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Garry Wroe
07-05-2009, 06:36 PM
Hi Fisherman.

Since many posters have become bored and not a little irritated by the present topic, I thought it prudent to initiate a new thread in order to address a number of issues relating to the signature comparison conducted by Frank Leander. Trusting to the material I’ve been able to locate on other threads, Mr Leander’s findings are as follows:-

I wish to strongly underline your wiew that comparing research into signatures must be done using the original material and I/we would not have the possibility to write a full expert’s opinion on the material supplied. Under the circumstances, however, I would like to express myself thusly:

It cannot be ruled out that we are dealing with the same person - there is a number of matches of a common character (character of style, degree of writing skill, the spreading of the text, certain proportions), and, as far as can be judged from the copy there are also a number of matches when it comes to the shapes of single letters.

Against these matches one must pose differences in certain liftings of the pen (?), the proportions of the tch-group and the perhaps most eyecatching differences in the shaping of some of the letters; G (the ground-shape), r and n at the end of the signature.

The differences could be explained by H. being relatively young at the first writing occasion, the surrounding circumstances as available writing space, function of the pen and similar things. The signature at the top is unquestionably the one that differs most at any rate.

In conclusion, you must see this as a spontaneous, personal comment from me and not as a full expert opinion, since such things cannot be done from a material like this!

Subsequently, you again contacted Mr Leander who, according to one of your posts, viewed the relationship between the Hutchinson and Toppy signatures as being ‘a match at the lower end of the POSITIVE scale.’ On this basis, you proclaimed that Mr Leander had ‘nailed it’ – had ‘scientifically proved that Toppy and Hutch were the same man.’

In reality, however, this was a far from accurate assertion.

Since Forensics is the discipline chiefly concerned with the presentation of scientific evidence before the law courts, it is subject to the strictest of methodological protocols. As such, the information contained in Frank’s analysis falls way short of those exacting standards. At the very least, a scientific report would have contained a methodological explanation, a mathematical analysis and confirmation as to the probity of the specimens under scrutiny – which is why Frank was at pains to point out that ‘you must see this as a spontaneous, personal comment from me and not as a full expert opinion …’

Equally, the specimens themselves originated from here on the Casebook site as part of a list posted by Sam purely for illustrational purposes. Uppermost on the list was one of the three signatures appended by Hutchinson to his police statement. The other two were absent. Worse still, not a single one of the Toppy signatures included the William that we know to have been an integral part of his regular signature. In scientific terms, such omissions constitute a case of sampling error and are sufficient to invalidate the entire analysis.

Interestingly enough, Frank noted that ‘[t]he signature at the top is unquestionably the one that differs [the] most …’ In point of fact, this was the signature from Page Three of Hutchinson’s police statement. And despite the reality that it is the Hutchinson signature that most approximates the Toppy samples, it was still identified as that which least resembled the other specimens. And yet, for all of the sampling error and induced bias of which Frank was patently unaware, he was only able to conclude that ‘It cannot be ruled out that we are dealing with the same person’. However, as I previously explained on another thread, “cannot be ruled in; cannot be ruled out” is science-speak for there being insufficient evidence to make a determination one way or the other. In other words, the null hypothesis has been upheld. No significant effect has been detected.

It might be argued that any such conclusion would be invalidated by the claim that Frank subsequently qualified his memo with the statement that the specimens were ‘a match at the lower end of the POSITIVE scale.’ But science doesn’t work like that, Fisherman. To begin with, there is the issue of the adulterated Toppy signatures coupled with the non-inclusion of the two Hutchinson signatures – which, as I have already indicated, amounts to a clear violation of accepted sampling protocols. Likewise, because Frank’s memo lacked anything in the way of methodological or mathematical information, there is an absence of context relating to the kind of scale or dimension he would have employed had he been formulating a scientific report. Consequently, ‘a match at the lower end of the positive scale’ might mean that the evidence was still insufficient to provide a positive result. Once again, therefore, as absurd as it may appear to the layperson, it remains perfectly possible that the null hypothesis would have been upheld even had a full scientific analysis been conducted.

But it wasn’t. As Frank made abundantly clear, he did no more than pass on his impressions with reference to material that was inappropriate for standard scientific testing. This being the case, Frank’s conclusions carry little empirical gravitas and in no way warrant the claim that they had ‘scientifically proved that Toppy and Hutch were the same man.’

Having trawled through the circularity and prolix that constitutes a significant proportion of the Toppy-related threads, my overwhelming impression is that you have consistently overstated the ‘evidence’ that appears to lend plausibility to the ‘Toppy was Hutchinson’ argument, whilst at the same time dismissing anything that fails to dovetail with your own beliefs. Indeed, one would be hard-pushed to find a better example of fundamental attribution error. At the same time, you have exhibited a tendency to be rude and even abusive to those posters whose opinions fail to accord with your own. Was it really necessary to brand Babybird a liar when all she did was quote your own words? Even when Ben reconsidered his position with regard to Frank, held up his hands and admitted that he had been in error, you embarked on a campaign of taunting and ridicule. As I have stated previously, Fisherman, it is more than possible to disagree without being disagreeable.

Again, I have initiated this thread specifically to post the present response, not to engage in an ongoing war of words for which I have neither the time nor the inclination. I trust, therefore, that I have made my position perfectly clear.

Regards.

Garry Wroe.

babybird67
07-05-2009, 08:10 PM
excellent appraisal and excellently expressed. Needless to say i concur with everything you have so articulately said. Thank you for bringing some much needed common sense and scientific acumen to the gladiatorial arena!

Garry Wroe
07-05-2009, 10:57 PM
Thanks, Jen.

Hopefully, we'll get some respite from the pit-bull type of debating style that has been a feature of the Toppy-related threads of late.

Regards.

Garry Wroe.

Ben
07-05-2009, 11:09 PM
My reaction to the above mirrors Jen's precisely, Garry.

Excellent points thoroughly well made.

All the best,
Ben

Sam Flynn
07-05-2009, 11:12 PM
Equally, the specimens themselves originated from here on the Casebook site as part of a list posted by Sam purely for illustrational purposes. Uppermost on the list was one of the three signatures appended by Hutchinson to his police statement. The other two were absent.
That was legitimate enough from my POV, Garry, in that much play was being made about the "differences" between 1888p1 and 1888p2. Frankly, apart from the elaborate "H", I see no significant differences in those signatures either. Indeed, my reason for providing the "utchinso" and "triplets" samples on these boards was to take the curse off things, and to get people to focus on the similarities at the cores of the signatures. I did this, because I was concerned that some people seemed keen to throw the baby of a potential match out with the bathwater of a couple of minor differences. After all, we're only talking about a handful of (allegedly significant) discrepant characters out of sixteen, over a span of 23 years.

To show how insignificant these sorts of discrepancies might be, I even posted my own signatures, which showed far more variation over a similar period of time; and two pages of a tailor's order book from the 1880s, that showed more variations in the space of a couple of weeks. All seemingly to no avail, alas!Worse still, not a single one of the Toppy signatures included the William that we know to have been an integral part of his regular signature.Toppy omitted any "W" or "William" from all of his 1911 Census entries, so quite how integral these were to his regular signature is a moot point. Despite arguments to the contrary, I see no reason why it should be seen as axiomatic that the police would have insisted on Hutchinson signing his full name on his statement.

Ben
07-05-2009, 11:26 PM
People seemed keen to throw out the baby of a potential positive match with the bathwater of a couple of minor differences - we're only talking about a handful of (allegedly) discrepant characters out of sixteen, over a span of 23 years.

But that's just your opinion, Gareth.

What you may regard as a "couple" of "minor" differences, others may consider to be an appreciable number of major differences. They are the proverbial "bathwater" as far as I'm concerned. Similarly, I'd have to disagree that your signatures exhibited "far more variation" that the Hutch/Toppy samples.

I've seen no evidence that full names were required (or even desirable(?)) for census entries, but as observed elsewhere, it was required protocal for police statements to include full names, or at the very least full initials.

Best regards,
Ben

Sam Flynn
07-05-2009, 11:35 PM
But that's just your opinion, Gareth.My objective opinion, yes, substantiated by the other examples I mentioned, Ben.I'd have to disagree that your signatures exhibited "far more variation" that the Hutch/Toppy samplesWell, they did, simple as that. And I should know, too - they're MY signatures, after all.

I'm not going to argue any further about this, because I've said these things often enough to out-Snark a Snark - not that they weren't true the first time.

Back to Leander...

Garry Wroe
07-06-2009, 01:28 AM
Hi Ben.

Many thanks for your kind comments.

Hi Sam.

As ever, points taken. But please don’t think I was in any way apportioning blame to you for posting the various signatures. The point I was trying to make was that those signatures were inappropriate for the purpose of scientific analysis. And if you choose to disagree – fine. I would have done things differently, that’s all.

Regards.

Garry Wroe.

Sam Flynn
07-06-2009, 02:00 AM
As ever, points taken. But please don’t think I was in any way apportioning blame to you for posting the various signatures. I didn't for one moment, Garry - no worries there :)

Ben
07-06-2009, 02:23 AM
Well, they did, simple as that. And I should know, too - they're MY signatures, after all.

The signatures you provided did not appear to exhibit more variation than the Hutchinson/Toppy samples, Gareth. At least, not to me. Quite the reverse.

That's all I'm saying.

Jane Welland
07-06-2009, 12:24 PM
Garry, you write:

The point I was trying to make was that those signatures were inappropriate for the purpose of scientific analysis. And if you choose to disagree – fine. I would have done things differently, that's all.

How would you have done things? There seems to be some confusion in this debate regarding what is good enough for analysis in terms of material - with some saying scanned and photocopied material is as good as the original, and some saying not.

Like you, I have neither the time or the inclination to pursue this debate - but I have to say I'm starting to want to ask 'What debate?'. As far as I can see, neither Leander, nor Iremonger has endorsed the view that the signatures are a definite match. If you read what they did say - as far as can be determined - it amounts to the same imo: Iremonger basically saying she didn't consider it likely, and Leander saying a match couldn't be ruled out. (I understand that there is doubt over what material they examined, but whether that counts for anything depends imo on whether it matters to their analysis).

Which, I take to mean, 'is not impossible, but is not probable'. So the idea that the two experts here are in opposition seems to be fallacious. How are they?

I think that tells us some things. It tells us that there are differences here that two experts have noted. If we take account of their views at all, we surely must take that on board? That means that the signatures, if alike, are not sufficiently alike in their view to warrant a proclamation of a definite match. There is doubt.

The solution, if it can be ascertained, has not therefore been definitively ascertained as yet. Posters on this, and similar threads, exclaiming that it has , either one way or the other, are barking up the wrong tree - because quite obviously, it hasn't.

Maybe that's as far as the debate can go. Maybe the answer to whether the signatures match or not, and by extension, whether the Dorset Street witness was Toppy, or not, is beyond recovery - the indefinite responses of two experts would seem to suggest so.

If so, maybe it's better to let sleeping dogs lie.

Jane x

Garry Wroe
07-06-2009, 05:45 PM
Hi Jane.

Briefly, the backdrop to the present debate is that, much to his credit, Fisherman approached the Swedish forensic document examiner, Frank Leander, with a request that he conduct a forensic comparison between a number of Hutchinson and Toppy signatures that Sam had posted on site. In what to my mind was an extraordinarily accommodating gesture, Frank agreed to offer an opinion, but cautioned that, because of the nature of the samples under consideration, a definitive scientific evaluation would not be possible. Once Frank’s response was posted on site, there emerged a dichotomy of extremes (plus an additional group at all points in between) involving those who believed that Frank had established a scientific link between Hutchinson and Toppy, and those who, for a variety of reasons, refused to accept the validity of Frank’s analysis. In time, as the ‘debate’ became increasingly more adversarial, Sam and I somehow got ourselves dragged in – largely because we share a scientific background, though not necessarily the same conclusions with regard to the ‘Hutchinson was Toppy’ issue. Hence I initiated the present thread in order to address the increasingly hysterical assertion that, by way of scientific analysis, Frank had proved Hutchinson and Toppy to be one and the same.

So, how would I have done things?

As Sam would doubtless concur, it would be unfair to criticise those who lack scientific training for making a layman’s mistakes. But in science, the purity of the raw data is all important. Since in this case an analysis of the original signatures would prove all but impossible, I would have provided Frank with the best available facsimiles of as many Hutchinson and Toppy signatures as could be located. Then, I would have accepted that Frank is the expert and resisted the temptation to embroider his conclusions with my own non-expert extrapolations. Testing such an analysis is one thing, but completely re-inventing it is something else entirely.

There is, of course, no reason why another analysis couldn’t be conducted using a more scientifically robust procedural approach. Yet this presupposes that, somewhere out there, is an expert either gullible or mad enough to even contemplate taking on such a thankless task. My own feeling is that we are probably going to have to await the emergence of a Toppy signature authored much closer in time to the Ripper’s operational timeframe. In such a case, the presence or absence of the name William would provide an invaluable insight into the mechanics of the Toppy signature relative to its equivalent in the Hutchinson police statement. But even then, I strongly suspect that this would only inspire another intellectual brawl amongst the polar opposites. There are some issues that seem destined to remain intractable. And I fear that the Hutchinson/Toppy debate is one of them.

Regards.

Garry Wroe.

Jane Welland
07-06-2009, 06:51 PM
for elucidating. I think you are right - and since it seems improbable that another signature of Toppy will emerge from the public record, that may be the end of the line, unless further examples come to light via other routes - say, family archives, for example.

Again, thanks for your response

Jane x

Sam Flynn
07-06-2009, 09:17 PM
for elucidating. I think you are right - and since it seems improbable that another signature of Toppy will emerge from the public record, that may be the end of the line, unless further examples come to light via other routes
We have more than a dozen already, Jane, at least of the "Hutchinson" bit, in that Toppy (as head of household) filled in the names of his wife and children, as well as his own (twice) on the 1911 Census return. Add those to the signatures appended to the marriage certificate and the police statement, and we have a sizeable sample indeed. Bigger, in fact, than any that Sue Iremonger had to work with.

Jane Welland
07-06-2009, 09:26 PM
Sorry, I probably didn't come across very clearly - I realise that the Census signatures are around. I was responding to Garry's comment regarding a signature closer in date to the 1888 witness signatures - and the likelihood that such would ever appear - it seems unlikely in the public record, since people didn't sign very many public records (although the term is something of an anachronism) in olden times. :sad3:

I think it's quite impressive that we have what we do!

Jane x

Sam Flynn
07-06-2009, 09:33 PM
it seems unlikely in the public record, since people didn't sign very many public records in olden times.
Indeed, Jane - and another reason why being over-critical of small discrepancies in a set of signatures might be a bit unfair. One wonders how many opportunities a young East End working-class male would have had to sign his full name (missing middle initials notwithstanding.)

Cap'n Jack
07-07-2009, 01:08 AM
Have a chat to her yourself, I just did.

Miss Susan Iremonger

Occupation: Handwriting Analyst
Qualifications: BSc
Explanation of
Qualifications: Bachelor of Science
Organisation: Documents in Dispute Ltd
Address: Strangford House
5 Downs View Close
North Chailey
Lewes
East Sussex
BN8 4HA
(View Location Map)
(View Aerial Photo)
Office Telephone: 01825 723017
Mobile: 07710 101870
Fax: 01825 724232
Email: (Click here)
Email to Fax: (Click here)

Google: Search Google UK
Legal references: (none at present)
Areas of Expertise: Forensic handwriting examination
Law Society:

protohistorian
07-07-2009, 02:24 AM
Have a chat to her yourself, I just did.

Miss Susan Iremonger

Occupation: Handwriting Analyst
Qualifications: BSc
Explanation of
Qualifications: Bachelor of Science
Organisation: Documents in Dispute Ltd
Address: Strangford House
5 Downs View Close
North Chailey
Lewes
East Sussex
BN8 4HA
(View Location Map)
(View Aerial Photo)
Office Telephone: 01825 723017
Mobile: 07710 101870
Fax: 01825 724232
Email: (Click here)
Email to Fax: (Click here)

Google: Search Google UK
Legal references: (none at present)
Areas of Expertise: Forensic handwriting examination
Law Society: Nicely Done!

Sam Flynn
07-07-2009, 08:55 PM
Nicely Done!
Indeed, although I should point out that there is no such thing as a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree awarded for document examination, at least not in the UK, and certainly not when the splendid Ms Iremonger were a lass. There was a bloke who set himself up as a hypnotherapist, who used to advertise in my local paper as "Mr ____, BSc", but you can bet your bottom yankee dollar that his hypnotherapy "qualifications" had nothing to do with the BSc he held.

Cap'n Jack
07-07-2009, 09:11 PM
Doesn't she do trees, Sam?
I suppose that is paper.

Sam Flynn
07-07-2009, 09:16 PM
Doesn't she do trees, Sam?

A different Sue Iremonger, methinks, AP.

The Good Michael
07-08-2009, 03:07 AM
You know how many folks on television sell health products and they are announced as doctor so and so, but really hold PhDs in chemistry or literature, yet we believe they are medical doctors? You know? I'm not suggesting anything, but...

Mike

Jane Welland
07-08-2009, 10:25 AM
You know how many folks on television sell health products and they are announced as doctor so and so, but really hold PhDs in chemistry or literature, yet we believe they are medical doctors? You know? I'm not suggesting anything, but...

Mike

Like 'Doctor' Paul McKenna, for example - I'm not saying he's a confidence trickster or anything but....

But that's off topic.

Doctorates can be purchased (though I don't think in this country),

Fisherman
07-08-2009, 11:58 AM
So what is the bid here - is the Lewes´ Iremonger not THE Iremonger....? And if she is not; who is (was)???

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
07-08-2009, 01:54 PM
The Lewes Iremonger is definitely the right one, Fish.

(And no, everyone, her professionals credentials are not even slightly in dispute)

All the best,
Ben

Sam Flynn
07-09-2009, 08:37 PM
For the record, I've no doubt that Sue Iremonger has a BSc... however, you can be sure that the BSc is not in Document Examination, so don't get too carried away by it.

Fisherman
07-15-2009, 10:35 PM
In connection with the Leander analysis, much has been said about the phrasing "cannot be excluded". Frank Leander stated in one of his posts that this verdict was derived from a system used by the SKL, and that it represented “the lowest, most careful expression on the positive side in a scale that we have used in investigations of handstyles, and it serves well to underline when we cannot see any discrepancies other than in the ”amplitude” between the expressions.”

So, we have the semantic construction “cannot be excluded” describing a match that is good enough to be described as carrying no discrepancies other than in the amplitude between the expressions”. That would – if I am correct – mean that the general impression and the degree of writing skills, as well as the different style elements involved, are all of the same character, differing only in amplitude.
Therefore, it should not have come as a surprise when Leander said that he would be surprised if the match was not a genuine one.

As you will all know, the question was raised if one could say “cannot be excluded” in a post, and then follow it up with an assertion that it would be surprising if the match was not there. It became a battle of semantics, and it was stated that Leander could not be relied upon in his later posts, since they seemed to swear against the first one.

In an effort to have this sorted out as best as I can, I recently contacted Frank Leander again, and asked him if he could supply me with the full system of verdicts available to him. As usual, he graciously agreed to help, and offered to send over copies of the manuals involved. I received them by mail yesterday.
It turned out that there were two systems, one old and one new. The old one was still being used to a significant extent, and it was that system he used when assessing the Toppy/Hutchinson signatures. That is why I will concentrate on that one only in this post. The new system I have too on copy, and if anybody is interested, PM me and I will translate it and send it over.

But over to the old one now, and it´s contents! The translation is, as usual, mine, and I have done as best as I can to get as close as possible to the original meaning. Underlined text in the original is written in capitals in my translation. Here is what it says on the relevant parts:

“Declarations on investigations made by the handstyle section are delivered in the shape of either an INVESTIGATION PROTOCOL (sometimes illustrated with photos) or a DECLARATION (a somewhat simpler letter version). Irrespective of the form all declarations are based on the investigation of at least two experts and contain a listing of the investigated material, an explanation of the purpose of the investigation and a declaration and evaluation of the observations made. This last evaluation, whereupon the conclusion rests, is based upon the experience of handstyles on behalf of the investigators.

The grades of strength used in the conclusions are as follows:

VERY STRONG SUPPORT (GENERALLY THE STRONGEST)

STRONG SUPPORT

SUPPORT

SOME SUPPORT

These grades, relating to the identity of the originator, are accompanied by a “for an assumption that…”, which should be understood thus, that the laboratory have tried the hypothesis that is stated in the purpose of the investigation in an unbiased manner.
As an exception there is sometimes also ruled a grade of:

SEEMINGLY BEYOND DOUBT (used practically only about more massive amounts of text like longer letters, handwritten wills and such)

In cases where no more certain conclusions can be drawn, regardless whether this owes to the quality of the text, the difficulty to assess observed likenesses or dissimilarities, too few samples of the text involved, too little or unappropriate material of comparison or that only photocopies are at hand, it follows that

THE ISSUE MUST BE LEFT OPEN

In certain cases there may, though, be tendencies in one direction or the other, whereupon the conclusion can be formulated

NO CERTAIN STATEMENT CAN BE MADE IN THE QUESTION OF IDENTITY

Which is followed by, for example

BUT THE OBSERVATIONS MADE SPEAK MOSTLY FOR

BUT THE POSSIBILITY IS AT HAND THAT

BUT IT CANNOT BE EXCLUDED

In cases of non-identity sometimes corresponding expressions are used as those used in cases of identity, but it is more common that the conclusion is phrased

IT IS NOT LIKELY

IT IS LESS LIKELY

Apart from the grades given above, in certain cases further nuances can be added”

And there it is! To begin with, we can observe that, just like Leander said, no full experts opinion could be offered from the material he was supplied with. He mentioned that he would need more samples of the witnesses´ signature and that he would also need the originals to reach a full expert opinion. And as we all know, regardless of the fact that the originals are about, there are only three signatures by the witness, and Leander would need ten or more before he could reach a full opinion.

The immediate reflection that must be made here is that just as Leanders assessment remains unsatisfyingly underbuilt, so does Iremongers. In her case, it would seem that the originals may have been used, but we know that she had a lot less signatures by Toppy to work with, just as there were only the three witness signatures accessible to her.

The most interesting observation we can make, though, lies in the fact that the verdicts “very strong support”, “strong support”, “support” and “some support” were never open to Leander! Since he suffered from a combination of too few samples + only photocopies, there were three options only open to him: “No certain statement can be made in the question of identity, but the observations made speak mostly for”, “No certain statement can be made in the question of identity, but the possibility is at hand that” and “No certain statement can be made in the question of identity, but it cannot be excluded”.

Please observe that this would have applied even if the signatures had been exact matches! The reason for this lies not in the characteristics of the text, but instead in the quality of the material provided to Leander.
Furthermore, we are dealing with legislation here – it stands to reason that you cannot convict on grounds of to few samples of signatures or on grounds of photocopies. In such cases, the possibility remains that further samples of signatures had changed the wiew or that an examination of the signatures could had revealed something that the photocopies did not show.
It does not, however, mean that a useful assessment of the existing material could not be made! It would not hold up in court, but it would still involve the skills of a expert and it could be – just as the manual tells us – accompanied by “further nuances” in “certain cases”. Which was exactly the path Leander chose – he settled for the “the lowest, most careful expression on the positive side” of the scale, and he added that the only discrepancies he could see were differences in amplitude, just as he added that he would be surprised if the match was not a genuine one.

Concluding, what we have from Leanders side is an assessment that would not hold up in court, that means that no certain statement can be made in the case of identity owing to the insufficiencies of the material involved in his investigation (and the same would go for Iremonger and indeed ANYBODY who tried to assess this material, since there are only the three witness signatures about) – but also a verdict that tallies with the one that has been suggested by a number of posters: That there are no differences inbetween the third signature of the Dorset Street witness and those of George Topping Hutchinson, other than in amplitude, and that it would therefore be surprising if the authors were not one and the same.

The best, all!
Fisherman

Jane Welland
07-15-2009, 10:58 PM
Well done you - you are certainly persistent - I'll say that for you!

Sorry though, this time I really am confused - can you explain? In all seriousness! Ok - from what I can gather...

Um - I thought that Leander had said that a match 'could not be ruled out'? I think from what I understand that mostly people accepted that as 'possible' but that no further confirmation - one way or the other - was possible.

I also got the impression that he had said that whilst there were similarities there were also differences - and vice versa.

I can see that, in my humble opinion - so I can understand a balanced and reserved view.

I also seemed to think that the photocopies made no difference to the analysis? Isn't that what you said - sorry if it wasn't!

So how come now, Leander says it did make a difference and it was the quality of the images and the number of samples that made it difficult?

There's a lot of confusion here it seems to me - for me, at least. I just want to know -

Does Leander say it's a match, or not? :scratchchin:

Best wishes to you, Fisherman!

P.S - sorry for rambly post - long day.

Jane x

babybird67
07-15-2009, 11:14 PM
And there it is! To begin with, we can observe that, just like Leander said, no full experts opinion could be offered from the material he was supplied with. He mentioned that he would need more samples of the witnesses´ signature and that he would also need the originals to reach a full expert opinion. And as we all know, regardless of the fact that the originals are about, there are only three signatures by the witness, and Leander would need ten or more before he could reach a full opinion.

Yes...i think i was one of the few pointing out these things and their implications from the get-go, but hey, three zillion postings and yet another correspondence with Leander later, at least now it is beginning to sink in to some of the die-hards brains...

The most interesting observation we can make, though, lies in the fact that the verdicts “very strong support”, “strong support”, “support” and “some support” were never open to Leander! Since he suffered from a combination of too few samples + only photocopies, there were three options only open to him: “No certain statement can be made in the question of identity, but the observations made speak mostly for”, “No certain statement can be made in the question of identity, but the possibility is at hand that” and “No certain statement can be made in the question of identity, but it cannot be excluded”.

Right. So, having so few options open to him definitely puts to bed the silly theory that we have the best, most wonderful, stupendous etc etc professional analysis on which to base our considersations of a match between Hutch the witness and Topping the man if the deficiencies of material don't even allow him to say he has "some support" for an identification.

Finally.

One is relieved. The 360 degree turnaround here in the interpretation of the extent of Leander's support for a match is most impressive. But i am glad this is at last getting through to some of us.

Some retractions may also be in order, since we were told quite often that photocopies were in fact not deficient in any sense as materials on which to base a document analysis. Even when the expert told us quite clearly that they were.

Sam Flynn
07-15-2009, 11:25 PM
I'd be quite happy to give Leander scans of ten or more "Hutchinsons", and two extra "Georges", if he likes. Not that I want to abuse his generosity.

Jane Welland
07-15-2009, 11:25 PM
If the signatures are the same (as each other) then Leander doesn't just have three signatures of the witness, right?

He has the three and all the others from the Census, and the Marriage Certificate, at least.

I believe that's more than 10?

If there is no substantial difference - as I know some think - between the witness signatures and those of Toppy, then what's the problem?

If it's just quality of material then can't he be supplied with better material? (for example)

It seems a shame to get so close to an answer and then find it's a dead end.

Jane x

Jane Welland
07-15-2009, 11:28 PM
I knew you'd have the answer Sam!

:reading:

If Leander were willing, of course.

Jane x

Ben
07-15-2009, 11:29 PM
Oh my giddy aunt.

It isn’t possible.

Has he really gone and pestered that poor beleaguered Swedish document examiner again?

He has!

Fisherman has asked Leander to clarify his perfectly clear stance for the sixth time, ladies and gentleman.

This is beyond ridicule, beyond obsession, but somehow predictable all the same.

But let’s do this all over again (you know me!), starting with:

“Frank Leander stated in one of his posts that this verdict was derived from a system used by the SKL, and that it represented “the lowest, most careful expression on the positive side in a scale that we have used in investigations of handstyles, and it serves well to underline when we cannot see any discrepancies other than in the ”amplitude” between the expressions”

Ah, but he did see discrepancies - if you cast your mind back to that circumspect first post of his, you'll recall that he listed several discrepancies that had nothing whatsoever to do with the “amplitude between the expressions” whatever the fookin’ hell that means. He referred to specific differences between the signatures; differences that militated against the similarities. However, according to Leander’s initial analysis, those differences were insufficient to "rule out” a possible match, which – here’s the funny bit – is a view with which I have concurred from the outset.

Once again we return to the bone of contention; “cannot be ruled out” does not mean “probable” or any synonyms thereof. 300 pages or so have elapsed since that patently nonsensical assertion, but it still doesn’t mean "probable". Nothing has changed, and secret departments still don’t get to to alter basic dictionary definitions. If Leander is claiming that “cannot be ruled out” means “I’d be surprised if that signatures weren’t written by the same person”, or anything vaguely resembling that nonsensical assertion, he is irrefutably wrong. Thankfully, he made it abundantly clear that a positive commentary isn’t necessarily intended to convey “probability”. Phew, just when I was beginning to doubt the man, he reminds us again of his irrefutably neutral stance.

It did indeed become a battle of semantics, but despite the righteous opprobrium that was levelled in Fisherman’s direction for bombarding a man who had already made his position perfectly clear, he took the extraordinary and eccentric decision to contract Leander again in pursuit of further “clarification”. It really is becoming a farce now, and Leander is showing amazing restraint in putting up with this nonsense. He reminds me of my dad.

But we needn’t become despondent.

Once again, Leander is cautious with his terminology and describes the “cannot be excluded" category thusly:

“In cases where no more certain conclusions can be drawn, regardless whether this owes to the quality of the text, the difficulty to assess observed likenesses or dissimilarities, too few samples of the text involved, too little or unappropriate material of comparison or that only photocopies are at hand, it follows that THE ISSUE MUST BE LEFT OPEN”

Doesn’t this just beautifully endorse the observations Garry Wroe made in his initial post to this topic? “No certain conclusions can be drawn” Absolutely, so I call upon Fisherman to relinquish his unwarranted “certainty” and embrace the circumspection that has characterised Leander’s contributions to date. “Too few samples” – exactly! Leander is absolutely spot on and with my faith in his abilities duly restored; I can only echo his wise sentiments.

“THE ISSUE MUST BE LEFT OPEN”

Such advice contrasts markedly with the “case-closed” mentality that has characterized the dogma of the arch-Toppyite. Listen to the experts who you believe are fighting your corner, and only then will you engage with their neutral stance.

“he settled for the “the lowest, most careful expression on the positive side” of the scale, and he added that the only discrepancies he could see were differences in amplitude, just as he added that he would be surprised if the match was not a genuine one.”

No.

False.

Gosh, fancy bringing this all up again, Fisherman!

This really won’t do.

He was not “surprised if the match was not a genuine one”. None of that sentiment was conveyed in the first post you provided in the 1911 thread, His stance was neutral, as I’m prepared to reiterate a trillion times if necessary, and as we’ve just learned from your sixth bombardment, his stance is still neutral. He has spelt it out for you: “Cannot be excluded” = “THE ISSUE MUST BE LEFT OPEN”. End of, surely? No more "Toppy is Hutch", "Proven beyond reasonable doubt" phuckwittery, surely?

“That there are no differences inbetween the third signature of the Dorset Street witness and those of George Topping Hutchinson”

But that is utter filth.

Leander just disabused you of that nonsense.

Listen. Seriously.

He listed specific differences – specific ones, and observes that they militated against the similarities. Those differences had nothing to do with “amplitude”, they had to do with specific and readily identifiable differences within the friggin text. Fisherman, contact him 20 more times if necessary. I’ll be there every time. It’s fun. It’s easily refutable. It’s predictable. But one thing’s for certain – somewhere along the line I’ll be buying poor Frank a polypin barrel of finest ale for his interminable patience!

One fart joke and it all kicks off again – I dunno…

babybird67
07-15-2009, 11:39 PM
Sam i have the utmost respect for you as a person and as a poster here. Your contributions are usually incredibly sagacious, articulate and - most importantly - good humoured and witty!

I have to point out though that despite your kind offer of supplying yet more signatures, the problem would still remain that any professional examination of documents simply must be of original documents...there is just too much information lost in transformation so to speak.

I respect your own view that the match, for you, has been established as far as science can take us...it hasn't yet for me though because i don't believe we have enough evidence to conclude so.

Document examiners do it with original documents! Anything less is inherently unsatisfactory.

all my best wishes

Sam Flynn
07-15-2009, 11:40 PM
“THE ISSUE MUST BE LEFT OPEN”

Such advice contrasts markedly with the “case-closed” mentality that has characterized the dogma of the arch-Toppyite.Of course, the "case closed" mentality never ever afflicts the ire-mongers of this world, Ben ;)Listen to the experts who you believe are fighting your corner, and only then will you engage with their neutral stance.pomdfaeruiou cwrqdaorn adfapicxnmgq...


Sorry - words failed me briefly, there. Normal service has now been resumed as soon as possible (© Basil Fawlty).

Sam Flynn
07-15-2009, 11:42 PM
Document examiners do it with original documents! Anything less is inherently unsatisfactory.
Empirical research emphatically suggests otherwise, when it comes to the specific matter of signature comparison, Jen. You'll find the appropriate references on page 823,946 of the "Hutch in the 1911 Census" thread ;)

babybird67
07-15-2009, 11:47 PM
Empirical research emphatically suggests otherwise, when it comes to the specific matter of signature comparison, Jen. You'll find the appropriate references on page 823,946 of the "Hutch in the 1911 Census" thread ;)

haha Sam...see, that is what i like about you!

Ben
07-16-2009, 12:01 AM
Document examiners do it with original documents! Anything less is inherently unsatisfactory

Exactly, Beebs.

And guess who agrees?

Guess who tells us that a "full expert opinion" is not even possible in the absence of the original documents?

Yep!

Our man Frank Leander.

All the best,
Ben

Jane Welland
07-16-2009, 12:04 AM
Exactly, Beebs.

And guess who agrees?

Guess who tells us that a "full expert opinion" is not even possible in the absence of the original documents?

Yep!

Our man Frank Leander.

All the best,
Ben

You mean, Frank Leander, the expert?

Well then...

Jane x

Sam Flynn
07-16-2009, 02:00 AM
Exactly, Beebs.

And guess who agrees?

Guess who tells us that a "full expert opinion" is not even possible in the absence of the original documents?

Yep!

Our man Frank Leander.
Just goes to show that the research demonstrating the contrary has only fairly recently been carried out.

Guess who was quite happy to categorically rule out a match on the basis of only two signatures?

Yep!

A certain "renowned expert" whose name I'm far too gentlemanly to mention.

Ben
07-16-2009, 02:38 AM
Just goes to show that the research demonstrating the contrary has only fairly recently been carried out.

Meaning Leander's wrong, Gareth?

In which case we don't need to listen to what he says at all?

Unless we're picking and choosing which bits of Leander's commentary to endorse and which bits to discard, which would be "wrong" is all sorts of ways.

Me - I'm quite happy to accept his judgement that a "full expert" analysis isn't possible in the absence of the originals.

I also think it was a very bad idea on Fisherman's part to get this whole sorry ball rolling again.

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
07-16-2009, 09:58 AM
Right, I´ll take it from here:

"I also think it was a very bad idea on Fisherman's part to get this whole sorry ball rolling again."

So, Ben, you would prefer - although you have been told that Leander worked with a grading system, and although we had not been supplied with the details of that system - not to find out about how it was constructed at all?
You would prefer if Frank Leander never more commented on this issue at all? Makes sense.

But I will not take your hook, baited with expressions like "utter filth" this time over, though - if you feel you need to get rude, be my guest. My conviction remains that the MORE evidence and substantiation we can get, the more explanations to underlying processes of thought, the more manuals, the more information related to the case we can get, the better. Opting for a choice of post on Leanders behalf that we think serves our own purposes, and leaving the rest - the explanations, the manuals, the thought processes, the added nuances - behind, is not a very useful approach.

I was fully expecting this from your side, though, and I realize that we will have you asking "Anybody still up for a fight on the Leander issue? I´ll take you on any day in the week!" in the future too. And so I will waste as little time on your accusations as possible, and instead turn to posters who ask relevant questions.
I will only add once more that Frank Leander is a man that you can find on the net; you can contact the SKL any day in the week, and I urge you to do so if you feel that I am in any way manipulating this issue. Contact them, get in touch with Leander himself, and THEN tell him that he cannot be relied upon. I am sure he would be most interested to hear you opinion on his work, and what phraseology you are prepared to allow him!
Until you have used that opportunity, open to you and anybody else (though I would ask people not to drown Leander in posts if avoidable - he would have other things to do ...), I suggest that you stop implying any false game on my behalf or professional shortcomings on Leanders!

Jane Welland:
”I thought that Leander had said that a match 'could not be ruled out'? I think from what I understand that mostly people accepted that as 'possible' but that no further confirmation - one way or the other - was possible.”

It is of no relevance that ”mostly people” belive that ”cannot be ruled out” means ”possible, but no further confirmation”. What we need to look at is what ”cannot be ruled out” means to LEANDER and the SKL. And it is stated in the manual I just posted – there are three gradings open to use, and three only, when we are dealing with photocopies and insufficient material but have a case of identity. Once again, this is what the manual says:
”In cases where no more certain conclusions can be drawn, regardless whether this owes to the quality of the text, the difficulty to assess observed likenesses or dissimilarities, too few samples of the text involved, too little or unappropriate material of comparison or that only photocopies are at hand, it follows that
THE ISSUE MUST BE LEFT OPEN
In certain cases there may, though, be tendencies in one direction or the other, whereupon the conclusion can be formulated
NO CERTAIN STATEMENT CAN BE MADE IN THE QUESTION OF IDENTITY
Which is followed by, for example
BUT THE OBSERVATIONS MADE SPEAK MOSTLY FOR
BUT THE POSSIBILITY IS AT HAND THAT
BUT IT CANNOT BE EXCLUDED
In cases of non-identity sometimes corresponding expressions are used as those used in cases of identity, but it is more common that the conclusion is phrased
IT IS NOT LIKELY
IT IS LESS LIKELY”

The three first mentioned alternatives are alternatives of a perceived identity, whereas when identity is not perceived, the two latter alternatives are used. This means that if Leander is dealing with two signatures that are EXACTLY alike, totally similar in every aspect – but only photocopies – he will probably give the verdict ”No certainty can be made in the question of identity, but the observations made speak mostly for” - if he has a sufficiency of signatures to compare. If the signatures are exactly alike and totally similar, but taken from photocopies, and if he has not sufficient material to work with, he will say that ”No certainty can be made in the question of identity, but the possibility is at hand that” or ””No certainty can be made in the question of identity, but it cannot be excluded”.

This is how it works, and it does so for the reason that Frank Leander is a forensic document examiner – court verdicts are governed by what he says, and people go to jail because of it, sometimes for life. That means that the demands for a secure methodology are extremely strict – as long as there remains ANY doubt about a signature comparison, the accused party must be awarded the right to go free. Therefore, you cannot go to jail on grounds of a comparison between photocopied signatures, for example. Something may lie hidden in the originals in the shape of, for example, pen pressure, that could have changed the wiew of the examiner.
What is important to keep in mind here, though, is that this does not mean that an examiner is in any respect rendered unable to compare all the things that are evident in the two-dimensional shape of photocopied signatures – general style, level of writing skills, shaping of the letters etcetera. And that is what Leander has done, and which has led him to go by the book when it comes to the material supplied and it´s inherent qualities, placing the match on the lowest, most careful point of the positive scale, but which has also led him to add nuances – just as the manual tells us is common practice – telling us that the type of match we have is one where no perceivable differences are at hand, other than in the amplitude of the elements, and offering his wiew that he would be surprised if we did not have a match.
That is how simple it is: The inherent quality of the material is not sufficient for more than the ”cannot be excluded” judgement, but the similarities inbetween the samples we HAVE provided, is of so striking a similarity that Leander tells us that he expects any forthcoming evidence to prove him right in his suspicion that the writer is one and the same.

Jane again:

”I also seemed to think that the photocopies made no difference to the analysis? Isn't that what you said - sorry if it wasn't!”

If Leander has only photocopies, he MUST start his verdict – irrespective of the likeness inbetween the copied signatures he is examining – by saying ”No certainty can be made in the question of identity, but...”
Photocopies will NEVER hold up in any Swedish court, when it comes to passing a guilty sentence. That owes to the fact that photocopies only give an impression in two dimensions, and we cannot therefore reach total certainty, and in such cases, the accused party must be awarded the benefit of a doubt.
That does not mean, however, that photocopies in any way distort the twodimensional image to a level where it renders the examiner unable to examine these two dimensions! That is what research has shown; experts provided with photocopies of signatures, but NOT with the originals, did very well using ONLY photocopies when it came to establishing identity. And this research used a higher degree of difficulties than the one we are dealing with, since it concerned itself with deliberate efforts to falsify signatures. That did not matter very much, since the experts involved in the investigation were quite able to tell what was genuine and what was falsified USING ONLY PHOTOCOPIES. So the ABILITY on behalf of the experts is there, in spite of them not getting all the dimensions to examine. But that ability will be thrown out of court for reasons of justifiable demand for a total, three-dimensional examination.


Jane, once more:

”So how come now, Leander says it did make a difference and it was the quality of the images and the number of samples that made it difficult?”

He did not say that there was any lacking quality in the photocopies he examined, Jane – it is mentioned, though, in the manual, that IF there is lacking quality involved, it will have an impact. As for the number of samples, we are stuck with the fact that the SKL will not give a full experts opinion without having access to at least ten samples of both the originators handwriting and, as well, ten samples or more of the comparison material.
I don´t know how this applies to Sue Iremonger – reasonably, there will be differenes in demands inbetween different countries. But IF Iremonger says that comparing the comparatively meagre material she would have had at hand was enough for a full experts opinion, all I can say is that it would not have stood up in a Swedish court of law.

Sam:

”I'd be quite happy to give Leander scans of ten or more "Hutchinsons", and two extra "Georges", if he likes. Not that I want to abuse his generosity.”

Thanks for that, Sam! But, as you will have realized, there is no way we are going to reach a level where Leander says that he has enough for a full experts opinion – having only three witness signatures ensures that. The best we can get from Leanders side, is something we already have – his assertion that there are no dissimilarities involved between the signatures, other than in amplitude, and his addition that would be surprised if it was not the same originator. He also, as you will remember, agreed with me that if the signature was written by a genuine George Hutchinson and not an imposter, then the relative dearth of George Hutchinsons about at that time and in that area would put things as nearly beyond doubts as we could possibly hope for.

At any rate, as long as we use photocopies and have too little material deriving from the Dorset Streeet witness, we are stuck with a verdict that starts off by saying that no certain verdict can be reached in the question of identity. But that does not bother me very much, since what I set out to do, was to challenge the wiew that the signatures are dissimilar in a manner that speaks for a non-match. That is where Leander applies, telling us that one of the most experienced forensic document examiners agrees with us when we say that these signatures ARE very similar, and that this similarity is of such a character that it means that we are probably dealing with a genuine match, at least as things stand.

The best, all!
Fisherman

Ben
07-16-2009, 01:00 PM
And here it comes all over again.

The interminable posts. The “battle” mode. The inability to condense.

Oh, what the hell - I'm playing.

What made you think it was a good idea to start the ball rolling again on this issue? Was it because you were a little concerned that your contributions weren't prolific enough the last time, or that you didn't have the last word last time or what? Dare we hope that this dispenses, once and for all, with your continued swansongs announcing your departure from the discussion that you never have any intention of following through with? I hope so.

I didn't mean to be rude. I apologise for that, but seriously, what an unfortunate decision to bombard Leander for a sixth time in search of unnecessary clarification. The grading system is all very interesting, but it only serves to underscore the neutrality that characterized his first post, which should have been allowed to stand as an accurate representation of his views, rather than pestering the source over and over with “I notice you said X, but please tell me that you secretly meant Y. Then I’ll shut up!”.

However, if you’re hell bent on the Leander-bothering approach, you can at least avoid putting your own spin on his words and pretending they endorse the opinion you had already jumped to prior to contacting him. Once again, we’ve learned from Leander – this time from his grading system – that his stance on the Hutchinson/Toppy issue was one of obvious neutrality. I don’t need a “choice” of posts. I’ll stick with the first and, I dearly hope, the last. In one post, he explains his neutral stance, and cautions that the absence of the original documents is a serious hindrance to any meaningful comparison, and in the latest instalment, he let’s us know how he came to arrive at that neutral stance.

And, astonishingly, at last, we’re able to put to bed that extended game of semantic silly buggers:

“Cannot be ruled out” actually meant, “cannot be ruled out”, we learn.

So any doubts that Leander had hideously misappropriated a basic unambiguous phrase can safely be eradicated.

“I will only add once more that Frank Leander is a man that you can find on the net; you can contact the SKL any day in the week, and I urge you to do so if you feel that I am in any way manipulating this issue.”

No need. I don’t doubt Leander. He has made himself clear time and time again. Contacting the perpetually hassled SKL is the very last thing anyone should be doing, since the more we bombard them, the more we create the impression that their initial response was not the one we wanted to hear, and then we’re just a fob-off waiting to happen (as I strongly suspect it has in your case). Nobody has limitless patience, although Leander’s is certainly admirable.

“It is of no relevance that ”mostly people” belive that ”cannot be ruled out” means ”possible, but no further confirmation”. What we need to look at is what ”cannot be ruled out” means to LEANDER and the SKL”

The expression means the same thing to Leander and the “SKL” as it does to the man on the street and anyone else who understands English. It means "not impossible" - Yes, still! - and blissfully, Leander has confirmed as much. Just think how ludicrous the alternative is for one moment, i.e. if the expression meant “probable” to the boys and girls at the SKL: Leander deliberately uses an expression that he knows full well is going to be interpreted differently by the overwhelming majority of the population…?

Is that really a scenario you want to convince yourself of here? Because, if so, you’re not portraying Leander in the best light at all. Happily for the reality of the situation, he used the expression in its correct context.

“This means that if Leander is dealing with two signatures that are EXACTLY alike, totally similar in every aspect – but only photocopies – he will probably give the verdict ”No certainty can be made in the question of identity, but the observations made speak mostly for”

No, that doesn’t’ mean that.

How can you even say that having quoted verbatim from his letter?

If they were “exactly” alike, then Leander would place the material into the category where “Certain Statements” can be made. He has told us, a ludicrous amount of times now that the Hutchinson/Toppy comparison doesn’t belong in this category. Here’s how he described the category where Toppy belongs:

“In certain cases there may, though, be tendencies in one direction or the other”

There are, in this case, as he told us from the outset. Tendencies towards similarities, and tendencies towards differences, which can only invite that inevitable and logical conclusion:

“BUT IT CANNOT BE EXCLUDED”

If you actually analyse that letter, his meaning is perfectly clear, and wholly undeserving of all this unacceptable misinterpretation. You’re now seriously suggesting that “cannot be ruled out” is the expression they are accustomed to using for signatures that are “exactly alike”, which places you firmly in Cloud Cuckoo Land, since Leander never said anything of the sort. “Tendencies in one direction or the other” does not mean “Exactly alike”. Ever. Absolutely end of. Argument stifled for eternity on that score.

“This is how it works, and it does so for the reason that Frank Leander is a forensic document examiner – court verdicts are governed by what he says, and people go to jail because of it, sometimes for life.”

Inapplicable and irrelevant, Fisherman, since there’s no chance of anyone going to jail here, except perhaps me in consequence of hearing, one more time, that Leander has been pestered by you again. People can also go to jail on the basis of hideously misappropriated phrases, and I have no doubt that Leander would avoid that trap rather than pretending that “cannot be ruled out” can mean “exactly alike”. In this case, however, he had forwarded a personal email, and no dire consequences could ever result from it, so he was free to use the most appropriate terminology, and indeed he did, as we’ve since learn from his “grading system”.

“What is important to keep in mind here, though, is that this does not mean that an examiner is in any respect rendered unable to compare all the things that are evident in the two-dimensional shape of photocopied signatures – general style, level of writing skills, shaping of the letters etcetera”

Ah, but what is even more important is that a “full expert opinion” cannot be tendered in the absence of the original documents. In this absence of which, the best we can hope for is a “spontaneous comment”. You see, this is what I love about these Leander debates. By quoting the man verbatim, I can absolutely guarantee that I’m placing no spin on his words. I’m not telling people what he secretly “means”, just what he says. It’s what is required here. If you don’t do that, this is the consequence:

“placing the match on the lowest, most careful point of the positive scale”

His words become grotesquely skewed. Nowhere did Leander use the expression “match” in association with the Toppy/Hutchinson comparison. He may have commented on the positive scale, but you can be positive about something without foisting it off as a “probability”. For an even less acceptable example of this trend, check out the following:

“telling us that the type of match we have is one where no perceivable differences are at hand, other than in the amplitude of the elements”

That’s Fisherman telling us, once again, what Leander meant as opposed to reproducing his actual words. It is, of course, complete nonsense as we discover by revisiting Leander’s original post where he specifically listed differences – differences that had sod all to do with “the amplitude of the elements”, which sounds like a bad Science fiction film!

“The inherent quality of the material is not sufficient for more than the ”cannot be excluded” judgement, but the similarities inbetween the samples we HAVE provided, is of so striking a similarity that Leander tells us that he expects any forthcoming evidence to prove him right in his suspicion that the writer is one and the same.”

That’s arse-paralysingly nauseating nonsense though, Fisherman. Once again, Leander never conveyed the slightest hint that he subscribed to anything resembling this view, if you return to his initial post and have the sense to quote the man verbatim. If he radically altered his stance to the above eye-poison, then he isn’t worth taking seriously. Unless of course, he was so sick of being hassled into giving a progressively Toppy-endorsing stance that he fobbed off the irritant. I know I would, and he certainly had nothing to lose by doing so. But it’s ultimately Leander himself who demolishes that piece of nonsense by providing details of his grading system in response to being hassled into “clarifying” his stance for the sixth awkward, painful time.

“Photocopies will NEVER hold up in any Swedish court, when it comes to passing a guilty sentence.”

But we’re not in a Swedish Court, so he is free to use expressions properly, and indeed he did.

“That does not mean, however, that photocopies in any way distort the twodimensional image to a level where it renders the examiner unable to examine these two dimensions!”

But what it does mean is that a “full expert opinion” is not “possible” in the absence of the original documents. That’s what Leander actually said, and if you’re listening to him properly, you’ll embrace that advice. Document examiners are fully aware of those studies and yet they all, without apparent exception, seek out the original documents. Now that should give you a very important clue as to how those studies impacted on the actual practitioners of document examination. Bear in mind that Leander declared a full analysis impossible despite the fact that he wasn’t determining the fate of a potentially guilty party in a Swedish court.

“He did not say that there was any lacking quality in the photocopies he examined, Jane”

But WE know they were lacking in quality, since they weren’t the same size for starters, despite the fact that the montages gave the impression that they were. Breaks in the signature were equally overlooked, I’ve noticed.

“But IF Iremonger says that comparing the comparatively meagre material she would have had at hand was enough for a full experts opinion, all I can say is that it would not have stood up in a Swedish court of law.”

It isn’t comparatively meagre. It’s comparatively better, since she would have been in possession of the original documents, which is more than can be said for Leander. Iremonger was irrefutably better equipped to arrive at an informed opinion on the subject, and if your latest strategy is to claim that Swedish document examiners are better or more thorough than their English counterparts, I’m afraid that must be dismissed with the contempt it richly deserves.

“his assertion that there are no dissimilarities involved between the signatures, other than in amplitude”

Nonsense, he specifically listed the “dissimilarities” in his first post, and they had nothing to do with “amplitude”.

“and his addition that would be surprised if it was not the same originator.”

…Which I utterly reject, considering he said nothing of the sort in his initial contribution.

“He also, as you will remember, agreed with me that if the signature was written by a genuine George Hutchinson and not an imposter, then the relative dearth of George Hutchinsons about at that time and in that area would put things as nearly beyond doubts as we could possibly hope for.”

If he agreed with you, it was because you supplied him with bogus and misleading information from the outset, which is an absolutely textbook no-no for anyone contacting a document examiner, since there was no “relative dearth” of George Hutchinson’s “about at that time and in that area”. You know literally NOTHING about the number of George Hutchinson’s in the East End 1888, and if you told Leander that you do, then it’s shame on you, quite frankly.

“But that does not bother me very much, since what I set out to do, was to challenge the wiew that the signatures are dissimilar in a manner that speaks for a non-match”

And you weren’t successful in that regard, expect inasmuch as you found a second expert opinion whose neutral stance was in contrast to Iremonger’s rejection of the match as unlikely.

“and that this similarity is of such a character that it means that we are probably dealing with a genuine match”

Awful, ghastly, dreadful nonsense.

His initial post conveyed no such impression. Not even close.

babybird67
07-16-2009, 01:28 PM
He did not say that there was any lacking quality in the photocopies he examined, Jane – it is mentioned, though, in the manual, that IF there is lacking quality involved, it will have an impact.

just a quick point of logic that seems to have escaped this sentence...


how would Leander be able to tell what the photocopies were lacking without comparing them to the original documents? Or indeed how they differed at all from the originals without comparing them to the original documents?

Fisherman
07-16-2009, 01:29 PM
Ben asks:

"What made you think it was a good idea to start the ball rolling again on this issue?"

The fact that I added knowledge, Ben. I published the full manual used by the SKL in errands like this, and now any poster who wants to see how Leander works and with what tools, can do so.

I will not go into too many details of your post, since I know full well where it leads. I have settled on two points only, one to exemplify and one to protest:

1. You write:

"Cannot be ruled out” actually meant, “cannot be ruled out”, we learn."

We have alla long had Leanders explanation to how the term applies: It is ”the lowest, most careful expression on the positive side in a scale that we have used in investigations of handstyles, and it serves well to underline when we cannot see any discrepancies other than in the ”amplitude” between the expressions.”
The manual also clearly shows us that when photocopy material or other material that does not go to reach a full verdict is used, the gradings that can be awarded are either referred to as cases of identity or non-identity, and ”cannot be excluded” belongs to the three examples of identity.

So much for that.

2. The other point I would like to bring up is when you write that I supplied Leander ”with bogus and misleading information from the outset”. This is a blatant lie, and it will be reported to the managers of the boards.

Other than this I will only once again point out that it is a very strange attitude towards the gathering of knowledge to opt for no gathering at all, and complaint about other posters who add knowledge and information to the boards and the discussion.
My advice to you, Ben, would be to – instead of protesting against the adding of useful information to the discussion – contact Sue Iremonger and make a useful contribution of your own. The telephone number has been presented on the boards and she should be easy enough to reach. Then maybe we could find some sort of solution to what I regard as something of a mystery – the stating that she found the signatures incomparable to such an extent as to rule a match out.
Making such a contribution on your behalf would be immensely better than trying to pick fights on this subject and making allegations that will have you reported.

Think about it, Ben; if you could pick up the phone and ask Killeen what he really saw when examining Tabram, find out where exactly the wounds were and ask him about his working manual – would you think that a bad idea?
It´s all about adding information, Ben – not protesting when you dislike it. To realize that you point out my sixth contact with Leander as something abominable and distorting is quite disturbing – if I feel that I can contribute valuable information, I will merrily speak to him a seventh, eigtht, nineth and tenth time, as anybody with a true interest of finding out as much as possible would do.

The best,
Fisherman

babybird67
07-16-2009, 01:33 PM
we are back where we were at the first post in which Leander's view that he could not establish anything without looking at the original documents was expressed...

we still know that no identification can be or has been established...

why is this so difficult to grasp???

Fisherman
07-16-2009, 01:49 PM
Babybird writes:

"no knowledge has been added as far as i can see.."

But the full manual regarding the differing verdicts used by the SKL has been published - how could that represent "no knowledge"?

"we are back where we were at the first post in which Leander's view that he could not establish anything without looking at the original documents was expressed..."

He never expressed that nothing could be established, Babybird. Nothing that would hold up in court could be established, that is true - but that does not mean that he could not work from the copies and give his verdict on the likeness as assessed from purely two-dimensional material. He, in fact, was able to establish a grading on a scale, and to further add nuances telling us that the likeness was obvious enough for him to reach the conclusion that he would be surprised if the originator of the signatures were not one and the same.
Do you think that equals that nothing could be established? I don´t.

"we still know that no identification can be or has been established..."

Correct. It would not hold up enough for a court. It much resembles, though, the type of case where it is said that a "police solution" exists - but where the evidence involved is not enough to get a conviction.

"why is this so difficult to grasp???"

I could ask the same thing. It is quite simple really: There are two levels involved in Leanders verdict. The first is the one attached to the manual by which he works, and where he tells us that the material involved only allows for a verdict of "”No certainty can be reached in the question of identity, but it cannot be excluded that”, and the second one is the level where he tells us that this does in no way mean that he does not find the signatures alike. In fact, they are so similar to his eyes that he expects that WHEN the added evidence arives, it will confirm what he has settled on suspecting: That the Dorset Street witness and Toppy was the same man. Until that evidence arrives, though, he cannot firmly and professionally conclude it.
So yes, it IS simple enough.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
07-16-2009, 01:57 PM
The fact that I added knowledge, Ben. I published the full manual used by the SKL in errands like this, and now any poster who wants to see how Leander works and with what tools, can do so

Thanks for that, Fish.

Slightly astonished that you contacted the man for the sixth time, but at least it has yielded productive results this time. All due credit to you for that, of course, but what you absolutely must not do now is start instructing all and sundry as to what Leander "means" and how it supposedly supports the theory that you subscribed to from the outset. Just don't bother, since all it does is lay the foundations for another repetetive debate.

”The lowest, most careful expression on the positive side in a scale" is syntactically rather odd, but that is doubtless due to a translation and certainly not the fault of anyone - you or Leander. It is also an acceptable synonym of the expression "cannot be ruled out", since you can be positive about something without declaring it probable. As for all this stuff about no differences being detected other than "amplitude", can I ask what this is intended to convey in this context? Because Leander was quite specific in his listing of the differences in his first letter.

and ”cannot be excluded” belongs to the three examples of identity.

Well, no.

"Cannot be excluded" belongs in the category described by Leander himself:

"In certain cases there may, though, be tendencies in one direction or the other"

This is a blatant lie, and it will be reported to the managers of the boards.

Go on, then.

I'll happily elaborate if I'm taken to task about it. You cannot inform Leander about the number of viable George Hutchinsons "in the area" at the time of the murders when you have absolutely no idea of that number. You may not have intentionally misled him or supplied bogus information, but erroneous it certainly was, and as such, it should not have been supplied to Leander.

Other than this I will only once again point out that it is a very strange attitude towards the gathering of knowledge to opt for no gathering at all

It isn't the gathering of knowledge that I object to.

I object to the pseudo-triumphalist claim that the knowledge gathered has somehow lent weight to the conclusion you already jumped to. Best to leave the "interpretation" to others rather than insisting what Leander meant. I have contacted Iremonger, but discovered that you had done the same thing almost simultaneously. I don't criticise you for this, since you weren't to know, but it's little wonder that our combined efforts scared her off. She didn't "rule out" a match to my knowledge - she simply expressed the opinion that they weren't written by the same hand.

Your pursuit of information is admirable.

Your insistence on what we must conclude from the information is altogether less so.

Best regards,
Ben

Ben
07-16-2009, 02:08 PM
He, in fact, was able to establish a grading on a scale, and to further add nuances telling us that the likeness was obvious enough for him to reach the conclusion that he would be surprised if the originator of the signatures were not one and the same.

You see, this is the sort of thing I'd cut back on, since I've raised my valid objections to it on a number of occasions, chiefly on the grounds that Leander's first post conveyed no such impression, nor did his latest for that matter. You just keep repeating it over and over as though there was never any objection to it, and that's where the antagonism kicks in.

It much resembles, though, the type of case where it is said that a "police solution" exists - but where the evidence involved is not enough to get a conviction.

No, it doesn't.

It resembles the type of case where the judgement is squarely on the fence, where neither a match, nor a non-match is declared. Totally neutral.

In fact, they are so similar to his eyes that he expects that WHEN the added evidence arives, it will confirm what he has settled on suspecting: That the Dorset Street witness and Toppy was the same man. Until that evidence arrives, though

But again, Babybird and I (and anyone else) is entitled to reject that on the grounds that it did not reflect the neutrality of his initial viewpoint. It rather annoys me that you seem hell-bent on repeating the "Leander thinks we have a match" mantra after it has been thrashed out countless times already, with several people objecting to it everytime. Don't use the acquisition of information as an excuse for repeating previously challeneged assertions.

Please?

Best regards,
Ben

babybird67
07-16-2009, 02:09 PM
Babybird writes:

"no knowledge has been added as far as i can see.."

But the full manual regarding the differing verdicts used by the SKL has been published - how could that represent "no knowledge"?

Because, Fish, it has no bearing whatsoever on the facts of the matter which are that Leander was unable to examine the documents he would need to complete a professional analysis and give a professional opinion, which, he said, was NOT POSSIBLE...therefore he cautioned from the beginning to take his comments as "spontaneous" and "personal". The grading system of his PROFESSIONAL opinions is not relevant where he is specifically explaining that the opinion he is offering is a personal as opposed to a professional one. Furthermore, even if we look at the grading system, we can ALL see that where his comments would have been graded fit perfectly into his initial comments which stated quite clearly that there were differences/similarities and that it was his opinion that a match could not be ruled out. We are still at that point. The publication of the grading system has not changed anything. We are no further in identifying Toppy with Hutch...no new knowledge has been contributed since we are discussing the identification of Toppy with Hutch, not the pros and cons of the SKL grading system. I could post up the Boy Scout's Code of Conduct if you are after new knowledge...it wouldn't be relevant to the issue of whether Toppy was Hutch though would it?


He never expressed that nothing could be established, Babybird. Nothing that would hold up in court could be established, that is true - but that does not mean that he could not work from the copies and give his verdict on the likeness as assessed from purely two-dimensional material. He, in fact, was able to establish a grading on a scale, and to further add nuances telling us that the likeness was obvious enough for him to reach the conclusion that he would be surprised if the originator of the signatures were not one and the same.
Do you think that equals that nothing could be established? I don´t.

What has been established then Fish? Can we say with absolute certainty Toppy was Hutch? I don't think so. Do you disagree? I am trying to be so careful here...what do you actually think? Has an identification been established, in your opinion? Is that opinion based on Leander's "personal" "spontaneous" comments? As far as i know, we werent asking him to establish something that would stand up in court, unless someone is after digging Toppy up and charging him with something post mortem.

So...yes...in regards the fundamental issue we are all concerned with - can we establish that the witness Hutch was actually a man we can identify from the Census as George William Topping Hutchinson...NOTHING has been established, other than he could be, he could not be...WE DON'T KNOW. If you feel something contrary to this HAS been established, please say so plainly, so that we can discuss why you feel this has been established on the basis of the current evidence.

"we still know that no identification can be or has been established..."

Correct.

Yes Fish i know i am correct. I've been saying this consistently on this issue...over and over...yet still some people have a fundamental problem acknowledging this. This, however, seems to conflict with what you say above, in that you are saying something HAS been established...what, exactly, has been established in your opinion Fish? I really am curious to know.


I could ask the same thing. It is quite simple really: There are two levels involved in Leanders verdict. The first is the one attached to the manual by which he works, and where he tells us that the material involved only allows for a verdict of "”No certainty can be reached in the question of identity, but it cannot be excluded that”, and the second one is the level where he tells us that this does in no way mean that he does not find the signatures alike. In fact, they are so similar to his eyes that he expects that WHEN the added evidence arives, it will confirm what he has settled on suspecting: That the Dorset Street witness and Toppy was the same man. Until that evidence arrives, though, he cannot firmly and professionally conclude it.

Utter rubbish. You want to have it both ways. You want to agree with logic and sense and agree that actually NO identification has been made. Then you want to twist that further than the bounds of what meanings signify and what Leander actually said, into something along the lines of, although there hasnt been identification, there has been really, secretly, honest...and you cannot say "WHEN the added evidence arrives"...there may not ever be any new evidence. Thus, listen to Leander when he tells you HE DOES NOT KNOW! HE CANNOT CONCLUDE ANYTHING EITHER FROM THE QUALITY OR PARSITY OF MATERIALS.

Seriously Fish i worry about you.
So yes, it IS simple enough.

Fisherman
07-16-2009, 02:22 PM
Ben writes:

"Go on, then. I'll happily elaborate if I'm taken to task about it. You cannot inform Leander about the number of viable George Hutchinsons in the East End at the time of the murders when you have absolutely no idea of that number. You may not have intentionally misled him or supplied bogus information, but erroneous it certainly was, and as such, it should not have been supplied to Leander."

The discussion that occurred between us at the time was one where we both agreed that IF we were dealing with a limited number of George Hutchinsons, then that would have a huge impact on how to read things.
The report has already been made. If it leads to a friendlier tone on your behalf, I am happy about it. If not, there is very little I can do about it but to report you again whenever you step over the line.

"It isn't the gathering of knowledge that I object to.
I object to the pseudo-triumphalist claim that the knowledge gathered has somehow lent weight to the conclusion you already jumped to. Best to leave the "interpretation" to others rather than insisting what Leander meant."

There is no pseudo- triumph involved, here, Ben - other than, perhaps, in your imagination. Nor is there any need to interpret the wording that Leander would be surprised if it was not a genuine match - it speaks for itself. What I am doing, however, is opposing your wiew that he leant to neither side from the beginning, for that he obviously did. The possibility to have that clad in words were few as long as he kept himself to the rules of the manual, for it only allowed for the institutionalized phrasin "cannot be excluded". But the nuancing he has provided afterwards - something that is opened up for by the manual, probably just because of the need to eradicate misconceptions - has been very clear in telling us that the likeness is there.

"I have contacted Iremonger, but discovered that you had done the same thing almost simultaneously. I don't criticise you for this, since you weren't to know, but it's little wonder that our combined efforts scared her off."

That was a combined e-mail effort, Ben - but there is always the phone number. If you call her, I won´t. Fido tells us that she is quite an amiable lady, so I fail to see why she should not offer something, at least. Maybe the WADE journal has something kept in their offices? Whatever, it would look tremendeously good on your behalf if you did not just sit tight and claim that Iremonger cannot be questioned, for Leanders investigation points to nothing else but the fact that se OUGHT to be. And if there is an easy solution to this endless row, let´s pounce on it! It could lie in the originals, though I much doubt that myself, and it could lie in using the wrong material, something I think is far more likely. And yes, that is only my personal wiew, and I fully know and understand that you dislike even the suggestion. That is why we should try and put an end to suggestions and rows and such by actually finding out.
It can also be said, Ben, and I know that you will realize the logic of it, although there is no need for you to like that logic, that it could look on your behalf as if you did not WANT to find out from Iremonger what applies and what does not apply. As long as you don´t ask, you can´t be faulted, and why take the risk?
That was a risk I took when the discussion about what "cannot be ruled out" surfaced; I thought Leander was telling us about a perceived match, and you thought he was merely saying it could be either way, and that he did not favour any leaning towards any side.
Icould have come up empty-handed that time over, but it would not have mattered to me, since I was after the truth, no matter which versionit supported.
Maybe the time has come for you to make the jump too, Ben.

Just read this passage:

"again, Babybird and I (and anyone else) is entitled to reject that on the grounds that it did not reflect the neutrality of his initial viewpoint"

But that "neutrality" was something you interpreted, Ben! And you have just spent a whole post warning me about interpretations, since they may be wrong. And indeed, to interpret a total neutrality into Leanders first post WAS wrong, as effectively showed by the manual and by Leanders later additions.

Go for Iremonger, Ben - that is my advice, and I can see no god objections against it whatsoever.

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
07-16-2009, 02:32 PM
Babybird!

You write:

"HE DOES NOT KNOW! HE CANNOT CONCLUDE ANYTHING EITHER FROM THE QUALITY OR PARSITY OF MATERIALS."

He does not "know", that is correct. He has not been provided with enough material and he has not seen the originals.
But he has looked at the photocopies, and that has enabled him to say that as far as they can provide a ground for judgement, that judgement on his behalf is that he would be surprised if we do not have a match.

Once again, his verdict is worded on the manual level AND on a more nuanced, personal level, as encouraged by the manual where there is a need for such nuancing. Neither of these parametres swear against each other.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
07-16-2009, 02:58 PM
The discussion that occurred between us at the time was one where we both agreed that IF we were dealing with a limited number of George Hutchinsons, then that would have a huge impact on how to read things.

Well, I'm afraid that wasn't made clear the first time. I'm really not sure quite why you felt the need to "report" me, since I never accused you of deliberately supplying him with information that you knew to be false. I only observed that the information is "bogus and misleading", which it is, regrettably. Maybe I should report you for comparing me to Hitler or accusing me of "stepping on dead people"?

Nor is there any need to interpret the wording that Leander would be surprised if it was not a genuine match - it speaks for itself

Once again - and a trillion more times if necessary - I utterly reject the professed "surprise" if it were not a genuine match since that view is in stark contrast to his initial neutral stance. He couldn't possibly subscribe to both stances simultaneously, so I'm inclined to the view that he fobbed you off a bit after you contacted him a few too many times. I don't like having to make these determinations, but there's no rational alternative short of booting Leander out, and when you're so insistent on repeating the above mantra as though it were never objected to, it does rattle my cage somewhat.

I am doing, however, is opposing your wiew that he leant to neither side from the beginning, for that he obviously did.

You're spoiling for a scrap, Fisherman, is what you're doing.

You've already opposed my view over the course of 300 pages, and I re-opposed your "opposition" in turn. What could possibly be your motivation for repeating that argument again, unless you were looking for a fight? Don't pretend it's because you're only in pursuit of new information. If that was your sole intention, you could have provided the information and left it to others to "interpret". We're big boys and girls here, and don't need your help to do that. Instead you've chosen the rather more transparent tactic of "See? Just what I concluded all along!" and are now registering surprise that it's pissing a few people off.

But the nuancing he has provided afterwards - something that is opened up for by the manual, probably just because of the need to eradicate misconceptions - has been very clear in telling us that the likeness is there.

He also said that "against" the likeness, there are differences, but the differences were insufficient to rule the possibility of a match out. I mean, he couldn't be more neutral if you paid him.

If you call her, I won´t. Fido tells us that she is quite an amiable lady, so I fail to see why she should not offer something, at least.

I may do so, Fish, although I've privately been advised against it on account of her advanced age. If she wasn't inclined to respond via email, it might be a little brash and thrusting to avoid taking the hint and persist in putting her on the spot anyway, but we're all different, I guess. Personally, I found the collective observations of Messrs. Menges, Hinton, Begg and Fido to have been most informative as far as Iremonger's findings are concerned.

It could lie in the originals, though I much doubt that myself, and it could lie in using the wrong material, something I think is far more likely. And yes, that is only my personal wiew, and I fully know and understand that you dislike even the suggestion.

That's because it's a fallacious suggestion: that a document examiner accidentally compared a modern FRC registrar's handwriting with the Hutchinson statement. I've long since realised, though, that the suggestion is far too silly even for me to get my knickers in a twist when I hear it touted.

It can also be said, Ben, and I know that you will realize the logic of it, although there is no need for you to like that logic, that it could look on your behalf as if you did not WANT to find out from Iremonger

You can believe that if you wish, but it would be an odd rationalisation since I've already told you that I've contacted Sue Iremonger.

But that "neutrality" was something you interpreted, Ben! And you have just spent a whole post warning me about interpretations, since they may be wrong.

Yes, but the difference is that I don't generally kick-start debates again by reminding everyone what my interpretation is. You're entitled to your interpretation and I'm entitled to mine, and we've thrashed out those differing interpretations for pages and pages now. It's probably high time we agreed to disagree, but that will never happen as long as you keep making irritating remarks akin to:

And indeed, to interpret a total neutrality into Leanders first post WAS wrong, as effectively showed by the manual and by Leanders later additions.

No, it wasn't wrong. My interpretation was right, as borne out by Leander's first and latest observations. My respect for his integrity and professionalism was such that his initial neutral stance didn't need any further clarification.

that judgement on his behalf is that he would be surprised if we do not have a match.

Don't keep saying it, otherwise it just comes across as though your primary incentive behind reigniting this thread was to get an opportunity to repeat that nonsense, which I still reject.

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
07-16-2009, 03:24 PM
Ben writes:

"I'm really not sure quite why you felt the need to "report" me"

The you are entitled to an explanation, Ben. It lies in the fact that you used expressions like "That’s arse-paralysingly nauseating nonsense", told me that Leanders words were "grotesquely skewed" and followed it up by claiming that I allegedly "supplied him with bogus and misleading information", which, taken together, points very much to inappropriate behavior on my behalf.

What you refer to as "bogus" and "misleading" was that I told Leander that we would have a case of a very limited number of George Hutchinsons in the East end at the relevant time, and he agreed that if this was the case, it would become even more probable that the signatures were by the same man.

Now, Ben, we do actually know that the number of George Hutchinsons WAS limited - exactly HOW limited, we do not know. Sam speaks of a handful, maybe ten. Maybe it was in fact twenty. Allowing for a HUGE G H swarming that autumn, we could have been dealing with perhaps a hundred.
If so, it would STILL apply that it would have an almighty impact on any judgement on the signatures! And seriously, Ben - we both know that a hundred George Hutchinsons would not have been about at that time and place. It would be interesting to see how many they were in the kingdom as a whole - less, perhaps, than a thousand?

So, we were having a discussion on theoretical grounds, asking ourselves would it have an impact on the issue IF we worked from the assumption that there were not very many George Hutchinsons around, and Leander agreed with me that it would have a huge impact.

Such a discussion is a very relevant one, and saying that the number of Hutchinsons was limited was - very far from being "bogus" - quite, quite true.

That is why I reported you.

As for the rest of your post, it only takes us round in circles and I will not respond to any of it. I will, though, once again urge you to get on the phone to Sue Iremonger and find out all you can find out on the issue, thus perhaps enabling us to move forward instead of in circles.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
07-16-2009, 03:43 PM
I apologise for my "arse-paralysingly nauseating nonsense" remark, Fisherman. It was a bit OTT, I admit, although I thought it was an indelicately phrased attack on the theory, rather than your character.

What you refer to as "bogus" and "misleading" was that I told Leander that we may have a cese of a very limited number of George Hutchinsons in the East end at the relevant time

Ah, okay. It didn't read that way first time around, though. I had formed the impression that you had told Leander that the number of George Hutchinson's living "in the area" at the time was limited or that there was a "relative dearth" of them. Relative to what is not made clear, but I know from earlier census (mainly 1891) findings and trips to the FRC that there were certainly George Hutchinsons living in the East End whose names and signatures have not yet been found in 1911.

If so, it would STILL apply that it would have an almighty impact on any judgement on the signatures!

That's if George Hutchinson wasn't an alias. If it was, the impact wouldn't be so nearly so "almighty" since the number of potential candidates can be expanded to encompass many thousands.

My terminology may have been excessively robust, but it still wasn't a good idea to use expressions such as "relative dearth" when communicating with Leander because that might imply that there was a dearth in relation to the average number of "George Hutchinson's" per district, for example.

I still think "reporting" me was a bit excessive.

Best regards,
Ben

Jane Coram
07-16-2009, 03:47 PM
Hi,

Not going to get involved in the debate, but can I just ask a couple of questions that may have already been answered, but if so I can't find them in all the pages of posts!

Firstly, were all the signatures supplied to the examiner actual size? By this, I mean their original size, with no variation whatsoever in sizing.

Also were they supplied in the context of the original document - that is - in situ, so that the slope and angle could be compared with the page and the rest of the text.

Many thanks.

Jane

xxxx

Ben
07-16-2009, 04:13 PM
Good to see you here, Jane!

The signatures submitted to the examiner did not reflect their actual size. They were presented as the same size, but in reality, the signatures appended to the Hutchinson statement were considerably larger than the 1911 census entries. I don't believe any of the supplied signatures were presented in the context of the full document, i.e. the rest of the page, but I'm happy to stand corrected if anyone knows otherwise.

All the best,
Ben x

babybird67
07-16-2009, 04:50 PM
Babybird!

You write:

"HE DOES NOT KNOW! HE CANNOT CONCLUDE ANYTHING EITHER FROM THE QUALITY OR PARSITY OF MATERIALS."

He does not "know", that is correct. He has not been provided with enough material and he has not seen the originals.

Correct. So debate as to whether THE ORIGINAL MATERIALS would support a match, possible match, probable match, or otherwise, is redundant.

Therefore, we are left without any professional guidance from Leander whatsoever...what we are left with are "spontaneous" and "personal" comments, much in line with everyone else who has posted here.

Conclusion...we do not know.

Accept it. Embrace it. True knowledge is freeing.:hiya:

babybird67
07-16-2009, 04:54 PM
Good to see you here, Jane!

The signatures submitted to the examiner did not reflect their actual size. They were presented as the same size, but in reality, the signatures appended to the Hutchinson statement were considerably larger than the 1911 census entries. I don't believe any of the supplied signatures were presented in the context of the full document, i.e. the rest of the page, but I'm happy to stand corrected if anyone knows otherwise.

All the best,
Ben x


That was one of my concerns, Ben, that the signatures had been technically modified to perhaps enable a more positive interpretation of their similarities. I understand the size of the signatures is a significant difference. I am worried also about how any hiatus have possibly been minimised and whether the angles of the writing on the originals have been authentically replicated. Not forgetting Garry's excellent point about the omission of the middle names also.

(I'm not suggesting this has been done to deliberately mislead...it seems just to have been the effect of the efforts of assembling them in a comparable column)

Fisherman
07-16-2009, 05:33 PM
Babybird:

"we are left without any professional guidance from Leander whatsoever..."

We are left with what Leander could make out of the two-dimensional copies, Babybird: and that involved a comparison of the general appearance, style elements, individual letters, level of writing skills etcetera.

If you want to regard such a comparison made by a top authority as unprofessional, you are welcome to that wiew. My guess, though, is that most people will read in an unprofessionality on your own behalf in it all, and settle for Leanders own verdict: No full examination can be made (by anybody, as a matter of fact) of the material, since it is too small, but he COULD use his vast knowledge to compare the appartion of the signatures in two dimensions, and that led him to the conclusion that he would be surprised if added evidence (such as the originals, for example, or more signatures) would change his mindset of a match. He clearly also added that his verdict went to show that there were no differences involved in the signatures he compared, other than in amplitude.

If you want to rule it useless, please go ahead, but please allow those who regard it sensible to listen to an authority like Leander, to lend weight to his judgement. There are those of us who think that when a man of Leanders position and knowledge comments on a signature comparison, weighing in numerous elements in his judgement, then that judgement will contain a whole lot of professionalism and experience. More, in fact, than any of us can offer, reasonably.

The best,
Fisherman

babybird67
07-16-2009, 05:34 PM
That was a combined e-mail effort, Ben - but there is always the phone number. If you call her, I won´t. Fido tells us that she is quite an amiable lady, so I fail to see why she should not offer something, at least.

And i fail to see why you cannot distinguish between an expert who has explained he cannot give his professional opinion and WHY he cannot, and another expert who was approached for a professional opinion, looked at the original documents in question, gave her opinion and was REFERENCED by distinguished authors working in this field.

What possible reason could there be for badgering her perhaps a decade after the event? She is elderly now by all accounts, possibly retired...what's more, she has given her professional opinion which has been published as her professional opinion.

Are we now to trawl through the references of anyone's Ripper-related book and start phoning people up willy nilly just to check what exactly informed the opinion they expressed eight or nine years ago? What kind of academia do you actually inhabit?

Do take a step back and try to see how crazy your contentions are...it really is lamentable.

Ben
07-16-2009, 05:47 PM
I understand the size of the signatures is a significant difference. I am worried also about how any hiatus have possibly been minimised and whether the angles of the writing on the originals have been authentically replicated.

Good point, Beebs.

One way of checking is to revist the earlier montages that included the horizontal lines beneath the signatures to determine whether or not they are paralell in the column. They really should be, if we're to make an accurate comparison of the angles involved. The lines should also be included in each montage for that purpose.

and that led him to the conclusion that he would be surprised if added evidence (such as the originals, for example, or more signatures) would change his mindset of a match

He just said it again.

Let's just find my reply.

Here it is:

Once again - and a trillion more times if necessary - I utterly reject the professed "surprise" if it were not a genuine match since that view is in stark contrast to his initial neutral stance. He couldn't possibly subscribe to both stances simultaneously, so I'm inclined to the view that he fobbed you off a bit after you contacted him a few too many times.

But here's a question.

What is "amplitude" supposed to refer to in the context of signature comparisons?

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/amplitude

Best regards,
Ben

babybird67
07-16-2009, 05:50 PM
Babybird:

"we are left without any professional guidance from Leander whatsoever..."

We are left with what Leander could make out of the two-dimensional copies, Babybird: and that involved a comparison of the general appearance, style elements, individual letters, level of writing skills etcetera.

No we are not Fish. We are left, as i said, without any PROFESSIONAL guidance from Leander, since he told us HIMSELF that all he could provide was a "personal" "spontaneous" opinion...personal is diametrically opposed to professional in this context.

If you want to regard such a comparison made by a top authority as unprofessional, you are welcome to that wiew.

I am regarding it as Leander told me to regard it...as unprofessional; as personal, as spontaneous, as off the cuff. Anything else would be disrespectful to him.


My guess, though, is that most people will read in an unprofessionality on your own behalf in it all, and settle for Leanders own verdict

More personal derogation...now why doesnt that surprise me? My own guess that any discerning person reading this debacle will see your continual twisting of someone else's words as the unprofessional one, Fish. I've already told you i find your actions with regard to Leander as exceptionally disrespectful, and you are supposed to be his friend.



He clearly also added that his verdict went to show that there were no differences involved in the signatures he compared, other than in amplitude.

So all the differences he reported seeing in his original response were chimera? Right. Gosh it's almost as if you have been changing his mind for him!

If you want to rule it useless, please go ahead, but please allow those who regard it sensible to listen to an authority like Leander, to lend weight to his judgement.

you seem to have selective answering syndrome. I've asked you numerous times to explain to me exactly what has been established by Leander's personal comments...on the one hand you agree with me and say i am correct when i point out that no identification has been established...in the next paragraph you cling to the debris of your wish-fulfilment belief that there really has been a virtual identification, even though Leander himself says again and again that he cannot establish such an identification and refuses point blank to do so.

Go on Fish...i dare you...go through one of my posts and tackle the rational points i have made one by one...i'd love to see your answers...at the moment it appears that you havent got any...

The Good Michael
07-16-2009, 06:10 PM
The beauty of all this is we need no 'expert' to tell us anything. Our eyes when not obscured by agenda, suffice for us to say that the similarities of signature create a level of probability that is undeniable. That is where we are and that is where we began. We who don't care about Hutchinson in any way except as a component of the Whitechapel murders, can see this. Those who suspect nefarious deeds, look with different, obscured eyes. It's simple. Fisherman needs to reel himself in. He knows. I know. Gareth knows. Observer knows. Richard knows. Many know. It is simple and plain for those who look. Others... screw 'em.

Mike

Ben
07-16-2009, 06:29 PM
It’s that triumphalist rhetoric again!

We will triumph with awesome, invulnerable might! They will faint ‘neath the power we wield!

It’s a bit of an insipid debating strategy, though, you have to admit.

Have you noticed the triumphalists always “know”, and they always try to pass themselves off as the majority group? It is, of course, not particularly logical to argue that anyone who disagrees with another’s strongly held opinion must automatically have an agenda. For example, being vehemently opposed to the possibility of Hutchinson’s involvement in Kelly’s murder is certainly no less of an entrenched viewpoint than that which entertains reasonable suspicions against him, and even if it was, it certainly doesn’t impact upon the Toppy issue (and vice versa).

“suffice for us to say that the similarities of signature create a level of probability that is undeniable.”

No, it doesn’t.

I just denied it.

And a fellow “denyer” is document examiner Sue Iremonger.

I guess that would make her a rabid Hutchinsonite? Bummer.

babybird67
07-16-2009, 06:52 PM
The beauty of all this is we need no 'expert' to tell us anything.

Now could you please explain this to Fish; that my opinion is as valid as Leander's since neither of us have had the benefit of comparing the originals. Since eyes are enough of a qualification.



Our eyes when not obscured by agenda, suffice for us to say that the similarities of signature create a level of probability that is undeniable.


I dont have an agenda, Fiend. If i did have an agenda it would be trying to restore sense and sanity to a discussion which has put far too much faith in some surface similarities as opposed to the surface differences. If you are saying the level of probability is undeniable, you are, are you not, saying that identification has been established in this matter? Do you not have any doubt? is there not even a .01% of you that would have to say, i may find this probable but i still do not know. Probability and certainty are not the same thing...probability and undeniability are not the same thing.


We who don't care about Hutchinson in any way except as a component of the Whitechapel murders, can see this.

i'm one of those and i cannot agree. Maybe my standards are too high (well, i am a woman:1tongue: ). I cannot accept "probability" as "proof". I just can't.


Fisherman needs to reel himself in.

Some hopes.

He knows. I know. Gareth knows. Observer knows. Richard knows. Many know.

No. You think you know. There is a difference. :)


It is simple and plain for those who look. Others... screw 'em.

Are you offering? Enlightenment by carnal pleasuring....hmmmm...it could catch on...:lol:

Fisherman
07-16-2009, 09:20 PM
Is there really any need for all this hostility? Is there any need for Babybird to "dare me" to challenge her wiews? Any need for Ben to try and stop me from quoting Leanders assertion that he would be surprised if it was a non-match?

Have we not had more than enough of it?

Once again, it seems that peole arm themselves with sticks and stones and take to the street, instead of rationally considering each others arguments. It is a disgrace. I for one won´t participate in such a thing - I have had quite enough of it.

I presented Leanders manual for judging signatures and handstyles, and the boards go berserk?

Please cool off and then return to the threads when there is something useful to offer - like, for example Iremongers findings. That would move us forward - nothing of the rest that is produced right now does. It´s just more of the 1911 mess, and my hunch is that any sane person could do without it.

The best - hopefully from all of us!
Fisherman

babybird67
07-16-2009, 09:24 PM
Iremonger's findings have been published. I suggest you get hold of the books if you are interested.

I am daring you to answer the questions i have put to you repeatedly. I do you the courtesy of answering yours. You avoid mine like the plague for some reason.

Jane Welland
07-16-2009, 09:25 PM
What fun you've all been having today! So, as Fisherman's first post of today was directed in my direction for much of the content, I think I would note the following in response, for what it's worth! :rolleyes2:

I see there are two 'camps' here - self-defined, defined by the other side, etc, whether they see themselves as 'camps', or not.

Believers in Toppy = Hutch. That's what you are, it would appear - believers. As far as I can tell, the case is unproven. Anyone who comes along and posts as if, or under the assumption that is has, is incorrect - and, since it hasn't -
unhelpful to the debate at hand.

There's much talk of 'agendas' around here - well, behaving as though the identification was a certainty - when it would appear that is far from being the case - is not indicative of an agenda? How so?

You know what they say about people in glass houses....

It could be so simple. Two expert document examiners have looked at the signatures, yes?

So, which one of them said 'Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a Match!'

What? Neither of them did?

Oh Dear. I would have thought, if the match was as strong as some would have it, that one, or both of these experts would have concurred. :scratchchin:

Twist and turn it any way - neither of them did. Both seem, at the very least, to have expressed some doubt, although as far as I can tell, neither ruled it out, either.

Still, hardly a done deal, is it?

Now, we might argue that these experts know nothing, and we don't need experts. Well, maybe so. But if we take that stance we a) disagree with the majority of the document-examiner using population, who rely on their verdicts in legal cases, as Fisherman tells us (indeed, their verdict can send a person to prison); b} Risk looking ridiculous (see 'a').

Each to their own, but I always thought these people were called 'experts' for a reason - that being that they were experts? Presumably, they, much as any expert in any field, didn't get there overnight. Presumably, like Mr Leander and Miss Iremonger, they earned the right to be called experts by hard work and reputation.

Reputation, yes. We must conclude (in the case of Leander, for example)that either a} the Swedish population is endemically stupid and gullible to trust in Leander's expertsie; b} Leander does actually know what he's talking about.

Again, simple. Saying, or writing words to the effect of 'It is because I say so' gets us absolutely nowhere. And constitutes weak argument.

Fisherman, you at least, believe in expertise - you must, since you have asked the view of Leander more than once as I understand it.

Next - originals vs copies. This one is really simple. It should surely be quite apparent to everyone and anyone that originals are always preferable in terms of source material. Copies may 'do' but they will never be as good. You don't need to be a Rocket Scientist, expert, or anyone of particular note to see that. It stands, as they say, to reason.

And in fact, if people read how this current debate has developed, they will see it for themselves imo - problem is, a copy is effectively a translation - and it changes by virtue of being itself. That's a general observation, and applies to many things and areas of study, but no less to this, I would imagine.

Here, for example - from posts that precede this one - the originals were not apparently, the same size, but that was not clear in the material viewed by Leander. 'Breaks' in the signatures were not clear from the copies and were thus unknown to Leander.

What else?

Can't think - but that should be quite enough to demonstrate that a copy can be misleading, and thus, as a first principle, the original is preferable.

Best wishes all - I wish you luck with this one! :lol:

Jane x

richardnunweek
07-16-2009, 09:41 PM
Hi,
I am proberly the longest believer of Topping on Casebook, I have never doubted it, i have always believed that Reg was being one hundred per cent honest when recalling his fathers memories of that night in history.
However It seems my eyes are not focusing , and clearly I [ amongst others] need new specs, as the signature comparisons appear not conclusive to many others.
Because of this I feel I should retreat, and await absolute conformation, from others more qualified then my eyesight..
I just want the truth , even if it hurts my pride.
Regards Richard.

Fisherman
07-16-2009, 10:11 PM
Can´t resist answering your post here, Jane, as I think there are some interesting points made that I feel I need to comment on:

"Two expert document examiners have looked at the signatures, yes?
So, which one of them said 'Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a Match!'
What? Neither of them did?

Nope. And Leander explicitly stated that he was not at liberty to say so. His manual tells us that it would not matter how much of a match in style elements, indicidual letters, leaning of the text and writing skills the two sides were, he STILL WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO SAY "WE HAVE A MATCH"!!! In that respect, he had his hands tied behind his back by the fact that the composition of the material he looked at - not the inherent liknesses inbetween the signatures, for that is another issue! - was not enough to speak of a certain match.
What we need to keep in mind here, though, is that the fact that his manual restrained him to a significant extent, did not mean that he could not be of the opinion that the second element - the likeness in style inbetween the signatures - seemed to point to a match. And, thanks to the encouragement of the manual to add nuances to the grading afforded to the comparison, we know that he was of that exact opinion.

"It should surely be quite apparent to everyone and anyone that originals are always preferable in terms of source material. Copies may 'do' but they will never be as good."

Yes, Jane, that is correct! Originals are the best source. But if they add nothing to a comparison made using two-dimensional material like copies - and that may very well apply - then they ARE actually as good, at least when it comes to determining a likeness. They will never, however, ensure that nothing is hidden in the third dimension, and for that reason, the originals are better. I do not dispute that, but I do believe that what can be found in the two dimensions of a photocopy comparison can be quite enough for an expert to determine if a match is probable or not.

The best, Jane!
Fisherman

Ben
07-16-2009, 10:27 PM
Hi Fisherman,

He didn't say "we have a match" because he clearly didn't think so. He didn't have his hands tied behind his back at all. He was communicating with you privately via email, not providing evidence at a trial in Swedish court. If he thought he had a match, he was most assuredly "at liberty" to say so. His "manual" told us that in cases where the evidence could point one way or the other, a reasonable judgement would be "Cannot be excluded", and the Toppy analysis fitted neatly into this category.

And, thanks to the encouragement of the manual to add nuances to the grading afforded to the comparison, we know that he was of that exact opinion.

Well, no.

In actual fact, the contents of the manual that you kindly provided only served to underscore Leander's initial neutrality. Nothing whatsoever about "probability" and not the slightest whiff of an insinuation that the "evidence seemd to point to a match". In fact, the word "match" never entered his vocabulary as far as Toppy is concerned, from my recollections.

But if they add nothing to a comparison made using two-dimensional material like copies - and that may very well apply - then they ARE actually as good, at least when it comes to determining a likeness.

Absolutely not.

Leander told us the opposite - that a full expert opinion isn't even "possible" in the absence of the original documents. If we're to take Leander's advice, it most assuredly follows that photocopies sent via email aren't nearly "as good" as originals.

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
07-16-2009, 10:51 PM
I see no use arguing with you any further, Ben - save to say that you are more or less wrong on more or less everything, as far as I´m concerned. AND travelling in circles instead of moving forwards.

The best - you need it on this issue, Ben!

Fisherman

harry
07-17-2009, 01:24 PM
It is generally said that all persons,as children at school,are taught to write the same.This is not strictly true.All are shown how to hold the writing implement,and this can be checked by the teacher.They can be,by demonstration,shown how letters should be formed.Finally however,no one but themselves can put the pen to paper,and that is where the differences begin.Each will in time adopt to their own preference.
Additionally,the position while writing,the speed of writing,and the reason for writing,would have some effect.
Personnly,I would be carefull in accepting any comparison,no matter the value placed on the examiner.I doubt there will ever be an exact duplication of two different examples of same person writing,at different time periods.It will be difficult to identify Toppy by the writing.

Sam Flynn
07-18-2009, 02:23 AM
Believers in Toppy = Hutch. That's what you are, it would appear - believers.
I deduce, I conclude - but I emphatically do not believe without good reason and evidence, Jane. In this instance, the evidence goes beyond mere signatures to census/demographic data and other attributes of the Topping "case" that Leander is not even party to. Together, these point to only one reasonable conclusion - and that's enough for me.

Ben
07-18-2009, 03:58 AM
the evidence goes beyond mere signatures to census/demographic data and other attributes of the Topping "case" that Leander is not even party to.

Although, of course, in the view of others, the "census/demographic data and other attributes of the Topping "case" only serves to reinforce the unlikelihood of Toppy being the witness, with the signatures providing additional support for the "probably not" take on the issue, Gareth.

All the best,
Ben

The Good Michael
07-18-2009, 06:40 AM
Just to clarify for any newcomers. Those of us in the Toppy as Hutch camp see all things combined, signatures, names, locations, relations, all things and putting them together come up with the probability that Toppy was Hutch. We use probable because, all things combined, the word 'possible' becomes insufficient. We have no agenda in doing this. It is the odds we are playing. No one here says it is cut and dried. It is merely probable, or even highly probable, but never a sure thing... yet.

Cheers,

Mike

Jane Welland
07-18-2009, 10:24 AM
to conclude on the basis of the evidence one finds compelling - in this case, that Toppy=Hutchinson.

I think that's how people work - how else can we operate? And of course we have to rely on and trust our own judgements, otherwise we really would be up the creek without a paddle.

Obviously, though, people do see things differently. Nobody requires any example or demonstration of that - it's all around us, all the time, in our individual lives.

It strikes me that we have no definitive answer here, and maybe one isn't even possible, but that doesn't mean I'll stop hoping for one! It's an interesting debate, and one worth pursuing imo.

My personal view is that it is far from resolved, one way or the other. I'm not sitting on the fence, I just don't see that this argument is so far on - yet - as to be able to speak of probabilities.

But see above - we all see things differently. I can see the attraction of a confirmed identity - I think it would be great if that could be achieved.

Best to all

Jane x

Fisherman
07-18-2009, 11:51 AM
Jane Welland writes:

"I can see the attraction of a confirmed identity"

Just to put things clear, Jane; in my case, it is not any question of seeing the "attraction" in a confirmed identity that has governed my stance. Had this been the case, I could just as well have said that Fleming must have been the Ripper, based on the evidence - because I found the idea of identifying the Ripper "attractive". I´m sure that there are those who like to do their homework in that manner, but I don´t recommend it.

My stance on the signatures is not about attraction at all. It is about factualities - the factuality that the signatures are very much alike (as supported by Leanders assertion that they belong to a grading that is best described as a comparison where the only discernable differences lie in the amplitude of the expressions), the factuality that, resonably, there were only a very small amount of George Hutchinsons about in that space of time and geography and the factuality that we have Toppys son on record, telling us that his father WAS the witness.

Others are perfectly free to disagree with all of these three parametres (although I will say that the protests more often than not contain thoughts that I believe would have been more fit in "Alice in Wonderland" than in this discussion - but that, once again, is of course just me...), but that does in no way mean that my thinking and assessment is in any way guided by me being "attracted" by the thought of finding an answer to the Hutchinson riddle. I can assure you that even when I include all the elements that - adjusting to your vocabulary here - are "unattractive", I am still left with the inescapable impression that anything but a genuine match would be sensational, no more, no less.
It is as honest an evaluation as I can make, and I think "honest" will prevail over "attractive" in any logical thinking, Jane. If other peoples logic lead them do a different stance, so be it. And it may be considered that it could be quite attractive for me to join these other people, in order to bring an end to what has sometimes been a very unpleasant debate.
I could see the attraction in such a move, believe me! But since I can see no logic in it, I will not take that step ON THE EXISTING EVIDENCE. Once I find evidence that urges me to reconsider my stance, though, it will be done in a jiffy.

The best, Jane!
Fisherman

Jane Welland
07-18-2009, 12:30 PM
I'm sorry if my use of the word 'attractive' has offended you -I was referring to myself, not to anyone else.

I have made no comment on how you have reached your conclusions, and was really only speaking in general terms about debate - this one being in context.

I know what the arguments are, and I'm sure those who engage with them are not done yet. You are quite entitled to your view, Fisherman, as are we all - it's a feature of modern democracy.

I would advocate all respecting each other's views, personally - it's the best way by far to make progress imo.

Have a nice day! :hiya:

Best wishes

jane x

Ben
07-18-2009, 01:09 PM
Just to clarify for any newcomers. Those of us who are not in the Toppy as Hutch camp see all things combined, signatures, names, locations, relations, all things and putting them together come up with the conclusion that Toppy was unlikely to have been Hutch. We use unlikely because, all things combined, the word 'possible' becomes insufficient. We have no agenda in doing this. It is the odds we are playing. No one here says it is cut and dried. It is merely unlikely, or even very unlikely, but never a sure thing... yet.

Hi Fish,

the factuality that the signatures are very much alike

Please don't do this all over again. There's is no "factuality" involved in the above assertion. Did Leander ever suggest that his comments should be construed as a "factuality"? No, he said they should be construed as a "spontaneous comment", so it makes sense - and is only respectful - to treat them as such. Of course, Leander never stated that the signatures were "very much" alike, so it's all rather a moot point.

as supported by Leanders assertion that they belong to a grading that is best described as a comparison where the only discernable differences lie in the amplitude of the expressions

There are only so many times you can go on repeating this statement without explaining what it means.

Dictionary.Com gives the following relevant definitions for "amplitude":

1. the state or quality of being ample, esp. as to breadth or width; largeness; greatness of extent.
2. large or full measure; abundance; copiousness.
3. mental range, scope, or capacity.

It doesn't matter which definition you do with, but I'd encourage you to go back to Leander's original "spontaneous comment", look at the specific differences he listed and ask yourself how many of them have anything to do with "amplitude". I think you'll find that "the only discernable differences lie in the amplitude of the expressions" is a provably false statement.

although I will say that the protests more often than not contain thoughts that I believe would have been more fit in "Alice in Wonderland" than in this discussion...

...Which isn't a very courteous way of describing the arguments put forward by those who disagree with you, but I guess we shouldn't be surprised that the people who usually level such accusations are the same people who claim that any emerging evidence somehow lends support for the conclusion that they insisted must be correct from the outset.

Best regards,
Ben

babybird67
07-18-2009, 01:53 PM
although I will say that the protests more often than not contain thoughts that I believe would have been more fit in "Alice in Wonderland" than in this discussion... (Fish)

...Which isn't a very courteous way of describing the arguments put forward by those who disagree with you, but I guess we shouldn't be surprised that the people who usually level such accusations are the same people who claim that any emerging evidence somehow lends support for the conclusion that they insisted must be correct from the outset.

Best regards,
Ben

Don't worry about it Ben. It's quite obvious Fish is the one more comfortable in the land of fantasy fiction...otherwise he would have taken the bull by the horns by now and at least attempted to answer some of the factual, logical points that i have put to him...instead of completely ignoring me and hoping the reality of the situation as regards Toppy/Hutch will just go away...

and here was me thinking these boards were for discussing things...dear oh dear...:shakehead:

Fisherman
07-18-2009, 03:35 PM
Jane Welland writes:

"I'm sorry if my use of the word 'attractive' has offended you -I was referring to myself, not to anyone else."

Ah, Jane - then all is good and well!

Ben, Babybird - I´ll leave you uncommented upon, for the obvious reason that we are once again moving in circles if we proceed.

The best,
Fisherman

Jane Welland
07-18-2009, 03:43 PM
Although reading my post of this morning again, I'm not really sure why any would have taken umbrage in the first place? :anxious:

I don't view it as inflammatory - rather neutral, if anything.

I hadn't said, but will now in passing - the easiest solution isn't always or necessarily the best or right one. I may find the idea of certain idenfication attractive, but that shouldn't mean that I accept it without scrutiny - I wouldn't dream of telling anybody else what to think or how to think it, but for myself, I'd rather be sure than go off half-cocked (so to speak)



Best to all

Jane x

Fisherman
07-18-2009, 04:14 PM
Once again, Jane - all IS good and well! I am not of British descent, and my native language is Swedish. Maybe I somehow misinterpreted your post. The one thing I needed to press was that my stance on the signatures was never lead on by my finding it an "attractive" idea to see the Hutchinson riddle solved. Such a term lends itself very well to describing somebody jumping the gun when it comes to assessing the evidence involved, and too hastily opting for a decision.

You have declared that you never aimed to point anybody out in any respect, and that is more than enough to me. If I have misread you and if you think I have somehow misrepresented you, I am sorry.

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
07-18-2009, 05:01 PM
Ben!

I just noticed that you once again bring up the subject of "amplitude". To begin with, I wish to state that the Swedish expression used by Leander was "amplitud", so he is using a word that we have lent from abroad, and there can be little or no doubt that my translation is correct: "amplitude" would be the exact word we are dealing with.

My interpretation of it in this context would be that Leander recognizes that we can identify two different types of differences inbetween the elements in two samples of handwriting. These types would be differences in A/ structure and differences in B/ amplitude. The former type (A) would point to differences that help us to tell two handstyles apart - differences that are hard to bridge, when looking for a match. One such thing would perhaps be if we have one writer who writes with a leaning to the left, and another that writes with a leaning towards the right; to me, that would tell me that we were in all probability dealing with different originators.
If there was just a slight difference, though, in the angle to, say, the left in two samples, then we would be dealing with a difference in (B) amplitude - basically we have the same thing but expression shows a difference just the same.

Now, Ben, you may disagree with this, and you are welcome to do so. But before you tell me that I am wrong - if that is what you are pondering telling me - I suggest that we never make it an issue at all. Instead, if you DO disagree, let´s ask Leander himself, and find out! And you are quite welcome to formulate the question yourself, if you don´t trust that I could do it in a satisfactory manner.

The problem we are going to have to deal with, Ben, is that you have over and over again stated that I should not try and interpret Leander, and you have time and time again stated that when I do so, I am wrong.
That, of course, means that I find it somewhat strange that you ask me about the meaning of "amplitude" in the context given - but since you did, I obliged.

Problem number two arises as we realize that we have before disagreed on what Leander actually have meant in a number of questions. For example, after his first post, I said that I was of the meaning that Leander was positive to the idea of a possible match, whereas you stated that he had been no such thing; according to you, he had been totally neutral.
We disagreed, and had a longish exchange of "He did", "No, he didn´t", "He did", "No, he didn´t", "He did", "No, he didn´t", "He did", "No, he didn´t", up til the point where I said "Okay, so let´s ask him". I asked him, but when he confirmed that he HAD been positive, you refused to recognize it. You stated that he could not be allowed to move away from his original stance of neutrality.
Interestingly, that neutrality was your interpretation of the post (and you ask me not to interpret...!), whereas I clearly said from the outset that I saw it in a totally different light.

So we were left with Leander confirming my wiew - and you disallowing his confirmation. You have even gone so far as to tell me that when he said that he DID think that the match was a good one (worded in the fashion that he would be surprised if it was not a match, and in the fashion that he expected that any forthcoming evidence would confirm his suggestion), he did so just to get rid of me.

That, among other things is where I mean we enter Wonderland, holding Alice firmly by the hand.
Other pointers in this direction is that when Leander said that he would be surprised if it was not a match, I was bold enough to say that Leander thought the match a probable one. This you would not allow - since he had never used the exact word "probable"...?!
But if we do not realize that probable is exactly what he means when he says that a non-match would be a surprise to him, then we are delving even deeper into Alices´rabbit-hole - it all becomes a very twisted game with words, and it starts to defy logic, Carroll-wise.
I would like to take the opportunity to add that when I use the comparison with "Alice in Wonderland", I fully realize that it can be regarded as uncourteous, but to convey that impression is not my purpose. Instead I wish to point to my total and utter disbelief at some of the reactions that have followed on my reporting Leanders generous contributions.

But enough of this, now - as should be clear by now, I detest the thought of this issue going any laps further in the old circle-shape of the 1911 thread! I urge you, Ben, to formulate any question of yours that may explain any of the differing issues we are having problems to agree on, when it comes to what Leander said and meant. After that, if you feel that I would in any respect not be an appropriate messenger in communicating with Leander, I will provide you with his e-mail address in a personal PM, and you can ask the questions yourself. I will, of course need to see how you formulated yourself, and how Leander worded his answers. But since we will both have his address, we can both double-check what is said. I have offered this before, but you have so far not used it.

If, on the other hand, you feel that I - having spoken to Leander on numerous occasions - am a functioning source, I will be most happy to convey any questions you may have to him. You can have his address just the same, and so you can also double-check what goes down, and how I portray it.

Monday, though, is the first date available to us, since he does not work weekends, if not especially called for. The last time over I contacted him, he had just returned from a three-week vacation, so he should be in place come Monday.

This is as fair an offer as you are ever going to get when it comes to understanding what governed what Frank Leander said and what he meant by it. It is also a terrific opportunity to chat with one of the finest men of the trade of forensic document examination. He is a very friendly man, and though quoting him out here has brought my a good deal of headaches, I am quite pleased to have made his aquaintance.

The best, Ben!
Fisherman

Ben
07-18-2009, 06:18 PM
Hi Fish,

Didn't think you'd be content somehow to leave my post "uncommented on". ;)

My interpretation of it in this context

Kill the motor there, Fish.

"Interpretation" is precisely what has precipitated so many of these acrimonious debates over semantics, so let us avoid the fatal trap of deciding what Leander might have "meant" and examine the indisputed definitions of the words he actually used. Here, again, is what we get for "amplitude":

1. the state or quality of being ample, esp. as to breadth or width; largeness; greatness of extent.
2. large or full measure; abundance; copiousness.
3. mental range, scope, or capacity.

Now, let's return to the individual differences Leander listed in his first neutral post:

differences in certain liftings of the pen (?)

This has nothing whatsoever to do with amplitude, so already we've successfully refuted the statement you keep making that "the only discernable differences lie in the amplitude of the expressions". But in addition, we have:

the proportions of the tch-group

Well, that's a little closer, but he's arguing that the proportions within the "tch" group in the statement signatures are different to the proportions within the "tch" group in the Toppy signatures.

the perhaps most eyecatching differences in the shaping of some of the letters; G (the ground-shape), r and n at the end of the signature.

Nothing whatsoever to do with "amplitude" and everything to do with structure, despite your assurance that there were no structural differences. That's if we're taking on board what "amplitude" actually means, rather than telling us that we have yet another example of a department changing age-old unambiguous expressions for their own ends and not telling anyone about it unless specifically asked for clarification, but you'll need to contact Leander for the seventh time if that card is to be played again.

But before you tell me that I am wrong - if that is what you are pondering telling me - I suggest that we never make it an issue at all. Instead, if you DO disagree, let´s ask Leander himself, and find out!

Not this again. Not the whole "If you disagree, don't bother posting, just let me have the last word on the issue" silliness, please. If that didn't work the last time, you really shouldn't be surprised if it doesn't fly this time either. The only reason I asked what you understood by the term "amplitude" is that I suspected it may have been a translation error. You've now assured me that no such error occured, and that "amplitude" was correctly translated. Fair enough, thanks for clarifying, but I'm afraid it means we can dispense with the suggestion that Leander detected no differences other than those concerning amplitude. That simply isn't the case.

I asked him, but when he confirmed that he HAD been positive, you refused to recognize it.

Well, no, that's your interesting interpretation (again) of events. As far as I'm concerned, he remained neutral throughout. The difference was that I was able to highlight his neutrality by quoting him verbatim while you were busy trying to convince us of what you thought he meant. It was most emphatically not the case that he confirmed the unnacceptably creative interpretations that you were placing on his words, and there wasn't the slightest hint that he considered anything "probable".

You have even gone so far as to tell me that when he said that he DID think that the match was a good one (worded in the fashion that he would be surprised if it was not a match, and in the fashion that he expected that any forthcoming evidence would confirm his suggestion), he did so just to get rid of me.

I don't need to go very "far" at all to arrive at that conclusion, since it's inescapable. You cannot be surprised if the match turned out to be genuine but at the same time register the unambiguous neutrality of his first letter. That is impossible, which is why I strongly suspect he fobbed you off. He even said at one point that he didn't wish to elaborate further, but you compelled him to do so anyway. He clearly picked up on the fact that you were so pro-Toppy that he'd only be left alone if he registered more enthusiasm for the idea, so he appeased a nuisance. I would do the same, especially if I had nothing to lose by doing so.

If you think there's anything remotely unusual or "Carrollian" about that, then I'm afraid it's you who might need to lay off the opium.

But if we do not realize that probable is exactly what he means

That wasn't exactly what he means. He used the expression "cannot be ruled" out which is irrefutably neutral, and the rest of his letter registered that same neutrality. Indeed, after bothering the man for the sixth bloody time, he actually gave you his workings-out, where he made clear once and for all that "cannot be ruled out/excluded" is the appropriate expression for conclusions where there are "tendencies in one direction or the other". I mean, really, you use every opportunity to repeat these previously disputed claims, and I just keep giving you the same objections. If you're really so averse to going round in circles, then for pity's sake don't keep repeating them. It's not as if you don't know precisely how I'm going to react.

But enough of this, now

Okay. Sounds good. Unless....!

And thanks, but I don't need to contact Leander. I'd only need to do that if he didn't make himself perfectly clear (as befitting an expert) the first time, but blissfully, that wasn't the case.

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
07-18-2009, 06:50 PM
Ben, you DO need to contact Frank Leander. You need to ask him a number of questions, one of them being:
"Frank, in your first post you wrote that a match could not be excluded. In a later post you wrote that you would be surprised if a match was not at hand.
I find these two posts hard to reconciliate with each other, and so I would like to ask you if you could elaborate on things and explain what I find inexplicable"

...and that is just one of the questions you need an answer to.

Frank Leander can explain what "amplitude" means in the context we are dealing with.

He can explain exactly what it is that governs what grade a comparison is given.

He can tell you if he is likely to start telling lies just to get rid of inquisitive people.

...and much, much more. He is there, he is at hand. He is a generous nature and he knows his job.

So either you stick with your INTERPRETATION of what he said, or you find out EXACTLY what he meant. If you don´t use this opportunity, it will look kind of odd, to me at the very least. It will look as if you had chosen to pick the bits and pieces you are more happy about, as if you prefer a total laymans (yours) perspective on things and as if you are afraid to hear Leanders version of things. Kind of like the same thing that applies when you make a guess that Sue Iremonger is so old and frail that she had better not been bothered with any questions at all.

So come on, Ben: ask away! Once you have had it verified that you were right all along, we can drop the issue for good. I am not opposed to such a thing.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
07-18-2009, 07:07 PM
I find these two posts hard to reconciliate with each other, and so I would like to ask you if you could elaborate on things and explain what I find inexplicable

They're not just hard to reconcile with eachother.

They're impossible, and if he became more Toppy-enhancing to appease you after you contacted him a few too many times - as I strongly suspect - is it rational to expect him to divulge as much to me if I quizzed him along those lines? No, and there shouldn't have been any additional posts of "clarification" from Leander. He's an expert, which is why he explained himself perfectly well the first time around; which is why no further clarification of his neutral stance was necessary.

Frank Leander can explain what "amplitude" means in the context we are dealing with.

It can only mean one of three things in any given context, as I demonstrated above (unless we're dealing with mathermatics or physics). We now know for absolute certain that there were differences, detected by Leander, that had absolutely nothing to do with amplitude. So again, contacting him would be pointless.

So either you stick with your INTERPRETATION of what he said, or you find out EXACTLY what he meant.

But that's precisely where you're going wrong; "interpreting" and making unwarranted assertions as to what he "meant". What I do is quote Leander verbatim, because in doing so, I'm effectively mimising the chances of a misinterpretaton. I have heard Leander's "version of things", thank you very much, so quite what I'm supposed to fear from anymore "clarification" is a mystery to me. He made himself perfectly clear, and as such, his views require no more interpretation. If I tell him I want to "find out what he meant", after post after post of wholly unnecessary "clarification", it all starts to resemble a piss-take, doesn't it?

Kind of like the same thing that applies when you make a guess that Sue Iremonger is so old and frail that she had better not been bothered with any questions at all.

I did contact Sue Iremonger, as I've already told you.

we can drop the issue for good.

You keep telling me that you intend to "drop the issue" but always fail to follow through with that. intention.

Hypnosis, I tell you!

Fisherman
07-18-2009, 07:24 PM
Drop the issue I will do when we have reached a full understanding on what Leander meant, Ben. Not before. And since it is an issue where you, me and a lot of other posters totally disagree, we can easily deduct that there is need fur further clarification. Just think, Ben, there will be no more need for you to tell me not to "interpret" and make unwarranted assertions as to what he "meant". Once you have established that he meant from the outset that he did not lean to either side - in spite of the FACT that he told us that he did so very clearly in his later posts - from the outset, I will humbly accept defeat on this issue.
And that stage - much welcomed on your behalf, I should not wonder! - is only a post or two away. My meaning is that these questions must be asked, at the very least because of the extremely sinister allegations you are making against Frank Leander. You actually claim that he has violated his ethics by telling lies, in order to get rid of me. That is an almighty accusation, and surely you would not want to leave him without any possibility to comment on it?

We´ll get this straightened out, one way or the other, Ben - let me assure you that. After that, we can all move on, and I can drop the issue - just as I said.

The best,
Fisherman

Sam Flynn
07-18-2009, 07:44 PM
(Offering up an antithetical paraphrase to The Good Michael's intelligent and well-balanced post). Just to clarify for any newcomers. Those of us who are not in the Toppy as Hutch camp see all things combined, signatures, names, locations, relations, all things and putting them together come up with the conclusion that Toppy was unlikely to have been Hutch. We use unlikely because, all things combined, the word 'possible' becomes insufficient. We have no agenda in doing this. It is the odds we are playing. No one here says it is cut and dried. It is merely unlikely, or even very unlikely, but never a sure thing... yet.It's at times like these that I cringe at the very thought of this field dignifying itself with the "-ology" suffix.

Ben
07-18-2009, 07:44 PM
Drop the issue I will do when we have reached a full understanding on what Leander meant, Ben.

Well then, don't keep saying you'll have "no further part" in what has become a "disagrace" and assuring all and sundry that you're prapred to "drop the issue". It's about as good as your assurance that "we'll get this straightened out". I'm less than optimistic that this could ever happen to everyone's satisfaction, and as far as I'm concerned, it couldn't be straighter as it stands. That sounds distressingly as though you intend to bombard Leander with more pursuit of clarification, despite the fact that it was this bombardment that created all the problems before. I entertained grave suspicions that you were pestering Leander into giving a progressively more Toppy-sympathetic stance, since there was no other means of accounting to so stark a contrast with his earlier musings.

If you contact him, and he confirms his neutral stance, I don't believe for one moment that you'll drop the issue, and if he claims that he meant "probable" from the outset, I'll just remind people of his initial, unambiguously neutral stance and reinforce my earlier suspicions. Either way, a 7th bombardment of Leander is guaranteed to incite more posting wars rather than allowing us to drop the issue and move on.

He even gave you his grading system, for crying out loud. You cannot get any clearer than that. Re-establishing contact with Leander would be about the worst misstep imaginable, but if you want to ask for him to clarify himself for the 7th time, be my guest.

in spite of the FACT that he told us that he did so very clearly in his later posts

Which I utterly reject, contrasting as it did so markedly with Leander's initial neutral "cannot be excluded" letter.

Best regards,
Ben

Sam Flynn
07-18-2009, 07:58 PM
If you want to consider "amplitudes" - look at the small numbers of "George Hutchinsons" of appropriate age-range living in London in the Census returns for 1881, 1891 et seq. Then look at the even smaller number of "George Hutchinsons" (less than a handful) who lived in East London at the same time. Now - and only now, in conjunction with those demographic data - consider their signatures.

Fisherman
07-18-2009, 08:01 PM
Ben:

"If you contact him, and he confirms his neutral stance, I don't believe for one moment that you'll drop the issue, and it he claims that he meant "probable" from the outset, I'll just remind people of his initial, unambiguously neutral stance and reinforce my earlier suspicions."

The interesting thing about your stance here is that you have spent so much time telling me and a lot of other posters how uninteresting their wiews and judgement was, when Iremonger was questioned. She was an expert, end of story, and none of us worldly creatures could possibly put that in doubt with any relevance at all.

And here you are, Ben, a total layman, telling us that Leander has lied to get rid of me, and that your interpretation isthe only correct one.

I find that a bit hard to digest, Ben. Don´t you think that what applies to people in the iremonger question, should apply even to you - that you may not understand the expert´s game full well? And, far from having led on that Iremonger was a lier with no ethics at all, the only thing that was suggested before was that she had either come up with a bad judgement or she had been using the wrong material.
That, I should say, is a far cry from what you have been up to in Leanders case! And therefore, I am of the meaning that he MUST be awarded the right to free himself of any accusations of not having worked ethically, and instead actually lied. And that right he will be given. Until that time comes, I have nothing to add.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
07-18-2009, 08:02 PM
Then look at the even smaller number of "George Hutchinsons" (less than a handful) who lived in East London at the same time

And of course, none of that number included Toppy, because we know he wasn't living in the East End in either 1881 or 1891. So if we're to make allowances for the possibility that Toppy lived in the East End between those census takings, we ought really to make the same allowances for other George Hutchinsons who can't be placed in the East End in either 1881 or 1891.

Best regards,
Ben

Ben
07-18-2009, 08:11 PM
And here you are, Ben, a total layman, telling us that Leander has lied to get rid of me, and that your interpretation isthe only correct one

I don't have many other options for such a radically altering stance, Fisherman, since all the other explanations only paint Leander in an even more negative light, and I don't think he deserves it, personally. What he does deserve is to be left alone (having clarified his stance to the point of giving you his grading system) although that should have happened after he provided that first post, which was the very picture of circumspection and neutrality. I would only claim that my intepretation was correct if I had something to interpret at all. If I see the word spade written down, I need no interpretative abilities to discern that the writer meant "spade". I just need a knowledge of English, and a dictionary, if necessary, and the same is true of Leander's words.

And, far from having led on that Iremonger was a lier with no ethics at all

But Iremonger was never projected as having given simultaneous radically contrasting viewpoints.

The very suggestion that his words required any sort of interpretation is frankly patronising.

And therefore, I am of the meaning that he MUST be awarded the right to free himself of any accusations of not having worked ethically, and instead actually lied.

So, in other words, you're going to re-establish contact with Leander and tell him what a horrible bastard I am and what horrible things I've said. Of course, if the man has any circumspection at all, which I know he does, he'll avoid falling taking that particular bait.

All the best,
Ben

Sam Flynn
07-18-2009, 08:13 PM
And of course, none of that number included Toppy, because we know he wasn't living in the East End in either 1881 or 1891.You overlook the fact that it's where he was in November 1888 that counts, and that most Londoners in the 1881 and 1891 census (et seq.) would also have lived in London betimes. They would also have occupied similar socio-economic strata, and held down similar occupations, over the same period. Not many of them would have had matching handwriting however.So if we're to make allowances for the possibility that Toppy lived in the East End between those census takings, we ought really to make the same allowances for other George Hutchinsons who can't be placed in the East End in either 1881 or 1891.Why don't you spend some dosh in trawling every single George Hutchinson in the entire 1911 census? Far better to do that, than constantly stamping on every reasonable - yes, reasonable - argument that identifies Toppy as the most - yes, most - probable candidate for the Dorset Street witness?

Ben
07-18-2009, 08:22 PM
You overlook the fact that it's where he was in November 1888 that counts, and that most Londoners in the 1881 and 1891 census (et seq.) would also have lived in London betimes.

I didn't overlook that at all. I've highlighted the fact that we can't use the dearth of George Hutchinsons in the East End in the 1881 and 1891 census records to argue that the same would be true in 1888, since the very "George Hutchinson" you want to have been in the East End in 1888 wasn't there in either 1881 or 1891.

My independant research is a work in progress, thanks, but that doesn't mean I can't provide reasonable counter-arguments to what strike me as less than reasonable attemps to lobby for Toppy as the witness. If people were more willing to agree to disagree, we might see less stomping and counter-stomping, but nobody seems willing to do that around here.

Jane Welland
07-18-2009, 08:58 PM
The very suggestion that his words required any sort of interpretation is frankly patronising. (my emphasis)

Was that meant to be funny Ben?! :lol:

I don't have much to add (phew!) except that there are too many uncertainties here that seem to me to taken as established realities.

If the starting point for this enquiry is that the Dorset Street Witness was really called George Hutchinson and was still living in the area in 1911 - then I think that's taking rather a lot for granted, personally.

He may have moved - people did, you know. Maybe he, for example, met a young lady, got married, and they moved away together - just one scenario.

He may have died - we don't know how old exactly the Dorset Street Witness was - life expectancy for his class of people is short, even today. Incidentally, if Tippy, wouldn't that make him 22? He had known Kelly since he was 19? Hmmm. Not sure I think that's very likely, as an aside.

He may, finally - not have been called George Hutchinson at all.

I don't know if any of these apply - and, frankly (no pun intended) neither does anyone else.

Now, if somebody had trawled through all the George Hutchinsons in the Country, then I might be more inclined to take it more seriously.

Best to all

Jane x

n.b. Toppy, obviously :lol:

Sam Flynn
07-18-2009, 09:36 PM
Now, if somebody had trawled through all the George Hutchinsons in the Country, then I might be more inclined to take it more seriously.
There is such a thing as parsimony and pragmatism in research, Jane. If you find a set of signatures on a Census entry that are remarkably similar - yes, remarkably similar - to those of the 1888 witness report and the 1898 marriage certificate, and that Census entry relates to someone who lived in working-class lodgings in London during 1891, and that person courted an East End girl in the 1890s, and that person has a family story that links him with the Dorset Street witness (whether one chooses to believe the substance of that story or not), and it is established that there were very, very few men shared the same name in Greater London in consecutive Censuses... is there really any reasonable doubt that we're talking about one and the same man? In which case, what's the point in looking any further?

Sorry about the length of my second sentence, but it's as nothing compared to the 121-year-long sentence to which George Hutchinson has been metaphorically condemned by some on these boards. For info, I used to be one of their number - but not any more. You see, I don't have any problem in admitting that I was incorrect, where reasonable evidence comes to light to indicate that I was wrong. In this case, it certainly has.

Sam Flynn
07-18-2009, 09:38 PM
He may, finally - not have been called George Hutchinson at all.In which case, why does his writing match that of a man with the same name, who wrote down the evidence for all to see fully 23 years later?

I could imagine someone coming up with "John Smith" as an alias, and a similar match happening by sheer luck, but not "George Hutchinson".

Jane Welland
07-18-2009, 09:54 PM
With the greatest of respect, Sam, that's what you think. I can see from other posters interested in this debate that some of them are just as certain of their view as you are of yours.

Who says which of you is right?

Where you see a number of correlations here that indicate most strongly to you that Toppy and the Dorset Street witness are one and the same, others do not recognise in those apparent correlations the same degree of surety as you do. Some, apparently, reject the validity of those apparent correlations entirely.

Who says which of you is right?

I wouldn't like to be that person.

I think if you take what you believe to be a fact - in this case the match in the signatures, and then say - ' oh, and look what else corroborates this 'fact' that I have discovered' then that's the wrong way to go about things - I mean in general terms - I'm not directing any criticism as you personally, or, indeed, at anyone else.

Making your mind up before you look at all the evidence does not make for a good research method imo. And I ask again, since nobody seems to want to respond - if this match is a done deal - then why is it that of the two experts that have looked at them, neither one has endorsed that view in terms of a certainty, a near certainty, or even a highly probable match?

Everybody has their view, and presumably everyone has a certain degree of faith in that view, which is perfectly reasonable and fair. But, ultimately,

Who says who is right?

Why can't people just admit that we don't know the answer? Even if we may believe most strongly that we have found it?

Even if it is then qualified with 'yet'?

Best regards, Sam :hiya:

Jane x

richardnunweek
07-18-2009, 10:06 PM
Hi Jane,
Of course we are right... [ only joking] I can only pray, that conclusive information rears its head in the very near future, one way ,or another.
But yours truely, Sam,Mike, Fish, will be extremely perplexed if the result means us all sharing that humble pie.
Not only will the pie be ate , but with it the 'Topping'
Regards Richard.

Sam Flynn
07-18-2009, 10:11 PM
With the greatest of respect, Sam, that's what you think.On the contrary, that's what the evidence supports, Jane. That's how I like to work - and that's how it should be. Too often in ripperology, however, one's preconceptions cloud one's judgment - a state of affairs exacerbated when one realises that many such preconceptions are built on speculation in the first place, rather than fact.I can see from other posters interested in this debate that some of them are just as certain of their view as you are of yours.I am certain of my view because it is supported by the evidence as it stands, and not by my interpretation of it.
Making your mind up before you look at all the evidence does not make for a good research method imo.
But that is not what I've done. In contrast, the anti-Toppy lobby (or at least its more vociferous proponents) are allowing their preconceptions to distort their perception of the most straightforward facts imaginable - viz., the appearance of a set of 2-dimensional stimuli, coupled with eminently verifiable demographic and biographical data. Just because "X" doesn't like those data is no reason to disregard the evidence - it is, however, a warning sign that any argument that "X" advances in respect of his/her position should be treated with the utmost caution.

Jane Welland
07-18-2009, 10:22 PM
I take what you say on board.

Still, nobody has yet answered the above question, I note.

Richard, I'd be happy to accept Toppy as Hutchinson if I thought there were more certainty involved - it seems to me to be a difficult question, and even if it turned out that the two were not one, I'm sure there'd be no humble pie involved! Even with Topping! :lol:

Best wishes, both

Jane x

Ben
07-18-2009, 10:37 PM
Gareth,

With the greatest respect, it takes more than insisting that you feel the signatures are similar and underlining certain words to actually make a persuasive argument for Toppy's candidacy. For others, who do not believe that the signatures match, there is only further reinforcement for the notion that he wasn't the witness. There is absolutely no evidence that Toppy had any personal connection to the East End until he met his wife in 1895, and the fact that he was living in Warren Street in lodgings that were obviously superior to the Victoria Home offers no interesting "coincidence" here.

The family story is not only patently bogus, it contains biographical details that aren't remotely compatible with what little we know of the real Hutchinson. It only serves to detract from his candidacy, along with the signatures. Jane makes the crucial point that Hutchinson may have been an alias, and that remains a valid possility, except of course for those who have already decided that Toppy was the witness.

I don't see that Hutchinson has been condemned any more than most legitimately suspicious suspects in the Whitechapel murders, but even he was was, nothing would change since a hypothetical Toppy-as-Hutch wouldn't lessen those realistic suspicions, as you've pointed out before. So what you think you're "wrong" about isn't clear, nor do I know what preconceptions I'm supposed to have harboured that a hypothetical Toppy identification might cast doudt upon. Bottom line, don't insist upon what the evidence tells us when you know full well that others believe that the evidence tells us the precise opposite, especially when Sue Iremonger is on record as having stated that the signatures don't match. That's rather inflammatory.

What is clear is that on the basis of current repetition of previously refuted arguments, this board is destined to become utterly dominated by Hutchinson threads.

Sam Flynn
07-18-2009, 10:41 PM
Richard, I'd be happy to accept Toppy as Hutchinson if I thought there were more certainty involvedI can't see how more certain one could get, Jane, given what I pointed out earlier (that sentence with all those "ands" in it, a couple of posts back). Faced with that, even the most stubborn Toppy-denier would have to concede (even if only to themselves) that we have significantly more evidence in favour of Hutchinson being Toppy than of Hutchinson being "somebody else".

Jane Welland
07-18-2009, 10:53 PM
I can't see how more certain one could get, Jane, given what I pointed out earlier (that sentence with all those "ands" in it, a couple of posts back).

I can see that. :lol:

I guess I'm not so easily satisfied?

Seriously, though, I haven't reached to point yet at which I'm convinced - one way or the other. That means I'm not certain - that you are is splendid.

Time may tell if you're right, I guess.

Best regards

Jane x

richardnunweek
07-18-2009, 10:55 PM
Hi Ben,
I must agree that the boards are dominated by Hutch Threads, simply because at long last, what should have been accepted years ago, has a chance to be proven.
Being. Topping was Hutch.
I find it so frustrating that dispite honourable intentions ,all requests by private E-mail to JD, have failed to land a reply.
I find it so unexceptable, that the wife of Toppings grandson,After one initial post to Casebook, should refuse to continue, what is a very important debate on the witness Hutchinsons authenticity.
I have the good ladies address[ unless moved] but i am reluctant to write, as i do respect individuals right to privacy.
I am currently on the hunt [ yes more research] for that elusive radio times, and am currently exploring other avenues, to obtain more knowledge of what has become of a family as elusive as that bloody broadcast.. back when we were all young[ if indeed born].
Regards Richard.

Jane Welland
07-18-2009, 11:21 PM
People adhere to a belief, or a set of beliefs - in the present case - that either Toppy=Hutch, or Toppy does not = Hutch.

As it presently stands, on present evidence - however you want it:

It is unproven either way.

This means that the above positions - both of them - are what we call THEORIES.

Now, when there is enough Proof (y'know, that little thing) to exclude all reasonable doubt by general consensus, then the theory becomes generally
accepted as FACT.

I can't see that this debate is anywhere NEAR that point yet.

It may become so - yes, I accept that - indeed, I would be happy to see that - at least here we can see that there is the potential for further evidence to arise.

However - as much as we all are quite entitled to hold and enjoy our own views on this and any other matter, it is not a done deal, and there is not, imo, the evidence one should require to suggest that it is.

That's all

A pleasant evening to all

Jane x

Sam Flynn
07-19-2009, 12:43 AM
People adhere to a belief, or a set of beliefs - in the present case - that either Toppy=Hutch, or Toppy does not = Hutch.

As it presently stands, on present evidence - however you want it:

It is unproven either way.

This means that the above positions - both of them - are what we call THEORIES.You put the two theories on an even footing, Jane - perhaps out of the goodness of your heart - however, they are not on an even footing. Not in the least. You see, the "Toppy does not = Hutch" belief is precisely that - a belief. There is no evidence, no matter how small, that supports the idea that Hutch was not Toppy - only beliefs, opinions and speculation.

The "Toppy = Hutch" argument, in contrast, has ample evidence, both circumstantial and tangible, to back it up. Furthermore, none of the evidence so far unearthed comes anywhere near to disproving the theory - on the contrary, the evidence supports it. That's usually a good sign that a theory might just be on the right track.

In my case, I look at a dozen or so samples of handwriting and say to myself - "It's great that the rest of the evidence supports the Toppy identification, but - be honest with yourself, Sam - the similarity in the handwriting clinches it beyond reasonable doubt".

Yours pragmatically and parsimoniously,

Sam Flynn x

Ben
07-19-2009, 03:43 AM
That's all nonsense, though, and it's depressing to see such glib facility shamelessly espoused by people who used to know better.

It's all very easy for the Toppyite to claim that they have the evidence whereas the alternative is based on speculation, but insisting that we all swallow a controversial position on their say-so only makes them look foolish. There is plenty of evidence that supports the idea that Toppy was not Hutch, from the mismatching signatures, as observed by an expert in document examination, to the hideous incompatility when it comes to biographical and emloyment detail, to the fact that Toppy first came to the fore in a widely discredited Royal Conspiracy book that was even disavowed by its own author in time. I mean, the fact that his son claimed that he saw Lord Randoph Churchill the ripper should give us some sort of a clue here.

It does get very tedious to hear people reinforcing their irrational "proven beyond doubt" mantra over and over again as though it constitues evidence of their being correct, especially when they know full well that their position has been argued against by several people who don't even consider it likely, let alone proven. Insisting upon something doesn't make it so, and only succeeds in irritating people. When the Toppyite claims that nothing has come near to disproving the theory, that means they've rejected the evidence that other people consider to be fairly damning. The whole argument involving the supposed small number of George Hutchinsons in the area is only relevant for people who have already convinced themselves that the signatures are a good match, so continually referring to it is only an exercise in circular reasoning.

The above simply reads as "I'm right because I say I am", which, besides being so obviously wrong and fallacious, suggests to me that you're another one who's spoiling for a long drawn-out Toppy war, which of course I'd cheerfully oblige.

The Good Michael
07-19-2009, 03:52 AM
It's at times like these that I cringe at the very thought of this field dignifying itself with the "-ology" suffix.

I really try, Gareth. I really do. There is much indignity here at times.

Mike

Jane Welland
07-19-2009, 10:04 AM
Well, here we are then.

Sam - thanks for your response to my post. I try to be objective, personally, and to consider all aspects evenly so far as I can - that's just my way, I guess. I put the opposing standpoints on an even footing here, because as regards the evidence, that's honestly how it appears to me.

To take that evidence from the top, so to speak.

The signatures - two people working as professional document examiners have seen them - correct? As I asked Fisherman, and have repeated since - which one looked at them and cried 'Eureka! We have a match!'?

The answer to that is that neither of them did. On the other hand, neither of them ruled it out, either, if you look carefully at what they said. Microagruments aside - what this means, I should think, is that there was sufficient doubt for them that they could not pronounce a clear and certain match - wouldn't things be so much easier now if they had?!

Yes, Leander had copies, and I think we have seen plenty of talk about what difference that makes, so I won't repeat it here - and Yes, Iremonger saw the originals - I reallly do think that must be taken as read, personally - it's both childish and rather churlish to suggest otherwise imo.

Anyhow, the point being that regardless of whether these good people saw copies or originals, I presume they know what they're doing, since both are, by all accounts, highly respected professionals. That leads me to think that their judgement was sound. And their judgement was not certain, either way, in either case. That's it, the facts of the matter. One can argue around it, but one cannot reasonably argue with it.

Finally, as has been pointed out by several posters prior to this one - the general similarities in what Fisherman refers to as 'Handstyle' at this time is well known and accepted. How much of the similarities you see in the signatures are due to that, for example, and how much are not? That seems to be a reasonable question to me.

Since there has been no certain verdict there, then that is how things stand, as far as I can see. You, Sam (amongst others) see a certain match there, but the experts do not. That suggests to me that the situation is far from cut and dried.

Moving on -

Reg's account - This is a difficult piece of evidence to address imo. Unllike the signatures, which are empirical, this is effectively hearsay. There is no proof that the story is true (or that it is not). What does weaken its veracity for some is the whold Randolph Churchill business - I mean, come on! Nothing is impossible, I concede - but I think one has to accept that it is highly improbable.

Of course, some have tried to argue around that in various ways - but the fact remains - that is what Reg said, and as such, it unfortunately throws his entire story into doubt. This is a product of rational reasoning, being that if he could invent a tale about Randolph Churchill, the rest may also be bogus.

Actually, that doesn't follow, imo - one pretty clear fabrication doesn't mean necessarily that the entire thing is bogus - human beings are incosistent at times. Besides, this is exactly how myths come into being - very often there is a core of truth at the heart of them which has, Chinese Whisper-like, 'evolved', shall we say, over the course of time.

At the same time, we have no idea of the source of the story that Toppy was the witness. Maybe, yes, we are on to something there, but sadly, we cannot discount the possibility that Reg, or even Toppy, made it all up in the first place.

Hearsay, you see - fairly low down on the evidence scale, as I'm sure you would agree, being of scientific bent yourself.

Circumstantial evidence - Finally, this does not seem overwhelmingly convincing to me - possible, yes, but that is as far as I would go, personally.

Toppy in Whitechapel - no evidence for this - it's supposition.

Number of George Hutchinsons - all the points I raised in my earlier post apply - it is not particularly strong imo.

I have to say also, against the premise of a identification of Toppy with the Dorset Street Witness are the following:

Toppy as Plumber - which we know he was, and his father was. The very simplest solution to this is, and remains, that he followed in his father's footsteps - yet the theory of Toppy= Hutch requires us to believe - on no evidence whatever - that he first worked as a labourer and groom. That's speculation, that's all. And also, when you find that you need to invent and excuse for a mismatch then generally speaking, your theory needs attention, in my experience.

Toppy's Age - which was 22 at the time. Hutchinson clearly said that he had known Kelly for approximately 3 years, which would mean that Toppy was 19 when he first met her. I find this a little improbable, personally - a bit stretchy - if you'll pardon the rather girly phrase! It's possible, of course, but perhaps unlikely.

So, what are we left with?

Empirically - it seems in the balance to me.

Supportive - as in Reg's account - interesting, but of little worth for reasons stated.

Circumstantial - valid arguments on both sides.

And that is why I put the opposing views on an even footing - because as it stands, neither is conclusive.

I'm sure others have different views, and I look forward to hearing them.

Best to all

Jane x

The Good Michael
07-19-2009, 10:57 AM
Let's look at Topping's father:

Noted events in his life were:

• Census, 1841, High Street, Chelmsford, Essex.

• Occupation: Labourer, 1841.

• Census, 1851, Marble Lane, Chelmsford, Essex.

• Occupation: Plumber, 1851.

• Census, 1861, High Street, Hornchurch, Essex.

• Occupation: Plumber, 1861.

• Census, 1871, 5 Champness Terrace, Lambeth, Surrey.

• Occupation: Plumber, 1871.

• Census, 1881, 4 Roper Street, Elham, Kent.

• Occupation: Plumber, 1881.

• Census, 1891, 4 Lenham Road, Lee, London.

• Occupation: Plumber, 1891.

Wow! He was a laborer in 1841 and then in 1851 he was a plumber. Sound familiar.

Jane, though you can't place Topping in Whitechapel, we can place him in Bethnal Green where his son Reg was born in 1916. We can also place him in 1896 in Mile End where he married Florence Jervais. Looking at the way his father hopped around every 10 years or so, I should think these two places sufficiently close enough to the East End to show by 1896 that he was moving away from the squalor a bit. Isn't that what people do throughout the history of immigration? They move into the cheapest places that they can afford, and then when they have sufficient funds, move outward, hoping to reach suburbia one day.
It is precisely how the western world works and has worked. Mile End and Bethnal Green are neighbors of Spitalfields, and especially Bethnal Green which is breathing down its neck. If you or anyone else wants to quibble and say, "But that's not the East End." Then all it is is quibbling.

Mike

Jane Welland
07-19-2009, 11:58 AM
Thanks,

I take on board your point about location - which is interesting.

I don't see that the actions of the father here necessarily have any impact on how we might view the purportive actions of the son - it doesn't follow, in my view.

Human agency is difficult to predict on an individual basis - perhaps unknowable in many instances - because people are unpredictable at some levels.

Of course, it is possible that Toppy once worked as a labourer and then a groom and then a plumber, but equally, people are entitled to ask why he didn't just follow in his father's profession?

Like it or not, it appears, at the moment, that this is a sticking point - as does Reg's assertion that his father was rarely if ever out of work - unlike the Dorset Street Witness, who was unemployed at the time.

There are issues, Mike, and whilst it may be tedious in the extreme for people to go through them ad nauseum, I'm afraid I think it must go on, because it is so often that very way that new information does come to light.

If we let it go, because we're all sick of talking about it, then it will soon be forgotten, and then, most likely, we'll never know the answers we seek.

I don't think that's quibbling.

All of this is speculative, which is useful in it's own right, but since we have no corroboration at present, it remains speculative - on both sides of the argument.

Best wishes

Jane x

Sam Flynn
07-19-2009, 02:39 PM
All of this is speculative, which is useful in it's own right, but since we have no corroboration at present, it remains speculative - on both sides of the argument.
There's that "on both sides of the argument" thing, again. As I said yesterday, Jane, the two aren't on an equal footing - not by a country mile.

Consider this - the pro-Toppy theory has signature and census information that tends to support the identification of Topping with Hutchinson; in contrast, the anti-Toppy argument goes: "We don't know who he is, but he's not Toppy, and he must have been living somewhere else". In the name of all that's sane, what kind of an argument is that? It boils down to little more than, "Nyaah, nyaah! Don't believe you!".*


* Edit: Actually, it boils down to "Nyaah, nyaah! I'm not listening!". Such behaviour isn't confined to the Hutchinson debate - ripperology is full to the rafters with examples of otherwise serious students of the case sticking their metaphorical fingers in their ears, or covering their eyes, merely to blot out anything that might blaspheme against their own personal gods.

babybird67
07-19-2009, 03:01 PM
It boils down to little more than, "Nyaah, nyaah! Don't believe you!".

That has never been my argument, and although i have always been able to see similarities i can also see considerable differences.

I place more weight on the differences in the capital letters simply because that is where variation seems to me to be more likely to occur between individuals, and since there was a generic writing style being taught at the time that could easily account for the similarities in the tch parts. There are many more ways to write a capital G than there are to write tch linked together in the middle of a signature.

That Sue Iremonger said in her view there was no match is significant, as Jane has already pointed out. I won't reference Leander's opinion since it was not a professional one ;) but if i were to, he would also have come down on the side of negativity in pronouncing, albeit spontaneously and personally, that a match could not be ruled out.

It may be logical to surmise George Hutchinson was resident in or around the East End at the time of the murders but that doesn't make it evidence based to state that he definitely was.

The biggest worry for me is the content of his statement and the doubt this throws upon any information we have from him, down to whether he did give a genuine name. The commonalities of the day could easily account for the similarities you see...maybe this is why Iremonger thought there was no match? There is also the unhelpful information that Badham may or may not have signed one or more of the names on the statement itself for Hutchinson.

There are just too many variables here for me to be comfortable with any other verdict other than considering a match as a possibility and hope for more evidence.

I dont do this to annoy or frustrate you (although i quite enjoy annoying and frustrating Mike ;)) but because i genuinely believe it to be the only sustainable position at the moment. I have no position still on Hutchinson other than that he is an annoying bugger that i dont know what to do with!

bore da (one d or two?)

Sam Flynn
07-19-2009, 03:17 PM
That has never been my argumentI wasn't suggesting it was, Jen.That Sue Iremonger said in her view there was no match is significant
How many samples, apart from the witness statement, did she see? Precisely one - and, even then, I still haven't had an answer as to whether she was looking at the original marriage certificate, or an authorised copy of the same in some clerk's handwriting, like I bought by mistake from the NA. Working from that copy, I'm not surprised that any similarities in the handwriting were rejected outright - something which, frankly, baffles me when considering the actual signatures, which are remarkably similar irrespective of whether you, Sue Iremonger or anybody else disagrees.

Apropos Ms Iremonger - and with sincere respect - she belongs to a somewhat earlier generation of document examiners, a factor which needs to be borne in mind if we are to talk sensibly about this matter. Failure to do so is a bit like citing Lamarck in an argument about evolutionary biology, or Freud in a discussion on psychiatry. The field of document examination has moved on in recent years - to the point where, for example, it has been shown that photocopies are perfectly usable for the purpose of signature comparison.

With that in mind, it might be said (and probably will be!) that Leander might appear be lagging behind the curve - although I'm not so sure. His comments about original copies might have everything to do with document examination as a broad topic, but what we're discussing here is signature comparison, which is a mere subset of a wider field; indeed, comparing signatures is not confined to the field of forensics - it happens in daily life, every time a cheque is cashed. Furthermore, we're discussing signature comparison where there is no feasible possibility of fraud - a situation quite unlike the scenarios in which most document examiners are routinely required to work.

Sam Flynn
07-19-2009, 03:20 PM
bore da (one d or two?)Right first time - only one "d", Jen. Diolch yn fawr :)

babybird67
07-19-2009, 03:39 PM
I wasn't suggesting it was, Jen.

Good. I'd like to think i can debate a topic with a little more sophistication than poking my tongue out at you and running away. :)

How many samples, apart from the witness statement, did she see? Precisely one - and, even then, I still haven't had an answer as to whether she was looking at the original marriage certificate, or an authorised copy of the same in some clerk's handwriting, like I bought by mistake from the NA.

But again Sam, that is assumption...assuming her opinion must have been flawed because otherwise nobody could fail to identify the two writers. I doubt sincerely that something that was obvious to you when you saw it would not have been obvious to Ms Iremonger. Her findings were published in the relevant books, and she was happy to stand on her professional credentials in that regard with her opinion that they did not match. That is a strong position to take...one which i myself don't take. I still think it's possible....but nobody has addressed the sticking points for me, which are basically the commonalities of the time could easily account for the similarities...and we can't even be sure which of the witness signatures on the three pages of Hutchinson's statement are actually his signature! One expert, if i remember rightly, said the third had been signed by Badham, while another said it was the first.

If we cannot even establish whether Hutchinson the witness signed his own name, and those are the only 3 examples we have, we are on shaky ground indeed. They all look similar dont they...yet one wasn't his signature...doesn't this show you how easy it is to see similarities in the handwriting of the day? Indeed, perhaps it was familiarity with handwriting of the LVP, an expertise perhaps developed during the course of her occupation examining documents, that allowed Ms Iremonger to conclude as forcefully as she did that there was no match? I am just suggesting here, not asserting.

Apropos Ms Iremonger - and with sincere respect - she belongs to a somewhat earlier generation of document examiners, a factor which needs to be borne in mind if we are to talk sensibly about this matter. Failure to do so is a bit like citing Lamarck in an argument about evolutionary biology, or Freud in a discussion on psychiatry. The field of document examination has moved on in recent years - to the point where, for example, it has been shown that photocopies are perfectly usable for the purpose of signature comparison.

I'm sorry Sam but i cannot agree.

How can one establish how faithful any electronic copy is in reflecting all the nuances of the original without seeing the original?

It would be like me photographing the Mona Lisa with a smudge on my camera that obscures the smile...how would anyone know the smile was even there if they had not seen the original? They wouldn't. Leander doesn't know what the originals would have told him because he hasn't seen them, nor can he comment on the quality of the copies he was provided with because he has nothing valid to compare them with.

There are any number of variations, and it has already been pointed out that the montages of electronic signatures supplied have been altered in size, with gaps minimised, and i still dont know whether the angles have been altered, to facilitate positive identification...to deliberately emphasise the things that match. Not for any nefarious reason either...just to be helpful to show there are similarities. However, they have been altered, and alteration invalidates the comparison in my opinion. Originals must be used...document examiners have to examine documents, not computer images. I don't know how else to say this but i do not understand your reluctance to admit that this is a valid point.

I'm really not being deliberately stubborn, and i do see similarities as well, i just think it is easy to place too much faith in the significance of the similarities and to dismiss the differences without due consideration.

anyway...we can agree to disagree i am sure and retain our hopefully mutual respect for eachother...

enjoy the rest of the weekend, Sam :)

Sam Flynn
07-19-2009, 03:44 PM
I'm sorry Sam but i cannot agree.

How can one establish how faithful any electronic copy is in reflecting all the nuances of the original without seeing the original?
How many more relevant nuances might apply in a task involving the comparison of two-dimensional visual stimuli? I can understand why, in a potential fraud case, one might wish to examine the paper for the type of paper, the type of ink, handprints, the pressure exerted by the pen (although quite how significant the latter is when using an inkpen nib, as opposed to a biro, is a moot point), but fraud doesn't enter into the equation here. It's a task comparable to deciding whether this "b" is the same as this "6" - and you don't even need to print out this post onto a sheet of paper in order to be able to do that.

babybird67
07-19-2009, 03:46 PM
How many more relevant nuances might apply in a task involving the comparison of two-dimensional visual stimuli?

Yes but it is two dimensional to look at...it wasn't to write. Things like pen pressure and angle the writer uses are relevant and you cannot assess them from a copy.

Back to the Mona Lisa...if something on my lens obscures her smile, how would you know it was there, other than having been to see the original? How do we know what evidence would be forthcoming from the original documents if we decline to study them?

The Good Michael
07-19-2009, 04:27 PM
BB,

Brass tacks: There is an absolute abundance of circumstances that can be assembled to create an argument for Toppy as Hutch, a veritable bounty. On the other side there is absolutely nothing but refutation of that bounty. There isn't an iota of extant knowledge that we can sift through that says Toppy wasn't Hutch. There is absolutely only dubious surmise. That is where the Toppy Ain't Hutch camp sits, on nothing concrete, only conjecture and surmise. In a sane world, a collection of little things that actually exist, would seem to outweigh: I don't think so.

Tell me how I can be possibly wrong on that stance, that concrete items would be by preponderance more acceptable than even rational thought(though that is another argument) founded on nothing but refutation.

Cheers,

Mike

babybird67
07-19-2009, 04:37 PM
BB,

Brass tacks

If they are brass tacks, please address them. You are convinced of the truth...convince me. :1tongue:

Sam Flynn
07-19-2009, 04:53 PM
Yes but it is two dimensional to look at...it wasn't to write. Things like pen pressure and angle the writer uses are relevant and you cannot assess them from a copy.
Pressure is only truly relevant, Jen, if (a) you're dealing with a case of fraud (fraudsters, because they're copying, may not "attack" the paper in the same way that the true writer would); or (b) if you're dealing with a writing implement that requires the writer to exert enough pressure on the paper to make indentations in it. Neither of those conditions applies here - we're dealing with a non-fraud situation, and with signatures wrought with free-flowing inkpens.

In other words, 2D is plenty good enough for this exercise. In point of fact, research shows that even Nth-generation photocopies (never mind colour scans in decent resolution) are good enough to make remarkably accurate judgments in respects of signature comparisons.

In terms of angle - the way one constructs one's letters can change significantly over time. The remarkable thing about the set of signatures we're looking at here is the consistency (yes, consistency) exhibited in the lettering over a period of 23 years.

babybird67
07-19-2009, 05:22 PM
but there are things in originals that get lost in transforming them into copies, in every sphere.

Nobody has answered the fact that regarding the witness statement:

a/ of the three signatures, which are genuinely the witnesses and which are Badhams?

b/ considering the three signatures are similar, why this doesnt constitute a valid point that similarities between signatures could be attributed to commonalities at the time

The Good Michael
07-19-2009, 05:29 PM
b/ considering the three signatures are similar, why this doesnt constitute a valid point that similarities between signatures could be attributed to commonalities at the time

Could be. That's one refutation. If I said that this is an equally weighted argument (though I don't think so), that would be one 50/50 and then you'd have to refute everything else. You see, it doesn't really work. Nothing substantial, merely refutation of the substantial from the other side.

Mike

babybird67
07-19-2009, 05:34 PM
so you are happy being completely 100% certain of identification between one man and three signatures, any one of which might not actually be his?

Don't you see the only rational position is to be circumspect and to say, it is possible, but not proven?

I still find it hard to understand how contentious my position appears to be...

Jane Welland
07-19-2009, 06:11 PM
and Hello All.

Well, then, originals and copies - argument with this is futile - I give you fair warning!

An original - what is that? Why, that is primary evidence. It is the evidence for the thing that predated any other version of itself. It is the originator, the origin, of all subsequent derivatives.

So, I'm afraid it must be a fact that all subsequent copies are derivative.

Nope, there's no getting away from it.

To take your Mona Lisa example, Jen - we could not seriously suggest that there was no difference between the original and a reproduction - not a chance. They look different in many respects - because indeed they are different - one is a portrait created in 16th Century Italy, whereas the other(s) may have been made pretty much anywhere these days, and are not portraits painted in 16th Century Italy by any stretch of the imagination.

They are copies of the origianal image - they are images of the original image. They are by the fact of their existence - derivitave.

Now, just imagine fora moment that another Mona Lisa appeared on the market, having emerged from a private collection perhaps. It purports to be the work of Leonardo - but obviously, checks will need to be made. How will the experts in 16th Century Italian portraiture go about this? Will they, perhaps, consult a postcard from the local market? Will they, perhaps, consult a photocopy from a book on the subject they happen to have on the shelf at home? Do they take a fax (say) of the purported second version and use it for comparision, even?

I think not. No, I'm pretty sure that what they would do would be to take the potential match and consult the original for comparison - for all the features of Leonardo's work at that point in his career that may either confirm or exclude the possibility that this is another version of the famous masterwork in the Louvre.

They would do this because a copy loses in translation those details that make the difference - yes, perhaps there are good copies, etc, but they will not do the job, ultimately. The only way to know for sure - if such a thing is possible, is to consult the points of origin - the original paintings in this instance, the original signatures in this current debate.

It is because - and really, this is quite simple and obvious - copies are derivative - there is a constant risk of alteration. We can see this clearly here - the examples posted on these boards take no accound of differences in size, which are apparently a feature of the originals. It makes a difference, it must, because it is a change.

You cannot hope for a fair or accurate comparison if you don't have accurate information in the first place. Stands to reason.

You will be hindered by potential inaccuracies, and if you reach any conclusions at all based on inaccurate and potentially misrepresentative material, you should do so very tentatively indeed.

Finally, Sam, I'm sure you're a very clever man, but I have to say the idea that Iremonger mistook a modern copy by a registrar for the real thing seems to me to be quite ridiculous! Whatever makes you think so?

Best to all

Jane x

claire
07-19-2009, 06:13 PM
Such an interesting debate...

I agree with you, Sam, that the angle at which people form letters will change over time (and even within time, as anyone who has bashed their hand or suffered from arthritis will testify).

But I do wonder, along with babybird, whether time-related commonalities aren't something to consider. When we examine handwriting these days, we tend to use our experience that has been gained contemporaneously. That is, we are used to seeing very varied handwriting amongst the population (for lots of obvious reasons, not least that handwriting is rarely taught these days). I often wonder whether this is the case, and whether signatures were so varied in the LVP. The only ones I have seen have been those of writers, who would naturally have developed their own 'signature' (ie. style of writing) due to increased usage. The average Joe on the street (no pun intended) might not have developed such a signature.

Fisherman
07-19-2009, 06:41 PM
Claire asks:

"I do wonder ... whether time-related commonalities aren't something to consider."

Hi Claire!
What I wonder is whether there are any good grounds for the assumption that the Victorian lower class was subjected to a form of education that made them all write very much alike? That suggestion has been thrown forward, but I don´t think I have seen any substantiation for it.
Do you - or anybody else - know if there is such a thing around? Does any handstyle expert or -historian ever mention this, or is it just a suggestion?

In post 18 of the "Hutch in the 1911 census" thread, Sam posted a number of signatures made by working class George Hutchinsons, and to my eye, they differ just as much as do my signature from my former classmates - and we were ALSO taught to write in a certain fashion.

So, once again, the question we need to ask ourselves is: Is there any substantiation for the belief that the East-enders developed handstyles that differed less inbetween them than is the case in other eras of time?

The best, Claire!
Fisherman

Sam Flynn
07-19-2009, 06:54 PM
But I do wonder, along with babybird, whether time-related commonalities aren't something to consider. When we examine handwriting these days, we tend to use our experience that has been gained contemporaneously. That is, we are used to seeing very varied handwriting amongst the population (for lots of obvious reasons, not least that handwriting is rarely taught these days). I often wonder whether this is the case, and whether signatures were so varied in the LVP.
Interesting points, Claire, but I've looked at the handwriting of every potential "George Hutchinson" in London from the 1911 Census - most, if not all of whom, if memory serves, were long-term London residents and hence stand a high chance of also having been there in 1888. None of their signatures came close to matching either Toppy's 1898 marriage certificate or those on the 1888 police statement - apart, of course, from the 1911 signature of Toppy himself, which was remarkably similar.

There was only one exception - a man I dubbed "Lambeth George". However, this man transpired to be a long-term resident of Lambeth, and his signature varied in key aspects - e.g., he did not use the "top-launched" letter "t"'s seen on the police statements; the self-same "top-launched t's" consistently used by Toppy on the marriage certificate and the 1911 Census (amongst other differences).

Toppy, we know, moved around quite a bit - which is more than can be said of his handwriting. I find it extremely improbable that a man with such an unusual name, almost as rare as hens' teeth in Late Victorian London, should coincidentally have acquired the same writing habits as our witness of 1888. That improbability gains significantly more weight when one considers Topping's proven connections with the East End, his social status, the type of job he held, his family story identifying himself as the Dorset Street witness, etc.

Here and elsewhere, we sometimes see a tendency to focus on minor points, or single issues, whilst neglecting the bigger picture. The current debate embodies this tendency to a top-launched "t".

Sam Flynn
07-19-2009, 07:04 PM
Just saw this on the BBC News website:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8158097.stm

... that's three other Toppys we need to worry about ;)

babybird67
07-19-2009, 07:35 PM
absolutely fabulous Sam! Love it!


Co-incidence that they are from Korea? Hmmmmm...Michael? Explanation please!:1tongue:

Garry Wroe
07-20-2009, 02:26 AM
Hi Sam.


Although I wanted to avoid any further involvement with this thread, you have made a number of points that I feel need to be addressed in order to provide a degree of balance.


In context of the signatures, I genuinely cannot share your view concerning perceived levels of concordance. Agreed, there is a certain similarity in the writing styles between one Hutchinson signature and those of Toppy, but nothing like sufficient to convince me that they were authored by a common hand. And what of the other two Hutchinson signatures? Given your empirical background, you more than most are aware that a model that fails to account for every variable is no model at all. Yet the other two Hutchinson signatures have been all but ignored by those who would have Toppy as Hutchinson. The reality, however, is that those signatures incorporate architectural components which serve only to highlight the clearly discernible stylistic differences between the Toppy and Hutchinson samples. Without due consideration of these differences, I would suggest, any meaningful debate is rendered impossible.


I am, of course, aware that you have formulated your opinion based predominantly upon the evaluation of textual hot-spots – the utchinso portions, as it were. But I simply cannot accept that the employment of a clipped sample in which selected graphemes are treated as statistical outliers is an approach appropriate to the task of handwriting analysis. To my mind, it must be an all or nothing approach. Anything less and we are straying into the realm of hypo-inductive reasoning.


Another issue relates to a point made by Jane in which she suggested that Hutchinson could have been operating under an alias. In response, you wrote, 'In which case, why does his writing match that of a man with the same name, who wrote down the evidence for all to see fully 23 years later?' Some, of course, would hold that the writing doesn't match, but that is a largely subjective argument that could go on forever. For my part, I spent more than ten years on the trail of Hutchinson and must have examined thousands of Victorian documents in the process. What struck me time and again was the similarity of handwriting styles across what was a fairly broad spectrum of sources. At the time, I attributed it to a combination of the relatively rigid process of copybook training imposed on Victorian schoolchildren and the somewhat stylistically restrictive nature of the steel pen. Whatever the merits of this conjecture, however, I remain not the least bit surprised to see a degree of concordance between the Hutchinson and Toppy signatures. Frankly, on the basis of past experience, I'd perhaps be more surprised if there weren't stylistic similarities.


As for the notion that Hutchinson might have adopted an assumed name, it is a matter of record that many Victorian recidivists provided police with a false name in order that they be tried as first-time offenders and thereby incur a more lenient sentence. And what of the Ripper victims? Mary Ann (Polly) Nichols, Annie Chapman (Sivvey) and Kate (Mary Ann Kelly) Eddowes. Mary Jane Kelly even adopted a French affectation in the form of Marie Jeanette. Given this near-epidemic of identity misrepresentation, why should the notion that Hutchinson, too, may have adopted an assumed name be so unthinkable?


One factor that, in my view, ought to be accorded greater consideration relates to the signatures on Hutchinson's police statement. Three signatures in three entirely different forms. The second was even signed Geo Hutchinson. (Remember here, Sam, your assertion that Toppy's signature remained remarkably constant over a twenty-three year period.) This qualitative inconsistency is troublesome. Signatures provided so closely in time and space shouldn't evidence such pronounced variability. Yet they do. It might be argued that this was a mere consequence of Hutchinson's unfamiliarity with the pen. But when one considers some of the artistic, copperplate flourishes which are to be found in the first signature, this is an unlikely proposition. What makes more sense to me is that Hutchinson was relatively at home with the pen, but less comfortable with the name he was signing. And this, I would suggest, is a possible indication that Hutchinson had assumed an alias.


But for you, I know, such a possibility is problematic: 'I could imagine someone coming up with "John Smith" as an alias ... but not "George Hutchinson".' I'm sorry, Sam, but I don't understand the internal logic of such a statement. Purely for the sake of argument, let's turn the tables and assume that Hutchinson's real name was John Smith. Let us further assume that he wished to adopt an alias. What, then, would be so fantastical about him using his grandfather's forename (George) along with his mother's maiden name (Hutchinson)? Equally, he could have achieved an identical result in a much more utilitarian fashion by way of place names. As such, if you'd care to check the maps relative to the period under scrutiny, you'll find that there existed but a stone's throw from Commercial Street thoroughfares named George Street and Hutchinson Street.


Please understand that I'm not trying to posit a theory here. I am merely advancing a couple of examples of how human cognitive processes can be influenced by the most random and prosaic of factors. Given this psychodynamic reality, therefore, I have to disagree with your contention that, as a prospective alias, the name George Hutchinson represents an unlikely selection. Whether it was an assumed name is, of course, an entirely different matter.


Regards.


Garry Wroe.

Ben
07-20-2009, 02:44 AM
Thanks for the interesting census information on George Sr, Mike (which comes from the website you referenced earlier, and where I also obtained my information about Emily Jane Hutchinson), but I can assure you that there's not the remotest "wow"" issue when it comes to his having been a labourer in 1841 when he would have been 14 years old. Not only would it have been impossible for him to have been a plumber at such an early age, we know from other sources that plumbing apprenticeships were issued at age 14 at the very earliest.

In George Sr. we discover what normal people did when they became plumbers - odd-jobbed until they were of a suitable age to embark upon an apprenticeship, which is not what's being alleged for Toppy, who some are insisting became a plumber well after the age at which it was possible to undertake an apprenticeship.

though you can't place Topping in Whitechapel, we can place him in Bethnal Green where his son Reg was born in 1916. We can also place him in 1896 in Mile End where he married Florence Jervais

But that was only after he met his wife who was from the East End, and there is no evidence of a personal connection to the East End until that meeting occured. Florence Jervis, instead, appears to have been Toppy's introduction to the East End.

Best regards,
Ben

Ben
07-20-2009, 02:51 AM
“There's that "on both sides of the argument" thing, again. As I said yesterday, Jane, the two aren't on an equal footing - not by a country mile.”

Again Gareth, no offense, but nobody’s going to swallow your insistence that they’re not on an equal footing purely on your say so, and using lots of inappropriate exaggerated rhetoric similar to “not by a country mile” doesn’t make a flawed observation any more persuasive. I could just as easily claim “Oh, the sides of the argument aren’t equal. My side wins by millions of South Pacific sea miles because, damn it, I say it does”, but I don't want to run the risk of patronizing the readership, whether intentionally or not, purely because I got carried away with rhetoric.

“Consider this - the pro-Toppy theory has signature and census information that tends to support the identification of Topping with Hutchinson”

Again, you’re just making ex cathedra pronouncements and hoping that repeating them on a regular basis will increase the likelihood of them being correct. That's not argumentation. But if that's the latest debating strategy, let's consider the opposite: that the anti-Toppy theory has signature and census information that tends to detract from the identification of Topping with Hutchinson. I think I'll have to counter every sweeping generalization with an antithetical one of my own in future.

“We don't know who he is, but he's not Toppy, and he must have been living somewhere else". In the name of all that's sane, what kind of an argument is that?”

It’s not an argument that I’ve every heard made by anyone here. There is certainly nothing wrong with the argument that we don’t know who the witness was, but the evidence suggests it wasn’t Toppy.

“Precisely one - and, even then, I still haven't had an answer as to whether she was looking at the original marriage certificate, or an authorised copy of the same in some clerk's handwriting, like I bought by mistake from the NA.”

That’s like saying you “still haven’t had an answer” as to whether the centre of the moon is made of Cheshire cheese. I realize that some people are prepared to entertain even the most ludicrous and border-line impossible positions if it means trying to bolster a position they rashly jumped to before seeing any signatures, but that one is just criminally insane even by those standards. What is being suggested here is that Iremonger, a forensic document examiner, mistook a modern piece of official FRC paper, filled in by a modern registrar, and compared it with the statement signatures, believing it to be an authentic document from 1898. Such an idea is beyond even the faintest ridicule because she’d know by holding the piece of paper that it was splurged out of a photocopy machine or printer!

Obviously if you’ve convinced yourself beyond any rationality that the signatures are “remarkably similar”, despite an expert saying otherwise, you’ll come up with any excuses for dismissing that expert, however implausible, but that particular dismissal is outlandish by anyone’s standards. So’s this:

Apropos Ms Iremonger - and with sincere respect - she belongs to a somewhat earlier generation of document examiners, a factor which needs to be borne in mind if we are to talk sensibly about this matter.

Just when I thought the excuses for chucking out any evidence that contradicted a pre-determined conclusion couldn't get any more desperate, we're now being told that Iremonger belonged to an "earlier generation" of document examiners - an age when they got things wrong (we're told with nothing like any real evidence), like, y'know, back in the dark ages of 1992?

The field of document examination has moved on in recent years - to the point where, for example, it has been shown that photocopies are perfectly usable for the purpose of signature comparison.

Although, Leander comes to the recuse once again when he assures us that a full expert opinion isn't even possible for the purposes of a signature comparison, wholly contradicting the above statement. And yes, that's signature comparison, which despite being a "subset of a wider field" still necessitates the presence of original documents in order for a "full expert opinion" to be arrived at. If you're arguing that we should ignore this statement of his, then it would be in the interests of fair-play and consistency to throw everything he says out of the window, rather than cherry-picking the bits you think are Toppy-endorsing.

It would be a different matter if he said anything similiar to what you're claiming, which is that photocopies are just as good for boring old signature comparisons that don't involve fraud (etc etc), but the documented reality of Leander's exact words paint a very different picture. He stated that he could only offer a "spontaneous" comment in the absence of the original documents, and he said so in the full knowledge that he wasn't dealing with a case of fraud.

Sorry Gareth, you're a hell of a nice guy and thoroughly knowledgable to boot, but lately I've been wondering who's tied you up and stolen your PC.

Best regards,
Ben

The Good Michael
07-20-2009, 05:34 AM
This a letter of apology to Richard, Fisherman, Sam, Observer and others. I have changed my mind about Hutchinson. The evidence against his being the same man as Toppy is overwhelming in my opinion. I finally see the light. I think it's best if I do a point by point breakdown to show you what I'm talking about.

1. Though George's witness statement signatures match Toppy's in many ways, Leander couldn't or wouldn't come to a decision. That makes this whole thing arguable. The idea that many people wrote similarly is quite possible. When we see the two people's signatures side by side and make a claim for their kinship, we have to admit that other George Hutchinsons have similar signatures, though not as similar. We need to drop this whole argument. Coincidence does happen.

2. Hutchinson could have been an alias used. Just because it wasn't a common name, and just because we wouldn't have chosen it, doesn't negate necessarily the scenario of an alias. I would suspect that the police, though they spent a few days with him taking him around to the murder site and such, must have never sought corroboration of identity in any fashion. How do we know this? It wasn't written down, so it couldn't have happened. We are left with the only solution that Hutchinson was most probably a made up name.

3. Toppy was born and raised on the East side, a spitting distance away from SPITalfields, yet that tells us nothing about his residence at the Victoria Men's Home, so he couldn't have lived there. There is no logical connection between, for example Toppy living in Bethnal Green or Mile End as he got older, because there is no evidence that people move around, within the same area, over their lifetimes. Though I have lived in perhaps 4 different houses and 2 flats in a 10 mile radius, is merely anecdotal and should not be projected upon a Victorian working class man such a George Hutchinson (an alias) and his ability to move around in a two mile radius. That kind of thing just didn't happen.

4. Though Toppy's father was a laborer in 1841 and was listed as a plumber in 1851, doesn't mean his son would have done something similar. I can't even imagine that a man who might have been a plumber at times and a jack of all trades at other times would even list himself as a plumber in the census. No, he would have had to have been a licensed plumber because when the census takers come around, they check licenses and employment records and tax statements to such an extent that it becomes impossible to simply say, "I'm a plumber." Unless that is the only way your bread is buttered. To be sure, all children picked up their father's trades in the LVP... with the exception of a few miscreants who went off into the arts or something, yet we know the kind of people they are, eh? George Hutchinson the witness, most assuredly could not have had a father who was a plumber, part time or full, without following in his footsteps. It wasn't done.

5. Since Hutchinson killed Mary Kelly, it is highly unlikely that he would have fathered a child and had a family. Murderers just don't do such things. Besides, it was an alias anyway (see step 2).

6. Reginald Hutchinson, son of Toppy claimed that his father was the witness. He is the only man to have done so, and no one has come forth from Hutchinson's family to refute this. It must be true, but again, we are dealing with a real Hutchinson and not someone who took the name hoping that these kinds of things would happen in the future to keep him in obscurity. Only a criminal mastermind of the most nefarious type could have planned for something over 100 years in the future. So, we have our answer.

So I have turned to the other side gents. The logic was astoundingly sound in the other camp and I had no alternative.

Cheers

Mike

Jane Welland
07-20-2009, 10:56 AM
It seems to me that you think Toppy was Hutch! :lol:

I respect your view - perhaps you are right, I don't know.

I haven't ruled it out, personally, but I think that it is far from proven, because there are issues with the evidence. That's all.

I think that's reasonable. I don't buy into the contention that those for Toppy have all the cake and those who express doubt have only a few stale crumbs. I don't think so - that's my personal view.

I found your point 5 interesting - I don't see, even if Toppy turns out to have been Hutchinson all along, why that means he must be excluded from any wrongdoing - yes, even possibly murder. He could have had a family, he could have, for example, changed his MO after Kelly and carried on at intervals throughout his life for all we know. Yes, that's pure speculation, of course, but so are some of the arguments put forward in this debate that would identify Toppy with Huchinson.

As and aside, whilst I have seen the words 'Toppy is Hutch' posted on these boards, I can't think where I've seen the emphatic 'Toppy is not Hutch' anywhere - please point me in the right direction if such exists!

I think facts are established via consensus - no such thing exists here - and saying that those who express doubt over the identification of Toppy with Hutch must have an 'agenda' is simply not true - how can one generalise so?

Surely everyone comes to their conclusions by different means? We're all different, after all!

Best wishes, Mike

Jane x:hiya:

babybird67
07-20-2009, 11:46 AM
That is well over the mandatory paragraph, but i know you must have agonised over your personal redemption, so i am prepared to accept it this time.:lol:

Hallelujah...you have seen the light!

The Good Michael
07-20-2009, 01:27 PM
Did I just hear an angelic trumpet of triumph? Yes, I am one of you now.

Smug Refuter of Scientific Method

Ben
07-20-2009, 01:29 PM
Good man, Mike!

I knew you'd come round eventually. Just a few clarifications, though, to help you complete the leap:

1. Though George's witness statement signatures match Toppy's in many ways, Leander couldn't or wouldn't come to a decision. That makes this whole thing arguable.

We also have the opinion of expert document examiner Sue Iremonger that the signatures didn't match, and she almost certainly examined the original documents, unlike Frank Leander who was supplied with material which gave the erroneous impression that all the signatures were the same size. It might also be helpful to take on board Garry's observation that a lot of signatures will register similarity, and that he'd be suprised, given his experience, that two signatures from the period (but from different people) would not register some degree of similarity.

Just because it wasn't a common name, and just because we wouldn't have chosen it, doesn't negate necessarily the scenario of an alias.

George Hutchinson was fairly common, actually. George is a very common first name, and Hutchinson is a fairly common surname. If we're talking obscure aliases, the names Roger Downs and Herbert Webster Mudgett were both selected by criminals from history. You talk about the police being in a position to identify or corroborate an alias, but if this is holding you back from making the full 180 degree turn, please don't let it, because I can assure you that an 1888 police force were in no position to ascertain identities for certain, which is why they never established Kelly's, for one.

Toppy was born and raised on the East side, a spitting distance away from SPITalfields

Umm, no.

I'm afraid somebody must have given you a severely mistaken impression here because Toppy was born and raised in Norwood, in Surrey which is several miles south of London, and nowhere near a "spitting distance from Spitalfields". Nobody would even dream of describing it as the "East side". He met his future wife in 1895. She hailed from the East End, so it's no surprise that his connections to that part of London kicked in from that time onwards. Florence Jervis appears to have been his introduction to the East End.

4. Though Toppy's father was a laborer in 1841 and was listed as a plumber in 1851, doesn't mean his son would have done something similar.

Oh, they probably did do something similar, unless Toppy was the witness of course, which would mean that he acheived a feat that was not only dissimilar to his father's employment history, but flew in the face of the requirements of an apprenticeships which were available from the age of 14 onwards. George Sr. appears to have started his plumbing apprenticeship around this age, prior to which he had been odd-jobbing to earn cash, and I imagine that Toppt did the same thing - gaining that early apprenticeship and working as a plumber for the rest of his life. Seems a more realistic prospect than spurning that apprenticeship, bumming around the East End for at least three years in the worst living conditions available (near enough), before finally deciding to become a plumber in his early 20s when it was no longer possible to embark on an apprenticeship.

So I'm glad you've seen sense here too.

George Hutchinson the witness, most assuredly could not have had a father who was a plumber, part time or full, without following in his footsteps.

Oh you could, providing the son doesn't decide to change his mind and become a bonafide licenced plumber when it wasn't possible to embark on apprenticeships. For the record, I agree that it wouldn't have been particularly easy for Toppy to have passed himself off as a plumber in 1891 in the heart of the West End if he wasn't one. Thank goodness nobody has yet been silly enough to argue the reverse!

Since Hutchinson killed Mary Kelly, it is highly unlikely that he would have fathered a child and had a family. Murderers just don't do such things.

No, that's not true.

It is quite possible for murderers to father children and have families.

Reginald Hutchinson, son of Toppy claimed that his father was the witness. He is the only man to have done so, and no one has come forth from Hutchinson's family to refute this.

Yep, and he claimed that his father was paid a ludicrous sum of hush money to conceal the fact that he had seen Lord Randolph Churchill. If nobody from Toppy's family has come forward to refute this, now might be a good time. Unless of course, they realized that Melvyn Fairclough did the job for them by refuting his own theory.

Delighted to see you've come around to some sense, Mike.

I just hope I was able to iron out a few other misconceptions.

All the best,
Ben

The Good Michael
07-20-2009, 01:36 PM
I
Surely everyone comes to their conclusions by different means? We're all different, after all!



Jane you are correct. Here's proof:

Six blind men were asked to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the elephant's body.

The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar; the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe.

A wise man explains to them:

" Individually all things can be believed or refuted. Put all your parts together, and you have Toppy. Keep them separate, and you remain blind."

He then told them to walk north where they came to a cliff, and being unable to see, they dropped to their doom.

The wise man spoke as they were falling:

"Screw 'em."

Ben
07-20-2009, 01:53 PM
Now, Mike.

I've realised you've changed allegiences, but it's a bit naughty to compare your former allies to a group of blind elephant-fondlers.

Jane Welland
07-20-2009, 02:11 PM
Ah, but you see, Mike, I put the parts of this argument together and I don’t necessarily come up with Toppy. Your analogy – entertaining as it is – presupposes that those who do not agree with your stance (i.e. that Toppy=Hutch) only see one element of the argument – again, how do you know that this is the case?

It’s a sweeping generalisation – isn’t it?

To assume that people are blind or have a dubious agenda simply because they disagree with you does not strike me as very plausible.

Maybe it is rather the case that some are not so convinced as you are by the conclusion that Toppy= Hutch – I don’t really see why that should be offensive to you, or indeed, to anybody.

Again, it is quite clearly unproven, and not only that, there is no consensus at all, by any means, on the one piece of empirical evidence available to us. All of the rest is speculative – and I include the account of Reg there, since for reasons outlined above by myself, and elsewhere by others, it amounts to little more than hearsay.

It’s all to the good to suggest that it must have credence because it is the only such story on the market – but sorry, that doesn’t necessarily follow – at all. There is no corroborative evidence for the story – as yet – and it includes the extremely dubious (to almost everyone, I should think) element of Randolph Churchill, which at the very least should mean that we treat it with caution. And furthermore, if it was prompted in the first place, as some have said, then it’s even more dubious.

I see that the identification of Toppy with Hutch is possible, yes, but I really don’t think it can be framed in terms stronger than that at present.

All the best

Jane x

Fisherman
07-20-2009, 03:10 PM
Okey, everybody, here we go – this is what I wrote to Leander to give him an opportunity to clear his name after having been pointed out as a liar with no working ethics by Ben.

I cannot refrain from adding that the very same Ben that means that he is at liberty to point a renowned expert out as totally untrustworthy and a liar, is the very same Ben that a few posts back wrote this to Sam:
”I don't want to run the risk of patronizing the readership”. That will take a large glass of water before I can swallow it - or, more likey, a bucket. Or a tub.

Anyways:


"Hello again!

As you can see, I am once again asking you to help out in the question of the George Hutchinson signature. Actualy, the very fact that I am once again asking you for a statement is the very core of this mail. In a fashion, it can be said that my question is a meta-question.

Let me explain:

There has been a very hard and unforgiving battle on the website that handles this issue. The battle is mainly about whether your stance on this issue is one of total neutrality or if you think the match good enough to lean towards a verdict of a genuine match.

One may think that it should be obvious that the latter applies, considering that you have written that the grade you chose (cannot be excluded) is the most careful grade of the positive side of the old scale you were friendly enough to send over to me, that you have written that this phrasing is used when no other differences are at hand than differences in amplitude of the expressions, and that you have written that you would be surprised to learn that it was not a genuine match and that you mean that any new evidence coming forth will probably confirm your suggestion.

In spite of this, one of the so called Ripperologists that have read your information does not accept the suggestion that you are more positive than negative to a match. This man means that you – by using the term ”cannot be excluded” have tied yourself to a position of total neutrality. I have pointed out to him that this term was something you used since it was part of a number of terms that were represented in your ”old” manual, and that manual, to my mind, is very clear in showing that you could be no more positive than this, since you were faced with lacking material and had only seen photocopies.

From the manual, however, it was also clear that it is possible to add nuances to the chosen grade by making personal additions, and the way I see things, this is exactly what you did by pointing to the inherent likenesses being enough for you to accept a match as the reasonable bid, even though – like I said – the quality of the material and the insufficiency in the number of signatures, means that you cannot grade the match any higher from a professional point of wiew.

Put differently, one may – if my version is correct – say that you give two judgements; one based on the quality and number of the investigated material, where you cannot stretch any further than to ”cannot be excluded”, and another judgement, where you tell us that the inherent likenesses in the lacking material you have been provided with, actually gives at hand that the signatures are still similar enough for you to say that a match is actually probable.
Yet another manner to describe the picture I have had by reading your mails, would be that one can say that you are positive at present, but that you also point out that added evidence may change that picture – but you don´t think it will do so.

But, like I said, the other Ripperologist involved in this discussion means that you, buy using the term ”cannot be excluded” in your first mail, have sworn to a strictly neutral stance. The interesting part in this is of course how he handles your later additions, where you say that you would be surprised if it was not a match, and that you expect forthcoming evidence to point in that same direction.
The answer is that he means that you are lying in these later statements of yours – since you had already claimed to be strictly neutral, you are not free to say that a match is more probable than not afterwards, he claims.
And why would you lie? Well, this is where the meta-question enters the discussion; he claims that you simply got tired of my questions to you, and simply decided to try and get rid of me as fast as possible by telling me what I wanted to hear instead of upholding your original stance!

A few quotes /my signature is Fisherman whereas my opponents´ is Ben):

”Fisherman is basically coming up with the worst excuses conceivable for dismissing experts who go against his view, whilst bombrding other experts until they do "agree" with him, which speaks very poorly for both Fisherman and Leander.”

”What I find galling in the extreme is that whenever Leander's observations are made known in all their circumspect, non-Toppy-endorsing glory, those arguing for Toppy go straight back to Leander.
Not quite Toppy-favouring enough, Frank!
Bit more?
Better. Bit more?
Nearly there.
Bit more?
There! That'll do!
...With Leander's views mutating over time as he is bombarded”

”That sounds distressingly as though you intend to bombard Leander with more pursuit of clarification, despite the fact that it was this bombardment that created all the problems before. I entertained grave suspicions that you were pestering Leander into giving a progressively more Toppy-sympathetic stance, since there was no other means of accounting to so stark a contrast with his earlier musings.
If you contact him, and he confirms his neutral stance, I don't believe for one moment that you'll drop the issue, and if he claims that he meant "probable" from the outset, I'll just remind people of his initial, unambiguously neutral stance and reinforce my earlier suspicions.”

It may be added that the only reason I have had for troubling you more than once with this question, is that this very poster has refused to accept that you would be more positive than negative to a match. Time and time again, he has tried to read you in the fashion that he wants to read you, and when that possibility disappeared, he resorted to claiming that you had abandoned your working ethics in order to keep me pleased.

I myself find this incredibly unbecoming and deeply regrettable. My own stance is that the poster in question has never had honest intentions in the issue, but has instead all along tried to distort what you have been telling us. I light of the generosity you have shown, I am of the meaning that you must be given the possibility to react to the allegations you are subjected to, and I therefore hope that you may settle this curious matter.

Greetings!"

...and here is the answer from Frank Leander, received today:

”Hej!

Suck! Tråkigt med illvilliga tolkningar men jag har ju en viss vana att brottas med advokater som gör allt för att slå ner på utlåtanden som skrivits....

Alltså, jag har tagit ställning till ditt knappa material i kopieform där underlaget i flera avseende måste kompletteras för att kunna användas för ett sakkunnigutlåtande.
Sedan har jag framfört att jag tycker ditt material är sådant att jag*inte skulle släppa detta spår utan gå vidare med det. Enligt min bedömning och den erfarenhet jag har av att undersöka handstilar/namnteckningar är det nämligen inte särskilt troligt att de likheter som finns uppkommit genom slumpen. Naturligtvis kan det finnas för mig okända faktorer i ärendet som gör att jag "övervärderar" materialet om du förstår vad jag menar,*exempelvis att George Hutchinson nr 1 och 2 gått i samma skola, lärt sig skriva av samma lärare eller liknande.....? Men hur troligt låter det!
I hopp om att debatten lägger sig!
Frank Leander”

”In translation:

Sigh! It is sad to see malicious interpretations, but I am used to wrestling with solicitors who will stop at nothing to attack written statements....

Moving on, I have judged your meagre material in copy-form, where the material in many respects must be added to before it can be used for a full expert opinion.
After that, I have stated that I am of the meaning that your material is of such a character that I would not let go of it, but instead move along with it. In my judgement and according to the experience I have examining handstyles/signatures, it is not very credible that the likenesses involved are coincidental. There may of course be unknown factors in the errand that makes me ”overvalue” the material if you take my meaning, for example if George Hutchinson number one and number two went to the same school and learnt writing from the same teacher or something along those lines ....? But just how credible does that sound!
Hoping that the debate will come to an end!
Frank Leander”

So, Ben, Leander identifies your antics as exactly the same thing as I do, and dubs your efforts ”malicious interpretations”. After that, he moves on to say exactly what I have been saying all along – that the material is insufficient to come up with a full expert´s opinion (and THAT is where you should have concentrated you efforts if you needed to criticize), but using the material he DID get, he tells us that the likenesses are not very credible to be coincidental, and he recommends us not to let go of it.

Ben, you have manouvred yourself into a position that is apallingly unbecoming for anybody who needs to lay claim to any credibility at all whan you call Leander a liar (and from a total layman´s perspective!!!), and it´s time to realize that such things will do your cause no good at all.

Let´s stop the idiocy, and let´s stop it here and now!

The best,
Fisherman

The Good Michael
07-20-2009, 03:15 PM
Fisherman,

Damn it! I have just gone over to the other side and now you give us this! I can't go back to the Toppy=Hutch side or I will be castigated. You have given me a dilemma.

It can't be an elephant, can it?

Mike

Fisherman
07-20-2009, 03:19 PM
I´m not speaking to you, Mike. Pushover!

Fisherman
disappointed

The Good Michael
07-20-2009, 03:21 PM
You know. You got the information regarding probability rather than possibility. I have to hand it to you.

Mike

Ben
07-20-2009, 03:59 PM
Well, this wasn’t predictable at all, was it?

Fisherman has contacted Leander for the 7th time. I mean, for crying out loud, this is getting to the point of resembling a hideous self-parody, since this was the very criticism that was levelled in Fisherman's direction from the outset. The question remains, though; how exactly was Fisherman seriously expecting Leander to respond when he bombarded him at length with the Magna Carta explaining, in detail, what a bastard I supposedly am? Were you seriously expecting him to respond with something like; “Oh, I just remembered. I did fob you off with a more Toppy-endorsing stance that the neutral one I first provided because you were getting on my nerves?”…?

Clearly, that’s ridiculous. Obviously you’re guaranteed to elicit the sort of response you received from Leander if you’ve spent an interminable post telling him what a bastard I am, and obviously, if he spent an entire fob-off post giving you the Toppy-endorsing stance you bombarded him into giving, he can’t back-track from it now. He’ll know full well that if he does, you’ll just re-establish contact with him again and demand to know why he radically changed his stance back to the initial neutrality. Here’s your clue, once again from his latest contribution:

“Hoping that the debate will come to an end!”

Which, when translated by Captain Subtext, equates to:

“Here’s hoping that you’ll finally leave me alone”.

How many more polite hints can a man drop? He’s a pestered man, Fisherman, and like all pestered men, the ultimate goal is to avoid a situation where he is likely to pestered again. Not everyone is like me, and has the stamina to engage with your nonsense on a nightmarishly regular basis. If I shared that aversion to being bombarded, I’d be the one saying, “Yes, Fish, Toppy is the witness – whatever you say. Leave me alone to die in peace”, but I’m not like that. Unfortunately, a person who had already fobbed you off can’t exactly backtrack on that fob-off, and if you’ve decided to paint me as the villain of the piece, you are once again influencing Leander in a negative way.

“So, Ben, Leander identifies you antics as exactly the same thing as I do, and dubs your efforts ”malicious interpretations”.”

Well, duh!

What else could you possibly have expected after you told him what a nasty man I am, and that I’ve accused him of lying? “Yes, he’s right, I fobbed you off”. Had he said anything along those lines, you would have bombarded him into eternity. I mean, can’t you have the self-scrutiny to envisage his reaction after seeing those frightening and familiar words:

“Hello again!

As you can see, I am once again asking you to help out in the question of the George Hutchinson signature”

Talk about the man’s heart sinking, and that’s weeks after he informed you that he didn't wish to elaborate any further. The fact of the matter is that Leander has been shown to have made statements that are impossible to reconcile with each other – in his first neutral post, he listed several differences between the signatures which have nothing to do with “amplitude”, but after being Fisherman’d into submission, he then declared that there were no differences other than those which involve amplitude. Now, I’m sorry, but that’s an irrefutable contradiction – fact. Thanks to your blitzkreiging, we now know for certain that he contradicted himself, and no amount of blathering about departments altering dictionary definitions is going to change that. To go from a neutral stance where non-amplitude related differences are specifically referred to, to an assertion that he’d be surprised if there wasn’t a match is irreconcilable, however much you want to fiddle with English definitions in an effort to argue otherwise.

He even sent you his manual which proves conclusively that his department use “cannot be ruled out” to convey a neutral stance, or when dealing with cases where there are "tendencies in one direction or the other".

“you give two judgements; one based on the quality and number of the investigated material, where you cannot stretch any further than to ”cannot be excluded”, and another judgement, where you tell us that the inherent likenesses in the lacking material you have been provided with, actually gives at hand that the signatures are still similar enough for you to say that a match is actually probable.”

Ah, interesting. So, it’s not as if you didn’t pick up on the whole “two judgement” thing yourself, only you’re just making it worse for Leander now by highlighting the very contradictions that were evident from his later posts. Basically, you’ve made him aware of his conflicting judgements, and are now encouraging him to go with the judgement that makes me look bad. A sort of “Go with Ben’s view if you want to, but just remember that he’s the one that’s been horrible about you, whereas I’m your friend”.

Slightly insipid tactic?

You cannot hope to elicit a non-biased conclusion from an expert if you raise their heckles with the following cack:

“The answer is that he means that you are lying in these later statements of yours”

You’ve poisoned the perpetually hassled man, and the hassled man now feels he has to defend himself against a perceived attack. What are you expecting from an ostensibly decent individual: “Yes, I did lie! He’s right! Now sod off!”. Sending people private emails about my perceived bad character and "dishonest" intentions is a biased answer waiting to happen, and if you employ the same tactic in your professional career as a journalist, then I’m afraid you’re in the wrong profession.

So the latest clarification also belongs in the reject bin, because my suspicions are only strengthened on the basis of the above – that you appeal to emotions to elicit the response you’ve already decided upon, and if you think that means me dropping the issue, I’m afraid you’re severely mistaken. The bottom line is that Leander’s comments, as quoted by you, contain statements that inescapably contradict each other. It is an indisputed fact that the words you claimed were implicit in his initial post mysterious appeared in later "clarifications" exactly the way you phrased them. Call me a bastard if you want, but any reasonable person is entitled to find that odd. His latest post even looks like one of your contributions, laden with a distressing rhetoric and bombast that was wholly absent from his initially circupsect post (but which characterize practically all of your posts), but that’s what happens if you paint your opponents in a negative light and expect a non-biased conclusion.

All this continues to demonstrate is that any worth in Leander's initial contribution (and those of his alleged later "clarifications") has effectively been eradicated.

Fisherman
07-20-2009, 04:17 PM
...aaand as could be foreseen, Ben, there is nothing in your post I need to answer, for the simple reason that you are once again moving around in circles.
Myself, I have nothing more to add at this moment in time either; I set out to give Leander the chance of clearing his name of very malicious allegations made by you, and that is done by now.

The best,
Fisherman

Victor
07-20-2009, 04:34 PM
Hi Ben,

All I can understand from your post is that you're a master of spin and have manoevered yourself into an undefeatable position. It just leaves me with the one question...What would you accept as clarification from Leander? Every time Fisherman tries you come back with "I'm not surprised he told YOU that."

KR,
Vic.

Ben
07-20-2009, 04:44 PM
Leander's initial stance was neutral, Victor.

Irrefutably neutral.

He even provided the "grading system" that gives a list of expressions that are commonly used to convey a neutral stance, and included amongst them is the expression that appeared in Leander's first post - "cannot be ruled out".

To argue that the above stance requires any sort of clarification is just patronising. If that position advanced to a Toppy-endorsing view, I'm afraid that's a contradition, but such contradictions are proven to have occured in this case, as I've already demonstrated.

But by all means, keep fanning the flames if you think that's helpful.

Jane Welland
07-20-2009, 07:00 PM
Hi Fisherman

Thanks for posting Leander’s latest response – on consideration, I would make the following observations:

According to your post, Fisherman, Leander responded as follows -

”Sigh! It is sad to see malicious interpretations, but I am used to wrestling with solicitors who will stop at nothing to attack written statements....

Moving on, I have judged your meagre material in copy-form, where the material in many respects must be added to before it can be used for a full expert opinion.
After that, I have stated that I am of the meaning that your material is of such a character that I would not let go of it, but instead move along with it. In my judgement and according to the experience I have examining handstyles/signatures, it is not very credible that the likenesses involved are coincidental. There may of course be unknown factors in the errand that makes me ”overvalue” the material if you take my meaning, for example if George Hutchinson number one and number two went to the same school and learnt writing from the same teacher or something along those lines ....? But just how credible does that sound!
Hoping that the debate will come to an end!
Frank Leander”

Now, as remarked upon already, one could certainly read between the lines here – but since that requires an interpretation of what Leander thought, when responding to you, and not merely an interpretation of what he said – as provided by your good self, Fisherman, let’s concentrate on that, shall we?

‘Moving on’ – Pretty clear – means ‘moving on’ – in the context of his reply: no more talk of personal vendettas, please.

‘I have judged your meagre material’ – as you see, by your own translation, meagre.

What does it mean, this ‘Meagre’?

The Online Dictionary gives the definition as:

‘Deficient in quantity, fullness, or extent; scanty.’

So, Leander says, according to your own translation, that the material that he saw, and with which you, I understand, supplied him, was insufficient. There it is, in black and white.

So as not to stand accused of quoting you quoting Leander, out of context – i.e. not verbatim – here is the entire sentence:

‘Moving on, I have judged your meagre material in copy-form, where the material in many respects must be added to before it can be used for a full expert opinion’.

Ah yes! That old Chestnut – the full expert opinion! Leander is telling us here, again, in black and white, that no full expert opinion is possible, has been possible, nor ever will be possible, on the basis of the material with which he has been supplied. It cannot happen, it has not happened, it will not happen.

There we are.

Moving on....

Leander next says:


‘After that, I have stated that I am of the meaning that your material is of such a character that I would not let go of it, but instead move along with it.’

Which means that taking the above into consideration, he does consider the signatures to be worthy of further attention and analysis.

He then says:

‘In my judgement and according to the experience I have examining handstyles/signatures, it is not very credible that the likenesses involved are coincidental. There may of course be unknown factors in the errand that makes me ”overvalue” the material if you take my meaning, for example if George Hutchinson number one and number two went to the same school and learnt writing from the same teacher or something along those lines ....?’

Now, if I read you correctly, Fisherman, this is the bit that leads you to apparent triumph. Jolly good – but, wait just a minute!

‘There may of course be unknown factors in the errand that makes me ‘overvalue’ the material if you take my meaning’ – Well, let’s see, shall we?

How about the fact that the witness statement used for comparison with the Toppy signatures in this debate – and the one which I presume (I stand to be corrected, of course) was the one you sent to Leander; is only one of three available signatures in existence?

As I gather (see Garry Wroe, above) the three are different from each other. Were these others sent to Leander? No?

Then with the greatest of respect, Fisherman, I’m afraid he hasn’t seen the full picture, has he?

In addition, as others have said, the signatures are of different sizes – which is certainly not clear from their presentation on these boards. Does Leander know this?

Leaving aside the thorny issue of originals vs copies (for which, again, see above) there are more than enough issues with what Leander has viewed to render his doubtless expert view dubious – through no fault of his own at all.

Fisherman – please, before you respond with antagonism, please listen:

It would seem that this matter is not so simple as has been assumed – if you are intent on determining an absolute answer from Leander (assuming he is still willing) then he should at the very least be in possession of all the facts – and that means all the signatures.

Because otherwise, this triumph of yours counts for little.

Best wishes

Jane x

babybird67
07-20-2009, 07:14 PM
....

Moving on, I have judged your meagre material in copy-form, where the material in many respects must be added to before it can be used for a full expert opinion.

Yes, here we are again. No full expert opinion tendered. So why do we keep coming back to Leander as if it has been? I've pointed out innumerable times that no expert opinion has been offered and so have other people who wish to remain circumspect about a Toppy identification. It's not a difficult issue to grasp.

"meagre material", "copy-form", material which "in many respects must be added to"...

Copies are not good enough. Nobody can tell what is missing from a copy without seeing the original. Nobody from the pro-Toppy camp has addressed this point to my satisfaction. How does Leander know what is not in the original that he can be missing, unless he sees the original? These points seem so obvious and simple to me, that i cannot understand why they are glossed over and dismissed as some kind of non-scientific way to proceed with evidence.

The sum total of what those who wish to quote Leander as Toppy-confirming are asking us to accept is that:

document examiners have no actual need to examine documents to arrive at their opinions.

This is ludicrous...laughable...ridiculous. Even Leander says he needs to work with originals to offer an expert opinion...apparently in that he is wrong, but in everything else he is right?

Insanity!

Anyway, in our quest for further knowledge regarding document examining, Ben came across this interesting information which he shared with me and i have been reading so i thought i would share it with everyone else, for interest:

http://tinyurl.com/n4rr9v

It urges caution whereby a document examiner is examining scripts of an unfamiliar nature...relevant in this discussion, i think.

The whole thing is very interesting...for example i have just come across a bit which states that document examining takes in things that are more than the eye can see, putting paid once again to the old chestnut that anyone with eyes can have as valid a view as anyone else. Either we respect professional training or we do not, and i respect the fact that Ms Iremonger saw the originals and was of the professional expert opinion, that she allowed to be published and attributed to her, that the signatures did not match.

I have the utmost respect for all but one of the people who are on the side of being convinced that an identification has been established. What is of constant disappointment to me is that the posters who have not yet been convinced of a match are more often derided for perceived failings in not capitulating what i, for one, honestly beleive, which is that no identification has yet been proven from the materials and the context of those materials.

I should think i would deserve less respect if i did capitulate. For me, the identification remains a possible one, neither probable nor proven.


(As an aside, i find it reprehensible that Fish, you should bombard Leander seven times just to come to the same result...i.e., he cannot give us a professional opinion, and also reprehensible that you should portray the debate, and any perceived insults therein, as being a one-sided one, when the evidence on these boards is that you have been just as guilty of "malicious interpretations", not only of wordings but of posters' intentions.)

Jane Welland
07-20-2009, 07:33 PM
I agree entirely - I understand that this debate has an emotional investment for some -

even so...

I do not think the 'This is right because I say it is' approach to debating is paricularly helpful - and I think is rather suggests weak argument.

Suggesting, implying, or otherwise contending that those who disagree with the certain identification of Toppy with Hutchinson are in some was lacking, deficient, or missing the point, strikes me as being a little feeble.

There is nothing remotely far-fetched or outlandish about the reservations I have seen expressed on these boards - to suggest otherwise is fallacious.

It grieves me to see this one-up-manship, which will achieve nothing more or less than hostility and resentment.

As we can all see from this afternoon's efforts.

Since this debate will clearly continue - how about some mutual respect?

Best to all

Jane x :hiya:

Fisherman
07-20-2009, 08:30 PM
Jane Welland writes:

"Fisherman – please, before you respond with antagonism..."

Why would I answer with antagonism, Jane? You have never given me any reason to.

"Because otherwise, this triumph of yours counts for little."

I think, Jane, that you are shooting beside the target here. I am not interested in or anticipating any "triumph" on my own behalf - once thruth prevails and "triumphs", I will be quite happy. I was not the one who dug up the signatures, and I will claim no fame in whatever result the may be awarded.

You have reiterated what Leander said about a "full expert opinion", and I have no beef with that; moreover, I have never had so. Please go through the posts I have made, from the beginning, and realize that it was me and nobody else that taught us that Leanders words did NOT represent a full expert opinion. I will gladly say it once more, if needed: the comparison he has made does not count as a full expert opinion, quite simply - and it never could have.
It would not have mattered if he had all three signatures, just as it would not have mattered if he had the originals. THAT STILL WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SUFFICIENT FOR HIM TO GIVE A FULL EXPERT´S OPINION!
What he would have needed to give such a full opinion would be 10+ examples of Toppys signature, 10+ of the witnesses´ditto and the originals. And this he did not have, and, as it stands and reasonably will keep standing, the wish for a full expert´s opinion ON ANYBODYS BEHALF remains useless.

So, let´s once and for all stop speaking about Leanders examination from that perspective; I think we ALL accept that it never WAS a full experts opinion!

Nor was that the aim from the beginning. The one thing that led on my question to Frank Leander was Bens stating that there were more dissimilarities involved than similarities inbetween the signatures. I thought, Sam thought, Mike thought, Debra thought and a small host of others thought that this was not true. I even copied the witness signature number three on thin paper and lay it over the image of Toppys signature, thus confirming that they WERE very much alike. But none of this was accepted by Ben.

THAT is why I turned to Leander and THAT is why I sent him the third signature together with the marriage and census signatures. I wanted to find out if it was legitimate, as seen by a true professional, to conclude that the witness signature WAS much alike the Toppy signatures. And yes, by now Leander has (repeatedly, thanks to Ben) confirmed that this is indeed the case. Moreover, he has asserted that there are no other dissimilarities involved in this comparison, other that dissimilarities in amplitude. And he has, over and over again, stated, in various wordings, that he believes we have a genuine match - judging by the twodimensional, meagre material he has seen!

But Ben, who in the beginning of the 1911 thread said that nobody would be more happy than him if it was a match, has in the choice of accepting that Leander genuinely speaks for a probable match and the choice of calling him a liar, opted for the second alternative, IN SPITE OF the earlier evinced eagerness to find the witness identity. And this applies, likewise, IN SPITE OF the fact that Leander tells us that his opinion could never be regarded as a full experts opinion, and IN SPITE OF Leander branding him malicious. He could easily have accepted Leanders verdict, and then moved on to say "but the evidence is far too small to reach any certainty", and that would have been something I would readily accept: It IS far too small an amount of evidence, and that applies fortwith. Plus he could have kept claiming that the signatures were not even remotely alike, if he wushed to -the one thing he cannot do, however, is to remove the right for Leander to present his evidence in the way he chooses to, and to be belived when he says he believes in a match as it stands.

Incidentally, the word "meagre" was chosen by me, Jane, to substitute the Swedish word "knapp". I could have translated it into "unfull", "thin", "somewhat unsufficient" or "slightly lacking" too, but I chose the word "meagre", because I am in no way trying to "push" the value of Lenaders verdict. It pushes itself, at least in the respect I was hoping it would; there is a signature around, purportedly by the Dorset Street witness that leads a renowned expert to say that it is so alike the Toppy signatures that he would be surprised if it was not by the same man. It is - whichever way we look upon it - an almighty pointer in the direction of a match, and that stands too, just as does the opinion that we can´t get a full assessment on the material used.

But the sole intention of my posts this time over, has been to show very clearly that Ben has manouvred himself into a completely untenable position on the weighed judgement of Leander; he is very much entitled to say that he thinks the match a probable one, and when he does so, we are all equally obliged, not to accept his verdict as true, but that he has given his honest opinion throughout!
It should never have been allowed to become a matter of contention the way I see it, but once Ben made it such a matter, there was little I could do but to offer Leander the opportunity to defend himself.

I have reason to believe that Ben once more will fly into a rage over my post; he regularly does. Please understand why I may not answer to it, in such a case. My stance is that he has presented nothing new at all, but instead tried to evoke a maximum of irritation, and I have already had all the irritation I can take when he decided to brand Leander a liar and an unetchical researcher and expert. I have published my sentiments about it and I will stand by them fortwith, but I see no reason to argue about it with a man that has lost his footing so completely as Ben has - it will offer nothing useful at all. Whenever I identify anything that may BE useful in a discussion leading forward, I will return to the discussion with Ben - but not before that.

See, Jane - no antagonism there, was there...?

On a side note, when you write: "There is nothing remotely far-fetched or outlandish about the reservations I have seen expressed on these boards", would that include Bens assertion that Leander has lied to keep me happy and try to get rid of me, Jane? I hope not.

The best, Jane!
Fisherman

Jane Welland
07-20-2009, 09:48 PM
for your response to my post.

The main point that I wished to raise is that Leander has seen a limited number of examples, even within what is available. This does matter, I'm afraid, because the three witness signatures display inconsistancies - sending the one that most resembles Toppy's signatures is a flawed approach because it creates a biased dataset. To fairly judge, Leander would have needed to see all the available material - yes, I take your point about there being insufficient material to begin with, but not supplying him with all of what there is doesn't help the situation. His view must therefore be treated with caution, however we, as individuals, see the potential match between Toppy and the Dorset Street witness.

He has, as I said earlier, not seen the full picture.

Leander has pointed out differences in the signatures as well, Fisherman, and I have to say that they are all pretty clear - now, I understand that there has been much debate concerning how those differences have arisen - whether it be through natural progression over time, or whether it be because the signatures were in fact penned by separate individuals - but those differences remain, like it or not. I would agree of course that it is quite possible for handwriting to evolve over time - why not? Many reasons occur to me as to why this should happen - through handicap, or age, for example. Here, it must be said, the examples of Toppy's handwriting that we know of show no such alteration - indeed, the Census signatures are so similar to his marriage certificate that they could have been written at the same time - instead of years apart as they actually were.

The signatures originate in three events - the witness statement, the marriage certificate and the Census - I think it wise to exercise caution when there is no discernible change between events 2 and 3, but there are differences between events 1 and 2. Just a note of caution, that's all - and a fair sample to begin with.

It's perfectly reasonable - and very much in the interests of anyone who wants to confirm something beyond reasonable doubt - to proceed in a manner that is not open to reasonable criticism. Supplying Leander with the full set of examples would have been better on this scale that not doing so - because, as you see, you have left yourself open to criticism for it.

Anyhow - it remains unresolved, for a number of reasons. So on we go!

Since you raise the issue - as an aside, I would say, Fisherman, that perhaps you should care a bit less about what Ben thinks! Even if you can't get on, mud-slinging, cathartic as it may be, only breeds resentment!



Peacefully yours

Jane x

Fisherman
07-20-2009, 10:32 PM
"Supplying Leander with the full set of examples would have been better on this scale that not doing so - because, as you see, you have left yourself open to criticism for it."

Only if I had set out to claim that something aiming to look like a full examination had been made, Jane. And - once again - that I did not do, which I have also openly stated throughout. Since I have all the time said that I needed to know if a top quality researcher recognized the same thing that I do - that the witness signature I supplied him with is a very good match with Toppys ditto, it would be barking up the wrong tree to criticize me for not going about things the way other posters, with other possible aims in mind, would have done.

Of course, the dearth of signatures and the fact that they were copies mean that we will be left with no full assessment. But as far as I am concerned, what we have is quite enough to satisfy myself that a match is beyond resonable doubt - there is not a chance in Utopia that one of the handful of Hutchinsons about wrote in the exact same fashion as did Hutch/Toppy, or, indeed, that an imposter who had the exact same type of handstyle as Toppy, actually chose the alter ego "George Hutchinson" when he masqueraded on Dorset Street that night. It defies all common sense, and remains very, very much unsubstantiated suggestions, AT LEAST IF YOU ASK ME (and a couple of the best informed Ripperologists around on these boards, to the best of my judgement).

Therefore, I am quite content to work from the supposition that Hutch IS identified, and I will do so fortwith, just as I have said. Not doing so ON MY BEHALF would equal working from a supposition that the earth is flat, and I just won´t do things that swear utterly and totally against my convictions. I don´t work that way.

"as an aside, I would say, Fisherman, that perhaps you should care a bit less about what Ben thinks!"

Well, Jane, it´s not as much what he thinks as it is what he says. If you consider that he has called Leander, a man who has been very kind and generous to us on my call, a liar and an unethical expert (that´s the gist of things, as I am sure you must agree), and that he has implied that I may have written Leanders posts myself (as evinced by Bens musings that "even the language" is the same inbetween us - one would have hoped that Ben could have realized that I translated Leander, and so my language will colour his words), you may see why I have felt compelled to take Ben to task on the matter. You simply don´t do what he has done, and you simply don´t make that kind of allegations against discerning, generous, helpful, knowledgeable men like Frank Leander - it is far, far beyond any decency, as I am sure you will agree.

That said, you may have noticed that I stay away from any exchange with Ben nowadays, as least as long as I am of the opinion that the discussion is not brought forward by it. That is as best as I can do.

Incidentally, unless you feel awkward about it, do you mind answering my question whether you agree with Ben that Leander probably lied to keep me happy and get rid of me? It would be helpful to know your stance on that issue.

The best, Jane!
Fisherman

babybird67
07-20-2009, 10:40 PM
Did I just hear an angelic trumpet of triumph? Yes, I am one of you now.

Smug Refuter of Scientific Method

Yes, you heard my angelic instrument, but i wont "harp" on about it. At least my angelic status has some integrity to it, unlike that of a nerfarious incorrigible Hell Fiend. :)

(loves ya really:love: :1tongue: )

The Good Michael
07-20-2009, 11:32 PM
Leander has clearly said something like: The preponderance of extant evidence leads me to the conclusion that the signatures are likely to belong to the same man. I don't have everything available to me (no one ever will), and there could be extenuating circumstance such as the unlikelihood of the authors having had the same writing teacher, that may cause me to rethink things, but thus far, Toppy seems to be Hutch.

Is it 100%? Of course not. Nothing is. Is it enough, with all other 'coincidences' to make Toppy into Hutch. Not 100%, but there is probability rather than merely possibility. Anyone who can't see that, regardless of what the final outcome may actually be, doesn't know what an elephant is.

Sorry, but I have to go back to the Toppy camp again.


Flip Flopper

Fisherman
07-20-2009, 11:51 PM
I missed you, Mike; not that I´m going soft on you or something, but us Swedes are totally unfamiliar with how elephants look. You, on the other hand, seem to be pefectly able to identify them. Meaning that you may come in handy.
Welcome back.

Fisherman
relieved

Jane Welland
07-20-2009, 11:55 PM
No Elephants in Sweden?

Well, you learn something new every day! :scratchchin:

Jane x

babybird67
07-21-2009, 12:46 AM
Sorry, but I have to go back to the Toppy camp again.


Flip Flopper

Traitor. Although flip floppers make good presidents...i vote for Fiend!:1tongue:

Ben
07-21-2009, 03:33 AM
Nor was that the aim from the beginning. The one thing that led on my question to Frank Leander was Bens stating that there were more dissimilarities involved than similarities inbetween the signatures. I thought, Sam thought, Mike thought, Debra thought and a small host of others thought that this was not true

Not that tiresome numbers game again? Anything but that. I'd have no problem at all if you observed that a handful of people shared aspects of your viewpoint, since that would constitute an accurate statement, but it's when you start mutating that number into a "host" that you run the risk of irritating or misleading people, albeit not intentionally.

I even copied the witness signature number three on thin paper and lay it over the image of Toppys signature, thus confirming that they WERE very much alike. But none of this was accepted by Ben.

The fact that you got your crayons out and conducted an amateurish experiment "confirms" nothing of the sort, and it is frankly ridiculous to suggest otherwise. Do professional document examiners get out their tracing paper and attempt to establish handwriting congruity that way? No. So why assume that any weight should be given to your non-expert-endorsed experiment, especially when we know that a legitimate expert has concluded that the handwriting doesn't match? We know that the original samples weren't remotely the same size, thus eradicting any possible worth in that experiment. Hardly surprising, then, that none of that was accepted by Ben.

He could easily have accepted Leanders verdict

Oh, but I did accept Leander's indisputably neutral verdict, as I demonstrated by quoting him verbatim. Pestering a man into giving a biased conclusion and then informing that same pestered man that an independent observer - who must be a nefarious villain for even making the suggestion - has taken note of the pesterer's pestering antics is not the same as dismissing his verdict. I utterly reject the premise that Leander considered the match probable, though. It's ludicrous nonsense, as his initial contribution and subsequent "grading systerm" proved beyond any semblance of doubt. If he revised his mind, he either:

A) Changed his mind without telling anybody.

B) Didn't make himself remotely clear first time (highly unbecoming of a profesional in the field of document examination). Or..

C) He was bombarded into supporting an aggressively-phrased, Toppy-endorsing viewpoint.

Those are the only realistic options.

The claim that there are "no other dissimilarities involved in this comparison, other that dissimilarities in amplitude" is a proven falsehood, so why Fisherman should feel the need to keep repeating a statement that cannot possibly be true is beyond me. Fisherman doesn't even seem to know what it means, and yet he's embraced it like his favourite buzzword. Bottom line - Leander specifically referred to differences that did not involved "amplitude". Anyone who claims otherwise is either unfamiliar with Leander's first post or is deliberately suppling information known to be false. Despite all this, Fisherman still keeps bleating that we have a "genuine match" despite Leander cautiously avoiding such silly and OTT phraseology.

You tell me that Leander has painted me as malicious, but what else could you possibly expect if you pollute a potentially valuable source by telling him that I've accused him of lying? Are you expecting him to make me a cup of tea, or what? "Ben the bastard thinks you're a liar, Leander. What have you to say to this charge? P.S. I love you" is a not a particularly laudable strategy if you're seeking a non-biased opinion, and if you're using it in mainstream journalism, that's a significant concern.

You still keep shoving that word "match" in his head, despite the fact that Leander himself never used that stinking word.

there is a signature around, purportedly by the Dorset Street witness that leads a renowned expert to say that it is so alike the Toppy signatures that he would be surprised if it was not by the same man.

Whoops, there he goes again.

Time for another dose of:

Once again - and a trillion more times if necessary - I utterly reject the professed "surprise" if it were not a genuine match since that view is in stark contrast to his initial neutral stance. He couldn't possibly subscribe to both stances simultaneously, so I'm inclined to the view that he fobbed you off a bit after you contacted him a few too many times.

Nobody will ever tire of disputing your oft puked-out nonsense, Fisherman, least of all me. You're even using such rhetoric laden-terminology now as "an almighty pointer in the direction of a match", as though you're trying to dupe people into believing that, despite being fully aware that Leander's first post - and subsequent grading system or instruction manual - conveyed no such thinking. All you're doing is portraying him in the worst possible light. Providing Leander with the opportunity to defend himself does not mean poisoning him against me to the extent of retarding any chances of him giving an unbiased conclusion, uncluttered with indignation over a perceived attack.

Lose a point, Fisherman, for resorting to inspid tactics, unbecoming of a sagacious journalist, and lose a point, Leander, for not having the sense to avoid falling into the silly unsubtle trap. That's all I'm criticising him for, whereas a more scurrilous person might have picked up on his complaint about lawyers attacking his written statements, and used it to illustrate a certain inability on Leander's part to clarify his true meaning. A sort of "phew, it isn't just me, then!" protest.

But as far as I am concerned, what we have is quite enough to satisfy myself that a match is beyond resonable doubt - there is not a chance in Utopia that one of the handful of Hutchinsons about wrote in the exact same fashion as did Hutch/Toppy

You can "satisfy yourself" of whatever you want, just as long as you don't insist on anyone else swallowing that unjustified "satisfaction" for nothing like good reason, and please try to avoid the usual Toppyite gaucherie of using exaggerated rhetoric-laden terminology to enforce your belief. "Not a chance in Utopia" doesn't even make sense.

or, indeed, that an imposter who had the exact same type of handstyle as Toppy, actually chose the alter ego "George Hutchinson" when he masqueraded on Dorset Street that night.

But nobody has ever claimed that Toppy had the "exact same type of handstyle" as the witness, apart from two of three irrational zealots, certainly not Leander. So the imposter hypotheses remains more than valid.

It defies all common sense, and remains very, very much unsubstantiated suggestions

But for the people who reject your perception of common sense (which should be most people who are familiar with your often confused posts), they will remain viable suggestions, whether fully substantiated or not.

That said, you may have noticed that I stay away from any exchange with Ben nowadays

Was that meant to be serious??

Ben
07-21-2009, 03:59 AM
Leander has clearly said something like: The preponderance of extant evidence leads me to the conclusion that the signatures are likely to belong to the same man.

Not in his initial post, though, Mike.

His initial post was neutral.

He later provided a copy of his "grading system" which included a list of expressions used by the "SKL" to convey a neutral stance. One such expression was "Cannot be excluded" and it was used in relation to the Toppy debate. If that subsequently changed, then something Fishy clearly went on. Not such an outlandish suggestion, really, since we know for certain that all the Numpty-Dumptism involving some alleged "amplitude" was provably false.

So there is unlikelihood, rather than "possibility", on the basis of the judgement of document examiners who don't make irreconcilable statements, and "probable" is just a laugh.

I don't know how many people have taken the time to examine the link I shared with BB, but it includes a chapter entitled "Unfamilair Scripts", and highlights the problems implicit in examining documents in other languages. The author, Dave Ellen, assures us that it doesn't happen very often, and for good reason.

Fisherman
07-21-2009, 09:30 AM
Once again, Ben, you contribute nothing new, but instead choose to travel in endless circles, repeating your ever older arguments. When you offer something new, we´ll have a look at things again, but until that time: no.

But for one thing, that is: your repeated nagging about "his initial post was neutral". That is a stance that is, was and remains completely nonsensical, for reasons I have outlined a thousand times.
But since you persist, I have dug up YOUR initial post and YOUR initial reaction to Leander. In it, you commented on his work by saying that it was "most informative and reassuring".
Since that, you have changed your mind, but that counts for nothing, Ben, since you tied yourself to a belief that Frank Leanders work was "most informative and reassuring" from the outset. Therefore, yours was a reaction of complete confidence and faith, exactly the way we should treat evidence coming from an expert source. Let´s stick with that, shall we?

The best,
Fisherman

Jane Welland
07-21-2009, 09:46 AM
I don't know how many people have taken the time to examine the link I shared with BB, but it includes a chapter entitled "Unfamilair Scripts", and highlights the problems implicit in examining documents in other languages. The author, Dave Ellen, assures us that it doesn't happen very often, and for good reason.

(my emphasis)

As I understand it, Leander responded informally to Fisherman's initial request - as a personal favour, not an official analysis in his professional capacity. In fact, I believe that's exactly what Leander himself said.

Yet, since then, Leander's view has apparently become the final word on the matter for some. How does that work?

As to the above - the point is that it wouldn't have happened in this case, either, if Fisherman was not himself Swedish, and naturally contacted an expert in his own country.

I shouldn't think it likely that being Swedish has made any difference at all to Leander's ability to perceive differences and similarities between the form of the signatures. Actually, I think it says as much in that link posted by BB.

I do have concerns regarding the cultural elements of the signatures, however - Garry has observed, for example, that 'handstyles' (to use Fisherman's term) show a remarkable propensity for general similarity at that date in London - is Leander aware of this? Has he taken it into account?

I don't know, of course, but I think it's a fair question, as it may make a difference.

By all means, as I think I have said above, accept that Leander has had a look, as a personal favour to Fisherman, and doesn't rule out a match - I believe that is what he said?

But I think it must be seen as that, taking into account the indisputable facts that:

a) he has only ever viewed copies

b}he has not seen all the examples of signatures that exist to our knowledge

c}he may be unaware of cultural differences which may have a bearing on the comparision.

That, having read what everybody says, is how I see it at the moment.

It isn't the last word.

Not by a long way yet.

Best to all

Jane x

The Good Michael
07-21-2009, 10:06 AM
Jane,

If you think he has become the final word, you haven't read the postings. No one is beyond the word 'probable' yet. No one has said that Leander's words leave room for doubt. Not a soul has intimated that. And no one is considering only signatures. Really, it is so much more than that that we are all tired of having to defend signatures when that is only the tusk.

Mike

Fisherman
07-21-2009, 10:21 AM
Jane Welland:

"Garry has observed, for example, that 'handstyles' (to use Fisherman's term) show a remarkable propensity for general similarity at that date in London - is Leander aware of this? Has he taken it into account?"

He mentioned in his last post that if George Hutchinson number one and number two both had attented the same school and had the same teacher, then there may be some reason to lift an eyebrow. So yes, he has commented on the issue. But he also added that the chance for this would have been very small.
It also remains to be concluded that Victorians of lower East end London DID write much alike each other. I have seen no substantiation for that in the shape of published research work - but I HAVE seen the wildly differing handstyles of the handful of George Hutchinsons of the correct time and space, published in post 18 of the "1911" thread. Have you, Jane? They vary very much, just as signatures always have done, regardless of time and society.

"Leander has had a look, as a personal favour to Fisherman, and doesn't rule out a match - I believe that is what he said?"

Why, Jane, do you not take into account that he worked from his manual, and therefore COULD NOT have given a more positive verdict? It is perfectly obvious that he was working with a material composed in a manner that never allowed him to give a verdict other than "No certainty about the signature can be reached, but ..."
And why do you not comment on the fact that the same manual allowed for nuancing, and that Leander DID nuance his wiew by adding that AS FAR AS HE COULD SEE FROM THE INSUFFICIENT MATERIAL PROVIDED, a probable match was at hand?

If you are not biased, as you so often press, then why do you use ONLY the part of his statement that - using an inappropriate interpretation that does not take the manuals advice into account - could be represented as unenthusiastic?

I use BOTH of these things: I point out that the "cannot be excluded" verdict relates to the manuals strict bid never to recommend any wording that could be intrepreted as a verdict of a certain match as long as the material involved does not allow for it, just as I point out that Leander makes a very far-reaching use of the opportunity provided to nuance, by saying that he expects any forthcoming evidence to confirm his suggestion of a genuine match.

Why is it, Jane, that an unbiased, thorough and discerning person like you seems to forget about this latter part in each and every post? I would welcome an explanation on that point very much!

As for you repeated claims that the exchange was informal, I still fail to see who has claimed the opposite, just as I fail to see who says the examination was a full one.

What Leander did, was to compare witness signature number three to Toppys signatures, using only the two dimensions provided by the photocopies.
He could not establish anything related to things that are only visible using all three dimensions. But, Like Sam has pressed so many times, such investigations are useful when you try to reveal a fraud, but NOT when you are trying to answer the question "Do these two signatures look alike?" - for then the verb "look" rules that we are dealing with a two-dimensional issue. And THAT is something we can ALL do! What Frank Leander specifically can do, is to add an all of his experience and all of his knowledge, and then have a look of his own and confirm that yes, the signatures ARE quite alike. That is what he can do, and that was what he did. Moreover, he could also use that experience of his to tell us that there were no differences involved in his two-dimensional examination that structurally led him to think that there were two writers about - instead he assures us that the only differences are differences in amplitude. In his very first post he said that there were possible explanations for all the differences involved.

All of this; his reluctance to grade the match on the higher end of his scale and the built-in reasons for this reluctance, his admittance that the examination was not a full one, his stating that there was a measure of informality in his exchange with me, the fact that he did not get the whole material, and the fact that he nuanced his finds by firmly stating that he thinks we have a probable match, Jane - all of this I discuss and acknowledge. But you settle for only saying that Leander found that a match could not be ruled out, although the implications are VERY clear that this is the manual speaking, whereas the PERSONAL musings by Leander speak of a quite probable match.
Why is that, Jane?

And why do you avoid answering the question I put to you about Leanders "lying" to accomodate me? If you agree with me that we should never treat any renowned, well-reputed researcher in such a manner, the question should be easy enough to answer. If you disagree, and think that Leander probably does lie every now and then when he needs to get rid of people, the question should be equally easy to answer. But you seem unwilling to do so.
Why is that, Jane?

The best,
Fisherman

Jane Welland
07-21-2009, 11:09 AM
I take what you say on board, yes - and I agree that the signatures look similar - quite honestly, where is the person who says there is no obvious resemblance?

There is clearly a resemblance.

To argue otherwise would be fallacious. I have two sticking points, though Fisherman, and they are these:

Leander has done the best he can with the material supplied - and we should all applaud him for that, imo. However, he has not seen all the signatures, so his comparison cannot be as accurate as it might otherwise have been, manual or not.

That's simple logic, not biased in any or either direction. As you say, judging by his manual, he could never have made a full expert analysis in any event, because the actual quantity of material is insufficient - i.e. there are not 10 signatures on both sides. But that has no bearing whatever on the fact that he would have benefitted from all the available material, even if it was in copy form.

The methodology is at fault here - and I'm attaching no blame to anyone personally by saying so.

Please be clear, Fisherman, I have not ruled out a match. I have asked questions of those who are certain of a match, that is all - which, I might add, have at times been roundly ignored by all.

My second issue is of course with the certainty displayed by other posters in that we have a match between the signatures - because Leander has affirmed it. No he hasn't. Nor can he hope to, expert though he is, without the full sample available to us.

With an incomplete sample, he must emerge with an incomplete view. That implies no bias on my part, it is the product of rational debate.

I have no wish to enter into a personal row with anybody, Fisherman, I thought that was clear? I hope I treat all with due respect and consdieration, and accept the rights of others to hold views other than my own.

Now, you ask again, do I think Leander lied to you - How can I answer that? I have no idea, Fisherman - why do you ask?

I don't see how you can know, as if you ask him, and he was, he isn't likely to tell you, is he? If you want my view, I suggest that you take what you know of the man and ask yourself if you believe he would have done such a thing.

If your question is designed to determine whether I agree with Ben, or am on Ben's 'side' then I'm sorry, but I won't be drawn into that.

In fact, while we're on it - where is this 'anti-Toppy' camp that is so often referrred to? Who are they?I can see the 'pro-Toppy' camp well enough, but it seems to me that unless I'm missing something, the 'opposition' consists of those posters who advocate caution - which is hardly the same thing.

Now, let's be amicable, Fisherman - it cannot be ruled out that you will be shown to be correct - I think the matterr is far from over as yet - as I have said.

Best regards

Jane x :hiya:

Fisherman
07-21-2009, 11:46 AM
Jane Welland writes:

"Please be clear, Fisherman, I have not ruled out a match. I have asked questions of those who are certain of a match, that is all - which, I might add, have at times been roundly ignored by all."

I think, Jane, that nobody can be certain of a match, at least if we are speaking about 100 per cent certain. I myself may well be the one that has stretched the furthest of those who are "Toppy-endorsing" (don´t I just love that word!), since I have said that I work from the assumption that a match is at hand. We have no full examination and we can´t get such a thing, and therefore, some small doubt must remain, but my honest opinion is that the signatures combined with the surrounding circumstances tell me that I have passed the point of reasonable doubt. It would defy logic if it was not a hit, in my opinion - but sometimes logic IS defied, and that is why I think I need to keep the door ever so slightly ajar.
Anybody else who feels that this is wrong are welcome to that wiew and any other wiew they may hold, but the way things stand, I feel very comfortable about accepting the match.

The methodology may well be at fault, just as you say, Jane - but then we are speaking of traditional scientific methodology, and I never set out to use that, nor did I ever claim that I have done so - I needed substantiation for my conviction that the signatures were a probable match, and Leander provided that.
Incidentally, my own stance on the issue of which signatures are most credible to have been written by the witness and which may have been writen by Badham is that they were probably ALL written by the witness. But IF there is any doubt involved, the safest bet would be to believe that the witness signed the protocol at the end, at the very least - and that signature is the one I provided Leander with, and the one I was discussing at the time I contacted him.

And unscientific though the approach may be, what will always remain is the fact that this signature tallies with Toppys to an extent where Leander believes we have a probable match. And no matter if we add the other two signatures, that will not change the inherent qualities of this, the third witness signature in the least. Therefore, we have found that one of the witness´ signatures is a probable match of Toppys ditto, and that is quite enough to conclude that the two were one and the same, as far as I am concerned. The possibility that the match is a coincidental one is effectively microscopical to my mind, quite simply.

"Now, you ask again, do I think Leander lied to you - How can I answer that? I have no idea, Fisherman - why do you ask?"

Because I regard Bens suggestion as completely outlandish and an unforgivable insult, and I think that it is impossible to have a rational discussion with people who resort to such extremities with no substantiation at all. If you share that belief of Bens, it must very much impact my wiew of your work. I am totally uninterested about whether you stand on anybodys side or not, but much interested in where you draw the line for what can be accepted in a discussion with a renowned authority with an impeccable reputation.
That is why I ask.

The best, Jane!
Fisherman

Victor
07-21-2009, 02:43 PM
Ben,

Where is the inconsistency in saying that his professional opinion is neutral, not enough information for an unambiguous statement that there was a positive match, but that he thought the signatures were remarkably consistent?

Ben
07-21-2009, 02:49 PM
Fisherman, why can't you condense your posts a little more - make them more succinct? I means I have to do the same now! I thought I was bad enough, but you really take the biscuit.

He mentioned in his last post that if George Hutchinson number one and number two both had attented the same school and had the same teacher, then there may be some reason to lift an eyebrow

But that was in stark and radical contrast to anything he said in his irefutably neutral first post, so we can't possibly accept that both stances reflected his view simultaneously, because that's impossible. Best instead to recognise that his contributions have become so polluted as a consequence of more bombardments along the lines of: "Please say it's Toppy! It is Toppy, isn't it?", that his radically opposing viewpoints effectively cancel eachother out.

it also remains to be concluded that Victorians of lower East end London DID write much alike each other. I have seen no substantiation for that in the shape of published research work - but I HAVE seen the wildly differing handstyles of the handful of George Hutchinsons of the correct time and space

But then Garry Wroe, who it wouldn't take any stretch of the imagination to guess, has probably seen more signatures than you during the course of his research than you have, and his observations were that handwriting from the period is often so similiar that he would be surprised if there were not at least some degree of similarity between two signatures, irrespective of whether or not they'd been written by the same person, and the earlier examples from the 1911 thread tend to bear this out.

Why, Jane, do you not take into account that he worked from his manual, and therefore COULD NOT have given a more positive verdict?

I don't know if you accidentally misread the manual or are deliberely seeking mislead or what here, but the manual specifically stated that that the term "Cannot be excluded" is used in cases where there may be "tendencies one way or the other", which accurately describes Leander's first letter, in which he outlined both the tendencies towards differences (nothing to do with amplitude!) and the tendencies towards similarity in some aspects. Leander himself must have clung to the hope that by providing the manual, there would be an end to the pestering for "clarification", but that wasn't to be, and there's no better way to gain his attention to telling him that his credibility is under attack.

a probable match was at hand

Bullocks. He didn't say anything of the sort in his initial letter. We know that for a fact now, courtesy of his manual.

If you are not biased, as you so often press, then why do you use ONLY the part of his statement that - using an inappropriate interpretation that does not take the manuals advice into account - could be represented as unenthusiastic?

Probably because she realises that she cannot possibly accept everything Leander says, all at once, because his alleged observations contrast with one another so markedly. "Cannot be ruled out" warping into "suprised if not a match" was our first indication that something was seriously amiss, but in a more damning case of proven contradiction, he leaps majestically from listing non-amplitude related differences to claiming that there was no difference other than in amplitude.

That's a contradiction.

A proven one.

So it doesn't suprise me if Jane doesn't accept the whole caboodle. How can she, in light of the above?

just as I point out that Leander makes a very far-reaching use of the opportunity provided to nuance, by saying that he expects any forthcoming evidence to confirm his suggestion of a genuine match.

"Far-reaching"? That's one way of putting it! At least you've started to concede now that his intepretation and use of unambiguous dictionary definitions is "reaches" somewhat. No wonder this gentleman seems to have a problem with lawyers attacking his statements.

"Did he write it, Mr/Dr. Leander"?

"Well, it isn't beyond the remotest realms of possibility, but...

"So, it's unlikely, is what you're saying?"

"Oh no, I'd be astonished if he didn't write the thing"

"But but but...you just said..!!"

All joking aside here, it's either the case that he used the word correctly, but radically altered his stance later to appease a nuisance, or this particular expert has a genuine problem with clarity. All this after we've learned that foreign "experts" aren't the best candidates for making comparisons with scripts in the English language.

What Leander did, was to compare witness signature number three to Toppys signatures, using only the two dimensions provided by the photocopies.

Just signature #3? What about signatures #1 and #2?

If he didn't see the latter, we're in a hideous pickle, because Sue Iremonger compared all three witness signatures, and using original documents to boot. If he only saw the third signature, then I'm wondering why? Would that imply that you only sent him the signature that you felt resembled Toppy's handwriting? In which case, there's almost an argument that you arranged the material in such a way as to engender the conclusion you wanted him to give.

But, Like Sam has pressed so many times, such investigations are useful when you try to reveal a fraud, but NOT when you are trying to answer the question "Do these two signatures look alike?"

Back to the fallacy that pressing something a certain amount of times makes a flawed observation any more pursuasive. Still wrong, of course, since Leander knew full well that he wasn't dealing with a case of fraud, and yet he still "pressed" the observation that a full expert opinion wasn't possible in the absence of the original documents.

What Frank Leander specifically can do, is to add an all of his experience and all of his knowledge, and then have a look of his own and confirm that yes, the signatures ARE quite alike. That is what he can do, and that was what he did

I utterly reject that, though, since such a view couldn't possibly resemble his first contribution to the topic which, as we learn from his grading systerm, was inescapably neutral.

instead he assures us that the only differences are differences in amplitude.

But that statement has been proven to be false.

I've told you what "amplitude" means, and it clearly wasn't a word you were even familiar with. If you return to his first post - the one that you'd prefer to forget was ever made - you'll discover that he listed the differences, and most of them had nothing whatsoever to do with amplitude. I'm going to have great fun pointing this out whenever you think it might be a good idea to repeat the original objection as though it were never proven untrue.

...nuanced his finds by firmly stating that he thinks we have a probable match

Odd that for a such a "firm statement", we've never actually heard any such thing from Leander. I guess this is the bit where Fisherman contacts Leander for an 8th time, and elicits another responds where "firm statement" usefully appears on cue. Once again, we can have all sorts of jollies returing once again to the reality that "cannot be ruled out" does not mean "probable", as conclusively demonstrated by his manual, but that's entirely up to you.

babybird67
07-21-2009, 02:53 PM
1. Although this thread is called The Leander Analysis, the initial posting, and various contributions to this and other Hutch-related threads both before and since, has established quite clearly that Leander has not made an analysis. Leander has stated quite clearly that he has been unable to offer a professional opinion given the "meagre" materials he has been presented with, since document examiners cannot pass professional judgements on documents they havent even seen, and has merely offered a "spontaneous" and "personal" comment.

2. No document examiner worth listening to would attempt to come to any professional opinion on documents he or she had not seen. To do so would be, i would imagine, professional suicide, and i doubt any such person would be taken seriously within their field ever again should they do so. This is why every single time Leander has been pestered, :oops: , i mean approached for "clarification" ;), he has consistently reiterated this point...that he is unable to tender a professional expert opinion...the materials just do not allow him to do so.

3. Can we dispense with this ludicrious idea, therefore, that there is some kind of professional opinion carrying some kind of weight forthcoming from Leander, since he himself has consistently eschewed the contention that he has given one?

4. Leander has been said in his latest comments to have provided some commitment to the idea that Toppy was "probably" Hutch, if I am to take Mike's comments, in which he congratulates Fisherman on painfully torturing this information out of poor Leander at the seventh attempt, as correct. If he now thinks Toppy is "probably" Hutch, why did he not say this in his first to sixth responses? Should someone be pleased about such a judgement being forthcoming at a seventh attempt to obtain it? Should we not now be wondering exactly what Leander has based his change of opinion on? It would be perfectly easy to understand this apparently increased confidence in the Toppy/Hutch identification had he been influenced professionally, by examining evidence that had since come to light, such as the original documents, or other sample signatures from the witness (which we do not have)...then a change of stance would be rational and explicable.

But there has been no new evidence has there.

So we are left perplexed as to why he has changed his mind? It is not an evidence-based change of mind. One can only conclude with Ben that the dogged persistence with which he has been relentlessly pursued over this issue has worn him down and he sincerely wishes to draw a line under the episode and has said what he has said in order to effect that conclusion.

There is no other explanation for his change of (personal and spontaneous;)) verdict. Thus his opinion is now effectively worthless in this debate, because it has been changed by factors other than the examination of evidence, and has shown inexplicable inconsistency. I say this with the greatest respect to Leander himself, but we need to stop referencing his opinion as if it should have some greater bearing on our examination of the signatures than Iremonger's or anyone else's. It is a personal and spontaneous opinion and is interesting as such...it is nothing more than that.

5. If anyone had bothered looking at the link Ben shared with me, they would have seen that in the field of document examining, there is an acknowledged problem with examining documents which have been created in scripts/alphabets/writing which differ from the native script of the document examiner themselves. This is because there is naturally an unfamiliarity with similarities and differences that would be more apparent to someone natively accustomed to looking at that script. Thus within the field itself it is acknowledged that it is not advisable to have documents examined by examiners who are not familiar with the scripts contained in the documents themselves, and, that if they are so examined, much less weight should be given to the conclusions forthcoming from them. This is advice from the field of document examining itself! Leander is obviously not as familiar with English script as Iremonger would be. His opinion should therefore be approached with much more caution, as acknowledged by his peers, and as i am sure he would also acknowledge, since he has quite reasonably already understood that he cannot give his professional opinion, and also acknowledged that he has had "meagre" materials, "copy-based", not original, and also acknowledged that he himself may have been giving too much weight to the material he has seen (i cant remember the exact quotation, but that was my understanding of what he was saying).

So...factors which caution us against taking Leander's comments too seriously:

a, he told us himself he could not supply a professional opinion and could only comment in a "spontaneous" and "personal" capacity.

b, he has not seen the original documents. Nobody who has not seen the original documents can possibly know what factors within those originals could influence the outcome of the examination, since they haven't actually seen them.

c, he is working in a script with which he is unfamiliar. This has a bearing on whether or not he is best placed to recognise common similarities or differences that may be apparent to those examining in their native script.

d, he has changed his mind from the neutral one of "cannot be ruled out" to something which has been more positive, according to Mike, and this change of mind cannot be attributed to the examination of evidence, only to the influence of a certain pressure on him. This factor alone, unfortunately, means i am unable to take Leander's comments on the issue seriously any more, since integrity is central to this issue, and changing one's mind without clear, consistent, logical, evidence-based reasons, sadly affects the integrity of one's opinion. I understand why he has done so, because in essence it doesnt matter since he was only passing a personal comment, but trying to represent this as a professional opinion which must be revered and kow-towed to when it is quite demonstrably nothing of the sort is starting to wear very thin with me.


I am sure there is lots more i intended to say but i am aiming to emulate the Hell Fiend's admirable brevity ;)...only another minus 342,786 words to go!:laugh4:

Jane Welland
07-21-2009, 02:56 PM
You speak of an outlandish an unforgiveable insult - with the greatest of respect, not by me. I don't quite see how this is my business - I would have thought the whole 'He said this, He said that' affair was between you and Ben, frankly.

But you seem unsatisfied with the response I have so far given, which is that I cannot possibly know what Leander thought. If you look at my post above, you will note that I have consciously refrained from speculating on this very matter.

Anyhow - what do I think? Well, to judge by your most recent account of his response to you, he has put the matter quite fairly, I think. I thought I had made that clear already? He has insufficient material. You say that he would always have such because there are not the requisite 10 samples on each side - and I accept that. What I don't accept is that his view can be accepted as being any more than it is when it is based on less than the whole number of samples available. His view would be worth more if he had seen them all. I'm sticking to that one, I'm afraid, as it is a matter of plain logic - I say again, if you don't have the complete picture, you have incomplete information - stands to reason.

I accept what you say about your reasons for sending the final witness signature to Leander, but with the greatest of respect, Fisherman, in not sending all three you have run the risk of unduly colouring Leander's view towards a match - I do not say intentionally.

If you ask me why I think some posters have an issue with your communications with Leander, then I think this is one thing which has not helped. I hope you see my point, which I am trying to make as a point of principle, and not in order to point the finger of blame at anyone.

So for me, it isn't a question of Leander 'lying' to you, or not - I have no idea if he wants to get rid of you - I'm not the person you should be asking about that, as only Leander knows the answer to that one.

I do think, however, and have already said as much, that his view is of limited usefulness, for the reasons given above.

Now, Fisherman, I hope that will do for you - I really don't want to engage in a protracted argument concerning who has slandered who - in my view, it is regrettable that people are pushed to such tactics in the first place.

Best regards

Jane x

Fisherman
07-21-2009, 02:57 PM
Ben writes:

"t's either the case that he used the word correctly, but radically altered his stance later to appease a nuisance, or this particular expert has a genuine problem with clarity"

But that´s not what you said in your initial post, Ben. In that you opted for him being most informative and reassuring.

The best,
Fisherman

babybird67
07-21-2009, 03:07 PM
Incidentally, my own stance on the issue of which signatures are most credible to have been written by the witness and which may have been writen by Badham is that they were probably ALL written by the witness. But IF there is any doubt involved, the safest bet would be to believe that the witness signed the protocol at the end, at the very least - and that signature is the one I provided Leander with, and the one I was discussing at the time I contacted him.

And unscientific though the approach may be

Oh my God! I don't usually read your posts Fish but this is priceless! So Leander wasnt even given the other two George Hutchinson signatures to compare???? You decided which one YOU deemed most similar, most likely to have been written by the witness, despite there being acknowledged doubt about whether Badham signed one or more, and which one or more, and you just sent him that one???


Oh it gets better and better. You dont think he should have had those other two signatures at all? Even since one of his problems was the lack of available comparable material? Yet we had three alleged Hutchinson signatures, but you only sent one? The one that didnt have half the name George left off? The one that it has been suggested was written by Badham?

Fish, honestly, to call this method unscientific is like comparing the Biblical flood to a teardrop splashing on arid ground.

You have single-handedly shown just how flawed and unreliable Leander's comments actually are, because you have contributed to undermining them and making them so.

it now has to be conceded that whatever Leander said even in his personal capacity is completely and utterly inadmissable within this debate. End of story.


(Mike...i kept your cloud warm for you, come join the angelic hosts who have been proven correct in treating Leander's view with circumspection all along...i cannot believe for a moment you would endorse providing just the one signature that we have from the witness statement to anyone for comparison...please tell me you dont)

Ben
07-21-2009, 03:08 PM
More:

I think, Jane, that nobody can be certain of a match, at least if we are speaking about 100 per cent certain. I myself may well be the one that has stretched the furthest of those who are "Toppy-endorsing" (don´t I just love that word!), since I have said that I work from the assumption that a match is at hand

That's fine if you think so, but please avoid the usual trap of ramming your "near-certainty" down other people's throats, because she majority clearly don't share it. The nearest thing we've got to a full examination is that which was undetaken in the early 1990s by Sue Iremonger, as attested to by several experts in the field, and she came to the conclusion, after seeing all three statement signatures, that Toppy probably wasn't the witness. You're equally entitled to your opinion that it "defies logic", although it's a rather silly stance, since we know that Iremonger is an expert and you are not, and it also comes with the troubling inference that you're somehow the ultimate barometer of "logic".

I needed substantiation for my conviction that the signatures were a probable match, and Leander provided that.

Maybe after being pestered several times, but certainly not initially, as his first letter demonstrated. You must try to avoid the trap of admitting to "needing substantiation". Doesn't read very well. You should approach an expert with a clean slate, rather than harbouring some perceievd "need" for an expert to endorse the conclusion you've already jumped to. That tends to lead to skewed results, which isn't helped by the fact that you only gave him one signature, and related "information" about the number of George Hutchinsons in the East End in 1888 that you couldn't possibly have known to be true or false.

And unscientific though the approach may be, what will always remain is the fact that this signature tallies with Toppys to an extent where Leander believes we have a probable match.

Don't keep saying it, Fisherman. It doesn't add any more weight to a previously challenged position. I utterly reject that he came to the conclusion that "we have a probable match". If he really thought so, he'd have said as much from the outset, or at the very least conveyed that general impression. But he did nothing of the sort, and nobody should be expecting to swallow radically contrasting views.

And no matter if we add the other two signatures, that will not change the inherent qualities of this, the third witness signature in the least

That's nonsense. What if he compared the second signature, for example and decided that it could not have been written by the person who wrote either the 1911 census entry OR the third signature? Such comparisons are absolutely necessary, not least to determine the accuracy of Leander's own discernment. What are we supposed to make of his views, for example, if his discounted two signatures that we know for certain have a common source?

You can warp whatever he said into a conclusion that we have a match, and use silly rhetorical language when claiming that the alternative has a "microscopical" probabiluty of being correct, but you're saying so on the basis of having dismissed Ms. Iremonger's findings, despite the fact that that the compared all three original statement signatures, not just one that was sent via email. We've since learned that reservations are entertained about the validity of foreign documents examiners being used to compare non-native scripts.

Fisherman
07-21-2009, 03:12 PM
Jane Welland:

"Anyhow - what do I think? Well, to judge by your most recent account of his response to you, he has put the matter quite fairly, I think. I thought I had made that clear already? He has insufficient material. You say that he would always have such because there are not the requisite 10 samples on each side - and I accept that. What I don't accept is that his view can be accepted as being any more than it is when it is based on less than the whole number of samples available. His view would be worth more if he had seen them all. I'm sticking to that one, I'm afraid, as it is a matter of plain logic - I say again, if you don't have the complete picture, you have incomplete information - stands to reason."

Fair as it comes, Jane - couldn´t be more pleased with that answer.

"I accept what you say about your reasons for sending the final witness signature to Leander, but with the greatest of respect, Fisherman, in not sending all three you have run the risk of unduly colouring Leander's view towards a match - I do not say intentionally."

Look at it this way, Jane; if you pick keys from a pile of individually shaped keys in a barrel, and try them in a lock, then when you find the one that fits, it matters not if the same locksmith that shaped that key did not shape the others in the same fashion. The shapes of these keys do not - in retrospect - remould the first key you found. It remains the correct one.

In the same fashion, if we imagine a situation where only the signature Leander saw existed as he made his examination, then the sudden appearance on the stage of the two other signatures would not mean that he would change his meaning about the signature he first saw.
Weighed together, he may or may not have reached another result than the one he has handed down, that is only logical to deduct, but in the question of what the signature from page three represents visually, not a iota will change. It will remain the same graphic conglomerate of lines and curves as it always was, and THAT particular signature therefore also remains a probable match.

After that, we can go on for ages discussing the other signatures (that are also very much alike the third one in very many respects, as effectively shown by Sam on the 1911 thread), just as we can go on discussing whether I had any other intents than the ones I have already given you. Such discussions can result in heaps of things, but one of them is not the signature from the third protocol page changing in any respect.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
07-21-2009, 03:27 PM
Hi Victor,

The problem here is that you cannot simultaneously convey a neutral stance AND a belief that the signatures register a "remarkable consistency", simply because the latter isn't neutral at all! Neutrality is what came across very strongly in Leander's first contribution. He listed some similatiries, but observed that "against these", there are differences. On balance, he observed that "it could not be ruled out" that we're dealing with the same person.

That, for the record, reflects my stance on the matter.

Personally, I don't consider it likely that Toppy was the individual we seek, but I wouldn't dream of "ruling him out" conclusively.

If Leander's neutrality needed any further reinforcement, he even provided a grading system, from which we learn that the expression he used, "cannot be ruled out", was applicable in the cases of neutrality. We've since learned that Leander was supplied with information that he ajudged to be "meagre" despite the fact that the "supplier" had the opportunity to make it less meagre by providing all three statement signatures, which is what Sue Iremoner was supplied with in the 1990s.

That can impact hugely on any judgement tendered. For instance, if he saw other signatures from the same individual that registered far less similarity with the Toppy entry, it may have increased the validity of the assumption that the perceived similarities were of a rather more coincidental nature, not that I personally detected much similarity.

All the best,
Ben

babybird67
07-21-2009, 03:35 PM
That can impact hugely on any judgement tendered. For instance, if he saw other signatures from the same individual that registered far less similarity with the Toppy entry, it may have increased the validity of the assumption that the perceived similarities were of a rather more coincidental nature, not that I personally detected much similarity.



Precisely, Ben. How biased and unprofessional to de-select valid comparative materials on the basis that these materials might actually sway the examiner to place more emphasis on the differences than he otherwise might.

A spectacular own goal there by the pro-Leander camp. I am still in utter shock at the revelation that he wasnt provided with all the available materials myself. "Meagre" doesnt even begin to cover it.

Jane Welland
07-21-2009, 03:37 PM
The following questions, to which, so far, I have received no response - let alone a satisfactory one.

1.Why, if the match between the signatures is as clear and obvious as some would have it, have the two experts who have seen those very signatures not concurred with that view?

2. Who are the 'anti-Toppy' camp? So far, I haven't witnessed anyone posting the words 'Toppy was not Hutch', whereas I have certainly seen the reverse. Raising concerns, asking questions - none of that amounts to opposition. Are we seriously suggesting that people should accept as truth and absolute fact the opinions of a few who believe in the identification without questioning that? Surely not.

3. How can Leander have provided an accurate appraisal of the signature material when he didn't have it all in the first place? Whilst it may have some merit - it must remain seriously flawed imo. Fisherman, you seem to think that you have sent Leander the best example in your view, but I'm afraid I don't think that was really the point. If you were prepared to let Leander make his own mind up about a match, or not, he should have been supplied with all three.

As it stands, I think 'analysis' is too strong a word for what Leander has done here.

Best to all.

Jane x

Victor
07-21-2009, 03:37 PM
The problem here is that you cannot simultaneously convey a neutral stance AND a belief that the signatures register a "remarkable consistency", simply because the latter isn't neutral at all!
Hi Ben,
Maybe that's where we disagree then, I think he's saying that he can't give a professional "definite match" becasue of the lack of sufficient sample size, but those provided do match.

If Leander's neutrality needed any further reinforcement, he even provided a grading system, from which we learn that the expression he used, "cannot be ruled out", was applicable in the cases of neutrality.
But "cannot be ruled out" is more positive than "cannot be ruled in" isn't it?

And finally, does script refer to language? Are French and English the same script whereas Mandarin is different?

KR,
Vic.

Fisherman
07-21-2009, 03:42 PM
Victor writes:

"Maybe that's where we disagree then, I think he's saying that he can't give a professional "definite match" becasue of the lack of sufficient sample size, but those provided do match."

Exactly, Victor, and that should be pretty obvious to anybody with a talent for reading - but are you not afraid to fan the fire again? Ben HAS warned you not to disagree with him, mind you...!

Welcome aboard on the sane side, anyways. No fires around here!

The very best,
Fisherman

Ben
07-21-2009, 03:44 PM
Hi Victor,

I think he's saying that he can't give a professional "definite match" becasue of the lack of sufficient sample size, but those provided do match

I'd have less trouble accepting this interpretation if he conveyed this impression - even by the vaguest of insinuations in the most guarded terminology - that he felt this to be the case. Unfortunately, this didn't happen.

But "cannot be ruled out" is more positive than "cannot be ruled in" isn't it?

Oh, absolutely.

The latter effectively means "impossible", whereas the former means "not impossible". Unfortunately, neither mean probable or any synonyms thereof.

In this instance "script" refers to the actual writing. At least, I'd imagine so.

Best regards,
Ben

P.S. To Fisherman: Victor wasn't fanning flames in expressing disagreement with me, at least not today anyway. Fanning the flames is making inflammatory comments intended to goad the opposition, and "Welcome aboard on the sane side, anyways" qualifies rather well on that score. Don't do it again, please. Most annoying.

babybird67
07-21-2009, 03:51 PM
Hi Ben,
Maybe that's where we disagree then, I think he's saying that he can't give a professional "definite match" becasue of the lack of sufficient sample size, but those provided do match.


But "cannot be ruled out" is more positive than "cannot be ruled in" isn't it?

And finally, does script refer to language? Are French and English the same script whereas Mandarin is different?

KR,
Vic.

Hi Victor

there were three witness signatures on the statement of George Hutchinson. Fish now admits he self-selected which single one of these to send to Leander for comparison. Do you think that is a professional and scientific way to go about establishing facts? Do you not think that if Leander had seen all three signatures he would have been in a much better position to express an opinon, either way or neutral, on whether the signatures as a whole matched those made by Toppy? It is no good saying "those provided do match" when we now know that two thirds of the signatures available, most notably the ones which show most deviation from Toppy's examples, were deliberately withheld from the analysis. If you fancy basing anything definite on foundations like those, i'd advise you to treble your home insurance! ;)

Script refers to actual characters of writing. Egyptian script is not the same as English script. Leander's original responses show that he is operating within a different script to English script. That is quite plain.



best wishes

babybird67
07-21-2009, 03:54 PM
Victor writes:

"Maybe that's where we disagree then, I think he's saying that he can't give a professional "definite match" becasue of the lack of sufficient sample size, but those provided do match."

Exactly, Victor, and that should be pretty obvious to anybody with a talent for reading - but are you not afraid to fan the fire again? Ben HAS warned you not to disagree with him, mind you...!

Welcome aboard on the sane side, anyways. No fires around here!

The very best,
Fisherman

Fish, exactly how obtuse are you?

You cannot self select which signatures to send to someone...you have revealed your utter bias by not providing the signatures available and by manipulating the results of Leander's "analysis" by with-holding from him the information he needed to give us even a vaguely informed opinion.

You truly are an utter dolt! Utterly. Totally. Irrefutably.

Victor, i suggest you reappraise your position in the light of the FACTS. Leander's "comparison" was flawed from the start... Fish engineered it to be so. If he had wanted a fair, professional appraisal, he would have honestly offered all the relevant information, which means all the signatures on the witness statement.

Fisherman
07-21-2009, 04:00 PM
Jane Welland:

"1.Why, if the match between the signatures is as clear and obvious as some would have it, have the two experts who have seen those very signatures not concurred with that view?

2. Who are the 'anti-Toppy' camp? So far, I haven't witnessed anyone posting the words 'Toppy was not Hutch', whereas I have certainly seen the reverse. Raising concerns, asking questions - none of that amounts to opposition. Are we seriously suggesting that people should accept as truth and absolute fact the opinions of a few who believe in the identification without questioning that? Surely not.

3. How can Leander have provided an accurate appraisal of the signature material when he didn't have it all in the first place? Whilst it may have some merit - it must remain seriously flawed imo. Fisherman, you seem to think that you have sent Leander the best example in your view, but I'm afraid I don't think that was really the point. If you were prepared to let Leander make his own mind up about a match, or not, he should have been supplied with all three."

1. One of them have, Jane: Leander. I find it hard to interpret him in any other way when he tells us that he would be surprised if it was NOT a match.

2. Well, Jane, my contention is that Ben would not be opposed to participating in that "camp", and I can identify a few otheres how may contamplate popping in. I did not invent the epiteth myself, but I must say that I am having no trouble at all realizing that there are two sides in this issue.
I am not, however, suggesting that anybody should accept anything, with or without questioning it. I am, though, of the meaning that I shall be at least awarded the right to speak my own meaning without being accused of having persuaded Leander to lie on my behalf, just as I am quite unwilling to adjust to anybodys suggestion that I am shoving things down their throats. Thin whatever you want, but do not be surprised if I criticize thoughts that I find unrelated to reality.

3. Leander cannot give a full opinion whichever way you look at it, Jane.He can, however, and have also done so, state that he is of the meaning that the signature from the protocol he looked at and Toppys signatures are a probable match.
It would seem now that there is a wish that he had seen all three signatures, and that a wished-for negative verdict on behalf on signatures one and two would have "washed off" enough for him to say that Toppy could not have been the man...?

As I keep saying, Leanders examination remains an unscientific one in many respects. But we DO have a comparison made regarding the third signature, taken in isolation and therefore assessed by nothing but it´s own inherent qualitites, and that prompted Leander to recognize a probable match. No matter if he would have thought the other two written by Josef Stalin and the Shah of Persia, respectively, the fact remains that we have a probable match according to Leander.
That, and nowhere else, is where the all-important significance lies.

the best,
Fisherman

babybird67
07-21-2009, 04:04 PM
<takes great delight in handing Fisherman a spade>

...keep digging man...the next position you adopt must logically be that Leander didnt have to look at any signatures at all...he just knew by intellectual osmosis that they "could not be ruled out".:rolleyes2: :shakehead:

Jane Welland
07-21-2009, 04:06 PM
I have looked at the link posted by BB - and here is what it says, verbatim, and anyone who wants to see for themselves can of course do so by following said link:

The relevant passage actually reads as follows:

Document examiners normally work on writings in their own language and have little difficulty recognising each letter; they can refer to their experience of variation found within writings of styles familiar to them. When writings originating from other countries are examined, even though they may be in the same language, features that are common in that culture could mistakenly be thought to be unusual. A greater difficulty arises when unfamiliar languages are encountered. Although many of the features found will be recognizable as atypical of writings with which the examiner is familiar, he will be unaware of which are common or uncommon in that style. In these cases, caution must be exercised so that what may be considered unusual is not given too much weight.

Scientific Examination of Documents: Methods and Techniques (3rd Ed.)

David Ellen, 2005.

I think there are several points there that could be considered 'salient', hmmm?

Best to all,

Jane x

Victor
07-21-2009, 04:07 PM
Script refers to actual characters of writing. Egyptian script is not the same as English script. Leander's original responses show that he is operating within a different script to English script. That is quite plain.

Erm... Leander is Scandinavian isn't he, so therefore he is using the same script (alphabet) as English!

Victor, i suggest you reappraise your position in the light of the FACTS. Leander's "comparison" was flawed from the start... Fish engineered it to be so. If he had wanted a fair, professional appraisal, he would have honestly offered all the relevant information, which means all the signatures on the witness statement.
Surely all we're asking is, is this signature by the same person as this signature? And the answer is "not impossible". I've not stated whether I think Toppy is Hutch, and for the record I would have to answer "not impossible".

Including more signatures would inevitably introduce more dissimilarities, so maybe the first question would have to be, are the 3 original signatures by the same hand? Which I think Ben was hinting at in his blind\double-blind comments from yesterday.

KR,
Vic.

babybird67
07-21-2009, 04:11 PM
there are variations in the script if you read the untranslated text. Variations like that make a difference.

Would you like to comment on the fact that Fish withheld all the signatures from the expert? Why dont you think Fish trusted the expert with the full information? What possible reason could there be for not subjecting all the relevant examples to analysis? I'd be interested to know what you think. :)

Sam/Mike...i'd be interested in what you both think of this selective analysing as well...does it cut any ice with either of you?

Ben
07-21-2009, 04:13 PM
I am, though, of the meaning that I shall be at least awarded the right to speak my own meaning

Nobody has denied you that right, Fisherman.

But you must also understand that other people disagree with that meaning, and that it's an exercise in futility on your part to keep repeating your originial claim "Leander saw a probable match" when you know full well that is has been challenged times. That is shoving a thing down people's throats, Fisherman. I'll resist the temptation to copy and paste a generic respose to this oft-repeated assertion. If you feel you are able to exercise a similar degree of restraint next time you decide to repeat the same previously challenged assertion, there will be a lot less repetition and considerably less hostility.

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
07-21-2009, 04:14 PM
Really, Jane! What IS this?

The name George is not uncommon in Sweden (George Rydeberg is one of our most renowned actors, for example), and the suffix -son is the most common suffix around in Sweden when it comes to surnames.

Besides, I would have thought that you would now have recognized that some Swedes are not at a total loss when it comes to using the British language! And Frank Leander is a man that travels a lot to conferences and such - generally given in English. Let´s hope he is not totally chanceless to pick up on things there...!

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
07-21-2009, 04:17 PM
I think there are several points there that could be considered 'salient', hmmm?

Absolutely, Jane, and perhaps chief amongst them is this one:

"even though they may be in the same language, features that are common in that culture could mistakenly be thought to be unusual".

This factor and the others cited may account for the fact that:

"Document examiners normally work on writings in their own language "

babybird67
07-21-2009, 04:19 PM
Surely all we're asking is, is this signature by the same person as this signature? And the answer is "not impossible". I've not stated whether I think Toppy is Hutch, and for the record I would have to answer "not impossible".

Including more signatures would inevitably introduce more dissimilarities, so maybe the first question would have to be, are the 3 original signatures by the same hand? Which I think Ben was hinting at in his blind\double-blind comments from yesterday.

KR,
Vic.
What's your point here Vic? That where there are three examples of a signature it is all right for someone to select the one that is most similar because they WANT to believe they are by the same hand and therefore just show that to the expert?

With-holding information is bias; bias is unprofessional; Leander did not have the full set of signatures to compare. How do we know what he might have concluded if he had? It's too late now. Leander's view is utterly useless.

That there is doubt about which of the three sigs are Hutch's is even MORE reason to include them.

Experts need the full picture, not copies, not selective sampling, not idiots skewing their results with unforgiveable bias.

Fisherman
07-21-2009, 04:21 PM
I´m off for a while now, but I will leave you all with the assertion that theorizing that the two unexamined signatures would have meant that Leander would have put Toppy in the clear, very much resembles the suggestion of a police force clearing a man for a stabbing murder in spite of his having a bloodied knife in one of his pockets - for the reason that the other pockets were empty...

Lenaders relevance lies not in what he did not see and what he did not say - it lies in what he saw and in what he said; that a match seems a probability.

The best,
Fisherman

Victor
07-21-2009, 04:21 PM
In these cases, caution must be exercised so that what may be considered unusual is not given too much weight.

Oh, just "exercise caution" then because for example English people typically use "zed" whereas Americans use "zee", and someone might think it uncommon when it's not.

Ben
07-21-2009, 04:33 PM
I´m off for a while now

You mean you can resist posting for a whole "while"? ;)

very much resembles the suggestion of a police force clearing a man for a stabbing murder in spite of his having a bloodied knife in one of his pockets - for the reason that the other pockets were empty

But by your logic, you wouldn't even have given the policeman the opportunity to look in the other pocket, thus preventing him from making the discovery that it contained a sachet of ketchup and a half-eaten hotdog, thus indentifying the breadknife's intended purpose. You wouldn't have allowed him to examine the CCTV camera that clearly showed that another man committed the crime.

Fundamentally, you deliberately withheld information that would have made the Leander analysis far less meagre, and could have influenced his findings in all sorts of ways. I'm astounded that I never clocked this before, but this is what happens when you have a self-confessed "need" for your prior conclusion to be correct.

it lies in what he saw and in what he said; that a match seems a probability

Oh, that's a shame.

Despite my friendly plea, he just repeated himself again, so I'm afraid we'll need that generic response again:

Once again - and a trillion more times if necessary - I utterly reject the professed "surprise" if it were not a genuine match since that view is in stark contrast to his initial neutral stance. He couldn't possibly subscribe to both stances simultaneously.

babybird67
07-21-2009, 04:36 PM
perhaps we should just look at the Kelly murder and discount all the other canonicals...after all, one's opinion is so much more informed when one ignores most of the evidence.:laugh4:

Ben
07-21-2009, 04:38 PM
Indeed, Beebs.

I must say, I'm really surprised by my failure to notice all this before!

All the best,
Ben

Jane Welland
07-21-2009, 04:41 PM
Look - and you will see that these are not my words, but the words of a respected document examiner, who has written a book on the subject so far in its 3rd edition.

I put the passage up so that everyone could see it easily, but don't blame me if you don't like it - I didn't write it!

best wishes

Jane x

babybird67
07-21-2009, 04:41 PM
i had assumed Fish had naturally supplied all the relevant information. It beggars belief that he did not. I wish we had known this six hundred and forty thousand pages ago...it would have been much clearer then that the Leander cannon misfired because of improper loading and a very damp squib!

utterly unbelievable!

Victor
07-21-2009, 04:42 PM
What's your point here Vic? That where there are three examples of a signature it is all right for someone to select the one that is most similar because they WANT to believe they are by the same hand and therefore just show that to the expert?
The point, that more signatures would inevitably introduce more dissimilarities. You can allege that Fish chose the signature because it's closest, whereas he states he picked the most complete and likely one. In either case the question "Is this signature by the same person as this one?" has been completely answered to the best of his ability, but that's a different question to "Is this one the same as this one, and this one, and this one?" That's why the blind analysis would be better.

With-holding information is bias; bias is unprofessional; Leander did not have the full set of signatures to compare. How do we know what he might have concluded if he had? It's too late now. Leander's view is utterly useless.
Asking fuller or more detailed questions doesn't invalidate the original question, you just need to be careful in the conclusions you draw from the answers, and avoid using the answer to the limited question to draw conclusions where you really need the fuller answer.

That there is doubt about which of the three sigs are Hutch's is even MORE reason to include them.
No, that's more reason to complete a double-blind examination where you throw in YOUR attempt at doing the signature too.

Experts need the full picture, not copies, not selective sampling, not idiots skewing their results with unforgiveable bias.
There was no bias, the question asked did not give the fuller answer you require. A fuller answer needs complete access to the information.

I think that allegations that Fish influenced Leander's opinion are ridiculously insulting to Leander's integrity.

KR,
Vic.

Victor
07-21-2009, 04:51 PM
Look - and you will see that these are not my words, but the words of a respected document examiner, who has written a book on the subject so far in its 3rd edition.

I put the passage up so that everyone could see it easily, but don't blame me if you don't like it - I didn't write it!

Hi Jane,
I never said you did, and I'm not blaming you for anything, all I did was put my interpretation on what it says, hence the "zed"/"zee" analogy. I think that the passage you quoted is just a "cover your backside" get someone familiar with the samples comment, that is just common sense, akin to "get a plumber to check your plumbing, not an electrician".
KR,
Vic.

babybird67
07-21-2009, 04:54 PM
The point, that more signatures would inevitably introduce more dissimilarities.

How do you work that out? It would only give more opportunity for the expert to make up his own mind whether there were more similarities or differences, and what weight he should give to either. If the other signatures were more similar, they would have introduced more similarities, woudlnt they? They were deliberately excluded from the analysis by Fish because he thought they would introduce more dissimilarities because he wanted Leander to conclude the similarities outweighed the differences. That's not how science works. That's how bias works. Fish destroyed Leander, not me.

You can allege that Fish chose the signature because it's closest, whereas he states he picked the most complete and likely one.

Right. :scratchchin: You are actually thinking about what you say arent you? So if someone thinks a signature is a "likely" match, but two others allegedly by the same person are correspondingly less likely, it is perfectly acceptable to de-select the pieces of information that might throw doubt upon the pre-conceived conclusion? Are you serious? It's a good job we don't approach the rest of Ripperology with the same disregard for objectivity...several suspects would have already been hung merely for being "most...likely" than others. That's not how it works, Victor. Not for sentient intelligent beings anyway


There was no bias

Utter nonsense. Selecting material you think best supports your conclsions is bias. Fish is guilty of that by his own admission. I could as easily approach an expert just supply signature 2...that would be just as biased. To avoid bias you objectively examine and analyse all the relevant material, not just what hasnt been withheld from you.



I think that allegations that Fish influenced Leander's opinion are ridiculously insulting to Leander's integrity.

Then you misunderstand me. Leander's integrity is not in doubt: Fish's integrity is, on the other hand, in tatters. Leander was not given a chance to give an informed opinion because his opinion was manipulated by Fish's selective sampling to be misinformed and flawed from the very beginning. Leander's views are worthless in this matter because of Fish: if you are looking for someone to blame for that state of affairs, you need to look further in the direction of his friend, Fish.

Ben
07-21-2009, 04:55 PM
You can allege that Fish chose the signature because it's closest, whereas he states he picked the most complete and likely one

There shouldn't have been any "picking" at all, Victor. That's the crucial point that shouldn't be overlooked. In the early 1990s, Sue Iremonger obtained the original documents - the marriage certificate signature of Toppy, and all thee statement signatures. It is generally accepted that document examiners must be supplied with as much material as possible in order to increase the accuracy of their results. That didn't happen in the case of Leander. Fisherman admitted that he had a "need" for his earlier conclusion to be correct, and so he "picked" one signature to send Leander - coincidentally, the one he thought most resembled the Toppy entry.

There is no question that Fisherman influenced Leander's opinion. I'm not saying he did so through use of deliberately devious tactics, but "influenced" it certainly was. Even setting aside the signature "picking", there's the recent communication with Leander which amounted essentially to: "Ben has interpreted your words as follows, but before you agree with him, just remember that he has called you a liar". Appeal to the emotions of the expert, and you're guaranteed to engender a skewed response.

Victor
07-21-2009, 04:55 PM
i had assumed Fish had naturally supplied all the relevant information. It beggars belief that he did not. I wish we had known this six hundred and forty thousand pages ago...it would have been much clearer then that the Leander cannon misfired because of improper loading and a very damp squib!

utterly unbelievable!

I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate.

Victor
07-21-2009, 05:14 PM
There shouldn't have been any "picking" at all, Victor. That's the crucial point that shouldn't be overlooked.
Absolutely. And if it was blind it would be better still. Was the Iremonger opinion blind?

Fisherman admitted that he had a "need" for his earlier conclusion to be correct, and so he "picked" one signature to send Leander - coincidentally, the one he thought most resembled the Toppy entry.
Or the one most likely to be genuine? In Fish's opinion (not that I'm agreeing with it).

There is no question that Fisherman influenced Leander's opinion. I'm not saying he did so through use of deliberately devious tactics, but "influenced" it certainly was. Even setting aside the signature "picking", there's the recent communication with Leander which amounted essentially to: "Ben has interpreted your words as follows, but before you agree with him, just remember that he has called you a liar". Appeal to the emotions of the expert, and you're guaranteed to engender a skewed response.
But "Fish influenced Leander" (or even "tried to") doesn't mean that Leaner gave a more favourable answer because of Fish's behaviour. That would be a question of Leander's integrity in dealing with the information supplied.

KR,
Vic.

babybird67
07-21-2009, 05:20 PM
look, here:

Equally, the specimens themselves originated from here on the Casebook site as part of a list posted by Sam purely for illustrational purposes. Uppermost on the list was one of the three signatures appended by Hutchinson to his police statement. The other two were absent. Worse still, not a single one of the Toppy signatures included the William that we know to have been an integral part of his regular signature. In scientific terms, such omissions constitute a case of sampling error and are sufficient to invalidate the entire analysis.

Garry originally italicised this, but i have underlined and made it bold as well just to emphasise further. Garry goes on to point out that this is significant sampling error and furthermore invalidates the entire analysis.

This must be conceded by anyone interested in establishing the facts in a scientific, objective and non-biased way.

Apologies to Garry for overlooking this most salient and significant point...you were right in post one...why are we still arguing? Even Sam would have to agree with this, i am sure (please post Sam and let us know what you think).

And yet, for all of the sampling error and induced bias of which Frank was patently unaware, he was only able to conclude that ‘It cannot be ruled out that we are dealing with the same person’. .

Quite right Garry...none of the bias or sampling error was of Leander's making. All that lies squarely at the door of one poster here and that is Fish. I wish to make clear that i have the utmost of respect for Leander and for what he has said: it is not his fault that relevant information he has been led to believe has been included has been deliberately withheld from him. The flaws and failings of the Leander analysis have never been anything to do with Leander's abilities in his field whatsoever, but the defective samples and bias that has led a campaign to claim Toppy as Hutch based on working backwards from a position of certainty and trying to force the evidence then to fit the theory. That is not objective. That is not scientific. That is not acceptable.

Apologies once again Garry for not picking up on this earlier...i guess it was so certain in my mind that nobody could possibly withhold such vital information from an analysis of this kind.

Ben
07-21-2009, 05:21 PM
But "Fish influenced Leander" (or even "tried to") doesn't mean that Leaner gave a more favourable answer because of Fish's behaviour.

It needn't necessarily mean that, Victor, and I personally hope it doesn't. I'm still firmly of the opinion that, for some reason, Leander has given radicaly contrasting views. In the interests of maintaining the peace, and out of respect for the individuals involved, I won't speculate further as to why this should have been the case, but I find it odd in the extreme, and I even provided an example where a contradiction was proven to have occured.

Ultimately, I think it would have been prudent to have allowed Leander's initial comments to stand without pressing him for additional "clarification", especially after he made it clear that he did not wish to elaborate further.

Best regards,
Ben

Ben
07-21-2009, 05:31 PM
Thanks, Beebs.

I'm amazed at my oversight from the outset, doubly so after Garry specifically referred to it. Quite numptescent of me, I must say.

All the best,
Ben

Jane Welland
07-21-2009, 05:32 PM
Does anybody know...?

Jane x

babybird67
07-21-2009, 05:32 PM
Or the one most likely to be genuine? In Fish's opinion (not that I'm agreeing with it).

Who is Fish to decide that? If we are going to decide which ones we think are genuine and then just ask experts to look at that and agree, what is the point of consulting a document examiner in the first place? What right has Fish to decide which one he thinks is genuine? He is not God. And if you are not agreeing with his opinion, you are doing a pretty good job of pretending you are by justifying selective materials being used as if this is not a problem and has no detrimental effect on the conclusions given.


But "Fish influenced Leander" (or even "tried to") doesn't mean that Leaner gave a more favourable answer because of Fish's behaviour. That would be a question of Leander's integrity in dealing with the information supplied.

Not at all Vic. Fish did influence Leander because he did not tell Leander there were two other signatures on the same witness statement for Leander to look at. Put it this way, say Leander came over to look at the actual documents. What do you think he would have done when faced with the statement? Do you think he would have looked at page one and decided on that signature alone that the differences outweighed the similarities? let's say he did his job and despite that he went on to look at signature 2...again, more differences? Might he then have thought, "Well i wont bother looking at the third signature. One or two will do. I have made up my mind."

Absolutely not. He would have examined the document in its entirety, because that is how one comes to an informed, objective, scientific opinion. He was not given the opportunity to do this. He was supplied with a defective sample because Fish had already decided the only signature Fish wanted Leander to look at was the one which was most similar, which, if you refer to Garry's first post on this thread, was even considered by Leander as the signature which LEAST resembled the following signatures, which were by Toppy.

If Leander thought the most similar signature was the one that could least be matched to the Toppy examples, do you not think his opinion could have been different if he had also been given the opportunity to see and examine the other two much less similar Hutchinson signatures?

If you cannot see that withholding this vital information had the effect of influencing and manipulating the opinion Leander was able to come up with, through no fault of Leander's whatsoever, i do not know how else to explain it to you.

All i can suggest is that you PM me for a recommendation for good home insurance! ;)

Victor
07-21-2009, 06:27 PM
Who is Fish to decide that? If we are going to decide which ones we think are genuine and then just ask experts to look at that and agree, what is the point of consulting a document examiner in the first place?
Every right, he wanted an opinion and he asked for one. The point of asking a document examiner is to get an expert opinion to confirm Fish's amateur hypothesis. That's the entire point of experts isn't it?

If you cannot see that withholding this vital information had the effect of influencing and manipulating the opinion Leander was able to come up with, through no fault of Leander's whatsoever, i do not know how else to explain it to you.
Surely it's obvious that your signatures differ slightly from eachother, and the more you compare the greater the number of genuine natural variations will crop up. True a significantly large sample size should average out the natural variations and give a better conclusion, but when your talking about 1 or 3 samples then the "noise" could be significantly distort the results, so taking the best and comparing that makes some sort of sense. Just think of what would've happened if Leander said "no match", you'd all be whooping that Toppy definitely wasn't Hutch.

I still think "not impossible" is the best you're going to get.

Anyway, was the Iremonger examination blind? Does anyone know?

KR,
Vic.

babybird67
07-21-2009, 06:43 PM
Every right, he wanted an opinion and he asked for one. The point of asking a document examiner is to get an expert opinion to confirm Fish's amateur hypothesis. That's the entire point of experts isn't it?

nope. Wrong. He had no right to portray Leander's response as professional when he knew full well he had skewed the sample. I'm sorry if you think otherwise. People can only give informed responses when they are enabled to do so by being provided with objective evidence. I find it difficult to accept there is anything remotely arguable about this point. Also, Fish was asking on behalf of everyone here...he had a responsibilty to ensure the expert he approached was supplied with all the relevant information, which he failed to do.


Surely it's obvious that your signatures differ slightly from eachother, and the more you compare the greater the number of genuine natural variations will crop up.

Nope. It's obvious that the greater number you compare, the greater experience you will have of how that particular person writes, what deviations there are, and what emphasis to put on the similarities vs the variations. How can you possibly argue that the lesser the evidence, the better the conclusion? What other field could this possibly apply in?

My hypothesis once was that Klosowski was the Ripper. I could have taken all the evidence that suggests this could be true, shown it to someone, and asked them if they thought Klosowski was the Ripper. Deliberately with holding from them all the other evidence that suggests he might not have been the Ripper would have skewed their understanding, wouldnt it?

Informed responses have to take account of ALL the evidence, not just select bits of evidence that appear to support a pre-conceived notion.

By the way i no longer think it was Klosowski....human beings are capable of learning, and that's what i did when i started to look at objective, rational evidence.

By the way, i agree that the identification is possible...not probable, not certain, but possible, but that's as far as the evidence can take us.

Anyway, was the Iremonger examination blind? Does anyone know?

I dont know Vic. I dont have the books she was published in. She stood on her professional credentials however in being published and she examined the originals, which would have mean comparing all three signatures which is obviously better than not doing so. I don't go as far as she does in discounting a match for sure. However i respect her opinion.

best wishes

Ben
07-21-2009, 06:47 PM
Surely it's obvious that your signatures differ slightly from eachother, and the more you compare the greater the number of genuine natural variations will crop up.

Exacltly, which is why it makes every sense to include as many examples of the same handwriting as possible, and which is why all professional document examiners ask for precisely that wherever it may be available. The "natural variations" provide the very reason for including all three signatures in this case, since any one of the supposed similarities between sig #3 and the Toppy census entry could mistakenly be chalked up to an ingrained similarity that will aways be present whenever the individual write's his name, as opposed to what it really is - a "natural variation".

so taking the best and comparing that makes some sort of sense

But who gets to decide which is "best", or more precisely, how is anybody to know that sig #3 is more reflective of the witness' "normal" handwriting than the other two? That again is for the examiner to assess, once s/he's been supplied with all the material. For all we know, sig #1 may be more representative of the norm and sig #3 could be the "noise" that "distorts the results". Examiners don't request that the amateur decides which is best before sending them that sample and no other. They specifically request as many samples as possible, which was eminently "possible" in this case.

Best regards,
Ben

babybird67
07-21-2009, 08:06 PM
hi Victor

following the discussion earlier about script, i thought you might be interested in the following:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_alphabet

As you can see, there are three diacritics in the Swedish alphabet which arent in the English one.

I think it is common sense that examiners not working in their own native language are less able to be certain about their conclusions, and as the link i posted earlier shows, it is something accepted within the profession, so it must be important.

I live in Wales which also has a different alphabet (Sam is a Welsh speaker...i am sure he can comment on this)...if you check you will see that CH is a letter in the Welsh alphabet, but there is no J or X. There are also other letters like dd and ff and no k, v, or z.

Obviously if we had a Welsh document to examine, it would make sense to ask someone natively Welsh, who would be aware much more of how those unusual characters of script would be formed, and what were more likely to be significant deviations or similarities.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_orthography

Hope you find this interesting.

best wishes

Fisherman
07-21-2009, 09:06 PM
Victor!

Since you ask about what people know of the Iremonger examination, I think you should prepare for disappointment. The reason for this is that it seems what Iremonger saw, what she said, what she grounded her opinions on and how sure she was, WAS NEVER RECORDED! Thus, nobody knows, and the only thing you will find when asking is that Iremonger "must not be questioned", and that it is "beyond doubt that her examination was impeccable and thorough".

Since there is no substantiation for this, other than Martin Fidos assertion that Iremonger was a nice woman who made a good impression on him (and that goes some way, since Martin is a very nice guy himself!), I myself tend to dismiss her - that is what we generally need to do with non-existant material.

It seems as there is a debate going on where for example Ben tells all and sundry that I "deliberately withheld" vital information from Leander. Well, well, that should tally nicely with the assertions that Leander is a liar and a totally unethical researcher, just as it should work eminently together with Bens hints that I may have written Leanders answers by myself!

I think, before you go any further, that you need to realize that you have been pressing VERY hard all the time that Leanders examination was veeery informal and that it carries no resemblance whatsoever to a real, professional examination. That, of course, was something you yelled at the tops of your voices in order to play down the importance of Leanders words. But now it will work against you; you see, you cannot first say that it was all awfully informal and just a friendly, personal chat of no importance whatsoever, only to then turn around and demand from me that I ought to have behaved very formally and up to all scientific standards, supplying all the material and never uttering any opinion of my own.
Why would I do that? It was an informal exchange, remember? And in such an exchange, just like Victor has eminently and wisely pointed out to you, I am at liberty to handle the discussion in exactly the manner that I want to.
The true reason for my choice of material was that Sam had provided a collection of the third police protocol signature, the marriage license signature, and the 1911 census signatures, and that was a collection I thought would be very suitable to get an answer from Leander on in relation to the question "could all these signatures have been written by the same person?", and the reason I had for asking that question was that Ben insisted on the signatures being very much dissimilar. He even stated that "Lambeth George"´s signature was a closer match to the witness ditto than was Toppys, a misconception that Leander immediately brought him out of. So much for Ben´s abilities to tell signatures apart!

And so, I still fail to see how you could fault me for having acted informally in an informal exchange, not to mention how baffled I am by the suggestion that I should have deliberately misled anybody.Well, not baffled exactly, as I have come to expect all sorts of things in this debate, but I can truly say that the suggestion was an unsavoury one.

Anyway, this is what applies, and in spite of all the indignated outcrys and in spite of the fact that I have never concealed anything - the cards have been on the table all the time, although I could have chosen to lie and say that Leander had all three signatures and you would have been none the wiser - the fact remains that Frank Leander has helped us in identifying a probable - not possible, probable - match between the Dorset Street witness and George Topping Hutchinson, and for that, Ben and I are forever greatful. At least I think so, since Ben stated from the outset that nobody would be happier than him if the Dorset streeet witness could be identified. So let´s rejoice, shall we?

Informally yours,
Fisherman

Fisherman
07-21-2009, 09:31 PM
Oh, and just to show you what I mean when I say that the cards have been on the table all the time, this is how I worded it when I published Leanders first post:

"This response from the SKL was something I had not counted on - I did not know to what degree they would help nosy citizens prying into other countries criminal history. And so, I was happy to receive such a generous answer.
In fact, I was so encouraged as to copy Sams board of signatures from page 57 on this thread and forward it to Frank Leander, humbly asking if he could possibly ponder to ...??
And he did!"

So, you have it all in black and white, and far from any pointer to me "deliberately withholding" information, I think it says a lot more about how you do your homework. Brrrrrr...!

Fisherman

Jane Welland
07-21-2009, 09:42 PM
I wondered where you had gone!

Now, I don't have much to say - so let's be simple.

It has struck me from the first, and continues to do so, that neither Iremonger, nor Leander, has endorsed any view conclusively.

Iremonger saw what was available at the time. She saw the originals - almost certainly. Statements by you and by other posters which attempt to denigrate that effort are unworthy.

If I understand correctly, she thought the two were unlikely to be a match - but did she not also say that she wouldn't be prepared to go further than that?

In other words, she didn't think so, but she couldn't be certain beyond doubt. This may have been, in all likelihood, because there were insufficient samples - just as with Leander.

Leander saw examples selected by you. He did not therefore see all the examples available at the time. Thus, although he appears to think personally that there is sufficient correlation between the two for a match to be possible (in the positive sense) with respect, he cannot have made a balanced judgement because he did not have all the signatures in the first place.

This is not a sign that I have an agenda. This is the product of rational deduction.

Now, if you wish to proclaim that the whole thing was an informal exchange between yourself and Leander, then that is fine. But by doing so, you must allow others to treat it similarly, and not expect them to give his verdict undue weight.

I know that you are of the opinion that Toppy=Hutch, but others are not, and their view deserves respect just as much as your own.

Best wishes to you, Fisherman

Jane x

perrymason
07-21-2009, 09:50 PM
If I understand correctly, she thought the two were unlikely to be a match - but did she not also say that she wouldn't be prepared to go further than that?

In other words, she didn't think so, but she couldn't be certain beyond doubt. This may have been, in all likelihood, because there were insufficient samples - just as with Leander.

Leander saw examples selected by you. He did not therefore see all the examples available at the time. Thus, although he appears to think personally that there is sufficient correlation between the two for a match to be possible (in the positive sense) with respect, he cannot have made a balanced judgement because he did not have all the signatures in the first place.

Jane x

To me that is a most satisfactory explanation of why the evidence in the form of qualified opinion is still "inconclusive". No arguments will change that.

Well done Jane.:pleased:

Fisherman
07-21-2009, 09:55 PM
Jane Welland:

"It has struck me from the first, and continues to do so, that neither Iremonger, nor Leander, has endorsed any view conclusively"

Depends on what you mean by conclusively - "I expect forthcoming evidence to prove the thesis that we have a genuine match" is pretty conclusive to my ears. But it is grounded on insufficient evidence, granted.

"Iremonger saw what was available at the time. She saw the originals - almost certainly."

It´s the "almost" that does not belong to any discussion where you need to claim certainty. Toppy is Hutch, almost certainly. And I mean it!

"If I understand correctly, she thought the two were unlikely to be a match - but did she not also say that she wouldn't be prepared to go further than that?"

I honestly don´t think anybody knows, Jane! I have a memory of reading somewhere that she worded herself: "On balance...", but NOBODY can verify that - or anything else beonging to that investigation.
Show me her wordings, show me the material she looked at, and show me all the rest that belongs to a properly documented examination, and I will have a very interested look - I have demanded it up on the table dozens of times.
And do not tell me that there is any disrespect involved in not buying what you cannot see!

"
"Leander saw examples selected by you. He did not therefore see all the examples available at the time. Thus, although he appears to think personally that there is sufficient correlation between the two for a match to be possible (in the positive sense) with respect, he cannot have made a balanced judgement because he did not have all the signatures in the first place."

He did not see a "possible" match, Jane - he saw a probable one. And oh, yes, he could make a totally and thoroughly balanced judgement of WHAT HE SAW - and THAT wasa signature from the police protocol, signed by the Dorset Street witness.

"Now, if you wish to proclaim that the whole thing was an informal exchange between yourself and Leander, then that is fine."

That pressing need has mostly ben felt by others than me, Jane....

" know that you are of the opinion that Toppy=Hutch, but others are not, and their view deserves respect just as much as your own."

And just when did I deny anybody that opinion...? The one thing I DO object to is allegations of lies and foul play - such things I do not respect. Do you?

The best,
Fisherman
off again

Jane Welland
07-21-2009, 10:00 PM
To me that is a most satisfactory explanation of why the evidence in the form of qualified opinion is still "inconclusive". No arguments will change that.

Well done Jane.:pleased:

I do try! :pleased:

Jane x

babybird67
07-21-2009, 11:01 PM
Victor!

Since you ask about what people know of the Iremonger examination, I think you shold prepare for disappointment. The reason for this is that it seems what iremonger saw, what seh said, what she grounded her opinions on and how sure she was WAS NEVER RECORDED!

Um, yes actually it was recorded, PUBLICALLY, in the relevant literature, in which Ms Iremonger stood on her professional credentials on the matter. Just because you don't have the books Fisherman doesn't mean they don't exist. If you or Victor are seriously interested in the issue, i suggest you get hold of copies of the books in which her opinion was referenced...it shouldn't be that difficult.


Since there is no substantiation for this, other than Martin Fidos assertion that Iremonger was a nice woman who made a good impression on her, I myself tend to dismiss her - that is what we gebnerally need to do with non-existant material.

This is insulting and disrespectful to both Martin Fido and Ms Iremonger. Non-existent material? Like you wish the other two witness signatures were you mean Fish? How convenient that would have been for you to create your own reality and draw your own conclusions from it. Unfortunately for you the rest of us inhabit the real world and will continue to remind you of certain things such as objectivity, rationality, science and logic. Vic, post 287 of the Hutch in the 1911 census debate has a quote from the book in which Ms Iremonger was referenced...you may note she is well renowned and was quite happy to have her opinion published and attributed to her for all to see.

http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=2204&page=29

post 353 by Jonathan Menges is also enlightening. And post 853 for the same. And post 1055, if you have a specific question to submit to the authors who consulted her (thanks again JM)

It seems as there is a debate going on where for example Ben teels all and sundry that I "deliberately withheld" vital information from Leander. Well, well, that should tally nicely with the assertions that Leander is a liar and a totally unethical researcher, just as it should work nicely together with Bens hints that I may have written Leanders answers by myself!

I dont know if that was Ben, Fish. It certainly was me and there is no debate about it. You had three signatures of Hutchinson's...you CHOSE to exclude the two you felt would look most dissimilar to Toppy's; you CHOSE deliberately to do that, it wasn't an accident, it was deliberate. Leander is not the unethical one. You are.

I think, before you go any further, that you need to realize that you have been pressing VERY hard all the time that Leanders examination was informal and that it carries no resemblande whatsoever to a real, professional examination. That, of course, was something you yelled at the tops of your voices in order to play down the importance of Leanders words. But now, it will work against you; you see, you cannot first say that it was all awfully informal and just a friendly, personal chat of no importance whatsoever, only to then turn around and demand from me that I ought to have behaved very formally and up to all scientific standards, supplying all the material and never uttering any opinion of my own.
Why would I do that. It was an informal excahnge, remember?

You are the only person who never acknowledged this Fish. YOU were the one insisting we had a full and detailed examination of the materials from a renowned expert that we should all pay attention to: look at your post number 1301 on the census thread in which you said:

Well, Crystal, if you don´t want to award the wiews of one of the most renowned Swedish forensic document examiners any value, you are of course right.
On the other hand, when you realize that we for the first time have a full and detailed statement by a true expert in the field, telling us that the features involved in the signatures may mean that we are looking at a match, you should perhaps upgrade your level of interest a bit...?

There are lots more examples where you have tried to overestimate the value of Leander's input, even when you have been reminded that he himself told you not to. But i am bored now.

I am glad at your renunciation of your misconception that we have anything other than a few informal comments from Leander, and that you now recognise, if belatedly, what we have been saying all along...that no such professional examination was possible by Leander.

Hallelujah...i do believe!

Ben
07-22-2009, 03:03 AM
The reason for this is that it seems what Iremonger saw, what she said, what she grounded her opinions on and how sure she was, WAS NEVER RECORDED!

That's an inaccurate interpretation Fish, as Babybird points out. A great many more people know about the Iremonger comparison than they do about Leander's contributions. She even gave a lecture about it in which her findings were discussed, and several well respected authorities on the Whitechapel murders have attested to the nature of her findings.

I myself tend to dismiss her - that is what we generally need to do with non-existant material.

Well, of course you would.

She's an expert whose opinion flies in the face of the conclusion you jumped to with irrational certainty before you even contacted the expert who you now mistakenly believe is fighting your corner. No matter that Ms Iremonger is, to date, the only professional expert who has ever conducted a full analysis of the signatures, using the original documents and all three statement signatures unlike a few fiddled-with emailed images of the third signature that were sent to Leander (while the other two were deliberately withheld for no good reason at all), along with some misleading biographical data.

I did not accuse Leander of being either a “liar” or an “unethical researcher”. I speculated that Leander was susceptible to the all-too-human aversion to bombardment and beleaguerment, and that he appeased a nuisance accordingly. You can mutate that into a fallacious slur if you like, and use it to poison him against me: “Just look what a horrible bastard he is, Frank! Before you recognise any potential merit in his interpretation, just remember that he accused you of lying! I’d never do that, because we’re friends. Oh, and it is still Toppy, isn’t it?”, but most people should exercise enough circumspection to see right through it. No, I haven’t accused you of writing Leander’s posts. I only observed that his latest contribution seems to have embraced a certain propensity towards bombast and exclamatory language that seems eerily reminiscent of your own posting style.

“…it carries no resemblance whatsoever to a real, professional examination. That, of course, was something you yelled at the tops of your voices in order to play down the importance of Leanders words.”

I think you’ll find that it was Leander himself who did most of the “yelling” in that regard, urging you on numerous occasions to be mindful of the fact that he could not offer his “full expert opinion” in the absence of the original documents, and that a “spontaneous comment” was all he could offer. The person who has been most vocal in their efforts to “play down the importance of Leander’s words” is Leander himself. He even dropped you that subtle hint that he could offer no more on the matter when he told you that he did not wish to elaborate any further on the matter - a request that you didn’t accord much respect then you bothered him at least three more times. At no point did you have the self-scrutiny to cultivate an “Am I being a nuisance?” awareness.

“It was an informal exchange, remember? And in such an exchange, just like Victor has eminently and wisely pointed out to you, I am at liberty to handle the discussion in exactly the manner that I want to.”

And a wise method of handling the results of an “informal exchange” is not to invest them with any more significance that the “informality” of the exercise merits, and that includes resisting the temptation to bother him on a repetitive basis or swallow your own highly controversial interpretation of his opinions.

“The true reason for my choice of material was that Sam had provided a collection of the third police protocol signature, the marriage license signature, and the 1911 census signatures, and that was a collection I thought would be very suitable to get an answer from Leander”

Do you mean the montage where all the signatures were portrayed as being the same size, with the horizontal lines underneath removed (the ones that would have given an accurate impression of the angles of the signatures), which conspicuously avoided the first two signatures.

You copied and pasted that into an email and sent that to Leander?

…And hoped for an unbiased response?

Well, we’re all different I guess.

Gosh, there are revelations aplenty today. I seriously regret reading Garry's sensible first post too hastily.

“He even stated that "Lambeth George"´s signature was a closer match to the witness ditto than was Toppys, a misconception that Leander immediately brought him out of. So much for Ben´s abilities to tell signatures apart!”

Oh, look, a personal attack. Thing is, Leander never examined Lambeth George’s signatures with the other two signatures attributed to the witness, so there’s no way that Leander could have disabused me of any “misconception” that he (LG) provided a better bet than Toppy.

“the cards have been on the table all the time, although I could have chosen to lie and say that Leander had all three signatures and you would have been none the wiser”

I think if you’re honest with yourself, you were just covering your bottom there in the event that someone might have decided to make their own inquiries into the nature of Leander’s findings. Better to be honest about the nature of the material supplied to Leander just in case anyone decides to find out for themselves by contacting Leander personally. So it would not have been in your interests to lie, and it was a sensible move on your part not to.

“the fact remains that Frank Leander has helped us in identifying a probable - not possible, probable - match between the Dorset Street witness and George Topping Hutchinson”

But I still utterly reject that as utter nonsense, and I’ve asked you politely not to keep repeating a controversial statement that you know full well has been challenged many times. I know you like repetition wars better than strawberries and cream, but I’m generally more successful at that particular format in the long run, so it’s up to you if you think it’s worth your while persisting in that particular debating strategy.

“Depends on what you mean by conclusively - "I expect forthcoming evidence to prove the thesis that we have a genuine match" is pretty conclusive to my ears. But it is grounded on insufficient evidence, granted.”

It’s grounded in blatant and proven contradictions, which is why it’s only fair to reject any claim that any forthcoming evidence would prove a match, since it originated from a source that also told us explicitly on more than one occasion (including in a manual) that his stance was neutral.

“Toppy is Hutch, almost certainly. And I mean it!”

I know you do, but then you have a fairly long history of “meaning” things that have made you look pretty ridiculous, so I don’t see why the above claim should be any different. It certainly doesn't become any more persuasive on the basis of your bombastic insistence.

“Show me her wordings, show me the material she looked at, and show me all the rest that belongs to a properly documented examination, and I will have a very interested look”

But that's in the absence of even a faintly decent reason for doubting the well-documented observation that she compared the original sources and all three witness statements, as attested to by several experts in the field. Even if you even found yourself presented with her full analysis, YOU would hardly be in a position to assess her assessment.

“At least I think so, since Ben stated from the outset that nobody would be happier than him if the Dorset streeet witness could be identified. So let´s rejoice, shall we?”

Nobody would be happier than me if the witness could finally be identified. I clung desperately to the hope, once upon a time, that Toppy would provide the ultimate solution in that regard, but – and this is so frustrating – the biographical details didn’t mesh up, and the only full examination of the signatures to date has yielded a non-match.

Such a shame, but it’s back to the drawing board, alas.

Fingers crossed we’ll find him one day!

The Good Michael
07-22-2009, 03:21 AM
To me that is a most satisfactory explanation of why the evidence in the form of qualified opinion is still "inconclusive". No arguments will change that.



You are correct with regards to signatures. Thank God we have so much more than that with which to base the only valid conclusion that Toppy is quite probably Hutch the witness. The elephant is just about complete.

Cheers,

Mike

Jane Welland
07-22-2009, 10:38 AM
With so much evidence to support that theory, there can be only one solution -

6198

This is the man we've all been looking for!

Hallelujah! The Case is Solved!

Good work there! :hiya:

Best regards

Jane x

The Good Michael
07-22-2009, 11:15 AM
The mustache is a bit carroty, and is that a bit of gold chain peeking out just above his cuffs? In fact, he wasn't such a bad sort, for a profligate stuffed shirt. It is son who wasn't such a nice guy.

Mike

richardnunweek
07-22-2009, 11:39 AM
Hi Mike,
I agree about the 'Son'
Two accounts stick in my mind.
When he toured the east end during the blitz, and shouted out 'We can take it' replies echoed back 'Its allright for you mate, we live here.'
And what a scumbag .
At the height of the blitz, he used to receive information on where , and when a raid would take place, and always made sure he stayed at a friends country house on that date.
One afternoon whilst at a meeting at number 10, he had a call that a huge raid would hit London that evening, he excused himself, and went straight to his waiting car, and proceeded to the country.
A few miles on , his car phone went, and he was informed that the raid was to be elsewhere, he had the car turn back to London , informing staff at downing street, that a massive raid would hit London that evening , and he could not leave in the circumstances.
That evening he was pictured standing on a rooftop in the vacinity, waving his fists in the sky, screaming ' Come on then. we can take it'.
Incidently the raid that night was COVENTRY.
What a fraud.
Richard,

Fisherman
07-22-2009, 11:59 AM
104 days ago, on the 15:th of April 2009, I published Frank Leanders first informal post on the signature comparison, stating exactly what material I had sent over to him.

104 days. That is three months. A full fifteen weeks.

Now people are trying to castigate me for doing so. Babybird even writes ”now he admits that ...”

Now, Babybird? You have had the information from the start. I always clearly state what belongs to my contribution to the different threads, and in this case, I have even offered the full exchange between Leander and me, in Swedish as well as in English. I have offered to share his e-mailaddress with Ben, but he was not interested.

So, Toppydissers, or what we should call you – you have spent months on end criticizing my exchange with Leander WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING WHAT IT WAS YOU CRITICIZED! You have been so eager to pounce at anything that even remotely suggested that Toppy could have been Hutch, that you have forgotten to read up on the most important part of it all – what was being discussed.

You did not know this. You never bothered to check. All the same, you were ready to go to extreme lengths to castigate what you had not checked. And, so much more amusing, you had the audacity to tell me that I had not gone about things in a professional manner!

It´s Seinfeld stuff. It´s Pythonesque. It´s more than I could have hoped for.

It is said that I should not expect anybody to lend any weight to Leanders verdict. I suggest that we allow each and everyone to make his or her own mind up on that. Some will never attach any value to it, for the simple reason that it does not sit well with their own theories. Others will criticize (fairly) that it was not a full investigation. Most people, I hope, will realize that a top force has investigated one of the signatures from the police protocol and come to the conclusion that it in all probability matches the signatures of Topping Hutchinson.
There is a rational approach, a methodological and ”scientific” approach – an an agenda-ridden, malicious approach.

These Hutchinson threads have been the best threads ever on Casebook. Not only have they revealed, after 121 years of fumbling in the dark, that we have very good reason to believe that the Dorset Street witness has been identified. They have also been productive in another fashion, since they have formed an invaluable source when it comes to assessing the credibility of a number of posters. We have been dealt a ”map”, more or less, of who will favour agenda over facts, and who will not touch such a methodology with a pair of pliers.

We have even heard Ben describe Sam´s stance as ”glib facility shamelessly espoused by people who used to know better” and assure him that his efforts ”only succeeds in irritating people”, adding that he was ”obviously wrong and fallacious”.
That is an almighty pointer in itself. Anybody who knows Sams way of working, also knows that there is not a poster on these boards who is more no-nonsense than him. I am not saying that he is always right – we have had disagreements on a number of things, but when we have had so, I have always been the one who has suggested the more ”fanciful” solution to an issue, whereas Sam has stuck with only the known facts.

Such is the methodology of Sam, and such is the position Ben has manouvred himself into by not recognizing this very obvious thing. But then, Ben has all sorts of problems recognizing where he is going. Now he tells us that he has never pointed Leander out as a liar, but since he has stated that Leander abandoned truth to keep me pleased, I see very little possibility to manouvre around it.

What remains about ”the Toppydissers” is an impression of very little honest intentions to assess the material fairly.

The allegations of me not having ”admitted” what material I sent Leander, the reoccurring distortions of what has been said, the leading on that Leander has been dishonest and not up to the ethical standards that could be requested of him, the totally unsubtle hints that I had written Leanders posts myself, the unwillingness to let Leander nuance and add further information, the totally uncritical acceptance of Iremongers investigation with no written documentation at all, the dishonesty, the sock puppets and the very strange demands on me to be scientific, coming from a group of people who never even bothered to check what was being discussed in the first place, is something I have experienced with sadness. It has been a sowing of dragon´s teeth, and those responsible for it will have to reap the form of harvest that belongs to it.
The first example is Frank Leanders pointing out that the criticism he has been subjected to has been governed by malicious interpretations of his efforts. I predict that there is much more to come.

The best,
Fisherman

PS. I will send you a large bucket of peanuts, Mike – you are going to need it!

The Good Michael
07-22-2009, 12:27 PM
PS. I will send you a large bucket of peanuts, Mike – you are going to need it!

Damn! I forgot to feed the elephant. No wonder people only can stand looking at its parts.

Mike

Ben
07-22-2009, 12:34 PM
Now, Babybird? You have had the information from the start. I always clearly state what belongs to my contribution to the different threads, and in this case, I have even offered the full exchange between Leander and me, in Swedish as well as in English. I have offered to share his e-mailaddress with Ben, but he was not interested.

Well, it was an oversight on mine and Babybird's part certainly, and we've both acknowledged as much on more than one occasion, but thank goodness it didn't escape the notice of Garry who had every right to question why such selectivity should have taken place. I'm not surprised you're now lashing out aggressively, having realized that several others finally picked up on the nature of the material you supplied to Leander, and I'm equally unsurprised that you'd resort back to triumphalist rhetoric and repetition, but the fact remains that you had an opportunity to provide all three statement signatures to Leander from the outset, but you only included the third one - the one you decided was the was the most Toppyish.

Attempting to ridicule Babybird for failing to pick up on your earlier selectivity won’t score you those points either, since oversights of this nature are likely to occur when the salient issues are lost amid a flurry of interminable posts. The following simply won't avail: “Haha, you’re all idiots for failing to notice how selective I’ve been all along””. Well, boy have you get me there, Fisherman, only I know which is the lesser of the two evils: hideous selectivity, or failing to notice that hideous selectivity?

“It is said that I should not expect anybody to lend any weight to Leanders verdict. I suggest that we allow each and everyone to make his or her own mind up on that.”

Let them, then.

But don’t, for pity’s sake, try to continue a repetition war where you insist on churning out your continuously challenged assertion that “Leander thought the match probable”, and I go on repeating my previous challenge that such a stance radically contrasted with his initial neutrality, and that since one cannot accept both stances simultaneously, they virtually cancel each other out. Not much use a “top force” when we’ve since become acquainted with the various pitfalls involved when a foreign examiner studies English scripts (which is why it doesn’t happen very often, we're reliably assured), and when that same examiner wasn’t even supplied with all three signatures when there was ample opportunity to provide him with same. I think we’ve somewhat diminished the argument that the “Leander analysis” was in any shape or form “scientific”.

So please don’t keep expressing this ludicrously forlorn hope that “most people” will swallow your controversial position, as though it would somehow increase the likelihood of it being correct.

“These Hutchinson threads have been the best threads ever on Casebook. Not only have they revealed, after 121 years of fumbling in the dark, that we have very good reason to believe that the Dorset Street witness has been identified”

There’s that triumphalist rhetoric again, dealt with swiftly by the following antithesis:

These Hutchinson threads have been the best threads ever on Casebook. Not only have they revealed, after 121 years of fumbling in the dark, that the initial indications that Toppy was not the witness have been strengthened in light of recent evidence.

Easy, and the only real antidote to that particularly strategy.

Just as easy as dealing with your tiresome personal attacks, such as the oft vomited-out accusation that some posters are harbouring an agenda. Which posters? Yep, that’s right, the ones that refuse to share Fisherman’s unwarranted certainty on certain issues. Here’s a better clue for establishing which posters harbour the agendas: Those who don’t identify Toppy as the witness have expressed the view that while the identification is unlikely on current evidence, it cannot be ruled out. The Toppyites, by contrast, have continued to espouse the ludicrous dogma that “Toppy is Hutch!” and assert that the chances of their theory being wrong are “microscopical”, or some other sympathy-eliciting attempt at rhetoric.

“That is an almighty pointer in itself. Anybody who knows Sams way of working, also knows that there is not a poster on these boards who is more no-nonsense than him.”

Well, of course, if I disagree with Sam, I simply must be the bastard in this equation, especially if I use robust terminology when doing so. I realise you’ve brought him up because you're aware that he seems more credible in contrast to you, but unfortunately, I disagree with him too, and doing so doesn’t automatically expose me as the villain. So the latest strategy – accusing me of having the audacity to disagree with somebody with more credibility than you - won’t work either.

“the unwillingness to let Leander nuance and add further information, the totally uncritical acceptance of Iremongers investigation with no written documentation at all”

You can allow him to clarify if you really felt it was required, but that doesn’t mean bombarding him seven more times in pursuit of further clarification. He even told you that he did not wish to elaborate further, but you didn’t show much respect for that when you continued to blitz-post him into submission. The nature of Sue Iremonger’s findings have been attested to be several leading experts. What doubts could you possibly harbour that would cast doubt on either the recollections or the credibility of these experts?

babybird67
07-22-2009, 01:03 PM
Depends on what you mean by conclusively - "I expect forthcoming evidence to prove the thesis that we have a genuine match" is pretty conclusive to my ears. But it is grounded on insufficient evidence, granted.

What? What forthcoming evidence? How can you basis proving a thesis on evidence that you have absolutely no idea whether it exists or not? Are you on planet earth or away with the fairies? I see you have put this idiocy in quotation marks...who are you attributing this quotation to? Surely not Leander? How can anything be "pretty conclusive" when the extant evidence has been totally ignored, and you are assuming, without any good cause, that further evidence will a/ not only emerge, but b/ be of a type that confirms your own hypothesis???? Oh, i see, because IF any other evidence were to emerge in the future, you would just de-select those bits of it which didnt confirm your ridiculous hypothesis anyway. Now i see how it's done.:lol:

By the way, can you PM me Leander's contact details please? I'd like to correspond with him myself about this issue. Thanks.

Off to reply to one of your other posts...get your flack helmet ready.

The Good Michael
07-22-2009, 01:14 PM
BB,

Don't bother the man. Why not email Iremonger, send her all the signatures (maybe 16 of them), and simply ask her which ones are similar enough to be considered probably written by the same man, especially because they were written within close proximity of each other in time and place, and because they were both of the laborer class? That would be best I think because she needs a little stress in her life too.

Mike

richardnunweek
07-22-2009, 01:25 PM
Hi,
Will we ever get to the bottom of this?
JD, if you still read these threads you must be horrified at all this, and to suggest that your husbands grandfather was the most infamous killer in british history, must be so alarming to you all.
If any one knows the simple answer, its your husbands family, all it would take is a short statement of comformation, and we can move on.
Obviously that wont happen , but I can only hope.
Regards Richard.

babybird67
07-22-2009, 01:28 PM
Now, Babybird? You have had the information from the start. I always clearly state what belongs to my contribution to the different threads, and in this case, I have even offered the full exchange between Leander and me, in Swedish as well as in English. I have offered to share his e-mailaddress with Ben, but he was not interested.

Fish if you look at the date i joined this site you will see that it was in April of this year. Your posting was a good hundred pages into the Hutch thread. Are you expecting me to have read and absorbed every single detail and nuance on that thread and retain it like a computer? I'm afraid i didn't, along with every other member of this forum, as i am human...neither was I the only one not to pick up on the fact that you sent Leander a skewed Sam-ple (incidentally i have absolutely no doubt that Sam's montage was merely illustrative of the similarities he wished to demonstate...i have no doubt whatsoever that he would not have agreed with sending this montage to Leander for an official scientific appraisal...he is too intelligent for that).

I've re-read your posting, and yes, you did say at the time that you had sent Leander the montage of signatures that Sam had posted. Nobody at that time picked up on this, probably because at the beginning you were not insisting that we had what you were later claiming as:

a full and detailed statement by a true expert in the field, telling us that the features involved in the signatures may mean that we are looking at a match

If you had accepted what the rest of us were saying all along, which was that all Leander told you he could offer was a personal comment, the informality of the materials would not have taken on so much significance. However, you were the one who was at pains, laboriously, interminably, to overstress Leander's contribution, to argue that it was "full and detailed" where it could not possibly have been, since two thirds of the extant necessary material had not been submitted to the analysis, nor were the originals available to him.

It is extremely telling that you still cannot admit that you were in the wrong for skewing the sample, for submitting to Leander materials with which he was kept in the dark regarding the availability of materials, and instead have gone off into some kind of orgasmic delight in blaming us for failing to pick you up on your fatal error.

Ben and i have already apologised to Garry for not noticing his point before. Have you apologised for submitting a skewed sample and then trying to pass off a flawed and informal comment on that sample as a "full and detailed" picture of events? No. Why not? Because you have no facility for learning or self-reflection or personal or intellectual growth. You are an intellectual dolt. Debating with you is like trying to debate with an ironing board that hasn't had the benefit of a secondary education. Give it up. Look at yourself. Culture the desire to learn and improve yourself. Otherwise there is no point to your contributions here, nor any point to anyone else reading them.


It´s Seinfeld stuff. It´s Pythonesque. It´s more than I could have hoped for.

Um, no, dear. What is Pythonesque is a poster who claims that WHEN further evidence is forthcoming (when, not if, mind) it WILL (not might, mind) support his already demolished pre-conceptions. Are you serious? Most people actually wait to see evidence before they decide whether it supports them or not. Most people look at evidence objectively, or at the very least try to, and THEN make up their mind. It is a very queer fish that decides what the evidence will tell him before he even sees it...very queer indeed. Unless you are claiming psychic powers of course?:lol:

And, you are the one who spent the first hundred pages of the census thread trying to demolish Iremonger's view, based on the conjectures that we do not know what she looked at etc etc.

Well, we DO know what Leander looked at. He looked at "meagre" evidence that was "copy-based" and was unable to offer anything other than a "personal" and "spontaneous" comment.

Iremonger looked at the full witness statement and the marriage certificate and said she was of the opinion that they did not match.

So, people can make up their own minds who to lend more weight to, for sure. I have no problem at all with that. Most people think before they make up their minds. :lol:

babybird67
07-22-2009, 01:31 PM
BB,

Don't bother the man. Why not email Iremonger, send her all the signatures (maybe 16 of them), and simply ask her which ones are similar enough to be considered probably written by the same man, especially because they were written within close proximity of each other in time and place, and because they were both of the laborer class? That would be best I think because she needs a little stress in her life too.

Mike

Why not Mike? I am sure he would like to know there were two other signatures he could have used in his "analysis" that were with-held from him. I'd like to send him the copies and see if they change his mind about the issue. It's only fair he is put in the picture i think.

I have no need to contact Iremonger. She has been published. You are welcome to, though.

babybird67
07-22-2009, 01:35 PM
i just received this private message from Fisherman.

Babybird!

My offer was directed to Ben, and not to you. It still stands in his case, although I am not thrilled by the prospect of subjecting Leander to him.
In your case, the thrill is an even lesser one, and the offer was never there. Unless you have noticed, I take great care to have as little to do with you as possible. That means that I need no helmet.

Fisherman


Well, there is confirmation that Fish is terrified of anyone independently contacting Leander. Need i say more?

Ben, the offer to you still stands...what do you say?

:lol:

By the way, Fish, yeah i have noticed you can't answer my postings. That is because i am clever and confident, i have more intellectual prowess in my little toe than you have in your entire brain, and i quite enjoy it when someone parading as intelligent enough to debate with me, but without the guts to engage in it in actuality, runs away scared. It gives me the greatest pleasure imaginable.

If you grow a spine, i'll see you on the boards!:lol:

The Good Michael
07-22-2009, 01:37 PM
You use the word withheld, but that isn't correct. The other two were suggested to be Badham's by an 'expert'. In that case, only one is left. Saying someone 'withheld' is insulting and the intention is absolutely incorrect.

Mike

Ben
07-22-2009, 01:40 PM
The other two were suggested to be Badham's by an 'expert'.

Hmmm, don't think so, Mike.

From my recollections it was only signature #1 that was suggested to have originated from Badham.

babybird67
07-22-2009, 01:42 PM
You use the word withheld, but that isn't correct. The other two were suggested to be Badham's by an 'expert'. In that case, only one is left. Saying someone 'withheld' is insulting and the intention is absolutely incorrect.

Mike

Not providing all the statement signatures means information was with-held Mike. Deliberately. They could easily have been emailed to Leander.

I'm surprised at you. Not at Fish. But at you.

The Good Michael
07-22-2009, 01:49 PM
Whatever you want to call it, the intention was not one of deception, and that's what you are implying. He also didn't give Leander signatures of Smythes, Churchills, and Titwillows because they wouldn't have been applicable. Two signatures that were ruled out by an 'expert' would also have not seemed applicable. I would have sent them on at a later date after all is said and done, but at the moment, there was no intent to deceive or to misdirect in my opinion.

Mike

Ben
07-22-2009, 01:54 PM
Two signatures that were ruled out by an 'expert' would also have not seemed applicable.

Mike, I've already explained to you that Iremonger did not rule out "two signatures". She believed that the person who signed sig #2 was also responsible for sig #3, thus dispensing of any valid reason for withholding signature #2 at the very least. It was still essential to include sig #1 to establish whether or nor Leander shared Iremonger's apparent view that all the signatures were not written by the same individual. I have no idea where you could possibly be going with Smyths and Titwillows but no such names were appended to the document or purported to be from the same source that authored sig #3.

Jane Welland
07-22-2009, 02:07 PM
There you are, Jenny, the website link - enjoy! :lol:

http://www.skl.polisen.se/

Just click on Kontakta oss to see the contact details.

Jane x

Jane Welland
07-22-2009, 02:37 PM
I believe you may be able to contact him directly, at:

leander@skl.police.se

Perhaps Fisherman can confirm this for us?

You know, I'm just assuming his email address will follow the same format as the other employees of the SKL - I'm having trouble actually tracking Leander down - Fish, can you supply a link?

Best regards

Jane x

babybird67
07-22-2009, 02:48 PM
Hi,
Will we ever get to the bottom of this?
JD, if you still read these threads you must be horrified at all this, and to suggest that your husbands grandfather was the most infamous killer in british history, must be so alarming to you all.


this thread is called The Leander Analysis, and it concerns whether the signatures made by a man called George Hutchinson on a witness statement in 1888 support the identification of George William Topping Hutchinson with the man who signed that statement, when compared with the latter's known signatures.

Nobody on this thread is discussing whether George Hutchinson the witness was the Whitechapel killer, nor, for that matter, whether Toppy was, especially since those of us on this side of the metaphorical fence are not convinced that they were the same man anyway.

Fisherman
07-22-2009, 02:54 PM
To begin with, Babybird, private posts are exactly that - private. You have no errand publishing them publically, and I will - of course - report you for doing so, and recommend that you are warned/expelled.

Now that the damage is done, I will tell you that I first of all wrote this to Leander, in translation:


Frank!

Just a few lines to tell you that some of the members of the website Casebook has dug up your e-mailaddress, and there is a great risk that you will receive a number of questions. I fully appreciate that this may cause you great disturbancies, and so I will plead with the posters and ask them to be as restrictive as possible.

Greetings

+++

I am not, as Babybird tries to lead on, "terrified" that you may contact Frank Leander - on the contrary, if it can eventually lead you to realize that he has not been in any way misrepresented, I would be very happy.
I am, though, extremely concerned that we do not cause him too much trouble, and therefore I will ask you to "synchronize" as much as possible before you contact him

The reason for not giving the address freely to Babybird was stated in my PRIVATE mail to her, and it still stands.

Leanders adress is not the one Jane Welland has given. It is instead Frank.Leander@skl.polisen.se and I sincerely hope that you have taken my concern about his working situation on board!

Fisherman