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One final blog this week, to show how much data we processed while writing the book – and how much we had to leave out. I might do some more next week, but you can always buy the book. It will be out in English translation in a few weeks.
There are plenty of details to see on the photographs that helped us build our case in the book. I’m not going to repeat our scenario’s here, you’d best read the book for that. But there are things that we took into account that we couldn’t fit in the book – details so small they would only confuse the casual reader, but would be of considerable interest to someone familiar with the case.
I already mentioned the shoes, shadows and shoelaces in Image 0489. Similar things can be learned from Image 0486, a selfie with Kris and Lisanne early in their hike on the Pianista path. Smiling faces on this picture, too. They were having a good time.
The high quality of the images we have made it possible to zoom in considerably. As seen in the book, we could zoom in on the sunglasses, to see if we could perhaps see a third person in the reflection and if we could determine if the girls took the picture themselves.
As you can see, we can safely say: yes, they took the picture themselves. In this case, it was Kris who took the picture. On the detailed image you can see her outstretched hand and the camera she is holding. In the book, we included an image of the Powershot in her hand, to show how she is holding it.
We can see exactly the same arm in exactly the same pose reflected in Lisanne’s glasses. There is also no other person visible in this picture, not in front of them and not behind them. They were alone at that point.
She is holding the camera with her right hand and on her wrist we can see traces of an armband of some sort she is wearing on her wrist. On Image 501 we can see this is probably a hair elastic.
Another detail we can see on this pictures are the earrings Kris is wearing: two on the right (a silver one and a black one) and one on the left (a silver one). This means that the fact that on some pictures she seems to be wearing a black earring while on others it’s silver, does not mean, as some have suggested, that there was a perpetrator mixing photo’s from another day to somehow construct the Pianista hike.
Most of this information is already known to many, but still, there might be some value in analyzing the time stamps of the day time photo’s, as reported in the official investigation. We have verified the images and image numbers as the exact order they were found on the camera. This is the listing as found in the earliest reports, and we could not detect any mismatches between the Panamanian and the Dutch NFI investigation.
Photo 476 is the first one taken on the Pianista Trail, photo 508 is the last one of the daytime photo’s, the picture of Kris crossing the Quebrada.
There is no mention anywhere of a supposed second photo 508, which I come across once in a while. The list shown here is as the police found the photo’s on the memory card.
We offer a detailed analysis of this in our book. While many pictures seem to have been taken very, very fast, if you analyze the photo’s and place them in the right order, there is nothing impossible about the speed with which the photo’s were taken. They eveidently were of the “click and shoot” kind.
This behavior is consistent with the theory that thet just intended to walk up to admire the view and then go back down again, as a good way to fill a sunny free day and had no real interest in the flora and fauna. So, they did not feel the need for lots of photo’s and extensive stops along the way.
Image 505 has generated some controversy throughout the years. Based on low quality images people tended to see all kinds of things, from Kris having her hands tied behind her back to people hiding in the vegetation. As we show in our book, there’s nothing wrong with Kris in this picture. She is bending down and turning slightly towards the camera, sticking her tongue out and making a mock salute.
We already knew the location of the photo can be found beyond the Mirador; several video’s made by hikers confirm it, as did some of the locals we spoke to.
Behind Kris, hidden in the shadows, the path bends sharply to the left in a downwards angle. But now I’ve found a nice video where it’s actually demonstrated with some compelling evidence, including a plausible explanation of Kris’ rather strange stance in the picture: since the path is going down and is overgrown with vegetation, it functions as a tunnel and she needs to bend down slightly to be able to see Lisanne, who likely called out to her to have her picture taken. Find the video here.
After studying the high res image, it also becomes clear there are no cables crossing above the path, just stems of plants. The sunlight creates deep shadow, which obscures a lot of detail and can misdirect the eye.
As the aforementioned video shows, the rock which “hides” Kris’ feet is a real rock, one she likely just stepped over before Lisanne called out to her to take the picture.
As far as we are concerned, there can be no doubt that the photo is in the right sequence, meaning that it falls between the Mirador and the Quebrada photo’s. But there’s more.
Several other details can be seen in the high res image. One of the mysteries (for me as well, in the early days), was the blue splash of color seen in the foreground. This turns out to be noting more then litter, an empty blue package of some sort. Maybe a crisp package or a drink carton. Sadly, the bright sunshine obscures most of the details.
I find it implausible to think Kris or Lisanne left it there, so it’s likely something thrown away by another hiker or a local.
We have also studied Kris stanbce in depth. As mentioned above, it’s clear to see she is bending forward, while doing a part turn, closing her eyes against the sun and either making a salute or placing her hand behind her ear to act as if she did not hear Lisanne call her.
Looking at it again now, I think there is a third option: she is shielding her eyes against the sun. In her pocket she carries the small water bottle with the yellow-and-white cap we also see in other photo’s.
There is no-one behind her. I think we can safely say she looks cheerful and happy, playful even.
Rest assured, we and our Photoshop specialist studied this image inch by inch. We did not see anything out of the ordinary. Therefore we can conclude with certainty this photo was not manipulated. Kris does not indicate any signs of stress that indicates she is being forced to act cheerful either, so no third parties were involved in taking this picture.