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  • Let's discuss the watch!

    Here you go, Paul.

    Take it away...

    Love,

    Caz
    XXX
    I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

  • #2
    Originally posted by Caroline Morris View Post
    Here you go, Paul.

    Take it away...

    Love,

    Caz
    XXX


    Thanks Caroline, Iíll kick it off then.

    The circumstances of the watch and itís scratches coming to light as it did, just as Shirley Harrisonís book was going to press got it off to a really bad start. The coincidence of Albert discovering the scratches in the way he said he did understandably caused deep suspicions.

    This seems to have been interpreted by many as some sort of ďopen seasonĒ to knock the poor thing in any way they could, and some absolute tripe has been said over the years by people who really should know better. Some of it still being repeated today, which is really disappointing.

    It would be good IMHO to try and sort some of the wheat from the chaff now.

    A good place to start might be the ďsexĒ of the watch. To hear that this is still being queried after all this time is most odd. If this most basic point canít be cleared up really easily then I donít hold out a lot of hope!

    Right from the start it was being claimed that the Maybrick watch was a ladyís watch. Throughout my working life I have been involved in the repair and restoration of mechanical antiques, clocks, music boxes, Gramophones and the like. I am not a watchmaker, but have had literally hundreds of Victorian watches through my hands over nearly 30 years.

    Albertís watch is an English, Lancashire made, mid 19th century, good but not exceptional 18 carat gold cased full plate fusee lever for those that care! It is provably a male one and would NEVER have been worn by a lady. Whoever picked this one out as raw material for his or her hoax, if thatís what it is, made a damned good choice.

    Victorian ladyís watches were known as fob watches and are a helluva lot smaller and worn either on a neck chain, a breast fob or chatelaine around the waist. If anyone can find any old pictures of Victorian ladies wearing a waistcoat with watch and chain Iíd love to see them (Music Hall Male impersonator acts excluded!)

    I think itís a shame the watch has taken a back seat to the Diary for so long. Itís been tested three times by two separate labs, and the findings are all consistent with each other. Something you could never say about the Diary tests!!!

    I wonder what might have happened if the Diary had never come to light and all we had was the watch?

    Regards to all,

    Paul.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Paul

      I'm thinking of Sherlock Holmes and his examination of the watch belonging to Watson (I think Watson's brother turns out to have been an alcoholic). So, does this watch show any sign of arsenic-induced abuse?

      Robert

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi ho

        Itís been tested three times by two separate labs, and the findings are all consistent with each other.
        Well now two of those tests were by the same chappie?

        he's not likely to want to be seen contradicting himself now is he?

        But.....two different labs produce similar results.

        Although one lab had access to at least some of the results of the other lab which, to my mind, was a bit questionable but saying that, I am assuming the Johnson man had no motives in showing it to the second lab (assuming it was he who brought it along or something).

        But in general, it is usually my opinion that University related labs tend to produce slightly better results for a number of reasons.....

        p

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Paul Butler View Post

          I think itís a shame the watch has taken a back seat to the Diary for so long. Itís been tested three times by two separate labs, and the findings are all consistent with each other. Something you could never say about the Diary tests!!!
          Thanks for your post, Paul. Bear in mind that the samples used for the AFI tests didn't come directly from the Diary.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
            Hi Paul

            I'm thinking of Sherlock Holmes and his examination of the watch belonging to Watson (I think Watson's brother turns out to have been an alcoholic). So, does this watch show any sign of arsenic-induced abuse?

            Robert
            Hi Robert

            Wouldn't that be good?!!

            (....and wouldn't it be lovely if the real world was as tidy and logical as Conan Doyle's?)

            Paul

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Mr Poster.

              But.....two different labs produce similar results.

              I think itís actually a lot better than that. Wild said that he found nothing to contradict what Turgoose had found. He went on to conduct further tests that attempted to date the scratches using the enrichment of the silver content on the surface of the alloy due to aging. His conclusions after further testing were the same rather than similar to Turgooseís.

              As far as I am aware, Wild had full access to the previous Turgoose data.

              I canít imagine what motive Albert might have had for showing Wild the previous test reports. He had no reason to doubt his original belief that the scratches were old.

              Hi Sir R.

              I couldnít agree more. The ink tests, or rather some of them, could have been conducted more rigorously. My point is that two independent scientists concluded that the scratches in the watch were tens of years old, and that nobody has really been able to contradict that, (except to try and suggest that both scientists were less than competent).

              You can hardly say the same of the diary tests!

              With the benefit of hindsight I really donít think that the right questions were put to either Turgoose or Wild. So much more could have been learned at the time if they were. I really hope that one day we may get another set of watch tests done to answer those questions.

              Well you can always hope I suppose!!!


              Regards to all.

              Paul.

              Comment


              • #8
                I;m going to get this question in even though it has nothing to do with the case : does the watch still go?

                Robert

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                  I;m going to get this question in even though it has nothing to do with the case : does the watch still go?

                  Robert
                  Hi Robert

                  I wish the watch would go. . . and the Diary too.

                  Chris
                  Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                  https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                  Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                  Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Paul, Everyone,

                    Many thanks, Paul, for your informed comments about the watch's gender. I could never see the fuss over this issue in any case, since there would be nothing to stop the killer of several women scratching their initials inside a lady's watch and keeping it somewhere as a souvenir, if the fancy took him. It was faulty reasoning to start with, based on faulty facts.

                    Luckily we had at least two people in the audience in Liverpool who are as well informed as you are - Shirley's hubby and Albert himself. So when Don Rumbelow came out with this old canard, Albert was able to set him straight. And as I have said before over on the Casebook boards, I have a book on watches, with page after page after bloomin' page of gentlemen's dress watches of the same dimensions and period as Albert's example, and, as you say, the ladies' watches of the period are smaller and significantly different.

                    I was also seriously disappointed to hear Don Rumbelow try to claim that both Wild and Turgoose had concluded that the scratches could only have dated back a few decades at most, and certainly nowhere near a hundred years or more. I've heard of torturing the English language to make words mean something different from the original intention, but this really takes the biscuit as far as I am concerned.

                    What's not to understand about a conclusion that the scratches, in their professional opinion, were likely to date back at least several tens of years [Wild] and more than tens of years and possibly much longer [Turgoose]? Does anyone see the upper limit that Don claimed was implied by those words? I see only a lower one, where 'at least several' can only mean a minimum of three decades, always bearing in mind the responsible caveat that a modern forger might just have had the skill and the know-how (that one expert, Wild I believe, admitted he would not have himself) to age the scratches artificially.

                    Finally for now, Don made much of the testimony of Dundas, who had given the watch a once-over in early 1992, before Murphy put it in his shop window, but didn't even mention Murphy's testimony, much to Albert's bemusement.

                    Dundas claimed the crude Maybrick/ripper scratches weren't there when he cleaned and fixed the watch, whereas Murphy claimed to be 99.9% certain they were there, because he had tried to improve the appearance of the scratched surface before putting it on sale.

                    This is extremely important evidence, since it is supported by Turgoose's observation that the Maybrick/ripper scratches pre-date the vast majority of superficial surface scratches (all those examined). What scratches could Murphy have been trying to minimise in early 1992, if none had been made on that inner surface by then that would have shown up under examination by Turgoose? And why would Murphy invent such a detail, which would have the effect of letting Albert off the hook and potentially putting himself on it?

                    Dundas claimed he remembered the watch in question, out of the hundred or so watches a week that passed through his hands, because it was a Verity (the name was on the dial, he said) and this was an unusual make. He was sure there were no Maybrick/ripper marks inside the watch, but oddly he didn't notice anything engraved on the actual back of the watch either - no intials, no nothing in fact. Assuming the JO wasn't a modern addition by a very cryptic modern hoaxer, Dundas didn't see an awful lot, did he?

                    Have a great weekend all.

                    Love,

                    Caz
                    X
                    I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Robert.

                      The watch was cleaned and serviced in 1992, so itís very likely that it does still go!

                      Hi Chris.

                      Wishful thinking I reckon mateÖ.!!!

                      I can really understand what a pain in the bum both watch and diary must be to many that have seriously studied JTR for many years. For me though, the Diary and watch saga holds at least an equal amount of interest to the likely never to be answered question of the identity of the Ripper, and I think that might apply to a few of us who were no more than casually interested in JTR prior to encountering Shirley Harrisonís book. It was such a compelling read, and I devoured it in two sittings and then read the whole thing again.

                      I was convinced that Gull was JTR at the time, due to the TV series, and it was only the diary that got me to look at the case seriously and take a proper interest in things JTR. So itís not all bad!

                      What I really hope for in rejoining the Maybrick discussion is a sane and hopefully unbiased reassessment of the facts as we know them. Every attempt at proving diary and watch to be modern cheap fakes have failed, IMHO, by trying to shoehorn the facts rather selectively into a late 20th century hoax idea that just wonít work in so many ways.

                      The watch still sits there defiantly laughing at us all. Absolutely all the evidence we have says Albert didnít create a hoax in the 1990s, so who did? Who might have wanted to finger Sir James at an earlier time? Itís fascinating to me and I really appreciate the mods efforts at maintaining thus far a civilised discussion between people of quite different persuasions.

                      O.K. Here endeth todayís lesson.

                      Regards to all.

                      Paul

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Caroline Morris View Post
                        Finally for now, Don made much of the testimony of Dundas, who had given the watch a once-over in early 1992, before Murphy put it in his shop window, but didn't even mention Murphy's testimony, much to Albert's bemusement.

                        Dundas claimed the crude Maybrick/ripper scratches weren't there when he cleaned and fixed the watch, whereas Murphy claimed to be 99.9% certain they were there, because he had tried to improve the appearance of the scratched surface before putting it on sale.

                        This is extremely important evidence, since it is supported by Turgoose's observation that the Maybrick/ripper scratches pre-date the vast majority of superficial surface scratches (all those examined). What scratches could Murphy have been trying to minimise in early 1992, if none had been made on that inner surface by then that would have shown up under examination by Turgoose? And why would Murphy invent such a detail, which would have the effect of letting Albert off the hook and potentially putting himself on it?

                        Dundas claimed he remembered the watch in question, out of the hundred or so watches a week that passed through his hands, because it was a Verity (the name was on the dial, he said) and this was an unusual make. He was sure there were no Maybrick/ripper marks inside the watch, but oddly he didn't notice anything engraved on the actual back of the watch either - no intials, no nothing in fact. Assuming the JO wasn't a modern addition by a very cryptic modern hoaxer, Dundas didn't see an awful lot, did he?

                        Have a great weekend all.

                        Love,

                        Caz
                        X
                        Hi Caroline.

                        Some excellent points, and very well put.

                        I think we need to remember aswell that Dundas had not only Melvin Harris, but Paul Feldman pestering him, (and thatís probably putting it mildly!), for information to support their entirely opposite beliefs in the date of the watch scratches. I wouldnít have blamed him if he made up anything to get them both off his back.

                        Dundas knew nothing about those Ripper marks when he was sent the watch and his response really should have been that he hadnít seen them, rather than that they werenít there. How on Earth could he state as a fact that something he wasnít looking for in the first place wasnít there with any certainty? Particularly as I'm told that to see them at all it needs to be done with a squint, at dusk and with the light behind you!

                        Add to that the conversation Feldman allegedly had with Dundas later, when Dundas was clearly thinking about another watch entirely, a silver one, and I think the only reasonable way to treat Dundasí evidence is to disregard it.

                        Feldman later used this conversation with Dundas to dream up a quite ridiculous conspiracy theory about two watches being used to cover up allsorts of skullduggery, and I for one donít believe a word of it!

                        Have a good weekend yourself Caz.

                        Regards,

                        Paul

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Paul,

                          I think the crucial thing about Dundas's testimony is that he managed to misremember two of the most significant features of the watch in question. The Verity name does not appear on the face of Albert's timepiece, despite what Dundas said he recalled. And he didn't notice any engraving on the outside back, ie the ornate and distinctive JO.

                          The only way to reconcile such discrepancies is to conclude that Dundas was either describing Albert's watch very badly indeed, or he was thinking of another watch entirely. Either way, I don't know how any serious investigator could claim to have the remotest confidence in his bold claim that the scratches were not there when he serviced Albert's watch.

                          On the other hand, if Murphy noted any scratches at all on the surface in question, then according to Turgoose's observations, they included the Maybrick/ripper marks. When Melvin Harris et al used to talk about Murphy trying to 'buff out' scratches on that surface with jeweller's rouge, I bet they didn't realise they were actually supporting the case for the marks being there before Albert bought the watch.

                          I can well understand why many modern hoax theorists prefer to view the diary in isolation and to treat the watch as though Albert had kept it at the back of his drawer and forgotten about it.

                          Love,

                          Caz
                          X
                          I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "There are too many clues."

                            Hercule Poirot, Murder on the Orient Express.

                            Sacre bleu!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Caroline Morris View Post
                              Hi Paul, Everyone,

                              Many thanks, Paul, for your informed comments about the watch's gender. I could never see the fuss over this issue in any case, since there would be nothing to stop the killer of several women scratching their initials inside a lady's watch and keeping it somewhere as a souvenir, if the fancy took him. It was faulty reasoning to start with, based on faulty facts.

                              Luckily we had at least two people in the audience in Liverpool who are as well informed as you are - Shirley's hubby and Albert himself. So when Don Rumbelow came out with this old canard, Albert was able to set him straight. And as I have said before over on the Casebook boards, I have a book on watches, with page after page after bloomin' page of gentlemen's dress watches of the same dimensions and period as Albert's example, and, as you say, the ladies' watches of the period are smaller and significantly different.

                              I was also seriously disappointed to hear Don Rumbelow try to claim that both Wild and Turgoose had concluded that the scratches could only have dated back a few decades at most, and certainly nowhere near a hundred years or more. I've heard of torturing the English language to make words mean something different from the original intention, but this really takes the biscuit as far as I am concerned.

                              What's not to understand about a conclusion that the scratches, in their professional opinion, were likely to date back at least several tens of years [Wild] and more than tens of years and possibly much longer [Turgoose]? Does anyone see the upper limit that Don claimed was implied by those words? I see only a lower one, where 'at least several' can only mean a minimum of three decades, always bearing in mind the responsible caveat that a modern forger might just have had the skill and the know-how (that one expert, Wild I believe, admitted he would not have himself) to age the scratches artificially.

                              Finally for now, Don made much of the testimony of Dundas, who had given the watch a once-over in early 1992, before Murphy put it in his shop window, but didn't even mention Murphy's testimony, much to Albert's bemusement.

                              Dundas claimed the crude Maybrick/ripper scratches weren't there when he cleaned and fixed the watch, whereas Murphy claimed to be 99.9% certain they were there, because he had tried to improve the appearance of the scratched surface before putting it on sale.

                              This is extremely important evidence, since it is supported by Turgoose's observation that the Maybrick/ripper scratches pre-date the vast majority of superficial surface scratches (all those examined). What scratches could Murphy have been trying to minimise in early 1992, if none had been made on that inner surface by then that would have shown up under examination by Turgoose? And why would Murphy invent such a detail, which would have the effect of letting Albert off the hook and potentially putting himself on it?

                              Dundas claimed he remembered the watch in question, out of the hundred or so watches a week that passed through his hands, because it was a Verity (the name was on the dial, he said) and this was an unusual make. He was sure there were no Maybrick/ripper marks inside the watch, but oddly he didn't notice anything engraved on the actual back of the watch either - no intials, no nothing in fact. Assuming the JO wasn't a modern addition by a very cryptic modern hoaxer, Dundas didn't see an awful lot, did he?

                              Have a great weekend all.

                              Love,

                              Caz
                              X
                              Hi Caz

                              Sorry but I don't see anything out of order in Don Rumbelow's statement at the Maybrick Trial that the assessments of Wild and Turgoose that the scratches in the watch were likely to date back "at least several tens of years" [Wild] and "more than" tens of years and possibly "much longer" [Turgoose] did not date the scratches back as far as 1888-1889.

                              Also, you are not seriously suggesting that a forger engraved the initials "J.O." on the cover of the watch, are you?

                              Chris
                              Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                              https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                              Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                              Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                              Comment

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