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October 14, 1983 - Image 17

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-10-14
Note:
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Kell
from Page 1
Unobtrusively, and without the
publicity of the original trial, Kelly's
appeal nevertheless will exhume all the
testimony and opinion given during the
month-long murder trial of May and
June, 1982.
Even before the proceedings began
the crime took on a mystical quality
and has since assumed a privileged
place in local mythology: The Bursley
shootings became the "Bursley Mur-
ders" even before a verdict was
reached; local newspapers ran stories
describing "the dorm slayings" or
"The Good Friday Massacre";
erroneous references to "an arsenal" of
weapons creptinto descriptionsof
Kelly's room; and Leo Kelly himself
became a Western gunfighter, a bizarre
terrorist on a violent last stand against
his own frustration.
As if to mock the community's desire
to understand the incident, the trial
provided few answers and often ob-
scured what little was known about the
killings. Testimony regarding Kelly's
mental status was abstract, contradic-
tory, and often simply speculative. Con-
fidential psychiatric reports were
somehow released and published in a
Detroit newspaper. Endless delays,
motions, and objections dogged the
proceedings from the beginning.
Perhaps most conspicuously, Ann
Arbor's most famous trial moved
stride-for-stride with the nation's most
famous case at the time: John Hin-
ckley. This coincidence allowed city
residents to jump with special fervor
into the great insanity defense debate.
The insanity question, after all, for-
med the crux of the Leo Kelly trial. The
question during proceedings was never
whether or not Kelly killed McGreaham
and Siwik; there was little doubt he
pulled the trigger. Instead the inquiry
focused on Kelly's mental state at the
time of the crime: Was he truly insane?
These questions pitted psychiatrist
against psychiatrist, attorney against
attorney, and most surprisingly, attor-
nev against client: Throughout the trial

Kelly maintained he was sane and in-
nocent of all charges, and took the
stand in his own defense, against the ad-
vice of his lawyer, testifying he couldn't
remember events surrounding the
shooting.
Seven different psychiatric and
psychological experts examined Kelly
no fewer than 15 times. Five of them
testified - three for the prosecution,
two for the defense.
According to Washtenaw County
Prosecutors Lynwood Noah and Brian
Mackie, who handled the Kelly case,
the pivotal testimony in Kelly's convic-
tion came from Dr. Lynn Blunt, clinical
director of the State Center'for Foren-
sic Psychiatry in Ypsilanti.
On June 14, 1982 Blunt told the jury
Kelly was not only sane, but targeted
Edward Siwik.'
"Yes, Kelly was looking for Mr.
Siwik, and yes, Siwik was one of the in-
tended victims," Blunt testified.
He went on to say that Kelly's actions
were premeditated and motivated by
jealousy of fellow Bursley-Douglas
resident Siwik, whom Blunt described
as well-liked, successful, and "the ideal
pre-medical student" - a course of
study Kelly had once tried.
"If there was anyone who would
stimulate jealousy, it was Mr. Siwik,"
Blunt told jurors. "Even though Kelly
was working at it, I think he knew he
was going to fail again and took out his
rage."
To back up his testimony, Blunt poin-
ted to a list found in Kelly's room after
the . shootings which contained the
names of several residents - including
Siwik's - who lived on Kelly's floor.
Siwik's name is marked prominently
with dark ink.
The list had been admitted as eviden-
ce earlier in the trial over the objec-
tions of Kelly's lawyer, Pontiac Attor-
ney William Waterman, who said the
list merely contained names of people
who lived on the hall and nobody knew
who wrote it.
In a recent interview, Blunt said he
was "just speculating" when he told
jurors that the list indicated
premeditation and that Kelly targeted
Siwik.
"The defense counsel asked me if I
had an opinion whether or not he
singled out anyone in particular," Blunt
says. "Waterman said 'Doctor, you

,w

don't think Mr. Kelly meant to kill Ed
Siwik?' and I did have an opinion. I had
an opinion because of the list that was
found in his room.
"Maybe that's reading too much into
the list, but also Siwik represented sup-
posedly what Kelly wanted to be, and
lived right across the hall.
"It may well have been that Kelly
waited until (Siwik) left his room and
shot at him, but that's just speculation,
and I said that. I also told the jury that
yes, I did have an opinion, but I didn't
know if it was appropriate to answer or
not. But no one stopped me so I gave my
opinion."
Blunt says he wishes Waterman had
never asked the question, and that'he is
amazed that the defense would make
such an open inquiry.
"That question was deadly for
Kelly," Blunt says, echoing Noah's sen-
timents.
"The answer to that question was not
really within the scope of my
examinations," Blunt says. "I was
asked for conclusions that are really
the jury's to decide. I was just
speculating."
By all indications, however, Blunt's
testimony carried considerable weight
with the jury. Though individual jurors
refused to comment on evidence, in inter-
views following the trial several jurors
indicated that the list and Blunt's
testimony figures prominently in their
conclusions about Kelly's criminal
responsibility.
Though admitted as evidence, the list
was never conclusively tied to Kelly. No
handwriting comparison was perfor-
med, and it was never proven that the
list was written before the shooting-a
requisite if one is to deduce
premeditation from the list.
Blunt says Kelly told him he wrote
the list to remember the names of some
people on the hall. That statement
never wound up as testimony, however.
Waterman last week said the list was
"devastating" and called Blunt's
testimony "irresponsible."
"It's absolutely incredible that
anyone would accept that list as a hit
list," Waterman says. "It was purely
coincidential that these people were
there at the time of the shooting. It was
absolutely devastating to our case
because jurors are looking for any link

between the ultimate act and the design
or scheme of the individual.
"Blunt did the same thing. He had
already taken the position that he didn't
like Leo, and he accommodated
everything that pointed to
premeditation.
"He had this attitude that allowed
him to make certain conclusions based
on unconnected facts, like the list. He
testified from that without having any
foundation in terms of the relationship
between Ed Siwik and Leo."
In the early portions of the trial,
residents from sixth Douglas who wit-
nessed the shooting said Kelly was a
loner who kept to himself almost ex-
clusively. None of the residents said
they knew Kelly very well, and most
said they "never really spoke."
Lloyd Scott, an LSA senior who lived
on the hall, said it is "ridiculous" to
think Kelly targeted Siwik because the
two did not even know each other. Scott
testified he was a close friend of Siwik,
and lived directly across the hall from
the victim.
"I didn't see any reason for the
shooting because (Kelly) didn't know
any of us," Scott says. "It seemed
totally random to me. (Kelly) didn't
know Ed, and I'm sure he didn't know
what Ed was studying.
"One of the psychiatrists said Ed was
a symbol of success-a student who was
making it-but there's no way Leo
could have known that. And if that was
the case, why Ed? It could have been
any of us.
"My name was on that list, why not
me? I'm pre-law. Maybe it was a hit
list, but it was never proven. Who
knows what the list means.
"If someone said Leo wanted to kill
the whole hall, that's entirely plausible
to me, that he wanted to target
everyone. It's impossible that he
targeted Ed."
Scott said Siwik was "very popular.
He knew everyone, and never failed to
say 'hi' to everyone he passed."
To many people the list suggested
premeditation, a key part of a guilty
verdict in Michigan. Prosecutors must
prove not only the facts of a crime, but
also that the defendant premeditated
the act and performed it willfully and
with malice aforethought.
For a guilty verdict, the law also
requires proof that the accused be

.w

K

..... .... ... .. .... .......... .... ..... .. .......... .. . ... .......... . ...

COVER STORY.

Bursley shootings revisited

Page 1

Bursley Hall awoke to the sound of gunshots on
Good Friday, 1981. While most students slept, former
University student Leo Kelly threw a firebomb down
his sixth-floor hallway then opened fire with a
shotgun as students filled the corridor. The incident
left two students dead, Kelly with a life prison sen-
tence, and Ann Arbor with perhaps its most
memorable murder trial. Was Kelly insane at the
time of the shooting? As Kelly's case comes up for
appeal, Weekend takes another look at this Univer-
sity tragedy. Cover photo by Deborah Lewis.

01T.,, ..,-.*.

MUSIC
Genuine Joan Page 4
Take a trip back to the '60s with the mellow,
meaningful sounds of Joan Baez. Political activist
and sultry songstress, Joan Baez represents the tur-
moil and unity that made up an entire generation.
Also catch the previews of jazzman Olu Dara and
folkster Richard Thompson.
THE LIST
Happenings Pages 5-7
Your guide to fun times for the coming week in Ann
Arbor. Film capsules, music previews, theater notes,
and bardates - all listed in a handy-dandy, day-by-
day schedule.
THEATER
Spellbound Page 8
Tradition is thrown out the window when Ntozake
Shange's Spell No. 7 is presented by the University's
Professional Theater Program. Shange, who also
authored the play For Colored Girls Who Have
Considered Suicide When the Ranibow Is Enuf, isn't
known for convention and this all-black production of
her lastest work proves her willingness to ex-
periment.
FEATURES
Midnight madness Page 9
For some reason Ann Arborites have taken Harold
and Maude to heart. The midnight showings of this
now-classic film don't seem to be as popular on any
other campus as they are here at the University.
Take a look at why "you must see a midnight showing
of Harold and Maude at the State Theater at least on-
ce before you graduate."

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151

Kelly: To appeal verdict

Weekend
Friday, October 14. 1983
Vol. 11, Issue 5
Magazine Editors ........,............. Mare Hodges
Susan Makuch
Sales Manager ......................... Meg Gibson
Assistant Sales Manager ............ Julie Schneider

Weekend is edited and managed by students on the
staff of The Michigan Daily at 420 Maynard, Ann Ar-
bor, Michigan, 48109. It appears in the Friday edition"
of the Daily every week during the University year
and is available for free at many locations around the
campus and city.
Weekend, (313) 763-0379 and 763-0371; Michigan
Daily, 764-0552; Circulation, 764-0558; Display Adver-
tising, 764-0554.
Copyright 1983, The Michigan Daily.

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