Coroner Says Blunt Object Killed Leslie Buck

Before she died, Leslie Buck was hit in the head with a blunt object, possibly an electrical cable like the one her husband was said to carry around with him, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released Thursday.

Leslie Buck was killed in 2002. For almost seven years, the case was cold. On Jan. 22, Charles Buck, 62, of Mystic, was charged with murdering his wife. He denies killing her.

The case extended beyond Connecticut’s borders. Authorities went to medical examiners in New York and Florida, who said they were certain the manner of death was homicide.

The coroner in Connecticut determined Leslie Buck was first hit in her forehead with a blunt object consistent with a one-inch-thick piece of electrical cable Charles Buck was said to carry around for protection.

"She was upright, at one point in time, after she received the injury to her forehead," according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Buck told police he kept an electrical wire in his bedroom and could use it as a club. He gave an electrical wire to another man and told an employee "If you wanted to hurt someone, you hit them in the head with this," referring to the wire, the warrant says.
The affidavit released Thursday also says Charles Buck asked another woman to go away with him on the day his wife died and gave police inconsistent accounts of his whereabouts on that the day. Leslie Buck, 57, taught elementary school in Stonington.

After his wife’s death, Charles Buck showed NBC 30 where he had found his body and said she must have fallen down the stairs.

The affidavit goes on to say he told the other woman he loved her and showered her with cash and other gifts, including $3,000 for a down payment on a car, $1,500 for a laptop computer, a $450 bed and two pairs of shoes, police said.

On the day Leslie Buck died, her husband appeared nervous, preoccupied and angry, according to witnesses.

Buck claimed he had bought pepper spray for his wife that day and returned to his business, but witnesses contradicted that account that he returned to his business, saying he went to the bar where the other woman worked.

Two days before she died, Leslie Buck escaped from a kidnapper.

Russell Kirby, a friend of Charles Buck, is awaiting a second trial in the kidnapping case.  Kirby was convicted of the kidnapping, but the verdict was overturned by the state Supreme Court. The court ruled that a tape of a 911 call made by Leslie Buck in which she identified Kirby as her abductor should not have been admitted as evidence.

During a reception after Leslie Buck's funeral, Charles Buck handed a friend his attorney's business card and said "in case you need to bail me out." Buck also told his friend he gave the attorney $310,000, saying "murder cases are expensive."

Leslie Buck's estate has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Charles Buck, alleging he killed his wife for financial reasons and because of his relationship with another woman.

The lawsuit accuses Buck of arranging for Kirby to kill his wife, lying about where he was the day she died and lying about his relationship with the other woman.

He is being held on a $2.5 million bond. and is due back in New London Superior Court again on Monday

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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