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

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  #101  
Old 09-17-2014, 08:37 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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But of course a major weakness is that Maybrick, it appears, was a reasonably intelligent man. Yet we are expected to accept that he wrote out a diary which if found and accepted as true could only have one result for James.
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There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.
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  #102  
Old 09-17-2014, 09:43 PM
Dictionary Brown Dictionary Brown is offline
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Giving it my own smell test, here's what I find plausible about the diary (or more accurately, what I find implausible about a forgery):

The verse writing. There's a surprising amount of it, and if the diary is a forgery, then it's creative writing within creative writing. I doubt a contemporary forger, unless notably gifted at writing, would do more than the minimum amount of verse within the forgery, if they thought of it at all. How does verse incriminate James as JTR specifically? I know James' stated reason was sibling rivalry, but how does that detail of verse serve the contemporary forgers? Maybe I'm missing something, but the amount of creative writing in the diary, including lists of rhyming words, smells authentic. It's not just writing, it's extensive re-writing as well. Add to that a complete page of verse all scratched out. Either the forgers were writing their first draft as their final draft (a bold and risky move), or they were pretty darned smart to include such a persistent yet unnecessary detail, for authenticity's sake alone.

I seriously doubt that any contemporary forger whose intent was to provide Florence with a forgivable motive would incriminate her at the end of the diary. If the diary was meant to help Florence in her legal case, the diary should have ended with James' suicidal overdose, and not with James requesting Florence to administer a lethal dose. Sure, it's an open question as to whether or not she would/did, but if they had diary in hand and accepted as authentic, the authorities would have been confronted with two facts: 1. James asked Florence to give him a lethal dose, and 2. James Maybrick then died. Alternatively, a forged diary that ended with James intending to take a suicidal overdose would have gotten her off the hook, as well as a boatload of post acquittal sympathy to boot. I see no logical reason to forge the diary for Florence's benefit and then use it incriminate her especially when absolving her would have only taken a few strokes of a pen.

How would the contemporary forger know that the Ripper murders would end?

Why would contemporary forgers trying to sully James' name go to the trouble to make him seem remorseful or sympathetic? It's a touch I would expect from a modern hoaxer, but if was a contemporary hoax to attack James posthumously (why anyone would feel that was even necessary is beyond me) why expend any energy at all making him seem the slightest bit remorseful or tortured about his actions? If James was not Jack the Ripper, it would stand to reason that he probably wasn't as bad as JTR. So, what did Maybrick do that was so bad that it would make someone want to frame him as JTR just to ruin his legacy? And motivate them to also forge a confession on a watch as well? And if their goal was to besmirch his name, why go to any effort to make him sympathetic? It just doesn't wash.

Looking over the facsimile and judging from the handwriting alone, it certainly appears to have been written over multiple sittings. The ink seems uneven when some entries are compared, and the size of the handwriting varies. Some paragraphs are written very tightly and with tiny print, while others the line spacing widens and tilts. Later in the text, the writing stretches out and gets a bit larger, which I would interpret as someone writing quickly and with heated emotion. Right after "the bitch the bitch the bitch", the next entry is in small, tightly controlled letters. And the diary is never more formal than in the last page. I believe only in the final pages did Maybrick begin acclimating himself to the thought that he might let the diary be found after his death. I believe the majority of the diary was meant for his eyes only, as a way of planning and reliving his crimes.
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  #103  
Old 09-17-2014, 10:09 PM
Dictionary Brown Dictionary Brown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GUT View Post
But of course a major weakness is that Maybrick, it appears, was a reasonably intelligent man. Yet we are expected to accept that he wrote out a diary which if found and accepted as true could only have one result for James.
Right away he acknowledges that keeping the diary might be dangerous.

Quote:
I am beginning to believe it is unwise to continue writing. If I am to down a whore then nothing shall lead the pursuers back to me, and yet there are times when I feel an overwhelming compulsion to put my thoughts to paper. It is dangerous, that I know. If Smith should find this, then I am done before my campaign begins. However, the pleasure of writing off all that lays ahead of me, and indeed the pleasure of thoughts of deeds that lay ahead of me, thrills me so. And what deeds I shall commit.
Later in the diary he wonders if he should destroy it. Then he reaffirms that he enjoys planning and reliving his deeds in writing. From what I understand, many serial killers keep incriminating souvenirs of their crimes, so it's not really that unusual.

I believe the man who was Jack the Ripper would have such an outsized ego to keep a journal such as this. He not only has serious egomania, he has huge blind spots I would expect from someone in the deep throes of an addiction to deadly poison as well as an obvious mental disorder. The diarist claims that "nothing shall lead the pursuers back to me", when (assuming the diary is real) he writes a diary, scratches a confession on a watch, leaves clues at crime scenes, writes letters to papers and police, and takes body parts home with him!
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  #104  
Old 09-28-2014, 09:35 AM
MayBea MayBea is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dictionary Brown View Post
... If the diary was meant to help Florence in her legal case, the diary should have ended with James' suicidal overdose, and not with James requesting Florence to administer a lethal dose.
DB, you've done an admirable job highlighting the weakness of the old hoax theory. I hope you add your vote to the Vote the Diary thread.

I don't think there should even be an Old Hoax Theory option. At best, it should be called Old Document theory, for those who don't want to make a decision on authenticity.
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