Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Main
   

Introduction
Victims
Suspects
Witnesses
Ripper Letters
Police Officials
Official Documents
Press Reports
Victorian London
Message Boards
Ripper Media
Authors
Dissertations
Timelines
Games & Diversions
Photo Archive
Ripper Wiki
Casebook Examiner
Ripper Podcast
About the Casebook

Most Recent Posts:
Witnesses: Sarah and Maurice Lewis - by Sam Flynn 38 minutes ago.
Witnesses: Sarah and Maurice Lewis - by Scott Nelson 1 hour and 10 minutes ago.
Hutchinson, George: Any updates, or opinions on this witness. - by Sam Flynn 2 hours ago.
Witnesses: Sarah and Maurice Lewis - by jerryd 3 hours ago.
Hutchinson, George: Any updates, or opinions on this witness. - by Ben 3 hours ago.
Hutchinson, George: Any updates, or opinions on this witness. - by Wickerman 4 hours ago.

Most Popular Threads:
Witnesses: Sarah and Maurice Lewis - (14 posts)
Hutchinson, George: Any updates, or opinions on this witness. - (9 posts)

Wiki Updates:
Robert Sagar
Edit: Chris
May 9, 2015, 12:32 am
Online newspaper archives
Edit: Chris
Nov 26, 2014, 10:25 am
Joseph Lawende
Edit: Chris
Mar 9, 2014, 10:12 am
Miscellaneous research resources
Edit: Chris
Feb 13, 2014, 9:28 am
Charles Cross
Edit: John Bennett
Sep 4, 2013, 8:20 pm

Most Recent Blogs:
Mike Covell: A DECADE IN THE MAKING.
February 19, 2016, 11:12 am.
Chris George: RipperCon in Baltimore, April 8-10, 2016
February 10, 2016, 2:55 pm.
Mike Covell: Hull Prison Visit
October 10, 2015, 8:04 am.
Mike Covell: NEW ADVENTURES IN RESEARCH
August 9, 2015, 3:10 am.
Mike Covell: UPDDATES FOR THE PAST 11 MONTHS
November 14, 2014, 10:02 am.
Mike Covell: Mike’s Book Releases
March 17, 2014, 3:18 am.

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #321  
Old 01-05-2018, 05:54 PM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
Casebook Supporter
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Wales
Posts: 10,266
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Flower View Post
Incidentally, the way you spoke of David Orsam reflects very badly on you.
Indeed. David Orsam makes some very good points.
__________________
Kind regards, Sam Flynn

"Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #322  
Old 01-07-2018, 12:31 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
Commisioner
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 7,916
Default

A lot of things have been said in this thread and elsewhere over the past few weeks and I will set out my thoughts about them in this single post.

Who wrote the Diary?

Let me first correct the mistaken claim that I believe that Mike concocted the diary. This is something I have never said. What I have said is that Mike's acquisition of the Victorian Diary leads me to the conclusion that he was involved in forging the diary. That involvement could have been no more than obtaining the scrapbook (or not even that, simply an attempt to obtain a diary of some sort which the forger could use). Someone else might have concocted the text and someone else might have written it (and someone else might have obtained the scrapbook). Indeed, in his January 1995 affidavit, Mike claimed that Tony Devereux was involved in the preparations and research of the diary while his wife was the scribe who actually wrote it out based on some kind of pre-prepared draft or notes.

So, while I appreciate that it’s much easier for some people to pretend that I claim that Mike was the mastermind behind the diary, I never have done so.

At the same time, I have asked why the truth could not be as stated in Mike’s affidavit, allowing for an adjustment in the chronology, and have never received a satisfactory answer as to why it could not have happened.

However, I do not claim that Mike's affidavit must be true, only that his attempt to acquire a Victorian diary with blank pages suggests that he, or an associate, was wanting to forge a Victorian diary. There was a time, you know, when this statement was, for some unknown reason, regarded as very controversial but it seems that others have finally come round to my way of thinking. It's now said that Mike wanted a Victorian Diary to forge his own JTR diary after having been shown the JTR diary by Eddie Lyons. While theoretically possible it seems rather unlikely that Mike would have done this knowing that there was already a JTR diary in existence and the most simple and plausible explanation is surely that Mike's acquisition of a Victorian diary was part of a scheme to create what is now the Maybrick Diary.

One thing is for sure. It is an absolute non-sequitur to say that any conclusion I have formed holds no water because I never met Mike Barrett. Meeting him or not meeting him is irrelevant. Perhaps some people think one can look into someone's eyes and see the truth there. It doesn't work like that.

Could Mike and Anne have done it together?

So did Mike and Anne have the capacity, the creative writing skills and the imagination to write the JTR diary? Clearly the answer must be yes. This is the case regardless of whether they did or did not in fact jointly compose the text of the diary.

Mike himself was a professional freelance journalist. That is a fact. I’ve not seen any evidence of his lack of creative writing skills after March 1992 but that’s not the crucial period. Unless there is any evidence presented of his lack of creative writing skills prior to March 1992 we cannot be sure that anything produced after this was not an attempt to fool observers into thinking he did not write the diary (even if those observers believed he was trying to convince them that he had). The paradox is that, if he was lying in his 1995 affidavit, that affidavit seems to provide evidence of pretty reasonable creative writing skills as to how he forged the diary. Not to mention that he consistently told a story before this about receiving the diary from Tony Devereux which convinced a number of intelligent observers as to its veracity.

And, of course, Anne told a very detailed story about how she first saw the diary in 1968 or 1969 when she discovered it in a large metal trunk at the back of a cupboard in her bedroom. She said she asked her father about it while he was doing the pools, so he wasn’t interested in talking, but he told her that his granny’s friend had given it to her and his own mother had given it to him. He hadn’t read the diary because the writing was too small. There is a lot of detail in there such as her father doing the pools which clearly shows creative writing skills.

Then we have the whole story that she supposedly pieced together from different things her father told her about Granny Formby being a friend of the nurse who worked at Battlecrease and how, on Christmas Day, 1950, her father’s step-mother bought a suitcase with various books including the diary. Then we are told how she gave the diary to Mike via Tony so that he could use it as the basis of a book, even apologising to Tony’s family for bringing Tony into it by giving him the diary. There is imagination throughout this story. It is a story that even today cannot be broken and (if false) is surely worthy of the creator of the Maybrick diary. To say, therefore, that Anne had no creative writing skills (as one person has done on this forum), while at the same time saying that she invented the story of the diary's history, is a falsehood of the highest order.

It is said that the handwriting in the diary does not match the handwriting of Mike and Anne but that supposes that the author of the diary would have written it out in his or her own handwriting which seems to me like a daft thought.

The Electricians and the Floorboards

Sadly James Johnston ran away from this thread before having barely posted in it. While he hasn’t explained his reasons for running away I think he could see the way the wind was blowing and wasn’t prepared to defend his conclusions. It’s a real shame though because he was a sensible person who I felt I could have a rational discussion with safe in the knowledge that he wouldn’t respond with reams of nonsense, twisting or misrembering things I have said, and droning on with irrelevancies and wild speculation.

I asked him this:

But if the timesheets do not accurately record who was working at Battlecrease, both Rigby and Coufopolous could have been working in Battlecrease during week ending 21st July couldn't they? And if that is the case then is it possible that this was the week that Eddie found something which he threw into a skip (as recalled by Rigby)?

It’s a really funny thing. When I asked these two very simple questions of James Johnston I was hoping for, and indeed expecting, a yes or no answer to both of them. They are certainly capable of a yes or no answer. Sadly James ran away and another member of the forum has responded to these two questions. With yes or no answers? Don’t be so stupid! While claiming to “straighten this out” all we had was the usual obfuscation along with another mention of floorboards.

Floorboards? What do floorboards have to do with my questions? Rigby didn’t recall ANYTHING being found under the floorboards. All he remembered was Eddie throwing something out of the window which was put into a skip.

So let’s try and answer my own questions.

If the timesheets do not accurately record who was working at Battlecrease, both Rigby and Coufopolous could have been working in Battlecrease during week ending 21st July couldn't they?

Surely the answer has to be “yes”.

And if that is the case then is it possible that this was the week that Eddie found something which he threw into a skip (as recalled by Rigby)?

Again surely the answer has to be yes. There was no mention of floorboards by Rigby so why are floorboards being mentioned in what was supposed to be an attempt to “straighten things” out?

Why we then have to assume that Rawes told Rigby what Eddie had supposedly said to him on 17th July I have no idea. Rigby has never said that Rawes said anything to him about this so why should we make any such assumption?

Then we are told that “we know” that Rigby later went to see Paul Dodd, worried that he might be implicated in theft and volunteered the information that Bowling and Lyons knew something about it. Well I don’t know anything of the sort. All I know is that Rigby contacted Paul Feldman and told him that Bowling and Lyons had removed the Diary from Battlecrease. But that was really only based on his journey to Liverpool University on an unknown date with Bowling and Lyons with a mysterious package in the car.

There is absolutely no evidence at all either from Bowling or Lyons, or from Liverpool University, that the package contained the Diary (or any form of diary) but one can well imagine that, after being questioned by Feldman, Rigby put 2 and 2 together to make 5, thinking that his trip to Liverpool University with Bowling and Lyons must have been connected with the diary that Feldman was then so certain that the electricians had discovered in Battlecrease.

So what do we actually know?

Do we know that no floorboards in Battlecrease were lifted on any other day than 9 March 1992? No we don’t. This is something which has been asserted a number of times on an internet forum but assertion is not the same as evidence.

Do we know that all the timesheets of work in Battlecrease by Portus and Rhodes electricians have been produced? No we don’t. It is assumed that this is the case. I wonder how hard it would be for Colin Rhodes to confirm it in writing.

Do we know that Eddie Lyons was working in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992?
No we don’t. And according to the timesheets he was not.

Did Eddie Lyons find the diary in Battlecrease?
He says he didn’t. What is the evidence that he did? Is there anyone who has actually said they saw the Jack the Ripper diary in Eddie’s hands? I think the answer to that question is no.

Does the fact that Alan Davies was supposedly involved in a car accident on 13 June 1992 explain why he thought that the diary he had heard about before his accident might still be up for grabs? Not to me it doesn’t.

According to the Diary Defenders, Eddie had sold the diary to Mike Barrett, or come to some kind of arrangement with him, at some point prior to 13 April 1992. So why was Alan Davies still thinking that it was up for grabs on 12 June 1992? Why did he even think he was in a position to offer it up when he had evidently heard nothing about it for what seems to have been at least seven months? To me, the car accident story goes more to explaining why Alan Davies’ memory of events became affected (and faulty). And we still do not know when he had his conversation in the APS shop in Bootle. We were first told it was December 1991. Now it’s December 1992. Perhaps it was really December 1993. How can we possibly know? Where is the evidence which confirms the actual date?

Then we come to the supposed memory of Brian Rawes that Eddie Lyons told him in July that he had found something or a book or a diary which could be important and gave him the impression that it had been found recently. Well a discovery in March does not seem to be something that would be described as "recent" in July but more important than this is the question of why on earth Eddie would be telling Rawes such a thing in July at all. It makes no sense.

The Diary Defenders tell us that Eddie had come to an arrangement with Mike Barrett back in April. So what purpose was there for Eddie in blurting out this sudden admission to Rawes in July? One could understand if he was bragging about finding Jack the Ripper’s diary and telling the other electricians that he was going to be rich or something that like but that’s not what seems to have been going on at all. All we are told is that Eddie made some kind of vague, short statement out of the blue and nothing further was ever apparently said about it. No-one asked him any questions and Eddie did not elaborate. There doesn’t appear to have been any context to the statement nor does it seem to have occurred within a conversation.

In fact, what we are told happened is that Lyons deliberately walked up to the driver’s window of the P&R van and just told Rawes that he had found something under the floorboards. To me, it's not a natural conversation, it doesn’t fit with the story of a discovery in March and, surprise surprise, none of the Diary Defenders in this forum have attempted to explain it.

Robert Smith does have a crack at explaining it but his explanation is so bizarre that it’s difficult to know where to start dismantling it. According to Smith, in his book, “The only reason I could think of for Lyons feeding Rawes with an impossible date for the diary’s discovery was to avoid his being implicated in the removal of the diary from the house on or prior to Barrett’s phone call to Doreen Montgomery on 9th March 1992.” It’s an explanation that doesn’t make any sense, not least because Lyons didn’t feed Rawes with any date of the discovery and, while his words suggest he had found the diary that day, it’s not what he actually said so, as a cover story (if this is what Smith is suggesting Eddie was feeding Rawes), it was useless. And, really, for what possible reason would Eddie want to falsely give Rawes the impression in July 1992 that he had recently found something important in Battlecrease? There was no investigation being conducted at that time and no-one in the world was connecting the electricians with the diary then being examined by Dr Baxendale. What kind of possible thought process could have prompted Eddie to deliberately tell Rawes that he had found something important?

Eddie must have known that if anyone did suspect him of finding and stealing the diary (if that is what he had done) he was only incriminating himself with his statement to Rawes, albeit that he was doing it in July. Surely if he was wanting to “avoid being implicated” and had come up with such a crazy plan as the one envisaged by Smith he would have said he had found something unimportant, although where that would have got him I have no idea (it’s Smith's theory not mine).

Bear in mind that Smith said that this was the “only” reason he could think of for the Eddie/Rawes conversation and, as that suggested reason is nonsensical, it’s not difficult to come to the conclusion that no such conversation ever really happened, at least not in that form.

When I asked James Johnston if Rawes might have been influenced when speaking to Feldman, it was deliberately directed to James because he told us that he has spoken to Rawes on a number of occasions. According to Feldman he “obtained the telephone numbers of the electricians involved with the job” and asked them all questions about whether they remembered anything being found. I wanted to hear James’ view on whether it is possible that Rawes could have been influenced by speaking to Feldman. I haven’t said that Rawes did speak to Feldman. That’s why I asked the question. It doesn’t really matter whether or not Rawes spoke directly to Feldman or if he spoke to other electricians about what Feldman was saying to them. What we need to know is what Rawes knew about Feldman’s investigation and the supposed discovery of the diary prior to speaking to the police.

My point is that an innocent conversation about a discovery of something somewhere by someone could have become twisted in Rawes’ mind to become more sinister when later asked about it.

Rawes has already given three different versions of what Eddie said to him. On one occasion he found a diary. On another occasion it was merely a book. On another occasion it was even more merely “something”. As I’ve said, perhaps Eddie did find something, perhaps it was even under the floorboards and perhaps even at Battlecrease. At this point I should say it doesn’t even need to have been on a day when the floorboards were lifted if the floorboards were up for more than one day. But Eddie could have told Rawes that he (or someone) found something and, in time, in Rawes’ memory, this became a book then it became a diary then it became THE diary. Eager to help the police and perhaps believing rumours circulating amongst the electricians that Eddie must have been the one to have found the diary, he said what he did to the police. But like I’ve said, it doesn’t make any sense for Eddie to have said what he is supposed to have done in July, especially as the diary was then in London and was in Mike’s possession.

Let me develop a point that I asked James about but he ran away before we could get an answer from him.

Why did Eddie Lyons agree to be interviewed by him?

Well if the Diary Defenders are right, Eddie had a big guilty secret. He had stolen a diary and didn’t want to admit this to anyone. Surprising, therefore, that he didn't tell James to go away. Why would he want to put himself in a difficult position, and waste his time, by speaking to James when he didn’t have to? He didn’t tell James to go away. Instead he agreed to what appear to have been at least two interviews.

So what do we have here? Someone who is very happy to give up his time to tell lies? What’s he doing? Playing a game with James? Having fun sitting there lying through his teeth when he says he didn’t find the diary?

What I find most intriguing is that Eddie would have known full well that the claim being made was that he found the diary under the floorboards of the first floor in Battlecrease. So what is the one thing he would have wanted to deny having done? I suggest the answer is lifting the floorboards.

But far from saying “No, I never found the diary, I never lifted any floorboards” he apparently is saying “Yes I lifted the floorboards”.

Thus:
"I think we had floorboards up, on maybe the first floor."
Having said that, from his use of the words “think” and “maybe” he’s not absolutely certain. Thus in response to the question “Ok, and would that involve taking the floorboards up?” he said:
"I think it would have done yeah. Yeah, probably would have done."
“Probably would have done” suggests he is reconstructing which is odd. All he had to say was he has no memory of this. Yet he volunteers taking up the floorboards (or thinking that he would probably have done so).
But why? Why lie about the diary but not the floorboards

He must surely have known how incriminating this was. Yet he seems blissfully unaware that the floorboards are in any way relevant or connected with his finding the diary.

Something doesn’t seem quite right to me. But, hey, James refused to produce the entire transcript on the flimsiest of grounds. He must know how easy it would be to redact any confidential information. So I don't accept the reason he has given for failing to do so.

Without seeing the entire interview it’s hard to say what Eddie was doing and whether he was playing games with James but the irony is that if he was being honest about seeing the floorboards lifted then it would seem to follow that he was also being honest about not having found anything under those floorboards.

One other thing on this subject:

Amidst all the usual nonsense I see that it is being said that the claim that the diary was thrown into a skip was only made by Eddie Lyons to distance himself from allegations that he had taken the diary away from the house.

In fact, the first mention of something being put into a skip was by Arthur Rigby when he confidentially tipped Paul Feldman off to Eddie having found the diary. So the idea that this claim was first made by Eddie Lyons is simply wrong.

And regarding Feldman's investigation, here is what he said in his book:

"My questions were the same whomever I spoke to: Can you remember anything being found? Do you know the Saddle in Anfield…? Do you know the names Devereux and Barrett? In each case the answers were negative.

One has to seriously question whether the supposed involvement of the electricians in finding something of importance was not an idea created by the appearance in Liverpool of a film producer determined to find evidence of a discovery of this diary in Battlecrease.

The amazing coincidence

I see that it is now being said that the coincidence of the floorboards supposedly being lifted on 9 March 1992 somehow validates the claims made by the electricians in 1993 that the diary was found under the floorboards. It does not. In fact, it is no more than sloppy thinking.

It was known to everyone in 1993 that the floorboards in Battlecrease had, at some point prior to the discovery of the Diary, been lifted by the electricians and it was equally obvious to everyone that if the Diary had been found in Battlecrease the most likely place for its discovery was under the floorboards.

Indeed, in his 1993 introduction to Harrison’s book, Robert Smith said:

"I learned that electrical work had been carried out on various occasions from early 1990 until March 1992 in the Liverpool house where James Maybrick had lived and died. For the first time since 1888, floorboards were lifted and it is tempting to speculate that one of the electricians found the diary…"

Feldman, who believed that the floorboards had been lifted in 1989, summarised his thinking thus in 1997:

"Three years before [April 1992], in 1989 – for the first time since Maybrick’s death on 11 May 1889 – the floorboards in what was his bedroom had been removed. I was finding it difficult to accept that there was not a connection between the two events."


So here, on both occasions, we have a clear connection made between the lifting of the floorboards and the discovery of the Diary. That connection has absolutely nothing to do with the floorboards being lifted on 9 March 1992. On the contrary, Feldman was happy to make a link on the basis that the Diary had been discovered THREE YEARS before Mike Barrett first mentioned the Diary.

So the fact of the matter is that if the floorboards had been lifted on ANY DAY between 1 January 1989 and 9 March 1992 the exact same point about how amazing it is that the electricians had claimed in 1993 to have found the Diary under the floorboards could have been made as is being made now. That the floorboards were supposedly lifted on 9 March 1992 is neither here nor there in respect of this point. We all understand the coincidence of 9 March 1992 being the day that Mike telephoned London but that coincidence is totally unchanged with respect to the 1993 claims of the electricians.

No electrician claimed that the Diary was found on 9 March 1992. No electrician has observed or recalled that there was a great hurry on the day of the discovery to get the Diary to a third person (i.e. Mike) who would fence or sell or license the Diary. So there is nothing about the date of the discovery of the Diary in respect of the electricians’ story which adds to the coincidence that we already know about.

And is there a single electrician who recalls seeing something being discovered under the floorboards in March or otherwise? No, actually there isn’t. Rawes claims he was told by Eddie (in July) that he had discovered something under the floorboards but he didn’t witness this himself. I have already dealt above with the problems with Rawes’ story. That only leaves Davies and his APS shop yarn but this has not been properly dated. Both stories could easily have been influenced by Feldman’s belief that the diary had been discovered under the floorboards.

What of the two electricians known to have been working in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992? Did Rigby recall anything being found under the floorboards? No. Did Coufopolous recall anything being found under the floorboards? No. Does anyone recall anything being found that day? No.

And let us just consider this passage from Inside Story (2003, p. 82)

“In March 1994 Shirley Harrison and Sally Evemy journeyed to Liverpool in pursuit of information. Perhaps most significantly, they spoke to one of the electricians who had worked in Battlecrease House during the renovation work. Vinny Dring had a clear recollection of finding two books in what had been James Maybrick’s dressing room, both about 10 by 8 inches with stiff ribboned spines, which he threw into a skip.”


We don’t hear much about Vinny Dring and his alleged discovery these days do we?

We should also not forget that, according to Harrison (1998, p.307): “One version claimed that it [the Diary] had been removed from behind window panelling” but we don’t hear much about that possibility.

The truth is that the electricians appear to have said a number of contradictory things and their various stories do not confirm the discovery of the JTR diary in Battlecrease.

The Old Hoax Nonsense

Apparently someone took all the trouble to forge the Maybrick JTR diary, having checked all the facts about JTR (not so easy if it was before publication of books on the subject) not to mention facts about Maybrick, then simply put it under the floorboards “for jolly”, along with a gold ring for good measure. Perhaps the forger just owned lots of gold rings which he didn't want to keep! Are we supposed to imagine the forger giggling to himself at the prospect of someone lifting the floorboards in Battlecrease and discovering this diary and then waiting and waiting for this to happen until the day he or she died?

Perhaps they died content in the knowledge that one day the house would not be demolished or destroyed in a fire but those floorboards would surely be lifted by someone and this hilarious prank would be revealed. I mean, it’s nonsense. It’s a daft fairy story. But some people will come up with all kinds of crazy theories to avoid the obvious solution which is staring them in the face, namely that the diary was forged in 1992 and was never for one moment under the floorboards in Battlecrease.

The Ink

I have no idea what Melvin Harris believed about ink but I am not Melvin Harris and I fail to see what significance there could be in the diary ink being the same now as it was in 1992. If I found a document today that I wrote in ink in 1992 I wouldn’t expect it to be visibly different today so why is it any different for the diary?

As I have now said many times, a forger can produce a forgery on Monday and present it as old on a Tuesday. There does not need to be a period of time when the forgery matures. A diary written on a Monday in 1992 could have been presented as Victorian on a Tuesday and there would have been no reliable scientific way of proving that it wasn’t written on the Monday. The only test which could do it would be a solubility test. One which the diary failed.

Regarding Diamine, The first mention of the ink being Diamine ink appears to have been in the Liverpool Daily Post of 28 June 1994 when Paul McCue, the owner of the Bluecoat Chambers Art shop, was reported to have said, according to the reporter Harold Bough, “that Mr Barrett would probably have bought manuscript ink, supplied by Diamine, of Bank Hall, Liverpool”.

I am not aware of any additional statements having been made by Mr McCue on the subject and, as far as I understand the English language, the word "probably" does not mean "definitely" and must surely allow for the possibility that another type of ink had been selected and purchased.

Before the Maybrick Diary story, I had never heard of Diamine ink and it seems reasonable to assume that Mike Barrett had not either. If he went into the ink shop and asked for a type of ink consistent with the Victorian period it strikes me as perfectly possible that he either never took note of the name of that ink or forgot the name later. Why should he remember it? When he saw it stated in the newspaper that the ink was probably Diamine he might have incorporated this in his affidavit. Obviously if that is the case then the thousands and thousands of words devoted to the issue of whether or not the diary was or was not written with Diamine ink are a waste of time.

One Off

I don't know what Shirley Harrison said at the Liverpool Conference but I think I need to repeat that it seems very clear that she never personally spoke to anyone at a company in Kent called Traynors (or Trayners) and that she has never seen or produced any document from the 19th century (let alone the 1860s) which includes reference to a "one off" let alone a reference to “one off” meaning something unique. It's not even clear to me that any company in Kent called Traynors ever existed and I have certainly not been able to find evidence of its existence in various directories that I consulted. Further, although she has claimed that a "one off" was some sort of brick, I have never seen this mentioned in any other dictionary and she has never provided her source for this claim (unless it is also supposed to be the mysterious Traynors) but if it was a brick it seems to be utterly irrelevant to anything.

The "one off" issue causes serious problems for the Diary Defenders and they are forced to fall back on the notion that, because there are references to "one off" in 1903, this means that the expression "one off instance" could have been used in 1889. This woolly claim totally fails to understand the points I have made about the evolution of the expression "one off". In fact, any argument on this subject which fails to use the word "metaphorical" is worthless because the purported author of the Maybrick diary was using the expression "one off" in a metaphorical, as opposed to a literal, way, in that he was, in effect, taking the original concept of a unique manufactured item, pattern or design and applying it to the way he supposedly hit his wife. If the Diary was written in 1889 this not only means that the author was the first person in the world known to have used the expression "one off" metaphorically but also that such a use was not repeated in writing for at least fifty years. There are no other known uses of the expression "one off" in a metaphorical sense before the First World War. So while it is theoretically possible that "one off" could have been used to mean a unique manufactured item or design in the nineteenth century (albeit that there is no known record of this having been done) this is far from the way it is used in the Diary because the Diary does not refer to a unique manufactured item or design.

The fact that Garscadden used the expression "one off standpoint" in 1903 is neither here nor there because this was not a metaphorical expression. He was talking about a method of making a casting - but he also used the expression "two off" and, in my opinion, his series of articles from 1903/04 reflected a period of transition when "one off" was changing to mean a mere single quantity to actually meaning something unique. If I am right about this then it was literally impossible for the expression “one off instance” to have been written by anyone in 1889 because “one off” would not have borne the meaning of uniqueness at that time.

The Diary Defenders really do need to consider whether it is likely that the author of the Maybrick Diary was not only the first person in the world known to have used the expression "one off" to mean something unique but also the first person in the world to use the expression in a metaphorical way to mean something other than a manufactured item, pattern or design and it was never known to be used again by anyone in the world in such a way for at least the next fifty years.

As far as I am concerned, it is the mistake made by the forger that reveals the diary to have been written in the post-war period.
__________________
Orsam Books
www.orsam.co.uk
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #323  
Old 01-07-2018, 01:59 PM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
Casebook Supporter
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Wales
Posts: 10,266
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
As far as I am concerned, it is the mistake made by the forger that reveals the diary to have been written in the post-war period.
Indeed, and there are at least two other expressions used by the diarist(s) which, in combination with "one-off instance", put that conclusion beyond any doubt in my view.
__________________
Kind regards, Sam Flynn

"Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #324  
Old 01-07-2018, 02:58 PM
Henry Flower Henry Flower is offline
Inactive
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Hackney Wick
Posts: 1,132
Default

I agree, G, but on the other hand Caz's linking of the text to Diary of a Nobody has really stuck with me.

It's either overwhelmingly satirical in intent, or else (as you have laid-bare in admirable annotated detail) the most inept attempt by a working-class forger to mimic the writing of a reasonably well-educated middle-class Victorian. I rather hope it's the latter: the more obviously and risibly transparent the hoax, the more amusement I get from the number of people taken in by it.

But in truth, the more I read it, the less I feel certain of either option. I mean, if it's a genuine attempt, it's just plain shoddy.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #325  
Old 01-08-2018, 05:31 AM
Premium Member
caz caz is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Devon UK
Posts: 6,273
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Flower View Post
Caz - an erudite and reasonable response. I salute you, and wish you and all other posters of good-will an almost ludicrously prosperous 2018.
Thank you Henry, and the same to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Flower View Post
Come on now, spill the beans. Who wrote the darned thing?
Ah, if only I knew, I would definitely spill those beans.

And then we would have a much better idea of when it could have been written and put under the floorboards. We might even begin to guess why.

It's a very human drama, isn't it? Someone decided to set about combining the two infamous cases in this unique way, which makes that person a highly unusual individual, who wasn't like you or me, or perhaps anyone else we have ever known.

One of the biggest mistakes one can make IMHO, is to try and judge what that unknown individual would or would not do by one's own ideas of normal behaviour. It is not a normal diary, in any way, shape or form, so how can we begin to know how anyone involved in the early days, from the first documented mention of it on March 9th 1992 until it was first published in 1993, would or should have reacted to the knowledge of its existence?

And so we carry on, filling in what gaps we can, while fully acknowledging where the information is lacking, which could either support our suspicions or reveal our thinking to be completely mistaken.

I have never been more sure, despite whatever David Orsam thinks he is bringing to the party, that the diary was found when the floorboards were lifted on March 9th 1992. It's not David's fault that he does not [yet] have anything like the full picture, but it's a fact people would do well to think about as they identify all the gaps in his knowledge of what was, as well as what wasn't happening in Aigburth and Anfield in the early 1990s.

Who is employing the most speculation here, based on assumptions about people they have never met or spoken to, and their admitted lack of information about what was or wasn't done in Battlecrease, by whom and when?

Love,

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


Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #326  
Old 01-08-2018, 06:21 AM
Kaz Kaz is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 380
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by caz View Post

Who is employing the most speculation here, based on assumptions about people they have never met or spoken to, and their admitted lack of information about what was or wasn't done in Battlecrease, by whom and when?

Love,

Caz
X

Indeed, and the ones who haven't the info available really make me .... laugh.

and then

Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #327  
Old 01-08-2018, 09:15 AM
Premium Member
caz caz is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Devon UK
Posts: 6,273
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
Let me first correct the mistaken claim that I believe that Mike concocted the diary.
Good to hear it, David. So a conspiracy involving an author and/or penman/woman, happily handing over total control of the hoax to Mike, a compulsive liar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
What I have said is that Mike's acquisition of the Victorian Diary leads me to the conclusion that he was involved in forging the diary. That involvement could have been no more than obtaining the scrapbook (or not even that, simply an attempt to obtain a diary of some sort which the forger could use). Someone else might have concocted the text and someone else might have written it (and someone else might have obtained the scrapbook). Indeed, in his January 1995 affidavit, Mike claimed that Tony Devereux was involved in the preparations and research of the diary while his wife was the scribe who actually wrote it out based on some kind of pre-prepared draft or notes.
But then, you either believe Mike told the truth in his Jan 1995 affidavit about who did what, or you have to concede he was lying, at least in parts, for some as yet unexplained reason [or did he forget that he didn't obtain the scrapbook himself, despite giving the auction details?]. Tony died in August 1991 so he couldn't have obtained it, unless Mike was also lying about it coming from O&L after the 1891 diary proved unsuitable. If he could have lied at all in that affidavit, it seriously undermines its evidential value, beyond, as you also concede, the speculation it allows you concerning the original purpose behind the acquisition of the little red diary.

Yet you conceded only recently that the possibility remained [however unlikely it 'seems' to you personally] that if Mike first saw the old book signed JtR on March 9th 1992, and was as sceptical as any of us would have been, he might have wondered how easy - or hard - it would be to write one of his own and decided to find out. Your only expressed doubt concerned the 'coincidence' of Mike coming up with 11 days for transferring the draft into the scrapbook, which fit so well with the actual interval of time between rejecting the little red diary and taking the scrapbook to London. I explained why it would have been no coincidence at all, and hardly a mystery why he would have remembered it if he acquired both diaries during the brief exciting period before taking the Maybrick one to London.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
It's now said that Mike wanted a Victorian Diary to forge his own JTR diary after having been shown the JTR diary by Eddie Lyons. While theoretically possible it seems rather unlikely that Mike would have done this knowing that there was already a JTR diary in existence and the most simple and plausible explanation is surely that Mike's acquisition of a Victorian diary was part of a scheme to create what is now the Maybrick Diary.
This is where we will always part company, because what we both see as 'theoretically possible', if 'rather unlikely' on the surface, is what I see as far less unlikely than any creation scheme involving Mike. If you seriously believe he phoned a literary agency about a fake diary that had yet to be obtained, let alone written in by person or persons unknown, you're a fine one to talk about daft fairy stories.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
One thing is for sure. It is an absolute non-sequitur to say that any conclusion I have formed holds no water because I never met Mike Barrett. Meeting him or not meeting him is irrelevant. Perhaps some people think one can look into someone's eyes and see the truth there. It doesn't work like that.
Not quite like that, no. But then again, one wonders why the police ever bother to interview witnesses or suspects in person, or invite professionals to check their reactions and body language, if a handful of statements would be enough to distinguish truth from lies. Why do juries have to attend court to reach their verdicts if they could sit in the back room of a pub with all the written witness statements without meeting any of the people involved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
Could Mike and Anne have done it together?

So did Mike and Anne have the capacity, the creative writing skills and the imagination to write the JTR diary? Clearly the answer must be yes. This is the case regardless of whether they did or did not in fact jointly compose the text of the diary.
But if you are correct, David, it would only be theoretically possible. I know I couldn't have written that diary, and those who have claimed in the past that they could have done so, including Mike himself, have all failed to demonstrate it. In reality it has to boil down to how likely it is that one or other Barrett actually did so. And for that you first need evidence that the scrapbook was minus the diary when Mike first got his paws on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
It is said that the handwriting in the diary does not match the handwriting of Mike and Anne but that supposes that the author of the diary would have written it out in his or her own handwriting which seems to me like a daft thought.
So you don't believe forensic document examiners can tell if handwriting has been disguised, or observe traits that are common to both natural and disguised hands? You believe, without having any evidence for it, that Mike or Anne could have pulled off a successful disguise over 63 pages, without giving a single clue to anyone who has examined the writing that any of it was in a deliberately disguised hand? Where did the penman/woman pick up this trick?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
If the timesheets do not accurately record who was working at Battlecrease, both Rigby and Coufopolous could have been working in Battlecrease during week ending 21st July couldn't they?

Surely the answer has to be “yes”.
Only if they weren't physically elsewhere at the time.

On the day in question - Friday July 17th 1992 [the Portus & Rhodes week ending on Tuesday] - Rigby was on a roofing job at a police station in Halesowen, while Graham Rhodes confirmed that only he and Eddie Lyons were working in Battlecrease that day. Brian Rawes arrived to pick up the firm's van and as he was leaving Eddie came out and mentioned having found a diary under the floorboards [which had only been lifted on March 9th 1992]. Lyons said he thought it could be important [which fits with the fact that negotiations were going on at the time to publish the diary]. Before driving off, Rawes advised him to speak to the boss, Colin Rhodes about it, which apparently he decided against. No mention of a skip or throwing anything out of a window.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
And if that is the case then is it possible that this was the week that Eddie found something which he threw into a skip (as recalled by Rigby)?
Only if we reject all the evidence we do have and then start speculating afresh. Rigby wasn't there when Rawes claimed Lyons spoke to him, and no skip was mentioned on that occasion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
Then we are told that “we know” that Rigby later went to see Paul Dodd, worried that he might be implicated in theft and volunteered the information that Bowling and Lyons knew something about it. Well I don’t know anything of the sort.
No, but Paul Dodd does - unless he was just making it up. You are free to reject anything and everything that doesn't come signed in blood by the witness concerned, but then what would you be left with, apart from your own unsupported assumptions about what really happened, and who said what to whom and when?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
Do we know that no floorboards in Battlecrease were lifted on any other day than 9 March 1992? No we don’t. This is something which has been asserted a number of times on an internet forum but assertion is not the same as evidence.
According to Colin Rhodes and the time sheets he supplied, that was the only day when the floorboards in Maybrick's old bedroom needed to be lifted by any of the electricians who worked for him. If some other company did any other work in the house at any time, which involved lifting the boards in that room, we have yet to find any evidence of it, or of the employees concerned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
Do we know that all the timesheets of work in Battlecrease by Portus and Rhodes electricians have been produced? No we don’t. It is assumed that this is the case. I wonder how hard it would be for Colin Rhodes to confirm it in writing.
Signed in blood perhaps? How would you be convinced it was Colin's signature and not faked by someone with a vested interest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
It doesn’t really matter whether or not Rawes spoke directly to Feldman or if he spoke to other electricians about what Feldman was saying to them. What we need to know is what Rawes knew about Feldman’s investigation and the supposed discovery of the diary prior to speaking to the police.
There is no evidence that Feldman or Rawes knew anything about the other's involvement, or even knew of each other's existence. Rawes volunteered his account to the police at a time when Feldman had more or less given up on the electricians, and he gave the same account to Robert Smith in 1997. His story fits precisely with the details of the time sheet for Friday 17th July 1992, which makes it unlikely that it could have been influenced, or inspired by Feldman's speculations, via the other electricians. But which electricians? And even if Feldman had managed to contaminate things, how would that have produced in Rawes a recollection of the date and details of a conversation between himself and Lyons which hadn't actually happened?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
My point is that an innocent conversation about a discovery of something somewhere by someone could have become twisted in Rawes’ mind to become more sinister when later asked about it.
But asked about it by whom? Who would have known about any such conversation, if Rawes himself hadn't talked about it?

You ask why Eddie Lyons agreed to be interviewed by James?

Might it not have looked more suspicious if he told him to "go away"?

He wouldn't have known what James had already been told by others. If he did find the diary, but nobody was with him to witness the actual discovery, he was relatively safe to deny that bit, but it would be silly to start denying stuff which others may already have revealed concerning, for instance, the work they knew he was involved in at Battlecrease.

Did you know that Lyons also denied ever meeting Robert Smith in the Saddle with Mike Barrett? Two more things he didn't have to do, besides talking to James, yet he did them all the same. He didn't have to meet Robert Smith in the Saddle with Mike, but I think we have to accept he did so, and that he claimed on that occasion to have found a book and thrown it in a skip. He didn't have to deny all this when talking to James, yet he did so. Why? It would have been the ideal opportunity to say so, if he really had found something, quite innocently, at some other time, which was not the diary. Yet he stuck to his guns and said he never found anything at all, ever. Who was he lying to? Brian Rawes in July 1992? Robert Smith in June 1993? Or James Johnston, much more recently?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
So what do we have here? Someone who is very happy to give up his time to tell lies? What’s he doing? Playing a game with James? Having fun sitting there lying through his teeth when he says he didn’t find the diary?
See above. You tell me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
He must surely have known how incriminating this was. Yet he seems blissfully unaware that the floorboards are in any way relevant or connected with his finding the diary.
See above. Others may have recalled him being tasked with lifting the floorboards, without actually witnessing him finding or taking anything. I agree it appears incriminating, but was he fully aware that Mike had made his first diary enquiry on the same day, and did he appreciate that James was looking into this 'coincidence' of timing?

To be continued...

Love,

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



Last edited by caz : 01-08-2018 at 09:22 AM.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #328  
Old 01-08-2018, 09:32 AM
Kattrup Kattrup is offline
Detective
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Denmark
Posts: 192
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
A lot of things have been said in this thread and elsewhere over the past few weeks and I will set out my thoughts about them in this single post.
Thank you, David. Extremely well written and -argued.

Your tenacity and persistence in the face of misguided and even illmannered opposition are admirable.


I do, however, disagree when you claim several times that James Johnston "ran away" from this thread.

People participate on these boards for various reasons. Family, job, health etc. can easily become more important than answering insistent questions from a curious internet stranger - and rightly so. The fact that James Johnston was polite enough to answer several of your posts does not mean that he afterwards "ran away", merely that he left and chose not to or was unable to reply for some reason.

That is my personal interpretation, anyway. As you use the term, it implies cowardice and inability to answer you, thus further implying that you, in fact, right, and also IMHO serves to alienate James Johnston, who might feel offended and not return. Such would be a shame, since his posts, as you mention, were those of a reasonable and interested person, who might well have more insights to offer.


I don't know if you do requests, but it would certainly be interesting to hear your thoughts about the Sep. 17th Ripper-letter.

I personally have no doubts about its authenticity (i.e. it is contemporary), but I know others do.
However, that's for another thread.

Last edited by Kattrup : 01-08-2018 at 09:38 AM.
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #329  
Old 01-08-2018, 12:17 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
Commisioner
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 7,916
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattrup View Post
I do, however, disagree when you claim several times that James Johnston "ran away" from this thread.

People participate on these boards for various reasons. Family, job, health etc. can easily become more important than answering insistent questions from a curious internet stranger - and rightly so. The fact that James Johnston was polite enough to answer several of your posts does not mean that he afterwards "ran away", merely that he left and chose not to or was unable to reply for some reason.

That is my personal interpretation, anyway. As you use the term, it implies cowardice and inability to answer you, thus further implying that you, in fact, right, and also IMHO serves to alienate James Johnston, who might feel offended and not return. Such would be a shame, since his posts, as you mention, were those of a reasonable and interested person, who might well have more insights to offer.
I personally think he did run away from the discussion. His final words to me were "I have honestly shared as much as I am able. I'm sure that you will understand my position. Having said that - I am confident that more details will be forth coming in the near future. Until then, I think that shall conclude my brief spell posting on these forums..."

I don't think he had shared as much as he was able. There was plenty more he could have posted from his interviews. For example, where was the extract from his interview with Eddie Lyons denying that he found the diary?

And the way he phrased his exit clearly suggested to me that it was deliberate decision not to continue posting which was independent of such issues as family, job and health that you mention.

I did think it was a great shame that he left after such a short period of time but I'm not satisfied that he revealed to us everything that he could and should have done if his purpose was to enlighten and inform.
__________________
Orsam Books
www.orsam.co.uk
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
  #330  
Old 01-08-2018, 12:19 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
Commisioner
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 7,916
Default

I see from today's postings that we are now back to "I know something you don't know". After years and years of waiting for the supposedly "compelling" Battlecrease provenance evidence, when the big reveal came, complete with an expensively produced "True Facts" publication from Robert Smith, it failed to convince almost everyone so now we are back to being told that there is much more evidence but unfortunately it's all secret. Just the same type of argument that Pierre and every other chancer on this forum uses.

Mind you, it's not even clear if there is any more evidence or it is just hoped that there will be more to emerge.

One can only deal with the evidence that is known and on that evidence, in the light of Mike's known attempt to acquire a Victorian diary with blank pages and the known use of the twentieth century expression "one off instance" in the Diary, it's difficult to conceive of any explanation other than a modern forgery.

I can only repeat that my line of enquiry on this forum has been to (repeatedly) ask why Mike and Anne could not have jointly forged the diary and I have still not received any form of satisfactory response.

But what makes me laugh is that the person who has spent most of this thread speculating about what Mike Barrett and others did on and after 9 March 1992, and how they would have reacted to the discovery of the Diary, now tells us that doing so is one of the "biggest mistakes" that can be made! Yes, indeed.
__________________
Orsam Books
www.orsam.co.uk
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.