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Dr Timothy R. Killeen

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  • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

    No one is going to stab a woman 38 times in a right-handed frenzy and then stop, switch hands, switch weapons, too, and then stab her once again with his 'weak' hand.

    The scenario is an absurdity, and I don't think Killeen was so irrational as to have wanted to suggest this.


    This is the kind of deducing I like to see rj. What is needed is to try and eliminate what isn't from the fray. I believe that Killeen did indeed mean to suggest that 2 weapons were used, which I see you are on the fence on, and what then, in my opinion, should be the next step is identifying what isn't. I strongly believe that if the 2 weapons seen is valid then its almost a cert that we have 2 men, and that suggests soldiers among others. So its no surprise we have soldiers being questioned and paraded before witnesses. Or seen earlier together with street women, or one hanging about waiting for another off with a woman. I think that the large wound was intended to end any attack,... nothing else would have been needed. And its improbable that Mr Pen Knife suddenly remembered he had a dagger or bayonet on him, or that someone would switch from a larger blade used once to a smaller one to use far too many times, this cant be considered a "cold" kill.
    Last edited by Michael W Richards; 06-30-2020, 10:45 AM.
    Michael Richards

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      • Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post

        This is the kind of deducing I like to see rj. What is needed is to try and eliminate what isn't from the fray. I believe that Killeen did indeed mean to suggest that 2 weapons were used, which I see you are on the fence on, and what then, in my opinion, should be the next step is identifying what isn't. I strongly believe that if the 2 weapons seen is valid then its almost a cert that we have 2 men, and that suggests soldiers among others. So its no surprise we have soldiers being questioned and paraded before witnesses. Or seen earlier together with street women, or one hanging about waiting for another off with a woman. I think that the large wound was intended to end any attack,... nothing else would have been needed. And its improbable that Mr Pen Knife suddenly remembered he had a dagger or bayonet on him, or that someone would switch from a larger blade used once to a smaller one to use far too many times, this cant be considered a "cold" kill.
        I have set out below the professional opinion of my forensic pathologist Dr Biggs on the issue of two knives in the Tabram case. My thanks go to Dr Biggs for taking time out in his busy scehdule.

        Sometimes, a particular knife will leave specific tell-tale signs in the skin that indicate that it has been used, for example a serrated knife will sometimes leave regular serration marks along the edge of the wound. However, that is not always the case, and so serrated blades can leave “non-serrated” marks, “double-edged” blades can leave apparently “single-edged” marks, etc. In reality, most stab wounds look like generic stab wounds, and tell us very little about the blade other than some crude dimensions. So in theory there might be a situation where two very specific blades have left their “signatures” in the skin of the same victim, therefore “proving” two different blades have been used… but far more commonly the same blade will simply have left behind lots of wounds of different shapes, leading the observer to think that perhaps more than one blade was used.

        Most of the stab wound cases we deal with are caused by a single weapon, even though wounds in the same victim may vary considerably in appearance. We often get asked in court whether multiple knives could have been used in a particular case, and where there is more than one wound we invariably have to say “it’s possible” as it is something we can (never say) never rule out.

        Getting back to the case in question, it is entirely feasible for a “normal” knife to penetrate the chest bone, so there is no need for a separate dagger-type weapon to have been used. It is far more likely that a single implement was used, and that the different appearance of the wounds is nothing more than the variation than we expect to see in such cases.


        www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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        • Thanks Trev. And Dr Biggs.
          Them's the vagaries.

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          • The problem with a wound to the sternum,is not the thrust through,but the withdraw.It can be very difficult,requiring strength,and twisting or leverage movement.Would certainly appear different to a thrust and withdraw through soft tissue.In the military,it was taught to withdraw by placing a foot on the prone body.or alternately firing a shot which smashed the sternum,making withdraw easier.

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            • Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post

              This is the kind of deducing I like to see rj. What is needed is to try and eliminate what isn't from the fray. I believe that Killeen did indeed mean to suggest that 2 weapons were used, which I see you are on the fence on, and what then, in my opinion, should be the next step is identifying what isn't. I strongly believe that if the 2 weapons seen is valid then its almost a cert that we have 2 men, and that suggests soldiers among others. So its no surprise we have soldiers being questioned and paraded before witnesses. Or seen earlier together with street women, or one hanging about waiting for another off with a woman. I think that the large wound was intended to end any attack,... nothing else would have been needed. And its improbable that Mr Pen Knife suddenly remembered he had a dagger or bayonet on him, or that someone would switch from a larger blade used once to a smaller one to use far too many times, this cant be considered a "cold" kill.
              Wasn't the testimony of pearly poll questionable at best? In no way conclusive. Therefore I would take the whole soldier perpetrator with a serious pinch of salt. Here is a question. In your theory why didn't the first soldier use his bayonet in the first place? Why use a penknife and then have to wait for his mate to finish off the job? Doesn't make much sense to me?

              FWIW The thoughts of Trevor's expert ring very true I believe.

              Tristan

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              • In Martha Tabrams body, 38 (or 37, if we rule out the cut) wounds had a similar appearance, leading Killeen to opt for them all having been made by the same blade, that gave the impression of being a small one. The 39:th wound was radically different, disclosing a much larger weapon. If a blade can make all sorts of damage, then why did Killeen not think that 39 knives were used...?

                As for wriggling and twisting the blade out of the sternum, one must keep in mind that such a thing would leave traces in the underlying heart.

                Once more, Killeen is much more likely to have been right than wrong, regardless of any wriggling or twisting. Once again, the world is something slightly more complicated than we sometimes wish.

                Over and out.

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                • Francis Hewitt’s statement to the Sheffield Daily Telegraph on 8th August certainly drew a distinction between the ‘great wound over her heart’ and the others Martha had suffered.

                  Hewitt claimed that ‘blood was flowing’ from that wound when he saw it, which was probably shortly after Reeves had discovered the body at 4.45 am. But Killeen believed that Martha had been dead for ‘some three hours’ when he saw the body at around 5.30.*

                  Dr Tim’s timing and his ID of a bayonet as a possible weapon (if indeed he did so) rather conveniently tie in to the details of Barrett’s soldier story. How likely is is that as Barrett and Killeen stood on the landing together Barrett mentioned that he had spoken to a soldier whose pal had gone into George Yard (though not necessarily GYB) with a woman about three hours previously?


                  * As reported in the East London Advertiser. Why would it have taken 45 minutes to get a doctor from Brick Lane to George Yard in such an obviously serious case?

                  (So much for my self-restraint.)

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                  • Originally posted by Losmandris View Post

                    Wasn't the testimony of pearly poll questionable at best? In no way conclusive. Therefore I would take the whole soldier perpetrator with a serious pinch of salt. Here is a question. In your theory why didn't the first soldier use his bayonet in the first place? Why use a penknife and then have to wait for his mate to finish off the job? Doesn't make much sense to me?

                    FWIW The thoughts of Trevor's expert ring very true I believe.

                    Tristan
                    The point was that we already have evidence that soldiers were out in pairs that night. In my "theory" the last stab is by someone other than penknife man, because penknife man used what he had and still didnt finish the job to his satisfaction, the larger blade was furnished by his mate coming to look for him and finding him in this mess. I have a large collection of knives and bayonets and swords,...from the mid-1800's to modern day, and they vary in length, breadth, depth. Bayonets are thicker and longer blades than any penknife or table knife. A butchers knife might compare...but we dont have mad butchers running around with their knives on them that night do we? Oh yeah...we DO have Soldiers being permitted to wear short swords and bayonets on Bank Holidays, and we do have.. as I said.. cases where 2 or more soldiers were seen out together. So, whats that leave us with....2 weapons used as per Killeen, the larger one used only once, and pairs of men out that night where 1 or both might be wearing a blade that matches a bayonets profile.

                    My suggestion uses the evidence above. Others do not.

                    That Trevors source mentions most knifings are with a single knife, he omits mentioning thats if 1 person is doing all the stabbing. My suggestion is that 2 people stabbed.
                    Last edited by Michael W Richards; 07-01-2020, 04:43 PM.
                    Michael Richards

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                    • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                      Francis Hewitt’s statement to the Sheffield Daily Telegraph on 8th August certainly drew a distinction between the ‘great wound over her heart’ and the others Martha had suffered.
                      Hi Gary. My apologies for nit-picking, but Tabram's blouse was torn open, wasn't it? Hewitt did indeed call the wound to the chest "great," but wasn't that the only wound that was readily visible? He couldn't have 'drawn a distinction,' could he, unless he was able to actually examine the other wounds?

                      I don't dispute Killeen's observations, of course, but I am skeptical about Fisherman's use of the phrase "radically different" to describe the wound to the sternum. Those are not Killeen's words. Such interpretation are unavoidably subjective, but Killeen's recorded remarks don't sound particularly emphatic to me.

                      "The wounds might have been inflicted by a knife, but such an instrument could not have inflicted one of the wounds, which went through the chest-bone."

                      Radically different, or only moderately different, based on assumptions about a blade's ability to cut through bone?

                      Which leads us back to Patricia Cornwell's case of the vicious butter knife.

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                      • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                        Killeen's recorded remarks don't sound particularly emphatic to me.

                        "The wounds might have been inflicted by a knife, but such an instrument could not have inflicted one of the wounds, which went through the chest-bone."

                        Thanking you for the vote of confidence on my behalf, IŽd like to offer the continuation of the quotation you cut short:

                        "His opinion was that one of the wounds was inflicted by some kind of dagger..."

                        Unless this was a dagger that was so small that Cornwells butter knife (which was not a butter knife but a table knife, so much for getting things wrong) was comparable in size, one must make the assumption that Killeen meant that this was a bigger (and longer and stronger) instrument than the other knife. Otherwise, why on earth would he tell them apart in the first place? Did he magically sense that the sternum blade was stronger, although it was of roughly the same size? And if this was truly the case, then why would he not presume that the 38 other wounds were also inflicted with the sternum blade?

                        Of course, if we look at other publications than that of your choice, we get a very different picture. Take, for example, the Daily News:

                        "In the witness's opinion the wounds were not inflicted with the same instrument, there being a deep wound in the breast from some long, strong instrument, while most of the others were done apparently with a penknife. The large wound could have been caused by a sword bayonet or dagger."

                        "The large wound". As opposed to ... what? Have a guess!

                        There is of course also the pre-inquest report from the Star of the 8:th, reporting:

                        "There are about eight on the chest, inflicted in almost circular form, while the probably fatal one - certainly much the largest and deepest of any - is under the heart."

                        The paper goes on to claim that "The wounds appear to be the result of sword or dagger thrusts, rather than that of a knife", but that does not take away from the impression that there was one wound that was much, much larger than the other 38.

                        You also claim that the wound to the sternum may have been the only one visible to Frances Hewitt, but since the clothing was thrown up over Tabrams body and not least since the sternum is the middle point of the chest which was the main focus for the attack according to what was said, why would the sternum wound only be visible to Hewitt?
                        Last edited by Fisherman; 07-01-2020, 05:37 PM.

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                        • Hi Fish --

                          As I read your posts, it seems to me that you think that human skin and tissue are like clay and leave a clear impression of the weapon's incision, making these calculations simple and trouble free.

                          This is not true.

                          Skin and tissue have collagen fibers running through them, leaving a sort of 'grain'--not unlike wood. Layers of skin are also elastic.

                          Depending on how one cuts into the dermis in relationship to these fibers, the wound will either shrink shut, or gape open--which is why you cannot accurately determine the weapon used simply by looking at the wound and measuring it. Miscalculations are the norm--not the exception.

                          Here is something Dr. Killeen could not have known in the 1880s, in the years before open heart surgery.

                          What is perhaps the most problematic area on the entire human body in regards to an incision?

                          The sternum.

                          I am not a surgeon, but, if my understanding is correct, the tension lines in the layers of skin over the breast bone naturally lead the wound to gape open, which is why modern surgeons are trained to use a zig-zag pattern so they can more easily close the incision back up and allow the wound to heal properly. (Study the diagram below, which shows skin tension lines).

                          Note the tensions lines to the neck, which run vertically, which is one reason cutting someone's throat horizontally leaves to such a horrible, gaping wound.

                          Depending on the orientation of the knife, flesh wounds can have radically different appearances, leading to miscalculations---which is what Trevor's consultant, Dr. Biggs is saying.

                          My doubts about Dr. Killeen are not 'flimsy,' to use your words, they are based on having studied a considerable number of forensic papers.

                          Click image for larger version

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                          • From the pen of Dr. R. Rivello:

                            "There are several things that can be learned about the weapon from looking at the wound itself. However, determining the dimensions of the weapon and depth of penetration are not among them. This is due to the effect of elasticity of skin shrinking slightly on withdrawal of the object (by up to 2 mm). Also, when the blade has entered the skin at an oblique angle, the length of the entry slit may be longer than expected. Skin elasticity and Langer’s lines (orientation of collagen fibers in the dermis) can cause wounds to gape, contributing to miscalculations. If the weapon has not fully entered the skin, the wound depth will correspond to the part that has penetrated the skin and will not represent the maximum length of the weapon. In addition, objects are rarely pushed into the body and withdrawn at exactly the same angle, and rocking of the knife distorts a wound’s appearance. Finally, compressible body parts, like the abdomen or chest wall, often indent during the stabbing, and thus the area penetrated can be at a depth greater than the weapon."


                            Isn't that what Dr. Killeen was claiming to do, Fish? Determining the dimension of the blade by looking at the wounds?? Why do you assume that he knew any of this in 1888, fresh out of medical school?

                            The issue involved are a lot more complicated than what you let on.

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                            • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                              Hi Gary. My apologies for nit-picking, but Tabram's blouse was torn open, wasn't it? Hewitt did indeed call the wound to the chest "great," but wasn't that the only wound that was readily visible? He couldn't have 'drawn a distinction,' could he, unless he was able to actually examine the other wounds?

                              I don't dispute Killeen's observations, of course, but I am skeptical about Fisherman's use of the phrase "radically different" to describe the wound to the sternum. Those are not Killeen's words. Such interpretation are unavoidably subjective, but Killeen's recorded remarks don't sound particularly emphatic to me.

                              "The wounds might have been inflicted by a knife, but such an instrument could not have inflicted one of the wounds, which went through the chest-bone."

                              Radically different, or only moderately different, based on assumptions about a blade's ability to cut through bone?

                              Which leads us back to Patricia Cornwell's case of the vicious butter knife.
                              No problem, RJ.

                              Here’s an extract from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph report, including Hewitt’s statement that I think conveys the uniqueness, in appearance at least, of the heart wound.

                              I hope it works, I’m crap at putting up images on here.

                              Attached Files

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                              • Thank you, RJ, very sensible.

                                I find it amusing how Fisherman insists that Killeen would know best, having seen the wound (I agree), but Hebbert, having seen AND compared the wounds caused by JtR and Torso killer, would not
                                (Yes, Fisherman, I know that Hebbert was anthropolically challenged, it’s still amusing )

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