Thoughts about the boys walking in...

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Thoughts about the boys walking in...

Postby ache » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:17 am

Looking at the diagram of the cabin layout, I noticed the grate on the floor of the living room, the same vent mentioned by Rick and Sheila during the cabin walkthrough. I know the drawing is not to scale but the grate is drawn larger than the table placed on it. I had a thought that maybe the reason the killers were able to overpower the two boys with NO resistance was because they heard the boys come home, then heard them say they intended to come upstairs to raid the fridge or whatever. The heating vent could have functioned like an old-fashioned speaking tube from the basement to the living room. If so, the killers would have known exactly when and where to expect the boys, because the boys inadvertantly told them. It could have gone the other way too, that the boys heard what was happening upstairs, armed themselves and raced up there. However, the fact that they did not fight back, had no defensive wounds, makes me think they were ambushed the second they walked in and that big vent in the floor may have been what gave the killers advance warning of the boys entrance.


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Re: Thoughts about the boys walking in...

Postby dmac » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:58 pm

ache and I were discussing this a couple nights ago, and it just happens that my last home, with 5 rooms and a basement, had a similar floor vent- as did my grandfather's home. In my home, if you removed the grate you could jump down into the furnace, which was mounted to the basement floor below and took up the entire space, floor to ceiling, and that one vent heated the entire house. I thought maybe Johnny's room had a closet or crawlspace access to the heater, if it was similar, but then I looked at my designs of C28 again:

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As you can see, the duct in the front room was a good distance from the nearest wall of Johnny's room, and the crawlspace that close to the front of the cabin would be too shallow for such a model, unless it was mounted elsewhere and ducting run to it. But that makes no sense, due to the size of the floor vent. So, remembering there was a chimney vent above the couch (you can see it in CS photos) where a Franklin stove was mounted in that room prior to and after the Sharps lived there, it reminded me of old school heating methods. There were no ducts, but cabin 28 was so shoddy that anything could be heard anywhere.


The cabin was a one-room type cabin when built in the 40s, encompassing the boys' room and the living room. The basement was excavated and the rear of the cabin added years later, adding what was, in 81, the bathroom, hallway, girls' room, kitchen, enclosed back deck, and the stairwell. The tiny section was tacked onto the front of the cabin, adding more space to the living room, and a closet to the boys' room.

Thinking of the original cabin, it reminded me of my grandparent's heating grates. They got hot, but no air was blown through them- and if you stood on the hot grate your feet would burn. They had self-contained gas heaters, which were all the rage when the house was built in the 20s, like these:

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My guess is, back when the one-room cabin was built in the 40s, those units were still the most prevalent, the cheapest, and the most practical. The self-contained heater would have been put near the center of the building, near a wall for the vent, and in an area with the most crawl-space for easy installation and access for repair. Well, that's exactly where it was. So, when they decided to add on, all they had to do was divert the vent to the nearest outside wall and maintain a crawlspace access to the unit for repairs. Also, the hot grate? That explains why that table was always over the vent, when the room was rearranged for xmas, and as the room was furnished on 4/11.

Back to ache's point- given how cheaply built 28 was, that hole in the floor in the living room would likely have made it easier to hear things in Johnny's room, and vice versa. With part of the kitchen just above Johnny's room, I'd say it would be abundantly clear to Johnny and Dana that crap was going down upstairs if they happened to get home & walk into Johnny's room, instead of heading directly to the fridge. A couple things imply the boys were not pounced on immediately after entering upstairs, chiefly the air pistol (presumably Johnny's and coming from his bedroom) that was in play during the struggle phase of the crimes.
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Re: Thoughts about the boys walking in...

Postby BUTTERFLYVALLEY1 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:12 pm

In the 1950s when my best friend and her mother and brother lived in what would become Cabin 28, you did not enter the front room from where you did in 1981. The front room was enlarged and included the large closet in the boys room. There was a small front room and my friends room was small and you entered her room directly from the front room. The bathroom had two entrances, one from her room and one from her mom's room. Her mother's room was larger and you entered her room directly from the kitchen. There was no hallway. Her brother's room was in the basement where Johnny's room was. She did have a washing machine but hung clothes to dry outside and in the winter you hung things in the house. The washing machine was a ringer type. There was a water heater in the laundry room. You could not enter the house through any crawl space. It was just a small space that her brother hid things in... The heater was a floor heater just like in 1981. Her brother used a portable heater. The bedrooms were often cold and an electric heater would be used when necessary. The kitchen stove door was often left open to supply heat. Back then the winters were colder, more snow, and much freezing. That was also when families spent more time together even all in one room in the time at home. We would play cards, board games, even sit in the same room each reading their own books or one person reading to all. You had letter writring to do, homework to do, you usually had your own radio and phonograph in your own room where you played your own selectioln of music. Warm days you played outside a lot with your friends. You built forts, played hide and seek, kick the can, and my favorite, swimming in the ice cold river. :grin: It was a lovely close-knit community. So different than what that poor family ran into in 1981. If a family was having money problems, they would be invited to people homes to eat, or someone would come over with baked goods as they had "made too much", if someone got sick or there was a death in the family meals would be sent so they did not have to go to extra work as they already had enough grief to deal with. It was such a different world then. No wonder this day and age gets to me so badly. You try to give someone something today and they want to know what you put in it or what do you want? I want to go back to the 50s!
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