The following comments were made by an American doctor whom I contacted through cyber-space. He wishes to remain anonymous.
Alexander, I didn't want you to think I've forgotten you. I've spent some time reading your web page and the autopsy report, and I'll try to answer at least some of your questions. I did want to ask if autopsy photographs were available, which would assist in answering some of your questions. In the US, autopsy photographs are generally not made available to the public, and are usually excluded at trial as prejudicial. * Nonetheless, the following answers are incomplete without examination of these photographs and subject to change following examination of same. I'm also not sure of the meaning of "frenzied" attack. I know there are subtle differences in the meaning of words between England and the US, and I further don't know if this phrase has any legal meaning in England. For example, the phrase "depraved indifference" has both a common meaning, and a specific legal meaning in US courts. In answer to your query as to the location of wounds, here clearly the autopsy photographs would provide the most definitive answer. From my reading of the very precise autopsy report, both injuries 1) and 2) are in the back. With regards to injury 1), the wound is described as posterior (behind) to the posterior axillary line. The posterior axillary line is a vertical line descending from the posterior axillary fold, which is the posterior margin of the axilla (armpit). With regards to the question as to whether the wounds could have been inflicted with the men facing each other, I don't think I could accurately answer this question without knowing additional details about the appearance of the wounds (photographs) and seeing eyewitness testimony. In addition, knowing the girth of the victim and the arm length of the assailant, combined with his handedness, would be essential. In general, a wound to the back can be inflicted when facing an opponent if the two persons are very close to each other, and might even be considered defensive if the person inflicting the wound was being grasped by the other person. Please regard this as a general observation only which may or may not pertain to this case. With regards to your question as to whether the knife was twisted, I must again qualify my answer as incomplete without the autopsy photographs. In general, a complex wound such as described as Injury 1) can occur in several ways. The knife can be twisted after insertion, which may require considerable strength on the part of the attacker, or the knife can be withdrawn and reinserted partially intersecting the first wound, or the victim can move while the knife is held in a fixed position, again a scenario which may require considerable strength on the part of the attacker. With regards to your question as to whether an attack of this nature would be consistent with an attempt to kill, this is a frequently posed question which is very difficult to answer. Ultimately, only the assailant and his maker know the true answer. In my experience, prosecutors tend to phrase this line of questioning as to whether a reasonable person would have known if the infliction of a specific injury could be expected to cause death. With regards to this question, most juries conclude that a reasonable person would know that a stab wound to the chest could be fatal. I hope I have addressed at least some of your questions. Please feel free to ask follow-up questions. I would view these answers as for your general information only, and not for attribution without further discussion with me.
* In her biography of American serial killer Ted Bundy, Ann Rule writes at page 361 that: Dr Thomas Wood, a pathologist, testified about the autopsies on the two girls Bundy killed in the Chi Omega murders, and “over objections from Peggy Good, produced 11- by 14-inch color photos of the bodies, pointing out the damage to the jury.”
Peggy Good was one of Bundy's lawyers.
On the same page she points out that it is standard for defense attorneys to protest autopsy pictures, declaring them “inflammatory and with no probative value”, and it is standard too that the pictures are admitted.
While on page 362 the reader is informed that “In Florida reporters are allowed to view all the evidence that has been admitted.”
The full credits for the above book are THE STRANGER BESIDE ME, by Ann Rule, published by Warner Books/Little, Brown, London, Revised and Updated Edition, (1994).