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  • The Diary's Fingerprints

    Every artefact in any crime tells a little of the story of the event it contributed to and potentially shaped – perhaps to only the most meagre and modest of degrees (for example, a tiny speck of blood betraying the direction of blood flow) or possibly profoundly and tellingly and the reason for the solution to that crime being finally uncovered (for example, fingerprints on a bloodied knife). Whether profoundly or superficially, each artefact of the crime invariably speaks to some degree of the perpetrator of it also – the tool inevitably carries some of the marks of the anvil which created it and the anvil invariably carries some of the marks of the tool … and that interplay therefore informs us not only of the crime but also of the criminal.

    For years I have assumed that this principle would also be true of the Maybrick diary – that the diary in itself would tell of the person who created it. If this were so – if the diary tells not only its own tale but some of that of its author – what would we glean about the life, knowledge, and skills of the author of the James Maybrick diary?

    The Household Insights

    It seems reasonable to say that the author of the diary knew much about the Maybrick household of 1888 and 1889. What does that knowledge tell us about the author? He (and for convenience I’ll refer to the author as male, but there is clearly no assuming it to be so) tells us much about the Maybrick household which could be comfortably – if never effortlessly - gleaned from personal knowledge, the trial evidence and the newspapers of the day, or one of the books on Florence’s trial which emerged then (as they do now) so soon after the event. Easily uncovered detail would include:
    · Maybrick’s brothers’ names (Michael, Edwin, Thomas, and William).
    · The children’s’ common names (Gladys and Bobo).
    · That Maybrick left Florence alone during Christmas of 1888 (we don’t know where Maybrick was, but the author uses this knowledge nevertheless).
    · That Maybrick worked with a ‘Lowry’ and a ‘Smith’.
    · That Maybrick’s closest friend was George Davidson.
    · That Florence and James were married at St James’s Church.
    · That Maybrick used arsenic.
    · That Maybrick visited many general practitioners, including a Dr. Hopper and a Dr. Fuller.
    · That Maybrick’s brother Michael was the world-famous musician who wrote and performed under the pseudonym of Stephen Adams.
    · That Maybrick had attended the 1889 Grand National.
    · That the Prince of Wales attended the 1889 Grand National.
    · That Florrie wrote a letter to Brierley in which she conveniently suggests that Maybrick had told her a fabrication designed to frighten the truth out of her (thereby providing the opportunity to link this to the mythical Maybrick confessing all to an apparently-disbelieving ‘Bunny’).

    These details about the case were reasonably easily accessible from the time of Maybrick’s death to the modern day so they show us that the author made some effort to research the household, but not in any unique or particularly insightful way.

    But our author did not stop at the seemingly superficial detail. Some of the household detail (and in this I include the things in Maybrick's direct experience) is either less easily gleaned from contemporary material or has indeed never been established at all. This would include:
    · That Maybrick was known as ‘Sir Jim’ within his household (subsequently backed-up by obscure material).
    · That Gladys Maybrick was frequently an unwell child (subsequently backed-up by obscure material).
    · That Maybrick’s parents were buried in the same grave. For this detail, the author would either have needed to read every word of the trial transcripts, have attended every session of the trial (to hear it), have personal knowledge of this through a close association with the Maybrick family, or have uncovered it directly at Anfield cemetery. I would suggest that this knowledge strongly places the author at the scene of the trial itself or actually a member of the household or family (or obviously some or all of these).
    · That Michael Maybrick wrote verse as well as music (despite being popularly thought to write only music). This was always seen as a chronic weakness of the diary as popular opinion held it that Stephen Adams only wrote music. A Casebook writer by the name of Livia recently turned this belief on its head and demonstrated that – in actual fact – the author of the diary had been very much right all along. This is a further example which strongly points to the author being a member of the household or family.
    · That Maybrick found a new source for his arsenic habit in early 1889.
    · That the 1889 Grand National was won in a particularly fast time.
    · That Maybrick’s pet name for Florence was ‘Bunny’. Did Maybrick actually call Florence ‘Bunny’ or was this an invention of the author? The Poisoned Life of Mrs Maybrick does not mention this pet name (as far as I can tell). I would be interested to know if This Friendless Lady did so. If neither does, then the author must have relied on the trial transcripts (was it mentioned in these?), the newspaper reports (was it mentioned in these?), had personal knowledge of Maybrick calling Florence by this name, or had simply made this detail up. It does feel like an extraordinary detail to simply make up, however, as if it were common knowledge at the time within the household that Maybrick did not call Florence ‘Bunny’, this would compromise the diary deeply. Fascinatingly, Maybrick gave his mistress a book one Christmas, I think in 1865 (it may have been a Bible) and in his inscription he referred to her as ‘Piggy’. It may well be the case that pet names are more often than not based upon animals, but it is not a given thing, and the ‘Piggy’ reference does lean us towards the view that Maybrick – if he had a pet name for Florrie at all – would more likely than not have had one based upon an animal theme … but ultimately I’m unaware that we actually know whether or not Maybrick referred to Florrie as ‘Bunny’. If he did, and this could be proven via an obscure source (a previously unseen letter, for example), it would become untenable to suggest that the author of the diary came from anywhere other than inside Battlecrease House (however irregularly).
    · That Edwin Maybrick visited America at the time of the first canonical murder. Here – for me – is the absolute deal breaker. The author of the diary is very clear (on at least two occasions) that Edwin Maybrick is in America both before and after the first canonical murder. Shirley Harrison (The American Connection, 2003) writes with an understatement which to me reflects the fact that she hasn’t realised what she has uncovered, ‘On August 18th, less than two weeks before the first attack in Whitechapel, Maybrick’s brother Edwin left for America, aboard the SS Adriatic’. This tells us in terms which reach significantly well beyond unequivocal that the author of the Maybrick diary knew the detailed itinerary of the wider Maybrick circle. It can (and will) be claimed that a modern-day hoaxer could have researched this fact, and that sadly is the ready and well-used reserve of all pro-hoaxers to constantly shift the sands of the hoaxer’s efforts from ‘shoddy’ to ‘significant’ whenever circumstances require it, but the more dispassionate eye would consider this a level of research too far for even the most seasoned fraudster, never mind one who seemed to make so little capital gain from the project. This knowledge (of Edwin Maybrick’s visit to America including the length of his stay) is the preserve of someone who was there in Maybrick’s world in August 1888 and close enough to him to have acquired this information to either use then or later in the writing of the Maybrick diary.

    These entries in the diary, then, point strongly towards the author having the sort of knowledge of Maybrick’s life, family, and household which only someone actually present at the time could reasonably hope to have. Other than Maybrick himself - who of course may have written the diary as a vicarious means of expressing his own inner demons (whatever they may have been) – the most plausible candidates would include his brothers, Florence, and George Davidson. Quite what would have motivated them to do so is hard to fathom with any confidence, but a workable defence for Florrie in her trial may have been heavy on the author’s mind (though the nature of the closing paragraphs are more of a condemnation of her guilt than a clarification of her innocence).

    We clearly can’t now establish the motivation for authoring the diary if indeed the author was from amongst Maybrick’s inner circle of friends and family – but we can (I’m sure) agree that if this were all there was to the diary then any one of these individuals would have known enough about Maybrick’s life to have written it, and arguably only one of those individuals. In the case of Maybrick himself, in the absence of any other details, we would be left to ponder the likelihood that he was in fact Jack himself.

    Fortunately for us, the diary contains far more detail than just that enumerated above; and what our author adds tells us increasing amounts about who he (or she) must have been.

    The Crime Scene Insights

    For all the diary has been much criticised for its lack of detail around the crimes, it does nevertheless contain sufficient references and insight to inform us more deeply about who the author actually was – or perhaps more accurately what the author was. Chief amongst these would be:
    · That the author is very clear that he wishes the reader to see the five modern-day canonical victims as the only victims of Jack the Ripper. This immediately puts us on the back foot given that we have suggested above that the author must have been from amongst Maybrick’s inner circle. This is hugely problematic in the deepest sense as no-one from amongst Maybrick’s inner circle could have simultaneously known that history would come to agree with their view of who the famous murderer killed, and – crucially – that none of these would be killed after Maybrick died. Our author seems to know that the diary cannot be wrong on the latter detail, and is also demonstrating astonishing insight if they were writing at the time of Maybrick’s ‘natural’ lifetime and able to be so categorical about the former (as we all know, the canonical list of victims was seven until well into the second half of the 20th century when everyone who was a contemporary of Maybrick was well dead). This detail (the five canonical victims) seems to place the author in the 1950s or later, and clearly that is not possible if we are in agreement (however tentatively) that the author of the diary knew too much about Maybrick’s life to have not been located very firmly in it.
    · That the author is firm about the presence of farthings at the Chapman crime scene. These have been long debated over the years, but the evidence does appear to suggest that Annie Chapman had farthings in her pocket when she was found. Our author appears to know this to be the case.
    · That the author claims to have left Maybrick’s mark on Catherine Eddowes’ face (he is referring to her head at the very least). An autopsy sketch first published in the mid 1960s shows two inverted ‘v’ shapes on Eddowes’ cheeks which – when combined – create a plausible enough ‘M’. Again, our author is someone who appears to know this.
    · That, controversially, the author lists Eddowes’ possessions as including a ‘tin match box empty’. As is now well known, when the full list of Eddowes’ possessions was first published in 1987, one of the entries read ‘tin match box, empty’. This has often been cited as evidence that the diary is only a story based upon the known facts. Those known facts do not tally with the author being a member of Maybrick’s close circle, however. In the context of other modern-day knowledge which wasn’t common knowledge at the time of the crimes, the author then needs to be living in the modern-day or else was part of the original criminal investigation at the time of the murders. Neither of these scenarios is plausible if the author was a member of Maybrick’s household or close circle (or, at least, in the case of the second scenario, not that we are currently aware of).
    · A slight aside. The author also makes the very bold claim (albeit slightly cryptically) that the red leather cigarette case found at the Eddowes’ crime scene was actually Maybrick’s. This is a teasing detail. It tallies with evidence at the time of the trial that Maybrick kept his ‘medicine’ in a cigarette case. If the Eddowes case could now be tested positively for traces of arsenic (or perhaps strychnine), that would make a significant dent into the belief that the diary was a mere invention and inevitably lean us towards belief that Maybrick himself was indeed both the author and the murderer after all.
    · That the author makes the very clear statement that the testimony of George Hutchinson after the Mary Kelly murder is a true reflection of the murderer. The author makes use of the red handkerchief which Hutchinson claims the man he witnessed with Mary Kelly in Dorset Street handed to her. This is another bold claim as it relies on two things – that the man’s description would not be so contrary to Maybrick’s to rule him out, and that Hutchinson’s testimony would not subsequently be retracted or contradicted. Bizarrely, only Hutchinson himself could know the fact of the claim (at the time) – Hutchinson and (of course) the murderer himself. Alternatively, it points towards a modern-day author who knows Hutchinson’s testimony cannot now be retracted.
    · That the author makes reference to Kelly’s missing heart. This detail also was not published until 1987 (or so) and points further either to the author being a detective (or coroner, et cetera) at the time of the crimes or else living in the modern age, either way thereby excluding them from the inner circle of Maybrick’s actual life (as we presently know it).

    So now we have a profound challenge for we are left with an author who not only has an extremely keen insight into Maybrick’s life, but also has both an historical and a modern-day insight into the crimes. The two spheres seem hard to match as they not only cross very diverse life roles (member of Maybrick’s inner circle, and detective in the pursuit of the criminal), but they also seemingly cross whole historical time zones (the time of the crimes, and the time the full details of the crimes were first published).

    The Psychopathology of the Text.

    The author of our diary demonstrates a keen insight into the workings of the Maybrick household in 1888 and 1889. He also demonstrates a modern-day view of the crimes themselves. This is an extraordinary trade he has learned to perform, and the skills of that trade become all the more admirable when we reflect on two simultaneous facts about the tone of the diary:
    · The typical Ripperologist decries the text as childish and puerile.
    · Emotional commentators of some merit (for example, inter alia, Dr. David Canter, erstwhile Professor of Psychology at the University of Liverpool) pronounce the work to show the keenest possible insight into the mind of a man on such a drug-fuelled roller-coaster as Maybrick is being portrayed to be on.

    So our author is simultaneously a close member of Maybrick’s inner circle and someone immersed in the crime scenes at the time, or someone living in the modern age with an intensely keen awareness of Maybrick’s personal life; and simultaneously (in either scenario) is an author of such merit that he can convince the casual reader that the text is shoddy whilst also fooling the expert commentator into believing it was composed within the shifting psychopathology of the criminal mind. Whatever the truth of the matter, it is clear that we are dealing with a quite exceptional writer and no mere dilettante despite the many ill-founded claims over the last twenty years. Alternatively, of course, we are dealing with a very average writer who – as all writers are advised to do – was writing from direct personal knowledge.

    The Author’s Astonishing Good Fortune.

    Finally, although this tells us nothing inherently about the author of the diary, we would be remiss to not touch on how inherently fortunate our author is regarding his choice of the most obscure Maybrick as a candidate for Jack the Ripper. Details which are on the record and which no reasonable author could surely anticipate include:
    · That the first two and last two initials of James Maybrick spell ‘Jack’.
    · That Punch would have published a cartoon during the Autumn of terror stating ‘Turn around and catch whom you may’ (providing our author with a play on Maybrick, of course).
    · That his casual reference to Florrie’s initials being in Kelly’s room would be supported by very plausible examples from the current known stock of crime scene photographs. It is possible of course that the author was inspired by what they felt they could see in the photographs, but that places the author very firmly in the modern age, which again conflicts with the evidence that the author must have been a member of Maybrick’s close inner circle and thereby causes significant problems in demonstrating how such a modern-day author could have researched the more obscure details discussed at the start of this post (such as Edwin Maybrick’s visit to America).
    · That a newspaper photo fit of Jack (The Telegraph, October 6, 1888) would be so favourably similar to Maybrick’s known appearance.
    · That the London Echo (incorrectly described by Harrison in The American Connection as the Liverpool Echo) of Sept 1, 1888 would run the following piece under the title of ‘Who is Jim?’: There is another point of some importance upon which the police rely. It is the statement of John Morgan, a coffee-stall keeper, who says that a woman, whose description answers that given to him of the victim [Nichols], called at his stall - three minutes walk from Buck's Row - early yesterday morning. She was accompanied by a man whom she addressed as Jim ...
    · That the Goulston Street graffito could be interpreted as ‘James’ rather than ‘Juwes’.
    · That the evidence of George Hutchinson at Miller’s Court suggests that the murderer was of a respectable background – contrary to the wretched monster portrayed in traditional Ripper mythology, and wholly consistent with a middle-class businessman such as Maybrick.
    · That someone would write to the very provincial Liverpool Echo claiming to be ‘Jack the Ripper (Genuine)’ and add an apparent clue with ‘Diego Laurenz’ – a name which represents both the Spanish form of ‘James’ and a passable rhyme for ‘Florence’.
    · That the author would choose for Maybrick’s Whitechapel lodgings a street identified by a renowned geoprofiler as an extremely likely site given the evidence (I have taken a small room in Middlesex Street …). Kim Rossmo, a renowned geographical profiler, identified two principle loci for the Ripper’s lair: Flower & Dean Street followed by Middlesex Street. Rossmo’s analysis only looked at murder sites and therefore excluded the Ripper’s presumed presence in Goulston Street which – if included – would most likely have tipped the balance in favour of Middlesex Street (as it is the briefest of walks away from Goulston Street).
    · That history would begin to question the validity of the ‘Dear Boss’ and ‘Saucy Jacky’ communications to Central News (accusing them of being the work of an ‘enterprising journalist’) only for the much-maligned ‘September 17’ letter to emerge in 1988 written in a hand which closely mirrors the diary author’s. Of course, the author himself could have written both the diary and the September 17 letter, and this would strongly support the possibility that the author was a member of the detective squad at the time of the crimes (and a member of Maybrick's inner circle) or a modern-day author with remarkable access to police records and a very keen understanding of Maybrick’s life.

    So where does that leave us? The fingerprints on the Maybrick diary suggests that the author, conflictingly:
    · Was a close member of Maybrick’s inner circle and was a member of the criminal investigation at the time.
    · Or was a modern-day fantasist or forger with a remarkably detailed understanding of Maybrick’s inner circle.
    · Knew keenly how to capture over sixty-five pages the flexing psychopathology of the criminal mind frequently high on arsenic abuse.
    · Carried the most astonishing good fortune with both the contemporary and recently-uncovered evidence.

    In this light, there is actually only one individual whose fingerprints could possibly currently square all of these many circles as author of the diary and his name in life was – of course - James Maybrick. Given that our author has such a telling knowledge of both Maybrick's life and the crimes and that we are unaware of any individal who definitely straddled those two worlds (whilst acknowledging that Michael Maybrick may well have done) suggests that it would not be unreasonable for our argument to be extended to include the overwhelming conclusion that his name in life was James Maybrick and his name in death has long since been Jack the Ripper.

  • #2
    "That the author would choose for Maybrick’s Whitechapel lodgings a street identified by a renowned geoprofiler as an extremely likely site given the evidence (I have taken a small room in Middlesex Street …). Kim Rossmo, a renowned geographical profiler, identified two principle loci for the Ripper’s lair: Flower & Dean Street followed by Middlesex Street. Rossmo’s analysis only looked at murder sites and therefore excluded the Ripper’s presumed presence in Goulston Street which – if included – would most likely have tipped the balance in favour of Middlesex Street (as it is the briefest of walks away from Goulston Street)."

    Stick a pin in the map. Make a guess. Make it a good one.
    Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
    https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

    Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
    Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
      "That the author would choose for Maybrick’s Whitechapel lodgings a street identified by a renowned geoprofiler as an extremely likely site given the evidence (I have taken a small room in Middlesex Street …). Kim Rossmo, a renowned geographical profiler, identified two principle loci for the Ripper’s lair: Flower & Dean Street followed by Middlesex Street. Rossmo’s analysis only looked at murder sites and therefore excluded the Ripper’s presumed presence in Goulston Street which – if included – would most likely have tipped the balance in favour of Middlesex Street (as it is the briefest of walks away from Goulston Street)."

      Stick a pin in the map. Make a guess. Make it a good one.
      Hi Chris,

      I will do, thanks.

      By the way, could I get your lottery numbers for this weekend's draw?

      Cheers,

      Tom

      Comment


      • #4
        Fantastic post, Tom.

        My two cents, in addition to all you have laid out here, would be to say that the thing I find hardest to explain away is the "May" Telegram. I devoted part of my talk at York to it. It's very hard to ignore it. It's the only place you would find the use of "May" as a nickname for Maybrick. It's in the archives at Kew and was not introduced at trial.

        And Livia recently provided evidence that Maybrick had a telephone in his office....so the bit about giving the Queen a call is not an anachronism.

        Victoria, Victoria
        the queen of them all
        When it comes to Sir Jack
        she knows nothing at all

        who knows
        perhaps one day
        I will give her a call


        Originally posted by Tom Mitchell View Post
        But our author did not stop at the seemingly superficial detail. Some of the household detail (and in this I include the things in Maybrick's direct experience) is either less easily gleaned from contemporary material or has indeed never been established at all. This would include:
        · That Maybrick was known as ‘Sir Jim’ within his household (subsequently backed-up by obscure material).
        · That Gladys Maybrick was frequently an unwell child (subsequently backed-up by obscure material).
        · That Maybrick’s parents were buried in the same grave. For this detail, the author would either have needed to read every word of the trial transcripts, have attended every session of the trial (to hear it), have personal knowledge of this through a close association with the Maybrick family, or have uncovered it directly at Anfield cemetery. I would suggest that this knowledge strongly places the author at the scene of the trial itself or actually a member of the household or family (or obviously some or all of these).
        · That Michael Maybrick wrote verse as well as music (despite being popularly thought to write only music). This was always seen as a chronic weakness of the diary as popular opinion held it that Stephen Adams only wrote music. A Casebook writer by the name of Livia recently turned this belief on its head and demonstrated that – in actual fact – the author of the diary had been very much right all along. This is a further example which strongly points to the author being a member of the household or family.
        · That Maybrick found a new source for his arsenic habit in early 1889.
        · That the 1889 Grand National was won in a particularly fast time.
        · That Maybrick’s pet name for Florence was ‘Bunny’. Did Maybrick actually call Florence ‘Bunny’ or was this an invention of the author? The Poisoned Life of Mrs Maybrick does not mention this pet name (as far as I can tell). I would be interested to know if This Friendless Lady did so. If neither does, then the author must have relied on the trial transcripts (was it mentioned in these?), the newspaper reports (was it mentioned in these?), had personal knowledge of Maybrick calling Florence by this name, or had simply made this detail up. It does feel like an extraordinary detail to simply make up, however, as if it were common knowledge at the time within the household that Maybrick did not call Florence ‘Bunny’, this would compromise the diary deeply. Fascinatingly, Maybrick gave his mistress a book one Christmas, I think in 1865 (it may have been a Bible) and in his inscription he referred to her as ‘Piggy’. It may well be the case that pet names are more often than not based upon animals, but it is not a given thing, and the ‘Piggy’ reference does lean us towards the view that Maybrick – if he had a pet name for Florrie at all – would more likely than not have had one based upon an animal theme … but ultimately I’m unaware that we actually know whether or not Maybrick referred to Florrie as ‘Bunny’. If he did, and this could be proven via an obscure source (a previously unseen letter, for example), it would become untenable to suggest that the author of the diary came from anywhere other than inside Battlecrease House (however irregularly).
        · That Edwin Maybrick visited America at the time of the first canonical murder. Here – for me – is the absolute deal breaker. The author of the diary is very clear (on at least two occasions) that Edwin Maybrick is in America both before and after the first canonical murder. Shirley Harrison (The American Connection, 2003) writes with an understatement which to me reflects the fact that she hasn’t realised what she has uncovered, ‘On August 18th, less than two weeks before the first attack in Whitechapel, Maybrick’s brother Edwin left for America, aboard the SS Adriatic’. This tells us in terms which reach significantly well beyond unequivocal that the author of the Maybrick diary knew the detailed itinerary of the wider Maybrick circle. It can (and will) be claimed that a modern-day hoaxer could have researched this fact, and that sadly is the ready and well-used reserve of all pro-hoaxers to constantly shift the sands of the hoaxer’s efforts from ‘shoddy’ to ‘significant’ whenever circumstances require it, but the more dispassionate eye would consider this a level of research too far for even the most seasoned fraudster, never mind one who seemed to make so little capital gain from the project. This knowledge (of Edwin Maybrick’s visit to America including the length of his stay) is the preserve of someone who was there in Maybrick’s world in August 1888 and close enough to him to have acquired this information to either use then or later in the writing of the Maybrick diary.

        These entries in the diary, then, point strongly towards the author having the sort of knowledge of Maybrick’s life, family, and household which only someone actually present at the time could reasonably hope to have.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SirRobertAnderson View Post
          Fantastic post, Tom.

          My two cents, in addition to all you have laid out here, would be to say that the thing I find hardest to explain away is the "May" Telegram. I devoted part of my talk at York to it. It's very hard to ignore it. It's there only place you would find the use of "May" as a nickname for Maybrick. It's in the archives at Kew and was not introduced at trial.
          I don't know about this. Can you give me a reference for this? Is it in Evans and Skinner's Letters from Hell?
          Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
          https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

          Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
          Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't believe the author was that lucky

            I suspect most of what has been mentioned was available to a researcher of Maybrick in the 1980's

            I haven't read the trial papers but I would expect the author to have trawled those in some depth

            "On Friday the 10th, Michael Maybrick saw Florie moving medicine from one small bottle to a larger one. He protested, "Florie, how dare you tamper with the medicine?," to which she replied that there was too much sediment in the small bottle so she moved it into a larger bottle so that it could be shaken up properly. The bottle was later analyzed, however, and no traces of arsenic were found.

            Later that day, Nurse Callery over heard Maybrick say to his wife, "You have given me the wrong medicine again." Florie replied, "What are you talking about? You never had wrong medicine."

            Around six that evening, Maybrick was heard to have said three times, "Oh, Bunny, Bunny, how could you do it? I did not think it of you!" Florie replied simply, "You silly old darling, don't trouble your head about things."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Nemo View Post

              Around six that evening, Maybrick was heard to have said three times, "Oh, Bunny, Bunny, how could you do it? I did not think it of you!" Florie replied simply, "You silly old darling, don't trouble your head about things."
              Fine spot, Nemo. Deep down, I didn't think it could be otherwise - but thanks for the source.

              Nevertheless, and on your other point, I think it is simply inconceivable that Edwin Maybrick's visit to America in August 1888 would have been researched by someone looking into James Maybrick's life. Shirley Harrison's research team sourced this (I believe) from the maifests of the multiple crossings throughout the 1880s (seeking evidence that James himself had travelled regularly to the States). Your researcher (and author of the diary) would have had to be very serious indeed about their research to have gone that far - and (if they were that serious) where was the resulting publication from all of that effort (or did their research morph slowly into solely the desire to create the least ever plausible candidate for Jack?)?

              Still - grand spot re 'Bunny'.

              Tom

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                I don't know about this. Can you give me a reference for this? Is it in Evans and Skinner's Letters from Hell?
                It's referred to in Harrison. Mark Ripper dug it out of the files at Kew for us and I showed a slide of it at York during the section entitled "Games in May". It's a telegram (most likely not sent) from Flo to Brierley referring to Maybrick as May. It's the only source we know of that uses the nickname of "May". It was not introduced at trial.

                I will put up my notes from my talk when I have time; might be awhile as I am jammed with work.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SirRobertAnderson View Post
                  It's referred to in Harrison. Mark Ripper dug it out of the files at Kew for us and I showed a slide of it at York during the section entitled "Games in May". It's a telegram (most likely not sent) from Flo to Brierley referring to Maybrick as May. It's the only source we know of that uses the nickname of "May". It was not introduced at trial.

                  I will put up my notes from my talk when I have time; might be awhile as I am jammed with work.
                  I'll look forward to reviewing your notes when you have the time to post them. As for Florie referring to James Maybrick as "May" -- well, those three letters are the first three letters of his name aren't they, so what's the significance? I'm not sure her use of "May" links to the Diary.
                  Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                  https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                  Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                  Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                    As for Florie referring to James Maybrick as "May" -- well, those three letters are the first three letters of his name aren't they, so what's the significance? I'm not sure her use of "May" links to the Diary.
                    What's the significance?

                    I wouldn't even know how to answer this. The Diarist knows two nicknames for Maybrick that aren't easily found. Actually, easy isn't the right word. Professional level research work would be required. One is "Sir James" - that's in an archive in a university in the US, and the other is "May" found only in the archives at Kew.

                    Lucky? You'll say it is. There is nothing that can be said to convince you. And you will post and post again to repeat that. We get it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SirRobertAnderson View Post
                      What's the significance?

                      I wouldn't even know how to answer this. The Diarist knows two nicknames for Maybrick that aren't easily found. Actually, easy isn't the right word. Professional level research work would be required. One is "Sir James" - that's in an archive in a university in the US, and the other is "May" found only in the archives at Kew.

                      Lucky? You'll say it is. There is nothing that can be said to convince you. And you will post and post again to repeat that. We get it.
                      Hi Bob

                      I will concede that the evident historical use of the name "Sir James" appears to be a significant link to the Diary and both to actual real-life Maybrick history rather than fantasy -- a possible clue to whomever mocked up the Diary.

                      As I say, by contrast, "May" strikes one more as a nickname anyone might have used to refer to someone named Maybrick, be he James, Michael, Edwin or whomever.

                      Yes, Bob, as you correctly point out, I am a skeptic, but I am looking at the same information you are, and am trying to assess it the same way you are.

                      Best regards

                      Chris
                      Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                      https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                      Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                      Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
                        I'll look forward to reviewing your notes when you have the time to post them. As for Florie referring to James Maybrick as "May" -- well, those three letters are the first three letters of his name aren't they, so what's the significance? I'm not sure her use of "May" links to the Diary.
                        The significance of the use of 'May' by Florrie to refer to James Maybrick is that the author of the diary also refers to 'himself' (i.e., James Maybrick we are led to believe) as 'May' in the diary ... as I recall, this passage was prompted by the Punch cartoon ('Turn around and catch whom you may'). As Florrie's telegram was not yet in the public domain when the diary emerged, the inference drawn is that the telegram supports the authenticity of the diary's use of 'May' for Maybrick.

                        You can look at this a number of ways:
                        1) It was just a coincidence that she on ONE occasion called him 'May' and the diary author happened to use the same term.
                        2) The diary author knew of the use of 'May' within the Maybrick household and used it in the diary (but James is still not the Ripper).
                        3) Florrie referred to James as 'May' because that was genuinely common practice by her AND James really was the Ripper and therefore took great delight in the Punch cartoon's inadvertant accuracy and made use of it in his diary. In this scenario, Florrie's use of 'May' appears to support the diary's authenticity, albeit rather tangentially.

                        Sir Robert is taking position 3.

                        Hope this helps.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tom Mitchell View Post
                          3) Florrie referred to James as 'May' because that was genuinely common practice by her AND James really was the Ripper and therefore took great delight in the Punch cartoon's inadvertant accuracy and made use of it in his diary. In this scenario, Florrie's use of 'May' appears to support the diary's authenticity, albeit rather tangentially.

                          Sir Robert is taking position 3.

                          Hope this helps.
                          Sorry, Tom, but how does any of this follow logically? I would say it only follows if you believe the Diary is genuine, as you obviously do.
                          Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                          https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                          Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                          Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I like the significance of the reference to Sir Jim among the other supposedly obscure references

                            In the manner of Sherlock Holmes, there can only be a few possibilities

                            1 The Diary was written by someone contemporary with and close to Maybrick if not Maybrick himself and the references are made from first hand knowledge

                            2 The Diary was written by someone who was not aware of the Sir Jim or other references and who got lucky with his/her choices of words

                            3 The Diary was written by someone who was aware of all the obscure facts and references

                            I would go with a modern forger representing No.3

                            I would expect that the references are contained within books or articles somewhere and relatively easily available

                            The more obscure the reference and its availability, the more it points toward the author being a specialist in crime history

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nemo View Post
                              I like the significance of the reference to Sir Jim among the other supposedly obscure references

                              In the manner of Sherlock Holmes, there can only be a few possibilities

                              1 The Diary was written by someone contemporary with and close to Maybrick if not Maybrick himself and the references are made from first hand knowledge
                              2 The Diary was written by someone who was not aware of the Sir Jim or other references and who got lucky with his/her choices of words
                              3 The Diary was written by someone who was aware of all the obscure facts and references

                              I would go with a modern forger representing No.3

                              I would expect that the references are contained within books or articles somewhere and relatively easily available

                              The more obscure the reference and its availability, the more it points toward the author being a specialist in crime history
                              You missed out No. 4, Nemo: That the diary was written by James Maybrick who was Jack the Ripper.

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