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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Maybrick, James

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  #321  
Old 03-19-2018, 03:02 AM
DirectorDave DirectorDave is offline
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Originally Posted by John G View Post
I didn't say anything about a "nest of forgers", so that's obviously fake news. Mike named three people who were involved in the conspiracy, including himself, and that may well have been correct. In fact, I seriously doubt that there were lots of individuals involved, as it increases the odds that someone else would have broken ranks by now, and financially everyone's share of the spoils would be seriously diluted.
With "Nest of Forgers" I'm not insinuating a large number of individuals but the sophistication of the conspiracy.

Quote:
You keep referring to Mike's stroke. However, have you any evidence that, long term, it impacted on his cognitive abilities? In fact, accordingly to one study, the prevalence of post-stroke cognitive impairment, at 3 months and five years, was only around 22%: Douiri et al. 2012.
"One Study"....mmm OK I'll take it....22% that does not sound like an insignificant impairment to me.

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You see, we keep coming back to the fact that just about everyone who met Mike after the diary was published concluded that it was unlikely he could have been the author. You reason that this was because of the stroke, but I see little evidence for this. It may be on account of his alcoholism, but that may have been a factor before the diary wss published, further reducing the likelihood that he was the author.
The stroke may be one of the reasons many right Barrett off, but look at John Humble a man probably below the standing of Barrett able to fool the police into going on a wild goose chase and hold the country in terror...did he look any more capable than Barrett?

Alcohol again, OK alcohol prevents Barrett writing it but arsenic enables Maybrick to write it.

Booze and drugs have a long association with the creative arts if they are inhibitors to the creative process there seems to be plenty examples of stuff getting through....the Beatles from Rubber Soul onwards for example.


Quote:
Moreover, as I keep pointing out, in any conspiracy there would be more reasons than the issue of literacy skills to limit Mike's involvement, i.e. his erratic temperament, and his blabermouth tendency.
Yes I'm saying this was not some eutopic conspiracy where a group of experienced forgers democratically elected a master forger....it was more Steptoe than Shakespeare....they probably come up with the idea watching Lovejoy over a fish supper.

I fail to see how Mike's literary skills limit his involvement....a published journalist in a national magazine, and whether his wife is his proof reader or not is neither here nor there.

The Mike Barrett photoalbum is perhaps a microcosm of the whole Ripper case....a need to see sophistication and design when little are present.
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  #322  
Old 03-19-2018, 03:07 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Originally Posted by caz View Post
Not really, Graham, probably because we were concentrating on the story of what was happening during the first ten years of the diary and watch being in the public domain.

If bone black was used as an antidote for arsenic poisoning, it will no doubt be put down to another odd little coincidence, because surely if Mike Barrett had known this and put it in the diary to help things along, he'd have said so when making his January 1995 affidavit. That kind of evidence and inside knowledge Anne could not have destroyed or prevented Mike from blabbing about.

[She wrote, dancing round the living room.]

Love,

Caz
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The only reason I mention the bone black is because, as you say, it's another odd little coincidence. The book in which the Diary is written has bone black in its spine, and Maybrick was an arsenic addict and bone black was a known medication for arsenic poisoning. OK. Unfortunately the writing in the Diary is 99.9% certain not to be James Maybrick's. Plus there are (claimed) anachronisms - however, the biggest catch for me personally is the 'tin matchbox empty' bit. But what the hell. My speculation is that perhaps the 'diary book' used, as is now generally agreed, originally as a photo album, was part of the Maybrick household possessions, and the bone black got into it as he was snorting the stuff while looking at his family photos, or even gumming a few in. And then the photo album is removed from Battlecrease either legitimately or not, and after many adventures (!) ended up in the possession of a currently-unknown someone who thought, 'Hm, I'll use it to forge James Maybrick's Diary and pin the Ripper crimes on him - got nothing else on for a week or so'. Out went the photos, in went the hoax. Could have happened almost at any time, really, but I'd go for a period roughly post WW2. Another thing: are there any extant photos of the Maybricks At Home, their children, their house, garden, possessions, etc? If so, I've never seen any, apart from the portrait photos, that is.

How did Barrett get it, then? I hear you ask. Haven't a clue. Maybe it really did come from Devereux. Maybe it really was behind Anne's wardrobe. Maybe it was found in a junk shop. Who knows? But I'm pretty certain it didn't come from under the floorboards of Battlecrease courtesy of a thirsty electrician who needed a few quid for a pint or several.

Hope you didn't do any damage as you danced round your living-room, Caz!

Graham
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  #323  
Old 03-19-2018, 05:25 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Originally Posted by Graham View Post
My speculation is that perhaps the 'diary book' used, as is now generally agreed, originally as a photo album, was part of the Maybrick household possessions, and the bone black got into it as he was snorting the stuff while looking at his family photos, or even gumming a few in.
If the ledger was originally in the Maybricks' possession, why would a forger have removed those pages from the front? If it had been a Maybrick family scrapbook/photo-album, or at least contained non-family artefacts (e.g. press cuttings or other ephemera) that dated the book to 1889 or earlier, surely they would have been left in to support its provenance? I'd suggest that the most likely explanation for the missing pages is that they contained evidence which not only showed the book had not been a Maybrick possession, but placed it at a later point in time.
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  #324  
Old 03-19-2018, 05:36 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Originally Posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
I certainly think that it’s rather optimistic to suggest that it’s something that anyone with a few tools could accomplish. I don’t know, maybe Albert Johnson knew someone with the requisite skills?
Surely someone with the requisite skills (and tools) would have made a rather better job than the spider's-scrawl we actually see? If, on the other hand, the forger was double-bluffing (e.g. "Maybrick wasn't an engraver, so it doesn't have to be tidy"), why have a skilled/tooled person do it anyway?
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  #325  
Old 03-19-2018, 05:43 AM
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Hi Graham,

I'm not sure why it would be 'generally agreed' that the guardbook, or scrapbook, was originally used as a photo album. Is there any evidence for this apart from what Mike Barrett claimed?

Also, how have you arrived at being 'pretty certain' it wasn't found in Battlecrease the day the floorboards in Maybrick's old bedroom were lifted and Mike made his first call to the literary agency - the first ever documented mention of the diary's existence?

If a certain valuable gold watch was found with this old book, the thirsty electrician would have got more than a bit of beer money for flogging the former, no questions asked. The book would not have been so easy to shift for an instant payday, so while Mike may have offered to put feelers out on his behalf, there'd have been no guarantees. Even when Doreen Montgomery expressed her interest in seeing it, there was every chance she'd turn it down on sight, if it looked like the ink was barely dry or she just didn't feel the thing was 'right'. Still no guarantee of interesting a publisher, and one might never have been found if Robert Smith had not taken a punt, or if he was put off by negative test results.

Once Mike had got Doreen's attention, the next step would be to take the diary off the electrician's hands so he could show it to her in London. At that point there was no money on the table yet, and might never be any, so: "Okay, Bongo, give us £25 and see what you can do with it. You didn't get it from me, right, but if you get rich you owe me. Just don't leave the country".

Love,

Caz
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Last edited by caz : 03-19-2018 at 05:46 AM.
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  #326  
Old 03-19-2018, 06:13 AM
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caz caz is offline
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Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
Surely someone with the requisite skills (and tools) would have made a rather better job than the spider's-scrawl we actually see? If, on the other hand, the forger was double-bluffing (e.g. "Maybrick wasn't an engraver, so it doesn't have to be tidy"), why have a skilled/tooled person do it anyway?
Hi Gareth,

I think the requisite skills and tools refer to what would have been involved in making recent scratch marks [which would have been all the scratches on that inner surface] appear thoroughly worn and many decades old to two independent experts when examined under a microscope. I'm not sure anyone has suggested the markings themselves - the words and initials - resemble the work of a professional engraver, nor indeed why they should.

But how easy do you think it would be for anyone to 'carve' their own signature in the way Maybrick's was, and make it perfectly legible, never mind try someone else's and hope to make it look at the first attempt like the man's written signature?

Love,

Caz
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  #327  
Old 03-19-2018, 06:26 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
If the ledger was originally in the Maybricks' possession, why would a forger have removed those pages from the front? If it had been a Maybrick family scrapbook/photo-album, or at least contained non-family artefacts (e.g. press cuttings or other ephemera) that dated the book to 1889 or earlier, surely they would have been left in to support its provenance? I'd suggest that the most likely explanation for the missing pages is that they contained evidence which not only showed the book had not been a Maybrick possession, but placed it at a later point in time.
Sam, Caz,

I agree with you all the way, Sam - my post was, as I said, mere speculation based on the fact that Maybrick was an arsenic addict and the fact that traces of bone black, a known antidote for arsenic poising, were found in the spine. I recall reading that one of the experts who examined the book said that there were traces of what appeared to be glue on one of the pages, and also what was described as a fragment of a photograph. What is also a fact is that we don't know for certain if it was used as a photo album - we don't know what it was used for, but it seems to me that the consensus over the years is that it was a photo album. I was only speculating that the book may have been abstracted from Battlecrease via some means other than being lifted from beneath the floorboards.

As for its being found under the floorboards, when this is proved, I'll believe it! But as hardly anything concerning the Diary has been [i]proved, I don't think this is about to happen. And I just cannot visualise, try as I might, Mike Barrett (or anyone else, for that matter) getting onto a literary agency the same day that the floorboards were lifted - unless of course this is another coincidence. Or, of course, this is precisely what did happen - but I don't think it did. Feldman IIRC said that he didn't think that whatever the electricians took to Liverpool University, it wasn't the Diary.

As just about every other discussion point concerning the Diary is speculative, I thought I'd have a go, that's all. Keeps me occupied during my retirement......

Graham
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  #328  
Old 03-19-2018, 06:33 AM
John Wheat John Wheat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
If the ledger was originally in the Maybricks' possession, why would a forger have removed those pages from the front? If it had been a Maybrick family scrapbook/photo-album, or at least contained non-family artefacts (e.g. press cuttings or other ephemera) that dated the book to 1889 or earlier, surely they would have been left in to support its provenance? I'd suggest that the most likely explanation for the missing pages is that they contained evidence which not only showed the book had not been a Maybrick possession, but placed it at a later point in time.
Hi Sam

I agree with what your saying the reason a number of pages have been torn out the diary is because they would expose it as a forgery.

Cheers John
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  #329  
Old 03-19-2018, 08:07 AM
Darryl Kenyon Darryl Kenyon is offline
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Agreed also Sam
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  #330  
Old 03-19-2018, 08:50 AM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
Surely someone with the requisite skills (and tools) would have made a rather better job than the spider's-scrawl we actually see? If, on the other hand, the forger was double-bluffing (e.g. "Maybrick wasn't an engraver, so it doesn't have to be tidy"), why have a skilled/tooled person do it anyway?
Hi Gareth,

Surely a highly skilled person would have been needed. I know one friend of mine for example who could have engraved the writing on the watch (not that I’m accusing him of course ) but he wouldn’t have had the skill to do it so that a scientist wouldn’t immediately have been able to tell that it had been done recently. That’s where the real skill would have been required.
Of course we have no way of knowing if Maybrick had enough skill to even do the engraving in the first place. If he did though (and obviously it’s a pretty massive ‘if’) it could possible be explained as the work of an amateur rather than a fully skilled craftsman?
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