s testimony at the trial of Newton Lambert. Lambert was one of two co-defendants who were tried for the murders.

Finally we focus on Special Agent Michael Malone of the FBI who was the State’s hair expert at the trial of Newton Lambert. We go over the FBI lab scandal that erupted in the 1990’s as a result of the whistle-blower Dr. Frederic Whitehurst and Malone’s involvement in the subsequent Office of the Inspector General reports detailing the shoddy work at the FBI labs.

Show notes:

3.25.85 Juneau Empire front page articles about the murder of Emanuel Telles by Victor Johnson at the Imperial Cafe:

https://goo.gl/B7EWVJ

Juneau Police Department history, 1980-1999:

http://www.juneaupolice.com/documents/1980-1999.pdf

Great New Yorker article about The Reid Technique (mentioned in this episode in relation to Newton Lambert being interviewed by JPD) and its flaws and how it is being replaced with techniques less likely to elicit false confessions and bad information: 

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/12/09/the-interview-7

Rob Warden TEDx talk on False confessions:

The Innocence Project’s page on False Confessions; amazingly one in four DNA exonerations is based in part on a false confession or incriminating statement according to the information gathered by the Innocence Project:

False Confessions or Admissions

Link to 4.19.82 microfiche scan of Juneau Empire article about the Dreamland Bar, which was on the street below the F&L apartments where the murders of the Benolkens occurred, and the pipes having burst the winter before:

https://goo.gl/CFMaqY

The Staircase documentary episode 1 (referenced because of interesting blood spatter evidence in this case):

 

Youtube video of interview with David Colapinto, general counsel of the National Whistleblower Center, about Special Agent Michael P. Malone and FBI lab corruption: 

2014 follow-up report by the Office of the Inspector General about the review of the FBI labs. This report was referenced by David Colapinto in the video above. The report is “eye-popping” as Colapinto describes it as it revealed that the FBI had re-hired Special Agent Malone after he was discredited as a hair examiner in the original 1996 O.I.G. report. Malone was re-hired to do security clearances for potential FBI hires. This 2014 follow-up report also further details the scope of the corruption at the FBI labs:

https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2014/e1404.pdf

2014 New York Post article about 2014 OIG report follow-up regarding Special Agent Malone being re-hired as a private contractor by the FBI to run background checks and further detailing the impact of faulty lab processes: 

http://nypost.com/2014/07/21/discredited-ex-fbi-agent-hired-back-as-a-private-contractor-years-later/

Spencer Hsu Washington Post stories about Special Agent Michael Malone and the OIG probe into FBI lab practices:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/convicted-defendants-left-uninformed-of-forensic-flaws-found-by-justice-dept/2012/04/16/gIQAWTcgMT_story.html?utm_term=.689b360a7bfc

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/report-irreversible-harm-when-fbi-didnt-reveal-flawed-lab-work-in-death-row-cases/2014/07/16/ebf9496e-0d29-11e4-8341-b8072b1e7348_story.html?utm_term=.e65a84a781aa

Music credits:

The score from Double Indemnity by Miklos Rozsa has been altered and sampled.

Midnight Blue by Jack Hylton & His Orchestra has been altered and sampled.

Tangled by Lofi has been altered and sampled.

The score of Call Northside 777 by Alfred Newman has been altered and sampled.

The score of High Noon by Dimitri Tiomkin has been altered and sampled.

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