Weapon #4 Determined?

theories and spec; back up posts w/ reasoning and evidence/examples

Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby frida » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:42 pm

I noticed the flute case too Dawghouse! I wondered who played the flute and wondered also at it's proximity to the other weapons. A good friend of mine played the flute in grade school and her flute was rather sturdy as i remember it. Of course the stops (is that what you call the things that cover the holes?) would have left weird bruising on Dana's head I would think. I agree that the card table leg seems most plausible--especially if the leg was already broken off and sticking up there to be grabbed by whichever homicidal maniac closest to it.
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby tinkerbell » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:47 pm

The flute was mine.
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby frida » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:32 pm

Thanks Tink! Again the flute case laying there just makes this case resonate with me. It could have been my family, my cousins--my friend's family. You guys were just this normal little family going about your lives and this awful thing happens to you. I hope your life since this tragedy has been good--you deserve it after what you went thru--and are still going thru. The people responsible for taking your family from you, taking Dana from his family-I hope they lived in misery for the rest of their days. It has been said on this board that one of the suspects was plagued by nightmares and sent to an early death from his involvement. That would only be too fitting and I really hope it is true. I hope that the films and this board somehow force this case to be reopened and solved. I don't care that one of the monsters is dead. It needs to be written somewhere who did this vile thing. If Bo is still alive he needs to be found and made to answer for it. I don't care how old he is! They found John List years later and he got what he deserved. This should not go unpunished. I know that you don't know me from Adam and I am sure a lot of this attention makes you squirm. I apologize for that and don't want to seem overly familiar with you. I am just so moved by this story and wish there was more that I could do to bring closure to you.
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby tinkerbell » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:24 pm

Thank you...no I am used to it...and to know there are people out there who do care about the case is a big help.
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby Sympylman » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:19 am

Was the flute gone from the cabin and just the case remained?
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby tinkerbell » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:03 am

Sym
I don't remember if it was gone or not. But it almost looks like it is in the case still. I am pretty positive that I used it later.
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby not sure » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:11 am

I thought I read that the flute or flute case had been taken into evidence. May be mistaken but if so, why did they take it? And then my next question would be why they would have given it back?
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby dmac » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:12 pm

This post from Josh is over 1 year old viewtopic.php?f=1&t=139&p=1859
jhancock wrote:Somewhat related: I have learned that some of the furniture was broken and that the victims were most likely struck or beaten with pieces of the broken furniture.


I am now suitably convinced that Weapon #4 was, indeed, the leg, ripped from the card table and then discarded after it was used to bludgeon Dana (if not others). No damned way that table leg just happened to become detached and found resting against the table and TV. It also explains a lot- but not all- about why that corner of the room was so disturbed.

Thanks to MK for pointing out Josh's old post.

Image . . . Image . . . Image . . . Image


Image . . . Image . . . Image

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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby CaptainBoiz » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:23 am

Eastern wrote:I thought a billy club type of weapon at first, too, mosaic. Then a crowbar came up as something likely to cause the wounds.

Edit: wood stove/fireplace poker or wrench.


What do you mean by a billy club? Can't understand, can you elaborate more. :-O :-) :;^^:
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby Chichibcc » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:47 am

"Billy Club" is one of several nicknames for a police baton:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baton_(law_enforcement)
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Re: Weapon 4 Wound Trajectory Points To...

Postby not sure » Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:05 pm

The thing about Weapon 4 being a card table leg...well, I just can't quite wrap my head around it (no correlation or pun intended). Every card table leg I've ever come in contact with my whole life, and it's a long 'un, have been flimsy and hollow. Seems the extent of wielded brutality the wounds show would be too much for most mere card table legs. Most would have bent severely with the first or second heavy blow. At lease, the ones I've seen would.
Last edited by not sure on Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Weapon #4 Determined?

Postby dmac » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:41 pm

I've owned several card tables myself-- I've been through quite a few, and it's always the hinges that fail. The legs are hollow, and almost always made with a steel allow (not weaker aluminum). Hollow alloy tubes, particularly with walls as thick as on typical tables, are actually very resilient. Pound for pound, they are much stronger than solid steel. When the diameter is this small, it's much stronger. If the leg is tapered from one end to the other, it's yet stronger.

Using my current card table- which is much flimsier than most made back in 81- I attempted to crush the leg (tube) by using my 16" channel lock pliers. No damned way- all it did was leave teeth marks and flake off paint. Bracing the leg against the ground and a milk crate, I kicked at it as you would if trying to break a branch. Several times. Nothing, no give whatsoever. On the other hand, without even trying- using just a couple pounds of pressure-- I was able to bend the hinge mechanism. In other words, not only is it extremely easy to snap a table leg off at the hinge, I have no doubt this table leg could do far more damage than done to Dana, without risking bending the leg.

Here's a few establishing shots: an old photo of the back of the card table in Cabin 28, taken prior to the murders, the back of my card table, and two old graphics explaining how the leg in the photo cannot be attached to appear that long:

Image . . Image . . Image . . Image

I have only one photo showing the leg. All the other shots have the table neatly resting against the wall, the errant leg missing. They didn't simply tuck the leg back in place, because they couldn't. It was no longer attached. Here's a couple shots of the table, leg, and TV as found, with the leg sticking out at an impossible angle. The leg is actually way off to the side, resting against the back of the TV. I set up my table and took many photos, moving the leg around to best replicate the view seen in Cabin 28 photo. The third shot is my best recreation of the original:

Image . . Image . . Image

My table leg, attached, comes nowhere close to sticking out as far as the one in the CS photo. Actually, when I bent the leg on my table outward at the hinge in the direction seen in the CS photo, it appeared even shorter.

I wish I'd found my table months ago when this first came up, as I'd never have been so ambiguous in those old posts. Today's little exercise has proved to me, beyond any doubt, that the table leg was not attached to the table. Yes, I also firmly believe the table leg is, in fact, Weapon #4.

Here's an old post explaining how I think the broken leg, discarded by the killer, came to rest in such a seemingly bizarre place:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=377&p=6378&#p6378
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Re: Weapon #4 Determined?

Postby dmac » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:35 pm

Updated above. And, since I forgot to take a couple photos today, tomorrow I'll address the issue of the circular abrasions at the end of several of the Weapon 4 wounds. Guess what? The card table leg scenario explains it.
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Re: Weapon #4 Determined?

Postby dmac » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:08 pm

How is a folding table leg typically attached to the frame of a card table?

Rivets.

No matter the design of the frame or the leg hinge and it's locking mechanism, usually cheap old rivets hold the whole thing together. I couldn't get good, focused shots of the hinge assembly of my green card table (used as an example in the above post), so I took shots of another folding table I have with similar rivets:


Image . . . Image

One side of a rivet has the head end ('factory end') and the deformed bucktail ('shop end'). It's the shop end of the rivet, seen in the right portion of the first photo, that matches the wounds on Dana.

As the above images are not from a card table, the locations of the rivets on the leg shaft are not comparable to a card table leg. The size of the rivet in proportion to the leg is, however, quite similar.
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Re: Weapon #4 Determined?

Postby dmac » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:25 pm

Back in April, I made and posted a bunch of graphics explaining how the table leg could have been ripped from the table and then discarded in such a way to almost look like it was still connected to the table. Unfortunately, I never explained what the graphics meant. Hence this post.

First off, a folding card table has legs short enough to fold entirely under the table, inside the frame. In actual fact, the legs on the table at the crime scene were inches shorter than indicated by my graphic:

Image

The crime scene photo shows the entire area in disarray, with the tv and stand turned 90 degrees from it's normal position, the table knocked over and resting against the back of the disturbed TV stand. Not only that, one table leg is sticking out at what turns out to be an impossible angle:

Image

The leg is protruding outside of the frame, several inches away, resting against the back of the tv. It also clearly appears to be several inches longer than the table, which is impossible since the leg folds completely under the table. If it's still attached to the table, which it wasn't. That table leg is simply no longer attached to the table. Here's a couple of graphics showing how an attached leg, bent outwards from the table, will appear shorter than the table. Only an unattached leg can appear longer.

Image . . . Image

Here are crime schene shots compared to a photo I took of my own card table, where I tried to recreate the same situation showing how short an attached leg looks by comparison:

Image . . Image . . Image

So, the leg is clearly, irrefutably, no longer attached to the table. How could it possibly be discarded in such a way as to appear to still be attached? Well, let's look at that corner closely. The TV was usually sitting right in that corner, facing the couch. The card table was sitting between the side of the TV and resting against the wall. The TV was plugged into a white extension cord which ran into the corner, behind the table, down the length of the wall to the outlet near the couch. To clarify, the extension cord was between the wall and table.

When things went haywire in that corner of the cabin, the TV and its stand were upset, turned outward from the corner 90 degrees. Because the wall paneling the card table rested against was taken into evidence means there was blood evidence or more knife marks in it, supporting Justin's statement, "Johnny and Dana touched the wall by the TV while they were fighting." Keep in mind, the tv extension cord, plugged firmly into the outlet, was likely enough to cause the table to fall outward from the wall when the TV was moved, with the table coming to rest against the tv stand itself. Or perhaps there wasn't quite enough tension on the cord to cause it to shift, and the table fell during further struggle. Hell, for all we know, that card table wasn't even in that corner of the room when the crime began. What we do know is where it was found. Have a look at that corner, with a graphic I made directly from the best crime scene shot available of that area:

Image

The wall shown as pink is the one the back of the tv was normally shoved against. The purple wall is wherel the side of the TV was normally shoved against. The vertical stripes represent the actual locations of the stripes on the faux wood wall paneling, and give the graphic some 3D perspective. In the photo and the graphic, you can see the black TV cord stretched taut, plugged into the white extension cord between the tv and table. The cord then continues behind the table, showing up at the opposite side from under and behind a bundle of clothing (represented as green in the graphic). The cord then continues up and into the outlet, hidden behind the yellow wall drapes.

So why was that extension cord so taut on one side of the table, yet loose enough on the opposite side that it meanders up into the wall outlet?

It's become clear that the living room had been filled with clean laundry when the crime began. There was school clothes, socks, shirts, etc. found on the floor. The table where the knife and hammer were left also had folded clothes on it. The pile by the card table appears to be gym clothes and perhaps a school notebook. One piece of clothing has "Trojans" printed on it, the namesake of the local high school. But that pile of stuff, was tight enough in place to cause the electrical cord to run taut behind the table, causing the wire to have substantial tension, as seen. But that bundle by the card table is heavy enough, or wedged tightly enough between the wall and table, to create substantial and visible tension in the cord to the TV.

Here's a couple graphics of the table, depicting how long a leg typically is (shown to the left of the table) versus how long the errant leg appears in the photo. Add the path of the stretched wire behind the table, then use the following graphic to make the table see-through, and there's evidence the table leg could have been discarded behind the table (which was leaning at almost 45 degrees), caught in the wire (or other clothes or anything else we don't know of back there), and come to rest against the back of the TV.

Image . . . Image

That's the drawn-out explanation for one scenario explaining the obvious: that leg was, in no way, still attached to that card table.
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Re: Weapon #4 Determined?

Postby dmac » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:41 pm

It's also quite possible the long bruises to Dana and Sue (legs/thighs/buttocks) were caused by the Daisy rifle barrel. Dana's head wounds clearly weren't, due to the weird rivet-shaped anomalies at the ends of the wounds, but the leg bruises? On Sue, the photos aren't clear enough to tell, and the width and sharp edge of Dana's buttocks wound seems to discount a rifle barrel, but maybe the thigh wound?

One must conclude the sight ramp popped off when it hit something (presumably a victim, since pistol-whipping was a fave MO for Bo). Also, if the ramp caught something like clothing (as in Dana's thick cord pants), it may dislodge without leaving a gouge or mark on the victim due to the clothing.

One must also consider the killers recognized the damage the rifle barrel was doing and, not wanting to be tied to the rifle they brought, tried to mask the wounds with more staging: the table leg wounds. More motive for the elaborate, and gloriously inept, staging that took place.
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Re: Weapon #4 Determined?

Postby justice17 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:59 pm

Maybe weapon #4 was a hammer like this?
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Re: Weapon #4 Determined?

Postby dmac » Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:15 am

Are you familiar with the wounds caused by "Weapon Four"? This thread doesn't exactly make it clear from the start, as it's a split from another thread, but W4 is responsible for the postmortem bludgeoning that crushed Dana's skull. I'll amend the first post in this thread with this link, which would also benefit you:

Weapon 4 Wound Trajectory Points To...
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Re: Weapon #4 Determined?

Postby dmac » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:50 pm

in looking at the charts made during Dana's autopsy, I'd originally concluded the circular wounds are in common with the width and descriptions of wounds John and Sue suffered due, presumably, to two separate sizes of hammers used in the murders: two varying widths from two separate hammers of slightly different sizes (and Marty said his hammer was missing)

Look again at Weapon Four. Compare the circles. How do the W4 wounds magically align with hammer wounds from a different attack?

I don't believe there was a circular object at the end of W4 which created a head welt or indentation. I haven't thought that in years, but it does not change my belief Meankitty is correct in saying W4 is the card table leg. She's the first one to say it, and I believe she's still 100% correct.

The way Dana's bludgeon wounds are shown on charts don't make sense. I noticed oddities when looking at charts yesterday. Autopsy photos of Sue do NOT match, even remotely, supposed CoD. I've seen many photos, and to my knowledge a dead body doesn't pump out blood. Sue, Dana, Johnny, all were given bullshit CoDs by the ME. For instance, how can Dana be strangled to death and then again die from the massive, crushing blows to his skull that happened hours after his death? Tiny trickles of dried blood from stab wounds indicate Sue (found in autopsy photos, taken before Sue's body was washed) was stabbed postmortem, but those wounds are also CoD? How?

Look again at the ovoid skull wounds drawn by the staff in Sacramento. Were I to complete them with red dots, the implied wounds go well outside anything w4 should have caused if W4 had some big 3/4 to 5/8 inch circular skull-indenting exterior design peculiarity.

Why no circular wounds at the ends of baton-shaped beatings Sue and Dana took?

Forget W4 and look at signs of postmortem stabbings:

Sue's body shows obvious post-mortem wounds and body movement. The photos I have of Sue show her on the mortician's slab, both unwashed and washed. According to photos of how blood spilled from and dried on her body before she was washed and autopsied, blood had dried where it had spilled. Stab wounds to her neck, chest, and lower left breast were not remotely responsible for her death, each barely bled whatsoever, showing drying drips from the wounds in varying directions according to gravity at the time the wounds bled out trickles. Were Sue alive, those wounds would have bled massively.

Same goes for Johnny's chest wounds, but not his neck. I once posted Johnny seemed to be unconscious when he was stabbed in the neck. Blood patterns on the floor of 28 show someone spurted massive blood while alive, an aortic spurt/arc. I'm now tending to believe that was Johnny. No victim was staged near that aortic spurt stain on the floor of 28. In fact, Dana's knees were over it.

I do still claim that W4 is the table leg.

I've always wondered if the kids were forced out of the bedroom to do shit to the victims. It seems a lot of the wounds were postmortem, so forcing surviving victims to 'participate' in the crime is less of a question and more of a probability. I've long believed the killers forced Justin to do something to the bodies so the killers could threaten him with "being involved in murder". Why would the killers not force Sue's boys to do the same?
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Re: Weapon #4 Determined?

Postby Chichibcc » Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:14 am

dmac wrote:
I've always wondered if the kids were forced out of the bedroom to do shit to the victims. It seems a lot of the wounds were postmortem, so forcing surviving victims to 'participate' in the crime is less of a question and more of a probability. I've long believed the killers forced Justin to do something to the bodies so the killers could threaten him with "being involved in murder". Why would the killers not force Sue's survivors to do the same?


I sure hope not-plus, letting them come out of the bedroom would have been risky, giving the boys a chance to escape.

But if Justin was brought out, that may help to explain why his shoes later went missing.
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