And what, I wonder, does one make of Anne's reaction to Mike's reported claim in June 1994 that he had forged the diary?
According to the Liverpool Daily Post of 27 June 1994, which ran a headline "HOW I FAKED THE RIPPER DIARY", this is what Anne said:
"This is bull****. He told me he got the diary from Tony Devereux and that is all I know. He is now trying to get at me because I have left him. The whole thing is an absolute nightmare. But I will fight like a tiger to protect myself and my family against anything he says."
I have difficulty understanding this reaction if she either thought the diary had come from Tony Devereux or had been stolen from Battlecrease and given to Mike. In respect of the latter, a forgery story at least protected Mike from a charge of handling stolen goods. I also have difficulty in understanding this reaction if she knew the diary had been in her family for years and she had given it to Tony to give to Mike.
In all these scenarios, I just can't see how Mike claiming to have forged the diary was an attempt to get at Anne (or why she would have believed it was), nor why she felt she needed to fight like a tiger to protect herself and her family from Mike's claims. I mean, sure, if the diary had been in her family for years it damaged her own interests if it was thought a forgery but the whole point was that Mike didn't know this so how could he have been using the forgery claim to get back at her? Furthermore, in the very same quote she says that Mike told her he got the diary from Tony and that this is "all I know". Those are not the words of someone who felt she was ever going to reveal that she knew the diary had been in her family for donkey's years because it was such a blatant lie.
A certain person who, I believe, is well aware of this problem told us earlier in this thread (#54):
"I wouldn't claim to know how Anne's mind was working in the Spring/Summer of 1994, but as a woman who has been divorced myself, I can only imagine her reaction to Mike telling the papers that he had forged the diary himself! She must have worried initially that everyone would think she knew and had kept quiet."
I don't find that at all realistic. Mike was claiming at this time that HE and he alone had forged the diary. What kind of paranoid spouse would think that this meant that they were also implicated? I mean, seriously, Mike claims that he forged the diary, and was, as he said at the time, the greatest forger in history, and Anne is thinking that this means he is saying that she was also involved in the forgery?
It doesn't compute for me. But what certainly does compute is that if Anne actually had been involved in the forgery, then Mike's admission in a newspaper was way too close to the bone and her quoted response in the newspaper makes perfect sense. Equally, if their daughter had been aware of the forgery and had deliberately misled researchers about the Tony Devereux story it was potentially an attack on her too and Anne's reaction is understandable.
At the very least, Anne's reaction is perfectly consistent with the story that was subsequently to emerge in Mike's affidavit in January 1995. And I would say it is difficult to reconcile with any of the other scenarios.
One other point to note is that, following the Liverpool Daily Post story in late June 1994, it was the very next month (July 1994) that Anne suddenly confessed that the diary had been in her family since at least the 1960s and that she had given it to Tony to give to Mike. So from telling a reporter that she knew no more than that Tony had given it to her husband she was now effectively admitting that she had lied about that and knew a lot more of the story. Was she doing this, as has been claimed because she was under so much pressure to give Feldman a bogus story? Or was she being more calculated than this in order to deflect attention away from a forgery claim which had the potential to damage her and her family greatly?