Rebecca Zahau Case

Shoe Print (Ridge) Analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above photograph represents an overview of the balcony floor and the corresponding shoe prints and footprints found on the balcony by this examiner. Two red arrows located in the center of the photograph show the locations where Ms. Zahau's right foot touched the dusty balcony floor. Her right footprint is visible in two locations and is identified in the photo by her right big toe.

The two green arrows represent the directionality that Ms. Zahau was facing when the two footprints were made. This finding indicates that Rebecca was not squarely facing the balcony but rather was turned in a 45 degree angle towards the front back of the house.

 

In the top left side of the photograph there is an enhanced image of the partial boot print that police claim was left by one of their officers. Just immediately to the right of the boot print is a group of partial shoe ridges, which are unknown. Law enforcement missed these shoe prints during their investigation. It is important to note that the boot print overlaps the shoe ridges suggesting that the officer stepped on a preexisting print. It should also be pointed out that the unknown ridges are different from the boot print and are located behind Rebecca Zahau's barefoot print. This finding suggests that whoever left the partial shoe print was standing behind Ms. Zahau.

 

In the lower left of the photograph we see another enhance image of the partial ridge detail made just outside the balcony doorway. This print is indicated by an orange arrow. Police theory was that the whitish area just to the left of the ridge detail is Rebecca's left heel print. However, only small portion of discoloration is visible. No outline of a foot impression is visible. It is difficult to determine if this is indeed a heel impression or not. This examiner does not believe that this is a heel impression. However, let’s assume that it is Rebecca's heel impression as police investigators have claimed. Located just to the left and positioned on top of the impression is a group of partial ridges similar to the ridges found beside the boot impression. Accepting for a brief second the police conclusion about this particular heel print, then this finding indicates that whoever left the partial shoe ridges was standing behind Ms. Zahau. The discovery of unknown shoe ridges located behind Rebecca's right footprint impressions is more than just consequential.

 

A new discovery can be seen in the photograph located on the right. This photograph is an enhanced image of Rebecca's right foot impression made just outside the balcony doorway. On close examination, which is indicated by the red arrow, there is a group of partial ridges which extend beyond the outline of her footprint. This likely indicates that the ridges are not skin ridges from Rebecca's foot. What is most interesting is that the group of unknown ridges are similar to ridges found at other locations on the balcony. Furthermore, all the unknown shoe print ridges overlap Rebecca's footprints suggesting that another individual was on the balcony that night and was stepping on her footprints.

 

The investigative value that the shoe ridges and footprint evidence has in this case, is compelling. The findings indicate that Rebecca was not alone on the balcony the night she died. For example, no left footprints from Ms. Zahau were found on the balcony – not one. It is highly unlikely that Ms. Zahau maneuvered from the balcony door to the balcony railing on one foot. The absence of left footprints suggests that Ms. Zahau was lifted from behind and carried onto the balcony. This finding is supported by the partial unknown shoe ridges found on top and behind Rebecca's footprints.

The likely sequence of events involved the perpetrator carrying the victim from inside the room to the balcony door. The perpetrator then needed to get a better grip on the victim so he/she placed Ms. Zahau down allowing only her right foot to make contact with the dusty floor - just at the entrance. The perpetrator then lifted her up again and stepped forward towards the railing again sitting the victim down for a second allowing her right foot to make contact with the balcony floor. Then Ms. Zahau was tossed over the balcony.

 

 

Unidentified shoe patterns visible on balcony – Rebecca was not alone

I do not believe that the unknown shoe print ridges found on the balcony can be easily dismissed as some have suggested. Although some have pointed out that the shoe print ridges could have been made long before Rebecca's death and by anyone, I believe this assumption is inaccurate.

The quality of any evidence found at a crime is all that police investigators have to work with. Sometimes the evidence is clear and visible and other times it is not. While the unknown shoe ridges on the balcony are not clear two sole ridge patterns are visible. The first shoe ridge pattern is located beside the officer’s boot print. These are ridges are about ¼ inch in width. Unfortunately the officer stepped on top of the unknown shoe print but some of the ridge detail is still visible. The second shoe ridge pattern helps establish that the shoe prints were made at the same time Rebecca was on the balcony.

The Killer Stepped on top of Victim’s Footprint

A new discovery can be seen in the photograph. This photograph is an enhanced image of Rebecca's right foot impression, which is located to the right side of the balcony doorway. On close examination, which is indicated by the red arrow, there is a group of small partial ridges which extend beyond the outline of her footprint. This likely indicates that the ridges are not skin ridges from Rebecca's foot. What is most interesting is, this group of unknown ridge patterns are similar to the ridges found on the left side of the balcony door entrance. The shape of the ridge patterns to the left of the door likely indicates a perpetrator walking towards the balcony railing, while the shoe prints on the right side of the door indicates a perpetrator walking towards the balcony door opening.

On close inspection the shoe print ridges on the right side are ON TOP of Rebecca’s right footprint, which suggests that the shoe prints were made after her footprint and not weeks or months earlier as some have suggested.

The investigative value that the shoe ridges and footprint evidence has in this case, is compelling. The findings indicate that Rebecca was not alone on the balcony the night she died. For example, no left footprints from Ms. Zahau were found on the balcony – not one. It is highly unlikely that Ms. Zahau maneuvered from the balcony door to the balcony railing on one foot. The absence of left footprints suggests that Ms. Zahau was likely lifted from behind and carried onto the balcony. This finding is supported by the partial unknown shoe ridges found on top and behind Rebecca's footprints.

The likely sequence of events involved the perpetrator carrying Rebecca from inside the room to the balcony door. The perpetrator then needed to get a better grip on the victim so he/she placed her down allowing only the right foot to make contact with the dusty floor - just at the entrance. The perpetrator then lifted her up again and stepped forward towards the railing again sitting the victim down for a second time allowing her right foot to make contact with the balcony floor.

Rebecca was not alone that night on the balcony; the unidentified shoe ridge pattern is likely her killer’s.

Possible Shoe Sole Match

Beach Slipper - Eva Flip-flop

'EVA' is the abbreviation for 'Ethylene Vinyl Acetate Copolymer'. EVA is one of the quality soling products for the manufacture of various types of shoes. The EVA sole has been used in the shoe manufacturing industry for many years. The EVA basketweave sole (shown in the photo) is waterproof and 20mm in thickness. It has a skid resistant tread pattern on the sole.

The upper sole ridges of the EVA beach slipper which are larger in width are similar to the unidentified ridge pattern found on the balcony floor near the offender’s boot print. The heel pattern on the EVA beach slipper is similar to the small ridge lines found both at the balcony door entrance and on top of Rebecca’s right footprint - located on the right near the balcony entrance. Investigators should be looking for individuals who may have had similar shoes. Considering the location of the mansion (across the street from the beach) it is conceivable that the perpetrator was wearing beach type shoes.

 

 

 

 

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COPYRIGHT: (2014-15) All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from

Dr. Maurice Godwin.