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Wright Trial: Jury Views Gruesome Photos

By Lou Raguse

Jurors looked at photos of Darlene VanderGiesen’s upper body, found
in a Minnesota ditch more than a month after she died.  Her head,
arms, and torso from the waist-up were all intact, wrapped in sheets
and plastic bags.

Prosecutors say murder suspect Daphne Wright dumped the body there
Feb. 3, after dumping VanderGiesen’s lower body in a Sioux Falls
Dumpster. The ditch is about a 20-minute drive from Sioux Falls.

In the photos, jurors could see VanderGiesen’s face through a clear
plastic bag cinched with a drawstring at her neck. Securing the bag
was twine, tightly wrapped around and tied at the neck.  The twine
was burnt and melted to VanderGiesen’s skin. Investigators earlier
found a matching roll of twine in Wright’s garage.

Jurors also examined VanderGiesen’s burnt bra, which investigators
found near the body.

Prosecutors believe sometime after killing her, Wright poured
gasoline on VanderGiesen’s body and attempted to burn it.  Forensic
chemist Jessica Lichty testified that when they removed the plastic
bag from VanderGiesen’s face at the autopsy, the smell of gasoline
was present.

Lichty says she also smelled gasoline in Wright’s basement as she
examined blood stains on the floor. That’s where prosecutors believe
the death and dismemberment happened.

(( Source:  KELOLAND TV ))