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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Yes, of course. Thank you Erobitha. I wasn't referring to the photo from behind the bed, but to the first one in front of the bed. I doubt anyone would have tried to reach across the bed to write on the opposite wall at such a low point. But what do I know?

    Comment


    • I decided to check in with Keith Skinner regarding what he understood about Simon Wood's identification of Florence's initials on Mary Kelly's wall 30 years ago and his recall was very good given the long passing of time, it seems:

      “We gave Simon Wood an individual entry in the first edition of the A To Z (1991) because of the work he had done investigating Stephen Knight’s theory. I cannot remember there being any discussion about including Simon’s observations about initials on the wall of Kelly’s room – although I have a clear recollection of Simon mentioning it to Martin Fido and myself circa 1988-1989 in the City Darts. I don’t think Paul [Begg] was there on that specific occasion. What I do remember is not being all that interested because I thought it was fanciful and how could you prove it? Druitt was then (and remains to this day) my preferred suspect. Arguably had the initials been MJD I might have had second thoughts! Martin, as was customary, reacted to Simon’s suggestion with great enthusiasm, encouragement and was very attentive to what Simon had to say. Thereafter I forgot about it until very early 1993 Paul Feldman phoned and asked me what I thought about the ‘M’ on Kelly’s wall? That triggered off the memory with Simon and the City Darts. I could not remember ever having discussed it with either Martin or Paul and the only reason I suspect we never included it in Simon’s 1991 entry was because it didn’t loom large in our thinking and we had all forgotten about it. So I was surprised to learn that neither Paul nor Martin had rejected Simon’s observation and were still discussing it in 1993. Which suggests that neither of them were aware that Simon had admitted he was mistaken? We did include it under Simon’s entry in the 1994 edition because of its prominence in Paul Feldman’s video and we thought it only correct that Simon should be credited with the revelation. Had we been aware that Simon had previously admitted his error then we would have added that as the final sentence and probably referencing the date Simon had told us of his mistake for the historical record. Furthermore, I cannot recall Paul, Martin, or myself ever being contacted by Simon to say we were misrepresenting his position in the 1994 edition of the A To Z. Nor do I believe there was ever any approach from Simon to Shirley Harrison after her book was published in 1993 which credited the observation to Simon.”

      I'd like to know - and presumably the best man for the job here is Simon himself - exactly when did he realise the initials he had identified in the late 1980s had mysteriously disappeared again in the early to mid 1990s, please. A related question is can he recall whether he made any attempt to notify authors who had published the former that the latter had become the case?

      Ike
      Iconoclast

      Comment


      • Keith added, for the record, some questions of his own around the current debate:

        Simon and The Baron seem to be strongly inferring – even stating – that it was Simon’s suggestion of initials on the wall which gave Mike the idea of either creating the diary or at the very least alluding to this in the narrative of his amateurish hoax. So how does all of this work? Is there any evidence to show how Mike might have learned of Simon’s observation circa 1988-1989?

        This latter question - it seems to me - is really rather key here: by what means did Mike and Anne Barrett (possibly with the help of Tony Devereux) become the first authors (via their hoax) in the entire history of this case of making proactive use of Florence Maybrick's initials on Mary Kelly's wall?

        Ike
        Iconoclast

        Comment


        • Originally posted by c.d. View Post
          You would think that in light of the GSG the police would have been instructed to look for any type of message.
          Indeed, c.d., and it is possible that they had been, but the initials are very different to the GSG so perhaps the lack of an obvious message in a dark room caused the initials to be missed. The police would also have to be motivated to look: if Warren could show such disregard for the GSG, I don't imagine the constables of the day were very much different.

          Yet they never mentioned the initials, nor did the photographer, nor did the inquest jurors who were taken there.
          To be clear, no-one mentioning the initials has gone into the record. That's not to say that anyone did mention them, but we should be wary of making absolute assumptions. We should also remember the lighting in the room for those who were there, and the distraction of so much blood. In terms of the photographer after the event (if that's what you meant), those initials were missed for 100 years by thousands of commentators so I don't blame the photographer himself for not having noticed a small, irrelevant detail in so primitive a photograph. For all we know, he saw them and thought 'Ah ha, that'll be the blood splatters that were mentioned at the inquest'.

          If the initials are actually there it would seem to be more of an inside joke by Maybrick as opposed to a taunting clue left for everyone to see and ponder.
          Absolutely, and perhaps that's how we should describe them. Posters ask the facile question, "If Maybrick was leaving clues, he'd make them more obvious". I usually retort with the hangman's emoji, but your phraseology is far more on-point: these letters (actual letters, I mean, in envelopes),the GSG, and Florrie's initials on Kelly's wall were very much Maybrick's own private demonstration of how 'clever' he was rather than blatant attempts to give himself away.

          And when I say 'Maybrick's own private demonstration', et cetera, I mean 'if one assumes that he was Jack the Ripper'.

          Ike
          Iconoclast

          Comment


          • Sorry, wasn't concentrating, Keith made a couple of further points:

            It would be worth asking Simon which photograph of the Kelly crime scene he saw in 1988 to make him seriously consider whether there were initials on the wall? They were obviously pronounced enough for Martin and Paul to bring them to the attention of Shirley Harrison and Paul Begg [I think Keith means Feldman]. And what was it that made Simon change his mind and admit he was mistaken? Did he see another photograph?

            Ike
            Iconoclast

            Comment


            • Finally (for now), Keith adds (now on the subject of Lord Orsam's rather dogmatic dismissal of the initials which Keith quoted to me in his email but which I am unable to repeat verbatim due to site rules):

              For some reason Lord Orsam does not identify which original photograph he examined that he states is "probably the highest quality print of this photograph in existence"?

              He acknowledges that marks he has seen on some of the published photographs could be interpreted as comprising the letters "FM". Presumably these are the photographs seen by Simon in 1988 which he dismisses as degraded secondary copies? What I am unclear about is upon what basis he is able to opine that the photograph he saw is the original photograph from which, presumably copies have been made? Could it not be the other way round?

              Excellent points made by Keith and equally excellent questions asked of the Dark Lord too. Why are we to believe that Voldemort's Shadow's original photograph would necessarily be any different to the New Scotland Yard original photograph which Black Museum curator Bill Waddell had provided to Paul Feldman back in 1992 or 1993?

              Whatever the answers, I am willing to bet that that will not be the end of that after all.

              Ike

              Iconoclast

              Comment


              • In my email tray this morning was the following excellent summary of the case (a billion times more detailed than I could ever hope to have provided). I'm posting it verbatim as it's all hugely relevant. I have not corrected the one or two grammatical errors (the author's first language is not English).

                Ike

                Hello Ike,
                I think the discussion is misguided, because even if you are ‘word blind’, and you can't see the letters in the background on MJK1, you can definitely see a difference in shape in the details in the background between the two prints (MJK1 & MJK2), and the “light spot” on MJK1. And then comes the question of why there is a distinct difference in the detail of the two prints?
                There is a huge difference between figures, one think to recognize in the wallpaper, and the four legs of the letter "M" written on a wall. On the wallpaper, your brain may be able to create some figures, which look different from person to person, but the letter ‘F’ (one vertical leg, two horizontal), in a photo remains a letter F. And the four legs of a letter 'M' on a photo, processes your brain like the letter M. Unless one cannot read it, and maybe many people on the Ripper Forum are word blind? This has nothing to do with Maybrick as such, the letters are there...side by side, both at the same height…, on one (MJK1) of the two prints. And that's the strange thing about these pictures. So there are but two possibilty’s; they were no doubt on the wall, or they were painted on the glass plate, or on one of the two prints. So for me it’s not a Pareidolia.
                In the BBC One program 'Fake or Fortune' I recently saw an interesting item about photography in Victorian times. The glass plates and photos at the time, were improved by hand, and partially, and sometimes even excessively painted over, in a similar way as photoshop is used these days to improve one’s photograph. Kelly's disfigured face & chest are very blurred. Possibly this was done to soften the image with a view to publication? It is quite possible that the FM was indeed clearly present on the glass plate, but that it was removed, because the police wanted to held it back?
                I don't know whether this procedure was also applied to crime scene photography at the time, but it could possibly provide an explanation for the differences that appear on the two different prints of the crime scenes. (MJK1& MJK2) It maybe could answer the question why there are differences in detail (in the background), on the two remaining prints, coming from exactly the same source? Because many posters on the forum make it seem like there is only one photo left? (MJK2) And on MJK2 are only smudges to be seen!
                And we don’t know if, and what the police held back at the time, The pictures back then, were never shown to the public.

                P.s.: I also have a little reservation with the idea that the police would disrupt the crime scene and move the bed and table to take the pictures? I also have trouble with the camera on a tripod that is shooting from the outside in?

                The Kelly Crime Scene Photographs Stewart P. Evans
                The famous photograph of the body of Mary Kelly, full length, lying on the bed is thus known to exist in the form of two separate original prints, as described above. They are easily identifiable from each other and may be described as follows:-

                These two photographs, copies of both of which have appeared in many books on 'Jack the Ripper,' are identified as follows:-

                Photograph No. 1 - CLP/MJK 1 - [Located in the City of London Police photographic department in 1967 by Donald Rumbelow] Has a tear at the bottom centre and a 'light spot' just to the left of the apparent letter 'M' above the body. There are also two pin-holes at the top centre. It is understood that Don Rumbelow passed this original to the Black Museum and that it is still there.

                Photograph No. 2 - NSY/MJK2 - [Found in the album returned to New Scotland Yard in 1988] Lacks the aforementioned blemishes to CLP/MJK1, and has a pin at top left corner, and corner fixing marks at both right corners. It also appears to be a paler sepia colour. Around 1993 it sustained a crack which runs across the top left of the photograph, just missing Kelly's foot. This original print is now held at the Public Record Office, Kew, Reference MEPO 3/3155. The crack damage was sustained before the page was microfilmed. [NB the same file page contains the photographs of Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes standing against the wall, and the second Kelly photograph taken from the opposite side of the bed - ref. NSY/MJK3]. This photograph usually appears paler and less 'contrasty' than Photograph No. 1.

                Having recorded the provenance and description of the Kelly photographs it is interesting to note their use in Ripper related books:-

                Vacher l'Eventreur et les Crimes Sadiques, Lacassagne, Lyons/Paris 1899, presumably an original print additional to the above, current location not known.
                Police Journal, 1969 - CLP/MJK1.
                Jack the Ripper, Farson, 1972 - CLP/MJK1.
                The Complete Jack the Ripper, Rumbelow, 1975 - CLP/MJK1.
                Jack the Ripper, The Final Solution, Knight, 1976 [close-up] - CLP/MJK1.
                The Complete Jack the Ripper, Rumbelow, 1987 - CLP/MJK1.
                Jack the Ripper: 100 Years of Mystery, Underwood, 1987 [close-up] - CLP/MJK1.
                Jack the Ripper the Uncensored Facts, Begg, 1988 [close-up] - CLP/MJK1.
                New Murderers' Who's Who, Gaute/Odell, 1989 [close-up] - CLP/MJK1.
                Jack the Ripper the Mystery Solved, Harrison, 1991 [close-up] - CLP/MJK1.
                The Ripper and the Royals, Fairclough, 1991 - CLP/MJK1.
                The Jack the Ripper A - Z, Begg/Fido/Skinner, 1991 [close-up] - CLP/MJK1.

                Diary of Jack the Ripper, Harrison, 1993 [in album with crack] - NSY/MJK2.
                The Black Museum, Waddell, Waddell, 1993 [reversed!] - NSY/MJK2.
                The Complete History of Jack the Ripper, Sugden, 1994 [close-up] - CLP/MJK1.
                The Lodger, Evans/Gainey, 1995 [no damage] - NSY/MJK2.
                Jack the Ripper the Simple Truth, Paley, 1995 [with crack] - NSY/MJK2.
                Jack the Ripper A - Z, Begg/Fido/Skinner, 1996 p/b [close-up with crack] - NSY/MJK2.
                The Secret of Prisoner 1167, Tully, 1997 [close-up] - CLP/MJK1.
                Jack the Ripper Whitechapel Murders, O'Donnell, 1997 [close-up] - CLP/MJK1.
                Le Livre Rouge de Jack l'Eventreur, Bourgoin, 1998 - CLP/MJK1.

                As may be seen, the majority of the books use the photograph located by Don Rumbelow, in many cases poor copies of it, usually as close-ups. However, the New Scotland Yard copy of the photograph, located in 1988, has gradually come into circulation.

                On May 29, 1998 I questioned Don regarding the photograph. He stated that no negative was found, only the photograph. This, he said, he had copied and then placed the original with the Black Museum. Don has a first generation copy from this negative, and passed one to Professor Francis Camps at the London Hospital also. He has no spare copies of the Police Journal in which, in 1969, he first published the photograph. The importance of Don's actions, and his foresight in preserving these items back in the 1960's cannot be overemphasized.
                Iconoclast

                Comment


                • By the way, you all probably want to congratulate me on the brace I scored in last evening's 4-1 win in my casual Tuesday evening walking football session (I'm 59 and constantly pulled-up for running - you never lose it, eh?).

                  "Shades of Supermac" someone said after my first strike - both left-footers, as was the preference of the great man himself. No higher accolade could be paid a man!
                  Iconoclast

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                    Pareidolia is a fact of human life (presumably sentient life) but be careful though Harry because there is a great deal of chaos and not always order to bring to it.
                    That's deep.

                    Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                    I'm not surprised. There's no reason to think the wall was a completely blank slate upon which 'F' and 'M' appeared.
                    So, there just happened to be other letters alongside the "FM" that Maybrick left there? Unless of course they were all part of the same graffiti. Also, the alleged "FM" doesn't seem anymore visible than the other markings nearby.

                    Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                    Obviously. I wasn't expecting neon lights either.
                    Now, now. Lowest form of wit.

                    Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                    And maybe that's exactly what James Maybrick did. We only had the one photograph for a room of four side, a ceiling, and a floor. Obviously there's the second photograph of the table but that is unlikely to yield any clues. Even if it were only to refer to the 'FM' on Kelly's wall, I don't think the way it is phrased has to be taken to its literal extremes. It's up to james Maybrick what he felt was 'right' or 'wrong' about his little rhyme. It was for his eyes only so he got to make all the rules about what worked and what didn't.
                    That's all ifs, buts and maybes. More idle speculation. We can't keep taking refuge in ignorance. The investigators & photographer didn't notice anything noteworthy on the walls inside 13 Miller's Court. Seeing as they were dealing with a killer who had previously left a message ex post facto, and may have been sending communique in the post, it is unlikely they would have overlooked it.

                    "An initial here and an initial there
                    Will tell of the whoring mother

                    I left it there for the fools but they will never find it. I was too clever."


                    If indeed the diarist was referring to the alleged "FM", he was certainly being canny. Since the police never remarked on any graffiti inside the room, he is relying on that fact to leave the impression that something was left behind. It all appears to be done with the benefit of the hindsight. Of course, you will take the diarist at his word and believe the "FM" was left behind and dismiss those who were there first-hand and never noticed it.

                    As I said before, there are numerous problems with the diary. From the horrible mess of its provenance, the errors of the case, to the incompatible handwriting, to the fact it was already confessed to be a hoax once. If something is too good to be true, it usually is, but in the diary's case we don't even have to go that far. There are numerous problems with it as an alleged historical document but you insist on giving it the benefit of the doubt. The million dollar question remains: Why? I can at least understand religious zealots who cling to their belief systems because it can be socially enriching or helps with the human condition. But I don't know why you are so steadfast in your faith towards this particular book?

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Harry D View Post
                      As I said before, there are numerous problems with the diary. From the horrible mess of its provenance, the errors of the case, to the incompatible handwriting, to the fact it was already confessed to be a hoax once. If something is too good to be true, it usually is, but in the diary's case we don't even have to go that far. There are numerous problems with it as an alleged historical document but you insist on giving it the benefit of the doubt. The million dollar question remains: Why? I can at least understand religious zealots who cling to their belief systems because it can be socially enriching or helps with the human condition. But I don't know why you are so steadfast in your faith towards this particular book?
                      I will continue to give it 'the benefit of the doubt' for as long as the case is not properly made against it. If you check your qualifications of my comments, they are rooted in the assumption of a hoax having been perpetrated and therefore your dismissals are not as well thought-out as they would need to be to properly dismiss the case against Maybrick.

                      You are quite right, it is not religious for me whatsoever. I reserve that for football. I 'cling on' to my 'belief systems' because they have not yet been properly addressed by those who would deny me them. Honestly, Harry, you can't just say "In my opinion, this would happen and that would happen, and none of these things happened so that proves it's a hoax". For every concern you have regarding provenance, handwriting, so-called errors in the scrapbook, there are arguments which address them. That does not make these arguments the right arguments but - as long as they are legitimate counters to an argument - they cannot be so easily dismissed, however little attention you may wish to give them.

                      Look, you need to let what you see as my obsessions go. If they are my obsessions and not yours, why worry about them? If you think I'm on a wind-up campaign, why join me on it? There are hundreds of threads on Casebook: Jack the Ripper: if the case were never so well made for a hoax, why do you feel the need to come back here and post on this, The Greatest Thread of All?

                      I assume the answer to that is that you cannot bear to see a falsehood perpetrated. If I am correct, then we are for once totally aligned in our views.

                      Ike
                      Iconoclast

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Harry D View Post
                        As I said before, there are numerous problems with the diary.
                        Just for clarity on this point, Harry, what is your position - that Mike Barrett & Co created the hoax or that some unknown source did (either modern or otherwise)?

                        Cheers,

                        Ike
                        Iconoclast

                        Comment


                        • I think the F on most reproductions of the photo is very ambiguous.
                          I can see what looks to be an M but I’m not convinced that it isn’t just blood splatter on woodgrain.

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ID:	771950 Some timber has all sorts of shapes and patterns, lines that could be seen to form an M are quite common.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                            I will continue to give it 'the benefit of the doubt' for as long as the case is not properly made against it. If you check your qualifications of my comments, they are rooted in the assumption of a hoax having been perpetrated and therefore your dismissals are not as well thought-out as they would need to be to properly dismiss the case against Maybrick.

                            You are quite right, it is not religious for me whatsoever. I reserve that for football. I 'cling on' to my 'belief systems' because they have not yet been properly addressed by those who would deny me them. Honestly, Harry, you can't just say "In my opinion, this would happen and that would happen, and none of these things happened so that proves it's a hoax". For every concern you have regarding provenance, handwriting, so-called errors in the scrapbook, there are arguments which address them. That does not make these arguments the right arguments but - as long as they are legitimate counters to an argument - they cannot be so easily dismissed, however little attention you may wish to give them.

                            Look, you need to let what you see as my obsessions go. If they are my obsessions and not yours, why worry about them? If you think I'm on a wind-up campaign, why join me on it? There are hundreds of threads on Casebook: Jack the Ripper: if the case were never so well made for a hoax, why do you feel the need to come back here and post on this, The Greatest Thread of All?

                            I assume the answer to that is that you cannot bear to see a falsehood perpetrated. If I am correct, then we are for once totally aligned in our views.

                            Ike
                            But none of that explains why, in your own words, you are "95-99% certain" the diarist and Ripper was James Maybrick. I think you know full well that when you come out with bold claims such as this you are deliberately stoking the flames. I'll give you this much, more fool people for biting every time, because otherwise this thread would've never reached this many pages.

                            Why is there so much contradiction and conflict about where this diary came from?

                            Why did the handwriting not match the examples we have of the alleged author?

                            Why did the diarist use language that was not in the popular idiom of the time?

                            Why did the diarist get basic details of the case wrong?

                            Why did Mike Barrett admit that the whole thing was a hoax, if it wasn't?

                            These are rhetorical questions btw. I'm not expecting you to answer them, because I've seen it all before.

                            The problem is that every time you post your "legitimate counters" you are giving the diarist the benefit of the doubt, and not giving a proper reason to believe its authenticity. Again, the same way that people will use cognitive dissonance to rationalize contradictions, inaccuracies and anachronisms within the Bible. There is no reasonable or intellectually honest reason for doing so, if only to justify your own belief.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
                              So which of Baron's photographs did contain the letters 'F' and 'M'?
                              Hi Simon.

                              I no longer wish to engage with the diary crowd (about the diary, that is--I'm fine discussing sane matters with them), and wouldn't bother posting this, but it appears that your mind needs to be set at ease.

                              Barrett wasn't referring to initials on the backwall, so I remain unconvinced that, all those years ago, you had inadvertently inspired the hoaxer.

                              We can be confident about this by looking at the hoax itself.

                              As Harry points out, no one would refer to initials side-by-side on a backwall as 'an initial here, an initial there.' They are (allegedly) together.

                              Further, in a crossed-out line, the diarist tells us that he only left ONE initial:

                              Click image for larger version  Name:	image_21635.jpg Views:	3 Size:	6.9 KB ID:	771969


                              "Her initial there." Single, not plural: Her initial. Not initials. F for Florrie.

                              He also tells us where he left it: "in front for all eyes to see." He even underlines 'front.'


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                              The back wall is not 'the front." It's the back. Even the pretzel logic of Tom can't make the back wall the front.

                              So where is Florrie's initial 'in front' for all eyes to see?

                              It's in the third photograph posted by the Baron:

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                              What looks like an inverted F carved on Kelly's forearm, is, in reality, a defensive wound, or a series of defensive wounds, but it looked like the initial F to Mike.

                              And please recall that it was none other than the renowned Ripperologist Mike Barrett who first pointed out to the world that an 'M' could be found carved in the cheeks of Kate Eddowes. Having once written word puzzles for a living, Barrett couldn't help dropping clues for the kiddies who couldn't figure out what he had meant.

                              Recall also that it was well-known before 1992 that an 'M' had been found on a scrap of paper at the Hanbury Street crime scene. It was mentioned by several authors, including Paul Begg. Harrison and Feldman went on to milk this as a clue left by 'M' = Maybrick.

                              Thus 'an initial here, an initial there' doesn't refer to 'FM' on Kelly's backwall. It's an M at Hanbury Street or another M at Mitre Square, and an 'F' at Miller's Court.

                              An initial here and an initial there.

                              Thus, I am personally confident that Barrett wasn't referring to non-existent marks on the back wall; this was just Feldman's wrong assumption.

                              None of this matters one iota--it's just more bilge--but it does mean that Keith and Tom don't need to wring their hands worrying about Barrett having learned of the alleged initials at the Smoke and Stagger or anywhere else.

                              It is not a prerequisite, for there is no indication that Mike was ever aware of them. He was finding initials carved in human bodies, and milking Annie Chapman's envelope for all it was worth.

                              Good-bye, Simon. I hope you have a nice holiday season.

                              RP
                              Last edited by rjpalmer; 10-27-2021, 01:28 PM.

                              Comment


                              • Hi RJ
                                To me it also reads like the writer is referring to an initial left on her body, he goes on to wonder if he can carve his rhyme on the flesh of a victim in the next sentence.

                                Comment

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