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  • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
    Thanks as always, Keith, for your candid account.

    Jesus wept.

    I'm not sure which cliché would be more apt; that, in researching the Diary, you wandered into a wilderness or mirrors, or that you wandered into a pit of vipers.

    We at least know that Barrett did buy a word processor, and that at one point he lied to Harrison about the purchase date and the reason he bought it. Classic Barrett. Nothing is what it appears. The typescript was evidently created on the word processor, but if Bonsey can be believed, Scotland Yard did not find the machine in the Barrett's home. Yet Rendell claims on air that they did. To make matters even more convoluted, Barrett lied to Scotland Yard, and we learn that Paul Feldman instructed him to lie. (Some won't like this--perhaps be angered by it--but to my mind this raises the question of how truly sincere Feldman was in his belief in the Diary). Meanwhile, Harrison ultimately reports to the public that Scotland Yard DID find the Diary--on the Barrett's dining room table--and that Barrett had completely cooperated, which certainly doesn't appear to be true. Ultimately, it appears as if no one's account be entirely trusted--be it Barrett, Harrison, Rendell, Feldman, or (perhaps?) even the memory of Bonsey (?) Perhaps he CAN be believed, but it does leave one wondering about Rendell's source. I reckon you suspect that Rendell was "tipped off" by Melvin Harris. It is possible, I suppose, but how would Melvin have known with certainty about the Amstrad and any alleged disks in November 1993? Did not Gray's discovery of the receipt for the word processor not occur until the following summer, 1994? I'm sorry to say this, Keith, but I can only be blunt. It does leave me wondering what other instructions/advice Paul Feldman may have doled out to other participants in the mystery, particularly Anne Graham and Robbie Johnson. There's less intrigue in a John Le Carré novel.
    Thank you Roger. Your cliché is more apt to what I sometimes feel when reading some of the ‘contributions’ to the ongoing discussions about the Diary on the Message Boards!

    What is often forgotten is that none of us knew how any of this was going to play out from day to day. None of us could divine the future. Had I been more astute, alert, intelligent or a trained investigator blessed with the research skills and perceptive qualities of many who post on these boards, I would have asked Feldy ‘how’ he thought he was helping Mike? As it was, I didn’t – and now Paul Feldman is dead. Therefore, because of my lack of experience and ‘bungling’ (Melvin Harris’s favourite word when describing me as Feldman’s ‘henchman’) I have created a fertile breeding ground for your blunt questions – from which I do not flinch. I still see Feldman’s slight embarrassment at telling me what he had advised Mike, perhaps realising that he done a stupid thing. You are quite right to explore your suspicion about what other “instructions/advice Paul Feldman may have doled out to other participants in the mystery, particularly Anne Graham and Robbie Johnson.” All I can say with utmost sincerity is no matter how foolish some of Feldman’s actions may have been – no matter how bizarre his theories – they all sprung from his 100% belief in the authenticity of this document. Nobody I worked alongside – in either camp – ever voiced their suspicion that Feldman was pimping it. And I have repeatedly said that if I knew he was concealing evidence or information which conclusively exposed the Diary to be a modern hoax, then I would have revealed it and walked off the project. It was no big deal for me to be wrong then and it’s no big deal for me to be wrong now. I have often read in the past that evidence is being held back out of friendship to me because, once disclosed, it would damage my supposed reputation. I would have hoped that truth outweighed friendship in this respect. And what value friendship if I am meant to be aware of this crucial information and have carried on regardless? I could not look that person in the face and neither would I expect he/she to want to have anything further to do with me.

    It is true that, somewhat uncharitably, I did wonder if Melvin Harris had been Rendell’s source – and I note the same thought had occurred to you. Yet, according to what we wrote in Inside Story(p.69) Rendell’s source, (predicated on Shirley Harrison’s understanding), was Scotland Yard. Had I been Shirley I would have pressed Rendell for a name and details of the conversation. But is not the deeper point Roger, why questions about Mike’s word processor should be so significant or relevant in the first place? What prompted the question? I cannot remember anybody being suspicious about Mike having a word processor. And pp 84-85 of Inside Story summarises my taped interview with Mike Barrett in Liverpool Library on April 14th 1994 when I asked him about the word processor. Admittedly, he could have been lying through his teeth.

    Finally – I may be mistaken – but I seem to recall seeing a photocopy of the receipt for the Amstrad, (faxed through to me from Shirley Harrison), prior to Mike handing it to Alan Gray in the summer of 1994. This is just an impression from memory though so, unless I can back it with the actual fax, is worthless. Does not Barrett give a date in his January 1995 sworn affidavit of when he purchased the word processor which conflicts with the date on the actual receipt?

    KS

    Comment


    • Originally posted by jmenges View Post
      Admittedly, [Mike] could have been lying through his teeth.
      KS
      Only on a day with a 'Y' in it, Keith.

      Ike
      Iconoclast
      Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

      Comment


      • Originally posted by jmenges View Post
        Finally – I may be mistaken – but I seem to recall seeing a photocopy of the receipt for the Amstrad, (faxed through to me from Shirley Harrison), prior to Mike handing it to Alan Gray in the summer of 1994. This is just an impression from memory though so, unless I can back it with the actual fax, is worthless. Does not Barrett give a date in his January 1995 sworn affidavit of when he purchased the word processor which conflicts with the date on the actual receipt?

        KS
        It's not a wilderness without mirrors, Keith.

        As usual, Barrett's memories were not entirely accurate, but considering his mental state in January 1995, I'll give him a half a cigar.

        "I had actually written the "Jack the Ripper Diary" first on my word processor, which I purchased in 1985, from Dixons in Church Street, Liverpool City Centre. The Diary was on two hard back discs when I had finished it. The Discs, the one Photograph, the compass, all pens and the remainder of the ink was taken by my sister Lynn Richardson to her home address, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. When I asked her at a later date for the property she informed me that after an article had appeared in the Daily Post, by Harold Brough, she had destroyed everything, in order to protect me."

        The processor was bought at Dixon's, but not in Liverpool City Center, but in Garston. It wasn't 1985, but 3 April 1986.

        A discrepancy, Keith, but not as big of a discrepancy of what he had told you and Shirley Harrison in 1992-94, when he dated the purchase to shortly after Anthony B. Devereux's death in August 1991 in order to "launch himself into extensive research, intending to write the story of the diary himself." (Harrison, p. 7-8)

        One rather obvious explanation for this wild tale is that Barrett was post-dating his purchase of the Amstrad by 5 years and 3 months in order to make it appear as if this "former chef and scrap metal dealer" had bought the wp for research purchases after he had received the Diary, thus disguising the fact that he was a freelance writer, as documented by Lord Orsam, who shows that Mike had been using the wp to write up articles, etc., for a good long while.

        What you seek can be found here, including the Dixon's receipt.

        https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...word-processor
        Last edited by rjpalmer; 08-26-2019, 11:52 PM.

        Comment


        • Correction to the above. purchases=purposes. I pulled a you-know-who.

          It has occurred to me, Keith, that Mike's claim of the disks being destroyed by his sister would mean that this alleged destruction would have taken place after June 1994. There is no confirmation of this story, of course, and no reason whatsoever to accept it without evidence, but it does kind of, sort of, leave one wondering where the idea took hold that the disk(s) were still in the Barrett household in November 1993 as reported by Kenneth Rendell. Mike seems to date his "stashing the evidence" to when the Diary was finished, allegedly in April 1992 (or earlier, if one only goes by the Jan 1995 performance, and not his revelation at Camille Wolff's). Then again the maroon diary was still kicking around all that time, and allegedly the Sphere Guide. So around and around we go, without a hint of closure, but then, I am merely a "commentator," as you put it--not even a commentator worthy of that dishonorable title without quotation marks thrown in! So no worries on my end.

          Anyhow, I'll be off for a few days or longer. The local library's queue for Rubenhold's book finally left me holding the goods, and I'm still only half-way through Monaghan and Cawthorne's masterwork, and I owe a certain somebody a bit of research. So my Ripperological plate is full, and I've no more time for Bongo, at the moment, let alone Sir Jim. Good luck. I'll peek in if I can.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
            A discrepancy, Keith, but not as big of a discrepancy of what he had told you and Shirley Harrison in 1992-94, when he dated the purchase to shortly after Anthony B. Devereux's death in August 1991 in order to "launch himself into extensive research, intending to write the story of the diary himself." (Harrison, p. 7-8)
            In the mind of a Mike Barrett, there would never be discrepancies, only ever the latest version of the 'truth' as it suited him in that moment. His was a truth which always bent with the wind, and I imagine that's more or less how he rationalised it - the flower was always the same even though the weather blew it left and right on any given day.

            I could understand intelligent people seeking a forger in any other soul alive in 1992 than in Mike Barrett.
            Iconoclast
            Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

            Comment


            • Thank you for bringing my attention back to this thread Roger. I can appreciate David’s frustration at having to wait to see the invoice after having requested it at the end of August 2017 -possibly before - as his patience was, understandably, clearly exhausted when he posted:

              Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
              Now there is one thing that should be a certain fact and that is that Mike purchased his word processor on 3 April 1986. At least one hopes it is a certain fact. Presumably Shirley Harrison has the original sales receipt, or invoice as it has been described. Does one have to rant and rave and beg and plead for an image of this single page document to be posted on this forum? Then we can, perhaps, work out for ourselves if Mike somehow managed to acquire a second hand PCW from Dixons on that date.
              I remember I had explained my huge Diary archive was down with Bruce Robinson in Wales (still is!) but had kept back the fact that my mother’s health was failing and she was slowly dying – grimly clinging on to life until the end of February 2018 -because I did not want that to be seen as an additional excuse for my inability to produce the receipt. I did manage to honour my commitment to attend Ricky Cobb’s Liverpool Diary Conference and panel discussion in October 2017 where I fully expected to be challenged with hostile questions. (Unfortunately, the gentleman who had been so vociferous and forthright on the Message Boards decided he had to leave early.) So my mind was slightly distracted during this six month period but was pleased that David’s detective work uncovered the invoice plus other material.
              Quite a remarkable achievement, I remember thinking, as Mike Barrett, Melvin Harris and I believe Alan Gray had all died by then.

              Thank you for clearing up the reason for Mike’s contradictions in his January 5th 1995 Affidavit which were due to his mental state– to which I suppose can be added his KS. David follows a similar line...

              Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
              We know from Mike's affidavit that he muddled up his dates. For example, he said in that affidavit that, "I had actually written the "Jack the Ripper Diary" first on my word processor, which I purchased in 1985" but we now know for sure that the purchase was in 1986. He also said, "I finally decided in November 1993 that enough was enough and I made it clear from that time on that the Diary of Jack the Ripper was a forgery," and "Since December 1993 I have been trying, through the press, the Publishers, the Author of the Book, Mrs Harrison, and my Agent Doreen Montgomery to expose the fraud of ' The Diary of Jack the Ripper" but he didn't make his forgery "confession" until June 1994 (firstly to Shirley Harrison on 21st June and then to Harold Brough of the Liverpool Daily Post three days later). He said that Tony Devereux died "late May early June 1990" when it was August 1991 . So there would be nothing odd about Mike making another error when he dated the acquisition of the guardbook. He was drinking very heavily at the time and clearly one has to make allowances when it comes to chronology, especially as he also makes clear in the affidavit that he acquired his red diary BEFORE the guardbook and we know for a fact that the red diary was acquired in March 1992.
              It’s interesting that you don’t quite rest on Mike’s mental state, heavy drinking and KS to explain his discrepancies but also allow in the possibility he may have been lying and duplicitous enough to post date his purchase of the Amstrad by 5 years and three months. I always wondered if he had back-dated his research notes to August 1991 in order to support his claim of launching himself into extensive research intending to write the story of the diary himself? Your “rather obvious explanation” regarding the word processor suggests this is exactly what he did - so I think you should award yourself the other half of that cigar Roger!

              KS

              Comment


              • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                Correction to the above. purchases=purposes. I pulled a you-know-who.

                It has occurred to me, Keith, that Mike's claim of the disks being destroyed by his sister would mean that this alleged destruction would have taken place after June 1994. There is no confirmation of this story, of course, and no reason whatsoever to accept it without evidence, but it does kind of, sort of, leave one wondering where the idea took hold that the disk(s) were still in the Barrett household in November 1993 as reported by Kenneth Rendell.
                This is what I am trying to resolve Roger. The notion that a word processor had been found in Mike Barrett’s home with the Diary on disk can be traced back to Shirley Harrison’s 1998 Blake edition of her book (p.260) where she is informed of this ‘sinister development’ by Kenneth Rendell in November 1993. As previously mentioned, I talked freely with Mike Barrett about his word processor when I chatted with him in Liverpool Library on April 14th 1994.
                Here is a fuller summary of that part of the interview...

                MB talks about when he claims to have got his word processor. Says his diary research notes were scribbled in his “terrible” handwriting and all over the place, and that Anne was working at the time, Sept, Oct, Nov 1991. He claims to have bought the wp second hand to input his notes, Anne showing him how to use the keyboard and correcting his spelling. MB didn’t bother to keep his handwritten notes afterwards.
                KS asks if diary transcript was typed or done on the wp, as SH was unable to tell which. MB says he definitely used the wp and asks if PF would like the back up disk, though MB says he now keeps nothing in the house. MB claims all copies were printed off the wp, not photocopied.


                So again another variation...

                On May 10th 1994 Doreen Montgomery wrote to Nick Warren (who was working closely with Melvin Harris)...

                “And as for Mike’s WP, of course we know what the SFS [Serious Fraud Squad] found – a transcript of
                the Diary! There’s nothing sinister in that. Right from the word go, everyone knew that Mike had bought
                a WP precisely to transcribe the Diary, in order to study its content more easily. Perhaps it is also advisable
                to keep in mind the SFS/CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] have dropped their investigations and, indeed, how
                could they do otherwise?”

                So again another variation...

                At the beginning of November 2015, Mike Barrett wrote that the first time he went to London with the Diary [April 13th 1992]
                he took a copy of the transcript with him and handed it to Doreen Montgomery and Shirley Harrison, which they kept, in order for them to understand the Diary. He made it clear (November 2015) there were two floppy discs with some of his notes and a
                transcription on it and these he would leave to his family.

                Mike Barrett died at the end of January 2016.
                Doreen Montgomery died at the end of November 2017
                Nick Warren died (I believe) in December 2018.

                KS

                Comment


                • Hi Keith. Just popping in for a brief moment with one foot out the door...

                  Originally posted by Keith
                  Thank you for clearing up the reason for Mike's contradictions in his January 5th 1995 Affidavit which were due to his mental state-- to which I suppose can be added his KS. David follows a similar line...
                  I didn't use the word "contradictions" I used the word "discrepancies." There is a difference, don't you think? Barrett states 1985, but it was 1986. This discrepancy doesn't really make the least bit of difference, does it? It doesn't contradict any other known 'fact,' and doesn't appear to have any transparent motive lurking behind it?


                  Regarding Korsakoff's syndrome and those who have voiced doubt that Barrett had it.

                  In part 3 of the "Maybrick" podcasts, starting around the 5:45 minute mark, Shirley Harrison, who is speaking on Radio Merseyside, states that Barrett was "diagnosed" with "confabulation" due to his heavy alcoholism, and she has a "statement from the hospital" that proves this. Of course, one isn't diagnosed with confabulation--confabulation is a symptom. She means Korsakoff's syndrome. (She reveals the specific disease elsewhere). Shirley states this statement dates to "two years" ago, and since her Merseyside talk is in September 1995, this would be in 1993. But I suspect Shirley is talking loosely and the hospital's signed statement actually dates to June/July 1994 shortly after Mike's confession to Brough. The reason Harrison and Mike's lawyers would be interested in getting a signed statement of the diagnosis, other than any humanitarian motive, would be to "explain" Mike's confession to Brough as drunk talk. I don't recall if this statement was published in the Blake update.

                  Anyway, I agree with Lord Orsam's assessment. Tipsy Mike mixes his dates like a bartender mixes a sloppy martini. Although some have implied that Barrett was somehow "put up" to his signed confession of 5 January 1995 by Alan Gray, or that something tawdry was going on behind the scenes, the affidavit would only have any legal validity as a "statement" if it was in Mike's own words. Alan Gray knew the Amstrad was purchased in April 1986--he had the receipt from Dixon's or at least a photocopy of the receipt and you report above that this receipt was being faxed around in June 1994. So if this is Gray "ghost-writing" for Barrett, he would have the correct date. But it isn't Gray speaking in the affidavit. It's Barrett making the statement and he wrongly states 1985. Again, this is a very small error for which no meaning can be attached. The error makes no difference in the bigger picture. Or am I wrong? Can you attach any meaning to it? Have a good week.

                  PS. That's the last time I'm going to fix those annoying little boxes that pop up in the place of apostrophes and quotation marks. If Ryder's webmaster can't be bothered to adjust the software, I can't be bothered to fix them in the future. I will have to learn to write sentences without apostrophes. "The lawyer of Mike," rather than "Mike's lawyer."
                  Last edited by rjpalmer; 08-27-2019, 02:07 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                    PS. That's the last time I'm going to fix those annoying little boxes that pop up in the place of apostrophes and quotation marks.
                    I've noticed that with some posters, too, Roger. Are you typing your text into Word first, and then copying/pasting into the forum's text editor? I know some people like to do that, so perhaps that's the issue here? If so, maybe typing into, and copying/pasting from, a plain text editor (like Notepad on Windows or TextEdit on Mac) might take the curse off things. Personally, I just type directly into the forum's text editor box, and I've never had the "little boxes" problem.
                    Last edited by Sam Flynn; 08-27-2019, 05:48 PM.
                    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                    "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                    Comment


                    • Thank you Roger. “Discrepancies” is fine with me. I suppose if I was making/swearing an affidavit in a solicitor’s office I would try and ensure all the facts I provided were accurate and probably take in with me documents for reference, but then that’s just me. You’ll know from having listened to the Alan Gray tapes that he says to Mike a few weeks before he makes the affidavit that he has to be seen to be telling the truth. Perhaps he added that it didn’t matter if there were a few factual discrepancies because people would always make allowances for Mike’s mental state, heavy drinking and emotional turmoil. In that respect, he was spot on.

                      Amongst the few medical records I have of Mike’s I’ve never seen a hospital statement. David may have uncovered it though? It’s a great pity you did not think of writing to Shirley Harrison for information – or maybe you did?

                      KS

                      Comment


                      • Roger,

                        I meant to tack onto the end of my previous post ... you’ll know from the Alan Gray tapes that on January 26th 1995, three weeks after Mike’s Affidavit, (which was meant to put an end to the Diary once and for all – or have I got that wrong as well?). Alan is again with Mike continuing to search for the evidence that Mike and Anne jointly created the Diary. Mike makes an interesting aside to Alan that he’ll never “grass on a mate” before moving on to explain to Alan that he (Mike) was responsible for faking the watch as well. Who do you think this “mate” might have been?

                        I also meant to ask you if you can offer any explanation why Mike did not give Alan Gray the O&L auction ticket?

                        KS

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                          By the way, my sole purpose in revising this thread was to bring everyone's attention to the passage in Ripper Diary that recount's Barrett's statement at Camille Wolff's gathering in 1999. Barrett stated that the diary did not physically exist when he first called Doreen Montgomery in March 1992. What struck me, if my memory was correct, is that he stated the same thing to Gray back in 1994. (I am still attempting to confirm this). Further, the "11 day" span he alludes to also agrees with his confession of January 1995. The most relevant point, however, is that this statement is seemingly confirmed by the documentation provided by David Orsam in the first two posts on this thread. How on earth could the addle-minded and supposedly clueless Barrett have known this would be the case unless he had lived through it, and it had some basis in fact? I think this point deserves very careful consideration, because it goes to the heart of the questions of Who? When? And why?

                          No one has commented on this, nor seems to even appreciate the implications...
                          Hi rj,

                          I'm pretty sure I have commented on how Mike might have come up with his 11 day miracle [sorry, creation]. He only had to recall the brief but hectic time between a) calling Doreen on 9th March 1992 about the diary he had just acquired and was trying to make sense of; and b) taking that diary to London on 13th April 1992 to show Doreen and co. Between those two dates he had been waiting for the results of his telephone enquiry for a surviving example of an unused or partly used Victorian diary [-------- fill in the blanks with your preferred explanation] and the little 1891 specimen was finally delivered to Goldie Street around 28th March. This was clearly no help to him at all [regardless of what he had wanted it for], but by then he had only ten more school run days to do before the end of the Spring term and Caroline's Easter holidays, when he'd be free to swan off excitedly to London to show off his precious diary.

                          I plan on being in the UK in 2021. If you're still around and interested, how about if you, I, James, Lord Orsam, Caz, and Ike, etc., hoist a glass of ale (or mineral water) down the boozer and invited Anne to accompany us and put this thing to bed once and for all? In the words of the great Yogi Berra, these conversations tend to be like "déjà vu all over again," and wouldn't it be nice to find some resolution?
                          I'm not sure that two of the attendees would describe any resolution as 'nice', and if Anne accepted the invitation I'd make that three disgruntled attendees. Nice idea though. I'd love it! A genuine one off event. But I'd give the mineral water a miss.

                          Love,

                          Caz
                          X

                          PS One off one off one off tick tick tick.....

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


                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by caz View Post
                            I'm not sure that two of the attendees would describe any resolution as 'nice', and if Anne accepted the invitation I'd make that three disgruntled attendees. Nice idea though. I'd love it! A genuine one off event. But I'd give the mineral water a miss.
                            Well, if Anne declines we can always leave her an empty chair, like the one left for Trump during the G7's summit on climate change.

                            PS. I'll respond to Keith's latest post in a day or three, but it will be utterly disappointing. Cheers.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by harry View Post
                              Ike,
                              As a matter of interest,I did find the use of one off in a British newspaper of 1871. 24-6-1871 .It relates to a one off sale of goods.Page 3 of a180 page edition.
                              Hi All,

                              Harry's reference was from the Kingston Gleaner (a Jamaican newspaper) and - as good a spot as it was - it does not appear to be the 'one off instance' we were all hoping for. Unfortunately, despite the clipping below showing the intriguing ‘CURRANTS - Barrels Fresh Zante Currants, one off retail at 6d per lb’ the same advertisement also shows the contrary ‘CRUSHED SUGAR - Barrels Clean and Dry Crushed Sugar, a few on retail, at 7.25d per lb’ and ‘CASSIA LIGNEA - Five Chests Cassia Lignea, one on retail at 2s per lb’. I don’t know what ‘off retail’ and ‘on retail’ mean in this context, but the latter seems to prevent the interpretation of the former as being the equivalent of a ‘one off instance’. Very disappointing, but it would appear that Harry’s source isn’t the example we need to put Lord Orsam’s theory to bed.

                              Ike

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                              Iconoclast
                              Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                              Comment


                              • Good grief. It doesn't appear to say "off." It looks like the word "on" with a dark spot on the paper, or an ink smudge at the top of the "n." The ad is saying that a few of the barrels are "on retail," the others evidently being sold wholesale.

                                Hope springs eternal, I suppose.

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