ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – Bob Cassilly was found dead September 26, 2011 inside the cab of a bulldozer at a property in north St. Louis, which the City Museum founder was working to turn into a new attraction called Cementland. Cassilly was 61.
In the weeks and months that followed, the St. Louis Medical Examiner’s Office determined Cassilly’s death to be a tragic accident; his tractor had rolled down a hill and overturned several times.
But Cassilly’s widow, Melissa Giovanna Zompa Cassilly, and her lawyer have long suspected otherwise.
Attorney Albert Watkins said he and his client wanted police to reopen its investigation into Cassilly’s death. Watkins and Melissa Cassilly contacted Dr. Arthur Combs and asked him to exam incident reports from 2011, as well as photos Watkins recently obtained from the scene.
According to a report in the Riverfront Times, Dr. Combs ruled Cassilly was beaten to death and that the accident was staged to cover up a murder. Combs focused his attention on Cassilly’s injuries and what he described as an absence of blood inside the cab of the bulldozer.
Combs, an associated professor of clinical medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, said almost every rib on both sides of Cassilly’s body were broken, which he claims could not have come from a bulldozer overturning.
St. Louis Medical Examiner Michael Graham said he was aware of the claims by Watkins, but disagrees that Cassilly died from anything other than an accident.
“We will stick with our original findings. We feel this was an accident,” Graham said.
Graham said he was aware of the claims by Attorney Al Watkins, but disagrees that Cassilly died from anything other than an accident.
The RFT reported authorities never established a time of death, nor did they determine Cassilly’s activity on the weekend leading up to his death.
Images from the scene. Warning: Some of these pictures contain graphic content: