In this post we are going to take you step by step through an analytic process to confirm one of our key findings – that the black vest that Reeva wore when shewas found downstairs, had she worn it in the toilet, would have hanged down to below where the bullet hit her in the hip. That then leads to the very legitimate question that demands an answer – where is the corresponding hole in the vest? It is not there – why not?
Afterwards please decide for yourself if a person requires a qualification in “forensic science” to follow the steps outlined below.
Let’s start by looking at official police photos of the black vest.
There are clearly no holes towards the bottom of the vest.
The next logical question is whether the vest would have been long enough to hang over where Reeva was hit with a bullet – point 4.5 in the figure below from the official autopsy report?
The fist step here is to determine the length of the vest. From the photo on the right using the scale it is a simple matter in a graphics package like InDesign to determine the distance from the top of the shoulder strap to the bottom of the vest to be about 66 cm.
The next step is to look at Reeva’s height and where the bullet hit her.
According to the autopsy report Reeva was 175 cm tall. And also according to the autopsy report the bullet hit Reeva at distance of 92 cm from the base of the right heel.
The next parameter we need is the distance between the top of Reeva’s head to her shoulders. We don’t know the precise distance as it was never measured. So that leave two different approaches – measure the distance from a person as tall as Reeva, and/or look at anthropometric data.
What is Anthropometric Data?
Anthropometry is a branch of anthropology concerned with comparative measurements of the human body and its parts as well as the variables which impact these measurements. Anthropometric data consists of collections of measurements, often presented in tabular format or annotated diagrams of human figures. The primary dimensions measured are of bone, muscle, and adipose tissue. This data is used in human factors/ergonomics applications in order to ensure that designs and standards are realistic.
The following data was obtained from: http://www.ele.uri.edu/faculty/vetter/BME207/anthropometric-data.pdf
The distance that we are looking for is the difference between between A and C for a woman about 1.75 m tall. That would be last column in the table. A – C = 1.724 – 1.441 = 0.283 m ~ 28 cm. This distance is fairly constant across the board – for male and females – irrespective of their height – ranging from 28 cm to 31 cm.
Now it is simple mathematics to calculate the distance between the shoulder to the bullet wound = 175 – 92 – 28 = 55 cm.
Therefore one doesn’t have to be a forensic expert to come to the conclusion that the vest being 66 cm long – would have hanged quite a bit lower than the bullet wound – by about 11 cm. Even if we subtract 5 cm for the rounding of the bust – we still have have the vest hanging below by about 6 cm.
In our book we also show other reasons why Reeva did not wear the vest during the shooting incident, such as the shrapnel wounds on her chest that is not compatible with the holes/rents in the vest. The rents/holes are too big and too many and their position is not compatible with the position of the wounds. There are also too little blood on the vest to suggest that she had it on her body when she sustained the open wounds. This would suggest that the rents were made before Reeva entered the toilet. In our book we look at a possible reason, that may also explain the severely abraded right nipple.
Just a thought on the concept “forensic expert”. It is an overdramatized term, born from people watching too much CSI.
This link explains very well what we have always said. You can be an expert in your own field and then APPLY your own qualifications, experience, knowledge and skills in the forensic field.
Here is a paragraph from the above link:
"A true forensic scientist does not really exist in South Africa. Our approach in the University is based on the definition of a forensic scientist who is 'a scientist in one of the disciplines of science who applies his or her knowledge to ‘forensic cases'. This means that you are FIRST a chemist, anthropologist, pathologist, engineer, psychiatrist (with an appropriate post-graduate degree) and only after that do you use your knowledge in forensic cases. In our view, such people are primarily researchers rather than applied forensic technicians."