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The Maybrick Diary, just plain brilliant.

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  • The Maybrick Diary, just plain brilliant.

    When you look at how Michael Barrett played out his hoax you have got to give the man credit.

    Back in the early 70s Clifford Irving tied to pass off his fraudulent Howard Hughes autobiography and it cost him two and half years in prison, plus multiple lawsuits. Then in the early '80s East German illustrator Konrad Kujau spent four and half years in an East German prison for his forged "Hitler Diaries."

    But not Michael Barrett (and whoever he was working with, his wife or the infamous Tony Devereux), once the diary was exposed as a fraud Barrett (I believe) suffered no indictments, no law suits, and got to keep the money. After all, Michael Barrett never really said he had Jack the Ripper's diary, he just let some 'experts' draw their own conclusions. The controversy (debate) over its authenticity was all he needed.

    Out of it came, media interviews, published books, TV documentaries. He had a lot of fun and made a few bucks as well, and when it was exposed as a fraud, he just shrugged and said, 'well it wasn't me, they said it was so.'

    Throughout it all he kept the waters muddy by offering multiple version of the Diary's origin; he made statements, he retracted those statements, and then repudiated his retractions, so often he made a joke of the legal term "a statement against interest;" making his own words useless as evidence against himself. This guy was great!

    Got to give him credit, he belongs on the list with the great Ripper pranksters. He had everyone going for almost three years and walked away unscathed.

    Irving and Kujau should have been so slick, they could have avoided jail time.

    We should put a day aside each year to honor the great Ripper pranksters, they make the history richer.











  • #2
    I read the book for free hiding behind a rather over loaded bookcase in a local second hand book shop. I was never ever convinced it was true. If the Ripper murders had been committed in Liverpool, then and only then would I have quite possibly fallen for it. There are some really good books written about the Ripper, but hard to find one book that contains the absolute facts of what happened and what was said at the time.

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    • #3
      To say that Mike Barrett got away "unscathed" is frankly wrong. Whether he was behind the creation of the diary or not (and I happen to believe that he wasn't and it's an old forgery) his descent into alcoholism and depression caused by the fallout from the diary being made public led to his early death. He and his ex-wife, Anne Graham, made far less money from the diary than one would assume as so much of the cash made went into legal fees, tests and research into the background and provenance of the book.

      While it was his and his then-wife's decision to go public with the book in the first place, I don't doubt that if they had realised what was in store for them that they would have found a way to pass it on anonymously or just sat on it and kept quiet.

      Have a listen to the interviews with Mike Barrett, Shirley Harrison, Anne Graham and Paul Feldman on Rippercast and hear their own thoughts on the matter.
      " Queen Vic lured her victims into dark corners with offers of free fish and chips, washed down with White Satin." - forum user C4

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      • #4
        Has it been absolutely confirmed as a hoax?
        ---------------------------------------------------
        JtR3D.com JtR 3D Blog
        ---------------------------------------------------
        HHAP

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        • #5
          What do you mean by "absolutely confirmed"?

          I thought it was absolutely confirmed that the Earth was round, but the Flat Earth Society still argue otherwise.

          "Absolutely confirmed" today, means nothing.
          Regards, Jon S.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Aelric View Post
            To say that Mike Barrett got away "unscathed" is frankly wrong. Whether he was behind the creation of the diary or not (and I happen to believe that he wasn't and it's an old forgery).........
            When the book came out in the early 90's I saw it as a hoax right away. My first reaction, on a hunch, was to look up the authors who had by chance researched both James Maybrick & Jack the Ripper. To my surprise there was only one, so I wondered if he had something to do with it from the start. Why his name never, to the best of my knowledge, ever emerged in connection with this story is a surprise to me to this day.


            Regards, Jon S.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by APerno View Post

              Out of it came, media interviews, published books, TV documentaries. He had a lot of fun and made a few bucks as well, and when it was exposed as a fraud, he just shrugged and said, 'well it wasn't me, they said it was so.'
              Right idea, Mr. Perno, but wrong film.

              It wasn't The Sting, with Barrett playing the role of the masterful Paul Newman. It was more like The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, or better yet, Fargo---with Barrett ending up as the guy in the wood chipper.



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              • #8
                Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                When the book came out in the early 90's I saw it as a hoax right away. My first reaction, on a hunch, was to look up the authors who had by chance researched both James Maybrick & Jack the Ripper. To my surprise there was only one, so I wondered if he had something to do with it from the start. Why his name never, to the best of my knowledge, ever emerged in connection with this story is a surprise to me to this day.

                Well what a tease. Do we need to take up donations to get the guy's name?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                  Right idea, Mr. Perno, but wrong film.

                  It wasn't The Sting, with Barrett playing the role of the masterful Paul Newman. It was more like The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, or better yet, Fargo---with Barrett ending up as the guy in the wood chipper.


                  I wasn't aware that he suffered so personally; I was only referencing the fact that he didn't end up imprisoned like the other forgers. Guess he was punished at some level. I like the Treasure reference, like the gold, the Diary overwhelmed him and his confederates and in the end they lost more than they gained.

                  The Fargo reference seems a bit of a reach, being drunk and depressed, and your wife leaving you ain't good, but being in the wood chipper transcends that a touch, well actually quite a bit.

                  I see, he was not Henry Gondorff; as some of the others say above, it seems unlikely he is the forger, but instead some kind of front man.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by APerno View Post

                    Well what a tease. Do we need to take up donations to get the guy's name?
                    No, just look up the author yourself.
                    It wouldn't be right to name the author without the shred of evidence, I may be totally wrong.
                    When I read The Diary I thought whoever put this together had a great deal of insight into both subjects. That's doesn't mean an outsider couldn't have committed to the required research, they could.
                    I just went for the most obvious solution.
                    Last edited by Wickerman; 07-13-2019, 01:11 PM.
                    Regards, Jon S.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                      No, just look up the author yourself.
                      It wouldn't be right to name the author without the shred of evidence, I may be totally wrong.
                      When I read The Diary I thought whoever put this together had a great deal of insight into both subjects. That's doesn't mean an outsider couldn't have committed to the required research, they could.
                      I just went for the most obvious solution.
                      OK, and you're right!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                        When the book came out in the early 90's I saw it as a hoax right away. My first reaction, on a hunch, was to look up the authors who had by chance researched both James Maybrick & Jack the Ripper. To my surprise there was only one, so I wondered if he had something to do with it from the start. Why his name never, to the best of my knowledge, ever emerged in connection with this story is a surprise to me to this day.
                        You don't mean George Sims by chance?

                        I happen to think Harry Dam fits the bill rather well.

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                        • #13
                          As excited as I was to find that finally we have a new Maybrick thread, and as intrigued as I was that the OP left his post really rather ambiguous (reads like a scrapbook disbeliever, but leaves the door wide open to the suggestion of irony - in the vein of how The Greatest Thread of All was brought to the world of ripperology), the fact is that it took only around 10 responses before it descended into the usual mire of pointless chit-chat. That's what happens when claims are made on burning platforms - the platform quickly burns out.

                          It is everyone's prerogative - of course - to know very little about their subject before publishing their trenchant views to the world (I think the internet has a lot to answer for in terms of the credibility of its contents), but we should be wary when a million people shout 'Fake!' before fully digesting the facts and offering reasonable explanations for that which concretely underpins the case for any given point. In this case, that 'point' is the profound depth to which James Maybrick is buried in the Jack the Ripper crimes. No hoaxer - and certainly no Michael Barrett - could have had such remarkable luck and skill. An honest and open intellectual effort will quickly demonstrate that Maybrick is by far and away the most plausible candidate for the Whitechapel fiend. No other candidate holds even an unlit candle next to his. And here's the critical rub: you can say stuff if you want to assume stuff or if you're too lazy to review stuff or if you have another agenda for claiming such stuff, but saying stuff will never equal proving stuff. If you are one of those people who say "the diary has been proven to be a hoax", you are amongst the internet's indolent thugs - you have to prove it or tell us where it has been proven before you get to make those assertions unchallenged.

                          I strongly suggest that you read Society's Pillar. It is free, and it will deeply challenge all of the many assumptions you are happy now to make. I'm soon going to update it with the some references to Westcott's Ripper Confidential and SC Davies' highly-intriguing Time Reveals All: The "Funny Little Games" of Jack the Ripper. I'm also keenly anticipating Smith's paperback and updated version of his 25 Years of the Diary of Jack the Ripper (possibly to be called 26 Years of?). But don't wait for those additions as they will not be immediate. You should read Society's Pillar and then read my edits later on when they are made (I will list them so you don't need to read the whole thing again to find them).

                          When you've actually done some solid research (and by solid, I mean reading all of the seminal works on Maybrick), you are welcome to post unchallenged your views that the scrapbook has been proven to be a hoax. Obviously, we will all expect you to be clear where the evidence lies that proves the lie. Obviously.

                          The scrapbook author was James Maybrick, and he was Jack the Ripper. No amount of lies about 'proof' of hoax will change that. I totally understand you want to be on the side of the big boys - there are more in that gang than in this gang so it's a safe place to spout from. Those of us with honest eyes see what's true and untrue and will defend the truth for as long as it takes to have it recognised as such.
                          Iconoclast
                          Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

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                          • #14
                            Could you add Society's Pillar to the dissertation section of Casebook?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Purkis View Post
                              Could you add Society's Pillar to the dissertation section of Casebook?
                              Hi Purkis,

                              I'm afraid I would have no idea where to start, and also no idea how to then edit it. What I like about the DropBox vehicle is that it is exactly as I want it to look (including pictures and appendices) and is instantly updatable when I want to do so. I'm aware that some people may be wary of clicking on potentially 'dodgy' links on the internet (as indeed they should be), but if that is the case those people can simply email me for a version. Even that may not reassure folk (again, understandably so). You could always PM phantom who has evidently accessed it successfully as she (apologies if phantom is a 'he' - I'm simply going off the avatar) offered a response to it so presumably accessed it successfully and without any obvious gremlins appearing in her system.

                              Finally, I doubt that anything from Iconoclast will be entered into the mainstream of commentary on this site so I wouldn't hold your breath that anyone will do so any day soon; and - if they did - future readers of it would miss out on any additions or corrections I make as time passes.

                              Honestly, Purkis, just click on the link or email me on historyvsmaybrick@gmail.com. It's perfectly safe to do so (many people familiar to this site email me whether pro- or - more usually - anti-scrapbook, and we have perfectly civil exchanges and - to date - I have not yet accessed their bank accounts or left viruses in their systems which cause them to appear to post pro-Maybrick posts on this site ).

                              Cheers,

                              Ike
                              Last edited by Iconoclast; 07-14-2019, 09:13 AM.
                              Iconoclast
                              Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

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