There has been no shortage of conspiracy theories regarding the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. However, a former Washington, D.C., homicide detective’s incredulous Facebook post about the sketchy details in the hours after Scalia’s death has drawn a wide audience, including The Washington Post.
William O. Ritchie, formerly the head of criminal investigations for the D.C. police, wrote Sunday that he found it inconceivable no autopsy was ordered on Scalia’s body, especially given the possibility the justice might have been injected with a drug that would induce heart failure.
“As a former homicide commander, I am stunned that no autopsy was ordered for Justice Scalia,” Ritchie wrote.
“You have a Supreme Court Justice who died, not in attendance of a physician,” the homicide detective continued. “You have a non-homicide trained U.S. Marshal tell the justice of the peace that no foul play was observed. You have a justice of the peace pronounce death while not being on the scene and without any medical training opining that the justice died of a heart attack. What medical proof exists of a myocardial Infarction? Why not a cerebral hemorrhage?”
Ritchie was referring to the fact that Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara pronounced Justice Scalia dead without examining his body or ordering an autopsy. Since Scalia’s death happened in a remote part of West Texas, there weren’t justices of the peace immediately available to pronounce the justice dead.
Judge Guevara made the determination based on the fact that U.S. Marshals told her there “were no signs of foul play.”
However, Ritchie says that explanation would be insufficient for him as a homicide detective.
“How can the Marshal say, without a thorough post mortem, that he was not injected with an illegal substance that would stimulate a heart attack,” Ritchie wrote.
“Did the US Marshal check for petechial hemorrhage in his eyes or under his lips that would have suggested suffocation,” Ritchie continued. “Did the US Marshal smell his breath for any unusual odor that might suggest poisoning?
“My gut tells me that there is something fishy going on in Texas,” he concluded.
There’s certainly no shortage of conspiracy theories about just how Antonin Scalia died. What there is a shortage of is evidence — evidence that Judge Guevara could have provided had she ordered an autopsy. Thanks to that decision, we may never know.