Missing Details

Accounts of the specific “shots fired” details are scarce and vary wildly. Accounts range from two shots fired (an unlikely minimum) to more than one “barrage” or “volley” of gunfire. I’ve been unable to find any inventory of spent cartridge casings or any documentation of trajectory analysis. Neither of the projectiles that took flesh appear to have been recovered.

There is a paucity of even descriptions of the firearms recovered from the shooting scene. Phyllis Vines writes, “… police searched the house and confiscated guns, automatic pistols, rifles, the diamond-studded blue-steel revolver belonging to (Dr. Sweet’s brother) Otis’ roommate, the narcotics agent William Davis.” Later Vines adds, “The testimony most damaging to the Sweets came from Detective George Fairbairn, the arresting officer who identified the weapons. They found two .38 Colt revolvers hidden in a mattress in an upstairs bedroom, along with a black automatic Remington shotgun covered by a pillowcase. All were fully loaded. In an upstairs dresser were a German automatic revolver (sic), two shotguns, and a bag of ammunition.” A double-barrel shotgun was also seized as evidence. Evidence tracking seems to have been sloppy. Vines: “Inspector (Norton) Schuknecht had testified there was no inventory of all the exhibits, including boxes of bullets that Lieutenant William Johnson maintained for safekeeping.”