Evidence revealed during the course of the Wrongful Death action

Discussion in 'Rebecca Zahau Nalepa' started by Salem, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. Salem

    Salem Former Member

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    This thread is for discussion of the evidence, both new and old, that is being relied on in the Wrongful Death action.

    The discussion should be a fairly focused one and should relate to the autopsy report, info that we were unaware of, things of that nature.

    Thanks,

    Salem
     
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  3. *Lash*

    *Lash* Justice 4 Rebecca

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    Hi Salem! The Zahau's amended their complaint to include specific details. The new info is found in the amended complaint. I will try to keep it short. Thank your for your help!

    Amended Lawsuit: Rebecca Zahau Beaten, Strangled, Pushed Off Balcony

    http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/loc...-Murder-Shacknai-269595631.html#ixzz3ERhFXnaD

    Amended complaint - http://media.nbcbayarea.com/documents/Zahau-Amended-Complaint.pdf

    GENERAL ALLEGATIONS/ STATEMENT OF FACTS

    10. On or around the morning of July 13, 2011, Defendants ADAM, DINAand NINA, and each of them, conspired to plan, and did in fact, enter into a common scheme of conduct with the intent to murder REBECCA in Coronado,California, and did in fact, murder REBECCA by each of them personally committing one or more of the following acts in furtherance of the common scheme and conspiracy:

    (a) striking REBECCA on the head multiple times with a blunt instrument;
    (b) physically restraining her;
    (c) further restraining her by binding her legs with tape;
    (d) gagging her;
    (e) binding her hands behind her back with rope;
    (f) binding her ankles together with rope;
    (g) removing the previously placed tape from her legs;
    (h) strangling her to the point of unconsciousness or death;
    (i) making and placing a rope noose around her neck;
    (j) tying the other end of the rope leading to the noose to a bed;
    (k) carrying her to the adjacent balcony and pushing her over the railing ofthe balcony causing her to fall and, if she was still alive at that time, to then die by asphyxiation.
    (l) during the course of the conspiracy to murder REBECCA, each of the 2 Defendants also kept watch to avoid detection and removed evidence of the acts which they committed, including wiping down objects they had touched in order to remove DNA and finger prints; and (m) as a further ploy to cover up their wrongdoing, and in furtherance of their common scheme, Defendants painted the following words on the inside of door near the balcony where she was left hanging:

    SHE SAVED HIM CAN YOU SAVE HER


    11. On the morning of July 13, 2011, REBECCA was found dead, naked,bound and gagged, with a rope noose around her neck. Her cause of death was asphyxiation, which was caused by either manual strangulation before she was hanged, or from being hanged with a rope noose around her neck from the second story deck of the Coronado vacation home at which she was staying. The Coroner for the County of San Diego determined that she died on that date.

    12. Each of the Defendants named herein were present at the location where the murder of REBECCA occurred and all of them actively participated in the-planning, implementation, execution and subsequent concealment of the scheme to murder REBECCA. Because the only individuals who know the true facts an sequence of events with absolute certainty are the decedent REBECCA and the Defendants themselves, the allegations made herein are made on information and belief based on the evidence that has been uncovered to date. Plaintiffs intend to seek leave to amend the Complaint as additional facts are developed and uncovered during the course of discovery.

    ALLEGATIONS OF SPECIFIC ACTS ATTRIBUTED TO EACH DEFENDANT

    13. Due to DINA’s prior incidents of confronting and threatening DECEDENT, DINA’s prior history of being unable to control her anger, her Due to DINA’s prior incidents of confronting and threatening her ridiculing and publicly demeaning the DECEDENT for allegedly causing harm and the eventual death of DINA’s six-year-old son, Maxfield, as well as her extreme jealousy over the DECEDENT’s relationship with her ex-husband, Jonah Shacknai,Plaintiffs allege, based in further part on an eye witness report placing DINA at the 1040 Ocean Boulevard residence the evening of the murder, that on the evening of July 12, 2011, DINA aggressively confronted the DECEDENT at the Ocean Boulevard residence, along with her sister, NINA. This confrontation arose from an accident the prior day when DINA’s son Maxfield fell over a second floor railing at the Ocean Boulevard residence, causing him brain damage and eventually his death on July 16, 2011. DECEDENT was babysitting Maxfield at the time of the fall.

    14. Plaintiffs allege, based in part on the mud found on DECEDENT’s feet and four subgaleal hemorrhages on the back right side of her head, that in response to the aggressive confrontation from Defendants DINA and NINA, DECEDENT, fearing for her safety, attempted to flee the residence. However, before DECEDENT could evade her attackers, she was struck four times on the back of the head with a blunt object by DINA, rendering her unconscious. Plaintiffs believe that at this time, ADAM, who had taken an Ambien earlier in the evening and was sleeping in the guest house at the residence, was awakened by the commotion and came to the scene.

    15. Once confronted with the reality that DECEDENT would eventually regain consciousness, and thereafter probably disclose information about this incident and possibly other information of a personal nature that could cause public humiliation and embarrassment to Defendants and Jonah Shacknai (i.e., the ex-husband of DINA, father of Maxfield, brother of ADAM and the boyfriend of the DECEDENT), the Defendants entered in to a conspiracy and common scheme to murder the DECEDENT and hide their involvement.

    16. Due to the lack of markings on her body evidencing her being dragged back into the house, Plaintiffs allege that ADAM carried the DECEDENT back into the house. Based on the facts that DECEDENT was found naked and the clothing she was wearing on that date was not found at the scene of the murder, Plaintiffs allege that once inside the residence, the Defendants stripped off her clothing. Based on the tape residue found on DECEDENT’s legs, and the fact that no tape with similar adhesive was found at the scene, Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants first restrained DECEDENT with tape, and gagged her, while they were devising and planning the rest of the scheme, and later removed the tape from the scene.

    17. Thereafter, the Defendants contrived an elaborate scheme to murder REBECCA and conceal their involvement. DINA previously resided in the residence, and thus was familiar with where to find items necessary to further the scheme, including, inter alia, the ski rope used to bind and hang the DECEDENT.

    18. The final scheme agreed to that evening by the Defendants involved binding DECEDENT’s hands (behind her back) and ankles with rope they found at the residence. Plaintiffs allege that based on the knots having nautical qualities and ADAM being a tug boat captain with experience tying nautical knots, that ADAM bound the DECEDENT. Plaintiffs further base this allegation on the fact that the ropes had the same black paint residue found on DECEDENT’s nipples, thus implicating the person who tied the knots as the person who also pinched the Decedent’s nipples, and that ADAM had admitted to masturbating to pornography on his cell phone that evening, the further inference being that the two instances of sexual behavior are consistent with ADAM’s state of mind that evening. The Defendants also placed a blue t-shirt around her neck and stuffed it in her mouth, using it as a gag to both muffle her screams and cover up any marks that would suggest murder. Based on the type of injury to DECEDENT’s throat, which commonly occurs with strangulation and is unlikely to occur with a hanging, and the amount of strength needed to create such injury, Plaintiffs allege that in the early hours of July 13, 2011, ADAM choked REBECCA to death.

    19. Once they murdered REBECCA, DINA instructed ADAM to leave a cryptic message on the door outside the room where the murder was committed. The message was painted using black paint at a height that is consistent with an individual who is approximately the height of ADAM. The message read: “SHE SAVED HIM. CAN YOU SAVE HER.”

    20. ADAM, based on black paint residue found on the noose, then tightened the noose around the neck of the DECEDENT and attached the rope to the base of the bed. ADAM then picked up REBECCA, then threw her over the edge of the adjacent balcony. Either DINA or NINA was sitting on the bed to which the rope was secured, to ensure that the bed remained anchored to the floor as evidenced by the bed having moved less than a foot. While the scheme was being perpetrated, Defendants DINA and NINA also acted as look outs to avoid detection and encouraged ADAM to commit the acts alleged herein. Although each of the Defendants was in part responsible for putting the DECEDENT in harms way, none of them made any effort to help her or to save her from the injuries that eventually resulted in her death.

    21. The Defendants were careful to remove any evidence of their involvement, including the disposal of the tape and REBECCA’s clothes. Once the staging was complete, the Defendants fled the scene, instructing ADAM to call the police in the early morning with claims of suicide.

    FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION FOR WRONGFUL DEATH

    22. Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference herein paragraphs 1 though 21 of this Complaint and further allege against all Defendants as follows.

    23. On or about July 13, 2011, Defendants, and each of them, entered into a common scheme and plan to murder REBECCA, and in furtherance thereof intentionally, willfully, wantonly and maliciously caused physical harm to REBECCA by stalking, attacking, choking, gaging, binding, and hanging her at the premises. Each of the defendants had his/her own motives for committing these wrongful acts, including anger and revenge against REBECCA arising from the fatal injuries suffered by six-year-old Maxwell Shacknai, nephew to ADAM, niece to NINA and daughter to DINA, while REBECCA was taking care of him two days before she was murdered. In addition, Defendant DINA SHACKNAI was extremely jealous of REBECCA’s relationship with her ex-husband, JONAH SHACKNAI and her now deceased son, Maxwell. The Defendants were further motivated to silence REBECCA in order to keep her from disclosing matters that could prove extremely embarrassing to the Defendants and their families.
     
  4. elfie

    elfie New Member

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    #23 has difficulties:

    "including anger and revenge against REBECCA arising from the fatal injuries suffered by six-year-old Maxwell Shacknai, nephew to ADAM, niece to NINA and daughter to DINA..."

    It should read: nephew to Nina and son to Dina. I will have to look at the document.

    Okay, yes, that is how it is written. That will need to be corrected.
     
  5. *Lash*

    *Lash* Justice 4 Rebecca

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    13. Due to DINA’s prior incidents of confronting and threatening DECEDENT, DINA’s prior history of being unable to control her anger, her Due to DINA’s prior incidents of confronting and threatening her ridiculing and publicly demeaning the DECEDENT for allegedly causing harm and the eventual death of DINA’s six-year-old son, Maxfield, as well as her extreme jealousy over the DECEDENT’s relationship with her ex-husband, Jonah Shacknai,Plaintiffs allege, based in further part on an eye witness report placing DINA at the 1040 Ocean Boulevard residence the evening of the murder, that on the evening of July 12, 2011, DINA aggressively confronted the DECEDENT at the Ocean Boulevard residence, along with her sister, NINA. This confrontation arose from an accident the prior day when DINA’s son Maxfield fell over a second floor railing at the Ocean Boulevard residence, causing him brain damage and eventually his death on July 16, 2011. DECEDENT was babysitting Maxfield at the time of the fall.

    BBM - "Publicly demeaning" do the plaintiffs have a witness from the hospital of Dina demeaning RZ or are the attorneys referring to Dina's claims the following year? IIRC, Rebecca was only at the hospital that first day before Dina banned her from visiting Max.
     
  6. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    I think they're talking about interviews after the deaths.
     
  7. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    I think Rebecca's clothes being absent from the scene of her death is kind of huge. Can anyone tell me where they were found?
     
  8. inthedark14

    inthedark14 Active Member

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    AFAIK they haven't been. When that detail was released and the warrants reviewed they were not on any of the lists.
     
  9. MaybeNotToday

    MaybeNotToday New Member

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    So are they claiming they knew what she had on the day of her death and that those pieces are unaccounted for? Did they describe the clothes in the suite? I haven't read it all admittedly.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. Carioca

    Carioca New Member

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    AFAIK what she was wearing on the day of her death (July 12) was never officially stated. Nonetheless, from the time she left Coronado around 3PM that day to take her little sister X to the airport, pick up Adam at airport, pick up JS and Dr HL at Rady Children's, then eventually arrive back at the house together with Adam shortly before 8 p.m., she would have been wearing the same clothing. Therefore, her sister X, JS, AS, and Dr. HL could all attest to what she was wearing at the time. Those are the clothes that are missing.

    As to the clothes in the suite, they were folded neatly on her bed, ready to put on the next morning when she had told JS she would take him fresh clothing at the hospital:

     
  11. Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh New Member

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    Thank you for clarifying that, Carioca.
     
  12. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    So. Here's why (we are supposed to believe) Rebecca for sure committed suicide:

    -- She gave herself dozens of small abrasions all across her back, and we ought to assume this was from the balcony railing though a brief topple over just doesn't match the pattern at all.

    -- While injuring herself all over her back and limbs in this fall, also managed to bang her head four times. She was really wrasslin' that railing, wasn't she.

    -- Managed to hang herself with throat injuries consistent with manual strangulation. How crafty of her.

    -- While in a suicidal state, and with an incredibly complex scenario to set up for her imminent suicide, thought to hide the clothing she'd been wearing all day -- so thoroughly, in fact, that no-one to this day has ever found it. Positively machiavellian.

    -- Stood on tiptoe to paint the message on the wall, and then gave her own nipples a pinch.

    -- Googled asian bondage porn that night, for the first time ever, just for inspiration. The fact that Adam had also searched porn that night was mere coincidence. Or the entire suicide was set up to make him look incredibly guilty. For some reason. Hey, this was a woman crafty enough to hide her own clothes, after all... :facepalm:

    Or you know. He killed her. And staged the scene to look like suicide. Which eerily resembles asian bondage porn...what with the asian girl and the bondage and all...

    I don't know HOW this ever was ruled a suicide. I just do not know and cannot fathom, in any way that leaves LE and coroner looking both competent and honest.
     
  13. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Was the dog's kong-type toy present at the scene ever tested for human saliva?
     
  14. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    "...no left footprints from Ms. Zahau were found on the balcony - not one. It is highly unlikely that Ms. Zahau maneuvered from the balcony door to the balcony railing on one foot. The absence of left footprints suggests that Ms. Zahau was likely lifted from behind and carried onto the balcony. This finding is supported by the partial unknown shoe ridges found on top and behind Rebecca's footprints."

    "On close inspection the shoe print ridges on the right side are ON TOP of Rebecca's right footprint, which suggests that the shoe prints were made after her footprint and not weeks or months earlier as some have suggested."

    "The first shoe ridge pattern is located beside the officer's boot print. These ridges are about 1/4-inch in width. Unfortunately the officer stepped on top of the unknown shoe print but some of the ridge detail is still visible. The second shoe ridge pattern helps establish that the shoe prints were made at the same time Rebecca was on the balcony."

    http://www.examiner.com/article/doctor-maurice-godwin-says-rebecca-zahau-was-murdered

    bbm

    In addition, a woman's underwear was alleged to have been found in the property's guest apartment where Adam Shacknai, brother of Jonah Shacknai was staying. That evidence was never tested for DNA trace evidence, according to Ms. Bremner, who also disclosed that Rebecca's bedroom door leading to the balcony where she allegedly jumped from to hang herself, was closed.

    Also troubling to Ms. Bremner was the fact that Rebecca's feet were covered in dirt, but her dirty footprints were not left on the carpet in her bedroom. A pair of black gloves were also found at the scene, and allegedly never tested for trace evidence. There was also a computer in her room that was used after 3:00 a.m. PDT, beyond the time that she would have already been dead, and no determination was ever made as to who accessed it.

    A second knife on the floor of Ms. Zahau's bedroom, which was supposedly used to cut the rope used in the hanging, had no fingerprints on it. There was also blood found in one of the mansion's showers, but it was never analyzed.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/doctor-phil-airs-raw-zahau-family-emotions-and-new-forensic-facts

    How does the knife have NO fingerprints? It was carried up there by *someone*, it did not levitate there all its own, fresh from the dishwasher. If Rebecca wore gloves (the never-tested ones?) to handle the knife, why would she then be so careless as to leave her fingerprints in the paint?

    Again, the suicide ruling is so very clearly WRONG!
     
  15. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Ok -- this is driving me nuts! If anyone can help, I would be very grateful!

    The other day, I listened to the fire dept section of the 911 call Adam made, where at the end you can clearly hear a woman with a shrill kind of voice asking "What did you DO?"

    And now... I can't find it. :( Anyone got that link handy?
     
  16. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    The autopsy report reveals that the police withheld two key details from their briefing on its findings that she committed suicide.

    Tape residue was found on the 32-year-old's legs

    Dr Cyril Wecht speculated that Ms Zahau could have planned to bind her feet with duct tape and then changed to rope. But he added, 'Well then, where's the duct tape?'

    A T-shirt was discovered in her mouth

    Dr Wecht questioned why Ms Zahau would have put a T-shirt in her mouth before hanging herseld. 'I don't know. I'm just trying to think. She didn't want to be rescued and didn't want to scream so she put it in her mouth? It's absurd,' he told KFMB-AM.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...legs-t-shirt-stuffed-mouth.html#ixzz3Fxk0uPNu

    If the finding was supposed to be 'suicide' WHY would the police involved feel the need to *withhold* two very important pieces of evidence like that? Is it because they actually weaken the finding? :waitasec:

    I raise this, as an illustration that Rebecca's family have the uphill battle of having to provide proof where correct police procedures were not followed (and thus vital evidence was probably missed), information has been withheld from them and apparently the police have dug their heels in over a suicide finding (to the point of omitting the release of information on evidence that contracts them), despite a LOT of evidence and suspicious behaviour that indicates otherwise. Which, as many experts have so far agreed SHOULD incur a homicide investigation, or at the *least* an open finding. I believe ANY LE agency not personally invested in closing the case down with a suicide finding would be investigating this as an unsolved crime, in the name of doing their job correctly.

    Rebecca's family are boldly fighting on, using whatever means they can, to keep Rebecca's case current and prove her death was a crime.. and I think they are doing a bang-up job of it.

    I intend to try to gather/rehash all the evidence we have so far seen that would support each of the family's claims in the document heading this thread, one paragraph at a time. Of course, including those new bits of evidence mentioned.. ;)

    .
     
  17. LuckyLucy2

    LuckyLucy2 Former Member

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    Rebecca had some almost healed cuts on the same leg where the residue was found. The residue was most likely from bandaids, was only a small amount, and was not in an area where one would bind someone's legs. And since the Zahaus claim that the murder was done without premeditation, why would anyone have brought duct tape? And If someone searched for duct tape at the house, there would have been signs of someone looking through things. Instead, Rebecca hung herself and just happened to have bandaid residue on the leg she had previously injured. Read the autopsy report - it shows she had healing abrasions on that same leg. So this is not evidence, as there is no proof that is was duct tape and the ME noted that it was not in a place that one would use to bind legs...and the Zahaus would have a tough time calling this "evidence".
     
  18. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Read the autopsy report --- it says the residue is on the "distal lower right leg" and on the left mid-shin. NOWHERE does it describe "almost healed cuts" in this region. Absolutely nowhere.

    There are healing wounds, however on the knees. Couple inches up, there. :)

    I respect the ME might not have seen tape used in that position to bind someone before -- but I have. Not to go into the finer details, but tape's a great temporary binding, if you need to make someone stay still while you more aesthetically bind their ankles. But how do I know this?! Well, I am hardly going to claim 'verified insider' status for it, but let's just say I have six years experience in an industry where that knowledge is pretty useful. So I well and truly know my stuff there. More than enough to say with certainty that it's VERY possible tape was used for temporary binding.

    Which is an interesting thing to be able to observe, in conjunction with the fact that *somebody* googled asian bondage porn that very night... :waitasec:

    Eta: AND there's nothing at all, anywhere, to suggest that anyone searched for tape. Nothing. BUT there's also *zero* proof that they didn't search. So maybe they knew where the tape was kept? Maybe it was easy to find? Maybe they even brought it with. Maybe they had access to the garden shed. Claiming there's proof of lack of search for the tape in the house proves... well, nothing, really.

    But as the tape was nowhere to be found, I'm on spec gonna guess it's in the same place her clothes went to, and likely for a similar reason.
     
  19. LuckyLucy2

    LuckyLucy2 Former Member

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    Maybes don't make a court case. Maybe,maybe,maybe. DNA and fingerprints tell the truth. How about some real evidence?

    All the porn searches were done by Rebecca. They were done on Rebecca computer at times that only Rebbecca Zahau had access to them, according to Ann Rule. And then there is the movie The Housemaid that Rebecca mimiked in the suicide. I'm sure that will come up in court as well.
     
  20. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    In police work which does not occur on fictional television shows, many a case is made with circumstantial evidence, and without DNA. Or even a body! That's just a fact.

    REALLY. I can't find any mention or list of the actual times those sites were viewed. Can you? I only see they were made "within the 24 hours" before her death. So during WHAT hours among those 24 was each search made? I would really like to know.

    I don't recall Ann Rule stating they were made "at only times Rebecca Zahau had access". If you have that quote handy, I'd appreciate it!

    What I DO recall is that the computer expert stated he found NO searches for rope, suicide, knots or hanging. Also NO documents relating to suicide. And that 'numerous' searches for porn were found from the history "in the last 24 hours". But he doesn't say what hours.

    And really, how do WE KNOW nobody else accessed that guest/computer room? I know we've been TOLD Adam Shacknai didn't access it. He said so, in that polygraph test which was found inconclusive.

    The whole 'Housemaid' thing is utterly ludicrous. IMO. Not worth the effort of rehashing.
     
  21. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Now, regarding physical, actual and visible evidence which supports the family's case:

    There's a couple of injury patterns which I will link to below, as the pics are quite large, which are, IMO, indicative of both manual strangulation (supported by the broken hyoid bone which Dr Wecht stated was consistent with manual strangulation) and some sort of sustained injury *prior* to Rebecca's hands being bound.

    First: in the link below, note the thin parallel, horizontally-running marks central to the wound patterns on Rebecca's throat. How'd those happen? Not with the thick red rope, which has left different patterns. If they occurred at time of the supposed hanging, how'd they end up horizontal like that, and so thin? To me, they look remarkably similar to thin ligature marks I have seen in autopsy pics of ligature strangulation. I can think of no other cause for them. Add to those the whole hyoid bone thing that Wecht suggests - and there's TWO indicators that something besides hanging occurred.

    http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o614/mackpro/rz_head_cynic.jpg

    Next, the patterns of injury on Rebecca's back. These extend *under* the areas covered by her bound arms. These injuries also do NOT appear on her arms.

    At first view, I actually considered that they may have been caused by contact with that big cactus-looking plant near the balcony, as she swung. But then, how do her arms escape injury? How did those areas covered by her bound arms become injured like that?

    These marks *have to* have been made *prior* to her arms being bound. That counts out all the 'caused by scraping on balcony' theories. And all of the 'injured by plants while swinging' theories too.

    Marks - made by what? I don't know. The only pattern --I-- have ever seen which resembles it was made by a multi-tailed whip with wire endpieces. And if they *are* whipmarks, I am 100% sure that she didn't do them to herself. How do I know this? Because when people whip themselves, the pattern is *always* slightly diagonal. It's just how it works, when people strike themselves over the shoulder. Again, I am struck by the 'coincidence' of this pattern, quite familiar to my 'expert' knowledge of whip patterns, occurring where BDSM related searches were made on the victim's computer.

    Note also the identical abrasions on the backs of her arms. Two spots, the exact same size. Thumb marks, was my first thought. But could those be described as 'abrasions'? What on earth could cause those identical marks, and WHY are there NO injuries to her arms that are similar to those found on her back? If her arms were in the way, even a bit, we'd see similar injuries.

    You know where I have seen patterns of injury to a back exactly resembling those, yet none on the arms? In my expert field, where arms were held up and out of the way...

    http://i44.tinypic.com/f3i1jd.jpg

    The *only* other thing I can think of is perhaps her back being pressed and scraped across a rough surface, such as a textured wall -- but the pattern is so evenly distributed, I doubt it. And again, this MUST have happened *before* her arms were bound behind her. Prior to her hanging.
     

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