Hi Caz. I think that would be a most interesting question to ask Caroline Barrett.
But, just for a moment, forget the depressed donkeys and the mules in mourning and think it through on a HUMAN level. Perhaps you've had this experience. Way back in childhood, you told a lie. You felt ashamed by it, and, as time passed, it ate away at your insides. You wished to tell your parents the truth, to get it "off your chest," but couldn't quite bring yourself to do it, because you knew they would be so terribly disappointed. In that situation, might you not 'drop a hint'?
I hope I am forgiven for saying so, but is it possible Anne is 'dropping the hint,' and Keith simply isn't listening?
Morning all - just passing this on from KS :-
Why would I not be listening to what Anne Graham told me?
Anne had given me this information, (about watching the 1988 Michael Caine television programme with Mike) very early on when I was trying to establish how much interest either she or Mike might have had in Jack The Ripper prior to that first telephone call from Mike ‘Williams’ Barrett to Doreen Montgomery on March 9th 1992. I possibly may have a documented note of the precise date because that could be significant in terms of historical context as to why Anne may have felt the need to “drop a hint” at that particular moment in time, about her lying in order to get it off her chest and reveal the truth. (Which ’truth’ do you have in mind though R.J? Anne being complicit in helping to create a fake diary? Or Anne’s story of the diary being in her family since circa 1943 and her deviousness of getting the diary to her husband via a third person?) As with Mr Flower, I had immediately registered the prominence of Abberline’s name in the 1988 television production and putting that together with Chris George’s observation about 1989 being the centenary year of the Florence Maybrick trial, had wondered if this might be the catalyst for the idea of creating a fake diary? I was able to find newspaper reports of the trial having been restaged in St George’s Hall, Liverpool during 1989 which, circumstantially, could support part of this speculation.
Mike Barrett’s sworn affidavit of January 5th 1995 provides the direct evidence though which, in part, states:
(I reproduce this from p.46 of The Diary Of Jack The Ripper 25 Years Of Mystery [Secret Chamber Publishing, Sept 2017]. My photocopy of the original affidavit is not to hand.)
“The idea of the Diary came from the discussion between Tony Devereux, Anne Barrett, my wife and myself, there came I [sic] time when I believed such a hoax was a distinct possibility. We looked closely at the background of James Maybrick and I read everything to do with the Jack the Ripper matter. I felt Maybrick was an ideal candidate for Jack the Ripper. Most important of all he could not defend himself. He was not ‘Jack the Ripper’ of that I am certain, but, times, places, visits to London and all that fitted. It was to (sic) easey (sic).”
“Roughly around January, February, 1990 Anne Barrett and I finally decided to go ahead and write the Diary of Jack the Ripper...”
We also have Mike’s research notes on the front cover of which is typed:-
“Transferring all my notes since August 1991”
I interpret that date as relating to when Tony Devereux died on August 9th 1991. Mike’s initial story was that Devereux had given him the diary some time in 1991 without explanation of how he had come by it. It was only after Devereux’s death that Mike started to try and make sense of the narrative. On March 9th 1992, Mike telephoned Pan Books who in turn referred him to Doreen Montgomery.
So – predicated on that information, do you feel it would be reasonable to conclude this is what happened? The hard dates are 1988, 1989, January, February,1990, August 1991.
But my initial question to you still remains R.J...
Why would I not be listening to what Anne Graham told me?
Best Wishes, KS
Now you're looking for the secret, but you won't find it, because of course, you're not really looking. You want to be fooled.
Hi Caz--Over the years, you've read quite a lot into the apparent fact that Anne Graham had initially refused to cash her royalty cheques. This is somehow offered up as "proof" that she wasn't involved in the creation of the diary, since she didn't try to cash in on it. Correct me if that's not your thinking.
Apologies for the tardy response. Anne only began accepting half of Mike's royalties after she left him in Jan 1994, when Doreen persuaded her, for Caroline's sake, if not her own. As Anne had paid for the little red/maroon/burgundy diary from her own bank account in May 1992, it appears they didn't have a joint account, in which case Mike's money would have gone into his own account while they lived under the same roof. I haven't 'read' anything into the fact that Anne expressed a reluctance to take her share of the spoils. It has always been merely something to take into account when speculating on her behaviour. It's not 'proof' of anything either way.
Yet, in reality, isn't it likely that Anne was just following legal advice? She had recently left Barrett, who just as recently had confessed to perpetrating a hoax. Not long before, the police had been round. The threat of jail was real, or perceived to be real. If she knew the diary was a modern fake, then she would have been a fool to cash the cheques, as it may well have put her in legal jeopardy. As far as I see, if anything, her refusal suggests that she damn well knew exactly how the diary was created, and was probably scared silly.
The chronology here is not quite right, is it? Anne left Mike in the January of 1994, after which Doreen arranged for future diary payments to be split 50/50 and sent out separately to Anne and Mike, and despite Anne's initial reluctance she accepted this arrangement. I don't know about any cheques made out to her, which she failed to pay into her account. It wasn't until June 1994 - 5 months after Anne left - that Mike first claimed he had forged the diary. If she had been involved with him in creating it, would she not have been 'scared silly' from the day she left him, taking their only child with her, that he might spill the beans at any time? Especially if she had done the lion's share of the work? Yet she was suddenly okay with taking 50% of Mike's diary money in the wake of the police nosing round in October 1993 and abandoning her marriage of nearly 20 years.
Anne claimed that Mike was drinking heavily by 1988. If this was a lie, to what end? It would simply give people more ammunition to say she had helped him create the diary. If it was the truth, you have a situation whereby she was the one who had to hold down a steady job in 1992 to pay all the household bills. Mike's diary payments were going directly into his bank account. Could she have trusted this heavy drinking partner in crime to contribute any of it towards the family finances, and not piss it all away down the Saddle? Perhaps not. Yet she chose not to take her own fair share from the start, despite the work she had supposedly put into this joint project.
Alternatively, had the bloody thing been in her family all along, she could have taken her share with a clear conscience, without needing to tell Mike at that stage what she'd done. She helped him with the transcript and his research notes and she'd have been entitled, as his wife, to share the rewards.
But if Anne suspected for a moment in 1992 that the diary had been nicked, and its rightful owner might reasonably want it back and the thief prosecuted, that could explain why she distanced herself from the ill-gotten gains until a whole lot more water had gone under the bridge.
But, I don't think I really have anything further to add to the diary threads. As far as evidence goes, it's not as "sexy" as the purchase of a blank Victorian diary, but I personally believe that Barrett coming up with correct citation of the Richard Crashaw quote proves beyond any reasonable doubt that he was involved in writing the text. In the years before Google, there was simply no way in Hades that Mike came up with that citation through "research."
That's fine, except it was sitting there waiting to be found, among a limited selection of volumes on a limited number of shelves, that would have faced Mike as he gazed at the small English Literature section of the library, looking for clues. And the volume he claimed to have had at home since 1989 could not have been acquired in the manner he described. It's a recurring theme with Barrett's books, isn't it?
__________________ "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov
And what, I wonder, does one make of Anne's reaction to Mike's reported claim in June 1994 that he had forged the diary?
According to the Liverpool Daily Post of 27 June 1994, which ran a headline "HOW I FAKED THE RIPPER DIARY", this is what Anne said:
"This is bull****. He told me he got the diary from Tony Devereux and that is all I know. He is now trying to get at me because I have left him. The whole thing is an absolute nightmare. But I will fight like a tiger to protect myself and my family against anything he says."
I have difficulty understanding this reaction if she either thought the diary had come from Tony Devereux or had been stolen from Battlecrease and given to Mike. In respect of the latter, a forgery story at least protected Mike from a charge of handling stolen goods. I also have difficulty in understanding this reaction if she knew the diary had been in her family for years and she had given it to Tony to give to Mike.
In all these scenarios, I just can't see how Mike claiming to have forged the diary was an attempt to get at Anne (or why she would have believed it was), nor why she felt she needed to fight like a tiger to protect herself and her family from Mike's claims. I mean, sure, if the diary had been in her family for years it damaged her own interests if it was thought a forgery but the whole point was that Mike didn't know this so how could he have been using the forgery claim to get back at her? Furthermore, in the very same quote she says that Mike told her he got the diary from Tony and that this is "all I know". Those are not the words of someone who felt she was ever going to reveal that she knew the diary had been in her family for donkey's years because it was such a blatant lie.
I would guess that Anne's reaction had something to do with the fact that if people believed Mike's claim to have faked the diary, they would also believe she must have known about it and gone along with it. Clearly she was meant to have thought it had suddenly arrived in their home one day in 1991. How was Mike meant to have researched and written it without her knowing or suspecting a thing?
You say you 'don't find that at all realistic' because 'Mike was claiming at this time that HE and he alone had forged the diary'.
What kind of paranoid spouse would think that this meant that they were also implicated?
One who had lived with him in their small terraced house while this was all supposed to be going on?? I mean seriously, do you think Anne ever came across as the kind of gullible little wifey, who'd have had no idea what hubby was getting up to while she was at work, and if he came in one day and presented her with an old book signed Jack the Ripper, and said he was given it by a pal from the Saddle, she wouldn't immediately have thought back over his rather secretive behaviour and worked it all out?
Mike claims that he forged the diary, and was, as he said at the time, the greatest forger in history, and Anne is thinking that this means he is saying that she was also involved in the forgery?
He wasn't saying it, but the implication would have been obvious - that she could hardly have been completely in the dark, as the wife of the greatest forger in history.
It doesn't compute for me. But what certainly does compute is that if Anne actually had been involved in the forgery, then Mike's admission in a newspaper was way too close to the bone and her quoted response in the newspaper makes perfect sense. Equally, if their daughter had been aware of the forgery and had deliberately misled researchers about the Tony Devereux story it was potentially an attack on her too and Anne's reaction is understandable.
If Anne told the truth about Mike drinking heavily by 1988, and they did create the diary together, you'd think she'd have been fully prepared for this day in 1994, when the wheels came off and he chose to spill the beans. Did she not know she was going to be living with a time bomb when she first agreed to be part of such a venture? She knew Mike better than anyone.
One other point to note is that, following the Liverpool Daily Post story in late June 1994, it was the very next month (July 1994) that Anne suddenly confessed that the diary had been in her family since at least the 1960s and that she had given it to Tony to give to Mike. So from telling a reporter that she knew no more than that Tony had given it to her husband she was now effectively admitting that she had lied about that and knew a lot more of the story. Was she doing this, as has been claimed because she was under so much pressure to give Feldman a bogus story? Or was she being more calculated than this in order to deflect attention away from a forgery claim which had the potential to damage her and her family greatly?
Well of course Mike's forgery claim was going to damage Anne and her family, just by association. She was right to think so, wasn't she? He made it worse in the months to come, by dragging her into his 'confessions', but if he hadn't done that she'd still have been suspected to this day of being a silent witness to the forgery as it took shape.
Good weekend all.
__________________ "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov