Forensic Pathology News
“SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The saga continues regarding the mysterious death of Rebecca Zahau.
“Zahau’s death was originally rules [sic] a suicide, but her family is still in disbelief.
”Now, a new Sheriff and a new medical examiner are taking over, as the Zahau family hopes for a different outcome.”
[Note: Without a witness account or a video recording of what happened to result in an elaborate, high suspension hanging, a different opinion from a new medical examiner is simply another doctor’s belief from incomplete information. A new belief like that is not helpful or important.]
Whenever an expert states the past events that occurred on the basis of looking only at the physical evidence without reference to eyewitness statements, he or she is Affirming the Consequent for Complex Past Events. This is not only logically invalid and unsound, it never works in practice, Sherlock Holmes, CSI and Bones notwithstanding. Whenever ACCPE is listed in my comments to a news article, recognize one more tragic example of how this fallacy can destroy lives. ACCPE can also be understood as “backward reasoning, “effect-to-cause reasoning,” or “abductive inference.”