Cheating is F'd Up - Part One
F'd Up · 47 minutes ·

Cheating is F'd Up - Part One

Cheating Is F'd Up Part One Recap
Written by Brandi Abbott

This episode starts with a content warning for sexual assault/domestic violence/violence.

In 2010, while the NC SBI Crime Lab audit was happening, a defense attorney named Brad Bannon was concerned about a recent case of his. Brad was the type of lawyer who always thought just 30 more minutes of work would break the case – those 30 more minutes would often turn into hours, days and even weeks. The infamous Duke Lacrosse Rape Case was one of these. A woman accused David Evans, Reade Seligmann, and Collin Finnerty of sexual assault. Then District Attorney Mike Nifong supplied thousands of pages of DNA evidence done by an independent lab because he didn’t like that the SBI investigation revealed that the boys were innocent. Brad noticed that the images of the DNA didn’t match and did a ton of research into DNA so that he could understand it. This led to him being able to tear apart the expert witness in court and the boys were found not guilty. So, that’s the kind of lawyer Brad is.

In 2007, Kirk Turner was a successful dentist who had been married to Jennifer Turner for 23 years. Jennifer was a horse lover who wanted to start a breeding farm. She had nine horses and this took up a lot of her time, and occasionally Kirk would help her out after work. Everyone was shocked when Kirk announced he was leaving Jennifer and their daughter asked him if he was cheating on Jennifer. He denied it but he was lying. Jennifer took him to court and he was ordered to pay her $30,000 a month. She then found out about the affair and sued the other woman in an alienation of affection suit. North Carolina is one of the few states who recognizes alienation of affection and it allows a spouse to sue a third party for wrongful acts that deprived one of a lack of affection from their spouse. This lawsuit pissed off Kirk and he told Jennifer that there was more than one way to end a marriage… Which is ominous.

On September 12, 2007, Kirk and his friend, Greg Smithson, went to pick up some welding equipment from the garage/shed (pretty sure here in NC, we would just call it a “shop”) at the house that he and Jennifer had previously shared, but now it was just Jennifer living there. Within a couple of minutes, Greg heard screaming or fighting, and a couple of minutes after that Greg limped out of the shed, covered in blood. Smithson didn’t know what was happening and ran into the shop to call 911 – and that’s when he found Jennifer’s dead body.

The police arrived at the scene and eventually Chief Deputy Jerry Hartman was called and he arrived a few hours after both Kirk and Jennifer’s body had been taken to the hospital. Hartman went into the shop and examined the scene. There was blood everywhere. He saw clothes in the office area including Kirk’s t-shirt and jeans, which had to be cut from him. Hartman left the scene to get a search warrant so he could check everything out properly. Keith wants to know why he needs a search warrant at an obvious crime scene and Priya is like well we have scientists not being scientists so at least the cop is acting like a cop!

Hartmant got the warrant and was back within a few hours which is when the shirt and jeans were photographed. Because there was blood on the boxes, table, floor, and basically all over the place, a discussion took place between Hartman and the on scene investigator, they wanted to bring in a bloodstain pattern analyst and called in the SBI Crime Lab.

The bloodstained clothing was taken to the sheriff’s office and Hartman went over to the hospital where Kirk was. Kirk had been stabbed twice in the leg and had lost a ton of blood. Kirk told Hartman that Jennifer had attacked him with a decorative spear that was leaning against the wall. Priya takes a moment to ask what the fuck is going on in North Carolina with all of these rich white people just having decorative weapons laying around – first Michael Peterson with “The Staircase” and now this! Kirk said that Jennifer shoved the blade into his left leg and then stabbed him again. The second stab was about an inch away from hitting his femoral artery. According to the News and Observer, Kirk reached into his right pocket, pulled out his knife and slashed at her. He slashed her neck twice and severed her carotid artery. According to testimony at the trial, her trachea, windpipe and jugular were cut. His story is basically that Jennifer attacked him and he just started flailing in self-defense.

On September 14th, 2007 SBI Special Agent Gerald Thomas went to the crime scene to investigate the bloodstain patterns covering everything. This was two days after everything had taken place and a lot of the evidence had been taken to the sheriff’s office so he headed there next.

They switch over to a “Science Sidebar” real quick and Priya gives us a quick definition of blood stain pattern analysis and how they are studied. She tells us that there are three types of blood stains: passive stains, transfer stains, or projected or impact stains. Transfer stains result from objects coming into contact with existing blood stains and leaving wipes, swipes, or other pattern transfers behind.

Gerald Thomas finished his examinations that same day and completed his report about two weeks later. His report included notes about a large bloodstain on Kirk’s shirt and that it was a Transfer bloodstain pattern resulting from a bloody hand being wiped on the shirt.

The day of Jennifer’s death, Kirk’s buddy Greg had gone outside because he was uncomfortable with the conversation Kirk and Jennifer had involving sex. Kirk confessed he had changed the subject right after Smithson left as he needed to discuss some papers with her. One of these was to force the sale of her beloved horse farm and the other was an affidavit from her first husband, saying their marriage had failed due to her obsessive love of horses. Priya said she watched an episode of “48 Hours” in which Kirk was on the stand being super apologetic and explaining he only took the papers to her to illustrate how awful the divorce process could become. Priya and Keith, having been divorced, think that’s bull and that he took the papers there to rile her up. Priya says that she’s mostly been concentrating on the science and the SBI aspect of this case in her research and it isn’t her place to say whether he’s guilty or innocent, but she’s been like “well why would she stab him”. Priya said there’s no chance that Kirk thought this woman, who cares more about horses than anything else, wouldn’t be beyond upset over the sale of her horse farm and that there’s a very good chance he wanted to use it to get her to drop the lawsuit against the woman he cheated on her with. Priya says she gets why Jennifer stabbed him and that she went for the leg, not the heart or head, and that on her second stab she got closer to his balls, and that that’s what she thinks she was aiming for. Priya goes on to say that she 100% believes Jennifer was provoked, reacted, and paid for it with her life.

The ADA, Greg Brown, was upset about how long everything was taking. He and the prosecutors had a theory that Kirk killed Jennifer and then injured himself, and Keith said he had been thinking the same. Chief Deputy Hartman thought it was an argument gone wrong and that maybe Jennifer stabbed Kirk and tried to run and that he grabbed her killed her. The end result was the same either way, Kirk killed Jennifer, it’s all just a matter of whether or not it was in self-defense. The police and prosecutors were convinced it wasn’t, so the case was brought before a grand jury. Kirk was charged with murder on December 13th of 2007 with basically no evidence that it was anything but self defense. Grand juries are much easier to convince than trial juries so Gerald Thomas was going to have to prove to a trial jury that Kirk murdered Jennifer.

In the next episode, we’ll learn what happened at the trial and what the SBI determined happened.

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