Losing her head: the rest of the decapitation story

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

In a comment several days ago, a reader posted a link to a conservative publication, the Washington Examiner, that recited a letter from a rancher about a decapitation in Santa Cruz County as "proof" of Gov. Jan Brewer's allegation of decapitations [plural] in Arizona, in an attempt to rebut Dana Milbank's opinion. I suggested that the Washington Examiner article appeared incomplete and that there had to be more to the story. I was right.

The rest of the decapitation story, from FOX News no less, so you wingers know its true. FOXNews.com – Human Head Found in Arizona Fuels Political Debate:

At least one human skull has been found in the Arizona desert in recent years, officials said. But that was in 2008, and no evidence was found that indicated it was the result of a decapitation. Rather, the coroner in the case determined, it was torn from the rest of the body after death — most likely by a wild animal. [just as a surmised from the Washington Examiner story]

* * *

Meanwhile, officials at six medical examiners' offices in Arizona — Yuma, Pima, Santa Cruz, Cochise, Pinal and Maricopa — confirmed that they had no records of decapitated bodies.

"Our medical examiner has not seen any cases of beheadings," a Pinal County official said. Another official in Cochise County said a very small number of bodies — usually one or two per year — are found without skulls. But with no evidence that a cutting implement was used, that is typically the work of animals, the official said.

At the center of the current dispute is Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who, during a TV interview last month, said law enforcement agencies have found "beheaded" bodies in the broiling desert.

"Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies [plural] in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded," Brewer said.

The governor's comments led to several reports scrutinizing her claim, including Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank's assertion that "there's not a follicle of evidence" to support the governor's statement.

An earlier report in the Arizona Guardian on June 30 noted that coroners' offices in six Arizona counties, including four that border Mexico, indicated they had never heard of beheadings within their jurisdictions.

Paul Senseman, Brewer's spokesman, said he did not know which law enforcement agency told the governor about the beheadings, citing security briefings he does not attend. Senseman said Brewer never insinuated that people were being beheaded in Arizona. [Brewer's statement above is unambiguous; Senseman is lying.]

"The governor has never specifically said where she was referring to," Senseman told FoxNews.com. "Obviously, the violence is increasing on the other side of the border and, unfortunately, the same narco-terrorist organizations are operating daily in the state of Arizona. And the governor's position is that those operations need to stop."

When pressed to indicate if decapitated bodies had been found in Arizona, Senseman continued: "She's referring, in general, to the increasing violence across the border."

This is a classic dodge when caught in a lie. Have your spokesman double-down with yet another lie. Neither Jan Brewer nor her spokesman Paul Senseman have any credibility at this point. They are not to be believed.

As for the story not fully reported previously in the Washington Examiner:

A cowboy on the Atascosa Ranch in Santa Cruz County found the skull of an undocumented immigrant on June 27, 2008, and the property's owner, J. David Lowell, recounted the grisly discovery in a letter to Gov. Brewer this month.

"On that day one of our ranch hands was working horseback and discovered a human head near a trail believed to be used by drug and alien smugglers," the letter read. "Although the head was missing the lower jaw, it was immediately apparent that much of the mass and flesh of the head was still present. The cowboy searched the area in hopes of finding the remainder of the body to no avail."

Lowell notified officials at the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, who went to the ranch and took possession of the head.

Dr. Bruce Parks, who serves as the chief medical examiner for Pima and Santa Cruz counties, confirmed to FoxNews.com that the head was identified through DNA testing as that of 43-year-old Francisco Fuentes Dominguez, who was not a U.S. citizen. Parks said a cause of death was not determined, but there was no evidence of decapitation. Other "badly decomposed" parts of Dominguez's body were found nearby earlier in the year, he said.

"Typically, what happens is animals will separate the body," Parks said.

Another skull, which was never identified, was found by U.S. Border Patrol agents on Sopori Ranch in Tubac, Ariz., on June 9, 2008, said Parks, adding that no evidence was found linking that skull to decapitation.

* * *

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada confirmed that a skull was discovered on Lowell's ranch, but he said no evidence of a decapitation was found.

"It was a skull that was there for quite some time," Estrada said. "There's no indication of any decapitation there, not at all. It was just a skull that was discovered."

Jan Brewer's unsubstantiated claim of "decapitations" [plural] in Arizona are based upon the speculation and conjecture contained in the letter from land owner J. David Lowell, not law enforcement. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff and County Coroner both refute Lowell's speculation and conjecture.

Now you know the facts. Or as Jan Brewer would tell you, "never let the facts get in the way of a good story." Such are the ways of a demagogue.

0 responses to “Losing her head: the rest of the decapitation story

  1. I still chuckle because Brewer said they were finding bodies (plural) with no heads, and to prove her right, the winger cited the Washington Examiner story about finding a single head with no attached body. I know it is a small quibble, but it is the sort of inconsistency that if it came from a climate scientist would cause the Washington Examiner to declare that it was definitive proof that scientists were lying and covering up how much they hate progress and toaster ovens.
    I still say the whole infatuation with headless bodies has its roots in the wingnuts confusing their Lost Dutchman mythology with their illegal immigration mythology.
    Just you wait, next Brewer will be claiming that a series of mysterious maps scratched onto rocks found out in the desert point the way to a hidden tunnel that starts south of the border and re-emerges at the Tuscon Social Security office.

  2. well obviously Jan is simply applying the same methodology to the deaths in the desert as to the 1070 legislation….she’s knows about decapitated bodies because she just does. The same way that law enforcement will handle those pesky Illegals.

  3. Uh, crazy much?

  4. Thanks Jack, I am going to have another beer. And a shot.