Author Topic: Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks  (Read 183 times)

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Online QCChevalier

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Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks
« on: July 25, 2020, 11:53:AM »
To avoid taking Mike's thread (http://jeremybamberforum.co.uk/index.php/topic,10305.0.html) off course, I will post my thoughts on the scratch marks here:

(i). If Jeremy is the killer, the crime scene sequencing/time-and-motion isn't consistent with a deduction that the scratch marks were made during the incident.  My thoughts on this, taken from the other thread, are quoted below:

If we're assuming Jeremy is holding the rifle with the silencer on and he is in a struggle with Nevill, first why doesn't he just shoot Nevill?  Why mess around with the rifle at all?

More fundamentally: Let's say Nevill is shot four times upstairs, then how did the struggle happen in the kitchen at all?  And even if we assume Nevill could engage in a struggle, why didn't it happen before they reached the kitchen?  Why didn't Jeremy catch Nevill up?

If we say Nevill makes it to the kitchen, why does he hesitate there and not go for the phone or reach the kitchen door?  He must have an advantage on Jeremy if he's made it that far, and it's mere feet.

Let's say Jeremy is the killer and he ran out of ammunition upstairs and that's why he's fighting Nevill.  Well, Nevill is shot four times, so we still have that fundamental problem.  We also have to ask, why is Jeremy holding the silenced rifle with its open end towards Nevill in a struggle?  He arrives in the kitchen knowing he is out of ammunition. Why doesn't he just hit Nevill with the rifle butt or put the rifle down and just subdue Nevill, taking advantage of his injuries, and he then re-loads? 

How would entering into a struggle with Nevill in such circumstances involve tilting the rifle towards the proscenium of the aga oven?

Maybe Jeremy wasn't out of ammunition and Nevill grabbed the end of the rifle barrel somehow, but why didn't Jeremy just shoot him on the threshold from the main foyer? 

Maybe Jeremy couldn't because Nevill was struggling round the kitchen door, but why isn't there blood on the kitchen door and why doesn't Nevill reach the back hallway and leave blood there?

What is needed is an incident simulation with somebody pivoting a similar artefact around to establish the positions from which a killer, perhaps under stress from the victim, was able to inflict the scratch marks and whether these can be mapped coherently and consistently into the Crown's supposition that Jeremy was in a struggle with Nevill as opposed to Sheila. 

My suspicion already is that any struggle in the kitchen has to point to Sheila as the killer, but further analysis and contemplation may point the other way.

(ii). The top of the aga mantle would be at roughly just above head height for Sheila and just under head height for Jeremy.  If Jeremy is the killer and he is pivoting the barrel side of the rifle, then how come there is no damage to the items on and around the mantle top?  The pepper rack, for instance, remains intact.  Isn't the position of the scratches more consistent with Sheila as Nevill's attacker?

(iii). The relevant General Examination Record ('GER') appears to be undated, which I find suspicious.  However, there may be a better copy with the date on it or there may be an accompanying memo, or even a statement of truth that confirms the date it was made.

(iv). The GER states that the paint was only found in one place on the silencer, yet we have at least two separate scratch marks, maybe three at that location by the looks of it, and one of the markings is quite elaborate.  Let's be conservative and say two marks.  It doesn't seem very likely to me that two marks would be made at the exact same point of the silencer.  No doubt some of the paint ended up on the floor, but we have no record of this and it does seem rather odd that the paint is transferred during one impact but not the other.  It turns odder still if we say there were three scratch marks rather than just two.

(v). Continuing an observation made in (iv), there is no record of any paint traces found on the floor.  Shouldn't there be, even if only microscopic?  The relevant part of the kitchen floor was carpeted, so why wasn't this tested and how can the scratches be accepted as admissible evidence in a criminal trial without the necessary accessory evidence of trace residues beneath on the floor?

(vi). The GER indicates that the paint was found on the knurled ribbon at the muzzle end of the silencer, yet the two scratch marks are not consistent with infliction by the knurled part of the artefact.

(vii). In order for the knurled ribbon at the muzzle end of the silencer to have had sustained contact with the proscenium of the aga, it would need to have been held virtually flat to the painted surface.  This seems rather unlikely during a struggle.  As stated in (i) above, probably what is needed is an incident simulation using an equivalent object under different forces/pressures.

(viii). The Crown say that the scratch marks got there inadvertently during a struggle, but inflicting these scratches would surely require some considerable pressure/force.  The matter would have to be tested, with comparisons made of the marks inflicted under different levels of force, including:

- deliberative pressure: where somebody is purposefully making the scratch marks;
- inadvertent pressure: where the scratches are the result of a struggle;
- accidental pressure - where the scratches are the result of normal activity that results in friction between the silencer and the painted surface.

The silencer would have to be held at or near a 180-degree angle to ensure contact with the knurled ribbon at the muzzle end. 

An additional control would be to test what happens when you apply the unmoderated barrel end of the rifle to the painted surface under the same varying pressures.

Just to speculate further, I'm guessing that to inflict that sort of force it would have to be a scenario where Nevill is perhaps leaning or pushing on the rifle in a struggle with Jeremy and the pressure/force on the silencer as it impacts the painted surface causes the scratches.  But is that consistent with suppositions about the struggle with Jeremy, or does it point to Sheila?

(ix). I am also sceptical about the paint getting stuck to the knurling for so long.  More research is needed on this, but the photographs I have seen of this particular model of silencer show a shallow right-hand knurling pattern.  Hair can stick to such knurling because it gets entwined in the ridges or around the body of the silencer itself.  Blood can perhaps stain knurling as it passively drips/runs, just as it can any solid surface, and you might just about have some blood trapped in the ridges that dries; but, it's hard to believe that flecks of paint could remain on such an object when it is being moved around, twisted and used.  I accept it is possible, though.

Conclusion:

The scratch marks are 'out of place'.  They are what I call 'isolated evidence', meaning they do not seem 'situated' within the rest of the forensic scene.

Provisionally, my view is that the scratch marks had nothing to do with this tragic incident, or they have been put there intentionally post eventum with a view to incriminating Jeremy Bamber.  Based on what I have seen so far, I think it has to be one or the other.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2020, 12:22:PM by QCChevalier »

Offline JackieD

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Re: Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2020, 12:39:PM »
Who by?
Are you working on a documentary?
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

Online QCChevalier

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Re: Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2020, 12:48:PM »
Who by?
Are you working on a documentary?

No.  I just have an interest in the case.

Offline JackieD

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Re: Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2020, 01:58:PM »
No.  I just have an interest in the case.

There has never been a Bamber documentary that challenges all the forensic evidence in the case. It would certainly cause huge problems for the CCRC and the family should this be commissioned
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

Online QCChevalier

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Re: Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2020, 02:24:PM »
There has never been a Bamber documentary that challenges all the forensic evidence in the case. It would certainly cause huge problems for the CCRC and the family should this be commissioned

It needs a serious documentary.  For me, the model miscarriage of justice documentary was the World In Action one on the Birmingham Six case.  That case probably involved two men who were actually guilty, but the campaign was successful based on evidence not greatly different to what we see in this case.  However, that campaign had lots of influential political backing, for various reasons to do with complexities in British politics: in particular, there's a section of the British Left who sympathise with radical Irish politics and I think there was an undercurrent of overturning those convictions as a way of getting at the Establishment and giving them 'one in the eye'.

The Bamber case has no political traction, even though the crime for which he is convicted is, in relative terms, of lesser seriousness.

Maybe somebody needs to write a book on the case, and as part of the exercise have some fresh forensic reports done and also carry out new research.  I mention that because a book, if done well, could spur somebody else into a documentary or dramatisation, or maybe further popular books that give the case a fresh angle.

I have various avenues of inquiry in mind myself.

There needs to be further documentary analysis of chain-of-custody records, expert opinion on various questions about the blood evidence, another whack at the scratch marks maybe, some legal research, and some research into public records.  Whether it uncovers anything is anybody's guess.

It may also have to be self-published as I'm guessing mainstream publishers won't touch it, for both 'political' and commercial reasons.  But who knows?

If I ventured into something like that, it would be from a 'neutral/reasonable doubt' point-of-view and I would follow the evidence, whereas others on here would look at it from the 'innocent' perspective. 

If it was a collaborative effort, then you could market the book and some of the proceeds could go towards a 'justice fund' for Jeremy.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2020, 02:28:PM by QCChevalier »

Online QCChevalier

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Re: Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2020, 07:32:PM »
I've just been giving the scratch marks some more thought and I think I've realised something.

Above I provisionally conclude that the possibilities are either that the marks were inflicted before the incident or the marks were put there to implicate Jeremy.

But thinking about it more, it dawns on me that this misses the point.  The point is that, according to the prosecution, the silencer was used during the killings and there is paint on the silencer that matches the proscenium of the aga.  That is what needs to be explained.

This means that even if, let's say, the scratches got there on account of some other implement - for example, due to friction with the barrel of a rifle - that wouldn't resolve the problem because we're still left with the paint found on the silencer.  How did it get there?

Actually, the only solution is that the scratches were put there.  It's just a question of when.  The possibilities are:

1. Somebody vandalised the aga surround before the incident.
2. The killer vandalised the aga surround during the incident.
3. Somebody put the scratches there after the incident.

If the answer is 1, then this suggests the silencer was regularly detached from the rifle.

If the answer is 2, then this suggests the silencer was used but was detached from the rifle by the killer.

If the answer is 3, then this suggests that the relatives attempted to implicate Jeremy.

Not that I am suggesting 3 is the answer, but in support of 3, we should reflect that the silencer was in the hands of the relatives before it came into the possession of the police, and the relatives had free access to the house and the crime scene.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 07:34:PM by QCChevalier »

Offline JackieD

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Re: Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2020, 10:10:PM »
Hooray we got there in the end. Did you read that Ngb believes that the silencer wasn’t used in the murders
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

Online Steve_uk

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Re: Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2020, 10:22:PM »
Hooray we got there in the end. Did you read that Ngb believes that the silencer wasn’t used in the murders
But this is just one man's opinion. In any case Jeremy Bamber can still be guilty of murdering five even if the relatives decided to shore up the evidence against him by introducing the silencer component.

Online QCChevalier

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Re: Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2020, 10:35:PM »
But this is just one man's opinion. In any case Jeremy Bamber can still be guilty of murdering five even if the relatives decided to shore up the evidence against him by introducing the silencer component.

If the relatives did that, it's game over - and any surviving relatives involved in it must go to prison, even if Bamber did it.

Online QCChevalier

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Re: Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2020, 10:39:PM »
Hooray we got there in the end. Did you read that Ngb believes that the silencer wasn’t used in the murders

I've already said I thought the silencer wasn't used in the murders.  I've always taken that view.  I pretty much took that view when I first looked at the case, mainly because of the way the gunshot wounds to Sheila look and the angle that they're at.

I have experience with guns and I know (or at least, I can imagine) the difficulties involved in killing somebody in those circumstances.  With a silencer attached, you've got to joking.

But back to the thread, I'm not saying the relatives DID put the scratches there.  I don't know that.  It could be that Sheila did the killings and she also scratched the aga surround in anger.  It could be that Jeremy did the killings and also put the scratches there, thinking it would be a nice false lead for the police.  A typical over-elaboration. 

Who knows?

I do know one thing: I am virtually certain that those scratches were not put there by the silencer while it was attached to the rifle, and I'm also of the view that in all probability the scratches are not the result of the silencer at all.  That being the case, how did the paint get on the silencer?

It's a rock that some important people don't want to look under.  It's nasty nasty stuff, this.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 11:01:PM by QCChevalier »

Offline JackieD

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Re: Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2020, 11:12:PM »
But this is just one man's opinion. In any case Jeremy Bamber can still be guilty of murdering five even if the relatives decided to shore up the evidence against him by introducing the silencer component.

Yes one man who has had access to Jeremy and case document. Apart from the silencer Don’t forget to add in the fact the jury didn’t know Mugford signed the NOTW deal before trial on the condition there was a conviction

How weak can a case get
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

Online QCChevalier

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Re: Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2020, 11:16:PM »
Yes one man who has had access to Jeremy and case document. Apart from the silencer Don’t forget to add in the fact the jury didn’t know Mugford signed the NOTW deal before trial on the condition there was a conviction

How weak can a case get

I've got to admit, the whole thing looks proper dodgy.

Offline JackieD

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Re: Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2020, 11:21:PM »
Come on Steve you have to agree  :-[
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

Online Steve_uk

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Re: Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2020, 12:46:AM »
Come on Steve you have to agree  :-[
I'm wondering if many of you here dismiss Julie's evidence as total fabrication why it was she didn't embellish even more of her cock and bull story as you see it and add the silencer as the icing on the cake?

Online QCChevalier

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Re: Summary Of Problems With The Scratch Marks
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2020, 01:31:AM »
I'm wondering if many of you here dismiss Julie's evidence as total fabrication why it was she didn't embellish even more of her cock and bull story as you see it and add the silencer as the icing on the cake?

Why do you think she didn't mention the silencer?