'Little comparison' between Jodi and Black Dahlia case
THE deaths of schoolgirl Jodi Jones and a Holywood starlet had only "superficial" similarities, a jury was told yesterday.
The High Court in Edinburgh has heard that Jodi’s boyfriend, Luke Mitchell, 16, was a fan of the rock star Marilyn Manson, and that Manson published on his website a series of watercolours he had painted depicting the murder of Elizabeth Short in 1947.
In what became known as the Black Dahlia killing, the would-be actress’s body was cut in half at the stomach.
Professor Anthony Busuttil, 59, the pathologist who carried out a post mortem examination on Jodi’s body on 1 July, 2003, said it was possible the girl had suffered some form of strangulation, by hand or a ligature, which rendered her unconscious before an estimated 12 to 20 cuts were inflicted to the throat.
The 14-year-old’s carotid artery had been almost severed, and the jugular vein was cut through entirely, resulting in virtually immediate death.
Prof Busuttil added that the body had then been mutilated, with wounds to the breast, stomach, face and arm. A knife had also been pushed into her mouth, piercing her tonsil.
The defence counsel, Donald Findlay, QC, referred to the murder of Elizabeth Short and the Manson paintings. He said that, unlike the present case, the victim had been sexually assaulted, tortured, cut in two, drained of blood, washed, and her mouth cut extensively at each corner to look like a grotesque grin.
Mr Findlay said that there was "little or no comparison whatever" between the two murders. Prof Busuttil agreed that there "are major dissimilarities." Mr Findlay continued: "Bizarre as it may seem, if anyone were to suggest that what happened to Jodi Jones was done to replicate the injuries on Elizabeth Short, as portrayed by Marilyn Manson, that bears no scrutiny at all."
Prof Busuttil said there were "some similarities, perhaps superficial similarities".
The QC quoted from a report from another eminent pathologist, who spoke of "no forensically significant similarities". Mr Findlay said any difference between the two pathologists seemed to be that one had opted for "some superficial similarities" and the other for "no significant similarities."
Prof Busuttil said there had been three phases to the attack on Jodi, the asphyxiation, the throat cutting and the mutilation. Asked to estimate the length of the incident, he stated: "We are looking at several minutes from beginning to end."
Mitchell denies murdering Jodi on 30 June, 2003, in woods at Roan’s Dyke path, a short-cut between their homes in the Newbattle and Easthouses areas of Dalkeith, Midlothian.
The charge alleges that the teenager applied a ligature around her arms, and struck her repeatedly on the head, mouth and body with a knife.
He also faces charges of being in possession of a knife or knives in public places, including St David’s High School, on various occasions between 1 January and 30 June, 2003.
He is further charged with being concerned in the supply of cannabis resin to a number of others, including Jodi, at times between 1 January, 2003 and 14 April, 2004. Mitchell denies all three charges. The trial resumes on Monday.
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