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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Hi Ike, All,

    I have been meaning to add some detail to Mike Barrett's acquisition of the little red diary, but I met a funny old LOBSTER on the way to the forum which distracted me for a while.

    Anyway...

    Firstly, here again is a description of the Victorian diary Mike Barrett asked Martin Earl to order and send him, between 19th and 26th March 1992:

    A small 1891 De La Rue's Indelible Diary and Memorandum Book, 2.25" by 4", dated 1891 throughout – three or four dates to a page. Nearly all of the pages are blank and at the end of the diary are two Memoranda pages. On one of the two pages someone has written in blue biro 'EATON PLACE' and on the other 'ETON RISE'. Then there are four blank pages and on the last one is written in blue biro '19 W at 3 = 57 19 W at 4 = 76'.

    Martin Earl's standard business practice was as follows:

    Adverts in the Bookdealer were charged per line, so Martin always tried to keep any listings to one line each to keep the costs down. Barrett's advert stipulated 20 blank pages, so that was a specific requirement. There would be no reason for Martin to add that in otherwise. He would have acted on the customer's instructions so the date range [1880-1890] and number of blank pages [at least 20] would have defined the search and therefore what appeared in the advert. Martin doesn't think there was a lot of choice in what he was offered in Mr Barrett's case, so the 1891 diary might well have been the only one Martin was offered by a bookseller.

    Martin would have ordered the item from his supplier, who would in many cases have sent it directly to the customer to avoid a second postage cost. Martin can't remember whether the 1891 diary went direct or not. Normally he would have asked for payment with the order, so it is likely that Mr Barrett specifically asked to see it before sending payment. Given the time taken before the cheque was sent [by Anne] it is highly likely Martin had to chase it, probably by phone. From memory, he says normal settlement time was the standard 30 days so he would have chased it up after that period. Customers could always return items if they were not as described.

    Before ordering an item, Martin always contacted the customer to talk through the supplier's written description and get their agreement to purchase it on their behalf. Suppliers provided full descriptions and if needed Martin would go back to them for any additional information the customer needed or asked for. In the case of the Victorian diary sent to Mr Barrett, Martin would have contacted him before going ahead and ordering it, to give him a full description and the price. Martin says it is not possible that Mr Barrett was unaware that he was being sent a diary for the year 1891.

    When a customer made a request, all searches were carried out on a no obligation basis and no up front charge because Martin wouldn't know if a search would be successful, or the price of the item. The supplier would not send an item, either direct to the customer or to Martin to send out, without first receiving payment from Martin. The customer would be billed directly for the agreed amount charged by Martin to the customer. Normally Martin asked for payment with the order once the customer had agreed to purchase what was offered, but in Mr Barrett's case, given the delay in receiving payment, that was clearly not the case. For books not paid for when ordered, there would have been an invoice sent, giving the standard 30 days for settlement. Martin says a phone call or two to chase up Mr Barrett's late payment would have been more likely than a formal second invoice. In short, Martin would have had to pay his supplier up front, so there would need to have been an agreement in place with his customer before Martin would order and pay for any book located.

    And there you have it. I doubt anyone would stay in business very long if they paid their supplier out of their own pocket for an item the customer hadn't asked for, and then sent it to them without even discussing what they had located and how much it would cost. And yet RJ Palmer doubted there was ever a follow-up conversation between Martin Earl and Mike Barrett, before the 1891 diary was ordered and paid for up front by Martin, and sent to Mike on 26th March 1992 with an invoice for 25. RJ would like Martin to have made this transaction a one-off exception for the charming Scouser who had made the initial enquiry, but that later conversation had to happen, in order for Mike to be given the option of deferring payment until he had seen what he was getting for his wife's money.

    "Now look here, buster, the missus wanted a teal bath towel and you've just sent me a grey face cloth with a bill for 10. What the hell's going on?"

    "But it is a quality face cloth, sir, and I'm sure your wife will agree that it's worth every penny."

    "Except that I didn't order it and she doesn't use a face cloth. I already have my own in every hue, coming out of my ears. Pardon?"

    "Well this is going to cost me, isn't it? But very well, if you insist, I suggest you return it in its original packaging and we'll say no more about it."

    "You want it, sunshine, you come and collect it. And don't give me that old flannel."

    "I can assure you, sir, all our flannels are new and unused... [phone goes dead]

    ...Was it something I said?"

    Love,

    Caz
    X
    Last edited by caz; 08-04-2020, 02:34 PM.
    "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


    Comment


    • Originally posted by caz View Post
      Hi Ike, All,

      I have been meaning to add some detail to Mike Barrett's acquisition of the little red diary, but I met a funny old LOBSTER on the way to the forum which distracted me for a while.

      Love,

      Caz
      X
      Brilliant post, Caz. Real research with real facts based - I assume - on an interview with Martin Earl himself. This totally blows out of the water any mooted issue of the tiny 1891 diary. It was a red herring, as we knew, all along.

      I think you have left the Barret-defenders absolutely broken by the loss of their key tenet. All they have left now is their own desperation for it to have been Barret.

      Superb work. I have no doubt that they will continue to pursue some obscure scenario which makes the 1891 diary somehow fit for purpose for an 1888 murderer, but I think even Bongo Barrett wasn't that stupid!

      Ike
      Iconoclast

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

        Brilliant post, Caz. Real research with real facts based - I assume - on an interview with Martin Earl himself. This totally blows out of the water any mooted issue of the tiny 1891 diary. It was a red herring, as we knew, all along.

        I think you have left the Barret-defenders absolutely broken by the loss of their key tenet. All they have left now is their own desperation for it to have been Barret.

        Superb work. I have no doubt that they will continue to pursue some obscure scenario which makes the 1891 diary somehow fit for purpose for an 1888 murderer, but I think even Bongo Barrett wasn't that stupid!

        Ike
        Hi Ike,

        Not quite with you on that one. There's no doubting the unsuitability of the red diary, I don't think anyone really argues otherwise. It's the fact that hot on the heels of a phone call to Doreen Montgomery, Mike contacted Earl to obtain a blank diary 1880 -1890.

        The fact that Earl couldn't procure the specified item doesn't somehow absolve Mike of suspicion. It's really not the key point. Regardless of the level of descriptive detail given by Earl, it doesn't change that one fact - Mike wanted a suitable blank diary soon after contacting a publisher. That's a detail not easily brushed away. Both Mike and Anne kept schtum about it.

        The physical red diary is no tenet at all. It's the proven, documented desire to obtain a suitable blank diary that's the key tenet. That's very much still in the water.
        Thems the Vagaries.....

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

          Brilliant post, Caz. Real research with real facts based - I assume - on an interview with Martin Earl himself. This totally blows out of the water any mooted issue of the tiny 1891 diary. It was a red herring, as we knew, all along.

          I think you have left the Barret-defenders absolutely broken by the loss of their key tenet. All they have left now is their own desperation for it to have been Barret.

          Superb work. I have no doubt that they will continue to pursue some obscure scenario which makes the 1891 diary somehow fit for purpose for an 1888 murderer, but I think even Bongo Barrett wasn't that stupid!
          What “real facts” are those, Iconoclast? The description of the diary seems factual, but what’s the point of Caz describing the diary in detail? Since she doesn’t say, perhaps she wants to imply that it’s the same description MB received. Is that how you read it?

          While it is, I suppose, reassuring that Caz finally agrees with David Orsam’s suggestion that MB would have been contacted prior to accepting the red diary, it’s less reassuring that she keeps paraphrasing Martin Earl instead of just posting his email (with his permission, of course).

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

            What “real facts” are those, Iconoclast? The description of the diary seems factual, but what’s the point of Caz describing the diary in detail? Since she doesn’t say, perhaps she wants to imply that it’s the same description MB received. Is that how you read it?

            While it is, I suppose, reassuring that Caz finally agrees with David Orsam’s suggestion that MB would have been contacted prior to accepting the red diary, it’s less reassuring that she keeps paraphrasing Martin Earl instead of just posting his email (with his permission, of course).
            Okay, let's be clear about this:

            Abe, the key tenet around the maroon diary is why Mike wanted 20 blank pages. We are left to infer why he wanted those 20 blank pages. We don't know the actual reason so we have to infer from what we do know. We now know that Mike was given a full and unequivocal (see caveat below) briefing by Martin Earl and given the opportunity to simply walk away from the purchase, but he chose to go ahead with it which leads me to infer that his purpose in buying it was not to create a hoaxed diary of Jack the Ripper.

            Katnip, you make a fair point about the lack of evidence supporting Caz's description of what Earl told Barrett. As you note, there may be reasons why she can't currently do so. Would you at least concur that - should she or someone else at some future point be in a position to do exactly that - you would accept that Mike was given absolute clarity around what he was buying and that he kept on going when he could have walked away from the purchase?

            Or will there be new obstacles to overcome around the tiny 1891 maroon diary that Mike was still so keen to purchase?

            PS I'm sure that Mike and Anne kept 'schtum' about a lot of things in their lives. Mostly, when you think something is irrelevant, you don't ever think to mention it (why would you?). Mostly, when you think something is relevant and counterproductive, you don't ever think to mention it. How are we to determine which of these two possibilities is the correct one here? If we can't, we shouldn't cite the schtumness as evidence of anything.

            Cheers,

            Ike
            Last edited by Iconoclast; 08-05-2020, 09:00 AM.
            Iconoclast

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

              Katnip, you make a fair point about the lack of evidence supporting Caz's description of what Earl told Barrett. As you note, there may be reasons why she can't currently do so. Would you at least concur that - should she or someone else at some future point be in a position to do exactly that - you would accept that Mike was given absolute clarity around what he was buying and that he kept on going when he could have walked away from the purchase?

              Or will there be new obstacles to overcome around the tiny 1891 maroon diary that Mike was still so keen to purchase?
              I’m not sure what you mean. would I concur if evidence proves something - of course.

              I’m a historian and in the methodology in which I was schooled it is a basic tenet, now that we’re using that word, that earlier sources are better.

              So for instance latter-day interviews containing surprising new and detailed information that would contradict sources from 25-30 years ago are unlikely to be accepted.

              I don’t know if that answers your question. I don’t know which ‘obstacles’ you mean, what I wrote was just a comment on how Caz paraphrases information to use as arguments, instead of just giving the original information. For instance, that ME was ‘adamant’ that NB had had the diary described in great detail.
              Adamant implies perhaps a forceful expression, and must mean one which was repeated, after being doubted, no?


              Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
              PS I'm sure that Mike and Anne kept 'schtum' about a lot of things in their lives. Mostly, when you think something is irrelevant, you don't ever think to mention it (why would you?). Mostly, when you think something is relevant and counterproductive, you don't ever think to mention it. How are we to determine which of these two possibilities is the correct one here? If we can't, we shouldn't cite the schtumness as evidence of anything.
              Of course, not sure what you’re arguing here. E silentio arguments are invalid, unfortunately many on these boards are unaware of that, leading to misunderstandings.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
                I’m not sure what you mean. would I concur if evidence proves something - of course.

                I’m a historian and in the methodology in which I was schooled it is a basic tenet, now that we’re using that word, that earlier sources are better.

                So for instance latter-day interviews containing surprising new and detailed information that would contradict sources from 25-30 years ago are unlikely to be accepted.

                I don’t know if that answers your question. I don’t know which ‘obstacles’ you mean, what I wrote was just a comment on how Caz paraphrases information to use as arguments, instead of just giving the original information. For instance, that ME was ‘adamant’ that NB had had the diary described in great detail.
                Adamant implies perhaps a forceful expression, and must mean one which was repeated, after being doubted, no?



                Of course, not sure what you’re arguing here. E silentio arguments are invalid, unfortunately many on these boards are unaware of that, leading to misunderstandings.
                The postscript was to Abe's post not yours, though I now realise that it would be easily read as in response to yours.
                Iconoclast

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                  The postscript was to Abe's post not yours, though I now realise that it would be easily read as in response to yours.
                  Hi Ike,

                  Took me a moment to grasp what you were getting at. Essentially, we know Mike wanted a blank diary, but that doesn't in and of itself constitute proof of intention to hoax. All we know is he made a request of Martin Earl, and received an item that it has to be considered was suitable for his requirements. Since said red diary is totally unsuitable for the hoax, we can surmise that a hoax was never it's intended purpose. What it's intended purpose was, is in the realms of speculation, but aborted hoax attempt isn't sustained by it. It's not an argument I'd make myself, but I can see your reasoning behind it. We'll mark this one down as agree to disagree, unless you don't agree with that.

                  A pleasure as always.
                  Thems the Vagaries.....

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

                    What “real facts” are those, Iconoclast? The description of the diary seems factual, but what’s the point of Caz describing the diary in detail? Since she doesn’t say, perhaps she wants to imply that it’s the same description MB received. Is that how you read it?

                    While it is, I suppose, reassuring that Caz finally agrees with David Orsam’s suggestion that MB would have been contacted prior to accepting the red diary, it’s less reassuring that she keeps paraphrasing Martin Earl instead of just posting his email (with his permission, of course).
                    I didn't know Orsam had made any such suggestion - or if it was made here on the casebook I'd forgotten all about it.

                    But I wasn't 'agreeing' with anyone's 'suggestion', I was merely reporting the facts about Martin Earl's bookfinding business, which he would presumably confirm if anyone wanted to check directly with him that I wasn't misreporting those facts. The description given to Martin to pass on to Mike would have been a written one from the supplier, and Mike could have asked for further information if there was insufficient detail to know just how unsuitable it was for hoaxing Maybrick's diary.

                    Desperation setting in? Why not just go with Al's reasoned post about Mike's initial enquiry? You'd be on safer ground.

                    Love,

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


                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by caz View Post

                      The description given to Martin to pass on to Mike would have been a written one from the supplier
                      X
                      Hi Caz,

                      That's interesting. Did Martin Earl confirm this? Or pertinently, does he have this? Reason I ask, a written description takes time in a pre email age, that's going to add to the timeline, which is tight as is.

                      We've got a gap between the 9th and around the 26th(?) for Mike recieving the red diary, based on the O+L auction. Add in postal correspondence between Earl and his supplier, that's a tight fit.

                      The late payment is neither here nor there, it just shows a late payment. But how long from the Ad appearing in Bookseller, being picked up by a seller, confirming in post, calling Barrett, agreeing the deal and posting it, before the auction date?
                      Thems the Vagaries.....

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Al Bundy's Eyes View Post

                        Hi Caz,

                        That's interesting. Did Martin Earl confirm this? Or pertinently, does he have this? Reason I ask, a written description takes time in a pre email age, that's going to add to the timeline, which is tight as is.

                        We've got a gap between the 9th and around the 26th(?) for Mike recieving the red diary, based on the O+L auction. Add in postal correspondence between Earl and his supplier, that's a tight fit.

                        The late payment is neither here nor there, it just shows a late payment. But how long from the Ad appearing in Bookseller, being picked up by a seller, confirming in post, calling Barrett, agreeing the deal and posting it, before the auction date?
                        Tight indeed, Abe, as the ad didn't make its sole appearance until after March 9 not on it.
                        Iconoclast

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                          Tight indeed, Abe, as the ad didn't make its sole appearance until after March 9 not on it.
                          My point exactly Ike. Even if we assume the call was placed on the 9th, the ad appeared at a specific date, I can't recall exactly. A postal confirmation increases the time. Tight.
                          Thems the Vagaries.....

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Al Bundy's Eyes View Post

                            My point exactly Ike. Even if we assume the call was placed on the 9th, the ad appeared at a specific date, I can't recall exactly. A postal confirmation increases the time. Tight.
                            Very tight.
                            Iconoclast

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                            • But it 'could have' happened ...
                              Iconoclast

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                              • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                                Very tight.
                                As tight as a.....
                                Thems the Vagaries.....

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