"Half price escorts," "escorts naughty night life," "knife in neck kill" and "quick suicide methods" were all computer searches made from Neil Entwistle's laptop just days before his young wife and baby girl were murdered, according to testimony heard Wednesday in a Woburn, Mass., courtroom.
Entwistle is the British man on trial for the January 2006 shooting deaths of his 27-year-old American wife, Rachel, and 9-month-old baby girl Lillian Rose. For the past nine days, a 16-member jury in Courtroom 430 here has heard testimony in the case that has riveted the public and the media on both sides of the ocean.
Detective Lawrence James, a computer forensics expert, testified that after doing a Google search for "how to kill with a knife," someone with the user name "ent" on Entwistle's laptop clicked on a link that showed a diagram of a human body. The caption read "So you may be thinking of going for the aorta, Why not the heart? ... This isn't the movies. ... It's best to stab through the human ribcage." That same user also checked an account at the Adult Friend Finder -- an Internet sex site that bills itself as the "World's Largest Sex and Swingers Personals Community."
The jury was not allowed, however, to see evidence of a graphic nude photo allegedly of Entwistle that had been posted on the Adult Friend Finder site. The defense had argued the photo was not of their client, and Judge Diane Kottmeyer ruled it was inadmissible. But that was a rare victory for the defense in what has been a difficult few days.
The jury learned that Rachel and Lillian were shot at point-blank range. With the baby's bloody clothing as a backdrop, Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab chemist Deena Dygan testified that Lillian Rose died from a "contact shot." Dygan went on to state that the hole in the front of the baby's pink polka-dot sleeper was caused by a "firearm ... pressed directly against the target."
DNA evidence was also introduced by analyst Laura Bryant, who told the jury that Rachel Entwistle's DNA was found on the muzzle of the murder weapon, a Colt .22 Diamondback revolver. The prosecution has argued that Entwistle stole the gun from his father-in-law, Joseph Matterrazo, and then returned it after shooting his wife and child before fleeing to England. Entwistle's DNA was also found on the gun, but defense attorney Elliot Weinstein pointed out that Entwistle admitted to firing the weapon on several occasions when he went target-shooting with his in-laws.
The jury also heard testimony that while Entwistle did not return from England to attend the funerals of his wife and baby girl he did send flowers. Flower shop owner Kelly Egan testified that she received a phone call from Entwistle on January 30, 2006, and he specified that he wanted an orange rose and a white lily and a card to read in capital letters "My Orange Rose and My Lilly For Always xoxoxo."
Benjamin Pryor, a friend of Rachel and Neil Entwistle's from their college years at the University of York, also took the stand and described the two as a very fun-loving couple. Pryor saw Entwistle on several occasions after his return to England. Pryor testified that Entwistle seemed upset and not himself. Pryor also told the jury that Neil explained that he was "thinking about filing for bankruptcy" because he was carrying a heavy mortgage and that Rachel was spending his money decorating the house.
Pryor also testified that Entwistle told him that he "had talked to the state and local police" about the murders before flying back to England to be with his family. That statement contradicts testimony from law enforcement.
Another friend of Entwistle's, Dashiel Munding, testified that he was with Entwistle on the day he was arrested in London. Munding said after he received a cell phone call from a police officer, "he didn't want to talk to the police, that he would rather return home, and asked if there was some other way of getting off the platform."
Testimony wrapped just as the jury learned user name "ent" logged into his accounts on Jan. 20, 2006, at 12:30 -- a scant few hours after the murders. The jury will learn today what prosecutors say "ent" was searching for on his computer as the bodies of Rachel and Lillian Rose lay dead in a bed, just feet away.