Tuesday, March 8, 2011

111 Days compared with 7 Days

From the earliest date that Laci could have been in the bay to the day she was found was 111 days: December 23, 2002 - April 14, 2003 . The prosecutor relied totally on this to 'prove' that only Scott could have put the body there since "no one else would have known where to put it". However the actual evidence shows that Laci's body could not have been in the bay for more than 1 day. Since Conner's body was never in the sea his body must have been placed exactly where found and there's no way it could have lasted for more than a day there - two at most. There's no credible reason to believe the killer made two trips to the bay to dump the bodies.

Allison Galloway claimed that the body condition was "consistent with" being in the bay for 3 to 6 months. She offered nothing but her own opinion with no sort of scientific basis for this. This is impossible.

New Scientist presented this striking time-lapse video of a dead African elephant (Loxodonta africana) being dismantled in Kenya. It took just a week for scavengers to reduce the corpse to a pile of bleaching bones. This will be part of a Channel 4 program, "The Elephant: Life After Death," that will air in the UK on February 16.

An elephant. An entire elephant. In one week. One week. And people still try to claim that Laci's body (153 lb) could last over 111 days in the sea without becoming a skeleton. Right.

Bodies decompose in water half as slowly as on land, so that means two weeks maximum in the water.

Here is the video:

(You can view it full screen via the controls)

Here is more research:

TR-09-2002 (PDF 11,325 KB) – Determination of Time of Death for Humans Discovered in Saltwater Using Aquatic Organism Succession and Decomposition Rates
TR-10-98 (PDF 549 KB) – Freshwater Invertebrate Succession and Decompositional Studies on Carrion in British Columbia

No, the temperature doesn't vary much in water. Also, it has little effect on the time as actual experiments have shown (very cold, very deep water with no oxygen will have an effect but this water was shallow and full of life). There's also no good reason why temperature would have much effect in water. In air, sure, it affects the insects which are the main scavengers of bodies but in water the animals are adapted to the temperature range and are not affected by it (anyone who thinks differently should watch a TV show with killer whales eating seals and penguins in south polar regions)!

Yes, it's actually 112 days (16 weeks, not 2) but I'm giving the prosecution's ever changing theories as much leeway as I can. They still don't work.

Update: This post and video shows that in a surprising study, a body can be reduced to bones in just one day, even under adverse conditions.
Quote: The 4th pig deployment in the study was the most dramatic, recorded in the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia.
Several six-gill sharks annihilated the carcass, eliminating it within a day at more than 900 feet below sea level. It’s at depths like this that oxygen drops to very low levels, leading to the term “dead zones”. In recent years, dead zones are occurring more frequently in many areas of the oceans and also in river deltas and other coastal areas in particular.
The lead researcher, Verena Tunnicliffe of the University of Victoria, said the scientists were very surprised to see how far animals pushed their limits to go after an enticing meal.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Another nail in the coffin - of the prosecution case

Explosive- and drug-sniffing dog performance is affected by their handlers' beliefs

UC Davis study finds detection dogs may exhibit the 'Clever Hans' effect

Drug- and explosives-sniffing dog/handler teams' performance is affected by human handlers' beliefs, possibly in response to subtle, unintentional handler cues, a study by researchers at UC Davis has found.

The study, published in the January issue of the journal Animal Cognition, found that detection-dog/handler teams erroneously "alerted," or identified a scent, when there was no scent present more than 200 times — particularly when the handler believed that there was scent present.

"It isn't just about how sensitive a dog's nose is or how well-trained a dog is. There are cognitive factors affecting the interaction between a dog and a handler that can impact the dog's performance," said Lisa Lit, a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Neurology and the study's lead author.

"These might be as important — or even more important — than the sensitivity of a dog's nose."

(The article goes on to explain the methodology in detail. The so called 'interest' shown by the dogs at the area the boat was launched is thus shown to be unreliable at best, and probably fraudulent. The 'interest' was almost certainly that of the handler, since Laci was never at the dock area.)