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Thread: Cords, Knots, and Strangulation Devices

  1. #426
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurriFlower View Post
    In the scenario whereby she was 'hanged horizontally' wouldn't you expect there to have been a V shape to the ligature, whether she is on her back or not?
    If I understand what you’re saying, it wouldn’t matter if she was lying down, or standing, or sitting. If the cord around her neck was pulled (by whatever means) vertically to her torso, there would still be a “V” pattern (understanding that the “V” is imaginary -- that is, it’s not necessarily present because it is where the knot and adjacent cord is being pulled away from the neck and therefore not applying pressure to the skin). What is not possible is for her to be on her back preventing it from being pulled away and putting the pressure on her throat.

    I thought you established, and I agreed (is that a legal "we"?), that the way the knot was tied, when you pulled up on the 'handle', that it would not tighten? Therefore, I'm suggesting it's only purpose was to maintain the pressure.
    I think what I said, at least what I meant anyway, was that the stick served no purpose in the way it was tied to the ligature. IOW, it couldn’t have been used to twist the cord to tighten it, and it couldn’t be used to tighten it like a tourniquet. The knot on the cord around her neck was some type of slipknot. When the tail was pulled, it would have tightened the ligature around her neck -- regardless of how it was pulled; whether it was pulled by the cord itself, by some type of handle, or by her partial suspension from something overhead. But again, how could the paintbrush (the “handle”) have been pulled if her hair is entangled in the knot?

    I'll go back to my original idea and see if you can find any merit in it.
    Do you have your entire theory posted anywhere?

    How's about the ligature was first merely wrapped around her neck and both ends pulled in opposite directions by two hands?
    Possible, but that wouldn’t account for the blanched area on her neck in the autopsy photos that are at an upward angle.

    Following this, the knot/handle were secured to keep it tight until she expired. If this was done, while trying to maintain the pressure, it might account for the hair being tangled in the handle end.
    The hair in the knot is what indicates to me that the “handle” was never pulled, tightened, twisted, or used in any way. It was added after she was already dead (IMO), only for staging. Now, if you can come up with a reason that an intruder would do that, I would certainly like to hear it, and I would be open to considering other options.

    As I said before, I really don’t want to think that anyone in the family caused this, but that’s what the evidence tells me. You tell me a better scenario. I haven’t heard one yet, but I would love to.
    .

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  3. #427
    Quote Originally Posted by otg View Post
    If I understand what you’re saying, it wouldn’t matter if she was lying down, or standing, or sitting. If the cord around her neck was pulled (by whatever means) vertically to her torso, there would still be a “V” pattern (understanding that the “V” is imaginary -- that is, it’s not necessarily present because it is where the knot and adjacent cord is being pulled away from the neck and therefore not applying pressure to the skin). What is not possible is for her to be on her back preventing it from being pulled away and putting the pressure on her throat.



    I think what I said, at least what I meant anyway, was that the stick served no purpose in the way it was tied to the ligature. IOW, it couldn’t have been used to twist the cord to tighten it, and it couldn’t be used to tighten it like a tourniquet. The knot on the cord around her neck was some type of slipknot. When the tail was pulled, it would have tightened the ligature around her neck -- regardless of how it was pulled; whether it was pulled by the cord itself, by some type of handle, or by her partial suspension from something overhead. But again, how could the paintbrush (the “handle”) have been pulled if her hair is entangled in the knot?



    Do you have your entire theory posted anywhere?



    Possible, but that wouldn’t account for the blanched area on her neck in the autopsy photos that are at an upward angle.



    The hair in the knot is what indicates to me that the “handle” was never pulled, tightened, twisted, or used in any way. It was added after she was already dead (IMO), only for staging. Now, if you can come up with a reason that an intruder would do that, I would certainly like to hear it, and I would be open to considering other options.

    As I said before, I really don’t want to think that anyone in the family caused this, but that’s what the evidence tells me. You tell me a better scenario. I haven’t heard one yet, but I would love to.
    .
    The knot on the cord around her neck was some type of slipknot. When the tail was pulled, it would have tightened the ligature around her neck -- regardless of how it was pulled; whether it was pulled by the cord itself, by some type of handle, or by her partial suspension from something overhead.
    I couldn't get it to work for me. The only way I could tighten it was by pushing down on the knot. However, it would 'stay put' once tightened if I kept up pressure on the 'handle' end.

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  5. #428
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    Quote Originally Posted by otg View Post
    The hair in the knot is what indicates to me that the “handle” was never pulled, tightened, twisted, or used in any way. It was added after she was already dead (IMO), only for staging. Now, if you can come up with a reason that an intruder would do that, I would certainly like to hear it, and I would be open to considering other options.

    As I said before, I really don’t want to think that anyone in the family caused this, but that’s what the evidence tells me. You tell me a better scenario. I haven’t heard one yet, but I would love to.
    .
    otg,
    Some time ago, in discussion with another rmember, using similar analysis I came to the same conclusion. With one additional proviso: had the stick been twisted then JonBenet's hair would have been torn, at the roots, from her head. If she had been conscious she would have screamed and struggled.

    In the autopsy and at the crime-scene there is no record of JonBenet's hair being found, so it was not pulled from her scalp.

    hence the ligature plus paintbrush handle is staging, plain and simple. So the question for all IDI theories is: what is the intruder intending to achieve by staging a crime-scene?


    .

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  7. #429
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurriFlower View Post
    I couldn't get it to work for me. The only way I could tighten it was by pushing down on the knot. However, it would 'stay put' once tightened if I kept up pressure on the 'handle' end.
    Murri, let me help you with your theory in the way the slipknot could be tightened.

    Assuming that the ligature is not tight around the neck to begin with, and if the knot is at ~one quarter of the circumference away from the direction the tail is being pulled, and the tail is pulled with sufficient force to cause the loop not to slip around, and if the tail is being pulled away from the knot and not with it, the slipknot will tighten.

    I know that seems like a lot of “if’s”, but basically if the circumstances are right, it would work.
    .

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  9. #430
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKGuy View Post
    otg,
    Some time ago, in discussion with another member, using similar analysis I came to the same conclusion. With one additional proviso: had the stick been twisted then JonBenet's hair would have been torn, at the roots, from her head. If she had been conscious she would have screamed and struggled.

    In the autopsy and at the crime-scene there is no record of JonBenet's hair being found, so it was not pulled from her scalp.

    hence the ligature plus paintbrush handle is staging, plain and simple. So the question for all IDI theories is: what is the intruder intending to achieve by staging a crime-scene?
    Exactly, UKGuy, exactly. Or should I, can I say... Elementary, my dear Watson. (I always wanted to be able to say that. I just wish now that I could say the butler did it.)
    .

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  11. #431
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toltec View Post
    Speaking of hanging...weren't JonBenet's feet dirty??
    I think they were ,there's a statement about it in one of the books.I remember people talking about it because it could mean JB was alive,standing on her feet down in the basement.
    There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
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  13. #432
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    Quote Originally Posted by otg View Post
    Exactly, UKGuy, exactly. Or should I, can I say... Elementary, my dear Watson. (I always wanted to be able to say that. I just wish now that I could say the butler did it.)
    .
    otg,


    footnote: I think it was this feature of the ligature that allowed me to reject BlueCrab's theory regarding Erotic Asphyxiation.


    .

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  15. #433
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKGuy View Post
    In the autopsy and at the crime-scene there is no record of JonBenet's hair being found, so it was not pulled from her scalp.
    There was was quite a bit of JonBenet's hair in the cord wrappings of the paintbrush stick. It looks like the hair got entangled as the stager was wrapping the cord around the stick. Do you think the coroner had to cut off this hair in order to remove the garrote?
    Quote Originally Posted by UKGuy View Post
    hence the ligature plus paintbrush handle is staging, plain and simple.
    There is no question about that imo.

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  17. #434
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    Quote Originally Posted by madeleine View Post
    I think they were ,there's a statement about it in one of the books.I remember people talking about it because it could mean JB was alive,standing on her feet down in the basement.
    madeleine,

    Material on JonBenet's feet was described as lint which might mean she was in her bed prior to her death, since lint can be the debri from cotton or linen sheets?


    .

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  19. #435
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    Quote Originally Posted by rashomon View Post
    There was was quite a bit of JonBenet's hair in the cord wrappings of the paintbrush stick. It looks like the hair got entangled as the stager was wrapping the cord around the stick. Do you think the coroner had to cut off this hair in order to remove the garrote?

    There is no question about that imo.
    rashomon,
    Do you think the coroner had to cut off this hair in order to remove the garrote?
    I reckon so. If we can reach the conclusion of staging simply considering the ligature, if you then add Coroner Meyer's remarks regarding digital penetration and sexual contact to this aspect then surely at the autopsy Coroner Meyer must have reached a similar conclusion! Although his autopsy report does not reflect this. I think his written technical report would make for interesting reading?

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  21. #436
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaybug View Post
    I also followed this story from way back when. I just don't see Patsy Ramsey killing Jon Benet, if for no other reason than Jon Benet was Patsy's pride and joy and she was following in her Mother's footsteps in beauty pagents.

    My opinion only.
    Sadly, parents, even mothers, can and DO sometimes kill their children. Susan Smith loved her boys, too. Yet she pushed her car into water with them strapped into their car seats and drowned them.
    That is exactly how Patsy got away with it- because of people not being able to believe a mother could kill a child she loved. First of all, this was not a premeditated murder, and I believe (as do many) that IF Patsy killed JB it was in a rage and she did not mean to kill her. Second, as a cancer patient with stage 4 ovarian cancer, she likely knew her own death may come at any time and she'd be with her daughter again. And third, Patsy may have not killed JB at all but did cover up for someone who had.
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

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

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  23. #437
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    JB's hair was not pulled out. If it had been, the root and probably some (probably miniscule) scalp tissue would have been attached. Besides, the coroner said he had to cut JB's hair in order to separate the garrote from her neck, so the most plausible theory for me is that the garrote was made right on her, and her hair was tangled in the cord at that time, and as it was pulled tight. IMO she was unconscious already from her head bash and was lying still as she was strangled, not feeling the hair being pulled by the garrote.

    AS far as the livor mortis- it takes about 10-20 minutes to FORM after death, but lasts much longer of course. She need not have been dead that long for the lone white mark to have formed, but there was a longer window of time for the white mark to form before the blanching stage of livor had progressed to the non-blanching (fixed) stage.

    Re the lint or debris on her feet- I have never seen any report indicating that whatever was found on her feet was ever tested against the material on the WC floor or any other area of the basement. If anyone has, please post it of you can. This was VERY important- it would have PROVEN she was indeed awake at some point after they returned home from the White's and was standing in the basement. And another absolutely unforgivable lapse if these tests were never done.
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

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

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  25. #438
    Quote Originally Posted by otg View Post
    Murri, let me help you with your theory in the way the slipknot could be tightened.

    Assuming that the ligature is not tight around the neck to begin with, and if the knot is at ~one quarter of the circumference away from the direction the tail is being pulled, and the tail is pulled with sufficient force to cause the loop not to slip around, and if the tail is being pulled away from the knot and not with it, the slipknot will tighten.

    I know that seems like a lot of “if’s”, but basically if the circumstances are right, it would work.
    .
    Playing again with my cord and poor old foot.

    Yes, the knot could be tightened (that is pushed down) by hand or as you say by pulling against it by positioning it to the side. This still doesn't explain the 'handle' and how she was strangled.

    It was suggested so often that it was twisted to tighten the ligature, I decided to try it. If you twist the cord for long enough, it becomes straight and round like a pipe, and in doing so, the distance between the knot and the cord becomes much less. Then a funny thing happens, the twisted cord can spin within the slip knot and the cord is able to be tightened. Eureka!!

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  27. #439
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKGuy View Post
    madeleine,

    Material on JonBenet's feet was described as lint which might mean she was in her bed prior to her death, since lint can be the debri from cotton or linen sheets?


    .
    Sure, could be. Lint from a towel (or JR's bathrobe), lint from whatever was used to wipe her down. Any of these things. I have never seen this lint described in any more specific way (color, fabric, etc) yet it is one of the most important clues in the case. Was she standing UP in that basement in her longjohns and bare feet THAT night after the return from the White's? Testing the "lint" and sourcing it to a basement surface would PROVE just that.
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

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

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  29. #440
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee249 View Post
    JB's hair was not pulled out. If it had been, the root and probably some (probably miniscule) scalp tissue would have been attached. Besides, the coroner said he had to cut JB's hair in order to separate the garrote from her neck, so the most plausible theory for me is that the garrote was made right on her, and her hair was tangled in the cord at that time, and as it was pulled tight. IMO she was unconscious already from her head bash and was lying still as she was strangled, not feeling the hair being pulled by the garrote.
    DD, I believe you are right about the coroner having to cut the hair to remove the paintbrush knot, but that’s a big assumption to make without a source. It isn’t mentioned in the AR, so where did you find that Meyers said that? It’s very important, because if true, it completely blows out of the water any supposition that the thing was used as a garrote of any sort (which of course I feel it was not) -- even is she was unconscious.

    AS far as the livor mortis- it takes about 10-20 minutes to FORM after death, but lasts much longer of course. She need not have been dead that long for the lone white mark to have formed, but there was a longer window of time for the white mark to form before the blanching stage of livor had progressed to the non-blanching (fixed) stage.
    Yup. Agreed.

    Re the lint or debris on her feet- I have never seen any report indicating that whatever was found on her feet was ever tested against the material on the WC floor or any other area of the basement. If anyone has, please post it of you can. This was VERY important- it would have PROVEN she was indeed awake at some point after they returned home from the White's and was standing in the basement. And another absolutely unforgivable lapse if these tests were never done.
    From the AR:
    EVIDENCE: Items turned over to the Boulder Police Department as evidence include: Fibers and hair from clothing and body surfaces...”

    We don’t know, and probably won’t find out if that included from her feet; but certainly it should have been, and probably (IMO) was. If it did include the fibers from the bottom of her feet, we don’t know whether or not it was matched with anything.

    But I agree that if JonBenet had fibers or dust on the bottom of her feet that matched the floor surface of the basement, it would be very important.
    .

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  31. #441
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    Heyya otg,

    Quote Originally Posted by otg View Post
    Tad, the whole point of all my postings on this is that the “garrote mechanism” is not functional as it was made. Could the cord have strangled her in a way other than by hanging? Yes. But did the “handle” serve any purpose? No; especially if it had her hair tangled in the knot -- which it did. As for it possibly being used in another way (tied to a chair or a bedpost), I suppose it would be a possibility. I don’t really see how all the other evidence would fit in with a scenario like that, but if you can come up with one, I’m all ears. Like I’ve said before, I’m not married to any one theory; and I’m not trying to fit the evidence together to come to a predetermined conclusion. The evidence is what it is. It’s up to us to figure what it means..
    Yes, re stick, if a double prusik was the knot used, then it serves no additional purpose to again knot the tail end of the rope that is tied to the stick. If anything, the extra knot off-centers the symmetry when pulled.

    Quote Originally Posted by otg View Post
    On the total length of cord... I had not included the length of cord used on wrists. I was only trying to figure, as close as possible, the length of cord between the left wrist knot and the neck knot; and it was based on a lot of assumptions and estimates because of a lack of verifiable or otherwise known information. This was only to see if there was enough estimated length for it to have possibly been used like that. IMO, there was.

    Others (and you) may disagree with my conclusion, but it all seems to fit with everything else we know.
    No, I haven't drawn any conclusions with respect to the possibility of hanging, just wondered if in your readings, the possibilty of other positions/angles of 'hanging' could be entertained.

    It doesn't take but an inch to 'hang'.

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  33. #442
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurriFlower View Post
    Playing again with my cord and poor old foot.
    So, is your family starting to wonder if you’ve lost your mind yet? (Don't worry mine gave up on me a long time ago.)

    Yes, the knot could be tightened (that is pushed down) by hand or as you say by pulling against it by positioning it to the side. This still doesn't explain the 'handle' and how she was strangled.
    (my bold)
    I thought it would be better if you realized that on your own. It doesn’t, but you’ve now confirmed that in your own mind.

    It was suggested so often that it was twisted to tighten the ligature, I decided to try it. If you twist the cord for long enough, it becomes straight and round like a pipe, and in doing so, the distance between the knot and the cord becomes much less. Then a funny thing happens, the twisted cord can spin within the slip knot and the cord is able to be tightened. Eureka!!
    (again, my bold)
    So how long is long enough? Pretty long time -- yes? And in the case of JonBenet, when did this twisted cord become untwisted? And (last one) how would it have been twisted like that with her hair entwined in the knot?
    .

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  35. #443
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpole12 View Post
    Yes, re stick, if a double prusik was the knot used, then it serves no additional purpose to again knot the tail end of the rope that is tied to the stick. If anything, the extra knot off-centers the symmetry when pulled.
    Do you mean "prusik" in a general sense, or specifically a Prusik Hitch? Read post #117[/url]: [ame="http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5749401&postcount=117"]Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community - View Single Post - Cords, Knots, and Strangulation Devices[/ame]


    No, I haven't drawn any conclusions with respect to the possibility of hanging, just wondered if in your readings, the possibility of other positions/angles of 'hanging' could be entertained.
    Certainly! I love to entertain, and be entertained. Thrill me.

    It doesn't take but an inch to 'hang'.
    Didn't someone famous say that? Sounds like it anyway. And you know the other old saying... Give a man an inch and... Oh, nevermind.

    Later, Tad........................
    .

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  37. #444
    Quote Originally Posted by otg View Post
    So, is your family starting to wonder if you’ve lost your mind yet? (Don't worry mine gave up on me a long time ago.)
    I only do it when I'm home alone LOL.

    (my bold)
    I thought it would be better if you realized that on your own. It doesn’t, but you’ve now confirmed that in your own mind.
    Yes, but of course, but it had to have some purpose, (please don't say 'staging' cause that makes no sense).

    (again, my bold)
    So how long is long enough? Pretty long time -- yes? And in the case of JonBenet, when did this twisted cord become untwisted? And (last one) how would it have been twisted like that with her hair entwined in the knot?
    .[/QUOTE]

    about 30 full turns makes it start to slip inside the knot and around 40 it'll start to tighten by just holding it firm. The 15" between the knot and the stick, reduces to about half. If the hair became entwined while this process was going on, that makes sense. It unwinds when you let it go.

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  39. #445
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    Heyya otg.

    re: Strangling force.

    http://www.search.com/reference/Strangling


    Even though the mechanism of strangulation is similar, it is usually distinguished from hanging by the strangling force being something other than the person's own bodyweight.[4] Incomplete occlusion of the carotid arteries is expected, and in cases of homicide, the victim may struggle for a period of time,[4] with unconsciousness typically occurring in 10 to 15 seconds.[10] Cases of ligature strangulation generally involve homicides of women, children, and the elderly,[4] but accidents and suicides occur as well.[11] Suicide by ligature strangulation requires that the constriction around the neck be held even after loss of consciousness,[4] which can be accomplished with complicated knots.[3]

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  41. #446
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    http://judoinfo.com/chokes6.htm


    If the carotid artery hold is properly applied, unconsciousness occurs in approximately 10 seconds (8-14 seconds). After release, the subject regains consciousness spontaneously in 10-20 seconds. Neck pressure of 250 mm of Hg or 5 kg of rope tension is required to occlude carotid arteries. The amount of pressure to collapse the airway is six times greater.

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  43. #447
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    .
    (edited for clarity on quotes)
    Quote Originally Posted by MurriFlower View Post
    Murri:
    Yes, the knot could be tightened (that is pushed down) by hand or as you say by pulling against it by positioning it to the side. This still doesn't explain the 'handle' and how she was strangled.

    otg:
    I thought it would be better if you realized that on your own. It doesn’t, but you’ve now confirmed that in your own mind.

    Murri:
    Yes, but of course, but it had to have some purpose, (please don't say 'staging' cause that makes no sense).
    I’m not going to say it, I’d rather you realize it on your own. You’re almost there. Look at the totality of evidence associated with the ligature. That would include the type of knot used, what was used as a “handle”, the fact that her hair was caught in the knot when it was tied, and the result of it all (shown in the autopsy photos). And, of course, because of your experimentation and willingness to look at it critically and objectively, that personal knowledge you now have of the difficulty in using it in some way or another is part of the “evidence” you have that someone else may not.

    Consider it all with the information you have, and you’ll figure it out. The evidence speaks. It may be a shout, it may be a whisper. We may not hear it, but it’s there. Listen to the evidence without personal feelings or a desire for a predetermined outcome.

    Who knows? You may have an “aha” moment like SuperDave. Your conclusion may be different than his, or different than mine; but when it happens, you’ll know it.
    .

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  45. #448
    Quote Originally Posted by otg View Post
    .
    (edited for clarity on quotes)

    I’m not going to say it, I’d rather you realize it on your own. You’re almost there. Look at the totality of evidence associated with the ligature. That would include the type of knot used, what was used as a “handle”, the fact that her hair was caught in the knot when it was tied, and the result of it all (shown in the autopsy photos). And, of course, because of your experimentation and willingness to look at it critically and objectively, that personal knowledge you now have of the difficulty in using it in some way or another is part of the “evidence” you have that someone else may not.

    Consider it all with the information you have, and you’ll figure it out. The evidence speaks. It may be a shout, it may be a whisper. We may not hear it, but it’s there. Listen to the evidence without personal feelings or a desire for a predetermined outcome.

    Who knows? You may have an “aha” moment like SuperDave. Your conclusion may be different than his, or different than mine; but when it happens, you’ll know it.
    .
    Give it a go otg, you will see that it works.

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  47. #449
    Detective Trujillo, who was present at the Autopsy, called a CBI technician and asked him how best he could lift prints from JonBenet's skin. The technician told Trujillo it was best to tent the body and fume it using super glue. Trujillo ended up using a different, simpler method and lifted one partial print.

    Meyer decided not to make note of those events in his report. Afterward, he had continued with an internal examination of the body. He had seen no sternal or rib fractures. He noted that he had found some scattered petechial hemorrhages on the surface of each lung and on the front surface of the heart. These suggested death by suffocation.
    ...We have said to ourselves, look, there is never going to be a victory in this, there is no victory...John Ramsey: 6/24/98

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  49. #450
    Quote Originally Posted by Toltec View Post
    Detective Trujillo, who was present at the Autopsy, called a CBI technician and asked him how best he could lift prints from JonBenet's skin. The technician told Trujillo it was best to tent the body and fume it using super glue. Trujillo ended up using a different, simpler method and lifted one partial print.

    Meyer decided not to make note of those events in his report. Afterward, he had continued with an internal examination of the body. He had seen no sternal or rib fractures. He noted that he had found some scattered petechial hemorrhages on the surface of each lung and on the front surface of the heart. These suggested death by suffocation.
    Can you please tell where you sourced this information, thanks.

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