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  1. #1
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    Why not very much blood?

    Was luminol used to look for blood in the house at all?

    Steve Thomas' book said they were surprised that there was not much blood around or on JonBenet's body. I saw an autopsy photo somewhere of her neck, and she had a huge, deep gash in it that the garrot covered up. Also, that head wound would have made a large quantity of blood. So where is it all?

    (Forgive me if my question has been covered before; I'm new to reading about this case). Thanks.
    Kaly

  2. #2
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    Kaly (May I call you Kaly? I certainly hoe pso),

    I'm not new to reading about the case but have been inactive as a poster for some years. Now, you know exactly who I am; I'm that poster who's been inactive for some years.

    The gash you refer to isn't a gash, it's a ligature pressure groove which remained when the cord around the neck was removed. There was no blood in or around the groove because neither the skin nor the flesh was cut. There were, however, so-called petechial hemorrhages-bleeding within the tissue as a result of too much back-pressure on the veins while the arteries were pressurized by the pumping of the heart. These hemorrhages occur at the capillaries, which respond to excessive pressure by leaking. While the blood is flowing, the pressure is OK, as with any properly designed system for the conveyance of liquids. Probably, similar hemorrhaging could also occur post mortem, if the tissure were squeezed sufficiently, as with blood blisters (not technically petechiae). I doubt that the professionals would refer to such "bleeding" as either hemorrhaging or petechiae, however.

    Some have questioned whether the cord was applied before or after JBR died. I think there can be little doubt that it was applied before she died, as petechial hemorrhaging on the face and the conjunctiva of the eyes requires a beating heart. Furthermore, the ME listed one of the two causes of death as asphyxiation.

    It interests me that asphyxia doesn't require choking (blocking of the airway); it only requires preventing sufficient oxygen to reach the brain, as with occlusion of the arteries, usually the carotid/s, and/or occlusion of the jugular/s, either of which could prevent the requisite oxygenation (recall that the blood has to circulate). Of course, asphyxiation also occurs when breathing is unobstructed while the air contains insufficient oxygen, as when mountain climbers succumb to high altitude; in that case a more precise term, hypoxia (insufficient oxygen), is ordinarily used; or when the air contains too much of a poisonous gas or any gas which has displaced the oxygen, such as carbon dioxide or halide. Among the many ways to produce asphyxiation is one known as "Burking." Can you believe it! It entails sitting on the chest and covering the mouth, I think. I have often wondered whether JBR's trachea was occluded. There is no mention of that in the post-mortem. It's possible that it was not, as the cord was evidently not tight enough to bruise neck strap muscles or break the hyoid, injuries which often accompany strangulation. Much more tension in a ligature is required to cause choking than is required to occlude the neck vasculature. Did you know that restricting the flow of blood to the brain, as in strangulation, can produce unconsciousness in a matter of seconds (rarely death), whereas death usually does not occur for a matter of four or five minutes? It's not unusual for persons (victims) who've been strangled, to revive, because the perps leave off strangling them prematurely-they pass out and the perps think they're dead. That's why savvy "stranglers" follow up with a bang on the head for good measure or some other means of "finishing them off" such as drowning, which was the fate of the strangulation victim in "Silent Witness."

    There was no bleeding from the head wound, because the scalp was not cut. I recall that at least one expert, who conducted experiments on a cadaver, believed the head injury could have been caused by a blow with a heavy flashlight. I assume LE thoroughly examined the flashlight which they took into custody for signs of such impact. Do you suppose the instrument had been wiped to remove such signs or to remove fingerprints or both? Or did a policeperson wipe both the instrument and it's batteries clean to remove his/her fingerprints, thus explaining why it was unaccounted for (missing from the property room) during a certain period of time? A baseball bat would probably also have produced such an injury. I think we can rule out any object that had sharp or semi-sharp edges or was of small diameter, such as a fireplace poker or chunk of small diameter galvanized water pipe, as such weapons would most likely have produced a laceration. I wonder if it's possible that the ME simply overlooked scalp trauma (bruising) due to the livor mortis which had set in on the right side of the head/face. I recall that he mentioned in the post-mortem that livor mortis made identification of petechiae on that side of the face difficult. I believe impact with a large-diameter object or a flat or semi-flat object, including any hard, unyielding surface such as a tile or concrete floor could have produced this injury, given sufficient impact.

    In short, there was no external bleeding because there were no lacerations, and there was little internal bleeding because she didn't live long enough after the attack (or accident) for it to occur.

    I once dreamed that I was dreaming...seriously. It was the darndest thing! What would be your interpretation of such a dream? I sometimes kick the wall or hit it with my fist while dreaming. Don't think THAT doesn't wake me up! Ouch! I think I should move my bed away from the wall...or quit dreaming. But dreaming is so much fun and dreams so interesting.

    I once had a very strong impression, early on, that youngsters were involved in JBR's death...seriously. Does that mean I'm psychic? Time will tell.

    Stop me before I dream more....

  3. #3
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    Wink

    RedChief,
    How's it going over there just across the pond?

    post-mortem (UK)
    autopsy (USA)

    The "dreams" part of your post is just a leeeetle bit creepy. No offense.
    I do still enjoy reading your posts.

  4. #4
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    trixie or tricky?

    Sometimes I say post-mortem just to be different. I live in the U.S., very near where I was born, within a long day's drive of Boulder, but have never been there.

    Yeah, I'm hard to sleep with; just ask my cat.

    In one of my recent dreams, I was in possession of a file folder with a cotton string attached to it. Also, in the same dream, I saw some unique flowering plants with blossoms consisting of multiple disparate florets; e.g., rose, lilly, geranium sharing the same stem. Most of my dreams contain fragments of what I've experienced during the waking state. After viewing Pet Sematary, I dreamed that I was walking in a field of huge boulders which were shifting under my feet and on the verge of rolling down a mountainside. It seems that the neurons conspire at night to create stories around certain sensory events which occurred during the day. There's probably nothing very symbolic about my dreams; just interesting nonsense.

    Strangely, I've never dreamed about the Ramsey case, though I have wished to in order to wake up some morning knowing who did it.

    Time for bed. To sleep, perchance to dream.....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedChief
    The gash you refer to isn't a gash, it's a ligature pressure groove which remained when the cord around the neck was removed. There was no blood in or around the groove because neither the skin nor the flesh was cut.
    Yes you may call me Kaly. Nice to meet you. But now I'm totally confused. I could swear that in the photo I saw the skin was cut and there was a huge gash. Darn. I can't remember where I saw that photo. Maybe I wasn't looking at one of JonBenet! This is going to drive me batty until I figure it out.

    P.S. Go get a book by or about Carl Jung on dreams. You may find out that none of what comes out of your unconscious is meaningless. :-)

  6. #6
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    Kaly, read the autopsy report. It has answers to your questions.

  7. #7
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    You know what, I found out I was looking at the wrong autopsy photo!! I found the correct ones last night. I sure don't know who's picture I ended up looking at. Anyway, thanks I will read the autopsy report. I'm new to reading about this case, sorry, I was just repeating what Steve said in the book.

    Great answer, Red Chief!

  8. #8
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    The answer is simple--
    The blow to the head came when she was near death or already dead from the ligature strangulation, therefore, the bloodflow was stopped or significantly slowed down when the blow was administered.
    Karen

  9. #9
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    Savvy Stranglers

    Quote Originally Posted by RedChief
    It's not unusual for persons (victims) who've been strangled, to revive, because the perps leave off strangling them prematurely-they pass out and the perps think they're dead. That's why savvy "stranglers" follow up with a bang on the head for good measure or some other means of "finishing them off" such as drowning, which was the fate of the strangulation victim in "Silent Witness."
    (What case is "Silent Witness" about?) I agree with your statement, because of what I've read about Gary Ridgeway, the Green River killer. He usually finished the victims off some other way because he was aware that strangling wasn't enough. Sometimes he would even step on their neck. Well then, why wouldn't the Boulder cops have thought of that? I'm coming along very late in the study of this case, but it seems to me that this is a convincing argument for the intruder theory. Has it been argued to death already or not, do you know? This is the very first time I've questioned seriously that maybe Patsy didn't do it.

  10. #10
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    silent witness

    It's about the murder of Karla Brown, which occurred in Jan of '78 in Wood River, Illinois. Another interesting aspect of this case is that the culprit, John Prante, was among the first to be interviewed by the police. It was not until four years or so later that he was arrested and charged with the murder. It seems that he mentioned in casual conversation that the victim had been bitten on the shoulder. This fact had not been made public. The body was exhumed and the bite marks found and impressions made. They matched those of John Prante. He had been partying with some friends next door to the house where she was found murdered. She and her newlywed husband were just in the process of moving in, but he was at work and she was alone. She was attractive and resisted his advances, and you can guess the rest. He strangled her with an electrical cord and, I think, cracked her skull, but neither of those measures killed her; she drowned when, after having been rendered unconscious, he stuffed her head into a bucket of water and left her in a kneeling position. What is even more amazing about this story is that it was the coroner (a lady) who performed the second autopsy (on the exhumed body), who determined that the cause of death was drowning. The first examiner (a man) ruled cause of death as strangulation. If memory serves, he hadn't even discovered the head trauma.

    As for who killed JBR, I'm undecided; guess I lean a little toward some juvenile. I admit, I'm awful hard to convince.

    "God knows who you are, and we will find you."


  11. #11
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    Wait a second, are you guys playing with me? I just found out that the Boulder police estimated that "between 10 and 45 minutes passed between the time JonBenet sustained her head wound and the time she was strangled" (Schiller). I found this quote in a 2003 article from Crime Magazine.

  12. #12
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    argued to death/Schiller's book/playing

    Last question first: not playing.

    Second question second: Schiller's book is presented chronologically and is a good overview of the case as it stood at the time of publication; however, it contains some factual errors, speculation and mischaracterization. Experts couldn't agree as to which of the injuries came first and the interval of time between each. Some said blow first; some said strangled first. Even the medical examiner wasn't sure. We are still arguing about those matters to this very day. Schiller made mention of the hymenal tissue that remained, implying that some of it had been obliterated at one time or another. The medical examiner made no such comment in the autopsy report. Also, Schiller was mistaken about who went to the basement when. Yes, do consult the autopsy report. It is the uncertainty about so much of the evidence that is what is so maddening about this case. Just when you think you KNOW that this or that is the case, you find out that this or that may not be the case. There are even factual mistakes in Thomas' book. For example, he remarked that "the skull had been crushed by some enormous blow that left a well-defined rectangular pattern." According to the autopsy report, there was an "extensive area of hemorrhaging"; there was no mention of any pattern of any kind. Moreover, there was no mention of a crushed skull. The examiner described the fracture as "linear to comminuted" with a "displaced fragment." Also, both Thomas and Schiller misspelled hymenal; they spelled it thus: "hymeneal", which refers to marriage rather than to a body part. Also, Thomas said the brain had "massively hemorrhaged." Baloney! Many, if not most, experts were puzzled by the SMALL amount of bleeding that had occurred in the brain. Obviously, there must have been some pressure in the veins, and especially the arteries to drive the scalp and brain hemorrhage. It seems reasonable to assume, therefore, that heart continued to pump for some time after the vasculature was compromised. My view is that we need to PIN DOWN all the important facts in this case. A fact isn't a fact until it's a fact.

    First question last: What was it?....oh, a whole lot of arguing has gone on, and probably a whole lot of arguing will continue; and when the case is brought to trial, if ever, a whole lot of arguing will ensue. So hang in there! You may be the one who cracks this case.

    "There's somebody out there!"

    Edited for SU
    Last edited by RedChief; 02-13-2005 at 04:48 PM.

  13. #13
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    Facts; the skin on the head was not lascerated, there was no external swelling, there was bruising on the neck below the position of the cord., there was a small rectangular displacement of the skull.

    Beliefs; the bleeding in the skull was small.

    My conclusions; the strangulation came first, the head was covered or the object that was used was padded, the final position of the cord was not for strangulation. The final postion of the neck cord matches the purpose of the wrist cords; staging and or the posing of a body part. Most importantly, the head blow, the position of the body and the position of the cords, had meaning for the perp. The initial strangulation was functional only.

    The small amount of internal bleeding and the lack of swelling indicate a lack of blood pressure when the head blow was delivered. The petechial hemorrhaging indicates blood pressure when the strangulation occured.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrotherMoon
    Facts; the skin on the head was not lascerated, there was no external swelling, there was bruising on the neck below the position of the cord., there was a small rectangular displacement of the skull.

    Beliefs; the bleeding in the skull was small.

    My conclusions; the strangulation came first, the head was covered or the object that was used was padded, the final position of the cord was not for strangulation. The final postion of the neck cord matches the purpose of the wrist cords; staging and or the posing of a body part. Most importantly, the head blow, the position of the body and the position of the cords, had meaning for the perp. The initial strangulation was functional only.

    The small amount of internal bleeding and the lack of swelling indicate a lack of blood pressure when the head blow was delivered. The petechial hemorrhaging indicates blood pressure when the strangulation occured.
    The skin on the head was not lacerated: Apparently not, so no sharp-edged object was employed or involved. FACT I agree.

    There was no external swelling of the head: FACT I agree.

    Rectangular displacement of skull: FACT I agree.

    Strangulation came first: yes, I think so too.

    The head was covered or the weapon padded: I might agree with this if it weren't for the fact of the displaced fragment. It seems to me the displaced fragment suggests no padding; however, if you can explain to me how the fragmentation could have occurred with the padding, I will concede, and be delighted. Considering that the displaced fragment (DF) occurred toward the back of the skull, where the radius of curvature is smallest, it's possible that the bulk of the impact (highest perpendicular pressure) occurred elsewhere; e.g., along the crack, and the fragment was expelled outward when the skull distorted. Do you know whether the fragment was expelled outward or pushed inward? If it was pushed inward, I'm more inclined to think the impacting surface was hard and like that of a baseball bat, flashlight, banister or some such thing. It interested me to read, in Patsy's deposition of 98', that when Haney posed the question regarding the possibility that the child might have been pushed down the stairs (the accident theory), she answered, "I.......don't know." As an aside, as much or more damage can be done to the brain (more extensive) with a padded device and/or with a padded head (folded towel) as can be done in the absence of padding, because with no padding, some of the energy of the blow is expended in tissue damage and bone fracture. In short, a person can succumb to brain damage without any visible sign of scalp damage or fracture. In JonBenet's case, the brain directly underneath the fracture was bruised along the entire length of the fracture and we know that arteries were torn, because she hemorrhaged subdurally and subarachnoidally. We also know that some scalp arteries were torn, apparently along the fracture, because an "extensive area of hemorrhaging", which bordered the fracture, was noted.

    The final position of the cord was not for strangulation: I'm not exactly sure I understand what you mean by this. What was the position of the cord prior to it's final position? I note that there are abrasions on the front and sides of the neck that aren't explained by the cord in it's final position.

    The purpose of neck cord matches the purpose of wrist cord: What was the purpose of the wrist cord? Symbolic bondage? If so, why wasn't the neck cord also symbolic? If it had been, no strangulation would have occurred, right? Or are you suggesting that stunning, binding (sort of), strangling and clubbing satisfy a deep psychological need for this perp? That's interesting.

    The initial strangulation was functional only: yes, to render her unconscious, but what is the evidence for this initial strangulation?

    Small amount of bleeding: What about the extensive area of hemorrhaging in/of the scalp? I'm inclined to agree with you on this.

    Lack of swelling of the brain: I'm inclined to agree with you on this also. Some swelling is usually seen with strangulation. Some have speculated that the swelling in JBR's brain-apparently minimal-indicated that she had been alive some minutes (10-40) prior to death. That lended credence to the blow-first theory.

    Bruising on the neck below the position of the cord: This was described as abrasion, I think.

    Thanks, BrotherMoon!

    "We need the one phone call to this number..."

  15. #15
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    Well then if strangulation happened first, then it couldn't have hardly been an accident. I was really hoping that the 2003 Crime Magazine article, Solving the Jon Benet Case by Ryan Ross was true. The solution of an accident/coverup is so much less anxiety-producing than to to think she was purposely murdered.

    P.S. I did find an autopsy report online but it was impossible to read. I think it was at acandyrose.com. I'm sure there must be one elsewhere. I don't know if I can stomach it or not though.

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