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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Maybrick, James

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  #11  
Old 08-30-2008, 09:37 PM
Ash Ash is offline
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Of course, you are absolutely right, Tom. There is no one incontrovertible, unequivocal or undeniable fact that refutes the diary. If there were, you would never have started this thread, because we would have stopped talking about it long ago.

However, in asking for one, you are holding the diary to a higher standard than we expect when exercising our daily rights as members of society. The law of the land does not require things to be incontrovertible, unequivocal or undeniable. In a court of law, all that is required is to demonstrate a fact "beyond a reasonable doubt." In other words, we have to prove that the weight of evidence suggests that no other explanation is remotely likely.

Do we have that in the case of the diary? Yes, we do. If the diary had got one fact wrong, featured one anachronism, had one thing about it that didn't add up, a thinking man could accept that. If there were two or three, it still would be open to debate. But the sheer number of them that we are required to accept in order for the diary to be the genuine article is far beyond the limits of any reasonable person's tolerance. And your article, far from arguing in favour of the diary, has simply served as a perfect illustration of that fact.
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2008, 09:59 PM
Tom Mitchell Tom Mitchell is offline
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Hi Ash,

I wasn't arguing in favour of the diary, merely providing the weaknesses in it with a similar number of strengths.

I think it is perfectly reasonable to persist in seeking some kind of incontrovertible error because the absence of one says clearly that the diary's detractors are clinging to a list of 'weaknesses' (not errors) whilst ignoring the copious strengths.

It hasn't taken long (a few hours) to reach the point where we are all in agreement that the diary is not inherently flawed in a fatal way.

If it were all one way traffic in favour of fraud, the statistician in me would accept the probability of that fraud. Personally, I look at the diary and see the inherent strengths and want to understand how they could have slipped in if the thing was a fraud. I see the weaknesses as I understand them (I listed them in my original post). If there are many more, please let me know what they are. I'm open to the debate. If there were only errors, of course a jury would convict. But if there were also strengths, that same jury would quite rightly be unsure and surely not convict?

I suspect that this thread has already come to an end, though, as it was designed to understand any one incontrovertible error in the text, material, whatever, and you and others have agreed that there isn't one. The diary is actually - to date - inherently, underlyingly flawless.

PS That doesn't make it authentic, of course.

Many thanks,

Tom
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2008, 10:29 PM
Rosey O'Ryan Rosey O'Ryan is offline
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Hi Tom,

"Spider-pig does what a spider-pig does". While I have a great respect for the jury system...I do not credit them with absolute wisdom.
Rosey :-)
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2008, 10:34 PM
Omlor Omlor is offline
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The diary is a text.

Reading is a product of desire.

There are an overwhelming number of logical and common-sense reasons to conclude that this thing is a cheap fake. The simple fact that the writing in the diary is nothing at all like the handwriting of the real James Maybrick is a dead giveaway for those who are willing to use simple logic and common sense.

But as I said, reading is a product of desire.

These are not mathematical equations we are dealing with. Consequently there will always be those who imagine excuses for any and all errors, ahistoricisms, moments of downright silliness, and fatal flaws such as the handwriting. No one can stop those who want to create such excuses using only their imaginations despite the history and the written record.

Thus, the sort of absolute "nail in the coffin" being asked for here is inappropriate as a question in such circumstances where what is involved is reading and interpretation.

The diarist could easily have written "saw the rolling stones last night -- they were excellent" and someone would then be able to argue that perhaps there was some event or occurrence or group of people in 1888 known locally as "the rolling stones" and we just don't have a record of them or don't know about it yet. So even such a ridiculous sentence would not be the "final nail in the coffin" for some. But such readers I think can be easily and comfortably dismissed without concern.

Of course that won't stop them. And so, the problem here lies in the nature of the question rather than in all the logical and common-sense answers. The goal being set-up is one that is doomed to fail by its very nature.

At least, that is, until the diary is allowed to be thoroughly and properly examined by qualified scientists using all of the latest available equipment and techniques.

And that's clearly not going to happen anytime soon.

Same as it ever was in the land of obvious hoaxes,

--John
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  #15  
Old 08-30-2008, 10:34 PM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Mitchell View Post
It hasn't taken long (a few hours) to reach the point where we are all in agreement that the diary is not inherently flawed in a fatal way.
I don't think we have agreed as much, Tom. Personally, I see the diary as being flawed along a number of dimensions, some of which I indicated earlier. It's arguable whether any one of these flaws may be considered "fatal" (I reserve judgment on that) but, collectively, they point to only one realistic conclusion, which is that the diary is a work of fiction.
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  #16  
Old 08-30-2008, 10:35 PM
Tom Mitchell Tom Mitchell is offline
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Fair point Rosey.

What is a Spider-pig, by the way? Please tell me we haven't gone and crossed the two.

Tam :-)
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  #17  
Old 08-30-2008, 10:55 PM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Hi Tom,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Mitchell View Post
What is a Spider-pig, by the way?
"Spider-pig" was one of Stan Lee's first drafts for what eventually became a famous comic strip. In it, Peter Parker, ridiculed by his friends for attending catering college, gets bitten by a radioactive spider whilst frying some streaky bacon in cookery class. This freak accident turns him into a grotesque hybrid of pig and spider, who goes on to win fame by thwarting criminals, spinning enormous (strangely curly) webs, and climbing tall buildings in search of rare truffles. The idea was rejected by the Marvel Comics executive board, but they recognised the potential and asked Lee to rework it. This he did, and after locking himself away for several days and working furiously, the "The Silver Porker" was born.
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  #18  
Old 08-30-2008, 10:56 PM
Brenda Brenda is offline
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I was just singing the Spider Pig song today! Except I changed the words because I was singing it to my new puppy.

For those in the dark about a Spider Pig:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=714-Ioa4XQw

James Maybrick
James Maybrick
Did he write a diary that just won't stick?
Does it make any sense?
No it don't, cuz its a fake
Look ouuuuut......
Its a forgery!!!!!
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  #19  
Old 08-30-2008, 11:00 PM
Tom Mitchell Tom Mitchell is offline
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Seriously - am I the only one left (diary believer)???
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  #20  
Old 08-30-2008, 11:16 PM
Ben Ben is offline
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Hi Tom,

I'd really caution against dredging up a series of "coincidences" that are supposed to lend weight to Maybrick's candidacy or otherwise give credence to the "lucky forger" hypothesis. For example, Juwes substituted for "James"? Absolutely no way; "the james are the men" is a syntactical disaster, besides which the diary itself doesn't make any claims along those lines - it specifically mentions a "Jewish" joke.

You then mentioned the recent JTR documentary in the context of geo-profiling and Middlesex Street. At what point did Kim Rossmo single out Middlesex Street as a viable bolt-hole for the killer? On the subject of the "tale" Maybrick was supposed to have told Florence, it was intended - if I recall correctly - to frighten the truth out of her. How would a confession to being Jack the Ripper serve that purpose? The October "E-fit" doesn't resemble Maybrick at all. These non-police-endorsed sketches depiected a younger, stockier man with a moustache, based as they were on the discredited evidence of Matthew Packer.

Quote:
The lack of correlation makes me think either an utter idiot wrote it (an argument not then backed up by the detail contained within it) or else it was written by Maybrick in a hand not historically on record elsewhere.
Why would he disguise his hand if he wasn't disguising his identity? I think "utter idiot" is much nearer the mark, and to go from claiming that there's nothing that "disproves" the diary to asserting that it's "inherently, underlyingly, flawless" is obvious nonsense.

Best regards,
Ben

Last edited by Ben : 08-30-2008 at 11:27 PM.
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