Real Name: Krystal Lynn Naab
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Ramsey, Illinois
Date: July 23, 1991
Details: On July 23, 1991, sixteen-year-old high school sophomore Krystal Naab was found stabbed to death in her parent's trailer. Several neighbors had noticed a white pickup truck, most likely a Dodge, parked outside of the Nabb trailer earlier that day from around 10AM to 3PM.
In the course of their investigation, the police eventually set their sights on Stuart Heaton, an old friend of Curtis Naab, Krystal's brother. An autopsy showed that she was three months pregnant at the time, the police were suspicious of Stuart because of the cuts on his hands, forehead and body which he claimed were from his job as a carpenter. Authorities soon noticed that he had a truck identical to the one seen by eyewitnesses outside of the Nabb trailer on the day of the murder.
Heaton was indicted in September 1991, and during the investigation, a blood sample taken from Stuart was shown to have been matched the semen found on Krystal's body. The probability of it being someone else was 52,600 to 1. However, Stuart's mother claimed that there was other evidence at the crime scene that did not match Stuart.
At trial, Curtis Naab claimed that he had found Stuart in bed with his older sister, Melanie, about two years earlier. Stuart's wife was also a witness at the trial and stated that Stuart had different clothes on during the afternoon of the murder than he had in the morning. Prosecutors suggested that Stuart had hidden a pair of bloody blue jeans sometime during that day. Two more witnesses gave Stuart an alibi for the time of the murder, but the prosecution was able to show that their testimony was unreliable. For unknown reasons, Stuart did not testify on his own behalf at the trial.
Stuart Heaton was found guilty of first degree murder in the death of Krystal Naab. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Despite this circumstantial evidence and DNA evidence from the prosecution, Stuart's supporters began to claim he was being railroaded. Investigative journalist David Protes began looking into the case after he was convicted. He looked at the records for trucks registered in Ramsey, Illinois, that matched the description of the truck seen outside the Naab home and narrowed down the list to twelve, including Stuart's, that matched the description. One of the other truck owners apparently had a lengthy criminal record and knew Krystal.
According to the statistic on the DNA sample used at trial, there were at least 4,800 people in the United States that had the same profile as the one found on Krystal's body. Stuart's new lawyers found that Dr. Robert Allen, the DNA specialist that testified at Stuart's trial, had retracted his methods that he had used to identify Stuart's DNA on Krystal's body. Protesters stated that the DNA sample on Krystal's body was old and crusty and should not have been used at trial.
Allen also found evidence of subjectivity in Allen's reports, and his colleague felt that the DNA evidence was not strong enough to convict a person. However, the prosecutors maintain that the other evidence, including the various witness statements, and the cuts on Stuart's hand, head and arms were also key in proving Stuart's guilt. To this day, Stuart's guilt or innocence in the case is debated.
Suspects: Stuart Heaton
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the December 16, 1994 episode.
Results: Solved. In 2001, a new round of DNA testing was done on the DNA found on Krystal's body and was again matched to Stuart's DNA; this time there was a 1 in 31 billion chance that the DNA belonged to someone else. Despite the evidence, several of Stuart's defenders still believe Stuart is innocent.
- Krystal Naab on Wikipedia
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- Los Angeles DA questions former Fayette prosecutor
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- Did `Scientific Hocus-Pocus' Convict Murder Suspect?
- Murder Evidence Disputed; Scientist Says Genetic Test Could Clear Convicted Man
- Judge refuses to reconsider ruling in murder case
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- Stuart Heaton request for new trial denied
- Illinois v. Stuart Heaton
- Stuart Heaton Support Website
- Krystal Naab at Find a Grave