Thank you for your posts Roger and answers to my questions. I hadn’t forgotten your query about Alan Gray’s extraordinary relationship with Mike Barrett. Am I correct in believing you might have some of the tapes Alan recorded, documenting his four year investigation made with – and on behalf of Mike – to try and secure the proof that Mike created the diary? Their conversations are quite illuminating.
The source for Mike employing Alan to help him with his quest are the tapes themselves. On the tapes, you can hear Alan becoming more and more frustrated because his invoices are not being paid by Mike. On page 226 of Inside Story we wrote...
“Barrett’s credibility had been stoutly defended by the Liverpool private detective Alan Gray since he first became embroiled in the story, , supporting him against what he perceived was a conspiracy to defraud Barrett of money and credit by those in the Diary team. But unpaid accounts and Barrett’s erratic behaviour had destroyed the relationship. By the beginning of 1998 Gray felt so strongly about his former employer that he felt compelled to swear an affidavit describing a meeting in Liverpool with him. By now his disillusionment was total.
Noting that Barrett was clearly under the influence of drink, Gray tells him that he has tried for years to get the truth of the Diary: ‘I have protected you and looked out for you, been bodyguard and friend over a long period of time in which you run up a bill with me of over £3,000.’ Gray describes Barrett as a ‘Rat, Scum and the biggest liar I have ever met.’ ‘Well, Alan, ‘ Barrett allegedly [?] replied, ‘You have to tell the tale right, it’s just like fishing, you play the line then just pull them in. I told you just what you wanted to know. I knew what you wanted to hear and then I had you believing.’
Which absolutely supports your ‘chamelon’ decided opinion!
You are completely right about Maurice Chittendon being the source for the “Mike trailing the Diary around several publishers claim before he contacted Doreen Montgomery.” Well remembered. I dug out my correspondence file with Chittenden and note that I had emailed him on October 13th 2002, asking for clarification about what he had written in The Sunday Times of July 3rd 1994, in the light of Barrett’s confession to having forged the diary. Here’s what he wrote...
“For months he [Barrett] haunted the publishing houses of London, clutching a black ledger in his hand.”
And here’s what I wrote to Maurice Chittenden...
“How many months? Which London publishing houses? In my ten years close involvement with this project, I know of no evidential support or corroboration for this statement. I am sure you would not have irresponsibly invented this tiny detail which has such significant and important connotations. Perhaps your source was Michael Barrett himself? I would be grateful for clarification of this point please.”
I never received a reply.
It’s true that I did voice considerable frustration at the seeming lack of documentation surrounding Mike Barrett’s early contact with Doreen Montgomery – and the apparent failure to pursue lines of enquiry into what Mike had been doing between the time he first telephone Doreen on March 9th 1992 and met with her in London on April 13th 1992? Why had it taken so long given Mike’s impetuous nature? But, in hindsight, perhaps this was an unfair criticism because nobody knew how all of this was going to play out.
Now you're looking for the secret, but you won't find it, because of course, you're not really looking. You want to be fooled.
So Maybrick signed the diary, got up from his sick bed, fetched a claw hammer, tore nails out of a floorboard, prised it up, secreted the diary [biscuit tin optional], hammered the floorboard back into place without attracting any attention, and then returned to his sick bed to die?