Who, other than the literary agent, did Mike Barrett "blab" to about the diary between 9th March and 13th April 1992? If no-one, does that show he was perfectly capable of keeping a secret?
But if he wasn't capable of keeping a secret, and spoke to no-one else about the diary between 9th March and 13th April 1992, does that mean that the diary was only completed (i.e. forged) shortly before 13th April?
Of course, as everyone knows, there is not a shred of evidence that Mike blabbed about the diary to anyone prior to 9th March 1992.
Well, except to his daughter, Caroline, of course.
According to Feldman, in the presence of Paul Begg and Martin Howells, the following occurred:
"Paul and Martin were relentless. The poor kid [Caroline] had barely sat down in the car when they started a cross examination. 'Do you remember when your dad came home with the diary? Do you remember whether your dad phoned Tony and asked him where he got the diary from? Do you remember the row when your dad told your mum he was going to it published?'…Caroline remembered clearly the day her dad came home with the diary. She remembered her dad pestering Tony, and she could not forget the row between her mother and father. Caroline told the truth; that is all a kid of eleven can do."
Now, that is curious because Tony (Devereux) died in August 1991. How did Caroline recall her dad pestering Tony about the Diary at least seven months before he even knew of its existence? Or did Mike speak to dead people? Or was it a physical impossibility?
Some people might call what Caroline told Paul Feldman, Paul Begg and Martin Howells "evidence" that Mike was in possession of the Diary prior to March 1992, and some people clearly have done, but now it doesn't fit the new theory it can be safely discarded and forgotten about as if it never existed.
I must say, I feel very sorry for all those who have ordered this new book expecting to find all the answers in there upon its publication on the 4th September. Apparently, they will now have to wait until the 22nd September AND travel to Liverpool to hear what the panel members have to say before they actually learn something. Makes me wonder why all the relevant information is not (apparently) going to be included in the book but I suppose that is the 'Diary Team' for you!
Perhaps I haven't made myself clear to everyone. We need to know what the facts about these so called 'research notes' are. If they were typed we need to know it. If they were re-typed we need know it. If Shirley's memory was in a muddle in 1997 and/or 2003 that is one thing but what is the actual answer? What we don't need is uninformed speculation from someone who knows nothing about it.
What we also need to see is to see these notes in full because, in view of a forthcoming claim that the Diary was only found on 9 March 1992, it is essential that any potentially conflicting evidence is produced so that it is possible to consider the new evidence in the wider context. This evidence should not any longer be withheld for no apparent good reason. And a full explanation as to what is known about the way the notes were prepared should be provided. What we cannot have is two different explanations on the record.
All that should be perfectly obvious and require no explanation from me.
If the two individuals who are supposed to have found the Diary in Battlecrease are denying that they found any such thing it is going to be a little bit difficult to establish what they told Mike Barrett when they spoke to him, if they, in fact, ever met the man and gave him anything.
But it is rather hard to believe that that they did not tell him where it came from at the time. Well the whole thing is rather hard to believe. In Shirley's 2003 book we are told that one employee of Portus and Rhodes recalls picking up two employees from Battlecrease "At the end of one day" at which time one of them said "I've found something under the floor boards. I think it could be important". Well if it's the "end of the day" that they emerged from Battlecrease (and perhaps the timesheets will tell us the exact time they finished work), are we expected to believe they met up with Mike Barrett in a pub in Anfield, gave or sold him the diary, without telling him where they got it, and then he was able to get back home in time to look up the telephone number of the Robert Crew Literary Agency, call them and manage to speak to an assistant who was in the office? Was that person working late? And the impression we get from Inside Story is that Barrett rang back later that same day when he spoke to Doreen Montgomery.
Anyway, it all leads to another interesting paradox. If Mike Barrett wasn't told that the Diary came from Battlecrease did he manage to work out the Maybrick connection all by himself? Is this reflected in his 'research notes' of which we've never been allowed to glimpse more than a few sentences?
So does this mean he really DID spend time in Liverpool library researching the diary between 9th March and 13th April? It should of course be easy enough to find witness evidence of Mike doing some intense research during this period, er, if you are the police and have plenty of resources to spend time questioning people at the library, because it's in no way twisted logic to suggest that the absence of such evidence means that Barrett wasn't there.
I suppose that Shirley Harrison never bothered to ask Mike for his original handwritten research notes because these were obviously so unimportant as she had Anne's re-typed (or is that just typed?) and tidied up version of those notes. Yes, just a small oversight on her part, despite the fact that these notes were so important to her belief in the authenticity of the Diary, and, of course, the original notes were never destroyed, it's just that no-one has apparently ever seen them or knows where they are or what happened to them.
Some months ago someone mentioned over on the other Maybrick thread, I can't find the post at the moment, that there was going to be a revelation which would point to the Diary as having came out of Batlecrease House. I said at the time that I'd hope it wouldn't involve the two electricians who claimed to have found it under the floorboards, as said revelation would soon come a cropper. Paul Feldman's book on the whole is pure fantasy, but it does have some decent reference material. Paul Feldman had dealings with the two gentlemen in question, and soon saw through the scam in which they would "confess" to him that they did indeed find the Diary insde Battlecrease House.
Don't know what happened there, my post went off without me finishing it. To continue.
The two electricians, as I said would "confess" to having found the Diary inside Battlecrease House for a certain fee. Feldman who was no mug where money is concerned decided to call their bluff, and he approached Mr Dodd, the then owner of Battlecrease House. He suggested to Mr Dodd that he was in effect the owner of the Diary, and if he would accept five per cent of the Diaries worth would he not contest it's ownership. Mr Dodd consented to this deal, and so Paul Feldman approached Mike Barrett, and told him that an electrician was claiming the Diary was found by him under the floorboards of Battlecrease House, however the owner of the house was willing to not contest ownership, if he received five per cent of it's worth. Mike Barrett's reply was "Tell him to F off, it didn't come out of the house". Mike Barrett, then visited one of the electricians and told him he was lying, and he could sing for his money.
Paul Feldman thoughts on the matter were these
"My worst fear had been realised. My contact, and his fellow electrician would lie for the right price. I was no nearer the truth".
Seems a bit strange that 25 years after this incident took place, there are those who would cite this incident as being "proof" that the Diary came out of Battlecrease House.
I think the diary possibly did belong to Maybrick.
I also think it could have been found during the refurbishments at battlecrease.
It's also possible that at some point the diary got in the hands of some bright spark that had the idea to remove anything Maybrick wrote, and in the remaining pages give him a whole new story.