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  1. #1
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    Massachusetts v Louise Woodward

    We can reveal the prosecution's star medical witness, whose damning testimony convinced jurors teenager Louise was a MURDERER, has now done a startling U-turn.


    After a decade's research, Dr Patrick Barnes has changed his mind — and believes the young au pair did NOT inflict fatal brain injuries on eight-month-old Matthew Eappen by violently shaking and slamming him down.

    The medic concludes that death could have been caused by an old injury, as argued by the defence.


    And in a scientific paper he admits: "The science we have today could, in fact, have exonerated Louise. There is certainly, in retrospect, reasonable doubt."


    http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/nanny.shtml


    There may be some who remember the The State of Massachusetts v Louise Woodward case from 10 or so years ago. i know Websleuths wasn't around during the time and a quick search here has revealed this to be so. for anyone interested, the case may finally be overturned because the prosecution's star medical witness, Dr Patrick Barnes, has decided the defence's assertion could have been true enough to create reasonable doubt after all. quite astonishing he should come forward after all this time.

    i'm sure there are posters who firmly believe in Woodward's guilt and equally sure there may be others who believe she was not guilty of murdering eight-month-old Matthew Eappen.

    if it is so, that she wasn't guilty, i hope the conviction is overturned as soon as possible and the shadow cast over her life is removed.

    Louise Woodward, Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louise_Woodward


    A piece by The Boston Globe, 11th Feb, discussing shaken baby syndrome (in a very informative way, i think) and confirming Dr Patrick Barnes has had a re-think.

    The Agonizing, Complicated, Lingering Questions of Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Barnes says he had been indoctrinated throughout his career to believe that “there were certain features that were absolutely classic, that they were child abuse and could be nothing else.” He didn’t question those teachings, he says, until soon after the Woodward trial when he learned more details of the case, such as that Matthew had a weeks-old wrist fracture. “None of this was ever revealed to me by the prosecution,” he says. “I began to have real concerns about how a case like that was being handled.” He also began to wonder if previous injuries or genetic vulnerability could have caused the fatal insult to Matthew’s brain.

    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/mag...baby_syndrome/

    Louise Woodward received a law degree, class 2:2, in July 2002. she now pursues a career as a salsa dancing teacher, with her boyfriend.

  2. #2
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    I followed that case and I never believed Louise was guilty. Matthew's mother always set off my hinky-meter.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Floh...


    Very interesting article.

  4. #4
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    For the record, I believe WS was around at the time (of the trial, at least) and the case was discussed here. But there were a couple of crashes in the old days and the forum started over.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsjonnob
    I followed that case and I never believed Louise was guilty. Matthew's mother always set off my hinky-meter.
    I never thought Louise did anything, either. It broke my heart when she sobbed when the second-degree murder conviction was read, sobbed so hard she collapsed. I was so glad when she was released with time served.

  6. #6
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    I never knew what to think. When there is conflicting forensic testimony, I am usually left behind.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova
    I never knew what to think. When there is conflicting forensic testimony, I am usually left behind.

    Same here. Was glad I wasn't on the jury.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by englishleigh
    I never thought Louise did anything, either. It broke my heart when she sobbed when the second-degree murder conviction was read, sobbed so hard she collapsed. I was so glad when she was released with time served.
    Me too, englishleigh. I just wasn't persuaded by what I knew of the case (to include the forensic evidence which was not at all conclusive) that she was guilty. I was heartbroken for her. Still am.
    I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!

  9. #9
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    "Former nanny Louise Woodward expecting her own child 16 years after she was jailed for killing U.S. baby she was caring for"

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ing-after.html

  10. #10
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    As the mother of a child who was shaken by his bio father, and later died from the injuries, this case has always hit too close to home.

    My concern is more about those who say there's no such thing as shaken baby syndrome. I'm sure there's been misdiagnoses but my son's dad admitted to shaking him, and it doesn't take much imagination to realize the kind of injuries likely to occur when you violently shake a tiny infant. I just get defensive when people say the thing that clearly sent my baby to his grave doesn't actually exist.

    So I was extra uncomfortable with this case. But like many of you have said, I wouldn't have wanted to be on that jury, not that that jury would have wanted me on it, either lol.

    It's interesting that the medical professional is talking about it and having different thoughts after all these years. I'm curious to see what this progress into, if anything.

    All IMO, and I really don't want to nor intend to start a discussion on the existence of shaken baby syndrome, so I hesitate a bit to post...My soul just can't take it, my son's birthday is coming up.

    I wonder how Matthew's parents have held up.
    Unless specified otherwise and linked, my posts are simply random thoughts of mine, in no particular order, not directed at any post or poster, including but not limited to the ones directly above mine. My opinion only, yours may vary. IMO. JMO. IMHO. JMHO. MOO. Disclaimer, small print, asterisk, and etc.


  11. #11
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    Oh duh, flourish, this is an old thread lol didn't realize...
    Unless specified otherwise and linked, my posts are simply random thoughts of mine, in no particular order, not directed at any post or poster, including but not limited to the ones directly above mine. My opinion only, yours may vary. IMO. JMO. IMHO. JMHO. MOO. Disclaimer, small print, asterisk, and etc.

  12. #12
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    No, don't "duh" yourself, Flourish. I am truly sorry you've experienced the heartache of your son's loss...many hugs for you.

    As a medical professional, I worry about shaken baby syndrome too. I've always had an issue, however, with calling everything that occurs SBS...babies are soo fragile, and things happen sometimes that to us, seem like no big deal; but for an infant's fragile body, well...it's a devastating injury.

    I have always been sad about the Woodward situation...little Matty is gone, and that's hard enough. but to have questions about how or why he passed? I'm with the rest of you who said that I'm glad I was not on the jury...

    As for her expecting a baby, I say "good for you...and may you have many treasured years, Louise, with your dear one."

    Best-
    Herding Cats
    When you find yourself in the position to help somebody, do not feel burdened. Rather, feel happy and blessed because God is answering that person's prayer through you. In that moment, you are God's Angel - His door to reach through and bring light to someone who is struggling in the darkness.

    Be God's Light. Be God's love. Be an answered prayer. Be God's Door.

  13. #13
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    Hugs to you flourish.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by flourish View Post
    As the mother of a child who was shaken by his bio father, and later died from the injuries, this case has always hit too close to home.

    My concern is more about those who say there's no such thing as shaken baby syndrome. I'm sure there's been misdiagnoses but my son's dad admitted to shaking him, and it doesn't take much imagination to realize the kind of injuries likely to occur when you violently shake a tiny infant. I just get defensive when people say the thing that clearly sent my baby to his grave doesn't actually exist.

    So I was extra uncomfortable with this case. But like many of you have said, I wouldn't have wanted to be on that jury, not that that jury would have wanted me on it, either lol.

    It's interesting that the medical professional is talking about it and having different thoughts after all these years. I'm curious to see what this progress into, if anything.

    All IMO, and I really don't want to nor intend to start a discussion on the existence of shaken baby syndrome, so I hesitate a bit to post...My soul just can't take it, my son's birthday is coming up.

    I wonder how Matthew's parents have held up.
    Don't DUH yourself, it's a thread that's pertinent to you. There's nothing wrong with that.

    As for Dr. Barnes, I did some research into him when I worked on a shaken baby case a few years ago. The news article makes it sound like he did an abrupt about-face, but his change in opinion had to do with further research into SBS. He's not a complete skeptic, he's just wary of the overdiagnosis. I think the problem comes from some hospitals not doing a thorough look into ruling out things like brittle bone disease or other genetic mutations that can look like SBS on its face.

    Even if there are wrongful prosecutions, SBS does exist and it breaks my heart. I'm so sorry to hear that you've dealt with it yourself.
    “Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.” - Eleanor Roosevelt


    In no way should any of my statements be construed as legal opinion or advice. While I am a lawyer, I am not a verified poster here at WS. The above statement(s) are an expression of my personal opinion, for entertainment purposes only, and copyright.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herding Cats View Post
    No, don't "duh" yourself, Flourish. I am truly sorry you've experienced the heartache of your son's loss...many hugs for you.

    As a medical professional, I worry about shaken baby syndrome too. I've always had an issue, however, with calling everything that occurs SBS...babies are soo fragile, and things happen sometimes that to us, seem like no big deal; but for an infant's fragile body, well...it's a devastating injury.

    I have always been sad about the Woodward situation...little Matty is gone, and that's hard enough. but to have questions about how or why he passed? I'm with the rest of you who said that I'm glad I was not on the jury...

    As for her expecting a baby, I say "good for you...and may you have many treasured years, Louise, with your dear one."


    Best-
    Herding Cats
    You are such a sweet, kind person. It warms my heart.

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