Why were the victims "killed twice"?

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

Why were the victims "killed twice"?

Postby Ausgirl » Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:32 pm

Dmac's fond of saying "the victims were killed twice". It was something we noticed a long time ago - double bindings, two levels of wounds, two places for each body (each being moved).

So here's some thoughts based in what we know so far:

All three victims found in the house were taped up, hand and/or foot (I think all were all three, but more on that later).
Sue and Dana had tape residue on their hands and feet where the tape --was no longer binding them--
There's no blood under the taped areas.
Sue was gagged over the bandana with tape, which was later half stripped off and then covered with (a bra?)

Tape was LEVEL ONE, primary binding material
for --everyone-- SO:

Why were they ALL bound again? - particularly Sue

One possibility is: they were all beaten pretty badly & bound with tape and then LEFT for a time.

Maybe some inept person was left to watch them and lost control, panicked... the boys were "dealt with" first, being the biggest threat. Sue had got her feet free of tape and was running around, screaming? Was that the screams? Is that why her tape gag is half off?

It makes sense to me, then why the focus of that violence is on her mouth, the triple gagging... and the blood on her feet going NOT to the door and escape, but to a corner of the room - where John maybe? was being hurt? I think Dana was hit -hard- and incapacitated quick. But not killed right away.

So (my sleep deprived rambling head says) : maybe these people were left in the charge of somebody who freaked out and KILLED them all.

Maybe they had been taped and bound, the whole time Bo and Marde were bouncing back and forth from the bar. Too tired to make this make more sense, will come back to it later. :z_z_Z:
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Re: Why were the victims "killed twice"?

Postby gotbier » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:18 pm

Ausgirl wrote: Maybe they had been taped and bound, the whole time Bo and Marde were bouncing back and forth from the bar. Too tired to make this make more sense, will come back to it later. :z_z_Z:


This is interesting Aus. I never thought of that.
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Re: Why were the victims "killed twice"?

Postby Ausgirl » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:26 am

Me neither, really, Gotbier, until the last couple days, after reading the sheer amount of tape used in autopsy reports.

It bugs me somehow.. SO much tape. Not an amount one would normally keep in the house, even with several kids. As Dmac has elsewhere demonstrated, several rolls worth, at least, and it's very possible therefore that the tape was --brought in with the perp--- which negates the idea of a solidly spontaneous act of violence. It says: the crime, at least to that point was planned.

Of course, there's also been discussion on the staging, which is another thing that shows somebody had their wits about them. An interesting and pertinent snippet I found while browsing the net:

Forensic results that do not fit the crime should cause the investigator to think about staging. The presence of a personal type assault utilizing a weapon of opportunity when the initial motive for the offense appears to be fo r material gain should raise suspicion. This type of assault also includes manual or ligature strangulation, facial beating and excessive trauma beyond that necessary to cause death (over kill) sexual and domestic homicides will demonstrate forensic findings of this type:
a close range, personalized assault (Aus note-- check!)
The victim is the primary focus of the offender. (Aus note -- Sue, check)
This type of offender often will attempt to stage a sexual or domestic homicide to appear motivated by criminal enterprise (Ausnote -- check)

This does not imply that personal-type assaults never happen during the commission of a property crime, but usually the criminal enterprise offender prefers a quick clean kill that reduces his time at the scene. Any forensic red flags after careful analysis should be placed in context with Victimology and crime scene information.

Investigators often will find forensic discrepancies when a subject stages a rape/murder. The offender frequently positions the victim to infer sexual assault has occurred. an offender who has a close relationship with the victim will often only partially remove the victim’s clothing. He rarely leaves the victim nude. Autopsy demonstrates a lack of sexual assault. With a staged sexual assault, there is usually no evidence of any sexual activity and an absence of seminal fluids in the body orifices.

source information--Crime Classification Manual By John E Douglas, Ann W. Burgess, Allen G. Burgess and Robert K Ressler Lexington Books 1992


So what's running through my mind as a possible scenario right now (pure speculation and only a means to maybe get to the right questions by asking some that are probably wrong) is (with reasons listed below in point form):

-- Sue was never intended as a rape victim. She was staged to look like one in the end, but she wasn't one.
-- Sue was never interrogated. Her multiple gaggings and mouth/throat as a focal point for injury suggests to me a desire for Sue to NOT make a sound.
-- Dana and Sue both had notable damage to their teeth, suggesting violent/heavy blows to the mouth. Again, not the injury I'd expect on somebody being questioned.
-- Most of the injuries on all victims were to the face/head/neck. I see how some could be sheerly practical, in disabling the victims - but there's a deal more than that to suggest the kind of raging 'depersonalisation' seen in crimes fuelled by hatred and rage on a personal level (not, mind you, always at the victim themselves)
Note: DEPERSONALIZATION - an offenders attempt to eliminate the identity of the victim so that they do not represent or resemble the person whom has caused their psychological distress. Actions can range from covering the victims face with a towel or blanket up towards extreme battery.
-- All victims found in the house were originally taped up hand and foot, before being savagely beaten facially (to the point of bone breakage).


I am seeing all of them subdued - whether by violence or threat (hostages?) - and then taped up hand and foot. Possibly hours later they are brutalised and all are killed and then repositioned.

I think Dana died in that initial taping phase. He has a lot more lividity than the others. His corneas are slightly cloudy (must check if the others were too).

I think the perps came back and killed Sue and John later. And that maybe the victims were left alone -- or with an unstable perp -- for quite some time. Maybe that perp could not control Sue and John and flipped out, stabbing them both to death.

What if the repositioning/re-binding/staging was to hide that Dana died hours before the others? Or that they were left for some hours in tape bindings?

Was all that guff about the music at the bar a way to establish alibi? I am not giving up on making some sense of this crime scene. I just am not.
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Re: Why were the victims "killed twice"?

Postby meankitty » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:26 am

One thing that I noticed is it looks like both Sue and Johnny seems to have been injured by two different perps, and one of them looks to be a left-handed person. And judging by the lacerations around both Sue and Johnny's right eyes, the lefty could have been wearing a ring with sharp edges and maybe hit them in the eye early on, before the other more serious injuries.
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Re: Why were the victims "killed twice"?

Postby dmac » Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:21 pm

What lefty? Show your work, your logic.

#1: You're saying a lefty would hit somebody in their right eye? Likely, if this was a fair boxing match, if the two were upright and participating in the fight fairly. These victims were not- they were bound and, when possible, struggling like hell to avoid the abuse being dealt them- including twisting their heads.

#2 Lacerations around both eyes? On both victims, the cuts are parallel to, or directly on, the brow line. They happened when the skin split when being punched up against the underlying bone. Watch a decent boxing match and you will see these wounds all day long, and I've never seen Ali with a ring tied onto his padded boxing glove.

Again, I've seen nothing that clearly indicates anything you've displayed concerning perp handedness.
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Re: Why were the victims "killed twice"?

Postby Ausgirl » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:15 pm

I'll concur with dmac on this one. I used to date a cage fighter, who explained to me in some detail how people get lacerations that look like cuts from being hit (particularly with an elbow, which can apparently cause really wide wounds). It's the skin splitting open under the pressure of sudden, forceful impact. Had one myself once, when some random car thief I walked past hit me with a walkie talkie of all things. Those wounds bleed a heck of a lot, too.
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Re: Why were the victims "killed twice"?

Postby LadyKim » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:55 am

Killed twice ?? When I was going over Sue's autopsy report , it said that some of her knife wounds did not have blood on the outter edges . Would that mean that some of those wounds came after death ( no blood came out at time of penetration ? )
Just a thought , I know I have seen it stated somewhere within this forum that there were no postmortem wounds , but to me the no blood on outter edges says to me it happen after death.
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Re: Why were the victims "killed twice"?

Postby Ausgirl » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:12 am

That's a really good question, Kim. One that might be answered if we manage to get an expert to look over these notes..

I think I found a guy, but he sounds reallllly busy. I'm emailing him tomorrow, and maybe a couple other forensic pathology guys to ask for some help in understanding those reports more fully.I wondered that about Sue's chest wounds, actually - they seem to have been made when she wasn't moving. And I wonder - if wounds are made when a person has only just died, would they still show up clearly as post-mortem wounds?

We need an expert here! :ugeek:
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Re: Why were the victims "killed twice"?

Postby Ausgirl » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:35 pm

Okay - I was browsing through a book called "Serial violence : analysis of modus operandi and signature characteristics of killers" by Robert D. Keppel and William J. Birnes.

I found in it descriptions of crimes that eerily reminded of me of what happened to Sue. I don't think it was the same people, at all, but maybe the motives for some of what the perps did in those cases might be the same.

The first thing that really stood out to me was where the author said, about one series of murders:
The most extraordinary finding about bondage, overkill, and the absence of sexual assault was that for all three factors to be present in the same murder is truly a rare phenomenon.

Which kind of made me sit up - because all three were present in Sue's murder. Then this:
The thing to remember about bondage is that it is also a form of ritualistic control when it’s an actual primary part of the crime and not just a means to restrain victims from escaping or turning on their attackers. As a simple functional restraint to prevent escape, bondage is a secondary aspect of the crime….. The killer in the Ellis case restricted the victim’s movement while she was living as a part of the ritualistic phase of the crime. This was a display of the killer’s need to control a living victim so as to build up the anticipation of becoming sexually gratified. Bondage killers also play out the tension of keeping the victim alive and in restraint.


This really made me think - triple gagging.. two levels of binding... the 'hogtie' pose...and that hitch knot. All on a small woman who, fiesty as she might have been, could have easily been overpowered by much bigger man when it came to violence. A whole lot more, really, than simple restraint, which tape provided.

The authors also talk about the significance of leaving weapon on display as opposed to taking them and keeping them or throwing them away. And some stuff on posing/staging:
Two purposes of posing are to leave the victim in a sexually degrading position: (1) to shock the finder of the body or police investigators, and (2) for the killer’s own pleasure. Posing is not to be confused with staging because staging refers to manipulation of the scene around the body as well as positioning of the body to make the scene appear to be something that it is not


There's a lot more in the book regarding "overkill" and torture which was worth reading, but I'm not going to post any of it here. It's pretty graphic.

Here was something -really- interesting: a database that can help establish whether certain unusual crimes may be related:
The HITS program is a database with 227-query capabilities). Prior to a hearing on the separation of charges, a statistical analysis was performed to determine the relative frequency of the signature characteristics in the Powell and Walsh murders. At the beginning of the analysis, there were 5,788 murder cases in the HITS program. The first search revealed that there had been 1,164 cases in which the body recovery site was the victim’s home. Of those cases, 90 victims were discovered bound in some way.
- It went on to narrow the search of specific factors in this incidence of murder to only two crimes.

Anyway, all of it made me wonder if the killer hadn't killed in such a way before - as Sue, specifically.
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Re: Why were the victims "killed twice"?

Postby Chichibcc » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:50 pm

Ausgirl wrote:The authors also talk about the significance of leaving weapon on display as opposed to taking them and keeping them or throwing them away.


What exactly were their views on this?

I'm curious, because one of the things that always nagged at me ever since I first heard about the case was why the weapons were left there-not only that, but in plain view, right on top of a table in the living room, of all places.

It's as if, by doing so, the killers wanted to send some kind of message to the cops-as in a "catch me if you can" attitude (arrogance) or maybe, in some twisted way, they wanted LE to know how the murders happened, if either of those theories make any sense.

Of course, there are some people who probably think they had nowhere to take/hide the weapons, but I don't necessarily think that was the only reason for them being left (if that was ever a reason at all).
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Re: Why were the victims "killed twice"?

Postby Ausgirl » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:01 pm

I'd have to pick through it all again, Chi, to find it - and I probably don't have time right now.

But here's a link to the PDF version.

:!: WARNING: GRAPHIC descriptions of some pretty horrible crime scenes.
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Re: Why were the victims "killed twice"?

Postby Ausgirl » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:36 pm

The other thing that stood out to me in that book was the emphasis on control.

Not just the basic necessity of needing to control a victim, as in a robbery "put your hands up or I shoot!" or wanting everyone quiet and on the floor, but control as in the exertion of control over the victim to satiate some profound need the perp has to feel -powerful- or ... yeah, IN control.

One of the crimes - several crimes, actually - in it was so uncannily close the crimes at Keddie it gave me a shiver. The perp in that case did many of the same things to his victims that Sue probably experienced. His focus was on torture and humiliation. And, as hard it is to think too deeply on it, I do believe Sue was tortured - she was beaten horribly, cut with shallow cuts on her hands (not all of those are defensive, I believe) and so on. I believe she was bound for quite some time (the tape, first - the cords later ) as well. The perp who hurt Sue as badly as she was hurt before she died was a cruel man, who got pleasure from watching her suffer, if he is anything like this other fellow (and really, they are so much alike in their actions how can he not be like that?) and causing a tremendous amount of terror so he could feel he had control.

The book talks about knife attacks where there's no rape and how some killers use the knife instead - not because they can't rape, but because they feel the knife is so much better, in the moment. Yeesh. Anyway, it was interesting to look at the crimes in Keddie from that perspective.
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Re: Why were the victims "killed twice"?

Postby dmac » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:15 pm

Unfortunately, I'm not only in agreement, but can elaborate. Why the multiple attacks? Why the overkill? I've alluded to it before, if not said it outright in other posts, but the overkill was not simply to make sure the victims were dead.

Part of the thrill was drawing out the procedure, by forcing others to see the attacks, the escalation. The point was, ultimately, to force Sue- the last to die- to witness all of it. That's the main reason she was the last to die.
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Re: Why were the victims "killed twice"?

Postby dmac » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:27 pm

Aus, back to your earlier post in this thread re: tape

I've not read anything in the autopsy reports that I recall clearly stating "tape residue", indicating prior binding, release, and retaping. The pathologist refers to "whitish tape marking" on Sue's wrists and ankles, but he's very unclear in describing it or what it may portend. Of course, it's not his job to suggest cause, which further pisses me off that his descriptions throughout all three autopsies are so damned vague. With Dana's report, I see nothing that indicates repeated binding with tape- just that both the tape binding at hand and foot were broken or cut somehow.

My initial thread on the tape bindings, the amounts, etc:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=374&p=6263

We're talking multiple widths of tape from multiple rolls- Not only does my initial post (above) strongly suggest multiple rolls, the fact we later learned there were multiple widths proves it. The pathologist doesn't describe the tape well, so we don't know if it was cloth-backed (which was most often sold back then) or the cheaper, plastic-backed tape. Neither are likely to be broken when secured by multiple layers, but the cheaper plastic-backed tape was ,ore likely to stretch.

Either way, whatever theory you map out, I think we've all suggested that the tape was applied first, relatively early on, for (at the very least) control. No blood underneath, etc., proves there were likely no massive bleeding wounds prior to the tape. It's apparent the killers were cowards on so many levels, but the fact they made the victims unable to defend themselves prior to any real violence is clear.

Speaking of control, the fact Justin said "nobody had a gun", without any prompting or suggestion, seems to indicate just the opposite. Sheila saw a pellet gun in the photos from that Xmas, a pellet was found, the ramp was found, yet Johnny's pistol never was.

Also, another note- The photos of Sue's bloody footprints point to the front of the cabin, not the corner or door.

Image

On the blood map, the largest of the footprints (her right foot) points towards the front door or the wall between the door and front window- it's still difficult to tell. However, the blood pattern indicates pressure was on her toes, the ball of her foot, and the right edge of the foot. The other two footprints immediately to the right of it are only noticeably of the ball of her foot. The fourth, at the bottom, may not be a footprint at all. So, of the three blatant footprints, they are all of the right foot. More later, of course...
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Re: Why were the victims "killed twice"?

Postby Ausgirl » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:44 pm

D- just to clarify - I wasn't saying multiple tape bindings, but that there was 1. the tape binding and 2. the cord binding after.
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