Forensic evidence

Discussion in 'Justice for JonBenet Discussion - Public Forum' started by rashomon, Sep 21, 2006.

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  1. BluesStrat

    BluesStrat BANNED !!!!!

    If it's 100% nylon cord, it won't shrink in water--it's basically plastic. There is such a thing as "shrink nylon", but you use a heat source to shrink it, not water.
  2. sue

    sue Member

    My daughter has seizures (older name for seizures are convulsions) several times per month. She has never had any petechial hemorrhaging from them. In a former job, I had lots of patients with seizures and did not see any on them either.

    They are created when there is too much pressure on the tiny blood vessels and the tiny blood vessels break, causing leakage of small amounts of blood. Besides coughing that was mentioned, I've seen some really bad areas of petechial hemorrage in women who had just given birth and did a lot of pushing (petechia in the eyes and cheeks) and in people who had been pushing with a hard bowel movement.
  3. sue

    sue Member

    I was curious, because I have some items made of nylon which shrunk after being washed with cold water and being air dried (not with heat).

    This isn't the Stansport cord, but it is a nylon rope, but does say that nylon will shrink with exposure to water.

    This guide to rope also says that nylon rope will shrink.

    This website selling parachute cord says "It is worthwhile to note that parachute cord will shrink if it gets wet "
  4. heymom

    heymom Member

    I think the tendency to get these is also hereditary. I have them on my upper arms and chest, and my mother had them too, as I recall. It's having thin-walled capillaries that causes them, or trauma of some kind.
  5. sue

    sue Member

  6. rashomon

    rashomon Member

    In the autopsy report, Dr. Meyer mentions fresh hemorrhage in JB's brain "with no evidence of organization".
    A poster on another forum (who claims to be an ER doctor and does indeed seem to have medical knowledge) wrote that 'organization' is a hematology term, and that the lack of organization would point to the strangulation having occurred imediately after he head blow, i. e. before the blood could organize itself.

    From his post:
    Is there any substance to what this poster wrote?
    I find it hard to believe that the (staged) strangulation would immediately have followed the head bash, but don't have enough medical knowledge in hematology. Any help from people with such knowledge would be much appreciated.
  7. Texan

    Texan FFJ Senior Member


    This poster is correct in a way. Organization would refer to early clot formation which should begin fairly quickly after bleeding starts because it is your body's defense against bleeding to death. But exactly how fast the clotting would occur is questionable and depends on the clotting factors in her blood. I believe I have read that it is possible that the strangulation could have happened up to twenty minutes after the head blow. I think Cyril Wecht said this.
  8. sue

    sue Member

    Not quite correct. He sounds like he's equating clotting at all with organization of the clot.
    I can't find any good references on the clotting process right now (the ones I can find are either really complex or too simple to say more than that blood clots). The initial part of blood clotting involves mostly platelets, but after that, the clot becomes 'organized' with other factors to make a secure and stable clot. In JB, there was a clot, but there was no clot organization, which means the bleeding was fairly fresh (I don't know how long, but, not within 1 or 2 minutes of death). If there was organization of the clot, that would show it was older. So, no organization shows it was not an old injury.

    I don't have a lot of time to look for references right now, but
    here is a link to one study where they looked at blood clots in patients with intracranial hemorrhages ('brain bleeds'). It was a study to try to determine the cause (etiology) of the bleeding. They looked at clots removed from the brains of 84 patients during surgery after they were disagnosed with bleeding in their brains (the study started with 112 patients, but only 84 met the study definition). Obviously, if the patient was in surgery, the brain bleed had occurred long enough before for them to get to the hospital, figure out they had a brain bleed and get the surgery done. If you go to page 519, you will see that of all the clots they examined, organization of the blood clot was found in only 5 cases. If organization occurred the way the poster you quoted explained it did, all the clots would have shown organization.
  9. Texan

    Texan FFJ Senior Member


    Clotting can be kind of a hard subject to wrap your mind around unless you are really interested in physiology. This is the link to a simple explanation of clotting:
    Sorry that it doesn't answer the organization question but can give you an idea of the variables involved in clot formation.
  10. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    Gosh, it's been a long time since I discussed this or read about it, so all I can remember is that there were a number of differing EXPERT opinions about when the head blow was struck in relation to the strangulation. I remember that some argue the head blow had to be struck within minutes of death, so they concluded she was being strangled when the blow was struck. But others said that the blow could have been struck up to an hour or more before death, and they were just as qualified.

    What I do remember off the top of my head is the autopsy confirmed a contracoup (sp?) injury to the frontal part of the brain, which indicates the blow was struck before death as there was bleeding from this injury--caused by the brain being bounced against the skull, like "shaken baby syndrome"...or am I misremembering this? It's hard for me because I'm not trained in this area well. But I think the way that works is that the blow from the rear caused her head to snap forward, then back, which in turn caused the brain to crash into the skull as it moved forward with the head and then collided with the skull as the head moved back as the brain was still moving forward...or something like that....

    If I'm remembering this correctly, this indicates JonBenet's head was not resting on any surface when this happened, or there would be bruising on her face from hitting the surface, as well as the head wouldn't have snapped forward and back. So basically, she was standing or sitting upright when the blow hit her...?

    So thinking that through, if she was being strangled and she was conscious, say, and then the head blow was last, she'd have been fighting, and there are no bruises on the body indicating she fought her killer AT ALL. She would have to have been upright when the head blow was struck, so why wouldn't she fight if she was being strangled to death and conscious of it? She had no restraints at all to stop her, as the wrist ligatures were very lose and there was no bruising on her wrists from them, as well.

    Also, since she was strangled from behind, and that means if she was on her stomach, say, on the floor, or even a bed, her head wouldn't have snapped back and forth.

    In addition, for the sake of argument, if she was somehow unconscious before the head blow was struck, as some believe a stun gun would have rendered her unconscious (it wouldn't, it would have had her screaming bloody murder and jerking around like a fish on a hook), and some believe she was being garroted into unconsciousness first and then the head blow struck, she would have been completely limp and her body would have fallen to the floor if it wasn't already laid there. So again, her head would have been on a surface and the impact of such a powerful blow would have caused facial bruises, and again, there wouldn't have been contracoup injuries.

    Well, I'm not sure about any of this, but this is what we have discussed that I do remember. Sorry to be so wishy washy, but it's really not my forte. I think all this was discussed in the books, was it not? There might have been some early discussion of this on TV, as well, and in articles that have long vanished from websites. If I remember more I'll post it, but I don't have time to do any research for now, with Christmas looming large. Maybe after the first of the year.

    Though now that I think about it, there should be some good discussion about this right here at FFJ. Maybe a "search" here would help.
  11. sue

    sue Member

    That's what I remember too.
    The contracoup is sort of like a rebound. The head is hit; the brain is not really attached to the skull, but is free inside the skull. So when the skull is hit, the brain moves first in one direction (away from the point the skull was hit, moves forward until it hits the opposite side of the skull and then rebounds off the that side. (not sure this is a good explanation, but it's the best I can do before lunch).
    That kind of injury could have resulted from her being hit by something, or her hitting somthing (like falling backwards and hitting the bedpost or something like a bathtub). You could not get that kind of injury from being in a lying down position and being hit by something.
  12. BluesStrat

    BluesStrat BANNED !!!!!

    Too many possibilities here. If she was hit by the flashlight or baseball bat by someone taller (as everybody else in the house was), her head would have gone DOWN with the force of the impact, not forward and back--since the blow was on top of the head. But then, seeing the blow would have knocked her out cold, her head could have hit the floor HARD, causing other brain movement and damage. That large black abrasion on the side of her face might have been caused when her head hit the ground.
  13. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    Well, I see your point, but to be technical, the blow was to the RIGHT back/side/above area...and I know you've seen the skull picture, so there's that. The facial abrasion you mention is on the right side, as well, so I don't think that her face would have been on its right side against something if the blow was struck from the right, as well. Can't be done, can it? Or am I missing something?

    But now that you mention it, that's another point to consider: the angle of the blow at the right/rear/upper section of the skull. If JonBenet was lying in her bed, with her head at the top of the bed, her head would have to have been lying on its left side, facing the wall with the bathroom door. So the only area available for the person who struck the head blow FROM THAT ANGLE to be standing would be way up against the wall at the top and left side of the bed where there was hardly any room, not between the single beds on the right of JonBenet's bed.

    That's very unlikely for anyone to do.

    Now I don't see how she could have been lying on another surface in this position when the blow was struck, unless it was another bed or a couch or something. Her face had to be lying on its left side for this to happen, unless she was lying completely face down. Looking at the "strangled and then hit" theory, and I can't imagine how anyone could force her face straight-on into a hard surface while strangling her. There would be bruising where her nose was pushed into a hard surface, or in a soft surface, she would have been suffocating. AND FIGHTING. And honestly, with all the fibers and paint chip and broken paintbrush shards and urine outside the cellar room, I think it's clear that's where she was strangled, at least.

    There was NO bruising on the left side of the face, though, so if it was on a hard surface during the blow, why not? With the force of that blow, the opposite side of the head should have been slammed into the surface, breaking delicate blood vessels under the tender skin, at least.

    Plus, thanks sue, that's a much better description of contrecoup injury. How did JonBenet get a contrecoup injury if her head was on a hard surface, and how is there no bruising from the face hitting that surface when the blow was so hard it cracked her skull in half?

    As for the "reaction" of her head blow: I don't see that it would have stopped when the energy reached her attached neck. I don't think that happened because the neck bones were not injured in any way, according to the autopsy. For that to have been the case, her head would have to have been wedged into something so that the force of the energy from the blow wouldn't have been able to disperse once it reached the neck. The flow of energy/force would have then been for the head to continue in the direction of the blow once the neck ended the downward energy flow with its bone structure. There also was no damage to the neck, so that energy had to take another path or it would have crushed the neck bones.

    And I am trying to make a point here, however clumsily. (And please, those who are so skilled they can explain this in simpler terms, I am grateful for any help.)

    When the blow was struck, the energy released was so powerful, it cracked the skull in half. But the head didn't cave like an egg. It remained in place for the most part, except for a few inches of displaced skull probably the shape of the instrument used, and the crack that radiated in both directions from the initial blow.

    I guess what I'm getting at is the blow was to the right side of the head, above and at the rear, yes, but there would have been tremendous energy in that blow and it would have met resistance at the neck, and the easiest path for the energy to flow from there would have caused the head to snap in the same direction in hich the blow was traveling.

    Well, that's badly done, so maybe someone can help me out here, maybe wombat, who is our resident engineer...?

    But thanks for bringing this topic up, as I can see now that JonBenet was upright when the blow was struck, not lying on a hard surface, and not lying in her own bed. The contrecoup injuries, the lack of bruising on the face from being slammed into a surface--she was either sitting or standing or walking, something upright.

    [edited for spelling--thanks sue]
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2006
  14. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    [edit: Thanks, sue. I knew I wasn't spelling that right.]

    I just reread this, and you may have something here, BlueStrat. Maybe falling onto the floor could have caused the contrecoup injuries to the brain. Sue, do you think that's possible? Anyone?

    But that still supports the blow having come when she was upright in some way...right?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2006
  15. sue

    sue Member

    Contrecoup injuries happen when the head is moving and then suddenly stops. The skull is stopped, but the brain inside the skull keeps moving until it hits something else (i.e. the opposite side of the skull).

    One classic way that happens is in shaken baby syndrome - shaking the baby rapidly makes the head move from side to side and change directions rapidly; the brain inside hit the sides of the skull over and over.
    Another classic way is in a car accident if the head hits something hard. The car was moving forward; the head is also moving forward. When the head hits the part of the car, it stops moving forward. The brain hits that part of the skull; if it hits with enough force, it will 'bounce' off and keep moving until it hits the other side of the skull.
    Here's a website with a really good explanation.

    So, I agree that a contrecoup injury seems to support her having been upright when the blow occurred. If she had been on a soft surface, the energy of a blow would have been absorbed by the soft surface and I'm not sure that enough force could be generated to crack the skull on a soft surface.
    Like you mentioned in your other post, I can't think of an arrangement of bodies and a blow to the skull (like with a flashlight or bat) that would end up causing the skull injury she had.
  16. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    Thanks sue. That makes it much clearer for me.
  17. sue

    sue Member

    You're welcome. Glad to help.
  18. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    I was looking at some pictures of the skull, as well, and I think Bluestrat is correct in that the picture shows the blow from above and toward the back of the top of the skull. I guess I had the idea it was from the right as well from Dr. Spitz's picture where he "staged" the blow with the maglight. Dr. Spitz was on the right and the dummy was somewhat below him as related to a child vs adult.

    One thing from that picture that Dr. Spitz was asserting was that the maglight fit the displaced portion of the skull perfectly. Looking at the skull picture, the left edge of the skull at the position of the displacement is very smooth and curved a bit.... But it is a more centered blow than I had remembered. Sorry, BlueStrat, and thanks for helping me.
  19. sue

    sue Member

    Look at the description in the autopsy report though. I don't have time to look it up to get the wording right now, but it talks about right lateral pariatal - more side top than top.
  20. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    I know, sue, that's another thing that had me thinking it was definitely on the right, and I've seen this picture many times...unfortunately:

    [caution: graphic autopsy photo]

    But looking at it now, it is fairly centered, isn't it?
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