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Did Walter Sickert write any of the Ripper letters?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Peter....

    Firstly, your stating that Sickert definitively wrote some of the letters in question is absurd. Not only because Sickert's handwriting cannot be conclusively matched with the letters in questions, but also because you weren't standing over Sickert's shoulder his entire life, to see whether he did, in fact, do so. Secondly, all the "evidence" Cornwell has brought to light, is inconclusive (that's putting it mildly). That only thing she has "PROVEN BEYOND ALL REASONABLE DOUBT", is that she practices poor science, promotes fiction as fact (Maybe she's friends with Michael Moore?) and misleading investigative techniques.

    Nobody on this board honestly gives a damn about her sexuality. But if her sexuality taints her preception of men in general, than YES, it's a point worth bringing to light.

    As for your comment, "When will you learn?". Well, I won't. If I "follow the heard" as you do. I choose not to. So at the very least, right or wrong, at least I'm practicing good science, and proper detective work.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Anyone got the newest issue of Ripperologist yet? The cover story there is about DNA, but my copy will take a bit to get overseas. It should be interesting to watch Peter throw more childish insults at people for looking at the actual science behind DNA testing instead of just believing whatever Cornwell claims.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    On the eighth day God made Dan.

    Dear Mr Wrong

    Seeing as you can't master the concept that no one will ever come up with conclusive proof of JTR's identity, and that Cornwell's excellent expose is just about the finest work on the subject outside of all writing on the Maybrick Diary, I thought you might like to try this little tongue twister instead:

    Ken Dodd's Dad's Dog's Dead.

    The idea is to say it loudly and quickly several times over. But s**t, that's what Dan does with everything, right? No problem there then.

    Dan's method of proving the identity of JTR: Shout the loudest, shout the longest, bore every one else into submission and, when faced with overwhelming proof that someone other than Dan has come up with an excellent argument, just deny it and call them fools.

    Are you John Omlor in disguise?

    Mr Right.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    "Is that a scientific "Us" or are you simply referring to the other personalities that inhabit the confined space that you call a body?"

    Have you ignored the rest of the posts on this thread? The meaning of "us" is pretty clear.

    Game on Dan, you're now making up statistics as well as theories.

    I'm sorry if you don't understand the science and think that I am making things up. Perhaps if you read some introductory texts on the topic you might follow along a little better.

    So the mitochondrial DNA was a mix, huh? You throw many laughable (I pause to call them) "theories" into the mix (no pun intended), but fail to mention that we all come into contact with several other people every day and no doubt swap samples of skin and bodily fluids including, dare I suggest, saliva?

    Which doesn't change the fact that the mtDNA Cornwell tested was mixed and thus even less traceable to a single individual than an already extremely tenuous single donor mtDNA test. In fact, this little argument you made advances my point, but you are so confused you don't even realize it.

    You are trying to refute my point by giving reasons why the sample might be mixed. Why isn't the issue. The fact that it was mixed already means that the test isn't reliable, regardess of why it happened. That's like looking at a police line up, declaring that the guy at the end robbed you, and when someone points out that it was dark out at the time and asks how can you be sure, instead of disputing that it was too dark to see you explain that you couldn't afford to buy light bulbs...

    Or do you not stick your tongue in when you kiss someone?

    If you need some advice in that department you can check with Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

    I'm right, you're wrong, nothing that has been posted since my last visit convinces me otherwise.

    Yeah, it's been pretty obvious that you think you are right regardless of what anyone else says. You still haven't shown that you understand DNA testing in the slightest, especially with your latest comments.

    That's ok, you don't like her writing, I can accept that and have no intention of abusing you the way that Dan might along the lines of "You just don't get it because you are foolish and inferior".

    Funny, that's exactly the tone you took when you first posted to this thread. The difference being that I supported my argument with reasons (in this case, the science behind DNA testing) while you still just maintain that you are right because you say you are right.
    Last edited by Dan Norder; June 2, 2004, 02:44 PM. Reason: bolding got screwed up because of dropped tag, fixing it

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Being Dan Norder ...

    Quote Dan: "To the rest of us it just makes you look rather closed-minded and foolish".

    "Us"? Is that a scientific "Us" or are you simply referring to the other personalities that inhabit the confined space that you call a body?

    Come on guys, how many of you did Dan e mail, phone, text or speak to in person to ascertain your opinion of me?

    Hmmm ... none, right? Game on Dan, you're now making up statistics as well as theories. So the mitochondrial DNA was a mix, huh? You throw many laughable (I pause to call them) "theories" into the mix (no pun intended), but fail to mention that we all come into contact with several other people every day and no doubt swap samples of skin and bodily fluids including, dare I suggest, saliva? Or do you not stick your tongue in when you kiss someone?

    I'm right, you're wrong, nothing that has been posted since my last visit convinces me otherwise.

    Sorc, Cornwell is of course an acquired taste. That's ok, you don't like her writing, I can accept that and have no intention of abusing you the way that Dan might along the lines of "You just don't get it because you are foolish and inferior". I would never do that Sorc.

    Cheers big ears.

    Peter

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  • Tom_Wescott
    replied
    Hello all,

    Prior to the publication of Cornwell's book, but after word got out that she'd linked the Openshaw letter to Sickert through very tenuous mitochondrial DNA, I wrote an article for Ripper Notes building a case for Sickert having been the author. However, there's also a case to be made - a damn good one, I might add - for D'Onston as author of the Openshaw letter. Would it be possible for a 'dissertations' section to be added to this website? I'd like to post a couple and, eventually, two essays on the Openshaw letter, each examining the case of a different suspect - Sickert and D'Onston, so we could compare. Also, I'd love to see some more work from some of the other people who post here. What'd do you think?

    Yours truly,

    Tom Wescott

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by PETER WOOD
    we don't know that the DNA on the Openshaw letter was that of the person who wrote it.

    Oh, so the person who wrote it didn't lick his own envelope and stamp then, eh?

    As for the rest of it Dan ... I have to admit that your fiction is better than Cornwell's - I haven't laughed so much in ages!

    Peter
    Actually, Petter, I know you're mind is made up, but lots of different people could have licked that stamp. Could be the letter writer's wife, mistress, servant, one of a group of rowdy anatomy students (as it appears to be a followup to the Lusk letter), someone remailing the message for someone else, and so forth.

    And, while we are at it, there's no indication that the mitochondrial DNA was put there by whomever licked it... It's a mixed sample, after all, so that means more than one person's DNA was involved. Would you have us believe two people wrote the letter and both licked the stamp? After all, you seem so certain that it must belong to the letter writer and stamp licker only and nobody else, so that would mean two or more people would have had to do both if your belief were correct.

    But, of course, your belief obviously isn't correct. Anyone handling the envelope at any time could have deposited their DNA on it.

    As far as ignoring all the numerous examples of why you are wrong to simply laugh, well, I guess in your mind that beats admitting that you don't know what you are talking about. To the rest of us it just makes you look rather closed-minded and foolish.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Yawn Part 2.

    we don't know that the DNA on the Openshaw letter was that of the person who wrote it.

    Oh, so the person who wrote it didn't lick his own envelope and stamp then, eh?

    As for the rest of it Dan ... I have to admit that your fiction is better than Cornwell's - I haven't laughed so much in ages!

    Peter

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Now, as to whether or not people "grasp" what she is saying ... it's actually quite simple.

    It only appears simple to people who don't understand the science. Cornwell tries to simplify it because she knows she's got nothing, kind of like the rest of her book...

    At no point does she assert that the DNA on the sickert letters and his overalls IS his, she just throws it into the mix that out of the whole population two people from the same one percent share sequences of mitochondrial DNA found on Sickert artefacts and ripper artefacts.

    Ah, but that 1% figure is for a full match mitochondrial unmixed sample, and even there most experts say it's actually closer to 10%.

    Don't start throwing up the "So how many hundreds of thousands is that then?" argument, because equally it means there are millions who weren't in that match.

    That's ridiculous. "I'm not sure the defendant is the person I saw, because approximately a hundred thousand or more people fit the description from what little I could make out, but put him in jail anyway because at least there are still millions of people who won't possibly be going to jail for a crime they didn't commit."

    And it's even worse than that when you look at it. At least hundreds of thousands of people could have been responsible for the DNA tested, and we don't know that the "Sickert" sample was actually Sickert's, and we don't know that the DNA on the Openshaw letter was that of the person who wrote it.

    And the mixed DNA sample means that the DNA from the two or more people contributing to it may not have the same genetic markers if they had been tested seperately. It's like someone seeing a tall guy with blonde hair and a moustache, a short guy with dark hair and a beard, and an average guy with redhair and cleanshaven... and then trying to connect it to a tall person with dark hair who is clean shaven. It could be a complete miss that accidentally matches because of the mixed DNA.

    This "hundreds of thousands of people" becomes even more and more people as each problem with the tests is examined.

    Sickert could easily have been one of those millions, still maybe if Dan could ever get off his Harris and spend some money like Ms Cornwell has done in an attempt to PROVE his theories rather than pontificating and suffering the usual verbal diarrhoea that affects those who simply can't accept that others are entitled to a differing point of view.

    People are entitled to differing points of view, but science is science. Cornwell's science is bad.

    You also seem to be advocating Cornwell's position that she is right because she says she's right, evidence be damned and if you disagree prove her wrong. That's not how the real world works. I don't have to spend any money to prove her wrong because what she has is complete garbage. It's like saying that if I don't think Lewis Carroll was the killer I should go pay to run some tests.

    Come on, get real.

    For my money the maths is conclusive: Sickert wrote SOME of the ripper letters.

    It may be conclusive to you, but it's not supported by the actual evidence.

    Yes, he DEFINITELY wrote the Openshaw letter, go read the book again Dan, see when he was and wasn't in London,

    If you count on Cornwell's book to tell you when Sickert was and was not in London, you are sadly misled.

    Let's skip some of the rant Peter tosses out here (and he was saying I had verbal diarrhea?)...

    Anyway, I've wasted enough time on that, if some people can't grasp the concept that it isn't always necessary to have the complete DNA sequence before knowing that a match will result.

    No, I'm perfectly aware that you don't need a complete DNA sequence to do some tests, but you need a whole hell of a lot better data than Cornwell has to even come anywhere close to saying that Sickert wrote the letters. If you understood DNA testing you'd know that. So far you have no counter argument other than you are right and that you don't pay attention to the actual scientific results.

    Talk about failing to grasp the concept...

    Case proven. Sickert wrote the letters, Maybrick did the murders.

    Yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwn

    Peter.


    Looks like someone with his mind made up, actual evidence be damned. Oh well, some people are like that.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Some people just don't understand ...

    Yo How Brow

    Dan is just getting his knickers in a twist because someone doesn't agree with him, vis: " ...they don't fully grasp the meaning of the science Cornwell throws out" - Doh! Neither does Dan full grasp the fact that after 116 years Cornwell is the FIRST person to even attempt to present hard tangible physical evidence - and for that alone she deserves a round of applause. Now, as to whether or not people "grasp" what she is saying ... it's actually quite simple. At no point does she assert that the DNA on the sickert letters and his overalls IS his, she just throws it into the mix that out of the whole population two people from the same one percent share sequences of mitochondrial DNA found on Sickert artefacts and ripper artefacts. Don't start throwing up the "So how many hundreds of thousands is that then?" argument, because equally it means there are millions who weren't in that match. Sickert could easily have been one of those millions, still maybe if Dan could ever get off his Harris and spend some money like Ms Cornwell has done in an attempt to PROVE his theories rather than pontificating and suffering the usual verbal diarrhoea that affects those who simply can't accept that others are entitled to a differing point of view.

    For my money the maths is conclusive: Sickert wrote SOME of the ripper letters. Yes, he DEFINITELY wrote the Openshaw letter, go read the book again Dan, see when he was and wasn't in London, witness the paintings that were signed and dated and put them in the timeline of ripper letters - he may even have written more letters too - but, until Dan can come up with something more worthwhile than: " ...A sample of *mixed* mitochondrial DNA (from more than one person) on a Ripper letter (that was regarded as a hoax by every authority I've seen) ...".

    What does it matter if the Openshaw letter was a hoax? At this stage I'm not arguing that Sickert was the ripper because, as you all know, that accolade belongs to James Maybrick, I'm just saying that Cornwell has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that Sickert was up to his neck in it when it came to writing ripper letters.

    Anyway, I've wasted enough time on that, if some people can't grasp the concept that it isn't always necessary to have the complete DNA sequence before knowing that a match will result.

    Yo Sorcia, go read "Black Notice" and "The last precinct" - just about the best Scarpetta books yet. How can you say that Cornwell tries to make Scarpetta into a Clarice Starling figure??? Starling worked for the FBI, Scarpetta is a forensic medical examiner. Starling was early 20's, Scarpetta is early 50's ... Scarpetta is clearly based on the person that Cornwell would like to have been.

    Case proven. Sickert wrote the letters, Maybrick did the murders.

    Yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwn

    Peter.

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  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Norder shoots...he scores !

    That was a definite H-bomb....What do you have to say about that,Woodrow ?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    The evidence that Cornwell gives for believing that Sickert wrote letters is absolute rubbish. The scientitifc tests were wildly inconclusive, and it's only because she felt the need to get something out of all the money she spent (and her bias against Sickert from day one) that she presents them as she does.

    There isn't a single person out there that I am aware of (excepting, of course, the experts she paid and who generally phrase things a lot more cautiously than she does) who understands the science behind the tests who thinks they amount to anything. A sample of *mixed* mitochondrial DNA (from more than one person) on a Ripper letter (that was regarded as a hoax by every authority I've seen) that matches some but not all segments of mitochondrial DNA that she assumes is Sickert's with no proof? It's ludicrous.

    To top it off, evidence is very strong that Sickert was in the south of France at the time the letter she tested was mailed with a London postmark. So not only does she want us to believe that he commuted back and forth for three murders but also to be around to mail off a bunch of letters. Right.

    The idea that she's fooled anyone into thinking he wrote even one letter is just sickening. I think a lot of people want to give her a pass on a letter or two because they know it doesn't prove Sickert was a killer, they don't fully grasp the meaning of the science Cornwell throws out, and it's nice to say that Cornwell didn't completely screw up everything.

    I'm sorry, but I'm not going to just to let her slide on this one. I will admit that it's conceivable that maybe he did write the Openshaw letter (after hearing of the events from a newspaper and then mailing it to some trusted person in London to put into a new envelope and mail again so it gets a London postmark), but it's not only unproven but also fairly unlikely.

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  • Howard Brown
    replied
    "I have been through a few recently.- Dr.Love, a.k.a. Peter Wood

    A few ? How about all of Northern England? ...look out Scotland !!

    If she has proven it to your satisfaction,I go along with you then. I read about 30 pages and got sidetracked.

    And if anything, you are right about her shelling out the moolah...6 Million smackers is a lotta popcorn for any venture.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Proof

    For proof of which letters Sickert wrote please refer to Ms Cornwell's excellent book on the subject: Portrait of a Killer ... or whatever she called it.

    Please tell me where I can find "proof" that Jack the Ripper was variously a black magician, a Jew who spoke no English, a 72 year old physician who had suffered a stroke, an abortionist ... get the picture???

    Blonde Mama? Hmmm ... don't remember that one dude, but then I have been through a few recently.

    Mr Pumpkin Pie

    P.S. Me, wind Ivor up? He does that for himself when he reads my posts.

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  • Howard Brown
    replied
    I got your pumpkin hanging low,over here !!

    Peter...I agree with you about her having knowledge of the Case, probably for some time,prior to writing her book....
    Please show where it has been proven that Sickert wrote a letter to the Press claiming to either be the Ripper or using the name Jack The Ripper.

    If you cannot do so,then hook me up with that blonde mama you sent me a photo of...This seems a fair exchange.

    Seriously,Peter.....its good to see you back. Now go pick on Ivor.

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