A purported will by Stuart Cummings Ripley has been exposed as a fake by Pete Hamstring, investigative reporter for the Bucks County Banner
. On assignment by the Bucks County Writers Workshop, Mr. Hamstring reported:
Per your request, I have determined that the "will" of Stuart Cummings Ripley submitted by BCWW member (currently unnamed) is a crude forgery for the following reasons:
1. While I was only able to examine a computerized scan, I detected a faint watermark on the paper that indicates the paper was manufactured by the Neenah Paper Company using its Trojan brand papers. As its Trojan brand was first introduced in 2007 and Mr. Ripley died in 1964, the paper was not available in Mr. Ripley's lifetime.
2. The will purports to be handwritten; however, the font is obviously computerized, a version of a script font introduced by Microsoft in 1999.
3. The will is rife with spelling errors. Yet Mr. Ripley was a champion speller who won his first-grade spelling bee by correctly spelling "antidisestablishmentarianism."
4. According to the official biography on the Ripley website, Mr. Ripley left no known will.
5. The final tipoff is that the will incorrectly spelled Mr. Ripley's first name as "Stewart" rather than Stuart.
As for the motives of the BCWW member (currently unnamed) in releasing this obvious forgery, I can only conclude that he did so in a crass pursuit of publicity and fame.
My invoice has been sent to the BCWW by regular mail.
WHO WAS STUART
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