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The Diary—Old Hoax or New?

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  • Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post

    Well, what about Tony D.? I asked once before if HE was capable of being the real (modern) forger, but never received an answer. Was he a writer?
    As far as I know he wasn't a writer and wasn't likely to have created the "diary". Caz would know more about him that I do. I know his daughters said that he never possessed the "diary", which, if true, is a problem for Mike's story but fits with what Anne said (that she gave the "diary" to Tony D).

    Comment


    • Anne writes left-handed. The Diary writing looks like it was written right-handed.

      Somehow I don't think Anne was ambidextrous in that production.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
        I hesitated before posting this because when I’ve played devils advocate on this subject in the past I’ve been responded to as if I’d just confirmed my chairmanship of the Jimmy Saville fan club! but I’ll ask my question anyway.

        The handwriting in the diary is understandably a problem for most but I’ll admit that I’ve never found this issue particularly a problem but my question is:

        In the history of forging has there ever been a forgery where the forger made absolutely no effort to copy the handwriting of his or her alleged subject?

        Ive always been curious about this but I’ve never had a response.
        A forger might "make an effort" at forging handwriting, but it would take a real expert to succeed. It's one matter to change or modify handwriting (though even this would not be easy for most of us) but quite another to mimic the specific writing of another individual, in all its subtleties and complexities. That's why, as far as I know, most forgers don't bother to try. I think Occam's Razor applies here: the reason the diarist did not try to copy Maybrick's handwriting is because he couldn't. The diary is fairly lengthy--and trying to copy Maybrick's real handwriting in such a long document would be unthinkably arduous, especially for an amateur. Even a professional would find it difficult.

        Comment


        • 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
          Actually, false confessions are not particularly common. Most people can come through even a lengthy police interrogation just fine, without making a bogus confession (if the interrogation is conducted properly.)

          Here are some of the main causes of false confessions, according to researchers (Innocence Project: Cooley, M., Craig, and Turvey E. Brent. Miscarriages of Justice: Actual Innocence, Forensic Evidence, and the Law. 1st ed. Academic Press, 2014. p116):
          • Real or perceived intimidation by law enforcement
          • Compromised reasoning ability of the suspect, due to fear or intimidation, substance use, mental instability, or limited education. Young people who do not understand their rights and are taught to please authority figures are particularly vulnerable.
          • Pathological attention-seeking.
          • Devious interrogation techniques, such as untrue statements about the presence of incriminating evidence
          • Fear, on the part of the suspect, that failure to confess will yield a harsher punishment.
          Not sure any of these apply to Barrett.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by PaulB View Post

            Yes, she could. She could have forged it, rather than found it in her father's house, and given it to Tony Devereaux to pass on to Mike to give him something to do. It's what she claimed (except the forging part), and it completely takes Mike out of the equation. And since Anne's motive was to give Mike something to research, she wouldn't have had to worry about handwriting. The thing is, was the forgery done to fool anyone? Since Mike didn't have the money to arrange scientific tests, there would have been no need to use a Victorian or like-Victorian ink, or use an old-fashioned nib pen, so was it by pure accident that Anne used an ink that would pass muster in the tests?
            Good point about the ink. I'm not certain what the motive would have been but, as you suggest, as an innocent hoax, simply intended to give Mike a project to work on, why go to the trouble of trying to fake the age of the diary at all?

            Anne's account doesn't make any sense to me at all. Thus, as I understand it, the diary had supposedly been in her family's for decades, implying it was treated like some old and important family heirloom. And yet, no one, until Anne, appears to have even read it, let alone taken steps to get valued, or to find out more about it etc.

            And when Anne decided to give the diary to Mike- apparently because she'd hoped he'd write a book about it, because he apparently had literary ambitions (this seems a bit bizarre to me)- she doesn't just hand it to him, but arranges a convoluted plot, whereby he receives the diary via a third party in a pub! Very odd indeed.



            Comment


            • Originally posted by Eliza View Post

              A forger might "make an effort" at forging handwriting, but it would take a real expert to succeed. It's one matter to change or modify handwriting (though even this would not be easy for most of us) but quite another to mimic the specific writing of another individual, in all its subtleties and complexities. That's why, as far as I know, most forgers don't bother to try. I think Occam's Razor applies here: the reason the diarist did not try to copy Maybrick's handwriting is because he couldn't. The diary is fairly lengthy--and trying to copy Maybrick's real handwriting in such a long document would be unthinkably arduous, especially for an amateur. Even a professional would find it difficult.
              Thanks for the reply Eliza. I know nothing about forgery but is it really the case that most forgers don’t bother to try and copy the handwriting of the subject? How could they expect to succeed?

              Regards

              Herlock






              "Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.”

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                Anne writes left-handed. The Diary writing looks like it was written right-handed.

                Somehow I don't think Anne was ambidextrous in that production.
                This is anecdotal evidence, but my handwriting and my father's are rather similar (and I can make it more so if I try) apart from the fact that he's left handed and I'm right handed. My point being, perhaps Anne's story is true as far as she knows, but it was written by her father (for some now unknowable purpose). It would explain the similarities and, if there was a difference in handedness, that too.
                " Queen Vic lured her victims into dark corners with offers of free fish and chips, washed down with White Satin." - forum user C4

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                  How could they expect to succeed?
                  They rely on the gullibility of strangers.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Harry D View Post

                    They rely on the gullibility of strangers.
                    Harry, you sound like the Blanche DuBois Of Casebook.
                    Regards

                    Herlock






                    "Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.”

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Harry D View Post

                      Never would I thought I'd see petty virtue-signalling about abortion in a Maybrick Diary thread.
                      I don't see anything remotely 'petty' about that subject, Harry, whereas the whining that goes on around here concerning the stupid diary is way beyond petty. It's still here, get over it.

                      Love,

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


                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post

                        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
                        Hi Gareth,

                        But you missed these lines from the previous page of the diary:

                        This clever Sir Jim,
                        he loves his whims
                        tonight he will call
                        and take away all
                        . ha ha ha ha

                        Obviously the writer wasn't thinking of a telephone call in that instance - unless you think Sir Jim was going to order a Chinese takeaway.

                        And then, after your verses I, II and III, we read these lines:

                        Who knows,
                        Perhaps one day,
                        I will give her a call.

                        Show her my knife

                        and she will honour me for life.

                        So the whole thing is entirely consistent with calling in person, which is all we need to know.

                        In fact, you have to force the idea of a telephone call into a situation where it's - er - not called for.

                        Next!

                        Love,

                        Caz
                        X


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


                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by John G View Post
                          Thus, as I understand it, the diary had supposedly been in her family's for decades, implying it was treated like some old and important family heirloom. And yet, no one, until Anne, appears to have even read it, let alone taken steps to get valued, or to find out more about it etc.
                          My father-in-law sadly passed away in June and just this weekend we were going through his study and we found all manner of interesting artefacts which we knew nothing about, including second world war medals from a long-dead relative. There is nothing suspicious about 'interesting artefacts' (or 'family heirlooms') being stored away for decades, barely noted. It is you who has scurrilously woven in the implication that 'it was treated like some old and important family heirloom'. That's called poisoning the well, by the way. Nice try but failed.

                          And when Anne decided to give the diary to Mike- apparently because she'd hoped he'd write a book about it, because he apparently had literary ambitions (this seems a bit bizarre to me)- she doesn't just hand it to him, but arranges a convoluted plot, whereby he receives the diary via a third party in a pub! Very odd indeed.
                          I think it is extremely unlikely that the potential bizarreness of her actions in 1991 to you in 2019 would have bothered Anne very much. What a working class lady in 1991 Liverpool who is attempting to salvage her already dangerously-compromised marriage decides to do to save that marriage is her affair. And - just to prevent this misdirection getting repeated - she stated that she gave it to Tony Devereaux at his home not in a pub. You might ask (as I suspect that no-one ever has) how she knew his address - that would be a fair challenge. He did not live particularly close to the Barretts, and there is no suggestion in the evidence that Anne had ever been to Tony's house, so how did she know the number and the street? Perhaps Mike had written it down in an address book? Who knows. These are the interesting questions, not personal incredulity issues around imagined 'family heirlooms' and how plausible Anne's rationale was.
                          Iconoclast
                          Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by caz View Post

                            But you missed these lines from the previous page of the diary:

                            This clever Sir Jim,
                            he loves his whims
                            tonight he will call
                            and take away all
                            . ha ha ha ha
                            But he's not talking about Queen Victoria there... of whom he says he might "give a call". Like wot we say when we talk about phoning somebody, Caz.
                            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                            "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                              Just a suggestion on the handwriting.

                              Is it unthinkable that Maybrick the drug-addled serial killer might have intentionally altered his handwriting for the diary? I’m not suggesting that he was schizophrenic at all but couldn’t he have seen the ripper as his darker side; his Mr Hyde, and so he used a different handwriting for him. Can we be said to always know what goes on in a killer’s mind. (If he was a killer in the first place of course)

                              Im just asking if it’s entirely impossible?
                              The handwriting, which to some is the biggest stumbling block on the ‘Diary’ having not been penned by James Maybrick, I find, is not a problem.
                              Written examples of James Maybrick’s handwriting which are few and far between, are of no length and differ in in their styles anyway. They could hardly form a ‘safe baseline’ from which to judge the handwriting of the ‘Diary’ and were written in a formal manner regarding general matters.
                              The likelihood, as Herlock infers in his post, is that the writer of the ‘Diary’ would be a Jekyll and Hyde character, he would have to be, maintaining an air of respectably and being above suspicion in everyday life.
                              When writing the ‘Diary’ this would undoubtedly be undertaken in the Hyde/JTR personality, maybe under some influence of his pick me up arsenic.
                              ‘There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact’ Sherlock Holmes

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Spider View Post

                                Written examples of James Maybrick’s handwriting which are few and far between, are of no length and differ in in their styles anyway.
                                ...but the samples show a man with a confident, fluent hand, Spider. The diary looks like one of your namesakes has crawled over the page.
                                Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                                "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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