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  1. #1
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    Rigor and livor mortis

    Hi everyone, this is my first post here.
    I have read the autopsy report and found something which I think is strange.

    I think JBR must have been moved after she was killed.
    I think this because of the rigor mortis and livor mortis on the body.
    The livor mortis was descibed as unbalanced and some on the right side of the face.
    This to me implies that JBR was resting more on her right side initially after she was killed.
    Also the poition of her arms on the photographs indicates to me that rigor mortis was not set in while she was on her back.

    This of course implies that JR must have either killed JB or known who did it because he must be the one who moved the body sometime during the morning hours up to when she was found.
    I give this time because 8-12 hours is about the time it takes for rigor mortis to set.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Idem View Post
    Hi everyone, this is my first post here.
    I have read the autopsy report and found something which I think is strange.

    I think JBR must have been moved after she was killed.
    I think this because of the rigor mortis and livor mortis on the body.
    The livor mortis was descibed as unbalanced and some on the right side of the face.
    This to me implies that JBR was resting more on her right side initially after she was killed.
    Also the poition of her arms on the photographs indicates to me that rigor mortis was not set in while she was on her back.

    This of course implies that JR must have either killed JB or known who did it because he must be the one who moved the body sometime during the morning hours up to when she was found.
    I give this time because 8-12 hours is about the time it takes for rigor mortis to set.

    ty! I know the square root of bugger all about anatomical changes upon death so it's always interesting to hear people who know how to interpret the information.
    Last edited by Sophie; 08-28-2009 at 05:39 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sophie View Post
    ty! I know the square root of bugger all about anatomical changes upon death so it's always interesting to hear people who know how to interpret the information.

    LOL square root of buggar. That was entirely too funny!
    ETA and a good laugh is just what I need when thinking about this lil angel...

  4. #4
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    JB was found with her head cocked to the right, and this is consistent with the livor pattern found on the body. The body did not have a livor pattern on the entire right side, just the head. The livor patten shows she was on her back with her head cocked to the right, just as she was found. They do not indicate she was moved. There would be multiple patterns, and the coroner found only one.
    Rigor mortis doesn't just stiffen the body- it also causes the muscles to ratchet tighter and tighter. This could account for her arms being bent up at the elbow.This is more likely with the smaller joints such as the elbows. Fingers will also show evidence of this, with fingers curling in. When JB was in full rigor, there is a photo of her on the living room rug. You can see how her elbows were bent, but her hands are already bagged, so you can't see the fingers. When her hands are photographed on the autopsy table, her fingers are flaccid, as rigor is receding in the smaller joints by this time. The autopsy was 8 am Dec. 27, so that would be right around the 36 hour mark for rigor to go full circle from primary flaccidity (immediately after death) to secondary flaccidity (after rigor has receded).
    Her arms may not actually have been in that exact position when she was left in the wineceller.
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

    This post is my constitutionally-protected opinion. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.

  5. #5
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    Thx for the informative response DeeDee. Very god points.
    Why do you think the livor mortis on the body is described as unbalanced if she was on her back all the time?
    Why do you think her head was cocked to the right?
    Why do you think the knot on the back of her head was on the left side as if the left side of her neck was facing up when it was tied?
    Why is the knot found on her neck and not on her throat if she was killed while on her back?
    If she was killed while facing down why turn her on her back?

    I think the knot was tied when she was resting on her right side. The knot ended up in the position that was highest at the time when the knot was tied.

  6. #6
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    Also looking at http://www.acandyrose.com/jonbenetfaceright.jpg it seems the one who tied the noose was right handed. It seems the cord slid to the right as the hair caught in the noose has dragged to the right implying more force was applied to the right side of the knot when tieing it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Idem View Post
    Thx for the informative response DeeDee. Very god points.
    Why do you think the livor mortis on the body is described as unbalanced if she was on her back all the time?
    Why do you think her head was cocked to the right?
    Why do you think the knot on the back of her head was on the left side as if the left side of her neck was facing up when it was tied?
    Why is the knot found on her neck and not on her throat if she was killed while on her back?
    If she was killed while facing down why turn her on her back?

    I think the knot was tied when she was resting on her right side. The knot ended up in the position that was highest at the time when the knot was tied.
    She was in full rigor when found and brought up. Det. Linda Arndt described the position of the body, which would not have changed because of rigor mortis. The Coroner's description of her head is that it was cocked or turned to the right. This is on page 2 of the autopsy report. She was found on her back, as indicated by livor patterns there. She had not been moved, at least until livor had been fixed. There IS a possibility that she could have been moved after livor was fixed, but this could not have been done before the police arrived, so if it was, a person known to be in the home after 6 am would have had to do it. JR was the only one known to have been "missing" for about 2 hours that morning when Det. Arndt was there alone. She never went to find him, and he certainly could have moved her at that point without making another livor pattern, as by that time livor was fixed. The fact that FW said he looked in the wineceller when he got there early that morning and did NOT see her makes the possibility that JR did move her into the wineceller even more plausible.
    It is thought she was on her stomach when the garrote was made.
    Have no idea why they'd turn her around. She was redressed at some point and it was easier with her that way. Her pubic area and anterior (front) thighs were found to have been wiped down with a dark fabric. This would have made it necessary for her to be on her back, as her pubic area and thighs would be difficult to reach when she was on her back.
    I have re-read the report and do not see the word "unbalanced" anywhere in regards to the livor patterns. If you have found it, please let me know the page.
    Last edited by DeeDee249; 08-29-2009 at 10:24 PM.
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

    This post is my constitutionally-protected opinion. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee249 View Post
    I have re-read the report and do not see the word "unbalanced" anywhere in regards to the livor patterns. If you have found it, please let me know the page.
    My bad. The strange word was "nonblanching" on the middle of page 5.
    Thanks for clearing that out for me :-)
    English is not my native language so I guess my mind did a strange turn on that word.

    From the autopsy report
    "There is dorsal +3 to +4 livor mortis which is nonblanching"

    What does nonblanching mean in the sense of livor mortis.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Idem View Post
    My bad. The strange word was "nonblanching" on the middle of page 5.
    Thanks for clearing that out for me :-)
    English is not my native language so I guess my mind did a strange turn on that word.

    From the autopsy report
    "There is dorsal +3 to +4 livor mortis which is nonblanching"

    What does nonblanching mean in the sense of livor mortis.
    No problem. Your English is excellent. "Non-blanching" means that when pressure is applied to the area affected by livor mortis, there is NO white spot that appears where pressure is applied.
    You can try this on yourself, too. Try an area of your legs or feet late in the day when they are more likely to be swollen. Press your thumb hard into your flesh, pull your thumb away, and a small white area will appear under where your thumb was. That is known as "Blanching". In the case of a corpse, livor is in the blanching stage first, during which the blood will move around. At death, circulation stops, and blood pools to the lowest level in the body. If the body is sitting, the livor will be in the feet and legs. If lying down, the livor will affect the areas facing the floor or ground. If a body is moved during this phase, another livor pattern will form, and the first pattern will still remain.
    But after a while, the blood "gels" and will not move around in the body even if the body is moved. This is called the "Non-Blanching" phase. If pressure is applied to the flesh in this stage, nothing will happen as the blood cannot be pushed away under pressure. This was the condition of JB's body at the time of the autopsy. But it was in this phase from the day before. The blanching phase does not last too long.
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

    This post is my constitutionally-protected opinion. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee249 View Post
    She was in full rigor when found and brought up. Det. Linda Arndt described the position of the body, which would not have changed because of rigor mortis. The Coroner's description of her head is that it was cocked or turned to the right. This is on page 2 of the autopsy report. She was found on her back, as indicated by livor patterns there. She had not been moved, at least until livor had been fixed. There IS a possibility that she could have been moved after livor was fixed, but this could not have been done before the police arrived, so if it was, a person known to be in the home after 6 am would have had to do it. JR was the only one known to have been "missing" for about 2 hours that morning when Det. Arndt was there alone. She never went to find him, and he certainly could have moved her at that point without making another livor pattern, as by that time livor was fixed. The fact that FW said he looked in the wineceller when he got there early that morning and did NOT see her makes the possibility that JR did move her into the wineceller even more plausible.
    It is thought she was on her stomach when the garrote was made.
    Have no idea why they'd turn her around. She was redressed at some point and it was easier with her that way. Her pubic area and anterior (front) thighs were found to have been wiped down with a dark fabric. This would have made it necessary for her to be on her back, as her pubic area and thighs would be difficult to reach when she was on her back.
    I have re-read the report and do not see the word "unbalanced" anywhere in regards to the livor patterns. If you have found it, please let me know the page.
    John going missing for two hours has always bothered me...he said that he was checking his mail, yeah...right... Don't know about you, but it doesn't take ME two hours to get the mail and look at it. Supposedly...he did this just in case the "kidnappers" wrote another note.
    "This time we get it right."


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ames View Post
    John going missing for two hours has always bothered me...he said that he was checking his mail, yeah...right... Don't know about you, but it doesn't take ME two hours to get the mail and look at it. Supposedly...he did this just in case the "kidnappers" wrote another note.
    Remember the mail came through a mail slot in the front door of the house! Det. Arndt, who was obviously unaware of this, thought he left the house to "get the mail", possibly at a street mailbox. As if that would take 2 hours too!
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

    This post is my constitutionally-protected opinion. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ames View Post
    John going missing for two hours has always bothered me...he said that he was checking his mail, yeah...right... Don't know about you, but it doesn't take ME two hours to get the mail and look at it. Supposedly...he did this just in case the "kidnappers" wrote another note.
    Yes, this is strange indeed. I also find it strange that FW did not see the body when he peeked into the room while JR saw it immediately when he peeked in.
    Either it was moved or JR knew what he was looking for IMO.

    Is it true that FW was seen with a puzzled look on his face just after JB was found?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Idem View Post
    Yes, this is strange indeed. I also find it strange that FW did not see the body when he peeked into the room while JR saw it immediately when he peeked in.
    Either it was moved or JR knew what he was looking for IMO.

    Is it true that FW was seen with a puzzled look on his face just after JB was found?
    Very possible. FW has said that he looked into the wineceller early that morning after he arrived at the home. JR said he was unaware that FW had looked in there.
    FW knew that when he looked in the room, he did not see JB wrapped in her white blanket. That's why he was so puzzled at JR seeing her immediately, even before he turned on the light.
    While FW also said he could not find the light switch to the wineceller (it was located in an odd place, down low on the wall outside the wineceller). Tests were done in the basement to see whether there was enough light shining in the dark room from the area outside the wineceller to have seen JB there in a white blanket. There was enough light shining in from outside the room that FW should have been able to see her where she was laying.
    After all, they didn't search in the dark. When they searched the basement, they had the lights on.
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

    This post is my constitutionally-protected opinion. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.

  14. #14
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    The autopsy report says "the decedent was found to be lying on her back with her arms extended up over her head. The head was turned to the right."

    Further on it says "Livor mortis is also present on the right side of the face."

    In the photograph of her lying on the rug in the house she has been turned onto her side but her head is not turned to the right, it's facing straight ahead. If it was turned to the right it would be facing the camera.

    Can anyone explain this? Does rigor mortis not affect the neck?

  15. #15
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    What a shame there doesn't appear to be anyone here with the expertise to explain this.

    Since I made that post, I've also been wondering some more about the position JonBenet was left in, apparently wrapped in the blanket.

    I was surprised that the one autopsy picture I've seen of JonBenet's back, shows livor mortis (redness) and not much blanching. It could be of course that there are areas of blanching beyond the perimeters of the photo, like shoulder blades and buttocks for example. But what surprises me even more is the way John carried her body up from the basement.

    He was carrying her higher than his own head as he went up the stairs, with his hands either side of her waist, so that her front was facing away from him. Det Arndt saw JonBenet's front as John advanced towards her.

    This means that if JonBenet was lying on her back in the basement, John would have had to pick her up and then turn her completely around so she faced away from him before he took her up. Why would he do that? A more natural way of holding your daughter surely would be to cradle her to your body. So I started to think of why he would make that manoeuvre and deliberately turn her around to carry her out of the wine cellar. It seems cumbersome.

    And yet another question arises. If JonBenet was wrapped like a cocoon with the blanket folded around her, as John describes, her arms would be folded into the blanket and held by the blanket, not left free outside the blanket and up above her head. I'm beginning to think that John misled everyone with his description of the way he found her. We only have his word to go on, but the body tells a different story, IMO.

    The most logical reason I can think of, for John carrying JonBenet like that, is that JonBenet wasn't lying on her back and he didn't twist her 180 degrees away from him just to carry her (try and imagine that movement from picking up a supine child), she was lying on her front. Lying on her front with her right cheek to the ground facing the direction of her left shoulder (livor mortis on right side of face, tip of her ear blanched) and her arms up either side of her head. I think it more likely the blanket had just been draped over her, not folded around her.

    This would mean that when she was laid on the rug upstairs her face would be exactly as the photo depicts. If she had been lying on her back with her face lolled over towards her right shoulder that side view photo of her would show her face pointing towards the camera, as I said in my earlier post above.

    I can also think of a reason for the long cord around her wrist. I think she was already in rigor mortis when it was added to the scene, and her arms were already locked that distance apart by rigor. John's description of her hands being tied tightly together was always rubbish because her arms would have still been in that position when she was brought upstairs.

    I'm convinced he hasn't given a true account of how JonBenet was left lying in the wine cellar.

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