Author Topic: Police Handling Of the Bamber Arsenal  (Read 82 times)

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Online QCChevalier

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Police Handling Of the Bamber Arsenal
« on: July 04, 2020, 11:40:PM »
Something else that doesn't appear to make sense is the way that the police handled the various Bamber firearms other than the Anschutz.

If I was running that investigation, I would seize the lot and ask questions later, and maybe have all the guns tested, if only for control purposes.

But let's say that the police didn't do that because they were initially satisfied that this was murder-suicide and only one gun was used: the rifle found with Sheila.

Even there, questions have to be asked about what the police did next.

Here is what I would expect the police to do in that situation:

1. Inventory and secure the entire arsenal, including weapons, paraphernalia and ammunition. 
2. Find out who the executor or administrator is.
3. Assuming it's not already obvious, establish with that person who will be the beneficiary.  If further enquiries are needed (for example, legal advice), then consider removing everything to police storage for safety reasons.
4. Once a likely beneficiary is identified, make enquiries of the beneficiary's intentions for the guns, etc., and enquire as to whether he or she is certified for owning and using firearms and verify in police records.
5. If the beneficiary wants to keep the guns and is certified, problem solved.  Consider extending the existing Firearms Certificate, subject to whatever procedures and safeguards apply.
6. If the beneficiary wants to keep the guns but isn't certified, then give the necessary advice and confiscate everything in the meantime pending an application.
7. If the beneficiary will be selling or giving away the firearms, then consider allowing a dispensation for this purpose on the condition that everything is secured and ammunition is confiscated.

Here's what, to my understanding, the police actually did:

1. All weapons, paraphernalia and ammunition left at the farmhouse, lying around all over the place, and some in a gun cupboard, which I am not sure was even locked.
2. Keys to the farmhouse offered to a man some of the police suspected of the murders, albeit he was the likely beneficiary.
3. Suspect mysteriously turns down this open goal - the offer of a lifetime to secure the crime scene of the murders he has just committed, in which is still stored part of the murder weapon undiscovered by the police.
4. Instead, police give the keys to other members of the family, who aren't executors and aren't even beneficiaries.  Suspect says 'Carry on'.
5. Family members search the house and discover guns all over the place and [an unlocked and unsecured?] gun cupboard with guns, silencer and ammunition in it, all obligingly left there by the police. 
6. Just a reminder: the police are the primary regulatory authority for firearms and an important condition of a firearms certificate is to secure guns in one's own home.

Another thing: Are we quite sure that Jeremy Bamber had lawful dispensation to use those firearms in the first place?  I always thought you would need to be under the supervision of the certificated firearms owner.  What was the reason for him not being noted on Nevill's Firearms Certificate, assuming he wasn't?
« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 11:43:PM by QCChevalier »

Online QCChevalier

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Re: Police Handling Of the Bamber Arsenal
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2020, 10:24:PM »
The story so far...

Jeremy kills his entire family because he's a greedy boy.  Boo, hiss.  "He's behind you...!"

The Evil One manages it leaving no direct incriminating forensic evidence whatsoever, and by wriggling in and out of the house through a narrow casement window.

The dog doesn't bark, either.  Unfortunately nobody in Essex CID has read The Silver Blaze.

No evidence is found of a Jeremy Nevill Bamber applying for admission to the Magic Circle, but Essex Police may have lost the paperwork.

Anyway, it is supposed that during this killing spree, the intrepid killer blunders by shooting Sheila twice and not realising her arms were too short to reach the trigger with the silencer on the rifle. 

We assume this doesn't phase the Old Greshamian, who calmly and considerately puts the silencer back in the gun cupboard.  He does so without leaving any blood marks or prints in the den, the gun cupboard or the relevant cardboard box - which is nice of him.

In the immediate aftermath, five different police officers search or look in the gun cupboard, including a senior scenes of crime officer of detective inspector rank with 20 years ' experience.  Nothing of evidential value is found.

DS Stan Jones, formerly of Scotland Yard's C11 Branch, suspects Jeremy Bamber more or less from the off.

This same Stan Jones offers the house keys to his prime suspect, Jeremy Bamber.

Jeremy Bamber cheerily declines the offer of a kick at an open goal, averring that he couldn't face entering the house again - unless he's selling antiques, looking for cash or retrieving his passport.

Jeremy is also being sporting in giving Essex Police a fair chance to convict him. It wouldn't be cricket otherwise.

The relatives take the keys instead.  Jeremy doesn't mind.

Essex Police couldn't be bothered seizing or securing the dangerous firearms lying around the house.  They have better things to do.  Crime doesn't solve itself you know.  So they leave all the guns to Stan's prime suspect, Jeremy Bamber.

Lucky, then, that Jeremy doesn't take up Stan's generous offer.

On accepting the keys and searching the house, the relatives are 'surprised' to find the guns and paraphernalia still there.

Keen-eyed David Boutflour finds a 'sticky' silencer leaning at 45-degrees in a cardboard box (one of a number of such boxes) in that same gun cupboard.  No blood is seen in the den, the gun cupboard or in the box itself.

Strangely, the police missed this sticky silencer, yet there is a blob of blood on it, some paint and a hair.  And it's sticky, says David.

Strangely, David Boutflour makes no mention at the time about the silencer being 'sticky'.  He does mention it in a documentary 25 years later, though.

Blood is later found inside the silencer, but only on the outside of the baffles at the open end.  No blood in the muzzle end, no blood in the rifle barrel.

One sample of paint is found in the knurled ribbon at the muzzle end, which matches to the aga surround, but the surround has been scratched two (maybe three) times, no paint traces are found on the carpeted floor near the surround, and it would be virtually impossible for somebody to have made those marks to the aga using that silencer when attached to the rifle.  Never mind, this doesn't bother Essex Police.

A grey hair was seen attached to the silencer.  This is lost during the chain of custody, after Stan Jones took the silencer away while under the influence of a half-a-bottle of whisky.  Fortunately, the crash with the French tourists comes later.

Meanwhile...

Jeremy boasts to his girlfriend, Julie Mugford about how he recruited a hitman, Matthew Macdonald - a local plumber and Colchester's answer to Lee Christmas - to kill the family and tells her what Macdonald told him about the escapade.

Oddly, no mention is made of Macdonald's [i.e. Jeremy's] difficulties with the silencer and how he returned it to the gun cupboard, and Julie does not include this detail in her statements. 

Q. Is that because the significance of the silencer was only known much later, after Julie had approached the police and given her initial evidence incriminating Jeremy? 

If so, are we to conclude that during her lengthy sojourn at Essex Police HQ giving her 31 statements to the police, Julie just forgot?

Surely it would make more sense that Julie did tell them about the silencer and what went on, and this is what put Essex Police on to the significance of the artefact that the relatives recovered and handed in earlier?

And what are we to say of the sticky mystery of the sticky silencer?  Did David Boutflour suffer a lapse of memory or did the police omit this important detail in error?  Did Arlidge or Munday raise the matter during David Boutflour's evidence-in-chief?  If not, why does it suddenly come up in a trashy documentary 25 years after the event?

There is, however, a happy ending to it all.  Young Julie receives a £25,000.00 payment from a tabloid newspaper for her story.  She swears on her mother's life that she didn't make the deal before giving evidence and she relays this assurance to the trial judge, and luckily her mother is with her in the hotel room paid for by the newspaper after the trial.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 10:46:PM by QCChevalier »

Offline JackieD

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Re: Police Handling Of the Bamber Arsenal
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2020, 11:12:PM »
In a nutshell
From Colin Caffells
His relationship with Sheila was one of brotherly love. He was very proud of having a beautiful sister who was a photographic model