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The Diary—Old Hoax or New?

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  • #76
    Originally posted by Eliza View Post
    Hey--as we say in America-- "chill."

    My post was intended as a continuation of a former (first) post, wherein I briefly stated a few reasons why I think the diary was forged, and offered my own theory of its origin.

    No, I haven’t read the work you cite, but my opinion rests on the following:

    -The diary’s handwriting did not match Maybrick's writing in his will or in a marriage register. Further, the diarist references Ripper letters he allegedly wrote to police. All the letters referenced differed amongst themselves in handwriting, and were in different handwritings from both the will and the diary.

    -Multiple anachronisms, which have been noted here previously.

    - Scraps of paper and glue that show the old scrapbook was used as a Victorian-era photo album, not a diary.

    -Michael Barrett’s detailed confession that he and his wife were the forgers.

    My theory is that Barrett and his wife, with help from an accomplice, came into possession of letters or journal entries from Maybrick’s former home, and incorporated them into the “diary,” adding various references to the Whitechapel murders. Barrett then gave a false account of his acquisition of the diary, perhaps to protect the procurer of the Maybrick writings.

    This theory would explain why Barrett, and maybe his accomplices, were able to create a document that, despite its shortcomings, sometimes has a ring of authenticity, due to its referencing of many facts of Maybrick’s life, and its convincing portrayal of a man consumed by jealousy.
    "The diary’s handwriting did not match Maybrick's writing in his will or in a marriage register"

    The handwriting is something of a hot topic of debate throughout the Maybrick case. We are all capable of producing variants of our own handwriting with very little effort. The journal was probably always written when the author was in a particular 'mind set', state of mind or mood, call it what you will. The influence of his 'pick me up' dose of arsenic would no doubt effect his mood and writing.
    Any self-respecting forger, producing a piece of work such as this, which would come under the utmost scrutiny, would surely have been careful to research and at least replicate the handwriting of James Maybrick wouldn't they?
    The diary may well represent the largest piece of James Maybrick's handwriting, shorter examples being done in a different style. The limited known examples of James Maybrick's handwriting are in themselves quite variable and in some examples barely legible.
    It is interesting that in a couple of sections of the diary the writing is in fact quite variable from the main text we see. The writing becomes smaller and neater towards the end in a couple of areas where the author becomes surprisingly reflective upon his thoughts and deeds.

    "Further, the diarist references Ripper letters he allegedly wrote to police. All the letters referenced differed amongst themselves in handwriting, and were in different handwritings from both the will and the diary."

    Excellent, well observed - in that you've noticed that the 'Diarist' was alluding to sending letters. But have you looked into the possibility of him having sent some? They would obviously not be in his own handwriting, but did he send them? He also said he was sending clues. Why would a forger think of this or more pointedly how did he know this?
    And this is where so called 'Ripper' enthusiasts fall down, they may be interested in the subject as a whole but lack the detailed investigation usually because they are biased one way or another and not open minded to consider possibilities. It seems no-one has seriously looked at the alleged JTR letters.
    Here are some lines he wrote in the 'Diary':

    “I cannot stop laughing it amuses me so shall I write them a clue”
    “Believe I will send another. Include my funny little rhyme. That will convince them that it is the truth I tell”
    “Before my next will send Central another to remember me by”
    and towards the end of the ‘Diary’,
    “I thank God I have had the courage to stop sending them. I am convinced they will be my undoing”.

    These few small sentences out of the whole ‘Diary’ or Journal should be shouting out to people, they are one of the most important entries in the ‘Diary’ as they indicate a link to something contemporaneous to the time of the murders in 1888.

    I had no prior interest in JTR, when first coming across the Diary, but those few lines intrigued me because it took things away and beyond the Diary itself. And what if?
    Well, after many years on and off dabbling in the JTR/Diary/Letters world I believe without a doubt that James Maybrick did in fact send clues and letters. There are about 20 in total, one of which 100% puts him at a murder scene.

    "Michael Barrett’s detailed confession" - please, please, please for flips sake, stop going on about this, unless you also cite his retraction!
    ‘There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact’ Sherlock Holmes

    Comment


    • #77
      Originally posted by Spider View Post

      "The diary’s handwriting did not match Maybrick's writing in his will or in a marriage register"

      The handwriting is something of a hot topic of debate throughout the Maybrick case. We are all capable of producing variants of our own handwriting with very little effort.
      The writing in the diary is fairly consistent throughout, so it's possible that it wasn't all that far removed from the hoaxer's - certainly not diametrically different from it. We know that Maybrick had a very "schooled" and fluent hand, whereas the writing in the diary looks anything but. In addition, there are very obviously "forced" embellishments and curlicues that occasionally appear on some of the letters, amost certainly because the hoaxer thought that 19th Century handwriting had to have such things.

      The diary was patently not written by a Victorian or an Edwardian, never mind James Maybrick.
      Last edited by Sam Flynn; 07-25-2019, 10:59 AM.
      Kind regards, Sam Flynn

      "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

      Comment


      • #78
        Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
        The writing in the diary is fairly consistent throughout, so it's possible that it wasn't all that far removed from the hoaxer's - certainly not diametrically different from it. We know that Maybrick had a very "schooled" and fluent hand, whereas the writing in the diary looks anything but. In addition, there are very obviously "forced" embellishments and curlicues that occasionally appear on some of the letters, amost certainly because the hoaxer thought that 19th Century handwriting had to have such things.

        The diary was patently not written by a Victorian or an Edwardian, never mind James Maybrick.
        That is your opinion, not a fact. I beg to differ and unequivocally believe it to be written by James Maybrick.

        ‘There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact’ Sherlock Holmes

        Comment


        • #79
          Originally posted by Spider View Post

          That is your opinion, not a fact. I beg to differ and unequivocally believe it to be written by James Maybrick.
          You're welcome.

          I found the diary unconvincing textually, having only seen typed transcripts, but having acquired the facsimile, it fails visually also. The handwriting clearly isn't Maybrick's, even if for some unfathomable reason he decided to disguise it, nor is it the hand of someone who was actually familiar with using the forced embellishments and curlicues I referred to above. On that basis, it's not even authentically Victorian or Edwardian.
          Kind regards, Sam Flynn

          "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

            Hi Iconoclast

            My only interest in discussing the diary is as a social phenomenon, i.e. why would some people choose to believe, or pretend to choose to believe, that the diary is a mystery when it so clearly is not.

            It has no provenance, the man who brought it forth went shopping for blank Victorian diaries first and he confessed to forging it. How anyone could have a problem concluding that he made it is the true mystery. But of course, if we try (or pretend to try) to find the forger while actively excluding as candidate the real forger, the diary's origins will be somewhat hard to pin down!

            Essentially, the only counterargument is that he was not capable of forging it. This impression is, of course, wrong, but apparently comes from personal meetings with him, or (in your case I believe) from listening to recordings. Which is why I wrote that people apparently have been fooled by Barrett for many a year.

            Since it to me is fairly inconceivable that anyone applying Occam's razor would not conclude that Barrett forged it, I'm left with idle speculation as to the motives of such persons.
            One motive, of course, is money. The person(s) controlling the diary and/or participating in the diary industry, as it were, are not interested in any tests or decisive answers, since it would prove them wrong and interest would dwindle and there would be no more editions of the diary or "True Story" or "Inside the Mystery" or whatever to sell.

            Another motive, as I mentioned, could be personal pride. For someone to buy into the diary hoax, to treat it seriously and spend time and energy and maybe money on it means they're invested in it and they have a hard time realising they were duped. For some, an endupement now lasting decades. So they keep insisting it's a big mystery.

            As I said, it's just my own little personal theory about what motivates people to keep discussing this silly diary. Nothing major, I'm sure you'll agree.
            Wow! Patronising or what?

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


            Comment


            • #81
              Originally posted by caz View Post

              Wow! Patronising or what?
              But not rude as one posters responses to the OP who asked a perfectly reasonable question have been!

              I defer to those who met and knew Barrett and who are, I think, unanimous in concluding that Barrett did not have the intellect or skills to have forged the diary. The work undertaken by David Orsam (and others) lead me to believe that it is not an "old" forgery.

              For that reason, a modern forgery for which Barrett was almost certainly not personally responsible.

              Comment


              • #82
                Originally posted by Harry D View Post
                There are people willing to blow themselves up because they literally believe in a book written a thousand years before they were born. Even the most intelligent people in the world can fall prey to the wildest self-deceptions. Iconoclast is patently not an idiot, as his sophist arguments will attest to, but he still believes that this obvious hoax is the genuine confession of the Whitechapel murderer. Despite the anomalies, the uncertain provenance, the confession, the photo album etc., his faith is not shaken. Then again, he might just be trolling and revels in the verbal jousting on here.
                Hi Harry,

                The 'confession' means nothing. False confessions are not exactly unheard of, are they? Do you ever wonder how many sad sods would have dangled from the end of a rope in Victorian times, had the authorities taken the attitude that nobody would 'confess' to the Whitechapel murders, sober, drunk, or mentally ill, if they had nothing to do with them? "Ooh, we've now hanged thirty Jack the Rippers. Do you think some of them might have been pulling our leg?"

                As you brought religion into this, why not reserve your bemusement/ridicule/anger [feel free to ignore whichever doesn't apply] for far more serious matters, such as why certain religious zealots in high places would, in 2019, deny an abortion to a rape victim who becomes pregnant?

                In short, why on earth should the odd Maybrick diary diehard occupy your thoughts at all? What harm can a poster like Ike possibly do, when the 'obvious hoax' zealots outnumber him by a hundred to one? What harm is there in letting others get on with it, if they still want to discuss something you have already dismissed as a Barrett fake - because Barrett said so? If you don't enjoy the 'verbal jousting' here, you don't need to join in and add to it. It's not compulsory and there are plenty more 'obvious hoax' believers to keep the kettle boiling if this is not your cup of tea.

                Love,

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


                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                  I'm sure I'm not alone in saying how wonderful it is to have Caz back!
                  I'm sure you are alone!

                  Alone again, naturally. As Gilbert O'Sullivan would have warbled.

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


                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Harry D View Post
                    caz Please remind me where you stand on this again. Old hoax?
                    I don't stand anywhere, Harry, when I can sit or lie down.

                    There is only one thing I would pretty much bet my house on, and that is that Mike Barrett had nothing to do with creating it. [Anyone know how I can become a Big Issue seller in the event that his involvement is proved in my lifetime?]

                    Other than that, my best guess would be a pre-1970 hoax, planted in Battlecrease by someone who may have imagined it would be discovered a lot sooner than it was - or didn't particularly care.

                    Love,

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


                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Originally posted by caz View Post

                      Hi Harry,

                      The 'confession' means nothing. False confessions are not exactly unheard of, are they? Do you ever wonder how many sad sods would have dangled from the end of a rope in Victorian times, had the authorities taken the attitude that nobody would 'confess' to the Whitechapel murders, sober, drunk, or mentally ill, if they had nothing to do with them? "Ooh, we've now hanged thirty Jack the Rippers. Do you think some of them might have been pulling our leg?"

                      As you brought religion into this, why not reserve your bemusement/ridicule/anger [feel free to ignore whichever doesn't apply] for far more serious matters, such as why certain religious zealots in high places would, in 2019, deny an abortion to a rape victim who becomes pregnant?

                      In short, why on earth should the odd Maybrick diary diehard occupy your thoughts at all? What harm can a poster like Ike possibly do, when the 'obvious hoax' zealots outnumber him by a hundred to one? What harm is there in letting others get on with it, if they still want to discuss something you have already dismissed as a Barrett fake - because Barrett said so? If you don't enjoy the 'verbal jousting' here, you don't need to join in and add to it. It's not compulsory and there are plenty more 'obvious hoax' believers to keep the kettle boiling if this is not your cup of tea.

                      Love,

                      Caz
                      X

                      :-D

                      I miss this... [swoon]

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                        Years ago when I first read the Diary one expression that caught my eye was "call you", if I remember it was used where one person was going to phone someone. It struck me this is a modern term, hardly likely to be used so early before the phone became the common tool it is today.
                        In fact, I always took "call you" to be more of an Americanism, even when I grew up in the 50-60's people would still say "phone you", not "call you".
                        Hi Jon,

                        Did you not read the very next line in the diary, where 'Sir Jim' goes on to say that if he gives Queen Victoria a call, he will show her his knife?

                        Unless the Barretts had a webcam as well as a phone and a word processor, when they are meant to have been composing the diary text, I think we have to assume that the diary author had a personal visit to the Queen in mind, not a phone call.

                        In 1988, if you "gave someone a call", it was more likely to have been a telephone call than a knock on their door. But if you got Queen Victoria on the line you'd know you were hallucinating.

                        I am willing to give the diary author a break here, and allow for the possibility that they had some idea of when the old girl was on the throne, and was aware that in order for Jack the Ripper to show her his knife - and be knighted by her for his derring-do - he would probably need to call on her in person.

                        And that works, because guess what? In 1888, if you "gave someone a call", it would be taken to mean that you paid them a visit. How do we know this? Because Gary Barnett was able to find thousands of written examples of this exact usage, from well before 1888.

                        If you presume the diary was written in the late 20th century, it must be all too easy to persuade yourself that certain phrases, including 'give her a call', were used in the late 20th century sense, by an inexpert hoaxer - and very difficult to see it any other way. I get that. But when you learn that the same phrase is actually spot on for the diary, when taken in the late 19th century sense of paying someone a visit, how easy would it be to persuade yourself that it still represents a howler by a hoaxer who was only familiar with the late 20th century sense of a telephone call, but who appears to have got it absolutely right for the period by accident?

                        Love,

                        Caz
                        X

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


                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Originally posted by caz View Post

                          Hi Harry,

                          The 'confession' means nothing. False confessions are not exactly unheard of, are they? Do you ever wonder how many sad sods would have dangled from the end of a rope in Victorian times, had the authorities taken the attitude that nobody would 'confess' to the Whitechapel murders, sober, drunk, or mentally ill, if they had nothing to do with them? "Ooh, we've now hanged thirty Jack the Rippers. Do you think some of them might have been pulling our leg?"

                          As you brought religion into this, why not reserve your bemusement/ridicule/anger [feel free to ignore whichever doesn't apply] for far more serious matters, such as why certain religious zealots in high places would, in 2019, deny an abortion to a rape victim who becomes pregnant?

                          In short, why on earth should the odd Maybrick diary diehard occupy your thoughts at all? What harm can a poster like Ike possibly do, when the 'obvious hoax' zealots outnumber him by a hundred to one? What harm is there in letting others get on with it, if they still want to discuss something you have already dismissed as a Barrett fake - because Barrett said so? If you don't enjoy the 'verbal jousting' here, you don't need to join in and add to it. It's not compulsory and there are plenty more 'obvious hoax' believers to keep the kettle boiling if this is not your cup of tea.

                          Love,

                          Caz
                          X
                          Never would I thought I'd see petty virtue-signalling about abortion in a Maybrick Diary thread.

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Originally posted by PaulB View Post

                            Did you meet Mike Barrett? What makes you think Mike Barrett could conceive the hoax, let alone execute it? Are you sure Mike could have created something that still hasn't been proven a modern creation? The trouble is, even if Mike had conceived the idea, would he have shifted from the pub long enough to have done something about it?
                            Hi Paul, but couldn't what might be called the "Kosminski hypothesis" come into play? What I mean is this. Certain supporters of the Polish Jew theory have argued that the crazed and rather pathetic figure we see in the asylum records in the 1890s and beyond does not necessarily give us an accurate glimpse of the 'capabilities' or mind-set of the Kosminski of 1888. That he rather quickly withered. Why couldn't the same argument apply to Barrett?

                            Is it correct to assume that the shambling alcoholic wreck of 1994-96 (as described by Feldman) tells us much if anything about Barrett's capabilities (or ambition or sobriety) in 1990-2? Those years are undocumented and our knowledge of them almost entirely relies on what Anne Graham--his estranged wife during a bitter divorce proceeding--chose to tell us.

                            Further, according to the Liverpool Daily Post of 26 September 1994, Barrett suffered a stroke sometime during the intervening years, and some visitors to these boards--including those who have met Barrett--have wondered how the stroke, especially coupled with Mike's ever increasing alcoholism, could have affected his personality and capabilities. Is the Barrett of 1995--the Barrett the diary's supporters mostly depict--the Barrett of 1992?

                            I don't know the answer, I merely pose the question.

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by caz View Post

                              Did you not read the very next line in the diary, where 'Sir Jim' goes on to say that if he gives Queen Victoria a call, he will show her his knife?
                              It's hardly the next line; more one of a number of random musings concerning Queen Victoria, including a knighthood cermony. It's not as if he means to pop into Buckingham Palace in person, show Victoria his knife, and have her knight him there and then.

                              The fact that these are unconnected thoughts is evident from the workings-out that precede the less-than-polished final version, as (yet again) the author struggles with some pretty weak attempts at poetry. There are possibly even verse numbers which, if this is what they are, means that his giving the Queen a call was conceived as a separate verse from the knife-show in Verse II and the knighting ceremony in Verse III:

                              I.

                              Victoria, Victoria
                              The queen of them all
                              When it comes to Sir Jack
                              She knows nothing at all

                              She knows one day (crossed out)

                              who knows,
                              perhaps one day,
                              I shall give her a call

                              II.

                              Shining knife (crossed out)
                              my life (crossed out)
                              honour my knife (crossed out)

                              Show her my knife
                              and she will honour me for life

                              III.

                              Come Sir Jim she will say (crossed out)
                              Arise Sir Jack she will say,
                              and now you can go,
                              as you may ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
                              Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                              "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Spider View Post

                                "The diary’s handwriting did not match Maybrick's writing in his will or in a marriage register"

                                The handwriting is something of a hot topic of debate throughout the Maybrick case. We are all capable of producing variants of our own handwriting with very little effort. The journal was probably always written when the author was in a particular 'mind set', state of mind or mood, call it what you will. The influence of his 'pick me up' dose of arsenic would no doubt effect his mood and writing.
                                Any self-respecting forger, producing a piece of work such as this, which would come under the utmost scrutiny, would surely have been careful to research and at least replicate the handwriting of James Maybrick wouldn't they?
                                The diary may well represent the largest piece of James Maybrick's handwriting, shorter examples being done in a different style. The limited known examples of James Maybrick's handwriting are in themselves quite variable and in some examples barely legible.
                                It is interesting that in a couple of sections of the diary the writing is in fact quite variable from the main text we see. The writing becomes smaller and neater towards the end in a couple of areas where the author becomes surprisingly reflective upon his thoughts and deeds.

                                "Further, the diarist references Ripper letters he allegedly wrote to police. All the letters referenced differed amongst themselves in handwriting, and were in different handwritings from both the will and the diary."

                                Excellent, well observed - in that you've noticed that the 'Diarist' was alluding to sending letters. But have you looked into the possibility of him having sent some? They would obviously not be in his own handwriting, but did he send them? He also said he was sending clues. Why would a forger think of this or more pointedly how did he know this?
                                And this is where so called 'Ripper' enthusiasts fall down, they may be interested in the subject as a whole but lack the detailed investigation usually because they are biased one way or another and not open minded to consider possibilities. It seems no-one has seriously looked at the alleged JTR letters.
                                Here are some lines he wrote in the 'Diary':

                                “I cannot stop laughing it amuses me so shall I write them a clue”
                                “Believe I will send another. Include my funny little rhyme. That will convince them that it is the truth I tell”
                                “Before my next will send Central another to remember me by”
                                and towards the end of the ‘Diary’,
                                “I thank God I have had the courage to stop sending them. I am convinced they will be my undoing”.

                                These few small sentences out of the whole ‘Diary’ or Journal should be shouting out to people, they are one of the most important entries in the ‘Diary’ as they indicate a link to something contemporaneous to the time of the murders in 1888.

                                I had no prior interest in JTR, when first coming across the Diary, but those few lines intrigued me because it took things away and beyond the Diary itself. And what if?
                                Well, after many years on and off dabbling in the JTR/Diary/Letters world I believe without a doubt that James Maybrick did in fact send clues and letters. There are about 20 in total, one of which 100% puts him at a murder scene.

                                "Michael Barrett’s detailed confession" - please, please, please for flips sake, stop going on about this, unless you also cite his retraction!
                                I’m going to address the confession issue first, and examine the handwriting and other issues later.

                                I noted Barrett’s confession, but not is retraction, first because its detailed nature. If, as Barret stated later, his motive was to get everyone off his back, that kind of detail would be unnecessary. He obviously thought his confession through, and made an effort to be thorough.

                                More importantly, Barrett’s confession is what is known in legal parlance as a “declaration against interest.” This is a statement that places an individual in a less advantageous position than if he had not made the statement, opens him up to possible legal and financial repercussions, or social condemnation, and consequently is deemed highly credible as evidence.

                                I suspect Barrett’s retraction came at the insistence of his most likely apoplectic lawyer.

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