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Was John Richardson A Reliable Witness?

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  • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

    I think I’ve said this before but did you ever have a witness that you didn’t think was unsafe? What is the problem with Cadosch? For the millionth time - he goes into his back yard in the early hours of the morning and hears the word “no.” He feels that it came from number 29 but he can’t be certain and he says this to the police. If he was a lying attention seeker there would have of course been nothing to have prevented him saying “oh yes, it definitely came from number 29. No question.” Of course he wouldn’t have known that this act of honesty would, 130 years later, lead to him being called unreliable! A very few minutes later he hears the sound of something brushing against the fence just as he was re-entering the house. He is certain of this. Where is the problem? I can’t see it because the problem is a manufactured one.

    This is something that Fishy tried to say - that because Cadosch was uncertain over the ‘no’ then this somehow makes him unreliable on the noise. Not here on Earth I’m afraid. The only issue that we have have that might go against Cadosch is the TOD estimate of Dr Phillips but, as we know that this could have been wrong, there is no issue.

    We should be cautious (as Cadosch was) with witnesses of course but but not to the extent of conveniently considering them worthless because they weren’t perfect.
    I am not saying they are worthless I am saying they are unsafe to totally rely on there is a big difference.

    Cadosh hears a noise he cant be 100% certain where it came from. Are you forgetting what time of the morning it was, people were getting up and going to use the outhouses in houses nearby, and perhaps the other house next door. I havent seen any evidence to suggest that the police interviewed at length those living in close proximity. to No 29 to see if anyone from the next door houses was out and about at that time. I would have hope they did, and if they did why didn't the coroner ask the senior officer at the inquest if that had been done to clear up what is clearly an ambiguity.

    If Cadosh had got his time wrong the banging from 29 he apparently heard could have been Richardson moving about

    Can you not see how unsafe his testimony is

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

      Can you name a witness (or a senior police officer for that fact) that you don’t dismiss as unreliable. And in the case of your own suspect you have absolutely no problem in giving weight to an utterly uncorroborated statement. How does that work?
      All witness testimony is there to be tested, and not like you readily accept it without question, and that includes police officers involved in these murders because some of their testimony is highly questionable.

      And for your information there is much corroboration

      www.trevormarriott.co.uk

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

        I am not saying they are worthless I am saying they are unsafe to totally rely on there is a big difference.

        Cadosh hears a noise he cant be 100% certain where it came from. Are you forgetting what time of the morning it was, people were getting up and going to use the outhouses in houses nearby, and perhaps the other house next door. I havent seen any evidence to suggest that the police interviewed at length those living in close proximity. to No 29 to see if anyone from the next door houses was out and about at that time. I would have hope they did, and if they did why didn't the coroner ask the senior officer at the inquest if that had been done to clear up what is clearly an ambiguity.

        If Cadosh had got his time wrong the banging from 29 he apparently heard could have been Richardson moving about

        Can you not see how unsafe his testimony is

        www.trevormarriott.co.uk

        No I can’t because it’s not unsafe in the slightest. He’s amongst the most believable in the entire case. Yes we would have expected the police to have checked the surrounding houses and if they had done it appears that no one was in their yards. This serves to increase the likelihood that the “no” came from number 29 as Cadosch believed (but couldn’t be certain) We are being asked to to accept that someone standing next to a fence was likely to mistake hearing a word made from yards away (therefore probably shouted) with one made 6 feet away? I’d say that, although not strictly impossible, it would have been unlikely. No, his first feeling was that it came from close to him at the other side of the fence and that his first impression was more to have been the correct one.

        It’s very interesting that you can postulate that Cadosch might have gotten his time wrong and that he might have heard Richardson. Very convenient. But if anyone ever suggests that the discrepancy between Long and Cadosch might possibly be explained as an error of timing they get accused of trying to shape things to fit.

        Being cautious about any witness is perfectly correct. There are questions for Richardson and Long but this doesn’t make them unreliable. There’s not a single thing that leads us to doubt Cadosch.
        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 Trevor Marriott View Post

          All witness testimony is there to be tested, and not like you readily accept it without question, and that includes police officers involved in these murders because some of their testimony is highly questionable.

          And for your information there is much corroboration

          www.trevormarriott.co.uk

          There’s a difference between being cautious about witnesses and dismissing them offhand as soon as you come across any slight discrepancy which appears to be your tactic when it’s convenient.

          Why cant you accept the obvious when it comes to corroboration except when your own suspect is involved. The statement that Feigenbaum allegedly gave to Lawton about having a desire to kill women was totally uncorroborated. It was heard in the police cells with no one else present. This is the definition of uncorroborated. No one could back Lawton up that Feigenbaum actually said this. Lawton could have made this up or exaggerated what was actually said. Which part of uncorroborated don’t you understand Trevor? The fact that Feigenbaum had spent time in London is irrelevant. That might simply have been all that he told Lawton and Lawton could have invented the rest. In fact Lawton could have gotten the information about Feigenbaum being in London at any time during their association. The whole conversation between Feigenbaum and Lawton is completely unsubstantiated but of course this is ok when it comes to your own suspect but when it occurs with someone else, like Macnaghten for example, then they are dismissed as unreliable. Try keeping the goalposts in one position Trevor.
          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 Trevor Marriott View Post

            Rubbish, all the witness testimony has to be closely analyzed scrutinized, and evaluated, and some of the witness testimony is just as unsafe to rely on as you suggest Phillips testimony is.

            www.trevormarriott.co.uk
            Did you not read this bit "The witness statements need to be evaluated without reference to Phillips guesswork."? I didn't say the witness statements should not be evaluated, I said they needed to be analysed independently of Phillips draw from a hat.

            - Jeff

            Comment


            • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

              Did you not read this bit "The witness statements need to be evaluated without reference to Phillips guesswork."? I didn't say the witness statements should not be evaluated, I said they needed to be analysed independently of Phillips draw from a hat.

              - Jeff
              Exactly Jeff. No one is saying that we should assess the witnesses uncritically but we also shouldn’t seek to dismiss them as soon as we encounter a question or a discrepancy. We also shouldn’t just assume a defect in the witness statement. A case in point is Chandler’s statement (drawn from the conversation in the passage way) that Richardson didn’t mention sitting on the step. We have to accept the possibility that Chandler might have been in error and not just assume that Richardson changed his story. He might simply have mis-remembered (possibly understandable in the circumstances.) I might be over-critical but I find it difficult to escape the impression that some actively want these witnesses discredited and dismissed.
              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 JeffHamm View Post

                Did you not read this bit "The witness statements need to be evaluated without reference to Phillips guesswork."? I didn't say the witness statements should not be evaluated, I said they needed to be analysed independently of Phillips draw from a hat.

                - Jeff
                You cannot ignore Phillips he was called as a witness just like all the others, so his evidence is there to be tested, and what fault is there with his testimony, was he consistent with his testimony, did it differ from any of the other witnesses, because the other witnesses certainly conflicted with each other. The issue has been created by those who question his estimated TOD, and as there are other witness conflicts, which raise questions that remain unanswered.

                For a start we have no evidence of any other victim being murdered as late as 5.30am when it was almost daylight. Now I know there are those who will say serial killers dont stick to times but rely on opportunity. Well I am sure if the killer was looking to kill, there would have been endless opportunities to find a victim long before 5.30am, when he was risking being seen, or captured red handed that scenario is not logical in the grand scheme of the murders.

                Richardson could have missed the body, in his testimony he stated it was not light but getting light. John Davis stated the body was lying between the steps and the fence which means that when the door was opened it could have hidden the body from view (take a look at the door and where it would have been, and how it could have obscured the body from someone standing on the steps who was looking to his right to see that the cellar lock was secure as was Richardson.

                Insp Chandler states her head was towards the back wall of the house 2 feet from the wall, and the body not more than 6-9 inches from the steps. and parallel with the fencing and the legs drawn up !

                Dr Phillips "The stiffness of the limbs was not marked but commencing" which I would suggest would not start to occur within 60 minutes, but on an average between 2-6 hours depending on the conditions.

                Chapman was last seen alive at 1.45am when she said she was going to get money for her lodgings, that could only have meant by prostitution. Are we expected to believe she was wandering the streets for 3.30 more hours looking for customers. The later it got the less people who would have been on the streets, and besides had she not got her money by that time she would have been looking to find somewhere to try to sleep, had she been killed much earlier than 5.30am would explain the onset of rigor as described by Phillips. Now please don't quote all the charts about the time it takes for rigor to commence. no two case are the same. So any chart is just as unreliable as you would say Phillips TOD is.

                So you see it is not as clear cut as you and Herlock suggest that she was killed at 5.30am and that Phillips was wrong in his TOD, and that I still maintain that the supporting witness testimony is unsafe to totally rely on. So we have reached an impasse. You pays your money and you takes your choice

                www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                  Exactly Jeff. No one is saying that we should assess the witnesses uncritically but we also shouldn’t seek to dismiss them as soon as we encounter a question or a discrepancy. We also shouldn’t just assume a defect in the witness statement. A case in point is Chandler’s statement (drawn from the conversation in the passage way) that Richardson didn’t mention sitting on the step. We have to accept the possibility that Chandler might have been in error and not just assume that Richardson changed his story. He might simply have mis-remembered (possibly understandable in the circumstances.) I might be over-critical but I find it difficult to escape the impression that some actively want these witnesses discredited and dismissed.
                  Calling them unsafe is not dismissing them, when are you going to get that ?

                  www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                    You cannot ignore Phillips he was called as a witness just like all the others, so his evidence is there to be tested, and what fault is there with his testimony, was he consistent with his testimony, did it differ from any of the other witnesses, because the other witnesses certainly conflicted with each other. The issue has been created by those who question his estimated TOD, and as there are other witness conflicts, which raise questions that remain unanswered.
                    I'm not ignoring him, I'm pointing out that the specificity of his ToD estimate is based upon known faulty methods, and that even if the method was as accurate as taking actual temperature readings, under extremely controlled circumstances, knowing actual values (you know, actually having evidence), that ToD based upon temperature has a margin of error such that the time window is about 3-4 hours wide - and that's at best, using far more reliable measurements.


                    For a start we have no evidence of any other victim being murdered as late as 5.30am when it was almost daylight. Now I know there are those who will say serial killers dont stick to times but rely on opportunity. Well I am sure if the killer was looking to kill, there would have been endless opportunities to find a victim long before 5.30am, when he was risking being seen, or captured red handed that scenario is not logical in the grand scheme of the murders.
                    So, one of them has to be the earliest, and one the lastest, so what? This is a non-issue.


                    Richardson could have missed the body, in his testimony he stated it was not light but getting light. John Davis stated the body was lying between the steps and the fence which means that when the door was opened it could have hidden the body from view (take a look at the door and where it would have been, and how it could have obscured the body from someone standing on the steps who was looking to his right to see that the cellar lock was secure as was Richardson.
                    By all descriptions of Richardson's actions, where the body was, and so forth, the idea that Richardson could have missed the body is grasping at straws.


                    Insp Chandler states her head was towards the back wall of the house 2 feet from the wall, and the body not more than 6-9 inches from the steps. and parallel with the fencing and the legs drawn up !
                    And Richardson says he sat on the steps with his feet on the flagstone, so not more than 6-9 inches from her. If you want to say, that he missed the body, go ahead, but it's not convincing and just building upon a very unbelieveable set of "maybe's and could have's".


                    Dr Phillips "The stiffness of the limbs was not marked but commencing" which I would suggest would not start to occur within 60 minutes, but on an average between 2-6 hours depending on the conditions.
                    And we've covered the literature before which would show your suggestion is incorrect, and that rigor commencing within an hour is entirely possible and not that infrequent. It has a higher probability for rigor to start in one hour than Richardson would have of missing a body 6-9 inches from his feet.


                    Chapman was last seen alive at 1.45am when she said she was going to get money for her lodgings, that could only have meant by prostitution. Are we expected to believe she was wandering the streets for 3.30 more hours looking for customers. The later it got the less people who would have been on the streets, and besides had she not got her money by that time she would have been looking to find somewhere to try to sleep, had she been killed much earlier than 5.30am would explain the onset of rigor as described by Phillips. Now please don't quote all the charts about the time it takes for rigor to commence. no two case are the same. So any chart is just as unreliable as you would say Phillips TOD is.
                    Anyone can story time all they want as to what Chapaman was doing between the time she left the lodging house until she was found murdered. I'm not sure where that will get us though. We don't know what she was doing, but feel free to speculate if you wish.


                    So you see it is not as clear cut as you and Herlock suggest that she was killed at 5.30am and that Phillips was wrong in his TOD, and that I still maintain that the supporting witness testimony is unsafe to totally rely on. So we have reached an impasse. You pays your money and you takes your choice

                    www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                    Nobody, is saying the witness statements have been proven to be 100% accurate. Rather, when their testimony and statements are examined carefully, there is simply nothing suspicious about the minor changes and additions in details that are found. We have no proof they are unreliable while we do have proof that Dr. Phillip's estimate was based upon unreliable methods.

                    You have reached the opinion that the witness statements are sufficiently unreliable that they carry little weight. For some reason, however, you seem reluctant to apply that to Dr. Phillips, when it is proven his methods are incapable of doing what he does with them. So while the witness statements are set aside as "unsafe" because they might be wrong, you continue to argue that something proven to be wrong is to be preferred. And yes, that creates an impasse.

                    - Jeff



                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                      Calling them unsafe is not dismissing them, when are you going to get that ?

                      www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                      Then in your conclusion that Chapman was murdered prior to Richardson's arrival, where have you included the information from the witness statements? You don't, you ignore them, which is to say, you've dismissed them. If you were to argue she could have been murdered at any time between 1:45 and when she was found, then that would be different, but you're not, your pushing for a "pre-Richardson's arrival", which can only be argued for if you dismiss the witness statements.

                      - Jeff

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                        You’re twisting what I’ve said Fish. I’ve never said that the authorities have said that Phillips was wrong. Only that it was very possible. It also has to be pointed out that there were affecting factors that Phillips wouldn’t have even been aware of. And so we are at a point where no weight can be placed on Phillips. The witnesses are easier to evaluate. Not perfect of course but witnesses never are yet we still have three that point to a later TOD.
                        And who - to a degree - contradict each other, plus the medical evidence AND the circumstancial evidence relating to the other cases is - ALL of it - against the idea. If there had been some little indicator that the witnesses were right, it would have been another matter for me, but:

                        Phillips says the body is cold, and tells us that two hours is the LEAST amount of time

                        Phillips points out that rigor has set in

                        The murder deviates from the others by being committed in daylight

                        Weīve been over it before. It hasnīt changed. I simply do not think it is "very possible" that Phillips was wrong. I think it is QUITE possible that he was a ittle wrong, but nigh on impossible that he was as wrong as you need him to be.

                        Let me ask you two questions:

                        How late a time would you be ready to accept? Would Baxters idea that Phillips allowed for a later time invole any suggestion? Davies had tea at a quarter to six, before going into the yard. Would you accept that Chapman had died then, if Long and Cadosh had spoken about 5.40-ish? I mean, Baxter did n ot say how much he thought Phillips was willing to deduct from the two hours, the coroner gave himself carte blanche on that score...?

                        Once again - why do you think Cadosh says that the sound he heard was a "fall"? What pointed to the saound representing a fall?

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
                          Sigh,

                          Ok, here's an older paper I found on using temperature to estimate ToD. It's based upon rectal temperature readings, which are far more accurate than touching an exposed body's surface. The article is from 1956, so while old to us, it's also after many years advancement since 1888. What they did was study rates of rectal temperature drop following executions (all the executions were at 8:00 am, with ToD pronounced at 8:15 am). So they know the actual ToD. Also, unlike Chapman, the bodies were then kept and monitored in rooms, at constant temperatures, no wind, and all similarly clothed and covered with a linen sheet. In other words, these measurements were taken under far more constant conditions than are ever going to occur in a forensic situation. However, that also means these are taken under ideal conditions for us to examine how variable rectal temperature estimations for ToD are even when the conditions are all kept the same, and more simply (fewer external factors to concern ourselves with).

                          After collecting all their data and measurments, they work out a mathematical formula to best estimate the ToD based upon knowing the rectal temperature (a more accurate measure than touch) and based upon knowing the surrounding air temperature (information they did not have at the time of Chapman's touch based estimation). They do it two ways, once knowing the initial body temperature (which of course is impossible in a forensic case) and once using the average body temperature (99.6 F), which is what a forensic case would have to assume, so that's what I'll be talking about from here on.

                          They use their formula to then estimate the ToD for each of the bodies based upon their rectal temperature at two different time points. On average, they do pretty well, with a mean estimated ToD of 8:31 and 8:38 for their two different times (rectal temperature at 2 and 4 pm). However, the standard deviation (which indicates how variable the estimates are) were 48 minutes and 61 minutes. Now, when an expert would give an estimation for ToD they give a range of values called the 95% confidience interval (meaning, 95% of cases will fall between these times), and that range is determined by stating your average (so 8:31 for example) +- 1.96 the standard deviation. So the estimated ToD would be given as 8:31 +- 94.08 minutes (so, 6:57 - 10:05 type thing). (check out Table V at the end of the paper), and that was for the less variable of the two testing windows!

                          Now that gives you an idea of how accurate temperature readings are when measured objectively, under very well controlled and known conditions. Fire in the complications associated with a brutal murder, body outside, unknown ambiant temperature and wind, exposed to the elements, and so forth, and you can start to guess just how incapable it is to estimate ToD by touchy feely.

                          https://scholarlycommons.law.northwe...2&context=jclc

                          - Jeff
                          Jeff, I am perfectly aware that the method is inexact. But if I understand you correctly here, what you say is that the temperatures that were suggested after a TOD established at 08.15 were 8.31 at 14.00 and 8.38 at 16.00? And the timings were based on rectal temperature taking?

                          After that, there is a standard deviation time frame to add, allowing for a broader scope?

                          And? The initial timings of 8.31 and 8.38 are close enough. The rest is precaution, is it not?

                          I would say the real differences between this and the Chapman case are two:

                          Phillips used a less exact method, feeling by hand. (I noticed you originally spoke of "touchy-feely", but the method is still employed by medicos and the justice system to a large degree).

                          Phillips saw the victim at a time that the coroner suggested was only an hour removed from the TOD!

                          The latter point is crucial. Becasue one hour after death, the temperature should be more or less the exact same as when the victim died, owing to the platform effect.

                          What do we do when our children come to us and say the feel sick? Yes, we put a palm against the forehead. And then we may say "Oh dear, you are running a fever!" What does that mean? It means that we can identify a difference of a degree celsius or two only. As can doctors.

                          So this is a different kettle of fish than working from rectal temperatures taken long after a body has grown cold to the touch and no remaining heat CAN be felt. In Chapmans case, it SHOULD be felt if Baxter was right. Ergo he was not, that is what I say.

                          When we accept that, we understand why there was rigor - there SHOULD be, it was in line with the standard outcome. And we understand that the murder was committed in darkness, as were the other murders: that was how the killer worked.

                          A very small added pointer: When Phillips spoke of the blood, he described it as "well clotted" at some stage. Not clotted. "Well clotted". That would have been a further effort on his behalf to rub in that he knew that Chapman was well dead at 6.30. Well clotted = many hours clotted, that was what he aimed to explain.

                          And yes, I know that blood clots in an hour. But give it two MORE hours, and perhaps the blood will appear older?

                          I cannot tell, but I presume perhaps Phillips could.

                          Anyway, there you are. In the circumstances you desribe, it would have been much more hard to determine a TOD by feeling for warmth by hand, although the conditions were constant. And that owes to the time that had passed.
                          In Chapmans case, it was a far easier task: Phillips could not tell with exactitude when she died. but he could be pretty damn certain when she did NOT die: an hour only before he saw her.

                          If Baxter had had the decency to ask Phillips whether that short a window of time was possible, Phillips would have fevently denied it, Iīm sure.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                            Whether or not Phillips is accurate is entirely and completely unrelated to the witness statements. They are mutually exclusive so stop trying to make them otherwise. Phillips estimate is a guess and therefore neaningless. The witness statements need to be evaluated without reference to Phillips guesswork.
                            Any suggestion of a TOD would - regardless who made it - always by a guess.

                            Pointing out that Chapman was cold was not a guess - it was stating a fact.

                            Comment


                            • [QUOTE=Herlock Sholmes;n728222]


                              There’s a difference between being cautious about witnesses and dismissing them offhand as soon as you come across any slight discrepancy which appears to be your tactic when it’s convenient.

                              Yes, that is true. Claiming that I do so - if you claim that - is untrue.

                              I could just as easily say that claiming that this is done is a standard tactic from your side whenever you cannot defend your take.

                              IO donīt think any of those tactics promotes a useful debate.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                                Then in your conclusion that Chapman was murdered prior to Richardson's arrival, where have you included the information from the witness statements? You don't, you ignore them, which is to say, you've dismissed them.

                                - Jeff
                                Has it occurred to you that they are mutually contradicting, Jeff?

                                If Phillips was right, then Richardson was wrong. If Richardson was right, then Phillips was wrong.

                                It is not as if you take stock of what Phillips says, is it? In your world, he was wrong, because Richardson was right. In Trevors world, it is the other way around.

                                He relies on the medical testimony, you dismiss it.

                                You rely on the witness tetimony, he dismisses it.

                                What else can you do?

                                Do you want him to say "Unless Phillips was wrong, Richardson was"? If so, is that not what he IS saying?

                                Comment

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