JonBenet's Skull Fractures: The Weapon

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

  1. Elle

    Elle Member

    One bad tempered throw of a small child of six into a solid object like a toilet or a tub is enough to kill them. jmo
  2. otg

    otg Member

    Then what we are speaking about is one single push that is enough to cause the depressed fracture in itself -- not repeated in the same spot? If that is the case, then the other pushes caused no other fractures?

    I'm truly not trying to be a nuisance, BOESP -- I just want to understand exactly what you mean. (As I said before, I'm a stickler for detail.)
  3. BOESP

    BOESP Member

    otg, I don't know what else to say. I can't write an explanation for every possible variable. The wound seems more consistent with a low velocity-high pressure wound based on what I have seen and read.
  4. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    OTG, I understand your struggle with the concept BOESP presents. It's a tough problem. I know Learnin did some experiments with a toilet seat he was very excited about--did he include photos of that? (Sorry, old brain only works half the time now.)

    The thing is, I hope we don't get sidetracked too much from your original experiment for which you started this thread, because I want to see how you finish your work on that. (This doesn't mean I think I'm right and others are wrong, or that we can't or shouldn't discuss other ideas, so please don't take offense, anyone.)

    I am in agreement with your amazing breakdown of the neck bruise, as well--there are some similar pictures in the case library here, if that helps. You did a very thorough job with this, and thank you so much!

    To continue with your original topic, I think it's prudent to take the turtleneck-and-knuckle source for that injury off the table for now so we don't lose your purpose.

    So in your hypothesis, the original physical attack was a blow to the head with something being wielded, a reasonable course of speculation as there are no other significant bruises or injuries to the body indicating any other violent interactions before that, discounting the bruise on the neck in question.

    If you can, please continue, because I think you're onto something here, OTG. I look forward to seeing your "big reveal," as well.
  5. BOESP

    BOESP Member

    Being struck by an object is a relatively high velocity-low pressure action. It could cause a fracture but in JonBenet's case the length of the fracture and width of the fracture, running left and right from the point of impact, suggests relatively high pressure. It isn't just a "crack" but a relatively wide split running in two directions.

    I don't believe she was repeatedly thrown into anything but I think the damage is consistent with Steve Thomas's version of events as told in his book.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  6. heymom

    heymom Member

    I didn't have access to their medical records, but many of them had been shaken as infants. Thus, the serious brain injuries and other handicaps such as blindness.
  7. heymom

    heymom Member

    I think that would be a really helpful thread.

    and, I think the flashlight may have been left out to point to the "kidnapper," since the Ramseys weren't sure it was their flashlight but hedged when the police asked them about it. Red herring. I think that's why it was wiped down, so that their fingerprints weren't on it.
  8. otg

    otg Member

    Part-5: Finding the right model... and demonstrations.

    Apologies also to my fellow posters who might think I had abandoned the work I was doing on this. I hope you won't be disappointed in what I've been busy working on (besides the RL stuff that always comes up). This goes for you especially, koldkase (you impatient pirate)!

    Because it’s been a while (12-19-2012) since my last post in this series, I probably should review the main point I was trying to make which led me to where I am.

    Parts-1 through -4 are all earlier in this thread. But basically, despite the coroner’s reference to the depressed fracture as being a “roughly rectangular shaped displaced fragment of skull”, I believe it is in fact oval shaped. I feel knowing this is essential to knowing what weapon was used to cause the head wound.

    I became pretty convinced about all this back around August/September (2012). So in the back of my mind, I had this idea that I needed some way of demonstrating it. Then when I saw the Halloween decorations going up in the stores, it dawned on me what to use. I found just the right one, bought some modeling clay, and here is the result:

    The cheap plastic skull I bought has a flattened backside (I’m thinking the reason for this is to keep it from rolling around when put on a table as a Halloween decoration), which allows me to add a layer of modeling clay which will show how various sized and shaped objects cause pressure. Since it is smaller than a real skull, I measured it to get an approximate scale size. (Paying attention to the calculations is not necessary for the post -- they're just here for anyone who likes to know the details.)

    I used the following dimensions for an average 6-year-old’s skull:
    1) skull perimeter = ~21”
    2) skull avg. diameter = 6.65”
    3) skull height = 7”

    Corresponding measurements on the toy skull are:
    1) 16
    2) 5
    3) 6

    1) 16 / 21 = 0.7619
    2) 5 / 6.65 = 0.7519
    3) 6 / 7 = 0.8571

    So based on the above, when I get to where I’m using this model, I’ll use 3/4 (0.75) as the scale, which is pretty easy to use in calculations and reasonably close to what I measured. I think the third ratio (skull height) is off from the others because of a lack of correct perspective in the mandibular area depicted in the skull (not to mention the fact that after all -- it’s just a cheap-passed Halloween toy). I think if I had photo software that allowed me to overlay a picture of the toy with a photo of an actual human skull, the reason for this variance would be obvious. But for my purposes here, using three-quarters as the scale is sufficient. What I am hoping for anyway is to demonstrate what would cause the 1/2” x 1-3/4” oval-shaped hole.

    I mentioned earlier that in Geometry, an oval is the resulting intersection of a sphere and a cylinder. So I believe that it was some type of cylindrical object that caused the depressed fracture in JonBenet’s skull. Since we know approximately the dimensions of that area, we should be able to at least narrow down the possible diameter of the cylinder, and then perhaps decide what might have caused it.

    But before I try to find the correct size (diameter) of the cylinder, I should demonstrate the effect of a few other objects that have been considered as possible weapons so we can eliminate them from the discussion. Rather than have to form the clay over and over again on the skull (for which I have no mold), I used something I could easily and consistently shape the clay to in order to get a curvature approximately the same as a skull.

    Fortunately for me, Mrs. otg doesn’t read here. If she did, she’d see from what I’m about to show you that I used her stainless steel mixing bowls and other various kitchen devices, and I’d be in the dog house. (Shhhhhhhhhh..... Don’t anyone tell her -- I don’t need the grief.) This is one reason it’s taken me a while to get some of this done (Mrs. otg doesn’t leave the house much without me since she’s been ill.).

    I put together the following video showing how I did this and the impressions left in the compound curvature of the clay with various objects and speculated weapons. I know the people here are pretty smart, so it shouldn’t take too much to get the idea by watching this how different shapes leave different impressions, and the impressions of even other shapes can then be almost predicted.

    Here it is. If a picture is worth a thousand words, this should hopefully save me a lot of writing about what I found:

    Despite going through all the other reasonable possibilities I could think of and that other posters have suggested, the cylinder is the only thing that causes a depression in the clay in the same shape as the depressed fracture in JonBenet’s skull. So I feel comfortable in saying that I’ve confirmed the geometry and am confident that the weapon used was cylindrically shaped.

    One more little demo (and one that anyone can easily recreate) to show in small scale the effect of a cylinder hitting a spherical object:

    The purpose of the ice cream scoop was just to compare the effect of something spherical to a cylinder (in this case -- the handle of a wooden mixing spoon).

    The next thing will be to narrow down as much as I can the diameter of the object that might have caused the depressed fracture, and then show how it caused the linear fracture as well.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2013
  9. heymom

    heymom Member

    Nice work, otg!

    I particularly liked the egg experiments because they seemed to illustrate perhaps the way JonBenet's skull cracked as it was struck, and because the scale of the egg v. the spoon may give us an idea as to the size of the object that was used to strike her in the head.

    The one thing I would urge you to do is borrow another type of golf club and perhaps hit something with the shaft, or borrow a real putter and strike your target harder. The golf clubs were right there in the basement, in the very hallway where JonBenet died, which is why I think one of them may have been the weapon (also the fact that John Ramsey asked about his golf clubs after the infamous "evidence grab" by Patsy's sister).

    Thanks so much for doing all of this. I only ever did one experiment, which was the pineapple and tea glass, and I need to re-do that one.
  10. Learnin

    Learnin Member

    Thanks for the work and demonstration. Very interesting. Looking forward to more.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2013
  11. Elle

    Elle Member

    Sorry I missed this hm! It takes a very special person to deal with small children who have come through this tragedy of being shaken as an infant. Thank you for being there when you were needed. You have to be one very special person who knows so much more than the rest of us here.
  12. Elle

    Elle Member


    After seeing and hearing Patsy Ramsey's interview with one of the detectives which I did post "wherever ?" Seeing her slapping her thighs with every word she was throwing at the detective, I can see Patsy Ramsey in a rage throwing JonBenét around for having a messy bed for the umpteenth time, being tired from all the Christmas celebrations etc. Having to fly to wherever she was going. Yes! One vicious throw would slam JonBenét's head into the toilet or the tub and cause that head injury.
  13. Elle

    Elle Member

    Hope Mrs. otg is getting better. I'm sure she would be happy to see you using her stainless steel bowls.

    I'm going to abandon all I'm doing right now to watch your videos,otg. You have been busy! If I don't understand anything, I will ask the ex civil engineer in here to explain the technicalities.

    Just watched the video. I would say this is true dedication otg. This took a lot of patience and time. What a great idea.
    What conclusion did you come to after looking at all of the results? Probably this was the type of experiments the police
    created. I remember seeing a few photographs. Oh! I still have another one to see.

    What a great idea using the eggs otg to produce different shapes. Congratulations otg. You are one very dedicated poster! Thank you for all the time and effort taken. I'm very impressed!
  14. heymom

    heymom Member

    I valued my time with the kids, Elle. THEY were very special people and I felt honored to be allowed to help care for them. The group home was as homey as we could make it. We did everything as a normal family would do. We got them up, fed them breakfast, got them ready for school. Most of them were sent to a regular classroom, this is called "mainstreaming," and handicapped children are included in classroom activities although they obviously cannot progress in the same manner as non-handicapped children. Anyway, I did the afternoon/evening shift so I was there when the children got home from school. I would meet the bus and help them in the door, give them a snack, and change them into play clothes. If we didn't have an activity planned, we would let them watch some TV, but we would sit and interact with them and do normal things like fold laundry, etc. Then there was dinner, and bathing (usually not a full bath, but some of them could manage in a tub or shower) and bed.

    I was very affected by the tragedy of what had happened to these lovely children. At the time, I didn't have any faith to rely upon. If I had, I am sure I would have stayed longer than I did.

    Well this is really not the subject of this thread so I will stop now. I don't think John and Patsy ever had the option to call for help for JonBenet - I think she was near death if not already dead when they discovered her in the basement. And we don't know if she would have survived even if help had been called. She would likely have had brain damage, and might have lived the rest of her life (probably short) in a coma.
  15. zoomama

    zoomama Active Member

    Thank you OTG. Very good demo and complete with music. Loved "Bad to the Bone" and very appropriate! To my eyes the smaller diameter PVC pipe looked good in it's depression. The eggs showed how the splintering of bone results in that contact. I can imagine a harder swing into the skull on that one.

    But I'm not yet seeing the best "tool" for the job. Will further experiments show the "skull" being moved into stationery objects?

    Do YOU have a pretty good idea of what was actually used? I must admit I'm now just going to let the different pictures tell me. I had believed it was the flashlight that was left out on the counter wiped clean of any prints. But I'm beginning to think that was placed there as misdirection from the "real" object used. John was very good at misdirection.
  16. Cherokee

    Cherokee FFJ Senior Member

    OTG, thanks for all the work you put into your experiments! Do you have a golf club such as the one shown below at home? If so, would it be possible to show how hitting your clay skull-shape with the BACK of the club (the heel and clubface), not the HEAD of the club, might look?

    If the golf club was the weapon, I don't believe it was used with the point down, as shown in your "Pong"/Ping putter experiment. I think it would have been swung with the heel down, not pointed up. I also don't believe if the weapon was a golf club that it was a narrow putter, but the back of a wider "iron".

    The heel and clubface of a wide iron would give a cylindrical impression, especially being swung down from above and behind the skull of the victim.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
  17. Elle

    Elle Member

    No one will mind knowing this information, heymom. It brings the tears to my eyes reading about them. You have to feel good inside knowing you were there for these children when they needed this help.

    As for little JonBenét Ramsey it is good we still have you and all the other posters here who still care about her. Just look at the time otg spent on his latest post! We may find out a lot more about what really happened!
  18. Elle

    Elle Member

    Hypothetically, if it was a golf putter Cherokee, exactly what position do you see JonBenét in when she was struck with it? I visualize her sitting in a chair at a table, with the person holding the putter coming behind her. I can't see it in any other way. Maybe there was an argument over the pineapple and JonBenét regardless of the fighting, was so involved in eating it that she never heard Burke coming up behind her. We have been over it so many times! I hope someone solves this!

    I also see Patsy throwing JonBenét around in a rage in the bathroom when she's not in the mood for cleaning up her messy little girl early in the morning after Christmas, with all she has to do before they fly to Charlevoix!
  19. LurkerXIV

    LurkerXIV Moderator

    Novel Idea

    When they ban guns and concealed carry, I think I'll go downtown with a putter in my hand.

    It sure looks lethal in these photos.
  20. Cherokee

    Cherokee FFJ Senior Member

    Hypothetically, I don't believe the weapon was a golf putter. I think it was a type of golf iron, and I believe JBR's head bash happened in the basement, where there were plenty of golf clubs around, including shorter junior clubs.

    Hypothetically, I believe JonBenet was either squatting or sitting on the basement floor with her head bent down, maybe playing with something Burke had created or one of his toys. JonBenet might also have been trying to run away from Burke in the basement (if she had made him angry), and with his height advantage, he could have hit her from behind and above with a golf club, especially if there was some room between them as they ran. JonBenet may have tried to run from Burke with her head bent down to escape any blows and to see where she was going in the cluttered basement.

    Of course, OTG may show us a different possible scenario through his experiments.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice