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  • Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

    Because it was (and still is) standard procedure for a post mortem exam?
    Well, it was and it wasnít. Itís an exacting procedure with often no fruit for a ton of effort. So some coroners even today tend not to bother unless there is some other indication of head injury, such as palpable cracks in the skull, penetrating injury, or swelling. It certainly was not a procedure regularly done on essentially the homeless. But they really should have in these instances. Because all of these women have injuries consistent with a blow to the face or side of the head. And I never thought about what that meant until I had my own brain injury two years ago. Annie Chapmanís brain is consistent with a closed head injury. Yes, some of her brain condition is due to disease, but dark blood, fluid, the texture, classic closed head injury. Perhaps even a concussion, but with no injury to the skull. And having the other brains described as thoroughly as Chapmanís would have been useful. Though with little knowledge of brain injury aside from injury from insult, Iím not confident of what their conclusions would have been.
    The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Errata View Post

      Well, it was and it wasnít. Itís an exacting procedure with often no fruit for a ton of effort. So some coroners even today tend not to bother unless there is some other indication of head injury, such as palpable cracks in the skull, penetrating injury, or swelling. It certainly was not a procedure regularly done on essentially the homeless. But they really should have in these instances. Because all of these women have injuries consistent with a blow to the face or side of the head. And I never thought about what that meant until I had my own brain injury two years ago. Annie Chapmanís brain is consistent with a closed head injury. Yes, some of her brain condition is due to disease, but dark blood, fluid, the texture, classic closed head injury. Perhaps even a concussion, but with no injury to the skull. And having the other brains described as thoroughly as Chapmanís would have been useful. Though with little knowledge of brain injury aside from injury from insult, Iím not confident of what their conclusions would have been.
      HI Errata,

      Others have posted that the dark blood noted in the membrains of Annie's brain is also consistent with lack of oxygen prior to death, consistent with the suggestion she was at least partially strangled before her throat was cut. Examination of the other victim's brains would have been useful to see if this was the case there as well, if for no other reason that it would have been another piece of evidence for or against strangulation in each of the cases. I would think a closed head injury type event would produce a more localized area of bruised blood, while interference with breathing a more diffuse pattern as the entire blood supply is being deprived of oxygen. So yes, I entirely agree with you that this would have been very useful information for us to have.

      - Jeff

      Comment


      • Hi,

        I think it should be noted that Dr. Phillips evidence is not being dismissed en mass, nobody is suggesting, for example, that his descriptions of Annie's injuries, or how her body was positioned at the crime scene, etc should be dismissed simply because one bit of his testimony is problematic. His estimation of the ToD, because it was based upon feeling the surface of her body rather than based upon actual core body temperature readings, is being dismissed because he made that estimation using a procedure that is known to be inaccurate. I suppose if he found her still warm to the touch that would be more informative simply because the cooling of the body surface will take some time, and under the conditions she was found, not very much time (which is why once she doesn't feel warm to him anymore it doesn't give any useful information; let's say it would take X amount of time for exposed skin to feel cold, then once it does, all you can say is that the ToD is X or more, and if X was 45 minutes, and he doesn't examine her until 1, or 2 hours, or 3, etc, all he could do was say "well, she's cold, so X or more", but if she's still warm he could say "withing 45 minutes". That would be why Eddowes ToD could be relatively accurate because she was probably killed quite soon before she was examined, so she was still warm to the touch (Brown notes the body was quite warm to the touch). The difference in the rate of cooling between the two cases, or the difference in the perceived warmth of the bodies, may have to do with differences in the amount of clothing the two victims were wearing, the amount of exposed skin, where on the body was felt to determine body warmth (and don't forget, Phillips does report feeling some heat under the intestines as well, so she's not cold throughout). I'm not saying that determining ToD by touch is accurate here, only that bodies that are outside and exposed cool rapidly, so if they haven't cooled to the touch then they can't have been there for long, but if they have cooled, that just means it's cold outside and we probably can't say much of anything - it's not the type of information that works "both ways", where warm can tell you not here long and cold tells you the opposite, rather it's more "warm can tell you not here long, but cold tells you all bets are off". I'm not even sure what I've suggested there is even reliable as the time for X is probably also so variable that it could be just as misleading. Some have argued that the ToD estimations by touch for Eddowes was accurate, but again, that was based upon feeling warmth, in Chapman's case it was upon perceive cold, and if only the former has a chance to be accurate, and the latter is widely inaccurate, there's your explanation for why the results differ. Again, I want to make it absolutely unambiguous, I don't know if feeling warmth is at all reliable, but I can imagine why it might be, and how at the same time, feeling cold is utterly useless. But if warmth is accurate, and Phillips did feel heat under the intestines, that that to me suggests his data points more towards earlier than later.

        Anyway, for all the reasons that have been repeated, the ToD he gives based upon surface body perceived coldness cannot be considered as reliable and must be set aside. But the rest of his evidence, however, remains open for consideration, we don't throw it all out just because one bit is known to be unreliable.

        And we shouldn't do that with the witness testimony either. We know there must be some errors associated with it, particularly the times given by Long and Cadosh. But really, reconciling that difference in time, which is basically in the order of minutes, should hardly be such a source of contention. There are all sorts of reasons why reports of the time have error with them. I've tended to lean towards Long misremembering the chime she heard (a simple memory error; note, I'm not saying she misheard it at the time, only she misremembered what she heard when she later thought back to what happened and what she saw, etc). Herlock has tended to suggest that Cadosh may be the one that was out, which is also possible, though in my view his morning routines of getting ready to go to work make me think he was probably more specifically aware of time as he was going about his routines than Long would have been as she went to the market. But that's a difference of opinion, if Cadosh is out by 15 minutes, or as Herlock has also suggested, if both Long and Cadosh are out by 7 or 8 minutes, there really is no conflict in their testimony. All that's been done is one aspect of their evidence is being questioned without throwing all of it out.

        It's also partly why I'm now trying to work out if we can determine at what point Annie may have reached full rigor (or at least determine the times at which she hadn't yet reached full rigor). While the analysis I've done is highly tentative, and estimating ToD is crude, there are times that are more consistent with the witnesses than with Dr. Phillips, and vice versa. If we can determine either when she did enter full rigor, or at least know the last time she was not in full rigor, that latter time has the possibility of bringing Dr. Phillips evidence in line with the witnesses (in that it would be more consistent with 5:30ish than with 4:30ish). It would be satisfying to know that all of the evidence that is not known to be erroneous fits together in a consistent, even if tentative, way.

        - Jeff

        Comment


        • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

          HI Errata,

          Others have posted that the dark blood noted in the membrains of Annie's brain is also consistent with lack of oxygen prior to death, consistent with the suggestion she was at least partially strangled before her throat was cut. Examination of the other victim's brains would have been useful to see if this was the case there as well, if for no other reason that it would have been another piece of evidence for or against strangulation in each of the cases. I would think a closed head injury type event would produce a more localized area of bruised blood, while interference with breathing a more diffuse pattern as the entire blood supply is being deprived of oxygen. So yes, I entirely agree with you that this would have been very useful information for us to have.

          - Jeff
          The extra firm brain, the cloudy meninges, thatís serious swelling. The fluid, itís injury related hydrocephaly. The dark blood could be from asphyxia, or the brain injury itself. Never having seen another Victoria era brain autopsy before, I am assuming that the doctor was fully capable of detecting whether or not the brain was still attached to the spinal cord, major arteries, and the meninges still intact. That there was no substantial bleeding in the brain I think is just a function of the injury. Maybe the swelling was profound enough? Had she slipped and hit her head on the stairs there would definitely be blood. If she was hit in the head with a bat, there would definitely be blood. If there was a more diffuse blow, like say boxers roundhouse say, right by the ear, that could cause closed brain injury without bleeding. And has. But that is either super lucky or very very practiced.
          The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Errata View Post

            The extra firm brain, the cloudy meninges, thatís serious swelling. The fluid, itís injury related hydrocephaly. The dark blood could be from asphyxia, or the brain injury itself. Never having seen another Victoria era brain autopsy before, I am assuming that the doctor was fully capable of detecting whether or not the brain was still attached to the spinal cord, major arteries, and the meninges still intact. That there was no substantial bleeding in the brain I think is just a function of the injury. Maybe the swelling was profound enough? Had she slipped and hit her head on the stairs there would definitely be blood. If she was hit in the head with a bat, there would definitely be blood. If there was a more diffuse blow, like say boxers roundhouse say, right by the ear, that could cause closed brain injury without bleeding. And has. But that is either super lucky or very very practiced.
            Hi Errata,

            Could be. I would think such a punch would have left a rather large bruise though. While there is bruising reported, it seems to be indicative of strangulation (detected on both sides) or of grasping while cutting the throat. Dr. Phillips reports on the bruise patterns, and I don't think there are signs of a major blow like a boxer's punch, but you may be seeing something I'm overlooking.

            - Jeff

            Comment


            • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

              Hi Errata,

              Could be. I would think such a punch would have left a rather large bruise though. While there is bruising reported, it seems to be indicative of strangulation (detected on both sides) or of grasping while cutting the throat. Dr. Phillips reports on the bruise patterns, and I don't think there are signs of a major blow like a boxer's punch, but you may be seeing something I'm overlooking.

              - Jeff
              Yeah Iím missing something. Iíll work on it.
              The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Errata View Post

                Yeah Iím missing something. Iíll work on it.
                No worries. If you find something do keep us in the loop.

                - Jeff

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

                  Because it was (and still is) standard procedure for a post mortem exam?
                  Sensible answer/question.

                  Phillips performed brain examinations on two of The Five.

                  Stride obviously had HHT which often results in abnormal blood vessel formation,including in the brain.
                  Cachous and iron are useful medications due to bleeding.
                  Very rare.
                  Lungs are a problem in 50% of cases,which was also checked along with her heart.

                  Chapman had TB.
                  25% or more of Whitechapel carried the disease.
                  No doubt there were clues to her infection like LOW BODY TEMPERATURE,however I suggest the attempt to unhinge her head ensured his procedure.

                  Other post mortems were pedestrian.
                  Last edited by DJA; 09-20-2019, 06:41 AM.
                  My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

                  Comment


                  • It's certainly standard procedure for post mortems today: https://www.rcpath.org/

                    Comment


                    • Great link John. Thanks.

                      The various Guidelines on autopsy practice pdfs are interesting reads.
                      My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

                      Comment


                      • Herlock, there is no point in arguing. They're not listening.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
                          Hi,

                          I think it should be noted that Dr. Phillips evidence is not being dismissed en mass, nobody is suggesting, for example, that his descriptions of Annie's injuries, or how her body was positioned at the crime scene, etc should be dismissed simply because one bit of his testimony is problematic. His estimation of the ToD, because it was based upon feeling the surface of her body rather than based upon actual core body temperature readings, is being dismissed because he made that estimation using a procedure that is known to be inaccurate. I suppose if he found her still warm to the touch that would be more informative simply because the cooling of the body surface will take some time, and under the conditions she was found, not very much time (which is why once she doesn't feel warm to him anymore it doesn't give any useful information; let's say it would take X amount of time for exposed skin to feel cold, then once it does, all you can say is that the ToD is X or more, and if X was 45 minutes, and he doesn't examine her until 1, or 2 hours, or 3, etc, all he could do was say "well, she's cold, so X or more", but if she's still warm he could say "withing 45 minutes". That would be why Eddowes ToD could be relatively accurate because she was probably killed quite soon before she was examined, so she was still warm to the touch (Brown notes the body was quite warm to the touch). The difference in the rate of cooling between the two cases, or the difference in the perceived warmth of the bodies, may have to do with differences in the amount of clothing the two victims were wearing, the amount of exposed skin, where on the body was felt to determine body warmth (and don't forget, Phillips does report feeling some heat under the intestines as well, so she's not cold throughout). I'm not saying that determining ToD by touch is accurate here, only that bodies that are outside and exposed cool rapidly, so if they haven't cooled to the touch then they can't have been there for long, but if they have cooled, that just means it's cold outside and we probably can't say much of anything - it's not the type of information that works "both ways", where warm can tell you not here long and cold tells you the opposite, rather it's more "warm can tell you not here long, but cold tells you all bets are off". I'm not even sure what I've suggested there is even reliable as the time for X is probably also so variable that it could be just as misleading. Some have argued that the ToD estimations by touch for Eddowes was accurate, but again, that was based upon feeling warmth, in Chapman's case it was upon perceive cold, and if only the former has a chance to be accurate, and the latter is widely inaccurate, there's your explanation for why the results differ. Again, I want to make it absolutely unambiguous, I don't know if feeling warmth is at all reliable, but I can imagine why it might be, and how at the same time, feeling cold is utterly useless. But if warmth is accurate, and Phillips did feel heat under the intestines, that that to me suggests his data points more towards earlier than later.

                          Anyway, for all the reasons that have been repeated, the ToD he gives based upon surface body perceived coldness cannot be considered as reliable and must be set aside. But the rest of his evidence, however, remains open for consideration, we don't throw it all out just because one bit is known to be unreliable.

                          And we shouldn't do that with the witness testimony either. We know there must be some errors associated with it, particularly the times given by Long and Cadosh. But really, reconciling that difference in time, which is basically in the order of minutes, should hardly be such a source of contention. There are all sorts of reasons why reports of the time have error with them. I've tended to lean towards Long misremembering the chime she heard (a simple memory error; note, I'm not saying she misheard it at the time, only she misremembered what she heard when she later thought back to what happened and what she saw, etc). Herlock has tended to suggest that Cadosh may be the one that was out, which is also possible, though in my view his morning routines of getting ready to go to work make me think he was probably more specifically aware of time as he was going about his routines than Long would have been as she went to the market. But that's a difference of opinion, if Cadosh is out by 15 minutes, or as Herlock has also suggested, if both Long and Cadosh are out by 7 or 8 minutes, there really is no conflict in their testimony. All that's been done is one aspect of their evidence is being questioned without throwing all of it out.

                          It's also partly why I'm now trying to work out if we can determine at what point Annie may have reached full rigor (or at least determine the times at which she hadn't yet reached full rigor). While the analysis I've done is highly tentative, and estimating ToD is crude, there are times that are more consistent with the witnesses than with Dr. Phillips, and vice versa. If we can determine either when she did enter full rigor, or at least know the last time she was not in full rigor, that latter time has the possibility of bringing Dr. Phillips evidence in line with the witnesses (in that it would be more consistent with 5:30ish than with 4:30ish). It would be satisfying to know that all of the evidence that is not known to be erroneous fits together in a consistent, even if tentative, way.

                          - Jeff
                          Excellent, calm, reasoned post as ever Jeff. Totally wasted on some though.
                          Regards

                          Herlock






                          "Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.”

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by DJA View Post
                            Great link John. Thanks.

                            The various Guidelines on autopsy practice pdfs are interesting reads.
                            No problem. For some reason the specific page that I found didn't copy- through. However, it can be found by searching, " What Happens During a Post Mortem."

                            The relevant information is:

                            " A long incision is made down the front of the body to enable the internal organs to be removed and examined. A single incision accross the top of the head allows the top of the skull to ne removed so that the brain can be examined."
                            Last edited by John G; 09-20-2019, 11:16 AM.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by PaulB View Post
                              Herlock, there is no point in arguing. They're not listening.
                              Youíre right Paul. Tying to apply reason and logic to the assessment of evidence is becoming akin to trying to teach a goldfish to tell the time. Itís a sad state of affairs when posters refuse to be objective especially when, in some cases, its because they need an earlier TOD to bolster a theory. Itís similar to the reaction that occurred on the Druitt thread when some posters reach a point of apoplexy purely because we suggested that Macnaghten cannot be dismissed and that consequently Druitt is at least worthy of consideration. And now we here were faced with the bizarre spectacle of someone accepting that Phillips TOD was unreliable but still insisting on favouring it over three witnesses. Have you ever heard anything like it? I bet you never thought that youíd be debating thinking like this when you set out in the field?
                              Regards

                              Herlock






                              "Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.”

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by John G View Post
                                It's certainly standard procedure for post mortems today: https://www.rcpath.org/
                                "A System of Legal Medicine" published on 1894 contains a section on PM procedures, so it was then too.

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