In a recent post on Dr. Colin Manock - the self-styled forensic 'expert' who was not qualified to do death investigations and was responsible for Henry Keogh's wrongful conviction, and who knows how many others, I raised the question 'what kind of man would allow himself to play such a destructive, harmful role in his state's criminal justice system?' The post can be accessed at:
The post was based upon a two part documentary report by Graham Archer on 'todaytonight Adelaide' which appeared on March 21, 2016 which I noted goes a long way to answering this fundamental question. (Part One takes us to the tiny opal mining South Australian settlement of Mintabie in 1978 where Manock performs an outdoor autopsy on an aboriginal man - even though private, in-door cool-room facilities are available, In the words of reporter Graham Archer: "His plan is to demonstrate his mortuary skills before the entire community. Miners, Aboriginal people, women and perhaps even children congregate around in stunned belief. He then goes to work on the body of the deceased - someone's father - someone's brother - someone's son." Mulla Sumner, an Aboriginal elder interjects: "Well, my sort of response to that, and what I can see is that he gutted this bloke in public, he gutted him took out his insides. Graham Archer responds: "That's what happens in autopsies. The skull is cut open, the brain removed as are the organs of the body. The bystanders, especially the Aboriginal people, must have been horrified at this indignity - the desecration of the poor man in public.") Following through on this "what kind of man theme, I am beginning a series in which I will republish posts published over the past seven years which shed light on the same question, when posed with respect to another forensic fraud who destroyed the lives of innocent people through the perverse role he played in the criminal justice system - who, in a public inquiry admitted his lack of qualifications to determine crucial matters such as the cause of death - disgraced pathologist Charles Randal Smith, the namesake of this Blog. Todays focus: What kind of man would attempt to poison the reputation of a mother with the Children Aid Society and influence the seizure of her newly born child by the authorities - while hiding in his personal possession evidence from the autopsy - which pointed directly to someone else's guilt?
Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;
Monday, February 25, 2008
Dr. Smith's Character: The Nasty Side: Part Two; How Low Can You Go?
But to this Blogster nothing demonstrates Dr. Smith's nasty nature as much as the message he communicated to the Kawartha Children's Aid Society in the context of the Waudby case on May 6, 1999;
Here is some background.
Brenda Waudby had been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of her two and a half year-old daughter Jenna based on Dr. Smith's opinion that Waudby had exclusive access to the child at the time the fatal injuries were inflicted.
However, numerous experts consulted by both the Waudby's defence lawyer and prosecutor Brian Gilkinson - including Dr. Sigmund Ein, a staff surgeon at the Hospital for Sick Children) - concluded, to the contrary that the injuries had been inflicted on Jenna shortly before her death, while she was under the exclusive control of J.D. her teenage male babysitter.
An Overview Report on Jenna's case prepared by Goudge Inquiry staff, notes that around the time Smith spoke to the Childrens Aid Society official, Gilkinson had begun thinking, after meeting with Ein, that the murder charge should be withdrawn
(During that meeting Ein had told Gilkinson that he was ninety-nine percent certain, based on the autopsy findings, that the fatal injuries occurred after five o'clock on
the day of Jenna's death - on the babysitter's watch);
The Overview Report also indicates that at the time of what lawyer Peter Wardle referred to as the "famous" meeting with Dr. Ein, Brenda Waudby was about to have another child , and that she did, in fact, gave birth to a son, who immediately became the subject of an apprehension proceeding.
Under cross-examination by Wardle, Smith acknowledged that he was was aware that Gilkinson was considering withdrawing the murder charge when he spoke with the Children's Aid official - after the baby had been born and there had been a first court appearance on the child apprehension proceedings.
Wardle's cross-examination proceeds as follows:
MR. PETER WARDLE: So let me just read (the note on Kawartha Children's Aid letterhead H.L.) it to you, sir. It -- it says:
"Addendum to B.B. note, re. telephone call with Dr. C. Smith on May 6."
You can just see that faintly above the word "Smith".
DR. CHARLES SMITH: Yes.
"When Dr. Smith was advised that there was a possibility of [and this is Ms. Waudby's baby] returning home, he replied, 'Well, I guess I'll be doing his autopsy too'."
Let's stop here for a second.
Brenda Waudby has been charged with murder based on Dr. Smith's now suspect opinion of the time when the fatal injuries were inflicted.
It must be apparent to Dr. Smith that he may have caused a wrongful prosecution in which an innocent mother has been arrested for murdering her very own baby daughter, has been put through utter hell, and now the authorities are contemplating seizing her new-born child.
However, instead of reflecting on where he went wrong and how all this could have been avoided, he continues to characterize her as a murderer and is doing his best to convince the Children's Aid Society that Brenda's newly born son is at risk.
It gets worse.
We know now, based on evidence called at the Inquiry, at the moment he was passing on his ugly message to the Children's Aid Society, he had in his possession a dark, curly, male-type hair which he had removed from Jenna's sexual organs during the autopsy and kept untested in his personal possession.
Since he is now aware that Brenda Waudby may be innocent, surely he must have recognized that someone else must have committed the brutal crime - and that person (most likely J.D. the teenager who had exclusive access to Jenna at the time the injuries were inflicted) is still at large.
(The Overview Report indicates that J.D. ultimately was arrested, charged with murdering Jenna and sexually assaulting her, and ultimately pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the brutal crime);
What was going on in Dr. Smith's mind at the time?
Did he lash out against Waudby during his conversation with the Children's Aid official, because he was a sore loser - and could not tolerate his opinion being contradicted successfully by other experts, who he undoubtedly perceived as his inferiors?
Could it have been that he continued to believe Waudby was guilty - in spite of the contrary opinions - because, as his notes filed at the Inquiry suggest, he believed Waudby, a single mother, lived a life-style which pre-disposed her to the crime?
Lawyer Wardle had some pointed questions for Smith about his conversation with the Children's Aid Society official;
MR. PETER WARDLE: Now just pausing there, sir, does that give us some sense of the inner Dr. Charles Smith and your approach to these kinds of cases?
DR. CHARLES SMITH: No. I'm -- I have no recollection of this, and I'm -- and -- and I'm embarrassed by this.
MR. PETER WARDLE: Well, would -- would it be fair to say that you're embarrassed by it, because it suggests that not only had you pre-judged the criminal charge that was before the court --
DR. CHARLES SMITH: No, I had never pre-judged the criminal charge on that case. Never.
MR. PETER WARDLE: But you were also --
DR. CHARLES SMITH: Never.
MR. PETER WARDLE: -- you were also making a sweeping characterization about what would happen to this newborn baby?
DR. CHARLES SMITH: The -- the comment is a -- is -- is one that I shouldn't have made. There are other comments in there which -- which may adequately reflect some of my concerns about -- about a child.
The comment that I made in quotes is -- is one that I shouldn't have made. But I never -- never pre-judged any -- any possible person in Jenna's death...
I always recognized that there was a range of possibilities in which the fatal injury could have occurred, and I never ruled out the possibility of an
earlier injury on pathologic grounds."
What does that mean?
To this Blogster it suggests that Dr. Smith is embarrassed that someone kept a record of his ugly remarks, that he was caught, and that it gives the public a glimpse into his dark soul.
Why couldn't he have just said: "I'm sorry Mrs. Waudby."