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The Death of Dr. David Kelly


John Simkin
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This thread has been started as a result of a debate here about conspiracy theories:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=14899

I hope that the debate can concentrate on the evidence rather than any comments on the intellectual abilities of the poster.

The problem with a great deal of this is that many of the 'conspiracies' listed (some of which John doesn't believe in and some he does) are so weak that a 5 year really ought to be able to see through them without too much cerebal activity.

I find this statement offensive. However, that seems to be your style of argument. To say that I believe in conspiracies that a “5 year really ought to be able to see through them without too much cerebal (sic) activity” is of course a ridiculous statement.

I consider myself to be a serious historian and I am willing to debate the evidence with you. Please make it clear which conspiracies fall into this category and I will supply the evidence to show you why some historians believe that there is great doubt about the official story.

Sorry you have chosen to be offended but I am sure my average 5 year old could make short shrift of the following;

9/11, Diana, Marilyn, NHS doctor assassins, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Apollo, Hilda Murrell, David Kelly.

Where would you like to start?

Of those you list the only one I said I believed in was the death of David Kelly. Is that the one you think the "average 5 year old could make short shrift of"?

Which might suggest you were premature to take offence. All of them have featured here at one time and another from people you have invited onto this forum. I cannot be expected to be able to guess which ones you happen to believe or not.

And yes I do think the conspiracy stuff surrounding the death of David Kelly is nonsense.

Here is a list of reasons why people who have investigated the death of Dr. Kelly believe that it was likely that he was murdered rather than committed suicide.

(1) Although he was under intense pressure, he was known to be a strong character and belonged to the Baha'i faith, which prohibits suicide.

(2) Those closest to him (such as his sister), and even neighbours he met on his last walk, said that on the day he died he had shown no signs of depression.

(3) Dr Kelly's body had been moved from its original prone position on the ground, and propped up against a tree. Items said to have been found near his body had not been seen by the paramedics who first found him. This is supported by the medical findings of livor mortis, which indicates that Kelly died on his back, or at least was moved to that position shortly after his death. A logical explanation is that Dr. Kelly died at a different site and the body was transported to the place it was found.

(4) Police documents show that the investigation into Dr. Kelly’s death (Operation Mason) began at 2:30pm on the 17th, about one hour before Dr. Kelly left the house on his final walk.

(5) The search-team that found Dr. Kelly reported the find to police headquarters, Thames Valley Police (TVP) and then left the scene. On their way back to their car, they met three 'police' officers, one of them named Detective Constable Graham Peter Coe. Coe and his men were alone at the site for 25-30 minutes before the first police actually assigned to search the area arrived and took charge of the scene from Coe. Five witnesses, including the two paramedics, called to the scene, said in their testimony that two men accompanied Coe. Yet, in his testimony, Coe maintained there was only one other beside himself. He was not questioned about the discrepancy. It would seem that the presence of the “third man” could not be satisfactorily explained and so was being denied.

(6) Dr. Nicholas Hunt, who performed the autopsy, testified there were several superficial scratches or cuts on the wrist and one deep wound that severed the ulnar artery but not the radial artery. The fact that the ulnar artery was severed, but not the radial artery, strongly suggests that the knife wound was inflicted drawing the blade from the inside of the wrist (the little finger side closest to the body) to the outside where the radial artery is located much closer to the surface of the skin than is the ulnar artery.

(7) It is extremely unusual for someone to kill themselves by slitting his ulnar artery. For example, Kelly was the only one in Britain to kill himself in that way during that year. This is hardly surprising since this is just about the most improbable way to commit suicide, made even more difficult by the inappropriate knife that Dr Kelly is said to have used. It has been pointed out that a second person situated to the left of Kelly who held or picked up the arm and slashed across the wrist would start on the inside of the wrist severing the ulnar artery first. In fact, a complete autopsy report would state in which direction the wounds were inflicted.

(8) Medical specialists have argued that they did not believe the official finding that Dr Kelly died either from haemorrhaging from a severed ulnar artery in his wrist, or from an overdose of coproxamol tablets, or a combination of the two. Such an artery, they said, was of matchstick thickness and severing it would not lead to the kind of blood loss that would kill someone. They also pointed out that, according to the ambulance team at the scene, the quantity of blood around the body was minimal.

(9) Although Dr Kelly was said to have swallowed 29 coproxamol tablets, only one-fifth of one tablet was found in his stomach, and the level found in his blood was far less than a fatal dose.

(10) The behaviour of the coroner was extremely unusual in the case of Dr. Kelly. The normal practice in such circumstances would be for the coroner to issue a temporary death certificate pending the official inquiry into such a death. But in this case, the coroner issued an unprecedented full death certificate, just one week after the inquiry started into the circumstances of Dr Kelly's demise and after the coroner had held a meeting with Home Office officials.

(11) Many of the above points surfaced in evidence to the Hutton inquiry. However, this evidence was not investigated as Lord Hutton pointed out that his brief was simply to inquire into “the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly” rather than the death itself.

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I shall use your numbering to answer where I think it is relevant to do so these points in turn

1. The Bahai faith is actually a good deal more forgiving when it comes to suicide than many more established religions - a suicide 'will be immersed in the ocean of pardon and forgiveness and will become the recipient of bounty and favour'.

http://bahai-library.com/introductory/suicide.html

It is also a rather curious argument to forward given the numbers of murderous christians, thieving muslims and adulterous jews one finds around.

2. Not true - the person closest to him - his wife Janice - gave testimony to Hutton which is well documented.

3. Not true - you are suggesting evidence please reference it.

4. It is common police practice to 'start' an operation from the time a person went missing - there are many thousand of similar missing persons cases where this has occurred.

6. Are we to assume that someone else cut David Kelly's ulnar artery :lol: The cause of death was established as a combination of three factors - ingestion of co proxamol drugs, severing of ulnar artery and an underlying arterial condition - other than suggesting that the forensic pathologists were somehow 'in on it' I don't really think you have anywhere to go on this one

7. Not so - it is rare but not undocumented. Maybe the chemist had run out of hemlock?

8. Who are these medical specialists?? I fear they may be little more than letter writers to the Guardian.

9. The forensic pathologists who actually examined Kelly came to the conclusion I identify in point 6

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There are also 3 other important points to consider - David Kelly had a family history of suicide - making him of heightened risk of the same, he had just been publicly humiliated, bullied and traumatised on national TV, and had previously had a mental dress rehearsal of whay would happen to him in the light of what came to pass - 'I'll probably be found dead in the woods'.

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Putting Kelly's murder in context with the other MANY anthrax researchers that have died mysteriously and murdered here [audio interview with producer, and also see the film!]:

Link: http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/54434

Guns and Butter - "Anthrax Wars" with investigative journalist, author and filmmaker, Eric Nadler

"Anthrax Wars" with investigative journalist, author and filmmaker, Eric Nadler, on the anthrax attacks of September 2001; the Ames Strain of anthrax; dead microbiologists Bruce Ivins and David Kelly; Bioport and the anthrax vaccine; the new vaccine growth industry; private bio labs and the new bio/military industrial complex.

Perhaps you could address some of the points made thus far in the discussion Peter??

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Part 1

(1) Although he was under intense pressure, he was known to be a strong character and belonged to the Baha'i faith, which prohibits suicide.
1. The Bahai faith is actually a good deal more forgiving when it comes to suicide than many more established religions - a suicide 'will be immersed in the ocean of pardon and forgiveness and will become the recipient of bounty and favour'.

The Bahai faith is very specific about the subject of suicide. The “Lights of Guidance” states: “Suicide is forbidden in the Cause. God who is the author of all life can alone take it away, and dispose of it in the way He deems best. Whoever commits suicide endangers his soul, and will suffer spiritually as a result in the other Worlds Beyond.”

(2) Those closest to him (such as his sister), and even neighbours he met on his last walk, said that on the day he died he had shown no signs of depression.
2. Not true - the person closest to him - his wife Janice - gave testimony to Hutton which is well documented.

Clearly, you have not read her testimony to Hutton. When asked about his mood on the day of her husband’s death, she told Hutton that he was “tired, subdued, but not depressed.”

(3) Dr Kelly's body had been moved from its original prone position on the ground, and propped up against a tree. Items said to have been found near his body had not been seen by the paramedics who first found him. This is supported by the medical findings of livor mortis, which indicates that Kelly died on his back, or at least was moved to that position shortly after his death. A logical explanation is that Dr. Kelly died at a different site and the body was transported to the place it was found.
3. Not true - you are suggesting evidence please reference it.

Dr. Kelly’s body was found in the wood at around half-past eight by Louise Holmes and Paul Chapman. Holmes testified that Kelly’s body was “sitting with his back up against a tree” and Chapman testified that he was “slumped back against the tree”. Chapman phoned the police but about two minutes Graham Coe and DC Shields of the Thames Valley CID arrived, plus another man who has never been identified, arrived. They claimed they did not know the body had been found and were just part of another search-party. Holmes and Chapman were sent away.

According to Coe’s testimony to Hutton, the three men were alone with the body for over 25 minutes. The testimony of the next people to arrive on the scene, PC Andrew Franklin PC Martin Sawyer, and the two paramedics, Dave Bartlett and Louise Holmes, all make clear that Kelly was on his back by a large tree. This was also confirmed by Dr. Nicholas Hunt, the pathologist, who arrived at the scene.

(4) Police documents show that the investigation into Dr. Kelly’s death (Operation Mason) began at 2:30pm on the 17th, about one hour before Dr. Kelly left the house on his final walk.
4. It is common police practice to 'start' an operation from the time a person went missing - there are many thousand of similar missing persons cases where this has occurred.

You clearly have not read what I said. “Police documents show that the investigation into Dr. Kelly’s death (Operation Mason) began at 2:30pm on the 17th, about one hour before Dr. Kelly left the house on his final walk.” In other words, the operation began before he went missing. That is indeed very unusual.

Thames Valley Police have been unable to explain why they recorded in the “TVP Tactical Support Major Incident Policy Book” that the investigation into Dr. Kelly’s death should be called Operation Mason, nearly one hour before he left the house on his final walk.

It is also known that newspapers received several letters and telephone calls reporting that their were men in black clothes on the hill where Kelly was found early in the morning, long before the body was found.

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Part 2

(6) Dr. Nicholas Hunt, who performed the autopsy, testified there were several superficial scratches or cuts on the wrist and one deep wound that severed the ulnar artery but not the radial artery. The fact that the ulnar artery was severed, but not the radial artery, strongly suggests that the knife wound was inflicted drawing the blade from the inside of the wrist (the little finger side closest to the body) to the outside where the radial artery is located much closer to the surface of the skin than is the ulnar artery.
6. Are we to assume that someone else cut David Kelly's ulnar artery :lol: The cause of death was established as a combination of three factors - ingestion of co proxamol drugs, severing of ulnar artery and an underlying arterial condition - other than suggesting that the forensic pathologists were somehow 'in on it' I don't really think you have anywhere to go on this one.

This relates back to point 3. Why was the body moved? A clue was provided by the testimony of PC Sawyer and Dave Bartlett. They both claimed that the vomit ran from the corners of Kelly’s mouth to his ears. This is consistent with someone dying on their back. However, one is hardly likely to cut their wrists or swallowing large numbers of tablets on their back. Therefore it would seem that Kelly’s body was moved after it was found by Bartlett and Holmes.

(7) It is extremely unusual for someone to kill themselves by slitting his ulnar artery. For example, Kelly was the only one in Britain to kill himself in that way during that year. This is hardly surprising since this is just about the most improbable way to commit suicide, made even more difficult by the inappropriate knife that Dr Kelly is said to have used. It has been pointed out that a second person situated to the left of Kelly who held or picked up the arm and slashed across the wrist would start on the inside of the wrist severing the ulnar artery first. In fact, a complete autopsy report would state in which direction the wounds were inflicted.
7. Not so - it is rare but not undocumented. Maybe the chemist had run out of hemlock?

I said it was “unusual” not “undocumented”. What we do know about suicides is that the person usually resorts to a method of dying that is as painless as possible. Dr. Kelly, clearly did not do that as he appears to have hacked at his wrist with a blunt knife.

(8) Medical specialists have argued that they did not believe the official finding that Dr Kelly died either from haemorrhaging from a severed ulnar artery in his wrist, or from an overdose of coproxamol tablets, or a combination of the two. Such an artery, they said, was of matchstick thickness and severing it would not lead to the kind of blood loss that would kill someone. They also pointed out that, according to the ambulance team at the scene, the quantity of blood around the body was minimal.
Who are these medical specialists?? I fear they may be little more than letter writers to the Guardian.

It is definitely true that three medical specialist, David Halpin, Stephen Frost and Searle Sennett, did write to the Guardian on 27th January 2004, questioning the claim that Kelly committed suicide. I find the point you are making difficult to understand. Are you saying that if they write to the Guardian they cease to be medical specialists? Or that Guardian readers who write letters are not to be trusted?

Since the letter appeared in the Guardian, several other doctors, such as Dr. William McQuillan, a consultant at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, have become involved in the campaign to reopen the case on Kelly.

It is not possible to conclude from the available evidence that Dr. Kelly was murdered. However, it is a case that raises great doubts about the original verdict. It definitely cannot be dismissed as you do that the evidence is “so weak that a 5 year really ought to be able to see through them without too much cerebal (sic) activity.”

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Once more the power to believe seems to be greater than the comittment to the truth. This is why I believe the average 5 year old would be a better judge of these matters than our erstwhile former record store manager.

Much of what you write indeed comes from Baker's strange little book.

I will return to this thread later in the day to tackle your (his) falsehoods in turn - right now I have to work.

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Much of what you write indeed comes from Baker's strange little book.

Indeed it does. If you read pages 300-01 of the book you will discover that he acknowledges the help I gave him in writing the book.

Once more the power to believe seems to be greater than the comittment to the truth. This is why I believe the average 5 year old would be a better judge of these matters than our erstwhile former record store manager.

What a terrible example of intellectual snobbery. Does the fact that I left school without qualifications and worked for six years in a factory disqualify me from commenting on the case? I am afraid it is this kind of opinion that gives teaching such a bad name. I suppose there is a danger that teachers encased for too long in educational institutions do develop a certain type of personality. It was what I disliked so much about being a student and teacher: that intellectual arrogant, authoritarian, bullying personality. I suppose you could say it is an occupational hazard.

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Much of what you write indeed comes from Baker's strange little book.

Indeed it does. If you read pages 300-01 of the book you will discover that he acknowledges the help I gave him in writing the book.

Once more the power to believe seems to be greater than the comittment to the truth. This is why I believe the average 5 year old would be a better judge of these matters than our erstwhile former record store manager.

What a terrible example of intellectual snobbery. Does the fact that I left school without qualifications and worked for six years in a factory disqualify me from commenting on the case? I am afraid it is this kind of opinion that gives teaching such a bad name. I suppose there is a danger that teachers encased for too long in educational institutions do develop a certain type of personality. It was what I disliked so much about being a student and teacher: that intellectual arrogant, authoritarian, bullying personality. I suppose you could say it is an occupational hazard.

Again you have leaped to an unfounded conclusion.. I was of course referring to Mr Baker and the point I am making is that he is not really qualified to pass negative judgements on the opinions of the country's leading forensic scientist, or indeed is he qualified to make any meaningful contribution to the understanding of the 'suicidal type'. Why you should think I was talking about you is a whole different story - one which I cannot even begin to comprehend :unsure:

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Much of what you write indeed comes from Baker's strange little book.

Indeed it does. If you read pages 300-01 of the book you will discover that he acknowledges the help I gave him in writing the book.

Once more the power to believe seems to be greater than the comittment to the truth. This is why I believe the average 5 year old would be a better judge of these matters than our erstwhile former record store manager.

What a terrible example of intellectual snobbery. Does the fact that I left school without qualifications and worked for six years in a factory disqualify me from commenting on the case? I am afraid it is this kind of opinion that gives teaching such a bad name. I suppose there is a danger that teachers encased for too long in educational institutions do develop a certain type of personality. It was what I disliked so much about being a student and teacher: that intellectual arrogant, authoritarian, bullying personality. I suppose you could say it is an occupational hazard.

Again you have leaped to an unfounded conclusion.. I was of course referring to Mr Baker and the point I am making is that he is not really qualified to pass negative judgements on the opinions of the country's leading forensic scientist, or indeed is he qualified to make any meaningful contribution to the understanding of the 'suicidal type'. Why you should think I was talking about you is a whole different story - one which I cannot even begin to comprehend :unsure:

Why does the fact that he was a “former record store manager” influence his ability to analyse the evidence? Does your previous occupations have any bearings on your views on the case? Why did you mention his previous employment? Why is it relevant?

Of course, Baker has a history degree from the University of London, and has been fully trained in how to study evidence. As a historian myself, I came to the conclusion when reading the book, that he dealt with the evidence very well.

I would question the whole idea that because Baker is not “a leading forensic scientist” he has no right to question the opinions of “the country's leading forensic scientist”. That is an establishment view that has been well and truly been undermined over the centuries.

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Of course, Baker has a history degree from the University of London, and has been fully trained in how to study evidence. As a historian myself, I came to the conclusion when reading the book, that he dealt with the evidence very well.

Whereas I read his book and saw quite the opposite. Credible explanations are ditched for fantastic ones (e.g. the height of the communications mast in Kelly's garden and the timing of the police investigation), the testimony of Kelly's wife and friends rubbished when it doesn't fit Baker's theories, home spun nonsense about 'the suicidal type' is presented as fact, and bold assertions are made about Kelly's religious beliefs which are both muddle headed and just plain wrong.

This said you are obviously very close to this story, closer than I could have imagined and you don't really appear to want to discuss any of the points I have raised.

I have no desire to upset you further and am duly out of here.

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  • 3 months later...

It has just been discovered that Lord Hutton decided at the end of his inquiry into the death of Dr. David Kelly to classify all medical reports and photographs in the case.

Lord Hutton's decision to classify these documents is likely to face a legal challenge amid claims by experts that there are increasing grounds to question the inquiry's verdict of suicide. Five doctors who made an application to the Oxford coroner to have the inquest reopened are trauma surgeon David Halpin, epidemiologist Andrew Rouse, surgeon Martin Birnstingl, radiologist Stephen Frost and Chris Burns-Cox, who specialises in internal general medicine.

Freedom of information experts say there appear to be strong grounds for the legal challenges. "If Lord Hutton was not carrying out a statutory inquiry, I can't immediately see what power he had to order that these records be closed," said Maurice Frankel, Director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information.

News of the decision to keep the documents classified has come as a surprise to lawyers. There is no mention of the decision on the Hutton inquiry website.

"There should be a full inquiry. We need a proper answer," said Michael Powers Q.C. "The medical evidence doesn't add up. I have yet to meet a doctor that will say it was even possible, let alone likely."

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This might have something to do with it:

http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=555...mp;postcount=16

John, you understand UK laws. Is this a normal procedure or is it indeed something extraordinary and suspicious?

You have to remember that the medical records of someone who has died in suspicious circumstances is of great interest to people investigating the death. The case caused such controversy that the government eventually agreed to hold an inquiry under Lord Hutton, a man who had been completely compromised by his work in Northern Ireland. It was of course a whitewash. Lord Hutton then secretly asked for all medical reports and photographs in the case to be classified. Lord Butler has now admitted that he should not have done this and has published the following statement:

"I requested that the postmortem report should not be disclosed for 70 years as I was concerned that the publication of that report would cause Kelly's daughters and his wife further and unnecessary distress. I consider that the disclosure of the report to doctors and their legal advisers for the purposes of legal proceedings would not undermine the protection which I wished to give."

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Guest Stephen Turner
"I requested that the postmortem report should not be disclosed for 70 years as I was concerned that the publication of that report would cause Kelly's daughters and his wife further and unnecessary distress.

Thats known as the Jack Ruby justification.

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