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Dr Timothy R. Killeen

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  • #46
    And Polly Nichols:


    Violent

    Syncope from loss of
    blood from wounds in
    neck and abdomen
    inflicted by some
    sharp instrument

    Wilful Murder
    against some
    person or persons
    unknown

    Post Mortem


    This certificate is in the same hand as Tabram’s, presumably it was written by John Hall the Whitechapel registrar (and horse coroner).

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by Dave O View Post
      There's some testimony from Killeen from another case that's included among records from the North East Middlesex coroner's district held at the LMA (2nd box). I thought I'd put it up if it's of interest. This inquest was held on the body of a newborn infant found dead in Spitalfields, October 1888.

      From the initial investigation by the coroner's officer, B. Beavis, for a warrant to hold an inquest:

      Mysterious death. The mother of Decd. (unmarried) went to bed about 11 pm on Tuesday 9 Oct. the person with whom she lived (inserted ‘Mrs. Green’) had then no reason to suppose that she was enceinte. About 7 a m on Wednesday 10th. Inst., Mrs. Green went into the bed room + found that she had given birth to decd – who was dead. Dr. Killeen asks for a Post Mortem examination to ascertain whether dead was born alive [see his letter] (lma/mj/spc/ne296a, from form for request for a warrant for an inquest by B. Beavis, coroner’s officer).

      No letter is preserved in the record, but Killeen's testimony is included:

      Timothy Robert Killeen, on his oath says I reside at 68 Brick Lane I am LRC.PI + [illegible]. I was called on Wednesday 10th October to 16 Church Street Spitalfields and found that Dinah Israel a Single Woman had during the night given birth to a female child apparently full formed and well developed. The child was dead and unattended to. Cord and [illegible] with Placenta attached.
      External appearance – No marks of violence
      Skin – Livid
      Fingers were lightly closed on palms of the hands
      I have since by your order made a Post Mortem examination on the 11th Inst and I find
      Brain Membranes. Congested. with the Sinuses full
      of dark blood
      Brain Substance. Healthy
      Lungs & Pleura Healthy and no fluid in Cavity
      Lungs + Heart attached Float in water
      Lungs without Heart Float in water
      Liver - Very large and full of dark blood and there was still dark blood in the portion of Cord which would become the obliterative remains of the umbilical cord
      In my opinion and to the best of my belief death was due to want of proper attendance at birth
      The Child was born alive
      The Length was the ordinary one and the weight was above the ordinary
      The Child was covered with Dust. it did not seem to me the dust that would come from the ceiling. A portion of the Ceiling was broken there was not sufficient dust on the floor to cause the child to be covered – The mother told me she had put the child in a pail. I asked to see it but Mrs. Green told me she knew nothing about it. She said there was no pail there
      (lma/m/spc/ne296b)

      I'm taken by Killeen's examination of the dust.

      Dave
      The inquest was presided over by Roderick McDonald and the jury returned a verdict of manslaughter against Dinah Israel. She was subsequently charged with the manslaughter of her child at Worship Street police court, but discharged. The following day at the Central Criminal Court the prosecution offered no evidence and Dinah was found not guilty.

      Presumably the prosecution felt there was insufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

        I don’t know, Fish.

        Yes, the info is provided for the C5, and for Alice McKenzie, whose death cert I received a few weeks back. Here’s what was on Alice’s cert:


        Violent

        Syncope from loss
        of blood through
        the Carotid vessels
        being divided by
        some sharp instrument

        Wilful murder

        Post Mortem


        The other noticeable difference between the two is that there’s no mention of a PM on Martha’s cert.



        Well, we do know that a PM was performed. And if we for a minute allow ourselves to believe that this PM was subsequently rubbished by the ones in charge, then the only person qualified to rubbish it would be a colleague of Killeens, another medico as it were. And if this happened - which I do not for a second believe - then I would suggest that a second PM would have been ordered by those in charge, in order to put things right. And then we should have had that PM and itīs medical findings on the death certificate.

        Any which way, it is an odd matter!

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
          Hi Gary -- Dr. Killen's deposition, given in The Times, is the most important source, of course. But Killen's phrase is ever-so-slightly ambiguous. "The wounds generally 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."

          This is usually taken to mean that Killen is suggesting that two different weapons were used, but could he simply have been thinking out loud? To me, Killeen might only mean that, in judging between a knife and a dagger (he is uncertain which), the sternum wound suggests the latter, as a pen-knife couldn't have done it. He sounds a little uncertain and is hedging his bet. He hasn't had very much experience in these sorts of things, being a GP out of medical school, so how could it be otherwise?

          When Swanson summarizes Killeen in a report filed in September, he doesn't refer to any theory of two knives.

          "Dr. Keeling [sic] of 68 Brick Lane was called, and examined the body and found thirty nine wounds on the body, and neck, and private part with a knife or dagger."

          Knife OR dagger...not knife AND dagger. This would be have been a very important distinction in an unsolved crime, would it not? Would Swanson have been so loose in his description had he believed the two weapon theory? He doesn't even allude to it. He refers to uncertainty about the ONE weapon.
          I believe rj that when he says "a" wound cannot be matched to others by the size of the blade, along with the breast bone reference, it almost certainly means a larger blade was used once. Ergo 2 weapons, and in the order they were used, its unlike a single individual stabbed away with what is described as a pen knife until he remembered he had a larger blade on him...which he uses only once, fatally.
          Michael Richards

          Comment


          • #50
            The differences between the Times, ELO and ELA versions of Killeen’s description of the heart wound are interesting.




            ELO

            The heart was rather fatty, and was penetrated in one place, but there was otherwise nothing in the heart to cause death, although there was some blood in the pericardium.

            Times:

            The heart, which was rather fatty, was penetrated in one place, and that would be sufficient to cause death.

            ELA

            The heart was rather fatty and it was penetrated in one place, but otherwise it was healthy. There was nothing in it likely to cause death.



            None of them says the heart wound would have caused death instantly.
            Last edited by MrBarnett; 05-28-2020, 02:41 PM.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

              None of them says the heart wound would have caused death instantly.
              No single stab wound anywhere would kill "instantly". So not sure what relevance this has.

              Michael Richards

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                The differences between the Times, ELO and ELA versions of Killeen’s description of the heart wound are interesting.




                ELO

                The heart was rather fatty, and was penetrated in one place, but there was otherwise nothing in the heart to cause death, although there was some blood in the pericardium.

                Times:

                The heart, which was rather fatty, was penetrated in one place, and that would be sufficient to cause death.

                ELA

                The heart was rather fatty and it was penetrated in one place, but otherwise it was healthy. There was nothing in it likely to cause death.



                None of them says the heart wound would have caused death instantly.
                Goes to show how hard it can be to conclude what was really said! One would think that a penetration of the heart would always cause death, but no. This is from a medical study of the matter:
                "Thirty-one patients were admitted with a penetrating cardiac injury. Fourteen patients survived (45 %). Four out of 8 patients (50 %) with gunshot wounds survived compared to 10 out of 23 (44 %) with stab wounds." (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4451723/)

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post

                  No single stab wound anywhere would kill "instantly". So not sure what relevance this has.
                  It means we have no idea of the order of the wounds.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

                    Goes to show how hard it can be to conclude what was really said! One would think that a penetration of the heart would always cause death, but no. This is from a medical study of the matter:
                    "Thirty-one patients were admitted with a penetrating cardiac injury. Fourteen patients survived (45 %). Four out of 8 patients (50 %) with gunshot wounds survived compared to 10 out of 23 (44 %) with stab wounds." (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4451723/)
                    I can’t believe the ELO made up the stuff about there being some blood in the pericardium, so the Times account would seem not to be complete.


                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

                      It means we have no idea of the order of the wounds.
                      Right so. Reading the reports it's easy to assume the heart wound caused death, quickly if not instantly, and the other wounds were inflicted post mortem. Helps explain the lack of noise and resistance. But the 'lesser' wounds hit internal organs, and Martha was a stout woman, so they're not minor pen knife cuts but inflicted with force.

                      Killeen's post mortem in the infanticide case kindly posted above suggests that despite being young and recently in practice, he paid attention in class. Had he closely examined stab wounds or handled a murder case? We don't know, but if that's the only comparable data right now then it seems plausible he was working scientifically or at least was thorough.
                      Them's the vagaries.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Al Bundy's Eyes View Post

                        Right so. Reading the reports it's easy to assume the heart wound caused death, quickly if not instantly, and the other wounds were inflicted post mortem. Helps explain the lack of noise and resistance. But the 'lesser' wounds hit internal organs, and Martha was a stout woman, so they're not minor pen knife cuts but inflicted with force.

                        Killeen's post mortem in the infanticide case kindly posted above suggests that despite being young and recently in practice, he paid attention in class. Had he closely examined stab wounds or handled a murder case? We don't know, but if that's the only comparable data right now then it seems plausible he was working scientifically or at least was thorough.
                        Killeen’s opinion was that all 39 wounds had been inflicted while Tabram was alive. Some have taken his assessment that the heart wound would have been fatal to mean it was therefore the last inflicted.

                        Killeen clearly knew the PM procedure, but something overturned the inquest jury’s verdict.



                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

                          It means we have no idea of the order of the wounds.
                          Well, if she was alive for the 38 stabs by what is described as a pen-knife and once, fatal on its own, by a larger blade, then the large stab was last.
                          Michael Richards

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            The breadth of the wound and the depth of penetration would have been 2 primary factors he used to make his conclusions, and in physical data and logical terms, one man didn't stab her 38 times with a pocket knife then change to a dagger like blade for one last stab. That it was a larger blade is established, and it would seem the evidence says it was last. Consistent with a soldier mate finding the killer over the woman, who is still alive but very badly wounded, and either handing the larger blade to him to finish the poor woman off, or he does it for him.
                            Michael Richards

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post

                              Well, if she was alive for the 38 stabs by what is described as a pen-knife and once, fatal on its own, by a larger blade, then the large stab was last.
                              Killeen didn’t say the heart wound had
                              been fatal, only that it ‘would be sufficient to cause death’ (Times).

                              He certainly didn’t say that it would have been instantly fatal - for all we know it may have taken several minutes for the blood leaking from such a wound to stop the heart.

                              As it stands we have no official cause of death. Unusually, the coroner (presumably) chose not to record one on the death cert.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                A description of a wound caused by weapon claimed to be a penknife.
                                An incised wound 5 inches long inside the abdominal cavity,with the stomach transversed and portion of the small intestines protruding.Could such a weapon have caused the injuries to Nichols?

                                Comment

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