Parker's prints found at Zantops'

by Mark Bubriski | 3/2/01 6:00am

Despite speculation that a fingerprint and knife found at the crime scene provide a substantial link to Robert Tulloch, the Tulloch arrest warrant released yesterday actually verifies that fingerprints matched prints taken from James Parker and also that Parker purchased two knives for $180 on the Internet.

Lebanon District Court Judge Albert J. Cirone Jr. unsealed portions of court records yesterday morning that shed some light, but not much, onto how the two boys are linked to the murders of Susanne and Half Zantop.

There was still no mention of a motive, nor was there mention of Neo-Nazi or other such hate literature.

Indeed, according to a statement made by New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Dan Mullen and reported in the Associated Press, investigators "are still looking around, but we have no motive."

The affidavit in support of Tulloch's arrest shows that "two latent impressions of value," fingerprints, were recovered on an unidentified item, presumed to be a knife sheath, which were later matched to the fingerprints of Parker. The affidavit did not contain unsealed evidence directly linking Tulloch to the murders.

The affidavit also said the police purchased a similar knife, presumably one that might fit into a sheath found at the scene, and found that the knife could have caused the stab wounds inflicted on the bodies of the Zantops.

For reasons that remain undisclosed, the police began searching for an individual who had purchased multiple knives that were similar to that purchased by police.

The police contacted a large distributor of the knives and located a dealer in New England. Of approximately 84 Internet sales by this unidentified dealer, only one sale involved the purchase of two identical knives in the same order.

That order was negotiated by Jim Parker on Jan. 1 and 2, 2001. He mailed a money order for $180 on Jan. 7. Four days later, on Jan. 11, Parker requested confirmation of shipment. Parker requested shipment of the knives to Parker's family's home in Chelsea, Vt.

The Vermont Supreme Court announced yesterday that next Wednesday it will hear arguments to have documents in that state released.