“The official version about some ghost (Osama bin Laden) in some cave on the other side of the world defeating our entire military establishment on United States soil is absolutely preposterous…The true reason the attack was successful is because of an inside military stand-down and a coordinated training operation that prepared the hijackers to fly heavy commercial airliners. We have dozens of FBI documents to prove that this flight training was conducted in California, Florida and Arizona in the 18 months leading up to the attack.” – Philip Marshall
On the morning of September 11th, 2001, Philip Marshall, then an airline pilot for United Airlines, was sleeping in his Santa Barbara home as the terror attacks began to unfold. “The phone would not stop ringing,” Marshall wrote in his second non-fiction book, The Big Bamboozle. “I tried to sleep through rings but I finally surrendered and made my way to the phone in my office. There were already fifteen messages. Only the crew schedulers at United would be so persistent, but I had just returned at midnight from a four day trip up and down the American west coast, seven times no less, from my base at Los Angeles to San Diego to Seattle, and every major airport in between. I had at least one day of rest coming. I began listening to the great urgencies of the new day.”1
As he checked his messages, Marshall “remembered, through a rush of shock and awe, my work over the previous ten years, the hundreds of hours at this desk, on layovers, studying the new inexorable power that had invaded America, the bull in the china shop that had already caused havoc in my career and the undercurrent of deep mistrust amongst our pilot association. The culmination of that research was nearly finished, and because there were so many holes in my understanding at that time [Lakefront Airport] was written as a novel based on my time flying for the spooks back in the 1980s.”2
During the early years of his aviation career Philip Marshall was a contract pilot at Lakefront Airport in New Orleans, Louisiana, the same city where Marshall grew up. New Orleans is also where, on March 1st, 1967, District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested Clay Shaw for conspiring to kill President John F. Kennedy. Philip Marshall began flying airplanes at the age of 15. In fact, the young pilot’s first flight instructor was his father, Carl Marshall.
Lakefront Airport was Philip Marshall’s first published book, detailing his experiences as Barry Seal’s taxi driver and his involvement with the Iran/Contra affair. The work of fiction is told from Marshall’s point-of-view as a young pilot who finds himself involved with “a daredevil DEA informant who has infiltrated the Medellin Cartel and is simultaneously running illegal arms to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.”3 I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the Iran/Contra topic. The book was originally published in 2003 and a second-print was made available in 2013.
Even before September 11th, 2001, Philip Marshall had “a sick feeling that America was in deep trouble, that a group, this new Bush Administration, just like the old Bush Administration, was an incredibly dangerous, brazen bunch of well-connected, well-educated ideologists. They were on a power trip similar to others in world history, but as far as I knew this was the first attempt by what our founders had labeled domestic enemies to overthrow the Constitution and place America under their own absolute power.”4
According to his obituary, Philip Marshall “was a graduate of Mandeville High School on the North Shore, where he was an All-Star receiver. He briefly attended Southwestern University at Lafayette and worked offshore before pursuing his passion – flying. Phil worked his way up from a student pilot, to instructor, then to charter pilot on Lear Jets until he was hired by a major airline. He progressed to become a full captain on jumbo jets, flying around the world for United Airlines. Phil lived in Dallas, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Santa Barbara and Murphys, California. He was a devoted father to his children and spent many hours on the ball field as a Little League coach. He was a lifelong diehard Saints fan, attending games as a kid, starting from John Gilliam’s opening day kickoff return for a touchdown, through the Billy Kilmer, Archie Manning, Saints’ and Drew Brees days and culminating with the thrill of the Super Bowl victory in 2010. Phil even organized and flew the “Free Sean Payton” plane last summer and fall. Phil authored three books that he self-published, and he definitely was not afraid to tackle extremely controversial subjects.”5
After the events of September 11th, 2001, Philip Marshall began to tackle one of the most controversial subjects since the death of President John F. Kennedy. “My agenda as an airline pilot,” Marshall once wrote on the TruthMove.org forum, “is to find the culprits in the attack against my fellow aviators [and] to reopen hearings with witnesses under oath and to uncover the buried FBI files and the blacked-out portions about the Saudis in the congressional report.”
Marshall was referring to a 2002 congressional report titled, Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, which excluded twenty-eight pages of information connecting the alleged “9/11 hijackers” to the Saudi Arabian government. Marshall wasn’t alive when the twenty-eight pages were finally released on July 15th, 2016. “While in the United States,” Part Four of the final report concluded, “some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government. There is information, primarily from F.B.I. sources, that at least two of those individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi intelligence officers.”6
Between 2008 and 2012 Philip Marshall wrote two non-fiction books – False Flag 9/11 and The Big Bamboozle – condemning and exposing some of the lies and cover-ups surrounding the events of September 11th, 2001, including the Congressional Joint Inquiry’s missing twenty-eight pages.
“The Congressional Joint Inquiry was led by three veteran and dogged investigators who would find deeply hidden in the FBI files, a troubling discovery,” Marshall wrote in The Big Bamboozle. “The hijackers had been supported, in every conceivable way, by agents of the Saudi Arabian government as they prepared for the attack. From the moment the hijackers arrived on U.S. soil, it is well documented that Saudi Intelligence agents, and employees of the Saudi Civil Aviation authority, provided housing, obtained drivers licenses and harbored them…After submitting an 800-page report to the American public, moderate U.S. Senator Bob Graham of Florida, the co-chairman of the Inquiry, said, “There was a ‘direct line’ between the terrorists and the government of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government had provided logistical and financial support to at least two of the 9/11 hijackers while they lived in Southern California.””7
Though I enjoyed reading both of Philip Marshall’s books on 9/11, more interesting to me was his fictional book, Lakefront Airport. Examining Marshall’s past introduced me to more information about Barry Seal. Barry Seal’s wife once said her husband flew the getaway plane out of Dallas after President John F. Kennedy was killed.
Lakefront Airport tells the tales of Barry Seal’s “dealings and eventual sting on the notorious Pablo Escobar” as well as Mr. Seal’s “early days of smuggling marijuana and explosives and his dealings with Ollie North and George H. W. Bush’s secret operations south of the border.”8 It’s believed that Seal began flying for black-op missions in the 1950s and hired Philip Marshall in the 1980s after Seal lost his pilot’s license. Seal used Marshall to smuggle arms and drugs into South America. Marshall believed many of the contract pilots flying those missions did not know what their planes were carrying.
Barry Seal and David Ferrie were both part of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in Baton Rouge. In 1967, David Ferrie was questioned by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison about his involvement in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Ferrie lied to Garrison about his whereabouts on November 22nd, 1963. Soon after Ferrie met with Garrison, Ferrie allegedly committed suicide. Garrison wasn’t so sure.
On February 19th, 1986, Barry Seal was shot multiple times while attempting to exit his car. Seal was going to testify that George H. W. Bush was involved in South American smuggling operations. Barry Seal may have been involved in what is known as Operation 40; the alleged hit team that was ordered to kill President Kennedy on November 22nd, 1963.
On page 153 of The Big Bamboozle, Marshall referred to Barry Seal as his former boss, “The third man from the left is my former boss Barry Seal.” The picture was taken in Mexico City on January 22nd, 1963, at the La Reforma nightclub. Of the picture, Marshall wrote, “Here may very well be the founding members of the Intelligence Community’s Special Activities Division. This photo was taken ten months before President John F. Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas. Some independent investigators believe that this was the assassination team, nicknamed Operation 40, that pulled it off.”
“Barry had some wild encounters with the world’s most dangerous people,” Marshall continued, “that included cocaine kingpins and Intelligence Community assassins.”9
Philip Marshall’s first wife, Ann Kallauner, told The Union Democrat she did not believe Marshall was a “Contra pilot.” She believes her former husband provided a taxi service for Barry Seal; a man who worked in black-ops smuggling drugs and guns in and out of the country for the CIA and DEA. Kallauner did admit that Marshall was not always honest with her when it came to his travels with Barry Seal. “He’d be in one city, tell me he was in another,” she told The Union Democrat. Philip and Ann were married for about three years starting in 1985. Kallauner, who lives in Louisiana, was also surprised at the allegation that Philip Marshall killed his two teenage children, a family dog, and then himself, “I don’t see him doing that without being in an altered state.”10
“As a former operative in this group’s notorious covert missions, including Iran-Contra and the sting of Pablo Escobar, I recognized that this smoke rising over Manhattan might add a major piece to my large jigsaw puzzle of evidence.” – Philip Marshall11
Before he died, Philip Marshall expressed concern for his life, according to a February 6th, 2013 Santa Barbara View article. The article reports that Marshall was “concerned about his 10-year, independent 9/11 study and most recent book since they pointed to the Saudis and the Bush intelligence community as the executioners of the attack that defeated all U.S. military defenses on Sept. 11, 2001. Marshall said he knew his book might cause some people to take issue with him.” 12
Philip Marshall believed Pinal AirPark was a “front” for CIA operations. “I have some connections that remain in the spook world,” Marshall told John B. Wells on Coast to Coast AM in 2012. “There’s a lot of contractors out there. Black Water is one of ‘em. There’s quite a few other operations. So I was getting information from, it’s a pretty tight circle. Aviation’s a pretty tight circle in itself, but this particular strain of pilot, we keep in touch. Let’s just put it that way, and I started getting hints of this Pinal Airbase from about three guys that worked in that field. I have to be very careful about that because they still provide information to me.”
Philip Marshall went to visit the airpark sometime between 2006 and 2007. He told John B. Wells, “There’s this airport out in the middle of nowhere, it’s a triangular airport that has three runways on it and there’s about a hundred airliners there in storage right now.” Certain people at Pinal Airpark told Marshall that “many times people try to take pictures of that airport and they’ll send a car out there and confiscate the camera and all kinds of bad activities.”
Visit The Big Bamboozle Facebook page to see the photos Mr. Marshall took on his trip to Pinal Airpark. Marshall also told Wells that Pinal Airpark was a “long-time CIA-operated airport. There’s a lot of controversy about trying to shut it down years ago. People that are on the board of directors are CIA people. So it has a long connection, all the way back to Air America.”
The Official Story
Sometime between January 31st, 2013, and February 2nd, 2013, Philip Marshall allegedly shot his two teenage children, Alex Marshall (17) and Macaila Marshall (14), a family dog, and then himself inside his home in Murphys, California, while his “estranged” wife was out of the country. According to reports, the last time friends heard from Alex or Macaila Marshall was on Thursday, January 31st, 2013. On Saturday, February 2nd, 2013, a little before 3:10 p.m., friends of Alex and Macaila knocked on the front door of the Marshall home and looked through the front window.
Through the front window friends saw Philip Marshall lying face-up on the floor in a pool of blood. Independent researcher Dan Hennen recently spoke with the first eyewitness who entered the Marshall home with several teenagers.
Calaveras County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at Philip Marshall’s house at 3:10 p.m. to find Alex and Macaila “sleeping” on a couch in the front room, six feet away from each other. Philip Marshall was found face-up near the couch, in a pool of blood with his gun next to him. Police also found a family dog deceased in the master bedroom. Calaveras County Coroner Kevin Raggio told reporters, “It did appear as though [Alex and Macaila] were sleeping” when the bodies were found on February 2nd. Joel Metzger, writing for Calaveras Enterprise.com, pointed out, “It’s highly unlikely Marshall could have shot one without waking the other.” On the same day as the bodies were found police posted their first media release, claiming, “Man shoots children then himself in a murder-suicide.”
(Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department’s Media Release #1, February 2nd, 2013)
What did police find inside the house that led them to tell the media this was a double murder-suicide within hours of finding the bodies? On February 3rd, 2013, Apple Valley Police Sergeant Chris Hewitt stated, “All evidence and information at the scene confirmed this was indeed a double-murder suicide and there was no evidence to suggest there was an outside party who entered the house and committed a triple murder.”
Police ended the media release with, “The reason for the murder suicide is unknown at this time.” The investigation by the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department appeared as if it was beginning with the assumption that Philip Marshall was guilty of murdering his two teenage children and their dog, before ending his own life.
On February 19th, 2013, Wayne Madsen, of The Wayne Madsen Report, told radio talk show host Alex Jones, “Police said even before they had finished investigating the case, they permitted professional cleaners to come into the Marshall home to clean the premises. After that, there were two sets of vehicles seen at the Marshall home still conducting the investigation after the home was professionally cleaned.”
Wayne Madsen was in the town of Murphys soon after the murders took place. On February 13th, 2013, Sean Marshall and her sister were at Bret Harte Union High School near Murphys attending a special ceremony for the two slain teens. The sister, Erin, gave some type of eulogy and Sean gave the closing statement. At that time, it wasn’t clear if either two women thought Philip Marshall was guilty or innocent of the double murder-suicide.
Joel Metzger reported on what Sean Marshall said that night, “Being in Turkey and getting the news, it was almost unbearable. When I heard of this devastation, there are no words ever to explain the emotions, the hurt, the regrets. I couldn’t hear God at that moment. I couldn’t hear his answers why, why would you do this? Why them? Why me? Hug everyone, love everyone, be kind.”
That same night, “Someone tried to break in through a sliding door at the back of the residence,” Wayne Madsen told Infowars Nightly News host Jakari Jackson. “It’s quite clear that Marshall has something that somebody wanted so bad, they were willing to kill him and his children and his family dog for.”
Calaveras County Coroner Kevin Raggio
Investigative researcher and mortician Chris Gordon spoke to the coroner of Philip Marshall and his two teenage children. Gordon called Calaveras County Coroner Kevin Raggio to ask some questions about the conspiracy theories surrounding the alleged double-murder suicide.
“The last facial expression is essential in determining the state of condition that the person was in when they died.” – Chris Gordon
The first question Chris asked the coroner was why neighbors didn’t hear any gun shots. There are five houses within close-vicinity of the Marshall home. A neighbor across the street said he heard two “suspicious” noises on Friday night, February 1st, 2013, one day before the three bodies were found. The Marshall house sits on a ridge-top facing the Stanislaus river canyon. Mr. Raggio pointed out there’s a long drive-way in front of the house, which is about 30 feet off the road of Sandalwood Drive.
In response to why neighbors didn’t hear any gun shots, Raggio told Chris, “You have to walk past the garage to get into the house. The house is all double-pane windows. So with the door closed, you’ve got a big garage there, number one, that’s gonna insulate the sound. You’ve got a big substantial front door on the house, all dual-pane windows…you’re not gonna hear much.”
Sgt. Chris Hewitt of the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office came to a similar conclusion when he told the media, “The houses are not very close together and if they are well built and insulated with all the windows and doors closed, the shots would have been muffled.”
The coroner also told Chris that gun shots “would probably be more louder towards the front of the house. In front of the house, there’s nothing in front of them but a remote river canyon and probably nobody for twenty miles.”
Mr. Raggio also mentioned the neighbor across the street from the Marshall home, who heard two suspicious noises on February 1st, 2013. “There was a neighbor that did hear something strange that night,” Raggio told Chris. “The neighbor across the street heard something that got his attention, but him being in his house and the shots going off inside [the Marshall home], you probably wouldn’t notice.”
The neighbor, Jeff Woods, heard something strange twice in the same night, but didn’t specify if the noises sounded like gun shots. According to Joel Metzger’s article, Tragedy in Forest Meadows, Woods was in a downstairs room with the television on “in the background when I heard an unusual noise. I stopped working and went upstairs, turned the lights on and looked around. I didn’t hear anything else, so I went back downstairs. Not too long after that, I heard another strange noise. I muted the television and listened for a second without hearing anything else.”
When Chris Gordon asked Mr. Raggio if he thought Wood’s comment had any credence, Raggio responded, “Yeah why wouldn’t it?”
Chris Gordon then steered the conversation towards the two teenagers. Both Alex and Macaila were found on a U-shaped couch, apparently sleeping. Chris asked why the gun shots did not wake up one of the children.
“That, I don’t know,” Mr. Raggio responded. “That, I don’t know at this point. That’s something I’d like to think that they didn’t hear…I don’t know if they did or didn’t…the first one probably didn’t hear anything, cause I suspect they were probably asleep. So maybe one of them did hear. I don’t know.”
“The last facial expression is essential in determining the state of condition that the person was in when they died.” – Chris Gordon
Mr. Raggio echoed what police had been saying about the murder weapon, “As far as I know there was no silencer of any kind.”
Chris then wondered how one of the two teenagers would not wake up to the sound of a gun shot that was a few feet from their ears. “Do you find that suspicious at all?”
Chris clarified his question, “You don’t find it suspicious that a gun shot wouldn’t wake up a child?”
“Well, not, I don’t in looking at the scene. I mean, yeah, it’s mysterious in my mind, but I don’t find it suspicious. As far as…it makes me wonder, you know. Like I said, it’s mysterious. It makes me wonder, you know, if one of them heard anything. But do I find it suspicious? I don’t find it suspicious. I don’t suspect that, from what I can see. It is what, what they, you know, what we determined it was. You know, murder suicide.”
The next question was if there was a suicide note found at the crime scene? The coroner responded, “Not to my knowledge no…my job is to determine the cause of death. I don’t deal with the criminal aspect of the whole thing.”
The autopsy determined that Philip Marshall, Alex Marshall, Macaila Marshall and the family dog all died from a single gun shot wound to the head. Mr. Raggio believed this was a double-murder suicide. “It appears to be what it is…when you shoot yourself, you’re standing up, there’s a considerable amount of blood splatter that goes every direction…the blood splatter, unless somebody was floating, they would of, in my mind, had to of tracked in the blood splatter.”
“So from your determination,” Chris asked, “it seemed like Marshall was standing up when he shot himself?”
Kevin Raggio also didin’t believe a foreign country, like Saudi Arabia, staged the deaths to appear as a double-murder suicide. “I’ve heard all these conspiracy theories and all this other stuff, in my mind if you’re a foreign country, for instance, and you’re coming after Philip Marshall…you’d send somebody in. I’m Italian so I’d send for the boys in Sicily and they’d come in and you know. You know what I mean? It’d be like Sopranos. The boy from Italy [would] come and he doesn’t give a damn if it looks like a murder-suicide or not. They’re gonna put bullets in your head and they’re gonna leave, and that’s gonna be it. But in this case, why would you go out of your way to stage it as a murder-suicide?”
Chris Gordon thanked Mr. Raggio for his time, and for answering the questions to the best of his ability. “I’m not an expert,” Raggio told him. “I just happen to be the guy who has to be coroner here.” He said the Calaveras County Sheriff’s office “is doing a very thorough investigation…in light of these conspiracy theories, so forth, I know they’ve gone, taken some extra steps, and you’d have to ask them to elaborate on that. That’s about all I can tell you.”
Chris Gordon noticed that autopsy reports can be purchased for $10. He asked Raggio, “Is it possible that we could purchase an autopsy report for Philip Marshall?”
“I think you could probably, eventually yeah.”
“It’s not available as of yet?”
“Not yet. No.”
“Do you have an idea of when it would be?”
“At this point, no.”
Chris Gordon has worked at five different mortuaries. He’s seen a lot of dead bodies up-close. He says part of the answer to this case could be found on the facial expressions of the deceased. “It would be very easy to determine if one of the kids were woken up by the gun shot going off six feet away by their facial expression,” Chris told me. “It’s easy to tell if someone was sleeping when they died. Their eyes would be closed. That was probably how they were able to determine so quickly that the children were sleeping. If they appeared to be sleeping, they probably were found with their eyes closed.”
What if someone just changed the facial expressions after killing the four family members? “I’m a mortician,” Chris told me. “I make people’s shocked and traumatic faces look like they’re sleeping. It’s a process.” But surely a professional or professionals could have manipulated their faces to make it appear as if they were sleeping right? “If it was done it would leave a trail. You’d be able to determine that.”
The people who lived near Philip Marshall and communicated with him have a hard time believing Marshall would kill his two children. There is no suicide note and no motive. Also, no one heard any gun shots between Thursday, January 31st and Saturday February 2nd, 2013.
Bob Freels, security guard for the gated-community of Forest Meadows told The Union Democrat, “I would never have guessed anything like this.” He describes the Marshalls as a normal family. Bret Harte Union High School’s Assistant Principle Kelly Osborn is quoted as saying, “It just doesn’t make sense.” A neighbor named Mike Brown described Mr. Marshall as a dedicated father. Next-door neighbor Carolyn Greenwood said, “I knew him long enough to know he was a regular guy. He was a good father, always there for his kids and a helpful neighbor.”
Merita Calloway of the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors said Marshall was very involved with his kids. Calloway also believed “the actions don’t match the person we know” and “he loved his children.” Calloway also told a sheriff’s captain that she “truly felt like somebody came in the house.”
While visiting Murphys soon after the incident, Wayne Madsen learned that a side-door was open when the bodies were found. The same day the bodies were found the police released a statement claiming “the reason for this murder-suicide is unknown at this time.”
Some people believed Philip Marshall might have killed his two children and himself due to his marital issues with his second wife, Sean Marshall. Sean Marshall filed for divorce in October of 2012 and a divorce hearing was originally scheduled for February 25th, 2013, almost a month after the deaths. Some believers of the official theory point to a December 2008 dispute Philip Marshall had with Sean and her sister, Erin, over the custody battle of the teenagers. Philip Marshall was accused by Sean and Erin of slapping Erin at the Forest Meadows home. Marshall was detained, not arrested, and eventually released.
A month earlier in November, Philip Marshall hid in the shower of his house with a video camera as Sean entered the home and allegedly stole a bottle of six 20-milligram pills of Kadian; a very strong opioid. The police were called to the house and eventually arrested Sean Marshall, charging her with petty theft, trespassing and possession of drugs without prescription. The charges were dropped on September 28th, 2009. When asked why she took the pills, Sean told police she hid the pills in a tree and planned on giving them to her lawyer.
Independent researcher Dan Hennen found a blog about three family members who allegedly went to the Marshall home on February 14th, one day after Wayne Madsen witnessed someone breaking into the Marshall home. Hennen found this information on Echkelon.com: “Two family members and a friend of Marshall’s estranged wife reportedly entered the home and rifled through drawers and boxes of papers in the garage in search of something. Forest Meadows Homeowners Association President David Turner was alerted to their presence and told them they had no permission to enter the premises. Turner also remarked that they “were making quite a mess.” According to a neighbor, the estranged in-laws claimed they were looking for bills that had to be paid.”
On March 20th, 2013, Dan Hennen posted in the Justice for Philip, Alex and Macaila Marshall Facebook group, “I was able to get through to David Turner today. He was the president of the association for three years, and is now the Treasurer. I asked him if he could clarify a little further into what happened that day when he had to tell the family members they didn’t have permission to be in the home…He responded with “I’m not interested in getting in to that.””
An employee at a local business told Chris Gordon that Marshall was right-handed and grabbed stuff off of the shelves with his right hand too. That person also saw Mr. Marshall sign his credit card receipt with his right hand. We asked for the video that showed which hand Marshall signed with but the employee said they only keep surveillance-videos for thirty days.
Lack of Evidence
The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office prepared a six-page statement on the “Marshall Investigation” and released it on March 29th, 2013. Sheriff Gary Kuntz and Sean Marshall (Plummer), mother of the two deceased children, reviewed the third media release, prepared by Sgt. Chris Hewitt, before it was given to the public.
The police claim the gun was upside-down when Marshall shot himself, “The Glock handgun was sent to the California Department of Justice crimelab for fingerprint analysis, and is scheduled for DNA and ballistics examination (results pending on the DNA and ballistics). The fingerprint analysis positively identified Philip Marshall’s fingerprints on the interior plastic carton of the ammunition box and the gun magazine. In regards to prints on the gun, DOJ lab analysts explained, “The only usable friction ridge impressions remaining in this case were two patent impressions appearing on [the] Glock 19 handgun. These patent impressions were visible on the slide area of the handgun upon the initial examination. The patent impressions lack sufficient quality and quantity of friction ridge detail for identification purposes, but are usable for elimination purposes.”
The Department of Justice lab analysts stated Marshall could not be eliminated as a suspect “due to similarities in ridge flow and ridge characteristics in agreement with his left thumb and left index finger.” According to the official theory, “The blood spatter and a lack of displacement or disruption found at the scene proved to investigators that no other persons were in close enough proximity to have shot Philip Marshall.”
Then the media release tries to explain how a man could shoot himself with the gun pointed upside-down. The investigators claimed it was normal for people to shoot themselves this way, “The inverted (upside-down) positioning of the handgun is a natural body/arm posture of someone shooting themselves, and is consistent with him having shot himself.”
Philip Marshall Questions
When officers arrived at the Marshall home they found Philip Marshall lying face-up with a close-range gunshot wound on the right-side of his head. Police claim the gun was “inverted (upside-down).” Marshall was found face-up near the couch, where his deceased children “appeared to be sleeping” under blankets on a “U-shaped sectional couch.” The gun was found with a bullet in the chamber and an empty magazine.
In Marshall’s bedroom closet, police found a 50-round box of Fiocchi ammunition, with forty-three unused bullets. Three expended casings were found in the living room near Marshall and his children. One expended casing was found in the master bedroom near the dog. A fifth unexpended bullet was found on the laundry room floor. The box of ammo was found on a shelf on top of an open safe. “Outside the safe, where they found the box of Fiocchi ammunition, they also found a wedding ring resting on top of the Fiocchi box.”
According to the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department, there were no signs of forced entry into the Marshall home when the double murder-suicide happened. All the doors were closed but some were unlocked. “It did not appear that the house or any of the furniture had been ransacked.”
Many people might find it strange that the Glock 9mm handgun was found underneath Marshall. “Marshall was found lying on his back in the living room behind the sectional couch. The gun was located under his right side midsection.” If Marshall was standing up when he shot himself, with the gun upside-down how is it possible the gun was found under his right midsection?
The muzzle impression left on Philip Marshall’s skin helped determine the proximity of the gun to Marshall’s head and the angle of the muzzle. Based on how they found the gun impression on Marshall’s head and “the lack of voids and blood disruptions,” investigators concluded “no disruptions or voids were found in the high and low velocity blood spatter patterns” and this proved to them there was no fourth person involved in this incident. The only finger-prints lab analysts found were of Marshall’s left thumb and index finger located on the slide of the gun. This only proves Marshall cocked the gun. They could not positively identify Marshall’s finger-prints on the trigger of the firearm.
A Fiocchi Glock 9 millimeter handgun is the alleged weapon used by Philip Marshall, “In October 2011 Marshall purchased the Glock 9mm handgun from a gun store in Turlock, CA. The gun was registered to him.” Then on January 27th, 2013, Marshall was video-taped purchasing ammunition from a Big 5 Sporting Goods store in Sonora, California. I found it very interesting that police believed Marshall was wearing the same clothing on January 27th as he was when found on February 2nd, 2013. He “paid cash” for the ammunition, and police found a receipt for the purchase inside of Marshall’s car.
The investigators determined it was possible for the children to be shot within two seconds, a few feet apart, without one of them waking up. They also believed that four gunshots would be muffled inside the house, and that’s why neighbors didn’t report hearing any gunfire. The closest neighbors live about fifty-feet away from the Marshall residence.
Police performed tests inside Philip Marshall’s house to see if one neighbor would be able to hear gunfire from next-door. During the tests, the unidentified neighbor did hear the gun shots, but didn’t think the noise would be loud enough to wake him if sleeping. “The neighbor went on to say that despite the fact that the neighbor is a “very light sleeper”, the neighbor would not have been awakened by the noise.”
Nothing is mentioned about the “suspicious noise” Jeff Woods heard on February 1st, 2013. According to one of Joel Metzger’s articles on the Marshall case, “The neighbor, Jeff Woods, heard something strange twice in the same night, but didn’t specify if the noises sounded like gun shots.” Woods was in a downstairs room with the television on “in the background when I heard an unusual noise. I stopped working and went upstairs, turned the lights on and looked around. I didn’t hear anything else, so I went back downstairs. Not too long after that, I heard another strange noise. I muted the television and listened for a second without hearing anything else.”
The media release attempted to explain Marshall’s financial situation, based on documents they found on the kitchen counter. “These documents included a list of financial debt he owed, dated 02/01/13 and totaled $67k, as well as child support-related documents and information.” Marshall wrote in a spiral notebook, “Debt Kill.”
Authorities also confiscated a laptop and a desktop computer, and sent them to the High-Tech Task Force in Sacramento for forensic analysis. The results were still pending at the time of the release.
Macaila Marshall (daughter, 14 yrs. old) – “Blood samples taken during the autopsies were sent to a toxicology lab for toxicology analysis. The results showed that Macaila had a .05% blood alcohol content and .32 mg/L of diphenhydramine (an over the counter antihistamine/sleep aid).”
Alex Marshall (son, 17 yrs. old) – “Alex had a blood alcohol content of .03%.”
Philip Marshall – “Philip Marshal’s blood sample contained .08 mg/L hydrocodone (pain reliever/narcotic), .02 mg/L morphine (pain relieve-narcotic), and .80 mg/L hydroxybupropion (anti-depressant). Alcoholic beverages, including a bottle of whiskey and an open l2-pack of beer, were found inside the Marshall home.”
Philip Marshall was last seen on January 31st, 2013. Likewise, the “last documented communication” from Alex Marshall was also January 31st. Alex sent an “instant message” at 10:40 p.m. His sister, Macaila, made her “last documented communication via cell phone” at 10:10 that same night. Then at 10:55 p.m., Macaila used her cell phone to take a “self-portrait.”
Still No Motive
I suppose the only motive the police have is that Philip Marshall was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. They believe Marshall suffered from some kind of mental illness and point to his prescription narcotic pain medications as evidence. “According to records obtained, Marshall was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. Additionally, the reports stated that he suffered periods of depression and mania, which led to his dismissal, or “grounding,” as a pilot in September 2006.”
Detectives also shared some information about Philip Marshall’s medical records, “His medical records suggested that he also suffered from some sort of mental illness, drug dependency, anxiety, and depression. He was prescribed anti-depression medications for his mental health. During mid-year 2012 through January 2013 he frequented the medical clinic seeking additional pain medications.”
The media release added that Philip Marshall was “under the care of a doctor for several years” and speculated that Marshall had mental health issues. Yet this was not enough evidence for police to come up with a clear motive for the allegations of a double-murder suicide. It’s unclear if the detectives talked to Marshall’s doctor, but they did consult with a different doctor about what might happen if Marshall combined anti-depressants with prescribed narcotics. The police even source the FDA’s research for the sudden outburst that led to the alleged double murder-suicide. The Food and Drug Administration, which has not been friendly towards natural medicines, cited how changes in psychotropic medications “could result in suicide, hostility, or psychosis.”
The investigators in charge of solving this crime concluded, “There was no evidence to support a theory that anyone else could have committed this crime, or that any other persons were present at the time of the shootings. Macaila and Alex Marshall both appeared to be sleeping at the time they were shot, indicating no signs of a struggle with a possible intruder. There was no evidence of a struggle with Philip Marshall, and no signs of forced entry into the home. Various items of value were still present inside the home, and no evidence of any additional weapons was found. Lastly, there was no evidence that Philip Marshall or his children were moved or repositioned after the shooting, which would indicate an altered crime scene. Based on the final findings of the investigators, evidence shows that Philip Marshall, and not an outside fourth person, shot and killed Macaila, Alex, the family dog, and then himself. To conclude, it is determined that this case was a double murder-suicide.”
There is plenty of evidence to suspect that a fourth party was involved, in my opinion. This is mainly due to the lack of evidence against Philip Marshall. If the police cannot conclusively prove their own theory, why should they rule out all other theories? No matter how crazy those theories may sound to investigators, it is their responsibility to find the truth and bring justice to this tragedy. It is not their job to assume within hours that Marshall is guilty of a double murder-suicide, and then search for evidence to prove their theory; which is based on circumstantial evidence with no clear motive.
Their reasons for ruling out foul-play are very weak. Police cannot prove that Marshall fired the Glock 9mm, and the only finger-prints they have of Marshall do not conclusively prove anything. The tests only concluded that Philip Marshall could not be ruled out as the one who shot the gun. This does not mean he fired the gun. The finger-prints found on the gun were not on the trigger, but on the slide; which is used to cock the gun. A bullet was found in the chamber of the Glock, but the magazine was empty.
The police finding “no evidence of a struggle” or “forced entry” does not mean Philip Marshall is guilty of murdering his two children. The police have already admitted that more than one door of the house was unlocked. So there is little need to look for forced entry when you already have established a means of entry without force. Isn’t it possible a fourth party simply walked in through one of the unlocked doors? Video of the Marshall house shows how many doors there are in the 2 story home. There are quite a few.
The prepared media release by Sgt. Chris Hewitt concluded by stating they base their entire theory of a double murder-suicide “on the final findings of the investigators.” Those final findings seemed to mirror their initial findings of February 2nd, 2013.
If the purpose of the six-page media release was to put conspiracy theories to rest, then in my opinion he has failed miserably. My question to Sgt. Chris Hewitt and Sheriff Gary Kuntz is, “Do you seriously believe you could convict Philip Marshall of a double murder-suicide, either in a court of law or the court of public opinion, based on the evidence in the possession of your department?” I challenge you to do so. I will publicly debate you on this issue. I will argue that you cannot prove your theory, that your evidence is lacking, and that it’s possible the real murderer or murderers are still out there somewhere. In theory, I believe a jury will find Philip Marshall innocent based on your lack of evidence.