In the preceding post I recorded the fact that a second more thorough search was carried out at the Kelly home. It was supposedly the use of a dog, that might have been distracted by Mrs Kelly (!), that led to her having to wait outside.
Was this use of a dog a deliberate ploy to get Mrs Kelly out of the house? It's a question that investigators would like answering. Certainly there have been a couple of reasons advanced suggesting why it would have been useful to obtain unfettered access to the house.
The first possibility was the need for some props to paint a suicide scenario, principally co-proxamol blister packs from Mrs Kelly's supply and a knife from the drawer of Dr Kelly's study. There is also a body of opinion disputing Ruth Absalom's evidence that Dr Kelly was wearing a jacket and so his Barbour was procured at the same time.
It was another alleged event at the time though that produced a further "excuse" to empty the house. The story is that wallpaper was stripped from the sitting room of the Kelly home whilst Mrs Kelly and her daughters were outside. One of the first investigators of the Kelly death was Rowena Thursby and I think that Mrs Kelly might have informed her about the wallpaper. The most obvious explanation of the action that has been suggested was to sweep the room for listening devices.
Number 167 in the "schedule of responses to issues raised" demands some careful analysis
Here are the question and its answer:
According to Dr Kelly's widow, police stripped wallpaper from their sitting room on the night of his disappearance. Why?
Thames Valley Police have no record of any wallpaper being stripped and there is no reference to it in the search documentation. The officer that spent the night at the Kelly house confirms that the house was searched (in the presence of a family member) but no wallpaper was stripped. The Police liaison officer appointed to Mrs Kelly following the death has no recollection of this being mentioned.
It seems to me that it would be more likely to be a member of the intelligence services stripping wallpaper than TVP. The reference to the house being searched in the presence of a family member would suggest that the search mentioned was the earlier reasonably thorough one. If Mrs Kelly was made to go outside during the "dog search" then that surely applied to other family members. I can't see a way around that.