Kswatcher's Weblog

August 12, 2014

the death of forrest marlin laughlin-stockton

Filed under: Uncategorized — kswatcher @ 3:49 am

my brother (at least vital statistics records say that he’s my brother)  was married three times, and had a son with his second wife.   both his first wife and his third wife kept him completely isolated from his own family, and pretty much isolated from any friends and acquaintances that he had before those marriages –   however, we enjoyed a close family relationship as siblings during those brief periods of time while he was in between marriages.

i rarely had an opportunity to speak with my brother during his 3rd marriage.  if i called an left a message on their home answering machine, his wife would delete the message before he got it.  if i sent a note or letter by mail, she intercepted it.  to my knowledge, he wasn’t allowed access to a personal home computer.

when our biological mother was dying, i tried to call him on his cell phone.  i left a message.  when i tried to call that number a couple of days later, it had been disconnected or changed.  i left a message on their home answering machine, and i sent a letter to their home.  several months later, one of our relatives (our half brother) did reach my brother by phone at his place of employment, and he claimed that he hadn’t received any phone messages or a letter about the death of our mother.

in november of 2010, a childhood friend of mine called and told me that there had been an announcement of my brother’s death in a kansas city star newspaper obituary section.  it was no more that the standard name, age, city, and date of death that the kansas city star automatically publishes without a request.  my friend’s elderly mother had a habit of regularly reading the obituaries in the printed version of the star newspaper, and if she hadn’t, i might still be completely unaware that my brother died.

i tried calling the county coroners office, but they never answer the phone or return calls.  i found out later that it is policy that they do not accept calls from public constituents – tax payers that pay for their salaries.  i then tried to call the local police department where my brother lived.  the first time that i called, they said that they had no information about the death of somebody with that name.  during a second phone call, i asked them what i was supposed to do to find out what might have happened to my brother.  i could only give them his address and his wife’s name.  the clerk that i spoke to put me on hold for a few minutes, and then said that she did have some information.  she told me that my brother’s wife had come into the police station to file a report of his death sometime in the very early morning hours of november 2.  she then gave me the name of a homicide detective within the local police department that i could call for more details.

the detective told me that my brother had committed suicide.  getting any further information beyond that was met with a great deal of resistance.  he attempted to tell me that he couldn’t discuss the details because “technically” the case wasn’t closed and the death was, therefore, considered to be under investigation, but he also added that they didn’t see any reason to investigate the death.

i asked if an autopsy was done or if any toxicology tests were done.  he thought there might have been some blood samples taken for testing of things such as drugs, but wasn’t sure.  he said that my brother was cremated within a couple of days after death.

after having my sister and her spouse (who were attorneys in another state) call the detective, i received the following information:

1.  at some time during the preceding months, the police department received a call from his wife asking for assistance.   it wasn’t a 911 call, and it wasn’t a domestic disturbance call.  she asked for officers to come to their house and talk to him, because she thought that he was acting depressed.  one of those officers that responded to her call just happened to be a close personal friend of my brother.  certainly i had never heard his name before, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.  the report said that my brother had been suffering from chronic back pain, and after losing his job a year or two before the time of call, hadn’t not been able to find employment in the same type of job and industry.  the report stated that he made a comment saying “i’m probably worth more dead than alive”.   this was the only reason that i was given for why weren’t going to investigate his death.

2.  they said that very early in the morning – his wife found him in the garage in their duplex home, and in one of their vehicles – obviously dead and not breathing.   she told them that he had an 8:00 am appointment on tuesday, november 2 for a tuxedo fitting – a tuxedo that he would be wearing to her adult son’s wedding that friday or saturday at the sears (bruce willis?) tower in chicago.

3.  inside of the vehicle they found a sack of miscellaneous items and receipts for things that the detective would only say would be used to direct carbon monoxide from the exhaust into the vehicle, however, those items weren’t used.  he wouldn’t tell me what the items were or where they were purchased, but stated that they were purchased that morning using my brother’s credit card.  i asked him if they checked for a signature match or if they checked to see if the store had cameras so that a positive identification could be made concerning who purchased those items.  the detective said that they didn’t see any reason to do that.

4. when i asked what the cause of death was, the detective told me that it was from chloroform, and that an empty bottle of chloroform was laying on the seat next to his face.  the detective refused to give me further information about the bottle of chloroform –  a source of origin, brand or company name, etc.   chloroform has been a highly controlled substance since the 1970’s.  chloroform can only be purchased by licensed medical and research laboratories.  when purchasing chloroform, a license number must be provided, and it can only be delivered to a licensed facility.  during another telephone conversation, when i reminded the detective that it was a very controlled substance, he told me that it was their understanding that the bottle of chloroform had just been laying around the house for many years.  who’s house?  they certainly hadn’t lived in that duplex for many years nor had they been married for “many years”.  who could have told them this other than my brother’s wife?

chloroform evaporates rapidly, and it would have to be a very tightly sealed container to keep it for a long period of time.  during long term storage, it also slowly converts to phosgene.

5.  the detective told me that there was a suicide letter.  i wasn’t permitted to see that letter, but he tried to summarize the contents for me.  he said that the letter was an apology to his wife and “RJ” for ending his life only days before RJ’s wedding – and possibly interrupting those plans or causing inconvenience –  and it said that he loved them very much.  only his wife and her son “RJ” were mentioned.  when i told the detective that it seemed very strange that he didn’t even mention his own biological son, the detective told me they didn’t know that he had a biological son.  then he asked me if i knew who RJ was.

i asked the detective if they had obtained handwriting sample to compare with the handwriting in the letter.  he said that the letter was in very sloppy and difficult to read handwriting, and therefore it was obviously a man’s handwriting – and it had to be my brother’s handwriting because there were no other men residing in their home?  my brother didn’t have sloppy handwriting, and he wouldn’t have written the letter in cursive writing after having to fill out forms in very neat and readable print –  as was required from working many years in car dealership service departments for the past 20 plus years.

i asked the detective if they had checked to see if my brother had obtained any recent life insurance policies.  he told me that they hadn’t because they didn’t see any reason to do that.

according to kansas state law, evidence held during a homicide investigation must be released to family members if requested in writing by an attorney representing them.  my sister’s spouse, who was a licensed and practicing attorney, sent that request – but it was ignored.

i know that my brother wouldn’t have even thought about committing suicide by carbon monoxide in the garage, because he would have known that there would be the potential for asphyxiating whomever lived in the other half of the duplex, and also his wife whom he claimed to love very much in the suicide letter.  anybody who knew my brother would say that if he were going to commit suicide, he most likely would have taken a gun and gone for a long drive out in the country – and simply shot himself in the head.  he would know that methods such as drugs, chloroform or carbon monoxide would be risky – the risk of being found while still alive – or worse, the risk of being found alive but permanently and severely brain damaged or comatose.

what is chloroform used for?

from wikipedia:

“chloroform is used in laboratories as a solvent because it is relatively unreactive, miscible with most organic liquids, not flammable and conveniently volatile.  it is used in producing dyes and pesticides.  chloroform is an effective solvent for alkaloids in their base form and thus plant material is commonly extracted with chloroform in pharmaceutical processing.  for example, it is used to extract morphine from poppies and scopolamine from datura plants.”

“chloroform was once a widely used anesthetic.  its vapor depresses the central nervous system of a patient, allowing a doctor to perform otherwise very painful procedures.  chloroform has been reputed to be used by criminals to knock out, daze, or even murder their victims.”

my brother’s third wife was a widow with two sons when he married her.  his second wife left him in order to marry another man.  that man’s name was danny.  i never knew his last name, and i still don’t.  he is listed in various directories as having the same last name as my brother.  i have to assume that my brother’s ex wife kept my brother’s name because of their son, and that her new husband also changed his name to my brother’s last name?  i’m not sure how many years she was married after she divorced my brother, but he apparently also died – and from a very tragic accidental death.  the story of that death was related to me as follows:

they had been hearing strange rustling noises in the attic – the kind of noises that small vermin and critters might make.  it was summer time, and the temperature was very hot.  my brother’s ex wife went to her home town in another state for a class reunion, and apparently took their son with her.  while she was out of town, danny must have gone up into the attic to search for the critters or source of strange noises.  he was found dead outside on their lawn. from the physical evidence, the police guessed that danny had stepped off of a rafter and fallen through the floor in the attic –  onto a bed in the room below, and then bounced off of the bed and through a glass window –  on to the lawn where they found him.

did i mention that it was my understanding that both wives had worked in the insurance industry?  i heard that his first wife died of cancer.

from what my brother told me on numerous occasions, his second wife and third wife were enemies and didn’t like each other.  for instance, he indicated that there were problems when his son played in school sports and both of them wanted to attend.

when i contacted wife number 2 after hearing about my brother’s death – because i couldn’t find or reach wife number 3,  wife number 2 told me that she wanted to notify me about what happened – and attempted to do that at the request of wife number 3, but she couldn’t find a telephone number listing –  because i live in very small suburban town that doesn’t have listings in the greater kansas city metropolitan directory.  i googled my name and found quite a few sources that my telephone number could have obtained from considering the circumstances.  suddenly wife number 2 and wife number 3 seemed to be on very good speaking terms –  almost chummy.  wife number 2 told me that my brother had a heart attack.  i’ve still haven’t spoken to wife number 3.

i recently searched the internet for the names of my brother and all three of his wives.  the slight changes in the names while still showing the same family member connections were too numerous to be clerical errors.  there is a sort of pattern to them that is more than suspicious.

i finally obtained a death certificate.  in the reporting of my brother’s death, my brother’s widow used a last name that i have not been able to find any records that associate her with that name.  i did however, find an obituary claiming that her alleged previous deceased spouse was married to somebody else when he died, and that her children whom my brother treated as if they were his own were the progeny of that other woman.



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