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David Smith Case

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I believe the first missed opportunity (when police were involved) to cut this case short came in March 1998 when Dr. Linda Reynolds raised concerns about the number of Shipman’s patients dying, and the circumstances surrounding the deaths. The Detective Investigator (DI), David Smith, appears to have failed doing a thorough background check on Shipman, and his supervisor’s lack of experience and ability to supervise such a case was the starting point (Smith, 2003). Had DI Smith completed a complete work up on Shipman, he may have had grounds to launch a full investigation due to his past conviction for fraud and drug usage (as a doctor). The other opportunity which I believe could have resulted in charges was the ordering of an autopsy and through review of the death and cremation certificates of Shipman’s past patients. Had an autopsy been conducted on the last two victims (they were available), the…show more content…
The lead investigator and supervisor “fell below the standard which the community is entitled to expect of public servants in their respective positions” (Smith, pp. 133, 16.1, 2003). She went on to critique the degree of competence and diligence in which the investigation was carried out to include questioning the short duration of the first investigation. In the end, I believe the investigation was doomed when the police did not take such allegations seriously and failed to assign a seasoned veteran investigator to examine or lead the investigation. There were other flaws in the system that may have alerted the police sooner (not part of the question) but the lack of supervision and knowledge to conduct such investigations, coupled with the inability to fathom that a doctor with a reputation of being caring and providing excellent care would be capable of doing such a thing appears to have been the Achilles heel for this
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