Wednesday, 8 August 2012

"And a dog was put through our house" (2)

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.


  1. Family members includes in-laws I guess. Would love to know when Dr (now Prof) Wilson appeared at Westfield.
    Yes, that is very strange about a "family member" accompanying the police search.

  2. The "family member" I am sure would have accompanied the first search. Westfield is a large property spread over three floors and it seems eminently sensible to me for someone totally familiar with the property to assist the police and to ensure all rooms are accounted for.

    It's possible that Sgt Morris didn't witness the second more thorough search. According to DS Webb who later went to Westfield Sgt Morris returned to Abingdon to brief officers (including Webb). So it seems that there may have been a period when there was no police officer of sergeant rank or above with the family.

    The evidence given by DS Webb for his early morning involvement is "woolly" and thus it isn't easy to piece together what happened at Southmoor in detail. If the intention of the second search was to only look for Dr Kelly then I suppose it would only be the dog and its handler doing the searching.