Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Does perverted justice prevail in Australia’s deep south?

Book review by Bill Rowlings, CEO of Civil Liberties Australia


Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    February 21, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    Images of the large winch handle that was missed by the Victorian ex-detectives

    Here is a link to my own Facebook post where I have stored 3 images that show that: (i) a large winch handle was in a winch on the main mast on the morning of 27th Jan: (ii) at least two crime scene photographs that Colin McLaren had access to show the winch handle in the scene, but the handle is on the deck next to the main mast.


    I find it very difficult to believe that both Colin and Charlie, who would have independently looked at all the crime scene photographs that the defence team provided them, missed noticing the winch handle. Charlie is considered to have been amongst Victoria’s best police detectives. So, why on earth didn’t he notice the winch handle given that it featured in Sue’s trial. I am at a total loss to logically explain this significant oversight by two very experienced ex-detectives.

    Ps: I am in the process of writing up my detailed pictorial explanation as to why the location, and the angle of slant, of the rope scuff marks in the woodwork of the saloon starboard hatch supports my hypothesis that Bob Chappell’s body was winched out via a winch on the main mast towards a location on the boom of the main mast which was positioned over the location of the starboard skylite hatch. I will post my write-up on my FB page and will then make a brief final comment here on TT.

  2. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    February 21, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    The visible dark stain on the walkway was the size of a 50c coin

    The quoted sentence below (my emphasis in bold) is from page Page 61 of the latest book on the case, Death on the Derwent SUE NEILL-FRASER’S STORY by Robin Bowles (https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Death_on_the_Derwent.html?id=prpxvQEACAAJ&source=kp_book_description&redir_esc=y)

    “An ‘unknown female’ sample about the size of a 50c piece was found o the walkway inside the starboard acess gap in the outside railings.”

    Anyway, there are at least two physically plausible explanations why luminol reacted strongly over an area of the walkway that at around 21 cm x 26 cm is significantly larger than the area of a 50c coin that defines the visible small dark stain from where a swab was obtained from. See Burt’s Comment and the sentence that he quoted.

    Also note that page 33 of Robin’s book mentions the winch handle, the very same winch handle that was ignored by the “Great Detectives”. ‘Great Detectives’ is a term given to the two Victorian ex-detectives (Colin McLaren and Charlie Bezinna) by TT reader, Burt.

    Ps: Robin Bowles posted a comment on Andrew Urban’s blog on 11th Feb https://wrongfulconvictionsreport.org/2019/02/07/sue-neill-fraser-evidence-went-missing/

    Here is a part of Robin’s post:

    “Another issue is that the tide was still coming IN at around midnight (1.04m for you fisherfolk and weather enthusiasts) and there were NO stars or moon until 4.30am (approx). Black sea, black sky, Mr Hughes (who saw ‘a probable female’ motoring out) must have 20/20 vision! Has his eyesight been checked? “

    I posted the following as part of my overall reply to Robin, but via her own website:

    “It was an overcast day. I assume that therefore there were clouds at night. Clouds can improve night time visibility because they reflect city lights. I have explained this on Tasmanian Times quite some time ago and have also written as to how cloud-reflected level of light would have enabled Mr John Hughes to see the dinghy and the person on it. But he most likely wouldn’t have had sufficient light to get a good enough 3D perspective of the person and the dinghy to correctly see how and where the person was seated. But he most likely would have been able discern the shape of an inflatable dinghy versus a wooden or aluminum dinghy. He also heard the overboard motor.

    The critical think to note that is Mr Hughes stated that he heard an overboard motor. Mr Maddock, the female looking person with long hair who claims to have been on his dinghy late at night on Australia Day, did NOT have a motor on his wooden dinghy. But you won’t see that mentioned on Andrew Urban’s website.

    See for example Andrew’s paragraph

    “The hearings seeking leave to appeal, it was revealed by Neill-Fraser’s legal team that a witness testifying to seeing what may have been ‘a female’ figure heading in the general direction of Four Windsjust before midnight, turned out to be mistaken. It was in fact Grant Maddock (left, in 2009), a slightly built, long haired male. Given that this sighting was the only (and rather flimsy) evidence that put Neill-Fraser on the water heading ‘in the general direction’ of the crime scene, now there is nothing at all to connect her to the crime or the crime scene.”


    Just who is promoting a tainted view of the evidence that was presented at Susan Neill-Fraser trial versus the evidence that was presented in recent times as part of Sue’s current right-to-appeal application?

  3. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    February 18, 2019 at 6:22 am

    How did a small dark stain become a “bowl of vomit”

    The following paragraph (with my emphasis in bold) is from the transcript of the ’16 July 2017 Channel 7 Sunday Night’ program titled “The case of Susan Neill-Fraser in Hobart”:

    “Matt Doran: Of all the forensic evidence found on the Four Winds, what could be the most crucial was discovered right here, a small dark stain on the deck containing human DNA. It would become known as sample 20. Sample 20 was the DNA of a homeless fifteen-year-old girl called Meaghan Vass. During the trial Meaghan claimed to have never been on the yacht before in her life. Prosecutors successfully argued that her DNA could have been inadvertently carried on to the yacht on the shoes of police. So, the jury was told it was a red herring, and that Sue Neill-Fraser was the only other person on board the yacht. Sue maintained her innocence.”

    The transcript of the above mentioned program can be downloaded from

    Note that the visible stain on the deck was said to be small dark stain.

    Note that, at Sue Neill-Fraser’s trial, the forensic scientist who performed a luminol test (a presumptive test for blood) on the area of the deck where sample 20 was obtained from indicated that the luminol positive reaction was spread over an area a bit smaller than 21 cm x 26 cm.

    If we now fast forward to 2019 and listen to what a former ex-detective from Victoria (Charlie Bezinna) said in a recent Current Affair program we find that the ex-detective refers to the size of DNA sample on the deck as being a “bowl of vomit”.

    See https://www.9now.com.au/a-current-affair/2019/clip-cjrixks72000e0ho5sn74m81x

    Mr Bezinna makes the statement at time 5:35 on the mentioned current affair program. I wanted to find out how a small dark stain at location 11 become a “bowl of vomit”.

    The Tasmanian forensic scientist who analysed sample 20 from location 11 explained the following in an email in March 2010 to a Tasmanian police detective (my emphasis is in bold):

    “There was an area, the black outline in the photos, of  positive luminol which suggests the presence of blood. However, our testing of the swab taken from the area was negative for the blood screening test, suggesting that we cannot confirm the presence of blood. Given the strong DNA profile that we obtained from this swab,I’d suggest that this is indicative of the presence of a relatively large amount of DNA which is more likely to come from bodily fluids, blood, saliva, than a simple contact touching event. So basically we cannot say of any certainty where the DNA may have come from. The positive luminol result suggests that the source may have been blood, and the fact that this was an external surface means there may have been washing or weathering events that have prevented us from being able to definitively identify the presence of blood.

    More complex scenarios such the luminol result, coming from an older event, e.g. an old stain which has been overlaid by more recent events, which is where the DNA came from, eg spitting on the deck cannot also be ruled out. I hope this makes sense.”

    Thus, given that sample 20 was from the deck of the yacht, it is quite likely that the environmental effects (water sprays and wind) would have spread the luminol-reactive substance contained in the small dark stain over a larger area than what was visible to a naked eye.

    This is the first time ever that I had an opportunity to review the work and technical opinions of police detectives/ex-detective. I must say that, overall, I am surprised by the low level of technical and scientific knowledge amongst the detectives/ex-detectives who investigated this case. But the two ex-detectives from Victoria deserve a special mention here because of their terminology when describing the area over which the luminol-positive reaction was observed by a Tasmanian forensic scientist on the walkway at location 11 – the location of the small dark stain.

    It appears to me that Charlie Bezinna (and Colin McLaren) hadn’t at all considered the effect of environmental conditions on the spread of human hemoglobin from a localised and visible small dark stain on the walkway of the Four Winds yacht

    In conclusion, it is my opinion that there is a plate of bollocks in the opinion of Victorian ex-detectives. This applies to their opinion about Meaghan’s DNA, and to their opinion that at least two people were required to remove Bob’s body via the saloon skylite hatch.

    Here is a link to Andrew Urban’s blog, just in case the reader is interested in opinions by non-scientists:


    • Lola Moth

      February 18, 2019 at 7:39 am

      Peter, you have put a lot of time and effort into this case, which is commendable.

      You have been chipping away at the evidence that others may have been involved in Bob’s death, but by trying to weaken that evidence you have not strengthened the case against SN-F.

      If anything, you have highlighted the weaknesses of the entire case which seems to have been a dog’s breakfast from the beginning.

      This case needs to be retried so that every piece of evidence is brought to light. To have two families torn apart by a verdict based on dubious evidence is not justice.

      • Dr Peter Lozo

        February 18, 2019 at 11:54 am

        OK. Thanks, Lola.

        I am just about done on this case. I still have to address the rope scuff marks in the woodwork of the skylite hatch. I will do that by the end of this week. For now, the significant observation is that the mentioned rope scuff marks are on the side of the hatch frame that is closest to the walkway and is parallel to it. These rope scuff marks are angled to the right from the perspective of the observer who is looking at the skylite hatch from below in the saloon and is facing starboard. These two geometrical factors are significant, and are also inconsistent with Colin McLaren’s re-enactment.

        I expect my analysis and commentary on this case to be complete by the end of this week. I am already on a lookout for one more and my last case. I am searching for a case where I can learn something about forensic psychology and/or forensic psychiatry. I have already learned a lot about forensic pathology from my 2012 – 2014 research on the Henry Keogh case.

        • Lola Moth

          February 18, 2019 at 1:37 pm

          Peter, there is another case I know of where there was no body, no murder weapon, and no proof of there even being a victim.

          Thomas William Hudson from North Wyong, NSW was in 1990 charged with the 1984 murder of Elizabeth Margaret Bromfield. He spent months in prison and was eventually acquitted .. but he is adamant the woman has been in witness protection all the time and that the police knew it. His own investigations are very thorough but he has hit a big blue wall of officialdom in trying to prove he was deliberately fitted up for a crime that was never committed.

          I can probably send you his contact details via TT if you are interested.

    • Burt

      February 18, 2019 at 2:37 pm

      Dr Lozo’s point above is perfectly valid, but there is another aspect of the forensic scientist Mr Grosser’s quoted reply which is unremarked by those seeking money and fame out of this case, and that’s “More complex scenarios such the luminol result, coming from an older event, eg an old stain which has been overlaid by more recent events, which is where the DNA came from, eg spitting on the deck cannot also be ruled out.”

      It is not just spitting on the deck which is relevant or possible. It is necessary to appreciate that a swab is taken from a small point because the tool to take the sample, which is then referred to as ” the swab”, is like a cotton bud . It is not dragged over a large area, so the stain, which was measured and which the Money and Fame Makers have decided to call the “size of a dinner plate” and to depict as an homogeneous puddle of liquid, may well have come about well before the very small area swabbed was overlaid with a DNA bearing deposit. That deposit could have got there by transfer. There is absolutely no evidence and absolutely no reason to believe that the rest of the stained area is of the same material, or would yield the same result if swabbed. Claiming it isso misrepresents the process by which such samples are taken.

      What is fascinating is how the Money and Fame Makers all decided late last year to portray it in the way that they have. Surely the Great Detectives would know how a swab is taken, and would know that it proves no more than the composition of the very, very small area from which it was taken.

      By the Great Detectives I mean the one (McLaren) who was unable to produce to the Court a credible explanation as to why the affidavit he drafted did not contain the vital information he claimed to have heard, while on the very same day the other ( Bezzina) was trying to explain to the SIlk Miller inquiry how it was that he was purported to witness backdated altered statements, and agreed he could offer “no legitimate excuse” for doing so.

      • Peter Lozo

        February 18, 2019 at 8:59 pm

        Burt .. excellent point.

        The “Great Detectives” had at least one valid reason, as written in the Trial Transcript and explained by a forensic scientist Mr Grosser, was to confine their logic within the scope of ‘forensic reality’ .. but they chose to invent their own version and called it the “bowl of vomit”.

  4. Geraldine Allan

    February 17, 2019 at 11:33 am

    William and William … You may find CLA’s Bill Rowling’s review of yet another book reassuring. Stay tuned.

    “Death on the Derwent” by crime writer Robin Bowles is to be released this Tuesday, 19/02/19. https://www.cla.asn.au/News/

    “A former Tasmanian, and noted crime author, Robin Bowles brings a unique perspective to her skilfully crafted, disturbing and compelling new book on the Sue Neill-Fraser case. The third book on the wrongful conviction released in just six months, Bowles brings a different insight to the sorry saga, which is still being played out in the Tasmanian courts 10 years after Bob Chappell disappeared off a yacht, his body never found. All actors in this drama await judge Michael Brett’s imminent decision on whether the woman sentenced to 23 years jail will get another chance to appeal her innocence.”

    • William Boeder

      February 17, 2019 at 4:45 pm

      Thankyou, Geraldine.

      I read up the bona fides of Robin Bowles and they are fully intact and credible.
      The former stigma of bias may be apparent in and when Justice Michael Brett provides his decision of Yay or Nay.

      The professional status and local standing of Tasmania’s judiciary and Tasmania’s Department of Justice also rests on that same decision.

      • Geraldine Allan

        February 17, 2019 at 8:06 pm

        I’m unsure what you mean in your reference to Brett, J. It matters not here and now.

        The judge will make a decision based on the laws which are now enacted. Meanwhile, let’s not jump to any conclusions about that pending decision.

        Here’s hoping SN-F is finally granted an opportunity to have all the facts known, and the speculation properly put to rest .. after which comes an ending that is seen as a fair and just outcome.

        • William Boeder

          February 17, 2019 at 11:05 pm

          In reply Geraldine, the notion of bias is of important concern in case matters such as the SN-F case.
          Either way, the decision handed down by Justice Brett will suit some and will anger others.
          However, my belief is that the consent to an appeal is warranted and the most equitable decison that can be delivered, more-so after an exposure to both the calculable caprice, then the notion of fallibility… that from time to time pays a call upon this State’s system of justice.

    • Geraldine Allan

      February 17, 2019 at 5:44 pm

      Btw — Two Williams ..

      Matt Denholm in The Australian yesterday, quotes a section from Death on the Derwent that discusses the offering of a substantial sum of money to “the associate”. According to the article, Robin Bowles writes that “the associate told her xyz” about $$$ promised.

      This selected section must be read in the full context of the discussion in the book as it relates to “the associate” who was in prison with SN-F. We all know hearsay is not fact.

      I feel for SN-F and loved ones who have had to endure far too much fiction rather than fact circulating and promoted as fact.

      Gossip dressed up as evidence is not evidence, yet the naysayers seem to prefer to go for the jugular when the gossip is circulating.

  5. Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

    February 16, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Killer Susan Neill-Fraser ‘offered rewards’ for exit

    “Convicted killer Susan Neill-Fraser offered a house and $50,000 education fund to a fellow prison inmate she hoped could help secure her freedom, a new book alleges.”


  6. William Griffin

    February 15, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    Geraldine I have met both Charlie and Colin during my working life as you and I have discussed,neither needs to go back to Detective School . There are TASPOL members who need to go back to the classroom. Charlie is one of the best in the business at Homicide investigation’s as I have always maintained the only person’s who know what happened that night is Bob Chappell and his killer or killers..Everything is self serving guesswork by people with there own agendas pumping up there own importance.

    • Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

      February 15, 2019 at 11:47 pm

      Mr Griffin,

      Please look at the video evidence from news footage of the morning of 27th and see if you notice a large winch handle protruding to the left of the main mast.

      Please read pages 90 -91 and page 57 of the Trial Transcript. Please note what is said about the winch handle, the winch on the main mast and the rope that went to the skylite hatch.

      Given that you are a private investigator it ought to be obvious to you that Charlie and Colin failed to include in their keen detective eyes the fact that the crime scene evidence strongly suggested that the winch on the main mast was used to winch out Bob’s body.

      According to Sue, the winch handle wasn’t in that winch when Sue left the yacht in the afternoon of the Australia Day. Therefore, someone boarded the yacht in the evening, took the handle out of its storage box, and inserted the handle into the winch on the main mast.

      How did Charlie and Colin manage to be totally oblivious to a significant piece of physical evidence (the winch handle in the winch on the main mast) that was less than 2 meters away from the saloon hatch they claim was the exit point of the body from the saloon?

      There is no guesswork in my claim that Mr McLarin’s theory of how Bob’s body was removed via the skylite hatch is busted. Further, the location of the rope scuff marks (and the angle) on the inner visible woodwork of the hatch is inconsistent with Colin’s re-enactment. I will write about this in the near future.

      My theory is:

      the boom on the main mast was swung to be over the skylite hatch,
      a rope from the winch on the main mast was routed to a location on the boom and then dropped vertically down through the hatch,
      the body was winched towards the boom via the winch on the main mast;
      when the body was fully out in the open, the boom was swung over the water, thus shifting the body across the deck and over the water;
      the body was then lowered onto the dinghy.

      The above can be done by one person more efficiently and with less physical effort than by two males doing it manually (as proposed by Colin and demonstrated in Episode 3 of Undercurrent).

      Therefore, I have very solid evidence and the technical know-how to back me on my cheeky statement: back to the detective school for some of the TASPOL detectives and the two Victorian ex-detectives!

      Ps: A number of overseas researchers of real crime cases have been directed to this TT link via Twitter. Kathleen Zellner (a high profile Chicago defence attorney) is likely reading this too. Let us therefore stick to analysing the case evidence and its interpretation.

    • William Boeder

      February 16, 2019 at 12:45 am

      Hello Mr, William Griffin, welcome, good of you to put some perspective into the more significant processes that are considered by the great many as unsound.
      Not to be overlooked is how both the State’s Justice department, then the Judiciary officials, one has to wonder how both these State departments can content themselves without the most vital component as is necessary to establish a case for the prosecuition, consider no discernible weapon, only a speculative guess, no physical evidence that would define anything as specific, then most of the witness’s are only able to provide little other than their opinionated and or hearsay evidence.

      Were one to assign any credit to the voluminous theories since introduced does not necessarily provide anything other than a cavalcade of differing unqualified opinions.

      One aspect of the SNF case is the bias inherent and fielded by the prosecution, also at varying intervals has been the mindset and opinions from a number of the State’s judiciary officials, they with their accompanying privelige that is allowed to this species.

      The odour of bias had riven its ugly influence throughout the past and present time since this case had been initiated. This particular aspect is yet to be explored.

      • Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

        February 16, 2019 at 6:41 am

        For William Boeder and other SN-F supporters or the critics of Meaghan (or TASPOL or DPP):

        Michael Williams has something to say about Undercurrent. Check it out


        It was posted yesterday pm. No doubt, some of the comments on Andrew Urban’s website will end up in his next book.

        There is a person by the name of Andrea Brown who posted some very nasty comments about Meaghan on some of Urban’s blogs. I think that Andrew Urban needs to edit out the vitriol that some people are pushing out via his site. People end up committing suicide over junk that other people post online about them. Meaghan doesn’t deserve what some are dishing out. Forensic Science CANNOT and HAS NOT established whether her DNA is primary or secondary, irrespective of the volume of the DNA. People need to get this into their head. It is one thing for a defence lawyer to argue in a Court of Law that Meaghan may have been on the yacht but it is a totally another thing when the general public uses this and writes very nasty things about Meaghan. Keep in mind: the authorities (the police) have not charged Meaghan on anything to do with this case. Let the lawyers debate but please keep her innocent until proven guilty! Thank you.

        • William Boeder

          February 16, 2019 at 8:39 am

          Dr Peter Lozo, why is it you attached my name to this comment a response to myself?

          My engagement in the SN-F case is all to do with the means in which the trial had been conducted, then at time criticisms to yourself that I believe are more than justified.

          Your writings on this particular case would be the equal of War and Peace, yet you are no closer to establishing anything other than your own biased offerings.

          How about you lay off criticising others in deference to some of your rather fanciful speculated offerings as if you know it all better than those whose professional career has their opinions farther above your plethora of suggestions, scenarios, accusations, that you refer to the SN-F supporters as if they are all cracked in the head?

          Apparently almost all of your offerings favour the comments of Peter Lozo rather than the comments offered up my almost all others.

          Essentially you are playing the part of a covert, semi-skilled troll.

        • William Boeder

          February 16, 2019 at 7:29 pm

          To further emphasise my claims of bias, see and read the following points of reference contained in the below link.

          It will be necessary to ignore the comments constantly alluding to the Tas Times forum attendees, to attend to the speculative theories put forward by Dr Peter Lozo given he has ignored the bias I have referred to on past occasions.


          • Geraldine Allan

            February 16, 2019 at 8:41 pm

            William, I won’t repeat my comment, posted and awaiting moderation, on the Wrongful Convictions article.

            It reinforces the reality of the current status of matters at issue.


            Geraldine, there’s nothing from you in the queue. Send it in again?

            — Moderator

          • Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

            February 17, 2019 at 12:36 am

            With respect to Andrew Urban’s scientifically naive post on DNA


            What do you make out of the following, Mr Boeder?

            “the fact that this was an external surface means there may have been washing or weathering events ..”

            Do you think it physically feasible that because the DNA was deposited in a substance on an external surface that therefore the original DNA deposit may have been in fact in a small visible stain on the deck measuring say 6 cm in diameter but that the “washing or weathering” events may have spread the luminol reactive substance over a larger area, say 21 cm x 26  cm?

            As for the following statement

            “But her DNA indicates that she was on the yacht ..”

            The above statement is absolute bollocks! But of course, scientifically naive people wouldn’t know that.

            The correct statement is

            “But her DNA indicates that she MAY HAVE BEEN on the yacht ..”

            In other words: she may have been on the yacht or she may not have been on the yacht. Science cannot establish the truth here.

            In conclusion, some people would benefit from a lecture on forensic science about primary and secondary transfer of DNA before offering opinions.

          • Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

            February 17, 2019 at 10:31 am

            So you see , Mr Boeder, that when one applies a logical and reasoning mind, a plausible physical explanation can be found that initially didn’t appear to be trivial.

            Meaghan’s DNA may have been brought on board via a substance stuck to the bottom of someone’s shoe. If I were to pick the time and date, I would pick the morning of 26th when a number of people boarded 4W via its starboard entrance gate from a boat (a police boat?) that was at starboard of 4W.

            Meaghan’s DNA may have been brought on board via a bird, eg a pigeon.

            The visible stain on the deck next to the entrance gate is much smaller than the area that reacted to luminol. Wind and water sprays across the deck may have spread the luminol-reactive substance over a larger area. Luminol is extremely sensitive, and is certainly more sensitive than confirmatory tests for blood. In order words, luminol could have reacted to human hemoglobin.

            Those who talk about the “plate side puddle” haven’t at all considered the possible effects of water sprays and wind.

            Listen to Charlie on this Current Affair program:


            I didn’t realise how ignorant and narrow-minded police detectives are about the natural forces that shape our environment.

            To close off this post, here is a video of a ‘pigeon thief’ ..
            “Bird Steals Bag of Chips” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/L_rRlNLpW0k

          • gemgs

            February 17, 2019 at 11:19 am

            Thanks Moderator. As above my comment was “awaiting moderation, on the Wrongful Convictions article”. I was too lazy to re-post on TT!

            My comment is now up on the Wrongful Convictions page.

      • William Griffin

        February 16, 2019 at 3:50 pm

        Thankyou, William.

        I saw the winch handle discussed. I will not dignify others’ comments.

        My summary of this is not about the crime, but the conduct of the trial. It was a farce made up of speculation and fantasy, which is sad. If lies get you convicted then most politicians would be locked up.

        I revised the comments of Colin. Yes, he mentions rope burn marks. Sadly, unless you have actually performed investigations, most people have no idea how they are done.

        To quote Ron Iddles: Believe nothing check everything, the rules I work by and teach students. Follow the evidence to its conclusion even if it dispels your theories, check all evidence, only report what you can prove not what you think happened. Others here I will not dignify debating this crime. Please read my previous comment.

  7. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 15, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Crime scene evidence that a winch on the main mast was used to remove the body via the saloon skylite hatch

    For the benefit of the new readers, particularly for those who were directed here via Twitter, the reference is for my post below dated February 10, 2019 at 6:02 pm.

    The winch handle wasn’t mentioned in any of the first three episodes of the Undercurrent although the handle was in the winch on the main mast and was about 2 metres from the skylite hatch that was the focus of attention in Episode 3 of Undercurrent. The first three Episodes of Undercurrent are now available online at


    I invite people from US to watch the above, particularly Episode 3.

    The winch handle I refer to above can be seen in the live news footage taken the morning after Australia Day 2009. See the following Current Affair program


    The following time periods is relevant:

    at 3:03 there is a good portside view of Four Winds. The winch handle sticks out quite well on the main mast.

    That winch handle wasn’t in the winch on the main mast the day before when Susan Neill-Fraser left the yacht. That means that someone had boarded the yacht in the evening of the Australia Day, took the winch handle out of its usual storage locker, and inserted the handle into the winch on the main mast. Given that there was rope running from that winch to a nearby skylite hatch where rope scuff marks were found, it is highly likely that the winch was used to remove Bob Chappell’s body via that saloon skylite hatch.

  8. Geraldine Allan

    February 14, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    To add some balance to this discussion, I quote from Robin Bowles re last week’s Supreme Court hearing …

    “There was some misreporting of this week’s events in court. Colin McLaren never conceded that Ms Vass was ‘threatened’ as reported in some media.

    But we do know from an earlier police witness, that prior to Ms Vass recanting that she was on Four Winds, police sent her (through her lawyer) a letter stating that based on her statement that she was on Four Winds she ‘would be at face value guilty of making a false declaration and the crime of pervert justice’ – hardly reassuring for someone considering testifying her presence at a murder!”

    See author Robin Bowles’ February 9th full account of the week’s events in court:


    • Dr Peter Lozo (Adelaide)

      February 16, 2019 at 8:01 am

      I saw Robin’s FB. I read her 9th Feb postut I did not see in her post the bit you posted above. Where did that bit come from? Or am I blind after typing 100,000 words on the touchpad of my smartphone?

      As for you Comment below that starts with “William, the pigeon has landed.

      If you didn’t see Colin McLaren’s interview on Ch 9 this morning..”

      It is my view that irrespective of what Colin McLaren says on various Current Affairs programs, the fact is that: (i) Forensic scientists could not exclude secondary transfer of Meaghan’s DNA; (ii) Colin has published a book on this case where he advanced a theory on the basis of an incorrect assumption that at least two people must have been on the yacht in order to remove Bob’s body from below the deck.

      I am also of the opinion that had either Colin or Charlie worked on this case as totally independent reviewers on behalf of an Independent Commission of Inquiry that both would have independently included the winch in their theory of how Bob’s body was removed via the skylite hatch.

      I had an email communication with Colin. He hasn’t addressed the subject of the winch on the main mast, but kept diverting to other matters. I think that he has recognised the error in his work and is avoiding the subject of the winch on the main mast.

      • William Boeder

        February 16, 2019 at 8:16 pm

        Dr Peter Lozo, if I could respectfully request that you halt your ongoing cavalcade of speculative commentary?

        Bad enough, has been the now documented bias held by the prosecution of the SN-F Case, and as has been held toward the appeals sought by the victim, that this person has suffered and continues to suffer the burden of now documented and declared bias.

        Thank you.

  9. Geraldine Allan

    February 14, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    Re-posting my comment from another justice page …

    Having watched episode 3, my heart is heavy. No need to list the several reasons why, as I suspect most viewers feel likewise, especially for numerous people who have become innocently embroiled in this ongoing saga.

    I too shed tears with and for Eve and others.

    I also feel extreme admiration for all those who have indeed sacrificed sooo much (too much!) in a search for justice.


    Undercurrent: Real Murder Investigation – Undercurrent: Real Murder Investigation S10 Ep: 3

    A true-crime series in the tradition of The Jinx and Making A Murderer. An active, unfolding investigation with twists, revelations and cliff-hangers.

  10. Geraldine Allan

    February 14, 2019 at 11:31 am

    In order to arrive at a more reliable, and of course unbiased, picture …

    Particularly I Note #3 below, which reads “3. An expert witness should state the facts or assumptions upon which his or her opinion is based. He or she should not omit to consider material facts which could detract from his concluded opinion.”

    Thus from whichever viewpoint one stands, all facts of matters must, not may, be considered. Having observed numerous so-called expert witnesses, especially during court proceedings, my observation is that they did not seem to see that their “primary duty” as the expert “is to the Court.”


    “The primary duty of the expert is to the Court.”
    When briefing an expert, be sure to provide enough information to form their opinion, however not so much that they’re overwhelmed.  Avoid the temptation to influence the case by only giving partial evidence, as this strategy invariably backfires.  On this note, always keep in mind that the primary duties of the expert are to assist the court. 
    Prior to engaging an expert, consider the below Common Law Duties as set out in Makita (Australia) Pty Ltd v Sprowles:
    1. Expert evidence presented to the Court should be, and should be seen to be, the independent product of the expert uninfluenced as to form or content by the exigencies of litigation … 

    An expert witness should provide independent assistance to the Court by way of objective unbiased opinion in relation to matters within his expertise … An expert witness … should never assume the role of an advocate. 
    An expert witness should state the facts or assumptions upon which his or her opinion is based. He or she should not omit to consider material facts which could detract from his concluded opinion.
    For more information about “The duties and responsibilities of an expert,” refer to Chapter 4/ p12 of The Practitioner’s Guide to Briefing Experts.”

    • Geraldine Allan

      February 14, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      For completeness, some of the numbering in my post above seems to be missing. It should read
      “… Prior to engaging an expert, consider the below Common Law Duties as set out in Makita (Australia) Pty Ltd v Sprowles:
      1— Expert evidence presented to the Court should be, and should be seen to be, the independent product of the expert uninfluenced as to form or content by the exigencies of litigation…
      — An expert witness should provide independent assistance to the Court by way of objective unbiased opinion in relation to matters within his expertise… An expert witness…should never assume the role of an advocate.
      3 — An expert witness should state the facts or assumptions upon which his or her opinion is based. He or she should not omit to consider material facts which could detract from his concluded opinion.

  11. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 13, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    A brief remark on episode 3 of Undercurrent

    I really feel sorry for Eve Ash. I say that because I just saw how very emotional she got on tonight’s episode of Undercurrent and was crying. Had I previously had any idea how deeply she invested her emotions (and money – close to $750K) into searching for the truth, I would have been kinder to her in my many TT Comments. I actually had tears in my eyes tonight whilst feeling her emotions. She is really a wonderful person.

    As a very experienced researcher, I am of a strong view that people who are emotionally involved because they have a firm conviction of what they believe to be the truth (as Eve appears to be firmly of opinion that Sue is innocent) CANNOT be objective because they are highly susceptible to confirmation bias.

    Tonight’s episode showed how two people pulled a person (an actor) through the hatch. One person was lifting and pushing from below, the other pulling on the rope from the roof of the saloon. Looked pretty tedious.

    The episode also showed how SN-F’s son-in-law and another person rigged up the winch on the rear mast and pulled a load via the companionway, and then lowered the load into a dinghy. That too looked pretty tedious.

    Why didn’t anyone try to winch a person or some other load via the skylite hatch using the winch on the main mast? After all, that is where the winch handle was on the morning of 27th.

    • Peter

      February 14, 2019 at 7:49 am

      A link to Episodes 1 – 3 of Undercurrent


      I imagine that the next 3 Episodes will be uploaded to the above site.

      I really appreciated seeing the cross-sectional plan of the yacht that showed the difficult path from the saloon to the deck via the companionway. That path is quite long and difficult to extract a body through to the deck compared to lifting or winching the body 2 or so metres up through the skylite hatch. Now that I have a more thorough understanding of the problem I find it very difficult to understand why Tasmania Police detectives believed that Bob’s body was winched out via the companionway given that crime scene photographs would have shown that the winch on the main mast had the handle in it and that the rope from that winch was running to the saloon hatch. For the same reason, I don’t understand why the Victorian ex-detectives (McLaren and Bezinna) failed to also recognise that the winch on the main mast most likely played an important part in how the body was removed from below the deck. I find this very bizarre.

  12. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 13, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    Below I provide a link to the Current Affair program that features the two Victorian ex-detectives – Colin McLaren and Charlie Bezinna. I invite people to take a close look at the main mast of Four Winds and see whether they can spot a large winch handle sticking out like a sore thumb.


    The following time periods are relevant:

    At 2:55 you will see a boat, most likely a police boat, that was to the starboard side of Four Winds.
    at 3:03 there is a good portside view of Four Winds. The winch handle sticks out quite well.

    How can Richter, McLaren and Bezzina, be totally oblivious to the evidence that a winch on the main mast was most likely used to winch out Bob’s body via the saloon skylight hatch. The removal of the body from below the deck and off the yacht can be done efficiently by one person as outlined in my review below: the use of the winch and the boom on the main mast.

  13. John Dodd

    February 13, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    Those interested in determining the credibility of those reviewing the case may want to read this review of another McLaren novel:


    • Dr Peter Lozo

      February 14, 2019 at 9:28 am

      John, We all get a negative review from time to time. I got one recently via email:

      “You? Sit at a laptop, unqualified and spruik knowledge and opinions as a Dr of something important. Yet you are like all the rest, picking over your hobby. Just as the many do on Dealey Plaza in Dallas Texas. Where JFK was assassinated. Oddball conspiracy theorists promoting the involvement of the mafia in the killing of JFK, or Kruschov, or Castro. And so it goes, still today. Hobbyist seeming a voice. Time wasters. 

      Peter, as a hobbyist you are taking up valuable space in the area of who killed Bob Chappell. Readers time as you offer your crude opinions and insults to those that try to bring a qualified opinion to this atrociously handled case.” 

      I have had opportunity during my career in the Depth of Defence to contribute to the research supervision of two Masters and three PhD research students in a branch of engineering that was relevant to my own research and project management at work. On that basis, I can confidently state that a fresh PhD engineering research student, after a month of studying the crime scene and the photographs, would have come up with a more plausible physical explanation of how Bob’s body was removed than what either the Tasmanian detectives or the Victorian ex-detectives achieved in this case. How and why did the police detectives/ex-detectives fail to consider that the body was winched through the skylite hatch via the winch on the main mast given that they all saw the crime scene photographs and had been on the yacht? It reminds me of an Adelaide case where up to 10 forensic pathologists failed to notice what I noticed quickly after a studying the geometry of the problem.

  14. William Boeder

    February 12, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    One might ask the question, is Dr Peter Lozo still meddling with the minds of the persons that are prompted to respond to his vicarious claims opinions and judicial improprieties?
    It is my understanding that his comment dalliances with his prescripted dialogue, is an assault on the mass of the many individual person’s perceptions.

    • Dr Peter Lozo

      February 13, 2019 at 7:44 pm

      What a spoiler to a fantastic technical review below on what both the Tasmania Police and the Victorian ex-detectives ignored. Back to detective school for some of them!

      By the way .. you can thank me that TT made your post visible a few minutes ago. I read it last night because for some odd reason I could see your post via the link embedded on my FB.

      Ps: I emailed Tasmanian Police and the Tasmanian ODPP about my conclusion that Bob’s body was winched out via the skylight hatch rather than via the companionway.

    • Dr Peter Lozo

      February 14, 2019 at 2:40 am

      The pigeon theory of secondary transfer of DNA

      Do you recall my pigeon theory, William?

      I was reminded of the pigeon theory when I saw this Current Affair program.


      Pay attention to who made a home for themselves on Four Winds. I wonder whether there were a lot of pigeons around the area where Four Winds was between 27th and 30th Jan 2009.

      Suppose that a pigeon stepped into MV’s vomit and then flew onto Four Winds landing on the starboard walkway leaving a stain there whilst taking a step or two and then flying away.

      • William Boeder

        February 14, 2019 at 4:18 pm

        Yes I do, and how extraordinary large the pigeon footprints must have been that you have since found to be fact.

        Surely you must remember your statement relating to your chewing gum theory on that former occasion, relating to the quoted size of the DNA sample of MV’s detected on the Four Winds yacht?

        Your professional forensic skills at that former time must have failed you.

        Again you are postulating your readily disputable bias held toward the SN-F case.

        • Peter

          February 14, 2019 at 5:13 pm

          I can’t speak for forensic scientists, but physicists are usually a step ahead. Did you not realise that I posted recently on


          Also, did I not note above “whilst taking a step or two”? A pigeon will, in general, have two feet! A step or two could mean taking a turn, shifting the position of the feet, etc. A pigeon which steps into a puddle of vomit will probably walk all over it searching for interesting food, and it could pick a lot of stuff on its feet, etc.

          I can’t discount my friend, the pigeon!

        • Geraldine Allan

          February 14, 2019 at 6:20 pm

          William, maybe the pigeon ate a gutfull of the vomit on land, then extruded it on board?

          This is getting crazier and crazier!

          • Peter

            February 14, 2019 at 6:50 pm

            How about the chewing gum stuck to the bottom of a shoe? https://tasmaniantimes.com/2014/09/the-sue-neill-fraser-trial-transcript/#comment-227267

          • William Boeder

            February 15, 2019 at 12:39 am

            Hello, Geraldine.

            I gather that you are also set against the speculative ‘roll of the dice’ theories being put forward by Dr Peter Lozo.

            I am still inclined to believe that Dr Peter Lozo is on some sort of retainer paid by the State’s Justice department. How else can so many postulated power-of-suggestion theories be put forward for consideration when they are nothing more than alternating guesstimated speculations not unlike that which was offered to the court and the jury by the DPP?

            There is no place for expansive speculative dialogue being proffered as some sort of firm evidence to the court, as was relied upon to have the jury arrive at its decision regarding the SN_F case by the DPP.

            I also believe that a person bereft of proper judicial training should not continue to proffer the many differing and oft-times contradictory theories s are regularly put forward by Dr Peter Lozo.

            Not to be overlooked is that this same unqualified person purposely favours his own locked-in bias toward ‘the unsound decision’ handed down by the Tasmanian Supreme Court.

            As for splay-footed pigeons having an inclination to patter about in pools of vomit, be it on land or boat, as has since been discussed by the many that hold to their own opinion (rather than accede to that which is postulated by Dr Peter Lozo) that disagree that such postulated imagery can become acceptable as a form of sound circumstantial evidence, as it denies every fibre of credibility, especially toward the SN_F case decision that was so keenly sought by the DPP.

        • Peter

          February 14, 2019 at 7:16 pm

          Lateral thinking, please!

          It has been interesting, William. Surely you can take some of my ideas and develop them into a useful hypothesis. I can think of several different ways MV’s DNA could have got there without her presence.

          .. a pigeon comes across a discarded tampon, carries it away, lands on Four Winds, etc;
          .. a pigeon with vomit on both feet lands on the yacht and tries to clean its feet, moves around and stains a dinner plate size area;
          .. a pigeon picks up a used handkerchief with its snot and plays with it on the deck;
          .. chewing/bubble gum stuck to a shoe.

        • Peter Lozo

          February 15, 2019 at 12:47 pm

          William, why are you so suspicious?

          I could have written a book on the case like a number of others did (Urban, McLaren, Bowles) and made more money that way. I haven’t kept track, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me that I wrote 100,000 words on TT. There we go, I have published an e-book. It is free, but it is spread over a large number TT Comments in a dozen or more TT articles. What most won’t believe is that a person who has to access to i-pad tablets, laptops and desktops, has in fact typed virtually all those 100,000 words on the small touchpad of a Samsung Smartphone!

          But I did send an email several days ago to Tasmania Police and to the Tasmanian Office of Director for Public Prosecutions. In that email I explained that the crime scene evidence does strongly suggest that Bob Chappell’s body was removed via the saloon skylite hatch with the aid of the winch on the main mast. This totally contradicts the theory of the Victorian ex-detectives. It also disagrees with the state’s case that Bob’s body was winched out via the companionway.

          In other words, one person could have done it in a physically more efficient way using the winch than two people could do it manually! Winches of power ratio X:1 multiply the human power X times. Had the winch a power ratio of say 27:1 that means if a human can pull 100 Kg without a winch then the same person can pull 2,710 Kg via that winch. In other words, Sue could have done it more efficiently and with far less physical effort using the winch on the main mast to extract Bob’s body from the saloon via the skylite hatch than the physical effort required by two physically strong men to extract the body in the manner demonstrated in Episode 3 of Undercurrent.

          I must say that my time on researching this case, and the Henry Keogh case, was technically very interesting. In each case I was able to offer to both sides of the case a new insight into a technical issue. Analysing the physical geometry of the crime scene plays a great part in understanding what happened.

          In my opinion, Colin McLaren did a pretty good job on crime scene analysis but failed in a crucial area, namely how the body was removed from the saloon. His theory is busted!

  15. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 10, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Crime scene Photo 7: evidence that a winch on the main mast was used to remove the body/b>

    In the 17 page section “Assessing the Crime Scene” there is a paragraph on page 64 of Mr McLaren’s book that describes evidence related to how Bob Chappell’s body may have been removed from the saloon. The relevant paragraph says this:

    “Meanwhile, the issue of the removal of Bob Chappell’s body was central to my crime scene analysis. In my opinion, Bob was beaten to death in the saloon by two or more persons, probably males. The murderer(s) tied rope around his body and pulled him out of the saloon area via the open skylight hatch on the starboard side, which is more than wide enough to execute the task. The rope was part of the rigging of the yacht. A length of rope was found dangling through the skylight hatch from outside roof of the saloon into the saloon itself. The rope is visible in police photographs; its presence teases the astute investigator. This clue is vital to understanding the crime scene and cannot be ignored. But it was.”

    I have an issue with Mr McLaren’s assessment of the crime scene evidence, for the very simple reason that he had totally ignored that the rope that was dangling down the skylight hatch was actually coming from a winch on the main mast on which there was a large winch handle that wasn’t there when Sue left the yacht on the afternoon of 26th January. Below I reference several sentences from the Trial Transcript.

    According to the Trial Transcript (page 90), Photo 7 is of a winch handle in the winch on the main mast and the rope going from that winch to the saloon hatch. On page 91 it is said that “rope was coming from the winch on the mast into that hatch and hanging down into the saloon.”

    Note that the hatch mentioned above is the same skylight hatch that Mr McLaren claims was the exit through which Bob’s body was extracted from below the deck

    On the bottom of page 57 of the Trial Transcript, the DPP mentions what Sue observed with respect to the winch on the main mast. He says “she noticed that ropes appeared to be cut, there’s a winch on the boat and she said that the handle shouldn’t be in the winch it should have been stored separately, but it was in

    The above indicates that the winch handle wasn’t in that winch when Sue left the yacht on the afternoon of 26th Jan.

    The very presence of the winch handle in the very winch that had a rope running to the saloon skyline hatch on the starboard side of the saloon is strongly suggestive of a scenario where Bob’s body was winched from below the deck rather than lifted out as proposed by Mr McLaren.

    The fact that Mr McLaren did not mention the presence of a winch handle in the winch on the main mast, coupled with the fact that he didn’t mention that a rope from that winch ran to the skyline hatch, is in my technical opinion indicative of Tunnel Vision. Had Mr McLaren had a valid reason for why that winch wasn’t used to winch out the body via the skyline hatch then I expect that he would have provided an explanation in his book. But as is, his book doesn’t at all mention that winch and the winch handle on the main mast even though it is pictured in Photo 7 of the crime scene.

    In conclusion:

    I am of a strong technical opinion that Mr McLaren’s assessment of the crime scene, as presented in his book, is an incomplete assessment that failed to consider the evidence shown in the crime scene Photo 7.

    It is quite reasonable to propose that Sue (or someone else) winched Bob’s body via the saloon skylite hatch, rather than via the companion way, using the winch on the main mast that is only about two metres from the saloon skylite hatch. In this case the rope from the winch would first need to be routed to a suitable location on the boom and then to the body so that the body can be cleanly pulled up through the hatch towards the boom. The boom can then be used to shift the body (by shifting the boom) over the water to enable the lowering of the body onto the dinghy.

    NOTE: The Trial Transcript can be downloaded from the link provided in this TT Article: https://tasmaniantimes.com/2014/09/the-sue-neill-fraser-trial-transcript/

    Ps: With the above Comment I have now fully completed my technical review of Mr McLaren’s book on the Susan Neill-Fraser case.

    • Lola Moth

      February 10, 2019 at 9:33 pm

      Change “Sue” to “somebody or anybody” and I may give your opinion more gravitas.

      • Peter

        February 11, 2019 at 4:53 pm

        Modified! I found a significant error in the work of the Victorian ex-detective(s) and have pointed it out here. That error ought to be of concern to those who are seeking the truth in the matter of what happened to Bob.

        Ciao, Peter.

  16. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 9, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Photo 7: the critical crime scene photo that was ignored by Victorian ex-detectives

    According to the Trial Transcript, Photo 7 is of a winch handle in the winch on the main mast and a rope going from that winch to the saloon hatch.

    For the benefit of those who had not noticed that Mr McLaren’s book failed to mention the above critical piece of physical evidence as part of his crime scene analysis (and as part of his hypothesis of how the body was removed via the saloon skylite hatch) I invite interested readers to look at page 90 of the Trial Transcript. Below I have pasted the relevant part from that page (my emphasis is in bold):

    “HIS HONOUR: All right. So it’s photo 7, Mr Gunson?

    MR GUNSON SC: Photo 7 in the numbered ones we have, your Honour.

    HIS HONOUR: All right. And you’re wanting the jury to look –

    MR GUNSON SC: I want the jury –
    HIS HONOUR: – to the hatch – at the hatch to the left of the photo, which seems to have two ropes going from the vicinity of the mast to the corner of the hatch?

    MR GUNSON SC: Indeed, your Honour. Now if you look at that photograph again, Constable, we see that the upper right, if I call it, is –

    HIS HONOUR: Hang on. Hang on a minute, has she got one, have you got a photo 7?

    WITNESS: Yes.

    MR GUNSON SC: Yes.
    HIS HONOUR: All right, good.
    MR GUNSON SC (Resuming): Got photo 7 there?……I have, yes.
    The rope appears to go up to a winch with a handle on it, doesn’t it?……That’s correct, yes.”

    This is from page 91 of the Trial Transcript (my emphasis is in bold):


    blockquote>“I wonder if that photo could be handed back to me, please. Did you draw to anybody’s attention the fact that a rope was coming from the winch on the mast into that hatch and hanging down into the saloon?……No.”



    My understanding of the above is that the winch on the main mast had a winch handle in it and that a rope went from that winch to the saloon hatch and was left hanging down into the saloon.

    If we now go to page 57 of the Trial Transcript (my emphasis is in bold) we see this in Mr Ellis’ opening statement about Sue’s own observation after she was allowed to board the yacht:

    “Now the next day, so we’re on the 28th, the boat had been pumped free of water and she went onboard the Four Winds with police this time, including a Detective Sergeant Simon Conroy – sorry – Conway – and she went about and she noticed, apparently quite quickly and
    commented on various things – she noticed that ropes appeared to be
    cut, there’s a winch on the boat and she said that the handle shouldn’t
    be in the winch it should have been stored separately, but it was in
    She said the fuse board switches were in the on – were in the
    incorrect position. She pointed out that there was scuffing in the
    framework to a hatch entrance to the cabin, which had not been there before.”

    I was informed (via email) by Mr McLaren that he had “read every page of every document this complex issue has thrown up”; that he has “a copy of every photograph”; and has “been on board Four Winds many times.”. He further said that he had “tested his theories and measured his opinions and thoughts.”. I have no doubt about the honesty of his statement to me.

    Now, I don’t have any police detective experience but my keen observation very quickly picked up that Mr McLaren either failed to notice or intentionally ignored Photo 7, which appears to be the key evidence of a winch being rigged up for the extraction of the body from below the deck via the skyline hatch. What I do not understand is how and why in his crime scene analysis did he not say anything about the winch handle in the winch shown in Photo 7; and why didn’t he mention that a rope appeared to go from that winch to the saloon hatch. Given that the State case is that Bob’s body was winched from below the deck, I would have expected any subsequent investigator to be on a heightened alert for any winches that had a rope going to the saloon area.

    The Trial Transcript can be downloaded from here https://tasmaniantimes.com/2014/09/the-sue-neill-fraser-trial-transcript/

  17. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 8, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Hypnosis and False Memory

    I understand, from Mr McLaren’s book, that there was an intention to subject Meaghan to hypnosis with a hope that she might recall some suppressed memory of the Australia Day 2009.

    I pointed out to Mr McLaren that there are a large number of published psychological studies that suggest that human memory is malleable, and that it is quite possible to implant a false memory into someone’s brain.

    The hypnotised person who comes up with a new memory wouldn’t later know whether what they recalled is real, or just a dream or imagination, or a mixture of all three. Similarly, the hypnotherapist wouldn’t be able to tell whether the memory is real or false. Then it would be up to a Forensic Psychologist to explain it.

    I suggested to Mr McLaren to Google “hypnosis and false memory”. I also mentioned to him the work of Prof Elizabeth Loftus. She is very much against the use of hypnosis to retrieve forgotten or suppressed memory for the very fact that her scientific research, and the research of many others, has demonstrated that is is quite possible to cause/implant false memories.


    The way I see it, Meaghan seems to be very confused about how her DNA got on the yacht. She has no memory of ever being on the yacht, but after all the fuss about her DNA on the yacht that no-one can explain, she is thinking that perhaps she was on the yacht but suppressed her memory of that occasion.

    I pointed out to Mr McLaren that in Meaghan’s very fragile and troubled mind, it is very easy to cause a false memory, particularly when someone tells her a lie (as what he did) that a certain hair was confirmed to be hers.

    I am quite shocked that Eve Ash would have agreed to have Meaghan subjected to hypnosis. As it turned out, Meaghan flew into rage just about when she met the hypnotherapist and basically walked out. Good on her. Who knows what psychological damage may have been done to her since she first got interviewed in 2010 about her whereabouts on Australia Day 2009?

    Ps: I am not a psychologist nor a forensic psychologist. My opinion above is based on my study a couple of years ago of Prof Elizabeth Loftus’ research on the malleability of human memory. I have mentioned her work several times on TT in relation to Mr Conde’s eyewitness statements and his Court testimony.

    • Dr Peter Lozo

      February 8, 2019 at 11:47 pm

      The use of hypnosis in criminal investigations

      I was challenged (via email) on the issue of hypnosis by someone who read my above post :

      “Your lambasting of hypnotherapy as a police investigative tool highlights your complete lack of knowledge in the world of criminal investigation. It has been used by all the major police departments in the world for two decades, achieving great results, using the most experienced practitioners.”

      Here I copy a section from an online article aimed at lawyers and written by a lawyer:


      “How reliable is information obtained from hypnosis?”

      “Given that within the scientific community there is a lot of disagreement about the nature of hypnosis, it is difficult to assess the reliability of information gained from an individual through the course of a hypnosis session. It may be unreliable because certain things, regardless of their truth, can become fixed in the mind of the individual as facts during hypnosis. These things may include: suggestions made by the hypnotist, a fantasy of the witness and an unrelated thought of the witness.

      “There is no way of deciphering whether what is said during a hypnosis session is, in fact, true. A person who has been hypnotised may tell a story which appears very convincing. This is because when under hypnosis, as explained above, certain things become solidified in the mind as if they were facts. Thus, a false story told under hypnosis may potentially stand the test of cross-examination. The subject will not himself be able to decipher between reality and illusion.

      “Information obtained by the police from an individual whilst under hypnosis should be treated very cautiously indeed. In any event, an individual who has been hypnotised by the police should only be called as a witness in court in exceptional circumstances. Often evidence obtained from a hypnotised person is rendered unreliable and therefore inadmissible in court.

      “Similarly, if an accused makes a confession whilst under hypnosis, it is likely to be ruled inadmissible under section 78 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. This is on the basis that it would have such an adverse effect upon the fairness of the proceedings that it would be unfair to admit the evidence.”

      A substantial amount of research by psychologists on the malleability of the human memory has emphasised that false memory is an issue of concern in criminal cases.

    • Dr Peter Lozo

      February 9, 2019 at 1:13 am

      Does hypnosis help solve crimes?

      Here is an example of what I was explaining could be the by-product of the application of hypnosis in a criminal investigation:

      “During what he described as a “high state of concentration,” Rassier remembered seeing a person in the passenger seat of the car, a woman or child. Today, he doesn’t know if that memory is real or concocted while under hypnosis. “I’m not sure whether somebody was looking out the window,” he said. “In my memory, I see someone looking out the window, but I don’t know if I really saw that.””

      See here:

      The person who challenged my above post on Hypnosis and False Memory obviously isn’t aware of how hypnosis can impart a false memory such that the person cannot tell whether the memory is real or not.

      Just imagine what could have happened had Meaghan undergone hypnosis, and then whilst been asked about what she saw on the yacht she said something about spitting on the deck? Who would know whether that was a real memory or a false memory? A lot has been said over the past few years in the media about her DNA. People had talked to her about it. Suppose that as a result of all that bombardment she had a dream of spitting on the deck. Who is to say that subsequent to that dream, her brain (via hypnosis) wouldn’t have converted that dream into a false memory of being on a yacht and spitting onto the deck?

      When we think of what we had dreamt we are consciously aware that it was only a dream. But it is also possible for a person to believe that certain memory was as a result of an actual real-life experience, even if that experience was experienced during a REM sleep.

  18. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 8, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    Tunnel Vision

    A lot has been said about ‘Tunnel Vision’ in relationship to how TASPOL investigated this case. As someone who had studied the psychophysical and the neuroscience literature on ‘Selective Attention’ in early 1990’s, and partly since – primarily within the visual domain, I am in a good position to assess the issue of Tunnel Vision with respect to a restricted part of the investigation by TASPOL and by the Victorian ex-detectives.

    I will start with the following published comment in Sydney Morning Herald because what Mr Robert Richter QC said is very relevant to my point on Tunnel Vision given that Mr Richter’s opinion is based on the work of the Victorian ex-detective (Mr McLaren) who prepared the white paper which was submitted to the Tasmanian Government in May 2017:

    “Hair samples found on the lip of a skylight will also be tested. Richter said the hair sample combined with a dangling rope from the skylight showed it was likely the body was removed from the cabin via the hatch. “That would make it impossible for Sue Neill-Fraser to have done that,” he said, alluding to her injury history and build — 157cm tall and 53kg.”

    See: https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/sue-neillfraser-appeal-ill-winds-blow-in-bob-chappell-luxury-yacht-murder-mystery/news-story/30f2aa0a408f467ed966932d74d649a2

    If one reads from Mr McLaren’s book the section on Crime Scene Analysis, one can conclude that Mr Richter’s opinion is very much derived from Mr McLaren’s own analysis.

    Now suppose we were to inform Mr Richter that Mr McLaren missed out from his analysis of the crime scene a very crucial piece of physical evidence. How would Mr Richter react if he was to be told that on the morning of 27th there was a large winch handle in the winch of the main mast and that this winch on the main mast was only about 2 metres from the starboard hatch where a dangling rope was found?

    The mentioned winch handle is discussed in the Trial Transcript. It also stands out like a sore thumb in the news footage of the morning of 27th!

    I have had email contact with Mr McLaren and have mentioned the above problem, and other problematic issues, in his work on this case.

    On the other hand, Mr McLaren has provided compelling evidence that Bob’s body was removed via the starboard hatch in the roof of the saloon. In this regard, I would say that TASPOL detectives fouled up.

    Personally, I would like the case to go to the appeal on the basis that it would be better for the Tasmanian community to have a better understanding of complex issues. My understanding is that when the case goes to a panel of three Appeal Court judges that both the defence and the prosecution can bring in relevant experts to help the Appeal Court with the understanding of complex issues.

    • Peter

      February 8, 2019 at 6:45 pm


      I wanted to say that TASPOL detectives fucked up.


      Quite so Peter, and this Moderator stopped you by replacing the naughty word with “fouled”.

      Vulgarities and obscenities and profanities contravene Tasmanian Times’ Code of Conduct.



  19. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 6, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Season 1 Episode 1 of Undercurrent can be seen at :


    The above is referenced on Eve Ash’s twitter account

    Also note that some think that Mr Colin McLaren “should have walked away from the case when Meaghan told him, via phone, that she ran away from the crime scene in a dinghy. How did the other two alleged visitors leave the yacht, and take Bob’s body with them? See page 136 of his book.”

  20. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 6, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Area of the luminol-positive reaction in location 20

    This is from Mr Bill Rowlings’ review of Mr McLaren’s book – at the bottom of page 3:

    “Only now do we learn publicly that the DNA sample was the size of a dinner-plate, or an A4 sheet of paper (26cm x 21cm), and is likely the result of vomit. If nothing else, McLaren’s book has done a service to justice by this wider revelation.”

    I invite Mr Rowlings to search the following set of keywords in the Trial Transcript:

    area was approximately 210 by 260 millimetres in size

    The above will take you to page 670 of the transcript. A forensic scientist (D. McHoul) is describing the area in location 20 that responded to luminol. Thus, the jury had known about the size of the area on the deck that reacted to luminol. This is the location where Meaghan’s DNA was obtained from.

    The Trial Transcript can be downloaded from here


    Why Mr Rowlings or McLaren, or anyone else, decided to say that the DNA sample was the size of a dinner-plate is beyond me. The correct statement is that the area of luminol positive reaction was the size of a dinner-plate.

    If one prefers to use Mr McLaren’s expression about the size of Meaghan’s DNA on the walkway of Four Winds, then one can use it to say that the size of Bob Chappell’s DNA on his dinghy was about half of the floor area of the dinghy. After all, Bob’s DNA was detected in areas on the dinghy that reacted to luminol.

    Ps: Mr Rowlings also referred to Mr Chappell as being a radiographer. Mr Chappell wasn’t a radiographer – he was a radiation physicist. Mr Rowlings also wrote that Barbara Etter is a chemist. Barbara Etter’s science degree is in biochemistry.

    • Peter

      February 6, 2019 at 10:10 am

      Moderator: there is something odd about the format of my above Comment. Sentences go beyond the screen!


      Peter, sometimes a particularly long URL goes off a reader’s RHS of the screen, but your Comment presents appropriately here. Changing your browser’s Zoom factor (eg, from 120% to 100%) may fix such problems.

      Please copy the published Comment in question and edit it as you wish, then submit it as a new Comment. The one appearing faulty may then be deleted, along with any flaws.

      — Moderator

  21. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 4, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    Trial statement from Mr Hughes vs 2016 statement from Mr Gleeson

    In light of various reviews of Mr McLaren’s book, the latest being from Dr Bob Moles (http://netk.net.au/Tasmania/Neill-Fraser82.pdf) I invite SN-F supporters, including Mr McLaren, to read the Trial Transcript concerning the evidence of Mr John Hughes.

    When I saw this statement on page 114 of Mr McLaren’s book (with reference to Mr Gleeson):
    “At about 11pm he was woken up by a tap on the car window .. “ I very quickly concluded that the defence case, as put together by Colin in the 2017 ‘white paper’, is on very shaky ground. The reason being that Mr Hughes (the prosecution witness at Sue’s trial) was there, probably just past Mr Gleeson’s car at the end of that driveway near the Rowing Shed, at around 11:30 pm to midnight.

    Here I copy the relevant part from Mr Ellis’s opening statement during Sue’s trial (page 66):

    “I’m a big strong boy. Now on the 9th of March, Inspector Powell put out a media release asking for a person who had called anonymously on the 29th of January, three days – well, yeah, three days after, to come forward and the next day a Mr John Hughes presented at police station and identified himself as that caller. He said that he had called anonymously from a phone, I think at the university. He – you’ll hear from him, he’s a fulltime carer for his mother, she’s had a stroke and he has to look after her pretty much all the time. Pretty hard life, he gets about half a day off per week from this when his brother gives him some relief from it, and on this day, Australia Day, on that evening he’d been to the movies or the casino following some golf, he’s not entirely sure which, but he went down to Marieville Esplanade where he sometimes does to look out over the water and get just a bit of peace and tranquillity, nothing amazing about it. So he went down there and he was there at about half past eleven, twelve o’clock, and he parked his car near the end of the sheds at the yacht club, so you know, round – well I’ll let him show you, I’d better not try it – and there was no one else around, in particular there was no one standing around fires – you’re puzzled by that mention but I’ll come back to it. 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. He lost sight of it and he drove off shortly after and, not wishing to be involved, he says a complicated life, he anonymously told police about his observations. So there we have it, a man just on his own, no connection with this case, and he sees inflatable dinghy, an outboard motor, a single person in it at about half past eleven, twelve o’clock on Australia Day evening heading out to where the Four Winds was. “

    All that Mr Hughes saw between 11:30 and midnight was a female figure on an inflatable dinghy whose overboard motor he heard. Had there been people there, or a gas-cooker induced light, at that time, then he would likely have noticed them, unless it was all over by then and Mr Gleeson fell happily asleep.

    Similarly, had Mr Gleeson been woken at around 11pm and then cooked on his gas cooker with two other people with him then surely at least one of them would have noticed a car light and a car pull into the location several metres away from them. But there is no evidence in Mr Gleeson’s statement that another car pulled up.

    In my opinion, the case that Eve and Colin had put together is based on a very shaky ground. I am seeing evidence in Colin’s book that he and Eve were looking for confirmatory evidence that Meaghan was in the near vicinity of Four Winds (and had boarded the yacht). In the process of doing so, Eve and Colin have readily accepted unreliable evidence from unreliable witnesses and they have ignored contradictory evidence. This is on top of the physical evidence I pointed to earlier that was ignored by Mr McLaren.

    I wonder on what basis can Mr McLaren state that their case is rock solid? It very much looks like that an earthquake had hit the defence team since August 2017.

    • Lola Moth

      February 4, 2019 at 7:33 pm

      I’m sorry, but I am unsure what you are trying to say, eg the quote ” .. on that evening he had been to the movies or the casino following golf, he’s not entirely sure which.”

      Are you trying to say that this person’s testimony is solid fact, or are you wanting to prove this person has no clue what they were doing on that day and so we should disregard their testimony?

      • Dr Peter Lozo

        February 4, 2019 at 8:13 pm

        Those are part of Mr Ellis’ opening statement about one of the key eyewitnesses. Where Mr Hughes came from, and what he did before he drove to the Sandy Bay Rowing Shed, isn’t quite relevant to your/our understanding of what he witnessed when he got to the Rowing Shed. I’m not sure why you focused on that.

        The crux of the matter is that Mr Hughes was parked at the end of the driveway next to the Sandy Bay Rowing Shed at around 11:30 pm to midnight and would have been within metres of Mr Gleeson’s car and most probably drove past it by 15 metres or so.

        • Lola Moth

          February 5, 2019 at 7:04 am

          To me, where he was beforehand is very important. If he only gets half a day off a week he should be able to remember what he was doing before he parked near the rowing shed. If he often parks there for a bit of peace and quiet he may be confused about which night he saw the dinghy. Anyone unable to remember what they were doing on their one afternoon off, but says they absolutely know what they did that night, is an unreliable witness. If I were on the jury I would not believe his testimony.

          As for your thoughts on the colour perception of the dinghy and the ability of SN-F to winch a body out of the yacht, I agree with you on both points, but just because it is possible does not make it probable. I am sure a case could be made against me for the same alleged murder. I have no plausible alibi and I could have winched a body out of the yacht, so it could have been me.

          I would not have convicted SN-F on the evidence supplied at her trial. A lot of it is iffy at best. There was no solid case against her, just supposition and speculation, and I could not put someone in prison for years on such flimsy evidence.

          • Dr Peter Lozo

            February 5, 2019 at 9:33 am

            Lola, have you read the Trial Transcript to understand what Mr Hughes’ whole testimony was during Sue’s trial, including his response during cross-examination? It is the job of the defence attorney to raise doubt.

            I am pleased that you agree with me on the colour perception of the dinghy and the ability of SN-F to winch a body out of the yacht. I agree with your point that just because it is possible it doesn’t necessarily make it probable. This is why it is necessary to look at all other circumstantial evidence to see whether it tips you over the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. For example: alibi and consistency in the alibi; injuries; familiarity with the yacht plumbing and the pump control switches; motive, etc.

            My point has always been that one cannot exclude Sue from being on the yacht until about 8 pm.

            My point has also always been that one cannot exclude Sue from being able to configure the mechanical system (a winch, rope etc) to extract the body from below the deck. It is just a matter of experience and the know-how.

          • Lola Moth

            February 5, 2019 at 12:09 pm

            Peter, I have read the transcripts but it was a long time ago. It was the transcripts that made up my mind that I would not have convicted SN-F had I been on the jury.

            The circumstantial evidence is not strong and the speculative scenario is fanciful. I have yet to hear evidence of a motive. I just can’t find any motive for the crime if it was committed by SN-F. Long-term relationships break up every day but they don’t end in murder.

    • Dr Peter Lozo

      February 4, 2019 at 9:11 pm

      Further to my above Comment regarding Mr Hughes and Mr Gleeson …

      I couldn’t find any reference to Mr Hughes (or his testimony) in the part of the book that deal with Mr Gleeson. I haven’t yet read the whole book.

      Further, there is a significant discrepancy between the Court statements and Mr McLaren’s writing about Mr Gleeson’s affidavits.

      Mr McLaren doesn’t state in his book that Mr Gleeson had actually provided two contradicting statements to Sue’s lawyers – one statement to Mrs Etter in Sept 2016, and the second statement to Mr Thompson in May 2017. I ought to emphasise that the statement he gave to Mrs Etter in Sept 2016 is consistent with what he had told police years earlier.

      The extract below is from:




      “On 13 September 2016 Ms Etter took an affidavit from you in which you confirmed your earlier statements that you were intoxicated on the night of 26 January 2009, and slept in your car on your own. You did not state that you had seen any people that night, or that anyone was in the car with you.

      On 8 May 2017 Mr Thompson took a second affidavit from you, although at the time he had been told by Ms Etter he was not authorised by her to work on the Neill-Fraser case. In your 8 May 2017 affidavit, you said, for the first time, that on 26 January 2009 you were woken up by someone tapping on the window of your car.”

      Was there an attempt by the author of the book to suppress the mention of the above evidence that Mr Gleeson is an unreliable witness for the defence team? It is also of interest to note that Mr Gleeson changed his version a few weeks after Meaghan had signed her Statutory Declaration in April 2017. Mrs Etter quit a month or so after Mr Gleeson’s 8 May 2017 affidavit.

  22. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 3, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Lack of insight by SN-F supporters

    Here I copy two recent comments from Andrew Urban’s blog …

    From an experienced sailor:

    “I was a cruising ‘yachtie’ for about 15 years in my 45 ft ketch steel and travelled thousands of sea miles around the south east asia area including Japan.
    On board were two large sheet (rope) winches which were used to winch in the ropes attached to the sails. I have been on board Sue and Bob’s yacht ‘Four Winds’ and the winches were similar to the winches on my yacht. THESE WINCHES REQUIRE TWO PERSONS TO OPERATE THEM, ONE TO TURN THE WINCH AND THE OTHER TO TAIL THE ROPE TO A CLEAT. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR ONE PERSON TO OPERATE THESE WINCHES. Also I would like to add that Sue has a bad back from a previous injury. Sue could not have used the winch which leaves the prosecution case in tatters. The fairy tale produced by the prosecutor should not have been used by the court or the presiding judge who mentioned a wrench (?) 8 times in his address to the jury. The wrench was mentioned as the ‘murder’ weapon in the fairy tale”

    From an author of real crime books:

    “Absolutely right, Ronald! In his evidence, Stevenson (bloke who the sailed 4 Winds to Hobart) said the same thing about the necessity for ‘tailing’. The jury may not have understood. Why Gunson didn’t ask more questions we’ll never know. His defence was pathetic. I spent a few years in the Whitsundays, doing a lot of mostly easy sailing, but as soon as I sat in the saloon of the 4 Winds I said to Chris Smith ‘However Bob met his death, it was a 2-man job.’”

    See https://wrongfulconvictionsreport.org/2019/01/27/sue-neill-fraser-author-colin-mclaren-to-be-silenced/

    I spoke to a young man yesterday who worked on sail making. I first asked him how he would configure ropes and a non-self tailing winch on a yacht so that a physically weak 55 year old woman could extract a 65 Kg body from below the deck. He said it is easy, and then went to sketch out a few ways it can be done. I then drew my Closed Loop Winching concept. He said yes, that would work too, and that it would cause rope burn marks at both ends. He then pointed out to me the block and tackle on the mizzen mast. Then he pointed out to me a location on the main boom above the saloon where there would be another block and tackle. He finally said that it is easy to set things up so that even a 4 year old boy can pull/lift 65 Kg.

    How is it that two very experienced former Victorian police detectives did not consider the possibility that Sue had configured the winches, the rope and the block and tackle (the one on the main boom) to extract the body from below the deck, and then used the boom to lower the body onto the dinghy?

    Why did the two former Victorian police detectives ignore the rope scuff marks (and rope fibres) that Sue herself spotted on the afternoon of 27th and had pointed this out to a detective?

  23. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 2, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Block and Tackle + Winch

    I just had a lesson from someone who worked as a sail maker. He told me how easy it is to configure a winch and a block and tackle so as to enable a “4 year old boy to lift 65 Kg.”.

    I mentioned earlier that at least one pulley can be in the loop. At that time I had no idea that each boom had a 3 pulley system arranged in a block and tackle. This is significant.

    I invite Mr McLaren to check the two booms and see the exact location of the block and tackle over the saloon roof.

    • Russell

      February 3, 2019 at 7:58 am

      That’s just the most basic bit of physics and engineering that kids usually work out for themselves. So much for PhDs.

      You really don’t get out into the real world very often, do you?

      • Dr Peter Lozo

        February 3, 2019 at 9:31 am

        I had no prior idea what was on Four Winds in terms of pulleys or their location, nor do I know exactly how the ropes were found, but I was aware (since my undergraduate days, and because I studied physics) of the mechanics of winches and about the various ways pulleys can be configured.

        What I have been talking about for over 18 months on TT is now supported by someone who has worked on yachts. You also seem to understand that Sue could have pulled a 65 Kg body with physical ease, had she known how to configure the mechanical system to physically empower her. Congratulations.

      • Dr Peter Lozo

        February 3, 2019 at 9:41 am

        Now you can teach the SN-F supporters, and the two Victorian police ex-detectives, how Sue could have extracted a 65 kg body from below the deck. They surely have no idea.

  24. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 2, 2019 at 11:39 am

    What is the latest urgency in calling for a Royal Commission now, given that the case is still before the Court? For some reason there appears to be restlessness, and people can’t wait for the Supreme Court decision!

    “Find the truth! Investigate Bob Chappell’s death. Call for Commission of Inquiry or Royal Commission. – Sign the Petition! (link: http://chng.it/yzqGcFTc) chng.it/yzqGcFTc ..

    See here: https://twitter.com/eveash/status/1089474438683217925?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

    Those who are calling for a Commission of Inquiry or Royal Commission ought to first get their own interpretation of the case evidence sorted out so that they can at least then offer a substantial recommendation of why the State should spend a huge amount of public money on this case, given that the case is now back in Court after the State Government changed the legislation.

    It is my opinion that Civil Libertarians and others who are now calling for a Royal Commission or a Commission of Inquiry ought to respect that the matter is still before the Court. Perhaps there is expectancy in some quarters that Sue won’t be granted the appeal.

    I won’t comment on Eve Ash’s list of items in her petition other than to say that Eve and Colin McLaren had ample opportunity to test whether the white dinghy of the yacht (or a similar dinghy) can be perceived to be grey under some daylight conditions, including the conditions when the dinghy is in the shade of its yacht.

  25. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 2, 2019 at 11:08 am

    The strangest coincidence just happened! I just had a chat with Mr McLaren’s sister, Bev!

    I was in my favorite cafe on Jetty Rd in Glenelg. I had Colin’s book on my table – the front cover being clearly visible. A lady was standing next to my table waiting in line to order when she noticed the book and pointed to the name of the author and said “He is my brother.”

    After few minutes of talking I asked her to tell Colin that he had missed the rope scuff marks (and the fibres) that were spotted by Sue.

    Perhaps Colin will make an attempt to contact me to discuss the case.

  26. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 1, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Below is my preliminary technical review of the book’s section on the crime scene.

    Had this attempt been a ‘search for the truth’, then in my technical opinion, it should have followed two parallel paths:

    Path 1: Someone else did it – as presented by Sue’s defence team and by Mr McLaren in his book.

    Path 2: Get a mechanical engineer to study the crime scene with respect to the ropes and winches and see whether there is any evidence of how a physically weak person could have configured the ropes and the winches so as to enable that person to easily winch out a 65 Kg dead body – via the saloon hatch or via the companion way.

    I just got the book and had a quick read through the ‘Assessing the Crime Scene’ section. It is very detailed. Excellent work. The only negative point is that there was no effort to go along Path 2.

    There is evidence in the trial transcript of scuff marks on both ends, but McLaren (on page 73) has this sentence referring to the other end (the stern end) of the yacht “Plus there no scuff marks or tell-tale signs that this area … “. But it was Sue herself who brought attention to that end of the yacht. There were two sets of scuff marks. Fibres were also found at that end that are consistent with the rope.

    Clearly, there were scuff marks at both ends. How can that be explained? My Closed Loop Winching solution explains why both ends would have rope scuff marks, and how a physically weak person could remove the body from below the deck.

    Mr McLaren also readily accepted that Sue didn’t have the physical strength to operate the winch, as was evidenced during the yacht’s trip from Queensland when she tried to lift the sail under a wind load. But there is a significant difference in physical strength required to operate the winch in order to lift a sail under a wind load, and the physical strength required to operate the same winch to lift a 65 kg body if the rope was configured to be detached from the sail.

    So, it is my opinion that there is clear evidence that McLaren had focused on evidence that could exonerate Sue rather than on searching for the truth. It is also my opinion that McLaren did not show a sign of having sufficient technical insight into various types of winching possibilities and had readily accepted what others had said about Sue’s physical limitations.

  27. Dr Peter Lozo

    February 1, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Further points on Closed Loop Winching:

    I propsed the Closed Loop Winching arrangement on TT over 18 months ago as the way to overcome the problem associated with a winch that isn’t self-tailing. It was pointed out to me (by Lynn Giddings on another TT thread about 2 years ago) that the winch in question is not self-tailing.

    Closed Loop Winching will enable one person of quite limited physical strength to pull a heavy load from below the deck.
    Closed Loop Winching is equally applicable to a body being removed via the companion way as it is for removing the body via a hatch in the saloon. The only change is the reversal of the rope ends. If the body was winched via the saloon hatch then the winching rope would also need to be supported from above (via the sail boom) so that the body can be cleanly pulled upwards.

    The version of Closed Loop Winching that I outlined was based on the winch that is attached to the rear mast. Closed Loop Winching is also applicable to any other suitably positioned winch as long as it has a sufficiently large power ratio for the task at hand. I prefer the winch on the rear mast in this case, because the operator of that winch can see directly down the companionway into the saloon where the body would have been initially positioned and can thus watch the progress of the winching. When the person gets tired of winching they can just let go of the winch handle. The tension in the rope via the loop, and the fact that the winch drum rotates only in one direction, will ensure that the body (even if suspended in air) will not move back from the position it was left at whilst the person is resting.

    Closed Loop Winching can use more than one winch. It can also include at least one pulley.

    I understand that Mr McLaren and Mr Bezzina believe that at least two people would be needed to pull a body aloft from below deck and that the body was removed via the saloon hatch. The trial transcript doesn’t provide enough technical details of the crime scene for me to assess which was the most likely exit point. Either way, I have outlined how the rope and the winch can be configured to enable one person do winch the body with physical ease.

    There was lot of cutting (pipes and ropes) and there is evidence that there was winching. There was evidence that Sue had injury (a cut and a wrist injury) on her left hand that appeared sometime between lunch 26th and the following morning.

    I am about out to go to a bookstore to purchase McLaren’s book. I imagine that it will have a lot more useful technical details about the crime scene for me to work with than what is in the trial transcript. I will then finalise my technical analysis after I read the book. But, this is one book that I would recommend without having seen its contents first!.

  28. Rosemary

    January 31, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    I think you have missed the boat, Dr Lozo. I will add another trite saying, namely about someone who can’t see the wood for the trees.

    After I had read ‘Southern Justice’ you will find, if you read it too, that you are on the wrong location on the Four Winds to apply winching science, so that is no longer relevant.

    Colin has indeed ‘shocked’ with his exhaustive analysis of fresh and compelling new information. If only these detectives were on the case from the start it would have been solved years ago, and Sue Neill-Fraser would have been spared a horrendous injustice.

    • Dr Peter Lozo

      January 31, 2019 at 8:11 pm

      Rosemary … if you think I have missed the boat then my reply to you is that I think you have missed the white dinghy that turned grey in shade.

      I have read enough, and saw the Current Affair program and saw last night’s part of Undercurrent. I am in the process of writing a summary of why I am concluding that Mr McLaren conducted a limited technical analysis of the crime scene evidence and basically followed a path that was more or less predefined for him by the events of 2014.

      I suppose that you have used your technical knowledge and skills to evaluate the quality of Mr McLaren’s crime scene investigation.

      • Russell

        February 1, 2019 at 10:15 am

        Dr Lozo … no body, no witnesses, no motive = no possible murder conviction. Law 101.

        Except, of course, in corrupt Tasmania and the USA.

        • Dr Peter Lozo

          February 1, 2019 at 11:20 am

          Russell, your point has nothing to do with me and my technical analysis of the crime scene evidence .. and the rest of the case evidence. I am not qualified to comment on Law 101.

    • Dr Peter Lozo

      February 1, 2019 at 6:50 pm

      Rosemary, I got the book! It is remarkably excellent in detail that isn’t in the trial transcript.

      There is strong evidence that the saloon hatch may have been the extraction point. As you have probably read by now, my Closed Loop Winching proposal (with respect to the same winch) is still applicable to the saloon hatch being the extraction exit point, but it does requires that the two ends of the rope be swapped in the way they are routed to the body.

      This is the best book I have read on real crime (I have only read three others) primarily because of the detail provided about the crime scene that wasn’t written about in trial transcripts .. which for technically orientated people is very important.

      I am very impressed with Mr McLaren’s work on the crime scene analysis. But, as I pointed out in my latest post and in my earlier reply to you, Mr McLaren’s effort is limited. I think that the limitation was partly imposed upon him by the person who sought him out – Eve Ash. The other limitation, as far as I can tell, is that neither Mr McLaren, nor the other Victorian ex-detective, has demonstrated any insight into possible winching scenarios that could have been used by Sue and which is consistent with most of the crime scene evidence. The Trial Transcript clearly shows that Sue had, on the afternoon of 27th when she boarded the yacht, pointed out to a police officer (a detective) the rope scuff marks in the woodwork at the entry to the cabin. These rope scuff marks were found to have fibres that were consistent with rope fibres. How is it that neither you nor Garry nor Geraldine nor Andrew Urban (on his blog) nor Bill Rowlings wrote that a reference to these rope scuff marks and the fibres is missing from both Mr McLarens’s description of the crime scene and from his analysis of the crime scene? Don’t any of you notice data or information that suggests that the defence lawyers, as well as Eve Ash and Mr McLaren, have either ignored, misrepresented or mis-reinterpreted the case details? In contrast to the approach undertaken by SN-F supporters when it was brought to my attention two years ago that the winch in question wasn’t self tailing, I took action to review my understanding, and have revised my hypothesis.

      It is funny to me that the defence theory is that this is a burglary gone wrong. But what was actually stolen? Now I know that there was money (coins) left spread in various places, possibly as the body was pulled through the saloon hatch.

      The way I look at the defence theory is this: vagrants boarded the yacht to steal, but all they stole was a dead body, an old fire extinguisher and a personal radio beacon which they subsequently (the same evening) decided to ditch so that it could be easily found. Wow!

      Peter Powell and his former team members got it right, and will win over the Victorian team.

      • Geraldine Allan

        February 2, 2019 at 3:37 pm

        It’s time for a ‘Soap Box’ post.

        Being fully aware that numerous contributors, including me, wisely choose to not further feed the dominating-to-the-point-of-annoying, Dr Peter Lozo posts, I now find it necessary to break my own abstinence. In previous threads I have respectfully asked that Dr Peter Lozo abstain from using my name in any posts.

        For me, it is offensive to be nominated and interrogated in the following manner — “How is it that neither you nor Garry nor Geraldine nor Andrew Urban (on his blog) nor Bill Rowlings wrote that a reference to these rope scuff marks and the fibres is missing from both Mr McLarens’s description of the crime scene and from his analysis of the crime scene? Don’t any of you notice data or information that suggests that the defence lawyers, as well as Eve Ash and Mr McLaren, have either ignored, misrepresented or mis-reinterpreted the case details?”

        We, the above-mentioned, have freedom of choice to write, as we see fit, from our varying perspectives. Most certainly we do not write to please one obsessive poster’s viewpoint. Writing and pursuing justice goes much further than a couple of now ‘worn-out’ scientific aspects.

        Overkill (the amount by which destruction or the capacity for destruction exceeds what is necessary) can be dangerous to credibility. To my knowledge none of those nominated in this post identify and offensively criticise other posters, unless in a reply to a particular post which of course is fair. Each contributor to TT has a right to their opinion, yet none of us must accept and validate that of another poster. To be named and singled out for not catering to someone’s every whim — the ‘Lozo theory’- in our posts, is crazy and indulgent.

        Additionally, this poster’s persistent method of attack on some most decent, generously dedicated and diligent persons, all of whom I hold in great respect, does not fit my personal standards.

        Thus I post this reply in respect of them, who for numerous and varied reasons including being more controlled than I, choose to be silent.


        Peter, the quality of your writing is the best we receive, but to preclude unpleasant ramifications, please moderate the content to accommodate the valid sensitivities and rights of others.

        — Moderator

  29. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    January 31, 2019 at 9:47 am

    I have just opened my copy and can hardly put it down. McLaren is presenting material which has not previously been out there in the public domain. McLaren and Bezzina, both with the highest detective skills, were brought in by Eve Ash to find out, through investigative journalism, the truth behind the disappearance of Bob Chappell. McLaren will give evidence (by video-link) next Tue-Wed in the final hearing of witnesses’ evidence given before Justice Brett. His evidence, despite the arrests by Tasmanian Police – on the grounds of ‘pervert justice’ – of two other witnesses, and despite the expressed fears of being arrested should he come to Tasmania again (Eve Ash is in the same predicament) his evidence may well be crucial and pivotal in Sue Neill-Fraser’s application for leave to make a second appeal [‘2nd Appeal’].

    Many Tasmanians and many ‘mainlanders’ are watching this closely.

    We want to see this matter resolved and we increasingly believe that the police and the ‘adversarial’ court process work against discovering the truth in this matter. That is, we come to the view that the police investigation has been poor/blinkered/ and that the DPP’s post-trial approach has been, in a nutshell, due to the adversarial nature of the legal process, namely not to discover the truth (which they apparently believe they already have done) but rather, to defend the original conviction.

    Regrettably we begin to wonder about the justice process itself.

    We believe that Susan Neill-Fraser should not have been convicted on the evidence then before the Court, and we now strongly believe – given what is now known (through evidence already given to the ‘2nd Appeal’) – that the appeal should be granted.

    In such an adversarial context, Justice Brett will make ‘his own decision’. That will occur after he has heard all the evidence and when he has considered the various arguments and submissions that have been/will be made to him by counsel.

    He will make his decision and that which ‘we in the street’ believe should not influence the course of justice – or should it?

    • Geraldine Allan

      January 31, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      Garry, I’m just sinking my mind into the Colin’s book now. I can’t read it fast enough!

      Your “He will make his decision and that which ‘we in the street’ believe should not influence the course of justice – or should it?” rightly or wrongly prompted my gut reaction which was — are jury members not in the category of ‘we in the street’? If so, in this instance can it then be said that a jury comprised of ordinary citizens did “influence the course of justice”, or have I put the cart before the horse?

      We fair-minded citizens can but hold on to a strong hope that this time, the Supreme Court of Tasmania will come to the correct decision, which ‘we in the street’ will see as fair and just.

      In this way we can bear witness to the old adage ‘the rule of law must prevail’.

    • Dr Peter Lozo

      February 1, 2019 at 8:16 pm

      See my above reply to Rosemary.

      Where in your own review did you note that Mr McLaren either ignored or was not aware of the Trial Transcript evidence about the two rope scuff marks (and the fibres that were found to be consistent with rope fibres) in the woodwork of the entry to the cabin? This is significant forensic evidence that was ignored by McLaren. This evidence was pointed out to the cops by Sue herself on the afternoon of 27th!

      I totally agree with the majority view that searching for the truth ought to be the primary goal. But how does McLaren’s approach, which ignored a piece of forensic evidence that doesn’t fit with his hypothesis and certainly can’t be explained by his hypothesis, represents the search for the truth?

      It is now very evident to me that Mr McLaren has extremely well developed police detective skills, but his skills were primarily directed, by Eve Ash, to find support for the 2014 theory that Bob’s murder was the result of a burglary gone wrong.

      In the preview video of Undercurrent, there was a very brief segment of Eve Ash getting emotional (and almost crying) when she found out how difficult it was to find people who were interested in talking to her about what they knew in relation to the case. I might be wrong here, and might even be edited by the Moderator, but my perception is, and has been for several years, that Eve is too emotionally involved in this case to be objective in her search for the truth.

    • garrystannus@hotmail.com

      February 2, 2019 at 6:47 am

      He will make his decision and what ‘we in the street’ believe, which should not influence the course of justice – or should it?

  30. Dr Peter Lozo

    January 31, 2019 at 8:33 am

    “In his own handwriting to me, McLaren (photo) writes: “Be prepared to be shocked!”. The book blurb says: “The guilty are still out there!”

    I invite the former Victorian police detectives (Mr McLaren and Mr Bezzina) to read a technical explanation of a winching arrangement called Closed Loop Winching. It is described in a TT Comment at this link:


    The relevant comment was posted by me on 31st Jan.

    I encourage Mr McLaren to contact the Editor of TT and obtain my email address if he wishes to discuss the matter.

    For those without a mechanical understanding of the power ratio of a winch: the significance of the 27:1 power ratio is that the mechanics within the winch will amplify the human force applied to the winch handle by 27 times as soon as the handle is moved! In other words, the human will only have to apply about 3% of the total physical force that is required to move the body. Bob’s weight was around 65 kg. That means that the operator of the winch would need to only apply a force that is roughly equivalent to lifting a 2. 5 kg of water. But this would have to be maintained for a while because it would take many complete turns of the winch handle to lift the body from the floor of the saloon onto the deck.

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