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Picket Fence

[Listen Carefully] Delmar England
Analysis on the Garrote I
May 26, 2001



Many claims are made of evidence of an intruder. Yet, try as I might, I cannot find a single item to support the idea of an intruder. There seems to be a vast gap between what I call evidence and what some others call evidence. I will concede that it is possible for an intruder to come and go without leaving traceable evidence. However, when evidence is left and is understood, it reveals in some measure the profile of the person or persons responsible. I know of no evidence that establishes an intruder as perpetrator.

Literally, every scrap of known material evidence such as the pad, pen, handle, etc. is identified as local and requires no inclusion of an intruder for explanation. In talking about evidence of an intruder, every claim is qualified by "missing" and\or "could be". This is equating potential with actual without evidentiary connection.

"Could be" means also could be benign, ergo, not evidence of an intruder. To connect "could be" with an alleged intruder and disconnect it from other potential cause is purely an arbitrary selection to fit preferred conclusion. In the category of evidence, this is totally without merit; ergo, no evidence of an intruder.

In the worst of these circumstances, actual evidence is sometimes ascribed characteristics that it does not possess. This error leads to more false conclusions which continue to compound and get farther and farther away from the truth. Only by going back to square one and seeing the evidence as is can we hope to curb wild speculation and reveal the reality of the scene.

In reference to the crime scene of the garrote, Lou Smit says:

The person who killed JonBenet,....He did build a specialized garrotte to kill her." (Smit)

"According to Smit, the garrote used to strangle JonBenet was very intricate in its design, a tool he believes was used for murder and for pleasure."

Long before this, John Ramsey had stated:

"And this garrote will be a clue. This was not an amateur device. This was a professional strangling tool."

These are just three of the instances of hundreds of times that John Ramsey, Lou Smit, and others have claimed as "evidence" alleged intruder expertise in the construction and use of a garrote. Adjectives such as "intricate," "specialized", "sophisticated" and "professional" are often used.

Is Ramsey's and Smit's evaluation of this evidence as professional correct or incorrect. You may tend to brush aside this question as unimportant and insignificant. If so, apparently you are not alone for I know of no investigation into this matter at all. Yet, we're talking about reading the evidence. How can it not be important?

Certainly, it is most important to John Ramsey. He has been making the claim of professional from the outset. Why is it important to him? Look to the attachment of professional to intruder for the primary answer, but we are not done with this point. There are other relevant questions to be answered.

How does John Ramsey know that the garrote scene is the work of a professional? Is he so schooled and experienced in this area that he can recognize professional from non professional work? If so, then his evaluation circles back upon self as included, thus self defeating. If he is inexperienced and ignorant in this area, by what thought and rationale does he conclude the crime scene is the work of a professional? Does he imagine he knows, but does not know? Even so, he must have some reasons for calling the scene professional. What are they? I do not recall hearing the reasons for his claim of professional. Could it be that he calls the scene professional for no other reason than is suits his purpose?

If his purpose is a situation expressing or implying his innocence, certainly, this is the right direction. If he and others regard him a novice with garrotes and that sort of thing, he is excluded as suspect. Accepting the declaration of professional with a subsequent profile of such directs focus out and away to an alleged intruder which is the end product of the claim of professional. This no minor thing, but rather is central to the "defense."

Have not Ramsey and Smit set their intruder theory to rest heavily on the concept, professional? What happens to this theory if it turns out that the evaluation of professional is error? Can the intruder theory be sustained if we eliminate the characteristic, professional? How do we answer this question except by first going back to square one and do a bit of evaluating on our own and see what the evidence really tells of its creator.

First, let us be clear about what we intend to do. The term, professional, is often used in a subjective manner, thus a non issue. However, if we equate professional with efficiency in form and function, a claim of professional can be validated or invalidated by objective criteria relying on the physics of the material as pertains to construction and application. This is the real evidence that tells us much about the crime scene and the person or persons who created it.

As it turns out, I do have the background of experience and knowledge that enables me to evaluate this part of the crime scene by definitive criteria. Its not that I go around garroting individuals, but do know the physics involved as well as being long schooled in ropes, knots, handles and that sort of thing. Indeed, these things have been so much a part of my life that evaluation of the garrote scene is almost by mental reflex taking less than a minute. The read is easy as well as loud and clear.

From a perspective of proficiency, literally every aspect of this garrote scene is severely flawed. If this were done by a professional, he did a first class job of staging the scene to look like the work of an amateur. You can "dumb down", but not "dumb up", which is the downfall of the perpetrator. Claiming "professional" doesn't make it so.

First, let's look at the cord around the neck and the knot. Having only a single-angle picture to look at, I can't say with certainty exactly how the knot was formed, so this is a little iffy, but not much. From what I do see and don't see, I think my conclusions are fundamentally correct.

One end of a rather long cord is passed under the throat and around the neck. This end is then passed over and under the other part of the cord after it encircles the neck. It is then passed over and under itself, then over once more and through the space created by the first over and under; then pulled tight to close the knot and leave a small compressed slip loop created by the action.

Aside from the fact that this version of a garrote is inherently grossly inefficient compared to some other versions, the first structural inefficiency to notice is the knot arrangement that compresses against the cord. This causes friction reducing the free travel of the cord to reduce the loop for the purpose of strangulation. This is especially true of a small cord easily compressed, and difficult to release. (This is hardly suitable to the perverted sexual activity, not explained, but apparently imagined by Smit.)

The coroners' report states: "A deep ligature furrow encircles the entire neck." This is in contradiction with what I see in the picture. This encircling furrow cannot happen with the arrangement shown in the picture.

Although it is possible to strangle someone with this apparatus, it will leave tell tell marks far different from those described by the coroner. Pulling on the long cord leading away from the neck will apply the heaviest pressure farthest away from the point of the pull, to the front of the throat. This force cannot apply circumference pressure to cause the encircling ligature furrow described by the coroner. Even if the slip feature is held and pushed as the cord is pulled, it will still tend to lift away with the degrees of pressure graduated from front to back with the least at the point of the knot.

(By all means, set up something of reasonable equivalence and test for yourself.)

If a stick or equivalent is inserted in the neck loop and twisted, this will equalize the pressure around the neck and could explain the encircling ligature furrow. However, this has a problem as well. If the construction allows for cord travel to decrease the size of the loop to effect strangulation, the pressure created by the twisting would cause slippage and neutralize the twisting effect. If there is no slip feature, but a fixed non slip knot, then it is not a garroting mechanism at all. The cord looped over itself after brought around the neck appears to be a crude slip feature, so the twisting idea is pretty much ruled out.

Lou Smit concluded that hair entangled in the knot is evidence that the garrote was constructed on the victim. At least, he got this much right. This tells a lot about the situation and consequently tells a lot about the person or persons who created this scene.

If after the cord was put around the neck, dividing the cord into right and left parts, one part in each hand, the two parts brought across each other and pulled hard while pressing downward on the neck would apply a circumference pressure to account for the encircling ligature furrow. The knot was made AFTER the pressure was applied and after the ligature furrow created. The cord was held tightly and close as the knot was made; which is why and how hair got entangled in the knot.

Now for a look at the handle which has been prominent in internet photos and "identified" as "professional and complex." (What profession?) As part of the refutation of this nonsensical characterization is clear evidence of ignorant amateur by the 17 inch distance of the handle from the slip point and the neck.

Pulling the handle without holding down the victim would result in energy going into lifting the body and not in decreasing size of he loop for strangulation. To hold down the body with one hand and pull via handle 17 inches away with the other places the elbow at an acute angle with a consequent substantial decrease in pulling power as well as decrease in control. This elbow angle is more suitable for eating than applying pressure in a strangulation.

We now come to the many turns of cord around the handle? Why? What "professional" quality does this provide? None. The opposite is true.

A cord through a hole in a handle is ideal. A single turn via slip knot that tightens with pressure and tends to keep the cord in center is the next best choice. The bunched multi-turns is not just pointless, but negative in form and function. Use of the bunched up, unevenly wrapped handle will result in a looser connection that tends to slip off center as well as uneven pressure on fingers causing discomfort, thus decreasing efficiency.

(Do you know of any pull-start engines with numerous turns of rope around the handle? Surely, if this is a professional advantage, some manufacturer would use this as a marketing feature.)

Again, test for yourself. Construct one handle of single turn and another of the approximate and bunched turns of the crime scene. Tie a 50 pound weight to each about 10 inches from the handle. Lift one at a time, or both, and walk around with this for about ten minutes; then tell me which works best, i.e., which is professional and which is amateur.

Why the 17 inch distance and many turns of cord around the handle? The first part of the answer is the maker's obvious ignorance of the physics involved and features necessary to the construction of an efficient ("professional") garrote. This clearly tell of inexperience in study or practice regarding such constructions and use of same. The second part is a bit speculative and goes to probability. The distance to the handle was a random selection. The multiple wraps could have been simply a way to use up the rest of the cord (with no thought of how "unprofessional" this is).

There is also hair entangled in the handle wraps or cord. This could have come from hair getting on the cord during the neck knot, or sticking to finger and transferring, or the handle could have been wrapped while close to the head with some hair getting picked up in the process.

We now have the matter of the loops around JonBenet's wrists. Mr. Smit imagines these ties and knots to be something special and significant to the alleged ritual of the alleged intruder. In consideration of the gross ineptness of the garrote maker, the probability is the person or persons started to bind the wrists, but had no idea how to go about it to make it look convincing. A half-hearted effort was made, then abandoned, thus accounting for the "unprofessional" loose binding found at the crime scene.

(With a preformed loop and about 3 or 4 feet of cord, wrists can be effectively bound in less than 30 seconds.)

According to Mr. Smit, the pedophile intruder fantasized about what he would do to JonBenet. This implies premeditation and planning. Yet, the intruder apparently arrived upon the scene without bringing a constructed garrote, or materials! Certainly, a monumental contradiction. This alone is sufficient to make Mr. Smit's theory highly questionable.

There is also the matter of the alleged intruder failing to write the "ransom note" in advance of entering the house and neglecting to brings materials for this as well. In other words, there is not a trace of evidence of planning before the fact by an alleged intruder. In complement, it is strongly implied that the note and garrote planning came after the fact of JonBenet's death. When the facts of amateurism are added, I think we can safely rule out "professional" in the category of suspects.

This leaves just plain intruder as the residue of Mr. Smit's theory. The profile here as also determined by the evidence dismisses the notion of intruder altogether. As a means to cause death, there are many choices. If the objective was simply to terminate the life of the victim, strangulation by hands, smothering, knife or other were available means; all simplistic and generally familiar to everyone. Yet, this intruder chose garroting with little knowledge of the weapon.

In Smit's theory the garrote was allegedly used in conjunction with an unidentified blunt object to cause the skull fracture and death. The garrote is written off as a sexual tool. Still, Mr. Smit does not explain why this alleged blunt object is gone while the garrote was left behind. If both were instruments of death, does not the presence of the garrote and the absence of the alleged blunt instrument leave primary focus upon the garrote as cause? Accidental or intentional? Or was there never the blunt instrument that Mr. Smit speculates about?

Worse yet, there was no preconstruction of a weapon. A weapon constructed after the victim is subdued rather than using for the subduing is hardly a "professional" use of an efficient garrote, nor even a proficient use of an inefficient garrote.

The crude garrote was constructed on the victim allowing for the strangulation by cross pulling the cords before the apparatus was completed. Indeed, as stated above, this appears to account for the ligature furrow that encircles the neck since the total garrote design can't cause this furrow.

At this point of constructing the garrote, the job is done. The garroting action had already taken place simply by cross pulling the two lead of the cord. The victim has been strangled. The inefficient handle has no functional purpose. Its strictly for show, as is the whole garrote scene. Why the show? The answer is implied by the effect IF the show is imagined to be the real.

The garrote scene divides attention between the head trauma and strangulation. Without a definitive determination by the coroner, this opens the door to endless speculation and theories derived from the speculation. If it is also believed that the garrote scene is the work of a "professional", attention is directed outward toward an intruder skilled in garroting.

When it is shown that the scene is the work of a bungling amateur, the "professional" part disappears from the intruder profile. This leaves an intruder, who although ignorant of garrotes, selects this weapon and method in committing the crime. In addition to all the flaws of the apparatus, the fact that strangulation was effected before completion of said apparatus further identifies the scene as staging.

Since the garrote scene is obvious staging, this leaves the head trauma as the element that the garrote scene was designed to obscure in terms of importance. This means the head trauma came first and the perpetrator wished to obscure this fact and distance self from it. Since there is no known benefit that an intruder could gain from the staging, there is no motive for an intruder to do this. Indeed, the staging itself is for the purpose of "creating" an intruder.

So, by virtue of revealing the non professionalism of the scene, we rule out an intruder with professional skills in garrote construction and use. By virtue of the perpetrator's selection of garroting in the absence of the necessary knowledge and skills, we question the idea of intruder at all. By virtue of exposure of the scene as staging, we rule out intruder as possible beneficiary. This added to other facts completely rules out intruder as cause. (Unless there is a professional who rigged an amateur scene.)

In the final analysis, the significance of all this is that bungling amateur has been established as cause at the same time a crucial question has been answered. There remains no "maybe" the scene is staging. It is proven by objective criteria that the scene IS staging. What is the potential impact of this fact on subsequent logical conclusions and final outcome?

Whether by the simple testing suggested, or by extensive scientific measurement with appropriate equipment, the facts. reveal the ineptness of the creator of the garrote scene. It is repeatedly marked by gross errors that no one with experience would make. It is an ad hoc, throw together, ridiculous concoction that profiles the creator not as a professional, but one who without the needed knowledge and skills attempted to create a scene to lead away from the truth.

I have stipulated in detail with suggested testing to support my conclusion of bungling amateur. How about the same from John and Lou to support their conclusion of professional. Isn't this a fair request?


Copyright at Common Law, Delmar England, 2000. All Rights Reserved.

Analysis on the Garrote II - May 26, 2001

On May 26, 2001 Delmar England wrote this "Garrote Analysis" and the webmaster of this site asked his permission to add the analysis to the documented archive files on the ACandyRose web site and permission was given. The web site link was then placed on several of the JonBenet Ramsey Internet forums for open discussion on July 15, 2001.

One such forum was at
http://www.jameson245.com also known as "Jameson's WebbSleuths" Forum on the public forum area under a thread titled, "A Garrote Analysis for discussion." Jameson then removed the thread and replaced it with another thread on July 16, 2001 that she titled, "Delmar England's Page" and on that link she included a web link to a site she titled, "Delmar England's paper on the garotte - analysis by jameson"

Delmar England then wrote an analysis of Jameson's analysis of his "Garotte Analysis" on July 27, 2001 that he titled, "Jameson Gibberish" which is now a part of the ACandyRose Internet Subculture archive files


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