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  1. #1

    Default Arms in rigor: Warning! Autopsy photos!

    Poster JimmyWells at topix.com's JBR forum brought up the issue of JB's arms above her head. JimmyWells is asking about the child's arms not being wrapped with the blanket and if that might be because they were already in rigor.

    As you may know, these crime scene photos, captured in screen shots from Schiller's 2006 documentary aired on TV, have confused me for some time in relation to the hands being "above" the head in rigor. We have seen a drawing, as well as the TV movie representation, picturing the arms raised high above the head, extended. But these photos don't show that, and the arms are said to have been well into rigor when the photos were taken.

    Also, I can't shake the impression that JB is on her side and not her back or front. We know her face was turned to the right and it was in rigor, so it would seem she should be on her stomach in this first photo, for us to see that side of her face. But looking at her shoulders and back, she seems to be on her side with her hand (in a paper bag) in front. It confuses me. What am I missing?

    It's another mystery for me, but it makes me think that the dramatic representations were simply misleading, intentionally or not. So I'm posting these again if anyone wants to see them and has an idea they'd like to share.



    Here's another edited shot we can barely see, but her hand is not way above her head, but level with it:



    Lord, why can't I just let this case go?

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

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  2. #2
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    Rigor played a part in pulling JB's arms into that position. BUT- IF her arms were ever up over her head the way JR said they were he had to have seen them that way right after she died, right after she was placed in the WC and we know that JR bought her up already in full rigor. The photos you posted were taken by the coroner the night of the 26th, and taken as she lay on the living room carpet. That is the coroner's metal ruler in the photos. By that time she was dead approx. 20 hours, and in full rigor. Rigor doesn't just "stiffen" the body, but the prevention of the muscles from relaxing cause them to ratchet tighter and tighter, as they can only contract, not relax. So her arms may not have been bent AS much when she was first brought up, but it is unlikely anyone could have actually SEEN her arms straight up over her head unless they saw her within a few hours of her death. And no one had admitted that.
    As to why she seems like she is on her side- that is easy. The coroner PUT her on her side for that photo, and I am sure he turned her on her other side as well to photograph that angle also. Standard procedure. Remember we have seen only 7-8 photos out of dozens that were taken.
    It is interesting that it is well-known that FW followed right behind JR as he entered the WC, and therefore knows EXACTLY the position of the body, the blanket, her arms, whether JR did CPR on her as he said he did (no forensic evidence of this was found- I think he was just trying to cover himself in case any prints, fibers, DNA, etc was found on her) and whether her legs were bound as JR said (I don't believe this either- her legs would have been frozen that way in rigor, which is why we know her wrists were not tightly bound as JR said they were). Plus there were no marks on her wrists or legs to indicate they were bound.
    Yet FW has never made any comments refuting or corroborating what JR said.

    According to Det. Arndt, she was placed (by Arndt herself) on her back on the living room carpet, after JT had placed her on her back in the foyer. The paper bags on the hands are standard forensic procedure and at least Mayer or the police did THAT right. So these photos are pretty standard and hopefully you are no longer confused. By the time these photos were taken, nearly everyone had left the house. Poor JB lay there, in full rigor, under her own Christmas tree, surrounded by toys she would never play with. Dreadful, isn't it?
    This is my Constitutionally protected OPINION. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee View Post
    The photos you posted were taken by the coroner the night of the 26th, and taken as she lay on the living room carpet.
    There is no indication these were taken at the house on the "night" of the 26th. It is possible they were taken by the crime lab folks who were in the home earlier in the day, who also would have known to bag her hands, but Meyer was only there for about 10 minutes wasn't he? He didn't even bother to take the liver temperature. I think he pronounced her and left. Anything else that happened was earlier in the day, or at the morgue the following day.
    It's probably too late to get justice for JonBenét. Maybe it always was. But knowing where things went wrong is the first step to not going there again. **-- Alan Prendergast-Dec 21, 2006--**

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moab View Post
    There is no indication these were taken at the house on the "night" of the 26th. It is possible they were taken by the crime lab folks who were in the home earlier in the day, who also would have known to bag her hands, but Meyer was only there for about 10 minutes wasn't he? He didn't even bother to take the liver temperature. I think he pronounced her and left. Anything else that happened was earlier in the day, or at the morgue the following day.
    I think you can see the pattern of the R living room carpet in the photos, so those are the ones I meant. I agree that they could have been taken by crime lab people earlier; I guess they'd use the same metal ruler. The ones taken at the morgue would show the metal table or blue surgical sheet.
    Yes, his report indicated he was there less than 20 minutes and he didn't bother with the liver stab or the vitreous eye fluid test. We'll never know why, but I think it was because he had been told what happened and when it happened, so he knew when she died, though he was too (cowardly? intimidated? Lazy? ) to state what he had to know based on her condition was the approx. TOD.
    This is my Constitutionally protected OPINION. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by koldkase View Post
    Poster JimmyWells at topix.com's JBR forum brought up the issue of JB's arms above her head. JimmyWells is asking about the child's arms not being wrapped with the blanket and if that might be because they were already in rigor.

    As you may know, these crime scene photos, captured in screen shots from Schiller's 2006 documentary aired on TV, have confused me for some time in relation to the hands being "above" the head in rigor. We have seen a drawing, as well as the TV movie representation, picturing the arms raised high above the head, extended. But these photos don't show that, and the arms are said to have been well into rigor when the photos were taken.

    Also, I can't shake the impression that JB is on her side and not her back or front. We know her face was turned to the right and it was in rigor, so it would seem she should be on her stomach in this first photo, for us to see that side of her face. But looking at her shoulders and back, she seems to be on her side with her hand (in a paper bag) in front. It confuses me. What am I missing?

    It's another mystery for me, but it makes me think that the dramatic representations were simply misleading, intentionally or not. So I'm posting these again if anyone wants to see them and has an idea they'd like to share.



    Here's another edited shot we can barely see, but her hand is not way above her head, but level with it:



    Lord, why can't I just let this case go?
    I remember when this case was first on t.v. I sat in a pizza parlor and I remember John Walsh saying she was found suspended by her arms. I am not trying to cause argument here. Just what I remember. One mistake, okay...but years later..not sure when, he said the same thing. She was found in the basement hanging. Why would he say that? I believe the family is hiding. But that is something that lurks in the back of my head. I respect John Walsh....,
    KK, I can't let it go either. I tell myself it is one of those like Lizzie Borden, Jack the Ripper or the Linburgh baby....just not meant to be solved. That is what helps me get through. But it still bothers me and always will. Not obsessively but none the less. I just wish I knew. So many unanswered questions.
    Jamie

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by koldkase View Post
    Poster JimmyWells at topix.com's JBR forum brought up the issue of JB's arms above her head. JimmyWells is asking about the child's arms not being wrapped with the blanket and if that might be because they were already in rigor.

    As you may know, these crime scene photos, captured in screen shots from Schiller's 2006 documentary aired on TV, have confused me for some time in relation to the hands being "above" the head in rigor. We have seen a drawing, as well as the TV movie representation, picturing the arms raised high above the head, extended. But these photos don't show that, and the arms are said to have been well into rigor when the photos were taken.

    Also, I can't shake the impression that JB is on her side and not her back or front. We know her face was turned to the right and it was in rigor, so it would seem she should be on her stomach in this first photo, for us to see that side of her face. But looking at her shoulders and back, she seems to be on her side with her hand (in a paper bag) in front. It confuses me. What am I missing?

    It's another mystery for me, but it makes me think that the dramatic representations were simply misleading, intentionally or not. So I'm posting these again if anyone wants to see them and has an idea they'd like to share.



    Here's another edited shot we can barely see, but her hand is not way above her head, but level with it:



    Lord, why can't I just let this case go?
    Because you need to experience the Feeling of what JUSTICE is like...and your Heart is Larger than the Case...and because you Fight such a Good Fight for JonBenet and deserve That Feeling that I can tell you is worth the Wait, Sweetie...
    "Don't play dumb with me, RR! You're no good at it." The Punisher

    "Although no one is anticipating a prompt resolution to this long and much-detoured case, perhaps - just perhaps - might we see one of those moments “when a chance arrow of history scores a perfect bullseye on a deserving target”? Steve Thomas 2009

    "Justice hasn't had a chance so far. Anyone who doesn't have this as their prime goal, we'll have a falling out with." Fleet White - Time Magazine

    "What happens is that evil comes in," Fleet says. "If you don't have truth, all you have are lies, then what comes in is evil. And evil just does its thing. In the Ramsey case, it just did its thing, and it's eaten up so many people."

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJame View Post
    I remember when this case was first on t.v. I sat in a pizza parlor and I remember John Walsh saying she was found suspended by her arms. I am not trying to cause argument here. Just what I remember. One mistake, okay...but years later..not sure when, he said the same thing. She was found in the basement hanging. Why would he say that? I believe the family is hiding. But that is something that lurks in the back of my head. I respect John Walsh....,
    KK, I can't let it go either. I tell myself it is one of those like Lizzie Borden, Jack the Ripper or the Linburgh baby....just not meant to be solved. That is what helps me get through. But it still bothers me and always will. Not obsessively but none the less. I just wish I knew. So many unanswered questions.
    John Walsh's statement has been a long debated issue, JoeJame. All I can say is that the autopsy photos do not indicate any "hanging," which has a specific pattern on a neck--commonly, the angle of the bruising is not evenly distributed and level across the neck, but appears at a severe slant, as the weight of the body and pull of the noose causes the head to fall to one side and the noose to pull up to one side under the ear. It's not that hard to determine, and since we have ample photographic evidence of the bruising on JB's neck, I believe the autopsy is proven to be accurate in its description of the strangulation and bruising left by it.

    Yes...unanswered questions, but I believe I recently came to realize more fully why that is--something that many of us know little about because we don't work in the corporate/gov't./legal world. I'd now bet money Lockheed Martin and Haddon's law firm have many "special counsels" known as "fixers". That's what I think happened in this case--someone hired to do damage control in the case of executives who have "a little legal problem" got an early morning call, went to work, and voila: here we are 14 years later, cover up successful, justice--epic fail.

    I've always suspected this, and now I believe it more than ever.

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverRat View Post
    Because you need to experience the Feeling of what JUSTICE is like...and your Heart is Larger than the Case...and because you Fight such a Good Fight for JonBenet and deserve That Feeling that I can tell you is worth the Wait, Sweetie...
    Thanks, Rat. I know you understand.

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by koldkase View Post
    John Walsh's statement has been a long debated issue, JoeJame. All I can say is that the autopsy photos do not indicate any "hanging," which has a specific pattern on a neck--commonly, the angle of the bruising is not evenly distributed and level across the neck, but appears at a severe slant, as the weight of the body and pull of the noose causes the head to fall to one side and the noose to pull up to one side under the ear. It's not that hard to determine, and since we have ample photographic evidence of the bruising on JB's neck, I believe the autopsy is proven to be accurate in its description of the strangulation and bruising left by it.

    KK Hypothetically, the way I'm taking this post of JoeJame's is that JJ may have been thinking of the hanging with the rope between the wrists hanging over something like strong hooks on a wall, not from the neck (?). The loops around the wrist were loose according to my memory but her hands being bigger than her wrists would have prevented the loops from slipping off. if the rope was hanging over two strong hooks.
    elle: The RST can't handle the truth!
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elle_1 View Post
    KK Hypothetically, the way I'm taking this post of JoeJame's is that JJ may have been thinking of the hanging with the rope between the wrists hanging over something like strong hooks on a wall, not from the neck (?). The loops around the wrist were loose according to my memory but her hands being bigger than her wrists would have prevented the loops from slipping off. if the rope was hanging over two strong hooks.
    But there is no bruising around the hands or wrists or arms to support this theory, Elle. Even if the hands were "hanging loosely," livor mortis would have set in and it would have been aparent the body had been moved and was not actually lying on its back in the cellar room for 12 hrs, give or take, before it was found.

    Or maybe I'm misunderstanding again. I just don't see any evidence the body was hanged or hanging in any manner from the autopy or crime scene photos. Of course, the photos are always cropped just enough that we can't see the whole story, and the autopsy report is lacking in various ways, as well, so...I can only speculate. Also, I'm not an expert, so there's that, too.

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

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    Quote Originally Posted by koldkase View Post
    But there is no bruising around the hands or wrists or arms to support this theory, Elle. Even if the hands were "hanging loosely," livor mortis would have set in and it would have been aparent the body had been moved and was not actually lying on its back in the cellar room for 12 hrs, give or take, before it was found.

    Or maybe I'm misunderstanding again. I just don't see any evidence the body was hanged or hanging in any manner from the autopy or crime scene photos. Of course, the photos are always cropped just enough that we can't see the whole story, and the autopsy report is lacking in various ways, as well, so...I can only speculate. Also, I'm not an expert, so there's that, too.
    There's a lot I don't understand either, KK. DeeDee seems very knowledgeable when it comes to medical information, she might be able to answer this one for me (?). If a person was already dead, would the wrists still bruise from being tied and hung over two strong construction type hooks or whatever (?).

    Another thing troubles me too. Why hasn't John Walsh said anything more about his statement about JonBenét being cut down? I remember reading this at the time it first came out, don't you?
    elle: The RST can't handle the truth!
    Just my opinion.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elle_1 View Post
    There's a lot I don't understand either, KK. DeeDee seems very knowledgeable when it comes to medical information, she might be able to answer this one for me (?). If a person was already dead, would the wrists still bruise from being tied and hung over two strong construction type hooks or whatever (?).

    Another thing troubles me too. Why hasn't John Walsh said anything more about his statement about JonBenét being cut down? I remember reading this at the time it first came out, don't you?
    Oh, sure, we debated why Walsh said that. I actually had done a lot of research long before Walsh said that, based on Dr. Wecht's belief this was an erotic asphyxiation "game" gone wrong, so it interested me a lot when Walsh said this.

    But the bottom line is that the flaw in Dr. Wecht's theory is there is only one other bruise line on the neck from the ligature, very faint at the bottom of the neck where the ligature was first tightened when pulled. With the abrasions, petechial hemorrhages above and below the final location on the neck, and the necklace rolled into the ligature, it's clearly a case of the ligature moving up the neck and causing the faint bruise-line where it tightened before rolling further up to just under the head where the neck meets it.

    So to me, that's not an indication of repeated tightening and loosening, but of the common path of a ligature being tightened on a victim's neck, as autopsy photos of other strangulation victims illustrate which we've seen online at medical instruction/autopsy sites. The dark bruise on the left side of the throat also is an element of this strangulation/compression on the neck tissues as the ligature rolls up the neck, as well, I believe, which we have also seen in photos online.

    Another issue I have with Dr. Wetch's theory is that he believes it was a "game gone wrong," but I can't imagine JonBenet wouldn't have fought like mad once the ligature was tightened and she couldn't breath. Yet there's no evidence she fought at all: no defensive bruising anywhere on her body; no injuries from thrashing about; little congestion--usually found in strangulation victims--was present in the face; her tongue was not protruding nor bitten hard; nothing defensive usually found in victims of strangulation who are aware of the attack and fighting for their lives.

    Finally, why would anyone ever think he/she could "play" a game like that with JonBenet and not be found out if sufficient padding wasn't used on the neck, under the ligature, to prevent bruising, or at least in an attempt to do so? If this had been done, there would be a much different result when the "accident" happened, wouldn't there? The padding would still be under the ligature, or the ligature would have to have been removed to take the padding off and then all retied, etc., with post mortem bruising instead of the fresh perimortem bruising we see in the autopsy photos. So that was not the case. Why? This child was paraded in front of audiences as a weekly routine, so it's not like no one would have noticed bruises on her neck from being strangled, even if it hadn't resulted in death and was only meant to be an "erotic game."

    Of course, Dr. Wecht is an expert and howdy, so maybe I'm all wrong on this. I'd like to see these questions answered, though, before I can jump on the "sex game" bandwagon. I have the feeling Dr. Wecht thinks Burke was the one playing, and maybe that's why there was no padding used, because he wouldn't have been old enough to think it through. Dr. Wecht never has stated this, but if his theory were right, it would have to have been John or Burke, unless Patsy had a worse case of nutjob than even Brother Moon thinks. And John surely would have used padding under the ligature, so that would leave Burke making that mistake.

    But like many others, while I admit Burke was certainly physically able to commit some elements of the injuries to JonBenet, I have trouble imagining him being devious enough to do so. But that's an argument I can't make because I have no personal knowledge of him or his family, so it would be tantamount to saying the same thing about the parents--they couldn't do it because it's just too twisted. IMO not only could they have done it, technically, but one or more did, according to the evidence I've seen.

    As to the bruises you mentioned, Elle, DeeDee certainly can speak to this better than I, but yes, a body can be bruised after death. The coloration is different, though; after death the process of blood leaking into the tissue changes because the heart is no longer pumping, among other things. A medical examiner well knows the difference between bruising that happened at the time of death--perimortem--and after death--post mortem. A med. examiner can even tell how old a bruise is, from its colors, that happened well before death, as in days or weeks.

    Or something. Anyhow, that's the best I can figure, and it's not much, I admit.

    BTW: apparently, I misspelled "apparently" in my last post. Really it was a typo, but I can't correct it now, as I can't correct a typo of "autopsy" in that post, as well. And I won't read this post until later, as I have to run, so please forgive typos, ignorance, and just plain dumminess. Ciao!

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

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