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  • #91
    Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post
    Afternoon Trev,



    So are you suggesting the complaint by the Sunday Times was live when the diary was published, on 4th October 1993; live when Scotland Yard began its investigation, on 20th October 1993; and still live when they interviewed Mike Barrett on 22nd October 1993? How about when they finally interviewed Robert Smith, on 19th November 1993?

    Do you have a date for when the Sunday Times withdrew their complaint? Don't forget, the police investigation was not into Mike Barrett, but into Robert Smith, and whether or not he had knowingly published a fraudulent document.

    Love,

    Caz
    X
    Hi Caz

    I cant comment on the points you raised because I dont have that information and I doubt it will be in the public domain. I can only comment on how the police deal with complaints.

    I think the allegation against Smith from the Sunday Times was that he obtained monies from the Sunday Times by deception by purporting that the diary was a genuine article.

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

    Comment


    • #92
      Hi Trevor,

      Thanks. So you don't actually know when the Sunday Times dropped their allegations?

      Yet you seemed to imply that this was the only reason why Scotland Yard was unable to charge anyone.

      The fact is that the police completed their investigations in Liverpool and London, but failed to obtain the evidence required to charge Robert Smith. This had nothing to do with the Sunday Times withdrawing their complaint.

      Love,

      Caz
      X

      I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

      Comment


      • #93
        One outstanding post for me to address:

        Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
        Anne's own account is that when she learned of Barrett's plan to take the "Diary of Jack the Ripper" to a literary agent in London she attempted to destroy the scrapbook (by burning it), panicked, and even physically fought Barrett. This is all included in Anne's own statement, taped by Feldman, for the benefit of Harrison and Montgomery in 1994. Of course, Anne knew the typescript was now a full-fledged scam, as I have repeatedly said.
        I'm just trying to think through the timeline here, assuming RJ is working with the premise that Mike didn't obtain the scrapbook until 31st March 1992, because this was the only date when he could have attended an auction at O&L, after the little 1891 diary had arrived in the post, and less than two weeks before the Maybrick diary was seen in London, on 13th April 1992.

        If the person who held the pen was Anne - and I don't recall RJ having anyone else in reserve for the role - I am struggling with the image of her spending those early days of April, carefully copying out her own typescript into Mike's doctored scrapbook, in handwriting that would not be identifiable as her own, only to panic when she saw the finished, fully-fledged scam she had just created, and put up a physical fight with Mike in an effort to burn the offending article. How did she think this could possibly end well, if he had spent the last few evenings standing over her, making her fill those 63 pages? What if she had succeeded in destroying it? If she was too intimidated by her husband of 16 years to protest, when bullied into faking the equivalent of the Hitler Diaries, while young Caroline watched, how did she suddenly find the courage to fight him over it, before conceding defeat? I doubt Anne would have taken any comfort from Mike claiming that the fake she had just helped him to create for the sake of marital peace would not be strictly illegal, in the same way the Hitler hoaxer ended up in prison.

        Anyway, according to a spontaneous admission made by the daughter Caroline Barrett to Paul Begg, this physical altercation described by Anne took place on the kitchen floor, which is the room where stoves are located, and objects are sometimes burned. Thus, I consider this spontaneously account to be corroborative evidence that what Anne later admitted to was true. She did try to physically destroy the scrapbook when Barret brought it home and went at it with a Stanley knife.
        Oh my goodness, this is only getting worse! So we are meant to believe Anne tried to burn the scrapbook when Mike first brought it home and began preparing it - before anyone could have been accused of obtaining it for a hoax? And then - what? Mike forced her into creating the hoax from the scrapbook and meekly giving it back to him so he could bake it in the oven or give it the old sun lamp treatment?

        And this is meant to be more plausible than Anne being instinctively wary of having anything to do with the old book, after Mike brought it home and couldn't tell her where it came from, because he didn't know himself, but suspected it had been nicked? For Mike - a man on the make, who could lie for England - this would have been an opportunity that was far too good to let go. Not so for Anne, who could only have foreseen trouble ahead.

        We are only given small snapshots of what was taking place in Anne and Mike's house in 1992, but those snapshots paint a vivid enough picture: Anne resisted.
        As anyone would in the circumstances I just described. I wonder why RJ will not even consider this a possibility, when his own explanation sounds so contrived and has its foundations in the words of a liar.

        To be continued... the garden and the sunshine beckon.

        Love,

        Caz
        X
        I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

        Comment


        • #94

          Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post
          And this is meant to be more plausible than Anne being instinctively wary of having anything to do with the old book, after Mike brought it home and couldn't tell her where it came from, because he didn't know himself, but suspected it had been nicked? For Mike - a man on the make, who could lie for England - this would have been an opportunity that was far too good to let go. Not so for Anne, who could only have foreseen trouble ahead.
          As ever, Caz, you have a sharp eye for the feeling of the moment: Not so for Anne, who could only have foreseen trouble ahead. One can instantly sense the incipient danger she felt had entered the house and her maternal instincts must have kicked-in on overdrive, needing to protect her daughter from what was rather patently a controversial and most likely 'liberated' artefact. Her distrust of the scrapbook presumably started right there and then on Day One and simply had grown from there.

          But is there any evidence that the scrapbook first appeared in 12 Goldie Street during that week of March 9-13, 1992? Yes there is. Mike Barrett's attempt to purchase a doppelgänger from HP Bookfinders shows us that he was concerned that he might lose possession of this rather priceless old book so he was desperately seeking something he could pass off as his 'Victorian Diary' should the rightful owner come knocking at the door, perhaps along with a squad of bizzies with lights flashing and sirens blaring.

          You and I appear to be fully-aligned on the madness of believing that the Barretts had anything to do with the creation of this most remarkable scrapbook. Thankfully, Mike's call to HP Bookfinders confirms our beliefs. The alternative view - I have occasionally heard - is that Mike was seeking a suitable vehicle to write-up his hoaxed text into, but that leaves the rather tricky problem of why he put himself under such intolerable pressure by agreeing to take something which didn't actually exist at that point to a London literary agent on Monday, April 13, 1992. One might have imagined that he would have simply waited until he was happy that he had a product to sell to them?

          Regards,

          Tom

          Comment


          • #95
            Continued from yesterday...

            Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
            Anne's reaction to the discovery that her husband had bought a blank Victorian diary from Martin Earl in far-off Oxford is also interesting. She claims to have been angry at the purchase and threw the cheque at him when she was forced to pay for it. I believe her. The account is again credible--we have been told that Anne signed the cheque, but the other details on it were filled out by Barrett himself. Does that sound like Anne was a willing participant in Barrett's scam?
            No, but it isn't evidence that Anne was any kind of participant in a scam by Mike to upstage the Hitler Diaries hoaxer.

            RJ tells us that what he believes the Barretts did was not the same, and not even strictly illegal, because there was no attempt to claim the diary as proof of Jack the Ripper's identity, leaving that to others to determine either way. RJ fails to explain how Anne was meant to trust Mike not to make any wild claims of that nature for his brainchild, when she wasn't around and had no control over what he was telling Doreen and Shirley about it, and later Robert Smith.

            The fact is, Mike could hardly have claimed the diary was genuine after telling Doreen how his late friend Tony had given it to him with no explanation. There is no evidence that Anne even knew this was going to be his story until he had told it and it was too late. No doubt she'd have seen the snags a mile off: what would Tony's family say? What if he hadn't died when he did? What would Mike say he was doing with the diary all that time, before deciding to contact anyone about it? Little wonder she suggested that he write a story based on the content, rather than try to publish the book itself. One lie about where and when he got it was bound to lead to others, less easy to maintain.

            No, this was no conscious decision on Mike's part to avoid making a fraudulent claim to authenticity; on the contrary, it was merely his lame excuse for not having a sodding clue where the old book had been, or who had owned it, before he first clapped eyes on that last page and was transfixed. His call to Doreen on 9th March 1992, using a false name, was the spontaneous reaction of a scallywag seizing the day and leaving the rest to chance. He'd worry about any unforeseen consequences or challenges another day. Everything flows from that point, without any need for conjuring up implausible scenarios requiring an invisible auction ticket, linseed oil and a kidney stain.

            The handwriting didn't even resemble Maybrick's!! He would be sent back to Liverpool from London with a sore backside from being kicked out the door. Anne admits being shocked that the publishing deal went ahead. Everyone around the Barretts in 1992-1993 says the same thing: Anne just kept her head down.
            And Anne would have known the handwriting didn't resemble Maybrick's - how? Only if she wrote it herself. And if she did that much, she could have made sure it was a blatantly obvious fictionalised account of both the ripper murders and Maybrick's final year on earth. How would Mike have recognised the difference, and what could he have done about it, when he was booted out of Doreen's office? If he wasn't going to hold the handwriting against her, the same would have applied to the content. I still think RJ is failing to think this scenario through sufficiently, as I can see holes you could drive the Liverpool to London train through.

            Anne was wrong to predict that Mike would be sent packing, but isn't it more likely that she knew he had lied about the provenance and was likely to tell further lies, any of which could catch him out? A stranger to the truth, turning up with Jack the Ripper's diary of all things? I can see perfectly well why his wife would be expecting Doreen to say to herself: "This Scouser has got to be kidding!" Anne would be hoping for that outcome too, knowing that if Mike could not even tell her where the diary really came from, he'd need to keep the truth from potential publishers, who would put far more pressure on him.

            Is Caz really trying to suggest that victims of abuse don't sometimes humor their abusers in dodgy schemes--however unwillingly--just hoping against hope that the scheme will simply blow over? That on occasion they might simply relent to make it through another day?
            I was in an abusive relationship from 1984 to 2011, so I do have a little personal experience of how to make it through another day. He had no interest in cutting down on his heavy drinking, which was the sole cause of the verbal and emotional abuse in my case, but thank goodness he could never have pressured me into doing anything - dodgy or otherwise - that would have been totally against my will or better judgement. It would never have worked anyway, because as abuse victims quickly learn, there is no pleasing - or humouring - the abuser. That's kind of the point. An abuse victim can never do right for doing wrong, because their abuser will use any excuse to find fault, so they can feel better about themselves for not dealing with their own. The idea that Anne could have made it with Mike to 1992, without having learned this painful lesson, is fanciful in the extreme. Besides, we know their relationship collapsed entirely just two years later, so even if she had been naive enough to believe that helping her husband of 16 years to fake Jack the Ripper's diary might actually 'humour' him enough to stop or reduce the abuse, she'd have been proved utterly wrong.

            I see a woman, trying to make her marriage work, when her husband arrived home one day with something that could almost be guaranteed to make things infinitely worse, not better.

            Anne reports that she was emotionally and physically abused by Barrett and there is evidence to back this up. That means, when it comes to 'cooperating' with Barrett---willingly or unwillingly--all bets are off.
            I disagree that all bets are off, for reasons I have given above.

            As I have already stated, I think there are strong indications that Anne very much fought against Mike and his scheme, but eventually relented, hoping the whole plot would implode. The typescript (which I believe preceded the physical diary) is another matter. There is no indication that Anne at that point knew Barrett's intentions or that Barrett even initially had those intentions.
            So was it purely by chance that Anne had stuck with the chosen source materials, with Bernard Ryan as their sole Maybrick source, and had based what RJ describes as her 'novella' on the reported facts of both murder mysteries, without straying into creative fiction - which would have been good for effect and easier to manage, but disastrous for Mike's intentions? I still can't fathom how this could have worked out so well in practice, if there was no intention on Anne's part to deceive the reader, and if Mike could not have distinguished fact from fiction, in the event that she had produced for him a clear example of the latter, for any ripper or Maybrick historian to see.

            I also think she was terrified that Barrett had dragged her into a fiasco that might lead to jail--for him if not for her--and she would have immediately cut and run (which she eventually did, anyway) if the situation wasn't complicated by the fact that she was married to him, and they had a young daughter. It must have been a terrible dilemma for her, but eventually she ditched Barrett, going even against the tenets of her faith. She has stated that she began divorce proceedings the day after Mike started confessing to the hoax.
            So not a dilemma at all for the family, when Mike brought home an 'iffy' scrapbook and proceeded to lie to all and sundry about where he got it, and was determined to get a publishing deal for it? It's the same problem, if Anne feared it belonged to someone else and Mike didn't obtain it via legitimate means. Mike's 'confessions' only took the old book out of the stolen frying pan and put it into the fire. He said it was evil, believing it had caused him to lose everything - his wife, his only child and his health. He only had his own behaviour to blame, of course, but an abusive drunk will always shift the responsibility elsewhere.

            Other than generally keeping her head down, the only time I think Anne protected herself--how effectively I will leave for others to decide--is when Barrett started admitting to the scam and she had to undermine his efforts by suddenly and unexpectedly changing the entire story of the diary's history by claiming SHE had had the diary for years, had given it to Devereux, and indeed that it had been in her family for decades.
            The 'entire story' of the diary's history had previously consisted of Mike getting the diary unexpectedly from Devereux, and not being told a thing about it. That was it. Anne's story didn't 'change' Mike's; it offered a prequel to it, to explain how Devereux got it, and why he told Mike nothing. How could Anne have thought an unprovable story like that would 'undermine' Mike's efforts to confess, if all he had to do was to produce a single piece of documentary evidence to prove where and when he obtained the scrapbook? She must have known he couldn't do that, and relied instead on nobody coming forward to disprove her story by confessing to where the diary had really been before Mike came home with it. She probably considered her story to be a white lie, in that it allowed for the diary to have been in Battlecrease, but to have emerged long before Eddie ever set foot in the place.

            To my mind, this explains a lot, is very suggestive—and, incidentally, is very damning to the barmy and unproven 'Battlecrease' provenance.
            It's only as 'barmy' as RJ so desperately needs it to sound, to make it appear barmier than his own flights of fancy. There is much circumstantial evidence to speak of an emergence on 9th March 1992, but none whatsoever for Mike's claimed auction attendance on any date, and as for the fabled 11 day creation of the diary, between the last day of March and 13th April, I suspect even Melvin Harris and Nick Warren would not have gone that far down the rabbit hole.

            Inherently, any intelligent person would know that her story would point suspicion at her, rather than away from her.
            So Anne was not only incredibly naive, concerning her supposed attempt to 'humour' her abusive husband by helping him create this fake, but apparently she didn't have the intelligence to know her story would point suspicion at her, rather than away from her? But she only had to be intelligent enough to know that suspicion is not the same as evidence, so what would she care, as long as she knew Mike had no evidence to confirm what suspicious minds wanted to believe?

            The only reason someone would do what Anne did at this point is if they were somehow involved in the creation of the scam--willingly or unwillingly--and feared their husband could prove it. Her ex-husband being a receiver of stolen goods would not elicit such a response.
            That makes zero sense. If Mike could have proved it, Anne's unprovable story would have cut no ice at all, and merely proved her to be a liar as well as complicit in his fraud. She knew her story would resist any attempts by Mike to support his false forgery claims, or she would indeed have remained silent and feigned ignorance.

            Caz and the diary crowd believe that my 'theory' makes no sense, but what I think is really bothering them...
            I can't speak for anyone else, but nothing is bothering me about any of this. I don't keep disappearing, leaving questions unanswered, only to emerge with a change of tack when the coast looks clear.

            Love,

            Caz
            X
            I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by Tom Mitchell View Post
              You and I appear to be fully-aligned on the madness of believing that the Barretts had anything to do with the creation of this most remarkable scrapbook. Thankfully, Mike's call to HP Bookfinders confirms our beliefs. The alternative view - I have occasionally heard - is that Mike was seeking a suitable vehicle to write-up his hoaxed text into, but that leaves the rather tricky problem of why he put himself under such intolerable pressure by agreeing to take something which didn't actually exist at that point to a London literary agent on Monday, April 13, 1992. One might have imagined that he would have simply waited until he was happy that he had a product to sell to them?
              What if Barrett had the scrapbook for some time and then right after meeting Lyons, got a short deadline to bring it to the literary agent. Then, Mike thinks he can do better than what he was given and after various aborted attempts to write his own version of a Maybrick Diary, gives up when the appointment time looms near and turns over what he already had?

              Comment


              • #97
                Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post

                What if Barrett had the scrapbook for some time and then right after meeting Lyons, got a short deadline to bring it to the literary agent. Then, Mike thinks he can do better than what he was given and after various aborted attempts to write his own version of a Maybrick Diary, gives up when the appointment time looms near and turns over what he already had?
                It's complicated, Scott, and perhaps more possible than plausible, but I'd have to agree that it is at very least possible ...

                Regards,

                Tom

                Comment


                • #98
                  Hi Tom,

                  Are you any relation to the ND Mitchell who tweeted he/she was distantly related to JM?

                  I’m still looking for relatives to fill out his tree.

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	26F23AF3-5F56-4693-B3ED-7A8896ADF566.jpg Views:	0 Size:	76.2 KB ID:	595717

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Markus Aurelius Franzoi View Post
                    Hi Tom,

                    Are you any relation to the ND Mitchell who tweeted he/she was distantly related to JM?

                    I’m still looking for relatives to fill out his tree.
                    Hi Mark,

                    It's good to see you back on JtR Forums (or is it I who is back?).

                    I don't think ND Mitchell is any relation. The name is relatively common so I doubt there is a link at my side and - as he was rather patently Jack the Ripper - I think you'll be struggling for volunteers!

                    Regards,

                    Tom

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post

                      What if Barrett had the scrapbook for some time and then right after meeting Lyons, got a short deadline to bring it to the literary agent. Then, Mike thinks he can do better than what he was given and after various aborted attempts to write his own version of a Maybrick Diary, gives up when the appointment time looms near and turns over what he already had?
                      Hi Scott,

                      I've just re-read your post. Were you suggesting that Barrett had the fully-completed scrapbook for some time before meeting Eddie Lyons (presumably on March 9, 1992) which inspired him to contact Rupert Crew and agree to meet them with his 'Jack the Ripper diary' on April 13 and - in the meantime - attempted a number of versions to improve on what he had but failed so ended-up falling back on the one he had anyway?

                      If this is the case, you'd obviously have to also suggest the answer to a few questions, including:
                      • How did he already have it (what could its provenance have been - still the Tony Deverux one from 1991?)
                      • What could Eddie Lyons possibly have said to him to inspire him to act as suddenly as he did ("I've just had the floorboards up at that old house James Maybrick died in", perhaps?)
                      • Why would Barrett have felt the need to put himself through so much additional - and ultimately fruitless - cost and effort when he already had what he had every reason to think might be the authentic record of Jack's murderous thoughts?
                      Regards,

                      Tom

                      Comment


                      • Hi Tom, Scotty,

                        Before I do my own disappearing act, to prepare for family coming to stay with us, I'd just add that Mike may not yet have got his hands on the old book containing the diary when he first called Doreen about it. He may just have seen that last page of writing and become determined to buy or con his way into owning it.

                        Eddie Lyons would not have been in a position to do what Mike did next, so I could certainly see a smooth-talking Mike persuading him that he had all the right "contacts", who would ask no questions and offer a fair price, if he could just take the book and show it to them. He'd be doing Eddie a favour by taking on the business of finding a buyer [rather than a publisher at this stage, which would most likely have spooked Eddie] in exchange for a percentage of the spoils. No money need have changed hands at that point. A gold watch would have been a different matter, because anyone finding one could simply take it to a jeweller who would buy it for cash, no questions asked.

                        I suspect Mike had no intention of finding a buyer for Eddie, and I wonder if he ever came back to him with any cash. What could Eddie have done realistically - apart from possibly threatening to beat Mike up when he never saw the diary again or a sniff of any of the money Mike would earn from publishing it?

                        Love,

                        Caz
                        X
                        I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

                        Comment


                        • hi
                          i dont want to sound like a plum here but,
                          has any one else thought this diary was written by a Maybrick or someone else at the right time (1888 -1890s) but as a mad rambling hoax as it was perhaps trendy just as much as sending into the newspapers letters ,and then left forgotten as more urgent needs arose.
                          i read the threads,
                          and it,s a question that came to mind.
                          or has this been discussed on another previous thread. if so please send me link.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by milchmanuk View Post
                            hi
                            i dont want to sound like a plum here but,
                            has any one else thought this diary was written by a Maybrick or someone else at the right time (1888 -1890s) but as a mad rambling hoax as it was perhaps trendy just as much as sending into the newspapers letters ,and then left forgotten as more urgent needs arose.
                            i read the threads,
                            and it,s a question that came to mind.
                            or has this been discussed on another previous thread. if so please send me link.
                            Hi Milchmanuk,

                            At the risk of flattering myself, you might want to have a read of the original post in the thread I started back in 2012 in Forums/Persons of Interest or Actual Suspects/James Maybrick called The Diary's Fingerprints. My argument then (and now) is that there simply wasn't an individual alive who could have compiled both the Maybrick knowledge and the London police knowledge simultaneously, with the sole exception of that arch-fiend Michael Maybrick who, of course, Bruce Robinson fingered in his epic and outstanding (though ultimately incorrect) They All Love Jack (I wrote to him recently, by the way, and it seems there is not to be a follow-up edition which I think is a great shame).

                            It is nigh-on impossible for the Victorian scrapbook to be a hoax - only Michael Maybrick could realistically have had the connections to write it, and he does have to remain the most likely candidate after James, but if James wrote it, it was genuine. The one thing making it 'nigh-on impossible' for James or Michael Maybrick to have hoaxed the scrapbook is the reference within it to Florence Maybrick's initials at Kelly's death scene. He (whichever it was) could not possibly have known about them if what he created was a hoax. If what he created was not a hoax, of course, then we have our men, and need only then wonder which was the man. Thus, either way, the scrapbook could not have been created in the late Victorian period as a hoax, only by Jack as an authentic record of his crimes, whether the author be James or Michael Maybrick.

                            If it isn't authentic, then it must have been hoaxed post-1986 because in 1987 certain information came into the public domain which was not common knowledge beforehand. The police in the late Victorian period could have shared this information with Michael Maybrick, of course, but they couldn't have shared the fact that Florence's initials were daubed onto Kelly's wall because this was not then known (and couldn't realistically have been spotted until Dan Farson's 1972 work was published as the quality of the reprints before then were very poor). The post-1986 hoaxer, bear in mind, still has to be the first person to ever spot Florence's initials on Kelly's wall and to use them to work backwards from the initials to Florence Maybrick and, thus, to the otherwise innocent James Maybrick who rather conveniently just keeps fitting what we know about Jack (almost as if he's positively crying-out to be Jack).

                            I would strongly suggest that, taking all of this into account, and given that the scrapbook argument still rages thirty years on, that the real answer to the quandary is simply that James Maybrick wrote the contents of the Victorian scrapbook and that he was, therefore, Jack the Ripper.

                            Regards,

                            Tom

                            Comment



                            • Hi Tom and Caroline, this is all theory:[*] How did he already have it (what could its provenance have been - still the Tony Deverux one from 1991?)

                              It was given to Anne by Devereux to give to Mike, or given directly to Mike. Mike and Tony actually discussed the diary story on more than one occasion, so early on Mike knew who the story was about.[*] What could Eddie Lyons possibly have said to him to inspire him to act as suddenly as he did ("I've just had the floorboards up at that old house James Maybrick died in", perhaps?)

                              Eddie had just come from Battlecrease where workmates told him about a document having been found some time (years?) before. Eddie didn't have the diary with him when he met Mike in the Saddle pub. But this meeting triggered the idea for a diary provenance, so Mike called the literary agent that day.[*] Why would Barrett have felt the need to put himself through so much additional - and ultimately fruitless - cost and effort when he already had what he had every reason to think might be the authentic record of Jack's murderous thoughts?

                              Mike may have known that Devereux rewrote the diary from an older version found in Maybrick's house by workmen. This older document eventually came into Devereux's possession. Mike's ego and aspirations of professional writing were such that he decided not to turn Devereux's version over to the agent after making the phone call, but to try and produce his own version. Not finding a suitable blank diary after several attempts, he gave up as the meeting date grew near.

                              Mike may have known Devereux had the original diary (although Mike nor anybody else has ever seen it) and that it could have been Maybrick's Diary, although I think it may have been Harry Dam's co-creation with some one else.



                              Caroline: I thought Eddie Lyons said he didn't have the diary when he met Mike in the Saddle pub?

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                                It was given to Anne by Devereux to give to Mike, or given directly to Mike. Mike and Tony actually discussed the diary story on more than one occasion, so early on Mike knew who the story was about.
                                Theorising is great, Scott, but - if every poster did it - we would be drowning in a sea of uncorroborated notions which would help none of us get safely to shore again. Are you able to offer ny corroboration for the claims, above?

                                Eddie had just come from Battlecrease where workmates told him about a document having been found some time (years?) before. Eddie didn't have the diary with him when he met Mike in the Saddle pub. But this meeting triggered the idea for a diary provenance, so Mike called the literary agent that day.
                                Your theory shifts in just a few words from Eddie being told about a document having been found some time - possibly years - earlier in Battlecrease House to "Eddie didn't have the diary with him when he met MIKE in The Saddle pub". Do you see the rather obvious leap of faith as you shift instantly from Eddie being told an old story to his having the artefact himself and meeting MIKE BARRETT in the pub where, presumably, a deal was struck and MIKE took possession of the scrapbook. Can you fill in the blanks? How did Eddie come into possession of the scrapbook so that he could sell it to MIKE?

                                Mike may have known that Devereux rewrote the diary from an older version found in Maybrick's house by workmen. This older document eventually came into Devereux's possession. Mike's ego and aspirations of professional writing were such that he decided not to turn Devereux's version over to the agent after making the phone call, but to try and produce his own version. Not finding a suitable blank diary after several attempts, he gave up as the meeting date grew near.

                                Well, as I said the other day, it's possible if not particularly plausible. What has led you to form this opinion? The evidence shows that he made one attempt to purchase a blank Victorian diary. No other attempts to purchase or procure anything he might have used for his mooted 'better' diary are known about. Do you have any corroborating evidence to support this expansion of what we know into what we don't know?

                                Mike may have known Devereux had the original diary (although Mike nor anybody else has ever seen it) and that it could have been Maybrick's Diary, although I think it may have been Harry Dam's co-creation with some one else.

                                I'm relieved to see that you haven't dispensed with your Harry Dam theory, but we must turn again to what might transform the possible into the plausible. What corroborating evidence do you have which has inspired you to add so many complicating details to what otherwise would be a fairly Occam's razor-friendly tale?

                                Caroline: I thought Eddie Lyons said he didn't have the diary when he met Mike in the Saddle pub?

                                Eddie Lyons never made this claim, not even once, Scott. Why did you think he did?

                                Regards,

                                Tom
                                Last edited by Tom Mitchell; August 12, 2022, 12:22 PM. Reason: Huge correction on the Tony Devereux confusion - I should, of course, have been referring to Mike Barrett.

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