23 - Pathology

Transcript of recording. 4th May 2012

MP: The time is 4:47 pm on 4th of May 2012. I’m Milton Povey, medical examiner for Maynard County, conducting an autopsy on a caucasian male identified as George Withers. Subject is 170cm in height and weighs 164 pounds. I would estimate his age to be in late forties, early fifties. Hair is brown, eyes brown. There’s a small birthmark on his left patella which looks to me to be in the shape of… let’s see… a horse’s head. Uh… there’s an old scar on his abdomen, most from probably an appendectomy. From the age of the scar tissue, I would say the procedure was conducted at least twenty years ago… Moving on… there’s a series of wounds on the upper chest. I count… seven, each measuring… 3 centimetres across… and with depths from 8 to… 12 centimetres. This suggests a repeated stabbing motion. From the angle of the wounds I can tell that the blade was thrust upwards, suggesting that the assailant was shorter than the victim. Looks like a large blade and there’s tearing of the flesh at the bottom of each wound, suggesting a serrated edge such as a hunting knife. I’m taking pictures of the wounds now.

[Sound of camera]

MP: As you can see, there are small bruises at the top and bottom of wounds “A”, “C” and “F”, the shape and position of which would suggest the knife was buried to the hilt. It looks as if there was some small ornamentation on the handle, which may of use to investigators… Um… there are defensive wounds on both right and left hands, conducive to a struggle. Taking samples from under the fingernails now.


MP: Samples have been collected from the right hand and marked Alpha 1 through six.


MP: And the left are marked Beta 1 to 6. These will be shipped to the lab ASAP for DNA analysis. Ok. Right. Moving on to the internal examination, I’m beginning with the “Y” incision across the chest and down the abdomen. Making the first incision… now. And the second…. And the third. Now to break open the chest cavity. Unfortunately, it seems that someone has walked off with my bone saw and rib-spreader, so I’ll have to make do with my Black and Decker jigsaw and a tyre wrench. 

[Sounds of electric sawing and cracking bones.]

MP: Well… gosh… that’s… I mean…

[Sound of vomiting]

MP: Excuse me. I think the sandwich I had for lunch may have been off. Oh dear. Well… continuing on… There’s the heart. I mean, it’s present and there’s… holes in it… which I assume are from the knife… I mean… there are several lacerations on the cardiac tissue, consistent with the angle and position of the exterior knife wounds. The left lung is punctured and deflated and given the fact that the….six, seven, eighth rib is broken on that side, I would say that this is again a result of the knife wounds. Just checking and I would say that wound “D” is the one that punctured the lung and wounds… “B” and “C” caused the contusions on the heart itself. Well… um… I’m going to start removing the organs now, so they can be weighed and measured. I’ll start by severing the-

[Indeterminate noise]

MP: Hello? Is someone there?


[Sound of door opening]

DC Rudolph: Police. Is there anyone else here with you?

MP: Oh, hello officer. I’m still in the middle of an examination. If you wouldn’t mind waiting, it shouldn’t be too long now.

DC Rudolph: Is there anyone else here with you?

MP: No, I gave my assistant the day off. I believe she’s gone to some sort of rock concert. You should see her, tattoos and piercings and all.

DC Rudolph: Put the knife down and back away from the table.

MP: I beg your pardon?

DC Rudolph: Put the knife down and back away from the body.

MP: Officer, I understand that you’re under pressure, but I’ve got a job to do here. I appreciate that your superiors are probably demanding answers, but please believe me when I say that I’m trying to help you. 

DC Rudolph: This is your last warning. Put the knife down and back away from the table.

MP: Very well, but I don’t see what this is going to accomplish.

DC Rudolph: Turn around.

[Sound of handcuffs]

DC Rudolph: I am arresting you for the murder of George Withers. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not say something which you later rely on in court. Do you understand?

MP: This is preposterous. I’m just doing my job.

[Sound of radio]

DC Rudolph: Echo Charlie, this is Echo 4. Arrested a suspect and need  transportation. The address is Flat B, 34 Weltree Gardens, in the basement. There’s a body at the scene. Going to need SOCOs.


MP: Whooooo… are you? Do do. Do do.

DC Rudolph: And maybe a psychiatrist.