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Points To Ponder A forum filled with rehashed ideas, overlooked & often original theories, and newspaper articles from days gone by.

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Old February 27th, 2017, 08:25 PM   #1
Howard Brown
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Default Point To Ponder : Disputable Medical Testimonies

The purpose of the thread isn't to rehash the baseless theorization that organs weren't taken from Chapman, Eddowes, or Kelly. I'd like that to be clear right from the start. Please restrain yourself from igniting that fuse. If you feel the women's organs weren't removed, good for you. They were. End of story. On-site medical men...professional men...stated so. . The Whitechapel Murders are the ONLY murder case(s) in which this preposterous belief is maintained or pursued. You will not find one other case of mutilation and evisceration in which the medical determination that organs were removed is disputed. It should be that way in the Whitechapel series.

What I would like to achieve, I suppose, with this thread...is to try and find any other notable and obviously known murder cases where medical testimony from incidents decades ago can now be proven false.

I mention this because of my on again, off again, interest in the Cleveland Torso Murders from 1934-1939. That's a ballpark figure for when the crimes occurred. One or more murders may have occurred prior to or after those dates.

Sam Gerber was the Coroner for Cuyahoga County ( Cleveland, Ohio) during the Torso Murders and at the time of the other major 20th century Cleveland crime....the Sam Sheppard case of the early 1950's. Gerber was destroyed by F. Lee Bailey on the witness stand in the second Sheppard trial, which resulted in Sheppard being freed.

Gerber pronounced Frank Dolezal's death in 1939 as a 'suicide'. Dolezal was a 52 year old man picked up by one of the two police factions operating in Cleveland at the time as a suspect in the murders.

It would be over 60 years until Torso researchers accessed Dolezal's post-mortem photos. Upon accessing them, they, including Dr. James Badal, noticed the marks around Dolezal's neck were not 'vee' shaped as a self-strangulation would be...but rather like those made by someone standing behind a person and pulling tight....which leaves a straight line around the neck....just like the mark left on Dolezal. No one would give the 'suicide' theory that Gerber posited the time of day in 2017. Without getting wrapped up on why that determination was made, suffice to say....it wasn't suicide.


Having said that....

The medical testimony in our thing which seems to be most disputable is the time of death of Mrs. Chapman....or at least its my impression that testimony is.

Without elaborating at the outset on what YOU believe to be the most disputable....please mention it. At some point we can come back to the thread and discuss it.

And....if you can think of other notable cases of disputable testimonies, please add them on.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 11:55 PM   #2
Anna Morris
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Mary Kelly's time of death is also disputed. Not in the same way as with Chapman, but at least because doctors of the time didn't have the forensic knowledge to do better.

Otherwise, this is a pretty broad topic. Sometimes investigators didn't have modern knowledge and some cases have been corrected due to modern investigations. Sometimes there were cover ups and sloppiness.

Marilyn Monroe comes to mind for possible cover up and sloppiness. Is anyone yet sure what she died from, exactly?

There have been quite a number of poisoning cases that were proven after the fact. Doesn't this apply to Koslowski and some of his wives? There are cases that go way back where bodies were exhumed and found perfectly preserved due to arsenic concentrations.

Napoleon may fit in the poisoned by arsenic category though this can be disputed.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 03:39 AM   #3
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I donīt think the medical judgment about Chapmans time of death needs to be disputed at all. I believe Phillips was on the money, and that the triumvirate of Long, Cadosch and Richardson is the not trustworthy part in the case.

I also believe that the widespread idea that Phillips would himself have opened up for a shorter time than the one he himself had suggested in the same sentence is totally wrong.

The wording went like this:

Coroner: How long had the deceased been dead when you saw her?

Phillips: I should say at least two hours, and probably more; but it is right to say that it was a fairly cold morning, and that the body would be more apt to cool rapidly from its having lost the greater portion of its blood.

Some will have it that Phillips opened up for Long and Cadosh to have been correct, but to me, that is simply bonkers. If we amend what Phillips said to fit that suggestion, we get this very odd wording:

Phillips: I
should say at least two hours, and probably more; but it could have been only half of that time since the morning was cool, and since the victim had lost much blood.

Now, which doctor will first say AT LEAST (meaning no less than) two hours, who will then move on to add PROBABLY MORE (meaning that the doctor did not think that it was as little as two hour, but it could be that little if compressed to the absolute minimum) - and then move on to say that maybe this certainty of his was a load of twadddle, because he may have been TOTALLY off the mark, meaning that the time should perhaps be halved? And this without anybody else having challenged him about his estimations?? To me, what Phillips says is that he feels that Chapman had reasonably been dead for perhaps three or four hours, but given how cold it was and how much blood she had lost, it could perhaps be a question of two hours only - but Phillips did not recommend such a take on things - it was probably longer. Long did not see the Ripper, Cadosh did not hear him and IF Richardson was ever sitting on that step in the back yard, he missed seeing Chapman lying there. And Phillips was correct all the time, meaning that Chapman was killed during the dark hours of around 3.30 or thereabouts.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 04:31 AM   #4
Edward Stow
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Llewellyn felt Nichols probably died due to her abdominal wounds which he thought came before the throat wounds.
People - even at the time - pooh pooh that without (in my opinion) any sound reason beyond their own assumption that (I think this is why anyway) the thoat wound seems more dramatic and death inducing, and final, and would prevent a scream. But if she was unconscious she couldn't scream anyway.

The other is Rose Mylett whose cause of death was disputed by Anderson - in my opinion because he wanted the Ripper Murders to be over. He wanted no more attributations having just seen Warren lose his job.

Of course James Maybrick's cause of death is disputed - and details of the Kennedy Assassination are - exactly how he died in the smallest details of bullet trajectory.
Some claim Princess Diana was somehow finished off on the ambulance or some such conspiracy theory.
I'm not sure if these examples are what you are driving at.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 05:16 AM   #5
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Ed:

Yes, they are exactly the sort of testimonies being looked for.
Thanks....
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Old February 28th, 2017, 05:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Stow View Post
Llewellyn felt Nichols probably died due to her abdominal wounds which he thought came before the throat wounds.
People - even at the time - pooh pooh that without (in my opinion) any sound reason beyond their own assumption that (I think this is why anyway) the thoat wound seems more dramatic and death inducing, and final, and would prevent a scream. But if she was unconscious she couldn't scream anyway.

The other is Rose Mylett whose cause of death was disputed by Anderson - in my opinion because he wanted the Ripper Murders to be over. He wanted no more attributations having just seen Warren lose his job.

Of course James Maybrick's cause of death is disputed - and details of the Kennedy Assassination are - exactly how he died in the smallest details of bullet trajectory.
Some claim Princess Diana was somehow finished off on the ambulance or some such conspiracy theory.
I'm not sure if these examples are what you are driving at.

Goodmorning

Just to add that the issue which it seems lead Llewellyn to suggest the abdomen was cut came first is the apparent lack of blood observed from the neck,(if he took the blood which had apparently soaked into the clothing initially I have no idea).
He also reported blood in the abdominal cavity. Is it not also true that he at first suggested the killing had taken place elsewhere, and the body moved?

The truly unfortunate thing today when looking at that particular issue is that nowhere does there appear to be any report or statement regarding any internal damage in the abdomen, which may have been the cause of death. Does anyone know of any?

I would suggest that it is all but impossible today to tell if his view that the cause of death was due to the abdominal wounds was correct.



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Old February 28th, 2017, 05:53 AM   #7
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Steve
I would suggest that all the medical testimony we have from the Whitechapel Murders (and Torsos for that matter) - and sometimes it was repeated and discussed in medical journals and so forth - is a bit sketchy. We have no diagrams, no photographs (except the mortuary photos which were primarily for ID and the Kelly crime scene which are unclear). We have to interpret as best we can their descriptions of the wounds - maybe how the cuts were made, the nature of the bleeding - the 'blood evidence', their estimated time of death and so on.

But in my opinion the medical evidence we have is useful - as sketchy as it is. Yes it might be and open to challenge by a defence if it was all the medical evidence we had in a hypothetical prosecution - but it is the best we have and it allows for ball park estimates and tentative conclusions which is better than nothing.

For example times of death. Doctors don't like precise times of death now as there are a variety of factors which can affect the indicators (warmth, clotting of blood, onset of rigor mortis etc) in unusual ways. In 1888 they took a more general approach and took the average or more usual figure as the most likely and went with that.
Hence Llewellyn said Nichols had probably been dead for less than 30 minutes when he saw her. That is often regarded as of no use evidence wise as the various factors I mentioned may well have been outside the norm or average expected - meaning there could be an outside chance medically speaking alone that she had been dead maybe an hour before or at least 45 minutes before. However if some sort of probability graph could be drawn up to establish Nichols' time of death then I would suggest the most likely time would be at the time estimated by Llewellyn.

I believe Llewellyn's initial impression that Nichols had been killed elsewhere was caused by the lack of blood at the crime scene from her neck wound which he initially presumed was the cause of death, as those were the only wounds he was aware of.
When he was shown and inspected the abdominal wounds, a bit later on, he changed his opinion.
That is how I read it anyway.
I would assume that it would be impossible to judge today - but he was the expert on site who saw the body and he conducted the post mortem.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 05:59 AM   #8
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I would suggest that it is all but impossible today to tell if his view that the cause of death was due to the abdominal wounds was correct.

Steve
Yes, we cannot check whether Llewellyn was right or wrong when stating that the abdominal wounds came first and were enough to kill Nichols (Dr. Llewellyn seems to incline to the opinion that the abdominal injuries were first, and caused instantaneous death). And we cannot check whether he was correct in saying that the blood from thos wounds had seeped into the abdominal cavity ("Nearly all the blood had drained out of the arteries and veins, and collected to a large extent in the loose tissues").

So either Llewellyn, an experienced doctor who did the autopsy on Nichols had a reason to think that the abdominal wounds were first and lethal or he didnīt, and was mistaken. And either he was correct in saying that the blood from the abdominal wounds had seeped into the abdominal cavity, or he was mistaken about that too.

So itīs a genuine 50/50 tossup.

Is that what you are suggesting? Or are you agreeing with me in thinking that if Llewellyn said these things, it was in all probability because he had checked and was a professional well suited to get these things right?

If so, do you also agree that Llewellyn being the one that performed the autopsy has the upper hand on todays ripperologists when it comes to deciding on factual grounds?

PS. I note that Edward beat me to it, and I agree with all he is saying.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 06:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Edward Stow View Post
Steve
I would suggest that all the medical testimony we have from the Whitechapel Murders (and Torsos for that matter) - and sometimes it was repeated and discussed in medical journals and so forth - is a bit sketchy. We have no diagrams, no photographs (except the mortuary photos which were primarily for ID and the Kelly crime scene which are unclear). We have to interpret as best we can their descriptions of the wounds - maybe how the cuts were made, the nature of the bleeding - the 'blood evidence', their estimated time of death and so on.

But in my opinion the medical evidence we have is useful - as sketchy as it is. Yes it might be and open to challenge by a defence if it was all the medical evidence we had in a hypothetical prosecution - but it is the best we have and it allows for ball park estimates and tentative conclusions which is better than nothing.

For example times of death. Doctors don't like precise times of death now as there are a variety of factors which can affect the indicators (warmth, clotting of blood, onset of rigor mortis etc) in unusual ways. In 1888 they took a more general approach and took the average or more usual figure as the most likely and went with that.
Hence Llewellyn said Nichols had probably been dead for less than 30 minutes when he saw her. That is often regarded as of no use evidence wise as the various factors I mentioned may well have been outside the norm or average expected - meaning there could be an outside chance medically speaking alone that she had been dead maybe an hour before or at least 45 minutes before. However if some sort of probability graph could be drawn up to establish Nichols' time of death then I would suggest the most likely time would be at the time estimated by Llewellyn.

I believe Llewellyn's initial impression that Nichols had been killed elsewhere was caused by he lack of blood at the crime scene from her neck wound which he initially presumed was the cause of death, as those were the only wounds he was aware of.
When he was shown and inspected the abdominal wounds, a bit later on, he changed his opinion.
That is how I read it anyway.
I would assume that it would be impossible to judge today - but he was the expert on site who saw the body and he conducted the post mortem.

Edward

I agree with you there. The point I was making is that we have no detailed record of the internal injuries and so only have the doctors statement who were there as you say.


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Old February 28th, 2017, 06:07 AM   #10
Christer Holmgren
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Edward

I agree with you there. The point I was making is that we have no detailed record of the internal injuries and so only have the doctors statement who were there as you say.

Steve
Try to see it from the bright side - we actually HAVE the doctors statement. Of all the people in the world who could have made a statement, there is nobody I would choose over the medico who was in charge of the post mortem.
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