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  • Originally posted by caz View Post
    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.

    Please hold it right there, Keith. I don’t accept your premise. Why do you insist that Robbie Johnson had to hoof it down to Somerset House and examine Maybrick’s will?

    Aren’t you placing a hurdle in your own path?

    Since you won’t care to hear it from me, please refer to the following message from John Hacker, dated 13 January 2004, which, coincidentally, I was reading only yesterday.

    John was not ill-informed. He belonged to a very select group of people who had seen the Turgoose and Wild reports in their entirety, unedited; he had also discussed the watch’s markings at length with scientists and metallurgists. Here is his opinion about a comparison between the signatures on the watch, and Maybrick’s genuine signature. (edited slightly to remove typographical errors):

    “Caz,

    First off, I have to say that your book has by FAR the best picture of the scratches I've seen published to date. Kudos!

    However, I have to say that I don't see much of a similarity between the 2 signatures.

    1) Maybrick’s real signature is written in a slanting fashion which doesn't happen on the watch.

    2) The "M"s are completely different between the 2 sigs. The one on the watch is a wide and symmetrical, while Maybrick's M is very stylized.

    3) The "y" on Maybrick's sig has a very short tail, no loop. The "y" on the watch has a long, looped tail.

    4) The "c" on Maybrick's sig doesn't descend at the top, whereas the watch "c" has a dip at the end of the upper portion.

    5) The "k" looks similar superficially, but if you look carefully at HOW they were written, the similarity can be seen as just that. Superficial. The "c" on Maybrick's sig flows into the "k", whereas on the watch, the line at the end of the "c" stops, and the "k" is added as a separate motion. (Or alternatively, a short left stroke was added to begin the "k".) There is also an odd stroke toward the upper left of the K on the watch that doesn't appear on Maybrick's sig. Frankly the only similarity I can see between the 2 at all is the loop to the right, and they are not all that similar in execution. Maybricks loop goes back to the upper left to create the downward stroke, and the watch loop changes direction from left to right to create the tail on the right.

    In short I don't think there's any similarity between the two at all.”


    It is your apparent belief, Keith, that Robbie Johnson would have had to have seen Maybrick’s signature to forge the watch. From the above, you will see that not everyone is convinced that that is a “fact.” I have not seen any reports of an accredited document examiner making a comparison between the two signatures. Is there one?

    By the way, over the past few months, I have been reviewing the ‘case’ against M.J. Druitt, which caused me to re-read a very fascinating and well-researched book called The Ripper Legacy. I think you know it. The following paragraph on pg. 45 jumped out at me; it comes during Howell and Skinner’s ‘take down’ of Stephen Knight. The two authors are hard, blunt bastards, but I don’t think they are unfair.

    “Stephen Knight had declared his intention to look objectively at Joseph Sickert’s recollections, though in fact supporting evidence was only being investigated insofar as it was of value to the plot, and debilitating research was being omitted altogether.”

    Do you think the same objections could be leveled at Paul Feldman or Robert Smith? Or Ike for that matter?

    Their methodology is to search high and low to find “supporting evidence” for the “plot” of the Diary being an old document genuinely written by James Maybrick, but any “debilitating” data that points toward Barrett or Johnson or Graham is either quickly brushed aside or made ridiculous through the creation of false scenarios that need not have taken place. For an example, see your own suggestion above. I don’t accept that anyone would have needed to hoof it down to Somerset House.
    But rest easy. I have zero evidence that Robbie Johnson forged the watch scratches. I only have suspicion and circumstance. We are told that Albert bought the watch for his granddaughter as an investment, but by the story’s end Robbie Johnson has somehow managed to pocket 15,000 sheets. And Feldman admits that Robbie had lied. If nothing else, it surely indicates Robbie must have been a master manipulator with a golden tongue to rob Daisy’s cradle in such a fashion. But then I, too, am a hard, blunt bastard.

    If we are going to be trading questions, do you believe Albert Johnson’s story of having accidently noticed the scratches on the inside back cover while showing his watch at work? And in a location that just happened to have access to microscopes? How does this ‘jive’ with the account given by people who had seen the watch at the Brighton (?) Conference, who couldn’t even see the scratches when they were pointed out to them and handed a magnifying lens? (And these people evidently included Caz). Isn’t there something amiss with the unlikeliness of Albert’s story—the slight but pungent scent of a staged event?

    As far as I can tell, you alone had the wisdom and discipline to make detailed notes of the investigation into the Maybrick diary. You hunted down ‘leads’ far and wide. In my opinion, you eventually uncovered enough data to answer Begg’s 3 questions: who, when, and why? You are rightfully the hero of this investigation, but, for whatever reason, you don’t’ accept the obvious conclusion that is discernable in the data that you, yourself, have compiled. The two ‘rocks’ of the modern hoax reality are Baxendale’s solubility test, showing the document was new, and Martin Earl’s advertisement, showing that one or more of the occupants of Goldie Street were behind it. Any ‘solution’ that disregards this “debilitating” data, to use the term Howells and Skinner used in another context, is doomed to failure.



    Comment


    • O, and if I may anticipate an objection, Keith, I too dismiss "debilitating" data, except that I don't view it as debilitating: Rod McNeil's ion migration conclusions. I feel I am correct in dismissing them, because Eastaugh and other scientists couldn't replicate his methods or explain how they COULD work, and McNeil himself later drastically altered his statement and evidently never used the technique again. The last time I heard, he was trying to develop ways of raising shellfish in Montana. Anyway, McNeil's incomprehensible conclusion directly runs counter to Baxendale's thoroughly understandable one--the ink quickly gave up color. When Leeds repeated the experiment a couple years later, the ink was now bonded with the paper. There is really only one rational explanation, isn't there?

      Comment


      • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
        As far as I can tell, you alone had the wisdom and discipline to make detailed notes of the investigation into the Maybrick diary. You hunted down ‘leads’ far and wide. In my opinion, you eventually uncovered enough data to answer Begg’s 3 questions: who, when, and why? You are rightfully the hero of this investigation, but, for whatever reason, you don’t’ accept the obvious conclusion that is discernable in the data that you, yourself, have compiled. The two ‘rocks’ of the modern hoax reality are Baxendale’s solubility test, showing the document was new, and Martin Earl’s advertisement, showing that one or more of the occupants of Goldie Street were behind it. Any ‘solution’ that disregards this “debilitating” data, to use the term Howells and Skinner used in another context, is doomed to failure.
        We should probably draw a line under this particular debate because it really doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast, but I do think it's worth my adding that the Martin Earl advertisement is awkward but it's certainly not debilitating (unless it suits your argument to see it in this light).

        And with regard to the solubility of the ink which Leeds then found they couldn't dissolve ("so it must have dried in the meantime" seems to be your conclusion), the casual observer would be thoroughly justified in asking how - if this were true and meaningfully so - the debate ever got a step further than the Leeds analysis of IIRC 1994?
        Iconoclast
        Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

        Comment


        • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
          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.
          Hi R.J,

          I expect Mike thought it would be a neat trick to have Maybrick know about the empty tin match box [I don't think a ball of twine was mentioned in the diary?] because he could have handed it to Eddowes, possibly as a distraction, and she quickly pocketed it. Simples. I often see Stride's cachous as a distraction, as I am increasingly seeing these deviations from the crucial events of 1994, which I was hoping you were going to concentrate on a while longer. The point is that your unsophisticated forger made it crystal clear that Sir Jim left a 'clue' at the scene, which he believed Abberline was holding back because nothing had been mentioned about it in his daily rag. So it's blindingly obvious that your modern forger wanted this to be something that came from the killer himself, whether it was found on the victim in Mitre Square or later at the mortuary.

          And here you are again, being selective with your material, in order to invent some twaddle about Sir Jim sounding Scandinavian. Really, R.J, I expected better of you than this. The phrase, as used in the diary, appears only once, while Sir Jim is trying out more of his dodgy doggerel, and it's not even in the same form as it appeared in the original inventory.

          Sir Jim,
          [the] tin match box [was] empty
          [next four lines crossed through]
          [the] first whore [was] no good

          One whore no good,
          decided Sir Jim strike another.
          I showed no fright and indeed no light,
          damn it, the tin box was empty

          Does the line 'first whore no good' also make Sir Jim sound Scandinavian to you? Its structure is identical to that of 'tin match box empty', but unfortunately for your argument it wasn't pinched from some misogynistic ripperologist's inventory of the victims - much to the chagrin of a certain female author no doubt.

          Anyway, Mike liked the result so much - with his cheesy pun about striking a whore but not striking a light - that Anne had to write it out twice. There's dedication for you. And, as they say, if you believe that...

          Love,

          Caz
          X
          Last edited by caz; 05-22-2020, 12:47 PM.
          "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


          Comment


          • Please hold it right there, Keith. I don’t accept your premise. Why do you insist that Robbie Johnson had to hoof it down to Somerset House and examine Maybrick’s will?
            I thought I would take the liberty of asking Keith to clarify his views regarding the watch, and he made a few salient points which I'm happy to report back (I trust he doesn't mind).

            Keith sketched out a scenario based on your pointers to explain the mechanics of who forged the watch, when and how. He wanted to see how that plays against the known facts. In other words – is it credible? He had assumed that you were interested in doing the same. When Keith saw James Maybrick’s signature on the original marriage document at the Guildhall Library in London on January 16th 1995, apparently it struck him how similar it was to the scratched signature inside the watch and – indeed - it still does (I’m sure I’ve seen this myself in one of the many books and I agree with him). He didn’t say he saw it as a ‘fact’ (although you rather implied that he had, Roger).


            You hunted down ‘leads’ far and wide. In my opinion, you eventually uncovered enough data to answer Begg’s 3 questions: who, when, and why? You are rightfully the hero of this investigation, but, for whatever reason, you don’t accept the obvious conclusion that is discernible in the data that you, yourself, have compiled.
            Keith's a very humble guy and he was adamant that there are no heroes in this investigation, Roger. There are only people who seek the truth about the origins of this document and this artefact (hey – I include myself, by the way!). That does include you and the Great Eye of Darkness Lord Orsam (my description not Keith's, by the way) – but he doesn’t get why you continue the quest as you have clearly made up your mind that the scrapbook is a modern hoax created by Mike Barrett and his co-conspirators – and that the watch is a modern hoax created by Robbie Johnson on the back of the scrapbook. As Keith points out in his email to me, this issue (i.e., his views) seems to be one for him to resolve and really shouldn’t need to involve anyone else.

            I hope I have captured his thoughts felicitously. If not, the error was mine not his.
            Iconoclast
            Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

            Comment


            • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
              O, and if I may anticipate an objection, Keith, I too dismiss "debilitating" data, except that I don't view it as debilitating: Rod McNeil's ion migration conclusions. I feel I am correct in dismissing them, because Eastaugh and other scientists couldn't replicate his methods or explain how they COULD work, and McNeil himself later drastically altered his statement and evidently never used the technique again. The last time I heard, he was trying to develop ways of raising shellfish in Montana. Anyway, McNeil's incomprehensible conclusion directly runs counter to Baxendale's thoroughly understandable one--the ink quickly gave up color. When Leeds repeated the experiment a couple years later, the ink was now bonded with the paper. There is really only one rational explanation, isn't there?
              May I jump in here with a couple of questions, R.J, which I'm pretty sure I've asked before, but can't remember if I got a definitive response.

              Do you know how the solubility might have been affected if the old book had emerged from a dark place, away from normal atmospheric conditions and unopened since the day the last entry was written - however long ago or recently that may have been - and was then tested fairly soon afterwards? Would it be so surprising to find the result was different after two years spent being opened and shut and pored over and examined in completely different conditions?

              The point is, Baxendale's conclusion was based on at least one complete unknown - the condition this old book was kept in prior to March 1992. I mean it must have been kept somewhere up until then, whether the diary was already written in it or not. And if we knew this was added after it surfaced [whether that was in an auction room at the end of March 1992 or in an old house on 9th], we wouldn't have needed Baxendale to tell us.

              Love,

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


              Comment


              • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post


                I thought I would take the liberty of asking Keith to clarify his views regarding the watch, and he made a few salient points which I'm happy to report back (I trust he doesn't mind).

                Keith sketched out a scenario based on your pointers to explain the mechanics of who forged the watch, when and how. He wanted to see how that plays against the known facts. In other words – is it credible? He had assumed that you were interested in doing the same. When Keith saw James Maybrick’s signature on the original marriage document at the Guildhall Library in London on January 16th 1995, apparently it struck him how similar it was to the scratched signature inside the watch and – indeed - it still does (I’m sure I’ve seen this myself in one of the many books and I agree with him). He didn’t say he saw it as a ‘fact’ (although you rather implied that he had, Roger).
                Hi Ike,

                If I may take the liberty of helping out here, Keith has suggested to me the following minor amendment to his scenario to make it work better for R.J:

                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 guesses what James Maybrick’s signature would look like...

                Does that do it for you now, R.J?

                Love,

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


                Comment


                • I don't really wish to get involved in any of this just now, but I would remind RJ that in October 1995 the Diary was shown to Alec Voller, who was then Chief Chemist of Diamine Inks Ltd, Liverpool (a company with which I incidentally had business dealings). Voller - and if anyone should know it's he - stated categorically that (a) the Diary ink is not Diamine; and (b) it had been on the paper for a long time - 90 years he felt.

                  Graham
                  We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by caz View Post
                    Swiftly reading up about Jack the Ripper he notes the initials of the victims and guesses what James Maybrick’s signature would look like...[/B]
                    Oh how I larfffed!!!

                    I'm sure Roger will have a perfectly rational and simple explanation for Robbie's remarkably prescient craftwork. You know what, Roger, why don't you just adopt the pareidolia of Lord O's other acolytes here on the Casebook and simply wish the signature entirely away? Just say it ain't there, mate. You won't be able to cite random - but astonishingly articulate - blood splatters, of course, but I'm sure you could come up with something bordering on a metallurgic analogy. Give it a go. I could do with another larfff.
                    Iconoclast
                    Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                    Comment


                    • Hi Graham,

                      I heard only recently that Alec Voller is still very much of the same opinion.

                      But as Michael Gove would say, we've had enough of experts. You wait, Martin Earl and his bookfinding service will be up next for a good old trashing.

                      Love,

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


                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                        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."
                        Seriously, Roger, I think you're taking the pith, mate. There is no necessity for "Left it in front for all eyes to see" to refer to Florence's initials which Maybrick had placed on Kelly's wall. As c.d. has pointed out, we cannot fathom the author's intentions - and we certainly shouldn't 'fathom' them based upon our underlying prejudices! I think Florence's initials on the wall are very clearly referenced by the famous "An intial here" line in the scrapbook, but the "Left it in front" line could - and probably did - refer to something else, something that was probably genuinely 'out in front' in a way the initials weren't. If you follow c.d.'s wisdom, you might imagine that Maybrick is referring to the huge letter 'F' he carefully carved in Kelly's left arm and coupled it creatively with her legs left bent and akimbo to form a rather inarticulate 'M'. Now, it doesn't matter whether these two things form an 'F' and an 'M' (so - Observer - please don't start) - all that matters is that Maybrick may have thought they did and thought they formed a clear clue to his wife's initials. As the killer and the author of the tale, Maybrick is entitled to be as deluded as he wishes. This does not imply that we have to be too. We can see that such a clue left 'in front for all to see' would never ordinarily have been unscrambled, but Maybrick (frenzied, furious, soaked in blood, covered in gore, sweating, panting, excited, thrilled, intoxicated) may have thought it at the time. So much so he may even have let out a strangled pantomime villain's evil larfff, "Ha ha ha ha ha ha!", et cetera, though I imagine that in reality he just looked around the room at what he'd done and wisely legged it.

                        If Maybrick had sensed that photographs would be taken, he might have been more explicit in his descriptions of his clues in his scrapbook for us to unravel down down the long years. Sadly, the thought evidently didn't cross his mind ...
                        Iconoclast
                        Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                        Comment


                        • Now for a few general observations from me, before I head off to enjoy the late Spring bank holiday weekend. [Just like any other days of the week now, but some things are sacred here at Brown Towers].

                          First off, it appears that even Observer, one of R.J's most adoring fans, isn't having any of his distracting nonsense about Simon Wood's initial 'initial' discovery presumably being known to 'at least a small circle of Ripperologists in Liverpool' pre-diary. Let me guess who was in that circle - Mike and Anne Barrett, Billy Graham and Tony Devereux?

                          Keith informs me that nothing was mentioned about it in the first edition of the A To Z, although ipsedixitism would have ruled out Mike finding it there in any case, as it would have taken him above the two and a half books that provided all the material for his fake diary. So unless R.J is now going to suggest that Mike, or indeed the entire nest of forgers, attended the 'relevant' talk and overheard Simon's remarks [although these short talks back in 1989 were by invitation and word of mouth and not apparently publicised] I am left with the bat-filth crazy image in my head of R.J's unsophisticated forger picking up Simon's signal, bat-like, from Whitechapel London to Whitechapel Liverpool [now that's an idea] and pausing to check the Kelly crime scene photo to establish it is the ideal FM signal of his dreams, before transmitting it to the diary fuzzily enough to cover his arse, as he has chosen the high-risk strategy of marketing his own hoax. Any more unsophisticated, and Mike might have made the fatal, ear-splitting error of turning the bloody volume up to eleven, and having FM writ large on the wall in the red stuff. But he is too clever for the fools, and keeps it all nice and vague and low key [ha ha], because he knows the potential for the signal to have come provably from a photographic effect or defect, and then the writing would be on the wall for his forgery career, if not on Kelly's wall in blood. Of course, if Simon's words were heard by someone in the room, and influenced that person, or someone who knew them, to mention an initial [singular] here and there in the diary, it would be game over and we'd have our modern hoax. But R.J would have to let the Barretts go at that point.

                          So in short, I suspect that R.J knows, deep down, that when Mike walked into Doreen's office in April 1992, he had never heard of Simon Wood and his amazing dancing [pair of] initials.

                          I also suspect that Mike didn't even know, or had temporarily forgotten, the date of James Maybrick's death, when Martin Earl contacted him between 19th and 26th March 1992 to describe in detail the Victorian diary which had been found as a result of his enquiry. Martin only ordered and paid for an item from his supplier after talking it through with his customer to establish it was what they were looking for and the price was acceptable. If the customer said yes, they would normally be expected to pay Martin for the item before he ordered it. The supplier could then send it to Martin, or directly to the customer. Occasionally, as in Mike's case, Martin took the risk and agreed to send him the tiny 1891 diary, with printed dates three to a page, so he could see it for himself and decide whether to send it back unwanted or buy it. It had been an unusual request to begin with, but Martin would have been aware that the diary was later than Mike had specified, and had no literally 'blank' pages, so there was no way he wouldn't have run that past Mike before risking his own money to order it.

                          I'll be back next week to read R.J's lengthy response to me, although the tiny size of the writing is definitely NOT a sight for sore eyes. In fact, he could probably have fitted his post into a page of Mike's alternative Victorian diary - the one he only ordered for the purpose of writing Maybrick's memoirs from 1888 until his death in May 1889.

                          Love,

                          Caz
                          X
                          Last edited by caz; 05-22-2020, 04:05 PM.
                          "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by caz View Post
                            - the one he only ordered for the purpose of writing Maybrick's memoirs from 1888 until his death in May 1889.
                            Or May 1890, Caz - you just never know. History may have got it all wrong and Mike Barrett got it all right.

                            But hey - well done on a great post. No static at all on the points you were making, crystal clear, kidda!

                            RJ, hope you have a great Bank Holiday weekend, mate.

                            Ike
                            Thoroughly Clever Smartarse & General Insight Entrepreneur
                            Iconoclast
                            Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                            Comment


                            • Just a quick chime in on the initial matter.
                              The Diary contains the line "an initial here, an initial there". Now, some have debated the meaning of this, personally, I don't see how it can mean anything other than an "initial", a single letter. One here, one there, makes two initials, perhaps an 'F' and an 'M' to pick two random letters. So, assuming the diary is Mike's creation he's struck coincidence gold because unbeknownst to the masses, and certainly not in print in any reference book used to research the diary, an eminent student of the case has discovered some initials lurking in the background of a crime scene photo. By Jove, an F and M. I mean, that's a hell of a thing because we can argue whatever about pareidolia and such but wether that diary was written in 1888, 1992 or somewhere in between it contains that very specific line. If no one ever noticed initials in the MJK picture, what would we make of that line if anything at all?
                              I've never been convinced of the initials, or Walter Sickert's signature or anything else in the background. I'm just curious, if the diary was written by Barrett, that's amazing fortune again. If it was genuinely written by Maybrick, well, I guess the writings on the wall but I can't see it. And if it's an A.N Other hoaxer then, well, that's a wierd coincidence eh? Especially as it's highly unlikely they'd have ever seen the MJK photo? Make what you will of that lot.
                              Them's the vagaries.

                              Comment


                              • For some reason I keep thinking of the expression "he left his calling card." Now that can be take literally meaning that someone left an actual card with their name on it but it is also used to indicate that someone's M.O. (if you will) is there which points to a specific individual.

                                Could this be a similar case here? In other words, the author is saying I didn't literally leave my initials behind but I did leave my "calling card" or "fingerprints" behind for those who can decipher my clues.

                                Certainly a literal interpretation of initials should be considered first but again I don't think substituting "clues" for initials is that far fetched.

                                c.d.

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