Originally Posted by Fisherman
I was kind of anticipating your arrival on this thread, since Baxter seems to be a focal point of yours!
A few questions:
What do you think Phillips regretted doing? Answering the reporters questions?
Do you know what the reporter asked, and what Phillips replied?
What do you think about Baxters summary? To your mind, did he misrepresent what Phillips had said? Can we know, even?
I think he regretted the interview because of the controversy that followed, especially when the backlash from the medical community came. While Phillips did state that the killer had 'certain anatomical knowledge' he stopped short of ascribing it in the way Baxter would conclude in his summary. I suspect he considered such a backlash from his colleagues if he had gone further.
He described a weapon just like a surgical knife. Then when specifically asked, backed off by saying it would not be in such a kit. But when asked about a slaughterer's knife, he said yes, but ground down, which is more like the surgical knife...the slaughterer's knife being more rigid and thicker at the hilt. What he was describing (and this is something you and I can relate to) was akin to what we now call a fillet knife - long, thin and very sharp. Phillips emphasized how sharp the murder weapon must have been.
As I've mentioned, Phillips had just come back from Gateshead on the final day of the Chapman inquest and apparently arrived late during Baxter's summary as a reporter there filled him in on it before asking the doctor some questions. The Beadmore/Beetmore murder was center stage at that time and I'm sure the reporter was initially there to ask Phillips about that. But with Baxter's amazing revelation, the focus had been shifted.
Ironically, Baxter justified his insistence in prying the details of the mutilations out of Phillips by the results he got from communications that fostered his organs for sale theory, while Phillips, when learning of it, did just the opposite and justified his reticence to disclose the information.
I don't have enough time to elaborate further right now, as there are a few more details, but anyone who is interested might check the Sept. 27th issue of the Morning Advertizer