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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • erobitha
    replied
    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

    I think you misspoke and must mean Kenneth Rendell, Paul. He's the one who invited Rod McNeil and his new-fangled test onto his team. But yes, he and Nickell seem to have dismissed McNeil's findings.

    For those who aren't aware of it, Baxendale was an independent consultant hired by Harrison and Smith, who felt the ink must have been recently applied to the paper, because it proved readily soluble when placed in a solvent, unlike samples of genuinely old inks and paper, which when tested, weren't readily soluble.

    Thus, initially, McNeil's claim that the diary dated to around 1920 made the rounds publicly and reached a wide audience, while Baxendale's report, which suggested something entirely different, stayed unknown.

    That's unfortunate, in my opinion, and added to the confusion.
    Baxendale never said the ink was recently applied. He said the sample he tested separated more easily versus the samples from 1908 and 1925. No conclusion was reached to state it was recently applied - that is the interpretation of the reader. He also stated he would expect bronzing and the sample he analysed lacked the amount he would expect. Of course in normal conditions. How does bronzing occur? Oxidisation.
    https://www.thefreedictionary.com/oxidisation


    As I have said before, documents with severe lack of access to oxygen have known to look very recent. Check out the assurance policy papers found in the attic timbers of Van Gogh’s Brixton Lodgings. These were not in any kind of container just a stable environment.
    https://www.google.ie/amp/www.theart...oom-in-brixton
    Last edited by erobitha; 09-21-2020, 03:09 PM.

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    Originally posted by PaulB View Post
    \I don’t recall Rod McNeil’s ion migration test having any direct bearing on my thinking at all; its reliability was even in doubt at the time it was done and it was a bit of a mystery why David Baxendale had included it in his report since he obviously rejected the conclusion.
    I think you misspoke and must mean Kenneth Rendell, Paul. He's the one who invited Rod McNeil and his new-fangled test onto his team. But yes, he and Nickell seem to have dismissed McNeil's findings.

    For those who aren't aware of it, Baxendale was an independent consultant hired by Harrison and Smith, who felt the ink must have been recently applied to the paper, because it proved readily soluble when placed in a solvent, unlike samples of genuinely old inks and paper, which when tested, weren't readily soluble.

    Thus, initially, McNeil's claim that the diary dated to around 1920 made the rounds publicly and reached a wide audience, while Baxendale's report, which suggested something entirely different, stayed unknown.

    That's unfortunate, in my opinion, and added to the confusion.

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  • PaulB
    replied
    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post


    Hmm. A series of articles pretending to investigate it…

    The following comment is merely a joke, Paul--or I hope it is--but the only ones that went on to write a series of investigative 'articles' about the hoax in question---the Maybrick Diary--were Melvin Harris, or, if we allow book length studies, Harrison and Feldman. (Though I suppose we'd have to expand our nest of suspects to include Smith, Linder, Morris, Skinner, Barrat, and Mitchell!)

    This sounds strangely like Simon Wood's 'shrewd' theory--if I am understanding Simon’s enigmatic statement correctly--that the whole thing was a set-up by those who wished to 'pretend' to investigate a spoof hoax that they, themselves, had created…

    But, moving along from shrewd paranoia to the analytical, the 'spoof' theory doesn't really clarify matters, does it?

    A joke or a spoof can be created in 1991, just as well as in 1930.

    One would still have to show why an older date is somehow preferable to a modern date, particularly in light of the circumstantial evidence against the Barretts, by which I mean their evasive and shifting stories, as well as their attempt to buy blank Victorian paper.

    It is by no means surprising that the old hoax theory made the rounds, because Rod McNeil’s ion migration test had dated the diary to roughly 1920, give or take a few years. The ‘old hoax’ suggestion can be seen as a reasonable attempt to reconcile early, conflicting reports.

    But we now know more than we did 25 years ago, and McNeil’s test hasn’t aged well.

    Other scientists couldn’t explain how it could work—which goes against the very foundation of science--and McNeil confused matters further by conceding the diary’s ink could have been applied as late as 1970. Worse yet, McNeil’s own colleagues appear to have doubted his results, and tried to walk them back.

    Indeed, Joe Nickell, in his book on hoaxes, goes out of his way to inform us that McNeil’s testing techniques can be “beat” (either deliberately or accidentally) and that McNeil had given the wrong date for a modern forgery of a supposed draft copy of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address.

    And now, 25 years on, McNeil’s “ion migration test” seems to have been abandoned entirely.

    This is inconceivable, isn’t it? If his test is valid, it would be of enormous benefit to historians, document examiners, and the police.

    Instead, no one ever hears of it anymore.


    If we dismiss it—and accept Baxendale’s solubility test and the textual evidence pointing to a recent concoction—what are we left with other than a modern hoax with only two or three credible suspects?
    Of course a spoof can be created at anytime, but I think you are misunderstanding my point that I suggested the possibility of an old fake because the arguments had polarised into genuine v modern fake, and tests were being directed at proving one view or the other. That wasn't the right way to go about things, but it also meant that alternative possibilities, such as an old fake, were being ignored. Obviously, one would have to have shown why an older date was to be preferred, but I wasn't arguing that the 'diary' was an old fake, only that that possibility should not be ignored. I don’t recall Rod McNeil’s ion migration test having any direct bearing on my thinking at all; its reliability was even in doubt at the time it was done and it was a bit of a mystery why David Baxendale had included it in his report since he obviously rejected the conclusion. I'm not sure what the relevance is to what I have said. I have just tried to explain why I was the first (or maybe I credit myself with too much when I say that) to suggest an old fake possibility.

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  • PaulB
    replied
    Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

    Wasn't this simply a novel though, using the plot device of a discovered manuscript in order to frame it as a true story. Isn't this just a classic literary technique, rather than a deliberate attempt tp create a "genuine" hoax?
    I'm not aware that the author actually claimed (outside of the novel itself) that the events recounted had actually happened, nor created a physical version of the supposed manuscript, which would be a parallel in this case. Although it has to be said, he did use an actual ancestor of his as the protagonist and alleged author of the alleged manuscript.

    As best I can remember it was not published as an acknowledged fiction, which is why some people accepted it as true. I do't believe the imaginary manuscript was faked to support the narrative, but the supposed author was a real person and I seem to recall that the book contained photographs of him, giving verisimilitude to the narrative. The actual author has not denied the book was a fake when he's been asked outright, but, as he says and as the book was perhaps created to demonstrate, very few people asked. So, as I understand it anyway, whilst the plot device of finding a manuscript in an old desk was a well used one, the book wasn't presented as a work of fiction and the use of a real person, including photographs of him and, I seem to recall, a genuine biography, the purpose was to see how many people would ignore the clues to it being a fiction and would accept it as genuine without checking. I'm not suggesting that there are strong parallels with the 'diary', but it is fortunate that enough people know the truth about that supposed UFO encounter for it not to have passed into UFO history as all that survives of a now-lost manuscript or something, a possibility that perhaps illustrates that someone in the past could have faked the 'diary' as part of some scam that was never put into practice. Anyway, it was only an idea, not an altogether serious proposition.

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    Originally posted by PaulB View Post

    The analysis is sound if the fake was intended to fool someone or the faker wanted it to be accepted as genuine. Nothing of that sort would apply if someone simply wanted to write a series of articles pretending to investigate it...


    Hmm. A series of articles pretending to investigate it…

    The following comment is merely a joke, Paul--or I hope it is--but the only ones that went on to write a series of investigative 'articles' about the hoax in question---the Maybrick Diary--were Melvin Harris, or, if we allow book length studies, Harrison and Feldman. (Though I suppose we'd have to expand our nest of suspects to include Smith, Linder, Morris, Skinner, Barrat, and Mitchell!)

    This sounds strangely like Simon Wood's 'shrewd' theory--if I am understanding Simon’s enigmatic statement correctly--that the whole thing was a set-up by those who wished to 'pretend' to investigate a spoof hoax that they, themselves, had created…

    But, moving along from shrewd paranoia to the analytical, the 'spoof' theory doesn't really clarify matters, does it?

    A joke or a spoof can be created in 1991, just as well as in 1930.

    One would still have to show why an older date is somehow preferable to a modern date, particularly in light of the circumstantial evidence against the Barretts, by which I mean their evasive and shifting stories, as well as their attempt to buy blank Victorian paper.

    It is by no means surprising that the old hoax theory made the rounds, because Rod McNeil’s ion migration test had dated the diary to roughly 1920, give or take a few years. The ‘old hoax’ suggestion can be seen as a reasonable attempt to reconcile early, conflicting reports.

    But we now know more than we did 25 years ago, and McNeil’s test hasn’t aged well.

    Other scientists couldn’t explain how it could work—which goes against the very foundation of science--and McNeil confused matters further by conceding the diary’s ink could have been applied as late as 1970. Worse yet, McNeil’s own colleagues appear to have doubted his results, and tried to walk them back.

    Indeed, Joe Nickell, in his book on hoaxes, goes out of his way to inform us that McNeil’s testing techniques can be “beat” (either deliberately or accidentally) and that McNeil had given the wrong date for a modern forgery of a supposed draft copy of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address.

    And now, 25 years on, McNeil’s “ion migration test” seems to have been abandoned entirely.

    This is inconceivable, isn’t it? If his test is valid, it would be of enormous benefit to historians, document examiners, and the police.

    Instead, no one ever hears of it anymore.


    If we dismiss it—and accept Baxendale’s solubility test and the textual evidence pointing to a recent concoction—what are we left with other than a modern hoax with only two or three credible suspects?
    Last edited by rjpalmer; 09-20-2020, 05:38 PM.

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  • Joshua Rogan
    replied
    Originally posted by PaulB View Post
    I've just dug out the detail of the book. It told of a manuscript found in an old desk. It was written by William Robert Loosley (who was a real person) and described a UFO encounter in 1871. Several UFOlogists believed the story was genuine.
    Wasn't this simply a novel though, using the plot device of a discovered manuscript in order to frame it as a true story. Isn't this just a classic literary technique, rather than a deliberate attempt tp create a "genuine" hoax?
    I'm not aware that the author actually claimed (outside of the novel itself) that the events recounted had actually happened, nor created a physical version of the supposed manuscript, which would be a parallel in this case. Although it has to be said, he did use an actual ancestor of his as the protagonist and alleged author of the alleged manuscript.


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  • PaulB
    replied

    I've just dug out the detail of the book. It told of a manuscript found in an old desk. It was written by William Robert Loosley (who was a real person) and described a UFO encounter in 1871. Several UFOlogists believed the story was genuine.

    Leave a comment:


  • PaulB
    replied
    Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

    hi rj
    nope it wouldnt and good post clear explanation and a sound analysis. the idea that a contemporaneous hoaxer would forge it then, and do nothing with it is ridiculous on the face of it.
    The analysis is sound if the fake was intended to fool someone or the faker wanted it to be accepted as genuine. Nothing of that sort would apply if someone simply wanted to write a series of articles pretending to investigate it and comparisons with kown examples of Maybrick's handwriting would be grist to the mill. Or if it was created to use it as the basis for a spoof. Something of the sort was done a couple of decades ago with a book that claimed to be an investigation of a Victorian or Edwardian diary giving a detailed account of an extraterrestrial experience.

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  • Abby Normal
    replied
    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
    I think Paul Begg was the first to come up with the idea of the Diary being an 'old hoax,' but it never made the least bit of sense to me.

    Except in very rare instances of political propaganda, literary hoaxes aren't created about contemporary or near contemporary events...for the simple reason that the people being depicted in the hoax are still alive and can dispute the account.

    If I were to write the torrid love diary of Maggie Thatcher--today, let alone twenty years ago---it would fail and fall at the first hurdle, because people who knew Thatcher are still alive. There is a wealth of documentation that could disprove anything I decided to invent. The handwriting wouldn't match, either. There are records showing where Thatcher was on given dates, etc., so I would very likely screw-up.

    Ditto, an "old hoaxer" faking James Maybrick's diary. If the hoax was created in 1895, or even 1925, people who 'knew better' would still be alive and walking the earth. Thomas Maybrick. Lowry. Florence Maybrick herself. People at the Cotton Exchange that remembered Maybrick's handwriting. People who knew where he had been at the time of the Whitechapel Murders. The 'old hoax' wouldn't have worked, and anyone spending the effort to create it would know it wouldn't have worked.

    Literary hoaxes are invented to exploit a gap in the historical record--that's what makes them sensational--and are about events that are far enough removed that they can't be immediately disputed. About events where the documentation is scarce.

    That the hoaxer didn't even bother to imitate Maybrick's handwriting indicates that enough time had passed that they were under the impression (false, as it turns out) that no examples were likely to still exist.

    Would that have been the case in 1890? 1900? 1910?

    hi rj
    nope it wouldnt and good post clear explanation and a sound analysis. the idea that a contemporaneous hoaxer would forge it then, and do nothing with it is ridiculous on the face of it.

    Leave a comment:


  • PaulB
    replied
    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
    I think Paul Begg was the first to come up with the idea of the Diary being an 'old hoax,' but it never made the least bit of sense to me.

    Except in very rare instances of political propaganda, literary hoaxes aren't created about contemporary or near contemporary events...for the simple reason that the people being depicted in the hoax are still alive and can dispute the account.

    If I were to write the torrid love diary of Maggie Thatcher--today, let alone twenty years ago---it would fail and fall at the first hurdle, because people who knew Thatcher are still alive. There is a wealth of documentation that could disprove anything I decided to invent. The handwriting wouldn't match, either. There are records showing where Thatcher was on given dates, etc., so I would very likely screw-up.

    Ditto, an "old hoaxer" faking James Maybrick's diary. If the hoax was created in 1895, or even 1925, people who 'knew better' would still be alive and walking the earth. Thomas Maybrick. Lowry. Florence Maybrick herself. People at the Cotton Exchange that remembered Maybrick's handwriting. People who knew where he had been at the time of the Whitechapel Murders. The 'old hoax' wouldn't have worked, and anyone spending the effort to create it would know it wouldn't have worked.

    Literary hoaxes are invented to exploit a gap in the historical record--that's what makes them sensational--and are about events that are far enough removed that they can't be immediately disputed. About events where the documentation is scarce.

    That the hoaxer didn't even bother to imitate Maybrick's handwriting indicates that enough time had passed that they were under the impression (false, as it turns out) that no examples were likely to still exist.

    Would that have been the case in 1890? 1900? 1910?

    Hi Roger,
    For the sake of clarification, instead of everyone working together, the 'diary' discussion had polarised into genuine (Feldman) and modern hoax (Harris). This missed out the whole period in-between, and it occurred to me that a journalist, possibly a freelance, might have come up with the idea of Maybrick as the Ripper, just as Leonard Matters had come up with Dr Stanley - as you know, Matters claimed to have found the Stanley story in an Argentinian journal article, but nobody seems to have asked to see the article. I suggested that a hypothetical journalist proposed a series of circulation-boosting articles investigating a confessional account by James Maybrick found in a book. The 'diary' was concocted to give some verisimilitude to the story, something to bang down on the editor's desk. I suggested that the article needn't have claimed the diary genuine or fake, just investigated what the story said. Even people alive who knew James and Florence could have been interviewed and if they disputed the story, so much the better. It just added controversy. They needn't even have been shown the 'diary'. No effort would have been taken to fake the 'diary'. The ink and book that came to hand would have been used. And, of course, the hoax didn't go ahead - maybe the editor didn't play ball, or some other big story broke, or maybe all the improbables and flaws you and I can see in it were seen by the editor or even the hoaxer - and the 'diary' gathered dust somewhere.

    The idea was intended to show that the 'diary' could have been something other than genuine or a modern hoax, and hoped that it might lead to a slightly more open-minded and unbiased approached to the actual and proposed tests, among other things. It didn't do anything of the sort, of course, which was a pity because instead of people working together to achieve a common goal (finding out when the 'diary' was composed), it led to a fierce animosity that still exists today.

    I also tried to stop the 'diary' being described as a diary, pointing out that it was a confessional - a personal and private admission to thoughts and emotions the author couldn't admit to anyone else and which they were probably trying to understand themselves. I suppose that in one sense that is precisely what a diary is, but it's different, more intense. I think the 'confessional' aspect of it is what struck a chord with Feldman, who saw in it a parallel to a time in his own life when he experienced a trauma that he had to sort out in his head and could discuss with anyone else.

    Paul

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    Originally posted by caz View Post
    Mike appeared to have no memory of lending the same book to Tony, but this would have been in late 1990 or very early in 1991, as Tony's daughter saw it and asked to borrow it in the January and still had it seven months later in the August, when Tony died.
    [emphasis added]

    Hi Caz.

    "Appeared" being the optimal word. Having asked Barret about the book, the police concluded that Mike was being evasive. This was one of the events that led them to believe that Barrett was lying and knew the modern origins of the diary.

    The question you should ask is why? Why was Barrett being evasive about the borrower? If Mike was better at thinking on his toes, he should have simply admitted that he had leant it to the man who had given him the diary. It could have been easily explained away. Instead, he "appeared to have no memory" of lending it to Devereux--even though he clearly DID lend it to Devereux--his best mate, and the man who had given him the Diary! Clearly, the police were right in assuming that this was a transparent lie. But why lie about it? Why--in this instance--was Mike trying to distance himself from Tony? I think that's a question worth asking.

    You'll have to excuse me, as I do not have my copy of Ripper Diary, but is this a new chronology? Or is my memory gone haywire? I seem to recall--I don't know how accurately--that you and Keith concluded that Tony had lent the book to his daughter around July 1991, when she was in her third trimester? She had it a full seven months? She must have had it longer than that, if you are correct, because it was still in her possession when the police questioned her in 1992. Didn't Tony tell her she could only keep it for a week? It seems unlikely, then, that she kept it for over a year, unless her father had died shortly after he had given it to her.

    Are you sure these dates are right?

    Thanks.

    Originally posted by caz View Post
    Mike claimed he had identified Maybrick from a copy he bought in Smiths after Tony's death.
    Suddenly you are willing to accept the uncorroborated testimony of...let me catch my breath...Mike Barrett?

    Ike would be so disappointed.

    This airy tale is just that: an airy tale, much like Mike's lonely vigil in the Central Liverpool Library. We have no reason to accept it without evidence. By contrast, the copy of Tales of Liverpool traced to Devereux exists. Or at least existed--the police took possession. It has/had a physical reality. Feldman claimed Barrett's signature was in it. Even if Feldman was wrong (and I see no reason why he would be), it hardly matters, because Devereux's daughter confirms it had come from 'Bongo.'

    Why did Devereux have it long before Dodd called in the electricians, and why was Mike being evasive about it when questioned by the police?

    These seem to me to be the key questions.

    Leave a comment:


  • caz
    replied
    I don't know when Mike first mentioned Tales of Liverpool to anyone, but he was quite open and consistent about how the Florence Maybrick chapters led him to identify Maybrick as the diary's supposed author. Maybrick isn't mentioned by name in the diary, so when Mike finally told Doreen and co it was Maybrick's diary [which the evidence suggests was not until 13th April 1992], he'd have been able to say exactly how he had worked it out: Tales of Liverpool gave him what he needed to know. He also told Martin Howells this in 1993, before the police investigation. Mike appeared to have no memory of lending the same book to Tony, but this would have been in late 1990 or very early in 1991, as Tony's daughter saw it and asked to borrow it in the January and still had it seven months later in the August, when Tony died. Mike claimed he had identified Maybrick from a copy he bought in Smiths after Tony's death. Luckily for the Barretts, the copy Tony's daughter handed over to Bonesy had no markings or notes in the two brief chapters on the Maybrick case. So could there have been two copies? The one Mike took round to Tony, which he promptly forgot all about, and which even RJ acknowledged is not evidence of Tony's involvement in a hoax? And the one Mike saw in Smiths, when he had just acquired the diary and was trying to find out who lived in a house called 'Battlecrease'?

    Incidentally, even Bernard Ryan gets the wrong year for the family's move to their last home together. He dates it back to 1886, when Florence is anticipating the birth of Gladys. But the diary author avoids the mistakes of both 'Maybrick' sources, and has 'Sir Jim' describe the place as 'evil' in early 1888, within a short time of the real JM moving his family in.

    If Mike wanted to prove Anne's story was a lie, because they had created the hoax together, all he had to do was to give a coherent, credible and supportable account of how it was done, in a pre-internet age, with one holding down a full time job as a secretary, while the other kept house and did the school run twice a day, coming home with two or three pints inside him, five days a week. And I do hope we are not back to the wet weekend nonsense. Did they venture beyond Liverpool - to London for example - during their research period, to look for nuggets of information that were not obviously taken from a small handful of books on the shelves of their nearest library? When did they find the time and the energy, in between looking after young Caroline and Anne's elderly father [they had moved to Goldie Street to be near him], to do all that was necessary to plan and create a hoax, which is still being talked about thirty years on, but which caused their marriage to fail within mere weeks of it becoming a bestseller? You can't get any less emphatic than swearing an affidavit that is not coherent, not credible and not supportable, and gives no real insight into the creation process, apart from putting it before Devereux's death, and two years too early for the red diary to have had any relevance. Clearly Mike thought he needed Devereux in this mix, but we can't ask him to explain why, so as usual we are left with nothing but assumptions and suspicions. Mike didn't help himself by putting the purchase of the red diary first, followed by the 11-day creation process, followed by the death of Devereux, a year too early, in 1990. He gave Devereux a pivotal role for some reason, but in doing so he royally screwed up with his dates and order of events. If the appearance of Devereux's ghost 'added nothing to his confession', I'll let RJ sort it all out. I'm not entirely sure if the rest of Mike's affidavit added anything of real substance to his initial story from June 1994. I suppose if at first he didn't succeed, it was a case of try, try, try again. Throw everything and everyone into the mix next time and give it a good stir. Bon appetit!

    Melvin Harris investigated Devereux very early on, didn't he? I thought he had him down as the composer of the diary, with poor old citizen Kane as the likely penman. And certainly Shirley among others questioned the daughters about their father's possible involvement, so I'm not sure how much more could have been done, since Harris never did manage to nail Devereux or Kane, and died with his suspicious boots on. Without any evidence against Devereux, apart from a compulsive liar's unexplained decision to include him in a hoax conspiracy, there is no connection between the diary and Gerard Kane. We are back to whose handwriting is in the diary, and who, if not Mike or Anne, could have copied out the text from the Barretts' word processor, for no apparent gain.

    As for Anne's story, Feldy needed no convincing at all. He was telling her that he knew where the diary had come from. She did have a choice. She could have continued to plead ignorance and insist that all Mike told her was that he'd got it from Devereux. And Feldy could have taken a running jump. That would have been the sensible option, especially if she and Mike had faked it together, possibly with Devereux's knowledge or assistance. Feldy couldn't have made her say anything. But he wasn't going anywhere, and he was quite relentless. Easier perhaps to give in, and just say whatever the hell would relieve the pressure on everyone. Feldy was the irresistible force but Anne wasn't the immovable object. She was flesh and blood like the rest of us. So of course, she then had to adapt Mike's 'dead pal' story if she was going to appease Feldy. But this was only a safe move if it couldn't be disproved, which implies that Anne knew very well that Mike's forgery claim was a load of rubbish, or he should have been able to prove her story a lie the moment she came out with it. She'd have had no idea what evidence he might have kept, or left with Devereux, after she left the marital home for good, while she had not a scrap to defend herself against it.

    Keith tells me that Anne never once tried to convince him that the diary was 'an old document'. Mike's forgery story simply didn't ring true under investigation, so he had to consider the only alternative at the time. Anne would obviously not have wanted people to believe it was created in the Barretts' marital home, but she couldn't prove it wasn't, so Feldy's theories offered her a way of countering Mike's claim with one of her own, which was equally unprovable but more believable - at least to anyone with any experience of Mike's capabilities and limitations.

    It was inevitable, from the moment Melvin Harris sniffed out a modern fake, written by someone schooled in the 1930s, that Devereux would come under scrutiny, from the mere fact that Mike had named him as the person who gave him the diary and then promptly snuffed it. Harris knew instinctively that neither Mike nor Anne could be exposed as the actual creators, so he had to set his sights on the next best bet, and the Barretts were hardly social animals, mixing with large groups of friends and potential hoaxers. The suspect pool turned out to be pitifully small: the housebound Devereux, a captive audience, and the chap who witnessed his Will, who had no known associations with either Barrett. I doubt Billy Graham was ever considered seriously as the brains behind the diary, so the hoax busters had to make do with what little they had. Like flies crashing into the same three or four window panes and making no impact.

    I'm not wondering why Anne hasn't 'come clean' by admitting that Devereux had nothing to do with it. It would be fairly obvious, whether she and Mike committed fraud by faking the diary in early April 1992 [as per Barrat], or whether she came to realise, after going along with Mike's 'dead pal' story, that he had brought home stolen property in March 1992. Ignorance is no defence, and in either case she'd be exposed as a liar. She still has her daughter to think of too, and what 'coming clean' would mean for them both.

    Who gives two hoots what RJ 'personally' doesn't accept about the 9th March 1992 double event? The floorboards were lifted in Maybrick's old bedroom, and Mike called Doreen about a diary, whose supposed author he went on to identify as Maybrick. RJ has no choice but to argue for this being a simple coincidence - two entirely unrelated events - because, just like Feldy before him, he is incapable of letting go of his convictions about who was responsible for the diary and when, even for a second, to look in any other direction. I don't 'have' to solve anything, because I'm not the one arguing that the handwriting belongs to anyone associated with the Barretts. If RJ wants his simple coincidence accepted, he can demonstrate that the diary was handwritten by one of Bongos's associates. It had to be, so how hard can it be? RJ suspects Anne even intended to 'confess' their crime to Feldy, after leaving Mike to become a single mother, just because Feldy was pestering her in-laws. Presumably she didn't think of the impact on herself, her in-laws and her daughter - if she'd actually 'come clean'. She acted 'afraid and guilty' because she was telling a lie. If she was 'guilty' of fraud, and 'afraid' of the consequences, she was hardly going to get it off her chest, and get her in-laws left alone, by confessing all to Feldy. He needed to hear what he already believed, and she needed to tell him, to limit the damage done by her estranged husband's fraud fantasies. Why on earth would she have been intending to confirm them, to Feldy or anyone else? She could have called Harold Brough and let him and Trevor Marriott do the rest.

    Love,

    Caz
    X
    Last edited by caz; 09-18-2020, 04:17 PM.

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    P.S. But I suppose you're also wondering why--if the diary came from Fast Eddy--why Anne insisted it came from Devereux, instead of just revealing the 'true' origins when she decided to 'come clean.'

    That's one that you and Keith and James and Ike will have to solve, since I personally don't accept that Battlecrease floorboards had anything to do with it.

    Rereading Feldman's book, I suspect that Anne went to the Moat House to confess to Feldman that it was a modern hoax. It started when Feldman started to pester her in-laws and she knew she had to come clean. Feldman writes that Anne acted afraid and guilty. But I imagine that Feldman just started theorizing and spouting out his own genealogical theories, and, as Anne tried to gain her bearings, the 'in the family story' and the Yapp claptrap just spontaneously generated itself while Anne sat there nodding her head and sipping a rum and Coke.

    I can't prove it, but that's what I suspect.

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    Hi Caz. I have to get to work, so only a moment for a brief reply...

    Originally posted by caz View Post
    Just to clarify...

    Tales of Liverpool is not a 'Maybrick' book.
    Hence my use of quotation marks. But it does have a vignette on the Maybrick case, and Mike had referred to it--that's the relevance.

    Are you suggesting that Barrett hadn't mentioned this booklet to Shirley and Doreen until after the police found it the possession of Devereux's daughter?

    I don't think so, but even that wouldn't help, would it? Either way, the fact that it was in Devereux's possession in 1991 doesn't easily go away--which I think even Keith has admitted.

    Originally posted by caz View Post
    it would have made sense to him to 'include Devereux in the mix' when he swore his affidavit, to emphasise that Anne's story was a lie.
    No; I don't follow your reasoning. Sorry. How does that make sense? Barrett claimed that he and Graham had written the diary. You can't get any more emphatic than that in emphasizing that Anne's story was a lie! Mike could have simply said that Tony was a convenient prop, and left it at that. It added nothing to his confession. Instead, he included Devereux, who had been a compositor at the Echo, who, in turn, ran a series of articles on the Maybrick case in 1988. As I say, there is no real evidence against Devereux--none in the least--but it is still an angle that would have been worth pursuing.

    As for Anne...she had no choice but to incorporate Devereux. She was trying to walk back Barrett's confession, and convince Keith and Feldman that it was an old document. What else could she have said? She had to stick to the bit about Tony giving the diary to Mike, otherwise she would be admitting to have lied enormously from day one, rather than to merely admitting that she had used a subterfuge against Mike, and hadn't told the whole story.

    How could she have simply said "Mike and I lied about Tony from the very beginning. It's been in my family for years. Hell, I gave it to Mike ten years ago. Mike's research notes dating to 1991 were bollocks. I typed them up myself."

    Hardly a good start to new provenance explanation that she wants them to believe!

    The first question out of Feldman's mouth would have been: "if it's been in your family for forty years, why dephuque did you tell us it came from Devereux? You bloody went out of your way to destroy your own credibility? Why?"

    I think you can now appreciate my point.

    My earlier post may have been clumsy. I don't think Anne mentioning Tony tells us anything. She had to. But I still don't entirely know why Mike--and Gray--and Harris--and the reporter--were pointing in his direction.


    Cheers, RP


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  • caz
    replied
    Just to clarify...

    Tales of Liverpool is not a 'Maybrick' book.

    One of a dozen tales - towards the end of the book - deals with the case against Florence Maybrick, and would have given anyone already in possession of the Maybrick diary, and trying to make sense of it, precisely the information that would have told them who lived in Battlecrease House in 1889; where the house could be found; and where the master of the house was laid to rest, following his suspicious death on May 11th 1889: James Maybrick; Riversdale Road; Anfield Cemetery.

    And this is how Mike described the trail he followed, which took him to Riversdale Road, where he initially identified the wrong house as Battlecrease, and to Anfield Cemetery, where he eventually found the Maybrick grave after a fair bit of searching. Quite a neat trick, to work the clues backwards like that, from the diary to Tales of Liverpool, if this minor Maybrick source had been in Mike's hands for the creation of a Barrett hoax.

    The little book states that the Maybricks returned to England from Norfolk, Virginia 'in 1884 to take up residence at Battlecrease House, in Aigburth's Riversdale Road'. This is at best misleading, because the move to Battlecrease would not in fact be for another four years. They moved in, with their two young children, in February 1888, which is coincidentally around the time 'Sir Jim' is beginning to record his dark thoughts, and is 'convinced a dark shadow lays [urgh!] over the house, it is evil'. I find this more suggestive of a recent move into a gloomy house, than of finding the atmosphere oppressive after living there for four years, so I'm assuming the diary author was not misled by the 1884 date in Tales of Liverpool, and knew JM had only just moved into the house which soon cast its evil spell on him.

    When did Mike first claim that Tony Devereux was involved, along with Anne and her father? If it was after Anne had come out with her story, of giving the diary to Tony to give Mike, would that not explain it? Mike was adamant that Anne was lying and had never been to Tony's house, or even knew where he lived. Assuming Tony had nothing to do with it, and had only been named by Mike in 1992 because he was dead, then Mike knew Anne was lying but could do little about it, because he had started the lie and Anne had finished it. Since he was trying to take Anne [and Feldman] down with him, and Tony and Billy were both dead by January 1995 anyway, it would have made sense to him to 'include Devereux in the mix' when he swore his affidavit, to emphasise that Anne's story was a lie. Similarly he tried to take Billy down, for supporting Anne's story. Did Mike also know by then that Tony Devereux was among Melvin Harris's suspected hoaxers? If so, that would have been even more reason to include him.

    What I still can't get past is the idea of Anne hoaxing the diary with Mike in 1992, then adding to the 'Devereux' nonsense two years later by endorsing Mike's original story. Why would she have wanted to associate herself with Tony, and bring the focus back on him? He'd have been the one man Mike might have confided in, back in 1991, about their plans for the diary, when he was going round there regularly. He'd probably have bored the poor housebound man to death if he'd still been around by the September, when the new school year began. Luckily for Anne, it was only the harmless, popular Tales of Liverpool that Mike had left with Tony, and not a series of notebooks containing his "DAiry ideas".

    Conversely, if Anne only knew that Mike brought the diary home one day in March 1992, and therefore Devereux was his cover story for someone or something else, she was relatively safe when she endorsed it in July 1994, following Mike's stupid and damaging forgery claim, and she did at least improve on his original 'dead pal' provenance. She also had nothing to fear from anything that may have turned up in Tony's house if it couldn't possibly have any connection with the "old book" Mike took to show Doreen in April 1992.

    Love,

    Caz
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