Saturday, September 29, 2018

When Did Mark Return Home the Night of His Truck Fire?

The previous two posts (July 30 and August 30, 2018) dealt with the problem of the 911 call made by my brother’s wife Susan and the alleged phone call that reportedly took place for about half an hour between Susan and a man named Pete Rapacioli right before Mark’s truck fire.  Both of these calls also raise issues related to the actual time frame of the entire incident, which included injuries inflicted to my brother’s forehead and the left side of his face, a pool of his blood left in his driveway, his truck backed down from the driveway and parked around fifty feet into the field across the road, the driver’s seat area doused with gasoline from a gas can found in the cab of the truck, and Mark himself lying about sixty feet from the truck, with two-foot flames shooting from his entire body (see esp. posts of February 2, March 27, May 29, July 22, August 22, September 22, and November 22, 2012).

How long did all this take from the time my brother returned home that night and ended up with the fatal third-degree burns over most of his body?  Presumably more than a few minutes.  Since they insisted that Mark himself in a highly inebriated state somehow had caused everything that happened to him, the New York State Police should have thought hard about the time line but apparently did not.  The time frame, however, seems very unclear, as presented in Susan’s witness statement in the police report.  But since the State Police refused both to review the 911 call and to retrieve the phone records for the alleged phone call, the only information on the time frame disclosed by the police what Mark’s wife says in her witness statement.

The events obviously began after Mark’s arrival home, but nothing in the police report clarifies that point.  Here is Susan’s information on the issue: “At around 10:30 p.m. I was on the phone and waiting for Mark to return home.”  All one can gather from this statement is that, according to Susan, my brother had not returned home by 10:30. Susan does not make any direct reference in her witness statement to Mark’s actual return home but instead says, “I heard a noise in the garage and I thought it was the cats.”  Since she does not indicate anything unusual about the cats making some disturbance in their attached garage, this noise she mentions might well have been from the cats.

The terminus of the time frame, however, is clear in Susan’s witness statement.  After referring to the noise, she mentions that she noticed the fire in the field, called 911, went out to the fire, and tried to put the flames out on Mark.  All that, she indicates, happened by 10:55 p.m. She adds that after the fire she realized Mark had taken a five-gallon gas can from the garage.

However, neighbor and EMT Cheryl Simcox, who was the first person after Susan on the scene and who remained with her until around 1 a.m., reported something else to me.  According to Cheryl, the night of the fire Susan also told her that she knew Mark had been on the property right before the fire and thought that he had been going after gas.  To comprehend how that horrific series of events took place, one would certainly want to know how and precisely when Susan knew that Mark had returned home that night.