Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Search Warrant Affidavit

Last February, when PA and VA authorities went a-gathering at Harlow and Joe's Stratem Court house with that search warrant in their hands, the VA folks were obviously looking for evidence of the high-life.

Now we have details on what the PA contingent was after...

The first thing to catch the savvy eye reads: "2 Boxes of Video Tapes". Remember how the arrest affidavit said that Cuadra and Kerekes had talked about viewing "approx. fifty five "master tapes" which came from Mr. Kocis' house? If— and underscore that 'if'—but if those recovered tapes are the long-lost Cobra "master tapes," their having turned up at Harlow and Joe's house would be a nasty blow to the 'Hey-we-didn't-kill-that-dude' defense.

Of course, the same reputed audio evidence that has Cuadra and Kerekes saying they saw the master tapes also reportedly has them claiming those tapes were destroyed. In this case, it's hard to spit without hitting an inconsistency, but sometimes it sure is fun to try.

These may or may not be the camcorders that police say were supposedly missing from Kocis' house. Those cameras found at Stratem Court had their serial numbers removed. That fact doesn't make it impossible to determine the origin... but it certainly makes it harder.

Receipts and other papers can be a boon to police. They can potentially help trace exactly where the SUV was driven (remember those missing miles?) And anything related to knife/gun/ammo purchases helps, too. In fact, any slip of paper that allows police to better determine Mr. Cuadra's and Mr. Kerekes movements at the time of the murder will certainly be used as evidence.

According to the arrest affidavit, paper documents went missing from Kocis' residence at the time of the murder. Are those the 'assorted documents' listed here, or are they just business documents related to Cuadra and Kerekes' business? We won't know until later.

This search-warrant information also suggests that more than one gun was removed from Stratem Court. But If Harlow and Joe already had at least one weapon, why buy a brand new revolver the day before the killing? We know from police that Kocis had a number of guns throughout his home... could any of the guns seized by PA searchers be one of those?

The seized clothes have likely been analyzed for blood, smoke, chemicals, and fibers... anything that would match with something at the crime scene, and could be used as evidence.

And the final item listed is the real head-scratcher: insulation. Apart from the possibility that it might be used to corroborate fiber analysis evidence from the crime scene, it's hard to know why investigators would want it. Anybody have any ideas?

- PC