Sunday, August 14, 2016

A chance to make a point in the Bain case and other injustices.  

Surprised by the link above sent to me today by Roger Brooking who has started a Give a Little campaign to raise a million dollars for David Bain. But the Bain case has been full of surprises in all the years I have followed it since 2008. I needed to think about aspects of the idea of a campaign to do what any Government should do when a man is released after 13 years of false imprisonment, and after a retrial found not guilty. It shouldn't by any means, convolute itself to avoid that the State had let a single man down for a decade but wished to accept no responsibility.

This game of not guilty but not innocent on the balance of probabilities was thought up by mad men and is exercised by fools to this day. It should be rejected. Rejected on behalf of men such as Arthur Thomas, his late wife Vivian, Allan Hall and his family, along with others such as Peter Ellis who still wait to be treated justly by our Criminal Justice system. In Bain it was rejected by science but the Government chose to ignore that. People are convicted or acquitted on science and have been for at least a century, leading to the conclusion abroad that David Bain while innocent was denied the chance to prove his innocence with science. As earlier posts show his father was over 30 times more likely to have suicided than been murdered, the probability of his suicide was calculated at 97.3% but the Government agreed to let the appointed adjudicator of compensation, retired Judge Callinan to ignore that along with a heap of other stuff. He even got to tell porkies without rebuff.

So this idea of Roger Brooking is a chance to remember that New Zealanders convicted of crimes of which they may be innocent can no longer go to the esteemed, Centuries old Privy Council for an international perspective in the home of our NZ law. It's a chance to remember that Justice in New Zealand is not a fair fight because an accused person is denied equal footing to the Crown if they plead not guilty. Bain's team was small, as was that of Peter Ellis's, Allan Hall seems to virtually have had only his mother, and a brother from memory - even pooled together they were afforded little chance to win.

You may think David is guilty and that is your opinion of which you are completely entitled. But you may not feel the same about one of the others listed, or those imprisoned still in controversial cases such as Watson and Lundy. It doesn't matter, but if you have a view on any of these cases, or others - then see the opportunity to send a message.

A message to people like Pat Booth, Chris Birt right back 40 years and many others since that you heard them, recognised their fight for what they had come to believed in. If you have ever anguished over why men abandoned careers in kindergartens because of the Ellis case then think about this opportunity. Think also of those to come, even someone you might know who could get swallowed by the Justice system for a crime they didn't commit. Think of yourself, how even if desolate and laid waste someone might remember you and take a stand for your rights after they had been trampled on with methodical disregard. Think of that, also of when you helped another or they helped you.

It's worth a dollar or 2, just to remember and remind yourself that Justice should stand for us all.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Why is the Government afraid of Science?

Onlooker, quite naturally asked about the following link on the previous post. So for his or her benefit it is embedded below.

I have a personal interest in this not only because of the Bain case, but also despite it, because of what Bain demonstrates, particularly in the Callinan report, is the rehashing of what people have said in an ongoing analysis that has no definite or logical end. It's no accident that I have primarily only been interested in Robin's death, there is no other story in this case in terms of understanding  what happened. To understand what was going on in Bain I needed to understand what may or may not have happened in the lounge, often I found myself in online conversations about what somebody said months or years after the 5 deaths. Distracting as it was it drew me closer to trying to understand if Robin had suicided, Sure, I asked questions about both men's hands, injuries they might have had but such questions were information about what may have happened in the lounge. Finding out that Robin's blood/dna was in the barrell send me off on a search as to how it could have possibly got there, it goes on from that point of course but I am not intending this to be a rehash of things I have written about before.

This is about friends science and logic. Of course they are not friends at all but rather tools of measurement and assessment, probability. They will destroy a misconception or create a discovery. In Callinan's report they were not even allowed in the door, it's hard not to assume that was because science gives a probability of Robin's suicide at 97.3%, over 30 times more likely to have died from suicide than murder. The public has been sold short. There are 3 other cases at least where Bayesian testing should apply in the category of being able to resolve deep inconsistencies that have not been resolved. One is the Watson case, another is Lundy. I think it would be enlightening to know the probability of Watson going aboard a boat he was rafted to in order to socialise with those on board while he had dead bodies, or at least restrained victims, aboard his yacht. Or for him to wave out to passing vessels while he either had bodies on board or his yacht yet to cleaned of horrific crimes. The likelihood of a man who built his own yacht, and knew how well it was known, could think that painting it a different colour, but still having the same skipper., was unrecognisable in a small harbour. Not forgetting 2 highly visible hairs to be missing one minute and found virtually the next, just when needed. More of course,  including the probability of those things happening both in isolation but also the continuity that the Crown case required to get a conviction.

Then there is Lundy with its mad car trips, slow or fast, depending on which ever story the police really meant in the case that has changed fundamentally but never from the fact that so called brain matter was dark with decay and unrecognisable to  New Zealand scientists who refused to make tests upon the tiny spots. I'd like to know the probability of Glen Weggery or any other of those who entered the house after the murder of Lundy's wife and daughter not having blood on them. Therefore the likelihood that Lundy could have a spot on his shirt said to be spinal matter which left the body of his wife, when her head was cleaved open with an axe or some similar weapon, but not bring any neurons or blood with it, unlike samples found in the house where both blood and neurons were found intact like skin to a corpse. Examples of central nervous tissue separating from spinal fluids having neutrons missing and no signals of blood inputted to a bayesian testing and given a probability level. It goes on every step of the way as to how  alleged spinal cord matter from Christine, that was unrecognisable and untestable not half a day after her death, had expired rapidly in the normal expected fashion having left the body but that a small spot naked to the eye, and therefore more rapidly probable to deteriorate somehow survived outside the control of the exhibits officer.

There is also the Tamihere case which would benefit from a Bayes testing but which for the moment continues to be litigated and hopefully the NZ Court of Appeal will be finally tasked with accepting that perjury strikes at the heart of a conviction rendering it worthless in Law.

Science is not the enemy of the truth. Binnie's report embraced science, Callinan ignored it and the Government made no objection despite the following being available to them and their own scientific advisors, not a single reference to independent scientists for comment on an internationally peer reviewed paper that is ground breaking in its clarity and logic was sought, not one. Congratulations to those authors and those that peer reviewed the work. Where men dally science moves forward, in a new age of science and development NZ has chosen antiquated pre-Magna Carta Law abandoned nearly 1000 years ago and also excluded a 1000 of years science since. Just? Never.

As the previous posts quotes, and indeed includes the paragraph on the conclusion of the probability of Robin's death as suicide in the region of high 95% plus, the reference to Robin specific test is found in the case note documents.

Homicide or Suicide? Gunshot Wound Interpretation: A Bayesian Approach

Monday, August 8, 2016

David Bain robbed of compensation?

Apart from those that had invested in David's alleged guilt to a point they were blinded, there was likely to have been a feeling for the others that David Bain's compensation claim would settle the case once and for all. David being offered nearly a million dollars to essentially go away was an unsatisfactory conclusion as time is already showing. The public were entitled to a final accurate as possible narrative, one that went step by step through either his guilt or innocence. They got neither. While some ex Dunedin police may have felt satisfied, it would have simply been because of the false hope of relief. The Callinan report made public for less than a week has already been exposed as being stitched together for a purpose. Few people will ever know what drove Callinan to ignore proven evidence but accept alleged evidence discredited years ago. He did not succeed in writing a narrative that connected accepted, and proven scientific facts, together  even in the most basic ways.

A mystery, or a confusing event can be solved and put into some order. The human characteristic of instinct is displayed in the Bain case in a way that will eventually be seen as an example of how to apply critical thought to an event in order to resolve its detail. In Bain there have been 2 distinct lines of thought. Those following 2 lines have generally been widespread across the population, some that might have been expected to have been on one line have surprisingly emerged on the other, however to their credit a majority of people interested in the Bain case have been open minded. My observations have been that one group starts from outside the centre and tries to work to the middle, the other do the opposite. For those that have started in the middle to succeed they have needed to be disciplined and not easily distracted. For those that have started from outside the middle they have been distracted immediately, if they have made a decision before been satisfied about the middle they have failed to understand the case, if they have made a decision but been open minded enough not to be frightened that they might be wrong they very well may still have succeeded in reaching the middle. On their way they may well have seen those going in the other direction - center to periphery, and wondered why they were not taken so much by that which absorbed those coming from the other limits. Not realising of course that those have completed their job in the middle of the case were looking only for supporting or non supporting issues in order to reconcile one way or the other what they had already determined. In other words looked for support for their finding or dealt with converse events in a way that made sense of them and judged their importance to see if it could indeed confirm their opinion or negate it - certainly not closed minded.

Where is the middle and where is the outer line? Clearly the middle is what happened around where Robin's body was found. The outer is in conversations, events that might have many different meanings far away from that lounge scene. If every person who played a role in this tragedy is set aside for the moment, apart from the dead body of Robin there is only one true narrator - science, to observe all the random details and paint a picture of whether Robin suicided or not. After that, all the peripheral information becomes relatively meaningless. Along this trail there have been a few scientists, one in particular who destroyed his own credibility by maintaining he did like Joe Karam's manner when meeting him at a book launch in Dunedin. Thus demonstrating a very un science like attitude which permeated through his views of the case, his centre was his dislike for Joe Karam - in reality the very outer edges of what happened in the lounge. There have been at least 2 others, both becoming friends along the way. The first Rowena Cave who took only a scientific interest, made comments related to that and stuck with logic in an open and friendly way. The second was David Giles, whom I'm still unsure, and I must ask him about it one day, apparently began with the premise that Robin was not guilty.

Rowena is English, David a Kiwi. Others who may have closely followed this case could be aware that Rowena, neutral as she was became a target of the Justice for Robin Bain group, as would eventually David along with unfortunately, the Jury from the retrial. By necessity this entire group, although I can't say for sure that included all the Jury, began with Robin's body and worked from there looking for a resolution of the question was it David or was it Robin. After the retrial David found the gsr marks on photos of Robin's thumbs, something confirmed by Dempster the pathologist as not being present at autopsy but still discarded by the myopic Callinan who rejected all scientific data provided by the defence. Consider that a retired Judge rejects science in favour of what people said before or after the tragedy, some in fact years later as a sure sign of deceit. He was into the gossip not the science. From the way it looks he also rejected the remarkable work of Rowena Cave, Vincent Diamo and D Kimberly Molina who applied Bayesian testing specifically to the evidence found where Robin laid dead and found using that mathematical reasoning that the probability of Robin having committed suicide was 97.3%. Their paper was peer reviewed, published and his now being used throughout the world. A paper of considerable undertaking peer reviewed internationally havng withstood the critical scrutiny of sharp trained minds.

I don't think there can be a clearer example to support starting in the middle rather than working backwards through conversations of what people said who possibly were never in that lounge. So is displayed Callinan's error. However, there is more of interest here, much more that adds to the argument that David was in fact robbed of at the very least an apology. Cabinet were right up to their necks with this decision that further evidences another miscarriage of Justice perpetuated on David Bain by the State. When I read Ian Binnie's report that found David Bain innocent on the balance of probabilities, and which was swiftly thrown out after being subjected to a secret review criticising Binnie for not using a Bayesian approach I was mystified. From what I read Binnie had clearly demonstrated a Bayesian approach it was evident throughout.

Listening last night to an hour long interview with Joe Karam I heard that Ian Binnie, like the defence had never been told that the Binnie report was under review and certainly not the reason. Binnie has since said he had been informed as he should have been it would have simple for him to explain to the reviewer how he, Binnie, had used Bayes, and demonstrate how that was shown throughout the report. Fast forward to the Callinan report where it is revealed immediately that he doesn't use a Bayesian approach, in fact in a supplementary report confirms that. So what did happen in the Binnie report, a Bayes approach, was rejected on the pretence that it had not been used. Callinan on the other hand doesn't use Bayes and his report is acceptable. That he also rejects scientific data is accepted without comment by the Government. His report was written using gossip as its foundation, evidence already discarded because of being found wanting was resurrected by Callinan. He was absolutely silent on Robin's alleged misuse of a firearm to threaten a neighbour in Wellington, Margaret's letter of concern that her husband would shoot the lot of them (the family.)

Amy Adams realised that the Callinan report wouldn't survive a judicial review, but why didn't the cabinet at least turn to Dr Peter Gluckman to review the scientific evidence that Callinan refused to consider. Peter Gluckman is foremostly a scientist whose skill is often employed by the Government. He is well respected as a problem solver, he could have been invited in to look at the scientific evidence that was part of the application, met with the scientists and attempt to establish some consensus to take to Cabinet. Remembering that not only did Callinan reject considering scientific data he also attacked perhaps NZ's leading forensic psychiatrist who dealt with David Bain, Dr Brinded.

What is left? The truth is, David is innocent and part of this Government have rejected that truth with its scientific basis. David has been compensated without the word compensation being used. The Appeal Court of the 1990s remains vilified for it's efforts in the Bain, Watson, Tamihere and Pora cases and that may only be the beginning.

Follows the link to the Karam interview
The Murder/Suicide Paper details, and the paras relating to Robin Bain's death.



Here is the paper you are looking for.If you read the case examples section  you will see the following….

"There was a single shot (more likely suicide), at contact range (also more likely suicide), to the left side of the head (more likely homicide). Because the head loca- tion data are not independent, a Bayesian network was developed to produce net probabilities for this combination of factors being suicide or homicide. As Figure 2 shows, each factor is repre- sented by a node. The data in this study provided the probability for each factor. The resulting probabilities of suicide (P = 0.0371) and homicide (P = 0.0010) show that suicide is more probable than homicide, giving an LR = 36.4. That is, a case with this combination of features is more than 36 times more likely to be a result of suicide than of homicide. “

This  example used to illustrate the technique  is Robin Bain.

"LR=36.4  , this means that it is 36.4 x more likely to be suicide than homicide. In percentage terms this means 97.3% probability of suicide and only a 2.7% probability of homicide.You can see why Callinan needed to avoid  consideration of the Bayes evidence."

You have to give credit to the ministry of " justice” for their well orchestrated PR campaign.Their idea to get a fiction writer was just brilliant.


Friday, August 5, 2016

Who can be happy with the Bain decision?

David Bain hopefully will be happy with the Callinan decision even if it in parts reads like a comic book for the befuddled.  David has now been found not guilty by a Jury, innocent by one reviewer with a 2nd reviewer sitting on the fence with barb wire stinging his bum in a report that has resulted in a long overdue payout to David Bain.

Each person reading Callinan's report, and his comment in para 64, that he wasn't prepared to say either murder or suicide will find different matters of interest to them.  The overall outcome from my point of view is that David Bain gets paid compensation and more than likely than not
receives other concessions that reconcile with the consistence of him being found, both not guilty by a Jury, and innocent of 5 charges of killing in a review that made the then Minister of Justice puke. Metaphorically, David Bain was asked to pick hot coals from which the outcome would be proof of his guilt or innocence, despite those practices from the middle ages - he showed no scars This is a victory for sanity after a bewildering case that can be classed by 3 things: 'not guilty, innocent, I don't know.'

Even the apparently mortally wounded people who insisted David would not get a cent, still refer to the Binnie report. The report prevails over time and the shabby treatment afforded it from our Government. It will become part of NZ history, this payment if finalised will prevail as one of the largest compo payments in NZ history despite whatever name given to the payment. It will enter folklore that the Crown negotiated their way out of misusing the Binnie report, then protected itself with a settlement offer to avoid having the Callinan report dismembered in the Courts. Pragmatically why would they not want to bail out - should have done so years ago and saved around 50 million that could have been more usefully spent elsewhere rather than vainly trying to bury a Miscarriage of Justice.

The Callinan report is in itself a travesty. Callinan was not empowered to place himself in the role of a Jury. The Privy Council have ruled that it is not the role of Judges or Courts of Appeal to assume the role of a Jury. This report has weakened confidence in the Crown absolutely standing by Juries, but the Jury system will prevail despite Callinan giving himself god like powers to assume what a functioning Jury should have decided. Callinan was getting paid to deliver something that was already tagged as having to satisfy the Government, as Binnie found out - but the Jury were never paid, they took their life experiences into the Jury room and decided in a record time that David was not guilty, 5 times over.

Callinan escaped into the mumbo jumbo of what people said and how people acted. He offered a new and scientifically impossible scenario for Robin's suicide. That it was fluid or moving, no other person has ever suggested this, predictably Callinan himself was never able to transcribe that theory to the known facts of Robin's death - because the theory, much like other matters in his report didn't need to stack up and be defendable in Court because it was to be buried in a financial settlement. He ignored that Cox for the Crown conceded the computer turn on time to have happened when David was seen outside the house. He ignored fresh blood on Robin's trousers and a blood smear found on his hands. No man committing suicide gets blood smeared on his hands in the process, removes his pants away from where he was killed and returns like the walking dead in a zombie show. In fact the Crown's case has been a zombie show for years.

Where Callinan searched into David's past, assuming the role of a Psychiatrist, just as he had assumed the role of  the Jury, he elevated himself above a specialist Psychiatrist who remains a member of the NZ Parole Board, a man who actually met and treated David Bain - something Callinan with his all seeing eye apparently felt as unnecessary. It was also unnecessary for Callinan to investigate an earlier event where Robin was said to have threatened neighbours with a rifle in Wellington, he did not investigate if Robin had ever had a firearms licence and if he did why it was taken off him. Apart from writing disdainfully of Margaret and Laniet Bain in particular he never gave recognition to a letter written by Margaret to an old friend that she was concerned that Robin 'would get a gun and shoot the lot of them (family.) It's doubtful that she wrote that without some reason for doing so. He also treated with disdain evidence that was given under oath of Laniet saying that she her father had an improper sexual relationship with her as a child, noting that the evidence pre-dated the murders by years. But of course he was an expert on all such matters and quite capable of knowing 'best' what he could ignore as he tried to rebuild the Crown case.

Callinan even decided that Weir didn't plant the lens, something Weir was unable to prove in Court himself, and was wholly silent on the fact that Weir hid evidence from the first Jury. Anyone with an open mind could have seen that Weir hid things and found things in a particular order to 'help' a case. Callinan didn't think it was necessary to record that Weir under oath said that he felt hounded before leaving police because other police mocked him as a planter of evidence, poor diddums. Anyone that is except Callinan busy trying to paint over the cracks with long winded observations about what people said concerning matters far beyond the room where Robin shot himself and little of anything observant to the evidence found there. He rehashed evidence to suit his case, something he would never be able to have done in Court under cross examination of the evidence rather than his weak interpretation of what was said. Ultimately however, he did not move the rock of David's innocence, something that the Crown acknowledged with their settlement.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Mount Erebus and Lundy - what do they have in common.

First of all a post from International Skeptics Forum used with permission of the author. It relates to the Erebus Tragedy and the aftermath of a coverup which was also tragic.

Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Well hang on, Mahon attacked Morrie Davies, who blamed the pilot. Pilots say Captain Collins was the prime culprit, sadly.

Prime culprit perhaps but not entirely responsible. Partly to blame were

1. The person(s) who changed the INS track without telling the pilots

2. The person(s) who inadvertently programmed even the new track incorrectly

The result of these two errors put ZK-NZP on a track 43 km east of where they should have been, so rather than flying straight along the approved track to McMurdo Sound, they were flying straight at Mount Erebus.

3. Whoever scheduled two pilots, neither of whom had ever been to Antarctica, to fly together on their first ever flight there. The Air National Guard (and before them US Navy Squadron VXE-6 would NEVER have sent an aircraft to Antarctica with a pilot on board who had not flown there at least three times before. Flying near the poles is like no other type of flying you are ever likely to do.

Furthermore, unlike the ANG and the USN, ANZ did not give their pilots any training whatsoever regarding flying in sector whiteout conditions. This is just madness. The aircrew had no idea what to expect, and so when they were flying along straight at the base of Mr Erebus looking at the white of its snowy slopes rising away, what they thought they saw out of the forward cockpit windows was exactly what they were told they would see; what they expected to see, the white expanse of the Ross Ice Shelf stretching away in front of them. When they arrived at Lake Lewis, right in front of Erebus, they though it was McMurdo Sound. A few minutes later, it was all over.

As is usual with any air accident, it is the result of a series of errors, mistakes or oversights, each of which might not have had any consequences, but when they occurred together in the order they did on that day, it resulted in a "perfect storm" of cock-ups and the loss of the aircraft with over 250 lives.

► If the non-notified changes to the track are not made, the accident never happens.

► If the programming error is not made, the accident never happens.

► If Collins and Cassin are properly trained in flying during sector whiteout conditions, or of they have a pilot on board who has experience there, they might have understood what they were looking at, and the accident might never have happened.

► If Collins had not descended to 2,000 feet without authorisation, the accident might have been avoided. however, Flight 901 WAS authorised to 6,000 feet, and Mt Erebus is over 12,000 feet, so they still might have crashed anyway.

Justice Mahon coined his famous phrase "an orchestrated littany of lies" because executives in Air New Zealand tried to cover up their mistakes, particularly the first two. The bastards lied through their teeth to the Royal Commission of Inquiry
► OCCAMS Razor - 9/11 was a terrorist attack by Islamic extremists organised by Osama Bin Laden; the Apollo astronauts walked on the Moon; JFK was assassinated by a single gunmen, Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone.
► "Conspiracism is a shortcut to the illusion of erudition." - JayUtah
► Heisenberg's Law - The weirdness of the Universe is inversely proportional to the scale at which you observe it, or not.

Last edited by smartcooky; Yesterday at 06:50 PM. Reason: fix typo

On first reading I thought the post by a New Zealand man who calls himself smartcooky was simple and enlightening essay on how to understand fully the complex Erebus disaster. The piece was taken from a Lundy thread which had wandered from topic. I liked the straight forward detail and the brevity of words. After 1 or 2 more reads, I saw, that whether smarkcooky had intended to do so or not (I suspect he did), that the piece had struck  a note which  could contribute a lot of thought to a revelation that the Erebus disaster, although in an entirely different context, was very similar to the Lundy case and others - false moves followed by deceit.

It's easy to associate the non notified changes to the flight path, and the mistake of entering a programming error into the computer flight path as the complete mishandling of the critical shirt evidence in the Lundy case. The programming glitch for the flight path is mirrored by the Lundy shirt being sent for sampling in the wrong laboratory, one not specific to, or approved, for forensic testing. Earlier in New Zealandf Dr Teoh had already said that the Lundy shirt was not suitable for testing, that the spots were too down graded to be relied upon. Regardless the shirt was sent off to an American Lab for testing with an instruction that it had brain matter present on the breast and sleeve - something no accredited New Zealand scientist could confirm. That was an instruction that came from the officer in charge of the case, Grantham. Ultimately it would be similar to a programing error, one that would send the whole Lundy case off course, deliberately. Grantham had already been turned down in NZ and overseas by approved forensic facilities, so he took a different flight path, programmed the computer with an instruction that would give a desired result for Grantham and a miscarriage of Justice for Lundy.

So the changing of the flight path and not telling the pilots in Erebus, was a blueprint of sorts for a change to Forensic Science in the NZ Lundy case where the Courts were unable to conceive, that Lundy, had evidence against him that had been improperly handled in NZ and illegally tested in the States according to FDA protocols.. Telling the unqualified American Dr Miller, to look for brain matter because Christine and Amber Lundy had been attacked to the head with such ferocity that brain matter had splattered from their skulls indicated to Miller exactly what to look for, or interpreted another way what to find. He did so, using a novel and unapproved in his own country method which still doesn't have approval 15 years later. Why, because no approved authority in the USA, as in New Zealand considered that the results of the testing could be relied upon. Ironically, a test over a decade later found that a single shirt spot was to hold faint traces of animal central nervous tissue devoid of blood and neurons - in other words modified in someway, most likely simply by the cooking or eating of household food.

Miller had no objections to testing a sample that had incubated in a plastic bag for 54 days and which had already been declared unsuitable for testing by Dr Teoh back in Grantham's home town, Palmerston North.  Miller had no concerns that the samples had never been controlled in a forensic pathway to his laboratory, didn't care. His unaccredited and unrecognised forensic skills were omniscient, he could look into the past and see that nothing had gone wrong with the samples he was testing, they hadn't been planted there, they were unaffected by deterioration although allegedly similar samples within the house were deteriorated within hours as is the norm for central nervous system material out of the body, he knew all of this. He knew his laboratory and testing wouldn't produce contaminated results, and he didn't need any certification to tell him so. If he was getting paid everything was fine. He had no objections to being told what to look for, it never occurred to him apparently that was exactly opposite to approved forensic testing in the States and the United Kingdom, or that verification testing was not undertaken by himself to prove himself right. He set the co-ordinates the way he wanted to and the New Zealand Courts accepted it like meek lambs. They had nothing to lose either. Afterall, it wasn't their rights under NZ Bill of Rights Act for citizens not to be experimented  upon with novel science or procedures, indeed it was not them sent off to fly into Erebus in the perfect whiteness of unexpected death.

So to move to point 3 in smartcooky's list of 3 things that went wrong in the Erebus disaster where he points out:

3. Whoever scheduled two pilots, neither of whom had ever been to Antarctica, to fly together on their first ever flight there. The Air National Guard (and before them US Navy Squadron VXE-6 would NEVER have sent an aircraft to Antarctica with a pilot on board who had not flown there at least three times before. Flying near the poles is like no other type of flying you are ever likely to do.

Furthermore, unlike the ANG and the USN, ANZ did not give their pilots any training whatsoever regarding flying in sector whiteout conditions. This is just madness. The aircrew had no idea what to expect, and so when they were flying along straight at the base of Mr Erebus looking at the white of its snowy slopes rising away, what they thought they saw out of the forward cockpit windows was exactly what they were told they would see; what they expected to see, the white expanse of the Ross Ice Shelf stretching away in front of them. When they arrived at Lake Lewis, right in front of Erebus, they though it was McMurdo Sound. A few minutes later, it was all over.

Of course Grantham and Miller had never 'flown' in the world of Forensics, they had no licence to do so. Sadly the Erebus pilots had never flown to Antarctica but they were still sent there. All the protocols of ANG and USN that smartcooky refers, regarding training and participating in flights to Antarctica, were never afforded the NZ pilots - they had no experience in sector whiteout conditions, it was madness according to smartcooky and who could disagree. In context to Lundy, did Miller or Grantham have experience to overlook the advice of the Pathologist Dr Teoh in NZ, overlook textbook handling of quickly deteriorating brain matter by chucking it in a plastic bag and leaving it to incubate more than it already had before entering the bag. It wasn't their lives on the line. Just as it wasn't the Air New Zealand person who changed the flight co-ordinates but didn't tell the pilots, nor the person that inputted the wrong flight path that was inconsistent with the change that sent nearly 300 people to an unforgiving risk. Neither Grantham nor Miller had put themselves at risk when they launched the flight of unapproved testing to exclusively find what they had already decided was on Lundy's shirt.

To use more from smartcooky on Erebus. He says if the non notified changes to the flight plan were never made no accident happens, In Lundy, if the refusal by verified for forensic purposes laboratories is not manipulated by visiting a not verified facility no accident happens, no contamination takes place, imminent scientists do not say that the testing is unreliable, as are the results. Further, if Grantham is trained in safely handling fragile forensic samples, he does not put them in a plastic bag and lock them in a safe away from the exhibits officer for surrender to a authorised laboratory as quickly as possible knowing the short time available to preserve them for testing, would know by what Teoh said that the safe time had already passed. If Miller is trained and certified as a forensic tester, he does what other such personnel from approved facilities do - refuses to test because the passage to him has not been forensically safe or approved. He also contacts the FDA to report the matter because he recognises the danger of the treatment of the samples being tested anywhere in the USA, sends Grantham back to NZ to try and hold the charge against Lundy together with real evidence, or simply do the right thing and withdraw charges against him as advised by Dr Teoh.

In Erebus there was a cover up, there were also mistakes. In Lundy there was the coverup as to what Dr Teoh had said. In the Courts there was the fatal mistake to accept evidence that was not, and is not, acceptable in an American Court. Remember the Americans trained their Antarctica pilots as smartcooky points out. They also train their forensic scientists and won't let them test or give evidence on forensic matters unless they are approved and use an approved test facility. Are NZ Courts somehow wiser than the American Courts of FDA? As wise as Air New Zealand was to send untrained pilots in an hazardous area where they had never flown before and with passengers aboard?

The year Erebus crashed was the year Arthur Thomas was released from prison, pardoned for crimes he didn't commit. But it was also the time when another cover up began by Air New Zealand, one tragedy replacing another with the Crown at the helm. It would follow that a foremost mind of New Zealand history would pick apart the  Erebus tragedy and immortalise the words 'an orchestrated litany of lies.'  The release of Thomas and those famous words of the late Peter Mahon were not, as history has unfortunately shown, appreciated for their full value because both innocent men and women still go to New Zealand prisons accompanied by a litany of lies and courts can still act without the Judicial insight that Peter Mahon contributed against the tide of turning away from or covering over false flight paths.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Arthur Taylor: an abuse of process?

See below the question raised by Judge Gibson in ordering papers to be served on a prison informer alleging perjury. The Judge orders that the Crown (the secret witness was a Crown witness) should also be served with the papers in case the Crown might think that the intended prosecution is an abuse of process.

First of all because the private prosecution by Arthur Taylor is already heavily publicised its a reasonable assumption that the Crown are well informed that one of its star witnesses in a controversial murder case has been charged with perjury. Judge Gibson comments about the possibility the Crown might see the charge as collateral damage against the Jury's verdict. Which all sounds very good if it weren't for the fact that the abuse of process has already occurred, it did when the body of missing tourist Urban Hoglan was found buried on land when in fact the witness gave gruesome details of the crimes included the body being dumped at see. The secret witness was so convincing with his lies that it is said to have resulted in some members of the Jury weeping. The Crown did nothing about those lies, absolutely nothing. If the secret witness is not guilty no doubt he will be able to convince a Jury of his innocence, but I don't like his chances. Just as I don't like the Crown's chances of objecting to the proceeding. They have no standing in the prosecution as far as I am aware, they are not a party. Clearly they could have been a party by charging the secret witness but inexplicitly forgave their witness his blatant lies.

I expect that it may be revealed that Taylor himself has an opinion as to whether the Crown are a party. No doubt he will also have an opinion that it was the failure of the Crown to prosecute their own witness when Urban's body was found buried, with no injuries consistent with the witnesses account wearing a watch which police said they found in the bedroom of Tamihere's son that more than likely was planted there to aid the prosecution - which is the abuse of process in this case.

Perjury is described as striking at the heart of Justice, for prosecuting authorities to ignore perjury by at least not putting the case before the Court when it was plain the secret witnesses evidence was not true strikes deeper into the heart of Justice. That's why I'm surprised that Judge Gibson first of all could consider that the Crown might not be aware of the charges against their witness. It was the Crown who already declined to charge the witness. Overtime it could well prevail that the Crown are recognises as a party in an entirely different way that Judge Gibson noted, but were rather a party to an attempt to pervert the course of Justice when they decided not to prosecute after his evidence was shown to be lies, and also did not investigate how police had so readily, and willingly, purchased untrue evidence. Surely, the case of witness C already revealed that paid informers should never give evidence. Of course there could be some other explanation such as that Tamihere was lying to the secret witness in order to get himself convicted and that poor old witness C got tricked into helping convict Tamihere. Sure on that. Sure also on Judge Gibson's confusing about the parties in this case - there are only 2,  and the Crown is not one of them.

To the broader picture  where at the moment the Crown say they cannot charge Rewa for killing the woman he was convicted of raping Susan Burdett. This is after the 20 years when the police also 'could not' let the falsely imprisoned Teina Pora go for the murder that many people have considered for years that was committed by the lone wolf, serial rapist Rewa who had a history of attacking the head of some of his victims, perhaps to compensate for his erectile difficulties. Also in the Pora case, paid secret witnesses contributing to his false imprisonment - their paymasters, the police. With that in mind I'd be very surprised if police chose to hazard involving themselves in defending a witness C who evidence has already be proven to be false, and who is now facing a prosecution from a prison inmate. Yes a prison inmate charging a police witness with perjury because police wouldn't do it themselves. Somewhere along the line it seems inescapable that police don't want to lose their sacred cows - paid to lie witnesses. I would expect that the authorities would be concerned that if Taylor is successful in his prosecution the public will see that what Taylor would have achieved was something the police themselves could have done over a decade ago. It will strike another blow against the safe administration of Justice in NZ because it will more than certainly provide grounds for Tamihere to re-litigate his convictions, in particular because witness C will no longer be pivotal to the Tamihere conviction despite that the Court of Appeal already fumbled with an effort to overcome that.

For those that may not know dear witness C also twice attempted to involve himself in the Lundy case, and other such witnesses 'involved' themselves in the Watson convicted where, true to the age of modus operandi of such witnesses, an accused person happens to open up to strangers (prison inmates in fact) in cases which just happen to have weak evidence and a slim chance of success.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Another part of the Lundy retrial con.

I think most observers of the Lundy case  narrow the evidence against Lundy down to 2 areas: the times of death (tod) of Christine and daughter Amber, and the spots on Lundy's shirt. Putting emotion or feelings 1 way or the other aside - that is the Crown case, that Mark Lundy's wife and daughter died during a period when he could have left Wellington and returned home to kill them for a reason which has never been established. On that point the times of death are critical, the second aspect is a single spot on Lundy's shirt said to be central nervous tissue from Christine (brain matter) which had been chemically enhanced before being tested in an unauthorised for forensic purposes overseas lab, and tellingly later found to contain animal central nervous tissue traces which under any explanation means the spot was changed by chemicals along with being contaminated. That's what you get I guess paying unauthorised folks half a world away to test your samples that no one in NZ will test because they believe them to be too downgraded and unreliable for testing.

I want to deal with another aspect of the times of death. Those with knowledge of the case will remember the late change to the prosecution case against Lundy. 2 weeks before the retrial the Crown suddenly revealed that their benchmark evidence that Christine and Amber were killed around 7pm was revised to have been some 8 hours later at around 3am the following morning. I've been doing a lot of reading on that change. I've never accepted that the Lundy defence were given ample time to prepare with only 2 weeks notice to a major chance to the Crown case, I also believe the Crown must have known about the anticipated change at least a year or 2 earlier. It was a deceitful manipulation of the rules in criminal cases of discovery to the other side, putting the defence under pressure from which, to my observations, they didn't recover despite best intentions.

Everything in a prosecution has a design. In the first trial the Crown had designed it's case around a different time of death, one which barely captured Lundy by time - in fact few people believed the high speed trip Lundy was alleged to have taken from Wellington and back unseen. The Crown case had been in trouble from the moment the Privy Council over turned ML's conviction, in part because of the evidence of Dr Pang who set the time of death at the first trial, and secondly because evidence had been hidden, not held back to the last minute as happened at the retrial - but the impact of which was just as bad. However some evidence was still withheld some of which I mention here later. Anyone interested in this case would routinely be interested in not only the changed tod but how it was made to fit, that is how a witness gave explicit evidence as to a tod of 7 to 7.15 to 15 years later make the unintelligible claim that the victims must have died between the time they were last seen or heard from and when they were found  deceased - a difference between a specific time to a general claim that it could have been at any point within a 14 hour period. That deserves a closer look.

Pang said he changed his evidence after doing more reading. Whatever one's feelings are about this case it can hardly been appreciated that a witness changes his evidence after 15 years as the result of doing some more reading. Pang was a professional man, if he was to change his evidence he needed to provide certain reasons for that, however he never did. He was very vague and that's a clear indication to the design of his changes to the times of death. The Crown needed the times of death to fall from one abandoned specific time, to another that fell outside Lundy' alibi. I should say accidental alibi - because on the new Crown case he didn't need one, so much for that falsity.

The change of the tod at the retrial is the prime example of where the Crown slipped up, and why it certainly looks that Lundy is innocent on the Crown case alone as you will see later. Pang never gave any evidence of realistic weight as to why he had changed his mind. Despite the reading he had done since the first trial, Pang was unable to explain why he had never weighed the stomach contents at autopsy, he was also unable to explain if the had taken body temperatures for fear of disturbing evidence - what they evidence could have possibly been. He also didn't explain something that the Jury were never to know, that he in his complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) over a documentary that took issue with his tods, he referred to another book he had read where autopsy procedure was to weigh the stomach contents. He obviously wasn't concerned about that enough to tell the Jury and the Crown were quite happy to hide his explanation of supporting facts for BSA, he simply appeared to just want to change the times of death in a vague way so as to allow the Crown to claim that Lundy could have murdered his family in at 3am in the morning.

Because Pang couldn't do that without getting more egg on his face the Crown called Dr Sage, something of a hotshot Forensic Pathologist with over 9000 autopsies of experience. The Crown appears to have clearly understood that that it needed to combat a point of evidence that Pang had recorded - stomach contents and an empty duodenum (part of the small intestine). The literature says that if there is no waste found inside the duodenum at autopsy in circumstances where the stomach has food then digestion has not taken place, or begun. Digestion was a big fail in the Crown's case at the retrial and Sage's evidence was an effort to get around that. Not an effort to ensure Justice, but something to bolster its weak case. If you argued that the Crown were right because the Jury convicted then you haven't considered what the Jury didn't hear and how they were manipulated by possibility that has scant scientific basis. That is what Sage did.

Firstly before forwarding to Sage's evidence one must consider something we all know, that a person cannot have surgery until 6 hours after eating when the stomach is empty. The formula is accepted as that as little as 4 hours is required - but the safety margin is increased to 6 hours. One must also consider that on the issue of stomach contents and digestion, times that may have assisted with establishing a tod that the defence specialist Dr Horowitz, co author of publication on digestion and related subjects, told the Court that he had not been able to read Pang's retrial evidence in order to allow him to comment on that evidence specifically. He also gave evidence about the lack of time to prepare generally. I have no idea how a Court could ignore that advice from Horowitz and it must surely be a point of appeal even before considering that Horowitz was also not made aware in Pang's submissions to the BSA  he was mentioned as a contributor for a scientific journal he wrote along with a Professor Pounder. Bad enough that Pang's retrial evidence was not made known to Horowitz by the Judge at the retrial, but to also now know that Pang specifically quoted data from the Horowitz and Pounder book to prove his tod at 7 to 7.15pm and that with the author of that book standing before the Jury not knowing about the Pang submission he was unable to respond to the earlier claim by Pang that his reading had included the trial witness Horowitz who did not in fact support a 3am tod. Horowitz in his evidence could have assessed if Pang, as he claimed to the BSA, had followed the authority quoted by Pang from his, Horowitz's book, and  therefore if the claims were consistent with what the author had written and which was peer reviewed internationally. Even more enlightening (or worrying) was that the excerpt from Horowitz's written work included weighing the stomach contents and else where in the work discussed taking body temperatures of deceased persons - both of which in his evidence Pang admitted failing to do. Remember again he said he didn't want to disturb potential evidence, but in fact it was his job to collect the evidence - and of course take samples, weigh the stomach contents, record the details and photograph the contents. So this was the man Pang standing between Lundy and his freedom, having once quoted from a book to support his complaint was now wholly silent on the matter along with a complicit Crown hiding evidence, again.

Onto Sage whose evidence is below. Even in the revelation of his evidence the Jury were duped because for some reason the trial Judge France allowed, during the re-examination of Sage by the Crown lawyers, the introduction of new evidence thereby preventing cross examination on it. I don't know how that happened but it did and the evidence is below. Bad enough before reading the evidence and understanding that what Sage says has no impact on explaining how the stomachs had undigested food in them, which according his his evidence, could have meant that Amber and her mother were eating after midnight. Before turning to that consider this peer reviewed statement on which to approach scientific calculation:

In the paper “Postmortem Changes and Time of Death”, Prof. Derrick Pounder refers to the importance of what is known as “anamnestic evidence”, that is what is known about the deceased’s ordinary habits, known movements, and normal and/or known activities leading up to their death.

In Sage's evidence he stressed and emphasised that 'we do not know' when Christine and Amber last ate. Why was he doing this when at the first trial the Crown had been specific that the pair ate McDonald's shortly after arriving home with them at 6pm. Dr Sage didn't want the Jury 'to know' about anamnestic evidence which scientists applied to deceased person's ordinary habits, he ignored that which had been applied in the first trial because he could use that to puzzle the Jury into thinking that Amber in particular might have some how been allowed to break her before school routines and not go to bed at 8pm and would somehow be eating a cold or reheated McDonald's meal after midnight. Because that could explain, by Sage's evidence, her stomach contents for a tod of around 3 am. Why do I say after midnight? Not rocket science, just a simply reliance on what we all know, before an operation it must be confirmed that the patient has not eaten for 6 hours, 4 hours for the normal course of digestion stretched to 6 as a safety margin. Therefore according to Sage a 7 year old girl was up in the early morning, close to midnight eating, what nonsense with no scientific data in support but actual anamestic evidence in denial as given under oath by her grandmother.

Sage, as you will read from his evidence on which he was never able to be cross examined, would deepen the confusion. Noting that the duodenum when opened at autopsy if empty indicates that digestion has not started, which was Pang's consistent evidence in both trials, Sage was handed the job of re-designing that evidence. He said that a body lying on it's back could force out digested material from the duodenum into the lower bowel. Of course this allowed for Sage to say that Pang's observation didn't take into account that digested slurry may have been forced out of the duodenum. I'm not sure if Sage gave evidence after Pang or not, but I do know the Defence never had an opportunity to cross examine Sage on this evidence, and even more importantly put it to the operating Pathologist Pang. Pang said the duodenum was clear and no fluids present, Sage wanted that to be taken as absolute sign that it may have emptied because of the bodies being on their backs - but there was no evidence given by Pang of even any residue of slurry in the duodenum, he said it was clear. So not only did Sage want to say it could have been forced out, but also to say that it could have been forced out and not left even a trace or any fluid. Presumptive bullshit, if not in isolation then in accumulation because while I like bullcrap to some extent it has to stand scrutiny. So, not only a clean as a whistle duodenum but also another factor follows. The amazingly wonderful Sage performed his autopsy procedures of the duodenum having first tied off the ends. Seems logical and possibly best practice although the Jury never got to hear how Pang performed this aspect of his autopsy procedures and why. But taken to an logical, even if I may use the word, anamnestic conclusion Sage never gave any details of the autopsy procedures generally employed in 2001 and 2000 or any results that provide adverse comment on the alternative Procedure Pang or any other Pathologist may have used. However, there is something even more simple to consider here. The bodies were placed on their backs at the murder scene, removed to the morgue in that fashion, placed on the autopsy table in that fashion - surely by then even another Pathologist as remarkable as Dr Sage would have been able to say that was ample time for the duodenum to clear out, and if by some miracle could say why no trace of fluids or slurry would remain. The duodenum is like a small hose, does anyone expect a hose to be completely empty of water when it's turned off, not straightened out and curved on the ground not to have water retained - even on a slope? The answer is no.

Before proceeding to the evidence of Sage below I point out again what I have blogged about earlier. In his evidence at the retrial Professor Horowitz not only  told the Court that he had not been able to read Pang's retrial evidence, but he also asked the Court for details from that evidence - specifically, how deep into the duodenum Pang had cut. That was never answered. What the Jury heard was nonsense from Sage that couldn't explain the food found in the stomachs of Christine and Amber, the clean duodenums, both answered by a claim about bodies lying on their backs which was never able to be challenged by the Defence. This all points to there being no critical explanation of what evidence the Crown had in 2015 to explain the change of the tods. It was never explained to the Jury why the stomachs of the deceased had the same contents, that as it was argued they had at 7pm in the first trial, as they did 8 hours later when digestion to empty could have, according to the science, happened twice. This is not to say that Christine might not have snacked again after she ate with Amber when Amber was already in bed and asleep, but that she certainly did not eat after she went to bed at 11am, a time, from which point her stomach would not have been quite full but which by accepted times of digestion would have either been empty or quite empty at 3am.

A design fail. A miscarriage of Justice with material hidden,witnesses asked to comment on evidence they had not read - a bloody disaster that has put an innocent man in prison, for the second time.

  If you're
 lying on your back with
 the ordinary pressure of
 what’s sitting on top of you, when you come to  open –  conventionally at autopsy, what I do is I clamp this bit  here and I  take this bit here all out  in one go. So I –
 20 Q. Just turn your page
 around a little bit just to the jurors.
 A. – sorry. I clamp,
 tie off here, actually ligate it. Clamp through here  and  take all this section out  as a foregut but all in one go so when you do  that you can actually see  what’s in here when you open your way down  through here with a pair  of scissors. And when you look at that most
 25 people –
 there's only a scant amount of material in here by the  time  they’ve been sitting  on their back, dead for a while. Unless, of course,  you have the unusual  situation that something’s blocking things up  down  here and this bit’s  all dilated and full of fluid and stuff.
 Q. Was there any evidence
 that you saw which suggested there was a
 30 blockage of any
 A. I think Dr Pang would
 have pointed out if either of them had a bowel  obstruction and  there's no comment, it’s not there, I think  reasonable to  say.
 Q v M LUNDY –
 CRI-2001-054-832244 (09 February 2015)
 Q. And if I understand you
 correctly, what you're saying is that lying on  your back just puts  pressure on the stomach and duodenum because of  where it’s located  and it just pushes through into the small intestine.
 that essentially
 what’s happening?
 A. Yes so the –
 assessing then whether you've got 5 more than you'd  expect  or less than you'd  expect in this section here becomes very difficult  to  do at autopsy. I mean,  mainly in the living, if you're looking at them  with  a gastroscope and so forth  it’s much more straightforward or imaging  them with modern x-ray  material but at autopsy it’s very difficult.
 10 Q. So if we take the
 bodies of the deceased from the time of death of  Amber she was lying,  appears to be lying on her stomach at least.
 You've seen that in
 the scene photos?
 A. Yes, but she would have
 been conventionally turned over as she was  removed from the  scene.
 15 Q. Yes and then taken
 to the mortuary?
 A. Yes.
 Q. And then ultimately
 taken to x-ray as we know. Returned to the  refrigerator and then  subject of a post-mortem examination. Is that  enough time for her to be  on her back to empty out the duodenum of
 20 itself?
 A. I haven't got any
 data from which I can say, you know, here’s a  whole  set of people we’ve  tested, here’s the stuff in there. We’ve done  these  things to them, this is  how long it takes to empty, so I don’t know  the  certain answer to  that.
 25 1700
 Q. And similarly,
 Christine Lundy is found on her back in the scene?
 A. Yes.
 Q. Moved, taken on a
 similar course, routine, to the mortuary,  radiography  and then  post-mortem?
 30 A. Yes.
 Q. Can you offer anything
 about her position?
 A. Well, you know, again
 we don't know how long that sort of thing might  have, there’s no,  there have been no studies as far as I know of what  happens in dead bodies  establishing how much is there to start with and
 Q v M LUNDY –
 CRI-2001-054-832244 (09 February 2015)
 how quickly it might
 change, or whether it changes or how quickly it  might change, but my  observation is that looking at that section it's  often  difficult to know whether  there’s a lot or a little.
 Q. So do you remember of
 the view that, as a form of reliability, it's
 5 seriously flawed
 A. Yes I do.
 Q. – despite
 what’s recorded or attributed to Dr Pang?
 A. Yes.
 Q. Now I think my friend
 was cross-examining you about the report
 10 prepared by Professor
 Horowitz of 12 February 2015 and when he first  read to you this passage,  “An exception which appears to apply to  R V Lundy is that when  there is no evidence of gastric emptying –  that  when there is no, that  gastric emptying has commenced, that is in either  a solid or liquid meal,  components are present in the duodenum or more
 15 distally in the small
 intestine,” and you did answer him originally,  my  friend originally by  saying there are three answers to that or three  parts  to that. Do you want to  now give us the three parts?
 A. I may have lost count,
 yes. The two – no I have to think myself now.
 The two points I think
 that were important were that you don't know
 20 when the stomach got
 filled so using that as a, the emptying as a  criterion for how long  since they last ate second guesses when they  might have ingested the  food.
 Q. And in answer to my
 friend you said, if I recall it correctly, that the  statement which is at the  end of the report in parenthesis one and two is
 25 meaningless unless you
 know when they last ate?
 A. Yes.
 Q. And you stand by
 A. Yes. Well one and two
 hours stays one and two hours but you don't  know where you're  counting from.
 30 Q. Sure.
 – NIL
 Q v M LUNDY –
 CRI-2001-054-832244 (09 February