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  1. #1
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    The Bonfire

    Just want to throw this out there since SD and Bobby are mentioned in a theory.

    The bon fire.

    In the dassey trial, brendan notes that there was lumber scraps left over from the building of the Janda garage. Who built the garage ? Tadych involved maybe, since he's the boyfriend ?

    Why does a bon fire get made that day in particular is the question. We obviously see that the contention is that it's to burn a body.

    But does it change the perspective at all if Scott Tadych says to Steve at some point or even through Barb Janda - suggests a bon fire that day to get rid of all that scrap lumber ?

    Putting tires on a fire seems crazy to me, because bon fires that I have been a part of are a social event and not about destroying anything.

    We don't use tires or car seats as accelerants to speed up destruction. We usually put more thought to making it last!

    But at a junk yard, and in rural areas, they are most often about destroying things and not uncommon. The goal in these bon fires is typically to go as fast as possible and get the WORK done.

    So is tires and seats as accelerants seen as anything but business as usual to me ? nope.

    So is it important how the bon fire comes about ? Who makes that decision ? Was it possible that Steve was not KNOWINGLY the origins of the bon fire ? But someone like Barb said , hey steve, I got all this scrap lumber that needs burning, is it possible you can burn it tonight ? Might that be something Scott asks her to ask Steve ?

    How would we ever know? Also, it's true that Steve manufacturing a reasonable reason is just as plausible - ie, hey, let me help you out with all that scrap lumber barb. etc.


    So knowing how this bon fire was decided upon, is of interest to me.

  2. #2
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    I also have questions about bonfire. I do know that in rural or these kind of businesses, burn barrels are used in cleaning up your lot. It would not be uncommon to have one once or twice a week- and everything goes in but the kitchen sink.

    Let's say Steven was cleaning up some. I think it says somewhere he was going around lot. But I would like to know when the fire was out. Did Steven leave it burning, that someone else could've put Teresa in fire? What alibi does Earl have?

    It isn't logical that Steven and possibly Brendon ( although I don't believe so) could clean up so well. She couldn't have been killed in salvage yard. No blood in bedroom. The garage is a mess, no blood. Try and shoot someone twice with no blood splatter! If Brendon had heed carry a dead body with gunshot wounds, where is the blood on clothes? Steven also.

    No, I think his brother Earl is connected.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEMEto5 View Post
    I also have questions about bonfire. I do know that in rural or these kind of businesses, burn barrels are used in cleaning up your lot. It would not be uncommon to have one once or twice a week- and everything goes in but the kitchen sink.

    Let's say Steven was cleaning up some. I think it says somewhere he was going around lot. But I would like to know when the fire was out. Did Steven leave it burning, that someone else could've put Teresa in fire? What alibi does Earl have?

    It isn't logical that Steven and possibly Brendon ( although I don't believe so) could clean up so well. She couldn't have been killed in salvage yard. No blood in bedroom. The garage is a mess, no blood. Try and shoot someone twice with no blood splatter! If Brendon had heed carry a dead body with gunshot wounds, where is the blood on clothes? Steven also.

    No, I think his brother Earl is connected.

    I think we should probably start different threads about bon fire, and remove the discussion of specific theories from it, but just discuss the bonfire itself.

    To someone who hasn't lived in a rural area, and doesn't understand that a junkyard uses fire to destroy things regularly, it might seem very odd that Steve Avery was even having a bonfire that day.

    Maybe another thread on the blood splatter topic. I personally see no need for there had to be any blood splatter, even though I understand the prosecution describes it going down.

  4. #4
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    My family has a burn "pile" in the pasture where we throw literally everything that will burn but is too large for trash pickup. Branches, lumber, I think we threw an office chair in it one time. I don't know if we've ever burned tires simply because there is a local place that pays for them.

    Casting suspicion on anyone just for the simple existence of the bonfire is pointless, because they probably had bonfires regularly, and I'm sure everyone know if a bonfire was likely to happen that night.

    I wonder if ST knew a bonfire was scheduled to happen and maybe hid a body and threw some tires on it. Thanks for helping destroy the evidence, Steven! Just a thought, not necessarily a theory. Plausible though, IMO.

  5. #5
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    The Bonfire

    I believe it is worthwhile to discuss this aspect of the case, because to many it seems incredibly suspicious that there was a bonfire on the night that police believed TH was killed by SA, and subsequently her body burned.

    For myself, a bonfire is not a common occurrence. It's a social event that might happen at a beach or while camping and involves marshmallows.

    In that context, your goal is for the fire to last as long as possible or at least as long as your social event requires. During the course of this fire you might add more wood to keep it going, but I've never been to a bonfire where tires were added as an accelerant.

    However the context of a bonfire that is common in rural areas, is to destroy things you consider garbage or branches on your property. The process is also viewed as work in this context and your goal is to complete it quickly in many cases. If you've lived in a rural area, you learn things about how to tend a fire and what items burn faster and how to quickly achieve your objective of destroying the garbage. Having lived in a rural area, I still have never used a tire! But I do understand that getting the work done was my goal.

    The context of the bonfire we are talking about is another step further , in that this is a junkyard. Bonfires in a junkyard are also a part of their regular business, in that they have alot more garbage than most of us. They have a steady stream of junk cars that get stripped of parts that might have value, and removal of items that might be flammable and ignite when crushed. They don't want an uncontrolled fire! So the removal of some items, are not because they have value, but because they need to be destroyed in a more controlled scenario.

    So when you are a person who regularly uses fire to destroy things, you get an idea of how best to do that. You understand how hot it needs to be, to destroy certain things. You also understand how accelerants can be used to get your job done quicker. So I'd say it's fair to say that someone working at a junkyard is gonna be far more skilled at understanding all these things and applying them to even a bonfire that is about destroying their own junk.

    From Brendan, we learn that some of the items that were burned that day came from the Janda residence. He mentions they had been building a garage and so they were gathering scrap lumber. He also mentions some old furniture. We know that tires were used on the fire too, which I'm sure anyone who works at a junkyard knows are a excellent accelerant.

    In Bryan Dassey's interview he says that Steve might do a bonfire 1-2 times a month. We don't know the last time he had a bonfire, but Bryan does mention that : JOSHUA RADANDT, the owner of the gravel pit, was clearing brush and STEVE had offered to burn that for him.

    It's also possible that Barb Janda or Scott Tadych had mentioned that the scrap lumber from the garage could be burned next time he had a bonfire.

    I have not seen a direct statement as to how this bonfire came about that day, but those are the only details that I could find.

    None of this is meant to persuade anyone towards a conclusion about that fire, but rather to give information regarding how often this was done, the reasons for a bonfire, the knowledge of fires, and items used to help us consider this aspect objectively.

    If anyone has anything to add about bonfires, or any information about this specific fire from someone's testimony, feel free to add.

    I have never worked at a junkyard, so some of this is speculation. Maybe someone who has worked in a junkyard can tell us if using tires was a common thing for a bonfire in this context.

  6. #6
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    What I don't understand about the bonfire is that it takes at least two hours of extremely high heat (1400 to 1800 degrees) within a crematorium to burn a body. How is it possible that even with accelerants like tires that an open bonfire could burn TH's body without it being extremely suspicious. Did people really testify that SA was tending a gigantic roaring fire for 12+ hours or so that it would take to burn her body that completely?

    As for adding tires to the fire in the first place, that isn't so suspicious to me as I can remember my cousins adding all kinds of stupid, highly flammable stuff to bonfires they had on their property for fun. If part of the bonfire was also to dispose of junk around the salvage yard as well then it also makes sense. I imagine that SA wasn't the type to drive a bunch of tires to a recycling center.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miette View Post
    What I don't understand about the bonfire is that it takes at least two hours of extremely high heat (1400 to 1800 degrees) within a crematorium to burn a body. How is it possible that even with accelerants like tires that an open bonfire could burn TH's body without it being extremely suspicious. Did people really testify that SA was tending a gigantic roaring fire for 12+ hours or so that it would take to burn her body that completely?

    As for adding tires to the fire in the first place, that isn't so suspicious to me as I can remember my cousins adding all kinds of stupid, highly flammable stuff to bonfires they had on their property for fun. If part of the bonfire was also to dispose of junk around the salvage yard as well then it also makes sense. I imagine that SA wasn't the type to drive a bunch of tires to a recycling center.
    First, it wouldn't take 12 hours based on the expert testimony, it seems like it'd be more like 4-5 hours - although I'm sure many will argue that as well.

    This is the reason why the size of the fire is so important. Scott Tadych changes his description of the fire from smaller to larger.

    Others change their testimony from larger to smaller.

    It's fact that tires were used in the fire. Which in itself I don't find suspicious.

    There's alot of conflict in trial about how many tires were used, because the usage of tires would be a means of maintaining the temperatures you have noted.

    Also the prosecution contends the wire from the tires were intertwined with the bones, but I don't see that evidence. Might be in transcripts via whoever recovered bones.

  8. #8
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    Something to consider... This bonfire was planned in advance according to Dassey's confession. Travis Fabian, some other Fabian, Blain Dassey along with a few of his friends were going to attend. They all ended up cancelling that day but it's never noted anywhere I can find what time all these people cancelled or when Steven Avery knew they all cancelled.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxManning View Post
    First, it wouldn't take 12 hours based on the expert testimony, it seems like it'd be more like 4-5 hours - although I'm sure many will argue that as well.

    This is the reason why the size of the fire is so important. Scott Tadych changes his description of the fire from smaller to larger.

    Others change their testimony from larger to smaller.

    It's fact that tires were used in the fire. Which in itself I don't find suspicious.

    There's alot of conflict in trial about how many tires were used, because the usage of tires would be a means of maintaining the temperatures you have noted.

    Also the prosecution contends the wire from the tires were intertwined with the bones, but I don't see that evidence. Might be in transcripts via whoever recovered bones.
    I guess I was underestimating how hot a tire fire could potentially get, but it seems that you would need a lot of tires to get a fire that hot even for just a few hours. I'd imagine that it would also create a lot of nasty smoke that other people on the property would notice, versus a normal trash bon fire that Steven seemed to have on a fairly regular basis.

  10. #10
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    I question the bonfire too, he would have needed at LEAST 4-5 hours of an extremely hot fire to get the body in the state it was found.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephsb View Post
    I question the bonfire too, he would have needed at LEAST 4-5 hours of an extremely hot fire to get the body in the state it was found.


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    You realize that the bones weren't found until the week of 11/5 right ?

    There was also a bone found at the quarry site and in the Janda burn barrel, suggesting moving of bones.

    What exactly suggests to you that the bones couldn't have been further burned 11/1 - 11/4 ?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miette View Post
    I guess I was underestimating how hot a tire fire could potentially get, but it seems that you would need a lot of tires to get a fire that hot even for just a few hours. I'd imagine that it would also create a lot of nasty smoke that other people on the property would notice, versus a normal trash bon fire that Steven seemed to have on a fairly regular basis.
    People did notice the bo fire and black smoke. But this is a junkyard, which is the point of this post, to show that even burning tires is not something irregular.

    If I was driving past a junkyard and saw big black nasty smoke from a firepit, I wouldn't think - They must be burning a body.

    Although after hearing about this case, I just might think that in the future!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxManning View Post
    You realize that the bones weren't found until the week of 11/5 right ?

    There was also a bone found at the quarry site and in the Janda burn barrel, suggesting moving of bones.

    What exactly suggests to you that the bones couldn't have been further burned 11/1 - 11/4 ?
    The Avery family left to go up to the cabin up north on 11/1, so I would think the bones would have been burned by that date. But you are certainly correct, there is the possibility they could have been burned later than 10/31.

    I tend to believe the burning was done as quickly as possible. I get these guys are not the smartest, but they would certainly know they don't want to get caught w. a dead body- I imagine that would be the absolute first priority for most murderers...it should be almost instinct to get rid of the body in some way. If any of the five associated w. The Avery's are involved (Steven, CA, EA, BD, ST) I think the burning happened before they left for up north. Multiple burn sites, on multiple days, with multiple fires (that need to get hot enough to cremate a body) are more opportunities to get caught/make a mistake, and require more assumptions. I think whoever disposed of the body, and wherever they did it, they did it as quickly as possible. All JMO of course


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  14. #14
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    I have read here and on other forums that if Teresa's body had actually been burning in the pit behind Steven's home why had no one smelled her body being burned?

    Is it safe to guess that the rubber tires could have masked the smell...along with other things being burnt?I do not know as I have never smelled a burning body.I also assume that the other family members had their windows closed as it was Oct 31st in Wisconsin.Can't imagine windows or doors being open.

  15. #15
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    Allegedly the fire was started somewhere around 5:00pm-ish and it was going well past 10pm when BD had to go home due to his curfew. It's reasonable to conclude that bonfire was burning for possibly 6 hours or more.

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