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The Inconvenient Truth of the Maybrick Watch

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Losmandris View Post
    I don't understand why, if the watch is genuine, Maybrick would have scratched his name in it? Or write 'I am Jack'? Why would he need/want to do that? It just seems a little too far fetched and too much of a coincidence. Fair enough if his name had been engraved in the watch or there was some provenance linking him to it but there does not seem to be. Also isn't it a watch for a woman? For me when you combine it with the bonkers tale of the diary and all its question marks and now this pretty intensive look at Maybrick as a person, it just seems totally fake to me.

    I totally understand why people want it to be real. It would be amazing to tie everything up and say we finally have the culprit. But this just isn't. And as the years pass by this all just seems more and more an amateurish hoax. May have been convincing a few years back but now, no chance.
    No, it isn't a woman's watch, although I have never understood why that canard was regularly wheeled out as if it was evidence of a 1993 hoax.

    It is only evidence that if some old nonsense is claimed often enough it will spread far and wide and become accepted as the truth - despite proving nothing at all either way.

    If it is meant to have been engraved by a serial killer of women, as a secret record of his crimes, why would there have been any concern over whether it was typically worn by a man or a woman?

    Love,

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


    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by caz View Post
      Is this an exercise in how much skulduggery you can read into a single sentence - a sentence written by Feldman, of all people, who could have read a conspiracy into a recipe for rice pudding, if he saw the name Graham or Johnson attached to it? You do a good job, RJ, but Feldman was the master.

      I'd have been more than 'cold and distant', and referred Feldman straight to you, had he phoned me insisting I had two watches, one bought to cover up for another, that was passed down to me from my great grandmother, Lizzie Borden. And let me assure you, it wouldn't be because you have me wrapped around your finger.
      Sorry, Caz, this is weird commentary with not an ounce of critical thinking attached to it.

      None of Feldman's crazy conspiracy theories (which came later--more on this another time) has anything to do with his initial contact with Johnson.

      Feldman was an experienced and successful businessman and was just as able to discern a cold reception as anyone else (probably more so) and he quickly realized that Albert was fobbing him off onto his brother.

      That's strange...and interesting.

      And it is hardly a 'single sentence' nor an isolated observation. Feldman tells us how Robbie was with Albert (and a solicitor!) when he was shown the watch the first time.

      Why on earth would Robbie have needed to have been there to show Albert's watch, which Albert supposedly bought for his granddaughter? Robbie should have had nothing to do with it.

      And why was it Robbie who was phoning Feldman from Dr. Turgoose's office? I hope you aren't trying to deny that he wasn't front and center in all of this.

      Feldman later repeats that he had 'no doubt' that it was Robbie who was in charge of the business arrangements concerning the watch.

      Click image for larger version

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      Nor was it even just Feldman's opinion. He writes that Keith Skinner had misgivings about Robbie's "enthusiasm" (p. 32)

      Click image for larger version

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      But I suppose I can appreciate why you would want to make Robbie seem like an unimportant and irrelevant figure in all of this, even though it is plain from both Harrison and Felman's accounts that wherever the watch was, Robbie was not far behind.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

        This will sound as rude as hell, and I hope that 'Ero' and 'Ike' realize that it is nothing truly personal, but who says that the signature looks like Maybrick's? The same two blokes who think they see 'FM' written on Kelly's back wall? Sorry, but that's not conclusive.

        Has the signature ever been authenticated by an actual accredited handwriting expert, or is it just a matter of amateurs giving their opinions--sometimes in the same breath that they decry amateur opinions?

        Here's my amateur opinion.

        Personally, I am not convinced that this famous 'loop' on the k is actually part of the signature. To me, the depth looks different from the rest of the crude scratches that make up the 'k' (which just looks like a rudely fashioned X) and I suspect that it is actually part of the network of superficial, sharp-edged, and suspicious scratches that cover the surface of the watch, and thus the viewer sees what he or she wants to see.

        It would take another microscopic examination to determine whether this is correct or not.

        If one actually traces the direction of the hand movements that make up Maybrick's proven signature, the letter formation of the individual letters is not the same as those that make up 'Maybrick' on the watch. As I say, that is my amateur opinion--but if anyone doubts me, do the exercise for themselves.

        Over a period of 30 years, I don't recall anyone actually seeking the opinion of an accredited expert. The accredited experts that looked at the diary all dismissed it as clearly not written by Maybrick. Were any of them asked about the watch?
        No expert is needed to see that the signature in the watch is in the same form as the real James Maybrick used in the 1880s.

        We are all entitled to our opinions on how similarly, or differently, the individual letters are formed, compared with, say, the Maybrick signature on his marriage licence, but there is no denying that the form the signatures take is the same, and they are equally legible, and far from a hard to decipher squiggle, as the real deal could so easily have been.

        It's not really hard to see how you arrived at your opinion that the signature is not similar to Maybrick's, and presumably could therefore have been made by virtually anyone, including yourself, using little more than guesswork and an old tool. But can you, hand on heart, claim that this is an objective opinion, not tainted in any way by your deeply held suspicions about the Barretts, and by extension the Johnsons?

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


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        • #34
          Originally posted by caz View Post
          But can you, hand on heart, claim that this is an objective opinion, not tainted in any way by your deeply held suspicions about the Barretts, and by extension the Johnsons?
          Would you believe me if I told you?

          As I've already stated, it looks to me (and it looked to others, including John Hacker) that the letters are formed differently.

          Let's take the "K" that so excites Jay Hartley.

          I wonder if Jay could tell us about the photograph of the 'K' that he has at his website, accessible at the link provided in his original post?

          Hartley's photograph makes the K look far more distinct and 'unified' than what we see in the high-resolution photograph of the watch on this site, originally provided by Stephen Ryder. Was computer enhancement used to make the "K' more distinctive, and could this have inadvertently made the image look different than the one on the watch?

          I am not suggesting deliberate deception--I'm just noting that it looks very different.

          Here's Hartley's photo of the K:


          Click image for larger version  Name:	Watch K.jpg Views:	0 Size:	61.2 KB ID:	800877

          The entire letter has the same level of darkness, suggesting the same depth and that it was all formed in a single etching movement.


          But, as I say, this is noticeably different from the photograph supplied by Stephen Ryder:



          Click image for larger version  Name:	K Casebook High Res.jpg Views:	0 Size:	11.6 KB ID:	800878

          Look carefully.

          The K in the Ryder photo looks more like a dark X with a small additional 'arm,' and the loop is far lighter and isn't even definitively part of the same letter formation.

          Indeed, it looks considerably fainter and trails upward into a tail at the '11 o'clock' position, far above the letter, where it is lost among other faint scratches that cross horizontally.


          You can see what I mean in the following photo:

          What I believe to be the K is marked in blue. The loop above it is different than what is in Hartley's photograph. It doesn't go down and connect to the lower 'arm' of the letter K as the Hartley photograph shows; instead, it misses it and goes to the upper left. That's what it looks like to me.


          Click image for larger version  Name:	High Rez K.jpg Views:	0 Size:	9.7 KB ID:	800879

          As such, I suspect it is part of the network of superficial scratches on the surface of the watch as described by Turgoose and is not actually part of the lower most etching. There appears to be a gap between the loop and the lower arm of the "K" that is missing in Hartley's rendition.

          Click image for larger version  Name:	K Casebook High Res Faint scratches.jpg Views:	0 Size:	28.7 KB ID:	800880

          I am not suggesting the photograph was deliberately doctored, but they look significantly different to me, and would be curious to know the provenance of Hartley's photograph.

          Anyway, considering how difficult it is to get a conclusive photograph of the etchings, I think the signature would have to be re-examined under a microscope to determine whether all of these marks are actually part of the lower etching.

          More later.
          Last edited by rjpalmer; 11-30-2022, 07:00 PM.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by caz View Post

            without accessing a single authenticated example.

            A big claim, can you prove it? That no one could have got hold of his signature?

            He could have had a middle name, for example, and might always have used it, or just the initial, when signing.

            It could have taken many different forms, and yet this hoaxer guessed the one form that matched - even if some claim to see no great similarity between the signature in the watch and a genuine Maybrick example.

            How do I sign my name? How would you have gone about finding out, back in 1993, if you wanted to play a prank, scratching my signature into a valuable piece of gold jewellery? What would you use for your multiple practice runs? Not gold, surely? How would you rate your chances of getting a reasonable likeness, when you don't even know what form my signature takes?

            Why would you even bother with a signature, when initials, or the individual letters of my surname, using capital letters, would have sufficed and been so much less likely to differ fatally from my own?

            Waffle

            X
            A hoaxer would practice, as I said. There is no reason to think Maybrick could have done it better than a hoaxer.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by caz View Post
              We are all entitled to our opinions on how similarly, or differently, the individual letters are formed, compared with, say, the Maybrick signature on his marriage licence, but there is no denying that the form the signatures take is the same, and they are equally legible, and far from a hard to decipher squiggle, as the real deal could so easily have been.
              Well, since you asked, here is my 'opinion' about the differences in letter formation.

              Here is an image of how James Maybrick formed the letter "k" at the end of his signature, taken from Freemason records that Hartley/Skinner have provided:

              Click image for larger version  Name:	Maybrick K.jpg Views:	0 Size:	9.4 KB ID:	800884

              Next, here is how I believe it was formed in one smooth motion:


              Click image for larger version  Name:	Maybrick Forms a K.jpg Views:	0 Size:	24.3 KB ID:	800885


              The letter formation obviously starts at the point indicated in the lower left by "B" (for beginning) since it is simply a continuation of the letter 'c.'

              His hand then moves to the upper right at a 45-degree incline, forms a clockwise loop, shoots straight upward, and then downward and back to the right as indicated by the red arrows, ending at the "E" (for end).


              The 'k' on the watch certainly appears to be formed differently, even if we use Jay Hartley's photograph.


              Click image for larger version  Name:	Watch K.jpg Views:	0 Size:	55.9 KB ID:	800886


              It looks like the main vertical arm of the 'k' is formed first, starting with the dark dot, indicated by the yellow arrow. Clearly, in stark contrast to James Maybrick's methods, it is not a continuation of the 'c.' It is not even connected to the c.

              It then follows a very different hand motion, as indicated by the red arrows. Finally, the uppermost stroke, indicated in blue, looks like it was formed separately.

              Click image for larger version  Name:	Watch K formation.jpg Views:	0 Size:	65.7 KB ID:	800887


              This, in my amateur opinion, indicates the signature is not authentic, even if we theorize that the hoaxer was attempting to imitate Maybrick's signature, but I would recommend seeking a professional opinion.​

              When doing repetitive tasks, our hand movements form neural patterns in our brains, and these become "hard wired" over time and we then repeat the same motions going forward. I see no reason why Maybrick's hand movements when using a pin or an engraving tool would be so radically different from when he wielded a pen.

              That's all I have time for.

              Comment


              • #37
                Very rare RJ and I agree on anything but I would be of the opinion a further expert opinion would be required to look closely at the K versus the 27 examples of records I have.

                You drawing random squiggles doesn’t do it for me old chap. I have literally no idea what you are waffling on about but anyone who has eyes can see the similarity. It’s examples like this that make me wonder if you are actually just focused on just creating muddied waters than accepting what you can clearly see.

                Considering this requires the owners permission for any further testing, if Daisy was to agree, why don’t you suggest what you feel would be the fairest way to have this properly looked at by an expert - and in what field in particular would satisfy you?

                I can’t help but feel Albert was right. No test will be good enough for some.
                Author of 'Jack the Ripper: Threads' out now on Amazon > UK | USA | CA | AUS
                JayHartley.com

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by erobitha View Post
                  I have literally no idea what you are waffling on about but anyone who has eyes can see the similarity.
                  What waffle? Your reactions to my points are so generalized and inane and poorly formulated that I have been convinced for months that you merely skim over them quickly before launching into a barrage of angry and meaningless pouting.

                  Why don't you instead use reason and address the specific points?

                  I welcome anyone else to review my above posts and specifically show where what I am suggesting about the scratches and the letter formations is incorrect.

                  And by the way, on another matter:

                  According to Dr. Turgoose, the 'am J' and "Maybrick' were the earliest etchings.

                  "am Jack" is part of "I am Jack."

                  So Maybrick named himself Jack even before he murdered Polly Nichols?

                  Fascinating.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                    What waffle? Your reactions to my points are so generalized and inane and poorly formulated that I have been convinced for months that you merely skim over them quickly before launching into a barrage of angry and meaningless pouting.

                    Why don't you instead use reason and address the specific points?

                    I welcome anyone else to review my above posts and specifically show where what I am suggesting about the scratches and the letter formations is incorrect.

                    And by the way, on another matter:

                    According to Dr. Turgoose, the 'am J' and "Maybrick' were the earliest etchings.

                    "am Jack" is part of "I am Jack."

                    So Maybrick named himself Jack even before he murdered Polly Nichols?

                    Fascinating.
                    What points? You drawing squiggles is not a point and does not require reasoning. What are you asking people? How much do they rate your squiggles? They are not based on anything scientific.

                    It's just like how you dismiss the F and M in Kelly's room as Pareidolia, are you using the same argument here too? Random squiggles do not make you an expert, so it requires no 'reasoning'. Simply compare the photograph with the examples of K. I have 22 more if you want them. You only need your eyes for that.

                    More water muddying. It was in those specific micrograph sections in which they were examined they were the earliest scratches, by the way. 'am J' was not in the same section as 'Maybrick' when they were being examined, so your point there is wrong. They were not compared against each other.

                    I am not angry RJ. Just right.





                    Author of 'Jack the Ripper: Threads' out now on Amazon > UK | USA | CA | AUS
                    JayHartley.com

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                      This has already been addressed in Posts #22 and #23 above.

                      Has the signature been authenticated? If so, by whom?

                      And what evidence can you produce to show that the loop in this supposedly startlingly similar 'k' is not part of the superficial, sharp-edged scratches?
                      I think you may have misread my recent posts, including the very specific questions I have asked.

                      I have not suggested the signature in the watch has been 'authenticated'. I was asking how your hoaxer in 1993 would have accessed a document showing an authenticated Maybrick signature, if they wanted to avoid the very real possibility of making a complete hash of things. How would they have distinguished between a document showing his original signature, for instance, and a hand-made copy of an original certificate or licence, if they didn't know what his actual signature looked like? And why bother trying to obtain a signature at all, when initials or just a surname scratched in capital letters would have been enough?

                      You seem to have been suggesting or implying that the watch is part of the same 'cache' taken from Battlecrease on 8 March 1992.
                      9th March, but the answer is I don't know how the watch came to be put up for sale around the same time Doreen was seeking a publisher for the diary. If you don't find that even remotely odd, that's fine. I do.

                      If this is the case, why would a hoaxer have bothered to imitate Maybrick's handwriting in almost invisible etchings on the back of a watch, but made no effort at all to imitate his handwriting on the all-important confessional diary?

                      How, in your view, does that make the least bit of sense?​
                      Well that's not my argument, so you'd have to ask someone else. I have never believed that the person holding the pen had the least intention of trying to pass it off as Maybrick's own handwriting.
                      "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Well, what a ******* day I obviously missed!

                        Let's just have a momentary sanity check here:

                        1) The scrapbook has never once been formally disproven - it has only had arguments lain against it which in themselves are unproven (for example, where Jack left Kelly's breasts is essentially not in debate but where he variously put them during his early morning of carnage cannot now be known; and, for example, Baxendale and Baxendale alone claimed the ink dissolved entirely when tested and yet he concluded from this that the ink therefore went down no earlier than 1945 - he's the expert, we are told but all the King's amateurs now leap on his claims and infer that what he must have meant was 19.45 on April the Something 1992);

                        2) The watch has never once had any scientific claim laid against its authenticity - this has been solely the provence of its critics who - again - appear to know more than the experts. So, in the absence of the critics, the experts have identified no issue with the watch being authentic;

                        3) This is a critical one, but most of you will ignore it or not understand it: the 'F' and the 'M' we can all see on Kelly's wall are said to be simply articulate rivulets of blood (as if blood did that!) and - if they are - a staggering coincidence happened to insert the very initials the scrapbook implied would be there into that photograph. But it doesn't stop there because we now have to believe that the 'K' in the back of the watch only has a coincidental loop because some other scratch by some utter ******* miracle happened to conveniently form the 'K' so distinctive of James Maybrick. The chances of two such pieces of critical evidence being artificially gifted to us by sheer chance events alone is simply off the scale. But most of you won't understand that because - it seems - you are unable to process the natural consequences of what you are arguing for.

                        The scrapbook is sullied by many challenges, it is true, but the watch - to be absolutely clear - is only sullied by the desperate yearning of sceptical amateurs seeking to cast mud into the experts' clear waters.

                        Ike
                        Iconoclast
                        Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
                        Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox
                        Author of the even more brillianter Society's Pillar 2025 (available in all good browsers soon-ish)

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                          1) The scrapbook has never once been formally disproven
                          Unfortunately for you and Jay Hartley, this oft-repeated hokum is utterly meaningless.

                          Questioned documents have to be authenticated. Even an undergraduate in Historic Methodology 101 could tell you that.

                          The diary has never been authenticated and it never will be.

                          It was examined by three different examiners at three different times and all three refused to authenticate it.

                          And this occurred before it was published.

                          Robert Smith then gave up and published it under a sort of "Ripley's Believe it or Not" disclaimer.

                          That was nearly 30 years ago.

                          In the intervening years, Smith still hasn't been able to get anyone to authenticate his diary.

                          One might as well yell from the rooftops that no one has ever 'formerly disproven' the Fiji Mermaid or Kate Eddowes' shawl. What is this even supposed to mean?

                          Is there a governing body somewhere in Iceland that decides such things?

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                            The diary has never been authenticated and it never will be.
                            It was examined by three different examiners at three different times and all three refused to authenticate it.
                            Reputations are rather important to such people, I imagine. Hugh Trevor-Roper probably went to his grave regretting his moment of ill-considered 'authentication' which - possibly forever - sets such 'authenticators' up to be Naysayers. It's the 'intellectually' safe ground post-Kujau.

                            Enquirer: I think I may have the diary of Jack the Ripper here.
                            Authenticator: [Thinks: **** me, there's a ******* time bomb under my career] It's a hoax, I'm afraid.
                            Enquirer: But you haven't seen it.
                            Authenticator: [Thinks: **** me, this one's not going away easily] Well send it 'round to my office and I'll reject it, I mean, I'll consider it in due course.
                            Enquirer: Okay.
                            Authenticator: By the way, what's everyone else saying about it?

                            Psychology Methodology 101.
                            Last edited by Iconoclast; 12-01-2022, 08:15 AM.
                            Iconoclast
                            Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
                            Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox
                            Author of the even more brillianter Society's Pillar 2025 (available in all good browsers soon-ish)

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Literally everything I have read in this thread points toward hoax. I cannot see it any other way. It is just all too convoluted to even come close to the truth. Literally nothing is clear. And that screams dodgy to me. I have no stake in this fight, I do not have a pet suspect I just like to look at the case as objectively as possible, focus on the scant facts we have in an effort to come to some kind of logical conclusions (though this is challenging in itself) but this is about as illogical as it gets. Nothing makes any sense.
                              Best wishes,

                              Tristan

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                                Sorry, Caz, this is weird commentary with not an ounce of critical thinking attached to it.

                                None of Feldman's crazy conspiracy theories (which came later--more on this another time) has anything to do with his initial contact with Johnson.

                                Feldman was an experienced and successful businessman and was just as able to discern a cold reception as anyone else (probably more so) and he quickly realized that Albert was fobbing him off onto his brother.

                                That's strange...and interesting.
                                It merely tells me that Albert and Robbie had different personalities. Their initial dealings were with Robert, and with the book Shirley was still busy writing. Albert would have felt his loyalties were to Robert and Shirley, and may even have been warned not to let this Paul Feldman fellow throw his weight about, with his tendency to phone people at all hours and interrogate them until he got the answers he wanted.

                                Why on earth would Robbie have needed to have been there to show Albert's watch, which Albert supposedly bought for his granddaughter? Robbie should have had nothing to do with it.
                                Why on earth not? In Albert's shoes, I'd have been glad of my own brother's presence and input, as the stronger and more confident personality, and why would anyone have objected to him being there? Why do you object to Robbie being there?

                                And why was it Robbie who was phoning Feldman from Dr. Turgoose's office? I hope you aren't trying to deny that he wasn't front and center in all of this.
                                Not at all. I'd have wanted my brother to have done exactly the same, although to be fair he is infinitely more qualified to talk science with scientists than I am, or Robbie would have been.

                                Feldman later repeats that he had 'no doubt' that it was Robbie who was in charge of the business arrangements concerning the watch.
                                Again, Robbie was probably more disposed to discussing business arrangements, and more willing to engage with Feldman, than Albert ever was. I can't read any more into it than that, based on my own relationship with my brother and all the time I spent in Albert and Val's company.

                                But I suppose I can appreciate why you would want to make Robbie seem like an unimportant and irrelevant figure in all of this, even though it is plain from both Harrison and Felman's accounts that wherever the watch was, Robbie was not far behind.
                                Not an unimportant or irrelevant figure, but one who was, by nature, a lot more eager than Albert ever was to seize the potential advantages of having this watch in the family.

                                I can appreciate why you would want to make Robbie seem like the sort of reprobate who could have run rings round his simple brother. After all, you have no dirt on Albert to rake up [apart from sounding 'cold and distant' when phoned by Feldy], and Robbie had no previous for forgery, so without his record for drug dealing and possession, you'd have precious little else to hold against either of them.​

                                Where did the rock steady hand come from? You know, the one Robbie used to inscribe a good likeness of Maybrick's signature in Daisy's gold watch with his flaking old tool, while ripped to the tits on wacky baccy and laughing hysterically, while Albert and Val sat downstairs watching Songs of Praise?​
                                Last edited by caz; 12-01-2022, 11:35 AM.
                                "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


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