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  1. #1
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    Asphyxia Basics

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayelles
    I'm asking this question and I don't know the answer ....

    Apart from the obvious marks on the neck and potential breaking of the hyoid (sp) bone - are there any other physical differences between a victim of strangulation and a victim of suffocation?

    e.g - if JonBenet had been suffocated and the garotte applied afterwards, would a coroner be able to tell this?
    This following text, which I composed a few weeks ago, was intended as a precurser to reviewing this question, but I assumed it had already been covered, so decided not to follow it up.
    Last edited by UKGuy; 09-14-2005 at 07:52 PM. Reason: bad sentence structure

  2. #2
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    Asphyxia: Is the reduction of oxygen or O2 intake into your lungs to approximately 15% or 10%, normal air contains about 22% oxygen. At these low levels you might feel dizzy, see stars, experience pins and needles. People who practise autoerotic asphyxia will interpret these sensations as a heightening of their sexual arousal!

    contusion:
    a bruise caused by a blow to the muscle, tendon, or ligament; caused when blood pools around the injury and discolors the skin.

    abrasion:
    Any injury which rubs off the surface of the skin.

    Some common methods of asphyxiation:

    1.) Suffocation.
    2.) Strangulation.
    3.) Drowning.
    4.) Inhalation of toxins.

    There are some others with qualifications that could be added such as mechanical asphyxiation, choking, burking, and toxin ingestion by eating or osmosis. Also wrt JonBenet's death I'll ignore methods 3.) and 4.)

    Homicidal smothering can be done using a pillow, bedding, plastic bag or the assailants own hands.

    If a plastic bag or pillow is used then the victim typically has no visible marks unless she struggles, if this is the case, then the victims face or arms sometimes display abrasions or contusions left by the killer as they try to control the victim.

    Homicidal strangulation has some common features. Strangulation blocks the airway preventing the victim from breathing. It also restricts the flow of blood to the brain by blocking the cartoid arteries, which pass from the aorta to the brain by way of the neck and are the major source of blood supply to the brain.

    Medical Examiners often find petechial hemorrhages in all types of strangulation. These hemorrhages are caused by blood leaking from the ruptured capilliaries and appear as small red dots or streaks in the whites of the eyes and the pink parts around them. These markings appear when the pressures within the veins of the neck rise suddenly and dramatically. This pressure transmits to the capilliaries of the eyes, causing them to leak blood.

    In many strangulation deaths the victim's face becomes congested. Fluid collects in the tissues, and the face appears swollen, often taking on a dusky hue.

    Manual Strangulation: This occurs when someone applies pressure to the victim's neck with a hand, forearm, or other limb, compressing the airway and the cartoid atteries.

    Some signs of manual strangulation are:

    Contusions:
    The pressure from the assailant's fingers and thumbs may leave bruises in the shape of fingersor, more often, round bruises that match the tips of the fingers and the pads of the thumb. The Medical Examiner typically finds these bruises on the sides of the victim's neck, * but not always. * If the assailant is facing the victim, he/she may use both hands and press his/her thumbs into the recesses where the cartoid ateries lie. In this case, the major bruising appears on either side of the trachea ( wind pipe ), with smaller finger bruises on either side of the victim's neck.

    Abrasions:
    The assailants fingernails may cause abrasions on the victims skin. Since the assailant uses the tips of her/his fingers to grip the victim's neck, the assailants nails may dig into or scratch the victim's flesh. If the assailant hasn't closely clipped their his/her nails , these nail abrasions may appear as linear scratches or as thin, semicircular or linear mark where the nails "dug into" the victim's flesh.

    Injuries to the neck:
    Most assailants use a great deal more force than is necessary, they may cause injury to the neck muscles. the Medical Examiner often finds bleeding in these muscles at autopsy.
    Also the assailants often injures the the small bones of the neck. Fractures of the cornu (horn) of the thyroid cartilage (Adam's apple) and the tiny hyoid bone ( a delicate C-shaped bone above the thyroid cartilage) often occur in manual assaults.

    Ligature strangulation:
    This occurs when someone tightens a constricting band around the neck. The tightening force is some force other than the victim's own body weight, as occurs in hanging. Essentially all ligature strangualtions are homicides.

    If the ligature is soft, such as a towel, or bed sheet, it maynot leave marks on the neck. A thin ligature, such as electrical or nylon cord, leaves a deep groove in the tissue of the victim's neck. This furrow's deep impression matches the width of the particular ligature used. Not uncommonly the Medical Examiner sees associated bruises and abrasions on the victims neck. How many of these brusies and abrasions occur and how prominent they are depend on on how fiercly and successfully the victim struggles against her attacker. Occassionally these associated abrasions and bruises reveal the pattern of the ;igature used.

    The ligature furrow in strangualtions tends to be directed horizontally around the neck. Whether the assailant is facing the victim or approaching from behind, he/she tightens the ligature by pulling laterally on its ends.

    In autoerotic asphyxia LE usually find a male victim, partially suspended by a hanging noose. This occurs due to a reduction in oxygen to the brain causing poor judgement, and a sudden loss of consciousness, after he falls the victim cannot save himself!

    Hangings can also leave a distinctive inverted V pattern in the neck, along with facial alterations, and changes in lividity.

  3. #3
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    That is interesting - thank you UKGuy.

    Basically, both suffocation and strangulation are methods of asphyxiation and asphyxiation produces the petechial haemorrhaging in the eyes etc.

    I don't have any stats handy, but I believe that suffocation is a common way to kill a small child and it is easy to suffocate a child accidentally.

    So I repeat my question - if Jonbenet were accidentally suffocated and the garotte were applied soon afterwards, would a coroner suspect that she had been suffocated and not strangled?

    Here's a thought. Someone clamps a hand across Jonbenet's mouth to shut her up. She stops breathing. The adult panics and shakes her hard to get her to respond. In doing so, her head gets slammed hard against a solid object causing the head injury. The scene is then staged to make it look like soething quite different happened.

    The abrasion on her face could have been caused by a ring which turned inwards. It was a cold evening - rings get loose when it's cold and a ring with a large stone would twist inwards.

    The ring would have been worn on the assailants left hand because in the above scenario, the assailant would have clamped his/her left hand across Jonbenet's mouth in order to make the mark on the right hand side of her face.

    Think about it - an adult hand over a small child's face. Look at your left hand - palm facing you.. if the crook of the thumb and forefinger were under her nostrils (possibly pinching them in the struggle), then a ring on the left hand would land approximately in the correct position on JonBenet's face causing an abrasion there.
    This is only my opinion

    Let the focus be on Madeleine




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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayelles
    Basically, both suffocation and strangulation are methods of asphyxiation and asphyxiation produces the petechial haemorrhaging in the eyes etc.

    Jayelles,

    JonBenet wasn't smothered to death. Smothering would not have caused petechial hemorrhages of blood to appear on the neck and the eyelids. Smothering takes away oxygen from the brain, not blood.

    The petechial hemorrhages were above and below the ligature found tightly wrapped around JonBenet's neck. Therefore, JonBenet died from asphyxia caused by ligature strangulation (cutting off blood and oxygen to and from the brain).

    Because of its design, the ligature, IMO, was an erotic asphyxiation device.

    BlueCrab

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCrab
    JonBenet wasn't smothered to death. Smothering would not have caused petechial hemorrhages of blood to appear on the neck and the eyelids. Smothering takes away oxygen from the brain, not blood.
    MEDICOLEGAL INVESTIGATION OF DEATH:

    Autopsy findings in cases of homicidal smothering are non-specific. Mild, acute emphysema and edema of the lungs, scattered areas of atelectasis, petechiae and congestion constitute some of the findings. Bruises and abrasions on the cheeks and chin may be very significant. An important area to examine is the inside of the mouth. Hemorrhages and tears of the lining of the oral cavity, including the frenulum of the upper lip, as a result of forceful pressure against the teeth may be the only findings suggestive of trauma to the face.
    "That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too." -- Anne Elk

  6. #6
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    Asphyxial Deaths and Petechiae: A Review.

    URL http://www.charlydmiller.com/LIB04/2...hiaereview.pdf

    The foregoing is pretty dry and formal but weakens the association of petechiae and asphyxia.

    One finding is:
    Asphyxial deaths in which facial and conjunctival petechiae are distinctly uncommon include those due to smothering (facial wedgings, those involving plastic bags or gags, and all forms of homicidal smothering), overlaying of children, choking suffocating gases, entrapment and drowning.

  7. #7
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    why_nutt,

    "scattered areas of atelectasis, petechiae and congestion" are internal conditions (damage to mucous membranes).

  8. #8
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    Wellllllllllll

    With all of the special information contained in this thread so far, WE still cannot identify 'the' perpetrator enough to slam em into the striped jail cell spa.

    I have always been enamored of my thoughts posted so many years ago, about the procedure to stop convulsions in children. I had the link waaaaaaay back then, but it described the procedure used by manual pressure on the carotid artery, OR it described in specific detail the surgery that was used to stop convulsions in children who had specific health problems that caused them to have convulsions.

    SOOOOO, given all of that, my suspicion is that 'the' perp used heavy pressure on JBR carotid artery, that caused the large bruise that WE see on JBR neck in the autopsy pictures.

    Given that, my thinking has been sorta re arranged to include it in the murder procedure, rather than stopping convulsions caused by loss of breath.

    IF the pressure on the carotid artery that caused the bruise (imop) and which is rather supported by UK guys informative post, was part of the murdering activity consider this:

    The left hand is quickly placed on her neck (while the victim is upright) with 'the' perps thumb putting heavy pressure on the right side of JBR neck, right on top of the carotid artery, with fingers curled toward her neck, (this fits with Jayelles thought about the ring 'sorta'**) BUT as this happened, the perps right hand is brought quickly up and covers the victims mouth and nose. At some point JBR loses conscientiousness and causes 'the' perp to lose their balance and they fall on top of JBR, CRASHING to the floor. (causing the skull injury ??) Would the weight of 'the' perp falling on top of JonBenet have been enough to cause the skull injury. I think it is possible, with the violent movement of the anger ? activity.

    So, who was angry with JBR, someone who had having little daliances with her in the home, (and had been found out and chastised) or a foreign faction?

    IF this activity took place in the furnace room, and JonBenet is struggling violently to escape, she may have pulled enough to throw 'the' perp off balance and screamed, at which point the perps hand went over her mouth, they both lost balance and crashed into the cement wall of the furnace room, causing the skull injury.

    The questions are many, but do YOU think this could have caused the skull injury?

    ** IT sorta fits, but in the fall to the floor, the grip of 'the' perps hand is loosened and the ring shifts and is involved in the fall to the floor, leaving the mark on the side of JBR face.

    I am led to this conclusion by UK post that I quote here.

    contusion:
    a bruise caused by a blow to the muscle, tendon, or ligament; caused when blood pools around the injury and discolors the skin.

    Contusions:
    The pressure from the assailant's fingers and thumbs may leave bruises in the shape of fingersor, more often, round bruises that match the tips of the fingers and the pads of the thumb. The Medical Examiner typically finds these bruises on the sides of the victim's neck, * but not always. * If the assailant is facing the victim, he/she may use both hands and press his/her thumbs into the recesses where the cartoid ateries lie. In this case, the major bruising appears on either side of the trachea ( wind pipe ), with smaller finger bruises on either side of the victim's neck.


    Manual Strangulation: This occurs when someone applies pressure to the victim's neck with a hand, forearm, or other limb, compressing the airway and the cartoid atteries.
    I also note that what was perceived as nail marks on the front of JBR's neck and would work in my scenario BUT they would have been at an angle, HUH, er, IF JBR was trying to loosen the grip of 'the' perp when they first grabbed the neck, 'maybe not'.


    In any case whatever we speculate, nor what was or is known by the 'authorities' will not or has NOT sent anyone to the striped jail cell spa, via court, yet.



    .
    Opinions expressed by me, are mine, based on life experience, and known facts of any given case.





    """I am just a pixel in the universal plan."""

  9. #9
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    And you think one or both parents did all that?

  10. #10
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    Hmmm

    Quote Originally Posted by tipper
    And you think one or both parents did all that?
    Tipper, it really does not matter what you or I think, what matters is what Law Enforcement thinks, and what the Ramseys actually know. In either case, no one is in prison, for murdering tiny JonBenet Ramsey.

    Thinking can be flawed, no matter who is doing the thinking.


    .
    Opinions expressed by me, are mine, based on life experience, and known facts of any given case.





    """I am just a pixel in the universal plan."""


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camper
    Tipper, it really does not matter what you or I think, what matters is what Law Enforcement thinks, and what the Ramseys actually know. In either case, no one is in prison, for murdering tiny JonBenet Ramsey.

    Thinking can be flawed, no matter who is doing the thinking.


    .
    Including law enforcement.

    What do you think the Ramseys actually know Camper?

  12. #12
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    Hmmm

    Zman, for starters, I do believe the Ramseys knew EXACTLY what the ransom note said, YET they did all of the things the note said NOT to do.

    WHY didn't they relay the amount of money asked for in the ransom note on the 911 call and ask for advice on how to handle that? IT was the very key to getting their daughter back alive.

    I also think the Ramseys know what Fleet White knows that caused him to become so outspoken to the governor, and to the police, and no doubt caused their closerthanthisfriendship to end.

    Other than that, I have covered over the past 8 years my theory ad nauseum, you should be able to find a copy of my theory in the current archives somewhere.


    .
    Opinions expressed by me, are mine, based on life experience, and known facts of any given case.





    """I am just a pixel in the universal plan."""

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camper
    [...]
    WHY didn't they relay the amount of money asked for in the ransom note on the 911 call and ask for advice on how to handle that? IT was the very key to getting their daughter back alive.

    [...]


    .
    How would the 911 operator know what their assets were, how difficult it would be to get access to that kind of money etc etc?

    The 911 operator isn't a detective. How is she supposed to be trained enough to give advice about handling any of this.

  14. #14
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    On the subject of the 911 operator, to me, she came across as quite condescending, if that's the word. I got the impression that she wasn't taking Patsy seriously at first and I dont think Patsy expected her to ask so many questions. It wasn't until Patsy started wailing OMG please that her attitude seemed to change and she seemed to be starting to believe Patsy.
    Maybe they are trained to repeat what the person is saying because she seemed to repeat everything Patsy said and that seemed to be frustrating Patsy.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camper
    Zman, for starters, I do believe the Ramseys knew EXACTLY what the ransom note said, YET they did all of the things the note said NOT to do.

    WHY didn't they relay the amount of money asked for in the ransom note on the 911 call and ask for advice on how to handle that? IT was the very key to getting their daughter back alive.

    I also think the Ramseys know what Fleet White knows that caused him to become so outspoken to the governor, and to the police, and no doubt caused their closerthanthisfriendship to end.

    Other than that, I have covered over the past 8 years my theory ad nauseum, you should be able to find a copy of my theory in the current archives somewhere.


    .
    Ironicly this is one of the reasons I do not suspect the R's.
    If they wrote the RN then they would have included instructions to benefit themselves in the coverup and then proceeded to follow at least some of them.
    Yet they did not, they disregared every warning and instruction in the note and called police.

    I see no reason to tell the 911 dispatcher anything regarding the ransome amount and she didn't ask for it anyway. I sure would have found it suspicious if she had.
    To PR credit she said she did not read the entire RN and said nothing on the phone call to indicate otherwise.

    What the R's know about FW I suspect is that he may have been involved in JBR's murder.

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