Current Affairs Blood-stained shorts could link Dahlgren to murders

30-07-2013 | Jan Velinger

Investigators have new evidence in the case against American national Kevin Dahlgren, suspected of having killed four relatives in the Czech Republic in May. According to public broadcaster Czech TV, which acquired documentation a U.S. court, a pair of blood-stained shorts was found in the suspect’s luggage after he was arrested in the United States. Whether the evidence will pave the way for extradition, however, remains an open question.

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Kevin Dahlgren, photo: archive of Czech PoliceKevin Dahlgren, photo: archive of Czech Police It’s no secret that the United States rarely allows the extradition of its own but the case of suspected murderer Kevin Dahlgren, the Czech authorities are hoping, will be different. The Czech Republic formally filed an extradition request earlier this month; now, Czech TV has learned, there is an additional twist: key evidence potentially connecting Mr Dahlgren to the crime: a pair of shorts with blood stains from at least one of the victims.

According to the extradition request, cited by Czech TV, there is no doubt that blood on the apparel belonged to one of the victims, David Harok, while it was highly probable that additional stains were blood from other family members, Martin Harok and Veronika Haroková, all murdered in their home in Brno. Twenty-five blood stains in all were found and experts suggest it could be difficult for the suspect to provide an alternative explanation – other than having directly committed the crime – for how the blood of several people got on the piece of clothing. Daniel Vaněk is a Czech forensic specialist:

“Unless the suspect can convincingly explain how the blood of several victims got on the apparel, it can be used as key evidence.”

The defence is likely to try and have the evidence rejected on several grounds, including whether tests followed regular procedure. In the meantime, the 20-year-old suspect remains in custody; his lawyer, not long ago, was unable to secure his release on bail.

Harok family, photo: Czech TelevisionHarok family, photo: Czech Television The extradition request, cited by Czech TV, also contained testimonies by witnesses that prior to the murders the relatives of Dahlgren – a four-member family of mother, father and two sons – had grown increasingly anxious during the cousin’s stay: Mr Dahlgren ignored personal privacy and also cited was bizarre and unsettling behaviour, his allegedly walking around the family home at night, knife in hand, as the family supposedly slept. A bloody knife was one of the items found at the scene of the crime. Blood was also found on the leg of a barstool.

Mr Dahlgren had spent around three weeks with the family prior to the murders. The victims are believed to have been killed on-by-one and failed to anticipate any attack: there were no signs of struggle among any of the victims. Mr Dahlgren managed to avoid arrest by flying home to the United States where he was detained at the airport by the F.B.I.

Whether Kevin Dahlgren is extradited to the Czech Republic remains a big “if”; should the U.S. comply, he would stand trial here and could face a life sentence.

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