Tom Sullivan here, just letting you know that if this appears under my byline, it’s because the tech gremlins in Bob Jones access to SU are acting up and I’m posting this for him. The following is 100% from our illustrious encyclopedic compatriot Robert C. Jones! …
This essay might be of special interest to writers of detective and mystery novels who would like to enrich their stories by providing their readers with a gift of extra details. It might also be of general interest to many other readers, especially those who are CSI and NCIS fans. The ADDITIONAL INFORMATION section of this essay contains material found during research. It is not always closely related to the main subject of the essay, but it is thought to be interesting.
John Schneeberger was born in 1961 in what was Northern Rhodesia but is now Zambia. How it came to be Zambia is quite interesting, but it is not sufficiently related to forensics to win a place in the ADDITIONAL INFORMATION section of this essay. Dr. Schneeberger obtained a medical education from the Stellenbosch University, a world-class university in South Africa. In 1987, he moved to Canada and practiced in the Kipling Medical Center in Saskatchewan. He married and had two daughters. In 1993, he became a Canadian citizen.
During the preceding year, Dr. Schneeberger had sedated a 23-year-old patient named Candice using Versed. While his patient was under its influence, he had sexually assaulted her. Although Schneeberger had expected her to have no memory of the assault, Candice did; and she reported it to the police. A comparison of DNA in Schneeberger’s blood was compared to that in the alleged rapist’s semen, but they did not match. In 1993, Candice requested that another DNA test be conducted. but blood samples drawn from his arm also produced no match. The case was closed in 1994.
Refusing to quit, Candice hired a private detective to continue the investigation. He obtained a sample of Schneeberger’s DNA from inside the doctor’s car that matched that of the previously compared semen. A third official test was conducted, but the blood sample used was too small and of insufficient quality to qualify for analysis.
Finally, in 1997, Schneeberger’s wife, Lisa, discovered that he had repeatedly drugged and sexually assaulted her 15-year-old daughter by a previous marriage. Lisa reported this to the police, and they ordered yet another, fourth, DNA comparison. The fourth comparison used a set of DNA samples taken from Schneeberger’s actual, finger-tip blood, a swab of the inside of his cheek, a follicle of his hair and and the alleged rapist’s semen. All samples matched, and he was subsequently found guilty of two counts of sexual assault, of administering a stupefying drug and of obstruction of justice.
Readers are probably wondering why the first number of DNA tests failed to find a match. Schneeberger revealed that during his trial. He had implanted a 15 cm Penrose drain into his arm. Penrose drains are soft, flat, flexible tubes commonly inserted into wounds to prevent fluid such as blood from accumulating and possibly providing a home for bacteria. The implanted tube contained blood previously taken from a different person. Schneeberger would direct a blood taker to extract a blood sample in a manner that would withdraw “borrowed” blood from the tube for testing.
Schneeberger lost his freedom, his medical license, his Canadian citizenship and his wife, who divorced him.
Versed is a central-nervous-system depressant commonly administered to patients to relax them prior to medical procedures such as surgery. It can also produce a loss of memory of any following discomfort.
Fifteen centimeters (cm) is just short of six inches in length.
After having drafted this essay, I discovered that the actions of Dr. Schneeberger had been the subject of a 2003 Canadian film titled I ACCUSE and of an episode of FORENSIC FILES titled BAD BLOOD on Tru TV. It also reportedly inspired a fifth-season episode of LAW AND ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT and the first episode of a 2009 Japanese drama titled KIINA. Additionally, in 2001, it was featured in a seventh HBO episode on AUTOPSY titled DEAD MEN TALKING. I have not yet seen any of the foregoing, but their titles indicate that that they would make interesting viewing.