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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • One for RJ...

    Author of 'Jack the Ripper: Threads' out now on Amazon > UK | USA | CA | AUS
    JayHartley.com

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    • I don't know whether this is an imperative or simply a statement of the inevitable, but it certainly puts me in mind of RJP ...

      (548) Oliver! - Be Back Soon - YouTube

      I can't honestly say that I would miss his Orsamesque obsession with the Barretts as masterhoaxers. This is - of course - their Achilles' Heel; if the two of them simply argue in favour of a hoax and perhaps illustrate as part of this that there is a highly-prejudicial case which can just about be made in favour of the Barretts, then the debate would be broader, less polarised, less antagonistic, and eminently more interesting, without ever having to stray anywhere near the authenticity argument (which almost no-one wishes to engage in on any serious level having collectively decided it doesn't look right, it doesn't read right, and there are one or two loose ends to tie up whilst conveniently ignoring the warning signs which I keep reminding everyone about).

      I think Orsam, receiving Barrett material (as he simply must have done) from Melvin Harris (perhaps circuitously) the genesis of which was almost entirely during Mike's really bad period, coupled with his unyielding arrogance (even his 'jokes' are ego trips) which persuades him that tenuousness - if it works for him - is the same as truism, sadly infected RJ, a condition which was never treated and which therefore simply got progressively worse. I think if RJ could recover from Orsam, there's a really decent person in there who has shown clear signs of flexibility in his thinking (as his posts do occasionally indicate). When he's at his worst, I just see it as a brief progression of his disease. When he's more balanced, I see the disease in remission.

      There may not be a cure for RJ, but I do believe that there is treatment for his condition. It would mainly consist of not slavishly following every word and whim of the Dark Lord. Until he weans himself off that particular source of nourishment, he's never going to have his One True Voice, but - instead - will simply echo His Master's Voice throughout all of his personal eternity like a likeable if rather pointless wee dug.

      Ike
      Iconoclast
      Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
      Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox
      Author of the even more brillianter Society's Pillar 2025 (available in all good browsers soon-ish)

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      • I scanned through some of the latest rants by the Dark Lord and was a little surprised by how personally he takes things that are even fairly innocuous.

        For example, his ongoing issue of how his website is presented. He swears blind the issue is everyone else’s issue. He even tried to claim both mine and his are similar widths. His absolute commitment to this fact is remarkable and is actually very indicative of his general approach to this whole debate.

        Cling on to a simple misunderstanding and hammer it hard until others believe your points. It’s an effective sledge hammer but doesn’t make you right.

        By the way, the issue with your website Lord O is that your columns are fixed width and has nothing to do with font sizes. You need a website that allows a responsive design, as everybody’s devices handle tables and columns and even font sizes slightly differently. Check my website on a tablet, phone and desktop - it reacts differently to each device.

        It needs to be adaptable.

        Perhaps it reflects its owner quite aptly.
        Author of 'Jack the Ripper: Threads' out now on Amazon > UK | USA | CA | AUS
        JayHartley.com

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        • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
          I see no crying need to discuss the Maybrick Hoax any more than there is a crying need to discuss Pedachenko or the Lewis Carroll theory.
          Well it took many years, but RJ got there in the end. I wonder if my recent observation about Sooty and Queen Victoria finally woke him up to how much gravitas he had given Maybrick in comparison, by returning over and over again to discuss a dodgy diary which had been thrown under the bus 28 years ago by its supposed author.

          Love,

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


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          • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
            I am not "inferring" that this was Mike's personal copy of Tales of Liverpool. Everyone knew that it was. How?

            Because Janet and Nancy Devereux were both told this by their own father and were able to produce the book and hand it over to Scotland Yard.

            By contrast, when Barrett was asked by the Fraud Squad to produce his copy, he couldn't do it. I feel no need to 'acknowledge that I have something wrong' when there is no indication that I AM wrong about this.

            Was Keith Skinner similarly wrong when he posted this back on 1-31-2018 on the "Acquiring a Victorian Diary" thread?

            Originally posted by James_J View Post

            TO R.J.PALMER

            Roger. To swiftly answer your question off the top of my head and without checking

            back to my reference material to confirm factual accuracy...

            The essence of what I remember about Tales Of Liverpool is that Mikes copy was given to the Scotland Yard investigating officer in October 1993 by Tony Devereuxs daughter who had been loaned it by Devereux when she visited him in 1992. [Sic: Keith must mean 1991]. From what I was able to ascertain when I spoke with the daughter, she was pregnant and saw the book in Devereuxs house and asked her father if she could borrow it. Devereaux said yes but to bring it back because it belonged to Bongo (Mike Barrett). It never was returned because Devereux died in August 1992].[sic: 1991]. Im pretty sure that, with the daughters assistance, I was able to narrow down the date when she would have borrowed the book because it related it to her pregnancy. Summer comes to mind but without going back to my notes I cannot be sure. As I think Ive openly said to David, the book is an important piece of evidence for it being the source of some of the Maybrick content of the Diary. Mike references it in his research notes. Ive by no means discounted it Roger as a pointer to the diary being a modern fake. Mike does name Devereux in his sworn affidavit of January 1995.

            We still have unfinished business to resolve in some of your previous posts.

            All Good Wishes, Keith
            Keith obviously accepted that it was Barrett's copy of Tales of Liverpool in Devereux's possession, and admitted this was an 'important piece of evidence' because it had been confirmed by Nancy Steel and Janet Devereux.

            As for Feldman, I think his genealogical musings are utterly bonkers, but I was unaware that you are in the same camp. You have lavishly defended Ike's theorizing, and all Ike has basically done is to regurgitate the same arguments that Feldman came up with 25-30 years ago.

            From Feldman's own account, he seems to have either seen the book, or was given this information by either Nancy Steele or Detective Bonsey.

            I was led to believe that Keith later failed to track down this copy and couldn't confirm that Barrett's name was in it--but there was never any indication that Feldman was shown to have been wrong ("obviously mistaken" as you now claim!) and that it wasn't in the book. Either way, two dependable people with no motive for lying confirmed that Devereux had identified it as Barrett's copy.

            You now seem to be indulging in gratuitous doubt-making in order to keep your theory afloat, but is there really any doubt? I wonder if Keith now shares these doubts as well. He didn't seem to back in 2018.


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            Housekeeping:

            Apart from Keith's error where he meant 1991, not 1992, he stands by everything he wrote at the end of January 2018. Later research [a concept that, for whatever reasons, RJ could never seem to grasp] has established that it was just one of the daughters who saw ToL when she went to visit her father and asked if she could borrow it and that she had stated back in October 1993 that this was in January 1991. The fact remains that she still had the book seven months later, in August 1991, when her father died unexpectedly. While I totally understand that it would have gone right out of her mind after losing her dad, she remembered two years later that it had belonged to Bongo, but had made no effort to return it. If his name had been in the book - it wasn't, as confirmed by Bonesy to Keith - there would have been even less excuse for Janet to hold onto it for that long.

            Anyway, Keith says that of course ToL is an important piece of evidence. He has never denied this and has not attempted to conceal its importance. Mike himself confused the whole story in the Goldie Street interview of 18th January 1995 by claiming that after Tony gave him the diary and told him nothing about it, Mike saw a copy of ToL in Tony's house and asked to borrow it. Mike claimed that Tony refused, so he had to go and buy his own copy, which gave him the Battlecrease connection to Maybrick. Asked whether Tony was alive at this point, Mike said no, he was dead when he made the connection, which appeared like a flat contradiction of what he had just been claiming. At that point Mike seemed to have forgotten that thirteen days earlier, on 5th January 1995, he had sworn an affidavit saying he had forged the diary with Tony's assistance.

            It was a mess. And if Tony's daughter thought she was doing her late father's memory a favour in October 1993, by associating the copy of ToL in her possession with "Bongo", she was mistaken, because an association was immediately and irrevocably made in people's minds between Tony and the diary, via Mike's ToL. It might have been better for her to say nothing about it, as there was no name in it to prove Mike had ever discussed this book - and by inference the diary - with her father. She unwittingly put Tony in the frame before Mike did, the following year.

            Keith has no idea why Feldman wrote what he did about ToL in 1997. Keith's own information clarifying the situation came much later after Inside Story had been published in 2003 and he had talked with Tony's daughters and son-in-law in Liverpool. But it's clear from what Feldman wrote that it suited him to believe it had been positively identified as Mike's ToL, so he could conclude that Tony was aware of the diary's existence and part of the story. No prizes for guessing why.

            Love,

            Caz
            X
            Last edited by caz; 03-14-2022, 05:20 PM.
            "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


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            • Hi All,

              If anyone who believes Mike Barrett's forgery claims is interested in clearing up the typescript/transcript business, Mike himself was able to lend a hand in April 1999 at the Cloak & Dagger Club, where he was interviewed by Keith Skinner.

              Mike was claiming to have authored the diary on his word processor, which he said Anne then transcribed by hand into the scrapbook. By way of evidence, Mike said Anne had made a mistake when transcribing Crashaw's words from the typescript: she had written Oh when it should have been O.

              Apart from the fact that Mike kept saying "O sweet intercourse..." when the quotation is 'O costly intercourse...', he was quite right about Crashaw spelling it O while in the diary it's spelled Oh.

              The only problem, as Keith then observed, was that the typescript also spells it Oh, thus making it Mike's mistake, which he presumably made when first transcribing the words from his Sphere volume onto the word processor. Mike was then rescued by a possible explanation - that what Keith had was not Mike's original draft [which would have spelled it O], but in fact a transcript of a transcript, which repeated the error Anne had made in her handwritten version. It makes for another magic moment.

              It would appear that for Mike to have told the truth about Anne handwriting the diary, and making that transcription error from his draft, there would have to be two typed versions, the before and after.

              It seems a tad unfair for RJ to dismiss out of hand the possibility of two copies of Tales of Liverpool in the story, if he needs there to have been two typed versions of the diary, to support his belief in Mike's forgery claims.

              Love,

              Caz
              X
              Last edited by caz; 03-17-2022, 01:30 PM.
              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


              Comment



              • Originally posted by caz View Post

                The only problem, as Keith then observed, was that the typescript also spells it Oh, thus making it Mike's mistake, which he presumably made when first transcribing the words from his Sphere volume onto the word processor. Mike was then rescued by a possible explanation - that what Keith had was not Mike's original draft [which would have spelled it O], but in fact a transcript of a transcript, which repeated the error Anne had made in her handwritten version. It makes for another magic moment.
                Hi Caz,

                Would it seem reasonable, do you think, to argue that this means that Mike typed-up the original version of the contents (that is, the hoax he was creating) with the correct 'O', that Anne then misunderstood him when he read it to her when she was transcribing it into the newly-acquired scrapbook on April 1 1992 (or whenever), and then someone then went back into Mike's word prosser and proactively changed the correct 'O' to the incorrect 'Oh', printed out this second version, and it was that copy which found its way to Keith Skinner?

                If this is true, it begs some obvious questions:

                1) What reason would anyone have to make a change from 'O' to 'Oh'? If the scrapbook was to be sold as a hoax, the 'Oh' version could simply have been a transcribing error (after all, this is what Mike subsequently claimed); and if it was to be sold as authentic, the 'Oh' version could simply have been a transcribing error. I'm just not seeing why anyone would feel the need to make that correction from 'O' to 'Oh' and then print out that copy.

                2) Why have we never seen sight nor sound (er, rustle) of this mythical first transcript version (the one with the correct 'O')? Is it possibly because it was never actually printed-out - that is, Mike read it to Anne directly from his screen? If this was true, it still does not explain why someone proactively chose to change the correct 'O' to the incorrect 'Oh' (unless the mistake was noticed by Mike and Anne and they decided to double-down on it in the transcript to be consistent, though I have already addressed that scenario in 1) above where it is obvious that there was never a need to change the original transcript as the error works whether the scrapbook is a hoax or it is authentic).

                My head is scrambled (as ever) by the permutations here, though I suspect the truth is much simpler: Mike acquired the scrapbook already completed and in order to make it easier to 'read' it he (or Anne) typed the scrapbook version into his word prosser and typed-up Maybrick's incorrect 'Oh' felicitously which is why it was the way it was when the only printed copy was printed-out. Simple as that.

                It is interesting that - when the hoax debate moves away from Mike Barrett as master hoaxer - it suddenly goes crashingly quiet around here. It is pretty obvious, I'd say, that any hoax theory built around the Barretts is very much as left-field as any theory can get, and yet there is pretty much no other hoax theory in town (hence the tumbleweed when the Barretts are not being linked directly with hoaxing the scrapbook) For hoax theorists, the cupboard appears to be very bare indeed which is - presumably - why they shop so often at Barrett's Bazaar (which - if a real thing - would no doubt have appositely been named 'Barrett's Bizarre' by Bongo himself, never spotting the crushing irony of it all).

                Cheers,

                Ike
                Iconoclast
                Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
                Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox
                Author of the even more brillianter Society's Pillar 2025 (available in all good browsers soon-ish)

                Comment


                • Afternoon Ike,

                  I suspect this is why Mike tried to quote at that same meeting in April 1999: "Oh what a tangled web..." but got into a mucking fuddle as usual over the correct words.

                  I have always seen the diary's Oh as an indication that the writer was recalling the line from Crashaw, rather than copying it straight from a book. It seemed such an unlikely mistake to make with an O staring one in the face. Mike had the sense to realise how unlikely this would be, so he claimed that he had copied it correctly from his Sphere book, but Anne put the Oh in the diary itself. He thought Keith was born yesterday and wouldn't think to check the transcript.

                  The whole thing only really makes sense if the Barretts were crafty enough to make a completely fresh transcript from Anne's handwritten diary, once Doreen was on board, without referring back to the original draft, so they could hand this new one over poste haste, knowing it would look natural and 'right'.

                  So it would probably be slightly unkind to RJ Palmer and his ilk to publish the transcript and make them jump through flaming hoops to explain its existence in any other way.

                  Have a great weekend!

                  Love,

                  Caz
                  X

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


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                  • Originally posted by caz View Post

                    I have always seen the diary's Oh as an indication that the writer was recalling the line from Crashaw, rather than copying it straight from a book.
                    I think you can probably take this one to the bank, Caz. Take it to the bookies, and I suspect you'll find that they are suddenly shut.

                    My weekend was truly ****ed in the 99th minute of the 114 which Newcastle laboured over last evening, contriving to concede the only goal of the game when the blue bin-dippers were down to ten men.

                    Hope yours is better, however.

                    Ike
                    Last edited by Iconoclast; 03-18-2022, 04:19 PM.
                    Iconoclast
                    Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
                    Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox
                    Author of the even more brillianter Society's Pillar 2025 (available in all good browsers soon-ish)

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                    • Dear Readers,

                      I have no problem with being the lone voice in the wilderness regarding the Maybrick scrapbook (I choose my words carefully as I know ero b leans - almost horizontally perhaps - towards Maybrick from the watch rather than from the scrapbook) but I do object profoundly to accusations that my faith in the authenticity of the scrapbook stems from insincerity, mendacity, or brainless trolling. It stems from none of those things. It stems from honesty. I am as honest with the scrapbook as I can be. Just like the guy who finds a hoard of what appears to be Roman coins, I did not come across the scrapbook (via Feldman’s iconic video, as it happens) and therefore the watch and think “They simply must be a hoax”. My first thoughts were to assume that the scrapbook was authentic, to assume that the watch was authentic – effectively to assume (as we all surely assume) that the Roman coins are genuinely Roman, until such time as someone proves the case to be otherwise. This may seem deeply unscientific, but I suggest that it requires an unnecessary cynicism and scepticism to rule out the possible until it is shown to be otherwise. If we didn't have propositions, we would have no scientific progress towards formal and accepted theories. The scrapbook and the watch were like tangible propositions just waiting to be tested. They have not yet achieved the giddy height of a theory, but nor have they been contradicted by the available evidence, however much some rogue and reckless commentators might imply they have been.

                      For me, this is a perfectly allowable position to take. We have a scrapbook and a watch – our Roman coins - and we should assume that they are authentic until such time as diligent research proves unequivocally, undeniably, incontrovertibly that one or both artefacts are not authentic. Others might sit on the fence and say they’ll believe they are authentic when they are unequivocally, undeniably, incontrovertibly proven to be authentic. Others might jump over my personal fence and say they’ll assume they are inauthentic until they are unequivocally, undeniably, incontrovertibly proven to be authentic. You pays your money, et cetera. I pays my money and I have chosen to invest in authenticity until proven otherwise. I do so hope it ain’t a crime, guv’nor?

                      And – thus – my journey began. A journey (to borrow the title of this, The Greatest Thread of All) seeking one incontrovertible, unequivocal, undeniable fact which refutes the scrapbook. It’s been a journey so far lasting around a quarter of a century (I think I first saw the Feldman video on UK TV in 1997). During all of those years, I have not come across a single fact about the scrapbook and watch which proves either to be categorically inauthentic, though I have certainly heard a few explicit and utterly shameless porkies told by others to that effect.

                      In all these years, the most interesting possibilities which might point towards inauthenticity are:
                      1. The lack of a handwriting match to James Maybrick;
                      2. The use of ‘one-off instance’ as it has a very specific meaning, and that meaning was arguably not available to James Maybrick in 1888 or 1889;
                      3. The first analysis of the ink by Dr. Baxendale stated that it was ‘freely soluble’ which one would not have expected if it had been laid down on paper one hundred years earlier;
                      4. The use of ‘tin match box, empty’ in the scrapbook – a more or less literal copy of one of Eddowes’ meagre possessions, a list of which had just been made available to the public for the first time in Fido (1987); and
                      5. The author appearing to remember placing Kelly’s severed breasts where he did not appear to place them.

                      Now, I’m not about to re-hash these arguments (you’ll be relieved to hear). If you want to know my views on them, I strongly recommend that you turn to my brilliant Society’s Pillar where they are all discussed. You’ll note that I have excluded some oft-quoted alternatives such as the use of ‘bumbling buffoon’ and ‘spread mayhem’ (neither of these being categorically semantically unavailable to Maybrick’s brain, even if ‘mayhem’ was less commonly ‘spread’ in those days): if ‘freshly picked carrots’ was never recorded until 1947, I’m not about to buy into the certainty of others that ‘bumbling buffoon’ and ‘spread mayhem’ (inter alia) could not have similarly been short-changed in the written history.

                      There are many other – some quite extraordinarily personal – reasons given for why the scrapbook is a hoaxed document. I hear so often on the Casebook that someone’s dislike of the tone and language, the flow and narrative structure are why they ‘know’ the scrapbook is not in Maybrick’s hand. Thankfully for the scrapbook, I wisely ignore such remarkably irrelevant comments. They are simply not worth discussing any further. Just because I dislike your moustache doesn’t mean you aren’t an attractive woman and what have you.

                      Many folk just don’t trust the vehicle it was written in. That’s not unreasonable, but it’s not unequivocal (and therein lies the not inconsiderable rub). Using a dodgy scrapbook to spill the beans on your murderous ‘campaign’ is not open to question by those a century later who wouldn’t have done so too. The very unhappy guy who brought the scrapbook to light later claimed to have created it – for many that’s all they needed to hear to either just believe it or else go further and shoehorn every fact they could locate into making it appear to be so. Some people who appear to have no real grasp of what the word ‘proven’ actually means have just taken to claiming that the scrapbook has been proven to be a hoax. Some people claim the scrapbook previously contained photographs from World War I, conveniently skipping the bit where someone actually provides some unequivocal evidence to support it. Some say the writing is too melodramatic which seems to set a particularly low bar for a man who literally ripped Mary Kelly’s corpse apart. Some folk say the mention of the ‘Poste House’ is an anachronism when what they mean to say is that the mention of the ‘Poste House’ could be an anachronism. Others point out that the text of the scrapbook was found on Mike Barrett’s computer, as if a man who possessed a word processor and who came into possession of the reflections of Jack the Ripper could not possibly type a version of it into an editor to both protect the text and to make it more easier to analyse without necessarily revealing in the process that he must have therefore created the original document in the first place. Is anyone seeing how these facile arguments have built an aura of distrust around the scrapbook, but not an aura of actual evidential falsehood?

                      Now there are probably other examples that people would cite, but I would also cite myself that there are a number of circumstances within the evidence which strongly favours authenticity. Some of you with long memories might recall that I have occasionally mentioned some of them down the long years. I don’t need to mention them at all in truth because – remember – I am starting from a position of trust. I am trusting that the artefacts are authentic and I am trusting that my intellectual honesty will correct my position when I realise that it is actually untenable given the prevailing evidence available to us. Now, some of you might suggest (and indeed some of you have in fact suggested) that this simply puts me in the bracket of the religious zealot – I have my ‘bible’ and I refuse to discard it when more insightful folks show me the errors of my way (advice which I invariably have to discard once I ascertain that it is stemming from a deeply prejudicial well rather than from some fount of righteous and unquestionable knowledge). There is, however, a rather large difference between the scrapbook (and watch) and any given religious text. In the case of the latter, my intellectual honesty would not take twenty-five years to realise that the contents are utter bullshit nor twenty-five years to grasp exactly why such a document would ever be created. In the case of the former, my intellectual honesty has not been able to deduce any crippling certainties, only awkward propositions. Hence, I keep looking for both the facts which would kill the scrapbook and the watch stone dead (and - in my spare time - for those which would incontrovertibly authenticate them).

                      I think that’s a fair summary of where I’m at with all this.

                      Ike
                      Terribly Clever, You Know
                      Iconoclast
                      Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
                      Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox
                      Author of the even more brillianter Society's Pillar 2025 (available in all good browsers soon-ish)

                      Comment


                      • You don't mention the Abberline melodrama in the Diary, Ike. Hardly a well-known Detective at the time, 1888-89. He's mentioned a couple of times in contemporary news reports about the murders, but not to the point that someone at that time would fixate on him as an adversary. More like somebody in modern times who read books about the Ripper investigation.

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                        • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                          You don't mention the Abberline melodrama in the Diary, Ike. Hardly a well-known Detective at the time, 1888-89. He's mentioned a couple of times in contemporary news reports about the murders, but not to the point that someone at that time would fixate on him as an adversary. More like somebody in modern times who read books about the Ripper investigation.
                          Fair challenge, Scotty. I wasn't looking to be exhaustive, but I was at least looking to be reasonably accurate and it's already been pointed-out to me by one of my sharp-eyed readers that I don't actually discuss Baxendale's report on ink solubility in my brilliant Society's Pillar, so apologies to anyone who looked and was therefore found wanting. It'll definitely be in the 2025 version though. I hope.

                          Anyway, the Abberline argument I don't have a strong view on as I've never personally reviewed the newspapers to gauge exactly what Maybrick may have thought was true. I'm hoping to do so for the 2025 version but it's obviously going to involve a lot of work and sometimes I just can't be arsed. That'll probably pass as doubtless it stems from my bitter frustration at a crap result last evening which I'm distinctly still niggled to hell about.

                          Are you absolutely sure that Abberline played the bit-part you infer?

                          Cheers,

                          Ike
                          Iconoclast
                          Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
                          Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox
                          Author of the even more brillianter Society's Pillar 2025 (available in all good browsers soon-ish)

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                          • That was my impression on reading the Diary.

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                            • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                              That was my impression on reading the Diary.
                              'On reading the diary' - according to your theory, Scotty - should have led you to believe that Abberline did NOT play a merely bit-part in the investigation?

                              What I was wondering was what was it about the London and Liverpool newspaper coverage of the Autumn of Terror that led you to believe that Abberline played an insignificant role (which the scrapbook hoaxer 'beefed-up', thereby giving his or her hoax away to the pantheon of sharp-eyes which does not - it would appear - include mine)?

                              Cheers,

                              Ike

                              Iconoclast
                              Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
                              Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox
                              Author of the even more brillianter Society's Pillar 2025 (available in all good browsers soon-ish)

                              Comment


                              • Just as a point of note, it seems rather a fallacy that Abberline was barely mentioned in the press during the Autumn of Terror. In September in particular he seems to get 168 name checks alone - and this is just those papers listed on BNA.

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