- =(This first part lays out the case from the evidence
presented in the Hutton inquiry why the death of Dr. David Kelly was not
by suicide. Part two will show the reasons, in this writerâs opinion,
Dr. Kelly was killed.)
On Thursday, July 17th sometime between 3 and 3:30pm, Dr. David Kelly started
out on his usual afternoon walk. About 18 hours later, searchers found
his body, left wrist slit, in a secluded lane on Harrowdown Hill. Kelly,
the UK's premier microbiologist, was in the center of a political maelstrom
having been identified as the 'leak' in information about the 'dossier'
Prime Minister Tony Blair had used to justify the war against Iraq.
While the Hutton inquiry appears set to declare Kelly's death a suicide
and the national media are already treating it as a given, there are numerous
red flags raised in the testimony and evidence at the inquiry itself.
Kelly's body was likely moved from where he died to the site where two
search volunteers with a search dog found it. The body was propped up against
a tree according to the testimony of both volunteers. The volunteers reported
the find to police headquarters, Thames Valley Police (TVP) and then left
the scene. On their way back to their car, they met three 'police' officers,
one of them named Detective Constable Graham Peter Coe.
Coe and his men were alone at the site for 25-30 minutes before the first
police actually assigned to search the area arrived (Police Constables
Sawyer and Franklin) and took charge of the scene from Coe. They found
the body flat on its back a short distance from the tree, as did all subsequent
A logical explanation is that Dr. Kelly died at a different site and the
body was transported to the place it was found. This is buttressed by the
medical findings of livor mortis (post mortem lividity), which indicates
that Kelly died on his back, or at least was moved to that position shortly
after his death. Propping the body against the tree was a mistake that
had to be rectified.
The search dog and its handler must have interrupted whoever was assigned
to go back and move the body to its back before it was done. After the
volunteers left the scene the body was moved to its back while DC Coe was
at the scene.
Five witnesses said in their testimony that two men accompanied Coe. Yet,
in his testimony, Coe maintained there was only one other beside himself.
He was not questioned about the discrepancy.
Researchers, including this writer, assume the presence of the 'third man'
could not be satisfactorily explained and so was being denied.
Additionally, Coe's explanation of why he was in the area is unsubstantiated.
To the contrary, when PC Franklin was asked if Coe was part of the search
team he responded, 'No. He was at the scene. I had no idea what he was
doing there or why he was there. He was just at the scene when PC Sawyer
and I arrived.'
Franklin was responsible for coordinating the search with the chief investigating
officer and then turning it over to Sawyer to assemble the search team
and take them to the assigned area. They were just starting to leave the
station (about 9am on the 18th) to be the first search team on the ground
(excepting the volunteers with the search dog) when they got word the body
had been found.
A second red flag is the nature of the wounds on Kelly's wrist. Dr. Nicholas
Hunt, who performed the autopsy, testified there were several superficial
'scratches' or cuts on the wrist and one deep wound that severed the ulnar
artery but not the radial artery.
The fact that the ulnar artery was severed, but not the radial artery,
strongly suggests that the knife wound was inflicted drawing the blade
from the inside of the wrist (the little finger side closest to the body)
to the outside where the radial artery is located much closer to the surface
of the skin than is the ulnar artery. For those familiar with first aid,
the radial artery is the one used to determine the pulse rate.
Just hold your left arm out with the palm up and see how difficult it would
be to slash across the wrist avoiding the radial artery while severing
the ulnar artery. However, a second person situated to the left of Kelly
who held or picked up the arm and slashed across the wrist would start
on the inside of the wrist severing the ulnar artery first.
A reasonably competent medical examiner or forensic pathologist would certainly
be able to determine in which direction the knife was drawn across the
wrist. That question was never asked nor the answer volunteered. In fact,
a complete autopsy report would state in which direction the wounds were
inflicted. The coronerâs inquest was never completed as it was preempted
by the Hutton inquiry and the autopsy report will not be made public. Neither
will the toxicology report.
Two paramedics who arrived by ambulance at the same time as Franklin and
Sawyer (some time after 9am) and accompanied them to where the body was
located. After checking the eyes and signs of a pulse or breathing, they
attached four electro-cardiogram pads to Kelly's chest and hooked them
up to a portable electro-cardiograph. When no signs of heart activity were
found they unofficially confirmed death. One paramedic (Vanessa Hunt) said
the Police asked them to leave the pads on the body. The other paramedic
(David Bartlett) said they always left the pads on the body.
Both paramedics testified that DC Coe had two men with him. Curiously,
both also volunteered that there was a surprisingly small amount of blood
at the scene for an artery having been severed.
When the forensic pathologist (Dr. Nicholas Hunt) who performed the autopsy
testified, he described copious amounts of blood at the scene. He also
described scratches and bruises that Kelly 'stumbling around' in the heavy
underbrush may have caused. He said there was no indication of a struggle
or Kelly having been forcibly restrained.
However, the police made an extensive search of the area and found no indication
of anyone, including Kelly, having been in the heavy underbrush.
Strangely, none of the witnesses mentioned anything about rigor mortis
(stiffening of the body) which is useful in setting the approximate time
of death. Even Dr. Hunt, when was asked directly what changes on the body
he observed that would have happened after death, failed to mention rigor
mortis. He only named livor mortis. Hunt set the time of death within a
range of 4:15pm on the 17th to 1:15am the next morning. He based the estimate
on body temperature which he did not take until 7:15pm on the 19th, some
seven hours after he arrived on the scene.
A forensic biologist (Roy James Green) had been asked to examine the scene.
He said the amount of blood he saw was consistent with a severed artery.
Green works for the same private company (Forensic Alliance) as Dr. Hunt.
A majority of the company's work is done for police organizations.
The afternoon of the 18th DC Coe turned up at the Kelly residence accompanied
by a man identified only as 'an attachment,' who acted as an 'exhibits
officer' presumably collecting documents in behalf of some other government
Detective Constable Coe and those accompanying him are somewhat of a mystery.
There are no corroborating witnesses to any of his actions to which he
testified (other than 'just being there' at the scene where the body was
However, on a listing of evidence provided to the Hutton inquiry by Thames
Valley Police is a reference to a document described thusly, 'TVP Tactical
Support Major Incident Policy Book·Between 1430 17.07.03 and 930
18.07.03. DCI Alan Young. It is labeled ãnot for release - Police
operational information.' Many of the exhibits are labeled that way or
are not to be released as personal information.
The police took over 300 statements from witnesses but less than 70 were
forwarded to the Hutton inquiry. Witness statements were not to be released
(even to the inquiry) unless the witness signed an authorization permitting
it. TVP also withheld witness interviews they did not consider 'relevant'
to the inquiry. Witnesses were not put under oath so it is impossible for
the public to know if their public statements are at variance with what
they told police. The 'tactical support' document must have been considered
relevant to the inquiry on Kelly's death or it wouldn't have been forwarded.
So this 'tactical support' began at 2:30pm on the 17th, about one hour
before Dr. Kelly left the house on his final walk. It ended at 9:30am the
following morning about the time DC Coe and his men left the death scene.
The obvious question is, to what was TVP giving tactical support? The name
given the effort was 'Operation Mason.'
(In part two of this report, we will lay out some of the reasons (that
you won't see in the national media) Dr. Kelly could not be allowed to
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