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The Margin For Error.

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Elamarna View Post

    Impossible to answer as you should be well aware. Two times by different people people can mean VERY different things
    Such estimates of little real value.


    However, If you watch the podcast on this site of the talk given at the 2022 East End Conference, you will see, the variations that were found by recording the discrepancies of modern day public clocks over 2021/22.

    Steve
    That's the theory, what about the practice?

    Diemschitz claimed to see a clock reading 1:00 when he turned into Berner St. Mortimer claimed she left her place and ran to the yard a few minutes after 1am.

    In theory, the 'times are just rough estimates' crowd would be happy to accept that these times could have actually been 12:50 (and a few minutes after), or 1:10 (and a few minutes after). In practice, things are a little different.
    Andrew's the man, who is not blamed for nothing

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    • #32
      Originally posted by NotBlamedForNothing View Post

      That's the theory, what about the practice?

      Diemschitz claimed to see a clock reading 1:00 when he turned into Berner St. Mortimer claimed she left her place and ran to the yard a few minutes after 1am.

      In theory, the 'times are just rough estimates' crowd would be happy to accept that these times could have actually been 12:50 (and a few minutes after), or 1:10 (and a few minutes after). In practice, things are a little different.
      There isn’t a ‘times are just rough estimates’ crowd. All that we are saying is that it makes no evidential sense to assume that clocks and watches were all accurate and perfectly synchronised. The real question is therefore, are you one of the ‘all Victorian clocks and watches were perfectly accurate and precisely synchronised and that all witness estimates of periods of time were spot-on accurate’ crowd?

      Could you state with confidence that the clock that Diemschitz saw must have been accurate? Could you state with confidence that if we could have stood Dr. Blackwell in front of the same clock his watch would have synchronised perfectly with it?

      And would you be happy to dismiss a possible scenario or a potential explanation on the basis of a few minutes or would you consider it more prudent to keep possible options open?

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      • #33
        Originally posted by NotBlamedForNothing View Post

        That's the theory, what about the practice?

        Diemschitz claimed to see a clock reading 1:00 when he turned into Berner St. Mortimer claimed she left her place and ran to the yard a few minutes after 1am.

        In theory, the 'times are just rough estimates' crowd would be happy to accept that these times could have actually been 12:50 (and a few minutes after), or 1:10 (and a few minutes after). In practice, things are a little different.
        As I said previously, I used practice examples; NOT theory, when looking at the discrepancies with public clocks.
        The research was carried out in 2021 and 2022. The results of that research are presented in a podcast on this website, that research includes photos showing the discrepancies.

        Even with today's ability to synchronize time, public clocks vary greatly.
        The biggest issue was that a multi-faced clock, can and often does show different times depending on which face of the clock one views.
        So this is not simply based on theory, but on real practical research & experience.

        Steve
        Last edited by Elamarna; 11-29-2023, 09:57 AM.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
          The three questions would then be, a) how accurate was the club clock? Then b) had Lawende set his watch by that clock? And c) how quickly did they leave after they’d sat until 1.30 (did they leave at exactly 1.30 by the clock or could it have been 2 or 3 minutes later after putting coats on, saying good nights etc)?
          Hi Herlock,

          There are other things to consider as well, of course. Lawende and co, when they're leaving the club, are not recording the time with any real need for precision. If they looked at the clock at it actually reads 1:28, let's say, then it that's going to be viewed as "Oh, it's 1:30". His watch might read a slightly different time, but for a group of fellows getting ready to go home, both his watch and the club clock read close enough to 1:30 as to make no difference to them.

          Moreover, we also have to remember that the information Lawende and co give us isn't the time on the clock as they are viewing the clock, but as they recall the time to be once they are giving statements. All it would take, for example, even if the clock's read 1:25, etc, is for one of them to have made the observation "Hey guys, it's about 1:30, time to call it a day" (the way people do). When the police ask them what time it was when they left the club, they have to recall the time information, and as we know, details get fuzzy for such things and rounding times to "conceptually important ones" (like the half hour), would not be an unusual "error" for one to make under such circumstances.

          We know they waited out what seems like a heavy downpour of rain, though (well, heavy enough they waited it out), and if we could find an independent source for when that rain event ended, we could evaluate their stated times, and perhaps make adjustments accordingly.

          However, without that, we are stuck with the times they give, and we are stuck with (or at least should be) concerns as to just how reliable that stated time is. Generally a few minutes here or there is of no big concern, but the events of Mitre Square are pretty tight, and a few minutes one way (as in my examples above), would mean there's a bit more time for the murder, while a few minutes the other way (i.e. it was 1:33 not 1:30), probably rules out the Church Passage Couple as Eddowes and JtR (as 1:33, plus another 3-5 minutes waiting for the rain to stop, means they didn't move on until as late as 1:39, giving only a couple minutes for the CPC to get to the crime location, and then less than 2 minutes I think it would be until PC Harvey arrives!)

          As stated, 1:30, there remains enough time for the CPC to be Eddowes and JtR even if the murder and mutilations require 5 minutes, but it is quite tight. An extra minute or two (i.e. the club clock/his watch, actually reads 1:28 or 1:29 not exactly 1:30), extends the time at the crime scene, making the CPC being Eddowes and JtR more plausible.

          Anyway, I'm not arguing that therefore Lawende et co must have in their recollections "rounded up" to 1:30, or must have "rounded down" to 1:30, they could have done either, or it might even be the time they give was actually the time their clocks said it was. We don't know, but that, as always, is what the problem is. We don't know for sure, so we have to consider a range of options.

          - Jeff

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          • #35
            Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

            Hi Herlock,

            There are other things to consider as well, of course. Lawende and co, when they're leaving the club, are not recording the time with any real need for precision. If they looked at the clock at it actually reads 1:28, let's say, then it that's going to be viewed as "Oh, it's 1:30". His watch might read a slightly different time, but for a group of fellows getting ready to go home, both his watch and the club clock read close enough to 1:30 as to make no difference to them.

            Moreover, we also have to remember that the information Lawende and co give us isn't the time on the clock as they are viewing the clock, but as they recall the time to be once they are giving statements. All it would take, for example, even if the clock's read 1:25, etc, is for one of them to have made the observation "Hey guys, it's about 1:30, time to call it a day" (the way people do). When the police ask them what time it was when they left the club, they have to recall the time information, and as we know, details get fuzzy for such things and rounding times to "conceptually important ones" (like the half hour), would not be an unusual "error" for one to make under such circumstances.

            We know they waited out what seems like a heavy downpour of rain, though (well, heavy enough they waited it out), and if we could find an independent source for when that rain event ended, we could evaluate their stated times, and perhaps make adjustments accordingly.

            However, without that, we are stuck with the times they give, and we are stuck with (or at least should be) concerns as to just how reliable that stated time is. Generally a few minutes here or there is of no big concern, but the events of Mitre Square are pretty tight, and a few minutes one way (as in my examples above), would mean there's a bit more time for the murder, while a few minutes the other way (i.e. it was 1:33 not 1:30), probably rules out the Church Passage Couple as Eddowes and JtR (as 1:33, plus another 3-5 minutes waiting for the rain to stop, means they didn't move on until as late as 1:39, giving only a couple minutes for the CPC to get to the crime location, and then less than 2 minutes I think it would be until PC Harvey arrives!)

            As stated, 1:30, there remains enough time for the CPC to be Eddowes and JtR even if the murder and mutilations require 5 minutes, but it is quite tight. An extra minute or two (i.e. the club clock/his watch, actually reads 1:28 or 1:29 not exactly 1:30), extends the time at the crime scene, making the CPC being Eddowes and JtR more plausible.

            Anyway, I'm not arguing that therefore Lawende et co must have in their recollections "rounded up" to 1:30, or must have "rounded down" to 1:30, they could have done either, or it might even be the time they give was actually the time their clocks said it was. We don't know, but that, as always, is what the problem is. We don't know for sure, so we have to consider a range of options.

            - Jeff
            Hi Jeff,

            Good points. As you’ve said, it’s just a case of us keeping in mind what we can’t know things for certain. Another point that I’ve made in the past about Lawende’s testimony (and I’m certainly not making a big issue of it) is that they were leaving a club at around 1.30 in the morning, so surely the question of alcohol intake has to be at least taken into consideration. Now Lawende might have been perfectly sober or he might only have had a couple of drinks but he might also have had quite a few. I’m sure that we’ve all had memory issues when trying to remember details from the pub a night or two ago?

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

              ....
              I’m sure that we’ve all had memory issues when trying to remember details from the pub a night or two ago?
              Good Lord, I've had memory issues of what I did five minutes ago. I don't even recall being at the pub a night or two ago. Did I have fun? I hope so. I so do enjoy having fun.

              - Jeff

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              • #37
                Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
                Good Lord, I've had memory issues of what I did five minutes ago. I don't even recall being at the pub a night or two ago. Did I have fun? I hope so. I so do enjoy having fun.

                - Jeff
                I’ve been out in my younger days with guys that weren’t averse to planting things like lipsticks in a jacket pocket. Not good when your partner decides to do some washing.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
                  Good Lord, I've had memory issues of what I did five minutes ago. I don't even recall being at the pub a night or two ago. Did I have fun? I hope so. I so do enjoy having fun.

                  - Jeff
                  It's like an old W.C. Fields' joke.

                  Fields goes into a saloon and asks the bartender: "Was I in here last night, and did I spend $20?"

                  Bartender: Yes.

                  W.C. Fields: Thank God! I thought I'd lost it!
                  Last edited by rjpalmer; 11-30-2023, 02:14 PM.

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