Dr David Kelly's dead body was "officially" found just before 9.20 on the morning of Friday 18th July 2003. During the course of that morning the police statements were to the effect that a body had been discovered at Harrowdown Hill, that it was believed to be that of the missing government scientist Dr Kelly and that they were treating the death as unexplained. These public pronouncements seem reasonable enough in the light of what we now know. How is it then that Mrs Kelly is telling relations on this same Friday morning that her husband has committed suicide?
First let's look at what Sarah Pape, Dr Kelly's half-sister is saying at the Inquiry:
Q. Then later on in the day you found out what had happened?
A. Yes. I did half wonder whether he might have, for some reason, set off to come and visit me. We had had this conversation, I had said: if it all gets too much you just come to me. But when I heard he did not have his car keys and his car was still there and did not seem to have taken any money, I thought it was less likely that would happen. Because I was on call and because we had been extraordinarily busy that week, I really felt I had to go to work although I did not want to go to work, I would rather have stayed at home by the phone in case there was any news. But there were patients that really I had to go and deal with so I went into work that morning.
Between operations I went back to my office and checked to see whether there were messages on my mobile phone and I picked up a message from Janice, my sister-in-law, shortly before 10 o'clock and the message that she left was to say that there was going to be a press release and that I might hear something about my brother having disappeared, but I knew that already so I was not too concerned.
I returned to my office between the next two operations, which would have been some time after 10 o'clock, and there was a message from my husband asking me to ring home. I initially thought he was just going to give me the same information, that the press would by now know. In fact when I rang him he told me that the police had found my brother's body and that it looked as though he had committed suicide.
Mrs Pape seems to me be a good witness to the extent that she has come out with a long and detailed response to the question from Mr Knox. She appears to have come well prepared with some notes that she looks at at an earlier point. From her response it looks as if she picked up the message left by her husband sometime between 10 o'clock and her lunch break. Here suicide is mentioned not as a certainty but something not far off it.
Now we need to see what Mrs Kelly's brother, Derek Vawdrey, has to say to the Sunday Mirror of 20th July. Here is an extract:
He told how his sister Janice Kelly rang him on Friday morning. "Her first words were 'Are you sitting down? She then just blurted it out. She could hardly speak for the shock of being told herself. She said he'd committed suicide."
The whole article is here http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4161/is_20030720/ai_n12870819/pg_2/?tag=content;col1
Considering the official line taken by Thames Valley Police the statement made by Derek Vawdrey seems absolutely extraordinary. Bear in mind that ACC Page says he didn't visit Harrowdown Hill, and that neither the appointed investigating officer DCI Young nor the forensic pathologist Dr Hunt get to see the body until after midday.
We know from the inquiry evidence that DS Webb was detailed to return to the Kelly home after news of the discovery of the body had come in and he states that he remained there until 15.20. He also says that he was joined later that morning by WPC Karen Roberts who acted as a family liaison officer.
So who told Mrs Kelly on the morning of the18th that her husband had committed suicide?