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

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Old 05-22-2018, 02:29 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Default Mike Barrett Interview - September 1995

Part 1 - 13 September 1995

Hello again. Bob Azurdia here. And just two weeks ago Stewart Evans and Paul Grainey (sic) appeared on this programme with startling new evidence about the identity of the legendary Jack the Ripper. Stewart and Paul maintained that the mass murderer who stalked the streets of Victorian London was actually an American herb doctor, a quack, who was at one time arrested on lesser charges than murder only to jump bail and abscond back to America. Their evidence is based on newly discovered letters written by the one-time head of the C.I.D. Chief Inspector John Littlechild, who named Francis Tumblety as the Ripper. Well, all this brings the total of so-called Ripper suspects into double figures though the evidence is impressive in this case and of course itís the latest available. It also dismisses the claims of the so-called Ripper diaries which were published two years ago and which purported to be the diaries of James Maybrick, himself the alleged victim of murder by his wife Florence in 1889 in Liverpool the year after the Ripper murders ceased. Stewart and Paul claimed that these diaries, which caused a sensation when they were published, have now been admitted to be a hoax by Michael Barrett a one-time scrap metal dealer who owns the diaries and claims that they were given to him by a man named Tony Devereux, who died shortly afterwards. Well, no sooner had the Evans/Grainey programme been broadcast than I received a letter from Mr Barrett in which he says categorically that the diaries are not a hoax and that he has not signed a sworn affidavit admitting that they were. He joins me now to put the record as straight as possible and to maintain the confusion I fancy as to just who really was Jack the Ripper and just who wrote the famous diaries. James Maybrick, possibly, alias Jack the Ripper, or maybe somebody else years later.

Bob Azurdia (BA): Mike Barrett, first, whatever the truth, whether or not the diaries are genuine, you personally believe yourself to be the Ripperís latest victim together with most of those who have been involved with them. Can you explain?

Mike Barrett (MB): (laughs) Ooh, well first of all I know itís only a half hour but if we had several hours I donít even think that would be sufficient - what happened to me - well, er, I was divorced due to the pressure - itís a very, very, long story indeed. But nevertheless, Iíll come directly to the Ripper book. I believe and sincerely believe that itís got an omen about it. I can go into that a great deal later. Because everybody thatís touched it, it seems something has happened to them. Er, for instance Iíll just give you a couple of examples. Er, Doreen Montgomery had a partner (inaudible) for years, she just recently died of cancer, the chap who had the watch was just literally run over two weeks ago.

BA: The chap who had the watch, this is the watch which was found in a shop in Wirrell?

MB: Thatís quite correct, yes, has died in a road accident - well a motorcycle accident in Spain.

BA: And where is this watch now?

MB: Er, actually I donít know, thatís with the Johnsons. Well, obviously Albert Johnson, probably with his brother. I donít know.

BA: Who found it originally, Albert Johnson?

MB: Iím presuming because I donít keep in contact with them.

BA: But you believe that that should be readily accessible?

MB: Yes. Iíve been attacked very viciously within the press, very viciously within the press.

BA: You have?

MB: Oh yes no question about that.

BA: Why have you been attacked?

MB: Well when somebody comes along and sincerely believes that the diary is actually genuine, I mean, it creates worldwide interest, obviously, erm, people want to know everything, thatís the other, you know, even my - even to my own private life. Now Iíve actually and itís well on record, itís in the paperback, Iíve actually had obscene phone calls, Iíve actually had phone calls in the middle of the night, Iíve actually had threats, Iíve actually had one death threat which has been logged with Walton Lane police station. That is factual. Right, this is to the extent of what the diary has caused.

BA: I donít want to dwell particularly on your private life but you mentioned yourself, in the very first thing that you said, were, that you have been divorced since all this came about? You really believe that came about as the result of the pressure?

MB: Yes, we were married for 19 years, we were married for 19 years, we got along quite amicably, you know, I mean, far from rich. My wife was working as a secretary. I was on invalidity with kidney failure. And we got along quite happily then Tony Devereux gives me this diary and then everything changed. Just everything literally went downhill from there onwards. I was, to be perfectly honest, to say a mad man possessed would be, I donít know, an understatement. Because the diary literally took over my life. I mean, It did take over my life.

BA: You had other problems I think as well didnít you?

MB: Erm, regards?

BA: Well for example didnít you -

MB: Oh the drink.

BA: hit the drink.

MB: I had a drink, oh yes I become an alcoholic. Oh thereís no question about that. In the end it just got - the pressure was so much and I do honestly mean the pressure was so much, constant harassment over the diary, I mean Iíve been interviewed literally all over the world Sixty Minutes in America, er. This was something youíve got to think of: an ordinary person was taken literally from a terraced house and thrown into the media spotlight.

BA: So you would like to put the clock back then?

MB: Oh Iíd definitely like put the clock back if had every - if I could turn the clock back no question about it.

BA: What about the financial aspect of it. Have you not made any money out of it?

MB: No, because weíve been fending it off legally. We had to fend off The Times for instance. The Times, now they come down, they come and interviewed me. And they asked an awful lot of questions and I categorically denied that the diary, you know, I wrote the diary. Because this is one of the suppositions that people have been made. And I think one of the reasons that they made these suppositions is that for a brief period of time about seven or eight years ago I was writing short stories and interviewing various celebrities. In actual fact Mr Azurdia, if you recollect Mr Azurdia youíve actually been into my house going back seven years ago.

BA: Indeed.

MB: And the type of people I was interviewing such as Kenneth Williams, Stan Boardman, Mick Miller, erm some quite famous celebrities at the time, Bernard Manning etc., and I was working for, freelancing for a magazine called Celebrity magazine. Now because I had, shall we say, a moderate success within writing, people have automatically assumed and picked up on that fact and automatically assumed well if heís had a moderate success in writing and had moderate success in interviewing people, you know, two and two make five and this is the conclusion an awful lot of people jump to.

BA: Yes well the great difficulty with regard to your diary is there is simply no provenance other than your word?

MB: Yes agreed now this is the biggest problem. Now, no provenance for the diary. Regrettably, I had to make a stand. And everybody was badgering me for provenance over a period of two years, this was before I really went and hit the bottle. This is before - Iíve always had the occasional pint. Iíd be the first person to admit that. Iíve always had a pint all me life. Right, now having said that, over a period of two years I was badgered and badgered and badgered constantly to the point you couldnít even go out. You know, where people were saying: ďWhat about this diary Mike? What about this diary?Ē It was the diary seven days a week, twenty four hours a day, constantly. It intruded on my personal life. Now, even quite honestly the Daily Post went along and even intruded Carolineís school, thatís my daughter at the time, to find out where Caroline was in order to get to myself in order to find out where I lived. And that is factual. That is actually factual.

BA: Well was this because they simply didnít know where you lived or hadnít made any contact?

MB: I hadnít made no contact whatsoever.

BA: Are you suggesting that their behaviour was improper.

MB: To a degree. No, I canít suggest their behaviour is improper. I can understand it on a writerís point of view or a journalistís point of view, itís a big news story. So Iím not saying itís improper but what Iím saying is that when it begins to intrude in your personal life, when you start contacting the headmistress, Mrs Amelia (?) at the time, to find out where your daughter is and the reason they got onto that: Caroline, me daughter at the time, was featured in the Daily Post and in the Echo for playing The Last er, The Last Trumpet, sorry, The Last Post by the British Legion, being the first young child to play that. I happened to mention this to a person on the train coming back from London and one and one made two, they come to five and they Ė put it this way they found me through Caroline.

BA: It seems a reasonable way to find you.

MB: And thatís how they found me. Now I found that to a certain degree was an intrusion on my privacy.

BA: Well they wanted to find you and they wanted no doubt to ask you questions politely and properly and Iím sure they did, did they not?

MB: Oh yes, yes.

BA: Right.

MB: I mean, Iím not suggesting anything was improper.

BA: No.

MB: Iím just saying that it just - this is where it all sort of begins, where your private life no longer becomes your private life.

BA: Alright but none the less you went on and had the book published.

MB: Yes.

BA: So to which extent you courted publicity?

MB: No, no, I donít think I actually did once the book was published.

BA: You must appreciate that when you publish a book of this sort.

MB: Yeah, I didnít, you used the word ďcourtĒ publicity, no, actually I didnít court publicity.

BA: You didnít seek it?

MB: No I didnít seek it. Because Doreen Montgomery, the first time I met her, Doreen Montgomeryís my agent, the first time I met her and she brought Shirley Harrison, I said well fine.

BA: Shirley Harrison is the woman who actually who wrote the book.

MB: Who wrote the diary and what have you and obviously I done a tremendous amount of the research with her, but she actually wrote the actual contents of the book, now Shirley Harrison Ė well, sorry we are diversifying. Going back to Doreen Montgomery, going back to the first time I met her I said, ďI donít really wish to be famous, I donít want to become famousĒ. Little did I know at that particular time I was actually producing what I call today Frankensteinís monster. Thatís what I call the diary today, the monster, because it just totally and utterly got completely out of control.

BA: Yes, well now, within the book itself there are many references to the tests which took place, the forensic tests which took place on the paper, on the ink, on the handwriting to indicate that it was at least 90 years old, possibly a little bit more, 100 years old.

MB: Thatís quite correct.

BA: Alright, now this is fully documented in the book and Shirley Harrison the author comments on all these things. Now, subsequently one hears that there is further evidence that the ink is much newer and contains an ingredient which wasnít available until about 1974.

MB: Right now, having said that, you have to appreciate Iím going back to Shirley Harrisonís research, my own research, Robert Smithís research and the various people that have been involved-

BA: Robert Smith being?

MB: The publisher, erm, and the various other people that have been involved within the diary, the research - weíve tried to act completely above board, weíve got some of the most eminent ink specialists within the world and to get their opinion and the ink has gone through micro test, this test, that test, and heaven knows and, in actual fact, if youíd like me to quote you some of the ink tests which is actually in the paperback.

BA: Indeed, yes, yes, thereís an extensive list of quotes from so-called experts, I donít use the word ďso-calledĒ in a critical sense.

MB: No, these were experts in their particular field. Now having said that, the new book that come out The Lodger, this was totally - a complete surprise to me, I didnít know anything about it. Nor was I informed about it. In actual fact, the first time I heard about The Lodger was literally last Monday, a week last Monday when it was advertised on a trailer on Radio Merseyside that the following Wednesday you were producing -

BA: Stewart Evans and Paul Gainey.

MB: Hence to say my curiosity -

BA: Thatís why youíre here.

MB: Yes, my curiosity was aroused and thatís why Iím here now. Now, in the book The Lodger it does say - now Iíve yet to see that research, Iíve yet to see what they have, those particular authors what they have, where their documents are. As far as we are concerned we have produced our documents within the book.

BA: Well within the book too they have reproduced the letter giving the name of this man Tumblety.

MB: The letter. Yes, remember weíre on the subject of the ink not the letter.

BA: Indeed, yes, but weíre not talking about the same thing at all now then. We were talking about the ink in your diaries and you are now turning the conversation to the documentation within the book of the Ripper.

MB: No, not the documentation, what I was saying is that I was surprised at the contents, in The Lodger it does state categorically regards the ink.

BA: Oh regarding your ink?

MB: Regarding the ink, yes. Now I have yet, this is the point Iím making, I have yet to go back and to find any document proof to that. Iím quite willing to have an open mind, very open mind, if I could see that document evidence.

BA: Right, let me ask you, is the diary of the Ripper a genuine diary?

MB: Now, that is a question that Iíve been asked a thousand, a million times, to the point where, as I say, I literally crack up in the end. I just give up and say ďOh to hell with itĒ. Sorry. I do apologise for that slip up with that one word. In the words of shall we say Rhett Butler, you know, er, ďDamn, damn it allĒ. Well thatís not the exact quote. But, having said that, I got to the point where I was badgered, badgered and badgered. And this question has constantly been asking, is the diary genuine? Iíve always maintained that the Diary in my belief is genuine. I sincerely believe it. The evidence is there. Thereís too much evidence. The evidence is overwhelming. However, I cannot and I still cannot to this very day, and I donít think until the day I die, and I donít think in two hundred three hundred years anyone ever will be able to prove provenance of the Diary. Unfortunately I cannot prove provenance of the diary. Yet, everybody wishes me to prove provenance. And I keep maintaining ďHow can I prove provenanceĒ?

BA: With great difficulty, with great difficulty, obviously.

MB: Well, in fact, itís impossible.

BA: Obviously, very, very difficult. Then why - why did you admit that it was a hoax?

MB: Ah, right, as I say, I had two years of constant - being attacked, you know, people, pressure, I mean, phone calls in the middle of the night. I mean, I know Iím repeating myself but this is all factual. Threats, everything. My own private life just completely and utterly disintegrated to the point where I didnít have a private life in the end, to the point where the diary literally got on top of me. And I went up and I got myself a bottle of scotch quote honestly and truly, right, and I drank the whole damn bottle of scotch and then after that bottle of scotch went, I went up and staggered up the next morning and drank another bottle of scotch. Two bottles of scotch within a period of 48 hours, I didnít know if I was coming, going, backwards or forwards, so much so and this is well recorded because itís in the paperback book. I ended up in an alcohol clinic. Now I regret that, it was a very stupid thing to do.

BA: Are you better now?

MB: Oh yes completely but having said that one has to remember people handle pressure in different types of forms. You know, my type of form to the way I handle pressure stress, I ended up taking to the bottle and believe me drinking two bottles of scotch within a period of 48 hours, considering Iím still on renal failure as well, is not a very sensible thing to do but I didnít know if I was coming or going and what statements Iíve made at the time I just donít remember.

BA: But didnít you volunteer the information to the Daily Post that it was a hoax and you signed it?

MB: When I was totally drunk.

BA: You were totally drunk?

MB: And the journalist, Mr Harold Brough, will confirm because it states in the paperback book that he come to the house and there was two bottles of scotch next to the settee that I was sitting in. In actual fact, itís written in the diary.

BA: Yes.

MB: So whatís the point of denying alcoholism when itís actually written in the paperback edition?

BA: Weíre not discussing your alcoholism as such which you admit to. Iím wondering why you found it necessary to volunteer information to Harold Brough to sayÖ

MB: Once again, I repeat I got to the point -

BA: Look this is a hoax, this is where I got the documentation, this is where I got the diary.

MB: Once again, I repeat I got to the point where I just wanted to destroy the diary.

BA: You wanted to get it off your back?

MB: I wanted to get it off my back. The diary was destroying my life.

BA: Even to the extent of now lying about it and signing -

MB: Yeah, yes, oh yes totally. Look, I was a happy easy going man.

BA: Alright.

MB: Very happy, very content, responsible for me daughter taking her to school and was really happy and content. Then this diary comes into my life and it changes my life completely. It puts my world in a complete Ė it puts me in another world I didnít know existed.

BA: So you feel, or you felt at the time that a denial at this stage would take the pressure off you?

MB: Yeah, I thought it would take all the pressure off me and to hell with it.

BA: Did it?

MB: No, it didnít. It had the opposite effect. It had the opposite effect.

BA: Did you not subsequently, though, sign a denial in a solicitorís office?

MB: Oh I signed a denial in a solicitorís office yes. When I was 100% sober because I said to him I wasnít even in control of me senses when I made that statement.

BA: Well why did you do that?

MB: Deny? I made a denial that I didnít write the diary, thatís what Iím saying.

BA: You wrote a denial that you didnít write the diary?

MB: Yes.

BA: But was it not also a denial that it was a genuine diary?

MB: Oh no, no it was a denial that I didnít write the diary. No, I always believed the diary was genuine. You know.

BA: Even though -

MB: I wrote a denial Ė this word is ďdenialĒ is confusing Ė but I wrote a denial that I wasnít in control of my senses at that particular time. You know.

BA: So that was a denial of the denial in other words?

MB: Yes a denial of the denial. Yes, in other words, I got fed up. I made a stupid statement when I was absolutely totally and utterly drunk. You know, and I thought right, when I sobered up I thought ďMy god that statement was a total lieĒ so I had to deny that statement.

BA: Because my understanding was -

MB: This is where all the misconceptions has happened.

BA: My understanding was that you made a sworn statement saying that you were not the perpetrator of the diary, in other words that you didnít write it yourself?

MB: Of course, yes, well I had made that statement because I didnít.

BA: But also that it was not genuine.

MB: Oh no, no, I made a statement saying I did not write the diary. I made a definite statement that I did not write the diary, you know, I have definitely not made a statement and categorically deny that one. And that is factual because itís lodged with me solicitors. That is factual. Thatís there to see that, you know, I didnít, under no circumstances [inaudible] my solicitors, Mr Richard Bark Jones, who has been more than helpful, in fact, I couldnít thank that man enough. Heís been very, very, supportive, you know, throughout the whole thing because he knows the type of pressure I actually have been under. He is the one person that does know the pressure Iíve been under.

BA: Did you not indicate at a certain time that you actually got the documents, the diary, from Outhwaite & Litherland, a well-known firm of antiquarians?

MB: That was the night I was totally drunk and that was the night that Harold Brough took me round in his car. And I think I had a bottle of scotch in me hand then. You can always check with Harold Brough.

BA: You remember that?

MB: I think I had a bottle of scotch.

BA: But I mean you remember pointing out and saying thatís where I got it?

MB: We were going all over Liverpool at the time [inaudible] the places went to. [Laughs.]

BA: And pointing out the Bluecoat school, saying ďThatís where I got the inkĒ?

MB: Yeah, since then Iíve been back to the Bluecoat school, and I volunteered, I went up there, you know, once Iíd got sobered up completely and I said: ďDo you remember me? Do you know me? Have you ever seen me?Ē These are the managers, the owners and the staff. And they all said: ďNo weíve never seen you, we donít know youĒ and what have you. And I said well thank you very much. Itís the only way I could prove that, you know, I was totally drunk at the time. But youíve got to understand why I did get drunk. I had had enough of this.

BA: I can well understand -

MB: I had well and truly had enough of this.

BA: I can well understand why you got drunk, yes. I canít, however, quite understand, because my approach to things is not the same as yoursÖ

MB: No, I know.

BA: And yours is not the same as other peoples. I canít understand why you found it necessary though to tell lies and elaborate lies, very elaborate, thatís where I got it from, thatís where I got the ink from and then actually go and sign away.

MB: WellÖ

BA: Thatís how you found a release perhaps?

MB: Yes.

BA: Or a sort of release?

MB: It actually backfired on me completely.

BA: Alright, letís go back to the beginning if we may Mike. I am not questioning your personal integrity, Iím just trying to clarify because it seems right at the beginning there were -

MB: Now this is the whole point. I know youíre not, I appreciate that but there is an awful lot of people that have tried. And this is one of the things that really annoyed me, really become very frustrating, very annoying. And when you constantly have to defend yourself, day in day out, seven days a week. Now, for instance, in the paperback book, Shirley Harrison has wrote that I was, you know, in an alcoholic clinic. Now Iíve had to come to terms with that because itís written in the paperback book. Now, having said that, people automatically assume Michael Barrettís still an alcoholic. But Iím not drinking.

BA: Well you may not be drinking but you know as well as I do that once an alcoholic, you only need one more and youíre back again.

MB: Thereís different parts of schoolings in that particular thought. Thereís different parts of schoolings in that particular thought. I know because I have been into an alcohol clinic. So there are different schools of thought having said that. No, the point is, no, Iíve come back from the brink, shall we say, Iíve literally come back from the brink. I thought, you know, drink, I found a way out to forget all this aggravation, to forget all this onslaught. And I think that is a very appropriate - onslaught, directly towards me. Drink I found a way out. In the end I found out that drink was no solution. That was the whole point, there is no solution. So you might as well stand up and face the world and come out and say right once again I am an alcoholic and will probably be an alcoholic for the rest of my life in that case. You are labelled it but the point is youíre not drinking. Which is a heck of a big difference. That is a heck of a big difference. Why should you be an alcoholic if itís only for a short period of time? Why should you be labelled for the rest of your life with that title? Thatís my point.

BA: Youíve always maintained that you obtained these diaries from a man called Tony Devereux.

MB: Quite correct.

BA: What sort of a person was he?

MB: Tony, to describe him? Ah right now, Tony was a print worker (inaudible) who had retired what have you. He was what I would call an ordinary man in the street. The ordinary man in the street. You know, a chap to have a pint with. You know, we got on exceedingly well. A good conversationalist. Very good conversationalist.

BA: Quite a bit older than you I would have thought.

MB: Yes he was six-, not at the time, he was 57 I think when we met, he was about 61 when he died, so it was about a four year period. But donít quote me on that because Iím not exactly sure. I think he was about 61.

BA: Sure.

MB: Sorry, so what type of man? I donít know. He was just a nice man to talk to. He was a decent man.

BA: An honest man?

MB: I always found him an honest man.

BA: A con man?

MB: No, no, if youíre going to say: Did he have the capability of writing the diary? Donít worry, Iíve been asked that question a thousand times.

BA: Well youíre going to be asked again.

MB: Iím not trying to be Ė

BA: Did he have the capability?

MB: No, Iím not trying to be derogatory to Tony. Not in the slightest whatsoever. I donít think he had the personal capability. You know, he was what Iíd call an average working man that just went to work, you know, originally in the past, you know, before he retired.

BA: Because he died so soon that he couldnít be questioned?

MB: Yes, unfortunately he couldnít be questioned. I didnít question him quite, several times. I did pester him. Badger him in actual fact. I could say badger him.

BA: Why wouldnít he tell you were he got it?

MB: I donít know. I feel eventually he would have told me. I mean, nobody anticipates youíre going to die of a heart attack several weeks later. Less than a few weeks later. I mean, I didnít anticipate, I knew he was a sick man.

BA: He had no family?

MB: Oh yes, he had sisters um daughters and what have you, they were very good to him.

BA: And why did he give this to you then?

MB: Thatís a good point. I used to go down see him every day. I used to go and run round the betting shop. Oh he fractured his hip just for the record. This was the Christmas previous, you know, he fractured his hip. So - and I used to collect Caroline from school which is in Fountains Road and used to literally pass Tonyís house every day. Previous to that we always met in the Saddle pub and we always drank in the Saddle pub. Then he fractured his hip. Once he fractured his hip I was still going down to collect Caroline, hence I was still passing his house. It was literally past the school. I used to always call in, does he want to put a bet on? You know, his family racing background (?), you should be interested in that. Or he used to phone me up and say hey Mike will you go and get me something, you know, from the shop whatever the case may be. You know, it could have been sugar, it could have been milk. So I just popped in.

BA: Of course. The odd thing?

MB: The odd thing and everything. And while I was there, we had a chat and we had a talk and everything. And we were having the same chats or talks or any discussion as if we were in a pub. Meaning previously when we were in the Saddle pub.

BA: Exactly. Comfortable conversations?

MB: Comfortable conversations, so it was just a normal routine, only instead of being in the pub I was actually in Tonyís house.

BA: But you have the capability to have written a diary like this.

MB: People saying I had the capability.

BA: I mean you wrote short stories that youíve been telling us.

MB: Oh yes, thank you very much for the compliment. Yeah [I think Iím kind of pleased]. Well I look at it this way then if I had the capability to write the diary, right, first of all Iíd have to be an ink expert. Now, first of all youíre saying Iíd have to be a professional writer. Iíd have to be a very, very, good professional writer.

BA: Not necessarily but youíd have to have a good mind of a particular sort.

MB: Right, Iíd have to be a historian.

BA: Youíd have to know something about the 1880s and something about criminology of the time.

MB: Criminology at the time. So therefore Iíd have to be a historian a very, well, precise historian. Iíd have to know two murders completely. Maybrick and the Ripper, right.

BA: There are plenty of books though available to read up on these.

MB: Thatís a tremendous amount of knowledge. And yet again, having said that, go back to the Ripper books. Thereís so many contradictions within the Ripper books. So the forger is going to make a mistake. He could easily make one mistake from one Ripper book to another Ripper book. I mean, the Duke of Clarence thereís one, Stephen Knight, thereís another, Melvin Harris. Thereís so many different contradictions. I mean, I can go through the diary, the farthings, the pennies and everything. So easy to make a mistake yet the diary had it correct right the way through.

BA: Well perhaps it had it correct -

MB: Well that forger Ė

BA: In a way, you are extremely knowledgeable by the quotations youíve been - or the quotes youíve been giving to me in the last few moments even, the various aspects of history and you could very well have had all that information five years ago, six years ago, as opposed to now.

MB: Yes, but in order to do that Iíd have to be a metal expert as well. Now having said that Iíd have to be a metal expert.

BA: Well youíve been in scrap metal.

MB: Yes but I think being in the scrap metal game and being a real metal expert is two different things, particularly when the watch has actually gone through university and itís been passed within that time and it has actually been, er, proven.

BA: This is something different now this watch youíre referring to, Mike, because, er, the watch was a watch which was found in a shop I think in Liscard in Wallasey and it had on it faintly inscribed initials of all the alleged victims of the Ripper plus allegedly the initials of James Maybrick himself and this was discovered at much the same time as your book was being published.

MB: Well actually it come out of the blue, but it wasnít discovered much at the same time, we must have a correction there, it was discovered approximately 18 months later, right, at that time.

BA: So itís later than the publication?

MB: Later than the publication.

BA: Well it was referred to in the first edition, surely?

MB: Well it was referred to in the first edition, Iím not quite sure, yes, I know, but the first edition was over 12 months research previous to that, before the first edition.

BA: Well, it cropped up at approximately the same time as your book.

MB: I have always kept myself distanced from the watch which I come to, you know, later. But first of all the watch was brought by the Johnson brothers from Stewarts the jewellers.

BA: Yes.

MB: Now we went back, Shirley Harrison went back to trace the history and Susannah thatís Susannah Stewart told - they got all the appropriate documents, the receipts and everything else and the watchís history. Susannahís father had given them the watch, along with several other gold stocks and antiques jewellery from their shop in Lancaster.

BA: From Lancaster?

MB: From Lancaster when he retired and that was at least eight years previous before the watch was actually in the Wirrell shop.

BA: So Mr Stewart maintained that they had had it in their possession, the watch, for at least eight years.

MB: For at least eight years. She also goes on and says probably as much as 15 years ago previously.

BA: So the suggestion is that if you were in cahoots with them youíd have had to lay your trail 15 years in advance.

MB: Previous to that. Yes, right. Now Iíve always kept myself distant from the watch and I thought it was a very sensible thing to do. Because I always thought at the time I had the diary which I sincerely believed was genuine. I didnít know what was going to crop up. You know, I always anticipated something might crop up, somebody might be getting onto the bandwagon once they found out that the diary was published and everything else. When I heard about the watch totally out of the blue, in fact when me publisher heard about the watch, and when Shirley Harrison, everybody was very, very, alarmed, we were all, shall we say, on pins, so our immediate reaction was we must get the watch tested and we must trace the watchís history. Now we duly did trace the watchís history which we can go back, so thatís Ė

BA: Via the jewellers?

MB: Via the jewellers, via the receipts, everything else.

BA: And the claim is that it was Maybrickís watch?

MB: Watch, yes. Now, having said that, we went and we took the watch, well I didnít actually personally because, as I say, I kept myself distant from it, Shirley Harrison took the watch and she got it tested at the university by one of the top metal experts Ė

BA: In Manchester.

MB: In Manchester and he dated it approximately ten to ten years either way, so how do you go about that? Apparently with the brass and the corrosion and the scratches and the marks thatís inscribed over the brass itís impossible, you know, any new markings, any new scratchings, would have obviously showed up under the appropriate metal tests at that particular time, which they did not do.

BA: And the man who actually found the watch, you say, was actually killed only two weeks ago?

MB: Yes, approximately two to two and a half weeks ago. The Diary has been literally cursed. I mean, thereís so many - itís touched everybody thatís been involved on a professional side of the diary, itís touched our lives in so many different ways.
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Part 2 - 20 September 1995

BA: Hello again, Bob Azurdia here. And Mike Barrett, the man who two years ago produced what he claims is the diary of Jack the Ripper, alias James Maybrick, a Victorian murder victim, has been attempting to maintain that his claims are still valid and that the diary really is genuine. Heís been moved to protest following a programme in this slot with Stewart Evans and Paul Grainey (sic) who in turn have produced a new book called The Lodger in which they claim that new evidence proves the Ripper was actually an American crack doctor named Frank Tumblety who had relatives living in Widnes and who escaped the police when he jumped bail having been charged with a lesser offence than murder. They say that Mike Barrett is discredited and that he signed a sworn affidavit to the effect that the Ripper diary is a hoax. Mike Barrett in turn says the Ripper diaries have ruined his life causing his divorce and alcoholism and affecting adversely everyone who has been involved with the diaries professionally. Mike, you still, however, state categorically that the diary you possess is genuine?

MB: As far as I know, yes, the point is, you see, going back to the original, when I cracked, I had two years people asking me provenance and when you havenít got the answer and when you are getting the same question asked virtually seven days a week, uh oh, what do you do? You just, in the end you just give up. I felt like carrying a tape round and just putting the tape on when anybody asked me and saying there you are thereís me answer.

BA: But you havenít helped yourself at all by denying and signing denials.

MB: Oh no, I admit, yeah, I admit I havenít helped myself at all because I absolutely got fed up and totally fed up with the diary. I am sick to the diary. Even today. I mean Iím in this studio now. Itís the diary, itís the diary, the diary. Itís seven days a week.

BA: Well it didnít have to be, you could very well have walked completely away from it. Because with all respect you volunteered to come to this studio today.

MB: I volunteered for one reason and one reason alone after listening to your interview last Wednesday. And when I read that I had made a statement, an affidavit stating in the book, The Lodger, that I had claimed that I had written a diary, I knew that statement was totally and utterly false and that was the reason I contacted you.

BA: Yes, but you had signed a statement to the effect that it was a hoax, not necessarily by you yourself.

MB: It was a Daily Post statement.

BA: Indeed.

MB: And that was the only statement Iíve ever signed. Only to the Daily Post. No others whatsoever.

BA: Well the other one you signed apparently in a solicitorís office which you referred to a little earlier but you told me that that was a denial of a denial.

MB: That was the denial of you know of -

BA: Of the Daily Post statement.

MB: Of the Daily Post statement. Yes that was a denial. I was totally drunk at the time.

BA: You see, Iím not, I repeat, questioning your integrity but Ė and you seem an honest, sincere, worthy and at the moment, certainly, sober person Ė but who knows what will happen tomorrow?

MB: Now having said that, at the moment I tend to be a great deal permanently sober. I emphasise that.

BA: Indeed, indeed, indeed, and this is not meant critically but you know you have proved in the past, in the last couple of years, that suddenly you can go back -

MB: I ask anybody, anybody, weíre dealing with the biggest serial killer in history, to step into my shoes. And they all think the moneyís fantastic, itís hardly little, everythingís gone on legal fees, right, Iíve seen the documents. Now having said that Ė

BA: Youíve not made anything?

MB: No, very little, Iíve just paid £11,000 out for legal fees alone. Literally the week before last. Right and that -

BA: Legal fees for what?

MB: Fending off bad publicity, the press and everything else. Thereís tremendous amount of animosity been directed towards me, you know, from Ripperologists I hasten to add who itís never been in their bests interests to say the diary is genuine. Never been. Not all of them. Quite a lot of Ripperologists attack me very viciously.

BA: Do you feel that it is going to take any more turns at all or will your book be republished yet again?

MB: Oh I should imagine it will be republished because there is talk now of a movie.

BA: Still?

MB: Oh yes, still talk of a movie, yes.

BA: Because surely the feeling was that it was discredited by that story of yours in the Daily Post?

MB: Well if it was discredited then how come just less than a few weeks ago New Line Cinemaís stepped in and are offering quite a considerable sum of money to be involved?

BA: In the last couple of months?

MB: Itís been negotiated for the last 18 months and that was well before, that was well after the Daily Post, well after the Daily Post, they said theyíre very, very, interested in making a movie. Theyíre talking about Sir Anthony Hopkins playing the part of James Maybrick.

BA: And you believe that thereís -

MB: You have to remember there that as well as making a video which was shot by Paul Feldman, he had his own Ripperologist team, right, thereís a Ripperologist who have never can turn round and say Paul, not one Ripperologist has put a fault in the diary, not the actual diary, not the content of the diary whatsoever. It all comes down to the ink. Not one Ripperologist to this day has turned round and quite categorically said ďThat statement in the diary is false, it couldnít have happenedĒ. Now that is factual. Now that really is factual. Having said that, going back, New Line Cinema, you canít tell me they havenít had their researchers on it. Shirley Harrison. The research teams have been in so many different camps that by now somebody somewhere would have discredited the actual content of the diary.

BA: Yes, except that, of course, as we are well aware, itís perfectly possible to make a feature film based on fiction.

MB: True.

BA: And come up with a purely entertaining piece.

MA: Oh yes, yes. True.

BA: So to this extent itís still a good story whichever.

MB: Yes, Iím not denying that. But what I am saying is, though, that I think it will be in the interests of the general public if somebody could come along and say, well the contents, you know, this is where it falls down. But not the contents of the diary. It doesnít fall down at all.

BA: So where do you think the thing was kept all the years until -

MB: Iíve always tended to believe it was in Knowsley Buildings.

BA: Knowsley Buildings which donít exist anymore?

MB: No, itís on the present site [inaudible] Silkhouse Court. And I think if I get my dates correct I think it was demolished in 1969 approximately. And then Silkhouse Court was built on that premises.

BA: Thatís where Maybrick had his office?

MB: Now the reason - yes thatís where Maybrick Ė Knowsley Buildings. Now the reason I always say, maintain itís Knowsley Buildings. Very simple. ďI leave this in now a place where it shall be foundĒ. He doesnít say he leaves it Battlecrease House, firght. He doesnít leave it in Battlecrease with servants or anything else and thatís going into the Maybrick case in general which is well documented. Also Lowry comes into it which was his clerk. And at the beginning of the diary he says ďI curse Lowry for making me rip.Ē Now I donít believe he means making me rip as in Ripper. I mean rip as in the pages of the diary, the part where itís destroyed, because several items he mentions that were also taken and he does say Ė I donít know if Iím allowed to say this on air Ė but he does say it because it is documented in the book Ė ďBastard Lowry, bastard, bastard, bastardĒ. And he does state, Lowry, in the book. So why does an insignificant person come into the diary? The clerk. Lowry is his clerk. Therefore, I am of the opinion, Iíve always had the opinion, if you read the diary very, very, carefully it does give the person the impression that he was writing the diary at Knowsley Buildings. Now on the third of May, that was the day he took to his bed, that was the day he took to his bed, and he died on the eleventh of May. The third of May he gets out of his sick bed in the morning and he travels all the way back to Knowsley Buildings. Once again, this is exceedingly well documented. He goes to Knowsley Buildings in the morning, then he goes to a Turkish bath the same late morning, right. Now he goes to a Turkish bath, now you donít carry a diary as big as the diary, the ledger that we have, to a Turkish bath. Then he gets back to the train and goes back to Ė

BA: He might have done, might have done, particularly in a portmanteau or a briefcase.

MB: Then he goes back to Battlecrease House.

BA: He might have done.

MB: Why does he go back to Knowsley Buildings? Now first of all you have to consider he goes back to Knowsley Buildings because thatís exactly where the diary is. Thatís what I firmly believe, thatís exactly where the diary is. Thatís why he gets out of his sick bed and itís well documented he was very, very, sick at the time through arsenic poisoning. Now why does he get out of his sick bed and actually go there? Now he goes back to Knowsley Buildings. Now having said that on the same night he returns to Battlecrease House and then there he stays until the eleventh of May and he died, he never gets out of his bed again, he never gets out of his bed again. Now he says in the diary ďI leave this now in place where it will be foundĒ. I am fairly convinced that he knew he was dying and he has put that diary in Knowsley Buildings in a certain place within Knowsley Buildings and itís remained there until it was demolished in 1969 and somewhere along that line thatís where that diary has somewhere come into Tony Devereuxís hands.

BA: Yes.

MB: Now that is my theory, of course I canít prove that.

BA: No, and nobody ever managed to find any of the demolition workers who had demolished the building?

MB: No, no, we tried.

BA: Itís perfectly plausible Mike, perfectly plausible.

MB: This is the way we feel.

BA: Youíve obviously studied both the Maybrick case and the Ripper case yourself.

MB: Oh yes.

BA: And all this subsequent to the discovery of the diary?

MB: Subsequently after the diary - once I knew Maybrick was involved I wanted to go down to me publisher with enough ammunition as possible in order to convince the publisher Ė well actually, I didnít actually approach a publisher, I had to approach an agent, the agent approached a publisher, this is the way it works within the business. I had to go with enough ammunition to, you know, to convince an agent. And I went down with a great deal of ammunition. But, of course, my ammunition I had, this was my own personal research, was not sufficient hence Shirley Harrison and her team was brought in hence Paul Feldman eventually his team was brought in and team after team after team and hence the result was the book. So from that day onwards the diary was totally taken out of my hands.

BA: Yes.

MB: And teams of experts were taking on and the diary was in their hands from that day onwards.

BA: Indeed. But I mean you yourself by what youíve been saying to me are extremely well versed in the Maybrick case and the movements of James Maybrick right up to his last moments?

MB: Of course because you were involved in the research once we began all the research.

BA: All this information really youíve gained subsequently?

MB: No.

BA: Yes, subsequently, subsequent to having been given the diary.

MB: Oh yes.

BA: In other words you werenít an expert or particularly interested in the case before hand?

MB: Oh no, no, no, sorry, I thought you meant previously, no, sorry, subsequently, oh yes, all this information, I mean I think Iíve become one of the worldís greatest experts on either the Ripper and Maybrick. I mean, Iíve had to. Shirley Harrison has had to because weíve had to defend our corner.

BA: Perhaps, perhaps, not necessarily because again the accusation could be well youíre obviously very well versed, you could well have fitted these things in on the way.

MB: Well as I say once again thank you for the compliment. Thatís all I can say. Thank you very much for the compliment. But I assure you I havenít.

BA: What are you going to do now, Mike, are you going to walk away, ultimately or not? I mean to say, you have, this time - you have deliberately climbed over the parapet as it were to be shot at now because -

MB: Yes, deliberately, yes, because Iím full of confidence.

BA: Alright.

MB: Iím going back to the day when I first started that journey to London full of confidence that I had the original diary of Jack the Ripper. And I did go full of confidence. I didnít know what was going to happen afterwards. And I had two years literally of sheer hell and thatís when I went to the bottle, right. Now, having said that, Iím absolutely confident Iíve beat the bottle, I really do, confident, Iím quite proud of that fact because itís been a tremendous struggle. Now Iím back to my former confident self. So let them come at me again.

BA: Let them come at you again?

MB: Yes, this time.

BA: Meaning?

MB: The Ripperologists, the newspaper people.

BA: Youíre ready for all the pressure once more?

MB: Definitely, this time, oh yes, definitely.

BA: And youíre going to continue thenÖ

MB: Mnhhmmm

BA: Battling -

MB: Yes.

BA: For -

MB: The diary.

BA: The diary.

MB: Yes.

BA: And for it to be claimedÖ

MB: When you really do believe something.

BA: Or to be accepted -

MB: You see I do admit that I went through one part where I couldnít, I didnít want nothing to do with the diary anymore I wanted it off my hands and away, you know. I felt that the diary destroyed everything. Now, Iíve thought to myself, whatís the point, the diaryís there, I canít sweep it under the table and really and truly I canít sweep it under the table no matter how much I could have tried to sweep it under the table I couldnít, it was out of control, it was Frankensteinís monster. So Iíd best come to terms that Frankensteinís monster exists. So I had to come to terms with this Frankensteinís monster. So Iíve got to go back and go back into the ringside so to speak and fight me corner again.

BA: Now turning to a different tack altogether, Mike, in the paperback edition of your Ripper diary there are allegations that, in fact, it is your wife who physically wrote the diary. Your wife, Anne, from whom you are now divorced. Now, what about all this?

MB: Right, well first of all, right, if youíre listening or if eventually she does listen to this, right, yeah, Iím not trying to be offensive, Anne, but you havenít got the capability. That sounds an insult I donít mean that to be offensive to it, I donít want her to take it personally and what have you. I think itís total nonsense. A lot of things have been said that the diary was handed - Anne handed the diary to Tony Devereux via - and then Tony Devereux give me the diary. One thing where thereís been once again, I keep saying, a lot of misconceptions and I think thatís a very appropriate word: misconceptions. That - I have made several mistakes with this diary because Iíve been very, er, well shall we say, I canít say ill-advised but Iíve been literally stranded by myself and had to make me own decisions by myself at all the time and people coming at me left right and centre so Iíve been forced to make decisions there and then on the spot.

BA: And sometimes these decisions have not been as wise as they might have been?

MB: Not been as wise as they might have been, right, I fully admit that. You can call me a fool but then again the pressure that Iíve been under, Iím not trying to justify that Iím just trying to explain it I havenít had, you know, the advice there given immediately at hand when questions have been asked. What I have been asked is did I believe Anneís story and my honest answer is Iíve not been able to speak to my wife since she left me in January right.

BA: January 95?

MB: 94.

BA: 94.

MB: 94.

BA: So youíve been apart now for eighteen months?

MB: Eighteen months. Iíve never sat down and discussed this issue with my wife. How can I possibly, you know, collaborate with my wife or my ex-wife to be precise when she hasnít explained the story. This information has been relayed on to me via various other people i.e. Shirley Harrison, i.e. Robert Smith, my publisher.

BA: Yes but the claim is that, in fact, the diaries are genuine but had been, or at least this is one of the claims, that the diaries are genuine but had been in her family for years and years and years.

MB: Yes, that is the claim.

BA: And her name, her surname, her married - her maiden name Graham?

MB: Correct.

BA: And, in fact, Mrs Maybrick had Grahams related to her?

MB: No, Florence Maybrick had an illegitimate child and she was named Graham, this is where, so she didnít have relatives as such, she was illegitimate, but once again research is developing, we donít know that Florence Maybrick did have an illegitimate child, research is still in progress so therefore we canít confirm Anneís story because thereís a tremendous amount more research to go into it, right. We have asked for Mr Paul Feldman, who produced the video, to produce the appropriate documents that he has fit and he has not seen fit to produce them to Shirley Harrison or I or Doreen Montgomery or Robert Smith.

BA: So somebody -

MB: He is holding back.

BA: So somebody does claim to have documented proof -

MB: Paul Feldman of MIA Productions is claiming to have documented proof. We have yet to see that documented proof.

BA: And this would therefore put a real link in place?

MB: Yes, a link in place, but if we can have that documented proof we could all be working as a team instead of against one another which doesnít make sense. Paul Feldman is in one camp making a video and not releasing the information, Anne is working with Paul Feldman and not releasing the information.

BA: Well are there any other Grahams about?

MB: No, no, no, not at all. You mean directly related to Anne?

BA: Sure, sure, directly related to your wife or going back to -

MB: No, no. Once Billy Graham died that was the end of Ė

BA: Billy Graham?

MB: Billy Graham, William Graham.

BA: Being your father in law?

MB: Yep my father in law. After he died that was it, there was only Anne, er, Anne Barrett.

BA: And he never made any reference to this diary?

MB: Never whatsoever.

BA: So if any of this is true there are one or two other possibilities. One being, one suggestion being that your wife actually had been keeping these diaries and then gave them to Tony Devereux to give to you for some reason?

MB: Which I find highly improbable for the very simple reason is, that she says in a statement which is there in the paperback for all to see that relationships between Billy Graham and I had broken down irretrievably for several years previous. However, up until Christmas 1994 Billy Graham was having Christmas dinner at our house. On top of that I was also taking him to the British Legion every Sunday, there are plenty of people who will verify that fact. Also on top of that particular fact I was also going down every Thursday and collecting his pension for him which my signature was on, the signature book, and I was also cleaning his flat on a Thursday, if I didnít clean it on a Thursday somebody else, a friend of his, Jake, did but the point is there is too many people can verify that relationship did not break down so, therefore, within Anneís statement within the paperback there is one fact that is absolutely untrue and I felt I had the right to justificate (sic) that particular fact. Now because Anne hasnít explained or hasnít had the opportunity for Anne to explain these facts to me and why she come out with this statement I am left in a limbo. And I think that is a very appropriate word ďlimboĒ because nobody has been able to contact my wife Anne. Weíve tried it through solicitors letters, weíve tried everything possible and she will not communicate with either of us.

BA: Sheís still in Liverpool?

MB: We believe sheís still in Liverpool. Now Shirley Harrison has tried to contact her. Sheís having, sheís not having no more discussions with Shirley Harrison. Doreen Montgomery, no more discussions. Robert Smith, no more discussions. So the people, the most appropriate people that are all actually involved with the diary, meaning the diary of Jack the Ripper, have made numerous approaches including my solicitor, Mr Richard Bark Jones, have made numerous approaches to contact Anne to no avail. So how can we turn round and produce something which we do not have, i.e. the evidence that Paul Feldman says he has. We are left in a limbo.

BA: Well now, you did say earlier on that you had not signed any other affidavits at all or any other -

MB: The only affidavit I did sign which I think this is where the misconception is, arose, is that I had, I made an affidavit saying that I do not and will not believe Anneís statement until it is explained and I had the evidence in front of me that she did give the evidence - the diary to Tony Devereux. You see, when you are in a position where Iíve never been able to prove provenance of the diary, everything is vital important to give to my credibility, it is vital and when you are not armed with this particular evidence and you are not armed with the appropriate documents. how - it doesnít put me in much standing.

BA: But is it not the case that on the 5th of January this year you signed a statement, you actually signed a statement in the solicitorís office in Dale Street in Liverpool to the effect that your wife, Anne, had physically written the diaries, you provided the information for her to write and the two of you together with Tony Devereux had conspired the whole thing?

MB: No, that is totally incorrect whatsoever.

BA: But you surely signed that?

MB: I signed a statement but somewhere along the line the statement has gone totally out of the Ė where it has gone out of line, I signed a statement stating quite categorically that I did not believe Anneís story and that is the only statement I have signed and I donít even remember that was on the 5th January to be honest with you because I was so adamant that I will not accept Anneís story until they have sat down and Iíve seen the documented evidence in front of me and I think itís very vital that I see the documented evidence that, er, that, er, sorry, Graham, Florence Maybrick, had an illegitimate child called Graham. I have yet to see that document evidence.

BA: But is it not possible that perhaps you didnít read what you were signing?

MB: Well I didnít.

BA: You didnít read what you were signing?

MB: No, I didnít read what I was signing.

BA: So it is possible that you signed this document saying that you had provided the information and Anne had done the writing and the three of you, you two together, together with Tony Devereux -

MB: I suppose itís possible but I wouldnít like to think that, you know, thatís been used against me in any way or someoneís [inaudible] the information and used my signature.

BA: Surely, but there are copies of this affidavit apparently.

MB: Apparently there is so Iíve just been informed, you know. But the point is the affidavit that I made was saying quite categorically that I did not believe Anneís statement.

BA: Yes, so you thought you were signing something quite different?

MB: Oh I thought I was signing a document stating that I did not believe Anneís statement until - and I emphasise until, I see the documented evidence that Florence Mayrick had an illegitimate child. I have yet to see that documented evidence and that is vital. Iíve also got to see how Graham is related to Florence Maybrick, how that connection can be done. Now Paul Feldman just for the record has been very enthusiastic over this diary. So much so that on the 17th of March, Motherís Day Sunday, right, in 1991, no 1992, after the publishing agreement was signed, and I am bound by a publishing agreement, took my wife, my daughter and myself to the Moat House Hotel in front of a gentleman, a Ripperologist, numerous people, Keith Skinner, no I donít think Keith Skinner was there, and offered me £5,000 cash on the table in order to buy in for the diary. I actually totally refused that offer. The following Monday the letter is in my solicitorís office, which is there for all to see, I was offered £15,000 to buy in for the diary from a client, we later found out it was by Ė it was Paul Feldman. Now having stated that I still refused. Then Mr Paul Feldman went on a relentless campaign against me because I literally Ė I canít say against me, letís say he wanted provenance of the diary so he didnít actually come against me but what he did do, he intruded and had researchers going into my own private life and my own family and he actually had researchers finding my family, finding birth certificates and going into my private life and my family.

BA: But this is reasonable, surely, if you yourself had said that you are trying to find out the background to Mr Graham.

MB: Yes, but where, where does my family come into it?

BA: Well they are related to the Grahams.

MB: No, Iím a Barrett. Iím not related to-

BA: Sure, sure, but your father-in-law was Mr Graham and your wife was a Graham.

MB: Yes, yes, alright, yes, indirectly - I never considered it in that point of view, you know, I mean I was a Barrett and Anne was a Graham, yes I can see your point, yeah I can see your point but there was never any contacts with the Grahams or the Barretts in that respect.

BA: The difficulty is that you have now actually signed two things which do your credibility great damage. Great damage.

MB: Yeah, I suppose - people can say that but then again you can say that, you know, people - documents can easily be changed and altered.

BA: Youíre not really suggesting that this happened are you?

MB: Thereís a possibility if this is the case.

BA: Well thereís a possibility of an atom bomb dropping on us tomorrow but itís highly unlikely isnít it?

MB: No, thereís also a possibility that the diary of Jack the Ripper, somebody give me it, the possibility of it being dropped on my lap.

BA: Of course. Yes.

MB: Itís the same mathematical equation.

BA: But youíre not really suggesting that that document you signed in a solicitorís office has been tampered with now?

MB: I canít suggest that until I see legal advice. I do not know. Itís as simple as that. All as I do know is that the statements I signed, the statements I actually did sign was quite categorically stating that I do not believe Anneís story until I see the documented evidence.

BA: Yes, but you didnít read it you said also?

MB: I did not read it.

BA: You didnít read what you were actually signing?

MB: No.

BA: So, it transpires you have signed two very damning documents against your own credibility. This being one, and the other one when you were drunk for the Daily Post.

MB: Call me naÔve.

BA: Yes I call you naÔve, with all respect -

MB: Iíll take it.

BA: In sorrow of course, of course.

MB: Iím naÔve and what have you.

BA: But it doesnít do your case or your credibility any good?

MB: Yes but then again youíve got to remember that thereís been that much animosity been directed towards me over the past three years itís been incredible, it really has been incredible and the people that you believed that you can trust all of a sudden turn out to be your enemies.

BA: Then why not completely walk away? Completely walk away?

MB: Because I believe in the diary. I canít walk away, itís impossible.

BA: And the next major line of story or information will no doubt come when your wife Anne -

MB: Ex wife.

BA: Your former wife Anne speaks and says her point of view.

MB: Once, once, we have got that - I will not believe it until I see that documented evidence in my hand. I donít think Shirley Harrison will believe it until she sees that documented evidence in her hand. I donít think Doreen Montgomery, my agent, will believe it until she sees that documented evidence and I donít think Robert Smith, my publisher, will believe it until he sees that documented evidence and all of us have yet to see that documented evidence.
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:55 PM
DirectorDave DirectorDave is offline
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The WOW! signal moment. Barrett is busted!


Quote:
MB: Yes. Iíve been attacked very viciously within the press, very viciously within the press.

Quote:
MB: And the type of people I was interviewing such as Kenneth Williams, Stan Boardman, Mick Miller, erm some quite famous celebrities at the time, Bernard Manning etc., and I was working for, freelancing for a magazine called Celebrity magazine. Now because I had, shall we say, a moderate success within writing, people have automatically assumed and picked up on that fact and automatically assumed well if heís had a moderate success in writing and had moderate success in interviewing people, you know, two and two make five and this is the conclusion an awful lot of people jump to


Quote:
MB: The publisher, erm, and the various other people that have been involved within the diary, the research - weíve tried to act completely above board, weíve got some of the most eminent ink specialists within the world and to get their opinion and the ink has gone through micro test, this test, that test, and heaven knows and, in actual fact, if youíd like me to quote you some of the ink tests which is actually in the paperback.


Quote:
MB: Yes, my curiosity was aroused and thatís why Iím here now. Now, in the book The Lodger it does say - now Iíve yet to see that research, Iíve yet to see what they have, those particular authors what they have, where their documents are. As far as we are concerned we have produced our documents within the book.


Quote:
MB: Ah, right, as I say, I had two years of constant - being attacked, you know, people, pressure, I mean, phone calls in the middle of the night. I mean, I know Iím repeating myself but this is all factual. Threats, everything. My own private life just completely and utterly disintegrated to the point where I didnít have a private life in the end, to the point where the diary literally got on top of me. And I went up and I got myself a bottle of scotch quote honestly and truly, right, and I drank the whole damn bottle of scotch and then after that bottle of scotch went, I went up and staggered up the next morning and drank another bottle of scotch. Two bottles of scotch within a period of 48 hours, I didnít know if I was coming, going, backwards or forwards, so much so and this is well recorded because itís in the paperback book. I ended up in an alcohol clinic. Now I regret that, it was a very stupid thing to do.


Quote:
MB: Oh yes completely but having said that one has to remember people handle pressure in different types of forms. You know, my type of form to the way I handle pressure stress, I ended up taking to the bottle and believe me drinking two bottles of scotch within a period of 48 hours, considering Iím still on renal failure as well, is not a very sensible thing to do but I didnít know if I was coming or going and what statements Iíve made at the time I just donít remember.



Quote:
MB: Thatís a tremendous amount of knowledge. And yet again, having said that, go back to the Ripper books. Thereís so many contradictions within the Ripper books. So the forger is going to make a mistake. He could easily make one mistake from one Ripper book to another Ripper book. I mean, the Duke of Clarence thereís one, Stephen Knight, thereís another, Melvin Harris. Thereís so many different contradictions. I mean, I can go through the diary, the farthings, the pennies and everything. So easy to make a mistake yet the diary had it correct right the way through.


Quote:
MB: Yes but I think being in the scrap metal game and being a real metal expert is two different things, particularly when the watch has actually gone through university and itís been passed within that time and it has actually been, er, proven.


Quote:
MB: Why does he go back to Knowsley Buildings? Now first of all you have to consider he goes back to Knowsley Buildings because thatís exactly where the diary is. Thatís what I firmly believe, thatís exactly where the diary is. Thatís why he gets out of his sick bed and itís well documented he was very, very, sick at the time through arsenic poisoning. Now why does he get out of his sick bed and actually go there? Now he goes back to Knowsley Buildings. Now having said that on the same night he returns to Battlecrease House and then there he stays until the eleventh of May and he died, he never gets out of his bed again, he never gets out of his bed again. Now he says in the diary ďI leave this now in place where it will be foundĒ. I am fairly convinced that he knew he was dying and he has put that diary in Knowsley Buildings in a certain place within Knowsley Buildings and itís remained there until it was demolished in 1969 and somewhere along that line thatís where that diary has somewhere come into Tony Devereuxís hands.


Quote:
MB: Subsequently after the diary - once I knew Maybrick was involved I wanted to go down to me publisher with enough ammunition as possible in order to convince the publisher Ė well actually, I didnít actually approach a publisher, I had to approach an agent, the agent approached a publisher, this is the way it works within the business. I had to go with enough ammunition to, you know, to convince an agent. And I went down with a great deal of ammunition. But, of course, my ammunition I had, this was my own personal research, was not sufficient hence Shirley Harrison and her team was brought in hence Paul Feldman eventually his team was brought in and team after team after team and hence the result was the book. So from that day onwards the diary was totally taken out of my hands.



Quote:
MB: Which I find highly improbable for the very simple reason is, that she says in a statement which is there in the paperback for all to see that relationships between Billy Graham and I had broken down irretrievably for several years previous. However, up until Christmas 1994 Billy Graham was having Christmas dinner at our house. On top of that I was also taking him to the British Legion every Sunday, there are plenty of people who will verify that fact. Also on top of that particular fact I was also going down every Thursday and collecting his pension for him which my signature was on, the signature book, and I was also cleaning his flat on a Thursday, if I didnít clean it on a Thursday somebody else, a friend of his, Jake, did but the point is there is too many people can verify that relationship did not break down so, therefore, within Anneís statement within the paperback there is one fact that is absolutely untrue and I felt I had the right to justificate (sic) that particular fact. Now because Anne hasnít explained or hasnít had the opportunity for Anne to explain these facts to me and why she come out with this statement I am left in a limbo. And I think that is a very appropriate word ďlimboĒ because nobody has been able to contact my wife Anne. Weíve tried it through solicitors letters, weíve tried everything possible and she will not communicate with either of us.
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Old 05-22-2018, 03:00 PM
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I'm not doing part two, that took me longer than planed after this much wine.

Sir Mikay is Buckled.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:44 PM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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"within Anneís statement within the paperback"

... that's two 'withins' - um - within four words. He certainly seems to have had a fondness for it!
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Old 05-23-2018, 12:52 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Quote:
BA: You had other problems I think as well didn’t you?

MB: Erm, regards?
I've previously commented on the diary's use of the isolated word "regards" (as opposed to "with regard to" or "regarding"), suggesting that it represented a sloppy use of English - which it is. However, could it also be a verbal tic of the author?

Diary examples:

"I am becoming increasingly weary of people who constantly enquire regards the state of my health"

"Will have to come to some sort of decision regards the children"

"Edwin asked regards Thomas and business"

And, from Shirley Harrison's Diary of Jack the Ripper "Mike: Page 6, 2nd paragraph, line 9 starts with an ink blot, this blot covers a mistake I made when I told Anne to write down James instead of Thomas. [Footnote: The word under the blot is not James but 'regards']"
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:17 AM
DirectorDave DirectorDave is offline
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These are clear speech inflections, uncommon ones at that and certainly not localised dialect.

We seem to be at a level that if Frank Bruno turned up claiming a lost Shakespearean play and the lead antagonist said "Know what 'a mean 'Arry" at the end of every other sentence, we'd be expected to believe it as genuine.
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:48 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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A couple of housekeeping points:

Firstly, just to be clear, the dates of the interviews given are the dates of their broadcast on Radio Merseyside.

Secondly, I have spotted a transcription error in the following answer of Mike's: "Yes, unfortunately he couldnít be questioned. I didnít question him quite, several times. I did pester him. Badger him in actual fact. I could say badger him." The word "didn't" should read "did".

So his actual answer was:

"MB: Yes, unfortunately he couldnít be questioned. I did question him quite, several times. I did pester him. Badger him in actual fact. I could say badger him."
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:52 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Did anyone spot this answer by Mike:

"We have asked for Mr Paul Feldman, who produced the video, to produce the appropriate documents that he has fit and he has not seen fit to produce them to Shirley Harrison or I or Doreen Montgomery or Robert Smith."

Bingo!

Another Diary quirk emerging from Mike Barrett's normal speech.

Just fancy that, with him sharing quirks of the Diary's author and his wife's handwriting sharing several distinctive features of the Diary's author too. What a couple of interesting coincidences!
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Old 05-23-2018, 12:45 PM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Mike likes his badgers almost as much as the diarist likes his headless chickens

Not just a quip, BTW. There's a serious point there, too.
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