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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
    I am slightly puzzled that Martin Fido, who had an impressive knowledge of literature, would find the publication of Edmund McCoy's novel, 'Blood of the Fathers,' so coincidental, it having appeared shortly before the emergence of the Maybrick Hoax.

    Surely, it is a very common literary device in mystery novels to have old diaries, secret journals, etc., and, of course, writing a work of fiction in the form of a journal is as old as the hills.

    Valerie Marin's novel 'Mary Reilly,' which retells the tale of Jekyll and Hyde through the undated journal of his servant, made a splash only a year or two earlier, 1990. I don't know if it was widely read in the UK, but it was certainly made into a horrible film.

    To my knowledge, four different 'Ripperologists' have been privately accused over the years of having taken part in the Maybrick hoax, not counting Feldy. Only one of these allegations is even remotely interesting.

    Personally, I don't see it as likely. A 'Ripperologist' would want to show off his knowledge of the crimes, and the hoaxer has little or none. Just a vague regurgitation of the all the clichés. He/she even has Abberline investigating the Eddowes murder.

    Not a sophisticate by any means, unless, perhaps, it was a joke gone awry.

    Then there's the issue of choosing Mike Barrett as one's confederate.
    A joke gone awry, because it was found in the right place but by the wrong person, who passed it on quickly to an unsuspecting Mike Barrett, because it was too hot to handle, sounds extremely plausible to me, and makes sense of much that is otherwise nonsensical.

    Not much point in a 'Ripperologist' or anyone else wanting to show off their knowledge if the work was always meant to be anonymous. Smuggling a hoax into Battlecrease might be viewed as not much more creditable than taking one out.
    "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


    Comment


    • Originally posted by Mike J. G. View Post

      If we're dismissing things on the basis of unreliability then we can go ahead and dismiss the many origin stories of the diary itself, as none of them are reliable and all are contradictory. Unfortunately, if you're pushing for the diary to be a genuine artifact found by Eddie Lyons at Battlecreese then you're going to have to have a solid excuse as to why this particular provenance is so shockingly unreliable, otherwise it can be dismissed and the proper conclusion of obvious hoax should remain.
      Just imagine for one second that the 'old book', as those in the know - several of them still with us - think of it, was indeed 'liberated' from Paul Dodd's house by an electrician working there. It was then quickly passed on to Mike Barrett, who happened to be in his local pub [as he was at the same time every weekday during term time, before picking up his daughter from the school over the road] and expressed an immediate interest in it. Mike wasn't told where it had come from or when, but he was as keen as mustard to take it off the electrician's hands, and £25 cash in 1992, for some old book with old writing in it, no questions asked, seemed like a reasonable result for both parties.

      Now why in heaven's name would anyone expect a Battlecrease provenance that wasn't in doubt, given those circumstances?
      "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


      Comment


      • Originally posted by Mike J. G. View Post


        Devereux writing the diary is possible, but not probable, imo. We know very little about him, whereas we already know enough about Mike to know he was capable. The inability to believe Mike was behind it stems more from a mistaken belief that the diary must've been penned by some sort of genius, when the truth behind good hoaxes is often much more mundane when revealed. If Tony wrote it, everyone around him kept quiet and let Mike and Anne have the spotlight. Tony may well have been a reader, but there's no evidence that he was a writer.
        Not 'some sort of genius'. Just not the Mike Barrett who was known to all those closest to him. Who says 'we' know enough about him to know he was both capable of writing the diary and likely to have done so? Those who have never met him or ever talked to him, presumably. Interesting that you lump the diary in with 'good' hoaxes. Was that a Freudian slip?

        Tony was brown bread by the time the diary arrived in Goldie Street. That's the only reason he became part of the story to begin with.

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


        Comment


        • Originally posted by caz View Post

          The problem is that Mike didn't ask for 20+ blank pages of A4 size. He asked for a diary for 1880-1890 with 20+ blank pages, without specifying any size for the pages. If he'd spent the previous year drafting the text on A4, is it likely that he never gave a thought in all that time to what size the 20+ pages would need to be, and ended up ordering a useless little article in March 1992, after getting a positive response from the London literary agent?

          Love,

          Caz
          X

          That’s very true Caz.
          Purely out of interest I occasionally search on eBay for a Victorian diary.
          So far, the majority of them seem to be large books similar in size to the Ripper Diary.
          All big enough to accommodate 9000 words over 18 pages.
          And if Barrett didn’t give a thought to the size of a Victorian diary’s page, then a 20 page minimum is a safe amount for any layman to request when wanting to put a 9000 word manuscript to paper.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Yabs View Post


            That’s very true Caz.
            Purely out of interest I occasionally search on eBay for a Victorian diary.
            So far, the majority of them seem to be large books similar in size to the Ripper Diary.
            All big enough to accommodate 9000 words over 18 pages.
            And if Barrett didn’t give a thought to the size of a Victorian diary’s page, then a 20 page minimum is a safe amount for any layman to request when wanting to put a 9000 word manuscript to paper.
            I think the internet is amazing.

            I often wonder how difficult it must have been pre-internet 1992 to get anything like that.

            I guess specialist book buyers and auction houses would be the places.

            Shame there has been approximately zero evidence of the scrapbook actually coming from either source.
            "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
            - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

            Comment


            • Hi Yabs,

              Originally posted by Yabs View Post
              That’s very true Caz.
              Purely out of interest I occasionally search on eBay for a Victorian diary.
              Something which Mike Barrett would obviously never have had the luxury of.

              So far, the majority of them seem to be large books similar in size to the Ripper Diary.
              Something which Mike Barrett would obviously not have known.

              And if Barrett didn't give a thought to the size of a Victorian diary’s page, then a 20 page minimum is a safe amount for any layman to request when wanting to put a 9000 word manuscript to paper.
              Something which Mike Barrett could not possibly have known without a level of research entirely unnecessary to us in the modern internet age.

              It's probably always worth reminding ourselves how very different our information age is to Mike Barrett's in 1992 before we unintentionally influence modern readers with erroneous conclusions.

              Cheers,

              Ike
              Iconoclast

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                Hi Yabs,
                Something which Mike Barrett could not possibly have known without a level of research entirely unnecessary to us in the modern internet age.

                It's probably always worth reminding ourselves how very different our information age is to Mike Barrett's in 1992 before we unintentionally influence modern readers with erroneous conclusions.

                Cheers,

                Ike
                Hi Icke.
                If he was using a word processor he would be aware how many pages he would need for 9000 words.
                500 words per page is standard, even without the benefit of the internet.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                  It's probably always worth reminding ourselves how very different our information age is to Mike Barrett's in 1992 before we unintentionally influence modern readers with erroneous conclusions.
                  If Barrett had had the internet, he could have quickly discovered that phrases like "bumbling buffoon" didn't come into popular usage until the mid-20th Century and thus avoided using them, thus saving modern diary investigators the trouble of coming up with convoluted an esoteric explanations for their appearance in a "Victorian" text.

                  Similarly, Harris, Harrison, Fido, Feldman, Smith, Skinner, etc., could have used the Google app to quickly ascertain that the name of the mysterious author of "Oh [sic] costly intercourse of death [sic]"1 was the 17th Century metaphysical poet Richard Crashaw, and thus they wouldn't have had to wait for Mike Barrett, of all people, to not only point this out, but to point out that the correct rendition of the phrase could be found in a secondary source: an essay in the Sphere Guide, a copy of which he later produced.

                  But Barrett didn't have the internet, as you rightly point out, which is why he called Martin E. Earl (later of HP Bookfinder), who placed an ad in Bookdealer for a blank or nearly blank Victorian Diary, best summarized here:

                  Acquiring A Victorian Diary - Casebook: Jack the Ripper Forums

                  Time does creep rather slowly, doesn't it, always circling back to Barrett's strange mechanisms?

                  That there is "approximately zero evidence" that the scrapbook came from a book buyer or an auction house isn't entirely true, is it? We have Earl's advertisement as circumstantial evidence that Barrett tried this route, confirmed by the receipt produced by Anne, etc.

                  As for Outhwaite and Litherland, Alan Gray tried to gain access to their books, but was turned away. When the firm later checked their books at the request of Shirley Harrison, they checked an illogical span of dates inconsistent with a careful analysis of Barrett's confession.

                  By the time anyone noticed, whatever evidence may have existed had been pulped for all eternity.

                  Have a nice day, Ike!

                  R P


                  1 Hmm! Two errors in five words--rather strange for a supposedly 'memorable' phrase. Is that behavior consistent with anyone associated with the diary? Is the presence of 'Oh' instead of 'O' consistent with the text being dictated at some point?
                  Last edited by rjpalmer; 06-24-2021, 10:12 AM.

                  Comment


                  • One more volley:

                    Originally posted by caz View Post
                    I would also remind people that the diary is no more in Mike or Anne's handwriting than it is in James Maybrick's - which is presumably why people still have to come up with spurious arguments based on claims that were never made.
                    Is this a fair comparison?

                    That the diary wasn't in James Maybrick's handwriting was the conclusion of several profession and highly experienced document examiners.

                    That the diary wasn't in the handwriting of Mike or Anne was the conclusion of a small group of "Ripperologists."

                    One experiment, it appears, was to have Anne recreate short phrases from the diary at various writing speeds. But considering that she was well aware that she was being scrutinized, how conclusive would that be?

                    Further, a hoaxer would be aware of the risks, and either disguise their handwriting or use a penman. Thus, the handwriting in no way could prove Barrett's non-involvement in the hoax, which I assume you acknowledge.

                    The devil in me has always been somewhat amused by the photograph of Mike Barrett, circa 1994/5, wrapping his injured wrist in a bandage. Strange that this injury should occur at the very moment that people were attempting to get samples of his handwriting. I'm further struck by the contrast between Barrett's notes in BloCK leTteRinG, and his fluid signature on the Amstrad receipt. I am not claiming that Barrett is the penman; I just find it interesting how Mike was always stirring the pot.

                    Click image for larger version  Name:	Barrett.JPG Views:	0 Size:	24.3 KB ID:	760751


                    Finally, I don't know what you mean by "spurious arguments," Caz. Do you have an example?

                    I recently pointed out that it was rather strange for people to theorize how likely it would have been for Maybrick to own the collected works of Dick Crashaw, when the diary wasn't in his handwriting. I thought it a fair point, but I was chastised for my lack of objectivity.

                    But 'objectivity' does not require one to be myopic.

                    Why should we need to theorize how quickly Michael Ostrog could remove a kidney? Doing so might even leave the reader with a wrong impression.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Yabs View Post

                      Hi Icke.
                      If he was using a word processor he would be aware how many pages he would need for 9000 words.
                      500 words per page is standard, even without the benefit of the internet.
                      But the red diary located for Mike was described fully to him to check if he wanted to go ahead and order it. This was standard procedure for every item located. Mike said yes please and it was duly sent to him.

                      Keith Skinner has it in his possession and has described it as:

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

                      I think it may have been unintentionally misleading to say that nearly all of the pages are 'blank', because the dates from 1st Jan to 31st Dec 1891 are printed throughout the diary. 'Unused' would be a better word, although it's hard to see how anyone could imagine being able to squeeze 9000 words into those tiny pages between the printed dates, never mind claim the entries were written in 1888 and 1889.

                      Love,

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


                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                        Hi Caz.

                        The woman who married Mike Barrett, who signed on the dotted line when the publishing contract was made, who (from your own admission) lied multiple times to diary investigators, who paid for the blank Victorian diary, whose father bankrolled Barrett's writing career, who invented a new provenance tale when the old one came crashing down, and who went on to not only work with Feldman's team but to write her own book about the Maybrick case, would have, under no circumstances, helped Mike Barrett create a hoax.

                        Got it. And a most convenient belief for anyone who desperately wants the diary to be something other than a modern fake.

                        R P
                        Yes, Anne married Mike, but the rest of it would all have been a consequence of him bringing the diary into their lives, assuming that's what he did, one day in March 1992. After that, it was all about trying to manage a situation that was not of her own making, and one that she had never invited.

                        Helping Mike create a hoax would have been an entirely different kettle of fish. I trust you can see the difference.
                        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                          Finally, I don't know what you mean by "spurious arguments," Caz. Do you have an example?
                          Did you not read the whole post? I quoted and responded to a post by Mike J. G. See my post #6277. I thought it was pretty self-evident.
                          "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                            That there is "approximately zero evidence" that the scrapbook came from a book buyer or an auction house isn't entirely true, is it? We have Earl's advertisement as circumstantial evidence that Barrett tried this route, confirmed by the receipt produced by Anne, etc.
                            Even if you could prove intention (which has not been done - just an ad was placed) the actual scrapbook that is in the hands of Robert Smith has not been traced to any such source.

                            That is the one that matters. No matter what might or might not have been intended, for whatever reason or purpose, Mike Barratt saw fit. It is not evidence the one in Robert Smith's possession came from the same means.
                            "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                            - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                              Even if you could prove intention (which has not been done - just an ad was placed) the actual scrapbook that is in the hands of Robert Smith has not been traced to any such source.

                              That is the one that matters. No matter what might or might not have been intended, for whatever reason or purpose, Mike Barratt saw fit. It is not evidence the one in Robert Smith's possession came from the same means.
                              Indeed, it's not evidence that the final product came from the same means. It clearly didn't, hence the O+L auction.

                              "Just an ad placed" At that time, in those circumstances, that's intent. If it's not, it's hard to dismiss.

                              Anyhow, I'm not getting into Maybrick stuff, more than I've just stated. I'd just like to say a welcome return to Ike, me owd humourous mucker. I'd been led to believe he'd gone off in a sulk, but I guess that was a "Major Misunderstanding".

                              We'll never agree on that diary, but we'll agree that Sunderland are ****. Several seasons in League one. Nuff said.
                              Thems the Vagaries.....

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                                You clearly haven't been following this saga very closely, Ike, or you wouldn't have asked the above question. Correct me if I'm wrong, didn't you once post an excerpt from this document?

                                As for the rest of it, you seem to have missed the plot.

                                If the typescript was created at the instigation of Doreen Montgomery (as we have been told), which would date it to after 10 March 1992, why did Doreen herself (along with Paul Begg) voice an entirely different understanding of these events, and state that the typescript was actually created by Barrett himself for an entirely different reason? Why did the story change, and what, if anything, necessitated that change? Equally, why were we told something was a 'fact' (by Caz) when there actually appears to have been considerable confusion about what happened and when it happened?

                                By the way, according to a statement in the archives, the last person to have possession of the word processor was not Mike Barrett; it was Anne Graham. Keith made a reference to Anne still using the Amstrad 8256 after her split with Barrett, to type up notes for Feldman, write reports, etc. A fox in the henhouse, as it were.

                                A few weeks ago, I had a discussion about a vaguely similar situation with a lady friend of mine. When a couple divorces or splits, there is always the ticklish question of who gets what. We decided there is a kind of unspoken law of the matrimonial universe that if something was given to hubby by the 'in laws,' ownership rightfully reverts to the wife. It may or may not be entirely fair, but that's the way it usually works.

                                Is this why the Amstrad reverted to Graham? Was Mike correct in stating that it was William Graham who shelled out four hundred pounds plus VAX for the word processor? Why would Billy have done that for the benefit of an illiterate scrap metal dealer? Billy must have had more confidence in Barrett's writing ability than you and Caz do. (And maybe an illuminating case of 'money talks, bullshite walks'?)

                                Or had the Amstrad been intended for Anne all along? She's the one who went on to publish a full-length book about the Maybrick case, wasn't she?

                                Can we even believe anything we've been told? (Rhetorical question only; no response needed)

                                Anyway, maybe you should ask AG for the disks if you want to subject them to a forensic analysis at this late hour.

                                Wake me up if you do, but I've been credibly informed that she tends to slam down the phone these days when asked about the Maybrick hoax, so take good care.

                                (though I suppose no one slams down phones anymore; it was one of the great joys and comforts of the pre-cell era, now irretrievably lost)

                                R P
                                I understand Mike was trying to get on Maggie's Enterprise Allowance Scheme when the word processor was bought:

                                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterp...lowance_Scheme

                                This might explain why Anne's father would have been willing to shell out for it, to help her get Mike motivated. It doesn't mean Billy had to have any confidence in Mike's writing ability, or any hope of being repaid from future earnings. In any case, both Barretts admitted independently that Mike needed Anne's help to make anything he wrote fit for submission, so Anne had every right to the word processor when they split up if Mike never paid a penny towards it.

                                As for any surviving disks from the diary days, I suspect Mike's family would know more than Anne on that score. The diary was his baby and his obsession after all.
                                "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


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