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Maybrick--a Problem in Logic

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  • Originally posted by c.d. View Post
    Hello Observer,

    I think we are pretty much in agreement. I don't think the killer left any clues for the police to follow either. And I do think the "FM" is just stains and seeing initials on the wall is simply pareidolia. But I do think that a reasonable argument can be made that the initials referenced in the diary do not have to be taken literally and that substituting clue works as well.

    c.d.
    Upon reflection, due to the fact that it's unlikely Barrett could have known about Simon Wood's "discovery", I'll admit, that could be an alternative
    Last edited by Observer; 05-20-2020, 04:37 PM.

    Comment


    • Hi Observer.

      I pondered the same point. According to an old poster named John Hacker, Simon had told Paul Begg of this discovery in 1988, so it was presumably known to at least a small circle of Ripperologists in Liverpool and London. I don't know, or don't recall, whether it had found its way into print by 1988-1992, but it is worth checking.

      Another aspect of the 'initial here, an initial there' claptrap --and an extremely damning one--was pointed out by the historian Alex Chisholm in 1997.

      Chisholm writes:

      "This is further borne out in reference to the bloody initials supposedly left as a clue. 'I left it there for the fools but they will never find it.' Again confidence that the fools will never find it is easily arrived at with the benefit of hindsight."

      In other words, Barrett stupidly has 'Maybrick' already knowing that the initials/clue will not be noticed by 'the fools.' Once again, Maybrick owns a crystal ball--almost as if he is already fully aware that Simon Wood's "discovery" won't take place until 1988...

      Chisholm continues --and check this out for 'pith':

      "'Left it in front for all eyes to see' confirms that our diarist is patently informed by the main police photographer's perspective. The diarist does not claim to have left it in front of 'them' or the 'fools' but only 'in front for all eyes to see.' The wall on which these initials were supposed to have been written was at the right side of the room on entry, to the right side of Kelly. The only thing the initials could reasonably be described as 'in front of' being the police photographer's lens."

      Maybe Ike should meditate on that the next time he is in a yoga pose: The Police Photographer's Lens.

      Barrett, relying on Ripper books written in the 1980s and 90s, in which the 'Kelly' photograph was prominently displayed, has Maybrick stupidly alluding to the perspective of the famous photograph, which had been taken by removing the back window of No. 9 McCarthy's Rents, thus creating a new and different perspective than anyone entering the room by the front door. The initials are only in 'front' of those who are holding the Kelly photograph in 'front' of them while reading, say, Donald Rumbelow's book.

      Chisholm's insight is deeply damning to the 'old hoax' theory, but one assumes the 'old forgery' camp will simply theorize that the hoaxer somehow gained access to the Kelly photographs in Melville Macnaghten's bottom desk drawer, just as the hoaxer somehow had gained access to the police inventory list of Eddowes belongings, etc. prior to its publication in 1987. Hope springs eternal.

      Yoga comes in handy for the budding Maybricknick. Much like Feldman's arguments, the practitioner trains himself to be pliable, twisted, and yet strangely inert and isometric.

      Cheers.

      P.S. One of two books that contained the inventory of Eddowes' belongings was Paul Harrison's "Jack the Ripper: The Mystery Solved" (1991). It can be found on page. 67. Remarkably, this is the SAME BOOK that Barrett alludes to in his research notes (!). I think it is another sign that Barrett was rather unsophisticated as a hoaxer. He didn't know enough to realize that alluding to this item would point to a modern forgery, nor did he evidently realize that it could only be found in two books...one of which he foolishly admits to owning while "researching" (cough, cough--damn covid) the diary.

      Last edited by rjpalmer; 05-20-2020, 05:21 PM.

      Comment


      • Observer -- P.S. I think it was once suggested that 'FM' was a reference to Freemasonry, but I don't recall if this was in the public domain. Maybe Fairclough? I don't recall. I try to empty my mind of such trivia, and in this case, I succeeded.

        Comment


        • PPS. Observer. On page 64 Paul Feldman states that Simon's discovery of initials in the Kelly photo was mentioned in Begg, Fido, and Skinner's The Jack the Ripper A-Z, page 487. (Presumably under 'Wood'?) Feldy is citing the 3rd edition (1994). I don't know if this was also mentioned in the 1st edition (1991).

          Comment


          • Originally posted by caz View Post

            I don't agree, Ike. If R.J has Mike's number, and has not been thoroughly hoodwinked by the little varmint, a more complete and detailed chronology of the events, as they happened, can only do him a favour, by reinforcing his own beliefs in Mike as the diary forger. This should not be a case of 'less is more' [Mike admitted it so he did it], but one of 'the more the merrier', if R.J is right on the money. If he has complete faith in his own judgement, it would be in his best interests to stick around, and go over the fine details with an even finer-toothed comb, until he knows them inside out. That would be the surest way to know that his suspicions about Mike were 100% justified. Everything should point naturally to the conclusion R.J has already reached.

            On the downside, it could also be the surest way for R.J to learn if his suspicions were all wrong. He isn't obliged to take in any of it, if he is worried that the more he learns, the less confident he might become that Mike did it so he confessed to it. And if R.J doesn't want to learn any more, I certainly don't expect anyone else to.

            We'll have to wait and see if R.J can put it all together in his mind, without his beliefs falling apart in the process.

            By the way, happy birthday to Mrs Ike!

            Love,

            Caz
            X
            Thank you Caz. She says she's had a fine old day (but the sample size of my providing good birthdays for the poor lass is disappointingly small I fear).
            Iconoclast
            Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

            Comment


            • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
              Observer -- P.S. I think it was once suggested that 'FM' was a reference to Freemasonry, but I don't recall if this was in the public domain. Maybe Fairclough? I don't recall. I try to empty my mind of such trivia, and in this case, I succeeded.
              To all these facile comments about the letters 'FM', they are there, and the flash of the camera picked them out with clarity where the human eye would easily have missed them (I'd have missed them because my eyes would probably have been more drawn to the scene of utter human devastation in that bloody room, I think).

              cd makes an excellent point: we simply do not know what Maybrick was alluding to in that room (he was not obliged to be clearer), though the initials on the wall are handily referenced in the 'initials' doggerel. Handy.

              And Barrett, naturally, was the 6th person in the world to know about those initials. He rose to 5th when Simon Wood miraculously couldn't see them again after the diary surfaced and he realised what an own-goal he'd just gone and scored.

              RJ, your faith in Barrett as forger has surpassed itself this time. You are hardcore, mate.

              Hey - but keep it up. Keeps the business alive, I suppose, until I can be arsed to update my brilliant Society's Pillar.
              Iconoclast
              Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                cd makes an excellent point: we simply do not know what Maybrick was alluding to in that room

                Say it aint so, Ike!

                Seeing that Society’s Pillar is basically one long love letter to Paul Feldman and his discredited theories, I find this a very sad retreat. Prof. Chisholm has stormed the castle, and you beat a hasty path to the safety of the dungeon and its dim-lit vagaries. “Well, it could be...” Poor Feldy! He is left to fight the infidels on his own.

                “After breaking down the photograph into two-inch squares, we would systematically blow each of the squares up. Three-quarters of the way down, to the right of the centre, were marks that stunned us. There was no doubt, the initials “F M” were clear and precise. The initials of Florence Maybrick, the adulterous wife of James.”
                Paul Feldman, p. 64.

                Or, as Chisholm would say, the diarists has envisioned Feldman and Co. hunting for this clue from the “perspective of the police camera’s lens”: a “lens,” Feldy states, that was virtually unknown until the appearance of Donald Rumbelow’s 1975 book. Yet he looks for it in the photograph nonetheless...and finds it. Score: Chisholm 1, Feldman nil.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                  Say it aint so, Ike!

                  Seeing that Society’s Pillar is basically one long love letter to Paul Feldman and his discredited theories, I find this a very sad retreat. Prof. Chisholm has stormed the castle, and you beat a hasty path to the safety of the dungeon and its dim-lit vagaries. “Well, it could be...” Poor Feldy! He is left to fight the infidels on his own.

                  “After breaking down the photograph into two-inch squares, we would systematically blow each of the squares up. Three-quarters of the way down, to the right of the centre, were marks that stunned us. There was no doubt, the initials “F M” were clear and precise. The initials of Florence Maybrick, the adulterous wife of James.”
                  Paul Feldman, p. 64.

                  Or, as Chisholm would say, the diarists has envisioned Feldman and Co. hunting for this clue from the “perspective of the police camera’s lens”: a “lens,” Feldy states, that was virtually unknown until the appearance of Donald Rumbelow’s 1975 book. Yet he looks for it in the photograph nonetheless...and finds it. Score: Chisholm 1, Feldman nil.
                  Honestly Roger, you are tying yourself in knots to find a forensic position which makes the non-forensic ramblings of a killer null and void. The initials could have been anywhere. There could have been just the one example (e.g., clear as day on the wall) or else there could have been two or more to which Maybrick was alluding. The initials doggerel works perfectly well for the wall so let's stop trying to change the truth to fit your excited new view of the untruth. In terms of allusions to 'clues' or 'initials' and what he left 'in front for all to see' is - as c.d. most eruditely points out - the author's perfectly right to be possibly 'wrong': c.d. doesn't think it was Maybrick, but for the sake of argument let's just give the author a name - say, James Maybrick - and let's reflect on whether he is entitled to have possibly overstated his case. Does he have that right? He's writing in his private journal: does he have the right to say it exactly as he feels it to be - or, indeed, to say it as he just wants to believe it to be?

                  We do not know what else Maybrick left in that room in his opinion 'in front for all to see'. We only have the one meaningful photograph so we only see a small section of the room, and that one gives us lots of confidence that - if that were it (and it may not have been) - there were pointers to what he was referring to. Now you might say - in your cosy, sanitised view 130 years later - "he wasn't clear enough about what he meant and what he said doesn't relate precisely to my forensic interpretation of his non-forensic thought process" and - if you do - you'll never yield because you're looking for something solid to link his comments to the photograph and it may simply be that he was right but got it wrong in not being forensic enough for your palate as he scribed his version of events. He probably didn't think he would have to answer to you, Roger.

                  It has suddenly occurred to me why you and Lord Orsam are such bosom-buddies: you occupy the other half of his famous, rambling Chigwell semi, don't you? I'll bet the two of you natter over the privet hedge (socially distancing these days, obviously), drinking Earl Grey and muttering about 'the yoof of today' in between finding impossible versions of a story that is - to the rest of us - perfectly simple to grasp.

                  Just watch the gin, lads. It's a slippery slope.

                  PS Observer writes earlier as if he had been in Kelly's room on the night of her death and is quite adamant that there were no other clues left there so I'd have a chat with him if I were you. Who knows what clues he witnessed that he just hasn't worked out yet? He might solve the case yet without even knowing it.

                  Last edited by Iconoclast; 05-21-2020, 07:59 AM.
                  Iconoclast
                  Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                  Comment


                  • Hi Caz - Out of deference to you, I’m staying up late to respond to your latest post, so you can, without delay, dismiss me as an ill-informed and entrenched windbag and then move on to more fruitful lines of inquiry.

                    My answer to your question is simple. On 30 September 1994 Barrett called two different women to inform them that he knew a source for the ‘O Costly’ quote. One was Shirley Harrison, who was told that he had found the quote by "chance" but, alas, he didn’t bother to write down the reference, although he thinks it was in Volume 6.

                    Most likely within minutes, Barrett picks up the phone a second time and calls Martine Rooney, (or perhaps he called Martine first, but, either way, this was still 30 September 1994), only this time Barrett tells his listener that not only does he know the author of the quote, but he has the book in front of him. As far as the record shows, Mike said nothing to Martine about the Liverpool Library or any other library, but, as if in confirmation of his possession of the volume, he correctly informs her that the diarist has mistakenly misspelled "O COSTLY" as "Oh COSTLY."

                    So no, Mike’s reference to Crashaw on Sept 30 doesn't appear to be a feat of memory (as you suggested in your post) from an infamously poor speller. Mike appears to be reading the quote to Martine directly---though I suppose we could debate this thorny and unknowable question until the final bugle calls of Judgement Day fill the air. Neither of us knows for certain.


                    Next, we get the following commentary from Ripper Diary, p. 143: "Keith, a few weeks later, would interview Martine Rooney to clarify what had been asked. According to Rooney, Barrett told her that he was sitting with the book in front of him. She later realized he must have seen the real version because he knew that the Diary was wrong..."

                    It is not difficult to "reverse engineer" what Keith is trying to figure out by quizzing Martine: did Barrett already own Volume 2 on 30 September? Unfortunately, there is no clear answer, because a person can’t see what another person is holding while talking to them over the telephone. [But Jenny & Jim “Lizard King” Morrison seem to think Mike did own the book, and perhaps so, too, did Barrett's sister. A reference from Melvin Harris, dating to October 1994, describes a PLURALITY of people that could confirm Barrett's prior ownership of the Sphere volume, which I take to mean that Barrett had told Harris/Gray that his sister Lynne and could also confirm it].


                    To conclude:

                    Based on Keith's notes, you seemingly want to believe story #1--the one Mike told to Shirley. Barrett found the quote over a long and difficult week in the library. Or by chance—depending on which version of the story we wish to believe. I find this illogical and, frankly, absurd. No way did Barrett dig through nearly 1,000 meters of bookshelves to find a five-word phrase. He’s lying. Further, I still strongly suspect that Mike’s story evolved over a series of calls to Shirley, since it went from a “chance” discovery, to a week-long ordeal of superhuman endurance. His later statements to Shirley, as far as I am concerned, are attempts to “walk back” his rash decision to admit that he had owned the volume all along.


                    I, on the other hand, tend to believe Barrett's story #2, as told to Martine Rooney. I think the book was in Barrett's lap when he made the phone call, and thus he knew it was Vol. 2. He merely pretended he was in a muddle when talking to Shirley...that's classic Barrett. What better way to convince her that he had clawed through hundreds of volumes in the CLL than to act confused and name the wrong volume as if he had searched through many? Alas, "with all things Mike,” he has muddied the waters successfully. And, to be blunt, I simply cannot grasp why you place so much emphasis on Barrett mentioning Vol. 6. Even if I am wrong, couldn’t he have merely forgotten which volume he had used to crib the Crashaw quote? And later realized it was Vol 2 and not Vol 6 when he went to fetch the correct volume from Jenny?

                    You've reproduced several KS notes from this era to bolster the theory that Mike went to the library; you haven't reproduced any notes to/from Martine Rooney. They might be useful for those willing to explore the other perspective, but I am certainly in no position to ask you to devote any more time into this minutia, particularly since I am the only one responding to any of it. Best wishes, RP.

                    PS.
                    I’ve put off reading Lord Orsam’s article on Robert Smith’s book until I had a chance to study that illustrious volume, but I did break down and skim some of it this afternoon. He refers to the ‘O Costly’ fiasco and has noticed the same thing that I have: the account of Mike’s remarkable discovery given by Harrison in 2003 materially differs from the account that you and Keith give in Ripper Diary and from what Smith states in his own book. Orsam quotes Harrison (p. 267 of the Diary of Jack the Ripper, emphasis added by Lord O):

                    'Without success we had hunted high and low in anthologies to find it. I asked Michael to look in the Liverpool library. He badgered the staff there for help and sure enough he rang me within a few days and told me, '"You will find it in the Sphere History of English Literature, Volume 2. It is by Richard Crashaw".'

                    This is important. Note that Shirley insists that she had given this specific task to Barrett and that he flawlessly came back a few days later with the correct ‘Volume 2’ citation. She says nothing about his original claim of ‘by chance’ or ‘Volume 6.’ This is not a criticism of Harrison, per se, who I think is a decent woman, but it strengthens my belief that she has misremembered this event, and the only time she TRULY sent Barrett to the library was to confirm the CORRECT citation for the Sphere volume, ie., after Mike admitted he had made no note of it. This happened during her second call from Barrett on October 3rd , when she DID give Mike the task of going to the library, as confirmed by Keith’s note. This is what she is remembering in her 2003 book, which is why she no longer remembers ‘vol 6’ or ‘by chance.’ Unfortunately, based on this claim, Robert Smith, etc., are now stating as FACT that Barrett was given this task and that he was helped by a squadron of harried librarians or even unidentified college professors, as Feldman believed.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                      So no, Mike’s reference to Crashaw on Sept 30 doesn't appear to be a feat of memory (as you suggested in your post) from an infamously poor speller. Mike appears to be reading the quote to Martine directly---though I suppose we could debate this thorny and unknowable question until the final bugle calls of Judgement Day fill the air. Neither of us knows for certain.
                      Quite correct, Roger. We agree for once. Neither you nor Caz can know for certain that Mike hadn't taken the book downstairs on 30/09/94 to a telephone booth in the library foyer (or wherever - perhaps the friendly staff let him use their 'phone?) and quoted from it with the words in front of him. Nor can either of you know for certain that - later that day - he didn't 'phone Shirley when he wasn't in the library anymore and therefore got confused about the source.

                      I would agree in principle that you might have expected Barrett to have started at Volume 1 and stopped at Volume 2 when he discovered the quotation so why on earth would he ever imagine that he got it from Volume 6 or - if he was making it all up - why he thought this question wouldn't come back to haunt him; but equally he might have started with Volume 6 (the Victorians, logically), and then moved on to Volume 1 and then 2 when he didn't find it in Volume 6 (or just to Volume 2 if Volume 1 was not on the shelf or someone had put it back to the right of Volume 2, etc.).

                      Trying to draw forensically-indefeasible conclusions from uncertain premises will give you a hernia, mate. I'm honestly worried for you.
                      Iconoclast
                      Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                        From my reading of Feldman, Robbie seems to have had a lot of extra time on his hands. I reckon Robbie “discovered” the scratches while he was visiting Albert’s house one afternoon. Discovered them while holding a corroded brass etching tool, if you get my drift.

                        He shows the markings to Albert.

                        Albert is intrigued, but also skeptical. He knows Robbie has a history of getting involved in dodgy schemes, so he takes the watch to the college in order to get a second opinion. Here he stages his own “discovery” of the scratches, to distance Robbie from the timepiece, knowing that his brother would fall under immediate suspicion if it was revealed that he had been the one who had first noticed the markings, because, alas, Robbie had been recently released from the penitentiary.

                        So now everyone believes it was Albert, and not Robbie, that first found the markings. In this scenario, the only falsehood Albert ever committed was not fully disclosing how and by whom the marking were first noticed--he was protecting his brother.

                        Meanwhile, Albert’s skepticism starts to wane after the tests by Turgoose and Wild, and he becomes a ‘true believer’…to a degree. But even now, he knows Robbie’s ways and can’t help but notice how keen Robbie is to sell the watch. During the negotiations with the Texan Robert E. Davis, all the old doubts resurface, and Albert pulls the plug. He doesn’t like the possibility of a fraud being perpetrated and refuses to sell. His reluctance reveals his doubts and fears. In brief, he has decided to keep the watch as a pleasant conversation piece. His professed belief in its authenticity over the ensuing years is just another way of saying that he believes his beloved younger brother didn’t try to scam him.

                        Which is an entirely human and forgivable belief.

                        That is how I see it.
                        Afternoon R.J,

                        Keith would like to know if the following would also be how you see it, or if you would see parts of the story differently:

                        On Tuesday July 14th 1992, Albert Johnson buys an 18 carat gold watch from Stewart’s jewellers in Liskard. Three days later on July 17th 1992, his younger brother, Robbie, is released from an open prison after serving eighteen months of a two year sentence for possession of cannabis. For the next nine months Robbie has a lot of extra time on his hands and during this period he is aware of the gold watch Albert has bought. Maybe he thinks about nothing else.

                        On April 22nd 1993 Robbie reads in the Liverpool Daily Post that a book is going to be published naming James Maybrick as Jack the Ripper based on a diary that has been found. This gives Robbie an idea. Swiftly reading up about Jack the Ripper he notes the initials of the victims and gets hold of James Maybrick’s signature. Perhaps he also remembers the Yorkshire Ripper’s taped message sent to the police “I’m Jack”? So round Robbie goes one afternoon to Albert’s taking with him a corroded brass etching tool and asks Albert if he can have another look at the watch. Albert fetches it for him and Robbie goes into the loo with the watch. He comes out 10 minutes later and shows markings to Albert which he has just found inside the watch casing. Albert stares at them blankly. Robbie explains what the scratchings might relate to and Albert is intrigued but also sceptical. He knows Robbie has a history of getting involved in dodgy schemes. Perhaps he is slightly suspicious about Robbie coming round that afternoon but then he’s always dropping in as he’s got a lot of extra time on his hands since being released from prison. It’s curious though about him going into the loo with the watch. However they agree it would be a good idea for Albert to take the watch to the college for a second opinion but to distance Robbie from having anything to do with the watch. Albert loves his brother and wants to protect him. If they found out it was Robbie who had discovered the scratches then he would fall under immediate suspicion having been released from prison eight months ago on a drugs charge. Plus he has had a lot of extra time on his hands. Much better if Albert engineers a discussion at work on to the subject of Victorian watches:

                        “Hey Albert, what do you think about Liverpool’s chances next season?”

                        “Brilliant! They’ve got an 18 carat gold team rather like my Victorian watch.. I’ll bring it in tomorrow.”

                        True to his word, Albert brings in his watch and his mates pass it round to each other admiringly and give it back to Albert. It’s not going to plan. So Albert hands it to them again saying it goes like clockwork and the Victorians really knew about precision engineering. One of his mates takes the bait and opens up the back:

                        “Beautiful piece of engineering”.

                        He closes the case and hands it back to Albert.

                        “They really looked after their watches” says Albert desperately, “cleaned them through and through. You won’t find a speck of dust inside the inner casing. Go on, have another look. Hold it up to the light.”

                        Bored rigid by this watch, one of his mates looks and then sees faint scratch marks. Albert almost chokes on his doughnut and off they trot to take a closer look at the scratches through a microscope in the Technical College. A thought then occurs to Albert. What happens if they enlarge the scratches and they don’t mean anything to anyone? But luck is with Albert because one of his mates has read about James Maybrick being Jack the Ripper, although he mixes it up with Deeming.

                        And so it goes on. Albert and Robbie scurry round to obtain copies of the newspaper articles and recent publicity. They keep going back to the jewellers wanting to know everything about the watch’s history. And then right at the beginning of June 1993, Albert telephones Robert Smith telling him about the watch. Next day he writes to Robert and on June 4th 1993, Robert receives a rough drawing of the inside of the watch showing the scratches.

                        On June 14th 1993, Albert and Robbie Johnson take the watch to London for a meeting with Robert. The brothers agree to pay to have the scratches forensically examined. After two sets of tests Albert’s scepticism starts to wane and he becomes a ‘true believer’. But even now he knows Robbie’s ways and he can’t help thinking back to Robbie’s ten minutes in the loo with the watch. Also he...

                        [back to you, R.J, to tie it all up with a nice pink bow]

                        Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                        ...can't help but notice how keen Robbie is to sell the watch. During the negotiations with the Texan Robert E. Davis, all the old doubts resurface, and Albert pulls the plug. He doesn't like the possibility of a fraud being perpetrated and refuses to sell. His reluctance reveals his doubts and fears. In brief, he has decided to keep the watch as a pleasant conversation piece. His professed belief in its authenticity over the ensuing years is just another way of saying that he believes his beloved younger brother didn't try to scam him.

                        Which is an entirely human and forgivable belief...
                        Now I'm back with the Barretts of Goldie Street...

                        Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                        To borrow from what Macnaghten said of Druitt, “I have but little doubt that Robbie’s own family suspected that he was the hoaxer.”

                        As did Barrett’s. We are told in one of the notes above that Barrett's own mom threw him out of the house after she had read Harrison’s book... And no one knows us and our naughty ways like dear own mum.
                        I wonder if Mike's mum knew him so well that she could believe he was naughty enough to think up the whole idea for the diary, and then set about creating it and getting it published as a best-seller? I mean, he'd done this sort of thing before, as a snotty-nosed kid, and she'd had to put him on the naughty step?

                        You don't think she may have thrown him out because he'd made a public tit of himself, centre stage of his latest collaboration with Shirley, as a drunk and a rotten liar, whose wife and daughter couldn't bear to live in the same house with him?

                        Love,

                        Caz
                        X
                        Last edited by caz; 05-21-2020, 11:11 AM.
                        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                          Thanks, but you might want to alert Linder, Brown, and Skinner to this fact, for on page 100 of Ripper Diary they write…

                          “accompanied by locally based researcher Carol Emmas and co-owner of the watch Robbie Johnson….”


                          In the beginning the watch was Albert’s.

                          Before the dust cleared it was only 25% Albert’s. Which leaves three other owner/suspects, two of whom I think we can safely eliminate from our enquiries.

                          At some point the watch must have been appraised at 60,000 (Robbie’s quarter share represents twenty-five percent of 60,000) which is a significantly larger figure than the $40,000 US offered by the Texas collector Robert E. Davis, which could suggest an alternative reason why his offer was rejected.

                          The pound was worth more to the dollar in 1995 than now, but, even without doing all the math, Davis must have low-balled the Johnsons with a counteroffer of less than 50% of the appraisal, if we assume that Robbie’s eventual 15,000 share was 25% of the original asking price. (Which also assumes that Feldman, if he was the buyer of Robbie’s share, paid the full price).

                          Ironically, in the end, Robbie made off with more money by the Johnsons NOT selling the watch to Davis; if the sale had taken place, his share only would have been 10,000. But Robbie cleared 15,000, despite no apparent investment and no original claim to anything.

                          Surely you must find these circumstances curious and worrying? But obviously we are of two different minds.

                          Anyway, someone might alert KS to Post #491, in case he wants to investigate it.
                          I don't begin to understand the ins and outs of Robbie's share of the watch or who bought it from him for 15,000. He died in August 1995, but several years later, when Ripper Diary [2003] was being written, our understanding was then that Albert, his wife Val, their daughter Tracy and their solicitor Richard Nicholas all owned shares in the watch. The share allegedly owned originally, and then sold by Robbie, is a bit of a mystery to me. But how many people had shares to begin with? 4? 5? More than 5? And did they all own an equal percentage, or equal numbers of shares? Do you know the answers, R.J? Because I certainly don't.

                          The watch was only ever worth what someone was prepared to pay for it, and it was never sold to anyone, so whoever bought Robbie's share would have been 'doing all the math', to work out how much to offer him, based on Robbie's percentage share of the watch at the time of purchase and what this was worth to the buyer.

                          In short, if the buyer thought Robbie's share was worth shelling out 15,000 for, or 150,000, that's what Robbie would have made for himself. I don't know what would have happened to the buyer's share if they since died, or even if they left paperwork proving their part ownership. But it seems, when Albert died, he left the watch to Tracy's daughter Daisy, as was his original intention when he bought it. I don't know if Daisy now owns it outright, or if Val, Tracy and Richard Nicholas - or anyone else - are still part owners.

                          As with all shares, they can go up or down in value. So whoever thought 15,000 was a price worth paying for Robbie's share could have woken up the next morning to find that everyone's shares, including their own, were now worth the divided up scrap value of the gold.

                          I remain confused how any of this proves a thing about when the scratches were made or by whom.

                          Love,

                          Caz
                          X
                          Last edited by caz; 05-21-2020, 01:55 PM.
                          "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


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                          • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                            There is an extraordinary character witness for Robbie Johnson on pg. 259 of Ripper Diary.

                            His name is Charlie Pulford.

                            “[Pulford] also claims that, had [Robbie] been considering a forgery, Robbie would have asked Pulford to do the scratchings for him and says that, as the brothers were so close, it would have been unthinkable anyway for Robbie to have done such a thing behind Albert’s back.”

                            What in the blazes is this?

                            Imagine going before the magistrate with that argument:

                            “Your honor, sir, I know Mick couldn’t have robbed the bank, because if he had, he would have asked me to stand lookout!”

                            Only in Liverpool! It’s like a line out of a comedy routine...
                            A bit selective there, weren't you, R.J? Where's the rest of it?

                            We can't win, can we? If we'd left the above out of Ripper Diary, and only included the other references to Charlie Pulford, we'd have been accused of being selective with our material.

                            Yet you do it here, and your 'case' against Robbie becomes artificially stronger for it - that is, until yours truly catches you at it.

                            Naughty step! Go!

                            Love,

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


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                            • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                              P.S. One of two books that contained the inventory of Eddowes' belongings was Paul Harrison's "Jack the Ripper: The Mystery Solved" (1991). It can be found on page. 67. Remarkably, this is the SAME BOOK that Barrett alludes to in his research notes (!). I think it is another sign that Barrett was rather unsophisticated as a hoaxer. He didn't know enough to realize that alluding to this item would point to a modern forgery, nor did he evidently realize that it could only be found in two books...one of which he foolishly admits to owning while "researching" (cough, cough--damn covid) the diary.
                              I haven't read Paul Harrison's book, R.J. But I'm not sure what point you are making.

                              I'll take your word for it that the inventory on page 67 includes the empty tin match box, as did one of Martin Fido's ripper books IIRC, but how would Mike Barrett have figured out that one of the items on this list, and only one, had not previously appeared on the list published in any newspaper report, going right back to October 1888? Does Paul Harrison explain that the tin match box is very new to the public domain?

                              Sir Jim - sorry - Mike Barrett, makes a pretty big deal in the diary of leaving Abberline 'a very good clue', singular, at the Eddowes crime scene. 'Nothing is mentioned, of this I know sure', he repeats. It doesn't have to be the tin match box of course, but Mike must have had something in mind, and everything he does mention is on the complete list. So it was one hell of a lucky coincidence to come up with a 'clue' at that point, which 'Sir Jim' knows he left at the scene, but is mysteriously missing from the list published in the newspapers. Certainly something else for Mike to gloat about when Feldman made a big deal about it. So why didn't Mike rub his nose in it, and tell him how he simply made it up, not knowing anything about any missing item?

                              I trust you have read all my recent posts through carefully, and are not making the most of yet more distractions. I will try and catch up with your latest responses when I return tomorrow. Patience.

                              Love,

                              Caz
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                              Last edited by caz; 05-21-2020, 03:31 PM.
                              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by caz View Post
                                but how would Mike Barrett have figured out that one of the items on this list, and only one, had not previously appeared on the list published in any newspaper report, going right back to October 1888? Does Paul Harrison explain that the tin match box is very new to the public domain?
                                I'll have to check when I have the time, Caz, but I don't think you are accurate. I don't think it was "one" item, and only one item, that was missing from the press reports of Eddowes' belongings. I seem to remember that this is another error that has crept into the Diary mythology. I think there was something like a ball of twine and another item or two, also not mentioned, but I may get back to you on that.

                                The standard explanation is that the items mentioned in the press had been discovered by the police while Kate's body was in situ in Mitre Square, while the tin match box empty and twine, etc., had been concealed in her clothing and was not discovered until she was stripped at the mortuary. Which raises the question as to how on earth 'Maybrick' would have known of these items in the limited time he spent in the dark shadows of the square.

                                It is the retention of the clumsy grammar of the inventory list "tin match box empty" (what the hell, was Maybrick Scandinavian or something to write in such a fashion?) that gives the game away. Or at least does to us delusional 'modern hoax' theorists.

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