Tag Archives: fake photo

Historic Photo Fraud Produces a Merchant of Identity Theft

The family of America’s iconic folklore outlaw, Jesse James, considers Justin Whiting of Spalding, England a merchant of identity theft.

Fake image of Jesse James

The James family discredits the claim by Justin Whiting that says this is an image of Jesse James. The family accuses Whiting of trying to capitalize on the authentic identity of Jesse James and the James family. They charge Whiting manufactured, promoted, and is selling an image of Jesse James that is not authentic, but a fake.

Justin Whiting
Justin Whiting in an interview with Simon Spark of the BBC

The family further says Whiting is creating a scam of identity theft to capture a multi-million dollar profit, using the fraudulent image.

An interview of Whiting by Simon Spark from BBC Look North, appearing in Whiting’ s Facebook timeline, confirms that Whiting thinks his fake image is worth $2 million.

Whiting says, he wants to buy a house and car with the proceeds he anticipates.

Simon Spark
Simon Spark of the BBC

James Genetics

The James family maintains the known and authentic physical features of Jesse James are genetic. The  identity theft of known historical physical features that are evident in the past equates to the very same characteristics alive in the James family today. Stealing from Jesse James is theft from his family alive today.

Identifiable characteristics of historical identity continue to exist among living members of the James in present time. As evidence, the James produced two videos – MEN of the Jesse James Family and WOMEN of the Jesse James Family. The videos forcefully display and identify multiple genetic physical features of the James that persist from the first period of photography to present day.

Identity Thief with a Past

Fake image claimed to be Abraham Lincoln
Tintype claimed in 2013  by Justin Whiting to be U.S. President Abraham Lincoln

Justin Whiting first surfaced in public in 2013. At that time, Whiting claimed to have found an unknown image of Abraham Lincoln, the renowned U.S. President.

Whiting’s story of an eBay find of Lincoln that in fact is not Lincoln forged a template that Whiting now repeats five years later with his “7£ eBay find,” which Whiting claims is Jesse James.

The James family declares Whiting’s actions follow a known template for fraud and con artistry. The family affirms it has been impacted numerous times before by experiences of other fraudulent Jesse James photos hawked by other con artists.

A Practiced Habitué of Fraud

image-restore masthead
Masthead of the image-restore website

The story of Whiting’s claimed image of Abraham Lincoln first was published on the web site image-restore. The business generally provides services for restoring old photos.

Ironically, the owner of the company and website resurfaces today regarding Whiting’s fake Jesse James image. More about Neal Rhodes, aka Neal David Rhodes, later.

In 2013, Justin Whiting embraced image-restore to disseminate his Lincoln deceit.

For his Jesse James fraud in 2018, Whiting employed SWNS, a news story generator in the UK.

SWNS –  Collaborator in Storytelling

SWNS website landing page and services descriptor
Landing page blurb on the sWNS website, describing what SWNS does

“Every day we help people tell their story,” SWNS advertises.

As it did for Justin Whiting, SWNS packages the teller’s story and distributes the content to news outlets and aggregators. From the UK’s newspaper The Telegraph to quickie, spot video delivery outlets like YouTube, SWNS spread Whiting’s scam.

The income SWNS collects is shared with its storyteller. By simply manufacturing a story, Justin Whiting already is profiting off his fake Jesse James image swindle.

The Template of His Con

A look in the mirror at Whiting’s 2013 Lincoln image fraud reveals the template for a fraud that Whiting transfers in 2018 to his claimed Jesse James tintype.

Whiting’s template employs the following elements:

  • An attention-grabbing headline of a discovery
  • Story of the discovery made on eBay
  • A comparison of the discovered image with an authentic image
  • Reputable authority consulted
  • Authoritative rejection
  • Experts of convenience substituted
  • Report & promotion publicly generated

The following excerpts from image-restore define Whiting’s template elements in 2013.

Discovery Headline

eBay Find

Comparison Images

Fake Abraham Lincoln compared to an autehtic Abraham Lincoln.
Identity theft example comparing a fraudulent image of Abraham Lincoln to an authentic image of Lincoln. The fraudulent image showing indications of being “doctored.”

Reputable Authority Produces Rejection

Experts of Convenience

Public Report & Promotion

Image of unknown man altered and restored by Neal Rhodes
Altered image of an unknown man restored by Neal Rhodes, claimed by Justin Whiting to be Jesse James

The author of Justin Whiting’s Lincoln claim story is Neal Rhodes, aka Neal David Rhodes, pictured in the “About the Author” excerpt above.

Rhodes resurfaces in Whiting’s Jesse James artifice as the restorer of Whiting’s eBay find.  Metadata embedded in the electronic image includes a copyright claim to the image in Rhodes’ name.

Among formal forensic science analysts,  alterations to historical artifacts equate to evidence tampering. To be properly authenticated, a photographic image must remain in its unaltered condition as found.

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Fake image of Jesse James, claimed by Justin Whiting, 2018

UPDATE: April 29, 2018

Failing to convince anyone that his claimed image is Jesse James, Justin Whiting now is promoting a new image h claims is Jesse James between 16 and 18 year of age.

As usual, Whiting disregards history altogether. Between the ages of 16 and 18, Jesse James had become a wartime guerrilla with no income to afford a good suit and fancy tie.

As the disease of the con artist continues to seize upon Justin Whiting, he lo continues to issue new photo identities of himself.

In this image, Whiting appears suspiciously to be  Neal David Rhodes, Whiting’s photographic authority identified above.

Merchants in identity theft
1. Justin Whiting’s public relations photo for hi claimed Jesse James image 2. Justin Whiting’s replacement photo after being disproved. 3. Neal David Rhodes of image-restore

Called out on his image likeness with Neal David Rhodes of image-restore, Justin Whiting now has reverted to a  more youthful image of his middle-aged self.

Merchant of identity theft in waiting

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RELATED

Part I – Jesse James Family Discredits 7£ eBay Find of Justin Whiting

Part II – Historic Photo Fraud Produces a Merchant of Identity Theft

Part III – Photo Experts of Convenience Juke Identity Theft

Part IV –  Forensic Science Proves “7£ eBay find” NOT Jesse James

 

Lois Gibson-Sandy Mills Tintype Controversy Puzzles Great Britain – but not for long

In his forensic analysis, titled “Jesse James, Robert Ford, and the Tintype,” Great Britain’s Mark Bampton poses his question about the controversy in typical British fashion –  as a pun.

 “Who are these four?”

True Jesse James and Bob Ford-Fake Jesse James and Bob Ford
Cover image from Mark Bampton’s discourse, “Jesse James, Robert Ford, and the Tintype.”

Mark Bampton lives in Ampthill, which he describes as “a small Georgian town” in Bedfordshire, Great Britain.  Prompted by the reaction of the Jesse James family to the Bob Ford/Jesse James photo hoax, promoted by Lois Gibson and Sandy Mills and their circle of supporters,  Mark Bampton decided to apply his own scientific forensic analysis to the image controversy.  Not surprisingly, Bampton arrives at a different conclusion than Lois Gibson.

“It took me a little longer than expected to look into Lois Gibson’s authentication material due to the number of problems with it. From the material that I could find, I could not identify any effective analysis process.”

 

Mark Bampton
Mark Bampton of Ampthill, England

Unlike the artist Lois Gibson who claims to have authenticated Mills tintype by employing imagined photo comparisons and artistry, Bampton is not an artist. Bampton’s field is industrial design and product engineering, a profession that Bampton says requires both “artistic and technical demands.”

Instead of artistry, Bampton applied the sciences of mathematics, linear technical analysis, and measurement testing. These are the same skills Bampton employs as a product engineer. They also are the skills that a trained scientific forensic scientist normally would apply in the formal analysis of an historical image or artifact.

“I could not identify any logical or justifiable reason why Lois Gibson would authenticate the tintype…”

 Bampton soon discovered the Bob Ford/Jesse James controversy was not the only controversy involving the Houston-based artist. Lois Gibson also created a very similar controversy over an image she claimed was the famed bluesman, Robert Johnson. On the website Academia, Mark Bampton discovered that England’s newspaper The Guardian  had reported on the Jonhson controversy in an article titled, “‘Robert Johnson’ photo does not show the blues legend, music experts say.”

 

Robert Johnson image controversy
Disputed image of famed bluesman Robert Johnson

Dr. Bruce Conforth, a university professor of American culture and a founding curator of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, was cited in The Guardian article as criticizing Lois Gibson’s authentication technique.  “Historical scholarship relies on evidence,” Dr. Conforth said. “And if you look at the alleged authentication of that photograph there really wasn’t a piece of evidence, there was opinion. Historical fact is never validated by opinion; it can only be validated by evidence.”

Bampton soon discovered the reason why Lois Gibson would authenticate the claimed Bob Ford/Jesse James tintype.  when he read another article written by Dr. Bruce Conforth, that also was published on Academia. In writing “A New Analysis of the Two Accepted Photos of Robert Johnson and the Alleged 3rd Photo,” Dr. Conforth lays out the story of the Johnson image, its discovery, and Gibson’s record of association with it. This article followed two previous publications by Conforth. “Another Robert Johnson Photo Debunked” documents Conforth’s disgruntlement with the fakery surrounding the Johnson image. “The Business of Robert Johnson Fakery” is another Conforth article published in Living Blues magazine.

To Mark Bampton, the Conforth’s story already was  a familiar one. Dr. Conforth’s story of the Johnson image reflected almost precisely the sad saga of the Bob Ford/Jesse James image as related in the James family’s rebuttal to Gibson’s authentication.

Linear forensics applied to claimed Robert Johnson image
Linear forensics applied to Lois Gibson claimed image of Robert Johnson

Very familiar to Mark Bampton was the linear forensics applied to the Johnson image, that appeared in Dr. Conforth’s treatise.

Bampton decided to apply his own forensic skills upon the assumptive Bob Ford/Jesse James image.

 “I intended to make my report factual and impartial although conclusions about the veracity of the authentication were largely inevitable.”

Linear forensics applied to authentic image of Jesse James with a claimed image
Linear forensics applied by Mark Bampton to Lois Gibson’s alleged authentication of the claimed Jesse James image yields numerous discrepancies that are plainly visible.

Using several applications of linear forensics, now fully and clearly outlined in Mark Bampton’s documented report,  discrepancies proved to be multiple and evident. Not only were discrepancies revealed in the conjectural Jesse James image, they also became evident in Gibson’s uncertain Bob Ford image.

Linear forensics applied to authentic image of Bob Ford with a claimed image
Linear forensics applied by Mark Bampton to Lois Gibson’s alleged authentication of the claimed Bob Ford image yields plainly visible discrepancies.

“If this is correct, $40,250.00 is a lot to pay for a picture of two unknowns, even if it is an old tintype! Personally, I’d move the decimal place at least three places to the left.”

Mark Bampton registered shock when told by the James family that Sandy Mills’ tintype had sold at auction for $35,000, plus auction fees. The James family was informed of the sale by two regular attendees at Burley Auction Gallery events. The regulars stated that the prize bidder was not recognizable and was unknown locally.

The James family alleges that the fraud that is evident in Gibson’s hypothetical authentication may extend to the auction, too. Prior to the auction, Stray Leaves publisher, and Jesse James family biographer Eric F. James was contacted by the Houston Chronicle to schedule an interview following the auction. Given the very surprising outcome of the auction, this result should have made a gigantic news story, attracting worldwide attention. No historical image of Jesse James or the James family has ever sold for more than two thousand dollars. Eric F. James is perplexed that the Houston Chronicle did not follow through and interview him afterward as planned. Nor did the newspaper report on the auction outcome as it had planned. This was even more perplexing given the fact that Dylan Baddour of the Chronicle had broken the story initially about the pretentious tintype. Baddour previously also reported on Gibson’s alleged authentication of the Robert Johnson image.

icollector bid report
Sale report for the fake Bob Fork/Jesse James tintype is identified on icollector website

Not willing to accept one piece of oral testimony about the auction result alone, Mark Bampton uncovered secondary evidence of the auction’s outcome on icollector.com.

Of course, no evidence remains that the purchase money actually was paid, the image transferred, and the sale concluded. Nor has the winning bidder been publicly identified following the acquisition of such a prized auction artifact. Those unknowns in itself guarantees that this story will continue to be a controversy for a long time to come.

Initially, Mark Bampton titled his paper in true British fashion, using a very witty pun. He posed the question,  “Who are these four?”

The literal answer to the pun is a fake Bob Ford, a fake Jesse James, and two authentic images of them.  The non-literal answer is, whoever has benefited the most financially or in publicity from the promotion and sale. Among Lois Gibson, Sandy Mills, the auction house, and the Gibson-Mills ring of partners and supporters, a lot of unknown information remains. Ample room for conjecture is left. The wealth of criticism leveled at this controversy will not abate soon, at least not until the pun of the question finds authenticatable answers.

“I plan to do a separate paper for each of the two Robert Johnson photographs…I plan to follow a similar analysis for the Robert Johnson papers as for the Jesse James paper.”

Georgetown College
Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky

This fall, Mark Bampton will visit America to present his paper on “Jesse James, Bob Ford, and the Tintype” before the James family, their friends, and associates at the annual conference of the National James-Younger Gang Inc. The conference will be held in Georgetown, Kentucky. The public is welcome to attend.

MEET Mark Bampton:  SIGN UP for notices to attend & meet Mark Bampton at the James-Younger Gang 2017 Conference.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Mark Bampton’s entire paper now appears on the Academia website and also is free for download HERE.

CONTACT Mark Bampton

Fake Photo Reveals New Jesse James History

Jesse James in his famed pork pie hat with Larry, Curley, & Moe in Las Vegas.

Anyone who knows the history of the West probably instantly recognizes this image. When Jesse James abandoned his children and his wife and his family, he freebooted himself west to Las Vegas. Jesse had in mind to re-establish his faded and flawed career as the high wire attraction his Civil War life on the partisan trapeze had prepared him to be. Jesse fancied himself as the focus of attention by adoring vacationers who would come from all those places where formerly he had been hunted as an outlaw. He also fancied the tigers and ostrich plumed showgirls from France he expected to surrounded him and keep him safe.

In Las Vegas, Jesse was welcomed warmly by Ted Binion. Binion convinced Jesse to stop hiding his gold & hidden treasure in Oklahoma. Instead, Binion offered Jesse to stash his gold and hidden treasure inside a new machine Binion had installed in the center of his Casino for Dudes & Dudettes. Binion assured Jesse that, even though the public could see all of Jesse’s treasure through a glass window, the stash would be in the safest spot possible, because every time someone pulled the machine’s trigger to get the money, no one ever got anything out of the machine.

Ted Binion convinced Jesse James he would need an act. The Knights of the Golden Circle were due in town shortly for a secret convention in an undisclosed location. Binion knew about this from rocks with ciphered messages he had found in the desert. For all he knew, Binion said, they could be in Las Vegas already. The Knights needed to be hosted and entertained, and what the KGC liked best was inexplicable rituals. So Binion introduced Jesse James to Larry, Curley, & Moe.

As seen here, Jesse James posed with Larry, Curley, & Moe in this photograph meant to promote the new act, the image taken during Jesse’s rehearsals with the trio. Shortly after this picture was taken, the KGC informed Binion they had enjoyed the act and planned to adopt some of its features in their programs. The KGC left town as unnoticed as they had arrived.

The name of the act – Larry, Curley, & Moe, starring Jesse James – just didn’t have enough ring to draw a crowd. Once more, Jesse faced failure in his life. Having run off from everyone he knew, Jesse was alone in his world, without friends…until Binion introduced Jesse to Bugsy Siegal.

Bugsy was opening a new operation on the Las Vegas Strip. He needed some new acts. Bugsy asked Jesse, Can you sing? Only hymns, Jesse replied. No Good, said Bugsy. Can you dance, Bugsy asked. I can do a fast shuffle out of town, said Jesse. Doesn’t work me, said Bugsy. What can you do, asked Bugsy. Jesse replied, well, I’ve got this gang, or half a gang. The other half’s in prison. We rob banks. Gang, asked Bugsy. I already got a guy with a gang, named Sinatra. Finally, Bugsy Siegal advised Jesse James to leave Las Vegas, go out on the road, and work up an act. He assured Jesse, no matter if Jesse was wheeled back into his showroom on a gurney, Bugsy would hold open a spot for Jesse in his show.

So Jesse James disappeared from Las Vegas. He hit the road, disguising himself as J. Frank Dalton. Then he got the idea to make himself famous – as himself. He got some roadies, and together they wheeled Jesse all around America on a gurney, whipping up a crowd of gullible curiosity seekers. By the time Jesse James had perfected his act and felt ready to return to Las Vegas, Bugsy Siegal had been murdered. Ted Binion was dead. And Larry, Curley, & Moe were gone.

Jesse James died anonymously, as J. Frank Dalton. His show biz career never did get off the ground. But thank goodness for all those pictures of him that have survived the years. Without them, people would probably think he actually was killed by Bob Ford.