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Timeline

  • On October 2, 1998, Greg, 13 years- old, arrives home approx. 3:10 pm.
  • Erynn Jeffery, Greg’s friend, calls the Witman home at 3:15 pm. Zach, 15 years old, home from school sick and sleeping in his parent’s bedroom, answers upstairs phone. He tells Jeffery that his brother has not arrived home as of yet. Erynn provides sworn statement and testimony that Zach sounded completely normal, not out of breadth or otherwise stressed.
  • Zach hears a “thud” and what he believed was roughhousing by Greg and friend and goes downstairs. He finds his brother with massive wounds to his back and neck. He immediately calls 911 at 3:17 pm. approximately two minutes after he spoke with Jeffery from the upstairs phone. From 3:15 pm to 3:17, when Zach placed a frantic call to police emergency, it would be impossible to have savagely attacked his brother, taken the bloody gloves and knife outside, buried them and then made his way back to the house to call police.
  • He makes frantic plea to police for help and is ordered by police to move his brother’s body. He reluctantly agrees to do so, although he believes his brother is already dead, telling the police operator that he can see inside of Greg’s throat.
  • EMTs arrive at 3:25 pm to find Zach still on the phone with 911 and standing in the garage deeply in shock and hysterical.
  • Police arrive at 3:30 pm and enter home without any protective clothing to prevent contamination to the crime scene.
  • Police chief begins inspection of the home and hears a door slamming shut but does not investigate its source. Police do not check the basement of the home to secure it.
  • Zach is taken to the hospital where he is given medication to calm him down. He is diagnosed with “acute grief.”
  • Up to twenty-five police and non-police personnel go through home in the ensuing hours. Non-police personnel are used to tag evidence. There are no timesheets to record who and when people enter crime scene.
  • The police do not vacuum the premises for hair and fibers. Police do not check rugs for blood. Police leave bloody clothes on top of washing machine in home. They are never tested. Police do limited canvassing of neighborhood.
  • At 12:30 am on October 3rd, the PA State forensic team shows up and decides to place Luminol in and around the home to detect blood that may have been cleaned up. They produce no pictures or any measurements to support their alleged observations. They are not even able to provide a count of the number of Luminol impressions that they claim they saw. They admit it is the first time they have ever used Luminol and the results are not credibly reliable according to Dr. Henry Lee and other experts. Twenty-four or more photos of the Luminol testing are taken by investigators that evening. They are never introduced at trial by the prosecution, and only eight black photos are turned over to the defense during discovery.
  • Although police supposedly searched the area around the home in daylight, it is not until close to 10 hours later that they find a knife and bloody gloves buried in a mound of dirt 10 feet from the home.
  • Blood spatter “expert” for prosecution admits she places shirt similar to Zach’s shirt over her pregnant body to test blood spatter pattern, by stabbing a non-moving sponge. After she fails to achieve desired results, she tries several other methods until she achieves her goals.
  • On October 9, 1998, at 12:10 pm, police serve a search warrant at General Telephone and Electronic (GTE) to obtain Erynn Jeffery’s phone records of her calls to the Witman home. The records are never presented at trial by the prosecution and absent in the discovery documents. To this day, their whereabouts are unknown.
  • On October 10, 1998, Zachary Witman is charged with first-degree murder.
  • In 2003, 4 1/2 years after Greg’s murder, 20 year-old Zachary Witman is tried for first- degree murder. His attorney presents no forensic experts at all, on DNA, blood spatter, crime scene investigation, or Luminol testing. Zach is convicted based upon faulty forensic science and sentenced to life without parole. He has been imprisoned for close to 15 years.