describing cord
ST Page 233

"Following a tip six months earlier, I had found what seemed to be identical cord, packaged as "nylon," in both the Boulder Army Store and McGuckin's Hardware, and collected more than fifty samples. Everyone agreed that it seemed a visual match for the neck ligature, but

[u]ST Page 234[/u]

Trujillo insisted that the ligatures in the Ramsey case were not nylon and that we needed to find a polypropylene rope. I told him to have it tested anyway.

In the middle of November, John Van Tassell of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, one of the world's foremost experts on knots and cords, reviewed the neck ligature, the length of white cord that had been twisted around the broken paintbrush handle to create a terrible killing tool. Van Tassell commented that it was "a soft nylon cord." Sergeant Wickman and I immediately caught the term.

We asked if he was certain, and the Mountie studied it some more. Sure looks like soft nylon, he said, as he examined what looked like a soft flat white shoelace. Not stiff and rigid like polypropylene.

I retrieved one sample package, a fifty-foot length of white Stansport 32-strand, 3/16-inch woven cord that I had bought. Van Tassell pulled the cord out, frayed an end, held it against the end of the neck ligature, and said, "Look." The soft white braid and inner weave appeared identical. "I think this is the same cord," he said."ST Page 233

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