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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by caz View Post
    I don't know who alleged that Melvin had 'somehow injected trace amounts of chloroacetamide into samples of the diary's ink, in order to "prove" that the ink was Diamine', or who would have supported such a suggestion, especially if it was known that he never had access to the ink samples, because they were mailed directly to AFI. But on 12th June 1995, Melvin himself wrote to Reed Hayes, to explain that Bob Kuranz had a couple of gelatine capsules containing diary ink and had agreed to send one over for laboratory tests. Melvin writes: 'The capsule was received by me in its original state and sent unopened, taped into its polystyrene housing, to Diana Simpson, head of Analysis For Industry...'

    I have absolutely no doubt this was true, and in any case it would have been useless to inject 'trace' amounts of chloroacetamide into the diary ink, imagining it would then be a perfect match with Diamine. The mystery for me is why AFI were only asked to test for the presence of chloroacetamide, and not to analyse all the main constituents and their percentages, so the diary ink could be compared directly with the Diamine supposed to have been used.
    Let me refresh your memory, Caz. It was Shirley Harrison, writing to Diane Simpson sometime in December 1994.

    Here is Dr. Simpson's response, which makes it obvious that Harrison had asked her whether the capsule had been tampered with, and whether Harris could have deliberately injected the sample ink with chloroacetamide at the nanogram level.

    Of course, it's ancient history now. And yet you recently asked why, a couple of weeks later, Harris didn't jump at the opportunity to send out copies of Mike's sworn affidavit to Harrison and Skinner! Would you have done so, considering the accusations swirling around?

    Click image for larger version

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    As for the percentages of chloroacetamide found by AFI, Robert Smith completely misunderstood this test and created a lot of confusion and misinformation by claiming the amount was too small to have been consistent with Diamine.

    But all AFI had were tiny dots of dried ink. To extract a useable sample, they had to separate the ink from the paper using a solvent, so obviously there was no way to test for anything but the presence of chloroacetamide. Smith didn't grasp this, and his objections were repeated on this forum for over a decade.




    Comment


    • Originally posted by PaulB View Post
      It's possible that Mike could have thought the dates could have been cut-offable, or hoped it would have blank pages, and thought that advertising for a diary was better than advertising for a late Victorian notebook or late Victorian paper or anything that look less suspiciously like a diary with the dates cut off or blank pages torn from a diary.
      Sorry for jumping in, but Mike hoped it would have blank pages, Paul?

      This isn't in dispute, is it? Martin Earl's advertisement, placed on Barrett's behalf, INSISTS that it"must have at least twenty blank pages."

      Originally posted by PaulB View Post
      If he had the narrative already sitting on his computer and if he knew how many blank pages it would use, he was a highly optimistic soul if he hoped to find a lot of undated and unused pages in a diary, don't you think?
      Why optimistic? According to Keith, the transcript found on the Barretts' computer was 29 pages in length. Assuming that blank pages are blank on both sides, even if Mike only received his minimum 20 blank sheets, he'd have 40 pages to transcribe the pre-existing typescript.

      And, of course, Mike could have always changed the typescript to accommodate whatever Diary he ended up with.

      Indeed, its rather interesting that the existing ledger shows a Diarist with no concern about rationing paper--there are plenty of scribbles and flourishes and, at times, huge handwriting, as if in late 1888 "Maybrick" was already well aware how the story would end and he wouldn't be needing those extras pages at the end... almost like he was writing it all down from a pre-existing typescript, and knew, particularly as the project wore on, that he had plenty of paper at his disposal.

      ;-)

      Comment


      • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

        Sorry for jumping in, but Mike hoped it would have blank pages, Paul?

        This isn't in dispute, is it? Martin Earl's advertisement, placed on Barrett's behalf, INSISTS that it"must have at least twenty blank pages."
        That's all very well, RJ, but the diary he actually ordered did not have anything like twenty blank pages, did it? So how much worth did Mike put on his own insistence?

        Why optimistic? According to Keith, the transcript found on the Barretts' computer was 29 pages in length. Assuming that blank pages are blank on both sides, even if Mike only received his minimum 20 blank sheets, he'd have 40 pages to transcribe the pre-existing typescript.
        He didn't ask for blank sheets, RJ. He asked for blank 'pages', and didn't specify what size those pages had to be, so what is the relevance of the number of A4 pages of the diary typescript that you have assumed, with no evidence, was 'pre-existing' when Mike actually ordered what Martin Earl had managed to locate for him?

        Here it is again, for the benefit of other readers who may be misled by your arguments:

        What Mike ordered was 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 [apart from the printed dates] 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'.'

        And, of course, Mike could have always changed the typescript to accommodate whatever Diary he ended up with.
        But of course, he didn't, because he could hardly have changed the 1891 diary to accommodate whatever you suppose was already prepared on the word processor. Isn't that the only reason David Barrat had to find an auction between the arrival of the 1891 diary and 13th April, when the scrapbook was seen in London?

        Indeed, its rather interesting that the existing ledger shows a Diarist with no concern about rationing paper--there are plenty of scribbles and flourishes and, at times, huge handwriting, as if in late 1888 "Maybrick" was already well aware how the story would end and he wouldn't be needing those extras pages at the end... almost like he was writing it all down from a pre-existing typescript, and knew, particularly as the project wore on, that he had plenty of paper at his disposal. ;-)
        Conversely, it would have been more of a problem for a hoaxer, working from a pre-existing typescript, to leave himself with no blank pages at the end, as if the real JM coincidentally reached the last page of the scrapbook on the same day he wrote the final entry, before snuffing it a week later. As it turned out, the seventeen blank pages at the end were exactly what a hoaxer needed, and yet Mike had only insisted on a diary with 'at least twenty' [any old size will do], for the hoaxer to write out the entire text and still have some credible blank pages left over, and then settled for a diary of an impossible date and size, which had no suitable blank pages at all!

        Love,

        Caz
        X
        Last edited by caz; 09-07-2020, 04:38 PM.
        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


        Comment


        • Originally posted by caz View Post
          Here it is again, for the benefit of other readers who may be misled by your arguments:

          What Mike ordered was 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 [apart from the printed dates] 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'.'
          Mislead by my arguments, Caz? How about your own?

          We'll never know exactly what Mike ordered, because we weren't there for the telephone call, but we can infer what he ordered by referencing Martin Earl's advertisement in Bookdealer on 19 March 1992. Here it is:

          Click image for larger version  Name:	Earl.JPG Views:	0 Size:	20.6 KB ID:	741483

          Hmm. Not a whisper about 1891 or anything else you describe in your post.

          You're trying to confuse what Mike received (or was willing to receive) with what he ordered. That's obvious enough.

          I think most readers here will have had the experience of ordering one thing, and receiving something entirely different in the mail.

          As for the red diary being unsuitable, you'll have to take that up with Paul B.

          If I read his previous post correctly, he suggested that Mike may have bought the red diary to transcribe the 'real' diary into it. How could he have done so if Martin Earl patiently explained it was a postage stamp with every page stamped with the year 1891?

          The fact is, we don't know that Earl said anything of the kind. It's what you are hoping he said.

          And even if Earl described a less-than-accommodating (but entirely blank) diary, what would stop Barrett from taking the plunge?

          It's not like he intended to pay for it. Mike was down as a late payer, and seems to have had a history of stiffing people. Alan Gray, for instance.

          Keith Skinner informed me back in 2005 that when Anne produced her cheque stubs, showing the payment for this highly suspicious purchase, the stubs on either side of this payment had been torn out, so, naturally, Keith didn't have a chance to see what else she may have recently purchased.

          Was it a meaningless event, or was she trying to hide something?

          It doesn't prove anything, of course; you might argue she was hiding a payment to Eddie Lyons, while I might suggest she was hiding a payment to 0 & L auctioneers.

          We'll never know, because Scotland Yard didn't subpoena the Barretts' financial records. The criminal complaint was against Robert Smith, not Mike Barrett.

          Anyway, the pragmatist in me would like some sort of resolution, instead of this endless back-and-forth bickering.

          All I can think of is that maybe Anne Graham can take legal advice, and Robert Smith can write an open letter, releasing her from any potential financial complications if she resurfaces and tells --for the first time-- what she actually knows about the origins of the Diary. No risks; just clear the air after 26+ years.

          If she says Mike bought it off Lyons, or whether she said she and Mike cooked it up in the kitchen, let the chips fall where they may.

          But I don't think it's ever going to happen.

          This is the end of the road. A handful of cranks and enthusiasts, arguing over ancient history.
          Last edited by rjpalmer; 09-07-2020, 05:13 PM.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

            Let me refresh your memory, Caz. It was Shirley Harrison, writing to Diane Simpson sometime in December 1994.
            Morning RJ,

            Well unless the letter from Dr Diana Simpson to Shirley has been posted and discussed before, I have no 'memory' of it to be refreshed. I have never had a copy or it would be on my timeline. Nor have I seen the letter from Shirley to Dr Simpson, so I'd only be inferring what Shirley wrote, from how Simpson responded, and reading between the lines has always been more your thing than mine. Did Shirley simply ask if the samples were 'unsealed'? Did she accuse Melvin or anyone else outright of 'deliberately' contaminating the samples with chloroacetamide? Or was Simpson also reading between the lines of Shirley's concerns about accidental contamination? I don't know. Do you? Although the letter you posted has been cut short - always a nuisance I know - I presume it was copied to Melvin Harris, which is how it eventually found its way to you?

            I do know that you were mistaken when you stated that the samples were flown directly to AFI, and didn't go via Melvin, because he told Reed Hayes he was the middle man, when writing to him on 12th June 1995. Again, we have false assumptions on either side, which can fuel unhelpful suspicions. It would be nice, one day, to have an acknowledgement from you that this is the case, and you do sometimes get it wrong.

            Of course, it's ancient history now. And yet you recently asked why, a couple of weeks later, Harris didn't jump at the opportunity to send out copies of Mike's sworn affidavit to Harrison and Skinner! Would you have done so, considering the accusations swirling around?
            What would have been the problem, with everyone having a copy of the same sworn affidavit, so it could be investigated thoroughly while the iron was hot? I don't see the comparison you make with Shirley's concerns over ink samples being sent across the pond to Melvin in a gelatine capsule. According to Leeds University, gelatine has 'an astonishing ability to absorb and interact with anything it contacts', so I might have had some concerns in Shirley's position. As far as I know, sworn affidavits are pretty immutable between the witnessing by a solicitor and the distribution to any other individuals.

            As for the percentages of chloroacetamide found by AFI, Robert Smith completely misunderstood this test and created a lot of confusion and misinformation by claiming the amount was too small to have been consistent with Diamine.

            But all AFI had were tiny dots of dried ink. To extract a useable sample, they had to separate the ink from the paper using a solvent, so obviously there was no way to test for anything but the presence of chloroacetamide. Smith didn't grasp this, and his objections were repeated on this forum for over a decade.
            You may be able to help me with this one. Nick Warren sent AFI some chloroacetamide he obtained from Diamine in Liverpool, so I'm wondering why, if there was 'so obviously' no way for AFI to test for anything but the presence of this chemical in the diary ink samples. Did they need Warren's chloroacetamide to identify the same chemical in the diary ink? I'm no scientist, so I'm merely curious.

            But instead of putting me straight, why don't you write to Robert Smith, and explain to him - in layman's terms - how he completely misunderstood AFI's test? You both have way more influence than I could ever have, so it would be good to see some co-operation at last, between the people who could make a difference.

            Love,

            Caz
            X
            Last edited by caz; 09-08-2020, 09:36 AM.
            "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


            Comment


            • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

              Mislead by my arguments, Caz? How about your own?

              We'll never know exactly what Mike ordered, because we weren't there for the telephone call, but we can infer what he ordered by referencing Martin Earl's advertisement in Bookdealer on 19 March 1992. Here it is:

              Click image for larger version Name:	Earl.JPG Views:	0 Size:	20.6 KB ID:	741483

              Hmm. Not a whisper about 1891 or anything else you describe in your post.

              You're trying to confuse what Mike received (or was willing to receive) with what he ordered. That's obvious enough.
              No, this isn't my 'argument', RJ. You don't need to 'infer' what he ordered from the advert he placed, because Martin Earl himself has recently made it quite plain that Mike was given the description Martin received in writing from his supplier, together with the cost of the item, to ascertain if he still wanted Martin to order it for him. The very fact that payment was not asked for up front demonstrates that Martin agreed, on this occasion, to send him the 1891 diary on approval, which meant taking on the financial risk himself. Martin still had to pay his supplier when ordering this diary, which very obviously did not meet his customer's original specifications, either in date or usable blank pages. So whether it was going to cost him 20 or 200, he wasn't going to waste his time or his money on something the customer hadn't asked for and didn't want. And the 1891 diary could not have been less fit for purpose, if that purpose was to house the Maybrick diary.

              I don't know why this needs repeating, but one day the message will have to get through.

              I think most readers here will have had the experience of ordering one thing, and receiving something entirely different in the mail.
              Are you now suggesting that Martin Earl paid up front for a diary he misdescribed to Mike as a partly used one, dating from 1880-90, with 20+ blank pages in it?

              Seriously? Are you so desperate to have poor Mike wallowing in total ignorance of what he was about to receive, that Martin Earl has to be cast as a dodgy salesman who was as stupid as he was crooked?

              The fact is, we don't know that Earl said anything of the kind. It's what you are hoping he said.
              No, it's what you are hoping against hope that he didn't say. I have only repeated what he did say, when asked specifically about the advert Mike placed; the 1891 diary that was located; and the procedure Martin went through to describe it, then order and pay for it himself, at Mike's request.

              Keith Skinner informed me back in 2005 that when Anne produced her cheque stubs, showing the payment for this highly suspicious purchase, the stubs on either side of this payment had been torn out, so, naturally, Keith didn't have a chance to see what else she may have recently purchased.

              Was it a meaningless event, or was she trying to hide something?
              I'm only surprised Anne co-operated at all with Keith and Shirley. She wasn't obliged to send Keith her original cheque book, or original bank statement, (showing him other payments), or the photocopy of the original cheque which she obtained from her bank. Why shouldn't she have removed cheque stubs either side of the one for the red diary? That was none of anyone's business, and I'd have done the same, if I still had a cheque book from 3 years ago, which I had forgotten to shred.

              Just file it under your 'evidence withheld or destroyed' to protect the various guilty parties. Must be quite a burden, carrying around all these suspicions about people you don't know and have never met. What I do know is that although we have exchanged posts over many, many years, you have grasped nothing about me as a person, and routinely misjudge my character and motivation, which gives me very little confidence in your ability to judge others, with whom you have never corresponded.

              Anyway, the pragmatist in me would like some sort of resolution, instead of this endless back-and-forth bickering.
              That would be nice. If you do decide to write to Robert Smith, you could ask him to contact Anne Graham, or to put you in contact with her, to see if she would be prepared after all this time to say what she really knew about how and when Mike came to have the diary in his possession.

              If she says Mike bought it off Lyons, or whether she said she and Mike cooked it up in the kitchen, let the chips fall where they may.
              And you'd believe her whichever way the chips fell, would you? Even if she stuck to her 'in the family story', to protect herself, her daughter and anyone else who might have known a less palatable truth?

              This is the end of the road. A handful of cranks and enthusiasts, arguing over ancient history.
              That's a matter of opinion, RJ, and you are most welcome to it.

              Love,

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


              Comment


              • Originally posted by caz View Post

                Morning RJ,

                Well unless the letter from Dr Diana Simpson to Shirley has been posted and discussed before, I have no 'memory' of it to be refreshed. I have never had a copy or it would be on my timeline... Although the letter you posted has been cut short - always a nuisance I know - I presume it was copied to Melvin Harris, which is how it eventually found its way to you?
                Good afternoon, Caz.

                It’s hardly a big secret, but I'll give you a friendly reminder.

                Simpson’s letter in its entirety has been on this website for over twenty years: part of Melvin Harris’s dissertation, The Maybrick Hoax: A Fact File for the Perplexed, dated April 1997.

                https://www.casebook.org/dissertatio.../factfile.html

                The letter is “Appendix B.”

                You really ought to try reading Melvin’s dissertations sometime; they’re pretty good!


                Originally posted by caz View Post
                Nor have I seen the letter from Shirley to Dr Simpson, so I'd only be inferring what Shirley wrote, from how Simpson responded, and reading between the lines has always been more your thing than mine.
                Thank you. I’ll assume that's a compliment.

                Simpson: “it is difficult to imagine how such samples could have been treated DELIBERATELY with chloroacetamide in nanogram amounts.”

                Something tells me that Dr. Simpson wasn't responding to a harmless question about the weather, but--hey--that's just me. I'm forever barking up the wrong tree!

                Thanks for setting me straight,

                RP

                Comment


                • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                  Good afternoon, Caz.

                  It’s hardly a big secret, but I'll give you a friendly reminder.

                  Simpson’s letter in its entirety has been on this website for over twenty years: part of Melvin Harris’s dissertation, The Maybrick Hoax: A Fact File for the Perplexed, dated April 1997.

                  https://www.casebook.org/dissertatio.../factfile.html

                  The letter is “Appendix B.”

                  You really ought to try reading Melvin’s dissertations sometime; they’re pretty good!
                  Yeah, now I remember, I read them soon after I first found this place, which was in late 1998. My photographic memory faded when I no longer needed it for school exams, and that was a loooong time ago, so forgive me if I didn't immediately recognise that one letter from having seen it over twenty years ago.

                  Yes, Melvin and his dissertations. Give 'em the old razzle dazzle, the old hocus pocus. But how will they see with all those sequins in their eyes?

                  Thank you. I’ll assume that's a compliment.

                  Simpson: “it is difficult to imagine how such samples could have been treated DELIBERATELY with chloroacetamide in nanogram amounts.”

                  Something tells me that Dr. Simpson wasn't responding to a harmless question about the weather, but--hey--that's just me. I'm forever barking up the wrong tree!

                  Thanks for setting me straight,

                  RP
                  That was Simpson writing, yes? And she didn't use capital letters for the D word, did she? So after reassuring Shirley that the samples did not arrive in an 'unsealed' packet [which might in theory have resulted in accidental contamination], Simpson began a new paragraph to make a separate comment about the unlikelihood that the samples could have been treated 'deliberately' with chloroacetamide 'in nanogram amounts' - which appears unrelated to how they were packaged when they arrived, and more a scientific observation ruling out both accidental and deliberate contamination, prior to receipt.

                  So unless Shirley's letter turns up, it is more a presumption than a matter of fact that she accused anyone of deliberately adding chloroacetamide to the samples. If she did, it was foolish in the extreme, and I'm not defending whatever she was suggesting, because it was bound to end badly. But we both know where false assumptions and suspicions can lead us, and have led us in the past, so she wouldn't be the first or the last to go down that road and find a cul-de-sac at the end.

                  Love,

                  Caz
                  X

                  Last edited by caz; 09-09-2020, 02:47 PM.
                  "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                  Comment


                  • But what about my theory that the Diary is a modern forgery based on an old hoax?

                    Comment


                    • Hi Scotty,

                      It's a tricky one, because Mike claimed all sorts, changing the details about the diary's origins at the drop of a hat, or in the space of a single conversation, and he'd have said almost anything to ruin Feldman. But to my knowledge he never suggested the diary was based on an older version.

                      Love,

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


                      Comment


                      • Thank you Caroline. Would you consider it possible that the Diary was composed either during or shortly after the Michael Caine miniseries?

                        Comment


                        • ...but not by Michael Barrett?

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                            ...but not by Michael Barrett?
                            By Deveraux? Or Kane? Or both? Or others who played Barrett like a Bongo? Or Eddie? Sans malice, obviously, they were honest blaggers.

                            Bongo was too stupid, case closed. There's much to support that , was he used as a middle man? An opportunist? A chancer? Maybe.

                            Scott, your asking 'modern hoax' but not Barrett. Yeah, seems likely if one was to dismiss the Maybrick authenticity, but it has to include Barrett, after all , he brought it to attention.

                            Could be a modern hoax, without Barrett, but I reckon played them for fools.
                            Thems the Vagaries.....

                            Comment


                            • Well, modern forgery maybe -- but based on an old hoax. Modern forgers? Maybe Devereux and Kane working together or separately. Problem is, there's no trace of an older document.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                                Thank you Caroline. Would you consider it possible that the Diary was composed either during or shortly after the Michael Caine miniseries?
                                Hi Scotty,

                                I'm not really qualified to have an opinion on this. I watched the Michael Caine miniseries years ago, but mainly because I adore Michael Caine!

                                Without watching it again, I wouldn't be able to comment on anything this drama may have had in common with the Maybrick diary aside from the focus on Abberline. But if that's the main, or only thing they have in common, I wouldn't call it good evidence that the former directly influenced the latter. The most one could say is that if the diary was created after 1987, our hoaxer was probably among the viewers. But the science hasn't been able to put the writing definitively any later than 1970, and the handwriting has yet to be identified as that of anyone alive in 1988 and associated with the Barretts.

                                When Mike had his best opportunity to explain the diary's origins, in his affidavit of 5th January 1995, he didn't mention Michael Caine. Instead, he said:

                                'The idea of the Diary came from discussion between Tony Devereux, Anne Barrett my wife and myself... We looked closely at the background of James Maybrick and I read everything to do with the Jack the Ripper matter. I felt Maybrick was an ideal candidate for Jack the Ripper. Most important of all, he could not defend himself. He was not 'Jack the Ripper' of that I am certain, but, times, places, visits to London and all that fitted. It was to (sic) easey (sic).'

                                One question I would ask is whether the hoaxer could have composed the entire text without even leaving Liverpool. Would there have been no need to do any research in London? I have seen no evidence that either Mike or Anne had ever been to London before April 1992.

                                And how easy would it have been to check that Maybrick was in England the whole time, from early 1888 to his death in May 1889?

                                Love,

                                Caz
                                X
                                Last edited by caz; 09-14-2020, 01:50 PM.
                                "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


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