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Nadia Ogene April 8, 2013 Case #4 The question of whether rape is about sex or power is not really about

whether it is entirely about one or the other. Obviously, both sex and power are involved. The question is about whether rape is better classified, in general, as (1) an action where the goal is power, but the means is sex, or (2) an action where the goal is sex, but the means is power. While there was no physical penetration by the murderer himself, I feel that his or her actions constitute as rape. Moreover, the sexually degrading position that the victim was left in implies that their actions were a means of exerting power. Plishkas behavior throughout the case seems to fall in line with the type of person who could commit such a heinous crime. Those who knew Plishka described him as a nice guy, but emotionally stunted. A man who provided transportation for Plishka after the investigation said that he felt that there was something missinglike he never grew up. Like he was still half a child (Wilson). Through Plishkas statements, it seemed that he was attempting to detach himself from his actions. When asked about his involvement in the victims murder, he gave noncommittal answers that suggested that he was not an active participant (e.g. I hope I didnt kill that girl). Rather than avidly denying such accusations, he simply skirts around the question, just as a child would if they think they might be caught doing something their parents would disapprove of. Moreover, Plishkas intelligence assessment indicated that he had a low IQthere have been a number of studies arguing the correlation between intelligence and criminal tendencies. The use of neuroimaging could be a useful facet of this investigation because verbal IQ deficits have been linked to left hemisphere dysfunction, which could be attributed to environment and heredity (Raine 234). When asked about the victim, Plishka stated that f**cking b***h never waved at me. This abrasive response implies that the suspect still harbors resentment over something as small as a hand gesture. I feel

that it would be interesting to examine Plishkas brain scans to determine whether he suffers the same dysfunction to his impulse control. After viewing the autopsy, I could see that the victim had incurred several injuries consistent with an attempt to defend herself. When Plishka was approached by the police shortly after they found the victims body, he had a fresh scratch under his left cheek that he could not explain. DNA extracted from fingernail clippings of the victim could possibly originate from contact with the suspects blood, saliva, semen or scratched skin (Zamir). Therefore, the DNA found under the victims fingernail clippings could be used to either exclude or include Plishka from the list of suspects. Given the strides DNA matching has made, this could ultimately place Plishka at the scene of the crime given his conflicting statements. Moreover, the blood on the barrel of the .22 caliber Magnum Ithaca Rifle found in Plishkas home could create a number of leads for this case. Firstly, it could confirm that the weapon was used to kill the victim. Secondly, it could potentially match Plishka to the scene of the crime. In turn, these samples could provide a substantial amount of evidence for the prosecution to convict Plishka. The victim was also dragged a seemingly substantial distance to the place where her body was found. Moreover, one of her shoes and socks were removed and found at the scene of the crime. While I feel that DNA testing could prove to be useful in this respect, I argue that a soil analysis may prove to be more fruitful. Examiners could use integration and extrapolation of soil information from one scale to next, to build a coherent model of soil information from microscopic observations to the landscape scale that could aid them in their investigation (Fitzpatrick). By utilizing the soil extracts found on both the victims body and clothing, investigators could place the area of the murder in order to find more leads. While I do believe that the Plishka did commit the crime, I can also see how one could argue that this crime was almost too perfect. Someone who knew of Plishkas unusual tendencies (e.g. leaving photographs of his penis in the mall) would see him as the perfect scapegoat for such a

crime. He was someone who had difficulty expressing himself verbally, therefore he would have tremendous difficulty defending himself. More importantly, he had already established himself as a deviant in the areapeople would be inclined to believe that he committed these crimes. The simple fact that the weapon still had blood samples on it when obtained by the police could be because of two reasons: (1) Plishka did not possess the foresight to get rid of the weapon, or (2) the actual murderer had planted the weapon in Plishkas house. The latter scenario would imply that the murderer had, in fact, known Plishka on a personal level. Moreover, if it is found that the DNA found under either the fingernails or the rifle does not distinctly match that of Plishkas, I am a little unsure as to what measures can be taken to move the investigation forward. Due to the lack of witnesses around the time of the victims disappearance, it would be extremely difficult to find more leadsI am simply at a loss in regards to the next steps to take outside of simply asking around in the area.

Works Cited Fitzpatrick, Robert W. "Soil: Forensic Analysis." Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science. N.p., 15 Sept. 2009. Web. Raine, Adrian. The Psychopathology of Crime: Criminal Behavior as a Clinical Disorder. San Diego: Academic, 1993. Print. Wilson, Patrick. "Accused Killer 'A Nice Guy'" The Virginian-Pilot, 30 Aug. 2009. Web. 07 Apr. 2013. Zamir. "Result Filters." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2013.