Richard speights

Writing to Innocence

24 May 2015


b. Dr. Horn’s autopsy report also says: “The dura mater and falx cerebri are intact. There is good preservation of cerebral symmetry with diffuse green-gray softening of parenchyma due to decomposition. Multiple serial sections of autolyzed brain do not reveal the presence of grossly apparent trauma, foreign bodies, or previously existing natural disease.” (Dr. Horn’s Autopsy Report, Travis Alexander, page 7 of 8, emphasis mine)

2. The hole in the base of the skull was larger than the hole in the forehead. According to Horn, the bullet created this larger hole due to flattening and or tumbling. However, the brain rests upon the base of the skull, and if the deformed and or tumbling bullet had created half-inch wide hole in the base of the skull, it would have also created a corresponding hole of equal size in the leptomeninges (arachnoid and pia maters) on the brain. A half-inch wide hole in the leptomeninges would have been “grossly apparent” to anyone looking at the brain.

     a. Dr. Horn’s autopsy report says: “The wound track perforates the

     anterior frontal skull near the superior orbital bone and traverses the

     right anterior fossa, without gross evidence of significant intracranial

     hemorrhage or apparent cerebral injury…” (Dr. Horn’s Autopsy

     Report, Travis Alexander, page 4 of 8, emphasis mine)

1. A .25 caliber bullet does not have the necessary energy to punch its way into the cranium via the forehead of an adult male and then have enough energy left over to punch its way out again.
     The .25 caliber bullet could not have done what Horn claims. It’s


Don’t Show Me A Rat And Call It A Chihuahua

​Horn's Paradox

Report by

Richard Speights


​​The question of whether Arias shot Alexander first or last became a point of contention during Arias’s trial. She claims to have shot him first. The prosecutor claimed she shot Alexander last as a post-mortem-up-yours coup d’état. Shooting him last bolsters the charge of murder. Shooting him first bolsters the claim of self-defense.

Dr. Horn declared the bullet passed through the brain’s front right lobe. Due to the lack of a blood trail, Horn declared the shot was post mortem. However, the absences of a blood trail in the brain is not the only available evidence—or lack thereof.

Dr. Horn discovered two holes in Alexander’s skull, one in the forehead and one in the base at the cribriform plate. Due to the presence of these two holes, and only due to the presence of these two holes, Horn reported a bullet pathway through the brain.

However, although he claims a bullet pathway though the brain in his autopsy report, the report also describes a brain undamaged. He blames lack of damage on the brain’s decomposed state, but there are several problems with his assertion.

​​A half-inch hole in the leptomeninges is a significant and apparent cerebral injury.

A bullet through the brain would have disrupted the integrity of the dura mater. A bullet through the brain would have disrupted “good preservation of cerebral symmetry. A bullet through the brain would have created grossly apparent trauma (grossly = visible to the naked eye) in the two maters covering the brain. And, a bullet passing through the skull’s forehead would have produced bone fragments (foreign bodies).

Decomposition does not heal a half-inch wide hole in arachnoid and pia maters.

Decomposition does not dissolve bone fragments.

The absence of these two things alone disproves the bullet-pathway-through-the-brain claim.


I believe Dr. Kevin Horn faithfully reported his discoveries in the Alexander autopsy report. However, Dr. Horn had a problem in that the report contained a paradox, for a bullet cannot both pass through a brain and leave it undamaged. Instead of stepping back and looking outside the box for a solution to the paradox, he became fixated on the two holes in the skull and blamed the lack of brain damage on decomposition.

If a man’s job is to unload trucks of medium sized blue boxes, and he does so for years, he will remember the day the truck delivered the one big red box. Horn claimed not to specifically remember this autopsy. I don’t believe him, because a bullet passing through a brain without causing damage is the sort of thing that stands out in the mind.

Instead of sticking to the content of his autopsy report, including the paradox, I believe Dr. Horn tailored his testimony to fit the prosecutor’s case, even reversing the order of events (shot first / shot last). When confronted by the intact dura mater statement, Horn demonstrated a tremendous amount of stress. If he were truthful, that stress would have been unwarranted. If he were not truthful, then the stress was unavoidable.

The automatic and appropriate answer to the intact dura mater statement would be to say, “The report says what the report says, and since the report was written during the autopsy, it is the best record of discovery.” Instead he gave the most outrageous excuse possible, calling the statement a “typo”. By do so, he destroyed his credibility; for how can he present an autopsy report in a future case without suspicion it may contain another “typo”.

On the stand, Dr. Horn showed the court a rat in his testimony and called it a Chihuahua.