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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Ike,

    As much as I don't wish to prolong your agony...

    Before abandoning this drivel once and for all—now that our Dear Readers have had the opportunity to judge the merits of your analysis--it might be worthwhile, for the sake of completeness, to briefly touch on the second “double event” of 9 March 1992. (Not the death of Prime Minister Menachem Begin---I refer to the alleged events in The Saddle).

    I don’t plan on debating it; I’m just going to make a brief observation and leave it at that. I wouldn’t even go that far, but you seem to think that the rationalists are cheating you out of a second ‘coincidence.’

    For, as you rightly note, it wasn’t merely a matter of a man having work done on his old house, which we have now established is entirely commonplace and can be shown to have been at the most a 1 in 18 shot-in-the-dark in 1992 —we are also confronted with the supposed ‘coincidence’ that one of the men hired by the homeowner (or allegedly hired, since the man's name isn’t on the timesheets) had an alleged link to Mike Barrett, the man who called the literary agent.

    A double, double-event, as you call it. Or a double, double unconfirmed ‘story’ as others call it.

    I do appreciate your willingness to acknowledge in an earlier post that this alleged electrician/thief was not an individual, per se, but a ‘member of the P & R team.’

    There has been some confusion on this point.

    When the Battlecrease provenance theory first hit the fan, I was under the wrong impression that Electrical Eddie had been identified as the alleged electrician/thief, and only later was it discovered that he drank at Barrett’s pub, The Saddle.

    It was then pointed out to me by your aristocratic mind-tenant that this was not necessarily the case. Indeed, it appears to have been the other way around. It was first discovered that Eddie drank at the Saddle, and only then did he become the ‘target’ of suspicion. Thus, we are again face-to-face with that bugbear that has haunted you these past weeks: ex post facto misdirection.

    Being more objective, we have 9 electricians, and we should probably also toss in the business owner, Mr. R., so we begin with 10 possible suspects as middlemen in the Battlecrease heist/Mike Barrett caper. And this gives us 10 different possibilities for finding (or constructing) a weak social link between the P & R team and Barrett, and once we find that link, we can then accuse that individual of having sold the diary to Mike.

    With me so far?

    Nor does it need to involve a pub. That’s more ex post facto reasoning. Ultimately, a pub was used to make the alleged connection to Barrett, but it could just as easily have been a church, a school, etc. I believe Barrett once mentioned belonging to a Catholic social club of some sort, where he first met AG. Was that still in operation? He also drank with Billy at a veteran’s centre, and Shirley Harrison mentions Mike being part of a writer’s circle (Oops! Sorry to bring that one up!) There may have been other groups or organizations that would qualify, or maybe some connection through his wife.

    Some of these social groups/institutions would have had many members—pubs have dozens and dozens of patrons on a revolving basis, in addition to a smaller group of ‘regulars.’

    I wouldn’t care to make any estimation of probabilities, for the reasons Jeff has already discussed on this thread, but it doesn’t seem all that startling that at least one member of a ten-man group in Central Liverpool would have had a weak link to one of the several social organizations associated with Barrett. Humans interact, and there will be overlap between different social groups. Some of these units may have been quite large. Again, a pub alone might have a thousand ‘occasional’ patrons or more in any given year. I mean, hell, some blokes might occasionally use a dozen different pubs in an 8-mile radius. That doesn’t mean much, except to their livers.

    What think, ye? If we were to toss around wild theories, what are the odds of this second coincidence in your “double, double event” occurring by chance?” 1 in 3? 1 in 99? 1 in 37,000?

    Or is it 100% again, provided we look hard enough?

    Ultimately, the most impressive part of the Battlecrease provenance might be what it tells us about human ingenuity.

    There is nothing strange about a man having work done on his house, and there is nothing particularly strange about two men who don’t know each other frequenting the same pub. What is startling is that someone was able to eventually piece together all these details into a ‘story,’ and do so with sufficient art that some are now convinced this story is true, despite the lack of the necessary connective tissue. Thus, your fanciful foray into probability theory becomes a substitute for actual evidence, and, with the encouragement of others, you seem happy to keep it that way.

    We’ve had fun with your statistical analysis; it is a gem worthy to be set alongside Diego Laurenz and a woman falling into a creek near Manchester.

    So thanks for that.

    RP
    Last edited by rjpalmer; 07-25-2021, 03:25 PM.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
      Ike,

      Being more objective, we have 9 electricians, and we should probably also toss in the business owner, Mr. R., so we begin with 10 possible suspects as middlemen in the Battlecrease heist/Mike Barrett caper. And this gives us 10 different possibilities for finding (or constructing) a weak social link between the P & R team and Barrett, and once we find that link, we can then accuse that individual of having sold the diary to Mike.
      Ten possible links if you allow for 'overlap', eh? We should probably take a closer look at that assertion, what do you think?

      [Blah blah blah] With me so far?
      Just about keeping up with your incisive analysis, RJ, but I have to admit its brilliance is leaving me gasping for breath already. That said, I'm already suspecting that you don't appear to know where they all lived in 1992? I wonder if that information would be useful before we start making non-evidenced assumptions? Granted I only have this plotted for 6 electricians (I'll need to check for the other 3 whose names I appear to have forgotten, plus I don't have Mr Rhodes).

      Click image for larger version  Name:	2020 06 06 Electricians Locations.JPG Views:	0 Size:	93.0 KB ID:	763436
      Given the significant differences in locations, I think the links you're assuming are inevitable may be more of a stretch than you'd have expected or certainly preferred? Nevertheless, you'll obviously claim that these distances are perfectly likely to produce associations (I mean, when I lived in a city as densely populated as Liverpool, I knew absolutely everyone within a twenty mile radius - every single one of them!).

      Look, I'll obviously give you Eddie Lyons whose purple marker is down next to Michael Barrett and largely hiding The Saddle (it was all that close!), but I'm not sure if I'd give you anyone else. (I wonder if our dear readers would be more generous? Let us know, you lot - it's quite safe to have an opinion and share it, and there's definitely no need to enumerate anything, I'm happy to do that for everyone collectively.)

      Suddenly, The Plausible 10 plummets to a rather Implausible 1.

      And there was clearly no law of nature that said that there needed to be any so the fact that there was one seems like good reason - if no more than intuitively - to wonder what the odds were of that happening purely by chance.

      As Battlecrease House was around eight miles away from Anfield where Lyons and Barrett lived within a street or two of each other, and given that the Liverpool, UK Metro Area Population had a population of around 870,000 people in 1992 (I've just checked it against the United Nations - World Population Prospects), I'd say that it was all rather extraordinary that our caller was from Liverpool that day (imagine how big the world was in 1992 - and still is, thankfully!) and that he and a member of the P&R team lived pretty much 'on top of each other' in relative terms.

      Thanks for prompting me to remind everyone of how deeply implausible the triple event implausibles of The Miraculous Day turned out to be, RJ.

      What a field day chance had on March 9, 1992 - the perfect storm of implausible events with no link to join any of them never mind them all! And, anyway, improbable events happen all the time so need to even consider that a link might be possible ...

      Ike
      Last edited by Iconoclast; 07-25-2021, 05:07 PM.
      Iconoclast

      Comment


      • Hey - what if our mystery caller came from Hindley (very top right of map)?

        Would you then argue that the Magical Overlap Theory still applied or is there a cut-off point which perhaps only you know about which would categorically exclude any degree of separation coming into play? And - if so - when does that line get crossed as a matter of interest?

        Or would you be arguing that - as I would be arguing - that there was absolutely nothing to realistically link our caller to the Portus & Rhodes mob?

        I'm sure you won't want to have it both ways, RJ so I'm intrigued to know if you and I would be arguing each other's corner had Mike Barrett come from Hindley???

        PS I don't know where the MOT starts and finishes, but I'm comfortable that Barrett and Lyons living a couple (possibly a few - can't recall off the top of my head) streets apart and drinking in the same pub means that Fate was determined that we wouldn't have to apply it in the first place.
        Last edited by Iconoclast; 07-25-2021, 04:55 PM.
        Iconoclast

        Comment


        • Hi Ike.

          Thanks for the splendid map. You've been a busy beaver!

          The map also perfectly demonstrates what I mean by "ex post facto reasoning."

          The electricians are scattered over Greater Merseyside. They cover a wide swatch of real estate. Your map makes that clear.

          You then pick the bloke that happens to live near Mike Barrett, and accuse him of being the thief/fence. It is his proximity to Barrett in this relatively random distribution than makes you single him out.

          In truth, you could just as easily have created a story accusing Coufopoulos or anyone one else, had they lived close to Barrett.

          You seem to be conveniently forgetting that there is no evidence that the color push-pin you decided to accuse of a crime was even in Battlecrease on the miraculous day. It is his proximity to Barrett's push-pin that is setting off your alarm bells.

          If memory serves, it was actually the Rigby chap who spent 8 hours in Battlecrease, but since he lives half-way to Widnes, he is released from suspicion, and you cleverly switch him out for Electrical Eddy.

          See how it works? You're back to cooking the books.

          Unfortunately, I must now bid you adieu. Respond in anyway you see fit.

          I have places to go and people to meet--some of them living clear across town. In this age of the automobile, our social circles are not determined by geography alone. Isn't the 21st Century amazing?

          Ciao.
          Last edited by rjpalmer; 07-25-2021, 05:43 PM.

          Comment


          • P.S. Wasn't Rhodes quoted as saying that TWO of the electricians occasionally drank in the Saddle? So mustn't you allow that one of your off-the-beaten track push-pins nonetheless tippled in Barrett's neighborhood?

            And where is Dring? Why leave him out? Are you saying if Dring drank in Billy's club you wouldn't have been suspicious of him?

            Comment


            • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
              P.S. Wasn't Rhodes quoted as saying that TWO of the electricians occasionally drank in the Saddle? So mustn't you allow that one of your off-the-beaten track push-pins nonetheless tippled in Barrett's neighborhood?

              And where is Dring? Why leave him out? Are you saying if Dring drank in Billy's club you wouldn't have been suspicious of him?
              I don't have 1992 addresses for Vincent Dring (who was a builder, by the way, not that that changes anything), nor for Colin Rhodes and his son Graham, nor indeed for 'F. Reilly' who I believe appears a few times in February 1992's timesheets and only at the Skem job but not at any later ones, nor for Ronnie Tennant who only enters the time sheets in August 1992.

              So there's a few more push-pins could be added, it is true. I recall your reference to the two electricians who drank in The Saddle but I only recall that Eddie Lyons was one of them. I guess if they were well spread around the Merseyside area it would assist your fantasy everyone-knows-everyone theory, but I would disagree. Given the size of Merseyside, the mere fact that one of those guys lived so close to the guy who made the call and even drank in the same pub is sufficient for us to have alarm bells going off loudly. Indeed, the same day fact is profoundly unlikely, and yet could well be independent of the Eddie living close to Mike fact, as is the caller comes from Liverpool fact. So lots of remarkable facts for us to digest, I think (possibly linked and possibly not) regardless of how widely-spread the P&R's team lived, drank, danced, or shopped. Improbable events coincide all the time, apparently, and so perhaps we are best advised to do little or nothing about it when we notice them ...

              Nevertheless, I will happily accept their addresses in 1992 if anyone knows them but I'm not sure it's going to add a lot to the debate.

              Ike
              Iconoclast

              Comment


              • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                And where is Dring? Why leave him out? Are you saying if Dring drank in Billy's club you wouldn't have been suspicious of him?
                To follow recent advice, I would note that Vinnie liked a shandy or two down Billy's local and give consideration to whether that was improbable enough (if appearing to occur by chance alone) to warrant my investigating further to see if there was any evidence to support a hypothesis that that was linked in some way to the emergence of the scrapbook. The day wouldn't matter, of course (which is why the Eddie living close to Mike fact could be independent of the same day fact) as the link with Mike via Billy might be sufficient alone to trigger my suspicions.

                None of this really matters, of course. It's all conjecture, fortunately sidelined by the startling triple event certainties of March 9, 1992.

                Ike
                Last edited by Iconoclast; 07-25-2021, 06:57 PM.
                Iconoclast

                Comment


                • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                  Not really that unlikely actually. Take a room with 30-35 people in it and the odds are in your favour to bet two of them at least have the same birthday (not including the year). I grew up in a small town of around 4500 people. I had the same birthday as two of my friends, though they were 1 year older. So there's 3 who have the same birthday, two if you include the year, all three meet, etc.

                  And same for you. And probably many others here on the boards.

                  As I say, a lot of things about probabilities are not intuitive and show common sense is wrong.

                  ​​​​​(you work out the odds of gathering 30 people and for them not to have a birthday in common; to simplify that divide the probability equally over the year, but that's not true I don't think, so to get the real probability requires a lot of birth information, and that takes all the fun out if it). Oh, if you want the year to be the same, then gather all the kids in a common grade at a school. You'll have a few that share birthdays and they probably even know each other.

                  The also having a child with same birthday is cool though, and that is probably much less common. So that's so improbable I'll hypothesize that you two must have planned it that way. I mean really, of all the days in your adult life that your child could have been born, and hers could have been born, it just happened to be the same day? Let's see, about what, 35 years for fertility (your female friend) so the combination has a 1 in 163.4 million chance (making the floorboards and phonecall absolutely run of the mill common). So clearly the two of you discussed that and made it happen. Just keep this in mind when you start to think about relating post hoc probabilities for known events to evaluating hypotheses that only occur to us after we know the events happened.

                  ​​​​​
                  - Jeff
                  Hi Jeff,

                  The original hypothesis first occurred to Paul Feldman in early 1993, when he learned that Maybrick's old house had men working there in recent years, and wondered if he could find evidence to connect this work with Maybrick's diary, which Mike claimed he was given in the Spring/Summer of 1991. I don't think it would ever have occurred to Feldman to try to work out post hoc probabilities of a connection between the two, bless his cotton socks. He didn't shout "Eureka!" and proclaim the diary must have come from the house via one of the workmen. He investigated that possibility in the traditional way. He could never have made it work if there was no connection, but he didn't have all the available data, and he didn't know he didn't have it, so when he couldn't make a connection using what he had, he simply assumed the electricians had found nothing but saw him coming. Even when he learned that Eddie Lyons, who had worked in Battlecrease in 1992, lived near Mike's local, The Saddle, it wasn't enough and had to be put down to coincidence.

                  And there the Battlecrease provenance was left, although later in 1993, we have it from an impeccable source that Arthur Rigby [who had been working with others at the house on 9th and 10th March 1992] went to see the house owner, worried that he could be accused of theft, and naming two other electricians, EL and JB, as the men who knew about it.

                  Years later, in 2004, Keith Skinner did some more digging [looking again at the evidence, not calculating post hoc probabilities] with the help of Colin Rhodes, who had employed the electricians, and they both had a light bulb moment [tee hee] when they discovered that on 9th March 1992, when Mike called the literary agent about his diary, floorboards had to be lifted for the first and only time by Colin's crew - which included Arthur - for a wiring job in preparation for storage heaters to be installed three months later. Colin confirmed that as EL and JB were not needed at the Skem job that week, for the first time since December 1991, he would have sent them to help Arthur and JC at Battlecrease without including either name on the timesheet used to invoice the customer. Arthur may have needed them for less than half a day. JC only did two hours himself. Colin didn't know that Arthur had named the same two casuals - EL and JB - back in 1993, and years later still, EL himself described the same details, insisting he was there helping Arthur and co on that particular job.

                  Ike and Orsam more recently took it upon themselves to look at the post hoc probabilities relating to this 9th March double event, of Maybrick's floorboards and Mike's phone call. On that day, Mike said nothing about the diary being Maybrick's, only that it was JtR's. This would be in line with him not yet identifying the supposed author from internal clues, one of the first being a reference on the second page to Battlecrease. It could also be in line with Mike keeping his powder dry, and not wanting to give away Jack's identity too soon.

                  The Saddle is still seen as the common link between Mike and Eddie, giving legs to Feldman's original hypothesis by adding that Eddie could have brought the diary with him to the Saddle on 9th March where Mike had his lunchtime pint, before picking his daughter up from school at 3.15.

                  But the Saddle is a place, not an event, and without cctv we can't place both men in there at the same time with anything like certainty. It's not an unbreakable link in the chain of evidence. I submit that we may have been looking at the wrong common link - this one unbreakable: Fountains Road. We don't need cctv to know that both Tony Devereux and Eddie Lyons lived on that road.

                  So Mike calls Doreen about the diary on 9th March 1992. He later claims he was given the diary in 1991 by fellow Saddle regular Tony Devereux, at his home in Fountains Road. Also living in Fountains Road is another Saddle user called Eddie Lyons, who worked on the floorboard job on 9th March 1992.

                  Reverse this and you get floorboards being lifted; EL returning home to Fountains Road; MB drinking in the Saddle there and attracting interest in the diary; MB saying he got it from another Fountains Road resident.

                  Now let's consider Orsam's belief that Mike and Eddie first knew of one another's existence around May 1993, when Mike went round to his house, threatening him with solicitors if he said he'd found the diary in Battlecrease. The diary would not be published for another five months, so if Orsam is right, Eddie knew nothing about the physical diary or its contents, or where it may really have come from, or, more importantly, where Mike was claiming it came from. No connection whatsoever between Eddie and the diary. No more than one of those things, where people can make mental connections between any two events, places or people, if they try hard enough, and then ask what the chances are, when they should be ascertaining if there is any actual evidence pointing away from coincidence.

                  It must have been a surreal moment for Eddie when he learned that for the last year, this man he didn't know from Adam had been insisting that the diary was given to him by a chap living on the same street as Eddie. It could have come from London, where JtR committed his murders, for all Eddie knew. How weird would that have been, for Eddie to learn it had supposedly ended up on the street where he lived?

                  The Fountains Road Link, between Mike's 'dead pal' provenance story and Eddie's floorboards, is unbreakable, and will forever connect Eddie and Tony to that tiny corner of the world when, by rights, there should have been no such common link. Orsam believes Mike put Fountains Road on the map in 1992, without knowing that someone called Eddie Lyons lived further along the same road, and would rudely break into his diary world in 1993 by chance, because of Feldman's failed attempts to find a link between the diary and Battlecrease. Anne Graham's 'in the family story', told in July 1994, served as a circuit breaker, to take the Eddie/Tony link out of the chain and create an unsupportable Anne/Tony link instead.

                  The Fountains Road Link - as real as it is - would not work as a plot device for a novel based on Orsam's theory, because the two minor characters who lived there would have nothing else in common and are not even meant to know each other. It would serve no purpose to introduce such a meaningless coincidence of geography, only to leave it dangling at the end of the story, as a particularly whiffy red herring. It would annoy the readers who were deceived into thinking that Fountains Road had been chosen for both these characters for a reason other than lazy writing and a serious lack of imagination.

                  Orsam's working hypothesis - with no supporting evidence - is that the scrapbook used for the diary came from an auction held by Outhwaite & Litherland on 31st March 1992. The auction was real and the diary was seen in London on 13th April, but there is nothing to link these two events. Nothing to suggest the scrapbook was ever auctioned on any date; nothing to show that Mike attended the auction concerned, or bought anything there; nothing to suggest the scrapbook was turned into the diary between the two dates. Mike never attempted to put the diary's creation as late as 1992. The two knowns do not lend themselves to any post hoc probability calculation, because all Orsam has is the appearance of the diary within a fortnight of a random auction at O&L. That's it. In January 1995, Mike himself claimed he had attended one in January 1990, and this problem is artificially resolved by theorising that his drinking by 1995 had badly impaired his memory for dates. This ignores the evidence on record that Mike instantly recalled, during that same period, the exact date he went to London with the diary: Monday 13th April 1992.

                  In short, the auction purchase is fundamental to Orsam's Barrett Hoax theory, but remains entirely in the mind of the theorist.

                  Love,

                  Caz
                  X
                  Last edited by caz; 07-26-2021, 12:37 PM.
                  "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                  Comment


                  • We do hear references to the odds against two known events happening by coincidence - whenever crime scene DNA indicates a match to the suspect's DNA. Millions or billions to one against a coincidental match, for instance. Even that is not considered enough to remove all possible doubt. Not that anyone seriously believes the suspect's DNA profile could be the same as the unknown person who committed the crime, but where the possibility exists that the suspect's DNA contaminated the evidence accidentally or was planted.

                    If Eddie's DNA had been found on the floorboards, and also the diary, in 1993, would we now be arguing about the pitfalls of calculating post hoc probabilities? Or would Orsam be giving us another hypothesis, involving Eddie having a secret identical twin with a grudge, lodging with the Barretts in Goldie Street in March and April 1992, and handling the scrapbook to drop his brother in it?

                    Love,

                    Caz
                    X

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


                    Comment


                    • One day in August 1966, a schoolgirl on holiday in Italy finds a silver ring on the beach, engraved with the initials CH. As the beach is crowded with sunbathers, and her own initials happen to be CH, she calls it fate and pops it in her beach bag.

                      Many years pass and the woman attends a school reunion in Hammersmith, London, still wearing the ring. One of the old girls, Fanny Crackenthorpe, admires it, so CH tells the story of how she found it. The old girl mentions that her best friend at school was Christine Helm, another CH. Fanny and Christine were both in the Lower IVth when the ring finder was in the Upper IIIrd, but Christine couldn't attend the reunion. Fanny and the ring finder exchange phone numbers and promise to keep in touch.

                      That evening, Christine phones Fanny to ask how the school reunion went, and her old friend tells her the story of how this other old girl - whose initials had been CH - had found a silver ring with those initials engraved in it on a crowded beach in the resort of Cattolica on the Adriatic, where she was on holiday in August 1966 at the age of twelve. Christine, in a state of considerable excitement, blurts out: "Crikey!" - or words to that effect. "I had a ring just like that and lost it on a crowded beach in Cattolica, where I was on holiday in August 1966 at the age of thirteen!"

                      Fanny is naturally highly sceptical of this improbable development, and wastes no time in phoning the younger CH to report it. "I'm not having that, Fanny!", she scoffs. "And Christine Helm's not having my ring. Tell her it was never on her finger."

                      Some time later, when Christine's mum dies, a dusty old holiday photo album is found among her personal effects, containing snaps of a young Christine and her family on the beach in Cattolica, with a faded caption dating them to August 1966. Christine contacts Fanny again, and when CH is confronted with the photos she acknowledges that her ring rightly belongs to Christine Helm, and hands it back, despite no proof that she ever had it or lost it. The coincidence of time and place is just too much to accuse her of making it up.

                      Now which coincidence would be the hardest to swallow, if this was written up as a short story for a teenage magazine?

                      1) The ring loser and finder having the same initials?

                      2) The phone call from the ring loser to Fanny, who has just heard the ring finder's story at their school reunion that day?

                      3) Two girls from the same school in Hammersmith being on the same crowded beach, in the same tiny corner of the world, at the same time, without knowing the other was there?

                      If the first two are both perfectly feasible, how about the third? Does it work as a plot device, to reunite the ring with its original owner?

                      Well, dear reader, it could have happened to me.

                      I made up numbers one and two for the purposes of a story based on number three, which - minus the ring - is an actual double event, except that I only knew 'Christine' by sight and never knew her name, and she didn't appear to notice the younger girl, whose initials were CH [and are now CB], sitting on a beach towel just a few feet in front of her, reeling in girlish amazement at my first realisation of what a small and wonderful world it really is.

                      I was on that crowded beach in Cattolica in August 1966, facing the blue Adriatic, with the strains of Sinatra's 'Strangers in the Night' in my head from the evening before, when I just happened to look behind me and immediately recognised a girl from the year above me at school, sitting on her own beach towel. To say I was taken aback would be something of an understatement, and I was far too befuddled, self conscious and embarrassed to catch her attention, in case she had no recognition of me and thought I was stalking her or something.

                      If I hadn't looked behind me, I'd never have seen her, but there she was, almost within touching distance. All I added to that part of the story was a ring with my initials, slipping off her finger and later finding its way from the soft sand into my beach bag.

                      But as a fictional plot device, number three, involving two west end girls and a tiny patch of beach in Italy, would be a coincidence too far to be believable.

                      Tony and Eddie both living in Fountains Road is a coincidence too far, and anyone who knows the story behind it and is being honest with themselves, would realise this.

                      Love,

                      Caz
                      X

                      PS - Fanny Crackenthorpe was real - but she started school as I was about to leave. I never knowingly saw her, but noted her name on a list of new girls posted on a message board, along with another name, Raine Shine.
                      Last edited by caz; 07-26-2021, 03:18 PM.
                      "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                      Comment


                      • "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                        - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                          1And note that Caz Brown is back to calling their discovery an 'old book.' Orsam has already proven, with James Johnston's help, that none of the electricians had ever described an 'old book.' It was always just a 'book' or even 'two books.' This is potentially relevant for a number of reasons, including the Vincent Dring incident--finding a book behind a shelf or some such object--could have played a role in the ever-evolving and befuddled 'story' of a 'book' having been found at Battlecrease. And now, somewhat fittingly to a game of Chinese Whispers, the book has become an 'old book.'
                          Not sure how even Awesome Orsam could prove that none of the electricians, when asked about the diary, have ever referred to "the old book". Maybe, with James Johnston's help, he was able to use a time machine, and go back to 9th March 1992, and then split himself multiple ways, to record every word spoken by every Portus & Rhodes electrician, 24/7, from that day forward.

                          It's funny, but Keith Skinner and one of his closest fellow interviewers [not Shirley or Feldman] were struck by this repeated reference by more than one interviewee, not to a diary or a journal, nor even a scrapbook, photo album or just a book, but to "the old book" with writing in it. Maybe you think the two of them just made it up so they could fool that dopey Caz Brown into believing it - except that I saw and heard references to it myself, and when I first pointed out this usage of the term to Keith, that is when he told me how the same thing had struck his fellow interviewer and himself, when in conversation with the people concerned.

                          But carry on thinking the very worst of me, RJ, and accuse me of playing Chinese Whispers, as if I do nothing more than accept the word of untrustworthy people.

                          That's your job, to do nothing more but accept the word of Mike Barrett, habitual liar, and the word of Orsam, who has lost all sense of balance, if he ever had any.
                          Last edited by caz; 07-26-2021, 04:36 PM.
                          "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by caz View Post
                            Tony and Eddie both living in Fountains Road is a coincidence too far, and anyone who knows the story behind it and is being honest with themselves, would realise this.
                            So Caroline, does this mean that Tony and Eddie could have known each other before March 9th?

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by caz View Post
                              We do hear references to the odds against two known events happening by coincidence - whenever crime scene DNA indicates a match to the suspect's DNA. Millions or billions to one against a coincidental match, for instance. Even that is not considered enough to remove all possible doubt. Not that anyone seriously believes the suspect's DNA profile could be the same as the unknown person who committed the crime, but where the possibility exists that the suspect's DNA contaminated the evidence accidentally or was planted.

                              If Eddie's DNA had been found on the floorboards, and also the diary, in 1993, would we now be arguing about the pitfalls of calculating post hoc probabilities? Or would Orsam be giving us another hypothesis, involving Eddie having a secret identical twin with a grudge, lodging with the Barretts in Goldie Street in March and April 1992, and handling the scrapbook to drop his brother in it?

                              Love,

                              Caz
                              X
                              Hi Caz,

                              DNA matches are not the same thing, because the odds are determined before the match (or not match) is done. They have DNA from the crime scene, and they have DNA from a suspect (or in a database). What they don't know is if the DNA matches, so the hypothesis before the test is "if it's not you, there won't be correspondence between the DNA and if it is you it will be nearly zero probability to match by chance".

                              Let's use coin tosses as a simple illustration, and I did this in my lecture yesterday, where there's around 100 students in the class (I called it my "psychic's test".) Just before the lecture started, while the students were coming in I flipped a coin 5 times to get a pattern of Heads and Tails. I then asked all the students to write down a series of heads and tails as I said I wanted to find the 2 to 4 psychics in the class (they are my database). As I called out my pattern, they sat down when they got it wrong. In the end, there were 2 left. See, before I called out my sequence, we all had patterns (like DNA), the chance of getting 5 correct is 3.125%, so in a class of around 100 I expected in the vicinity of 3 to "match" by chance. And I got 2 (my pattern was HTHHH), not quite 3, but in the range of what I predicted based upon chance odds.

                              But, let's say I was allowed to look at all the students sequences first, before I made my prediction of how many there would be. Now I know the events.

                              How many would I predict then? Would I base it on the chance odds (so 3.125%) or would I base it on the fact I know 2 of them have the same as me?

                              - Jeff

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                              • Originally posted by caz View Post

                                Hi Jeff,

                                The original hypothesis first occurred to Paul Feldman in early 1993, when he learned that Maybrick's old house had men working there in recent years, and wondered if he could find evidence to connect this work with Maybrick's diary, which Mike claimed he was given in the Spring/Summer of 1991. I don't think it would ever have occurred to Feldman to try to work out post hoc probabilities of a connection between the two, bless his cotton socks. He didn't shout "Eureka!" and proclaim the diary must have come from the house via one of the workmen. He investigated that possibility in the traditional way. He could never have made it work if there was no connection, but he didn't have all the available data, and he didn't know he didn't have it, so when he couldn't make a connection using what he had, he simply assumed the electricians had found nothing but saw him coming. Even when he learned that Eddie Lyons, who had worked in Battlecrease in 1992, lived near Mike's local, The Saddle, it wasn't enough and had to be put down to coincidence.

                                And there the Battlecrease provenance was left, although later in 1993, we have it from an impeccable source that Arthur Rigby [who had been working with others at the house on 9th and 10th March 1992] went to see the house owner, worried that he could be accused of theft, and naming two other electricians, EL and JB, as the men who knew about it.

                                Years later, in 2004, Keith Skinner did some more digging [looking again at the evidence, not calculating post hoc probabilities] with the help of Colin Rhodes, who had employed the electricians, and they both had a light bulb moment [tee hee] when they discovered that on 9th March 1992, when Mike called the literary agent about his diary, floorboards had to be lifted for the first and only time by Colin's crew - which included Arthur - for a wiring job in preparation for storage heaters to be installed three months later. Colin confirmed that as EL and JB were not needed at the Skem job that week, for the first time since December 1991, he would have sent them to help Arthur and JC at Battlecrease without including either name on the timesheet used to invoice the customer. Arthur may have needed them for less than half a day. JC only did two hours himself. Colin didn't know that Arthur had named the same two casuals - EL and JB - back in 1993, and years later still, EL himself described the same details, insisting he was there helping Arthur and co on that particular job.

                                Ike and Orsam more recently took it upon themselves to look at the post hoc probabilities relating to this 9th March double event, of Maybrick's floorboards and Mike's phone call. On that day, Mike said nothing about the diary being Maybrick's, only that it was JtR's. This would be in line with him not yet identifying the supposed author from internal clues, one of the first being a reference on the second page to Battlecrease. It could also be in line with Mike keeping his powder dry, and not wanting to give away Jack's identity too soon.

                                The Saddle is still seen as the common link between Mike and Eddie, giving legs to Feldman's original hypothesis by adding that Eddie could have brought the diary with him to the Saddle on 9th March where Mike had his lunchtime pint, before picking his daughter up from school at 3.15.

                                But the Saddle is a place, not an event, and without cctv we can't place both men in there at the same time with anything like certainty. It's not an unbreakable link in the chain of evidence. I submit that we may have been looking at the wrong common link - this one unbreakable: Fountains Road. We don't need cctv to know that both Tony Devereux and Eddie Lyons lived on that road.

                                So Mike calls Doreen about the diary on 9th March 1992. He later claims he was given the diary in 1991 by fellow Saddle regular Tony Devereux, at his home in Fountains Road. Also living in Fountains Road is another Saddle user called Eddie Lyons, who worked on the floorboard job on 9th March 1992.

                                Reverse this and you get floorboards being lifted; EL returning home to Fountains Road; MB drinking in the Saddle there and attracting interest in the diary; MB saying he got it from another Fountains Road resident.

                                Now let's consider Orsam's belief that Mike and Eddie first knew of one another's existence around May 1993, when Mike went round to his house, threatening him with solicitors if he said he'd found the diary in Battlecrease. The diary would not be published for another five months, so if Orsam is right, Eddie knew nothing about the physical diary or its contents, or where it may really have come from, or, more importantly, where Mike was claiming it came from. No connection whatsoever between Eddie and the diary. No more than one of those things, where people can make mental connections between any two events, places or people, if they try hard enough, and then ask what the chances are, when they should be ascertaining if there is any actual evidence pointing away from coincidence.

                                It must have been a surreal moment for Eddie when he learned that for the last year, this man he didn't know from Adam had been insisting that the diary was given to him by a chap living on the same street as Eddie. It could have come from London, where JtR committed his murders, for all Eddie knew. How weird would that have been, for Eddie to learn it had supposedly ended up on the street where he lived?

                                The Fountains Road Link, between Mike's 'dead pal' provenance story and Eddie's floorboards, is unbreakable, and will forever connect Eddie and Tony to that tiny corner of the world when, by rights, there should have been no such common link. Orsam believes Mike put Fountains Road on the map in 1992, without knowing that someone called Eddie Lyons lived further along the same road, and would rudely break into his diary world in 1993 by chance, because of Feldman's failed attempts to find a link between the diary and Battlecrease. Anne Graham's 'in the family story', told in July 1994, served as a circuit breaker, to take the Eddie/Tony link out of the chain and create an unsupportable Anne/Tony link instead.

                                The Fountains Road Link - as real as it is - would not work as a plot device for a novel based on Orsam's theory, because the two minor characters who lived there would have nothing else in common and are not even meant to know each other. It would serve no purpose to introduce such a meaningless coincidence of geography, only to leave it dangling at the end of the story, as a particularly whiffy red herring. It would annoy the readers who were deceived into thinking that Fountains Road had been chosen for both these characters for a reason other than lazy writing and a serious lack of imagination.

                                Orsam's working hypothesis - with no supporting evidence - is that the scrapbook used for the diary came from an auction held by Outhwaite & Litherland on 31st March 1992. The auction was real and the diary was seen in London on 13th April, but there is nothing to link these two events. Nothing to suggest the scrapbook was ever auctioned on any date; nothing to show that Mike attended the auction concerned, or bought anything there; nothing to suggest the scrapbook was turned into the diary between the two dates. Mike never attempted to put the diary's creation as late as 1992. The two knowns do not lend themselves to any post hoc probability calculation, because all Orsam has is the appearance of the diary within a fortnight of a random auction at O&L. That's it. In January 1995, Mike himself claimed he had attended one in January 1990, and this problem is artificially resolved by theorising that his drinking by 1995 had badly impaired his memory for dates. This ignores the evidence on record that Mike instantly recalled, during that same period, the exact date he went to London with the diary: Monday 13th April 1992.

                                In short, the auction purchase is fundamental to Orsam's Barrett Hoax theory, but remains entirely in the mind of the theorist.

                                Love,

                                Caz
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                                Hi Caz,

                                As I say, I'm not on this thread to get involved in diary debates themselves, I'm only focusing on how statistics and probabilities are used as tools to inform us. As I say, there's nothing untowards about forming hypotheses based upon observations and then looking to test them. What I'm pointing out, though, is once those initial observations have been made, and give rise to the hypotheses, we cannot go back and recycle the observations that the "guess" (hypothesis) we formed to explain the observations to now become proof the hypothesis is correct - it's circular.

                                Now, DNA starts with the hypothesis that an offender leaves biological traces, so the hypothesis before the offender is identified is that the "unknown" DNA will match the offender with an infinitesimally small chance of error of identifying the source of that DNA. (I'm presuming here our source of the DNA is unquestionably from the offender, like found on a bloody knife, etc; there are a lot of questions about things like "touch DNA", because trace amounts of DNA get transferred and spread to places a person hasn't been themselves, but that's a whole other issue that we can set aside).

                                Anyway, as I'm digressing, as I say, forming a hypothesis and then following it up is what we should do. I have no problem with Feldman forming that idea, then going to look for evidence. I'll leave it to those interested in the Diary itself to debate the evidence found, or not, and so forth. That requires a lot more information and background that I have on this. All I'm saying is that the probabilities related to the floorboards and the phone call are not being calculated correctly, and even if they were, those probabilities cannot inform any of you with regards to the hypothesis that the diary came from under the floorboards because those "chance probabilities" no longer apply (like me knowing what the students have guessed, and knowing how many got it right, means the probability that I have 3 out 100 psychics is now 0, the probability that I have 2 is 100%, because I'm dealing with known information; before I tested the class, I base things on my known distribution of chance outcomes).

                                So nothing I'm saying about the chance probabilities, whether people want to say they are high or low, matters when you get back to discussing the diary. it doesn't matter if the probability is really high, and it doesn't matter if it is really low, neither of those make any difference with regards to how you evaluate the diary coming from under the floorboards.

                                - Jeff

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