JonBenet's Skull Fractures: The Weapon

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

  1. OpenMind4U

    OpenMind4U Member

    IMO, otg is taking us on interesting journey. And it makes me think from these perspectives:

    - the major items of assults are missing (remaining rope and tape, bloody cloths, end of the painbrash...), except flashlight. (But we all know that flashlight has played some role that night, for sure. At the minimum, to provide the light for person(s) to move around during the 'staging' but not necessarily as the head blow weapon). So, why should we aspect to found the head blow weapon? What makes us think that one of the major object of JB's injury would be available for easy discovery?

    - but what if stagers do NOT know about the head injury? It wasn't, if person(s) who performed 'staging' do NOT know about then this deadly object wouldn't need to be 'missing' and should be easily identified based on the damaged pattern on JB sculp and in conjunction with OTHER evidences like hair, fibers...

    - in addition, if above is true then which object has been already used in connection with the prior JB's injuries? Who used this object before?

    ...and here why I believe otg is taking us on this route...I believe he/she knows the answer (I really hope so!)....Couldn't wait for his/her next FINAL post!!!!!

  2. Elle

    Elle Member

    So, not in a chair, but on the floor(?). Yes! I think it could also happen this way, Cherokee! Let's hope otg's experiments can tell us more! I can't get over him making those impressions on eggs! I'll never break another egg without thinking of his egg video!
  3. otg

    otg Member

    I thought the egg demonstration would appeal to people. Anyone can do the same thing at home the next time they boil some eggs. Although the egg and the wooden spoon handle are not necessarily to any certain scale that we can draw too much of an inference from, hopefully it does show how the cylindrical shape creates the same type of fracture, and you can also see what we haven’t seen (namely the way the comminuted skull fragments might have looked).

    Actually, I went to the Salvation Army outlet looking for a couple of golf clubs (thought I might get by cheap). I found the bat for 4 bucks, but the cheapest individual club they had started at about 20 dollars. So the Scotch in me (oops -- that should be the Scottish in me) made me decide to make one myself. Hopefully, one of our golfers here might want to contribute to this exercise. I’d be more than happy for any collaborative effort from anyone here.

    For so long, I thought the putter might have been what was used. But this was based on the same info you mention, plus the prior injury to JonBenet by BR with a golf swing, and of course the description in the AR of a “rectangular†fracture. I originally formed this opinion before the autopsy photo had been leaked, so the coroners description was all I had to go on. If you notice in the video, the end of the putter makes exactly a rectangular impression in the clay. It wasn’t until I started looking at the actual shape in the photo and putting (no pun intended) things together that I decided the putter was probably not the weapon -- at least not the way I had imagined it being used.
  4. otg

    otg Member

    Dear Elle. Mrs. otg is doing okay. Right now her condition is “stabilizedâ€, which is actually good news because the chemo she’s getting is not quite as harsh on her. But no, I don't think she would be happy to see me putting clay in her mixing bowls. In fact, I’m afraid I might cause her to have a heart attack if she saw her kitchen stuff being used like that. But she didn't see it, and rest assured, Elle, I did wash everything real good before putting it away. And you might have noticed, I even used plastic wrap to keep from getting the clay directly on the inside of her mixing bowl.

    No one is ever an ex civil engineer, Elle. But if wombat (or anyone else) wants to weigh in, I look forward to anything they might say.

    (...and thank you for all the kind words.)
  5. otg

    otg Member

    Ohhhhhh.... zoomama! You got the first music reference. Extra points go to anyone who got the second. It’s a little more obscure, and it might be before some people’s time.

    Actually, I’m not sure where this is going. At this point, I have an idea what I think will be the result, but I’m not certain the weapon I currently think was used will fit in with the dimensions. What I expect is that I’ll be able to give you a range of diameters that could have caused the 1/2†x 1-3/4â€. I’m not sure yet just how narrow I’ll be able to make that range. But even then, more than one object might fit into that range, and it will still be up to us to decide which is more likely or logical. At the very least I hope we can put to rest some of the things that have been speculated as being the weapon (If you don’t read at the other forum, you probably don’t know about the crow bar that appeared out of thin air -- which is why I had to include that in the video.). I also hope to show what caused the linear fracture.
  6. otg

    otg Member

    Cherokee, I don’t have any golf clubs. I’m not a golfer. But it looks like now I’m gonna have to start carving again for at least this one. But you realize... there are hundreds of different styles of clubs. I don’t want to end up carving out an entire set. [I wonder if the Salvation Army would consider renting their golf clubs.]

    Or better yet... Does anyone who has a set of golf clubs also have a mixing bowl and a camera? The clay was less than 5 dollars, but I should tell you I couldn’t find it anywhere until I tried an Arts/Crafts store.
  7. otg

    otg Member

    As always, OM, you make some very valid points. You know (I think) that I have expressed doubt about whether the “stagers†were even aware of the head blow. But until you mentioned it here, I hadn’t really thought about the fact that the other items involved in the actual assault are all the items that are missing (possibly).
  8. BOESP

    BOESP Member

    OTG, I may have missed it, but did you try holding the raw egg and tapping it on a hard surface (like you would do if you were cracking an egg for making a cake, pie, etc.)

    I did something similar years ago and I'm still convinced her head struck something instead of vice versa but I've been wrong before.

    Enjoyed your demos very much! :highfive:
  9. Elle

    Elle Member


    Could you tell me where in your mind's eye do you you see Jonbenét
    being struck by this golf club. As you know I've never felt it was a golf club, because I felt like a few others that Patsy Ramsey was in a rage and threw her daughter around with her head maybe striking the bathtub or toilet, but I have come to terms with the fact that it may have been a golf club. So fill me in please, where exactly are you seeing it happening?
  10. Elle

    Elle Member

    This is the only way I was seeing it too, BOESP, but I must be more open to other causes. Unfortunately I don't have the full understanding of it, but it's good to have a more open mind. This wonderful video of otg's is amazing, showing us the different shapes, both with the eggs and the clay. How gently he tapped the eggs without breaking them, and giving us all excellent results with his clay experiments. No doubt the police went through their own.
  11. Cherokee

    Cherokee FFJ Senior Member

    As I said in my earlier post, I believe JBR was probably struck in the basement, but I'm open to other suggestions.

    The idea of Burke hitting JBR with a golf club makes sense to me, and it also makes sense according to physics that she was struck from behind by a person taller than she was. The force of the blow was carried forward on JBR's skull and cracked it longitudinally towards her forehead. I don't believe it was cracked OPEN where a person could see JBR's brain at that point. It wasn't until the autopsy, when the skin was removed, that the crack widened.

    I believe there was probably an indentation in JBR's skull where the blow landed, but her hair and skin covered it, so there was no outward sign of bleeding. However, the sound of JBR's skull cracking would have been heard by her assailant. It would have been a sickening sound. JBR would have dropped to the floor immediately.

    I always had problems with John covering for Patsy if Patsy was responsible for JBR's death. Now it makes sense to me that John and Patsy were both covering for Burke. To me, it is the only scenario that fits all the known facts AND the behavior of the Ramseys after JBR's death.

    I recently read about another murder in a family where a girl "accidentally" killed her younger brother with a shotgun. One friend of the family explained to detectives they thought they reason the mother was covering for the girl and providing an alibi was because the mother had already lost one child and she didn't want to lose another. I couldn't believe my eyes. Those were the exact words I had used to explain why Patsy Ramsey would have concocted the ransom note and pushed the intruder theory.
  12. BOESP

    BOESP Member

    I very well could be wrong. But the eggs need to be struck with a proportionally similar instrument. We don't even know what, if any, instrument was used as a weapon. I think OTG mentioned this in a posting over on Websleuths.

    Also, the crack in the egg was not nearly as long or wide, in comparison to JonBenet's skull, as what I could see in OTG's video. Since we don't know the weapon it is hard to come to a conclusion. However, when striking an egg on a hard surface you can get the proportionately longer-wider fracture that will displace part of the shell. If you use enough force (pressure) the egg will smash entirely.

    OTG's examples are examples of a relatively high velocity/low pressure wound while the striking on a surface with the egg is exactly opposite -- low velocity/high pressure.

    Add in Steve Thomas's opinion and I still am not convinced JonBenet was struck with a weapon. I'm open to changing my mind but I just haven't seen convincing evidence yet. I really don't even know if the Internet photos of JonBenet's skull are actually hers. I'm just hesitant to commit to anything when I haven't viewed the actual evidence.

    :sleuth: I'm not being argumentative, just cautious. :sleuth:
  13. BOESP

    BOESP Member

    It seems to me that if John and Patsy were covering for Burke they would have kept their mouths shut and not keep bringing it up in the media via interviews and books. Seems like a briefing on how JonBenet died in a tragic accident and the family requests privacy would have sufficed but no, they wanted the whole world to know about it.

    Why stage the elaborate version when "what happened in Boulder could have stayed in Boulder." I think there's more to it than just covering for Burke.
    Maybe :duped:
  14. Elle

    Elle Member

    Yes. Cherokee, you did! I must be tired! :( Sorry about this! I backtracked!
    No fun being an oldie! Yes! The Ramseys could have been covering for
    Burke! (?). They had already lost one child.
  15. Elle

    Elle Member

    Pleased to hear Mrs. otg is doing well. I'm sure with your great care she will improve. I don't think the clay would have caused any damage to the stainless steel otg. It wasn't course. First glance I thought it was dough! :) You have a terrific amount of patience to do all this. I truly am very impressed!

    Let's hope some good news turns up because of all your work and patience.
  16. wombat

    wombat Member

    OK, I'm here.

    Love the egg video, otg - it shows very well how cracks form around a failure - structural engineers refer to this as punching shear failure.

    As I've written previously, human bone is very strong, stronger than concrete. These are the strength characteristics of a femur - I couldn't find anything specific on skulls:

    Compressive Longitudinal strength, 205 MPa (29,000 psi)
    Compressive transverse strength, 131 MPa (19,000 psi)
    Tensile longitudinal strength, 135 MPa (19,500 psi)
    Tensile transverse strength, 53 MPa (7700 psi)
    Shear strength, 65-71 MPa (9400-10,000 psi)

    It's the shear strength that we are concerned with here. Whatever hit Jonbenet's skull inflicted a force of greater than 10,000 pounds per square inch at a point on her skull, initiating the failure. It doesn't mean that she was hit with 10,000 pounds of force, but that a local area experienced more than 10,000 psi.

    BOESP, the pressure the skull took to fail was the same whether it was low- or high-velocity impact.

    I could do rough calculations to estimate the force that hit her and velocity the object was travelling, but there are too many unknowns (how thick was the skull, etc.) and this is not my field (and I don't want to scare Elle). Engineers aren't supposed to practice outside their field or in states where they aren't licensed, so once I start doing calcs I'm kind of violating the rules. There are people who know how to do this, biomedical engineers, I wish I knew someone.

    My opinion is that she was hit with a golf club by someone taller than her, which everyone in the house was, but I believe only Burke would have done it. The rest of it was inflicted by her disgusting parents.
  17. heymom

    heymom Member

    I have an entire set of adult (left-handed) golf clubs, and a camera. I don't have the stainless steel mixing bowls but I have other bowls that might suffice. And I can get some modeling clay. One element that you have probably already considered is that clay does not have the same resistance as a human skull, so we must factor that in when we consider what the hole in JB's skull looked like. Part of the shape etc. has to factor in the skull bone's properties, wouldn't you say? Is there some material we could get or make that would dry or could be baked into a harder surface?

    Totally unrelated to the weapon, but I don't know where to put it - the family dog spent time at the neighbor's across the street, right? I wonder if Burke had been cruel to this little dog?? If only animals could talk, that little dog might have given us some valuable information. Of course he wasn't in the house the night JonBenet was killed, but he could tell us what really happened in that house before that Christmas night.
  18. BOESP

    BOESP Member

    Yes, I agree with you on that but its the velocity that affects the appearance of the impact point. High velocity-low pressure, such as a bullet or swiftly flung bat-like weapon, golf club or whatever, should leave a deeply penetrating hole with a great deal of underlying damage but relatively little in the way of an extended fracture. An instrument that is swung at high speed would have left a lot of deeply imbedded trauma, or at least more than what the autopsy reads.

    To get the 8 1/2" linear fracture, the pressure needed with a swung object would have to have been a high velocity-high pressure wound. If so, her head should have not only been fractured but also crushed with much underlying brain damage.

    In my opinion, there also isn't enough underlying damage at the impact point for it to have been high velocity. And a swung object that has enough pressure to create an 8 1/2" fracture would have, in my opinion, crushed a much larger area of JonBenet's skull.

    Steve Thomas's theory fits a low velocity-high pressure event and that fits the appearance of the wound (in my opinion).

    :nyah: That's my story and I'm sticking to it.:nyah:

    P.S. I totally agree with the part about the disgusting parents.
  19. wombat

    wombat Member

    We lack information about the impact point because we've never seen the displaced piece of skull. As far as I remember the autopsy report doesn't discuss it.

    A slower moving object would have to be pretty heavy to create the hole in her skull - as speed (really acceleration) decreases, the mass has to increase to get to the 10,000 psi. That would mean that a stronger person would have to lift it, so that points to John Ramsey. I think that's unlikely.

    A golf club, on the other hand, is MADE to move swiftly.

    Well, we all have opinions:winko:!
  20. BOESP

    BOESP Member

    BBM. And we all know what that means. :2mchinfo: (ROFL)

    Now, about that golf club. I don't play golf but I understand it is made to move swiftly but it isn't designed to deliver a lot of pressure (unless the golfer falls on top of the ball when he tees off). :)
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