Douglas Dispatch

Ever been bothered by your local “yellow press” – just making headlines out of nothing? Well, meet the Douglas Dispatch, where everything is a bit different. It’s the newspaper of the 12000-people village I did my field work on. It’s right in the border to Mexico, and it’s brand mark is really that it’s just filled with crime of any sort imaginable (much of it though ‘white crimes’ or within families). Now most of the people there are really nice, and they have this common project of making Douglas look really nice. That is why the top story of the Dispatch today is:

Wal-Mart has donated a Pioneer HDTV Projection Monitor television set to the Southeast Arizona Medical Center to be used as a prize at their Silent Auction to be held October 22 at Club 3000. […]

Then, under that, with small types you can find the following story (on the web page as a link)…


Crime scene of double murder may have been botched

XAVIER ZARAGOZA/The Daily Dispatch

BISBEE – Each crime scene tells it’s own story.

The plot, the characters and its theme are slowly unearthed and revealed through investigation and evidence.

But if one witness at the Zachary Eggers murder trial is right, the story may not be fully told from evidence gathered at the Eggers property, where Eggers’ parents were killed and dragged to their shallow graves on Dec. 8, 2003.

According to death scene investigator Michael Downing, the crime scene was managed in such a substandard way that it’s nearly impossible to tell who really killed the Eggers, despite a full confession from Eggers.

Nevertheless, Zachary Eggers, 18, is being charged with the first-degree murder of his parents, Bradley and Delyn. Using slugs and a 12-gauge pump action shotgun, he allegedly shot his mother Delyn on the steps of their mobile home about 20 miles north of Douglas. Shortly after, when his father arrived home for lunch, Eggers shot his father twice in the chest.

On Tuesday Downing testified in Superior Court that there was no command post at the Eggers’ crime scene, which would have provided an overview of how best to approach the scene.

And because there was no command post, too many people came and trampled across the scene and perhaps contaminated the area. The detectives should have taken a single path, one following the other during their investigation.

At minimum, two people could have conducted the initial investigation; Downing said he counted about seven or eight.

The detectives and investigators did not wear shoe covers, which could have destroyed transitory and trace evidence. Downing defined transitory evidence as a piece of paper; he defined trace evidence as hair or blood.

Not wearing shoe covers could have unnecessarily added more shoe prints to the scene. At one point the crime scene investigation was stopped so that the county attorney could have a walk-through of the area, he said.

When the investigators began to uncover the bodies, they did not use dirt sifters around and away from the dig site. The sifters would have picked up objects that could be of evidentiary use later in the investigation.

In some cases the investigators did not use gloves during the dig nor did they place paper bags on the hands of the recovered bodies, Downing told the court.

“You only get one chance in an investigation,” he said. “If you don’t do it right, there won’t be a second chance.”

As a result of the substandard investigation, there is no way of telling who killed the Eggers, he said.

Even the way the Eggers’ confession was handled was substandard. Downing said that only one person should have known about the confession. By keeping all others clueless, the investigators would be more inclined to look for evidence without prejudice.

Downing said the Cochise County Sheriff’s Department had the resources to follow protocol, but they didn’t follow it.

Deputy legal defender asked Det. Robert Gerencser of the Cochise County Department if he had worn shoe covers or gloves during the investigation.

Gerencser said he didn’t. He also said he didn’t have Eggers take a urine test to see if he was under the influence.

Gerencser was the lead investigator at the Eggers’ crime scene.

What the story actually leaves out is what the guy did after shooting his parents. As far as I remember it, he burried them and then called all his friend for a big oarty that same night. He was then picked up by the police the following day….

7 thoughts on “Douglas Dispatch”

  1. pompel og pilt reiste videre. så der de da landet, ja da var de kommet til kjelelrfen… der mø6tte de gogon vaktmester… en hyggelig fyr.. men alltid så påpasselig. pompel og pilt er alttid etterspurt.. for gorgon var usikke rpå hva de gjorde.. for noe gjorde de. pompel og pilt reparerte de de ment burde repareres. så dermed ble egentlig gorgon uten arbid..men det varte egentlig ikke lenger enn til at pompel og pilt reparererte litt for mange ting

  2. I know Zack…and i know he didnt do it alone. I know for a fact he had 3 other guys with him on the night of the killings…i know this because he was house sitting for me…i came back to Az on the 8th…he stopped by and gave me back my keys, asked me if everything was cool. Introduced me to two guys i didnt know and i said hello to the one that i did know. I know there were using cocaine because he showed me an ounce of it and we all did some lines. I am not saying what Zack did was right but try to live with being strip searched everytime you come and go from the house. He once got a flat tire on his bike on his way home from the library, and when he called his dad to ask for a ride…his dad responded with "thats your problem, deal with it" Zack had to walk 25 miles to get home witch when he did get home it was 1 am and his dad beat him for being out so late.

  3. He was a good guy…he just had enough and was under the influence. He was constantly strip searched and treated like a prisoner. Thats why he ran away before. Its a damn shame this happened.

  4. Hey Johannes… not sure if you remember me but we were on the Howard Dean campaign together back in ’04… Anyway, if you still live in Douglas or the surrounding area, hit me up. I live in Phoenix now.

  5. Before you decide that Zac was an evil person and start talking about how horrible of a thing it was consider this, In the 5 years that I knew him his life was nothing but rules and threats of military school and beatings. His older brother knows what it was like to be hit by their father as did Zac. Their cousin was just as deprived of everything because she was a girl and was obviously "going to be a slut". No, killing is not the answer, he could have just followed their every comand and ran as soon as he hit 18 like we had planned… but he just couldnt take it anymore. Everyone responds differently to stress of this nature and Zac couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel anymore. His parents loved him ofcourse, maybe even a little more than the rest, he always seemed to be there little boy but with that came standards for him that were just unabtainable. The others just had to survive, thats all that was expected, but Zac was expected to be greatness and follow their dreams for him no matter what. There are rumors that his brother helped, he didn’t. His cousin and little brother didn’t either. I know. I didn’t help him either…but maybe if I had been there for him before maybe he’d be here with me instead of locke in some cell in BFE arizona right now. He wasn’t a bad person, he just made some horrible choices in the end.

  6. @Kings Highway: I think you misunderstand. Who I’m mocking here is not Zack but rather the Douglas Dispatch and its way of prioritizing stories. I don’t generally believe there is such a thing as a "bad person" — the options that we have, or at least the options each one of us perceives he has, are all rather determined by the society we live in. And so is the prioritization of these options. All I’m saying with that is that under other circumstances (another time/place), it would all have ended rather differently.

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