A Response From The Crime Lab

Picture of WI Crime Lab

A few days ago I googled the name Ronald Groffy.  He is the forensic photographer who took the pictures of the RAV4 the day after it arrived at the crime lab.  For those of you who do not know, Teresa Halbach was murdered on October 31st, 2005, and her RAV4 was found five days later on Avery Salvage Yard, a place she had been earlier in the day to take photographs of a car for her job at Autotrader.


Turns out that Mr. Groffy now teaches forensics at a technical college in Madison, WI.

I saw that in the course description, the course would be taught from  The Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory Physical Evidence Handbook.   The Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory Physical Evidence Handbook?  I didn’t know that such a thing existed, or, if it did, that it would be available in any form to the public, but I googled that too, and found out that the whole thing is freely available online.

In fact, the site that it’s on turns out to be a gateway to Wisconsin law enforcement.  Authorized users can log in and view documents which presumably are not readily available to the public.  One thing that I did find, however, is a general email address to the Wisconsin Crime Lab.  I sent the following email:

Email to wisconsin crime lab requesting information about certain protocols

Email to wisconsin crime lab requesting information about certain protocols


To my surprise, I received a response from a Glenn Rehberg from the Madison Crime Lab a few days later!


response from the madison crime lab

response from crime lab in madison

Heaven knows why, but they’re on both Twitter and Facebook   I’m expecting a response from the director of the crime lab herself, Nicole Roehm, and I’ll keep you posted should that ever be forthcoming.  Who knows, maybe she might be willing to tell me whether Ken Kratz was at the crime lab when Teresa’s RAV4 arrived from the salvage yard?

Why would I be interested in all of this?  Because among the photographs that Mr. Groffy took of Teresa’s RAV4, one was of a disconnected battery cable.  The DNA of the man convicted of killing Teresa Halbach, Steven Avery, was found on the RAV4s hood release which would strongly indicated that it was HE who disconnected the battery cable for some reason.  What reason he would have had to disconnect the battery cable no one knows.

But it would appear that there was a standard protocol among law enforcement to disconnect the battery cables of vehicles collected and stored as evidence for any length of time.  That’s what I’m trying to find out for sure because if there is such a protocol, then it was probably someone at the crime lab that opened the hood to disconnect the battery cable, and not Steven Avery.  If so, there is no reason for why Steven Avery’s DNA was found on the hood release of Teresa Halbach’s RAV4.