Discussion in 'Justice for JonBenet Discussion - Public Forum' started by RiverRat, Dec 16, 2019.
Of course it's haunting ~
“Haunting” is one way to describe how this case has entered our subconscious and left us bereft of any satisfying answers. Just as one attempts to leave the case (known on the various forums as the case which will never be prosecuted), something else is noticed. It’s akin to discovering another piece of a mosaic which, disappointingly, still is an incomplete picture of the crime. We’re all aware the public is missing many pieces.
Behavioral clues have been sliced and dissected forever. However, sometimes it pays to return to the autopsy, to the conclusions from the evidence. The danger of course lies in confirmation bias, no small pitfall.
I suppose it’s to be expected that forums hold so many disparate opinions to review. Since I’ve read many posts on Websleuths, and FFJ, and occasionally on reddit, I’ve found a few issues on evidence which should be reviewed. In no way do I feel like I’ve discovered any AHA! answers which can’t be argued differently than I’m presenting here. But maybe it will show another way to view what could have happened. I’ll start with a quote from one of FFJ’s impressive posters - koldkase.
Koldkase - The most puzzling element of the crimes committed on JonBenet the night she was murdered, to me, has always been the paintbrush inserted into her. From the first moment I read about this, I thought, what in the heck...?
(Chronic vaginal injuries)
Background on the paintbrush injury -
From the Bonita papers, it was the opinion of John McCann . . . “ that the injury appeared to have been caused by a relatively small, very firm object which, due to the area of bruising, had made very forceful contact not only with the hymen, but also with the tissues surrounding the hymen.”
From Kolar we have read this -
The site of the damaged tissue was excised and prepared for a pathology slide. Later examination would reveal the presence of ‘cellulose material’ in the membrane of the hymeneal opening that was consistent with the wood of the paintbrush used as a handle in the cord of the garrote.
(Note a forensic terminology refresher. The term “consistent with” means that the laboratory has measured the properties of the standard, in this case the wood of the paintbrush, and has found no differences. It’s my understanding that the term match is not used as that would connote the microscopic particle was placed onto the paintbrush and it matched dimensions of a piece missing. https://web.archive.org/web/20060515213821/http://www.doj.state.wi.us/DLES/crimelabs/trace.asp )
From those two pieces of information from McCann and Kolar, in addition to ST’s mention of a splinter, folks have deduced that a paintbrush was used that night to violate JB. But here are some additional considerations.
At the time of the autopsy Meyer stated verbally to those present that JonBenét exhibited injuries which were indicative of molestation. From acandyrose: Boulder's coroner, Dr. John Meyer, told a detective watching the autopsy Dec. 27 that JonBenet had injuries to her genitals. It wasn’t stated one way or another how she was violated.
Detective Linda Arndt said she then heard Meyer say that "it was his opinion that the victim had been subjected to sexual contact. He later refused any further comment about this, so we only have Arndt’s report, and it’s necessary to return to the autopsy for more clarification.
As most students of crime know, an autopsy is only supposed to include the visual observations of the deceased body, not any conclusions or opinions about the injuries. But Meyer seemed to choose his words carefully and they provide a little more insight. He did not, e.g., say that the hymen was torn. Rather that it was eroded. He also refrained from an opinion that the hymeneal opening was, according to statistics, twice the measurement of other 5/6 year old girls. He merely mentioned the dimensions.
Returning to the paintbrush theory -
The smallest piece of tissue, from the 7:00 position of the vaginal wall/hymen, contains epithelial erosion with underlying capillary congestion. A small number of red blood cells is present on the eroded surface, as is birefringent foreign material.
The location of the birefringent foreign material (i.e., according to Kolar, a microscopic piece tested to be consistent with the paintbrush) is described in proximity to the 7:00 position on the vaginal wall and hymen. From this description it’s important to mention that it was not seen in a position deeper into the vaginal vestibule. But something else was noted in the vaginal vault damage which might assist in understanding whether she was digitally assaulted that night or if someone simply wielded intrusion with a paintbrush. From Meyer’s autopsy again - Inside the vestibule of the vagina and along the distal vaginal wall is reddish hyperemia. This hyperemia is circumferential and perhaps more noticeable on the right side and posteriorly. The hyperemia also appears to extend just inside the vaginal orifice. A 1 cm red-purple area of abrasion is located on the right posterolateral area of the 1 x 1 cm hymenal orifice.
This grim description points to someone digitally creating circumferential hyperemia or, as some think, using the end of a paintbrush to affect this hyperemia (btw, if the hyperemia was older it would have been seen as pinkish vs. reddish). If this was a quick jab with a paintbrush, one wouldn’t assume the circumferential signs were created by a paintbrush. One important question sleuths have to mull over then is whether it was an actual digital assault or whether someone did use a paintbrush creating that hyperemia.
Here I have to quote the surgical nurse “Texan” who provided an interesting alternative to consider. Texan raised the possibility that the foreign material was deposited during a clean-up action. I don't think the autopsy said anything about a splinter - it said birefringent material. It could have been from a paint brush but that could also have been on someone's finger and been a transfer. So it wasn't necessarily true that a portion of the paint brush was used in the vaginal area but that is a possibility. (Broken paintbrush)
About this clean-up -
From acandyrose (s-evidence-jewelry.htm) the coroner believed blood had been wiped from her genital area. But according to the answers from an MD the description in the autopsy points to greater efforts of cleanup than have been previously pondered.
Per the autopsy: “A minimal amount of semiliquid thin watery red fluid is present in the vaginal vault."
The MD said this about the autopsy vaginal vault fluid: The reason the blood in the vaginal vestibule was described as "semifluid" is because it was not exposed to air and therefore had not dried. (blood separated from the site of injury will not coagulate in the normal biochemical sense, but will congeal and "dry up") As far as the terms thin watery fluid, the MD replied, “This implies that "water" (perhaps from a clean-up) mixed with blood, leaving a ‘semiliquid thin watery fluid’.
From MD “Elvis” comments, I don’t find it unreasonable to conjecture that someone rinsed blood from her vestibule, wiped the genital area, and then redressed her. I know this does not disallow that a paintbrush was used. It’s simply an alternate examination of what could point to the combination of an instrument used to rinse away blood (a firm instrument like a nasal asperator), a microscopic piece of foreign material deposited during cleanup and the effort to hide an assault by redressing her in brand new Bloomies.
If this alternate view is taken, then one might decide the paintbrush wasn’t used to hide prior abuse at all. It was broken to diminish the ready conclusion it was a paintbrush and look more “evil” of a killing instrument. Or, who knows, perhaps BR, JR, PR had some other idea for its usage.
In this discussion of an actual digital assault vs. one staged to hide past abuse, or point to a pedophile, or the gruesome thought of a child experimenting on his unconscious sister, there remain some unanswered questions we’ll likely never sort out.
Why were Patsy’s art supplies displayed so prominently beside the door to the wine cellar?
Why was there no mention of a sexual motive in the RN?
And if they did wish the body to show intrusion to cover past abuse, why such an elaborate clean-up including redressing?
I’m out of answers and know that those who still follow the forums or read the books on the case probably feel as I do. It’s just once in a great while - out of the blue - something may occur to us. Perhaps it’s frivolous to still indulge an attempt to arrange another piece of the mosaic, fill in more of the evidence. But seeing what we believe is the last photo of JonBenét at her last party, the image is indeed haunting. And so are the unanswered questions.
Greenleaf - My thoughts...I have always believed that the death of J.B.R. was unequivocally linked to sexual abuse. It is a delicate subject, akin to tip-toeing around on egg shells. Reluctance to explore such a distasteful subject is the crux of the matter, leading to this ambiguity. Either J.B. was sexually abused or she was not. The physical evidence certainly seems to suggest that she was indeed violated; yet, the debate continues. (Chronic vaginal injuries)
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