Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

    He was faking a diary, though. That was his stated intention. So it makes perfect sense to go looking for one.
    Perhaps he was hoping for one with “DIARY” and “(c) Cotton Traders’ Stationary Office 1888” stamped on the first page, but really he was just trying his luck and seeing what he’d be offered.

    Are you saying that what he ultimately faked is not a diary?
    No, I don't think what Mike faked is a diary, assuming for argument's sake that he faked anything at all, and even if Mike used the word "diary" to describe a chronicle of events, which is what he did write, I am not convinced that it explains why Mike was looking for a Victorian diary. But the suggestion isn't that Mike wanted to transcribe his narrative into a date formatted diary, it's that he wanted to write on paper of the correct period - isn't that why you suggested that Mike could have cut the dates off a diary or tried the edit his narrative to fit a diary format? That's why I asked why Mike bothered to look for a diary instead of a notebook. Of course, a diary would have provided paper indisputably of the correct date, but I am not sure that attributing that sort of thinking to Mike is altogether plausible.

    One of the problems I have always had with the diary is that it seems to me that creating a fake that might fool an expert is a complex thing. I'd have had no idea what tests could be done on paper and ink, or what the tests might reveal, or what I should do to avoid being tripped up. I find the whole challenge of faking something so daunting that if I had given it any thought, I'd never have gone ahead with the idea. On the other hand, I might have thought that the "diary" would get published and make me a bob or two without any tests being done on it at all - hence the reason for not making any effort to find and copy an example of Maybrick's handwriting (and Melvyn Fairclough got a book published partly on the back of some material written by Abberline, and nobody tested that, so my expectation might not be too far off the mark) - but then why worry about faking Victorian ink and paper, or using anachronistic words? I don't know, but having met Mike and talked with him many times, I just wonder whether the whole idea would have seemed too much trouble and the risks of discovery too high. If it had been me, I think I'd have ordered another pint and dreamed about how I'd use my little greenhouse, if ever I got one.

    But I was just asking a question.

    Comment




    • Didn't Mike (using an alias) first contact Shirley Harrison proclaiming to have the 'Diary' of Jack the ripper?

      ps

      I'm only here because my ears were burning

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Kaz View Post


        Didn't Mike (using an alias) first contact Shirley Harrison proclaiming to have the 'Diary' of Jack the ripper?

        ps

        I'm only here because my ears were burning
        Yes, indeed, Kaz. And welcome back, by the way. Mike contacted Doreen on March 9, 1992 using the name 'Mike Williams' (the previous occupants of 12 Goldie Street were the Williamses) and as I recall he used the words (somewhat like) "I have the dairy of Jack the Ripper. Would you like to see it?".

        As I recall, by the following day (or so) Doreen was writing to Mike using his correct name when inviting him down to London to show off his 'precious' so - whether it was one or two days - the alias certainly didn't last very long.

        Cheers,

        Ike
        Iconoclast

        Comment


        • Originally posted by PaulB View Post
          One of the problems I have always had with the diary is that it seems to me that creating a fake that might fool an expert is a complex thing. I'd have had no idea what tests could be done on paper and ink, or what the tests might reveal, or what I should do to avoid being tripped up. I find the whole challenge of faking something so daunting that if I had given it any thought, I'd never have gone ahead with the idea.
          Dear Mr Begg,

          Your status as doyen of the Maybrick scrapbook (I am still working towards that particular badge, by the way), along with luminaries such as Keith Skinner, Caroline Morris, Seth Linder, Shirley Harrison, Martin Fido, etc., and as resident comedian on the Maybrick circuit (your piles gag still gets replayed every year at the Edinburgh Festival - not this year mind!), you should really know the answer to your own problem.

          You have met Mike and Anne Barrett on quite a few occasions (I imagine you're still taking the tablets) and know of their pecuniary circumstances and of their relative cognitive functioning. The stage was set the moment Mike first realised that he couldn't pay the mortgage - something which I have no doubt he plagued you and the rest of the Maybrick Capers Gang about during 1992 and 1993 before he finally revealed to the newspaper reading world how the family had been laid so low financially that they had to contemplate breaking the law to get out of it.

          So the key ingredients were suddenly in the cauldron, cooking nicely. The letters from the bank threatening eviction! And Mike - replete with Masters degrees and a PhD in Fooling People Dead Easily and What Have You. What could possibly go wrong?

          You may well have balked at creating this literary masterpiece - "such a spectacularly complex work, and one so complex and so brilliant that it would be called both infantile and genius in equal measure" - but nothing could have stopped the train the Barretts had set in motion. There they were, typical Scouse scallies living hand-to-mouth where the only thing distancing them from the common herd who would have gone under in their stead was their intricate knowledge of 'fooling folk': Mike would have dug out his old BSc (DisHons) Gullability degree notes and found Module 3 - 'Creating a hoax that the experts would never uncover and I emphasise that' and set the ball in motion (pardon my mixing of the old metaphors).

          So Liverpool scally meets impossible objective - only one could yield! The result was inevitable - I'm amazed you expressed doubt - the Barretts produced a 63-page document on genuine Victorian paper with genuine Victorian ink using genuine Victorian language and all that was really required was for Mike to have read "every book on the Ripper" he could get his hands on, and Bernard Ryan's review of the Florence Maybrick Tragedy.

          Honestly, Paul, you need to widen the bounds of what you find credible. It is so obvious to so many of us on this Casebook that Bongo Barrett knocked-out the Victorian scrapbook one wet weekend in early April 1992 - either he or his eleven year-old daughter Caroline. His only mistake - and it proved to be a bit of a big one - was to fail to hide the fact that in actual fact he was an utterly self-absorbed, self-serving, simple-minded dreamer with an inability to hold his liquor.

          That aside, it was a brilliant plan and - despite your concerns above - incredibly easy to execute.

          Hope this opens your eyes to what is possible in the working class backbone of our great land, Paul.

          Cheers,

          Ike
          Last edited by Iconoclast; 08-09-2020, 12:30 PM.
          Iconoclast

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Kaz View Post


            Didn't Mike (using an alias) first contact Shirley Harrison proclaiming to have the 'Diary' of Jack the ripper?

            ps

            I'm only here because my ears were burning
            Hi Kaz,

            Quick correction.

            Mike (said he) first contacted Pan Books on March 9, 1992 and they referred him to Rupert Crew Literary Agency (Doreen Montgomery) where he introduced himself as Mike ‘Williams’ and asked whether they would be interested in seeing the diary of JtR. It was Doreen who then contacted Shirley and they decided to explore further. On March 10, 1992, Doreen wrote to Mike ‘Williams’ expressing their interest. On April 13, 1992, Mike took the diary to London.

            Obviously, your point is about whether or not the word 'diary' was said to have been used during that fateful first contact on March 9 and - you were right - it was (but I figured I should correct your secondary point regarding to whom it was said).

            Cheers!

            Ike
            Iconoclast

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
              Katnip,

              Don't keep us waiting too long. We want to know which auction Mike Barrett attended, and we also want to know how you alone are in possession of this fact.

              Chief Inspector Ike Iconoclast
              A maverick cop with a penchant for cwoffee and dohnuts who always gets results, etc.
              Sorry mate, just gearing up for life returning to normal by tomorrow. Had some vacation these past weeks, which is why you’ve been seeing more of me.

              As for the auction, MB stated in his affidavit that he attended one. The way it’s worded, I don’t think it can be excluded that it was the only one.

              Chief inspectors aren’t maverick cops, they’re the desk jockeys playing it safe, giving the real cops a hard time.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by PaulB View Post

                No, I don't think what Mike faked is a diary, assuming for argument's sake that he faked anything at all, and even if Mike used the word "diary" to describe a chronicle of events, which is what he did write, I am not convinced that it explains why Mike was looking for a Victorian diary. But the suggestion isn't that Mike wanted to transcribe his narrative into a date formatted diary, it's that he wanted to write on paper of the correct period - isn't that why you suggested that Mike could have cut the dates off a diary or tried the edit his narrative to fit a diary format? That's why I asked why Mike bothered to look for a diary instead of a notebook. Of course, a diary would have provided paper indisputably of the correct date, but I am not sure that attributing that sort of thinking to Mike is altogether plausible.

                One of the problems I have always had with the diary is that it seems to me that creating a fake that might fool an expert is a complex thing. I'd have had no idea what tests could be done on paper and ink, or what the tests might reveal, or what I should do to avoid being tripped up. I find the whole challenge of faking something so daunting that if I had given it any thought, I'd never have gone ahead with the idea. On the other hand, I might have thought that the "diary" would get published and make me a bob or two without any tests being done on it at all - hence the reason for not making any effort to find and copy an example of Maybrick's handwriting (and Melvyn Fairclough got a book published partly on the back of some material written by Abberline, and nobody tested that, so my expectation might not be too far off the mark) - but then why worry about faking Victorian ink and paper, or using anachronistic words? I don't know, but having met Mike and talked with him many times, I just wonder whether the whole idea would have seemed too much trouble and the risks of discovery too high. If it had been me, I think I'd have ordered another pint and dreamed about how I'd use my little greenhouse, if ever I got one.

                But I was just asking a question.
                Well, I think a chronicle of events written daily or semi daily is a pretty good definition of a diary. And for what it’s worth various dictionaries back it up e.g.
                diary
                /ˈdʌɪəri/
                Lær at udtale
                noun
                1. a book in which one keeps a daily record of events and experiences.
                1 : a record of events, transactions, or observations kept daily or at frequent intervals : journal especially : a daily record of personal activities, reflections, or feelings. 2 : a book intended or used for a diary.
                So I cannot agree with the idea that the diary, which has for 25 years been known as a diary, is not actually a diary.

                And the suggestion is not that MB only wanted paper of the right age - that was a minimum requirement- but that he would have liked a diary, not necessarily one with printed dates, like a calendar or day planner, but simply a book or volume which resembled a diary. Which is why he asked for a diary.

                As for the daunting prospects in creating an hoax, well I’m sure you and I would look mainly at the risks, but other people in other situations do not. As it happens, the hoaxers did the best they could and it actually wasn’t very difficult to do, as evidenced by the state of the diary: not in Maybrick’s handwriting, in an improvised album with revealing pages cut out, ink not passing muster, text amateurish and modern, repeating mistakes from the few secondary texts consulted etc.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

                  Sorry mate, just gearing up for life returning to normal by tomorrow. Had some vacation these past weeks, which is why you’ve been seeing more of me.

                  As for the auction, MB stated in his affidavit that he attended one. The way it’s worded, I don’t think it can be excluded that it was the only one.

                  Chief inspectors aren’t maverick cops, they’re the desk jockeys playing it safe, giving the real cops a hard time.
                  So Katnip, how it should work on this site is that people posts accurate things about James Maybrick and the James Maybrick scrapbook. If we are posting something which someone said happened, we shouldn't say it did happen. We should say they said it happened.

                  For all the young and upcoming Ripperologists out there who read this stuff and believe every word they read, we have a duty of care not to imply that something is known, established, agreed, or factual if it's based solely on something someone said.

                  Now, that might be the Chief Inspector in me rather than the maverick detective, but it is absolutely critical that we do not present arguments based upon statements and claims which turn out to be no more than that. I may have done this myself and - if I have - I was quite wrong to do so.

                  When you wrote to the effect of "Barrett attended at least one auction", this was factually incorrect. What you should have written was that ""Barrett claimed that he attended an auction". That's as much as you can deduce from his statement and it is absolutely not open to your interpretation to make that suddenly true and unequivocal.

                  Someone once said (a long time ago) that the Ripper letters were written by "an 'enterprising' journalist" (I think it was Sir Melville MacNaughton). There was never any evidence for this, and indeed never has been (bar a highly questionable confession by the journalist Best in the 1950s). And yet today we find that the now-iconic expression 'enterprising journalist' has essentially become fact. It is embedded in the fabric of Ripper folklore so strongly that many commentators and filmmakers make the mistake of saying it is an established truth. It is not.

                  This is just one example of how dangerous it is in the study of Jack the Spratt that we allow casual misinterpretations and mere opinion to seep into the general consciousness as though they were pre-ordained and verifiable truths when they are clearly not.

                  If there is no evidence that Mike Barrett ever attended an auction ever, we must not say he did.

                  Cheers and hope your return to a normal life goes well tomorrow ...

                  Ike
                  Iconoclast

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
                    As it happens, the hoaxers did the best they could and it actually wasn’t very difficult to do, as evidenced by the state of the diary: not in Maybrick’s handwriting, in an improvised album with revealing pages cut out, ink not passing muster, text amateurish and modern, repeating mistakes from the few secondary texts consulted etc.
                    You might need to pull you trousers up, your bias is showing again.

                    1) Is it really that easy to do? Do you have examples where someone else has done this as effectively? Could you do it? If so give a page or two on how easy it is do and we can judge
                    2) The handwriting at present is a challenge but by no
                    means absolute proof it wasn’t James
                    3) Improvised album is probably the least bias thing you have said here. Yes it was improvised. Potentially by James himself to find something inconspicuous but also right for the job. Victorians often kept scrapbooks for many things not just photos
                    4) Ink not passing muster? Pure bias here. Nowhere in any of the scientific reports it claims what you claim. There is debate of nigrosine, chloride and iron gall content but there have also been experts who claim it could be of that period. It’s far from conclusive. Even the solubility test. It’s your bias that has decided it hasn’t passed muster
                    5) Amateurish and modern - okay see point 1
                    6) “Few secondary texts consulted” and again show me the proof.

                    Why enter a debate at all?
                    "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                    - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                      Why enter a debate at all?
                      Well, I was just replying to PaulB’s musings about the obstacles to overcome if creating a fake diary - my reply was that from the point of the view of the diary being a fake, the obstacles weren’t that great, because the diary as it is contains a lot of suspicious traits yet these were ignored or brushed aside and it got published anyway and made money.

                      Which was the other side of PaulB’s musings, namely that although it could seem difficult m, an hoaxer might do it anyway if tempted by the possibility of earning a few quid. (I think PaulB misses the point when musing about why the hoaxers did such a poor job; they likely did the best they could)

                      Comment


                      • well im sure if someone wanted to hoax a diary from the late 1800s, theyd probably want to do it in a diary from the late 1800s. which means they would try to obtain a diary from the late 1800s. lol
                        Last edited by Abby Normal; 08-09-2020, 10:32 PM.
                        "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
                          well im sure if someone wanted to hoax a diary from the late 1800s, theyd probably want to do it in a diary from the late 1800s. which means they would try to obtain a diary from the late 1800s. lol
                          Impeccable logic, Abby, if it wasn't for the glaring presuppositional at the start of your claim. "If someone wanted to hoax a diary from the late 1800s" assumes that someone did (that's not proven) and that it was only a traditional diary he or she had in mind (not proven, and certainly not supported by the final dateless product).

                          Do you see how your premises can only lead to your conclusion if all of the premises are known to be true?

                          Cheers,

                          Ike
                          Last edited by Iconoclast; 08-10-2020, 08:47 AM.
                          Iconoclast

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

                            He was faking a diary, though. That was his stated intention. So it makes perfect sense to go looking for one.
                            Perhaps he was hoping for one with “DIARY” and “(c) Cotton Traders’ Stationary Office 1888” stamped on the first page, but really he was just trying his luck and seeing what he’d be offered.

                            Are you saying that what he ultimately faked is not a diary?
                            What I don't get is why Mike left this quest for a Victorian diary until he had told a London literary agent that Jack the Ripper's diary existed and established that she was interested in seeing it. Why not at least wait to see what Martin Earl might or might not come up with? What was the tearing hurry to alert Doreen on the afternoon of Monday 9th March 1992, about a diary which didn't yet exist, but had been sitting in draft form on the Barretts' word processor for months, if not years? What was so damned special about the afternoon of Monday 9th March 1992, I wonder?

                            And how did Mike suppose he was going to avoid having to describe the physical diary to Doreen until he finally found his fake an ideal home, on 31st March?

                            Love,

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


                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by erobitha View Post
                              ...So when I look at Mike Barrett I do not see a man pragmatically starting his hunt for the perfect specimen to engage in his desire for a hoax. I see a scouser wondering if he himself has been spun a yarn, like the many yarns he himself has spun others over the years.

                              Without trying to paint with too broad a brush of national stereotypes, I do think that sometimes the lens in which people see things makes all the difference in things like this. Not all lenses take the same picture.
                              Great point, erobitha.

                              I look at this through a similar lens, but the evidence has to come with me into the picture. It's no good Kattrup and co fighting against the evidence to reach simplistic black-and-white conclusions about Mike's motivation and the diary's construction, based primarily on the argument that he faked the diary because he said he faked it, and totally ignoring the rest of the time when he said he didn't.

                              Love,

                              Caz
                              X


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


                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

                                What a weird argument. It’s only a diary because it starts and ends at some point (in time, I suppose), then immediately after you phrase it “if we accept” that it starts and ends. Are you suggesting it’s uncertain? That Maybrick, for instance, wrote all of it in one sitting?

                                Anyway, even if we pretend for a moment that your argument is correct and the diary should not be labeled a diary, that still does not explain why MB went shopping for a diary. If he wanted something to compare with, why would he not be content to buy a blank Victorian notebook? Or scrapbook? Or album?

                                He thought of it as a diary, whether he was producing it or comparing it, so I’m not sure the argument “but it’s not actually a diary so he needn’t buy a diary” is very convincing.

                                Also, what you or others believe was needed to produce the diary is not very relevant. MB did not “need” a diary to complete his fake, he didn’t even need a notebook or a journal. But if he could get one, all the better. In the end, he couldn’t, so he made do with what was available. And it did not matter, even though the diary was not written in an actual diary, notebook or journal, and even though pages had been cut out, suggesting quite clearly that revealing materials had been removed, it still got published.

                                He didn’t need to write a text free of mistakes, anachronisms and direct quotes from secondary texts. If he managed, great. But the diary as is contains all those things, and still managed to fool some people.
                                Which shows the argument e.g. that he and his wife would have needed to be conscious of and careful to avoid lifting phrases from books is false. They didn’t. The book already has such phrases so whoever wrote it obviously did not need to be careful.

                                The “what was needed”-argument also misses the point:to write a bestseller. Not to write a fake that would withstand scrutiny. But to make a fake that would grab attention, get some headlines and result in cash. Once the factual and levelheaded criticism came in, which could always be delayed by not admitting to tests or requiring further tests etc. it would be too late.

                                MB went shopping for a blank Victorian diary and shortly after proclaimed he possessed the genuine diary of Jack the Ripper, which had no provenance at all.
                                Whether you call it a diary or not, that won’t change.
                                And there we have it: the simplistic black-and-white conclusion that he went shopping for a blank Victorian diary in which he could transfer Sir Jim's thoughts from the Spring of 1888 to May 1889.

                                Never mind the fact that he ordered one for the year 1891, with 3 or 4 printed dates to a page [not just at the top], which did not have enough blank Victorian paper to wipe his late 20th century bottom on.

                                If your conclusion, as a historian, depends on ignoring inconvenient evidence like this and hoping it will go away, it's just not good enough.

                                If I caught my better half doing this, I'd have his guts for garters. He has a first class history degree from the Open University.

                                By the way, you sum up the careless execution and cynical marketing of the diary as if Orsam and RJ Palmer have been idiotically wasting years on an exercise in futility, poring over the content of the diary to look for additional signs of fakery, when there was never any need. A tad disrespectful of you, surely?

                                The handwriting always did it for me, but it didn't identify itself as a Barrett-related hand either.

                                Love,

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


                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X