Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Spray Tan Murder


Adam Kaufman is being prosecuted in Florida for the accusation of the murder of his wife, Lina Kaufman, who was found dead in the bathroom in 2007 with severe bruising on her neck. Coverage appeared last night on the Nancy Grace show and fragments of the over 20 minute 911 call appeared. All I have are these few fragments, but there are issues in them which conflict with what is known about this case.

Cause of death was disputable, with a series of medical examiners unable to say more than "undetermined" - with at least one final examiner saying her death was due to "mechanical strangulation", no mention of allergic asphyxiation or congestive heart failure.

Responding officers reports Adam was fully dressed when they arrived, his side of the bed not slept in and the hood of his car still warm as if recently driven - despite his declaration that he had slept through the night to find his wife dead when he awoke.

Spray tan fluid appears splashed and poured all over the bathroom, yet spray tans are applied as an air brush mist in a salon, not at home by hand.

The magazine rack upon which she presumably received her bruising was leather covered and a mechanism from which she could have collapsed so precisely and with such extreme force to cause these bruises and suffocation is surely unlikely if not almost impossible.

From Nancy Grace show transcript:


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hurry, please! My wife`s in the bathroom, dying. I don`t know what`s going on!

[Caller does not begin with "Hi" or "Hello", not does he request help for himself. He does make his first declaration in the negative and could be possible alibi building in his need to assure the listener he doesn't know why his wife is dying.]

911 OPERATOR: Hello?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello? Please, my wife`s in the bathroom, dying. I don`t know what`s going on!

[Despite being apparently frantic, when the 911 operator doesn't hear him the first time he is able to repeat his entire introductory statement, word for word, including his claim of innocence. Very worrisome. This implies mental rehearsal before the call.]


911 OPERATOR: Sir, I need you to calm down. I can`t understand what you`re saying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife is in the bathroom. (INAUDIBLE) get up! Please get up! She`s in the bathroom! She`s on the floor, dying. I don`t know what`s going on!

[Again the operator claims she did not hear him, and for the third time, with only a few changes he repeats his introductory statement, again including his claim of innocence. Here he tells the operator that she is on the floor, dying - not draped over the magazine rack and suffocated. He begs her to get up. Does this make sense? Why not "Wake up!" or "open your eyes!" or "breathe!" or "don't die!" or any one of a number of commands that would make sense. Who demands a critically injured person "get up!"? Pat Brown notices the inconsistency of his claim of the cause of his wife's death with this part of the 911 call and feels this is sufficient proof he is not being honest.]



911 OPERATOR: She`s not breathing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No! I don`t know what happened! She`s on the floor, dying!

[Some commentary claims that records show he called his brother before the 911 call. If his wife is now just "dying" instead of "dead" what excuse can he make for calling his brother first?]
911 OPERATOR: OK, what`s -- what`s...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God! I don`t know what`s going on!

[Perhaps he is panic stricken and incoherent, or his primary thought is to claim over and over he is uninvolved and unaware of the circumstances of his wife's death.]

911 OPERATOR: I need you to calm down. 3112 -- what`s your address?


911 OPERATOR: OK, calm down. Is that an apartment number? I need this information...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a house! It`s a house!

911 OPERATOR: OK. So she`s not breathing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, she`s not breathing!

911 OPERATOR: Did something happen? Did she fall...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No! No! I don`t know what`s going on! Please -- can you please send (INAUDIBLE) Lina! Lina!

[He emphatically states "No! No!" when asked if something happened or if she fell - yet his defence claims, and his repitition claims that he has no idea what happened. How would he know if she had an accident or fell or not? Yet he emphatically declares she did not. This is the most telling point in this short section of transcript for me. His answer to remain consistent should have been "I don't know!"]

(end of transcript)

The trial continues.


  1. Equinox, what do you think of his guilt or innocence?

    Immediately after his acquittal he said the following:


    "I can't be happier to be able to go home to my two children and know that this tragedy first with my wife's passing compounded by my arrest for a crime that I should never have been arrested for," Adam Kaufman said. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about her and she's here, she's, she's she was watching over this and she can finally rest in peace now."

    ---When I heard him speak this, I found it odd. He indicates that there are two tragedies, the first with his wife’s passing (not murder or suicide or accidental death), then by him being arrested for a “crime” that he should not have been arrested for (as opposed for being wrongfully arrested for his wife’s death). I was shocked that he referred to her death as a crime because the defense postured that it was an accidental death.

    Also, he did not deny murdering her, only that it was a “crime” he should not have been arrested for. I believe he did have something to do with his wife’s murder. Sadly, I believe another murderer has been set free by a Florida jury!

    Links to more quotes by Adam :


    "I'm able to just go home and put this all behind us as a family and move forward and look forward to raising my two kids without this looming over my head," said Kaufman, who maintains his wife's death was accidental.

    --Change in pronouns – I’m able to just go home and put this all behind us…


    "It's hard to sit there and not want to stand up and say, ‘I'm innocent,’ get up and yell, ‘This is not what happened,’ but you have to maintain your composure, and it's important that the jury see that you're level-headed," he told NBC 6.

    --In his 911 call he stated several times that he didn't know what happened. Now he claims "This is not what happened". Perhaps he does know what happened.

  2. C5, thanks for your great info-filled comment.

    I remain with great concerns over aspects of Adam's words.

    a) Phoning his brother before 911. Why would he do that?

    b) Alibi building in his 911 call, as you mention, saying again and again he doesn't know what happened, that he wasn't there.

    c) His potentially rehearsed repetition to 911. Who am I to say that it's not possible you could say the exact same thing three times while watching your loved one die. It could happen, it just rings my bells.

    d) Why start out with the spray tan defense? Years later it becomes a heart attack, yet with no adequate explanation for the neck injuries.

    e) In your third link, the reporter in the clip claims that Adam "..was not angry at the prosecutor and acknowledged that an impartial observer could have come to the opposite conclusion - that he was guilty." - I just can't believe a wrongfully accused husband would be this magnanimous. He said "there needs to be more checks and balances to prevent a flawed investigation leading to a flawed prosecution." Flawed prosecution? He was found innocent, how is that flawed?

    f) Back and forth he claims to not know what happened, and then, as you note, he knows what happened. This occurred in the 911 call and in trial. "This is not what happened" - oddly worded don't you think? He should say "That is not what happened!" to provide distance from the false allegations. It's as if he is saying "This is almost what happened, but you have some details wrong."

    Ultimately in the clip, he is asked "Was Lena in court with you?" and he responded "Absolutely!" without skipping a heartbeat. This was the only moment I felt doubts about my leanings. He seemed certain and encouraged, his body language leaning forward to engage the reporter, speaking sharply without hesitation, and it would seem unlikely a murderer would be so positive about his victim witnessing his exoneration in court.

    I'm glad I was not a juror, I would have gone with not guilty as guilt was not proven, but I still have my doubts.

  3. .. more thoughts from the words you have posted.

    "my wife's passing" - literally passive. Not "I lost my wife" or "the tragic loss of my wife" or "the accidental death of Lena" etc. No loss or death.. just passing by.

    "compounded by my arrest for a crime that I should never have been arrested for," - "arrest for a crime" The second half of this phrase rings bells. He bemoans the crime he should never have been arrested for, and like C5 noted, he doesn't even deny killing his wife. "a crime I should never have been arrested for" - The reporter in your link claimed that Adam accepted that some of us might see him as guilty, and that was just fine with him. Yet here he says, even though some might see me as guilty, it was wrong to arrest me? How does that add up?

    he describes the tragedy as "looming over my head" and "it's important that the jury see that you're level-headed" Heads are level and looming. The looming head theme is how I would describe being choked by my husband if I were writing a book about it. That this imagery is in his mind chills me.

    "It's hard to sit there and not want to stand up and say, ‘I'm innocent,’" - I read this again using Peter Hyatt's lens of analysis and this time I did not make assumptions about what he was saying and took it literally. Adam did not want to stand up and yell "I'm innocent." Adam did not tell the court he did not do it. This was hard for Adam, to not want to. We can only ask "Why did you not want to?"