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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by Soothsayer View Post
    Hi Lynn,

    As I understand it, one of the biggest challenges facing the 'old hoax' theory is the fact that the author clearly has five canonical victims.


    Umm....I think you mean "five canonical victims plus two", don't you?
    “Sans arme, sans violence et sans haine”

    Comment


    • William

      Hello Sooth. Thanks for that. William of Ockham was a 14th c logician--British, of course. He wrote the Summa Totius Logicae and had a place in my doctoral dissertation on logic. Poor devil died in 1349 of the plague.

      Out of curiosity, have you noticed that Maybrick's daughter bore the same name as Hurlbert's paramour?

      Cheers.
      LC

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Magpie View Post
        Umm....I think you mean "five canonical victims plus two", don't you?
        Magpie,

        It is true, of course, that there re seven murders in the Maybrick/hoaxer's journal, but equally of course they were not the seven original 'canonical' victims, as well you know.

        It is another intriguing aspect of the journal that our hoaxer (modern or otherwise) decided to add in these two Manchester killings.

        The case goes on, we prove so little with our rhetoric, and yet as the years pass, one can't help but be struck by how swiftly the Hitler and Mussolini diaries were outed as the frauds they ultimately were, and yet our LVP photo album just keeps on ageing, denounced a thousand times over, yet not yet convicted.

        Soothy Soothsayer
        Mind Gymnast

        Comment


        • Originally posted by lynn cates View Post
          Hello Sooth. Thanks for that. William of Ockham was a 14th c logician--British, of course. He wrote the Summa Totius Logicae and had a place in my doctoral dissertation on logic. Poor devil died in 1349 of the plague.

          Out of curiosity, have you noticed that Maybrick's daughter bore the same name as Hurlbert's paramour?

          Cheers.
          LC
          Extraordinary spot, fair maiden of the literary arts.

          In truth, I didn't know who Hurlbert was, despite my erstwhile brilliance and genius.

          Can you make your literary observations more recent, please - ideally drawn from authors of exquisite style and insight such as Clive Cussler, and Chris Ryan - as I don't really read anything else?

          True art is to conceal art, lynn cates!

          Have a smiley on me.

          Comment


          • The Hitler Diaries hoax, as a phenomenon which sucked in 'Stern' and Lord Dacre and Rupert Murdoch, happened partly by accident and not by design.

            The small-time forger who hoaxed the first diaries, amongst other Third Reich memorabilia, did not bother to use period materials because he was not aiming at such a high-powered, mainstream market.

            He was just a small-timer feeding a small, niche market.

            That he hit the proverbial jackpot, for a time, with shoddy material was due to a series of accidents based on wishful-thinking, greed and -- most critically -- due to the secrecy required of a big scoop, and secrecy, more than anything, aids the con man.

            What the Hitler diaries fiasco did, of course, was also provide a template on what not to do when hoaxing a document from an earlier historical period.

            Another way of refuting it is to subscribe to an argument that one of the contemporaneous policemen was more reliable than the others, let's say Swanson, and this cuts out James Maybrick, as the fiend, stone dead.

            Actually, the Ripper diary was exposed as a hoax from the very start: the hand-writing does not match and it has no provenance which is not self-servingly dodgy.

            That is why it has not been accepted as authentic any more than the Royal rubbish, or Cornwall's empty boasts about Walter Sickert (while not an hoax, her 'theory' is remarkably weak and one on which she spent millions -- yet never managed to discover that Abberline had picked Chapman).

            Comment


            • Wise Words

              Originally posted by Jonathan H View Post
              The Hitler Diaries hoax, as a phenomenon which sucked in 'Stern' and Lord Dacre and Rupert Murdoch, happened partly by accident and not by design.
              The small-time forger who hoaxed the first diaries, amongst other Third Reich memorabilia, did not bother to use period materials because he was not aiming at such a high-powered, mainstream market.
              He was just a small-timer feeding a small, niche market.
              That he hit the proverbial jackpot, for a time, with shoddy material was due to a series of accidents based on wishful-thinking, greed and -- most critically -- due to the secrecy required of a big scoop, and secrecy, more than anything, aids the con man.
              What the Hitler diaries fiasco did, of course, was also provide a template on what not to do when hoaxing a document from an earlier historical period.
              Another way of refuting it is to subscribe to an argument that one of the contemporaneous policemen was more reliable than the others, let's say Swanson, and this cuts out James Maybrick, as the fiend, stone dead.
              Actually, the Ripper diary was exposed as a hoax from the very start: the hand-writing does not match and it has no provenance which is not self-servingly dodgy.
              That is why it has not been accepted as authentic any more than the Royal rubbish, or Cornwall's empty boasts about Walter Sickert (while not an hoax, her 'theory' is remarkably weak and one on which she spent millions -- yet never managed to discover that Abberline had picked Chapman).
              Exceedingly wise words, yet there are those who would keep this blatant fake alive. But it is pleasing to see that there are few who believe it to be authentic, or even old.
              SPE

              Treat me gently I'm a newbie.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Jonathan H View Post

                Actually, the Ripper diary was exposed as a hoax from the very start: the hand-writing does not match and it has no provenance which is not self-servingly dodgy.
                Careful tiger - your enthusiasm for your cause has dragged you into the unscientific grounds of wishful thinking, misinformation, and Argument from Personal Incredulity. Not bad for one sentence!

                For those reading tiger's post and assuming that he knows what he's talking about but don't themselves know anything about the case (99% of readers?), please be reassured that the Ripper diary was only exposed as a hoax in the closed minds of the wishful thinkers. Those of us who know a categorical debunking when we see one also (therefore) know that no such event has occurred.

                As for citing provenance as evidence of a hoax, this is truly the last vestige of the scoundrel. Just because tiger's personal incredulity has been stretched by the supposed arrival of the journal does not inform us even slightly as to its actual origins or its veracity (or otherwise).

                That is why it has not been accepted as authentic any more than the Royal rubbish, or Cornwall's empty boasts about Walter Sickert (while not an hoax, her 'theory' is remarkably weak and one on which she spent millions -- yet never managed to discover that Abberline had picked Chapman.
                Keyword here is 'picked'. This is what Ripperologists and dilettantes do because they haven't got any evidence. Nothing. Not a scrap, bar the patently-failed musings of ex-Commissioners whose marginalia are dotted with the desperate conjecture of defeat. You just have to read a few threads on this Casebook. Ignoring the fact that there is not a shred of evidence against any of the 'major candidates' (Druitt was playing cricket hundreds of miles away and Tumblety - sorry to remind you Stewart - was in chokey when MJK was killed) exists and indeed (as just illustrated, but in the wrong place) many have evidence against them rather than for them.

                We have a journal, it tells the tale completely, without catastrophic error, and you have nothing.

                I'm feeling quite pious with my wealth of evidence. Want to trade some with your hot air and pointless conjecture?

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Soothsayer View Post
                  Careful tiger - your enthusiasm for your cause has dragged you into the unscientific grounds of wishful thinking, misinformation, and Argument from Personal Incredulity. Not bad for one sentence!

                  For those reading tiger's post and assuming that he knows what he's talking about but don't themselves know anything about the case (99% of readers?), please be reassured that the Ripper diary was only exposed as a hoax in the closed minds of the wishful thinkers. Those of us who know a categorical debunking when we see one also (therefore) know that no such event has occurred.

                  And no-where in your lengthy poisoning the well argument did you address "tiger's" assertion that the handwriting didn't match. Odd, that...
                  “Sans arme, sans violence et sans haine”

                  Comment


                  • Considering the Options

                    I still can't answer the "one incontrovertible" etc either for or against the diary, although the handwriting mis-match & lack of provenance make it suspect in my view.
                    For what it's worth, Maybrick is said to have delighted in word games (at least, I read somewhere that he did). As an avid fan of the cryptic crossword, it always struck me that "Battlecrease" was such an improbable word that it might be an anagram. There must be many permutations, but, just for devilment I'll point out that one possibility is "Best Lacerate".

                    (That should take this post past the thousand mark!)
                    "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Magpie View Post
                      And no-where in your lengthy poisoning the well argument did you address "tiger's" assertion that the handwriting didn't match. Odd, that...
                      Hi Magsie,

                      It's not odd at all, and deep down you know it. If the handwriting had been scientifically demonstrated to not be James Maybrick's then we would all have gone home a long long time ago.

                      The issue is not that I need to prove the journal is genuine, nor is it that you need to prove it is not. The issue at the heart of this thread has never changed over the long and tortured years - and it is this: the journal has neither been proven a hoax nor proven to be true, and whilst that fact remains, no other 'fact' will change it. I use inverted commas, of course, because the only 'facts' we get on this Casebook are wishful-thinking, misinformation, and ... well, you know where I'm going with this.

                      You and I can believe what we believe for as long as we can breathe enough to keep believing anything, but one thing is certain - categorically, one of us (because I am prepared to nail my colours to the mast and say on the balance of probabilities I believe the journal really was written by James Maybrick) is right, and right now neither you nor I can prove which one of us it is.

                      That was the original theme of the thread, and remarkably (as we approach posting 1,000 - hope it's me!) it remains the case.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Bridewell View Post
                        I still can't answer the "one incontrovertible" etc either for or against the diary, although the handwriting mis-match & lack of provenance make it suspect in my view.
                        Of course it is suspect, Bridey - if it wasn't, there wouldn't be a 18-year argument about it. The key issue is not that it seems suspect to a mind otherwise directed to believe it must be so (that's psychology, and we are all victims of it) but that through all the so-called crippling challenges to the journal's authenticity, the fraud has never been confirmed. Until the fraud is categorically confirmed, we are left with opinion, misinformation, wishful-thinking, dilettantes 'picking' out names from a hat ...

                        For what it's worth, Maybrick is said to have delighted in word games (at least, I read somewhere that he did).
                        Ouch! And there the ill-informed go again. Unless you can demonstrate to me otherwise, I think you'll find that that was based upon Harrison or Feldman's argument that the journal was written by James Maybrick! As I think you said you've only read the first book, it must have been Harrison. What you meant was "It has been argued by Harrison that - if the journal was indeed written by James Maybrick - then he must have delighted in word games". See how easy it is for a small lapse of memory to trigger the first shoots of a dangerous urban myth? We get so many of them on here, but yours was a good one - it was like watching an egg hatch. Wonderful!

                        As an avid fan of the cryptic crossword, it always struck me that "Battlecrease" was such an improbable word that it might be an anagram. There must be many permutations, but, just for devilment I'll point out that one possibility is "Best Lacerate".
                        And here you redeem yourself - a genius spot!

                        Your Fellow Swordsman and Lacerator of Misinformation
                        Soothsayer

                        Comment


                        • Also "Beat Celt arse". A reference to some spanking games with Kelly?

                          Best wishes,
                          Steve.

                          Comment


                          • The Three Masts of Maybrick

                            Nothing seems to polarise opinion like the Maybrick Diary, but it's probably fair to say that there are only three possibilities in respect of this item. I'll call them the three masts, because most will nail their colours to one:

                            (1) The Diary was written by James Maybrick. (Therefore genuine)
                            (2) The Diary was not written by James Maybrick, but by someone else during his lifetime. (Therefore of the right era, but a forgery)
                            (3) The Diary was written sometime after the death of James Maybrick. (Therefore possibly not of the right era and also a forgery)

                            I think everyone will agree with one of those statements. The Romans, when confronted with a crime used to ask the question 'Qui bono?' (Who benefits?).

                            Assuming each in turn to be true, Qui Bono?

                            (1) Assuming James Maybrick wrote it, what did he hope to achieve? He must have either been the Ripper and wanted eventually to be identified. Alternatively, he was not the Ripper but wanted someone to believe that he was.
                            If the former, presumably not during his own lifetime, or he could simply have confessed without going to all the trouble of writing a diary. So, if he was the Ripper, he was seeking notoriety, but only after cheating the gallows.
                            The only "benefit" would be the notoriety, but at the expense of his existing good name.
                            If the latter, (not the Ripper) he wanted someone (Florence?) to believe that he was. The "benefit" would be that Florence (& lover?) might be frightened enough not to step out of line. The serious risk attached to that would be that someone might take the diary to the authorities & he might be hanged. The benefit here would surely be outweighed by the risk. The only other possibility in the "wrote the diary but wasn't the Ripper" scenario would be that he wished posterity to believe, wrongly, that he was a serial-killer. This seems an unlikely ambition for an outwardly respectable businessman.

                            (2) Diary not by Maybrick, but written during his life-time. Qui bono? It would probably have to be somebody seeking to frame Maybrick for the Ripper murders.
                            The obvious candidates are Florence & Brierley. Less likely alternatives are a cuckolded husband of a Maybrick mistress, a vicious business rival or the real Jack the Ripper, whoever he was. The real Jack would possess the requisite detailed knowledge of the murders, but would need also to have detailed knowledge of Maybrick and his circumstances. The number of candidates here would have to be very small (& why, having forged it, would you not go public?)
                            Another "contemporary fraud" scenario would involve someone who knew that Maybrick was the Ripper and wanted to ensure that he didn't get away with it. The principle suspect here would have to be Florence. It was almost impossible for women of Florence's generation to divorce their husbands, and some, in desperation, resorted to murder as (allegedly) did she. If Maybrick was executed as the Ripper, she would be spared the need to kill him herself.
                            This seems a remote possibility as, having completed the forgery, the obvious thing to do would be to go to the authorities with it which, presumably, Florence didn't do. The only thing likely to have prevented her from doing so would be a loss of nerve (unlikely in a murderer) or Maybrick finding the diary (which he would surely have destroyed?).

                            (3) "Forgery after death of Maybrick". This would have taken place at any time in the century or so after death, but Qui Bono?
                            The usual "benefit" from a forgery of this kind would be financial. Neither Barrett nor Devereux seems to have gained from the revelation of the artefact and there is nothing that I am aware of to implicate anyone involved in the publication of the various books on the subject. There seems little point in spending a great deal of time researching & generating a forgery from which no financial gain has accrued, so money seems an unlikely motive. We therefore need to consider who would gain from forging the diary, after Maybrick's death in ways other than financial. The obvious candidate, once again, is Florence, who spent 14 years in custody for a murder she may well not have committed. (Revenge is a dish best served cold, as they say).

                            I started this post, not knowing where it would lead but, applying the "Qui Bono?" question, there doesn't appear to be a great deal of benefit (beyond sheer malevolence) to any modern-day forger.
                            It seems highly unlikely that Maybrick would want to claim the dubious distinction of being the Ripper if it was not actually him. Even if he was the killer, why would he not just take his secret to the grave?
                            Qui Bono? In the case of Mast 1, I would argue: Nobody.
                            In the case of Masts 2 & 3, at the time, and subsequently, the answer is the same: Florence Maybrick (or someone working on her behalf).

                            On balance, I'm going to go for Mast 3:
                            Forgery by, or on behalf of, Florence Maybrick, in the years between 1889 & 1904, because no-one else benefits from the creation of this item.
                            "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Magpie View Post
                              And no-where in your lengthy poisoning the well argument did you address "tiger's" assertion that the handwriting didn't match. Odd, that...

                              How much of Maybrick's handwriting actually survives?

                              I haven't read up for awhile but if memory serves it was just a signature and a very suspect will?

                              His signature from an Atlantic crossing, the one with the swirl??


                              Originally posted by Stewart P Evans View Post
                              Obviously Keith and I have discussed the 'diary' - going way back to 1992. And I have given him some material that I had and he didn't.

                              I know what Keith thinks about the 'diary' and I also know that he does not think that Maybrick was 'Jack the Ripper'. But it's not a question of what Keith's opinion, or mine, may be. I too have seen all the documentation but I disagree and I still believe it to be a circa 1990 creation.

                              I have a vast amount of information on this and that includes Melvin Harris's files, as well as much other original evidence in the form of private letters from many of the individuals involved.

                              Unfortunately, and I mean that, because of the private, and sometimes compromising, information that I possess I shall probably never be able to publish it (even if I had the interest to do so, which I don't).

                              Indeed, I shall probably destroy it all as I consider the subject to be divisive, contentious and a pointless exercise based on a modern fake. But, hey, that's my opinion, disagree with me if you wish, I really don't care.


                              Just out of interest, if it not for this 'insider' info how would you feel about the diary?

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Bridewell View Post
                                Nothing seems to polarise opinion like the Maybrick Diary, but it's probably fair to say that there are only three possibilities in respect of this item. I'll call them the three masts, because most will nail their colours to one:

                                (1) The Diary was written by James Maybrick. (Therefore genuine)
                                (2) The Diary was not written by James Maybrick, but by someone else during his lifetime. (Therefore of the right era, but a forgery)
                                (3) The Diary was written sometime after the death of James Maybrick. (Therefore possibly not of the right era and also a forgery)

                                I think everyone will agree with one of those statements. The Romans, when confronted with a crime used to ask the question 'Qui bono?' (Who benefits?).

                                Assuming each in turn to be true, Qui Bono?

                                (1) Assuming James Maybrick wrote it, what did he hope to achieve? He must have either been the Ripper and wanted eventually to be identified. Alternatively, he was not the Ripper but wanted someone to believe that he was.
                                If the former, presumably not during his own lifetime, or he could simply have confessed without going to all the trouble of writing a diary. So, if he was the Ripper, he was seeking notoriety, but only after cheating the gallows.
                                The only "benefit" would be the notoriety, but at the expense of his existing good name.
                                If the latter, (not the Ripper) he wanted someone (Florence?) to believe that he was. The "benefit" would be that Florence (& lover?) might be frightened enough not to step out of line. The serious risk attached to that would be that someone might take the diary to the authorities & he might be hanged. The benefit here would surely be outweighed by the risk. The only other possibility in the "wrote the diary but wasn't the Ripper" scenario would be that he wished posterity to believe, wrongly, that he was a serial-killer. This seems an unlikely ambition for an outwardly respectable businessman.

                                (2) Diary not by Maybrick, but written during his life-time. Qui bono? It would probably have to be somebody seeking to frame Maybrick for the Ripper murders.
                                The obvious candidates are Florence & Brierley. Less likely alternatives are a cuckolded husband of a Maybrick mistress, a vicious business rival or the real Jack the Ripper, whoever he was. The real Jack would possess the requisite detailed knowledge of the murders, but would need also to have detailed knowledge of Maybrick and his circumstances. The number of candidates here would have to be very small (& why, having forged it, would you not go public?)
                                Another "contemporary fraud" scenario would involve someone who knew that Maybrick was the Ripper and wanted to ensure that he didn't get away with it. The principle suspect here would have to be Florence. It was almost impossible for women of Florence's generation to divorce their husbands, and some, in desperation, resorted to murder as (allegedly) did she. If Maybrick was executed as the Ripper, she would be spared the need to kill him herself.
                                This seems a remote possibility as, having completed the forgery, the obvious thing to do would be to go to the authorities with it which, presumably, Florence didn't do. The only thing likely to have prevented her from doing so would be a loss of nerve (unlikely in a murderer) or Maybrick finding the diary (which he would surely have destroyed?).

                                (3) "Forgery after death of Maybrick". This would have taken place at any time in the century or so after death, but Qui Bono?
                                The usual "benefit" from a forgery of this kind would be financial. Neither Barrett nor Devereux seems to have gained from the revelation of the artefact and there is nothing that I am aware of to implicate anyone involved in the publication of the various books on the subject. There seems little point in spending a great deal of time researching & generating a forgery from which no financial gain has accrued, so money seems an unlikely motive. We therefore need to consider who would gain from forging the diary, after Maybrick's death in ways other than financial. The obvious candidate, once again, is Florence, who spent 14 years in custody for a murder she may well not have committed. (Revenge is a dish best served cold, as they say).

                                I started this post, not knowing where it would lead but, applying the "Qui Bono?" question, there doesn't appear to be a great deal of benefit (beyond sheer malevolence) to any modern-day forger.
                                It seems highly unlikely that Maybrick would want to claim the dubious distinction of being the Ripper if it was not actually him. Even if he was the killer, why would he not just take his secret to the grave?
                                Qui Bono? In the case of Mast 1, I would argue: Nobody.
                                In the case of Masts 2 & 3, at the time, and subsequently, the answer is the same: Florence Maybrick (or someone working on her behalf).

                                On balance, I'm going to go for Mast 3:
                                Forgery by, or on behalf of, Florence Maybrick, in the years between 1889 & 1904, because no-one else benefits from the creation of this item.
                                Hello, All.
                                This seems to me to be a pretty good analysis but let me add a few points/questions.

                                Mast 1. The 'diary' is couched in mocking terms so Maybrick could benefit through private revelling in his ability to commit the crimes and avoid detection. Also, if discovered posthumously, his notoriety would be assured for decades to come. It has been suggested that his mind was addled at times by his arsenic habit and this could have been a factor.

                                Mast 2. Are there any details in the text which were not in the public domain at the relevant time? If so, this would rule out all but the actual killer.

                                Mast 3. Just because no-one benefitted financially to a great extent, it does not mean that no-one hoped to do so. The best laid plans etc.

                                Finally, the 'diary' could have been created as a private joke or experiment; the benefit being pure amusement at the debate which would inevitably follow.

                                Modern forgery is my view but, in the interests of fairness, I would have to add that the forger was very clever and/or very lucky.

                                Best wishes,
                                Steve.
                                Last edited by Steven Russell; 11-17-2011, 09:04 PM.

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