Cords, Knots, and Strangulation Devices

Discussion in 'JonBenet Ramsey' started by otg, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. otg

    otg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,410
    Likes Received:
    152
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Please allow me to say this. Corporal John J. Van Tassel is truly a gentleman, and a consummate professional. I don’t think that he has anywhere stated anything about his findings other than to the BPD, and to the Grand Jury. If it has been reported by someone (I haven’t seen it) that he said anything about his findings, it is most likely third-hand and not to believed. He has not discussed or revealed, and will not discuss or reveal, anything about any ongoing criminal investigation he has been involved in until it has been resolved.

    I know that Steve Thomas wrote in his book a few sentences about what he (Van Tassel) observed about the particular brand of cord that was used, but there was no other information given about his official findings or the report that was given.

    Before any of us add to all of the misconceptions and fallacies that have already been attached to this case, please be careful about stating something as fact unless we are sure that it is.

    I apologize if I seem a bit imperious about that, but let’s look at facts about which we are sure, and state opinion, speculation, or rumor as being what they are.

    Bonus: See Page 6
    .
     


  2. rashomon

    rashomon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,708
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    63
    [All quotes: CathyR.]

    No, it is a very simple knot actually, and there's nothing sophisticated or professional about it.
    On the contrary, all knots (including the wrist knots) were clumsily and amateurishly tied.

    As for the neck knot, it's the type of knot you get when tying a cord around e.g. a roll of household paper while not using the two ends (as one does in tying a shoelace), but instead wrap only one end of the cord around the main cord.

    Prosecutor Mike Kane himself btw stated verbatim that the BPD's own knot expert had coe to the conclusion that those knots were very simple.

    To assert that the knots were "sophisticated" is a myth the Ramseys deliberately created to suggest that a professional was at work here. killer. Like a sexual predator having "expertise" with such devices. Or a foreign faction having expertise in "professionally" executing their victims.
    Lou Smit swallowed the Ramseys' staged scene hook, line and sinker, and the media spread the myth further.
    Correct.
    The crime scene indicates that the stager's mind was not functioning in an analytical manner. Imo the reason for that can be easily explained when one thinks of the immense psychological pressure on parents who are trying to cover up the domestic homicide of their child.
    See above. Imo they made these mistakes because they, given the situation, were not in a position enabling them to think anything through logically.
    If the DNA on the cord showed any evidence an intruder, what reason would LE they have for not revealing it?
    I'm 100 % certain that (unless she was wearing gloves), Patsy's DNA is on the neck ligature. But I'm not at all sure a task force headed by Beckner would reveal this info ...
    Jmo too, but I would replace "perp" with "stager", since the stager of the scene need not necessarily been the killer, although is very likely.
    (But Patsy could have covered up for another family member who committed the homicide).

    If the handle was broken after the knot was tied, it indicates staging. For if the handle is not needed to tie the knot (and it is indeed not needed, it is downright counterproductive), this reveals the handle as mere stage prop fashioned to suggest a "cruelly tortured and garroted" scenario.
    You have an excellent eye for detail, and your focus on those (often crucially important!) details is much appreciated.
    The small amount of birefringent material found in the vagina was consistent with material from the paintbrush. I believe Patsy used the pointed end of the (yet unbroken) brush to inflict the genital wound, and since the the brush was quite old, a small bit of wood detached itself during the process and was left inside the body.
    I believe that Patsy, some time later, after tying the neck knot, got the idea to break the paintbush in order to use it as stage prop for a "cruelly garroted to death by a sexual predator" scene.
    I don't think it does. I believe Patsy wanted to hide that the paintbrush end was used to inflict the genital wound.
     
  3. otg

    otg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,410
    Likes Received:
    152
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Very good, rashomon!

    :clap:​

    (I do have to say though that I disagree with some of your conclusions (JMHO), but your logic is good.)
    .
     
  4. rashomon

    rashomon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,708
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I was Mike Kane who revelad the info that the knot expert consulted by LE (and that had to be Van Tassel) had come to the conclusion that those knots were very simple, not "sophisticated" at all.
    This blows another Ramsey myth out of the water - that it took any kind of expertise to tie them. (See also the first part of my previous post to CathyR).
     
  5. otg

    otg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,410
    Likes Received:
    152
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Yes, you're right. I stand corrected. Mike Kane did say that he was told that the knots were "not sophisticated" (I don't remember his exact wording.). That is though kind of a general statement about what he was told. But he did not say the name of any of the knots, and Van Tassel's report has not been released. I, for one, can't wait to read it (if I live that long).

    And yes, the simpleness of the knots goes against what was being promoted by Ramsey representatives.
    .
     
  6. madeleine

    madeleine Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,973
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    48
    The experiment I did with my partner makes me believe it was a man who did those knots.
    Why?
    To me they look sophisticated,to him and all the other men I asked it looks like a very simple knot.And they also found it very easy to reproduce the knots.
    I myself couldn't do it.
    I think I was talking to Tadpole when I said,did you notice how men usually tie their shoes?They are always do it the other way around,to me it looks so damn complicated,to them it's the easiest thing on earth.Happens with lots of things men do different than us women.It's one of those things I look at and think "geez,why does he do it like THIS",to me it looks something like being right handed and doing it with the left lol.
     
  7. otg

    otg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,410
    Likes Received:
    152
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Interesting... I hadn't noticed a difference in the way a woman ties a shoe as opposed to a man. I'll have to pay more attention to that in the future. Did you read the link I posted in Post #101? In it, Van Tassel addresses chirality.

    As to the differences in men and women, we can't (and shouldn't) ignore them. In fact, we should (and I try) enjoy them. Little boys grow up building things (and yes, tearing things down) and playing more physically. They might play "cops and robbers", "cowboys and Indians", or maybe even "army". (Makes one wonder how today's computer generation will be different.) It's only natural that in the process they learn to be more proficient at things like tying ropes than their female counterparts.

    But then, little boys grow up to become men who just can't really relate well to "cracked" or "shelled crab", and the proper way it should or shouldn't be served to guests and children. That's why we have to rely on women to teach us about such things. And I thank you ladies for that.
    .
     
  8. DeeDee249

    DeeDee249 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,053
    Likes Received:
    291
    Trophy Points:
    63

    There will always be physiological differences between men and women. We are after all, different biologically. Computers can even the playing field a little, but even with that, the sexes approach things differently. I see how different even my very young grandson plays his computer games compared to his female cousins of around the same age (pre-school).

    My opinions on the matter can best be described by this thought:
    If they can put a man on the moon, why can't they just put them ALL up there.
     
  9. otg

    otg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,410
    Likes Received:
    152
    Trophy Points:
    63
    True that.

    (I know you don't mean that.)
     
  10. DeeDee249

    DeeDee249 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,053
    Likes Received:
    291
    Trophy Points:
    63
    :angel:
     
  11. rashomon

    rashomon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,708
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Out of curiosity, I just asked my husband to tie a shoelace - he too ties it the other way around than I, although we are both right-handed. Very interesting!

    As for the JBR crime scene knots, they look clumsily tied to me. It would interest me whether the men you asked thought of them as clumsy knots too?
    In the course of my study of this case, I have conducted quite a few experiments using a roll of household paper under which I ran a cord and then 'haphazardy' tried to tie a knot using only one end of the cord as the 'working' end, and the knots I got resembled the neck knot at the crime scene.
    And when you look at the wrist knot loosely tied over the sleeve, the way it is tied looks extremely amateurish and totally unfunctional because it could not have restrained anybody. Imo it was just another poorly fashioned stage prop.
     
  12. my_tee_mouse

    my_tee_mouse Done. Put a Fork in Me.

    Messages:
    3,581
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Too funny!
     
  13. madeleine

    madeleine Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,973
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    48
    he said it looks....practical,not clumsy (i only asked him about the one that was made on her neck)
    and I agree

    re the one on her wrist,I agree with you ( not only because the knot is clumsy but because of the lenght of the cord in the first place)
     
  14. joeskidbeck

    joeskidbeck Rest in Peace

    Messages:
    1,897
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "My opinions on the matter can best be described by this thought:
    If they can put a man on the moon, why can't they just put them ALL up there. My opinions on the matter can best be described by this thought:
    If they can put a man on the moon, why can't they just put them ALL up there." quoted by DeeDee249

    DeeDee, since the odds of me ever being able to find another husband are astronomical, I should probably agree with this statement. I would then at least have a good excuse for not having one!
     
  15. cynic

    cynic Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,686
    Likes Received:
    408
    Trophy Points:
    83
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OStap-JOLo[/ame]
     
  16. Bobbarita

    Bobbarita New Member

    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    How about the leg/shoulder/back bruises noted being sustained by being restrained in a chair?
     
  17. otg

    otg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,410
    Likes Received:
    152
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I should mention first, as a way of better understanding terms used and what is talked about in discussions about knots, that when the word “hitch” is used, it' is referring to any type of knot that is used to attach a length of rope (or cord) to another object such as a post or another rope (Think of a “Hitching Post”, as used in Western movies.). Remember in Part - 2 of this thread, I described that knot as a Girth Hitch tied over the cord that was looped around the wrist. This is usually not done because it requires both ends to be free when tied around something, unless the loop is made first and then slipped over the object (in this case, JonBenet’s right wrist).

    For background, because I keep hearing the word “Prusik” come up, let me give a little information on it from different sources -- all cited and linked at the end of each (my bold for emphasis):

    Dr. Karl Prusik (1896 - 1961) (also spelled Prussik) was an Austrian mountaineer who is known as the inventor of the prusik knot. He died in May 1961 at the age of 65.

    The benefit of the knot is that, when weighted, it grips the rope that it is tied around. When the weight is removed, it is free to slide. This enables it to be used in a number of self rescue situations or for ascending a rope.
    (Source: [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Prusik[/ame])

    A Prusik is a [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friction_hitch"]friction hitch[/ame] or knot used to put a loop of cord around a rope, applied in climbing, canyoneering, mountaineering, caving, rope rescue, and by arborists. The term Prusik is a name for both the loops of cord and the hitch, and the verb is "to prusik". More casually, the term is used for any friction hitch or device (otg comment: There are also mechanical devices which serve the same purpose.) that can grab a rope. The word is often misspelled as Prussik, Prussick or Prussic.

    The Prusik Hitch is named for its alleged inventor, Austrian mountaineer Dr. Karl Prusik. It was shown in a 1931 Austrian mountaineering manual for rope ascending. It was used on several mountaineering routes of the era to ascend the final summit peak, where a rope could be thrown over the top and anchored so that climbers could attain the summit by prusiking up the other side of the rope.

    A prusik made from cord does little or no damage to the rope it is attached to, although some mechanical prusiks can cause damage, especially if the device slips during prusiking.

    Depending on which variant is used, Prusik hitches have the advantage of working in both directions. Most mechanical rope-grabs work like a ratchet, moving freely up the rope, but grabbing when a load is placed down on them. Traditional Prusiks will grab when pulled by the tail, either up or down, and will slide either way when pushed by the barrel.

    Although prusik can be used in a general way, the Prusik Hitch is a specific hitch. The two main alternatives are the Bachmann knot and the Klemheist knot (see also the Tarbuck knot). Each has its advantages and disadvantages, mainly in how easy they are to use for climbing a rope.
    (Source: [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prusik_knot[/ame])

    There are numerous other knots these days that perform the same function, and this knot has largely been superseded. The one advantage that the Prusik knot has is that it is symmetrical, so is effective regardless of the direction of pull.
    (Source: http://ozultimate.com/canyoning/knots/prusik/)

    To tie a Prusik, it's basically the same as a Lark's head, (Cow hitch) (otg comment: Remember the Girth Hitch from Part - 1? This is a different name for the same knot.) done twice.
    (Source: http://fmg-www.cs.ucla.edu/geoff/prusik_knot.html)

    The only purpose in this long description of what the word “Prusik” actually means is to show that if you hear it stated that this knot is a Prusik, you understand that the word can have different meanings; and that if you hear second or third hand from a source that the knot is a Prusik, the exact intended meaning (i.e., whether generally speaking or specifically) could have been lost in the re-telling from its original source.

    (For further reading on types of friction hitches, this is an excellent article:
    http://www.rockclimbing.com/Articles/General/A_scientific_study_of_common_friction_knots._273.html)

    As you have now read above, a Prusik Hitch, or any similar type of friction hitch, may be used in different hobbies, occupations, or endeavors. So even were that the specific knot used, it can’t be deduced that the person who tied it had to have a knowledge of mountain climbing, or sailing, or anything else. The only similarity between the knot tied on the paintbrush and any type of known or defined prusik is that the cord appears to be wrapped around a number of times and then terminated in a loop from the cord.

    Comparing this knot to the Prusik Hitch, notice that in the Prusik Hitch both ends of the cord are pulled through the loop that is wrapped around whatever it is tied to. In the knot used on the paintbrush, the ends of the cord (as best we can determine from the available photos) are pulled through in different directions and from under different parts of the wrapped pieces.

    “If this knot were tied to a rope, could it be used to scaling or rappelling?” you might ask. Yes, possibly, but not very effectively, and I don’t believe a serious climber would be willing to place his life in the ability of this knot to help him. This is not the type of knot that would be used by a person skilled at knot tying and knowledgeable of the purpose of a particular knot to be used in a way that is implied by its use here.

    otg’s Analysis (So what the hell is it?):

    The way this was attached to the paintbrush, it looks to have been randomly wrapped multiple times (at least eight, possibly as many as eleven times) around the stick and then terminated by slipping under one or two of the wraps, maybe even with a simple overhand, and then tightened. There is no symmetry or apparent planning in tying the knot. It is simply a haphazardly attached length of cord on a piece of a broken paintbrush. Nothing more, nothing less.

    This is, of course, just my opinion, and it is based only on the available photos of it. And I have to acknowledge the possibility that it may well be different if I were able to actually see the thing and examine it more closely. (But I’m no expert and that will never happen.)

    Now notice also (while we’re here on this knot) that the end of the cord closest to the paintbrush is not frayed. In other words, the end is straight and at a right angle to the length of the cord, and there is no part of the braiding that is longer than the rest. This means that it was cut while the cord was not being pulled or under any sort of tension (see below for explanation on fraying). The opposite end of this length of cord, coming from the ligature that was around JonBenet’s neck, is frayed, maybe by as much as 2-cm. This information will become (I think) important later on when we discuss exactly what happened.

    Fraying:

    As you must surely know, there are many different types of cord and rope, each with a specific purpose. It may be twisted, woven, or braided. You’ve surely observed the way common rope or twine is made, by twisting and winding three separate strands together. Looking at the cord that was left on JonBenet’s body, you can tell that, unlike common rope or twine, it is braided on the outside.

    From IRMI, by Steve Thomas:
    “I (Thomas) retrieved one sample package, a fifty-foot length of white Stansport 32-strand, 3/16-inch woven cord that I had bought. Van Tassell (sp) pulled the cord out, frayed an end, held it against the end of the neck ligature, and said, ‘Look.’ The soft white braid and the inner weave appeared identical. ‘I think this is the same cord,’ he said.”

    So if that is correct (and the pictures seem to support it), the cord used had two separate parts: the braided outside and the woven center. With a high number of outer braided strands (32), this cord would be relatively elastic and “springy”. If you don’t happen to have any Stansport 32-strand (braided), 3/16-inch woven (center) cord lying around the house to try what I’m going to try and describe, imagine it in your mind and understand the mechanics of what happens.

    When the cord is pulled and tension is placed on it, it stretches. If you cut it while it is under tension, the first portions that are cut begin pulling back into a relaxed position (their natural state while not under tension) while the remaining portions of the cord continue pulling away from the already cut portions. This all happens in a short period of time during the cut, but what you have remaining afterward is two separate pieces of cord, each with a frayed end.

    How much fraying occurs is going to depend on the following variables:
    1. Distance between the two ends being pulled.
    2. Amount of tension that is placed on it (or, how much it is pulled).
    3. Length of time spent in making the cut.

    This post is getting pretty long, so think about what I’ve written so far, and I’ll be back when I have time to post more. I’ll pop in and out when I can to discuss what I’ve written so far, and meanwhile I’ll be working on the next part.
    .
     
  18. BBB167893

    BBB167893 Former Member

    Messages:
    13,259
    Likes Received:
    102
    Trophy Points:
    48
    You beat me to it, rashomon. (GREAT to see you back!)
     
  19. UKGuy

    UKGuy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,826
    Likes Received:
    3,223
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Bobbarita,

    You might be on to something here?
     
  20. UKGuy

    UKGuy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,826
    Likes Received:
    3,223
    Trophy Points:
    113
    rashomon,

    Despite the paintbrush handle being used as part of the garrote? Does the missing piece, alike the cleansed flashlight, not flag up, its original use? e.g. absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence?


    .
     

Share This Page



  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice