Yes, that is the whole point, David. And since you are the one who claims - on this thread - that Mike must have been planning to forge the diary (and by extension the Battlecrease documentation must not exist, or at least must not prove your conclusion wrong beyond reasonable doubt), the onus is on you to demonstrate that there was no innocent explanation because he was indeed "as guilty as sin".
There is no such onus on me, Caz. All I was doing before you joined the discussion was explaining to Iconoclast why the circumstances surrounding Barrett's acquisition of a Victorian Diary with blank pages are suspicious. If you don't think they are, then the onus is on you to provide a convincing and sensible explanation as to why he wanted to acquire a Victorian Diary with blank pages.
How many people do you reckon saw the writing in the diary before Mike acquired it, or before he spoke to Doreen, or before he ordered the 1891 diary? Any ideas? None? One? Two or more? You don't know, do you? You have to presume there were none, don't you? And you have the luxury for now of not knowing stuff.
My answer is that no-one saw the writing in the Diary before Mike acquired it because it's not possible bearing in mind that I think he was involved in forging it.
I'm aware, of course, that some people have claimed they saw it which is another matter entirely.
But really, Caz, if you have to resort further to this kind of Pierre like behaviour by saying, in effect, "I know something secret that you don't know" then it's not helpful to any sensible discussion is it?
If you have evidence that someone who can be believed saw the writing in the diary before Mike Barrett acquired it then present it - otherwise, once again, I do not believe anyone did.
I will not address the above strangeness, David, as I think I have now clarified what I had in mind (and what I didn't, which is much of what you wrote above) sufficiently well for anyone of your intelligence to grasp.
I think you do still need to address the strangeness, Caz. If you think you have "clarified" anything, that clarification has passed me by. And answers to my unanswered questions, which I repeat below, would be helpful:
What would have been the point of going to all the trouble and expense of writing it out in a genuine Victorian Diary when he could have just written it out in a modern exercise book or prepared a typed transcript?
And, indeed, wasn't the very reason that Mike and Anne said they had the whole diary transcribed on their computer because they prepared it for Doreen in March 1992?
Surely if Mike wanted to show Doreen what the Diary looked like he could have just shown her some photographs couldn't he, if he was worried about transporting the diary itself?
Copying out the text of the Diary into another Victorian diary to show Doreen what a Victorian diary with writing in it looked like????? Seriously???? What would have been the point of that?
More observation than criticism, David, but I don't think I was addressing you personally in any case when I observed that the watch tends to get sidelined. Had I appreciated that you had only ever read and posted to this Maybrick thread, and would therefore find it a 'very strange' thing to write on this thread, I might have thought to qualify my remark at the time, with something like: "For the benefit of anyone who doesn't follow any of the debates on the numerous other Maybrick threads, I have observed that the watch tends to get sidelined on any that are not specifically watch related. But you [insert name of poster who brought it up] should not have mentioned it here and I should be spanked soundly if I fail to qualify my observation adequately, so that someone seeing it here might find it 'very strange'."
I wonder if it's just me, or if anyone else finds the way you debate the subject of this thread 'very strange' indeed?
The simple facts of the matter are these:
You wondered why the watch was being sidelined and I responded by suggesting that it's probably because this is not a thread about the watch, it's a thread about the diary.
That was really as far as this discussion needed to go but you then dragged it out by asking me why I had not said the same thing to anyone else thus requiring me to respond by explaining that I had not seen anyone else complain that the watch was being sidelined.
Why this discussion is continuing today I have no idea. Why you regard my responses as "very strange", or wonder if other posters agree with you, I have no idea. Why you regard me as having "spanked" you soundly I also have no idea but I guess it explains why you can't seem to let this wholly irrelevant issue die.
I don't know what Whay meant by 'on both sides of', but then I don't know what you meant by claiming he 'only' said the above. It's very strange because my copy of Ripper Diary (same page) quotes Whay also saying: Furthermore we do not and have never conducted our sales in the manner in which he describes.
There is nothing "strange" about what I posted. All you are doing in your confused response is conflating two separate issues arising from Barrett's affidavit. One is about the dating of the purchase, the other is about the auction process. The latter point is irrelevant to my post which was only about the dating, not about the auction process.
This is what I was responding to from you:
"So you think we only asked O&L about the year 1990, do you? We trusted Mike that much, by the early 2000s, that we went by one of the dodgy dates he had come up with over the years and didn't think to ask the kind of questions that would have given us a definitive answer as to whether Mike's version of events could have taken place at O&L - ever?
I'm afraid you really must think everyone but Mike was incompetent then."
And that was in response to me saying that an answer to a question as to whether Barrett had purchased the scrapbook in 1990 would not be useful.
So that's all about dates isn't it?
If we stick with the dating, which is what my post in response to yours was directed to, what I quoted was the only statement made by Whay about the date of the purchase. Did you really not understand this Caz?
I don't know, David. Do you know they would have needed to, in order to conclude that Mike had never completed an obligatory registration form; that he didn't get the guard book from O&L; and that he was talking through his hat about the manner in which they had conducted their sales at any time?
The manner in which O&L conducted their sales is a different issue and I already made the point that O&L might have regarded a "ticket" as something different from a "receipt" which Barrett might not have done.
If you have any comments to make about the registration process which shows that Mike Barrett could not have acquired the Diary from O&L in March 1992 then please go ahead and make them but my posts until now have been addressed to the issue of whether the files and archives from March 1992 were ever checked by O&L in order to establish whether they sold a Diary (i.e. guard book) to anyone in March 1992.
I think you agree that at the very least we don't know if those files and archives from March 1992 were checked or not so, on that basis, I don't see how you can possibly conclude (if this is your conclusion) that Mike Barrett did not buy a diary/guard book from O&L in March 1992.
Thirdly, if he wasn't intending on making alterations to the diary he was seeking, are you seriously suggesting it would be in any way helpful (or sane) for him to have presented Doreen with a diary from 1891 (or any year other than 1888) by way of introducing her to the concept of a Diary said to have been written in 1888?
Hold on! Two minutes ago you were telling me those diaries didn't have dates in or on them!
Come on, David, you are trying to have it both ways here, surely?
To add to Mike's dating problems, he gave his private investigator Alan Gray two dates for his claimed purchase, three years apart. One was 1987, the other 1990. If he really wanted Gray to help him prove he got the thing from O&L, very shortly before handing over the finished product in April 1992, and wasn't just giving everyone the runaround, he wasn't making things easy, was he? Since Gray pointed out the three-year discrepancy, having cautioned Mike not to be seen 'telling any more lies', he would have realised if he was just getting his years badly confused. Why did it not occur to him to ask Shirley, Doreen, Robert or Keith (if he wasn't willing or able to ask Anne, his partner-in-crime) to confirm when he first took the diary to London? He would then have known well before the start of 1995 that he must have attended the auction that same year, not even a month before he and Anne would have put the finishing touches to the diary.
I don't see much value in your question as to why he didn't ask Shirley, Doreen, Robert or Keith to establish the dates bearing in mind that he would, at the time, have been preparing to swear an affidavit that the diary was a forgery - and asking them about dates might have led to awkward questions about why he wanted the information.
In any case, I question your assumption that knowing the date he produced the Diary to Doreen would have helped him date the creation of the forgery. It is based on him being able to recall that it was only a few days after the writing session. I know it's hard for you to believe but even this could have been muddled up in his mind in 1995.
That's one of the odd things about memory. Looking back, years can seem like weeks or days. Weeks or days can seem like years.
What I see Caz is an individual whose memory has become seriously affected by alcohol and who has now little grasp of recent chronology of events. Of course, you or I would take steps to check the documentation but I recognise that not everyone is quite as organised as us.