Criminal profiler says Geneva woman was strangled

  • Shadwick R. King

    Shadwick R. King

  • Mark Safarik, a crime scene and behavioral analyst for Forensic Behavioral Services, gives testimony Friday during the murder trial of Shadwick R. King. He is accused of killing his wife, Kathleen, by asphyxiating her at their Geneva home and dumping her body along railroad tracks near their home in July 2014.

    Mark Safarik, a crime scene and behavioral analyst for Forensic Behavioral Services, gives testimony Friday during the murder trial of Shadwick R. King. He is accused of killing his wife, Kathleen, by asphyxiating her at their Geneva home and dumping her body along railroad tracks near their home in July 2014. Sandy Bressner/Kane County Chronicle pool photo

  • Shadwick R. King confers with his attorneys Friday in a courtroom at the Kane County Judicial Center in St. Charles.

    Shadwick R. King confers with his attorneys Friday in a courtroom at the Kane County Judicial Center in St. Charles. Sandy Bressner/Kane County Chronicle pool photo

 
 
Updated 3/6/2015 6:09 PM

If Kathleen King somehow fell along the railroad tracks and was fatally injured while jogging the morning of July 6, 2014, in Geneva, where were the scrapes and cuts on her hands, arms and knees from breaking her fall?

Where was the severe and massive head trauma that would have caused the death of the 32-year-old King?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

These were questions posed by police and investigators leading up to charges that her husband, Shadwick R. King, 47, committed the city's first murder since 1975.

Friday, a criminal profiler and expert witness for Kane County prosecutors testified that Kathleen King did have scrapes under her chin, most likely from someone strangling her, and a bruise on the inside of her arm from someone grabbing her.

"It's my opinion she died as the result of manual strangulation," said Mark Safarik, noting the abrasion on Kathleen King's chin was the result of her instinctively moving her head downward while being strangled from the front.

"It creates an abrasion, a contusion in that area," Safarik continued. "It's a common indicator that I have seen in manual strangulation."

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Prosecutors argue Shadwick King killed his wife in a jealous rage after she began having an emotional affair via text messages and social media with a 22-year-old man she had met in Army training months earlier.

Safarik also noted that capillaries, or tiny blood vessels, had burst in Kathleen King's eyes and face, a regular result of strangulation.

Safarik noted there was leaf matter in Kathleen King's hair that would have come from her backyard of her east side home instead of the railroad tracks. He also suggested King was caught by surprise by her attacker since her blood alcohol concentration was around 0.15.

"She did not perceive herself to be in any danger until the attack took place," Safarik said, adding the crime scene was staged. "... In this case, the attempt was to make it look like an accident, that she went running and got hit by a train."

Kane County Public Defender Kelli Childress questioned Safarik's credibility, starting with the $350-per-hour fee that he charges.

She suggested he embellished his role in murder investigations and reviews of violent crimes, that his scholarly articles published were really advertisements for his services, and that he inflated the number of articles he published.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Police officers tend to twist theories into facts," Childress wrote on a large dry erase board and showed jurors during Tuesday's opening arguments, attributing the actual statement to Safarik.

The trial before Judge James Hallock is expected to last two weeks.

If convicted, King faces between 20 and 60 years in prison with no chance for early release.

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