Experts Give Opinions on Giddings Case

7:02 PM, Aug 3, 2011   |    comments
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In an interview with 13WMAZ's Frank Malloy, two experts gave outside opinions on the Lauren Giddings murder case.

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Dr. Jack Levin, a criminologist and Professor at Northeastern University, says he's heard of cases like this one before.

"The murder itself sounds rather typical, not unlike many others," Dr. Levin says.

Levin says most murderers have a motive and says many times, that's jealousy or revenge.

"Typically, these kinds of murders, which are really manslaughter, by the way, are committed in the heat of the moment without premeditation," he says. "Of course, I don't know about this particular case, but in general, that's true."

But what drives someone to kill and take it to level of dismembering someone?

"One of the most obvious purposes is to make sure that the whole body isn't found, maybe it's a convenient way to carry it downstairs, getting it into a car, but I think there's another possible explanation," says Dr. Levin, "That is, it could've been a sexual assault. And the DNA evidence may be in the lower part of the torso, and that's why the killer took great pains to make sure that the police didn't find that part and didn't care that much about the upper torso."

Anthropologist and Assistant Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, Dr. Heather Walsh Haney, says despite the five-day window between the last time Giddings was seen and when she was reported missing, investigators should still be able to determine when she was killed.

"Estimating time since death is not only going to involve looking at the degree of skeletization or changes of the soft tissue, but also the types of insects that are present," says Dr. Haney. "A Forensic Entomologist, or insect expert, can look at the insect larva--their eggs, and estimate time since death based upon that evidence."

Dr. Haney also says the search should continue for the Mercer Law graduate.

"The more pieces we find, the clearer the picture of the death scenario. So, the searchers need to keep looking, so as the pieces come together, they'll find an answer," Haney says.

Neither Dr. Haney nor Dr. Levin are involved in the Lauren Giddings investigation.

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