CORAL GABLES (LALATE) – The autopsy on Caylee Anthony’s skull by Dr. Jan Garavaglia was a “failure”, said Dr Werner Spitz Saturday. Caylee Anthony’s skull (photos below) were not examined, her skull was not opened up, during the autopsy procedure, famed medical examiner Dr. Werner Spitz told a jury in the Casey Anthony trial Saturday. In one of the most powerful days of the defense’s case yet, Dr. Werner Spitz created serious doubt as to the procedure by which the autopsy on Caylee Anthony was performed. But when grilled on cross examined, Dr. Spitz did not let up, pushing the State into a corner of bombastic assumptions.
Dr. Jan Garavaglia (Dr. G.) did not open up the skull during the autopsy of Casey Anthony. Dr. Werner Spitz told the jury that conduct was outrageous, unprecedented, proof of “a shoddy autopsy”, and a violation of all tenants and procedures by which autopsy are done. In fact, just this month, LALATE watched an episode of Dr. G’s reality show in which she herself detailed the importance of opening up the skull during the autopsy.
Dr Spitz said he has performed sixty thousand autopsies, has been part of the administrative team that passed laws about autopsy procedures, and has trained hundreds more. He said Dr. Jan Garavaglia’s choice to not open up the skull was a complete “failure”, calling the autopsy basically worthless in the Caylee Anthony case.
On cross examination, the State was hideously ineffective, staying with the same question about protocols for nearly fifteen minutes. The State tried to ask Dr. Spitz where they was a written protocol that Dr. Garavaglia violated in not opening up the skull. Dr. Spitz said nowhere in the practice of medical examiners do you opt against opening up the skull, especially when the cause of death is in question.
Spitz’s testimony was also powerful because Dr. Garavaglia’s determination of a “homicide” was based upon behavioral studies, not forensic guidelines. Dr Garavaglia has previously told the jury that nothing in the forensics suggested murder. Rather, based upon her understanding of behavioral situations, Garavaglia told a jury previously that it was ruled a murder, stating that children don’t die with duct tape on their mouths and mothers report children missing immediately.
“There’s is no child that should have tape on their face when it dies” Dr G said last week. “There is no reason to put it on their face after it dies.” But Dr. G. could not establish that Casey put the duct tape on Caylee’s mouth. Dr. G. couldn’t establish an explanation why Casey’s failure to report Caylee’s disappearance proves she killed Caylee other than that it’s inconsistent with CSI behavioral studies.
Today, Dr. Werner Spitz said that Dr. G, who herself typically opens up skulls in cases like this, committed utter failure by failing to open up the skull and examine it. He later used an analogy of a home buyer. He said if you buy a house, you want to see all the rooms before you make the purchase, see if there is a basement to make a determination. A medial examiner, he said, is no different. You want to see inside the skull, you don’t skip the skull and just examine the other parts.