Pauline & Schweitzers

Hawaii County, Hawaii
Date of Crime:  December 24, 1991

While riding her bicycle, 23-year-old Dana Ireland was hit by a car.  Then she was taken to a remote area 5 miles north of the collision site where she was raped and murdered.  Two-and-a half years later an Oahu inmate, Frank Pauline, Jr., came forward with information.  He said that in exchange for the information he wanted the authorities to look kindly on his half-brother who was facing drug charges.

Pauline confessed to committing the crime with Ian and Shawn Schweitzer, two brothers.  However, he was unable to lead police to either of the crime scenes.  The brothers owned a 1957 Volkswagen Beetle that had scratches on the front bumper that Pauline said they hit Ireland with while she was riding her bicycle.  Ian Schweitzer admitted repainting the car since the time of the murder.  Witnesses placed Pauline with the Schweitzers around the time of the crime, although they did not place any fourth person with them.

Bite marks found on the victim did not match the dental impressions of Pauline or either of the Schweitzers.  DNA tests of semen recovered from the victim, did not match any of them either.  Pauline eventually recanted his confession and denied involvement.  Prosecutors had to drop charges against the Schweitzers, but they tried Pauline for murder in 1999, based on his confession.  Despite the forensic evidence showing Pauline's confession to be false, he was convicted and sentenced to 180 years of imprisonment.

Several months before Pauline's conviction, a prison informant named Michael Ortiz came forward and said Ian Schweitzer confessed to the crime.  Based on the Ortiz's testimony and the allegedly unusual circumstance of having scratches on his car bumper, Ian Schweitzer was convicted in 2000 and sentenced to 130 years of imprisonment.  After seeing his older brother get convicted, Shawn Schweitzer plea-bargained for 5 years probation.  As his part of the bargain, Shawn had to give a true confession to the crime.  Shawn confessed to being at the crime scene and implicated Pauline as the person who raped and bit the victim.  The DA accepted this confession.

Edward Blake, the DNA expert who testified for Pauline's defense, does not believe any of the defendants participated in the crime.  He noted that Pauline fingered the Schweitzers and the Schweitzers fingered Pauline, but they all just “happened to forget” the alleged fourth participant who raped the victim.  Blake added “that scenario on its face is preposterous.”  In 2003, a book was published about the case entitled Murder in Paradise.  [8/07]

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Reference:  American Justice

Posted in:  Victims of the State, Hawaii Cases, Inconsistent Confessions, Voluntary False Confessions, Bite Mark Cases