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Maybrick--a Problem in Logic

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  • #91
    Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
    Yes, what sort of person decides to invest a fairly significant amount of time and effort into building a diary of an apparently well-to-do Liverpool cotton merchant when all of the accepted and prevailing standards for potential Jacks was telling them that he was more likely to have been Dick Van Dyke (who was in fact a Cockney, yes?).
    Close..Harry Dam was an American too.

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    • #92
      Welcome back.
      Originally posted by caz View Post
      ....What kind of person goes to the trouble of doing a moment's research into creating the fake diary of a man who would otherwise 'never in a million years be considered a likely candidate'? How did a pair of scallywag scousers think they could convince the reading public of the exact opposite? It's almost like the result of a dare: "bet you can't make people believe Jack the Ripper was a Liverpudlian".
      What kind of person forges something that nobody is likely to accept and will surely have all the critics out with their knives even before it is seen, and brings it out to the public himself!

      And the alleged co-conspirator's story is that she wanted him to get over some "writer's block" so he could do something with his life and she gave it to their friend to give it to him, and that it was in the family the whole time, all news to the alleged forger. I can't see how anyone can read your book detailing these scenarios and think that this is how a nest of forgers of Hitler-type diaries works.



      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
        Apart from the odd event here and there, we have no idea what James Maybrick was doing at any time before, during or after 1888. The same is true for many millions of other men who were living in Britain at the time.
        Good point, Gareth.

        So maybe the question we should be asking is how much idea the Barrretts of Goldie Street had, by early 1992, of Maybrick's whereabouts at any time before, during or after 1888. How much basic research do you reckon would have been needed to reassure themselves that he hadn't, for instance, popped over to America on business while the ripper was doing his business in Whitechapel? Or hadn't been haunting his Liverpool club or doctor's surgery on one or more of the murder dates? I appreciate that someone took the chance that no researcher would be able to find a solid alibi for Jim and got lucky, but the same someone also took the chance that nobody would notice the handwriting didn't match, and - perhaps more importantly - that nobody would be able to match the handwriting to any suspected forger. Not even close.

        At present there is still no known individual who can be connected in any logical or forensic way to the diary penmanship [or should that be penpersonship?], and that ought not to be the case if the Barretts really did have any knowledge of whose hand held the pen. If people are relying on dodgy suggestions from amateur sleuths, including Mike Barrett's desperate stab at claiming Anne has multiple personality disorder [which was widely ridiculed as an explanation for James Maybrick as the penman], or she is secretly ambidextrous, and could have successfully disguised her handwriting over those 63 pages, where is the logic there? The easy way out has always been to claim the identity of the penman or woman is somehow unimportant or even irrelevant, but that simply isn't logical, while the finger is pointed so firmly and resolutely at the Barretts.

        Love,

        Caz
        X

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


        Comment


        • #94
          Originally posted by Graham View Post
          Verity watches were actually made in Lancaster, and the watch was formerly owned by Ronald Murphy's (owner of the shop where Albert Johnson said he bought the Watch) father-in-law, who had a jeweller's shop in Lancaster. I don't know if John Over came from Lancaster.
          Hi Graham,

          I don't know about anyone else, but if I was planning to implicate someone whose initials were JM, I think I'd be wary of using a watch bearing the prominent initials JO, if I had no idea how it came to be in the jeweller's shop window. For all I could know, it might have been in the possession of JO's family from before 1888, right up until 1992. Yet the Johnson brothers returned to the jewellers with the watch after the Maybrick markings were discovered, to ask the sort of questions I would have wanted answers to before taking a chance on the item's provenance and the identity of JO being unknown. What luck then, that its earliest known owner, prior to its arrival in Murphy's shop window in the Spring of 1992, was a complete stranger who had come in off the street and sold it with no questions asked about its history. That could not have been more ideal from a hoaxer's point of view, and yet it was not something that could have been predicted.

          By the way, the poor chap whose gold watch was found under his pillow, after he drowned in 1893, was Maybrick's closest friend George Davidson, who was with him when he died 4 years earlier.

          Love,

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


          Comment


          • #95
            Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
            The watch emerged within a month or so of the scrapbook first being referred to in the Liverpool Post. Timing - if innocent - was disastrous because the timing of both events speaks to the position that both are fake. As a statistician, I cannot argue with this. As a statistician, these two events cry out 'Fake!' and do not need The Sunday Times to do so for us.
            Hi Ike,

            I agree that, on the surface, the timing of the watch's emergence would have looked extremely dodgy, but if we're talking statistics, what were the chances of that watch [with or without the scratches already in place] going on sale across the Mersey in the Spring of 1992, at precisely the same time as Mike Barrett was in the process of marketing the diary? And yet that is what happened. Certainly the timing was not innocent if both items emerged blinking into the daylight on the same day in March, as I suspect is the most likely explanation. One might say it was only a matter of time after that, that the watch would be opened by its new owner and the strange scratch marks would reveal themselves. I firmly believe the evidence - scientific and circumstantial - supports those scratch marks being present when kind, generous, selfless, thoroughly decent Albert Johnson saw the watch in the shop window, which would never do, would it? It would mean Mike Barrett had lied about the diary! How very dare anyone suggest he was capable of lying, when he claimed the diary was only recently dreamed up, to be penned by the missus over eleven days in early April 1992? That has to be true, so by a matter of simple logic, the watch had to be sitting innocently on display in the shop window, minus its Maybrick markings, while all this was going on, and therefore Robbie Johnson must have put the markings inside, because even Melvin Harris knew he couldn't pin it on Albert, and was reduced to scratching around for the nearest ne'er-do-well he could finger. There never has been another suspect if we discount Mike's own claim to have done it as 'bat filth crazy'. Lord alone knows who'd have got the blame if Robbie had not had that convenient criminal record. Cilla Black perhaps? A scouser who released a few criminal records in her time.

            Love,

            Caz
            X

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


            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by Yabs View Post
              It's worth mentioning, that to the average Liverpudlian in the late 1980s, both cases would have been common knowledge.
              I'm not so sure, Yabs. In my experience, neither case was, or is, 'common knowledge' to the average Liverpudlian, the average Londoner, or the average anyone in between.

              Whenever I've stayed in Liverpool, the vast majority of the people I meet and speak to have never heard of the diary, or only vaguely recognise the name Maybrick. Their knowledge of the ripper murders is generally basic at best. I am therefore always pleasantly surprised when I find someone who has actually read a book or two on either subject. A working knowledge of both subjects is rarer still.

              Of course, I accept that both cases must have been familiar enough to the author of the diary, whoever that was. One of the golden rules is to write about what you know, with an exception being for established authors who are commissioned to write on a subject they then have to research from scratch. As an average inexperienced writer, you'd have to be out of your tiny mind to believe you could easily combine any two historical figures in the one journal, simply by taking out two or three library books on each to improve on whatever 'common knowledge' you may already have had. Whether this prior knowledge was rudimentary or advanced, would you not want to be at Mastermind level with your two specialist subjects before writing a single sentence with confidence? And would your chosen source books [with all their differing details about the ripper murders, for example] give you that confidence? I know I couldn't have tried anything like this myself, and yet we are asked to believe that because Mike Barrett once had a few "tidied up" interviews and puzzles published, that shows he was capable of authoring the diary. I'd seriously like to know how any poster who routinely comes up with this argument would have set about the task.

              Love,

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


              Comment


              • #97
                Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                ...three or four miles away from the heart of the Spitalfields slum, since you ask.
                I suppose that goes to show just how sloppy Mike Barrett's research was, eh Gareth?

                Love,

                Caz
                X

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


                Comment


                • #98
                  Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                  Thanks, but what reason would he have had to acquaint himself with the slums two miles to his West? Even if he did, that's not saying much; I'm familiar enough with the streets of Spitalfields and I've never lived there, or near there, at all.
                  Gareth, if you are satisfied the diary is the work of a hoaxer in 1992, why are you bothering to argue the toss about Maybrick's acquaintance with East End slums in the 19th century? If the diary itself proves he didn't murder anyone, what do his reasons for being anywhere at any time matter? What logical reason do you have for going there?

                  Love,

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


                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                    It is perfectly plausible that a limited knowledge of the nature of Whitechapel in the 1860s allowed him to make the link with it in early 1888 (as a place where he could carry out his 'campaign' against sex workers) without his necessarily having been familiar with the streets twenty years earlier as a young man making his way in the world. Indeed, when the entry appears in the scrapbook explaining how he has taken a small room in Middlesex Street, he adds that "I have walked the streets and have become more than familiar with them". I think the use of the past tense implies recency here. I don't think it implies "I have walked the streets twenty years ago and therefore I remember them well".

                    The fact that he was clearly down in the heart of the east end in the 1860s is truly fascinating though not in itself evidence that he was Jack. It's fascinating and it's remarkable, but it does not explain why he chose Whitechapel for his crimes, except (as stated above) that his peripheral knowledge of the place would have logically led him to it as a site for his 'campaign' twenty-odd years later. Had he had known of a Whitechapel in some other city where he had reasonable grounds to visit and where it was easy to prey on sex workers, we could have had a very different Jack indeed. Oo-ar ma dears.
                    Of course, Ike, the real Sir James did know of a Whitechapel in some other city where he had reasonable grounds to visit - the thoroughfare of that very name in Liverpool, just a few paces from his childhood home and a stroll to his office or Central train station. Not sure about the local sex workers, but then most married punters might not find it comfortable to do it on their own doorstep. Our diarist quickly seized on the word play opportunities of Whitechapel Liverpool, Whitechapel London, and had Sir Jim catching Flo doing her dirty business in the former, so he could decide on a whim to do his own dirty business in the latter. No coincidence then, however you view it. Maybe it was Mike Barrett's cunning plan to explain what James would have been doing in Whitechapel, when he might have done the same more easily in places he was better acquainted with? Maybe Mike Barrett even knew that serial offenders can be superstitious like this, and seek patterns in words and places, as well as behaviour? Canny, eh? I doubt anyone reasoning logically would describe serial murder as a particularly logical hobby, in its planning or execution. That may be the real problem here.

                    Love,

                    Caz
                    X
                    Last edited by caz; 11-22-2019, 05:31 PM.
                    "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                      Hi Ike. No; the debate is not really getting us anywhere, as you say, but then I'm not headed anywhere. I've been parked on Barrett's doorstep in Goldie Street for years, and don't feel the need to wander too far off it.
                      Ah, it all falls into place now, RJ. You have been doing what you warn others about - looking for the key under the lamp outside the former Barrett home, presumably because that's the only place that sheds any light for you. You can't find a key when you're working in the dark, can you? But equally, you'll never find it under the brightest light if it's in another place and time entirely.

                      Love,

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


                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Trapperologist View Post
                        Welcome back.

                        What kind of person forges something that nobody is likely to accept and will surely have all the critics out with their knives even before it is seen, and brings it out to the public himself!

                        And the alleged co-conspirator's story is that she wanted him to get over some "writer's block" so he could do something with his life and she gave it to their friend to give it to him, and that it was in the family the whole time, all news to the alleged forger. I can't see how anyone can read your book detailing these scenarios and think that this is how a nest of forgers of Hitler-type diaries works.
                        Cheers, Trapperologist!

                        If anyone had dreamed up this entire tragi-comic saga and tried to sell it as a realistic domestic drama, with the Barretts and Johnsons as hoaxers, who would have believed it could work?

                        Love,

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


                        Comment


                        • a better analogy is looking for the key in barretts pocket, because that's clearly where it is and always bloody has been.

                          the only mystery left is how hes managed to convince anyone that he didn't write it.
                          Last edited by Abby Normal; 11-22-2019, 09:05 PM.
                          "Is all that we see or seem
                          but a dream within a dream?"

                          -Edgar Allan Poe


                          "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
                          quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

                          -Frederick G. Abberline

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post
                            a better analogy is looking for the key in barretts pocket, because that's clearly where it is and always bloody has been.

                            the only mystery left is how hes managed to convince anyone that he didn't write it.
                            Hmmm. Can we put that one down to a matter of personal opinion, Abby?

                            IM (not so) HO, the key was not in Barrett's pocket. There wouldn't have been room for it anyway, what with those bottles of Grouse in there.
                            Iconoclast
                            Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by caz View Post

                              Cheers, Trapperologist!

                              If anyone had dreamed up this entire tragi-comic saga and tried to sell it as a realistic domestic drama, with the Barretts and Johnsons as hoaxers, who would have believed it could work?

                              Love,

                              Caz
                              X
                              Hi Caz,

                              No-one. No-one whatsoever. No-one this side of Sanityville. And yet this inherent irony is lost on those who hold it most dear. No-one would have believed it, and - frankly - no-one would have conceived it.

                              And yet - for some - it makes perfect sense. Damn it, I suspect my work here is not yet done ...

                              Ike
                              Last edited by Iconoclast; 11-22-2019, 10:42 PM.
                              Iconoclast
                              Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                              Comment


                              • It’s all about dismissing something for the right logical and common sense reason, if you’re going to dismiss something. If logic says Maybrick couldn’t know that much about anatomy, then it had to be even more logical to say Barrett couldn’t fake the science to make the document give ion readings that indicate age to the writing.

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