Great post and thanks for the contributions. However, I don't think "de-crimping" the connectors have any effect. Technically, the more snug/secure/tight your connectors are the better off it is (snug/secure/tight connector ensure that there is constant contact and connection).
What I recommend is just spraying your connectors with electrical contact cleaner.
Here is what I THINK (just my opinion) what happened. You had dirty/contaminated connectors such a dirt, oil, grease, etc that left a film preventing a 100% electrical efficient connection. while you were "de-crimping" your plugs you scratch/scrap/remove the film and thus made the connection more electrically effecient.
No need to get all upset, defensive or else I have to recommend you take some Midol. Again, great post. great pictures and thanks for the contributions.