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  1. #1
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    Trace Evidence and the Intruder Theory

    Iíve been reading this forum for years, but have never really felt the need to post before. It strikes me that everything is being so overanalysed and overprocessed. Theories are based on misinformation which just feeds the individual posterís preconceived agenda. I have no agenda or theories. Iím completely puzzled as nothing seems to make sense. In my opinion, this case needs to be addressed in more general, logical terms, rather than jumping to conclusions based on tiny, probably insignificant pieces of information.

    One thing that has always puzzled me about the case is the almost complete absence of any forensic evidence indicating an intruder. Presuming there WAS an intruder (known to the Ramseys or otherwise), he/she, at least, performed the following tasks: entered the house, walked around the house, carried JBR to the basement, killed her (accident or otherwise) and exited the house. Depending on which theory you follow, he/she also possibly entered via the broken window, fed her pineapple, sexually assaulted her and wrote the ransom note.

    I admit that my knowledge of forensics is quite limited, by I find it difficult to believe the someone could have performed these tasks without leaving any significant DNA, clothing fibres or foot-prints. I am aware that there are dubious amounts of physical evidence, such as the foot print, the red fibres, the DNA in JBRís panties and the DNA from under her fingernails. This evidence, however, is likely to have come from innocent sources, but even if it didnít, itís only a minuscule amount of trace evidence, considering all the tasks that the intruder would have had to perform. What would you have to wear to prevent any trace evidence escaping? A radiation suit? A helmet? Gloves, head covering and coveralls made from some sort of fibre that will not shed onto things that it touches? Would you need to wear a surgical mask so you donít sneeze, breathe your DNA onto things you are close to, such as JBR? How would someone taking such precautions have the agility to write a ransom note, tie a garrotte and sit down with JBR and feed her pineapple while he/she is dressed like a surgeon / mountain explorer / nuclear scientist?

    Do you think the killer would have had to have gone to these lengths to avoid leaving trace evidence, or was it just luck that he/she didn't leave any significant signs of his/her presence? Or do you think it would be impossible (in the absence of wearing full body armour) for an intruder to not leave any evidence considering all the tasks that were undertaken while killing JBR? Or is it more logical that there was no intruder at all?

  2. #2
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    It is more logical that there was no intruder at all.

    This is one for you Aussie, just where is all the trace evidence of that pedophile ring

  3. #3
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    Yes, looking at the big picture is a fruitful way.
    The problem with forensic evidence is that it is harder to draw conclusions in the abscence of them.
    What I mean is a fingerprint connects an individual to a place or item.
    An abscence of a fingerprint what does that tell you. SOMEBODY maybe where not there, or SOMEBODY maybe did not handle the item, or SOMEBODY cleaned of the print.

    Also cases where staging is involved is hard. Just look at the Sheppard case. Alot of staging but hard to prove.

    I think you have to look at the facts and try to make sense out of them. Even 'small' facts.
    This is hard as perps often are not sensible.

    Regarding this case I don't think there will be a conviction without confession as the evidence and the scene where screwed up, but reasoning about the case can put peoples mind to rest.

  4. #4
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    Tumble, I'm aware that it's difficult to draw conclusions from the absence of evidence. However, it is the very absence of any foreign trace evidence that is of concern. What i'm specifically asking, is, does anyone know, forensically speaking, if it is difficult to kill someone in such and elaborate manner and NOT leave any evidence. What would someone have to wear to ensure that there is little, if any, trace of them left?

  5. #5
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    Sorry Omega for not answering your question,

    My personal opinion is that, absolutely there would have been traces of an intruder, unfortunately this does not prove there were no intruder.
    Maybe this forreign DNA is something...

  6. #6
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    Sorry Tumble, didn't mean to sound rude, I didn't intend to be, is annoying that there is no tone of voice on the Internet!

  7. #7
    IrishMist's Avatar
    IrishMist is offline You can't control the wind - but you can adjust your sails
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    Quote Originally Posted by tumble
    Sorry Omega for not answering your question,

    My personal opinion is that, absolutely there would have been traces of an intruder, unfortunately this does not prove there were no intruder.
    Maybe this forreign DNA is something...
    I don't know. I'm starting to think that it does prove there was no intruder. How could anyone spend that much time in the house and not leave a trace?

  8. #8
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    IrishMist:
    I'm starting to think that it does prove there was no intruder

    If the crimescene had been properly handled maybe so. If we knew who touched what and who went were. This scene was severly contaminated.
    Even the DNA evidence could arise from contamination after the body was found.

  9. #9
    IrishMist's Avatar
    IrishMist is offline You can't control the wind - but you can adjust your sails
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    Quote Originally Posted by tumble
    IrishMist:
    I'm starting to think that it does prove there was no intruder

    If the crimescene had been properly handled maybe so. If we knew who touched what and who went were. This scene was severly contaminated.
    Even the DNA evidence could arise from contamination after the body was found.
    The scene was mishandled and contaminated, I agree. But to me, that would ADD trace evidence, (i.e. more evidence to sort through) not subtract from it. (i.e. make intruder evidence disappear)

  10. #10
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    DNA is easily contaminated. If an intruder left DNA and another person touched the same object it could be hard to see that an intruder was there.

    If the house and surroudnings had been examined and photographed from the start, maybe we could see footprints in the snow before it meltet away. Or we could see that there were no prints.


  11. #11
    IrishMist's Avatar
    IrishMist is offline You can't control the wind - but you can adjust your sails
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    I see what you are saying, and want to agree. But then I wonder about fibers, hairs, etc.

    For the intruder(s) to spend as much time in the house that they would of had to spend to pull this off, and not leave evidence of themself/selves... it just doesn't seem reasonable to me.

  12. #12
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    Yes I agree, the intruder/s would certainly leave trace evidence after their visit.
    But with all those persons running around the house detecting what traces were the introders would be difficult.

    Confining ourselfs to JBR's body I think it is very telling that it seems all trace evidence can be tied to the R's(except for the rumored DNA).
    Especially the fact that lots of fibers actually were found.
    So here I agree with you even more

  13. #13
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    Don't forget we have Westerfield on death row, a man who was balding ,had a beard growth who dropped not a fiber ,a hair, a fingerprint or dna in the VanDam's home.
    Let's not forget as well, that "if" one of the suspects, such as Santa was involved, or a family friend, or a neighbor child, the presence of their fibers, prints and hair was considered NOT part of the crime by the BPD. Do not forget, there are 4,000 fibers collected by the bpd, many of which do not match anything in the home. The Ramsey closets were vacuumed in hopes of identifying some of the unsourced hair and fibers, they could not find a match in that house. Read between the lines in the interviews and depositions, you will see a desperate attempt on the part of the police to find a reason for "something not yet made public" in those panties , something other than the male dna that has been collected and not sourced. Our intruder "TOLD" us he was familiar with police tactics, he KNEW he left little to nothing behind. There were two footprints, one hi-tech and another tread found inside the wine room. What do you think was found in Jonbenet's room that prompted carpet removal? You/we do not know. There are elements to this crime that have not been made public, and given the climate at the time, you can bet your "buttons" that the leaks were designed to make a Ramsey look guilty.

    I do take offense to the comment "rumored dna", why discount a fact???

  14. #14
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    rumored DNA was a bad expression on my part.
    I meant it has been speculated about how good it was.

  15. #15
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    Omega, you struck the target first time!

    "What would you have to wear to prevent any trace evidence escaping? A radiation suit?"

    that's about the size of it!

    And the red fibers were NOT innocent, Omega. I'll be happy to elaborate on that for you.

    "Or do you think it would be impossible (in the absence of wearing full body armour) for an intruder to not leave any evidence considering all the tasks that were undertaken while killing JBR?"

    Damn near, in my opinion!

    "Or is it more logical that there was no intruder at all?"

    It is, imo.

    "Don't forget we have Westerfield on death row, a man who was balding ,had a beard growth who dropped not a fiber ,a hair, a fingerprint or dna in the VanDam's home."

    Not even comparable, sissi. Westerfield was in and out in a flash. He didn't camp out for hours like Smitten's boogeyman.

    "I meant it has been speculated about how good it was."

    Right. No one disputes the DNA was there. But most of the experts who worked with it said that it was not connected to the crime at all.

    Henry Lee: "DNA evidence in this case does not shed any light."

    Another one:

    http://websleuths.com/forums/showthr...3&page=1&pp=25

    And another:

    Here's what one of the investigators had to say about the DNA "evidence": "We certainly don't think it is attributable to an assailant. That's our belief. When you take everything else in total, it doesn't make sense. I've always said this is not a DNA case. It's not hinging on DNA evidence." (Rocky Mountain News, November 19, 2002.)

    And another:

    According to the same article, investigators did some tests on similar panties from the same plant and found that some also contained DNA. Since the bits of DNA molecule found mixed with JonBenet's blood were fragmented and degraded to the point that they couldn't even be sourced to any particular type of cell, contamination from the plant is the most likely explanation for its presence -- and the fact that it was never sourced to anyone connected to the family or anyone in the CODIS database.

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