If the killer had been holding or choking Cheri Jo Bates around the upper chest or neck from behind, then this compression could increase intra-capilliary pressure by restricting the venous return of blood, and thereby creating the petechial haemorrhaging evident on the forehead of the young woman. A killer securing her from behind, holding the knife in his right hand (or possibly left) and stabbing backwards toward her heart region, could easily have produced this grouping of injuries to her breast region and upper arms in the initial phase of the attack. The natural response by a victim would be to raise their arms and hands to protect this vital region, in addition to attempting to grab the wrist of the attacker (possibly resulting in the watch being ripped from her assailant) and could have caused the only three described "laceration" wounds to the dorsal side of Cheri Jo Bates' left hand (2) and right index finger. This may also have been the moment that Cheri desperately clawed backwards at her assailant's hair, ripping out some head hairs that collected in the blood at the base of her right thumb.
Cheri Jo Bates, at this juncture, would have received eight strikes from a bladed instrument (5 to her front upper body and possibly 3 to her hands/fingers) in an attack that could have been mere seconds in duration, followed by her being thrust forward into the hard driveway floor. However, it must be noted that the two injuries to her left hand described as lacerations by F. Rene Modglin (24 & 25 in the autopsy report) could be injuries sustained through impact with the driveway floor. One is a Y-shaped laceration at the junction of the wrist and hand, often caused by the blunt force trauma of a weapon or impact from a hard surface. The other injury was an irregular laceration in the mid area, in line with the middle finger. Both these lacerations to her left hand were to the dorsal side, so could be sequential injuries as she was thrust forward and down. Therefore, it's possible only the "laceration" to the lateral aspect of her right index finger was caused by a knife blade (2cm, interrupted and moderately deep). Cheri Jo Bates had a 2cm non-gaping cut to her left upper lip, a series of three non-gaping lacerations to her left cheek and an area of blue-gray discoloration to the skin of her left cheek, all of which could be caused by an impact across the driveway floor as she was thrust from behind. Some abrasions and discoloration to the midline of her chin possibly received in the same motion. The slightly swollen discoloration to her upper and lower lips on the right side could have resulted from Cheri Jo Bates shifting her head position and further force being applied by her assailant. Although petechial haemorrhaging can be caused by choking or compression of the chest cavity, it can also be caused when excessive pressure is applied to tissue (e.g., when a tourniquet is applied to an extremity or the person is struck across the face with an open palm of the hand). In the case of Cheri Jo Bates, the forehead petechiae noted at autopsy could have been caused as a result of her head being pressed into the hard uneven ground..
The entirety of the abrasions to her hands and fingers were located on her right hand (possibly her dominant hand), that could have been received as she was forced to the driveway floor, as she attempted to arrest her descent (and some caused by subsequent struggling while being pinned to the ground}. There were no abrasion-type injuries detailed on her left hand at autopsy, suggesting her right hand was the dominant force when in contact with the driveway floor.
The final phase of the attack may have been the solitary knife wound to her back and the seven lateral knife wounds across her neck, ultimately severing her right common carotid artery and right superficial jugular vein, resulting in death in several minutes. The attack could have lasted less than 30 seconds. PART ONE PART THREE