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  • "The hoaxer can't risk those scratches being examined at a later date and found to be recent, because that would prove his own work even more recent"

    Can someone explain what the above means and how such a thing would be possible bearing in mind the experts can't even date the "Maybrick' scratches with any degree of certainty?

    Comment


    • Well hallelujah we have actually been given a source of some information... and it turns out to be a private interview or conversation in a bar some years ago of which there appears to be no contemporaneous note. It's hard to emphasize how obvious it is that this should have been stated when the information was posted for, without knowing that it was personal and private information, how was anyone supposed to be able to check that it was accurate?

      As someone who has direct personal experience of this person's memory failures, I will have to be forgiven for not necessarily accepting the accuracy of the information provided which appears to be on the basis of a memory of a conversation some years earlier and for which no direct quote or context has been provided.

      But what is extraordinary is that I made the point that Albert could have mentioned the purchase of the watch to one of his relatives who told Robbie and in response it is said that his wife remained silent when Albert was asked if HE had told Robbie. This doesn't get anywhere near answering the point I made. Further, if Albert did tell Robbie in a private conversation, his wife would have had no knowledge of it. And if he did mention it to Robbie and she knew about it what are the realistic chances that she is going to contradict her husband and show him to be a liar (even a white liar) in front of a non-family member? So the response has been a complete waste of time.

      The good news, however, is that we now know that the best researcher in the business has interviewed Albert on the subject so perhaps we will be told what he said when he was asked the obvious follow up questions, namely: "Who did you tell about the watch?" and "Is there any way you think Robbie could have found out about it?".

      Comment


      • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
        Your views about the literacy skills required to write the diary seem to change every day John. Back in February you challenged whether Mike could have written the diary based on his "literacy skills" but then, when Gareth pointed out that there were plenty of mistakes in the diary, said "Okay, I concede the matter of Mike's literacy skills are somewhat irrelevant, or at least are bound to be inconclusive as regards whether he was the author of the diary".

        Yesterday, however, you told me that the articles Mike authored were trivial in character "and it is therefore submitted that they do not attest to Mike's literacy skills, or lack thereof."

        Now I really don't know whether you think the author of the diary had literacy skills or not. One day he/she does, the next day he/she doesn't, depending on what you are trying to argue.

        You seem to now be saying that Anne Barrett's English was too good for her to have transcribed the Diary! I don't know where you get that impression from or why you think her English was particularly good.

        If it is because she "tidied up" Mike's articles then, as I have stated repeatedly, we don't know what is meant by her doing this or whether she even did a particularly good job. Any errors would have been tidied up by a sub-editor at the magazine.
        I'm sorry, David, but I feel that you've seriously misrepresented my position here- unintentionally, no doubt-so I must therefore conclude that this post is well below your usual high standards

        Although I do sometimes change my mind on issues-it's called being objective-on the matter of the Diary's literary merit, I think I've been very consistent.

        Thus, I have frequently referred to Professor David Canter's view that the Diary, from a literary perspective, was extremely well-written: see, for example, his introduction to Shirley's book, where he makes the comment, "This is inventive psychological writing of the highest order." (Harrison, 1997). It is an opinion I share, which I believe I've made abundantly clear on more than one occasion (something you fail to mention.)

        Nonetheless, I concede that not everyone shares my opinion, hence my response to Gareth. And, of course, we cannot assess Mike's literacy skills, or lack thereof of, with any degree of certainty; it's all a matter of opinion.

        Where have I suggested that Anne's English was too good to have transcribed the Diary?

        Regarding Mike, if you consider his original affidavit you will see that it is strewn with errors-punctuation mistakes, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors-suggesting that he was only semi-literate. That is one reason why I have concluded that it is unlikely that he wrote the Diary- although in the original affidavit he claims it was actually written by Anne, whilst he dictated-or that he was even responsible for most of the content. It's, also worth mentioning the reason he gives for the Diary being written by Anne: He argues, somewhat bizarrely, that his own handwriting was too distinctive; I think a more likely explanation would be his lack of literacy skills, and neatness of handwriting.

        Another reason I have formed this opinion is because virtually no-one who interviewed Mike, after the Diary was published, believe him capable of being responsible for the content. This is another point that I have raised on numerous occasions.

        It has been argued that, at the time of the aforementioned interviews, he may have been suffering from a cognitive impairment, caused by a stroke. However, I have referred to research which concluded that only a minority of stroke sufferers are affected by medium to short term cognitive impairments. Moreover, Mike would, I believe, have only have been in his late forties when he suffered his stroke-a particularly young age to be struck by a condition that is normally associated with much older people- and in that regard, I would draw your attention to the fact that, with this condition, chronic alcoholism is a major risk factor: this is clearly relevant, considering Mike's later problems with alcohol abuse are well-known, and therefore if the onset of these problems predated the completion of the Diary it is reasonable to conclude that the argument in favour of Mike's authorship is further undermined.

        Then there's the fact that, in his original affidavit, Mike makes it clear that the Diary was the product of a conspiracy-involving himself, Anne and TD-although he assigns himself the most important role. However, as I've also pointed out before-on numerous occasions-Mike had a history of making wildly extravagant claims about his achievements; it's therefore reasonable to consider whether his role, in any conspiracy, may have been much more peripheral.

        Finally, as I also keep noting, Mike was known to be an erratic blabbermouth, a person who seemed willing to discuss the Diary with all and sundry for the price of pint, so therefore, as I also keep pointing out, is this the type of person who would be likely to play any major role in a forgery conspiracy?
        Last edited by John G; 03-22-2018, 05:14 AM.

        Comment


        • Good post, John. However, in my view the diary is "strewn with errors-punctuation mistakes, spelling mistakes [and] grammatical errors". If you refer to my annotated version of the diary on Howard's site, you'll see why I arrived at this opinion.
          Kind regards, Sam Flynn

          "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
            Good post, John. However, in my view the diary is "strewn with errors-punctuation mistakes, spelling mistakes [and] grammatical errors". If you refer to my annotated version of the diary on Howard's site, you'll see why I arrived at this opinion.
            Thanks Gareth. I'll have to take a look at your version on Howard's site-do you have a link?

            However, I would add that my positive impression of the literary merits of Diary largely derives from it's content, i.e. the aesthetic value, rather than more technical matters, such as the correct use of grammar. In contrast, it seems to me that Mike's affidavit not only contains technical errors, but is also poorly constructed.

            Nonetheless, such opinions are bound to be subjective, and you have clearly arrived at a quite different conclusion which, of course, is absolutely fine. That is why I say that, on this issue, there can be no definitive answer.

            Comment


            • Thanks John. Link to the annotated diary below

              http://www.jtrforums.com/~jtrforum/s...ead.php?t=8456
              Kind regards, Sam Flynn

              "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                Thanks John. Link to the annotated diary below

                http://www.jtrforums.com/~jtrforum/s...ead.php?t=8456
                Thanks for the link Gareth. Much appreciated.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by John G View Post
                  I'm sorry, David, but I feel that you've seriously misrepresented my position here- unintentionally, no doubt-so I must therefore conclude that this post is well below your usual high standards.
                  If I have seriously misrepresented your position, I'm surprised you you haven't explained how I've done so in your entire long post.

                  Originally posted by John G View Post
                  I do sometimes change my mind on issues-it's called being objective-on the matter of the Diary's literary merit, I think I've been very consistent.
                  Well, as I pointed out in my post, you are on record as suggesting that the author of the diary required "literacy skills" but then conceded that "literacy skills" were irrelevant before continuing to mention "literacy skills".

                  Originally posted by John G View Post
                  Thus, I have frequently referred to Professor David Canter's view that the Diary, from a literary perspective, was extremely well-written: see, for example, his introduction to Shirley's book, where he makes the comment, "This is inventive psychological writing of the highest order." (Harrison, 1997). It is an opinion I share, which I believe I've made abundantly clear on more than one occasion (something you fail to mention.)
                  But David Canter was not qualified to comment on the diary from a literary perspective. How could he? He could only have been commenting from a psychological perspective. Being inventive and being literate are two completely different things aren't they?

                  Originally posted by John G View Post
                  Where have I suggested that Anne's English was too good to have transcribed the Diary?
                  What was the purpose of the comment "according to him it was his wife who actually forged the Diary, although he apparently dictated the information to her. Have you also noticed how many basic spelling and grammatical errors there are in the affidavit?"?

                  Originally posted by John G View Post
                  Regarding Mike, if you consider his original affidavit you will see that it is strewn with errors-punctuation mistakes, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors-suggesting that he was only semi-literate. That is one reason why I have concluded that it is unlikely that he wrote the Diary- although in the original affidavit he claims it was actually written by Anne, whilst he dictated-or that he was even responsible for most of the content. It's, also worth mentioning the reason he gives for the Diary being written by Anne: He argues, somewhat bizarrely, that his own handwriting was too distinctive; I think a more likely explanation would be his lack of literacy skills, and neatness of handwriting.
                  But you keep confusing the writing with the transcribing. If Mike dictated the diary then his spelling ability is irrelevant isn't it, unless he spelt out every word? So why have you referred to "spelling mistakes" in his affidavit as ruling him out of writing the diary? Same comment in respect of punctuation and grammatical errors if Anne was transcribing and picking up most of them.

                  Originally posted by John G View Post
                  It has been argued that, at the time of the aforementioned interviews, he may have been suffering from a cognitive impairment, caused by a stroke. However, I have referred to research which concluded that only a minority of stroke sufferers are affected by medium to short term cognitive impairments. Moreover, Mike would, I believe, have only have been in his late forties when he suffered his stroke-a particularly young age to be struck by a condition that is normally associated with much older people- and in that regard, I would draw your attention to the fact that, with this condition, chronic alcoholism is a major risk factor: this is clearly relevant, considering Mike's later problems with alcohol abuse are well-known, and therefore if the onset of these problems predated the completion of the Diary it is reasonable to conclude that the argument in favour of Mike's authorship is further undermined
                  I don't know why you are responding, in a post addressed to me, to an argument about strokes which is not one I have made.

                  Originally posted by John G View Post
                  Another reason I have formed this opinion is because virtually no-one who interviewed Mike, after the Diary was published, believe him capable of being responsible for the content. This is another point that I have raised on numerous occasions.
                  Yes you do keep saying this so please provide a list of all these people who have interviewed Mike who have said that they don't believe he was capable of being responsible for the content of the diary.

                  Originally posted by John G View Post
                  Then there's the fact that, in his original affidavit, Mike makes it clear that the Diary was the product of a conspiracy-involving himself, Anne and TD-although he assigns himself the most important role. However, as I've also pointed out before-on numerous occasions-Mike had a history of making wildly extravagant claims about his achievements; it's therefore reasonable to consider whether his role, in any conspiracy, may have been much more peripheral.
                  At the same time, he was the person who produced the diary and was paid the money for it so that indicates he might have had some kind of lead role doesn't it?

                  Originally posted by John G View Post
                  Finally, as I also keep noting, Mike was known to be an erratic blabbermouth, a person who seemed willing to discuss the Diary with all and sundry for the price of pint, so therefore, as I also keep pointing out, is this the type of person who would be likely to play any major role in a forgery conspiracy?
                  This makes no sense. If the diary was his idea, and he drove the project, then he would naturally have played a "lead role" in the forgery conspiracy regardless of whether he was known as "an erratic blabbermouth", something for which, incidentally, you have provided no evidence in respect of the period prior to 13th April 1992.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                    If I have seriously misrepresented your position, I'm surprised you you haven't explained how I've done so in your entire long post.



                    Well, as I pointed out in my post, you are on record as suggesting that the author of the diary required "literacy skills" but then conceded that "literacy skills" were irrelevant before continuing to mention "literacy skills".



                    But David Canter was not qualified to comment on the diary from a literary perspective. How could he? He could only have been commenting from a psychological perspective. Being inventive and being literate are two completely different things aren't they?



                    What was the purpose of the comment "according to him it was his wife who actually forged the Diary, although he apparently dictated the information to her. Have you also noticed how many basic spelling and grammatical errors there are in the affidavit?"?



                    But you keep confusing the writing with the transcribing. If Mike dictated the diary then his spelling ability is irrelevant isn't it, unless he spelt out every word? So why have you referred to "spelling mistakes" in his affidavit as ruling him out of writing the diary? Same comment in respect of punctuation and grammatical errors if Anne was transcribing and picking up most of them.



                    I don't know why you are responding, in a post addressed to me, to an argument about strokes which is not one I have made.



                    Yes you do keep saying this so please provide a list of all these people who have interviewed Mike who have said that they don't believe he was capable of being responsible for the content of the diary.



                    At the same time, he was the person who produced the diary and was paid the money for it so that indicates he might have had some kind of lead role doesn't it?



                    This makes no sense. If the diary was his idea, and he drove the project, then he would naturally have played a "lead role" in the forgery conspiracy regardless of whether he was known as "an erratic blabbermouth", something for which, incidentally, you have provided no evidence in respect of the period prior to 13th April 1992.
                    It will take me a little while to respond to this. However, I have a few immediate observations. Firstly, you seem to be under the bizarre misapprehension that I believe Mike dictated both the Diary and affidavit to Anne. I do not. However, I do believe that the latter was all his own work. People who have spoken to Mike, who don't believe he wrote the Diary? Caz, Pink Moon, maybe Keith S...

                    Are you seriously arguing that literacy skills just encompasses technical issues, such as grammar and punctuation? If so, I also find that a bizarre argument. In any event, you're wrong.

                    You say, "being inventive and literate are two separate things." Yes, they are. However, even a semi-literate person can have literacy skills. For instance, my favourite poet, Shelley, was known to be a poor speller, but it would be absurd to suggest that he had poor literacy skills. And Shakespeare used to make words up!

                    Professor David Canter's opinion is highly relevant, especially as it relates to the overall literacy value of the Dairy, rather than merely the quality of its technical aspects: grammar, punctuation, spelling.

                    What evidence have you that the Diary was Mike's "idea,and he drove the project"? Oh, I know, Exaggerator Mike's original affidavit!


                    I think our respective definition of "lead role" might differ. For the record, If Mike's involvement amounted to, say, placing an advertisement for a diary and making a phone call to Doreen, I do not consider this to represent a "lead role". Perhaps you would disagree?

                    Okay, so until the 13th April 1992 Mike was the soul of discretion. However, after this date he suddenly, and inexplicably, transformed into a complete blabbermouth. Yes, that makes perfect sense!

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by John G View Post
                      It will take me a little while to respond to this. However, I have a few immediate observations. Firstly, you seem to be under the bizarre misapprehension that I believe Mike dictated both the Diary and affidavit to Anne. I do not.
                      Why would you think that? You must surely have misread and misunderstood my post. Have another look at it.

                      Originally posted by John G View Post
                      However, I do believe that the latter was all his own work. People who have spoken to Mike, who don't believe he wrote the Diary? Caz, Pink Moon, maybe Keith S...
                      So the list amounts to two people - as you are uncertain about Keith Skinner's view!

                      Pinkmoon supposedly met Barrett for the first time in about 1999 of which he said "I first met Mr Barrett a few years after the diary was launched he was in a terrible state due to alcohol abuse he was drinking heavily at the time". Not the best condition to form a judgement about a person. When someone asked if Mike had ever had anything published, pinkmoon (appearing to provide inside information) replied "Mr Barrett used to send articles to magazines in the 1970s apparently his wife "tidied them up for him" before they were sent." Then when asked for clarification as to whether those articles were published, he replied: "I think he had a tiny article published in a magazine called "look in " in the 1970s." This is, of course, all wrong. I have said before in this thread that pinkmoon is not a reliable source of information about Mike Barrett.

                      Caz is certainly of the view that Mike wasn't capable but came unstuck when I asked her if Mike and Anne could jointly have been capable of forging the diary. She was unable to provide a sensible response.

                      Originally posted by John G View Post
                      Are you seriously arguing that literacy skills just encompasses technical issues, such as grammar and punctuation? If so, I also find that a bizarre argument. In any event, you're wrong.
                      Where do you think you read me saying that? My reference to spelling mistaks, grammar and punctuation was in response to your claim that "if you consider his original affidavit you will see that it is strewn with errors-punctuation mistakes, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors-suggesting that he was only semi-literate. That is one reason why I have concluded that it is unlikely that he wrote the Diary"

                      You see, it was you who said that poor punctuation, spelling and grammar suggests that someone is "semi-literate", i.e. lacks literacy skills.

                      Originally posted by John G View Post
                      You say, "being inventive and literate are two separate things." Yes, they are.
                      Thank you.

                      Originally posted by John G View Post
                      However, even a semi-literate person can have literacy skills.
                      I haven't said otherwise. But someone who is semi-literate lacks literary skills, no?

                      Originally posted by John G View Post
                      For instance, my favourite poet, Shelley, was known to be a poor speller, but it would be absurd to suggest that he had poor literacy skills.
                      Why would it be absurd to suggest this? The meaning of literacy is the ability to read and write. Someone who can't read or write could dictate the most wonderful poetry or the most amazing novel. They might have literary skills but not literacy skills.

                      Originally posted by John G View Post
                      And Shakespeare used to make words up!
                      Yes, but that's just flibodiously abcradical.

                      Originally posted by John G View Post
                      Professor David Canter's opinion is highly relevant, especially as it relates to the overall literacy value of the Dairy, rather than merely the quality of its technical aspects: grammar, punctuation, spelling.
                      Why do you think for one moment that Professor David Canter was commenting on the literacy value of the Diary? That was a subject that didn't concern him in the slightest nor was he even qualified to comment on it.

                      Originally posted by John G View Post
                      What evidence have you that the Diary was Mike's "idea,and he drove the project"? Oh, I know, Exaggerator Mike's original affidavit!
                      No, look at what I wrote. I was suggesting it as a possibility because you seemed to be ruling it out. I'm not saying it was his idea or that he did drive the project, only that you can't possibly know whether he did or didn't.

                      Originally posted by John G View Post
                      I think our respective definition of "lead role" might differ. For the record, If Mike's involvement amounted to, say, placing an advertisement for a diary and making a phone call to Doreen, I do not consider this to represent a "lead role". Perhaps you would disagree?
                      I don't really know the value of this discussion. You were suggesting his role was "more peripheral" than suggested in his affidavit. My only point is that you keep saying things about Mike Barrett based on no solid grounds.

                      Originally posted by John G View Post
                      Okay, so until the 13th April 1992 Mike was the soul of discretion. However, after this date he suddenly, and inexplicably, transformed into a complete blabbermouth. Yes, that makes perfect sense!
                      It's got nothing to do with it. You said, as a fact, that Mike was "known as an erratic blabbermouth". But that's something about him that is really only a product of years of books, essays and posts about the Maybrick diary since 1993. Did he have such a reputation prior to April 1992 such that none of his friends would possibly have trusted him with taking a lead role in the forging of the diary? I don't know. Do you?

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by John G View Post
                        Hi Steve,

                        Yes, obviously any forgery would be irrelevant to the Whitechapel murders. I'd still like to know who wrote it though!


                        That's a different question and the answer would be of interest. However i doubt we will ever know. Egos, reputation and legal issues preventing that.
                        That's if it not genuine, and I see nothing to argue it is.

                        STEVE

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Elamarna View Post
                          This just goes on and on and on.

                          There is really only one question.

                          Caz do you beleive that Maybrick wrote the diary?
                          Hi Steve,

                          Apologies for the belated response.

                          No, I don't believe Maybrick wrote the diary.

                          Nor do I believe Mike wrote it.

                          To me it reads like a spoof - the kind of hoax written to poke fun at the Maybricks in general and "Sir Jim" in particular.

                          If the answer is yes then carry on. If however the answer is no ( and I have read all these tideious posts, so have a good idea about the answer) then all this is an irrelevance.
                          If James Maybrick did not write the document it is by definition A FAKE.
                          It would be irrelevant to those who are only seeking a solution to the Whitechapel Murders. Just as it would be irrelevant to those who are only interested in, say, the murder of Julia Wallace, or any of the other topics featured and debated on this website.

                          It does not matter at all if it is modern or old, it's will still have no factual bearing the Whitechapel killer.
                          Well in that context it wouldn't matter, but why does it have to be in that context? Can't it be an interesting mystery for some of us in its own right? I'd love to know who wrote it, when and why. I'd also love to know who put the markings in the watch, when and why. It wasn't me who granted Maybrick suspect status here, and I can only find one thread which I began myself, which was to announce the death of Mike Barrett, who will always be closely associated with the diary.

                          I am aware of about 3 regular posters who still beleive it is genuine, several others are still sitting on the fence. That should be the only debate.
                          Because you say so, Steve? A debate involves more than one person, and I wouldn't be here at all if there was nobody else still debating the origins of the diary and watch. I do have other interests in life, believe it or not. But when I see people posting opinion as fact, or when I think their reasoning ignores certain evidence or their speculation relies on a total lack of evidence, I will reserve the right to post my own twopenn'orth on the matter.

                          The effort put in by those claiming it is old is truly remarkable and I reluctantly am forced to wonder if this is not a smoke screen, to disguise the fact that they really do beleive it is genuine but just won't say so.
                          Beneath you, Steve.

                          If I offend any friends by those comments, so be it.
                          But this continual back and forth has not moved a single pixel on the screen in either direction and is unlikely ever to.

                          I will now return to completing Bucks Row.
                          And I wish you joy of it. You've been doing a terrific job judging by what I've seen so far. And I wouldn't dream of turning up there and suggesting it's a waste of time if it won't help you solve the murder of Polly Nichols or any of the others.

                          Love,

                          Caz
                          X
                          "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Elamarna View Post
                            That's a different question and the answer would be of interest. However i doubt we will ever know. Egos, reputation and legal issues preventing that.
                            That's if it not genuine, and I see nothing to argue it is.

                            STEVE
                            Could you explain what you mean by egos, reputation and legal issues preventing you and I from knowing the identity of the diary's author?

                            The diary handwriting has been out there for anyone to examine from October 1993, and as far as I know nobody has ever been prevented from doing their own detective work to try and match it with handwriting from their own preferred suspect. I wonder how you think that could have been achieved in any case?

                            Love,

                            Caz
                            X
                            "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                              Did the "Rendell team" conclude that pen went on paper 'prior to 1970'? I don't think so.

                              The 11 page "Report on the Diary of Jack The Ripper" produced by K.W. Rendell in September 1993 referred to the the conclusion of Rod McNeil and his ion migration test that the diary was written in 1921 (plus or minus 12 years).

                              However, it was Rod McNeil individually, not the "Rendell team" who then stated in October 1993 that his opinion was that the diary was "created prior to 1970" while adding that "as with any scientific test there is always the possibility of error associated either with the operator or the techniques himself".

                              Possibly this backtracking by McNeil damaged the credibility of his ion migration test with the "Rendell team" for Rendell published a book in 1994 entitled "Forging History" in which he said that the diary was "written very recently, probably within a year before its announced "discovery"".

                              Therefore, I don't think it's proper for anyone to say in a post that the Rendell team concluded, rightly or wrongly, that pen went on paper 'prior to 1970'.
                              The above was posted by me on 23 Jan (#604). It was in response to a claim by the world's leading Diary expert that the Rendell team had concluded that the Diary was written "prior to 1970".

                              The response to my post by the world's leading Diary expert on 25 Jan was "Fair enough, David" (#644) indicating a full acceptance of what I had said, namely that it was Rod McNeil, not the Rendell team, which said the Diary was written "prior to 1970".

                              Today, however, I see in another thread that the same person has posted this:

                              "The Rendell team in the US was hired by diary sceptics, but I don't see anyone suggesting this affected their results or objectivity. In fact, they stuck their neck out with a date for the diary's creation, based on science, finally settling on 'prior to 1970', which Rendell himself went on to undermine by appearing to accept Mike Barrett's claim to have forged it himself!"

                              It's unbelievable. It was only 3 months ago that this person was accepting that the Rendell team did not settle on a "prior to 1970" date. And so the cycle of misinformation goes on. It's like some computer software that can't be deprogrammed and continues to repeat the same thing, churning out the same old nonsense, regardless of how many times it is corrected.

                              Comment


                              • Here is what was posted in another thread today by the world's leading expert on the watch:

                                "Oh I'm sure that's why the Johnsons returned to the jewellers with the watch - to show them the scratch marks, explain what they had revealed under the microscope and ask what they knew about the watch, if anything. That's how the Murphys were able to say they had tried to clean up the scratches because they didn't realise what they were."

                                This person has complained today about people posting opinion as fact and speculating without evidence (both things she is very familiar with) so let's see how much evidentially supported fact there is in the above two sentences.

                                Did the Johnsons return to the jewellers with the watch to show them the scratch marks? Where is the evidence for it? If they did, why did Ron Murphy say in his statement of 20 October 1993:

                                "Having now seen the watch for the first time since selling it...".

                                Doesn't that indicate that the Johnsons did NOT return to the jewellers with the watch? If they did, why did Murphy say in October 1993 that he was seeing the watch for the first time since he sold it in July 1992 (and thus for the first time since the scratches were noticed in May 1993)?

                                What about the second sentence? Did "the Murphys" say they had tried to clean up the scratches? Not in 1993 it seems. At least there is no record of them doing so.

                                In fact, when R.K. Wild of Bristol University came to test the watch in January 1994, there was no mention made of any polishing carried out in the previous two years, but it was stated in his report of 31 Jan 1994:

                                “I understand that the watch surface was polished some six to ten years ago in an attempt to remove some of the scratches on the inside surface of the watch casing.”

                                This information could only have come from Albert Johnson who was instructing Wild to carry out the tests. It means that Johnson told Wild that the scratches had been noticed and an attempt made to polish them out at some point between 1984 and 1988. Where did Johnson get this information from?

                                Well it could have been from Mr Stewart, Ron Murphy's father-in-law, because the Murphys said that the watch was in Stewart's possession during the 1980s. According to Inside Story (p.43) Albert Johnson did speak directly to Mr Stewart who was then battling with onset of Alzheimer's Disease but he could only recall that he had bought the watch between 1978 and 1983. There is no mention there of him remembering that he saw the scratches and tried to polish them out which, being so important, is surely something Albert would have mentioned to the authors of Inside Story and the authors of Inside Story would have included in their book.

                                The alternative is that Johnson was told by the Murphys that their father-in-law had seen the scratches but not only is this something also not apparently mentioned to the authors of Inside Story by Johnson, and not mentioned by the Murphys to Shirley Harrison and Keith Skinner when they spoke to them in February 1997, but it would throw into sharp relief that they clearly did not mention to Johnson prior to 31 January 1994 that they had attempted to polish out the scratches in 1992 otherwise Johnson would surely have mentioned it to R.K. Wild and Wild would have included this information in his report.

                                It was not until February 1997, four years after they had first been questioned about the watch, that Ron Murphy informed Harrison and Skinner that, when he was cleaning the watch after receiving it back from Dundas (in early 1992), he saw scratches which he then attempted to polish out. He then said "I tried to buff them out with jeweller's rouge". Note that he refers to himself here in the singular - so it wasn't "the Murphys" doing the polishing - although he also said "we tried to clean them" which makes it unclear as to whether he did the cleaning by himself or with his wife (or another person). But he certainly wasn't talking about cleaning which he had done in the 1980s. In fact, no mention was made about any cleaning having been done by Mr Stewart in the 1980s.

                                It's not even clear how Murphy managed to see the "barely visible" scratches and feel that they needed to be polished out. But is it supposed to be the case that his father-in-law had independently spotted the scratches too and had tried to polish them out in the 1980s?

                                Another oddity is that, according to Feldman, at the meeting in February 1997, "Mr Murphy also implied that it was the first time he had seen the watch since he sold it to Albert." Why did he imply such a thing bearing in mind that he said in his October 1993 statement that he was seeing the watch for the first time since he had sold it?

                                If we add to all this the fact that we are being told by the world's leading expert on the watch that Mr Murphy, his wife AND his father suffering from Alzheimer's Disease were all lying through their teeth about when they acquired the watch in the first place, and from whom they acquired it, then one has to seriously question whether they really did see scratches on the watch before selling it to Johnson.

                                If one asks the question: cui bono? Who stood to benefit from a false claim that there were scratches on the watch prior to July 1992? The answer is very simple: Albert and Robbie Johnson.

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