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

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  #11  
Old 03-21-2017, 05:41 AM
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Finally, I can confirm that in March 1992 Outhwaite & Litherland held auctions once a week, every Tuesday, so that the first auction held after Barrett would have received the 1891 diary would have been on Tuesday, 31 March 1992. The auction (like other auctions in that month), held at Kingsway Galleries, Fontenoy Street, Liverpool, was described in antique magazines as being for "Victorian, Edwardian & modern furniture and effects". It started at 10.30am.
Hi David,

This is very detailed information you found. Were you also able to discover what kind of objects would have come under the heading of 'effects'? For instance, I know that Robert Smith bought a Victorian scrapbook like the diary for just 5 from an antiques fair, while I picked one up for 15 in a charity shop a few years ago. It measures about 10x8 inches and has the year 1848 handwritten at the top of the first page. It contains a 100 pages of handwritten food and drink recipes and various household remedies, eg 'Dr. Pettigrews Beef Tea', 'Medlar Jelly', 'Gargle from Dr. Walker' and another of Dr. Walker's gems:

'To prevent Hair falling off

Equal parts of Olive Oil, Spanish flies & Rum - mix and rub in with a very soft toothbrush

After the final recipe are some 120 blank pages (60 sheets) - a veritable feast for a forger.

Anyway, my point is that I'm surprised an auctioneer would bother to sell an item of such small value and even more surprised that Mike would have had to bid anything like 50 in order to win his. It's a pity no losing bidder ever came forward to say they remembered the item fetching more than expected and going to the man who went on to claim it contained Jack the Ripper's diary. Did you enquire whether O&L keep their sales catalogues going back to 1992? The icing on the cake would be to see 'the' diary listed as one of the Victorian effects in the catalogue for March 31st, wouldn't it?

Love,

Caz
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  #12  
Old 03-21-2017, 06:07 AM
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One question that might be asked is: when did Martin Earl submit the advertisement to Bookdealer?

Well Bookdealer was published every Thursday and the instruction to advertisers of "Books Wanted" was this:

"Lists to appear once only should be addressed to Bookdealer, PO Box 1082, Winscombe, Avon BS24 6BX to arrive first post Wednesday for inclusion in the next week's issue."

What I think this means is that to get his ad into the issue dated 19th March 1992, Martin Earl needed to get his list to Bookdealer by first class post on Wednesday 11th March 1992. This in turn means that the latest he could have sent his list by first class post would have been on Tuesday 10th March 1992.

Given that Mike Barrett spoke to Doreen Montgomery on 9th and 10th March, then if we assume that the advert was placed in response to his conversations with Doreen, Mike wasted no time in contacting Martin Earl. In fact, if I have correctly interpreted the Bookdealer's instructions, he must have done so almost immediately after speaking to Doreen.
Hi David,

I don't think there is any doubt that Mike's initial telephone enquiry came hot on the heels of his first conversation with Doreen about the diary supposedly already in his possession.

What we don't know is precisely how long they spoke for, and what was said or asked by either party, and therefore what may have dictated Mike's next move. Was he really seeking reassurance from Doreen before giving Anne or her father the expense of obtaining a book for the previously drafted diary? Is there any evidence of him hesitating when someone else was picking up the tab? Does that make any more or less sense than seeking reassurance for himself, after speaking with Doreen, that what he had in front of him could be the genuine personal jottings of a Victorian serial killer? After all, it's not something he would have seen every day, is it?

Love,

Caz
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  #13  
Old 03-21-2017, 09:57 AM
DirectorDave DirectorDave is offline
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Anyway, my point is that I'm surprised an auctioneer would bother to sell an item of such small value and even more surprised that Mike would have had to bid anything like 50 in order to win his.
Hi Caz,

I think if it was used as a photo album as some suggest that could explain the higher price than say a recipe book.

Quote:
Did you enquire whether O&L keep their sales catalogues going back to 1992? The icing on the cake would be to see 'the' diary listed as one of the Victorian effects in the catalogue for March 31st, wouldn't it?
Lot 88: Late Victorian photo album - family name Maybrick. - Est 40-60.
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  #14  
Old 03-21-2017, 10:34 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Those familiar with Mike Barrett's affidavit of 5 January 1995 will recall his story that the diary was purchased in a minor bidding war as part of a job lot with another item. Thus (with spellings and grammar corrected):

"I found a photograph Album which contained approximately 125 pages of photographs. They were old photographs and they were all to do with the 1914/1918 1st World War. This Album was part of lot No.126 which was for auction with a 'brass compass', it looked to me like a 'seaman's Compass', it was round faced with a square encasement, all of which was brass; it was marked on the face, North South, East and West in heavy lettering. I particularly noticed that the compass had no 'fingers'.

When the bidding started I noticed another man who was interested in the items; he was smartly dressed, I would say in his middle forties, he was interested in the photographs. I noticed that his collar and tie were immaculate and I think he was a Military man.

This man bid up to 45 and then I bid 50 and the other man dropped out."


Before anyone asks, Mike said the compass was later taken away by his sister who destroyed it to protect him.

All my information about O&L's auctions in 1992 was derived from specialist antiques magazines from 1992 and I had no contact whatsoever with O&L.
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Old 03-23-2017, 06:04 AM
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Yes, it's always the same, David, isn't it? Claims that failed - just - to produce the sort of evidence that could have put the tin lid on it two decades ago.

The man who never came forward to say he had wanted those photographs but lost out to a man uncannily like the one who later claimed an uncannily similar looking album contained Jack the Ripper's diary; the compass which was 'taken away' and 'destroyed' by the concerned sister, who would naturally deny doing anything of the kind whether true or false; the book with Crashaw's 'O costly' which was initially given to the girlfriend's son without its significance being appreciated - which wasn't much, since there was no way to prove Mike ever laid eyes on it until 1994; the little red diary which was willingly handed over to the estranged wife, who gave it away to Keith Skinner - again proving nothing to anyone's real satisfaction, unless you count yourself.

It's like Mike was playing games, not really wanting to prove he had created the diary. It should have been a piece of cake, surely? Or was he genuinely desperate to claim he did it, but couldn't produce any proof because it simply wasn't true?

Love,

Caz
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:51 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Of course, had Mike Barrett produced a brass compass and/or an old WW1 photograph along with his affidavit then that would have settled the entire matter and everyone would have accepted the Diary was fake. Yeah, right!
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:14 AM
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It might have done, David, if sight of the items had jogged the memory of someone at O&L - or the losing bidder who had wanted the photos. Since Mike mentioned them to support his forgery claims, they were seen as evidence. If they had actually existed, they would have been 'disappeared' for that reason.

Of course, if they didn't exist they still had to be disappeared.

Love,

Caz
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  #18  
Old 08-21-2017, 11:59 PM
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Concerning Barrett, one strange detail has always stuck with me. In those early heady months when he was buying return tickets to London and making the rounds among agents and publishers, he used the name ‘Williams.’

What, I ask, is in an alias? Why that particular name and not Smith? Jones? Group Commander Rupert Brooke?

Then it turned out that Peter Birchwood did some digging and found that Williams was the name of the previous owner of Barrett’s house.

Same question, revised. You can pick any alias, why, of all things, pick the name of the previous owner of your house? I certainly wouldn't have thought of it.

But, a couple of years ago I heard a story, and it struck me that I had found one possible answer.

Long around 1980 a man found himself in Costa Rica with a bag of weed, ganja, whatever you wish to call it. Being the sort of person he was, he wanted to smuggle this back home, but was too scared to take it on the airplane. For days he wracked his brain and finally came up with the following scheme. He would simply stuff it in an ordinary envelope and boldly send it to his home address. However, as a safeguard, he addressed the envelope to ‘Mr. Parker.' This, it so happens, was the name of the previous owner of his house. The scheme was safe, or at least he thought it was safe; if –instead of the package---a postal inspector or a policeman arrived on the doorstep, he would simply claim ignorance, and say, “heck, I often receive mail addressed to ‘Mr. Parker. He moved out 3 years ago.’

Which, to my mind, raises the possibility that maybe the use of ‘Mr. Williams’ was not as random and pointless as it seems. Perhaps, at some point, Mike developed the name, thinking that he might want to make certain purchases in the future that couldn't be easily traced, or, if necessary, could be denied.
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Old 08-23-2017, 10:22 PM
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Not really sure why I am even posting this, but after several years of stepping back, another oddity that always puzzled me was Anne Graham's strange claim that when Tony Devereux handed her the diary on the doorstep (cloak-and-dagger "do something with it!) she stated that it was wrapped in brown paper (Harrison). Strange detail. Why wrap it? No Liverpudlian from the pub, who cares more about the next game against Manchester U than anything else, is going to bother to wrap some damn book in brown paper.

But if you watch the miniseries "Selling Hitler," which aired in the UK in 1991, you will see a couple of strange scenes. The series recounts the famous "Hitler's Diary" scandal. The forger has gotten in so deep that he is furiously creating new pages of the diary and handing them over to his dupe (a British historian that I won't name) hot off the press, as it were. He delivers them on the doorstep...wrapped in brown paper. I am pretty certain that 10 or 12 years ago I confirmed that this series aired in Liverpool. Consciously or unconsciously, was Graham channelling a scene that she had already witnessed in her head?

If John were here, he would say correctly "nothing new, nothing real."
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Old 08-24-2017, 04:18 AM
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I was under the impression that she had received it through her father, wrapped it in brown paper and gave it to Devereux to give to her husband as she wanted to boost her husband's self esteem but she didn't want him pestering her father (as they didn't get along) so Devereux​ would be the foil for that? Maybe I'm not up with the plot. Never did like soap operas anyway. They seem to never end in resolution.
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