Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Jumping to conclusions?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Jumping to conclusions?

    In 1875 Dr Bond was called in to help with the identification of a body in the 'Whitechapel Murder' of Harriet Lane.
    In this medical text article, written shortly after the case was brought to a conclusion at the Old Bailey , Bond is being singled out for a fair amount of criticism for both the methods he uses to get results and his conclusions made from those results, as well as for his use of complex medical terms that could have confused the jury:
    Fair criticism?

    The Medical Times and Gazete
    A Journal of Medical Science,Literature,criticism and news
    Vol II for 1875






  • #2
    Debs:
    Looking through the Tuesday, November 30th, 1875 edition of the Times, this is what the last paragraph in the article you posted is referring to :



    If he's using terms which only medical personnel would be comfortable with, he ought to have explained what they meant to the juries he was appearing before....at least I think so.
    To Join JTR Forums :
    Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

    Comment


    • #3
      fast

      Hello Debs. Great find. Thanks for posting.

      He was as fast, it seems, as Baxter was slow and thorough.

      Cheers.
      LC

      Comment


      • #4
        Here is Bond's evidence from the Daily News. Bond was stirred but not shaken;-)
        Attached Files
        Thanks for your time,
        dusty miller

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
          Debs:
          Looking through the Tuesday, November 30th, 1875 edition of the Times, this is what the last paragraph in the article you posted is referring to :



          If he's using terms which only medical personnel would be comfortable with, he ought to have explained what they meant to the juries he was appearing before....at least I think so.
          Thanks, How. The last paragraph is referring to what you posted...in a roundabout way.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Lynn Cates View Post
            Hello Debs. Great find. Thanks for posting.

            He was as fast, it seems, as Baxter was slow and thorough.

            Cheers.
            LC
            Thanks, Lynn. Fast in what way? At reaching conclusions?

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks, Dusty. Interestingly that snippet doesn't cover the details of any of the points that the author of the Medical Gazette article was criticising.

              Comment


              • #8
                coroner's helper

                Hello Debs. Thanks.

                Yes, and in working with coroners who finished inquests quickly. They wrapped up "MJK" in double quick time.(heh-heh)

                Cheers.
                LC

                Comment


                • #9
                  Bond was not called to testify at the Kelly inquest, Lynn, so I don't understand the insinuation about him working with coroners who cut short their inquest, or even that he was a fast operator.

                  As far as the accusations by this journal of Bond using terminology a jury wouldn't understand, this is not evident in the actual Old Bailey transcripts. And the organs were evidently preserved in a mixture of spirits and water instead of just distilled water - again evidenced by the actual transcripts.

                  Perhaps they shouldn't have just relied on the Times, who admitted to making one mistake, for their information and source material.
                  Best Wishes,
                  Cris Malone
                  ______________________________________________
                  "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well done, Cris! ( Why am I not surprised you attempted to dig deeper for the truth)
                    -That's exactly what happened-it was the author of the article in the Medical Gazette who jumped to conclusions and criticised Bond's performance and findings after reading one inaccurate account of the trial in the Times!Can you believe that? Bond sent along official documents to clear things up and the author retracted what he'd written. There's a message there somewhere I'm sure...



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Indeed there is, Debs. Historical researchers shouldn't follow the lead of this journalist by forming an opinion, or postulating a theory without first making an impartial attempt at examining all possible resources and approach even contemporary opinion with caution.

                      Great find, Debs, and a great example for Ripperological theorists to learn from.
                      Best Wishes,
                      Cris Malone
                      ______________________________________________
                      "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        One other thing that applies here. A physician giving testimony read from his post mortem notes first and then explained his findings to the jury. These notes would naturally be full of medical terminology. But the witness did this to refresh his memory before proceeding, and in the case of an inquest, to have the medical findings on record if needed later should someone be accused of a crime.

                        Depending on whether it was an inquest, magistrate's court or trial, he would also be questioned by various people - even cross-examined as in this trial. His testimony could be quite long and therefore abridged by various publications and even in official documents... as what has been posted on this thread exemplifies.

                        At this remove, we are reminded that we are always at the mercy of some editor's discretion.
                        Best Wishes,
                        Cris Malone
                        ______________________________________________
                        "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cris Malone View Post
                          One other thing that applies here. A physician giving testimony read from his post mortem notes first and then explained his findings to the jury. These notes would naturally be full of medical terminology. But the witness did this to refresh his memory before proceeding, and in the case of an inquest, to have the medical findings on record if needed later should someone be accused of a crime.

                          Depending on whether it was an inquest, magistrate's court or trial, he would also be questioned by various people - even cross-examined as in this trial. His testimony could be quite long and therefore abridged by various publications and even in official documents... as what has been posted on this thread exemplifies.

                          At this remove, we are reminded that we are always at the mercy of some editor's discretion.
                          Thanks, Cris. This is something I've mentioned before in relation to the Mylett case. It's difficult to determine the significance of some things which were only referred to briefly by the press at the Mylett inquest. Plus the medical evidence differs in that case depending on which paper is read.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            thoughts

                            Hello Cris. Thanks.

                            I agree that Bond did not seem too far out language wise (no more than Phillips).

                            And, no, he did not testify as you say. However, he did make MacDonald's job of a quick inquest easier--in my humble opinion. Wonder how things would have shaken out with Baxter at the controls?

                            Cheers.
                            LC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                              If he's using terms which only medical personnel would be comfortable with, he ought to have explained what they meant to the juries he was appearing before....at least I think so.
                              Yes, that is quite correct, this is in essence a point about the accused having a fair trial, and it would be the one of the functions of the Judge at trial to ensure that this was the case, by making sure that the jury was presented with evidence that they can understand, and this did indeed happen. All courts that have their roots in common-law (like the Queens bench of the High Court of Justice) deal with evidence 'viva-voce' - through word of mouth, and the words are to be used according to ordinary usage.

                              There are two point to consider here.

                              1) Was Bond medical evidence accurate ? - yes, it appears that it was.

                              2) Was the evidence presented in a way that would enable a lay-person (e.g. on a jury) to understand it ? - At the police court - possibly not.
                              At the trial - yes, it appears that it was.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X