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Inspiration for the Fake 'Diary'

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    I'd just as soon not return to the Diary debate, but having been accused of being 'cowardly' on another thread, for supposedly not having the 'guts' to opening accuse Anne Graham of involvement in the Maybrick hoax (I used a feminine pronoun when describing the Diarist), let me just clear the air.

    My belief that the diary shows a feminine hand is independent of any suspicion I may or may not have about Graham's cooperation in this hoax. (And yes, I do have suspicions!)

    Perhaps I'm sexist as all hell, but I think most men are rather selfish and dim when it comes to family relationships--Victorian men doubly so--and the diarist's obsession with the children, with this and that brother, etc., strikes me as more the attitude of a female author than a male author. Men care deeply for their children, of course, but they aren't always comfortable in expressing it, due to cultural norms, and the diarist's frothing on about bunny and bobo and his brother Michael strikes a false chord with me. It is a feminine attitude, in my chauvinistic opinion. More akin to a Jane Austen (whom I love) than a Henry Fielding (whom I like even more) though on an infinitely less intelligent level.

    Also, the whole schtick of the diary seems to be the same general structure of a romance novel. A man could have written it, but I've always suspected a woman. Further, Maybrick is depicted as a crude swine, and that strengthens my suspicions that a woman was behind it. A male author would have tended to make him more cruel and debauched, than simply stupid and crude. I realize this impression of mine is highly subjective and up for debate, and the difference between a male and female 'voice' is uncertain and subtle--especially in fiction, and the diary IS fiction--but agree or disagree, that is my opinion. I think our primary author is an authoress.

    Anyway, I find the accusation disingenuous. My suspicions against the Barretts is no worse, and indeed I'd say is considerably less worse, then the accusations leveled against Eddie Lyons by those who think the Diary came out of Battlecrease in 1992. Either directly or indirectly, they are accusing Lyons of stealing from his employer's clients. What evidence can they present for this outrageous suggestion? Is Mr. Lyons even aware that he is being accused of a crime by certain Ripperologists? And if it was a theft, isn't Anne Graham being accused of taking part in peddling a stolen object and lying about it? Like I say, the accusation is disingenuous.

    Finally, I have been informed that errors in the diary are of no interest to Diary aficionados. Since the diary is an admitted fake, we need not bother ourselves with errors in the text, even though they might give us a clue as to when and how and by whom it was written. Mr. Begg's "three questions" need not be answer. The diary is a fake, and that is the end of it.

    I, obviously disagree. I'm interested in how the following phrase appeared in the Diary, in describing the so-called 'double event.'


    Within the quarter of the hour I found another dirty bitch willing to sell her wares.”


    As I asked elsewhere, how and why did our hoaxer come up with this idea? The distance between Berner Street and Mitre Square is indeed about a fifteen minute's walk. Are the 'old hoax' theorist suggesting the diarist was so knowledgeable of the geography of the East End that they accurately estimated the walking distance? Or are they suggesting first-hand knowledge? And is this 15 minute span even plausible?

    Even the savants at Scotland Yard had a dim knowledge of the local geography, referring to such things as "Mitre Court" and three Hebrew gentlemen rolling up to Berner Street in a dogcart. They even mix-up various crime scenes. I am not seeing books written before the modern era (1960s-80s) that deal with specific geography in any sophisticated way.

    Is the suggestion that the Liverpool hoaxer walked the streets of Whitechapel, stopwatch in hand?

    Maybe so, maybe so. But I humbly suggest that she (or he!) looked no further than the opening sentences of Chapter 3 of Donald Rumbelow's popular book, and jumped to the wrong conclusion. The same book, by the way, that features the 'Punch' cartoon, alluded to in the diary. It was written in the 1960s.


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  • Steven Russell
    replied
    Thanks for that, Caz. I should have said Feldman rather than Shirley and Sally. Otherwise my scenario stands.

    But, of course, it's pure speculation and therefore probably rubbish. It's just that the IM article leapt off the page at me as I was reading Feldy's book.

    Best wishes,
    Steve.

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  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by Steven Russell View Post
    Anne Barrett has been working closely with Shirley Harrison and Sally Evemy, helping research the Maybrick angle. She comes across the Illustrated Mirror article and thinks: disputed diary, tin box, intention to turn into a shilling shocker. A much better provenance. It was in a tin box my father owned and I asked Tony to give it to Mike, hoping he would make it into a novel.
    Hi again Steve,

    Anne naturally had every reason to try and undermine Mike's forgery claims somehow, wherever the truth lay. So your scenario here is as good as any, assuming she couldn't prove he wasn't a forger. But it still wouldn't indicate that she had a hand in the diary's creation, or even knew it was a fake.

    However, I don't think Anne ever worked with Shirley and Sally on the Maybrick angle; it was Feldy who got her research juices flowing. In fact, Shirley and Doreen felt terribly let down by Anne when they found out what she had revealed out of the blue to Feldy, in the wake of Mike's disastrous 'confession' to the press. She was clearly either not being straight with anyone now, or she had not been straight with Shirley and Doreen at the start, when it could have made all the difference.

    Love,

    Caz
    X
    Last edited by caz; 09-24-2012, 03:29 PM.

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  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by Graham View Post
    In fairness to Anne, if Paul Feldman is to be believed, she long resisted any intrusion upon her father's privacy, given his frail health, but eventually gave in under Feldman's relentless pressure. I rather get the impression, reading Feldman's book, that he didn't get a fat lot of useful information from Billy Graham from whom, I believe, he was hoping to obtain confirmation of a family link between him, Billy Graham, and Florie Maybrick. But at least Billy Graham did say that he first saw the Diary in about 1940, and of course it's impossible to refute this now.

    G
    Hi Graham,

    Billy was indeed in very frail health by this time, and it would be only natural for him to have accepted at face value everything his daughter was saying about this book that she had found among his possessions. Whether or not he ever saw the actual diary, I do believe he was remembering a book that he believed was the one Anne meant.

    I wouldn't agree that it's 'impossible' to refute his recollection now. Proof of a later date for the diary's creation would do it, or proof that it was somewhere else at the time.

    Love,

    Caz
    X

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  • Steven Russell
    replied
    Cheers, Caz.

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  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by Steven Russell View Post
    Originally posted by caz View Post
    Hi Steve,

    Well for a start, if Anne had a hand in this (while the other was tied behind her back), she would not have been sufficiently mentally challenged to run with Mike's shockingly poor Devereux provenance to begin with, only to think of the far superior 'in the Graham family for years' alternative two years down the line, after her estranged hubby had royally buggered everything up by claiming to have written it himself.

    And then of course we have Keithypoo and the best possible provenance, which for my money overshadows any last possibility that Anne was in on a modern hoax. How would she have engineered the evidence that the thing had come out of Battlecrease, and why would she then have totally failed to capitalise on it?
    Hello, Caz.
    I don't agree with your first paragraph. It seems to me quite possible that Anne would concoct a more convincing provenance after Mike had royally buggered everything up (possibly after stumbling across the Illustrated Mirror as mentioned in my earlier posts).
    Hi Steve,

    Anne knew Mike better than anyone. I just can't see a forger with any gumption at all letting Mike dictate such an unconvincing provenance to start with. If Anne had the ability to create this diary, she'd have had the imagination back in 1992, before the thing went public, to concoct the more convincing 'in the family' provenance. It makes no sense to me at all unless Anne had nothing to do with its creation and knew Mike hadn't either, and was only trying to limit the damage he did in June 1994 with his foolish forgery claims.

    As for the second paragraph, I have never read a bad word about Keith Skinner and, assumung he has proof of what he says, we must take this very seriously. Therefore the points and questions you raise are completely valid and very difficult to explain away. No doubt one day (hopefully soon) Mr Skinner will be at liberty to divulge what he knows. I have a feeling this could be quite a bombshell.
    Thanks Steve, I appreciate your thoughts on this. I don't know about a 'bombshell'. Even if the most stubborn modern hoax theorists had to concede that the diary did indeed come out of the Maybrick house, it wouldn't resolve the mystery of how it got there in the first place, or whether James himself was alive at the time.

    I've been re-reading all the books I have pertaining to the diary (including yours which I enjoyed very much) and have reached the all-too-familiar conclusion that the more I find out the less I know. However, I find that the once least likely solution (an old forgery) is becoming more and more appealing.
    Thanks for this too. In 2003, when Ripper Diary was launched at the Liverpool Conference, I said exactly the same thing, that 'the more I find out the less I know'. I think that's a healthy position to concede.

    Love,

    Caz
    X
    Last edited by caz; 09-24-2012, 02:37 PM.

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  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by Cogidubnus View Post
    Following on from the Hitler Diaries farce, I think any half-credible modern forger would've got the all-critical provenance far better tied down than the chaotic and contradictory tale that unfolded in this case...and I suppose this may contribute to my gut-feel that if it's a forgery (and I very much fear it is) then it's an old one...

    But to be honest, the authors of the "Inside Story" and Paul Begg are probably the most qualified to make a judgement in this respect...they lived through the unfolding Barrett family nightmare after all, and it'd be interesting to hear, how, with the benefit of hindsight, THEY now view things...after all none of the rest of us qualify a fraction so well...

    All the best

    Dave
    Thanks Dave.

    I can only agree with your point about the provenance. I don't think one can have it both ways. If Anne is proposed as the brains behind a Barrett fake, because there's nobody else one can reasonably accuse, then why on earth would she have let Mike provide the Godawful 'provenance' that he got it from a dead mate who refused to answer any questions about it? She proved herself capable of coming up with a much better story in 1994, so why didn't she do just that in 1992, when Mike would have been onside and when it mattered most?

    It was Keith, Paul Begg and Shirley who lived through those early years. I only got involved after reading Feldy's book in 1998 and wondering why the hell a ripper confession that had emerged six years previously was still knocking around or being taken seriously by anyone.

    Keith and I have long suspected the diary to be an old fake, but we have always tried to test our suspicions, and remained open to any sensible and tangible evidence to the contrary.

    Love,

    Caz
    X
    Last edited by caz; 09-24-2012, 11:53 AM.

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  • caz
    replied
    Originally posted by Graham View Post
    Be gentle with me, Caz - I haven't been on these boards for ages, having just returned from the wilderness.

    Yes - sorry about getting Anne's book all wrong, especially when it was sitting on the shelf within arm's reach....

    Graham
    Am I not always gentle with you, Graham?

    Incidentally, have you noticed how nice and calm the atmosphere now is on the diary threads? Once upon a time, anyone suggesting an old fake would get as much stick from modern hoax theorists as that much rarer breed, the Maybrickian.

    Love,

    Caz
    X

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  • Steven Russell
    replied
    Originally posted by Sir Robert Anderson View Post
    I am still having trouble wrapping my mind around the idea that Mike or Billy would have / could have stumbled across the Illustrated Mirror. What's the scenario you have in mind? Can we at least drop Billy out of the picture?

    As an aside I think one of the best reasons not to believe a word Anne ever said was her dragging her father into this. Despicable.
    Hello, Sir Bob.
    The scenario I have in mind is that Mike confesses to forging the diary thus blowing the Tony Devereux story out of the water. The diary is now a confirmed forgery and therefore utterly worthless. This is extremely bad news for the pro-diary camp. However, further investigation suggests that Mike's confession is bogus and anything he says should be taken with a pinch of salt.

    Anne Barrett has been working closely with Shirley Harrison and Sally Evemy, helping research the Maybrick angle. She comes across the Illustrated Mirror article and thinks: disputed diary, tin box, intention to turn into a shilling shocker. A much better provenance. It was in a tin box my father owned and I asked Tony to give it to Mike, hoping he would make it into a novel.

    Billy merely needs to go along with the gag. He might have found it quite funny.

    Of course, if any of the above is true (and I don't insist that it is), then the watch must be a modern forgery too.

    Best wishes,
    Steve.

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  • Cogidubnus
    replied
    Thanks Graham

    If you hadn't posted that, I'd have felt obliged to, and I frankly wouldn't have wanted to publicly appear as a Diary apologist!

    I'd still love to hear how Caroline, Keith or Paul feel about things twenty years on from the beginning...I'm not being "funny"...just genuinely curious...

    All the best

    Dave

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  • Graham
    replied
    As an aside I think one of the best reasons not to believe a word Anne ever said was her dragging her father into this. Despicable.
    In fairness to Anne, if Paul Feldman is to be believed, she long resisted any intrusion upon her father's privacy, given his frail health, but eventually gave in under Feldman's relentless pressure. I rather get the impression, reading Feldman's book, that he didn't get a fat lot of useful information from Billy Graham from whom, I believe, he was hoping to obtain confirmation of a family link between him, Billy Graham, and Florie Maybrick. But at least Billy Graham did say that he first saw the Diary in about 1940, and of course it's impossible to refute this now.

    G

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  • Casebook Wiki Editor
    replied
    Originally posted by Steven Russell View Post
    Hello, Caz.
    I don't agree with your first paragraph. It seems to me quite possible that Anne would concoct a more convincing provenance after Mike had royally buggered everything up (possibly after stumbling across the Illustrated Mirror as mentioned in my earlier posts).
    I am still having trouble wrapping my mind around the idea that Mike or Billy would have / could have stumbled across the Illustrated Mirror. What's the scenario you have in mind? Can we at least drop Billy out of the picture?

    As an aside I think one of the best reasons not to believe a word Anne ever said was her dragging her father into this. Despicable.

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  • Steven Russell
    replied
    [quote=caz;238265]Hi Steve,

    Well for a start, if Anne had a hand in this (while the other was tied behind her back), she would not have been sufficiently mentally challenged to run with Mike's shockingly poor Devereux provenance to begin with, only to think of the far superior 'in the Graham family for years' alternative two years down the line, after her estranged hubby had royally buggered everything up by claiming to have written it himself.

    And then of course we have Keithypoo and the best possible provenance, which for my money overshadows any last possibility that Anne was in on a modern hoax. How would she have engineered the evidence that the thing had come out of Battlecrease, and why would she then have totally failed to capitalise on it?

    Hello, Caz.
    I don't agree with your first paragraph. It seems to me quite possible that Anne would concoct a more convincing provenance after Mike had royally buggered everything up (possibly after stumbling across the Illustrated Mirror as mentioned in my earlier posts).

    As for the second paragraph, I have never read a bad word about Keith Skinner and, assumung he has proof of what he says, we must take this very seriously. Therefore the points and questions you raise are completely valid and very difficult to explain away. No doubt one day (hopefully soon) Mr Skinner will be at liberty to divulge what he knows. I have a feeling this could be quite a bombshell.

    I've been re-reading all the books I have pertaining to the diary (including yours which I enjoyed very much) and have reached the all-too-familiar conclusion that the more I find out the less I know. However, I find that the once least likely solution (an old forgery) is becoming more and more appealing.

    Best wishes,
    Steve.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cogidubnus
    replied
    Inside Story

    Ripper Diary, The Inside Story is quite revealing in this respect...

    Seems to me that the modern suspect with the most ability to construct a forgery (Anne), was the one person who consistently failed to capitalise on the Diary, until having her arm twisted quite late on in the story...the person who did best out of it was clearly incapable of stringing something like this together, and pissed it away anyway...sorry but that's the brutal truth...

    Following on from the Hitler Diaries farce, I think any half-credible modern forger would've got the all-critical provenance far better tied down than the chaotic and contradictory tale that unfolded in this case...and I suppose this may contribute to my gut-feel that if it's a forgery (and I very much fear it is) then it's an old one...

    But to be honest, the authors of the "Inside Story" and Paul Begg are probably the most qualified to make a judgement in this respect...they lived through the unfolding Barrett family nightmare after all, and it'd be interesting to hear, how, with the benefit of hindsight, THEY now view things...after all none of the rest of us qualify a fraction so well...

    All the best

    Dave

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  • Graham
    replied
    Originally posted by caz View Post
    Yes, Graham, and it's a most peculiar image! Most people I know only use one of their hands to write with, so I'm not sure it's a very useful observation.



    Actually, it was The Last Victim and Anne co-wrote it with Carol Emmas, not Shirley.

    Love,

    Caz
    X
    Be gentle with me, Caz - I haven't been on these boards for ages, having just returned from the wilderness.

    Yes - sorry about getting Anne's book all wrong, especially when it was sitting on the shelf within arm's reach....

    Graham

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