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Old 08-30-2017, 07:51 AM
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caz caz is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Devon UK
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Originally Posted by rjpalmer View Post
Concerning Barrett, one strange detail has always stuck with me. In those early heady months when he was buying return tickets to London and making the rounds among agents and publishers, he used the name ‘Williams.’

What, I ask, is in an alias? Why that particular name and not Smith? Jones? Group Commander Rupert Brooke?

Then it turned out that Peter Birchwood did some digging and found that Williams was the name of the previous owner of Barrett’s house.

Same question, revised. You can pick any alias, why, of all things, pick the name of the previous owner of your house? I certainly wouldn't have thought of it.

But, a couple of years ago I heard a story, and it struck me that I had found one possible answer.

Long around 1980 a man found himself in Costa Rica with a bag of weed, ganja, whatever you wish to call it. Being the sort of person he was, he wanted to smuggle this back home, but was too scared to take it on the airplane. For days he wracked his brain and finally came up with the following scheme. He would simply stuff it in an ordinary envelope and boldly send it to his home address. However, as a safeguard, he addressed the envelope to ‘Mr. Parker.' This, it so happens, was the name of the previous owner of his house. The scheme was safe, or at least he thought it was safe; if –instead of the package---a postal inspector or a policeman arrived on the doorstep, he would simply claim ignorance, and say, “heck, I often receive mail addressed to ‘Mr. Parker. He moved out 3 years ago.’

Which, to my mind, raises the possibility that maybe the use of ‘Mr. Williams’ was not as random and pointless as it seems. Perhaps, at some point, Mike developed the name, thinking that he might want to make certain purchases in the future that couldn't be easily traced, or, if necessary, could be denied.
Hi rj [and good to see you after all this time! ],

One possible fly paper in your argument would be if, as I understand it to be the case, Mike's request resulting in the little maroon diary being sent to him [which is thought so crucial to the theory that he was behind the Maybrick diary] was made using his real name, and this would have been around the same time he was using the name Williams for his initial phone calls to Doreen.

Incidentally, what is your evidence for Mike 'making the rounds among agents and publishers' and using the name Williams while doing so? IIRC the only suggestion was that he telephoned Pan Books and was given Doreen's number to ring instead. Even so, I'm not sure if Pan was ever able to confirm this or supply a date. In fact there seems to be a distinct lack of any reliable supporting evidence from before March 9th 1992 that Mike had the least awareness of the diary that would come to plague his life.


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

Last edited by caz : 08-30-2017 at 07:54 AM.
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