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  • #46
    Originally posted by Bridewell View Post
    The word "shall" is less used now than once it was. I was always taught that (poetry aside) "shall" was only ever to be used in the first person...
    Off-topic, but that reminds me of an observation by Henning Wehn, the splendid German comedian based in London:

    "When I studied English at school, I learned to conjugate the verb 'to be' as: I am, you are, he/she/it is, we are, you (plural) are, they are. However, when I arrived in London, I discovered that I should be saying: I was, you was, he/she/it was, we was, you was, they was"
    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

    "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

    Comment


    • #47
      Hi Colin

      I thought that "I shall" and "we shall" were simple future, whereas "you shall" (as in "you shall go to the ball") and "he, she, it, they shall" (as in "they shall not pass") were expressive of a determination.

      Conversely, "he, she, it, they will" is simple future whereas "I, they will" is expressive of a determination as in "I will have my own way."

      Comment


      • #48
        Dick Dastardly's Diary

        Originally posted by Bridewell View Post
        The word "shall" is less used now than once it was. I was always taught that (poetry aside) "shall" was only ever to be used in the first person; therefore "I shall" and "we shall" are correct, but "you shall", "he, she or it shall" and "they shall" are not. We're not hot on grammar now (more's the pity perhaps) but the Victorians were. How well educated was James Maybrick?
        Hi Colin,

        I suppose the question really ought to be: How well educated did the author of the diary think Jim was?

        Or even: How well educated did the author want "Sir Jim/Jack the Ripper" to appear?

        "Sir Jim's" obsession with trying to be clever - an evil genius - works so well as a piss take with his flowery but flawed use of language, that I can't help but feel the whole thing was written that way by design.

        Love,

        Caz
        X
        Last edited by caz; 10-30-2017, 06:06 AM.
        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


        Comment


        • #49
          On the Street Where He Lives

          Long post alert…

          Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
          On one hand, a sensible person might conclude (textual difficulties aside) that this is more direct evidence that the journal didn't come out of Battlecrease; on the other, the possibility that a certain blood-and-bone fixture at the Saddle might have overheard the electricians mentioning their renovations can't be entirely dismissed.
          Hi rj,

          I've quoted the above to highlight the fact that your current thinking is going deeper than what I recall from one of the first posts of yours I ever read, which was along the lines of: "Mike confessed, isn't that all we need to know?"

          I wonder if we could go even deeper than this to explore the rather novel idea that Mike might have learned about work going on at Battlecrease and timed his call to Doreen to fit in with the floorboards having just been lifted in Maybrick's old bedroom.

          There are three scenarios we could examine here, but all must take into account Mike's "dead pal" story, assuming this was told to conceal or disguise the truth.

          The one constant is that Mike has to have a story ready for the first person who pops the inevitable question: "So, where did you get it, Mike?" And we know what that story is. He says it came from Tony Devereux, either because he knows it's a recent fake, or because he got it from an electrician who has sworn him to secrecy. His personal motives for lying are clear enough in both cases, but he can't have come up with the idea of using Tony before the man died, which was in August 1991. By March 1992 he has his story in place and decides to call Doreen.

          Leaving aside the question of whether or not the fake or recently stolen diary is actually in Mike's hands when he makes that call, we have to decide if he is aware that those floorboards have just been lifted, which, according to the evidence would be a one-off instance, if you'll pardon the expression.

          Here is where the three scenarios come in. If Mike is aware of this, we know he does the opposite of exploiting the fact by claiming his "dead pal" gave him the diary several months back, in 1991. He is already denying this very real and potent connection between his diary and Battlecrease, long before anyone will make one, and continues to deny it for the rest of his life, so this requires a sensible explanation. He certainly isn't in the business of setting up a Battlecrease provenance for his diary, so we must look elsewhere.

          Here's one explanation I prepared earlier:

          Sometime in March 1992, a Battlecrease electrician approaches Mike in The Saddle: "Here you are, pal. Do something with it, but you didn't gerrit from me, right?"

          For Mike to do anything with it, he has to come up with some other story. He thinks – and hits on the idea quite quickly, remembering another pal, who used to drink in The Saddle and even lived on the same road as the electrician, who has been dead for around six months. Perfect. He simply backdates his acquisition of the diary to before August 1991, so he can have a housebound Tony thrust it upon him in gratitude - a funny little reward - for the errands he could feasibly have been running for him. "Do something with it, Bongo, but I'll say no more so it's no use asking." Death comes not long afterwards, relieving Tony from Mike's persistent questions, which naturally he refused to answer to the end. If Tony's daughters are highly sceptical [and they were], at least they can't prove it didn't happen.

          This story suits Mike just as much as the electrician. Mike now has control over the diary: "Dead men can't tell tales", while the electrician is protected from future accusations of theft: "He gorrit it in 1991. The floorboards only came up in 1992." They can keep this up indefinitely – "'til death [or royalties?] do us part".

          As an aside, the "dead pal" story reminds me of the patient of GP Harold Shipman, who was so grateful for his home visits and caring bedside manner that she supposedly changed her will in his favour then died unexpectedly, leaving her daughter as sceptical as Tony's were. She had every reason as it turned out.

          Rj, your entertaining 'Blue Boar' post reminded me that Mike's denial extended to the diary ever changing hands in The Saddle, or indeed any pub. He insisted it was in the Spring/Summer of 1991, and in Tony's house, which it had to be since he was housebound at that time. It was only the story circulating among the electricians that the diary was sold in a pub over in Anfield.

          It's a common enough device when telling a big fat lie, to retain or introduce elements of the truth and subtly alter the incriminating details so the result will be easy to remember and repeat and difficult to challenge or disprove if the basics will check out. So the live wire electrician becomes a real but deceased invalid; 1992 becomes 1991; the Anfield pub becomes a real house on Fountains Road; the stolen diary becomes a gift for services rendered; and Mike's persistent questions to the electrician become persistent questions to Tony instead, but the bottom line is the same. He has acquired this diary and is determined to do something with it. He can hardly deny any links with The Saddle, can he? And he has to base his story on real people and places featuring in his life at the right time. But at least he has the sense to move the centre of operations from a public house to a private one.

          Now I realise the above scenario is going down like a bucket of cold sick for those who will wave Mike's forgery confession around until it is taken from their cold, dead hands. So where are the alternative explanations, when one is sorely needed?

          I offer the following, not for a cursory glance and quick acceptance by the shallow thinkers, but for serious consideration by anyone with the will and the ability to see what's more likely, even if it's not what they wanted or expected to see.

          Firstly we have Mike, being prompted to call Doreen when he does, about the diary he has been in the process of creating over some length of time, because he has become aware of the wiring being installed in Battlecrease that very morning, and sees a need to install Tony as soon as possible, to negate the very connection with Battlecrease he is setting up himself by calling Doreen on Floorboards Day.

          Does this make any more sense than choosing that day to give his diary a Battlecrease provenance, which he then uses Tony to demolish? And don't the objections to the tight timing apply almost as much here as to any discovery made at the start of that wiring job and communicating it to Mike before close of business?

          Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
          Anyway, the date 3 May 1889 (the last line of the Diary) can't be a coincidence. The writer is obviously aware that this was the last day that James Maybrick left the house, went into work in the Knowsley Buildings as per usual, and, later that night, had a dip and an arsenic snort at the Turkish Baths. Afterwards he went home to Battlecrease and, like Jim Morrison once sang, "never made it out alive."

          So the writer, to my mind, is either hinting in the text that the provenance lies outside of Battlecrease or is deliberately distancing herself/himself from any potential Battlecrease provenance that is threatening to derail the pet project.
          Nobody as far as I recall has ever interpreted the text in this way before. How are the facts about Jim's last day at work incompatible with a discovery in the room where he died? He goes home to Battlecrease that night and the author gives no indication that the diary isn't in the house by this point, or that the final entry is written elsewhere. If that is what you think Mike was aiming for, the point was made so subtly and ambiguously that it was not only lost, but achieved the opposite effect, leaving everyone – until now - thinking this would make the ideal provenance. The diary has to have been placed somewhere on 3 May 1889, if it's going to be taken seriously, so if not Battlecrease, where? And why not make that clear in the text?

          The other alternative is that Mike just happens to call Doreen about his fake diary, with his "dead pal" story ready to go, while totally ignorant of any work being done in Battlecrease, never mind what was done that very morning. But that's not the only curious coincidence that has to be digested and regurgitated as "just one of those things". There's also the curious case of the live electrician on the Portus & Rhodes team, Eddie Lyons, whose local is not only the same as Mike's, all the way over in Anfield, and one where Tony used to drink, but whose house is on the very street where Tony was last living.

          Now I ask you, what in the name of sanity would Mike have thought, if he genuinely had had no idea about any of this when he first came up with the idea for Tony, an old Saddle regular from Fountains Road, to have given him the diary the year before? We know Mike and Eddie Lyons knew one another by June 1993, because he actually came into The Saddle one night when Robert Smith was there with Mike, and sat down with them. He even claimed he had found 'a book' under the floorboards, but said he had thrown it into a skip. Why admit any of this, unless it was to put Robert off the scent by changing a damaging rumour? Oh no, this wasn't Mike's diary, and it wasn't stolen or sold to him in this very pub. It was a different book and there was no theft involved. Eddie is in the clear and Mike's original story stands.

          Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
          I do accept Caz's point, but something tells me Melvin would have wanted a sample of the electrician's handwriting once he found out he was Devereux's neighbor!
          You'd have thought so, wouldn't you, but I'm not sure Melvin ever went down that route.

          Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
          Sorry to be a stickler for boring details, but Harrison writes (2nd edition, p. 4):

          "In recent years Mike was forced by illness to stop working. So instead he cared for the couple's daughter… Mike recalled that on his way to collect [the daughter] from school, he would often drop by the Saddle…"

          So what time did he drop in? 1 pm? 2pm? School's then out, and he takes the kiddo home, at least according to Harrison/Barrett. I make no value judgements on the wisdom of getting buzzed-up before day-care.

          Meanwhile, according to Chittenden's source, the electricians hit the pub after finishing the work-day at Battlecrease. So what time? 5 pm? 6 pm? Are they really at the same place at the same time? Plausible or no?
          Eddie Lyons wasn't on the timesheet for the week ending 10 March 1992, or at least he didn't complete one. However, he had recently worked on a job in Skelmersdale with both the men who worked in Battlecrease on 9 March. One of them, believed to have been an apprentice at the time, only worked for 2 hours [helping to lift the boards in advance of the wiring job?], while the other worked a full 8 hours, returning the following day for another 4 hours to finish the job by himself. Robert Smith speculates in his book that since Eddie wasn't working that day, he would have been free to take the diary back to Anfield and to show it to Mike in the pub before he left to collect his daughter from school. Alternatively, the apprentice electrician could have taken it to Eddie in Fountains Road after his 2 hour shift.

          Love,

          Caz
          X
          Last edited by caz; 10-30-2017, 07:02 AM.
          "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


          Comment


          • #50
            Hi Caz.

            Anne Graham must be feeling rather lonely these days. For years the Diary advocates treated her gently; now, with the new 'floor board' provenance, they are forced to call her an outright liar. It becomes so very very messy, doesn't it?

            Out of curiosity, what do you think Anne's motive was for making up this incredible yarn of having seen the Diary clear back in the 1960s? Think it through carefully, because, personally, I think it leaves you with a bit of a problem.

            Graham was already split-up with Barrett. According to Doreen Montgomery, she even initially refused to accept her share of the royalties. Although I certainly don't believe Anne, I have no reason to doubt Doreen. So it seems as though Anne was washing her hands of the affair--probably scared out of her mind at the prospect of a criminal investigation.

            If the Diary came out of the floorboards--and, sorry, there is no way in heck that I believe that it did--why did Graham throw attention onto herself and her sickly father, rather than let Mike 'swing in the wind'?

            As far as I can fathom, she had absolutely no motive to draw attention onto herself at this critical junction--certainly not to protect Mike--unless she, too, was desperate and somehow involved in the creation of the Diary. Thus, it seems to me, her strange actions strongly suggest that the so-called floor-board provenance wasn't even on her radar in 1994. If it had been, she could have simply let that 'truth' come out, and she would have been in the clear.

            Originally posted by caz View Post
            "Mike confessed, isn't that all we need to know?"
            I don't recall ever saying that. I have always believed that Barrett's confession is problematic due to the bizarre conditions under which it was created. Like I said before, it is a messy archeological dig.

            The creation of the Diary's text, and the creation of the physical Diary, are not, in my opinion, the same thing. I think two people created the text. Independently, one of those two people (Barrett) bought an old scrap book and, with A. N. Other, created the Diary. The original co-author had been duped into helping Mike. It shouldn't be hard to figure out who I mean.

            Originally posted by caz View Post
            We know Mike and Eddie Lyons knew one another by June 1993, because he actually came into The Saddle one night when Robert Smith was there with Mike, and sat down with them.
            Thanks for that; a very interesting story, and it's certainly food for thought. It sounds very cosy. Or very much like the standard 'set up' of a con game. I wonder if at any point before Eddie's arrival Barrett had the need to get up and use the men's room?

            Moving along...

            From Roger Wilke's article in the Telegraph:

            "Mr Dodd's father bought the house [Battlecrease] after the war for £2,000 and split it into two flats. In the mid-1960s, when Paul Dodd returned from his Oxford studies, he found that his father had sold the grounds to a builder for a "mews development". The river view and Gothic-sounding Battlecrease name vanished, too."

            Interesting. It seems to me there are a few relevant points that need to be resolved. Before 1993, was Mr. Dodd even aware that this 'flat' was Maybrick's former home? At any point did he mention this fact to the electrical contractors before they began their work?

            All the best, RP

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
              Thanks for that; a very interesting story, and it's certainly food for thought.
              One thing I would say RP is that one always has to be careful of sleight of hand in posts by some people in here. There is nothing remarkable about Mike and Eddie Lyons knowing each other in June 1993 and Eddie sitting with Mike and Robert Smith in the Saddle at that time. This is because, as Feldman, tells us, Mike had already confronted Eddie Lyons at his home about his claim that he had taken the diary from Battlecrease "in 1989". In June 1993 it had actually been arranged by Mike that Lyons would be in the Saddle in order to meet Robert Smith so there was nothing odd about Lyons sitting down with them.

              The question is how Mike knew where Eddie Lyons lived when Feldman told him that he had claimed to have found the Diary. Well, according to Robert Smith, Feldman did not mention Lyons’ name to Mike when he told him what the electrician was claiming (“no name was given” he says). But Feldman himself does not say this in his book. He merely says that “Within twenty-four hours, Mike Barrett had knocked on the door of the said electrician; he accused him of lying and told him he would never do a deal.” Given that Feldman expresses no surprise whatsoever that Mike knew that Lyons was the electrician he was referring to, it seems pretty obvious to me that Feldman must have given him Lyons’ name. That being so, Mike could have made enquiries and tracked him down to his home.

              And that being so, the meeting in June 1993 is wholly unremarkable.

              It should be noted that in early 1993, Feldman asked all of the Portus & Rhodes electricians he spoke to if they drank at the Saddle. It turned out that one of them did: an electrician who lived close to the Saddle (i.e. Eddie Lyons). For me, it is not especially remarkable that one of the nine Liverpool Portus & Rhodes electricians drank at a particular pub in Liverpool. We need to keep very strongly in mind that it might well have been the fact that Lyons drank in the Saddle which led to him becoming the prime suspect who was supposed to have discovered the diary.

              Let me explain. Let’s assume that Arthur Rigby knew that Lyons drank at the Saddle. What happened is that he (Rigby) was asked by Feldman if he drank at the Saddle. He didn’t but he knew that Lyons did. Rigby was also asked if he remembered anything being found at Dodd’s property. So immediately – from the information he had been given in the questions - Rigby could easily have convinced himself that Lyons had been involved in finding something and has passed it on to Devereux and Barrett (Feldman also having asked Rigby if he knew these two men).

              So the story begins. Rigby named Lyons as the electrician who found the diary. Perhaps he had a vague memory of something being found years earlier but it could have been anything (including the newspaper that Rhodes said had been found in Battlecrease). Lyons himself was happy to go along with it. But he said that he found a diary in 1989. So what this has to do with the 1992 timesheet I have no idea.

              If, as I suspect, Feldman named Lyons to Mike this could explain how Mike came to know Lyons.

              According to Robert Smith, Lyons “asserted that he had never met Barrett previously”. This strikes me as pretty important. To the best of my knowledge, Mike never said that he knew Lyons before Lyons claimed to have found the diary. Feldman spoke to the landlord of the Saddle who said he remembered Mike coming in for drinks but there is no evidence from him that he or anyone else ever saw Mike and Lyons drinking together.

              In short, there is no good evidence that the two men knew each other in 1992 or at any time before 1993.

              Comment


              • #52
                What particularly amuses me is the amount of total speculation involved in the argument that the Diary came out of Battlecrease on 9 March 1992. Yes of course, perhaps Coufopolous lifted the floorboards and found the Diary and yes of course perhaps Eddie Lyons popped over to Battlecrease and then took the Diary round to his mate Mike who got straight on the phone to Doreen…or perhaps Eddie just told him about the diary and Mike made the call….or any number of possibilities. Even better is the hint of a suggestion that perhaps Eddie Lyons was actually working at Battlecrease on 9 March 1992 but didn’t complete a timesheet! A wonderful admission that the timesheet evidence is deficient in proving the Battlecrease provenance.

                So we have a lot of maybes but then maybe not. The problem is the lack of evidence. Coufopolous basically denied that he found the Diary - because he said that Rigby might have found it. There is no evidence that he lifted the floorboards, no evidence that he was working at Battlecrease in the morning rather than the afternoon and no real evidence of which I am aware that the floorboards were even lifted at any time on 9 March 1992. Even if they were, there is zero evidence that a diary (or anything at all) was found under those floorboards, or anywhere else, on 9 March 1992. Not a jot of evidence places Eddie Lyons at, or anywhere near, Battlecrease on that day. Lyons claimed to have found the diary at Battlecrease in 1989. How is THAT explained? Nothing in the timesheet evidence actually matches the stories which have been told since 1993 about the discovery of the Diary, and the timesheet evidence is actually inconsistent with most of those stories.

                Yes there is an argument - a speculative argument - which can be made that the Diary was found under the floorboards on 9 March 1992 - but that’s all. And that argument has barely advanced from the Battlecrease provenance argument that has existed since publication of Feldman's book in 1997, twenty years ago. I was under the impression that the timesheet evidence was going to be the final conclusive proof that the diary was not a modern forgery and was going to end all doubt that the Diary came from Battlecrease. It most certainly has not done that. It’s just an argument. There is also an argument, which has just as much validity, that the Diary had been in Anne Graham’s family for years. There is also an argument that Mike Barrett was involved in forging the diary in 1992. For me, that is the strongest argument because no-one seems to be able to explain why Mike wanted to get his hands on a Victorian diary with blank pages in March 1992. I have also yet to see an explanation as to how a phrase like "one off instance" which did not exist in 1889 could possibly have found its way into a diary buried under the floorboards of Battlecrease.

                So all we have is yet another speculative argument based around a coincidence. An argument. Nothing more nothing less. Not conclusive. And not compelling.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                  We need to keep very strongly in mind that it might well have been the fact that Lyons drank in the Saddle which led to him becoming the prime suspect who was supposed to have discovered the diary.
                  Thank you, David. A good point and very plausible.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                    Hi Caz.

                    Anne Graham must be feeling rather lonely these days. For years the Diary advocates treated her gently; now, with the new 'floor board' provenance, they are forced to call her an outright liar. It becomes so very very messy, doesn't it?
                    Well rj, the truth is likely to be messy in this saga, isn't it? And so be it, if it forces people to rethink previous theories about how the diary got into Mike's grubby paws.

                    Out of curiosity, what do you think Anne's motive was for making up this incredible yarn of having seen the Diary clear back in the 1960s? Think it through carefully, because, personally, I think it leaves you with a bit of a problem.
                    Me, rj? Not sure what you mean because I don't have a problem with where the truth lies; I only have a problem with those who want it to be something it isn't.

                    Who really knows another person's motives for doing or saying anything? I wouldn't claim to know how Anne's mind was working in the Spring/Summer of 1994, but as a woman who has been divorced myself, I can only imagine her reaction to Mike telling the papers that he had forged the diary himself! She must have worried initially that everyone would think she knew and had kept quiet.

                    Graham was already split-up with Barrett. According to Doreen Montgomery, she even initially refused to accept her share of the royalties. Although I certainly don't believe Anne, I have no reason to doubt Doreen. So it seems as though Anne was washing her hands of the affair--probably scared out of her mind at the prospect of a criminal investigation.
                    I tend to agree with you there, rj.

                    If the Diary came out of the floorboards--and, sorry, there is no way in heck that I believe that it did--why did Graham throw attention onto herself and her sickly father, rather than let Mike 'swing in the wind'?
                    Because, as I said, his forgery claim - no matter how ridiculous she knew it was - would inevitably make the less well informed think she must have been in on it too. And she wouldn't have been far wrong, would she?

                    As far as I can fathom, she had absolutely no motive to draw attention onto herself at this critical junction--certainly not to protect Mike--unless she, too, was desperate and somehow involved in the creation of the Diary.
                    There, you can see where we part company on this one, while using similar logic. According to Anne herself, her motive to spill family beans - true or false - was to stop Paul Feldman pestering her friends and relatives day and night by focusing his mad theorising on herself [and, by consent, her father]. Whether this rings true or not, it was her reasoning, not mine. He was nothing if not absolutely determined that Anne could provide him with the inside story he needed for the film project to come off.

                    Thus, it seems to me, her strange actions strongly suggest that the so-called floor-board provenance wasn't even on her radar in 1994. If it had been, she could have simply let that 'truth' come out, and she would have been in the clear.
                    I have no idea what she knew about the electricians in 1994, but she did ask Mike the previous year, in company, if he had nicked it, and the floorboard rumours began back in 1992. There is no denying that the floorboards in Maybrick's old bedroom were lifted on just the one day - the same day Mike made his first documented enquiry about the diary - whether Anne knew this and connected the dots or not. My guess is that Mike himself may never have been told when the floorboards were lifted, and died in ignorance of the fact that he had set up a connection himself by calling Doreen on the same day. Had he known the significance, and suspected the diary may have been stolen that very morning from Battlecrease of all places, what would have possessed him to make that call when he did? Conversely, what would have possessed him to make the call that day, if he knew the floorboards had just been lifted, but had faked the diary and was going to say Devereux had given it to him in 1991?

                    The creation of the Diary's text, and the creation of the physical Diary, are not, in my opinion, the same thing. I think two people created the text. Independently, one of those two people (Barrett) bought an old scrap book and, with A. N. Other, created the Diary. The original co-author had been duped into helping Mike. It shouldn't be hard to figure out who I mean.
                    So do you actually believe the floorboards and Eddie Lyons were both totally random, unconnected coincidences? I would find that astonishing, but there you are. Any ideas whose handwriting appears in the diary? Not Maybrick's, not Mike's, not Anne's, not Kane's, not Devereux's. So whose? Melvin Harris's perhaps? Oh what a joke that would be.

                    Thanks for that; a very interesting story, and it's certainly food for thought. It sounds very cosy. Or very much like the standard 'set up' of a con game. I wonder if at any point before Eddie's arrival Barrett had the need to get up and use the men's room?
                    Well yeah, that's the point. Robert Smith has no doubt he was being 'set up' by the two pals. Eddie was to come in, as if by chance, tell Robert his story and go. Don't forget, Mike and Eddie were both adamant that the diary [which had been in Robert's possession for three months by then] had not come from the house. So they needed a cover story to quash all the rumours that had been circulating about a book found under the floorboards. Why would they need any such story if they both knew nothing had been found?

                    From Roger Wilke's article in the Telegraph:

                    "Mr Dodd's father bought the house [Battlecrease] after the war for £2,000 and split it into two flats. In the mid-1960s, when Paul Dodd returned from his Oxford studies, he found that his father had sold the grounds to a builder for a "mews development". The river view and Gothic-sounding Battlecrease name vanished, too."

                    Interesting. It seems to me there are a few relevant points that need to be resolved. Before 1993, was Mr. Dodd even aware that this 'flat' was Maybrick's former home? At any point did he mention this fact to the electrical contractors before they began their work?

                    All the best, RP
                    I believe Paul Dodd was always well aware that the Maybricks had lived there prior to Jim's death and Florie's trial for his murder. Whether he thought to mention this, or to refer to his home by its former name of 'Battlecrease', when he had workman there, I couldn't say. But an electrician - and then Mike - would only need to look at the second page of the diary to see 'I may return to Battlecrease' and they could work out the rest for themselves.

                    If you are suggesting that Dodd may have told the electricians, in advance, that they would be lifting floorboards in Maybrick's old bedroom, and that information could have come to Mike's ears in the pub, prompting him to leap into action with his recently faked diary, I think you could have more than 'a bit of a problem'.

                    What do you think Mike's motive would have been for setting up a connection between the floorboards and his diary by calling Doreen on the same day, but then insisting he got it from Devereux the previous year? And how was he able to confirm that the floorboards had indeed been lifted before making the call? Or might he have taken a chance that the job had not been delayed for any reason?

                    Love,

                    Caz
                    X
                    Last edited by caz; 11-16-2017, 06:24 AM.
                    "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                      One thing I would say RP is that one always has to be careful of sleight of hand in posts by some people in here.
                      David is not wrong there.

                      Watch it in action.

                      Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                      There is nothing remarkable about Mike and Eddie Lyons knowing each other in June 1993 and Eddie sitting with Mike and Robert Smith in the Saddle at that time. This is because, as Feldman, tells us, Mike had already confronted Eddie Lyons at his home about his claim that he had taken the diary from Battlecrease "in 1989". In June 1993 it had actually been arranged by Mike that Lyons would be in the Saddle in order to meet Robert Smith so there was nothing odd about Lyons sitting down with them.
                      This is what I wrote:

                      Originally posted by caz View Post
                      We know Mike and Eddie Lyons knew one another by June 1993, because he actually came into The Saddle one night when Robert Smith was there with Mike, and sat down with them.
                      It is faintly insulting to rj to suggest he can't read and might have been misled into assuming the two conspirators were old chums by March 1992. And I didn't use the word 'odd' to describe the meeting. I was simply giving rj some information he didn't apparently have before. I have to wonder why the main point is being pushed to one side though - that Mike and Eddie were working together at that point to fob Robert off with a story about some other book Eddie had found under the floorboards, but had not stolen, and had not sold to Mike in that very pub. As I don't think anyone here believes Eddie was telling the truth, the question becomes why did he make the effort to go and meet Robert and Mike in the pub and tell that particular lie if all the floorboard rumours were completely false?

                      Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                      Let’s assume that Arthur Rigby knew that Lyons drank at the Saddle. What happened is that he (Rigby) was asked by Feldman if he drank at the Saddle. He didn’t but he knew that Lyons did. Rigby was also asked if he remembered anything being found at Dodd’s property. So immediately – from the information he had been given in the questions - Rigby could easily have convinced himself that Lyons had been involved in finding something and has passed it on to Devereux and Barrett (Feldman also having asked Rigby if he knew these two men).
                      That's assuming Rigby knew anything about Devereux or Barrett, but didn't know the former had died in August 1991. What he did know was that neither he nor Lyons was working or finding anything in Dodd's house before the wiring job he worked on himself in March 1992.

                      Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                      So the story begins. Rigby named Lyons as the electrician who found the diary. Perhaps he had a vague memory of something being found years earlier but it could have been anything (including the newspaper that Rhodes said had been found in Battlecrease). Lyons himself was happy to go along with it. But he said that he found a diary in 1989. So what this has to do with the 1992 timesheet I have no idea.
                      Nor me. Rigby and Lyons were not working in Battlecrease for Portus & Rhodes back in 1989. In fact, none of the 1992 team of electricians were.

                      Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                      According to Robert Smith, Lyons “asserted that he had never met Barrett previously”. This strikes me as pretty important. To the best of my knowledge, Mike never said that he knew Lyons before Lyons claimed to have found the diary.
                      Well he wouldn't, would he? He denied to his dying day that the diary had come from the house. He was furious when he thought Lyons was about to ruin everything. He wasn't likely to spend much time down the pub with the man suspected of selling him stolen property, was he? Nobody has suggested they were any more bosom buddies than Mike and Tony Devereux were. Mike was just a go-to guy with his big ideas about writing and his contacts in the publishing world.

                      Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                      In short, there is no good evidence that the two men knew each other in 1992 or at any time before 1993.
                      So back we go to the question of what prompted Mike to make his first documented enquiry about the diary on Floorboards Day.

                      Two one-off instances to be grappled with. Should be a doddle - without the need for any sleight of hand or diversions from the point.

                      Love,

                      Caz
                      X
                      Last edited by caz; 11-16-2017, 07:44 AM.
                      "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                        What particularly amuses me is the amount of total speculation involved in the argument that the Diary came out of Battlecrease on 9 March 1992.
                        I actually agree with this. Don't faint.

                        Where there have been various claims and denials by those involved, the gaps have to be filled with speculation - or left as gaps.

                        But the same goes for the various claims and denials by Anne and Mike about the diary's supposed origins, so I'm not sure how useful it is to express amusement about the speculation involved in one particular scenario, then to argue with a straight face for another one that is at least as speculative, if not more so, given the known credibility issues with Mike. At least with the electricians, and various other witnesses, there are multiple individual accounts and recollections of the same basic story, which can be explored for consistency and checked against as many known facts as possible.

                        Where there is only Mike and his contradictory claims over the years [apart from his one consistent denial of a Battlecrease provenance], the speculation has always been in danger of running wild and totally out of control. If we could only have been a fly on the wall when he was writing any of his published magazine articles back in the day, would anyone be speculating today that he had a hand in creating the diary himself, or that whoever did would have let him within a million miles of the project? Not a chance IMHO.

                        ...no real evidence of which I am aware that the floorboards were even lifted at any time on 9 March 1992.
                        I struggle to understand how that particular wiring job could have been done without first lifting the floorboards, or why else Portus & Rhodes would have needed floorboard protectors for the job. But no matter. It's obviously a sore point and one that gets in the way of a straightforward "Mike forged it and confessed and nobody was anywhere near any floorboards in that bedroom in that house on the day he called Doreen about his fake diary", or it wouldn't be an issue that needs doubt thrown at it.

                        Lyons claimed to have found the diary at Battlecrease in 1989. How is THAT explained?
                        Is Paul Feldman the source for this claim? In June 1993 Lyons was certainly denying finding 'the' diary at all, and I doubt he made any such claim when Scotland Yard were questioning the electricians four months later. So I'm with you. How would such a claim be explained, if he wasn't working in the house back in 1989 and this could be proved?

                        There is also an argument that Mike Barrett was involved in forging the diary in 1992. For me, that is the strongest argument because no-one seems to be able to explain why Mike wanted to get his hands on a Victorian diary with blank pages in March 1992.
                        If Mike was only shown the old book - signed Jack the Ripper, followed by blank pages - briefly on March 9th, and asked if he might be able to 'fence' it, he would have been left with little idea, when first speaking to Doreen, of what he would actually be flogging. Might that begin to make some sense of his equally impetuous telephone enquiry, made around the same time, for a real Victorian diary with blank pages, to give him some idea while he waited to see the old book again and hopefully to buy it cheaply for himself? If the diary only changed hands after Doreen's positive reaction, it would also explain why Mike had delayed setting a date to bring it to London.

                        I have also yet to see an explanation as to how a phrase like "one off instance" which did not exist in 1889 could possibly have found its way into a diary buried under the floorboards of Battlecrease.
                        But there were many years between 1889 and 1992, for a resourceful person to gain access to those floorboards and to bury something beneath them. Why assume it had to be 1889 or never?

                        Love,

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


                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Some people clearly need to be reminded of the first post in this thread in which it is shown that the advert placed in Bookseller on behalf of Mike Barrett stated:

                          “Unused or partly used diary dating from 1880-1890, must have at least 20 blank pages”

                          So, for Mike Barrett, a completely blank diary was something that would have been perfectly acceptable and something for which he was willing to pay to obtain. The notion, therefore, that he wanted to acquire a Victorian diary to somehow compare it to a Jack the Ripper diary which he had been shown briefly makes absolutely no sense. The idea that he wanted it for any reason other than to write in that diary, or for someone else to write in that diary, has no credibility.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            That Mike attempted to acquire a Victorian diary with blank pages, and did actually acquire such a diary, is one of the few hard facts we possess amongst all the smoke and mirrors. It needs to be considered properly as to why Mike made this acquisition.

                            The other hard fact is that two electricians (neither of whom was Eddie Lyons) were working in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992. That’s it. To me that is not in any way remarkable. It is not actually a fact that they lifted the floorboards on that date. It is certainly not a fact that they found anything under those floorboards.

                            I have no idea why we are being required to assume that the floorboards were lifted on 9 March 1992. Perhaps they were, but the timesheet evidence was supposed to be the gold standard evidence that finally gave us a Battlecrease provenance! So why do we have to assume anything?

                            As far as I am aware, floorboard protectors are not used as implements to lift floorboards so how does the fact that the words "floorboard protectors" appears on the timesheet prove that the floorboards were lifted? The timesheet shows that on 9 and 10 March wire for a socket and storage heater was being installed on the first floor. I am not an electrician or plumber so I have no idea if this would have required the lifting of any floorboards. But if such floorboards were lifted how do we know that they were not lifted on 10 March rather than 9 March? But if the floorboards were lifted on 9 March, how do we know that they were not lifted late in the afternoon? And how do we know that Mike did not make his call to Doreen Montgomery first thing in the morning of 9 March?

                            All these gaps in the evidence are gaps we are being asked to fill with our imagination to make the story of the discovery of the diary fit with a bare timesheet which tells us very little.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              I’m sure everyone agrees that it is not satisfactory for a poster to simply make bald statements without providing any supporting evidence. If none of the 1992 electricians from Portus and Rhodes worked in Battlecrease in 1989 where is the evidence for it?

                              According to Robert Smith, "Electrical work on the ground floor [of Battlecrease] was indeed done in 1989". Who did this work?

                              Robert Smith tells us that "No electrical work had taken place in Battlecrease House during the six months prior to 9th March 1992" which takes us back to 9 September 1991, but what about the two or three years before 9 September 1991? I see no evidence anywhere of what work was done in Battlecrease or who did it.

                              According to James Johnston’s recent essay, "The second phase of rewiring included the installation of night storage radiators; fitted over the course of three years, finishing in July 1992". So what is the evidence about the first phase of rewiring? Who did this? And if the night storage radiators were "fitted over the course of three years" where is the evidence about the work in those three years, prior to 1992?

                              It’s time for people to put up or shut up and if anyone wants to demonstrate that Eddie Lyons never set foot in Battlecrease before 15 July 1992 let’s have the evidence to show this.

                              It should be recalled that Mike Barrett was genuinely being asked to give up five percent of his proceeds from the Diary on the basis that Eddie Lyons found the Diary in Battlecrease in 1989. Given that this must have been a fabricated story I really don’t know why are supposed to believe that Eddie Lyons had any involvement in finding a Diary in Battlecrease at any time.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                If anyone understands the significance of the fact that Eddie Lyons “actually came into the Saddle one night [in June 1993] when Robert Smith was there with Mike and sat down” perhaps they can explain it to me. Why was it ever mentioned in this thread? To simply give some information to RJ that he apparently didn’t know before? Do me a favour!

                                The fact of the matter is that the June 1993 meeting is completely irrelevant. Robert Smith explains why. He says in his book:

                                “I asked Barrett if he could arrange for me to meet Lyons. He could, so on Saturday 26th June 1993, I drove up to Liverpool to stay with the Barretts at 12, Goldie Street. I suggested meeting Lyons that evening in the Saddle. He strolled from the house to the pub, and at about 10pm Lyons came in and sat down with us.”

                                So the meeting was entirely set up by Robert Smith. Something that was not mentioned at all when being referred to earlier in this thread. But if you didn’t know this you might well have thought that the fact that Eddie Lyons came into the Saddle one night in June 1993 and sat down with Mike Barrett had some significance. To say in the context of this encounter that “We know that Mike and Eddie Lyons knew one another by June 1993” is nothing more than sleight of hand and very misleading. The June 1993 encounter was absolutely unremarkable.

                                When Eddie said at this meeting that he found a book under some floorboards in Battlecrease which he threw into a skip I have no idea why this is supposed to show that he and Mike were working together. Robert Smith wanted to speak to Lyons and this is what Lyons told Smith. It partially corroborates Rigby’s recollection that "something" was thrown into a skip. It’s bad luck that Eddie didn’t support the notion that the diary came from the floorboards but trying to create some sort of conspiracy here between Lyons and Barrett (and Lyons and Rigby) is nothing more than wishful thinking. Despite what some people seem to think, it is not a fact that the diary was found under the floorboards in Battlecrease and you can’t just ignore every single piece of evidence which suggests otherwise.

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