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Sunday, July 11, 2010

St. Paul police missed dead man's bullet wound

Please click onto the COMMENTS for the story.


Anonymous Pioneer Press said...

Body examined after funeral home raises red flag
By Mara H. Gottfried
Updated: 07/09/2010 11:18:20 PM CDT

The body of an 84-year-old St. Paul man, discovered last month by a former police chief, was passed by authorities to a funeral home and embalmed before a bullet wound was discovered.

Now, this series of "small failures" is drawing scrutiny.

Former St. Paul Police Chief William Finney discovered the man dead in his bed last month, looking as if he were asleep. Finney, who is not under suspicion, said he grew up with the man's sons and one had called him from Florida, asking him to check on his dad, Wayne Jerome Wilson Sr.

Finney called police, and officers arrived at the St. Paul residence along with paramedics. The body was released to a funeral home, and a gunshot wound on Wilson's body was later found, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation who couldn't be quoted by name because of the active case.

"It appears that there were a number of small failures that led to this whole situation," and it's likely the entire case will be examined after the investigation is over, the source said.

A gun, found by a funeral home employee, had been in Wilson's bed, Finney said. He added that the man always slept with a gun.

It doesn't appear foul play was involved in the death, the source said. Minneapolis police are conducting a death investigation on behalf of St. Paul.

St. Paul police asked Minneapolis police to take over the case to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. Finney was St. Paul's police chief from 1992 to 2004.

Finney said Wilson's son called him June 19 and told him the following:

Wilson had called him the night before, but his cell phone was off and Wilson left a voice mail saying he thought he'd had a stroke.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous story continued said...

The son, who couldn't be reached for comment Friday, asked Finney to go to Wilson's home in the 700 block of Fuller Avenue and check on his father because he couldn't reach him.

"I grew up with these kids and have known them for over 50 years," Finney said of Wilson's sons. "Mr. Wilson was one of the neighborhood fathers. I've known him for a long, long time."

When Finney got to the house and Wilson didn't answer, he said he called the police. Finney said he and a neighbor went upstairs.

Wilson was in bed, with the covers pulled up and only his head and shoulders exposed, Finney said. "I touched his shoulder and could tell he had passed."

Finney said he didn't pull down the covers. There apparently was not blood at the scene, the source said.

Matt Simpson, St. Paul fire deputy chief of Emergency Medical Services, said he couldn't talk specifically about the case because of the ongoing investigation.

"If there are not obvious signs of trauma, paramedics wouldn't necessarily do a full-body exam," Simpson said.

In the Wilson case, after neither officers nor paramedics found the gunshot wound, the Ramsey County medical examiner's office signed off on releasing the body to Brooks Funeral Home, the source said.

A man came to pick up the body for the funeral home and found the gun in the bed, Finney said. The speculation is that it had been tangled in the sheets or blankets, the source said.

At the funeral home, the person who had transported the body noticed something seemed out of the ordinary and told the funeral director he ought to call the medical examiner's office, the source said. No call was made, and the body was embalmed.

A few days later, the funeral home called the medical examiner's office about the case, and the office picked up Wilson's body, the source said.

George Brooks, Brooks Funeral Home director, said he preferred not to comment Friday.

There is not currently a St. Paul police internal affairs investigation into the case, said police spokesman Andy Skoogman.

Mara H. Gottfried can be reached at 651-228-5262.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They miss bullet wounds but call them out for help on a domestic or something and if you have a torn screen or torn linoleum they won't miss that.

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This story stinks to high heaven! But, then again, anything that maggot Corky touches always does!

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wheres my post?

10:43 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

10:43, knowing what I know about Finney I am no fan of his. I agree with the comment you left, however an opinion isn't the same as having facts and I do not intend to get sued over an anonymous comment.

Thank you for your participation hope to hear more from you.

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


What did I post that hasn't already been published in the local news?

11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I referenced twice Bill Finney went to the Ramsey County Attorney on behalf of Aaron Foster:

1. In 1981 Bill Finney talked to the Ramsey County prosecutor, James Konen about the investigation, (St. Pioneer Press 09-26-2006)."

2. "On March 7, 1985, Aaron Foster was arrested after a disturbance at his home.
It seems Aaron Foster became upset, pointed a gun to Linda Foster's head threatening to kill her. Once again Bill Finney interceded for his friend and even went to the Ramsey County prosecutor, James Konen, again. In a police report, the following was written, "Lt. Finney explained the situation to James Konen who allowed that Aaron could be released pending further investigation."(St. Paul police reports and St. Paul Pioneer Press 9-26-2006"


Bob, I could go on, as this has been all reported in the local and national news media. Who got to you to pull my post. You know I do my research before I post anything.

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


the link in #3. should be:

2:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Twice, the last number (4) in the link was cut off.


"page4" keeps getting dropped off.

2:17 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

INstruction on adding hyperlinks to comment box's HERE

OR below the comment box of this blog are options for posting. Choose the name option and instead of writing in your name for the comment write in the name or heading of your link. Then add the web address in the box below. Make sure you write LINK ABOVE in the commet box so folks know the Link is in the _______said

6:40 PM  
Anonymous LINK TO PAGE 4 said...

Above is a link to page 4

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the information on how to post a link on your site!

I appreciate your help. I may have sounded a little upset with you pulling my post, but everything I posted has been in the public.

Bob, you need to get out and do a little more fishing. I just don't know how you can take it, but keep up the good work you do here, as it is greatly appreciated.

All the best,


8:29 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

No apology nessary. I owe you an apology.

Sorry for the off topic but......I have been fishing. I found some structure on the Mississippi that produces large Walleye, some channel cat and large flatheads and folks pass right by it with their boats headed for the Hastings dam, while my fishing buddies and I reel in one after another. We quit when the night crawlers are gone.


10:47 PM  

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