BLOOD ON THE SOCK


MY 2:

    You remind us of the confusion that the defense attorneys tried to manufacture concerning the sock found on Simpson's bedroom floor. There are two main issues (and several small ones; e.g., the delay in recognizing dried blood on black fabric): WHEN the sock was recovered by the police, and HOW the blood came into the locations on the sock were it was found.

    NO SOCK IN THE VIDEO: An LAPD property videographer (Willie Ford) photographed property (not evidence) in the house, and his tape does not show the sock on the bedroom rug at a time before the records indicated that the sock was removed from the floor by crime technicians. Like so much else that the defense presented, this is supposed to arouse suspicion, even though there is also no explicit evidence, that something sinister was done. (Ford testified that he did not see the socks when he was in the room, but if the vantage point for his eyeball was the same as for the camera, we would not expect that he would have.)

    There is a simple explanation for this. The video does not show all of the rug, and Ford did not have any objective to show what, if anything, was on it. A part of the rug appears in the video only in an incidental way to the things that were of interest to the cameraman. So, it is quite possible for the sock to have been on a part of the rug that was not shown. No mystery, no intrigue.

    PRESSED-THROUGH BLOOD: The issue here is that after a lot of mumbo-jumbo explanation about the microscopic appearance of the blood on the sock, the defense expert (Herbert MacDonell) opined that the blood had originally been deposited on one outside surface of the sock, and then had been pressed through by some force to the inside of that same surface, and the inside face of the opposite surface. (This interpretation was disputed in the civil trial by Calif. Dept. of Justice expert Gary Sims.) The agent of this force was presumed to be Simpson's fingers, dripping wet with Nicole's blood, and since that didn't fit any scenario, the cause of the press-through blood was unexplained, and hence presumably suspicious. Not so much mentioned, but more important to me, was the fact that the location of the blood spot on the sock was a place that would have been covered by the shoe in normal wear, and so there was some question as to how the blood could have got there in the first place -- press-through or no.

    There was also some question raised about how the blood could have been wet enough for the press-through action if the pressure was really applied in the bedroom. My understanding of the times is this: the blood began to flow at 10:10; Simpson stepped in blood pools that were abundant and deep (at Bundy) at 10:34; he took off his shoes (in the shadows by the Bentley) at 10:45; he took off his socks (in his bedroom) at 10:57. Although the blood was relatively "old" (47 minutes) by the time he took off the socks, it was not so "old" for this purpose. For deep quantities of blood, only the surface is in contact with the air, and affected initially to coagulate by it. The lower levels are at first out of contact with the air, and as "wet" as at the beginning. This was the case for the blood that came in contact with Simpson's shoes. Only 23 minutes had elapsed between the time Simpson disturbed the blood pools by stepping in them, and the time he took off the sock.

    But, even this is not the effective drying time for the blood on the sock. According to my understanding of the situation, the blood came onto the sock when Simpson removed the shoes in the shadows by the Bentley. Because the shoes were loathsome to touch with his hands, he pushed one shoe off with the other, then pushed the second shoe off with his (now) sock-covered foot, and in that way transferred blood that was on the side of the second shoe to the insole area of the first sock, or a little higher. Since the blood that was on the shoe was also thick (in globs), the lower levels of that had not yet contacted the air and begun to set. So, the coagulation clock for the blood on the sock began to run at 10:45 -- just 12 minutes before Simpson took off the sock in his bedroom. Thus, the blood on the sock was reasonably "wet" when Simpson took the sock off, and any presumed blood on his fingers did not have to play a role. He could easily have applied the pressure to transfer the stain from one side of the sock to the other as it lay on the rug, and he unknowingly stepped on it.

    (Much was made by the experts of the characteristics of "wet transfer" vs. "dry transfer". However, if my understanding of the situation is correct, the reality was neither; it was "damp transfer," or "gloppy transfer". If the condition of the blood was seriously different than the models on which the experts based their opinion, then their conclusions would be doubtful.)

    According to my understanding of the aftermath of the crime, there is no mystery to the microscopic indications of blood in the sock -- even if MacDonell is believed.


Dick Wagner • Van Nuys, CA (10/02/01) NG_727e

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