A friend of mine worked wit (I believe her name was) Hera after the attack. She tried really hard to save the girl from being put down but said that there was no way with the male, that it was a dog that couldn't live in the human world. That said, she also agrees with your point on harnesses as a general rule, but also points out that in general people use collars that are too large, and that 99.9% of dog owners have such bad timing with corrections along with an unwillingness to be as forceful as is necessary with that kind of correction, that choke chains are a disaster in general..
Hera seemed to have been only peripherally involved in the attack on Ms. Whipple. I can recall talking to one woman who had a friend who worked at the shelter where Hera was housed. The latter reported that the staff could usually chum up a "vicious" dog after a week or so, but Hera remained intractable. If "choke chains are a disaster in general," what is the better alternative if you want to control a large, powerful, high-drive dog: A German pinch collar? A shock collar? Surely not a flat collar or a harness?
As I recall, Bane was put down immediately after the attack. There was a lot of evidence that there was a great deal of psychic instability upline from that dog that the caretakers couldn't have known about. Had their attorneys done their homework properly, I believe that Noel and Knoller (the defendants) would have walked or that at least Knoller would have beaten the murder rap.
Noel and Knoller certainly aggravated the public indignation against them by their outspoken and determined efforts to rescue Hera and restore her to their apartment.
One breeder and professional trainer said of their keeping the dogs in their one-bedroom apartment, "That's no place for such dogs." "Hell," I replied. "Your dogs spend most of their lives in kennel runs smaller than my bathroom!"