Here is a preview of an upcoming update on the Danielle Kurin/Jack Cantin story.
Fact: Kurin claimed to have found human remains belonging to missing Montecito mudslide victim Jack Cantin, whose body was not found.
Fact: DNA testing eventually showed the bones were not human, but animal, probably cow.
Fact: Kurin was desperately trying to get tenure at @ucsantabarbara despite her dept recommending against it.
Hypothesis: Kurin thought finding the missing boy would help her get tenure.
Fact: When Santa Barbara Sheriff-Coroner insisted it needed DNA evidence before it could confirm the remains belonged to Jack, Kurin tried to dissuade Jack’s mother from allowing it, claiming (falsely) the testing would destroy the bones.
Hypothesis: Kurin knew her ID was bogus.
Fact: When the Sheriff insisted on continuing the investigation, Kurin enlisted her own attorney, Hoyer Group attorney David Scher, to threaten the Sheriff with a lawsuit unless the bones were returned to the boy’s mother.
Hypothesis: Kurin had gaslighted the mother…
Into thinking that the Sheriff had some reason to deny her a death certificate so she could bury her son’s purported remains. Hypothesis: It was in Kurin’s interest that the bones be returned without being further analyzed because she knew there was no evidence they were Jack’s.
Fact: Jack’s mother did go on to sue the Sheriff and SB County, using a local lawyer rather than Scher. Hypothesis: Scher knew that it would be a conflict of interest to continue to represent the mother given that Kurin had an interest in the outcome.
Fact: The case was put on hold and eventually dismissed by the mother while she negotiated with the Sheriff to have the DNA testing done. Fact: This happened at the same time that Kurin was forced to resign from UCSB after the university investigated the many irregularities…
In Kurin’s handling of the case. Hypothesis: Once Kurin was out of the picture, Jack’s mother realized that DNA testing was the only way to resolve the issue, because, Fact: The Sheriff was not going to issue a death certificate without DNA confirmation the bones were Jack’s.
Fact: Kurin’s behavior, typical of a pattern of misconduct stretching back at least eight years, ended up doing great harm to the mother, and, Hypothesis: To a number of students who had worked with Kurin on the case and thought they were doing serious forensics.
Documentation of the facts, and further elaboration of the hypotheses, coming soon on Balter’s Blog.
For background and back links:…
1/ Evidence that supports the supposition Kurin had the intent to deceive the mother and the Sheriff: She identified a graduate student she used as a supposed “peer reviewer” of her forensics report as a “Professor” and elsewhere as having a PhD, which was false.
2/ The graduate student Kurin used to “peer review” her report was someone entirely dependent on her to complete her doctoral thesis, as the thesis involved artifacts from Kurin’s archaeological sites in Peru; Kurin was on the student’s committee.
If Kurin had been serious about getting “peer review” of her forensics report, she could have approached any number of forensic anthropologists in the U.S. and asked them to do it. Instead, in a whopping conflict of interest, she asked a grad student who was totally…
Beholden to her for completing her PhD and then fraudulently tried to pass off the poor student to both the grieving mother and the Sheriff’s department as a Professor at Washington State University. I will post a link to the report here in case anyone in the field…
Wants to have a look at it now and provide comment on this thread:…
In addition, Kurin prepared a “slide show” of her findings which was also released by the Sheriff-Coroner under the CA PRA and which I also link to here for those who would like to examine it:…
Kurin’s report and the slide show include “critiques” of the work of the consulting forensics anthropologist the Sheriff-Coroner contracted with, Rick Snow. But he turned out to be right about everything and she was wrong about everything.

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More from @mbalter

Sep 10
New documents add to evidence that former ⁦@ucsantabarbara#anthropology prof Danielle Kurin intended to deceive a grieving mother into thinking Kurin had found the remains of her missing teenaged son. Story update soon.…
1/ The documents indicate that Kurin deliberately misrepresented the identity of a graduate student she had enlisted to “peer review” her findings that she had found the missing boy, by identifying her as a “professor.” This was doubly duplicitous because the grad student…
Was entirely dependent on Kurin for completing her PhD thesis and Kurin was on her PhD committee. 2/ The documents indicate that Kurin repeatedly attempted to dissuade the boy’s mother from having the remains DNA tested, claiming falsely that this would destroy the bones…
Read 8 tweets
Sep 3
I don’t know how Covid-19 originated, and neither do any of the people currently publicly discussing the question. What we do know is that the pandemic began in Wuhan, where researchers at an institute in the city were collecting and doing research on SARS-like viruses…
And we know that the institute in question (Wuhan Inst of Virology) has refused to tell @NIH what it did with the money funneled to it by @EcoHealthNYC, and that the WIV took a large database of viral sequences offline and now refuses to share it with anyone…
We also know that the WIV, @EcoHealthNYC, and @Baric_Lab at U North Carolina wanted to genetically engineer SARS-like viruses to make them potentially more infectious to humans, and tried to get grant funds to do that research. We don’t know…
Read 10 tweets
Sep 1
Still waiting for mainstream #media to report that @NIH has cut funding to the Wuhan Inst of Virology for refusing to report on research it did with U.S. taxpayer funds, and endangerment of grant to @EcoHealthNYC which failed to require WIV to mandatorily report.
With this deliberate editorial decision not to cover a major story relevant to the debate over Covid-19 origins, legacy #media and some of our leading science journalists have abandoned all pretense to be even-handed and comprehensive in their coverage of this critical topic.
One excuse, offered by @MoNscience, is the contention that the recent @Worobey/Pekar papers in @ScienceMagazine have resolved the issue in favor of the natural origins/zoonotic transfer hypothesis. But this is not true, and the authors acknowledge that in their papers.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 31
Very glad to see this critique of #Fauci and his very flawed leadership during the pandemic. By uncritically turning him into an icon and a sacred cow, journalists and liberals actually took an “anti-science” stance themselves……
Eg: “It was this‌‌ that became so destructive to trust: the idea that science is a force that demands things of the public yet relieves leaders of accountability.”
“The follow-the-science logic we have lived under during Covid demands wartime sacrifices from the public while rationalizing sloth from leaders and institutions in mobilizing tools to relieve the burden. It became an easy out for bureaucratic turf protection…”
Read 6 tweets
Aug 17
I've held off saying too much about this interview in @guardian with virologist Angela Rasmussen by @lfspinney, because I have great overall respect for Laura as a science journalist and she has been a good friend for a number of years.…
But my conscious has been bothering me because the framing and content of this interview is really pretty outrageous. The subhead says that Rasmussen "who has been abused online for defending a ‘natural’ origin" of Covid-19, and in the interview she is allowed...
to talk about the toxic nature of Twitter and how she has been attacked personally: "I’ve had rape and death threats; I’ve had to call the police. I’ve got pretty high self-esteem, but it wears you down." Obviously any such attacks are reprehensible, but they are not...
Read 24 tweets
Aug 15
Chinese and American scientists wanted to genetically engineer a SARS-like virus with a feature that would make it more infectious to humans. That is documented. We don’t know if they did it or not; some will not answer the question, others are not necessarily credible…
Until we do know, discussions of Covid-19 origins are missing a critical piece of information that might support a lab-leak scenario. Likewise, we don’t know when the earliest Covid-19 cases were, so missing critical data that might (or might not) support natural origins.
The odd thing is that scientists and science journalists who support the natural origins scenario are very oddly lacking in curiosity about whether the genetic engineering was actually done. Very odd. We should all want to know all of these things, no matter what…
Read 4 tweets

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