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Editorial changes at Casebook Examiner

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  • Editorial changes at Casebook Examiner

    Dear Readers of the Casebook Examiner,

    I remind you all that the Casebook Examiner was the co-creation of both myself and of my brother David Pegg, along with Don Souden and Ally Ryder. Therefore, as you can imagine, the decision to leave the Examiner’s editorial board was not an easy, quick or simple one. I do not want to post/talk in any elaborate detail about the reasons and circumstances in which David and I have left the Casebook Examiner’s editorial team, effective as of 15th February. However, I feel I am left with little choice as to give a brief comment in light of the harsh and unreasonable comments about this sad decision that were made in the editorial of Issue 7 (which came out 15th April).

    Leaving was not easy but this was due to both personal reasons and also due to concerns about the direction and management of the Casebook Examiner. And to say, that from my point of view things did not get difficult after Issue 6 but during he process of getting Issue 6 to the paying subscribers, of which stress caused could have had serious implications to my health, and that Ally Ryder and Don Souden are both aware of all the details of these problems, so my leaving should not have come as any great shock to them. Nor after a year on the magazine, should it be viewed as at all sudden.

    I resent any implication that by leaving I have left the Examiner in a predicament, this seems a little hard to take, especially when considering the amount of things in 7 that I am still in some way responsible for even after my leaving. Including the two signed reviews, the What If article which is written from the basis of an idea which was a joint one of Don and mine, and the fact that I am also the one who asked Jane Coram to write an article on the topic she has written on, Dan Olsen to write a tour on the topic he has written on, and Rob House to give an interview on the topic he has given one on, these were all things that were seeds planted before my departure. And considering the reaction to my leaving from certain quarters of the editorial team and the necessary affect that had on me it would seem unreasonable to expect any more of me, considering all things. I repeat that I have not made an easy decision but in leaving when I did I felt that I had made the right one.

    On page 3 in his editorial Don states, more than once that I left (together with David) without even a hint that I was going or without giving due notice, this is not only a lie but it is also an unreasonable suggestion to make. Firstly, in working for the Casebook Examiner this was not a paid employment. There was, nor has there ever been, any formal agreement of what notice would need to be given in order for someone to leave. Secondly, and bearing this first point in mind, as stated above, I left the Casebook Examiner, by sending my resignation to both Stephen and the team on the day of publication of my last issue that of Feb 2011 (Issue 6), on the 15th February 2011. This meant that far from given no notice, David and I told the team we were leaving two months before the next issue was due out, the maximum amount that can be given between two issues.

    As well as some personal issues impacting on my time and my health making it more difficult for me to undertake duties on a day-to-day level, there are, as you have seen from the same editorial, a number of plans to change the Examiner – particularly its subscriptions – in the future. Don and Ally are both aware that I was and am unhappy with being seen to endorse such changes as I feel that current subscribers may potentially be getting a raw deal and that they are being punished because of the bad decisions and wrong actions of others, not for their or the magazines benefit.

    I also am disappointed to note that Don did not give Andrew Firth any recognition for the work he has put in as Assistant Editor for the last few issues, during which he did an invaluable job and does not even mention that Andrew has resigned his position. Thanks to all who helped me out during my tenure as Features Editor, it was greatly appreciated. Without the good will of contributors magazines such as the Examiner cannot be produced.

    I thank you for letting me say my piece and for not listening to a bias and clouded account of my leaving alone. I post my resignation letter sent to Stephen Ryder and the team on the 15th February for your information.

    I wish the Casebook Examiner every success in the future.


    Dear Stephen and Colleagues,

    After some careful consideration, both David and myself have decided that Issue 6 will be our last working with the team on the Casebook Examiner. As you know we have both got full time jobs, and increasingly these are involving us both working under more pressure than usual, especially for David, which limits the amount of time we can spend working on the Examiner and giving it the attention that, a magazine of such high quality, truly deserves.

    With the recent talk between, Don, Ally and I of discussing changes to the structure and subscriptions of the magazine from Issue 7 onwards, we feel that now, prior to this work being done, is in fact an ideal time for us to tender our resignations whilst causing the least amount of disruption and allowing you guys, the maximum amount of time to fill these slots as you feel best when you go through, the already planned structural overhaul. The last thing we would want was for you to have to go through such a process twice in quick succession, so we earnestly feel that after one year, it is best for us both to leave the team as of today. The fact that we are aware that prior to the next issue there is to be a period of change makes this decision a lot easier than it may otherwise have been, as does the changes to subscriptions, already planned to commence next issue. All in all it means that we feel able to leave without feeling guilty, especially about subscribers’ payments, as this is already going to be changed, with the possibility of having to refund some subscription money. And this is something that the Casebook team want to strive towards moving to.

    I hope you understand that in light of the added strain on my and Dave’s time, especially in recent weeks due to both internal and external forces, being able to commit the amount of time truly needed to deliver the quality we would be happy with, has simply become impossible. Dave and I have given our full attention to the Casebook Examiner, from the time of its inception in 2010 to the time of delivery of Issue 6 earlier today. We are both very proud of our work on the magazine and every single issue we have been involved with. But we have, rightly, come to the joint conclusion, that it is time to allow others to take care of it. I am sure that the team, of yourselves and the Assistant Editors will be able to take the Examiner forward with renewed enthusiasm and vigour.

    I can honestly say that Dave and I have always acted with the best interests of the Examiner at heart. Even through, what has been an incredibly difficult recent period, we have acted in the view of respecting the integrity, quality and ethics of the magazine and not in any self-interest. The time has come now, to acknowledge that the commitment it would require from each of ourselves to maintain the work we both put in is too great to continue any further. That is to say that the fact it would be a detriment to both Dave and I, and to the Examiner as a whole, to do anything other than take this course of action by resigning now, at what seems like an ideal time, has become more than obvious and enough so to make this fact conclusive.

    On a quick note, Teague Emery from the Crime and Investigation Network TV station sent through some DVDs of Serial Killer Sunday programmes to be reviewed for issue 7. I have attached the review of this to this email. Teague’s email address is -address removed from this post - he may be of use in future and I have promised him a free issue of the magazine the review features in.

    The Examiner is a great magazine and has been, in the main, a joy to be part of, especially so at the beginning. We are proud of we have been able to achieve together in a short period of time. We wish you good luck and continuing success with the Casebook Examiner. We have enjoyed immensely watching it blossom, but now it is time for us both to hand over the reigns to those who may be better able to take it forward in the way that is needed and desired by the majority.

    With good wishes to all

    Jenni and Dave
    "be just and fear not"

  • #2
    Just to be clear (and this has nothing to do with the topic) But Jennifer Shelden is Jennifer Pegg and Ally is now Ally Ryder?

    Is this correct?
    "The Men who were not the Man who was not Jack the Ripper!"


    • #3
      Hi just a footnote for the sake of continuity I am posting it here as well


      Hi ,

      Of course it is up to the current staff of the Casebook Examiner to determine how it is administrated. This is in no way my concern. However, as stated previously, it was one of my reasons for leaving as it was one of a few, but prominent issues that you know I disagreed with you and Don about. Of course, you have had a lot of time to tweak things since I was in the loop.

      More importantly we are certainly at odds in our understanding of how and what should be said in the Examiner’s pages, especially when it comes to things that are affected by personal bias. The fact that you have chosen to mention this statement I alluded to re subscriptions, but not felt the need to apologise for the misrepresentation of me and my brother in the pages of your magazine has both shocked and saddened me. The treatment of me since I sent my resignation letter by my former colleague and former friend Don Souden, has left a lot to be desired, but nonetheless I am shocked that the Examiner would write something into the pages of the anniversary editorial that you know is not accurate.

      Furthermore, it is rich to find mention from Don Souden of the appropriate period of notice deemed necessary to relinquish ones position on the editorial board of the Casebook Examiner, when in the week prior to the publication of Issue 6 he himself chose to step down from his position over part of the content of that issue, leaving the rest of us to pull together and get things sorted. The desire to allow Don to come back to his position is what led directly to these changes to the subscriptions, not any other considerations. You were worried that if he left again we would not be able to pay out subscribers for all the back issues they were owed if it were proved impossible/undesirable to replace him. Far from being for any altruistic reason this change was made in haste and in light of the instability that one-person’s actions caused. It was not the actions of myself or of anyone who has subsequently left that caused any concerns over money or stability for subscribers, but the actions of the person who is still in charge of the editorial board of the Casebook Examiner. I feel strongly the need to point out that far from my actions vindicating your views about subscriptions, the decision to alter subscriptions was made because someone else had already resigned their position, albeit, in that case, temporarily.

      It is time for the veiled references and hints of my supposed wrongdoing ceased to exist. I will not have my name dragged through the mud because someone is unhappy at me for taking a course of action I was left with little choice but to make, for the reasons that I previously stated.

      All the best


      "be just and fear not"


      • #4
        Originally posted by Magpie View Post
        Just to be clear (and this has nothing to do with the topic) But Jennifer Shelden is Jennifer Pegg and Ally is now Ally Ryder?

        Is this correct?
        Indeed it is !


        • #5
          Originally posted by SirRobertAnderson View Post
          Indeed it is !

          Thank you. I shan't embarass myself further by askiing how long ago these changes took place.

          Ov vey. No wonder I miss all the juicy gossip--I can't even keep up with who's all involved.

          er...Howard and Nina are still hitched though, right?
          "The Men who were not the Man who was not Jack the Ripper!"


          • #6
            Hello Jen,

            I feel the desire to say something.

            I am sad to see you leave the Examiner. I have always found that your input was very noticable and a positive part of the magazine. I do, however, understand your reasons for this decision. Following the publication of these comments about you, I can well understand you needing to respond, albeit reluctantly, in public as well.

            What I read upon reading the editorial took me aback. I do not think I have ever seen any editorial piece in any magazine or newspaper that presented the airing of it's dirty linen in public by denouncing a so-recent former founder member so conclusively. I always believe, rightly or wrongly, that said in sporting terms, what goes on in the dressing room should stay in the dressing room.

            One could easily surmise that the idea of having to read that original comment in a magazine that is supposed to be dedicated to the bettering of historical knowledge, a very poor experience, and personally cast a shadow over the impending expectancy I had of the issue. It also has set a tone of standard that asks questions of the true intention of the magazine as a whole.

            Additionally, it does not bode well for any reader's future involvement in that publication knowing that in the next issue they may be subject of the editor's next piece to be published concerning something that has occured involving that same person behind the scenes in the aftermath of any previous published piece ot involvement. Some may well find that off-putting and may well cause reservation in writing for that magazine.

            One could say that it leaves a poor taste.

            Just an honest opinion written with quiet thought.

            I wish you and your brother all success in the future, in whatever you decide to do.

            best wishes

            from was written in the stars


            • #7
              Jennifer the article Neal and you did on Morganstern et al was outstanding. Best wishes to you and yours.