Smiley Face Killers: The Hunt for Justice (2019–…): Season 1, Episode 2 - Luke Homan - full transcript

male narrator: Since 1997,
hundreds of college-aged men

have gone missing.


Almost all of the victims

are top students and athletes
who disappeared

after a night out
with friends.

They are later found drowned
in a body of water.

Near where most of the bodies
are recovered...

Smiley faces.

We believe these deaths
may all be connected,

the work of an organized group
of serial killers.

We believe the victims
may have been drugged,

abducted, killed on land,

and eventually dumped
in the water.

With the help of preeminent
crime and forensic experts

from all over the nation,
our goal is to uncover

new evidence
to reopen these closed cases

and compel the authorities to
investigate them as homicides.

Like the case of Luke Homan,
who was found dead in 2006.

He's part of a cluster
of more than 20 young men

whose bodies
have been discovered

in the Mississippi River.

La Crosse, Wisconsin,

has the country's
highest concentration

of suspicious drownings.

We believe that Luke
may have been murdered

and could be a victim
of the Smiley Face Killers.

narrator: On the night
of September 29th, 2006,

star basketball player
21-year-old Luke Homan

was in downtown La Crosse
with a bunch of friends

celebrating Oktoberfest.

His body was found
three days later

at the bottom of the muddy
Mississippi River.

Despite suspicious injuries
to his head and arms,

Luke's death was ruled
an accidental drowning.

We're determined
to uncover new evidence

in the case of Luke Homan,

find out whether or not
his death was an accident,

as deemed
by local authorities,

or a homicide.

- Well, we're back here
in La Crosse.

This is ground zero.

- This city has more victims

associated with
the Smiley Face cases

than any other city
we've dealt with,

and of all the cases
we've looked at in La Crosse,

Luke Homan's case
is the saddest one.

- What annoys me is that
this case was classified

as accidental,

and there's a couple of things
that really stand out

that are--they're real red
flags for us

throughout this whole thing.

The condition of Luke's body,

he's got numerous injuries
to his--his face,

his arms, his hands.

- He's got defensive wounds
an offense wounds from blocking

and striking.

- On the night
Luke went missing,

he was last seen at a downtown
bar called The Vibe.

In the police reports,
there's evidence that states

that he might've possibly
been involved in an altercation

in an alleyway.

Luke was missing for a period
of three days,

and his body was eventually
found at the bottom

of the Mississippi River.

He's got scratches on there,

which if you look at--
the police tried to think

it was a travel abrasion.

A travel abrasion is that
usually the body floats down

and you get injuries
to the forehead

and the bridge of the nose.

It's highly unlikely
that Luke Homan

would've had travel abrasions
on his forehead

going both linear
and horizontal,

as travel abrasions only occur
in one direction,

the direction of the flow
of the water,

which would've been
straight up and down.

The question is,
what did cause those injuries?

The thing
that really bothers me--

one of the things
from the autopsy

is orange flecks on him.

Those orange flecks match
the smiley faces

very close to the scene
a couple hundred yards

from where Luke Homan's body
was recovered.

- So, I'm--I'm sure the police
are--are giving you all

the information
that you want, right?

- Unfortunately, you know,

we're not getting anything
right now.

This is a town with all those
bars in this little area,

three universities.

The whole income
is revolved around this.

- All these businesses survive
because of the colleges.

- Nobody wants a serial killer
in their community.

It would scare the hell out
of the public

and everybody is sending
their children

to these three universities.

Honestly, I'm not surprised by

the La Crosse Police
Department's response.

"Thank you for reaching out to
La Crosse Police Department.

"Our community has tried to
educate college-aged people

"about the hazards
of excessive drinking.

"We always try to do what's
best for the community.

Therefore, we respectfully
decline to participate."

What they're
basically saying is,

these are just stupid,
drunk kids,

they got--they got
too inebriated

and accidentally fell
into the water.

They don't believe that there's
any criminal activity involved.

You know, this is like
David and Goliath, you know?

And this is--this is where
we're going here,

but you know what?

I got the slingshot,
and I'm ready to go.

Whatever we gotta do to get
this thing reinvestigated,

that's what we're gonna do.

- Thanks so much for coming.

We first started looking
at Luke Homan's case

right after he went missing,

and over the--the years,

we have developed
a real close relationship

with the Homan family.

Patti and Jerry want nothing
more than to get some answers

and to know what
actually happened to Luke.

You know we've been working
on Luke's case,

and now we're back
in La Crosse, you know--

for us, ground zero.

We had 11 victims,

your beautiful son, Luke.

We know Luke was a star
basketball player,

he also played football
in high school, right?

- Yes, he did.

He was a quarterback
on the team.

- Right.
- He must've shown some

really good leadership
qualities to be a--

a quarterback after--

- Oh yeah,
he was a total leader.

- He followed his father's

I mean, a little bit?

- I used to watch him go out
the door to play basketball

when he was growing up
and he always came along

because he loved it so much.

- Luke was the most gregarious

and delightful person
to be around.

From a little boy on, he had
a basketball in his hand.

Every single day,
basketball was his passion

and that's what
he wanted to do.

- He looked at La Crosse
and one or two other schools

in the state and decided
to go to La Crosse

and was on the team the first
year, played a little bit,

and then, when he died,

it was the start
of his second year there.

- Like Luke, were you guys
aware of what was going on

in La Crosse before Luke went

to University of Wisconsin
La Crosse?

- We would tell Luke
not to go near the river.

So we did have knowledge
of what was going on,

but you never in
your wildest dreams

think it's ever gonna
happen to you.

So I guess it just really
didn't matter

that much at the time.

When I first heard
he was missing,

I really kind of knew
that he was gone, you know,

and especially with all
the things that had happened

in La Crosse throughout
the years.

All I could think of was that
he was never gonna come back

and he was my only child.

Why did they take him?
Why did he take him?

I don't know--I don't know
if I'll ever know,

but that's what we're here for.

That's why I'm here because
I-I owe it to him.

- Is there anything else
in this whole investigation

or in the autopsy report,
anything that you saw,

what bothers you that hasn't
been answered for you

at this time?

- I guess when I look
at the--where, you know,

he had the marks here and then,
like, up here--

- Right.
- That's the one, I guess,

bothers me the most.

You know, they say
he hit his head on--

from bumping on the--the rocks,
well, you know,

maybe some of this stuff
was done beforehand and, uh--

- That--that was weird.

- That doesn't--
doesn't make sense.

- The police department
just kept saying,

"No, this was just an
accidental with acute alcohol,"

and that he tripped on a rock
and fell in the river or--

but it just doesn't make
any sense to me

because he hated the water.

There was some kind
of orange fleck

or something on his sweatshirt.
- Right.

- And, my God, I mean,
talk about the smiley face

that, you know,
went around at that time.

It kind of makes sense

that it would be part
of that, but...

- What about Luke's clothing?

Are we able to--
did you ever try to get it or--

- No, I mean, we--I don't think
we ever asked for the clothing.

- If they have his clothing,

those sweatshirts where
there would be DNA--

- Would you want us to call

the La Crosse Police Department
right now?

- Yeah, that's fine. Yeah.

- You can do whatever
you'd like.

- All right,
I'll go get my phone.

I have no problem doing it.

- Considering Luke Homan's
death was classified

as an accidental drowning
12 years ago,

it's hard to determine
whether or not his clothing

would still be available
after all these years.

- Please wait while
I transfer your call.

- Oh, my name is Patti Homan.

- Okay, and my son passed away
here in 2006--

via the Mississippi River.

- And I'm looking to get
his personal properties.

- Okay.

- Okay, thank you so much.
I really appreciate it.

- All right, bye-bye.

- That's a good step.
We'll see what happens.

If Luke Homan's clothing
is still available

and the police are willing
to release it,

it would afford us the
opportunity to do something

we've never done before
and test that clothing

and see what evidence
is on there

that--that might prove
that Luke was murdered.

We have to really formulate
a great plan

to put all
this evidence together

and then hand it
to them and say,

"Here. Here it is,
here's the case."

- Hopefully something happens
and we can do that, you know?

That's my prayers.
- Yeah.

I believe that Luke
was murdered.

You know,
people talk about closure.

I hate that word,
I hate the word closure

because you never get
any closure,

but we need
to investigate this,

we need to come
and reopen this case

and look at it as a homicide

and prove to me that it wasn't.

Why should I have to sit here
for 12 years

wondering how my kid died?

Why should I have to do that?

I shouldn't.

- Did you hear anything
about having, like, a fight?

- There was an altercation.

I don't know
if it was physical or not.

- He said there was
a verbal altercation

with this unknown person.

He stated that at one point,

this unknown male
had sucker-punched him.

- This image could be the key
to the resolution of this case.

- There are several suspicious

in the Luke Homan
drowning case

that make us believe
that his death

may not have been
an accident

but actually a homicide
and may be connected

to the Smiley Face Killer

The injuries to Luke's body,

which indicate that Luke
was possibly involved in

an altercation that evening,

the scratches to his forehead,

which don't appear
to be travel abrasions,

and the fluorescent flecks
on Luke's clothing

are all pieces of evidence that
we would like to follow up on.

- Hi, Robert Chacon.
- Kevin Gannon.

Pleasure to meet you.
- Hi, nice to meet you, sir.

- I've been looking forward
to this for a long time.

I'm meeting with retired FBI
agent Bobby Chacon,

who has extensive experience

in the recovery
of bodies in water.

He started the FBI underwater
forensic program.

Bringing Bobby on could be
a new perspective

in this whole investigation
that we could present

to the La Crosse
Police Department.

This is a case
of a young man in La Crosse,

Luke Homan,

so the prevailing theory

is that Luke was just
another college kid,

got drunk,
and fell into the river

and then unfortunately drowned.

- Case closed.
- Case closed.

I've spoken to La Crosse
in the past

when Luke first went missing

and we're not getting
any cooperation whatsoever.

They--they don't want
any part of this.

They'd like to put it to bed.

Obviously, to the
autopsy report

and the photographs
that we have,

I would love you to take
a look at these and say,

"What do you think?"

- Yeah, the way
I usually do that is,

I try to look at the body
as close as I can

through photographs
and review the autopsy report.

If I can, go to the scene

where the body supposedly
entered the water,

go to the scene where the body
was recovered from the water,

learn as much
as we can from a physical

and forensic standpoint.

I can't tell you what happened
to Luke

but I can tell you
what didn't happen to Luke.

- Looking at Luke's wounds,
he has injuries on his head

and he has injuries
on his arms

that look like, to me,
like defensive wounds.

What we wanna find out is how
these injuries actually happen.

We're gonna talk to Luke's
friend, Sam, first.

He was with him at The Vibe bar
that night.

- So here we are in front
of what used to be The Vibe.

- Yeah.
- It's a different bar now.

Have you been here since
Luke's disappearance?

- I have not.
This is my first time back.

- That's 12 years ago.

- Yes, a long time ago.
A lot of things have changed.

- Sam, can you tell us what
you remember specifically

about that night?

- We had plans
to just come downtown here

and--and hang out
for the night.

- You remember the first bar
you started at here in town?

- This might've been one of
the first ones that we came to.

- Did you stay long?
Did you make the circuit?

- We--we pretty much made
the circuit, yeah,

and I-I actually do remember
leaving this bar

and seeing Luke
still at the bar.

- Okay.
- He did not leave with us.

- Do you know who he was with?

- It was a guy
by the name of Austin.

He was a little bit
younger guy.

Might've been a freshman
at the time?

- Okay, so they stayed
and you left.

- Correct.

- So that was the last time
you saw Luke alive?

- Yeah.

- Did you hear anything
about having, like, a fight

or a dispute
later on that night?

- All that I really know is
that there was an altercation.

I don't know if it
was physical or not.

- Do you remember
how you got that information?

- Uh, just through rumor mills
of what people had seen.

- Do you remember what
these people had said?

- Luke and Austin talking
to guys at the bar

and a dispute came up.

- Did you hear anything
regarding a back alley

to this place, The Vibe?

- You know, as we're talking,
it's kind of coming back--

- All right, well,
that's what we want.

- That it had spilled
into the alley.

- Did you speak to the police?

- Uh, just--yeah, briefly.
Two days later.

- How brief?

- I'd say a ten to 15 minute
conversation, if that.

- Do you believe that
Luke's death was an accident?

- No.

- Why?
- Why is that?

- We had no reasons ever
to really be by the water.

The weekend before,
the question had come up

about Luke going to La Crosse

and the deaths that
had occurred in the river,

and Luke had said
you pretty much have to be

a dummy to--to drown
in the river

because if you were to leave
a bar and see the river,

you know you're going
the wrong direction.

- The La Crosse police believe
that the drinking culture

of La Crosse is responsible
for the kids

falling in the river
and drowning.

The river is in
the opposite direction

from where the bars are,

it's a half a mile away,

and if they were that drunk,

something would happen to them

before they even went
to the river.

They'd get hit by a car,

fall off a curb,
crack their head.

Something else, it just
doesn't make any sense to me.

- You know, this is the alley
where the altercation

supposedly took--took place.

There--there was supposedly
some witnesses there too.

- Uh, but I was not there to be
a part of it at all.

The next day, uh,
after Luke was missing,

uh, some of my darkest memories

are actually walking
into alleys like this

and looking in dumpsters
for Luke's body.

- Do you remember,
when you spoke to the police,

did they ask you anything
about the kind of questions

we're asking you now?
- No.

- Although Sam did give us
some good information

of some of the events
that night,

we still don't know
exactly who was involved

in this fight.

So we're gonna go through
the police reports

that we obtained
through public records

to see who they spoke to
and if they shed

a little light
on what happened that night.

- This particular report's
of interest.

It's an interview
with the band.

- The leader of the band?
- Right.

He acknowledges playing
at The Vibe that Friday night.

When asked if he had seen
a male individual

by the name of Lucas Homan,

he stated that he did
not remember seeing him.

- Does he say he was in
a fight or anything in--

in the back alley?

- Well, the next paragraph
goes into the altercation.

He said that at the bar,

the time he was taking down
his equipment,

he stated that a guy
came in the area,

walked by the vehicle
toward a dumpster,

and started to urinate by
his equipment.

- By or on?

- It says by.

He said there was
a verbal altercation

with this unknown person.

He stated that, at one point,

this unknown male
had sucker-punched him.

It should be noted that
this writer could observe that

he had a red mark on
the side of his forehead.

- We--I mean,
if you're sucker-punched,

you're gonna retaliate
if you're sucker-punched.

What are you gonna do?

- It's now clear
that the leader of the band

was involved in an altercation,

but there's no confirmation
that Luke was involved.

It seems that because
the band member had injuries,

the police decided to have K-9
units search the band's SUV.

- Upon talking
to the K-9 people

and the state investigators,

it was decided to have
one of the search dogs

check the vehicle to see
if it was, in fact,

there was any indication

that Lucas Homan
had been in the vehicle.

He did agree to turn around

and come back to
La Crosse Police Department

to assist with any other
questions that we may have.

- When they came back
with the car

from 2:00 in the morning
on the 30th,

you got 40 hours.

- So they get a cadaver dog,

cadaver dog now has
a positive alert

that there may have been blood
or bodily fluids

on or in the vehicle

in the right rear
passenger compartment.

- Okay.

- It says then it was decided,
let the car go.

- But how is that acceptable?

- They didn't hold onto
the car.

- The La Crosse PD let the SUV
go that the dogs hit on.

There's evidence in that
vehicle and they let that go.

It probably shouldn't
have been done.

They probably should have not
let the vehicle go.

- That car immediately
becomes evidence.

It's held until
it's totally processed

inside, outside,
whatever they need to do

to identify the stains

and--and the different
locations of the dog's scents.

- And whose they are.

- Exactly.

- What's frustrating to me
is that the La Crosse

Police Department
had the presence of mind

to bring back the SUV,
ran a dog through it,

got a hit, and let it go.

There's nothing we can
do about that now.

- No, there's nothing,
that's nothing.

That's old evidence.

What we need now is
new evidence.

To me, the key
to the investigation right now

is to focus on the forensics

and how did Luke Homan sustain
those injuries to his head?

And hopefully we find
enough evidence

that we can bring forward
to the authorities.

- Where were you
when you got the call?

- The day before
we were told...

That there was
a search being made

and then they just assigned me

as my duty day, "Tomorrow,
you'll be on the rescue boat."

- Retired Deputy Sherriff
Brian Wierzbicki

is the only La Crosse
law enforcement official

that was willing
to meet with us

and he was present during
Luke's recovery

from the Mississippi River.

- Your role was to be
on the boat

and helping out
with the search?

- Right, may have been
an overtime shift or--

- Right.

- Bobby Chacon is
a retired FBI agent,

expert in underwater
body recovery

and I want him to see the scene

where Luke Homan was recovered
to see if he can ascertain

anything from that location.

So he was recovered
somewhere over here?

- Somewhere in this area here.

That's the storm water
discharge down there.

- And where does it come out?
Over here?

That's this, uh--

- It comes out by that
small building.

- All right.
- And then, uh...

The dog alerted out
in this area.

- Three days after Luke
went missing,

search dogs tracked his scent
approximately half a mile

from The Vibe bar,
where he was last observed,

to the bank
of the Mississippi River.

At that point,
Luke Homan's body

was recovered 30 feet offshore

at the bottom
of the Mississippi River.

So what did he look like
to you?

Can you tell me?

- We were more intent on...

Quickly getting him into a bag
and out of the public's view.

There were groups of family
members, of friends, um--

- Right.
- People from the college

that were down here
helping, looking,

and we just wanted
to minimize the exposure.

After we escorted him
to the morgue,

then our--our portion of it
was done.

- Tell me about,

from your experience as
a diver in this area,

tell me like what
the bottom's like here.

Was it rocky, muddy, sandy?
- It's a mess.

Junk, rocks.

- Construction debris?
- Pipes, construction debris.

The visibility
is typically very bad.

I mean,
it's a muddy bottom at--

in places and there's
a lot of silt, so--

- So if a body was, say,
tumbling towards the bottom,

there's a lot that it
could get caught on

and stuck on, right?

- Could, yes. Yeah.

- And if it didn't
get caught on that,

as it tumbled through that,

it would possibly get damaged
by that.

- It's possible not
to hit anything

or it's possible
to hit everything.

- One of the questions
we had

in looking
at the autopsy photos,

could the injuries
to Luke's head

and hands and arms
be related to debris

at the bottom
of the Mississippi River,

where he was recovered,

or were they associated
with a possible fight

that was rumored
to have occurred

outside the bar that night?

You've already had a chance
to look at some of these.

There's the autopsy report.

- Yeah, I've reviewed
some of this already.

Um, there's some,
you know, uh,

sloughing of the skin
on the hands,

which obviously indicates
that he's been in the water.

He's got injuries to the--the,
uh, outer side of both hands.

You know, and, um,
and to the head.

It looks like
he was in a fight.

That's what it looks
like to me.

You hands
are defending yourself

or you're hitting
the other guy

and the other guy,
when he's hitting you,

he's going for your head.

That's the natural thing.

- So--so offensive
and defensive wounds,

that's what we--
- Right.

- Now when the divers went down
and recovered his body,

they found construction rebar
down there.

Could rebar cause that after
he's already deceased

and in the water?

- It could cause
the exact pattern

of injury to the skin,

but it wouldn't be red
like that.

I've seen bodies that have
been beat up after,

it's usually white
or it's no color at all

because the body doesn't send
any blood there postmortem.

- Relative to the breakdown
and decomposition of the body,

uh, how would you assess--

- Zero. I mean,
I see zero decomposition here.


If you're going
on the assumption,

as the medical examiner
apparently did,

that the body was in
the water 50-plus hours,

the--the traditional things
that I used to see,

bodies that were in the--
in the water that long,

I don't see it on this body.

- What would you expect him
to look like?

- Well, several things,

I would expect him
to be much more covered

with debris and dirt and mud.

Body at--on the--
especially a muddy bottom,

that--it's--it kind
of sucks you down

and the Mississippi is a--

a river where the water
moves pretty good.

So that moves that dirt around.

The--the dirt around this body
would've been built up.

You see some of the mud
up here, um,

but you don't see it elsewhere
on his shirt.

If he was on the bottom
for 50-plus hours

in the Mississippi,

you'd expect this whole area

to be caked
and embedded with mud.

- How long would you say,
looking at the picture,

you would assume that
he was in the water?

- Anywhere from three hours

12 hours?
- 12 hours.

That's what--
I'll go with that.

- Yeah, maybe.

- Bobby's analysis says that
he was in there

for no more than 12 hours max.

So where was Luke
for the other almost two days?

This fits a distinct pattern
of the Smiley Face Killers,

which is we believe that
they abduct individuals,

hold them
for periods of times,

and then they kill them
on land

and then place them
into the water.

- This body does not look like

it was in the water
for 50 plus hours to me.

- Oh, God.
- Oh, Patti.

- Patti, oh, my God.

Are you okay?
Are you okay, man?

What's the matter?

- I didn't even know--

- All his--his sweatshirt's
hanging over.

- Oh, his sweatshirt is here.

- I told Jerry, I said it's
like he's in that box and--

- No, don't say that.
No, don't say that.

No, no, no.
- But they opened it all

because they said they had to
take pictures of it to--for--

- They? Oh, they opened it
in front of you and--and--

- No, they opened it before
they gave it to me

and they said they had
to open it to--

- See what was in it?

- And take pictures of it all.

But I said, well, you didn't
touch it with your hands

and they said they
had gloves on.

- It just hit her.

It just hit her
like it was yesterday, so.

- Oh, my God.
- It did.

I don't know why. It just hit
me like a ton of bricks.

- Oh, my God.

I'm so sorry you had to deal
with this by yourself.

- I would've been there
for you.

I'm sorry.
I'm sorry, Jerry.

- It's all right.

- It just hit me. I don't
know--I mean, it just--

it's--it's like it happened
yesterday, you know?

- I know, I know.

This could be the evidence
that we're looking for.

You know, it clearly proved
that he was murdered

and trying to get his case

The evidence
can still be retested.

So whatever they missed before,

we're gonna be able
to find now.

- Right.

- Greetings.
- Hey, how are you?

Good morning.
- Hi, come on in.

- We have Luke's clothes,

so now we need to see
whether or not

there is touch DNA evidence
on Luke Homan's clothing.

Jason Kolowski, who's an
expert in evidence collection

and Jared Bradley,
who's associated with

the M-Vac system,

which is specifically
invented and designed

for the collection
of DNA evidence

from bodies submerged
in water.

- How long was he estimated
to be in the water?

- Maximum of two and a half,
three days.

- Okay, so a couple days.

I take it that the clothing was
recovered at his autopsy.

- Yes.
- Okay.

- And--and--and the police had
it all these years.

Now the question is,
I guess for you guys,

to determine can we extract
anything from this?

- We're gonna try to do what
we can to recover, uh,

touch DNA as well as any other,

uh, suspicious stains
that we see.

- Technology has advanced

over the past 12 years,

So bringing new advancements
into removing

whatever possible
physical evidence

would be on his clothing

is phenomenal.

- Okay.
- Look relatively clean.

- They do.

They're actually...

not too far off
from being almost...

almost spotless.

- Right, pristine.

Considering the fact
that you're at a muddy

Mississippi River bottom.

- Yup.

- Compared to jeans
that you've seen

from other body recoveries
from the water...

- These are clean.
These are incredibly clean.

As far as these belt loops go,

this one's actually broken.
- Broken, I see it.

- Yup, and this one back here
is as well.

- These look like they were
just ripped out of there.

- Yeah, they look damaged
and pulled.

It's not like it was
a natural wearing away.

- Was he carried?

You know, was he, um--was
he--was he drug by his ankles?

- These broken belt loops
tells me that some individuals

could've grabbed him
by that area

to move him as
a deceased individual.

This supports the theory that
there's human intervention.

Somebody was involved
with his death,

they moved him,

and then threw him into
the Mississippi River.

- We're going to go ahead
and hit this now with

the alternate light source.

It's gonna highlight
and cause to fluoresce

your basic biological stains.

It's just gonna 'cause things
to kind of jump out

that are not really visible
to the naked eye.

So I've got a very small area
of orange fluorescence

right here on this lower, um--

- Wow! Really?
- Yeah.

It could be paint, uh,
it could be grease.

You know, it could be
a number of different things.

- The reason of concern
to us is

there was an orange smiley face
painted very close

to where the body
was recovered.

- So what we're seeing here is
that the jeans

came into contact
with something

and it's transferring what is
invisible to the naked eye

but turns out to be, uh,

a little bit of
some orange florescence.

I think at this point,

this is a strong candidate
for the M-Vac.

So you see
the collection bottle

is starting to bubble
over there.

That's the solution coming off
of the jeans.

Hopefully, what's now
in that liquid

collecting in that bottle
also contains cells.

These are from the outside
of the jeans

in an area where somebody
may have carried the victim.

We're gonna hopefully pick up
their cellular material,

which then will lead us
downstream to a DNA profile.

There's tiny little speckles
of that orange everywhere.

- We got the flecks.

- See the little one there?

There's a couple down here
in the folds.

- Oh yeah.
- Yup.

Okay and then all of this
from the shoulder,

all the way across
the neckline,

and over to there,

we're seeing a lot
of inherent fluorescence.

- The fact that we see
the belt loops,

that are ripped,

and the possibility
of forensic touch DNA evidence

that could be on those jeans,

along with the fluorescent
flecks that are on his body,

this could be the key piece
of evidence

that we've been waiting for
for the past decade

of what actually happened
to Luke Homan

and this could help us
to bring new evidence forward

to the authorities
where now they have to take

a second look at it.

- We presented the autopsy
photographs to Bill Moore,

who's a forensic
tool mark analyst,

and what he does is he looks
at impressions on objects

and bodies and can identify
what made that mark

and we're hoping that he can
help us identify

in particular what made
the marks

on Luke's forehead
and on his face.

- So gentlemen, here's one
of the original photographs

sent to me for evaluation.

When I first looked at it,

I couldn't quite tell
what I might be looking at,

but what I did see was
this general outline.

I also took particular interest
in this set of scratches here

in the center of what appears
to be a pattern.

I used various
enhancement techniques

and I've highlighted those
areas that I think

are most significant.

Having been a hiker
since my youth,

I have a tendency to believe

that this looks somewhat
like an outsole.

- So you're--you're saying
this is a-a boot?

A sole of a boot?

- That's the hypothesis I'm
gonna present to you gentlemen.

Particularly suggesting
that that scratching

was from a stone stuck between
the treads of a boot.

So I went searching
the internet,

produced a number
of acetate images

and this is just one example
of what I came up with.

We have approximate

in these two treads here
and then here,

in this area where rubber
does not meet

the bearing surface.

- So could he be in the--
in the middle of a fight

and he's getting, you know,
stomped to death?

- If he was in a fight,

this could've been part
of that activity.

- I knew clearly
that these injuries

were not travel abrasions,

but I had no idea specifically
what it was.

So this information is a--
a total revelation.

- This caught my attention.

This particular vehicle was
a vehicle of interest.

- Oh yes.
- In the days between

when Luke disappeared and
when his body was recovered.

You'll notice that there is
a shoe or boot of sorts.

A close-up shows
an interesting sole pattern.

What's unique about this shoe

is that this heel area
is beveled.

But you'll notice that it has
this lug in the foot area.

- That's phenomenal,
don't you think?

- Oh yeah,
I hadn't thought of that.

- The next step is to see
if we can find out

who made this particular shoe
at that point in time,

so we can gather
more information

about the outsole design.

- So the next step for us
is to take this image

and bring it to
a forensic footprint expert

and see exactly what type
of sole it is

and see if the shoes
inside the vehicle

matches the imprint
of the sole

that's on Luke Homan's

- I'm not saying absolutely
that that boot's responsible.

- Right, no.

- But in the limited universe
of the evidence that we have,

this image could be the key
to the resolution of this case.

- This person was pinned down.

- Proves that this was
not an accidental death.

Somebody's gotta have his feet,

we have multiple attackers.

- This is definitely

that the police would
like to have.

- Footwear examination is
a very subjective discipline.

- Marty Ludas is
a footwear analyst

who worked for
the North Carolina Bureau

of Criminal Investigation,

and we're hoping
that he can identify,

was the footwear,
in the photograph of the SUV

responsible for the impression
on Luke Homan's forehead?

- So instantly,

with that little medallion
on the heel

and then on the, uh,
side of the outsole,

there's another medallion.

It looked like it was either
gonna be a K-Swiss

or Lugz.

So I looked everywhere
on the internet

and I was only able to find
some K-Swiss

that had a medallion
on the side of the sole.

- Okay.
- But when I look at this,

I can't be sure what kind
of shoe this is.

It looks like
an athletic shoe, upper.

- Right.
- But the sole,

because of this angle,

I can't tell if it's,
uh, a rubber sole

or could it be a boot sole?

- Okay.
- So I'm leaning towards

it isn't correlated
to what I saw on the head.

- So you're saying that
the--the shoe or sneaker

that was in the SUV

is not the shoe that
you're--you're looking at.

- I'm saying most likely not.
both: Okay.

- Marty Ludas could not confirm
that the shoe in the photograph

made the imprint on
Luke Homan's forehead.

Uh, therefore,
at this point,

that shoe is excluded.

The band was most likely
not involved

and we just need to move on and
look at other possibilities.

- Bill Moore, in the very end
of his presentation,

his final chart
was superimposition

of a sole onto the forehead

and, uh, he didn't make
as many markings as I did,

but I replicated
his preliminary analysis.

- Right.

- When I looked at
the defined perimeter margins,

then it starts looking like
not only is it a boot,

it's the toe area.

- Okay.
- And--and is in likelihood

the right foot.

Most of the wounds that
I look at are kicks

or a stomp--
- Right.

- Where it's the heel.
- Mm-hmm.

- This is totally different
from that.

- So this is definitely--

this is definitely
the front impression

of the shoe or the boot.

- The toe--and you
don't stomp with the toe.

You--you apply pressure.
- Okay.

- But that sole area is pushing
against the forehead

and enough pressure was applied
to leave these marks.

- So somebody's
just applying pressure

like as if to hold him down.

- The first thing I thought of,
this person was pinned down.

- Okay.
- This wasn't a stomp.

It wasn't a kick,
it was pinned down

and--and it's, um--
- You know what that means?

- What?

- More than one person
holding him down.

- Wait, somebody--
if you're going to be

holding down his legs or
whatever, the other part.

- And if fits what we know
about the Smiley Face Killers.

They work in groups.

- Like a pack of wolves.
- Right.

We've--we've always believed
that these killings

were done
by multiple participants.

It's unlikely
that one individual,

who caused that foot imprint
on Luke's forehead,

was able to hold him down.

He was a strong athlete,

there would have to have been
multiple participants

involved with restraining him.

- It proves that this was not
an accidental death.

- We've got two experts
who have looked at this case,

looked at this
physical evidence on Luke,

and both of them
independently came up

with the same conclusion

that it was a footwear print

of somebody holding Luke down
on the forehead

with the right toe
of their boot.

- They both said
the same thing.

- Somebody was standing
behind him.

Somebody else had at least one
or two other individuals

had to be holding down
his body.

- Somebody's gotta have
his feet,

somebody must be sitting
on his chest

or holding each
of his arms down.

We have multiple attackers.

- This is definitely

that the police
would like to have.

- I'm hoping
the new information

regarding the boot injury
to Luke's forehead

and the decomposition
of no more than 12 hours,

not 56,
are two pieces of information

that should get the police
to move on this case.

- This needs to be brought
to the La Crosse

Police Department now
to see what--

see what they want to do
with this.

- We want to fill you in
on some of the updates, and...

- Okay.
- What we've--

what we've uncovered

and what we've learned
and who we've spoken to.

- We would like to bring
this new evidence

to the La Crosse
Police Department,

but before we do that,

we have to present it
to the Homans.

The family deserves to know.

They've been wondering
exactly what happened

to their child for 12 years.

- One of the individuals
we've met with

was Bobby Ciccone,
who was an ex-FBI agent.

He started the FBI dive team.

So he looked at Luke's body
and saw that there was zero,

what he thought were zero
levels of decomposition.

And he would've assumed that he
was only there for a few hours.

- Remember the clothing--
- Yeah.

I was--I was anxious
to hear this.

- They did the ENVAC testing
and they tested all the clothes

and the belt and the jeans
and where we thought

they would carry a body,
you know,

grab him here or on the ankles
and the DNA was negative.

- But another thing they did
discover from the clothing,

he had broken belt loops.
- Right.

They were ripped up.
- Ripped.

- So that really gave us
the impression that--

- Somebody was pulling on 'em.
- Somebody was pulling on that.

And that belt loop, you know,
they popped right up.

- Right. Right.

- If you remember
the orange flecks that--

- Right.
- Were found on Luke.

Well, they took that
and they measured

that substance against
300,000 known compounds.

And they determined it
to be nail polish.

- Nail polish.
- Really?

- So we've now learned
that nail polish is sold

in spray-on form,
which is commonly used

in a lot of graffiti.

The most important thing
that we've uncovered,

we spoke to a food analysis
expert from the FBI.

He did a whole analysis on the
injuries to Luke's forehead

and was able to identify
a boot imprint on Luke's head

from the back like this way.

- Really?
- On the top.

- He was held down by the boot,
not stomped.

- It wasn't a kick.
It wasn't a stomp.

- Which also indicates to us
there was more than one person.

- He was a pretty strong kid.
- Right.

- We feel
that it would be enough

to bring
to the police department

so hopefully they would
investigate the case

as a homicide the way it really
should have been investigated.

- Really.
Well, that's what we need.

- Well, we know
that there's a new chief,

Chief Tisher, correct?
- Right.

- Well, do you think
you'll even have--

you'd even have a chance
at getting to see

the police chief?

- We're trying
to find out, man.

We should just take a ride
over there,

what do you think
about just going

to La Crosse Police Department
and just see if--

- It would be fine with me.
- Go see the chief?

- I think that's a great idea.
- Chief Tisher.

- We have nothing to lose and
everything to gain, hopefully.

- I think you should
just introduce yourself first

as--as, you know, Luke's mom

and we have some evidence
that proves that Luke

was murdered and we'd like
to show it to the chief.

Even though we've had
extensive resistance

from the La Crosse
Police Department,

we believe
that we have compiled

enough physical, forensic,
and scientific evidence

that I feel confident enough

that I need to speak
to somebody.

The evidence points
that Luke Homan was murdered.

We believe
that this is a homicide.

- Wow.

- Isn't it ironic that the guy
we talked to

was the first responder
on Luke's case?

- On Luke's case.

And he's a detective, so he
understands what's going on.

He didn't investigate the case
'cause he's only a cop.

- Right.

- But he could bring it
to the right people.

- Right.

I think he will go to the chief
and I think he will go

to the other proper people
that he was talking about

and make sure
that they really look at this.

After this meeting,
it seems like

for the first time
that we might get somewhere

with all of this
and people are gonna listen,

and this is our first chance
at that happening,

so maybe they'll--
they'll open this case

and treat it as a homicide,

like they should have
from the beginning.

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