Weapon #4 Determined?

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

Weapon #4 Determined?

Postby dmac » Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:48 pm

THIS THREAD is about determining the weapon which caused the postmortem crushing of Dana's skull. A thread describing the wounds, and characteristics of the weapon, is found here:

Weapon 4 Wound Trajectory Points To...

Somebody posted a reply to the topic of Weapon #4 (I think it was Indigo???), speculating that it may have been an LE baton. I replied to the post, along the lines of "It gave me a very good chuckle"- I liked the post a lot, but was moving it over to the OPEN TO SPEC thread when something went foul and the entire topic was deleted.

Anyway, Indigo or whomever-- very sorry-- please repost here. Again, the post went something along the lines of:

I don't know where to post this, but in reply to dmac's post on weapon #4--

LE BATON???

That would answer a LOT of questions for me!!


Sorry again for accidentally deleting it.
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby mosaic » Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:58 pm

That was me DMAC...Mosaic. You quoted what I said already so I won't repeat it again. But um...why did my comment strike you as amusing?

Anyway, not to take away from the topic...I said a LE baton.


ha...ha..ha????? Not so much.
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby dmac » Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:11 pm

Ah, glad you caught it.

It made me chuckle right off the bat on a few levels. I think the first reaction was, "wow, I know people think cops are involved, but this early in the crime?"

Anyway, a baton can't be ruled out if batons were that narrow... 1 inch is pretty narrow, and I think batons were/are usually much wider than that, particularly in the 80s, before the modern collapsing/telescoping clubs.

The baton idea opens up logical questions: who would have a baton back then? Were PCSO carrying them and, if so, what size? There are many models, shapes and sizes, and my memories of cops back then had them carrying the side-handle types, known as night sticks I think, and they would be too wide for the wounds. Most batons are too wide, other than the telescoping ones I mentioned.

Either way, I moved the thread over here to the speculation area since my post was just to let it be known there is a fourth weapon, without opening an avenue for theories in the evidence area.

Thanks for understanding, Mosaic.
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby mosaic » Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:51 pm

Yeah you are right DMAC about the baton thing. I guess I was impulsive when posting a reply.

Obviously one can conclude I believe the police were involved, whether or not it was that early (maybe in my mind's theory) is for a different thread.

But yeah, I didn't think about the size of those nightstick things vs. today's fashionable pocket sized beaters.

Thanks for taking the time to explain and making it obvious without being condescending. 1+1...
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby dmac » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:38 pm

No reason for condescension- it was a plausible idea- hell, it still is- because of the uniformity of the impact. The wounds are similar to what a baton can do, if it's the right width. Length and uniformity fits, but width...?
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby Eastern » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:02 pm

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.
Last edited by Eastern on Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby dmac » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:34 pm

It just occurred to me, and looking at the ME's diagrams confirms it- there are circular wounds at the top of each wound to Dana's head caused by Weapon #4. That is a very odd thing to find on a wound like this, since it discounts a lot of things like clubs, etc. This #4 has a very unique shape, so, before we all stretch our frontal lobes in the wrong directions trying to come up with what #4 is, let me put a graphic together that better describes the nature of the wounds and, therefore, the shape of the weapon.
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby not sure » Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:46 am

Would the shape of the injuries be compatible with the barrel of a pellet rifle?
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby dmac » Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:58 am

Here is a descriptive graphic of Weapon 4:
.

Image
http://c28.layerv.com/photo/weapon4.jpg

The images on the right are drawings of the wounds made by the medical examine, cropped directly from his autopsy diagrams. The outlines merely indicate the area of the wounds and the circular marks/lacerations. The longer wound is partially described by the ME thus:

a dull red rectangle 4 1/4 x l inch in greatest dimension. This mark anteriorly shows a l/2 circle mark which is 3/4 inch across

and the shorter wound thus:
another rectangle, this one 2-l/2 x 3/4 inch in greatest dimension. Its superior edge is a 5/8 inch semicircle of laceration in the anterior parietal region


Since the human head is convex, it is easy to see the limitations of the ME's drawings in understanding the size of the weapon. It was definitely solid and heavy enough to fracture the skull directly below the rectangles in a solitary break, but was not heavy enough to crush the skull as a whole. It left distinct pattern breaks, yet did not obliterate the entire side of the skull, which a heavier object would do.

Also, although the ME shows distinct, 4-sided rectangular wounds, the object was far longer to allow for it to be held and swung, and it may also have extended for some distance past the circular wounds. The ME describes these circular wounds as "l/2 circle mark which is 3/4 inch across" on the longer wound, and "a 5/8 inch semicircle of laceration" on the shorter one.

It is likely the shaft of the weapon was round. Were it flat, the wound would likely have an angular impact the length of the shaft, resulting in a different wound and fracture pattern/depth. It would also be difficult to land a square-shafted weapon that uniformly flat once, much less multiple times. Also, due to the indented circular laceration cause by the weapon, it must have had a circular ridge extending outside of the shaft. However, it is also possible that circular ridge is a depression or hole in the weapon- the ME is not specific enough to tell.

Lastly, although one diagram shows the wound tapering towards one end, the shorter wound does not. Again, this could be indicative of the shape of the weapon or the angle and force with which it hit the convex skull. The two graphics on the left describe how the shaft looks when looking directly at the circular protrusion/indentation, and the when looking at the protrusion/indentation from the side. One image has a tapered shaft, the other does not.

I hope that helps to understand the nature of the wounds and the unknown weapon that caused it.

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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby bliss » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:09 am

I would have guessed a baseball bat, being esp. because there were so many teen boys around.
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby dmac » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:48 pm

Copied over from the EVIDENCE thread:

frida wrote:hey dmac-do you think the weapon could be a pipe with a circular thing around it where it could be connected to another pipe? I was walking thru the warehouse at work and i saw a pipe with a joiner on it-the joiner thing is circular and raised from the rest of the pipe....


A pipe with a tee joint certainly comes to mind, but I've dismissed it for the following reasons-

Tee joints- or any other type of pipe joint I can think of- sticks out so far that the ME report would indicate a massive, deep fracture at that portion of the wound. Unlike the hammer blows, the ME only mentions the circular wound as affecting the flesh, with no mention of indentation to the bone below, Also, the Tee Joint that comes out to cause the circular wound would be a female joint, which would thereby require it to be wider than the pipe itself (the male part). The ME's illustration clearly indicates a relatively thin circular incision wound which is not as wide as the overall wound the weapon, as a whole, caused.

Even a tee joint that was a split to a pipe of smaller circumference would not account for the other disparities I've outlined. Overall, a good call, though- particularly if my objections can be logically resolved.

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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby frida » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:40 pm

Sorry I posted to the wrong thread :oops: You are right about the raised part causing a much bigger wound. I didn't think of that. Before I saw the pipe at work, I was thinking about things around the house that could cause a wound like that and I thought of a vacuum cleaner hose. From an older one-when they were still made of metal--they too have the joiner thing on them to connect to the tank or another piece of metal hose. I dismissed it tho because I didn't think it was heavy enough to bash someone's head in. The joiner parts were made of plastic tho and if someone was wielding one with a lot of rage....
Of course there is no vacuum cleaner in any of the crime scene photos...and I doubt the perps scurried away carying the hose. sigh....
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby meankitty » Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:28 am

I was thinking that the circular wound could have been caused by the tail end of a rivet. My 'shoot from the hip' guess would be one of the card table legs, though I could be wrong.
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby frida » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:54 pm

good guess on the card table leg mk-

Didn't one of the cops (DeCrona?) say that the victims had been beaten with busted up pieces of the furniture? I only saw a photograph of the card table from the front. Does anyone know if the leg was broken off? Or the leg from any of the tables? Particularly if there was a raised part that connected the leg to whatever it was broken off of.
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby dmac » Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:00 pm

Holy Crap! A card table leg! The card table was right there, it disappeared from photos later, it was moved around in evidence photos, it is not in evidence files I've ever seen.

    Good Call, MK!
Best call yet so far as what #4 may be. Look at the old posts about the weird location of the TV and the apparent blood on the card table.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=237&hilit=tv+stand#p4087

Well done, MK. It may prove false, but it's the best fit I've ever seen as to what #4 may be.

MK gets ten "thanks" from me alone, that's how great her possible solution is.

And the card table was staring us in the face... It may explain why the entire TV area was in such disarray

Damned well done, MK. All this time, many of us have been wondering what furniture was broken in the kitchen. The answer to #4 may have been just inches from Dana's feet all along.

P.S. Frida- DeCrona was the guy that openly said much of the over-the-top, melodramatic stuff about the crime scene: knife folded backwards (like a pocket knife), blood "sprayed absolutely everywhere", busted furniture. He has repeated it to the press, like a mantra, over the years. DeCrona has done more damage than good for his involvement, as far as I have seen.

There had to be a few good cops on this case, and I certainly don't have reason to suspect DeCrooner was one of them. He's the Sinatra Jr. of this case, always wondering why he sings so loud, yet nobody hears him as the king incarnate. He's certainly, like Elvis, a black belt in bullshit.

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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby dmac » Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:39 pm

Can anybody suggest why the card table leg doesn't fit Weapon #4? The weight, width, the inner rivet near the top, it's amazing to me how well it fits. Josh may have info about the card table which would illuminate this baffling matter?

So far, I really think MK's suggestion is, far and away, a winner... others like Ache and Eastern have suggested a pipe or dining table leg, but MK's solution answers the weight, length, and circular incision wound.

To refresh: There was a disturbance by the TV: the TV stand was moved from it's normal position, and a folded card table was barely resting on the TV--it had been leaned against an adjacent wall--- the folded table would have been laying atop Dana's feet and legs, but it was instead leaning against the TV...

The card table had been resting against a wall, folded & tucked behind something, but was now almost resting on Dana's boots and legs. One or two more inches and the card table would have been laying, fallen, on his legs. There were dark marks on the card table resembling blood hitting at an angle and flowing down. Where was the card table and TV stand before the crime? And after?

MK has not only answered #4, but she has answered the questions about wtf may have happened near the TV and why it was so displaced.

I cannot begin to say with any certainty whether MK's deductions are true. However, they certainly fit the circumstances well beyond cursory investigation, and cannot easily be dismissed. In fact, I find NO REASON to dismiss them at all. Yet.

Please keep ideas like this coming in. I forgot about the folding card table altogether, MK did not. I may have been amongst the first to recently bitch about the card table, yet I forgot it. MK did not. She nailed it as a likely Weapon #4.

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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby frida » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:52 pm

Dmac-I noticed the same thing in that picture--you are correct, it was posted elsewhere. I thought the leg was sticking up funny. Right after MK came up with her guess of the card table leg I noticed that in the photo. I thought it was sticking up because they had perhaps tried to break it off--it didn't occur to me that it could have been broken off and then stuck back behind the table.I was thinking they took the one they broke off with them. You are totally correct tho in that when the table is properly folded the leg could not be in that position. I don't think there was clothing behind the table causing the leg to stick up like that because in other photos the table is flat against the wall. Was the card table taken in as evidence? If not it is possible LE missed it because of the presence of the butcher knife, the hammer and the other serrated knife. Although DeCrona did say that even the furniture was busted up and there is no evidence of that in the crime scene photos--except for possibly the table leg. So maybe they didn't miss it.

Have you noticed how many "tells" there are with this case? You are such a smarty pants D I am sure you do but for anyone who doesn't--a tell is something con artists talk about. It is a sign of the truth in the midst of a lie. It can be a twitching eye, blinking or something someone says.

Damn good work tho D!
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby Eastern » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:17 pm

What a freakin' weird thing for the perp(s) to use...."Oh look, there's a card table leg I'm going to use to beat Dana"...just weird. That being said, mk's guess is a very good one and seems to fit very well. It would also fit with things Decrona said about furniture being broken.
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby dawghouse » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:28 am

I noticed this a long time ago, but in crime scene photos # 7 and 8 on this site right next to the murder weapons is a left-open flute case (Gemeinhardt.) It's the kind of instrument that a kid in school band would rent/own.

Is it possible that weapon #4 is a .....flute? A flutes mouthpiece and/or keys might be consistent with Dmac's assessment of the shape of weapon #4. It seems VERY odd to me that the other 2 weapons were sitting right next to the flute case, and the case was left open.

That being said, I still think meankitty's table leg is more plausible, but you never know. After all, you would almost have to assemble a flute to make a good weapon out of it.
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Re: Guess at Weapon #4

Postby Mamma_C » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:59 am

I rented that same flute in Jr. High. My recollection is that the metal was thin and easily bent. I can't imagine it being used to inflict much damage, with out being completely mangled.
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