777 users online (98 members and 679 guests)  


Websleuths News


Page 1 of 46 1 2 3 11 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 682
  1. #1
    otg's Avatar
    otg is offline Reports of my death are greatly exagerated... but not completely unfounded.
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2,347

    Cords, Knots, and Strangulation Devices

    Part - 1

    If I could convince anyone (especially people in law enforcement) of one thing, it is this:

    The piece of evidence in JonBenet’s death that everyone keeps referring to as a “garrote” is not a garrote. Let me say that again to make sure at least everyone who reads this knows what I’m saying... There was no “garrote” found on JonBenet’s neck!

    There are two types of garrotes. One was an execution device used years ago (beginning in the early 1600’s until the last century) by Spain. It consisted of a seat where the condemned was constrained, and around his neck a metal strap was placed which was attached to a device that tightened it until he was strangled to death. It was not intended to be a quick death -- it was a means of a slow, torturous death. See examples here:
    http://diretesydim.es/wp-content/upl...01/Garrote.JPG
    http://www.1947project.com/tags/garrote
    http://www.medievality.com/garrotte.html

    The other type of garrote is an assassination tool. It has even been issued to American Special Forces members serving in other countries. It was effective because it is small, silent, and deadly (No jokes here, okay?). It consists of a length of usually flexible wire (think piano wire), or less commonly, cord. On either end is either a stick of some sort (or handle) to be held in each hand, a ring for holding on a single finger in each hand, or in some cases a ball that could be grasped in the palms.

    Ever see the movie Marathon Man with Dustin Hoffman? In it, his brother (played by Roy Scheider) is some sort of “secret agent”. In one scene, he is attacked by an assassin who uses a garrote. You can see the scene here: [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asGnaw3vSCU"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asGnaw3vSCU[/ame]. Be forewarned, it is bloody and violent; but as an added bonus for the ladies, you get to see Scheider doing pushups in his skivvies at the beginning of the clip.

    Examples of assassin garrotes can be seen here:
    http://www.hayesotoupalik.com/U.S.%2...ne%20Items.htm (Items 001013 Ring type, and 000894 Stick type)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9092700...n/photostream/
    http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...s/Garrote1.jpg

    How it is used here:
    http://www.donrearic.com/images/garrottev5.jpg


    The pictures we have all seen of what was found attached to JonBenet’s neck was not used to strangle her. Think about the mechanics of how that would have been done. The only way it could have been used would be to hold the stick and pull; but then her body would have to at the same time be pushed away to overcome the force of the knot holding the cord. Could that have been the case? Possibly, but not very likely, and certainly not very effectively. Not nearly as effective as simply wrapping the cord one time around the neck and pulling in opposite directions if (and this is very important) if strangulation was the intent.

    What I read that some people say is that the stick was used to twist the cord around her neck. Ask yourself this: How would that be done? If the stick on the end of a 17-inch long piece of cord was twisted until it started tightening the loop around the neck, the person would be twisting it for longer than it took Mary Lacy to find out that John Karr was just an oddball kook who had absolutely nothing to do with JonBenet’s death. The other way that the stick could have been used to tighten the cord would be by placing it under the knotted loop around her neck and twisting it like a tourniquet. But then, if that were done, when the stick was removed it would have left the neck loop loose where it had been -- not to mention the fact that the knot around the middle of the stick would have served no purpose and would actually have hindered using it as a tourniquet type device.

    Think about this, check out the links, and add your comments. I’ll add more when I have the chance later.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    SW Florida
    Posts
    490
    I agree. I believe LE was not at all familiar with the construct and physics of an actual garrotte device. Since the instrument involved a cord, knots, and a stick the term "garrotte" was coined, and it stuck. What is your opinion on the use of another means (scarf?/ manual strangulation?) being used and the subsequent application of the knot/cord/stick as a means of staging?

  3. #3
    otg's Avatar
    otg is offline Reports of my death are greatly exagerated... but not completely unfounded.
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2,347
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbarita View Post
    I agree. I believe LE was not at all familiar with the construct and physics of an actual garrotte device. Since the instrument involved a cord, knots, and a stick the term "garrotte" was coined, and it stuck. What is your opinion on the use of another means (scarf?/ manual strangulation?) being used and the subsequent application of the knot/cord/stick as a means of staging?
    Sorry if I misled. The cord around JonBenet's neck did cause her strangulation. I just wanted first to dispel the idea that the "stick" served any purpose in her strangulation. It didn't.

    And I know, you're next question is, "Which came first -- the strangulation or the blow to the head?" We'll get there. Bear with me.

    As for using the term "garrote", you are correct that once the term was used by one or two people, it stuck, and everyone started throwing it around like it was accepted fact. But this is misleading because it makes anyone believe that that was its purpose and how it was used.

    Remember that the stick that the cord was tied to was the middle part of one of Patsy's paint brushes. The brush portion was found in her paint tray. The opposite end portion was never found. Why?

    But now you're making me get ahead of myself, Bobbarita. Stew on that for a bit while I add more about the knots, and I promise I'll get to why the stick was added and why the end portion had to disappear.

  4. #4
    otg's Avatar
    otg is offline Reports of my death are greatly exagerated... but not completely unfounded.
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2,347

    Part -2

    Now consider this. Look at all of the knots on the pieces of cord that were left at the scene. There are four. Three of them are very simple knots, but one is very different. It looks complicated. It looks, it looks... like someone else tied it.

    For now though, let’s look at the one knot that was left tied around her wrist. I can’t say with a great deal of certainty from looking at the available photos what each of the knots are, but at least this one (shown in this picture: http://www.acandyrose.com/AnatomyColdCase031.jpg) appears to be a collapsed (or capsized, or spilled) Square Knot (a.k.a. Reef Knot). While the Square Knot is usually prone to collapse, and certainly not as much as its half-witted cousin the Granny Knot, it can. But it can also be tied not as a Square Knot, but as what it ends up as when a Square Knot does collapse -- a Girth Hitch (also known by many other names). Since I can see this knot better than any of the others, I can tell you that that is exactly what it is. It is a Girth Hitch tied over the cord that was looped around the wrist. Here is a demonstration of how to tie it (It is shown with a red and a blue cord so you can determine the two from one another, but in our case the blue cord would be the same cord coming from around the back of the wrist.):
    http://www.animatedknots.com/girth/

    One more thing of note on this knot is that since, in the autopsy photo, it is loosely tied, that indicates that it was tied this way, and not as a Square Knot which collapsed due to a strain on it. It also means that it wasn’t really tied to completely subdue someone or prevent escape. It can easily be untied or slipped loose.

    The knot on the opposite end, 15.5” away is what the coroner called “a double loop knot”. I can’t really tell what the knot may have been when it was originally tied because it is too small in the only photos we have available; but it is not a complicated or sophisticated knot. What is extraordinary about it is the “double loop”. I’m speculating here, but what I think that is is the loop that went around the other wrist which was loosened and removed by John Ramsey when he “discovered” her body in front of Fleet White. I think that because of the way it was tied, he pulled more than enough of the cord through the first part of the knot, and then pulled the cord around her wrist enough to remove it, leaving the excess from that first pull sticking out looking like an extra loop.

    I've gotta get some sleep now to get up early for work tomorrow. I'll be back tomorrow with more. Hope I'm not boring anyone. The knots, whether intended or not, are a signature. They are the handwriting of the person who tied them, and are a really important part of what was left behind if we can understand what they are saying.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,897
    otg, I, for one, am very much not bored. I wish you had more time tonight so we could learn more about these knots. I have always believed they were the work of someone very experienced in knot tying and that it was probably JR. I guess it could have been BR, but logic tells me it was the dad and not the son. Please come back tomorrow and educate us more on knot tying. I'm sure everyone here appreciates your knowledge and willingness to share. Sleep well!
    TIA
    Becky
    "This Time We Get it Right!"

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary.
    For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." Stuart Chase

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tempe, AZ
    Posts
    4,217
    Not only was this device called a garrote, but it was termed a "professional" garrote. I think by John on the Larry King show.

    So, let's see there are two degrees of garrotes: Professional and beginners?

    PLease.

    I can tell you, that to me, this rope thing looks just like something we created as kids to loop around some piece of junk and dragged it home.

    I have always felt this was something Burke had fashioned practicing his knot making skills, from sailing or boy scout activties. It was probably somewhere around the house, perhaps discarded in the basement and maybe more solid or different knots were added once it was decided to use it that night as a means to strangle JonBenet, I believe after the head injury.

    If you were well respected parents in excellent standing in the community and wanted to use something to strangle your child and make it looks so hidious that loving parents could never do something like this, you might use this contraption. It was handy, around the house, like the paper and pen for the ransom letter, nearby and perhaps tossed aside and forgotten months ago by Burke in the basement where he played.

    Certainly the parents could not leave the house to find something like this. Unless of course it was brought into the house by the invisable intruder. If that's the case, he or she got it from their kid brother.

    This was not a "professional" garrote. JMO
    The Hokey Pokey Clinic - A good place to turn yourself around:

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    SW Florida
    Posts
    490
    Quote Originally Posted by joeskidbeck View Post
    otg, I, for one, am very much not bored. I wish you had more time tonight so we could learn more about these knots. I have always believed they were the work of someone very experienced in knot tying and that it was probably JR. I guess it could have been BR, but logic tells me it was the dad and not the son. Please come back tomorrow and educate us more on knot tying. I'm sure everyone here appreciates your knowledge and willingness to share. Sleep well!
    TIA
    Becky
    Bored! Bored? No way. Have a good rest and see ya tomorrow.

  8. #8
    otg's Avatar
    otg is offline Reports of my death are greatly exagerated... but not completely unfounded.
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2,347

    Correction

    Quote Originally Posted by otg View Post
    While the Square Knot is usually prone to collapse, and certainly not as much as its half-witted cousin the Granny Knot, it can.
    Checking in from work, and after reading over this post, it should have read, “While the Square Knot is not usually prone to collapse, and certainly not as much as its half-witted cousin the Granny Knot, it can. (I guess my mind was thinking I had already said “not”, when I had actually used the word “knot”.)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    In the Federal Witness Protection Program
    Posts
    8,022
    Quote Originally Posted by azwriter View Post
    Not only was this device called a garrote, but it was termed a "professional" garrote. I think by John on the Larry King show.

    So, let's see there are two degrees of garrotes: Professional and beginners?

    PLease.

    I can tell you, that to me, this rope thing looks just like something we created as kids to loop around some piece of junk and dragged it home.

    I have always felt this was something Burke had fashioned practicing his knot making skills, from sailing or boy scout activties. It was probably somewhere around the house, perhaps discarded in the basement and maybe more solid or different knots were added once it was decided to use it that night as a means to strangle JonBenet, I believe after the head injury.

    If you were well respected parents in excellent standing in the community and wanted to use something to strangle your child and make it looks so hidious that loving parents could never do something like this, you might use this contraption. It was handy, around the house, like the paper and pen for the ransom letter, nearby and perhaps tossed aside and forgotten months ago by Burke in the basement where he played.

    Certainly the parents could not leave the house to find something like this. Unless of course it was brought into the house by the invisable intruder. If that's the case, he or she got it from their kid brother.

    This was not a "professional" garrote. JMO

    Interesting- in one of Patsy's interviews where she is speaking about BR, she says that he was always playing with rope "trying to make a boat or something" (her words). These interviews are not available anymore on ACR, so does anyone have this one?
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

    This post is my constitutionally-protected opinion. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ceti Alpha V
    Posts
    13,221
    Quote Originally Posted by otg View Post
    Part - 1

    If I could convince anyone (especially people in law enforcement) of one thing, it is this:

    The piece of evidence in JonBenet’s death that everyone keeps referring to as a “garrote” is not a garrote. Let me say that again to make sure at least everyone who reads this knows what I’m saying... There was no “garrote” found on JonBenet’s neck!
    otg, I've been saying that for years!

    The other type of garrote is an assassination tool. It has even been issued to American Special Forces members serving in other countries. It was effective because it is small, silent, and deadly (No jokes here, okay?). It consists of a length of usually flexible wire (think piano wire), or less commonly, cord. On either end is either a stick of some sort (or handle) to be held in each hand, a ring for holding on a single finger in each hand, or in some cases a ball that could be grasped in the palms.

    Ever see the movie Marathon Man with Dustin Hoffman? In it, his brother (played by Roy Scheider) is some sort of “secret agent”. In one scene, he is attacked by an assassin who uses a garrote. You can see the scene here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asGnaw3vSCU. Be forewarned, it is bloody and violent; but as an added bonus for the ladies, you get to see Scheider doing pushups in his skivvies at the beginning of the clip.
    This use can also be seen in The Godfather when Clemenza kills Carlo Rizzi.

    The pictures we have all seen of what was found attached to JonBenet’s neck was not used to strangle her. Think about the mechanics of how that would have been done. The only way it could have been used would be to hold the stick and pull; but then her body would have to at the same time be pushed away to overcome the force of the knot holding the cord. Could that have been the case? Possibly, but not very likely, and certainly not very effectively. Not nearly as effective as simply wrapping the cord one time around the neck and pulling in opposite directions if (and this is very important) if strangulation was the intent.

    What I read that some people say is that the stick was used to twist the cord around her neck. Ask yourself this: How would that be done? If the stick on the end of a 17-inch long piece of cord was twisted until it started tightening the loop around the neck, the person would be twisting it for longer than it took Mary Lacy to find out that John Karr was just an oddball kook who had absolutely nothing to do with JonBenet’s death. The other way that the stick could have been used to tighten the cord would be by placing it under the knotted loop around her neck and twisting it like a tourniquet. But then, if that were done, when the stick was removed it would have left the neck loop loose where it had been -- not to mention the fact that the knot around the middle of the stick would have served no purpose and would actually have hindered using it as a tourniquet type device.
    You know your stuff, otg!
    I'm as mad as HELL and I'm NOT gonna take it anymore!.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,017
    OTG:

    I, too, have mistakenly called this a garotte. And I, too, agree that this is an important clue. To me, the more complicated knot appears to be a prusik at the same link you gave above (which incidentally is a link for knots used in climbing).

    What would be your best guess as to the hobby or occupation of the perp, given the fascination with the rope system? Is this a typical bondage system used in S&M, or an occupation-hobby associated clue? Or can we glean some ideas?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    In the Federal Witness Protection Program
    Posts
    8,022
    Quote Originally Posted by thelmadawg View Post
    OTG:

    I, too, have mistakenly called this a garotte. And I, too, agree that this is an important clue. To me, the more complicated knot appears to be a prusik at the same link you gave above (which incidentally is a link for knots used in climbing).

    What would be your best guess as to the hobby or occupation of the perp, given the fascination with the rope system? Is this a typical bondage system used in S&M, or an occupation-hobby associated clue? Or can we glean some ideas?
    It really isn't a garrote, you are right. It is simply a cord knotted around her neck. The paintbrush handle may have been tied on to make it look like it was used to twist the cord around her neck, but the marks on her throat do not indicate that happened. It was simply a cord TIED tight, not PULLED tight. Big difference. If it had been pulled, there would be less of a mark in the area where it was pulled away from her skin, and it would be much deeper on the opposite side. Instead, as the coroner noted, the ligature furrow was nearly circumferential, even all around (as it would be if it were tied and not pulled). This doesn't mean it wouldn't have killed her. Pressure on the vagus nerve would stop her heart anyway.
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

    This post is my constitutionally-protected opinion. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    SW Florida
    Posts
    490
    Quote Originally Posted by otg View Post
    Now consider this. Look at all of the knots on the pieces of cord that were left at the scene. There are four. Three of them are very simple knots, but one is very different. It looks complicated. It looks, it looks... like someone else tied it.For now though, let’s look at the one knot that was left tied around her wrist. I can’t say with a great deal of certainty from looking at the available photos what each of the knots are, but at least this one (shown in this picture: http://www.acandyrose.com/AnatomyColdCase031.jpg) appears to be a collapsed (or capsized, or spilled) Square Knot (a.k.a. Reef Knot). While the Square Knot is usually prone to collapse, and certainly not as much as its half-witted cousin the Granny Knot, it can. But it can also be tied not as a Square Knot, but as what it ends up as when a Square Knot does collapse -- a Girth Hitch (also known by many other names). Since I can see this knot better than any of the others, I can tell you that that is exactly what it is. It is a Girth Hitch tied over the cord that was looped around the wrist. Here is a demonstration of how to tie it (It is shown with a red and a blue cord so you can determine the two from one another, but in our case the blue cord would be the same cord coming from around the back of the wrist.):
    http://www.animatedknots.com/girth/

    One more thing of note on this knot is that since, in the autopsy photo, it is loosely tied, that indicates that it was tied this way, and not as a Square Knot which collapsed due to a strain on it. It also means that it wasn’t really tied to completely subdue someone or prevent escape. It can easily be untied or slipped loose.

    The knot on the opposite end, 15.5” away is what the coroner called “a double loop knot”. I can’t really tell what the knot may have been when it was originally tied because it is too small in the only photos we have available; but it is not a complicated or sophisticated knot. What is extraordinary about it is the “double loop”. I’m speculating here, but what I think that is is the loop that went around the other wrist which was loosened and removed by John Ramsey when he “discovered” her body in front of Fleet White. I think that because of the way it was tied, he pulled more than enough of the cord through the first part of the knot, and then pulled the cord around her wrist enough to remove it, leaving the excess from that first pull sticking out looking like an extra loop.

    I've gotta get some sleep now to get up early for work tomorrow. I'll be back tomorrow with more. Hope I'm not boring anyone. The knots, whether intended or not, are a signature. They are the handwriting of the person who tied them, and are a really important part of what was left behind if we can understand what they are saying.
    Are you referring to the knot tied around the stick from the paintbrush?

  14. #14
    otg's Avatar
    otg is offline Reports of my death are greatly exagerated... but not completely unfounded.
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2,347
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
    otg, I've been saying that for years!
    Yes, SuperDave, this is not something I can claim credit for as having original thought on. It’s simply fact, as far as what a garrote is. I’m glad to know you agree with me on that point (or I with you -- whatever).

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
    This use can also be seen in The Godfather when Clemenza kills Carlo Rizzi.
    Yes, and also, same movie, when Luca Brasi is killed -- the scene where his hand is pinned to the table with a knife and a henchman garrotes him from behind (the way it is supposed to be done, and as it was in both cases).

    (BTW, SD, been meaning to ask... Melville or Khan?)


    Quote Originally Posted by thelmadawg View Post
    What would be your best guess as to the hobby or occupation of the perp, given the fascination with the rope system? Is this a typical bondage system used in S&M, or an occupation-hobby associated clue? Or can we glean some ideas?
    thelmadawg:
    Sorry, I can’t help you much with the S&M stuff . And did I mention... I’m not an expert at much of anything, so a lot of what you are asking, I’m afraid I couldn’t tell you. But what I do know I will gladly share with anyone interested in knowing. And if I’m speculating, I’ll try to remember to tell you.


    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee249 View Post
    If it had been pulled, there would be less of a mark in the area where it was pulled away from her skin, and it would be much deeper on the opposite side. Instead, as the coroner noted, the ligature furrow was nearly circumferential, even all around (as it would be if it were tied and not pulled).
    DeeDee249:
    That’s absolutely correct! Have you been reading Turvey?


    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbarita View Post
    Are you referring to the knot tied around the stick from the paintbrush?
    No, Bobbarita, but I'm trying to get to it. (Might not make it tonight.)


    BTW, all: Care for a little garrote trivia?
    The Spanish execution style garrote was last used in 1974, when two men were executed on the same day in Barcelona. After that, the very last Spanish executions, which took place in 1975, were unable to use this method because there was only one executioner in Spain, and the five condemned men were in three different cities -- Madrid, Barcelona and Burgos. And hence (Don’t you just love finding an opportunity to use that phrase?), the last five executions in the country were carried out by firing squads. (In 1978, capital punishment was abolished in Spain.)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    SW Florida
    Posts
    490
    Referring back to the knots being a unique "signature"...I think the perp (or perps?) was so pre-occupied with accomplishing the task at hand that he/she/they forgot about (or never considered?) the "autograph" the knots represent...

Page 1 of 46 1 2 3 11 ... LastLast


Similar Threads

  1. COD: Strangulation
    By JeannieC in forum Texas Killing Fields and Mysteries Along I-45
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 11-09-2017, 11:40 AM
  2. The Rope and the knots
    By elfie in forum Rebecca Zahau Nalepa
    Replies: 186
    Last Post: 08-10-2013, 09:56 PM
  3. Memphis; Noose-like knots lead to 3 firings at GPAC
    By dark_shadows in forum Up to the Minute
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-04-2007, 08:55 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-01-2004, 12:38 AM

Tags for this Thread