Ray Krone’s Exoneration from bitemark evidence: THE INSIDE STORY @csidds

ray krone Photo by: Heidi Huber/AP

This picture has Ray Krone ( left) immediately after his release from AZ prison in 2000. Part of his story is below, which develops the persona of the Prosecutor Noel Levy who put Ray on  death row. The article was written in 2013 about prosecutorial misconduct in AZ which focused on multiple cases including Krone’s. Ray is now a international public speaker on the subject of “win at all costs” prosecutors and junk forensic science.

He hates bitemark identification.

In fact, during the 10 year fight for freedom, his family reached out to the American Board of Forensic Odontology (ABFO), the “elite” dentists of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) for an official review of the bitemark aspects of Ray’s case.

The Preamble of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences is it’s public commitment to scientific integrity (and its subsidiary forensic boards like the ABFO). I have added a couple comments.

The Krone family was refused assistance by both organizations. One glaring conflict this dental group had was that one of their past presidents was the major prosecution bitemark expert, Dr. Ray Rawson in both trials. This denial (with no cause) left the family to ask individual AAFS/ABFO dentists to independently analyze one bitemark image to Ray’s teeth. 10% of the membership sent opinions and analysis data to Jim Rix, Ray’s cousin who spearheaded the family’s efforts to gain Ray’s release. I was one of those nine dentists. Jim wrote a superlative book on their experience titled “Jingle Jangle.” I think that is Jim Rix on the right in the top photo.  During those ten years, Ray’s stalwart defense atty from San Diego, Chris Plourd provided legal representation from the first trial to the final step of Ray’s exoneration. Chris is now a Superior Court Judge in the San Diego region. During the Krone family’s harrowing and frustrating battle with the ABFO regarding the org’s refusal to provide independent forensic review of the Krone bitemark evidence, a button ornament was made available at the next joint AAFS/ABFO convention that was quite popular with some of the attendees but not all of them.

OBFO Button

Photo credit: Dr. David Averill

Written below is the excerpt from The Republic article. The author is Michael Kiefer from The Republic. Also,  Here is the entire article. ================================================================In 1992 Noel Levy helped send Krone to death row for a murder he did not commit. Krone’s conviction and death sentence were thrown out three years later because the court had allowed Levy to present a videotape about matching bite marks into evidence that the defense had not had time to review. In 2002, Ray Krone was exonerated by a true DNA match. Krone was dubbed the “Snaggletooth Killer” because of his twisted front teeth, and Levy found experts who said that those teeth matched bites on the victim’s breast and neck. “The State’s discovery violation related to critical evidence in the case against the accused,” the Arizona Supreme Court ruled when it tossed the case. “Discovery” refers to evidence that the opposing attorneys are supposed to make available to the other side before trial. At retrial, Levy got another first-degree murder conviction for Krone, though at the second trial Krone was sentenced to life in prison, where he spent another seven years. In 2002, Krone was exonerated by a true DNA match; another man was convicted of the murder. “It never came out that one expert said it (the bite mark) wasn’t a match,” Krone told The Republic. There were footprints that didn’t match, DNA that was sketchy. And, as Krone said, other evidence was disregarded: an eyewitness account about a man seen near the crime scene who turned out to be the real killer, for example.



A Forensic Charlatan Gets Caught in the ACT. Some other bitemark                                                    disasters by AAFS/ABFO dentists.

RAY Krone receives  two settlements worth $4.4 Million. More                                                             case details


About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
This entry was posted in AAFS, Bitemarks, Exoneration costs, junk forensic science, Ray Krone bitemark case, wrongful convictions and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Ray Krone’s Exoneration from bitemark evidence: THE INSIDE STORY @csidds

  1. csidds says:

    Reblogged this on FORENSICS in FOCUS @ CSIDDS | News and Trends and commented:

    Nothing says junk science more than this forensic method that has no legitimate validation of methods, no QC, no internal or external audits, no calibration of its testing or personnel, no reproducible testing, multiple “approved methods,” no equipment requirements, no estimation of measurement error, no control standards reference samples, and mere assurances that what its examiners say is in accordance to a scientific basis. Im sure members of this group on the NCFS will ignore all this and promote themselves to the NIST governing committee. All the standards of competency noted above fall within the ISO Standards for Accreditation ISO 17025 and are considered the minima for scientific lab conformity and confidence. I doubt the US justice system understands any of this. Meanwhile, read this past blog piece about the case mentioned most frequently as the reason why bitemark IDs are synonymous with “junk” forensics.

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