VA - Scott Ratigan, 24, found murdered in apartment, Arlington, 17 January 2020

Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by scdiv, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. Jacksmad

    Jacksmad Member

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    If true, I think whoever posted a few comments back about suspecting someone strongly, but they have an alibi, that explains a lot about this case. Like why APD waited a year to release the video. Pressuring him to make a mistake. Releasing the video is just the next round of pressure. They know who did it, but they can’t crack his alibi. They don’t expect anyone to identify him with this video. It’s just pressure.

    That would mean they don’t have evidence from the scene strong enough to overturn the alibi, which just doesn’t make sense to me. No DNA. I guess in that getup it’s possible?

    they at least know what murder weapon was used, they must not have it?

    I wonder if it’s in his pants? He’s trying to keep something from falling down or something falling out.

    I don’t feel like this was wholly intentional, all evidence to the contrary.
     


  2. acehard

    acehard Well-Known Member

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    You think LE knows who the person in the video is? Unless he/she is a complete stranger, the video uniquely identifies them and can be used to charge IMO. The silence is deafening in this case
     
  3. Kaylas

    Kaylas Well-Known Member

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    Friends of Scott continue to post almost daily/weekly on social media (Instagram, etc). The POI might see the three months’ effort that continues since the video tapes were released.

    I’m still curious of the time stamp on the video. At 1:00 in the afternoon? They know if the suspect (POI) was on the street one day, or multiple days based on the number of times surveillance captured him. The time frame is important...later in the afternoon?
    The Detectives know the method of murder from examining the upper body trauma. I don’t know any details; they aren’t releasing the info. Forensic experts can pinpoint a good estimate of the time of death, by looking at the condition of the body. Certain chemical exchanges begin once oxygen levels leave the body. A detective can determine if a person is deceased for one hour or three.

    I’d love to see an FBI profiler comment on this case. An individual that is (arrogant, sees themself as above the law?: views themself as a victim? ).

    I am hoping that there are friends of the killer that will eventually break their silence. There has to be more than one person ( murderer) that knows details of why Scott was murdered.

    Easter Weekend and Scott’s family still has no answers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
  4. acehard

    acehard Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I don't really follow social media. I was wondering if there are any updates or new leads/information to progress the investigation.

    1) Did they find his phone? Last messages/calls?
    2) Were there any abnormal financial transactions leading up to the events?
    3) New acquaintances/contacts/romantic interests?
    4) This happened on a weekday, during the day - what were his activates on that day?

    They probably have more surveillance video and footage. If it was targeted, I don't know if profiling helps.
     
  5. ex-ava resident

    ex-ava resident New Member

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    Hi everyone! long time reader - first time poster.
    I was a resident of the exact tower (lower floor) during the time and for a while after. I can answer a few quick questions on access that I saw earlier.

    There are 3 main doors that residents use to access the building and 6 auxiliary entrances:
    1. Main door: with concierge, there is key fob access in place, but with the number of delivery folk - the reception desk just buzzes everyone in without any hassle
    2. Side door: leads out onto Wilson Blvd next to the nail salon & Chase bank (directionally right across from Union Kitchen), needs key fob, but as someone previously mentioned - residents will frequently hold the door open for each other
    3. Side door: leads out next to the Natural Cafe on pedestrian access road towards 9th st
    4. Delivery/loading dock in each tower: sliding door is pretty much always open for recycling/trash unloading or for residents moving in/out, needs key fob access into building (sometimes, only if the key fob reader is actually turned on and when I lived there, it frequently was not turned on) and has cameras (unclear if working or not at the time) but anyone can just take the service elevator in the dock and that deposits you onto every residential floor - no additional security access needed
    5. Two doors leading into courtyard w/ key fob access: one next to Philz coffee and one near the #2 side door, once into the courtyard, need key fob access into the building (assuming again, a resident doesn't hold the door open for someone)
    6. Garage doors - POI could have just walked in with an incoming or outgoing car, although there are also some cameras (again, unclear if working), and there is key fob access to the elevators
    In terms of the door lock: it's a standard bolt? I'm not well-versed in locks but if on the inside of apartment, you twist it to the right and it bolts in? There is no lock on the handle, so just one lock for the door.

    AVA had sent no additional information beyond the one informational police session and according to my friends who still live in the building, AVA essentially has wiped their hands clean of the situation and won't even assume responsibility for the absolute lack of security that they advertise with to new tenants

    Hopefully this sheds some light?
     
  6. MoeInVA

    MoeInVA Well-Known Member

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    It’s such a shock to see a single young guy in such a seemingly safe location who is seemingly so removed from lawless behavior to be murdered like this. And so few clues released to the public. I don’t know what to make of it. I recommend Scott’s family be squeakier wheels, based on what little I know. It’s too easy for a case to go cold.
     
  7. Owl4

    Owl4 Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible the killer went to the wrong apartment?
     
  8. MoeInVA

    MoeInVA Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering the same thing! Like the Diol family arson where the wrong house was burned down. No one has mentioned that possibility in MSM, but it seems possible to me.
     
  9. acehard

    acehard Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Were there any robberies or break-ins while you were there?
     
  10. Jacksmad

    Jacksmad Member

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    A forced entry robbery (especially one leading to a murder) would be exceedingly rare to unheard of in this area.
     
    Kaylas, IHAVENOCLUE, scdiv and 9 others like this.
  11. DeDee

    DeDee Well-Known Member

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    Apparently the killer had no problem entering the building. How he managed Scott to open his door is perplexing. Perhaps Scott's kind personality and safety of the area were advantageous for the interloper.

    The still images taken from the video offers a male physique (or else a female ninja without breasts). Such a narrow nose!

    The rt leg is favored leading me to wonder if Scott was able to injure the rt leg of his killer although it'd not effect the pigeon-toe walk. It could make him limp a bit.

    There's a forensic podiatrist, Dr Michael Nirenberg, in Indiana who could assist LEO if they'd send him the video. He performed an assessment in the TX, Missy Bevers murder investigation. It was the FBI that assigned the task to Dr Nirenberg.

    Perhaps once the killer was inside Scott's residence, Scott fled to his bedroom for it's unlikely the door was unlocked allowing the killer to find Scott taking a nap.

    The attack seems personal in nature. With wounds to his head and neck, the weapon could have been a hammer but (defensive) wounds to his hands seem as if a knife was employed. Very close up and personal. A gun shot would have been quicker.

    How did the killer prevent Scott from screaming during the assault? Being tased is very painful. But, so are many other weapons. It's hard to imagine the terrorizing fear and immense pain Scott must have felt.

    A blow to the head would give the killer an advantage but why were they in the bedroom?

    It's sad to know this nice young man's life was cut short by evil intentions. Someone had a reason for committing this horrific crime. Given the preparation of the killer's stealth costume, it's indicative there was a specific motive.
     
  12. acehard

    acehard Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! That's not a bad idea.

    This happened on a weekday during the day in a large apartment building, so it's possible no one heard anything. There seems to be some crime scene cleanup (bleach smell) so the body might have been moved.
     
  13. MoeInVA

    MoeInVA Well-Known Member

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    Thanks DeDee!

    To the point of opening the door. Even though I lived in some similar fancy high rises in NoVa, I try to remind myself: scott was a really fit young white guy from the exurbs. And perhaps a social butterfly based on his fraternity pics and many friends. He may have been more likely to open the door to an unexpected arrival than my jaded female self??? Still so many questions in this case!! I think about Scott and his family very regularly. I hope LE is closer than I feel.
     
  14. DeDee

    DeDee Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for responding, acehard!

    The FBI in Missy Bevers' case not only sent footage of the killer as he walked around the interior of the church prior ti her murder but they also sent Dr Nirenberg recorded samples of potential suspects who were surreptitiously filmed, including both genders. If the Arlington Police would do something similar, it could narrow the field of their potential suspects.

    I've not read a reason for Scott not being at work on that Friday afternoon. Was that his typical schedule?

    I did read where he frequently attended a certain location for Happy Hour on Thursday evenings. Could he have been suffering a hangover on Friday? My heart says: No way! He was highly dependable and exercised moderation.
     
  15. MoeInVA

    MoeInVA Well-Known Member

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    My recollection is that there were house guests in town, it was MLK weekend and the women’s March??. Might have taken the day off but not his usual schedule. JMO.
     
  16. DeDee

    DeDee Well-Known Member

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    Yes, MoeinVA, as in every case, there seems many unanswered questions. Thank you for informing about expecting house guests. So, perhaps Scott was not slated to work on Friday nor the following Monday?

    Scott seemed to develop many lasting friendships bc his personality was congenial and likely a delight to be around.

    It's intriguing that his girlfriend and he managed and on and off again relationship. Often in that type relationship one of them, when drugs are not involved, is controlling, demanding, jealous and bossy. Treading lightly here and my sympathies for her loss. It'd be wrong to expect Scott's kindness to be a weakness or flaw in his character.

    Let's say, his trust led him to feel there was no need to latch the door. It's a bolt action lock. If the door was not bolted, there's no need to knock. Just open the door and waltz into the apartment.

    In a ritzy high rise, one would expect to find high quality items such as fine jewelry, laptop computers, even collectable art. Thus, I can't reconcile those possibilities when coupled with not latching the door.

    If the door was locked, thereby forcing the killer to knock, did he have the hood and mask pulled down? Pre-covid, it's doubtful anyone would open their door to an unknown masked man.

    Whatever wily way the killer entered the residence, it seems that Scott willingly opened the door if it was bolted. Was it bc he was expecting a visitor (not the house guests) or did he know his killer? I suspect that he did.
     
  17. Rush4087

    Rush4087 Well-Known Member

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    I think the perp knew Scott.
    I think Scott let him in.
    I think the perp faked being bow -legged/pigeon toe’d.
    I think the perp used a taser to subdue Scott.
    I think the perp might have been a few years behind Scott at Radford.

    all just my opinion
     
  18. acehard

    acehard Well-Known Member

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    Classmate made video
     
  19. acehard

    acehard Well-Known Member

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    I think he was in sales, so maybe the schedule is not strictly 9-5.

    With regards to perp getting in, the video above shows how easy it is to get to any apartment.

    To get them to open the door, you can pretend to be delivering a package or say you're maintenance etc.
     
  20. branmuffin

    branmuffin Well-Known Member

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    I've read through the thread again. Nothing much new to report from LE except silence. That isn't a criticism by the way. I understand that LE in no way is beholden to the general public as to where they are in a murder investigation and they only get one kick at the can when they finally press charges. Since we don't have much to work on I'm going to speculate.

    First of all, I don't believe that this crime was random. It was personal, but that doesn't necessarily mean the murderer and Scott knew each other well, IMO. I don't believe the perp got in through a fluke, like tailgaiting or a phony delivery. I believe that SR let the perp inside the apartment.

    SR was only 24 yet it's been said he had an on again off again relationship with the same girl for nearly 10 years. So basically from the time he was 14. That is a long, long time for a young man to have a relationship with a woman, especially from the age of 14.

    I know this won't be a popular suggestion but is it possible that SR was struggling with his sexuality and hid it from his family and friends? I've known a couple of guys who had girlfriends during high school yet didn't tell anyone they were gay until years later. They also met men in gay bars while continuing a heterosexual relationship. Could this have been a hook up that went tragically wrong?

    LE have been tight lipped about every aspect of this murder other than the fact they think there is no ongoing threat to the general public. What does that mean, exactly? I would think an unknown murderer is a threat to the general public. Unless there are indicators that the majority of the population have nothing to worry about. Either that or the murder is so personal as to be specific to the victim and the killer.

    I've been wondering about the discussion regarding the taped over logo on the backpack. Was it taped over with duct tape or reflective tape? People who ride bikes sometimes add more reflective tape for greater visibility.

    The gait of the POI is so specific. As people have mentioned before, individuals have been known to be identified by their gait they can be so unique. People can even be identified by the sound of their footsteps to those familiar with them. Earlier, I thought there was a possibility that the POI was female but reviewing the video several times, I believe it is a male; bowlegged with a pigeon toed walk who may or may not have had an injury that affect his walk. He does not have well developed calves. Initially, I thought the gait may have been faked but after looking at so many stills it seems impossible to be turning your foot inward at every step continuously.

    We've never been told what the cause of death is other than Scott received grievous upper body injuries with blood loss from his ears, mouth and neck. That could be from numerous different weapons: fists, a knife, a hammer, etc. We don't know if he died of those injuries since there was mention of cardiac arrest.
     

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