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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by Henry Flower View Post
    I know that diary apologists of whatever stripe have resorted to this argument quite often, and I'm puzzled by it. As if there is some curious mechanism whereby a phrase or a word has to be bedded-in, used regularly, accepted into spoken or personal use for years, decades even, before it ever appears in print; as though at some point those 'recorded' writers get together and decide that, yes, the phrase has survived 50 years in the vernacular, we can now start to use it in our recorded writings.
    That's not quite what I had in mind, Henry. But certainly a word or phrase had to be thought up first, and most probably spoken, before it ever appeared in writing. And surely far more has been written down and at some point thrown away, lost or destroyed than what was faithfully recorded for posterity and has survived to this day. With today's social media things are completely different, with new words or phrases instantly seeing themselves in print forever, the second some wag coins them.

    It may present no problem at all to someone like Ike, he may be happy to accept that the disputed diary used a phrase in a way that would not be recorded again for another half century, and was likely the first person ever to do so. Others are happy to accept another reading: that this is confirmation of inauthenticity. Which seems likelier?
    You asking me, Henry? I find it infinitely more likely that it was someone other than James Maybrick using those three words in the 63 page ripper confession. I start to have a real problem when people tell me it is a post-1987 production with Barrett involvement.

    Love,

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


    Comment


    • Originally posted by Henry Flower View Post
      Caz? Can you help with the watch? What's the state of play?
      Where do I begin?

      Those who accept the late, high and mighty Mel Harris's word on the subject are not going to accept anything I say, are they?

      Love,

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


      Comment


      • Originally posted by Mike J. G. View Post
        From what I gather, the watch isn't all that impressive, which is why we likely haven't heard much about it since then.

        The very idea of a special Jack the Ripper watch, complete with initials for victims, is rather silly. It's also interesting that it doesn't include any other initials of suspected victims, but rather the accepted ones.

        Seems likely to be an added piece to go along with the diary. Maybe a watch bought at auction and made to look the part.
        Hi Mike,

        Why would a modern hoaxer, jumping on the diary bandwagon, have bought a watch with the large, ornate initials "J O" on the case? Pocket watches were not hard to come by and very few were inscribed in this fashion if they were not, for example, presented as a gift to the bearer of the initials in question. Why "J O" if the bandwagon hoaxer didn't have a clue if anyone with those initials featured in the diary or in Maybrick's personal or business life?

        Also, when the watch came to Robert Smith's attention, the text of the diary had yet to be published, so it would have been an educated guess to claim those five victims, no more, no fewer.

        Love,

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


        Comment


        • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
          Hi,

          From what I can recall, and it's been a while, was that the watch was examined by an expert called Turgoose under a scanning electron microscope. He concluded that the scratches ( names and initials etc) were more than 10's of years old and that he himself wouldn't have had the skill to have made them appear older than they actually were.
          I don't know if any further research has been done and I apologise if I've got any of the above info wrong as I'm working from memory. If that examination hasn't been superseded by contradictory research then that places the watch reasonably around 'Maybrick' time. If I remember correctly too didn't the signature inside match Maybricks known signature?

          As I said it would be interesting to hear some up-to-date info?

          Regards
          Herlock
          Hi HS,

          The late Albert Johnson, who bought the watch in July 1992, around the same time as Mike was in negotiations for the diary to be published [and before the general public had any awareness of it], would have had to be involved if the scratches were made in the wake of the early diary publicity. I am 100% satisfied that Albert wasn't involved, and wouldn't have knowingly become involved, in anything 'dodgy'. He also paid to have the watch tested, which would have been very silly indeed if the experts had found the scratches to be very recent. He may have been tempted by an offer from Texas to buy the watch at one point, but his reasoning when talking to me was always that he didn't want to make loads of money out of it in case it turned out to be a fake, but if it was genuine it would arguably be priceless, and he had initially bought it as an investment for his little granddaughter.

          The 'Maybrick' signature inside the watch does bear a striking [pun not intended] resemblance to the real thing on Jim's marriage licence, but readers of Ripper Diary - The Inside Story can make up their own mind [see photos between pages 152 and 153]. I'd imagine that wouldn't be too easy to pull off unless you had some experience and the genuine signature in front of you to copy from.

          Love,

          Caz
          X
          Last edited by caz; 07-12-2017, 07:33 AM.
          "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


          Comment


          • Originally posted by caz View Post
            Where do I begin?

            Those who accept the late, high and mighty Mel Harris's word on the subject are not going to accept anything I say, are they?

            Love,

            Caz
            X
            Hi Caz,

            I'd like to hear what you have to say because, as far as I know, you've never suggested that Jack the Ripper was a black magician who carried away body parts hidden beneath his tie

            Regards
            Herlock
            Regards

            Herlock




            “...A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
            As night descends upon this fabled street:
            A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,
            The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.
            Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
            And it is always eighteen ninety-five.”

            Comment


            • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
              I think I commented earlier that this is not a thread about the watch...
              You did. But since you have now decided it's fair game...

              Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
              ...but, for the record, here is what Melvin Harris said about it:

              "Time, brings us logically to that watch. Is it connected with the Diary? Not at all. It is an opportunistic hoax inspired by the Diary and that's all. It is an independent venture that only came to light six or more weeks after the Maybrick/Ripper alliance was written about in the Liverpool Post. The alleged dating is not a dating of the scratches, it is just the dating of two ultra-tiny particles of corroded brass found at two points in those scratches. Those particles could well have been deposited by two means:

              (1) They could have been shed from a well-corroded brass pointer used to make the scratches. (2) They could have been deposited by a contaminated cleaning cloth or buff when the markings were polished & 'distressed'.

              ....

              Though described as 'Maybrick's watch' it is not a Man's watch at all; it is a Lady's watch. No robust Victorian businessman would be seen dead sporting such a watch! And Timothy Dundas, the horologist who cleaned and repaired this watch in 1992, has sworn an affidavit which states that the 'Ripper scratches’ were not in that watch when he worked on it. And in working on it he used the standard watchmaker's magnifying loupes, which show up every scratch and abrasion."


              http://www.casebook.org/dissertation...y/mhguide.html
              IIRC, the above was written without access to the full watch reports, or indeed any particular expertise in pocket watches or the dating of repair marks and such, so for someone who liked to sound like the authoritative last word on this subject, Mighty Mel did a lot of talking out of his bottom.

              The experts made it clear that the Maybrick and ripper engravings were the first and therefore earliest markings in the watch, appearing underneath all the visible scratches, pawn or repair marks etc, which were made later, but none of these were believed to be recent in origin.

              Retired watch and clock repairer Paul Butler told me that wrist watches came in so that men fighting in WWI could tell the time without groping around for a pocket watch. After that, pocket watches quickly went out of vogue [except for presentation pieces and such] along with pawn and repair marks, and most surviving examples would lie somewhere unused, with the case unopened and no new scratches made inside it.

              One of Mel's bigger howlers was to claim it is a lady's watch. What utter rot. Not that it matters either way, since nobody is claiming Maybrick or Jack the Ripper ever 'sported' this particular watch. It presumably belonged to whoever "J O" was for starters! It could have been nicked, borrowed or found by whoever made those scratches, male or female. It's not an argument for anything.

              It is 100% a gentleman's dress watch. My ex had a modern reference book with page after page of similar ones in style and size, and all the equivalent lady's watches were obviously smaller with more feminine features. Paul Butler confirmed this to be correct and never had a moment's doubt about it.

              Nothing Dundas said matched the watch later bought by Albert. Dundas was clearly thinking of a different watch, which he may have been asked to service around the same time. How could he have missed the old pawn or repair marks engraved after the crudely scratched Maybrick/ripper engravings? The latter are so faint and difficult to see with the naked eye that he could have missed those if he wasn't looking for them, but if he didn't see any marks at all, he either got his watches confused or he should have gone to specsavers.

              Love,

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


              Comment


              • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                Hi Caz,

                I'd like to hear what you have to say because, as far as I know, you've never suggested that Jack the Ripper was a black magician who carried away body parts hidden beneath his tie

                Regards
                Herlock
                Ah, the 'True Face' of Jack the Ripper. Yes, that was a right load of old cobblers, wasn't it?

                Mel was crapping himself when the diary book came out so he must have seen it as competition for his own whacky theory. Takes all sorts I guess. The one bit of common sense he showed was when he admitted neither of the Barretts penned the diary and Mike didn't have the 'capacity'.

                Love,

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


                Comment


                • Originally posted by caz View Post
                  That's not quite what I had in mind, Henry. But certainly a word or phrase had to be thought up first, and most probably spoken, before it ever appeared in writing. And surely far more has been written down and at some point thrown away, lost or destroyed than what was faithfully recorded for posterity and has survived to this day. With today's social media things are completely different, with new words or phrases instantly seeing themselves in print forever, the second some wag coins them.



                  You asking me, Henry? I find it infinitely more likely that it was someone other than James Maybrick using those three words in the 63 page ripper confession. I start to have a real problem when people tell me it is a post-1987 production with Barrett involvement.

                  Love,

                  Caz
                  X
                  I understood that Caz, which is why I dragged our colleague Ike into the mix for being a true believer

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by caz View Post
                    Ah, the 'True Face' of Jack the Ripper. Yes, that was a right load of old cobblers, wasn't it?

                    Mel was crapping himself when the diary book came out so he must have seen it as competition for his own whacky theory. Takes all sorts I guess. The one bit of common sense he showed was when he admitted neither of the Barretts penned the diary and Mike didn't have the 'capacity'.

                    Love,

                    Caz
                    X
                    Hi Caz

                    I always thought it was 'slightly ironic' when Harris used to look down his nose and tell all lesser mortals that he knew it all when all the while he was proposing a ludicrous suspect.

                    Have to agree about Mike Barrett though. Didn't take 'em this long to find the forger of the Hitler Diaries!

                    Regards
                    Herlock
                    Regards

                    Herlock




                    “...A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
                    As night descends upon this fabled street:
                    A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,
                    The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.
                    Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
                    And it is always eighteen ninety-five.”

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                      Hi,

                      From what I can recall, and it's been a while, was that the watch was examined by an expert called Turgoose under a scanning electron microscope. He concluded that the scratches ( names and initials etc) were more than 10's of years old and that he himself wouldn't have had the skill to have made them appear older than they actually were.
                      I don't know if any further research has been done and I apologise if I've got any of the above info wrong as I'm working from memory. If that examination hasn't been superseded by contradictory research then that places the watch reasonably around 'Maybrick' time. If I remember correctly too didn't the signature inside match Maybricks known signature?

                      As I said it would be interesting to hear some up-to-date info?

                      Regards
                      Herlock
                      What stood out more to my mind was that Turgoose went on to say that the watch had been polished about 10 years before the analysis, meaning any exact and precise readings could not be done. So to me, that casts a lot of doubt on his tens of years claims and leaves plenty of room for error.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Henry Flower View Post
                        Don't get me wrong, Mike, I'm inclined to agree with you wholeheartedly. But it will boil down to the science. Until we have something more conclusive than what Turgoose and Wild have said, we can't 100% rule it out. It may seem 'too good to be true', but that proves nothing. The truth might seem too good to be true, sometimes. It often has in my love life, for example. It may be convenient and neat that the watch lists the initials of the five canonicals only, but maybe that demonstrates only that the five canonicals became canonical because for a reason.

                        Don't get me wrong. I think it's preposterous. For a man who wants to leave his guilty wife's initials all over the Ripper case he suddenly wants to list only the initials of his five victims? Oh right, yeah - because it's proof. He wants to leave incriminating proof. Maybrick was handily leaving confessions all over the place. Like no serial murderer in history....

                        But I want the science on board too. Until that point I'm 100% on the diary being a fake (from when, I don't know, but I incline towards modern based on what I've read of the RWE line of thought) and only 99.7% on the watch.
                        I agree with the points you've made re: the unlikely probability that someone would bother going about it in such a way as was apparently done with the diary and the watch, and for me, too much of it just doesn't add up.

                        If the watch had contained some other initials, maybe Tabram or someone else, (not that I personally believe she was a Ripper victim, although she may have been) then I'd be more inclined to believe it could be more interesting, although even the inclusion of such initials would still not equate to it being genuine.

                        I just feel that there was plenty of room for error in the analysis of Turgoose, and he almost claims as much himself when discussing the fact that it was polished, which effectively means a proper determination cannot be safely made.

                        I personally feel that this was a nice addition to the hoax, and almost likely to be a watch either bought at auction or in an antique shop.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by caz View Post
                          Hi Mike,

                          I wonder if you might be getting too hung up on this being a 'name' you were looking for and failed to find, rather than a generic term that could have been used for any inn that once doubled up as, and was known as, a post house, and therefore not listed as an actual pub name or nickname.

                          If you can ignore the e on Poste House for a moment, and allow that it could have been another example of "Sir Jim's" eccentric spelling (as in poste haste - it would be exactly the same error) it becomes simply the Post House, which you would not expect to find in a list of pubs and their nicknames, any more than you would expect to find 'the Tavern' or 'the Tav' or 'my local' or 'the Pub'. In conversation, it would go something like: "I was just enjoying a swift half in the post house last night when the missus phoned". Incidentally, a few years back I asked a young regular in the Old Post Office if he had a nickname for it and he said he called it "the HQ". Is this a nickname you are familiar with? Would it have been recorded as that anywhere? It may have a different one these days.

                          Love,

                          Caz
                          X
                          While I do get your point, Caz, it's the fact that even the nickname doesn't show up anywhere, but other pubs and taverns can and have been documented along with their various nicknames.

                          I do see how a place could be regarded as the "Post(e) House," but for me, that's a very limited possibility when we view the diary as a probable hoax. As I was saying earlier, I think it more likely that an error was made re: the title of the actual Poste House, as opposed to the hoaxer having knowledge of a nickname for another pub that can't readily be seen in any kind of document from the period.

                          When I think about it, the usage of the archaic "poste" even in the line "poste haste," seems like an attempt at speaking in an old-fashioned manner, maybe inspired by the archaic spelling of poste in "poste house," or even a mistake brought on by the usage of an "e" for Poste House, if you get what I mean.

                          While the possibility remains that the writer was talking about the Post Office tavern, if like I believe, the forgery isn't an old one, then it would make more sense that they were simply mistaken in the age of the name of the Poste House, as opposed to being privy to the obscure nickname for another pub.

                          I've not heard of the "HQ" nickname, but tbf, I'm not a frequent visitor to the Post Office Tavern, and I don't think I've been in there for a good number of years now.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by caz View Post
                            Hi Mike,

                            Why would a modern hoaxer, jumping on the diary bandwagon, have bought a watch with the large, ornate initials "J O" on the case? Pocket watches were not hard to come by and very few were inscribed in this fashion if they were not, for example, presented as a gift to the bearer of the initials in question. Why "J O" if the bandwagon hoaxer didn't have a clue if anyone with those initials featured in the diary or in Maybrick's personal or business life?

                            Also, when the watch came to Robert Smith's attention, the text of the diary had yet to be published, so it would have been an educated guess to claim those five victims, no more, no fewer.

                            Love,

                            Caz
                            X
                            Who knows? I mean, it could've been a chance-buy, or that they had access to this particular watch and didn't fancy spending needless money on another one. There are reasons for why someone could've bought such a watch. The J O may have seemed like a nice addition for the hoaxer in question, and something that, if old enough, would add plausibility to the entire hoax itself.

                            If the watch itself was a product of the same people who were responsible for the diary, then the list of initials may not have been all that surprising, since they had enough basic knowledge of the case to begin the hoax in the first place.

                            I think, like the diary itself, they were looking for old artifacts, the nearer the relevant year, the better. With many auctions and antique shops about, the chances of acquiring such things would be pretty good indeed. It seems to me that they took the first things that matched their needs, like the weird choice of the album/diary book, so it jibes, at least to my mind, that the same would be done for the watch, if the watch wasn't already in their possession, which it could have been.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Mike J. G. View Post
                              I just feel that there was plenty of room for error in the analysis of Turgoose, and he almost claims as much himself when discussing the fact that it was polished, which effectively means a proper determination cannot be safely made.
                              Turgoose, in his report of 10 August 1993, thought that the wear on many of the engravings indicated a substantial age (more than tens of years) although the actual age 'must remain speculation'. At the same time, he stated that, 'there are no features observed which conclusively prove the age of the engravings.' So those who like incontrovertible, unequivocal and undeniable facts will no doubt feel a bit deflated by that. He also opined that, while a creation (i.e. forgery) of the engravings would involve a complex process and a variety of different tools, showing considerable skill and scientific awareness: 'They could have been produced recently and deliberately aged by polishing.'

                              There is also a report by Wild dated 31 January 1994 but he said that the amount of time available for his examination was 'limited to only a few hours' so that 'a thorough investigation was not possible and any conclusions are therefore preliminary at this stage', hence it might be more misleading than helpful to quote from his report.

                              I've never read anyone with scientific expertise counter the points made by Melvin Harris about the dating of the particles.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Mike J. G. View Post
                                I agree with the points you've made re: the unlikely probability that someone would bother going about it in such a way as was apparently done with the diary and the watch, and for me, too much of it just doesn't add up.

                                If the watch had contained some other initials, maybe Tabram or someone else, (not that I personally believe she was a Ripper victim, although she may have been) then I'd be more inclined to believe it could be more interesting, although even the inclusion of such initials would still not equate to it being genuine.

                                I just feel that there was plenty of room for error in the analysis of Turgoose, and he almost claims as much himself when discussing the fact that it was polished, which effectively means a proper determination cannot be safely made.

                                I personally feel that this was a nice addition to the hoax, and almost likely to be a watch either bought at auction or in an antique shop.
                                I agree, Mike, but I see that Caz is playing her cheeky game again: if this was supposed to be Maybrick's watch why would the hoaxer have procured a watch bearing the ornate J.O initials? So once again, easily avoided errors or anomalies get recast as evidence against fakery.

                                Caz, maybe it WAS Maybrick's watch, and maybe J.O stood for "Jack's Orrible!" - or - "Juwes Out!"

                                Comment

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