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  • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post

    I'm not twisting anything. The sources I've read made no mention of tropical climates.

    No? This is part of post 95 - by you:

    Rigor Mortis "appears early [in] Chronic diseases (TB, cancer, typhoid, cholera)... Violent deaths (cut throat, electrocution, lightning)…... fatigue/exhaustion before death”. Source: medicoapps.org/tag/rigor-mortis

    When you look up that site, it says in the first page, on rigor:

    Time of Onset :
    • Temperate climates – 3-6 hours
    • Tropical climates – 1-2 hours
    Now, it of course applies that while you refer to that page as the source of the claims you made, you may not have read what is says - in some instances. You managed to read and understand that a violent death can hasten rigor, but you did NOT manage to pick up (on the same page) that asphyxiation (suffered by Chapman) and large bloodloss (suffered by Chapman) SLOWS DOWN the rigor process.

    Of course, if we use sources in that way, we can produce pretty much anything we like to produce. The problem is that people who are more interested in the facts than in cherrypicking parts that support their own thinking, may actually check the sources we refer to, and things may all go south.




    Plus, Richardson was adamant that he could not have failed to see the body if it had been there at the time. There's no wriggling out of that.
    Are you claiming that I am saying that Richardson was not adamant, Gareth? Because I am not. I am saying that Richardson may nevertheless have been wrong, in spite of his certainty.
    The police reasoned that he may have been. They will likely have checked with Richardson exactly how he claimed to have sat on the stairs, just as they will have checked what he said about where his gaze was fixed.
    After that, they left the possibility open that he could be wrong, and that he could have missed the body. The implications are clear - either they believed that he was in a position that allowed for him missing out, or they believed he was not being truthful.
    If he had told a story that ruled out him missing the body if it was there, and if the police had believed him, they would have accepted that he must have been right.
    Whether you think that is wriggling or not is immaterial to me. You see, far from only choosing snippets that suite my thinking and disregarding the rest, I try to look at the whole picture and understand where the facts lead us. You should try it sometimes - its good fun.

    Comment


    • I would like to add to my post to Gareth that there is a logically based knowledge to be had from how rigor sets in quicker in tropical climate than in temperate ones. It seems not everybody has picked up on it, but here it is:
      The warmer it is, the quicker the onset of rigor!

      Yes, ladies and gents, that is absolutely true! It is TEMPERATURE, more than anything else that governs the time that will pass before rigor sets in. " In warm environments, the onset and pace of rigor mortis are sped up by providing a conducive environment for the metabolic processes that cause decay. Low temperatures, however, slow them down."

      Let me explain further:

      In tropical climates, rigor sets in within 1-2 hours. And guess what - just as is the case here, the temperature will vary in tropical zones too. And that means that in the warmest conditions, rigor will set in after an hour only, whereas in cooler conditions, it can take up to two hours.

      How does that translate to temperate climates, then? Let's have a look, shall we?

      In temperate climate, it is the same! When the temperatures are high (like on a warm summers day), rigor will set in after three hours only, whereas in cold conditions (like on a winters night in Scandinavia), it can take up to 6 hours before rigor commences.

      And where can we place Chapmans death on this scale? She died on a night with around 9 degrees Celsius temperatures, and that means that she cannot have been likely to approach the minimum extreme of three hours, given in Gareths source. Nor was it freezing cold, so the logical thing to do would be to take away the 3 and 6 hour estimates and say that the time would perhaps be 4-5 hours.

      Now, we need to add a few qualifiers to this, but overall, this is a true representation of the mechanism of rigor mortis!

      Qualifiers: Just as Gareth wisely pointed out, there are mechanisms that can speed up the process. Just as Gareth wisely pointed out, some of these mechanisms were present in the Chapman case, like a violent death, for example.

      Further qualifiers: Gareth unfortunately missed out on a few things when providing his source. There are also mechanisms that can slow down the rigor process. And some of these mechanisms we're also present in the Chapman case; asphyxiation and great bloodloss.

      My final point is this:

      We can work from an assumption that Chapman perhaps was a medical anomaly, and that she responded extremely much to factors that could shorten the rigor onset time. We can sift away material from the sources that point away from a short time of rigor onset. We can dabble with anything we like and make wild guesses, but overall:
      WHY WOULD WE DO THAT?
      It does not take Chapman into Long/Cadosh territory anyway, and it does not even allow for Richardson in any logical manner.

      So why not calmly accept that we must treat Chapman as we would treat any person - as somebody who obeyed the laws of nature.
      Last edited by Fisherman; 08-21-2019, 06:02 AM.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

        There’s nothing obvious about it Fish.

        From: Forensic Biology For The Law Enforcement Officer by Charles Grady Wilber,1974

        'The stiffening of the body or rigor mortis develops usually within an hour or two hours after death.'

        Or,

        From: EstimationOf Time Of Death by Ranald Munro and Helen M.C. Munro.


        "The time of onset is variable but it is usually considered to appear between 1 and 6 hours (average 2-4 hours) after death.'

        Yes, one hour is allowed for - in tropical climates. It is in Gareths source.

        How tropical was Hanbury Street? Read my post above for further elucidation.
        Last edited by Fisherman; 08-21-2019, 05:58 AM.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post
          just a thought-if phillips was right about observing rigor mortis set in-does this not put Richardson back in the frame as being a suspect in her murder? he would then be there near TOD, no?
          Read post 272, Abby!

          Comment


          • Since people out here are trying desperately to find material that speaks of a possibility that Chapman could have developed rigor very quickly, I´d be happy to help out. This article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5721493/ is exactly what you are looking for. It speaks of accelerated rigor mortis and points out that in extreme cases, rigor can commence after minutes only.
            Of course, if this had been the case with Chapman, she would not have been totally cold, and so we should not aspire to make it a fifteen minute performance.

            The article points out that rigor sets in after 1,5 to 4 hours, and I think we should accept that 1,5 is an extreme where all shortening factors are in place, not least a warm temperature (like in the tropics). In Chapmans case, that warm temperature was not there and we know that there were factors like asphyxiation and bloodloss present that would likely contribute to a slowing down of the process.

            Any which way, although I find it hilarious that Gareth chose a source that had an extreme of three hours, I think we should take a look at the overall picture. Not least do we know that Phillips allowed - at a stretch he did not recommend, but nevertheless - for two hours!

            When we weigh all of this together, we inevitably end up with a need to kick Long and Cadosch out the back door. As for Richardson, he is of course forty-five minutes prior to Long/Cadosch, and the case for accepting an onsetting rigor 1.45 hours after death must accordingly be more acceptable. Meaning that while Chapman was certainly lying dead in the backyard when Long and Cadosch "saw" and "heard" her, it must be a little less certain that she was there when Richardson payed his visit.

            Generally speaking, though, it is many times more likely that she was than that she was not. The temperature speaks for this, not only the rigor-governing ambient temperature in the yard, but also the cold temperature of Chapmans body, as reported by Phillips.

            The article I just provided shows us that there are extreme examples of swiftly onsetting rigor, but as I asked in my former post: Why would we work from the assumption that Chapman was different in the extreme? If we elevate freak examples to common rule, we are not treating the evidence the way we should.

            So this is how I believe we should work: If we know that there are examples of swift rigor, we should not hold the material back. We should present it, to make the picture full. We should not pick and choose parts of it only, on account of how other parts are less palatable to us.
            And those of us who are given such a full material to read, should not make the point that because there are extreme and rare examples of swift rigor, Chapman simply must have been such an example.

            Anyway, I hope this saves some of you the trouble to look for "useful" material - and that it saves me an illogical debate.



            Comment


            • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

              What I can’t understand is if Phillips TOD estimate was so concrete, so obviously correct, why over the ensuing years have people still considered the possibility that he might have been wrong? Why don’t we have a Forensic medical expert saying that this is beyond argument?
              I will ask one the question

              www.trevormarriott.co.uk

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                I will ask one the question

                www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                The Man. You are he!
                - Ginger

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                  Plus, Richardson was adamant that he could not have failed to see the body if it had been there at the time. There's no wriggling out of that.
                  And Caroline Maxwell was adamant that she saw Mary Kelly that morning, when she was in all likelihood already dead. What's your point?

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Harry D View Post

                    And Caroline Maxwell was adamant that she saw Mary Kelly that morning, when she was in all likelihood already dead. What's your point?

                    According to Herlock and Co., since a witness says so, is adamant, has two eyes, and half a brain, then we have to accept his testimony over Doctors opinions which were little more than guesswork.

                    Too bad for Herlock, Richardson had only one good eye!




                    The Baron

                    Comment


                    • I thought that I’d ask a friend to look into the issue of TOD estimates as I’m no researcher. This is what I got from him:



                      The website being relied on so heavily by Fisherman of medicoapps.org/tag/rigor-mortis is not only apparently written for schoolchildren but contains inconsistent information. Thus, having made a distinction between the onset of rigor mortis in temperate and tropical climates of 2-6 hours and 1-2 hours respectively, it then says that "In general" it "sets on" in 1-2 hours! Elsewhere on the same page it says "The onset of rigor mortis may range from 1-2hours, depending on factors including temperature (rapid cooling of a body can inhibit rigor mortis, but it occurs upon thawing) " In one of the quiz questions it asks its visitors to provide the time for when "Rigor Mortis in India in summer sets in' with the answer supposedly being 2-3 hours even though India is a tropical climate so that the correct answer should be 1-2 hours!



                      The source of this childish website's information is evidently found in a proper academic paper entitled "Time Since Death From Rigor Mortis; Forensic Perspective" by Shivpoojan Kori, Division of Forensic Science, Galgotias University, India, published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences and Criminal Investigation, June 2018. The paper can be found here:









                      https://juniperpublishers.com/jfsci/pdf/JFSCI.MS.ID.555771.pdf







                      In this paper, Kori reviews the scientific literature relating to the onset of rigor mortis. What we find is a clear statement that the supposed figure of 3-6 hours in a temperate climate is no more than the average time (so that it can be quicker or slower than this). Hence, it is stated:









                      "The average period of onset or rigor mortis may be regarded as 3 to 6 hours after death in temperate climate, and it may take 2 to 3 hours to develop. In India the rigor usually commences in 1 to 2 hours after death."









                      That rigor can develop sooner than 3-6 hours in a temperate climate is perfectly evident from the fact that the paper cites two renowned British forensic pathologists saying that it is sometimes seen within 30 minutes of death. Being British, their experience must have been of this happening in a temperate climate. Hence, to quote from the paper:









                      "Francis E. Camps stated that….Ordinarily the rigor mortis appears between 2-4 hours, but sometimes it is seen within 30 minutes of death and sometimes the onset is delayed for 6 hours or more."









                      and









                      "Bernard Knight described the method of testing the rigor mortis by attempting to flex or extend the joints though the whole muscle mass itself becomes hard, and finger pressure on quadriceps or pectoralis can also detect the changes. The stiffness may develop within half an hour of death or may be postponed indefinitely."









                      Then we have more information about rigor in a temperate climate:









                      Werner Uri Spitz (1993), a German-American forensic pathologist, "reported that in temperate climate, under average condition, rigor becomes apparent within half an hour to an hour, increases progressively to a maximum within twelve hours, remains for about twelve hours and then progressively disappears within the following twelve hours."









                      From the English physiologist Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley (1974), who lived and worked in a temperate climate, we get this: '…the rigor mortis, which is cadaveric rigidity, starts developing within 1 to 2 hours after death and takes around 12 hours after death for complete development….'









                      So that's the average time. What are the factors that can accelerate the onset of rigor mortis? Well the paper tells us that according to A.K. Mant, author of 'Forensic Pathology in Great Britain': "Rigor Mortis comes on slowly and uniformly in healthier subjects and the onset is rapid in case of deaths in exercises prior to death, convulsions andsudden haemorrhage". Furthermore, according to K.S. Narayan Reddy, author of 'Essentials of Forensic Medicine', "In death from diseases causing great exhaustion and wasting e.g. cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis and cancer and in violent deaths as by cut throats, firearms or electrocution, the onset of rigor is early and duration is short".The paper alsostates that,according to W.G. Aitcheson Robertson, author of 'Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology', in "death followed by convulsions, muscular exertion, racing, the rigor mortis will appear earlier". We are told thatMason JK stated "The onset of rigor will be accelerated in conditions involving high ante-mortem muscle lactic acid e.g. after a struggle or other exercise.". So a struggle could bring on rigor earlier than the average, just like a cut throat. Then what about the physical condition of the deceased? Well according to S.C. Basu, author of the Handbook of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, rigor is "hastened or accelerated in feeble, fatigued and exhausted muscles"









                      Although the literature reveals inconsistent statements by different 'experts' (thus demonstrating the unreliability of using rigor to pinpoint time of death) a fair reading of the entire paper is that rigor can easily develop within 1-2 hours of death in any kind of climate (and sometimes even quicker than that).









                      What does Fisherman's own favourite expert, Jason Payne James, have to say about using rigor to estimate the time of death? Well let's have a look in Simpson's Forensic Medicine, updated 13th edition by Jason Payne James, Richard Jones, Steven Karch and John Manlove (2011):









                      https://epdf.pub/simpsons-forensic-medicine.html







                      The authors state:









                      "The only use of assessing the presence or absence of rigor lies in the estimation of the time of death, and the key word here is ‘estimation’, as rigor is such a variable process that it can never provide an accurate assessment of the time of death. Extreme caution should be exercised in trying to assign a time of death based on the very subjective assessment of the degree and extent of rigor."



                      Then we have this about temperate conditions:



                      'In temperate conditions rigor can commonly be detected in the face between approximately 1 hour and 4 hours and in the limbs between approximately 3 hours and 6 hours after death".



                      So that utterly explodes the notion that rigor doesn't commence at all in temperate conditions until 2 or 3 hours.







                      In summary, it's clearly nonsense, and goes against all the evidence, for Fisherman to say that 1.5 hours for onset of rigor is "an extreme" and requires some kind of tropical temperature. Even the latest online article cited by Fisherman himself in #275 states that "Rigor mortis appears on an average within 1.5–4 hours postmortem". An average time means by definition that it can appear sooner (or later) than this time and where we have a possible case of Chapman struggling before death, likely being in an unhealthy and possibly weakened state due to poor nutrition, suffering from lung disease, and with the possible uncertain effects of a cut throat and/or sudden haemorrhage to take into consideration we can easily see that the onset of rigor could have commenced within an hour, in line with expert opinion. Temperature is only one variable and cannot be relied on in isolation while ignoring all the others. But above all we should listen to Payne James & co who tell us without hesitation that rigor can NEVER provide an accurate estimate of time of death and "extreme caution" should be used when making an assessment. I don't see much extreme caution from Fisherman.


                      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 The Baron View Post


                        According to Herlock and Co., since a witness says so, is adamant, has two eyes, and half a brain, then we have to accept his testimony over Doctors opinions which were little more than guesswork.

                        Too bad for Herlock, Richardson had only one good eye!




                        The Baron

                        Read the previous post Baron.

                        Facts written by experts.

                        Phillips could indeed have been wrong. Richardson, Cadosch and Long make it likely.

                        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 Herlock Sholmes View Post
                          I thought that I’d ask a friend to look into the issue of TOD estimates as I’m no researcher. This is what I got from him:



                          The website being relied on so heavily by Fisherman of medicoapps.org/tag/rigor-mortis is not only apparently written for schoolchildren but contains inconsistent information. Thus, having made a distinction between the onset of rigor mortis in temperate and tropical climates of 2-6 hours and 1-2 hours respectively, it then says that "In general" it "sets on" in 1-2 hours! Elsewhere on the same page it says "The onset of rigor mortis may range from 1-2hours, depending on factors including temperature (rapid cooling of a body can inhibit rigor mortis, but it occurs upon thawing) " In one of the quiz questions it asks its visitors to provide the time for when "Rigor Mortis in India in summer sets in' with the answer supposedly being 2-3 hours even though India is a tropical climate so that the correct answer should be 1-2 hours!



                          The source of this childish website's information is evidently found in a proper academic paper entitled "Time Since Death From Rigor Mortis; Forensic Perspective" by Shivpoojan Kori, Division of Forensic Science, Galgotias University, India, published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences and Criminal Investigation, June 2018. The paper can be found here:









                          https://juniperpublishers.com/jfsci/pdf/JFSCI.MS.ID.555771.pdf







                          In this paper, Kori reviews the scientific literature relating to the onset of rigor mortis. What we find is a clear statement that the supposed figure of 3-6 hours in a temperate climate is no more than the average time (so that it can be quicker or slower than this). Hence, it is stated:









                          "The average period of onset or rigor mortis may be regarded as 3 to 6 hours after death in temperate climate, and it may take 2 to 3 hours to develop. In India the rigor usually commences in 1 to 2 hours after death."









                          That rigor can develop sooner than 3-6 hours in a temperate climate is perfectly evident from the fact that the paper cites two renowned British forensic pathologists saying that it is sometimes seen within 30 minutes of death. Being British, their experience must have been of this happening in a temperate climate. Hence, to quote from the paper:









                          "Francis E. Camps stated that….Ordinarily the rigor mortis appears between 2-4 hours, but sometimes it is seen within 30 minutes of death and sometimes the onset is delayed for 6 hours or more."









                          and









                          "Bernard Knight described the method of testing the rigor mortis by attempting to flex or extend the joints though the whole muscle mass itself becomes hard, and finger pressure on quadriceps or pectoralis can also detect the changes. The stiffness may develop within half an hour of death or may be postponed indefinitely."









                          Then we have more information about rigor in a temperate climate:









                          Werner Uri Spitz (1993), a German-American forensic pathologist, "reported that in temperate climate, under average condition, rigor becomes apparent within half an hour to an hour, increases progressively to a maximum within twelve hours, remains for about twelve hours and then progressively disappears within the following twelve hours."









                          From the English physiologist Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley (1974), who lived and worked in a temperate climate, we get this: '…the rigor mortis, which is cadaveric rigidity, starts developing within 1 to 2 hours after death and takes around 12 hours after death for complete development….'









                          So that's the average time. What are the factors that can accelerate the onset of rigor mortis? Well the paper tells us that according to A.K. Mant, author of 'Forensic Pathology in Great Britain': "Rigor Mortis comes on slowly and uniformly in healthier subjects and the onset is rapid in case of deaths in exercises prior to death, convulsions andsudden haemorrhage". Furthermore, according to K.S. Narayan Reddy, author of 'Essentials of Forensic Medicine', "In death from diseases causing great exhaustion and wasting e.g. cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis and cancer and in violent deaths as by cut throats, firearms or electrocution, the onset of rigor is early and duration is short".The paper alsostates that,according to W.G. Aitcheson Robertson, author of 'Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology', in "death followed by convulsions, muscular exertion, racing, the rigor mortis will appear earlier". We are told thatMason JK stated "The onset of rigor will be accelerated in conditions involving high ante-mortem muscle lactic acid e.g. after a struggle or other exercise.". So a struggle could bring on rigor earlier than the average, just like a cut throat. Then what about the physical condition of the deceased? Well according to S.C. Basu, author of the Handbook of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, rigor is "hastened or accelerated in feeble, fatigued and exhausted muscles"









                          Although the literature reveals inconsistent statements by different 'experts' (thus demonstrating the unreliability of using rigor to pinpoint time of death) a fair reading of the entire paper is that rigor can easily develop within 1-2 hours of death in any kind of climate (and sometimes even quicker than that).









                          What does Fisherman's own favourite expert, Jason Payne James, have to say about using rigor to estimate the time of death? Well let's have a look in Simpson's Forensic Medicine, updated 13th edition by Jason Payne James, Richard Jones, Steven Karch and John Manlove (2011):









                          https://epdf.pub/simpsons-forensic-medicine.html







                          The authors state:









                          "The only use of assessing the presence or absence of rigor lies in the estimation of the time of death, and the key word here is ‘estimation’, as rigor is such a variable process that it can never provide an accurate assessment of the time of death. Extreme caution should be exercised in trying to assign a time of death based on the very subjective assessment of the degree and extent of rigor."



                          Then we have this about temperate conditions:



                          'In temperate conditions rigor can commonly be detected in the face between approximately 1 hour and 4 hours and in the limbs between approximately 3 hours and 6 hours after death".



                          So that utterly explodes the notion that rigor doesn't commence at all in temperate conditions until 2 or 3 hours.







                          In summary, it's clearly nonsense, and goes against all the evidence, for Fisherman to say that 1.5 hours for onset of rigor is "an extreme" and requires some kind of tropical temperature. Even the latest online article cited by Fisherman himself in #275 states that "Rigor mortis appears on an average within 1.5–4 hours postmortem". An average time means by definition that it can appear sooner (or later) than this time and where we have a possible case of Chapman struggling before death, likely being in an unhealthy and possibly weakened state due to poor nutrition, suffering from lung disease, and with the possible uncertain effects of a cut throat and/or sudden haemorrhage to take into consideration we can easily see that the onset of rigor could have commenced within an hour, in line with expert opinion. Temperature is only one variable and cannot be relied on in isolation while ignoring all the others. But above all we should listen to Payne James & co who tell us without hesitation that rigor can NEVER provide an accurate estimate of time of death and "extreme caution" should be used when making an assessment. I don't see much extreme caution from Fisherman.

                          Well, if there is one thing we can rely on, it is that you will get it everything wrong, Herlock.

                          The site you claim I heavily rely on was brought on here by Gareth, and not by me. If you want to call somebody childish for posting the link (and MY, wouldn't you like to do that!) I'm afraid it is your old brother in arms Gareth you need to take by the ear and tell him off. I posted another, more scientific, link in order to allow for a better understanding.

                          Now you want to tutor us and that's a very fine aspiration. Let's see how it goes!

                          "In India the rigor usually commences in 1 to 2 hours after death."

                          Yep. Due to the tropical conditions. Its not very new, I have pointed to it before.

                          "That rigor can develop sooner than 3-6 hours in a temperate climate is perfectly evident from the fact that the paper cites two renowned British forensic pathologists saying that it is sometimes seen within 30 minutes of death. Being British, their experience must have been of this happening in a temperate climate.

                          Actually no, unless we are certain that they are citing temperate climate cases. What makes you think that their origin means that they can only cite British cases? By the bye, I have myself posted - you may have missed it, its in post 275 - that rigor CAN set in after a matter of minutes only. In extreme cases, of course. And of course, the body will not cool off like lightning together with that onset, so the temperature will give away the fresh TOD. As for Chapman, we know that Eddowes was quite warm 45 minutes after death, and so Chapman will not have gone into rigor after half an hour since she was totally cold. Phillips will have monitored the stages of rigor, and he will have seen that they all were normal.
                          My point - you will hear it a time or two - is that even if there are very rare cases of swiftly onsetting rigor, we should not do our ripperology as if these cases are the norm. They are not. To claim that Chapman will have grown stone cold in less than an hour, developing rigor alongside it is freak ripperology. It is choosing the freak option over the logical one - much like favoring two killers in the torso/ripper discussion.

                          Camps? He knows about the freak cases, but says that we should expect 2-4 hours. And 2 will be when it is warm, Herlock.

                          Knight? Same thing.

                          "Werner Uri Spitz (1993), a German-American forensic pathologist, "reported that in temperate climate, under average condition, rigor becomes apparent within half an hour to an hour, increases progressively to a maximum within twelve hours, remains for about twelve hours and then progressively disappears within the following twelve hours."

                          So in temperate climate, rigor will set in faster than in India? Can you see how that does not work? Vernon Geberth, the father of forensics, more or less, writes in his Forensic pathology ( a book in which he refers to Spitz, among other researchers):

                          Rigor mortis usually appears 2-4 h after death, and fully develops in 6-12 h. This can vary greatly. In one case seen by the author, a young woman died following an overdose of aspirin. An EM S unit was summoned while she was in an agonal state. On arrival, she was still breathing and had a heart rate. Almost immediately, she suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest. Attempts at resuscitation were made and continued for approxi- mately 15-20 min. Following this, she was pronounced dead. The body was then made ready to be transported to the medical examiner's office. At this time, it was realized that she was in full rigor mortis....

                          So again, 2-4 hours, but freak things CAN happen.

                          Next, this:

                          "From the English physiologist Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley (1974), who lived and worked in a temperate climate, we get this: '…the rigor mortis, which is cadaveric rigidity, starts developing within 1 to 2 hours after death and takes around 12 hours after death for complete development….'

                          You must understand that even if an author lives in temperate climate, he must cover the whole field of possibilities when describing rigor. And in the tropics, it will start earlier. You must also understand that rigor can set in a lot later than after 2 hours, and very often does so. Huxley misses out on this, apparently.

                          Then its Payne-James! Hurray! My FAVOURITE!! And you quote this:

                          'In temperate conditions rigor can commonly be detected in the face between approximately 1 hour and 4 hours and in the limbs between approximately 3 hours and 6 hours after death".

                          ...and you go on to say that this "explodes the notion" that rigor does not commence until after two hours in temperate conditions. Eh - no. Two hours is the lower number given by most sites, Wikipedia included (and they weigh together many sources). I don't exclude that one hour can sometimes be the case, but we should be looking for conditions that remind us of the tropical temperatures in such a case. A corpse lying out in the mid-day sun in July in France would be a great possibility for a shorter time. Chapman, though, she would not be that kind of a good example. Nine degrees Celsius, remember?

                          And your home stretch looks like this:

                          In summary, it's clearly nonsense, and goes against all the evidence, for Fisherman to say that 1.5 hours for onset of rigor is "an extreme" and requires some kind of tropical temperature. Even the latest online article cited by Fisherman himself in #275 states that "Rigor mortis appears on an average within 1.5–4 hours postmortem". An average time means by definition that it can appear sooner (or later) than this time and where we have a possible case of Chapman struggling before death, likely being in an unhealthy and possibly weakened state due to poor nutrition, suffering from lung disease, and with the possible uncertain effects of a cut throat and/or sudden haemorrhage to take into consideration we can easily see that the onset of rigor could have commenced within an hour, in line with expert opinion. Temperature is only one variable and cannot be relied on in isolation while ignoring all the others. But above all we should listen to Payne James & co who tell us without hesitation that rigor can NEVER provide an accurate estimate of time of death and "extreme caution" should be used when making an assessment. I don't see much extreme caution from Fisherman.

                          The "nonsense" you refer to is the normal understanding of rigor in the medical world. Anything under 1,5 hours is not to be very much expected, and if it occurs, the reasonable explanation is that the conditions have been very warm. After all, that IS the parameter that has the greatest influence, generally speaking.
                          You then go on to speak about the violent death and the poor condition of Chapman, and lo and behold - you ALSO manage to miss out on how there were other factors that would slow the process down! Just like Gareth did. How VERY odd that you also did so; coincidence, coincidence! But I will remind you: asphyxiation and a large bloodloss will result in a longer time perspective.

                          You want Chapman to have developed rigor in less than an hour. It is not impossible, but it is improbable in the extreme.

                          You want Chapman to have gone cold in less than an hour. It will not happen, of course, and so you have to turn to Phillips and claim that he was not up to touch.

                          Speaking about nonsense, that is not half bad. Speaking about freak ripperology, it is spot on.

                          And to think that the Indians go into rigor later than we do! Maybe they didn't check thoroughly, though?
                          Last edited by Fisherman; 08-21-2019, 03:55 PM.

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                          • This site ( https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics...y/rigor-mortis ) is very good and helpful. In it, it is stated that:The time of onset is variable but it is usually considered to appear between 1-6 hours (average 2--4 hours) after death.

                            This covers everything that has to be covered. 2-4 hours is the average, in other words, the time period we should work from, all other parameters unconsidered. We must then accept that 1-6 hours is a span that would not be strange in any way, but it involves extremes that are a little less expected (1-2 hours and 4-6 hours) than the 2-4 hour standard. Arguably, these extremes will involve tropical climate rigor in the one end and very cold temperature extremes in the other - once again, all other parameters excluded. Then it is also said that the time is variable, and the means that cannot exclude even more extreme deviations. They would however be freak deviations as such, and very unexpected. Its much like polydactylism (I hope I got that term correct) - people we meet normally have five fingers on each hand, but they MAY have six or seven. There will always be such deviations. The question is: should we use them as the norm when we forensically investigate a death?

                            2-4 hours: the expected thing.
                            1-6 hours: not as expected, but no big surprise.
                            Anything else: big surprise.

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                            • Great posts Fish, as always!


                              Thanks

                              The Baron

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Fisherman View Post
                                This site ( https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics...y/rigor-mortis ) is very good and helpful. In it, it is stated that:The time of onset is variable but it is usually considered to appear between 1-6 hours (average 2--4 hours) after death.

                                This covers everything that has to be covered. 2-4 hours is the average, in other words, the time period we should work from, all other parameters unconsidered. We must then accept that 1-6 hours is a span that would not be strange in any way, but it involves extremes that are a little less expected (1-2 hours and 4-6 hours) than the 2-4 hour standard. Arguably, these extremes will involve tropical climate rigor in the one end and very cold temperature extremes in the other - once again, all other parameters excluded. Then it is also said that the time is variable, and the means that cannot exclude even more extreme deviations. They would however be freak deviations as such, and very unexpected. Its much like polydactylism (I hope I got that term correct) - people we meet normally have five fingers on each hand, but they MAY have six or seven. There will always be such deviations. The question is: should we use them as the norm when we forensically investigate a death?

                                2-4 hours: the expected thing.
                                1-6 hours: not as expected, but no big surprise.
                                Anything else: big surprise.
                                Dr Biggs has given this input- The very last sentence makes interesting reading !!!!!!!!!!

                                "How long rigor mortis takes to develop varies greatly from person to person, and perhaps more importantly the assessment of how stiff someone is also varies from person to person! Very often we will be told that “paramedics found the body to be in a state of rigor mortis, therefore death must have been several hours ago”. In reality, people not used to examining for signs of rigor may find a dead body heavy and difficult to lift interpret it as being “stiff” and draw all sorts of incorrect conclusions. A big, heavy muscular person will exhibit more pronounced stiffness than a skinny person, and so on. The process occurs gradually over many hours so there isn’t really a “time of onset”. Subtle early onset signs may be missed (meaning that rigor has started, but has been recorded as being absent). In a similar manner, a body that has fully established rigor mortis (or in which stiffness may already be passing away due to early decomposition) may have been dead for many hours or even some days, yet be interpreted as “freshly dead” due to “rigor mortis” being diagnosed at the time of body discovery. For all these reasons, a description of a body being found in a state of rigor mortis has to be interpreted with caution.

                                With all that in mind, there are circumstances in which rigor mortis can be observed sooner after death. If somebody has an illness or fever, this can speed up the rate of onset by exhausting the cellular supply of energy more quickly than usual, for example. Specifically within the context of “trauma”, if there has been a period of extreme exertion immediately prior to death (e.g. running / fighting for your life) then you can see how cellular energy stores may have been depleted prior to death, resulting in more rapid onset of rigor mortis. This is the theory behind the phenomenon of so-called “cadaveric spasm”, which is usually included in forensic texts, but is thought by most of us these days likely to be an artefact. The most quoted examples are usually dead soldiers found clutching their rifles on the battlefield, or drowned men “clutching straws” in their hands. A lock of hair (victim’s or assailant’s) may even be found “grasped” in the stiff hand of a dead person. It is likely that this represents “standard” development of rigor mortis (with the fingers gradually stiffening around an object that just happens to lie within the hand over the course of several hours) rather than a sudden, “instant rigor mortis”. However, such phenomenon can’t scientifically be excluded, so it remains in the literature.

                                So in summary, rigor mortis could possibly be detected by a trained observer within an hour (or even less) after death, but would not usually be expected to become apparent for a (small) number of hours. In extreme cases (e.g. severe physical exertion prior to death) this might be even quicker. Ignoring the likely artefact of so-called “cadaveric spasm”, if a body is genuinely stiff at the time of discovery, then it hasn’t died immediately prior to discovery. The exact time since death cannot be estimated with any degree of accuracy or certainty. (As an aside, if the victim is a malnourished, slight, alcoholic female then rigor mortis may be less pronounced than might be expected, and so detection of rigor mortis in such an individual may in fact indicate a longer time having elapsed since death.)"

                                www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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