It's a funny thing. The Diary Defenders normally love to find meaning in coincidences of timing yet the coincidence that scratches on a watch showing Maybrick to have been Jack the Ripper were noticed for the first time only 2 or 3 weeks after the newspapers had reported of the existence of a Jack the Ripper diary suposedly written by Maybrick doesn't seem to interest them at all.
Don't be daft, David. Of course it does. But it has to be weighed against everything else, including the 'coincidence' of the Murphys suddenly deciding they may as well sell the valuable gold watch they had lying around doing nothing, at about the same time Mike was trying to get a publisher for the diary. It is that supposed coincidence, which allowed for everything else that followed. It's predictable that you brush that one aside as if it can have no possible significance. Don't mind me if I prefer to keep it on my 'not so easy to explain away' list.
I thought my post on the subject at #1353 was very clear but for those with comprehension difficulties I was suggesting the possibility that Albert's lovely brother took the watch out of the drawer without Albert's knowledge, had the scratches placed on it by someone who made efforts to artificially age them, then put the watch back in the drawer and then arranged for one of Albert's work colleagues who was in on the scam to mention the subject of gold watches on a pretext so that Albert would bring the watch into work where the scratches would be spotted and drawn to Albert's attention by that colleague and then examined by using the powerful microscope in the Science and Technology block of the college in which Albert worked.
Blimey, quite a lot of evidence required for this one to work, including how Robbie found out in the first place that his brother had a gold watch sitting in a drawer in his home. Albert said he never mentioned it to him until after the discovery was made. I wonder when Robbie is meant to have had the means and opportunity to rummage secretly through Albert and Val's drawers, happen to see this valuable watch in one of them, and immediately think to himself: "Ooh, they'll never notice if I 'borrow' this little beauty for a while. It's just given me a great idea for a funny little trick I can play on them and a nice little earner for yours truly. Now all I need to do is get friendlier with Albert's workmates than they are with him, and hope one will be willing and able to come over to the dark side and set the silly bugger up. What a hoot". Or did he leave the watch in the drawer to begin with, while formulating his cunning plan at leisure, then go back and whip it out when he had a second opportunity, so it wouldn't be gone long enough for anyone to miss it?
As for what the jeweller said about the scratches, he did NOT say in his statement that he didn't take notice "of what they represented" (classic sleight of hand), he said "they were not markings I would have taken notice of" full stop.
But because he believed them to be the same markings he was shown a year later, they were still not markings he'd have taken notice of, had Albert not returned and invited him to do so.
But if he had already attempted to remove them then he must have "taken notice" of them. And if he had attempted to remove them then he wouldn't be "almost certain" that they were present when the watch was sold, he would have been absolutely certain, otherwise what was he trying to remove?
You surely must know by now, just by reading mine and other people's posts here, that they do not always express themselves as well or as precisely as you think they should, and indeed you never seem to miss a chance for pointing out an apparent contradiction. So it beats me how you can point out a contradiction in Murphy's account while at the same time insisting that when he said "they were not markings I would have taken notice of" [full stop] he was expressing himself with 100% precision and would not have clarified this in any way or changed a single word, had he been asked at the time how he could have tried to polish out markings without noticing they were there. In your black and white world, he couldn't possibly have meant "Of course I noticed them because I tried to polish them out, didn't I, you stupid.... They just weren't - and aren't - the kind of markings I'd have taken particular notice of, in the sense of trying to make out words or letters. You can see for yourself just how faint they are. They still look like random scratches, which is how they looked in 1992 and explains why I tried to polish them out, not realising there was any more to them".
Thing is, until now there was no reason to suspect the jeweller of dishonesty but we are told by the Diary Defenders, who know everything, that this jeweller was a man who dealt in stolen goods and lied about provenance. Wouldn't that kind of man have been happy to go along with a fake story about some scratches for a few quid when speaking to a researcher? But then when asked to put the story into a written statement he might not have wanted to be too positive about it. We are told that both Albert and Robbie went to speak to the jeweller alone with no witnesses. Who knows what was said in those conversations?
I think I may be the only one to speculate that the watch was not left gathering dust for years in the jewellers shop, but was put on sale soon after someone had brought it in. I have never claimed that Murphy would have known the watch was dodgy; only that he might naturally have been worried when Albert and Robbie came back to pester him with questions about it and its history, if he had no answers because it was bought on trust from a stranger.
I note that it's all right for you to argue, on the one hand, that Murphy's statement was contradictory and can be disregarded as unreliable, and on the other that he could have been in on a scam by Albert and Robbie, and lying for them both in return for a few quid, obliging you to explain why he then made this contradictory and ultimately unhelpful [in your view] statement! Either way, you are not doing Murphy any more favours than I am.
So in future, let's have less of this attitude that suspecting the diary and watch were stolen is somehow much more heinous than accusing certain individuals [some of whom are beyond defending themselves] of forging them. You may protest that you haven't accused anyone in so many words, but if others have been provoked into doing so by reading your posts, you don't seem too bothered about it.
__________________ "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov
Is there actually a coincidence of the Murphys suddenly deciding they may as well sell the "valuable" gold watch they had lying around doing nothing at about the same time Mike was trying to get a publisher for the diary? Not as far as I am aware. On what date did they decide to sell the "valuable" (i.e. a few hundred quid at most) watch that they had lying around doing nothing? January 1992? February 1992? Not much of a coincidence if it was before the supposed Battlecrease discovery.
The explanation as to why it was not sold by Ron Murphy as soon as he received it from his father-in-law is to be found in his statement, i.e. "it did not work". You donít sell a watch that doesnít work. That is precisely why it went to Dundas for repair.
There really is nothing that is not easy to explain in a jeweller getting a not terribly valuable watch fixed and then putting it on sale.
Unless of course you think everyone is telling lies about everything, well then of course you create your own mystery which surprise, surprise, you canít explain!
So the point is made again as to how Robbie could possibly have known about the watch if Albert didnít tell him about it.
Well a child of six could work that one out. Albert told another family member who then told Robbie.
My goodness that wasnít difficult.
And thatís if the Blessed Albert was even telling the truth about not mentioning the watch to Robbie. One could easily imagine that Albert was being protective of his brother; if he thought that researchers suspected Robbie of being involved in a scam he could easily have told a little white lie to protect him by saying that Robbie didnít know about the watch. Even saints can tell white lies canít they?
And that of course is if Albert did actually say that he didnít tell his brother. As to that, itís been stated as a fact on more than one occasion but no supporting evidence or source has been provided. This is part of a repeated pattern of which I have complained time and time again where things are being stated as facts without proper evidential support.
One can only interpret a statement on the basis of the words used. Murphy did not say that "they were not markings I would have taken notice of what they representedĒ as one forum member has tried to suggest by adding words not used in the sentence. He said he did not take notice of them. Perhaps he meant something else but thatís not what he said. Indeed, weíve already been told that the scratches were not visible to the naked eye so how did he even see them in the first place?
He doesnít actually say in his statement that he tried to polish them out. That is something said by a writer an article and I havenít seen an original quote from Murphy. If he HAD tried to polish them out then my point is that he would not be ďalmost certainĒ they were there he would have been absolutely certain because otherwise what was he trying to polish out? This has not been answered.
Given that I don't believe that the "Ripper" or "Maybrick" markings were on the watch prior to it coming into Albert's possession I am fully entitled to question the evidence on which such a claim is based.
I suppose one can only admire the bare faced cheek of someone who accuses a probably totally honest jeweller of buying and selling stolen property and of lying about it now exploding with moral outrage at the idea that someone could possibly accuse the late Robbie Johnson of being involved in a money making scam!
The same person basically asks: Tell me how the scratches could have been put on the watch? And then when an explanation is provided says, "How dare you provide the explanation"!!!!
It's diary logic at it's very finest.
Equally as amusing is the attempt to wriggle out of the implication that the jeweller knowingly bought and sold stolen property. Now we are told that he believed it to be a completely honest transaction but suddenly, when asked where the watch came from by Albert, in order to assist him in a legitimate attempt to trace its provenance back to Maybrick and Jack the Ripper, he becomes "worried" and decides to tell a wholly unnecessary lie which he then repeats in a written statement and not only that but he involves his wife and his father-in-law suffering with dementia in his little conspiracy, getting them to tell a lie which was completely unnecessary in the first place!
And I think I was very clear. The only reason I suggested that the jeweller might have falsely said he saw the scratches at the behest of Robbie and/or Albert was because we were being told by a Diary Defender he that he was a dishonest person who dealt in stolen property and lied about it. If he is not a dishonest person who dealt in stolen property and lied about it then I would come up with another theory to explain the apparent discrepancies in his statement but the Diary Defenders first need to work out whether Mr Murphy was honest or dishonest.
So Maybrick signed the diary, got up from his sick bed, fetched a claw hammer, tore nails out of a floorboard, prised it up, secreted the diary [biscuit tin optional], hammered the floorboard back into place without attracting any attention, and then returned to his sick bed to die?
Have I got this scenario vaguely correct?
Given that I keep reading that Maybrick was a dying man who must have got out of his sick bed to put the diary under the floorboards, I really feel I must knock this idea on the head - as no-one else seems to want to do it.
On 3 May 1889, when Maybrick supposedly signed his diary as "Jack the Ripper", he got dressed, left his house and went to his office (as proved by the evidence at Florence's trial). So he would have been perfectly capable of lifting a floorboard or two that day had he wanted to.
What he was not capable of, however, not being a time traveller, was writing a sentence which contained the expression "one off instance".
As a Maybrick Diary denier you surely do run with the fox and hunt with the hounds.
The Trial of Mrs Maybrick.
The Judge's Summing Up.
"His last attendance at the office was on Friday morning, the 3rd May. He returned to his house from the office and took to his bed on that day. Then comes an interval from the 3rd May to the 11th May, a week and a day, during which he suffered with various symptoms which you have heard so much about, and he died about half past eight in the evening of the 11th May."
And during this time he signed the diary, fetched a claw hammer, tore nails out of a floorboard, prised it up, secreted the diary [biscuit tin optional], hammered the floorboard back into place without attracting any attention, and then returned to his sick bed to die.