Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


The bottom line of Folien 1

As we now look at the bottom line, we will ask two questions: 1) Can it be a representation of the bottom edge of either a conical or a cylindrical drinking glass, and 2) if it can be a representation of the bottom end (edge) of any type of object?

Just a quick recap: When you take a lift from a cylindrical glass (top and bottom diameters are even) you will find two straight and parallel lines on the lift. When you take a lift from a round conical glass (top diameter is bigger than the bottom one) you will get two concentric arcs (parallel circular curves) on the lift.

Although the top line is not really a curve but rather a compilation of straight lines, it is not consistent with the type of line the top edge of a cylindrical glass would leave. The defence experts also suggested a conical tumbler, and they highlighted the "two parallel curves" in support of this. Cylindrical drinking glasses are very scarce and in most cases there will be some difference between the top and bottom diameters. Therefore it is safe to exclude a cylindrical glass right away. A glass with for example a square top edge has never been argued, and this would be very evident in the line it would leave. So we can exclude such a glass as well. Hence we will continue to look at the possibility of a round conical glass only.

As we have seen on this page, with a conical glass the top and bottom edges are circles. If you would "fold" a glass open, the top and bottom edges would be circular curves which are part of full circles. These two circles will have the same origin (epicentre).

When we consider the bottom line on Folien 1 as possibly a representation of a the bottom edge of a conical drinking glass, we need to ask:

1) Is the line a curve of any kind?

2) Is the line a circular curve? A circular curve is a curve with a constant radius. It is part of a circle.

3) Is the curve part of a concentric unit with the top line?

Before we continue, it is important to realise and agree that if the line is a representation of the bottom edge of a round conical drinking glass, it needs to be a circular arc and it needs to be concentric to the top line. It is not a matter of "maybe, maybe not". Margin of error due to smudging and flaking could be granted but the average trajectory of the line must be circular and it needs to work as part of a concentric unit with the top line.

Let us look at one permutation of a set of curves and see how they fit on the lines of Folien 1.

Above is the curves that Mr Wertheim's Glass #2 would leave. Dimensions: 82 mm high, 79 mm top dia, 64 mm bottom dia. His glass is a bit higher than the height the distance between the lines. Nevertheless, it gives an idea of typical curves and how the lines on Folien 1 should have looked liked more or less.

We realise that there are millions of permutations of curves. The smaller the bottom diameter becomes in relation to the top one, the smaller both circles become - in normal speak, the curves will be "more curved". Equally, the closer the diameters become to being the same, the "straighter" the lines would become.

What is more important to note, however, is that irrespective of any permutation, no circular curve will ever fit on the bottom line. Even though it is visually clear that the bottom line is simply not a curve of any kind, we have performed regression analyses on the line.

From a common baseline we measured coordinates over 49 spread intervals of 1 mm. In order to ensure accuracy, this was done under magnification and measured with an electronic measurement tool.

After the data were fed into a regression calculator, the result showed that the bottom line is an extremely poor fit to a circular curve, as we can see below.

Furthermore, this exercise also confirmed that the bottom line could therefore not form part of a concentric unit with the top line.

Thus, based on the nature of the line, the fact that it is not a circular curve, the bottom line on Folien 1 can be excluded as being a representation of the bottom edge of a drinking glass.

Before we move on to some other issues, let's look at some photo's of the bottom line.

It is clear that the line is made up of some straight segments.

Now let's look if the line can be a representation of the bottom edge of any object.

Let's first look at the top edge quickly again.

What is especially noticeable in the top line is the amount of smudging. About 50% of the line was severely affected by smudging. This was due to rubbing over the top edge of the object, right? Now, if we have smudging in the top line because the folien stuck over the top edge, why would we not have smudging in the bottom line if the folien stuck over the bottom edge too?

As the hand rubs over the top and bottom edges it creates smudging in the lines where the folien meets the edges. It may be very minimal but the folien bends over the edge during rubbing over the edge. If we look at the complete lack of smudging in the bottom line, are we to believe that only rubbing over the top edge took place and not the bottom? Why would you only rub over one end?

Let's look at the top and bottom line together.

If we consider this for the moment to be the top and bottom edges of a drinking glass, we can grant that the top edge has a rim and the bottom not and therefore it may record the respective edges differently, but ask yourself why there is absolutely no smudging or flaking in the bottom line.

Let's look at what Mr Zeelenberg’s lift's bottom line looks like.

Flaking and smudging is very visible although the average of the line stays circular.

This flaking is because of the round bottom edge of the glass. As you rub the folien over the edge it will to varying degrees make contact further around the round edge, recording these flakings.

There is absolutely no indication of any smudging or flaking in the bottom line of Folien 1, which would suggest that unlike the top line it does not suggest the edge of an object.

The kinks in the bottom line may suggest this type of irregular contact around the rounding of a glass, much as the flaking in Zeelenberg's line. We must remember two things. The trajectory of the line is still not circular. Even if it was flaking, the line's trajectory is not right. Also, if you compare it with the flaking in Zeelenberg's line, you will note that you can still see the average line running through the flaking. It is as if the flakes are hanging from below this average line. The deflections in the Folien 1 line seems to be solid. If we look a the most noticeable deflection towards the right, one will note that the average line runs straight through a drop in the deflection area. This means that if that area was a flake, then the drop would have been right on the rounding of the glass, which is impossible. Gravity and capillary action would have pulled it onto the surface below. There is no indication that these deflections and kinks are flakes due to rubbing around an edge.

We must also consider that the shape of the line would to a great extent be indicative of the shape of the object. Can you think of an object with such a shape at its bottom end?


- The bottom line is not a curve and most certainly not a circular curve. This immediately excludes it as a representation of the bottom edge of a conical drinking glass.

- The bottom line is not part of a concentric unit with the top line. Considered separately and jointly with the top line, the bottom line cannot be from the bottom edge of a drinking glass.

- The lack of smudging and flaking in the line suggest that it is not a representation of the end or an edge of an object, or at least that no rubbing occurred over the end/edge.

- The shape of the line does not suggests the shape of the bottom egde of any reasonable object.

So, how was the bottom line most likely formed?

According to Const Swartz' testimony, he received the fully dusted cover from Inspector Mariaan Booysens. He applied a first folien towards the bottom half of the folien. He removed it and found no good prints on it. He put it in his briefcase to discard later. He put a second folien on the top part of the DVD cover, with the folien sticking over the edge of the DVD cover. He removed this folien, saw good prints on it and marked it as Folien 1.

Above is a very simplistic explanation by way of an illustration. There are many variables. The quality of the powder, the way the foliens were pasted, the way the folien were removed, etc. But it illustrates the very basic principle. (The line of the cut corner of the first lift would not necessarily record on the second lift, as Swartz told that he would hold the folien here between his forefinger and thumb in order to remove it easier. Therefore it did not make contact with the plastic.)

The "line" is full of kinks most possibly because the first folien did not paste in a straight line initially. If you do not rub the folien fully along the top edge, it does not make proper and regular contact with the plastic and when you lift it, it will record the powder irregularly. Or it may be that the folien was not cut that well. It is standard practice that larger sheets of folien are cut into smaller pieces before use.

Focus on the top line of Folien 1

Lines Intro



© 2013/2014/2015 Mollett - All rights reserved