THE MEDIA: FACT AND FICTION

“The advertisements are the most truthful part of a newspaper.”

– Thomas Jefferson, US President

 

From the beginning, the media was used by the prosecution to build a case against Brian. The prosecutor, Renee Dupuis, manipulated facts and made numerous unsubstantiated claims to the press in an attempt to paint a picture, provoke the public and create anger and outrage. ADA Dupuis irresponsibly and prematurely made statements to the media that had no basis in fact and were later determined to be false. ADA Dupuis planted seeds and the media cultivated them into fiction. As a result, Brian was tried in the court of public opinion.

Moreover, during the months leading to Brian’s trial, television and print reporters presented numerous stories about Brian and this case. These reports were filled with inaccuracies and lies that were never corrected or retracted. The media irresponsibly and negligently failed to investigate properly and verify sources that were used to portray Brian negatively.

There were countless inaccurate statements and bold face lies reported by the press – too many to refute each and every one at this time. However, we felt that it was important not to ignore the manipulation of the press and therefore have decided to address some of the most blatant and easily discredited lies printed about Brian. We will be responsible and forthcoming and update this section should any older stories surface.

The following are excerpts from newspaper articles following the death and at the time of trial. It is our attempt to separate fact from fiction. This is being published to show that Brian has nothing to hide. He never has. His version of events never changed, from the first time he was interviewed by police in 1996 until today.

 

THE PROSECUTOR

The prosecutor, ADA Renee Dupuis, made unsubstantiated claims to the media that later, after investigation, proved to be incredible and false.

For more info on Renee Dupuis please read:

Mass Lawyer’s Weekly  and Romney takes pass on Dupuis

 

 The Fiction

Starting on January 26, 1996, ADA Rene Dupuis gave several interviews with the press telling reporters that Brian had a history of abuse in his previous relationships with children. In one article ADA Dupuis stated that Brian “assaulted another girlfriend’s toddler several times a year ago, holding that child’s head underwater in a bathtub.” Although ADA Dupuis never identified this former girlfriend or where this information originated, she went on to tell reporters that this alleged former girlfriend claimed that Brian was “abusive to her small child, and she left him as a result.” It is important to note that ADA Dupuis also used this false statement against Brian at subsequent court hearings, where no actual proof was necessary.

The Facts

The ADA’s claims were determined to be unsubstantiated and false. Brian had no history of abuse, nor were there ever any credible allegations of abuse ever made against Brian. Records prove that prior to Brian’s arrest, no former girlfriends of Brian had ever contacted the authorities alleging abuse by Brian. He had never been investigated for abuse; no police or Department of Social Service reports exist naming Brian as a suspect of abuse; and Brian had never been questioned, arrested or charged with any type of abuse whatsoever. At no time during Brian’s trial or at any other hearings did any former girlfriends testify claiming Brian was abusive.

This is called arguing facts not in evidence. She had proof early on that it was not true but put it out to the jury regardless just to paint a picture.

Note: We were contacted by a former girlfriend of Brian’s that explained that she was interviewed by investigators from the ADA’s office. During the interview she told investigators that Brian was very good with her two young boys when they dated, describing Brian as a “big teddy bear.” The investigators, without warning or explanation, promptly ended the interview.

 

The Fiction

According to news reports, ADA Dupuis told reporters that Brian had given “inconsistent statements” to investigators. She further claimed that Brian admitted to shaking the child stating, “He shook him quite violently.”

Additionally, ADA Dupuis reported yet another version of events from the night Christopher died. She told reporters that after an argument about a “Ricki Lake” talk show, Ms. Sneed went upstairs, leaving Brian alone with the children. Ms. Dupuis then claimed that after hearing a “thump” and Christopher’s sister going upstairs, Ms. Sneed rushed down stairs.

 

The Facts

Brian did not give inconsistent statements to investigators. His version of events has never changed from the first night he was interviewed until today. When interviewed, Brian told investigators that he and Ms. Sneed arrived together to find Christopher, he was convulsing and having some type of seizure. In at least one of Ms. Sneed’s many versions, she confirmed this. Also, while Ms. Sneed was present, Brian attempted to resuscitate Christopher through light shaking, clearing his mouth, and performing CPR.

Most astoundingly, ADA Dupuis offered yet another version of events from that night, different even from Ms. Sneed’s numerous and ever-changing stories. This version of events is not supported by any police statements or testimony. In fact, records show that Ms. Dupuis’ version of events, as reported in the media, was not supported anywhere.

State Police Sgt. Kevin Butler testified (Trial Vol. IV P.13, lines 5-6: “She (Ami) said that both Brian and she went immediately down to the basement…”

The Fiction

According to news reports, ADA Dupuis told reporters that a bite mark was found by the Medical Examiner on the child’s face. It was implied that this injury, as well as several other injuries all over the child’s body, were proven to be attributed to Brian. The ADA hired a forensic dentist to examine the bite mark in hopes of having a “smoking gun” linking Brian to Christopher’s death.

The Facts

The State’s forensic dentist did examine the bite mark on Christopher’s face. In a report, the dentist determined that the bite mark and teeth used were too small to be consistent with an adult. It was therefore determined that another child must have inflicted the bite mark. In police statements, Ms. Sneed had stated that her daughter Tarissa had bitten Christopher on the face days before his death.

Once again, ADA Dupuis argued facts not in evidence as she had this information prior to the trial and yet brought it up to paint a picture.

It should also be noted that there was never one single piece of physical evidence, medical or otherwise, linking Brian to a single injury on the child.

 

THE REPORTERS

As you would expect, Brian’s case was exploited in the media. A “bouncer,” a baby and a death; the perfect storm or the perfect ingredients for a dramatic story, void of the truth. The media was whipped into a feeding frenzy.  Sensationalism is irresponsible reporting with unverified information. In this case, reporters must be held accountable for promoting shock and anger at the expense of accuracy.

The Fiction

The media reported that Ms. Dupuis and a friend of the family told the reporters that two weeks before the boy died, he was rushed to St. Anne’s Hospital by Brian, who claimed the child had fallen down a flight of stairs. The media went on to report that this friend of the mother’s family, Sandy Rioux, gave an interview outside the courtroom where she stated, “He (Brian) called (Ms. Sneed) at school and said (Christopher) fell down the stairs and got hurt. At first she believed him, but then things just didn’t add up.” Ms. Rioux went on to tell reporters that less than a week before the boy’s death, Ms. Sneed’s daughter told her mother that Brian had hit Christopher.

The Facts

Every statement made to reporters by Sandy Rioux was entirely fabricated and complete lies. Investigators later confirmed that Sandy Rioux was not a friend of the family; she did not know Brian or Ms. Sneed; and she had no actual knowledge of this case other than what she had read in the newspapers or invented. We know for a fact, by Ms. Sneed’s own admissions and testimony, that Brian was not present when Christopher fell down the stairs and was taken to the ER by Ms. Sneed, nor did Brian ever hit Christopher. Amazingly, Ms. Rioux was a complete fraud who was merely looking for 15 minutes of fame at Brian’s expense. Most disturbing was the fact that the media did not even take the time to verify their source or to confirm her credibility.

In support of this particular fact and in proving our general position that the media was negligent in not verifying information all for the sake of self serving sensationalism, please read the actual police statement of Sandy Rioux.

 

The Fiction

Brian was labeled “the bouncer boyfriend.” The media, in an attempt to sell newspapers, created the illusion of a bouncer on the rampage that killed a child.

The Facts

Brian worked security at a nightclub a few nights a week. This was a second job for Brian. At the time, he was working full time at a pre-cast concrete company. He worked two jobs to provide for his 4-year old daughter. He had also recently interviewed for and was awaiting appointment of a position as hospital security for the pediatric wing/building of St. Anne’s Hospital being renovated across the street from the hospital. He had also just filled out an application for an EMT/volunteer firefighter with the Westport Fire Department.

 

The Fiction

During Brian’s trial, the media reported the testimony of Dr. Eli Newberger, director of the child protection team at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Reporters took excerpts from Dr. Newberger’s testimony writing, “Any efforts to revive the Fall River toddler were doomed because the child probably was dead seconds after he was hit so hard that it was ‘comparable to a fall from a second-story window.’” Reporters wrote that it was Dr. Newberger’s theory, “The child was held and forcefully struck against some hard surface.”

The Facts

Dr. Eli Newberger is a frequent witness for the state receiving considerable compensation for his testimony. Dr. Newberger has no forensic or pathology credentials and has been called out by experts in the forensic and pathology community for statements with little to no foundation in scientific truth. He also admitted on the stand that he actually had no first hand knowledge of any facts in this case. He was reading from the medical examiner’s report.

In one example, Dr. Michael Laposata, Pathologist in Chief at Vanderbilt University Medical Hospital, who has reviewed all available medical evidence in this case, has confirmed that in fact Christopher’s injuries sustained in the fall ten days earlier were “survivable and treatable.” Moreover, Dr. Laposata has expressed great concern over unfounded statements comparing child injuries to “falls from second story windows onto concrete.”

There is no science behind this statement. In fact, it is actually contradicted, verbatim, in the field of forensic research. Dr. Newberger has provided the same cookie cutter reference in other cases as well, most notable the Louis Woodward case just months after Brian’s trial in 1997. This particular example is one made for visual, dramatic effect for the jury with a sole purpose to enrage the public and the jury. For more on this topic please read, New Evidence: New Diagnosis

 

In closing, it is important to understand that the media was used as a tool, and they played their part perfectly. As you might expect, Brian’s case was exploited by the media and an inaccurate and one-sided picture was presented to the public. As a result, Brian was tried in the court of public opinion.

Although we merely addressed a handful of the numerous inaccuracies and untruths, we believe it is obvious to conclude that the media reports are, at the very least, unreliable. We ask you to please consider, when reading the media reports, separate the fact from the fiction and question everything that was reported about Brian and this case. This website contains information from police statements and court testimony – the “facts.” Many more of these inaccuracies, or “fiction,” are further detailed on the  Issues of Concern page of this website.

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION WHICH MAY BE OF ASSISTANCE TO THIS CASE, PLEASE SEND A CONFIDENTIAL EMAIL TO INFO@BRIANPEIXOTO.COM

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “THE MEDIA: FACT AND FICTION

  1. Supporter

    I remember this case …its shocking that the papers can print such lies, there was no way Brian was going to get a fair trial!!

    Reply
  2. Supporter

    I know. I remember the story about the bite mark on the child. They (the press) were making it sound like Brian did that to him. I don’t remember them ever correcting the story after it was discovered that it was not him at all. WOW!

    Reply

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