In the bathroom of Inge’s flat, two bloodmarks were found on the tile floor.
Experts, notably Mr Bill Bodziak, from Florida in USA, argued that these are not transfer marks left by a shoe (i.e. not tread marks). He argued that there were no other marks around these marks – which would suggest walking to or away from the marks – and that there were also no source (e.g. a pool of blood) that had been tread in order to provide the fluid for transfer, therefore they could not have been produced by a shoe. Any shoe, he concluded.
We feel that not all options had been considered. This conclusion only works if you work from the narrow-minded premise that shoes are always on feet. What if the murderer changed clothes and shoes in the bathroom before he/she left the flat? There was evidence of cleaning up, after all. It is certainly possible for the person to have taken off his/her shoes (before putting on clean shoes and clothes), unknowingly placing the shoes onto two blood drops that fell from the murder weapon/s. We know that the weapon/s had travelled to the bathroom, and they had to be full of semi congealed blood.
Consider the possibility that these two marks could have formed when a shoe was placed onto two drops of blood and that they are therefore not “transfer marks” but rather “contact marks”. This will also explain why there are no sole patterns visible in the marks. In contact marks the blood can flow back over these patterns. The shoe was then picked up, perhaps cleaned, placed in a bag without it making any further contact with the floor.
This will explain why there were no tread marks (transfer marks) found anywhere in the bathroom or apartment.
This pair of squash shoes belonged to Fred van der Vyver and was confiscated in his apartment about one month after the murder. The police thought that certain areas on the sole had cunning resemblance to the two marks found in the bathroom. The shoes were found washed and in a very clean condition, with the laces taken out and tucked into the inside. (The left shoe above – right in the picture – is cleaner than the other one because the police conducted tests on the left shoe in order not to contaminate the suspected right shoe.)
Above: The whole left shoe
Above are on-scale overlays of the marks on the right sole. If the one mark fits in the one area, the other one does not fit in the other. This was a strong argument by Bodziak, who said that this would not suggest a tread action. Therefore no shoe.
Let us start from a side. Let’s forget about shoes for the moment. Let’s just view the sole as an OBJECT. Would you say that this mark fits quite well into the curved area of the object? Yes or no?
Would you say that this mark fits quite well into the V-shape of the object? Yes or no?
Can we negate these fits simply because we can’t envisage that the object moved between the formation of the two marks?
Let’s first consolidate the marks.
When you anchor the bottom mark into the curved area where it fits well, you only have to rotate the top one slightly to fit into the top V area. Is it possible that the bottom one was made first, then the second one after a slight rotation of the shoe – without any tread action necessary?
Imagine two drops lying on the floor. A shoe (not on foot) is placed on the drops. It touches the bottom drop first, squashing it into a mark, the shoe then moves and squashes the second drop into a mark while leaving the first mark undisturbed.
If you look at this photo, you will see a bath mat just a few centimetres from and above the marks. We believe this mat could have played a role in the separate formation of the marks.
If you look at the sequence above, it is important to note that we have done various tests with various shoes and sheep blood. Because the shoe is not on the foot, it has less pressure on it. Also, a sole is uneven and very little of it actually touches the floor when there is not substantial weight on it. It is also important to consider the height and the subsequent shadow area that the bathroom mat provided. We have established that it is quite possible to move a shoe around with a drop underneath it without distorting that drop. Therefore it is possible that the when the shoe moved after deforming the first drop and while deforming the second drop, that it would not necessarily have touched the first drop again.
We cannot say for certain that the logo cut into the mark (see below), but it is a excellent fit to the shape and angle of that logo and we simply see it as a likely possibility. It can explain the horns of that mark. It seems that wiping downwards took place, and with test we have confirmed that a drop can be wiped in like this.
When you think about the marks, ask yourself what the statistical probability is that it is a coincidence that not only one but two marks on the crime scene correspond so well with two areas on an object that was found in a person’s apartment that knew the victim well.
We look at the appendage on a separate page, but before we go there, let’s just briefly look at the basics around it.
The Van der Vyvers and Bodziak said the police added a mark (B below) to the bottom mark – this to infer that the police wanted the appendage to fit into the groove of the sole – thus framing Fred.
Let we ask you this. If the majority of the mark (e.g. area A) was a square or a triangle shape, would it have helped to add the appendage (B)? The fact to consider is that A already fits the area in the sole, even if we leave B out – so what is important to realise is that B would only make sense if A fitted already. The statistical probability that it is a coincidence that the gradient of the curve of area A match the curve of the sole is negligible. The curve of A fits a part of the curve in the sole without any doubt. For the sake of the argument, if they wanted to add the mark, they could only add a mark onto area A if it already fitted, which it does. Sure, B would have added another corresponding point, but it was not needed. Bottom line is this: To say that B was added to fit the groove in the sole, is to admit that A fits the sole. If A didn’t fit there would have been no argument.
And then we need to consider that the top mark also fits well into the V-shape of the sole. Coincidence?
As we will see on the appendage page, that mark (B) is a natural flow mark, which later formed where the groove in the sole left an opening for it.
So what do we have so far? Two marks agreeing in size and general shape with two areas on the sole – the respective distance between the two areas and the two marks also correspond. Then we have a notch in the V shape which may have been made by the shoes logo. And we have an appendage that fits into the groove of the sole.
Read more about the mysterious appendage by clicking on the first link below.