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  #1501  
Old 03-21-2018, 01:28 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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"The hoaxer can't risk those scratches being examined at a later date and found to be recent, because that would prove his own work even more recent"

Can someone explain what the above means and how such a thing would be possible bearing in mind the experts can't even date the "Maybrick' scratches with any degree of certainty?
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  #1502  
Old 03-21-2018, 01:34 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Well hallelujah we have actually been given a source of some information... and it turns out to be a private interview or conversation in a bar some years ago of which there appears to be no contemporaneous note. It's hard to emphasize how obvious it is that this should have been stated when the information was posted for, without knowing that it was personal and private information, how was anyone supposed to be able to check that it was accurate?

As someone who has direct personal experience of this person's memory failures, I will have to be forgiven for not necessarily accepting the accuracy of the information provided which appears to be on the basis of a memory of a conversation some years earlier and for which no direct quote or context has been provided.

But what is extraordinary is that I made the point that Albert could have mentioned the purchase of the watch to one of his relatives who told Robbie and in response it is said that his wife remained silent when Albert was asked if HE had told Robbie. This doesn't get anywhere near answering the point I made. Further, if Albert did tell Robbie in a private conversation, his wife would have had no knowledge of it. And if he did mention it to Robbie and she knew about it what are the realistic chances that she is going to contradict her husband and show him to be a liar (even a white liar) in front of a non-family member? So the response has been a complete waste of time.

The good news, however, is that we now know that the best researcher in the business has interviewed Albert on the subject so perhaps we will be told what he said when he was asked the obvious follow up questions, namely: "Who did you tell about the watch?" and "Is there any way you think Robbie could have found out about it?".
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  #1503  
Old 03-22-2018, 05:07 AM
John G John G is offline
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Your views about the literacy skills required to write the diary seem to change every day John. Back in February you challenged whether Mike could have written the diary based on his "literacy skills" but then, when Gareth pointed out that there were plenty of mistakes in the diary, said "Okay, I concede the matter of Mike's literacy skills are somewhat irrelevant, or at least are bound to be inconclusive as regards whether he was the author of the diary".

Yesterday, however, you told me that the articles Mike authored were trivial in character "and it is therefore submitted that they do not attest to Mike's literacy skills, or lack thereof."

Now I really don't know whether you think the author of the diary had literacy skills or not. One day he/she does, the next day he/she doesn't, depending on what you are trying to argue.

You seem to now be saying that Anne Barrett's English was too good for her to have transcribed the Diary! I don't know where you get that impression from or why you think her English was particularly good.

If it is because she "tidied up" Mike's articles then, as I have stated repeatedly, we don't know what is meant by her doing this or whether she even did a particularly good job. Any errors would have been tidied up by a sub-editor at the magazine.
I'm sorry, David, but I feel that you've seriously misrepresented my position here- unintentionally, no doubt-so I must therefore conclude that this post is well below your usual high standards

Although I do sometimes change my mind on issues-it's called being objective-on the matter of the Diary's literary merit, I think I've been very consistent.

Thus, I have frequently referred to Professor David Canter's view that the Diary, from a literary perspective, was extremely well-written: see, for example, his introduction to Shirley's book, where he makes the comment, "This is inventive psychological writing of the highest order." (Harrison, 1997). It is an opinion I share, which I believe I've made abundantly clear on more than one occasion (something you fail to mention.)

Nonetheless, I concede that not everyone shares my opinion, hence my response to Gareth. And, of course, we cannot assess Mike's literacy skills, or lack thereof of, with any degree of certainty; it's all a matter of opinion.

Where have I suggested that Anne's English was too good to have transcribed the Diary?

Regarding Mike, if you consider his original affidavit you will see that it is strewn with errors-punctuation mistakes, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors-suggesting that he was only semi-literate. That is one reason why I have concluded that it is unlikely that he wrote the Diary- although in the original affidavit he claims it was actually written by Anne, whilst he dictated-or that he was even responsible for most of the content. It's, also worth mentioning the reason he gives for the Diary being written by Anne: He argues, somewhat bizarrely, that his own handwriting was too distinctive; I think a more likely explanation would be his lack of literacy skills, and neatness of handwriting.

Another reason I have formed this opinion is because virtually no-one who interviewed Mike, after the Diary was published, believe him capable of being responsible for the content. This is another point that I have raised on numerous occasions.

It has been argued that, at the time of the aforementioned interviews, he may have been suffering from a cognitive impairment, caused by a stroke. However, I have referred to research which concluded that only a minority of stroke sufferers are affected by medium to short term cognitive impairments. Moreover, Mike would, I believe, have only have been in his late forties when he suffered his stroke-a particularly young age to be struck by a condition that is normally associated with much older people- and in that regard, I would draw your attention to the fact that, with this condition, chronic alcoholism is a major risk factor: this is clearly relevant, considering Mike's later problems with alcohol abuse are well-known, and therefore if the onset of these problems predated the completion of the Diary it is reasonable to conclude that the argument in favour of Mike's authorship is further undermined.

Then there's the fact that, in his original affidavit, Mike makes it clear that the Diary was the product of a conspiracy-involving himself, Anne and TD-although he assigns himself the most important role. However, as I've also pointed out before-on numerous occasions-Mike had a history of making wildly extravagant claims about his achievements; it's therefore reasonable to consider whether his role, in any conspiracy, may have been much more peripheral.

Finally, as I also keep noting, Mike was known to be an erratic blabbermouth, a person who seemed willing to discuss the Diary with all and sundry for the price of pint, so therefore, as I also keep pointing out, is this the type of person who would be likely to play any major role in a forgery conspiracy?

Last edited by John G : 03-22-2018 at 05:14 AM.
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  #1504  
Old 03-22-2018, 05:47 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Good post, John. However, in my view the diary is "strewn with errors-punctuation mistakes, spelling mistakes [and] grammatical errors". If you refer to my annotated version of the diary on Howard's site, you'll see why I arrived at this opinion.
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  #1505  
Old 03-22-2018, 06:23 AM
John G John G is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
Good post, John. However, in my view the diary is "strewn with errors-punctuation mistakes, spelling mistakes [and] grammatical errors". If you refer to my annotated version of the diary on Howard's site, you'll see why I arrived at this opinion.
Thanks Gareth. I'll have to take a look at your version on Howard's site-do you have a link?

However, I would add that my positive impression of the literary merits of Diary largely derives from it's content, i.e. the aesthetic value, rather than more technical matters, such as the correct use of grammar. In contrast, it seems to me that Mike's affidavit not only contains technical errors, but is also poorly constructed.

Nonetheless, such opinions are bound to be subjective, and you have clearly arrived at a quite different conclusion which, of course, is absolutely fine. That is why I say that, on this issue, there can be no definitive answer.
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  #1506  
Old 03-22-2018, 06:51 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Thanks John. Link to the annotated diary below

http://www.jtrforums.com/~jtrforum/s...ead.php?t=8456
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  #1507  
Old 03-22-2018, 10:09 AM
John G John G is offline
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Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
Thanks John. Link to the annotated diary below

http://www.jtrforums.com/~jtrforum/s...ead.php?t=8456
Thanks for the link Gareth. Much appreciated.
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  #1508  
Old 03-22-2018, 10:37 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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I'm sorry, David, but I feel that you've seriously misrepresented my position here- unintentionally, no doubt-so I must therefore conclude that this post is well below your usual high standards.
If I have seriously misrepresented your position, I'm surprised you you haven't explained how I've done so in your entire long post.

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I do sometimes change my mind on issues-it's called being objective-on the matter of the Diary's literary merit, I think I've been very consistent.
Well, as I pointed out in my post, you are on record as suggesting that the author of the diary required "literacy skills" but then conceded that "literacy skills" were irrelevant before continuing to mention "literacy skills".

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Thus, I have frequently referred to Professor David Canter's view that the Diary, from a literary perspective, was extremely well-written: see, for example, his introduction to Shirley's book, where he makes the comment, "This is inventive psychological writing of the highest order." (Harrison, 1997). It is an opinion I share, which I believe I've made abundantly clear on more than one occasion (something you fail to mention.)
But David Canter was not qualified to comment on the diary from a literary perspective. How could he? He could only have been commenting from a psychological perspective. Being inventive and being literate are two completely different things aren't they?

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Where have I suggested that Anne's English was too good to have transcribed the Diary?
What was the purpose of the comment "according to him it was his wife who actually forged the Diary, although he apparently dictated the information to her. Have you also noticed how many basic spelling and grammatical errors there are in the affidavit?"?

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Originally Posted by John G View Post
Regarding Mike, if you consider his original affidavit you will see that it is strewn with errors-punctuation mistakes, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors-suggesting that he was only semi-literate. That is one reason why I have concluded that it is unlikely that he wrote the Diary- although in the original affidavit he claims it was actually written by Anne, whilst he dictated-or that he was even responsible for most of the content. It's, also worth mentioning the reason he gives for the Diary being written by Anne: He argues, somewhat bizarrely, that his own handwriting was too distinctive; I think a more likely explanation would be his lack of literacy skills, and neatness of handwriting.
But you keep confusing the writing with the transcribing. If Mike dictated the diary then his spelling ability is irrelevant isn't it, unless he spelt out every word? So why have you referred to "spelling mistakes" in his affidavit as ruling him out of writing the diary? Same comment in respect of punctuation and grammatical errors if Anne was transcribing and picking up most of them.

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It has been argued that, at the time of the aforementioned interviews, he may have been suffering from a cognitive impairment, caused by a stroke. However, I have referred to research which concluded that only a minority of stroke sufferers are affected by medium to short term cognitive impairments. Moreover, Mike would, I believe, have only have been in his late forties when he suffered his stroke-a particularly young age to be struck by a condition that is normally associated with much older people- and in that regard, I would draw your attention to the fact that, with this condition, chronic alcoholism is a major risk factor: this is clearly relevant, considering Mike's later problems with alcohol abuse are well-known, and therefore if the onset of these problems predated the completion of the Diary it is reasonable to conclude that the argument in favour of Mike's authorship is further undermined
I don't know why you are responding, in a post addressed to me, to an argument about strokes which is not one I have made.

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Another reason I have formed this opinion is because virtually no-one who interviewed Mike, after the Diary was published, believe him capable of being responsible for the content. This is another point that I have raised on numerous occasions.
Yes you do keep saying this so please provide a list of all these people who have interviewed Mike who have said that they don't believe he was capable of being responsible for the content of the diary.

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Then there's the fact that, in his original affidavit, Mike makes it clear that the Diary was the product of a conspiracy-involving himself, Anne and TD-although he assigns himself the most important role. However, as I've also pointed out before-on numerous occasions-Mike had a history of making wildly extravagant claims about his achievements; it's therefore reasonable to consider whether his role, in any conspiracy, may have been much more peripheral.
At the same time, he was the person who produced the diary and was paid the money for it so that indicates he might have had some kind of lead role doesn't it?

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Finally, as I also keep noting, Mike was known to be an erratic blabbermouth, a person who seemed willing to discuss the Diary with all and sundry for the price of pint, so therefore, as I also keep pointing out, is this the type of person who would be likely to play any major role in a forgery conspiracy?
This makes no sense. If the diary was his idea, and he drove the project, then he would naturally have played a "lead role" in the forgery conspiracy regardless of whether he was known as "an erratic blabbermouth", something for which, incidentally, you have provided no evidence in respect of the period prior to 13th April 1992.
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  #1509  
Old 03-22-2018, 11:38 AM
John G John G is offline
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Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
If I have seriously misrepresented your position, I'm surprised you you haven't explained how I've done so in your entire long post.



Well, as I pointed out in my post, you are on record as suggesting that the author of the diary required "literacy skills" but then conceded that "literacy skills" were irrelevant before continuing to mention "literacy skills".



But David Canter was not qualified to comment on the diary from a literary perspective. How could he? He could only have been commenting from a psychological perspective. Being inventive and being literate are two completely different things aren't they?



What was the purpose of the comment "according to him it was his wife who actually forged the Diary, although he apparently dictated the information to her. Have you also noticed how many basic spelling and grammatical errors there are in the affidavit?"?



But you keep confusing the writing with the transcribing. If Mike dictated the diary then his spelling ability is irrelevant isn't it, unless he spelt out every word? So why have you referred to "spelling mistakes" in his affidavit as ruling him out of writing the diary? Same comment in respect of punctuation and grammatical errors if Anne was transcribing and picking up most of them.



I don't know why you are responding, in a post addressed to me, to an argument about strokes which is not one I have made.



Yes you do keep saying this so please provide a list of all these people who have interviewed Mike who have said that they don't believe he was capable of being responsible for the content of the diary.



At the same time, he was the person who produced the diary and was paid the money for it so that indicates he might have had some kind of lead role doesn't it?



This makes no sense. If the diary was his idea, and he drove the project, then he would naturally have played a "lead role" in the forgery conspiracy regardless of whether he was known as "an erratic blabbermouth", something for which, incidentally, you have provided no evidence in respect of the period prior to 13th April 1992.
It will take me a little while to respond to this. However, I have a few immediate observations. Firstly, you seem to be under the bizarre misapprehension that I believe Mike dictated both the Diary and affidavit to Anne. I do not. However, I do believe that the latter was all his own work. People who have spoken to Mike, who don't believe he wrote the Diary? Caz, Pink Moon, maybe Keith S...

Are you seriously arguing that literacy skills just encompasses technical issues, such as grammar and punctuation? If so, I also find that a bizarre argument. In any event, you're wrong.

You say, "being inventive and literate are two separate things." Yes, they are. However, even a semi-literate person can have literacy skills. For instance, my favourite poet, Shelley, was known to be a poor speller, but it would be absurd to suggest that he had poor literacy skills. And Shakespeare used to make words up!

Professor David Canter's opinion is highly relevant, especially as it relates to the overall literacy value of the Dairy, rather than merely the quality of its technical aspects: grammar, punctuation, spelling.

What evidence have you that the Diary was Mike's "idea,and he drove the project"? Oh, I know, Exaggerator Mike's original affidavit!


I think our respective definition of "lead role" might differ. For the record, If Mike's involvement amounted to, say, placing an advertisement for a diary and making a phone call to Doreen, I do not consider this to represent a "lead role". Perhaps you would disagree?

Okay, so until the 13th April 1992 Mike was the soul of discretion. However, after this date he suddenly, and inexplicably, transformed into a complete blabbermouth. Yes, that makes perfect sense!
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:16 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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It will take me a little while to respond to this. However, I have a few immediate observations. Firstly, you seem to be under the bizarre misapprehension that I believe Mike dictated both the Diary and affidavit to Anne. I do not.
Why would you think that? You must surely have misread and misunderstood my post. Have another look at it.

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However, I do believe that the latter was all his own work. People who have spoken to Mike, who don't believe he wrote the Diary? Caz, Pink Moon, maybe Keith S...
So the list amounts to two people - as you are uncertain about Keith Skinner's view!

Pinkmoon supposedly met Barrett for the first time in about 1999 of which he said "I first met Mr Barrett a few years after the diary was launched he was in a terrible state due to alcohol abuse he was drinking heavily at the time". Not the best condition to form a judgement about a person. When someone asked if Mike had ever had anything published, pinkmoon (appearing to provide inside information) replied "Mr Barrett used to send articles to magazines in the 1970s apparently his wife "tidied them up for him" before they were sent." Then when asked for clarification as to whether those articles were published, he replied: "I think he had a tiny article published in a magazine called "look in " in the 1970s." This is, of course, all wrong. I have said before in this thread that pinkmoon is not a reliable source of information about Mike Barrett.

Caz is certainly of the view that Mike wasn't capable but came unstuck when I asked her if Mike and Anne could jointly have been capable of forging the diary. She was unable to provide a sensible response.

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Are you seriously arguing that literacy skills just encompasses technical issues, such as grammar and punctuation? If so, I also find that a bizarre argument. In any event, you're wrong.
Where do you think you read me saying that? My reference to spelling mistaks, grammar and punctuation was in response to your claim that "if you consider his original affidavit you will see that it is strewn with errors-punctuation mistakes, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors-suggesting that he was only semi-literate. That is one reason why I have concluded that it is unlikely that he wrote the Diary"

You see, it was you who said that poor punctuation, spelling and grammar suggests that someone is "semi-literate", i.e. lacks literacy skills.

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Originally Posted by John G View Post
You say, "being inventive and literate are two separate things." Yes, they are.
Thank you.

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Originally Posted by John G View Post
However, even a semi-literate person can have literacy skills.
I haven't said otherwise. But someone who is semi-literate lacks literary skills, no?

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Originally Posted by John G View Post
For instance, my favourite poet, Shelley, was known to be a poor speller, but it would be absurd to suggest that he had poor literacy skills.
Why would it be absurd to suggest this? The meaning of literacy is the ability to read and write. Someone who can't read or write could dictate the most wonderful poetry or the most amazing novel. They might have literary skills but not literacy skills.

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And Shakespeare used to make words up!
Yes, but that's just flibodiously abcradical.

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Professor David Canter's opinion is highly relevant, especially as it relates to the overall literacy value of the Dairy, rather than merely the quality of its technical aspects: grammar, punctuation, spelling.
Why do you think for one moment that Professor David Canter was commenting on the literacy value of the Diary? That was a subject that didn't concern him in the slightest nor was he even qualified to comment on it.

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What evidence have you that the Diary was Mike's "idea,and he drove the project"? Oh, I know, Exaggerator Mike's original affidavit!
No, look at what I wrote. I was suggesting it as a possibility because you seemed to be ruling it out. I'm not saying it was his idea or that he did drive the project, only that you can't possibly know whether he did or didn't.

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I think our respective definition of "lead role" might differ. For the record, If Mike's involvement amounted to, say, placing an advertisement for a diary and making a phone call to Doreen, I do not consider this to represent a "lead role". Perhaps you would disagree?
I don't really know the value of this discussion. You were suggesting his role was "more peripheral" than suggested in his affidavit. My only point is that you keep saying things about Mike Barrett based on no solid grounds.

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Okay, so until the 13th April 1992 Mike was the soul of discretion. However, after this date he suddenly, and inexplicably, transformed into a complete blabbermouth. Yes, that makes perfect sense!
It's got nothing to do with it. You said, as a fact, that Mike was "known as an erratic blabbermouth". But that's something about him that is really only a product of years of books, essays and posts about the Maybrick diary since 1993. Did he have such a reputation prior to April 1992 such that none of his friends would possibly have trusted him with taking a lead role in the forging of the diary? I don't know. Do you?
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