UPDATE April 2019:
The Case Against Adnan Syed documentary from HBO has shown a possible option: concrete grinding tools. The diamonds do not overlap in the harlequin pattern, though. But maybe the abstract shape we have been working from isn’t correct.
After doing additional web searching, I found a site that supplies them. It’s still not clear that this is what caused the marks, but an interesting fact: the man who found Hae’s body was known to polish/grind concrete. The private investigators are still working on this.
Here is the website if you want to look for yourself. I won’t put a photo this time.
Original theory: I found this from a company after hours searching the internet. It is the ONLY shape I found even close to matching.
This is a die cast used by this person:
You will see it near the bottom of her blog page.
The green bit at the right is the master for it from
No idea if this pattern was in existence back in 1999, but perhaps something similar did. It might be worth contacting the Sizzix company who makes this and see if they have seen anything similar or if they made this pattern back then.
Note the irregular shapes in the row above, similar to the irregularity of the marks on Hae’s body. It’s not just one of those patterns on the body. It’s a ‘string’ of them.
Anyone in the suspect list into craft or printing? Or their families?
Key word: Harlequin — which is ‘stacked’ diamonds
Maybe there’s something in this, maybe not. But there MUST be something that caused those marks as it certainly wasn’t at the burial site. The prosecution cannot wash this away as meaningless.
21 thoughts on “Could this die have caused the marks on Hae Min Lee’s body?”
Reading a blog post regarding Sizzix, it seems they stare around 2000.
The pattern you mentioned reminds me of an argyle sweater or socks.
Yes re argyle. If you see the autopsy photos, you’ll see there is a strip of them across from shoulder to shoulder. I’ve wracked my brain and tested all sorts of possibilities. This die was the closest I came, and to see it in a strip – wow.
Thanks for commenting.
Maybe she was strangled with a tie or something that had that pattern and it was left under her??
I’m not sure how something soft like a tie could leave a pattern, though.
Rigid plastic milk crates often have a diamond grid.
Have passed along. I found some photos that make that a contender.
A suspect’s mother makes jewelry, I believe.
Some other ideas for argyle patterns…towels, sweaters, rugs, blankets, ceramic or stone floor tile (or border tile), belts (I’m doing a google image search as I type this)…chain link fence…lattice… looking at the photo from Susan’s blog :
I’m wondering if it’s maybe a ripple type afghan? Then again, if it were, perhaps more fibers would have been present.
Yes, have kept those photos as my reference point. Rabia replied that it must be a solid piece making the imprint, so can’t be cloth or an open edge, such as the suggestion of a milk crate. Hence when I found the solid die in a strip (the impression runs across the upper body, not just a single place), I thought it just might be the source.
Good luck with your search! I spent many hours doing same. Maybe you’ll be able to find other possibilities.
Just be sure to focus on something solid.
I assume the body wasn’t left right where she was killed. I imagine she would have been dragged into the garage. Assuming whatever made the imprint didn’t play any actual role in the murder, it would make sense that these kinds of items might be found there.
Why is it though that we know it couldn’t simply have been a bra strap? Feel your own clavical/shoulder, it is by no means a smooth surface. I always thought it seemed odd that a shape wouldn’t have its imprint deformed because of that?
Yes, I’m with you on that. It was postmortem for sure because it was a result of lividity: pooling of the blood from gravity within the body.
The reason it couldn’t be a bra strap is because there were multiples of these imprints from shoulder to shoulder, not just on each shoulder. It’s the strip nature of this die that caught my attention. And as Rabia pointed out to me in a tweet, whatever caused this had to be solid, not fibrous or an outline of the shape. Remember, this is lividity induced, a space in that shape the precluded the blood from pooling. The blood shifted to outside the shape boundaries, leaving the impression.
So let’s think what is solid, yet flexible to allow for the bone beneath. Possibly something plastic that would bend.
I haven’t seen the actual autopsy photos, just the graphical representation of the strip of the impressions.
What about a rubber floor mat? Or rubber garage flooring with this pattern?
It’s a possibility. Do you have pictures of such a mat? That would be helpful.
There are lots of things that ‘could’ be, but after a lot of searching for them under a range of names, I’ve yet to find anything on the net that looks like this pattern. See if you can.
I’m thinking of something like this:
I don’t see that exact pattern, nor how it would leave marks in only three places on the body.
I don’t see that pattern in those mat pictures either. That’s what I kept running into with most ideas I pursued. Whatever left the marks on her body are definitely in a single strip, or there would have been marks down her chest as well unless she was lying on a sheet of something up to her chest, with just her shoulders exposed onto the mark making object(s).
I thought this exactly – a nonskid mat of some sort – or a floor tile
I am convinced this lividity pattern is caused by a garage door hinge.
Just need to find the right one.
Could be. Good luck finding a match. I’m not sure how she would lie against it or how it would be in a strip.
I think you’re right on the money with a garage door hinge. That’s the best fit of any object I’ve heard buy FAR.
Even better is this tool…matches almost perfectly. Here’s the link https://www.runyonsurfaceprep.com/products/htc-x-series-diamond-tool/
You might have to click on one of the four color choices. But Illbe darned, seems like an exact match