Letter to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
7006 Vantage Drive
Alexandria, VA 22306-1247
May 23, 2012
The Honorable Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Mayor, City of Baltimore, Maryland
City Hall, Room 250
100 North Holliday Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
We are the parents of 16-year old Annie McCann. In November 2008, Annie was apparently murdered, and then stuffed behind a dumpster in Baltimore. We last wrote you late in 2009, as the Dixon Administration was crumbling under scandal, and you were preparing to assume the duties of Mayor. Unfortunately, we never received a reply. We write now in measured follow-up, and we hope you don’t find us bothersome.
The thing is, our daughter was murdered, and your police department has not investigated her murder.
Annie died under what can only be called the most sinister circumstances. Since then, your police department has failed miserably. They did not investigate Annie’s death. They immediately and wrongly concluded that Annie killed herself. They did not tell us of their conclusion for more than four months. We have since proven their theory of suicide is impossible.
Earlier this month, a Special Agent with the FBI asked to look into your police department’s investigation into Annie’s death. According to the written report of the FBI Special Agent, your police department denied that request, telling the FBI “that they have closed the case and do not need nor request our [FBI] assistance.” Why would your police department deny an offer of FBI assistance?
And why would your police department say the case is closed? Lt. Colonel Garnell Green, commander of your department’s homicide unit, recently told us in writing that the case remains “open pending any creditable information.” Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi repeated that mantra to many reporters several weeks ago: the investigation into Annie’s death “remains open, pending new information.” We believe the FBI can provide credible new information to your police department.
For more than three years now, your police department has alternately opened and closed the investigation to suit their contemporary needs, while still never investigating Annie’s death. We know now that in November 2008, then head of homicide Terrence McLarney jumped to the wrong conclusion, that Annie killed herself by drinking Bactine, an over-the-counter medicine containing a tiny amount a the poison lidocaine. Since then, through a mass of expert opinions, we have proven that is impossibly wrong.
Sickeningly, over these years, it has become more important to your police department that they not be embarrassed than that they solve Annie’s murder. Having now fired McLarney for demonstrably flawed judgment, your police department clings now to that self-same flawed judgment, his wrong conclusion in Annie’s case.
Throughout, your police department has defended its position with an unending series of lies. Here are a few; we can fully document these lies, and more lies:
- Your police department claims to have spent thousands of hours investigating Annie’s death. Somehow, though, more than four months after her murder, the lead detective had to ask us in writing for a photograph of Annie. Still later, he didn’t know there was alcohol in Annie’s system until after we relayed press reports to him.
- In October 2009, trying to explain why police had not charged juveniles with stealing our car and dumping Annie’s body, police spokesman Guglielmi explained that “Annie may have granted the young men permission to take the Volvo.” That was almost one year after “the young men” had admitted to stealing the car and dumping Annie’s body.
- Madam Mayor, you live in today’s world, you’re familiar with the justice system. Surely, you must understand how bizarre, how utterly contrary to normal cop-think it is for your police to craft lame alibis for admitted body-dumping thugs. What’s going on here? Just how desperate is your police department to cover up here?
- Before being fired, McLarney told The Washington Post that your police consulted Bayer, the manufacturer of Bactine, and found that “there was more than enough lidocaine in one bottle of Bactine for a fatal dose.” Bayer HealthCare flatly refutes that claim, in writing. Basically, they read the label to your police department. Bayer adds, still in writing, that there is not enough lidocaine in a full container of Bactine to constitute a lethal dose. Annie’s container of Bactine was more than half empty.
- How could your police department have mis-stated such a simple and crucial fact?
- Having sought the expert opinion of the maker of Bactine, why does your police department now steadfastly ignore that uniquely informed opinion?
- In December 2011, Lt. Colonel Green, McLarney’s replacement, promised us in person and in writing that he would have the case reviewed “with a fresh set of eyes.” The review was done by the original lead detective. For this case, there are no older eyes on Planet Earth. And guess what? In his review for his new boss, he found that, back in 2008, by golly, he’d done a great job! “Fresh eyes?” Another lie!
- Again, your police department’s latest official formulation is that Annie’s case is “open, pending new information.” When The Baltimore Sun pressed Guglielmi as to why your police department had not followed up on the sketch of a person of interest we had commissioned, Guglielmi dismissed the sketch, saying it had been done through a psychic. "In our humble opinion, it is not a credible sketch." That is hogwash, another bold-faced lie! The sketch was done by a retired homicide detective, and one of the world’s most experienced police sketch artists. We shared that information, and his notes, with your police department years ago.
- How, in good faith, could Guglielmi have accidentally described the sketch as having been done by a psychic? What, was he thinking of some other psychic sketch artist? It’s just another outrageous lie manufactured by your police department, to explain their abysmal failure, and to discredit our claims.
- Guglielmi later acknowledged his mistake. So where is the follow-up on the new information, the sketch, and related identifications? Why hasn’t your police department contacted us, or our private investigators?
Believe us, we could go on.
If your police department has done a full and vigorous investigation into Annie’s murder, why must they defend their actions with an unending series of grotesque lies?
Shouldn’t the truth be enough?
In the immediate aftermath of the terrible killing of 13-year old Monae Turnage, you characterized alleged police involvement as “disgusting.”
We agree. We, too, were astonished and horrified at the allegations.
Surely, Madam Mayor, your disgust is not rooted in the race of dear Monae – coincidentally, an African-American teenager. Might you share with us disgust at your police department’s gross failure to investigate the death of our Annie – coincidentally, a Caucasian teenager?
Perhaps you’ll agree with us, that this is disgusting: Three and a half years after the murder of our dear daughter, we still don’t know whether or not she was raped. In case you find that hard to believe, we’ll repeat it. Despite our repeated pleas for answers, three and a half years after Annie’s murder, we still don’t know whether or not she was raped. Where are the swabs? Where are the rape test results? What do they say? Why don’t we know?
What kind of police department are you running?
And who are they, to aggressively refuse the offered help of the FBI? What are their priorities?
Who, Madam Mayor, is accountable for this gross failure of your police department? The former head of homicide? The original detective? The retired head of CID? The retiring Commissioner? The new chief of Internal Affairs? The Deputy Commissioner? The former Mayor?
We ask your intervention, Current Mayor Rawlings-Blake. Order a real and vigorous investigation by your police department into Annie’s murder. Accept the proffered help of the FBI. Better still, reach out to the Bureau, or US Attorney Rod Rosenstein, and beseech their strong assistance. Mr. Rosenstein recently broke up a ruthless human trafficking ring, operating from Baltimore to El Paso, Texas to exploit young, impressionable women. His counterpart in Eastern Virginia has broken up another ring, one recruiting young women out of Annie’s school system.
Please, ma’am – we’re begging for your help. We’re begging for justice for our Annie. Please help!
Mary Jane Malinchak-McCann
Daniel J. McCann