The Smear

One confounding crime scene indication is the blood smear seen in the "Fuhrman Points to Glove" picture shown in Goldberg at p. 242+1 (top). That picture, annotated to facilitate discussion, accompanies this article as Figure 1 [SMEAR_1.JPG]. It is a crime scene picture showing a close-up of the area north-west of the front gate post and was taken to illustrate the left hand glove and the knit cap, as they were found. Detective Fuhrman's finger points to the glove.smear_1.jpg (39092 bytes)

    The features annotated are:

    A. A blood drop (note several tails which indicates impact after a vertical fall).
    B. The left hand glove.
    C. The end of Goldman's boot.
    D. The knit cap, standing on end, or on edge.
    E. The smear (may be in two parts, E1 and E2)
    F. A broad thin pattern of blood
    G. Blood from the main pool that has run over the tiles in a rivulet.
    H. A Bruno Magli heel print
    I. Contact transfer of blood from some stained object to bottom of gate post.
    J. A drop of blood that coincides with the "smear."
    K. Blood spatter on walk apparently extending back under knit cap.

    ROBERT SEIGLER'S IDEA: Some time ago the late Robert Seigler interpreted that blood spot (A) occurred before the glove (B) came into this place because the blood spot was below the glove. Ron Egan objected that since the glove obscured the back part of the blood spot, one did not know that this was true. At the time, I agreed with Egan, but I now think Seigler was right. While it is true that one can not see in this picture what the actual shape of the concealed part of the drop is like (or, in fact, whether there is a concealed part), this seems to me to be a picky point. The shape of the visible part, if extended, would be roughly circular and would extend under the glove. The only familiar mechanism that would not permit a shape in which the drop extended under the glove would be if the drop fell after the glove was in place, and fortuitously the white label of the glove would be in the path of such a late drop, and would have been stained. We see in the picture that the label does not have a blood stain. From this it seems most reasonable to believe that 1) the drop fell, then 2) the glove fell obscuring part of the drop.

   nicole4c.jpg (33111 bytes) (There exists a picture <Nicole4.jpg> of the front walk after the coroner took away the bodies. It shows the whole area from the base of the steps to the street, so details are not refined. The area in the vicinity of the blood drop in question has been cropped, and is presented here as Figure 1a [Nicole4c.jpg]. Although it is crude, the blood drop can be identified <blue arrow> and it is seen that the drop extends all the way to the edge of the walk -- behind the location of the edge of the glove. Hence, we see that Egan's argument was not only specious, but false; the glove did lay on top of the blood drop.)

    However, this does not seem to carry any direct implication about how the blood and glove got into the places they occupied when the picture was taken. The blood drop could have preceded the glove in a scenario in which Simpson killed Goldman, and it also could have happened when somebody else killed Goldman.

    With similar logic, and with a similar lack of implication about who murdered Goldman, notice feature K. This appears to be a small amount of splatter on the walk that is partly covered by the knit cap. The obvious implication is that the cap came into this place after the blood was already on the ground. However, it is subject to the same Seigler/Egan controversy as the glove and the blood drop, since we can not verify from this picture that the blood extends back under the cap. That theoretical technicality notwithstanding, I believe it does.

    THE SMEAR: This is composed of several components. A rivulet (G) of the blood pool apparently ran across the feature late in the process, and by the time the photograph was made, obscured the middle of it. For this reason we can not be absolutely certain whether the smear is one feature (E1 & E2 combined) or two separate features at E1 and E2. We also see that a Bruno Magli heel print at (H) is very closely associated with the "smear," in fact, upon a quick glance, it appears that the heel print obscures part of the "smear." But, that is not possible, since the heel could not remove blood that was already on the walk when the heel set down on it. And if the heel print came first, whatever caused the smear would stain the unstained parts of the heel print. From this we conclude that the heel print and the smear do not overlap, but are very close by coincidence.

    In fact, if this heel print is compared with the one lower on the same page in Goldberg, we see that there is a slight amount of overlap between the two features. The whole heel has five spots across, and feature H has only about 4-1/2. So, on the left side (as one looks at the picture) of the heel print, there is an overlap of about 3/8" with the "smear."

    The reason that this feature seemed to be a smear is that it is lighter in color than other blood stains in the scene (meaning that the amount of blood in this stain is less), and the color is fairly uniform. Furthermore, there is a slight amount of "feathering" at the top end of E, suggesting some slight movement toward the top, by an object that left the stain. However if the object itself were unstained, then we would expect to see the pattern of drops and other sources of blood that were dragged upward (in the picture) during the dragging process. And, we don't see that. Also, we notice that blood drop J is within the smear and is only very slightly distorted at the top, consistent with an object brushed over it, or in light contact. This suggests very little force was applied between the dragging object and the ground during the transfer. From the small length of the feathering, it also appears that the extent of movement during any dragging was slight, and may only have occurred at the top end of the stain.

    I consider that the smear at E is a deliberate effort to wipe away some indication of the perpetrator's presence (as a shoe print, or some other pattern in blood that would have revealed something about the crime that was inconsistent with Simpson as the murderer). The instrument for this wiping could have been a damp towel or rag.

    A HAZE OF BLOOD: The same picture, from another source is annotated to show other features, as Figure 2 [SMEAR_2.JPG]:
smear_2.jpg (22194 bytes)
    M. Thin streaks, often occurring in parallel groups
    N: Comparison of tile with/without haze
    O: Glasses Envelope

    There are at least a dozen places on the front walk where there are thin (less than 1/4" wide) streaks in blood (for example, those at M in Figure 2). Sometimes these occur in pairs or triads, and when they do, the individual streaks are parallel to the others. I consider that these are artifacts of the wiping rag. When a piece of cloth is held crumpled, some creases will stick out farther than the general bunch, and when the cloth is passed over a patch of liquid stain it will leave streaks like these. This pattern is characteristic of a light brushing motion with the rag. If much pressure is applied, a smear results, and that is not seen up near Nicole's body. (A smear is seen, however at the other end of the front walk, near the sidewalk.)

    The concept of a "blood haze" is illustrated by the regions of Figure 2 shown as "N". N1 is a part of a tile without the haze, N2 is about 8 inches away on the same tile, and is covered with a thin layer of blood. The contrast of the color of the thin haze at N2 with the area of a flow of blood just above it is conspicuous. As will be seen in Figure 3 [CRIMESC3.JPG] crimesc3.jpg (30981 bytes)(a black/white panorama of the same scene), the tiles between Nicole's head and the threshold of the alcove are covered with this haze in patches. Since it is lighter than either those areas which are covered with a flow from the blood pool or covered with dribbles and drops of fallen blood, it must be the result of some other cause. But what?

    I consider that these are areas that were also smeared with a bloody rag to conceal the shape that had been imprinted in blood before the killer left the scene.

    At "O" in Figure 2 we see the envelope glasses in the position in which it was found. It is on the threshold of the alcove, in about the middle. As I have previously made the point that the agapanthus on the east end of the threshold was undamaged, I could make the same observation about the glasses. As they were found, one of the lenses was dislodge from the frame, but neither of the lenses was broken, and the frame was not bent. That is, nobody had stepped on the envelope. However, the prosecution claimed that during the knife fight, Simpson forced Goldman into the alcove. We see, though, that as these two men passed through this narrow space in the midst of a life and death struggle, neither one of them stepped on the envelope, and neither one of them stepped on the agapanthus. The unlikelihood of this should cause a person to doubt that such a life and death struggle took place in that location.

    (It has been claimed that the envelope was kicked into that position at the end of the crime -- and I think that might have happened. But, it is hard to imagine why Simpson would have cared where the envelope would be found, and hence why he would have moved it.)

   RECAP: In Figure 4 [CRIMESCN4.JPG] we see stains from different sources. At P is the flow from crimesc4.jpg (37093 bytes)the blood pool, and because it is deep, it shows up as nearly black in this black/white photo. At Q is a dribble from some source, it is likewise thick, and it is also nearly black. At R, however, is the haze; it is thin and it shows up as gray in this picture. At S is a situation in which a dribble occurs on top of a haze, indicating that there was some source of dripping blood after the wiping (or at least some of it) occurred. There are several examples of this near the alcove threshold.


Also notice from Figure 5 [DEAR_8.JPG] that some areas of blood haze are sharp edged and curved, as though showing the pattern of a wiping rag that was moved in a circular motion -- particularly the one marked "T." It is hard to imagine that these thin, amorphous round stains are from any other cause than wiping up fresh blood with a damp rag. This color photograph also more vividly shows the contrast between areas of blood haze (as "T" and the unlabeled arrows), unstained portions of the walk (as "N1"), and places of direct blood deposit (as "U"). Someone wiped up blood stain features on the front walk early in the process before the blood pool began to flow significantly. dear_8.jpg (33703 bytes)

The location on the front walk where Goldman was butchered (specifically identified in "River of Blood") is beyond the top of Figure 5, but dribbles from the fresh slain body, when it was carried to the edge of the alcove, are seen in locations "V." _________________________________

SEQUENCE: From this analysis, I infer that a particular sequence of events occurred in the area between Nicole's head and the alcove threshold...

    1. Some source of blood was unleashed
    2. A rag was used to make certain patterns indistinct and produce a "haze" thereby
    3. Something occurred that resulted in more blood dribbled onto some parts of the haze
    4 The rag may have been used again, selectively, as at "F"
    5. The cap and glove were deposited
    6. Latest of all, the flow from Nicole's blood pool ran over much of this.

    However, previous analyses of other evidence has led me to understand that Nicole's throat was slit while she was kneeling over the first step, her body was repositioned into the position in which it was found, and her legs were jammed under the fence to the south. Other evidence leads to the conclusion that Goldman was murdered on the front walk, his body was carried the few feet to the edge of the alcove and heaved in there, and Simpson's cap and gloves were planted to frame him before the assailants left the scene. In this context, the foregoing is understood to specifically be...

    1. Nicole's throat was slit, eventually producing much blood, and her was body re-positioned.
    2. To conceal the specifics a rag was quickly swiped around the tiles to the north of her body.
    3. Goldman's body, dripping blood, was carried to the edge of the alcove and heaved in.
    4. The rag was used again to cover up foot prints of the trip to the alcove.
    5. The cap and gloves were planted.
    6. The flow from Nicole's slowly spreading blood pool ran over some of this.

Dick Wagner • Van Nuys, CA (2/21/00) NG_608 rev. 11/15/02

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