Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Times of Lundy deaths unclear: expert

Found the above headline in the news this week.

Some folks will remember that the time of death for the 2 deceased in Lundy's first trial was estimated at around an hour after their evening meal. Part of the tests leading to that estimation was the pathologist relying on the smell of the contents of the stomachs of the 2 deceased, Christine and Amber Lundy, the wife and daughter of Mark Lundy now being retried for their deaths having had his original trial adjudged a Miscarriage of Justice where, among other things, evidence was hidden.

Where once the time of death was precise to the hour, in order to support a high speed car trip made by Lundy, part way through which he was said to have been observed running from the crime scene dressed in drag - suddenly that time is unclear. With news like that there could be 2 extreme views roughly expressed as 'the fat bastard still did it,' or alternatively, 'hang on, the bloody cops are changing their story.' I don't know about other people's experiences in life but there are some people who think someone is guilty of a crime no matter the details, or if the details are changed. Fair enough. Equally there are others, who recall a child being questioned about how a chocolate bar disappeared from a cupboard only to end up remaining only as an empty pack in the little person's drawer, who may not well remember under gentle questioning some of the excuses offered.

Well the Crown in the Lundy case 'ain't no child.' The Crown has had 2 trials, the 2nd of which distinctly separates from the first. Time of death is 'unclear,' time of trip allegedly made by Mark Lundy from Wellington to New Plymouth and back is also unclear, remains not only unclear by time but most importantly having absolutely no positive sightings by any other motorist or witness, the important dna evidence from the first trial also remains unclear. That dna evidence was specifically that Mark Lundy had brain matter from his wife on a shirt found in his car, this was the man allegedly who had been wearing woman's clothing as he killed a wife and daughter that other witnesses have said he doted upon. Earlier the Crown claimed he was in disguise, yet somehow the disguise was never found and a shirt unlikely to have been part of that disguise was found with a dna sample that was not 'noticed' at the outset, and as is historically shown in cases of planted evidence in NZ, was found when the Crown needed it.

However, don't expect some continuity to begin on the dna because hidden from the first Jury was evidence by a specialist that the 'belatedly' discovered dna sample was too down graded to produce a reliable result. The only continuity of the Lundy case is that things don't link together to the point where even evidence in the 2 trials have little in common with one another. Whether Mark Lundy is guilty or not, he has in my opinion been involved in a situation of being framed, the Crown in the first trial were happy for Lundy to be led away to start a life sentence knowing that evidence highly material to that trial had been hidden. He's had 1 trial where evidence has been hidden or manufactured to complete a scenario the Crown have now abandoned after 11 bitter years of hanging on to their claims despite public disquiet about the crazy car drive Lundy was meant to have made and which not a single person saw. Even the fat lady 'running' from the scene was a bizarre allegation.

However the Crown pronounce a new scenario with an apparent complete ease  and without any reference as  to how they can have been right for a dozen years in their claims and evidence against Mark Lundy. No answers to questions of how they can have been 'right' relying on hidden and dreamed up evidence for  so long to now be saying that was wrong, but that this (the new 'unclear' scenario) is 'right.' I call bull crap on such changes and the Crown being allowed to continue on in their prosecution. For them to be able to take an unprecedented shift from their original claims is questionable on the face of things, but to do so unable to rely on clear evidence (in fact rely on unclear evidence about the dna, about the car trip, the time of death and so on) is a clear legal travesty. They are saying 'hold on, we are having another go - with umh, unclear evidence.'

If this is what the case against Mark Lundy is after a dozen years then he should not be standing trial. I think it is a very fair point of view that the Crown are having extra bites at the cherry. I think it is fair to consider that the ambiguity about some of the evidence is in itself evidence of a skewed prosecution, not only originally - but also now. Why should the Crown receive credit for hiding evidence by claiming later that 'new' tests procedures  show that the hidden evidence was not detrimental to the Crown case. For crying out loud, the evidence was and is evidence helpful to Lundy, the Privy Council have pointed that out. But more than that, the hidden evidence portrayed exactly the way the Crown started out in it's prosecutions of Mark Lundy, by being unfair. This trial is further evidence of the unfairness, they call witnesses who now say the time of death for example is unclear, no definitive position - even possible to be viewed as guesswork. But it goes on, if the Crown started out willing to hide evidence, called witnesses who gave 'unusual' descriptions of a 'fat lady' running from the scene and who was never found, rely on the smelling expertise of witness to show the time of death, this case is a side show. A very sinister side show in which I for one would not be surprised indicates the suspicion that must be placed upon the dna evidence regarding Lundy's shirt, what it in fact is, how it  may have got there, and the old worry why it was missed initially.

And to allay concerns of things being 'unclear' the public can look forward to the evidence of a troubled man, the only person in the world to whom Lundy confessed to 'explain' why he 'had' to kill his daughter. A bloody dreamer paying for his supper.


  1. Hasn't evidence regarding the shutdown time of Christine's computer also changed between trials?
    The time, I've read was 10:52 pm.
    And 1st trial evidence was that the time definitely had been manipulated, because Christine was alleged to have predeceased that time.
    In the retrial, the time is definitely honest, with no computer manipulation, because Christine is alleged to have been alive at 11 pm.
    Is that what we've been told?

  2. Yes, that's what we've been told. It's all about 'forget what you were told last time.. we have another story.' Maarten Kleintjes is having a bad run about being a computer expert, this is his second major trial where he's got critical timings wrong. And you guessed it, both times the mistakes 'favour' his paymasters. To avoid all this confusion maybe the Judge should ask the Crown to make a short list of anything they got right, avoiding the mundane, like the year, Lundy's full name, weight etc.

    You doing ok Lee?

  3. Yes, I'm fine, thanks.
    But I don't understand how brain cell DNA could be distinguishable from other somatic cell DNA. Has Lundy's defense asked that question?

  4. I may not have this quiet right but it is linked to the ability of stem cells to regenerate while somatic cells don't have that ability?

    Anyway, I can see a similar characteristic here as with the Bain case. The Crown either, without awareness, or deliberately, offering conflicting evidence. That to me is self defeating and really the job of the defence, who had 1 witness yesterday agreeing that the spot on Lundy's shirt may have been stem cell material and in apparent agreement about the poor quality of the sample, along with the fact that it was not necessarily human. It's important that expert witnesses don't disagree on everything and that particular witness for the defence advanced the reasonable doubt which favours Lundy heavily.

    That reasonable doubt took another boost when the long awaited unfortunate who held onto a story about Lundy confessing to him for 12 years only to reveal that Lundy 'confessed' while awaiting an appeal on a trial that had yet to take place. An 'important' witness showing once again why this trial shouldn't be taking place.

  5. An additional comment from Lee:

    "If you google, "is dna the same in all cells of your body", the only 1st page sources of disagreement to the answer "yes", are 2012 studies by Yale University and a 2009 page by Science Daily.
    That 'yes' answer on all the other pages usually is qualified by "except for mutations" which, I guess, could occur in any cell(s), and the answers aren't including the halved DNA volume gametes.
    I think stem cells also have the same DNA as brain cells or other cells, but they're undifferentiated, and capable of becoming specific tissue types.
    So, except for very recent research, I don't see how scientists could know that sequences of the bases(adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine) were from any specific tissue type, unless they had some whole cell tissue samples.