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  • David Orsam
    started a topic Why Bond?

    Why Bond?

    Given the current interest in Dr Bond I thought I would share a snippet of information that I stumbled across at the National Archives; something that was news to me but for all I know is the subject of an article somewhere in the reams of Ripperlogical publications.

    I think it is the answer to the question of why Dr Bond out of all the medical men in London was called to be present at the autopsy of Mary Jane Kelly. After all, he was the surgeon for 'A' Division in Westminster and had nothing to do with the 'H' Division of Whitechapel.

    Ah, but I hear you say, he had been instructed by Robert Anderson on 25 October to provide an opinion on the Whitechapel murders due to his "eminence as an expert in such cases". Yes, indeed, but why had Bond of all people been chosen to provide such an opinion?

    An easy one? Because he was the Divisional Surgeon to Scotland Yard?

    Well, no actually. And that's the thing. All of the officers within Scotland Yard were removed from Dr Bond's responsibility by Sir Charles Warren in January 1888. In other words, Dr Bond was sacked as the Divisional Surgeon to Scotland Yard (albeit retained for the rest of 'A' Division).

    The reasons given were that Dr Bond was too busy to take care of so many officers and also that most officers in Scotland Yard lived south of the river so that Dr Bond being in Westminster was inconvenient.

    Dr Bond, who had not been consulted about the change in arrangements, was furious, especially because it would result in a loss of annual income to him of about 100. He complained to the Home Secretary that the Commissioner did not have the authority to make such a change. There seemed to be some sympathy in the Home Office for this view.

    Correspondence between Warren and the Home Office about this issue dragged on for some months, with a defensive Sir Charles, under pressure to justify his action, saying in a letter dated 18 April 1888:

    'I beg to say that it would be that it would be quite impossible for me to carry on the duties of Commissioner without danger of a fiasco, if it is in any way understood or implied that I cannot move men from the medical care of a Surgeon without reference to the Secretary of State; or that I am in any way restricted as to my authority in placing men under the care of a Divisional Surgeon.'

    With a resolution to the issue seemingly difficult to find, the problem for the Commissioner came to an end on 4 October 1888 when Dr Bond agreed to resign as the Divisional Surgeon for Scotland Yard/Commissioner's Office.

    The Chief Surgeon explained to Sir Charles that Dr Bond, 'has had a very large Medico-Legal experience, and he would naturally prefer to be referred to by the Commissioner as a Medico-Legal Expert, than to retain charge of an extra number of men which would necessitate frequent long journeys to the south of the river, and which would further in many instances disqualify him from being consulted in Police Civil and Criminal business in his higher capacity of Medical Jurist.'

    Lo and behold, within a few weeks of tendering his written resignation, Dr Bond was being given what was no doubt a lucrative assignment of providing his opinion on the Whitechapel murders!

    Although there is nothing in writing to this effect, I have little doubt that the assignment given to Dr Bond was part of a compromise agreement between the doctor and Sir Charles Warren. In return for dropping his claim against the Commissioner for being unfairly dismissed as the surgeon at Scotland Yard, Dr Bond was to be treated by Scotland Yard as an expert in criminal cases and handed paid work on that basis.

    The covering letter of the Chief Surgeon referred to above was actually dated 1 November but I'm sure that was just the formal written statement and the matter had been discussed between the parties involved prior to this.

  • John G
    replied
    Originally posted by John Wheat View Post
    I agree with what your saying John however wasn't it a case of medical practices not being advanced enough rather than a fault of the doctors involved in the "Whitechapel Murders"?

    Cheers John
    Yes, and of course, none of the doctors involved were forensic experts. And how many had, say, extensive surgical experience? Moreover, even for modern forensics there are limitations, especially as regards determining time of death. In fact, it's now realised that there are so many variables that the UK's Forensic Science Regulator states, in its official guidance, that pathologists shouldn't even attempt to estimate the post mortem interval (the main difficulty seems to be a woeful lack of research, for instance, regarding rigor mortis, there have been no longitudinal study on a large random sample).

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  • John Wheat
    replied
    Originally posted by John G View Post
    Dr Bond was certainly a controversial figure. For instance, in the Rose Mylett case he disagreed with the opinion of five other doctors, including Dr Phillips, in concluding that it was not a case of wilful murder.

    However, I personally believe that all of the doctors involved in the "Whitechapel Murders" were seriously out of their depth, and it's disconcerting to say the least that opinions, as to the skill, and likely occupation of JtR, ranged from Dr Bond's view of no skilled at all-not even that of a common horse slaughterer, to Dr Phillips' medical expert!
    I agree with what your saying John however wasn't it a case of medical practices not being advanced enough rather than a fault of the doctors involved in the "Whitechapel Murders"?

    Cheers John

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  • John G
    replied
    Dr Bond was certainly a controversial figure. For instance, in the Rose Mylett case he disagreed with the opinion of five other doctors, including Dr Phillips, in concluding that it was not a case of wilful murder.

    However, I personally believe that all of the doctors involved in the "Whitechapel Murders" were seriously out of their depth, and it's disconcerting to say the least that opinions, as to the skill, and likely occupation of JtR, ranged from Dr Bond's view of no skilled at all-not even that of a common horse slaughterer, to Dr Phillips' medical expert!

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  • Hunter
    replied
    Maybe the misconception is that there were "reports" as opposed to "notes" to begin with.

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  • Wickerman
    replied
    Originally posted by David Orsam View Post

    It is surely reasonable to suppose that "the notes" he reviewed were the notes of the post-mortem examinations of the previous four murder victims, i.e. notes similar to those he produced himself in respect of the Kelly post-mortem.
    The "Great unwashed" are required to use the term "Autopsy" or "Post-mortem" reports so we all know what we are talking about. Whereas, the in-house terminology between surgeons, physicians, and those familiar with the operating room for those same observations is simply, "notes".


    Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
    ...But my point is that Bond would not have been provided with the opinions of the other doctors, only the notes of their post-mortem examinations which was all he needed to enable him to form his own expert opinion. The whole point was for him, as an expert looking at all the murders as whole, to be able to come to an independent conclusion to enable the authorities to know what they were dealing with. It is not surprising, therefore, that he disagrees with some of the other doctors as to the amount of surgical skill and anatomical knowledge possessed by the murderer.
    Absolutely correct, professionals like Bond, Phillips, McKellar, etc. do not use the opinions of their peers, the autopsy "notes" ARE their opinions.
    There is no need to give an opinion of an opinion.

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  • Natasha
    replied
    I have always doubted Bond's report being genuine. This find just confirms it. There are alot of holes and loss of information regarding Kelly, even the missing list of possessions, which I think is slightly suspicious. I read somewhere that Brown's autopsy report could have being slightly more informative. There was a snippet in a news paper referring to Brown's report, I wonder if anyone has details about that.

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  • David Orsam
    replied
    Ignore and Ingorance

    As Simon has decided not to respond to the issues in my post but to adopt a Pierre-style head in the sand "I can't hear you or see you" approach to any criticism of his book, it might be useful for those who haven't read "Deconstructing Jack" if I explain the issue, especially as he claims that I have "completely missed the point" without explaining what that point is.

    What Simon does not like about Bond's report of 10 November is that it concluded that all of the murders were by the same individual.

    Simon has recently become obsessed with the notion that there were a number of different killers prowling around Whitechapel in the autumn of 1888 including a Special Branch assassin (apparently). For Bond to have reached the conclusion that a single person who one might call 'Jack the Ripper' committed the murders, it follows in Simon's mind that he must have been part of some form of dastardly conspiracy (with Robert Anderson) to support the existence of this fictional serial killer.

    The argument doesn't make any sense bearing in mind that Dr Bond's report was a confidential one for the police and Home Office but the fatal flaw is that Simon has assumed that Bond was provided with the opinions of the other doctors who contradicted each other as to the amount of surgical skill and anatomical knowledge possessed by the killer. Thus, he thinks that Bond could not have come to any conclusion other than that the five murders he was considering were carried out by different people.

    But my point is that Bond would not have been provided with the opinions of the other doctors, only the notes of their post-mortem examinations which was all he needed to enable him to form his own expert opinion. The whole point was for him, as an expert looking at all the murders as whole, to be able to come to an independent conclusion to enable the authorities to know what they were dealing with. It is not surprising, therefore, that he disagrees with some of the other doctors as to the amount of surgical skill and anatomical knowledge possessed by the murderer.

    One can, of course, argue that Bond was wrong in his conclusion but it is foolish to argue that his conclusion was perverse and one he was not entitled to make or that he was in any way manipulated into coming to that conclusion by Anderson. To the extent that this is argued by Simon, it is clearly based on a misunderstanding of what Bond was doing and what information about the previous murders he had seen.

    I would however agree with Simon that Anderson was "provided with the opinion he wanted". He wanted the independent expert opinion of Dr Bond and that is what he got.

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  • David Orsam
    replied
    Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
    But what was the point of his profiling of the victims' mutilations if he wasn't provided with all, or most, of the information recorded by the doctors involved in the post-mortem examinations? He said he reviewed "notes", but we don't know what detail they consisted of, or what specifically they were.
    I'm saying that he was provided with all of the information recorded by the doctors involved in the post-mortem examination.

    It is surely reasonable to suppose that "the notes" he reviewed were the notes of the post-mortem examinations of the previous four murder victims, i.e. notes similar to those he produced himself in respect of the Kelly post-mortem.

    That being so, what more did he require? The inquest evidence and reports were designed for laymen and would not have assisted him in his expert role. All he required was the underlying data in respect of the mutilations and I am saying that this is what he must have been provided with.

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  • Simon Wood
    replied
    Hi Scott,

    Anderson got the answer he wanted.

    Hope you're well.

    Regards,

    Simon

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  • Scott Nelson
    replied
    Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
    I suggest it would not have been helpful for Bond to have been provided with the evidence at the inquest of the previous doctors in any form (or even their reports). That would have potentially muddied his thinking.
    But what was the point of his profiling of the victims' mutilations if he wasn't provided with all, or most, of the information recorded by the doctors involved in the post-mortem examinations? He said he reviewed "notes", but we don't know what detail they consisted of, or what specifically they were.

    Unless you're referring exclusively to the Kelly inquest.

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  • Abby Normal
    replied
    Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
    Hi Abby Normal,

    Not sure if you're a girl or a boy, but I'm sure it doesn't make any difference.

    In the words of the immortal Monty Python: "This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!"

    Regards,

    Simon
    Not sure if you're a girl or a boy,
    Now I cant get that song out of my head!

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  • Abby Normal
    replied
    Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
    Hi Abby Normal,

    Not sure if you're a girl or a boy, but I'm sure it doesn't make any difference.

    In the words of the immortal Monty Python: "This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!"

    Regards,

    Simon
    Simon Says:

    Not sure if you're a girl or a boy, but I'm sure it doesn't make any difference.
    No. It dosnt!

    In the words of the immortal Monty Python: "This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!"
    Now THATS funny! thanks for posting simon!

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  • Simon Wood
    replied
    Hi Abby Normal,

    Not sure if you're a girl or a boy, but I'm sure it doesn't make any difference.

    In the words of the immortal Monty Python: "This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!"

    Regards,

    Simon

    Leave a comment:


  • Abby Normal
    replied
    Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
    Hi David,

    As usual, you have completely missed the point.

    You have now become tiresome and are now on "ignore."

    Have a nice day.

    Regards,

    Simon
    In the words of the immortal Monty Python: "RUNAWAY!"

    Leave a comment:

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