IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Trials and Errors
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags Colin Norris , murder cases

Reply
Old 15th February 2021, 08:28 AM   #1
catsmate
No longer the 1
 
catsmate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 23,835
Colin Norris's case to be heard by UK Court of Appeal

I see no-one has started a thread on this case.
Norris (wiki) was convicted on four counts of murder and one of attempted murder in 2008. He is alleged to have used insulin overdoses to murder the four elderly patients at hospitals in Leeds back in 2002.

The case against him was dubious, and the verdict a majority one (the foreman has subsequently altered his view also) delivered after four days of deliberations.

For nearly ten years there have been serious doubts, specifically about the prosecution claim that such a cluster of hypoglycaemic deaths could not occur naturally and was in itself evidence of unnatural causes. This is now considered incorrect (and there were dissenting voices back in '08).
Further investigation into each death has shown logical, non-sinister causes for the deaths.
One further point was the involvement of DCS Chris Gregg in the investigation; he may have been prejudiced by his involvement in the Harold Shipman enquiry.

CCRC Referral.

Comments?
__________________
As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
catsmate is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th February 2021, 09:11 AM   #2
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 49,590
"Further investigation into each death has shown logical, non-sinister causes for the deaths."

If it's true that further investigation has produced evidence that each death had a logical, non-sinister cause that exonerates Norris, then his appeal should win an acquittal quite easily.
theprestige is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th February 2021, 01:21 PM   #3
Samson
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 9,380
He applied october 2011 and this has just been accepted. Nearly 10 years, seems a very long time.
Samson is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th February 2021, 01:47 PM   #4
Chris_Halkides
Philosopher
 
Chris_Halkides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 9,985
How common is hypoglycemia

Murderpedia link with several news stories.

A key point against Colin Norris is that he apparently predicted the death of at least one patient.

This Justice Gap link has a link to a Paul May article.
Solicitor John "Moore continued. ‘At the trial they paraded purported expert after expert all of whom advised the jury that it was very unusual to see hypoglycaemia in persons who were not diabetic.’ Moore has instructed a leading expert, Professor Vincent Marks whom the prosecution apparently had consulted in the early stages. ‘He concluded that, contrary to current standard teaching, spontaneous hypoglycaemia is common in 10% of elderly, frail, sick people especially those with low body weight and suffering from malnutrition. [He also concluded] that there was little reason that hypoglycaemia was anything other than a spontaneous response to their underlying illness.’"

I don't have a strong opinion at this point.
__________________
It is possible both to be right about an issue and to take oneself a little too seriously, but I would rather be reminded of that by a friend than a foe. (a tip of the hat to Foolmewunz)

Last edited by Chris_Halkides; 16th February 2021 at 02:18 PM.
Chris_Halkides is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th February 2021, 06:13 PM   #5
Chris_Halkides
Philosopher
 
Chris_Halkides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 9,985
how long does insulin persist

"Dr Emma Ward, a diabetes expert, was surprised enough by Mrs Hall's collapse into a coma that she ordered blood tests which revealed insulin levels about 12 times the norm..." Scotsman

PHYSIOLOGY 34: 198–215, 2019. doi:10.1152/physiol.00048.2018
This is well outside of my expertise, but my understanding is that insulin is normally cleared rapidly. Before I were to accept the measurement above as being accurate, I would want to know more. For example, several weeks elapsed between the patient's falling into a coma and her death. When was the blood drawn is one question.

Right now I am slightly leaning toward guilt, but I could be swayed by more information.
__________________
It is possible both to be right about an issue and to take oneself a little too seriously, but I would rather be reminded of that by a friend than a foe. (a tip of the hat to Foolmewunz)
Chris_Halkides is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th February 2021, 12:31 PM   #6
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 46,930
Someone please tell me they measured C-reactive protein. Vince Marks knows this very well. It's the classic way of telling whether insulin is exogenous or endogenous. It's what got Claus von Bulow I think. I remember a case being discussed at a meeting and I think Vince Marks was actually there, where they hunted high and low for a stored blood sample from a dead patient and finally found one at the bottom of a freezer that should have been emptied but hadn't been, and you know I can't remember whether they found the C-reactive protein (not guilty) or didn't (guilty) in that case.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th February 2021, 02:19 PM   #7
catsmate
No longer the 1
 
catsmate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 23,835
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Someone please tell me they measured C-reactive protein. Vince Marks knows this very well. It's the classic way of telling whether insulin is exogenous or endogenous. It's what got Claus von Bulow I think. I remember a case being discussed at a meeting and I think Vince Marks was actually there, where they hunted high and low for a stored blood sample from a dead patient and finally found one at the bottom of a freezer that should have been emptied but hadn't been, and you know I can't remember whether they found the C-reactive protein (not guilty) or didn't (guilty) in that case.
They did not. Someone in the analysis lab felt that the immunoassay method of Ethel Hall's blood sample, combined with the medical diagnosis, provided irrefutable evidence that insulin had been administered.
__________________
As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
catsmate is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th February 2021, 04:35 PM   #8
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 46,930
For goodness sake, how long ago was the von Bulow case? I'm sure I'm not misremembering that c-reactive protein was instrumental in getting a conviction in that one.

I'm just a poor bloody veterinary clinical biochemist, but even I could tell you off the top of my head that that's what you needed to measure, the very minute you told me that you needed to prove exogenous insulin administration. It's so neat and cool and without that this case should have been thrown out as no case to answer.

Even if you think you have some sort of super-assay that can distinguish between injected and endogenous insulin (and just how, given that most insulin is human insulin these days, do tell), surely to God you also do the time-honoured tried-and-tested test that has precedents to call up and doesn't require a major presentation of immunoassay methodology (hotly contested by the defence of course) to secure your conviction?
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 18th February 2021 at 04:37 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th February 2021, 02:07 AM   #9
catsmate
No longer the 1
 
catsmate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 23,835
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
For goodness sake, how long ago was the von Bulow case? I'm sure I'm not misremembering that c-reactive protein was instrumental in getting a conviction in that one.

I'm just a poor bloody veterinary clinical biochemist, but even I could tell you off the top of my head that that's what you needed to measure, the very minute you told me that you needed to prove exogenous insulin administration. It's so neat and cool and without that this case should have been thrown out as no case to answer.

Even if you think you have some sort of super-assay that can distinguish between injected and endogenous insulin (and just how, given that most insulin is human insulin these days, do tell), surely to God you also do the time-honoured tried-and-tested test that has precedents to call up and doesn't require a major presentation of immunoassay methodology (hotly contested by the defence of course) to secure your conviction?
Von Bülow was convicted (of attempted murder) in 1982 (his wife didn't die but was left vegetative) and acquitted in 1985 after the verdicts were quashed on appeal in 1984.
IIRR (and I'm not familiar with the details of the case) there was no indication of a cause for the high insulin level found (in a single test, no sample was retained) and much of the other condemnatory evidence was dubious at best.
__________________
As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
catsmate is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th February 2021, 05:28 AM   #10
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 46,930
I could be misremembering the von Bulow case, I didn't look it up. But the use of c-reactive protein to distinguish between endogenous insulin and injected insulin goes back a long way and has been used in other cases to prove or disprove murder by insulin.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th February 2021, 07:08 AM   #11
Chris_Halkides
Philosopher
 
Chris_Halkides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 9,985
concentration of insulin in the other deaths

I have not seen anything on the insulin levels of other patients who died. Were these levels measured, and if not, why not?
__________________
It is possible both to be right about an issue and to take oneself a little too seriously, but I would rather be reminded of that by a friend than a foe. (a tip of the hat to Foolmewunz)
Chris_Halkides is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th February 2021, 09:23 AM   #12
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 46,930
I don't know how to look up the cases I'm afraid.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th February 2021, 09:35 AM   #13
Nessie
Penultimate Amazing
 
Nessie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12,994
https://ccrc.gov.uk/commission-refer...urt-of-appeal/

"The experts agree that the hypoglycaemia in the four patients other than Mrs Hall may be accounted for by natural causes."

I wonder if that is down to the C-reactive protein measurement? I can see how this may pan out now. The legal system saves face and acquits on some, but not all the murder convictions.
__________________
Audiophile/biker/sceptic
Nessie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th February 2021, 11:18 AM   #14
catsmate
No longer the 1
 
catsmate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 23,835
Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
I have not seen anything on the insulin levels of other patients who died. Were these levels measured, and if not, why not?
In the Norris case? I'm on the tablet atm but IIRR there was only one blood sample available due to the lack of suspicion wrt the deaths.
__________________
As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
catsmate is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th February 2021, 12:22 PM   #15
Chris_Halkides
Philosopher
 
Chris_Halkides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 9,985
Math on Trial

Yes, I was referring just to the Norris case.

I don't believe that this happened in the Norris case, but Chapter 1 of Leila Schneps and Coralee Comez's book "Math on Trial" concerns the fallacy of multiplying non-independent probabilities.
__________________
It is possible both to be right about an issue and to take oneself a little too seriously, but I would rather be reminded of that by a friend than a foe. (a tip of the hat to Foolmewunz)
Chris_Halkides is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 04:28 PM   #16
Planigale
Illuminator
 
Planigale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: 49 North
Posts: 4,639
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
For goodness sake, how long ago was the von Bulow case? I'm sure I'm not misremembering that c-reactive protein was instrumental in getting a conviction in that one.

I'm just a poor bloody veterinary clinical biochemist, but even I could tell you off the top of my head that that's what you needed to measure, the very minute you told me that you needed to prove exogenous insulin administration. It's so neat and cool and without that this case should have been thrown out as no case to answer.

Even if you think you have some sort of super-assay that can distinguish between injected and endogenous insulin (and just how, given that most insulin is human insulin these days, do tell), surely to God you also do the time-honoured tried-and-tested test that has precedents to call up and doesn't require a major presentation of immunoassay methodology (hotly contested by the defence of course) to secure your conviction?
Vets are brighter than medics. The number of times I tell junior doctors that low glucose = psychpathic nurse is innumerable. You are right, but doctors see lots of diabetics, so they lose sensitivity to the fact that low glucose in a non diabetic is odd. Now most low sugars are not due to a homicidal nurse, but if you do not check protein C you will never know.

There is a difference between innocence and being able to prove guilt. Personally I believe the evidence supports guilt, whether it is guilt BARD is another issue.

ETA
C reactive protein is something completely different, it is an acute phase reactant, I assume you meant protein C.

Last edited by Planigale; 22nd February 2021 at 04:29 PM.
Planigale is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 04:38 PM   #17
Chris_Halkides
Philosopher
 
Chris_Halkides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 9,985
protein C and insulin

The only protein C with which I am familiar is one that works with protein S as an anticoagulant. I did just now find a few articles about protein C and insulin (link1; link2), but I am not seeing an obvious connection.
__________________
It is possible both to be right about an issue and to take oneself a little too seriously, but I would rather be reminded of that by a friend than a foe. (a tip of the hat to Foolmewunz)
Chris_Halkides is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 06:42 PM   #18
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 46,930
Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Vets are brighter than medics. The number of times I tell junior doctors that low glucose = psychpathic nurse is innumerable. You are right, but doctors see lots of diabetics, so they lose sensitivity to the fact that low glucose in a non diabetic is odd. Now most low sugars are not due to a homicidal nurse, but if you do not check protein C you will never know.

There is a difference between innocence and being able to prove guilt. Personally I believe the evidence supports guilt, whether it is guilt BARD is another issue.

ETA
C reactive protein is something completely different, it is an acute phase reactant, I assume you meant protein C.

Oh, you're right, that's what not doing these tests routinely, and also being retired, does to you. I got my Cs in a twist.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 06:47 PM   #19
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 46,930
Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
The only protein C with which I am familiar is one that works with protein S as an anticoagulant. I did just now find a few articles about protein C and insulin (link1; link2), but I am not seeing an obvious connection.

When proto-insulin is formed it folds itself up as it should do, according to the amino acid chain and the way the charges work. Then after that folding happens, enzymes chop off a bit of the chain to get the final hormone. That is C-something, Planigale is right, I had the wrong name. This is the length of peptide (actually I think the right name is c-peptide, put me to the bottom of the class) which is needed to get the protein to fold properly to the right shape, then is trimmed off as excess. Like cutting a length of wallpaper slightly too long and trimming off the extra.

If a high insulin concentration is measured, and that insulin was made by the body, you will find the equivalent amount of c-peptide kicking around if you look for it. If on the other hand the insulin was made in the laboratory there will be no c-peptide detectable in the blood sample.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd February 2021, 07:55 PM   #20
Chris_Halkides
Philosopher
 
Chris_Halkides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 9,985
C-peptide

Thank you. Here is a diagram showing how the C-peptide (grey) is the part of proinsulin that is proteolyzed out. Here is a 1993 article on using the ratio of insulin to C-peptide as a probe for inadvertent or surreptitious insulin administration. A measurement of C peptide would have helped this case a great deal.
__________________
It is possible both to be right about an issue and to take oneself a little too seriously, but I would rather be reminded of that by a friend than a foe. (a tip of the hat to Foolmewunz)

Last edited by Chris_Halkides; 22nd February 2021 at 08:14 PM.
Chris_Halkides is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd February 2021, 03:24 PM   #21
Chris_Halkides
Philosopher
 
Chris_Halkides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 9,985
von Bulow case and more on C peptide/insulin ratio

"According to Dr. George Cahill, a Harvard Medical School professor who is a leading expert on blood sugar, had the Yalow test been performed on blood taken from Martha von Bulow shortly after she lapsed into her second coma on Dec. 21, 1980, her physicians and a subsequent jury would have known ''with 100 percent certainty'' the source of the insulin in her body.

"However, doctors did not perform either the Yalow test or a test to measure the blood level of an amino acid called C-peptide, which is left when insulin breaks down. Medical experts testified that there was ''reasonable medical certainty'' because of the high level of insulin and low level of sugar in Mrs. von Bulow's blood that the insulin had been injected."
NYT

"Because of the differences in half-lives, the molar ratio of circulating insulin to C-peptide is usually <1, despite equimolar secretion." link
__________________
It is possible both to be right about an issue and to take oneself a little too seriously, but I would rather be reminded of that by a friend than a foe. (a tip of the hat to Foolmewunz)
Chris_Halkides is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd February 2021, 04:43 PM   #22
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 46,930
Well, gimme a break, I haven't thought about this for years if not a decade or two and I got the terminology wrong (I didn't look anything up, probably should have done), but even I remembered that there's an excellent test to distinguish between endogenous and exogenous insulin, and why and how. Please tell me why nobody seems to have thought of that?
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd February 2021, 07:05 PM   #23
Chris_Halkides
Philosopher
 
Chris_Halkides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 9,985
hardly an open and shut case

At first I thought Mr. Norris sounded like an uncaring individual at best, thereby forgetting my own rule that the prosecution can make almost anyone look bad. The Knox/Sollecito case is not the only example of this, but it is a good one.

With respect to the science, the discussion in this thread is pushing me toward saying that the evidence against him is not a slam dunk. If this case were being decided using preponderance of evidence (50.1%) as the standard, I might vote one way. Using BARD, I might vote the other.
EDT
I found a link to an article in the American Biology Teacher that goes through some of these issues using a laboratory exercise with simulated data from immunoassays. There are a few references.
__________________
It is possible both to be right about an issue and to take oneself a little too seriously, but I would rather be reminded of that by a friend than a foe. (a tip of the hat to Foolmewunz)

Last edited by Chris_Halkides; 23rd February 2021 at 07:16 PM.
Chris_Halkides is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th February 2021, 07:58 AM   #24
Chris_Halkides
Philosopher
 
Chris_Halkides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 9,985
access and inventory

Would Mr. Norris have had access to insulin? Was the insulin inventoried, and if so, was some missing? I don't know enough about typical hospital operations, to know whether or not these are realistic questions to be asking.
__________________
It is possible both to be right about an issue and to take oneself a little too seriously, but I would rather be reminded of that by a friend than a foe. (a tip of the hat to Foolmewunz)

Last edited by Chris_Halkides; 24th February 2021 at 08:46 AM.
Chris_Halkides is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Trials and Errors

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:05 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.