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July 30th, 2008
CSI – Small Town Investigation Presentation

The Rotary Club of San Marcos speaker Wednesday was Peter Gruning, a local attorney with Duvall Gruning & Dietz, PLLC, from San Marcos. The meeting was led by Tom Brooks of Priority Personnel at the Price Senior Center in absence of David Bandy.

The speaker Peter Gruning was introduced to the group by Hay Gillham. He spoke about “CSI: Small-town Texas” an actual murder case in a small, East Texas town in which ballistics and common psychology made a difference in the outcome of a crime.

Instead of ‘crime scene investigation,’ Gruning called it ‘common sense investigation.’ He said there was nothing high tech about it. The talk was originally developed for criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors, to open discussions on how to independently analyze criminal cases. There also was a ballistics component that wasn’t presented at the Rotary meeting, in part because of time constraints.

Gruning discussed an actual crime that took place many years ago, and how he analyzed the facts as they came out through the investigation of the crime. By carefully walking through the crime and the evidence, taking into consideration the points of view of the shooter, victim, investigating police officers, and the treating doctor, and then reviewing the physical evidence that included powder residue, a head wound, a recovered bullet, the pistol, and other evidence found at the crime scene.

The case permutated from an attempted murder to an assault, and the sentence was reduced from prison to probation. The Rotary members, as fact finders, asked questions about the case that further helped to analyze the case from different points of view.

Gruning said, “I put all the evidence together it was my job.” The presentation was well received by the group in attendance.

In Rotary news, the group announced that $1,700 has been donated in the last week to ensure the delivery of EarlyAct First Knight programming at Crockett Elementary. The program educates students, families and faculty members about Rotary history, values and ideals throughout the year.

Tom Brooks announced some of the committee chairs for the upcoming year which include Don Nash for Administration, Carol Wylie for Foundation and Ronald Oswalt for Public Relations.

The group also recognized several spouses that were in attendance, the Rotarians also recognized two key visitors to the group which were Steve Harvey of Cleantegrity and Arthur Clough of the Kerrville Morning Rotary group.

The group recognized Rotarian of the Week Richard Burdick. Richard “Dick” and wife Johnnie have six children, Mark, Sandy, Michelle, David, Amy, & Nicole. They also have nine grandchildren, one great-grandchild and two pets named Bentley and Edy. Dick is retired. He is also involved with the Boy Scouts of America.

He says his best work-related advice is, “Have a goal, make a plan and stick to it.”

He graduated from Webb City Missouri High School in 1947. He attended Joilin Jr. College and received an associate’s degree in science in 1950. He then attended Missouri School and Mines and received a bachelor’s degree in science in1952.

His greatest accomplishment is graduating from college. Richard grew up in Webb City, Missouri and his interests are collecting cars, automobelia, stamps, and coins.

His most memorable trip was a Boy Scouts of America trip to Israel. Richard loves Christmas and listening to “oldies – 50’s” and light classics music. His all-time favorite movie is “Old Man and the Sea.” He also enjoys watching NASCAR on the weekends.

Richard said, “I enjoy Rotary and all the friends you make thru Rotary.”

From Staff Reports


Arthur Clough guest from the Kerrville group was recognized.


Members sing to start the meeting at the Price Center.


Peter Gruning spoke to the group about CSI “Small Town Texas Investigation”


Scott Burton from Benchmark Insurance sings in unison with the Rotarians.


Tom Brooks ran the Rotary meeting in the absense of David Bandy.

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