Murder - well with suicide now being described as unlikely, murder or manslaughter are all that is left. I would think the chances of 4 separate soldiers all dying after shooting at the same post in a relatively short space of time at the hands of 4 separate people are astronomically high (tho' I doubt Ladbrokes would take your money on it not happening again!).
Someone, somewhere, knows a lot more about this and sooner or later (could it be any later?), the police or the press (please no!) will catch up with them and we'll find out what the hell actually happened.
Note to all - although the former soldier recently convicted of sexual crimes whilst at Deepcut (during the time of the above incidents) was said to be unconnected to the soldiers killed, might not a pattern be emerging here? Sexual harrassment/abuse, dead soldiers popping up (some of whose families have since said their offspring complained of being bullied). Might it be (no matter how much we try to deny it or hide from it) that there WAS a culture of bullying which was running rampant in Deepcut at the time. As distasteful as I find the idea, I believe this MUST be investigated, and quickly. If it is found such a culture existed, it would point to a massive breakdown throughout the command chain at Deepcut at the time. I only hope I am wrong, but right now the evidence is beginning to point that way.
According to Radio 4 (BBC - so it must be true then!). The so called expert employed by the families of the deceased has released a report that casts doubt on the explanations of the injuries being caused through suicide. As a result of this, the police have delayed the publication of their report until they have had time to examine the claims. Methinks that this is just a rehash of old information which has been released as a 'new' report. Whatever anyone says, I don't think the poor parents of these unfortunates will ever accept antbody elses version of events, no matter how true.
I've seen some of the initial findings from the independant report and it makes for "interesting" reading. For example he suggests that the 2 shots that killed Sean Benton were self-inflicted, but that the others were not. Therefore was it suicide or wasn't it? I don't know and neither does he, but with inconclusive evidence he still feels confident enough to assert foul play.
Each of the cases is un-related. Cheryl James was known to be having problems with her love-life and was depressed. What we don't and probably will never know is her exact state of mind at the time. That has to be a factor in any investigation, yet again from what I have seen, this wasn't fully explored as possible motivation. The report didn't go into the issue of her relationships with her partner(s) and her colleagues.
I am sceptical about the independant report as there is a lot of potential for personal gain, and I can't help but be suspicious of the motives behind Swann's pro-bono investigation, especially when he is not prepared to commit to comments any stronger than "highly unlikely". Non of his findings would stand up in court as evidence, and any defence brief could tear them to shreds on the basis of his unassertive findings. Where I do agree with him is that there should be a judicial inquiry, but I doubt that would establish much. At best we could hope for an open verdict on any of the cases if they were reviewed.
My gut feel is that Cheryl James committed suicide, Collinson's injuries were the result of an accident, and Benton and Gray are inconclusive. I think it is a dangerous assumption to make that they were all murdered. I believe that the families want to cling on to the hope that their children did not end their own lives and will believe that there is a conspiracty at work as it protects them from the truth. Certainly the investigations could have been handled better, but I believe that this is an instance of human error and not a deliberate attempt to pervert justice on the part of the RMP/MoD. Surrey Police did not exactly cover themselves in glory either, and it would be a difficult thing to achieve the complicity of an entire police force in the cover up of 4 murders.
As for bullying, I have never seen any at Deepcut. I do suspect that there was some that went on in the mid-90s by certain JNCOs and that a drain of experienced NCOs and officers around the Capt/ Maj rank with the age and presence to stop it exacerbated this, but the suggestions that Deepcut should be closed because of a number of isolated incidents that have happened in the past is taking the issue to extremes. It isn't so much the surrounds that are the problem, but the selection of DS and the management of them, which has been addressed. Deepcut has gone through some tough times, but I think it has come through them. The RGJ have done the same and overcome the problems created by a few individuals and their propensity for bullying and violence, and the RLC has done the same. It also has to be remembered that a lot of the things in the press are isolated incidents and unconnected.
Did you live in the block, Woopert? The Fijians have a reputation at deepcut second to none for their violence against each oth and others.
There is enough evidence to throw suspicion onto the RLC from start to finish of this tawdry affair. I know an ex-WO RLC who will defend the same party line you advertise with regularity in this site, with a passion. So much so it makes you think.
What's the evidence that can be slung at the RLC? What does it make you think?
The party line is that the 4 committed suicide. I think the truth is somewhere between in 2 cases. I know that hazing did go on and that it was stamped out pretty quickly. I know that when a number of experienced officers and NCOs left there was a rush to fill the gap with young and inexperienced replacements. I know that a number of Cpls felt that the "standards" were slipping and became heavy handed. They were dealt with severely by the system.
If there is evidence out there that the problem was institutionalised and not isolated/individual then let's hear it. I'm quite happy to change my mind if it's conclusive, I haven't been brainwashed into ignoring the obvious and repeating the party line, in fact I'm way off message in admitting that problems existed.
Guys and Girls, this is a very sensitive subject, and while debate on the matter is ok, until I am informed otherwise, I'm afraid, for the good of all concerned, we stick to what has been already released in the public domain.
The army/MoD didn't cover themselves with glory in the handling of the investigations and a a consequence we are never likely to know the full truth of what happened. There is no doubt that there were morale problems at Deepcut that have had a negative impact on the Corps, but there is nothing that conclusively indicates the kind of "iffy-ness" that Swann would like you all to believe. sadly the gaping holes in the army/Surrey police/MoD investigations allow Swann and his ilk to make noise and have people believe him.
All very sad for the realtives of those involved, who deserve rather more transparent explanations for the events surrounding the deaths of their loved ones, but there comes a point when, I am afraid, the facts (so far as they can be established) are accepted and everyone moves on.
I certanly do not accept a conspiracy theory, a serial killer or the Bogey Man.
All would be helped if those in Phase 2 Training were more occupied with military and trade training and spent less time stagging on.