Talk:Moors murders

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Verification failures[edit]

Note: You may need to consult the context to understand the issue with the quoted text. Points 1-55 are by EEng, and all page refs are to the editions cited in the article's bibliography.
  • 1. concern: Not in Topping 82-85 unverified text: The full extent of Brady and Hindley's crimes did not come to light until their confessions in 1985, as both had until then maintained their innocence. Resolved Not in current text; anyway, it's unclear that it's possible to know for sure the "full extent", especially as Brady claimed at one point to have killed others. EEng 02:00, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • 2. concern: Staff 137 says nothing about the encounter with Ruck unverified text: Driving down Gorton Lane, Brady saw a young girl walking towards them, and signalled Hindley to stop, which she did not do until she had passed the girl. Brady drew up alongside on his motorbike, demanding to know why she had not offered the girl a lift, to which Hindley replied that she recognised her as Marie Ruck, a near neighbour of her mother. Resolved [1]
  • 3. concern: Not in Staff 137 unverified text: Shortly after 8:00 pm,
  • 4. concern: Staff 137 says Reade was spotted /before/ they turned into Froxmer St. unverified text: continuing down Froxmer Street,

───────────────────────── (responding to 3 and 4) This article (which I believe is a reputable one) clearly states Froxmer Street as being the location Reade was last seen alive by witnesses. As far as the time is concerned, sunset in Manchester begins at 20:06. A documentary exists in which an individual involved in the organizing of the 1980s search of Saddleworth Moor recollects that Hindley stated to him it was "just going dusk" when Reade was murdered. I assume this has been used to populate this text. This source: "Murder In Mind" (4): 16. ISSN 1364-5803. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) (which I own a copy of) states she left her home between 7:30 and 8:00 on the 12th.--Kieronoldham (talk) 02:45, 29 August 2019 (UTC)

Resolved Well, the specific concern on point 4 was that the text had said "continuing down Froxmer Street, Brady spotted a girl" -- Staff seems to say Brady spotted her before she, and they, turned into Froxmer St, though it's a bit hard to tell for sure what Staff is saying. Anyway, Lee is clear that Brady gave the signal on Froxmer, so the current text only talks about that. At for the 8pm, I find that sunset in Manchester on July 12 2019 was at 21:34 (not 20:06, as you say) but there may be been some difference in summer time or who-knows-what in 1963; anyway that's all OR so I'm removing the "8pm" but inserting that it was "after work", which Topping does tell us. I suppose somewhere there's a source for the specific time, and if we find it we can add that back. See edit: [2]. EEng 05:57, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
Followup: Sorry, Kieron, I neglected the end of your post. I hate to judge a book by its cover [3] but I'm going to counsel that MiM isn't the best of sources. However, Ritchie says Reade left home at 7:30 so I've integrated that [4]. EEng 22:13, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
I'd agree with you there in many respects, EEng. What separates this publication from others of its kind (to my mind) is the fact the consultants for this publication do include Brian Masters, Colin Wilson and a Consultant Psychiatrist. I'm more than happy to continue to help rectify these "verification failures".--Kieronoldham (talk) 01:43, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
I wouldn't be surprised if it had useful quotes from such people on the "holistics" of the case, but for nitty details like the 8pm and so on, that's the sort of thing that gets written into sources like that off-handedly because, well, it doesn't really matter, does it? So I'd be inclined to accept such details from that source only if they cite sources (and then, of course, we can go consult those for ourselves). Yes, of course please help all you can, though I'm finding most issues easy to resolve using Lee, so your best role might be to come behind me and apply a fresh eye, look in the sources you have if I mention I'm dropping a detail because I can't find it in my sources, etc. EEng 01:59, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
  • 5. concern: Staff 146 doesn't say H recognized Reade as a friend of Marueen; rather that H agreed when prompted that Reade was Maureen's friend. Editors should consider the possibility that this an important subtlety of meaning in the source which the text should properly reflect. unverified text: a friend of her younger sister, Maureen. Resolved [5] EEng 06:26, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • 6. concern: None of this is in the Glasgow Herald piece unverified text: Reade got into the van with Hindley, who then asked if she would mind helping to search for an expensive glove she had lost on Saddleworth Moor. Reade said she was in no great hurry, and agreed. At 16, Pauline Reade was older than Marie Ruck, and Hindley believed that there would be less of an outcry over the disappearance of a teenager than there would over a child of seven or eight. When the van reached the moor, Hindley stopped and Brady arrived shortly afterwards on his motorcycle. She introduced him to Reade as her boyfriend, and said that he had also come to help find the missing glove. Hindley claimed Brady took Reade onto the moor while Hindley waited in the van. Brady returned alone after about 30 minutes, and took Hindley to the spot where Reade lay dying. Resolved [6] EEng 20:06, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • 7. concern: Glasgow Herald seems to say nothing about size of knife, only that cut was made "with considerable force" unverified text: with a large knife. Resolved Oops, it does say that later, but substituted the force for the knife [7] EEng 20:33, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • 8. concern: Glasgow Herald says "appears to be deliberate". Editors should consider the possibility that this an important subtlety of meaning in the source which the text should properly reflect. unverified text: deliberately Resolved Not in current text. EEng 21:43, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • concern: This is not a quotation from H, merely Topping's text just like everything else unverified text: "Pauline's coat was undone and her clothes were in disarray ... She had guessed from the time he had taken that Brady had sexually assaulted her." Resolved [8] EEng 21:48, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • 9. concern: Lee 134 says that Kilbride had already agreed to go with them by the time the sherry was mentioned unverified text: With the added inducement of a bottle of sherry,
  • 10. concern: Topping 92 says H did not "wait in the car" but rather drove to another location to wait 1/2 hour, then return and signal with her headlights unverified text: while Hindley waited in the car
  • 11. concern: Topping 95-96 doesn't say anything about birthday unverified text: four days after his birthday COMMENT: ["Murder In Mind" (4): 18. ISSN 1364-5803. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) This page of this source] can allay concerns -- Kieronoldham
  • 12. concern: Per Topping 101, what they carried wasn't actually shopping, just some boxes "as though they had been shopping" unverified text: the shopping
  • 13. concern: No perhaps about it, Topping 105 simply says strangled with string (though there's the larger question, applicable to everything from Topping, that he's not telling us established facts, even in his own voice, but rather passing on Hindley's version of events) unverified text: perhaps
  • 14. concern: Nothing in Topping 105 indicates that H "maintained" this assertion, as if against some contradiction. Editors should consider the possibility that this an important subtlety of meaning in the source which the text should properly reflect. unverified text: maintained
  • 15. concern: Topping 34 says nothing about shallow unverified text: in a shallow grave.
  • 16. concern: Staff 184-6 says nothing about strangling unverified text: and strangled him to death
    Based on the excerpt posted at FAR, it doesn't appear Staff has "strangled" in there. However, the current version of the article has "throttled with a length of electrical cord" cited to Williams. Query: are we accepting Williams as an RS? If so, I think this can be resolved, but I wonder if we should get this bit from somewhere better like Lee. Levivich 03:06, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 17. concern: Topping 22 doesn't say this unverified text: The attack on Edward Evans was witnessed by Reference? How and why else would you report [seeing] such an act unfold before your eyes to police? This reference would suffice?
  • 18. concern: Toppin 22 doesn't say this; what it says is "He married MH after getting her pregnant... Her family were horrified." unverified text: The Hindley family had not approved of Maureen's marriage to Smith,
  • 19. concern: Staff 183-4 doesn't say this unverified text: Throughout the previous year Brady had been cultivating a friendship with Smith,
    Based on the excerpt posted at FAR, it doesn't appear this is in Staff. Do we have another source? Levivich 03:06, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 20. concern: Topping 183-4 doesn't say Smith's awe worried H, rather "She was deeply worried at Ian's recklessness. It had been safe when there was just the two of them. Myra understood that while she was in love with Ian, David Smith was in awe of him, and she did not feel that their bond was strong enough... now that Smith was involved she felt things were getting out of control. Ian was making mistakes..." unverified text: something that increasingly worried Hindley, as she felt it compromised their safety
    Based on the excerpt posted at FAR and EEng's comment here, it doesn't appear "increasingly" or "she felt it compromised their safety" are explicitly in Staff or Topping. Do we have another source, or is the implication satisfactory? Levivich 03:06, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 21. concern: Gibson 67 doesn't say "nearby", merely "roadside" unverified text: nearby Resolved matched to Benfield by edits that resolved 22 Levivich 04:50, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  • 22. concern: Gibson 67 says nothing about this unverified text: (bringing a screwdriver and knife in case Brady should confront them) Resolved 23–25 to come shortly Triptothecottage (talk) 03:04, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
  • 23. concern: Not in Topping 121 unverified text: of the Cheshire Police Resolved Triptothecottage (talk) 04:20, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
  • 24. concern: Topping 121 doesn't say this unverified text: borrowed Resolved Triptothecottage (talk) 04:20, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
  • 25. concern: Topping 121 says nothing about a uniform unverified text: to cover his uniform Resolved Triptothecottage (talk) 04:20, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
  • 25. concern: Topping 121 says sofa bed unverified text: divan Resolved Triptothecottage (talk) 04:20, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
  • 26. concern: Topping 122-4 simply says "Then she was allowed to go, and was told to return the following day for further questioning" unverified text: As the police had no evidence that Hindley was involved in Evans's murder, Resolved Triptothecottage (talk) 01:44, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 27. concern: What Topping 122 says is "She [Hindley] said [to Topping around 1986] Brady had made a statement admitting he had had a fight with Edward Evans [etc etc]." This supports neither that Brady was under questioning, nor that he made such a statement, nor even that Hindley was in fact told that Brady had made such a statement -- only that she later /told Topping/ that she had been told this. unverified text: admitted under police questioning that Resolved Triptothecottage (talk) 01:44, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 28. concern: Topping 122 says nothing about insistence unverified text:
  • 29. concern: Topping 107 says nothing about "several days later". unverified text: several days later Resolved Triptothecottage (talk) 01:44, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 30. concern: Topping 35 says nothing about the # of photos or that ther were pornographic, merely that the girl was naked unverified text: nine pornographic photographs taken of a young girl, naked and with a scarf tied across her mouth Potential ref. Pages 83-84 of Ann West's book (ISBN 978-1-852-27160-2) also reference this.--Kieronoldham (talk) 03:26, 29 August 2019 (UTC) Resolved All laid out nicely in Goodman. Triptothecottage (talk) 06:17, 30 August 2019 (UTC) (Note by EEng: Use care; facts should not be cited to court transcripts, though if Goodman gives facts in his own voice that's OK.)(note by TTTC: Not my first radio. Intro – based on court evidence and other sources – is about 50 pages.)(note by EEng: Sophisticates such as ourselves have an obligation to help lesser editors avoid pitfalls.)
  • 31. concern: None of this is in Ritchie 91 unverified text: A large collection of photographs was discovered in the house, many of which seemed to have been taken on Saddleworth Moor. One hundred and fifty officers were drafted to search the moor, looking for locations that matched the photographs. Resolved Triptothecottage (talk) 01:44, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 32. concern: Not in Ritchie 91 unverified text: close Resolved Triptothecottage (talk) 01:44, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 33. concern: Ritchie 91ff describes only a single site unverified text: sites Resolved Triptothecottage (talk) 01:44, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 34. concern: This is not in the source cited unverified text: She was shown clothing recovered from the grave, and identified it as belonging to her missing daughter. Potential ref. Pages 73-74 of Ann West's book (SIBN 978-1-852-27160-2) unequivocally reference this.--Kieronoldham (talk) 03:26, 29 August 2019 (UTC) Resolved Triptothecottage (talk) 01:44, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 35. concern: Not in Topping 37 unverified text: five days later Resolved Triptothecottage (talk) 01:44, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 36. concern: Times source says nothing about the date relationship (nor does Topping give the date of the discovery of Kilbridge's body) unverified text: That same day Resolved Triptothecottage (talk) 01:44, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 37. concern: Not in Topping 37 unverified text: The investigating officers suspected Brady and Hindley of murdering other missing children and teenagers who had disappeared from areas in and around Manchester over the previous few years, Resolved Triptothecottage (talk) 01:44, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 38. concern: Topping 37 doesn't say this unverified text: Presented with the evidence of the tape recording,
  • 39. concern: Staff 222 says nothing about public interest, rather (and predictably) "security screens to protect her and Ian from assassination" unverified text: Such was the public interest that
  • 40. concern: Staff 225-6 says nothing about syndication rights unverified text: the syndication rights to Resolved see below Triptothecottage (talk) 04:22, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  • 41. concern: Topping 143 doesn't give this unverified text: and was paying him a regular income of £20 per week, Resolved Bingham very helpful here in reconciling contradictory statements. Triptothecottage (talk) 04:22, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  • 42. concern: Not in Topping 38 unverified text: Brady and Hindley pleaded not guilty to the charges against them; Resolved Triptothecottage (talk) 01:03, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 43. concern: This makes it sound as if the questioning just before this was not "cross-examination by the prosecuting counsel" -- but all of it is that. unverified text: Under cross-examination by the prosecuting counse; Resolved I agree with this concern but this is really a prose and not verification concern, but it's already resolved with a prior copyedit Levivich 03:06, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 44. concern: Topping 39 gives no indication this was any kind of "admission", merely said H "described her own attitude as 'brusque and cruel'" this unverified text: admitted
  • 45. concern: Toppiong 39 says none of this unverified text: Hindley claimed that when Downey was being undressed she herself was "downstairs"; when the pornographic photographs were taken she was "looking out the window"; and that when Downey was being strangled she "was running a bath".
  • 46. concern: quotes make it sound like there are the judge's words; they're not unverified text: "stuck rigidly to their strategy of lying"
    I agree, the use of this quote in the paragraph describing the judge's statement makes it seem as if it is a quote from the judge, though it is not. More of a prose than verification issue, but I agree it should be reworked. Levivich 03:06, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 47. concern: Staff 10 says nothing about earlier suspicions unverified text: something that the police already suspected, as both children lived in the same area as Brady and Hindley and had disappeared at about the same time as their other victims
  • 48. concern: Staff 10 gives no rank for topping, merely calls him "sr investigating officer" unverified text: Detective Chief Superintendent
  • 49. concern: Staff 10 doesn't say this unverified text: who had been appointed head of GMP's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) the previous year
  • 50. concern: Not in Ritchie 260-1 unverified text: Police nevertheless decided to resume their search of Saddleworth Moor, once more using the photographs taken by Brady and Hindley to help them identify possible burial sites.
  • 51. concern: Ritchie 266 doesn't say who Timms is unverified text: who had been a prison governor before becoming a Methodist minister Note: this is in Keightley in the same context, GBooks version doesn't have page nums though so I'll hold off on adding it Triptothecottage (talk) 06:35, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
  • 52. concern: This can't be right, Topping 72 says Topping got the call from H inviting him to see her on 19 February unverified text: on 10 February 1987
  • 52. concern: Ritchie 274 says nothing about a clue or focus unverified text: but Hindley's clue had directed the police to focus their efforts on a specific area
  • 53. concern: Topping 276 doesn't say this unverified text: Topping refused to allow Brady a second visit to the moors,
  • 54. concern: Ritchie 276 has nothing to do with this unverified text: Hindley told Topping that she knew nothing of these killings.
  • 55. concern: Not in BBC source unverified text: Brady was taken to the moor for a second time on 1 December, but he was once again unable to locate the burial site. Resolved This was, to put it mildly, a mess; no sign of him being taken there on 1 Dec but the Times and Guardian agree that he was there on 8 Dec BUT he claimed to have found the site BUT I can't find any follow-up sources specifically debunking that claim so what went wrong is, for now, left to the reader as an exercise. Hey, at least it matches the sources.
  • 56. concern: it was Longford's campaign that was responsible for the continued media obsession with her, not anything Hindley herself said unverified text: Hindley's gender and repeated insistence on her innocence, followed by her bids for release after confessing, made her a figure of hate in the national media Resolved Cummins examines the impact of Hindley's own actions on public perceptions. Cleared up the relationship between her confession, bids for release and gender. Triptothecottage (talk) 00:46, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Items 1-55 above are relative to the June 26, 2019 version here and, in that version, cover only these sections: Victims; Murder of Edward Evans; Arrest; Initial investigation; Trial; Later investigation. Even in those sections, the following sources weren't checked: ONDB, Keightley, Cowley, Carmichael.

As we work our way through the issues (in all Talk sections, not just this one) anyone should feel free to remove a Resolved and reopen the issue. EEng 00:44, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

Who has which sources[edit]

  • Fuller cites for "Refideas" entries are here [9]
work notes EEng Kieronoldham TTTC X
Already in the article
(bibl) Birch 1993/4, Moving targets has has
(bibl) Carmichael, Sin & Forgiveness... "in transit" could consult (ILL)
(bibl) Cowley Newton
(bibl) Gibson 2006, Serial murders & media circuses May have useful material on media/culture, but shows poor discretion in choice of its own sources for facts of case e.g. relies primarily on Williams has can consult
(bibl) Keightley [10] open access? Brady’s "most intimate confidant", scholar of religion and long term Daily Mail columnist... perhaps best to avoid
(bibl) Lee 2010, One of your own Probably the most up-to-date, reliable source overall has getting
(bibl) Ritchie 1988, MH: Inside the Mind... "well-researched" (Lee) has can consult
SLV missing
(bibl) Staff 2007, The Lost Boy Lee p11 mentions "a few inaccuracies throughout", says more flagged in (Lee's) endnotes has can consult
(bibl) Topping 1989 Essential, but a complicated combination of 1ary and 2ary, plus much of what it reports is what Brady and Hindley told Topping, which is not the same as fact, plus Topping, being police, is not independent has
(bibl) Williams, Beyond belief Review says fact, interpretation of fact, and surmise [are] interwoven... So the reader may distinguish among them, the author uses – at which point there's a page break, and I won't be able to get the next page for a while! So use with caution for now. TTTC's view: the intro says it does this with present tense for the latter two and past tense for pure fact, but freely admits not consistently doing so. 1967 ed. has (1968 ed. repr 1992) can consult
(further) Boar open access open access link
(further) Goodman edited transcript of the trial, a lengthy introduction sumamrises the facts of the case as presented to the court, part of an "unhappily short-lived" series of "high standards" [11] can consult Law HD can consult
(further) Hansford Johnson, On iniquity has could consult (ILL)
(further) Harrison, B & H: genesis of the Moors murders lost
(further) Hawkins, "Monster body..." open access full text link; useful bibl?
(further) Potter 1966, Monsters of the Moors Seems to quote interrogations and court testimony, but unclear if complete and accurate, and w/o citation so best to avoid has
(further) Robins got pdf can consult
(further) Smith & Lee, Witness: Story of David Smith... note possible alt title, might be useful No
(further) West, Ann 1989 For the love of Lesley has has
(further) Wilson (Colin, Damon, Rowan) N.O.S. try again has
(talk refideas) Bingham, ‘Gross Interference ...News of the World ... 2016 [12] has idx & bibl pdf has full pdf
(talk refideas) Ian Cummins, et al., Serial Killers and the Media... 2019 [13] has pdf has pdf
Potential general secondary sources
(talk refideas) Pleasance, Lost Children ... photographic story... 2011 PDF open access has pdf
(talk refideas) Makepeace, Child Killers 2017 [14] Can't find this in Worldcat
(other) Erica Gregory, The Secret Key to the Moors Murders 2013 Complete trash
(talk refideas) Cuthbert, A Portfolio of Murders, 1970 [15] has pdf
(talk refideas) Wilson & Seaman, The Serial Killers:... 1992, 2011 [16][17] has pdf has
(talk refideas) Kocsis, The psychological profile of serial... 1998 [18] can consult (Law HD) has pdf
Criminology, forensic archaeology
(talk refideas) Pettigrew, Myra Hindley ... whole life prison terms 2016 [19] has pdf
(talk refideas) King, et al., The strange Case of Ian Stuart Brady..., [20] open access
(other) Joanna Kozubska, Cries for help: women w/o a voice... 2014 [21] has
(talk refideas) Heron, et al., Studies in Crime:... 1996, 2013 [22] has pdf can consult (1996 ed)
Media studies
(talk refideas) Peelo, Framing homicide narratives... 2006 [23] No has pdf
(talk refideas) Wardle, Monsters and angels: Visual press... 2007 PDF open access has pdf
Philosophy, sociology, and other soft sciences
(talk refideas) Schone, The Hardest Case of All... 2000 [24] has pdf
(talk refideas) Schmid, A Philosophy of Serial Killing 2010 [25] Ch2 of Waller Wid HD
(talk refideas) Stanley, Documents of Life Revisited.... (Ch. 3) text online? got pdf has pdf
News sources (secondary)
(other) Amisha Padnani, The Moors Murders: A Notorious Couple... NYT 2017 [26] open access
Potential primary sources
(talk refideas) Benfield, The Moors Murders, Police J 1968 [27] Comments for Topping apply here as well, plus this work is very early has pdf
(talk refideas) Terry West, If Only: Living in the shadows... 2018 [28] Apparently no lib holds it
(other) Keeling "Best friend of Moors Murder victim..." [29] open access Use w/care, unfiltered witness recollection is essentially a primary source
(other) Wilson, Robert 1988 Return to hell [30] Sensationalist has
(other) R. Barri Flowers, Dead at the Saddleworth Moor:... 2013 Trash
(other) Ian Thomas Field, The Moors Murders : the media, cultural representations... 2016 [31] thesis, check bibliography some chance of getting
(other) Syme, Anthony, Murder on the Moors 1966 Probably worthless, almost no lib holds
(other) Frasier Murder cases... pirate bibl has pdf
Human nature stained : Colin Wilson and the existential study of modern murder 1ER42

August 2019 to-do list[edit]

Discussion transferred from FAR [32]

Looks like we're ready to go ahead then, with the July 26 version. So...

  • 1.  Done David Eppstein, if you agree the time has come then how about you do the reversion to July 26 (linked by Levivich at the start of this subthread)? You're a respected admin with a clean block record, and not a party to any open Arbcom case request, so you're the perfect person to do this. It's an honor, really!
  • 2.  Done I'll reintegrate the post–July 26 changes I diffed earlier in this subthread
  • 3.  Done Probably should review the article history (July, August) in case there are any good edits lost in shuffle
  • 4.  Done We should comb the discussions so far (FAR and article Talk) for issues noted therein so they don't get lost. Those are:
  • 5. Then we need to see who has what sources, and divvy up the failed-v list so we're not duplicating effort, and attend to those
  • 6. Then, since the failed-v list only covered part of the article, that effort needs to be extended to all sections and all sources
  • 7. There are some <! -- --> notes in the source that we should probably review and resolve, or at least surface to this page
  • 8. Then (deep breath) we take stock of what to do next, including expansion. Also, we need to review the use of some of the existing sources to determine their appropriate use; for example, the question's been raised as to whether assertions in Topping should taken uncritically at face value in all cases e.g. if one of the killers told Topping that X happened, should we simply report X as fact (as the article often does now) or say, "Brady later said X"?

EEng 18:23, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

Agree, especially with the first bullet. Levivich 16:57, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Ok, July 26 version restored. —David Eppstein (talk) 17:09, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
  • So bullets 1 and 2 above are done. Before we go on, I'd like to propose something: to ease editing I'd like to insert an extra space at the end of each sentence (so two spaces between sentences, like you were taught to do in the old days on a typewriter). Of course this doesn't affect the rendered page the reader sees. I know it sounds minor but it makes it just a scrunch easier to scan through and find a passage you're looking for within the jumble of markup with in a paragraph. Here's a demonstration edit in one section [33]. Actually, I prefer to put a linebreak wherever a sentence end also has a ref, because I find this really makes finding things easy, but some people find this too radical. Anyway, please let me know what you think. EEng 19:55, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Get crackin', Levivich (front row, left)
Incipient infestation of gnomes -EEng
I don't care about whitespace in source that doesn't affect how it renders, but my guess is that if you put in linebreaks we'll get an infestation of gnomes taking them out again. —David Eppstein (talk) 20:10, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Bring on the gnomes. I'll soon get crackin' on bullet 4. Levivich 20:27, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
  • I think bullet 4 is as done as it's going to get at this stage. I transferred concerns from near and FAR to the #Prose concerns section, and made some of the suggested changes in the other threads listed under bullet 4. If any of those changes get reverted, those can be new items for discussion to add to the Prose concerns thread. I archived everything that's resolved or otherwise outdated, so only "live" issues remain on this page. The remaining bullet 4 threads, I think, will need to await source selection; no sense in tinkering with prose until we know what the sources will be and exactly what they say. Levivich 04:47, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
    • 4 is now done, I think. Levivich 03:27, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  • I've done bullet 3 unless someone else wants to check as well; I didn't see anything that wasn't either already incorporated or part of the failed verif. list. Levivich 05:05, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
  • About #7 and the hidden <!-- --> comments in the text, I looked at them and their meaning and usefulness were not immediately apparent to me. Not sure what there is to save, but I'm probably just not reading them right. Has anyone else gone through them? Levivich 03:29, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Citation matters[edit]

There are a few citation style issues which will need to be dealt with at some point; I'm going to start working on them as I go through but if everyone bears these in mind there will be less clean up to do later on. Apologies if these are bleedingly obvious to you, but... Triptothecottage (talk) 01:39, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Primary style is CS2 with {{sfnp}} for refs to longer works cited multiple times
    • don't forget |ps=none for the latter (guilty as charged, your Honour)
    • and |mode=CS2 for the former if using CS1 "cite" templates
  • Most of the Times archive refs don't have proper persistent URLs and are specific to Manchester Library & Information Service, which to put it mildly is a pain in the proverbial, I'm going to fix these as I come across them, but all welcome
  • Inconsistency in using {{citation}} means a lot of Times and BBC ref titles are appearing in italics – hate to pour that oil on this fire, but we need to agree what to do with that
Let me suggest that, while it’s good to keep this in mind along the way, systematic rectification best waits until things have settled down and we’ve had a chance to discuss global issues. There’s even a chance I’ll propose changing cite format, but don’t everyone panic at once at that prospect. Great work, BTW. EEng 02:41, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. I agree systematic rectification is a job for much later, but I'd like to avoid making things worse in the meantime. If you start lobbing bespoke citation styles over the trenches I may well attach a jam tin to my rifle and head home. Triptothecottage (talk) 02:55, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

Verification-failed passages restored[edit]

Victoriaearle, I told you a month ago [34] that the "verifications" you were carrying out made no sense because you were ignoring the explanations of the verification failures (and the extensive discussions among editors about how to resolve those problems) here [35]. Nonetheless in your edits today [36] (and these are just some random examples) ...

  • You restored The full extent of Brady and Hindley's crimes did not come to light until Brady confessed in 1985 to the killing of Pauline Read and Kenneth Bennett, discussed as Point 1 in the verification failures list (and although you added a new citation the cited passage says nothing about "the full extent of Brady and Hindley's crimes").
  • You restored continuing down Froxmer Street, discussed as Point 4.
  • You restored a friend of her younger sister, Maureen, discussed as Point 5.
  • You restored Reade got into the van with Hindley, who then asked if she would mind helping to search for an expensive glove she had lost on Saddleworth Moor. Reade said she was in no great hurry, and agreed. At 16, Pauline Reade was older than Marie Ruck, and Hindley realised that there would be less of a hue and cry over the disappearance of a teenager than there would over a seven or eight-year-old child. When the van reached the moor, Hindley stopped and Brady arrived shortly afterwards on his motorcycle. She introduced him to Reade as her boyfriend, and said that he had also come to help find the missing glove. Brady took Reade onto the moor while Hindley waited in the van. After about 30 minutes Brady returned alone, and took Hindley to the spot where Reade lay dying., discussed as Point 6. Also, Ruck isn't mentioned elsewhere in the article, so the reader doesn't know who she is. And anyway, she shouldn't be mentioned at all, see [37].
  • You restored She noticed that "Pauline's coat was undone and her clothes were in disarray ... She had guessed from the time he had taken that Brady had sexually assaulted her.", discussed as Point 8.5.

You seem to have realized that Topping is the (unstated) source for much of the no-citation material in the article version from last June, and made it your business to restore that material, where it was removed, adding cites to Topping. There are two problems with this.

  • First, editors have discussed on the talk page the problematic nature of Topping as a source because (a) it's a combination of primary and secondary material, and much of what it reports is simply stuff Hindley told Topping which cannot be offered uncritically as flat fact in Wikipedia's voice; and (b) Topping himself, being an investigator on the case, isn't independent. While there's only been initial discussion of this issue, in the interim it's unwise to increase our reliance on Topping particularly for stuff that only he reports; in at least some cases you replaced high-quality sources like Lee with Topping.
  • Second, the article has changed a lot since June for many reasons, most having nothing to do with the verification failures; by blindly pasting back in three-month-old blocks of text, as if the verification failures were the only reason anything was changed, you've simply thrown away those changes.

I've therefore reverted your changes. Please, bring yourself up to speed with the work done on the article in the last months, and if you have something to add to the discussions already ongoing, or can resolve any of the verification or other issues listed on the talk page, please let's hear about it. EEng 04:43, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

I agree with avoiding Topping as a source; it's not an independent secondary source, and there are better ones, like Carol Ann Lee. Levivich 19:05, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
I assume you'll agree when I clarify that we're not saying Topping cannot be used at all, but must be used with caution. EEng 23:43, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
Yes, agree 100%. Levivich 00:54, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
I'd appreciate it if you could go to 120% now and then. EEng 10:29, 2 October 2019 (UTC)

Have sources, will scan selected pages[edit]

Cross-posting this comment from Wikipedia:Featured article review/Moors murders/archive1 for anyone who has this page on watch but not that one. If anyone wants random, selected pages scanned from Staff, Topping or Ritchie let me know & I'll send them on. Victoria (tk) 14:36, 1 October 2019 (UTC)


The below is a thread from [38], ending on 3 October 2019

[Discussion about scanning sources trimmed.]

[...] Also, I get why you wouldn't want to use Topping, but doesn't everything that's known about the case originate with Hindley and Brady? Victoria (tk) 21:54, 2 October 2019 (UTC)

As Lee (2010) notes, the early efforts of the police were not particularly adept, and Benfield, in pursuit of a promotion, inflated his own role in events in subsequent accounts. And, as EEng has pointed out somewhere in the thousands of bytes of conversation over the last few months, Topping made his name for his single-minded pursuit of the case, including suggesting Brady and Hindley be forcibly hypnotised to assist with locating the later body. It is reasonable to expect his account would be similarly distorted. And yes, I know I’ve used Benfield to “verify” some points, so I’d welcome those being closely examined as well. Triptothecottage (talk) 06:17, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Triptothecottage, can you say what you mean by "similarly distorted"? I'd have thought a single-minded pursuit of that case would be viewed as an honourable thing. SarahSV (talk) 06:22, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
The question is not whether Topping's an honorable source, but rather a reliable source. EEng 06:27, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Exactly, I’m not impugning Topping’s honour, whatever that might mean. But even honourable people are subject to biases, and if we don’t recognise, assess and deal with these, then we are not doing our jobs. One doesn’t have to look far to find examples of Topping’s perspective becoming the slant of our supposedly neutral article. For example, the 15 August version said Smith became "reviled by the people of Manchester", despite having been instrumental in bringing Brady and Hindley to justice, cited to Topping. Now I read this and hear alarm bells, and sure enough as I flick through the Topping pages EEng has kindly sent, I find such gems as David Smith, young, naïve and impressionable (22) and Ian Brady’s background was... nowhere near as tough or as cruel as David Smith’s (23). These are the characterisations of a police chief trying to defend his badly behaved star witness, and, as one who rather enjoys the police memoir genre in my leisure reading, I am familiar with this kind of unsubtle “good guy bad guy” storytelling. But our article, by policy, needs to be more neutral than that, and when better sources are available, we ought to use them. In that case, I was fortunate to have Bingham’s scholarly assessment of the public reaction to Brady’s testimony; not every aspect of this case has been subject to the same scrutiny, but many have. Triptothecottage (talk) 09:46, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Triptothecottage, thanks for the reply. Topping is an excellent primary source. Like all primary sources, his book has to be used with care by editors familiar with the secondary sources. What rings alarm bells for you over Smith being "reviled by the people of Manchester", despite being instrumental, etc? Also, Smith was young and impressionable (he was 17 when he witnessed the murder), and he does seem to have had a more deprived childhood than Brady. SarahSV (talk) 15:25, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Such evaluations should come from sources not personally involved in the case. At p223 Topping says, "To those politicians and journalists who criticized the Moors search, who talked scathingly about searching for a needle in a haystack and complained about the cost of the search, to them I would like to say: look at Mrs Reade. We could never bring her daughter back [etc etc]. I believe the Moors inquiry team have many things to be proud of [etc etc]". Then he goes on to congratulate his team for their thorough search for Kilbride and so on. You can't blame Topping for being somewhat self-serving in places -- it's inevitable and understandable -- but there's no way we should be using him as a fact source except with "great caution", as they say. EEng 21:25, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
  • EEng when and if you decided to move an entire thread from another person's talk page without that person knowing about it until after the fact as you did here please have enough respect for that person to at least indicate that you're the person dumping the thread here instead of dumping it here with an out-of-context comment from me that looks like I started this thread here on this page. Another person came to my talk and started a thread and two weeks later you decided to move the entire thing here, for whatever reason. No, no one needs "permission" as in the legal sense but it's just plain polite and collegial to ask on that person's page, "hey do you mind if I copy this whole thread over?". As it happens I would have preferred that you didn't for reasons I stated on my own talk, it's now in the history of this page which I'd also prefer hadn't happened. Unfortunately you and others seem prepared to edit war to keep it in [39], [40], so at least take the responsibility for putting it here and sign the post so that it's clear who did the moving. Having this happen to me is a first; but getting a civility warning was a first; being blanket reverted was a first; lots of firsts here. It's been a learning experience. Books have now gone back to the library, unwatching now. Thanks. Victoria (tk) 17:00, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
    The first thing this thread says is that it's copied from somewhere else, with a link showing where, so there's no way anyone can think it started here; plus the ellipsis makes it clear that we're picking up in the middle of the copied thread. Threads are copied like this all the time without some protocol of permission because no one controls the fate and use of their contributions to the project, nor should they expect to. It doesn't matter who copied it, though someone really interested could find that in the page history. EEng 17:33, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

Continued discussion on this page

Isn't the usual way to use a primary source like this is to use it with attribution? ("According to Topping, Smith was reviled by the people of Manchester", etc.) Levivich 16:12, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

Repeating first that Topping is an unusual combination of primary and secondary -- further complicated by the fact that the author was personally involved in the events being discussed -- there's more to it than just saying primary sources should be attributed, because the uses of primary sources are limited, and then how you use one depends on which path led you to decide to use it. For example, the easiest case for a primary source is to use a short quotation to illustrate a fact given by a secondary source; in such a case it may not be necessary to actually in-text attribute the primary source, if it's just one of many that could have been selected.
Having said all that, the problem with using Topping as in your hypothetical example is his non-independence; there should be no problem finding independent sources giving this information, and in fact they're easily found. EEng 16:56, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
And, indeed, were easily found. I only left the quote in because it was a nice turn of phrase and consonant with what Bingham said. In hindsight even then it is probably too sensational. But I will leave that for another day. Triptothecottage (talk) 00:48, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Nice turns-of-the-phrase are, indeed, a special case (and an important one) of the general case of illustrating a fact given by a secondary source – they can really add to the effectiveness of the text. For example, the lead of (ahem) Phineas Gage recites that
Once termed "the case which more than all others is calculated to excite our wonder, impair the value of prognosis, and even to subvert our phys­i­o­log­i­cal doctrines",[1] Phineas Gage influenced 19th-century discussion about the mind and brain, par­tic­u­larly debate on cerebral local­i­za­tion,​[2][3]
Refs 2 and 3 are extensive secondary discussions (the entirety of a journal paper, two book chapters) of Gage's influence on 19th-c theories of the mind, cerebral localization, and so on; ref 1 is a primary paper from 1851 which we would use as a fact source only in very restricted ways (most likely simply to make statements about its own content), but which beautifully summarizes the material dryly discussed in refs 2 and 3, giving the reader a memorable view of how doctors at the time viewed the case. If what we're talking about here is Topping's statement that Smith was "reviled", I wouldn't say offhand that that's too sensational, depending on the support available in secondary sources. On the other hand, there's nothing particularly effective about that phrasing, and sources other than Topping probably have something as good or better that we can use directly (possibly with in-text attribution, possibly without, depending on how the source backs up the notion of Smith's reviled-ness). EEng 03:36, 14 October 2019 (UTC)