Riptide got a
package in the mail a few days ago. At first, we thought it might be a Christmas
present, or a juicy story tip, but then we recognized the handwriting. It was
from an inmate we've gotten to know pretty well over the last couple months.
A few weeks
ago, New Times ran a story about
Jeanette Smith, a
stripper who was sodomized, murdered and thrown in the everglades. The gist: A
former marine sniper named Ariel Hernandez, who admitted to dumping the body --
but says he was framed -- will now face the death penalty for the crime. (For
the whole story, click here.)
for an interview, Riptide promised to send Hernandez a copy of the story, which
partly told the tale of his deviant past and our jailhouse encounter with him. So
Soon, we got
problem I got with the article," he said over the phone, "is with that masturbation
The story made note that, while left
unattended during an interview with cops, Hernandez "sexually gratified"
himself. This was all according to a
Broward Investigative Action Report. The report stated he afterwards wiped his
hands on a nearby trash can. Hernandez wasn't happy about that being in print.
So when we
opened his package a few days ago, we weren't quite sure what to expect. But
there they were: a stack of crime lab analysis reports - new to New Times -- with some parts highlighted
in yellow. Stuck to the documents were several yellow Post-it notes, decorated
in Hernandez's scratchy handwriting. One read: Ask yourself why cops would lie
about observing me masturbate?
The clime lab
report, from Broward Sheriff's Office, goes on to show that there was indeed no
seminal fluid found on the bag in question. (We're still not entirely convinced
this means cops lied.)
importantly, though, were the parts he neglected to highlight. A few pages in,
was the meat: Lab results concluded Hernandez's sperm was found in Smith's mouth
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and a nearby blanket and comforter.
Doesn't help his case much.