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

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  • #61
    Originally posted by How Brown View Post
    Dear Mishter B...

    I have questions if you and/or John Bennett wouldn't mind responding to. Here is one to start off with.
    It was truly a fine presentation by the way...

    1. Was there a reason or decision arrived at to exclude Michael Ostrog's name when the documentary reached the point where the Macnaghten Memo was mentioned ? You state in the 37th minute of the second episode that Macnaghten mentioned " two probable suspects"....
    In the original script, it said that Macnaghten named 3 suspects and Ostrog was included. However, he was dealt with very quickly and we just said he was a confidence trickster who was in prison at the the time.

    When the TV bods saw this, they questioned why Ostrog needed to be mentioned if he wasn't in the frame - I know Jeff certainly fought long and hard to keep mention of Ostrog in, but the TV people won out. Therefore, because it looked odd to say three suspects and only name 2, we had to rewrite that bit and say that he named 2. Which is effectively wrong, because he named 3.

    A bit of a Giordian Knot, that one.

    PS Whoops! Paul got there just before me!
    Last edited by ; January 29, 2011, 07:19 AM. Reason: Cross posts

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    • #62
      I don't know about anyone else...but having seen the extraordinary work of Jake Lauukanen in replicating the murder sites....particularly this one for the moment...Dutfield's Yard....I admit I did not realize how risky it would have been had Stride's killer...theoretically the Ripper...made an attempt to mutilate her.
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      • #63
        JB and Mr.B

        Thank you for the answers...and believe it or not, I did think that the television people had a hand in that decision. Up to that point in the program, I didn't notice any omissions which were mentionable.
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        • #64
          Originally posted by How Brown View Post
          Another question I have is whether or not...since Schwartz appears to be the witness the documentary team chose in the program...anyone involved in the making of the documentary who is a member of the Forums believes it is possible that Anderson based his opinion of Kosminski as being the Ripper on the Berner Street sighting more than any other factor ?

          The reason I ask the question ( which is a time worn question to be sure ) in this way is that since Schwartz was believed as having seen Stride assaulted minutes before she was murdered and Anderson states the witness saw the murderer....and Lawende's role isn't really covered that much in the program...it seems that Berner Street/Schwartz figures very prominently in Anderson's decision.
          First of all, it wasn't intended to make Schwartz the witness. It's just that as much as one tries to pare down his story, it just takes longer to tell than Lawende's. To some extent it is also far more important: Lawende simply glanced at a woman who he identified as Eddowes from her clothing and steadfastly maintained that he could not identify the man again. Schwartz, however, actually saw a woman he later identified as Stride actually being assaulted where Stride was found dead a few minutes later. Furthermore, his account impacts on the testimony of other witnesses, such as Mrs Mortimer. So, it just takes longer to visually represent and tell.

          As for what part the identification played in Anderson's conclusion, all I can say is that nobody knows why suspicion fell on ‘Kosminski’ or what evidence there was against him or what significance the eye-witness identification played in Anderson’s conclusion. We assume that it played a very significant part in his conclusion, but this is largely based on the overall emphasis that he gives to it, but that may be a false impression because Anderson was pissed that the witness’s refusal to give evidence prevented the police from bringing charges. Other evidence, if it existed, may have been far weightier in Anderson’s mind, albeit insufficient on its own. So, in short, no, I wouldn’t say that Anderson’s cnclusion was based on the Berner Street sighting more than anything else.

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          • #65
            Boy,they'll let anyone on television documentaries...

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            • #66
              Dear Mr. B

              Thanks very much for the response.
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              • #67
                Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                Another question I have is whether or not...since Schwartz appears to be the witness the documentary team chose in the program...anyone involved in the making of the documentary who is a member of the Forums believes it is possible that Anderson based his opinion of Kosminski as being the Ripper on the Berner Street sighting more than any other factor ?

                The reason I ask the question ( which is a time worn question to be sure ) in this way is that since Schwartz was believed as having seen Stride assaulted minutes before she was murdered and Anderson states the witness saw the murderer....and Lawende's role isn't really covered that much in the program...it seems that Berner Street/Schwartz figures very prominently in Anderson's decision.
                No I think Anderson based his decision after being introduced to Aaron's Sister Matilda by Crawford.

                However If you check the program you will notice that when the identification is mentioned we cut to pictures of both Schwartz and Lawende.

                Originally there was a line with Richard Jones saying Schwartz was probably the witness....this to me is a no brainer as Lawende is highly unlikely to have been the witness and it was almost certainly either Schwartz or Lawende..although it could possibly have been Levy? or even an unknown?

                But this was taken out of the program as John and Paul both thought the audience clever enough to make their own minds and in this they were probably right...which is why they won through on this one.

                As Paul says yes we cut back more to Schwartz but thats because theres more to say...actually the big money shot was the 180 degree turn of the witnesses seeing Eddows.

                Yours Jeff

                PS I'm also in total agreement with John and Paul about Ostrog..most unfortunate, as was losing why Macnaughten wrote the memoranda ie Cutbush who is actually Richard Jones favoured suspect....I will do all in my power to address this for the DVD version...

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                • #68
                  Originally there was a line with Richard Jones saying Schwartz was probably the witness....this to me is a no brainer as Lawende is highly unlikely to have been the witness and it was almost certainly either Schwartz or Lawende..although it could possibly have been Levy? or even an unknown?---Jeff Leahy


                  What about the Seaside Home identification then ? Is this where Schwartz refused to identify the suspect?
                  Do we even know if Schwartz was in England in 1890 onward ?
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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Paul View Post
                    Not many questions arising from The Definitive Story,which seeing the arrant nonsence it has provoked elsewhere is a good thing, so maybe this thread should be called Jeff Leahy's New York tour!
                    I was just thinking how ironic - and beautiful - that we have been discussing everything BUT the documentary. The first time I've ever wanted to see a thread go off topic. But now that How and I have gotten out mitts on Part Two we can get down to business.

                    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.

                    http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=2380

                    Originally posted by Paul View Post
                    I, too, would love to see the photos. Has he 'gone American', Robert? Bought a woolen hat saying "I Love NY", got himself a puffer jacket, started ordering his eggs sunny side up? I know I did.
                    Unfortunately I didn't bring a camera. I did take a few pixs with my brand new smart phone, which I am struggling to understand how to use. I will ask my 12 year old to help post them. (It's come to this.)

                    Jeff wept at the thought of having to leave Noo Yawk. I will start a separate thread for his trip report.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                      Originally there was a line with Richard Jones saying Schwartz was probably the witness....this to me is a no brainer as Lawende is highly unlikely to have been the witness and it was almost certainly either Schwartz or Lawende..although it could possibly have been Levy? or even an unknown?---Jeff Leahy


                      What about the Seaside Home identification then ? Is this where Schwartz refused to identify the suspect?
                      Do we even know if Schwartz was in England in 1890 onward ?
                      We don't, we don't even know which Seaside Home and its a shame this was left from the program...

                      TV channels don't like what we don't know, they want you to tell people what we do know..

                      In the Ripper case this is most unfortunate as there are a hell of a lot of 'Dont Knows' which personally I find interesting..

                      However given what is known....which I except is very little

                      the only possible 'logical' decision/step/thought-process is that Schwartz was the witness at the seaside home in Hove ie after 1890.

                      I went to an interesting editing demo yesterday from one of 'Frontlines' top editors....he was trying to explain how the human brain retrains information and facts. Human beings dont remember facts they remember context and stories.facts need to exist in the story...he demonstarated this by asking the audience if they had studied pythagorus at school.....everyone had...

                      He then asked us to repeat the formula...only two people came close...

                      He then asked the audience who was 'Luke Skywalkers Father?' everyone in the room remembered that because if you've seen the story, you never forget it a dramatic incident...people remembered surpising details.

                      So i have no problem with Swanson getting the date wrong, however saying he deid shortly afterwards is more surprising..

                      Anyway I except there are problems with the marginalia, or at least what Swanson says, but i see no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water.

                      People just don't retain dates and facts because the brain is NOT designed for it.

                      Yours Jeff

                      PS hopefully i will return to New York and History Makers some siring stuff particularly from Simon Schuma about the american constitution..looks like if you want to be a historian you better join Wikki leeks!

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                      • #71
                        Both casebook threads related to the marginalia have just been shut down.

                        RH

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Rob House View Post
                          Both casebook threads related to the marginalia have just been shut down.

                          RH
                          Have they? There's no message up to that effect is there? It was getting kind of compulsive, like a soap opera.

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                          • #73
                            Hi Paul,

                            Well, I was posting a reply, then when I hit the submit button, it said "thread closed." It's for the best really. The last post was about Neil using Trevor's book as a shim under one of the legs of his kitchen table. I was trying to respond to Trevor suggesting that I had a vested interest in not having the marginalia examined because of my book. In other words, it is just puerile mudslinging at this point.
                            RH

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                              Originally there was a line with Richard Jones saying Schwartz was probably the witness....this to me is a no brainer as Lawende is highly unlikely to have been the witness and it was almost certainly either Schwartz or Lawende..although it could possibly have been Levy? or even an unknown?---Jeff Leahy


                              What about the Seaside Home identification then ? Is this where Schwartz refused to identify the suspect?
                              Do we even know if Schwartz was in England in 1890 onward ?
                              Howard,
                              Of course we don’t know if Schwartz was in England in 1890/91. What we know is that Schwartz and Lawende are the only known Jewish witnesses who saw a women they subsequently identified as a Ripper victim with a man shortly before they were found dead. To say more than that is to enter the realms of speculation and personal opinion and bias. So we showed the facts. As for the ‘Seaside Home’, it would have been almost impossible to go into, had little that was visual to accompany it, and would just have added length to the 'Kosminski' segment, which is already far too long and has contributed to the view that we were pshing 'Kosminski', which I, adamently, was not. Ever. And some people think we crammed too much information into the programme as it is.

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Rob House View Post
                                Hi Paul,

                                Well, I was posting a reply, then when I hit the submit button, it said "thread closed." It's for the best really. The last post was about Neil using Trevor's book as a shim under one of the legs of his kitchen table. I was trying to respond to Trevor suggesting that I had a vested interest in not having the marginalia examined because of my book. In other words, it is just puerile mudslinging at this point.
                                RH
                                At risk of invoking Robert's electronic blue pencil, Neil did brighten a thread which was otherwise largely unedifying tosh, and accusations of bias have always been cheap and easy to make. Having said that, some mildly interesting philosophical questions were raised, not the least of being how message boards like these are generally perceived and, in particular, how people not familiar with this subject would perceive them. Is it possible to seriously discuss evidence, or will the discussion inevitably degenerate into name-calling and accusations?

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