So the point is made again as to how Robbie could possibly have known about the watch if Albert didnít tell him about it.
Well a child of six could work that one out. Albert told another family member who then told Robbie.
My goodness that wasnít difficult.
And thatís if the Blessed Albert was even telling the truth about not mentioning the watch to Robbie. One could easily imagine that Albert was being protective of his brother; if he thought that researchers suspected Robbie of being involved in a scam he could easily have told a little white lie to protect him by saying that Robbie didnít know about the watch. Even saints can tell white lies canít they?
And that of course is if Albert did actually say that he didnít tell his brother. As to that, itís been stated as a fact on more than one occasion but no supporting evidence or source has been provided. This is part of a repeated pattern of which I have complained time and time again where things are being stated as facts without proper evidential support.
I can't prove it, David, because Albert told me, in Friday's Bar at the Adelphi Hotel, in company with his lovely wife Val, that his brother knew nothing about him owning a watch until Albert told him what had been discovered inside it. I didn't record the conversation - sorry. But Val didn't pipe up to correct Albert, so if she had mentioned the watch to Robbie [who then pretended not to know about it when Albert related the discovery to him], or if she knew Albert was telling me a white lie about it, she was keeping it very much to herself.
So come on, David. Do you think Murphy lied about trying and failing to polish out some scratches - any scratches - in 1992? Or did the hoaxer succeed in polishing these out completely in 1993, so the surface would not be like another little red diary and be 'useless for forgery purposes'?
What do you say?
__________________ "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov
Now someone... sees an early newspaper story... about a diary that has come to light, linking James Maybrick to the JtR murders, which will not be published until the Autumn [so no clues yet about which murders will be claimed on this occasion].
The five canonical ones would be a pretty safe bet, which is what we see on the watch.
One can only interpret a statement on the basis of the words used. Murphy did not say that "they were not markings I would have taken notice of what they represented” as one forum member has tried to suggest by adding words not used in the sentence. He said he did not take notice of them. Perhaps he meant something else but that’s not what he said. Indeed, we’ve already been told that the scratches were not visible to the naked eye so how did he even see them in the first place?
Er, I said they were 'barely' visible to the naked eye, and that I couldn't see them in 2001 when I was shown the watch. Others have seen them when held up to the light, and that's how they were first seen at Albert's workplace, although a microscope was needed to make out all the words and initials inscribed there.
He doesn’t actually say in his statement that he tried to polish them out. That is something said by a writer an article and I haven’t seen an original quote from Murphy. If he HAD tried to polish them out then my point is that he would not be “almost certain” they were there he would have been absolutely certain because otherwise what was he trying to polish out? This has not been answered.
Right, so Mr Protractor the maths teacher strides into the classroom and notices some Latin poetry [by Catullus, incidentally] chalked up on the blackboard from the previous lesson. He doesn't care much for the subject and just needs a clean board for 4B's algebra period, so he tuts and takes a dry duster to it, leaving only traces of chalk, which he can put up with [or 'up with which he can put', if you prefer. The English teacher is on maternity leave and planning to marry her girlfriend].
Anyway, a year later, a serious complaint is made against Mr Splodgekiss, one of the Classics teachers, for allegedly writing his own, even more indecent and pornographic versions of original poems by Catullus, on the blackboard for his 3A Latin class. Unfortunately nobody has thought to take any photos, so Mr Protractor becomes a potentially important witness, when the spotty head boy bound for Oxbridge pipes up and says he distinctly recalls absent-minded old Splodgy writing one particularly filthy and memorable verse on the blackboard and it still being there when the bell went and they all filed out of the classroom smirking, passing a bespectacled Mr Protractor on his way in.
Alas, all Mr Protractor can recall is this: "Yes, I did have to erase some Latin poetry on one occasion, about a year ago, but I wouldn't have taken notice of it, although I'm almost certain it was the work of Splodgekiss, who took the previous lesson, and what the head boy is now describing in rather too much detail for my stomach".
If "I noticed" and "I took notice of" were identical in meaning, we'd never need to use the latter, but they are not identical. Just as one can see something but not observe it, one can notice all kinds of things [like a notice board outside a church or a neighbour's washing line] without taking notice of them [as in reading the notices or gawping at what's hanging on the line].
Given that I don't believe that the "Ripper" or "Maybrick" markings were on the watch prior to it coming into Albert's possession I am fully entitled to question the evidence on which such a claim is based.
Absolutely, but questioning it is pointless without examining it, and then comparing it with what would have been involved for anyone putting them there in 1993.
__________________ "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov
In answer to your question about direct quotes from the Murphys, see pages 243, 248 and 249 of Shirley Harrison's 1998 paperback:
'Later, before it was finally placed in their own shop window, Ron himself cleaned the watch and it was then that he noticed the scratches in the back. "I tried to buff them out with jeweller's rouge", he recalls ruefully.'
Then on page 249:
'The Murphys were indignant. "He [Dundas] was asked only to repair the movement, not clean the watch - he would not have been needed to look inside the back at all. He would not have noticed the scratches, anyway. After all, we tried to clean them and simply because they were so faint we didn't realise what they were! There is absolutely no doubt that the watch Mr Johnson bought from us is the watch you have seen with the scratches in the back".
Is that 'positive' enough for you now, David? Or so positive the Murphys must have been bribed into lying?
On page 248, Shirley writes that Dundas described to Feldman the watch he examined, but this was clearly not the one he was asked by Murphy to repair in 1992, which Albert then bought in the July.
__________________ "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov
To a degree I agree with that.
I have no idea who killed her?
There is a difference, the killer of Nichols whoever it was, is very material to the other murders.
And yes if Maybrick wrote the diary that is material too.
However if it's by someone else it loses all relevance to the actual murders and become a work of fiction.
Like that of Carnac.
Yes, obviously any forgery would be irrelevant to the Whitechapel murders. I'd still like to know who wrote it though!
A good point about Mike's affidavit: according to him it was his wife who actually forged the Diary, although he apparently dictated the information to her. Have you also noticed how many basic spelling and grammatical errors there are in the affidavit?
For example, in just one sentence he writes "emphasie", instead of "emphasize"; omits to place a comma after "realised" when writing, "but we realised and I must emphasie (sic) this..."; writes "to", when he means "too"; and the relatively simple word "distinctive" is misspelt.
Your views about the literacy skills required to write the diary seem to change every day John. Back in February you challenged whether Mike could have written the diary based on his "literacy skills" but then, when Gareth pointed out that there were plenty of mistakes in the diary, said "Okay, I concede the matter of Mike's literacy skills are somewhat irrelevant, or at least are bound to be inconclusive as regards whether he was the author of the diary".
Yesterday, however, you told me that the articles Mike authored were trivial in character "and it is therefore submitted that they do not attest to Mike's literacy skills, or lack thereof."
Now I really don't know whether you think the author of the diary had literacy skills or not. One day he/she does, the next day he/she doesn't, depending on what you are trying to argue.
You seem to now be saying that Anne Barrett's English was too good for her to have transcribed the Diary! I don't know where you get that impression from or why you think her English was particularly good.
If it is because she "tidied up" Mike's articles then, as I have stated repeatedly, we don't know what is meant by her doing this or whether she even did a particularly good job. Any errors would have been tidied up by a sub-editor at the magazine.
Apparently the world's leading expert on the watch thinks that the only issue for a jeweller in deciding to get a watch repaired is whether they can find someone to repair it. Some people might have thought that cost was a more important factor. Sometimes it can cost more to repair an item than its sale value. Sometimes a small jeweller might have cash flow issues and might not want to spend money on repairing an item even if it is worth more than the repair cost because they might not think they will be able to sell it. Something can be worth £1m but if you can't sell it then it really has no value at all. Statement of the Bleedin' Obvious Part 94.
We are told as a fact by the world's leading expert on the watch that in 1992 Ron Murphy saw some faint scratch marks on the inner surface of the watch and tried but failed to polish them out.
But just hold on a minute. Let's look at the history of Mr Murphy's statements about the watch.
The first known information to come from the jeweller was a statement by his wife in July 1993 which I haven't seen but which appears to confirm that the the watch had been in her father's possession for at least five years before it was displayed in the shop. This statement is referred to in Robert Smith's postscript on the watch in the first JTR book (published 7 October 1993).
In September 1993, it seems that Murphy was interviewed by Martin Howells for we find it said in Inside Story that, when interviewed, Murphy recalled seeing scratches. What is curious, though, is that Murphy is not directly quoted as saying this. His recollection is only summarized and the only words of his quoted on the subject of the scratches are of him saying "but I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary". (It might be helpful if someone can produce a transcript of the Sept 1993 interview.)
What I find bizarre is that if Ron Murphy remembered seeing the scratches in September 1993, he did not say so in his written statement dated 20 October 1993 which, as far as I am aware, is the next time he is known to have addressed the subject. What he said in that statement is this:
"Having seen the watch for the first time since selling it, I am almost certain that the markings were present when the watch was sold but they were not markings that I would have taken notice of."
Not only does he not say that he saw any scratches but the conclusion must be that he did not because otherwise he would surely have been certain that there were scratches on the watch. The only interpretation I can give the above sentence is that he had the impression that there were scratches there but did not actually focus on them.
But there are two more extremely important things to say about this sentence in Murphy's statement. The first is that he does not actually refer to scratches but to "the markings". What he must mean by this is the markings which refer to Maybrick, Jack and JTR's victims. Yet we have been told by the world's leading expert that the markings on the watch are "almost impossible to see or make out with the naked eye." By all accounts THE MOST that anyone can see on the watch, even when it catches the sunlight, is just faint scratches. So without having looked at the watch very closely and carefully (with the aid of a microscope) it would surely have been impossible for Murphy to be able to say that the Maybrick/JTR markings were (or were not) on that watch.
Yet he says he is "almost certain" that they were there. What can he possibly mean by this? As I have suggested previously, one possibility is that he knew he had sold the watch to the lovely, decent, saintly Albert Johnson in the summer of 1992 and when shown the watch in October 1993 (?), knowing that the watch has been in the possession of Mr Johnson the whole time, he cannot conceive of how scratches could have been added to the watch had they not already been there when he sold it.
I have included a question mark in the previous paragraph for I would like to comment on Murphy's use of the phrase "Having seen the watch for the first time since selling it". To me, that reads like he has been shown the watch for the first time in October 1993 in preparation for making his statement on 20th October. I'm not sure how that tallies with Albert supposedly having returned to pester him and pepper him with questions about the watch in May/June/July 1993. Did Albert not show him the watch and the markings at that time then?
Anyway, the second important thing about Murphy's statement is that he nowhere says anything about having attempted to polish out the scratches or the markings, or whatever he thinks he saw on the watch. For me this is absolutely crucial. If he had attempted to polish out the scratches then why was he not entirely certain that he saw scratches on the watch? After all, if he was trying to remove something from the watch he must have known that there was something to be removed (which he couldn't remove). But if he was only talking about the JTR and Maybrick markings on the watch - markings which he couldn't have seen - what was the basis of his near certainty that they were actually there?
The more I think about it the more of a puzzle it is and I really can't make head nor tail of it.
As far as I am aware, there is no record of Murphy saying anything at all about the watch or the scratches for the next four years. If he said anything at any time to Albert I haven't been able to find a record of this.
What happens next is that Harrison interviewed the Murphys in February 1997 at which time Murphy is quoted as saying:
'I tried to buff them out with jeweller's rouge' and 'we tried to clean them and simply because they were so faint we didn't realise what they were!' [don't know what he means by "we" unless he is a member of royal family.]
These quotes first appeared in Harrison's 1998 paperback. So for the first time, four years after his written statement, and five years after he sold the watch, Murphy says that he tried to polish out the scratches. But if that is the case, as I have already said, why was he only "almost certain" that there were markings on the watch. Where was the doubt? If, in saying that, he was actually talking about the Maybrick/JTR markings, why did he not say in his October 1993 statement that he was certain there were at least scratches on the watch which he had tried to polish out?
How did he even come to open the watch and see the scratches that were "barely visible"? Did the back of the watch catch the sunlight in the same way that it did for Albert in the college? Was it just a miracle that he caught sight of them?
There's no point in trying to work out the story with the scratches until we know if Murphy did see them and how he did so. As to that, we have been told quite clearly that Murphy is a dishonest witness because the world's leading expert on the subject informs us that the part of his statement where he says "I had owned the watch for a couple of years prior to selling it. It had been given to me by my father-in-law, who had a Jewellers Shop himself in Lancaster" is a complete and utter bare faced lie. We are told that the truth is that he received the watch only a few weeks or months before selling it. Well, if Murphy was prepared to lie about the provenance of the watch why would he not lie about a few scratches? If Murphy is a liar, as we are told he is, why should I waste my time scratching (forgive pun) my head about how the scratches that he claimed to see got on the watch or what they were?