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  • Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post

    Rigor is first observable in the small muscles and most of those are in the head.

    When Dr Phillips states: "limbs" it is highly unlikely that he is talking of fingers given that there are no muscles in your fingers (the muscles that control the fingers are in the palm and the forearm). It follows that rigor is not observed in the fingers in the early stages.

    On a side note: I think it would benefit everyone in the event we keep with the exact language that is in the statements.

    Dr Phillips did not state: "fingers in the limbs", nor "in the limbs". He stated: "the limbs".

    I've read a few threads in the last few days where people manipulate the language in the statements and use that manipulation to create 'run-away-horse' theories. That serves only to dismantle threads and leave people disinterested.
    With that in mind, while he does note stiffness in the limbs was commencing, nowhere does he say that observation was part of his estimation for the ToD. Rather, when talking about the ToD his statements are only about the body temperature, noting in particular the influence of the coolness of the evening on that observation. He also points out that there was some heat remaining under the intestines, which would be more protected from the external elements of course. So, as you advise, we should keep to what he said, and he never says anything that incorporates rigor mortis when talking about his opinion as to the ToD.

    Moreover, as covered earlier, complete rigor can arise in a short time, under 2 hours, and to do so it must onset well before that. Also, as pointed out in some other posts, detection of rigor mortis, and how "well marked it is" is an entirely subjective evaluation. Given he says it appears to be just commencing, it may be his subjective criterion leans towards detecting stiffness that might not even have been rigor mortis. That could, in part, be influenced by his impression that she was very cold, and so he was thinking she was dead for some time and so may be more inclined to think any stiffness must be the start of rigor mortis. That's humans for you, our subjective opinions get influenced by many factors, and the formulation of a belief (from his touch temperature reading) will have an impact upon how we interpret more ambiguous information.

    In short, there is nothing in his objective statements that contradicts the ToD based upon the witnesses, even if his opinion was for a later time. We can evaluate his opinion by examining the information upon which it is based, and when we do so, his opinion, while not implausible, should not be viewed definitive. Given the additional information provided by various witnesses, the totality of the evidence points to a ToD after Richardson's visit.

    - Jeff

    Comment


    • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

      With that in mind, while he does note stiffness in the limbs was commencing, nowhere does he say that observation was part of his estimation for the ToD. Rather, when talking about the ToD his statements are only about the body temperature, noting in particular the influence of the coolness of the evening on that observation. He also points out that there was some heat remaining under the intestines, which would be more protected from the external elements of course. So, as you advise, we should keep to what he said, and he never says anything that incorporates rigor mortis when talking about his opinion as to the ToD.

      Moreover, as covered earlier, complete rigor can arise in a short time, under 2 hours, and to do so it must onset well before that. Also, as pointed out in some other posts, detection of rigor mortis, and how "well marked it is" is an entirely subjective evaluation. Given he says it appears to be just commencing, it may be his subjective criterion leans towards detecting stiffness that might not even have been rigor mortis. That could, in part, be influenced by his impression that she was very cold, and so he was thinking she was dead for some time and so may be more inclined to think any stiffness must be the start of rigor mortis. That's humans for you, our subjective opinions get influenced by many factors, and the formulation of a belief (from his touch temperature reading) will have an impact upon how we interpret more ambiguous information.

      In short, there is nothing in his objective statements that contradicts the ToD based upon the witnesses, even if his opinion was for a later time. We can evaluate his opinion by examining the information upon which it is based, and when we do so, his opinion, while not implausible, should not be viewed definitive. Given the additional information provided by various witnesses, the totality of the evidence points to a ToD after Richardson's visit.

      - Jeff
      Only if those witnesses and their evidence can be judged correct. As yet I don't see that to be the case .imo.
      'It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter how smart you are . If it doesn't agree with experiment, its wrong'' . Richard Feynman

      Comment


      • A funny thing I noticed,is that posters who condemn the knowledge available in 1888.,quote from sources of a latter time.Sir Bernard Spilsbury was born in1877,and must have had a victorian teaching background,and his practice took him through the 1920/30's,long before modern technology made things easier.
        For Phillips observations to have alligned with the evidence of Long and Cadoche,he had to be fifty per cent in error,and that is what some posters are suggesting.Fifty per cent.Believeable?
        Most doctors even today,will add there is a slight chance they could be wrong.They have to, a specialist advised me.We cannot change the evidence that Phillips gave,a time of death of two or more hours previous to his examining Chapman.When it can be shown by a medical specialist,directly refering to Phillips findings,that phillips was wrong,I accept his testimony.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

          In all honesty George, a bigger mystery is why you find it so difficult to understand.
          You can't seriously say he wouldn't immediately second-guess his initial estimate, when it's right there in black & white, in front of you.
          The debate is not whether he did second-guess it, but what he meant by doing so.
          Hi Jon,

          “Second-guessing oneself is a form of insecurity, anxiety and lack of self-confidence about whether you have made the right decision or not

          Translation 1: My ToD is 2 hours, and probably longer, but there is this extra factor which means I could be totally wrong and the ToD could be anything, even shorter, I just don't know. This is what I mean by second guessing and I don't think it is what he meant, but it is what many posters think he meant.

          Translation 2: My ToD is 2 hours and probably longer, but there is this extra factor, which I have taken into account for my ToD, which makes it difficult to estimate how much longer. This is what I think he meant.

          JMO

          Best regards, George
          “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

          “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

          Comment


          • Originally posted by harry View Post
            A funny thing I noticed,is that posters who condemn the knowledge available in 1888.,quote from sources of a latter time.Sir Bernard Spilsbury was born in1877,and must have had a victorian teaching background,and his practice took him through the 1920/30's,long before modern technology made things easier.
            For Phillips observations to have alligned with the evidence of Long and Cadoche,he had to be fifty per cent in error,and that is what some posters are suggesting.Fifty per cent.Believeable?
            Most doctors even today,will add there is a slight chance they could be wrong.They have to, a specialist advised me.We cannot change the evidence that Phillips gave,a time of death of two or more hours previous to his examining Chapman.When it can be shown by a medical specialist,directly refering to Phillips findings,that phillips was wrong,I accept his testimony.
            Hi harry,

            The variability associated with the method he used is such that being out by an hour is entirely within reason. Have a look at the distribution of time to reach full rigor mortis, for example, and you will see the variability of the measurement is on the order of hours. Understanding measurements requires considering both the central tendency value (often the mean, but for skewed distributions, like rigor progression, the median is probably the better value to consider) and how variable it is, particularly when looking at an individual case - as we are. Individual cases need not be similar to the "average case", but they are likely to fall within a range determined by the variability of the measure. Estimating ToD by touching the body to feel how warm it appears, is so variable that trying to draw an opinion about a given case is really an exercise in futility. So yes, he could easily be wrong by an hour, or more.


            - Jeff

            Comment


            • Originally posted by FISHY1118 View Post

              Only if those witnesses and their evidence can be judged correct. As yet I don't see that to be the case .imo.
              That's fine Fishy, you don't have to think they're correct. All I'm saying is that the time they give is not inconsistent with the observations we have from Dr. Phillips even though Dr. Phillips gave his opinion, which differed. His caveat, while not all agree on this, appears to reflect that he was indicating the same - that his observations would not contradict the witnesses if he underestimated how quickly the body would cool under the circumstances. That doesn't make the witnesses "correct", of course, it just means all the evidence we have is consistent with a ToD after Richardson's visit.

              - Jeff

              Comment


              • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                Hi harry,

                The variability associated with the method he used is such that being out by an hour is entirely within reason. Have a look at the distribution of time to reach full rigor mortis, for example, and you will see the variability of the measurement is on the order of hours. Understanding measurements requires considering both the central tendency value (often the mean, but for skewed distributions, like rigor progression, the median is probably the better value to consider) and how variable it is, particularly when looking at an individual case - as we are. Individual cases need not be similar to the "average case", but they are likely to fall within a range determined by the variability of the measure. Estimating ToD by touching the body to feel how warm it appears, is so variable that trying to draw an opinion about a given case is really an exercise in futility. So yes, he could easily be wrong by an hour, or more.


                - Jeff
                Hi Jeff,

                Textbooks and charts, by necessity, cover the spectrum of possibilities in medical matters. This is how students learn their trade. The other side of the coin is experience. By 1888 Phillips had been a police surgeon for 33 years and would have seen a wide range of cases and conditions. He had a reputation for being highly skilled, very thorough and an expert in his field. I can't see how, with his experience, he would have made an estimate that was in error by that magnitude. JMO.

                Best regards, George
                “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

                “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

                Comment


                • Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

                  Hi Jeff,

                  Textbooks and charts, by necessity, cover the spectrum of possibilities in medical matters. This is how students learn their trade. The other side of the coin is experience. By 1888 Phillips had been a police surgeon for 33 years and would have seen a wide range of cases and conditions. He had a reputation for being highly skilled, very thorough and an expert in his field. I can't see how, with his experience, he would have made an estimate that was in error by that magnitude. JMO.

                  Best regards, George
                  I think thats an interesting point you make George . Just how long Dr Phillips had been a police surgeon for and what he would have been exposed to in all those years, and as you say in a wide range of conditions . A point that is often overlooked by some who have tipped the scales a bit to far one side than the other in regards to his t.o.d assessment .
                  'It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter how smart you are . If it doesn't agree with experiment, its wrong'' . Richard Feynman

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

                    Hi Jeff,

                    Textbooks and charts, by necessity, cover the spectrum of possibilities in medical matters. This is how students learn their trade. The other side of the coin is experience. By 1888 Phillips had been a police surgeon for 33 years and would have seen a wide range of cases and conditions. He had a reputation for being highly skilled, very thorough and an expert in his field. I can't see how, with his experience, he would have made an estimate that was in error by that magnitude. JMO.

                    Best regards, George
                    Hi George,

                    That's fine. IRL I deal with human performance data all the time, and I deal with analyzing data and deal with how individual values and distributions relate to each other. I've been doing that for over 30 years as well, and in my opinion, the kind of difference we're talking about is as typical as they come. I know it's hard to believe, but there's nothing one can do with a measurement that is unreliable, and experience with it won't change that. I think Dr. P. was indicating his experience by acknowledging that his opinion could be wrong if he's underestimated the cooling rate due to the evening, but as you don't think that's what he's saying that won't change your view of course. But as it makes no sense to me for him to be saying anything other than that, I think it's his experience talking there - he knows it's a widely variable measure, so he knows he could be out by an hour. It would have been nice if he just said it in those exact words.

                    - Jeff

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                      Estimating ToD by touching the body to feel how warm it appears, is so variable that trying to draw an opinion about a given case is really an exercise in futility. So yes, he could easily be wrong by an hour, or more.


                      - Jeff
                      While I agree with your earlier post that Dr Phillips did not state that he estimated TOD based upon rigor, nor does he state he estimated TOD based upon body temperature.

                      What Dr Phillips stated is this:

                      I should say at least two hours, and probably more; but it is right to say that it was a fairly cold morning, and that the body would be more apt to cool rapidly from its having lost the greater portion of its blood.

                      There is nothing in that which suggests Dr Phillips must have concluded TOD based upon body temperature (or rigor for that matter). The pertinent section of his statement is: the body would be more apt to cool rapidly. Dr Phillips doesn't elaborate on that and we are left to infer.

                      In Victorian times, both rigor mortis and body temperature were regarded as indicators of TOD, and so the reasonable conclusion is that the experienced doctor considered both when estimating a TOD.

                      Comment


                      • 'Just on Trevor's point regarding the 'onset of rigor':

                        Dr Phillips states this: stiffness of the limbs was not marked, but it was commencing.

                        What I'm about to say is not intended to pull apart Trevor's post, but it is an important point and hopefully will serve as a reminder as to the stage of rigor development in Annie's body.

                        Rigor commences in all of the muscles in the body simultaneously but it is not observable at this point. When it is observable, it is in the eyelids, jaw and neck first.

                        Dr Phillips is not talking of the onset of rigor given he mentions: "stiffness of the limbs". The development of rigor is beyond commencing but not observable and beyond where it is first observable.

                        While not conclusive and it can't be proven, I think it's a decent bet as to why Dr Phillips states: "and probably more (hours)". In other words, Dr Phillips did not believe Annie was murdered at 4.30am. He believed 3.30am at the latest and possibly 2.30am (Dr Phillips does not state how many hours exactly he has in mind).

                        Still, whatever the conclusion, this is not rigor commencing, nor the onset of rigor.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by harry View Post
                          A funny thing I noticed,is that posters who condemn the knowledge available in 1888.,quote from sources of a latter time.Sir Bernard Spilsbury was born in1877,and must have had a victorian teaching background,and his practice took him through the 1920/30's,long before modern technology made things easier.
                          For Phillips observations to have alligned with the evidence of Long and Cadoche,he had to be fifty per cent in error,and that is what some posters are suggesting.Fifty per cent.Believeable?
                          Most doctors even today,will add there is a slight chance they could be wrong.They have to, a specialist advised me.We cannot change the evidence that Phillips gave,a time of death of two or more hours previous to his examining Chapman.When it can be shown by a medical specialist,directly refering to Phillips findings,that phillips was wrong,I accept his testimony.
                          I posted the list of quotes in post #1104 Harry. Nowhere in that does the name Sir Bernard Spilsbury get mentioned, so why have you plucked that name out of thin air to try and manufacture a point? I even typed ‘Spilsbury’ into the search function and the only mention him that comes up is in your post. The previous mention on these boards of Spilsbury was indeed by me though but in August of last year in a Julia Wallace thread!

                          This is now a perfect chance, will you admit that you were wrong to falsely claim that Spilsbury had been quote? This one is black and white. I await with bated breath.
                          Regards

                          Sir Herlock Sholmes

                          “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by harry View Post

                            Most doctors even today,will add there is a slight chance they could be wrong.They have to, a specialist advised me.We cannot change the evidence that Phillips gave,a time of death of two or more hours previous to his examining Chapman.When it can be shown by a medical specialist,directly refering to Phillips findings,that phillips was wrong,I accept his testimony.
                            Then you’re ignoring evidence due to obvious bias.



                            Regards

                            Sir Herlock Sholmes

                            “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

                              Hi Jeff,

                              Textbooks and charts, by necessity, cover the spectrum of possibilities in medical matters. This is how students learn their trade. The other side of the coin is experience. By 1888 Phillips had been a police surgeon for 33 years and would have seen a wide range of cases and conditions. He had a reputation for being highly skilled, very thorough and an expert in his field. I can't see how, with his experience, he would have made an estimate that was in error by that magnitude. JMO.

                              Best regards, George
                              So your saying that Phillips could have been 45 minutes out George?
                              Regards

                              Sir Herlock Sholmes

                              “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by harry View Post
                                A funny thing I noticed,is that posters who condemn the knowledge available in 1888.,quote from sources of a latter time.Sir Bernard Spilsbury was born in1877,and must have had a victorian teaching background,and his practice took him through the 1920/30's,long before modern technology made things easier.
                                For Phillips observations to have alligned with the evidence of Long and Cadoche,he had to be fifty per cent in error,and that is what some posters are suggesting.Fifty per cent.Believeable?
                                Most doctors even today,will add there is a slight chance they could be wrong.They have to, a specialist advised me.We cannot change the evidence that Phillips gave,a time of death of two or more hours previous to his examining Chapman.When it can be shown by a medical specialist,directly refering to Phillips findings,that phillips was wrong,I accept his testimony.
                                Harry,

                                Just a minor point.

                                Dr Phillips stated: "and probably more".

                                Meaning he believed Annie was murdered at the latest 3.30am, possibly 2.30am. Dr Phillips doesn't quantify how many hours exactly, but he certainly does state: "probably more".

                                From there, in order to arrive at an estimated TOD of 5.30am, we have to believe that an experienced, well respected doctor was at least 2 hours out, possibly 3, upon assessing a body that had been murdered only one hour previously. Not impossible, but what is likely?

                                We have the issue of the murderer cutting it fine with the mutilations also from the time of murder to the body being found. Yes, I know it isn't conclusive that he couldn't have done it in that length of time, but it's lending a bit of weight given Dr Phillips wasn't convinced he could have done it in that time in those conditions.

                                Then we have the issue of 'little food' in the stomach. My understanding is that a baked potato takes longer to digest than other forms of potato, although someone with more knowledge on that could maybe clarify. Still, potato is generally considered to be a food that is easily digested.

                                While not conclusive by any stretch of the imagination, it's not a bad case to say she was murdered prior to 5.30am.

                                Is it a better case than Long, Cadosch, Richardson? Long/Cadosch would not be remarkable at all in the event Richardson's statement didn't exist. In fact, even with Richardson's statement, Long's statement remains unremarkable: she saw a couple, she didn't take much notice of them, she sees lots of couples at that time of the morning.

                                Richardson is the obstacle of course, and it is a significant obstacle. I go along with those who think Richardson shouldn't be easily dismissed as lying.

                                Still, I think the better case rests with the medical opinion.

                                Comment

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