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

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Old 02-23-2018, 10:03 AM
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caz caz is offline
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Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
Why not say it contained a photograph of Churchill, the Titanic or the Queen Mother - either of which wouldn't have been particularly unbelievable, and all of which would have supported the idea that the scrapbook was still in use in the early 20th century? Why pick THAT particular photo, unless it really was in the book?
Because it was, as you say, a 'very distinctive' image? If I were bluffing, I might pick the most quirky, distinctive photo I had seen and remembered, or owned, from the desired period to impress you lot that it MUST have come from the one book I am claiming to have faked.

I don't get why the subject matter of the photo suggests it really was in that book - because Mike said it was? Could it not have been in any other photo album or collection and stuck in Mike's mind that way?


"Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov

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Old 02-23-2018, 01:07 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
I was merely reporting the objective result of my methodology, which showed that there was indeed a proliferation of those phrases in print from the 1980s onwards... at least in terms of those publications digitised by Google at the time I conducted my survey. Bearing that constraint in mind - and I've never pretended that the method was anything other than indicative - I can't see why the findings shouldn't in some way reflect what was happening in the real world. Google have, after all, digitised an enormous amount of publications, and a larger sample would be very hard to find.
But that qualification is rather important and wasn't mentioned earlier in this thread when you told John, without qualification, that the phrase "one off": "started to take off in print during the 1980s".

That's not true at all. Using a single database - Google books - means you have overlooked what was going on in newspapers, arguably far more influential on a daily basis than contemporary novels or books of non-fiction.

An examination of newspapers shows that the expression "one off" started to take off in print in the 1960s.

It may be of interest that Sir Hugh Casson, in an article in the Times of 16 March 1960, entitled "Shipshape Design for Shipboard Living", wrote:

"a ship, like all complicated vehicles, takes a long time to build and is what is called a “one off” job (i.e. there is only one of it)"

The fact that he decided to explain to his readers what a "one-off job" meant indicates that he wasn't sure they would all understand it. Nevertheless, I think the expression "one off job" was sufficiently well known by this time that the readership of the Times would probably have understood what he meant.

In the Times of 11 May 1964 we find it commented in respect of fast train speeds that "The new generation of railwaymen tend to regard these as “one off” achievements”. This is an example of a metaphorical use of "one off" where it is not used in the context of a one off job, design or item. Similarly on 18 January 1967, the Times referred to the leader of the Liberal party, Jo Grimond, as "a one-off model".

Thus, the term was sufficiently in common parlance for a Thames TV series in 1969 about unique individuals to be called "One Off". You can bet that Thames did not baffle its London audience who all would have understood what the title meant.
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Old 02-23-2018, 01:27 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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I see we go round and round and I am being asked questions that I have already answered in full more than once.

It's particularly amusing that I am asked about Mike Barrett's behaviour in a sentence beginning "Would anyone seriously...." when all along I am sure I have been told that Mike doesn't behave like a normal serious person!

But in this case the action under consideration is perfectly rational. Establish that there is a demand for the diary before actually spending money on it. The comment "money isn't everything" is absolutely ridiculous for someone who doesn't have any. If you don't have any money you don't want to be spending £50 on a whim and a prayer if you can avoid it.

Mike's actions can easily be understood if we assume he had a rough manuscript of the diary in front of him and felt that all he needed to do was have it transcribed in ink. Why would he be unsure that there would be a demand? Well the story is that Pan Books actually rejected it. Whether that's true or not I don't think anyone read that story and thought "No way, that's impossible, why would they reject the story of the century?". It's obvious. Most people wouldn't believe it. Mike would have been worried that no-one would believe him or take him seriously. And that's why he might not have wanted to spend any money before at least ensuring that someone was willing to meet him.

Why did Mike (or the forger) not make the handwriting like Maybrick's? Well, firstly did he even know what Maybrick's handwriting looked like? Perhaps he believed there were no examples of it. But even if he knew there were examples in existence, the irony is that he would have been perfectly right to ignore this fact, just like those who do believe the diary is genuine ignore it. Well I say ignore but I have seen explanations that Maybrick might have had had different forms of handwriting for different occasions. Perhaps Mike or Anne were aware of the notion that psychopaths or people with multiple personalities can have different forms of handwriting (as we have been told). So the argument would be that when he wrote about murder he wrote in a different hand.

I might add that the one thing that handwriting experts are quite good at is analysing whether a particular style of handwriting has been imitated. It would, I suggest, have been extremely difficult for even a skilled forger to imitate Maybrick's handwriting for the full 63 pages or at all. That type of thing can be examined under microscopes for signs of hesitation and different pressure etc. So a sensible forger, it could be argued, would just attempt a general Victorian style handwriting and hope for the best.

I say "hope for the best" quite deliberately because by definition ALL forgers of anything must be gamblers by nature. There are LOADS of forgeries of all kinds of things out there. But those forgers don't seem to worry too much about whether their ink or paint "would change in colour or appearance". If they mess it up they get caught or exposed and that's the end of that. But if they gamble and it all works out they get away with it. That is why it is such an amateur error to argue from the success of a forgery and work backwards to point out how it could all have fallen apart if just one thing had gone wrong. Of course it could! And sometimes it happens. But it's those that don't get exposed that are the ones we end up discussing.
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Old 02-23-2018, 01:35 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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I am also asked how many last-minute amendments would have been made to the physical book. The idea of last-minute amendments seems to be the latest obsession from a certain quarter. I have no idea why there needed to have been any last minute amendments. Perhaps a couple of words from the first sentence of the draft were not included to pretend that there were missing pages. That's it. There is nothing else about the scrapbook which requires amendment to the text of a pre-drafted diary.

It's obvious to me that the forger had in mind a totally blank diary in which to write, just like many diaries of the period were blank, being exercise books or blank journals or things like that. There seems to be an obsession about diaries with dates in them. Clearly the forger did not want a diary which had the printed year on it broken up into months and then days. The forger wanted to chronology to be as vague as possible to avoid making errors of dating.

As I have repeatedly said, in asking for a diary from the period 1880-1890 I don't believe Mike was hoping for a diary with 1885 or 1888, or whatever year, blazened all over it. He wanted a diary with no dates in which to write the text. The key thing was to get a bound volume with paper from the period which would fool scientific tests. He most certainly did not want two separate diaries for 1888 and 1889 (a ridiculous idea).
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Old 02-23-2018, 01:55 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Another dumb question I am asked is how do I know that Brian Rawes was asked to recall his conversation with Eddie Lyons until over a year after it happened.

It's pretty obvious that there was no reason for Rawes to hold this conversation in his head after it happened. He claims he mentioned it to Arthur Rigby later that day (although we have yet to see any corroboration from Rigby of this) but why would he then think about it again for even a second until the question of the Jack the Ripper diary arose?

An issue is taken with the word "asked" but seeing as we are told by James Johnston that Rawes was "interviewed" by the police, it's perfectly obvious that he was asked questions by the interviewer, just as he might well have been asked questions by Feldman (if Feldman spoke to him).

The point is not whether he was asked anything - as usual someone prefers to focus on irrelevance - but whether he would have had any reason to try and recall a single brief conversation he had had a year before at any time prior to him recalling that conversation during the diary investigation. There's a good chance that he had forgotten the exact words used and possibly also had got confused about what Lyons had said to him.

It was James Johnston who asked Eddie Lyons to speculate as to why Rawes thought he remembered what he did and now that Eddie has done so in respect of a conversation that he says he does not recall occurring, we have the comment that he is shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. But that same person is perfectly prepared to speculate herself about what Eddie would or would not have said if he found something or if he hadn't found something and, frankly, it's all just waffle.

The short point is that it's very easy for people to develop suspicions after the event as they try to draw connections. Clearly Rawes was aware of the possibility that an electrician had found the diary and may well have been aware that suspicions were focussed on Eddie. So he has built up an otherwise innocent conversation in his head as an admission of Eddie finding something important. It's far from impossible.

The one thing that simply hasn't been addressed amongst all the waffle is why on earth would Eddie Lyons have come rushing up to Brian Rawes to tell about his diary discovery in July 1992? If Eddie wanted advice about it there must have been plenty of time during March (post 9th), April, May or June to ask someone. By July the diary was well out of his hands. So why could hehave possibly have wanted to speak to Brian about it so urgently while he was still driving the van and reversing down the driveway?? It makes no sense at all and to anyone independent can't possibly be connected with the diary. Even Shirley Harrison, who was well aware of the story, said it must relate to something other than the diary.
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Old Yesterday, 04:43 PM
Observer Observer is offline
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Originally Posted by James_J View Post
Many thanks Observer.

I just want to let you know that Keith will supplement my own answers to these questions.

In the meantime, could I possibly put the following question to you?

* In view of your suggestion about the timesheet being possibly falsified or doctored, whether we should check with the late Colin Rhodes' son (Graham) whether this would have been likely, when and by whom? Also, would this suspicion extend to all of the other timesheets which Keith was given? i.e. - for Skelmersdale?

We're happy to do this in pursuit of the truth, but would obviously need to give some reason to Graham Rhodes for our enquiry. Or we can, presumably, put you in touch with Graham directly? Or pass on a message to him on your behalf?

Best wishes, James.
Hi James

Just seen the above, sorry for late reply.

Seeing as Mr Rhodes recently lost his father I think it would be a little insensitive to bombard him with questions. Suffice to say if it was his father who filled in the work sheet, I have no reason to doubt it's authenticity.


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Old Yesterday, 05:25 PM
Observer Observer is offline
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Originally Posted by John G View Post
That's certainly one possibility, John. However, my own view is that Mike comes across as being far too erratic and too undisciplined to have been trusted with any creative, or even researching, role-not to mention his questionable literacy skills.

He would, however, have made an ideal frontman. As I say, he certainly knew how to spin a good yarn!
Who was in possession of the Sphere book in which the Crawshaw poem featured?

Mike Barrett surely interviewed the celebrities who were the subject of his articles which appeared in Celebrity Magazine. That would require a degree of organisational skills. He would have to ask them questions about their background presumably, which would require a degree of skill in researching the individual in question. How did he get into that line of work? I wouldn't have a clue where to begin.

Are you sure you havn't been taken in by the hype that certain posters have spun with regard to Mike Barrett being as thick as a docker's sandwich?
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Old Yesterday, 06:27 PM
DirectorDave DirectorDave is offline
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Originally Posted by Observer View Post
Are you sure you havn't been taken in by the hype that certain posters have spun with regard to Mike Barrett being as thick as a docker's sandwich?
As has been discussed in the 3 Maybrick threads currently going in between producing the photoalbum/journal and him "bringing it to the world's attention" he had a stroke, what would appear to be a serious one.

The whole "Mike Barrett couldn't write a sick note" may well have been true, but very few, in fact it seems only one person from the field of Ripperlology met Mike before his stroke, when he would have authored the thing.
My opinion is all I have to offer here,


Smilies are canned laughter.

Last edited by DirectorDave : Yesterday at 06:32 PM.
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Old Today, 01:47 AM
John G John G is offline
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My understanding is that Mike claimed to have had a stroke at the age of about 41. This is obviously a very young age to have been afflicted with such a serious disease.

However, regular heavy alchol intake is a major risk factor for the occurance of a stroke at a young age: Therefore, it's reasonable to postulate that Mike's ability to forge The Diary-and I still agree with Professor Canter's view that, assuming it is a forgery, it was extremely well written- may have been severly impaired by his drinking habits.
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