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  • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

    I didn’t expect a second email but my friend has responded……

    In sum, the person who has written this concludes that the Amsterdam research is not applicable to Annie Chapman.

    It applies in the sense that we are told in the Amsterdam paper that TODAY'S gold standard (or rather as at 2020) is minimum margin or error of plus or minus three hours. In other words, it wasn't possible in 1888 to accurately estimate a time of death to within a 3 hour range based on body temperature, just like it wasn't possible in 2020 with all the best modern methods available including taking the temperature with a thermometer, which wasn't done by Dr Phillips.

    “The point about Dr Phillips and Mary's body is that he offered a wide window of possibility in terms of TOD.”

    No, the point about Dr Phillips and Mary's body is that, if he offered a TOD, we don't know what it was or what it was based on. We only know what Dr Bond said.


    “That said, it's fair to apply the same standards to this person's conclusion as it is to the Amsterdam research. Who is he/she? Is he qualified to definitely ascertain that the Amsterdam research is not relevant to Annie's PMI of 1 hour?”

    It's in the paper. You just need to read English. They only tested on bodies that had been dead for five hours at the earliest. That being so, no one can possibly know if their results would be the same for a body which died one, two, three or four hours earlier than their tests.


    Edited to add: it is worth reminding ourselves that Dr Phillips didn't give an estimated TOD on Annie in the sense of nailing it down to a specific time. He stated: "at least two hours and probably more". This means he is saying between 2 and 3 hours or between 2 and 4 hours. It's not clear exactly how many hours he had in mind.

    No, but earlier in the thread Fleetwood said that he believes that modern day pathologists can narrow a time down to a single hour - he mentioned four o'clock in the afternoon. They can't do that.


    ”What we're debating at its core is not could Dr Phillips give us a specific time, but rather was Dr Phillips capable of getting it right in terms of the TOD being within the window of 2 to 3 hours or 2 to 4 hours (when examining a very short PMI). I think this point had been lost during this discussion.”

    No, the point hasn't been lost. What Fleetwood has, I think been repeatedly told, is that Dr Philips was not capable of getting it right in terms of the TOD being within the window of 2 to 3 hours or 2 to 4 hours as opposed to a window of 1 to 2 hours or 1 to 3 hours or 1 to 4 hours. It wasn't physically possible for him to do this on the basis of feeling the body of Chapman with his hands (and he couldn't even have done it accurately with a thermometer) and by noting the commencement of rigor. Those observations do not in any way rule out a TOD of one hour prior to his examination in preference to two or three hours. The problem is that in 1888 he wasn't fully aware of this. We now know that it's simply impossible to accurately estimate the time of death from feeling a cold or partially warm body (especially one found outdoors) and on noting commencement of rigor. That's what the Amsterdam paper expressly tells us - and the fact they don't mention using commencement of rigor at all to estimate time of death simply demonstrates how utterly useless it is as a factor for pathologist. What Dr Phillips was attempting to do was simply impossible. His estimate was just as likely to lead to the coroner being misled as to him being able to accurately record the time of death. As it happens, the coroner rejected the doctor's estimate, believing that Chapman might have been murdered at 5.30am as he was perfectly entitled to do, and no modern pathologist would say that the coroner was wrong to have done so.
    Pass this onto your friend:

    1) He/she is making false claims in terms of what I have said in this thread.

    2) The coroner was not a medical man, which has obvious implications for his conclusion.

    3) Dr Phillips did estimate a TOD, between 2am and 8am which should tell your friend that he appreciated the limitations of estimating TOD in the event of a longer PMI.

    4) I agree with his conclusion that the Amsterdam research could well be of limited value given the PMI 5-50 hours they utilised. Having said that, I don't think a conclusion has been reached given it is still being discussed.

    5) It seems he or she is taking the time to read this thread, why on earth is he or she posting via you. Creating an account would take seconds.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

      How many times do I have to explain this point to you Trevor?

      I can’t begin to prove Phillips wrong. I’ve never tried to prove that Phillips was wrong. I’ve never stated that Phillips couldn’t have been correct.

      The relevant point is that he could have been wrong. So if he could have been wrong we can’t dismiss the witnesses based on Phillips. Yes, as individuals we can assess the witnesses and dismiss them as you do, but only on the basis of looking at other information. We can’t say “the witnesses can be dismissed because Dr. Phillips said……” unless we can accept that he was infallible; which isn’t the case.
      You have said on more than one occasion that Dr Phillips' estimate is of no value.

      Whereas in the above you're stating: he could be right he could be wrong.

      Which is it?

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post
        What we should be doing is not looking at the outliers/extreme ends but looking at what is a decent guide more often than not, a guide from well respected bodies in this field.
        I obviously disagree.

        If we had nothing else to go on, we could all be happy with plugging-in the standard estimate and calling it a day, but if there is reasonable circumstantial evidence that contradicts Phillip's best estimate (and there is) then it is also entirely reasonable to assume we could be looking at an 'outlier,' which includes victims suffering from malnutrition and low levels of ATP, or had high fever, or physically exerted themselves before death. There is at least one animal study that demonstrated that different methods of dispatch significantly altered the onslaught of rigor mortis. There are a lot of unknowns.

        And by the way, I have no particular dog in this race. I've seen these arguments going back and forth for over twenty years.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

          I obviously disagree.

          If we had nothing else to go on, we could all be happy with plugging-in the standard estimate and calling it a day, but if there is reasonable circumstantial evidence that contradicts Phillip's best estimate (and there is) then it is also entirely reasonable to assume we could be looking at an 'outlier,' which includes victims suffering from malnutrition and low levels of ATP, or had high fever, or physically exerted themselves before death. There is at least one animal study that demonstrated that different methods of dispatch significantly altered the onslaught of rigor mortis. There are a lot of unknowns.

          And by the way, I have no particular dog in this race. I've seen these arguments going back and forth for over twenty years.
          No problem.

          As for a dog in the race, I'm exactly the same. In the event it turns out to be 5.30, 4.30, 3.30, 2.30, quite frankly I couldn't care less. I have no suspect in mind nor anything like that. But, I am intrigued by all of this.

          I'm not necessarily intrigued by the witnesses because these things happen: 'walk down the street, 'see things, 'hear things and so on; 'could mean something or might not. That's pretty much standard. I am intrigued by Dr Phillips, however, and the Victorian age. Could a doctor from the Victorian age be more accurate than some people imagine?

          We could absolutely be looking at an outlier. No doubt about it. My point is/was that there are outliers on the other end of the spectrum, and so you would have to take that into account when forming a reasonable conclusion. Rigor is delayed as well as advanced in some cases.

          In the end, we can't prove anything from here so we're left to go with that which is most likely. An outlier is not more likely, whichever end of the spectrum that outlier falls.

          So, now that the preliminaries are out of the way, we could have a discussion on what Dr Phillips observed, his credentials and the value of his conclusion.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post

            Pass this onto your friend:

            1) He/she is making false claims in terms of what I have said in this thread.

            2) The coroner was not a medical man, which has obvious implications for his conclusion.

            3) Dr Phillips did estimate a TOD, between 2am and 8am which should tell your friend that he appreciated the limitations of estimating TOD in the event of a longer PMI.

            4) I agree with his conclusion that the Amsterdam research could well be of limited value given the PMI 5-50 hours they utilised. Having said that, I don't think a conclusion has been reached given it is still being discussed.

            5) It seems he or she is taking the time to read this thread, why on earth is he or she posting via you. Creating an account would take seconds.
            He’s not going to bother joining just to make two posts. If he wanted to he would but he’s nowhere near as interested in the case as he used to be. He’s more interested in medieval history these days.
            Regards

            Sir Herlock Sholmes

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post

              You have said on more than one occasion that Dr Phillips' estimate is of no value.

              Whereas in the above you're stating: he could be right he could be wrong.

              Which is it?
              They are the same thing. I think that for some reason my point is being misunderstood. What I mean is that it is of no value when assessing the value of the witnesses.

              If we can’t say for anything even approaching certainty that Phillips minimum TOD estimate was correct (and we definitely can’t) - and we can’t say for anything even approaching certainty that Phillips minimum TOD estimate was wrong (and we definitely can’t) - then we are faced with the proposition of a Doctor’s minimum TOD estimation which may have been right or it may have been wrong - therefore when we assess the credibility of the witnesses Dr. Phillips estimation is of absolutely no value to us because we can’t say “well the witnesses can be dismissed as wrong because Phillips might have been correct in his minimum estimation.”

              Even if experts told us that Phillips was 90% certain of being accurate this still wouldn’t be enough to dismiss the witnesses.

              To me, the conclusion is inescapable. You can’t state a definite by using a possible (or even a probable for that matter) therefore Phillips can’t help us in assessing the witnesses.
              Regards

              Sir Herlock Sholmes

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                If we can’t say for anything even approaching certainty that Phillips minimum TOD estimate was correct (and we definitely can’t).
                What do you mean when you say 'anything approaching certainty'?

                Do you mean there is a reasonable chance he was right when he stated between 2 to 3 hours or 2 to 4 hours?

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post

                  What do you mean when you say 'anything approaching certainty'?

                  Do you mean there is a reasonable chance he was right when he stated between 2 to 3 hours or 2 to 4 hours?
                  There has to have been a chance that he was right, just as there was a chance that he was wrong.

                  I’m talking about his minimum estimate of the TOD of 2 hours before he’d examined the body. How confident or otherwise can we be that the actual TOD wasn’t 40-50 minutes after that? If we can’t be confident of a 2 hour minimum then it can’t be of use in assessing the witnesses.
                  Regards

                  Sir Herlock Sholmes

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by FISHY1118 View Post

                    Hi Jeff , So can i ask this hypothetical question , if Long Cadosh and Richardson were not part of the Chapman murder, and phillips gave his t.o.d as two hours probably more 4.00/4.30 are you saying based on his opinion we should still except that she could just as well been killed at 5.25am?
                    Yes Fishy. we would have to say, given the error, a Tod estimated at 4 am means she was killed somewhere between 1 am and 7 am Since the body was found before 7, we can rule out some of that range.

                    - Jeff

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post

                      What do you mean when you say 'anything approaching certainty'?

                      Do you mean there is a reasonable chance he was right when he stated between 2 to 3 hours or 2 to 4 hours?
                      Further comment…

                      'He/she is making false claims in terms of what I have said in this thread."


                      - I remind Fleetwood of his #1129 when he wrote:

                      Why do you think 'medical experts' estimate TOD today? Are they bored and just fancy messing around for a few hours and concluding: "well maybe 4 in the afternoon but take no notice because this is all a waste of time anyway due to me estimate being unreliable"

                      - If he thinks that medical experts provide estimates of TOD today which say something like "maybe 4 in the afternoon' could he give us some examples from actual cases? If not, would I be correct in thinking that he's gained his knowledge of this subject from film and TV detective dramas?


                      “The coroner was not a medical man, which has obvious implications for his conclusion.”

                      - He's missed the point which is that no one, whether having medical training or not, could possibly have provided a reliable and accurate TOD for Chapman in 1888 on the basis of feeling her body and commencement of rigor. It just wasn't possible. Which is why the coroner (just like anyone else in England) was entitled to reject what Dr Phillips said. As it happens, Baxter probably had experience of other medical men simply guessing at TOD and knew they couldn't be trusted to get it right.


                      Dr Phillips did estimate a TOD, between 2am and 8am which should tell your friend that he appreciated the limitations of estimating TOD in the event of a longer PMI.”

                      - It is factually inaccurate to say that Dr Phillips estimated a TOD between 2am and 8am. It did not happen! I note that no source has been produced for this claim. I know why. There isn't one. What he appears to be thinking of is a claim on Wikipedia, for which Fido is given as the source, that, "Bond noted that rigor mortis set in as they were examining the body, indicating that death occurred between 2 and 8 a.m". The "between 2am and 8am" estimate is not something Bond said but is based on Dr Bond's report to the Home Office in which he noted that the period in which rigor sets it "varies from 6 to 12 hours". Bond actually wrote that "one or two o'clock in the morning would be the probable time of the murder". The estimate of "between 2 and 8" is a later guess by writers about the case based on what Bond said about the 6 hour range of rigor. But even if Bond had estimated "between 2am and 8am" (which he did not) all it would show is that he knew that there was a six hour range when rigor mortis could set in (as he stated!). It had nothing to do with estimating a TOD based on body temperature. It also has nothing to do with Dr Phillips!


                      "I agree with his conclusion that the Amsterdam research could well be of limited value given the PMI 5 to 50 hours they utilised."

                      - The 5 to 50 hours which he has been jabbering on about incessantly in the thread is utterly irrelevant to anything. I only mentioned it because he asked me if I was qualified to ascertain that the Amsterdam research is not relevant "to Annie's PMI of 1 hour". The reason the Amsterdam research is of NO value is because they estimated time of death based on skin thermometry which wasn't available in 1888. The only relevance of the Amsterdam paper to the Chapman discussion is its confirmation that the modern gold standard of estimation of TOD based on temperature is nowhere near accurate, which tells us that in 1888 Dr Phillips didn't have a hope of accurately estimating TOD.



                      Fleetwood also queries why Dr Phillips estimate was of no value even though he might have been right. It's like saying that a broken watch is valuable because it will be right once a day! I mean, if I were to say that I think Kelly was murdered at exactly 5am would that be of any value? I may be right about it. I may be wrong. But, if I'm right, it's by chance, luck or guesswork. That's the same with Dr Phillips. As a means to accurately estimate Chapman's time of death, his opinion is worthless. There may be some limited value in his telling us whether the body of Chapman was cold or warm and whether rigor was commencing or not but, as even a modern pathologist couldn't provide a reliable estimate of time of death based on that limited data, it's really of academic interest only.
                      Regards

                      Sir Herlock Sholmes

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                        Yes Fishy. we would have to say, given the error, a Tod estimated at 4 am means she was killed somewhere between 1 am and 7 am Since the body was found before 7, we can rule out some of that range.

                        - Jeff
                        Hi Fishy,

                        I should point out, in the above, where I suggest between 1 and 7, I was using the smallest error range I've seen quoted for today's "gold standard" technique, not the method the article is proposing, which we know was unavailable to Dr. P. The gold standard also required him to take actual temperature readings, which he did not do, so really, his error range would have to be considered larger but as I don't have any studies that allow me to say by how much I'm not going to hazard a guess. Regardless, even giving him the benefit of the doubt, as you can see the time range encompasses 5:25ish by quite a bit.

                        Now, that's the error associated with internal body temperature readings. The exposed areas of skin will obviously cool to the touch much more rapidly. Just put one hand in cold water for a bit, and then have someone feel your two hands and they will probably be able to feel the difference. But your internal body temperature, provided you avoid hypothermia, will not have changed. Put your hand in a cold room with still air compared to the same temperature room with a fan, and you'll cool a bit more in the latter as the moving air wicks heat away (that's physics and not an opinion). In the end, Dr. P would have to correctly estimate all of these complicated factors, which is impossible. His margin of error will be large, so we have to take that into account.

                        The concern that the article deals with PMI of 5-50 hours, and wondering if the error margins are similar for shorter PMI's is, of course, an important question. But it is also possible that the margins of error are constant over time (which is unlikely), and it's also possible they get larger for shorter intervals (which, given sometimes internal temperature rises a bit following death, and sometimes it does not, makes this a real possibility). Since we don't know, all we currently have are the findings presented so far.

                        Moreover, the studies don't look at eviscerated bodies and how they cool, so one can always claim none of the research applies, side stepping the information we have available. But that also means Dr. P's experience doesn't apply, unless it can be shown he has had 30 years experience with JtR type murders.

                        As I say, I think Dr. P's estimate is, all things considered, pretty impressive. It corresponds, when error ranges are considered (as they have to be), with the witness statements. There's nothing inconsistent with the testimonies - they just don't conflict.

                        - Jeff

                        Comment


                        • Oh, and as another important point when comparing Dr. P's estimate to modern techniques, the modern approach also tends to require the taking of multiple temperature readings over time, to plot the cooling curve, etc. Dr. P only reports one temperature reading (though he does indicate he felt in multiple places, as his "residual heat" comment tells us). And when discussing his estimate of ToD, nowhere does he indicate he incorporated anything with regards to Rigor Mortis, only only mentions his surface temperature impressions. While one could assume he may have included that in his assessment, nothing he actually says indicates, or even implies, that assumption is valid. And, as has been posted a few times, his observation of Rigor Mortis commencing is another subjective impression, which was not tracked over time, and Rigor Mortis also has a very high error margin, and that too is sufficiently wide that it does not produce an inconsistency with the witness statements. There is nothing at conflict here between Dr. P's assessment and the witnesses, nor even between the witnesses, that reflects anything more than the known margins of error for the types of information we have. That means, objectively, there is no conflict to be resolved even if subjectively we see those statements as being in conflict.

                          - Jeff

                          Comment


                          • Hi Jeff,

                            Forgive me if you have answered previously and I have missed it, but can you explain why you believe that Doctors didn't use thermometers at murder sites please.

                            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.”
                            If money can't buy happiness, explain motorcycles, malt whisky and pipe tobacco.
                            Everybody lies - Greg House MD

                            Comment


                            • By 1867 a thermometer designed by Sir Thomas Allbutt was 6'' and produced a result in 5 minutes.No doubt it gave excellent anal readings.
                              Allbutt was another Goulstonian Lecturer,Royal Society Member and fictionalized in literature ..... rather like Gull.
                              My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

                              Comment


                              • A read of Ripperologist no71,September 2006 might be of help.An article written by Karyo Magellan.

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