LITTLE BLACK DOG/“THREE THUMPS”

 

               The first accompanying image [BLACKDOG.JPG]blackdog.jpg (50792 bytes) is a photograph I took behind Tistaert’s house at 874 S. Bundy (the third house north of Bundy on the east side of the street, and directly opposite Kapf’s gate -- 50 feet north of Nicole’s front gate).  On the right side of this picture is seen the west end of a double-car garage door.  20 feet to the east is the other end of the garage, on the alley.   When Heidstra posed for the “E!” interview describing his hearing the “Hey, hey, hey,” he stood at the east end of this garage.  (See Figure 4 in “Heidstra’s Timeline.”)

               Often when I have visited the alley behind that house a black dog has come to the gate and barked at me.  (Tistaert referred to him as a “guard dog,” and he appears by his vigilance to be such.)  On this occasion I had my camera with me but did not have the presence of mind to take a picture of the dog while he was facing me and barking at me, but I did get a picture of him after he had turned away.  As you see, he is not what most would call a “little” dog (though he is indisputably “black”).  I would call him a medium sized dog, but by comparison with Heidstra’s dog, he is little.  And, Heidstra is the one who called him “little.”   Also, it is completely possible that at the time Heidstra saw the dog he was growing from a puppy and was “small,” and when I saw him such a dog would have been fully mature and “medium sized.”

               THREE THUMPS:3-thumps.jpg (54004 bytes)  The second accompanying image is a videocapture of Kato’s testimony at the moment when he was demonstrating the “three thumps” that he heard against his wall.  (Sorry for the poor image quality, but that is often the nature of videocaptures.)  He is banging with his fist on the railing of the witness box.  Notice how he is leaning into the task, and holding the left armrest of the witness chair with his hand to give himself maximum leverage.  He produced in this way a very forceful pounding of three evenly spaced thumps.

               Now, I claim that Kato was illustrating a sound that was like a signal delivered with a fist to the outside of the wall.  August claims that Kato is here demonstrating the sound made by a body crashing against the outside of the wall.  Look, and judge for yourself.

               Also, in his book (p. 204), attorney Petrocelli characterized this demonstration by Kato as, “The sound had been thin and hollow, a knuckle against a rail…”  Look at the actual picture of the event here, and tell me that this is “a knuckle against a rail.”   It is very clearly a beating of the rail with the heel (bottom) of the fist, and from Kato’s body language, it is delivered with all the force he can summon.  Insofar as Petrocelli himself got the facts grotesquely wrong, it is little surprise that his blindly zealous disciple, Bob August, also misunderstands the nature of the three thumps.

               Although Petrocelli gives the impression that “thumps” was a distorted term invented by the media, the author was Kato himself, who on the witness stand said, “I heard a thumping noise.”  Then he is asked to demonstrate, and the illustrated scene results.  I have timed the thumps and in three trials the time from the first to the second is 0.35/0.35/0.38 seconds, and the time from the first to the third is 0.81/0.71/0.79 seconds.  Using a simple average, the periods are then, 0.36 seconds from the first thump to the second and 0.41 seconds from the second to the third.  This is fairly described as “a quick and evenly spaced pattern,” and much too fast to be describing a body that hits the wall in three successive impacts.

               (Two details are illustrated.)

               --dick wagner

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