On the first page of the Diary, the writing is fairly compact, and there are a number of paragraphs. As the Diary progresses, there is a lot of wasted paper. Flourishes, scribbles, etc. Some pages only have a small amount of writing.
And that is rather amazing. Here is Mad Maybrick, at the height of the murders, already knowing that he is going to be poisoned by his wife in May 1889, and thus doesn't need to conserve paper.
Or else it's being transcribed by someone with manuscript in hand, who already knows how the story is going to end.
I don't think you're too wide of the mark, there, RJ. It strikes me that the way those pages are filled, or padded out, could tell us much about how well prepared (or not) the diarist was.
If anyone understands the significance of the fact that Eddie Lyons “actually came into the Saddle one night [in June 1993] when Robert Smith was there with Mike and sat down” perhaps they can explain it to me. Why was it ever mentioned in this thread? To simply give some information to RJ that he apparently didn’t know before? Do me a favour!
The fact of the matter is that the June 1993 meeting is completely irrelevant. Robert Smith explains why. He says in his book:
“I asked Barrett if he could arrange for me to meet Lyons. He could, so on Saturday 26th June 1993, I drove up to Liverpool to stay with the Barretts at 12, Goldie Street. I suggested meeting Lyons that evening in the Saddle. He strolled from the house to the pub, and at about 10pm Lyons came in and sat down with us.”
So the meeting was entirely set up by Robert Smith.
Up to a point, but not entirely.
I only spoke with Robert recently about this, and he said he couldn't work out how Mike got the message to Eddie that his [Robert's] suggestion was to meet 'that evening in the Saddle'. He couldn't recall Mike slipping away to make a phone call between making the suggestion and when Eddie made his entrance. I took this to mean that the time and place had not been suggested or arranged by Robert prior to this, and all he'd asked Mike was if he would be able to introduce him to Eddie when he came to Liverpool.
Robert also said he was puzzled that Mike was so compliant. Robert believes Mike knew exactly what story Eddie was going to come out with - a set piece worked out beforehand - and no sooner had Eddie delivered it than he was up on his toes and out of the pub, leaving Robert and Mike to finish their pints on their own.
Something that was not mentioned at all when being referred to earlier in this thread. But if you didn’t know this you might well have thought that the fact that Eddie Lyons came into the Saddle one night in June 1993 and sat down with Mike Barrett had some significance. To say in the context of this encounter that “We know that Mike and Eddie Lyons knew one another by June 1993” is nothing more than sleight of hand and very misleading. The June 1993 encounter was absolutely unremarkable.
Once again, it's a case of reading and accepting what was written - no more and no less - not reading between the lines for some supposed misdirection. When I wrote that we knew Mike and Eddie knew one another by June 1993, I meant just that. I could have gone further and observed that the pair were evidently in cahoots over something before this, with one having some kind of hold over the other, or at least some shared secret between them, or Eddie would never have agreed to co-operate with Mike, or to comply with the request made by Robert via Mike. That is the point that is brushed aside, as if the occasion itself could have had no possible relevance to anything.
It’s bad luck that Eddie didn’t support the notion that the diary came from the floorboards but trying to create some sort of conspiracy here between Lyons and Barrett (and Lyons and Rigby) is nothing more than wishful thinking.
It must be so comforting to have the luxury of speculating from such a distance, in one's own personal vacuum, devoid of all the inconvenient stuff such as Robert's first-hand experience of watching the pair's body language, eye contact and reactions. It can all count for nothing in your world, can't it, and be put down to wishful thinking, while you continue to ignore the coincidences piling up like elephant poo in the corner of your previously sterile room.
It's not bad luck that Eddie didn't confess in front of Mike and Robert to having liberated Mike's diary from under the floorboards. It's bad luck for the Barrett hoax theorists if they have no sensible explanation for Eddie's appearance that night, let alone the story he fed Robert.
__________________ "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov
You have to admit that it's more than a little strange that Robert Smith is now arguing that his prize possession was stolen from Mr. Dodd. Has there been any financial compensation? Or is Dodd okay with this?
Yeah, it seems that Paul Dodd is okay with this. He once made the point that he would never have known the diary was under his floorboards, so I guess he would be trying to prove it now if he wanted financial compensation.
But what could he have expected, considering it would have fetched the electrician £25 or so, and Robert paid Mike £1 for it? The real money came from all the work involved in writing and publishing Shirley's book about it, not from the physical book itself.
__________________ "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov
I think we must be up to about the tenth different explanation for Mike's acquisition of a Victorian diary, each one worse than the last!
So now (as far as I can understand it) the latest hare-brained theory is that Mike was trying to establish the going rate for a Victorian diary with 20 blank pages, just like the Jack the Ripper Diary he had been shown by his mate Eddie.
Let's ignore the fact that the Jack the Ripper diary has 17 blank pages so that even the price of a diary with 20 blank pages wouldn't do the job and, okay, we'll assume that dopey Mike miscounted and thought there were 20 blank pages at the end of the Jack the Ripper diary.
Well then the advert was utterly useless for Mike's purposes. Because, as I have had to repeatedly point out (but it doesn't seem to sink in), when asking for a Diary with "at least" 20 blank pages that is a minimum requirement, so it would obviously have suited Mike's purposes to receive a diary with 50 blank pages or 100 blank pages or even an entirely blank diary! Hence "unused or partly used".
Now, let's say Mike receives a diary with 100 blank pages and he believes that the way to establish the price of a diary is from the number of blank pages (another barmy suggestion) then how does it help him to establish the price of the Jack the Ripper diary by telling Eddie Lyons (someone who, incidentally, couldn't have discovered the diary on 9 March 1992, because he wasn't at Battlecrease, so why is he selling it?) that a diary with 100 blank pages is worth £25 or £30 or whatever. The answer can only be that it doesn't help him at all.
Even worse is that the only way to prove to Eddie that the Diary is worth £25 is to show him that he, Mike, has just purchased an equivalent Victorian diary. Now perhaps Eddie was an idiot but surely even he would have wondered why Mike would have wiped out any profit he could possibly make on selling the Jack the Ripper diary by purchasing another diary at retail price just for the sole purpose of showing Eddie what the retail price was of a Victorian diary!!
But crazy and nonsensical as all the above is, it's not even the worst flaw in the theory. For it's perfectly obvious that any conversation with Eddie (assuming Mike actually managed to get a diary with his minimum of 20 pages) would have gone like this:
Mike:Look I've just bought this Victorian diary for £25 and it's only got 20 blank pages so let me give you the same for your diary. Eddie:Was your diary written by Jack the Ripper? Mike:Er…
And surely that disposes of that barmy and laughable suggestion. I mean, perhaps people are in denial but the clear and obvious reason for Mike Barrett to have gone on the hunt for a Victorian diary with a MINIMUM of 20 blank pages – I repeat a MINIMUM of 20 blank pages - was to obtain a volume in which the text of a "Victorian" diary could be written. (And we may note in passing that the transcript of the JTR Diary in Shirley Harrison's 2003 book is exactly 20 pages.) This notion perfectly fits in with Mike making the telephone call to Doreen on 9 March 1992, having in his possession an already written or typed up draft of the text of the diary, establishing from Doreen that such a diary would be valuable and realising that he now needed to obtain a bound volume containing paper from the period which, by random coincidence, is exactly what he said he was doing in his January 1995 affidavit. It certainly explains why he didn't rush down to London with the diary but waited over a month to meet Doreen. Realising the Victorian diary was too small he then managed to obtain the scrapbook (quite possibly at an O&L auction held on 31 March) and this would literally have given him just sufficient time, as stated in his affidavit, for the text of the diary to be written by hand into the scrapbook (i.e. 11 days) before being presented to Doreen in London on 13 April 1992.
The notion of a modern forgery (in 1992) is the only one that sensibly fits the fact of the purchase of the Victorian diary - indeed it fits all the facts - and, even after all this time, I really have no idea why there is such fanatical resistance to this simple and obvious explanation.
The barmy ideas keep on rolling in and I had to rub my eyes on seeing that it is stated as a fact that Mike enquired about purchasing Jack the Ripper books at the same time as he enquired about purchasing a Victorian diary!!!
This can only emerge from the mind of someone who cannot distinguish fact from wild speculation.
In the first place, we are told in Inside Story (p.237) that Keith Skinner investigated the purchase of the Victorian diary and discovered that HP Bookfinders "had received a telephone enquiry from a Mr Barrett asking them to locate a Victorian diary, which struck them as an unusual request". Nothing said there about any further enquiries for Jack the Ripper books. So unless it is being said that Keith Skinner's investigation was faulty that's a dead end right there.
Furthermore, Martin E. Earl's advertisement contains requests for over 80 books on all sorts of subjects. Is it being said that Mike Barrett was the person who wanted all these books????? It's absurd.
Following on from the advert for the Victorian diary is a request for ITV yearbooks for the period 1955 to 1979, a request for BBC yearbooks for 1950-1979 and a request for a book by P. Cummings called "Silver Eagle carries on". Unless Mike also wanted these books too there is no connection whatsoever been the Ripper books in Earl's list and the Victorian diary.
It was perfectly common in 1992 in these book collecting magazines for people to be requesting hard to find Jack the Ripper books and what we have here is a great example of someone trying to see patterns and connections in separate events which almost certainly don't exist.
I see that some people are now reduced to reproducing unsubstantiated rumours in support of the Battlecrease provenance. This must surely show how desperate these Diary believers are. The timesheets were supposed to prove the provenance but that turned out to be damp squib. So now we are told that the diary was sold in an Anfield pub for £20. Forgive me, but where is the evidence for this assertion? What is the source of it?
All I keep reading in this thread are unsubstantiated and unsupported statements. Like: the 9 electricians were never in Battlecrease before 1992, the floorboards in Maybrick's room had never been dug up before, Arthur Rigby and Coufopolous were working in the morning in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992, they definitely lifted the floorboards on 9 March, the Portus & Rhodes working day was between x and y etc. etc. Is it not possible to stick with the actual evidence in this case? And if there is evidence in support of any such statements it should be provided so that we can see it.
Certainly the claim that the floorboards were lifted remains an assumption and all the argument in the world won't change that. Maybe they were lifted but how do we know for sure? Are we simply supposed to assume they were?