An IDI Companion: the head blow

An IDI Companion: the head blow

Posted in the JonBenet Ramsey Forum

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Since: Oct 08

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#1 Dec 3, 2013
Here are a few comments I copied from a (not case related) discussion forum; the thread is titled “MagLites, flash light or weapon?” http://tinyurl.com/mylqt4d

“If you've never owned a maglite, imagine if somebody made a steel mace, and then as an afterthought, added a flashlight to the end.“

"So we need to make a flashlight that is distinctly different from all other flashlights, something that really says Maglite." "How about one so big and heavy that you can straight up murder somebody with it?"

“Keep one in the car for emergencies, much less explaining than a baseball bat.”

“Its not a big flashlight, its a club for destroying your enemies! The flashlight part is just a bonus.”

Another quote from my notes, not sure where this one came from: Maglite flashlights have been known to be used as a ready substitute for a baton. Security and police personnel often carry Maglite flashlights as they can be employed as a defensive weapon, especially at night or in dark locations. Police officers will often use Maglites during traffic stops or suspect confrontation, as the beam can disorient an attacker and the flashlight can be swung as a baton as a measure of last resort in self-defense.

From: Alert A Periodic Training Guide Provided Complimentary To Prosecution And Law Enforcement Agencies; Issue 3,“Use-Of-Force Tactics And Non-Lethal Weaponry”
http://www.aele.org/alert-tactics.html

IMPACT WEAPONS
In 1987 the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) surveyed 2,914 police agencies, most of which were in the U.S. A series of questions related to the types of weapons issued or permitted; the percentage of agencies that had approved each weapon mentioned is indicated below:
89% 3 to 6 cell flashlights

Among a list of Strengths and Weaknesses of the flashlight as weapon it is noted, as a weakness, that “Multi-cell lights are very heavy; a blow to the head can be fatal or cause permanent paralysis.”


AK

Since: Oct 08

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#2 Dec 3, 2013
"Cops had long suspected that a weighty black flashlight was used to inflict the fatal 8-inch head wound on the six-year-old beauty queen after she was garroted," reported Dick Woodbury, Time's Denver bureau chief. <snip> "Police believe the flashlight's heavy rubber coating seems consistent with an instrument that could deliver a crushing blow yet not cause bleeding," the magazine reports, without identifying a source. http://tinyurl.com/l53mx5s

From the Thomas book:
“… Some perceived it as a possible murder weapon, although that was never proved.

“Dr Werner Spitz, the forensic scientist, even ran macabre tests to see if the heavy flashlight could have inflicted the kind of massive skull fracture that was found on Jonbenet. To do so, a child’s cadaver was obtained so he could strike the skull with a similar flashlight and examine the resulting injury pattern. He said the results were consistent, that the damage could have been caused by the flashlight – but it could also have been caused by other things.” P. 239

From Nancy Grace:
DR. WERNER SPITZ, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST:…. This was not an accident, and I will tell you in a minute why and...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tell us right now.

SPITZ: Well, she did -- it could not have been an accident because she is hit in the head with a heavy instrument, which caused a rectangular fracture in the skull, into which it is possible to sink the head of a 3- mag flashlight. It`s similar to what the police carry, but the police carry a 5-mag. This is a 3-mag flashlight, which was seen on pictures on the kitchen counter. And you need to pick up this thing and heave it over the head and strike with force into the head. How can that be an accident?
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0608/1...

And, from Discovery News:
Dr.WS: I would certainly believe that the flashlight is the instrument of death.

LC: What makes you so sure that it's compatible. How do you know?

Dr.WS: Because it fits right into the ....?.. It doesn't fit into the defect where it leaves some area to play with. It fits perfectly.

http://thewebsafe.tripod.com/03172000spitzond...


AK

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#3 Dec 3, 2013
The point is that the flashlight –“a” flashlight – could have been used for the head blow. It is a recognized impact weapon, has been shown to be consistent with the weapon used and it is the only object that I know of that has been acknowledged as being identified as a possible murder weapon by police.(Kolar; p. 50)

It’s hard to imagine an accident with a flashlight. It would have to have been the most bizarre and unimaginable freak accident in the history of accidents.

I think every indication is that this was an intentional blow, or if by accident it was because of being an accidental target. Sure, some fluke, I mean really really fluke accident could have happened, but this would be an extraordinary claim with no evidence to support it.

An intentional blow of this magnitude is a hard sell for RDI, but, an intentional blow is exactly what we could expect with an intruder theory. If an intruder wanted to incapacitate Jonbenet with a head blow and if he did not care if it killed her, then the evidence would be as it appears. No flukes, no accidents, no bizarre circumstances to try to explain.


AK

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#4 Dec 3, 2013
The flashlight has been shown to be compatible or consistent with the damage done, so if a flashlight was not the object used, then we are looking for an object similar to a flashlight.

Either way it’s still an easy argument, and probably should be the presumption, that this was an intentional blow. The object used, the force used, the direction of the blow, the damage done all indicate an intentional blow. Consistent with an intruder as assailant.


AK

Since: Feb 12

San Diego, CA

#5 Dec 3, 2013
Hi AK,
Usually, when it comes to forensics, in a bludgeoning, the weapon used can be matched with the wound. In this case, they have the maglight, and they have the baseball bat, but could not match either with the wound. IF they could, they still would bot have been able to prove it to be the murder weapon, BUT they still could prove an object like it was.

What caused the skull fracture remains unknown, however, whatever caused it did not cause a cut or abrasion.

CC

“If life gives you melons”

Since: Nov 06

You might be dyslexic

#6 Dec 4, 2013
Anti-K wrote:

Either way it’s still an easy argument, and probably should be the presumption, that this was an intentional blow. The object used, the force used, the direction of the blow, the damage done all indicate an intentional blow. Consistent with an intruder as assailant.

AK
You totally are remiss with this line of thinking, because you won't even entertain the thought that someone or something could get in the way unintentionally and be struck by the person wielding the flashlight or bat.

Your "easy argument" is circling the drain.
Delta88

United States

#7 Dec 4, 2013
The thing about the weapon is that it really doesn't matter what it was, as far as solving the case.

If it was the baseball bat, it could still be JDI/PDI/BDI/IDI Likewise the golf club, Maglite, brick, pipe. Anything in the house or yard was available to any intruder or anyone living in the house.

It's fun to consider what may or may not have been the weapon, but in the end it doesn't help solve the case. No weapon excludes any particular culprit.

“WAX ON”

Since: Jul 10

WAX OFF

#9 Dec 4, 2013
Hey AK,

How does an "intentional" blow wind up "consistent" with an intruder, and an intruder only?

I might lean more in that direction if (1) there were any evidence of an intruder, and (2) if a similar "accident" hadn't already happened in that household, but it had. To me, the chances of the same type of accident repeating itself would be far greater than a hit on a 6-year old by a small foreign faction.
Anti-K wrote:
The flashlight has been shown to be compatible or consistent with the damage done, so if a flashlight was not the object used, then we are looking for an object similar to a flashlight.
Either way it’s still an easy argument, and probably should be the presumption, that this was an intentional blow. The object used, the force used, the direction of the blow, the damage done all indicate an intentional blow. Consistent with an intruder as assailant.

AK

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#10 Dec 4, 2013
Bakatari wrote:
Hi AK,
Usually, when it comes to forensics, in a bludgeoning, the weapon used can be matched with the wound. In this case, they have the maglight, and they have the baseball bat, but could not match either with the wound. IF they could, they still would bot have been able to prove it to be the murder weapon, BUT they still could prove an object like it was.
What caused the skull fracture remains unknown, however, whatever caused it did not cause a cut or abrasion.
CC
The wound and the flashlight were “matched;” see post 2, above. Some other object could have been used, but that object was likely very similar to the flashlight.
...

AK

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#11 Dec 4, 2013
Legal__Eagle wrote:
<quoted text>
You totally are remiss with this line of thinking, because you won't even entertain the thought that someone or something could get in the way unintentionally and be struck by the person wielding the flashlight or bat.
Your "easy argument" is circling the drain.
No, I was not remiss as you say because I did “entertain the thought that someone or something could get in the way unintentionally.” See post 3 above, where I wrote,“I think every indication is that this was an intentional blow, OR IF BY ACCIDENT IT WAS BECAUSE OF BEING AN ACCIDENTAL TARGET.”
...

AK

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#12 Dec 4, 2013
DrSeussMd wrote:
Hey AK,
How does an "intentional" blow wind up "consistent" with an intruder, and an intruder only?
I might lean more in that direction if (1) there were any evidence of an intruder, and (2) if a similar "accident" hadn't already happened in that household, but it had. To me, the chances of the same type of accident repeating itself would be far greater than a hit on a 6-year old by a small foreign faction.
<quoted text>
Well, I didn’t say ONLY consistent with an intruder theory. I am saying that an intentional blow IS consistent with an intruder theory, and it is easy to understand an intentional blow with an intruder theory. It is more difficult (not impossible) to come up with realistic RDI theories with an intentional blow.

1) there is evidence consistent with an intruder

2) one cannot say that a similar accident occurred without first knowing that this was an accident. So far, that has not been shown to be true and seems unlikely. If something like this had previously occurred, accidentally or otherwise, than someone else would have died or been severely injured; this was a massive blow! If a similar accident had previously occurred, then the Ramseys shouldn’t have had any problem explaining this accident. It happened before.
...

AK

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#13 Dec 4, 2013
BrotherMoon wrote:
Patsy killed JonBenet deliberately. No one else was involved. There was no staging for police. Everything that was done was done by Patsy for Patsy as part of a psychotic fantasy revolving around an imagined relationship with a supernatural being, the fear of judgment by that God and the fear of death. What people mistakingly take as staging for police had symbolic meaning known only to Patsy. This includes the ransom note.
So, you agree that it was an intentional blow?
...

AK

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#14 Dec 4, 2013
Delta88 wrote:
The thing about the weapon is that it really doesn't matter what it was, as far as solving the case.
If it was the baseball bat, it could still be JDI/PDI/BDI/IDI Likewise the golf club, Maglite, brick, pipe. Anything in the house or yard was available to any intruder or anyone living in the house.
It's fun to consider what may or may not have been the weapon, but in the end it doesn't help solve the case. No weapon excludes any particular culprit.
It matters if that object is not found.

An intruder brings in a weapon, possibly a flashlight, and he uses that weapon to kill his victim. Nothing startling about that. It’s the norm in such cases: assailant, weapon, victim.

In RDI we need to show how/why a Ramsey has a flashlight, or a brick, or a bat or whatever, in the middle of the night.... how does that happen?
...

AK

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#16 Dec 4, 2013
Jonbenet’s hair has always been perplexing - and how it was at the White’s has been keep secret - the style with a band and scrunchie ON TOP is how she was found. It was hand illustrated but no pictures are available. There is a image from the Ramsey Christmas party a few days earlier and her hair is pulled back in a classic style to the back center. The skull fracture is on top towards the back, closer to where a thick cushioning scrunchie would have taken some of the brunt force and protected the skin from breaking. As if struck from the front with a club held overhead and it landed and got caught ending up pulling the knot and scrunchie forward. If she was struck from the back the linear fracture from the shaft of the golf club would have gone in the other direction. IMO it was face to face mortal combat. Jonbenet did something to tick the edgy Burke off, teased him. BDI, Burke in the parlor with a golf club. The parents upstairs doing their own thing, ignoring the kids, the kids left alone, unsupervised, to fend for themselves

“WAX ON”

Since: Jul 10

WAX OFF

#19 Dec 5, 2013
Hey AK,

I am a ‘words’ guy too, so I read a lot into the words people use and how they use them when attempting to get a point across. No, to your credit, you didn’t say ‘only’ but by the way you left a one-sided comment, you were implying ‘only’, and you wrote it that way to direct people ‘only’ to your school of thought. Because you do this, it takes way more energy to read your stuff than it does other posts, but I do read all of them because somewhere hidden in there is a point, and I like to peel away the layers to see what it is in its raw state without you directing me to where you want me to end up.:)(It is meant as a compliment).

As for the accident comment, I should have been more specific in saying a similar scenario happened (which was deemed at the time to be an accident). I can have a similar scenario and an accident, can I not?

If the time BR hit JBR with a golf club had produced the ‘identical’ or ‘near identical’ injury (and say the first time she survived because of the location of the point of impact) then I suppose what I said would have been more acurate, right? However, having said that, you don’t have the specifics of this blow, nor to you have the specifics of the blow the first time. A massive blow hitting in a particular area can cause death. The same massive blow hitting an inch away or a fraction of an inch away can/could produce strikingly different results. Even in this scenario you don’t KNOW (1) object used,(2) the amount of force,(3) the direction of the blow – all you know is the resulting injury. The odds would have to be 50/50 for intentional vs accidental.
Anti-K wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, I didn’t say ONLY consistent with an intruder theory. I am saying that an intentional blow IS consistent with an intruder theory, and it is easy to understand an intentional blow with an intruder theory. It is more difficult (not impossible) to come up with realistic RDI theories with an intentional blow.
1) there is evidence consistent with an intruder
2) one cannot say that a similar accident occurred without first knowing that this was an accident. So far, that has not been shown to be true and seems unlikely. If something like this had previously occurred, accidentally or otherwise, than someone else would have died or been severely injured; this was a massive blow! If a similar accident had previously occurred, then the Ramseys shouldn’t have had any problem explaining this accident. It happened before.
...
AK
Steve Eller

Bronx, NY

#20 Dec 5, 2013
BrotherMoon wrote:
Patsy killed JonBenet deliberately. No one else was involved. There was no staging for police. Everything that was done was done by Patsy for Patsy as part of a psychotic fantasy revolving around an imagined relationship with a supernatural being, the fear of judgment by that God and the fear of death. What people mistakingly take as staging for police had symbolic meaning known only to Patsy. This includes the ransom note.
Bla bla bla...and the beat goes on.

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#21 Dec 5, 2013
DrSeussMd wrote:
Hey AK,
I am a ‘words’ guy too, so I read a lot into the words people use and how they use them when attempting to get a point across. No, to your credit, you didn’t say ‘only’ but by the way you left a one-sided comment, you were implying ‘only’, and you wrote it that way to direct people ‘only’ to your school of thought. Because you do this, it takes way more energy to read your stuff than it does other posts, but I do read all of them because somewhere hidden in there is a point, and I like to peel away the layers to see what it is in its raw state without you directing me to where you want me to end up.:)(It is meant as a compliment).
As for the accident comment, I should have been more specific in saying a similar scenario happened (which was deemed at the time to be an accident). I can have a similar scenario and an accident, can I not?
If the time BR hit JBR with a golf club had produced the ‘identical’ or ‘near identical’ injury (and say the first time she survived because of the location of the point of impact) then I suppose what I said would have been more acurate, right? However, having said that, you don’t have the specifics of this blow, nor to you have the specifics of the blow the first time. A massive blow hitting in a particular area can cause death. The same massive blow hitting an inch away or a fraction of an inch away can/could produce strikingly different results. Even in this scenario you don’t KNOW (1) object used,(2) the amount of force,(3) the direction of the blow – all you know is the resulting injury. The odds would have to be 50/50 for intentional vs accidental.
<quoted text>
1) we know that the object was either a flashlight or it was consistent with a flashlight (golf club, baton, bat, etc).

2) the occipital plate was fractured, so we’re looking at about 100 MPa of direct force. If the force is indirect (a fall, a push, a shove, a slam), then it would be dispersed throughout the body (torso, limbs) and a greater amount of force would have been required. If Jonbenet (using approx. 46 lbs, 3’9) fell and if ALL of the force was directed to her head, we’d be looking at approx. 64 MPa. Not enough to fragment the occipital plate. And, other parts of the body would impact. If the head was ¼ of the total mass, then the force directed to the skull would only be about 16 MPa. The fragmented occipital plate, the shape and placement of the damage and the lack of corresponding injuries all strongly indicate that she was struck an overhand blow (a downward swing) directly to her skull with tremendous force.

3) if a similar force had been applied previously, accidently or otherwise, to some other part of her body, then we would have seen severe damage, broken bone, etc. Jonbenet may have been struck with a gold club, but the force used was significantly less than that used the night she was murdered as evidenced by the resulting minimal damage to her face. Another significant distinction between the accident and the murder is the direction of swing. A golf swing describes a sideways arc right to left or left to right; the murder blow was struck with a downward arc, like a hammer hitting a vertical nail on a horizontal board.
...

AK

“WAX ON”

Since: Jul 10

WAX OFF

#22 Dec 6, 2013
Which only means we have no clue what the weapon was. Personally, I think the bat would have been too big. For purposes of explanation please visualize the skull fracture as going from east to west, and the flashlight hitting the head north to south. If it had been east to west with a bat, the wound would have been far larger. With head injuries (especially on the skull of a 6-year-old where the skull is not fully hardened as with an adult), and depending on the force of the hit, the displacement of bone from the skull would most likely be at the point-of-impact.
Anti-K wrote:
<quoted text>
1) we know that the object was either a flashlight or it was consistent with a flashlight (golf club, baton, bat, etc).
I am not convinced the force as you have described it here is factual on a child – maybe an adult, but a child’s skull is far softer. I don’t believe it is from a fall at all. As for a direct hit, you’re making an assumption JBR was in an upright position. What if she wasn’t? How would the MPa translate then?
Anti-K wrote:
<quoted text>2) the occipital plate was fractured, so we’re looking at about 100 MPa of direct force. If the force is indirect (a fall, a push, a shove, a slam), then it would be dispersed throughout the body (torso, limbs) and a greater amount of force would have been required. If Jonbenet (using approx. 46 lbs, 3’9) fell and if ALL of the force was directed to her head, we’d be looking at approx. 64 MPa. Not enough to fragment the occipital plate. And, other parts of the body would impact. If the head was ¼ of the total mass, then the force directed to the skull would only be about 16 MPa. The fragmented occipital plate, the shape and placement of the damage and the lack of corresponding injuries all strongly indicate that she was struck an overhand blow (a downward swing) directly to her skull with tremendous force.
Not necessarily. It would depend entirely on position relative to the weapon and if the body were moving at the time, either “closer to” or “away from” or "stationary to" a glancing blow. The force could have been the same, or different. We don’t know.

Normally, a golf swing is as you have described. What we most likely are talking about is just a golf club in the hands of a child. The child could have picked it up and held it like a bat and swung it.
Anti-K wrote:
<quoted text>3) if a similar force had been applied previously, accidently or otherwise, to some other part of her body, then we would have seen severe damage, broken bone, etc. Jonbenet may have been struck with a gold club, but the force used was significantly less than that used the night she was murdered as evidenced by the resulting minimal damage to her face. Another significant distinction between the accident and the murder is the direction of swing. A golf swing describes a sideways arc right to left or left to right; the murder blow was struck with a downward arc, like a hammer hitting a vertical nail on a horizontal board.
...
AK

“WAX ON”

Since: Jul 10

WAX OFF

#23 Dec 6, 2013
AK,
In reading what I posted, I stopped in the middle of a thought, I apologize. Please add the following to the end of what I was saying after "point-of-impact..."
...and IMO, it was at the point-of-impact. The bat, being a larger object, I feel would have created an even larger displaced fragment of skull. The fracture (although 8.5" is certainly not small) I feel would have been larger as well.
DrSeussMd wrote:
Which only means we have no clue what the weapon was. Personally, I think the bat would have been too big. For purposes of explanation please visualize the skull fracture as going from east to west, and the flashlight hitting the head north to south. If it had been east to west with a bat, the wound would have been far larger. With head injuries (especially on the skull of a 6-year-old where the skull is not fully hardened as with an adult), and depending on the force of the hit, the displacement of bone from the skull would most likely be at the point-of-impact.

“WAX ON”

Since: Jul 10

WAX OFF

#24 Dec 6, 2013
AK,
Here is some further information for discussion:
Force required to cause a depressed fracture in JonBenet’s skull in the posteroparietal region:

Modern studies of skull fractures conducted by the American military demonstrate that it takes a minimum of 90 foot-pounds delivered over 1 square inch to fracture the human skull with a blow delivered to the front of the head. If the blow is delivered to the temporal/parietal area, 45 foot-pounds will produce a fracture. A blow to the zygomatic region, the bony arch on either side of the face below and around the eye, requires only 18 foot-pounds of force to produce a fracture. A mace weighing 1.8 pounds can be swung at a speed of 60 feet per second by the human arm so as to generate 101 foot-pounds of energy on impact, more than enough to fracture a human skull at its strongest point.
From Sumer to Rome: The Military Capabilities of Ancient Armies,Richard A. Gabriel, Karen S. Metz, page 57

FFJ has an excellent link with photos and diagrams as well (page 16 was my reference above):
http://tinyurl.com/m6fsv95

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