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Thread: Sniff tests, hair decomp, really so conclusive? Fence sitters thread

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    Smile Sniff tests, hair decomp, really so conclusive? Fence sitters thread

    I've been surprised by the way it has quickly become almost impossible to say on any forum that you still think Caylee may be alive and/or that Casey may be innocent. Also, I've been surprised at the way the catch phrase "pathological liar" and "narcissistic personality" has been used so widely on TV in describing Casey, without any medical or psychiatric testing having been performed, just ascribing these terms to Casey and it becoming accepted as fact. I think there could be lots of possible reasons for the strange lack of cooperation and the strange misinformation provided by Casey to authorities. I think she could be in shock, could have had a trauma, could be recovering from drug usage or could even have been drugged, could have a seizure disorder or dissociative disorder, or it could be an innocent but out of control compulsive lying problem, or it could be for some other reason and none of these. But does not have necessarily to be "pathological lying/narcissistic personality". If it were that, wouldn't she make the lies make more sense, if you know what I mean?

    So that's what I'm starting this thread for, for anyone who is still considering all the possibilities in this case equally.
    So far, there's just the sniff tests and hair linked to Caylee, right? And the stain (in the trunk), still unidentified basically? But hair can get in a trunk on any blanket, toy, jacket, brush or whatever, that gets put there. And then it decomposes. Just ordinary hair that got there innocently, it decomposes just like a body would or any organic matter would. The same with various biological stains.

    As far as the dog sniff tests go, I love dogs, and I know they have amazing senses, including their sense of smell, and they are very perceptive animals. I would love to believe like the media and popular culture that dogs are some kind of litmus test to tell us where a human corpse has been. But the two dogs signalled somewhat differently in the grandparents' backyard, right? So, what does that say in itself? They both were interested in the backseat area and trunk of the car. But what if Caylee and Casey had slept or lived in the car at some point in between friends returning from out of town, what if they'd spent a lot of time eating and being in the car, including diapers or whatever, sleeping in the car, hair brushing in the car, food in the car, whatever. What if dog sniff tests are really not that scientific, despite dogs' many wonderful qualities and the fact they do have pretty decent noses? Is any "sniff test" really that reliable? I'm not sure that all experts would say they are (whether dog or machine "sniff test".) I'd love to hear if anyone here knows, I know a lot of you all do know a lot!

    For one thing, I know that dogs find the scent of different living people to be extremely different, we don't all smell the same to them at all, that's precisely how dogs can "track" where an individual has gone. We don't have one "human" smell. So how would the smell of humans be all one category when decomposing, you know? This so-called "human decomposition" smell that they love to keep repeating in the media. To dogs' noses, wouldn't we be more likely to smell different? Would body fluids or hair innocently deposited in a car which are then decomposing in the heat for some time smell different to a dog than a dead body having been there? To the human nose, I understand that decomposition (whether animal or human) has more or less the same characteristic scent, doesn't it? I know I've smelled it in the case of animals and it's an unmistakable smell, and I can't say that it was different between a squirrel or bird or raccoon or hermit crab. I've even known of an animal with a kind of gangrenous injury that had quite a bit of the decomposition smell even though it was alive. Could a dog's nose be misled by rotting pizza or other food deposits or other innocent decomposing stains or substances, decomposing sausage or chicken or cheese or whatever else might be on a pizza (all of those decomposing animal proteins)? Where is the actual proof of the scientific reliability and validity of cadaver dogs. Is it admissable as evidence in other developed countries?

    In short, I'm still hopeful this little girl may be alive. I know her mother may or may not be troubled, immature, or disorganized (or it may only look that way knowing what we know so far), but I have not seen any motive for her mother to harm her, she didn't have a history of doing so and if Casey had actually wanted free of the child she could easily have left the child with her parents and just taken off. In the police interviews, all of the friends/acquaintances interviewed, even the one she'd stolen money from, said they could not imagine Casey harming Caylee and that her behavior toward Caylee had always been affectionate and normal and that there had always been a normal degree of caring about the child.

    While I consider it possible that the child has died, I think there are still lots of possibilities in this case, and I think the authorities should be investigating everyone in Casey's social and on-off work circle, from anyone at the club to friends or acquaintances she stayed with and friends of those friends, because someone may hold the key to finding Caylee. I've followed a good part of the research done by websleuthers here on some of these avenues, and it's always so interesting and impressive. Anyway, here's a fence-sitter's thread, the one for the people who think the authorities should still be investigating EVERY avenue.... I didn't see another fence-sitters thread or one along these lines, if there is, please clue me in and I'll remove this one! Everyone's input very welcome here.

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    Smile

    My husband would probably join this thread if he did message boards. We have some interesting arguments . . . um . . . I mean discussions . . . about this case.

    I think it's good to have all views put forth. Thanks for starting this thread.
    Betty Boop

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    I would love to be convinced again.
    "Life's splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come."
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    What I type here is mostly my opinion.
    I really don't care if my opinions offend.

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    Thank you Evan's Mom

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    Quote Originally Posted by seagull65 View Post
    But hair can get in a trunk on any blanket, toy, jacket, brush or whatever, that gets put there. And then it decomposes. Just ordinary hair that got there innocently, it decomposes just like a body would or any organic matter would. The same with various biological stains.
    For the sake of accuracy....

    Dr. Michael Baden explained that after death, a "band" forms around the hair that is not found in the hair of a living person. This is how they can tell if a hair came from a living or deceased person. The hair found in the trunk was tested & did have that 'band' present.

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    Anjali Swienton of scilawforensics talks about false positive results on Nancy Grace which Dr. Baden does not bring up.
    "What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are." - C.S. Lewis

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    I really hope Caylee is alive and that she will be found very soon. I haven't abandoned the "left Caylee with Zani the nanny" possibility, to be honest. Despite Casey being unable to give a coherent story regarding where the nanny lived, etc, maybe she really did leave Caylee with this person. Maybe Casey was trying to lead investigators in the right direction but is afraid to tell the whole truth, or is confused, for whatever unknown reason. Or maybe Casey has had someone hide the child from her parents. Who knows at this point? I honestly haven't ruled anything out completely yet.

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    How can they even tell if that is Caylee's hair?
    "What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are." - C.S. Lewis

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    Quote Originally Posted by seagull65 View Post

    For one thing, I know that dogs find the scent of different living people to be extremely different, we don't all smell the same to them at all, that's precisely how dogs can "track" where an individual has gone. We don't have one "human" smell. So how would the smell of humans be all one category when decomposing, you know? This so-called "human decomposition" smell that they love to keep repeating in the media. To dogs' noses, wouldn't we be more likely to smell different? Would body fluids or hair innocently deposited in a car which are then decomposing in the heat for some time smell different to a dog than a dead body having been there? To the human nose, I understand that decomposition (whether animal or human) has more or less the same characteristic scent, doesn't it? I know I've smelled it in the case of animals and it's an unmistakable smell, and I can't say that it was different between a squirrel or bird or raccoon or hermit crab. I've even known of an animal with a kind of gangrenous injury that had quite a bit of the decomposition smell even though it was alive. Could a dog's nose be misled by rotting pizza or other food deposits or other innocent decomposing stains or substances, decomposing sausage or chicken or cheese or whatever else might be on a pizza (all of those decomposing animal proteins)? Where is the actual proof of the scientific reliability and validity of cadaver dogs. Is it admissable as evidence in other developed countries?
    Human decomp does not smell like animal decomp.

    Cadaver dogs would not be misled by rotting pizza, raw rotting meat or human sweat. They are trained to locate the smell of decomposing human flesh.

    jmo

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    Dr. Baden

    Quote Originally Posted by LI_Mom View Post
    For the sake of accuracy....

    Dr. Michael Baden explained that after death, a "band" forms around the hair that is not found in the hair of a living person. This is how they can tell if a hair came from a living or deceased person. The hair found in the trunk was tested & did have that 'band' present.
    thanks for this, is this a coloration band within the shaft of the hair or something to do with the follicle around the root of the hair? Was this part of the leak from the University of Tennessee that did some of the forensics? thanks for any link to this information. I heard one expert on TV saying that you can't tell the difference, that hair that the person lost while alive would appear the same as hair that decomposed with the body and then became detached. But I don't know who that expert was.

    If Casey is charged with murder I imagine we'll be hearing experts on both sides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RhondaIL View Post
    Human decomp does not smell like animal decomp.

    Cadaver dogs would not be misled by rotting pizza, raw rotting meat or human sweat. They are trained to locate the smell of decomposing human flesh.

    jmo
    1 dog and possible human handler error.
    2 dogs in the backyard, and did they find anything back there?
    "What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are." - C.S. Lewis

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    Quote Originally Posted by seagull65 View Post
    I really hope Caylee is alive and that she will be found very soon. I haven't abandoned the "left Caylee with Zani the nanny" possibility, to be honest. Despite Casey being unable to give a coherent story regarding where the nanny lived, etc, maybe she really did leave Caylee with this person. Maybe Casey was trying to lead investigators in the right direction but is afraid to tell the whole truth, or is confused, for whatever unknown reason. Or maybe Casey has had someone hide the child from her parents. Who knows at this point? I honestly haven't ruled anything out completely yet.
    I am sorry Seagull, didn't you see today's headlines?

    Investigator: Tests Indicate Body In Trunk Caylee
    http://www.wesh.com/news/17353349/detail.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by AutomaticAuttie View Post
    How can they even tell if that is Caylee's hair?
    I still haven't heard for sure if they can, if it was whole hair or very degraded hair. If it was very degraded then they have to use the mitochondrial DNA that they can take from smaller bits, instead of long sequences right? But the mitochondrial DNA will be identical to her mother's DNA?

    When I hear of any body evidence in the car so far, it just sounds like it could be anybody's body basically, if a deceased body at all.

    (Hopefully no one's.)

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by RhondaIL View Post
    Human decomp does not smell like animal decomp.

    Cadaver dogs would not be misled by rotting pizza, raw rotting meat or human sweat. They are trained to locate the smell of decomposing human flesh.

    jmo
    As someone who has smelled a rotting corpse, I can verify that it smells NOTHING like animal, food, or plant decomp. AT ALL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AutomaticAuttie View Post
    How can they even tell if that is Caylee's hair?

    Through DNA testing.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by seagull65 View Post
    I still haven't heard for sure if they can, if it was whole hair or very degraded hair. If it was very degraded then they have to use the mitochondrial DNA that they can take from smaller bits, instead of long sequences right? But the mitochondrial DNA will be identical to her mother's DNA?

    When I hear of any body evidence in the car so far, it just sounds like it could be anybody's body basically, if a deceased body at all.

    (Hopefully no one's.)
    The FBI states that the DNA is Caylee's. I don't really see what this post is about, since we do not have any information on exactly what the FBI tested. You are speculating about scientific tests being done on evidence that you have no information about. There has been no reporting of exactly what was tested.

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    Sgt. John Allen with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department confirmed . . . [t]here was a dead body in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car, and that body was Caylee.

    UPDATED: 8:50 pm EDT August 31, 2008: http://www.wftv.com/news/17340180/detail.html
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    Hi yes, I had seen that. So the machine sniff test also thinks something was decomposing in the trunk, and there was decomposing hair in the trunk. But one expert on (I think) Headline News said that there's no difference between hair that was in the trunk innocently and proceeded to decompose in the trunk, or hair from a corpse. I imagine we'll be seeing lots of discussion by experts on both sides on this if this ever goes to court.

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    I have wondered this through out this case... so animal decomp smells different than human decomp? We had a rat/mouse die under our deck and omg the smell was horrible. Very particular, and disgusting. Kind of "beachy" or fishy smell - but not. Is human decomp different?

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by seagull65 View Post
    thanks for this, is this a coloration band within the shaft of the hair or something to do with the follicle around the root of the hair? Was this part of the leak from the University of Tennessee that did some of the forensics? thanks for any link to this information. I heard one expert on TV saying that you can't tell the difference, that hair that the person lost while alive would appear the same as hair that decomposed with the body and then became detached. But I don't know who that expert was.

    If Casey is charged with murder I imagine we'll be hearing experts on both sides.
    Nope. The FBI conducted the DNA testing. Body Farm did air test.

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    Quote Originally Posted by librarian_mama View Post
    As someone who has smelled a rotting corpse, I can verify that it smells NOTHING like animal, food, or plant decomp. AT ALL.
    That's interesting, since other species seem to smell the same more or less as far as I know. Do you think it was maybe just because of the size of the body?

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    I imagine we'll be seeing lots of discussion by experts on both sides on this if this ever goes to court.
    Science doesn't lie. You can't fake science. I don't believe in a lot of things, but I do believe in science.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by jbar View Post
    I have wondered this through out this case... so animal decomp smells different than human decomp? We had a rat/mouse die under our deck and omg the smell was horrible. Very particular, and disgusting. Kind of "beachy" or fishy smell - but not. Is human decomp different?
    It is COMPLETELY different. I have never in my life smelled anything like it--nothing like an animal at all. Very, very distinctive. A woman committed suicide in a next door apt. and the body sat there for a few days. My aunt's apt. was completely awash in the odor.

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    Seagull, I am a scientific girl myself. You show me dna from hair with a ring that indicates a deceased person and I believe the person is dead. dna doesn't lie. Tonite LE is saying dna says it's caylee's hair and it is from a deceased Caylee. I wish it was different but my intelligence and scientific mind say it isn't so. DNA isn't hocus pocus to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LiveLoveLaughLiza View Post
    Through DNA testing.
    Yes, I know that. What type of testing nuclear or mtDNA testing.
    "What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are." - C.S. Lewis

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