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Tags Australia cases , Australia incidents , dingoes , Lindy Chamberlain , murder cases

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Old 14th June 2012, 04:24 PM   #41
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There seems to come a point where it's normal simply to accept the "official version", and even to make up fanciful scenarios where it just might have happened. So, rather than look critically at the evidence, people start dreaming up ways in which the accused could theoretically have done it, and supporting the accusation that way.

Sion Jenkins is a case in point. It was always absolutely ridiculous to suggest he murdered Billie-Jo, and strong evidence should have been required to begin to suspect him. There never was any such evidence. The police couldn't get hold of another suspect, so they went after him. In the end this mad crime of unpremeditated rage was accomplished in a couple of minutes (allegedly), whereupon he walked back to join his other daughters without a hair out of place or a drop of blood visible on his clothes.

Then the public vilification started, and everything down to and including the fact that he had sexed up his CV in a job application six or seven years previously was held to be proof that he was the sort of person who would batter a child to death because she had the radio up too loud (or maybe it was because she had got paint on the glass when she was painting a window). It got to the "there must be something in it or they wouldn't be charging him" awfully quickly. Soon, the popular view was that if he couldn't 100% prove an alibi, he must have done it. (The estimate was something like he had a time window of between -5 minutes and +3 minutes to have done it, and the existence of the outside +3 minutes possibility was latched on to to prove he was the murderer.)

Even after he was acquitted at something like the fifth appeal (that presumption of guilt is a bummer) he was denied compensation for the years spent in jail because he wasn't "clearly innocent". He still lives under a cloud, as far as I can see.

There are people in this forum who have stated they still believe Barry George murdered Jill Dando, though on what grounds I have no freaking clue.

This mindset seems to be behind the poor chances of success in many appeals. Look at the number of innocent people who have needed a second or third appeal to get the truth accepted. Because the general public doesn't like to believe the cops would target an innocent and basically frame up a case against them. But they do. With distressing frequency.

I've even heard people say, in effect, well it doesn't matter that [X] might not actually have done it, because he was a bad lot anyway. That is perhaps even more shocking than anything.

A bit more critical thinking when considering the results of police investigations and the findings of the courts, would benefit us all.

Rolfe.
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Old 14th June 2012, 05:30 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
There are people in this forum who have stated they still believe Barry George murdered Jill Dando, though on what grounds I have no freaking clue.
I think you know very well that the grounds are "well, he's a bit weird, isn't he? Something not right there. Seems the sort."
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Old 14th June 2012, 09:53 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
I heard this earlier this morning. The thing that I could never comprehend was that while there was little or no evidence that the baby had been taken by a dingo, there was equally little or no evidence that Lindy killed her, and yet that was the conclusion that not only the public but the courts went with.
But there was evidence that a dingo was a more plausible explanation. Certainly more plausible than the fantasy about a woman (with no apparent motive) suddenly deciding to murder her baby with a pair of scissors while on a family camping trip! The head ranger gave evidence that dingoes were a known problem in the area and that on the night Azaria disappeared there were tracks all around the tent. (I believe he'd also previously written a report that something needed to be done about the dingoes but, obviously, it was not acted on).

Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
This whole case vividly illustrates the critically important need for EVIDENCE.
One of the (many) disturbing elements is that the trial judge in his summing-up apparently directed the jury to acquit on the basis of reasonable doubt. Either they didn't understand what he was saying (a charitable view) or they chose to disregard it.

Originally Posted by lionking View Post
The religious angle played a part, but so equally did Lindy's cool, carm behavior to the media. She didn't play the hysterical, bereaved mother role expected of her. The hatred of her at the time was certainly media driven.
After her conviction was overturned, I recall seeing some of the original TV footage that showed Lindy Chamberlain looking obviously distraught - don't recall seeing that at the time, though. I've always thought that a useful reminder to be sceptical of the way the media can filter and frame what we see and how we perceive people and events. I thought there were echoes of the same thing in the way Joanne Lees was treated.

Originally Posted by Draca View Post
I never understood why it was ridiculous though. I discussed this with an Aussie guy some years back and he said the dingo is a really small dog.
They're medium-sized dogs, definitely not "really small". Certainly large enough to cause some concern to an adult if you were bailed up by one or more. In the wild they would normally be quite shy but in areas around campsites they become habituated to humans. In those situations, they are not afraid and associate humans with food - not a good combination.
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Old 15th June 2012, 06:49 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
I heard this earlier this morning. The thing that I could never comprehend was that while there was little or no evidence that the baby had been taken by a dingo, there was equally little or no evidence that Lindy killed her, and yet that was the conclusion that not only the public but the courts went with.
Well the first inquest (under Denis Barritt) decided that Azaria "met her death when attacked by a wild dingo whilst asleep in her family's tent"; neither of her parents "in any degree whatsoever responsible for her death".
It wasn't until seven months later that the police searched the Chamberlain's car and home. In the interim one Professor James Cameron1 had stuck his oar in and decided, on the basis of photographs alone, that Azaria's throat had been cut2. This triggered "Operation Ochre" and the political decision to quash the findings of the first inquest and hold a second.

Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
Perhaps it was because the dingo story seemed less plausible, but the problem with that is that it was justice by false dilemma. Disproving or discounting one doesn't prove the other. There were other possibilities, too, such as the Azaria being abducted by another person at the camp, etc. Let's face it, just as much evidence for that, or aliens for that matter, as for anything else.
Very true. I believe it was Cameron's intervention that caused the police to focus (or fixate) on the Chamberlains.
Actually I vaguely remember from the TV coverage at the time that someone was interviewed (a park ranger perhaps?) who stated that dingo attacks while uncommon weren't unprecedented.

Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
I also never understood where the idea about Lindy slitting Azaria's throat with scissors came from. Did they just make that up? Every time I see that mentioned, there is never any hint as to how that originated.
Cameron.

Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
How awful to not only have to deal with the uncertain disappearance and death of your child, but to have to spend four years in prison and to be vilified for the next 32 years of your life.
It is an ****** disgrace. One which has singularly not led to action against those involved in the investigation who are still around.
Not that the politicians did much better.

Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
This whole case vividly illustrates the critically important need for EVIDENCE.
I am about to rant.
This case shows the still existing problem with expert testimony, a personal bugbear of mine. Such evidence must be as open to challenge and duplication as other evidence and must be as subject to proper scientific methodology and standards as other scientific endeavors.

And I'm not impressed either by the failure of the police to inform the Chamberlain's solicitor that the matinee jacket had been found. Luckily someone tipped him off and he confronted them. Otherwise would it have been "misplaced"?

1 the only "expert" witness I'm aware of to be criticised in two Royal Commissions of Inquiry
2 with those scissors that were later found to be to blunt to do any such thing

ETA: I believe this is my first encounter with the auto-censor.

Last edited by catsmate; 15th June 2012 at 06:50 AM. Reason: ETA and typo.
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Old 15th June 2012, 07:16 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by catsmate1 View Post
This case shows the still existing problem with expert testimony, a personal bugbear of mine. Such evidence must be as open to challenge and duplication as other evidence and must be as subject to proper scientific methodology and standards as other scientific endeavors.

See a concurrent thread.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...postid=8371360

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Old 15th June 2012, 09:15 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Yes thanks. I've posted there now; perhaps as this thread is now mainly about forensic failings we could request a merger?
There's another Chamberlain thread around for specific discussion of that case.
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Old 16th June 2012, 10:36 AM   #47
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an Op Ed piece on the case

Link here. Julia Baird wrote, "We see now that our willingness to believe that was a collective failure of empathy. We assumed an innocent woman was guilty. We threw rocks at a grieving mother. And a nation founded by convicts somehow forgot the presumption of innocence."
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Old 16th June 2012, 10:57 AM   #48
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I was thinking about Sally Clark as I read that; another woman imprisoned for murder after two of her babies died naturally. Sally is no longer alive - even though she was eventually exonerated, the eight years in prison left her a shadow of her former self, and she couldn't get her life back together afterwards. She died of a heart attack, possibly associated with drinking a bit too much.

We haven't had a collective guilt trip about Sally in Britain, possibly because many many people doubted her guilt all along. She was never reviled as Lindy was. She was even allowed to stay on the Law Society roll while in jail - almost unprecedented, for a solicitor convicted of murder. The Law Society probably realised she was innocent.

But Sally was still convicted, and lost her first appeal, and spent eight years in jail. While mourning the deaths of two of her children and separated from the third. And the experience killed her. Is the society that let that happen even while it knew in its heart it was wrong any better than the society that reviled Lindy Chamberlain?

Rolfe.
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Old 16th June 2012, 11:24 AM   #49
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Munchausen by proxy

A much less high-profile case than that of Lindy Chamberlain was that of Patricia Stallings, whose son Ryan died of natural causes over twenty years ago. Patricia Stallings was convicted of poisoning Ryan with ethylene glycol, then later exonerated when citizen involvement in the case led to the realization that Ryan suffered from MMA, a genetic disease. I don't know how she fared later in life. I recall that some suggested that the motive was Munchausen by proxy.
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Old 16th June 2012, 12:28 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
A lot of Northern Territorians will always consider her a killer, but not so much in the more civilized parts of Australia.

Without wishing to start a derail, I have always found it very strange that you can see the Lindy Chamberlain affair for what it was, and yet you have always posted very negatively about the Amanda Knox case, which has many similarities.

The accused woman's demeanour and appearance were held against her. She was accused after having been present when the crime was discovered. Investigators became convinced of her guilt and sceptical of her own story, and built a case against her. Forensic scientists behaved as if it were their duty to secure a conviction rather than discover the truth. And so on.

In the Chamberlain case the "blood" was a chemical spray, and the positive results on what should have been negative control samples were maliciously misinterpreted. Evidence that could have exonerated went missing. And so on. You understand that this happened and how. The Knox case is so similar in many ways. The reasons for understanding the forensic results to be flawed are much the same. Again, exculpatory evidence went missing. And so on. And yet in that case you don't seem to understand that the same thing happened.

I'm interested to understand what it is about some cases where the miscarriage of justice is accepted and acknowledged, and yet in other well-nigh identical cases the accused remains caught in a web of vilification and misrepresentation.

Rolfe.
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Old 16th June 2012, 12:44 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by George152 View Post
The 'law' gets fixated upon a certain person and will go to any lengths to produce evidence to convict while hiding or even destroying evidence that may be proof of evidence..

Those who 'investigated' the crime (what ever it was) should have to serve the same amount of time in prison as their victim....
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Old 16th June 2012, 12:46 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I was thinking about Sally Clark as I read that; another woman imprisoned for murder after two of her babies died naturally. Sally is no longer alive - even though she was eventually exonerated, the eight years in prison left her a shadow of her former self, and she couldn't get her life back together afterwards. She died of a heart attack, possibly associated with drinking a bit too much.

We haven't had a collective guilt trip about Sally in Britain, possibly because many many people doubted her guilt all along. She was never reviled as Lindy was. She was even allowed to stay on the Law Society roll while in jail - almost unprecedented, for a solicitor convicted of murder. The Law Society probably realised she was innocent.

But Sally was still convicted, and lost her first appeal, and spent eight years in jail. While mourning the deaths of two of her children and separated from the third. And the experience killed her. Is the society that let that happen even while it knew in its heart it was wrong any better than the society that reviled Lindy Chamberlain?

Rolfe.
No!
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Old 17th June 2012, 08:21 AM   #53
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spray or sound deadener

There was supposed blood spray that was common to the make of car that the Chamberlain's drove, and it was a sticky fluid that was actually sound deadener, IIRC. Does anyone know whether this putative blood was detected with ortho-tolidine, which is a presumptive test for blood, or with the (impure) antibodies to hemoglobin F? (On the other Chamberlain thread, I have some citations about the antibody issue.) Thanks; I have never been able to get to the bottom of this part of the story.
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Old 18th June 2012, 09:27 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Without wishing to start a derail, I have always found it very strange that you can see the Lindy Chamberlain affair for what it was, and yet you have always posted very negatively about the Amanda Knox case, which has many similarities.

The accused woman's demeanour and appearance were held against her. She was accused after having been present when the crime was discovered. Investigators became convinced of her guilt and sceptical of her own story, and built a case against her. Forensic scientists behaved as if it were their duty to secure a conviction rather than discover the truth. And so on.

In the Chamberlain case the "blood" was a chemical spray, and the positive results on what should have been negative control samples were maliciously misinterpreted. Evidence that could have exonerated went missing. And so on. You understand that this happened and how. The Knox case is so similar in many ways. The reasons for understanding the forensic results to be flawed are much the same. Again, exculpatory evidence went missing. And so on. And yet in that case you don't seem to understand that the same thing happened.

I'm interested to understand what it is about some cases where the miscarriage of justice is accepted and acknowledged, and yet in other well-nigh identical cases the accused remains caught in a web of vilification and misrepresentation.

Rolfe.

Here's an article about some of those same comparisons:

From Lindy Chamberlain to Amanda Knox, Vilification to Exoneration
June 18, 2012

http://www.groundreport.com/US/From-...cation/2946762
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Old 18th June 2012, 03:34 PM   #55
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That's an interesting article, indeed. I have to say I'm baffled by Lionking's different approach to the two cases, and in particular why he seems to believe the forensics were sound in the Knox case while understanding the flaws in the Chamberlain case - the parallels are so striking I'd have thought they'd give an Australian pause, in particular.

But I don't think he's going to tell us.

Rolfe.
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Old 18th June 2012, 10:50 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
That's an interesting article, indeed. I have to say I'm baffled by Lionking's different approach to the two cases, and in particular why he seems to believe the forensics were sound in the Knox case while understanding the flaws in the Chamberlain case - the parallels are so striking I'd have thought they'd give an Australian pause, in particular.

But I don't think he's going to tell us.

Rolfe.
It may very well be that defending such a position would require delving into the evidence of the Knox case again, causing a massive derail. Probably wise that he doesn't do that.
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Old 18th June 2012, 10:55 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
It may very well be that defending such a position would require delving into the evidence of the Knox case again, causing a massive derail. Probably wise that he doesn't do that.
Exactly.
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Old 18th June 2012, 11:24 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
It may very well be that defending such a position would require delving into the evidence of the Knox case again, causing a massive derail. Probably wise that he doesn't do that.
That's a cop-out. It wouldn't be a derail to for him to run over what it is that makes the Lindy Chamberlain case different from the Knox/Kercher case.
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Old 18th June 2012, 11:30 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post
That's a cop-out. It wouldn't be a derail to for him to run over what it is that makes the Lindy Chamberlain case different from the Knox/Kercher case.
It may not but the inevitable responses from passionate Knox thread veterans surely would, as would lionking's if he got caught up in such a poo storm. Evidently he has better judgement.
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Old 19th June 2012, 03:17 AM   #60
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two threads are better than one

Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
It may not but the inevitable responses from passionate Knox thread veterans surely would, as would lionking's if he got caught up in such a poo storm. Evidently he has better judgement.
You are making an assumption about what other commenters may or may not do. I think this assumption is (at best) unwarranted, but even if were not, nothing would prevent lionking or yourself from making the same comparison on the Knox/Sollecito thread. That thread is moderated; therefore, there can be no "poo storm" that falls outside the MA, as judged by the mods.

The similarities between the two cases are striking, IMO.
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Old 19th June 2012, 03:24 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by halides1 View Post
You are making an assumption about what other commenters may or may not do. I think this assumption is (at best) unwarranted, but even if were not, nothing would prevent lionking or yourself from making the same comparison on the Knox/Sollecito thread. That thread is moderated; therefore, there can be no "poo storm" that falls outside the MA, as judged by the mods.

The similarities between the two cases are striking, IMO.
Have at it then.
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Old 19th June 2012, 05:42 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
It may very well be that defending such a position would require delving into the evidence of the Knox case again, causing a massive derail. Probably wise that he doesn't do that.

Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Exactly.

That's why I said I didn't want to start a derail with this. Anything more than a short summary would indeed be likely to derail this thread. It would be more appropriate to cover the issue in the moderated thread, and then nobody would be in any danger of breaching the MA. I don't think "caught up in" is exactly how I would describe Lionking's relationship with the poo storms in the Knox thread, but that's by the by.

As I said, the similarities between the Chamberlain case and the Knox case are extraordinarily striking - even down to the malicious forensics treatment of tests for blood. It's now understood that the blood testing carried out in the Chamberlain case was entirely misleading, not least because forensics seemed to feel it was their job to make the prosecution case stick. The Australian people now seem to realise that, and repent of their earlier demonisation of Lindy.

Lionking, as an Australian, seems to understand this well. And yet his posts in the Knox thread have been entirely from the viewpoint of believing in guilt. "Mixed blood", luminol traces, they all seem to be things he accepts. He hasn't been posting in the Knox thread recently. I would certainly welcome his considered views if he was prepared to give them rather than merely sniping at those who believe Knox to be innocent.

Why does someone who understands what happened in the Chamberlain case not accept the proposition that the exact same thing happened in the Knox case? What's the difference?

Rolfe.
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Old 19th June 2012, 06:46 AM   #63
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similarities across three cases

Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Have at it then.
The Gather article actually covers three cases, the third being Duke lacrosse.

Withholding of forensic results
The forensic scientist in the Chamberlain case destroyed plates that pertained to its tests for hemoglobin F. Although this may have been routine practice in her lab, it prevented their examination by defense experts who might have been able to discover the flaws in this experiment. The DA and a scientist from an independent laboratory conspired to withhold exculpatory DNA evidence in the Duke lacrosse case. The prosecution withheld crucial electronic data files that underlie the DNA evidence in the Knox/Sollecito case. They also failed to disclose that the TMB presumptive blood tests were negative. These are all examples of why "open discovery" laws should be adopted universally, IMO.

Unvetted forensics
The test for fetal hemoglobin (Hb F) was something that Ms. Joyce Kuhl made up and performed about thirteen months after the incident. It is difficult to believe that the Hb F would be unaltered by the extremes of temperature in that time. Some background reading here and here. The manufacturer of the antibodies against Hb F supplied a statement that undermined the proscution’s case. In the Knox/Sollecito case Ms. Stefanoni made up a new type of low template DNA profiling, which also produced results that were highly questionable. IMO forensic scientists should use tests that have been through the process of peer-review.

Twisting the results of forensic tests to make them seem inculpatory
In the Chamberlain case the prosecution’s expert witnesses downplayed the notion that there could be a false positive in the ortho-tolidine presumptive test for blood. One witness even opined that the test would turn a different color if there were an interference such as copper ion. There is an unconfirmed report that Ms. Kuhl’s superior replied to the question of whether false positives were possible by saying, “Not in my laboratory.” Both ideas are pernicious nonsense. In the Knox/Sollecito case the prosecution belittled the idea that luminol was only a presumptive test by implying that the luminol-positive substance had to either be blood or turnip juice. That is a bunch of bologna. Forensic scientists have established two tiers of tests, presumptive and confirmatory, for a reason.

In the Duke lacrosse case some pointed to a partial DNA profile on a fake fingernail as evidence of guilt. The partial profile did not exclude Duke student David Evans, but pro-guilt commenters ignored the obvious possibility of secondary transfer of DNA, inasmuch as it was in his house. Likewise, some pointed to the existence of mixed DNA between Ms. Kercher and Ms. Knox and evidence of guilt. Yet the most unsurprising forensic result produced in the case was that Ms. Knox's bathroom had her DNA.

Courtroom appearance/demeanor
Lindy Chamberlain was criticized for changing dresses every day (it was hot), as well as what was discussed in the Gather article. In their book “Until Proven Innocent” Taylor and Johnson wrote (p. 180) about former Duke lacrosse player Collin Finnerty’s facing a wall of photographers while awaiting his first appearance before a judge: “He tried to remain expressionless. In that atmosphere, if he had smiled the media would have called it a smirk; if he had frowned they would have called it an angry glare.” Nevertheless one USA Today sportswriter wasn’t sure if Mr. Finnerty’s expression was one of shock and fear or smugness. Ms. Knox was often photographed smiling at friends; IMO this was an attempt by photographers/editors to portray her as not taking the trial seriously. At Perugia Shock Frank Sfarzo wrote of Amanda Knox, “If she smiles it's wrong, if she cries it's wrong, if she moves it's wrong, if she's still it's wrong, if she watches it's wrong, if she doesn't watch it's wrong."
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Old 19th June 2012, 07:17 AM   #64
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Perhaps the most shocking thing about the Chamberlain case is that it's taken - what - thirty years for the truth to be generally accepted. The affair has completely ruined Lindy Chamberlain's life, no less than the Meadows thing ruined Sally Clark's. (And how are Donna Anthony and Angela Cannings getting on - does anyone know?) It's hard enough to lose a baby to an event which isn't your fault - wild animal attack in the Chamberlain case, "cot death" for the other three. To be jailed as a murderer on top of all that is absolutely unimaginable.

The root cause in all these cases seems to be prosecutors who develop and idee fixe about guilt, then pursue that idea with no thought for establishing the actual truth of the matter. Public opinion then joins in on the side of the prosecutors, and demonises the alleged culprit, mainly as a result of sensational press coverage. This effect was less marked in the three English cases, but it still happened. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/512099.stm (Note the comments from neighbours in that, though, saying nobody believed she was guilty.)

I don't see how this is going to stop, so long as prosecutors develop tunnel vision, and seek to build cases against chosen suspects rather than seeking the truth. And so long as the media sensationalises the prosecution allegations, bringing public opinion to bear against the hapless victim.

Lindy Chamberlain, Sally Clark, Donna Anthony and Angela Cannings were all convicted of murders that simply didn't happen at all. Sion Jenkins, Barry George, Stefan Kiszko, Paul Esslemont, David Asbury and Amanda Knox were convicted of murders carried out by someone else. In only the Knox and Kiszko cases is the identity of the real murderer known. All of these people were demonised by the press in a way calculated to turn public opinion against them. Reasons they must have been killers ranged from lying on a job application to being "a bit of a weirdo".

I can't see anyone in that list who got a normal life back, except maybe Barry George who was an antisocial misfit in the first place. Knox is the latest victim, and one who seems to have the best chance of making it through, possibly. The thing that seems most likely to prevent that is the blinkered refusal of people who have way too much invested in hating the poor girl to consider re-evaluating their position.

In my view, the most harmful attitudes are those that refuse to try to justify their position, but merely go on holding it and re-stating it with no attempt to explain. Explanations can be engaged with, and seen through if they're threadbare. Blatant assertions can't, and in that way I think they do the most damage. Which is why I find myself repeatedly offended by Lionking's attitude. But if he won't go to the appropriate thread (s) and engage with the debate(s) in question, then I guess there's nothing to be done.

Rolfe.
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Old 19th June 2012, 08:08 AM   #65
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Wrt the Chamberlain case, in addition to the dubious serological/analytic evidence there was also:
  • Cameron's non-existent "bloody handprint" and failure to consider post-mortem bleeding
  • Malcolm Chaikin evidence that a "bladed instrument" had been used to cut the baby's jumpsuit. This was later refuted when it was shown that canine teeth could leave the same marks.
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Old 19th June 2012, 08:17 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The root cause in all these cases seems to be prosecutors who develop and idee fixe about guilt, then pursue that idea with no thought for establishing the actual truth of the matter. Public opinion then joins in on the side of the prosecutors, and demonises the alleged culprit, mainly as a result of sensational press coverage. <snip>
I don't see how this is going to stop, so long as prosecutors develop tunnel vision, and seek to build cases against chosen suspects rather than seeking the truth. And so long as the media sensationalises the prosecution allegations, bringing public opinion to bear against the hapless victim.
I suspect that one of the factors in the Chamberlain case was the criticism of the police and some evidence in the first inquest. This caused Kenneth Brown to involve James Cameron, whose dubious science gave support to the move for a second inquest. The police were eager to see the case reopened and the second inquest gave them the verdict they wanted, despite the problematical evidence
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Old 19th June 2012, 10:28 AM   #67
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correction

Originally Posted by halides1 View Post
Courtroom appearance/demeanor
Lindy Chamberlain was criticized for changing dresses every day (it was hot), as well as what was discussed in the Gather article.
ETA
Oops, make that the Ground Report article. Sorry about any confusion.
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Old 19th June 2012, 11:24 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
I couldn't understand the hatred of her at the time. A dingo is a wild dog, they eat things.

When the forensic evidence came up saying that there were holes in their story, I accepted the evidence, but wasn't completely convinced.

....
Good for her to receive official exoneration even if it took so long. AFAIK, her story was largely distrusted in the Australian hinterland and not so much among more educated folk.
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Old 19th June 2012, 12:00 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by halides1 View Post
The Gather article actually covers three cases, the third being Duke lacrosse.

Withholding of forensic results
....

Unvetted forensics
....

Twisting the results of forensic tests to make them seem inculpatory
....

Courtroom appearance/demeanor
....

Withholding of forensic results
....

Forensics and laboratory standards are a moving target and always shift faster than any attempt to establish legal requirements to go along with them. This is a red herring.

Unvetted forensics
....

Peer review is an essential scientific principle. There is an ongoing struggle between scientists and law enforcement on this issue. The only way to really resolve this is to set up laboratories capable of independent peer review once a new technique has been discovered. That's expensive since they'd wait around doing nothing until a ground-breaking case emerged. Even after all that waiting there's a chance that the new forensic technique will not be deemed acceptable in a court of law.

Twisting the results of forensic tests to make them seem inculpatory
....

This is the legal side and not the scientific side. The forensics are simply a tool used by the lawyers to fit or refute a narrative. That much is often lost on those who imbue forensics with the magical ability to solve crime without any statements or even really the need for trials.

There's always an innocent explanation for the most damning forensic evidence.

Courtroom appearance/demeanor
....

Individuals have been freed or executed on the basis of their behaviour alone. I suppose the best example of this was Socrates, who brought a majority condemnation against himself first, and then earned a nearly unanimous death sentence by mocking the court and its proceedings.

Those on trial or even those under investigation are held to account for their behaviour, words, and actions. This may appear quaint or archaic but it's the way human beings interact.

I think it's important that defendants get to face their accusers in an open venue.
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Old 19th June 2012, 12:18 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Without wishing to start a derail, I have always found it very strange that you can see the Lindy Chamberlain affair for what it was, and yet you have always posted very negatively about the Amanda Knox case, which has many similarities.
Without going too deep into derail this is a valid point, but does carry with it some consideration.

My impression, take it as you will, is that Lindy Chamberlain was widely denounced for her demeanor and attitude after the death of her daughter, while Amanda Knox was wildly denounce for her actions after the death of her daughter. A subtle but not unimportant distinction. Partying at clubs

FTR I think both Lindy Chamberlain and Amanda Knox are innocent, but while the two cases do carry many similarities as to how the media reacted to them, I don't think a direct 1:1 comparison can be made.

ETA: And I just realized I had a total brainfart and have confused the Amanda Knox murder trial with the Caylee Anthony murder trial and my point is completely pointless and makes no sense. Nevermind.
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Old 19th June 2012, 01:20 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Without going too deep into derail this is a valid point, but does carry with it some consideration.

My impression, take it as you will, is that Lindy Chamberlain was widely denounced for her demeanor and attitude after the death of her daughter, while Amanda Knox was wildly denounce for her actions after the death of her daughter. A subtle but not unimportant distinction. Partying at clubs

FTR I think both Lindy Chamberlain and Amanda Knox are innocent, but while the two cases do carry many similarities as to how the media reacted to them, I don't think a direct 1:1 comparison can be made.

ETA: And I just realized I had a total brainfart and have confused the Amanda Knox murder trial with the Caylee Anthony murder trial and my point is completely pointless and makes no sense. Nevermind.
At least you didn't declare Sarah Scazzi guilty ...
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Old 19th June 2012, 01:22 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
ETA: And I just realized I had a total brainfart and have confused the Amanda Knox murder trial with the Caylee Anthony murder trial and my point is completely pointless and makes no sense. Nevermind.



I did wonder what the hell you were talking about!

Rolfe.
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Old 19th June 2012, 01:49 PM   #73
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That's what I get for posting and playing Dragon's Dogma at the same time.
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Old 19th June 2012, 04:23 PM   #74
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spray pattern and additional problems in the test for fetal hemoglobin

A reporter wrote, "A clue that everyone was way off track came late in the trial with the presentation of part of the dashboard of a Holden Torana, similar to the car the Chamberlains had driven, that had a spray pattern on it. The Chamberlains' vehicle was found to have a spray pattern on the underside of the dashboard and that was asserted to have been from a spray of blood when Lindy cut the baby's throat. Joy Kuhl identified it as blood containing foetal haemoglobin. It turned out that the pattern was from bituminous sound-deadener inadvertently sprayed through an aperture in the floor of the car during manufacture. Workers were meant to have put a plug in the aperture while treating the bottom of the car."

Here is a letter from the manufacturer of the Hb F antibodies. The highlighted portion on the second page is a good executive summary. The manufacturer made it clear that the antibodies are not suitable on their own for the job Ms. Kuhl wished them to perform, which (as I see it) was to be a confirmatory test for Hb F. I am a little swamped, but I may return later.
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Old 25th June 2012, 07:07 PM   #75
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That was a glue used on the firewall of the HOLDEN.
It cannot be explained how that assumed to be babies blood got under the dash behind the cardbord layer and underfelt. That was INSAME yet taken as evidence by highly paid people.
Were they out the back on the old brandy LIKE ?

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Old 25th June 2012, 08:02 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
I heard this earlier this morning. The thing that I could never comprehend was that while there was little or no evidence that the baby had been taken by a dingo, there was equally little or no evidence that Lindy killed her, and yet that was the conclusion that not only the public but the courts went with. Perhaps it was because the dingo story seemed less plausible, but the problem with that is that it was justice by false dilemma. Disproving or discounting one doesn't prove the other. There were other possibilities, too, such as the Azaria being abducted by another person at the camp, etc. Let's face it, just as much evidence for that, or aliens for that matter, as for anything else. I also never understood where the idea about Lindy slitting Azaria's throat with scissors came from. Did they just make that up? Every time I see that mentioned, there is never any hint as to how that originated.

How awful to not only have to deal with the uncertain disappearance and death of your child, but to have to spend four years in prison and to be vilified for the next 32 years of your life.

This whole case vividly illustrates the critically important need for EVIDENCE.
And it shows how far we have to go to conduct criminal trials in a fair, rational and objective manner.
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Old 26th June 2012, 04:20 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by stilicho View Post
Withholding of forensic results
....

Forensics and laboratory standards are a moving target and always shift faster than any attempt to establish legal requirements to go along with them. This is a red herring.

SNIP

Courtroom appearance/demeanor
....

Individuals have been freed or executed on the basis of their behaviour alone. I suppose the best example of this was Socrates, who brought a majority condemnation against himself first, and then earned a nearly unanimous death sentence by mocking the court and its proceedings.

Those on trial or even those under investigation are held to account for their behaviour, words, and actions. This may appear quaint or archaic but it's the way human beings interact.

I think it's important that defendants get to face their accusers in an open venue.
Withholding. The defense should be able to see what the prosecution and the forensic scientists see. That target is not moving.

Courtroom Demeanor. Behavior is not easy to evaluate, as Kevin_Lowe just pointed out in the Knox/Sollecito thread. And memories of behavior change with time, as the Todd Willingham case shows.
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Old 1st July 2012, 08:17 PM   #78
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investigator bias?

Dr. T. Raymond wrote, "It is notable that approximately 5 months after Mrs Kuhl’s work, duplicate samples from the car were sent to Mr Bryan Culliford acting on behalf of the prosecution and Dr Patrick Lincoln on behalf of the defence. Mr Culliford stated that he detected blood in the majority of the samples sent – Dr Lincoln stated that he either did not detect blood or that he detected non-specific reactions! Both were highly respected forensic biologists at that time." One wonders whether investigator bias, or possibly subconsciously attempting to please one's employers was at the root of this discrepancy.
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Old 2nd July 2012, 07:01 PM   #79
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Excerpt from Ms. Kuhl's testimony

"Q: 'Now, at the inquest, did you swear this? "Human fetal hemoglobin is different from adult hemoglobin. While a baby, or a fetus, is in uterus it does not have any adult hemoglobin.”'
A: 'Yes, I did.'

Q: 'That was demonstrably false.'

A: 'I used that statement for the - for purposes of making things clear and simple. It was not a false statement.'

Q: 'I say false in the sense of incorrect?'

A: 'It was incorrect, scientifically. It was used as an indication of the relative amounts.'

Q: 'You are perfectly entitled to give any explanation which you have, but the fact is, scientifically that statement is utterly incorrect.'

A: 'Scientifically, it is not correct. Yes...'" link here.
It is remarkable that the jury still chose to believe Ms. Kuhl.
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Old 8th July 2012, 10:58 PM   #80
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I might add The Chamberlains were New Zealanders.
Lindy is only a nick name as she was born Alice Lynne Murchison of Whakatane.
Michael was from Christchurch and went to BOYS HIGH SCHOOL.

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