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Questions Regarding The Swanson Marginalia From "The Definitive JTR" Documentary

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  • Paul Kearney A.K.A. NEMO
    replied
    Imagine trying to recruit a new member for the cabal...

    "We'd like you to join us but you might not like the initiation ceremony"

    "I might be interested, What do you do?"

    "We're the Jack the Ripper Club"

    "Oh feck..."

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul
    replied
    Originally posted by How Brown View Post
    Mr. B:

    I asked you a question back on post # 60............................
    Dammit ! Are you going to answer it or are you purposedly avoiding answering the question because you are the Imperial Wizard of this sinister cabal ?

    Thank you.
    After consultation with the black masked members of the cabal/cartel/clique, it has been decided not to answer that question because we know this will annoy you and you'll throw your toys out of the box because you feel left out and because we, of course, don't want it answered.

    Actually, it's just one of those tricky bits of writing where clarity seems to have been sacrificed to brevity. All we meant was that as a consequence of the Dear Boss letter the police were inundated with letters purporting to be from the killer, one which stood out, and that that was the Lusk letter.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul
    replied
    Originally posted by Cris Malone View Post
    Thank you How and Jeff.

    First, having seen this documentary, I was much impressed by the depiction of the crime scenes and the portrayal of the victims... first rate indeed. I wish you would make a DVD that had every inch of footage in it and maybe a director's cut as well. The amount of information that was provided in the time span available was astounding. Since my particular interest, I guess, has been the murder of Elizabeth Stride, I was especially pleased with the layout of Dutfield's Yard because I've always thought that many people don't realize just how narrow it was. The perspective of the murder scenes has never been attempted before in my recollection.

    On the Swanson Marginalia, I just have a question to anyone involved in the segment on the SM. When you found the lines along the edge of the text, what went through your mind? What was your impression at the moment and how/when do you think they got there?
    Well, the answer is quite simple, though to some it might sound strange, and it's this: at the time we had more things to worry about. As John has and will attest, I had possession of the Swanson marginalia for a limited time, it was only to be handled by someone wearing protective gloves, and I let John handle it once, briefly. During the time it was out of its protective box I was primarily concerned about its overall fragility and evetually my concerns were such that I called a halt to the filming. I briefly discussed the red lines with John, but they had clearly been done with care to highlight where the badly fading marginal writing was located, so I assumed they had been done for display purposes. Not since the book had been loaned to the Crime Museum - they obviusly know how to handle artefacts - and a few inquiries quickly confirmed that, but possibly by someone who had borrowed the book before that. Several possibilities suggested themselves. I’m pretty sure that I now know who put the lines there and hopefully a little more research will confirm this.

    The red lines don't call the authenticity of the marginalia itself into question and photographs taken in 1988 and 2000 show the relevant pages in their original pristine state. Handwriting analysis shows that the writing is Donald Swanson's throughout and the provenance appears impeccable. I know of no forensic tests that will prove beyond question when and by whom the pencil was put to the paper, and a more in-depth analysis of the handwriting using test examples of Swanson's handwriting over a greater period of time is likely only to confirm (or deny) the claim that parts of the marginal writing were writeen at different times. Contextual analysis isn't particularly helpful in this case.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul
    replied
    Originally posted by Jeff Leahy View Post
    I have not posted on the SM in either forum except to rebuke an individual on the other for spurious accusations, but I'm a bit confused. What is exactly the purpose of this thread? Some help from the moderators would be appreciated.
    Yesterday 09:11 PM

    As far as I see we are free to make this thread say..and be what ever we like..

    Its called freedom of expression....it's a very valuable thing..

    It only exists in certain places on earth, and it has faded and died else where on the internet..

    FREEDOM!!!
    Do not confuse the right to express yourself with the right to be able to express yourself whenever and whereaver and in whatever way you like.

    Try expressing yourself loudly in a residemtial area in the middle of the night and you might find yourself facing a charge of breaching the peace.

    Do it in a pub, a restaurant, or a shop and you’ll probably find yourself being given a bums rush to the street.

    Do it when you don’t have the facts and you may find yourself in court facing a slander charge.

    Do it on a message board, you’ll likely get barred, eventually.

    Like it or not, there are rules. Without rules you have anarchy.

    I'm sure the moderators will fight to the death for you to have the right to say what you want, but break the rules and they'll suggest that it would be better if you said it elsewhere.

    Leave a comment:


  • SirRobertAnderson
    replied
    Everything goes except dragging the provenance of the SM into the picture, or suggesting that someone got at it and added the coda.

    In other words, just a request for sanity and common sense.

    Everything else is welcome. I.e. how and when did the filmmakers notice the changes, their theories (if any) etc etc.

    Originally posted by Cris Malone View Post

    On the Swanson Marginalia, I just have a question to anyone involved in the segment on the SM. When you found the lines along the edge of the text, what went through your mind? What was your impression at the moment and how/when do you think they got there?
    Poifect.

    Exactly where I hoped this thread would go. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear; the problem is 99% of our posters wouldn't dream of insinuating Red Felt Begg and Blue Biro Bennett would have done the dirty deed or that the S&M is a forgery. There's another place where the 1% can post that to their heart's content. It's just not here.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cris Malone
    replied
    Thank you How and Jeff.

    First, having seen this documentary, I was much impressed by the depiction of the crime scenes and the portrayal of the victims... first rate indeed. I wish you would make a DVD that had every inch of footage in it and maybe a director's cut as well. The amount of information that was provided in the time span available was astounding. Since my particular interest, I guess, has been the murder of Elizabeth Stride, I was especially pleased with the layout of Dutfield's Yard because I've always thought that many people don't realize just how narrow it was. The perspective of the murder scenes has never been attempted before in my recollection.

    On the Swanson Marginalia, I just have a question to anyone involved in the segment on the SM. When you found the lines along the edge of the text, what went through your mind? What was your impression at the moment and how/when do you think they got there?

    Leave a comment:


  • Jeff Leahy
    replied
    I have not posted on the SM in either forum except to rebuke an individual on the other for spurious accusations, but I'm a bit confused. What is exactly the purpose of this thread? Some help from the moderators would be appreciated.
    Yesterday 09:11 PM

    As far as I see we are free to make this thread say..and be what ever we like..

    Its called freedom of expression....it's a very valuable thing..

    It only exists in certain places on earth, and it has faded and died else where on the internet..

    FREEDOM!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Cris:

    By all means, ask whatever questions you had in mind. There's no problem.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cris Malone
    replied
    Originally posted by SirRobertAnderson View Post
    I am going to throw a moderator's elbow here and say that any discussion of the S&M, err SM that calls its legitimacy into question will be deleted by me. There is a very active Casebook thread for that and you can join in there. (I have.) It's got nothing to do with the documentary other than to prove for the umpteenth time that no good deed goes unpunished in Ripperology.
    I have not posted on the SM in either forum except to rebuke an individual on the other for spurious accusations, but I'm a bit confused. What is exactly the purpose of this thread? Some help from the moderators would be appreciated.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jeff Leahy
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul View Post
    What is history? Is history relevant? These are the perennial questions, Jeff, and numerous attempts to answer them are in a row of books on a shelf just above my computer. Sounds like it was a great and inspiring event, and New York will have inspired you even further. You can achieve anything there. Or at least you feel you can.
    IT IS YOU THAT HAVE ASKED THESE QUESTIONS OF ME...?

    YET THERE ARE OTHERS WRESTLING WITH THEM AS WELL..

    HISTORY IS ABOUT NOW

    I JUST WANT TO BE COUNTED

    Jeff

    Leave a comment:


  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Mr. B:

    I asked you a question back on post # 60............................
    Dammit ! Are you going to answer it or are you purposedly avoiding answering the question because you are the Imperial Wizard of this sinister cabal ?

    Thank you.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul
    replied
    Originally posted by Rob House View Post
    I agree Paul. Incidentally, I thought Neil's post was quite hilarious. I always value his input, and respect his judgement on things. I didn't mean that to sound critical of him specifically.
    RH
    Yes, he was funny. Also pretty spot on with the points he made.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul
    replied
    Originally posted by Jeff Leahy View Post
    Paul, quite the opposite..I was very surprised at the conference political aims and objectives of which I'm certain your voice would have slotted in very well.

    Given that the winning shows were about Afganistan and twitter about Eygpt (today)..

    Remember your idea about Hoaxes???

    Why not re-write it about HISTORY? what is it? what does it mean? is it relevant to kids??

    I hear Channel 4 are looking for an eccentric historical presenter

    Jeff

    PS dont get me wrong 'Ice road trackers is still top of ratings
    What is history? Is history relevant? These are the perennial questions, Jeff, and numerous attempts to answer them are in a row of books on a shelf just above my computer. Sounds like it was a great and inspiring event, and New York will have inspired you even further. You can achieve anything there. Or at least you feel you can.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jeff Leahy
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul View Post
    How nice it would have been to have had Simon Shama explaining that concept to one or two people who are of the opinion that viewers switch off in droves if you mention someone's name. When I naively voiced the idea that television could be intelligent I was told firmly that television is tabloid and has to be sexy.
    Paul, quite the opposite..I was very surprised at the conference political aims and objectives of which I'm certain your voice would have slotted in very well.

    Given that the winning shows were about Afganistan and twitter about Eygpt (today)..

    Remember your idea about Hoaxes???

    Why not re-write it about HISTORY? what is it? what does it mean? is it relevant to kids??

    I hear Channel 4 are looking for an eccentric historical presenter

    Jeff

    PS dont get me wrong 'Ice road trackers is still top of ratings

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul
    replied
    Originally posted by Jeff Leahy View Post
    YES, please remember that the people involved in the project have been over so much more ground than ended up IN ..Definitive Story..so if it were left OUT...well there was also a reason.

    Personally I would have liked to have had the Seaside home included. Actually this tale of a police ID is by far the most important and surprising of all Ripper revelations!!!

    However as Paul correctly says it possed a large number of problems..

    For a start it is COMPLICATED....and let me say that I am in complete agreement with Simon Schuma who0 stated at the 2011 HISTORY MAKERS that being complicated dosnt mean it cant make Great TV....it can and it should....

    However there was clearly a time factor (within the program) and a visual problem...the only way to have filmed theID would have been to use the actors who played Schwartz and Kosminski...again giving further wait to a Kosminski Bias...with Swanson and Anderson in the background???

    A complete minefield because almost every visual element would go down the Speculation route......in terms of ratings and sales this would have been good........but as a team trying to make a serious program????????????????

    I hope the Definitive Story starts students thinking and talking.....I hope they buy Robs book..

    But we can behave like HISTORIANS, make entertaining Tele, and try to get the rest of the historical field to one day take us seriously???

    Yours Jeff

    PS they've closed a thread without my input? some things never change
    How nice it would have been to have had Simon Shama explaining that concept to one or two people who are of the opinion that viewers switch off in droves if you mention someone's name. When I naively voiced the idea that television could be intelligent I was told firmly that television is tabloid and has to be sexy.

    Leave a comment:

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