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(11 Alive)   Police revise their suspicions from last January that the teenager found dead inside a rolled up gym mat strewn with blood stains may not have died in a tragic accident   (11alive.com) divider line 30
    More: Followup, White T-Shirt, accidents  
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5148 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Oct 2013 at 1:29 PM (27 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



30 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-10-09 12:47:33 PM
That chick is hot. Wait, THAT'S A DUDE?
i2.cdn.turner.com
 
2013-10-09 01:35:52 PM
South Georgia eh?

that really is kinda effed up.
 
2013-10-09 01:37:28 PM
Grantland had a very thorough article about this situation last month. It's a good read that goes through all of the social factors in Valdosta surrounding the case.
 
2013-10-09 01:41:25 PM
There's a lot of meat in those gym mats
 
2013-10-09 01:43:59 PM
img.fark.net
I know this looks like a suicide, but my gut tells me we were on to something.
 
2013-10-09 01:53:36 PM
So what relative of the sheriff was involved.
 
2013-10-09 02:01:56 PM
What a terrible situation.

I almost wish the guy were murdered (if he wasn't), because the thought of being head-down in a mat, slowly dying, whilst hearing other people go about their basketball or pep squad or whatever...horrifying.
 
2013-10-09 02:06:58 PM
"Strewn" with blood?
 
2013-10-09 02:07:42 PM
I think the parents can't accept that their son possibly died in a freak accident. Looking at the timeline a couple of guys would have had to have killed him and stuff him in the rolled up mat w/o anybody coming into the gym. The time before somebody else entered the gym was a "short" time. Wish that was a little more unambiguous. And also if he was murdered the killers would have to keep their mouths shut. High schoolers generally can not keep their mouths shut over anything.
 
2013-10-09 02:09:30 PM
Rasputeen.
 
2013-10-09 02:16:26 PM
Suicide?
 
2013-10-09 02:18:52 PM
So let me get this straight:  Authorities say that he must have been reaching for a shoe that fell into the rolled-up mat and fell in head first.  Stuck in there upside-down until he died and then blood seeped out of his head.

But crime scene photos show blood smeared on a nearby wall.  Oh, but it was not his blood and it's like, old, so it cannot be related to the case?
And some sneakers that look to have blood on them too, but that is not blood so they were not collected for evidence?
And an independent autopsy shows trauma to the side of his neck "consistent with an inflicted injury"?

I can almost hear the sheriff:  "Awh case is cloosed, boy.  You fixin' for trouble if ya keep poking at cloosed cases 'round hea, son.  Nowh, yoo don't want no trouble, do ya?"
 
2013-10-09 02:25:47 PM
2.bp.blogspot.com
A possible suspect.
 
2013-10-09 02:47:32 PM
"Foul play might have been involved," says lead investigator Lt. Ric Romero.
 
2013-10-09 02:52:06 PM
Barney Fife on the job!
 
2013-10-09 02:59:52 PM
Subby's headline is wrong.  The police haven't changed their opinion.  The investigators and the medical examiners all consider it a closed case.  The people saying that it might have been a murder are independent investigators hired by the deceased's parents, and who are giving opinions based on a video of the scene of the incident, and not on actual examination of the scene.  As others have said, they have surveillance video of the kid who died, Kendrick Johnson, entering the gym alone.  They also have video of another group of students entering the gym a "short time" later.  The investigators apparently found no indication both in the video or in questioning that would hint that the group of kids that entered the gym after Kendrick had anything to do with what happened.  In fact, from questioning, it appears the group of kids was completely unaware that Kendrick was even in the gym, with the theory being that he had already fallen into the gym mat before they walked in.  For this to be a murder, it means that either someone else operating on a tight timetable snuck in and out of the gym to kill Kendrick while avoiding the security cameras, or that multiple law enforcement individuals are involved in a cover up.  Neither seems likely.
 
2013-10-09 03:28:59 PM

Walker: That chick is hot. Wait, THAT'S A DUDE?
[i2.cdn.turner.com image 640x360]


No, it's a chick and a vampire!
i1211.photobucket.com
Also, how in the fark do you end up rolled up in a gym mat and have it not be murder or at least someone covering up a death? Did I read the article wrong?
 
2013-10-09 03:34:13 PM

positronica: Subby's headline is wrong.  The police haven't changed their opinion.  The investigators and the medical examiners all consider it a closed case.  The people saying that it might have been a murder are independent investigators hired by the deceased's parents, and who are giving opinions based on a video of the scene of the incident, and not on actual examination of the scene.  As others have said, they have surveillance video of the kid who died, Kendrick Johnson, entering the gym alone.  They also have video of another group of students entering the gym a "short time" later.  The investigators apparently found no indication both in the video or in questioning that would hint that the group of kids that entered the gym after Kendrick had anything to do with what happened.  In fact, from questioning, it appears the group of kids was completely unaware that Kendrick was even in the gym, with the theory being that he had already fallen into the gym mat before they walked in.  For this to be a murder, it means that either someone else operating on a tight timetable snuck in and out of the gym to kill Kendrick while avoiding the security cameras, or that multiple law enforcement individuals are involved in a cover up.  Neither seems likely.


http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9626413/the-mysterious-death-17- ye ar-old-football-player-valdosta-georgia

This gives you much more information.  The kid fell into a mat with an opening narrower than his shoulders, and had a second pair of shoes somehow fall on in after him.  The EMS found evidence of blunt force trauma but was ignored.  There's much more to the story than the link here.  And why does it have to be a coverup? Every heard of incompetence and laziness?
 
2013-10-09 03:38:40 PM
I remember a reading about a woman who a week after announcing that she was going to divorce her husband was found hog tied and hanging by her neck from a balcony and the cops ruled it a suicide, because her husband, the millionaire who donated heavily to the sheriff's reelection campaign, couldn't possibly be involved...
 
2013-10-09 03:38:45 PM
ok. I wrestled for years. How is it possible to roll yourself up in a mat? It took 3-5 people to roll it up to begin with and then to jump inside the pre-formed tube while it continues to roll up by itself? There is no way he'd be able to do it. And it's way to heavy to continue to roll without someone pushing it.
 
2013-10-09 03:49:59 PM
The mats were rolled up and on their ends, apparently, rather than stacked lengthwise atop each other.
 
2013-10-09 03:52:20 PM

Dirtybird971: ok. I wrestled for years. How is it possible to roll yourself up in a mat? It took 3-5 people to roll it up to begin with and then to jump inside the pre-formed tube while it continues to roll up by itself? There is no way he'd be able to do it. And it's way to heavy to continue to roll without someone pushing it.


One alien could do it...
 
2013-10-09 04:32:55 PM
Well, he was a black teenager, so who cares, really?

There, I just wrapped up the case with the same care and attention to detail as the police did.
 
2013-10-09 04:40:12 PM

Smelly Pirate Hooker: Well, he was a black teenager, so who cares, really?

There, I just wrapped up the case with the same care and attention to detail as the police did.


You could have a promising career in the force, apparently.
 
2013-10-09 05:08:54 PM

Inchoate: Grantland had a very thorough article about this situation last month. It's a good read that goes through all of the social factors in Valdosta surrounding the case.


Thanks for sharing. A really insightful article. I could probably ultimately believe it was somehow an accident anyway (people manage to accidentally kill themselves in the strangest ways), but I really do think his family deserves more answers than they've gotten.

The picture of his face after he was found... ugh. Shades of Emmett Till.
 
2013-10-09 09:46:26 PM

Dirtybird971: ok. I wrestled for years. How is it possible to roll yourself up in a mat? It took 3-5 people to roll it up to begin with and then to jump inside the pre-formed tube while it continues to roll up by itself? There is no way he'd be able to do it. And it's way to heavy to continue to roll without someone pushing it.


Well, kids are entirely capable of doing ANYTHING to kill themselves, either accidentally or on purpose, if you give them enough opportunity. Just spend a weekend watching "America's Dumbest" if you don't believe that. So, I believe that a kid COULD roll himself up in a gym mat somehow and suffocate without anyone noticing.

The question is whether in this case if he did or not. The mere fact of blunt-force head trauma and shoes on top of the body rather than under it should introduce an element of reasonable doubt to the "death by misadventure' theory imo, but then I'm not a lazy South'n cop.
 
2013-10-09 10:40:42 PM

Pribar: I remember a reading about a woman who a week after announcing that she was going to divorce her husband was found hog tied and hanging by her neck from a balcony and the cops ruled it a suicide, because her husband, the millionaire who donated heavily to the sheriff's reelection campaign, couldn't possibly be involved...


She was into that auto-erotic suicide. I'm not going to judge someone who was in enough pain to kill herself like that.
 
2013-10-09 11:24:31 PM
CNN has an article up about how the exhumed body's organs are missing and replaced with newspaper. Wtf is going on here?
 
2013-10-10 12:16:04 AM

Gyrfalcon: Dirtybird971: ok. I wrestled for years. How is it possible to roll yourself up in a mat? It took 3-5 people to roll it up to begin with and then to jump inside the pre-formed tube while it continues to roll up by itself? There is no way he'd be able to do it. And it's way to heavy to continue to roll without someone pushing it.

Well, kids are entirely capable of doing ANYTHING to kill themselves, either accidentally or on purpose, if you give them enough opportunity. Just spend a weekend watching "America's Dumbest" if you don't believe that. So, I believe that a kid COULD roll himself up in a gym mat somehow and suffocate without anyone noticing.

The question is whether in this case if he did or not. The mere fact of blunt-force head trauma and shoes on top of the body rather than under it should introduce an element of reasonable doubt to the "death by misadventure' theory imo, but then I'm not a lazy South'n cop.


According to one of the articles I read, kids were in the habit of stashing their shoes in the rolled-up gym mats, hence why he would have been reaching into one in the first place. It's not crazy to suppose that another kid later on tossed their shoes into the rolled-up mat which, unbeknownst to them, had a dead body in it. If it's become a habit, you probably wouldn't even look in there, and anything out of the way wouldn't necessarily register because you're not expecting it to be there (witness that famous experiment where they told volunteers to count the number of times a basketball got passed on a videotape and most of them completely missed the guy walking through in the gorilla suit, because they weren't looking for him). As for blunt-force head trauma, well, your head will sustain trauma if it hits the floor and it's not going to look too good either when you've been upside down and blood has been pooling there.

I'm not saying it's open and shut, how could I? But the tape is pretty strong evidence that either they're dealing with a Moriarty-level schemer or it was a really bizarre accident, unless you're hypothesizing that the group of kids who came in shortly afterwards were all somehow in on it. It wouldn't be the only weird upside-down suffocation accident out there either -- here's a story about a ten-year-old who died of "positional asphyxia" in a box of packing peanuts: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2014177691_packingpeanuts10m.h t ml

I get why the family wants more answers and it sounds like the cops weren't exactly going all-out to check every possible complication, but my money is still on death by freak accident with nobody else involved.
 
2013-10-10 09:57:34 PM
RenownedCurator:
According to one of the articles I read, kids were in the habit of stashing their shoes in the rolled-up gym mats, hence why he would have been reaching into one in the first place. It's not crazy to suppose that another kid later on tossed their shoes into the rolled-up mat which, unbeknownst to them, had a dead body in it.

According to the Grantland article, his feet were sticking out the top of the mat (that's how his body was finally discovered) so someone putting shoes into the mat surely would have noticed.

I'm with the 'doesn't necessarily sound like murder but something really weird was going on here' crowd. Like maybe they screwed something up in the investigation and then had to start doing more weird stuff to hide that initial screwup.
 
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