Originally Posted by Chris Jones
I must have been there for some 2 to 3 hours. He talked at length about how his life had been turned upside down by the diary and he openly admitted some of his mistakes and drinking issues. As to the provenance of the diary, he had returned to his original (1992) account, that it was given to him by TD and that he did not fake it. He said that he made up the stories about him faking the diary at a time when his life was in freefall; his marriage was breaking up and he was drinking heavily. I left his house feeling quite sorry for him. If he did fake the diary, he may have made some money, but the personal cost out-weighed any financial gain.
Evening Chris, All,
Just passing this on from Keith :-
We refer to this incident on pp 226-227 in Inside Story which gives an insight into the relationship between Michael Barrett and Anne Graham in September 1998, eight years after, according to Mike’s sworn affidavit of January 1995, they decided to go ahead and write the Diary of Jack the Ripper.
Mike Barrett’s surname is spelt BarrAtt throughout.
Liverpool Daily Post, September 12,1998
‘This should prove the case about the Ripper Diary’
He’s a forger and an alcoholic... but Michael Barratt is not a man of violence
All I cared about was to protect my daughter’s name.
THE Jack the Ripper diaries have fascinated historians, criminologists and psychologists since they appeared on the scene in 1992. But yesterday the man who claims he forged those diaries found himself at the centre of a court case with Jack the Ripper playing a bizarre role in the proceedings.
A jury at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday took just over an hour to acquit Michael Barratt of threatening to kill his ex-wife. Mr Barratt, 46, claims he was behind the forging of the “diary” of Liverpool cotton merchant James Maybrick, supposedly exposing him as the Victorian serial killer and about which controversy still rages.
The court heard that the alleged death threat was sparked by a Sunday Express article last year about author Paul Feldman’s Ripper book, which claimed that Mr Barratt’s ex wife was directly descended from Maybrick’s wife, Florence. Afterwards, outside court, Mr Barratt, said: “I’m delighted. It proves I’m not a violent man and it proves my wife is a liar. “This should prove the case about the Diary of Jack the Ripper. I stopped the fraud but nobody believed me. I feel totally vindicated. I’ve gone through five years of hell. It proves I’m not illiterate and that I am a professional writer. I’ve cleared my name and it’s come out in court that my daughter is not related to Jack the Ripper.”
Mr Barratt, 46, of Hero Street, Bootle, formerly of Brooke-Road West, Waterloo, denied making a threat to kill Ann Graham. The court heard that on August 29 last year, he went round to his ex-wife’s home in Delamore Street, Walton, and pushed a note under the front door. He allegedly banged loudly on the door and shouted threats to Miss Graham. It was accepted that this was one of a number of similar visits to Miss Graham’s home by Mr Barratt since the couple divorced in 1994. The court heard that in the note Barratt said: “So help me God, push this one step further and I will kill you. I want you to know you can never walk the streets in safety. If you use Caroline and label her a Maybrick I’ll blow your head off and I mean it.”
Mr Barratt, an alcoholic, told the court he was horrified when he later saw the note. Asked if he intended to kill his ex-wife he replied: “No. Not in a million years.” He said he was “totally upset and angry” after seeing the Sunday Express article, and that he only wanted to see his daughter and thought that his ex-wife would take the note “with a pinch of salt.”
Florence Maybrick was jailed for the murder of her husband, and the claim in the book linked his daughter to two murderers he said. He described how he and Miss Graham concocted the diary by adapting an old photo album bought at auction, and that he composed the text while his ex-wife hand wrote it in a manuscript ink. He took the diary to a London publisher in 1991 and said he had been given the old black ledger by Liverpool print worker, Tony Devereux, who died in 1991.
The diary resulted in The Diary of Jack the Ripper, by Shirley Harrison, and last year Paul Feldman’s book, Jack the Ripper – The Final Chapter, appeared. Miss Graham told the court that her ex-husband began drinking heavily in 1988, claimed he was abusive and violent, and that he harassed her after she went to live elsewhere.
She described Barratt’s claims about forging the diary as “ridiculous.” She said her father claimed he was the son of an illegitimate child of Florence Maybrick, but it was Barratt who brought it to the public’s attention.