The Sacramento Bee from Sacramento, California on October 5, 1989 · 23
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The Sacramento Bee from Sacramento, California · 23

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Sacramento, California
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Thursday, October 5, 1989
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23
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1 Auto sy new pro By John Rofe os Angeles Daily News BURBANK — Friends and family ' ay Crystal Spencer an aspiring actress who worked as a topless dancer was murdered here last year : They also believe that the Los Angeles County coroner's office exam-(led the wrong body preventing a police murder investigation : Last week county supervisors or-tiered the Sheriff's Department to investigate the autopsy's biscrepancies On the autopsy report Spencer was listed as 5 feet 7 inches tall and )40 pounds but medical records how she was seven inches shorter and 35 pounds lighter three weeks before her death ' The autopsy said the cause of death was unknown : "If the Burbank police are relying pn the autopsy of someone other than Crystal then there are questions as to their conclusions" said pton Kline a friend who has been fighting to have the inquiry reopened since Spencer was found in tier apartment May 13 1988 "There never was an investigation" he said "Either that or it was bungled and they're covering up" Working with other friends and pencer's family Kline has had sevpral medical experts review the autopsy and medical records and conclude that there should be an in testigation and that the county medical examiner-coroner erred in tailing to keep tissue samples : Kline also says police have not interviewed some potential witnesses including the neighbor who said tie heard screams in her apartment iust after she was last seen alive Burbank police say the case has been thoroughly investigated and that there is no evidence that Spencer was slain ' : Both police and the Burbank city lttorney's office have refused to re lease reports of their investigation k!aiming they are not public docuplents Burbank Sgt Don Goldberg said he inquiry showed that Spencer had 4 substance abuse problem and was ' tll days before her death I Burbank City Attorney Julie Scott laid the investigation was closed : The county district attorney's office also has reviewed the case and losed its investigation but would lot release the file Spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said that divulging the contents would '‘ isparities orce in dancer ease 6She was very naive I pulled out a traveler's check once and she said "What's that?"' — Anton Kline referring to a dancer from Ukiah he believes was murdered compromise the sheriff's review of the autopsy "We have never been presented a case" she said "We did look at some material but I can't go any further than that The investigation is in the hands of the Burbank Police Department" The decomposed body of Crystal Lene Spencer 29 was discovered eight days after she was last seen She had come to Southern California from Ukiah Mendocino County in the hopes of being an actress But the only work she managed to land was at the Wild Goose a bar near the Los Angeles airport "She was very naive" said Kline a television writer "I pulled out a traveler's check once and she said 'What's that?' "She knew there might be bad people there but all she cared about was becoming an actress" He last saw her on May 3 Phone logs show she called her sister in Torrance two days later Kline says he took pictures of Spencer the last time he saw her "She was counting her tips She was happy with the money she was making" Kline says Jet Taylor an engineer who lived downstairs from Spencer said he heard "incredibly scary" screams coming from her apartment May 6 "It was some screaming and hollering and gagging and choking" Taylor said Taylor said that he got up from bed about 2 am and put his ear to the wall "The next day I went to the landlord and said they should check it out" He said he told police when they came for the body that he thought she was murdered but that they took no statement Taylor said the Burbank police called him this year: "They called me and suggested it was not a murder They said 'Don't you believe she was just sick?' All of their questions were geared to that she was a junkie and that she overdosed" The county coroner's autopsy of Spencer says that only slight traces of alcohol and marijuana were found in the body It also quotes friends who said she was depressed about "her situation" and had a drinking problem But what concerned Kline and compelled the supervisors to order a review of the medical report were the wild variations in her height and weight Medical records Kline received from the county clinic where Spencer was examined three weeks before she was found dead put her weight at 105 pounds The autopsy described her as a "well nourished" 140 Kline said Spencer was just over five feet The autopsy listed her as 67 inches or 5 feet 7 inches The medical records say she had metal pins and plates in her right ankle from a 1979 accident that shattered the bone but the autopsy report shows no such objects Coroners spokesman Bob Dambacher said Friday he did not know how such mistakes could be made Beginning early this year Kline began gathering evidence to support his claim that the coroner had examined the wrong body He solicited the advice of pathologists Dr Irving Root who has been a consultant for San Bernardino County also contested some of the conclusions in a February letter to Kline And Dr William Eckert faulted the coroner for not saving tissue for future examination Dr Sharon Schnittker who performed the autopsy and is now with the Utah state medical examiner's office is convinced that she examined Spencer and that a cause of death could not be determined "I can understand why Anton is concerned" she said "But I feel that she was correctly identified" After the supervisors ordered a probe of the autopsy Burbank police released a statement calling Kline obsessed with the belief that Spencer's death was a homicide and saying they had investigated each one of his theories exhaustively Kline says he won't give up "I just want to know what happened to Crystal" he says i Shiseido invites you to a complimentary "Focus on Eyes" makeup consultation at Arden Fair on Thursday October 12 through Saturday October 14 You'll use Shiseido's unique "Eye Imaging System" to learn how to achieve an eye-catching allure W INS TOC KS gold account Charge it! 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