Friday, November 30, 2007

Does The Camera Lie?

Sony DCR-VX2000

Two video cameras were found missing from Bryan Kocis' house after his murder, meanwhile the same two brands and models of cameras were also found in Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes' house. Here's a copy of the affidavit regarding the matter, with my personal observations and thoughts following.

Since the camera topic seems to surface from time to time, I thought it would only be fitting to discuss it:

"On 02/10/07, the Virginia Beach Police Department, in conjunction with investigators from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, executed a search warrant at the residence of Cuadra and Kerekes, that being 1028 Stratem Court, Virginia Beach, Virginia, in pursuit of the furtherance of this investigation. As a result of said search, numerous items of evidence were seized, inclusive of items previously illustrated herein. Additionally, two Sony digital video cameras, model numbers DCR-VX2000 and HDR-FX1, respectfully, were seized it was observed that both cameras had serial numbers forcibly removed and obliterated. Based upon the observance of said items, investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police contacted the victim's associate Robert Wagner, who had in the past assisted the victim with video production. Wagner stated that he had, within the six months prior to the victim's death, observed said cameras within the victim's residence. It should be noted that both cameras were conspicuously absent during the intensive search of the victim's residence. Additionally, investigators contacted J&R electronics store, located in New York, NY., which is a location the victim regularly purchased electronic items. According to a sales manager at that location, the victim did purchase a Sony HDR-FX1 camera on 12/23/05.

Investigators conducting intelligence research relative to this investigation located a message board area titled; "The Digital Video Information Network", with an associated web address of; Said website is designed for individuals to read and post questions/solutions to various types of digital video inquiries. Anyone may read posts at said site however in order to post a message a user must have an account already created.

On 01/29/07, user Harlow Cuadra posted an inquiry related to the use of video camera HVR-ZI/HDR-FX1. Said camera is the same model which was found to be removed from the victim's residence at or around the time of his death. It is also the same model camera which was seized from the accused's' residence pursuant to a search warrant on 02/10/07. Said camera had all serial numbers forcibly obliterated from same.

Investigators contacted the Administrative contact for DV Info Net and requested subscriber information related to those postings. The subscriber DV Info has registered is Harlow Cuadra of Norfolk, Va., with an email account of with the signature of "boys do what they do what they want". Eleven posting IP addresses were also provided, one being which is the static IP address assigned by Cox Communications Inc., to Cuadra of 1028 Stratem Ct., Virginia Beach, Va."

My own thoughts:

Harlow states in his DVI message: "i just got it but do not understand the manual to well :(" ... this would sound like Cuadra just got the camera. Bryan was murdered 5 days earlier... bad timing to make a purchase?

Harlow also stated that he had the manual, so they must have bought it right? Not necessarily... the manuals for both cameras can easily be downloaded in .pdf format online here and here.

"it was observed that both cameras had serial numbers forcibly removed and obliterated" ... assuming Harlow and Joe did in fact purchase theses cameras, where would one buy cameras that have had their serial number removed? Even a pawn shop won't sell items like that. Ebay perhaps? Or maybe they removed them after they bought them... but why?

During the search warrant, receipts were also seized - assuming Harlow and Joe had receipts for the purchase of these two cameras, then there's certainly a reasonable doubt to these being Bryan's. If Harlow and Joe didn't have receipts of purchase (which would be very odd since both cameras would be considered a tax deduction as business equipment), then I guess it'll be up to a jury to decide.