With Wikileaks making news headlines, and our own leaker of private information, Stuart Syvret, I've been reviewing the judgment reported on another blog in the case of Stuart Syvret:
On Mr Syvret's blog is the following statement, not by him, but as part of a leaked document about Nurse X:
Mr. Richard Walter is a US Forensic Psychologist based at the Michigan State Prison. He has considerable experience in the field of offender profiling and visited Jersey to attend the International Police Surgeons Conference. Whilst in Jersey, I took the opportunity to relay the facts of this case to him. He confirmed my suspicions that X possessed the hallmarks of a serial killer and that he was an extremely dangerous man. (1)
Just a few of Mr Walter's significant successes are as follows:
In 1989, Walter provided the psychological profile for mass murderer John List, who had been in hiding for 18 years. Using Walter's profile, forensic sculptor Frank Bender was able to appropriately age the suspect in a bust displayed on America's Most Wanted; List was captured the next day.
In Lubbock, Texas in 1999, City Police solved the murder of Scott Dunn with Walter's aid. This is a rare case where a conviction was garnered in the absence of a body.
In 2005, the Hudson, Wisconsin Police Department consulted with the Vidocq Society on the cold case double homicide of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison. With the help of Walter, the Hudson police solved the case. The murderer was a priest who was trying to keep child molestation allegations from surfacing. (2)
You might think that would provide a degree of support for the public interest defense, especially as Mr Walter is a also a founding member of the Vidocq society, which has now been instrumental in solving hundreds of crimes, and a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Science.
Walter began his career as a criminal psychologist at the LA County medical examiner's office in the 1970s, and since then has profiled the perpetrators of some of world's most infamous crimes - including the serial killer Colin Ireland, who terrorised the gay community in London in the 1990s. He is recognised as one of the creators of modern criminal profiling. One would have thought his judgment - that the Nurse in question was "an extremely dangerous man" would have carried some weight. The Jersey police must have been over the moon that he was available, by chance, to bring in to look at this case.
But in fact, the summing up by Assistant Magistrate Mrs B. Shaw gave the impression that Senator Syvret was a lone (and aberrant) voice in deciding, on his own personal judgement, that the Nurse was "an extremely dangerous psychopath" - Mr Richard Walter's professional opinion is simply ignored.
The defendant describes X to the Police in his e-mail sent shortly after the blog was published as "plainly and unambiguously an extremely dangerous psychopath.. This is how he represented X on the blog. The comments together with the report give a seriously misleading picture of an unchallenged and very dangerous man.(3)
Isn't that a misleading picture?
(1) Stuart Syvret blog
(3) HDGL Farce Blog
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