Letter to Commissioner Anthony Batts
7006 Vantage Drive
Alexandria, VA 22306-1247
November 8, 2012
Commissioner Anthony Batts
Baltimore City Police Department
242 West 29th Street
Baltimore, MD 21211-2908
We are writing to beg that your police department open a real investigation into the death of our 16-year old daughter, Annie McCann. Annie died on November 2, 2008 in Baltimore, under the most sinister circumstances imaginable. A few hours after being seen laughing and lively at a pastry shop in Little Italy, she was stuffed behind a dumpster near Perkins Homes, suffering from blunt force trauma to both sides of her forehead, and a massive, lethal amount of the poison lidocaine in her system.
We have waited for over a month following your assuming duties as Police Commissioner of Baltimore, wishing to give you an opportunity to get your municipal and organizational bearings before making this request.
Here are just a few of the shocking failures on the part of your police department, made prior to your taking command:
- Five months into the investigation, the lead detective did not have a photograph of our daughter
- Four months into the so-called investigation the lead detective learned from us that Annie had alcohol in her system. We learned it from Baltimore press reporting. Local media were more engaged in the details of Annie's death than the lead Baltimore City homicide detective!
- By way of explaining why no charges had been brought for stealing our car, in connection with dumping Annie's body behind the dumpster, your police department suggested that Annie might have given "the young men" – honestly, thugs! – permission to use her car. This was a year after the thugs had already confessed to stealing the car and dumping Annie's body. Now, Commissioner Batts, you're a cop, you're a cop's cop. You worked your way up from the ranks, you know how cops think, how they operate. You know a cop's DNA. Can you explain why the Baltimore City Police Department would manufacture flimsy alibis for such self-confessed thugs? Is that common to your experience, or utterly bizarre? What's going on here?
- According to the Medical Examiner, the cause of Annie's death was "lidocaine toxicity – otherwise undetermined." Your police department jumped to the wrong conclusion, that Annie killed herself by drinking Bactine, which contains a tiny amount of lidocaine. No one has ever killed themselves with Bactine, or lidocaine. But to support that narrow and unprecedented theory of suicide-by-Bactine, your police department lied. They falsely claimed to The Washington Post that they had contacted the makers of Bactine, and confirmed that drinking Bactine would cause death. That is, quite simply, a lie. We can document it, in writing from the makers of Bactine. We find it unconscionable that your homicide division would adopt a narrow and unprecedented theory as to the cause of death, a theory not supported by the Medical Examiner, and then blatantly lie to support it.
- Using an actual photograph of Annie, our private investigators – retired BCPD detectives – tracked down eyewitnesses, including one who gave a great sketch of a companion of Annie's in that pastry shop. To discredit us, your spokesman falsely reported that the sketch was done by a psychic sketch artist. That was – is – outrageous! That sketch was done by a retired homicide detective, one of the most respected sketch artists in the world. We shared his resume and richly detailed notes with your police department. Elicited in Baltimore's Little Italy, the sketch has been recognized several times in Northern Virginia – once, with a name. It's a powerful clue in any serious investigation into Annie's death. How could your spokesman have accidentally characterized it as having been done by a psychic? That was nothing more than another grossly crafted effort to defend a shockingly thin investigation into our daughter's murder!
- The former head of homicide at BCPD, the man whose judgment drove the non-investigation into Annie's death, was let go by your predecessor because of, well, flawed judgment. (Details available on request.) The current head of homicide promised us less than a year ago that Annie's case would be reviewed "with new eyes." In point of fact, that review was conducted by the original lead detective – the oldest eyes on the planet, as far as that investigation goes. Guess what he was able to tell his new boss? "Turns out, Boss, I did a great job, back in 2008!"
We could go on. Please, Commissioner Batts – we're begging for your help. We're begging for justice for our Annie. And other children may be at risk. Please help! Can you commission a real, live investigation into our daughter's death? Or invite the Maryland State Police, or the FBI, to do so? Please, Commissioner – we're begging you!
Mary Jane Malinchak-McCann
Daniel J. McCann