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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Doctors and Coroners

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  #41  
Old 07-13-2017, 12:34 PM
kjab3112 kjab3112 is offline
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I'd doubt a twenty year experienced forensic police surgeon would withhold information from the investigating team. Let's remember he clearly co-operated by sharing his notes with Bond.
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  #42  
Old 08-06-2017, 07:16 AM
Hunter Hunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
I've just noticed this interesting snippet in the Star 15th Sept;

"Mr. Phillips personally has hitherto withheld information from reporters upon conscientious grounds, and Inspector Abberline himself says that the surgeon has not told him what portions of the body were missing."

I can understand his reluctance to give details of the mutilations in court in front of the press and public,, but to not even inform the police...?

Assuming the story is true, was Phillips really that secretive, or was this Abberline's way of fobbing off the press?
Perhaps Abberline was telling the truth?
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When evidence is not to be had, theories abound. Even the most plausible of them do not carry conviction- London Times Nov. 10.1888
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  #43  
Old 08-06-2017, 08:46 AM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter View Post
Perhaps Abberline was telling the truth?
He may well have been... But if so, wouldn't Phillips have been hampering the investigation by witholding the information he discovered? He really didn't want to tell the coroner anything beyond the immediate cause of death; if he didn't tell the police either, what was the point of performing an autopsy?
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  #44  
Old 08-06-2017, 09:02 AM
Simon Wood Simon Wood is offline
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Hi All,

Daily Telegraph, 10th November 1888—

“During the course of last evening [the day of the Kelly murder] Dr. G. B. Phillips visited the House of Commons, where he had a conference with the Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Home Office, Mr. Stuart-Wortley.”

Echo, 10th November 1888—

“Dr. G.B. Phillips, the divisional surgeon of the H Division, whose reticence is justified by an assurance he gave of secrecy, has copious notes of the result of the post-mortem examination, and with nearly every conclusion at which he has arrived, Dr. Thomas Bond, of Westminster, a well-known expert on crimes of violence, agrees.

“Dr. Phillips has only vaguely indicated to the local police the result of his investigations, but a report on the question has, it has been asserted, been jointly made by him and Dr. Bond, and submitted to Sir Charles Warren.”

Daily Telegraph, 14th November 1888—

“It is in the power of the Attorney-General to apply to the High Court of Justice to hold a new inquest, if he is satisfied that there has been rejection of evidence, irregularity of proceedings, or insufficiency of inquiry. This course is improbable, as it is stated that Mr. Phillips, the divisional surgeon of police, with whom the coroner consulted in private, has had a commission from the Home Office for some time, and he does not consider himself a ‘free agent’; but it is pointed out that by hurriedly closing the inquest the opportunity has been lost of putting on record statements made on oath, and when the memory of witnesses is fresh. It is not improbable that a long interval may elapse before a prisoner is charged at the police-court.”

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Simon
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Last edited by Simon Wood : 08-06-2017 at 09:10 AM. Reason: spolling mistook
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  #45  
Old 08-06-2017, 09:43 AM
Simon Wood Simon Wood is offline
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Hi All,

Echo, 12th November 1888—

“It is asserted that the Home Secretary’s offer of a pardon to any accomplice was mainly at the instigation of Dr. G. B. Phillips, the Divisional Surgeon of the H Division, who pointed out to the authorities at the Home Office the desirability of such a step being taken.”

Dr Phillips was far from flustered

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Simon
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  #46  
Old 08-06-2017, 01:07 PM
Wickerman Wickerman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
He may well have been... But if so, wouldn't Phillips have been hampering the investigation by witholding the information he discovered? He really didn't want to tell the coroner anything beyond the immediate cause of death; if he didn't tell the police either, what was the point of performing an autopsy?
Hi Joshua.

Generally speaking....
The autopsy is conducted at the request/order of the coroner, not the police.
It's a process; on discovery of a suspicious death the coroner is informed, it is the coroner who decides if an autopsy is required to enable him to meet certain requirements of a public inquest. The police generally take advantage of information resulting from the inquest, but they can continue their inquiries without an inquest or an autopsy.

There is a quotation by Simon where we read Macdonald met privately with Dr. Phillips (I was looking for a statement along those lines). It has long been my suspicion that Macdonald knew what Dr Phillips had determined which is why he cut the inquest short.
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  #47  
Old 08-06-2017, 01:36 PM
Hunter Hunter is offline
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Exactly, Jon. But what had happened previously where Phillips was involved certainly led to this. They just finally had a cooperative coroner who had been a police surgeon himself.
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When evidence is not to be had, theories abound. Even the most plausible of them do not carry conviction- London Times Nov. 10.1888
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  #48  
Old 08-06-2017, 01:55 PM
Hunter Hunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
I've just noticed this interesting snippet in the Star 15th Sept;

"Mr. Phillips personally has hitherto withheld information from reporters upon conscientious grounds, and Inspector Abberline himself says that the surgeon has not told him what portions of the body were missing."

I can understand his reluctance to give details of the mutilations in court in front of the press and public,, but to not even inform the police...?

Assuming the story is true, was Phillips really that secretive, or was this Abberline's way of fobbing off the press?
Well Phillips was secretive enough to not be willing to disclose this information at the inquest, which was the traditional criminal investigation before formal police departments and magistrates courts had been established. Since the establishment of Met police there was a constant conflagration between the police/magistrates and the coroners over procedural jurisdiction in criminal cases... actually coming to a head in classic fashion during the investigation of the last WM, Francis Cole's.

Notice that there is no mention of the removed organs in either Chandler's or Abberline's reports on the Chapman murder prior to their eventual forced discloser at the inquest. In fact, it is only Swanson, in his Oct. 19 report to the Home Office that the organ removals are mentioned and even here, it is obviously taken from the inquest testimony and not any report or even notes from Phillips.
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When evidence is not to be had, theories abound. Even the most plausible of them do not carry conviction- London Times Nov. 10.1888
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