Print this pagePrint this page

Time Line - continued (4)

Time-line Continues

Questions Presented to Assistant DA W. Michael Goggins in the Fall of 1998

  • According to Chief Luippold, Adam repeated the words, “Rolling Green” repeatedly to officers at the scene of the greenhouse. He made a point of asking my family if Rolling Green had any significance to us when we toured the greenhouse with him on 9/30/97. He quoted Adam as having said it at the scene. Why wasn’t this ever investigated?
  • Why were statements made by students Adam had only known for a few weeks accepted by the DA’s office as credible? Why weren't these students questioned immediately, and separately?
  • Similarly, how can the DA’s office accept these students’ statements regarding the order and time of events as credible? Weren't the students themselves alledged to have been drinking?
  • Why wasn’t the death of Adam G. Prentice ever investigated as anything other than a speculation based on his age, sex, and status (unknown student)? Is it the consensus of the DA’S office, which supervises the five college community, to applaud the unnecessary death of a brilliant student, a student who would have had every chance for surviving had he been protected, rather than suspected, as a job well-done?

Do unto Others as you Wish to be Done unto You

  • Would you applaud this same investigation as a job “well done” if the suspect had been your wife or daughter--if your loved one had been restrained and accused of muttering noises rather than intelligible words--accused of abusing alcohol because speech patterns were unclear, even though she was impaled with an 8 in. shard of glass while "muttering" unintelligibly?
  • Would you state publicly that you supported your deceased wife or child's investigation when you learned that the crime scene was ordered cleaned up without preserving it 12 minutes after she was found? That within 90 minutes, the cleanup was complete? That the UMPD smelled alcohol on her, and that was all the evidence they needed to “determine that she was alone,” before daybreak could reveal suspicions not seen in the dark, and before witnesses or anyone with information had been asked to come forward? And you hadn’t been notified because the UMPD “didn’t know her identity, even though she had a picture ID in her back pocket staring them in the face when they cut her clothes off, and she verbally identified herself well enough for them to run a CORI check on her, which listed YOU as next of kin, 1 1/2 hours before her death?
  • I must speculate that your answer would be no. Why then, do you allow my son and my family to suffer this travesty of injustice?


Concerns Overlooked by the Office of the DA

  • Please explain why no forensic testing has been completed on Adam’s clothing because his death has been ruled "accidental," yet the clothes can't be released to me because it may someday become "suspicous?"
  • Please explain why you called Adam’s death “accidental” until I requested that Peter Robbins, PI., photograph them. Suddenly, you referred to Adam’s death as, “potentially criminal.”
  • Please explain why, two weeks before Attorney Davis requested that Peter photograph Adam’s clothes, you specifically stated in correspondence that Adam’s death was “accidental--and consequently, low-priority for lab testing.” Which is it, accidental, or potentially criminal? If accidental, kindly release the clothes to a neutral party now, and I’ll have them tested privately. If potentially criminal, kindly have them tested now by the state lab.
  • Why haven’t Criminalists reviewed photographs, tapes, reports, etc, to reconstruct the crime scene? Why haven’t you requested testing of the scene--there is still glass, and luminol will pick up blood droppings for years.
  • Why hasn’t the glass allegedly pulled from Adam ever been tested? Why was it cleaned? Is it a different color than the greenhouse glass? Was it even glass from the greenhouse?
  • Why didn't the lab tested Adam’s blood for Rohyptnol, tetrahydrocannibinol, scopolamine, etc. - these drugs are epidemic within college communities.
  • What made the marks on the glass roof? They are not Adam’s prints--they are marks from gloves, a mitt--something covering a hand. The streaks are far too big to be Adam’s--at only 5’3” and 130 lb.
  • Why was I told that Adam fell through the roof and was stabbed upon landing, when there is blood streaked through the prints, and elsewhere, on top of the roof (refer to photographs of roof from the outside)?
  • The roof paint is baked into the glass--only a wet substance could mark the glass--like blood, paint, mud, ink, etc. Prints cannot be left by shoes or body parts otherwise. I have tried every time I’ve visited Amherst this year. It is not possible, regardless of size, without really making an overt effort to rub them into the glass.
  • As you promised in October of 1997, why haven’t I been forwarded updates to the police report? I have nothing dated after 11/23/97, in spite of numerous requests--even a FOI request to President Bulger himself.
  • As requested in October ‘97, please provide all incident reports filed at the University or elsewhere about the death of Adam Prentice--these reports should include, but not be limited to, campus security, Administrative offices, OSHA, public safety, cleanup crew, maintenance repairs, and the MSPolice.
  • As requested since 10/97, please provide the Policy and Procedures for the UMPD, as well as for UMass, Amherst, regarding student accidents, injuries and deaths: both on and off campus.
  • Why was I told that there were no incidents or reports of violent or suspicious crime/activity near the greenhouse within the time frame of Adam’s incident?

Overlooked Concerns About Adam

  • It is unknown how long Adam was unconscious. Police came upon him in his state of injury; yet, they suspected him of a crime and treated him like a suspect rather than a victim. Why was he mistreated? Why wasn't he secured?
  • There is no evidence to prove that Adam was ever in the greenhouse--indeed the evidence remaining (his body, with no other cuts or other injuries made by glass; other injuries were made by restraints.)
  • Please explain why a "35" was reported a few minutes prior to the greenhouse alarms. This incident was supervised by the MSP with UMPD assisting, as was another incident within the same 15 minutes. Isn't it a violation of the Mass. Open Records Act and Campus Security Act to number-code incidents in a report in such a manner that the general public cannot understand? Doesn't this hide high risk crimes from the public, preventing them from avoiding high risk areas, thus jeopardizing their own safety?
  • Why does your office refer to this death as alcohol-related? “Excessive drinking” is not the cause of Adam’s death, nor does his autopsy imply that excessive use of alcohol contributed to his death. Indeed, his BAL was only 0.12 - slightly above the driving limit, but he wasn’t driving, and he was 21. The cause of death was listed officially as, “a stab wound of glass which caused massive loss of blood.”

Overlooked Concerns About Others

  • How many other individuals were treated for cuts or punctures at any of the local hospitals from 9/27-9/29/97?
  • How many crimes in the last 2 years -- stabbings, assaults, drug-related, robberies rapes -- have been committed along the North Pleasant Street strip through campus from the lights at the North end to Amherst Center at the south end? If this is a high crime area, shouldn't it be publicized as such?

Overlooked Concerns About UMPD Report

  • The UMPD reports are contradictory. All responding officers on the morning of 9/27/97 refer to the scene as, “dark, no light, visibility was poor or nonexistent, with no internal lighting within the greenhouse, and external lighting blocked by Morrill South and a large tree.” Back-ups were called in to light the scene so EMT’s could work.
  • Yet, during UMPD officers Flanders and Booth’s reconstruction, the scene now appears well-lit, with visibility stretching for all directions at Morrill and the greenhouses... Was this a true reconstruction: same time of day, same month, same weather, same phase of the moon, same foot traffic-- Same activities pursuant? Homecoming weekend, and a "35" across the street? Or were the two just “role play make-pretending” that the scene was “reconstructed?”

Back to Top

Please pursue justice for Adam by demanding accountability for those who were negligent; aggressively investigate his death to find those who have yet to be charged.

  • What happened to the second person Booth saw running through the building in a white tee shirt at the same time as he came across Adam in a blood-red soaked tee shirt collapsed outside the greenhouse? Did the second person escape into the darkness?
  • The greenhouse alarm report proves that two alarms went off before the UMPD had responded: 1:25 and 1:33 a.m, respectively. Was this the other person escaping?
  • Why have I been denied access to the 911 calls? Why did your office state that there were no 911 calls? If there were no calls, why did Chief Luippold say I'd have to pay $4,000 for a copy of the tape? Did my son make the call; if not, whom? Someone saw, someone knows something, yet your office refuses to help me. Why?
  • Why didn’t I receive all photographs? I have several pictures missing from both sets.
  • I have yet to receive the written crime statistics for the last 5 years from UMass. I received a generic, FBI style print out that was not kept by, nor specific to, this institution.
  • Why were the anonymous calls to the Hampshire Gazette never aggressively pursued? Why did UMPD wait seven weeks to question the editor who had received the calls, and only then because my lawyer requested through you to have them do so?
  • Why were'nt the two individuals smashing beer bottles reported by student escort Karla Kleinbergs ever pursued? She gave a detailed description of both.

An Investigation Based on Speculations

  • Why wasn't (name withheld) written statement regarding Adam being chased and pushed ever investigated? This was reached me on the Cape, and made so much more sense than a "B&E."
  • Why are you satisfied that Adam Prentice was the only person in the greenhouse? There is NO EVIDENCE to prove Adam was ever inside! He was found outside, and no one, according to the UMPD, has ever come forward to dispute that. You state in correspondence to Attorney Davis on 11/25/97 that if additional information surfaces, you will investigate. New evidence has surfaced -- blood on the roof, questions regarding the color of the glass pulled from Adam differing from the rooftop color --, a 911 call, an extra intrusion alarm -- a witness who saw a young white male being chased by police officers --yet, you do nothing.
  • In the same correspondence, you refer to crime stats at UMass for four years--I did not receive crime stats unique to UMass. I received a computer generated report of generic content, not the stats specific to UMass, listing offense by offense--including categories unique to each offense. Under Federal law, I am entitled to these reports.
  • Why do you call (name withheld) statement about Adam being chased and pushed speculative, but the UMPD’s “alcohol-related” speculations are applauded by you as an exemplary investigation? Their entire investigation is “speculative,” is it not?

Missing Documentation

  • Through your office, I requested UMASS emergency protocols, not the Amherst Fire Department's protocols. Yet, you continually refer to the AFD having jurisdiction for response to emergencies. That is not what I asked you for: again, I repeat: Please forward me the protocols I have asked for since 9/97 RE: UMass written policy/procedure on reporting student accidents, injury and death--both off and on-campus-- to family, university personnel, and the college community.
  • You state in correspondence dated 11/25/97 that I have received virtually every aspect of the investigation. Where are the following aspects I have asked for:
    • The protocols as mentioned above, the 911 tapes, radio transmissions
    • All officer’s unedited hand-written notes that would cover investigating inside the greenhouse -- the statements given to me were a typed compilation.
    • Where are the reports from PSO, cleanup, OSHA, campus escort service (K. Kleinbergs)
    • Where are MSP reports. They were present and have, according to you, been consulted several times this year.
    • Where are the UMPD police reports dated since 11/23/98?
  • Is your statement to State Representative John C. Klimm on 1/5/98 describing UMPD Detectives Flanders and Grabiec as being among the most experienced, well trained detectives in the area true?
  • Why do you refer to the individual (name withheld) who cut his hand at the same time Adam was injured as a UMass student? Why does the police log report that this individual was transported by ambulance to the same hospital Adam was taken to because an anonymous caller phoned in to report a male bleeding profusely by the hand, but you state that the police responded to broken glass from as far as 5 stories up? How can this be so when UMPD officer Booth couldn’t even hear the greenhouse glass break when he was allegedly right there as it was being broken?
  • In correspondence dated 1/30/98, you comment to State Representative John Klimm that the environmental staff who responded to the scene completed a log sheet on their involvement. You state that this had previously been forwarded to Mrs. Prentice. In spite of repeated requests, I have never received these reports.
  • You also state that you are enclosing copies of the departmental policy regarding medical emergencies, training and disaster preparedness. I believe I have made it quite clear that I have, to date, still not received this information.
  • You state that, regrettably, as “time passes by unanswered questions become more and more elusive.” Why then, don’t you demand a proper investigation, and get them answered?

I have a Right to Know

  • Was Adam stabbed by another individual outside the greenhouse or along North Pleasant Street? Have you conducted DNA testing to determine this?
  • Have you requested that criminalists and forensic experts recreate the scene by measuring the force of the fall vs. the distance in comparison to the depth and location of the stab wound?
  • Do Adam’s clothes have another’s blood or fibers on them? Is there glass on them? He could not have fallen through without absorbing glass fibers.What is the stain on Adam’s shirt? It wasn’t there at 11 o’clock on 9/26/97 -- the time that the photograph of Adam with dorm friends was taken. At that time, the shirt was solid white with a logo.

You Have an Obligation to Help

  • If the UMPD has nothing to hide, why have I been denied access to the officers who found Adam?
  • Why was I told it would cost $4,000 to make a copy of an E911 tape?
  • Why have I been ignored when requesting police protocol for reporting incidents on campus to families?
  • To administrative procedures regarding student injury, accident and deaths--on, and off campus?
  • Why can't I really have Adam’s clothes?
  • Why can't the crime scene be tested?
  • Have you studied other suspicious incidents and stabbings within the same general area to see if there are any recurring patterns?


I pray Adam rests in peace. I trust he does.

I do not. I will not rest until I see Adam's reputation restored to the more-than-exemplary life he led. Until then, Assistant District Attorney Goggins, President William Bulger, Chief of Police John Luippold, I hold his blood on your hands.

Previous page: Time Line - continued (3) | Next page: Dedication