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  • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

    Hi Jeff.

    I must still side with the possibility that he did, though I do accept change is often resisted in seniors.

    Assuming he didn't use a thermometer, how could Phillips offer numbers (hours) without a device that provides numbers?
    Time of Death was a numerical calculation even in 1888, and he did use both body temperature with rigor to make his estimate.

    If Phillips merely used his hand to gauge body heat, then nothing he said on that score carries any real weight.
    Hi Jon,

    I am also struggling with the concept that doctors in 1888 would shun the use of so valuable an instrument as the thermometer. Admittedly there is no mention of its use in any of the testimony, but there is also no mention of using a scalpel for the autopsy, so was it just too "nuts and bolts" to specify the methods and tools of trade. harry kindly pointed to an article in Ripperologist #71 that seems to reinforce Jeff's opinion, but my mind's still a whorl at the very idea.

    Best regards, George
    Last edited by GBinOz; 08-08-2022, 04:18 AM.
    It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues. There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life. It shall be life. - Ten Bears

    All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. - Bladerunner

    ​Disagreeing doesn't have to be disagreeable - Jeff Hamm

    Comment


    • For those interested in such things, as I look through more papers where they actually track internal body temperature over time post mortem (in order to determine the factors that need to be measured and entered into the equations that model the cooling process), they always have the temperature at the time of death (often these studies are based upon hanging executions, so they know when to get ready, and they can do these measurements).

      Anyway, the rule used, even in the 1800s, was every hour the internal temperature drops by 1.5 F until the body reaches the surrounding temperature. It's known that is overly simplistic, as the cooling function is exponential, but it's a simple calculation. Measure the internal temperature, find the difference from a standard (I've seen 97.7 and 98.6 both suggested, the latter I'm seeing more often though), and divide by 1.5, and that's the Time since death.

      Now, in the articles, they actually have the temperature of the body at the time of death, so they don't use a standard because they know that body temperature isn't a constant, but it varies from person to person. And the range of human body temperatures is generally from 96-99 F, so they want to know the real drop in temperature.

      The problem is that in a murder case, we don't have the starting temperature (temperature at death), and that means for that particular victim, their starting temperature could be anywhere from 99 to 96 (and 5% of the time it will be outside that range too!), and that 3 degree range by itself is a 2 hour spread. One cannot overcome that problem, that's +- 1 hour right there that can never "go away". And it just gets worse as time passes because the cooling function isn't really a linear function, so after an hour, the error will be worse. And the cooling function also is influenced by the environmental temperature (if someone is in a room around 98 F, they won't cool down at all!), so that has to be measured, as does their mass, and their surface area, exposed areas, wind, and so forth. Without having these measurements, the error of the estimate just gets wider and wider.

      It is never precise. And as the literature states, the range of error for today's gold standard is at least +-3 hours. Dr. Phillips cannot be viewed as more precise than today's gold standard. And the difference between his estimate and the witnesses is well inside that range. It is not my opinion that the testimony does not conflict, it is simply a matter of fact that differing by 50 minutes to 1 hour is inside of a +-3 error range.

      - Jeff



      Comment


      • Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

        Hi Jon,

        I am also struggling with the concept that doctors in 1888 would shun the use of so valuable an instrument as the thermometer. Admittedly there is no mention of its use in any of the testimony, but there is also no mention of using a scalpel for the autopsy, so was it just too "nuts and bolts" to specify the methods and tools of trade. harry kindly pointed to an article in Ripperologist #71 that seems to reinforce Jeff's opinion, but my mind's still a whorl at the very idea.

        Best regards, George
        Hi George,

        If he used actual temperature readings, and did the calculations, it seems odd that he didn't say "I based my ToD estimation on the standard calculations ..." or "based on the X method ..." type thing. I would think he would have indicated something that would lead us to the view he did more than estimate things by the touching of the body that he describes doing. None of the doctors describe doing anything like a calculation, or consulting tables, etc. Maybe they did, but there is nothing in the record that suggests they did, only our inability to believe they wouldn't. And yet, the police erased the graffiti without recording it; bodies were removed from crime scenes as soon as possible, and then the crime scene was washed up to remove the blood evidence, etc. The procedures were very different from today, and I see no reason why the doctors would be any more inclined to do some calculations if they were of the belief they could just touch the body and work it out. And to be honest, Dr. P. appears to have done a pretty good job of it if that is what he did! It looks like, when all the testimonies are combined, he's within an hour, and that's well within even today's gold standard. I think we should be impressed by that.

        - Jeff

        Comment


        • Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

          Hi Herlock,

          I accept that that the estimates for the interval of time elapsed from ToD until time of examination can be considered unreliable using the techniques employed at the time. However, looking at Llewellan's estimate for Polly, Blackwell and Phillip's estimate for Stride, and Brown and Sequeira's estimate for Eddowes, I question the magnitude of the error involved with Phillip's estimate for Chapman. Modern medical opinion dictates that Phillip's could have been wrong, but by how much? Can we know for sure?

          But can we look at the other side of the coin? Modern opinion on the reliability of eye witnesses. Let's look at some statements on the modern theory in that regard gleaned from a Google search on "can eyewitnesses be wrong".

          How reliable is an eye witness?
          Studies have shown that mistaken eyewitness testimony accounts for about half of all wrongful convictions

          List of Cons of Eyewitness Testimony
          • Eyewitness testimony may not always be accurate. ...
          • Eyewitness testimony rely only on people's memory. ...
          • Eyewitness testimony can have parts that are made up by the witness due to nervousness or fear. ...
          • Eyewitness testimony can convict the wrong person.
          How reliable is your memory?
          Human memory is notoriously unreliable, especially when it comes to details. Scientists have found that prompting an eyewitness to remember more can generate details that are outright false but that feel just as correct to the witness as actual memories.

          Most false memories aren't malicious or even intentionally hurtful. They're shifts or reconstructions of memory that don't align with the true events. However, some false memories can have significant consequences, including in court or legal settings where false memories may convict someone wrongfully.

          There is currently no way to distinguish, in the absence of independent evidence, whether a particular memory is true or false. Even memories which are detailed and vivid and held with 100 percent conviction can be completely false.

          Cadosch's original statement to the press was that he heard voices from which he distinguished only the word "no", a rustle of clothing and a scuffle and a noise of something falling against the fence, all as one incident. Then he remembered they occurred at different times, some on his way to the toilet, and the last on his return. At the inquest his recollection was of two trips to the toilet with no rustle or scuffle, only the "No" on one trip, and the noise against the fence on the second trip some 3-4 minutes later. He summarised by saying that he didn't look over the fence because what he heard was nothing out of the ordinary.

          Long stated that she saw many people and couples on the street that morning, but picked out one couple of whom she stated she took no notice. Four days after the event she identifies Chapman, a woman she had never seen before, in the morgue, as the woman she had seen on that morning.

          Richardson told Chandler and the press that he had checked the lock on the cellar door that morning by the method he had been using for two months. Two days later he remembered that he sat on the step to cut leather from his boot. At the inquest he told the coroner he sat on the step and cut leather from his boot, but after retrieving the knife he said he used, then remembered in wasn't sharp enough and that the leather removal was actually achieved afterwards at his work with a borrowed knife.

          Is it reasonable to suggest that in the discussions of the reliability, or otherwise, of Phillip's testimony, the same consideration must be given to that of the witnesses?

          Best regards, George

          P.S. You do realise my friend, that the repeated misquoting of your username is an attempt to goad you to cry havoc, and let loose the dogs of war?

          Excelllent post George , youve clearly demonstrated what some of us have been saying from day one of this thread .

          That the evidence and witness testimony should be treated with just as much caution as Dr Phillips t.o.d estimate.

          As some have pointed out [and yes correct to a point ] , modern day medical experts are often referenced to show Dr Phillips opinion should be taken with a ''grain of salt'' just one such phase off the top of my head im sure there are more .

          Where by what you have posted, also by modern day comparsions your points on ''List of Cons of Eyewitness Testimony'' ''How reliable is an eye eyewitness witness''. Should be viewed the same way.

          Im also pleased you referenced Drs Brown , Blackwell, Llewellan, Sequeira, in much the same way to draw attention to their t.o.d estimates. Did you read my post on that ?

          Comment


          • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

            No, I'm not misrepresenting what you said, you were just not being clear with your intent. Moreover, you've not provided any evidence for this being "widely accepted", as that would require studies to back up that claim. Even the link you provided only states "As a general rule..." and also that the estimate is more accurate than later times of death (as in many hours later, as he points out once the body has reached the environmental temperature, all bets are off - and according to his table at the end that requires 24 hours).
            I've no interest in going 'round in circles with you in terms of what I supposedly said or intended.

            The position remains:

            1) There are no studies that support my argument or your argument. Those studies being estimating TOD based on rigor and body temperature, with a PMI of 1 hour.

            2) "As a general rule...." is his belief that usually a shorter PMI leads to a more accurate assessment.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

              You have the nerve to talk about being reasonable when you persist in childishly getting my name wrong. Your position has already crumbled but that was never in doubt because it was based on your bias and not facts.

              Ive already posted my questions. I see no answers yet.
              Your questions have more than likely been lost in the umpteen pages going back and forth, Sherlock.

              Post them here and I'll reply.

              I'd say it would be useful to limit them to a couple of your most pertinent ones, at least initially anyway. That way we keep it succinct and we keep to the points being made, as opposed to points being lost in lengthy posts.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

                Hi Doc,

                "He should say that the deceased had been dead at least two hours, and probably more,"

                Can you tell us please, what was the Time of Death using only this part of his statement? Phillips was stating an interval, so he had to qualify it by reference to a starting point for that interval. Without that qualification, the statement makes no sense.

                It seems to me that posters are differing in their interpretation as to which part of the above statement the "caveat" refers, the whole or the only later part.

                Cheers, George
                Hi George,

                Phillips made a brief comment, followed by a separate and very clear caveat. He was inclined to be quite meticulous in his choice of words, so if he meant the caveat to apply to part of the statement he would have made that clear. He made no attempt whatever to do that. The caveat must apply to the whole statement unless he indicated that it doesn't.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post

                  Sorry FM, but that claim above must be challenged.

                  It would be useful to clarify exactly what you're challenging. 'Happy to discuss it with you.

                  It could well be the case that your point has been lost due to the length of your post. No offence intended.

                  There's a chance you're saying this: initially Dr Phillips was confident 'at least two hours' (Inspector Chandler), but later had doubts on that which is why 'and probably more' was part of his inquest testimony. Is this a fair reflection?
                  Oh dear! Of course not. How could the addition of a very clear caveat which suggested that the time of death might be more recent, result in him giving an earlier time?

                  When someone who has no preconceived judgements tells me why my post #1283 is so impossible to understand, then I will happily clarify it for you.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

                    Hi Doc,

                    "He should say that the deceased had been dead at least two hours, and probably more,"

                    Can you tell us please, what was the Time of Death using only this part of his statement? Phillips was stating an interval, so he had to qualify it by reference to a starting point for that interval. Without that qualification, the statement makes no sense.

                    It seems to me that posters are differing in their interpretation as to which part of the above statement the "caveat" refers, the whole or the only later part.

                    Cheers, George
                    To quote Trevor on this one George , it would be ''unsafe'' to think that the caveat refers to the whole statement .No one, i think should just assume that ''The caveat must apply to the whole statement unless he indicated that it doesnt''. Because no one could possible know for sure .

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post

                      I've no interest in going 'round in circles with you in terms of what I supposedly said or intended.
                      Good to see we agree in some things
                      The position remains:

                      1) There are no studies that support my argument or your argument. Those studies being estimating TOD based on rigor and body temperature, with a PMI of 1 hour.
                      If you say so I consider the research articles I have cited and provided links to as support for my argument. I do not think you are correct in assuming the error reduces greatly from 1 to 5 hours and you have provided no evidence to the contrary.
                      2) "As a general rule...." is his belief that usually a shorter PMI leads to a more accurate assessment.
                      His belief is not evidence, particularly on a non peer reviewed web site that contains clear errors of fact.

                      Anyway, it is becoming clear that you will not consider any studies that do not conform to Annies specific circumstances and will just claim that her circumstances result in a sudden precision in the ability to estimate ToD that is lacking when bodies are more intact and under controlled study conditions Most researchers would conclude the lack of control in Annies case woul increase the error, but you are not required to follow their lead.

                      - Jeff

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

                        Hi Herlock,

                        I accept that that the estimates for the interval of time elapsed from ToD until time of examination can be considered unreliable using the techniques employed at the time. However, looking at Llewellan's estimate for Polly, Blackwell and Phillip's estimate for Stride, and Brown and Sequeira's estimate for Eddowes, I question the magnitude of the error involved with Phillip's estimate for Chapman. Modern medical opinion dictates that Phillip's could have been wrong, but by how much? Can we know for sure?

                        But can we look at the other side of the coin? Modern opinion on the reliability of eye witnesses. Let's look at some statements on the modern theory in that regard gleaned from a Google search on "can eyewitnesses be wrong".

                        How reliable is an eye witness?
                        Studies have shown that mistaken eyewitness testimony accounts for about half of all wrongful convictions

                        List of Cons of Eyewitness Testimony
                        • Eyewitness testimony may not always be accurate. ...
                        • Eyewitness testimony rely only on people's memory. ...
                        • Eyewitness testimony can have parts that are made up by the witness due to nervousness or fear. ...
                        • Eyewitness testimony can convict the wrong person.
                        How reliable is your memory?
                        Human memory is notoriously unreliable, especially when it comes to details. Scientists have found that prompting an eyewitness to remember more can generate details that are outright false but that feel just as correct to the witness as actual memories.

                        Most false memories aren't malicious or even intentionally hurtful. They're shifts or reconstructions of memory that don't align with the true events. However, some false memories can have significant consequences, including in court or legal settings where false memories may convict someone wrongfully.

                        There is currently no way to distinguish, in the absence of independent evidence, whether a particular memory is true or false. Even memories which are detailed and vivid and held with 100 percent conviction can be completely false.

                        Cadosch's original statement to the press was that he heard voices from which he distinguished only the word "no", a rustle of clothing and a scuffle and a noise of something falling against the fence, all as one incident. Then he remembered they occurred at different times, some on his way to the toilet, and the last on his return. At the inquest his recollection was of two trips to the toilet with no rustle or scuffle, only the "No" on one trip, and the noise against the fence on the second trip some 3-4 minutes later. He summarised by saying that he didn't look over the fence because what he heard was nothing out of the ordinary.

                        Long stated that she saw many people and couples on the street that morning, but picked out one couple of whom she stated she took no notice. Four days after the event she identifies Chapman, a woman she had never seen before, in the morgue, as the woman she had seen on that morning.

                        Richardson told Chandler and the press that he had checked the lock on the cellar door that morning by the method he had been using for two months. Two days later he remembered that he sat on the step to cut leather from his boot. At the inquest he told the coroner he sat on the step and cut leather from his boot, but after retrieving the knife he said he used, then remembered in wasn't sharp enough and that the leather removal was actually achieved afterwards at his work with a borrowed knife.

                        Is it reasonable to suggest that in the discussions of the reliability, or otherwise, of Phillip's testimony, the same consideration must be given to that of the witnesses?

                        Best regards, George

                        P.S. You do realise my friend, that the repeated misquoting of your username is an attempt to goad you to cry havoc, and let loose the dogs of war?
                        Yes I do realise that George

                        On the TOD all that I could really say is that when we were debating this on another thread a few moons ago we saw some examples of modern day TOD estimates that were massively out. I’m talking hours out. I just can’t produce them I’m afraid as I’d kept them for a while but then deleted them. I think that Jeff has shown that a later TOD is by no means out of any reasonable range too.

                        I agree that we have to assess the witnesses as closely as we can George and we certainly shouldn’t assume honesty or reliability. When assessing Richardson (and probably Cadosch too) you and I disagree of course, but I’d sum up in this way. I get the impression that some, rather than simply expressing doubt or even that they feel a high level of confidence that the witnesses were mistaken, see it as some kind of mission to dismiss Richardson and therefore see Phillips TOD estimate as a kind of ‘get out’ clause which can be used to dismiss the witnesses. When I first became interested in the case I thought that surely the witnesses must have been wrong even though I felt their testimony strong (if flawed) But know I know that TOD estimation was so unreliable and prone to error so I assess the witness without recourse to Phillips.

                        So while I (and others) admit that Phillips might have got his estimate correct or close to correct but that he also could have been wrong, some posters seem unwilling to accept both sides and so will only accept the ‘Phillips must have been correct’ side. And the simple reason for that imo is that once it’s accepted that Phillips might have been wrong he can’t be used to dismiss the witnesses. This is why I’ve said the Phillips gets us no further forward and is, in effect, a neutral witness. We have no way of confirming or rejecting his evidence. So we are left with the witnesses to assess. Which we will continue to disagree on no doubt George.

                        ​​​​​​…..

                        Can I just make nitpick on this one point of yours George?

                        Richardson told Chandler and the press that he had checked the lock on the cellar door that morning by the method he had been using for two months
                        I don’t think that we can say this George as no one ever actually saw how he checked the steps. It might have been the case that he usually went into the yard but as, on this occasion, he intended to sit down to repair his boot, he had no need to do so. His mother said that he could see the lock from the steps but I’d say that would certainly have talked not long after the discovery and to,d her that he’d sat on the step. Therefore a women would have had no way of knowing how he usually checked the lock because she was never present, simply said that he could check it from the steps.


                        Regards

                        Sir Herlock Sholmes.

                        “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Fleetwood Mac View Post

                          Your questions have more than likely been lost in the umpteen pages going back and forth, Sherlock.

                          Post them here and I'll reply.

                          I'd say it would be useful to limit them to a couple of your most pertinent ones, at least initially anyway. That way we keep it succinct and we keep to the points being made, as opposed to points being lost in lengthy posts.
                          Ill certain post them again if scrolling back 4 or 5 pages is beyond or beneath you Fathead Muck

                          1. As an authority on forensic medicine what level of confidence would you say that you have that either Phillips couldn’t have been wrong and that Chapman couldn’t have met her death at around 5.20?

                          2. Or, if you don’t feel certain, what kind of percentage level would you give to your own level of confidence in his accuracy?

                          And whether you go for 1 or 2 can you explain what criteria/evidence/forensic expertise you employed to arrive at that assessment.

                          Regards

                          Sir Herlock Sholmes.

                          “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

                          Comment


                          • On the subject of the caveat. It appears to be suggested that what Phillips was actually saying was, in effect - I give a minimum of 2 hours but it was probably more but it could have been 2 hours because of the conditions at the time - why would he have meant that?

                            It just makes no sense whichever way you look at it. People only add caveats if it can possibly alter the content of the original statement. That’s the whole point of a caveat. And as Phillips gave no upper time (just ‘probably more’) he couldn’t have been saying - 2 hours or probably more but probably more. He must have been referring to the lower estimate. He must have been.

                            For me it’s perfectly clear, he was stating that there could have been some variation in his lower estimate due to the conditions. I see no other explanation that fits the facts that comes close to making sense.
                            Last edited by Herlock Sholmes; 08-08-2022, 09:48 AM.
                            Regards

                            Sir Herlock Sholmes.

                            “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

                            Comment


                            • One question to all posters. Does anyone disagree with the following statement….

                              “We cannot claim that x was definitely the case because y might or might not have been the case?”

                              Regards

                              Sir Herlock Sholmes.

                              “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

                              Comment


                              • "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
                                My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

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