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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Maybrick, James

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  #1  
Old 05-10-2018, 12:54 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Default Diary Handwriting

Before we consider a comparison of the handwriting of the Diary with the handwriting of any single individual (i.e. Anne Barrett), let us look at the internal consistency of the handwriting within the Diary itself. Due to Robert Smith, quite properly, asserting his copyright over images of the Diary, I can't post any parts of the Diary or show any direct comparisons so I will be asking forum members who possess a copy of the handwritten Diary text to do some work themselves. In particular, I would like you to look at the first page of the Diary.

Look at the words "I will" at the end of the second line of the first paragraph and compare to "I will" directly beneath it, at the end of the third line. If you weren't to know they were both in the Diary and you were to put them side by side I suggest that you might well say that they were written by different people. Agreed? Perhaps a handwriting expert would know it was the same person but we're not handwriting experts so we have to do our best. Then look at the word "Will" in the fourth line. It's different again! Then different again in the sixth line. And I think one can find similar examples throughout the Diary. So this is going to be a problem because if we compare Anne's handwriting with the Diary handwriting what exactly do we compare it to?

Just to give one more example in the same paragraph. Look at the "the whore" in the penultimate line and "the whore" in the last line. They are both totally different arent they? Yet they are both within the same sentence.

Now, before moving on, let me make clear that I'm not suggesting that these internal differences show that the Diary was written by a forger who couldn't maintain the same handwriting. For all I know, such differences in handwriting by one individual are perfectly normal. I'm not an expert so make no point about this.

I do see certain consistencies throughout the Diary, however, even if the characters are not all formed in identical fashion.

Before doing anything else I will throw it open to the forum, should anyone wish to participate, apart, obviously, from anyone who is persona non grata, to comment on the internal consistency or otherwise of the Diary handwriting. This thread is going to be one requiring member participation because, while I am going to be posting examples of Anne's handwriting, due to the copyright issue I mentioned earlier, you are going to have to do the comparisons with the Diary yourself.
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Old 05-10-2018, 01:59 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Im one of those who even Forensic Document Examiners have trouble deciding if it was written by the same hand or not.

So Im not sure you can draw any conclusions from the handwriting.
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Old 05-10-2018, 02:19 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Im one of those who even Forensic Document Examiners have trouble deciding if it was written by the same hand or not.

So Im not sure you can draw any conclusions from the handwriting.
You can rest assured GUT that I'm not attempting to draw any conclusions from the handwriting.

All I'm trying to do at the moment is to establish a consensus (or create an understanding for anyone who has never considered the matter) that the writing in the Diary is not always internally consistent and that a comparison of certain words or characters in the Diary side by side could lead one to think that they were written by different people.

I'm not saying, however, that the Diary was written by different people. That's not my purpose at all.
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Old 05-15-2018, 01:32 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Seriously, no-one has anything to say about this?

Is that no-one has bothered to do the comparison? Or is it that no-one agrees that the Diary handwriting is internally inconsistent in parts? Or is it that no-one has access to the reproduction of the Diary in Robert Smith's book?

It's going to be very difficult to make the points I want to make in this thread unless at least someone independent is prepared and willing to join me in doing some handwriting comparisons.
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:36 PM
Iconoclast Iconoclast is offline
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Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
Seriously, no-one has anything to say about this?

Is that no-one has bothered to do the comparison? Or is it that no-one agrees that the Diary handwriting is internally inconsistent in parts? Or is it that no-one has access to the reproduction of the Diary in Robert Smith's book?

It's going to be very difficult to make the points I want to make in this thread unless at least someone independent is prepared and willing to join me in doing some handwriting comparisons.
Seriously, Lord O..

Welcome to the world of Making-any-kind-of-a-point-on-the-Casebook.

As the Greatest Thread of All inches towards its first million views (thank you, everyone), there remain only a handful of regular contributors to it, and ever was it more or less thus.

So an awful lot of people are simply looking. 'Just browsing' I think they say in shops.

Those with whom you parry and parlay and perhaps put down are - ironically - amongst the very few who can be arsed to contribute.

Ike
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:41 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Seriously, Lord O..

Welcome to the world of Making-any-kind-of-a-point-on-the-Casebook.

As the Greatest Thread of All inches towards its first million views (thank you, everyone), there remain only a handful of regular contributors to it, and ever was it more or less thus.

So an awful lot of people are simply looking. 'Just browsing' I think they say in shops.

Those with whom you parry and parlay and perhaps put down are - ironically - amongst the very few who can be arsed to contribute.
Ah, when I saw your name in this thread, Iconoclast, I thought you were going to play.

What's your own reason for not giving an opinion on the points raised in the OP?

You're not upset by the odd firm-but-fair put down in the parrying and parlaying surely?
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:58 PM
Iconoclast Iconoclast is offline
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Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
Ah, when I saw your name in this thread, Iconoclast, I thought you were going to play.

What's your own reason for not giving an opinion on the points raised in the OP?

You're not upset by the odd firm-but-fair put down in the parrying and parlaying surely?
To be honest, I took your comment "should anyone wish to participate, apart, obviously, from anyone who is persona non grata" to mean Caz but to potentially include me, but now I realise that you didn't which is a bit embarrassing for me as it shows that - amongst the hardcore knights of this site - I've been reduced to (or always been) a mere sideshow. My sad.

Anyway, I'm up for a bit of knockabout so I shall take a look at my copy of Mr Smith's recent facsimile and attempt some sort of commentary.

You might need to give me a day or so.
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:05 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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To be honest, I took your comment "should anyone wish to participate, apart, obviously, from anyone who is persona non grata" to mean Caz but to potentially include me, but now I realise that you didn't which is a bit embarrassing for me as it shows that - amongst the hardcore knights of this site - I've been reduced to (or always been) a mere sideshow. My sad.
You? Persona non grata. Never, sir!

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Anyway, I'm up for a bit of knockabout so I shall take a look at my copy of Mr Smith's recent facsimile and attempt some sort of commentary.
Excellent!

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You might need to give me a day or so.
You have it/them.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:22 AM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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David, ill follow your lead on this one and give you my unbiased opinion if thats ok.

Your first example, the two versions of ‘i will’ couldnt really be much more different. The first ‘i’ looks more like a ‘g’ with its added loop and the upper part of the 2nd ‘i’ is not connected (that small difference might be put down to speed of writing but as its in the next sentence.....) The two ‘will’s’ to this untrained eye and if viewed away from the context of the diary, definitely look like the writing of two different people. The looped ‘l’s’ and the fact that the ‘i’ is joined to the ‘l’s’ in the second will. And as you say the ‘will’ in the fourth line is different again, the ‘l’s’ are joined but not looped. Curiouser and curiouser in the sixth line we have version 4. Straight ‘l’s’ but with the ‘w’ joined to the ‘i’ for the first time.
The words ‘whore’ couldnt be more different. The second is barely legible. In other circumstances i might put this down to the speed it was written at or the circumstances under which it was written, but with only the words ‘and the’ separating them? Strange.

I hope this response was ok David?
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:59 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Originally Posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
David, ill follow your lead on this one and give you my unbiased opinion if thats ok.

Your first example, the two versions of i will couldnt really be much more different. The first i looks more like a g with its added loop and the upper part of the 2nd i is not connected (that small difference might be put down to speed of writing but as its in the next sentence.....) The two wills to this untrained eye and if viewed away from the context of the diary, definitely look like the writing of two different people. The looped ls and the fact that the i is joined to the ls in the second will. And as you say the will in the fourth line is different again, the ls are joined but not looped. Curiouser and curiouser in the sixth line we have version 4. Straight ls but with the w joined to the i for the first time.
The words whore couldnt be more different. The second is barely legible. In other circumstances i might put this down to the speed it was written at or the circumstances under which it was written, but with only the words and the separating them? Strange.

I hope this response was ok David?
Yes, thank you Herlock, your view accords with my own.

This thread isn't going to be considering the reason for the differences, it's just important to note they are there. We are going to be comparing some of Anne Barrett's handwriting with some of the handwriting in the diary and it's important to establish that it's pretty much impossible for any single form of handwriting to match everything written in the Diary given the internal differences within that document.

As we have one True Believer in Iconoclast and as your view on the Diary, Herlock, is, I hope it's fair to say, perhaps more undecided one way or the other, it might be nice to have an out an out sceptic participating in this exercise, just for balance - so one more volunteer would be nice.

Volunteering for this exercise, incidentally, is not like volunteering for a David Copperfield stage show. No-one will get hurt!
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