The Phantom Deepcut murderer. fact or fiction

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Federale, Sep 20, 2003.

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  1. I throw this into the ether, to open discussion for a number of reasons.
    Am I the only one that is fed up with this bollo%*s about a so called conspiracy theory?
    Civpol investigated the offence first of all. The families weren't happy so at the same time that a second investigation was conducted, the families employed Frank Swann (an independant forensic expert? or so we are led to believe, I have heard other reasons as to why he is independant) who has now said that he is certain that those killed at Deepcut were killed by a third party. This is despite the conclusion from the Police that there are no grounds to pursue a criminal case against anyone, (*not that there has ever been any suspects).
    My feeling is that the authorities including the MOD were not robust enough at the outset when dealing with the families of those that died.
    I have sympathy for the families, but they are not best placed to have an objective view, and regardless of the fact that their son/daughter died, their claim that little johnny was a happy boy and would never have killed himself is, I am sure amongst many suicide cases where no note or explanation is left.
    I appreciate that in some of the cases that there may be a bullying link, but this doesn't make it a unique case. You only have to look at the recent case of a schoolkid that committed suicide one week after going back to school because of bullys, but I don't hear the family causing a song and a dance about investigations and enquiries in these circumstances. We all have choices, some choose to challenge life, others choose to give it up. Fact of life.
    My advice to the families: Get on with your lives.
  2. the mod rmp should have made a through investigation the first time round.Instead of fouling up allowing doubt to creep and greif stricken relatives to come up wthconspricy theories.
    quick answer dont let recruit do guard on their tod bit hard to shoot your self when your whinging with your oppo about how shit it is there :)
  3. in some of the cases there were more than one shot , i think when you are dead its a bit difficult to shoot again
  4. This has been little understood, and one of the reasons about a so-called conspiracy. The civilian police have primacy for all fatalities in the UK. It was not the MOD or the RMP that investigated. The investigations were headed and conducted by Civilian Police. RMP would have acted as liaison between them and the Army, to facilitate, gain access to camps etc.
    Apparently on one occasion, civilian police hadn't even recovered the weapon that was next to one of the bodies, and had no intention of doing so until the RMP with them suggested that it might be a good idea.
  5. fire more than one shot?
    something called ummm on automatic I think?
    This is what the original ballistics experts on a tv documentary clearly demonstrated that is easily possible, if anything they were surpised to find only two wounds, as there could easily be more
  6. So the fact that one of the deceaseds' weapons was returned to the armoury before the Police were given it would be the usual way of dealing with evidence then? It wouldn't in any way damage fingerprints on the weapon. (It was NOT, I repeat NOT incompetence!!)

    Call me a sceptic, and I'll admit I could be wrong here, but I remain very sceptical that a person commiting suicide with a rifle could shoot himself in the chest, chest, head(!?) even if it was on automatic. That's difficult enough when you are firing away from yourself - I would have said it was impossible when you are holding the weapon the wrong way around, with the consequential poor (ie weak) grip of the weapon. All the people who I have talked to this about agree. I did not see the programme mentioned by Federale, but I remain extremely sceptical on this.

    Finally, it remains statistically very unlikely (I don't know the exact figures, but we must be talking lottery odds here) for 4 recruits at the same establishment to commit suicide in such a relatively small space of time.

    I do not have any answers to support this, but until an open investigation is conducted, people who are anti-establishment/anti army/anti govt or just plain mad will use this as an axe to grind.

    If the Police are so sure they are right, then they have nothing to fear from publishing their inquiry in full and thus allaying everyones worries and concerns. If they do not, that will simply make people believe that either the inquiry was not at thorough as it should have been, or that there is actually something to hide.
  7. May God never put you in the situation these people have been left in.

    You talked about having sympathy for the families.............but try to show some empathy too!
  8. Absolutely no doubt at all that the initial investigations were poorly administered. In every case involving a fatality the conclusions must be crystal clear - if they aren't this sort of situation is inevitable.

    I wonder if there are any SIB/RMP reading who could put up the statistics on suicide in the forces? During one resident tour in L'derry I remember something like four suicides among the roulement units, while one was in the RMP (176 Coy) after he was rtu'd from a course.

    Whatever the case, I can't see why there shouldn't be a public inquiry - it won't hurt, and could do a lot of good.
  9. Lifesaver, whilst my line: " my advice to family" may have been short and sweet, I understand if the reasoning with which it was given wasn't quite understood.
    Some of these cases date back to seven years ago and it is reasonable to state that the families have more or less put their lives on hold since. This combined with my suspicion that the family/families irrespective of the outcome of any inquiry are never going to be wholly satisified, led me to the final statement that sometimes it is better to draw a line under this and try to pick up the pieces. I do have some experience of having taken people through similar events and consider myself to have empathy.
    As regards the suicide rate and statistics:
    The MOD recently conducted another study into the number of suicides in the Army with those that occur amongst the general population. The finding was that there was no significant difference which is what you would expect if there were no additional factors that affest the4 suicide rate in the army (thus the army population is a subset of the general population). The highest at risk demographic for suicide is men between the age of 16 and 25.
    The main difference is that the method of choice is a little different, due to the fact that the average joe on the street doesn't have access to a firearm on a routine basis.
    One of the most incredible aspects of suicide and attempted suicide is the trivial reasons that some people give for having done it or attempted it. Anything from splitting up with a girlfriend, to being a bit depressed and having had a few drinks. Something happens which leads the individual to decide that there is nothing else to live for, very difficult for anyone to understand this, less so the family, if the individual is successful in their attempt.
    Public inquiries, by the way, operate completely differently to a criminal/police investigation. The concern is that the Inquiry will make a determination, far reomoved from the rule of evidence and by no means, up to the standard of "beyond all reasonable doubt" that could yet again affect the Army, specifically the way in which it commands troops.
  10. For El Gringo:
    Not absolutely necessary to have fingerprints on weapon, still have cordite traces on fingers of the person who fired the wpn, DNA on wpn also. fingerprints have also in recent years changed from being a fact to a matter of opinion by the fingerprint expert. DNA is the key evidence if needed.
  11. I don't whether there is a murderer there or not, but looking through the news, and thinking back over the past few years, there seems to be a definite trend appearing.

    We in the UK are turning into spams in that everything that happens, regardless of whether it be accident or not, we have to apportion blame; somebody has to be a at fault; there must be a conspiracy.

    It is like civvy street and the compensation culture; it's been creeping into everything and I can't see this mass paranoia doing anything but getting bigger and more prominent.
  12. Very true; a trend which probably started to be noticed in the 70s/80s. There's a lot to be argued for deriding the sort of culture which, for instance, puts 'safety' above every experience in life, but it is unfortunately, now the dominant culture. The alternative of course is to ignore events like possible clusters of deaths, or keep them quiet, or invoke a 'D' notice (are they still around?) but who wants to go back to the days when a government could simply smack you with the Official Secrets Act to cover up their mistakes and delinquencies? Not me.
    However, the insane situation where doctors in the US have to take out malpractice insurance at a cost which a GP in the UK would consider an adequate income is one which we have to avoid, and this whole area is one which a Conservative party is more capable of handling than a Socialist or Liberal one. End of PPB.
  13. If it was some random nutter stalking the Area with an SA 80 he'd have had a stoppage on an attempted shoot by now, and that would surely have given the game away....'Click."Bollocks! Working parts to rear. On looking inside the chamber I can see (with the help of this obvious white light) a round in the chamber and rounds in the magazine. Right. Clear the stoppage, working parts forward, foward assist, and.... bugger. Where's that bloody trainee gone?"
  14. SA80 has a trigger way forward to what is usual on guns and could easily be aimed at the head by self.

    Another point to make is that it is statistically the case that women shoot themselves in the chest to committ suicide and men in the head. You might extrapolate that an immature man may shoot themselves in the chest.
  15. From where I sit the real problem here is that the families do not trust the MoD/Army. In their eyes the MoD/Army have consistently come across as unhelpful, unsympathetic, unnecessarily secretive and downright incompetent at times. This does not mean that any of the deaths were necessarily suspicious - merely that the families want to be told what happened by a body that they trust - ie a public enquiry.

    So (and stop me if you've heard this one before) what could have been handled properly first time by being open, honest and efficient with the families was blown out of all proportion by those responsible appearing to be the opposite. Note I say appear here, remember that media relations are all about appearances and not about the truth.

    To be honest though, having followed the story I gain the impression that this case landed on a number of desks and at every stop the person concerned did everything in their power to give the problem to someone else or fudge matters for long enough that their relief would have to pick it up.