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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Maybrick, James

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  #211  
Old 02-22-2018, 06:04 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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I believe Sam, in an earlier post, said that the earliest example he could find of the phrase being used in common parlance, so outside of the strictly technical engineering context, was the 1980s (apologies if my recollection is incorrect).
1970s, John, and in print specifically. The 1980s are significant, in that it's from this point onwards that the usage of "one-off [instance/incident/etc]", "top myself", and "spread/cause mayhem" really takes off in print:
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Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
In 2008/9, I used Google Books searches to count how frequently certain diary phrases turned up, and when those phrases first appeared in print. From that, I was able to produce graphs like the one below, which should speak volumes about when the diary was most likely to have been written:

Attachment 18282

The details will have changed slightly since I did my original survey, but I would expect the overall findings to be broadly the same. Namely, that if we see the three phrases "one off", "top myself" AND "spreads mayhem" occurring in the same document, the likelihood is that it was written in the latter third of the 20th Century.
Click on the link to the Attachment in order to see the graph. It's not the best graph in the world, but what it represents is, I believe, quite striking.
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  #212  
Old 02-22-2018, 06:58 AM
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caz caz is offline
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Moreover, as I've noted before, Mike seems to me to be simply too erratic, too ill-disciplined to have succeeded with such a project, at least without a great deal of help.

I would also refer to Caroline's recollection of her dad pestering Tony for information on the telephone. Now assuming Caroline's memory is correct, and further assuming that Mike hadn't set up some madcap fake telephone call for his daughters benefit, the implication is that Mike was unaware of the origins of the diary, at least at this stage.
Hi John,

Have you any further thoughts about Caroline's recollection in 1993, given that Tony died in August 1991, and in Mike's affidavit he claimed:

'Anne and I started to write the Diary in all it took us 11 days. I worked on the story and then I dictated it to Anne who wrote it down in the Photograph Album and thus we produced the Diary of Jack the Ripper. Much to my regret there was a witness to this, my young daughter Caroline.'

How would you reconcile the two accounts: the phone calls in 1991 as recalled by Caroline, and the 11 day creation - supposedly not until early April 1992 - which Mike claimed she witnessed?

Mike went on:

'During this period when we were writing the Diary, Tony Devereux was house-bound, very ill and in fact after we completed the Diary we left it for a while with Tony being severly (sic) ill and in fact he died late May early June 1990.'

He wasn't only getting his dates in a mucking fuddle here. If the diary was only written after the little red one was received and rejected and the guardbook obtained at the very end of March 1992, and this was in London 13 days later, they must have 'left it' for all of two days, with poor old Tony being severely ill and what have you. Granted, you can't get much more severely ill than dead, but having died 8 months previously he probably wasn't going to recover in time to see the fruits of their combined labours making it onto the London train and ordering a slice of British Rail coffee.

Anyway, Caroline's memory seems to have differed significantly from her father's, if she only recalled his telephone calls supposedly to Tony, pestering him about the diary now in Goldie Street, apparently because he had refused to say how he got it, while Mike claimed she actually witnessed its creation nearly a year later.

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All in all, it's a very murky, and complex case, and I would therefore advise myself to submit only provisional conclusions!
Very wise, John.

Love,

Caz
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Last edited by caz : 02-22-2018 at 07:06 AM.
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  #213  
Old 02-23-2018, 12:05 AM
John G John G is offline
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Hi Caz,

Sorry for the delay in my response to your latest posts. I haven't forgotten but need a bit more time to digest the information. At times I find this saga so complex and confusing-particularly as regards Capricious Mike's varying and complex accounts-that my brain starts to feel a little fuzzy!
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  #214  
Old 02-23-2018, 01:01 AM
John G John G is offline
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Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
1970s, John, and in print specifically. The 1980s are significant, in that it's from this point onwards that the usage of "one-off [instance/incident/etc]", "top myself", and "spread/cause mayhem" really takes off in print:

Click on the link to the Attachment in order to see the graph. It's not the best graph in the world, but what it represents is, I believe, quite striking.
Hi Sam,

Thanks for this. David refers to a television programme called "one-off" , broadcast in 1969. Doesn't this suggest that by the 1960s the phrase was no longer confined to the rarefied world of engineering, but had entered the wider public domain?
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  #215  
Old 02-23-2018, 02:15 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Hi Sam,

Thanks for this. David refers to a television programme called "one-off" , broadcast in 1969. Doesn't this suggest that by the 1960s the phrase was no longer confined to the rarefied world of engineering, but had entered the wider public domain?
Quite possibly, but I'd need to understand whether the reference was used to refer to an abstract concept or not. The diary refers to a "one-off instance/incident", after all. Also, there's a distinction to be drawn between "in the public domain" and being in widespread use. For example, the term "modem" might have appeared on the Tomorrow's World programme in the early 1980s, but it would take a while for it to be on everyone's lips, or the nibs of Joe Public's fountain pens, as the case may be. Ditto "spreading mayhem" and "topping oneself", of course.
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  #216  
Old 02-23-2018, 05:15 AM
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caz caz is offline
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Naughty naughty, Gareth.

Why are you still peddling "topping oneself" as a problem for the diary, when this was shown beyond a shadow of a doubt to have been used - and recorded in a newspaper - back in the 1870s?

From September last year:

http://www.jtrforums.com/showthread....topping&page=4

You even replied to Gary Barnett's post #36!

Love,

Caz
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  #217  
Old 02-23-2018, 05:22 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Naughty naughty, Gareth.

Why are you still peddling "topping oneself" as a problem for the diary, when this was shown beyond a shadow of a doubt to have been used - and recorded in a newspaper - back in the 1870s?
Again, there's a difference between appearing in print (or on a TV show), and a word/phrase reaching a point of saturation sufficient for it to crop up in widespread use, such as any member of the public (as opposed to a person of a certain class or calling) might include it in a stream-of-consciousness diary. And the fact of the matter is that this particular phrase really doesn't crop up commonly in print until late in the 20th century.

I have repeatedly said that we need to look at the picture as a whole, rather than picking things off individually. Who, before the latter third of the 20th century, is likely to have used all three phrases "top myself", "one-off instance" AND "spreads mayhem" in a comparatively short text?
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Last edited by Sam Flynn : 02-23-2018 at 05:28 AM.
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  #218  
Old 02-26-2018, 01:16 AM
John G John G is offline
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Not quite, John, no. Let me try again and apologies for not being clearer!

I do think that anyone being shown this old book for the first time would have been sceptical to say the least. "Jack the Ripper?? You have got to be kidding me". However, this is Mike we are talking about. And if he had nothing to do with its creation, but was first shown it either in 1991 by TD or, far more likely IMHO, on March 9th 1992 by EL, we can only imagine what his immediate reaction might have been.

Well we know exactly what he did on or around March 9th 1992: he rang a literary agent and made the first known and documented mention of JtR's diary. He also made the telephone enquiry about diaries with blank pages from the 1880s. If this was his way of investigating the likelihood of EL [or A.N.Other] having pulled his leg with an easily obtainable unused or partly used Victorian diary, we can only guess what his reaction was when the little red diary arrived. But he wasn't sent half a dozen items that would all have been a forger's dream, and by then he had already interested Doreen to the point that she wanted him to bring his diary to London, so he decided to take the plunge and was rewarded when all went well on April 13th.

The alternative, that the Maybrick diary had been a work in progress for up to two years previously, and Mike was only just now, on or around March 9th 1992, tasked with ascertaining if anyone might be interested in publishing such an artefact [??], and then trying to find a suitable 'diary' [which is what he asked for] in which to house the prepared text, strikes me as stretching things to breaking point in an attempt to make things fit with Mike's shaky old affidavit from January 1995.



Yes, you assumed correctly. I have no doubt whatsoever that the advert placed in 1992 resulted in Mike being sent the little red diary.



But this supposes that Mike was telling the truth in 1995, when claiming that the little red diary was evidence of an attempt to find a suitable book to house the forged diary. He was using its small size to explain why the attempt obviously failed, when anyone with two brain cells to rub together would have specified a minimum page size to begin with if they were really hoping to use it for that purpose. It's a point I've made more than once and all I got were excuses for why Mike might have been unable to get this crucial detail included in the advert, even supposing he thought to ask.

Trying to ascertain the general availability to a potential prankster of 1880s diaries with blank pages would have been one thing; trying to obtain one suitable for housing the prepared Maybrick diary text would have been quite another. If Mike had had up to two years for this task, and the text was now ready to go, barring any last-minute amendments, one has to ask what he was thinking of with that advert, assuming it was worded roughly in line with his request.

None of the entries are dated [apart from the final one], but they cover a period from early 1888 to May 1889 and 63 pages of the guardbook measuring approx 11 x 8.5 inches, so by asking for a 'diary' - singular and any size - dating from 1880 to 1890, Mike would already have been lessening his chances significantly of getting anything a forger could have used for the text as we know it.

Is that any better?

Love,

Caz
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Hi Caz,

Thank you. I think I now understand.

It could be that Mike was only trusted with a minor role in a wider conspiracy, and was therefore genuinely in the dark as to the exact purpose of the red diary.

Alternatively, if we reject that explanation, then it was certainly remiss of him to fail to stipulate dimensions. However, perhaps he didn't think things through properly, and assumed that, as a result of the advertisement, he would be inundated with responses, which was almost bound to result in something suitable.

Or perhaps he wasn't in a hurry: if he failed to receive anything suitable he would try a different strategy: visting antiques shops, antiques fayres, or an auction-the latter option being the means by which he claimed to have obtained the photograph album.

However, if his purpose in placing the advertisement was merely to determine how easy it would be find a housing for a forged diary, then surely, on the basis of a single, poorly worded advertisement, resulting in something unsuitable, he would not be entitled to conclude that it would have been an impossible, or even difficult, task.

Hope this makes sense!

Last edited by John G : 02-26-2018 at 01:27 AM.
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  #219  
Old 02-26-2018, 01:43 AM
John G John G is offline
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Hi John,

Have you any further thoughts about Caroline's recollection in 1993, given that Tony died in August 1991, and in Mike's affidavit he claimed:

'Anne and I started to write the Diary in all it took us 11 days. I worked on the story and then I dictated it to Anne who wrote it down in the Photograph Album and thus we produced the Diary of Jack the Ripper. Much to my regret there was a witness to this, my young daughter Caroline.'

How would you reconcile the two accounts: the phone calls in 1991 as recalled by Caroline, and the 11 day creation - supposedly not until early April 1992 - which Mike claimed she witnessed?

Mike went on:

'During this period when we were writing the Diary, Tony Devereux was house-bound, very ill and in fact after we completed the Diary we left it for a while with Tony being severly (sic) ill and in fact he died late May early June 1990.'

He wasn't only getting his dates in a mucking fuddle here. If the diary was only written after the little red one was received and rejected and the guardbook obtained at the very end of March 1992, and this was in London 13 days later, they must have 'left it' for all of two days, with poor old Tony being severely ill and what have you. Granted, you can't get much more severely ill than dead, but having died 8 months previously he probably wasn't going to recover in time to see the fruits of their combined labours making it onto the London train and ordering a slice of British Rail coffee.

Anyway, Caroline's memory seems to have differed significantly from her father's, if she only recalled his telephone calls supposedly to Tony, pestering him about the diary now in Goldie Street, apparently because he had refused to say how he got it, while Mike claimed she actually witnessed its creation nearly a year later.



Very wise, John.

Love,

Caz
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Hi Caz,

To be honest, I think Caroline's account must stand or fall on the basis of Anne's explanation. Thus, if The Diary was discovered at Battlecrease, it makes no sense. If Anne wasn't telling the truth in virtually any respect, then it makes no sense.

Of course, as to dates, on the face of it the two accounts can't be reconciled: he can't have been discussing The Diary with TD in 1991 if it wasn't created until 1992.

However, one possible explanation is that Mike received a completed forged diary, via TD, in 1991 and was genuinely unaware of where it originated from. He doesn't believe it's genuine and, after investigating the matter, he determines its a forgery. Nonethless, he's then drawn into the conspiracy, and agrees to go ahead with an attempted hoax, but with a revised forgery that isn't created until 1992!

But that seems a bit convoluted to me!
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  #220  
Old 02-26-2018, 03:25 AM
John G John G is offline
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Hi Caz (again!),

Excuse my stupidity, but what exactly did Mike mean regarding the his intention to use the red book to house the forgery (I might have misunderstood this point). I'm assuming he wasn't planning to write out the diary on Victorian paper, using Victorian ink, and then use Victorian paste, or glue, to secure the pages-mind you, with Mike, you never know!
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