4 Univ of Idaho Students Murdered, Bryan Kohberger Arrested, Moscow, Nov 2022 #94

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My last post made me realize something. Assuming BK thought all the other roommates were asleep and planned to leave them that way, he would have known as he left M's bedroom that he had no sheath. It's not like he could pocket that knife.

What prevented him from looking for and finding his sheath? Possibility 1 is that, like I just posted, he intended to leave the sheath as his calling card...

But what if he was interrupted? Remember "there's someone there"? Could the roommate have heard X, but mistook the voice for K's because X had gone partway up that staircase, was intending to alert E or K and M, but BK heard her, was able to grab her, with a hand over her mouth, "I'm here to help you"... whimper.... Not sure how that gets him back to X's room -- why go there at all?

Just some thought on how the sheath got left behind.

JMO
 
Given this information about how difficult it is to erase DNA, what do you think we can infer about the fact that no other DNA (bovine, if they would even report that -- or the stitcher, packager etc) was found on the sheath?

To get the bovine DNA, they would have to do a different type of testing (not with a swab). It's consumptive testing (a part of the sheath has to be destroyed). A Judge has to order this.

The State doesn't care - it has what it wants and likely, it won't be just bovine DNA - although that would be used by the Defense to suggest a "partial match" to someone else. It will likely also include DNA from a human who was involved in the tanning process, and I would predict that there's also some BK DNA in the porous structure of the leather.

So labs do not do this, unless asked to do it. The Defense doesn't want any more BK DNA found on that sheath.

And Prosecutors benefit too, because in the past (say 10 years ago or more), consumptive testing would have been routine - the new methods of DNA sequencing and collection are much more sophisticated today. The State doesn't benefit from finding stranger DNA on the sheath (it will most likely be male DNA - like the infamous underwear in the JonBenet case or the glove box DNA of the Suzanne Morphew case). I believe it will be a male whose profile is consistent with Mexican workers at the KaBar facility where they make the sheaths. The Defense will argue that it could be *any* man of Mexican heritage - and that this person somehow framed BK.

But neither side has asked for this type of testing, as far as we know, because both sides stand to lose. If Ka-Bar is using gloved/masked workers, there might not be anything but bovine DNA (the Defense will still try to run with "but BK's DNA is not the only DNA on that sheath)".

Forensics manuals today tell lab workers to test on "use points" of items, to avoid destroying evidence (as happened in the Halyna Hutchins shooting case when the FBI destroyed a gun it was "testing") but also because it tells a story.

No matter how many humans touched the knife, one and only one profile was found on the place that must be touched to activate the taking out of the knife (and putting it back in - but the fact that no knife has been found will leave the jury with a chilling picture of BK taking the knife out of the sheath in the room where two young women were murdered). The fact that the sheath was in/on the bed tells a story too - and again, only one person's DNA is on the use point.

My own personal opinion is that they would find considerably more BK DNA on the sheath if they did the consumptive testing, as DNA truly does persist. If in fact he used a bleach solution on it, they'd also find evidence of that. I bet he didn't - he didn't want to ruin his knife sheath. But that would be incriminating as well. More likely he used something like a wipe (maybe a Clorox wipe - which btw, contains no bleach even though of course it sounds as if it does). It still isn't designed to be used on leather, though.

All just my own conjecture.
 
IMO, it was a bit more complicated than that. I'm not sure there's a way to cleanse something so small as DNA from down inside that kind of groove (designed so as to get narrower and then wider to accommodate the snap - it also is a great hiding place for skin cells).

And I don't think he felt okay using bleach on it (that would have made it obvious he had tried to rid it of DNA). But even bleach cannot destroy DNA easily. It's a fairly tightly bonded molecule.

If he had dunked the whole thing in bleach, I'm not sure even that would have worked.


Keep in mind that there was only one DNA pattern in that snap (and they found more than one set of chromosomes, IIRC).

The above article just points out that even bleach cannot destroy DNA in a way that is consistent and regular. There are a ton of other studies. Soap won't do it. Isopropyl alcohol won't do it. Not entirely, anyway. Maybe after 50 washings with bleach - but if the sheath had been repeatedly soaked in bleach, that too could be discovered (and still could if the Defense wanted consumptive testing of the sheath - which, apparently it does not want).

I'd bet a lot of donuts it's because the Defense knows a few things we don't (such as...there's a separate trail tying Kohberger to buying a Ka-Bar knife; perhaps even showing it to someone...)

IMO.
So my question is this, this is a handmade item, so why wouldn't the DNA of the person or people who made it also be on the sheath? AND wouldn't someone who installed the snap or in quality control have opened and closed it to make sure it worked?
 
So my question is this, this is a handmade item, so why wouldn't the DNA of the person or people who made it also be on the sheath? AND wouldn't someone who installed the snap or in quality control have opened and closed it to make sure it worked?

Gloves. Maybe masks. But possible PPE used just for this industry? I at least hope they use those things.
 
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There probably is DNA buried deep in the seams, but that location isn't a likely deposit location for DNA of the person who used that knife and sheath, which was what they were trying to find.

MOO

Hand stitched does not mean someone has a needle and thread/saddle stitching.

It is done with a machine and very likley no DNA on the thread or leather.... there is a sewing machine foot that holds it all down in the sewing process but a person does need to guide it thru and around
It is possible that BK had a single target. Didn't expect K to be there, didn't expect X to be awake, didn't expect E at all.

IMO BK was prevented from a career military and/or law enforcement. Huge injustice for his collection.

He may have become a mass murderer by circumstance but had his sights set on being a serial killer, that the sheath was so effectively wiped down (minus the missed groove) raises the possibility that he intended to leave it behind. His future signature, linking all future murders. In this scenario, it would in fact be a second sheath.

I have wondered how he exited the home and location with an unsheathed knife without injuring himself. Sharp, unprotected blade. Two sheaths would account for that.

JMO

Oh, that is a good one!

I had the same theory about him leaving it there but did not even think about how you get out of that place and up a steep bank without cutting himself.. and the 2nd sheath is VERY interesting idea!
 
ADMIN NOTE:

Reminder from Tricia's post last year:

 
Respectfully, we don't know if the sheath actually housed the actual murder weapon either. For that matter we don't even know if it really was a kbar knife that was used in the crime either.

This is true. However, I do believe there's a reason that the Defense has not tried to argue that the sheath isn't related to the murder weapon.

And that's because the autopsy reports (which we do not have but which certainly exist) show that a Ka-Bar style knife was used.

It's also possible to use forensic MRI and other techniques to state definitively that it was a KaBar knife (which I sure hope has been done). KaBar uses a proprietary coating on its knives and the chemical structure can be analyzed by using any existing KaBar knife of the type that goes with the sheath. Then, swab the wounds and look for forensic metal traces (aided if necessary by MRI).

So of course we don't "know" it, but if in fact the autopsies show it was a different size and style of knife, I don't think BK would behind bars right now - and I think the Defense would have argued vigorously to get that huge problem in front of the Judge. Instead, I have to believe the autopsies show knife wounds consist with the type of knife that goes with that sheath.

IMO. I have patience mode on, because I know there are many similar issues that the Defense could still bring in pre-trial motions. The Judge has to collect their actual list of evidentiary items and witnesses, and then the two sides will argue about various pieces of each others' evidence. In the meantime, to me Occam's razor says that the sheath matches the knife used to produce the wounds of four people. The size and shape of the knife blade is known and there could be more forensic evidence (which the Defense already knows) that is incriminating.

So my question is this, this is a handmade item, so why wouldn't the DNA of the person or people who made it also be on the sheath? AND wouldn't someone who installed the snap or in quality control have opened and closed it to make sure it worked?

I wouldn't call it handmade. Somewhere on youtubes there are videos about the tanning process and sheath making manufacture (maybe even one from KaBar). It's assembly line work. The tanning process itself involves big vats of acidic materials. There will be human and bovine DNA (mostly bovine) in that vat.

The snap is very likely installed by a machine (I have a hand version of a snap installer - I am pretty sure that KaBar uses the industrial ones - it's like a big stamping machine). A worker (gloved and usually wearing a hat for safety reasons) holds the sheath part under the stamping machine. Later, the two halves are sewn together on giant sewing machines with workers wearing safety gear (I'm thinking they probably have visors - because while it's unlikely, big sewing machines can throw parts).

I am guessing that the snap is simply closed together (by a uniformed, probably UNgloved worker) right before it goes into the packaging array. No one is opening and shutting the snap over and over. In order for DNA to get down into that snap groove, a person would probably have to use it several times. As we use things, the microscopic DNA drifts down into the nooks and crannies of what we're using. The person who sewed the sheath probably left DNA elsewhere on the sheath.

And, of course, my view is supported by the evidence. Only one person's DNA was found inside that snap. If other people had used the snap, yes, there could (or would be, depending on how many times) some other person's DNA on the sheath.

Which there wasn't.

Here is a video of a Mexican tanning operation:


As you can see it's high tech and the machines are gigantic.

Most videos of sheath sewing are by amateurs - but there are a couple showing industrial process (and no one is wearing gloves when they sew - they need exquisite tactile control to get those stitches so even). I figure that at some point, a human likely touched that snap in the process (a worker) but that the knife is cleaned and wiped before packaging - and that the worker only touches it briefly (as they load the bits into the stamping machine?)

That's why I think it's likely that there's stranger DNA elsewhere on that sheath.

IMO.
 
Re: Missing Data - 2-3%
Drive test data at the most significant locations.

147:38
The portions missing:
Unable to find any locations on 270 - missing the entire stretch
The crime scene

154:38
This data is from the drive testing
He could see significant errors, errors which would have a ripple effect.
Scenarios for why the data is missing: never captured, machine error on one portion of the drive test, extracted.

In addition to the above missing data: More than 80% of the CDR was not plotted. The FBI only mapped 6%. Det M only 18%.

159:40
He is not talking every day for the 6 month warrant.
He is talking about 2-6AM the morning of the 13th
Adding the 82 % will tell a much more detailed story
Adding the drive testing will refine it even more.

To hear what SR testified to about the Real Time Trap and Trace

110:40
Testimony about the two warrants

114:28
Testimony about why the warrant ask was unusual.


JMO
 
That's b/c it's not true. DD driver never said anything like that.

IMO

Very well said somthing to LE . Confirmed to LE that Xana ordered and he delivered. She new it was coming so she would go get it not have it sit in a cold snowy driveway.

Roomates were in their rooms except Xana getting food. Common sense. Will come out at trial. 2 cents
 
Very well said somthing to LE . Confirmed to LE that Xana ordered and he delivered. She new it was coming so she would go get it not have it sit in a cold snowy driveway.

Roomates were in their rooms except Xana getting food. Common sense. Will come out at trial. 2 cents
It was not snowing in Moscow that night. It was cold but clear with no precipitation. Doordash texts you to let you know food(or whatever) was delivered - usually just before they drive away.
 
Since we’re talking about forensics a lot <g>, I thought some might be interested in the latest recognition of Idaho State Police Forensic Services announced today:
News Releases – View


IDAHO STATE POLICE
ISP Forensic Services
700 S. Stratford Dr.
Meridian, ID 83642

ASCLD Honors Matthew Gamette with the 2024 Briggs J. White Award

MERIDIAN, Idaho - The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) recently announced that Matthew Gamette, Director of the Idaho State Police Forensic Services Laboratory System, has received the prestigious 2024 Briggs J. White Award. This honor recognizes Mr. Gamette's exceptional leadership in forensic science management, showcasing his unwavering commitment to excellence in the field.

Mr. Gamette has led the Idaho State Police Forensic Services Laboratory System since 2014, following his role as Quality Manager from 2008 to 2014. His career in forensic science began at the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory in Spokane, WA, where he made significant contributions as a biological screening, DNA, and crime scene expert.

"Matthew Gamette's receipt of the 2024 Briggs J. White Award is a testament to his exceptional dedication and leadership in the field of forensic science," said Lieutenant Colonel Kelley of the Idaho State Police. "His unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation has significantly advanced our capabilities and set a high standard for forensic science management. We are immensely proud of his accomplishments and this well-deserved recognition."

An active and dedicated member of ASCLD, Mr. Gamette has been instrumental in the organization's growth and success. He served as president in 2018 and was a member of the Board of Directors from 2013 to 2018. He currently serves on the Advocacy Committee and on the Member Resource Committee as a volunteer mentor in the ASCLD Accreditation Initiative, which helps forensic science labs around the country obtain initial ISO accreditation. In addition to his ASCLD contributions, Mr. Gamette has held prominent roles in various national forensic science organizations. Since 2015, he has served as Chair of the Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations (CFSO), advocating nationally for increased grant funding, legislative improvements, and the adoption of advanced technology to enhance forensic practices nationwide. As Chair of the National Technology Validation and Implementation Collaborative (NTVIC), he has facilitated national collaboration on forensic science validation and method development. Additionally, he has served on various forensic science standards initiatives, including being very involved with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC), both on the Quality Infrastructure Committee and then on the Forensic Science Vocabulary Terms Task Group.

In recognition of his tireless advocacy and exceptional contributions to forensic science, Matthew Gamette embodies the highest standards of practice and managerial excellence. The Idaho State Police is proud of the ASCLD honors bestowed upon him through the 2024 Briggs J. White Award, which acknowledges his invaluable service and profound impact on crime laboratory management and leadership.

###

About the Briggs J. White Award:
When Dr. Briggs White became the Director of the FBI Laboratory, he recognized the need for closer cooperation with state and local crime laboratories. In 1973, he invited thirty laboratory directors to a meeting at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, which led to the formation of ASCLD in 1974, with Dr. White as its first Chairman. The Briggs J. White Award for Excellence through Leadership in Forensic Science Management recognizes an ASCLD member who has demonstrated outstanding managerial excellence in forensic science.

PAO
 
So my question is this, this is a handmade item, so why wouldn't the DNA of the person or people who made it also be on the sheath? AND wouldn't someone who installed the snap or in quality control have opened and closed it to make sure it worked?
Where does it say it's handmade item? There is nothing about the sheath that could not be made on a machine. There are a lot of places that bulk produce items and don't check for functionality (it goes out flat, never having even seen if the snap was put on, much less works). And who said there wasn't other DNA that has been ruled out?
 
I have a hard time believing that any company that has to bulk produce leather sheaths doesn't have programmable automatic stitching machine for it. I don't care if it is Mexico. Here is one for a belt. I've seen machines like this for other kinds of sheaths, though not a k-bar one. You barely need to touch the leather at all. If it is cut with a C & C or die cut or laser cut, you still need to barely touch it. You certainly aren't rubbing your hands (or anything else) all over it. But again, doesn't mean there couldn't be DNA that was ruled out.
Belt Stitcher
 
It was not snowing in Moscow that night. It was cold but clear with no precipitation. Doordash texts you to let you know food(or whatever) was delivered - usually just before they drive away.


Xana or Ethan most likey picked the order up at the door. Both witnessess say everyone was in their room except for Xana getting a food order.

I'm sure she simply went to the door to get it. I believe the DD person will testify to that at trial.

DD text's you before they deliver, they do this all the time even letting you know if they are running late.
Everyone sees DD is on their way and DD then knocks and customers pick up their orders at the door.

Food is only left ouside if the customer specifies. Except for covid nobody wants their warm food left out in freezing weather on the ground. It was freezing, cold enough to snow and no steps to leave food on.

BK supporters like to skew the timeline by saying Xana really didn't order food at 4:00 but this is misinformation. There is confirmation from 2 witnessess, from DD and through phone records. Records fron DD were subpoenaed I believe and every phone in that house was forensically analyzed.

2 Cents
 
I have a hard time believing that any company that has to bulk produce leather sheaths doesn't have programmable automatic stitching machine for it. I don't care if it is Mexico. Here is one for a belt. I've seen machines like this for other kinds of sheaths, though not a k-bar one. You barely need to touch the leather at all. If it is cut with a C & C or die cut or laser cut, you still need to barely touch it. You certainly aren't rubbing your hands (or anything else) all over it. But again, doesn't mean there couldn't be DNA that was ruled out.
Belt Stitcher
Agreed, it's mass production, they sell these types of knives on Amazon. I would not be concerned about DNA from workers associated with the production process. The larger concern for me is whether BK's DNA is in fact the only DNA on that sheath. That is a really interesting question where the D could actually get some traction, MOO. And I have to admit I've always assumed there's no other DNA other than BK's on it because I would think the D would be doing a lot more with that information by now. Is that question being considered-- other DNA besides BK's on the sheath excluding the workers? Or am I misunderstanding?

JMO, the fact that there's no DNA from the production process would not in any way alarm me unless it becomes a definite that these are hand-stitched products, and maybe not even then.
 
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Agreed, it's mass production, they sell these types of knives on Amazon. I would not be concerned about DNA from workers associated with the production process. The larger concern for me is whether BK's DNA is in fact the only DNA on that sheath. That is a really interesting question where the D could actually get some traction, MOO. And I have to admit I've always assumed there's no other DNA other than BK's on it because I would think the D would be doing a lot more with that information by now.

Absolutely we would have heard about other DNA by now. Also, there could be trace DNA but not enough for a profile.

Taylor made a big to-do about DNA found in the house with unknown source, immediately trying to raise doubt. I believe if there were lab reports with other DNA profiles on the knife sheath, Taylor would have written some type of Motion about it or argued in court about it.

I think it is the prosecution who gets traction not the defense, for lack of other DNA on the sheath.

2 Cents
 
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Regardless of how it was made, regardless of who handled it, the DNA was only from BK's skin cells. The lab doesn't have a mixture of other people's cells on the snap and there was enough of a profile to match BK.

The DNA is sitting there for the jury. Unless Judge Judge rules the DNA inadmissible.

2 Cents

IMO, the judge needs to be run out of town if he doesn't allow DNA evidence.
 
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