Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Main
   

Introduction
Victims
Suspects
Witnesses
Ripper Letters
Police Officials
Official Documents
Press Reports
Victorian London
Message Boards
Ripper Media
Authors
Dissertations
Timelines
Games & Diversions
Photo Archive
Ripper Wiki
Casebook Examiner
Ripper Podcast
About the Casebook

Most Recent Posts:
Doctors and Coroners: Baxter's influence on Ripper lore - by Sam Flynn 10 minutes ago.
Kosminski, Aaron: My theory on Kosminski - by Jeff Leahy 52 minutes ago.
Doctors and Coroners: Baxter's influence on Ripper lore - by Joshua Rogan 1 hour and 19 minutes ago.
Doctors and Coroners: Baxter's influence on Ripper lore - by Joshua Rogan 2 hours ago.
Non-Fiction: Elizabeth Stride and Jack the Ripper: The Life and Death of the Reputed Third Victim. - by The Station Cat 3 hours ago.
Kosminski, Aaron: My theory on Kosminski - by S.Brett 4 hours ago.

Most Popular Threads:
Shades of Whitechapel: Caught!? Long Island Serial Killer suspect - (14 posts)
Doctors and Coroners: Baxter's influence on Ripper lore - (7 posts)
Motive, Method and Madness: Same motive = same killer - (7 posts)
Kosminski, Aaron: My theory on Kosminski - (5 posts)
General Suspect Discussion: How about the "Bad Cop" ??? - (4 posts)
Hutchinson, George: Possible reason for Hutch coming forward - (3 posts)

Wiki Updates:
Robert Sagar
Edit: Chris
May 9, 2015, 12:32 am
Online newspaper archives
Edit: Chris
Nov 26, 2014, 10:25 am
Joseph Lawende
Edit: Chris
Mar 9, 2014, 10:12 am
Miscellaneous research resources
Edit: Chris
Feb 13, 2014, 9:28 am
Charles Cross
Edit: John Bennett
Sep 4, 2013, 8:20 pm

Most Recent Blogs:
Mike Covell: A DECADE IN THE MAKING.
February 19, 2016, 11:12 am.
Chris George: RipperCon in Baltimore, April 8-10, 2016
February 10, 2016, 2:55 pm.
Mike Covell: Hull Prison Visit
October 10, 2015, 8:04 am.
Mike Covell: NEW ADVENTURES IN RESEARCH
August 9, 2015, 3:10 am.
Mike Covell: UPDDATES FOR THE PAST 11 MONTHS
November 14, 2014, 10:02 am.
Mike Covell: Mike’s Book Releases
March 17, 2014, 3:18 am.

Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Media > Books > Ripper Authors

View Poll Results: Are errors acceptable in history books, sites, articles?
Any error (name, date etc) however small, is unforgivable because we rely on books to be accurate. 5 29.41%
Small errors in names, dates, places OK but authors must not present theory as fact. 12 70.59%
If twisting the truth a little make for a more interesting story, that is OK. 0 0%
So long as it's a jolly good read, really I don't care. 0 0%
Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #11  
Old 07-11-2012, 11:13 AM
HelenaWojtczak HelenaWojtczak is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Hastings
Posts: 875
Default

I am really glad that nobody said Yes to options 3 and 4. Makes me think my endeavours might be worthwhile. But I am sad that only a handful of people voted. That makes me fear that people care so little for the issue that they can't even bothered to vote :-(
__________________
Helena Wojtczak BSc (Hons) FRHistS.

Author of 'Jack the Ripper at Last? George Chapman, the Southwark Poisoner'. Click this link : - http://www.hastingspress.co.uk/chapman.html
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-11-2012, 11:35 AM
Sally Sally is online now
Superintendent
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Badgers Drift
Posts: 2,094
Default

Hi Helena -

Quote:
Both. I am asking, do typos bother you, and/or do factual errors bother you?
That wasn't what I meant - I meant that errors of fact may be unavoidable, may by incidental, accidental - it is only possible to report according to our current state of knowledge, individually and collectively. Accidents happen, mistakes are made, and scholarship moves on, sometimes rapidly.

As for typos - that's down to the editor, surely? I should think most people accept that the odd typo slips through the net, don't they? Does anybody care? Unless it alters the context of what is being said, surely not. Unless they were truly pedantic.

Quote:
we don't know who 'Jack' was, which inherently invites speculation.

Nothing wrong with speculation. My gripe is with people who deliberately make things up and present them as facts because it supports their pet suspect.
I would agree with you there - but more often people present their often baseless speculation as fact - not the same as invention, but similarly misleading I feel. I kind of wish they'd stop, but not much chance of that, I fear. Partly its because some people don't recognise the difference, or don't know how to state that what they claim is only their view. No more, no less.

Quote:
I think you can build an argument (i.e. promote your pet suspect) from the facts. If you cannot, then the person is not a strong suspect (because the facts don't back him up). But to make up lies in order to make your weak suspect look like a strong one is, to me, utterly reprehensible and almost a hanging offence.
Ah now. The way it ought to work is that the conclusion should be supported by the facts. The facts should inform the conclusion - not the other way around. However, what happens at times I think is that people develop suspect/theory blindness; decide on the conclusion, and try to make the facts fit the theory, 'tailoring' - a catch all term for selective reporting, and careful fact spinning - information to their own ends.

I agree with you. But I don't see what is to be done about it, sadly. More peer-reviewed publications might help, I suppose.

Quote:
.. writers get away with it - they are never made to explain themselves, to justify the fabrication. And this makes me despair, for several reasons; firstly, it means that those of us who stick to the truth seem to be telling a less exciting story, and may therefore be seen as less interesting writers; it means that historical accuracy counts for nothing, and it means that integrity and honesty count for nothing.
I know, I know - and you're quite right - its regrettable. I think that any serious student of 'Ripperology' would prefer the facts, whether less exciting or not, than a coffee table adventure story. At least, I hope so

Public perception, however, will probably continue to be dominated by silly, untenable nonsense - it goes down well, people like it. Doubtless the latest famous artist 'case solved' book will be a huge hit. Depressing, but true

Having said that, the idea that history should be 'true' is a fairly modern one -Lying Historians, as they say.

Quote:
You have to bear in mind that MOST readers will not have themselves researched someone's life story, that is why they bought the book/magazine of course, to read the results of someone else's research, so they will not be in a position to spot the fabrications. It's only when some busybody like me comes along and decides to write a biography that the fabrications are brought under the microscope.
But its people who care, and who take the time, and who make the effort to get it right who produce the definitive works, Helena. Its a much better road than being a sensation-seeking Ripper Hunter in my book. It sounds as if your biography will be well worth reading if you pay so much attention to integrity.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-11-2012, 12:12 PM
HelenaWojtczak HelenaWojtczak is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Hastings
Posts: 875
Default

Good afternoon, Sally

Not many women on these Ripper boards, so it's nice to chat with you


errors of fact may be unavoidable, may by incidental, accidental

I totally agree with you. There needs to be a clear distinction between whether we are talking about accidental errors or deliberate lies.

The facts should inform the conclusion - not the other way around. However, what happens at times I think is that people develop suspect/theory blindness; decide on the conclusion, and try to make the facts fit the theory

Yes, this is what I have seen in the case of Chapman, too. Some writers have decided he IS the Ripper then they go over his life searching for the tiniest little thing that can be overblown, exaggerated or twisted to support that. And when that does not look much, they then sit and write pure fiction to bolster their argument.

More peer-reviewed publications might help, I suppose.


That would be good! Y'know, R. Michael Gordon has written four, yes four books in which he tells Chapman's life story and presents evidence that he was the Ripper, and yet I cannot find any critical analysis of any of his books anywhere on casebook or The Other Place (are we allowed to name it? JtR forums). And yet on here at least there have been many long, detailed discussion threads about Chapman, so it can't be that people are not interested in him, more that they aren't interested in Gordon's books, but they won't say why. I even started a special thread about a year ago asking for comments/critiques of Gordon's books and I didn't get a single reply. There are one or two amazon reviews, but that is all. And yet I see the information that Gordon included in his book being repeated by casebook members (without citing him). It's all a mystery to me!


Doubtless the latest famous artist 'case solved' book will be a huge hit.

It was Rembrandt!

Having said that, the idea that history should be 'true' is a fairly modern one

You are about the fifth person to tell me that in the last few months. I feel rather conned; I always thought when I read a book about "true crime" or "true" anything in fact, that I was reading the true facts. I feel betrayed now, and don't know who or what to believe any more.

But its people who care, and who take the time, and who make the effort to get it right who produce the definitive works, Helena. Its a much better road than being a sensation-seeking Ripper Hunter in my book.

Indeed. I have noticed the huge respect that Sugden gets amongst Ripperologists. And in his introduction he stated his intention to cut through all the cr@p and just stick to the facts. I feel the same way.


It sounds as if your biography will be well worth reading if you pay so much attention to integrity.

Aw thanks hon :-)

I cannot claim it will be perfect, or always accurate (for the reasons you state) or comprehensive, but I will guarantee that there will be no invention on my part, and that I have striven to "cut through all the cr@p".

Helena
__________________
Helena Wojtczak BSc (Hons) FRHistS.

Author of 'Jack the Ripper at Last? George Chapman, the Southwark Poisoner'. Click this link : - http://www.hastingspress.co.uk/chapman.html
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-11-2012, 04:56 PM
Errata Errata is offline
Superintendent
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Tennessee, U.S.
Posts: 2,937
Default

I think that my issue is that some facts are absolutely ascertainable. Names, dates, places, all available to a researcher, so a typo is the only reasonable error there. The other problem I have is that there are facts, and there are facts. For example: It is a fact that Hutch said that he saw what he saw. It is not a fact that he did indeed see what he said he saw. Even if he wasn't lying, he still may not have seen what he said he saw. Presenting the contents of his testimony as fact is irritating to me. It's not a fact. It's technically not a theory either. It leads to a possible avenue of exploration.

And I certainly have a problem with people presenting theory as fact, I don't have a problem with people presenting theory as truth. Patricia Cornwall is a good example. Although she does present certain theories as fact, her overall theory that Sickert was the Ripper is not presented as fact. It's presented as truth. And I have a brain that works, so I can read her argument and disagree. The difference between fact and truth seems like a fuzzy line, but it really isn't. The fact is, Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific, and we don't why, or what happened. The truth is that Amelia Earhart probably ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean. But she could have survived and died slowly on an atoll somewhere, or she could have been taken prisoner by the Japanese, or she could have been abducted by aliens, or she could have faked her death to run off. Fact is provable by concrete evidence. Truth is suggested through theories, evidence, gut feeling, etc. Fact is proven, Truth is felt.
__________________
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-11-2012, 05:39 PM
HelenaWojtczak HelenaWojtczak is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Hastings
Posts: 875
Default

Hello Errata

I think that my issue is that some facts are absolutely ascertainable. Names, dates, places, all available to a researcher, so a typo is the only reasonable error there.

I have seen an awful lot of published material in which names, dates and places are wrong even though the facts are readily available (and published correctly elsewhere).

It is a fact that Hutch said that he saw what he saw. It is not a fact that he did indeed see what he said he saw. Even if he wasn't lying, he still may not have seen what he said he saw. Presenting the contents of his testimony as fact is irritating to me. It's not a fact. It's technically not a theory either. It leads to a possible avenue of exploration.

Excellent reasoning there, Errata.

I don't have a problem with people presenting theory as truth.

Well, it's certainly true that it's a theory!

her overall theory that Sickert was the Ripper is not presented as fact. It's presented as truth.

Okay ..... gotta get my head round that...

The fact is, Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific, and we don't why, or what happened. The truth is that Amelia Earhart probably ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean. But she could have survived and died slowly on an atoll somewhere, or she could have been taken prisoner by the Japanese, or she could have been abducted by aliens, or she could have faked her death to run off. Fact is provable by concrete evidence. Truth is suggested through theories, evidence, gut feeling, etc.

I would put this different. I would say that the most likely scenario is that Amelia Earhart probably ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean, and that a slightly less likely, but possible scenario is that she survived and died slowly on an atoll somewhere...or she could have been taken prisoner by the Japanese... and that an unlikely scenario is that she was abducted by aliens, or she could have faked her death to run off.


Fact is proven, Truth is felt.


I've never heard that expression before. Is it your own creation?

Helena
__________________
Helena Wojtczak BSc (Hons) FRHistS.

Author of 'Jack the Ripper at Last? George Chapman, the Southwark Poisoner'. Click this link : - http://www.hastingspress.co.uk/chapman.html
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-11-2012, 05:51 PM
Beowulf Beowulf is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 529
Default

"Originally Posted by Beowulf


...and I desperately want to know...who the heck was that guy?"


Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenaWojtczak View Post
What guy, darling?
Some say he landed in the drink, some say he was a barber. Some say he was never just one man and some say he was a cobbler.

Some say he was heir to the throne and some say only a painter,

but I say who was that guy that time is making fainter.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-11-2012, 05:55 PM
HelenaWojtczak HelenaWojtczak is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Hastings
Posts: 875
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beowulf View Post

Some say he landed in the drink, some say he was a barber.

Some say he was never just one man and some say he was a cobbler.

Some say he was heir to the throne and some say only a painter,

but I say who was that guy that time is making fainter.
That made me laugh, but shouldn't the first two lines rhyme and the second scan?

And who was the cobbler?

Let's work on this and make it better!
__________________
Helena Wojtczak BSc (Hons) FRHistS.

Author of 'Jack the Ripper at Last? George Chapman, the Southwark Poisoner'. Click this link : - http://www.hastingspress.co.uk/chapman.html
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-11-2012, 06:05 PM
Beowulf Beowulf is offline
Sergeant
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 529
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenaWojtczak View Post
That made me laugh, but shouldn't the first two lines rhyme and the second scan?

And who was the cobbler?

Let's work on this and make it better!
I noticed my own poetic license needs to be renewed or maybe taken away, lol.

Tonight I would love to better it but as for now they just called me in to work, darn. Was having fun with that.

Should've caught him when you could, Mr. Lusk

(oh, the cobbler was David Cohen).

Last edited by Beowulf : 07-11-2012 at 06:07 PM. Reason: additional information
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-11-2012, 08:00 PM
Errata Errata is offline
Superintendent
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Tennessee, U.S.
Posts: 2,937
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenaWojtczak View Post

Fact is proven, Truth is felt.


I've never heard that expression before. Is it your own creation?

Helena
I guess. Truth is subjective. Which doesn't make it opinion, which is also subjective.

For example, I am Jewish. That is a true statement. Other Jews could easily make the argument that I am not Jewish. And those would be true statements.

I say that I am because it is the way I was raised, it's the culture I identify with, it's the people I know, I'm certainly never going to end up a Christian, and if I had a kid, I would raise them Jewish. It is a fundamental part of who I am.

Most Orthodox Jews would say I am not Jewish, because I do not go to synagogue, I do not participate in religious services, and I don't pray or follow Jewish law.

Both of our truths are valid, because we define "Jewish" in different ways. Equally valid definitions. So truth is felt more than proven.

And we all know that someone can tell the truth, and be wrong. Anyone who saw my group of friends together would think we despise each other. Insults arguments, making fun, it's just our way. We like each other just fine. And a person can see a murderer running from the scene, and be absolutely sure that the guy had red hair, when the guy really has light brown hair and was running in front of a neon sign that made his hair look red. The witness told the truth. He just couldn't accurately relay the facts. The day that humans realized that perception is not necessarily reality, we had to separate fact from truth.
__________________
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07-11-2012, 09:04 PM
Robert Robert is offline
Casebook Supporter
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,671
Default

I would say that if a man says "X had red hair," then that statement carries an implicit assertion - that if someone looks at the man's hair in "normal" light (which is easy enough to define) then his hair will appear red. Of course, things aren't really coloured but that's not really what we're talking about. If someone says that the man's hair is red, when in fact it's only red because of a neon light, then I would say that the man has (unintentionally) not told the truth, because he has got a fact wrong. If he had said "The man's hair looked red to me" then he'd have been telling the truth.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.