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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
    I suspect the source for this may possibly be a misreading of MacDougall (1891).
    Ike - How so? MacDougall didn't know about the diary's existence--for obvious reasons--so why would he have even commented on prescription dates conflicting with James Maybrick's visits to London?

    Are you suggesting that Fido misremembered three dates mentioned by MacDougall in April 1889 as 70 dates covering the context of the diary???

    Or do you have something else? This claim comes around every few years like Hallie Rubenhold's Comet, and I still have no idea to what Martin was referring.

    Comment


    • MacDougall listed a bunch of medicine bottles found at Battlecrease and gave the date if it was written on the bottle.

      The dates from 1888

      27th April
      17th June
      27th July
      17th Sept
      25th October
      6th November

      A lot were undated, and one was dated back to 1880

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Yabs View Post
        MacDougall listed a bunch of medicine bottles found at Battlecrease and gave the date if it was written on the bottle.

        The dates from 1888

        27th April
        17th June
        27th July
        17th Sept
        25th October
        6th November

        A lot were undated, and one was dated back to 1880
        Ah, okay. So, there's the answer. Thanks.

        Also:

        24 September
        28 October.

        So, Fido counts 70 prescriptions, but only 8 are actually dated; the other 62 or so are not, thus it's not quite as dramatic as it sounded. And only 5 of the 8 could possibly conflict with a non-dated diary.

        In a span of 81 days (31 August - 9 November) there were 8 possible date conflicts (except, as Lord O states, JM could have still boarded a train in the afternoon)

        5 bullets are fired in those 81 days, and all missed.



        Comment


        • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

          Ah, okay. So, there's the answer. Thanks.

          Also:

          24 September
          28 October.

          So, Fido counts 70 prescriptions, but only 8 are actually dated; the other 62 or so are not, thus it's not quite as dramatic as it sounded. And only 5 of the 8 could possibly conflict with a non-dated diary.

          In a span of 81 days (31 August - 9 November) there were 8 possible date conflicts (except, as Lord O states, JM could have still boarded a train in the afternoon)

          5 bullets are fired in those 81 days, and all missed.


          I have not seen Fido's original source materials and am going simply by his statement in the Feldman film. The thing I am open to be corrected is on whether it was Fido who discovered this or he was referencing someone else's find.

          For clarity here is the full transcript of that video extract:

          "I don't think in any sense James Maybrick was the easiest person to use. I think he is a very risky person. The way in which the forger has had enormous good luck is that Maybrick was a hypochondriac. He went to his doctor or chemist what about seventy times a year. This is recorded. Those visits went down in their logs or prescriptions books, and by incredible good fortune, not one of those seventy times conflicts with any of the times when the diary said Maybrick was in London."

          This is the actual statement and readers can make their own interpretations. I made mine.
          Author of 'Jack the Ripper: Threads' out now on Amazon > UK | USA | CA | AUS
          JayHartley.com

          Comment


          • Originally posted by erobitha View Post

            I have not seen Fido's original source materials and am going simply by his statement in the Feldman film. The thing I am open to be corrected is on whether it was Fido who discovered this or he was referencing someone else's find.

            For clarity here is the full transcript of that video extract:

            "I don't think in any sense James Maybrick was the easiest person to use. I think he is a very risky person. The way in which the forger has had enormous good luck is that Maybrick was a hypochondriac. He went to his doctor or chemist what about seventy times a year. This is recorded. Those visits went down in their logs or prescriptions books, and by incredible good fortune, not one of those seventy times conflicts with any of the times when the diary said Maybrick was in London."

            This is the actual statement and readers can make their own interpretations. I made mine.
            Hi All,

            I asked Keith Skinner if he could shed any light on ero b's question and have just received this reply.

            Re Erobitha's post #7729, I am probably the best person to answer this question as I was working extremely closely with Martin between October 1992 and the filming of Paul Feldman's video in the Summer of 1993 - and beyond because Headline, taking commercial advantage of the world publicity surrounding the diary and publication of Shirley's book in October 1993, immediately commissioned an updated revision of The Jack The Ripper A To Z for publication in 1994.

            So the answer to Erobitha's question is 'no'. It was not Martin's discovery and neither was it mine.
            Unless I am mistaken, it would have been information given to Martin by Paul Feldman at a time when Martin had stated his position on the diary (ie - completely rejected the notion of JM being JTR) and had neither the interest or time to involve himself in the project.

            Here is an extract from a letter Martin Fido wrote to Paul Feldman on January 28th 1993

            "Please accept my apologies for not arguing point by point
            with your case - it isn't a brush-off, but harsh fact when I
            say that I am working on a very tight schedule until the end
            of April [1993] on two contracted books, and already the lengthy
            correspondence with Paul Begg [re the diary] is starting to set me back."

            I'll just add that Martin had hardly any secondary source material re James Maybrick but I was gathering as much as I possibly could because I had offered to help Shirley research out the primary sources of information. Going from memory, that was how I made the link between JM and the East End - plus the discovery of the unknown marriage to Sarah (d 1927) prior to his marriage to Florence Chandler. In addition I was researching for Martin one of the two books he had been contracted to write and would often tell him about my ongoing Maybrick research for Shirley.

            Anyway, hope that answers Erobitha's query.

            Iconoclast
            Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
            Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox

            Comment


            • Originally posted by caz View Post

              As Ike mentioned, Mike swore an affidavit back in April 1993, six months before Shirley's first book was published, to the effect that Tony Devereux had given him the diary and insisted that no one else alive knew about it. Although I don't believe Mike was telling the truth, this has not been disproved. For all you know, Devereux could have been the faker, and gave it to Mike to take to market.

              If you stand by your belief that a first affidavit, if not disproved, should take precedence over any subsequent affidavit by the same person, where they are incompatible, then it's the April 1993 affidavit you should be considering more reliable than either of the two Mike swore in January 1995, when he had strong personal motives to claim that he and Anne faked the diary, and was being encouraged by Alan Gray to make that statement, who was in turn being encouraged by Melvin Harris to make it happen.

              You need to get all your ducks in a row now, Trev, and stop referring to first and second, if you are actually describing second and third.

              Little wonder you get yourself and others confused.

              Love,

              Caz
              X
              I think I'm right in saying that we are still awaiting Trevor Marriott's thoughts regarding the first of Mike's affidavit trilogy (we'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he even knew there were three)?

              The one he made on April 26 1993 described in detail how he received the completed scrapbook from Tony Devereux and therefore had no hand himself in its creation. This was rather dramatically contradicted by his infamous Jan 5, 1995 affidavit in which he claimed he had created the scrapbook text with Anne.

              Now, the Jan 5, 1995 gets all of the attention because it suits the agenda of those who want us to believe that Mike Barrett created a fake Jack the Ripper diary and then palmed it off onto a na´ve Shirley Harrison and crew; but what we really need to understand is why anyone would choose to favour the Jan 5 1995 affidavit and disregard the April 26 1993 one. What was so compelling about the second that was so lacking in the first? It can't have been provable detail because neither affidavit gave us any concrete proofs so there must be something quite magical about the second affidavit for the first to be so roundly stonewalled.

              The Jan 26 1995 affidavit, by the way, is a tale of how much pressure Barrett claimed that he had been under from Paul Feldman and people he associated with Paul Feldman. He continued to insist that he had created the text of the scrapbook and that Anne had written it into the scrapbook itself.

              So that's: Why does Trevor Marriott favour affidavits 2 & 3 over 1 (and why does anyone else for that matter)?

              Cheers,

              Ike

              Iconoclast
              Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
              Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox

              Comment


              • In a current email exchange with my correspondent FDC, the subject of the linseed oil came up. Mike had claimed in his Jan 5 1995 affidavit:

                "I soaked the whole of the front cover in Linseed Oil, once the oil was absorbed by the front
                cover, which took 2 days to dry out, I even used the heat from the gas oven to assist in the
                drying out."


                According to the 2nd (Jan 5 1995) affidavit this would have been done in the two-week period leading up to Mike taking the diary to London on April 13th 1992 for Doreen and Shirley to examine (plus the impromptu visit to Jarndyce and the British Library), and then within three months it was forensically examined by Baxendale and subsequently Eastaugh. But there is no record of anybody commenting on the front cover or remarking about a smell of linseed oil.

                Now, I am no expert in the odour of linseed oil, but I take it as read that it would still be present less than two weeks after Mike had 'soaked the whole of the front cover' in it so one might have imagined that one of those present at the April 13 1992 meeting in Rupert Crew's office in London or in Jarndyce's or in the British Library would have commented upon it and - if they did - that this would have been recorded by Shirley Harrison in her original book. Of course, she may have neglected to do so for whatever reason.

                I guess this leads us to a related question: how long would the smell of linseed oil remain in a document such as this which had had its front cover 'soaked' in it?

                So that's: How long does the smell of linseed oil pervade a Victorian scrapbook if it is applied in or around 1992?
                Iconoclast
                Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
                Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                  "Unless I am mistaken, it would have been information given to Martin by Paul Feldman"
                  Thanks, Ike. So, if Keith is correct, Martin in the video appears to be just repeating something that Feldman had told him?

                  And that 'something' that Feldman told him appears to have been quite misleading? Is that your understanding as well?

                  So, rather than the forger having "enormous good luck," it was actually better than 50/50 odds that the dates of Maybrick's prescriptions would not contradict with those implied by the diary.

                  Thus, another diary myth goes down the drain.


                  Originally posted by caz View Post
                  I must say it's a quaint notion that Martin Fido of all people would ever have been influenced by Feldy's thinking. But back in the real world...
                  You were saying, Caz? In the above instance, that appears to have been exactly what happened. Martin was misled by Feldy's thinking.

                  And now back to the real world. Have a good week.

                  RP
                  Last edited by rjpalmer; 12-08-2021, 11:48 AM.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                    Thanks, Ike. So, if Keith is correct, Martin in the video appears to be just repeating something that Feldman had told him?

                    And that 'something' that Feldman told him appears to have been quite misleading? Is that your understanding as well?

                    So, rather than the forger having "enormous good luck," it was actually better than 50/50 odds that the dates of Maybrick's prescriptions would not contradict with those implied by the diary.

                    Thus, another diary myth goes down the drain.
                    Hi RJ,

                    Well, as I have said already, I am not hugely excited by the dates on the prescriptions because of the speed of the trains but if Martin Fido felt that the diarist had had "enormous good luck", it's not for me to say that he wrong. I don't know if either one of us (or even Keith Skinner) is able to clarify to what extent Martin took Feldman's comments on face value before he spoke on camera or sought the actual evidence first. Martin does not come across as someone who would simply accept Feldman's claims without seeing the back up, but how can we ever know either way? (If Keith sends me any further comment, I'll obviously let you all know.)

                    You were saying, Caz? In the above instance, that appears to have been exactly what happened. Martin was misled by Feldy's thinking.

                    And now back to the real world. Have a good week.

                    RP
                    I think our dear readers know that Martin Fido was a highly-intelligent person. If Paul had provided Martin with verbal evidence then I am confident that Martin would have interpreted it for himself rather than simply adopt the loaded views of Paul Feldman. As I said above, one would imagine that would include seeking the evidential back up so that he could draw his own conclusions (but we'll probably never know). I can't believe therefore that Martin was misled by Paul's thinking, which seems to be the point you are pursuing. The information may well have started with Paul Feldman but that doesn't mean Martin could not have explored it deeper once Paul had raised it with him. As I say, I don't feel this is my debate but I do feel that I can defend Caz's position regarding Martin's capacity to resist the wilder imaginings of Paul Feldman.

                    Cheers,

                    Ike
                    Iconoclast
                    Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
                    Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                      I think our dear readers know that Martin Fido was a highly-intelligent person. If Paul had provided Martin with verbal evidence then I am confident that Martin would have interpreted it for himself rather than simply adopt the loaded views of Paul Feldman. As I said above, one would imagine that would include seeking the evidential back up so that he could draw his own conclusions (but we'll probably never know). I can't believe therefore that Martin was misled by Paul's thinking, which seems to be the point you are pursuing. The information may well have started with Paul Feldman but that doesn't mean Martin could not have explored it deeper once Paul had raised it with him. As I say, I don't feel this is my debate but I do feel that I can defend Caz's position regarding Martin's capacity to resist the wilder imaginings of Paul Feldman.
                      Please, Ike.

                      Keith just told you that Martin didn't have any 'Maybrick' source material and was too busy with other projects.

                      Yet you are now suggesting that Martin was able to chase down long-lost prescription ledgers from Dr. Hopper, based on something Feldman told him?

                      Where are these prescription books and why doesn't Keith or Feldman ever mention their existence?

                      Yab's post is ringing a faint bell and I think this was discussed years ago. I am quite confident that these 'prescription books' are nothing more than the information listed in Macdougall's appendix, and from your original post, I dare say you do, too. Are you now hedging that bet? Based on what?

                      And even if the prescription books still existed in 1992 (which I don't believe), '70 times a year' would only mean about 14 days of prescriptions in the 81 days covered in the diary between the murders of Polly Nichols and Mary Kelly.

                      So, the 'enormous good luck' statement is entirely misguided. The odds would be roughly 2 to 1.

                      But if you're willing to take it all on faith, who am I to complain?


                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                        So, rather than the forger having "enormous good luck," it was actually better than 50/50 odds that the dates of Maybrick's prescriptions would not contradict with those implied by the diary.
                        Not wishing to get into another debacle about odds, but it's probably relevant to note that there are some shared dates among the dated prescription bottles.
                        This implies JM did not go to his doctor/apothecary as often as argued. I count 14 dated bottles for 1888 but only 8 dates.

                        I do not know where the number 70 pr. year comes from; there are more than 70 items listed in MacDougall's appendix - approximately 167, I think, but MacDougall himself numbers them at about 250 - but not all of them are prescription items, some are simply empty bottles or similar, so they might have come from anywhere, at any time, being dated from 1884-1889, and will not necessarily have been purchased by JM, indeed some of them seem to be his wife's.

                        Overall, I fail to se how the dates on the bottles can have any relevance at all, since the forger could very easily have consulted MacDougall's book beforehand, to ascertain if there were any date discrepansies that invalidated the project or needed explaining.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                          Please, Ike.

                          Keith just told you that Martin didn't have any 'Maybrick' source material and was too busy with other projects.

                          Yet you are now suggesting that Martin was able to chase down long-lost prescription ledgers from Dr. Hopper, based on something Feldman told him?

                          Where are these prescription books and why doesn't Keith or Feldman ever mention their existence?

                          Yab's post is ringing a faint bell and I think this was discussed years ago. I am quite confident that these 'prescription books' are nothing more than the information listed in Macdougall's appendix, and from your original post, I dare say you do, too. Are you now hedging that bet? Based on what?

                          And even if the prescription books still existed in 1992 (which I don't believe), '70 times a year' would only mean about 14 days of prescriptions in the 81 days covered in the diary between the murders of Polly Nichols and Mary Kelly.

                          So, the 'enormous good luck' statement is entirely misguided. The odds would be roughly 2 to 1.

                          But if you're willing to take it all on faith, who am I to complain?

                          I have only ever seen Martin Fido reference the logs and prescription books. If that information was shared with him by Feldman and Martin was satisfied with what was presented - we will never know.

                          It is a good question to ask if they existed where are they now.

                          A vocal critic of the scrapbook conceded he believed there was incredible luck in selecting James Maybrick as a candidate because of these reasons. He could not cite any other more compelling reasons than this one. Which means he believed whatever he saw or what he was told. That’s enough for me to consider it as a valid point.

                          As with Ike - even if there was a clash of dates ultimately it would not matter. Express train travel was around 5 hours from London to Liverpool and vice versa.

                          I was always more interested in Martin’s statement as something he believed.
                          Author of 'Jack the Ripper: Threads' out now on Amazon > UK | USA | CA | AUS
                          JayHartley.com

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                            I am confident that Martin would have interpreted it for himself rather than simply adopt the loaded views of Paul Feldman.

                            In the spirit of the season, I would just as soon get along without trading barbs, Ike, but "the loaded views of Paul Feldman" is not something I expected to hear from the author of Society's Pillar.

                            Merry Christmas


                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                              I was always more interested in Martin’s statement as something he believed.
                              It just reaffirms Jeff Hamm's view that statistics can be terribly counter intuitive.

                              Even an intelligent person can misjudge what constitutes "enormous good luck."

                              I suppose you can use it as an example of 'fuzzy thinking' by a critic of the diary, but I think Martin's views about the diary were sound. In the video, he comments that someone would have to be utterly barking mad to believe that the first two words of the Goulston Street graffito could be read as 'The James.'

                              The film editor did a nasty trick by immediately cutting to Colin Wilson.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                                Please, Ike.

                                Keith just told you that Martin didn't have any 'Maybrick' source material and was too busy with other projects.

                                Yet you are now suggesting that Martin was able to chase down long-lost prescription ledgers from Dr. Hopper, based on something Feldman told him?

                                Where are these prescription books and why doesn't Keith or Feldman ever mention their existence?

                                Yab's post is ringing a faint bell and I think this was discussed years ago. I am quite confident that these 'prescription books' are nothing more than the information listed in Macdougall's appendix, and from your original post, I dare say you do, too. Are you now hedging that bet? Based on what?

                                And even if the prescription books still existed in 1992 (which I don't believe), '70 times a year' would only mean about 14 days of prescriptions in the 81 days covered in the diary between the murders of Polly Nichols and Mary Kelly.

                                So, the 'enormous good luck' statement is entirely misguided. The odds would be roughly 2 to 1.

                                But if you're willing to take it all on faith, who am I to complain?

                                Well - as I keep saying - it's just not my debate, RJ. There are bigger fish to fry here than what Martin Fido knew for a fact before slapping on the talc and going on camera.
                                Iconoclast
                                Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
                                Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox

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