Saturday, July 29, 2017

Temple-Camp goes full Aunt Minnie on MARK LUNDY.

New Book on Lundy

In this extract from his new book 'Cause of Death: Life's work as a Pathologist" Dr Temple-Camp',
leading New Zealand pathologist Dr Cynric Temple-Camp reveals the moment he discovered the crucial evidence that would see Mark Lundy convicted twice of the brutal murder of his wife Christine and daughter Amber.

First of all the very modest Mr Temple Camp claims to be a leading New Zealand pathologist. The jury is out on that claim, but what we do know is that Temple Camp gave evidence at the first trial but wasn't needed at the second. In the following he makes no admission about that which can only be a deliberate oversight. 

"What do you make of this?" Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Grantham from the Criminal Investigation Branch handed me a cardboard folder containing a glass slide. I took the slide and looked at it carefully. Beneath the coverslip was a light smear of stained material.

"What's this all about?' I asked, having learned from long experience that there would be a strange, complex and tragic tale behind the specimen, if it was typical of something the CIB brought me.
And sure enough, this was the beginning of a bizarre and complicated case that was to last for years, and one that would take me across the world and back again before being settled in 2015.
"It's something that forensics rubbed onto the slide from a murder suspect's shirt. They think they can see something cellular on the slide, but they're not sure exactly what it is. Can you and your pathologists have a look and see what you think?"

It took me quarter of an hour to go over the slide at high microscopic magnification.

"Well?" said Ross. "What do you think it is?" 

"This looks like brain to me."

He stared unblinkingly back at me. "Why?" 

"It just looks like brain." 

Ross looked at me sceptically. "What makes you say that?" 

I thought carefully. This wouldn't be easy to explain. "When a pathologist makes a diagnosis, mostly we recognise what we see instantly. It gets called the 'Aunt Minnie' sign." 

"Who the hell's Aunt Minnie?"
"It goes like this. How do you know that an old lady in front of you is your Aunt Minnie? Well, it's usually because you just know. You've seen her hundreds of times before and you know what she looks like and who she is. You don't have to go through the whole scientific rigmarole you'd go through if you didn't recognise her – you know, examine her facial profile, measure her height or count her moles or whatever. Some pathologists call this using the 'lizard part' of your brain, the ancient dinosaur bit that runs on automatic without any intelligent thought. Some psychiatrists call the process 'gestalt', whatever the hell that is. In the end, I think it means the same thing." 

For sure Grantham would not have used a man claiming that he knew something because of 'your Aunt Minnie.' He also speaks about not having to go through the whole scientific rigmarole in a statement that is clearly indication that procedures and forensic safety go out the window as soon as Aunt Minnie enters the lab.

"It doesn't sound like something we could use in court." 
"Well, no, but you asked me what it was. I've done both things. I've done an Aunt Minnie on it, but I've also crosschecked." We moved to sit at the multi-headed microscope in the lab. There were three pathologists present, as well as two registrars, and they all had a look at the slide. We all reached the same conclusion. 

If it were true that 3 pathologists agreed that it was brain that would have forensic weight. But eventually it was conceded that no NZ pathologists supported the Aunt Minnie theory, more on that later.

"We don't have to rely on Aunt Minnie," I told Ross. "We can see cells, including a cellular, tubular structure, which is a small blood vessel. That tells us we're looking at deep tissue, deeper than the surface of the skin." 

"What about spit?" asked Ross. "Or snot from the nose? Could it be from that?" 

"No," I said. "You'll never find blood vessels in spit, snot, urine or any other body fluids. They have to come from deep tissue. And the cells are all oval with what we call spindle-shaped nuclei. The nuclei are bland in appearance, which means they've had much of their cellular material stripped away. But the background between these cells has a subtle, fibrillary look. It doesn't really fit with anything other than brain tissue. I mean, it's not muscle or thyroid gland or pancreas or spleen or liver. I could go on and on. It's a long list, but I really don't think that this tissue can be anything other than brain." 

Although Temple Camp's opinion was never used in the retrial, one could guess that the Aunt Minnie theory would have got booted out quickly by the Judge, another English scientist Du Plessis gave evidence  for the Crown of putting a slide under electron microscopy but was unable to determine brain. Moreover, long before the first trial a pathologist from New Plymouth, Dr Teoh, warned police that the sample was too necrotic to examine and should not be used in an attempt to convict Lundy or any man. Anyone reading this will realise that advice was not only ignored but hidden for over a decade, in fact became one of the reasons the Privy Council called the first Lundy conviction a Miscarriage of Justice. Temple-Camp has been economically with the truth. 

The others murmured in a agreement.

Ross sat in silence for a very long time, thinking.

Finally he spoke. "Can you prove it?" 

"Prove that it's brain?" 

He nodded.

We all looked at each other and one after another we shook our heads.

"No," I said. "Not with our resources here. This is the only slide, I suppose?" Ross nodded. "I thought so. There's not much on it, either. I suppose special stains could be tried, but it would be difficult. Particularly if you are looking for the level of proof you need for a murder case."
Ross grimaced. I could tell that he really wanted a result on this one. And like most New Zealanders, when they came to hear the terrible facts of the case, I was inclined to agree.
Mark Lundy was a travelling salesman of kitchen and bathroomware. He lived in Palmerston North with his wife, Christine, and their seven-year-old daughter, Amber. He was generally regarded as something of a character by his friends, being into amateur dramatics and the Scout movement and having a passion for fine wines.

Here we begin to get the beginning of the Miscarriage of Justice, no way of proving it was brain but important to 'get Lundy' because it was a horrific crime. So no one at the meeting, according to Temple-Camp at least, could prove it was brain so instead details of the horror of the crime had to be run over from which blame could be attributed to Mark Lundy without proof. Important to note here that the American Doctor who controversially called the slide material brain, used Immuno Histo Chemistry (IHC) to confirm the substance was brain when in fact IHC was in use in medical labs at the time in NZ. A process by which known samples taken from live patients are tested for disease. What Temple Campbell is not telling the public was that no IHC practitioners would undertake the tests in NZ because of what Dr Teoh had identified, rotten material or gunk on a slide that was never enclosed in a forensic safety chain environment.

His business wasn't exactly thriving, so he had conceived a scheme to buy a plot of land in the Hawke's Bay region to convert into a vineyard. He had made an unconditional offer of $2 million and he had also ordered a considerable number of grapevine saplings for his initial planting. But with little capital of his own and no access to finance, he was counting on attracting investors for his project.

Anyone who followed the retrial would hear that Lundy's business was sound according to a forensic accountant. I guess Temple-Camp would not know about that because he and Aunt Minnie had been relegated well and truly to the side-lines.

They had failed to materialise. Mark and Christine had also taken out insurance policies on one other whereby each stood to receive $500,000 in the event of the other's death.

Because Temple-Camp had been taking a holiday or something with Aunt Minnie and their little dog pooch, he also didn't know, that the insurance broker the Lundy couple dealt with, had proposed the insurance cover lift but that it was not in place at the time of Christine and Amber's deaths. I guess once Temple-Camp is on a roll bullshitting there is not stopping him.

That was the background. It's what happened next that transfixed the nation. Lundy left their Palmerston North home on an overnight business trip to Wellington, where he had some clients to visit. He checked into a motel and at 8.30pm used his cell phone to call an acquaintance, with whom he discussed his business prospects. Then he arranged for the services of a call girl from one of the local escort agencies. She left his motel unit at about 1am. Over the course of the evening, he had drunk half a bottle of rum. 

At 9.30 the next morning, Christine's brother found her body and that of Amber Lundy hacked to death on the floor of their house. They had bought meals from McDonald's at six o'clock the previous evening, and that was the last time they were confirmed to be alive. A window next to the front door had been levered open, suggesting a forced entry.

He's got this piece correct except for important crime scene details. Both Christine and Amber died with the DNA of 2 unidentified males under their nails. There were also fingerprints from unknown persons left at the scene, noises and screams had been heard around the house at about 11pm, a neighbour had seen a sliding door open on that very cold night. For those that don't know DNA is difficult to get under the nails, and once there has a limited life, around 6.5 hours as the hands are used and watched. In tests it has been shown that DNA arriving under the nails occurs most frequently for the recipient by scratching, as in scratching another person. Mark Lundy had no scratch marks on him when seen by police next day. Even Aunt Minnie would know that Mark Lundy could not have put DNA from 2 unknown males under the nails of his wife and daughter and could not leave the fingerprints of strangers in his house. 

A friend contacted Mark in Wellington and he rushed back to Palmerston North. He was intercepted at the outskirts of the city, and taken to the police station. There he was told the horrific news. His clothing, car and contents were seized by the police, as is the usual protocol. 

The autopsies on brutalised bodies of mother and daughter were performed by my colleague James Pang, an experienced pathologist in Palmerston North. He was able to say that weapon was most probably an axe, and he found multiple flakes of blue and orange paint deeply embedded in the wounds as well as in fragments of skull bone lodged in Christine's head. These were assumed to have come from the murder weapon. He also found that the stomachs of both Christine and Amber contained apparently undigested food, which he believed was recognisable as fish and chips. That was thought to be consistent with the food ordered from McDonald's.

There was apparently no food in the duodenum of either victim. Since the process of gastric emptying hadn't begun, James concluded that death had occurred about one hour after eating.

Now Temple-Camp is unknowingly exculpating Mark Lundy from the murders without realising. Food takes between 4 to 6  hours to digest in the stomach. Here Temple Camp is relying on the 'old case' against Mark Lundy, the one police threw out (more about that later.) By the retrial Pang would be saying he didn't know when the pair died, despite having said for over 14 years that they died at  between 7pm to 7.15. On the  evidence he was correct, stomachs full with recognizable food (after approx 3 to 4 hours food has broken down to an unrecognizable slurry), the slurry is being prepared by the digestion process to enter the lower bowel the duodenums which Temple Camp and Pang says were empty.

Forensic clues started to paint an interesting picture. Blood was found on the outside of the latch of the open window, and this proved to be Christine's. The supposed break-in appeared to have been staged. There was less petrol in Mark Lundy's car than there should have been, if it had been driven only on the detailed itinerary he had voluntarily compiled for the police, and the indications were that the car had travelled 400 kilometres further than Lundy claimed. He tried to explain the discrepancy away, saying that there had been talk of thefts of petrol from cars around the area he'd stayed in the Lower Hutt motel. If there was any shortfall in petrol, he told the investigating officers, then that would have to be the explanation.

There is nothing of particular moment about Christine's blood being found in the crime scene that can point to Mark, but everything about unknown prints, footprints and unknown male DNA that point away from him.

Mark Lundy's tools were all painted in a distinctive orange and blue. There was a full set of tools in his garden shed, but no axe. Lundy maintained that he didn't own an axe – an assertion contradicted by several of his acquaintances. 

Temple-Camp is in full flight here. An axe was found in the garage but excluded as the murder weapon.

Nor was his subsequent behaviour that which you might expect of the bereaved husband and father of the victims of a brutal murder. Lundy claimed he went every night to his girls' graveside to have a drink with them, but he couldn't prove he had done so. On the contrary, he spent a good deal of time socialising, drinking, buying expensive motorbikes and, more bizarrely, even continued his enjoyment of call girl services.

I can't comment on any of the above at the moment, short of saying how Lundy may have acted is interpreted by those that saw him subjectively, Temple-Camp's view is subjective yet he claims to be a leading, if somewhat abandoned, pathologist whose work was required to objective.

When I learned this last detail, I shook my head in disbelief. I had seen plenty of grieving relatives over the years, and had known some of them to react in bizarre ways. I knew that it didn't prove he had done it, although it certainly revealed that Mark Lundy had an unusual and dark side. But his behaviour seemed extreme, by any standard. Others were reaching the same conclusion. Lundy's physical collapse at Christine and Amber's funeral, which was shown almost nightly on television for several days, struck many people as melodramatic and unconvincing. A psychologist stated in the media that he was firmly of the opinion that the display of grief was contrived. A witness came forward saying she had seen a large man with an unusual gait wearing a blond wig running along the road away from the Lundy house just after 7pm on the night of the murders. He had a horror-struck look on his face. It turned out that the witness was a psychic.

Now he's relying on a psychic that wasn't called at the retrial. Maybe old 'Campy' was asleep during 2015 or up a creek somewhere with Aunt Minnie.

The case was avidly followed and discussed in workplaces all around the country, and the Palmerston North mortuary was no exception. "Psychologists and psychics! What next?" I laughed to my colleagues. "Why, with all that help, do the police even need a pathologist?" The answer was yes, they certainly did. The police needed to know exactly what was on Mark Lundy's shirt. 

Now he's laughing at his colleagues who refused to back up his bull-crap. He also seems unaware that the case is under appeal, that there are fresh and consistent observations of what was on that slide from forensic experts, not IHC experts who have never been called into Court to give evidence in a murder trial before the Mark Lundy trials or since. IHC is dead in the forensic world, apart from little old New Zealand where the real culprits in Lundy were never found.

Here follows facts from the retrial, unsupported by Temple-Camp or Aunt Minnie:

*The trial evidence that the house was thoroughly cleaned by a housekeeper just prior to the murders. The failure to identify the following from persons known to have frequented or visited the Lundy household.

*The footprint, palm and fingerprints found in the Lundy house;

            Inside frame of sunroom by door                          -not identified
Interior of ranch slider door to sunroom               -not identified
Glass window in sunroom leading to kitchen       -not identified
D10 interior front door frame                                -not identified
D11 interior front door frame                                -not identified
O12 concertina door sunroom to kitchen              -not identified
O13 concertina door sunroom to kitchen              -not identified
There was also a partial palm print beside the door frame to the single ranch slider to the sunroom (conservatory).                                         -not identified

*Signs of a forced entry into the Lundy household which from the Privy Council included:

            Para 14

“A window in the conservatory at the rear of the house showed signs of having been forced. One of the catches had been broken. The sliding door beside the window had been left open. At Mr Lundy’s trial, the Crown claimed that the signs of forced entry suggested that it had been staged.”

Of course, as is now plain Mr Lundy could not have left unidentified, foot, finger or palm prints within his own home, nor indeed deposited unknown male DNA under his wife and daughter’s fingernails

The following is from the Privy Council Judgement on Lundy, in respect of the PC's view of the Crown contemplating changing the times of death. Something which was ignored at the retrial and which in my opinion along with Grantham, Pang, Temple-Camp and the fictional friend of Temple-Camp, Aunt Minnie, contributed to an ongoing Miscarriage of Justice. Mark Lundy remains as never having a fair trial, the only time his case was treated in a fair and just way was by the Privy Council.

Para 108:
Indeed, quite apart from the inherent unlikelihood of its wishing to do so, it is highly questionable that the prosecution would have been permitted to advance an alternative theory to one which it had earlier so firmly espoused. The Crown had committed its case unequivocally to a time of death at about 7 to 7.15pm and that was the case which the defendant had to meet. It is at least strongly arguable that the defence could not be required, at a late stage, to answer a case which was quite dramatically different from that which had been presented against him.

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