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Was Dr. Phillips flustered by it all?

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  • #46
    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.
    Regards, Jon S.

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    • #47
      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.
      Best Wishes,
      Hunter
      ____________________________________________

      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
        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.
        Best Wishes,
        Hunter
        ____________________________________________

        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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