The image below, taken from the Forums for Justice forums, is a photograph of the ligature or garrote used during the murder of this child. I freely admit that this might well have been discussed to death and I missed it, but for whatever reason I never really paid any attention to this weapon before. http://www.forumsforjustice.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4426&stc=1&d=1338921389 Regardless of who you believe killed this child, I believe most people accept (and the evidence supports) that this weapon was constructed in the home and was employed to finish the murder which began with the blow to the head. The wood is apparently the broken handle of a paint brush found in the basement. The cordage came from somewhere unknown? As I understand it... The stick was a paintbush handle with BOTH ends broken off (one of which apparently remains missing to this day). One end of the cord was tied around the handle, the other end was fashioned into a slip knot to form a noose which went around JBR's neck. My questions: 1. Why a PAINTBRUSH? Paintbrush handles are generally weak. If you were looking to quickly finish someone off and didn't feel like hitting them any more (the obvious solution) why take the time to break the ends off the brush? You would either use it as is or find something more appropriate. 2. Where's the missing end? Regardless who did it, if it were constructed that night the missing end wouldn't be missing. It would be there in the brush case with the rest of it. 3. The knot. Imaging you are trying to invent a murder weapon quickly, you have minutes, and then ask yourself... is THIS the kind of knot you would tie? I am not claiming that this knot required some special expertise, I don't know that, but in my opinion it does not seem like the kind of thing someone whipped out on their first try. It looks purposeful. 4. The mechanism of killing. Basically, as I understand it, this was nothing more than a noose with a stick on the end. JBR's neck was inside the noose. It was tightened either by pushing the knot or by twisting the stick and coiling the string to apply pressure against the knot. If you were trying to quickly kill someone this is not how you would do it. Not even close. You would tie a stick on both ends, loop it around the neck, and pull. Who would even THINK of constructing some device like this, let alone on the spur of the moment. 5. This took time and thought. It was't thrown together in moments as a hasty "finish her off" improvised weapon. It was crafted with at least some care, and yet it's not all that effective as a murder device. Why go to all this trouble when the killer had to LITERALLY step over loose power cords, marker pens, and sections of train track on the floor? A man's tie, a twisted nightgown, damn near anything would have worked as well -- so why CONSTRUCT something like this? 6. Where's the missing parts? Specifically, where did the cord come from and where's the rest of the paintbrush? If you look at imagines of the home and basement there is cord all over the place and all kinds of wonderful strangulation implements. The killer had NO REASON to remove any of it, and in some cases had no hesitation in leaving it behind. Some of the pieces of paintbrush, for example, were left. Only one piece was missing. The remaining cord has apparently never been located. All of these questions lead me to one simple conclusion: This weapon was not constructed that night. No one threw this together to finish JBR off, it was already together and might well have been used on her -- perhaps multiple times in the past. The missing piece of wood is easily explained this way as well. The person who constructed this weapon initially just snapped the ferule off the brush, and in some previous use the other end broke off and was discarded at that time. The cord packaging and remains weren't smuggled out (there would be no reason for anyone to do that regardless of who it was), it was just thrown away long before. Summary: This supposed murder weapon was not designed with this purpose in mind. It would only really word that way on an unconscious victim or if significant force were applied (as in an effort at assassination). Nor was this imagined and constructed by someone without some investment of time and thought. No one said to themselves, "Holy Hell, I need to kill someone right now! I better start designing and crafting an elaborate device!" This was a TOY, no more effective than the loose bonds on JBRs wrists, pressed into service for lethal use. IN MY OPINION.