Critically important video in Kendrick Johnson case is coincidentally missing

Friday, December 20, 2013

Good Morning:

CNN reported yesterday that Michael Moore, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, issued a grand jury subpoena to seize the original hard drives of the video surveillance system at the Lowndes County High School.

Victor Blackwell of CNN demonstrates on Anderson 360 why they are important during this interview of Grant Fredericks, a forensic video analyst hired by CNN “to analyze more than 290 hours of material from all 35 cameras inside and outside of the gym. Fredericks is a U.S. Justice Department consultant and contract instructor for the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.”

VB: CNN has hired Grant Fredericks and his team at Forensic Video Solutions to analyze the hundreds of hours of surveillance from Lowndes High School, Although he does not believe the jumpy video is the result of editing, he says there are some other major problems.

GF: Those files are not original files. They’re not something that an investigator should rely on for the truth of the video. They’ve been altered in a number of ways, primarily in image quality and likely in dropped information, information lost. They’re also a number of files that have been corrupted because they have not been processed correctly and they’re not playable. I can’t say why they were done that way but they were not done correctly and they were not done thoroughly. So, we’re missing information.

VB: Fredericks says that’s probably due to how a investigators acquired the surveillance video.

GF: Right now, what they’ve done is they have left it up to the school district to define what it is they want to provide to the police, and I think that probably is a mistake.

VB: According to Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office incident reports, a detective watched a portion of the surveillance video the day Kendrick Johnson was found. Then he asked the school board’s information technology worker for a copy of the surveillance video for the entire wing of the school with the old gym for the last 48 hours. Five days later, that IT worker provided a hard drive and, according to the incident report, the detective said it contained the requested surveillance video.

GH: The investigator’s responsibility is to acquire the entire digital video recording system and then have their staff define what they want to obtain. You don’t want somebody who might be a party to the responsibility to make a decision regarding what they will provide to the police.

VB: And after hours of analysis, Fredericks questions whether Lowndes County Schools provided all of the surveillance video from the old gym to investigators.

GF: There is a hole of time where none of the cameras provide any of the record that I’ve been provided.

VB: Fredericks has all of the cameras and all of the angles and all of the video released by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.

GF: There are 4 cameras in the gym that record motion from the time lights turn on in the morning until when the lights are turned off at night, except for the area of interest.

VB: The moment before Kendrick Johnson enters the gym. Look at what happens to the recordings from these four cameras in the gym. The time is recorded with the video.

The first camera captures images from the start of the day until 12:04 pm, then, nothing. It picks up again at 1:09 pm.

There’s consistent surveillance from the second camera until 11:05 am. Then it stops and picks up more than two hours later at 1:15 pm.

The third camera also drops at 11:05 am. It picks up again at 1:16 pm.

And from the final camera, there’s surveillance until 12:04 pm. No recording for more than an hour. Then it picks up again at 1:09 pm.

GF: I would absolutely expect there would be some record of that activity and we don’t have any here.

VB: Here’s why Frederick would have expected the motion activated system to record during that time. During that hour and five minutes, several students can be seen walking into and out of the old gym from the surveillance camera just outside the gym door.

We count seven male students and three of them walk into the gym within three minutes prior to Kendrick walking into the gym.

GF: I can’t tell you whether there was no information recorded in the video system or whether somebody made an error or whether someone made an error and didn’t capture it or whether somebody just didn’t provide it.

VB: When surveillance in the gym resumes at 1:09 pm, we can see just these few frames of Kendrick Johnson running in the gym.

Here’s that moment from all of the cameras in the gym, although there’s a record from only two, and the camera just outside the door. Notice the hall camera time stamp appears to be 10 minutes behind and there’s no confirmation that either camera matches the exact time of day. It is the last time his image is captured on video. For the next hour, there are multiple gaps in the video surveillance for the gym.

And that is crucial, It’s a really important time.

GF: Well, it really is the only option to answer the question of what really happened.

VB: And there’s no video showing the initial discovery of a body in the gym. The next time we see Kendrick Johnson is the following day when he’s being wheeled out of they gym in a body bag.

Do you believe that it’s a coincidence that that time period in the gym is missing?

GF: Oh, boy. Investigators are always suspicious, and should be suspicious it’s suspicious that that time period is not there, so yes, I would be suspicious and until I have the digital video system in my hands and I can say or an investigator can say everything is intact, this was what was recorded, I would still be highly suspicious of this.

VB: So after fighting for months on a city street corner and in the county courthouse to get the surveillance video, Kendrick Johnson’s parents still do not know who was in the gym before Kendrick ran in, nor who, if anyone, was there or what happened in those moments afterward.

We also know from previous reports that video recorded from the only camera aimed at the area where Kendrick Johnson’s body was discovered is blurry.

The probability that all of the missing and blurry video is coincidental must be vanishingly small.

There appears to be something rotten in Lowndes County, Georgia and the corruption runs deep and sloppy.

In this case, I can confidently conclude that absence of evidence is not proof of absence.

Let’ts hope the missing evidence has not been destroyed and can be retrieved from the original hard drives.

38 Responses to Critically important video in Kendrick Johnson case is coincidentally missing

  1. Lyn says:

    Harrington Funeral Home stated that Kendrick’s body was treated per protocol for a decomposing body.

  2. aussie says:

    No movement doesn’t mean they stopped recording. The video could have just been paused instead of played back, producing a copy on which an hour or more was just the one same still shot it was stopped at.

    Kendrick is shown alive when the videos start again. So what was cut out? an argument or scuffle with people who would then immediately become suspects?

    His face didn’t look like he was just pushed into the mat. He was beaten up first. The organs would have been disappeared because a ruptured liver or ruptured spleen doesn’t fit with a reaching-for-shoes-accident story.

    Even if overwritten maybe once, the files might be recoverable, although they’d be less convincing to a jury if they’d been pieced together. On the other hand, with luck, someone just deleted the files after copying parts of them and maybe forgot to empty the trash can. Wouldn’t that be great?

    • Lyn says:

      Both autopsies saw no evidence that the face was beaten. The organs were disposed of due to decomposing, but GBI has slides of all the organs that were made available to Anderson for examination on the 2nd post. .

      • aussie says:

        What does a slide containing a tiny slice of organ tissue prove?

        Look at it like this. I get a loaf of bread and stomp hard on one end of it, to squash it flat. Then I cut you a perfect slice off the other end. Does that “prove” there was no damage to the whole loaf?

        The organs “went missing” to hide evidence of damage on at least one of them. Dumping them all distracts from “which one” and the decomposition is a convenient excuse. The rest of the body was not too decomposed WEEKS LATER for a second autopsy.

        • Lyn says:

          To those with MD degrees and forensic experience, slides tell the tale of the organ. The 2nd autopsy was done months later after the body had been treated by the funeral home normally.

          • aussie says:

            Lyn??? what are you talking about????

            A slide containing a sample of a liver may show if the person had eg cirrhosis. It will NOT show that some other part of the liver was bruised or stabbed or shot or suffered some other trauma.

            1) the whole body including the organs was left untreated by any funeral home, for a number of days.
            2) they CLAIM the organs were too decomposed even after 1 day to be included with the body
            3) the body itself stayed good enough for DAYS to go to the funeral home to get the “treated normally” you speak of
            4) embalming etc does not preserve the body forever
            5) several MONTHS later the body was still intact enough for the 2nd autopsy to be performed.

            So the body was un-decomposed enough after 3 days to still be embalmed well enough to be not decomposed months later, BUT the SAME 3 days turned the organs into much that had to be discarded??

            what planet are you on?

  3. dianetrotter says:

    Sounds like a lot of people should get some time over this in the form of aiders, abettors, accessories after the fact, etc. I can’t wait to see how this rolls out.

    • “Rolls out” is a good way to describe it because the mystery is like a big ball of yarn and legitimate investigators are like cats studying and probing it looking for the loose thread that will unravel it, rolling it out.

      If someone messed with the original digital video recording system or produced an incomplete copy for the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, and the unexplained gaps give us reason to believe that someone someone did one or both, then it should be possible to find evidence confirming that they did on the original hard drives.

      If such evidence is found, the investigators would attempt to identify who was responsible. The IT guy would be the primary suspect, since he produced the copy. If he didn’t do it, he would likely know who did because he would have assigned that person to produce the copy for the sheriff’s office.

      Facing prosecution and prison time, the person who did it would have a strong incentive to roll on the person or persons who directed him to do it.

      This is how the feds investigate cases.

      The problem is the hard drives may have been overwritten so many times that it may not be possible to determine if they were altered, or if they vary from the copy provided to the sheriff’s office. This is a serious and legitimate concern.

    • ladystclaire says:

      I can’t wait either Diane because there are definitely A LOT of people involved in this cover up. Including school personnel.

      • ladystclaire says:

        BTW, how’s that for people’s tax dollars at work? Not only is LE active in this cover up, there is also some in the education system covering this up as well.

        • Malisha says:

          I believe that we as taxpayers pay for LOTS of cover-ups. I know that as a taxpayer I have personally paid for cover-ups in nine states and of course, federal taxes pay for the biggest cover-ups of all. Come to think of it, my taxes helped to pay for the cover-up of the murder of Trayvon Martin.

  4. “VB: Here’s why Frederick would have expected the motion activated system to record during that time. During that hour and five minutes, several students can be seen walking into and out of the old gym from the surveillance camera just outside the gym door.”

    As long as they are on a roll corrupting evidence, watch them try to say the other students walking around avoided the motion detectors by doing something like this:

  5. colin black says:

    Some where in the chain of evidence a person or persons with IT knowlage has altered digital vt evidence .

    Produceing a disc with all incriminating footage deleted.
    An unless we have accsess to the soft wear an hardware used to produce the clensed digital disc .

    We will never know what entailed at least through the medium of vision.

    Was there also sound recorded to tally with the vt one would expect lots of shouts for passes ect or drunts an groans to be the sound track to gym hall an gymvt?

    An if so were there gaps in audio an yells an screams for help deleted out!

    Or the banshee wail of a pack of thugs attacking edited out?
    Me thinks affirmative Is how Spock would answer.

    Both Mr an Dr.

  6. I realize that what I am about to say may conflict with the result of the 2nd autopsy, but I can’t shake the impression that someone laid a trap for KJ by jamming his shoes in the tunnel formed by the rolled up mat so that he would have to reach for them. Then that someone, aided by another, placed the rolled up mat upright in the middle of other rolled up mats with the shoes just beyond reach from the exposed end of the mat.

    When KJ reached in with one arm and could not quite reach his shoes, he withdrew his arm and worked his head and arm into the tunnel to extend his reach.

    Then they jumped him and stuffed his body as far into the tunnel as they could, using their strength and possibly weights.

    Then they left him.

    He would not have been able to tip over the mat because of the other mats around it.

    They may not have intended to kill him, but they wanted him to suffer. In other words, an act exhibiting a depraved mind indifferent to human life or a reckless act causing death or a criminally or grossly negligent act that resulted in death.

    If it happened that way, I would expect that the injury to his neck would be on the side opposite the extended arm caused by the stress from the separation of the shoulder from the head as he was pushed deeper into the narrow tunnel.

    I would also look for a slippery substance that might have been applied to the sides of the tunnel to facilitate shoving his body deeper into it.

    His body would have muted his screams for help.

    Finally, I would look for movies or games where someone was killed in this manner and, if I found one, I would attempt to connect it to one or more of my suspects as the source for the idea.

    This would have been simple to accomplish in a short period of time by as little as one or two people without drawing a lot of attention.

    • colin black says:

      Yup cooking oil or washing up liquid would be the perfect medium to grease up the inside rubber of those mats .

      Apply gravity an you would slide down like an oiled up seal.

      Prisoners often use either of those substances smeared over landings an stairs hit the riot buttons an cause officers to skid an hurt them selfs as they, charge about.

    • bettykath says:

      So 2 cameras quit at 11:05 and start again at 1:15/1:16. (cameras 2 and 3). A 2 hour 10 min gap.

      And 2 cameras quit12:04 and start again at 1:09. (cameras 1 and 4) A 1 hour 5 min gap.

      And additional gaps that may be due to lack of motion to start the cameras but does the hall camera show people going in who should have tripped the motion detector?

      I guess questions like this are mostly rhetorical at this point.

    • bettykath says:

      This scenario seems possible.

      The blunt force trauma identified in the 2nd autopsy was on the right side. The picture I have in my mind has his right arm extended but I don’t know if that was from a photo, something I read or my imagination after reading something that wasn’t specific. It information may have been in the coroner’s report or an Ebony article.

      If the boys were messing with Kendrick’s shoes, it might explain why he was running when he entered the gym. It might also explain why the boys who started to enter the gym behind Kendrick changed their minds. If this is the case, these boys would be able to say who was in the gym.

      Earlier stories told of Kendrick dating a white girl who had been dating the Sheriff’s son, but I believe the Sheriff said he doesn’t have a son. What if the white girl was dating one of the FBI agent’s sons? It would have been easy enough to confuse one police agent dad with another. Or there was a lack of specificity that led to an incorrect assumption. And what if the white girl was the daughter of a state legislator who also worked at the school?

    • ladystclaire says:

      How would that explain, the condition of his face? Someone beat this child to death and, his face proves it. his organs and brain were missing, because of the trauma caused by the beating that, this kid took. His nails were cut, to destroy any DNA that May have been present under them.

      • Good questions.

        I am not a pathologist and I lack sufficient knowledge to conclude that he was beaten to death, although it certainly looks like was.

        That’s why I said my theory might conflict with the results of the second autopsy.

        My theory is just a theory and it could be wrong.

        But, if it should turn out that the second pathologist’s conclusions don’t withstand scrutiny, my theory does not conflict with the result reported by the GBI medical examiner who performed the first autopsy.

        Therefore, think of my theory as a back-up theory or a form of insurance.

    • gblock says:

      I still tend to believe that Kendrick being rolled into or stuffed into the mat was something that happened after he was severely injured or dead.

      • You may be right.

        Something keeps nagging at me, almost as if KJ’s spirit keeps trying to communicate with me.

        I keep seeing it happen in my minds eye and I feel his terror.

        There, I said it.

        But, I am or attempt to be a rational person.

        Not surprising that Moon and Mercury are in mutual reception in my natal chart.

  7. kllypyn says:

    There is something fishy going on here.

  8. Malisha says:

    An Army CID officer taught me that “there is no such thing as coincidence.” Of course that’s not true; there ARE coincidences. But when you get THREE coincidences in the space of an hour and there are other facts that lead to the conclusion that something most probably happened during that hour that is triggering a cover-up, “coincidence” comes pretty close to being ruled out.

    • Coincidence is an improbable explanation difficult to quantify because we are missing information. Nevertheless, I feel comfortable saying that the probability that these events can be attributed to coincidence is vanishingly small.

      In a word, “Yep.”

  9. Lyn says:

    what does all this mean to you Fred. What is it saying?

    • When multiple unusual events coincide, I suspect the events were related in some way and did not occur by chance independently.

      I look for a theory or theories that connect the events to each other.

      Then I look for evidence that would support or refute each theory until I have the answer.

      The unusual circumstances here of KJ’s death exactly coinciding with gaps in video-surveillance coverage is statistically improbable.

      Add the result of the second autopsy, the possible revenge motive of the kid whom KJ humiliated on the bus ride after the football loss at an away game, and the kid’s father’s connection to law enforcement, we have a viable theory to investigate,

      That is, KJ’s death was a homicide committed to avenge the humiliation on the bus and covered up by the father and his network of friends and associates in and out of law enforcement.

      Seizing the hard drives to find out whether they have been altered is a necessary step to test the theory.

      Assuming it existed, the conspiracy that I have outlined has many moving parts and vulnerabilities.

      Alteration of the data on the hard drives would support the theory and lead to exposing the loose thread likely to unravel the conspiracy.

      This is the method I have used successfully to search for the truth.


      • bettykath says:

        And the humiliated kid was humiliated a second time in their second altercation when he was again defeated by Kendrick. Dad must have felt the humiliation as well since he tried to get the second altercation to happen (unsuccessfully)
        on his turf.

  10. bettykath says:

    It certainly is suspicious that and hour or two of video is “missing”, but it would be more suspicious if that hour or two were after Kendrick was last seen. What we don’t know is the activity for the hour or two before Kendrick entered the gym. Apparently the tapes recorded everything after he went in.

    What could be on the tapes in two hours before Kendrick went into the gym that would be incriminating? The identity of the students in the gym at the time could be determined by the video showing them going into the gym. The tapes and other information seem to be consistent in showing the time that Kendrick went into the gym so it doesn’t look like someone messed with time. It’s a puzzlement.

    • Apparently the tapes recorded everything after he went in.

      Not so, BK.

      From the interview:

      VB: When surveillance in the gym resumes at 1:09 pm, we can see just these few frames of Kendrick Johnson running in the gym.

      Here’s that moment from all of the cameras in the gym, although there’s a record from only two, and the camera just outside the door. Notice the hall camera time stamp appears to be 10 minutes behind and there’s no confirmation that either camera matches the exact time of day. It is the last time his image is captured on video. For the next hour, there are multiple gaps in the video surveillance for the gym.

      And that is crucial, It’s a really important time.

      GF: Well, it really is the only option to answer the question of what really happened.

      As to what was going on before KJ showed up, it might identify some of the perpetrators setting a trap.

  11. racerrodig says:

    When one remembers who is connected to a Federal Investigator here, I’m shocked any video has been turned over…..hell !! I’m waiting for someone there to pronounce some kid is a hero of some sort.

  12. Rachael says:

    Coincidental means happening because of a coincidence : not planned. There is noting coincidental about this!

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