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Dyatlov Pass Forum

Author Topic: Fascinated by forensics OR lack thereof!  (Read 2490 times)

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November 02, 2018, 08:30:40 PM
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PghRunner


Hi group! My name is Heather and I'm brand/awkwardly new.  I learned about the Dyatlov hikers during the infamous Discovery Channel...whatever it was.  My interest was rekindled when I watched "Devils Pass" which, all things considered, wasn't a terrible movie and the twist at the end was kind of cool....Anyway, I haven't been able to tear myself away from researching the incident all week.  I'm in deep--and I'm excited to meet everyone!

I'm a fiction author and I love a good mystery.  This one drives me insane.  My day job is in medical claim investigation so I know *just enough* about the workings of the human body to be dangerous.  I've poured over the forum, the autopsy reports, and all the photographs, but have a few questions to run past the group.  Apologies if they are covered elsewhere--I couldn't find them!

1.  If Lyuda was face down in a creek, enough to the point that her tongue and "diaphragm" of the mouth was gone, wouldn't the expectation be for some of that water to make it into her stomach?  In some places, it seems like she was resting on her cheek, on others it seems like she was face planted.  If that much tissue had been destroyed, I'd also think some of that fluid would have flowed into her stomach, yet, there is no mention of water--just a bloody mass.

2.  Rustik was an insanely handsome man.  Yet, his post-mortem pictures look nothing like him.  Would this be from tissue damage from frostbite and the elements?  Or this this indicative of facial trauma (such as, but not limited to, being hit by a person/ice sheet/ground/rock/whatever).  In comparison, the Yuris and Dyatlov still had facial structure and tone comparative to that in life.

3.  Injuries to hands/wrists.  Reasonable theories for The Event that lead to the death of the nine could be attack or a situation caused by nature, i.e. sheet ice slide of avalanche.  Either way, I would have expected more trauma to their hands.  For example, if Rustik had fallen headfirst into a rock or the ground, I'd expect to see fractures in his wrists or at least some bruising--at least some edema.  I tripped and broke my ankle running a 10K and it swelled up like a softball in no time at all.  Along those lines, the Rav4--if they had been pitched/fell into a ravine, I would have thought there would be more tissue damage.  Especially Lyuda.  I can see her being slammed into that position by the flood of snow/ice pushing here that way--but reflex would be for her to break her fall/stop the momentum with her hands.  If the group was attacked by a group or person, I'd expect to see defensive wounds.  It's mentioned somewhat, but not to the extent I'd think: you have 9 strong, hardy individuals and the only physical damage is on Dyatlov's hand and on their knuckles?  To me, this means that (assuming it was an attacker) it was a) either someone they knew and had no reason to fear or b) they were corralled with weapons they couldn't fight against.  Hence the knives in the tent: if you're being attacked by a person or persons with a gun, it's pretty pointless.

4. Body position.  Considering both rigor mortis and soft tissue freezing, my guess is that many of the nine were found in the same positions in how they died.  Unless, of course, the survivors of The Event took clothes off the dead to warm themselves.  Which, I can see.  However, the Yuris are positioned with their arms over their heads.  If they were undressed and their arms fell back in place, because they had passed away, they wouldn't try to avoid hitting themselves and the arm would fall back onto their chest or to the side.  Unless, of course, shirts were pulled over their heads?  Along similar lines, Dyatlov seems to be in a defensive position, with his fists slightly raised and clenched.  Zina is the only one who really seems like she just keeled over and froze: her body is in more of a fetal position, with her arms clenched close to her stomach.  Also--hand positioning.  After death, muscles typically relax.  I wouldn't think everyone had would have clenched fists, unless, the theory of attack is correct and they died trying to defend themselves.  Is this phenomenon related to the cold?

5. Forensic clues not related to the bodies themselves: well, not physically.  When we talk about what they were wearing/not wearing, my biggest question isn't "why didn't they get dressed before they left the tent" but instead would be "why weren't they dressed anyway?"  I've been researching what it takes to hike the Appalachian Trail (maybe someday guys, but not until my kids are older) and a lot of it is packing light and wearing what you need.  Anytime I've camped light, I just sleep in what I have on.  And look, I'm a wimp and don't camp when it's cold and snowy.  But The Nine did.  I would imagine that they'd want to be as warm as possible--but not sweating--and would leave a lot of those layers on.  Definitely not stripped down like the Yuris were to their underwear.  I've only done that one time---and that was in the middle of summertime in the United States.  Why were they undressed that much in the first place?  I can see not putting on shoes....but pants?  I'm not meaning this in any kind of weird/sexual thing, but more along the lines of it just seems odd to me that there would be any question of having to get dressed if they had to leave the tent.  They knew the risks.  They KNEW that there could possibly be an avalanche in those conditions, so, why put down your guard?

That's it for now.  I could make a list al night of my questions, thoughts, theories, insights, ideas...but I don't want to scare anyone off yet, haha!

All the love,
Heather
We're all stories in the end....so make it a good one, eh?
 

November 03, 2018, 09:51:50 AM
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Marchesk


Hello Heather. This is a fascinating case.

I can only address number five. I believe the hikers would take off their outer clothes and boots inside the tent. You have 9 people crammed together inside a thick tent with a stove (even though it probably wasn't used that evening). And the tent would have been dug down into the snow. So it should be warm enough. I imagine keeping all that outer clothing on over night would have been uncomfortable.

I'm guessing Igor and the rest of them didn't think avalanche, high winds, or the cold was of particular risk when pitching the tent, even though it was a challenge to camp there. They might not have used the stove because of the wind that evening would have created too much of a draft with the stove pipe sticking out.

As for the Yuris being found in their underwear, this is most likely do to them dying first, and the other hikers scavenging parts of their clothing for warmth. Things got desperate. What's not known is why some of the hikers left the tent better dressed. Maybe from going outside right before whatever went down to use the bathroom, or take photos of lights in the sky. Maybe from being on stove duty. Perhaps they were just slower undressing inside.

 

November 03, 2018, 12:09:45 PM
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PghRunner


Excellent points: and I have to agree with the Yuris, because it does make sense that the base need for survival would be to take the clothes and try to stay alive.  The Yuris weren't using them.  And with their arms above their heads, it does make sense for trying to pull off a sweater.  Like trying to dress my kids when they were little--over and up.

What I'm not sure I can convince myself on it that they wouldn't have considered the elements when putting up the tent.  Maybe a novice hiker, but they'd done this before and were educated.  I don't think they'd have gotten to that level without having mind for safety.  Basic human needs are shelter and warmth; so of all the things you'd think they'd want to be absolutely certain stayed safe and intact, you'd guess the tent and their shoes.  Wet feet=frostbite.  No shelter in show=frostbite.  Frostbite=death.

We're all stories in the end....so make it a good one, eh?
 

November 03, 2018, 05:24:15 PM
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sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
Iam getting more interested in FORENSICS. You have raised some good points in fairly easy to understand way.

 [1]  Thats something that has been bugging me since I first learned of this tragedy.  There has been plenty of too and throw on this Forum about the missing tongue and eyes, its one of the real mysteries because no one has been able to say for sure how she sustained those injuries. Plenty of speculation though. The clue may be in the HOID BONE, that part is a real tough cookie, and we have it that it was in an unusual state. Now that set me thinking that that would hardly be likely to be due to water or microbes etc.

[2]  Slight hand injuries. If there had been a dramatic sequence of accidents as the authorities and unfortunately many other people would like us to believe, I hardly think such injuries would be slight. Even if there was fighting of some kind such injuries would probably be much worse. That doesnt mean that there wasnt something that they were confronted with.  They may have raised their hands in a natural defensive mode as any of us would do.

[3]  Same with some of the body positions.  They look somewhat defensive. 

[4]  Dressed or undressed.  Iam having difficulty with this one. I was in a Tent once on heathland in winter in England, when I was about their average age, and it was very cold and there was snow. Our tent was small and just me and one other person in it. Very basic and no groundsheet as such. I slept with a shirt on and trousers and no sleeping bag, in sub zero temperatures, not as cold as Siberia, but I think people could sleep in such conditions without much clothing on.

[5]  I have been pushing the line that the decision to pitch the Tent on such an exposed mountain side was unusual, to say the least.  Even the authorities are saying it was extremely bad weather conditions at the time, so hardly a good decision from experienced hikers unless they were afraid of camping in or near the forest. 
DB
 

November 03, 2018, 07:47:10 PM
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PghRunner


We need to take a forensics class!

I wonder what how much the cold impacted what we see.  What I mean that is, thinking about the damage to Rustik and Thiboux's heads.  With fractures of that severity, I'd expect at least SOME blood loss, yet, there is no evidence of this.  There's no evidence of blood anywhere---and even with the time that passed between death and being found, I'm surprised rescuers didn't see any blood in the snow.  Oxidization would have left it brown by that point, I'd think, but still.....it just boggles my mind.  Especially Thiboux; that was a massive skull fracture, yet, there's no outer tissue damage?  I'm guessing that had to have been because of the cold?  Blood vessels would have been more constricted, perhaps?

But, then, the Sherlock in me could also say, well, the lack of blood shows they weren't killed on the mountain, haha!!
We're all stories in the end....so make it a good one, eh?
 

November 03, 2018, 10:53:09 PM
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Marchesk


But, then, the Sherlock in me could also say, well, the lack of blood shows they weren't killed on the mountain, haha!!

There are murder theories, if you want to go down that rabbit hole. Thing is that the evidence we have does not definitively show why they left their tent. If there was an avalanche, no signs of it were left when the search party got there. Or at least they don't notice it.

And people also argue about what happened after leaving the tent, and whether those injuries could have come from falling down, falling out of the cedar tree, triggering a den collapse, and running water.

 

November 03, 2018, 11:53:18 PM
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Loose}{Cannon

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Welcome to the Pass Heather....   its all downhill from here.    whacky1
All theories are flawed....... Get Behind Me Satan !!!
 

November 04, 2018, 08:22:12 AM
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PghRunner


Welcome to the Pass Heather....   its all downhill from here.    whacky1

Ba-dum-chaaaaaa.  I see what ya did here!   clap1

It really is.  It starts out with, boy, this is rather strange.  Maybe I'll research it a little.  Then it turns into I MUST DEVOTE TIME TO SOLVING THIS!!! 
We're all stories in the end....so make it a good one, eh?
 

November 04, 2018, 08:27:47 AM
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PghRunner


But, then, the Sherlock in me could also say, well, the lack of blood shows they weren't killed on the mountain, haha!!

There are murder theories, if you want to go down that rabbit hole. Thing is that the evidence we have does not definitively show why they left their tent. If there was an avalanche, no signs of it were left when the search party got there. Or at least they don't notice it.

And people also argue about what happened after leaving the tent, and whether those injuries could have come from falling down, falling out of the cedar tree, triggering a den collapse, and running water.

I think that's the most interesting/frustrating thing about this case: every single theory IS completely plausible.  The evidence can be manipulated to support any theory.  And, at times, I think murder makes us feel "better," if you will, because mentally we can say "there's nothing they could have done to prevent their deaths."  But if it WAS an accident and there were things that they could have done to prevent their deaths.....that's just a hard pill to swallow.  We WANT them to live.  We WANT them to decide to pitch the tent by the woods this time, or not leave the tent and head down-hill, or try to get back to the tent.  The lack of closure is what keeps bringing us back.
We're all stories in the end....so make it a good one, eh?
 

November 06, 2018, 01:25:19 PM
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sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
We need to take a forensics class!

I wonder what how much the cold impacted what we see.  What I mean that is, thinking about the damage to Rustik and Thiboux's heads.  With fractures of that severity, I'd expect at least SOME blood loss, yet, there is no evidence of this.  There's no evidence of blood anywhere---and even with the time that passed between death and being found, I'm surprised rescuers didn't see any blood in the snow.  Oxidization would have left it brown by that point, I'd think, but still.....it just boggles my mind.  Especially Thiboux; that was a massive skull fracture, yet, there's no outer tissue damage?  I'm guessing that had to have been because of the cold?  Blood vessels would have been more constricted, perhaps?

But, then, the Sherlock in me could also say, well, the lack of blood shows they weren't killed on the mountain, haha!!


We need some evidence to apply the forensics to.  Or maybe it might still be possible to dig up some evidence at the site of the event or events. Looking at stories of people who have met their demise in extreme low temperature conditions might help our cause, I say might, but this Dyatlov mystery is a mystery like no other.
DB