Jenny Lee Cook, bizzare Suicide or something else?


This case of Jenny Lee Cook who died on January 19 2009 has been bought to my attention so I thought I would pop it up and at the very least folks have a read and give me your thoughts. IT is tragic for the family when suicide just does not seem right and a rushed bungled investigation adds to the concerns they rightly have.

The Corners Inquest Findings

On the surface it’s one of Australia‘s more bizarre suicides. But the family of the victim believes in a more sinister truth.

"A very bright, active girl": Jenny Lee Cook horse riding before her back injury.“A very bright, active girl”: Jenny Lee Cook horse riding before her back injury.

It’s a quiet Monday night in Townsville and an ambulance radio crackles to life in the car park of the far north Queensland city’s main hospital.

It’s a Code 1A: a woman in her early 30s has suffered an apparent cardiac arrest. Lights flashing, siren on, the two paramedics on board, Robert Haydon and Chris O’Connor, accelerate through the thinning evening traffic, hoping to find the woman still alive.

The destination is a residential property in Douglas – a suburb popular with young families that sprawls along the southern banks of the Ross River, about eight kilometres from the CBD. Pulling up in front of a new residence in Sheerwater Parade, they note the outside of the property is in darkness, and unlike some triple-0 calls, nobody is waiting outside. Within moments the two men are knocking on the front door, yelling “Queensland Ambulance Service“.

Jenny Lee and Paul at home.Jenny Lee and Paul at home.

A tall, thick-set, blond man, Paul Cook, a local prison guard, answers the door and says that his wife, Jenny Lee, is lying out the back. Haydon thinks he looks upset, but to O’Connor, Cook appears unemotional as he ushers them through the house, out into the backyard and on to the side of the property. Here the two paramedics are confronted with a horrific sight.

It’s the body of a woman, lying on her left side on a bloodstained plywood board, with her legs folded backwards. There are spots of congealed blood on her forehead and the left side of her chest. She’s wearing shorts, runners, and a sun hat. Strangely, what looks like a section of a sheet has been wrapped around the back of her head, partly obscuring her face, and a bathrobe tie is secured around her throat.

The woman looks as if she’s been dead for some time, her outstretched arms apparently stiff from rigor mortis, but it’s the job of the two paramedics to make sure. Haydon kneels carefully alongside the body, attaches electrodes to her limbs, and finds no signs of life. But as Haydon is about to get to his feet, something very sharp presses into his back and he springs forward. Shining their torches in the direction of the object, the two paramedics are startled to see a large, bloodstained knife poking out from the wall, its handle tightly bound in string and tape and wedged firmly in the gap between the steel window frame and the concrete wall.

"It was so sharp": The bloodstained knife on which it is claimed Jenny Lee Cook impaled herself.“It was so sharp”: The bloodstained knife on which it is claimed Jenny Lee Cook impaled herself.

Haydon immediately radios the ambulance dispatcher to notify the police. He explains that the paramedics are at a likely crime scene, and the cops need to get here as soon as possible.

When the first police arrive at the scene, they find Paul Cook sitting hunched at the kitchen bench moaning. On another bench opposite are his wife’s handbag and some documents.

One of the officers asks him if his wife was on any medication and Cook obliquely says his wife had a bad back, was on antidepressants and was involved in a difficult WorkCover claim.

A police drawing of the scene.A police drawing of the scene.

The reference to antidepressants suggests something was not quite right about Jenny Lee – a hint of emotional instability, perhaps – and maybe even a predisposition to suicide. “She never told me she even thought about killing herself,” Cook would later tell detectives, not even raising the possibility that she may have met with foul play.

He explains to Sergeant Kay Osborn and Constable Damien Cotter, who were tasked to interview him at the scene, that he arrived home at around 6.45pm, and was surprised to find the dog locked up on the property’s front balcony and Jenny Lee nowhere to be seen. He was relieved that she was out – things hadn’t been going well in their marriage. But then he noticed her belongings were still lying about, although her runners weren’t in their usual place. So he decided to take the dog for a walk through the scrubby bushland at the end of Sheerwater Parade.

A short time later he returned home, downed a soft drink, jumped into the shower and began to wonder where Jenny Lee was. He became much more concerned after noticing that a large knife was missing from the kitchen block. He sent his wife a text, and when there was no reply began to search outside. That’s when he came across the body. “She was cold and she was stiff and I moved her lips back and they didn’t [move],” he tells the two detectives. That’s why he didn’t attempt to do CPR, he explains.

'Til death do us part: Paul and Jenny Lee Cook on their wedding day in 1998.
‘Til death do us part: Paul and Jenny Lee Cook on their wedding day in 1998.

During the course of their discussion in the kitchen and another formal interview later that night, Cook repeats his certainty that Jenny Lee killed herself – although he has no idea how she did it. “She had blood coming out of her mouth … what did she do?” he asks Detective Cotter.

Later, Cook says when he first saw her body he thought Jenny had jumped on the knife or she had overdosed. He also talks about the knife, saying, “It was so sharp, that knife, like a f…ing sword or something – I don’t know why I even bought it.”

He tells detectives that he used the knife only two or three times, later changing this to two or three times a year, the first of a series of contradictions in a long and rambling interview in which he revealed that all wasn’t exactly rosy in the Sheerwater Parade house.

Paul Cook.
Paul Cook.

Paul tells the interviewing detectives that while they “never fought”, Jenny Lee would have “a sook” about her chronic back problems “hundreds of times” and would “crack the shits” and be “a moody bitch”. Only the night before, he explains, he’d arrived home to find Jenny Lee sitting on the toilet in the bathroom crying. Ignoring her tears, he asked where his earbuds were, put them on, went to bed and fell asleep.

He admits that he’d set off for work that morning barely speaking to her, and later that day told a colleague that his marriage was over. Asked about his movements, Cook tells police that he left his job as a prison guard at Townsville Correctional Centre about midday to pay a bill at a computer shop for repairs to his laptop, then returned to the jail about 12.30pm. Strangely, the credit card payment receipt in his wallet shows the bill was paid at 12.23pm – giving him the almost impossible task of travelling the eight or so kilometres back to the jail, negotiating a number of intersections and traffic lights, by 12.30pm. He also tells police that he had sent an email to the shop, but the shop has no record of receiving any such email that day.

Within 20 hours of arriving at the scene on that steamy January night, the police decide that Jenny Lee (a woman who hated needles and blood and had a big enough stash of pain medication to overdose if she wanted to) had – without leaving behind any note -blindfolded herself, tied a belt around her neck, put a sheet over the top of her head and deliberately thrust her body on to the knife before slumping to the ground and bleeding to death.

Jenny Lee's parents, Lorraine and Terry Pullen.
Jenny Lee’s parents, Lorraine and Terry Pullen. Photo: Debrah Novak

Less than two days after the death, the Sheerwater Parade house is cleared of being a crime scene and Cook is allowed access to potentially important evidentiary exhibits such as the plywood board, still lying in the backyard. There is no dusting for fingerprints on the knife, no DNA test of the board, no search of the house for traces of the string or tape used to wedge the knife into the wall and no follow-through on Cook’s alibi.

Jenny Lee’s death is deemed non-suspicious, a clear case of suicide. But if it’s a suicide, it’s clearly one of the most extraordinary to have ever occurred in Australia: the Queensland suicide register and the National Coronial Information System have no record of female suicide by self-impalement.

Shortly after her death, Cook cashed in Jenny Lee’s WorkCover settlement and superannuation, which along with the sale of the Sheerwater Parade house, amounted to about $800,000.

It will take four years of unwavering determination by Jenny Lee’s parents, Lorraine and Terry Pullen, to have an inquest held into their daughter’s bizarre and tragic death. The inquest will also query a suspected affair between him and an attractive female prison guard (although both claimed this commenced after Jenny Lee’s death). Mainly, though, the inquest will reveal startling omissions in the police investigation into Jenny Lee’s death, and the destruction of a key piece of evidence – the bloody knife – before the coroner could properly investigate.

On the day Jenny Lee diedJanuary 19, 2009 – Lorraine rang her daughter a couple of times, but she didn’t pick up. Just before 9pm, Jenny Lee’s dad, Terry, phoned Lorraine with the terrible news and Lorraine rushed to Townsville.

So many things just didn’t add up for Lorraine. For starters, she couldn’t believe that Jenny Lee didn’t leave a suicide note. “I don’t believe she would have gone without saying goodbye. She always wrote notes and letters,” she says. Nor did Lorraine buy the scenario of her daughter impaling herself. “Jenny Lee would run from a needle. She was frightened of sharp things.”

Jenny Lee was the type who would have left directions about who was to look after the dog, insists Lorraine, and who would get what. “We had an extremely close relationship and I don’t believe she would go without telling me or asking for help.”

After Lorraine arrived at the house, Cook took her outside and showed her where Jenny Lee had died. (“He said he didn’t want any ghosts in the house,” adds Lorraine.) She recalls Cook saying something about Jenny Lee putting on her running shoes so she wouldn’t slip when she ran onto the knife, she says, but Cook would later deny ever making such as statement.

Then there was the presence of one of Cook’s female work colleagues. The woman dropped by five days after the death to clean Jenny Lee’s car, which had to be returned to James Cook University (JCU), where she worked as a water nutrient analyst. “Call it a woman’s instinct but I knew they were close,” Lorraine said after she saw the woman with Cook in the kitchen.

Lorraine says that both she and her husband have been in a personal hell trying to unravel what happened to their daughter. “I lie awake at night and it just goes round and round in my head. For 18 months afterwards I had this pain in the chest, like someone had stabbed me. I’m so frustrated and angry. If it had been [a police officer’s] daughter, things would have been done properly. We don’t think Jenny Lee would be capable of doing something like this.”

The 29-year-old had met Cook more than 10 years earlier, while she was studying at James Cook University. At the time the pretty redhead had been in the midst of fulfilling her ambition of becoming a marine biologist and was enrolled at the university’s well-regarded marine sciences program. She had moved to Townsville from her family farm near Macksville, a small NSW coastal town midway between Sydney and Brisbane with a population of about 3000.

Jenny Lee’s childhood had been that of a carefree country kid running wild on her parents’ banana farm, riding dirt bikes around the hills and galloping her horse along the area’s unspoiled beaches, says Lorraine, a retired theatre nurse who still lives on the farm with Terry. “She was a very bright, active girl – she wouldn’t sit on your knee for long,” recalls Lorraine. “When she and her sister were little and they were naughty they would run and climb up the mango tree. I couldn’t get them and they would stay there till I started laughing.”

From an early age the ocean fascinated Jenny Lee, and at age 15 she was already writing to university professors for advice about how to become a marine biologist. In 1998 she gained entry to JCU and moved to Townsville to study. Like many of the young students, she partied in a nightclub scene overflowing with young single men from the nearby military base, Lavarack Barracks – one of the largest garrisons in the country. One night, in a nightclub called The Playpen, the 19-year-old met a handsome young soldier, Paul Cook. The couple were soon dating and within six months Cook proposed.

The wedding was held on Magnetic Island, off Townsville, on November 8, 1998. The video shows a handsome couple – Cook, looking like a tall, solid, Amish farmer with his blond thatch of hair and moustache-less beard, stands about 15 centimetres taller than Jenny Lee, whose curly red hair and white dress conjure up images of a mediaeval princess.

At first, friends recall, they seemed like a devoted couple who did everything together: grocery shopping, cooking, hiking and camping around the rainforests of north Queensland. But things changed in 2007. While attempting to lug heavy buckets of water samples back to a lab at James Cook University for analysis, Jenny Lee seriously injured her back. Over the space of nearly 18 months she underwent two operations that left her virtually immobile and cut off from most of her work friends while she slowly recovered. She put in a WorkCover claim, which led her to see a psychologist, which in turn led to her taking anti-depressants and major pain medication.

Cook, meantime, had left the army and started working as a prison guard at the Townsville Correctional Centre, a jail about 12 kilometres west of the city. As a workplace, it seemed to foster controversial personal relationships. “The prisoners were nice – it was the workers you had to worry about,” says one guard who worked with Cook at the sprawling jail, which has a farm, a high-security men’s jail and a women’s prison.

The guard, who asked not to be named, told Good Weekend that the sex scandals that occurred there were on a scale that “you wouldn’t believe”, with warders often quitting over allegations they were having inappropriate contact with each other, or with prisoners. As recently as last year, the jail’s hot-house staff relationships were still making headlines in local papers, including manager Andrew Pike quitting after allegations were published alleging he’d had an affair with a junior female clerk who also worked in his office – a scenario exposed by posts from the woman’s jilted boyfriend on Facebook.

Whether Jenny Lee knew about this workplace environment it’s hard to say, but she certainly had concerns about a tall, striking-looking female guard in her late 20s who was regularly rostered on to work with Cook. “Jenny confronted Paul, who denied there was anything between them,” says a friend of the couple, who, like others Good Weekend spoke to, did not want to be identified.

In the months leading up to her death, Jenny Lee had never given any indication to her family of problems in the marriage other than a brief conversation with her father in which she implied that sexual intimacy with Cook was difficult because of her back injury.

Towards the end of 2008, friends recalled her enthusiasm about returning to work at JCU on reduced duties. Her doctors thought her depression, brought on by her chronic back problems, was in remission and that she was not a suicide risk (she had previously admitted to thoughts of “cutting herself” in the depths of her despair after her second operation, one doctor would later claim). The couple also moved into their dream home in Sheerwater Parade in November – a new, two-storey, brick-veneer home with four bedrooms, only a couple of minutes’ walk from the river. Life was starting to look up again.

The first sign of trouble on January 19 at the Cooks’ home was a barking dog. Trying to sleep in the house across the road was Janice Cavanagh, recuperating from shoulder surgery, and the noise was keeping her awake.

The barking got worse around lunchtime when the animal began making what Cavanagh would call a “crying” sound that seemed to go on for hours. She got up and thought: “Should I go over and see if it’s caught somewhere?” But because she didn’t know the Cooks, who had only moved into the new home two months before, she decided to stay put. The barking stopped around 4.30pm. About two hours later, around 6.45pm, another neighbour saw Cook drive up and chatted to him before he went inside.

These and other statements were made to coronial investigators for an inquest that was held late last year. The statements highlighted questions and contradictions in Paul Cook’s account of events on the day of his wife’s death, and shortcomings in the initial investigation. For instance, Cook told police that his movements could be easily confirmed by the jail’s CCTV cameras. But detectives never checked, and in any case, renovations were being undertaken at the jail at the time and the cameras at the entry and exit gates weren’t working. Jail logbooks, which had Cook entering the jail at 7.30 on the morning of his wife’s death and leaving at 12.49pm, were also incomplete, with no record of him re-entering the prison that day.

Maderline Ronan, another prison employee who was rostered on with Cook that day, described him in her statement to the inquest as “very quiet” and didn’t know where he was between 11am and 1.30pm. Later in the afternoon, Cook told her he had a headache and finished up early, around 5.30pm. This raised questions about where he had been until 6.45pm, when he arrived home, as the drive between the jail and Sheerwater Parade is about 15 minutes. (Jenny Lee was suspected of dying some time between 8am and 2pm, according to the autopsy.)

Cook’s statements to police indicate he was increasingly frustrated by his wife’s pessimism and depression, such as on the night before her death, when he ignored her sadness and crying and went to bed early with his earbuds in. But his later account to WorkCover was radically different: “That night in bed she cried as she told me of her pain and her concerns about her work future, which had been reinforced at the functional capacity evaluation. I hugged her till she fell asleep,” he said.

Asked at the inquest about the contradiction, he painted a strange picture. He said he had both hugged Jenny Lee and ignored her and then they both fell asleep sharing his headphones and listening to a Phil Collins song he hated.

At the subsequent inquest, Cook calmly gave evidence for nearly three-quarters of a day, without legal representation. He denied having any role in Jenny Lee’s death. Coroner Jane Bentley would later describe him as being “deliberately untruthful” in his evidence, adding that it was likely he had given different representation for the purposes of his WorkCover claim.

Cook claimed that his relationship with the unidentified work colleague prior to Jenny Lee’s death had been strictly professional, with the romance only starting a couple of months afterwards. It began with kiss in a pool at a barbecue after a few drinks and evolved into a relationship with sexual events but not intercourse, he said. Asked how many times he would have phoned or texted this woman before Jenny’s death, he said he would be surprised if it was more than five times. But when confronted with records that showed 52 calls or texts he said: “Obviously I was talking to her a lot more than I’m remembering, but we didn’t have any relationship before that other than friends”.

In her statement, fellow worker Maderline Ronan alleged she’d seen Facebook photographs of Cook socialising at drinks functions with this woman prior to Jenny Lee’s death. Bizarrely, eight months after the death, the same woman was at the centre of a violent row when she was caught by her former de facto “canoodling”, as the Townsville Bulletin headlines put it, in a prison van with a fellow guard. (The woman, whose name was suppressed in the inquest, made a statement to coronial investigators and did not appear at the inquest. After being asked for comment by Good Weekend she said, “I’ve heard about your Paul Cook stuff and I’ve got nothing to say.”)

Coroner Bentley’s findings, handed down in November last year, were damning of the police’s failure to properly investigate and the failure to follow procedures such as failing to retain the knife. But she delivered an “open finding” into Jenny Lee’s death, saying she was unable to determine whether the Townsville woman’s death was suicide or murder.

Sheerwater parade, Townsville, has changed little since Jenny Lee’s death. The homes are still well kept, with dazzlingly clean driveways and manicured lawns lushly greened by the tropical weather. Most residents have largely forgotten the dreadful tragedy that occurred in their sleepy patch of surburbia.

Those who do remember the couple have nothing bad to say about Paul Cook, with one describing him as a “gentle giant”. (Cook, after initially offering to answer any questions supplied by Good Weekend, later withdrew his co-operation, saying in an email, “I’m not going to comment, sorry.”

In the meantime, Jenny Lee’s parents have not given up the quest to find out what happened to their daughter. Lorraine has just been in Townsville once again, walking in her daughter’s footsteps on the streets of Douglas, in the city centre, and at James Cook University, showing photographs of Jenny Lee and Cook to locals. “It might make somebody remember what they saw,” she says.


 

Police yet to act on bungled ‘suicide’ investigation

July 19, 2014

Investigative journalist

Email Rory

Police have failed to act on a recommendation to take action over an apparently bungled investigation into the impalement death of a NSW woman in Townsville.

The incident is the latest twist in the extraordinary case of Macksville woman Jenny Lee Cook, who was found dead in 2009 after seemingly impaling herself on a kitchen knife wedged into a wall at the North Queensland home she shared with her prison guard husband, Paul James Cook.

Queensland police took fewer than 24 hours to write the death off as a suicide despite Mrs Cook, 29, not leaving a note and there being no other case in the Queensland suicide register or other coroner databases of a woman killing herself in such a way.

They also failed to fingerprint the knife, search the house for articles used to jam the knife in the wall, check on her husband’s whereabouts around the time of death, or seize important potential exhibits or DNA test them.

The knife used in the killing was destroyed before further tests or investigation by the coroner’s team could take place.

Mr Cook, who found his wife’s body, has denied any involvement in the death. He did admit there had been problems in the marriage.

As a result of his wife’s death he received $800,000, which included money from her life insurance, a work cover claim she had been pursuing, her superannuation and from the sale of their house.

After years of lobbying, Mrs Cook’s parents, Lorraine and Terry Pullen, late last year convinced Queensland authorities to hold an inquest into the death.

Coroner Jane Bentley found Mr Cook evasive and untruthful in his evidence and said because of the problems with the investigation she could not make a finding of suicide.

She recommended the Commissioner of Police consider whether any action should be taken into the inadequacy of the investigation.

This week – more than six months after the ruling – the Queensland Police Service have not acted.

A QPS spokesman said: “Ethical Standards Command continues to overview the review of the coronial file in relation to the death of Jenny Lee Cook. It is anticipated this matter will be finalised in the near future”.

The counsel representing the deceased family in the inquest, Marjorie Pagani, said she had been shocked at the way the investigation was conducted.

“I was appalled by the shoddiness of the investigation and what appeared to be total disregard for the proper coronial and police process and this has resulted in primary and most significant evidence having been destroyed under police authority, despite an ongoing inquest,” she said.

“The impact on the entire family was tragic. They felt as though they have been done a severe injustice because of police processes and they will probably never forgive the people responsible.”

Fairfax Media has also learnt that contradictions in some of the statements were never put to some of the witnesses during the inquest, and that a woman who was alleged to have had a relationship with Mr Cook soon after Mrs Cook’s death was also never called to give evidence. Her name has been suppressed.

The Pullens have called for the inquest to be reopened and for the suppression of the woman’s name to be lifted.

The coroner’s office said the name was suppressed because of allegations of an extra-marital affair.


 

How did Jenny Cook die?

How did Jenny Cook die?

Jenny’s family outside court

TOWNSVILLE woman Jenny Lee Cook was quirky and fun, had an infectious laugh, and was conquering milestones from a young age.

Her mother Lorraine Pullen recalled her daughter, with a big grin on her face, climbing to the top of a step ladder before she was 18 months old.

“Her first attempt at putting on makeup (she was) about two – eye shadow, rouge and lipstick, and plenty of it. Like face painting,” Mrs Pullen said.

Jenny learned to ride motorbikes at four, enjoyed horse riding and loved her Boxer dog, Nikeisha.

In happier times, Jenny and husband Paul Cook would often be seen walking Nikeisha around the streets of Douglas in the evenings.

But on January 19, 2009, something “bizarre and unusual” occurred at their immaculate home.

Mrs Cook, 29, was found dead, her body lying on a piece of plywood in the side garden by Mr Cook.

Her death was “prematurely” deemed a suicide but there were many questions unanswered.

Was she murdered? Did her husband do it? Was the police investigation adequate?

Coroner Jane Bentley convened an inquest in Townsville this week in a bid to find answers to those questions.

They are questions that have lingered for Jenny’s parents for years, but a “vastly inadequate” police investigation and the destruction of a key piece of evidence means they may never get answers.

The lack of investigation by police was slammed by barrister Kerri Mellifont QC during closing submissions yesterday, with chief investigator Detective Senior Sergeant Kay Osborn recommended for disciplinary action or re-training.

During the five day inquest, the court heard Mrs Cook, a nutrient analyst at James Cook University, had been on anti-depressants and suffered back pain following a workplace accident several years prior to her death, and had been involved in protracted negotiations for compensation.

On the day of her death, Mr Cook, a former prison officer, came home but could not find his wife.

He sent her a text message at 7.38pm but heard her phone in the house, and noticed a knife missing from the knife block.

He found her body lying on a large sheet of plywood, with a sheet or bandage covering her face, and a large knife, wrapped in string and secured with tape, wedged between a security screen and a window.

No suicide note was located and an autopsy found she died from a wound to her chest.

Paramedic Robert Hayden told the court Mr Cook appeared “upset” when they arrived at the house.

He said rigor mortis had set in, but he could not estimate how long Mrs Cook had been dead.

Detective Senior Constable Damien Cotter, Det Sen Sgt Osborn’s partner, said he formed the view Mrs Cook’s death was a suicide after Professor David Williams gave a verbal preliminary report that her wound was “consistent” with a self-inflicted injury.

Barrister Marjorie Pagani, for Mrs Cook’s parents, asked whether the wound could also be consistent with a person being pushed on to a knife. He replied “yes”.

A NSW forensic officer also could not rule out the possibility she was pushed on to the knife.

Police released the scene shortly after hearing Prof William’s preliminary findings — less than 20 hours after the first call to triple zero.

Det Sen Const Cotter said he was not aware of any other investigations after the scene was released, but said police treated it as a homicide until they received the preliminary autopsy findings.

Both Ms Mellifont and Ms Pagani criticised how quickly police concluded Mrs Cook’s death was self-inflicted.

Mr Cook was asked if he played a role in his wife’s death. He said “no”.

He was questioned about his relationship with a female colleague, ­referred to only as the “unnamed ­female”.

Phone records show he made 52 texts or calls to the woman in the six weeks before his wife’s death. He made only 14 contacts with his wife, by text or call, between November 3, 2008 and January 19, 2009.

He denied having an extra-marital affair with the unnamed woman but a friend confirmed they had a physical relationship in the weeks after his wife’s death.

It was revealed police never investigated Mr Cook’s movements on the day his wife died, or confirmed his version of events, whether he had any financial motive, or if he was having any extra-marital affairs.

Ms Mellifont conceded, in closing submissions, that Mr Cook could be completely innocent, but the lack of investigation by police had let him and Mrs Cook’s parents down.

But Det Sen Sgt Osborn could face disciplinary proceedings after authorising the destruction of the knife.

She denied knowing a coroner could request exhibits, saying she believed the knife could be destroyed because the police investigation was done.

Coroner Jane Bentley is expected to hand down her findings on Friday.

Mrs Cook’s friend Dee, who sat through proceedings, said Mrs Cook was the kindest person.

“Soft by nature, and extremely helpful,” she said. “She was not confrontational or violent in any way.

“It (the way she died) was so violent. For someone who was such a planner it’s hard to comprehend she made such a permanent solution without a note or list for anyone.”


Coronial inquest into the death of Jenny Lee Cook

A CORONIAL inquest is examining whether Jenny Lee Cook, a young Townsville woman whose 2009 death was deemed a suicide, was actually murdered, with the police investigation into her death also in the spotlight.

At the centre of the mystery is a large knife, wrapped in string and tape, located wedged between a security screen and a window.

The hearing, which began before Coroner Jane Bentley in Townsville on Monday, was asked by Mrs Cook’s parents Lorraine and Terry Pullen.

The inquest heard Mrs Cook, 29, a nutrient analyst at James Cook University, had lived with her husband Paul James Cook in Douglas before her body was found in the side garden on January 19, 2009.

On the opening day of the inquest, barrister Kerri Mellifont, QC, said Mr Cook arrived home about 7pm, but could not find his wife.

He took their dog Nikeisha, a boxer, for a walk and when he returned Mrs Cook was nowhere to be found.

Mr Cook sent his wife a text message at 7.38pm but heard her phone in the house and noticed a knife missing from the knife block. He found Mrs Cook in a pool of blood at the side of their house.

Ms Mellifont said no suicide note was located and an autopsy revealed her cause of death was a wound to the left side of her chest.

The inquest heard Mrs Cook had been on anti-depressants and suffered back pain following a workplace accident several years before her death and had been involved in protracted negotiations for compensation.

Detective Senior Constable Damien Cotter, a plain clothes officer in 2009, said the scene was released back to Mr Cook after preliminary results from the pathologist concluded Mrs Cook’s injuries were consistent with being self-inflicted.

Barrister Marjorie Pagani, for Mr and Mrs Pullen, asked whether those same injuries could be consistent with a person being pushed on to a knife.

Det Sen Constable Cotter replied “yes”.

The inquest heard Mrs Cook had been upset and crying the night before her death, with Mr Cook saying he hugged her and they lay in bed listening to music. He said that looking back, there were signs his wife needed help.

On the night Mr Cook found his wife’s body, he said it was obvious she had been dead for a while. He recalled being instructed to do CPR, but her mouth was black with blood.

“I dropped the phone, put my hands on the lawn and grabbed the grass. I think I screamed,” Mr Cook said.

Mr Cook was also questioned about his relationship with a female colleague, ­referred to as the “unnamed ­female”.

Phone records showed Mr Cook made 52 contacts, by text or call, to the unidentified female in the six weeks before his wife’s death.

In comparison, he made 14 contacts with his wife, by text or call, between November 3, 2008 and January 19, 2009.

The inquest heard Mr Cook made a claim against his wife’s life insurance in the weeks after her death, and also sold the marital home for $570,000.

Ms Mellifont asked Mr Cook if he had any involvement in his wife’s death. “No,” he said.

The inquest continues today.

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Author: Robbo

I also love family, Photography, Cooking a great BBQ , Computers, Reading Crime Books, and solving crimes before the end of the show !

279 thoughts on “Jenny Lee Cook, bizzare Suicide or something else?”

  1. I read in veooz.com/news that the former FBI agent – Joe “the human lie detector” Navarro – gave his opinion on the Baden-Clay case. I wonder if he could also give his opinion in this case??

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  2. Jaykay, i saw that you replied to me above -July 31, 2014 at 4:14 pm. Unfortunately I can’t read as of yet because of the skinny e.e. cummings factor. Robbo regularly reconciles the comments for readability so will be able to respond later, but will do so down here.

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    1. Jaykay, had a chance to read your comment now. Yes, imo, the numerous text messages are a version of ‘modern day’ correspondence. It reflects poorly on PC’s integrity that he lied about the frequency of text communication with NIFP in the 6 weeks prior to JC’s death. It reflects poorly on the police that they never investigated that aspect any further, though I’m assuming that’s owing to them prematurely foreclosing on the case as a suicide within 24 hours. The pertinent question is why was this most unusual death wrapped up so rapidly. I still think D.S. Osborne was the driving force there.. I understand that whilst the autopsy report contained a finding that the knife wound was “consistent with self infliction” that was in no way a green light for Osborne to wrap up the case with so many physical and circumstantial enquires either incomplete or not even begun. A wound being ‘consistent’ with one mode of death does not mean it is necessarily ‘inconsistent’ with other possibilities. I have to say I don’t know how a pathologist reaches a conclusion like that – for e.g. is it a purely physical finding or is it a “reasonable’ finding, ie in conjunction with what he has been told about the scene or photos of the scene. Hypothetically, JC’s hand could have been held on the knife by another’s hand if the ‘consistency’ has anything to do with evidence that her hand was on the knife, But the pathologist could not have reached that conclusion if the knife had not been printed at that time? Or did he look for tape residue on her finger tips? But Osborne says she never knes about the string taped onto the knife until years later. And wasn’t she at the autopsy? So pathologist did not have the knife for reference point at autopsy?

      Gosh, it gets messier by the minute. Just one of several key areas of investigation that Osborne appears to have foreclosed on.

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      1. Hi Poppy. I agree with you that texting is a modern day method of correspondence, however without any investigation into what the content of those texts were, we have nothing more than the old day version of an empty addressed and stamped envelope.

        Although phone records appear to have been obtained by the investigation, we as onlookers have no idea of the timing of those texts. For instance, if there was a discussing about an incident it could involve 10 or more texts and replies on the one occasion. We also have no idea who instigated the texts because we do not have NIFP phone records and I do not know if they were ever looked at by investigators. Some of PC’s texts could have been replies to texts PC received from NIFP. We just do not know content or timing so we do not have evidence of anything untoward going on.

        I agree fully with your observation that the knife wound being consistent with being self inflicted does not mean it is inconsistent with another explanation. I suppose all that can be done with that is to include it in with all the other evidence gathered from the scene. I think because there was no evidence of a struggle or of someone else being there at that time, and because there was evidence of depression and other issues like the collapsing marriage etc Prof Williams has ruled out another person being involved.

        Your post sounds like you are unaware that Prof Williams attended the scene on the night to begin his investigation arriving at around 10:50pm if I recall correctly. Until he arrived the others had to be very careful to not contaminate the scene where Jenny sadly was lying.

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        1. Dora, No probs. I agree with what you add about the text messages, timing- could be all in one day, over several etc. I respect your well considered opinions. It seemed to me, to try and sum up my impressions, that PC was evasive about the amount of contact, a lie by omission of sorts, by claiming initially he only texted a few/about 5 times. I don’t know, but perhaps he would remember if there had been a work matter that required extensive contact in one hit. Anyway, on a personal level I’ve formed an impression that PC did not respect his wife and was at the time a person of questionable integrity. I don’t have a good impression but certainly i am not arguing that this makes him more given to murder. I have to admit that I personally lean towards him being in non-work related text and phone contact with NiFP prior to JC’s death, mostly because there is evidence that he pursued her after the death. That’s just my personal impression, I have no opinion on whether he was having an affair – there is no evidence of that. My personal view is that he likely had a sexual interest in NIFP prior to his wife’s death and was pursuing it via text/phone. again, just an impression. As you say that cannot be proved/disproved now and may or may not be/have been relevant to a homicide investigation.

          Dora, yes I was unaware that Prof. Williams visited the scene! I read the C report again and saw that, so null and voids my questions in that area. On another note, I posted around here somewhere re PC’s stated knowledge re the the knife wrapping which I saw on re-reading C Report.

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  3. Something that has bothered me about the police investigation, coroners inquiry or maybe it is just a lacking in the reporting – is the knife. We know the police have been criticised for not looking for the tape and string that we see wrapped around its handle. These are some of the questions I have concerning the knife and maybe some of you can offer an explanation or your thoughts.

    1. Did anyone ever ask where the knife came from? – where bought, when bought, its brand etc?
      I gather PC (tell me if I am wrong) was never shown the knife as it was found.
      If he did not kill her, I gather PC upon being told Jenny had been stabbed (remember he said he first thought she had jumped over the upstairs balcony), just assumed it was with the knife he’d noticed earlier (when unpacking the dishwasher) was missing from the knife block.
    2. Did anyone ever ask PC if that string was already wrapped on the knife when it was purchased? This is related to the first question but more specifically related to the sting and tape search that did not happen. Did anyone ever establish whether the the knife was purchase with the string on it, and if so where he purchased it from. If so did anyone check out the manufacture and retail of such a knife?

    3. Did anyone ever ask PC if he wrapped the string around the knife himself and if so what for?
      As Prison Officer, I think , mentioned crims make and use knives wrapped as such. In PC’s job he would most likely be aware of such things – even if only in his training of what to look out for. Also such knives are used in combat and survival – both skills taught in the Army I imagine.

    4. Did anyone look into the tools Jenny used in her work – ie diving knives etc to see if she was familiar with knife handles being wrapped that way? I have seen diving knives for sale that have a handle wrapped like that. If Jenny wrapped the knife is that where she got the idea from.

    5. Did anyone look into to see if Jenny ever had survival skill training and as such would know how to wrap a knife?

    6. Did anyone ask PC if he ever had a discussion with Jenny about how some prisoner had fashioned a knife? If Jenny wrapped that knife could she have got the idea from what she had heard PC and his mates discuss either from his army days or his prison officer days?

    7. Did anyone ever ask PC anything about the knife whatsoever.

    We know no computers were ever looked at. It is a pity because PC is unlikely to have been looking up how to wrap a knife like that. The net is full of “how to” instructions for wrapping a knife handle. If there was any searches done on the subject I think it would be safe to attribute that to Jenny if there is no other evidence of her already knowing how to do that.

    The police have been criticised for not looking for the tape and string? Why? What do we not know about that knife that may lead others (in the know) to conclude there should have been tape and string in the house.

    This is a big puzzle and the answers to it would answer so many other questions.

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  4. Good questions Dora.

    There’s also the possibility that the knife was wrapped in the cord (which is reasonably common in Hunting type knives….and Townsville is a bit of a ‘hunting’ City) and the tape was added for more bulk in the crevice?

    From the available information I don’t think P Cook would have been asked because at the point he was being interviewed neither of the Investigators knew about it.

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      1. He can (and most likely will or already has been) be asked at any time.

        Not much is going to come from the string and tape other than turning up fingerprints on the packaging……which pretty much means zip if he owned the items (like the Ply)…..and even less now with the passing of time.

        All they can do is ask him if he wrapped it at the time.

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  5. The other thing worth considering is P Cooks statement that the knife looked like a sword. Japanese Samurai swords have their handles wrapped in cord….perhaps that’s what he meant?

    He also said the knife was in a ‘Block’ (indicating a set), but it was obviously bought separate to the other knives in the block.

    Just a couple of things to add to the assorted ponderings.

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  6. There’s also the chance that the tape was always there as binding for the cord.

    Pity we don’t have a photo of the complete knife or any explanation from P Cook of course.

    We also don’t know if he’s been re-interviewed or even if the Police can find him.

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  7. Just about the cord on the knife……anyone who’s ever been in a Disposal Store would have seen a ‘Para’ wrapped knife or would have seen plenty on hunting trips.

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  8. I have more questions about the knife, arose as I was thinking about the autopsy findings. Does anyone know if these questions were ever answered or even if they are relevant. A wound being ‘consistent’ with one mode of death does not mean it is necessarily ‘inconsistent’ with other possibilities? I have to say I don’t know how a pathologist reaches a conclusion like that – for e.g. is it a purely physical finding or is it a “reasonable’ finding, ie in conjunction with what he has been told about the scene or photos of the scene. Hypothetically, JC’s hand could have been held on the knife by another’s hand if the ‘consistency’ has anything to do with evidence that her hand was on the knife, But the pathologist could not have reached that conclusion if the knife had not been printed at that time? Or did he look for tape residue on her finger tips? But Osborne says she never knew about the string taped onto the knife until years later. And wasn’t she at the autopsy? So pathologist did not have the knife for reference point at autopsy? Because Osborne closed the case after receiving the autopsy report, or possibly even before the report was finalised on the basis of the paths findings/notes straight from the autopsy. That’s a guess (no access to C’s report atm) – based on the autopsy being done an hour or so before case declared closed at 3pm on 20th Jan and I’m assuming the path’s formal findings would have taken a little longer to put into official report form than what was available. Probably a minor point in this effing mess though. Surely the unusual scene needed a visit by the path? How was the ‘consistent with self infliction’ finding reached? why did Osborne foreclose on suicide using such a finding, when according to QPS procedures the death required further investigation? Incompetence, lazy, wanted to go home for dinner, easy ‘out’ as she (in her mind) had more important work to do? Osborne knows the answers. I wonder if she will ever be properly questioned.

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    1. Definitely a case of making premature conclusion and of not adhering to procedures. Unacceptable work on the part of Osborne. It was made before the results of toxicology tests came back.

      I replied to you above about Prof Williams visiting the scene. He began his investigation there on the night.

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  9. Assuming for the moment that JC wrapped and taped the knife herself, on the day of her death, mightn’t there have been some tape residue on her hands and fingers discovered at autopsy? Wouldn’t the pathologist have examined her hands? Even if he did not see the knife or have a photo of it, wouldn’t he have examined her hands quite carefully? Perhaps tape residue would not be noticeable or detectable?

    Assuming that the knife was aleady wrapped and taped on the day, and that had been done on a prior day for some reason by JC, then probably no sticky residue would be found on her fingers. Ditto for if another person had prepared the knife that day or any other day. Ditto if the knife was bought or came into the Cook’s possession in that condition, Do I understand right that the knife is the one PC referred to as missing from the block? Where are “sword like’ kitchen knives with that sort of handle sold? If they are. Surely at least some of these questions could be answered in the course of a reinvestigation. Was the autopsy thorough?

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    1. These are some of the questions I set out above. It seems to me that so much was made about the tape and cord/string in the inquest that there has to be something we do not know about it. None of those questions you raise have been answered anywhere for us to see at this moment. I am currently searching for images of such a knife. I have found several what are called Japanese sushi knives but have not seen as yet an image of one with a handle like that although I have found some other knives (smaller) with such a wrapped handle..

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      1. Boy, after much of that speculation about the knife I actually found this in the C’s Report this morn on page 22:

        “Mr Cook stated that he had only become aware when reading the material sent to him by the ONC prior to the inquest that the handle of the knife was wrapped in string and tape and that the police had never asked him about that or the location of those items”,

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        1. Thanks Poppy I missed that. So that eradicates any idea of it having been purchased like that. Now it just leaves the question of who wrapped it.

          Elsewhere you replied to my comments about the texting. I am unsure whether the “55 times” included phone calls and if so how many of them were phone calls. I agree with you about the evasive manner displayed by PC – for the Coroner to comment unfavourably on his honesty it must have been obvious to her. There is a whole scale of possibilities regarding the relationship between NIFP and PC before Jenny died – from a full blown affair to just being work collegues. I tend to be with you on this also – With the knowledge of his own stated soured feelings towards his wife behind me I think PC had likely formed an infatuation with NIFP and his extra-employment communications with her were personal which of course if true is very disrespectful off Jenny. However with no evidence and only my “gut feeling” to support that and with the failings of police to follow it up as a lead to motive for a murder (that the police also failed in their dismissing that possibility within 24 hours) I am loathed to conclude his relationship with NIFP had any bearing on Jenny’s death.

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          1. Shit, I’m on my way outta here or trying to…I’m with you re PC, I posted similar thoughts to Jaykay way up thread where it started to get too skinny.

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      2. Looking at that knife and the little we can see of the string, it looks like it’s a home made job.

        The sort of thing you’d buy at Flea Markets.

        It looks like until we get any more information all of these questions are going to go unanswered….I guess that’s blatantly obvious.

        I don’t hold out much hope for answers.

        Even if P Cook is re-interviewed he doesn’t have to answer any questions or make any statement……which just leaves the Police arresting him and putting him before the Court…..where he still doesn’t have to answer questions and I’d assume that the majority of the Prosecution witnesses would also be star Defence witnesses with P Cook walking away with costs awarded.

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      3. Dora, Your questions are all pertinent, IMO. Just one more question from me then I have to get my mind off this for now. Is there anything at all in the tape residue idea do you think? Could just be clutching at straws.

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        1. Poppy, I am not sure if tape wound leave any residue on someone who used it. Double -sided tape might. I think the main evidence to be discovered from tape would be DNA and fingerprints. Sorry I am just not sure.

          Having answered that – and also feeling a bit consumed by this case I too should put it out of my mind. Today is my birthday and there is a dinner out tonight and a few things that need doing before hand are not getting done. I may make one more post later as I have just come across some interesting facts concerning the medication found in Jenny’s system.

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  10. Just like the Baden-Clay case the direction of the investigation is formed very early. Reading the brief Coroners summary even the senior Police all seemed to lose interest fairly quickly and left the scene within a few hours and didn’t appear to have taken any further part in it.

    Even most people on this GBC Forum have made comments like….”From the moment I saw him my gut said…..” and unfortunately that type of instinct, intuition or whatever you want to call it, does come into play…….the Police in the GBC case have said this in their interviews.

    ‘Instinct’ always seems to be something to be treasured….which can be good or bad as it does colour everything else that happens. It’s almost the luck of the draw if you’re the one on the receiving end of ‘intuition’.

    Then this ‘instinct’ or direction carries through to everyone else involved if they’re busy, tired or just want to be compliant to the popular thinking.

    Of course in a place like Townsville the assorted ‘Services’ would be limited i.e. everyone would be tired from a late night death investigation which caused a bit of excitement (24 Police attended…..most likely everyone on duty from every suburban Police Station) and when people are tired, sloppiness rules. It’s not like Brisbane where all of these ‘Services’ would operate around the clock.

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    1. Instinct and intuition are not evidence. Instinct or intuition followed to the exclusion of evidence is foolish at best and dangerous at worst. The place of instinct and intuition is where it be used to alert us to possibilities – it is what should lead us to thought and then thought can lead us to finding evidence. JMHO

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      1. Some people note the instinct and then note the thought and stop there. Their thoughts are their idea of evidence. eg. “There is something I don’t trust about that person, their husband is dead so they must have killed him.” For those people their ‘gut” feeling is their evidence.

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  11. Dora

    I saw your message above about the text messages and agree whole heartedly.

    Texts certainly are fragmented conversations and P Cooks claim of ‘5 times’ could easily relate to ‘5 conversations’ at 10 texts per conversation if either person is a chronic texter.

    I guess that’s why they’re called SMS…..Short Message Service.

    I’ve got a friend like that and I shudder when she starts texting because I know what could be a 5 minute phone call turns into a textathon.

    Even the space of those ‘conversations’ drag out to days as I pretend I’m busy hoping that she’ll just stop! A bit like Facebook….”What ya doing?”….”Not much”….”What you doin?” ….”Not much”

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  12. It’s a bummer about the knife. Possibly there would have been more clarity if the actual handle (under the string/tape) had been printed as well. If that would have been possible with all that string on top of it. Not sure if it was you Dora who wrote about the underside of the handle too, and how that may have had prints not usually found on a kitchen knife by virtue of ramming the knife into position between wall and security grill. One of the investigators interviewed at inquest (the DSS brought from NSW at coroners request or one of the forensics at the scene I think) mentioned that they would have had the blade tested for prints as well if they had been in a position to make that decision. That’s probably where I got the idea that the blade may have been tested in another comment. It wasn’t.

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    1. I think that comment by the SOCO was a bit lame….”If I was the decision maker….”

      That’s his job…..to look for prints and other related evidence. It is his ‘decision’.

      If anyone has ever had their house broken into and a SOCO has attended, he/she doesn’t have the investigating Officer looking over their shoulder or even there telling him/her what to do……they do what they’re trained to do, because they are the Specialist.

      It’s not as though they were looking at an item of little interest…..it was the cause of death.

      Me thinks that there was a fair bit of bum covering going on between quite a few of them.

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      1. I may be wrong but I recall that there was a discussion between the SOCO about finger-printing and taking DNA samples with regard to the knife. If I understand right -finger printing can contaminate DNA so DNA has to be swabbed for first. That discussion was then had about whether the knife could then be finger-printed and it was decided to preserve it in case more DNA testing was required.

        Well we now know no more testing was ever done. The knife should never have been destroyed – especially not when no finger prints had been taken from it.

        There is one thing that I do not understand though and that is the reference to one of the SOCO “tape lifting” the handle of the knife. I thought tape lifting was how they got the dusted finger prints off the knife and onto a card for analysis back at the lab. What was “tape lifter”?

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        1. I think it was tape lifting for DNA as they wouldn’t get prints from the string.

          The confusion is obviously got to do with poor chain of responsibility (in each area) and reporting.

          Arthy was the SOCO’s boss and he was directing them, Osburn had left it with the SOCO’s to do what they do and advise her of the results, and the SOCO’s were waiting for more direction from her.

          I’d say that as ‘systems’ change, old habits don’t. Maybe as they bumped into each other in the corridor they should have just confirmed a few things with each other.

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  13. p.s. Dora

    Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you (etc etc)

    What’d you get?…which is the important thing about birthdays.

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  14. To flog a dead horse, It would really be helpful to know where the board was on the day Jenny Cook died. I take it by what I have read here and elsewhere that PC was never asked that question and other enquires were never made, either before or after release of the scene. The board was either already there, on the ground, in that position on the day, or it came to be in that position by virtue of being placed there by another person – Jenny herself or Another Person Unknown on the day. A third scenario could be that the board was leaning against the fence opposite to where Jenny’s body was found and after she was impaled on the lodged knife (assuming for the moment that she was) but before she fell, the board blew over in a wind and fell to a position below her. Jenny then fell on the board.Windy day that day?

    It comes back to why the police found the board so uninteresting that PC was never asked about its position under JC’s body. Was the back yard so much like a renovation site that the board may have not drawn notice as being anything other than expected? The C’s report raises the question of why the police didn’t address the presence of the board in any way, which might suggest that the scene was such that it would have been reasonable for them to ask questions re the board Any photos available of the back yard at that time?

    Have been imagining scenarios where either, on the day, Jenny herself moved/placed the board (using the wheelbarrow if it was some distance from where she was found), or a PU (person unidentified) did. If suicide why would Jenny want the board? Speculating thoughts – to “catch’ her as she fell? helped her to feel less overwhelmed by her decision, imagining the board as somehow containing her, sort of symbolically adding some ‘order’ to the chaotic emotions brought about the thoughts of her death? Or could she have placed the board upright between the wall/grill where the knife was and the fence, precariously balanced as a barrier between herself and the rest of the yard, so she was shielded off (again ‘contained/protected’?), but the board tipped and fell over before she came off the knife and she fell onto it? Do the dimensions of the board verses the width between the side fence and the wall/metal window grill even allow that as possibility?

    If homicide, why would PU want the board? Just speculating (speculated PU). In an episode of rage PU stabs JC whilst she is around the side of house. He had left work at c 11am and come home to see her after a convo via phone from work. She falls. PU leaves knife in place, carries board over to where she is and places her on it, Perhaps initially with the idea of minimising blood etc at the scene and moving the body. When JC vomits blood, PU decides different and prepares knife or it is already handily and coincidentally pre-prepared (for other reasons in days prior if murder was not premeditated by days but done with premeditated intent in the moment out of anger/rage). PU lodges knife in wall to try and effect a cover up, covers her head with sheet and ties on with robe cord and leaves. Or PU panics and leaves her on board with knife, goes back to work after paying a bill in a shocked daze. Leaves early at 5.30 and with a clearer head, drives around and makes the decision to try for a cover up on the off chance his car at the house during the day was not noticed. Possibly stops to buy tape/string. Gets home at 6.45 and at some point between then, short walk of dog and ambo call at 7.38, covers her head (moving the body slightly), removes knife, wraps and lodges in wall.

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  15. Yes, it’s a shame that theres no more information readily available other than the Coroners brief summary of the various witnesses evidence.

    You’d hope that she would have cherry picked the relevant bits for her ‘summary’, but we also don’t know what she left out to make her summary.

    IMO if someone else set this up it’s even more bizarre than if it was self inflicted. I mean, why would someone set up a scene that had almost every element of it unusual to say the least? I think the only person who could create that type of scene is someone who was struggling with rational thought.

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    1. BR,
      I can see where you’re coming from about rational thought. In the suicide scenario, if the intent was to be certain of death, then In trying to place myself in JC’s shoes, the method chosen does not reflect rational thought in the premised circumstances (that she wanted to/sought to die). I cannot see how she could be certain that she would die(as opposed to more certain methods available – My view is that a rational person would ascertain that an overdose on meds, although also not certain would be more certain than the method -hypothetically – chosen. Ditto for jumping from a very high building or cliff etc, gun in mouth and fired with barrel pointing towards brain-though assuming JC had no access to a gun). In the case of a suicide scenario, I would therefore hypothetically conclude (if it was suicide) that JC chose the method and carefully prepared it all with knife etc for reasons only known to her, which from the perspective of logical and rational thought as to intent to die, make sense only to Jenny.

      I will have to write a follow up comment on the homicide scenario from POV of rational thought at a later time, out of time atm.

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  16. Hi All. I just popped in – have been very busy and still more to come. Thanks for the birthday wishes Poppy and BR. I had a great evening out and was spoilt.

    I haven’t got time at the moment to respond where I want to – will have to save it for later. However just quickly – re rational thought. I tend to ask is it at all rational to kill yourself? One can methodical carry out suicide but I doubt rational though is present.

    On the method chosen by anyone to commit suicide: If this was a suicide, the method chosen would depend on how much Jenny knew about what was successful. Believe it or not but poison/pill has an 85% failure rate thought it is one on the top methods chosen for an attempt at suicide.

    I have been reading about the drugs found in Jenny’s system – it is quite interesting. Alcohol toxicity at that time of the day indicates a problem. No menmtion of anti-depressants in her system – had she stopped taking them – big problems going cold turkey. Hypnotics – what sort – some can cause bizarre behaviour and suicide ……… but I have not the time right now to write it all out. Maybe it is food for thought for anyone that is interested.

    Cheers

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  17. Happy to hear that you were spoilt Dora.

    I suppose there’s all sorts of reasons to suicide as well as all sorts of states of mind, but I would think that the one common thing would be tunnel vision to carry out the act.

    I’ver seen a few people suicide in front of me (must be my personality?) and the common thing about them all is the nonchalant way that they did it….no screams, no drama…..just opting out.

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  18. I think my subconscious has been mulling over things in the background. I’ve reached my maximum burnout point on research re suicide by knife to other parts of the body apart from opening the wrists. I have researched what was available on the net before February 2009, what would have been there for Jenny to research. Maxed out too on the meta theories I have read about the psychology of the suicidal who act with intent to die (as opposed to ideation and cries for help). Maxed out on researching the failures of the police investigation in foreclosing with suicide without sufficient investigation of other possibilities/in other directions. They also foreclosed, from the opposite angle, minus looking for other evidence that would have supported what they did have on suicide; so there was no computer search, no further DNA tests on knife that would have shown a lot of DNA in the string at all levels from handle up of the person who wrapped it. As it was, a tape lifted swab of DNA was taken from only one section of the string handle. And no testing for prints. Whatever the complex or perhaps simple reasons were for this failure, my belief is that the police failed in their duty and have let everyone down..

    But, in researching suicide and speculating in circular fashion re homicide, I woke up the other day with word ‘accident’ in my head. I have half formed, unprovable theories bubbling away. I need more time than I have to try and explicate right now. Will get back here at some point though.

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  19. Speculation only: Murder scenario, death and subsequent suicide set up though not premeditated/planned days in advance: (1) The knife had been pre-wrapped by JC that day to make it safer or easier for her to use for whatever it was she needed it for in the garden. JC did not have access to secaters, wood saw, sharp pruning scissors – she had decided to use the knife for some reno/garden purpose. PU entered yard from rear fence or via garage without being noticed by the, as it turns out, one at home neighbour across the road or JC who was at side of house. JC had wrapped knife with her, lying around near her, on window ledge. Dog was on balcony temporarily, as it was getting in the way of Jenny doing her work in the yard. She wanted the dog to be able to see her as it went mental if left in the house knowing she was in the yard, From the far RHS. of the front balcony where it connected to the house, the dog could lie down and see JC working below and to the side through the balustrade, or it could stand on its hind legs and watch over the railings. If the balcony partially extended around the side then even better for the dog, JC had either forgotten to put water there, but knowing dog’s confinement was temporary, or had put water there which was totally consumed in the ensuing afternoon until the arrival home of PC. PU in crossing yard is seen by or sees JC, Perhaps the dog barks. PU sees and grabs knife and as JC tries to run past, stabs her once in the chest. The knife was sharp and JC fell. struggling to breathe and unable to scream from the punctured lung. JC had been about to try and place the board that had been leaning on fence onto wheelbarrow so as to wheel through side gate to put out front for disposal. The board was now lying there and JC fell on to it. It was a hot January day and JC had placed a soaked/wetted sheet held in place loosely with bathrobe around head and neck over her sun hat to keep herself cool and further protect her shoulders, neck, any exposed areas of back from the sun. I don’t get a clear sense from the various descriptions of the sheet what size it was, but if a single she may have had the excess length tucked loosely in her shorts. Here’s the irrational part, though from PU’s POV possibly semi-rational in the circumstances. PU did not arrive with an intention to kill, yet he has now killed. He is now not in a rational state of mind. He pulls the knife out of her. Yet, the survival/self preservation instinct kicks in. He wants to just run, but holds himself in check. He’s had run ins with the police before, convictions for assault . .He knows the knife belongs to the dead woman, And she had her hands on the knife handle for a brief time after falling, She is now still, lying on her side after having vomited blood with both hands flat in front of her for support before collapsing on her left side . Pu wipes handle to remove his prints, then realises he probably wiped her prints off too, He presses her right hand onto the handle to correct this, rotates it slightly partially altering the lividity that has just stated to set in. The dog’s beginning to cry now and he can’t get the knife back into the wound to make it look like she stabbed herself. Can’t do it without stuffing up, moving her, changing the wound. The dog’s crying louder. He’s gonna get busted, Needs to stay away from the body. Panic,,then he sees the gap between the wall and window grill immediately above where she lies, He makes a guesstimate of where it should be, lodges it and leaves via the back fence.

    The same scenario re the ‘set up’ might stand if JC was killed by someone she knew during a moment of rage at the side of the house where the knife happened to be already present and wrapped. In that scenario, if the PU was parked in the drive, they got lucky in not having their car spotted by across road neighbour, As for accident, well I can imagine…just…JC tripping on the board or the wetted sheet or a rock and falling directly onto the knife. But I don’t know why she would have lodged it in the gap in the first place, sticking out, when she had finished using it for the moment, instead of safely on the ground, in a pot or somewhere else. Perhaps so she would not forget to take it in when she was done, Far fetched I guess, But all the above scenarios hold some weight for me because as the evidence for suicide stands I am far from feeling certain. And putting to one side whatever the gut feelings of the family may have been re Jenny’s mental health at the time, on the evidence they have every ‘rational’ reason to be in great doubt, IMHO

    And I honestly cannot believe that this was a premeditated, planned murder to look like suicide, At least by anyone sane. If it was that, surely, hanging or something? Or gagging and forcing her to stab herself inside the house/garage out of potential sight. She would have had to have been stalked by an arrogant and brazen psycho, intent on serving his own sick needs, for it to have been a planned set up, . Suppose that is possible.

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