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

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  #1651  
Old 04-13-2018, 03:40 AM
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Then when I ask what it all means I read something bafflingly incomprehensible about the hoaxer having to remove all incidental scratches - but I don't know why he can't just leave them there, if there were any there in the first place.
I don't know why either, but it's not my problem. We know a hoaxer in 1993 must have removed the several visible scratch marks Murphy tried to buff out, before work began on the Maybrick/ripper engravings, unless Murphy was lying through his teeth about them. If Murphy did see 'several scratch marks' on that inner surface in 1992, and saw no change there when he was next shown the watch in 1993, there is no way those same scratch marks would have escaped the beady eye of the electron microscope and resisted its power to determine whether they were made before or after the Maybrick/ripper engravings.

I hope that's clearer now.

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All I know is that anyone who desperately wants the watch to have come out of Battlecrease in March 1992 absolutely 100% NEEDS not only both the Murphys to have repeatedly lied about their knowledge of the watch but also their poor elderly father (or father-in-law) suffering from dementia to have told the same lie. How they managed to rope him into the conspiracy I have no idea.
Well that's okay then. I know of nobody who needs the watch to have come out of Battlecrease in 1992, never mind 'desperately', 'absolutely' or '100%'. It's only a wonder that David didn't say '110%' like so many do these days when trying to make more of something than it deserves.

I do know of someone, however, who seems to be rather keen for it to have come to Murphy with no visible scratch marks at all and no reason for him to have whipped out the jeweller's rouge.

I also know how Anne might have roped her own frail elderly father, Billy Graham, into supporting a false 'in the family' story, just a few months before he died. Same way, I imagine, that Mike and Anne were able to rope young Caroline into supporting their 'dead pal' story. Two innocent parties, two loving family members, with no reason to think they were being led along.

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Caz
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  #1652  
Old 04-13-2018, 04:51 AM
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This one cracks me up about Melvin Harris:

"His own argument was that writing using a Victorian style gallotannic ink couldn't be dated unless it was examined within a year of the ink drying, or at the outside six months, if certain conditions had allowed for it to have stabilised that quickly."

The ONLY person to examine the diary within six months of April 1992 was Baxendale.

And when was the next solubility test conducted on the diary? It's not ever clear if anyone ever did one, certainly not within a year or six months of the ink drying.
I don't know what cracked David up about Melvin's words, unless he just thought he was spouting hot air - which is of course quite possible.

But Melvin was clearly saying that the diary ink had resisted dating because it had already dried and stabilised on the paper by the time Baxendale had a first crack at it, making it six months old at the very least by then, and more probably a year or more. In short, had the writing been a mere babe of two months when Baxendale conducted his famous solubility test, he should have been able to date it - not just to 'the last two or three years', but to the last two or three months.

It was Baxendale, by the way, who took steps to prevent Robert Smith from publishing his reports containing the two major errors he made concerning the history of nigrosine and the presence of iron in the ink. Robert advised the Sunday Times to approach Baxendale directly for sight of everything, but the newspaper predictably only reported what suited their agenda at the time.

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Caz
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:06 AM
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Today must be Groundhog Day considering the repeats of all the old arguments that have been done to death.

Today we are told that "Even Baxendale wasn't fool enough to suggest the writing was less than a year old when he examined it, never mind just a couple of months."

Yet, according to the Sunday Times of 19 September 1993, "Baxendale concluded it had probably been written recently, in the past two or three years".

That time period incorporates any time from 1989 to 1992.

But today's posts simply confirm my suspicion that some people simply do not understand the science of dating inks and fail to appreciate that it's literally impossible to identify the date ink has been put onto paper. A solubility test can do no more than say if the ink is recent or not and that's it.
You see this is what confuses me. Who are we meant to believe? Melvin Harris, David Baxendale or David Orsam?

If it's 'literally impossible' to say when ink met paper, why did Melvin say it was possible, within six months or a year of the ink drying and stabilising?

And if it's 'literally impossible' to say when ink met paper, and only possible, with a reliable solubility test result, to say if the writing is 'recent or not', how was Baxendale qualified to conclude the diary had 'probably' been written 'in the past two or three years'? Where did he conjure up those parameters from?

Is 'recent' defined in either David's dictionary as 'in the past two or three years'?

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  #1654  
Old 04-13-2018, 06:09 AM
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If you think you have spelt a word correctly you don't bother to look it up. If there is someone who uses a dictionary to check every word they write just in case they've spelt it wrong I've yet to meet them. In any case, it didn't really matter – if you are the forger of a Maybrick Diary and word is spelt wrong you just say blame it on Maybrick!
It's not black and white. Even good spellers can get it wrong sometimes. I don't think I'm a bad speller but I still look loads of stuff up just to make sure, when writing for public consumption. Naturally I take pot luck when only writing for myself. And one generally has some awareness of one's own abilities - or lack thereof. Yes, of course the hoaxer could just 'blame it on Maybrick'! That's exactly what they did in this case, isn't it? But was it in the hope that nobody would know how good a natural speller the real JM might have been in his private diary? Or was it because "Sir Jim" was meant to be murdering his way round the East End and being a thoroughly bad egg, not showing off excellent English Language & Communication skills and writing divine poetry to boot?

If the rotten rhymes were put there intentionally, to have our anti-hero "Sir Jim" knowingly struggle with the art of verse, more so apparently than with the art of murder, how is it possible to rule out that the poor prose was put there intentionally too, as a natural bedfellow for his puerile poems?

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Caz
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:21 AM
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Of course, not everyone can disguise their handwriting effectively, it's a rare skill, but people who can do it don't have a sign on their heads informing the world of their ability. That's why we can't possibly know if Anne could do it or not.
Thank you, David, for being gracious enough to admit it would be 'a rare skill' to disguise one's handwriting effectively. Do you suppose that the entire forgery enterprise and the failure to identify the scribe all stemmed from the knowledge that this person possessed such a rare skill and would be ideal for the role?

Now all you have to do is toddle off and find out which of 'the usual suspects' - if any - possesses or possessed this rare skill.

Good luck!

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Caz
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:48 AM
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The notion that Anne couldn't have spared a few hours to practice handwriting because she was in full time employment and had a few other things to do is just a joke. In any event, look what we are told about Anne by her work colleague Audrey Johnson (in Harrison's 2003 book):

"Anne had to give up work for a while with a bad back..."
What has that to do with anything? In Shirley's 1998 paperback, it's clear that Anne was at work when Audrey noticed that she was "obviously upset" and mentioned that her husband was writing a book which she couldn't talk about.

Audrey remembered calling into Goldie Street one day because "Anne had had to give up work by this time with a bad back", and she found Mike "pacing around", and "the phone kept going and the beer cans kept going but I had the strong feeling Anne just wanted to keep her head down".

No evidence that Anne's bad back had kept her off work before the diary was seen by Doreen and they were asked to keep everything confidential. But even assuming Anne did have time off before then with her bad back, what was she meant to be doing - practising her rare skill of disguising her handwriting while using an old style dip pen and ink, while resting her back or lying flat on it? If she could do that with a bad back, why not her normal secretarial work? Or are you suggesting she was faking a bad back while faking the diary?

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Caz
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:03 AM
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Ally: "Were any of Albert Johnson's colleagues every questioned about the fortuitous discovery of the scratches? I mean it just happened they were having a conversation about watches, Albert just happened to bring his in, Albert just happened to open up the back casing when demonstrating how it worked (uh tell me why on that one again please)...So anyway, were they ever questioned about how all these fortuitous coincidences all happened to line up?"

Caz: According to the testimony of Albert, and his workmates, interviewed separately, they were all discussing BBC TVís Antiques Roadshow prog, which included an item on an antique gold watch, and there was some sort of dispute about the gold content of watches of a certain age. Albert mentioned that he owned an 18 carat gold pocket watch dating back to 1846, and promised to bring it in and show them. He did so, and showed them how to open the back and front. Albert claims the light from the window allowed him, as well as his witnesses, to see the scratches for the first time. No one present reported any suspicions that Albert had set up the whole thing, or had seen the scratches before.
______
Ally: As tempted as I am to just accept what you say without any further evidence, I am afraid the bare little bits that you have provided don't fully satisfy. Who asked the questions? Is there a transcript? What was asked? Did they ask, "Hey did Albert do anything suspicious that made you think something was off?", which would be an exceedingly stupid question. Did they ask who had brought up the conversation of watches? Did they ask who had watched the show? Did they ask what night the show had been played on? And finally, how do we know that they weren't all in it together?
___

Caz: I agree, and this suggests that it would be rather a waste of time my searching through piles and piles of documentation, and possibly making further enquiries, to flesh out my 'bare little bits' for you, because if they were 'all in it together', none of the information you ask for will prove otherwise. They simply had to agree to make the Antiques Roadshow programme (presumably doing them all a great favour by going to air within days of the scratches being made) their catalyst for the whole 'discovery' scam. Perhaps the BBC website could help you ascertain whether or not an episode of the programme was shown between late April and late May 1993, containing an item on an antique gold watch.

Ally: I am looking for an episode guide for antiques roadshow, but as yet have not found one. If you could trouble yourself to answer my questions, I would appreciate it. The questions were:

Who interviewed the colleagues. What questions were asked? Is there a transcript available?

___

And on it goes until Ally uses the phrase "great ole load of..."

___

But what we now know from what David Orsam has posted, and which I rechecked, no such episode aired (as you put it) "within days of the scratches being made" (or discovered). Which is worrisome, no?
To you, apparently, rj. But I thought you were happy to settle for a scam involving Albert and his colleagues, in which case there never was any tv show, prior to the 'discovery', which could have led to a dispute concerning 18 carat gold Victorian watches, which then prompted Albert to bring his example into work and show it off in all its scratched glory. Naturally, you have to rope John White into it and assume he had some secret share in Albert's good fortune too, and was prepared to lie for some filthy lucre of his own.

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But I am giving Albert's tale the benefit of the doubt and am broadening the search.
Ah, then good for you! A gentleman and a scholar after all?

I assume you have looked into all the repeat showings of older episodes of the Antiques Roadshow? I seem to recall whole series would be repeated at least once, when a regular slot needed filling, or individual episodes to fill random gaps in the scheduling, so you'd often see people shivering in winter clothes in August, or wearing shorts and summer frocks in December, depending on how long after an original prog was first broadcast Auntie Beeb decided it was about time we saw it again.

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Caz
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:28 AM
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I'm not sure that they were aware of their deficiencies.
You can't be serious, Gareth. If "Sir Jim" was only too well aware of his deficiencies, and not best pleased about them - which comes across loud and clear in the diary - how could his creator not have been, unless those deficiencies were artificially introduced for effect?

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I'm reminded of the poems sometimes published in my local/community newspapers; no doubt their authors have done their best and are proud of their poems, but many of them are too ghastly for words. Forced or obvious rhymes, poor scansion, and a chronic susceptibility to the "self-imposed did" (cf. "but instead I did flee / and by way showed my glee")
But if you or I can conjure up equally risible and ghastly poems in five minutes just for jolly, how can you judge whether the diary author was doing the same, or doing their best and being proud of their efforts? Does it mean nothing to you that the author has "Sir Jim" wishing he could do better? How could he be cursing his deficiencies if the author couldn't see them and didn't even know there were any?

I'll leave you to think about this over the weekend.

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Caz
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:57 AM
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You know, we'd all better keep repeating that Mike's handwriting was nothing like that in the diary just in case someone might still think he was responsible and didn't manage to understand the point the first, second or third time it was made in this thread. Perhaps a mail shot to everyone in the country is required just in case. Or should we make that the entire world?
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:08 PM
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So Mike Barrett said in his Jan 1995 affidavit that Anne made the purchase of the little red diary "through a firm in the 1986 Writters Year Book". As I've already said in this thread, Martin Earl's contact details are not to be found in the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 1986.

Perhaps Mike misremembered but, equally, perhaps it was Anne who found Martin Earl's contact details and Mike didn't know how she did it.

Other than that Mike made the telephone call to Martin Earl, everything else about the purchase of the red diary (apart from the wording of the advert) is what we have been told by Anne. This is especially true of why Anne paid for it by cheque. So we really don't know if the purchase of the red diary was driven by Anne or Mike.
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