THE "PLANTED" 5-DROP TRAIL
I participate in a Simpson case discussion group in which the issue of the "planted" blood drops at Bundy was considered. The arguments indicating that the individual drops in the 5-drop trail are inconsistent with the man in the Bruno Magli shoes having left them are:
1) The drops are irregularly spaced, whereas a bleeding man should have bled at a constant rate, and since his footprints indicate that the walked at a relatively constant speed, the drops should be spaced somewhat evenly.
2) The individual drops do not show "tails" in the appearance of the drop on the ground. This indicates that the drop fell from a (nearly or exactly) stationary source. That also is inconsistent with having come from the man in the Bruno Magli shoes.
3) The drops are not at a constant distance to the left of the footprints. The first drop is "too far" to the left of the footprints, and the others are irregular, being in one case between the left and right foot.
SPACING: The issue of the spacing of the drops was considered some months ago in my paper, "Bleeding Rate at Bundy" which is available on our site at http://www.wagnerandson.com. In that it was shown that a constant bleeding rate of one drop per 11 feet would give an exactly uniform spacing of drops if it was realized that only five of the eleven drop shed in 120 feet hit the ground, and the other six drops were intercepted by the (bloody right hand) glove that the man in the Bruno Magli shoes was carrying at the time. The after indications of these six drops were found by Gary Sims at the California Dept. of Justice when he analyzed sources of the blood on that glove and saw that there was blood from Simpson near the "wrist notch," which is a natural place to hold the glove while carrying it.
MAN'S GAIT In order to understand the issue of the shape of the blood drops on the ground, it is necessary to look at the gait of the man in the Bruno Magili shoes. This is clearly seen in the footprints from "A" to about "M" in Bodziak's diagram (also available on our site.) In that we see that the man was not walking normally, but stepped out with one foot, brought the other just up behind the first, then strode out with the first foot again. I have characterized such a gait as "limping," and whatever word one uses, he will find if the tries it himself that it is a halting gait. That is, one walking this way makes progress at some points during the stride, and is momentarily still at the time when the trailing foot comes to behind the other. This limping gait produces about twice the normal number of footsteps, causing F. Lee Bailey to joke that perhaps there were multiple Bruno Magli wearers. Unfortunately, his joke was taken seriously by some.
"TAILS" Understanding that there are moments in the gait of the man in the Bruno Magli shoes when he is, in fact, not moving forward, we can see that if the blood drop were shed at that particular moment, it would land on the ground without a tail, because it did not have any horizontal velocity. I had conjectured that a pending blood drop would fall at this exact moment, because it was also the moment when the walker began another stride, and in my experience there was a jerk in the body at that time. That is, the drop would fall when the body was most accelerating and this coincided with zero horizontal velocity.
THE EXPERIMENT: A woman in the discussion group who happens to walk with such a limp due to a recent injury, undertook to examine this proposition experimentally. She deliberately cut the middle finger on her left hand, and walked across her kitchen floor with her limping gait. She says,
"I walked around my kitchen with my arms hanging down normally. My limp has improved, so I exaggerated just a little, taking a step with the right foot and bringing the left foot up to the right foot. Admittedly, it was exaggerated and slow. "The blood did drop during the pause when the left foot came up to the right. The blood drops were perfectly round as they hit the floor, about the size of a dime, and apparently dropped straight down, just as the drops at Bundy did. "We measured my fingertips to the floor as I stood normally (I am 5' 5") and it was a distance of 2'3" from fingertip to floor."
I hasten to point out that this observation was made by a woman who is inclined to believe that the police planted evidence, and so this result runs contrary to her conclusions. She is an example, I think, of a person with admirable intellectual integrity and honesty, and is willing to let the chips fall where they may.
The result of this experiment is to think that although the "tail-less" drops are not consistent with being shed by a person walking normally, they are consistent with being shed by a person walking with the same gait as the man in the Bruno Magli shoes.
"TOO FAR LEFT" In order to explore the question of where the blood drops were found relative to the footprints, a mannequin was posed in a position that would give the result in the first blood drop and the resulting posture was evaluated for "reasonableness." In the version of this article ("The Planted 5-Drop Trail") appearing on our site, the three graphic
images which depict that mannequin are shown. They are described below.
In Figure 1, the standing mannequin is shown from the front in the posture that the man in the Bruno Magli shoes would have just before he strode out with his good foot. He is holding one arm ahead and to the left, as though carrying something that he does not want to be near. This puts his hand about 18 inches to the left of his body. In Figure 2 we see the same man from the top. Notice because of the perspective effect in the rendering, his extended hand is at a different location than the shadow of his hand on the ground, even though the hand is actually directly above the shadow. In Figure 3, the same mannequin as shown in Figure 2 is superimposed on the Bodziak diagram in the vicinity of the first blood drop, and positioned so that the man's feet are in the same north-south location as the Bruno
Magli prints, and the shadow of the outstretched hand falls on the first blood drop. This is an indication that a man with the posture shown in Figure 1 could produce the indication found in the first blood drop.
Insofar as the posture of the man in Figure 1 is one of several reasonable postures for a man carrying a loathsome object, and that posture fits the position of the first blood drop and associated foot prints, the objection is overcome that the first blood drop is "too far left." The other drops of the 5-drop trail are not as far from the footprints, and in one case (drop #3) it is actually in front of the footprints. We understand that to mean that as the man walked he changed the way in which he carried the glove, carrying it at first to his left, and later carrying it in front of him.
CONCLUSION: With this, we have overcome all of the most discussed reasons for thinking that the 5-drop trail is inconsistent with the image that the man in the Bruno Magli shoes was bleeding from his left hand while he carried the right hand evidence glove in that hand. There no longer remains any reason to think the samples in this trail were "planted."
Dick Wagner Van Nuys, CA (1/15/98) NG_506