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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • What kind of colour palette do I have?

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    • Great question, Scotty.

      I don't really need to consult the range of colours I see whenever you post, any more than I need to see your name, because your use of language is so clear, concise and consistent, that it would be hard for me to mistake your writing for anyone else's.

      But since you ask, I mostly see shades of pale blue and grey in your diary posts, turning brighter and slightly deeper for your strictly ripper-related topics.

      Don't ask me why - it even sounds bonkers to me!

      Love,

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


      Comment


      • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

        You mean the fact that it contains James Maybrick's signature including the highly idiosyncratic 'k'?

        I find it fascinating and conclusive.
        What I find so fascinating is that the watch is treated, by those who hang on Michael Barrett's every word, much like the whiskery, unwashed bore down the pub, who everyone does their level best not to make eye contact with, lest he shamble over in piss-stained jogging bottoms to tell them what's what for the next two hours, with the photos and certificates to prove it.

        In short, best avoided, so they don't have to engage with 'what's what' with the watch.

        Love,

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


        Comment


        • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

          Before I continue, please note Tom's sarcastic suggestion that this paper was intended for--and rejected by--a peer-reviewed journal. Tom (with permission, of course) could always slap a copy of this document up onto our screens so we can judge its quality for ourselves, but don't hold your breaths, dear readers, don't hold your breath.

          Moving along...

          Despite his belief to the contrary, I hold no animosity towards Keith, but I can't help wondering if his own view that the diary is a mysterious and 'fascinating' document--and one not written by the Barretts---sometimes leads him to wrongly remember the views of others as having aligned with his own, when in fact, they did not.

          For instance, last month, in justifying his decision not to release the Barrett/Gray tapes, Keith wrongly stated that Alan Gray had concluded that Mike and Anne had not written the diary, when in reality, Gray swore an affidavit in 1998 stating his belief that Anne HAD written the diary based on a storyline concocted by Tony Devereux.

          And it's certainly no mystery why Martin was 'flabbergasted' (the word he apparently used) that the report written by Anne Graham, who Martin had only known to be the unassuming wife of an unemployed scrap metal dealer, was so polished; Martin tells us why in Keith's own book, Ripper Diary: The Inside Story, p. 150.

          Martin was flabbergasted because "he now believed she could have concocted the basic story of Maybrick as the Ripper 'with one hand behind her back.'

          It's really no great mystery is it?

          Except perhaps to one who went on to see first-hand Anne's research skills and now forgets that this skill was not self-evident to others.



          I think Keith may be forgetting that this was not the full story, and Martin was evidently only referring to the penmanship of the finished product and a mistaken belief that Anne was a better speller than she was, based solely on this one report.

          On 22 March 2001, Martin expanded upon his suspicions by offering up a 'scenario' of how the diary could have come to be: Anne had composed the diary on Mike's word processor (as a work of fiction?) and then Mike took this work of fiction and turned it into the physical diary, complete with spelling errors and solecisms.

          Click image for larger version Name:	Fido's Theory.jpg Views:	0 Size:	97.8 KB ID:	826147

          I was impressed by Martin's theory when I recently came across it again, not having remembered it, but I confess it is because I had already come to the same conclusion many years ago. I still believe that it has considerable explanatory power. I've been told by Caz, however, that it is madness--utter insanity to believe Mike and Anne could have written the diary---so I must be content to be confined to the same asylum that the late Martin Fido should have been confined---Martin, the university professor, writer, broadcaster, Shakespeare scholar, and madman.

          What Martin could not have known is that the 'professional' report Keith had given to him was not characteristic of Anne's private correspondence, as published on these forums by David Barrart, for it shows the similar spelling errors that we see in the diary. In particular, both Anne and the diarist had trouble with homophones. I was also informed years ago that Anne had a habit of tossing out the occasional malaprop (there's an embarrassing one in Ripper Diary) and we see the diarist's 'gorge out an eye'--a malaprop for 'gouge.'

          So, in conclusion, I think Martin didn't have all the necessary documentation at his disposal, but he was (in my opinion) very close to the mark. And this does not make Anne a 'hoaxer'--but rather, the victim of an abusive husband, and I strongly suspect that she eventually realized what his true aim was, but went along with it because 'one didn't say no to Mike,' and also because she believed that Doreen would 'just send Mike packing' once she laid her eyes on the relic--which is what Anne herself said she thought would happen. But how wrong she was, and the rest is history.


          So have I got this straight? Is Palmer now in broad agreement with Martin Fido's 'scenario' in which Anne could have concocted the basic story of Maybrick as the Ripper 'with one hand behind her back', and done the research for it, but the resulting typescript was copied - badly - into the guard book, by Mike??

          If Alan Gray concluded that the storyline was 'concocted' by Tony Devereux and written by Anne, then it follows that he concluded it wasn't written by Mike and Anne. In short, he concluded that Mike was full of it and could have contributed sod all to the creative process.

          Now we are told that even the wealth of silly mistakes in the diary won't let Anne off the hook, because she wasn't as competent and professional as it has previously been claimed, despite her secretarial position.

          Is someone having a hat and scarf? This is all over the place. We are no wiser about who is supposed to have held the pen, and it is now suggested that Anne would not have recognised the diary's spelling mistakes if they had jumped out at her from the typescript or the guard book and bit her on the backside - which is pretty much what Anne once said about Mike! Talk about the incompetent leading the slightly less incompetent, and both being blissfully unaware of what a dictionary could have brought to the party.

          But no, the services of an in-house writer would not have been called upon to polish up the work Barrett submitted back in the 1980s, and anyone who believes otherwise must be mocked to within an inch of their life. Well, I could believe it on the grounds that you can't polish a turd, if only the published articles were not testimony to the fact that someone involved must have been capable of writing without making any of the horrible bloomers that were dumped in the diary.
          Last edited by caz; 11-29-2023, 05:22 PM.
          "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


          Comment


          • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

            This is one of the strangest comments ever made on the Maybrick forum.

            What is being suggested?

            That Barrett took a blank cassette tape and put a phony label on it, so Gray would wrongly conclude that Mike had interviewed Dorothy Wright, and thus wrongly reveal to the world the writing career that Barrett himself had tried to hide?

            A writing career that has now been documented?

            It sounds more than a little desperate, Caz, if you don't mind me saying.

            And your own book doesn't state anything about Mike 'showing' this to Gray or Gray already suspecting Mike of being the 'forger.' Gray supposedly spotted it and then began to wonder...

            So, as I see it, you are quite probably mischaracterizing what happened to fit your 'narrative.'

            Goodbye.
            It wasn't my narrative that argued that no in-house writer would have been needed to polish Mike's turds, citing as evidence the cassette that was 'seen' by Alan Gray, with a label on it in the suspected forger's handwriting, proving - what exactly? That Mike had undoubtedly pressed record when his interviewees spoke, proving that he didn't just get a selection of quotes transcribed, to be knocked into shape by more competent writers than either Mike or Anne?

            The proof of the pudding is supposedly in the eating, but I must have missed the bit in the middle of this muddle, that shows Mike - as if by magic, but without the set he got for Christmas 1962 - transforming what was on that cassette into the published article.
            "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


            Comment


            • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
              Not sure what relevance citing a random article is if there's the known influence of his wife's 'tidying-up' and the certainty of editorial alteration - but if anyone is interested, I've got all of Mike's Celebrity articles (ironically, thanks to the generosity of the Dark Lord of Dark Darkness himself who sent me the one I foolishly forgot to photograph in my excitement at getting close to the end of the 1,080 articles I photographed of this most prestigious doctor's-waiting-room-come-emergency-toilet-paper periodical) so - if you want to see more - just let me know at historyvsmaybrick@gmail.com (I think that's the right address).

              Ike
              Generous to a Fault
              The relevance, my dear Ike, was presumably to show the readers how much the Bonnie Langford article and the Maybrick diary resemble two peas in a pod, indicating that they had at least one, if not two contributors in common - namely the Barretts of Goldie Street.

              Based on all the usual literary considerations, including but not limited to the use of punctuation and language; the grammar and spelling - not to mention the colour palettes I see before me - I would have to say the two go together like petits pois and purple sprouting broccoli.

              If anyone is trying to make a case for the diary being written by one or both Barretts in the early 1990s, may I politely suggest they ditch the notion that this article represents an earlier example of what they were capable of producing, either singly or jointly, and opt instead for a total rewrite by someone at the magazine who actually knew how to write professionally?
              Last edited by caz; 11-30-2023, 02:29 PM.
              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


              Comment


              • Originally posted by Al Bundy's Eyes View Post
                Wise words from Keith, and quite right. The diary debate is a convoluted thing, and far from simple, it has complex characters and facts and findings that are far from clear at the best of times. I wholeheartedly endorse Keith's view, I'd add reading Ike's "Society's Pillar" to that list, because an even and open minded view needs to encompass all the literature. Keith understandably wouldn't mention this particular dissertation as he doesn't think Maybrick was Jack, but for anyone new to the debate I'd highly recommend it. Even the most hardened sceptic can't get around some of the fortuitous luck the hoaxer had, if of course, it was luck at all. Start from scratch, be convinced of nothing without the facts, read both sides of the argument and don't be afraid to change your mind. The Maybrick Diary is characterised by deception and changing stories, and no one will pick it up quickly. Feelings run high, and independent discourse can soon be replaced by partisan rhetoric. Keep in mind, the evidence for some provenance claims hasn't been fully released, if at all, but also the modern hoax isn't without its own pitfalls. Draw your own conclusions, from what information is available.

                (Ero, I appreciate this isn't exactly a reply to you per se, but since your the medium, I've gone through you.)
                Afternoon Al, and very wise words from you too, if I may say so.

                I would have to say that if there is any evidence at all for Mike Barrett attending any auction on any date and finding the guard book there, none of it has been released, so may I humbly suggest that evidence not yet fully released is in a different category entirely. At least there is the promise of more to come, and not just a distant dream.

                Having said that, I find your advice timely and most refreshing and a good indication of your intention to practise what you preach - particularly in respect of not being afraid to change your mind if you think the growing body of documentary evidence on one side or another warrants it. It is not a weakness, but a strength, because it indicates that you know your own mind and it will not be influenced by the opinions of others unless they can be fully supported by the available evidence.

                I am always reminded when I read posts like yours, of the advice given by RJ Palmer on an entirely different topic back in October 2021:

                But check, re-check, question 'certainties,' don't get bullied into accepting the party line without independent confirmation.
                I could have cheered when I first read those words, but I'd have been happier to see them on a diary thread!

                Love,

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


                Comment


                • Originally posted by Al Bundy's Eyes View Post
                  Wise words from Keith, and quite right. The diary debate is a convoluted thing, and far from simple, it has complex characters and facts and findings that are far from clear at the best of times. I wholeheartedly endorse Keith's view,
                  I have a different opinion, Al, but it is a cantankerous one so be warned.

                  To save time, I recommend that the interested reader should completely ignore the diary critics.

                  Shun them like the plague!

                  Don't read Melvin Harris; don't read David 'Orsam'; don't read Jones and Dolgin; don't read Maurice Chittenden; don't read Kenneth Rendell or Joe Nickell.

                  These people, as Tom Mitchell constantly reminds us, are 'vipers.'

                  Instead, only read Paul Feldman, Shirley Harrison, Society's Pillock, and Ripper Diary: Inside Story by Linder, Morris, and Skinner. And read Robert Smith's book, too.

                  If, at the end of it, the discerning reader isn't entirely convinced the diary is a sham, I'd be very much surprised.

                  This is not a sarcastic joke; I believe it.

                  Like a rattlesnake, the diary's venom contains its own antidote. To use another metaphor, one can put lipstick on a pig, but a pig will still be discernably under the bright red makeup.

                  You see, I came to the diary a nearly complete 'virgin' when it came to the Whitechapel Murders. I had read Donald Rumbelow's book, but this didn't even mention the diary, of course, having been written many years earlier. I may have read Tom Cullen, too; I don't now remember.

                  No; my first knowledge of the diary came from its greatest supporter and champion: Paul Feldman. He had my full attention, and I was a nearly empty vessel that he could fill as he saw fit.

                  So, I purchased and read his not insubstantial work from cover to cover over a couple of hot summer days, listening intently to his arguments and duly impressed by his energy and earnestness.

                  And when I closed the book, I was utterly convinced...

                  ...that he had been bamboozled and the diary was an obvious enough fake. Nothing I've read since has changed my mind.

                  P.S.

                  I hope you're having a nice St. Andrew's Day, if you happen to celebrate that illustrious holiday.

                  I read---I don't know how accurately--that unmarried Scottish women sleep in the nude on St. Andrew's Eve, paying special attention to any dog barking in the night.

                  Their future husband will hail from the direction of the barking.

                  What being naked has to do with it, I cannot say.

                  RP
                  Last edited by rjpalmer; 11-30-2023, 05:10 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                    Keith Skinner emailed me to offer you some advice:

                    ”Without wishing to discourage or influence RD in any way, I would suggest to him/her that the first thing he/ she has to decide is whether the diary is a modern hoax - and I would suggest he/she read all of R.J.Palmer's contributions and Lord Orsam's diary to help him/her to reach a conclusion. If RD is persuaded by their arguments that the diary was created by Mike and Anne Barrett, then all discussion about FM on the wall and whether JM was JTR becomes irrelevant.”
                    It's interesting that Keith refers to "Lord Orsam's Diary" and not to his many articles or to his former posts still on this website.

                    In case 'Rookie Detective' is unclear what this means, only very recently did "Lord Orsam" begin to write a 'diary' on his website, some of which refers to the Maybrick saga.

                    RP

                    Comment


                    • Hi Caz and RJ,

                      I think you both echo my sentiments, perhaps in different ways, but basically yes, there's plenty out there for people to read. The conclusions they come to and how they reach them are entirely their concern.

                      ​​​​
                      Thems the Vagaries.....

                      Comment


                      • Last night, I had my nose in an old book I picked up many years ago in a charity shop. It is by Jilly Cooper, and is a diary of sorts covering ten years of her daily walks with her dogs on Putney and Barnes Commons, from 1972 to 1982. It was first published in 1984 and reissued in 1992. The author changes the names, or uses nicknames for the real people she meets on the common, so they can keep their dignity when she makes fun of their foibles.

                        I had to smile when I reached the following extract from Wednesday, August 22nd, 1979:

                        'Just as I am passing the ranger's hut, Old Dick scuttles out and hands me the 'surprise', which is wrapped in brown paper. He tells me not to open it until I get home. It turns out to be his autobiography, beautifully written in long hand in a blank-paged scrapbook. In the enclosed letter, he says he is certain - as the Goddess of the Common - that I will be able to get it published. Alas, no heavenly powers could achieve this: it is of absolutely no literary merit at all.'

                        On Friday, August 24th, 1979, Cooper writes that she walks round the Yarrow Meadow and Barnes Station, because she daren't face Old Dick and tell him his book is unpublishable.

                        On Saturday, August 25th, she sneaks out at dusk and goes slap into Old Dick, who asks: "Well?". Cooper stammers that she enjoyed the book, but thinks in the present economic climate it will be very difficult to get it published. He looks at her astounded, as though she has 'just turned down Hamlet or The Iliad'. She mutters that she will try it out on her publisher friends.

                        I think I can guess how this is going to end.

                        What struck me again when reading Cooper's words, was why anyone would have expected Jack the Ripper's diary to show any 'literary merit'. Whoever wrote it was supposed to be writing as a Liverpudlian nobody who worked in cotton. If James Maybrick could have made a jolly good living as a professional writer, as Jilly Cooper has done, I dare say he'd have gone down that path instead, and had he wanted his private diaries, or life story, to be available from all good book shops, his writing would have shown the requisite literary merit to be snapped up.

                        Love,

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


                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by caz View Post
                          What struck me again when reading Cooper's words, was why anyone would have expected Jack the Ripper's diary to show any 'literary merit'. Whoever wrote it [Ed - it was James Maybrick] was supposed to be writing as a Liverpudlian nobody who worked in cotton. If James Maybrick could have made a jolly good living as a professional writer, as Jilly Cooper has done, I dare say he'd have gone down that path instead, and had he wanted his private diaries, or life story, to be available from all good book shops, his writing would have shown the requisite literary merit to be snapped up.
                          This claim - that if the scrapbook were genuine it would come with a bit more literary merit - always makes me laugh, then absolutely fume when I count the idiots who sign-up willingingly to it.

                          How am I doing on my colour scheme prediction, by the way, Caz?

                          It's a bit like those idiots who say, "If it was Jack's diary, it would be far more structured, have dates, maybe even the odd emoji, with loads of life events and murder details" - like Jack Ripper (or even James Maybrick) called Shirley Harrison's original book "The Diary of Jack the Spratt McVitie"! (It was publisher Robert Smith if anyone's still in any doubt.)

                          So well done on nailing this stupidity firmly to a burning fence, Caz. If James Maybrick were a sort of early-day James Joyce (ask your grandparents, kids), he'd have been off spraffling Pinot with the arties down his local art gallery or wherever arties hang out, talking about "the depth of the wanderlust of the artist as a spirit of nature" or some such shite like that not sticking it large in a company scrapbook with his artisan voice and slipshod blade work.

                          Just my opinion, naturally, but - let's face it - I'm generally right.

                          Ike
                          A Colour Palette of Insight

                          Comment


                          • As a humble and light-hearted suggestion, if one wishes to call one's adversaries 'idiots,' perhaps avoid using willingingly in the same sentence.

                            For future reference, the red squiggly mark under a word during the composition stage is not an astral color vibration; it is a hint that the word is misspelled. Sometimes one might get a false positive, however, because the British don't yet know how to spell the American tongue properly.

                            As an aside, my understanding is that the Amstrad word processor didn't have spellcheck (alas!), but one could apparently buy supplemental software. Barrett was on a budget.

                            Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                            This claim - that if the scrapbook were genuine it would come with a bit more literary merit - always makes me laugh, then absolutely fume when I count the idiots who sign-up willingingly to it.
                            Significantly, you don’t identify these “idiots,” Ike, and I am left wondering if they might be a product of your own imagination.

                            Admittedly, legions have scorned the diary’s lack of ‘merit,’ but I don’t recall anyone specifically complaining that the private ravings of a murderer would come across as ‘literature’---that if Joseph Vacher or Peter Kurten sat down to write his own murder journal, it would be anything like James Joyce…

                            To the contrary; if anything, Professor Omlor and similar critics always complained that the photo album confessional is too literary, with the standard pattern of a novella: immediately 'setting the stage,' introducing the characters, a couple of 'hooks,' a deep bow to Ripper lore, a plot twist near the end as the Ripper begins to suspect (and hope) that his wife is murdering him, and of course, the final melodramatic repentance scene.

                            All in all, I doubt that Christopher De Vore, in turning the diary into a screenplay for Mr. Friedkin’s film, would have won an Academy Award for best screen adaptation; the Liverpool hoaxers had already done most of the donkey work as far as plotting goes. The dialogue could use a bit of help.

                            So, I think you are well wide of the mark, Ike. It’s not that the hoax doesn’t have enough literary merit; it’s that it reads too much like literature.

                            After all, it wasn’t a diary critic per se, but a fellow Maybricknick, Bruce Robison (though fingering t’other brother) who praises the photo album as a work of literature: "if I were the faker, then I would consider it to have been the summit of my literary achievement."

                            That’s got to sting a wee bit, Ike. A wee bit.

                            A literary achievement.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                              That’s got to sting a wee bit, Ike. A wee bit.
                              A literary achievement.
                              Au contraire!

                              Robinson was simply stating the obvious - that if it had been faked, it was a brilliant fake because it captures exactly the mood of a man possessed with murderous demons. I don't think he or indeed anyone else was testifying to its underlying literary value if it had not been a fake. In this latter case, it would certainly sell like hotcakes (because it would be from the mind of Jack) - not because we had uncovered a previously unrecognised literary titan.

                              That is to say, he was saying "it's too good to have been faked" not "it's a contender for the Booker prize".

                              Ike

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                                That is to say, he was saying "it's too good to have been faked" not "it's a contender for the Booker prize".
                                Bruce sidesteps the issue, doesn't he?

                                He doesn't think James Maybrick wrote it, but I don't remember him ever saying the murderer wrote it, either. So, at best, it's half fake.

                                Anyway, it was a dirty trick for Robinson to have named Michael Maybrick.

                                All those devout people, all over the world, singing 'Jerusalem! Jerusalem!' with tears in their eyes and now there's always some smart aleck kid in the back pew giggling "Jack the Ripper wrote that!"
                                Last edited by rjpalmer; 12-03-2023, 12:56 AM.

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