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25 YEARS OF THE DIARY OF JACK THE RIPPER: THE TRUE FACTS by Robert Smith

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  • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
    I don't see coincidences as proof of anything except that it's possible that a coincidence occurred.
    True enough, but there's no such thing as a temporal coincidence. If there are anachronistic words/phrases in the diary then the diary simply cannot be a 19th Century document. There is certainly one anachronism ("one-off incident") and, in my considered opinion, at least three and probably four. I don't give a tinker's cuss about the (hardly decisive) ink/paper tests - if one or more anachronisms exist, and they do, then the diary is a late forgery. It's as simple as that.
    Last edited by Sam Flynn; 09-23-2017, 04:25 PM.
    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

    "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
      For me Mike, and I'm not being exact here, 4 x unexplained's / 2 x coincidences / 4 x unlikely' and a doubt do not constitute proof. I want to be as certain as I can be before I count something out.
      Just because something is unknown it can't be hijacked for one side of an arguement. Just because something maybe unlikely behaviour to us it doesn't mean that it would have been unlikely behaviour for someone else. I don't see coincidences as proof0f anything except that it's possible that a coincidence occurred.
      Whereas I'm the opposite I want to be convinced before I say "Case Closed" and I'm far from that with the diary.

      Far too many issues for my tastes.

      These phrases
      The lies about its provenance
      Mike's confession and withdrawal
      The handwriting
      The scientific tests
      G U T

      There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

      Comment


      • It's a dead duck.
        "Is all that we see or seem
        but a dream within a dream?"

        -Edgar Allan Poe


        "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
        quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

        -Frederick G. Abberline

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post
          It's a dead duck.
          The Diary is the husband who gets caught by the wife in bed with his secretary, both of them naked, him handcuffed to the bedposts, her on top adopting the reverse-cowboy (blindfold variant), and he says to his wife, "I can explain everything - believe me - I know how this must all look but I can explain all of it, this is not what it looks like!"

          Comment


          • So no sign of a copy of Mike Barrett's receipt for the purchase of his word processor on 3 April 1986 and Keith Skinner doesn't have a copy in his possession. But, as I understand the position, it was Shirley Harrison who originally obtained this receipt and faxed a copy to Keith Skinner on 22 February 1985. So Shirley Harrison will have an unfaxed copy (or original) of this receipt in her possession. The best copy in other words. But perhaps she is scary and bites which is why she hasn't been asked for it.

            Mind you, if she does have it then perhaps she has had difficulty reading it - for in the 1998 paperback version of her book we find this:

            "In 1985, Michael had bought himself an Amstrad word processor with money lent by Anne’s father, Billy Graham, and now, at last, it came into its own."

            So for some reason she seems to think that Mike purchased the word processor in 1985, not April 1986! And she is the person who has the best copy of the receipt for the word processor! A receipt that no-one is currently able to lay their hands on apparently.

            Just more confusion in the Diary world.

            Comment


            • In the discussion about the supposed discovery of the Diary under the floorboards of Battlecrease (something which was supposed to have been proved by now but strikes me as stubbornly unproven), a number of people posting in this thread were under the impression that Mike Barrett must have had the Diary in his possession when he telephoned the London literary agency to tout "the Diary of Jack the Ripper".

              But, we are told, how silly to make such an assumption that he actually saw the Diary before he made such a telephone call.

              Now, why would anyone have assumed that the Diary was in Mike's possession from Day One?

              Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that when, earlier in this thread, I posted the extract from Feldman in which young Caroline Morris was asked by researchers "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?" and she said that she did indeed remember her dad pestering Tony, it was speculated in response that what she might actually have been remembering was her father coming home with the Diary having obtained it from the electricians and then making a telephone call to one of the electricians to ask where HE got the Diary from.

              But that makes it a bit awkward to explain how he received it so quickly from Battlecrease. The story now is presumably that he was told over the telephone that a Diary had been found at Battlecrease, he then telephoned Pan Books and the literary agency to tell them that he had Jack the Ripper's Diary and THEN he went out to collect the Diary from the electrician and THEN came home in amazement at finding out that it was Jack the Ripper's Diary and THEN telephoned the electrician to ask him where he got it from (even though he could have asked him in person and even though he already knew it was Jack the Ripper's Diary) and it was THIS conversation that Caroline was remembering.

              Of course it all makes perfect sense (not!) but then how do we square that story with what Shirley Harrison told us in the 1998 version of her paperback:

              “The next day, Caroline remembers, her Dad went down to Tony’s house and pestered him about the origins of the Diary. How long had he had it? All Tony would say was "You are getting on my Fvcking nerves. I have given it to you because I know it is real and I know you will do something with it.""

              AND

              "Caroline remembers clearly how her Dad continued to pester Tony for information on the telephone."

              In both quotes, Caroline is reported as clearly remembering her father pestering Tony Devereux about the Diary. There cannot have been any confusing him with an electrician on this account.

              If the Diary actually came from under the floorboards on 9 March 1992 does this mean that Caroline Barrett was lying?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post

                Mind you, if she does have it then perhaps she has had difficulty reading it - for in the 1998 paperback version of her book we find this:

                "In 1985, Michael had bought himself an Amstrad word processor with money lent by Anne’s father, Billy Graham, and now, at last, it came into its own."
                In fairness, Shirley corrects this in her 2003 book in which she writes:

                "In April 1986, Michael had bought himself an Amstrad word processor with money lent by Anne's father and now, at last, it came into its own."

                Mind you, she then says that Mike told her that he made "copious notes" in Liverpool library which "Anne latterly transcribed onto the Amstrad".

                But I thought Anne only tidied Mike's notes up. The story seems to change with every telling of it and the notes that have been produced are certainly not a transcript of any notes made at a library. Moreover, Shirley goes on:

                "By this stage Michael had not connected the Diary with James Maybrick."

                Well if he hadn't connected the Diary with James Maybrick at the time Anne "transcribed" or typed-up or tidied-up his notes that it is odd because those notes start with information about James Maybrick!

                Comment


                • Now that the book has been published we can, at last, resolve one issue that was the subject of some discussion in the early posts in this thread.

                  Way back in #7 I drew attention to the following question in the blurb:

                  "If it was a hoax, why hasn’t the proof of who forged it, and how and when, been forthcoming over the course of a quarter of a century?"

                  I said: "I don't find this question very helpful. The suggestion is that because no-one has been able to prove who forged the diary, and how and when they forged it, this is somehow a point in favour of the diary being genuine."

                  I thought that was a pretty uncontroversial statement and was therefore surprised when PaulB replied to me in #8 saying:

                  "I must say that I can't see that what you suggest is implied by that question. Isn't Adam simply saying (or perhaps implying) that the question is one among several that will receive a definitive answer in the book."

                  He also said (in #23):

                  "People make lots of claims on the message boards and the claim that the diary is genuine because nobody has identified who forged it is seriously flawed thinking. Why attribute it to Adam, who isn't noted for promoting daft ideas. Maybe the best thing to do is wait until the book is published, then one can read what is actually said and kick the stuffing out of it from a position of knowledge."

                  To which I replied in #24:

                  "It doesn't matter whether this question is also asked in the book, it is being asked in the blurb. It's clearly a rhetorical question. It could only not be rhetorical if the book is going to tell us that the diary IS a hoax and is going to explain why the proof of who forged it, how and when, hasn't been forthcoming (until now). We know it's not going to do that. And, as you've said, as a rhetorical question, it is "seriously flawed thinking".

                  To my great surprise PaulB responded to this by saying (#33):

                  "Do we know it's not going to do that? I get the impression that that's exactly what it's going to do. I would imagine that if the book was going to reveal that the author was the Whitechapel murderer or anybody well-known, the blurb would leave us in no doubt.

                  But it's all speculation until the book is published."


                  So Paul was here, apparently, saying that Robert Smith's book was going to tell us that the diary IS a hoax and was going to explain why the proof of who forged it, how an when, hasn't been forthcoming until now!!!

                  It didn't seem very likely back in August when we were having the discussion but now that the book is published we can certainly say that Robert Smith does not argue that the diary is a hoax.

                  Furthermore, Smith goes ahead and answers his own (rhetorical!) question as I expected in a way which Paul agreed was "seriously flawed thinking". Thus, at page 16, Smith says:

                  "After 25 years without anyone producing one totally verifiable fact to prove the so-called diary of Jack the Ripper a fake, we have to accept the very real probability that it is authentic."

                  But many valid points have been raised against the authenticity of the Diary. My own answer to Smith is that in 25 years no-one has found an example of anyone in the nineteenth century using the expression "one off" to mean something unique. That for me is the mistake by the forger which proves that the Diary was not written in the nineteenth century.

                  Comment


                  • I agree absolutely, and like you I am never impressed by resort to the 'argument from ignorance' fallacy: eg, if it's a hoax, why don't we know who forged it?

                    Unfortunately the Diary saga has become so absurdly tribal and politicised that those in the believer camp will not be swayed by any anachronisms found in the diary, they will likely just comfort themselves with the knowledge that some alleged anachronisms have been researched in more detail and found to be in use in 1888 after all, and so can we be really SURE that 'one off instance' was any different?

                    In other words: nobody has found an example of its use in the LVP .... yet. And so the burden of proof is switched once again, and until you can prove a negative, until you can prove that the phrase was not used ever in 1888 in that sense, the Diary stands, undefeated.

                    It's balls, of course. It's special pleading of the worst sort, but there we are.

                    Comment


                    • A curious document...

                      Originally posted by GUT View Post
                      Whereas I'm the opposite I want to be convinced before I say "Case Closed" and I'm far from that with the diary.

                      Far too many issues for my tastes.

                      These phrases
                      The lies about its provenance
                      Mike's confession and withdrawal
                      The handwriting
                      The scientific tests
                      I remember when the Diary appeared in the newspapers, and how the second story about it being a hoax soon followed, and I shrugged, said "alright" and forgot about it for a couple of decades.

                      But... after seeing the reproduced diary, well... I'm just not so sure it IS a hoax. The author's mania reads differently than in the typescript, I think. You can see the author trying out words, drafting his rhymes, and then recopying them cleanly. It is like a writer's private notebook.

                      Smith's commentaries and explanations seem plausible to me, particularly for "top" meaning specifically "to be hanged", so "top myself" would mean suicide by hanging.

                      And what of Mrs. Barrett's asking her husband, "Did you nick it, Mike?" Nowhere in all of the discussion of this book on the forums have I remembered seeing that mentioned or discussed (not to say it hasn't been, just that I don't recall reading about it), and that is very interesting.

                      On the other hand, Smith relies on the 1860 print usage of "one-off" which Ms. Harrison was said to have uncovered, and neither she nor Mr. Smith are exactly unbiased on the matter of the diary's origins.

                      The handwriting analysis needs to be improved by finding more of Maybrick's longhand samples to compare it against. I think the final page of the diary is written in "a round, schoolboy's hand", but others are entitled to their opinions.

                      Finally, thank you, Caz for correcting one of my posts! I've been noticed at last?
                      Pat D.
                      ---------------
                      Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
                      ---------------

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post
                        I

                        And what of Mrs. Barrett's asking her husband, "Did you nick it, Mike?" Nowhere in all of the discussion of this book on the forums have I remembered seeing that mentioned or discussed (not to say it hasn't been, just that I don't recall reading about it), and that is very interesting.
                        It has been discussed several times. However, that little episode was kicked into touch with the revelation that Anne Barrett later changed her story, and decided to reveal that the Diary had been in her family for years, and that she had given it to Tony Devereux to give to Mike Barrett.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post
                          And what of Mrs. Barrett's asking her husband, "Did you nick it, Mike?" Nowhere in all of the discussion of this book on the forums have I remembered seeing that mentioned or discussed (not to say it hasn't been, just that I don't recall reading about it), and that is very interesting.
                          Oh I can assure you it's been mentioned and discussed PC Dunn. In fact, I asked another poster in another thread:

                          "So, given your personal experience of Anne, what is your conclusion as to why she asked Mike (in front of Feldman) if he had stolen the Diary? (i.e. "Did you nick it, Mike?")"

                          The answer was:

                          "Presumably because she was sensible enough to appreciate that people might suspect Mike of nicking it from somewhere (given the dubious 'dead pal' story) and she didn't want them suspecting her of being in on it."

                          So the answer then, as I understood it, was that Anne was trying to reassure others that Mike didn't steal it by asking him to confirm that he had not done so.

                          These days, however, we are, I think, being told that her question was equivalent to her saying she didn't know where it had come from, thus consistent with the Battlecrease provenance but inconsistent with her story that the Diary had been in her family for donkeys years.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post

                            "By this stage Michael had not connected the Diary with James Maybrick."

                            Well if he hadn't connected the Diary with James Maybrick at the time Anne "transcribed" or typed-up or tidied-up his notes that it is odd because those notes start with information about James Maybrick!
                            What I can't understand is the fact that Mike Barrett continued to meet Tony Devereux after being given the Diary, and not once did Devereux reveal the supposed creator of the Diary. Surely Devereux must have known who had supposedly written the Diary, but not once did he give a hint to Barrett what is was all about, and instead let Barrett find out for himself who the "author" was.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Observer View Post
                              What I can't understand is the fact that Mike Barrett continued to meet Tony Devereux after being given the Diary, and not once did Devereux reveal the supposed creator of the Diary. Surely Devereux must have known who had supposedly written the Diary, but not once did he give a hint to Barrett what is was all about, and instead let Barrett find out for himself who the "author" was.
                              Well yes, perhaps in the original story, but the revised story is that Anne gave Tony the Diary tied up with string and asked him to pass it on to Mike (without Tony having even looked at it apparently).

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post
                                Smith's commentaries and explanations seem plausible to me, particularly for "top" meaning specifically "to be hanged", so "top myself" would mean suicide by hanging.
                                My big concern with phrases like "top myself" is when did such slang become so commonly used that an average member of the British public would slip it casually into a short document? The same applies to "spreads mayhem" as well, which I still contend is being used in a mid/late 20th Century sense. Ditto "one-off instance", of course.

                                It's apparent to anyone who looks at the diary that the writer has a tendency to be very spontaneous in their writing style. That these three phrases should be used in such a familiar and off-hand manner indicates that they were a very natural part of the writer's usual vocabulary; I'd suggest that these phrases could not have reached that level of penetration into everyday British speech until the latter half of the last century.
                                Last edited by Sam Flynn; 09-28-2017, 12:00 PM.
                                Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                                "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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