Friday, 4 March 2011

Friday morning - and Mrs Kelly talks of her husband's suicide

Dr David Kelly's dead body was "officially"  found just before 9.20 on the morning of Friday 18th July 2003.  During the course of that morning the police statements were to the effect that a body had been discovered at Harrowdown Hill, that it was believed to be that of the missing government scientist Dr Kelly and that they were treating the death as unexplained.  These public pronouncements seem reasonable enough in the light of what we now know.  How is it then that Mrs Kelly is telling relations on this same Friday morning that her husband has committed suicide?

First let's look at what Sarah Pape, Dr Kelly's half-sister is saying at the Inquiry:

Q. Then later on in the day you found out what had happened?
A. Yes. I did half wonder whether he might have, for some reason, set off to come and visit me. We had had this conversation, I had said: if it all gets too much you just come to me. But when I heard he did not have his car keys and his car was still there and did not seem to have taken any money, I thought it was less likely that would happen. Because I was on call and because we had been extraordinarily busy that week, I really felt I had to go to work although I did not want to go to work, I would rather have stayed at home by the phone in case there was any news. But there were patients that really I had to go and deal with so I went into work that morning.

Between operations I went back to my office and checked to see whether there were messages on my mobile phone and I picked up a message from Janice, my sister-in-law, shortly before 10 o'clock and the message that she left was to say that there was going to be a press release and that I might hear something about my brother having disappeared, but I knew that already so I was not too concerned.
I returned to my office between the next two operations, which would have been some time after 10 o'clock, and there was a message from my husband asking me to ring home. I initially thought he was just going to give me the same information, that the press would by now know. In fact when I rang him he told me that the police had found my brother's body and that it looked as though he had committed suicide.

Mrs Pape seems to me be a good witness to the extent that she has come out with a long and detailed response to the question from Mr Knox.  She appears to have come well prepared with some notes that she looks at at an earlier point.  From her response it looks as if she picked up the message left by her husband sometime between 10 o'clock and her lunch break.  Here suicide is mentioned not as a certainty but something not far off it.

Now we need to see what Mrs Kelly's brother, Derek Vawdrey, has to say to the Sunday Mirror of 20th July.  Here is an extract:

He told how his sister Janice Kelly rang him on Friday morning. "Her first words were 'Are you sitting down? She then just blurted it out. She could hardly speak for the shock of being told herself. She said he'd committed suicide." 

The whole article is here;col1 

Considering the official line taken by Thames Valley Police the statement made by Derek Vawdrey seems absolutely extraordinary.  Bear in mind that ACC Page says he didn't visit Harrowdown Hill, and that neither the appointed investigating officer DCI Young nor the forensic pathologist Dr Hunt get to see the body until after midday.

We know from the inquiry evidence that DS Webb was detailed to return to the Kelly home after news of the discovery of the body had come in and he states that he remained there until 15.20.  He also says that he was joined later that morning by WPC Karen Roberts who acted as a family liaison officer.

So who told Mrs Kelly on the morning of the18th that her husband had committed suicide?


  1. Brian,

    The question of who told Janice Kelly is significant.

    The question of who was behind the telling is crucially important, I think.

    The pathologist didn't see the body for the first time until after 12.05.

    So NOBODY had legitimate authority during the morning of 18th July 2003 to tell Janice Kelly that it was suicide.

    The question of who was "spinning" the suicide story on the morning of 18th July 2003 is a particularly important one, I think.

  2. There is increasing evidence that there had been quite an amount of police activity at Harrowdown Hill well before 9.20am. My suspicion is that the official account had been honed by the 5.15am meeting in Abingdon.

  3. But he had taken his car keys (key)
    NCH/1 7/3 Renault car key and 1x Yale key-front bottom bellows pocket (Dr Hunt's report)

  4. Peter Simplex - you have raised an interesting point regarding the extract of Mrs Pape's evidence. I think it's possible for instance that there was a duplicate set of car keys and that, say, Mrs Kelly saw one set of car keys on a hook in the hall and didn't think of her husband carrying another set.

    The remark by Mrs Pape that her brother didn't appear to have taken any money suggests to me that Mrs Kelly saw her husband's wallet in the house after Dr Kelly left for his walk. I recall that on an earlier blogpost Felix being surprised that no wallet was found on the body and my comment in the previous sentence backs up the observation by Felix I believe.

  5. DS Webb's evidence suggests that WPC Roberts was appointed as liaison officer to look after the Kelly family through the Hutton inquiry BEFORE the body had been discovered.....oops!

    Were you joined by anyone?
    A. I was joined by WPC Karen Roberts, yes, slightly later that same morning.
    Q. What was her role?
    A. She was going to take on the role of being a family liaison officer and really to look after the Kelly family, you know, during the following inquiry.
    Q. How long did you stay at the house for?
    A. I left the house at about 8 am to return to Abingdon police station

  6. LL - if you take DS Webb literally I would concur with your point about WPC Karen Roberts taking on the family liaison job prior to the body being found.

    But is this yet one more instance at the Inquiry of lack of precision in asking the question and lack of clarity in the answer. I think that the WPC might have been brought in prior to the body being discovered as a comfort to Mrs Kelly and her daughters, particularly with DS Webb returning to Abingdon to report back to ACC Page.

    Does DS Webb perhaps really mean that WPC Roberts took on the role actually described by him from the point that the Kellys are told about the body discovery rather than when she arrives. Maybe not. It's an interesting point you make anyway I think.

  7. Mrs Pape knows that "...there was going to be a press release " at perhaps 9.55am. Based on what, exactly? Your excellent timeline,Brian, says that all that has happened by then is that an ambulance has been called out in response to a 999 call. Would Mrs Kelly have known that? Would that normally trigger a press release?

    Why would there be a press release based on nothing, really, at that stage? Is this what the liaison officer was doing, giving a running commentary to Mrs Kelly ,communicated from and based on events elsewhere? It seems that Mrs Kelly knows already what has happened thus far. Not that there is anything sinister about that. That is what liaison is. I only think a press release is a bit premature at this stage.

  8. @ petersimplex

    The press release might conceivably have concerned Dr Kelly going missing. But then Dr Pape knew that already. She had been phoned with this information earlier at 06.30hrs by Sian.

  9. Brian

    Further to my comments above,a note on the accurate Plame-Miller-Kelly-WMD timeline of the Daily Kos quotes :
    At 11 a.m., police hunting for Kelly say the body of an unidentified man has been found at Harrowdown Hill, five miles from Dr Kelly's home.
    Perhaps this also can be incorporated into the HH timeline, along with the subsequent release:
    Just before 2 p.m., police say they believe the body is that of Kelly.

  10. Felix - Many thanks for the very interesting link. I've added the two quotes you mention to my post of 19 February.

  11. Having studied the Joseph Wilson / Valerie Plame affair, please take a look at the death of Paul Sanford. Then you will all see where I am coming from when I suggest that the CIA were involved in Dr Kelly's death!

  12. Thanks Frank for pointing out this little known defenestration. It also led me to a fascinating blog comment on another thread by Peace Patriot invoking Dr Kelly.

  13. Both Mai Pederson and Paul Sanford were based in Monterey.

  14. Frank

    I think the death of John Kokal in November 2003 is even more interesting and relevant. Same method as Sanford,but Kokal was allgedly an Iraq intelligence analyst (reckoned Iraq was no threat) under John R Bolton. Why didn't they use that method on Kelly? No tall buildings to entice him into in Oxfordshire? Guy W Weiss took the same route shortly after Kokal.
    More on John J Kokal here
    Yellowcake = 45 minutes, State of the Union Address = The September Dossier, Bolton = Campbell?? Kelly = Wilson/Kokal etc etc

  15. Felix,
    I think there are unwritten rules that the CIA assasination teams are supposed to refer to before they 'suicide' someone and the choice of a method of suicide will vary depending on the type of person they want to kill and the venues available. So for example someone who is into fast cars or aeroplanes will die in their car in say a car accident or in a plane crash. Someone who works in a tall building will die like Mr Kokal or Timothy Hampton did....they 'jump' out of a top floor window. Someone like Dr Kelly who was clearly a deep thinker and a keen walker will die in a tranquel spot in the countryside a few yards off a footpath after overdosing on pills.
    Another interesting tools is the unsettling of the victim prior to the 'suicide' in the case of both Dr Kelly and Kokal the victims had their security clearance refused and they had experienced difficulty when travelling abroad in the work.
    In the case of the police officer Mike Todd the venue was up a mountain, as he was clearly a very fit and active person.
    I could go on, and on!

  16. Brian

    An early article for US consumption was written by Warren Hoge for the New York Times of Sunday 20 July 2003. Hoge was a colleague of Judy Mller, assigned to London. Hoge wrote "His wife, Jan, said on Friday that he had committed suicide.".
    An article by Miller and Hoge published on 19th July 2003 said:
    " his wife, Jan Kelly, said in a telephone interview today..... the police had confirmed that the body was her husband's, and that the cause of death was suicide. She declined to say what led the police to that conclusion, saying they had asked her not to discuss details of his death." (this refers to Friday from the text because Hoge also writes " Calling the case an ''unexplained death,'' Mr. Purnell declined to discuss possible causes." (seeming to contradict Mrs Kelly)
    Already Judy Miller has released the 'dark actors' email to Hoge and also another email "Another associate who also received an e-mail message sent by Dr. Kelly shortly before he left the house said the message was combative and expressed a determination to overcome the scandal encircling him and an enthusiasm about returning to Iraq." Is this the email from Prof. Hay??? How did it get to the New York Times by Saturday?? (TVP/3/0283-6) Who else might have released an email between themselves and Dr Kelly from his last day in circulation to the New York Times???

  17. Felix, that is a fascinating report of the second email. It could be the one to Professor Hay I guess - the group of emails sent by Dr Kelly on the Thursday morning seem to have been in response to well-wishers.

    I wonder if the NYT made the approach to the recipient of the email or whether it worked the other way round. Whichever, it's a detail meriting consideration.

    On my "to do" list is a post reproducing the published emails sent on the 17th.

  18. Following the accurate prediction of suicide by Mrs kelly before the post mortem, it appears that by the Saturday evening (19th July) according to a unique report in The Scotsman of 20 July 2003 by Jeremy Watson, the official narrative was being put into the public domain about the suicide process by an unnamed individual..
    "A leading forensic expert said last night that Kelly may have taken the tablets in an initial suicide attempt, possibly when he first went out for his walk.
    He probably cut his wrist later after the drugs failed to kill him quickly enough."

    Who said that I wonder???

  19. Felix, Professor Forrest a possibility I suggest. Rather like Dr Kelly himself there must be other "go to" experts in particular disciplines that journalists have a list of and so can get comments.