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  1. Susan Neill-Fraser’s supporters appear to have access to the transcript of Ms Neill-Fraser’s trial, a transcript that is not available publicly.

    If they are going to cherrypick quotes from that transcript to support their own case, as above, then they should publish the entire document so we can all see what happened during the entire trial, not just the parts they wish to highlight.

    Posted by Ben Lohberger  on  25/08/14  at  01:50 PM
  2. Thank you Mr Lohberger.  Puts it all into perspective.

    Posted by davies  on  25/08/14  at  01:54 PM
  3. It was not the fault of the jury in this case! They were misled by inadmissible evidence, mistakes by the DPP and judge, and now we have NEW DNA EVIDENCE - from Victorian Police Forensic Services Department (VPFSD). REF: http://www.betterconsult.com.au/blog/suggestions-from-tasmania-police-about-the-vass-dna/
    “No innocent or reasonable explanation for Meaghan Vass’ DNA on the deck of the yacht! Contrary to DPP theory in the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeal & High Court.”

    Posted by Eve Ash  on  25/08/14  at  03:24 PM
  4. Please consider the Tasmanian Coroner’s Comments in Relation to Meaghan Vass and the DNA issue Concerning the Death of Bob Chappellhttp://www.betterconsult.com.au/blog/the-tasmanian-coroner-s-comments-in-relation-to-meaghan-vass-and-the-dna-issue-concerning-the-death-of-bob-chappell/

    Posted by Eve Ash  on  25/08/14  at  03:25 PM
  5. Anyone who missed 60 Minutes 24 August and the new evidence, new leads, and problems with the forensic science in the case: http://www.jump-in.com.au/show/60minutes/stories/2014/august/justice-overboard/ MeaghanVass’DNA was on the boat. Bob Moles says this miscarriage of justice is the worst of the worst.
    http://www.jump-in.com.au/show/60minutes/extraminutes/3745973716001/

    Posted by Eve Ash  on  25/08/14  at  03:39 PM
  6. Thanks for putting the alternative view forward Ben. It’s nice to see the other side of the argument.

    What I struggle with though is to see how the list you have produced demonstrates evidence of murder? I can see how, combined with some good solid physical evidence, such a list could flesh out a circumstantial case, but you appear to be attempting to make bricks with straw alone.

    The dinghy luminol test is a good example. One of the very few pieces of actual physical evidence. Inflatables are not easily cleaned, the nature of their construction leaves lots of tiny crevices. The prosecution case revolves around a dinghy splattered in blood and yet all they could produce was a preliminary test that the defence have subsequently torn to bits?

    I certainly don’t blame the jury. A list such as yours, backed up by an experienced prosecution putting forward an apparently plausible, but speculative scenario, could be quite convincing. I feel the judge failed in his role. It should have been made very very clear what was speculation and the solid facts (such as they were) should have been separated out and held up for examination.

    Ben, if you go through your list and pull out all the facts, you’ll find there’s not many. A few phone calls, a dinghy where it shouldn’t be, a jacket, some CCTV footage, a sinking yacht. Do really think that they are sufficient to enable you to say “This is what happened. There is no other possible explanation.”?

    Posted by Steve  on  25/08/14  at  04:14 PM
  7. I would be fascinated at the judge’s instructions to the jury.  Same goes for those to Bryan’s jury.

    John Hayward

    Posted by john hayward  on  25/08/14  at  06:25 PM
  8. Mr Lohberger, Sue Neill-Fraser was tried for MURDER, and the resulting conviction means her FREEDOM has been foregone for a minimum period of 13 years.  This was not a traffic offence with a fine attached.

    Before the state imprisons a person on such a charge, a jury of their peers must be convinced BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT of their guilt.  If the evidence is entirely circumstantial, the jury must be further convinced that there is NO reasonable explanation for the circumstances of the alleged crime other than the guilt of the accused.

    In the case at hand, there are several reasonable alternative explanations.  For example, there is the third person DNA found on the yacht and later identified as belonging to Meaghan Vass – a person whose whereabouts at the time of the alleged offence have not been accounted for.  Being homeless at the time, perhaps she decided to spend a night on one of the empty yachts moored off Marieville Esplanade.  Maybe Mr Chappell surprised her, there was a confrontation and he fell overboard.  Despite the DPP’s skepticism, this is not an unreasonable scenario.

    In fact, it makes more sense than the DPP’s version of events – a woman in her fifties killing her partner in a premeditated attack with a wrench and then winching his weighted body over the side of the yacht into a tender and disposing of it into the Derwent, for no apparent reason.  Unless you have forgotten, there is NO evidence to support this proposal – no weighted body and no wrench.

    Ms Vass denied having been on the yacht, and this was apparently accepted without question.  So, how did her primary DNA get there?  Why was a homeless girl who was known to have lied several times about her whereabouts believed implicitly?  Especially considering that so much has been made of Sue Neill-Fraser’s ‘farrago of lies’ (what is a farrago, by the way?).

    And, how is it possible to reconcile the evidence– I believe it was an ATM camera image, which would have been time stamped - that Ms Neill-Fraser was travelling on Sandy Bay Road, approximately five minutes from Marieville Esplanade, at 12.15, with the sighting of a woman, taken to be the accused, motoring towards the Four Winds in a tender between 11.30 pm and midnight? 

    If she was heading towards Marieville Esplanade, then the evidence of Mr Hughes, who testified that he saw a woman heading towards the yacht at that time, is clearly inaccurate.  It would take a person at least 15 to 20 minutes to reach Marieville Esplanade, park a car, walk to the point where the dinghy was tied, start the motor and commence moving away into the river, making it more like 12.30 to 12.45 than 11.30 when Ms Neill-Fraser was allegedly doing this.

    If she was travelling away from Marieville Esplanade, then she must have managed to board the yacht, dispose of Mr Chappell’s body in the manner postulated by the DPP and return to shore in a matter of minutes.  If this is the case, did Mr Hughes observe the alleged activity and see her return to shore, or did he immediately leave the vicinity after making the observation relied on by the DPP?

    And what about the red jacket left on the fence in Margaret Street?  Was it a particularly unique jacket?  If it wasn’t, it is quite reasonable for Ms Neill-Fraser to say it wasn’t hers if she didn’t put it there.  Perhaps some other person who had been aboard the Four Winds took it from the yacht and dumped it where it was found.  More importantly, why would a cool calculating killer, as Ms Neill-Fraser was portrayed, leave an item of their clothing in plain sight in an unexplained location near the scene of an alleged crime?

    The ‘callback’ phone call made by Ms Neill-Fraser at 3.08 am on 27 January is also mentioned as part of the circumstantial evidence against the accused.  Why?  How is it relevant to her guilt or otherwise?  Maybe she awoke and decided to check if Mr Chappell had called.  Maybe she didn’t call him directly because she didn’t want to wake him.  All perfectly reasonable.  And if she had already dispatched Mr Chappell, as the DPP’s scenario suggests, why would she bother to check if he had called?  Was she asked about this call at trial?

    The far more interesting call is the lengthy phone communication from Mr King at 10.30 pm.  Why do we know virtually nothing about that call, except that it ‘unnerved’ Ms Neill-Fraser?  Was the trial jury privy to any evidence about this call?

    And, given the massive public interest in this case, why hasn’t the trial transcript been made available?

    Posted by Barbara Mitchell  on  25/08/14  at  07:23 PM
  9. continued…

    Mr Lohberger, you say that Ms Neill-Fraser’s ‘farrago of lies were clearly aimed at creating a scapegoat’.  Who would this scapegoat have been?  Someone in particular, or just anyone other than her? 

    You also assert that her supporters are raising ‘spurious legal issues’, but there is nothing spurious or inconsequential about a clearly unsafe conviction.  We rely on a system that affords justice to all according to a centuries old ethos.  The state cannot just make stuff up to secure a conviction because they ‘know’, despite the absence of any reliable evidence, that a person is guilty. 


    So many questions.  So much REASONABLE DOUBT.

    Posted by Barbara Mitchell  on  25/08/14  at  07:25 PM
  10. I watched 60 Minutes. Thank you to Charles Woolley and the the team for going down and doing the story -  - I have not seen investigative journalism of that quality since Mike Moore headed up Frontline at the ABC.

    Posted by John Taylor  on  25/08/14  at  08:53 PM
  11. The Luminol

    The Luminol in the dinghy is one of a number of spurious legal issues being raised by Susan Neill-Fraser’s supporters, who allege the jury was misled by the Luminol evidence because it is not a conclusive test for the presence of blood.

    But the deficiences with Luminol *were* aired during the trial, where it was made clear during evidence that Luminol can produce a false positive for blood.

    The Appeal Court also noted this deficiency with Luminol, stating in it’s findings that “[t]he inflatable dinghy had many areas that were positive to luminol, a screening test for blood but not a conclusive one.”

    So this is not new evidence. The jury were well aware that Luminol can produce a false positive for blood, and the Appeal Court also considered that fact in their findings.

    Susan Neill-Fraser’s supporters appear to have access to the trial transcript, so maybe they could reveal *all* of the evidence in which Luminol and its shortcomings were discussed?

    Posted by Ben Lohberger  on  25/08/14  at  10:49 PM
  12. The homeless girl and her DNA

    This is another spurious legal issue, and again it is one that received lengthy hearings in Susan Neill-Fraser’s trial, the Court of Criminal Appeal, and the application to appeal to the High Court. 

    The DNA of a homeless girl was discovered in one spot on the deck of the yacht, three days after it was found sinking. 

    The girl was called as a witness in the trial, and gave evidence that she had no idea how her DNA got on the yacht. She said she did not remember ever being on the yacht while it was moored, or after police had placed it a private slip at Goodwood for inspection.

    She was grilled by Susan Neill-Fraser’s lawyer, who was at one stage described by the Court of Criminal Appeal as “unfair” in his cross-examination regarding the homeless girl’s exact address at the time of the murder.

    She revealed during her evidence that she was 15, had been homeless since she was 13, and had difficulty remembering many things, including her exact location on the night of the murder (21 months earlier).

    She finished giving evidence and was dismissed, before the defence lawyer decided he wanted to recall her.

    After legal debate, the judge denied the request because he felt there was zero prospect of anything further coming from the witness, given that she didn’t remember ever being on the yacht, or exactly where she was on the night of the murder.

    The Court of Criminal Appeal and the High Court both agreed with the judge’s ruling:

    The trial judge refused the recall request as following “but the question of just where [the homeless girl] was and what she did on the night of the 26th of January seems to be peripheral when her version of events is unshakeably, or apparently unshakeably, that she did not go onto the Four Winds, that she didn’t go to the slip yard at Goodwood and that she didn’t go to Constitution Dock at or about the time that the boat was there.” 

    The Court of Criminal Appeal found that “[t]he appellant has failed to establish that there is a significant possibility, one greater than a merely speculative one, that the jury would have acquitted her if [the homeless girl] had been recalled. It cannot be concluded that the verdict was unsafe or unsatisfactory, or that a miscarriage of justice resulted”.

    The High Court found “… in our view, this application does not give rise to a question suitable to a grant of special leave as the applicant has not shown that she was denied an opportunity to produce evidence on a point of substance which can be shown to have had a significant possibility of affecting the jury’s verdict”.

    Posted by Ben Lohberger  on  25/08/14  at  10:54 PM
  13. 60 Minutes and the homeless girl’s DNA

    Susan Neill-Fraser’s supporters have now used 60 Minutes to unveil yet another red herring - new DNA analysis that asserts the homeless girl’s DNA could not have been transferred second-hand onto the yacht via “foot traffic on the deck”. 

    But expert evidence given at the trial established that the homeless girl’s DNA could have been transferred onto the yacht by foot traffic, or by any other means. The Appellate Court summarised this evidence as follows:

    “Its presence [the homeless girl’s DNA] on a walkway could be accounted for by a lot of people passing over the area and one of them transferring onto the walkway the DNA of a person picked up elsewhere on the bottom of their shoe. Potentially anything could be carrying a person’s DNA and could transfer it.” 

    Barbara Etter presented this new DNA analysis on this week’s 60 Minutes. Given that Ms Etter appears to have access to the trial transcript, and definitely has access to the appeal transcript, you’d think she already knows that the court didn’t rely on “foot traffic” alone as the only potential source of the DNA transfer. Interesting that she failed to mention it.

    But I will mention something now. The 60 Minutes segment included a tabloid hatchet-job on the homeless girl that was nauseating, and completely unnecessary. I’ve warned about the behavior of Susan Neill-Fraser’s supporters previously, and pointed out their willingness to blacken anyone and everyone’s name in their crusade, but this was particularly repellent.

    Posted by Ben Lohberger  on  25/08/14  at  10:58 PM
  14. 8 hours of interviews with police would produce a lot of information. Going by that long list of things that you have said are lies,( plenty of cherry picking in that lot) then one would suppose then the missing fire extinguisher relied upon so heavily is a lie too. Basically it all just doesnt add up or make sense how the prosecution has strung it together. Mr. Chappell was a strong swimmer, so just as plausible would be that the fire extinguisher was used as a flotation device and he swam away to parts unknown.

    Posted by Rosemary  on  25/08/14  at  11:13 PM
  15. The words of Justice Blow (1)

    In January this year Andrew Urban wrote an article for TasmanianTimes that led to confusion about the judge’s remarks to the jury, not least amongst his fellow supporters of Susan Neill-Fraser.
    [ http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/sue-neill-fraser-the-sentencing-blow-by-blow/ ]

    The article criticised the sentencing remarks of the trial judge, Justice Blow, which were made after Ms Neill-Fraser had been found guilty by the jury.

    Despite the Justice Blow’s remarks being made after the guilty verdict, Mr Urban criticised his “willingness to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt on matters which are quite evidently in doubt”. Amongst many other things.

    Mr Urban was seemingly confusing the judge’s sentencing remarks, given after the verdict, with the judge’s directions to the jury, which are given *before* the verdict is reached.

    I say ‘seemingly’ because Mr Urban quoted almost an entire paragraph of the judge’s sentencing remarks in his article, but strangely omitted the very first sentence of that paragraph, which read:

    “For sentencing purposes, it is appropriate that I make findings as to how, when and why the crime of murder was committed, to the extent that the evidence enables me to do so.”

    Mr Urban also supplied a link in his article, but it goes through to a menu page that contains another copy of his same article; it does not link the actual sentencing remarks.

    Mr Urban’s quote of the paragraph of Justice Blow’s sentencing remarks:

    I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Ms Neill-Fraser attacked Mr Chappell on board their yacht, the Four Winds, which was at its mooring off Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay. The attack occurred in either the saloon or the wheelhouse, out of public view, when the couple were alone. Mr Chappell probably died on board the yacht, but I cannot rule out the possibility that the attack left him deeply unconscious, and that drowning was the cause of death. I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Ms Neill-Fraser used the ropes and winches on the yacht to lift Mr Chappell’s body onto the deck; that she manoeuvred his body into the yacht’s tender ...

    The actual paragraph of Justice Blow’s sentencing remarks:

    For sentencing purposes, it is appropriate that I make findings as to how, when and why the crime of murder was committed, to the extent that the evidence enables me to do so. I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Ms Neill-Fraser attacked Mr Chappell on board the yacht, the Four Winds, which was at its mooring of Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay. The attack occurred in either the saloon or the wheelhouse, out of public view, when the couple were alone. Mr Chappell probably died on board the yacht, but I cannot rule out the possibility that the attack left him deeply unconscious, and that that drowning was the cause of death. I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Ms Neill-Fraser used the ropes and winches on the yacht to lift Mr Chappell’s body onto the deck; that she manoeuvred his body into the yacht’s tender, ...
    [‘The trial of Ms Neill-Fraser for Murder,’ http://www.magistratescourt.tas.gov.au/decisions/coronial_findings/c/chappell,_robert_adrian_-_2014_tascd_04 ]

    Posted by Ben Lohberger  on  26/08/14  at  02:25 AM
  16. The words of Justice Blow (2)

    Justice Blow’s actual directions to the jury have been published on the website of Mr Urban’s fellow Neill-Fraser supporter, Dr Bob Moles. The required password is ‘supreme’
    [ http://netk.net.au/Tasmania/Neill-Fraser1.pdf ]

    It’s a lengthy read at 63 pages, but a number of the directions completely undermine the claims of Susan Neill-Fraser’s supporters, especially that the judge somehow stitched her up while directing the jury:

    - Although I’m the judge of the law the twelve of you are the judges of the facts, as I - I think I said this on day one; it’s your role to consider all of the evidence concerning the facts and where possible to reach conclusions or make findings about the facts. That area is yours alone.

    - It’s also up to you, as the judges of the facts, to make some assessment of the witnesses and of the reliability or otherwise of the different witnesses and the different things that the witnesses have said. It’s up to you to decide which witnesses you think are mistaken, evasive, unreliable or dishonest. And for that matter, it’s up to you to decide how much reliance you place on the exhibits.

    - Mr Ellis, in - at the end of his cross-examination of Ms Neill-Fraser, put to her a series of propositions as to, for example, the killing of Mr Chappell with a wrench, and she denied that. Well what he said, the suggested facts contained in his question, aren’t evidence. They’re a theory; they’re a theory that you ought to consider. But what the witness - when Ms Neill-Fraser said, “No, that didn’t happen,” her evidence is “No, that didn’t happen” - it’s your role to consider whether you accept it or not.

    - In other words luminol which reacts positively to blood but also gives false positive results did produce a positive reaction in area 11, so maybe there was blood there, maybe the luminol was reacting to something else.

    -  And he [DNA profiler Mr Carl Grosser] was asked about a walkway. He said: “It’s a possibility. Logically on a walkway you’re going to get a lot of people passing over that particular area and potentially the mechanism for that sort of transfer to occur could be on the bottom of someone’s shoe or something like that. You could step in something and transfer DNA that way, that’s sort of logically what goes through my head, but again it’s speculation, I can’t say categorically that that’s what’s happening in this case.” Well I’d suggest you think about that.

    Posted by Ben Lohberger  on  26/08/14  at  02:49 AM
  17. An innocent person has no need to lie. It is unfortunate our Courts have lost their veracity and our Police their integrity, worst of all is when the public is divided by doubts extracted incompletely from a clearly dishonest accused. I appeal to the supporters group to let this rest the deeper you dig the dirtier you get, give your support to those who have been incarcerated by being ignorant of the Law and fail to get reasonable representation and are from a poorer social demographic.

    Posted by gavin Collier  on  26/08/14  at  07:04 AM
  18. Having observed character evidence from both the judge and prosecutor in this case in a civil case thirteen years before,  my perspective on the SNF judgment is distinctly sceptical.

    John Hayward

    Posted by john hayward  on  26/08/14  at  08:34 AM
  19. Reading Ben’s quote of expert dna at trial ” could” was the word concerning   dna transfer by shoe, versus victorian police forensics say it is definitely “primary” DNA. There is a big difference that cannot be ignored.

    Posted by Rosemary  on  26/08/14  at  09:08 AM
  20. #16; Thanks for that link Ben. I haven’t had time to read the full transcript but so far I’ve seen nothing that undermines my opinion. I would like somehow to be able to read it with an entirely open mind as it’s quite possible that I am biased, but when I read it, I detect a underlying message of “this woman is guilty but we must be seen to give her a fair trial”.

    With regard to the DNA, as I understand it, the expert witness at the trial was asked whether the DNA could have been transferred to the site on the sole of a shoe. He said it’s a possibility. What else could he say in the circumstance, unless he was absolutely positive that it couldn’t have happened? Expert witnesses have to be very careful and it’s extremely difficult to prove a negative.

    To dismiss that DNA, the prosecution should have had to have gone into the matter a lot more deeply, rather than simply getting a possibility from an expert witness. Without the DNA being conclusively dismissed, there was another possible scenario alive and well. The judge makes much of the ambiguity of the expert witness but doesn’t make much of the consequences of an alternative scenario in a circumstantial case.

    I note the judge quotes an example of a child on a bike (P14), where a child is seen riding by, there’s the sound of the crash and the child reappears injured. This case is more along the lines of noting the child’s bike is missing and the child has a bruised knee. From this concluding the child was riding with no hands (because children often do this and someone heard your child talk about it a year ago), they crashed the bike and have now thrown it in the river to hide the evidence.

    Posted by Steve  on  26/08/14  at  09:34 AM
  21. #11; I hate commenting after myself but realised I hadn’t responded to this one.
    No problem with the deficiencies of Luminol, it gives an possible indication of blood. It’s a preliminary test.
    My problem is the apparent lack of follow up tests. It appears inconceivable that there was no more testing done on the dinghy, other than a quick and dirty preliminary test. Had the prosecution been able to locate traces of Bob Chappell’s blood in the dinghy, it would have been an important part of their case. As one who’s had to clean fish blood out of an inflatable, it’s not an easy task without tipping it up and hosing!
    Was there other testing done on the dinghy? No-one seems to mention the results.

    Posted by Steve  on  26/08/14  at  10:06 AM
  22. # 16 ‘Mr Ellis, in - at the end of his cross-examination of Ms Neill-Fraser, put to her a series of propositions as to, for example, the killing of Mr Chappell with a wrench, and she denied that. Well what he said, the suggested facts contained in his question, aren’t evidence. They’re a theory; they’re a theory that you ought to consider.’

    Seriously?  Justice Blow was ‘directing’ – a I use the word loosely - a group of 12 lay persons, who had been exposed to almost two years worth of Tasmanian press coverage of the Neill-Fraser case, between the time of the alleged offence in January 2009 and the trial in October 20120.  He told them that the DPP’s propositions regarding the commission of the alleged murder by Ms Neill-Fraser were not evidence, but they were ‘suggested FACTS’ – isn’t that a classic oxymoron?  How can ‘suggestions’ be ‘facts’?  Then he follows by noting that these propositions – that he has already told a jury of persons totally unfamiliar with legal protocols are ‘facts’ – are theories ‘THAT THEY OUGHT TO CONSIDER’.

    He should have told the jury that the scenario described,  was nothing more than speculation.  That there was NO evidence to support it.

    (Edited)

    Posted by Barbara Mitchell  on  26/08/14  at  10:49 AM
  23. #20 No worries Steve.

    The new DNA analysis changes nothing from the evidence given at the trial. There was a trace of DNA from another person found on the deck of the yacht, that person has no idea how it got there and denies ever being anywhere near the yacht.

    There is no evidence to link that person to the yacht, apart from the trace of DNA, and (despite the misleading claims of a number of people) the DNA could still have been transferred second-hand to the yacht by any number of means apart from foot traffic.

    The problem I have with the new analysis is that Ms Neill-Fraser’s supporters are falsely claiming it completely debunks the DNA evidence given at the trial. It does not. It changes nothing.

    #21

    I only brought up the Luminol because (again) Ms Neill-Fraser’s supporters were being misleading by saying the jury wasn’t told that Luminol sometimes provides false negatives for blood. The jury of course were told this.

    Apart from that, the issue is yet another red herring.

    The blood (or Luminol) in the dinghy were not even mentioned by Justice Blow in his directions to the jury.

    It did not play a role in Sue Neill-Fraser’s conviction.

    What it does do for me however, is confirm a pattern of behavior in some of those seeking to free the Ms Neill-Fraser.

    Posted by Ben Lohberger  on  26/08/14  at  11:44 AM
  24. #22

    The judge made it abundantly clear that the scenario put by the DPP was a “theory,” “a series of propositions,” and that it wasn’t “evidence”.  He did not tell the jury they were “facts” as you assert, he said “suggested facts”.
     
    You also seem to be suggesting that the jury were influenced by press coverage prior to the trial. If you have any evidence of this new “theory” (“proposition”?), then you should provide it.

    Posted by Ben Lohberger  on  26/08/14  at  12:09 PM
  25. #20 Steve, a “possibility” is much weaker speculation than probability, in my view. Then even a probability is not confirmation; still hypothesis.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  26/08/14  at  12:37 PM
  26. #22. Having three times been empanelled on a jury, I can assure you that the randomly selected 12 persons are not necessarily 12 skilled and scholarly persons, capable of recalling most of the evidence through the witness box, the judge’s directions and then forming a verdict based on those.

    Based on my observations / experience, rather and often there are scant notes taken by some, others are confused with evidence, others have no understanding that the ‘expert’ witness is more often than not a “hired-gun”, and others fail to (i) comprehend, and (ii) pay any attention to, their obligations to and the importance of, “beyond reasonable doubt” verdict.

    I could go on and I would like to, but it is a no, no and I would be prosecuted! Jury members are prevented from speaking about what happened inside the jury room. What I can say is that if they were able to speak out, I speculate that flawed system would be immediately reviewed and / or abolished.

    Any onlooker that holds the opinion that the system is fair and perfect is misguided. I affirm that wrongdoing occurs inside the jury room; I’ve witnessed it. To say it is the best we’ve got, is insufficient when it gives rise to the probability that innocent persons can be convicted of a crime that they did not commit.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  26/08/14  at  12:54 PM
  27. Just for the record at the very end of the trial, before the Judge’s summing up, the Judge held a discussion with Counsel about any clarifications required, without the jury present. (CT1464-1488)
    At p.1486, the following interaction occurred in the absence of the jury:
      MR ELLIS SC: The next point is, it was attributed to me that I said it was Mr Chappell’s blood in the dinghy. Now I don’t believe I did.
      MR GUNSON SC: Yes, you did.
      MR ELLIS SC: Okay – I don’t know why I’d say it
      HIS HONOUR: Well –
      MR ELLIS SC: Because I’ve never believed it.
      HIS HONOUR: In opening.
      MR ELLIS SC: Oh in opening –
      MR GUNSON SC: Yes, in opening.
      MR ELLIS SC: Oh okay, I abandon that, if I said it opening.
      HIS HONOUR: All right. Well I’ll do nothing about that point. What’s the next point?

    DO NOTHING?

    In the summing up to the jury, immediately before they adjourned to make their decision, no clarification or correction was provided by the Judge on this point to jury members other than the following:

    In other words luminol which reacts positively to blood but also gives false positive results did produce a positive reaction in area 11 [where the Vass DNA sample was taken], so maybe there was blood there, maybe the luminol was reacting to something else. (1529)

    The Judge also made the following comment during the trial, in considering whether there was a case to answer, after hearing the evidence of the forensic scientist:

    “There’s an abundance of evidence from which the jury could infer that Mr Chappell is dead, I don’t need to refer to all of that I don’t think, and that somebody killed him, there’s evidence of blood in the boat, sabotage of the boat, the positive luminol test on the dinghy, of the cut rope in photograph 42 particularly and of ropes rigged as if to have lifted something up to the deck. I think it’s open to the jury to infer that Mr Chappell was killed, hoisted out of the cabin, or out of the – hoisted up onto the deck, got into the dinghy and dumped in the Derwent, quite likely in a part of it that nobody searched. It’s – the - and it’s open to the jury to infer that whoever did that used the dinghy from the Four Winds that according to the accused had been tied up at the yacht club and was found abandoned at the beach near Marieville Esplanade.” (1084)

    Sue Neill-Fraser did not have a fair trial. Her conviction is unsafe.

    Posted by Eve Ash  on  26/08/14  at  01:47 PM
  28. Andrew Wilke, Independent MHR, statement yesterday (25/08/14)

    “… Closer to home, there is a desperate need for Sue Neill-Fraser’s murder conviction to be reviewed. The revelation on 60 Minutes last night that Victoria Police forensic services has debunked the DNA evidence underpinning the guilty verdict surely must prompt Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin to refer this matter back to the Court of Criminal Appeal. Unless certainty is brought to this matter the community will remain anxious about the effectiveness of our justice system.’’

    For the purpose of emphasis in this TT thread discussion, the final sentence warrants reiteration, as it is a truism.

    “Unless certainty is brought to this matter the community will remain anxious about the effectiveness of our justice system.’’

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  26/08/14  at  02:01 PM
  29. #27

    Once again Eve Ash I call on you and your fellow supporters of Susan Neill-Fraser to release the entire trial transcript that you are cherry-picking quotes from.

    Sections of quotes have been omitted several times by Ms Neill-Fraser’s supporters, to boost their own arguments. One of those actually occurred on this very thread.

    So how do we know the same thing isn’t happening to the quotes coming from the trial transcript?

    We don’t know, and we won’t know until the transcript is published so that we can all see it.

    Posted by Ben Lohberger  on  26/08/14  at  02:39 PM
  30. #23; Your point on the DNA is interesting. You contend that it is secondary contamination. 60 Minutes claimed that Victorian forensics had definitely established that it was a primary source.
    Here we have two incompatible viewpoints on what is presumably a factual matter. Forensic science is a highly developed field and I find it hard to believe that they couldn’t determine definitely whether contamination was primary or secondary, especially in a situation where there doesn’t appear to be any deliberate attempt to mislead.
    It appeared to me that the expert at the trial was coy because no importance had previously been attached to the question so he was only able to offer opinion.
    With regard to the Luminol in the dinghy, I understand that an image of the dinghy, glowing with Luminol, was shown to the jury and they were told that this was a test for blood. If this is correct, many of the jury members may well have made their mind up there and then. Surely, you’re stretching things to say that the Luminol played no part in the conviction?
    If there was no blood found in the dinghy, why not? We have a corpse, freshly beaten to death, being unceremoniously dumped into a dinghy, by a single person, in the dark and there’s not a single blood spot for forensics to find? The dinghy should play a big part in over turning this conviction!

    Posted by Steve  on  26/08/14  at  03:17 PM
  31. #30, FYI Steve, in case you have missed it, Barbara Etter APM 24 August 2014 blog post, headed: An Analysis of the Supreme Court Trial, the Court of Criminal Appeal Submissions and Decision and the High Court Application in relation to the Meaghan Vass DNA Sample

    Barbara writes,
    Please see attached an analysis of the Court transcripts and decisions relevant to the consideration of the new and startling DNA evidence in the Sue Neill-Fraser case in light of the new expert report from Victoria which indicates that the relevant sample was directly transferred to the deck of the yacht, contrary to theories put by the Crown to each of the courts. See Analysis of Court transcripts etc.


    http://www.betterconsult.com.au/blog/an-analysis-of-the-supreme-court-trial-the-court-of-criminal-appeal-submissions-and-decision-and-the-high-court-application-in-relation-to-the-meaghan-vass-dna-sample/

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  26/08/14  at  03:31 PM
  32. #30. We should advise the National Museum in Canberra to reserve a spot for the Four Winds Dinghy to sit alongside the Chamberlian car.

    It was Sydney forensic biologist Joy Kuhl who claimed there was baby’s blood in that car and on family possessions. Years later Justice Morling found that a reasonably instructed jury in possession of further evidence would have been compelled to acquit. The royal commission revealed there was no blood in the car, or on the Chamberlains’ possessions.

    Posted by Eve Ash  on  26/08/14  at  03:35 PM
  33. #29 Ben, that I am aware, there is no available online facility that provides court trial transcripts. I can only imagine that the volume of the Supreme Court SNF trial transcripts is huge. Thus, can you please say how you believe it is realistically possible “...to release the entire trial transcript that you are cherry-picking quotes from”?

    From my viewpoint, you are asking the impossible, other than you attending the Supreme Court to peruse the records, if that is possible.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  26/08/14  at  03:40 PM
  34. Thanks to Ben for taking on those questioning the verdict.  I followed the case closely and read all the documents associated with it at the time.  I believe, as the jury does, that Neill-Fraser is guilty.  There is such a classic lot of spin being done by her supporters. Associations with Lindy Chamberlain are ludicrous. Lindy never lied or changed her story. There was no media pack out to discredit Neill-Fraser, as was the case with Chamberlain case. 60 Minutes is tabloid journalism. As an earlier posting said; almost as good as Frontline!
    They should release the full transcript and stop cherry-picking to suit their point of view.

    Posted by Rachel L  on  26/08/14  at  03:51 PM
  35. #34, Rachel, since you “read all the documents associated with it at the time” you might provide your source of reading to Ben, in order that he can read for himself a full non-cherry-picked version.

    For this record, never have I met the now convicted SNF. I readily admit I do not know if she is innocent or guilty, how could I? What I do know is — she was and remains entitled to a fair trial. Shamefully, that didn’t happen. If my supporting calls for a fair hearing to come about, then I come into your category of “supporters”.

    As one of those “supporters” I (and other commentators as I read them) do not engage in “spin to suit [my] point of view”. Staying with the facts is much safer and adds credence to matters at issue.

    Anyone has a right to hold an opinion and courteously express it as is happening in these discussions. Graciously, I ask that the respect be reciprocated.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  26/08/14  at  04:43 PM
  36. In the TT article ‘It’s time to talk about Sue’ ([Here]), Geraldine Allan (#4 in that thread) quoted from Justice Byrne’s (Baden-Clay case) repeated summary comments to the jury - repeated at the jury’s request.  He said:

    Importantly, to bring in a verdict of guilty based entirely, or substantially, on circumstantial evidence, guilt should not only be a rational inference: it must be the only rational inference that could be drawn from the circumstances.

    I would have no difficulty in inferring from ‘new’ Victorian forensic evidence that a person other than SNF was actually on the boat around the time of Bob Chappell’s disappearance.  Knowledge of this might well have prevented me, had I been a juror in the trial of SNF, from concluding that she was guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

    The subsequent refusal by the trial judge to require that other person to be recalled to the stand, following the discovery that she was not where she’d claimed to have been on the night of the disappearance, was – in hindsight – a mistake, or, if you like, a miscarriage of justice. 

    Ben Lohberger makes a good suggestion in calling for the trial transcript to be released.  In my opinion, this would be in the public interest.  However, Ben (#13), in writing about the expert evidence that “the homeless girl’s DNA could have been transferred onto the yacht by foot traffic, or by any other means”, seems to be confusing matters.  It seems as if he is responding to the new report from the Victorian Police Forensic Department, but yet it seems as if he is not.  Is he simply reiterating what is part of the existing court record?  Be that as it may, I call on Barbara Etter / Eve Ash / or similar persons who have copies of relevant transcripts, to put them on the public record, here on Tasmanian Times, where we can all look at them as complete documents.  If they are too large, then I suggest they be broken into files within sub folders etc.

    I also call on Barbara Etter / Eve Ash / or similar persons to release the entirety of the Victorian Police forensics report.  At the moment all that I have access to is the following excerpt:

    [T]here is no evidence to support the hypothesis that the DNA detected in sample 20 was the result of a secondary transfer event caused through foot traffic on the deck of “four (sic) Winds”.

    - published by BEtter Consulting: [Here].

    I am concerned that the ‘there-is-no-evidence-to-support-the-secondary-transfer-of-DNA-hypothesis’ statement is being used to claim some sort of de facto proof that the DNA was deposited directly

    I would be more than happy if Barbara/Eve were to publish the whole of the police report and to find that the Victorian Police report insists that the DNA was deposited directly.  However, I fear that this is not the case, and I fear that in fact the report might actually say something less supportive of the SNF claims.  Perhaps the whole report is somewhere readily available, and perhaps I’m the only person who cannot locate it.  But while I can’t read it, I wonder about that quote, which I gave above.  Its ’[T]here is no evidence’, beginning as it does, with a capital substituted in place of a lower case ‘t’, suggests that there was originally more to this sentence than was published by Barbara. There are a number of reasons why we do not quote entire sentences.  Some excisions are sensible, while some are to present an idea in the strongest possible light.  Sometimes, people leave out that which contradicts their own view in order that theirs might prevail.    I am concerned that the report might not contain all that Barbara and Eve claim of it.

    Here is the above quote, again:

    [T]here is no evidence to support the hypothesis that the DNA detected in sample 20 was the result of a secondary transfer event caused through foot traffic on the deck of “four (sic) Winds”.

    I recall and modify a legal maxim thus: absence of evidence of secondary DNA transfer is not in itself evidence of direct deposit

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  26/08/14  at  05:38 PM
  37. #34; My problem Rachel, is that I don’t believe that “belief” is sufficient reason to lock someone up for twenty plus years
    I have always kept an open mind on whether SNF is guilty or not. There’s some facts that don’t look good for her, but to my mind, none of them constitute proof beyond reasonable doubt. The judge appears though to agree with you, as somewhere in that summing up (sorry, I haven’t time to extract it so I may be misquoting)he instructs the jury that if they don’t believe the prosecutions sequence of events, it doesn’t really matter as the important thing is that they are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that SNF is guilty. Basically, if you believe she did it, regardless of the flimsy evidence presented…..
    Interestingly, as I have looked harder at the “farrago of lies” that appears to be the backbone of the “she did it, I know it” faith, I see not the lies I expected to see but a confused person, upset and not taking a lot of interest in what she is saying because she doesn’t think it important.
    Ben has listed what he feels are the overwhelming facts proving guilt. I just see a collection of stuff, that when piled together looks impressive, but when looked at in context seems ridiculous.
    Twelve years ago SNF discussed killing someone. Really? This mild mannered lady has spent the last twelve years plotting a murder, discussing it with nobody since and then she pulls off this ham fisted effort? Even Miss Marple would choke on her digestive!

    Posted by Steve  on  26/08/14  at  05:49 PM
  38. #33 Geraldine

    Eve Ash, Barbara Etter and Andrew Urban all appear to have access to the trial transcript, and all of them are cherry-picking quotes from that transcript.

    I don’t know if you actually read Andrew Urban’s article above, but he quotes from the trial transcript and names up the page numbers (“In his closing (CT pp.1428 – 1461)”).

    Eve Ash also appears to be quoting from the trial transcript in comment #27.

    Without wanting to be rude, you should probably read what is written on a thread that you’re commenting on. It’ll help you to stay with the facts, and would add some credence to what you’re saying.

    As for #35, that first sentence is far ruder than anything said by Rachel.

    Garry #36, I included the expert quote from the trial, about the DNA possibly coming from foot traffic or from any other source, because the only quote I’ve seen from the new DNA report specifically refers to a lack of evidence that it came from “foot traffic”.

    Ms Neill-Fraser’s supporters say this finding debunks the DNA evidence given at the trial, but the trial evidence specifically mentioned that it could have come from pretty much anywhere.

    Which means this new analysis of the DNA is basically irrelevant.

    Posted by Ben Lohberger  on  26/08/14  at  07:01 PM
  39. Tas Times is not a replacement for proper judicial process, there is enough published trial material to warrant a review of the case and quashing the conviction while still respecting legal in confidence. same with reports. all should rightly go before the courts through a proper review process where new evidence can be dealt with. I recall the challenge from a police officer speaking on behalf of the police association on the news calling to produce new evidence. now the challenge can be reversed, with this new evidence can the A-G open a judicial review with proper legal proceedures. Inquiry Now! The police should welcome scrutiny for the public to have confidence in them. As should the whole legal system in Tasmania.

    Posted by Rosemary  on  26/08/14  at  07:28 PM
  40. A jury and our legal system found her guilty beyond reasonable doubt. What Neill-Fraser’s supporters are trying to do is have a trial by public opinion, in order to push politicians to their cause because they have had no success with legal avenues.

    In that case they should make freely available all the transcripts so others can read them and make up their mind. If they are of the business of trying to convince others of her innocence and having rallies and a campaign to free her, then they should have nothing to fear putting that information out there to show just what a horrible miscarriage of justice this is all meant to have been. Far better to do this than the current situation where they discredit themselves, by trying to convince others with selective quotes, a documentary is made, again with selective information and tabloid journalism, by way of 60 Minutes, is brought to the cause.

    Better still the courts should re-release the entire transcripts so the public can read it all for themselves. It would definitely be in the public interest.

    Posted by Rachel  on  26/08/14  at  07:49 PM
  41. # 36; Thank you Garry for a sensible comment!

    My personal opinion is that, in this situation, where there are so many vague theories floating about, so much lack of solid facts, it’s preposterous to not simply re-visit the trial.

    I don’t care what rules apply to appeals. For ongoing faith in our judicial system, there needs to be the facility to say whoa; there may be a problem here. Let’s go back to square one and start again.

    Take the egos out of it, simply start again. I get a bit concerned when I read the offerings from the “she’s guilty” faith. This is a real person, locked up for the next twenty years? If I thought her guilty, I would remain mute.

    Posted by Steve  on  26/08/14  at  08:15 PM
  42. The science of DNA has made huge leaps over the past decade. But the science of its transferral is in its infancy.

    Once thought to constitute a lay down misere, DNA evidence is now viewed with scepticism. Check the case of the Faceless Lady at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_of_Heilbronn.

    There was also a SA case which ABC RN’s ace legal reporter Damien Carrick ran recently http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lawreport/jeremy-gans/5677452.

    And to add further doubt read ‘The Tainted Trial of Farah Jama’ by Julie Szego which describes how a Melbourne kid of Somalian origins was recently fitted up for a rape.

    Posted by dna sceptic  on  26/08/14  at  09:00 PM
  43. #38. FYI Ben, I twice read the complete article, and have read all comments.

    I consider there’s nothing wrong with my comprehension. Be that as it may, I accept that as you interpret my comments, my appreciation of the facts may need a change for the better.

    Having addressed the digression, it is now time to get back to the real issue — campaigning for a fair trial [justice] for Susan Neill-Fraser and for dignity to be afforded to the memory of Bob Chappell. Then and only then, can his family and loved ones deal with his loss and grieve in privacy and peace.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  26/08/14  at  09:04 PM
  44. #42; Fair comment dna sceptic, but are you suggesting this happened in this case? I’m happy to accept that science is not infallible but there doesn’t appear to have been any scientific investigation of this point that went beyond one expert witness being asked questions that I suspect he was not in a position to answer categorically.

    Posted by Steve  on  26/08/14  at  09:48 PM
  45. #43

    Geraldine, I suspect Bob Chappell’s family are already dealing with his loss, despite the fact that his body is still missing.

    They do not need to see his murderer released to achieve peace. In fact quite the opposite.

    Your comment also implies that if Susan Neill-Fraser is not set free, her supporters will continue their campaign regardless of any distress it may cause the Chappell family. And you’ve said something very similar before, on another thread:

    “...for the record I am concerned about the victim and endeavour to take into consideration the sensitivities for all persons involved in and affected by, the tragic set of circumstances of this matter.

    Additionally, it is important for citizens to have faith in the criminal justice system. Until such time as justice is seen to be done (not said to be done), it seems to me an impossible task to put associated matters to rest and afford all the dignity and respect they so deserve.

    It seems to me that until such time as those with the power to shine light on matters as exposed, discussed and debated, associated distress for all parties will continue.”
    Posted by Geraldine Allan on 11/08/14 at 01:10 PM
    [ http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/oa-objections-answers-why-should-dr-bob-moles-be-heard-by-mps/ ]

    If the Neill-Fraser supporters *really* cared about the Chappell family, or about “affording dignity to the memory of Bob Chappell,” they would be talking to Susan Neill-Fraser about admitting her crime and revealing what she did with Mr Chappell’s body.

    And if they actually cared about Ms Neill-Fraser, they would be encouraging her to do exactly the same thing.

    She will never receive parole while surrounded by people who are actively encouraging her state of denial.

    Which is a bit of a problem when you realize that some of these people are making money and/or building careers off the back of this incoherent campaign.

    Posted by Ben Lohberger  on  26/08/14  at  11:00 PM
  46. 42.  “fitting up for a rape”?  Unfortunately the error was apparently one of contamination that caused the issue.  It is interesting to note those involved in the prosecution of the matter questioned the result.  There was no evidence that he was “fitted up”.

    It seems both sides of this debate about this woman’s guilt go round and round in circles.  The central issue here is whether the current system of law works.  The fact is that when Oscar Pittorius’ decision is handed down in South Africa the judge will give written reasons for her decision.  A jury only has to provide a decision, but no reasoning for the decision.  Whilst we persist with lay people handing down decisions and not providing their rationale we will continue to have such debates about what influenced them.

    Posted by Jane Goodall's Ape  on  26/08/14  at  11:32 PM
  47. #36 Garry, the full para. of the DNA report containing the quote:

    If the tread of a shoe retaining a moist biological substance was to be acknowledged as the likely means of the transference, I believe it is reasonable to anticipate that at least one other similar stain resulting in the same DNA profile (or part thereof) would have been expected to have been deposited on the deck of ‘Four Winds’ as the person moved about the yacht. No such stain appears to have been detected by Forensic Scientist’s (sic) from the FSST based on the six pages of DNA profile tables headed “DNA PROFILING COURT REPORT”. Therefore, there is no evidence to support the hypothesis that the DNA detected in sample 20 was the result of a secondary transfer event caused through foot traffic on the deck of “four Winds”.

    The report examined the relevant DNA electropherogram (the graphical form of a DNA profile showing allele peak heights on the vertical scale and allele size on the horizontal scale). The relevant sample showed an “unambiguous single source Profiler Plus ... DNA profile representative of a female individual”. There was no indication that any component (allele) within this DNA profile had dropped out nor was there any significant indication of stochastic variation. “Dropout” is defined in the report as “An extreme form of stochastic variation whereby a component of a DNA profile (allele) has failed to attain the required detection level”. Stochastic variation is defined in the report as a random variation in a DNA profile resulting from a low number of copies of DNA being detected for an allele relative to a partnering peak.

    The report further states that the quantity of biological material in the sample as indicated by the number of rfu’s (Relative Fluorescence Units) per DNA marker (which determine the heights of allele peaks in the DNA profile printout) are strongly inconsistent with a “touch DNA” scenario. The report states that the sample is indicative of “a relatively large amount of DNA, which is more likely to have come from body fluids (blood, saliva etc) than a simple skin contact/touching event”.

    The report also states:

    A significant amount of research has been conducted in relation to the primary and secondary transfer of human biological material; notably human skin cells via direct hand or body contact (see Goray et al. 2010 and Oorschot et al. 2010). However, based on my case work experience using the Profiler Plus ... DNA profiling system, samples believed to be composed of human skin cells that remain on surfaces through human contact either directly or indirectly typically result in incomplete profiles (i.e. exhibit dropout), produce a DNA electropherogram having relatively low peak heights (typically below 1,000 rfu) and are likely to exhibit stochastic variation. Moreover, such samples often result in DNA profiles showing multiple contributors. The DNA profile produced from sample 20 has none of these features” (italics not included)

    The description recorded for the sample as “possible drops”, if accurate, was thought to also be important in the report.

    60 Mins and the ABC also have a full copy of the report.

    Posted by Barbara Etter  on  27/08/14  at  06:18 AM
  48. #46 Jane Goodall’s Ape,
    The final 2 sentences of your 2nd paragraph re the inadequacies of the jury system, concur with my post #26.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  27/08/14  at  09:00 AM
  49. #45 There is a distinct difference in beleiving and knowing.

    The jury, Darren Hine, Tim Ellis and Allan Blow may well beleive that Sue Neill-Fraser murdered Bob Chappell but they do not know this murder actually occurred.

    Nobody should be sentenced to 26 years imprisonment for a fictitious murder based on a small number of individuals beliefs.

    Posted by Isla MacGregor  on  27/08/14  at  09:02 AM
  50. Here we have it. Now let’s all go away and shut up!

    Bob Chappell murder: Police chief rules out review despite calls to release Susan Neill-Fraser
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-27/top-cop-rejects-bid-to-review-bob-chappell-murder-evidence/5698954?section=tas

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  27/08/14  at  09:22 AM
  51. #49 Isla, I agree.

    What we know (not believe) is that the SNF trial was unfair. That translates into injustice.

    That knowledge is based on published and available supporting information. It is unnecessary to repeat it here.

    What I believe is that any unfair process resulting in a conviction requires review. What I don’t know is — if and when that will happen.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  27/08/14  at  11:21 AM
  52. Geraldine - It’s not up to Darren Hines, Peter Powell or anyone in the police force to decide whether this case should be reviewed. It’s out of the hands of the police and the judiciary because the only process possible now is apparently through the Attorney-General. Obviously Commissioner Hines, Inspector Powell and Ben Lohberger think the police team did the best they could, so they shouldn’t feel it’s their job to keep defending the guilty verdict. 

    Mistakes were made by some of those involved in the court case and it’s up to them to answer the questions raised by the expert analysis of Robert Richter QC and other eminent Australian legal eagles such as Dr Bob Moles, who is an academic interested in making sure that Australian citizens are not imprisoned when there’s been a clear miscarriage of justice.  That’s his only interest in this trial.

    It’s only by having this fraught case analysed by experts who weren’t involved in the original case and so have no reputation to defend that we can ever hope for truth and justice to prevail.

    Posted by Sammy  on  27/08/14  at  12:11 PM
  53. Sammy, a stuff-up doesn’t have to become a cover-up, although I realise it has.

    Ideally, it would indeed be inspirational to see a fess-up by those who initially stuffed-up. That’s not going to happen. But oh if it did, life would be far less stressful and more pleasant for all involved.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  27/08/14  at  04:48 PM
  54. We have an extraordinarily reliable justice system in Tasmania.

    Once the police have decided that you are guilty, you can be put in goal a year before your case goes to court. There is no need for police to look at all the evidence and they can also keep evidence back. That makes it easier for the court.
    Once you are in court, you will have to prove that you are innocent. Your lawyer does not need to produce any witnesses to support you. No real evidence is needed and as long as it fits, circumstantial evidence will do.

    Once you are declared guilty, the system really comes into its own.

    Very strict rules will limit the appeal system magnificently, and appeal judges will always have to refer back to the initial case, which was correct anyway.

    Appeals will soon be exhausted and then there is only one person to decide if “mercy” should be shown: the Attorney-General. This person is part of the system, can take about 4 years to decide, and does not need to give any reasons for the decision.

    Rest assured, even in the unlikely event that most of the“evidence” against you would happen to fall apart during this process, the system does not have to look at your case ever again!

    Posted by Mieneke Haynes  on  27/08/14  at  07:59 PM
  55. #47 Barbara, would you agree that this first lengthy quote from the new DNA analysis uses language that is ambiguous rather than definitive?

    “...I believe it is reasonable to anticipate…”
    “...would have been expected…”
    “No such stain appears to have been detected…”
    “...a relatively large amount of DNA, which is more likely to have come…”

    A new court hearing requires compelling new evidence. But this is nothing of the sort, it’s just another red herring. 

    #49 Isla, there were a lot more people than “a small number” who believed Susan Neill-Fraser was correctly convicted.

    They include:
    - the entire team of police investigators
    - the DPP’s office
    - all 12 members of the jury
    - the trial judge
    - three judges in the Court of Criminal Appeal
    - two High Court judges
    - one Coroner.

    Every person involved in the investigation, the prosecution, the trial verdict, the appeal verdict, the High Court decision, and the Coronial inquiry, believed that Susan Neill-Fraser’s verdict was sound.

    #52 That’s correct Sammy, Ms Neill-Fraser’s supporters want politicians to interfere in a clear legal verdict that has been reviewed repeatedly.

    When the trial jury found her guilty, her supporters called for an appeal.

    When the Court of Criminal Appeal considered and then rejected her appeal, her supporters called for a coronial inquiry.

    When the coronial inquiry found Susan Neill-Fraser acted alone in murdering Bob Chappell, her supporters called for politicians to intervene in the verdict.

    Which brings us to now, where various supporters are profiting personally, boosting their careers, making overblown claims about DNA analysis, or calling for political interference.

    This bandwagon is out of control - see #53 & #54 for corroboration.

    Posted by Ben Lohberger  on  27/08/14  at  11:18 PM
  56. If there is nothing to hide, why are the authorities so reluctant to have a look at this case?

    Posted by Mieneke Haynes  on  28/08/14  at  07:54 AM
  57. It is due process to take the step to the attorney General. Just how many appeals and royal commissions did it take to over turn the wrongful conviction in the Lindy Chamberlain case and correct the forensic evidence? Dr Moles has been misquoted on 4 mistakes in the trial of SNF (any one of which should have the verdict set aside) that was 4 areas of mistakes around 40 really. I found it interesting that Darren Hines said that we would not be opening an inquiry into the wrongful conviction. Does he speak for the Attorney General now? A bit too cosy this power structure in Tasmania! What is there to hide from? Transparency needed.

    Posted by Rosemary  on  28/08/14  at  08:03 AM
  58. Yes - Dr Moles identified at least 40 distinct mistakes in the evidence and conduct of the trial, and suggests that any one of those mistakes should be grounds for finding this was a miscarriage of justice.  Anyone interested in justice in Australia ought to want this case to be thoroughly and objectively reviewed.  If the Chamberlain case had not gone through many appeals and even a Royal Commission (only brought about via public concern leading to political action) Lindy Chamberlain would still be in jail for a killing which was done by a dingo!  Is that the sort of injustice people like Ben Lohberger would like to see in Tasmania?

    Posted by Sammy  on  28/08/14  at  09:11 AM
  59. Ben Lohberger, thank you for your intelligent writing. If you have a book out, put me down for a copy (just kidding). I think the money making on the death of Mr Chappell is all stitched up.

    #8 ‘Why do we know virtually nothing about that call, except that it ‘unnerved’ Ms Neill-Fraser?’

    Barbara Mitchell, what is your evidence that this call ‘unnerved’ SNF?

    Posted by mark hawkes  on  28/08/14  at  09:12 AM
  60. #57 Rosemary,
    As I read the statement of Police Commissioner Darren Hine, I understood it to mean Tasmania Police will not be conducting any inquiry into their role in the SNF investigation and subsequent prosecution.

    His release is quite separate from any Attorney-General (future) action. A/G Goodwin has released a separate statement of her intentions, once she receives an application.

    You pose the question about how many appeals / royal commissions re Lindy Chamberlain? Have a look at the history of the WA Andrew Mallard conviction.

    It took 12 years of campaigning, uncovering by journalist Colleen Egan, politician John Quigley, CCA appeals and High Court application > back to CCA and finally, a CCC inquiry to uncover the depth of wrongdoing in gaining that conviction. Shockingly dreadful.

    There are modus-operandi (mo) similarities, including but not limited to the wrench! with what we are seeing unfolding here in Tasmania.

    Australian Story is worth a watch, to remind citizens of the extent of mo wrongdoing and, associated pain and anguish with the horribleness of such cases.
    Australian Story - The Wronged Man Part One - Transcript
    CAROLINE JONES PRESENTER Hello I’m Caroline Jones Tonight the story of an innocent man and the failure of a justice system
    In 1995 Andrew Mallard was convicted of murder and served 12 years
    http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2007/s3023243.htm - 27 Sep 2010

    Part 2 - Transcript
    http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2007/s3029194.htm

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  28/08/14  at  09:30 AM
  61. #55; I have to confess Ben, that I’m beginning to wonder about your motivation in this. You appear to be doggedly arguing the guilty case, but not addressing any of the weaknesses that are being pointed out to you.
    You dismiss new DNA evidence as a red herring because the language used is ambiguous. Actually the language appears pretty typical for that sort of report. Very hard to be 100% definitive.
    You avoid discussing the dinghy, even though the dinghy was a major part of the prosecutions scenario. I’ve no problem with someone having a different opinion but I can’t help but wonder why you are so determined that SNF is guilty. Are you proceeding on the basis that others have articulated “innocent people don’t lie”?
    Personally, I’ve no idea whether she’s guilty or not but I’m very dubious about the way she’s been found guilty. Circumstantial conviction should be on the basis of no other credible scenario. This doesn’t appear to concern you. As more holes get poked in the prosecution case, you simply fall back on to the position of “the court found her guilty”. Hardly a logical argument on a thread arguing the court got it wrong!

    Posted by Steve  on  28/08/14  at  09:45 AM
  62. Ben #55.
    It is speculation to say, “there were a lot more people than “a small number” who believed Susan Neill-Fraser was correctly convicted”. In particular I single out “the trial judge
- three judges in the Court of Criminal Appeal
- two High Court judges
- one Coroner. …”

    Other than themselves, nobody knows what they really “believed”. What we do know is that they had to present as believing “Susan Neill-Fraser was correctly convicted”, in accordance with the law as it related to adhering to their various obligation-of-position at their time of involvment in the matter.Their roles presented no opportunity for expression of any alternative belief.

    Often, I ponder how many jury members still believe “Susan Neill-Fraser was correctly convicted”, if given the now available evidence that ought have been presented to them whilst empanelled. I wonder how many of them believe they were duped?

    Thus I do not accept your statement — “Every person involved in the investigation, the prosecution, the trial verdict, the appeal verdict, the High Court decision, and the Coronial inquiry, believed that Susan Neill-Fraser’s verdict was sound”.

    It might be more accurately written as (caps for emphasis of words inserted) “Every person involved in the investigation, the prosecution, the trial verdict, the appeal verdict, the High Court decision, and the Coronial inquiry, HAD TO SAY THEY believed that Susan Neill-Fraser’s verdict was sound”.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  28/08/14  at  09:50 AM
  63. $61 Steve, after your confession about your wondering, you are absolved!

    Like you, “I’ve no idea whether she’s guilty or not but I’m very dubious about the way she’s been found guilty”.

    That’s it in a nutshell.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  28/08/14  at  10:04 AM
  64. #61 Steve, I too was thinking along the same lines as you have succinctly expressed to Ben re the language in the DNA report. 

    Ben fails to recognise that on balance the language in the recently released report, is a similar style as used in the witness reports which the jury heard at trial and, possibly they read?

    Having participated in a jury whereat DNA evidence was given by FFST, I was indeed conscious that it was as you write, “Very hard to be 100% definitive”. The gobbledygook language of the “expert-witness” relating to DNA, was ridiculed in the jury room. Mostly for jurors, it went over the top. As an observer at another trial, I sensed that jurors’ experiences were simiiar — their eyes glazed over.

    Digressing from the thread point — Steve, your posts usually read as coming from a person who is endeavouring to remain unbiased whilst independently working with clear thought through matters exposed and discussed. Difficult isn’t it when the waters are muddied? That’s how jury members are supposed to arrive at their decision.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  28/08/14  at  10:34 AM
  65. I find myself inclined to agree with Steve’s comments about Ben. Though my preference is not to get ‘personal’ I did start to wonder why just one person is spending so much time and effort on defending this verdict in such a dogged and closed-minded way - especially when the legal system and the police have already stacked the cards against Ms Neill-Fraser ever being able to have her case re-examined. Surely with strong public defence of the status quo being made by the Police Commissioner and others with a vested interest in supporting the verdict, there’s no need for a private citizen to put so much effort into doing the same?

    Don’t forget that it was the FOURTH coroner’s inquest, only in 2012, that finally confirmed the dingo’s role and Lindy’s innocence. It’s another proof that sometimes our legal system gets it very wrong! The Tasmanian Coroner has, to date, been obliged to go along with the conviction and so isn’t actually able to have a thorough independent inquiry, a fact which has been obscured by statements from the Coroner’s office and the police.  Luckily for her, Lindy was only in jail for 3 years, whereas Susan has already been there for FIVE years and is now in a wheel-chair due to poor health care whilst in prison.

    Posted by Sammy  on  28/08/14  at  10:44 AM
  66. Re-enactment and Stop-watch Needed

    A John Hughes claimed to see a female figure in a dinghy between 11.30 pm and 12 midnight. The Crown said this was Sue Neill-Fraser.

    A Ford Falcon, driver and number-plate not visible, was caught on CCTV at 12.25 am driving along Sandy Bay Road. The Crown said
    this was Sue Neill-Fraser leaving the scene of the crime.

    Within 25 to 55 minutes, the Crown said she reached and boarded the yacht, Four Winds, killed Bob Chappell with first a knife,
    then a wrench, then a screwdriver, ‘or something’, tied him to a fire extinguisher, winched the body to the deck, cleaned up the yacht,
    cut a reinforced plastic pipe in the toilet and opened a seacock, got the body across the deck, down a steep ladder into a small dinghy
    and took it out into the deepest part of the Derwent to tip it overboard before getting back to shore, collecting the car and driving away.

    No one ever reported a light on the yacht: no one on shore, no one on other yachts, none of the swimmers out that night off the Derwent Lane
    jetty. It was a dark night with only a quarter moon, so even a dim glow would show up. Even a moving torch ran a real risk of being seen, given
    that this was Australia Day, not the dead of winter. So Sue Neill-Fraser either had to fumble around in the dark or do everything while holding a
    torch. Even Houdini would have problems tying an inert and bleeding body to a fire extinguisher with a torch in one hand.

    The sinking yacht was reported to Port Control at around 5.00 am. The Crown’s own expert witness said water had been entering for at least
    six hours and up to 12 hours when the yacht was found half-submerged. The Crown can have anyone it wants going on board in the early
    morning but it can’t have them down below doing a brutal murder because they would have to wade through feet of water to do it. The
    Crown can ditch that inconvenient CCTV footage but it can’t avoid the water. Nor can it ditch John Hughes because Sue Neill-Fraser could
    not have left home in West Hobart before 11.00 pm and it would take her at least 20 minutes to walk down to the Yacht Club where the
    dinghy was kept. The Crown is stuck with its completely unrealistic timeframe.

    I could make a cup of tea, cut a plate of sandwiches and enjoy my snack in that brief time span. I doubt if I could do even a quarter of the
    things the Crown asserts Sue Neill-Fraser did that night.

    If the prosecutor, who is bigger and stronger than Sue Neill-Fraser, can show us how she managed to cram so much into his timeframe,
    and I am willing to come with a stopwatch to observe and time him, then he is a truly remarkable man.

    Jennie Herrera
    New Town

    Posted by Jennie Herrera  on  28/08/14  at  12:02 PM
  67. #61 Steve, my motivations are irrelevant - you might as well look in the mirror and ask yourself the same question - and I completely reject your allegation that I’ve avoided issues such as the luminol in the dinghy.

    As I’ve already said in #11, Susan Neill-Faser’s supporters assert the jury were not told that luminol is not a conclusive test for blood. But it turns out the jury were told, several times. Keep in mind that these people have a trial transcript and would have already known that the jury had been told. Ask yourself, why then have they continued to raise it?

    As for the new DNA analysis, it is being presented as 100% conclusive evidence that the homeless girl was on the yacht, and that the jury was misled by the DNA evidence given at the trial. This new analysis is not conclusive, and is focussed on the issue of foot traffic transference of the DNA.

    But the evidence given to the jury was that the homeless girl’s DNA could have come from pretty much anywhere, not just foot traffic. Again, as I have already said above, new evidence must be compelling. This is not really evidence of anything, and it is certainly not compelling. 

    So, apart from Ms Neill-Fraser’s supporters misrepresenting the facts of the trial, and you misrepresenting me, what is the actual problem here?

    #62 Silly stuff Geraldine.

    Posted by Ben Lohberger  on  28/08/14  at  12:04 PM
  68. General question — please can anyone tell me if, other than the CCTV bank camera from which the photograph of a car similar to that which Bob Chappell & SNF drove — are there any other municipal-installed surveillance cameras on Sandy Bay Road?

    Bearing in mind the heavy volume of traffic and pedestrians using some areas of this S/B Road, I will be surprised if additional security wasn’t available 5+ years ago. My question is prompted by the fact that the surveillance system operates in a similar manner to Launceston CBD area, where multiple cameras operate.

    Because I know the dangers of assuming, I pose my question to those with a knowledge of the area.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  28/08/14  at  12:32 PM
  69. #67, Ben I refuse to be intimidated into silence by put-down language / tactics. Staying with the facts is a much better practice and certainly is not “silly stuff”.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  28/08/14  at  12:35 PM
  70. #67; Ben, I don’t believe I am misrepresenting you. If you feel I am, then I apologise, but you have to say, you are giving a very good impression of someone with an axe to grind.

    With regard to the dinghy, you say in #23 that it played no part in SNF’s conviction. I queried this in #30 and I query it again.

    One point stands out and shouts at me. If Luminol is a preliminary test, and it showed blood, why were there no further tests conducted?

    If they were, and no blood was found, why did the judge not point this out to the jury? The judge did a good job of holding all the evidence up before the jury and saying, as he was duty bound to do, “believe it or not”.

    He appears not to have done such a good job of displaying the holes in the prosecutions case. Holes such as the lack of blood in the dinghy, the exact motivation for sinking the vessel (owners of boats have little to fear from traces of their presence being detected!), the lack of a re-enactment, as per #66 above, the lack of any proof that the fire extinguisher would sink a body, etc, etc, etc. Omission is also a sin!

    Posted by Steve  on  28/08/14  at  12:43 PM
  71. #70 So it’s okay to misrepresent me (which you clearly did) because you think I’ve got an axe to grind? Okaaaaay.

    I stand by everything I’ve said, and I reject the insulting implication that I have some sort of selfish reason for highlighting facts that are inconvenient to Ms Neill-Fraser’s supporters.

    It doesn’t surprise me though.

    Once the red herrings have been swept aside, Ms Neill-Fraser’s supporters inevitably descend into misrepresentation and character attacks. 

    Given that this thread is now descending into that same gutter, I think I’ll leave you all to it for now.

    Posted by Ben Lohberger  on  28/08/14  at  02:51 PM
  72. With apologies to MENTAL AS ANYTHING;

    Woh-hoh-oh, the chemtrails are gettin’ thicker
    Woh-yeah, the chemtrails are gettin’ thicker
    Wo-hoh-oh, the chemtrails are gettin’ thicker
    Yeah-eah-eah, mmm they’re gettin’ thicker

    Sometimes I wonder
    What all these conspiracies
    Are doin’ to my brain
    Doesn’t worry me enough
    To stop me from repeating them agai-ai-ain
    Wipin’ out brain cells
    By the millions but I don’t care
    It doesn’t worry me
    Even though
    I ain’t got a lot to spare-are-are

    Woh-hoh-oh, the chemtrails are gettin’ thicker
    Woh-yeah, the chemtrails are gettin’ thicker
    Wo-hoh-oh, the chemtrails are gettin’ thicker
    Yeah-eah-eah, mmm they’re gettin’ thicker

    Posted by mark hawkes  on  28/08/14  at  03:37 PM
  73. #69 The same intimidation and put-down language used by a person using the name Sherlock on the other blog….......who appears to have refrained from comment of late!

    Posted by Isla MacGregor  on  28/08/14  at  04:00 PM
  74. The campaign to free Sue Neill-Fraser, is a lesson in how to sow confusion and doubt and their approach reminds me of climate-change deniers. Maybe they’ve taken some pointers from “Merchants of Doubt”? There are people with an undeniable self-interest in keeping this alive and it is sickening that they are taking people along for the ride.

    Instead, for example, of the way climate change deniers have used leaked emails from the Intergovernmental panel on climate change, or an error about rate of glacial melt in the alps, or sun activity as evidence for completely throwing out all the evidence for climate change; those here campaigning for Neill-Fraser, use selective bits of information, debunked theories, (think drug smuggling), excuses and pedantry. Sowing doubt and confusion.

    As Ben says above at # 55 there were a lot more people than “a small number” who believed Susan Neill-Fraser was correctly convicted.

    They include:
    - the entire team of police investigators
    - the DPP’s office
    - all 12 members of the jury
    - the trial judge
    - three judges in the Court of Criminal Appeal
    - two High Court judges
    - one Coroner.

    Every person involved in the investigation, the prosecution, the trial verdict, the appeal verdict, the High Court decision, and the Coronial inquiry, believed that Susan Neill-Fraser’s verdict was sound.

    Thanks Ben!

    Posted by Rachel  on  28/08/14  at  05:38 PM
  75. #59 Mark Hawkes.  See item 56 of the CCA decision.

    Posted by Barbara Mitchell  on  28/08/14  at  05:43 PM
  76. #71; Ben, as I said previously, I don’t believe I have misrepresented you. You appear to feel so and for that I have apologised.
    You are now suggesting that I am indulging in character attacks; that I vehemently deny. Before you take your bat and ball home, please could you point out where I have attacked your character?
    I expressed curiosity as to your motivation in this matter because in my experience it is generally the thought of injustice that motivates people. The people you dismiss as SNF supporters fall into this category, as I do myself.
    I can understand someone being a strong supporter of logic and justice, which is the category I initially put you into. However, as the thread has progressed, it has become evident that you have no interest in anything that throws doubt on the courts verdict. That I find curious. I do not thing it is offensive to express that curiosity?

    Posted by Steve  on  28/08/14  at  08:39 PM
  77. #71 Don’t leave Mr Lohberger!  You don’t appear to have yet grasped the concept of ‘guilty beyond a reasonable doubt’. 

    You don’t appear to understand that cases where the only available evidence of an alleged crime is circumstantial require an even more onerous standard of proof.  The guilt of the accused must be the ONLY reasonable explanation for the circumstances of that alleged crime.

    Many thoughtful persons are concerned about the verdict in the Sue Neill-Fraser case because she was convicted in the absence of a body, or a murder weapon, or witnesses, or a credible motive.  You do know, don’t you, that the luridly detailed scenario put to the jury by the DPP was a work of FICTION?  And that the jury was not strenuously reminded of that?

    Knowing this, why are you convinced of her guilt?  Do you believe that judges and juries NEVER make mistakes?

    I am frankly fascinated to learn of your motives, although not so interested to hear, again, that she must be guilty because the police and the prosecutor and the judge and the jury said so.  You’ve listed them a few times, but in reality they number far fewer than the many who are disturbed by the verdict.

    And perhaps you could explain this comment – ‘She will never receive parole while surrounded by people who are actively encouraging her state of denial’.  Is that a threat?  Do you know someone who can make good on it? 

    Does this mean that when Ms Neill-Fraser reaches the end of her non-parole period in prison, her release will depend on whether she has confessed, and those campaigning for a review of her case have backed down?  Will she be kept in prison out of spite if this has not occurred, even if she has been a model prisoner and is no threat to the community?

    Posted by Barbara Mitchell  on  28/08/14  at  10:17 PM
  78. Alright Steve, I’ll lay it out simply for you.

    - you accuse me of ignoring the dinghy. But I haven’t, have I? I just happen to have my own view about it. That’s misrepresenting me.

    - you raise my personal motivations out of the blue.

    - you make one of those apologies that’s not really an apology at all.

    - and then you imply that I’ve got an axe to grind. The last time I looked that meant “to have a selfish reason for saying or doing something”. It’s insulting, untrue, and a blatant character attack.

    - oh, and now it’s “take your bat and ball home”.

    Goodluck with everything, Steve.

    Posted by Ben Lohberger  on  28/08/14  at  11:05 PM
  79. Returning to #45, Ben refers to #43 who says that the main issue is “campaigning for a fair trial [justice] for Susan Neill-Fraser and for dignity to be afforded to the memory of Bob Chappell. Then and only then, can his family and loved ones deal with his loss and grieve in privacy and peace.”

    Ben’s response?  “I suspect Bob Chappell’s family are already dealing with his loss, despite the fact that his body is still missing. They do not need to see his murderer released to achieve peace. In fact quite the opposite.”

    This suggests that he has personal knowledge of the private lives of Bob Chappell’s adult children, as one can only assume that’s the family he means. In that case he’ll know that Bob and his wife separated when the children were young and those three children lived with their mother. However close those children may or may not have remained to their father, the fact is that they’ve not made public statements about how they feel now about his loss.  So how does Ben know what he claims to know about them?

    The family members who don’t seems to be included in his statement are his two step-daughters, who grew up with Bob and their mother, Sue, from a young age and for whom Bob was an important and supportive father-figure. Sarah is on the public record as having suffered a great emotional loss when Bob disappeared from their lives.  Whether or not people think their mother’s conviction is justified, it’s simply callous to imply that these young women have not been suffering greatly from losing Bob and having no idea where he might have ended up. Sarah and her sister would obviously not endorse Ben’s comments about their mother.  They certainly must be included when referring to Bob’s “family and loved ones”.

    Posted by Sammy  on  29/08/14  at  07:48 AM
  80. #78; Ben, I have no desire to cause you offence. I could not see that I had, but you accused me of misrepresenting you, so I apologised for any inadvertent offence I might have caused you, in much the same way as you might apologise to someone in a supermarket if there’s a possibility that you have trodden on their toe. A simple courtesy to make it clear that any injury was unintentional.

    With regard to the dinghy, you have indeed ignored the point. You stated that it played no part in her conviction in comment #23 and have not mentioned it since, despite it being raised numerous times by others. I stated that you were avoiding discussing it. How is that misrepresenting you? The use of the word “avoid”? I replied directly to you @ #30 and you didn’t respond. That’s avoiding the question.

    I queried your motivations as I was curious. I think most people on this thread are happy to explain what drives them to participate, I cannot see any offensive in asking.

    I also reject that I implied you had an axe to grind. I stated that you were giving a good impression of someone with an axe to grind as an explanation as to why I queried your motivations. I am quite sure that you know this, just as I’m sure that you know that “taking your bat and ball home” is a not unreasonable description of what you were doing.

    Posted by Steve  on  29/08/14  at  08:02 AM
  81. #79. You express the thoughts and feeling of numerous persons Sammy.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  29/08/14  at  09:18 AM
  82. Thank you Barbara, for your reply in #47.  I was reassured by the report details which you included in your reply.  Would it be possible to post this report online, so that it can be viewed in its entirety?  No disrespect to you, Barbara, but I like to go to the source document and view it as a whole. 

    Perhaps TT would attach it somewhere, or failing that, could you make it available through your BEtter Consulting site?  I went to the 60 Minutes website and also to the ABC, but could not find the report itself. 

    Perhaps there are reasons why it cannot be published (e.g. file size or legal considerations), but failing that I feel it would be in the public interest to make it available online.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  29/08/14  at  09:43 AM
  83. #82 Could be interesting Garry - but shouldn’t we also have access to the original forensic reports from the prosecution?  Then, it would probably require more than one forensic expert to go through the reports with all of us to explain why each finding was or wasn’t scientifically valid, then a legal analyst like Dr Bob Moles to explain whether these various forensic reports would or wouldn’t be valid and probative in a court of law.

    Posted by Sammy  on  29/08/14  at  11:55 AM
  84. Interesting:

    http://www.police.tas.gov.au/news-events/media-releases/response-to-claims-made-by-the-60-minutes-program/

    Posted by Jane Goodall's Ape  on  29/08/14  at  06:43 PM
  85. Pretty simple really. She couldn’t lie straight in bed. No body. The evidence was compelling. Read donna’s reply to the 60 mins wank.

    Posted by barry thompson  on  29/08/14  at  09:21 PM
  86. #75 Barbara Mitchell, so your evidence is - ‘she said’.

    #84 Thanks for the link. Rebuttals will be even more interesting. Who’s first?
    Better still, let it go people and find a decent cause.

    60 minutes and Charles Wooley - not much to say there but ‘junk’

    Posted by mark hawkes  on  30/08/14  at  08:08 AM
  87. Well done Ben. Good summary: thoroughly fed up with the cherry-picked versions and comments such as ‘she told one lie’.

    As for 60 mins. As usual, it was comedic. But having intimate knowledge of the case made it more so. Charles Wooley even appears to know how strong SNF was.

    The new evidence. I remember the dramatic claim before ads, ads, ads. The next day I couldn’t recall what the bloody new evidence was supposed to be. Why? because there wasn’t any.

    The pretend prison call was the funniest of all. As with all calls from Risdon prison, you are required to listen to a recorded msg announcing that it is a prisoner calling and do you wish to take the call? What happened to that? Do sixty minutes get special privileges?

    And thanks Donna Hay/ Jane Goodall. Since we don’t have access to a transcript of the trial your input is much appreciated?

    Posted by Sel  on  30/08/14  at  08:33 AM
  88. 48 - Yes I see issues with the jury system.  There is a difference though.  Some people, including yourself, are using the issues with the jury system to support your argument.  The way I see it both sides of the argument are selecting parts of the evidence and arguing over those specific details (one can make much of an individual item of evidence in absence of other evidence).  One thing that no one is mentioning is that a court hears all the evidence and can see the reliability of that evidence when various witnesses give evidence and other evidence is introduced.  The issue here is that no one has the information from the jury as to why they came to that decision - shouldn’t we?

    Posted by Jane Goodall's Ape  on  30/08/14  at  09:37 AM
  89. #86 Item 56 of the CCA decision reads as follows: ‘After the telephone call from Mr King, the content of which had unnerved her….’.  Yes, Ms Neill-Fraser said the call unnerved her, and apparently this wasn’t challenged.  See Footnote 2 of the CCA decision - ‘The Crown does not dispute the appellant’s claim concerning the content of the conversation with Mr King and that it might have been unnerving in normal circumstances. I have found it unnecessary to relate what the content was.’

    Perhaps if we knew the nature of the call we could make our own assessment of whether it could be considered ‘unnerving’, but the appeal court decided the public didn’t need to know.  They decided that the content of a call which Ms Neill-Fraser said had persuaded her to return to Marieville Esplanade to check on the yacht and retrieve her car in case she needed it to collect her partner, was essentially irrelevant.

    Wouldn’t you like to know what it was about - or do you already know?

    Posted by Barbara Mitchell  on  30/08/14  at  11:22 AM
  90. Guilt or innocence is secondary to the faults in the trial.

    No 1 issue was that “all evidence” was not given in the trial. It was “speculative” as the Commissioner purports the new evidence to be. ‘Pot calling the kettle black ’ in that instance. Speculative was good enough to go to trial so it should be good enough to analyse that trial. Seeing some of the best legal minds in the country belief so only heightens Tasmania’s frightened stance.  Are we too proud of our penal heritage we don’t want to go the way of 21st century upgrading of our legal system? In most areas of our society when faults are found we fix them!

    Posted by Rosemary  on  30/08/14  at  01:46 PM
  91. #84; Thanks for the link JGA. I would have to agree with their opinion of the 60 minutes report. Emotive and biased, however for better or worse, that’s the stuff the public laps up.
    I was interested to see that the forensic people stated in court that the dinghy did not have any blood stains. Makes one wonder how the prosecution got away with showing an image of a preliminary test that did indicate blood. Images are powerful persuaders.

    Posted by Steve  on  30/08/14  at  02:26 PM
  92. 87 - Probably no need to thank Jane Goodall - she just raised me.

    Posted by Jane Goodall's Ape  on  30/08/14  at  02:29 PM
  93. Jane Goodall’s ape (#84) has provided a link to a statement made by the Tasmanian Police.  In that statement, Donna Adams (Assistant Commissioner for Police) quotes directly from a document which she refers to as coming from the Victoria Police Forensic Services Department, 11 July 2014.  I presume this is the report that Andrew Urban referred to as confirming that DNA found on the yacht was “of primary transfer in nature, contradicting the evidence she gave at trial saying she had never been on the boat.”

    However, Assistant Commissioner Adams, in her statement, quotes directly from the report that

    “...it is apparent that a quantity of a human biological substance or fluid was either deposited directly onto the starboard deck of ‘Four Winds’ or indirectly via an unknown mechanism (i.e. secondary transfer).”

    This quote follows two earlier direct quotes from the report, the first (see my #36 for a link) was provided by Barbara Etter and reads:

    [T]here is no evidence to support the hypothesis that the DNA detected in sample 20 was the result of a secondary transfer event caused through foot traffic on the deck of “four (sic) Winds”.

    and the second, also from Barbara provided the full paragraph from which that quote was drawn:

    If the tread of a shoe retaining a moist biological substance was to be acknowledged as the likely means of the transference, I believe it is reasonable to anticipate that at least one other similar stain resulting in the same DNA profile (or part thereof) would have been expected to have been deposited on the deck of ‘Four Winds’ as the person moved about the yacht. No such stain appears to have been detected by Forensic Scientist’s (sic) from the FSST based on the six pages of DNA profile tables headed “DNA PROFILING COURT REPORT”. Therefore, there is no evidence to support the hypothesis that the DNA detected in sample 20 was the result of a secondary transfer event caused through foot traffic on the deck of “four Winds”.

    I quote Barbara (at #47) where she includes other direct quotes from the report:
    “The relevant sample showed an

    “unambiguous single source Profiler Plus ... DNA profile representative of a female individual”

    “ “Dropout” is defined in the report as

    “An extreme form of stochastic variation whereby a component of a DNA profile (allele) has failed to attain the required detection level”.

    “the sample is indicative of

    “a relatively large amount of DNA, which is more likely to have come from body fluids (blood, saliva etc) than a simple skin contact/touching event”.

    “The report also states:

    A significant amount of research has been conducted in relation to the primary and secondary transfer of human biological material; notably human skin cells via direct hand or body contact (see Goray et al. 2010 and Oorschot et al. 2010). However, based on my case work experience using the Profiler Plus ... DNA profiling system, samples believed to be composed of human skin cells that remain on surfaces through human contact either directly or indirectly typically result in incomplete profiles (i.e. exhibit dropout), produce a DNA electropherogram having relatively low peak heights (typically below 1,000 rfu) and are likely to exhibit stochastic variation. Moreover, such samples often result in DNA profiles showing multiple contributors. The DNA profile produced from sample 20 has none of these features”

    “The description recorded for the sample as

    “possible drops”

    ... if accurate, was thought to also be important in the report.”

    In summary  From the limited parts of the VicPolForensics report that are available to me, I feel that: 
    1 the report suggests that it is more likely that the DNA in question came from a primary rather than from a secondary deposit.  In other words, it is more likely than not that Meaghan Vass was actually on the yacht.

    2 the report does not exclude the possibility of secondary transfer.  In other words, in spite of (1), the report holds that it still could be true that Vass was not herself on the yacht even though her DNA was.

    3 Andrew Urban was not entitled to claim that the report confirmed that DNA found on the yacht was “of primary transfer in nature, contradicting the evidence she gave at trial saying she had never been on the boat.”

    4 the ‘SNF supporters camp’ has now lost some credibility.  If they were to release the report in its entirety, I would have an opportunity to ‘judge for myself’ whether Andrew’s ‘primary transfer’ claim is correct or not.

    In spite of this, and regardless of the primary or secondary nature of the DNA sample, I believe that the judge’s refusal to require Vass to return to the witness stand created a miscarriage of justice.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  30/08/14  at  03:43 PM
  94. 89 - Eve Ash referred to the phone call in the review of Andrew Rule’s review of the review of the evidence and she summarised it as “The prophetic and amazingly co-incidental late night phone calls from Richard King to both Sue Neill-Fraser and Tim Chappell warning that Clare, Bob’s estranged daughter, had foreseen that her father was going to come to harm on the yacht.”  (Yes review of the review of the review).

    Posted by Jane Goodall's Ape  on  30/08/14  at  05:31 PM
  95. #93; Garry, I would suggest that you have posted a very accurate description of the state of play.
    These matters are by no means black and white. The disturbing fact of this entire case is that to convict on purely circumstantial grounds, it needs to be black and white. That is why I get a bit fixated on simple facts.
    If you are going to say the body was sunk with a fire extinguisher, establish the fact with some figures, backed up by expert testimony.
    If you are going to say the body was taken away in the dinghy, show some proof, or at least explain how, in the limited time available, the dinghy could have been cleaned well enough to beat forensics.
    The DNA is just one item, but it’s an important one. If someone else actually was on the boat, the whole prosecution case falls to bits. It deserved more attention in the original trial.

    Posted by Steve  on  30/08/14  at  07:50 PM
  96. 95 - see link:  - http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/susan-neill-fraser-asked-me-to-help-her-kill-court-told/story-e6frfku0-1225930877950

    SNF allegedly told a witness about the fire extinguisher;

    “Marine mechanic Jim McKinnon said Neill-Fraser called him shortly after Mr Chappell’s disappearance and said she thought he had been killed.

    “Her belief, at the time, was that someone had murdered him on board and used the fire extinguisher to weigh his body down,” Mr McKinnon said.

    “She mentioned that they used the ropes to winch his body up from the saloon area and tie the fire extinguisher to his body.”“

    Does that help?

    Posted by Jane Goodall's Ape  on  30/08/14  at  10:29 PM
  97. Previously Mr Urban asked me what my theory was as to how Ms Neill Fraser killed Mr Chappell.  I am not sure why he asked that, but having read Ben’s summation of the trial I am presuming that he believes that the jury were given a theory by the DPP and that the judge allowed that.

    The fact is that under cross examination matters were put to Ms Neill Fraser and she denied them.  The judge summed up stating that those theories put to Ms Neill Fraser were not evidence.

    I have no theory on how Mr Chappell was killed, but the reality is that there were a lot of circumstantial evidence put up that she was involved.

    I note in addition to Ben’s summation of evidence that the call Ms Neill Fraser received was about concerns for Mr Chappell’s welfare.  Can anyone tell me did she try to contact Mr Chappell on the boat.  She left a mobile phone on board with him.  She states that she returned to the waterfront to check but why wouldn’t she ring him?

    According to news.com.au article a witness actually stated Ms Neill Fraser was the person who raised the weighed down with the fire extinguisher theory.

    I have never stated the guilt or innocence of Ms Neill Fraser, but I suspect that a lot of arguments by the supporters of her are being “cherry picked” as Ben has said.

    Posted by John Dodd  on  31/08/14  at  07:36 AM
  98. Yes, Steve.  Both you (in #95) and Geraldine (see my #36) have properly noted that (in your words) “to convict on purely circumstantial grounds, [cases/evidence] needs to be black and white”.  I’ve thought that your series of comments about the buoyancy of fire extinguishers (here and elsewhere) were practical and not to be discounted.  So too with your comments about the difficulty of cleaning blood from an inflatable dinghy.  I wish that I had access to all documentation and I hope at least that someone will post the Victorian Police forensic report.  It is very difficult, as a member of the public, to be fully informed on these matters.

    I think that Vanessa Goodwin, Minister for Justice, should initiate a review of this case.  My reasons have as least as much to do with maintaining a public respect for the law and its processes, and protecting our social fabric, as with affording SNF individual justice (the right to a fair trial and to a fair appeal).  There is public unease about this case and there is a perception/belief in the community that the matter was wrongly handled.  The similarities with the Chamberlain case have been noted:  the lack of a body, the lack of a weapon, the lack of a confession, the lack of a witness, the lack of a motive.  On the question of motive, of course there are possible motives that we could advance, and I think that the prosecution weakly advanced the idea that SNF stood to gain from his death and that this gain was somehow linked to possession of the Four Winds.  If that was the case,  why would she sink it?  Other possible motives are implied without being openly advanced, e.g. observations that their relationship was at an end. 

    Be that as it may, there is one difference between the SNF and Chamberlain cases that for me personally is significant:  In the Chamberlain case, I knew that Lindy had not done what was claimed because of the evidence of the Lowes, who had heard Azaria cry after Lindy had rejoined them at the campfire area.  It made the claimed murder impossible.  However, in this case, I have not seen anything which clearly makes it impossible for SNF to have murdered Bob Chappell. 

    So I, like a number of others, do not maintain her innocence (or guilt, for that matter) but do believe that in her case, justice did miscarry.  I believe that the Minister should initiate a review, and I think that a re-trial would then be appropriate.  I do not have confidence in the findings in the original trial, nor in the rejection of the appeal, nor in the refusal by the High Court to grant leave to appeal and finally, I do not have confidence in the findings of the investigation carried out by the Coroner.  And, Steve, I still want to see the full VicPol Forensic Report - I am not comfortable with its not being released.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  31/08/14  at  09:32 AM
  99. #97 John Dodd, like you “I have never stated the guilt or innocence of Ms Neill Fraser” either.

    Continuing with your final para ‘suspicion’ theme: -

    My suspicion 1:  I assume police investigators would check if Ms Neill-Fraser attempted “to contact Mr Chappell on the boat”. 

    My suspicion 2: If the investigation team found evidence that no phone-check occurred, surely the court would have heard about it at trial?

    My suspicion 3: Suspicion 2 is what reasonable thinking people would expect competent investigation and prosecutorial practices would include.

    My suspicion 4: We are about to read more about this, if above-listed suspicions 1-3 didn’t happen.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  31/08/14  at  09:36 AM
  100. Did SNF kill Chappell?

    Buggered if I know. Nor is it something that keeps me up at night.

    However it does occur to me that one would have to be something akin to a psychopath to kill someone but then attempt to maintain the lie that you didn’t. To maintain the lie to your children, friends & relatives (who you previously had a comparatively loving relationship with) while bearing witness to the ongoing pain & disruption it caused them. Think about it. Years & years of lying & deceiving your children. To their faces. Putting them through hell.

    From what I know of the case SNF did not previously exhibit psychopathic or even violent traits. Nor was she a chronic liar. Essentially SNF did not exhibit anything like the behaviour - violent killer, pathological liar, sociopath that she is now apparently capable of. Correct me if I am wrong.

    This is a conundrum I find difficult to reconcile.

    Posted by pilko  on  31/08/14  at  11:00 AM
  101. Barbara Etter, Eve Ash, Andrew L Urban will you be responding to Ass Comm Adams on this thread? As your silence so far speaks volumes.

    Posted by mark hawkes  on  31/08/14  at  11:40 AM
  102. 99.  Looking back through Ben’s account the phone records show no calls made from the Allison Street home after the call from Mr King.  The next call was at 3.08am when there was a check to see if any calls came in.  Ms SNF did not have her mobile as it was on the boat.  The next call was at 7.04am and that wasn’t answered.  No alarm was raised by Ms SNF at that time, despite concerns being raised about Mr Chappell.

    100 - Many people who haven’t killed before have denied killing someone when accused.  Mr Baden Clay is a clear example.  No known history of previous offending.

    Posted by John Dodd  on  31/08/14  at  12:41 PM
  103. Golly gumdrops Mark! #101 — I know the 3 persons you nominate have intermittently participated in these discussions at times of their choice as do I and, I suspect you do likewise.  Nevertheless, since when does their contribution put them on trial?

    My take on it is — they have responded where for them, they feel inclined or persuaded. Interpreting as sinister — any lack of response where you want one, seems unreasonable to me.

    But, I accept each to his position.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  31/08/14  at  12:51 PM
  104. SNF was represented by a capable criminal lawyer. However by the time of his involvement she had already made damaging admissions and the trial focussed on the unravelling of her story. If she had engaged her lawyer at day one and made no further statements the prosecution may have difficulty placing her at or near the crime scene later that night and her lawyer could have sat back and let the unclear forensics play out. She may not have been convicted. She may have had to endure living under suspicion but still retain her freedom.

    Posted by John Taylor  on  31/08/14  at  01:22 PM
  105. #102, John Dodd, what is the accuracy of “Ben’s account” is the question here?

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  31/08/14  at  02:13 PM
  106. #103 So no response about relevent Tas Police take on 60min from yourself as well?

    Posted by Mark h  on  31/08/14  at  02:28 PM
  107. 102 & 105 - References at 27, 28 and 31 in the CCA decision refer to the calls.

    Posted by Jane Goodall's Ape  on  31/08/14  at  03:30 PM
  108. #96; Difficult to interpret SNF mentioning the fire extinguisher.

    Seems an unlikely thing for her to do if she was guilty but then people do funny things. More the realm of psychology.

    If we’re looking at funny things, I’d love to hear an explanation of how sinking the boat was meant to benefit her.

    If she committed murder, as described, what exactly did she gain by sinking the boat? If the boat had not been sinking, she’d have been the first person aboard the next day. Could have raised the alarm and tidied up any loose ends long before there was any official interest. Seems highly unlikely behaviour for a calculating murderer. I also note the prosecution had to stretch the expert testimony on the rate at which the boat would sink in order to make it fit their time schedule. That’s another thing that could have been established accurately by simply replicating the situation and standing back with a stop watch. Bit rough on the yacht, but in the interests of justice…

    Posted by Steve  on  31/08/14  at  03:36 PM
  109. Found this link on Dr Moles site;

    http://netk.net.au/Tasmania/Noble1.pdf

    Interesting.

    Posted by Jane Goodall's Ape  on  31/08/14  at  04:39 PM
  110. #109; Please could you explain the relevance of your post? The link in question is to be found at http://netk.net.au/TasmaniaHome.asp  and when viewed in context appears to be presented as a discussion point.

    Posted by Steve  on  31/08/14  at  06:07 PM
  111. #107 - Seems to me reasons for not attempting to phone Bob Chappell during the night (if that is fact as it appears to be) depends on the content of the telephone call SNF received at 10.05pm?

    CCA @ 31 — “At 10.05pm she received a telephone call on the landline from Mr Richard King. The call lasted approximately 29 minutes”.

    Without dissecting in detail, all I believe is Richard King was an acquaintance of Bob’s daughter and conveyed (via telephone) some alarming news to SNF, which she said prompted her to go down to collect the car. I think I have that bit correct.

    What I don’t know is why, co-incidentally to me, that specifically alarming call to SNF occurred at that time on that night.I would like to know though.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  31/08/14  at  06:17 PM
  112. 111 - see 94.

    110 - see 109 - Interesting.

    Posted by Jane Goodall's Ape  on  31/08/14  at  06:23 PM
  113. #94. I had to laugh when Eve Ash launched her draft press council complaint (and draft finding) about the Andrew Rule trial report in the Herald Sun. A creative (film-maker) not happy with the work of a fellow creative (a journalist). Ironic!

    Posted by John Taylor  on  31/08/14  at  07:31 PM
  114. #112. My #111 is more aligned with #89 — the unknown content of the phone-call.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  31/08/14  at  08:01 PM
  115. 79 - see link - http://www.urbancinefile.com.au/home/view.asp?Article_ID=19762

    “Ash says that “Bob’s side of the family, who believed Sue was guilty, had cut ties and I didn’t want to cause them any further upset.”“

    This may assist?

    Posted by Jane Goodall's Ape  on  31/08/14  at  08:02 PM
  116. 114 - ??  112 was refer post 94.  94 provides a reference to assist post 89.

    Although it doesn’t appear that it assisted you in relation to your 111 as 112 required you to refer back to post 94.

    If that hasn’t confused you try step 1 through to 3 again.

    Hope this helps.

    Posted by Jane Goodall's Ape  on  31/08/14  at  09:33 PM
  117. #113 John. It’s a pity Andrew Rule was creative and not factual.

    Posted by Eve Ash  on  31/08/14  at  09:46 PM
  118. #106 Mark, the letter from Assistant Commissioner Adams regarding inaccuracies in the 60 Minutes story adds nothing to the debate on this issue – it merely repeats some of what has been said previously in support of the safety of Ms Neill-Fraser’s conviction. 

    Further, she ‘encourage(s) anyone with misgivings about the case to read the judgement (sic) of the Court of Criminal Appeal, which summarises the evidence’.  Having done just that, I’m not sure it’s the best advice.  A close reading of the CCA judgment reveals more holes in the prosecution argument than a chunk of Swiss cheese – and the more you trawl through the jargon, the holier, and smellier it gets.

    First, as noted previously on this thread, the DPP implied that a car photographed travelling on Sandy Bay Road at 12.15 am on 27 January was driven by Ms Neill-Fraser.  The jury was also told that a Mr Hughes saw a woman, taken to be Ms Neill-Fraser, motoring towards the Four Winds between 11.30 pm and midnight on the same night.  Additionally, the DPP put it to the jury that Ms Neill-Fraser took the dinghy to the Four Winds, murdered Mr Chappell and disposed of his body before returning home to West Hobart just prior to the *10# call at 3.08 am on 27 January [CCA decision item 73 – ‘the evidence of the *10# call at 3.08am was consistent with her having just returned home and checking who might have telephoned while she was out’]. 

    Some of this MUST be untrue.  If she was motoring towards the Four Winds at 11.30 she could not possibly have murdered Mr Chappell and disposed of his body in the manner described by the DPP, or even just disposed of his corpse, if the murder took place earlier, and been back in her car travelling home at 12.15 am.

    When he proposed that she spent the time between 11.30 –midnight and 3.08 am committing the alleged offence, did the DPP remember the evidence he introduced about the 12.15 am ATM camera image?  Did he realize that the three pieces of ‘evidence’ – the 11.30 sighting by Mr Hughes, the 12.15 am ATM camera image and the time consuming murder/body disposal scenario he put to the jury, when considered together, make absolutely no sense?

    Posted by Barbara Mitchell  on  01/09/14  at  12:48 AM
  119. continued….
    Second, the DPP’s version of events describes Ms Neill-Fraser winching the body of Mr Chappell from the yacht’s saloon, up stairs, onto the deck and then manoeuvring it into the dinghy.  At some point the body was allegedly weighted with a fire extinguisher, before being taken in the dinghy to a point further out in the river and tipped overboard. 

    The CCA decision at item 190 says, ‘The following facts were found by the judge…’

    ‘192 The appellant attacked the deceased in either the saloon or the wheelhouse of the Four Winds. The deceased probably died on the yacht, but it is possible that the attack left him deeply unconscious and that drowning caused his death. The appellant used the ropes and winches on the yacht to lift his body onto the deck; manoeuvred his body onto the yacht’s tender; attached a 14 kilogram old-fashioned fire extinguisher to his body; travelled away from the yacht in the tender with the body for some distance; and dumped the body in deep water somewhere in the river. The deceased was either dead or deeply unconscious throughout those events.

    193 The judge thought it quite likely that the appellant hit the deceased on the head with a heavy wrench from behind, but concluded that the evidence did not enable the making of a detailed finding as to the manner of attack.’

    There was NO evidence – not a single scrap - to support any of this but the trial judge concluded they were FACTS and directed the jury accordingly.

    Further, evidence was given by Mr Stevenson, a person who helped crew the Four Winds from Queensland to Hobart, that ‘neither the appellant nor the deceased were strong enough to carry out the physical work required on the yacht and, in particular, to operate winches that raised and lowered the sails.’  This information appears only as a footnote to the CCA decision, when it is clearly very relevant to any assessment of the DPP’s argument. 

    The prosecution put it to the jury that a woman in her fifties was able to dispose of a corpse in very challenging physical circumstances – an activity that even a fit, younger person could struggle with – despite evidence given by a person who had ample opportunity to observe her abilities with the ropes and winches on the Four Winds, that she was not strong enough to operate the sail winches.  And that evidence ended up in a FOOTNOTE to the CCA decision!

    Posted by Barbara Mitchell  on  01/09/14  at  12:52 AM
  120. continued….

    Third, the recent Victoria Police analysis of the Meaghan Vass DNA sample indicates it was more likely that her DNA was of a primary, as opposed to a secondary nature, although the latter is not discounted.  Regardless of its type – primary or secondary – is no-one interested in how it got onto the Four Winds?  If it was a primary sample, Meaghan Vass must have been on the yacht.  If it a secondary sample – a result of foot traffic, for example – who stepped in some of Ms Vass’ bodily fluid and deposited a significant sample in one spot on the yacht’s deck, and nowhere else?  Surely the DPP could have come up with a more plausible theory than ‘it must have been on someone’s shoe’ – particularly since he was so creatively detailed about the murder scenario.

    And how can someone whose DNA is found at a murder scene be readily dismissed as a possible suspect simply because she SAID she had never been there.  Was she asked how her DNA made its way onto the yacht, and if not, why not?

    It seems clear that she lied about her whereabouts on the night Bob Chappell disappeared, but the evidence of Detective Sinnitt in this regard was ruled inadmissible as hearsay.  Detective Sinnitt spoke to staff at the shelter where Ms Vass was residing and learnt that she had failed to advise them of her whereabouts on the night in question, as she was required to do.  If there was a concern about hearsay evidence, why not call the shelter staff to give direct evidence of their conversations with Ms Vass? 

    Why didn’t the police investigators ask Ms Vass or her known friends and associates about her movements on 26 January 2009?  Wouldn’t this be a sensible approach, given the matching of her DNA to a sample found at the murder scene?  And what offence was she involved with that required the taking of a DNA sample?

    Posted by Barbara Mitchell  on  01/09/14  at  12:55 AM
  121. continued….

    Fourth, the Crown case on the issue of motive was that Ms Neill-Fraser sought to gain a financial advantage by murdering her partner.  The CCA decision notes as follows –

    ‘199 The judge said that the evidence suggested two possible motives for the murder of the deceased. One was a desire to acquire his interest in the Four Winds without having to borrow money to buy him out. The other was a desire to acquire his assets in accordance with his will, the terms of which she was aware. He had about $800,000 in superannuation entitlements. He owned his West Hobart house. He owed $160,000 on a bank loan. His net worth was over $1.3 million. It was found that the appellant was aware of the benefits she was to receive. They included the house free of debt, his car, his personal possessions and 50 per cent of the residue of his estate. He had requested that his superannuation, which did not form part of his estate, be dealt with in accordance with the terms of his will. It was found that if their relationship had ended in separation rather than the death of the deceased, she would have been at a disadvantage.

    200 His Honour concluded that the evidence did not enable him to make a precise finding as to what the appellant was thinking, other than that she was well aware that she would be substantially better off with the relationship ending in death, rather than separation. It was found that she killed the deceased with material gain in mind.’

    Ms Neill-Fraser and Mr Chappell had been in a continuous domestic relationship for 18 years.  She was not without her own financial resources, and it seems her family is relatively well-off.  If she and Mr Chappell had separated, a reasonably competent family law practitioner could have easily negotiated a generous settlement on her behalf.  It is not clear that she would be ‘substantially better off’ if he died. 

    The DPP asserted that Mr Chappell’s will had been changed in her favour.  In fact, Mr Chappell executed a new will five years before the alleged murder, and there was nothing remarkable about it, given his domestic circumstances.  His long-term partner would receive their home, car and personal possessions plus half the residue of his estate – this is not unusual.  His three adult children by a previous marriage would receive 40 per cent of the residue of his estate and his sister 10 per cent.  Rather than neglecting children from a previous relationship, which many men do, either intentionally or unintentionally, Mr Chappell specifically and generously provided for them.  How many lawyers haven’t come across disgruntled children challenging a will because a parent – usually a father – has left everything to a ‘new’ spouse?

    Further, the common law principle of forfeiture means that Mr Chappell’s children and his sister will have received the entire proceeds of his estate – Ms Neill-Fraser was convicted of his murder and cannot benefit from it.  Accordingly, it is fair to say they have no interest in the case being reviewed and Ms Neill-Fraser possibly being exonerated.

    The tone of the CCA decision, particularly the DPP’s version of events, resembles a trashy Dallas style soap opera.  The jury was treated to the tale of a money hungry evil stepmother and a callous premeditated attack on a frail old man – with a fictional wrench, no less.  They were shown a photo of a dinghy apparently awash with blood, and thoroughly confused about the alleged sequence of events on the night in question.

    They listened to a judge ‘directing’ them that the soap opera script was completely plausible.  I don’t know how many juries most people have participated in, or observed, but they mostly sit through a trial such as this one with an expression reminiscent of a rabbit in headlights.

    And things that a diligent police force would pursue, like the whereabouts of a person whose DNA was found at the scene of the alleged murder – a person who had no alibi - were studiously ignored by everyone involved in the prosecution. 

    I could go on…..

    Posted by Barbara Mitchell  on  01/09/14  at  01:03 AM
  122. 117 - Pretty standard fare, but not only Andrew Rule is guilty of that;

    “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story”~Mark Twain

    Posted by Jane Goodall's Ape  on  01/09/14  at  06:31 AM
  123. #118; Whilst you’re working out the timings, don’t forget that the best estimate of the time the boat had been sinking was nine to twelve hours (based on a 8.08am photo), which under cross examination was altered to seven to fourteen hours.

    Seven to fourteen hours covers from 6pm through to 1am and yet the judge was happy to say that the evidence was consistent with the sabotage taking place around midnight or the early hours.

    Therefore we have all the action taking place on the boat before 1am. Body loaded into dinghy, tidying up done (in the dark!), toilet pipe severed, sea cocks opened and off to dispose of the body, which has been left bobbing about in the dinghy whilst the tidy up was occurring.

    Just the severing of the toilet pipe makes me wonder, although I haven’t seen the pipe or whatever was used to cut it. Because such pipes keep the water out, they are usually pretty solid plastic, and depending on the age, can be quite hard to cut. I’ve certainly encountered such piping that was easier cut with a hacksaw than a knife. Quite a lot of physical strength could be needed to cut such a pipe, especially if the access was awkward.
    New pipe, very sharp knife, good access, no problem; but were the conditions thus?

    Posted by Steve  on  01/09/14  at  08:30 AM
  124. #121 - Thanks to B. Mitchell for such a comprehensive review of some of the elements of the police and court proceedings which show just how difficult it must have been for the jury (roughly equivalent to twelve people plucked from the mall in central Hobart) to make sense of the evidence. When the judge’s address appeared to summarise the “facts” of the case, the jury must have felt relieved that he was giving them a clearer picture than they’d managed to see for themselves. When he made such persuasive statements about how the accused committed the crime it would only be a very intellectually strong, independent-minded juror who would not be swayed to the judge’s point of view.

    Posted by Sammy  on  01/09/14  at  08:57 AM
  125. Interested in forensic results?  How about asking for the Crown’s expert forensic reports on the luminol testing of the dinghy and the DNA persistence/transference issue concerning the M.Vass DNA sample. There are no proper written expert reports on these important issues.

    Posted by Sammy  on  01/09/14  at  12:40 PM
  126. 118-121 - You do realise that the references from the CCA are nothing to do with the judges directions to the jury?  These came from the sentencing remarks after the jury had already made the decision.  These facts relating to sentence were not challenged by the appeal in relation to the sentencing, the reasons for the appeal were laid out at point 189.

    In short that information was never stated to the jury!!

    Posted by John Dodd  on  01/09/14  at  05:13 PM
  127. Inadequate investigation of the homeless girl and her associates.

    When the unidentified DNA from the ‘crime scene’, was matched to homeless girl, Meaghan Vass, Sue Neill-Fraser had been in prison for several months without bail. Sue should have been released then, pending a thorough investigation of that girl and her associates.

    Why was her DNA at the crime scene?

    When told by Dr Carl Grosser of Forensic Science Services Tasmania that it was a large sample DNA profile – Sinnitt (TASPOL) told the court it didn’t trouble him.

    When I interviewed Detective Inspector Peter Powell for the film SHADOW OF DOUBT he said the homeless girl had some associations with some young male offenders that had been guilty of breaking into boatyards and stealing things off boats. But Peter Powell was never called as a witness in the case ... strangely.

    When Sinnitt was asked in court, had he ever tried to look for, or question, the girl’s associates – he said NO!

    You have to ask WHY?

    All appeal grounds related to Meaghan Vass and the need to recall her after hearing she had lied about her whereabouts that night, were dismissed.

    Given the damning new DNA report from Vic Police Forensic Services, how can anyone question the need to properly investigate this matter and consider a miscarriage of justice.

    Posted by Eve Ash  on  01/09/14  at  05:19 PM
  128. 127 - You fail to point out that the evidence relating to inconsistencies in the young girls account was ruled inadmissible.

    The High Court reviewed that decision to not recall her and stated “In our view, this application does not give rise to a question suitable to a grant of special leave as the applicant has not shown that she was denied an opportunity to produce evidence on a point of substance which can be shown to have had a significant possibility of affecting the jury’s verdict. Accordingly, special leave is refused.”

    There was other hearsay facts that were not admissible into evidence relating to Ms Neill Fraser so it can hardly be said that the rules of evidence were not fairly applied.

    “The damning new DNA report”(?) - I think Mr Stannus at post 93 gave a good examination of that allegation.

    Posted by John Dodd  on  01/09/14  at  07:39 PM
  129. Re: 118-121 - Those interested in exactly what the judge said in sentencing and not the summary provided in the CCA can visit the full summary of his decision at;

    http://www.supremecourt.tas.gov.au/decisions/sentences

    Click on the -  Tasmanian Sentences from 2008 - tab and then enter Neill Fraser into the search engine.

    Justice Blow states; “For sentencing purposes, it is appropriate that I make findings as to how, when and why the crime of murder was committed, to the extent that the evidence enables me to do so.”

    Posted by John Dodd  on  01/09/14  at  08:16 PM
  130. In relation to post 40 (“What Neill-Fraser’s supporters are trying to do is have a trial by public opinion, in order to push politicians to their cause because they have had no success with legal avenues.”)  That is exactly what Ms Etter stated was one of her strategies when she presented to the Academy of Forensic Sciences in Sydney on 20 August 2014.

    It seems that the link to her presentation seems to no longer exist, but it was previously contained at;

    http://www.betterconsult.com.au/blog/?start=10

    Posted by John Dodd  on  01/09/14  at  09:35 PM
  131. Thank you Ben for injecting some balance into the debate surrounding the increasingly shrill campaign to free Sue Neil Fraser.

    I was dismayed to see at #61 the inevitable questioning of you ‘motivation’ I have noticed reading the SNF threads that this denigration happens to many who question the SNF supporters and answer their assertions with facts. Don’t give in to bullying.

    Like you I was appalled by the public character assasination of Megan Vass. What did she do to deserve that? Absolutely nothing. The 60 Minutes segment was entirely misleading, and the confected surprise telephone call was the subject of great mirth the next day at work.

    Posted by moo  on  02/09/14  at  02:58 AM
  132. #101 I was not involved in the 60 Minutes story in any way so not appropriate for me to respond to the Assistant Police Commissioner’s remarks. Dr Moles was featured in the program and his remarks are questioned by the Assistant Commissioner, to which Dr Moles has provided a thorough, legally referenced response which is available publicly here: http://netk.net.au/Tasmania/PoliceReport.pdf  Dr Moles makes an important point at the start: “In responding to the issues raised by the Assistant Commissioner, I am attempting to engage in a constructive exchange of views about this important case. Whilst a criminal trial within the common law system is necessarily adversarial, evaluating the effectiveness of the system after a trial and appeals have been concluded need not be so.” He goes on to address each of the Assistant Police Commissioner’s remarks in detail. It’s informative but disturbing reading and I see it as a valuable and timely contribution to Tasmania’s criminal justice system. I hope that all parties involved in this case engage with Dr Moles’ report and act to address the serious issues raised.

    Posted by Andrew L. Urban  on  02/09/14  at  07:46 AM
  133. #129;  Thanks for that link John, I hadn’t seen it before and it was interesting reading.
    A couple of points leap out me. The first of course is my old favourite “the 14kg fire extinguisher” with no mention of what it would weigh, if anything, when immersed!
    The next was the judge makes mention of samples from the Luminol positive areas of the dinghy matching Mr Chappells DNA as evidence helping him to reach a conclusion. Does anyone know exactly what the forensic conclusions regarding the dinghy were? I would have thought it more remarkable had Mr Chappells DNA not been found on the dinghy (indicating a vigorous clean) as it was his dinghy.
    The judge describes SNF as a cool calculating murderer, carrying out a plan that she’d had in mind since the 90’s. Didn’t it occur to him that if this was indeed the case, why didn’t she simply push her victim over the side whilst out at sea? Why bludgeon him to death when a handful of sleeping pills in his coffee would have done the trick? If someone wished to kill their partner and were prepared to cold bloodedly plan, it would be so easy, especially if boats and water were involved.
    It did SNF no good to have a missing partner. A dead body after a drowning accident would have been much simpler.

    Posted by Steve  on  02/09/14  at  07:47 AM
  134. #132; Thanks for that Andrew. I was in the process of writing a comment asking for more information on the dinghy forensics and at the same time, you were writing a comment supplying a link to the very information.

    That’s anticipation for you!

    The image on page 8 of Dr Moles PDF, combined with the expert witness discussing stains, would make anyone think. It gives a clear impression of what appears to be a head, presumably covered in blood. That would have to have had an influence on the jury, even if it were followed up by evidence that microscopic examination could find no trace of blood. Even the judge refers to the dinghy when sentencing

    I find it inconceivable that, if there had been that quantity of blood in the dinghy, or any quantity for that matter, that it could have been cleaned up to the extent that microscopic examination could not locate a trace. Not in the time available and in the dark. The dinghy would have had to be hauled up the shore, the motor removed, the dinghy tipped on it’s side and scrubbed. If that had occurred, it would have left it’s own traces.

    Posted by Steve  on  02/09/14  at  08:38 AM
  135. Immense and hearty appreciation to Dr Bob Moles for your professional clarification and response to Tas Police criticisms of 60 Minutes program. http://netk.net.au/Tasmania/PoliceReport.pdf

    Removing emotion and bias provides clarity.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  02/09/14  at  08:51 AM
  136. Wow! Who heard Pat Allen, head of Tas Police Union, on ABC mornings, giving his opinion of SNF case and 60 Minutes program?

    Can somebody in-the-know please recommend that he read Dr Bob Moles’ response to Assistant Commission Adams’ letter before he incurs more foot-in-mouth disease?

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  02/09/14  at  08:57 AM
  137. #123 Steve, according to an independent expert report on luminol testing of the dinghy, there were 16 confirmatory tests done for blood involving Hema Trace and Ouchterlony from 7 different locations on the dinghy and ALL were negative for blood. There was NO confirmed blood from Bob Chappell in the Four Winds dinghy.

    Posted by Barbara Etter  on  02/09/14  at  09:02 AM
  138. There would appear to be a number of people on this blog not using their real names. The culture of fear and intimidation within the Tasmanian community has an adverse and corrosive impact on the miscarriage of justice with Sue Neill Fraser’s case as many others. Likely this is a key reason more people have not come forward with further information….......and which underpins some people’s motivation for using false names and keeping up the barage against those who have exposed this as a miscarriage of justice case. Let’s stop the smoke and mirrors games  and please use your real names!

    It would only take one person with courage from the DPP’s office or Tasmania Police to admit they may have made some mistakes and publicly support the call for a review of this case for some light to be shed on some truths. A statement such as this is far preferbale than living with a sense of guilt about the continuing need to defend the indefensible by supporting the wrongful incarceration of a woman as a result of a serious miscarriage of justice.

    Posted by Isla MacGregor  on  02/09/14  at  09:25 AM
  139. #137; Thank you for that Barbara. Was that interesting piece of factual information available during the trial? It doesn’t seem to feature in his Honour’s summing up and indeed, after reading his sentencing remarks, Justice Blow appears quite convinced that there was evidence of blood in the dinghy.

    Posted by Steve  on  02/09/14  at  02:24 PM
  140. #139 Steve, the details of the negative confirmatory tests were not drawn out or explained in the court.

    Posted by Barbara Etter  on  02/09/14  at  03:44 PM
  141. 133.  The old positive / neutral and negative buoyancy theory.  The issue is that if the weight of the water dispersed by the object weighs less than the object the object sinks.  It doesn’t sit below the surface and become neutral unless some positive buoyancy is added (i.e. like a diver does when he inflates his BCD at depth to provide him with neutral buoyancy).

    It would make no sense for the judge to consider why she didn’t push him over the side whilst out at sea as they weren’t out at sea and because the jury is the one that considered his guilt.  To be fair why not consider the 100s of other ways someone could kill someone while were at it, I am sure we could all come up with better ways to kill someone than those who have committed murder in the past.

    138 - “barrage against those who have exposed this as a miscarriage of justice case”.  There is an opinion by a number of people that this a “miscarriage case”.  Even Dr Moles says in his opinion, which is a fair way to put his beliefs across, because they are his opinions.  No one has legitimately exposed this as a miscarriage of justice, (although many like you refer to it as such).

    Here’s the problem, whatever you believe, the court has ruled and some people don’t agree with it.  A lot of people are confused about what went into evidence and have got things wrong (i.e. believing that the judge’s comments from sentencing were made to the jury before the jury made their decision.)  Ben provided a good summary of the evidence, but obviously there is more when you look into it further.  Why should we just accept your opinion?

    Posted by John Dodd  on  02/09/14  at  07:00 PM
  142. 132 - Dr Moles refers to there being only a screening test completed and no confirmatory testing done.

    Ms Etter - http://www.betterconsult.com.au/blog/luminol-testing-of-the-four-winds-dinghy-in-the-sue-neill-fraser-case-and-the-relevant-australian-standards/

    “all confirmatory testing undertaken by FSST in relation to Bob Chappell’s blood being present in the Four Winds dinghy (through the use of Hema Trace and Ouchterlony testing) was negative”

    So it appears that there is a contradiction here.  Can anyone assist??

    Posted by John Dodd  on  02/09/14  at  07:22 PM
  143. 141 “Why should we just accept your opinion?” No, with respect John Dodd, what is being put forward (and will be argued in the Petition for Mercy) is the need for a further appeal in a court of law where the matter can be reviewed in full.

    Some of the arguments for this course of action have been foreshadowed by Dr Moles in his response to the Assistant Commissioner of Police at http://netk.net.au/Tasmania/PoliceReport.pdf  There are others.

    Posted by Andrew L. Urban  on  02/09/14  at  07:33 PM
  144. The term Truther came to prominence after the 7/11 attacks and came to denote those who believed that the attacks were planned by the government or alternatively that there were no airplanes involved and so on. A Truther mistrusts common sense explanations and looks for conspiracies in every situation . A Truther elevates fragments of evidence into events of crucial importance. The June 2013 Australasian Science issue had an excellent article.

    Posted by John Taylor  on  02/09/14  at  08:02 PM
  145. #141; Hmmm, I think buoyancy is a law, not a theory! If you’re referring to to my ongoing issue with the fire extinguisher, it’s very simple. The weight of an object out of water has little relevance to it’s weight when immersed. To refer to a 14kg fire extinguisher has little relevance, unless you also provide the exact volume of the fire extinguisher, so that the mass of water displaced can be calculated. The specific gravity or density is what is required.

    If a 14kg fire extinguisher displaces 15 litres of water, it’ll float. If it displaces 13 litres of water, it’ll sink. In neither case will it float or sink with any enthusiasm and in neither case would you use it as a flotation device or an anchor.

    My experience of fire extinguishers is that they are close to neutral. The fire extinguisher in this case is an old fashioned brass one and I must confess to not knowing how it would perform, but I am interested in knowing. So far, no one has been able to assist me in my quest for knowledge.

    The only brass fire extinguishers I have encountered were water filled. Water is obviously neutral, so it comes down to whether the air space (every extinguisher has an air space) is sufficient to float the brass body. Either way, if it was an old water filled extinguisher, it’d be hopeless as a weight to anchor a decomposing human body.

    Fair comment regarding my alternative scenario, but only in the specific context of the trial. The judge suggested that this was a long developed plan. I questioned why anyone, with time to plot, would go about the task in the manner described? The judge used the long developed plan as a basis for sentencing. I think his logic is shaky.

    Ben’s summary of the evidence included, among other things, information about the Luminol screening test for blood conducted on the dinghy. It did not include the information provided above (#137). That disqualifies it from being a “good summary of the evidence”, in my opinion.

    Posted by Steve  on  02/09/14  at  08:20 PM
  146. #140; Barbara, can I infer from your comment that the test results in question were available and known about at the time of the original trial?

    Posted by Steve  on  02/09/14  at  08:22 PM
  147. 143.  There is nothing wrong with putting an application up.  I am sure most people have no issue with that.  There is nothing wrong with questioning a system, but people are blindly assessing this case as a miscarriage of justice, when there is misunderstandings about what actually occurred in court, and some people are happy to perpetuate the myths.

    There are contradictory statements made; i.e. I see Ms Etter refers to the confirmatory tests conducted at 140, but Dr Moles stated that no confirmatory tests occurred in the link you provided.

    He also says in his summary;

    “1. The Assistant Commissioner stated: The report failed to mention any of the evidence that points to the guilt of Ms Neill Fraser.

    That is not correct. The program made mention of lies and inaccuracies in her statements to police which many people seem to think is important to any assessment of this case.”

    Feel free to review both the 60 Minutes programs and see how much time they spent on the actual evidence that was presented in court.

    A number of points he simply agrees upon with the points made by Ms Adams.  I am not sure how one can say; “It’s informative but disturbing reading”.

    Posted by John Dodd  on  02/09/14  at  08:51 PM
  148. 145 - Steve the fireman strikes again.  Maybe if someone drew you a picture??

    Posted by John Dodd  on  02/09/14  at  08:58 PM
  149. 145 - Disqualify Ben’s summary of the evidence if you like, but I suppose that’s what a summary is.  If you want all the facts then you need the entire transcript of what every witness said, what every photograph showed and a chance to view all the exhibits.

    Posted by John Dodd  on  02/09/14  at  09:01 PM
  150. #148; A patronising put down from someone who refers to buoyancy as a theory?

    Please draw me a picture. Better still provide me some basic figures. I keep asking but no-one obliges.

    Posted by Steve  on  02/09/14  at  09:16 PM
  151. 150 - No detection of irony when the following was posted - “The old positive / neutral and negative buoyancy theory.”?

    Sel provided you with links previously in the previous links when you discussed it at length.

    Never intended to be patronising, just jesting.

    Posted by John Dodd  on  03/09/14  at  07:03 AM
  152. I’ve got to ask - Do you people commenting and experimenting on the fire extinguisher issue really know what you’re on about?  As far as I can ascertain fire extinguishers on boats are specifically made to float, for obvious reasons. If this is the case and your discussions have been centred on other types of extinguishers then you can’t produce an hypothesis, let alone a theory, and certainly not factual evidence. Besides that, there is considerable doubt as to whether the fire extinguisher in question was even on the yacht on 26th Jan. 2009.

    Unfortunately, this is just one of so many aspects of this case where there is doubt and confusion. Most of us contributing to TT comments just don’t have ALL the relevant information nor the expertise to unravel and objectively analyse the many issues that MAY have influenced the jury.  The best thing we can all do is hand it over to a number of experts in each specialised field to do all that professional analysis, since so many problems have been highlighted concerning the original court case.

    Posted by Sammy  on  03/09/14  at  07:41 AM
  153. #150; Sorry John, my irony detector must be malfunctioning, but if you keep repeating the standard line of “if something sinks, it can be used as an anchor” you can expect a lecture on basic physics.
    In the previous thread Sel provided links to prove that fire extinguishers sank, a fact I never disputed. Mark Hawkes even made a clip to show a small powder filled extinguisher sinking!
    At no stage did they, or yourself, provide any evidence as to the efficacy of said extinguisher as a weight under water.
    I’m actually quite puzzled by the “she’s guilty” side of this debate. They appear to treat the whole issue as a point scoring exercise rather than a genuine discussion on whether someone has been locked up unjustly.
    The basic scenario is that the body was weighted down with a fire extinguisher, loaded into a dinghy and dropped into deep water.
    Barbara Etter above states that expert examination of the dinghy showed no traces of blood. I have pointed out that it’s very doubtful that an extinguisher would be heavy enough to anchor a body. Those two points alone should make one think?
    There are many other dubious aspects of the prosecution case, such as whether the physical side of the job could have been done in the time available, if at all? Was there really any motive and a few other intangibles, but for me, solid physical facts tell a story.
    I’d still like some information on the fire extinguisher! Powder filled or water filled? Rated capacity? Was it part of an annual inspection regime? Basic stuff that the prosecution should have presented in court.

    Posted by Steve  on  03/09/14  at  07:59 AM
  154. Barbara Etter [Here] writes that

    [...] the new independent expert report from Victoria [...] clearly states that the Meaghan Vass DNA was deposited onto the deck of the Four Winds yacht via primary transfer.

    This claim of Barbara’s seems to be inconsistent with part of the report (quoted by Donna Adams) which clearly states that

    [...] it is apparent that a quantity of a human biological substance or fluid was either deposited directly onto the starboard deck of ‘Four Winds’ or indirectly via an unknown mechanism (i.e. secondary transfer).

    Andrew Urban, the author of this article similarly claims that

    the DNA report confirms that a person other than the accused was present at the crime scene.

    and

    The DNA of a then homeless 16 year-old girl found on Four Winds on January 30, 2009, is now confirmed by Victorian Police Forensic Services Department to be of primary transfer in nature, contradicting the evidence she gave at trial saying she had never been on the boat.

    Thus this claim of Andrew’s is also not consistent with that Adams’ quote from the report.  The report does not rule out the possibility of secondary transfer.  It does however state that there is no evidence to support secondary transfer:

    Therefore, there is no evidence to support the hypothesis that the DNA detected in sample 20 was the result of a secondary transfer event caused through foot traffic on the deck of “four Winds”.

    I have not read the full report, and am relying on fragments that I’ve been able to collect via Tas Times.  I have twice asked for it to be published.  Dr Bob Moles, Barbara Etter and Andrew Urban apparently have copies of it.  Again I ask them to publish the new Victorian forensic report in its entirety and/or on this thread to provide a link to it.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  03/09/14  at  08:51 AM
  155. Summary or full trial transcript is not essential. The armchair experts in this forum would either way take a very long time deciding guilt or innocence on the evidence and the fanciful theories advanced in securing a conviction in this case. Thorough scientific testing would be helpful on many matters such as the fire extinguisher theory. The bottom line is in concluding an unsafe verdict and miscarriage of justice is the important points of law masterfully explained for the lay person by Dr Moles,just how many points of trial error (“more holes than swiss cheese” I have heard it expressed) there are to warrant a legal review pointing to the finding the verdict should be set aside. Sheltering under a blanket statement ” we stand by the police, courts etc” is only a flakey pretense that all went well in the trial, in any number of points raised just in this current discussion show that is not the case. Guilt or innocence is not the point here. It is the trial process and ‘systemic error’ that need to be addressed. Let the police share their side of the story on 60 mins. That would certainly be good viewing.

    Posted by Rosemary  on  03/09/14  at  09:45 AM
  156. “Two can keep a secret if one of them’s dead.”

    Refer - Stephen King - A Good Marriage.

    Posted by Jane Goodall's Ape  on  03/09/14  at  06:48 PM
  157. #152; Sammy, I think I can probably say that I do know what I’m on about. I post anonymously so try to refrain from arguing from authority as I do not feel it is correct to do so.
    I can say though that I’ve been involved with boats all my life. I spent quite a few years working as a professional fisherman, I’ve skippered my own vessel (more than one actually), until I realised where that industry was headed. I’ve been scuba diving since I was fourteen and have done salvage diving on sunken vessels. I’ve re-floated boats on behalf of insurance companies and have also laid a number of moorings.
    These days my business interests lay in other directions but I think I can say with confidence that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to boats and what floats. In my youth, I even indulged in a bit of poaching so I know from first hand experience just how hard it is to do anything on a boat without showing a light!
    My personal opinion is that if Bob Chappell is attached to a fire extinguisher, he was probably lammed over the head with it, prior to the body and extinguisher being unceremoniously dropped over the side of the Four Winds. Someone got lucky and the negative buoyancy of the extinguisher was sufficient to keep the body below the surface whilst the tide and the natural flow of the river took it out to sea.
    Who the perpetrator was is open to debate but what stands out is that the SNF prosecution case is fiction.

    Posted by Steve  on  03/09/14  at  07:04 PM
  158. 157 - You do know that bodies actually sink.  As the body decomposes it can rise back up due to the gases forming inside the body.

    SNF prosecution case is fiction?  Note: there was no mention by the judge of the fire extinguisher being used to weigh down the body to the jury.  He only made that comment in sentencing.  Ms Neill Fraser allegedly raised the issue; the possibility herself of Mr Chappell being weighed down with the missing fire extinguisher.

    Note: Ms Ash, Ms Etter and Dr Moles are entitled to their opinions and of course they are entitled to raise them.  With all due respect to them, Ms Ash is a friend of the family of Ms Neill Fraser and Ms Etter is employed by the family, so they are not free from bias, like a lot of us posting on this site.  I am not sure what Dr Moles’ position in relation to all this is, but of course they are going to approach people who support their opinions.

    Legal argument occurs in these situations all the time and lawyers are good at putting their side of the case forward.  That’s why, where it is appropriate, both sides of the argument is put forward so it can be properly determined.  The opinions put forward by the defence team about various evidence is currently an argument and people should be careful of untested theories.

    Posted by John Dodd  on  04/09/14  at  08:24 AM
  159. #157 - An interesting “CV” Steve!  Still there’s doubt re. whether that particular fire extinguisher was in place just prior to the partial sinking. Have you, by any chance, checked on tides and winds over the period that’s supposed to be relevant to Bob Chappell’s disappearance?

    #156 - Were you trying to make a significant point? “Two can keep a secret if one of them’s dead.” That would apply to any situation where one of two secret-holders dies. The question remains - in this case, who is alive who actually knows what happened? It could well be more than just one person.

    Posted by Sammy  on  04/09/14  at  08:33 AM
  160. #158 - My impression is that neither Ms Ash nor Ms Etter were friends or even aquaintances of Ms Neill-Fraser before the conviction, but became supporters after looking into her case for themselves.

    Press reports about Dr Moles indicate that he came across this case more recently - purely through his research as a legal academic. He has an objective interest in examining this conviction because it falls directly into his academic study of miscarriages of justice. He’s acknowledged as an expert on such cases in Australia and two other countries based on the same legal system as ours.

    I’ve found this link to his CV in case you’re interested in where he’s coming from.
    http://netk.net.au/Molescv.asp

    Posted by Sammy  on  04/09/14  at  10:41 AM
  161. #158; Two thirds of the way down page 18, John. Justice Blow speaks as though a body with a fire extinguisher had been found. He’s giving the prosecution’s theories the status of facts.

    He also talks about where “the killing” took place when it’s actually an alleged killing.

    Bob Chappell could be wistfully sipping champagne on a Greek island, having pulled off a disappearance, years in the planning.

    Posted by Steve  on  04/09/14  at  11:25 AM
  162. 161 - When a judge is sentencing it is because the jury have decided the person is guilty.  It is no longer an alleged killing if a person has been found guilty for sentencing purposes.

    160 - Refer: http://www.urbancinefile.com.au/home/view.asp?Article_ID=19762.  Ms Ash states there that she was a friend of the family, but no longer converses with the Chapells as they believe in Ms Neill Fraser’s guilt.

    Ms Etter has been employed by the family.

    I’ve seen Dr Moles CV on that site.  Justice Blow, who oversaw the running of the case, also has an extensive CV as do Justices Crawford, Tennant and Porter who reviewed the case at CCA.  Not to mention the CV of the judges from the High Court, Crennan and French.  But whatever someone’s CV is that does’t make them right.

    Posted by John Dodd  on  04/09/14  at  05:44 PM
  163. #162; Two thirds of the way down page 18, John.
    The judge’s directions to the jury can be found in the link provided by Ben at #16.
    The comments re killing are also there if you read through.

    Posted by Steve  on  04/09/14  at  08:16 PM
  164. 163 - Read it before and your point being Steve??  The judge says nothing that indicates a body was found with a fire extinguisher as you pointed to earlier.

    (You talked before about Mr Chappell wistfully sipping champagne in Greece when even Ms Neill Fraser accepted he was dead.  How pray tell does Mr Chappell afford champagne when he has no access to funds, how does he travel to Greece without a passport.)

    Posted by John Dodd  on  04/09/14  at  08:47 PM
  165. #159; Sorry Sammy, I wasn’t ignoring you! Not sure if it’s an interesting CV, I tend not to mention too much of that period in my official CV! Still, it was an interesting way to spend my twenties, although I’m quite sure there could have been far more productive ways to have employed my time.

    With regard to tides and winds, no I haven’t looked. I thought about it but what’s the point? In general, a river flows to the sea. Tides come and go, depending on the time of day. Wind could be interesting. I’ve always assumed flat calm conditions. If there was a bit of a breeze and a chop, it moves the prosecution case from fiction to fantasy!

    Posted by Steve  on  04/09/14  at  09:36 PM
  166. #126 Thanks to Mr Lohberger at #16 I have located and read Justice Blow’s direction to the jury, and Mr Lohberger was correct – it is a long read at 63 pages. 

    You say, referring to Justice Blow’s sentencing remarks and his findings of ‘fact’ in relation to the case against Ms Neill-Fraser that ‘In short that information was never stated to the jury!!’

    Have you read the directions document?  If not, perhaps you should, if only to rebut any less than agreeable comments about it.  Some of which I am prepared to make.

    1. Justice Blow appears to follow all the rules and observe all the legal niceties required when directing juries but a clear direction on the standard of proof in a criminal case based entirely on circumstantial evidence is not forthcoming until some time after the direction commenced, at page 15 -

    ‘The commission of a crime may be proved beyond a reasonable doubt by circumstantial evidence provided that:

    a. all the fact and circumstances from which the conclusion of guilt is drawn must be established to the satisfaction of the jury; and

    b. the jury must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the conclusion of guilt is the only rational conclusion which is open on the whole of the evidence that the jury accepts.

    Or to turn that round; if there is open on the whole of the evidence the jury accepts any rational hypothesis, big words, any sensible theory, consistent with innocence, then the accused must be found not guilty.’

    Authorities on the nature of the direction to be given to juries in cases where the evidence is entirely circumstantial are not definitive.  In fact, it was one ground of Ms Neill-Fraser’s appeal against conviction that a ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ standard should be applied to ‘all the facts and circumstances from which the conclusion of guilt is drawn’.

    Given the nature of the extant authorities, it seems that Justice Blow opted for the ‘circumstantial lite’ standard when directing the jury.

    2.  Justice Blow begins his direction with some general remarks about findings of ‘law’ and ‘fact’ and the respective tasks of the judge and the jury.  He comments on the reliability or otherwise of evidence and witnesses and uses the following example –

    ‘A witness can be reliable about one matter but mistaken or unreliable or vague or confused about another.  And so questions, for example about whether Mr Conde’s memories were accurate are questions for you’ (the jury) (page 2).  Mr Conde gave evidence that he saw a grey dinghy beside the Four Winds at around 3.55 pm on the day of the alleged murder (26 January 2009).  His most significant statement in evidence was omitted from Justice Blow’s direction and only included at the request of Ms Neill-Fraser’s counsel after the formal direction was complete. 

    Mr Conde, when shown a picture of the Four Winds dinghy and asked if it was the one he saw beside the Four Winds at 3.55 pm said –

    ‘The Quicksilver dinghy in the photograph is not the dinghy I saw at five to four on Australia Day last year’. (page 46)

    There was no need for Justice Blow to give an example of evidence that might be unreliable taken from the case before the jury, and it was arguably prejudicial to the accused to use a defence witness – a witness whose most significant piece of evidence was omitted from a very detailed, very lengthy direction in the first instance.

    Further, in his opening remarks, Justice Blow advises the jury that ‘in reaching your verdict it’s very important that you put aside any emotions or any prejudices that you might have about crimes of violence or about particular types of people.  For example if you’ve got strong emotional feelings about – well people who can afford to buy yachts or about police officers’.  Once again, an unnecessary example, and arguably prejudicial to the accused.

    Posted by Barbara Mitchell  on  04/09/14  at  11:10 PM
  167. continued…..

    3.  The entire direction makes use of the words ‘fact’ or ‘facts’ more times, possibly, than Justice Blow has had hot dinners.  Fourteen pages of the direction are devoted to the Crown case, and Justice Blow refers to parts of the murder scenario – specifically the wrench - put forward by the Crown as ‘suggested facts’ and ‘theories’ that the jury ‘should consider’ (page 4).

    Mr Dodd exclaims that the ‘information in the sentencing remarks was never stated to the jury’.  Clearly he has NOT read the direction.  The Crown’s position is discussed in minute, tedious detail – the jury members would have been so familiar with the DPP’s version of events, which they were taken to have accepted, that they could have written the sentencing remarks themselves.

    At page 23 of the direction, in respect of the evidence of Mr Triffett that Ms Neill-Fraser proposed a plan to dispose of her brother and Mr Chappell over 10 years before the alleged murder of Mr Chapell, Justice Blow said –

    ‘the significance of the evidence and the way in which you may use it is that it’s evidence of a plan, it’s evidence of a plan that you may conclude bears a similarity to the events that IN FACT occurred, and the things that IN FACT happened to Mr Chappell’.

    Not, ‘bears a similarity to events that you may conclude occurred’, but ‘bears a similarity to the events that IN FACT occurred’.  How would a jury of regular persons, probably largely unfamiliar with the arcane requirements of the law, interpret this direction?  Could they have assumed that the Crown’s ‘facts’ were real – deduced by persons more skilled and informed than they were?

    At this point, it is useful to remember that the DPP’s version of the facts - the attack with the wrench, the winching of the body into the tender, and its disposal in the river - is not supported by any evidence whatsoever.

    4.  The phantom wrench – the wrench, the alleged murder weapon, is mentioned many, many times in Justice Blow’s direction.  A wrench is even used to illustrate an involuntary act causing injury or death (at page 12) and to explain the distinction between the various forms of culpable homicide (at page 53).  The jury was left in no doubt that a wrench was involved – it seems irrelevant to Justice Blow that the ‘wrench’ was nothing more than a product of the DPP ...

    Posted by Barbara Mitchell  on  04/09/14  at  11:17 PM
  168. continued…..
    5.  The lies – the ‘lies’ supposedly told by Ms Neill-Fraser during the course of the police investigation and the trial are noted in some detail by Justice Blow in his direction to the jury. 

    Particularly, he refers to Ms Neill-Fraser’s initial assertion that she remained at home overnight on 26/27 January, and her admission that she had returned to Marieville Esplanade, when told that a car similar to hers had been photographed on Sandy Bay Road at 12.15 am.  In his direction, Justice Blow made no comment about the glaring inconsistency between the ATM photographic evidence that Ms Neill-Fraser was apparently travelling home at 12.15 am on 27 January, and the DPP’s assertion that she spent several hours between 11.30-midnight and around 3.00 am murdering her partner and disposing of his body.

    If it was her car in the ATM photograph, it tends to support Ms Neill-Fraser’s account of the night in question.  She said she returned to Marieville Esplanade on foot some time after 10.30, collected her car, checked on the yacht from the shore, and drove home.

    6. The possibility of suicide – Justice Blow directed the jury, at page 18 as follows –

    ‘The evidence tends to suggest that Mr Chappell didn’t commit suicide.  Tim Chappell, at page 119 of the transcript, said that he wasn’t depressed or suicidal.  He – the evidence was that he was interested in his work, regarded it as important, and if he did commit suicide it’s hardly likely that he would have scuttled the yacht and tied the fire extinguisher to himself and disappeared without a trace.’

    First, how many people commit suicide and leave behind family and friends who had no idea they were suicidal?

    Second, there is no evidence AT ALL that a fire extinguisher was involved in the alleged crime.  Justice Blow’s direction and his reference to Tim Chappell’s evidence seems to assume that the use of a fire extinguisher to weight Mr Chappell’s body has somehow been established as fact, regardless of the manner of his demise.

    7.  The bandaged wrist – police evidence was given at trial that Ms Neill-Fraser had a bandaid on her thumb and a bandaged wrist the day after the alleged offence, and they were not present at lunchtime on the day before.  Justice Blow’s direction says at page 20 that –

    ‘There are photos of the Mercury journalist, Mr Eiszele…in which I suggest one can see the bandages’.

    First, was it appropriate for Justice Blow to make a ‘suggestion’ about the presence of bandages on Ms Neill-Fraser’s wrist?

    Second, the pictures to which Justice Blow refers show Ms Neill-Fraser in an oversized shirt with buttoned wrist-length sleeves.  Bandages cannot be seen in the published photo – can we assume there were others available at trial that showed clearer detail?  Can they be published in the Mercury?

    Posted by Barbara Mitchell  on  04/09/14  at  11:21 PM
  169. continued…..

    8. The defence case direction – ‘Now I’ve said a lot about the Crown case, I need to summarise the defence case’ (Justice Blow - page 31).  How right he was - about devoting a lot of time to the Crown case. 

    The defence case direction mentioned all significant aspects of Ms Neill-Fraser’s defence, but its tone was less sympathetic to her position than that of the Crown.  I suggest all interested persons read the direction for themselves, in its entirety.  Take the ice bucket challenge halfway through to keep yourselves awake.

    Pay particular attention to the directions regarding the evidence of Mr Conde – the grey dinghy evidence – and bear in mind that Mr Conde was given as the example of a person whose evidence may not be entirely reliable in Justice Blow’s opening remarks.  This part of the direction ‘tends’ – to use Justice Blow’s own expression - to give the impression that Mr Conde was mistaken about the dinghy he saw.  Much is made of measurements and the interpretation of photographs of dinghies, and Justice Blow forgets to mention Mr Conde’s clear assertion that a photo of the Four Winds dinghy was not the one he saw on the afternoon of the alleged murder.  The jury is so directed only after a request by defence counsel. 

    Note also the directions relevant to the Meaghan Vass DNA evidence.  Ms Vass gave evidence, under cross-examination, that she had never been to the premises of Clean Lift Marine in Goodwood (where the Four Winds was taken after the alleged murder).  She also gave evidence that she did not recall going to Constitution Dock while the Four Winds was moored there.  She also denied having been on the Four Winds on the day of the alleged murder. 

    At page 41, Justice Blow directed the jury as follows –

    ‘Another possibility is that although she said she wasn’t there really on the night of the 26th January or sometime thereafter – sorry, on the night of the 26th January or sometimes thereafter she was on that boat, and given – if you accept that she didn’t get on at Constitution Dock then you’d need to consider whether it’s plausible that she got aboard while it was at its mooring or is it plausible that she got aboard while it was at Goodwood.’ 

    Confused?  All I got out of that was ‘she got aboard while it was at Goodwood’, and I wasn’t comatose after weeks of evidence and a truly confusing direction.

    [The Meaghan Vass DNA evidence raises some issues with the police investigation.  Arguably, the Crown’s position that Ms Vass had no connection to Mr Chappell’s disappearance would have been significantly supported by a clear finding that her DNA was deposited on the yacht AFTER the day of the alleged murder, either at Goodwood or Constitution Dock.  Why didn’t the police put greater effort into ascertaining Ms Vass’ whereabouts around the time of the alleged offence?]

    I could go on…….

    All we need now is a trial transcript.

    Posted by Barbara Mitchell  on  04/09/14  at  11:51 PM
  170. #164; With all due respect John, in comment #158 you stated “Note: there was no mention by the judge of the fire extinguisher being used to weigh down the body to the jury.  He only made that comment in sentencing.”

    I have simply given you the location of where the judge does indeed mention the fire extinguisher theory in his directions to the jury, although he doesn’t mention it as a possible theory, floated by the prosecution, but refers to it more as an established fact. Barbara above has put it far more eloquently than I.

    With regard to the Greek Islands, I was being flippant but it remains a possibility. People have staged their own disappearances before and I believe it has occurred that an innocent person has been hanged for murder as a result. Another circumstantial case!

    Whether his partner has accepted his death does not appear relevant. If she had no hand in anything, she’d be no better informed than anyone else.

    With regard to money and passport; given time to plan and a good income to siphon funds from, I’m sure it’d be possible. Perhaps he began planning in the nineties when he learned his partner intended to deep six him, wrapped in chicken wire? That’d give any one pause for thought!

    Funny, though, they stayed together for many more years…

    Posted by Steve  on  05/09/14  at  10:52 AM
  171. For us who might have missed ‘Justice Overboard’ (60 Minutes 24 August) Eve Ash (#5), writes of…
    “new leads, and problems with the forensic science in the case:
    http://www.jump-in.com.au/show/60minutes/stories/2014/august/justice-overboard/ MeaghanVass’DNA was on the boat. Bob Moles says this miscarriage of justice is the worst of the worst.
    [and]
    http://www.jump-in.com.au/show/60minutes/extraminutes/3745973716001/”

    My own focus is in the apparent MoJ that is seen in the failure of Justice Blow to require Meaghan Vass to return to the witness box to explain her whereabouts on the night of Bob Chappell’s disappearance.  She had earlier said she was at an address which later was found not to exist.  Given her DNA was found on the Four Winds, and given the new Victorian Forensic report seems to suggest that it was - more likely than not - that her DNA was deposited by herself directly onto the boat (primary transfer) rather than to have been brought on board on the boot of some police officer (secondary transfer), we are entitled to assert an MoJ.  It is on this failure to recall Meaghan Vass to the stand that the application for leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia was made.  It is unfortunate that is was dismissed-in-advance by French CJ & Crennan J, (the HCA members) - before the submissions had even been completed.  How could this be?  - They ‘retired’ to consider their decision and after 180 seconds returned and read it.  Just for the record, here it is now:

    This application concerns the applicant’s conviction for murder contrary to section 158 of the Criminal Code 1924 (Tas). The Court of Criminal Appeal of the Supreme Court of Tasmania (Crawford CJ and Tennent and Porter JJ) below dismissed the applicant’s appeal against her conviction.

    At her trial in the Supreme Court before Blow J, the case against the applicant was mainly circumstantial. DNA evidence had been found at the scene of the crime that matched another person, Ms Vass. The latter was 15 years old at the time of the deceased’s disappearance, and had been homeless since she was 13. After Ms Vass gave evidence at trial, further evidence was given by a police officer suggesting that there were certain inconsistencies in Ms Vass’ account of her location on the night of the deceased’s disappearance. That evidence was ultimately ruled inadmissible.

    The applicant contends that there was an application to the trial judge for leave to recall Ms Vass for the purposes of further cross-examination on the inconsistencies. On appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal, the applicant contended, among other things, that a miscarriage of justice resulted from the prosecutor’s failure to recall Ms Vass. The Court of Criminal Appeal unanimously rejected that ground of appeal. The applicant now applies for special leave to appeal from that decision.

    In our view, this application does not give rise to a question suitable to a grant of special leave as the applicant has not shown that she was denied an opportunity to produce evidence on a point of substance which can be shown to have had a significant possibility of affecting the jury’s verdict. Accordingly, special leave is refused.

    I have great difficulty in accepting that two members of the HC of A could ‘retire’ to consider SNF’s application and within 180 seconds (the times are given on the transcript) return to read a 278 word decision.  If ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied’, then what is ‘Justice Fast-Tracked’?  Judge Judy?  ‘Drive-In Decisions’?  Surely, their decision was being written even as the lawyers were still advancing their cases?

    Notwithstanding these HCA deficiencies, it is unfortunate that (it seems to me) Andrew, Barbara, Bob (Moles) and Eve have not been totally forthright in their claims concerning the Victorian forensic report.  They have claimed much more of this report than it actually seems to provide. 

    It seems to me as if a single statement from that report

    [T]here is no evidence to support the hypothesis that the DNA detected in sample 20 was the result of a secondary transfer event caused through foot traffic on the deck of “four (sic) Winds”.

    is being used to claim (as Bob Moles does in the 60 Minutes show):

    VOICE-OVER:  The homeless girl, Meaghan Vass, was definitely on this boat?
    BOB MOLES:  That’s what the report says, yes.

    I don’t believe the report actually says this.  I begin to believe that Andrew, Barbara, Bob (Moles) and Eve all know this, but have chosen to represent the ‘lack of (secondary transfer) evidence’ as a proof of primary transfer.  Just for the record, I reckon Meaghan Vass was (probably) on the boat.  But I cannot agree with the unpublished report being represented as proving that she was. 

    I think Andrew, Barbara, Bob (Moles) and Eve have been ‘putting lipstick on a probability.’

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  05/09/14  at  02:44 PM
  172. #171 ‘I think Andrew, Barbara, Bob (Moles) and Eve have been ‘putting lipstick on a probability.’

    Garry, they’re selling something $$$$$$ Selling Meaghan and the Chappell’s name $$$$$$
    Books, DVDs, movie tickets.

    This Monday, I intend to contact Tas Police (declare my interest, minimise interference ect) in regards to Meaghan and her rights/welfare.

    This young lady, who is not even a police suspect, has been treated poorly by those that should know better.

    60Minutes, get your checkbook out!

    Posted by mark hawkes  on  05/09/14  at  06:18 PM
  173. #171; I understand where you are coming from Garry. Refer back to comment #140 and my query, #146.

    I can see that the prosecution’s employment of Luminol evidence is extremely dubious. If there was contradictory evidence in the prosecution’s hands at the time, that would surely be instant and solid grounds for appeal.

    I ask for a simple clarification of an ambiguous (possibly intentionally?) comment and all goes quiet.

    I think, in the current circumstances, it’d be best for those running the “not guilty” case, to simply be up front with this stuff. Bring on the reports, warts and all.

    I think it’s quite clear that the crime SNF was charged with, as laid out by the prosecution, with the tacit assistance of the judge, is extremely dubious.

    I can picture quite a few other scenarios for that night, none of them involving premeditated murder.

    Posted by Steve  on  05/09/14  at  07:26 PM
  174. I reckon you jokers might solve this thing. However my advice would be not to rule out the kiwis. They always hated Chappell after the under arm incident.

    Posted by Pilko  on  05/09/14  at  09:40 PM
  175. #165 #173 - Steve - Thanks for further comments re. winds, tides etc.  It may seem obvious about the river flowing to the sea, but high tide and onshore wind can really affect that.  Did the police present any evidence about those elements?

    As there is so much obvious disquiet about this case (as evidenced in this discussion) surely the best way to deal with it is to have ALL the evidence, reports etc out for examination.  It’s likely that some of these can’t be made available legally except in a court.

    #172 - Mark - It seems you’re suggesting that Andrew, Barbara, Bob (Moles) and Eve have have been paid for the 60 Minutes program.  If so , do you have any evidence for that? btw - you mention a book. Is there one available yet on this case?  Also, as you’re intending to take up M. Vass’ case with police on Monday it appears that you know her (?). btw - What do you mean by “minimise interference”?  Writing “60 Minutes, get your checkbook out” makes it sound like you have an interest in making money out of “60 Minutes” yourself.  Are you a lawyer?  If not, how can you help Meaghan, whom you see as a victim?

    Posted by Sammy  on  06/09/14  at  06:41 AM
  176. Garry at #171 in response to your “lipstick on a probability” comment. There is material additional to the statement of the independent expert in relation to the foot traffic issue (which was the main Crown theory on the issue) in the Victorian Police Forensic Services Department report. You will recall the quote:

    Therefore, there is no evidence to support the hypothesis that the DNA detected in sample 20 was the result of a secondary transfer event caused through foot traffic on the deck of “four Winds”.
    I think it has been rather selective of the Tasmania Police to just run with the line “[I]t is apparent that a quantity of human biological substance or fluid was either deposited directly onto the starboard deck of ‘Four Winds’ or indirectly via an unknown mechanism (i.e. secondary transfer).”

    The positioning of this particular sentence needs to be considered in the context of the entire report.

    This sentence appears directly after the expert outlined the three main options proposed earlier about possible plausible explanations (primary transfer, transfer by “an unknown transferring surface” upon which a relatively large amount/high concentration of the biological substance was adhering and transfer error at FSST (or contamination).

    The Victorian report then states:

    Excluding the possibility of transfer error at the FSST, it is apparent that a quantity of human biological substance or fluid was either deposited directly onto the starboard deck of ‘Four Winds’ or indirectly via an unknown mechanism (i.e. secondary transfer). (emphasis added)

    cont ...

    Posted by Barbara Etter  on  06/09/14  at  09:35 AM
  177. The report under “Further Examination and Findings” provides further information pertinent to a determination of whether the Vass sample was primary or secondary in nature. The arguments advanced for primary transfer (from my layperson’s understanding) appear to include:

    •  The sample was an unambiguous single source Profiler Plus DNA profile (it would be more likely to get a mixed profile in secondary transfer);

    •  There was no indication that any component (allele) within the profile had dropped out;

    •  There was no indication of stochastic variation;

    •  The allele peak heights had well in excess of 1,000 relative fluorescence units (rfu) for lower molecular weight loci and in excess of 300 rfu for higher molecular weight loci;

    •  The sample was referred to as having been found in “possible drops” on the deck (although there may be an issue as to whether this was from the luminol itself);

    •  There were no repeat DNA samples found on the deck of the yacht which would have been expected if the sample came in on a shoe retaining a moist biological substance but repeat samples could also have occurred if a transferring item had had more than one contact with the deck;

    •  The biological substance in the sample was indicative of a relatively large amount of DNA, which was more likely to have come from body fluids (blood, saliva, etc) rather than a simple skin contact/touching event.

    The report stated:

    Therefore, the quantity of biological material (i.e. DNA) in the sample/swab as indicated by the number of rfu’s per DNA marker (which determine the heights of allele peaks in the DNA profile print-out) are, in my opinion, strongly inconsistent with a ‘touch DNA’ scenario. The absence of dropout and stochastic variation in the electropherogram, in my opinion, adds further support to this contention. (emphasis added)

    It should also be remembered that the sample was found on the deck of the yacht and not some item of moveable property that could have been brought onto the yacht by another person.

    The issue will obviously be one where the Attorney-General and the Court will have the benefit of the whole of the report and may well rely on further expert opinion. Importantly, the report, in my layperson’s interpretation, clearly debunks the Crown theory proposed at the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeal and the High Court that the sample came in on the bottom of someone’s shoe.

    Posted by Barbara Etter  on  06/09/14  at  09:36 AM
  178. Steve, re #140, #146 and #173, apologies but have been interstate all week at a national forensic science conference and only just back. Had mistakenly unsubscribed to this thread and thought, wrongly, that all had gone quiet.

    The independent report on the luminol in the dinghy states in relation to the FSST testing:

    During the examination of the Quicksilver inflatable Zodiac tender, at least sixteen (16) swabs from seven (7) different locations were tested with two different confirmatory tests for human blood. In every instance test results were negative.

    It seems that some of the confirmatory test results in relation to positive luminol testing of the Four Winds dinghy were available at the trial in a 46 page report, mainly tabular in nature, entitled “Forensic Biology Report” dated 1 July 2009 from FSST. There is only one page of narrative which provides basic information about a related report (the crime scene report of 12 June 2009) and provides some information on Item Examination and reference samples used in relation to DNA testing/comparison. The one page narrative does not provide interpretation of any of the actual results provided in the body of the complex and detailed report. The opening of the report states “This report provides a summary of the biological examination and DNA profiling results”. There were no actual expert reports outlining opinions, the basis for such opinions, expert qualifications, limitations, assumptions etc. tendered by each of the forensic scientists involved.

    The Forensic Biology Report of 1 July 2009 was tendered as a Further Agreed Fact on 29 September 2010 and was exhibit #P61. The following appears at pp.627-628 of the trial transcript.

    MR ELLIS SC: I seek to read those, but in fact the witnesses to whom these refer, I propose to call after another witness. Further agreed facts:

    <FURTHER AGREED FACTS P61 READ TO COURT

    MR ELLIS SC: Your Honour, I’ll next seek to call –

    HIS HONOUR: Well just a minute? The memorandum headed
    “Further Agreed Facts” will be marked as an exhibit.

    MR ELLIS SC: Thank you, your Honour.

    EXHIBIT #P61 – FURTHER AGREED FACTS – TAKEN IN

    HIS HONOUR: Now there’s about fifty pages of material annexed
    to that, Mr Ellis –

    MR ELLIS SC: Yes, your Honour.

    HIS HONOUR: - is that going to be referred to by witnesses that
    you’re going to call?

    MR ELLIS SC: Yes, your Honour, and hopefully explained.

    HIS HONOUR: ... Now – so the position is that there’s a fifty page exhibit and rather than getting you to read it out, the plan is that it will be referred to and
    will be available in the jury room at the end of the trial?

    MR ELLIS SC: I will have copies for the jury when the witnesses go
    through … (emphasis added)

    (Note, it was not the 46 page report that was read to the court, just the fact that the report was an agreed fact).

    This issue of the report being an Agreed Fact became apparent during consideration of the discussion in court at CT pp. 653-654 where the Judge, during one of the forensic scientist’s evidence, was having difficulty in understanding the nature and contents of the then raised 1 July 2009 report. The Judge at that time had to ask to use a spare copy (CT p.654).There was discussion and questioning on the report by Defence Counsel at CT pp.668-669. At p.669, the following exchange occurred with defence counsel:
    Would it be fair to say this, that you tested the entirety of the inside of the rubber dinghy and the surrounds – the surrounds of the dinghy? … Tested with?
    Looking for blood stains … Yes, I certainly looked by eye that night, or that day, at the police services building and I used luminol, as I’ve explained to you, and then I did have the dinghy brought back to the laboratory so that I could examine it with magnification and in good lighting conditions and I didn’t find any red/brown staining with the microscope.
    An issue appears to be that some or all of the confirmatory testing may have been done by one of the other forensic scientists from FSST. It seems from the transcript that the only tests done by the forensic scientist giving evidence at court of luminol in the dinghy were those reported from No.113 onwards (CT p.653).

    Cont ...

    Posted by Barbara Etter  on  06/09/14  at  09:38 AM
  179. The Forensic Biology Report dated 1 July 2009 indicates negative Ouchterlony confirmatory tests were obtained, for example, from samples 44 and 46 (swabs from luminol positive areas of the dinghy). However, sample 159 which involved two swabs from a luminol positive area on the dinghy were simply reported in the Forensic Biology Report as “Human blood was not detected”. The independent expert report obtained by the Sue Neill-Fraser legal team in 2014 states that it is in the Forensic biology case notes (which were obtained under RTI legislation) that it is recorded that the confirmatory test for Human Haemoglobin (Hema Trace) was undertaken and no reaction recorded for that sample.

    Posted by Barbara Etter  on  06/09/14  at  09:39 AM
  180. #175 ‘#172 - Mark -..’

    Ummm…that’s the only bit you got right, but nice try! Your innuendos are ‘junk’

    Posted by mark hawkes  on  06/09/14  at  10:49 AM
  181. #180. … as were the innuendos @ Supreme Court SNF trial = ‘junk’.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  06/09/14  at  05:18 PM
  182. #175 Sorry for smart arse reply. I’ll try again.

    I did not suggest they were paid by 60Minutes. I made a list of three,(Books, DVDs, movie tickets) 60Minutes wasn’t on it.

    ‘She has recently completed an 95,000 word manuscript on a high-profile, true crime in Tasmania which is awaiting legal developments before being published’.(http://www.betterconsult.com.au/about/)

    ‘.. it appears that you know her (?)’

    No, why would you think that? I made a point of saying I was contacting Tas Police.

    ‘What do you mean by “minimise interference”?’

    Yeah, I had trouble expressing. I would not want to cause Meaghan any bother. My motives are pure.

    ‘.. makes it sound like you have an interest in making money out of “60 Minutes” yourself.’

    That’s an insult, made from the way you want to think! I have no $$$ self interest.

    ‘Are you a lawyer?  If not, how can you help Meaghan, whom you see as a victim?’

    No, but I know some very, very good ones who can advise. I would like to suggest to Meaghan, to seek compensation from 60Minutes, for the inaccurate BS show.

    As I said, I have no intention of any hurt - I loathe bullies.

    Posted by mark hawkes  on  06/09/14  at  06:58 PM
  183. #178; Thanks Barbara, although I am slightly shocked that you have more important things in your life than responding to requests for information from this thread!
    Am I correct in interpreting that there’s a fine legal point hovering in the background? The forensic information regarding the dinghy was provided in a forty six page report that was accepted as agreed fact. It was therefore, technically, provided to the defence.
    There was a summary provided that did not give details and the expert witness did not spell out the negative tests, possibly because they were being entirely correct and testifying only on tests they had undertaken?
    Is this cricket? I presume this situation has occurred many times before and there must be a correct path to tread, otherwise every defence council would simply require technical reports to be worked through, whilst the jury grew long grey beards.

    Posted by Steve  on  06/09/14  at  08:06 PM
  184. If an inquiry were to be held, would evidence that was inadmissible in the trial be available to the inquiry?  And Whose interest would the inadmissible interest be likely to serve if tabled?

    Posted by John Taylor  on  06/09/14  at  08:53 PM
  185. #175; That’s the thing with this discussion, it’s an information gathering exercise. The actual trial transcript isn’t available electronically so we’re dependent on those who’ve accessed the information the hard way. Presumably the police recorded the conditions on the night in question.

    I can envisage quite a few scenarios that would fit the facts, such as they are. Not all of them exclude SNF as being responsible for Bob Chappell’s death, however there’s not one that involves premeditated, wilful murder.

    Posted by Steve  on  06/09/14  at  09:16 PM
  186. 166-169 - My comment about certain information not being said to the jury is correct.  You referred to in points 118-121 to the judges sentencing comments.  The sentencing comments are not what he said in his summing up to the jury.  Now

    Posted by Jane Goodall's Ape  on  07/09/14  at  06:49 AM
  187. 166 - Point 1 - “circumstantial lite” - I haven’t heard that term before.  Can you please provide a reference??

    Posted by John Dodd  on  07/09/14  at  07:14 AM
  188. 166 - Point 2 - Defence witness - I think you’ll find Mr Conde was a prosecution witness.

    Posted by John Dodd  on  07/09/14  at  07:16 AM
  189. 167 - Point 3 - suggested facts and theories.  The judge discussed certain suggested facts and theories.  Surprise surprise.

    Posted by John Dodd  on  07/09/14  at  07:18 AM
  190. 167 - Point 4 - The jury was left in no doubt - Not how I read it.  The wrench was raised by DPP in cross examination of Ms Neill Fraser.

    Posted by John Dodd  on  07/09/14  at  07:20 AM
  191. 168 - 5 - Evidence tends to support Ms Neill Fraser’s account?  Or the account she gave when challenged by matters raised with her.  i.e. She denied all those movements until police said to her that they had evidence to the contrary.

    Posted by John Dodd  on  07/09/14  at  07:23 AM
  192. 168 - 6 - The circumstances that the boat was found in (i.e. sabotaged, blood found, items missing) and the history of Mr Chappell does tend to suggest he didn’t commit suicide.  That’s what the judge said.

    I don’t like mentioning the fire extinguisher, because the resident expert on fire extinguishers will start a bombardment of posts regarding said fire extinguisher, however Ms Neill Fraser allegedly mentioned to a witness who appeared in court and gave evidence that she said to him that Mr Chappell had been thrown overboard with the fire extinguisher attached to him.

    Posted by Jane Goodall's Ape  on  07/09/14  at  07:52 AM
  193. 167 - 7 - There is no dispute that Ms Neill Fraser had a bandaged hand.  She accepted that she did and provided an account as to how that possibly occurred.

    Posted by John Dodd  on  07/09/14  at  07:54 AM
  194. 169 - 8- No truer words were spoken than when you stated “All we need now is a trial transcript.”

    Posted by John Dodd  on  07/09/14  at  07:57 AM
  195. Are we over 200 posts now??  That must be a record for TT??

    Posted by John Dodd  on  07/09/14  at  07:57 AM
  196. #195; If you wish to set a TT record John, you need to allege that the Four Winds was being used for fox smuggling!

    Posted by Steve  on  07/09/14  at  10:37 AM
  197. #186; Just out of curiosity, how many personas are you running on this thread?
    #166 - #169 was Barbara Mitchell replying to “John Dodd” and I’m fairly sure that all her quotes were taken from the Judges directions to the jury, not the sentencing remarks.

    Posted by Steve  on  07/09/14  at  10:44 AM
  198. #183 Steve, whilst I was away interstate at a very relevant conference, I was also working carefully through a further significant development in the case which drew my attention away from TT.

    Posted by Barbara Etter  on  07/09/14  at  01:06 PM
  199. #186 All references in comments 166-169 are to Justice Blow’s directions to the jury in summing up.

    #187 For an interesting recent analysis of the common law in regard to jury directions and circumstantial evidence cases please see http://www.criminalcle.net.au/attachments/CIRCUMSTANTIAL_EVIDENCE.19.05.2010.pdf.  The author is no less a lawyer than Mr Ian Barker QC who famously, or infamously, led the prosecution of Lindy and Michael Chamberlain in 1982.  He concludes as follows –

    ‘It seems to me the issue has been unnecessarily confused by chains and cables and indispensable intermediate facts and primary facts. Accepting it is impracticable to prove every fragment of evidence beyond reasonable doubt, what is wrong with the view of Deane J in Chamberlain? If the circumstantial facts relied on by the prosecution are numerically small, they require proof beyond reasonable doubt. If they are numerous, they are to be considered collectively and the individual facts do not require proof beyond reasonable doubt. And I would add, whether small or large in number, any fact substantially more significant to the Crown case than others should require proof beyond reasonable doubt. And it would surely be consistent with earlier authority to require judges to direct juries that before accepting any part of any circumstantial evidence they must be satisfied that the evidence bears no reasonable hypothesis consistent with innocence. 

    I am afraid that judges are becoming increasingly reluctant to direct juries to treat significant circumstantial facts as requiring proof beyond reasonable doubt before taking them into account, in support of a Crown case. But as with other aspects of the administration of justice the tide continues to run against the person on trial.’

    Note particularly the final paragraph, above.

    #188 I could find that Mr Conde was a prosecution witness if I had access to a trial transcript.  However, since directions regarding his evidence were included in Justice Blow’s summary of the defence case, I thought it safe to assume he was a defence witness.

    #191 It seems that nobody has addressed the timing inconsistencies in the DPP’s case, as noted by me and Ms Herrera on this thread.  And let’s face it, they’re not subtle.  Once again, how could Ms Neill-Fraser have been motoring towards the Four Winds in the dinghy at 11.30 pm, completed the lengthy task of disposing of Mr Chappell, as described by the DPP, and been back in her car heading home at 12.15?  And how does that fit with the DPP’s assertion that she took until just before 3.00 am to undertake the various deeds ‘suggested’ to have taken place on the Four Winds that night?

    Posted by Barbara Mitchell  on  08/09/14  at  08:43 AM
  200. # 199 Of course there are conflicting propositions by the DPP as you point out, Barbara Mitchell ... It falls apart at every turn, as you point out, (in my view).

    Posted by Andrew L. Urban  on  08/09/14  at  11:46 AM
  201. The comment of John Hayward #7 truly is the essence of the entire of the Fraser/Chappell case discussion that has the people at odds with each other in the serious failures within this State’s judiciary.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  08/09/14  at  12:17 PM
  202. 197 - Yes she used the judge’s directions in posts 166-169, but she used the sentencing remarks at posts 118-121.

    Posted by John Dodd  on  09/09/14  at  06:12 AM
  203. 199 - You prefer the last paragraph, but if we look at extracts this part is a good one for the contrary argument - “If the circumstantial facts relied on by the prosecution are numerically small, they require proof beyond reasonable doubt. If they are numerous, they are to be considered collectively and the individual facts do not require proof beyond reasonable doubt.”

    Posted by John Dodd  on  09/09/14  at  06:42 AM
  204. #199 #202 Confusion reigns! - which is why much of the commentary both here and among general public is necessarily ill-informed. Considering the majority of Tasmanians have made their personal judgements based on the very limited reporting of the case in local media, no wonder it was impossible for most to consider the intracies and uncertainties of the case, many of which have been raised here - unfortunately without the benefit of the main information source required ie: the original trial transcript.

    As for whether witnesses appeared for defence or prosecution, my understanding is that there were NO witnesses called for the defence, other than Ms Neill-Fraser herself, and that this was not due to a lack of people prepared to bear witness to her claims, but rather to the protocols and procedures which applied to the way this case was run.

    Posted by Sammy  on  09/09/14  at  07:22 AM
  205. #199 Thanks for the quotes from Mr Ian Barker QC.  In part: “If the circumstantial facts relied on by the prosecution are numerically small, they require proof beyond reasonable doubt. If they are numerous, they are to be considered collectively and the individual facts do not require proof beyond reasonable doubt. And I would add, whether small or large in number, any fact substantially more significant to the Crown case than others should require proof beyond reasonable doubt.”

    The problem here, as with so much in legal matters, is the lack of precision.  What’s really meant by “numerically small” vs ‘numerous”?  How about “...any fact substantially more significant to the Crown case than others should require proof beyond reasonable doubt.”?

    In the SNF case there were SO MANY bits of unproven “evidence” that were woven into the prosecution case, is it possible to know for sure which bits may have been “substantially more significant” than others?  I’d be interested to learn from anyone commenting here just what facts YOU think were substantially more significant to the Crown case than others.

    Posted by Sammy  on  09/09/14  at  07:50 AM
  206. Perhaps all the public discussion and debate - including here on TT - has helped the Tasmanian government realise that something must be done to improve the appeal process here so the integrity of the investigative and judicial systems may be trusted by the public, as well as making them more aligned with the state’s human rights obligations..  For those who missed it, just this morning ABC news reported on a statement from the A-G.  Below is the gist which made it to the “Mercury” around 10.30am (Check online for full text). 

    “THE State Attorney-General plans to change Tasmanian law to allow for the review of a criminal case where there is fresh and compelling evidence or evidence of a tainted conviction.

    The amendment will provide for appeals against conviction in the event that fresh and compelling evidence comes to light after the normal appeal rights have been exhausted.

    Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin said in Budget Estimates this morning that prosecution had the right to seek a retrial on the basis of fresh and compelling evidence or evidence of a tainted outcome since 2008.

    “We believe it is fair that a convicted person be afforded the same opportunity,” she said.

    She said in Tasmania, as in most other states, the right of a convicted person to appeal a guilty verdict was limited.

    Ms Goodwin said: “The only avenue currently available to a convicted person in Tasmania after normal appeal rights have been exhausted is to petition the Governor or the Attorney-General to exercise the royal prerogative of mercy.

    “We believe it is appropriate that decisions on such appeals be given to the judiciary to determine, not the governor or attorney general of the day.”

    The current system of petitioning for the exercise of the royal prerogative of mercy has been criticised by legal commentators on a number of grounds, including the lack of formal process and transparency, and a perception that political rather than legal matters may be determinative.

    Cabinet has decided that provisions introduced in South Australia last year are a suitable model on which to base an amendment to the Tasmanian Criminal Code.

    This step will give the defence the same powers as the prosecution when it comes to reviewing criminal cases.

    Consultation with key stakeholders will begin by the end of the year.”

    Posted by Sammy  on  09/09/14  at  11:52 AM
  207. 206 Yes, Sammy, and it’s a pretty obvious and much needed reform that should be introduced across Australia. If Tasmania gets it right (even more right than South Australia, which didn’t quite get the message but is heading in the right direction) then Tasmania will be a leader in Australian criminal justice process.

    Posted by Andrew L. Urban  on  09/09/14  at  03:12 PM
  208. A good deal is made of what is stated to be the prosecution’s ‘invention’ of a wrench. This however follows on from SNF’s own statutory deposition that they were working with tools - him on the boat systems and her on the washing machine and exchanging snippety words. She stated in her deposition that she was annoyed as the tools were her tools as well. So there was a stated interaction that involved anger and tools. The prosecution was entitled to develop this scenario, given that there was clear evidence of Mr Chappell being injured on the boat, prior to his disappearance.

    Posted by John Taylor  on  09/09/14  at  11:10 PM
  209. 205 - What evidence was more substantial than other parts?  Unproven evidence?  Interesting comments.  All the evidence needs to be considered and what is unproven evidence?  One thing about a court case where evidence is given and cross examination occurs is that the evidence can be weighed up.

    206 - Great that they are bringing in new legislation to deal with significant new evidence.  We may all find out if the theories of Dr Moles etc. are sound.

    Posted by John Dodd  on  10/09/14  at  06:41 AM
  210. #208; Surely that’s a heck of a long bow John?
    To extrapolate a large and heavy wrench from the fact that they were “working with tools”?
    “Wrench” is a fairly ambiguous description but would generally mean something like an adjustable spanner, or possibly a Stillson. In either case, if there was one on the boat large enough to make a satisfactory weapon, others who had worked on the yacht would know about it.
    It’s just human nature. When you work on boats, you have to carry your tools on board. Larger stuff stays in the ute unless specifically needed. If there’s a suitable tool on board, you use it, rather than make a trip to fetch your own.
    I’d suggest that anything under 15” (375mm)in length would be a bit dubious as a weapon. Over the years I’ve had to knock a few kangeroos (hit by vehicles) on the head and a 15” shifter does the job but you have to be decisive about it. A 15” shifter is a lot heavier than the more common 12”.
    Presumably the prosecution provided some expert witness to verify this point, or was it all left to the imagination?

    Posted by Steve  on  10/09/14  at  07:35 AM
  211. #208
    John in your last sentence you say there was “clear evidence of Mr Chappell being injured on the boat, prior to his disappearance”.
    What evidence? Was it presented in court? I understand that what was presented was Mr Ellis’s version of what may have happened!

    Posted by Fiona Peate  on  10/09/14  at  10:01 PM
  212. Hi Fiona #211 Barbara Etter has kindly made the trial transcript available in one of the latest articles on the TT website.

    The police forensic evidence on the blood found on the Four Winds itself is discussed.

    The transcript is a lengthy read at 1,500+ pages and I am sorry I can not give you the page number references immediately. Interestingly the accused accepted that the deceased had been harmed on the boat. This is because she had rung the yacht broker in Queensland in early February 2009 just days after Australia day and told him that she thought his body had been winched up onto the deck and then tied to the fire extinguisher, which remains missing.

    Posted by John Taylor  on  11/09/14  at  12:21 AM
  213. #212; I would have thought that it would be quite unusual for a murderer, who’s gone to some trouble to conceal a crime, to be so forthcoming with theories as to how it happened?
    SNF pointed out the rope marks, the missing fire extinguisher, and that the blood stains were not from a nose bleed.
    Unusually helpful when all she had to do was remain quiet and who else would have known?

    Posted by Steve  on  11/09/14  at  07:38 AM
  214. I say again John what clear evidence? There is well documented evidence that Bob suffered nose bleeds on the trip from Qld to Tasmania. That blood would likely still be in areas within the boat. The rest is put Tim Ellis as a likely scenario!

    Posted by Fiona Peate  on  11/09/14  at  09:14 AM
  215. #208; Just noticed in the transcript that Bob Chappell was working on the electrical systems of the vessel. Hardly likely to need a man killing wrench for that! Now it would be have been different if he’d been stabbed with a screwdriver…

    Posted by Steve  on  11/09/14  at  09:24 AM
  216. 212 With respect John Taylor, I suggest you are seriously misrepresenting the facts. Anyone can check pages 5322 & 523, 905, 1195 and especially 1337 of the transcript, where this exchange between Mr Ellis and Ms Neill-Fraser is recorded: “But you said to police, “I didn’t throw him overboard weighed down with the fire extinguisher” before anyone had even suggested that had been the case?.......No, that’s not –
    Hadn’t you?.......That’s not true, it had been suggested, when we – when we tallied up everything that was missing off the boat.” To me this is a clear case of prejudicial ‘verballing’ ...

    Posted by Andrew L. Urban  on  11/09/14  at  10:49 AM
  217. ‘All presumptive evidence of felony should be admitted cautiously; for the law holds it better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent party suffer’
    - courtesy a certain Mr Blackstone

    She may well be guilty but the process to decide that must be seen to be fair and above board. On what is publicly known, surely this is not the case. And therefore should be reviewed?

    The guilty/not-guilty is (unfortunately for the families) quite secondary..

    Posted by Nick C  on  22/10/14  at  12:32 AM
  218. The trial prosecution, brilliant as its courtroom performance was, produced no murder motive, no body and no plausible weapon.  (Errol Simper) journalist- The Weekend
    Australian Feb./25-26 2012.

    What trial might this be a reference to?

    Posted by Rosemary  on  23/10/14  at  09:24 AM
  219. Hi I have just a couple of questions.

    If she didn’t have any involvement in the (presumed) murder of her partner Bob, why did she so unambiguously lie to the police about the jumper that was recovered by the river? Clearly anyone presented with an article of clothing belonging to them would instantly recognise it. Having been established that it did in fact belong to her how did it get there?

    Furthermore why did she give apparently precise story about going to Bunnings on the day only to have it all debunked by the store CCTV and established closing hours?

    These are all questions that have never been properly explained by the convicted woman and point to nothing but her direct involvement either alone or with some assistance in the murder of Bob Chappell.

    Most important of all is the question of why did she lied by saying she didn’t return to the foreshore on the night in question? Oh that’s right “memory problems” that seem to only apply to that particular day of the year.

    Murder convictions don’t necessarily require a motive. Motives make for good courtroom theatrics but the mind of a murderer isn’t necessarily as logical as to require a clearly defined and logical reason as would a person of normal mind would see as logical. In fact if her mind was imbued with the sense of logic and reasoning that a person of sound mind was, then no doubt she would have not seen fit to commit such an act.

    However, in spite of all the above it still seems apparent that the defence council did an appalling job defending her in court in particular not properly articulating reasons in a timely manner for seeking to recall the homeless woman whose own evidence was at best questionable. Herein lay an opportunity to bring forth significant doubt to the Crown’s case and it seems that opportunity was hopelessly blown.

    Posted by Sam  on  28/01/15  at  08:21 AM
  220. #219; Murder convictions may not necessarily require a motive but they generally require a dead body and evidence beyond reasonable doubt.

    The former may be dispensed with only when the latter allows no other explanation.

    Posted by Steve  on  28/01/15  at  12:03 PM
  221. Does anyone know the basis on which the Victoria Police Forensic Office (VPFO) concluded that the DNA was deposited directly onto the deck of the Four Winds by Ms Vass (the homeless girl)?

    The scientific validity of the conclusion reached by the VPFO has to be verified by independent scientists before it can be accepted as the most probable explanation at the exclusion of the secondary transfer.

    I very much doubt that the science of DNA analysis has advanced to the stage where a forensic expert specialising in DNA analysis can to a sufficient level of confidence determine whether the transfer was primary or secondary.

    Dr Peter Lozo
    Applied Physicist/Perceptual Scientist
    Adelaide, South 

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  02/04/15  at  10:45 AM
  222. Peter Lozo (#221) appears to accept that the VPFO report concluded that “the DNA was deposited directly onto the deck of the Four Winds by Ms Vass (the homeless girl)?”

    [Peter had written: “Does anyone know the basis on which the Victoria Police Forensic Office (VPFO) concluded that the DNA was deposited directly onto the deck of the Four Winds by Ms Vass (the homeless girl)?” ]

    I’ve not read the report and have only read sparse second-hand statements as to its conclusion(s).  Is the actual report itself available anywhere online?

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  03/04/15  at  10:36 AM
  223. Unfortunately DNA is not an exact science and if one could locate the recording of the 2014 seminar of aust forensic scientists held at UTAS in Hobart to assist lawyers, where I asked the question re secondary transfer and their experience of it.

    The answer to my recollection was that they could not answer in the positive ie not had experience of it but could only say it was a faint possibility mainly because they cannot be definitive, therefore cannot rule it out 100%.

    So I take it that it is at the lower end of the spectrum of possibilities and it is wrong to then elevate its probability.

    Posted by Rosemary  on  03/04/15  at  12:03 PM
  224. My question at #221 was posted here after my initial enquiry directly to Barbara Etter via email failed to produce an answer. Barbara replied by saying that the report is not available publicly. Barbara didn’t provide me with any explanation as to the basis on which the VPFO scientists claimed in the report that the DNA was most probably of primary source.

    The reason why I am interested in this is because I am writing my first scientific report on the results of my first two weeks of investigation (yes two weeks only!) into the most probable cause of Mr Chappell’s dissappearance. This first report addresses the most probable mechanism of the DNA transfer onto the deck, as well as why it could have been the Four Winds dingy that was seen next to the sailing boat between 4 and 5 pm even though the dingy was perceived to be grey or battleship grey in colour by several eye witnesses.

    Suffice it to say, I disagree with the VPFO claim!

    Peter Lozo, BSc, PhD
    Applied Physicist/Perceptual Scientist
    Adelaide, SA

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  03/04/15  at  09:30 PM
  225. For those who believe the following:

    “No innocent or reasonable explanation for Meaghan Vass’ DNA on the deck of the yacht!”

    please watch this space over the next few days for I will provide an innocent and a physically simple and reasonable explanation of how a substantial amount of Vass DNA could have been deposited at one and only one spot on the Four Winds deck without Ms Vass being present anywhere in the immediate vicinity of the Four Winds sailing boat.

    Given that forensic DNA experts in both the Victoria Police and the Tasmania Police failed to notice what to me is very obvious I am not surprised by some of the comments on this and another blog.

    Science demands a more rigorous application of a rational and a deductive reasoning process than what has been achieved to date in relation to this one lonely and controversial DNA sample!

    Peter Lozo, BSc, PhD
    Applied Physicist/Perceptual Scientist
    Adelaide, SA

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  04/04/15  at  09:50 AM
  226. #225; Dr Peter, I wouldn’t normally make comment on typos, as they happen to us all, but if you expect to be taken seriously, you really need to seriously apply some rigour to the spelling and grammar of your contributions!

    Posted by Steve  on  04/04/15  at  05:21 PM
  227. Thank you Steve #226.


    You may wish to read my other comments at http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/comments/34482/ (starting from #131).


    I like to draw your attention to the very first sentence of my post #134, which I copy here:


    “If anyone wishes to make a comment on my previous or this post (or on any of my future posts) I prefer that they give their full name, qualification and/or profession so that I am aware of the background of the person to whom I may feel obliged to reply.”


    The other post that I like to draw you attention to is #152. For you convenience I have copied the relevant paragraph here:


    “My initial report on this case  (as in my investigation of another highly controversial case) will be submitted to the relevant authority and lawyers (in this case: Office of DPP Tas, TasPol, Ms Barbara Etter and Dr Bob Moles).”

    Oh, I also have an accent given that English wasn’t my first language!

     

    Peter Lozo, BSc, PhD
    Applied Physicist/Perceptual Scientist
    Adelaide, South Australia

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  05/04/15  at  08:29 PM
  228. ON SECONDARY DNA TRANSFER:

    Without giving away too much of my solution to the puzzle of how a single location on the Four Winds boat managed to get a strong RFU DNA signature (therefore from a liquid form) from a person who may not have been anywhere in the vicinity of the boat I leave you all with two simple questions:

    1. What sticky substance do you most often step on in shopping malls, footpaths, foyers, etc,  that has someone else’s DNA (in a liquid form) which you can later unwittingly deposit in your own car or home?


    2. If you guess the answer to the first question then the tricky question is why was there only one transfer onto the deck of the Four Winds? The clue here is the fact that the location of the sample is right next to the entrance gate onto the Four Winds (probably the very first or the second step away from the gate)!

    I leave it to police forensic experts to experiment with the substance in order to determine the physical plausibility of the secondary transfer as stated by me. Could form the basis for a significant scientific report in Forensic Science journals!


    Good luck!

    Peter Lozo, BSc, PhD
    Applied Physicist/Perceptual Scientist
    Adelaide, SA

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  06/04/15  at  03:35 PM
  229. SECONDARY DNA TRANSFER: A CHEWING/BUBBLE GUM HYPOTHESIS


    1. It is highly unlikely that the young homeless teenager was on-board the Four Winds given that there was only one location on a large sailing boat that had her DNA and that location was on the deck of the walkway right next to the entrance gate. This conclusion can be reached because there are no other supporting DNA samples (such as from hair) nor are there any fingerprints matching those of the young lady.

    2. Now imagine this scenario: 

       You spit out a chewing/bubble gum onto a footpath. Shortly later I step onto the chewing gum. The chewing gum sticks to the sole of my shoe without my knowledge. I then go into a shop and commit a crime without any witnesses and without leaving behind any of my own DNA or fingerprints or hair, etc. Forensic experts match your DNA to several places on the floor of the crime scene. You are charged with the crime. What would you do? 

     

    3. Saliva in the chewing gum will leave behind a strong RFU DNA signature on the deck of the sailing boat.


    4. Don’t you now think that perhaps the young lady deserves an apology from those who wrote with such confidence that “she put it there herself”?


    5. So, the DNA sample could have been deposited by anyone who by coincidence stepped on a discarded chewing/bubble gum elsewhere and at some later time stepped onto the Four Winds deck.


    6. Since there is only one DNA deposit location on the walkway (right next to the entrance gate) it is possible that the person noticed  that the shoe (or a thong) was sticking to the deck and therefore lifted the foot to remove the chewing/bubble gum before walking further. Alternatively, the person stepped onto the deck momentarily and then went back out of the gate.


    7. I will leave it to police forensic experts to experiment with chewing and bubble gums in order to verify or nullify my hypothesis. It could form a good basis for a significant research article in Forensic Science journals!


     8. My literature survey of secondary DNA transfer indicates that there hasn’t been much research done in this area.


    9. There is one criminal case currently active where DNA was transferred via a chewing gum onto a murder weapon (a gun).


    Peter Lozo, BSc, PhD
    Applied Physicist/Perceptual Scientist
    Adelaide, SA

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/04/15  at  07:10 PM
  230. Hernandez trial: Secondary DNA transfer via a chewing gum

    I think you may find this case of interest given that we have written about primary and secondary DNA transfers, particularly my chewing/bubble gum hypothesis in relation to the single DNA deposit on-board the deck of the Four Winds. 

    http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/story/aaron-hernandez-new-england-patriots-trial-testimony-bubble-gum-dna-030615

    Peter Lozo, BSc, PhD
    Applied Physicist/Perceptual Scientist
    Adelaide, SA

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/04/15  at  05:57 PM
  231. As a retired forensic scientist, I have watched this case with interest, especially the selective quoting from court transcripts and general misinformation about routine forensic science procedures from former police officers and lawyers. 

    It is entirely appropriate to use a luminol screening test to screen a large area for blood at a crime scene. You don’t start off with definitive tests. All forensic labs do this. Even CSI does it.

    It is entirely appropriate to take into account the nature of the luminol reaction to exclude potential areas as probably not being blood, so as to keep the focus on areas that might be blood and worthy of sampling and further testing. All experienced users of luminol do this.

    There is no parallel to Chamberlain. In that case the forensic scientist incorrectly said that a screening test for blood was a definitive test for blood. No such claim was made in this case. A screening test was done, followed by confirmatory tests. All forensic labs do this.

    No forensic lab on earth can say how DNA ended up on a surface, just from looking at the DNA information - it’s simply impossible. You can look at a DNA profile as long as you like, it will not tell you if primary or secondary transfer occurred. Similarly knowing the amount of DNA collected - that won’t tell you either. Even the Victorian’s know that. The 60 Minutes claims in this regard were laughable.

    And the worst part about all this is that while Susan Neill-Fraser supporters make defamatory pseudo-scientific statements in public and online, Sue languishes in jail, waiting for them to get their act together for a second appeal!

    It’s a circumstantial case, stitched together by the prosecution ...

    John Cox,
    Brisbane

    Posted by John Cox  on  20/11/15  at  07:45 PM
  232. #231 John Cox omits to make the most obvious point when talking about forensic evidence: the body of poor Bob Chappel was missing. It is still missing. But there is no evidence of murder. It was speculation by the DPP, unsupported by any evidence, that led to blood test results were introduced in court. ... The questions about forensic evidence therefore are of little relevance, except that some of that was inadmissible. What a mess of a trial, what a miscarriage of justice the result.

    (edited)

    Posted by Andrew L. Urban  on  21/11/15  at  12:08 PM
  233. #232 Andrew Urban omitted to acknowledge the two main points made by John Cox before posting his own view.

    What are the two main points made by John Cox?

    The first point is that the people who complained about the forensic procedure of the luminol use in this case (Barbara Etter and Bob Moles) have selectively quoted from the trial transcript to advance a pseudo-scientific argument that is incorrect. Mr Tim Ellis referred to Bob Moles’ argument as the “luminol shibboleth”


    The second point, and perhaps the more damaging to Bob Moles’ reputation, is that it was misleading and false to state on 60 Minutes that the VPFSD report said that MV was on the yacht. The report did not say that the transfer was primary nor did it say that MV was on the Four Winds yacht!

    Andrew Urban interviewed Bob Moles for a TT article ( see http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/oa-objections-answers-why-should-dr-bob-moles-be-heard-by-mps/#sthash.TmfOznus.dpuf )

    In that article Bob Moles stated:

    “We have worked to a much higher standard than did the court in this case.”

     

    One is left wondering what Bob Moles meant by the above statement given the serious nature of the blunder he made with respect to  the conclusion of the VPFSD report. Is making pseudo-scientific arguments and spreading false information on TV considered to be “high standard”?

    Posted by Roger Morgan  on  23/11/15  at  08:50 AM
  234. I agree with Roger Morgan’s latest post - the lack of a body is the real problem.

    What if an intruder mistakenly thought the boat was empty (no tender), had a fight with Bob that went horribly wrong, then disposed of the body?

    Or Bob was working on the boat’s plumbing, had a heart attack, went on deck and fell overboard and drowned, his body drifting away on the ocean currents into the night?

    Or even a scenario where Bob is tired of arguments with his wife, and stages his own death, and heads overseas under a false passport. (see the movie “Gone Girl”).

    I am also puzzled by the focus on the forensic evidence in this case, which really didn’t have anything useful to say (especially given that apparently the “crime scene” was not properly preserved in the first place). There was no evidence of a violent attack (especially given Bob’s history of nose bleeds)and no confirmation of human blood in the dinghy (surprising if the dinghy was used to remove a bleeding body).

    Even if there were traces of blood in the dinghy, so what, it could have been another of Bob’s nose bleeds, or non-human blood (ever seen the state of jetties around Australia awash with blood from fish having been gutted and cleaned?). And why didn’t the defence seek to exclude the luminol evidence, if it was more prejudicial than probative? (http://cdn-src.tasmaniantimes.com.s3.amazonaws.com/files/Transcript_Complete.pdf).

    Or turn it all around - isn’t the lack of confirmed blood in the dinghy exactly the evidence the defence would want in the trial? Doesn’t this support their case much better than the prosecution scenario?

    But the subsequent misrepresentation of an independent forensic report from Melbourne on 60 Minutes takes this all to a bizarre new level. How could this approach of selectively quoting from the Victorian report ever assist Sue’s case? And how was the Victorian report leaked to the police? Is this report in the public domain?

    And are their any investigative journalists in Tasmania delving deeper than press releases and absurd public statements from lawyers who really should know better.

    Does anyone know when the second appeal will be launched? I await further developments with interest.

    Posted by John Cox  on  29/11/15  at  08:38 AM
  235. The second appeal is not very appealing.

    A poorly prepared case full of inadmissible “evidence” and Sue has to wait another three months for her day in court.

    To wait this long for a second appeal is unfortunate; but to wait another three months sounds like carelessness.

    Posted by John Mortimer  on  25/04/16  at  10:11 PM
  236. #235 the directions conference was never going to be Sue’s day in court. it was just stage 1 of the prep. Sue would be well aware its a process and Judge Tennant said its important to get it right and I hope that is sincere.

    Posted by Rosemary  on  26/04/16  at  06:49 AM
  237. If this case had “fresh and compelling” evidence then surely a legal team (Percy and Etter) ought to have been able to prepare their case in a clear, concise and relevant manner. Whilst there might be “fresh” evidence the real test is whether it is “compelling”. For example, the forensic report from the VPFSD is certainly new evidence. But is it compelling? Not in my scientific view (I have previously provided a Chewing Gum Hypothesis to explain a physical mechanism by which a substantial amount of DNA can be transferred in a liquid form from a used chewing gum stuck to the bottom of a shoe).

    If the defence team felt that they had one valid piece of “fresh and compelling” evidence, such as the forensic report by the VPFSD, then surely the defence case ought to have centred around this rather than messing up the appeal process by a DVD (presumably Eve Ash’s Shadow of Doubt documentary) and an email that was sent to the Tasmanian Times, and other non-relevant issues.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  26/04/16  at  08:52 PM
  238. Seems to me some persons are confused with the difference between a directions hearing and, a hearing on appeal. There is a vast difference and one is not the other.

    A directions hearing is just that. Directions are sought/given by the parties to the matter before the court, must proceed. That happened on 22/04/16, in Supreme Court of Tasmania.

    When parties are ready and have complied with directions as given, a date will be set for the appeal to be heard. That is my understanding of how it happens.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  27/04/16  at  08:27 AM
  239. Welcome to reality ‘Team Neill-Fraser’ -
    now you are playing with real lawyers!

    Posted by RM  on  28/04/16  at  08:22 PM
  240. $238

    Does the statement “there is a vast difference” mean that “one is not the other”? If so then why did you write “there is a vast difference and one is not the other”. If not then what is the difference between “there is a vast difference” and “one is not the other”?

    Posted by RM  on  28/04/16  at  09:09 PM
  241. What happened to the momentum of this case? Did the legal team hit a difficulty in elucidating the much touted evidence that supports their claim of Neill-Fraser’s innocence and “the worst of the worst” miscarriage of justice? Looks like the legal team is lost in the sea of worthless evidence!

    Posted by Linda M.  on  04/05/16  at  08:18 PM
  242. “evidence that supports their claim of Neill-Fraser’s innocence”

    So now it’s necessary to prove innocence? This points up the ongoing problem with this case, in that it’s based on “appears guilty, must be guilty and we don’t need to prove it”

    Posted by Steve  on  05/05/16  at  09:09 AM
  243. #242 Did Linda use the word “prove”? If not then why do you say “So now it’s necessary to prove innocence?”. It is clear to me that what was meant is that Sue (via her legal team) needs to provide ‘fresh and compelling evidence’ to support the defence claim that Sue is innocent and/or that her case is a miscarriage of justice.

    Posted by Roger Morgan  on  05/05/16  at  02:39 PM
  244. Hi Steve (#242):  it’s an interesting question, but I think that the answer to your “So now it’s necessary to prove innocence?” question, is that … Yes, the presumption of innocence is given to the accused person while on trial, but it does not apply to an appeal (such as to the Appeals Court and to the High Court).  I haven’t studied the new legislation under which the SN-F supporters are hoping for a review/new trial etc.  I’m a supporter of SN-F to the extent that I believe that justice miscarried when the trial judge did not allow MV to be recalled to the stand to explain the fact (given in evidence by the policeman)  that she wasn’t where she said she was, on the night of Bob’s disappearance.  That was the MoJ, in my opinion.

    I’m not comfortable with the fact that Justice Shan Tennent, who has rapped the SN-F legal team on the knuckles, was one of the appellate judges who dismissed SN-F’s appeal.  I wonder if it would have been fairer to have this new appeal application heard by someone with no ‘skin in the game’.

    Having said that, it must be acknowledged that the Vic Pol Forensic report has remained under wraps, with little bits being quoted, but without publication of the entire document.  From what I can tell, the report does say something to the effect that it is more likely than not that MV was on the boat – though it does not insist that she was.  A fair objection to the ‘bubble gum’ theory was made (as I recall) on the grounds that transference by foot/shoe of MV’s DNA would be expected to occur at more than one single point.  If there’s ‘chewy on your boot’, it should contact with the deck every time you took a step. 

    Only one location was found, and as I recall, the female forensic expert witness who gave evidence at the trial, spoke of a cluster of positive reactions in the one (small) place on the deck which I interpreted as indicative of a single event (like a sneeze or a spit) rather than of a person who was walking all over the deck with someone else’s bubble gum on their shoe.  It seems to remain unremarked that the male DNA expert whose ‘transferrence’ evidence seemed to prevail, admitted to the trial, that he had never come across a case of DNA transferred on another’s shoe.

    MV should have been recalled.  True, she was not on trial,  and thus not an object of formal suspicion, yet her ‘alibi’ proved to be false, and her DNA was on the yacht.  The trial judge had a legal discretion to recall or not recall her, he chose not to recall her (citing some reasons which were nominally valid) and the Appeals Court confirmed that he had the legal right to reject her recall.  In my opinion, they chose legalisms over fair-play.  Justice Shan Tennent was one of those appellate judges who in effect held that Trial Judge Alan Blow’s unfair decision not to recall MV was however legally valid and thus could not be overturned at appeal.  If he had made a good decision or a bad decision on the recall, it was his to make, according to the Appeal Court.  Justice Tennent ‘has skin in the game’.  In my opinion, she had already participated in the MoJ, and thus had displayed a possible preference to legal, rather than natural justice.  She wrote:

    223 I have had the benefit of reading the reasons of the Chief Justice [Crawford] in this matter. I agree with his reasons both as to the appeal against conviction and that relating to sentence. I would also dismiss the appeal against conviction. As to the appeal against sentence, I agree with the orders proposed.

    Steve, I’m not privy to the fine details of the materials put to the directions hearing, nor to the ‘fresh and compelling’ evidence.  I know that Barbara and Lynn are good people and I hope that the SN-F support team can use the three months to prepare strong documentation.  I believe that there was a miscarriage of justice, I think that there should be a retrial and that a certain witness should be recalled.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  06/05/16  at  01:51 PM
  245. #244; Thanks for the comprehensive reply Garry. I think we both share the same uncomfortable feeling that this conviction owes more to the efforts of the public prosecutor than it does to the prosecution evidence.

    Your concerns are specific. Mine are more general. Whether or not SNF is guilty, I do not believe the case against her was proven beyond reasonable doubt, let alone taken to the next level of no other credible alternative.

    Obviously “reasonable doubt” is a subjective opinion and had this not been a circumstantial case, I would have accepted the fact that the spectator does not necessarily see everything. However circumstantial cases require a much greater level of proof and I do not believe the trial judge made this point sufficiently clear to the jury.

    It’s a common thing on these threads for the trolls to make much of inconsistencies in SNF’s account of events but it’s really not the point. She could tell any number of lies, make up numerous and entirely fictitious accounts of her evening, but I would still consider that justice was not being done if the Crown could not get over the hurdle of no other credible explanation.

    In reality, as I said above, I don’t believe they even achieved the “beyond all reasonable doubt” benchmark. As an ex-professional fisherman, who grew up messing about in boats, I find the prosecution’s description of events stretches credibility. It’s an interesting point to muse on, that the law calls for a jury of one’s peers. It’d be interesting to explore that definition of “peers”. In a case such as this, could one insist on a jury of yachties?

    Posted by Steve  on  06/05/16  at  05:09 PM
  246. #244 Garry

    Very well analysed and written.

    The fundamental weakness of the VPFSD report was the implicit assumption made by its author(s) that if a person stepped through the entrance gate onto the deck of the Four Winds yacht that the person would have walked further along the deck, thus depositing DNA in other location.

    Via my Chewing Gum Hypothesis I provided an alternate and an equally valid explanation that is based on exactly the opposite assumption to that made by VPFSD.  My hypothesis also provides a novel and detailed physically plausible mechanism of secondary transfer. It is based on the assumption that the person did NOT walk any further but either (i) stepped back through the gate or (ii) realised that the shoe was sticking and did something about it before moving further along the deck.

    As I mentioned previously (about this time last year, here and on a related thread) the location at which the DNA sample was found is a significant clue for the basis of an alternate interpretation to that made by VPFSD. Had that location been several steps away from the entrance gate rather than the very first step (or at most the second step, with the other foot) then I would have had a great difficulty in explaining the secondary transfer scenario without resorting to a  seagull (who stepped into MV’s spit or blood and then flew onto the Four Winds deck, landing in one place and then flew off)!

    It is also of interest to note that MV was interviewed after the trial ended (refer to Barbara Etter’s website) and said that she may have been in the Goodwood area around the time of Bob’s disappearance. Lots of people (police in particular, including the forensic experts) boarded the yacht in Goodwood! Did any of their walking paths through Goodwood  cross MV’s walking path on that day or evening??

    As for the ‘fresh and compelling evidence’ under the new legislation:

    Based on my understanding, the VPFSD report is a fresh forensic expert opinion on the old physical evidence. I pass it as satisfying the criterion of it being ‘fresh evidence’. I base this on having closely followed and analysed the first South Australian case under our new legislation.

    As for the ‘compelling’: I don’t think it meets this criteria (at least not in the scientific sense because it isn’t powerfully convincing because there is at least one other equally valid physical possibility as I mentioned earlier: the person momentarily stepped onto the deck and then stepped back through the gate thus leaving the DNA sample right next to the entrance gate). 

    I would be most interesting to see how Justice Tennent will deal with this if it gets pushed by Percy and Etter.

    Anyway, I do enjoy reading your view on this case as it is based on detailed analysis of pretty good quality. Shows that you are making a damn good effort in relating your analysis to a wide body of the relevant facts. Well done. I hope that Barbara Etter engages you in some analytical capacity.


    Peter Lozo, BSc, PhD
    Adelaide, SA

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  06/05/16  at  06:39 PM
  247. When is a case proven, can it be proven based on only circumstantial evidence and the zeal of a Public Prosecutor?

    Repetitions of the same old same old can create one of the maxims attributed to the deceased Joseph Goebbels, as follows If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. - Joseph Goebbels”

    So now we must consider the integrity of those who purport to deliver a truth, as opposed to delivering a lie.

    How many or how much circumstantial evidence is required to establish these circumstances to become a fact or beyond reasonable doubt?

    Now throw into this conundrum of a case, the ambiguity of professional privilege, DPP discretion, then that of a judgement set aside, then replaced with another more scholarly judgement.

    I then ask is it possible that the High Court of Australia can hand down a decision’against’  defendant A…........then some 2-3 years later the same court hand down a decision ‘for’ the defendant B…....?

    The answer to this piece I have added to this conundrum is, “that it relies upon the next group of judges that sit upon the High Court Bench that preside over an almost carbon copy charge or allegation upon a new defendant” as to whether or not to allow or approve of the exercise to permit a judicial ‘discretion’ in their delivery of a majority decision.

    So effectively two trials in the High Court on each of two same causes, can enable a decision for or against either of both separate conducted cases.

    My basis for throwing this example into the conundrum is relevant to an actual pair of cases where A Vs the National Bank, then a copy case where B Vs the Commonwealth Bank.

    I had constructed a letter today and posted to a law firm this very same conundrum, I await their response to my letter.

    Perhaps Dr Peter Lozo can provide his expertise to answer how this can be.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  06/05/16  at  07:48 PM
  248. Peter (#246):  re your…

    “It is also of interest to note that MV was interviewed after the trial ended (refer to Barbara Etter’s website) and said that she may have been in the Goodwood area around the time of Bob’s disappearance.”

    ...would you mind providing a link to that item on Barbara’s website?

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  07/05/16  at  01:07 PM
  249. ....

    #248 Garry,

    It has been a year since I read the relevant info so my memory may not have been quite correct yesterday as to the dates so I just checked it out for you. It was actually known to a police detective during the trial that MV stated that she may have been in the Goodwood area.

    This is from Barbara’s website:

     

    “The same detective also told the court that when he originally spoke to Ms Vass that she indicated she believed that she may have been hanging around the Goodwood area at the time of Mr Chappell’s disappearance (CT p.824).”

     

    Also this:

     

    “In addition to this, on 23 March 2012 a typed statement was actually taken by Tasmania Police from the homeless girl, after Sue Neill-Fraser’s lawyer wrote to the Commissioner of Police in February 2012 requesting that statements be taken from Ms Vass and the two homeless men spoken to by police on the Marieville Esplanade foreshore on 27 January 2009 from whom statements had never been taken. These interviews led to another man being pulled in by police for interview.

    In her 2012 statement, only provided to the legal team in 2014, after several requests for access, Ms Vass stated:”

     

    . She had never been to Sandy Bay;

    . She had never been on any yacht in her life;

    . She never went onto the Four Winds;

    . She had no idea how her DNA came to be on the boat;

    . She did not recall having any property stolen or removed that may have had contact with the boat;

    . She had not been at the waterfront at any time that she could remember.

     


    This is the link to the relevant section of Barbara Etter’s website http://www.betterconsult.com.au/blog/suggestions-from-tasmania-police-about-the-vass-dna/)

     

    I trust that you will find Barbara’s website (and her own analysis) useful. I did.

     

    Best wishes,
    Peter

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/05/16  at  04:22 PM
  250. No Peter (#249):  It is simply not good enough for someone who as a scientist has claimed ‘expert’ status to make yet another glaring error concerning this case.  From your first interventions in the SN-F threads you made grotesque errors that in my opinion, any professional worth their salt would not have made.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t you begin by advising SN-F supporters to search for a “Dr Chapman” in the Derwent?  And didn’t you – when you were in your psycho-scientific mode, confuse retro- and anterograde memory?  And didn’t you [ in Lynn Giddings “An unscientific reading of the case” ] give the alignment of the Four Winds as south-west (to build your ‘lee-cloth was a shadow’ fantasy) when the actual alignment of the vessel was 90 degrees different?  You made other errors, lots of people do, but Peter, you claimed professional/scientific status when you came onto these SN-F threads and then proceeded with what can only be described as conjecture.  Yes, the perception of an object’s colour (i.e. the dinghy) can be dependent on the surrounding (contrasting) conditions, but all available images support that the Four Winds dinghy was white, and when viewed alongside the Four Winds, would still look white.  Instead, in contrast to the clear evidence from the bloke in the passing boat that he saw a grey—‘battleship grey’ as I recall alongside the Four Winds, you resort to the conjecture that Mr Conde had seen the white-with-blue-trims Four Winds dinghy and had mistakenly ‘perceived’ it to be grey.

    You described your 90 degree mistake as “a small error” and now you refer to your claim of a post-trial MV interview thus:  “my memory may not have been quite correct yesterday as to the dates”.  Peter, your latest error is not about dates, it’s about stating that she gave an interview after the trial, when the great part of the MoJ case (in my opinion) revolves around her never being recalled to explain the ‘discrepancies’ as to her stated whereabouts on the night in question.  Not quite correct?  It’s not about dates, Peter.  Anyone, including you, would/should know that it is extremely unlikely that MV would have given any such post-trial interview.  It’s not about dates, in my opinion, Peter.

    Your chewy on the boot theory is also conjecture.  No evidence supports your theory.  While you go on about Goodwood and chewing gum, why not mention that at trial MV clearly rejected ever having been there:

    30
    35
    And I think you said a moment ago you have no memory of going to a
    slip-yard in Goodwood in Negara Crescent called Cleanlift
    Marine?…….No.

    You’ve never been there in your life?…….No.

    Is that right -…….Yes.

    - you’ve never been there in your life?…….Yes.

    Thank you.  Yes, I’ve no further questions.

    I reject conjecture dressed up as science.  ‘she could have been somewhere in Goodwood ... and she might have been chewing gum … and she might have spat it out and someone – we don’t know who – might have come along and walked onto the chewy … – we don’t know where or when – and then that person might have kept walking – without noticing the chewy – till reaching the Four Winds ...then got on board … then having taken one step, noticed the chewy on the boot and either got off the vessel – without a second step – even to get off the boat – or removed the chewy there and then from the boot/shoe.  No such person has come forward to admit to chewy being on their boot.  MV said she was never at the Goodwood slipyard.

    By the way, peoples, check this out: [Sue Neill-Fraser and the murder that divided Tasmania: http://www.smh.com.au/good-weekend/sue-neillfraser-and-the-murder-that-divided-tasmania-20160426-goewmx.html ] and while you’re there, check out the pic of the ‘battleship grey’ dinghy within the article ... looks pretty white-with-blue-trims to me.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  07/05/16  at  08:06 PM
  251. Garry,

    I am looking forward for the mentioned issues of this case to be dealt with in the supreme court. As for the photo of the dinghy in the article: I would say that it is made of a pale grey material with grey and blue trim.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/05/16  at  08:05 AM
  252. #250 Garry

    As for the dinghy: you must be looking at the parts of the dinghy that have strong sun illumination on it rather than those that don’t have direct sun illumination.

    When the rowing coach described the dinghy to be grey in his email he was reporting on what he saw out there on water in real life a day or two  earlier rather than describing the dinghy from a photograph! It certainly appeared to be grey to him when he saw it! How do we know which bits of the dinghy he was paying attention to?


    Was there direct sunlight on the dinghy that Mr Conde was looking at? Most probably not given what we know about the weather and the orientation of the yacht with respect to the direction of the sun and the fact that the dinghy was on the stern side. Therefore why don’t you look at those portions of the dinghy in the photograph that are in shade. They look battleship grey to me!

    It seems to me that you are cherry picking rather than looking at it in a wholistic manner.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/05/16  at  08:58 AM
  253. #250 There is more to Goodwood than the slip-yard.

    My suggestion is for Neill-Fraser’s legal team to interview all those who are known to have boarded the Four Winds yacht in Goodwood as to how they got there. The police can take MV along all those routes in Goodwood to see if her own route crossed any of the other paths? Then we are likely to discover the owner of the shoe that carried MV’s DNA.

    My money is on the secondary transfer hypothesis!

    I agree with Dr Lozo that VPFSD forensics people assumed that there is only one possible explanation. It is perfectly feasible that a person whose shoe carried MV’s DNA momentarily stepped onto the deck without taking any further steps along the deck of the yacht and then retreated back through the entrance gate and never returning - at least not with the same shoes. Thus there is a need to interview all those who boarded the yacht in Goodwood.

    Posted by Roger Morgan  on  08/05/16  at  05:38 PM
  254. It’s interesting that there is discussion about how various DNA came to be where it was, but surely, the simple fact that there are alternative theories to discuss makes this conviction unsound?

    No body, no weapon, no outstanding motive. In fact nothing but a theory based on suspicious behaviour and a whole lot of speculation.

    It may seem improbable, but really, there is nothing to say that the victim isn’t alive and well, having shifted into another identity many years in the making. It’s happened before, which is why the Law expects a much higher standard of proof in circumstantial cases.

    No other credible alternative?

    Posted by Steve  on  08/05/16  at  06:14 PM
  255. On the assumption that it was a chewing gum as proposed by Dr Lozo: the pressure exerted onto the chewing gum when the foot first hit the deck would have caused some amount of saliva to be squeezed out of the gum and onto the deck. Thus there is no need for any parts of the chewing gum to have ended being stuck to the deck in order for the transference of the DNA to have occurred via the expelled saliva.

    Definitely a plausible secondary transfer mechanism via a saliva in a chewing gum stuck to a shoe.

    Posted by Roger Morgan  on  08/05/16  at  07:14 PM
  256. #254. steve your comment is very valid as there is no evidence for any alternative to say that anything has factually been proven.
    The conviction of SNF, I believe, seems to rely solely upon there being no factual evidence to convict other than the zeal of prosecutorial determination.

    Thus this case example could actually prevent any investigation into somebody alternative, as though any alternative concept or the suggestion of another person being responsible, would be immediately banned from public knowledge.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  08/05/16  at  10:38 PM
  257. Saliva being the source of the DNA is pure speculation

    Posted by Rosemary  on  09/05/16  at  12:48 AM
  258. Saliva as being the source of the DNA in this case was very clearly stated to be a hypothesis by its proponent! In fact he used the word ‘hypothesis’ many times and even named his proposition as the “Chewing Gum Hypothesis”. It can therefore be tested! If non-scientists or people without and advanced education cannot understand what a scientist means by a hypothesis then they shouldn’t be offering any criticism or opinions on the hypothesis of a senior research scientist who has probably critically analysed thousands of scientific articles during his career.

    Posted by Roger Morgan  on  09/05/16  at  02:36 AM
  259. #258 Roger, the point is not scientific qualifications of non forensic ‘experts’ if the dna sample has not been identified by legally accepted forensic experts as saliva, a hypothesis based on an assumption has no credibility. You just cant make these things up because you want to twist it to your own ideas that just adds to the existing problem where made up things have been believed. Lets stick to the evidence not fairy stories.

    Posted by Rosemary  on  09/05/16  at  11:36 AM
  260. #258; If we’re going to consider the scientific view, then the entire case against SNF should be classified as a hypothesis. An idea to be tested.

    Unfortunately the chosen testing process was the Tasmanian legal process and that’s where any idea of scientific vigour went out the window.

    Posted by Steve  on  09/05/16  at  09:01 PM
  261. Whether it was saliva or blood doesn’t change my conclusion that there exists an alternate possibility to that assumed by the VPFSD forensic scientist(s).

    I initially considered both sources (blood and saliva). Urine can be excluded because it is a poor source of DNA. The key problem was trying to figure out how can sufficient amount of DNA be carried around in a liquid form on someone’s shoe for some distance on a summer’s day without the liquid drying out. Direct blood or saliva on the bottom of a shoe would quickly dry out and probably wouldn’t be a good medium. But a saliva trapped in a chewing gum will stay in a liquid form for much longer. Hence why I chose to build my hypothesis around the saliva in a chewing gum. It is a plausible secondary transfer mechanism. The point is that it is not any less valid than VPFSD’s preference for a primary transfer. As John Cox pointed out several months ago, one cannot look at DNA and say how it got there. Therefore, the VPFSD report does not provide scientifically compelling evidence that the transfer of MV’s DNA was most likely primary rather than secondary.

    Note that saliva does not necessarily exclude blood for there can be traces of blood in the saliva (from mouth ulcer, dental problems, cut lip, etc). I note that the location from which MV’s DNA was taken reacted to luminol. I don’t know whether luminol would react to any chemicals in a chewing gum.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  10/05/16  at  08:48 AM
  262. #260. Steve, how is it that you come up with such relevant comments.

    It is quite a rational thought that each of following State government departments, dept of Justice,  the DPP’s office, then Tasmania’s Police Force, are each supporters of the their own.

    That’s how you get a unanimous outcome on certain issues in this State.

    Tasmanian people must ever remember that there is nowhere in this State where the buck stops.

    In other words the final arbiter of what is right and what is wrong.

    Each of these departments have had their number of failures, but rarely at one and the same time.

    The SNF case is one of these cases, so was the Lucille Butterworth case in which had its coroners inquiry just completed.

    Then too I know of others.

    this case of SNF where each of these fine bastions of community caring, citizen caring, law supporting sectors of this State government would indeed become protective of each others back.

    For those that think otherwise, well they don’t live in this State.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  10/05/16  at  10:24 AM
  263. The Sydney Morning Herald recently published an on-line article titled:

    “Susan Neill-Fraser and the murder that divided Tasmania”

    I read the article on the 8th May and noticed that the article incorrectly stated the following:

    “The DNA of a young homeless woman had been found in the wheelhouse of the Four Winds,..”

    The article (a propaganda piece by Neill-Fraser’s family and supporters also had a video segment with Eve Ash and Bob Moles) is no longer available on-line. I thought it was odd and inappropriate for that to have been published soon after the first directions hearing. 

    The mentioned article was also referred to by Garry Stannus at the bottom of his #250. The link he provided (http://www.smh.com.au/good-weekend/sue-neillfraser-and-the-murder-that-divided-tasmania-20160426-goewmx.html) no longer works.

    Rosemary and Garry:

    What was argued via the Chewing Gum Hypothesis is that there exists at least one other plausible and valid physical explanation that has an opposite conclusion to that reached by the VPFSD scientist and that therefore it cannot be claimed that the deposit was most likely primary nor can it be claimed that it was most likely secondary. I don’t see why Dr Lozo couldn’t have reached the same conclusion had he considered the blood as being the source rather than the saliva.

    Posted by Roger Morgan  on  10/05/16  at  10:57 AM
  264. Roger #263. Thanks for that.

    I also noticed the same error and was intending to write an email to the journalists.

    My impression of the whole article was ‘desperate propaganda’.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  10/05/16  at  05:55 PM
  265. The following is from http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/may/13/-readers-complain-the-age-sacking-arts-writer-the-weekly-beast

    Good Weekend’s murder mystery

    We’d love to know what went on behind the scenes at the Good Weekend when its cover story “Sue Neill-Fraser and the murder that divided Tasmania” was published in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age on 7 May.

    Written by Greg Callaghan the story was about a trial in Tasmania in 2010 in which Neill-Fraser was found guilty of murdering her partner, Bob Chappell, on board the couple’s yacht on Hobart’s River Derwent. The story has been covered by multiple outlets as it has been labelled a miscarriage of justice on the scale of a Lindy Chamberlain. But the Callaghan story completely disappeared from the website shortly after it was published.

    GW editor Amelia Lester wasn’t giving anything away when we asked what happened.

    “We are reviewing the story and during this time it won’t be available,” Lester said.

    Posted by Roger Morgan  on  13/05/16  at  01:31 PM
  266. .....

    How and why did some very educated key supporters of Sue Neill-Fraser (Eve Ash, Barbara Etter and Bob Moles) skim over the VPFSD report and not pay attention to the critical sentence which clearly shows that the forensic scientist who wrote the report had made two valid assumptions that did not necessarily have to have been satisfied and that the conclusion of the report very much depended on both of those assumption being satisfied. Please refer to #430 (http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/tim-ellis-and-the-australian-womens-weekly-) for  my brief analysis of the critical sentence of the VPFSD report regarding MV’s DNA.

    But for Dr Bob Moles to go on a national TV program (60 Minutes) and say that the report said that the homeless girl was on-board the yacht is beyond comprehension and was irresponsible.

    I will here copy the relevant sentence from the VPFSD report which I consider to be the critical sentence of the report.

    “If the tread of a shoe retaining a moist biological substance was to be acknowledged as the likely means of the transference, I believe it is reasonable to anticipate that at least one other similar stain resulting in the same DNA profile (or part thereof) would have been expected to have been deposited on the deck of ‘Four Winds’ as the person moved about the yacht.”

    One does not need to be science qualified in order to notice that the conclusion that could have been reached very much depended on whether the person walked on the deck beyond the entrance gate after stepping onto the yacht. So why didn’t Barbara Etter (or Eve Ash or Bob Moles) stop to think about the critical nature of the above sentence?

    It appears to me, based on my research, that Barbara Etter was the first person to over-interpret the significance of the VPFSD report and that the rest of the Neill-Fraser’s supporters (including her family) followed Mrs Etter’s lead.

    But for Andrew Urban to write the following is as absurd as Dr Bob Moles’ comment on 60 Mins:

    “As explosive and far reaching as the finding of the legendary matinee jacket in the Lindy Chamberlain case 28 years ago, the DNA report confirms that a person other than the accused was present at the crime scene.”

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  18/05/16  at  06:01 PM
  267. #266. Dr Peter Lozo interesting it is that you are acting in the manner of a prosecutor when you actually have no cause for doing so.
    Whatever it is that allows you to conclude that all of your interpretations are correct is something that will live on in the spheres of the hypothetical, much the same as do the interpretations of the attending prosecutor being the former DPP.
    My comments at #256 and #262 were provided to allow some additional scope to this case than allowed by each of the others who are currently playing the game of armchair prosecutorial experts.
    I note you are now engaged in the prosecution of the media articles also.
    I would recommend that you have a good long think about your intervention comments and ask yourself the question, ‘am I entitled to and do I hold the rights to continue with my speculatively unwarranted assumptions?’

    Posted by William Boeder  on  18/05/16  at  10:27 PM
  268. Prosecutor or a scientific analyst?

    My bet is on the latter!

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  19/05/16  at  02:26 AM
  269. #266; Peter, your logic appears to be strange. Why should assumption be more valid than any other assumption? It would be unusual, but certainly possible, for someone to have placed one contaminated shoe only on the deck but it’s equally valid to speculate that the DNA arrived there by the usual means. That is, delivered by it’s owner.

    Unless you can build a solid chain showing how the DNA was transferred to the shoe of the temporary visitor and establish their brief visitation, your suggestion barely rates the title of hypothesis; it’s simple speculation.

    A group of imaginative people around a dinner table could probably come up with a dozen more speculative ways for a DNA sample to have been transferred. This however is not the point. The DNA shows a possibility that another person was on board the yacht. A prosecution on circumstantial evidence is meant to be based on no other credible alternative. Another person on the yacht, who had no business to be there, is another alternative and the DNA supports that possibility.

    Posted by Steve  on  19/05/16  at  08:28 AM
  270. Steve, It is your understanding of my logic that is strange! Did I say that my hypothesis and my preference for the secondary transfer is any more valid than VPFSD’s preference for the primary transfer. If not then what is the purpose of your comment?

    I would be worried about a scientist, such as the author of the said VPFSD report, who didn’t realise that there are at least two other alternatives that should have been considered that potentially lead to a different conclusion.

    A possibility is not a certainty. Therefore, Etter and others aren’t justified in saying what they said. As simple as that! Science cannot decide on this issue one way or the other way without additional data. Why would someone then say that the report said that the homeless girl was on the yacht? etc…There is no compelling scientific evidence that MV was on the yacht!!

    If there is a credible alternative to suggest that someone else other than Neill-Fraser committed the murder (or was on-board the yacht between 4pm 26th and 7am 27th) then it is now up to Percy and Etter to provide the court with the compelling evidence. As simple as that!

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  19/05/16  at  11:42 AM
  271. Steve, I’d like to comment on your #254 point which you also put to Peter at #269. 

    Look, Steve,  it seems an eternity ago that you first made this very simple and valid point, that in law a case based on circumstantial evidence should succeed only when it has been demonstrated that there exists no possible alternative explanation which would exonerate an accused.  I haven’t got the time just now to get the right form of words, in any case you’ve written it all before ... and better, and you have put the legal issue quite simply, for which you are to be congratulated. 

    I think Peter in his #270 reply to you, dodges your key points: that rather than hypothesis, he has offered speculation, and he does not appear to want to touch your ”A prosecution on circumstantial evidence is meant to be based on no other credible alternative. Another person on the yacht, who had no business to be there, is another alternative and the DNA supports that possibility.”

    Peter’s “Did I say that my hypothesis and my preference for the secondary transfer is any more valid than VPFSD’s preference for the primary transfer.” is in my opinion, a rather lame defence.  He has elsewhere/earlier written that in his expert/scientific opinion SN-F is guilty and yet that pronouncement would seem to depend on the validity of his hypothesis, in his opinion, and the invalidity of the direct deposit scenario.

    On the question of circumstantial evidence, the trial judge, Justice Blow, in his summing up to the jury, began by advising that

    CT p1504 l15:

    The commission of a crime may be proved beyond reasonable doubt by circumstantial evidence provided that:

    (a) all the facts and circumstances from which the conclusion of guilt is drawn must be established to the satisfaction of the jury; and

    (b) the jury must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the conclusion of guilt is the only rational conclusion which is open on the whole of the evidence that the jury accepts. Or to turn that round; if there is open on the whole of the evidence that the jury accepts any rational hypothesis, big words, any sensible theory, consistent with innocence, then the accused must be found not guilty.

    and Justice Blow followed this with this memorable piece of advice:

    CT p1506 l6

    Yesterday, Mr Ellis in – not yesterday the day before, Mr Ellis in cross-examining Ms Neill-Fraser put to her a series of propositions, a scenario about killing Mr Chappell with a wrench, attacking him from behind, and killing him because of a difference of views about the yacht and expenditure and of the future of the yacht.  Well it’s not essential that you be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt as to the correctness of any or all of those propositions.  You – you – it’s
    open to you to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of guilt without being satisfied of particular contentions or theories as to precisely what happened or why it happened;
    [my emphasis] and the reasoning of the
    individual jurors might be different.

    In my opinion, he should have added then and there that the jurors still had to satisfy themselves as to the truth of ‘any or all’ of those propositions.  But he didn’t.  However some 27 pages later into his summing up, Justice Blow returned to that topic, and this time made a better fist of it.  But by then, perhaps it was too little too late.  Perhaps by then the jury had got comfortable with his ” You – you – it’s open to you to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of guilt without being satisfied of particular contentions or theories as to precisely what happened or why it happened…
    /...

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  20/05/16  at  11:14 AM
  272. .../
    Belatedly, the damage potentially having been done, he returned to the issue in his final remark about circumstantial evidence to declare [correctly] that the “beyond reasonable doubt” requirement applies only to a conclusion of guilt (based on the whole of the evidence).  According to Justice Blow’s summing up, the individual items of evidence that each juror individually accepts as true/factual do not have to satisfy a ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ criterion.

    CT p1533 l29
    When you’re deciding whether you accept a particular piece of evidence you don’t need to consider whether you’re satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that that piece of evidence is true, you need only to consider whether you’re satisfied
    that that piece of evidence is true, there is a difference.  So, for example, if you’re considering whether you accept the evidence of Mr Triffett or not, if you are satisfied that his evidence is true then you may take that into account.  You don’t need to reach a state where you’re satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that his evidence is true before you may take it into account, and that applies to every piece of evidence in this case, every piece of circumstantial evidence. 

    The first question is am I satisfied of the truth or correctness of that evidence [my emphasis], not am I satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of the truth of that piece of evidence.

    And finally Steve, with all Peter’s speculation, there is one vital datum which has not yet been given ... neither at the trial nor subsequently … to my knowledge.  And it is a matter with which, in my opinion, he (Peter) and Tim Ellis should have treated.  Before being moved into the dry dock at Goodwood, the Four Winds was at a Goodwood mooring and it was at this mooring that D. McHoul boarded the Four Winds and discovered MV’s DNA on the walkway ... on ‘the other side’.  The trial transcript contains a reference to another vessel being visible next to it.  My Google earth ‘investigations’ show a number of berths or bays in which two vessels could fit, with a narrow jetty (I don’t know the best term) on either side of them, but not between.  Thus, if both vessels were in ‘nose first’, access to each would be for the one … on the port side, and for the other, on the starboard.  The witness (McHoul) refers to the MV DNA deposit – ‘scuse me if I misremember, Steve – on the ‘other side’ (and we know the deposit was on the starboard walkway) so it is reasonable to ask whether the Four Winds, when D. McHoul boarded it, tethered on its port side? For such a reason alone (there are others) in my opinion it is certainly reasonable to dismiss Peter’s ‘one-step-then-got-off’ proposition as fanciful and without a basis in established fact.  By the way, Steve (I recall that on TT you have mentioned your working experience on the water), another matter … in such situations, arriving at a slip-yard, or at any marina or mooring, do boats normally enter bow-first?

    [apologies to all for the bold formatting – it is an ugly beast, but it seemed to me that within those blockquotes there was no other available option to achieve emphasis.]

    PS:  Mr Gunson did not press for a ‘Shepherd direction’ in the summing up.  Perhaps SN-F might have been better of if he’d asked for a strands in the cable direction… [see the wonderful template available to Justices to deal with all ranges of matters, here, at … http://www.judcom.nsw.gov.au/publications/benchbks/criminal/circumstantial_evidence.html . ]

    PPS:  There is a point to this question of from which side the Four Winds was boarded at Goodwood.  If boarding was from the port side, then the one step with chewy on the boot scenario is seen to fail.  That the deposit occurred at Constitution Dock is ruled out apparently by video surveillance footage (incidentally the Four Winds was also moored at that jetty/pier port side to pier), and further that the dark grey dinghy seen tethered to the Four Winds, was midway along the port side of the boat, not the starboard.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  20/05/16  at  11:17 AM
  273. Garry and Steve,


    Perhaps we are looking at this from two different perspectives. From my perspective, there is a significant difference between a ‘possibility’ and a ‘reasonable possibility’.


    Surely you must appreciate that a person of my background would have gone to considerable depth of analysis before deciding on whether there was a ‘reasonable possibility’ of MV having being on the yacht.


    One of my very first comments on this case concerning MV’s DNA (which I copy below) ought to be enough to demonstrate that I made a significant effort to research the case in order to decide whether there was a reasonable possibility of MV being on the yacht. I even researched Barbara Etter’s website before making my decision on this. I also noted before I made my decision that TasPol did not find any link between Ms Vass and Bob Chappell nor his yacht nor the dinghy (other than the mentioned DNA in one location on the deck of the yacht right next to the entrance gate on the starboard side). I also intensely analysed the publicly available extracts from the VPFSD report before making my decision on whether there was a reasonable possibility of MV being on the yacht.

    It is my well founded opinion that there is no reasonable possibility of MV having being on the yacht and that the VPFSD report has not increased the possibility beyond what was known during the trial. 


    The following is from my post #161 dated 6th April 2015 at

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/an-unscientific-reading-of-the-case


    “1. It is highly unlikely that the young homeless teenager was on-board the Four Winds given that there was only one location on a large sailing boat that had her DNA and that location was on the deck of the walkway right next to the entrance gate. This conclusion can be reached because there is no other supporting DNA samples (such as from hair) nor are there any fingerprints matching those of the young lady.”

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  20/05/16  at  09:50 PM
  274. The one step scenario fails if it is certain that no-one boarded the yacht via the starboard entrance gate (either from a jetty or a dinghy). Note that I did not specify in any of my earlier comments whether the boarding was from a jetty or a dinghy.

    I wouldn’t restrict myself to it having being done in Goodwood but that is where I would start from and then work backwards in time.

    Based on the location from where the swab was taken (location 11, which is 25 cm from the rail and towards the front of the yacht on the starboard side) my prediction is that it was the second step onto the yacht and that it was the right foot.

    I plan to get some luminol to test whether it will react to chemicals in a chewing/bubble gum. I am puzzled by the fact that location 11 reacted to luminol. The HS screening test for blood proved negative ( I think that luminol is more sensitive to blood than the HS screening test). They haven’t done a screening test for saliva.


    Don’t forget the seagull possibility! I brought this up earlier (#246) as another plausible physical mechanism by which DNA could have been transferred from land onto the yacht.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  21/05/16  at  12:17 AM
  275. Dr Peter Lozo, don’t you think it is time for you to desist from your hypotheticals and theorisings that you have engaged in?

    I myself have failed to find anything of substance among all your conjectures and assumptives and whatever other speculative comments you have submitted in the SNF case.

    Now you offer that its seagulls that are the DNA carrying varmints in this case matter.

    Fair go Dr Peter Lozo, what happens to be your day job?

    Posted by William Boeder  on  21/05/16  at  12:35 PM
  276. Further to my #274:

    Did I mention a kite? How about a drone? What about someone’s piece of equipment resting against the rail on the deck after it was taken out of a car boot and placed on a footpath where it picked up MV’s DNA? How about wind picking up something with MV’s DNA and dropping it onto the yacht? Etc. etc.. Lots of possibilities but are they ‘reasonable’ possibilities?


    On a serious note: my preliminary literature search came up with several scientific publications containing some very relevant information. Luminol will react to carbohydrates (sugar). Great. Chewing gums and bubble gums (at least the sweet variety) have sugar in them. What that means is that sugar in a bubble gum will mix with saliva during the chewing process. The expelled saliva (from the bubble gum attached to the bottom of the shoe) when the foot hits the deck will splatter thus spreading the sugar laced saliva beyond the point of impact. This could explain why luminol reacted to an area that is larger than the width of a shoe.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  21/05/16  at  07:49 PM
  277. The piece of equipment: Could have been the missing fire extinguisher with a bubble gum still attached to it and sitting on the bottom of the river.

    MV is now more famous than SNF and might even make some money from a 60 minutes interview. Go girl!

    Posted by Linda M.  on  21/05/16  at  09:22 PM
  278. William at #275 didn’t like the idea of the DNA catching a free ride on a seagull so I decided to improve on Peter’s concept by suggesting that a flying droplet caught a ride on a gust of wind and then pressed the ‘drop me’ emergency button when it saw a great white yacht underneath. It was aiming for the portside landing spot but the yacht had a better idea so spun itself around to present the starboard walkway. But some copper got in the way and the droplet found its way onto the copper’s right shoe and then simply slid off peacefully to fall asleep until some forensic scientist zapped it with luminol.


    Lighten up William and enjoy the free ride on this interesting scientific journey. There are plenty of other people who are enjoying reading this thread but aren’t commenting.

    Posted by Roger Morgan  on  21/05/16  at  11:59 PM
  279. Peter,

    It is useful to consider dividing the source of the DNA and the source of luminol reaction as being two separate and non-related sources. It is quite possible that if a bubble gum was attached to the bottom of someone’s shoe that the gum would pick up other substances (such as copper dust) as the person walked around the streets before boarding the yacht. That exogenous substance may then combine with the saliva and jointly be transferred onto the deck upon the impact and readily be detected by luminol. I think that the detection of sugar requires an additional chemical besides luminol and which may not be present in a bubble gum (based on my understanding of some literature). But an experiment would be useful.

    I tend to agree with you that the possibility of MV’s deposit being of primary transference doesn’t reach the level of a reasonable possibility. I reckon that you have hit the nail right on the head on this when you noted that Steve and Garry seem to be happy cruising at the mere possibility level rather than applying a stricter test that you seem to demand from your own deeper level of analysis and decision making processes.

    Posted by Roger Morgan  on  22/05/16  at  12:48 AM
  280. Thanks Roger. Many people seem not to be able to differentiate between concepts of: physical plausibility, feasibility, possibility, reasonable possibility, etc.

    For example:

    Steve at #254 says “but surely, the simple fact that there are alternative theories to discuss makes this conviction unsound?”

    The point isn’t whether there are many theories to discuss but whether any of them are reasonable, plausible and do they fit in within the known context of the case. I think the rule of evidence also requires at least that much. The so called “hitman theory” is one such example that in my mind just doesn’t get off the ground beyond it being a possibility (which seems to be based on hearsay)

    -

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  22/05/16  at  10:37 AM
  281. #278. Fair comment Roger, though there is a lot of speculation by spectators. Though there well may be the prospect of something else that is as perennial as the 4 seasons of each passing year, why would a young homeless lass want to slip aboard the yacht occupied by one singular mature age gentleman? Opportunity plays a role in this matter. Or was this visit by MV a repetition of prior visits?

    This possibility carries more credibility than an itinerant seagull. One must not narrow down on a strictly limited hypothesis as was engaged in by the former DPP. A broadly reflecting mind is required here rather than a tunnel vision.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  22/05/16  at  11:05 AM
  282. With apologies, for not being able to respond at this stage to the latest comments (i.e. #273—>)... but I want to address some earlier matters, beforehand.

    The contents of the VPFSD Report remains unclear to me.  I haven’t read it, only view those excerpts which have been made public.  Of those various bits and pieces, they suggest that the report does not contain a definite statement along the lines of ‘MV was definitely on the Four Winds’.  And yet again, it does state (apparently) that that there is no evidence to support the presence of the DNA as being as a result of a transfer on someone’s footwear.

    Peter (#251 & #252):  I’ve no argument with the proposition that parts of the white Quicksilver dinghy, when viewed by the early morning rowing coach, may have appeared grey.  Without going into theories of colour, light, shade, reflectivity, perception etc. (though on such a question I am … ‘at your disposal’...), I would like to state simply, that the Four Winds’ Quicksilver was white.  Not only does it appear as white in the images of it that we can obtain, and referred to as such in the SMH article, but also the specifications of the various Mercury-Quicksilver models reveals that both grey and white versions are manufactured (e.g. the airdeck range), and in my opinion, the Four Winds tender/ Quicksilver dinghy is one of the white models.  Yes, looking at the photo of the Quicksilver, we can agree that the shadows on it look grey … that is the nature of shadows … but we can yet see that it is white.  To say, as you do, “it is made of a pale grey material with grey and blue trim” is in my opinion an assertion not supported by the evidence at hand.

    The LEE CLOTH, The WHITE QUICKSILVER and The GREY DINGHY
    I’ve not been able to categorically identify the model name/model range of the Four Winds Quicksilver (as was shown in the – now withdrawn – Sydney Morning Herald article).  However, readers can view 1.  the original photo on my Facebook page [ https://www.facebook.com/garry.stannus ].  There they will find a
    2.  second photo of a different, yet virtually identical Quicksilver dinghy,
    3.  a third photo of a dinghy with a lee-cloth and
    4.  a fourth photo of a grey dinghy without the Quicksilver ‘blunt nose’.
    /...

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  22/05/16  at  04:40 PM
  283. .../
    Look, while all shadows ‘distort’ the appreciation of the ‘actual’ colour of an object’s surface, the dinghy in the pic that I’ve supplied is obviously white.  Peter, with your qualification as an Applied Physicist/Perceptual Scientist, you ask me – and answer your own question – in your #252

    Was there direct sunlight on the dinghy that Mr Conde was looking at? Most probably not given what we know about the weather and the orientation of the yacht with respect to the direction of the sun and the fact that the dinghy was on the stern side.

    In my opinion, Peter, you continue to make unexpected errors.  Now here you are arguing for the proposition that “most probably” the dinghy that Mr Conde saw was not in direct sunlight.  However, in another thread to which you have contributed [see your #218 Here] you dismissed Mr Conde’s evidence that the dinghy he saw had a lee cloth across it … on the grounds that it might in fact have been a shadow from some structure on the Four Winds yacht.

    Shadows imply sunshine.  For the lee cloth across the front of the dinghy – seen by Mr Conde – to have been a shadow, one would expect the sun to have been shining.  That follows from your shadow suggestion.  But here – in order to reject Mr Conde’s quite clear evidence about the dinghy that he saw – you are suggesting that “most probably” the sun wasn’t directly shining on the dinghy.  Your use of the expression “direct sunlight” … Peter, you cannot have it both ways.  In my #226 on Lynn’s thread, I included a link which provides a comprehensive range of meteorological data for that day in Hobart.  On the Tim Ellis and the Australian Womens Weekly thread at #112, I provided the name of an app. which can be used to calculate the NW position of the sun on the afternoon when Mr Conde saw the large, dark-grey dinghy alongside the Four Winds at 3:55 pm that day.  Given the SSE alignment of the boat/wind direction, the position of the sun in the NW and in any case the skies being recorded in that half-hour as ‘mostly cloudy’, the idea that the lee-cloth was actually a shadow from the rear mast falling across the bow of the dinghy seen by Mr Conde (… see #114 in the ‘Tim Ellis and the AWW thread’) is not supported by the available data. 

    There (on Tim Ellis and the AWW) you wrote “the width of that shadow would be around 30 - 40 cm.”  The rear mast of the four Winds can be seen to be quite slender – some 10-15 cm in diameter perhaps;  though, if as is probable, ovoid in shape, its bow-stern dimension might extend to 20-25 cm.  I base these last remarks on an examination of various dimensions for ketch mizzen masts found online and also draw from two photos:  one of Bob Chappell at the wheel of the Four Winds (quite close to the mizzen mast) and the other, of the Four Winds, seen at distance, side on and in virtual silhouette in which that mast can be seen to be appreciably thinner than the main mast.  Furthermore, in sunlight, shadows from an object such as a mizzenmast onto a (roughly) horizontal surface may extend in length as the sun sinks in the sky, but regardless of the height of the sun, such shadows have (here, on the surface of the earth, at least) a width less than the width of the object creating the shadow.

    In other words, Peter, your 30-40 cm wide shadow across the bow of the dark grey dinghy seen by Mr Conde was not possible.  And it was moreso not possible because of the prevailing weather conditions – I’ve given you the links previously … the wind from SSE, determining the point towards which the Four Winds was directed while at its mooring.  The sun in the north-west, not yet low in the horizon, ‘cos it’s a January summer determining that the Four Winds shadows would lie along the length of the ketch rather than across it;  the yacht and the tethered dark-grey dinghy in near alignment with the direction of the sun’s shadows. 

    Moreover, your “given what we know about the weather and the orientation of the yacht with respect to the direction of the sun and the fact that the dinghy was on the stern side.” glosses over your earlier SW misalignment and adds a new dimension … a “stern side” to the Four Winds.  According to Mr Conde,the dark grey dinghy which he saw was halfway along the port side.  If by your expression “stern side” you were suggesting that the dinghy seen by Mr Conde was at the boat’s stern, that proposition too is not supported by Mr Conde’s evidence.  He specifically rejected that proposition when asked.
    /...

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  22/05/16  at  04:42 PM
  284. .../
    THE WHITE QUICKSILVER & THE DARK GREY DINGHY:  THE TRANSCRIPT.
    There are a variety of Quicksilver dinghies manufactured, of different shapes and sizes.  The Quicksilver dinghy type belonging to the Four Winds is elsewhere described as “Dinghy, Rigid inflatable Mercury 3.3m” [again, see it and its ‘twin’ at [ https://www.facebook.com/garry.stannus ] ].  It is most definitely white.  While some of the Quicksilver range are manufactured in grey, they are/were also manufactured in white.  This one, as manufactured, is white.  The actual point in contention – in my opinion – is that Mr Conde gave in evidence that there was a large ‘dark grey’ – ‘battleship grey’ – dinghy alongside the Four Winds as he passed by in his vessel.  To be arguing about whether or not the Quicksilver dinghy belonging to the Four Winds was ‘light grey’ or not, is thus quite beside the point…

    MR CONDE testified:
    CT p.426 l.31:  At 3:55 I was motoring back to the marina at the
    Royal Yacht Club, I saw
    [a] vessel, the Four Winds, and rafted up
    alongside it there was a large dark grey rubber dinghy.

    CT p.426 l.41:  The dinghy was tied on the
    port side of Four Winds about mid-ships.

    CT p.426 l.45:  The boat was actually facing in a south easterly
    direction – pardon me, the stern was facing the shore.

    CT p.428 l.34:  But it was tied on the port side – how far along the port
    side?…….About halfway along.
    Definitely not hanging off the back?…….No.

    CT p.428 l.34:  MR ELLIS SC:  Have you got 16 and 17 Mr Conde?  Never mind the
    colour, tell me the shape – is that the same?.....Different.
    Mhm.  In what way?...The dinghy I saw, a[s] I said, Mr Ellis, was – I
    believe it was larger and I believe the dinghy I saw had a lee cloth
    across the bow.
     
    Right.  …This one does not have a lee cloth. The bow – the bow also
    seems to be somewhat blunter.

    CT p. 431 l.40:  Okay so at four o’clock you say it is a different dinghy from the one
    you see in the pictures?...the dinghy – the Quicksilver dinghy in the
    photographs is not the dinghy I saw at five to four on Australia Day
    last year.

    /...

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  22/05/16  at  04:44 PM
  285. .../
    There’ plenty more to come, but perhaps for the moment, that’s enough to go on with.  That ... and the observation that if MV wasn’t ever at the Cleanlift Premises, but did drop bubble gum elsewhere in Goodwood, we must ask how it was picked up on someone’s shoe, some distance from the slipyard, and remained on that shoe till it arrived – on foot? – (in Peter and Roger’s unlikely scenario – cf ‘no reasonable possibility’) and was only removed after its bearer, having boarded the Four Winds, on the port side, having hopped left-footed or crawled on hands and knees across the superstructure from the port gateway to the starboard walkway, and there either got off or removed the chewy/saliva from the shoe, which according to Peter, and supported by Roger, had somehow squelched out in width from normal chewy size and by that stage…

    The expelled saliva (from the bubble gum attached to the bottom of the shoe) when the foot hits the deck will splatter thus spreading the sugar laced saliva beyond the point of impact. This could explain why luminol reacted to an area that is larger than the width of a shoe.

    Nup!  No way! 

    According to MV, she’d never been into the Cleanlift Premises.  Those premises, sheds, yards, slipways and jettys, are quite large in area.  Your hypothetical chewy (if it had been picked up on a boot) could be expected to have splattered – if such a thing is possible – well outside the premises.  The area of the deposit was “approximately 210 x 260 mm in size.”  No Peter,  your (#276) splattered saliva and squelched chewy remains as speculation, unsupported by actual evidence to be even plausible, and would need a veritable Sasquatch to have landed its big foot on the Four Winds walkway – even then I don’t see that a chewy/its contained saliva could be squashed by a Sasquatch (in your ‘one step only’ scenario) to a size of 210 x 260 mm. 

    ‘Nup!’, or is it ‘Nope!’ in Sasquatchese?

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  22/05/16  at  04:52 PM
  286. The Dinghy

    For the last time: it does not matter what the Four Winds dinghy looks like in a close range photos where some parts of the dinghy have direct light on them.

    What matters is what the Four Winds dinghy looks like in real life and when looked at from a distance of 50+ metres on an overcast day when it is looked at against a large white yacht and when the observer is facing in the general direction of the sun.


    Since the Four Winds dinghy looked grey to a few people who saw it on the morning of the 27th from a range of 10 or so metres then you can bet your boots that it will look even greyer on an overcast day when looked at from a longer distance and when the direction of the view is in the general direction of the location of the sun.


    Furthermore, how on earth can one perceive from a distance of 50 metres a dark grey lee cloth on a dark grey dinghy?? Did this occur to anyone? Conde was looking at the Four Winds dinghy but his visual memory over a period of time had degraded and was corrupted by other images in his mind and hence why his second and more detailed description cannot be relied upon. I am happy to put my reputation online on this issue.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  22/05/16  at  05:58 PM
  287. On memory decay and corruption by similar memories

    Eve Ash (and John Biggs) as a psychologist ought to have known that memories decay over time and get corrupted by other similar memories. Conde’s second description, taken many months after he initially acquired a visual impression and hence a visual memory, wouldn’t be as accurate as his first recollection. Why Eve holds onto Conde’s details as being reliable is beyond me.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  22/05/16  at  06:43 PM
  288. Dark grey lee-cloth on a dark grey dinghy

    Did Conde really see a dark grey lee-cloth on a dark grey dinghy from where he was looking at on the Australia Day at 3:55pm?


    Watch here what Barbara Etter and Eve Ash say on the Shadow of Doubt video clip titled “The Grey Dinghy”

    https://vimeo.com/69824645


    Is it possible for human vision to discern a dark grey object (the lee-cloth) on another dark grey object (the dinghy) from that distance and the viewpoint?  Definitely not!

    The most likely scientific explanation is that the strength of Conde’s visual memory of the percept he formed on the Australia Day at 3:55 pm about the dinghy had decayed with the passage of time and was corrupted by other similar memories or images he observed.

    Why didn’t Eve Ash notice the problem??


    PS: it is true that the dinghy was on the portside (which I wrote correctly about last year but erred in my post of a day or two ago).

    PPS: I was aware of the ‘dark grey on dark grey’ problem 12 months ago when I first saw the above referenced video clip but was waiting for Garry to pick it up. But his tunnel vision led him not to notice the problem because he pursued his arguments that the Four Winds dinghy is white and that Conde saw a lee cloth!) Talking about tunnel vision!!

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  22/05/16  at  08:18 PM
  289. On the malleability of the human memory

    I think this ought to consolidate my statements in #286 and #287 about the malleability of the human memory. The opinion piece is by a world expert in the malleability of human memory. I did expect Eve Ash to be somewhat familiar with this sort of literature given her background as a psychologist, particularly given the significant relevance the subject of memory has in this case.


    “Human memory does not work like a video camera it is far from completely reliable, says UW psychology professor Elizabeth F. Loftus. People may mingle memories of different events, fill in gaps, or create memories based on suggestion.

    Pioneering research conducted by Loftus at the UW over the past 20 years has documented such cases and probed the mechanisms by which false memories occur. She has conducted hundreds of psychological experiments which indicate that after people first see an event—for example, a crime or an accident—the memory of the event subsequently can be altered. New, post-event information can become incorporated into memory to supplement or change it. In her studies, people have recalled a clean-shaven man as having a mustache; straight hair as curly, and even a barn where no buildings stood at all.”


    See more at 

    https://www.washington.edu/research/pathbreakers/1975a.html

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  22/05/16  at  10:38 PM
  290. Peter; my problem with your approach is that you lean heavily upon your qualifications to lend weight to your argument, but then your approach is anything but scientific.

    A witness’s opinion doesn’t fit your hypothesis. No problem, they must be mistaken. You employ the same gambit over and over. The DNA on the vessel is inconvenient, therefore it must have come there by other means (totally speculative mechanisms available upon request).

    I am very aware of the difference between a ‘possibility’ and a ‘reasonable possibility’. I am also very aware of the principle behind Ockham’s razor and the concept of ad hoc hypothesis.

    You are not alone in your approach though. Much of the prosecution case was of a similar standard. Basically it amounted to “She’s guilty and anything that doesn’t correlate with this must be incorrect”.

    The judge’s comments which Garry provided in #272 were undoubtedly meant to be helpful, and read carefully, giving due consideration to the background of the person making them, they are not unreasonable. However, they could very easily be interpreted as telling the jury that as long as their opinion was that the accused was guilty, they didn’t need to worry too much about how it was done.

    The judge’s real shortcoming was not pulling Tim Ellis into line. The prosecutor built up an entirely speculative scenario and presented it as fact. Evidence supporting this was put forward, regardless of quality and anything contrary was ignored.

    My opinion is that the prosecution case fails the plausibility test. I have no idea whether SNF is innocent or guilty, but the entire image of this cold blooded murderess, who, despite being an intelligent person, makes such a mess of the whole business doesn’t ring true. If this was a pre-meditated crime for gain, why not drop the victim over the side ten miles off shore and wait a while before raising the alarm? Why sink the yacht and obviously attract attention to the situation? Had the yacht not been sunk, SNF could have been first on board in the morning and given the entire yacht a good clean, setting the scene for a missing person enquiry.

    An argument, a shove and a fall I could believe but not the prosecution case.

    #272; Garry, it is normal for vessels to entire confined moorings bow first. Most boats steer and handle much better going forwards, so the more precise manoeuvre is tackled that way. Reversing out into an open area requires less precision. This is by no means universal practice. There can be many reasons for reversing into a pen. Ease of access being a major one.

    Posted by Steve  on  23/05/16  at  09:34 PM
  291. #288 Peter

    I believe that you have identified the single most important scientific breakthrough in this case do date concerning the grey dinghy issue. I saw the mentioned video clip last year but it didn’t hit me. Paul Conde’s detailed description of what he saw a year and a half before the trial is perceptually implausible. It is not possible for a person to perceive a dark grey lee-cloth on a dark grey dinghy from where he was looking. There must be a sufficient contrast difference between the two in order to pick out the lee-cloth from his vantage point of 50 metres away. One needs to  be pretty close to the dinghy. The lee-cloth must be something that was added to his fading memory of what he saw 18 months before the trial.

    An excellent scientific observation! It totally invalidates the accuracy and hence the probative value of Conde’s detailed description of the dinghy he remembered seeing at the Four Winds.

    John

    ps: Am interested to hear about the luminol results. I do think that there will a lateral force pushing the saliva out beyond the area of impact. Weather conditions (wind, water spray) may help to extend the area. Twisting of a foot may also increase the area. I wouldn’t bother with Garry’s comments.

    Posted by Dr John T.P.  on  24/05/16  at  06:50 AM
  292. #290 Steve

    It is not uncommon for eye witnesses to be very confident about what they saw and still be wrong. About 3/4 of the people that have been exonerated in USA via DNA have been initially found guilty on the basis of eye witness statements.

    In this case, it is claimed by the witness that he saw a dark grey lee-cloth on a dark grey dinghy from 50 metres away (on an overcast day). That is just not possible. If the lee-cloth is of the same shade of grey as the dinghy then what enables a person to pick out the former from such a distance? Peter is perfectly justified in questioning the accuracy of Conde’s memory given what psychological literature has demonstrated about the malleability of the human memory. In this case, Conde had one brief experience in seeing a dinghy as he went past it at a distance of 50 metres. His detailed description was given a year and a half later.

    Peter is also justified in claiming that it was the Four Winds dinghy because Sue Neill-Fraser accepted that she may have been at the yacht at 4pm.

    I wouldn’t say that Peter is using his qualification. He is using his scientific skills of good observation,  research, analysis, reasoning, etc. He is quite appropriately using the fact that a number of eye witnesses have stated that they saw a grey dinghy (the Four Winds dinghy) on the morning of the 27th next to the rowing sheds. He is then using this knowledge (combined with his understanding of visual perception) and is arguing quite appropriately that the same dinghy would also look at least as grey if not greyer when viewed under similar viewing conditions as was faced by Conde.

    John

    Posted by Dr John T.P.  on  24/05/16  at  07:44 AM
  293. An afterthought to my last post #292:

    Neill-Fraser supporters are using close range photos of the Four Winds dinghy to argue that the dinghy is white.

    But Neill-Fraser’s supporters haven’t yet been able to present a valid argument on whether or not the Four Winds dinghy will still look white if it were to be viewed from approximately the same distance, viewing direction and overcast day as was faced by Conde and the Clarks. 

    Peter is justified by saying that it doesn’t matter what the Four Winds dinghy looks like in a close range photograph because that is not what faced Conde, the Clarks and the other witnesses on the afternoon of the 26th.

    Garry Stannus can collect as many close range photos of various dinghies he likes but it is all irrelevant. I would be most interested to read his argument as to why the Four Winds dinghy would still look white rather than grey when viewed under the conditions that faced Conde and the other eyewitnesses.

    John

    Posted by Dr John T.P.  on  24/05/16  at  08:15 AM
  294. #291; What a load of tosh. There’s nothing scientific about expressing an opinion and then backing it up with articles about the inaccuracy of the human memory.

    Scientific would be setting up an experiment to replicate the situation and then testing whether or not it was possible to determine the lee cloth.

    50 metres is not far and anyone with normal eyesight could determine shades of grey at that distance, not to mention the different appearance of the cloth.

    While we’re on the subject of implausible, why would someone add a detail, such as a lee cloth, to a description, if they didn’t believe they had seen it? The original recollection was much less than eighteen months old. Suggesting otherwise is simply smoke and mirrors.

    BTW, if you’re going to post anonymously, it’s a bit shoddy to call yourself “Dr”. It’s an attempt to argue from authority, without justifying the authority.

    Posted by Steve  on  24/05/16  at  08:39 AM
  295. Steve,

    You can read my numerous posts on this case from last year (on another thread concerning Tim Ellis’s article) and work out what my background is by the nature of my comments. I chose not to give my full name for privacy reasons just like you chose not to give your full name (and a number of other people).

    Do a scientific experiment (like I did this morning) to see whether you can perceive a dark grey material on another dark grey material from 50 metres away such that you are looking in the general direction of the sun and both materials are shielded from direct sunlight.

    The fact that I did the experiment a short time before submitting my comment this morning gives my statement a scientific credibility. I assume that Peter also did a perceptual experiment given his scientific background.

    John

    Posted by Dr John T.P.  on  24/05/16  at  10:24 AM
  296. #290. Steve, in reply to your comment there has been a great amount of conjecture, assumption, academic assurance yet none of those ongoing discussion objectives have raised anything more than expanded cut-up or finer dissected theoretical circumstance.

    I am unable to locate any evidence event that can be sustained that meets the criterion of beyond reasonable doubt.

    No matter to the refinement of a strictly circumstantial event, one must consider that much of the recent commentary or discussion has brought forward anything other than viewpoints and perceptions by those who have no special entry permit into the arena of doubt, so therefore how can this flow of conjecture prove to be anything more than simple conjecture.

    Unwarranted unqualified retrospect does not assist either side of the great divide all that is happening here is trail by assumption, little else.

    Guilt has not shown itself, therefore how can guilt be ascribed.

    What is the value of 100 assumptions suggesting one scenario as against the other? for those who choose to answer this question do you consider yourselves rightfully positioned to add your redesigned or further dissected ‘one way street’ thinking, then do you have the power of judgement that so far has not risen to the fore throughout the 290 odd comments by any and all that have attempted to do so.

    Yes there is considerable doubt as to the volume of probability given by the then DPP, so in place of actual evidence there has been inserted an alternative of probable circumstance.

    One might ask the question, how many probable items will make up a possible or a likelihood, the answer here should be, an insufficiency of quantifiable guilt.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  24/05/16  at  11:24 AM
  297. John,

    Thank you kindly. Nice to see that you are still reading. One up for physicists! How ironic that two physicists would look into the death of a physicist (Bob Chappell)?

    Conde must have believed that what he described to be a correct memory of what he briefly saw for the first time 18 months earlier (I am here referring to his second and more detailed description taken during the trial).

    A substantial body of experimental scientific work in psychological science on the accuracy of the human memory,  particularly the hundreds of research experiments carried out by Prof Elizabeth Loftus over a period of 20 years, provides ample scientific evidence that a memory of a brief visual event experienced for the very first time is subject to significant changes over time. People will add to their memory things they haven’t actually seen and they won’t be aware that their memory is incorrect. People will also totally forget some parts of the scene they originally saw. People have added a barn to their memory where there was no building at all in real life.  People have added a moustache onto a memory of what they originally saw to be a clean shaven  man, etc.

    Here is a classic example (not related to Prof Loftus’ work, but is applicable): During the rape the victim paid very close attention to the man’s facial features; she subsequently identified him in photos and the police line-up; the man was convicted and sentenced, but then a huge error was discovered years later (http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/i-didnt-do-it-befriends-false-accuser-video_n_2120720.html). 

    One is perfectly justified in using Prof Lotfus’ work on the malleability of the human memory to examine how it applies to this case concerning the reliability of Conde’s detailed description from his memory of what he briefly saw only once many months earlier.

    If one listens to some of Prof Loftus’ youtube talks and if one listens to what Eve Ash said about Conde’s description one can get a hint as to what most likely occurred.

    Prof Loftus provided a strong scientific foundation that was supported by a large number of experimental studies: that a post-event can corrupt a previously established memory by introducing something that wasn’t originally present.

    It can thus be inferred that Conde’s awareness of the role of the lee-cloth on a dinghy in choppy conditions (such as the choppy conditions on the afternoon of the 26th) caused his memory to have been modified without his awareness. But he didn’t realise that during the taking of his final statement taken part way during the trial that he couldn’t have visually perceived a dark grey lee-cloth on a dark grey dinghy under his original viewing conditions.

    One is also justified in asking why a psychologist (Eve Ash) considers Conde’s memory to be reliable in the light of what is generally known amongst psychologists about the malleability of the human memory.

    Yes I did an experiment last year.
    Results: I couldn’t perceive a dark grey cloth on a dark grey object under the relevant viewing conditions! We are in agreement.

    Cheers,
    Peter

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  24/05/16  at  12:37 PM
  298. For those interested in hearing about the malleability of the human memory from the leading psychological scientist in the field:  Professor Elizabeth Loftus.

    Human Memory and the Law, Part 2 - 2013

    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3gBbQZ2RZyE&ved=0ahUKEwiQoe6p7fHMAhUGKZQKHe07CRUQtwIIHzAC&usg=AFQjCNHrDY2aYpMwjSWWuE1bk5KAZpffTg&sig2=mf2cmT2r9c9gSpHzrbPcEg

    The work of Prof Loftus is very relevant to this case as far as the reliability of Mr Conde’s very detailed account of what he briefly saw on the Australia day 2009 when he went past the Four Winds yacht on its portside at a distance of 50 metres and was looking in the general direction of the sun during an overcast afternoon at a time when it was very choppy on the river. 

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  24/05/16  at  03:05 PM
  299. Prof Elizabeth Loftus: The fiction of memory

    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PB2OegI6wvI&ved=0ahUKEwi7ztCV7vHMAhUGOJQKHascD6IQtwIIHzAC&usg=AFQjCNFGycSNU-1HNQbAXFuAFAzgsrKY5A&sig2=xy0hVKnY4nT4XOx-wU5mWA

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  24/05/16  at  03:25 PM
  300. Dr Lozo, Congratulations on a great observation and the related explanation.

    I didn’t take much notice of Mr Conde’s statement that he saw a dark grey lee-cloth on a dark grey dinghy. The colour of the ‘alleged’ lee-cloth is also mentioned in the trial transcript (dark grey).

    Garry Stannus didn’t pay attention to this either during his lengthy rambling on the subject whose purpose doesn’t appear to be a desire to move forward from where he was 12 months ago. My impression is that he is stubbornly insisting on an unsubstantiated belief that an object in a close range photo will look the same as when it is viewed in the real world by a human observer from 50 metres in the direction of the sun on an overcast day. Garry repeats Conde’s court statement as if it was a physical fact of what was actually seen by Conde.

    It is interesting to read how you brought into this case the work of a psychological scientist (Prof Loftus) and used it to provide an explanation as to what could have occurred with respect to Conde’s memory in the period between 26th Jan 2009 and the trial.

    Posted by Roger Morgan  on  24/05/16  at  09:19 PM
  301. #295; I too conducted an experiment. As I look out of my window I can see a galvanised power pole (grey), it’s bolted to a concrete plinth (grey). I walked out and tied a rag about the pole (grey). I also paced the distance at 65 metres.

    Throughout the day I have easily been able to discern the difference between these components. What does this prove? Absolutely nothing, but it’s of the same standard as what you are offering.

    Out of another window I can see my dinghy, albeit on a trailer, not tethered to a yacht. It’s a bit further away but I can clearly distinguish all pertinent details. 50m is not far. Except under very adverse light conditions, most people could discern detail.

    Continually posting links about the fallibility of human recollection doesn’t negate the fact that many people do actually see something and recollect it accurately.

    If you pursue your line of logic too far, you reach the point where every piece of evidence based on human recollection is incorrect. Then where? Oh yes; DNA. But that shows someone else was on the yacht… never mind, blame a seagull, oops no; a person with saliva coated chewing gum on their shoe that is subjected to a lateral force pushing the saliva out beyond the area of impact..?

    Posted by Steve  on  24/05/16  at  09:25 PM
  302. Steve,

    Post a photo on youtube and I will show you what you did wrong. Using a galvanised pole will give you incorrect results.

    John

    Posted by John T.P.  on  24/05/16  at  10:07 PM
  303. Some simple physics for you Steve:

    As your foot hits the floor the air that was between your foot and the floor will be displaced laterally.

    Now if there was a chewing gum stuck on the bottom of your shoe then two things will happen. The force of the impact will cause small droplets of saliva to be expelled (some below the foot, some on the side of the chewing gum). The air that is displaced will carry the very small droplets beyond the area of the impact. These droplets may be subject to further (natural) forces, such as a gust of wind across the deck. If anyone walked on these tiny drops before they dried out then there would be a few more nearby locations that would have had the DNA.

    The lesson here: there is a lateral force acting on the chewing gum which causes it to expand; there is a lateral air pressure (the displaced air) acting on the tiny expelled saliva droplets.

    If you don’t wish to take an opinion of a physicist then perhaps you can provide a better insight into the forces involved when a foot lands onto the floor as one walks.

    Posted by John T.P.  on  24/05/16  at  10:45 PM
  304. Significant and relevant factors affecting visual perception

    One of the significant impediments to a person’s ability to discern a lee-cloth on a dinghy (even if the lee-cloth was to be of a lighter shade of grey than the dinghy) under the viewing conditions faced by Conde wasn’t only the distance but also the fact that Conde would have been facing in the general direction of the sun (even though the sun may have been behind a cloud on a slight to a moderate overcast day). The bright light coming into Conde’s eyes (directly from the location of the sun and the reflected light from the body of water between Conde and the dinghy) would have reduced his ability to discern between two closely matched shades of grey. Had the sun been behind Conde then his perception would have been more accurate because the light coming from the dinghy compared to the light reflected from the water would have been brighter than in the first case.

    That is, there would have been a higher contrast between the dinghy and the background light reflected from the water had the sun been behind Conde. In the actual scenario faced by Conde, the angle between the location of the sun, the Four Winds yacht and the location of Conde would have been such that his eyes would have recieved a lot of reflected light from the body of water between himself and the dinghy. The angle between the location of the sun,  the Four Winds yacht and the location of the observer will thus significantly affect not only the direct light into the observer’s eyes but also the strength of the reflected light from the water into the person’s eyes (and hence the accuracy of visual perception; and whether the dinghy will be perceived to be white, light grey, mid-grey or dark grey).

    I note that a light grey motorised dinghy (with one person on-board) was seen leaving the area of the Four Winds yacht between 7:45 - 8:30 pm by a person in a house north of the Marieville Esplanade. That person wouldn’t have received strong  light reflection from water as Conde would have at 3:55 pm. 

    Therefore, scientific experiments ought be carefully designed such that they take into account the distance, the location of the sun, and a body of water for a reflector of light. I conducted my experiments a year ago in a local beach over a body of water.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  25/05/16  at  01:35 AM
  305. If Garry Stannus is to provide an explanation as to why he thinks the Four Winds dinghy will still look white if it were to be viewed in a similar scenario as what was faced by Conde and the others then his first challenge is to explain why wasn’t it perceived to be white but grey when it was seen next to the Rowing Sheds by a few people.

    If he cannot do that then why is he challenging those who are providing an explanation as to why it will be seen to be grey?

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  25/05/16  at  07:16 AM
  306. Finally got time to call by and see how the physicists were getting along as criminologists.

    As far as I can see, the current position is that SNF is guilty. Confusing primary source DNA is a result of saliva transferred via a piece of chewing gum. The reason for the large patch of DNA is a splatter effect from the saliva impregnated chewing gum. The chewing gum was still sufficiently impregnated with saliva because the unknown person who unwittingly transferred it, hopped all the way from where they collected their unwelcome attachment, right up to the point where they inadvertently placed their sticky foot upon the deck of the yacht.

    At this point they either realised they had a piece of chewing gum attached to their foot, or they hopped off again.

    It doesn’t appear to have been established that the owner of the DNA was chewing gum anywhere in the vicinity of a hopping visitor to the Four Winds, but this is unimportant as it must have happened that way as there is no other way that primary DNA could have got to where it was found, unless the person themself was present on the yacht and that couldn’t have happened. Another person on the yacht would shed doubt on SNF’s guilt.

    It is also obvious that the person in question was never on the yacht as no other DNA or fingerprints was found and we all know how easy it is to prove a negative.

    The witness who described a dark grey dinghy and who specifically stated it was not the Quicksilver dinghy belonging to the Four Winds was simply mistaken because eyewitness accounts are not to be believed and it’s likely he was dazzled by the sun and despite being only 50m away, would not have been able to see what he described. It is obvious he couldn’t have seen what he described as that would shed doubt on SNF’s guilt.

    Just for the fun of it, shall we look at another option?

    Consider SNF is not guilty. Two persons unknown (actually one is known) visited the yacht, thinking there was no-one on board. One remained close to their borrowed dark grey dinghy, the other went below, a confrontation happened which resulted in the owner of the yacht dying. The perpetrators heaved the body over the side, most likely attached to the fire extinguisher, Physicists will be well aware of what a poor anchor a partly filled hollow vessel makes, but it could serve quite nicely to hold a body under the surface (achieving neutral buoyancy at, say, 3m below the surface)  where an outgoing tide would take it away. A quick bit of sabotage on the yacht, then head to shore. Cast off the Four Winds dinghy on the same principle as the yacht sabotage; to confuse matters.

    No need for winches and dinghy transfers. The perpetrator was young and strong. He simply scruffed his victim out of the cabin, and heaved him over the side.

    I’m not saying my theory is correct but I’d suggest I’m making less assumptions?

    Posted by Steve  on  30/05/16  at  06:58 PM
  307. #303; BTW, John. You can’t argue from authority “If you don’t wish to take an opinion of a physicist..” if you post anonymously.

    It’s just part of the game. I do not use any of my qualifications in any TT discussion, even when they are very relevant. My personal feeling is that there’s an intellectual honesty about posting anonymously, in that your contributions are judged on merit, not authority.

    I always find it very sad when posters, proudly posting under what’s presumably their christened names, attack anonymous posters on the grounds of their anonymity, rather than the content of their comments.

    You of course, could be Dr Peter Lozo incognito, but that would be naughty and I’m quite sure that any grammatical similarities are simply a result of your shared scientific training.

    Posted by Steve  on  30/05/16  at  07:12 PM
  308. The physicists are waiting!

    The physicists are waiting for anyone who disagrees with me on the dinghy issue in the Neill-Fraser case to provide an explanation as to why they think that the Four Winds dinghy will be perceived to be white when viewed in a similar scenario as to what faced Paul Conde and the other eyewitnesses on the afternoon of the 26th:

    -  overcast day (diffuse sunlight rather than direct sunlight illuminating the scene);

    - choppy river with up to 3 foot waves (the dinghy will be in constant motion and the shape of its bow may not be accurately perceived; water will also be continuously splashing over the dinghy);

     - dinghy tethered on the portside of the Four Winds  yacht;

    - Four Winds yacht facing approximately in the SE-SSE direction;

    - Four Winds yacht blocking the direct line of sight from the sun to the dinghy (the dinghy is illuminated by diffuse light from the clouds and the light reflected from the water and the land);

    - reflection and scattering of light by the water towards the observer;

    - observers at a distance of 50 metres facing in the general direction of the sun.

    Another thing to take into account is the scattering of the light in the human eye and its effect on contrast.

    The explanation ought to also extend to the other eyewitnesses who saw the Four Winds dinghy next to the Rowing Sheds on the 27th and perceived it to be grey in colour rather than white! Please do not ignore these important eyewitness statements about the Four Winds dinghy when viewed from a close range of less than 10 metres when there was some direct sunlight on the dinghy.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  31/05/16  at  01:48 AM
  309. Statement of Mr Balding about his perception of the Four Winds dinghy (page 1028)- note his description of the colour of the Four Winds dingy:

    “I’m the coach of the Sandy Bay Rowing Club which is situated off Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay. At about 5:45am on the 27th January ’09 I arrived at the rowing club to take training. When I arrived Mr Farmer, who is the father of one of the rowers, told me that when he arrived he had found an inflatable dinghy floating off Errol Flynn Beach which is the beach between the end of Marieville Esplanade and the rowing club. I saw that the dinghy was tied to rocks beside the rowing club, it was grey with dark blue trim [my emphasis] and had an outboard motor attached to the back.”

    Why are Neill-Fraser supporters ignoring the above eyewitness statement (and a few others) about the perceived colour of the Four Winds dinghy when it was seen next to the rowing sheds on the 27th Jan but are overemphasising the statement of Paul Conde? Doesn’t the above statement by Mr Balding suggest that perhaps it could have been the Four Winds dinghy that was sighted at 4pm (and at 5:00pm) on the 26th but it was the viewing distance, the weather condition, diffuse light illumination and the viewing direction (towards the general direction of the sun) that reduced its contrast against its background thus making it appear to the observer to be greyer than it would have been under the condition of brighter light illumination on the dingy and less glare from the sun and the water towards the observer’s eyes?

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  31/05/16  at  05:56 AM
  310. Whether or not it was saliva or a chewing gum is totally irrelevant to my argument that VPFSD forensic scientist failed to recognise the real physical possibility that the DNA could have been brought onto the deck of the yacht on the bottom of someone’s shoe without that DNA being deposited anywhere else on the yacht besides the one location next to the entrance gate. There does exist an innocent explanation as to how the DNA got there. The person whose shoe carried the DNA either momentarily stepped onto the deck without taking a third step forward but retreated back through the gate. Alternatively, the person changed footwear before walking further on the deck (or took the shoes off). There isn’t enough data for the VPFSD forensic scientist to discount this alternate possibility that I recognised as being something that should have been dealt with in the report. I find the VPFSD report to be an incomplete scientific analysis because it didn’t consider any alternate and innocent explanations, such as the ones I mentioned above.

    The Chewing Hypothesis was proposed primarily as a physical mechanism that could keep saliva in a liquid form for longer period of time on what I understood was a hot week towards the end of Jan (there was a heat wave in Tasmania). Direct saliva (or blood) on a shoe would dry quickly on a hot day and most probably wouldn’t be a good medium for transferring DNA. Luminol has a sensitivity of 1 in a million. If there was minute traces of blood in the saliva then one doesn’t need a substantial amount of saliva to be expelled from the chewing gum. I am not claiming that this is what most probably happened. But the hypothesis is physically plausible and it would be very useful to conduct experiments to get a better understanding of DNA transference via a saliva in a chewing gum stuck to the bottom of a shoe. It could benefit the field of forensic science in general more than this particular case. When I get time I plan to do the experimental work and submit a research paper to a relevant forensic science journal.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  31/05/16  at  06:46 AM
  311. Sigh, what do they teach them in these schools?!

    Because A can be B, does not mean that A is B.

    Because it is quite possible for someone to be mistaken about the colour of the dinghy, it does not automatically follow that every witness is mistaken.

    Because it is possible to conceive a remotely plausible hypothesis for how the DNA came to be where it was, does not mean it did happen that way.

    Please apply Mr Ockham’s razor to your logic and try again.

    Posted by Steve  on  31/05/16  at  09:34 AM
  312. ...
    A great many prospectors are digging and fossicking about in old ground that has already been prospected.
    From a law perspective no amount of speculation can add to or influence the current state of affairs.
    Public opinion is one thing in this case, and that it cuts both ways, thus this query-ing cannot contribute a dicky-bird to the defense nor the offence in this case matter.
    There are however certain facts as to the conduct of the case itself, that’s according to my old mate Mr Robert Richter QC. (As he had earlier opined in his statement to the media.)

    The question that should be foremost in this matter, is how and why someone is in prison without anything but instantiable circumstantial evidence.
    Please understand that if the jury were told to believe a circumstance based on circumstantial evidence, this in itself will not present a fair and reasonable sufficiency to enable a conviction.

    In the olden times among the Aboriginal People, ‘pointing the bone’ was used to establish guilt, while this very same means has in effect been so similarly applied toward this SN-F case and by those that have been bombarding this article with nebulous chewing-gum opinions.

    One must not look for reasons why not, one must look for reasons why.
    Elementary Dr Watson.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  31/05/16  at  12:47 PM
  313. #311 Steve

    Do you think that Mr Balding was the only eyewitness who saw the Four Winds dinghy next to the Rowing Sheds on the 27th Jan and described it as being some shade of grey??

    I suggest you re-read the trial transcript carefully. Alternatively, to save you a lot of search time through the transcript, I suggest you read Lynn Gidding’s post #68 at: http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/tim-ellis-and-the-australian-womens-weekly-#sthash.RWsYWtyk.dpuf


    For your convenience I have pulled out the relevant portions of Lynn’s post about the various eyewitness descriptions of the Four Winds dinghy as it appeared to them when they saw it in the real world (next to the Rowing Sheds) on the 27th Jan:

    1. “a white tender, just looked like a normal blunt nose tender”.

    2. “White light grey Zodiac” .

    3. “grey with dark blue trim”.

    4. “a light grey inflatable dinghy”  .

    5   “a grey and blue dinghy, like a small skip”.
    6.  “a small grey tender”.

    Note that 5 out of the six eye witness statements used the word ‘grey’ rather than ‘white’. It is thus plausible to suggest that the Four Winds dinghy would appear to be even greyer under the viewing conditions that was faced by Conde and others on the overcast afternoon of the 26th.


    I think you ought to have expected  a trained and a very experienced scientist with a background in physics and visual perception to have gone significantly beyond the rest of the commentators here and to have noticed what others didn’t notice.

    The O’Ockham’s razor is irrelevant here if one wants to get an in-depth understanding of the scientific aspects of the case and the reasons for some misconceptions in the Neill-Fraser camp.

    I hope that I won’t be drown any further into naive debates such as what you seem to be wanting to do.

    Cheers,
    Peter


     

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  31/05/16  at  01:49 PM
  314. Who is the joke really on?

    The science of physics and visual perception, as well as at least four eyewitness statements, support the claim that the joke isn’t on the police  investigator, who said that a white boat might look like grey on the water, but on the MoJ investigator who wrote the following two sentences:

    “The old joke is about how a biased person can make black look like white. In this case the investigator actually said that a white boat might look like grey on the water – without any evidential basis for such a remarkable claim.”

    Let us remind the MoJ investigator of the first few verses of the Bee Gees song “I started a Joke”:

    I started a joke which started the whole world crying
    But I didn’t see that the joke was on me oh no
    I started to cry which started the whole world laughing
    Oh If I’d only seen that the joke was on me”

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  31/05/16  at  03:53 PM
  315. #313; Let’s look at this a different way Peter.

    Currently SNF is languishing in gaol. She was found guilty on approximately the same basis that William suggests in #312. Actually, probably on a sightly more dodgy basis than a pointed bone, as bone pointing had a lot of other factors involved.

    SNF was found guilty in a case where there was no body, no weapon, no serious motive and no solid evidence. Discounting the eloquence of Tim Ellis, there really wasn’t any case at all and this is where it gets interesting.

    Tim Ellis did his job very well. Normally lack of evidence is a defect in a case. Tim Ellis turned this into a virtue. With a little bit of naive help from the judge, he established a situation where, due to the lack of evidence, the jury simply had to decide whether SNF was guilty without having to consider any facts.

    The defence was caught flat-footed. Normally, the prosecution brings forward evidence, the defence tears it apart. Subtly, the situation was reversed; the defence now had to prove innocence.

    You have stated many times that you believe SNF to be guilty. I have never stated an opinion on this. I do not know. I would need a much more in-depth involvement to be in a position to venture an opinion. My interest in this case is that it offends my common sense, my sense of justice and more than anything else, my sense of fair play.

    In this sort of case, I’d be far more comfortable to think that someone committed murder and got away with it, than I am to think that someone is imprisoned for something they didn’t do. In general our justice system is in sympathy with this view, which is why the expectation in a circumstantial case is that it is necessary to establish that there is no alternate explanation that would fit the facts.

    In my post at #306, I suggested just such an alternate explanation. Mr Ockham and his razor are extremely relevant here, as I’d suggest that my simple explanation is resting on far fewer assumptions than your chewing gum (sorry, an unfortunate metaphor!). Given the circumstantial nature of the case, it is necessary to provide solid reasons as to why my alternate explanation is impossible, otherwise we jump back numerous posts to where this current discussion started, with Garry Stannus suggesting the conviction was unsound.

    PS I suspect a typo, but I did enjoy “drowning” in naive debates. Beware the Pierian spring. Drink deep!

    Posted by Steve  on  31/05/16  at  06:02 PM
  316. #314; The joke is on the person in gaol. I find it a bit sad that that point eludes you.

    Posted by Steve  on  31/05/16  at  06:13 PM
  317. #315, Steve, a violation has occurred.

    My understanding of the “V” word is when someone is unjustly harmed. 

    The Tasmanian [in]justice system is violation-skilled. In my view,  deliberately/strategically denying any citizen a fair trial is to unjustly harm that person. It happens.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  31/05/16  at  06:37 PM
  318. #315-#316  “My interest in this case is that it offends my common sense, my sense of justice and more than anything else, my sense of fair play”.


    If the above sentence truly describes you and your interest in this case then please apply the same “common sense” the same “sense of justice” and the same “sense of fair play” to the person who during the trial was 15; was homeless; lived in various places such that there were times when her whereabouts were unknown for a few days at a time; an under-developed, troubled and destitute 15 year old child who was interviewed by the police about her whereabouts more than a year after Bob Chappell’s disappearance but was expected by Neill-Fraser’s then defence attorney (and Neill-Fraser’s former and current supporters such as Lynn Giddings, Garry Stannus, Eve Ash, ..) to recall where she was on the night Bob Chappell disappeared from his yacht!!!


    I have gone into this case far deeper than you seem to have (based on your demonstrated very limited analytical nature of comments, with the exception of the buoyancy of the fire extinguisher with which I mostly agree). It is a shame that you think that anything of significance has eluded me just because my view differs from your view and the general view of Neill-Fraser’s supporters. 

    I realised the very sad state of unfair and dirty play by Neill-Fraser’s supporter’s pretty soon after I started researching this case in late March 2015. I made a comment about it (post #149 at 
    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/an-unscientific-reading-of-the-case#sthash.viTurL6i.dpuf):

     

    “I will then follow up with my promise to use science of how visual memories are acquired, consolidated and recalled in order to expose significant short-sightedness of some people who expect more honesty and better memory recall and reliability from a young homeless teenager of events 12+ months in her past than they do from a financially secure middle aged woman about events in her life that were a day old! I find this rather odd.”


    To which someone responded by saying:


    “Dr Lozo 

    Thankyou for your comments and voice of reason. It is about time that somebody applied some science and reason to the debate.”


    I have indeed provided a very detailed and rational analysis of the case and have given reasons why I agreed with the jury decision of ‘guilty’. You do not appear to have read my numerous comments on this case during 2015 on several other TT threads to have realised the depth of my analysis concerning this case and how and why I reached my conclusion. I purposefully chose to comment only on those aspects of the case on which I felt I could comment on intelligently given the nature of my scientific education, training and professional work experience. Thus I chose not to comment on the legal aspects of the case.

    ps: yes there is a typo in my earlier post (should have been ‘drawn’ instead of ‘drown’). Thanks for picking it out.


     

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  02/06/16  at  12:02 AM
  319. #315 “Given the circumstantial nature of the case, it is necessary to provide solid reasons as to why my alternate explanation is impossible, otherwise we jump back numerous posts to where this current discussion started,..”

    Not strictly true! Only “reasonable alternate possibilities” need to have been discounted by the prosecution. You (and many supporters of Neill-Fraser) seem to think that any possible alternate scenario one can think off needs to be discounted with solid reasons. There is no evidence to support your scenario so there is no need for anyone to attempt to go further. Why do you think it was a borrowed dinghy? Why do you think it was a dark grey dinghy?

    I see that you are stuck on believing that there was a dark grey dinghy that was seen. You obviously aren’t getting the point that that dinghy must have in physical reality been much lighter in colour but it appeared to be mid-range to dark grey only because of the viewing conditions and the geometry. Thus I have already destroyed your scenario!  Had the dinghy been dark grey in the physical reality then in the perceptual reality of the observer the dinghy would have appeared to be black under the viewing conditions and the geometry that faced Conde and the other eyewitnesses at 3:55 pm and at 5 pm!

    Had the Four Winds yacht not been in the direct path between the sun and the dinghy and had the observer looked at that dinghy from Napoleon St or the Marieville Esplanade at 3:55 pm then that dinghy would have appeared to that observer to be light grey rather than dark grey. Therefore the mysterious grey dinghy in the Neill-Fraser case is in physical reality a light coloured dinghy whose pigment in the  dye of the material out of which the dinghy is made causes it not to have a very high reflectance, certainly not as high as the reflectance of the Four Winds yacht. End of mystery!!


    The lesson is:


    The visual perceptual reality in someone’s visual brain doesn’t  always correspond to the physical reality. The intensity of light illumination on an object, the reflectance from the object, any shadows, and the observer’s viewing perspective with respect to the light source can distort the person’s visual percept of the object’s true colour, shape and size.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  02/06/16  at  02:54 AM
  320. The photograph of the partially submerged Four Winds yacht

    I refer the readers to the following photograph of the partially submerged Four Winds yacht taken shortly after it was boarded by the police on early morning of the 27th January 2009 - the still photograph appears in the 18 -20 second time period of the following video clip from Eve Ash:

    http://7dimensions.com.au/index.cfm?fuseaction=ses.Shadow_of_Doubt_Streaming

    The sunrise on 27th Jan 2009 was at around 6:06 am. It can be seen in the photograph that the sun is shining on the water but is on the opposite side of the yacht that is facing the camera. Thus even though it is clearly a daybreak with the sun shining, the side of the yacht (the portside) that is facing the camera appears to be very dark (black) even though (in the physical reality) the yacht is white and has a high reflectance.

    It can be inferred from this photo that there is too much light directed towards the lens of the camera from areas beyond the yacht and that the automatic gain control in the camera (or a manual action by the camera operator) readjusted the shutter speed (or the aperture diameter) in order to reduce the amount of total light entering the camera optics. This adjustment also reduced the amount of  light entering the camera that is reflected from the yacht and hence why the side of the yacht that we see in the photograph appears dark. 

    Although the human visual system works in a different way to a camera it also has an automatic gain control that enables the visual cortex to respond only to contrast rather than the absolute amount of light. The perceptual system of the observer located at the same vantage point as the camera would perceive the yacht to be dark. But if the observer (or the camera) was positioned far left so that the amount of sunlight (direct and that reflected from the water) entering the eye (or the optics of the camera) is reduced then the yacht would appear to be lighter in colour. If the sun was behind the observer (or the camera) then the yacht would appear to be white.

    Conclusions

    1. I think that the above mentioned photograph, combined with my brief explanation, ought to convince the readers that my year long argument that the Four Winds dinghy will be perceived to be grey (most probably mid-range grey to dark grey rather than white to light grey ) when viewed under similar conditions as what faced Paul Conde and the other other eyewitnesses at 3:55 pm and at 5:00 pm on the Australia Day 2009.

    2. I therefore conclude that the dinghy that was sighted at 3:55 pm by Conde is most likely the same dinghy that was sighted by another group at 5 pm. I further conclude (on the evidence of another eyewitness) that this dinghy is the same light coloured motorised dinghy that was seen leaving the location of the Four Winds yacht at between 7:45 - 8:30 pm with one person on-board and heading in the general direction of the yacht club.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  04/06/16  at  08:21 AM
  321. Further to my #320 on automatic gain control in vision (and applications in technology)


    Unlike in a camera where the adjustment of the shutter speed (or the aperture diameter) has an effect on the quality of the whole photograph, the automatic gain control in the human visual system is at a cellular level. That is, each cell that looks at its own tiny fraction of the total field of view of light that is coming from the eye has its own local automatic gain control. What this means is that each local automatic gain control works on small fractions of the visual scene rather than there being a single adjustment for the whole scene. Hence why the biological vision systems are more robust under varying illumination conditions than a camera. Thus although the yacht would appear to a human observer to be dark it wouldn’t appear as dark as in the photo but somewhere in between.

    On a related matter

    I supervised a research project at the University of South Australia in early 2000’s where we had to develop an artificial vision system for a mobile robot that was required to recognise objects under different illumination conditions (indoors as well as outdoor on sunny and cloudy days, and against other clutter in a scene).See 
    http://w3.unisa.edu.au/studentsatunisa/2006/April/mainstory.asp.

    The vision system was based on some theoretical and computational work I did a decade earlier to understand how biological vision systems recognise objects in cluttered backgrounds and under varying illumination conditions.

    Thus my expertise is very relevant to the comments I made about the grey dinghy issue in this case.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  05/06/16  at  11:36 AM
  322. Peter, I’m somewhat bemused by your approach. You lean on your scientific training but you seem to persist with the same logical fallacy. Because all cats are grey at night, it does not follow that any cat seen at night is not grey. Grey cats also look grey at night!
    Refer back to Garry’s detailed comment at #284. The witness, who is giving sworn evidence, seems quite firm. You cannot discount his evidence by a desktop assessment showing that the dinghy would have appeared darker under the conditions he viewed it.
    He might well be mistaken, but he might well be 100% accurate. He stated the colour, he did not say “it was difficult to make out because the sun was in my eyes”. A witness’s eyes are connected to a human brain capable of making allowances for ambient conditions. The only way you could disprove the evidence is to replicate the situation, with the same witness and a variety of different dinghies. If he could not discern the difference, you would then be justified to claim he was most likely mistaken although, even then, you could not claim to have positively proved he was wrong. You would have simply discredited the value of his evidence.
    With regard to my alternate theory at #306, there is supporting evidence. A reasonable patch of primary DNA that should not have been there, and a dinghy tied up to the yacht that again should not have been there. It’s also not an unlikely scenario. There are two problems with keeping a boat on moorings; seagulls and thieves. One leaves stuff behind, the other takes stuff away but they are both major nuisances. I have twice been on board a boat, with no dinghy visible, and had that boat boarded. No dinghy and an open hatch is an invitation.
    You must realise that whilst you may choose not to comment on the legal aspects of the case, you can’t ignore it as that’s the principle point of discussion.
    SNF was found guilty of pre-meditated murder. That means the prosecution alleged that she sat down and planned it all out before hand. Who in their right mind would plan such a mess?
    Anyone with any boating experience would know that you cannot be guaranteed privacy on moorings. At any moment, some fisherman with a powerful spotlight can motor past. Bit embarrassing if you’re in the process of lowering a dead body over the side of your yacht and yet that’s exactly what the prosecution maintained was planned and carried out?!
    The list of unlikely events is quite extensive. Viewed individually they are just plausible but, as a physicist, you would know your probability theory and what happens when you combine improbabilities.
    How many unlikely events are there in my alternate scenario?

    Posted by Steve  on  05/06/16  at  11:52 AM
  323. #321; Ah-ha, I think I see the problem. You are considering the viewing of the dinghy in the light of your previous research work, whilst I’m considering it from the point of view of a witness passing by a moored yacht and viewing a dinghy.
    A few comments back you suggested that my use of a galvanised pole was invalid, I would suggest that considering the situation from the coldly practical view of robotic vision is also incorrect. You have to factor in the human observer.
    A serious car buff will identify a car by year, make, model, optional upgrades and after market accessories; and that after only a passing glance! A non-car person will possibly get the colour right.
    My business takes me about a bit and I’m often in hire cars. I can’t tell one from the other, even though I’m driving them. If it wasn’t for the lights that flash when you unlock them, I’d lose them all the time and yet I meet people who interrogate me as to how I liked that particular model.
    Likewise with boats. A witness states an opinion on a dinghy. If he’s experienced around boats, it’s very likely his observations are accurate, regardless of the light conditions. If it’s someone walking the dog whose last maritime experience was on the Devil Cat in 1998, the information should be judged on it’s merits.

    Posted by Steve  on  05/06/16  at  06:49 PM
  324. Further to my #321

    In #321 I made a brief mention of some theoretical and computational modelling work I conducted to help me understand how biological vision systems recognise objects in cluttered and complex backgrounds under varying illumination conditions. I also mentioned that a decade later that work formed a foundation for an artificial vision system that my PhD student at that time (now Dr Quock Do) embedded in a mobile robot. Below I provide a link to a webpage that describes a patent on my early-mid 1990’s work. I also supervised another PhD student at that time (now a Dr Z. N) on a research project concerning the neural dynamics of visual perception. I thought to mention this so that it helps some sceptics appreciate my expertise in the field of biological visual perception and object recognition (and its application in technology, as well as its application here to explain the misconceptions about the eyewitness statements concerning the grey dinghy issue).


    http://www.google.com/patents/WO1997004400A1?cl=en


    #322 Steve

    I don’t have any more free time to address your (and Garry’s)  non-sense and naive arguments concerning visual perception and visual memory. As for the DNA transfer: similarly, I don’t have any more free time to respond to your limited and uninformed analysis of this so I suggest that you read my #445 at http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/tim-ellis-and-the-australian-womens-weekly-

    Cheers, 
    Peter

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  05/06/16  at  10:29 PM
  325. Seeing is believing  – the grey between black and white

    Here is a rather interesting and relevant example that emphasises my main point about visual perception and why the Four Winds dinghy will be perceived to be a shade of grey rather than white under some viewing conditions such as what faced Conde at 3:55 pm on 26th Jan 2009.


    The perceived shade of colour of an object does not only depend on the object’s true colour shade but also on the illumination of the background! 


    The human visual system uses the difference between the two (the light intensity coming from the object and the light intensity coming from the background; actually the contrast between the two) in order to generate an internal visual perceptual representation of the object’s colour shade (light-grey, mid-grey or dark-grey; light blue, mid blue or dark blue; etc) which will vary across different contexts.

    See

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s1895225.htm

    In the two images shown in the above referenced website, the four circular disks in the left image are exactly the same as the corresponding circular disks in the right image. The only difference between the two images is that the background is lighter in the left image compared to the background in the right image. What happens as a result of this difference in the background? Our visual percept of the four circular disks in the left image is that they are darker than our visual percept of the corresponding four circular disks in the right image!!!


    Visual perception thus depends on the contrast between an object and its background! Change the background then you will change the way the object appears! Change the context and you will change the way the object appears!

     

    I offered to go to Hobart to demonstrate this interesting principle of visual perception and also offered to demonstrate that a white dinghy of the same type and colour as the Four Winds dinghy will be perceived to be mid-range grey to dark grey under similar viewing daytime conditions that faced Conde but, so far, I haven’t had a reply from Eve Ash nor from Barbara Etter.


    See 


    http://www.tasmaniantimes.com.au/index.php/article/i-would-be-delighted-to-take-a-trip-to-hobart-

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  06/06/16  at  07:33 AM
  326. Cont…..

    Also see my #82 & #83 at

     

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/tim-ellis-and-the-australian-womens-weekly-

     

    This is from #82:

     

    “I can go down to the beautiful city of Hobart (have been there on two previous occasions at UTAS) and demonstrate to Dr Moles, Mrs Etter, Ms Ash.. and the whole SNF group, and to your premier and the AG, that a quicksilver dingy (or any other dingy of similar paint colours) can be perceived to be white in one natural setting on water and yet can be perceived as being dark grey in another natural setting on water!”


    My offer still stands!

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  06/06/16  at  07:37 AM
  327. Sensible thinking Steve #322/323.


    Firstly, full admiration to both you & Garry for tenacity, tolerance and realistic common sense. Clap, clap, and clap.

    You appear to me to exhibit sensible thinking, which includes some lateral thinking, but not to the extreme.

    Disagreeing with the opinion (#324) that “… your (and Garry’s) non-sense and naive arguments”, my observation is that certain comments appear to be based more on lateral thinking, whilst excluding any “sensible” and relevant factors that may knock around researched theories. My understanding is — a lateral thinker tends to explain a conundrum by indirect and novel approaches, usually through considering the question in another and atypical method, often creating new concepts by looking at the question in novel ways.

    Whilst strategic thinking can be an extremely effective and valuable tool, post Supreme Court trial and guilty conviction, is too late for that analysis style. In saying that Steve, I am not implying your rationale is not strategic; I write that in the context of “lateral” thinking processes used in numerous comments on the discussion subject.

    Whereas, it seems your approach is to stay with the evidence and what you know/experience, which is “sensible”.  That is, you are not changing the factual witness evidence as the court/jury heard, and upon which this discussion arose. Thus, in attempting to overcome the issue by meeting the facts head-on, sensible will avoid attempting to rewrite the given evidence. Bypassing the facts through a different approach (lateral) is distracting, at best and at worst frustratingly annoying. Furthermore useless.

    Stay with the sensible approach, Steve. Not that you needed me to write that, as your posts appear to have that continuity! Your intermittent good sense writing revives my interest in what had become a circuitous, boring thread of discussion.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  06/06/16  at  02:00 PM
  328. At #31 Geraldine Allen wrote:

    “FYI Steve, in case you have missed it, Barbara Etter APM 24 August 2014 blog post, headed: An Analysis of the Supreme Court Trial, the Court of Criminal Appeal Submissions and Decision and the High Court Application in relation to the ... DNA Sample

     

    Barbara writes, Please see attached an analysis of the Court transcripts and decisions relevant to the consideration of the new and startling DNA evidence in the Sue Neill-Fraser case in light of the new expert report from Victoria which indicates that the relevant sample was directly transferred to the deck of the yacht, contrary to theories put by the Crown to each of the courts.”

     

     


    This is what Barbara Etter actually wrote:

     

    “Please see attached an analysis of the Court transcripts and decisions relevant to the consideration of the new and startling DNA evidence in the Sue Neill-Fraser case in light of the new expert report from Victoria which indicates that the relevant sample was more than likely directly transferred to the deck of the yacht, contrary to theories put by the Crown to each of the courts.”


    So now we have it. 


    Barbara Etter wrote 


    “the relevant sample was more than likely directly transferred”  


    but Geraldine Allen, who in her moral support of a fellow SN-F supporter (Steve) seems to be offering a rather sarcastic opinion of an expert in the field of visual perception for explaining why people perceived what they remember perceiving, misquoted Barbara and wrote:


    “the relevant sample was directly transferred” 

     


    Can one trust SN-F supporter who misquotes SN-F’s solicitor?

    Posted by Glenda  on  06/06/16  at  07:14 PM
  329. #328; So now Dr Peter is called Glenda?


    Editor’s note: Steve - thanks for raising the question. Peter: see point 5 in the TT code of conduct:  http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/pages/legalbits “5. One persona: Sometimes it is obvious that one person is creating multiple personas to submit comments. Sometimes this can be multiple personas on one thread to create the illusion that multiple people support one view. Sometimes one persona is used on one thread and another on a different thread. Where TT is aware that multiple personas have been used by one person, the comments will be deleted.”

    Posted by Steve  on  06/06/16  at  08:44 PM
  330. It is my personal belief that the strategy and credibility of Dr Peter Lozo must now be reappraised toward his purpose and his intent to forge his own calculated and strongly asserted opinions.
    That Dr Peter Lozo can present himself as some kind of an expert when in fact he likely appears to present himself as some form or other of a quasi appointed arbiter, who can then ‘scoff at the opinions of others’ in regard to the ‘arguably non legible evidence and fact verdict’ (as had initially been handed down by this State’s judiciary) in this still critically unresolved case matter, is invalid.
    Thus I remain unconvinced that there is any whatsoever credibility in the asserted opinions of same.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  07/06/16  at  12:02 AM
  331. Well, Peter?  What say you?  Have you also been posting under the name of Glenda?  And Glenda, are you Peter?

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  07/06/16  at  07:12 AM
  332. #329, #330 Your focus should be on learning something useful from the Catalyst program that Peter mentioned in #325. You might learn something useful.

    Posted by Glenda  on  07/06/16  at  07:54 AM
  333. #331 Is Geelong the same as Adelaide? We do get the Women’s Weekly in Geelong! I first posted on this case in October last year when I read Mr Tim Ellis’ article. I have tertiary education in psychology so have been exposed to some aspects of visual perception and memory during my undergraduate days in Melb, but am not a scientist. What Dr Lozo is writing about with respect to contrast and its effect on how we perceive the lightness of an object’s colour is exactly what professors of psychology teach to undergraduate students about visual perception. Why you and your fellow Neill-Fraser supporters don’t wish to accept the known facts about human vision is of interest to behavioural psychologists who study the ‘mob mentality’.

    Glenda S.
    Geelong, Victoria

    Posted by Glenda  on  07/06/16  at  11:49 AM
  334. Glenda #328, #332 & #333

    Thanks for that. Good observation.

    I was actually initially misled by Geraldine’s post when I first started reading about this case in late March last year.


    In fact my very first post here (see #221) started with the following question:

    “Does anyone know the basis on which the Victoria Police Forensic Office (VPFO) concluded that the DNA was deposited directly onto the deck of the Four Winds by Ms Vass (the homeless girl)?”

     

    Garry Stannus responded by saying:


    “Peter Lozo (#221) appears to accept that the VPFO report concluded that “the DNA was deposited directly onto the deck of the Four Winds by the homeless girl)?””

     

    But Garry failed to inform me and the rest of the readers that Geraldine, via her post, misled the readers because she misquoted what Barbara Etter wrote on her own website. Good thing I later researched Barbara’s website.

     

    It is very interesting that Geraldine hasn’t corrected herself nor has anyone who wrote about MV’s DNA at that time (Eve Ash, Barbara Etter, Garry Stannus, Lynn Giddings, Rosemary, Steve, Andrew Urban,...)  pointed it out here, but the very same people (including Geraldine) have a tendency to pick out minor errors (spelling, grammar, etc) in the comments of other people who are perceived to be on the other side of the Neill-Fraser’s supporters.


    I also stated a year ago (in the same post):

    “I very much doubt that the science of DNA analysis has advanced to the stage where a forensic expert specialising in DNA analysis can to a sufficient level of confidence determine whether the transfer was primary or secondary.”


    The above statement is as valid now as it was then. The VPFSD report hasn’t provided anything of use but has fuelled a lot of activity and incorrect statements during late August 2015 by Neill-Fraser’s supporters. What Lynn Giddings submitted on various websites, at around that time following the 60 minutes program about Ms Vass and her DNA, reminds me very much of the public’s perception of Lyndy Chamberlain that was fuelled by silly journalists and an error from a forensic scientist. The public just couldn’t accept that a dingo took the baby. Neill-Fraser’s supporters just can’t accept the high likelihood that Ms Vass wasn’t responsible for leaving her DNA on the Four Winds yacht. Heck, they can’t even accept that the Four Winds dinghy was perceived to be a shade of grey by a majority of people who saw it and therefore they won’t accept the very strong possibility that it could have been the Four Winds dinghy that was spotted by Conde at 3:55 pm even though Sue Neill-Fraser conceded to the police that it could have been her on the yacht at 4 pm. I think that your statement about mob mentality is very relevant here.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/06/16  at  02:15 PM
  335. My preference has always been that people provide their full name and occupation. This may help the commentator, such as myself, to decide at what level to pitch an argument when responding to someone. It can also prevent problems such as when two people of the same first name make comments on the same thread. For example, several months ago I was asked whether I made a certain comment on Barbara Etter’s website about another case on which  I had already commented about under my full name but in contradiction to what another Peter stated after me (he didn’t provide his full name). 


    I also make sure that when I am making a strong scientific statement that then I sign off with my qualification after my name and the city where I live. That way the reader can google my name and verify my scientific credentials and the relevance of my scientific research experience to the subject I am commenting on. 


    #322 & #323 Steve on robotics and visual perception


    Whilst it is true that I have supervised and project managed robotics projects during the decade 1999-2009 (two at local universities in Adelaide and three within DSTO) I am actually South Australia’s (if not Australia’s) leading expert in the field of neural dynamics of visual perception and pattern/object recognition, and am still very active in theoretical and applied research in this field. What that means is that my research over the past 25 years has increasingly depended very much on the published experimental work of visual psyhophysicists, experimental  neuroscientists, as well on the theoretical and computational neuroscientists and their mathematical/computer models of various brain circuits (particularly that of Prof Stephen Grossberg, Boston University:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Grossberg; 

    http://cns.bu.edu/Profiles/Grossberg/).

    In fact, over the past 25 years I have extensively studied Prof Grossberg’s work and in the process have become the leading expert in this part of the world in the field of cortical circuits of visual perception and object recognition. Thus, my expertise is grounded in solid science and is very much about how biological visual systems (i.e. how the cortical neural circuits in the brain) work to perceive objects under different conditions. It just so happens that this knowledge led me to also lead research into the application of brain based models of object recognition to autonomously navigating robots (and other technological and engineering problems). So, in this instance I am using my expertise to explain perceptual misconceptions about the so called “The Grey Dinghy” issue.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/06/16  at  07:58 PM
  336. How a police officer could have boarded the Four Winds yacht via the starboard entrance gate directly from a police boat

     

    Please watch the 60 Minutes program  Justice Overboard Part 1: August 24 2014: 


    http://www.9jumpin.com.au/show/60minutes/stories/2014/august/justice-overboard/ 


    Pause the video clip at exactly 04:17. You will see a boat tethered on the starboard side of the Four Winds yacht at about the location of the starboard entrance gate. It is most probably a police boat.


    In my previous comments about my Chewing Gum Hypothesis of Secondary Transfer of DNA, I left it unanswered as to whether the person boarded the Four Winds yacht from a dinghy or a jetty. Now that I have found the most likely platform (the police boat) from which the yacht could have been boarded by at least one person via the starboard side I think we can narrow down the date if we could recognise the locality.


    Does anyone recognise the background land features, i.e. is this in Sandy Bay or further north near Goodwood?


    It is thus a real physical possibility that some people (police officers) from that boat boarded the Four Winds yacht via the starboard entrance gate and brought on-board MV’s DNA.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/06/16  at  04:01 PM
  337. Streuth, Peter (#336):  Your bran-new-fact (being boarded on the starboard side) has been there in the trial transcript all this time, and only now you have seen it?  So now you’ve noticed that Mr Balding took the policeman out to the Four Winds, and came alongside—to starboard—to let him get onto the yacht?  And what about SN-F’s evidence that she earlier moored her dinghy to the starboard side?  So she tramped MV’s chewy on as well? 

    The Four Winds was moored both at Goodwood and at Constitution Dock with its port side to the jetty/pier.  The DNA deposit—MV’s DNA deposit—was deposited on the starboard side, while the yacht was at Sandy Bay.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  08/06/16  at  07:47 PM
  338. Do you recognise the land features?

    If this is in Sandy Bay then it must be after the water was pumped out because the bow is well above the water level.  Therefore this is not when Mr Balding took a police officer to the partially submerged yacht early on the early morning of 27th.

    I would appreciate if you were to use a more respectful tone of language when communicating with me.

    If someone recognises the land features we can then approximately determine the time of day by the orientation of the boat and the direction of the sun.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  09/06/16  at  07:51 AM
  339. Further to my last post:


     Using the google satellite map and the background scene shown in the mentioned scene, I believe that the two houses shown in the top left part of the scene are 68 and 66 Napoleon St. The house at 68 (the left house) has a square looking frontage facing the river (as in the scene) whilst the house at 66 has a red roof (as in the scene). These is a pretty good match between the satellite image and the scene shown in the video footage.


    Therefore the Four Winds is at it mooring in Sandy Bay.

    As for the first police officer to board the yacht:


     Pg 476: “and we spoke to a gentleman and Constable Stockdale arranged to get a lift out there in his dinghy.”


    Other police officers (Marine Police) who arrived later that morning also boarded the yacht. This is when the boarding onto the Four Winds yacht might have been via the boat we can see tethered to the yacht. 


    259/20

    “In relation to the police officers that arrived with the forensics, with Constable Lawler, was skipper Craig Jackman.” This suggests that the Marine Police arrived on their own boat and that their boat is most probably the boat we see tethered to the starboard side of the Four Winds yacht.


    Thus, we potentially have the forensic people and several police officer boarding the yacht via its starboard entrance gate in Sandy Bay.


    From the shown perspective, the bow is sitting well above the water. When one compares this scene with other scenes of the same yacht, it does appear in this scene to be lower in water than in images taken before the 27th. Hence this scene was most likely shot before the water was pumped out.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  09/06/16  at  10:06 AM
  340. Cont..


    What we conclude so far is:

    1. Whether or not it was the Marine Police boat or Mr Balding’s boat we see in that scene at 04:17, we have video proof (and Mr Balding’s statement) that there was a suitable platform (a boat rather than a dinghy or a jetty) that was tethered to the starboard side of the Four Winds yacht next to its starboard entrance gate on the 27th Jan from which at least two people (a police officer and Mr Balding) would have boarded the Four Winds via its starboard entrance gate and thus could have brought MV’s DNA onto the deck.

    2. The Marine Police boat shown at 04:18 is much larger. We do not know from which side of the yacht the marine police officers and the forensics people boarded the yacht.

    3. This evidence thus increases the likelihood of MV’s DNA being brought on-board the Four Winds on the morning of 27th at Sandy Bay (rather than in the Constitution Dock or in Goodwood) by either a police officer, a forensic scientist or by Mr Balding.

    4. Based on the research by Garry Stannus, it is unlikely that the Four Winds was moored at its starboard side in the Consitutionn Dock or in Goodwood.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  09/06/16  at  12:48 PM
  341. Cont…

    It was written in #285:


    “having boarded the Four Winds, on the port side, having hopped left-footed or crawled on hands and knees across the superstructure from the port gateway to the starboard walkway, and there either got off or removed the chewy/saliva from the shoe, which according to Peter,..


     

    Now that I have identified a platform (a boat) from which a few people boarded the yacht via its starboard entrance gate; the date and location (Sandy Bay, 27th Jan); and a list of people (several police officers, forensics people, and Mr Balding) there is no need for the DNA to have been carried on-board by a person hopping left-footed or crawling on hands and knees across the superstructure from the port gateway to the starboard walkway!


    The orientation of the yacht with respect to the two houses on the Napoleon St, combined with the sunlight on the starboard side, suggests that the sun is shining from the west. Hence it is well after early morning, probably after midday.


    Had I not proposed the Chewing Gum Hypothesis of Secondary Transfer of DNA it most probably wouldn’t have been in our conscious awareness to actively search for and notice that there was a boat tethered on the starboard side of Four Winds several hours after Bob’s disappearance. However, this does not necessarily mean that therefore that is where and how MV’s DNA got on-board. There isn’t sufficient information available at this time to make a conclusion on this. What one can do is interview all those who boarded the Four Winds yacht via its starboard entrance gate and ascertain what they did as they stepped onto the deck and where in Hobart did they come from on that day and how. Some of the places where a freshly chewed and discarded chewing gum could be picked up is at petrol stations, footpaths next to shops, hotels, etc. One cannot even be certain that it was a chewing gum. But we have a good hypothesis.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  12/06/16  at  06:53 AM
  342. Glenda (#333):  it was a fair question that I asked of you, whether in fact you were or were not Peter writing under a pseudonym.  Such things have happened before on TT, and thank you for answering my question.  Steve (#329) had put the same question to Peter, yet even before his question I’d been wondering the same thing, due to both your and Peter’s near identical recent styles in layout and formatting (large spacing of paragraph breaks, use of both bold and italicised formatting for the same text etc.)  In my opinion, Peter ‘overdoes it’ with his bold formatting and it seems to me that in place of ‘THE SHOUTING’ that he once used to achieve with caps., he has found a newer version of The Shouting – Mark II with bold italics.

    Here’s a short response to your “Why you and your fellow Neill-Fraser supporters don’t wish to accept the known facts about human vision is of interest to behavioural psychologists who study the ‘mob mentality’.”

    Glenda, in your #328 you quoted Geraldine’s #31.  I presume that it was out of consideration for MV that you deleted MV’s full name from Geraldine’s comment and replaced it with “...”, rather than “[ ... ]”.  It’s a small point to make Glenda, but it would have been better if you’d use square brackets around the ellipsis.  That’s the convention used to inform the reader that some text is not displayed.  Furthermore, you did not include the last sentence from Geraldine’s #31 quote:  “See Analysis of Court transcripts etc.”  I wonder if you perhaps did not judge it important, however, that sentence enabled me to search beyond the now-no-longer operative link which was provided nearly two years ago by Geraldine. 

    Of course, I first checked the BEtter link that Geraldine (a good friend of mine) had supplied (with her #31) but, as mentioned, it no longer seems to work.  This could be for a number of reasons, the first one that comes to mind is that Barbara has rendered a number of links inactive so as not to place herself (/her client) in contempt of court, while the new appeal matter is in train/before the court – but that is only speculation on my part and probably as reliable as my next tip for the Melbourne Cup. 

    Or perhaps the link has been withdrawn because its text did not contain the words “more than likely” a three-word absence, which with respect, Glenda, you seem to be using to reflect on Geraldine’s – and mine too – trustworthiness.  It is in effect, a claim that Geraldine has ‘deleted’ these three words from her quote.  I’m not disputing that your “more than likely” version did exist, but I find it difficult to accept the premise/slur contained within your Can one trust [an] SN-F supporter who misquotes SN-F’s solicitor? conclusion.

    So, of course my short answer to your rhetorical question, is ‘Yes, I trust this particular person, Geraldine, and I trust her answer.’ Show me otherwise!  You quoted a variant text, without a citation or a link.  Was it from the same or from a similar source that you have quoted?  I went looking, as I’ve mentioned, however the link provided by Geraldine to a BEtter source is now inactive;  I did find the following [Here] (which, being a heading, was capitalised – nevertheless, I’ve put it into lower case with a dash of Caps and served in a tumbler of blockquote):

    Analysis of Supreme Court Trial, Court of Criminal Appeal Submissions and Decision and High Court Application for Special Leave to Appeal in Relation to the Homeless Girl’s DNA, Particularly the Crown Case, in Light of the Recent Expert Opinion that the Sample was Directly Deposited and not Transferred.


    /...

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  12/06/16  at  09:03 AM
  343. .../
    And while I’m at it, I should mention that many of us whom you seem to include amongst the set of SN-F supporters are in fact supporters of Justice for Tasmanians, and we think that the interests of all Tasmanians would have been better served had the trial of SN-F been conducted fairly. 

    A number of us, here on this thread and on companion threads, have made this point on various occasions.  I certainly have and I have tried to remain loyal, not to the mob and its mentality, but to informed truth, as much as I can discern it of it.  Please forgive a momentary digression inspired by your ‘mob mentality’ remark…

    “Odi profanum vulgus et arceo”... timeless words from Horace, some of whose songs I translated just on 50 years ago.  Loosely rendered: “I hate the common mob, and I avoid it”.  I found in his writings much richness, and some perennial truths.  Where he would construct a monument ‘more lasting than brass’ (i.e., his poems/carmina) I would follow, fashioning true things in my own – perhaps muddled – way, hoping somehow that I was following in his footsteps.

    In my own defence let me recall my #13 “I am concerned that the ‘there-is-no-evidence-to-support-the-secondary-transfer-of-DNA-hypothesis’ statement is being used to claim some sort of de facto proof that the DNA was deposited directly.” and my #93 in which I wrote:

    From the limited parts of the VicPolForensics report that are available to me, I feel that: 
    1 the report suggests that it is more likely that the DNA in question came from a primary rather than from a secondary deposit.  In other words, it is more likely than not that Meaghan Vass was actually on the yacht.
    2 the report does not exclude the possibility of secondary transfer.  In other words, in spite of (1), the report holds that it still could be true that Vass was not herself on the yacht even though her DNA was.
    3 Andrew Urban was not entitled to claim that the report confirmed that DNA found on the yacht was “of primary transfer in nature, contradicting the evidence she gave at trial saying she had never been on the boat.”
    4 the ‘SNF supporters camp’ has now lost some credibility.  If they were to release the report in its entirety, I would have an opportunity to ‘judge for myself’ whether Andrew’s ‘primary transfer’ claim is correct or not.
    In spite of this, and regardless of the primary or secondary nature of the DNA sample, I believe that the judge’s refusal to require Vass to return to the witness stand created a miscarriage of justice.

    That was my view in Oct 2014 and my present view is probably much the same.  I stress again that I have not ever seen the VPFSD Report so I don’t think I’ve ever felt able to make definitive pronouncements about it.  Sometimes when reading some of the comments on TT, I get the impression from the way they write, that others have seen it. (and here I’m not referring to Eve Ash, Barbara Etter, Bob Moles or Andrew Urban).  I will be very interested when the matter returns to court to see what further information we learn about that Report.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  12/06/16  at  09:06 AM
  344. Steve (#322):  Your “A witness’s eyes are connected to a human brain capable of making allowances for ambient conditions.” put the matter well.  One only has to look at the photo of the white Quicksilver dinghy to see the various shades of white created by the shadows.  Our eyes receive light from primary and secondary (reflected etc) sources, and based on our experiences, our brains interpret the incoming data and we see both difference and underlying uniformity, where they exist.  The Quicksilver is white, and we can assess ‘instinctively’ the variations of shade and sunlight on different parts of that dinghy. 

    We all know shadows and we don’t need to deconstruct a ‘context theory of perception’ to recognise how such shadows lessen our ability to discern colour.  Yet even so, for example, we know how shadows fall along straight lines, like a boundary line across a gully, indifferent of the surface.  So, on irregular surfaces, like the walls and deck of a Quicksilver dinghy, we ‘see’ the shadow for what it is … our brains do the job and we recognise that the dinghy is white, even while the shaded white surfaces appear in various tones.  We are practised in assessing/interpreting them.

    We also acknowledge Mr Conde’s long experience on the water.  We know how far 50m metres is, we’ve done the practical tests.  Yes, we can be tricked, by neighbouring colour, for example, and we can get things wrong, but even so, we can – and we do – get things right;  and amongst the contrived arguments raised by those who seek to contradict Mr Conde’s evidence, there appear to exist only a bunch of ‘might have been’, ‘could have been’ and ‘would have been’ speculations … conjectures … hypotheticals – that is, a number of rather flimsy foundations, if you ask me. 

    The lee-cloth seen by Mr Conde ‘could have been’ a shadow, we are told.  And that shadow ‘might have fallen’ across the bow of the dinghy and in any case it ‘would have been’ indistinguishable from the rest of the dark grey dinghy.  Let’s look at this ‘shadow across the bow’ shibboleth.  The alignment of the Four Winds was given in evidence by Mr Conde and by ‘P 36” as SE.  This is supported by the wind data for 3:55pm for that day (SSE) [Weather Underground:  Here] ] and also by the tidal information:  an incoming tide in a NW-SE aligned river estuary – [Here].
    /...

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  12/06/16  at  04:19 PM
  345. .../
    So at 3:55pm that day, the Four Winds was facing SE.  Where was the sun at that time?  That too can be easily answered:  from the point at which the Four Winds was anchored, the sun was at (a compass bearing of) 300 degrees, that is, between WNW and NW itself.  In other words, the sun was almost astern, some 15 degrees at most, to starboard of the stern.  Check it out at ‘SunCalc’ [Sun position:  Here].  The mast shadows were running forward, along the Four Winds deck – not at 90 degrees across its deck.

    And yet, what I’ve just written presumes that the sun was actually shining.  Yet we know from ‘Weather Underground’, that immediately before, during and after 3:55 pm on that day, the weather was ‘mostly cloudy’.  Not a light haze as has been suggested, not some conjectured weakened morning sun that ‘could’ still cast an afternoon shadow, but a ... mostly cloudy sky.  Here is the photo [Here] taken just after midday, of Sue Neill-Fraser by Bob Chappel’s sister on the day of Mr Chappel’s disappearance, some three and a half hours before Mr Conde’s advent.  According to one threadster, this photo was taken on the morning of that 2009 Australia Day.  That particular threadster then made

    an educated  projection from that photo to conclude that since it was a light cloud coverage that the condition wouldn’t have changed much by 4pm other than the position  of the sun  + wind).”

    Yep, there we have it … another one of those ‘would have/wouldn’t have’... speculations called an ‘educated projection’.
    /...

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  12/06/16  at  04:20 PM
  346. “I don’t have any more free time to address your (and Garry’s)  non-sense and naive arguments concerning visual perception and visual memory.”

    My word Peter, for someone without any free time, you certainly have been busy! Reading your comment, quoted above, lead me to wonder exactly what your objectives are? At no stage have I (or, I suspect, Garry) raised any argument against the basic premise of your “visual perception” hypothesis. A reasonably intelligent child of ten would be able to grasp the concept that colours appear darker in shade and that a white dinghy could appear grey under some light conditions.
    Your other contention that witnesses can be mistaken is also accepted. What I do not accept is the leap of faith that takes you from “this could happen” to “this did happen”. Misrepresenting an opponent’s argument is a common, and somewhat cheap, debating trick. As you were able to remain in school long enough to gain a Phd, I assume that you are of at least average intelligence and understanding, therefore I am forced to conclude that your continual misrepresentation of the issue is policy, not ignorance. Hence my confusion as to your objectives. The normal condition for a scientist is an open mind and a desire for truth.
    Moving on to your more recent contributions just increases my confusion. You’re back on to the chewing gum again? Some posts back, you carefully explained what happens when a piece of chewing gum is trodden on and how the saliva is splashed out in microscopic droplets. You even ask us to “take the word of a physicist..” Really? Chewing gum gets squashed flat when it’s trodden on? Again, a no brainer. Where this “good hypothesis” falls down is that it’s founded on exactly what?
    There is no evidence any chewing gum is involved, apart from your own suggestion. No evidence MV chewed gum. No explanation as to why, assuming she did chew gum, she’d have spat out a fresh and juicy piece, impregnated with saliva. No explanation as to how this juicy chewing gum remained on someone’s foot, in it’s pristine and juicy state, all the way from it’s source to the Four Winds. No explanation as to why the DNA could not have come directly from the obvious source.
    Your whole chewing gum hypothesis is unsupported speculation. The only evidence you have to base it on is the discovery of unexplained DNA, most likely primary source DNA, on the yacht. You have then embarked on the most classic example of ad-hoc speculation that I have seen in many a day.
    Again I have to wonder as to your objectives. Is it as simple as self aggrandisement? Perhaps you fancy a trip to Tassie as an expert witness? Seems a bit strange to me. Why does a scientist persist in such un-scientific speculation and then try to use “I’m a physicist” to put lipstick on the pig?

    Posted by Steve  on  12/06/16  at  06:00 PM
  347. ...You see, some threadsters appear to believe that if they preface their remarks with ... ‘In my expert opinion’, or ‘In my scientific analysis’ or ‘my careful scientific analysis’ or ‘rigorous examination’, ‘confidently’, ‘on scientific grounds’, ‘in my scientific view’ ... they insinuate an authority of the sort designed to outrank those who would present ‘inexpert’ yet valid arguments.  Not to put too fine a point on it, we’ve had a virtual conga-line of physicists and psychologists on these SN-F threads maintaining that ‘expert opinion’ should prevail over first-hand accounts such as those of Mr Conde.

    If anyone wishes to challenge my scientific arguments then I expect them to have a scientific background in the relevant area of science I am addressing.

    Sound familiar?  What about…

    I can confidently, on scientific grounds, rule out Meaghan from being on-board the yacht. (#184 [Here] )

    See how it works?  Don’t bother to specify the actual ‘scientific’ grounds, just ensure the word ‘scientific’ is included, and ‘confidently’ always goes down well…  My favourite amongst these is of course ‘rigorous’.  Just about your average scientist’s pet adjective, to be found in ‘all good science journal abstracts’.
    /...

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  13/06/16  at  01:46 PM
  348. .../
    Just in case the point needs further demonstration, let’s consider Peter’s #20 [ [Here] ]

    The only scientifically reasonable, impartial, intellectually honest, physically plausible and rational conclusion I reached…

    I would award that remark with a five star (∗∗∗∗∗) ‘Zinger’ rating.  And in passing, lest Roger (#253) should feel unacknowledged, I would award him with a very creditable four star Zinger (∗∗∗∗), for his

    There is more to Goodwood than the slip-yard.

    I tell you what, that bloody hypothetical chewy of Peter’s ‘s-been tramped all over the town: First at Montrose, or maybe it was New Town or maybe it was both, then it was tramped up to a no-such-address at Mt Nelson.  Then it hitched a boot-ride back down from the mountain … made it over to Sandy Bay and only then got ‘juicy-fruit’ squelched then tramped all across town to Goodwood mind you (or so a couple of us threadsters maintain), just to throw the fuzz off the scent, got aboard from the water side up at Goodwood but got straight back off – but ‘I didn’t inhale, your Honour’ – before disappearing into unknown parts.

    In all seriousness, we know the moment we get chewy on our boot.  The surface area of the DNA deposit on the deck of the Four Winds (210 by 260 mm) is far greater in size than that of the average chewy, squashed, squelched or not.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  13/06/16  at  01:48 PM
  349. “A reasonably intelligent child of ten would be able to grasp the concept that colours appear darker in shade and that a white dinghy could appear grey under some light conditions.” 

    Great - common sense finally arrives on the doorstep of Neill-Fraser supporters! Why did this common sense escape a PhD qualified legal identity (Dr Moles), Psychology graduate (Eve Ash), law and science graduate (Barbara Etter), a former Professor of Psychology (John Biggs), and a barrister (Neill Fraser’s trial attorney)?


    I am busy but will come back after the next directions hearing.

    Best wishes,
    P.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  13/06/16  at  05:19 PM
  350. 349; No problem Peter. I can relate to being busy, although you still seem to be going strong on the other thread.
    With regard to my quote which you took out of context, forgivable in the circumstances, I would suggest that the persons you mention didn’t make any mention as it’d be an exercise in pointing out the “bleeding obvious”.
    We are not talking about a photo or a momentary glance. Paul Conde puttered past, 50m away, and had ample opportunity to observe from a variety of angles.
    While you are on your sabbatical, I was wondering if you could turn your thoughts to the question of how SNF cleaned all the blood off the dinghy?

    Posted by Steve  on  15/06/16  at  08:07 AM
  351. Steve,


    The visual pattern of luminol reaction  is on my bucket list - next in line in fact. No time now. Please be patient until early Aug. I wrote the last few posts last night in such a hurry whilst my mind was elsewhere so no doubt there are typos and grammatical errors. I did read your comment many months ago from last year about how difficult it is to clean a dinghy - good comment. I spotted something of interest to me in that luminol photograph and will analyse and write about it in August.


    Until August,

    Peter

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  15/06/16  at  02:04 PM
  352. I wonder what colour Peter’s dinghy will be in August? 

    In September of last year Peter described the Quicksilver dinghy as (the caps are his, not mine) ... ” WHITE with LIGHT BLUE stripes”  Posted by Dr Peter Lozo on 18/09/15 at 09:38 PM - See more at: http://www.tasmaniantimes.com.au/index.php/article/tim-ellis-and-the-australian-womens-weekly-#sthash.bsWXJ8U8.dpuf [#106]

    Yet by May this year, the Quicksilver had become ... “As for the photo of the dinghy in the article: I would say that it is made of a pale grey material with grey and blue trim.
    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo on 08/05/16 at 08:05 AM”
    [#251, above; and view the photo referred to at [Here] ]

    But by August, maybe he’ll have it as black with black stripes…

    I like his glorious ‘sunshine before sunrise’ #308:

    The explanation ought to also extend to the other eyewitnesses who saw the Four Winds dinghy next to the Rowing Sheds on the 27th and perceived it to be grey in colour rather than white! Please do not ignore these important eyewitness statements about the Four Winds dinghy when viewed from a close range of less than 10 metres when there was some direct sunlight on the dinghy.
    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo on 31/05/16 at 01:48 AM

    I like it for both its misrepresentation of the actual evidence given by the relevant witnesses and for the fact that the evidence given Mr Baldwin (of a grey, then pale grey, then pale grey white, light grey, light’ish grey Quicksilver) was based on the following statement (CT 1028 10):

    At about 5:45am on the 27th January ’09 I arrived at the rowing club to take training.  When I arrived Mr Farmer, who is the father of one of the rowers, told me that when he arrived he had found an inflatable dinghy floating off Errol Flynn Beach which is the beach between the end of Marieville Esplanade and the rowing club.  I saw that the dinghy was tied to rocks beside the rowing club, it was grey with dark blue trim and had an outboard motor attached to the back.

    -No mention of Peter’s “direct sunlight on the dinghy” there…  It would have caused a scientific sensation had there been direct sunlight on the Quicksilver when he saw it tied to the rocks below the Rowing Club sheds.  You see, at 5:45 am on the 27th Jan 2009 the weather was partly cloudy/scattered clouds and more importantly it was in the pre-dawn period called ‘civil twilight’ - in other words it was 20 minutes before sunrise.  No direct sunlight at 5:45 a.m., Peter.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  18/06/16  at  06:20 PM
  353. #352

    1. See the photo of the Four Winds dinghy in a video clip where it is on its yacht. Plenty of sunlight. The blue stripes are light blue.This is the true colour of the dinghy: white with light blue strips on the tubes, grey and blue horizontal strips along the tubes. Thus White with Light Blue stripes. That is where I got the true colour of the dinghy from. Perhaps you didn’t see that photo!

    2. See it now in the photo of the dinghy you are referring to next to the rowing sheds. It looks different. The light blue stripes are now dark blue stripes. The dinghy is in general pale grey. Shadows indicate that the sun is out. There is some direct sunlight on the dinghy. It doesn’t necessarily mean that is exactly how it was when Mr Balding saw it initially nor did I indicate it to be so!

    3. The man who was in a direct physical contact with the dinghy at 2pm on 26th (and thus looked at it from less than an arm’s reach) didn’t refer it to being ‘white’ but ‘white-pale grey’.

    4. Accept it that it is mostly described as being a shade of grey, the actual brightness bring dependant on the illumination, reflectance, and any other source of direct/reflected/scattered light into the observer’s eye. Are you into something or do you have a psychological problem?

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  19/06/16  at  12:57 PM
  354. #353; “Are you into something or do you have a psychological problem?”

    Yep, that’s the scientific approach! I thought you had retired from TT until August, Peter?
    It doesn’t matter how much you spout on about different photos and light conditions and grey dinghies. Nothing you can present from a visual perception perspective is capable of proving that the sworn evidence given by Paul Conde is false.
    If we were discussing photos and snapshot images, you might be able to gain some traction but sworn evidence from an eye witness who had the dinghy in sight for a period of time has to be accepted.
    As I suggested before, I suspect you are getting too hung up on camera views. When I, somewhat facetiously, brought up the example of the galvanised pole I can see from my office window, mounted on a grey concrete block and with a grey rag around it, you suggested that I took a U Tube video so you could point out where I went wrong. In doing this, you entirely missed the point of my argument, in that there’s more to visual perception than the camera view. Even though the galvanised pole is weathered to almost the shade of the concrete and the rag is a similar shade, at 50m it’s very easy to tell them apart under virtually all light conditions. The exception being viewing directly into the sun, which, as per your hypothesis, everything looks much darker and blends. Move a little way off angle though, and all comes good again. Paul Conde did not view the dinghy from one angle only.

    Posted by Steve  on  19/06/16  at  05:34 PM
  355. (Commented challenged, reviewed, deleted)

    Posted by Roger  on  19/06/16  at  07:04 PM
  356. #355 Wow, Thank you Roger!

    I am extremely impressed with David’s comment 22 (copied below). How perfect!

    I thought to use it as my exit strategy from this thread. Being a scientific researcher of brain circuits related to visual perception, pattern/object recognition, learning, memory, and conscious awareness, it is my opinion that David’s view is right on the ball.

    Steve: I can’t be bothered with your last comment (brain science is my playing field ). If Neill-Fraser gets released then good for her.

    Best wishes,

    Peter

    “Our brains are ‘belief engines’ that employ associative learning to seek and find patterns.

    Superstition and belief in magic are thousands of year old, whereas science, with its ways to methodically investigate false positives is only a few hundred years old.

    The cognitive disconnect evolved in human brains pays attention to anecdotes because false positives - believing that there is a connection between A and B when there is not - usually have harmless consequences, whereas false negatives - believing that there is no connection between A and B when there is - can lead to quite serious consequences.

    It provides an explanation for why it’s relatively easy to persuade a gullible multitude that a well-indoctrinated imagination is a threat.

    Humanity is now beginning to realise the global consequences of obstinate cognition.”

    See more at: http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/comments/42329/#sthash.6EbXt9EB.yhZkcEA9.dpuf

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  19/06/16  at  08:05 PM
  357. #356: “brain science is my playing field”

    Peter, I thought you were a physicist? No wonder you seem confused!
    I’m not saying that physics and cognitive psychology should not travel together but they are unusual bed fellows?

    Posted by Steve  on  19/06/16  at  09:49 PM
  358. #353. I consider the final sentence of your post is unwarranted and offensive

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  20/06/16  at  10:31 AM
  359. For those who are amused by such things, it’s entertaining to note that I have now, on three separate occasions, ascribed comments made by Dr John to Dr Peter.
    Now I don’t necessarily recall exactly every comment I have made on TT but I’m quite sure that if I was credited with making a comment that was recently made by someone else, I’d notice that and immediately correct the record.
    It’s interesting that Dr Peter Lozo doesn’t notice when he is credited with a comment apparently written by someone else. To add to the above is the similarity in writing style, the convenient timing, the anonymity; it goes on and on.

    ...

    It’s worrying to contemplate that SNF has now been in prison for a considerable period of time, based on circumstantial evidence, but she doesn’t seem to have the same opportunity to address what has every appearance of being an extremely unjust situation.

    (anonymous comment edited)

    Posted by Steve  on  20/06/16  at  05:42 PM
  360. #359   Try again Steve. I do not appreciate the innuendo. If you do not cease with the innuendo I will ask the editor to delete your comment that I find offensive to my integrity.


    $357 As for Cognitive Psychology: try again here too! Cognitive Psychology doesn’t deal with neural circuits. Computational/Theoretical Neuroscience does. Computational Neuroscience is very mathematical and deals with mathematical models of neurons and neural circuits (and their implementation in software for the purpose of computer simulations to test the validity of the theory/model or to explain some neuroscience or psychophysical data). The purpose being to understand how the brain works at the neural circuit level.
    It does requires good skills in science, mathematics, circuit design, software implementation and simulation on a computer. A typical physicist is very well equipped in all of these prerequisite areas. I can replace ‘Perceptual Scientist’ to ‘Computational Neuroscientist’ or ‘Neuroengineering Scientist”, etc.


    Peter

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  21/06/16  at  01:06 PM
  361. #360; Peter, Sorry for the innuendo but just for the record, please could you confirm that you have never posted under any name other than your own.
    I will then be happy to take you at your word.

    With regard to cognitive psychology, thanks for explaining. I’m always happy to learn. Much of what you have been talking about revolves around memory which I would say is a cognitive process. I’m not sure that “computational neuroscience” would give you any great insights as to a witness’s view of a dinghy.

    Posted by Steve  on  21/06/16  at  02:19 PM
  362. #361, Steve, your request — “please could you confirm that you have never posted under any name other than your own” prompted a concern for me.

    You say you will “then be happy to take you at your word”.

    FYI — I am aware of the practice of some posters who write a comment then fwd it to another person to post under their name. Intermittently, I recognise the origin of the post by the formatting style and wording.

    For this record —I haven’t ever engaged in that practice. If I don’t have the courage to post under my own name, I don’t post at all.

    Thus, returning to your seeking confirmation, you might consider broadening your request.

    There is no innuendo in this comment. It is what it is.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  21/06/16  at  03:08 PM
  363. #361 Steve,

    1. I am not answerable to you nor do I need to confirm anything to you! My first paragraph in #360 is sufficiently clear on this issue.

    2. I read books, journal articles,have attended courses, seminars, conference (in Australia, UK, Canada and USA) watch youtube videos, etc in various brain sciences in general but am focused on the cortical neural circuits sub-serving  various aspects of vision.  By various brain sciences I mean: cognitive  science, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, physiology of behaviour, principles of neural science, cognitive neuroscience, Vision and Perception, Consciousness and the neural correlate of consciousness, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology,etc, etc.  During my initial first weeks on this case in April last year I got stuck into the DNA literature. During a 3 year period (on an ad hoc basis) in 2012-2015 I got stuck into pathology text (as part of another case I was researching). That is how research scientists work and do their job: continuous learning, analysing, hypothesising & theorising, experimenting, reporting  etc…

    3. I will continue to discuss the Neill-Fraser case in August - don’t wish get bogged down as I am pretty busy with some other work.

    Hope this helps.

    Best wishes,
    Peter

    PS; I you wish to read my scientific analysis of the Keogh case in Adelaide then please read my posts from  February 23, 2015 at 5:46 pm  to yesterday (I will be submitting more in the future; it is a very complex case - medically & scientifically). I have provided a totally different perspective compared to the dozen or so forensic pathologists who were involved over the 20 year period. Too many ‘hired guns’ got involved but all failed to notice what I noticed within the first few weeks of researching the case.


    http://clubtroppo.com.au/2010/12/13/taking-a-bath-can-be-dangerous/

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  21/06/16  at  04:51 PM
  364. #362 Mrs Allan,

    What you have done is to have seriously muisquoted Barbara Etter concerning the VPFSD report, thus misleading the readers including me but you haven’t yet publicly taken any responsibility for your error by first acknowledging that you made an error and then apologising for misleading the readers because of your error.

    Thus if you want to be righteous and fair then show us that you are fair, just and righteous.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  21/06/16  at  06:40 PM
  365. #362; I’m a simple soul Geraldine. Ultimately, if someone wishes to post under multiple identities, it’s no skin off my nose. In this instance, Dr Peter’s sycophants seem too good to be true, however I’d take his word for it on the matter.
    Judging from #363, Dr Peter’s assurance on this issue is not going to be forthcoming so I’m quite comfortable that my suspicions are confirmed.
    With regard to the broader question about anonymous posting, I’ve never made any secret that I consider that greater intellectual honesty and genuine discussion derives from those whose egos are left at the door. I would have no issue with someone in Dr Peter’s position who ran two identities; one correctly ascribed, to put forward points requiring the authority of his qualifications; and a second to put forth personal views.
    Such a scenario seems quite reasonable and I can’t see it invoking the ire of the editors, providing the two identities don’t play tag on the same thread.

    Posted by Steve  on  21/06/16  at  07:25 PM
  366. #365 Suspense, intrigue and mystery!

    Good thing I have contacts in other parts of the country! How else would I have been informed about some people’s comments on many different subjects (by Garry Stannus, and by another individual who posts under name “abs”).  I was directed to Garry’s latest post on a previously mentioned thread where he is questioning why a certain individual misquoted another individual. But he hasn’t bothered to do that sort of thing here with Geraldine and her misquotation of Barbara Etter. He and Geraldine are facebook friends!

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  21/06/16  at  09:46 PM
  367. No, Peter (#364):  Geraldine hasn’t “muisquoted” [sic] Barbara Etter ... For those who can ‘read between the tea-leaves’ I’d hoped my #342 had answered Glenda’s #328 suggestion that Geraldine had misquoted Barbara.  Glenda had noticed a discrepancy between Geraldine’s quote at #31 and a no-longer-available quote from Barbara.  To Glenda, this difference in the two quotes was sufficient to indicate that Geraldine had misquoted Barbara:  “Can one trust SN-F supporter who misquotes SN-F’s solicitor?”

    As for myself, I wondered whether Barbara had modified her own text/withdrawn it and I canvassed that question in my #342.  I think that scenario is quite more likely than that of Geraldine misquoting Barbara.  Such post-editing modifications (as I suggested) are now possible in this online world.  For those who doubt, I ask ‘Have they never seen challenged TT comments disappear into the ether, leaving other subsequent comments ‘high and dry’? 
    It’s a pity that we get to a stage where it is necessary to trawl back through past comments – one’s own included – to respond to an incoming.  In my opinion, Peter, you have not acknowledged that the discrepancy in the two quotes may well be because the original text was modified/withdrawn.  Splasho!

    Your charge, Peter, against Geraldine of having “seriously muisquoted Barbara Etter” [sic] is in my opinion shallow.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  21/06/16  at  10:49 PM
  368. Mr Stannus,

    Are you kidding? Geraldine made that comment soon after Barbara wrote it on her website in 2014! You were on this thread at that time but probably didn’t notice the misquotation or chose not to say anything about it. I was fooled by it for couple of days but then I checked with Barbara’s website. I spotted the misquotation immediately back in April last year but chose not to pursue Geraldine about it because I thought it to be a pedantic nit-picking exercise. But since Geraldine hadn’t acknowledged her error after Glenda brought it to her attention, but is nit-picking my statements from time to time, I decided to remind Geraldine about her own errors and habits (I am aware of her many issue with the legal system and her negative attitude to the former DPP).

    I also suggest that you modify your own nit-picking habit. See my comment to Ian Rist and to you on the other subject you are commenting on:


      http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/comments/42329/

    Ian Rist, Dr David  Obendorf and I have independently concluded the same thing about your inappropriate approach to comments on subjects you aren’t an expert in but are pedantically nit-picking on those who have a better scientific understanding of the subject they are commenting on.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  22/06/16  at  09:23 AM
  369. peter, not quite sure why you need “contacts in other parts of the country” to inform you of comments, when those comments are responses to your own comments on a thread that you are fully involved in?? seems a strange thing to say.

    btw, i ceased engaging in the charade of a ‘scientific’ debate on the other thread when those i was debating seemed more intent on giving opinions (or as Steve puts it, “playing tag)’ as to whether i was actually a phd in clin psych, rather than address the scientific evidence i presented on the detrimental effects of stress/distress upon working memory processes.

    Posted by abs  on  22/06/16  at  09:51 AM
  370. Quoting from #363
    “I am not answerable to you nor do I need to confirm anything to you!”
    Ditto. Soooo tiring.

    #364
    Repeating from an earlier comment, I am not under XXN.

    You falsely write that I “seriously misquoted [sic] Barbara Etter […] thus misleading the readers including me. […]”. Please refrain from publishing your expectation that I ought have publicly taken “responsibility for your error by first acknowledging that you made an error and then apologising for misleading the readers because of your error”.

    It seems you have been “fooled by” matters for more than a “couple of days”. FACT — there was no misquotation in the post to which you refer. What “Glenda” did and did not do is of insignificant interest to me, especially when I noticed at the outset she failed to “quote” (spell) my name correctly. Also noteworthy is — “Glenda” (whoever she is) took a loooong time to publish the edited wording to the quote, most particularly if it was noticed back in 2014. Seems both Peter & Glenda were both alert way back then, but remained silent. Me now nit-picking? No.

    I am “fair, just and righteous”, thus I justifiably expect you to be more careful with your publicly expressed supposition, innuendo and erroneous conclusions as they relate to me.

    Whilst suggesting you be more careful in your comments “as they relate to me”, especially your unjustifiable reminder to me— “about her own errors and habits”, the relevance of your clumsily expressed “… (I am aware of her many issue with the legal system and her negative attitude to the former DPP)” escapes me. Except, no, no, no, don’t explain.

    In spite of apparent Facebook and other trolling, any knowledge gained is ‘the tip of the iceberg’. Beware of drawing conclusions on scant information.

    Increasingly your comments appear to me as attack-dog in style rather than of an informative and readable contribution. Repeatedly, you say you are busy. Let it be so.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  22/06/16  at  12:11 PM
  371. This discussion article is titled: Sue Neill-Fraser: Two views of her guilt. Whilst retaining the integrity of debate, it is perfectly OK for persons holding opposing views to comment either way.

    Some opine guilty; others hold no view either way other than the processes before, during and after arrest and trial were unfair and unjust and at times indeed shocking, therefore the accused was not afforded justice. I am one of the latter.

    From transcript excerpts and various discussions that followed SN-F guilty conviction, my awareness has been alerted to the fact that “ad hominem” repeatedly rears its ugly head. It is alive and very, very well. These attack-tactics can be overt and/or more deviously casting doubt on character or individual attributes in order to raise suspicion or discredit. Assailants can undermine someone’s case without prominently engaging in argument.

    Attacking an opponent’s (good) character or personal traits in an attempt to undermine their argument/position, often triumphs. Groupthink stuff.  It happened during trial, and continues to happen, even in this discussion thread.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  22/06/16  at  01:18 PM
  372. Admit your error and apologise for misleading the readers Geraldine Allan rather than nit-picking on other people’s typos!

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  22/06/16  at  03:04 PM
  373. #372; As a scientist Peter, I’m sure you’re aware of the Law of Holes. May I suggest you stop digging? This is becoming farcical.

    Posted by Steve  on  22/06/16  at  06:16 PM
  374. Mr Peter Lozo, what has happened to your proposed sabbatical, you are now finding time to enter into personal disparagements in your ongoing commentary which in my estimation is not the conduct of a true professional.
    There may arise the prospect of persons hesitating in their reply to your many assertions and non-sought somewhat biased opinions.
    Thank you.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  22/06/16  at  08:03 PM
  375. The mysteriously vanishing blogs from the BEtter Consulting website


    As far as I am aware, two blogs on the Neill-Fraser case have vanished from the BEtter Consulting website - the very blogs that Barbara herself initiated.


    1.The first disappearing blog


    The first of Barbara Etter’s blogs to disappear into the ‘cyber junk bin’ is the blog concerning Sue’s Bunnings lie. The blog is referenced by Barbara in her own TT article “The So Called “Bunnings Lie” in the Sue Neill-Fraser Case”  of 6/8/13.

    See more at:

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/the-so-called-bunnings-lie-in-the-sue-neill-fraser-case#sthash.3tT1id9T.dpuf


    I noticed that the referenced blog disappeared within a few days of my  email to both Barbara Etter and Eve Ash  about their claim that shock and an intake of valium on 27th Jan had a detrimental effect on Sue’s memory of the day before. I stated something to the effect that shock and valium couldn’t have had an effect on retrograde memory (memory that was formed 12-24 hours earlier). 


    I don’t think I submitted a comment to that blog but within a day or two of my email, Barbara removed her blog. At around the same time, Eve Ash removed the “Dig Deeper” video clip that is referenced in the article. This video clip has since resurfaced but one now needs to know the password to see it!


    2. The second disappearing blog


    The second blog that disappeared from the BEtter Consulting website in the last 10 days or so concerns Barbara’s analysis of the various Court decisions on MV and her DNA in light of the forensic report from VPFSD that Barbara obtained in 2014. The blog was still available when I read Glenda’s comment #328 the next day or so on the now non-existing blog whose link was


     http://www.betterconsult.com.au/blog/an-analysis-of-the-supreme-court-trial-the-court-of-criminal-appeal-submissions-and-decision-and-the-high-court-application-in-relation-to-the-meaghan-vass-dna-sample/#sthash.Fsx7g7S2.dpuf

    This is what I posted on that blog in April last year (in response to Lynn Giddings’s comment of August 2014 which is shown below):

     

    Hello Lynne,

    1. It is highly unlikely that (the homeless girl) was onboard given that the only DNA sample was in one location and there is no collaborating DNA hair sample nor fingerprint matches.

    2. Imagine this scenario: 

       You spit out a chewing/bubble gum onto a footpath. Shortly later I step onto the chewing gum. The chewing gum sticks to the sole of my shoe without my knowledge. I then go into a shop and commit a crime without any witnesses and without leaving behind any of my own DNA or fingerprints or hair, etc. Forensic experts match your DNA to several places on the floor of the crime scene. You are charged with crime. What would you do? 


    3. Saliva in the chewing gum will leave behind a strong RFU DNA signature on the deck of a sailing boat.


    4. Don’t you now think that you went beyond reason when stating “she put it there herself”?

     


    This is what Lynn Giddings posted on 25/08/2014 (soon after Barbara Etter created that blog in August 2014):

     

    “Interesting that Sue Neill-Fraser had told Detective Constable Marissa Milazzo and Detective Senior Constable Sinnitt that she had been watched tying up her dinghy in the afternoon by a “Girl with dark hair” while “A guy on slipway” was nearby. On the day that Meaghan Vass walked into court, she had dark hair. Could it have been the same girl?  When the defence counsel cross-examined Detective Senior Constable Sinnitt, we learnt that, after forensic turned up a DNA ‘match’ for (the homeless girl), she had been residing at a women’s shelter and had requested to be elsewhere for the night of Australia Day 2009. She gave an address on Mount Nelson, overlooking Sandy Bay, for her sleep over. It is interesting that it is now known that her DNA was not transferred onto the yacht on someone else’s shoe; she put it there herself.”

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  22/06/16  at  08:14 PM
  376. ..... Continued  .....


    Also see comment #158 by Dr David Palmer (MD) at

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/tim-ellis-and-the-australian-womens-weekly-


    Thus we now have two mysteriously dissapearing blogs from the BEtter Consulting website!


    I am beginning to have doubts about the integrity of the former Integrity Commissioner. If she wanted to remove that last blog then surely she could have considered informing the contributors to that blog before deleting it. There were only two contributors (Lynn Giddings and Peter Lozo). Barbara has had email contact with me, as recently as a month ago on another matter, so could have had common courtesy in this instance to inform me what she was intending to do. Why bother submitting to her blog if she is then likely to delete the blog in the future if the case ends up going nowhere? 


    My guess is that the Giddings family was concerned about Lynn’s rather strong and inappropriate comment about (the homeless girl) and thus asked Barbara to delete the blog given my scientific analysis on the VPFSD report. Is it a coincidence that the blog got removed about the time Mr Rick Giddings (a former magistrate) got involved in on-line comments on 12 June on the parallel TT thread concerning Sue Neill-Fraser and the Australian Women’s Weekly?


    3. Conclusion

     

    Like I said many months ago but it is now becoming more obvious:


    • Susan Neill-Fraser and her imaginary lies got sunk by a 12.25 am ATM photo and a 3.08 am call from her landline! 


    • Susan Neill-Fraser’s conga of imaginative supporters got sunk by an Adelaide scientist and his musings about visual perception, DNA in a chewing gum, and the neuroscience of memory & grief.


    See #186 at

    http:tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/tim-ellis-and-the-australian-womens-weekly-#sthash.4Crg5qXz.dpuf

     

    Peter Lozo, BSc, PhD
    Adelaide, SA

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  22/06/16  at  08:18 PM
  377. The mysteriously vanishing blogs from the BEtter Consulting website


    As far as I am aware, two blogs on the Neill-Fraser case have vanished from the BEtter Consulting website - the very blogs that Barbara herself initiated.


    1.The first dissapearing blog


    The first of Barbara Etter’s blogs to dissapear into the ‘cyber junk bin’ is the blog concerning Sue’s Bunnings lie. The blog is referenced by Barbara in her own TT article “The So Called “Bunnings Lie” in the Sue Neill-Fraser Case”  of 6/8/13.

    See more at: 

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/the-so-called-bunnings-lie-in-the-sue-neill-fraser-case#sthash.3tT1id9T.dpuf


    I noticed that the referenced blog disappeared within a few days of my  email to both Barbara Etter and Eve Ash  about their claim that shock and an intake of valium on 27th Jan had a detrimental effect on Sue’s memory of the day before. I stated something to the effect that shock and valium couldn’t have had an effect on retrograde memory (memory that was formed 12-24 hours earlier). 


    I don’t think I submitted a comment to that blog but within a day or two of my email, Barbara removed her blog. At around the same time, Eve Ash removed the “Dig Deeper” video clip that is referenced in the article. This video clip has since resurfaced but one now needs to know the password to see it!


    2. The second dissapearing blog


    The second blog that dissapeared from the BEtter Consulting website in the last 10 days or so concerns Barbara’s analysis of the various Court decisions on MV and her DNA in light of the forensic report from VPFSD that Barbara obtained in 2014. The blog was still available when I read Glenda’s comment #328 the next day or so on the now non-existing blog whose link was


     http://www.betterconsult.com.au/blog/an-analysis-of-the-supreme-court-trial-the-court-of-criminal-appeal-submissions-and-decision-and-the-high-court-application-in-relation-to-the-meaghan-vass-dna-sample/#sthash.Fsx7g7S2.dpuf

    This is what I posted on that blog in April last year (in response to Lynn Giddings’s comment of August 2014 which is shown below):

     

    Hello Lynne,

    1. It is highly unlikely that Ms Vass was onboard given that the only DNA sample was in one location and there is no collaborating DNA hair sample nor fingerprint matches.

    2. Imagine this scenario: 

       You spit out a chewing/bubble gum onto a footpath. Shortly later I step onto the chewing gum. The chewing gum sticks to the sole of my shoe without my knowledge. I then go into a shop and commit a crime without any witnesses and without leaving behind any of my own DNA or fingerprints or hair, etc. Forensic experts match your DNA to several places on the floor of the crime scene. You are charged with crime. What would you do? 


    3. Saliva in the chewing gum will leave behind a strong RFU DNA signature on the deck of a sailing boat.


    4. Don’t you now think that you went beyond reason when stating “she put it there herself”?

     


    This is what Lynn Giddings posted on 25/08/2014 (soon after Barbara Etter created that blog in August 2014):

     

    “Interesting that Sue Neill-Fraser had told Detective Constable Marissa Milazzo and Detective Senior Constable Sinnitt that she had been watched tying up her dinghy in the afternoon by a “Girl with dark hair” while “A guy on slipway” was nearby. On the day that Meaghan Vass walked into court, she had dark hair. Could it have been the same girl?  When the defence counsel cross-examined Detective Senior Constable Sinnitt, we learnt that, after forensic turned up a DNA ‘match’ for Meaghan Vass, she had been residing at a women’s shelter and had requested to be elsewhere for the night of Australia Day 2009. She gave an address on Mount Nelson, overlooking Sandy Bay, for her sleep over. It is interesting that it is now known that her DNA was not transferred onto the yacht on someone else’s shoe; she put it there herself.”

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  23/06/16  at  06:03 AM
  378. ... Cont.

    Also see comment #158 by Dr David Palmer (MD) at

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/tim-ellis-and-the-australian-womens-weekly-


    Thus we now have two mysteriously disappearing blogs from the BEtter Consulting website!

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  23/06/16  at  06:05 AM
  379. #375 etc. Peter; you are just trolling. You have not established one fact yet you persist in claiming that you have brought some sort of insight to the discussion.

    Posted by Steve  on  23/06/16  at  07:04 AM
  380. Really Peter, you are literally swamping the thread with your comments.  I am trying to reply to those of your comments which are directed to me, but I do suggest that you give us all some screen space.  That is, the thread’s value as a forum for discussion is being debased when simply post after post after post seems to come from your keyboard.

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  23/06/16  at  07:35 AM
  381. Occasionally I scan through this thread, but really don’t usually have time to contribute. The main comment I’d make now is that the contributions by Dr Peter Lozo and many others, with their detailed observations and even “experiments” re. colour of dinghy, DNA in chewing gum etc,, surely show just how inadequate the original police investigation and court case were.  If the vital issues re. “evidence” can be hotly debated for years by intelligent citizens (including some who seem well qualified in relevant professional areas), shouldn’t there have been a lot more of that enquiry and experimentation brought to the court? eg:  Why weren’t jury members taken to the “Four Winds” to assess for themselves the layout of the yacht and its various areas and fittings, which were so important in the trial; the likelihood of Susan Neill-Fraser being able to haul the body on deck and into the dinghy? - or to learn more about the different possible perceptions of the colour of an object in various light conditions? (etc, etc)

    Posted by Sammi  on  23/06/16  at  11:32 AM
  382. #380; Garry, your decision, but I’d give serious consideration as to how much you feed Team Lozo.
    He has not added anything of value for some time now, preferring rather to attack other posters’s credibility. I see he’s now trying to revive his chewing gum theory which has about much credence as abduction by aliens.

    Posted by Steve  on  23/06/16  at  12:54 PM
  383. #373, #374, #379 & #380


    My contact at UTAS informs me to ignore you guys because there is a significant interest, at least in his professional and social circle in Hobart, in reading my input because

    “the SN-F support group has dominated the airways with their biased and narrow-minded view. Your input has provided a fresh and insightful opinion on a variety of important issues. We look forward to your further contribution”

    So you can expect more to come as I find spare few minutes to put something together. I can only assume that the readership of this case has increased in other parts of the country as well as result of my scientific analysis (the word spreads around via email very quickly, even overseas given the highly scientific nature of my analysis with respect to visual perception and memory).

    Mr Rick Giddings, for the first time, also got into this on-line discussion because of my varied input! I assume that the Editor of the Tasmanian Times is also very grateful for my voluminous input.

    Thus, there is a much bigger picture and attention on this case than your local view and focus.

    Cheers,
    Peter

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  23/06/16  at  01:29 PM
  384. #381 Sammi, well said.

    You highlight yet another failure and injustice of the SN-F Supreme Court trial, whereby jury members were not afforded an opportunity to sight the geography of the relevant site(s) and the on-board situation of the yacht, in order to satisfactorily comprehend the various challenges the accused would have (i) experienced and (ii) had to master alone, if she acted as the prosecution accused.

    In any major indictment and this was one, failure to afford jury members a reasonable opportunity to view the various scenes and/or situations is more than a stuff-up; it is an injustice to the accused and in my view burdensome to the jury — ultimately the decision-makers.

    My experience is — at the beginning of trial, all jury members accompanied by court sheriffs with instruction sheets, were transported as a group in a mini-bus, to the scenes that were to become relevant to the evidence to be presented.

    Photos as evidence are a most unsuitable substitute for visiting the various scenarios; impossible to gain a level of the reality of given situations, most especially complex ones, from a picture.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  23/06/16  at  01:55 PM
  385. #383; I amend my previous descriptive of farcical. This is becoming sad. Peter, stop digging!

    Posted by Steve  on  23/06/16  at  02:10 PM
  386. #385 — my description is annoying, boring and at times offensive.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  23/06/16  at  02:16 PM
  387. #386; Yes I can see how it could take you that way but I read stuff like “..the highly scientific nature of my analysis..” and picture someone sitting there typing that, possibly even believing it.

    Posted by Steve  on  23/06/16  at  02:30 PM
  388. #386

    I perfectly agree with your current description of yourself. Never mind, you can move out of that hole and take a brighter look at the life and overcome the grief of your past.

    Best wishes,
    Peter

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  23/06/16  at  02:38 PM
  389. ......


    To those interested in a non-mathematical seminar on the neuroscience of visual perception (cortical circuits and mechanisms of visual perception) with an application to this case, please see #4

    http://www.tasmaniantimes.com.au/index.php/article/i-would-be-delighted-to-take-a-trip-to-hobart-

    Cheers,
    Peter

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  23/06/16  at  03:17 PM
  390. #381 Sammi


    You have made some good points. I don’t have much time at the present but I do agree with you that the prosecution should have given the jury and the judge an opportunity to:


    (i) see how a person can be winched up the stairs and into a dinghy;


    (ii) see what the Four Winds dinghy looks like under the similar viewing conditions as that faced by Paul Conde and the others.  I have previously suggested this sometime last year. It was very naive in the Court to show Conde a photo of the Four Winds dinghy taken from a close range with some sunlight on the dinghy and ask him whether that is the same dinghy he saw briefly 18+ months earlier from a longer distance and very different environmental conditions:


    - overcast day

    - very choppy water

    -  the direct line of sight between the dinghy and the location of the sun obstructed by the yacht

    - diffuse sunlight due to cloudy conditions

    - Conde looking in the general direction of the sun, thus his vision being affected by the glare, both from the direct sunlight through the cloud and the reflected/scattered light from the water.


    This is a significantly different condition to that under which the close range photo of the Four Winds dinghy was taken. Plus, his memory wouldn’t have been reliable either. I have previously stated why I believe that he couldn’t have perceived a dark grey lee-cloth on a dark grey dinghy and that this was most probably an erroneously reconstructed memory based on his own understanding that a lee-cloth would protect a dinghy from water over-flow in choppy conditions.


    See my #214 (15th April 2015) at: 


    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/comments/34482/#sthash.6XXsJo8A.dpuf


    (ix) It would gave been far more productive for the Court to have taken the jury out to the river and presented them with the same scenario as described by Conde (using the Four Winds dinghy and the Four Winds yacht in the same same relative positions as reported by Conde).


    However, I don’t see that any of the above would have changed the jury’s decision on Sue’s guilt. But it would have helped Neill-Fraser’s family & friends to better appreciate the technicalities of the case.


    I attribute the unrest in the Neill-Fraser’s case mainly to Eve Ash’s Shadow of Doubt documentary as well as to the over-interpretation of the significance of the VPFSD forensic report by Barbara Etter, Eve Ash, Dr Bob Moles and Andrew Urban (you can read my own analysis of that report on my earlier comments on this thread).

     

    My next comment will in fact be about my recommendation to what Shadow of Doubt II ought to include. I briefly touched on this elsewhere.


    Cheers,
    Peter

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  23/06/16  at  08:52 PM
  391. Steve (#382):  as I see it, Peter’s contribution to the discussion has been to posit some unlikely-yet-theoretically-possible scenarios.  ‘Unlikely’ perhaps is not the best word to describe his lee-cloth-was-a-shadow and his MV’s-DNA-was-transferred by chewing gum on the shoe/boot of a third party.  ‘Unrealistic’  is possibly a better adjective, implausible also comes to mind.  Then we get the débâcle resulting from Peter’s rejection of SN-F’s forgetfulness of her movements while wanting to dismiss Mr Conde’s ability to remember what he saw from 50 metres.  Steve, you conducted your own ‘looking out my window’ experiment and of course so did I.  Mine were repeated in a number of situations, weather conditions and hours of the day.  I’ve just recently added two more pix to my Facebook page, which indicate that one can distinguish ‘grey on grey’ from a distance of 50m.  I was surprised to see that at 50m not only could I see the ‘grey on grey’, but I could read the number on the ute’s registration plate.  In the photo, I’ve smudged it for the privacy of the owner.  [ please fellow readers, see my 6pix at https://www.facebook.com/garry.stannus

    Now it seems that Peter has not yet run out of breath, is splashing around in the water and swamping us all with his comment after comment after comment. And as his mistakes accumulate, so too does his temper rise.  You saw his entry onto the fox thread just to deliver me a gratuitous backhander.  You may also have seen that he has been checking out my Facebook friends and publicly (here on TT) commenting on one of them, and demanding an apology for what he imagines was a misquote.  Now he has again switched his attack, this time to Barbara Etter, because she has had the temerity to remove two of her posts from her blog.

    Looking to the future, I am very interested in the new legal appeal case that has been commenced.  Of course I’m looking forward to see the actual Vic Police Forensic Services Department report in toto, if that will be possible.  Also I understand that (since the trial) there is some other new material now available and so I wish Barbara and the SN-F team good luck with their preparations and with the conduct of the case when it returns to Court.  I want to know that justice will have finally been done, as unfortunately I believe a miscarriage of justice occurred when then justice Blow declined to have MV brought back to explain her whereabouts on that afternoon & night, when after giving her evidence it was then learned that there was no such address as that which she’d given as being at.  The MoJ is more pointed given that following on from that revelation, Mr Gunson had also unsuccessfully asked for Mr Grosser (the DNA expert) to be recalled to give further evidence/opinion relating to MV and her DNA on the Four Winds.  He was knocked back on both counts, yet at the requests of Mr Ellis, it was OK for Mr Triffitt to be recalled, then for Mr Balding to be recalled, just to say that the Four Winds dinghy (that he saw on the rocks 20 minutes before dawn) was ‘light grey’.

    I look forward to the return to Court.

    Posted by Garry Stannus: garrystannus@hotmail.com  on  25/06/16  at  12:23 PM
  392. #391

    My last sentence directed specifically at to you Mr Stannus is the very first sentence in #195 

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/tim-ellis-and-the-australian-womens-weekly-#sthash.bgqxdDD4.dpuf


    Best wishes,
    Peter

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  25/06/16  at  05:48 PM
  393. The truth behind the ‘dissapearing and full of errors’ Good Weekend article “The murder that divided Tasmania”

    See the TT article  “SMH pulls Neill-Fraser article, apologises to Tim Ellis”

    by Ben Lohberger at:

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/SMH-pulls-Neill-Fraser-article-apologises-to-Tim-Ellis/#sthash.Ew9mXVMz.dpuf

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  14/07/16  at  01:55 AM
  394. To all:


    All of you are well aware of Dr Moles’ and my opinion on the Neill-Fraser case. Most of you also seem to be aware of Dr Moles’ opinion on the Keogh case. A friend of mine (Jules Blair) and I have recently posted many facebook comments to Ch 7’s Sunday Night facebook about their recent program on the Keogh case. Rather than referring you to those many posts I refer you to:


    1. Facebook page of Jules Blair. She commented about the life insurance policies on her facebook.


    2. My own facebook page. I posted a number of scientific comments (the most recent earlier today).


    I will be updating my facebook page with more forensic evidence that I discovered during my 3 year ad hoc investigation (2012 - 2014), some of which relates to the geometry of the bathroom and the size, shape and the profile of the various bathtub surfaces. Suffice it to say, none of the many pathologists (on both sides of the case), nor the SaPol, bothered to study the bathtub and have missed out on recognising the features that are embedded in the 7 bruises on the deceased’s right shin.

    Cheers,
    Peter Lozo
    Adelaide

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  21/07/16  at  03:45 PM
  395. Further to my #394:

    The links to the two previously mentioned facebook pages are:

    Peter Lozo

    https://m.facebook.com/public/Peter-Lozo

    Click on the first listed Peter Lozo (the sunset).

    Jules Blair

    https://m.facebook.com/graphsearch/str/jules+blair+adelaide/keywords_top?tsid=0.6053734908346087&source=typeahead

    Cheers,
    Peter

    Ps: I won’t be engaging in any discussion on this case via this forum. The purpose of inviting you read the above two referenced facebook pages is to give you a more balanced understanding of the case (and what I believe would have been the Crown case had the trial proceeded).

    Pps: I won’t be requesting nor accepting any friends to my facebook for the time being as I like to keep it specifically for scientific purposes.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  22/07/16  at  04:36 AM
  396. #12 Ben says homeless girl does not ‘remember’ being on the yacht. An odd answer. She either does not wish to remember or she goes on to so many boats she can’t keep track
    #74 Rachel. It is the Warmist Alarmists that use selective bits of information. Sue’s supporters like CC sceptics are asking where is the evidence.
    #348 Garry says DNA about 25mm. Why so much discussion about gum. The DNA is obviously snot or phlegm.
    #53 Sammy says mistakes were made
    #58 Moles claims to have found 40 mistakes
    Folks it goes like this and remember it is my opinion.
    There were no mistakes. It is the police modus operandi. Sue was nominated as the guilty person. Every thing the police followed up on was to support that view. Sue in gaol proves that view. Are you with me. Very difficult for Sue to prove her innocence. The bulk of the talk is wasted. Irrespective whether there was blood or luminol in the dinghy it still has to be proven who used the four winds dinghy for the kill or even if it was that dinghy.
    This case like many others is circumstantial and built on a hypothesis rather than evidence, I believe.
    I believe that a 55 year old woman or any woman for that matter would not choose such a physical method to kill someone. If it is murder then his is a guy crime.
    The justice system is completely broken and needs to be rebuilt and only the politicians can do that. Andrew Wilkie may be a good place to start certainly for Sue’s supporters. They have to apply the pressure

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  26/07/16  at  02:15 AM
  397. #396. Thank you Brian for your rationale in the SN-F case ...
    I was of the understanding that the subject matter was more to question the case and its proceedings, rather than to try for a whole new set of hypotheticals.

    (edited)

    Posted by William Boeder  on  26/07/16  at  10:32 AM
  398. #397 Questioning the case and its proceedings is one thing which could get Sue out on a technicality which is not the ideal result.
    The police and prosecution have not proven their case, in my view. Guilty or not Sue should not have been found guilty. The only way Sue can now get out is,
    1) Prove her innocence
    2) A technicality
    Sue should not have to prove her innocence after the police have not proven their case, in my view.
    Getting out on a technicality does not clear her name.
    Sue has to be cleared to receive compensation.
    I believe Sue to be innocent and certainly innocent until proven guilty
    I believe Bob Moles got Keogh out on a technicality without clearing his name which while it is good to be free is somehow less than satisfactory.
    If only the police had gone after the dark grey shabby dinghy. The one that was seen.
    I would like to see Andrew Wilkie come off the sideline, roll up his sleeves and get involved.
    The whole justice system has to be rebuilt

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  26/07/16  at  01:50 PM
  399. Greetings All!  I’ve just read “Jail Birds: Australian Women Doing Crime” by Robin Bowles which has a substantial chapter on the Chappell/Fraser case, up to late last year.

    Interested to know if others on this thread have read it, and if so what are your thoughts on the way the case is presented by the author? (NB - I’m not promoting the book as such.

    You may be able to borrow it from the State Library, but if it’s not there you can ask if it can be made available.)

    Posted by AS  on  26/07/16  at  03:08 PM
  400. Thank you, AS at #399:  The State Library has about 5 copies, all of which are on loan at the moment, with hold requests made already by other patrons.  There’ll be a bit of a wait, I expect.  Maybe I might go and look for it in a bookshop.

    Posted by garrystannus@hotmail.com  on  26/07/16  at  06:36 PM
  401. #399 While folks are organising copies of the book could you please in the meantime give us your thoughts on the Sue/Chappell section.

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  26/07/16  at  08:31 PM
  402. Hi Guys
    What about all Sue’s supporters and those wishing to see an improvement in the Justice System phone or email Andrew Wilkie so as to kick the case along

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  28/07/16  at  09:55 AM
  403. Brian, I must advise you that any judicial disconformity in this State that might finger the Department of Justice in Tasmania, ‘will be met with fierce resistance.’
    The higher echelon people ... will strongly defy any prospect of a release for SN-F.
    (edited)

    Posted by William Boeder  on  28/07/16  at  12:55 PM
  404. #403 I hear what you say. The politicians are the most potent force to bring about change. An alternative could be a civil case, it would of course need to be funded (Think O J Simpson). It is disappointing that such a large part of the legal profession know there is a problem but do nothing. The few that try to bring about change are out gunned.

    Getting Sue out is just the beginning. It should have been all sorted after Lindy Chamberlain.
    Talking to someone from the NT, they even know which dingo.

    A member of parliament is elected to represent people and if those people demand change the MP has to act. The people have to put pressure on MP’s hence my suggestion to apply pressure to Andrew Wilkie and any other Tasmanian MP

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  28/07/16  at  03:46 PM
  405. #404. Brian you have just nailed it, there is no minister in the Lib/Lab parties that give a hoot about a mainstream person.

    I have had experiences with a number of Tasmania’s elitist law practitioners that has proven to me that justice or even honest transparent dealings are only available dependent upon the depth one’s cash reserves.
    Justice in Tasmania must be purchased.
    By the way the same applies to the High Court of
    Australia more so each time they issue a decision in favour of Australia’s Big Banks.
    The latest case is that which challenged the ANZ Bank’s right to impose exorbitant fees and charges for mere simple keyboard functions.

    A prior decision on a similar case went against the National Australia Bank, (cost them millions)this recent ANZ case was ‘reversed’ on appeal from the ANZ with the aid of their busload of QC’s, big money is the only way that can allow today’s Banks ‘off the hook’ for their excesses, maladministration’s, breaches etc.

    As of 1st July 2016 new amendments to the statutes of the ASIC regulator will have them less effective in holding Australia’s Big Bank’s to account for their greed excesses.
    Our dear Liberal Attorney General has the casting vote to prevent an action against any Australian Bank.
    This of course applies here in Tasmania as well.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  28/07/16  at  05:13 PM
  406. Yes - politicians need to be involved in making changes to the regulations and laws that allow miscarriages of justice to occur.  However, even if Andrew Wilkie is concerned about the chance that an MoJ has happened in the Sue N-F case, he is a member of the FEDERAL parliament, whereas the State Government is responsible for this area. That’s where efforts need to be directed if it’s obvious that the current state system is likely to result in the incarceration of innocent people.

    The push at a Federal level should be for the establishment of a national Commission to review criminal cases where an MoJ may have occurred in any state.

    Posted by AS  on  04/08/16  at  08:15 AM
  407. Just read Robin Bowles comments on-line. The following is not word for word though close.
    1)Sue did not exercise her right to silence.
    2)Sue did not shut up.
    3)The police had nothing. No motive, no weapon, no cause of death, nothing.
    4)The more she spoke the more she helped the police.
    5)Key weakness (in my view)  was the way a hypothetical scenario was presented as fact.
    6)Robin did not have a strong opinion either way.
    7)The jury makes a decision on information given.
    8)Anyone being convicted on circumstantial evidence, it has to be watertight.

    There you have it folks. All points that we know and are very familiar with.

    I found 7 intriguing. By very nature circumstantial cannot be watertight. proof is watertight.

    For those that are interested, I spoke with a prosecutor a couple of years ago. The person said.
    “I have won all my cases” I quizzed about circumstantial. Reply. “Circumstantial is good enough in Australia”. I almost choked.

    The police are supposed to be guardians of truth and justice and protectors of the people. I believe they took full advantage of Sue’s naivety and belief in the police.

    I believe they encouraged Sue to speak on and on .
    I believe they trapped her.

    In America the police have to read a person their rights to remain silent.
    It should happen here.

    I realise Andrew Wilkie is a Senator. That does not excuse him from assisting Sue or improving the system.

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  04/08/16  at  06:47 PM
  408. #407. Thanks for that useful summary, Brian. From my quick reading some time ago, it seems fairly accurate. I’m wondering if anyone else who’s read the book recently has identified anything I might have missed in the way of inaccuracies or inconsistencies in Robin Bowles’ version of events.

    Something interesting I recall is that she said her mother used to live (alone) next to Bob Chappell in West Hobart and that when her mother fell in the garden and couldn’t move, it was Bob who found her, and most probably saved her life. That’s Hobart for you!

    Re. Andrew Wilkie - my understanding is that he has been lobbied heavily by some in his electorate who are very happy to see (and keep) Susan behind bars, but despite that has assessed the case himself to the point where he’s not saying she’s innocent, but that there were definitely problems with the conduct of the case and is very concerned that there could have been a serious miscarriage of justice - and of course he’s spoken publicly to that effect.

    Presumably (apart from just having come through the election) he’s waiting on the result of the new appeal being prepared by Susan’s lawyers, as it seems there’s nothing much more that can be done either legally or politically on this particular case until that’s over, and there’s also a danger of being “in contempt of court”.  However, there’s no reason in the meantime not to raise the issue to an over-arching national level and lobby for a Criminal Cases Review body, similar to that in the UK, which has led to many MoJ victims being exonerated.

    Posted by AS  on  05/08/16  at  07:45 AM
  409. #408 People have lobbied Andrew Wilkie to keep Sue locked up? I believe you the problem is these people have no evidence, just a hunch.

    I war reading on a NZ case recently - Maybe David Bain - The judge disallowed certain ‘evidence’ because it was hearsay.

    ...

    I wonder if without Triffett’s story whether Sue would have gone to gaol. (Comment challenged and deleted)

    (edited)

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  05/08/16  at  09:33 AM
  410. Mr Editor
    The edit and rewriting of my #409 was substantial.
    What did I write that was so potentially libellous?
    I know I tell the story in a particularly graphic and riveting way. I also strive to remain on safe grounds. I like a direct style. I try to make it interesting. No superfluous script which can become tedious.

    I ponder over the Keogh case. I can’t help thinking “Keogh may be guilty” which causes me to contemplate “Did Bob Moles screw up”. I consider Moles may have got Keogh out on a technicality only.
    Are you able to share any thoughts?
    Is there a comment page somewhere?

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  06/08/16  at  10:09 AM
  411. .....

    @WilkieMP @LaraGiddings On technical and scientific misconceptions in the SN-F camp: see comment #1 tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/pr-…


    https://mobile.twitter.com/PeterLozo/status/807375438590771201?p=v

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  10/12/16  at  08:04 PM
  412. ......


    @WilkieMP @LaraGiddings Demystification of Bob Chappell’s disappearance - see #578 (and many more)tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/arti…


    https://mobile.twitter.com/PeterLozo/status/807371974385090560?p=v

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  10/12/16  at  08:07 PM
  413. .......

    @don_fallen @betterconsult @eveash Neill-Fraser created a decoy (people around a fire) following the Police media release of 11 March 2009.


    https://mobile.twitter.com/PeterLozo/status/807167819120902144?p=v

    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2009-03-11/police-contacted-again-over-missing-yachtie/1614906

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  10/12/16  at  08:17 PM
  414. ...... 


    @don_fallen Neill-Fraser lied to Bob’s sister. Why would she therefore not lie to @eveash @betterconsult and all her other supporters? 


    https://mobile.twitter.com/PeterLozo/status/807176282555314177?p=v 


    ...........................


    Sequence of events:


    1. 5th March: Sue’s daughters shown the ATM photo;


    2. 8th or 10th March: Sue has a phone conversation with Bob’s sister; said she drove down to river then drove back home;


    ****************   new evidence  emerges     *******
    3. 11th March : Police media release about a dinghy spotted late at night;
    ****************   new evidence  emerges    *******

    4. 13th March: Sue speaks to the radio reporter; says she drove down to the river then drove back home; mentions that she saw homeless people with fires while down there.


    5. 23 March : Sue has a phone conversation with Bob’s sister; said she drove down to the river, left her car there and then walked back home.


    6. 5th May: Police interview Sue; Sue said she walked to the river to pick up her car from there but on arriving there she found she had farm keys and not the car keys and had to walk back to Allison Street to collect them and return once again to the car. Sometime later she drove home.


     

    See more at #578


    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/tim-ellis-and-the-australian-womens-weekly-

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  10/12/16  at  08:39 PM
  415. In memory of Robert (Bob) Adrian Chappell (1943–2009)


    Having reached as far as I could on this case I now like to say a few words about the man whose disappearance I researched via these pages. Bob’s obituary can be downloaded from the internet by googling Robert Adrian Chappell obituary.


    The one thing that Bob and I had in common was the love for science, particularly physics. On that note, here  I copy few sections from the obituary about Bob’s professional and private life:


    Bob “had a particular interest and ability in mathematics and science.”

    “He studied physics as a major in his Bachelor of Science Degree with Honours at Melbourne University.”

    “Bob joined the Department of Physical Sciences at Peter MacCallum Clinic, Melbourne in 1969 and in 1970 took the opportunity to accept a position as Medical Physicist to the then Peter MacCallum Clinic Tasmanian Service Hobart, which was later to become W.P. Holman Clinic. He remained there until his death in January 2009 where he was the longest serving staff member. Bob will be fondly remembered as the fabric of the clinic, having overseen the evolution of a sophisticated service from the installation of the Clinic’s first linear accelerator to its present state with two multi-mode accelerators and having taken a pivotal role in the introduction of the Clinic’s IMRT programme.”


    “Bob was a sole physicist for much of his career and developed a good working relationship with the radiation therapists. He was collegiate and his extensive knowledge was respected and valued.”


    “Bob had a dry, wry, cynical sense of humour which was appreciated by all. Bob was not just a scientist, he was extremely well read in all facets of literature, and he enjoyed cooking and was a very genial host. Bob was the original West Hobart foodie seeking quality olive oil far before the rest of us had gone past cooking in lard. When his family were young, he gained great satisfaction from taking his children fishing and exploring the islands and coves of Coles Bay. He also taught himself and his children to sail dinghies and to windsurf. In recent years he enjoyed entertaining his extended family, including one son, two daughters and six young grandchildren.”

    “He was a gentleman, in the true sense of the world, utterly straightforward in his dealings with others in professional life and dedicated to doing his job to the highest standards.”


    As I reflect back over the past 18 or so months during which I researched Bob’s disappearance I am reminded of a brief video someone posted during a rather intense debate late last year. I think that Bob would have found the story amusing. 

     

    RIP Bob Chappell.

     

    From a fellow physicist.

     

    https://youtu.be/24cxpSIiPF4

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  10/12/16  at  11:23 PM
  416. Right now it sounds like Drupal is the preferred blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

    Ed: Wordpress ...!x

    Posted by Freddy  on  06/01/17  at  01:43 PM
  417. Can anyone assist

    I have been doing a bit of digging around

    At the time of Bob’s disappearance there was a catamaran in Tasmania

    There was a large drug bust of the Queensland coast and a catamaran was involved

    Is this a coincidence or is there a connection?

    My mind keeps coming back to a case in New Zealand

    Why was Bob’s body not just left on the yacht

    Was Bob taken away alive

    Can anyone assist with any information about the catamarans?

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  18/01/17  at  10:38 AM
  418. A boat tethered to Four Winds yacht


    Further to my posts #339, #340 and #341:


    Several people (police officers and the Sandy Bay Rowing Club coach) boarded Four Winds via its starboard entrance gate from the pictured boat on the morning of 27th Jan 2009. Anyone of them could have transferred MV’s DNA onto the walkway of the yacht next to the entrance gate via a substance on the bottom of their shoe which contained the DNA.


    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=652589364944466&id=100005802249120

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  25/07/17  at  01:42 PM
  419. #418 What are you talking about? This DNA has received a fair thrashing

    Now lets reconsider: Policeman walking around say, the wharf and steps in DNA. He then boards police boat and while shuffling his feet is taken to Four Winds
    By the time this officer steps onto the yacht the DNA on his shoe would have deteriorated

    The blob of DNA was substantial

    The officer who has been walking around with this blob on his shoe successfully deposited a substantial blob and only one blob

    No successive blobs while walking
    No deterioration in blobs as he walks

    #418 You want to believe Sue is guilty. ...

    Try being objective

    (edited)

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  25/07/17  at  05:11 PM
  420. #419, Oh Brian, I admire your tenacity, but deary me, why do you bother with a lone poster wearing blinkers?

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  25/07/17  at  05:43 PM
  421. “Neill-Fraser evidence hype fails to deliver”


    “CHANNEL Seven’s Sunday Night investigation of the Susan Neill-Fraser case promised “explosive new evidence” but, as is so often the case with television programs, the content failed to measure up to the hype.”


    http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/neillfraser-evidence-hype-fails-to-deliver/news-story/bc7f2f6aa6dd8f8e596d69b14f8fa323

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  25/07/17  at  11:04 PM
  422. #420 Geraldine. Could you please expand on your comment I must have missed something

    Are you for guilty or innocent

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  26/07/17  at  08:04 AM
  423. #Brian, in my attempt @ brevity and avoiding involvement in the long tedious discussion herein, I may have misled you. I genuinely do applaud you and your patience in continuing to discuss a circular argument, hence my observation of your “tenacity”. I was not having a shot at you.

    Hopefully when I write that I stand for a fair trial, that sufficiently answers your question, “Are you for guilty or innocent?”. I am sufficiently uninformed/unskilled to opine either “guilty or innocent”, as are I suggest most if not all, citizens.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  26/07/17  at  01:58 PM
  424. #Geraldine. I don’t for one minute believe Sue’s case is the first miscarriage of justice since Lindy Chamberlain. I believe there has been a string of them. The same, excuse me, bullshit is going on in New Zealand. Bob Moles 1% figure is I believe total rubbish.
    Moles got Keogh out on a technicality. I am inclined to think Keogh is guilty.
    Moles has I Believe discredited himself.

    Back to Sue. (The homeless girl)  should have been cross examined. It was her DNA.
    Triffitt’s partner should have been cross examined. I believe the ‘too sick’ bit was just a story.
    It is obvious the police did not want two dinghies. When Sue was interviewed She said She visited Bob at about 2.00pm and left at about 3.30pm/4.00pm (I don’t recall the exact departure time). The police then said a dinghy was seen tied to Four Winds at 4.50pm. This is where innocently Sue made her biggest mistake. She replied “I must have left later than I thought”. Gotcha. Now there is one dinghy. It would appear that Sue was tricked though it can’t be proved, in my view.
    People just should not be answering questions without a lawyer presence. They have in America the Miranda Rule to stop this ‘abuse’. We definitely need it in Aus. & NZ
    Sue should never have been found guilty with the unproven wrench and the winching of a body scenario included in the case.
    The case to my mind is a complete mess
    I side with Sue’s innocence.

    Peter Falconio. No body. No weapon. No proof of death. Bradley Murdoch in gaol for murder. Lees changed her description of the alleged ‘killer’ to suit that of Murdoch.
    I went through the case. Drew up my own story and fired it off to a couple of lawyers.
    I believe everything Lees said was a pack of lies and gave a rehearsed and concocted story.
    A fascinating case
    I believe Murdoch is innocent

    In the Lindy case ‘they’ apparently knew which dingo took the baby. He was oversized with a white ring around his neck

    Looking forward to Sue’s appeal.

    (edited)

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  27/07/17  at  12:47 PM
  425. $10K Forensic Science bet: see #21


    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/comments/50414/

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  14/08/17  at  05:53 PM
  426. Geraldine. Why do I bother with the lone poster wearing blinkers?
    Because I believe he is wrong. I do not wish to get personal but stubbornly wrong and so obviously on the police/prosecution side.

    I am not convinced of Sue’s guilt and until I am I will defend Her innocence

    I have no faith in police methods. To many innocents in gaol

    Then there is the second unidentified DNA on the boat

    This case to my mind has not been investigated properly nor with an open mind. I believe the case was built around Sue. Sue was boxed in.

    The police have the resources and control of the case. They present to the jury what they want the jury to hear. It takes a good lawyer to go up against the police

    Consequently I have no faith in the jury system

    A good read is Bret Christian, Presumed Guilty

    There are a couple of high profile cases where I firmly believe an innocent has been gaoled but it may not be permissible to mention them on this thread.

    I have about 40 books (not many) in my crime section. Gun Alley is a good one. They hanged an innocent man

    The North & South in New Zealand did a good article in 2010 “But I’m Innocent”. Interesting. They put a lot of work into criminal cases.

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  14/08/17  at  09:43 PM
  427. Brian #426, I hold an indeed justified long-running interest in justice/injustice.

    GUILT or NO? — My constant reply is I have no idea, nor do others unless they were there and reliably witnessed events. They hold opinions only.

    What I do know is that every citizen must (not may) receive a fair trial. My reasonably informed view (that of the “ordinary person”) is that a fair process did not happen. Until it does I shall remain amongst the criticised-by-some “SN-F supporters”, without apology.

    JURY — Here & now is not the time/place for deeper discussion. I have previously posted re my personal experience within the jury system hence like you, I “have no faith” in it. Conversely I hold valid and serious concerns about what happens behind closed jury-room doors. My frustration is that I am forbidden to discuss my experiences, or I could go to prison! Thus the systemic blinkers remain in fixed position.

    PROSECTION — Being fully aware of the modus operandi (mo) of prosecution, I will be forever a cynic unless & until there is an inquiry that examines the wrongdoing.

    POLICE — as above, unless & until there is an inquiry that includes but is not limited to, examination of mo, I will be forever a cynic.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  15/08/17  at  10:40 AM
  428. ....

    Now this is EXPLOSIVE (compared to the nonsense on recent Sunday Night program):


    “Top barrister handed over explosive file on murder - he didn’t foresee reaction”

     

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/death-on-the-derwent-secret-file-could-prove-yacht-killers-innocence-20170822-gy1pix.html

     

    Here is the big bombshell for Neill-Fraser’s supporters: 

     

    “Both Colin McLaren and Eve Ash have told friends they anticipate being raided or arrested.”


    It does not appear that Barbara Etter was involved in the May 11 meeting that Mr Richter organised.


    With all due respect to Mr Richter, what on earth was he trying to do given that Etter and Percy were working through the court on Neill-Fraser’s appeal?


    As far as I am can asses of what is going on based on the recent ‘explosive’ developments, I am tempted to think that Richter and Ash have ruined Neill-Fraser’s appeal process and have made  the headlines for basically trusting the affidavits of shady characters.


    The whole case (from beginning to now) will sure make it into a blockbuster movie one day (“The Richter dossier”). I better start writing the book given the amount I have already written and submitted to TT -  My first true crime novel! ... lol..

    ...

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  22/08/17  at  10:48 PM
  429. #428; Interesting that you link “ruined appeal process” with “explosive headlines”. This is really the stuff that most “SNF supporters” are concerned about.
    As I understand it, the police have not alleged that SNF is involved in any way with the latest shenanigans, which, incidentally, have not been proven in court. Once again you subscribe to trial by media.
    Consider a theoretical situation though, in which they did prove that SNF was the instigator of an elaborate conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. That would make her guilty of perverting the course of justice but wouldn’t alter doubts about the original conviction.

    Posted by Steve  on  23/08/17  at  08:39 AM
  430. #429 Steve


    I believe that you ought to be picking on the Sydney Morning Herald or Ch 7’s Sunday Night program rather than me! See here


    https://mobile.twitter.com/smh/status/899945544247889920?p=v


    Also, had you watched the recent Sunday Night program on the case you would have noted something relevant.


    This is a quote from a recent article by Charles Wooley [my emphasis is in bold]

    “Channel Seven’s Sunday Night investigation of the Susan Neill-Fraser case promised
    “explosive new evidence”
    but, as is so often the case with television programs, the content 
    failed to measure up to the hype. This is in part because the people who make the gravel-
    voiced urgent promo are never the same journalists who make the news story. Hence the kind of embarrassing dissonance between promise and delivery we saw with Seven’s coverage last weekend. There was in fact no explosive new evidence and what ran was virtually a repeat of the 60 Minutes story from 2014.”


    Here is the link to Mr Wooley’s article titled “Neill-Fraser evidence hype fails to deliver”. 


    https://mobile.twitter.com/darrenwick9/status/888906141052182528?p=v


    Thus, I am not the original applicator of the term “explosive” as far as the Neill-Fraser case is concerned (in the title or in the content of the article/comment).

    Also, I did NOT say anything about whether or not the police were alleging SNF’s involvement!! Had they alleged it I probably would have mentioned it.


    I have no idea why you chose to react in the way you did without first doing a proper research on the matter. Please withdraw your naive assumption. Thank you.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  23/08/17  at  10:55 AM
  431. I find the facts revealed here provide an insight of the interest held by the State’s Premier, Both Premier Will Hodgman and Mathew Groom (Groom acting as fill-in for Tasmania’s Attorney General and acting minister for justice) “had declined to read the white paper but agreed that O’Farrell should review it. Richter flew back to Melbourne and waited for a reaction.”

    This claim in itself provides the ambivalence of both former legal practitioners in a case of magnitudinal significance relative to the system of justice practiced and delivered in Tasmania’s Supreme Court.
    My question is why the disinterest of both authoritative responsible ministers?
    The matter was inevitably leaked to the Tasmanian Police, not as Robert Richter QC had requested. Why?

    Posted by William Boeder  on  23/08/17  at  12:21 PM
  432. $431 William


    I think that the Government ought to be asked why did it agree to meet Mr Richter and his ‘team’ in secret given that the Government changed legislation to provide people like Sue with another appeal. I think that it is fair to say that the Government went out of its way to accommodate Mr Richter (probably because of his eminent reputation). But what did he present to the Government? - a dossier that contained false evidence!

    See this:.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/BenGlenHuon/status/900179638432878593?p=v

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  23/08/17  at  01:16 PM
  433. #430; Peter, you stated “..I am tempted to think that Richter and Ash have ruined Neill-Fraser’s appeal process and have made the headlines for basically trusting the affidavits of shady characters.”
    You are implying that SNF’s appeal process is connected to the current police investigation, even though the police have not made that allegation.
    In #432 you make the statement “a dossier that contained false evidence”. I would be very careful making such a statement, as it is only alleged that the evidence was fake. Once again, you are theorising ahead of your facts and making categorical statements based purely on media reports. For a trained scientist I find that extremely naive!

    Posted by Steve  on  23/08/17  at  02:50 PM
  434. I am simply implying that a dossier with false evidence has led to a chain of events that ultimately led to an indefinite postponment of Sue’s right-to-appeal hearing.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  23/08/17  at  03:10 PM
  435. #594. Brian Johnston. thank you for expressing all your opinions. I find myself agreeing with each of your ongoing opinions.
    I recall the nonsense of a singular person rambling ‘on and on’ about some unknown means of substance, (had proposed that chewy or bubble-gum as a supposition was the transfer agency of the DNA of Amanda Vass.
    Pardon me but I guessed that this person was clutching at straws at that time, just as the DPP and the police investigation team had done prior and during the actual trail.

    If I claim that this pursuit of chewy/bubble-gum could occupy so much time when to me this suggestion held no substance, which I seemed to recall that I had, then had been ignored or dismissed by the same singular person.

    I now wonder how many other forum attendees have perceived the less adamant stance of “Sue Neill-Fraser is guilty” factor by a certain individual to what has now become a severe questioning of evidence along with continuing claim of refutation to what had been implied in previous comments by this same singular person?

    My mention of Robert Richter QC was given no significance by some forum attendees, however I had no hesitation in that I thought quite differently.
    http://netk.net.au/whatsnew.asp <Networked Knowledge Sue Neill-Fraser Homepage>
    Tis on this first page edited by Dr Robert Moles, that the court officials and DPP, make the observation and including the Tasmania Police investigation officers, had claimed “without any want for a more compelling and far more convincing theorized set of circumstances” had among themselves, gathered together to run with a suppositional hypothetical presumption thereby deduced and concluded (yet not based on fact evidence) that the accused had killed her partner Bob Chappell.
    Now whether or not persons are going to accept the fact that is already known by myself and others in our State, (I speak of insider sources) that this State’s Supreme Court can be as biased as any other jurisdictional court, that it can be held accountable for bias then must later again admit or acknowledge to have shown a bias toward a suspect/defendant/applicant in a very serious court action.

    Example I. Bear in mind there is a current proposal to review a case matter that was conducted in Tasmania relating to a case between X and a major Australian Bank (no further identifying information given to prevent any underbelly action) I allude here to the peripheral discussions involving the prosecution and defence counsel and the sitting Judge that was presiding over a sessional hearing, that they all were all in lockstep to deny the person X any reasonable consideration toward that person’s best interests.
    Example 2.This was another case that was hinged only, but later relied upon, “only a limited number of words” portion of a State authority recorded conversation intended to establish the guilt” of an individual in a case of serious consequence.
    Example 3. Another case where a government State Authority appointee had agreed with the consent of the former DPP to provide some element of evidence (that effectively should not be considered as evidence of material substance) “to warrant that evidence being held superior to each and every other element of evidence in this case matter.” The result however was to enable this entire case matter to be discharged.
    Despite the police investigation and the many serious charges that had resulted in the arrest of the suspect person(s) stolen goods found in that person’s possession were ignored, thus the case matter was duly arranged to be discharged.

    Example 4. The whole State is aware how Mr John Gay ex the Bankrupt Gunns Ltd, received the advice of a former Supreme Court Judge to plead guilty to an allegation of Insider Trading, that same John Gay was then given a finger smack sentence “not able to fill the position of a director for ex-period and a insubstantial monetary fine.
    That fine representing only a portion of the proceeds of crime or a criminal action.
    I can go on but will now cease in lieu of creating ennui upon the readers

    Posted by William Boeder  on  23/08/17  at  03:26 PM
  436. Gentleman,

    In case you were not paying attention couple of weeks or so ago: “the singular person rambling ‘on and on’ about some unknown means of substance” referred to in #435 offered a $10K bet against the opinion of a Professor of Forensic Science (Prof Gunn) who featured recently on Ch7 Sunday Night.

    Prof Gunn said that it is ‘likely’ that Vass was onboard at some stage.

    I say that the transfer was ‘most likely’ secondary transfer!

    No-one has taken me on yet.

    Let us wait and see to see what develops.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  23/08/17  at  04:11 PM
  437. #434; That’s better Peter. Now you just have to say “..dossier with allegedly false evidence..” and you’ll be sounding quite professional.
    #436; I would suggest you need to contact Professor Gunn. I’m sure he’d be delighted to discuss the scientific approach with you. Never know, he might even take you up on your bet, which would be most entertaining.

    Posted by Steve  on  23/08/17  at  05:29 PM
  438. I haven’t been debating him but various SNF supporters including you. Those that want to challenge me should put up or shut up.

    The appeal hearing will ho ahead in Oct. It is a 4 day hearing. Let us wait to see how that goes

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  23/08/17  at  06:28 PM
  439. #438; I’ve copied over Peter Gunn’s CV from UTS (see below). I’m sure you are familiar with this, as you both share SA connections, but it’s worth re-reading.
    He is a professional in his field and has publicly stated an opinion. You have proffered a $10k bet that he is wrong. Do you not think, as a matter of courtesy, that you should have discussed this with him?

    Associate Professor Gunn gained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Adelaide in 1982, specialising in the manipulation and analysis of bacterial DNA. After several years in academia and business, he was appointed the Technical Director of Genetic Technologies Corporation Pty Ltd, the first company in Australia to provide human DNA testing for criminal and civil matters.

    In 1992, Associate Professor Gunn was Managing Director of Silbase Scientific Services Pty Ltd., which specialised in paternity and criminal DNA testing.  He has also managed the Department of Molecular Biology at Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology, where he was responsible for establishing laboratory testing for several inherited and infectious diseases using DNA technology.

    Prior to joining UTS in 2012, Associate Professor Gunn was the Senior Operations Manager of the Forensic Biology Section of the Forensic Science Services Branch at the NSW Police Force. The Forensic Biology Section was formed to provide the Forensic Service Group with specialist biological examinations and advice that are not available elsewhere in NSW. During Associate Professor Gunn’s tenure, the section conducted examinations on approximately 5,000 items from crimes ranging from break and enter, through to multiple homicides.

    Associate Professor Gunn’s area of expertise includes DNA, DNA profiling, forensic biology, criminal, disaster victim identification (DVI), genetics, paternity, kinship and parental DNA.

    Posted by Steve  on  23/08/17  at  07:52 PM
  440. I don’t recall saying that Prof Gunn is wrong.

    Any scientist (forensic or non-forensic; biologist or physicist) ought to be able to conclude (after a bit of literature research in case of a physicist) that it is not possible to scientifically determine whether MV’s DNA was primary or secondary transfer. I have analysed the whole case and am pretty confident that MV was not on the yacht. My advantage over Prof Gunn is my extensive knowledge of the whole evidence in this case even though I am not a specialist like he is in forensic science.


    Now, it just so happens that a retired forensic scientist (John Cox) did comment on MV’s DNA and Prof Gunn’s opinion.

    Search this blog for ‘John Cox’. Also search for his comment on the ‘Susan Neill-Fraser and the Women’s Weekly’ blog.

    Have fun reading!

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  23/08/17  at  08:25 PM
  441. #440; “..extensive knowledge of the whole evidence in this case..”. For the benefit of us less informed, please could you list the extensive evidence? Just the key points will suffice. As a scientist you obviously will avoid including conjecture or anything that isn’t based on solid facts or repeatable experiments.
    I do find it interesting that you consider that a specialist offering an opinion on their specialty subject is at a disadvantage because they are not aware of the whole scenario.
    “So, Professor Windsor, you state that that the bullet found in the deceased was not fired from the defendant’s gun. Are you aware that the defendant was witnessed shooting the gun?
    Sorry, sorry, your Honour, I must be mistaken; of course that bullet came from that gun. My colleague who found other fingerprints must be wrong also. We weren’t aware the accused was guilty when we wrote our reports..”

    Posted by Steve  on  23/08/17  at  09:12 PM
  442. Read my numerous comments that are spread over at least 6-8 TT articles since April 2015. I am not interested nor do I have time to repeat myself.

    John Cox might be a good source of further scientific opinion for those genuinely interested in understanding DNA, luminol, etc.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  23/08/17  at  10:09 PM
  443. But Peter, you’ve offered a $10k bet against the opinion of Professor Gunn and then you say in #440 “I don’t recall saying that Prof Gunn is wrong”. Very strange!
    John Cox states that it is not possible to distinguish between primary and secondary DNA. I can’t comment on this because I’m not an expert in the field and I have no idea of his qualifications to make such a statement. “Retired forensic scientist” sounds good but he may or may not be an expert on DNA. Professor Gunn’s qualifications are there for the world to see and he is an expert on DNA.
    I believe it was John Cox who offered the opinion that the defence made a mess of this case and with that I totally agree. They allowed Tim Ellis to run rings around them and turn the whole trial into “do you believe this woman or not”. Bob Chappell was killed with a wrench because a boat like that would have a big wrench on board and we couldn’t find one… Really?!

    Posted by Steve  on  24/08/17  at  07:49 AM
  444. I used quite a precise choice of words Steve. The word “wrong” was NOT amongst the words I used. But one can interpret my statement as implying that Prof Gunn was wrong about concluding that MV was on-board the yacht at some stage.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  24/08/17  at  08:05 AM
  445. Have I got this right?

    Peter Lozo says Prof Gunn is wrong and is asking for bets
    Peter says DNA came off police shoe
    Peter says (homeless girl) was not on yacht

    I support Prof Gunn that it is likely that (homeless girl)  was on the boat

    I would like to be in on of this $10,000 bet

    The following is my view
    I claim (homeless girl) was on the yacht
    I claim (homeless girl) deposited her own DNA
    I claim (homeless girl) saw and knows what happened
    I claim (homeless girl) is running scared

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  24/08/17  at  09:34 AM
  446. Peter (me) did not say that the DNA came of the police shoe!!! Please get your facts right before you pursue this further.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  24/08/17  at  09:57 AM
  447. #446; It was a one legged seagull, wasn’t it? LOL

    Posted by Steve  on  24/08/17  at  12:24 PM
  448. I have seen seagulls take food that people half chewed and threw out; I have seen seagulls forage in rubbish tips and fly off carrying something away. I have seen seagulls drop something in mid-flight. It would be quite easy for a bird to pick up something on its feet that had human DNA and then deposit that DNA elsewhere. I don’t think it will ever be established exactly how MV’s DNA got there. I wouldn’t leave out our legged seagull!

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  26/08/17  at  03:22 PM
  449. What’s Taking place i amm new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It positively helpful and it has
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    Posted by Gladis  on  24/09/17  at  12:46 AM
  450. #435 William. Thankyou for the compliment

    In my opinion
    The DNA on the yacht can safely described as NOT being secondary transfer.
    Supporting the secondary transfer theory is simply, blindly and desperately supporting the police/prosecution case

    In my opinion
    The DNA was not secondary transfer and Sue did not whack Bob over the head with a wrench
    and Sue did not winch Bob’s body about the boat with the lights off

    I assume the DNA was phlegm
    Which could mean someone hoiked a gooby

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  26/09/17  at  09:56 PM
  451. I am actually thankful tо the owner of this web page who has shared this great paragraph at this time.

    Posted by Hiram  on  23/10/17  at  09:32 AM
  452. I know Meagan vass, call me negative but i don’t like her one bit. Even If she knows what happened, her needs and wants in life far outweigh doing the right thing.
    At 23 she is still homeless and not through anyone’s fault but her own. I have attempted to help her re housing as many others have also but she’s happy singing her sad song.
    Point of interest is Paul wroe. Closest boat to Four winds. The he’s gone. Meaghan knows him and Stephen Gleeson, read Supreme Court findings on Zachary Galpin….. coincidence. I think not

    Posted by Andy brown  on  27/10/17  at  07:50 AM
  453. #452 yes it is not as simple as people want it to be. Will we ever find out what really happened?

    Posted by Rosemary  on  27/10/17  at  08:55 AM
  454. If only the police had gone after the large battleship grey dinghy

    We have a case here in New Zealand where the police could not find a 46’ ketch.
    Result? Suspicion of wrong person in gaol
    For those who are interested Google, Scott Watson

    Police investigation techniques have to be completely overhauled
    Their hunch method has to stop

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  27/10/17  at  01:34 PM
  455. The winching problem

    Although I plan to submit a comprehensive TT article on the winching problem in the next month or so I thought to say a few words at this time given that the issue of whether or not Susan Neill-Fraser was physically capable of winching Bob’s 65kg body from below the deck will be the subject of the Court proceedings when the case resumes in March.  I have previously analysed the problem to considerable depth (from the perspective of an applied physicist who has had no experience with yachts nor yacht winches nor motorised inflatable dinghies) and have posted a number of TT comments on the matter (on this thread and a few other TT blogs on this case).

    Based on what Dr Bob Moles’ recently uploaded onto his website Networked Knowledge (in the What’s New section), “one key ground of appeal is based on new expert evidence that Neill-Fraser could not physically have used a winch to remove Chappell’s body from the yacht in the manner claimed by the prosecution at her trial”.
    I wasn’t in Hobart to hear and see what was going on so have depended on the media reports, comments on Twitter, comments on TT, as well as Dr Bob Moles’ website (where Bob regularly uploads edited media reports on various matters relevant to his research on Miscarriages of Justice).

    I also read that the police prosecution, with the help of the current owner of Four Winds, recently produced a video that was shown to the Court on Wednesday to demonstrate how the winch could be used to winch a heavy weight from below the deck. Here is the relevant section from Dr Moles’ uploaded file:

    ”Video demonstrating Four Winds winch shown in court Christopher Smith, whose business is used by insurance companies for boat salvage and repair, was asked to meet Four Winds when it was towed to Hobart’s Constitution Dock on January 27, and began working to remove the water it had taken on. He told the court in the following days he noticed a wire used to power the boat’s bilge pump was disconnected, and informed police who were present at the time. Mr Percy asked him if the boat looked as though it had “been scuttled”. “Yes, it appeared that way,” he answered. Mr Smith also said he had noticed some grey hair and “a little piece of skin” on the boat’s overhead hatch. “Did you consider that unusual?” Mr Percy asked. “Not really,” Mr Smith replied. “People are always crashing their heads on boats.”

    Mr Smith now owns Four Winds and last month recorded a video with Tasmania’s police prosecution, demonstrating how a winch could be used to lift heavy items from below deck to the surface. The video was shown to the court on Wednesday afternoon and Mr Smith said the technique only required one kilogram of strength for every 27 kilograms being lifted. Neill-Fraser’s legal team said their final “silver bullet” witness was a winching expert who was not available this week, which meant the case was adjourned until March 2018. Neill-Fraser’s daughter Sarah Bowles spoke outside court after the proceedings were adjourned, and while she said the delay was “slightly disappointing”, she was confident the wait would be worthwhile. “We’re expecting that a new light will be sort of cast on this case after we’ve heard from that witness,” she said.”


    cont….

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  05/11/17  at  09:19 PM
  456. cont….

    Thus, the relevant winch has a power ratio of about 27:1. That means that it would require a minimum force of 2.5 kg to be applied to the winch handle to overcome the resistance of a 65 kg body. That is less than a weight of a 3 litre bottle of milk. Thus, it would be quite easy to use that winch to winch out a 65 kg body, although it would require many turns of the winch handle. The only problems that I envisage (unless the body was wrapped and tied) is that parts of the body might get stuck in the first 3 steps (if these steps were in their usual position when is use) and there would possibly be tracks of blood as the body is dragged across various surfaces.


    Since I haven’t seen the video I don’t know whether the re-enactment tried to explain how a physically weak person might then bring the body to a suitable location on the yacht and then lower and position the body onto the dinghy so that it is easy to push it overboard with minimum risk to personal safety. If the police prosecution did not do the whole series of experiments then I consider their work on this to be incomplete and unscientific.


    From my own (non-experimental) analysis of the scenario, three different phases of using the winch are required for a physically weak person to get a 65 kg body from below the deck and then onto the dinghy (via the stern gate; the reason for the stern gate will be addressed in my TT article). Each phase requires a different arrangement of the rope. The first phase is concerned in getting the body from below the deck onto the deck next to the winch. The second phase is concerned in getting the body from there to the edge of the stern gate. The third phase is concerned in getting the body lowered and positioned onto the dinghy for subsequent easy push into the water. The whole process is technically simple enough and is physically sufficiently easy to do for someone who is experienced with the yacht, its winches and its dinghy but it takes a lot of time to set up and execute. In my TT article I will explain why I believe that the third phase is the riskiest phase for injuries, particularly to the left wrist of the perpetrator of the crime.


    Also note that the photo of the dinghy shows that the luminol reaction was heavily concentrated on one side of the dinghy (the starboard side), particularly next to the bow. There is hardly any reaction on the portside of the dinghy (other than an interesting spot next to a handle on the tube, exactly where one would place a left hand when operating the motor with their right hand). This suggests to me that the cleaning that was done (with whatever cleaning agent (bleach) was used) was done on the starboard side. Had the purpose of the cleaning been to clean spilled petrol (as Sue claimed to have done to clean the dinghy before the arrival of Bob’s sister) then one would have expected luminol reaction to have been more or less spread evenly and across the whole floor of the dinghy. I suggest that the body was lowered to rest across the right hand side of the bow and that the dinghy operator was sitting on the left side at rear and operating the motor handle with their right hand.

    The other important matter concerns the level of light that was available that night and the state of the river. I will here briefly mention some and will address this in more detail in the future. Eye accommodation is important (eyes take a few minutes to accommodate to low level of light). The moon set before 9pm. City lights wouldn’t have helped much 300+ meters on the river unless there were clouds (it was cloudy most of the day). The river was quite choppy during the afternoon but the condition improved in the evening (the dinghy thus wouldn’t have been bopping around to any significant amount, particularly if it was well restrained against the stern of the yacht).

    Peter Lozo, BSc, PhD
    Applied Physicist/Perceptual Scientist (visual perception)
    Adelaide, SA


    Ps: To demonstrate the above I would me happy to donate myself as the human ‘guinea pig’ on which the defence “winching expert” can test the police theory and the validity of my proposed three-phase winching scenario for a physically weak person (as long as my body is well padded and I get to wear a helmet; and the cost of my travel and accommodation is covered). Sometimes scientists do crazy things to test their hypothesis for the benefit of science.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  05/11/17  at  09:32 PM
  457. #455/456 ... What you meant to say is, Sue could have winched Bob’s body. You are doing what the police appear to have done. You are building a case around a nominated suspect, a hunch. Have you ever been on a yacht and used a winch. It would appear not.

    Winching is hard work and part of the cycle involves an outstretched arm. Proving that a person could winch a body is not proving that a person did so, and it is certainly not proving that Sue did.

    Peter, stop helping the police. Stand back. Stand up for a truthful investigation.

    The judge should never have allowed ‘Sue may have struck Bob over the head with a wrench’ That is 100% speculation.

    There was a person seen late at night in a dinghy. There was a male with long blond hair in a dinghy late that night who could quite easily have provided the outline of a female. And did, in my view.

    You are not contributing to this case at all. All you have attempted to do is shore up what I consider is an improper investigation.

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  06/11/17  at  09:26 AM
  458. #457; It is also well worth remembering that the prosecution’s case was that this was a premeditated crime.
    I place little store on re-enactments that show that someone was physically incapable of performing a specific task. Given enough adrenaline, humans can do amazing things. The question is more whether they would formulate a plan that involved an amazing physical act?
    Would SNF actually have spent more than a decade putting together a plan that involved having to winch a dead body from below deck and then lower said body into a dinghy? I’ve had to handle a few dead bodies over the years (animals, not human)and they are remarkably uncooperative. You could guarantee that it’d snag up at every opportunity and as for lowering into a dinghy..!
    You don’t need a PhD to know that dinghies move totally differently to a yacht. Given calm conditions and a well moored inflatable, lowering a body could well work. A bit of breeze and a chop would change the picture. Throw in the risk of a passing fisherman with a spot light and you have a scenario that no-one would pre-plan; however that is exactly what the prosecution put forward. Even the date is significant. If this was pre-planned, why not pick a quiet, anonymous week night, rather than a night likely to have other boats out and about?
    Interestingly, the luminol in the dinghy still seems to being pushed forward, even though specific tests for blood produced no results. Luminol is indicative only and reacts to other substances apart from blood. The simple reality is that inflatables have seams. Seams are remarkably difficult to clean. It’s extremely unlikely that SNF could have cleaned that dinghy to such an extent that the forensic tests couldn’t find a trace. In the dark, with no-one noticing, and in a quite short time frame?
    With regard to the figure in the dinghy, I think Peter needs a wenching expert. A sitting figure in a dinghy, possibly wearing a jacket, is an entirely different proposition to a girl in a bikini!

    Posted by Steve  on  06/11/17  at  08:49 PM
  459. Person in the dinghy spotted late at night by Mr Hughes

    (i)  “Female Figure”

    When I read the Trial Transcript (the section where Mr Hughes gave his eyewitness account of what he saw when he was parked next to the Rowing Shed) I wasn’t thinking about a bikini nor the length of hair but about breasts because I analysed the map of the area and noted the geometrical perspective. Mr Hughes would have been looking at the left silhouette of the dinghy and the left silhouette of the upper torso of the person. If the person on the dinghy was a woman with distinctly visible breast size then that is the only visual basis on which Mr Hughes could have formed opinion that it was a “female figure” (but he wasn’t asked about this matter). There wouldn’t have been sufficient light to form an impression of distinct colours of the clothing nor the dinghy but one would expect that after several minutes exposed to lower light levels the eyes would accommodate sufficiently to enable some visibility of shapes. This would have been aided had by any overhead clouds (clouds would have reflected city lights and increased the amount of lighting available).

    (ii)  The dinghy

    Mr Hughes said that the dinghy was an inflatable dinghy. I assume that he formed his opinion on the basis of its shape. The photograph of the dinghy that belonged to the defence witness shows that he had a wooden dinghy. There is a considerable difference between the side shape (i.e. the side silhouette profile) of an inflatable dinghy (such as the dinghy that belonged to Four Winds) and the wooden dinghy of the defence witness.

    (iii)  The motor

    Mr Hughes said that he heard a motor. The defence witness at the recent appeal hearing stated that his dinghy did not have a motor and that he rowed it with one oar at the time (he described a particular rowing method he used with the oar behind the dinghy).

    Whether Mr Hughes could have heard a motor needs to be considered. It was late at night (close to midnight). There was no nearby traffic. He stated that the dinghy was about 50 meters away and that the motor or the dinghy was a quiet motor. Although the river was choppy (and thus noisy) during mid-afternoon the river condition in the evening was calm (as I understand it to have been - had it been choppy it would have been noted by the defence witness and Mr Hughes). One cannot easily confuse a continuous noise of a quiet motor (which is a high frequency humming noise) with the type of noise that would come from the ocassional splash of a rowed boat.

    On page 385 of the Trial Transcript, Mr Hughes’ response to Mr Gunson is:

    <blockquote>“It wasn’t a roaring noise but I could hear the outboard”<blockquote>)
     

    (iv) The time of night


    Mr Hughes said that this occurred sometime between 11:30 pm and midnight on the Australia Day. As far as I am aware, the media reports concerning the current appeal did not say what time the defence witness was passing by the same location where Mr Hughes saw a person on a mortised inflatable dinghy.


    Concluding Remarks

    (i) My conclusion is that the information that was provided by the defence witness is fresh.

    (ii) I don’t find it compelling that the defence witness was the person who was spotted by Mr Hughes. It was a warm summer evening. I don’t see how the clothing that would have been worn on that evening would have totally obscured the bulge on the person’s chest had the person been a woman with distinctly visible breast size. The defence witness (based on my observation of his online photograph and based on the description provided to the Court) was a slim man with long hair at the time of Bob’s disappearance (but cut his hair soon after).

    (iv) I do not find it compelling that his dinghy is the one that was spotted and heard by Mr Hughes. The shapes are distinctly different and would have been discernable in their side profile to Mr Hughes under the lighting conditions, distance and the geometrical perspective. Mr Hughes had no doubt about hearing an outboard motor (there is no physical reason related to distance or ambient noise level that would have prevented him from hearing the motor). The defence witness did not have an outboard on his wooden dinghy.

    (v) I think that Eve Ash did a terrific job for Sue’s case by finding this witness. I am very surprised that the witness (who obviously could have easily proven to the police that he had nothing to do with the crime because he went to the assistance of a yacht, whose occupants could have verified his alibi) did not contact police soon after the police issued the following press release on 11 March 2009 about a witness who saw a person on a dinghy late at night (I don’t know whether he gave an explanation last week):


    Cont….

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/11/17  at  02:29 PM
  460. Cont…

    ”Tasmanian Police say they have had another breakthrough in the disappearance of Hobart cancer specialist Bob Chappell.

    Police say they have made contact again with a witness they had been wanting to hear from.

    The man called them shortly after Bob Chappell went missing on Australia Day.

    He said he had seen a dinghy near Mr Chappell’s yacht, Four Winds, at the Marieville Esplanade marina between 11:00 pm and midnight on the night he disappeared.

    Yesterday police confirmed they had received significant information over the past two weeks that could help solve the mystery and they called on the anonymous witness to contact them again.

    He made contact yesterday and police say he has given them more valuable information about the dinghy’s movements.

    Police found Mr Chappell’s yacht taking on water in the River Derwent and later confirmed it had been sabotaged.”

    .


    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-03-11/police-contacted-again-over-missing-yachtie/1614906


    NOTES: 1. Mr Hughes’  testimony during the trial is on pages 377—387 of the Trial Transcript..

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/11/17  at  02:39 PM
  461. A brief response to both Steve and Brian


    (i) Scientists (particularly physicists) take note of geometrical perspectives, ambient lighting condition, ambient noise levels, atmospheric conditions, dynamics of motion, forces involved, etc. People who have advanced analytical skills and knowledge (regardless whether they have a PhD or not) which is gained by years of analysing various complex real life engineering, science, technological problems etc, go significantly beyond what an average person or a typical jury might be capable of doing. I do not need to have had any practical experience with yachts, winches,  or dinghies to be able to analyse the forces, the mechanical principles, the geometrical perspectives, the dynamics of motion, etc related to this case.

    But I did make a considerable effort during my research on this case to observe the capability on inflatable dinghies in real-life (given that I have lived in a beach suburb of Adelaide for a number of years). I also made an effort to watch youtube video of yachts and in particular the use of yacht winches.


    (ii) If it can be demonstrated via a realistic and a complete scientific based re-enactment that it is not possible for a physically weak person to use the winch to winch out a 65 weight from below the deck, manouevre the weight across the deck and then lower it onto the dinghy for the subsequent easy push overboard then, in my (non-forensic) scientific opinion, Sue should win the right to appeal.

    Given that Bob was 65 kg in weight, I would place an upper restriction of 20 kg on the maximum ability of a “physically weak” person. Thus, if at any stage the perpetrator is required to lift more than 20 kg (or is required to resist a pull of more than half of Bob’s weight - I will explain the pull in the future because this is relevant to the lowering of the weight onto the dinghy) then the re-enactment goes in Sue’s favor.


    (iii) my interest (in relation to the winching issue) is to help (if anyone wants it) carry out a proper scientific based re-enactment using a real person as the weight (me) and to do the whole task (from bringing the weigh onto the deck to then lowering it onto the dinghy).


    (iv) It is the strongly asymmetric distribution of luminol positive reaction on the dingy that caught the attention of my eye (hardly anything on the portside versus a heavy concentration along the starboard side). I am not concerned with blood (luminol will also react to some cleaning agents). My understanding of the dynamics of dinghy motion and forces involved is that if the weight of the object to be dumped is placed diagonally opposite to where the operator of the dinghy would be sitting then the inflatable dinghy (which is quite stable under a variety of conditions and can accommodate up to 6 adults; see a photo on Eve Ash’s pin-up board as shown on 60 minutes) would be very stable at slow to medium speed even if the river wasn’t totally calm (my understanding is that the condition during the evening were calmer compared to very choppy 3 foot swell during the afternoon of that day..

    (v) The incident occurred on the last day (late in the evening) of a long weekend. It was a working day the following day. There would hardly be any river traffic between midnight and 5 am. I was actually surprised that on a public holiday evening only one witness saw a light motorised dinghy with one person on-board leaving the area of Four Winds at around 7:45-8:30. That eyewitness wasn’t on the river but in her own house looking at the river through her telescope!! (this info isn’t in the Trial Transcript but was discovered by Barbara Etter via RTI). I think that because the river was quite choppy for most of the afternoon people stayed away from it or returned to shore early.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/11/17  at  03:08 PM
  462. Hughes saw someone in a dinghy?
    Sue or someone operating an outboard would have been sitting at the rear and in the case of an inflatable maybe sitting on the transom
    A person rowing would be sitting in the middle.
    It is known that witness testimony is very unreliable
    Hughes was quite likely watching the dinghy though had no reason to remember detail and didn’t.
    I seem to recall someone seeing a dinghy at night and the police asked if there was an outboard and the reply was no, not sure. He was then asked. There could have been answer being could have.

    Peter. You don’t get it. Sue is the nominated suspect/guilty person. Peter. ... Do you understand. This case was not built around a thorough investigation Sherlock Holmes style. It was to my mind built upon a hunch.

    Sue may have struck Bob with a wrench is not even circumstantial evidence. It is fiction, in my view.

    Peter. Do you think Keogh is guilty or innocent.
    If it helps. I suspect guilty ...

    (edited)

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  07/11/17  at  03:34 PM
  463. Response to Brian regarding the Keogh case


    1. Although the Keogh case is not within the scope of this thread on the Neill-Fraser case, I will just this one time respond to Brian’s question on the case as it might give the readers a little bit more of understanding of how I, as a physical (non-forensic) scientist, undertake research on circumstantial cases compared to say a legally qualified researcher such as Dr Bob Moles or an investigative journalist/current affairs program producer Graham Archer (of Ch 7 in Adelaide) who also looked at the Keogh case:


    “Peter. Do you think Keogh is guilty or innocent.
    If it helps. I suspect guilty.”


    2. I wasn’t (and am not) concerned with Keogh’s innocence or guilt. I took an active research interest in this case after seeing two current affair programs in mid-late 2011: 60 Minutes and the Adelaide Ch 7 Today Tonight program (Graham Archer’s program). There was something about the geometry of the problem that was very puzzling (as was expressed and demonstrated remarkably well by Karl Stefanovic on 60 Mins).

    3. I wanted to discover whether there existed a geometrical relationship between the bathtub (its size, depth, shape, sloping and curved surfaces, its edges, etc), the physical layout of the bathtub in the said bathroom and the originally reported 15 bruises on the deceased’s body (their shape, size, symmetry with respect to the body, distribution, the nature of grouping of the individual set of bruises, any repeated pattern of bruises in a set of bruises, etc) that could provide a scientifically more reliable understanding of how Mc Cheney died than what ten or so medical experts (forensic pathologists; 4 or so on one side of the case, 6 or so on the other side of the case) came up with during the legally active 20 year history of the case (1995-2015).

    4. I was relying on my physics background and on my long standing research interest in visual pattern/object recognition and visual perception. The fact that I had no medical background was irrelevant (but I did read some relevant text on forensic pathology that was relevant during my research on the case).  I conducted a very extensive analysis during 2012-2014. This consisted of paper based analytical work and experimental work in a bathtub of the identical size and features as the crime scene (I read the Trial Transcripts; saw the autopsy report, downloaded all photos of the bathtub from the internet and youtube videos as well as the photos of the decease’s legs showing the bruises; read the 2014 appeal court decision,, read what Dr Moles wrote on his website; read all the medical affidavits that Dr Moles uploaded onto his website as well as the medical Tribunal decision concerning Dr Mannock’s work on the case; saw all the TV programs, etc, etc).. My own body was subjected to a series of bathtub experiments (with and without water), etc, etc.

    5. I did discover a unique a unique geometrical relationship that fitted all the reported bruises. It totally disagreed with all the forensic experts. I also discovered that there is a simple physical reason for facial swelling. I submitted an unsolicited report to the DPP (and a certain forensic pathologist) in mid-late Jan 2015. I have had no feedback as to what course of action was taken by the DPP (and the forensic pathologist) in relationship to my report. I then started posting online comments in March of 2015 (after Keogh was released and after he was re-charged). The DPP announced several months later (May 2015) that the matter was going to trial (was set for March 2016). But, as you know, the DPP announced in Nov 2015 that due to the illness of a “key prosecution witness” he decided to drop the charge because he did not think that certain matters could be proved beyond reasonable doubt without the availability of that witness.


    Cont..

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/11/17  at  11:56 PM
  464. Cont…


    6. It is my scientific opinion that the DPP would NOT have tried Keogh using the same murder scenario as was used in 1995. Based on what I read in the media in August of 2015, it appears that Keogh’s legal team had no idea of what murder scenario the DDP was going to advance ( the defence team was going to argue that it was a certain medication that caused the facial swelling and the death (even though it was written in the 2009 Tribunal decision that the mentioned allergy medication was not found in the home of the deceased, there was no evidence she used the drug even though it was prescribed to her about two years before the death). Now we will never know what the DPP was intending to advance!! All I can say is that I perfectly agree with the defence experts that the deceased was NOT forcibly drowned in the manner that was proposed by Dr Mannock in 1995. I disagree with Dr Bob Moles and Mr Graham Archer on their final conclusion on what happened. But I am not an expert witness! Mr Archer and I had some email interaction (as did Dr Moles and I). Mr Archer referred to me as a “robotics tinkerer’ (he saw online that at one stage I was involved is supervising a University based research project in robotics and incorrectly assumed that I was a robotics guru). But he had an expert witness (a medical professor) on his program in 2004 from Adelaide University whose opinion on body slump (left or right) agrees with my own conclusion. The science of lividity disagrees with Keogh’s version of events but Mr Archer probably did not read the Trial Transcript before the program was aired to correctly understand the significance of what his own expert witness implied on the program. I had a brief email communication with that expert witness in mid 2014 just to check with him in what direction he was pointing because he did not use words (he physically demonstrated by leaning his body and head in one direction to imply that the body of the deceased was slumped in that direction) - I wrote about this on the relevant online blog in early-mid 2015. THE END!


    REFERENCES:

    1. My brief scientific critique of the medical expert conclusion cane be found at the bottom of the following Civil Liberties Australia article:

    http://www.cla.asn.au/News/keogh-free-royal-commission-needed/

    2. My many comments concerning my research on the Keogh case can be found on the following blog:


    http://clubtroppo.com.au/2010/12/13/taking-a-bath-can-be-dangerous/

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/11/17  at  12:07 AM
  465. A brief note for Mr William Boeder


    Sir, you addressed a question to me another blog but I will answer it here given that my answer will be based along the lines of some of the recent witnesses in the Court concerning the Neill-Fraser’s appeal.


    The beginning of your statement and question addressed to me on the fox blog was as follows:

    ”Dr Peter Lozo please pardon my confusion and the basis of my following question which is, are you being employed by the Tasmanian State government in any supportive capacity, such as to support the State’s case against the SNF “found guilty” accomplished verdict?

    Then your entry into the Tasmanian Fox hoax with your conjectures.

    Your extensive commentary on the SNF case alone seems to favour the State government decided official line is to be relied upon and roundly trusted.”


    William, I had a dream that I was a self appointed ASIO agent sent out to assist the Tasmanian Government in the matters concerning the Neill-Fraser case as well as the matters concerning the fox issue. I have undercover operatives who have infiltrated the ’Foxless Tasmanian Society’ and the ’Tasmanian SNF-MV Friendship Society’. My operatives have very sophisticated thermal based eves-dropping equipment that I invented when I was on Mars and regularly feed me with juicy gossip about serial killers and wondering foxes. Hell, just the idea day one of my operatives made contact with a fox who carried MV’s DNA onto Four Winds. Apparently, the fox learnt how to swim and always boards via starboard gate because it does not know that there is a portside -  it suffers from a visual neglect syndrome that was caused by the damage to its parietal lobe when a certain hunter from the ’Foxless Tasmanian Society’  took a shot at it. Fortunately, he also discovered that the fox is actually a wild cat who was dressed up in a body suit of a fox. This was further confirmed by a DNA expert from VPFSD who confirmed that the shit left on the Four Winds walkway belonged to a cat gene pool. This under-cover operative of mine even signed a written statement that what he said was truth, nothing but the absolute truth. However, during cross-examination, I used a brain fingerprinting technology and concluded that my operative lied to me. I showed him the results of brain fingerprinting. He finally told me that everything in his signed statement was absolute crap and it was invented by a member of the ’Tasmanian SNF-MV Friendship-Society’ who was after fame and fortune.


    Cheers,
    Peter

    Ps: Now you can share my secret with the members of the ’Foxless Tasmanian Society’</i? and the <i>’Tasmanian SNF-MV Friendship-Society’

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/11/17  at  08:50 AM
  466. #465. Thank you Dr Peter Lozo in expressing your extreme somnambulism experiences to help in the edification of yourself to the Tasmanian Times attendees.
    https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/somnambulistic

    I hope this sees you enjoy some higher level of gratification to your ongoing critical conjectures you imply against the fine standing and integrity of those many other comment contributors to this Tasmanian Times forum.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  08/11/17  at  01:35 PM
  467. #466 My pleasure Mr Boeder!

    I hope that I have clarified my purpose on here.

    My first book on Forensic Science will be dedicated to Tasmanian Times and the many contributors who challenged me on the Neill-Fraser case. Those challenges led me to pursue my research with more vigor, passion and to a greater depth. It also led me to write more concisely, clearly and convincingly in a manner that can can be understood by non-scientists. That is my scientific gratification in this whole affair - I have trained myself in the field of forensic science by independently researching several complex real life circumstantial cases and have benefited a lot via my online interactions with public who have their own views (Henry Keogh case; Susan-Neill Fraser case; Gordon Wood case; Steve Avery case).

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/11/17  at  03:44 PM
  468. #467 Speaking of whom. Is Gordon Wood guilty or innocent. I thought the spear throw was total nonsense

    You say you have researched real life circumstantial cases. Circumstantial is not evidence.

    Maybe you have an opinion on the disappearance of Peter Falconio. I have

    And then Peter there is the big one. One of the biggest cases in the world. Right here in Australia. Tasmania to be precise.
    Did Martin Bryant carry out the Port Arthur massacre.
    Andrew MacGregor & Wendy Scurr did a number of speaking engagements on the subject. Sadly I missed the lot.

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  08/11/17  at  09:08 PM
  469. #468 Brian

    I saw your comment on the CLA website and the other website I referred to earlier.

    I am extremely busy but promise to provide a reasonably detailed reply on the relatively simple (senior high school) physics behind the Gordon Wood case. I concluded that it was the Appeal Court judges, the police (and the defence scientific expert) who made several significant errors. In my physics opinion,  there is absolutely no scientific error in the work of Prof Rodney Cross!

    Given that the primary error was that of the police (well before Prof Cross got involved) I am of opinion that the benefit of the doubt should be granted to Mr Wood.

    Interestingly enough, Barbara Etter wrote an article in a forensic journal that partly addresses this case. I was astounded by the fact that Barbara (who claims to have an interest in forensic science) would rely entirely on the decision of the Appeal Court rather than on her own scientific analysis of the evidence that was presented. Then it occurred to me that Barbara’s science degree wasn’t in physical sciences (particularly physics) and that therefore she most probably wouldn’t have been able to mathematically and scientifically analyse the work of Associate Professor Rodney Cross (who was a Professor of Physics) whose work she seems to disagree with!

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  10/11/17  at  07:20 PM
  470. Some further comments on the Wood case


    1. One of the errors made by the cops was that they did not record the location of the body before removing it. This became an issue later as to which location was the correct one. Two possible locations surfaced. This was significant from the scientific point of view.


    2. The prosecution made an error during the trial by not using the data on moonset to argue that there was moonlight at the time a female scream was heard  (Prof Cross was the first to check what time the moon set). This would have been significant because under the moonlight the eyes (after a few minutes of accommodation) would have been able to see the edge of the ledge. Therefore, had a murder occurred, the perpetrator would have been able to throw a person off without risking a fall himself (this issue became significant during the appeal and in went in Wood’s favour).


     
    3. The Appeal Court judges misunderstood the science. They sided with the defence expert (primarily because he used more sophisticated equipment during his experiments!). But they did not recognise that his experimental data was based on females who had a well above average athletic ability (the deceased did not have a history of any significant athletic ability to be able to reach the type of run-up speeds that was critical to the decision whether or not she could have committed suicide by jumping off or diving off after a run-up).


    4. The defence expert also had his test subjects take a jump and land feet first after a run-up instead of taking a head first dive after a run up. The latter ends in lower take-off speeds and thus a shorter distance of horizontal fall. 


    The fact that the deceased’s body landed head first meant that the correct experiments for the scientific study are those where the test subjects are asked to dive head first after taking a run-up. Had the defence expert done this he would have come up with shorter distances. 


    Thus, the defence expert presented an incorrect scenario. But the Appeal Court judges seem not to have noticed this subtle but a very important scientific distinction between the work of the two scientific experts.


    5. This case made me wonder. If the average level of education and the reasoning ability of Appeal Court judges is most likely to be higher than the average level of education and the reasoning ability of a typical 12 person jury, how can we expect a jury to be able to reliably asses which scientific expert has correctly addressed the case at hand and whose data is more reliable?

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  11/11/17  at  08:18 AM
  471. Annendum to my  #463 & #464 on the Keogh case

    “Defence counsel also attacks the prosecution’s conduct of the case, saying they have “failed to particularise” the manner in which Keogh allegedly drowned Ms Cheney.

    They claim prosecutors have “either refused or failed” to disclose the full extent of their case and the evidence supporting it.

    “Prosecutors have only supplied declarations relied on in the first and second trials which occurred 20 years ago,” the documents assert.

    “In their application, released to The Advertiser on Wednesday by the court, Keogh’s counsel repeat their claim Ms Cheney died due to hismanal.”


    REFERENCE:

    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-court-told-henry-keoghs-third-trial-for-the-murder-of-annajane-cheney-is-doomed-to-fail/news-story/51b3a764e550b3d6d2d54ae4b09e6883

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  12/11/17  at  07:21 PM
  472. If the police in the Wood case got the location of the body right Cross would not have had the need to invent his ridiculous spear throw. We the public do not know if Wood is innocent or guilty.

    The Keogh case is a complete screw up. We the public do not know if Keogh is innocent or guilty. Just because Moles got him out does not mean he is innocent

    If the police had investigated the Bob Chappell disappearance correctly and followed up with the correct procedure we might know more.
    Inventing a scenario where Bob was hit over the head with a wrench is ridiculous.
    Maybe someone other than Sue did hit Bob over the head?
    If only we knew more about the dark grey dinghy.

    I find it staggering that the homeless girl can say she was not on the boat when her DNA was.

    (edited)

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  13/11/17  at  09:07 AM
  473. #472. Brian what you have stated in your comment is actually “factual evidence” not circumstantial as others have deemed it to be.
    From what I understand in this matter, factual evidence is being relegated below its prominence when it should have precedence over any of the circumstantial evidence claptrap that has its bias being proffered by Tasmania’s legal officials.

    Given the presence on the beach by those said homeless person(s) (as had been observed and identified as to being in that same vicinity during the period of “the established timeline disappearance” of Bob Chappell, timelines) I do not believe that the truth of her actions at that time has been properly investigated, why is this so?
    I understand her version of her presence and activity in that area has changed during the interviews after her DNA was confirmed.
    What say you Brian?

    Posted by William Boeder  on  13/11/17  at  12:50 PM
  474. Junk science or non-scientists talking junk about good science


    I was following the online media reports early this year on Mr Wood’s legal court proceedings against the NSW government. I was absolutely flaggerblasted when I read what Mr Wood’s barrister (Bruce McClintock SC) said in the Supreme Court about Prof Cross’ scientific work related to this case:

    “Commenting on some of Professor Cross’s assertions Mr McClintock told the court: “To call this junk science does a disservice to the word junk.”

    See

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-24/gordon-wood-suing-nsw-for-malicious-prosecution-explained/8299738

     

    Now, it seems to me that Mr McClintock doesn’t understand the relevant science and is talking junk about a great piece of scientific work by a very experienced Professor of Physics who conducted a thorough scientific study over a period of 3 years (and had published the results of his work on this case in a peer reviewed mainstream physics journal as well as a forensic science journal).

    Does Mr McClintock also want to challenge Newton’s Laws of Motion (the scientific laws that are directly relevant to this case)?


    From my own perspective (as someone who has a degree in physics) I believe that there are two new useful scientific results that came out of Prof Cross’ work on this case:


    1. When a person takes a run-up and then rotates their body forward so as to take off in a head first dive their take off speed will be reduced by about 0.5 meters/sec compared to a straigtforward jump after the same run-up distance that would result in landing with feet first.

    2. A single strong man who uses a particular throwing technique that resembles a spear throwing technique can throw a woman further in a head first dive than two men (each taking one arm and one leg and then taking a swinging throw).

    Based on my understanding, the moonset was approximately 2 hours after a woman’s scream was heard but well before the time when Mr Wood saw Caroline’s foot. That is, it was pitch dark when Caroline’s body was first spotted by Mr Wood but it wasn’t pitch dark when Caroline met her death.


    There was no reported injury to Caroline’s legs. Her body was pointing away from the cliff with her head and shoulder wedged between rocks. This strongly supports the correctness of Prof Cross’ assumption that the body was falling through a trajectory in which the head was in front of the legs and thus hit the rocks first. Therefore his experiments correctly modelled the relevant forensic scenario compared to that of the defence expert (whose test subjects did not take a dive after a run-up).

    The description that was provided of the rock formation by the police officer who was at the bottom of the cliff next to Caroline’s body for some 40 minutes before the body was removed fits the location that was further out from the base of the rock compared to the location that his female colleague pointed to in a video of the scene. Injuries on Caroline’s upper torso and the way her body was wedged between the rocks also better fits the further of the two locations. But this wasn’t noticed until quite some time later. In fact it was Prof Cross who asked the NSW Police how did they know they had the right location given that the location was not recorded when the body was removed.


    My opinion is that there is no valid scientific reason to be critical of the work conducted by Prof Cross on this case.

    I conclude that there are lots of non-scientists making junk comments on this case and are thus insulting not only Prof Cross but the very essence of what it means to be a scientist, particularly a physicist.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  13/11/17  at  03:33 PM
  475. Is this a thread based on the Sue Neil Fraser case or a forum for the “very busy” Dr Peter Lozo?
    Possibly a new thread on physics V the justice system would be appropriate?

    Posted by Steve  on  13/11/17  at  06:44 PM
  476. Dear Steve,

    Given that 50% of my time is devoted to writing chapters on the 4 cases I looked at, I am prepared to answer questions on the 3 Australian cases (if I am asked and if I can find time -most of it is a quick rewrite of what I had written already). So, the posts on the Keogh case and the Wood case are in response to Brian J’s questions and statements. Good overall sharing of knowledge and opinions on forensic science matters!

    Anyway, I heard on the grape wine that Tasmanian Times is getting a lots of ‘hits’ and that the Editor is pleased about that. If you haven’t noticed, I refer to various TT posts from my facebook acccount as well as my twitter account (and vice versa). There are a number of people in Wincosin (USA) who are directed to some of my posts on TT.

    Since there is currently a dull on the Neill-Fraser related comments here (unlike the fury of activity I can see at the top of this blog when the VPFSD report was released in July 2014) I thought to get the readers involved!. You people (SNF supporters) must feel deflated given the nonsense that transpired in the Court recently,  and by the fact that the Victorian forensic scientist could not preclude secondary transfer nor did he disagree with the opinions from 2010 of the Tasmanian forensic scientists.


    Peter

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  13/11/17  at  08:13 PM
  477. #472 William. Vass gives a story, then the story is changed, then the story was given under pressure. Theatrics in the courtroom. Her DNA on the boat and she wasn’t there. What to make of all this?

    The dollop of DNA was substantial. Not a drop of sweat. Possibly not spit. Not blood or one would reasonably expect to see more. That leave phlegm.

    The secondary transfer theory of the DNA is obviously to shore up the police case. It is not about shoring up the police case it is about the truth. I have strong doubts about Sue’s innocence and the way this matter is played out only serves to push me further into the innocent camp.

    I believe Vass deposited her own DNA on the boat.
    I would suggest others were there and a struggle took place and for whatever reason Bob was killed.
    I would not speculate a kidnapping. I believe Vass was a witness to what occurred ...

    (edited)

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  13/11/17  at  08:51 PM
  478. Peter. Are you writing a book?
    How about a chapter on the Belanglo Forest backpacker murders. I do not believe Ivan Milat was involved. Google Paul Onion whose original statement has gone missing

    How about a chapter on the notorious Mark Tedeschi. I believe he got numerous cases wrong other than the Wood case using the same crummy techniques that were used in the SNF case

    Then a chapter on the missing Peter Falconio who I believe was not murdered by Murdoch.

    You could also cover Port Arthur Massacre and the innocence of Martin Bryant

    And the big one. how a dingo did take the baby. Speaking with someone who new the case. They even new which dingo. He was larger, red, had a white ring around his neck and his nickname was Ding.

    Lot of material there Peter.

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  14/11/17  at  07:55 AM
  479. #478 Brian


    Yes (about physics and pattern recognition in forensic science) - It is based on my 5 year research on 4 cases (Henry Keogh, Susan Neill-Fraser, Gordon Wood and Steven Avery, Wisconsin, USA). My interest was to learn about the application of science in forensics. When I complete this part-time interest I intend to concentrate on something totally different (neuroscience is my passion).

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  14/11/17  at  11:26 AM
  480. #477. Brian I share the same opinions as yourself in the SNF case.
    In quite a number of instances, bias has been found in the investigative procedures to only follow one line of inquiry in such a relentless manner that any other considerations are simply tossed out the hierarchy window.

    Another example had been the situation where the evidence presented ... had consisted of a partial passage of words that had been chosen from a statement made by the suspect on a prison phone, in my opinion.
    .
    ...

    A passage of words had been extracted from the phone recording that is in place to (now in the fact that people should now know that all incoming and outgoing calls are being monitored and or being intercepted and recorded when a suspects held on remand, choose to make phone calls from the prison or to receive phone calls external to the prison.

    ...

    (edited; moderators have no time to check individual facts ...)

    Posted by William Boeder  on  14/11/17  at  11:33 AM
  481. My #477 Should read I have strong doubts about Sue’s guilt. I am well and truly in the Sue is innocent camp. Unless proven otherwise.

    #480 William. There is a bias. Once the nominated suspect has been identified the police are then like a dog on a bone. There is no letting up. They then only go after evidence that will convict the nominated person hence there what appears to be a lack of interest in the DNA and what appears to be the lack of willingness to make Vass explain herself.Obviously if they are building the case around the wrong person evidence becomes a problem. No problem the great weapon of circumstantial ‘evidence’ comes into play.

    It really is quite sickening to me

    Look at the Wood case. Cross invents the massive spear throw nonsense just to get the body out to the wrong place. Tedeschi the prosecutor comes along and piggy backs this nonsense. Wood goes to gaol. I am not aware that Wood even had a motive to murder Bryne/girlfriend.

    Back to Sue. The police believe there was a dinghy tied up to the four Winds at 4.55pm. When interviewed by the police Sue said she went out to the yacht at about 2.00pm and back about 3.00-3.30 (I am nor sure of exact time). The police then say to Sue “There was a dinghy tied to the yacht at 4.55pm” and Sue says ‘I must have stayed later than I thought”. Gotcha. Sue did not realise at the time just what she was saying nor the importance of what she said. This helped write the other dinghy out of the story.

    Sue volunteered information believing she was helping. Big mistake. The information Sue gave was not evidence, in my view. I must have stayed longer is not evidence. It would have to come under the category as a guess. I have often wondered if Sue was tricked, deliberately tricked.

    (edited)

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  14/11/17  at  01:30 PM
  482. Vass or Neill-Fraser: lie detection


    It appears that the Tasmanian community has a divided view on which of the above named two ladies knows what happened to Bob Chappell on the late evening of Australia Day 2009.

    Here is what I propose to the Tasmanian community (via Tasmanian Times):


    Write to Mr Charles Wooley and ask him to convince 60 Mins to fund the following investigation:


    (i) Hire a professional to conduct a lie detection on both Vass and Neill-Fraser using the conventional lie detection technology (galvanic skin response, pulse rate, etc);

    (ii) Also, hire a professional to conduct a lie detection test using brain signals detected from scalp (i.e. Event Related Potentials; one such technique is called ‘Brain fingerprinting’). This lie detection technology doesn’t require the test subject to say anything.


    Ms Vass might be interested in participating if she was offered a financial incentive.

    I would be happy to write a science based letter to Mr Wooley regarding the above two lie detection technologies. You guys can take the initiative in getting Mr Wooley interested.


    I am a bit surprised that Mr Richter and his team (Eve Ash and the former Victorian police officer) didn’t apply the lie detection technology to any of their witnesses before Mr Richter submitted his 25 page dossier to the Tasmanian Government in May.

    Whilst the above mention lie detection technology isn’t accepted in Australian Courts of Law, I think that the Tasmanian community might be interested in the results.

    So, get busy and write to 60 mins and Mr Wooley! I would be more than happy to help you gets things moving in this direction.


    Peter

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  14/11/17  at  01:44 PM
  483. On the application of two lie detection technologies to the Neill-Fraser case


    I made my first move towards raising the interest of a few high profile people and the relevant media:

     https://mobile.twitter.com/PeterLozo/status/930291350343438336?p=v

    Now, are Neill-Fraser’s supporters (‘amateur armchair sleuths’) just going to winge about TasPol, ODPP, etc, or are they going to take an initiative and get Mr Wooley interested in getting 60 Mins to fund and film the lie detection test?

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  14/11/17  at  02:56 PM
  484. #482 Why not a lie detection test for the police, prosecution and Sue’s lawyer?

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  14/11/17  at  03:18 PM
  485. #476; Peter, I’m sure the editor is honoured to have you commenting on this site but off topic is off topic.
    With regard to the Wood appeal,I would suggest you consider some of the comments made regarding the conduct of the prosecution counsel in that case and then reflect on the conduct of the prosecution in the SNF trial.

    ” ..the judges accusing the prosecutor of failing his most basic obligations to put the case fairly to the jury. Instead, they said, Mr Tedeschi had tried to bolster the Crown case by resorting to fiction, impermissible reasoning and innuendo,..”

    “Suspicion and conjecture, even grave suspicion, is not a proper basis for the finding of guilt.”

    I appreciate that considerations of a fair trial process form no part in your relentless self aggrandisement but possibly you should take breath and consider? SNF “supporters” feel no deflation. I suspect the majority are not so much supporters of SNF but rather honest people concerned that a injustice may have occurred.

    Posted by Steve  on  14/11/17  at  04:22 PM
  486. Brian, (#472), again I find myself in agreement with the bulk of your comment regarding aspects of the police investigation and subsequent judicial failures (in my view).  To imagine, by way of example, that the police were not aware that GRANT MADDOCK had been on the water that night in his dinghy!  Maddock was there around the time that JOHN HUGHES was standing out on the end of the Rowing Club spit, sipping his Farmer’s Union or whatever is was, and saw – on that moonless overcast night – the figure of what he took for a woman, taking a dinghy out from the vicinity of the Royal Hobart Yacht Club (RHYC) marina. 

    It should be realised that since that time, the RHYC marina has been extended.  Pictures of it that were shown in court, were of ‘Royal’ as it is in Oct2017.  It had since 2009, been further extended out into the river, in other words, where Maddock had moored beyond the row of the then marina berths, he was in the vicinity of Hughes on the rowing club spit, which itself projects out some distance into the river. 

    Maddock, having got back from a day’s sailing, late at night, had noticed another vessel trying to come in.  He, out of sailorly mateship and knowing under the prevailing conditions it would be difficult to berth their vessel, rowed out and hailed its occupants, to offer them a hand.  They chose to ‘anchor in the deep’ and so he returned.

    The court also heard from JOHN MOORE who was the chap in that other vessel.  He confirmed that a chap in a ‘rowing dinghy’ had come out to him (in the dark) and he’d given his ‘thanks, but no thanks’ response to the offer of help, instead choosing to anchor in the deep and to stay on board overnight.  He’d told this to the police, nearly “verbatim” 2-3 years ago.  He put the time of the encounter at between 10 p.m. and midnight. 

    Maddock also, when questioned about his arm injury and method of ‘sculling’ with one oar from the back of the dinghy, told the court that he did that when it was calm, but that when it was windy, he would use both arms, i.e., two oars.  Upon re-examination by the DPP, Mr Coates, he told the court that because of the weather that night, he would have been rowing and might have been returning to his yacht from shopping ‘at Woollies’.

    You would be entitled to think, in my view, that the police investigation failed for not having identified Maddock as being present on the water that evening. 

    Tut!  Tut!  Garry, how can you say such a thing?  Well, you see, I can say it because Maddock’s evidence was that he went back to his own vessel (and presumably hit the sack after a long day on the water).  ‘Next day’ (27Jan2009), he visited a friend and someone present mentioned the news about the Four Winds.  After hearing this, he went to Constitution Dock (to which the Four Winds was removed that afternoon) and met and spoke to (DS) Conroy.  He was present there when Susan Neill-Fraser went on board the FW, and since then had had nothing further to do with the case. 

    It is fair to assume that having gone to Constitution Dock and having spoken to DS Conroy, he had told Conroy about his being out on the water that night.  However, ironically, his prompt action may have done SNF a disservice, for had it occurred after Hughes’ anonymous phone call (29Jan2009), the police would at least have had some yardstick by which they might have assessed Hughes’ account.  Instead, in those early hours after the rescue of the Four Winds and before SNF and family even got onto the vessel and before SNF had pointed out the things ‘out of place’ etc, I think it is likely that DS Conroy was not in a position to then notice the significance of what Maddock had told him.  He, standing there on the dock, had a boat to deal with, and had a family going onto the boat to make a first-up inspection. 

    I think it is fair to say, that the recent evidence of Grant Maddock indicates at the very least, a deficiency in the police investigation.

    However, I mention the Maddock evidence here only by way of example, to indicate one specific instance of a ‘failure’ in the investigative process.  But I will now move to the evidence of the Forensic Scientist, MAXWELL JONES
    /...

    Posted by garrystannus@hotmail.com  on  14/11/17  at  04:38 PM
  487. .../
    Maxwell Jones told the court that he had been employed for 31 years with Victorian police forensics, had been published in Nature, had been involved with DNA since it first became available as a forensic tool.  He became involved in the SNF case when the director of Victorian Forensics asked him to do so.  “Profile Plus” a DNA extractive/analytical tool, which was quite expensive, was something that he had used since 2000-2003.  It allows the production of a graphic result, an “Electropherogram”.  It seemed from what Jones said, that there there was an earlier report earlier than the one which has been mentioned widely on TT.  However from what he said, the earlier report did not have the results of the electropherogram.  [It may have simply been the hydbrid report developed in 2009/2010 by McHoul, McKenzie and Grosser.]

    Jones’s evidence was generally that he thought the Vass DNA was a ‘primary deposit’, i.e. that it had come from Vass being on board the vessel.  He told the court that the DNA sample “was taken from a good source of biological material”, that skin and hand contact could be excluded, that blood, saliva, semen or nasal secretion were more likely.

    On the subject of possible secondary transfer, Jones was asked whether an “intervening surface” (such as transfer via ‘touching hands’, could also include transfer of DNA by way of shoe.  Was that likely, or a ‘reasonable possibility’.?

    Jones replied:  “a very difficult one to answer”.  He gave a number of reasons – or considerations - including an expected ‘significant loss of the material while it’s being walked about’ while expecting a significant amount should have been on the boat, i.e. stepping into blood, which dries, walks onto Four Winds, steps into water…

    He was asked … could the Vass deposit have been transferred there by chewing gum?
    He replied that it was “very hard to imagine that that could occur, to the extent”... [I couldn’t get the words that followed ‘exactly’, but it seemed he was saying that given the strength of the reaction, the [expected] weakening of the DNA present in the transference, combined with the earlier (mentioned-in-his-evidence) detrimental effects of swabbing and the inefficiencies accompanying the (DNA) extraction process], he found it very hard to imagine that that could occur

    In short, the expert witness rejected the ‘bubble-gum’ theory.  In short, the witness, while acknowledging that alternative scenarios could not be categorically ruled out, consistently gave his opinion , that in his experience, the Vass deposit was ‘likely’ to have been primary in origin.
    /...

    Posted by garrystannus@hotmail.com  on  14/11/17  at  04:40 PM
  488. .../
    And in toto, the evidence of Maxwell Jones, given in court, given with all its professional ‘couldn’t rule out’ caveats and concessions, probabilities and the like, suggests in my opinion that the Vass DNA deposit found on the Four Winds, was, more likely than not, deposited directly by her:

    -If he (Jones) knew nothing about the case, he said that such a deposit would normally indicate to him a primary transfer.  [The clear implication of this was that Jones had seen no evidence which would indicate/support a secondary transfer scenario.  Following Jones’s evidence, Brett J asked for [written submissions from counsel] regarding a matter which had arisen in the course of Jones’s evidence in court.

    -From the electropherogram, he would expect the deposit to be primary, although not being able to rule out secondary, but certainly… [he gave evidence about allelle designation, height of peaks, ‘stochastic variation’ and “dropout” and how the electropheresis showed “very little signs of degradation”]

    -He told that court that “On face value” ‘you’d think that had been a primary sample, but can’t entirely rule out secondary, but it would require an entirely specific set of circumstances’

    -He told the court that he ‘can’t rule out secondary transfer, but [he] would need particular circumstances [to be established before secondary transfer could be accepted]

    Q ‘You can’t say if Vass was telling the truth?’
    A ‘No, there are so many unknown facts’.

    The profile doesn’t typify secondary transfer ‘but circumstances…’
    a specific set of conditions [would be needed for secondary transfer to occur]

    I must remind readers that the proceedings that I’ve been referring to were not an actual appeal. The evidence that I’ve referred to was that of two of a number of witnesses to support an application from Sue Neill-Fraser for a second appeal against her conviction for the murder of Bob Chappell in Jan 2009.  Even now, there is still one witness who was not able to be present to give evidence (on winches) and so the matter has been adjourned till March of 2018, when all parties will next be available.  Then, Justice Brett will be in a position to decide whether the evidence (and submissions) put before the court was ‘fresh and compelling’ – the legal criterion for a second appeal. 

    An interesting final thought concerns the ‘links in the chain’ v the ‘strands in a cable’ legal questions which surrounded that question of the collective strength of the individual elements in an entirely circumstantial case.  The opinion that seemed to prevail at Sue Neill-Fraser’s trial was that jurors need not be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of the worth of each and/or every of the circumstantial elements of the prosecution case, but rather that while perhaps individually ‘not true beyond reasonable doubt’,  such elements collectively,  can be used to establish an overall conclusion of guilt … beyond reasonable doubt. 

    The question that flows from this, is whether the law on appeals against convictions solely on circumstantial evidence, allows a similar collective mechanism to operate in the appeal stage.  That is, will Justice Brett be prepared to consider that collectively the evidence presented (and still to be presented) to him will need to be considered each on its separate merits, or can be assessed collectively for a cumulative ‘strands in a cable’ strength ... in order to decide whether a second appeal should be granted.

    [Ed:  My offer to Tas Times (of a 240 page reference work (in 6 parts) of all the publicly available information and evidence on the matter - arranged chronologically - still stands.  The reference work studiously avoids entering into the ‘Second Appeal?’ fray.  For those who might wish to view it, for the purposes of research, I would be willing to forward copies once applicants had established their ‘bona fides’.

    Posted by garrystannus@hotmail.com  on  14/11/17  at  04:52 PM
  489. A few links for ‘amateur armchair sleuths’ (including Peter when cognitive neuroscience is central) ...

     

     

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301051113001154

    http://www.apa.org/research/action/polygraph.aspx

    Posted by abs  on  14/11/17  at  05:19 PM
  490. cont ...

     

     

     


    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301051113001154

    https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/should-lie-detectors-be-used-in-australia/

    Posted by abs  on  14/11/17  at  05:19 PM
  491. Saw ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ this evening.

    I remember 4 lines

    If you leave it to the police
    They will find the culprit
    Right or wrong
    They will hang’em

    Written in 1934
    Set in 1925-1933

    Question: Were these lies in the original book by Agatha Christie

    As I have often said to people ( and in our case we think of the Sue matter) this nonsense has been going on for 100 years.

    The difference is in recent years they have stepped up the pace.

    One would think that with all the advances and knowledge of the modern age the police would actually be able to ‘solve’ a case.

    Not asking much? Is it

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  14/11/17  at  07:47 PM
  492. Steve,

    The topic of Lindy Chamberlain is also off topic!


    I am a physical scientist and am not interested in legal matters concerning such things as the conduct of the prosecutor in the Wood case. Had I been a lawyer then I would most probably stick to commenting about the legal matters. You might believe the claim that “Mr Tedeschi had tried to bolster the Crown case by resorting to fiction, impermissible reasoning and innuendo,..” but I don’t necessarily do!

    My concern was understanding the scientific work that went into that case. Based on my analysis of the scientific problem and the way the two experts did their experiments, it is my opinion that the defence expert’s experimental study wasn’t quite relevant to what was known about the case.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  14/11/17  at  08:06 PM
  493. Brain fingerprinting


    Here are links to two brief youtube videos on the brain fingerprinting technology:


    https://youtu.be/REqfGFKxBzU


    https://youtu.be/61TTrgps6zY

    The technology is currently typically used as an absolute measure rather than a comparative measure. That is, it is applied to one person to test whether that person knows or recognizes certain elements of a crime.

     

    What I would suggest is that a comparative test be conducted (comparing the results from Sue with the results from Meaghan). I would do the same using the conventional lie detection technology. That way the test would have a  scientifically higher reliability and meaningfulness (if both subjects were to separately be subjected to exactly the same set of test questions after the instrument (s) are calibrated).


     But as I stated earlier (and as in the online links provide by abs, lie detection technology isn’t admissible in Australian Courts. There are also  mixed opinions on their reliability.

     

    Peter


    Ps: I became familiar with the basic science behind the technology in mid to late 1990’s (via some work I was involved with at that time and via a seminar by Prof Richard Clark, a Cognitive Neuroscientist of Flinders University, who at that time was using Event Related Potentials (ERPs) to see how effective it would be in a neuropsychological application - communication with neuropsychological patients who aren’t calable of speaking and writing; it had a high degree of accuracy, over 90% if I recall correctly). I recall that in  late 1990’s there was some interest by a professional research body in Adelaide in researching ERP’s for a possible application to lie detection. I had an interest in mid 2000’s in using ERP’s to control a mobile robot (i.e thought controlled robot)

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  14/11/17  at  08:48 PM
  494. Just checked the trial transcript

    Hughes said the dinghy was going at a slow speed.
    That it was a rubber inflatable

    When cross examined by Gunson, Hughes said the person was sitting in the middle of the dinghy

    No.40 Gunson asks Hughes if the outboard was noisy or quiet. Ans. it was reasonably quiet.
    I think he should have first asked if there was an outboard. Gunson effectively put words into Hughes mouth which did not help Sue one little bit.

    Gunson then established with Hughes the dinghy had an outboard. What!

    The line of questioning to my mind was shocking.
    Gunson was suggesting there was a dinghy and Hughes was agreeing. It was leading questions which I do not believe is permitted.

    How can you sit in the middle of a dinghy and operate an outboard. You can’t. You are either in the rear seat or at the rear on the transom.

    Hughes said the dinghy was going at a slow speed and I would suggest at rowing speed. If the dinghy was powered by outboard it would be moving at a recognisable speed.

    Unwittingly Hughes was trying to help the person who was cross examining him and maybe not aware he was helping to box Sue in

    Now what sort of dinghy did Maddock have.

    As a tactic to assist his client Sue why did Gunson go to such effort to put a motor on the dinghy. Why not create the impression it was being rowed and by the sound of it, it was being rowed. I don’t think Hughes heard an outboard. I don’t think Hughes got out of his car though under pressure agreed he may have.
    This questioning is absurd, in my view.
    ...

    What a messy case.

    Well it has to be messy if you want to box Sue in and confuse the jury, in my view.

    (edited)

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  14/11/17  at  09:17 PM
  495. #489 abs


    Good to see you join us on the discussion about the lie detection technology. I had a feeling that you would be on here within 24 hours of a mention of ERPs! I think we can discuss this subject to considerable depth. I recall you stating on another Neill-Fraser blog that your PhD was on ERPs.  

    My first exposure to the concept of ERPs  was in early-mid 1990’s when I studied the Adaptive Resonance Theory (towards my PhD).

    The roots of ART (a neurocognitive theory of information processing in the brain) can be found in this 1980 paper.


    “How Does a Brain Build a Cognitive Code?”

    https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-009-7758-7_1


    How ART explains ERPs is in this 1987 paper:

    “Probing cognitive processes through the structure of event-related potentials during learning: an experimental and theoretical analysis”


    https://www.osapublishing.org/ao/abstract.cfm?uri=ao-26-23-4931


    I would be keen to continue a further discussion on ERPs.


    Cheers,
    Peter

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  14/11/17  at  09:22 PM
  496. On Vass DNA & forensic scientist opinion


    1   A reliable forensic scientific opinion is the one that is based on the relevant experimental study (just look at the error Dr Colin Manock made with respect to the murder scenario in the Keogh case because neither he nor the Police Forensics people bothered to subject Dr Manock’s opinion to an experimental test in the relevant bathtub).


    2. Since the Victorian forensic scientist (nor anyone else to my knowledge) does not appear to have conducted the relevant experiments with chewing/bubble gums on people’s shoes to see how much DNA would be deposited (and how its quality would vary) as a function of time a chewing gum was on person’s foot and walked on before the foot hits the walkway on Four Winds, or a similar surface (2 hours, 4 hours, 6 hours,  ..72 hours), I do not consider his opinion to be scientifically reliable. It appears that he is aware of what happens to the quality and volume of DNA as a function of time when that DNA is from a direct physical contact (between skin and a surface). He then applied that knowledge to this case. But that might be irrelevant to this case because it is claimed by him (as was by Grosser in 2010) that the source is a bodily fluid - saliva or blood, ..(because of the volume). 


    3. Does the saliva based DNA have the same dropout rate (as function of time) as the touch based skin DNA? That is the fundamental scientific question to ask regarding his opinion.


    4. It amazed me that the subject of a chewing gum came up (someone must have been reading my posts!)

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  14/11/17  at  10:05 PM
  497. $489 abs

    abs


    Further to what I posted  to you earlier:


    I actually gave a lecture on ERP’s (from a theoretical perspective) to Prof Clark’s final year Cognitive Science students in 1998 (Prof Clark invited me to present two 2 hour lectures on Advances in Cognitive Science). Several years later I considered the possibility of a joint research program with him on ERPs (thought controlled robotics; I must have been influenced by Clint Eastwood’s movie Firefox!) but the cuts in the defence (DSTO) budget at that time prevented me from getting the project off the ground (I was intending, via my then defence related work task, to fund the project at Flinders University). Thus, my depth of knowledge concerning ERPs and its applications is considerable (definitely well beyond that of an ‘amateur sleuth’).

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  14/11/17  at  10:31 PM
  498. BEYOND TOMORROW - Brain Fingeprinting


    https://youtu.be/O3OUuCH_Owo

    Note: there is a lot of signal processing between the raw EEG signal and the final signal that is used to make a decision upon. The computer algorithm would most probably be commercial-in-confidence.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  15/11/17  at  01:44 AM
  499. Maddock’s wooden dinghy


    See the photo in this online article


    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-01/tas-susan-neill-fraser-day-3-conviction-appeal/9107180

    Garry did not say anything about Maddock stating that he did not have a motor on his dinghy (but Garry did say that Maddock rowed that night).

    Mr Hughes heard a motor and said that the dinghy was an inflatable. The shapes are very different.


    See my analysis above at #459 on Hughes’ testimony versus Maddock’s testimony.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  15/11/17  at  08:42 AM
  500. #492; Peter, if your interest is purely on the science, I’m surprised you haven’t tackled the interesting question of the yacht’s rate of sinking. If I remember the trial transcript correctly (it’s a while since I read it), the “experts” came up with quite a wide window which didn’t fit with the prosecution case. Under pressure from the prosecution, they conceded that the sea cocks might have been opened later than they first opined.
    It seems to me, that the rate at which a yacht sinks is a straight forward physical fact. Given the relevant information it should be possible to calculate it down to a very fine margin. In your position as an armchair expert, it’s unlikely you would be able to access all the information required, such as the exact degree to which the valves were open and whether there were any obstructions. I do think however, with a bit of research, it would be possible to identify the seacocks and the displacement of the yacht. Given the kv of the valves, it should be possible to calculate the minimum time, based on fully open and no obstructions.
    It would be interesting if that minimum time turned out to be longer than expected. In my opinion, the defence missed a trick with the yacht. They should have moored it back out there, opened the seacocks and sat back with a stop watch. There is of course the possibility that they did get expert opinion that was unfavourable to their case, so left well alone.

    Posted by Steve  on  15/11/17  at  09:05 AM
  501. Prof Stephen Grossberg’s publications that I referred to above at #495 (and over 500 other papers) can be downloaded for free from his personal website


    http://www.cns.bu.edu/Profiles/Grossberg/


    “Stephen Grossberg (born December 31, 1939) is a cognitive scientist, theoretical and computational psychologist, neuroscientist,mathematician, biomedical engineer, and neuromorphic technologist. He is the Wang Professor of Cognitive and Neural Systems and a Professor of Mathematics, Psychology, and Biomedical Engineering at Boston University.”


    I studied his mathematics, theories and computational neural models (particularly those that dealt with learning, memory, perceptual grouping, visual perception, motion perception, object recognition, etc).

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  15/11/17  at  09:23 AM
  502. ahh, more self professed expertise…..

    why, then, with your self-professed expertise, would you express surprise that “....Mr Richter and his team (Eve Ash and the former Victorian police officer) didn’t apply the lie detection technology to any of their witnesses before Mr Richter submitted his 25 page dossier to the Tasmanian Government in May.” (peter in #482), when the research literature on ‘brain fingerprinting’ is clear that there is not the level of reliability, nor validity, associated with this method (not to mention discredited polygraph technology that you promote as valid??)

    I doubt ‘we’ could discuss ERPs in ‘considerable depth’.

    I could. (if i did, i would not reference youtube ;). I consider claims of ‘considerable knowledge’ of ERPs valid when they are accompanied by evidence in the form of publication of conducted ERPs research in peer reviewed ERPs specific journals (there is alot of very sub-standard to complete rubbish ERP studies published in peer reviewed, yet non-ERP-specialist journals). otherwise your claim goes in the pile of things-Peter-claims-expertise-in-yet-evidence-for-said-claim-remains-lacking.

    Posted by abs  on  15/11/17  at  10:16 AM
  503. i just noticed this in Peter’s #498

    “Note: there is a lot of signal processing between the raw EEG signal and the final signal that is used to make a decision upon. The computer algorithm would most probably be commercial-in-confidence.”

    OMG!!

    Peter, you have no experience in ERPs research do you?

    never actually conducted any ERP research, have you?

    never had the experience of fitting the cap, gaining appropriate level signal, conducting experiment etc, have you?

    never sat down and processed the eeg signal to achieve an ERP, have you?’

    i could go on but the response pattern would be replicated.

    Posted by abs  on  15/11/17  at  10:30 AM
  504. Lets put an end to this chewing gum secondary transfer nonsense.

    Anyone can perform this simple test at home

    We have all stepped on gum in the street and have had it adhere to our shoe. Terrible.

    Remember we are looking for a substantial amount of DNA.

    Test:
    1)Chew a piece of gum.
    2)Take it from mouth see that it is wet and throw it on the ground.
    3)Wait a period of time return to gum and see that gum is dry.
    (One could reasonably expect little or no saliva inside the gum.)
    4)Stand on gum, walk a few steps and step onto a surface representing a boat deck.
    5)Examine the area stepped onto for moisture.
    Result, nothing

    How is a person supposed to step on gum, walk onto the yacht and very conveniently squeeze out a dollop of DNA onto the deck.

    This chewing gum and secondary transfer is total rubbish and is only bandied around as some type of evidence to shore up a sloppy police case- in my view -  and to justify and prevent the need for any further questioning of Vass.

    The DNA is more than likely phlegm or snot.

    (edited)

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  15/11/17  at  12:22 PM
  505. #491 ... A good source? Murder on The Orient Express.
    An enjoyable movie but all fake. Model trains fake views out of windows, the scenery was filmed in New Zealand and all action filmed in a London film set.

    Posted by Richard Kopf  on  15/11/17  at  01:17 PM
  506. #500 Steve

    “yacht’s rate of sinking”


    Good observation.

    Had I known the diameter of the cut pipe and the seacock, the depth of these inlets and the approx volume of water that entered the yacht, I probably would have spent some time on this issue. The mathematics is relatively simple: I did look at some text on this problem. But I was of opinion that the person who did the estimation would have known what he was doing and better than I would.

    However, there was another small related issue that I did address. One of the 5 pm witnesses said that the yacht was sitting low at the bow. Barbara Etter thought that perhaps therefore the yacht probably started taking on water as early as 5 pm. I provided a simple alternate physical explanation related to the   vertical and horizontal components of the force acting on the bow of a moored yacht during a tidal current and wind. I can’t recall on which Neill-Fraser TT blog I made the comment(Barbara comment is on her own website).

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  15/11/17  at  03:00 PM
  507. #502. Richard Kopf, what is your take on the SNF conviction?
    I do believe the SNF case should be preceded by the words “the express circumstantial orientated conviction of SNF.”
    This case was wholly based upon the sudden mysterious disappearance of Mr Bob Chappell.

    From this point onwards (other than the Meaghan Vass DNA) no further factual evidence, nor express motive, nor the observable intent, were then supposedly and collectively alleged to be inherent in the person of SNF.

    I have stated previously that the aging process can have its detrimental effect upon an elder person’s memory recall (SNF) yet it seems OK for Ms Vass as a prime witness in this case, to be quite OK for her delivery of differing or varied accounts when requestioned about her evidence based upon her suddenly vague memory recall.

    simply put, in my opinion, the SNF conviction was based on questionable assumptions, hypothetical imaginings’ also added or had included the prosecution bench…...... that had surmised and imagined or theoretical opined, that was permitted to become acceptable evidence to provide the nonentity of its bare circumstantial evidence only, that went on to create her conviction.

    In my opinion, Tasmania’s Supreme Court history provides another Supreme Court judge who would also summarise the trialed case in a very deliberate suggestive manner (heresay)

    (edited)

    Posted by William Boeder  on  15/11/17  at  09:20 PM
  508. Steve (#500): 
    26Jan2009:  7:00pm (Monday) was, according to the report of Fred Barrett, a naval architect, the earliest (approximate) time that the seacock had been opened and the pipe hose cut, resulting in the FW taking water.  [he estimated that from the seacock being opened and the pipe hose cut, it would have taken 9-12 hours for the FW to fill to the level that it had and that – working backwards – he established the approximate earliest time that the FW began to fill.  Barrett’s filling model was based on both entry points being opened at the same time.  He admitted the possibility that the time period for the FW to fill to that level could possibly have been 7-14 hours … which would have extended the earliest start time to approximately 5:00 p.m. 26Jan2009 – gfs.]

    Posted by garrystannus@hotmail.com  on  16/11/17  at  06:38 AM
  509. #503; abs; that’s a bit harsh. Peter studies websites and reads newspapers. As he is a physicist he perceives more than others and this enables him to become an instant expert on any topic.
    I notice that in #506 he’s mentioning how the tide and wind can make the bow of a yacht appear low in the water. I spent some years in the professional fishing industry, including skippering my own vessel. It’s always interesting to learn something new about one’s trade, even if it is many years in the past.
    For those not familiar with boats, I would suggest that if a yacht was so moored that the mooring was visibly pulling the bow down, it would not remain moored for very long. If you watch the news, you’ll see the bow down phenomena occurring during serious storms and it usually precedes the vessel washing up on the shore.
    Most people experienced with boats would be able to tell at a glance whether a boat was being snubbed by it’s mooring.

    Posted by Steve  on  16/11/17  at  06:49 AM
  510. 1. The signal processing software in Dr Farwell’s brain fingerprinting technology was patented.

    2. Here is a link to a book (not related to the above)

    Advanced Signal Processing on Brain Event-Related PotentialsFiltering ERPs in Time

    http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/9306

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  16/11/17  at  09:01 AM
  511. #504


    Step 6:  take a swab for DNA analysis

    Step 7: extract DNA from the swab

    Step 8: analyse the volume and the quality of the DNA

    Step 9: Repeat most of the steps at different time intervals

    Step 10: generate a table from the above series of experiments

    Step 11: Compare the volume and the quality of MV’s DNA to the above mentioned experimental table

    Step 12: On the basis of the above study make a conclusion on whether the chewing gum on the bottom of a shoe is a feasible physical mechanism by which MV’s DNA could have been deposited on the walkway next to the starboard gate.

    This would be a suitable research project for a Masters or a PhD in forensic science

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  16/11/17  at  09:21 AM
  512. Do you Peter or anyone know why Barbara Etter has pulled out from the Sue case.

    Barbara Etter was assistant police commissioner? in Western Australia would know of Brett Christian’s book and would know all about corrupt cops ...

    Why didn’t she from her position do more to bring about change. I presume she didn’t because nothing seems to have changed

    I will quote from Brett’s book page 234
    The officer (L5) said.

    I had an extremely qualified teacher….it was taught to me how to make a seemingly innocent conversation into something very plausible that would stand up in court….
    Everybody has a unique way of speaking, of introducing particular words into their vocabulary and that comes out after an hour or two hours of interview….and also you record things like where they live, the house, what colour are the walls, because this all tends to add credibility as well….the picture you want to paint at the end has to be realistic, it has to stand up in court whether to a magistrate or a jury.
    It happened all the time, it was regular procedure. everybody was doing it….it was standard practice and procedure.

    The book also covers police verballing methods as described by L5 page 233

    As I have said previously on this site the whole police/ justice system has to be completely overhauled from police to jury.

    The police have to stop teaching each other all the bad tricks

    If only the politicians would bring about the necessary changes. It is up to us to lobby the politicians.

    (edited)

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  16/11/17  at  10:03 AM
  513. #505 Richard. Fake as. I nearly fell asleep. Not exactly gripping. I noticed one scene looking back along the train, the tunnel behind did not appear to line up with the train. Another scene two people sitting in a carriage opening with a sheer drop beside them. All carriage windows had the same snow border. From memory no steam on breath and no shivering when outside train. And so the fakery went on.
    I expected more suspense.

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  16/11/17  at  11:33 AM
  514. On the reasons for processing the raw EEG data to get useful ERP data

    Below is a brief explanation for why EEG data needs to be processed in order obtain useful ERP signals. The two brief paragraphs are from a book titled

    M.A. Arbib (Ed.) The Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 2002, pp. 412-415. Event-Related Potentials Steven L. Bressler

    The relevant section of the book is titled:

    ”Event-Related Potentials”

    The chapter is available online at:

    http://cognitrn.psych.indiana.edu/busey/eegseminar/pdfs/Event-Related PotentialsIntro.pdf

    “A general problem in the investigation of ERPs is that field potential recordings most often contain a combination of potentials, in unknown proportions, from multiple sources. Thus, in addition to the ERP, which is derived from specific networks associated with a behavioral event, the field potential typically also contains potentials derived from the more general field activity of large neural populations. Owing to their fortuitous geometric arrangements and synchronous behavior, these later potentials are mixed with the ERP waveform. Thus, a primary task of all ERP studies is to extract the event-related portion of the recorded field potential.

                    ………


    “The study of steady-state ERPs also depends on a variant of frequency analysis. Field potentials recorded during periodically modulated sensory stimulation are narrow-bandpass filtered around the frequency of the driving periodicity to derive the steady-state (periodic) ERPs. Variations in the amplitude and phase of the steady-state ERP are interpreted in terms of driving frequency, spatial location, and behavioral state.”


    [the emphasis above in bold is mine]


    #502 - #503 abs,

    You are absolutely correct: I don’t have any practical experience nor a single publication on EEGs or ERPs. Had the project I mentioned earlier gotten off the ground then I most probably would have been involved in the project management and active research. The closest I got was when I obtained a simple kit on Neurofeedback kit (when I was preparing the research proposal; I also purchased a book in 2003 on Neurofeedback, by James A Evans and Andrew Abarbanel). Neurofeedback had two electrodes, some gel, a manual, cables, a CD and a box that connected between the electrodes and a computer. But I never stated that I was an expert in the field of EEG and ERP related work. My understanding comes from reading literature (and a seminar I went to; as well as youtube videos!!). I never stated that I was an expert in this field. But I am well versed with the field and understand it to considerable depth.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  16/11/17  at  01:18 PM
  515. #507 William


    I am aware that your post was addressed primarily to Richard Kopf. I will address the following part of your comment given that you did not bother to go beyond any other significant factor other than SNF’s age:


    <blocquote><i>“I have stated previously that the aging process can have its detrimental effect upon an elder person’s memory recall (SNF) yet it seems OK for Ms Vass as a prime witness in this case, to be quite OK for her delivery of differing or varied accounts when requestioned about her evidence based upon her suddenly vague memory recall.”<blockquote></i)

    1. SNF (in her Stat Dec taken two days after Australia Day; as well as in her spoken statements to family members and to the police, for several weeks and ever since) has NOT provided correct and some basic information about her own movements and actions for the Australia Day afternoon and late evening. Her story also kept changing (the change being initiated each time new evidence was presented to her directly or indirectly or via media).

    2. SNF did not have any apparent history of having alcohol or drug addiction or a mental disorder or a memory related neurological disorder nor was there any suggestion that she had taken any mood altering medication on the Australia Day nor was there any suggestion that she had a concussion on the Australia Day to have affected her ability to normally register her episodic (personal) memories related to her actions and movemenets on that day.


    3. MV on the other hand was first interviewed about this case almost a year after the incident. Her memory for where she was and what she did 12 months earlier on the Australia Day would have been lost in the ocean of all other interweaving memories unless something exceptional happened in her life on that day (a car accident, death of a close member of family or a witness to a murder, etc).


    4. MV was also a homeless teenager at the time of Bob’s disappearance.She most likely hung around similar sort of people. Why is not possible for you to therefore imagine that on the Australia Day evening she was probably partying with her friends, consumed alcohol and/or a recreational drug. Woke up the next morning with no memory of the night before.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  16/11/17  at  02:46 PM
  516. #511; “This would be a suitable research project for a Masters or a PhD in forensic science” .

    Interesting to to get the inside running on what’s required to qualify for a PhD these days.

    Posted by Steve  on  16/11/17  at  04:08 PM
  517. #508; Many thanks Garry, I couldn’t recall the details. Working back from 8 am would put the earliest commencement at 11 pm, which wouldn’t have fitted with the prosecution’s hypothesis.
    I would suggest that Mr Barrett was not asked originally to narrow that time down as tightly as humanly possible. Had he been asked to do so, I’m quite sure he could have got at least the minimum time much more accurately, even if he had to engage a hydraulic engineer to calculate the flows.
    The maximum flow of a fluid through an orifice is a physical property. It can be nailed down to very fine levels. Obviously many things can reduce the flow but the maximum flow(ie minimum sinking time)should not have presented a problem.

    Posted by Steve  on  16/11/17  at  04:34 PM
  518. A simple physics lesson for a Tasmanian fisherman

    This was part of a post #509 by Steve (a Tasmanian fisherman):

    ”For those not familiar with boats, I would suggest that if a yacht was so moored that the mooring was visibly pulling the bow down, it would not remain moored for very long. If you watch the news, you’ll see the bow down phenomena occurring during serious storms and it usually precedes the vessel washing up on the shore.”


    Now, I am not a fisherman and have never been on a yacht. The problem we are dealing with is a typical problem that might be given to year 12 physics students during a mid year exam. Below is my summary of the relevant forces acting on a moored yacht and the net effect of those forces:

    1.  A yacht that is moored to its moor (via a length of rope/chain) will face in the direction opposite to the tidal current.

    2.  The force of the tidal current will force the yacht as far from its moor as I physically possible thus tensing up the restraining rope/chain.

    3.  The resultant tension in the rope/chain will act in the opposite direction to the tidal current. That is, the tension in the restraining rope will work against the force that is forcing the yacht away from its moor.

    4.  A yacht’s mooring rope/chain is typically anchored to a bow at a point that is some height above the water surface, thus making a non-zero angle with respect to the horizontal. That means that the tensional force in the rope acting on the yacht have two components: a vertical component (a downwards component pulling on the bow) and a horizontal component (pulling the yacht towards its moor).

    5.  The net effect of the downwards force on the bow will be that the bow of the yacht will be forced to sit lower in the water than under the condition of zero or very little tidal current. The yacht will also rotate vertically about its centre of gravity, which will cause a slight lift in the stern.

    6.  The bow will appear to be sitting low in the water. From the perceptual point of view, the effect will look as though the yacht is tilting as a result of taking on water.

    7. If the tensional force in the restraining rope/chain exceeds a certain threshold then the yacht will drift away with the tidal current.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  16/11/17  at  05:26 PM
  519. #515 Because Vass’s DNA was on the boat and more than likely was deposited by her.

    If Vass was on the boat and was a witness to what happened to Bob then her memory is not lost in some ocean.

    Vass has denied being on the boat and has changed her story. I believe it is quite possible she could be running scared. If Vass did witness something she may be afraid of others or have a fear of going to gaol.

    in my opinion the police have the case wrong, bungled if you like, do not want to admit to error and Vass knows what happened.

    It is time this charade was bought to a close.

    If Sue is released the police will surely say forever She did it.

    Vass has to talk. Has to. In the meantime Sue should be released because she is not in gaol based on evidence. She is in gaol because if an invented story line and unbelievably the jury bought it.

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  16/11/17  at  05:37 PM
  520. #512 Brian

    ”Do you Peter or anyone know why Barbara Etter has pulled out from the Sue case.

    I do not know Brian.

    But I do have a reasonably well based opinion (based on my quick look in July at Barbara’s Facebook friends list, as well as that of Eve Ash; and compared that to what I recall was there when I first looked at their respective Facebooks at the beginning of my research into this case back in April/May 2015).

    My opinion is (and was way back in July when I made several comments on Ch 7 Facebook after the program on Neill-Fraser shown on Sunday Night)  that Mrs Etter left because she disagreed with Neill-Fraser (and/or Richter and/or Percy) on the legal strategy of what to present to the Court in June for Sue’s appeal. I think that when Barbara read Richter’s dossier, she spotted something that she did not trust and did not wish to use. Keep in mind that unlike any of the other lawyers involved in the case, Barbara has a very extensive knowledge of the details of the case (some gained via RTI), has a science degree and an interest in forensic science interest, and has had a considerable and a distinguished past career in a policing profession (reaching a very high rank in WA Police). I think that she would have been more capable to assess the relevance and reliability of some of the new material better than Richter, Percy and others (Ash, Neill-Fraser and some members of her family).


    I am opinion that Barbara made a very smart move and has saved her reputation as a newly practising lawyer (but has lost some Facebook friends as a result). I had over the past 2+ years disagreed with her interpretation of some key evidence in the case but I, who never Barbara, have a complete trust in her integrity as a professional lawyer.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  16/11/17  at  07:13 PM
  521. #518; I do believe you are trying to patronise me Peter. This should be entertaining!
    With regard to your thoughts on the mooring of yachts, may I suggest you quantify your vectors, do the appropriate calculations, taking into account the displacement of the yacht and then present your results.
    BTW, with the exception of one undersized flathead and one good sized trout, I can lay no claim to being a Tasmanian fisherman!

    Posted by Steve  on  16/11/17  at  08:21 PM
  522. #520. Dr Peter Lozo, a common mistake found prevalent among the higher educated persons of today is that those not of the same high level of academic achievement must accordingly be inferior in their personal intelligence capacities.
    Often I find that it is wise to dwell on the known facts and then to fan out from that solid base of fact.
    Yet in the SNF case, there was much in the way of postulation, speculation, presumption, approximation, guesstimation and a great deal false supposition.
    Rather than one attempt to deal with the volume of such as I have touched on in the above, what is wrong with taking further time to discover further facts?
    What my conjecture is all about is, why the haste to lob a guilty verdict upon the partner of Bob Chappell, then the who why and what, that necessitated the commencement of the SNF trial…......without any substance of proven fact, in my view.
    This SNF matter has further revealed the inadequacy in this State of proven professional investigation protocols.

    In all of my reading of the many Tasmanian homicides and other very serious crimes committed, one can thereby soon determine that inevitably there has been an insufficiency of thorough investigation.

    Take for an example the case referred to in the below URL, believe it or not, this young woman is still held on file as a missing person.

    https://www.missingpersons.gov.au/who-missing/tas/munnings-helen

    (This excerpt is part of this URL contained commentary.)
    Helen Munnings was last seen alive shortly after 4pm on 23 July 2008 in the vicinity of Centrelink, Marine Terrace, Burnie. In June 2012 Coroner Robert Pearce “declared her to be deceased” having died on or about 23 July 2008 in or near Burnie.

    In my reading of all the available evidence that was centred on this case, why was this case closed and all further investigations halted?

    http://www.examiner.com.au/story/438171/taylor-denies-killing-in-spite-of-perfect-motive/

    One can soon determine (based upon the available evidence) who the chief suspect is or was, yet no prompt arrest and trial had occurred….. though this case had the identical mysterious aura hovering among and above that of the SNF trial and conviction.

    Could you please offer your scientific specialist opinion if you can sense the imbalance between both Tasmanian Police investigated deaths?

    Posted by William Boeder  on  16/11/17  at  09:14 PM
  523. The ‘real killer’ of Bob Chappell: a personal opinion


    My conclusion is that the real killer in this case is the person who chose not to call the cops to inform them that he/she was on a motorised dinghy in the vicinity of Four Winds a short time before sunset. That person must have had a strong reason for not contacting the police. That person was spotted in the vicinity of Four Winds at around 7:45 - 8:30 pm Australia Day.


    It is my opinion, that the following was a very significant witness statement provided to police shortly after the Australia Day by an eyewitness who saw the person on the dinghy:

     

    “Last night between 7.45 pm and 8.30 pm I was looking out of the living area window and I noticed a light coloured Zodiac dinghy out on the river travelling towards Wrest Point in an arc towards the DSS Yacht Club. I first noticed the Zodia (sic) appear in the vicinity of where a yacht was sinking this morning.

    It had an outboard motor propelling it and the rear of it was sitting well into the water. There was only one person on the Zodiac, a male, stocky/solid build, late 40’s to early 50’s, weatherbeaten sailor type look, short reddish brown hair, but not close shaven. The hair was possibly a bit wavy and was fairly thick.

    The male was wearing a collared white short sleeve shirt with no obvious pattern or emblem. He was sitting in the rear left hand side of the zodiac steering the outboard with his right hand. It didn’t look like there was anything on the boat at all.

    It was travelling at an average speed and I last saw it about half way between the sinking yacht (this morning) and the DSS.”


    You can read the rest of the whole amazing story on Barbara Etter’s blog:


    http://www.betterconsult.com.au/blog/the-weatherbeaten-man-in-the-sue-neill-fraser-case/

     

    Some food for thought:


    1. So folks, what do we have here?

    2. Who do you think it may have been?

    3. Does the description of the dinghy help?

    4. Does the time-frame help?

    5. Do you think that had the Four Winds started taking on water as early as 5pm (as some seem to suspect) that therefore the effect would have been more pronounced and thus readily visible 2-3 hours later to the eyewitness who was looking through a telescope and that it would be then mentioned in the statement provided to police?

    6. More importantly, do you think that had the Four Winds started taking on water as early as 5pm (as some seem to suspect) that therefore the effect would have been more pronounced and thus readily visible 2-3 hours later to the person on the motorised dinghy (who could have told the cops some useful information).


    7. How does the above witness statement compare to Vass’ retracted Stat Dec of April? 


    8. Did Etter see a conflict in the time-frame between the statement of the above witness and Vass’ retracted Stat Dec? 


    9. Did Vass know and describe in any detail in her retracted Stat Dec about the yacht that some believe she was on?

    10. We trust Mr Maddock’s testimony (I do). He did the right thing and got in touch with the cops. But what do you think about the dirty scoundrel who chose not to contact the police to inform them about being in the vicinity of Four Winds on a motorised dinghy at around 7:45 - 8:30 pm?

    11. Should we be searching for the identity of that one person who had not come forward or shall we continue debating about Vass DNA till we die?

    12. Etc, etc..

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  16/11/17  at  11:37 PM
  524. #519 Brian

    Although my question at the end of #515:

    “Why is not possible for you to therefore imagine that on the Australia Day evening she was probably partying with her friends, consumed alcohol and/or a recreational drug. Woke up the next morning with no memory of the night before.”


    was addressed to William, I will accept that you too have an opinion. I will address only a part of your response as follows:

    “Because Vass’s DNA was on the boat and more than likely was deposited by her.”


    The above statement of yours tells me that because you believe that MV was definitely on the yacht that you aren’t prepared nor willing to even consider the alternative (not even for the sake of an analytical exercise and a problem solving experience) that MV was not on the yacht and that it was a secondary DNA transfer. That in my opinion is a closed mind.


    Had you chosen to consider this alternative then you might have improved your analytical and problem solving skills, and gained some extra useful knowledge during the process. For example, you might have decided to do some research about the character in question (via various Facebook accounts and the nature of postings, likes and dislikes; and do that for one or two people whose comments to her are odd or insulting, etc).Then you might be in a better position to make a decision as to what she is afraid off, why she behaved the way she did in the Supreme Court the other week, why she retracted her Stat Dec, why she initially agreed to sign the Stat Dec, etc. Based on my research of the case and a few facebebook accounts I came to the  conclusion that the person was most probably in a different universe on the Australia Day evening and it did not include Four Winds. I wouldn’t be surprised if Barbara Etter also looked at the facebook postings and concluded that MV’s Stat Dec was absolute crap that was invented by another party who was after fame and fortune. I also concluded that Barbara is an excellent researcher (gathers a lot of the relevant information from various sources and analyses it to a considerable depth in order to make sense of the data).

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  17/11/17  at  04:26 AM
  525. ” I am well versed with the field and understand it to considerable depth” #Peter

    no, you are not Peter! Period

    to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld.

    “You don’t even know, what you don’t know.”

    I have designed and conducted a handful of ERP studies, and published in peer reviewed journals. I am sceptical of my expertise in the area. you have no idea

    Posted by abs  on  17/11/17  at  07:30 AM
  526. Well Dr abs,

    Good for you.

    I have nothing further to add on this subject that would be of interest to you Sir/Mam.

    Best wishes,
    Peter

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  17/11/17  at  07:56 AM
  527. #524. Dr Peter Lozo, given that the volume of comments relating to this case this commentary has offered points of contention that have not been acted upon by those that formed the group of police investigators into SNF case.
    (Though this matter should be titled the mysterious disappearance of Mr Bob Chappell.)
    I am led to believe that the DPP is the person that makes the recommendation which ultimately becomes the decision to go to trial.
    If this is incorrect please advise me otherwise, also if you are aware of any other procedure that may alter my understanding, could you please advise me to correct my advised belief?

    Inevitably it is my opinion that this case was not ready to go to trial, my reasoning is that without a solid block of evidence the investigators should have continued their pursuit for fact-based evidence rather than fall back on theoretically inserted suppositions.

    As an aside to this case matter, a lot of “cold case non-resolved suspicious deaths when same are revealed to the public” persons often trawl through the recorded evidence, to establish the over-looked or negated person who has committed that particular cold case crime.
    The cold case contributing persons are not necessarily persons of high academic stature but are persons with a sharp mind capable of their own intelligent deduction, whereby such persons can better identify the actual perpetrator of a particular cold case crime.
    Please read in its entirety all that is held in this URL below.

    http://www.cla.asn.au/News/legal-system-fails-to-comply-on-rights/

    The cold case methodology approach to the SNF unsatisfactorily - in my view - arrived at conviction, may well lead to the identification of the actual perpetrator of the said crime.
    Given my personal view into this SNF matter, the State of Tasmania Justice system will not condone any rebuke.
    My question here is why?

    (edited)

    Posted by William Boeder  on  17/11/17  at  10:42 AM
  528. ah, good. 

      so..,polygraphs and ERPs not a logical next step for a defense team then i’ll call it.

    Posted by abs  on  17/11/17  at  08:58 PM
  529. #518; Hmmm, Peter, you seem reluctant to supply the calculations to back up your “tide forcing the bow down” suggestion. I can see I’ll have to take time off from scrubbing the nets to help out.
    It’s difficult to exactly quantify the force required to hold the yacht against the tide but in my experience, it is usually possible to pull a yacht up to it’s mooring against the tide. Even a large yacht, such as the Four Winds, providing the bottom is clean, does not present much resistance to the water at tidal flow speeds.
    Therefore, I’m using an arbitrary 1 kN for the total load on the mooring. This is the equivalent of 100 kgs and is possibly on the high side.
    Assuming the yacht’s attachment point is the same vertical height from the mooring as it is horizontally away from it, our theoretical mooring line is at 45°. Multiplying our 1 kN by sine 45 gives us a vertical (and horizontal) component of 707 newtons, or about 70 kg, the equivalent of a lightly built man standing on the bow or 70 litres of water.
    Do you really think that someone would think that a 53’ yacht was bow down, due to the weight of a person on the fore deck? Or even several?!
    The above example is not actually very relevant as the actual forces on a mooring are a bit more complex (moorings usually incorporate a spring), but it does put the question in proportion.
    I also note that you state “The yacht will also rotate vertically about its centre of gravity, which will cause a slight lift in the stern.”
    Umm, that should be “centre of buoyancy”. Minor point but if you are going to stand forth as the champion of science, it’s as well to get the details correct.
    With regard to spotting a sinking boat, it’s not usually the depth in the water that gives it away to an experienced eye. A vessel with a lot of water in the bilge reacts differently to waves. If someone stated that they thought the vessel was taking on water at 5 pm, a lot would depend on the experience level of that person. The movement of the boat would be much harder to discern after dark. It would be very hard to spot a sinking yacht, even when it had several tonnes of water in the bilge.

    Posted by Steve  on  18/11/17  at  08:25 AM
  530. The “weatherbeaten sailor” on a light coloured motorised Zodiac


    The Tasmanian community needs to be aware and has the right to know that there was a sighting of a person on a light coloured Zodiac in the vicinity of the Four Winds at around 7:45 - 8:30 pm on Australia Day and that the person had not contacted police. The fact that the former prosecutor chose not to use this evidence during Sue’s trial doesn’t mean that the evidence was inadmissible or is irrelevant to a post conviction review and analysis of the case. 


    The following questions are important:

     

    1. Why did not that person contact the police?


    2. Was Neill-Fraser the person on the sighted dinghy?


    3. Is the reason Neill-Fraser’s Bunnings alibi didn’t check out because she was not at the Bunnings at all on that day but was on the yacht the whole afternoon and early evening (from about 2:30 pm to about 8pm)?


    4. Is the reason Susan Neill-Fraser stated in her Stat Dec of 28th Jan that she got home about the time it was starting to get dark because she left the yacht at round 8pm (the sunset was at around 8:40 pm)?

     

    Those who believe that the matter concerning Bob  Chappell should  be titled “the mysterious disappearance of Mr Bob Chappell” ought to be very concerned about the identity of the “weatherbeaten sailor” on the light coloured motorised Zodiac dinghy and the reason why that person had not contacted the police.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  18/11/17  at  09:39 AM
  531. #530; Interesting that out of your four questions, three involve SNF being the “weather beaten sailor”, described by the witness as “male”.
    Only a little while ago, you were arguing that it was unlikely for gender to be mistaken. Of course, as a scientist, you have no bias…
    For those interested in questions, here’s a couple to ponder.

    1. Why was the vessel sunk? The only credible reason for sinking it would be to destroy DNA evidence. Interesting that the one person who had nothing to fear from DNA is the person accused of sinking it.

    2. If SNF was the villain, why did she not simply set the yacht adrift. Drifting yacht, missing owner. Lot’s of innocent scenarios. Easy case of accidental death. The big reason why no-one thinks Bob Chappell simply fell over the side is that the yacht was moored. Had it been drifting, it’d have been a totally different scenario.

    I could come up with many more, mostly based around the serious unlikelihood that anyone would plan and execute a crime with as many problems as this one. The scenario the prosecution put forward could have occurred but equally could have failed at so many points. Who would plan something with so many potential points of failure?

    Bonus question!
    Why rely on a fire extinguisher to sink the body? Planned event; what’s wrong with a few metres of heavy chain? Nothing suspicious about chain on a yacht but 14 kg’s of chain would be of much more benefit than a 14 kg fire extinguisher of unknown SG. If the body is indeed strapped to the fire extinguisher, that strongly indicates a non planned event.

    Posted by Steve  on  18/11/17  at  07:46 PM
  532. Steve

    1. Why do you wish to debate on this given that the eyewitness who saw the Four Winds at around 7:45 -8:30 pm (i.e. between 2.75 and 3.5 hours after 5pm) and did not notice anything unusual about the yacht. Had the yacht started taking on water at 5pm then the tilt would surely have been noticed a few hours later when this witneess was looking towards the area of Four Winds (I read Barbara Etter’s blog about the “weatherbeaten sailor” within the first 3-4 weeks of moving onto the case in April/May 2015).

    As for the 5pm witnesses, only one of them made a comment about the bow sitting low in the water. Another, the person who looked at Four Winds and the portside dinghy through binoculars, didn’t say anything about the tilt.  On that basis I formed the opinion that the tilt was probably barely noticeable. Had it been a pronounced tilt then I would expected that both of the witnesses to have noticed it. Thus, either the tilt was very small or the witness perceived the bow to be sitting low in the water because the yacht was rocking about in response to the wave action.

    2. As for your calculation. All you have done is to assume the tensional force of 1 kN and used year 10 maths. Here is where you took a guess:


    “Therefore, I’m using an arbitrary 1 kN for the total load on the mooring.:

    Well, you sure got an arbitrary result that may not apply to a yacht of the size of Four Winds under the relevant condition!

    Where did your 1 kN cone from? What if it were 10 times larger? You seem to have forgotten that I mentioned “tidal current and wind” at #506. The two forces were almost aligned on that afternoon - from the Trial Transcript it can be understood that the wind induced choppy river conditions with waves up to 3 feet in height. I would think that the wind and the wave action on the yacht’s hull would be the significant force acting that afternoon. I wouldn’t be surprised if a figure in a range of at least 10 – 15 kN would be more representative of what the Four Winds mooring had experienced that afternoon (I looked online this arvo at graph of a drag force on a 45 foot yacht as a function of speed through water).

    If you wish to pursue this interesting problem on your own then I can provide you with some links to useful online material (but I don’t have time to engage in a debate about this as am quite preoccupied with other work besides this case).

     


    3. As for your #521

    “BTW, with the exception of one undersized flathead and one good sized trout, I can lay no claim to being a Tasmanian fisherman!”


    Here are you own statements on this blog (which I had read some time ago and thus knew that you, in the past, worked as a professional fisherman for a number of years):


    #157

    “I can say though that I’ve been involved with boats all my life. I spent quite a few years working as a professional fisherman, I’ve skippered my own vessel (more than one actually), until I realised where that industry was headed. I’ve been scuba diving since I was fourteen and have done salvage diving on sunken vessels. I’ve re-floated boats on behalf of insurance companies and have also laid a number of moorings.


    #245

    “As an ex-professional fisherman, who grew up messing about in boats, I find the prosecution’s description of events stretches credibility.

    [I sure did try patronise you because of your sarcastic remark about me at your #509; you tend to have a habit of doing that so please back off]

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  18/11/17  at  10:42 PM
  533. Steve,


    Background data for my previous post:


    1. Wind speed at 5pm: approx  32-35 km/hr (see the graph in Reference 1)

    2. Wind speed for period 8:30 pm - 11:30 pm: 16 km/hr (see the graph in Reference 1)


    3. Wind direction for 5pm: from S - SSE  (see the graph in Reference 1)


    4. Tide direction: from memory I thought I read in the Trial Transcript over 2 years ago that it was an incoming tide. I just had a quick check and it appears that the tide was low (so it had gone out by 5pm). You can check further on internet if you wish. It thus appears that the wind and the waves are the main forces acting at 5pm.

    5. If you come up with a figure of less than 10 kN acting on the mooring then please let me know. It is a complex piece of work but you can seek help to get an approximate range of values for a yacht of the Four Winds dimensions and the stated weather conditions. Etc.

    6. Yes it should be centre of buoyancy (rather than gravity)

    Cheers,
    Peter

    ——————

    REFERENCE 1:


    Weather condition Hobart 26 Jan 2009

    https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/YMHB/2009/1/26/DailyHistory.html?req_city=Hobart&req;_state=&req_statename=Tasmania&reqdb;.zip=&reqdb;.magic=&reqdb;.wmo=

    REFERENCE 2:


    Working out hull drag - Yachting and Boating World

    See the graph showing:


     Drag (kN) as a function of speed (knots) for a 43 foot yacht moving through water.

     

    http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread.php?272540-Working-out-hull-drag

     

    OTHER REFERENCES:


    (i) in some data sheets I saw that a yacht of the length of Four Winds will have a recommended mooring block weighing at least 4000 kg (weight in air).


    (ii) download the following pdf file (goole its link)


    ocel-swing-mooring-design-report-v2.pdf

    Note the drag equation (force is proportional to Area × speed x speed).

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  19/11/17  at  03:32 AM
  534. The “weatherbeaten sailor” on a light coloured motorised Zodiac

      PART II: Was Sue the “weatherbeaten sailor”?

     

     

    For those who aren’t aware of an analysis from Oct 2015 which provides an answer to the above question (by a person called John TP ; see Reference 1). Note that I made my own analysis to the above question in May 2015 but with a slightly different approach).


     “1. I very much doubt that a person can from a distance of around 300 metres (with an aid of what most likely would have been a simple telescope) decide whether Sue’s facial features are that of a man or a woman. Sue was sailing the day earlier and shows a bit of a suntan in the photo taken on 26th and as well as on the media video footage taken the next morning. Suntan can hide finer facial details and possibly make it difficult from distance,  with the aid of a telescope, to accurately recognise finer facial features such as wrinkles or even shadows, makeup, etc). With this in mind and the fact that the said witness couple of days later saw a man whom she believed to be the “weatherbeaten man” even though that person did not fit the description, we can confidently assume that we cannot rely on that person’s accuracy in facial feature recognition under the conditions she faced. We don’t even know how good her vision was for fine detail.

     2. I don’t know to what extent Dr Lozo went and what further information he used to conclude that it was Sue. I read his earlier comment (#8 and #11 click HERE ). I get the gist of it can and can see that he went to some detail and was confident about his conclusion.

    3. I did my own analysis on this. Here is a summary of the information I wrote in my notes and used to support my conclusion that it was Sue (this goes well beyond what Dr Lozo and Mrs Etter wrote online):

    (i) Colour of Sue’s hair (dark; fits the eyewitness statement)

    (ii) length of Sue’s hair (almost shoulder length and wavy; fits the description), age 40 - early 50s (close enough given the difficulty listed in 1);

    (iii) Sue’s body shape  (slightly on the stocky side, wide shoulders for a woman; compare her shoulders with that of her daughter in Sarah’s wedding photo; almost same shoulder width as Bob in another photo: photos are available online if you google image search for Susan Neill-Fraser);

    (iv) Sue’s statement that she usually wears loose man’s shirts when out on the yacht (Pg 1142: 

    “Cargo pant and a loose shirt, usually a loose man’s shirt.”).  When a person of Sue’s body shape is seated and is wearing a loose fitting man’s shirt it is not difficult to imagine that she may appear to be stocky;

    (v) the dinghy was motorised; described as being light grey (fits Four Winds dinghy);

    (vi) Sue stated on two occasions that she got home about the time it was getting dark (the sunset was at 8:40 pm; see point 1 in the TT article  “Exceptional circumstances in the Sue Neill-Fraser case”  Click HERE) ; her arrival home coincides well with her leaving the yacht 40-60 minutes earlier; 

    (vii) the dinghy was travelling towards the yacht club (this is where Sue claimed to have left her dinghy after leaving the yacht).

    4. When I take all of the above into consideration (together with the absence of any direct sightings of Sue between say 3 pm and 7:30 am next day, and no valid alibi provided by Sue) I have no doubt in my mind that it was Sue in her dinghy leaving the yacht around 8pm.”

     

     

    Now, I note that SNF supporters are either ignoring the “weatherbeaten sailor” and/or are whinging to me about my comments on the subject . I have a question for SNF supporters:


    Would you have thought of the evidence concerning the “weatherbeaten sailor” as being any more significant and of more interest to you had the eyewitness described the dinghy as being grey to dark grey in colour?

     

    Peter


    —————

    REFERENCE 1: 


    See #327 by John TP (Oct 2015)

    http://www.tasmaniantimes.com.au/index.php/article/tim-ellis-and-the-australian-womens-weekly-

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  19/11/17  at  04:41 AM
  535. A brief extension to my  #534

    I note that in his analysis, John TP didn’t say anything about this important bit of the eyewitness statement:

     

    “He was sitting in the rear left hand side of the zodiac steering the outboard with his right hand.”

    Note that from the perspective of the observer in a house on Napoleon St the dinghy was travelling to the right and approximately perpendicular to the observer’s line of sight to the dinghy. Thus, from the perspective of the eyewitness, the right arm of the person on the dinghy would have partially blocked the view of the chest area. Had the person on the dinghy been a woman with well defined breast size it is quite possible that the eyewitness may not have been able to notice it.

     

    The other thing that John did not discuss is the following portion of the eyewitness statement that referred to the dinghy:

    “the rear of it was sitting well into the water.”


    Elsewhere on TT, I suggested that the likely reason for the stern sitting low in the water during motion is because of the way the propeller was trimmed, i.e. the angle at which the propeller is sitting in the water. Thus even though a stationary dinghy (with a person sitting at the back) might be sitting perfectly horizontal in the water the propeller will force the bow to lift and the stern to drop during motion (the amount being dependant on the way the propeller is trimmed by the dinghy operator).

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  19/11/17  at  06:45 AM
  536. Peter; I really think if you don’t want people, such as myself, being sarcastic towards you, perhaps you should stick to being an expert on topics you know something about and exercise a little humility when you move into areas where you have no knowledge and no experience.
    If you reckon the Four Winds was putting a load of 10 kN on it’s mooring, that’s a good old fashioned ton of strain, good luck to you. Why should I do your homework for you?
    With regard to my years in the fishing industry, it’s a big world out there and there are many places other than Tasmania with a fishing industry. Your attempts to patronise provided me much amusement as it displayed your automatic assumption that a university lecturer with a PhD is in some way smarter or superior to someone entrusted with a large vessel and the lives of crew members, sometimes under very nasty conditions. I was never in that league as I did not remain in the industry a long time but it is such a classic academic folly to suppose that you can patronise others because of their profession.

    Posted by Steve  on  19/11/17  at  07:36 AM
  537. #535 ... Groan. More ignorance! A dinghy sits down at the rear because it is moving at displacement speeds and the bow is lifted by its wave system.
    If it is capable as it speeds up, it breaks free of its wave system and “climbs” on to the plane.

    Posted by Steve  on  19/11/17  at  09:23 AM
  538. Great.

    Now who was the person on the dinghy?

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  19/11/17  at  12:12 PM
  539. The rear of the dinghy at 8.00 pm could have been sitting low in the water? Not because of the trimming of the outboard or in spite of the trimming. Bob’s body could have been in the dinghy.

    Who was the person in the dinghy?

    If only the cops had investigated this case correctly (in my view).

    The sad part is the next case will also be a screw up, I believe.

    (edited)

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  19/11/17  at  06:10 PM
  540. I would like to put an end to this secondary transfer of DNA by chewing gum carry on.

    A simple experiment which could be carried out at home.

    We have all stood in gum. Terrible. Worse in the summer. If it did happen I am sure gum would have adhered to the boat deck.

    Aim: to determine if gum can carry DNA onto a boat
    Apparatus: Gum, shoe and a piece of boat deck or similar.
    Method:
    1)Take a piece of gum and chew it
    2)Remove gum from mouth and notice that it is mildly wet.
    3)Throw gum on ground and walk away
    Note, it is believed that the cop or whoever, was not following in Vass’ footsteps.
    4)Return to gum and notice that it is dry.
    5)Stand on the gum.
    6)Walk a few paces and stand on a surface similar to a boat deck
    7)How much DNA was deposited onto the surface

    Result: No substantial dollop of DNA

    Conclusion: There was no substantial dollop of DNA on the gum nor inside the gum waiting to be squeezed out.

    OK, that’s the end of the gum story, in my opinion.

    We are now to focus on Vass must have deposited her own DNA…

    (edited)

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  19/11/17  at  08:24 PM
  541. Once the DNA gets there, how long will it stay? 

    The paragraphs below are relevant to Maxwell Jones’ expert forensic opinion on the degradation of DNA. It is also relevant to my comment at #496. Note that the study referred to is for touch based DNA rather than for a bodily fluid.


    From

    https://www.forensicmag.com/article/2012/06/touch-dna-analysis-using-literature-help-answer-some-common-questions#disqus_thread


    “Another common question when dealing with touch DNA is, “how long does it last?” As with most questions relating to touch DNA, there is no easy answer. Very little study has been done to assess the persistence of touch DNA, but this is becoming an increasingly important area of research, particularly as defense attorneys begin presenting arguments to suggest that touch DNA found at a crime scene can be explained by the defendant’s presence at the scene at an earlier time that is unrelated to the crime at hand.

    Consider the following scenario: A DNA profile matching a male suspect is located on a brick wall outside the home of a murder victim. The DNA appears to be from skin cells as it is negative for blood, semen, and saliva. How did the DNA get there? The prosecution’s theory is that the suspect fled the crime scene by climbing over the brick wall. Considering that blood evidence matching the victim is found nearby on the wall, this is a viable possibility. However, upon investigation, it is revealed that the suspect previously lived at the home in question and is, in fact, a relative of the murder victim. Could it then be possible that the suspect left his skin cell DNA at an earlier date when he either lived at the home or visited his relative? How can we determine which of the scenarios are accurate?

    Only one study this author is aware of directly addresses the persistence of touch DNA. Raymond, et al,13 conducted an investigation into the persistence of DNA at crime scenes. They applied known quantities of “buffy coat” DNA (the white blood cell and platelet layer of whole blood) to gloss-painted wooden window frames, pieces of vinyl, and control samples. Not surprisingly, they found that the chance of recovering DNA from an outdoor crime scene decreases significantly over time with two weeks showing a significant drop in alleles detected for most of the samples. The control samples fared much better, with full profiles able to be developed even after six weeks (the longest time period tested). This study also provided a table of results obtained from actual touch DNA casework samples and included the time between the offense and the collection of the evidence. Great variability existed; however, it is interesting to note that two of the three evidence items with greater than 50 days between offense and collection yielded DNA profiles. One additional study dealing with direct amplification of touch DNA samples briefly discusses the stability of touch DNA on fabrics. Volunteers rubbed their thumb and forefinger between a sample of fabric for 5 seconds. The fabric samples were left exposed to light on a window ledge and then subjected to direct amplification. Nearly complete PowerPlex 16 profiles were able to be generated from touch DNA on acrylic, nylon, and polyester for up to 36 days after transfer.14”


    Within the next couple of days I will present my analysis to show that the amount of saliva based DNA that can be detected in a secondary transfer via a chewing gum can be 100 times larger than the amount of DNA that can be detected from a touch DNA.

     

        ———-  for Brian ———

    Brian,

    It is my opinion that you are interpreting ‘relatively large amount of DNA’ to mean large amount of saliva. Note that the VPFSD forensic scientist used the term ‘relatively’ in his 2014 report to suggest that the amount of DNA that was detected was much larger than what would be expected from a touch based scenario (and hence why it is believed that the source is as bodily fluid).

    Also, DNA cannot be seen in saliva unless it is first extracted using the relevant procedure and chemicals.

    As I will write in the near future, a single droplet of saliva (one twentieth of a teaspoon) has about 100 times more DNA than what your hand would leave behind on a flat smooth surface after you pressed that surface for say 10 seconds.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  21/11/17  at  04:02 AM
  542. Correction to my #541


    In my last para of #541 I wrote:  

    “a single droplet of saliva (one twentieth of a teaspoon)”

    I should have written: 

    “a single droplet of saliva (one hundredth of a teaspoon)”


    [a teaspoon is 5 ml; if we assume that one droplet of saliva has approx the same volume as one droplet of water (0.05 ml) then there are 20 droplets of saliva in 1 ml or approx 100 droplets of saliva in a 5 ml teaspoon of saliva]

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  21/11/17  at  06:13 AM
  543. #541 Peter. Your note to me Brian. I understand that a small amount of whatever produces a lot of DNA.

    The point I was attempting to make is that the Vass DNA on the boat was more than likely not secondary transfer and highly unlikely to have been transferred by gum.

    I have previously suggested it may not have been saliva, rather phlegm.

    Now we come to the weather beaten man. Once again people are trying to shore up a bad investigation (in my view) by claiming Sue had a tan and could have been seen as/confused with a weather beaten man. Weather beaten means more than skin colour. It is the whole complexion and generally includes deep tanning, very lined skin on face and hands, bleaching of hair and an overall dryness. Sue has never fitted the description of a weather beaten man, in my view.

    The fact that Sue was stitched up on such flimsy non evidence - to me - makes one ponder about all the previous cases.

    There is no real nor circumstantial evidence (in my view) indicating that Sue was involved with Bob’s disappearance and this is the whole problem, to me.

    (edited)

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  21/11/17  at  06:15 AM
  544. Quantitative comparison of touch DNA and bodily fluid DNA


          Part I:  relevant experimental data

     

    I thought to provide 3 references for people to look at so that they can compare the amount of DNA (by weight) that can be extracted from one droplet of saliva (which I assume to have a volume close to that of one droplet of water, i.e 0.05 millilitres) versus the amount of DNA that can be extracted from a number of different touch scenarios. 

     

    1. Touch DNA:

     

    See

     

    Table 1:  Summary of amount of DNA detected via contact:


    at


    http://ryanforensicdna.com/touchdna/

     


    2. Bodily fluid DNA:

     

       -  see table titled “DNA content of biological samples” in the following:

    Forensic DNA Evidence: Collection, Mixtures, and
    Degradation:

     

    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://corescholar.libraries.wright.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1297&context=biology&ved=0ahUKEwjG8PTTkM7XAhVBF5QKHS_5BfsQFgghMAA&usg=AOvVaw38ljnb6Kt7da-vE61m3BWg

     

    Cont…

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  21/11/17  at  08:17 AM
  545. Cont ....

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22582505/

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  21/11/17  at  08:19 AM
  546. Peter, rather than talk about one droplet of water or saliva, should you be referring to one bead of sweat.

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  21/11/17  at  09:33 AM
  547. #543 Brian

    Re “weatherbeaten ... “;


    Am too busy with work and don’t have time to get into this issue.

    I suggest that try to understand and analyse the implication of the following paragraphs on the unreliability of the eyewitness for facial recognition under the relevant circumstances:

     

     

    “Then there was a second statement which had not been made until 17 March 2009 in which Witness A stated that at about 6 pm on 28 January she recognised “that same male” leaving the area of the DSS in a “white and blue old motor cruiser”. She said that she was at her house and looked through the telescope which confirmed to her that it was the same male. She also stated that the zodiac that she had seen him in was tied to the back of the boat. She was so concerned that she took photos of the male and the boat. She noticed a second older male on the boat who she thought resembled Bob Chappell. She then stated that she had provided the photos to the police that day. She stated:

    I am certain that the younger male on the boat was the one I saw in the Zodiac on 26/1/09. This is due to having a clear view of him on both occasions.

    My first concern was why it had taken police nearly 7 weeks to catch up with this witness. I would have thought that after the sighting on 28 January 2009 she would have contacted police, given the high profile of the case. However, there is no mention of any contact on the PIL. The next action by police, according to their PIL, was that on 18 March a detective attended the Derwent Sailing Squadron and spoke to the “bosun” who identified the boat and the younger man as Witness E. Later that morning, the detective is recorded as having phoned Witness E who confirmed that it was his boat and that the elderly male with him was his father. At some stage, police took a statement from Witness E dated 18 March 2009 but in the statement, he stated that he was nowhere near Battery Point on Australia Day and that his dinghy at the time had no outboard. I found the man on Facebook and, if the photo on the site was indeed him, he did not fit the description given of the man on 26 January 2009 at all. In fact, he had a very young, even “baby face” look.

    http://www.betterconsult.com.au/blog/the-weatherbeaten-man-in-the-sue-neill-fraser-case/


    There is a very good lesson in the above.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  21/11/17  at  01:18 PM
  548. (anonymous comment challenged and deleted}

    Posted by Jack Jolly  on  02/12/17  at  12:47 PM
  549. #548; I’m afraid there’s no news there Jack. The anonymous Lozo fan club used to provide me some amusement until I started realising that it’s all a bit sad.
    I would presume a medical expert would refer to a massive sense of insecurity, but to me it just seems pointless. How much genuine satisfaction can be gained from scoring points on an internet thread? Bit like cheating at patience!

    Posted by Steve  on  02/12/17  at  02:41 PM
  550. #548. Thanks Jack. “... of interest” yes, but of no surpise.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  02/12/17  at  05:13 PM
  551. I am puzzled as to why the police did not preserve the “crime scene”? A sinking boat with blood spatter (likely from nose bleeds though) and a man missing. After the initial boarding, why tie up the Four Winds at the docks in central Hobart in a busy public area full of locals and tourists where anyone could get to it (or even spit on it ... Why then bring the family on board to wander around? Why only then shift the boat to a less public shipyards in Goodwood and only then call in the forensic scientists to examine it and collect evidence samples? The confusion around the DNA of the homeless girl is partly because the “crime scene” was not preserved. Even if we think the homeless girl was on the boat (which is still a massive stretch given the uncertainty inherent in the DNA evidence), no one knows when. Maybe she hopped on the boat when it was tied up at Constitution Dock in central Hobart on the 27th January and has a good old spit on the deck? Who knows!!

    (edited)

    Posted by Peter Locard  on  16/12/17  at  08:36 AM
  552. #550. Hello Geraldine, right from the very beginning, this case had foundered on the “lack of factual evidence” which means more-so based upon unsound hypothetical circumstance dreamed into clear-cut case example of apprehended bias, in my view.
    Thus be the calculating methodology of Tasmania’s (old boys club?) or more accurately this State’s Judiciary officials.
    Yet not a one of them will relent from the happenstance of pure misty-eyed circumstance.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  16/12/17  at  08:48 PM
  553. #551 Peter, the police do stupid things the world over. In the case of Jon Benet Ramsey USA they set up their command centre in the crime scene. in the case of the Bain murders in NZ they burnt the crime scene to the ground - to get rid of the evidence? Gun Alley murder, Melbourne, it appears they hanged the wrong man, stupidity?

    The next question is how quickly did the police jump to the conclusion/form an opinion that Sue was a murderer. Very early on, in my view. This is not tunnel vision as some describe it, it is standard police operandi. Nominate a person - coppers nose - and then build the case around that person.

    I think people would be shocked if they knew how many innocent people have gone to gaol. I believe Bob Moles is out of whack with his ridiculous 1%.

    The craziest case of all is the Port Arthur Massacre. Bryant a left hander, the shooter a right hander. Bryant goes to gaol.

    As I have said previously the whole justice system has to be rebuilt, in my view.

    Only politicians can bring about change and it is up to people to demand change.

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  16/12/17  at  09:30 PM
  554. #552 ... William, the other concern is selective interpretation of what factual evidence there was.

    A glimpse of a car passing a CCTV camera is automatically the accused’s car, because she has a similar car, even though are many thousands of cars that it could also have been.
    Consider how a jacket, proved to belong to the accused, is key evidence. Even though a jacket is an easily transported object and whilst it’s easy to conjecture that it was transported from the sinking yacht by the perpetrator, it’s less easy to establish who that person might be.

    Contrary to this is DNA evidence pointing to another person which is dismissed as crime scene contamination. Even though DNA is unique and the circumstance by which it could have got to where it was, was extremely limited, compared to a jacket.

    Posted by Steve  on  17/12/17  at  12:31 PM
  555. #549 and #550 ...

    I note that my warning (#548) was challenged and deleted. No prizes for guessing who requested it. In fact the other thread where these matters were exposed was systematically sanitised as the person concerned went into overdrive. Substantial charity was shown by the editors despite overwhelming evidence as one large carp was thrown back into the dam to hide in the mud once more.

    If I were you I’d be looking for another Trojan Horse pseudonym to pop up some time very soon ... Oooh look! Bingo. I think it just did!

    Posted by Jack  on  17/12/17  at  12:40 PM
  556. Jack #555, I ceased commenting on another thread <http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/comments/37334>
    due to the realisation of what was actually going on with the anonymous Lozo fan club.

    in the thread i’ve linked, after debunking Peter in comments starting around the 180 mark, all these anonymous commentators turned up (some stating that they have expertise) throwing their support for Peter’s wrong statements and playing the man with my comments (see 201, 231, 235, 242).

    After engaging for a while the penny dropped and I disengaged from the pathetic charade.

    This behavior will only undermine TT’s integrity.
    Curious how he seems to be lying very low now that he has been outed

    Posted by abs  on  18/12/17  at  01:27 PM
  557. #553, 554 and 555, given the evidence of bias that so often can be detected in Tasmania’s Supreme Court, whereby decisions being handed down are occasionally in favour of the underserved.
    Much of the commentary published in relation to this SNF article-matter, has been postulated in a contrary manner by a certain interstate person, toward that which I believe to be unwarranted actions and attempts to support what I see as the unsound decision handed down by the above court in this particular SNF case.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  18/12/17  at  03:03 PM
  558. #556 abs

    I just had a look at the link and posts you indicated. I see what you mean. I see the same pattern as identified on the other thread. I’m curious as to what is gained by this? It is rather transparent. Why bother? I don’t understand the psychology at play.

    Posted by Jack  on  19/12/17  at  03:29 AM
  559. #558. So transparent why bother.

    I also have thought that certain commentators appear to be supporting or working for the police/prosecution.

    They do not care about transparency? They only care about winning. What is to be gained? keeping Sue in gaol. Why bother? There is a lot at stake.
    They have the upper hand and know it. Mix in a large dose of arrogance and you have the picture. It has nothing to do with justice.

    As I have said previously. The police may have made a dinghy disappear, in New Zealand they made a 46’ wooden ketch disappear. What took its place was a steel 26’ sloop.

    The people of Australia have to stand up and demand a better system.

    Where is that damned Andrew Wilkie in all this.
    A typical politician.

    Robin Bowles in her book says she was told Bradley Murdoch didn’t do it but was going down for it anyway.

    ...

    We still do not know if Falconio is dead or alive

    (edited)

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  19/12/17  at  07:37 AM
  560. #3. Hello again Brian, I have some rather irrevocable evidence facts that relate to the Port Arthur Massacre, also names of certain major players including o particular prominent that had fled from this State.
    There are a number of various other miscarriages of justice that has favored 2 State government business enterprises, one is the State’s Guardian Board, (GAB) this other is this State’s Public Trustees. (SPT)
    One of the simplest methods is simply to withhold fact evidence from being introduced to the Supreme Court players and various judicial officials, more so in case matters that may reveal that either the GAB GBE or maybe both and the TPT.
    No matter to the statutes breached or exceeded, the decision handed down is in favour of the relevant GBE(s.)
    Court transcripts of these elevated matters for review are at times occluded by substituting “a letter chosen from the alphabet” specifically to omit the names of the persons and or witnesses, that have been involved with the entirety of the lead up to this kind of review matter.
    Another method employed when there have been wholly unconscionable improprieties recorded there within a particular case matter, the case event transcript is just not forwarded to the keepers of all legal case archival files.
    This ruse to prohibit scrutiny of a conducted case or review is done so as desired and or intended, thereby the case event with all of its specifics remains forever unknown.
    The most notable case in this State was, of course, the Port Arthur Massacre.
    The 2nd of these (in my view) is the SNF case.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  18/02/18  at  09:53 AM
  561. #560 ... William. I am a bit curious about your irrevocable evidence based facts.
    How can I learn more?

    Posted by Brian Johnston  on  21/02/18  at  12:33 PM
  562. On 30 Oct 2017, at the Supreme Court in Hobart, I listened as a person who had lived and worked in Sandy Bay for a number of years gave evidence to the court.

    On the night of Bob Chappell’s disappearance, this man had seen his next-door neighbour returning from Marieville Esplanade (where the Four Winds ketch was moored offshore in the river) returning via Margaret Street and then via a short-cut through the Sandy Bay Bowling Club, thus reaching their Stanley Street destination (without having to walk around the block).

    That group of persons that the witness encountered on that evening 26Jan2009, comprised his neighbour (Simon P.) and two other men:  Stuart R. (now in prison convicted of murder), Michael (surname u/k) and a “plain Jane” young girl, about 14 or 15 years of age with straight dark hair ‘in a bob’ and shoulder length; she had no shoes.

    The witness was asked to look at some photos with a view to identifying the girl.  In the court he was shown photos and pointed out the two that were most likely those of the girl that he had seen that night.  He put his initials next to one of those two photos, indicating the person that he had seen.  We on the public benches, did not see the photos, so we don’t know if he identified or not.

    I inform the reader that the witness has no known connection with any of the persons involved in the Bob Chappell case.  His relevance is simply that he lived in Sandy Bay on 26 Jan 2009 and that he saw his next-door neighbour in company with the persons described above - on that evening.

    I make this thread-post because according to this witness, those persons had walked up Margaret Street ... and I remind readers that it was on the brick fence of the house on the corner of Margaret Street and Marieville Esplanade that the ‘red jacket’ was found the next morning.  We - in my view - must entertain the possibility that it was one of those persons who had deposited the jacket on the fence.

    Might I add that a dark hair was found on that red jacket.  The jacket had tested positive for Sue Neill-Fraser’s DNA - was it one of the jackets kept for visitors to the Four Winds, or perhaps for those who came to the horse-riding property?  But there was also on the red jacket a dark hair (from memory) that was not tested!

    I’m not repeating scuttlebut here, not playing a rumour roulette.  I have all this information through my examination of the Trial Transcript, and of various other formal documents.  I am happy to share my relevant records with anyone (of a bona fide disposition).  My email address is displayed at the end of this comment.

    Posted by garrystannus@hotmail.com  on  21/02/18  at  04:29 PM
  563. Hello Brian, The best means for you to learn more would be to contact me and at the same time provide me with evidence of your bona fides, then a means of confirmation that you are not in any attached and or associated with & toward Tas Inc or are person attached to or a part of this State’s higher echelon caste of privileged non-trusted non-credible persons.
    Do send me your email contact details.
    My email address. <williambtm3@gmail.com> this should get you through my active VPN.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  21/02/18  at  04:58 PM
  564. I refer to my #562 in which I reported on evidence given late last year in court, in the ‘2nd Appeal’ application by Sue Neill-Fraser:

    I apologise for the poor construction of that comment and also for the fact that the editor found it necessary to edit my comment. 

    A further weakness in that comment of mine, was that I omitted to mention another piece of evidence that was given in court by that Sandy Bay resident, Mr Brocklehurst, who told the court that his neighbour, Simon P., had met a group of people - two men and a young 14-15 year old girl; that he:

    had bumped into them coming from nowhere in a dinghy and had not set eyes on them before.

    For a number of reasons, I did not understand the import of - what was to me - that nonsensical image ... coming from nowhere in a dinghy.

    As published in my #562, the evidence now before the court is that the group that Simon P. bumped into comprised: two men - Stuart R. (now in prison convicted of murder), Michael (surname u/k) and a “plain Jane” young girl, about 14 or 15 years of age with straight dark hair ‘in a bob’ and shoulder length; she had no shoes.

    Here is that evidence, given to the court by Mr Brocklehurst (Simon P.‘s next door neighbour):

    1 Simon P. had been out walking his dog.  [My own remark:  Dog Beach (aka ‘Short Beach’) is a popular Sandy Bay place where dog owners take their dogs]

    2 Simon P. bumped into two men (Stuart R. and Michael {surname unknown}) and a “plain Jane” young girl [un-named], about 14 or 15 years of age.  They were coming from nowhere in a dinghy and he had not set eyes on them before.

    3 From [the Dog Beach on] Marieville Esplanade, Simon P, the two men and the girl, [walked up Margaret St].

    4 On the [low brick] fence of the house on that corner, a red jacket was found the next morning.

    5 [When they got to the elbow in Margaret St,] the group cut through the Bowling Club.

    6 Mr Brocklehurst, Simon P’s next door neighbour, saw them coming from the Bowling Club.

    7 Mr Brocklehurst heard them going into Simon P’s place.  It sounded as if they were getting drunk.  His partner asked them to quieten down.  They went on til about midnight.

    My use of square brackets indicates my own additions.

    Legal imperatives prevent me from speculating on the identity of that young girl who Mr Brockhurst identified in court by placing his initials next to one of two photos that he was shown while in the witness box.

    Posted by garrystannus@hotmail.com  on  03/03/18  at  08:00 AM
  565. It is sad to note that Vanessa Goodwin has died this afternoon.  I associate her with amendments to the Criminal Code which provided for 2nd and subsequent appeals where fresh and compelling evidence comes to light.  This amending legislation has been the vehicle which at present has allowed Sue Neill-Fraser’s application to proceed as far as it has.  Thank you, Vanessa Goodwin - you have had my respect because of those changes, and for other ways that you performed your role.

    Posted by garrystannus@hotmail.com  on  03/03/18  at  05:06 PM
  566. Agreed, Garry.

    Posted by Andrew  on  03/03/18  at  08:17 PM
  567. I’d like to advise readers of this thread about my brand new blog dedicated to cases like Sue Neill-Fraser’s - wrongfulconvictionsreport.org -  It will be officially launched later this month, but is active now. Readers can register (free) to receive an alert when a new article is published, and can comment or even submit information / articles for publication.

    It contains all my previously published articles on the Neill-Fraser case, as well as my articles on the cases of Henry Keogh, David Szach and Gordon Wood, plus a heap of other relevant articles - all transferred from pursuedemocracy.com in one place and well signposted.

    As my focus on wrongful convictions has grown over the past 4+ years, I wanted to have a dedicated outlet that could handle the material and also to give readers interested in this topic a single destination.

    Feel free to share and to comment.

    Posted by andrew  on  04/03/18  at  12:21 PM
  568. #567 Andrew Urban

    Incorrect representation on wrongfulconvictionsreport.org of Mr Hughes’ testimony at Sue’s trial


    I like to draw your attention to the following sentence of your blog Sue Neill-Fraser’s final appeal – Part 1

    wrongfulconvictionsreport.org


    “Grant Maddock, an artist but coming from a family of sailors, who lives on his yacht, provided evidence that perhaps explained eye witness evidence at trial in which local man John Hughes had claimed to have seen a female figure rowing out in a dinghy towards the Four Winds sometime before midnight.”


    Had I been naive about the contents of both the Trial Transcript and the above article, I would have thought that the evidence of Mr Maddock was significant. I think that you must have read the Trial Transcript as well but for some reason you are providing us with incorrect information about the testimony of Mr Hughes. Mr Hughes did not state at the Trial that the person was rowing a dinghy.

    Given that you authored part of the TT article to which we are commenting one would have thought that you would have noticed the following paragraph in the article


    “John Hughes gave evidence that between 11.30pm and midnight on 26 January, he was parked at the end of rowing sheds at Marieville Esplanade when he saw and heard an inflatable dinghy with an outboard on the back coming from the direction of the Royal Yacht Club, heading northeast towards the Eastern Shore of the Derwent. It was open to infer from that evidence that it was travelling roughly from where the appellant had said she left it at the Royal Yacht Club and roughly towards the Four Winds. Mr Hughes said that there was only one person in it who had the outline of a female, but he could not be definite. He was “almost 100 per cent definite” that there were no other persons in the area of the sheds.”

    Here are some extracts from the Trial transcript:

    1. TT 66/25


    “He heard an outboard motor
    and he saw an inflatable dinghy with a single person in it. His
    impression was that that person was female, the dinghy was heading
    at a slow speed towards the yachts moored out from the boat sheds
    where, ladies and gentlemen, the Four Winds was moored.”

     

    2. TT 378/25

    “Did you hear anything that was associated with seeing the
    dinghy?……There was an outboard on the back.
    And did you hear the sound of the outboard?……
    outboard?……It was reasonably
    quiet.”

     

    3. TT 385/30-45


    “Thank you. The dinghy was – more correctly the outboard of the
    dinghy was obviously making sufficient noise to draw your attention to it?……I heard it, I heard an outboard.

    Did you hear the outboard before you sighted the dinghy?……I can’t
    remember.

    At fifty metres away from it you could clearly hear the engine as it –
    as the dinghy went along?……Yes.
    And it was reasonably loud to where you were?……It wasn’t a
    roaring noise but I could hear the outboard.”

     

     

    You will find above at #459 my comparative analysis of the statements made by Mr Hughes and by Mr Maddock. Below I copy two relevant points:

    “(ii)  The dinghy

    Mr Hughes said that the dinghy was an inflatable dinghy. I assume that he formed his opinion on the basis of its shape. The photograph of the dinghy that belonged to the defence witness shows that he had a wooden dinghy. There is a considerable difference between the side shape (i.e. the side silhouette profile) of an inflatable dinghy (such as the dinghy that belonged to Four Winds) and the wooden dinghy of the defence witness.

    (iii)  The motor

    Mr Hughes said that he heard a motor. The defence witness at the recent appeal hearing stated that his dinghy did not have a motor and that he rowed it with one oar at the time (he described a particular rowing method he used with the oar behind the dinghy).

    Whether Mr Hughes could have heard a motor needs to be considered. It was late at night (close to midnight). There was no nearby traffic. He stated that the dinghy was about 50 meters away and that the motor or the dinghy was a quiet motor. Although the river was choppy (and thus noisy) during mid-afternoon the river condition in the evening was calm (as I understand it to have been - had it been choppy it would have been noted by the defence witness and Mr Hughes). One cannot easily confuse a continuous noise of a quiet motor (which is a high frequency humming noise) with the type of noise that would come from the ocassional splash of a rowed boat.

    On page 385 of the Trial Transcript, Mr Hughes’ response to Mr Gunson is:

    but I could hear the outboard”

    Please correct the error on your website as it is very misleading.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  01/04/18  at  02:37 PM
  569. “Death on the Derwent: Trio ‘came out of nowhere, on a dinghy’, man tells court”

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/death-on-the-derwent-trio-came-out-of-nowhere-on-a-dinghy-man-tells-court-20171030-gzavnp.html

    In #562 & #564 Garry summarises an event where a hairdresser saw 3 people in the evening of 26th Jan 2009, one person being a teenage girl of about 14-15. There is a significant bit of information that is missing in Garry’s summary: the time in the evening when the event occurred.. I would say that the timing of events on 26th Jan is very significant. If the above mentioned sighting occurred after 8:30 pm then I would consider it as being highly relevant. The reason for my statement will become apparent below.


    The above Sydney Morning Herald article has the critical sentence that tells us the time at which the hairdresser saw the 3 people.

    “It was about 7pm, and the girl was not wearing shoes, he said.”


    Now, something that most Tasmania’s aren’t aware of:

    A middle aged person was spotted on a motorised light coloured dinghy in the vicinity of Four Winds at around 7:45 pm - 8:30 pm on the Australia Day 2009. That person has not yet come forward to identify himself/herself. The description of that person did not at all fit Meaghan.

    See Barbara Etter’s blog on the “Weatherbeaten Man”

    http://www.betterconsult.com.au/blog/the-weatherbeaten-man-in-the-sue-neill-fraser-case/


    The “Weatherbeaten Man” has not yet come forward ever since that person was sighted on a dinghy in the vicinity of Four Winds at around 7:45 pm - 8:30 pm on Australia Day 2009.


    Why did not the “Weatherbeaten Man” contact the media and/or Neill-Fraser (or her family/friends) and/or the police and/or Neill-Fraser’s defence team?

    Why didn’t Colin McLaren, Robert Richter and Eve Ash pursue the lead about the “Weatherbeaten Man”?

    Why does the public not know about the“Weatherbeaten Man”?

    What information is available about the“Weatherbeaten Man”?

    Who is the “Weatherbeaten Man”  most likely to be?


    It was a very choppy Australia Day afternoon on the Derwent River in 2009. There were hardly any dinghies buzzing around on what was described by one eyewitness to be 3 foot waves. There were only three reported sightings of a travelling dinghy between midday and midnight of the day on which Bob Chappell was last seen.  Each time, there was only one person on the dinghy and the dinghy was motorised (note that the sightings at 3:55 pm and 5 pm were of a ‘grey’ dinghy tethered to the portside of Four Winds but not a single person was spotted on the dinghy or the Four Winds yacht).


    The sighting at around 2 pm was of Sue motoring towards Four Winds.


    The sighting at around 7:45 pm - 8:30 pm was of one person in a light coloured dinghy (very similar to the Four Winds dinghy) motoring away from the location of Four Winds in the general direction of the sailing club (where Sue, according to her statement, left her dinghy after returning from the yacht sometime that afternoon). Given the media frenzy immediately after it was discovered that Bob was missing and that the yacht was sabotaged, one would have normally expected (I certainly would have) for the person on that dinghy to have contacted the police even if the person did not see anything unusual about the yacht (for it would have greatly assisted  the police in establishing the timeline of events if nothing else). The fact that the person has not yet come forward is very odd given the extensive media coverage of the case ever since that day and up to the present time.

     
    The third sighting was between 11:30 pm and midnight of one person on a motorised inflatable dinghy travelling past the Sandy Bay Rowing Shed in the general direction of where Four Winds for moored (the defence witness during the current appeal had had a wooden dinghy and did not have a motor on it).


    Sue has not yet provided an explanation of her whereabouts for a 5 hour time block (4 pm - 9 pm). She tried by stating that she spent the whole afternoon and early evening in Bunnings and returned home about the time it was starting to get dark (between 8:30 pm and 9pm). But her alibi fell apart when the police discovered that on that day Bunnings had closed at 6pm and that she did not appear on any security videos for that day!! 

     
    Where was Sue between 4pm and 9pm?


    Was Sue actually on Four Winds from about 2 pm to about 8 pm but did not want the police to know that she spent 6 hours or so on the yacht that afternoon.

    Why are Neill-Fraser supporters (and her legal team) picking on an innocent person (Meaghan) who did not fit the description of the sighted person and in my opinion was never on-board Four Winds. How that young woman keeps her sanity whilst living in poverty and trying to survive in that nasty social environment in Hobart is beyond me.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  02/04/18  at  10:20 AM
  570. #569. Why is it Peter Lozo that you are playing the part of a dubious thinking DPP in the quest of forcing your opinions on a matter of nil consequence to yourself but of a major consequence to others?
    Your biased comments rival the media speculations that had influenced the charge of murder upon Lindy Chamberlain.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  02/04/18  at  03:41 PM
  571. Here is some more educational material for William:

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/comments/54179/

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/comments/53877/

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  02/04/18  at  05:04 PM
  572. Is there anything fresh in the reports of Dr Reynolds?


    “Dr Reynolds agreed there was nothing fresh in the reports  and their details could have been used in the 2010 murder trial.

    New legislation in 2015 had allowed Neill-Fraser one last avenue of appeal, provided her defence team could could provide fresh and compelling evidence.

    Under questioning from Mr Coates, Dr Reynolds agreed the yacht’s winch was geared in a way that meant it would take three kilograms of effort to lift 81 kilograms of weight.

    “If [Neill-Fraser] could move three kilograms, then she could have done it,” he said.”


    http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5273946/fresh-and-compelling-evidence-criticised-by-dpp/


    When I analysed the winching problem over a year ago I wasn’t aware of the actual power ratio of the relevant winch (it is 27:1) but I predicted that had the winch had a power ratio of at least 20:1 (which isn’t unusual for a yacht of that size) then it would have been easy for Sue to winch out 100 kg.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  02/04/18  at  07:58 PM
  573. The critical time period 4 pm - 9 pm Australia Day 2009


    Very early in my research of this case (within the first two weeks back in April 2015) I recognised that the most critical time period to understand was the time period 4 pm - 9 pm. I reached this conclusion for the following two main reasons:

     

    (i) The very last known person who was on Four Winds with Bob (Neill-Fraser) could not provide an explanation of her own whereabouts and actions for that critical 5 hour time period;

     

    (ii) A middle aged person was spotted on a motorised light coloured dinghy in the vicinity of Four Winds at around 7:45 pm - 8:30 pm. That person has not yet come forward to identify himself/herself. The description of that person did not at all fit Meaghan.

     

    I therefore concluded that there was no reasonable possibility of anyone else being on Four Winds before 8:30 pm other Sue and Bob and that that there is no reasonable doubt about Sue being the mysterious “Weatherbeaten Man”. See Barbara Etter’s blog about this sighting:


    http://www.betterconsult.com.au/blog/the-weatherbeaten-man-in-the-sue-neill-fraser-case/

     

    My further reasoning about the “Weatherbeaten Man” is at the bottom of


    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/comments/54179/

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  03/04/18  at  09:07 AM
  574. Reasoning about the critical aspects of the Australian criminal law concerning this (circumstantial) case

                    Part I of two

    Below I copy from two websites what I consider to be the single most crucial legal point that is relevant to this case:

    “Where the Crown case rests substantially on circumstantial evidence a jury cannot return a guilty verdict unless the Crown has excluded all reasonable hypotheses consistent with innocence.”


    Here is another version of the same legal point:


    “In circumstantial cases, if there is evidence of a “reasonable hypothesis consistent with innocence” then the defendant must be found “not guilty”. However, if there is no such reasonable explanation, the jury can infer guilt and find the defendant guilty.”


    My application of the above legal point with respect to this case as it relates to Vass DNA is as follows:


    HAD there been a reasonable possibility that Vass DNA was a primary deposit

    AND

    HAD there been a reasonable possibility that Vass DNA was deposited on the evening of Bob Chappell’s disappearance ..

    THEN Neill-Fraser should not have been found guilty because had both of the above conditions been met then it would have meant that there would have been a reasonable hypothesis that someone else had murdered Bob and thus there would have been a reasonable hypothesis consistent with innocence.

    How then does one go about deciding whether or not the above two conditions concerning Vass DNA were met?

    Given that the crime scene was on the Four Winds yacht, one needs to consider the possible time frames that Vass (and whatever associates she may have had) could have had to board the yacht that night without running into Neill-Fraser. One thus cannot ignore Neill-Fraser’s whereabouts in order to make a beyond reasonable doubt decision concerning the Vass DNA. But how then does one conclude beyond reasonable doubt about Neill-Fraser’s whereabouts that evening?

    On the basis of my analysis I concluded beyond reasonable doubt that Neill-Fraser was on Four Winds from about 2 pm to about 8 pm. My reasoning can be seen in the following posts:

    - post #573 (above)

    - post #596
    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/comments/37334/

    - post #47
    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/comments/54179/

    Thus, we can beyond a reasonable doubt exclude Vass from being on Four Winds from 2 pm to 8 pm on the Australia Day afternoon and early evening.

    .........  [to be continued]  ...................

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  03/04/18  at  04:25 PM
  575. Complete bollocks, Peter.

    If Sue was on the yacht at that time, why should she have lied about it? Her yacht, her husband. She was at complete liberty to be on board. There is nothing critical about those hours, except that there is mileage to be made out of demonstrating that SNF apparently provided incorrect information as to her whereabouts.

    Possibly this is a change of tack? I thought the hypothesis was that she committed the murder either late afternoon, or in the middle of the night, then disposed of the body in the wee hours. Why should the evening hours have particular significance? With regard to “reasonable doubt” and the “weather beaten man”; possibly the witness’s gender confusion might be perceived to be reasonable doubt!

    Whilst I’m on the topic, your winch physics are crap. Trying to asses a winching situation based on the mechanical advantage and the dead weight is a mistake only an academic would make. I’m probably doing the wrong thing even bothering to reply to this stuff.

    William really summed it up a few posts back. No doubt we’ll soon have a rush of posts from anonymous first time posters proclaiming the Lozo wisdom.

    Posted by Steve  on  03/04/18  at  06:54 PM
  576. #575 ... Bullocks to you Steve!

    On the Winching issue, see http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5273946/fresh-and-compelling-evidence-criticised-by-dpp/

    “Dr Reynolds agreed the yacht’s winch was geared in a way that meant it would take three kilograms of effort to lift 81 kilograms of weight.”

    “If [Neill-Fraser] could move three kilograms, then she could have done it,” he said.”

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  03/04/18  at  07:38 PM
  577. Yes, William, it is a good question in #570

    Taken together with what Steve highlights (the anonymous fan-club which has been observed by others here, yet not commented upon by Peter) I have a hypothesis - yet it is about what motivates the poster, not about the thread content

    Posted by abs  on  03/04/18  at  08:28 PM
  578. On ‘amnesic’ hours

    “If we are to believe that Sue had lost her memory (was sleep walking?) then how on earth would she know whether or not she killed anyone during those ‘amnesic hours’? How on earth would she know that it wasn’t her on that dinghy that was spotted motoring away from the location of Four Winds around 7:45 pm - 8:30 pm? How would she know that it wasn’t her on that dinghy that was motoring past the Sandy Bay Rowing Shed at around 11:30 pm - midnight? ...”

    For more see #14 ..

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/comments/53877/

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  03/04/18  at  09:37 PM
  579. #577. Thank you abs, Dr. Lozo had expressed his purpose in a far earlier comment submitted to this Tasmanian Times copy of a Tasmanian mainstream media story and report regarding the SNF court ruling handed down by the whoever had presided Supreme Court judge.

    The comment I refer to in which he had described his purpose for the engagement in the SNF case matter (in which he presents his heavily biased account of the SNF case matter) to later become a submission to some obscure think-tank here in Australia or some other destination.
    (His style is not unlike the manner of the former DPP Tim Ellis when serving in his former role during the SNF case, during which the DPP had proffered his hypotheticals and circumstantials during his prosecutorial evidence submission to the Supreme Court “Judge” who I don’t recall (as well as all the people present in that court) that had presided over this SNF case in the style of a judge “being led by the might of some mythological Greek God” acting out the prosecutors role, rattling on with mostly scant-of-fact evidence and bits of inconclusive circumstantial items of evidence, in which, quite oddly, were then relied upon by all the judiciary persons present who held themselves supplicant to this Lion of Legal interpretation armed with his goodly sumptuous amount of legalistic discretion.

    (This same DPP descriptive claim is classicly relevant as being of common public knowledge, and not untypical of, the demeanour held by many of Australia’s past and present State appointed DPP’s.)

    A lateral diversion for you now abs, a serious Chronology of events occurring in South Australia, being a State now notorious for the discovery and later revelation relating to criminal-like performance of their State’s former Chief Forensic Scientist, a man by the name of Dr Colin Mannock, where it quite convincingly and reasonably alleged that he held insufficient academic qualification and was absent of the merit of skill and expertise to be awarded that highly responsible appointment.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-07/watershed-moment-for-high-court-judgement-on-frits-van-beelen/9123924

    The manner of Dr. Colin Mannock, Chief of Forensic Science in South Australia, was known to be of a peculiar manner or demeanor rather typically displaying a person of pompous disdain, then that he had directed this same toward any and all doubters and disbelievers as to his credentials.

    Dr. Robert Moles and his fine wife Professor Bibi Sangha as an associate highly credentialed legal expert in matters of injudicious finding Court of law findings, had mentioned in numerous reviews of a number of criminal court convictions in that State, in that they had been concluded on the basis of insupportable forensic diagnosis given by Dr. Mannock being considered as an expert witness as could testify to the cause of a person’s death, that would then be classified as official and binding.

    Dr. Moles mention had also touched upon the failures of that State’s government authorities which indeed had been possessed of a somewhat lax and lazy ambivalence [my words here] (as can be found euphemistically held toward this State of Tasmania’s government-appointed high-level persons to some non-accountable level of authority) in which Both Dr. Moles and the highly regarded esteemed wife and associate Professor Bibi Sangha, when each had entered into the interesting detail and background of the ubiquitous Dr. Mannock. though to include the unsound decicion handed down upon SNF.

    One must consider the ramifications arising from the many hundreds and maybe thousands of Chief Forensic Scientific evidence reports and findings which have since been “considered by many (including the arrogant nature of later-found-to-be mistakenly appointed State DPPs) that in each report or finding now being of questionable concern in their fact” then that of all of those reports and findings were the unsatisfactory consequence of Dr. Colin Mannock in his being verily discordant manner and method to present the actual cause of death in a great many of the South Australian criminal court findings.

    I recommend the full reading of the 16 pages in the below link, only then will the proportion of sensibly interested Tasmanians fully understand the World-wide acclaim and esteem given to the hugely influential and later respected and unanimously praised and accepted specialist work of both Dr. Robert Moles and Professor Bibi Sangha.

    http://netk.net.au/MOJGeneral/MOJ11.pdf

    Posted by William Boeder  on  04/04/18  at  02:46 AM
  580. Thank goodness that some of us are capable of independent reasoning and do not need legal scholars to interpret forensic pathology, or other areas of forensic science, for us.

    Posted by Peter  on  06/04/18  at  09:52 PM
  581. #580 ... Well said, Peter, I know you realise that among the very few gems there are an enormous number of absolute fools dribbling vast quantities of absolute nonsense on this page.
    I know that those closer than most to the small number at the centre of this case are disgusted by the nonsense that has been postulated here, most of it with no credible justification.

    Posted by George Harris  on  06/04/18  at  11:18 PM
  582. My last post #580 got away from me before I had it completed. I see that it doesn’t have my full name on it either.

    In #580 I was referring to a former legal academic whose name is listed in #579. Unlike anyone else in this country, as far as I know, I am the only independent scientist (non-forensic) who has researched both the Keogh case and the Neill-Fraser case. It is on that basis that I can confidently state that I wouldn’t rely on Dr Moles’ interpretation of forensic pathology opinions in the Keogh case nor his interpretation of forensic science opinions in this case. I will write a comprehensive post on Dr Moles’ absurd interpration of the VPFSD forensic report on the Vass DNA which then led him to state absolute nonsense on the 2014 ‘60 Minutes’ program ‘Justice Overboard.’

    For those who aren’t aware: the DPP lodged a complaint against Barbara Etter for a comment she made in 2014 on the very 60 Minutes on which Dr Moles featured.

    See the 4th paragraph here: https://www.cla.asn.au/News/a-law-unto-themselves-absent-model-principles/

    “The first LPB complaint against Etter concerns her comments on the TV program 60 Minutes in 2014 about the evidence introduced at the Sue Neill-Fraser trial (SNF) by the Crown concerning the presence (or otherwise) of blood in the dinghy of the yacht from which SNF’s husband disappeared.”

    It appears that the matter is serious because it is claimed that Mrs Etter has, as a licensed solicitor in Tasmania, brought justice in Tasmania into disrepute.  I wonder whether there would have been complaints against Dr Moles had he been a licensed solicitor.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/04/18  at  09:15 AM
  583. Re 582 ... Your shameless self promotion and self importance knows no bounds in this comment thread. Whether you are or are not “the only independent scientist (non-forensic) who has researched both the Keogh case and the Neill-Fraser case” you are certainly the only one (forensic or otherwise) who debases your comments with barbed attacks on Dr Moles, an acclaimed professional academic, in such rude, intemperate, unprofessional terms.

    Further on you gave us a wry laugh though, when you wrote (about Barbara Etter) without a trace of irony: ” ... it is claimed that Mrs Etter has, as a licensed solicitor in Tasmania, brought justice in Tasmania into disrepute.” Brought justice in Tasmania into disrepute?

    That disrepute was all self delivered.

    Posted by andrew  on  07/04/18  at  12:36 PM
  584. On Dr Moles’ incorrect and misleading interpretation of expert medical and scientific opinions

    Although I am not medically qualified nor am I legally qualified nor am I a forensic scientist but as a physical scientist who has researched both the Keogh and the Neill-Fraser case I am in a position where I can intelligently and from a scientific point of view evaluate Dr Bob Moles’ interpretation of the forensic pathology opinions in the first case, and his interpretation of forensic science opinions in the second case.

    Part I of four parts

    The first two parts will focus on the Keogh case (Parts III and IV will focus on the Neill-Fraser case).

    On top of page 2 of the 16 page document which William Border gave a link to in his #579, it says:

    The commencement of the process to retry Mr Keogh was contrary to fundamental legal principles and never had any prospect of success. The unavailability of an individual witness, due to ill-health, as claimed by the DPP could never have overcome the basic procedural and substantive obstacles.

    Dr Bob Moles (a former legal academic with no apparent tertiary education in science or the scientific method of investigation) should have known that one critical thing the DPP would have needed to prove beyond reasonable doubt in the Keogh case was that medication had nothing to do with Ms Cheney’s death.

    The DPP had an eyewitness during the 2014 Appeal (a police officer from the Coroner’s office) who examined the deceased’s body at the scene of death and who did not notice any swelling on the deceased’s face, but the Appeal Court judges did not think that her observation would have been valid because she had not known what the deceased looked like in real life.

    But there was someone else at the scene of death who did know the deceased very well and that person was also a medical specialist. It is my opinion that the DPP called off the 3rd trial several months before it was scheduled to proceed because of the unavailability of Dr Cheney (the father of the deceased) rather than the unavailability of Dr Manock (whose opinion was no longer critical to a possibly slightly different forced drowning scenario that the Crown was intending to pursue had the trial proceeded).

    When Dr Moles referred to ‘bruises in the following online post in January 2015 he should really have used the word ‘bruise’ rather than ‘bruises’ because only one of the originally reported 15 bruises by Dr Manock was considered (and then scientifically proven by a test for the presence of Hemosiderin) that that bruise was not a bruise as defined by forensic pathologist.

    “A subsequent report obtained by the Crown in 2014 confirmed the findings of the 2004 report – as did two additional reports by the defence, each from highly credentialed experts. They variously established that what were thought to be bruises to the leg were not in fact bruises, and that the alleged bruising to the head was in fact artifactual – it was caused during the process of the autopsy. The pathologist who gave evidence at trial subsequently admitted in proceedings before the Medical Board and the Medical Tribunal, that much of the evidence he had given at trial was incorrect or not supported by appropriate evidence.”

    http://smithforensic.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/henry-keogh-south-australia-guest-post.html

    There is no doubt that all other bruises were considered to be bruises but the issue was how and when they were caused.  Dr Moles refers to the head bruise being caused at the autopsy. But all forensic pathologists opined that the head bruise was caused at the time of death. It was the two oval shaped bruises on the back of the neck that were claimed by most forensic pathologist to have been caused during the autopsy procedure. Dr Moles seems to have missed this in his reading of the 2014 decision by the Appeals Court.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/04/18  at  01:50 PM
  585. #583 ... *hearty round of applause.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  07/04/18  at  01:57 PM
  586. On Dr Moles’ incorrect and misleading interpretation of expert medical and scientific opinions ...

    .......        Part II of four parts  ......

    My own scientific experimentation in a bathtub in 2014 led me to conclude that there existed a slightly different scenario to what Dr Manock proposed and which fitted the geometrical relationship between the bruises on the deceased’s body and the bathtub .. its layout in the bathroom, its size, shape and the detailed asymmetric feature of the longitudinal section of the bathtub edge; and the depth of water. All the bruises (other than the single ‘no’bruise’ on the medial aspect of the lower left leg) can be explained by a single scenario in the bathtub. Not only the cause of all those originally reported 14 bruises, but their distribution, size, shape and their relative spacing can be explained.

    After completing my research into the death of Ms Cheney I submitted an unsolicited report to the South Australian Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (and to a certain forensic pathologist) in Jan 2015 DPP. I then wrote an online comment titled

    A BRIEF SCIENTIFIC CRITIQUE ON THE MEDICAL EXPERT CONCLUSIONS

    See here: https://www.cla.asn.au/News/keogh-free-royal-commission-needed/

    Below is an extract from the Executive Summary of my January 2015 report on the results of my findings:


    “It is further concluded, on the assumption that the various medical experts who provided reports and/or have given oral opinions on this case since 2004 (particularly Prof Tony Thomas, Prof Vernon-Roberts, Prof Pounder and Dr Lynch) would have been aware of the following two critical points:

    a) that the mechanism of assisted drowning as proposed by Dr Manock during the first two trails of Mr Keogh was argued (and demonstrated) by Mr Keogh’s legal representatives to be physically implausible;

    b) that the medial mark on the left calf of the deceased’s leg was argued by Mr Keogh’s legal team not be supported by microscopic examination (well before Prof Thomas confirmation of Hemosiderin presence) and that therefore they could have been cognitively and perceptually predisposed to view the medical evidence in the favour of a non-homicidal death. This may have influenced their opinion regarding the bruises because they would not have been able to fully relate all the bruises to the physical context in which those bruises could have occurred (other than the artifacts of the autopsy). As such, they had no other choice but to propose that the death was most probably accidental. However, just because the prevailing scientific evidence supports the conclusion that Ms Cheney could not have been forcibly drowned as proposed by Dr Manock does NOT necessarily rule out the possibility of a homicidal death, particularly if an alternate and a physically plausible mechanism of assisted (forced) drowning can be found. All evidence seems to suggest that Dr Manock’s autopsy of Ms Cheney was hurried, and that his opinion as to the mechanism of assisted death may have been erroneously influenced by his knowledge of the “brides in the bath” cases. This report will show that there does exist an alternate and a physically plausible mechanism of assisted (forced) drowning to that proposed by Manock, and that gravity plays a significant role in the execution of this alternate mechanism and on its after-effect.

    It is my scientific opinion that had the 3rd trial proceeded the Crown case would have been that Mr Cheney was facing down towards the bottom of the bathtub rather than facing upwards towards the ceiling.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/04/18  at  02:04 PM
  587. #582. So, George Harris, I see you have found yourself with nothing to do nowadays since your connections and cronies lingering within your former Forestry Tasmania rat-pack chummy wheelers and dealers.
    Surely you recall our conversations and your tales told “out of school” back in those earlier times when Forestry Tasmania had all of its freeloaders on the F/T payroll.
    Do please be aware that I have kept quite silent about your many openly revealed facts relating to forestry acquisitions and various secret herbs and spices dealings that you had revealed to me during our private discussions.

    I too can play your game relating to your comment above. It is reminiscent of a bygone era when drivel and disparagement were your main lines of defense against the facts of others regarding truth and your borderline activities, this may also be the reason for that matter between you and the brotherhood of fellow wood craftsmen down your way in that they now look elsewhere for trustworthy persons and craftwork companions.

    This former Forestry Tasmania reckless gay abandon and negligent loss-making madness is now no longer the huge burden it had become back in those former colluding and secretive-dealing days.
    Your knowledge of those that were in the forestry racket during the earlier days of the State Labor government of Lennon and even Lara, who had to rely on the Giggler for advice relating to forestry matters (she who had also received his tutelage about how to chase a fish by Bryan the Giggler, during their former fishing trip and forays together up and around the fishing huts of Tasmania’s Central Lakes region) may have gained some mild understanding of the notorious indulgences during that Forestry Tasmania era.
    That’ll do for now George, you’ve had your jibe so let matters rest.

    Now Peter Lozo: Best you be aware of the vicarious prejudice demonstrated by you in your comments that sees you meddling with the minds of people then of your incursions and trespass upon the professional standing of others who are held in far higher esteem than yourself may currently have you placed at the extreme end of the chain of credible certainty.

    Given your interpretations of forensic findings, this pursuit of yours would hasten to have this specialist field of study relegated to the inexact fields of scientific guestimation and uncertainty, that bedevils both Psychiatric assessment and study, also psychologic assessment and study.
    http://www.crownlaw.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/329699/Guidelines_for_the_Disclosure_of_Communications_protected_by_Client_Legal_Privilege.pdf

    Your prejudice to the findings of Dr. Moles and his acclaimed associate Ms. Bibi Sangha is dangerous ground for you to be trespassing on, simply so that you might elevate your lesser credibility recognised self when you are upon that higher ground that you have chosen to trespass upon then dismiss.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  07/04/18  at  03:51 PM
  588. #53 ... Well presented Andrew.

    Peter Lozo, now what the Dickens does the line of sight alleged to be the direction of the vision of Mr. Cheney, have to do with the guessed at scenario, or the price of fish?
    Could you please explain the significance of your reasoning about the line of sight? Are you suggesting he allegedly sought to drown the feet of this now deceased?

    Posted by William Boeder  on  07/04/18  at  04:02 PM
  589. #583 ...Hear, hear!

    Posted by garrystannus@hotmail.com  on  07/04/18  at  04:45 PM
  590. Dr Cheney saw his daughter’s dead body laid out flat on her back on the bedroom floor. Had his daughter had a facial swelling (as was claimed for the first time about 10 years after the death in 2004 by Keogh’s defence team; and by Prof Thomas and Prof Henneberg) then Dr Cheney would have been the best eyewitness who could have testified as to whether or not his daughter’s dead face showed any sign of swelling.

    “Prof Thomas also reiterated evidence he gave earlier this year, that photos of Ms Cheney taken postmortem showed her face to be swollen, swelling which was unlikely to have been caused by resuscitation attempts.”

    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/a-second-expert-flinders-university-professor-anthony-thomas-criticises-annajane-cheneys-autopsy-processes/news-story/38eed223cfdcb8700226f3ba5d7d9629

    Check out Prof Henneberg’s televised opinion in 2004:

    Watch “Keogh -  new revelations 12 July 2004” on YouTube
    https://youtu.be/nY5-ZNgZUvQ

    The defence was intending to argue that facial swelling was a result of a fatal reaction to Hismanal medication. Hence why the DPP needed to prove BRD that medication had nothing to do with the death and that the facial swelling was not present to any noticeable degree. Hence why Dr Cheney would have been a key witness had the trial proceeded.

    —-
    PS:

    Q: How many SNF supporters are required to challenge one physical scientist from Adelaide?

    A: Infinite (because they are all non-scientists and have not a single clue what science can and cannot do in this SNF case).

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/04/18  at  06:37 PM
  591. I have read almost all of Dr Moles’ attacks on Dr Manock. I am reasonably sure that I read all of Andrew Urban’s comments on the Keogh case, and the Neill-Fraser case. But nowhere did I read Andrew Urban questioning whether Dr Manock’s private life in the years following the conviction of Mr Keogh in 1995 had anything to do with the evidence he presented in any of the cases before he retired in 1995.

    Why on earth did Dr Moles think it relevant, and professionally appropriate, to include the following sentence in what appears to be a legal paper on miscarriages of justice? You call that a professional paper by a former legal academic?

    “It was also revealed that Dr Manock had recently become engaged to ‘Mistress Gabrielle’ who appears to be a prostitute who specialises in sado-masochistic practices.”

    http://netk.net.au/MOJGeneral/MOJ11.pdf

    As for the apparent perception of self-promotion: perhaps it is part of a book deal that might attract a movie producer! What was Dr Moles doing all these years since he left an academic career? Dr Moles provided online opinions on scientific matters. So did I, the only difference being that he is not a scientist but a PhD in law, and I am not a lawyer but a PhD in science.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/04/18  at  07:33 PM
  592. As a prelude to my last two parts on the way Dr Moles interprets the opinions of medical experts and forensic scientists, I refer the readers to this TT article: http://www.tasmaniantimes.com.au/index.php/article/sue-neill-fraser-and-dr-bob-moles-

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/04/18  at  08:37 PM
  593. For the final prelude to my last two parts on the way Dr Moles interprets the opinion of medical experts and forensic scientists, I refer readers to the following comments by a retired forensic scientist from Brisbane:

    #586 http://www.tasmaniantimes.com.au/index.php/article/tim-ellis-and-the-australian-womens-weekly-

    #231 and #234 above, particularly this part of #234 [my emphasis is shown in bold]:

    “I am also puzzled by the focus on the forensic evidence in this case, which really didn’t have anything useful to say (especially given that apparently the “crime scene” was not properly preserved in the first place). There was no evidence of a violent attack (especially given Bob’s history of nose bleeds) and no confirmation of human blood in the dinghy (surprising if the dinghy was used to remove a bleeding body).

    Even if there were traces of blood in the dinghy, so what, it could have been another of Bob’s nose bleeds, or non-human blood (ever seen the state of jetties around Australia awash with blood from fish having been gutted and cleaned?). And why didn’t the defence seek to exclude the luminol evidence if it was more prejudicial than probative?  (http://cdn-src.tasmaniantimes.com.s3.amazonaws.com/files/Transcript_Complete.pdf).

    Or turn it all around - isn’t the lack of confirmed blood in the dinghy exactly the evidence the defence would want in the trial? Doesn’t this support their case much better than the prosecution scenario?

    But the subsequent misrepresentation of an independent forensic report from Melbourne on 60 Minutes takes this all to a bizarre new level.”

    Thus, I am not the only scientist to say or imply that Dr Moles’ interpretation of the VPFSD report on Vass DNA is incorrect and absurd. His statement on 60 Minutes would have had considerable influence on people’s incorrect perception of the case.

    Just take a look at what a fine standing citizen of Hobart posted on Barbara Etter’s website shortly after the 60 Minutes program ‘Justice Overboard’ was aired in 2014:

    This was posted by Lynn Giddings on 24 August 2014 (The same day that Barbara Etter created the blog):

    “Having watched Meaghan Vass give evidence in court and be cross-examined, I found some of her statements ambiguous. She told the court she refused to be interviewed about anything to do with this case. When asked if she felt intimidated by the police, she said “Yes, I’ve never dealt with something this large before.” Of course, it was because she offended in the first place that the forensic scientists found their ‘match’ for the unidentified female DNA on the boat, a match we now know was a primary match and not one walked onto the yacht on someone else’s shoe. She agreed a second time that she had refused to be interviewed and that she had said she would tell them nothing. While agreeing that it would have been easy to say to the police, “I’ve never been on board that yacht” instead she took the view, “I’m not saying a word to you police officers.” I am not accusing Meaghan Vass of murdering Bob Chappell, in any case it would probably be a manslaughter charge. But having worked as a probation officer for many years, the body language of Ms Vass left me thinking, I believe she could have told the police more, quite a bit more. As I understand it, I believe there are other unidentified DNAs on the boat.”

    This was posted by Lynn Giddings on 25 August 2014 on another blog by Etter (The blog was deleted by Etter about 18 months ago):

    “Interesting that Sue Neill-Fraser had told Detective Constable Marissa Milazzo and Detective Senior Constable Sinnitt that she had been watched tying up her dinghy in the afternoon by a “girl with dark hair” while “A guy on slipway” was nearby. On the day that Meaghan Vass walked into court, she had dark hair. Could it have been the same girl? When the defence counsel cross-examined Detective Senior Constable Sinnitt, we learnt that, after forensic turned up a DNA ‘match’ for Meaghan Vass, she had been residing at a women’s shelter and had requested to be elsewhere for the night of Australia Day 2009. She gave an address on Mount Nelson, overlooking Sandy Bay, for her sleep over. It is interesting that it is now known that her DNA was not transferred onto the yacht on someone else’s shoe; she put it there herself.”

    Looks like that after seeing the 60 Minutes ‘Justice Overboard’ program, Lynn Giddings was convinced that “it is now known that her DNA was not transferred onto the yacht on someone else’s shoe; she put it there herself.” and “in any case it would probably be a manslaughter charge. “. Lynn wanted the whole world to know, so she very quickly posted it online. Doesn’t this tell you that Lynn wanted Meaghan Vass to be guilty of something in relation to Bob’s disappearance to the extent that she believed it to be true?

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/04/18  at  11:05 PM
  594. #593 ... For general information, the “retired forensic scientist from Brisbane” referred to in Peter’s post is one “John Cox”.

    He’s a very private scientist, having apparently never published any papers or been mentioned in any newspaper articles. This of course means nothing as lots of people retire to Queensland from other locales, but he does have a quite familiar writing style…
    Of course there’s also “Dr John TP, physicist” but I can’t recall if he was retired or not.

    Posted by Steve  on  08/04/18  at  07:37 PM
  595. I couldn’t find a John Cox of Brisbane who is a retired forensic scientist. There is a Ken Cox who is a retired forensic scientist who was working in Brisbane.

    While the DNA interpretation and testimony of Cox was accepted by the Queensland court that put Marc Renton away for 14 years, the Catalyst program uncovered another disturbing factor - the DNA evidence presented at Renton’s trial could also implicate 94 per cent of the white Australian population who would have DNA that would fit into those four peaks. “A Shadow of Doubt” was again re-televised in late 2002, and shortly after the program went to air Ken Cox ceased working at the John Tonge Centre (JTC), Queensland’s DNA laboratory, and retired from the field of forensic science.

    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=3251

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/04/18  at  08:34 PM
  596. Does the evidence so far suggest that the Australian crusader of Miscarriages of Justice misrepresents forensic expert opinions and is willing to smear the reputation of a former forensic pathologist by referencing that person’s recent private life? Is that the way one should seek the truth and justice, or is that the way one aims to influence people’s perception towards accepting a certain viewpoint of that person? Is that a sign of a professional? 

    It is one thing to critique the professional work of another person by analysing that person’s work, but when one unnecessarily ventures into that person’s private life at the same time then the question arises about the motive.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/04/18  at  08:37 PM
  597. Out of interest, perhaps I’ll contact Ken Cox and ask if he ever contributed to this discussion. Seems unlikely someone would alter their christian name but not their surname.
    Of course, there’s also “Jane”, the “retired neuro psychologist” who again shared a distinctive writing style and faded in and out of these pages.
    Actually, this writing style must be a common thing as there’s quite a few others with it. Not sure if they are retired or not but they are distinguished by having made no previous history of posting on TT and make their anonymous debut on specific topics.

    Posted by Steve  on  09/04/18  at  07:55 AM
  598. #596 ... Not sure what you are getting at here Peter, but if someone posts as “John Cox, retired forensic scientist” they are attempting to argue from authority. They are saying that they are an expert in an area and their opinion should carry more weight than an anonymous poster, such as myself.

    If they then go on to disparage the work of other professionals and suggest “they go back to forensic school” it is reasonable to question who they are and their qualifications to make such a judgement.

    In your comment at #593, you are using “John Cox” as an authoritative reference, and yet you appear to also have no idea who he is.

    Posted by Steve  on  09/04/18  at  08:20 AM
  599. Searching for the scientific truth: lividity

    It would be most interesting if Andrew Urban were to compare Prof Henneberg’s opinion to Keogh’s Stat Dec and court statements to see whether Graham Archer was correct in his summary of Prof Henneberg’s opinion, and then report to us what he had discovered.

    Prof Henneberg features in this 2004 Today Tonight program:

    https://youtu.be/nY5-ZNgZUvQ

    Prof Henneberg indicates on the program how the body was slumped based on his analysis of the facial lividity that he saw in the photograph. He indicated that the body and the head must have been slumped towards the LEFT side (he verified this to me when I made an email inquiry with him in mid 2014). Andrew Urban, if interested in the truth as implied by the gravitational effect on blood flow after death, ought to get a copy of the Trial Transcript and check whether Keogh stated he found the body of Anna slanted to the left or to the right.

    Then I suggest that Mr Urban reads the 2004 Report by Prof Thomas to see how that compares with Prof Henneberg’s opinion.

    Question for Mr Urban:  Do the 2004 opinions of Prof Henneberg and Prof Thomas contradict Keogh? Have these two professors discovered forensic evidence in 2004 against Keogh without their awareness because neither paid attention to what Keogh had stated during the trials?

    Wouldn’t it be quite remarkable if two medical professors who in 2004 gave expert opinion on behalf of Keogh had in fact between themselves discovered forensic evidence against Keogh?

    I saw something that Mr Archer and Dr Moles didn’t see in the 2004 opinions of Prof Henneberg and Prof Thomas because as a physical scientist I understood the gravitational effect on blood flow (during life and after death, so was paying careful attention). I took notice of what the two medical professors stated in 2004 about their observation of the photo’s of the deceased’s face and torso.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  09/04/18  at  09:33 AM
  600. #598 ... I trust that Cox is a scientist but am not sure that he gave his real full name.  What he said made scientific sense. He seems to know the field of forensic science far better better than I and seems to be sitting in a neutral position.

    Anyway, any scientist (particularly a forensic scientist) ought to be able to tell whether the current state of the art forensic DNA science can distinguish between a primary and a secondary transfer of DNA based on the volume and it’s digital signature.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  09/04/18  at  09:45 AM
  601. #600 ... On what do you base your trust that Cox is a scientist, if you believe he did not give his correct name?

    From where I stand, if you give an apparently correct name, christian and surname, a location and a qualification, you are attempting to convince others that you are not an anonymous poster. If these are false, I consider it a deliberate attempt to deceive, especially if you use the authority of the qualification to disparage other professionals.

    Posted by Steve  on  09/04/18  at  10:34 AM
  602. As a scientist for over 3 decades I conclude that the posts written by a “John Cox” are written by someone who knows a lot about forensic science. I did not need his opinion to know that I knew enough about forensic science to state that it is not scientifically possible to determine on the basis of Vass DNA volume and its digital profile whether the deposit was made directly by her or by another person. That was my opinion right from the beginning even before Cox commented on this case. I recall referring your further questions on luminiol and DNA to him.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  09/04/18  at  11:02 AM
  603. Steve, of all the things you have posted, the two most apt are these little snippets ..

    ” .. again shared a distinctive writing style ...”

    “a deliberate attempt to deceive”

    Posted by abs  on  09/04/18  at  12:11 PM
  604. #603 ... abs. What a nasty suspicious mind you have ..

    Posted by Steve  on  09/04/18  at  01:04 PM
  605. Here is another statement made by Cox in #234

    “And are their any investigative journalists in Tasmania delving deeper than press releases and absurd public statements from lawyers who really should know better.”

    We now know that the DPP lodged a complaint to the Legal Profession Board against Barbara Etter for her statement on the 60 Minutes program about there being no blood in the dinghy. Given that the jury was not told anything about there definitely being blood in the dinghy, I am not sure why Etter made a point about there being no blood in the dinghy. It is as if she tried to imply that the Crown made an error of some sort related to the tests for blood in the dinghy.

    I looked at the Trial Transcript to see exactly what the prosecutor stated. Here is the relevant part of Mr Ellis’s opening statement: “But the tender itself was also subjected to a screening test for blood called luminol, and what happens with luminol is you put it - you put it on objects where there might have been blood and turn off the lights and it gets lum - it goes luminous in the presence of blood, and so that reacted quite strongly, the tender and the inside of the tender for the presence of blood, and swabs taken from the tender were found to match, with a high degree of probability, Mr Chappell’s DNA. But on the other hand another screening agent for blood taken on that tender showed negative and one of the forensic scientists looked under the microscope to try and find some – what they look for is red/brown indications of blood and couldn’t find any, so some indications of blood, his DNA, but others – others, no.”

    The above is from TT 71/15-30.

    It is clear to me that Mr Ellis did not say to the jury that there was definitely blood in the dinghy. Perhaps he should have qualified his statement with a more obvious and easy to interpret statement such as: ‘there was no scientific proof of blood in the dinghy’.

    I don’t see how and why Andrew Urban would say that the Tasmanian judicial system brought itself into disrepute.

    Based on my own research and understanding I concluded that there is a lot of misconception in the SNF camp about a lot of things (the limitation of forensic science regarding DNA - primary or secondary transfer; the observation of the nature of luminol reaction by a naked eye; whether white dinghy can be perceived to be grey under the relevant viewing conditions; about memory and confabulation; about the mechanics of yacht winches and the significant mechanical advantage provided by a winch; etc.

    I would say that the Shadow of Doubt documentary and the 60 Minutes program on this case had contributed to a lot of unrest in the community. I think that the statements by Etter and Moles on 60 Minutes, and by Ash on last year’s Ch 7 Sunday Night program, would have had a significant influence on people’s perception of this case and on their perception of the Tasmanian judicial system.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  09/04/18  at  01:05 PM
  606. Dr. Peter Lozo, I will ask you the same question I had directed to yourself in a prior comment: are you working on the SNF case on behalf of a Tasmanian government department or perhaps some other person’s interests?
    You have become zealously obsessed in this case where you speak as though you are the over-riding authority in every facet of this still contentious SNF case matter.

    I quote the statement of a well regarded though now retired senior lawyer from Devonport Tasmania, a practiced man, who went on to advise me that there is no such creature as a perfect winnable legal case. It is important to differentiate this man as he is one of a small handful of legal practitioners in this state who dwelt high above this state’s networking brotherhood of untrustworthy legal bulldogs. I would like to refer the entirety of this blog to my Mr.G ..  and have him assess your obvious bias held in some 50% of the 600 or more of your comments that have been submitted to this subject, and ask him for his own sharply honed perspective.

    I foresee that your persistent bias in this case would soon be identified by my Mr. G ..

    As for your own seemingly perfect assumptions, I advise that there can be no bias permitted in a case brought before any Australian law-court.

    Notwithstanding that here in Tasmania, the ‘exclusive’ judiciary bias can quite easily be recognised as a living beast, even in the most inconclusive litigations initiated in Tasmania’s Supreme Court.

    One of the most preferred means of exercising bias in this State is the withholding of vital evidence documents, given that such withheld evidence will in all likelihood completely reverse or cancel out the incorrectly submitted verbal state evidence.

    I cannot provide any of the prior case details as my revealing further details of the prior case I speak of will draw the wrath of this state’s judiciary in its claiming I have breached a confidentiality provision (as has now recently been legislated as an enforceable action) whereby a 3rd party external to a non-public Supreme Court case dare not question a Tasmanian Supreme Court’s pre-determined heavily biased decision.

    The case that I have averred to just above had me carefully reading the entire transcript for a proper evaluation, and this accordingly revealed that no evidence at all was submitted in the best legal interest of the citizen’s rights that were in dispute in this matter during this Supreme Court non-public hearing that had been initiated on behalf of this state’s Public Trustee.

    I am unable to reveal any further verifying details as this would incur substantial penalty units should I do so.

    So it is here that I declare to you, Dr. Peter Lozo, that you appear to be invincible against all other privately held public opinions.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  05/05/18  at  02:56 PM
  607. For the information of those interested, a Wrongful Convictions Report has just published a profile and history of the Sue Neill-Fraser Support Group by the group’s president, events co-ordinator and myself. It’s worth reading here: http://wrongfulconvictionsreport.org

    Posted by Andrew L Urban  on  08/06/18  at  10:19 AM
  608. Deliberate misinformation on Andrew Urban’s blog

    https://wrongfulconvictionsreport.org/2017/11/04/sue-neill-frasers-final-appeal-part-1/

    Andrew Urban was informed (at #568 above) about the misleading information he had posted on his blog. He has since made a small change to his blog, but he still chose not to include the full set of relevant and important details about what John Hughes claimed to have seen and heard around midnight of the Australia day 2009.

    The blog is misleading the readers by suppressing the fact that the person Mr Hughes saw was on an inflatable dinghy and that he had also heard the dinghy’s overboard motor. Mr Hughes used two senses to perceive: vision and audition. He described what he saw. He described what he heard. The blog is misleading the public by emitting two crucial parts of his statement. Mr Hughes stated that he saw an inflatable dinghy. Mr Hughes stated that he heard the dinghy’s overboard motor. Had Mr Urban included this information in his blog then the reader would be in a better position to assess whether or not it was Mr Maddock who was seen by Mr Hughes, given that Mr Maddock’s dinghy is a wooden dinghy and that it did not have a motor on the night in question. By omitting the above details, Mr Urban is deliberately attempting to mislead the reader.

    This is the relevant paragraph’s from Mr Urban’s blog:


    Grant Maddock, an artist but coming from a family of sailors, and who lives on his yacht, provided evidence that perhaps explained eye witness evidence at trial in which local man John Hughes had claimed to have seen a female figure in a dinghy heading in the direction of the Four Winds sometime before midnight. The slightly built Maddock (56 kg at the time) had long hair in 2009, and his silhouette at night could easily be mistaken for female. Percy produced a telling 2009 photo of a long haired Maddock sitting in his dinghy. His evidence was also corroborated by veteran sailor, John Brettingham-Moore, who was coming in towards the marina on his motor boat at that time and was offered assistance by Maddock in his dinghy.

    It is obvious that Mr Urban is attempting to liken Mr Maddock’s stature and appearance (size and shape) to the ‘female figure’ portion of Mr Hughes’ statement at the Trial, but he deliberately omitted anything about the features of the dinghy that could help the reader to make a better informed decision.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  23/06/18  at  07:16 PM
  609. #611 ... More bollocks, Peter. Andrew is suggesting an alternative interpretation of evidence.

    What part of “beyond reasonable doubt” do you not get?

    Posted by Steve  on  23/06/18  at  09:12 PM
  610. #611 ... I don’t get why Andrew Urban is misleading the public by deliberately suppressing from his blog the portion of the statement by Mr Hughes that does not match Mr Maddock and his dinghy. It has nothing to do with “beyond reasonable doubt” or my understanding of the term.

    There is no mention in my #610 of guilt, innocence, doubt, etc. I don’t get why you were compelled to respond to my #610 with such a non-relevant question addressed to me. If the rest of the Tasmanian population had your level of reasoning then the whole state would have blindly jumped onto the Miscarriage of Justice bandwagon. They would be as confused as you and the rest of the SN-F Support Group are. Eve Ash, Colin McLaren and Robert Richter got duped by a trio of homeless and/or troubled and uneducated people, but TasPol wasn’t duped by SN-F nor by those who conspired to help her cause (or their own cause) by either eliciting or by signing false affidavits.

    If Mr Urban wants to provide the public with his interpretation then the public needs to know what is it that he is interpreting so that it can check his interpretation. In this instance he is intentionally suppressing information that does not agree with his view. I say deliberately because he had previously read my earlier post on this issue and had made a small correction to his original version. He is thus well aware of what Mr Hughes stated but isn’t willing to put it up on his blog. That is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public about the Crown’s case that it was Sue on her dinghy who was seen by Mr Hughes. Note that I said “Sue on her dinghy”.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  23/06/18  at  09:50 PM
  611. Clarification to my #612:

    Where I wrote that “TasPol wasn’t duped by SN-F” I was referring to the time period of 2009. The rest of that sentence referred to the events related to the false affidavits that were part of Mr Richter’s ‘white paper’ which was handed to the Tasmanian Government in May 2017. Thus, I am not implying that SN-F had anything to do with influencing anyone to provide or sign false affidavits (I thought it best that I clarify this given that some people could misinterpret my sentence in #612).

    In another TT post, I concluded that Mr Gleeson’s affidavit of May 2017 is most likely at the root of the reason why Barbara Etter quit SN-F’s legal team in June 2017. See #10 http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/comments/45619/

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  24/06/18  at  01:49 AM
  612. Who is laughing at whom?

    Andrew Urban wrote a TT Article titled “Justice system would be a ‘laughing stock’”. See here: http://www.tasmaniantimes.com.au/index.php/article/justice-system-would-be-a-laughing-stock

    The first sentence of the Article starts as follows:
    “Tasmania’s justice system will be “a laughing stock”, if calls for an independent review of the Sue Neill-Fraser murder conviction are refused, Chester Porter QC told a public forum in Sydney last week, ..”

    The above was written almost 5 years ago. With the charging of three people and the recent sentencing of Mr Gleeson (see http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/supreme-court-of-tasmania-comments-on-passing-sentence-/) it now looks more like that the Tasmanian Government and TasPol is laughing at the silliness of Robert Richter and Eve Ash when they submitted their 25 page dossier about a year ago. Richter and Ash got duped by a trio of homeless and/or troubled and uneducated people. Richter and Ash were also duped by a lawyer who was not authorised by Barbara Etter to work on the case. Eve Ash, and the rest of the SN-F supporters, got duped by SN-F. The public is likely laughing at Ch 7’s ‘Sunday Night’ program for airing a program that we now know to have been based on false affidavits. Some of us are laughing at the ‘explosive’ way Andrew Urban wrote about Vass DNA in the above Article. Some of us are laughing at Dr Moles’ interpretation of the VPFSD forensic science report on Vass DNA in 2014 when he featured on the ‘60 Minutes’ program.

    Is this the beginning of the end for the Susan Neill-Fraser Support Group? Are we witnessing an implosion that started soon after Mr Gleeson’s false affidavit was obtained by a lawyer who was not authorised by Barbara Etter?

    The SN-F Support Group is probably still shell-shocked and is recovering from the shock revelation that Mr Gleeson was indeed drunk and asleep, and that he did not see Ms Vass that night. No-one can place Ms Vass in Sandy Bay that night or at any other time of relevance.

    Eve Ash, Robert Richter and Colin McLaren must be thinking hard about how they got duped by a trio of homeless and/or troubled and uneducated people, and by one lawyer who was not authorised to work on the case when he obtained Gleeson’s false affidavit.

    Barbara Etter quit within weeks of Gleeson’s false affidavit. Mr Richter moved onto another case. Mr McLaren skipped the country.

    But what is Eve Ash going to do after such a major blunder? She even appeared on a TV current affairs program in July last year. Perhaps the time has come for Eve Ash to admit her error, apologise to Tasmanians and drop out of any further involvement in this case. She has totally lost sight of objectivity by being obsessed with proving Sue’s innocence and/or unsafe conviction.

    We are now waiting to see how the repercussions of what was recently learned, via the sentencing of Mr Gleeson, will be written about by Andrew Urban on his wrongful convictions report blog.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  30/06/18  at  07:08 PM
  613. 614 ... Peter, I’m sure whatever eventuates you’ll always remain the detached scientist, solely interested in the facts.

    Posted by Steve  on  30/06/18  at  09:52 PM
  614. #615 ...  Impartial Rationalisation about and Interpretation of the facts or presumed facts. That is the way I was taught, trained and practised.

    Posted by Peter  on  30/06/18  at  10:05 PM
  615. #614 ... and yet you created a bunch of fake profiles to deceive readers into thinking that your positions were supported by others ...

    You have been seen for what you are by sensible people here.

    Posted by abs  on  01/07/18  at  09:26 AM
  616. Re #615 ... I second that!

    Posted by Simon Warriner  on  01/07/18  at  10:17 AM
  617. A reminder of Eve Ash’s words on Ch 7’s ‘Sunday Night program’ July last year:

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1685739858103588&id=198416696835919

    Will the truth come out by allowing such nonsense to be shown on a national current affairs program?

    Eve Ash isn’t just a documentary maker. She is a psychologist. As such, it was inappropriate for her to go on a national current affairs program to say that “the girl on the boat holds the key to this”. Just look at the nasty Facebook comments about Meaghan as a result of people being led to believe that she was in some way involved or knew what happened. Did it occur to Eve that perhaps Meaghan was coerced into a false affidavit? Did it not occur to Eve that Meaghan might be the subject of on-line bullying? Did it not occur to Eve that something was odd when Mr Gleeson, on 8 May 2017, provided an affidavit that contradicted what he told TasPol in 2009, and what he told Barbara Etter in September 2016?

    Here are the words of a security expert who was approached by Sue in 2009 to investigate the alleged drug link to the yacht:

    “I spent two hours with mother and daughter when they wanted to hire me to investigate the alleged drug link to the yacht. I am very confident in the verdict and I am not surprised in the least at this new development.”

    “She had no problem walking. My office was on the 3rd floor (stairs only) of an inner city office. Of all the stories she told me, an inability to lift or walk was not one of them.”

    https://m.facebook.com/comment/replies/?ctoken=1150745768402395_1151011261709179&ft_ent_identifier=1150745768402395&gfid=AQDhm_A5g3f6sAIz

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  01/07/18  at  02:42 PM
  618. It is disturbing when a crime reporter gets crime reporting wrong, as did Rochelle Jackson on ABC Radio’s Nightlife with Suzanna Hill on June 28, 2018 while talking about the Sue Neil-Fraser case. Among several other errors of fact, Jackson reported that ‘forensic investigators found some blood in the dinghy.’ Not even the prosecutor believed that. See my full report at: https://wrongfulconvictionsreport.org/2018/07/01/sue-neill-fraser-abc-crime-report-fails-fact-check/

    Posted by Andrew L Urban  on  01/07/18  at  03:19 PM
  619. #618 ... Andrew, yes she made several errors. You noted some of them. You did not note her error when she said that VPFSD confirmed the DNA to be primary. The fact is that VPFSD did not confirm it to be primary nor could it exclude the secondary transfer.

    To me it all comes down to whose information people rely on, and how they interpret that information.

    I bet that you did not notice the error in your own interpretation of what she said about the ATM photo of the car.

    You wrote “Jackson said “the police had security footage of a car identified as hers passing a local bank after midnight, which of course was when she claimed she was in bed ...”

    But she did not say that the car was “identified”! Please listen again at around the 9 minute mark.

    Why do you think I keep stressing that the case details be correctly reported by going to the original source rather than relying on reporters, journalists, etc? Your own reporting and interpretation needs more attention to detail and accuracy.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  01/07/18  at  06:02 PM
  620. #618 ... The actual word used by Rochelle Jackson was “identical”. For some reason you misinterpreted her statement to mean “identified” .. and then you went off at a tangent.

    My guess is that you were not in an unbiased state of mind when interpreting Rochelle’s statements.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  01/07/18  at  06:17 PM
  621. ATM photo and its significance

    I note that Andrew Urban had corrected his understanding of what Rochelle actually said about the ATM photo (from “indentified” to “identical”).

    Here is his whole (current)  paragraph on the matter of the ATM photo:

    “WRONG

    Jackson said “the police had security footage of a car identical to hers passing a local bank after midnight, which of course was when she claimed she was in bed.” This was clearly meant to suggest that it was Neill-Fraser’s car. Why else refer to it? The security footage was never shown to the jury. In the footage, according to Jennie Herrera, President of the Sue Neill-Fraser Support Group who has seen it, the number plate is not visible; the driver is not visible; the car’s make and model is difficult to identify. “it requires a leap of faith to determine that the vehicle was a Ford Falcon of which there are hundreds, probably thousands, in Hobart,” says Herrera.”

    Does it really matter whether it was Susan Neill-Fraser’s car or Peter Lozo’s car given that all Sue knew was that police had an ATM photo of a car that her own daughters thought looked like their mother’s car? Sue did not see the photo and would have been told about it by her daughters.

    Sue could have stuck to her original story that she did not go out that night. The Crown case at the trial was that Sue would have been informed by her daughters about the photo and that this information then led Sue to change her story by first telling Anne (Bob’s sister) via a phone on or about 8th or 10th March, that she did in fact go out late that night.

    Here is the sequence of relevant events:

    1. 5th March: Sue’s daughters shown the ATM photo;

    2. 8th or 10th March: Sue has a phone conversation with Bob’s sister; said she drove down to river then drove back home;

    ****************   new evidence  emerges     *******
    3. 11th March : Police media release about a dinghy spotted late at night;
    ****************   new evidence  emerges    *******

    4. 13th March: Sue speaks to the radio reporter; says she drove down to the river then drove back home; mentions that she saw homeless people with fires while down there.

    5. 23 March : Sue has a phone conversation with Bob’s sister; said she drove down to the river, left her car there and then walked back home.

    6. 5th May: Police interview Sue; Sue said she walked to the river to pick up her car from there but on arriving there she found she had farm keys and not the car keys and had to walk back to Allison Street to collect them and return once again to the car. Sometime later she drove home.

    Now we can see the significance of the ATM photo, and the significance of the midnight eyewitness, in causing Sue to change her story several times.

    See more at #578.

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/tim-ellis-and-the-australian-womens-weekly-

    I am trying to understand why some people misinterpret what the Crown was trying to say about the significance of that ATM photo.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  01/07/18  at  09:22 PM
  622. A footnote on memory: during the trial, the DPP had forgotten he had claimed there was blood in the dinghy (in his opening) until reminded by the defence during an exchange with the judge, the jury being absent. Could it have also been unreliable memory that afflicted Sue Neill-Fraser, and not lies?

    Posted by Andrew L Urban  on  02/07/18  at  08:37 AM
  623. For accuracy of the record and context:
    “not for the jury on a photograph like that with the evidence of the officer who interviewed saying it’s inconclusive, which it is inconclusive, one just has to look at the photograph to draw a conclusion.”

    Extract from Trial Transcript reads: -
    MR GUNSON SC: It was along –
    I remember along Sandy Bay Road.
    But that doesn’t – I mean Sandy Bay Road is a well covered road, I
    mean thousands of cars go up it day and night and any number of
    Ford Falcons would go up it day and night, it’s not exactly some
    unique vehicle.
    HIS HONOUR: What harm does it do your client if she went past the
    Commonwealth Bank at 12:25 rather than some other time?
    MR GUNSON SC: Because her position is that she didn’t go past at
    12:25.
    HIS HONOUR: What was her position in the interview?             
    MR GUNSON SC: Wasn’t sure of times, as I read from 601 then, but
    the prosecution would be saying that proves it was her at that time,
    that’s the issue. We know a car, a Falcon, went past at that time but
    the question is was it her car? And it’s not for the jury on a
    photograph like that with the evidence of the officer who interviewed
    saying it’s inconclusive, which it is inconclusive, one just has to look
    at the photograph to draw a conclusion.
    HIS HONOUR: But if it was her car at 12:25 does that link in with
    anything else other than the observation of a person thought to be a
    woman at around 11:30?

    JURY ABSENT
    37
    .STATE v. NEILL-FRASER
    HOBART 21.9.10
    P-37 MR GUNSON SC
    SUBMISSIONS
    JURY ABSENT

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  02/07/18  at  11:12 AM
  624. Some people have let go of critical analysis and rational reasoning when they jumped onto the MoJ bandwagon in this case. They are filtering the information through a biased and emphatic brain.

    #623 ... But the prosecution wasn’t arguing that it was Sue’s car, nor were they arguing that it was her in that car at 12:25 am.  Do you get it Mrs Allan? So what is your point?

    #622 ... Yes sure. Could it also be that she had a perfect memory but lied because she didn’t think that the cops would have anything to shake her into changing her story. The evidence supports the view that she is a liar: she started lying several weeks before the 26th when she told several men that she and Bob had separated (Rochelle’s understanding of this isn’t quite correct; Sue didn’t say to those maen that she was planning to separate from Bob, but that they had separated).

    I haven’t looked at what other changes you made to the paragraph about the ATM photo, but it is not valid to claim that Rochelle’s statement on this matter was wrong.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  02/07/18  at  01:14 PM
  625. #623 ... Yes, quite. Why refer to the CCTV footage if it has no real evidentiary value? Likewise, why show the jury a photo of the luminol stained dinghy if there was no blood found in the dinghy? Suggestions welcome.

    Posted by Andrew L Urban  on  02/07/18  at  01:57 PM
  626. I sent a message last night to Rochelle Jackson informing her that there are significant errors in her interpretation of the evidence in this case, and I have referred her to read #618 - #620 above as well as comments at http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/snf-top-barrister-handed-over-explosive-file-on-murder-he-didnt-foresee-rea/

    Perhaps she will post a comment on here after she gains a better and more accurate understanding of the case.

    Here is a news footage from the time of the Trial to remind the readers, particularly Andrew Urban, about the evidence of Sue lying before 26th Jan:

    Watch “Neill-Fraser ‘separated’ from Chappell: witness” on YouTube
    https://youtu.be/hkn166eyA00

    I just read the comments on Andrew’s blog. I wouldn’t say that it was revealed that the blood spatter in the cabin was due to nose bleeds. That is an inaccurate statement by Andrew and Jason B. Perhaps they should provide a reference to back up their statement. I note that several people are complaining about Rochelle’s inaccurate statements. So they should. What is interesting to me is that none of them (not even Andrew Urban) had commented so far anything about Dr Moles’ inaccurate statement on ‘60 Minutes’ about the VPFSD conclusion on Vass DNA.

    Posted by Peter  on  02/07/18  at  02:07 PM
  627. In #625, Andrew asks “why refer to the CCTV footage if it has no real evidentiary value?”

    Here is a brief summary of my understanding:

    The significant part of the prosecution case was that Sue kept changing her story and had lied on a number of issues. The prosecution intended to convince the jury that it was so. Part of the prosecution argument was to convince the jury that Sue intentionally lied about her whereabouts and movement on that afternoon and evening/early morning, and that she kept changing her story only after she was confronted with or heard about new evidence. The reference to the CCTV footage was used to argue that Sue admitted to returning to the riverbank that night, but only because and after she would have heard from her daughters that police showed them a photo of a car which the daughter’s thought looked like their mother’s car. Then the prosecution had a more convincing platform on which to argue that it was Sue on that midnight dinghy.

    As for Andrew’s second question: “Likewise, why show the jury a photo of the luminol stained dinghy if there was no blood found in the dinghy?”

    The prosecution case was that it was the Four Winds dinghy that was used to dump the body - partly on the basis that the dinghy was found loose and away from where Sue claimed to have tied it. From the forensic science point of view, it was appropriate for the Crown to present to the jury the results of all the forensic tests that were conducted on the dinghy.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  02/07/18  at  04:53 PM
  628. About the accuracy or inaccuracy in Andrew Urban’s reporting:

    I refer to this sentence (on his blog):
    https://wrongfulconvictionsreport.org/2018/07/01/sue-neill-fraser-abc-crime-report-fails-fact-check/

    “It was later revealed that the blood spatter could have been caused by Chappell’s chronic nose bleeds..

    I distinctly recall reading last night that Andrew wrote that it was “confirmed” that the blood was from nose bleeds. Then he changed it to it was “revealed”. Then he changed it to its current version.

    Regardless of which version he’d liked to stick to, I’d like to see a reference that backs up his claim.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  02/07/18  at  05:09 PM
  629. #624 ... Please refrain from directing any of your comments specifically to me, as I do yours.

    I am not in any need of your blinkered views, and/or suggestions and/or explanations. They are unwelcome and unwanted.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  02/07/18  at  06:43 PM
  630. #629 ... It is still true that the prosecution wasn’t arguing that it was Sue’s car, nor were it arguing that it was her in that car at 12:25 am.  If your perception is skewed because of your personal issue related to other cases in which Mr Ellis was involved, then learn how to process the evidence in this case without bias.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  02/07/18  at  08:57 PM
  631. Digressing from the lead topic and disregarding and excluding poster #630, do other posters here get annoyed at the constant patronising-yet-dumb lectures as to how and why we form/hold certain beliefs, positions and understandings?

    Unrelentingly, evidence here suggests certain ‘talking at us, not to us’ posts have their genesis in erroneous supposition and maybe other idiosyncrasies and traits which contribute to the offensiveness of the inaccurate beliefs being pedalled as knowledge.

    In balance, I afford most of you credit for being able to think for yourselves and offer informed views based on knowledge. Every person is entitled to hold and express reasonable views without constant put-downs, cyber-stalking and harassment.

    The persistent condescending and generally wrong assumptions about how we inform ourselves and why we act as we do, is offensive and gets right up my nose. 
           
    (She wants and needs to use bad language, yet she refrains, as she attempts to retain her dignity.)

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  03/07/18  at  07:00 PM
  632. The poster singled out in #631 is happy to have contributed to the education of SN-F supporters in a number of technical and scientific areas that are relevant to this case.

    Further than that, he is also happy to educate some of the TT commenters, including the person who posted #631, on how an objective researcher of complex real life murder cases ought to approach the subject to ensure a reliable and objective analysis and reporting. It is written at #163

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/comments/55494/

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  03/07/18  at  10:29 PM
  633. #631 ... Applause from the gallery.

    Posted by Steve  on  03/07/18  at  10:33 PM
  634. How confirmation bias and homeless people fooled Australia’s ‘Miss Marple’

    See #160 at http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/comments/55494/

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  03/07/18  at  11:51 PM
  635. Andrew Urban’s very interesting blog titled “Neill-Fraser: ABC crime report fails fact check”

    See https://wrongfulconvictionsreport.org/2018/07/01/sue-neill-fraser-abc-crime-report-fails-fact-check/

    As it currently stands, there are a total of 9 comments on Andrew’s blog. I will here discuss two of those comments (I will do it here because Mr Urban in general doesn’t approve my comments and hence doesn’t show them on his blog):

    1. “I am shocked that a reporter could get it so wrong, and all the wrongs are against Sue Neill-Fraser. Totally unprofessional.”

    But Rochelle Jackson also stated that the DNA of the homeless girl was confirmed to be primary by VPFSD. Is that not a WRONG that is actually in favour of Sue rather than against Sue? Note that Andrew did not write about that WRONG on his blog.

    The fact is that it has NOT been confirmed that the DNA is primary NOR can the secondary transfer be excluded.

    For those who haven’t heard the podcast here is the link: http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/nightlife/crime-sue-neill-fraiser/9923062

    It is very interesting to hear what Richelle said about the police tapes of Sue’s lengthy interviews. Her impression was that the cops were frustrated by Sue’s inability to answer simple questions.

    2. “Through all of this no-one has addressed the issue of how a woman on her own could tip a body out of a dingy without tipping it over! Try it and see, it’s actually near impossible. Given that there is no material evidence inside the dingy, seems like a rather large hole in the case, on a practical level to me.”

    I wonder whether the person who posted this comment looked at the photos of the Four Winds dinghy, particularly the one that shows 5 adults and one child on the dinghy (see the photo on Eve’s pin-up board).

    Has that person given much thought about the subject? Why does the person think it near impossible without tipping the dinghy over? It seems that some people are thinking about aluminium or wooden dinghies whose shape and hence the stability is significantly different (or aren’t aware of how stable the inflatable dinghy is). I tried to get into an aluminium dinghy (from the position of being in the water) and found it extremely difficult because the dinghy would always tip in my direction. But getting into an inflatable dinghy of the type that belonged to Four Winds is relatively easy. No wonder that these days Surf Life Saving Clubs use motorised inflatable dinghies.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  04/07/18  at  05:10 AM
  636. Will there be a legal action taken against Mr Keogh by the Cheney family?

    The Keogh case just doesn’t want to die. Just look at the latest news: https://www.w3livenews.com/News/ReadArticle and https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1886803034956990&id=1534900570147240&_rdr

    Having researched the death of Ms Anna-Jane Cheney, my opinion is that the Cheney family might have a reason to pursue a civil court action.

    It is all unusual the way the new government chose to settle the matter with Mr Keogh.

    Perhaps there ought to be a Coronial Inquest into Ms Cheney’s death. If it is found that Ms Cheney was forcibly drowned (in a different way to what Dr Manock proposed, eg facing down into the water rather than facing up into the ceiling) then the Cheney family ought to pursue a civil action against Mr Keogh. Otherwise, Mr Keogh ought to be compensated.

    The case ended in a strange way because the “key prosecution witness” fell ill, thereby leading the DPP to drop the charges several months before the 3rd trial was to have started. I discovered (from Mr Graham Archer’s book) that the chief defence expert witness in forensic pathology (Prof Pounder) whose opinion I offered a scientific critique on, withdrew from the case for personal reasons.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  04/07/18  at  06:41 AM
  637. Absolutely, Geraldine.

    There is something deeply wrong with his presentation on TT. The construction of fake profiles to deceitfully attempt to create an illusion of wider support for his opinions demonstrates clearly that this is about a fragile ego lacking insight and ethics within shameless self-promotion.

    Additionally, his repeated attempts to present himself as an expert in fields outside of his own area of expertise is (apart from laughable) also unethical.

    For someone who makes self-serving claims of expertise (and thus authority) he rarely backs these with strong evidence. Instead TT is flooded with repeated comments, youtube video links, directions to academics (as if there are only a couple experts relevant to discussed topics) and claims of expertise because a book was read at sometime. In my own areas of expertise (clinical psychology, memory, cognitive neurophysiological psych) I can assure the readers that his comments on these topics present as ... uninformed (and that is being generous).

    I would imagine that my views are shared when I observe how most others, who regularly comment on the SNF thread, have ceased engaging with him.

    Others have pointed out how unethical this behaviour is due to the seriousness of the topic, and some have observed what I have, namely his deliberate acts of fake profile creation to give a false impression of broader support. This goes beyond unethical

    Posted by abs  on  04/07/18  at  08:13 AM
  638. This list is from a 2015 presentation by Eve Ash at the CLANT Conference in Bali ...

    “Scenarios not excluded

    - Meaghan Vass (DNA found on yacht) & friends

    - Homeless men on foreshore, criminal records

    - Bob Chappell suicide

    - Intentional disappearance

    - Drug smugglers (huge drug bust from same marina Four Winds came from

    - Man who made signi#cant threat “Did bloke on yacht for cash but will do you for free”

    - Weatherbeaten man seen near Four Winds 7.45pm not properly investigated

    - Serial killer (other unexplained deaths)

    - Grey dinghy seen by 4 people and in days leading up to Bob’s disappearance

    - Some unidentifed DNA yet to be matched”

    See: https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://clant.org.au/wp-content/uploads/the-bali-conference/2015/Ash.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwigj8GRhYTcAhWKj5QKHdf_DW0QFjACegQIARAB&usg=AOvVaw2LZPKK7zgidhilrpwYgfdT

    Here I will point out the 7th point on the list. Eve is referring to the eyewitness statement related to there being a sighting of a middle aged person on a light coloured zodiac motoring away from the location of Four Winds at around 7:45 pm - 8:30 pm Australia Day. The statement of the eyewitness wasn’t used at the trial but was provided by the Crown to Sue’s defence attorney.

    The information that Barbara Etter obtained, via RTI in 2014, about this sighting suggested that the cops believed that the sighted person matched Sue. Had the defence attorney felt that the description of the sighted person and the dinghy did not match Sue and her dinghy, then surely he would have used it to raise reasonable doubt. But he chose not to use it. Further, Barbara Etter or her replacement could have filed it under the current appeal.

    Given that Eve Ash, Barbara Etter (and various investigators on behalf of Sue’s defence, such as Colin McLaren) as well as Sue’s current defence team, haven’t at all used the above witness statement to fit into into their theory that someone else boarded Four Winds and committed the crime of murder, can we conclude that they too believe that it was Sue on her dinghy leaving the area of Four Winds sometime between 7:45 pm and 8:30 pm? If so, then their theory that someone else was on Four Winds must have a timeline after 8:30 pm. As someone else wrote on TT a year or so ago, if Vass and her associates had been on Four Winds on Australia Day evening then they would have witnessed a crime.

    Why isn’t the current defence team using the above witness statement to claim that the sighted person could be the real murderer?

    Where is the doubt about Sue’s whereabouts between about 2 pm and about 8 pm?

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  04/07/18  at  09:27 AM
  639. In a little over a month, on August 20, 2018, it will be nine years since Sue Neill-Fraser was arrested on the charge of murdering Bob Chappell. On the ninth anniversary of that day, her seeking leave to appeal her conviction will (hopefully) enter its final phase, at the Supreme Court in Hobart, under the recently introduced right to appeal legislation. August is also the fourth anniversary of the articles (by me and commenter Ben Lohberger) that spawned this comment thread.

    Over the years, many have commented here on the case with concern that with such circumstantial evidence as was presented, guilt beyond reasonable doubt was not a safe verdict. They, like me, have always wanted a review - a judicial review of the case which would examine the evidence at the trial, the process at the trial, and the conclusions of the appeals court which did not uphold any of the grounds of appeal.

    It was always - and still is - a mystery to me why some of those who argue against such a review, and maintain their faith in the guilty verdict, have done so with a sneer in their words, an aggression in their comments, a denigration in their view of her ‘supporters’.

    It has been said (by Judge Igor) that the conviction of an innocent person is a catastrophic failure of the legal system. If there is any doubt as the safety of the conviction, it must be addressed. Errors can be made. The system is not perfect, but errors must be corrected as it is vital for public confidence in the legal system that the entire profession and the courts are seen to be willing to address cases where there is not only public disquiet, but evident legal concern in the verdict.

    For all the many details in the case that have been pored over in this thread, none are so compelling as the basics: there is no direct evidence - forensic or physical - linking Sue Neill-Fraser to Bob Chappell’s murder. Speculation is not good enough. The rule of law demands evidence.

    Let us hope that next month the court will grant leave for an appeal, and that the appeal will deliver justice and help begin healing this enormous wound.

    Posted by Andrew L Urban  on  04/07/18  at  10:31 AM
  640. Further to #636:

    If the Cheney family takes legal action against Mr Keogh then the level of proof of murder will be lower than what is required in the criminal court. The level of proof that will be required is on the balance of probabilities that Ms Cheney was murdered. Based on the research I did, I believe that this can be met without Dr Manock’s involvement. Dr Manock erred because he did not test the physical plausibility of his proposed drowning scenario in which the deceased was on her back. No-one that I know, other than me, tested the inverse scenario where the deceased was facing downward towards the bottom of the bathtub and was perpendicular to the length of the bathtub. The latter scenario matches the pattern of brusing quite well. But I am not an expert! My (unsolicited) report was submitted to the ODPP and to a forensic pathologist, as well as to the Cheney family in Jan 2015. My understanding was that SaPol got a copy of my report from the ODPP a month or so later.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  04/07/18  at  12:03 PM
  641. #639 ... “For all the many details in the case that have been pored over in this thread, none are so compelling as the basics: there is no direct evidence - forensic or physical - linking Sue Neill-Fraser to Bob Chappell’s murder. Speculation is not good enough. The rule of law demands evidence.”

    It is obvious that law demands evidence. However, the law doesn’t require the case to have any direct evidence because the law considers circumstantial evidence as having equal weight. A wholly circumstantial evidence, such as this one, is acceptable by criminal courts. However, it requires inductive reasoning based on a series of circumstances. Thus, it isn’t correct to imply that the case against Sue is speculative. I see a considerable difference between speculation based on sparse data or evidence versus inductive reasoning based on a series of interconnected data points or evidence (in time and/or space).


    Seems to me that you would be willing to accept the guilty verdict in cases where there had been an eyewitness to murder. But eyewitnesses get it wrong! Just read some of the literature on exonerations to see how bad the problem is. Even DNA evidence can be a cross-contamination. Expert witnesses can be wrong in detail (e.g. Dr Manock).


    Having said the above (and many other things on this case since April 2015) I still prefer the appeal to be granted so that the new evidence can be scrutinised more closely to see if any of it meets the ‘fresh and compelling’ requirement. However, I don’t find any of the evidence presented so far to be compelling.

    I don’t mind a Royal Commission into the case as long as Sue gets to tell the review panel her true whereabouts and actions for the missing 5 hours between 4 pm and 9 pm. Playing the game “I don’t have a memory of that afternoon/evening” won’t wash.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  04/07/18  at  01:11 PM
  642. #633 and #637 ... Mostly I ignore, for reasons as already stated by others. There are some who now refrain from reading and/or engaging in TT threads when this particular style of biassed nitpicking and at times offensive bullying debate occurs.

    How dare we think for ourselves and challenge self-serving and at times narcissistic posts? Then when we do, the gaslighting starts = grrrrrr.

    It occurred to me that speaking-up was overdue. Thus, on behalf of those others who (i) have turned off and (ii) off-line expressed concern and, (iii) me too, I did. Silence does condone.

    Free speech is one thing; deceptive free speech with narcissistic intention is not to be tolerated/condoned.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  04/07/18  at  02:23 PM
  643. #639 ... Onya, Andrew.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  04/07/18  at  02:26 PM
  644. #642 Geraldine: Yes, silence can be complicity, depending on the circumstance. But as Max Ehrmann wrote in Desiderata, “Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.” I take avoid to mean ... ignore ... take no notice .... and yes, reduce the volume to silence.

    Posted by Andrew L Urban  on  04/07/18  at  03:16 PM
  645. #644 ... Andrew, mostly that is my approach. Nevertheless, at times the bubble bursts - and it is okay to allow oneself to be human. Furthermore, bullying and gaslighting are never to be ignored, in my book that is.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  04/07/18  at  03:27 PM
  646. That is the whole idea - for someone to silence the nonsense that is promulgated by SN-F’s supporters.

    They are finally getting the message.  It took them several years to wake up and realise that it doesn’t matter how many of them peddle the nonsense, their opinions are still a nonsense. So say the Hobart’s homeless whose inventive affidavits hit the SN-F Support Group at its heart!

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  04/07/18  at  03:47 PM
  647. Peter, your statements are read by myself, and others, as coming from someone who creates fake profiles in order to deceitfully portray support for your opinion.

    Stop and think about that for a second ... take your time ...

    The ‘silence’ is not due to the content of your posts; it is due to the processes you have engaged while trying to win the debate.

    It seems that you have got yourself into a position where ‘win at all costs’ drives your approach. So often, when your opinions have been challenged, you resort to claiming intellectual authority (which, so often, you do not actually have) and lying (through pretending comments of self-adulation and self-agreement are being made by other REAL people/fake profiles) and flooding threads with information that you have posted repeatedly before. I remember Garry commenting on this offensive behaviour.

    Posted by abs  on  04/07/18  at  05:13 PM
  648. #647 ... Ciao! 😎

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  04/07/18  at  07:16 PM
  649. A film critic wrote this in #639 ..

    “It was always - and still is - a mystery to me why some of those who argue against such a review, and maintain their faith in the guilty verdict, have done so with a sneer in their words, an aggression in their comments, a denigration in their view of her ‘supporters’

    Why is that a mystery?

    Just look at what Ben said in 2014 about SN-F supporters, particularly in relation to the homeless girl.

    For goodness sake Mr Urban, haven’t you noticed people’s distaste, particularly my distaste for the way you people, particularly Lynn Giddings, comment about Ms Vass? None of Lynn’s friends here in the SN-F Support Group commented anything about it on TT. Is it a mystery why I consider the SN-F supporters to be a bunch of non-sense peddlers?

    This is what Lynn Giddings posted on 25/08/2014 (soon after Barbara Etter created that blog in August 2014):

    “Interesting that Sue Neill-Fraser had told Detective Constable Marissa Milazzo and Detective Senior Constable Sinnitt that she had been watched tying up her dinghy in the afternoon by a “Girl with dark hair” while “A guy on slipway” was nearby. On the day that Meaghan Vass walked into court, she had dark hair. Could it have been the same girl?  When the defence counsel cross-examined Detective Senior Constable Sinnitt, we learnt that, after forensic turned up a DNA ‘match’ for (the homeless girl), she had been residing at a women’s shelter and had requested to be elsewhere for the night of Australia Day 2009. She gave an address on Mount Nelson, overlooking Sandy Bay, for her sleep over. It is interesting that it is now known that her DNA was not transferred onto the yacht on someone else’s shoe; she put it there herself.”

    Just how low did the mother of a prominent Tasmanian politician wanted to go?

    Well, the homeless people have brought to the surface exactly what the SN-F Support Group is about.

    Mystery solved Mr Urban!

    When Lynn a apologises to Ms Vass then the world will be a better place.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  04/07/18  at  07:55 PM
  650. This paragraph of Ben’s from #13 stuck with me:

    But I will mention something now. The 60 Minutes segment included a tabloid hatchet-job on the homeless girl that was nauseating, and completely unnecessary. I’ve warned about the behaviour of Susan Neill-Fraser’s supporters previously, and pointed out their willingness to blacken anyone and everyone’s name in their crusade, but this was particularly repellent.

    So very true! That was what I experienced, too.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  04/07/18  at  08:02 PM
  651. Anonymous comment challenged and deleted

    Posted by abs  on  04/07/18  at  08:36 PM
  652. Here is another post for Mr Urban to digest so that he has a better understanding of the leadership of the SN-F Support Group:

    This was posted by Lynn Giddings on 24 August 2014 (The same day that Barbara Etter created the blog):

    “Having watched Meaghan Vass give evidence in court and be cross-examined, I found some of her statements ambiguous. She told the court she refused to be interviewed about anything to do with this case. When asked if she felt intimidated by the police, she said “Yes, I’ve never dealt with something this large before.” Of course, it was because she offended in the first place that the forensic scientists found their ‘match’ for the unidentified female DNA on the boat, a match we now know was a primary match and not one walked onto the yacht on someone else’s shoe. She agreed a second time that she had refused to be interviewed and that she had said she would tell them nothing. While agreeing that it would have been easy to say to the police, “I’ve never been on board that yacht” instead she took the view, “I’m not saying a word to you police officers.” I am not accusing Meaghan Vass of murdering Bob Chappell, in any case it would probably be a manslaughter charge. But having worked as a probation officer for many years, the body language of Ms Vass left me thinking, I believe she could have told the police more, quite a bit more. As I understand it, I believe there are other unidentified DNAs on the boat.”

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  04/07/18  at  08:59 PM
  653. If we now combine the above two comments of Lynn Giddings (the leader of the group) posted in 2014, one can conclude that:

    It looks like that after seeing the 60 Minutes ‘Justice Overboard’ program in August 2014, Lynn Giddings was convinced that “it is now known that her DNA was not transferred onto the yacht on someone else’s shoe; she put it there herself.”  and “in any case it would probably be a manslaughter charge.“.

    Lynn wanted the whole world to know what her view was, so she very quickly posted it online. Doesn’t this tell you that Lynn wanted Meaghan Vass to be guilty of something in relation to Bob’s disappearance to the extent that she believed it to be true? A classic example of confirmation bias.

    What we have so far:

    1. Lynn Giddings sufferes from confirmation bias.

    2. Eve Ash suffers from confirmation bias.

    3. Lynn and Eve are two of the most influential people in the SN-F Support Group. Their biases have spread to the rest of the group over the past 9 years or so.

    4. The bias is now too entrenched for the core group of supporters who were influenced by Eve’s documentary (Shadow of Doubt) by the 2013/2014 ‘60 Minutes’ program, and by Lynn’s various TT Articles & comments.

    Barbara Etter was too clever and pulled out of the mess soon after Mr Gleeson provided the false affidavit.

    Do you too suffer from confirmation bias, Mr Urban?

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  04/07/18  at  09:36 PM
  654. #651 ... onus probandi (shifting the burden of proof)

    Jack: I have tiny, invisible unicorns living in my anus.
    Nick: How do you figure?
    Jack: Can you prove that I don’t?
    Nick: No.
    Jack: Then I do.

    Explanation: Jack made a claim that requires justification. Nick asked for the evidence, but Jack shifted the burden of proof to Nick. When Nick was unable to refute Jack’s (unfalsifiable) claim, Jack claimed victory.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  05/07/18  at  09:30 AM
  655. # Peter Lozo something you don’t realize is that it was you that had initiated the now proven false notion that the DNA found on the Four Winds was by secondary transfer, this goes further to your avoidance of matters in the past that you now tactfully avoid.
    “Classic obviates syndrome” ‘the developed habit to avoid, or the desire not to confront the obvious’ each of these denial impediments will be found peppered throughout your improperly ascertained circumstantial fact files.
    Ultimately your compiled journal of the controversial SNF case history (though assiduously biased) will not present as an accurate journal of events.
    Further important and let you not forget your transgression into dishonesty that had you creating false praiseworthy persons.
    That this falsity had been detected, begs the question, what other beguilements and legerdemain-ing may lay beneath your imprecise journal?
    Given the extent of your prolonging the SNF matter, over the course of your tedious extended commentary in which you had purposefully sought to extend, had been done with the singular purpose to promote your own ideation of events.
    So this proposed journal will not be a true chronological sequence of the SNF case matter, but a preferred model established in the hope to elevate yourself among your scientific colleagues.
    The next action you engage in will be to do a careful copy & paste of your notes of only the material that promotes your ideations and theories then discarding the valid conjectures held in the quantum of opinions submitted by others regarding this forum subject matter.
    Your so-called scientific journal well may end up as nought other than the base product for confetti.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  05/07/18  at  11:19 AM
  656. For the non-scientific peddlers of jargon:

    It has NOT be proven that Vass DNA was primary, NOR has the secondary transfer be excluded!

    Re-read the cross-examination of the VPFSD forensic scientist, Mr Border.

    If science had evolved to the stage where it can establish whether DNA was primary or secondary then that would be equivalent to a Nobel Prize scientific discovery.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  05/07/18  at  12:01 PM
  657. Some relevant statements on Vass DNA: primary or secondary

    “Yesterday, Mr Jones was questioned by Neill-Fraser’s lawyer Tom Percy QC and said he believed the DNA was transferred there directly.

    But he told the court today he could not rule out the possibility the DNA got onto the boat indirectly.

    Coates: You said yesterday that if you’d known nothing of the case that it’s likely that it would be a direct transfer. However, you know Ms Vass claims she’s never been on the boat. But you don’t rule out the possibility of a direct transfer?

    Jones: I can’t entirely rule that possibility out but there would need to be specific circumstances for that to occur. There is a possibility of someone transferring it onto the deck. You can’t rule it out”

    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-31/tas-tuesday-hearing-of-neill-fraser-conviction-appeal/9102198

    Scientists, regardless of their field of work, are in a much better position to interpret the opinion of another scientist than non-scientists. Why some individuals on here (most with high school education or non-science tertiary education) seem to think that they can interpret scientific opinions more accurately than a PhD qualified scientist, is beyond me. Just look at the mess that a PhD qualified non-scientist (former legal scholar) made out of his interpretation of the VPFSD report on ‘60 Minutes’ in 2014. It led Lynn Giddings to immediately jump up in air with extreme joy, and without hesitation she went online and posted two comments on Barbara Etter’s website. Hurray to Dr Moles for misleading the public on what the VPFSD report said.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  05/07/18  at  01:27 PM
  658. Tactics of defence attorneys (for appeal):

    Here is something I learned from several cases about defence attorneys and defence witness expert reports/opinions:

    Defence attorneys do NOT and WILL NOT include in their submission to the Court any scientific results/opinions that are unfavourable to their client. Otherwise they wouldn’t be representing their client to the best of their ability. That means that the defence attorney can censure certain things and ask the defence expert to withdraw unfavourable results or opinions from their report(s). So, when the public gets to initially hear about the opinion of defence expert witnesses (such as what had occurred here and on ‘60 Minutes’ in 2014) it is virtually guaranteed that the opinion will be pitched beyond the actual confidence level of the defence experts. This can then mislead the public, who then in general assume even a higher confidence level.

    It is only during the cross-examination of the defence expert witness that the public learns that the opinion of the defence expert isn’t as strong as it was originally pitched by the defence attorney. A very smart defence attorney (eg Kathleen Zellner of Chicago) leaves it to the Court to tease out any shortfalls in the reports that she submits to the Court. If the Supreme Court Judge (or the prosecutor) doesn’t get expert advice on the submitted defence expert reports then Zellner has a very good chance of getting a retrial for the client. She has been very successful in her approach. I haven’t researched her previous cases but I am on top of her current very high profile case of Steven Avery.

    So, as I stated elsewhere, be sceptical of expert witness opinions. Wait to see how they respond to cross-examination.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  05/07/18  at  04:23 PM
  659. Thank you, Andrew #639:  next month ... another point along the way. How the time drags from last year’s astounding first days of evidence, then adjournment until March ... then adjournment until June (wasn’t it?) and now again put off until August.

    Before all these, the directions hearings following the application under the amended Criminal Code Act 1924.  Before that the Coroner’s Report, the High Court application, the first appeal, the trial, the preliminary proceedings, the arrest, the investigation and Bob Chappell’s disappearance.

    And what will follow in August?  Whether acquitted, given a retrial or refused one, a campaign will continue.  We will still want to see a judicial review of the trial process, a reinvestigation, an inquiry which might one day be able to tell us what actually happened.  Yet we might not ever achieve these goals, and might not ever resolve the uncertainties surrounding this case.

    Posted by garrystannus@hotmail.com  on  05/07/18  at  10:20 PM
  660. #659 ... Indeed, Garry. You know, I’ve been an optimist all my life, but lately my optimism has crumbled, at least insofar as it applies to Australia’s criminal ‘justice’ system. Just the other day, I received (and published) a briefing about the extraordinary case of Derek Bromley.

    Here is the start of it: “Derek Bromley was convicted of murder in 1984, wrongfully, in the opinion of several legal experts; now, his latest appeal (June 2018) flounders when South Australia’s appeal court “fundamentally failed to pay due regard to the rule of law and to the well-established principles governing criminal appeals”, according to legal academics Dr Bob Moles and Bibi Sangha. “The principles espoused in the Bromley decision are not only contrary to established authority, but have never before appeared in any legal judgement in Australia, Britain or Canada.”

    The briefing explains why this ruling is a travesty of justice, and it further dampens my optimism and undermines my confidence in our courts. So let’s resolve to keep doing anything we can to agitate for a proper review of the Sue Neill-Fraser case - no matter what happens in August.

    Posted by Andrew L Urban  on  06/07/18  at  01:15 PM
  661. Just a footnote to my previous post #660 as to why we must agitate for the Neill-Fraser conviction to be reviewed:

    It stands contrary to the rule of law. It is a circumstantial case that was taken to trial. A circumstantial case is one where there are no eye-witnesses. In such a case, a person cannot be convicted unless the fact of their guilt is the only rational explanation of the circumstances.

    The law says that if there is a single rational explanation of the facts, other than the guilt of the accused, then the person cannot be convicted.

    This means that if there was a possibility that Bob Chappell had disappeared in a way unknown and undiscovered, or if he committed suicide or had an accident, or was killed by some person or persons unknown, then the accused cannot be convicted.

    Each of those alternative explanations have to be excluded “beyond reasonable doubt”, otherwise any one of them would constitute a reasonable doubt. Thus in the absence of any direct evidence of her guilt, Sue Neill-Fraser should not have been found guilty under the rule of law.

    Posted by Andrew L Urban  on  06/07/18  at  04:32 PM
  662. Hello Andrew ... this pdf link has been submitted to add to the failings of justice across Australia not being fairly delivered: http://netk.net.au/MOJGeneral/MOJ11.pdf

    Hopefully, there are no restrictions to my polite intended borrowing of these 16 pages from the Network Knowledge site of the esteemed Dr Robert Moles.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  06/07/18  at  05:02 PM
  663. #661 ... Andrew L Urban, you are to be commended by your position of agreement “to the well-reasoned provisions you have submitted” of the frailty and the improper claims being pursued by a certain person claiming otherwise extant in the SNF case.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  06/07/18  at  05:14 PM
  664. However it goes and however the SN-F supporters wish to look at it, the fact remains that an eminent barrister (Robert Richter QC), a psychologist (Eve Ash), and a former police detective (Colin McLaren, who is now afraid of returning to Australia because of fear he might be arrested by TasPol - see Andrew Rule’s March article) were absolutely and surely duped by a trio of homeless and/or troubled and uneducated people.

    How on earth could that have happened? Well, if you look at how long Mr Richter and Ms Ash were of the opinion that this case needed an independent review, it is becoming more obvious to me that both were highly susceptible to accepting information that confirmed what they already firmly believed. That is, both had, over the years, been entrenched into searching and accepting anything that would confirm their belief that Vass DNA was a significant factor in revealing what happened to Bob Chappell. Thus my conclusion is that both Mr Richter and Ms Ash suffered from confirmation bias. For those who don’t know what confirmation bias is about, below I provide a brief summary:

    “Confirmation bias, also called confirmatory bias or myside bias [Note 1] is the tendency to search for, interpret, favour, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s pre-existing beliefs or hypotheses.[1] It is a type of cognitive bias and a systematic error of inductive reasoning. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. Confirmation bias is a variation of the more general tendency of apophenia.

    People also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position. Biased search, interpretation and memory have been invoked to explain attitude polarisation (when a disagreement becomes more extreme even though the different parties are exposed to the same evidence), belief perseverance (when beliefs persist after the evidence for them is shown to be false), the irrational primacy effect (a greater reliance on information encountered early in a series) and illusory correlation (when people falsely perceive an association between two events or situations).”

    For further explanation see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias.

    Thus, those who claimed that TasPol had tunnel vision have now been proven to have themselves suffered from the very psycho-physiological phenomena associated with tunnel vision.

    If one looks at the dates when the various affidavits of the homeless people were provided, and then puts this within the context of Barbara Etter’s resignation from the defence team, one can reasonably assume that Sue (against Barbara’s advice) wanted, and was desperate, to use the affidavits of the homeless trio. This would have likely led to a conflict between the solicitor and the client about the strategy of how to proceed with the right-to-appeal application. But the client had the ultimate power and say over what should be presented to the court on her behalf. The solicitor then quit. It is therefore my opinion that the client’s immediate family, and some of her very good friends, then cut off ties with the solicitor. It is too bad that some people trusted Sue more than Barbara. This case had greatly benefited from Barbara’s 5 year pro-bono input.

    PS: Here are some sentences from Andrew Rule’s March article about Mr McLaren:

    “In another twist, McLaren is now effectively a fugitive because he has been warned of a Tasmanian police plan to charge him with perverting the course of justice.”

    After confirming suspicions his telephone and emails had been tapped by Victoria Police for their Tasmanian counterparts, he flew to Sri Lanka last October and reached Europe on a series of short flights. He wants to come home to see his daughter and grandson but doesn’t dare risk arrest.”

    In conclusion: the homeless trio have brought to the surface the bias in the SN-F Support Group. One can see the bias in Andrew Urban’s writings. One can see the bias in Dr Moles’ writings. One can also see the desperation in the writings of those who jumped onto the MoJ bandwagon well before the Trial Transcript became publicly available.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  06/07/18  at  10:43 PM
  665. The significance of one word and the subjective threshold for acceptance

    In #661 Andrew Urban writes as follows:

    “This means that if there was a possibility that Bob Chappell had disappeared in a way unknown and undiscovered, or if he committed suicide or had an accident, or was killed by some person or persons unknown, then the accused cannot be convicted.

    Each of those alternative explanations have to be excluded “beyond reasonable doubt”, otherwise any one of them would constitute a reasonable doubt. Thus in the absence of any direct evidence of her guilt, Sue Neill-Fraser should not have been found guilty under the rule of law.”

    Even a person as naive as me in the matters of criminal law knows, or ought to have researched it, that the above statement is ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT! Neither Mr Urban nor his backer, Mr Boeder, bothered to study the relevant law concerning circumstantial cases. Mr Boeder blindly accepted the above statement as being valid.

    Why am I so confident despite having zero tertiary education in law? Because I did some independent study and realised the significance of one simple word. The word is REASONABLE.

    Here are two relevant extracts from those who know far better than I do:

    “Where the Crown case rests substantially on circumstantial evidence a jury cannot return a guilty verdict unless the Crown has excluded all reasonable hypotheses consistent with innocence.”

    See Judicial Commission of NSW https://www.judcom.nsw.gov.au/about-the-commission/

    “In circumstantial cases, if there is evidence of a reasonable hypothesis consistent with innocence” then the defendant must be found “not guilty”. However, if there is no such reasonable explanation, the jury can infer guilt and find the defendant guilty.”

    See https://nswcourts.com.au/articles/circumstantial-evidence-in-the-courtroom/

    Please do note the use of the word reasonable in both of the above statements. Thus, had Mr Urban stated the following then he would have been absolutely correct:
    “This means that if there was a reasonable possibility that Bob Chappell had disappeared in a way unknown and undiscovered, or if he committed suicide or had an accident, or was killed by some person or persons unknown, then the accused cannot be convicted.”

    The obvious question to then ask is this: is there a reasonable possibility that any of the alternatives, as listed by Mr Urban, occurred .. given the evidence that was presented to the jury which convicted Sue Neill-Fraser?

    Are Susan Neill-Fraser’s supporters reasonable in their opinion? On the other hand, are those who disagree with Neill-Fraser’s supporters reasonable? Can both sides be reasonable and still disagree? My personal view is that what sets the two sides apart is subjective and it is the difference in the threshold level of accepting what is reasonable in this case. Those who are very close to Sue (such as Lynn Giddings) will have a higher threshold than those who are totally disconnected from all emotional attachment to anyone in the case (lawyers, police, judges, Sue, Tasmanian Judicial system, etc). Therefore, we are debating because we have a different level of accepting what is reasonable. We now need the Supreme Court judges to decide for us what is reasonable! Great! We are unreasonable dummies who are ruled by a select few reasonable folk (experts in law called judges) who are allowed to judge not only what is reasonable within the society we live in but they are also allowed by law to judge which scientific expert conducted a more reasonable scientific experimental work to back up their scientific opinion.

    I sure am having fun learning that Supreme Court judges rule the world. I thought that the true laws are the laws of nature, ie, laws that are discovered by scientists.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/07/18  at  02:04 AM
  666. Further to my last post:

    I need to clarify my comment about the two sides having a different threshold level of acceptance.

    It is my view that those who are emotionally attached (very close to Sue) will have a higher threshold for acceptance of evidence against Sue, but a lower threshold of acceptance of evidence for other possibilities that do not involve Sue. On the other hand, those who are emotionally detached will likely have a more balanced and objective threshold of accepting what is a reasonable scenario.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/07/18  at  03:24 AM
  667. Andrew Urban mentioned the Bromley case in #660.

    I read Dr Moles’ brief. His brief on the Bromley case ignores that the court relied on much more than the expert psychological/psychiatric opinion on the eyewitness (Mr Carter) to decide on the reliability of his statement. Dr Moles does not at all mention the taxi driver in his brief, even though the evidence of the taxi driver (and other people) contributed to the decision regarding Mr Carter’s reliability.

    SUPREME COURT OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA

    (Court of Criminal Appeal)

    R v BROMLEY
    [2018] SASCFC 41
    Judgment of The Court of Criminal Appeal

    (The Honourable Justice Peek, The Honourable Justice Stanley and The Honourable Justice Nicholson)

    29 May 2018

    “The case against Bromley depended to a considerable extent upon the evidence of Gary Carter. Carter was a schizophrenic. He had been under treatment at Hillcrest Mental Hospital, both as an inpatient and as an outpatient, over a period of time since 1983. His mental health broke down on the morning of 4th April and he was re-admitted to Hillcrest Hospital that day. It appears that his health had improved by the time of trial. The evidence of a witness with such a history of mental illness obviously required careful scrutiny. There was, however, a considerable body of evidence which supported Carter’s story at various points. The evidence of the taxi driver George leaves no room for doubt that Carter did travel in a taxi with another Aboriginal to Hindley Street as he described.
    There can be no doubt that Docoza and another Aboriginal there joined the taxi.</b> There can be no doubt that Carter, Docoza, and two other Aboriginals left the taxi at the western end of Hindley Street and walked in the general direction of the River Torrens.</b> There was confirmatory evidence from Gary Carter’s mother that Karpany was asleep at her home on the evening of 3rd April and left the house with Gary in the early hours of the morning of the 4th. The identification by the taxi driver George of Bromley as the man who entered the cab with Docoza, whatever criticisms might be cast upon it, tends to confirm Carter’s story that Bromley was the man who joined the cab with Docoza and was one of the party which went on foot to the River Torrens. There can be no doubt that Docoza was subjected to a beating on the banks of the Torrens and drowned. The story of the use of the barbell received some confirmation from the fact that the barbell was found at the scene. Carter’s story of going to the pie cart and obtaining a drink of water received some confirmation from the pie cart proprietor who recalled an incident of that kind at about that time. There is some confirmation of Carter’s story as to what occurred subsequently on the Morphett Street bridge from the evidence of police officers who saw Bromley on the bridge and subsequently saw him run. They found him hiding in bushes in Festival Drive. There is evidence of a stain which could have been a blood stain on Bromley’s shirt.”

    “There is evidence besides that of Carter tending to implicate Bromley.”

    See page 6 of R v Bromley [2018] SASCFC 41 - leave to appeal refused http://netk.net.au/Bromley/Bromley29.pdf

    It isn’t at all clear to me why, in his brief, Dr Moles ignored the above.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  07/07/18  at  07:35 AM
  668. #661 ... This comment is directly to you and your comment re circumstantial evidence.

    The justice system reminds we commoners that our long-established justice system is reliable, and is safely based on “the presumption of innocence until proven guilty”.

    Additionally, the William Blackstone ratio assures us - “it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.”  Whilst the 18th century Sir William was promoting the understanding of fairness in a criminal justice system, that statement made a greater ratio of false acquittals possible when compared to false convictions.

    In criminal trials we are also told/assured that the burden of proof for the prosecution is set high, and we know there are times when in spite of a vigorous prosecution, the jury remains unconvinced of guilt “proven beyond a reasonable doubt”. Furthermore, at times the public disagree with certain ‘not guilty’ decisions. That matters not to the system, because the jury’s (apparent) reasonable doubt means there can be no conviction. That is the law and the standard of proof in criminal trials.

    So flipping that, in the collective minds of the SN-F jury, the prosecution apparently proved the defendant guilty of the murder crime as charged, to the extent that no reasonable person could have any reasonable doubt that she (the defendant) was not guilty.

    Yet I remind myself as I try to get my head around comprehending ...
    (i) circumstantial evidence and associated inferences that add up to enough evidence to convict and,
    (ii) that a jury must only convict if it is convinced “beyond reasonable doubt” that the prosecution-promoted inferences and/or conclusions from the circumstantial evidence presented were reasonable and reliable,
    that during the jury deliberations, they were not sceptical of inferences, and were satisfied beyond reasonable doubt, that they (the inferences) were sufficiently reliable in the absence of direct evidence.

    How can that be a reliable decision in accordance with the Blackstone theory *she asks?

    We peasants are told that it is not always necessary in a circumstantial case, or any case for that matter, for the prosecution to prove each individual fact that it asserts. Oooh! Yes, we are assured - there are certain facts that are essential to proving the defendant’s guilt. These facts, known as “intermediate facts”, are indispensable to proving the guilt of the defendant, and must each be proved beyond reasonable doubt. Such facts are sometimes called the “links in the chain of guilt”. It is up to each jury member to decide whether or not any given fact has such significance.

    I remain convinced that generally speaking, jury members are incapable of this level of thinking. I can say for certainty, in the instances of my jury experiences, that the members of the public so called for jury service did not display these necessary attributes of understanding and comprehension.

    ‘Fair trial’ Sir William Blackstone, in my assessment is a dirty phrase.

    *She scratches head — where are the individual links in the “chain” of SN-F guilt that enabled the jury to sit comfortably with “proven beyond reasonable doubt?

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  07/07/18  at  03:46 PM
  669. #668 ... Geraldine, you have reminded me of a hypothetical game I played the other day (just in my own mind, you understand) in which I imagined the trial taking place WITHOUT any speculation as to how Bob Chappell might have gone missing or been murdered.

    No wrench. No dinghy. No winching. Nothing, in other words, for which there is no evidence. It’s an interesting exercise. Try it for yourself, see what you come up with.

    Posted by Andrew  on  07/07/18  at  05:57 PM
  670. There is implication in #668 that the Susan Neill-Fraser case is a “links in the chain” case. I am not knowledgable enough in this matter to offer a personal opinion, but since the subject had been mentioned on another thread in which I was involved I thought to refer to the statement that was made by someone else (Burt):

    “This was not a “links in the chain” case. It was a “strands in a cable case”, as is clear when one reads the Judgement of the Court of Criminal Appeal, http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/tas/TASCCA/2012/2.html”

    See #57 http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/sue-neill-fraser-murder-case-man-pleads-guilty-to-perverting-course-of-just/

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/07/18  at  02:04 AM
  671. Anonymous Comment challenged and deleted

    Posted by abs  on  08/07/18  at  09:52 AM
  672. #671… My definition of ‘avoidance issue personified’ is when a person avoids the elephant in the room whilst attempting-with-failure to distract from it.

    Whilst I am about it, another hearty tick for well-respected academic Dr Bob Moles, his vigorous and scholarly endeavours for MoJ cases, and the positive outcome of more recent SA fresh appeal legislation to which he contributed generously.

    He wrote, “This is the audio of an interview I did a few days ago with the Attorney-General of South Australia. She made some interesting observations about the appalling state of the evidence from Dr Manock in previous cases and we say the state government has an obligation to act proactively to identify those cases and fix them up rather than leave them to the individuals concerned to pursue them without resources or proper advice. Especially is that so in relation to the baby deaths where three tiny babies were murdered in the mid-1990s and to date there has been no action taken in respect of them.”

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157933277149466&id=538584465

    So much for the ‘expert witness’ eh? Or it is more appropriately said .. hired gun?

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  08/07/18  at  10:49 AM
  673. #669 ... Andrew, yep I played your suggested hypothetical game, the result being of no surprise to me.

    One of my observations re the apparent and somewhat hasty, systemic damage-control activities witnessed following the disappearance of Bob Chappell and the attempted sinking of the Four Winds yacht is — remedial action must be seen to happen ASAP to deflect from the reality. That is, prevent fear for (i) nearby residents of Sandy Bay and, (ii) the yacht-owners fraternity. Community fear of any existing unsafe element operating within these communities must be stifled almost before it begins.

    Having previously witnessed similar almost panicky approaches by Tas Police well supported/co-ordinated by the ODPP (the criminal justice system) over a few decades, it seems the overriding objective is to assure safety to the community. Thus if one ‘wrongdoer’ can be singled out, the safe community image remains intact, at whatever cost to the MoJ victim.

    Posted by Geraldine Allan  on  08/07/18  at  11:21 AM
  674. #671 ... Please note that your last two comments were deleted. If you have an issue, then please deal with the Editor. Thank you.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/07/18  at  07:27 PM
  675. #672 ...“well-respected academic Dr Bob Moles”.

    Dr Moles is not an academic, nor has he been for about 17 years. According to Graham Archers’ book, Moles got sacked after 3 years at Adelaide University.  According to Dr Moles’ review of Archers’ book:

    “Bob was ‘sacked’ (p113) g– actually my 3-year contract came to an end. Although the law school advertised a significant number of positions to be filled, I was given legal advice to lodge an application. It was rejected without interview.”

    See “5 September 2017: Unmaking a Murder: the mysterious death of Anna-Jane Cheney by Graham Archer - reviewed by Bob Moles”

    http://netk.net.au/Books/Archer.pdf

    As for the new legislation in SA: Dr Bob Moles and Mr Kevin Borick QC contributed.

    “At p 293 Graham refers to a dispute which I had with Kevin Borick over who could be credited with the breakthrough in establishing the new right of appeal. I regret that I found it necessary to send a complaint to the professional conduct committee of the Law Society about this. Soon after I went to meet Kevin, we agreed that we could both claim some responsibility for having brought it about (as Graham suggests) and I was then able to withdraw my complaint on the understanding that Kevin and the others would not be sending off any more complaining letters. We have continued on good terms since then.”

    Dr Moles is affiliated with the Flinders University of SA in an ‘adjunct’ role, but he isn’t employed by that University.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/07/18  at  07:31 PM
  676. Controversy surrounding the $2.57M payment to Henry Keogh

    Looks like the heat is on the new state Government in South Australia: https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/law-order/parliamentary-inquiry-into-henry-keoghs-257m-payout-for-wrongful-murder-conviction/news-story/96efbbe40f050faecdababc911871047

    “THE controversial $2.57 million payment made to Henry Keogh, who was wrongfully convicted of murder, is set to be scrutinised by a parliamentary inquiry.

    Moves are being made to have one of parliament’s most powerful investigative tools, the Budget and Finance Committee, probe the ex-gratia payout process.

    The move follows revelations in The Advertiser the payment was made without a formulated claim from Mr Keogh’s lawyers and a government-commissioned legal opinion found taxpayers were not at significant risk from any civil action he may launch.

    Opposition spokesman for Transport and Infrastructure Tom Koutsantonis said “startling admissions’’ made by Mr Keogh himself at the weekend had added weight to the need for a full inquiry.

    Saturday, former Attorney-General John Rau told The Advertiser he did “not recall seeing any advice saying the government was at significant legal risk in the Henry Keogh case’’ while he was in office, while Mr Keogh told The Australianhe was unlikely to have taken his case to the civil courts because of the time it would take and “there’s no guarantee at the end of that you actually emerge a winner’’.

    “Mr Keogh made it quite clear he wasn’t going to take legal action and Attorney-General Vickie Chapman has said she made the ex-gratia payment to minimise legal action,’’ Mr Koutsantonis said.

    “I think that raises serious concerns and we will use the Budget and Finance Committee to call every single public servant from Treasury and Crown law involved in this ex-gratia payment to give evidence.

    “We would like to know on what basis Ms Chapman made this decision, was it a Cabinet decision or simply a ministerial decision that Cabinet noted. It is an important distinction.’’

    Mr Koutsantonis said the legal advice commissioned by the Labor government made it clear the state was not at significant risk from any legal action and the Court of Criminal Appeal recommended Mr Keogh be retried for Anna Jane Cheney’s murder.

    In light of these facts, did Treasury agree with the payment, did Crown law agree with this payment. These are the questions that need to be answered,’’ he said.

    “Mr Keogh’s comments show that his advice was that he was at minimal prospect of a payment, it would have been long, arduous, expensive and very risky for him.

    “The question then is, why did Ms Chapman make the payment?’’

    While Labor holds three of the seven positions on the Budget and Finance Committee, it will need the support of one independent member, either Frank Pangallo or John Darley, to launch the inquiry.

    The payout to Mr Keogh has sparked outrage from the family of Ms Cheney. On Saturday a family member told The Advertiserthey believed the government must publicly release the legal opinion relied on to justify the payment.

    The legal opinion, provided by respected barristers Jonathon Wells QC and Ben Doyle, was commissioned by Mr Rau after he received a letter of demand from Mr Keogh’s lawyers.

    The demand was rejected by the former government and Mr Keogh’s lawyers were asked to present a formulated claim — something which did not occur.

    On Saturday Ms Chapman again defended the ex-gratia payment and confirmed that only the legal opinion commissioned by the former government and Crown Solicitor’s Office had been used to justify the payout.

    Henry Keogh was released from prison in December 2014 after serving two decades behind bars following his conviction for drowning Ms Cheney in her bath in 1994.

    His conviction was quashed in 2014 because of flawed forensic evidence and a retrial ordered but Director of Public Prosecutions Adam Kimber QC subsequently dropped the murder charge because key witness — pathologist Dr Colin Manock — was too ill to testify.”

    PS: Given that I have both trial transcripts from Mr Keogh’s first two trials in 1995, I will here say that there is something more to forgeries than just the forged signatures on life insurance applications. The public is only aware of the life insurance policies but isn’t aware that Mr Keogh also forged Ms Cheney’s signature on several bank cheques that were used to set up the 5 insurance policies. Further, he also forged Ms Cheney’s signature on the bank authorisation for periodic deductions. At the time he did this, Mr Keogh was in fact a branch manager for the State Bank! This is something that both Dr Moles and Mr Archers did not bother to tell the public.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/07/18  at  08:46 PM
  677. “Family of Anna Jane Cheney demands to see legal opinions on $2.57 M payout to Henry Keogh”

    A few extracts from : https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/law-order/family-of-anna-jane-cheney-demands-to-see-legal-opinions-on-257m-payout-to-henry-keogh/news-story/7f9aa18849825290b4b9e6e802fea579

    “THE family of murder victim Anna Jane Cheney has called on the State Government to release the legal advice it relied on to make a $2.57 million ex-gratia payment to her suspected killer, Henry Keogh.”

    “And former Attorney-General John Rau yesterday broke his silence on the payout, stating his recollection of the legal advice was that “the state did not face a significant risk of a successful legal action by Mr Keogh”.

    “Henry Keogh was released from prison in December 2014 after serving two decades behind bars following his conviction for drowning Ms Cheney in her bath in 1994. His conviction was quashed in 2014 because of flawed forensic evidence and a retrial ordered, but Director of Public Prosecutions Adam Kimber QC subsequently dropped the murder charge because key witness pathologist Dr Colin Manock was too ill to testify.”

    “The Cheney family member said he was shocked when he was contacted by telephone at 5pm last Friday by Ms Chapman’s office advising him the payment had been settled that day and would be made public on Monday.”

    “I always thought his lawyers would at some stage put in a claim, but given that he was not acquitted, I though the government would fight any request,’’ he said.

    “The appeal judges made it pretty clear that while his lawyers had asked for an acquittal, that they rejected that and that it would be open to a properly directed jury to convict.’’

    “The family member said he could not understand how a new government could reach such a decision “so quickly’’ after taking office.”

    “The Cheney family’s lawyer, Greg Griffin, said judges in successive appeals had pointed out the overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence against Mr Keogh, even without the forensic evidence.

    This included the fact he forged Ms Cheney’s signature on five insurance policies worth $1.125 million that he had taken out, his affairs with two women while he was with Ms Cheney and lies he had told under oath.

    Evidence at the crime scene also conflicted heavily with statements made by Mr Keogh concerning his attempts to revive her when he discovered her in the bath.”

    “This is not a case in which there was no other evidence,’’ he said.

    “That is a far cry from cases in which there have been payouts because of the circumstances.

    “The view of the family is if there had been a retrial, a conviction was certainly a possibility and the Full Court in 2015 stated that.’’

    Note: To put the life insurance policies in the full perspective, please keep in mind all the forged signatures that I mentioned at the bottom of my last post. Then ask: would a lawyer (Ms Cheney was a lawyer) have agreed to her boyfriend forging her signatures on life insurance policies, on bank cheques and on automatic deduction approvals .. given that the boyfriend was a bank branch manager whose career (and her career) would have been ruined by a discovery of such illegal activity? Or did Mr Keogh do all this on his own initiative with a sinister plot in mind?

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  08/07/18  at  10:11 PM
  678. #673, Geraldine ... with regard to Andrew’s game, I’ve been putting all the evidence onto a time line.  Of course in doing so, I’ve disregarded assertions by legal counsel, for that is not evidence.  So far, the tapestry of evidence woven into this chronology of mine indicates that the prosecution’s case was not based on fact, but rather was based on supposition. 

    While we wait yet again for the finalisation of Susan Neill-Fraser’s application for a second appeal, we yet have heard all (save for one portion) of the ‘new’ evidence, and my tapestry (at this stage) includes nearly all of that.  I’m waiting for the final witness in August, and then, with final submissions etc, for Justice Brett to make a decision on the application.

    Posted by garrystannus@hotmail.com  on  09/07/18  at  08:43 AM
  679. #674 ... Yes Peter, I see that the editor has removed my last two comments about the creation of fake profiles.

    I can accept the deletions, I mean, it’s just a deletion of a couple of comments. It’s not like I have been caught out creating fake profiles to pretend my comments were broadly supported .

    Posted by abs  on  09/07/18  at  09:34 AM
  680. 1. SA parliament to look into Keogh payment

    “The $2.5 million SA government payment to Henry Keogh after his 1995 conviction for the murder of his fiancee was overturned, will be investigated by a parliamentary committee.”

    See https://www.9news.com.au/national/2018/07/09/13/05/sa-parliament-to-look-into-keogh-payment

    2. Why was the Bromley appeal rejected?

    I wrote about the Bromley case in #667. Here is a summary from a news article on why the appeal was rejected ...

    “Bromley’s appeal unsuccessfully argued that new psychiatric evidence would support the notion that the prosecution’s witness, Greg Carter, was unreliable because he was schizophrenic.

    Mr Carter told the original trial that he accompanied Bromley, Karpany and Mr Docoza to the banks of the River Torrens in the early hours of April 4 1984, seeing them attack Mr Docoza after he refused their demands for sex.

    “We conclude that although Carter was a person suffering from schizoaffective disorder — and may therefore have been susceptible to being affected by the phenomenon of ‘suggestibility’ — such risk did not here eventuate,” the court found.

    “The evidence before this court does not demonstrate that the phenomenon of suggestibility led to Carter confabulating or acquiring a false memory of Bromley attacking the deceased.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-29/convicted-murderer-derek-bromley-loses-bid-to-walk-free/9811904

    3. Academic Law vs Practical Law

    Having studied a few cases where a former legal academic provided opinions, I came to the conclusion that the former academic is nit-picking at issues that practising lawyers do not consider to be significant. The main issue I perceive is that the former legal academic tends to either misrepresent or misinterpret the significance of expert opinions, and in doing so generally gives more weighting to expert opinions than is warranted.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  09/07/18  at  05:09 PM
  681. Barbara Etter quits law after Supreme Court dismisses appeals

    https://www.themercury.com.au/news/scales-of-justice/barbara-etter-quits-law-after-supreme-court-dismisses-appeals/news-story/7c114db744352d18f6132264cd605217

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  09/07/18  at  05:14 PM
  682. Henry Keogh payout: Auditor-General asked to probe $2.57m compensation

    “Mr Keogh has now become the only person in South Australia’s history to receive damages despite not receiving an acquittal from the Court, indeed, the Court directed Mr Keogh face a new trial for the murder of his fiancee Ms Anna Jane Cheney.”

    https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/henry-keogh-payout-auditorgeneral-asked-to-probe-257m-compensation/news-story/55bf9afcd9fa7a9117d290257f5c76fb

    I have previously written that the cause of Ms Anna-Cheney’s death (accidental drowning or forced drowning) in a bathtub that was at most 1/2 full of water, CANNOT be determined solely on the basis of the pathology evidence that was, and is, available. About 10 medical experts, mostly forensic pathologists of various experience and qualification (Dr Manock, Dr James, Dr Collins, Prof Ashford, Prof Cordner, Prof Henneberg, Prof Thomas, Prof Green, Prof Veron-Roberts, Prof Pounder, Dr Lynch) provided expert opinion over 20 years to either the trials, the Medical Board of SA, the Medical Professional Tribunal of SA, or to the 2014 appeal. BUT, none had bothered to conduct a series of bathtub experiments to better understand how, and if, any or some or all of the reported bruises on the deceased’s body (about 15 originally reported bruises) could have been caused at the time of death. I conducted a series of bathtub experiments and can confidently conclude that all of the above medical experts failed miserably in determining the physical circumstance of Ms Cheney’s death. They ought to have gone to the scene of the death and taken a much closer look at the bathtub itself, rather than offer ‘expert’ opinion on the basis of documentation. Had they done so they might have noticed that the 7 bruises on the deceased right shin can be well matched to the asymmetric profile of the longitudinal section of the bathtub edge. This alone, suggests that the deceased was facing down when these bruises were inflicted. When one then combines this finding with the other set of bruises then a clear picture emerges of what position Ms Cheney’s body must have been in during the moments of drowning. It does not at all support the accidental drowning scenario. Thus, there is a scientific re-interpretation of the forensic evidence that does not support the defence claim of accidental death.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  10/07/18  at  07:31 PM
  683. Further to #682:  I ought to have stressed that, with the exception of one lone bruise - ‘the ‘thumb’ bruise, none of the originally reported bruises could be excluded from being caused at the time of death.  It it now quite certain that they were not caused (and could not have been caused) by the modus operandi that Dr Manock proposed. Neither he nor SaPol bothered to test the physical plausibility of that scenario in the lead up to the two 1995 trials. Thus, all subsequent expert opinions since about 2004 (particularly by Prof Vernon-Roberts, Prof Thomas, Prof Pounder and Dr Lynch) were against Dr Manock’s modus operandi. The best they could have concluded is that Ms Cheney was not forcibly drowned in the manner that was proposed by Dr Manock. But, Prof Vernon-Roberts (who was commissioned by the State Government in 2004 to review the case) went one step further and, without any scientific experiments in a bathtub nor any other valid scientific reasoning, preferred an accidental death. Others (Prof Thomas, Prof Pounder and Dr Lynch) then basically agreed with Prof Vernon-Roberts’ report.

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  10/07/18  at  08:56 PM
  684. “Don’t pay Henry Keogh millions, former SA attorney-general says”

    “Kevin Foley, who was acting premier and acting attorney-­general in 2006 when he denied Mr Keogh the right to challenge his conviction, told The Australian: “I am one who believes Keogh should not receive a cent.”

    “Mr Foley said Mr Keogh’s reference in an interview with The Weekend Australian to learning from Nelson Mandela’s approach to life “makes me want to vomit”.

    “The Cheney family has said it will pursue Mr Keogh in the civil courts.”

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/dont-pay-henry-keogh-millions-former-sa-attorneygeneral-says/news-story/84b4cab83997c802a0922c3230aa6e55

    Posted by Dr Peter Lozo  on  13/07/18  at  01:14 AM

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