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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
    So if "one off" meant (say) a single piece of cotton in the 19th century (for which, of course, there is no evidence) that in itself would come nowhere near showing that the expression "one off instance" or similar had entered the English language.
    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

    "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)


    • Originally posted by caz View Post
      I gave you Baxendale's shortcomings in the same post as I referred to them! Very briefly, he found none of the iron that is in the diary ink and he was out by several decades about when nigrosine was first used in ink. That makes anything else he claimed in his report less than 100% reliable without any independent confirmation for it.
      So (as I also asked you) none of the "shortcomings" have anything to do with the ink solubility test? Doesn’t that make them of no relevance to the issue of ink solubility - unless you are saying that Baxendale was incompetent to carry out an ink solubility test. Is that what you are saying?


      • Originally posted by caz View Post
        All I was saying was that no subsequent analyses (Eastaugh, Leeds et al) confirmed Baxendale's initial position that the ink's solubility indicated it had gone on paper recently, and in fact those analyses found nothing inconsistent with pen meeting paper much longer ago. Even the Rendell team, who were expecting to prove the thing 'recent' were unable to date the writing scientifically any closer than a vague 'prior to 1970'.

        I can't comment on the solubility test itself, but it seems from Eastaugh's observations, using Victorian and modern reference materials for comparison purposes, that it came down to personal interpretation. Do you know what controls Baxendale used to help him compare the solubility of similar inks known to have been placed on paper, say, in the 1880s, the 1980s and as late as 1992? He did later add that the results of his examinations were all in keeping with the book itself being manufactured in the late 19th century, and he only 'would have expected' an ink applied about a hundred years ago to be 'far less soluble'. He conceded that if such a document were found to have a similar solubility, 'there would appear to be nothing in the chemical properties of the ink in the Diary to preclude it being of similar age'. And Eastaugh did confirm that it was 'clear' that the solubility of the diary ink was 'similar' to his Victorian reference material and 'unlike' his modern inks dried out for reference.

        I'm not saying Baxendale misinterpreted his findings and Eastaugh didn't, because I'm not a scientist and wasn't present when appropriate comparisons were - or were not - made. But if we are seen to brush under the carpet the results we don't like and put all our faith in those we do like, we are not going to appear very objective, are we? And isn't that precisely what you were accusing others of doing, by not publishing Baxendale?
        I wasn't accusing anyone of doing anything "by not publishing Baxendale" Caz. Please don't assign things to me I haven't said. I haven't brushed anything under the carpet either.

        These appear to me to be the facts:

        1. Baxendale, an experienced forensic document examiner, carried out an ink solubility test in the summer of 1992 and concluded that "the ink was found to be freely soluble, and I would have expected an ink applied to paper about a hundred years ago to be far less soluble, due to the effects of slow oxidation and other long term chemical reactions." He also appears to have concluded that the ink had been applied to the paper recently, within the previous two or three years. As far as I am aware, this conclusion remains unchanged.

        2. Eastaugh, who confesses to not being a forensic document examiner, did not carry out an ink solubility test so his conclusions about solubility (whatever they were) are unclear and not understood.

        3. You comment that Baxendale has stated that "the book" was manufactured in the late 19th century. It is not in dispute that the scrapbook is an old book.

        4. You also comment that Baxendale said that he would have expected ink applied in 1889 to be "far less soluble". Is that not consistent with his findings as set out in his report?

        5. You also say that Baxendale conceded that if such a document were found to have a similar solubility, "there would appear to be nothing in the chemical properties of the ink in the Diary to preclude it being of similar age". But no-one is saying that there is anything in the chemical properties of the ink inconsistent with it being from 1888. The question is about solubility. Is there a document from the nineteenth century with "similar solubility" to that of the Diary? If so, what is it? If not, why does Baxendale's finding from his report (as set out in para 1 above) not stand?

        Ultimately, one can either accept what the expert says or try to find a loophole to provide the answer that you want but I must remind you that this issue arose when you challenged my response to Iconoclast that I am influenced in my conclusion that the Diary is a modern forgery by the fact that Baxendale had revealed that the Diary's ink had recently been added to the paper (#2157).

        You came back (#2315) with talk about me ignoring Eastaugh although I note you have ignored everything I quoted about Eastaugh from your book. But the point is that I am surely allowed to rely on Baxendale's findings that the Diary was a modern forgery. You can cling to your loopholes and caveats as much as you like but I was explaining what has influenced me. And I think my position in placing reliance on an experienced document examiner like Dr Baxendale, whose conclusion has in no way been undermined, is perfectly reasonable.


        • Originally posted by caz View Post
          Sorry, David, forgive me if you have since clarified what you meant here, but on the surface it looks like you were saying you were 'sure' there were 'plenty' more examples following this one from 1981 (but you didn't actually know because you didn't look for any), yet you somehow knew the expression was in 'common usage' by 1992. Is this what you meant and, if so, how did you come by a familiarity - shared with the diarist - with the phrase 'one-off instance' by 1992? In conversation perhaps?

          I mean, that earliest (and only) written example you found from 1981 doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence that it would, by itself, have spawned thousands of written and spoken imitations over the next 11 years, any more than the image of Mike penning the last page of the diary after 11 days and giving it straight to Doreen to show goodness knows how many specialists in handwritten Victorian documents she could have invited along to the party for all he knew.
          I simply don't understand this post or what you think you are getting at Caz.

          I've provided more than one example from Google Books between 1981 and 1992 of the use of the exact phrase "one off instance", which by itself proves that it was in common usage (given that those who used it expected to be understood), but I've also queried your obsession with the use of the exact phrase. There are plenty of other examples of synonymous expressions prior to 1981, and between 1981 and 1992, such as "one off occurrence", "one off event", "one off episode", "one off happening" etc. Each one means exactly the same thing as "one off instance". There is no magic in the exact expression "one off instance" which is why I have repeatedly said that this expression or similar did not exist in the nineteenth century.

          Where the magic comes is in translating an expression about manufacturing, whereby a reference to "one off" relates purely to a unique manufactured product or design, into a metaphor so that it applies either to a person or a more general event or happening (such as hitting someone). This seems to be the point that you are not understanding. It was such metaphorical use of the existing manufacturing expression "one off" that cannot be found in the English language until after the Second World War. But after the 1960s, and especially in the 1970s, it is found all over the place because once the metaphor was used once, after someone thought to apply it, it became very common.

          To repeat and clarify: I know that the expression "one off instance" was in common usage in 1992 because not only have I found examples of this exact expression used before 1992 but I have found lots of similar examples of this expression used on many occasions in the 1970s and 1980s.


          • Caz

            Following on from the above post of mine, can I ask why you are referring on JTR forums to my post about Garscadden's article as involving a "concession"? Would it not be a good idea to ask me in this forum if I am conceding anything first? I could then have told you that I am not.

            Everyone over on that forum is getting confused and people seem to be thinking that "one off standpoint" is similar in some way to "one off instance" but it is not. At best, "one off standpoint" means looking at something from the standpoint of producing a single item. It has nothing to do with the later development of the phrase. You can't, for example, replace "one off instance" in the diary and say that Maybrick told his wife that hitting her was a "one off standpoint" (or a "one off way" to use another expression).

            Everyone ignores the fact that Garscadden, the author of the articles from 1903-04, referred to "one or two off at a time". His use of the expression "two off" should give you pause that we are not dealing with the modern expression of "one off". This is especially true in the context of his articles in which he instructs patternmakers to "draw one off". What does it mean?

            I provided a diagram to show what "one off way" means. Did you understand it? Of course not. It appears to have nothing to do with the modern expression of "one off".

            As I suggested in my post, what we appear to be seeing here (at best) is a transitional use of the phrase "one off" between meaning a single item to a unique item.

            It is the use of "one off" to mean a single item in the nineteenth century which is the only concession I have made. Clearly if someone ever found a confirmed example of such a thing there would be huge excitement over in JTR Forums, whether they understood what it meant or not. But it should not provide any excitement because there is clear evidence in the evolution of the expression whereby it did not exist during the nineteenth century or early twentieth century in the metaphorical sense to allow for the creation of the phrase "one off instance".

            I am quite certain that there is nothing in Garscadden's use of the expression "one off standpoint" which helps Diary believers at all. It is only about manufacturing something, is written for people who understood patternmaking and patternmaking diagrams and is not used in any kind of metaphorical sense.


            • Originally posted by caz View Post
              No I wasn't actually, David.
              But Caz you were suggesting that Barrett was intending to write out the text of the diary (presumably in a Victorian style handwriting), to show Doreen as if it was the actual 1888 diary of James Maybrick weren't you?

              And this would also have to have involved him removing any traces of it being an 1891 diary too wouldn't it?

              So how would that not have involved Barrett presenting Doreen with a forged 1888 diary written by Maybrick?

              If you were suggesting something different please explain what it was.


              • Originally posted by caz View Post
                Clearly, if Mike did have a hand in creating the diary (and the 'secret' Battlecrease evidence didn't exist), you'd have a point that everything he said or did could oh so easily be viewed as suspicious. But that's a no-brainer, isn't it?

                Could I pause for a moment in my replies to ask you to stop referring (even in parenthesis) to the "secret Battlecrease evidence" as if it is of any significance? It's not helpful and you told me a number of posts ago that I could take it or leave it and I responded that I will leave it. As far as I am concerned it doesn't exist – by which I mean that whatever it is, it cannot be regarded at this time as being of any significance nor can it be taken into account in this discussion as a point in favour of the Diary being genuine. Frankly, the fact you keep mentioning it reminds me of Pierre and his secret sources which are supposed to prove who Jack the Ripper was. I don't accept that Pierre has proof of the identity of Jack the Ripper and likewise I don't accept that you have any proof that the diary came out of Battlecrease. I can't accept either until I see the evidence for myself and nor, surely, can anyone else.


                • Originally posted by caz View Post
                  So if you could just set to one side, for the sake of argument, your personal conviction that (despite the 'secret' Battlecrease evidence of which you are entirely ignorant) Mike was as guilty as sin, and try to imagine him acquiring the thing already penned (at some point between, say, early 1991 and early 1992?) and being left to work out what it was all about, and what he should do with it, maybe even you could come up with an idea or two as to why he tried to order an authentic Victorian diary with some blank pages after his first telephone conversation with literary agent Doreen Montgomery.

                  I mean, she presumably asked him a few questions about the physical book, supposedly signed Jack the Ripper in May 1889, and his reactions would have been guided accordingly. He'd have been able to describe the book itself (which he couldn't have done if he didn't yet have it, and then he would have needed some excuse for refusing), and from there Doreen could have ascertained if he was talking about an actual diary, with dated entries, or something else. You'd need to imagine the conversation, but I hardly think Doreen would have been impressed if he could tell her bugger all beyond "I've got Jack the Ripper's diary, would you be interested in seeing it?", because he hadn't yet got the foggiest if he would find anything suitable for creating it, never mind what it might look like if and when he managed to track something down. There would also have been a very real risk that anyone supplying him with whatever he turned into 'the' diary would recognise it the moment it went public and Mike (and Anne if she knew about it or had a hand in it) would instantly be exposed as a hoaxer.

                  Luckily for the Barretts, nobody at Outhwaite & Litherland recognised the book or remembered anything like it, although of course they wouldn't if Mike had come by it via a different source.

                  "Okay, Mr. Williams, I'm interested, why don't you bring your diary to my office in London?"

                  "The fact is, it doesn't really look like a diary. It's just a lot of pages with writing on and it's signed at the end by Jack the Ripper. Will it be worth a fortune, do you think? I'm not giving it away for peanuts."

                  "No, I understand that, Mr. Williams, but I would obviously need to see it and show it to people who are better placed than me to judge if it has any value or not. Can you tell me how old it looks? Have you anything you could compare it with before you make a possibly wasted trip to London? Could you read out some of the content?"

                  [Hmmm, Mike thinks to himself, now what do I do? I have no idea if this is anything like a real person's diary and I don't want anyone reading the whole thing until I know more about it myself.]

                  Just a for instance, but there has to be an explanation - plausible or not - if the bloody thing came into Mike's hands after emerging at some point from Maybrick's house. It's the law of physics.
                  Caz, it's not about setting aside my personal conviction that Mike was "as guilty as sin" because I don't have any such conviction.

                  It is the fact that Mike advertised for, sought out and purchased a Victorian diary with blank pages which itself leads me to the conclusion that Barrett must have been involved in forging the Diary. And the reason it leads me to this conclusion is that I cannot conceive of any explanation for him doing so which is consistent with innocence.

                  I want to stress that Caz. Even with a huge dose of imagination, I am literally unable to think of any reason why he could have placed such an advertisement if he was not planning to forge a Victorian diary.

                  All you have offered is highly dubious speculation, with fictional dialogue, as to what you think might have been said in a conversation between Barrett and Doreen. I reject it all in its entirety. Nothing of the sort is stated in the account of the two telephone calls on page 2 of "Inside Story" and there is no reason why anything more was said by Barrett (under his false name). Unless there is any evidence that Doreen asked him what the diary looked like or any other questions (which he answered) I don't believe I should take it into consideration at all.

                  Furthermore, you have not yourself offered me any convincing or sensible explanation as to why Barrett did place that advertisement for a Victorian diary with blank pages.

                  Yes, if Barrett wasn't responsible for forging it, or involved in the forgery, then of course there must be an innocent explanation - but that's the whole point. I can't think of one and clearly neither can you.

                  So why isn't YOUR conclusion that Barrett must have forged the diary?

                  If the answer relates the "secret Battlecrease evidence" then, well, okay fine but it means there is no point in continuing any further discussion between us until that evidence is revealed.


                  • Originally posted by caz View Post
                    If his intention had been to pen a few passages into the blank pages of a genuine Victorian diary and try to pass them off to Doreen as the work of James Maybrick, before showing her the guard book and all its 63 filled pages, I would agree with you that it would have been one of Mike's more insane ideas. But I don't think anyone has suggested this as a realistic option, have they? It's certainly not one I had ever considered.
                    I can hardly believe what I'm reading.

                    Firstly, yes that very option has been suggested by both Iconoclast and StevenOwl in this thread.

                    Secondly, you agreed with them!

                    You actually quoted Iconoclast as saying "He wanted to write out the journal in another document and take that to London rather than risk taking the original" and, in response, you said(#2361): "I think your interpretation is a definite possibility". You even said: "He may have wanted enough blank pages to copy out some particularly significant parts of the text, to give Doreen a taste of what he had on offer and gauge her interest, before parting with the 63-page guard book itself."

                    Isn't that what you are now describing as one of Mike's "more insane ideas"?

                    Really Caz I don't know what it is you are trying to say. Are you suggesting that Mike wanted to copy out the diary text into a Victorian diary and show it to Doreen while telling Doreen that this wasn't the real Maybrick Diary?

                    What would have been the point of that?

                    I mean, what would have been the point of going to all the trouble and expense of writing it out in a genuine Victorian Diary when he could have just written it out in a modern exercise book or prepared a typed transcript?

                    And, indeed, wasn't the very reason that Mike and Anne said they had the whole diary transcribed on their computer because they prepared it for Doreen in March 1992?

                    Surely if Mike wanted to show Doreen what the Diary looked like he could have just shown her some photographs couldn't he, if he was worried about transporting the diary itself?

                    Copying out the text of the Diary into another Victorian diary to show Doreen what a Victorian diary with writing in it looked like????? Seriously????


                    • Originally posted by caz View Post
                      The possibility remains, however, that not really knowing what the heck he had, something Doreen said or asked him on the phone set him wondering what a typical Victorian diary should look like and if the one he had would be anything like Doreen was expecting to see. We can only guess why he specified (from memory) a diary dating from 1880-1890 (??) with some blank pages (although not nearly enough to take the whole text, assuming he knew by then how much text there was and the 'from' and 'to' dates) but without mentioning anything about the dimensions.
                      I love the way you realise by the second sentence that the suggestion in the first sentence doesn't make sense of Mike specifying a diary with blank pages. So you basically end up with a suggestion that makes no sense and does not explain what Mike was doing.


                      • Originally posted by caz View Post
                        Are you serious? You actually did a search? I was making a general observation - albeit on this thread - about the watch being sidelined (as in ignored, disregarded, forgotten, not mentioned) on most Maybrick threads not specifically watch related. I wasn't claiming that the word 'sidelined' had been used by anyone else, on this or any other thread. Clearly, if most posters on most Maybrick threads prefer to put the watch to one side and forget about it while discussing the diary, the word 'sidelined' is not going to be used an awful lot, is it?
                        You did more than "make a general observation" Caz.

                        In response to my comment "Can I suggest the reason why the watch has been "sidelined" in this thread is that it is entitled "One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary" (underlining added), you asked caustically "why are you only now suggesting it, and not when the first poster here brought up the watch? Losing your touch, or just touchy?"

                        You then asked "Are you honestly trying to tell me you have never seen other posters make the same observation?" I repeat that the answer to that question is yes, I have not seen other posters in this thread make the same observation.

                        Your criticism that the watch has been sidelined (using any word you like to replace sidelined) was a very strange one to make in this thread when the thread is nothing to do with the watch. That is what prompted my response that the answer is obvious. As far as I am aware no-one else has made a similar criticism in this thread because it's a thread about the Diary.

                        And it’s no good you now saying you were making a general observation about "most Maybrick threads” because my comment to which you responded caustically was specifically about this thread, hence my underlining above.

                        And I have searched in this thread for the words "disregarded", "forgotten" and "mentioned" (as in "not mentioned") and none of those appear in the context of the watch being sidelined. It seems to me to be a point that only you have made in this thread about the Diary, Caz.


                        • Originally posted by caz View Post
                          So you think we only asked O&L about the year 1990, do you? We trusted Mike that much, by the early 2000s, that we went by one of the dodgy dates he had come up with over the years and didn't think to ask the kind of questions that would have given us a definitive answer as to whether Mike's version of events could have taken place at O&L - ever?

                          I'm afraid you really must think everyone but Mike was incompetent then.
                          Well Caz I have to remind you what appears in your book (p.167):

                          "Having searched through the company’s files and archives on both sides of the alleged sale date, Whay confirmed that ‘no such description or lot number corresponding with Barrett’s statement exists.’"

                          So Kevin Whay, who was a director of O&L, says only that a search was conducted on "both sides of the alleged sale date". The alleged sale date in Barrett's affidavit was "the end of January 1990". This suggests that a search was only conducted on both sides of January 1990.

                          To me that does not sound like a search was conducted in the period March or April 1992. I'm not aware of any other public evidence relating to the search conducted by O&L.

                          So Caz, rather than me asking questions about what you did or did not do, why not tell us straight and plain: Did O&L conduct a search of their files and archives for the period March/April 1992 and did this search enable them to state categorically that Mike Barrett did not purchase a Victorian scrapbook from them at that time?


                          • Originally posted by caz View Post
                            Just to be clear, he claimed that he obtained the guard book after the tiny 1891 diary.

                            He obtained the latter in March 1992.

                            He claimed he obtained the former in 1990.

                            Now since the above is an impossibility, it must contain at least one demonstrable untruth. It was either an untruth to claim he obtained the guard book in 1990, or it was an untruth to claim he obtained it after the 1891 diary. Whether he got himself thoroughly confused over his dates or was just demonstrating an inability to keep a straight story to save his life, there it was, a demonstrable untruth.

                            If you believe it was the truth that he obtained the guard book before it contained the diary, that's entirely up to you, but it will never be a demonstrable truth.
                            Caz – this is the very reason why I asked you to take my earlier posts into account before replying to me: so that you didn't respond (as I knew you inevitably would) by saying that, because O&L searched their records for 1990, Barrett couldn't have acquired the scrapbook in 1990, so that this claim is "a demonstrable untruth." This is an utterly futile response if the answer is that Barrett got his chronology wrong.

                            If he got his chronology wrong then him saying that he bought the scrapbook is 1990 is no more than an error of dating not an untruth. Given that he also says in his affidavit that he bought the 1891 diary before the scrapbook and that we know for a fact that this purchase was in March 1992, it is reasonable to suppose that "1990" is a dating error isn't it?


                            • Originally posted by caz View Post
                              I trust you are not suggesting Anne is a criminal, who was optimistic enough to think that she and her husband (yes, Mike Barrett) could pull off what Kujau had so recently failed to do, without the risk of her young daughter Caroline having to bake a cake with a nail file in when she visited her mum and dad in prison?

                              It is Mike Barrett, not me, who suggested in an affidavit that he and his wife were criminals Caz. The prisons are full of criminals who got caught, so asking me if someone is going to be stupid enough to do something where there is a risk of getting caught is a pointless question.


                              • Originally posted by caz View Post
                                Oh indeed, David. I have said as much on scores of occasions. Our Mike has been able to fool countless otherwise intelligent people into believing he had it in him to research and write the diary - and all because they wanted to be so fooled. If it's a late 20th century hoax they want, it comes with Mike Barrett attached and still pulling the strings. There's nothing to be done about it.
                                So was his acquisition of the 1891 diary in March 1992 part of his scheme of fooling people into thinking he had written the Diary, Caz?