Doubt Casts Shadows: The Everett Carr Murder Case Reopens

…By for TDPel Media. The Intricate Puzzle of the Everett Carr Murder Case


The Everett Carr murder case has been a captivating and controversial story that has gripped the nation’s attention for decades.

The harrowing details and twists surrounding the case have left it far from closed.

The state Supreme Court’s decision to reevaluate the evidence, especially regarding allegations of false testimony about blood evidence, has cast doubt on the convictions of two teenagers, Ralph “Ricky” Birch and Shawn Henning, who were convicted of the stabbing death of 65-year-old Everett Carr.


The Night of Everett Carr’s Murder

On December 1, 1985, the peaceful city of New Milford, Connecticut, was shattered by a heinous crime.

The lifeless body of 65-year-old Everett Carr was discovered in his home, the scene painted with horror.

He had suffered 27 stab wounds, a slit throat, and seven blows to his head with a blunt object.

The crime scene was soaked in blood, leaving investigators grappling with the horrifying fate that had befallen Carr.


False Leads and Convictions

Ralph “Ricky” Birch, aged 51, and Shawn Henning, aged 50, became suspects two years after the murder, charged with a violent crime that allegedly occurred during burglaries.

Despite their convictions and lengthy sentences, supporters of the two maintain that there was no DNA evidence linking them to the murder.

Suspicion arises as no blood was found on their clothes or in their car shortly after the crime, raising doubts about the strength of the prosecution’s case.

The Forensic Expert’s Testimony


During the trials of Birch and Henning, forensic expert Henry Lee played a crucial role in securing their convictions.

Prosecutors heavily relied on his testimony, which suggested that the assailants could have avoided leaving significant blood evidence on themselves during the murder.

He pointed to a towel near the crime scene, supposedly stained with blood, implying that the killers may have used it to clean up.

However, defense attorney W. James Cousins contends that this claim about the towel is untrue.

The Truth Behind the Towel Controversy


The towel emerged as a critical piece of evidence in the battle for justice.

Cousins argues that Henry Lee should have conducted proper tests to determine if there was blood on the towel, calling into question the veracity of Lee’s testimony.

A technician from Lee’s agency even testified that the towel had never been examined or tested for blood.

Tests conducted between 2010 and 2012 revealed that the blood found on the murder weapon, floorboard, body, and cigar box did not match either defendant, further casting doubt on their involvement.

Conflicting Witness Testimonies


The Everett Carr murder case is further complicated by conflicting witness testimonies.

Witnesses, including Henning’s grandmother, testified that he made incriminating statements about a man’s death and a dog’s death but denied direct involvement in the murder.

The defense suggests that jailhouse witnesses may have fabricated their statements to secure deals, and Henning’s grandmother may have misunderstood her grandson’s remarks.

Challenging Convictions and a Wrongful Conviction Lawsuit

In a significant development, a judge vacated the felony murder convictions in 2020, allowing Birch and Henning to seek justice.


The two men filed a federal wrongful conviction lawsuit, naming Henry Lee, eight police investigators, and the town of New Milford as defendants.

U.S. District Court Judge Victor Bolden’s ruling held Lee personally responsible for fabricating evidence, setting the stage for a trial to determine damages.

Lee maintains his innocence and emphasizes that he presented his scientific findings impartially during the trial.

Lee’s Defense and the State’s Responsibility

Dr. Henry Lee adamantly denies any wrongdoing, expressing disappointment with the ruling.


He asserts that he testified truthfully and impartially presented his scientific findings in the court of law, highlighting his work before Birch and Henning were identified as suspects.

The State of Connecticut has vowed to cover Lee’s expenses as a former state employee, indicating that any judgment against him will be paid by the state.

A Costly Appeal and an Uncertain Future

The recent ruling in the Everett Carr murder case has prompted the state attorney general’s office to appeal the decision, as it carries the potential for a multi-million-dollar payout.

Concerns have been raised about the handling of the case, particularly the failure to depose Ralph Birch and Shawn Henning or file a motion for “absolute testimonial immunity.”


These oversights add complexity to the case and raise questions about the thoroughness of the investigation.

As the appeal process unfolds, the fate of the Everett Carr murder case now rests in the hands of the legal system, leaving the outcome uncertain.

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