Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Case of Preston Hughes III: The Searchers Part 2

Having considered the absence of any visible blood (and the likely absence of any blood whatsoever) on the clothing taken from Preston Hughes' apartment, it is now time to consider the eyeglasses discovered (or planted) between the cushions of his couch. The first step is to have a look at them. Here's the remote shot.

You can see them if you look hard, if you squint. There they are between the center seat cushion and the one beside it, the one rightmost in the image.

Here's the second shot, presumably the one the HPD would consider to be a closeup.

There you go. You can barely see the glasses unless you click on the image to enlarge it. So I've cropped the glasses, enlarged them, and rotated them for easier viewing. Here they are now, the best look at them so far.

For simplicity, I'll refer to these glasses as Shandra's glasses, though I do not know with certainty that they are.

Shandra's glasses do not appear to me as if they simply fell there. They are not laying either in between or on top of the cushions. They are wedged between the cushions. The upper rims have somehow been forced into the side of the upper cushion. (For convenience, I'll refer to the two cushions as the upper and lower cushions.)

The arrangement seems odd to me, so let me tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to conduct a test. I'm going to repeatedly drop my cheap, well-used reading glasses between the cushions of my couch, take some photos, and report my results. Hang on. I'll be right back.

[removing smudges from lenses]

[dropping glasses repeatedly]

[taking crappy photos of glasses where they fell]

[importing images to my computer]

[using GIMP to select images and crop them to appropriate size]

Okay. I'm back. Here we go.

Most of the times I dropped my cheap, well-used, temporarily smudge-free reading glasses near the seams between the cushions, my glasses didn't actually fall into the seam. My glasses most frequently straddled the seam. My glasses did, however, fall between the seams with sufficient frequency that I have no difficulty believing eyeglasses can fall between couch cushions if dropped or placed nearby. Here's a picture of one instance in which my reading glasses fell between the cushions.

When my glasses actually landed between the cushions, they usually (almost always) ended up with the lenses nearly vertical. This is different than Shandra's glasses. Her glasses ended up with the lenses nearly horizontal.

Sometimes (not very often) my glasses end up with the lenses horizontal, just as Shandra's had.

(Try to ignore the differential lighting among the images I present. The differential is merely a reflection of my photography skills.)

While my glasses would sometimes land with lenses horizontal, they always ended up on top of the cushions. They never managed to wedge themselves in between, as Shandra's were. I did not expect that they would wedge themselves in. They're eyeglasses, not anvils.

I  did wonder, however, if they might wedge their way in between the cushions if people sat on one or both of the cushions. So I tried repeatedly to cause my glasses to wedge themselves into a position similar to Shandra's glasses. I positioned the glasses in many different positions, and I pressed on one cushion, then the other, then both. No luck. No matter what I tried, I could not give my glasses a couch cushion wedgie.

I came close a couple times. Consider the following image.

Here I managed (by pressing on the lower cushion) to get the upper rims pressing into the edge of the upper cushion. However, when I relaxed pressure on the lower cushion, my glasses rotated such that the lenses ended up in the vertical position.

Finally, I forced my glasses between the cushions to see if I could get them to remain there, between the cushions rather than on top of them, lenses horizontal rather than vertical.

TA myopia DA! Though it's somewhat difficult to see, the glasses are wedged between the sides of the two cushions. It's not quite like the arrangement of Shandra's glasses. But it's as close as I could get, given that my couch cushions are not quite as worn and soft as Preston's seem to have been.

For what it's worth, I consider my testing to be suggestive but not compelling. I accept that it is possible (but to me unlikely) that Shandra's glasses could have innocently ended up oriented between the cushions as they appear in the photo. Possible, but unlikely. I suspect instead that a human was directly involved in the unnatural placement of Shandra's glasses.

In Part 3 of The Searchers, coming soon to a blog near you, I'll discuss why this beer can ...

... provides additional evidence that Shandra's glasses were planted by the HPD.

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