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

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Old 04-20-2018, 04:52 AM
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caz caz is offline
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Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
I’m starting to think that Friday was a late April Fools day. Surely the posts from that day can’t be serious. We are told that the person who sold the watch “to a member of the Murphy/Stewart family” was “a little man”. Excuse me? What does the size of this man have to do with anything?
I was just repeating how the stranger was described, David. Anything wrong with that? Maybe he was huge and the source was lying for no apparent reason.

It's not even a fair representation of the story which is that this man sold the watch to Mr Stewart. There's no question of us not knowing who it was and having to describe him as “a member of the Murphy/Stewart family”. A man came into a jewellery shop and, after haggling over price, sold a watch to a jeweller (Mr Stewart). What’s odd about that?
Only that it's not clear who actually got this information from whom. I've been looking at the various sources and the only people I can find who claimed they actually spoke directly to Mr Stewart, to ask about the watch that his son-in-law eventually sold to Albert in July 1992, were his daughter, Mrs Murphy, and Albert Johnson. It would be good to know if anyone investigating its origins, who wasn't at the centre of the story, ever got to speak to the old man, if only to confirm that he knew which watch he'd been asked to recall. As you surely agree, it would be less than satisfactory if we are relying on someone so close to the story to have asked the right questions of Mr Stewart and obtained an accurate first-hand account. Had Anne refused to let her frail, elderly father be interviewed by Paul Feldman, for instance, but had given her own account of his 'diary' recollections, I can only imagine the howls of derision that would surely have followed. As it is, few people accept that Billy Graham was remembering 'the' diary, when asked, and not some other old book.

This is the story as told by Stewart’s daughter (according to Feldman):

She said he [Stewart] recalled a little man coming to the shop he once owned in Lancaster. He had requested a sum of money which her father refused and the man left instantly. Mrs Murphy’s father had an instant change of heart and ran outside to recall the man. The transaction was concluded.

There's no mention there of “no questions asked or answered” but if no questions were asked then what is the purpose of saying that none were answered? Surely it’s impossible to answer questions which haven’t been asked.
It's a figure of speech, David. There is nothing here that suggests this little man was asked anything about himself or the history of the watch he was trying to flog, or that he volunteered any such information, whether asked for it or not.

We are being told in this thread that far from the watch being purchased by Mr Stewart from the little man in 1980, it was actually purchased by Mr Murphy after 9th March 1992 and the entire story told by the elderly Mr Stewart to both Albert Johnson and his daughter about the little man from 1980 was a complete lie.
NO 'WE' ARE NOT. It's a mere suggestion in the absence of any documentary evidence of the watch's whereabouts up until it was seen in the Murphys' shop window in 1992 and snapped up by Albert Johnson.

If Mr Stewart was happy, back in the early 80s, to buy a gold watch from a stranger without requiring any further information, why not Mr Murphy in 1992? When Albert returned to ask for that information, in 1993, Murphy had none to give him because it was never asked for. He thought there was something 'wrong' with the watch at first and even offered to buy it back. Did something click at that point? Did he remember something about the stranger that suggested he was in a hurry to take the cash and go, and wouldn't be coming back in a hurry to argue the toss about when that was? "Wait a minute - I flogged that gold watch to the shop in March 1992!" "Did you? Where did you get it from then?" "Er, I'd rather not say". "Can you prove it was you, or the date you flogged it? Did you give the shop your name or keep a copy of any receipt?" "Er no, sorry".

That’s the tangle that the world’s leading expert has got herself into and from her failed attempt at extricating herself it doesn’t look she’s actually going to be able to untangle the tangle.
As I say, it's only a suggestion, and it really doesn't bother me whether the thing was flogged by a stranger in the early 80s or early 90s. It remains fortunate for whoever made those engravings that the history of the watch begins with that little man in a hurry for the cash.


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

Last edited by caz : 04-20-2018 at 05:13 AM.
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