touch DNA and fibre evidence

Discussion in 'JonBenet Ramsey' started by ozazure, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. ozazure

    ozazure Active Member

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    So, touch or trace DNA is basically next to useless, because of how it transfers and innocent explanations for it's whereabouts, especially when quantity comes into play. On rare occasions it may be of use - like I heard on one podcast someone said an assailant shoves a man on the chest and his complete DNA profile was found and it put him at the scene when he claimed he wasn't there and it was an in public, stranger on stranger crime. So it was applied via skin touching a surface but was not "trace" dna per se and there was no reasonable explanation for it being there except he applied it via the shove. This is obviously a very different scenario from what was found on JonBenet.

    So now when I consider the fibre evidence for JonBenet I wonder if we run into similar problems. Like the entwined fibre in the cord. I hug Patsy goodnight in her red jacket and then I go get the cord and put it under my arm as I trot off down to the basement. Patsy's fibres are on my sleeve, and then they are on the cord, and then they are entwined in the knot. The jacket was worn by someone in the house the same day the knot was tied, many transfers could occur.

    Then I just red that fibres were vacuumed from JonBenet's bed. How is contamination prevented in this scenario? A new vacuum for every evidence bag? How do you ensure that what was vacuumed in place A doesn't get into place B's bag?

    I am thinking that much of the fibre evidence cannot necessarily inform my opinion on what occurred that night. Your thoughts?
     
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  3. bettybaby00

    bettybaby00 New Member

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    There is a great deal of forensic evidence that has been analyzed, and is damning toward the family. Cases can have coincidences, but one, after another, after another, start to indicate something else entirely. Touch DNA isn't always indicative of anything--yes sometimes it's significant, but most of the time it's not. Touch DNA can't be considered in a vacuum.
     
  4. DeeDee249

    DeeDee249 New Member

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    Skin cells are one thing. Fiber evidence is another. Fiber evidence is often used it court and can convict someone. It is WHERE the fibers are found that make them incriminating. In her bed is not unusual- if she undressed her on the bed (asleep or not) and helped her get ready for bed while still wearing that jacket. But on the sticky side of the TAPE? No way is that innocent. ENTWINED in the cord? Not innocent. In the paint tote? Not innocent, especially when Patsy told LE she never painted in that jacket or wore it in the basement.
    You can't prevent people who live in the house from contaminating a crime scene before the crime happens, so the bed fibers would probably be discounted in court. Even after the fact, the fibers would be expected to be found- but NOT found on items that are exclusively part of the crime. Like the tape, cord.
     
  5. ElleElle

    ElleElle New Member

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    Imo, Patsy screwed up the "plan" and called 911.

    John knew he had to do something about his "cover-up".

    Hence, "finding" JBR can explain the fibre transfer.
     
  6. ozazure

    ozazure Active Member

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    I get what you are saying - but why are fibres being transferred more legitimate as being there via direct contact with the perpetrator than trace amounts of skin cells? Say the perpetrator is John, and he got Patsy's red fibres on him over the course of the evening because it is an item that sheds particularly well. He gets fibres under the sticky side of the tape, fibres that his clothes have shed and/or fibres that have shed ONTO him during the course of the evening. Shed fibres can make their way via secondary transfer. My daughter is covered in cat hair from my mothers, she is now putting it on my couch. It'll be on her father's pants tonight via the couch and he never went near my mother's house.
     
  7. ozazure

    ozazure Active Member

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    I think you misunderstand the thrust of my question. I am not trying to exonerate the Ramsey's by shedding (ha!) doubt on why fibres are where they are. I am particularly interested in the fibres in the garrotte and alternate reasons why Patsy's fibres could be entwined in there instead of simply on it, as she lay on JB when she was brought up.

    If trace/touch dna can get onto JonBenet from indirect contact with others at the white's party, crime scene investigators, unwashed newly manufactured undies ... I think Patsy's fibres can get onto the cord via someone who was close to Patsy and the cord in relatively close succession, say over the course of an evening. Or John's israeli shirt fibres can get on JonBenet without him being in it at the time. Obviously there may be a threshold where there are so many fibres anything except a direct friction touch is an unlikely scenario. But to me it stands to reason that if sleuthers can accept the possibility of touch/trace dna being transferred to surfaces/a person to bodies/clothes, that fibres can shed onto people/surfaces before being left behind again. It loosens up the possibilities of what occured that night. That John or Burke could entwine Patsy's fibres, that Patsy could use John's shirt for cleanup for instance.
     
  8. bettybaby00

    bettybaby00 New Member

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    Yes, possible, transfer can happen in a number of ways. However, for me the combination of everything reduces the likelihood of an outside perpetrator being at the scene. Specifically the Rs behaviors. The 3 hid/have hid/continue to hide too much...but that may just be me :D
     
  9. DeeDee249

    DeeDee249 New Member

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    Because the fibers were SOURCED to a person- Patsy and JR. They came from clothing they wore that day/night and were on items directly related to the crime (the tape and cord). That placed them THERE with the body as the crime scene was staged.
    The skin cells were NOT sourced- could belong to anyone, including someone who happened to be at the party. They had no association with the crime itself. They were simply present on clothing the victim wore (and on NO other item). They cannot be linked directly to the crime until and unless there is a donor named. NAMED.

    The presence of the fibers on a victim is not as incriminating as the presence of the fibers on something used to STAGE A DEAD BODY. This is the key- the presence on the tape, cord and NEW panties. These items would have no reason to come into contact with the parents clothes UNLESS they handled them specifically at the time of the CRIME. This is very different than a child sitting on a sofa with a grandparent or being put to bed by a dad.
     
  10. Chelly

    Chelly Well-Known Member

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    EXCELLENT explanation DeeDee! Glad you are here.
     
  11. lawstudent

    lawstudent New Member

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    But if the parents are shedding fibers so easily, and they claim to have carried JonBenet into the house, wouldn't it make sense that she had them all over her? And that if someone else was carrying her around, messing with her clothes, and using tape around her, they'd have the fibers on them as well? It certainly shows she was around her parents that night, but I don't know that you can say it's all that damning. Although, I guess the fact that they were in the garrote etc. is highly suspicious. But I could still see how it would happen. I'm sure I track my dog's hair into my room and it's stuck in random things even though she's not allowed upstairs.
     
  12. ATasteOfHoney

    ATasteOfHoney Active Member

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    I believe I've heard there were some *inside* her underwear.

    Anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.....
     
  13. lawstudent

    lawstudent New Member

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    But if it's not weird that a factory worker's touch DNA transferred from the underwear to her longjohns, why is it weird that fibers all over her could end up in her underwear as well as she was being changed?
     
  14. dodie20

    dodie20 New Member

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    I've actually thought about this and wondered if transference from PR to someone else, or JR to someone else could explain this...and the truth is, it's not exact. But, if an unknown intruder hugged PR for instance and transferred her fibers, he'd be transferring his own fibers too, so where are they? ...unless he dressed in her clothes, but that's too ridiculous to even consider. If the intruder shook JR's hand earlier that night and later transferred those fibers, where are his own fibers? Yes, he could have been naked, but it's almost impossible to think the R's fibers were clinging all over his body, just waiting to fall on the crime scene. What about the fibers from other people the intruder came in contact with? Where in the crime scene did they fall? Why weren't they entwined in the garrote? You see? Once I start trying to look for other explanations, I realize how unlikely they are. As for this touch DNA, I'm not sure. It's obviously important, or ML wouldn't have gotten away with clearing the Rs, but at the same time, wth? Just like what some of you were saying about transferred fibers, could be said about the DNA. Who's to say PR didn't transfer the touch DNA when she was leaving her fibers everywhere. IMO, that's a lot more believable than the reverse, because if someone's at a rape/murder crime scene , he's going to leave more than touch DNA. He's going to leave other DNA and his own hair and his own clothes fibers and his own fingerprints, for example.
     
  15. lawstudent

    lawstudent New Member

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    Good points - does the shedding of fibers have a lot to do with the type of material being worn? Like, could an alleged intruder just not have had a shirt that shed on him. I don't hear about fiber evidence in most cases - I've seen a few, like when the victim had on a scarf that shed or had fibers from a certain type of car rug on them. But it doesn't seem like people are regularly leaving fibers behind when they have on normal, non-shedding type clothes. If Patsy had on a yarn-type coat that sheds everywhere, and little pieces were on JonBenet, and the guy is changing her, a few could slip in. Then he reaches for tape, which obviously picks up anything it can, and some of those are still on his fingers. It seems possible depending on the material. There are some shirts I've had to throw out because the fibers were just everywhere. But other shirts seemed fine. Do most assault victims have fibers from their assailants on them?
     
  16. dodie20

    dodie20 New Member

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    I think all clothes leave fibers, especially if someone is hurrying about, bumping into things, moving around a lot. And hair falls out too. In just about every murder or rape case I've kept up with in depth, fibers play a role. Back in the 70's or 80's, I read a Stephen King book, (The Dead Zone), about a murderer who was so careful to not leave fibers, that he dressed from head to toe in a rain slicker. The murderer was a cop, so he was extra concerned with fiber evidence.
     
  17. DeeDee249

    DeeDee249 New Member

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    That's the point- the fibers WEREN'T all over her. They were on items used to kill her or stage the body. The panties, tape, cord and paint tote from which the broken paintbrush was taken.
    There is no way those wool shirt fibers got INSIDE the panty crotch of a NEW pair of panties innocently. They were not found anywhere else on the body.
     
  18. ozazure

    ozazure Active Member

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    Ok, it makes no sense the fibres are on the cord but not say, on her sleeve - they are simply sought and reported where they are of interest surely? The fibres don't have some magic magnetism to items of interest.

    I think the Ramsey's were intimately involved with JonBenet's death, I am not looking for an excuse for the fibres to be there when the Ramseys were not. I am 99.99% sure they were there. What I am not convinced about is that a fibre entwined in a knot got there because Patsy was wearing the red jacket when she personally tied it. I am not convinced that John's fibres in the underwear means he was putting them on her or cleaning her. Still likely, but not something I can "know", the way I feel like I "know" the note is in Patsy's handwriting.

    I see people on this forum state some very categorical theories based on such evidence. I just don't think the logic stands up to scrutiny, if you understand how trace evidence is transferred, you know the origin of the evidence does not necessarily have to be in direct contact with whatever it ends up on and in an intimate family homicide ... the fibres become far less conclusive for unravelling the small details.
     
  19. jenison

    jenison New Member

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    Hello. First time poster long time lurker.

    Forgive me if I missed this elsewhere (I'm relatively new to getting into the details of this case), but the fibers alone seem like enough to get an indictment to me. I'm curious as to what the intruder theorists have to say about them. What did old Smitty boy have to say about them?
     

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