David Kelly/body found story ... why no cause of death mentioned?

This AP story

goes on and on about David Kelly’s involvement with the WMD intel criticism, and says that the body has not been formally identified … but it doesn’t mention one word about suspected cause of death–or even say “officials have not yet released a statement as to the suspected cause of death”.

Kind of odd … why is this? Is it just breaking news that’s too fresh (i.e., they took their old story file, describing Kelly’s role in recent events, and just tacked on the paragraph or two at the beginning saying that a body had been found … and in 20 minutes we’ll know more)? Or is this the usual MO for British reporting? Is it considered bad form to discuss cause of death, etc., before other details (ID of victim, etc.) are known? Or are the cops very tight-lipped about such matters to the press?

Or am I just reading too much into this (to me, rather glaring) omission?

Yes, you are reading too much into this. The police will wait until the body has been formally identified before confirming the identity and will wait until they get the autopsy report before commenting on the cause of death. The press will then report that information.

It is not unknown for the police to brief journalists ‘off the record’ (sound familiar?) and the fact that they’ve made this statement suggests that they think it’s probably him, but everyone will prefer to wait and then report the hard facts.

Yeah, it’s too early. Besides, it’s a pretty serious accusation to be levelling at Horlicks.

Thanks for that link, Demo.

And hawthorne-- “Horlicks” ?

“Horlicks” is the euphemistic description given by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to the first draft of the discredited report and the way it had been released, in a statement to the relevant parliamentary committee. It’s a brand name for a milky/malty drink like Ovaltine, but sounds a bit like “bollocks”.

The latest story from the BBC’s site claims that the police have admitted that the body they found matches Dr Kelly’s appearance, but…

which is standard procedure. The man’s family need to be told first and only when they’ve had a chance to make a formal identification would an official statement be made. There’s nothing suspicious in the delay – why would the public need to know before the guy’s wife?

Naturally it will be the lead item on tonight’s news so more may emerge before tomorrow.

But doesn’t the link you provide include the phrase “The cause of death was yet unknown.” … or am I seeing things?


TV News bulletin reports that the cause of death is now confirmed as “loss of blood”.

Knife and bottle of co-proxamol (prescription pain-killer) found nearby.

This would have been obvious when the body was first located, but the police would have required a postmortem to eliminate other causes and confirm toxicology.

I heard a news report that he slashed one wrist ,and died as a result of blood loss ,pain killers were found beside him.


Yep… what ** Declan ** said is what the Sunday Times reported this morning also.

Hmmm… a heart attack while out walking I’d have bought.

But a highly respected academic killing himself as a result of the ‘stress’ of being mildly browbeaten by some footling committee of second-rate MPs? A man with a reputation for toughness in his many years of dealing with intractable Iraqi officials. A man who, just before his death, said in an email that he was determined to overcome the scandal surrounding him and was enthusiastic about the possibility of returning to Iraq.

If this really is suicide, it seems a very unlikely one. IMHO it stinks to high heaven. But who might kill him, and why?

I thought this was about David E. Kelly, beloved creator of such fine television programming as “The Practice,” “Ally McBeal,” and “Boston Public.”

I thought this was about David E. Kelly, beloved creator of such fine television programming as “The Practice,” “Ally McBeal,” and “Boston Public.”