JonBenet's Skull Fractures: The Weapon

Discussion in 'Justice for JonBenet Discussion - Public Forum' started by otg, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. otg

    otg Member

    Part-8: Algebra.

    (If the last post was boring, this one could be even worse.)

    I had thought that calculations using geometry would be the answer to finding the unknown diameter of the cylinder that struck JonBenet’s head. While the geometry confirms the shape of the object, it doesn’t provide a solution to finding the diameter. I didn’t know this until I found a place where math geeks hang out and posed the question. I won’t bother trying to explain the entire solution, I struggled to understand it myself. If you care to read the entire exchange, you can find it here:

    The question I posed is:
    The answer came from Bob Bundy, complete with instructions on how to solve the problem (which is useful, because the curvature of the skull varies and I only asked how to figure for a 6.5†diameter). Since the curvature of the human skull varies, skull diameters given from various sources are based on average diameters. The other problem in trying to be exact is that we don’t know exactly where the depressed fracture is located -- even though we’ve pretty much narrowed down the area quite a bit. For that reason, I will still need to do some tests with the toy skull in hopes of getting a more exact diameter. But for the time being, the answer I got from the math forum is that given a 6.5†diameter sphere, the cylinder would have a diameter of 0.67â€. So for the time being, I’ll say that the weapon had to be between 1/2†and 1â€.

    If this is accurate, then a lot of possible weapons can be eliminated, including the one I was beginning to lean toward. And this is why, even though I had this information back in March, I hadn’t posted it. I was baffled by what could have had that small of a diameter and yet be capable of causing the amount of fracture in a child’s skull that was found in JonBenet’s.

    This bothered me, because it created more of a question than it supplied answers. But when I started this thread, I didn’t know exactly where it would end up (even though I thought at the time I knew). I only wanted to follow the evidence wherever it led. Then recently after posting a picture, I saw something that, even though I had seen it before, it didn’t dawn on me what I was seeing until I had this information. I think I know now what may have been grabbed to whack JonBenet over the head. I’ll point you to the post that has the picture, and see if anyone else can come up with the same answer. I’m not simply trying to be coy, but I would like to see if I’ve climbed too far out on the crazy tree limb.

    Look at this post and someone tell me what they see in the picture. What is right there as plain as day, but probably went unnoticed by the investigators? Remember that part of their search (after completion of the autopsy) was for something that could be used as a bludgeon. They came back with the following (that we know of from the search warrants) that might be possibly be used as a weapon for the head blow:

    Black sheet metal from wine cellar (39KKY)
    baseball bat (3GLI)
    golf clubs (4GLI)
    red clay brick (48BAB)
    baseball bat (74BAB)
    hammer (6BAH)
    flashlight (20JRB)
    golf club (79BAH)

    Notice that they were looking for something big and heavy. I don’t think it occurred to the investigators doing the search to look at something like the object I have in mind. But then, I don’t think that at the time they had the information that you have now (that it was probably a cylindrical object between 1/2†and 1†in diameter).

    I’ll wait a while before posting more unless someone can come up with something that tells me I’m not crazy.
  2. Elle

    Elle Member

    Thank you otg for the time taken here with your very interesting posts.

    I wish the photographs were a lot clearer. The only item I can think of causing the oval shape is the edge of the hammer (?).
  3. Elle

    Elle Member


    I can't think of anything else other than what I thought before; the flashlight was my first choice. More recent thoughts, maybe a hammer, or a loose pipe, although I couldn't see one in the photos.

    My original thinking way back when I first joined was Patsy Ramsey - in a furious rage - throwing JonBenét around causing her head to either hit the edge of the toilet bowl or bath.

    Are you thinking her head could have been thrown against one of the pipes near the water heater?
    Are you thinking one of these pipes may measure between 1/2” and 1” which you stated in your post, otg?

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2013
  4. zoomama

    zoomama Active Member

    OTG, I've been following your discussion on this since you started. My hat goes off to you for all of your work on it. Whew! Now looking at the pictures you supplied there are 3 pipes in the shot that could have been the cause of the skull fracture. 2 are attached to the water heater and the 3rd one is just off to the left. It is hard to tell from the picture but I would guess that the darker pipe in the middle of the 3 pipes looks to be of a smaller diameter. Is that the one you were referring to? If so that would mean that JonBenet was swung into the pipe rather than something hitting her over the head. If that is where you are heading. BTW your work on this has been incredible. Thank you for all your efforts.
  5. otg

    otg Member

    Elle and zoomama, I haven't verified it yet with my own experiments, but the math (which I had to be shown) indicates that a cylindrical object between 1/2" to 1" in diameter is what caused the "hole" in her skull. I still tend to think she was struck with the cylinder, but BOESP thinks she was thrown into the object. Right now I just want to figure out what it was that could have caused it. When I tried to figure out what would be that size, and what would be accessible at the time it happened, I was stumped -- until something in that picture caught my eye. And then other things in the picture started adding up. And then I looked at the basement layout with what I was thinking, and it was like... [​IMG] ...all the pieces fell in place.

    Even if you're not registered there, I encourage you to go to WebSleuths here where the discussion has been getting pretty close to covering much of what I see in the picture. Don't look for the weapon itself -- look for what the picture is saying -- look for any information you can figure out from what you see in it -- and read what the posters there are starting to figure out.

    ETA: Where is everybody? It sure has been quiet here lately. Is it something I said? Something I don't know? Hello?
  6. Elle

    Elle Member

    I thank you for still continuing to post your excellent thoughts and information here, otg, in spite of the fact only two of us have responded. It's now 11:20 pm. here in Canada, and I'll go to websleuths tomorrow to read the discussion there.

    I have read a lot of the posts at Websleuths, otg. It's good you have these interested posters to discuss this interesting session with. I will have to leave it due to family visitors. I look forward to the ending - whenever this may be(?). Wishing you All the best!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2013
  7. BOESP

    BOESP Member

    I'm still here. I just can't figure out what it is otg sees in the photo.

    I can't wrap my mind around the idea that using a weapon on her head would leave and 8-inch fracture and relatively little contact-point damage. Her head should be caved in and the brain matter obliterated if she was hit with that much pressure from a relatively small weapon.

    Regardless, otg and I both have had gas and John Ramsey is full of it (I rest my case).
  8. Elle

    Elle Member

    That makes three BOESP sorry! :) I just can't figure out what otg sees either, but with you being a young one, you will see it before I do! [​IMG]
  9. BOESP

    BOESP Member

    Young? :hug:
  10. Learnin

    Learnin Member

    I commend you for your work, otg. It is logical, scientific and interesting. In the pics, I, too, notice the metal plumbing pipes which would be close to the size you have indicated.
  11. Elle

    Elle Member

    Note to otg
    You have to be commended too Learnin with all the amount of great posts you have entered in this case. It is good that otg has opened the door again. I wish I was in the same age bracket as the rest of you, but time keeps on marching, but I will still keep an interest in anything new relating to the JonBenét case.
  12. otg

    otg Member

    Part-9: Accessibility of the Weapon.

    I appreciate all the posts, all the observations, and all the discussion here and at WS. I think most of what had caught my attention has been picked up by the excellent posters at WebSleuths, and even some things that I hadn’t noticed or didn’t know.

    Here’s the thing... I try to look only at hard evidence and see what can be determined from it. But at a certain point, since we don’t have access to all the evidence, we have to consider the different possibilities and then determine what we think to be the most likely conclusion. We won’t all agree on what that conclusion might be because, in making it, we have to make some assumptions -- and we might unintentionally be influenced by our own beliefs, prejudices, and predispositions.

    For example, if you are predisposed to believe that JonBenet’s death was premeditated and carefully planned out by her father to keep her from telling someone about some evil act (or acts) done by him -- you won’t agree with my conclusions. If you think it was premeditated and carefully planned out by her mother to fall on that specific date for some type of ritualistic sacrifice -- you won’t agree with my conclusions. If your belief is that it was premeditated and carefully planned out by her brother because of jealousy over the attention she was getting from their parents -- you won’t agree with my conclusions.

    All of these examples have in common that her death occurred as the result of something planned. But I don’t subscribe to that belief because nearly everything I know about the evidence looks completely UNplanned to me. So I am admittedly starting out with that predisposition. I also tend to think that everything happened in the basement. James Kolar said he believes the head blow occurred in the kitchen -- but we don’t know what information he has that makes him think that. If it did happen in the kitchen, what I’m looking for as a possible weapon might be different.

    So the assumptions/predispositions that I know I’m making are that (1) her death was not planned, and (2) that the head blow happened in the basement (probably near the entrance to the WC where the paint tote was found).

    What I consider to be hard evidence that I take into consideration is that she was struck (or pushed, BOESP :cheerful: ) with enough force from one single action to cause both a depressed and a linear fracture in her skull. The depressed fracture (or “holeâ€, if we can use that term for it) should conform to the weapon that caused it -- and I now believe that to be a cylindrical object with a diameter of at least 1/2†and no more than 1â€. (I might be able to narrow that down later with more experiments.) Before I had that information, I was beginning to think that it might have been a bat, mostly because of its shape and its potential force. But a bat is about 2-1/4†in diameter, so that doesn’t fit with what I know now. A 2-1/4†diameter object would cause the “hole†to be much wider (rounder) than the 1/2†recorded by the coroner with a 1-3/4†length. So despite the appeal of wanting to think it was one of the two bats found, it has to be excluded.

    Several posters have mentioned (and I’ve discussed this in emails with some) that it might be a dumbbell or the bar that is used to hold the weights on one. But from looking into them online, they seem to all be a standard 1†diameter, which would be right at the upper range of what might have caused the “holeâ€.

    When I found out from the math that this object had to be probably about 3/4â€, I was stumped. What could be that size and easily accessible to the person who did this? The only thing I could think of would be a piece of pipe, but that would almost require premeditation because of accessibility (or rather lack of it because of location). But then I posted that basement picture for reference to where the broken window was in relation to the duct, and I saw the answer. At the bottom in that picture is a 5-gallon plastic pail -- something I’ve used at home (and I seen craftsmen of different types using) to gather up various tools, parts, and scraps left over from a project. Then I noticed the obviously almost new water heater and the different associated pipe that was either painted or not painted (which would indicate which piping might have been installed since the basement was painted last). Then the orphaned duct from nothing made sense (It is probably from the outdated water heater that had been recently replaced.). And then I looked at the floor plan again showing where this picture was taken in relation to where the paint tote was located, and all the pieces seemed to start falling into place. The work pail was probably left there by workmen who had worked on replacing the water heater and re-routing its associated piping. We can’t tell by that one picture exactly what is in it (or for that matter, what might have been in it at the time of JonBenet’s death), but it isn’t too much of a stretch to think that it could very easily have had a short section of small diameter pipe sticking out or even lying somewhere around it. This answers the question about accessibility of the weapon in that area and eliminates the requirement of premeditation for it to have been used.

    So why, you should ask, would someone with apparently nefarious intentions choose that particular area to go and act them out? The basement is as far as you can get from everyone else in the house. By the time another person could get down to that location, anyone in the basement would expect that they could hear them coming by the time they started down the stairway. It was December and it was cold outside. The warmest area in the basement would be right next to the furnace/boiler (I don’t really know which it is), the water heater, and even the warm air discharge coming from the freezer. So the question really is why anyone would choose any other location to do something they didn’t want known to others.

    So let’s say that this unspeakable act was being done in that area next to the entrance to the WC. If JonBenet let out a scream (and we’ll never know this with any more certainty than we have today) the open duct leading to the outside is right there within about five to ten feet. Even closer than that is a 5-gallon pail, possibly left by workmen in the basement from the installation of new water heater. There may very well have been some short sections of pipe left and sticking out of the pail, or even some type of tool that would be the correct diameter to cause the skull fractures -- or even lying next to it somewhere. In a panic, the assailant might have looked around for something to stop the scream, or he/she may have already noticed it before the scream. We don’t know how long the scream might have lasted before it was heard by someone else, or how long it lasted before this assailant found a piece of pipe and swung it to stop the screaming -- (Or alternately for BOESP, how long it lasted before she was shoved against a section of pipe in the area.). Because of questions even about its existence, we don’t know that silencing the scream was the reason (although I do believe it happened). But we do know her skull came in contact with something that could cause the fractures, and now we know that the object that caused it was very likely easily accessible in that area where she died.
  13. Elle

    Elle Member

    Thank you for posting your thoughts otg. It's possible a piece of pipe was in the pail (?). Have you checked the list of items made by the detectives. Wouldn't this piece of pipe have been listed with everything else
    listed for this crime?

    I'm afraid my mind is taking me back to my first thoughts of Patsy Ramsey being in a rage from finding JonBenét in a soiled bed, and slamming her into the toilet or bath. I feel the rest was all a cover-up, with John Ramsey's help in carrying JonBenét down to the basement and the ransom note written.

    All the best to you and the other posters.
  14. Elle

    Elle Member

    Deleted last line of adding information. was trying to add some information to my post and
    failed. :(
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2013
  15. heymom

    heymom Member

    Thanks for your recent thoughts, otg. I still cannot give any credence to the theory of JonBenet being swung *into* anything hard enough to cause that fracture that split her skull in half. But a piece of pipe may have been the murder weapon, we just don't know. If it had been, would John Ramsey have hidden it in his golf bag, hoping to get out of the house and away before investigators found it? And then sending Patsy's sister back INTO the house to get it with the excuse of needing clothing for JonBenet's funeral? I think that is a very likely scenario. In that case, the detectives would have never found the murder weapon, and they would have nothing concrete to work with, since the Ramseys lawyered up and got away.

    Please make physical tests if you can, I'm very interested to see the results.
  16. Elle

    Elle Member


    I cannot see John Ramsey hitting his daughter JonBenét over the head with a piece of pipe. I cannot see Patsy Ramsey hitting her daughter over the head with a piece of pipe. I think I can see a bad tempered Burke being frustrated and hitting JonBenét over the head because of the frustration she may well have built up in him if the retaliation she and her young friend supposedly bestowed on him. With it being Christmas, if they were in the basement playing with toys, far enough away to be heard by their parents (?). In my mind's eye, I don't see any strangers here at all!
  17. Learnin

    Learnin Member

    Thanks, Elle and thank you for all your great comments, thoughts, etc.
  18. Learnin

    Learnin Member

    Thanks for the post, otg. Comments.

    I don't believe this thing was planned, either, although one of my theories
    does contain a pre-meditated action.

    Concerning the basement. It's very possible the blow was struck down there because: A. JBR had dust on her feet when the coroner first observed her body. B. Patsy was questioned about the basement laundry room. Specifically, she was asked about taking pictures of JBR down there if she was doing something "cute". She was asked if it would have been normal for
    such pictures to be down in that laundry room. She was asked if the kids were known to play down there. Reading between the lines, I believe LE found pics of JBR underneath the washer, dryer or stuck between them. I believe these pics might have been on the flirtatious side and I believe they may have been taken by a "playmate" if you will. We know the "kids" played around down there and it's not too far fetched to think that, if there was any kind of sexual play taking place, that the further away the better especially in the day time.

    If the blow occurred in the basement, I believe it might have played out something like this. Shortly after a snack, there was an innocent trip to the basement to check out other presents or mess with a new Christmas gift, etc. and, at some point, the perp found an opportunity for further experimentation. This time,t went too far, JBR protested, started to leave
    and then the weapon was found close at hand. "I'm telling." While walking toward the stairs, boom. If this scenario is somewhat close to the truth, then, I believe the perp finished her off after a few minutes of watching her
    convulse, gurgle, etc. The rope was tied right there without the stick. In short time, PR, looking for her daughter, goes to the basement and finds the grisly scene. She is the one who screams and Stanton simply attributes it to the child because a child has been murdered.

    Your work, which suggests a pipe, is intriguing. I agree that a five gallon bucket is, often times, used to hold tools, pipes, pipe wrenches, etc. Let's not forget that the basement laundry room has plumbing and it's not too far-fetched to believe that there might have been pipe lying around in there. For that matter, knowing how cluttered and messy that basement was, the pipe could've been lying any where.
  19. Elle

    Elle Member

  20. Learnin

    Learnin Member

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