Originally Posted by Hunter
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
And in the MA, we find these two passages:
"Dr. Phillips attended the inquest for the purpose of answering any further questions which might be put ot him with the view of elucidating the mystery, but he arrived while the coroner was summing up, and thus had no opportunity. When apprised of the startling statements in the coroner's summing up he said he considered it a very important communication, and the public would now see his reason for not wishing in the first place to give a description of the injuries. He attached great importance to the applications which had been made to the pathological museums, and he felt strongly the advisability of following the information up, as a probable clue. With reference to the murder and mutilation in Gateshead, he stated that it was evidently not done by the same hand as the Whitechapel murder, that at Gateshead being simply a clumsy piece of butchery."
So Phillips recommended a follow-up of the "applications which had been made to the pathological museums" as a "probable clue". Meaning that what he had seen in Chapmans abdomen fit well with somebody having extracted the uterus on the American doctor´s account. And apparently, the Chapman murder was NOT a clumsy piece of butchery, but something quite different. And that is elucidated by the next passage:
"The whole facts summarised amount to this - that the murderer was no ordinary criminal; that, on the contrary, he was a man of considerable anatomical attainments; that he had a definite object in view, and was not, probably, indulging a mere lust for blood; and that he is a man who could only have obtained the knowledge his cruel work showed he possessed from assisting at post mortems."
This fits well, of course, with what the Lancet reporter wrote, and I think it is a very good suggestion that he quoted Phillips more or less ad verbatim. As I have pointed out on the other thread, he seems not to have been given to any exaggerations or embellishments at all. Much of what Phillips said was left out by the papers, as has been demonstrated.