Florida bookcase tragedy

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J T wrote:

Amazing. ;)
I'd always heard that a gentleman is someone who never insults someone unintentionally.
R
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Fri, Dec 1, 2006, 9:13pm (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@worldemail.com (RicodJour) did sayeth: I'd always heard that a gentleman is someone who never insults someone unintentionally.
Amazing.
JOAT I am, therefore I think.
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Really? I read news.bbc.co.uk daily, and I don't find it pro Blair or Bush. Quite the opposite.
Tim W
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You're missing the point. They're pro-BBC(NYT) at the expense of anyone else. Sometimes the "news" is created, not just selected for presentation in support of themselves.
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11 days with a dead body in the house and nobody smelled it??? Smells like bullshit to me.
Art
"Tim W" wrote

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Read the atrticle again, slowly.

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Doh!

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On Sun, 26 Nov 2006 20:09:02 GMT, "Tim W"

Wow.
This is another feature to add to my next project. A hidden drawer, a flip out shelf, an old lady trap. ;) . . . . . . . . Sorry to be so flip. If true, the womans family is very sad at this time.
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Tim W wrote:

Amazing the amount of judgments and assumptions made so far. Maybe a more complete report will help answer some questions and lay suspicions to rest. http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/local/16099174.htm
R
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wrote:

I believe (based on the St. Petersburg Times byline) that this is the same article as published in the St. Petersburg Times. I had already read it. The questions I raised in my post above, which were based on my reading of the article, remain unresolved.
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LRod

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RicodJour wrote:

Nope ... just arouses more.
A freestanding 72" book case is unlikely to have been more than about 60" wide and far more likely to have been about 48" wide. (Golden Mean would call for it to be ~44.5") And yes, that IS an assumption. And it also makes it hard to conceive of a way that the entire body (5' 3") could have been hidden from view. Or a reason why she would have gone over the top of it to deal with an electrical plug (her Dad says he found her inverted ... not horizontal). Or, having been able to tip it out enough to fall in behind it she was not able to tip it out enough to free herself. Or how, if she didn't have to tip it outward to fall behind it, it still managed to pin her immobile.
The family was just getting ready to sit down to dinner. No one in the house could hear her? Dad, Mom, Sister? Nobody heard? If she was trying to adjust the plug for the tv in her room, apparently the tv wasn't working. So it didn't cover her cries. According to her Mom she was speaking lucidly and audibly immediately before entering the bedroom.
Age 38, no children, scrawny*, punker tattoo on her ankle, living with her parents, working in a minor job.
There is a LOT between the lines here.
Yeah ... I suppose it's possible that this was some sort of freak accident. I suppose it's possible that I'll find a winning Powerball ticket on my front porch tomorrow.
Bill
* BMI of well under 18 http://www.bariatricedge.com/dtcf/pages/bmi_calculator.htm ** name of a guy who either committed suicide or botched a one-man orgy and who died in 1997 http://www.findadeath.com/Deceased/h/Hutchence/MIchael%20Hutchence.html
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Bill in Detroit wrote:

More assumptions it seems.

Everything you wrote is an assumption. Google the Darwin awards - strange things kill people all of the time. People win the lottery all of the time Exactly how big is a 5'3" 100 pound woman supposed to be to prevent being called scrawny by an armchair quarterback? If she were married, would she not be scrawny, not have the tattoo or not be dead? There was a plug strip. That's like an extension cord. Usually those are used in areas where you need more outlets and/or in a more convenient location. The more convenient location is not always the most convenient location. Maybe the bookcase was on the diagonal in a corner. That's a possibility, not an assumption. You neglected to assume what was on the bookcase besides the TV, how much the stuff weighed and the distribution of that weight. From there you can make calculated assumptions (you know, more assumptions) about the force required to overturn the bookcase in your assumed location. Show all work. There apparently were sections of the article dealing with inverted suffocation that you didn't read. Perhaps you should read them.
Other than that, good post.
R
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RicodJour wrote:

I read the complete link you provided.

Perhaps you would like to explain how she was able to get in the gap but not get out ... how a gap large enough to admit her was too small to permit struggle, too small to permit her to tilt sideways to a horizontal position and breathe, too small to allow her to call for help. After death, her leg DID move to a horizontal position without ANY muscular exertion ... That is how her foot came to be exposed. There was 'wiggle room'.
Your answer should contain no assumptions ... just good hard science, please. You should be able to meet the same standards you are asking of me.
I regret using the subjective term "scrawny". However, the BMI for this woman, as evidenced by the link I provided, is 17.5 where a BMI of 19 is considered the lowest healthy weight. She is thus properly labeled as underweight ... that is not an assumption.
I have never assumed that the tv itself was on the bookshelf because I think that it would have gotten knocked off in her struggles. My guess would be that the TV was on the dresser. And that she managed to get the plug inserted just fine this time.
Bill
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Easy, the bookcase tipped forward some, she fell behind it, and it fell back toward the wall.
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Locutus wrote:

So her body mass and physical strength were sufficient to tip it forward enough to access the plug on more than one occasion, but not enough to budge it when she really needed to?
Makes sense to me.
Except for the part where she was in the habit of tipping a bookcase away from the wall merely to access an electrical plug but she could no longer move the bookshelf when she was fighting for her life. And also the part where a bookshelf tipped into the room due to a body being wedged in behind it didn't look odd to anyone.
I give up. But I still cannot grasp how she could get wedged behind a bookshelf that she could move to fall behind but not move to escape from. That is ... why could she move it the first time but not the second?
I'm walking away from this.
Bill
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Bill in Detroit wrote:

Sorry to jump in at the tail end of this, but isn't it possible a) she hit her head on the way down and suffocated while unconscious, or b) the wedging action of the fall compressed her diaphragm (that feeling of "having the wind knocked out of you" that we are all familiar with). I would guess "b". That would explain her inability to scream for help and subsequent suffocation.
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That's a plausible theory as well.
I think we can all agree this is a freak accident, but I don't think it's anywhere close to impossible.
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Charlie M. 1958 wrote:

Add bang on head whilst inverted causes vomiting in most people, U/C + vomit = dead quite often...
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Let me preface this with this is purely conjecture. :)
Leverage. At the TOP of the bookcase it would require considerable less force to tip the bookcase than what would be needed once she was behind, where any force she could exert would be at the middle or bottom of a bookcase.

I doubt she was in the habit of "tipping the bookcase", it was most likely an accident, if she was on top of the bookcase and lost balance, her weight could easily tip the bookcase out from the wall. And if that started to happen, what would most people do? They would shift their bodyweight in the opposite direction (ie, toward the wall).

Remember she was inverted, most likely with the weight of the bookcase smashing her to the wall, her arms would either be extended abover her, or to her sides, she would have no way to position herself to exert any considerable force, considering she was "scrawny".
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Bill in Detroit wrote:

Any reasoning on my part would consist entirely of conjecture - not hard science. There's not enough information for anything more than guesses and assumptions. All I know is that she died in a freaky way and I feel sorry for her and her family.

I think that what set me off was the scrawny part. If there were more complete information on the person's genetics, body type and other "hard science" factors, than the BMI could be a useful tool. The BMI thing is no more accurate in categorizing people then IQ tests, and we've both met people with huge IQs that we wouldn't trust to safely cross the street alone.

Maybe...
R
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