JonBenet's Skull Fractures: The Weapon

Discussion in 'JonBenet Ramsey' started by otg, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. ukrberserker

    ukrberserker New Member

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    Judging from the crime scene photos on ACR, I'd say the piece of sheet metal was used to hide the floor safe in the basement floor. Don't know if Ramseys had this safe installed, or if it came with the house.
     


  2. otg

    otg Well-Known Member

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    Greetings, ukrberserker (now how am I gonna be able to shorten that when I address you in the future?).

    The R's were not even aware of the floor safe until the housekeeper discovered it and told them about it. Don't know if it was ever opened by investigators (I would imagine it should have been), but IIRC they claimed to not know the combination because the previous owner didn't even tell them about it.
     
  3. otg

    otg Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I know this is not going to be a very interesting discussion, and I’m not really going to enjoy it any more than anyone else. But I need to get it out of the way so we understand its significance, before I go on to something else. If this doesn’t interest you in the least, feel free to skip on down to the end to see only the Bottom Line as to its importance.

    In previous discussions, we’ve loosely used several terms to describe the depressed fracture that we should understand. The words are rectangle, oval, ovoid, and ellipse.

    I think everyone knows what a rectangle is, so I won’t go into a discussion of that.

    An oval (from Wikipedia) “is a closed curve in a plane which ‘loosely’ resembles the outline of an egg. The term is not very specific, but in some areas (projective geometry, technical drawing, etc.) it is given a more precise definition. In common English, the term is used in a broader sense; any shape which reminds one of an egg.” This is all in 2-dimensions. The 3-dimensional version of an oval is called an ovoid. The word ovoidal refers to the characteristic of being an ovoid and is often used as a synonym for "egg shaped".

    An ellipse, OTOH, is a little more difficult to define in simple terms because it is a very specific type of oval. Whereas an oval has a somewhat loose definition, an ellipse is a specific type of oval which is completely symmetrical on either side of its perpendicular axes. The 3-dimensional version of an ellipse is an ellipsoid. An egg is an ovoid, but not an ellipsoid (because the egg is not symmetrical on both sides of its smaller axis). Here is a video showing how to draw a perfect ellipse:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UD8hOs-vaI"]Draw A Perfect Ellipse - YouTube[/ame]

    Notice that what makes an ellipse different from a circle is that it has two centers of radii, unlike a circle which has only one. There are also other ways to construct an ellipse:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ram_method.gif
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...potrochoid.gif
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...es_Trammel.gif

    So understanding all this, you understand the significance of what I mean (and what was pointed out by wengr [ame="http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8923797#post8923797"]here[/ame]) when I call attention to the fact that when I made the green shape in this picture, I used a tool which drew an ellipse along the edge of the depressed fracture, and it fit almost perfectly to the general shape of the "hole".


    Bottom Line:

    The depressed fracture in JonBenet’s skull was a perfect ellipse (symmetrical on either side of its axes), and it had to have been made from a cylindrical object striking the spherical shape of the skull.
     
  4. otg

    otg Well-Known Member

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    (If the last post was boring, this one could be even worse.)

    I had thought that calculations using geometry would be the answer to finding the unknown diameter of the cylinder that struck JonBenet’s head. While the geometry confirms the shape of the object, it doesn’t provide a solution to finding the diameter. I didn’t know this until I found a place where math geeks hang out and posed the question. I won’t bother trying to explain the entire solution, I struggled to understand it myself. If you care to read the entire exchange, you can find it here:
    http://www.mathisfunforum.com/viewtopic.php?id=19141

    The question I posed is:
    The answer came from Bob Bundy, complete with instructions on how to solve the problem (which is useful, because the curvature of the skull varies and I only asked how to figure for a 6.5” diameter). Since the curvature of the human skull varies, skull diameters given from various sources are based on average diameters. The other problem in trying to be exact is that we don’t know exactly where the depressed fracture is located -- even though we’ve pretty much narrowed down the area quite a bit. For that reason, I will still need to do some tests with the toy skull in hopes of getting a more exact diameter. But for the time being, the answer I got from the math forum is that given a 6.5” diameter sphere, the cylinder would have a diameter of 0.67”. So for the time being, I’ll say that the weapon had to be between 1/2” and 1”.

    If this is accurate, then a lot of possible weapons can be eliminated, including the one I was beginning to lean toward. And this is why, even though I had this information back in March, I hadn’t posted it. I was baffled by what could have had that small of a diameter and yet be capable of causing the amount of fracture in a child’s skull that was found in JonBenet’s.

    This bothered me, because it created more of a question than it supplied answers. But when I started this thread, I didn’t know exactly where it would end up (even though I thought at the time I knew). I only wanted to follow the evidence wherever it led. Then recently after posting a picture in response to a question from Charterhouse, I saw something that, even though I had seen it before, it didn’t dawn on me what I was seeing until I looked at it with this information. I think I know now what may have been grabbed to whack JonBenet over the head. I’ll point you to the post that has the picture, and see if anyone else can come up with the same answer. I’m not simply trying to be coy, but I would like to see if I’ve climbed too far out on the crazy tree limb.

    Look at [ame="http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?p=9518950#post9518950"]this post[/ame] and someone tell me what they see in the pictures. What is right there as plain as day, but probably went unnoticed by the investigators? Remember that part of their search (after completion of the autopsy) was for something that could be used as a bludgeon. They came back with the following (that we know of from the search warrants) that might be possibly be used as a weapon for the head blow:
    Black sheet metal from wine cellar (39KKY)
    baseball bat (3GLI)
    golf clubs (4GLI)
    red clay brick (48BAB)
    baseball bat (74BAB)
    hammer (6BAH)
    flashlight (20JRB)
    golf club (79BAH)
    (BLACKED OUT ITEMs)​
    Notice that they were looking for something big and heavy. I don’t think it occurred to the investigators doing the search to look at something like the object I have in mind. But then, I don’t think that at the time they had the information that you have now (that it was probably a cylindrical object between 1/2” and 1” in diameter).

    I’ll wait a while before posting more unless someone can come up with something that tells me I’m not crazy.
     
  5. BOESP

    BOESP Well-Known Member

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    This better be good otg cause you know I still think it was a low velocity/high pressure wound. :):)
     
  6. otg

    otg Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I know, BOESP. I hope it doesn't disappoint. But please, tell me what you see in the picture. If I can offer a weapon that fits what I've found so far, and I can show it was probably right there where she was struck, would you consider it over your lv/hp theory?
     
  7. BOESP

    BOESP Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure which picture you wanted me to see????? Is it a waterpipe in the basement?

    If your weapon can explain the 8" fracture that accompanies the elliptical indentation, I'll think about considering your theory. :facepalm:
     
  8. Nom de plume

    Nom de plume Member

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    OTG all I see are pipes. Unless there is a loose (not connected to anything) one that I'm missing, or something else, if a pipe was the weapon, her head would have had to strike it, not it striking her head. Is this what you're thinking?
     
  9. Darlene733510

    Darlene733510 Active Member

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    Could it have been that her head was slammed against the edge of the toilet bowl. I looked and looked at the picture, and didn't see anything else.
    I noticed the lid is off the toilet tank - could it have been that lid that she was hit with?
    The chair? Small end of baseball bat?
     
  10. otg

    otg Well-Known Member

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    Nom, you’re looking for something with a label that says “weapon”, and missing the detail. I know you see more than just pipes, but you’re reluctant to state the obvious. For example (and this is not to lead anyone in a certain direction), I know you see the corner of what we know to be the freezer. I know also that you see the famous duct from which the “alleged” scream was carried to Mrs. Stanton’s ears. If you state what you see, maybe it’ll strike a tone for someone else to pick up, like: “Wait a minute, why is that duct there? It doesn’t go to anything.” But what does the answer to that question tell us?

    Think of this as a group huddle, or a brainstorming session. Don’t hesitate to mention something you think is too obvious -- maybe someone else doesn’t see what you see, even if you don’t think it’s important. Don’t look for the weapon -- it’s not visible in the photo. But what does the picture tell you? How much information can be gleaned from that photo?

    Darlene, I’m not sure that you’re looking at the same picture (I don’t see the toilet). I’ll post them again for reference since they are on a different thread:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    ETA: Oops! My bad. Darlene, I see what you're talking about now that I posted the pictures. You were referring to the inset pictures in the hellhole layout diagram.
     
  11. Chrishope

    Chrishope New Member

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    I see a 5 gal plastic bucket near the water heater, but I can't tell what is in the bucket.

    I also see that the vent that goes out the window isn't connected to anything. It apparently is left over from some previous application. It appears to be too large to have been a dryer vent. It's also painted, so has been there long enough that it got painted when the basement was painted. This would be the duct that may have allowed "the scream" to be heard?

    To the right of the duct is a pipe hanging down. It does not appear to be connected to anything. The picture is not clear enough (for me) to determine if it's gas or water. My guess is gas. Apparently it fed a prior boiler?

    To the right of the water heater is a blue square object which I take to be the boiler?
     
  12. otg

    otg Well-Known Member

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    Why is it there? Who would have put it there? What would/could be in it?
     
  13. Chrishope

    Chrishope New Member

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    In my house tools would be in it. Or old pieces of pipe if new pipe were being installed. Workmen could have left it, as we know there were workmen there and that the basement renovations were not complete.
     
  14. BOESP

    BOESP Well-Known Member

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    otg, the picture I looked at when I guessed "waterpipe" was the diagram drawing on the math page at another website. One of the off-site photos looks like a pipe applied to the right side of a larger cyclinder at an approximately 120-degree angle. That diagram shows an elliptical indentation or dis-lodgement where the long, skinny cyclinder (waterpipe) meets the larger cylinder.

    I didn't see any other photos until today (Saturday). So are we supposed to be looking at the photo of the water heater room?

    Phewww ...
     
  15. otg

    otg Well-Known Member

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    You added more since I replied, so I should add this to my previous comment:

    YES! Now you're on to something. Just keep going (or anyone else). Would you say that's a new or an old water heater? Why?
     
  16. BOESP

    BOESP Well-Known Member

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    Chrishope ... finally .... something we can agree on. :rockon:
     
  17. BOESP

    BOESP Well-Known Member

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    Well, it is a gas water heater (I can tell by the fittings and connections. I once had gas <no pun intended>).

    It has to be fairly new because it has the "energy savings" sticker on the side of it. How new is new?
     
  18. otg

    otg Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the picture showing what has been referred to by others as the "boiler room" is what we are looking at. (And keep in mind its location relative to where the paint tote and the shards of wood were found.)

    In the other diagram you referred to (I think), it's simply a diagram of a cylinder ("long, skinny") intersecting with a sphere (which the math guys didn't know represented a skull).
     
  19. Chrishope

    Chrishope New Member

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    As BEOSP says, how new is new? The Energy Star program began in '92 but initially labeled just computers/monitors. Residential heating/cooling equipment (which would include water heaters) was added sometime between '92 and '95. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=about.ab_history

    So this cannot be a really old water heater. Since the murder happened in late '96, and energy star was fairly new at the time, this must be a new water heater. We also know from case history that renovations were being done in the house, though I'm not clear on exactly when they began. We know from other pictures of hanging wiring that the work was incomplete at the time of the murder.

    So I'm thinking of a piece of gas pipe. Gas pipe would be so-called "black pipe". IOWs, iron pipe, very heavy.
     
  20. otg

    otg Well-Known Member

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    :floorlaugh: (I've always had gas <and no pun intended>.) :blushing:

    And yes, it IS a gas water heater. Tip off is something called a "drip leg" or a "dirt leg". (More info)

    Since some pipe was probably painted along with the basement (easy for the painters who just spray the entire room), would it be a reasonable assumption that it was painted before the R's bought it? And then could we further allow that unpainted pipe/fixtures were most likely installed afterwards? Does the amount of dust accumulation on the "new" stuff give us a clue as to how long it's been there?
     

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