The Coldest Case
Mallove hired Christy Frazier to help him edit the bimonthly publication. The pages of Infinite Energy , according to Frazier, were to include everything from technical articles and patents to related news and events in the energy industry. Mallove had faith in the power of the written word, believing that it could help reignite U. Foreign nations were more receptive to the potential energy source.
Mallove chronicled this fledgling industry in Infinite Energy. By the late s, some deep-pocketed investors began to emerge, sniffing around for potential business opportunities. When these investors pounced on promising ideas, they were often anonymous, careful not to tarnish their reputations by investing in fringe science. With these new means, Mallove moved his entire team to a warehouse, where he based Infinite Energy and a laboratory with three full-time technicians. Long folding tables topped with computers, aquariums, buckets, tubing, and other gear filled the otherwise bare concrete office.
Scientists and researchers streamed in and out day and night, Frazier says. Les Case, a trained chemical engineer, experimented with a process he called catalytic fusion. When heated properly, he theorized, it would create a Pons-Fleischmann-style effect. The writer, Charles Platt, reviewed Infinite Energy with a mix of awe and dubiousness.
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They thought his passions were getting the better of his credibility. Among those who tried to reason with Mallove, telling him to distance himself from other cold-fusion supporters, was Edmund Storms, then a nuclear chemist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His angel investors had grown antsy as well. Mallove retained the editorial staff but shuttered the lab, laying off its employees.
Finding new revenue streams was challenging. With cold fusion still yet to be realized, people were losing hope in its likelihood. The donor, who also desired anonymity, insisted that Mallove create a nonprofit venture, the New Energy Foundation, to provide grants to researchers. Mallove reasoned that the more he was in the public eye, the greater the potential he might cross paths with other funders. The Andersons had missed rent that January and February.
In March , the Andersons neglected their rent again. Working with a lawyer, he moved to evict the family. The attorney did not respond to multiple interview requests. The Department of Energy announced it would review the latest findings in cold-fusion research. By all accounts, Curtis says, Mallove seemed in good spirits during the early spring of Once McAvoy and Reilly were out of the picture in , Curtis dug back into the case. He drove from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania, stopping along the way to interview people with whom Mallove had come into contact over the years: former magazine employees, nuclear scientists, intellectual foes.
In May , Curtis was working an evening shift when Jill Sebastian, a young mother of three from Norwich, came to the police station. Schaffer had recently visited her home with his girlfriend, Candace Foster. Clearly upset, Schaffer had left the room with Foster. He searched for any clue he and his colleagues might have missed. It had been filed as evidence long ago, but investigators had never identified the owner.
Curtis noticed something odd: Grass clippings covered a bike tire, trash, everything in the yard—except for the keys. He showed her the key chain. When Curtis and a colleague later questioned Schaffer, he stuck to part of the story he had told six years before. Except this time, he told Curtis a very different version of events. She had called Patricia Anderson, who immediately phoned her son. Schaffer insisted to Curtis that he and Brown had gone to the home only to collect his belongings. They had hoped to stage the scene as a robbery.
On April 20, , Schaffer pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and accessory to third-degree robbery for a sentence of 25 years in prison.
Foster, who had already served nearly five years in prison while awaiting trial, pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence. It continues to fight for legitimacy—and to generate scientific drama. The company never ponied up the cash. Rossi claimed Industrial Heat stole his intellectual property.
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Rossi from the E-Cat technology—all without success. Per the usual pattern, nothing substantial was announced after the meeting. To date, not a penny has been spent on a venture. His contributions continue.
Infinite Energy , which weathered the financial storm that many other publications did not, still lands in mailboxes in 21 countries around the world. To him, the property is more than the site of a solved murder. Sign up for free access to 1 article per month and weekly email updates from expert policy analysts. Create a Foreign Policy account to access 1 article per month and free newsletters developed by policy experts.
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To get access to this special FP Premium benefit, subscribe by clicking the button below. July 7, Need an account? Sign up for free access to 1 article per month and weekly email updates from expert policy analysts Sign Up. Already have an account? Log in Sign Up Create a Foreign Policy account to access 1 article per month and free newsletters developed by policy experts Loading. Since her discovery in the Afar region of Ethiopia in by Arizona State University anthropologist Donald Johanson and graduate student Tom Gray, Lucy -- a terrestrial biped -- has been at the center of a vigorous debate about whether this ancient species also spent time in the trees.
Kappelman first studied Lucy during her U. For 10 days, Kappelman and geological sciences professor Richard Ketcham carefully scanned all of her percent-complete skeleton to create a digital archive of more than 35, CT slices. There's only one Lucy, and you want to study her as much as possible," Ketcham said.
So you can see what is inside, the internal details and arrangement of the internal bones. Studying Lucy and her scans, Kappelman noticed something unusual: The end of the right humerus was fractured in a manner not normally seen in fossils, preserving a series of sharp, clean breaks with tiny bone fragments and slivers still in place.
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Pearce confirmed: The injury was consistent with a four-part proximal humerus fracture, caused by a fall from considerable height when the conscious victim stretched out an arm in an attempt to break the fall. Kappelman observed similar but less severe fractures at the left shoulder and other compressive fractures throughout Lucy's skeleton including a pilon fracture of the right ankle, a fractured left knee and pelvis, and even more subtle evidence such as a fractured first rib -- "a hallmark of severe trauma" -- all consistent with fractures caused by a fall.
Without any evidence of healing, Kappelman concluded the breaks occurred perimortem, or near the time of death. The question remained: How could Lucy have achieved the height necessary to produce such a high velocity fall and forceful impact? Kappelman argued that because of her small size -- about 3 feet 6 inches and 60 pounds -- Lucy probably foraged and sought nightly refuge in trees. In comparing her with chimpanzees, Kappelman suggested Lucy probably fell from a height of more than 40 feet, hitting the ground at more than 35 miles per hour.
Based on the pattern of breaks, Kappelman hypothesized that she landed feet-first before bracing herself with her arms when falling forward, and "death followed swiftly.
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Kappelman conjectured that because Lucy was both terrestrial and arboreal, features that permitted her to move efficiently on the ground may have compromised her ability to climb trees, predisposing her species to more frequent falls. Using fracture patterns when present, future research may tell a more complete story of how ancient species lived and died. In addition to the study, the Ethiopian National Museum provided access to a set of 3-D files of Lucy's shoulder and knee for the public to download and print so that they can evaluate the hypothesis for themselves.
Materials provided by University of Texas at Austin. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.