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Transcript Of The Interview With Michael Barrett DISCUSSION Page

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  • Paul Butler
    replied
    Originally posted by SirRobertAnderson View Post
    Correct. A Warrior Bold, in fact. He used the pseudonym Edwin Thomas.

    It's actually one of the reasons I believe the Diary was written by either Michael, or someone that knew him well and shared his views on Flo. The entire document is basically about how smart and wise and amazeballs Michael was.

    As an aside the lyrics to A Warrior Bold kinda read like the Diary with all its melodrama and hideous doggerel.
    Absolutely. The diary doggerel much more resembles Victorian parlour song lyrics than poetry. I'm certain that's what the diarist intended, whoever he or she might have been.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul Butler
    replied
    Originally posted by SirRobertAnderson View Post
    That last bit is interesting and something I didn't know.

    I think Bruce's book could have been brilliant but you can't try to pin the murders on Michael and pretty much ignore the Diary in your book. It and the Watch are the elephants in the room.
    That is precisely what I thought too Robert. In fact, it's difficult to see why Robinson picked on Michael at all.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul Butler
    replied
    Originally posted by Cris Malone View Post
    The 'diary' suggests that Michael Maybrick was prolific at writing verse and we know that is not the case.
    Sorry to keep on, but how do we know that isn't the case?

    (Actually, all the diarist says is that Michael was better at it than James.)

    Leave a comment:


  • SirRobertAnderson
    replied
    Keith, James, and Caz: I've been meaning to ask you about MB's "stroke". I know he also claimed to be terminally ill with cancer at some point.

    Do you give credence to the claim of a stroke?

    Leave a comment:


  • SirRobertAnderson
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul Butler View Post
    How do you know Michael didn't write prose?

    We do know he wrote lyrics to at least one of his songs.
    Correct. A Warrior Bold, in fact. He used the pseudonym Edwin Thomas.

    It's actually one of the reasons I believe the Diary was written by either Michael, or someone that knew him well and shared his views on Flo. The entire document is basically about how smart and wise and amazeballs Michael was.

    As an aside the lyrics to A Warrior Bold kinda read like the Diary with all its melodrama and hideous doggerel.
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • Cris Malone
    replied
    The 'diary' suggests that Michael Maybrick was prolific at writing verse and we know that is not the case.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul Butler
    replied
    How do you know Michael didn't write prose?

    We do know he wrote lyrics to at least one of his songs.

    Leave a comment:


  • James Johnston
    replied
    Morning all,

    Just some thoughts on the questions raised so far. In respect to the Devereux family, I thought that the following might be of interest:

    ‘I recall I spoke to the Devereux family […] they were aware of that which Barrett had said, which was untrue, and stated the same views of him as the Landlord of the pub. In fact, Barrett kept on ringing them about it.’ (DS Colin Thomas, 15th May 2017).

    That closing sentence intrigues me. According to Bonsey, Barrett kept on ringing the Devereux family about the diary - although no date or timeframe is given for when those calls were allegedly made. Just wondering, does this perhaps chime with some of Keith's thinking?

    Originally posted by Keith Skinner View Post
    At the time it crossed my mind that perhaps Mike was trying to create an impression of how close he was to Tony in order to make it seem the most natural thing in the world for Tony to have given him the diary and thereby secure his ownership of it.
    The following accont was given to Shirley from the Landlord of the Saddle, Bob Lee, and is reproduced in her book:

    "Tony [Devereux] used to come here regularly, long before he ever met Michael…Michael used to come in every day and sometimes he’d run errands for Tony when he was ill, but I don’t think they got on particularly well. He didn’t have friends. Tony’s daughters used to come in too – nice ladies, they looked after their Dad. We never discussed the Diary in the pub afterwards…Tony was very quiet, he’d have never said a word. Tony’d never have given Michael anything he thought was valuable. I never saw the Diary – I didn’t know anything about the Maybricks…I wasn’t interested. You never ask questions in this job." (Harrison, 2010).

    Mr. Edward Lyons also claimed to know Bob, and several others who frequented the Saddle.

    Best, James

    Leave a comment:


  • Cris Malone
    replied
    Then why was the glaring mistake of Michael supposedly writing prose as opposed to just musical score made?

    Leave a comment:


  • SirRobertAnderson
    replied
    Originally posted by Keith Skinner View Post

    Essentially Bruce implicitly believes the diary was written by Michael Maybrick in order to frame James - a view he has held since reading Shirley Harrison's book at Christmas 1993. I should say here that from the day Bruce and I started thinking about and working on his project together, (circa 1997), I have never agreed with Bruce about this. We had countless discussions around this but I could never come round to Bruce's way of thinking. What I did acknowledge was Bruce's feeling about the narrative. I remember him saying the first two thirds were sheer brilliance and could only have been penned by a serial killer. The final third of the book was rubbish and faked by Michael to implicate his brother.
    That last bit is interesting and something I didn't know.

    I think Bruce's book could have been brilliant but you can't try to pin the murders on Michael and pretty much ignore the Diary in your book. It and the Watch are the elephants in the room.

    Just in case it is not clear to anyone: I don't believe the Diary is the work of Jack the Ripper and it sure as hell wasn't written by James Maybrick. But I do believe Michael Maybrick, or someone sharing his point of view on Florence, had a hand in its creation.

    Leave a comment:


  • SirRobertAnderson
    replied
    Originally posted by Keith Skinner View Post
    Your suggestion that Tony's cynicism, (as shared with Mike), was aimed at his daughters not caring about him chimed with an observation my late
    partner, (Coral), made after we visited the daughters in Liverpool in March 2002. As we left the house, Coral remarked that she had thought the daughters were a little too keen to stress how much they had done for their father when he was housebound. Coral wondered whether that may have been to compensate for perhaps feeling guilty at not really having been all that attentive to their father's situation.
    Back to this for a moment....

    So, he got very cynical and this is where I get very reluctant because I never want to be offensive to the daughters because I don’t think it's nice when a person gets cynical, but he did get cynical at the end of the day. I used to say to him “away Tony stop lad, stop lad” you know “stop being so bloody cynical” you know “stop being that way towards your family”.



    I realize that this part of the interview did not make it into the documentary BUT re-reading it I have to say I could understand, if some semblance of this got around at the Saddle - and I'll bet it did - why the daughters would be so vehement in their statements to you.

    IF it's not true, they had to be furious.

    Leave a comment:


  • Keith Skinner
    replied
    My thanks good Sir Bob. On to what I said at Chris Jones's gig in Liverpool in May 2007 (The Trial Of James Maybrick)...

    I had finished my presentation and was taking questions from the floor. Someone (I think it may have been Jeremy Beadle) asked me my position as regards the Diary. Because we were in a make belief court of history I shaped my reply to be consistent with this theme. I do remember I had argued in my presentation that it should not be James Maybrick on trial but the diary which had brought him to the mythical dock. I had in mind that if this event were occurring 100 years in the future and all the jury had at their disposal was the source material generated by the investigation into the provenance, (tapes, video material, letters, memos, transcripts, plus the timesheet evidence I could not disclose and the documentation surrounding Mike's purchase of the little red Victorian diary), my belief was their verdict would be the diary had come out of Battlecrease House. I somewhat foolishly said a 'court of law' when I meant a 'court of history' and I can but apologise for all of the misunderstanding this has created. I did stress, in response to a question from Chris George I think it was, that this was not synonymous with James Maybrick being Jack the Ripper. It just meant the
    diary had come out of Paul Dodd's house. We are, I still maintain, a long way off from being anywhere near able to historically suggest that Maybrick was the Ripper. Paul Begg's three unanswered questions again, which I keep intoning rather like a ritual incantantation...Who wrote it? When was it written? Why was it written? If it ever was conclusively and satisfactorily established that the diary did come out of Battlecrease on March 9th 1992, the very next question, (in my opinion), has to be, was it in the house on March 8th 1992?

    I don't know the identity of the person who made the comment to you in Kings Stores in 2009. I don't even know where Kings Stores is although I'm guessing York? What were you doing in there? Bruce's description of the diary as a "fake", which is what I wrote to Caroline, still holds today, although I agree we should be clear on the distinction between a "fake" and a "forgery". Essentially Bruce implicitly believes the diary was written by Michael Maybrick in order to frame James - a view he has held since reading Shirley Harrison's book at Christmas 1993. I should say here that from the day Bruce and I started thinking about and working on his project together, (circa 1997), I have never agreed with Bruce about this. We had countless discussions around this but I could never come round to Bruce's way of thinking. What I did acknowledge was Bruce's feeling about the narrative. I remember him saying the first two thirds were sheer brilliance and could only have been penned by a serial killer. The final third of the book was rubbish and faked by Michael to implicate his brother.

    As to the clue which sparked off this line of enquiry into the electricians, this can only be the timesheets and my connecting then with the date Mike made his telephone call to London. If I ever did say "... this was a matter of public record and in plain sight" I can have only been referring to the fact that we had given the March 9th 1992 date in 'Inside Story' and the timesheets were in plain sight of anyone who went after them? It seems a bit obscure though.

    So there we are good Sir Knight. I bet you wish you had never spoken to me!

    Every Good Wish
    Keith

    Leave a comment:


  • SirRobertAnderson
    replied
    This should be good for a few giggles.

    It was the end part of my talk on the Diary ink analysis at York 2012. Bear in mind that at that point I had never spoken to Keith.

    Wherein I Channel My Inner Keith Skinner
    A/K/A My Wild Delusional Ravings

    Keith Skinner made a statement at the Maybrick Trial at the Liverpool Cricket Club in May 2007 to the effect that he could place the Diary in Battlecrease.
    From a Casebook post by Caz:
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Keith Skinner
    To: Caroline Morris
    Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2007 6:15 PM
    I am not writing a book with Bruce but working on it, as a paid researcher, when Bruce has need of my services.
    Bruce's book has nothing to do with the Diary which he considers to be a fake.
    The investigation is ongoing but has nothing to do with Bruce.
    There are no legal proceedings pending. The essence of what I said was that if I went into a court of law with the documents in my possession, I am confident the jury would conclude the diary came out of Battlecrease House.

    Obviously this was a thunderbolt across Diary World, as we like to call our little corner of Hell. It was a
    game changer courtesy of Skinner's reputation for exacting honestly and meticulousness in his
    statements. The Bruce referred to here is Bruce Robinson, the director of Withnail and I who has been
    writing a book on the Ripper. I have read on the internet - which means it should be treated as likely
    to be completely assbackwards - that he believes Michael Maybrick to have authored the Diary.
    (Michael would make my shortlist as well, along with one of the Janion sisters and of course Alan
    Rumohr Hughes, Martha Louise Hughes nephew that was the owner/tenant of
    Battlecrease from about 1921 through 1944.) Those of us that believe the Diary to be an old hoax are
    looking at not only who might have had a motive to further sully Sir Jim's legacy but who might have had
    access.....It got in there somehow.
    I note the use of the word "fake" by Keith as opposed to "forgery". To some that might be a distinction without a
    difference but I disagree. The handwriting in the Diary was written by someone making no effort in any
    manner to duplicate James Maybrick's handwriting . It might be a copy of an original. It might be
    someone's idea of a practical joke. It might be someone's idea of a "penny dreadful" or a "shilling
    shocker" as Caz has said. We don't know what it is, other than it's inaccurate to call it a forgery and at
    some point it resided within Battlecrease. I suspect it wasn't out on a coffee table.

    A comment was made to me at Kings Stores in 2009 that Keith had said to someone that the clue that sparked him
    was a matter of public record and in plain sight. (The clue, not the Diary lol) So let' s torture
    Keith's comment and get it to confess. He's got documents, plural. He's talking about a court of law,
    not the jury at the Maybrick trial. It's clearly a criminal matter then. Theft. Theft out of Battlecrease of at
    the least the Diary. (I believe the Watch as well.) So he's got papers that would serve as evidence in a
    criminal trial on charges of theft. Now as the Diary ultimately sold for one pound, it's hardly a serious
    issue. The Watch on the other hand was worth a few quid and is a somewhat more serious matter. A far
    more weighty allegation and one that can't be tossed around idly as it involves potential slander. If you
    are dealing with people whose livelihood depends on trusted access to houses you have to tread very
    carefully.

    Now, what's in the public record? Well, from almost the very beginning there were rumors and
    allegations that the Diary had been nicked from Battlecrease by electricians that were working in the
    house doing renovations. I must mention that there have been many renovations and repairs done in
    the house over the years. Don't forget it's a duplex. We can't limit our search to one particular side of
    the house. To complicate matters Dodd further subdivided his part of the house. But we've read of
    rumors in the press and pub chit chat and every once in awhile a strange posting will pop up somewhere
    on the 'net. Mark Ripper recently found one from 2003 on a discussion of antiques allegedly from
    Battlecrease on Southport Online News.
    Almost certainly nonsense, but there you are. Rumors.

    Let's listen to Shirley Harrison for a moment. She headed back to Battlecrease to investigate these rumors.
    "...We made a return visit to Battlecrease House in June 1997 and sat
    in James Maybrick's bedroom, now Paul Dodd's living room. It was
    an eerie experience.

    Paul was adamant. The house was originally gaslit and converted to
    electricity in the 1920s. It was rewired again when his father bought it in
    1946 and again in 1977 when Paul himself had gutted the place and
    lifted the floor boards. Had anything been hidden, he was sure that he
    would have found it then.

    Work was done on the cellars in 1989 and in 1991 there were repairs
    to the roof but the workmen had no access to the house for this.
    Storage heaters were installed in two phases - in Maybrick's
    bedroom in the late summer of 1991 and in the downstairs flat
    in 1993. Paul had again undertaken the inital preparation himself.

    But once we started pinning down dates, none of the people whose
    names we had been given appeared to have been in the right
    place at the right time. The key characters didn't want to talk. It
    was all very mysterious. Something might have indeed have been
    found at Battlecrease, but, whatever it was, it was seemingly not
    our diary and whatever it was had vanished...at least temporarily!..."

    Not surprising no one wanted to talk. I am surprised that the conclusion was made that what

    sprouted legs and walked out of the house wasn't the Diary and/or the Watch!


    Robert Smith is going to talk a bit about his experiences in Liverpool on the trail of these elusive

    electricians. I must take particular note that Alan Davies, an employee of the contractors

    Portus and Rhodes and an electrician, allegedly came in a domestic alarm store in late 1991 and

    offered "Jack the Ripper's Diary" for 25 quid, he said it had been found in Battlecrease by a

    colleague doing a rewiring job. Underneath the floorboards he had "found a biscuit

    tin....(containing) a leather-bound diary and a gold ring." Specifically a wedding ring. But I

    would raise the issue of whether or not this was a Chinese whisper version of the true story,

    dialing down the nature of the theft from a gold watch to an old gold ring.....


    I say this because I have never believed the provenance of the Watch as related by Suzanne

    Murphy's father as how it came to be for sale in the window of Stewarts when Albert Johnson

    strolled by. After being in their inventory for quite some time, we are to believe that they just

    happened to decide to have it cleaned and repaired in a few months before AJ bought the Watch

    in June of 1992. It's been in their inventory for ages but NOW they decide it should go into the

    window. Remember Mike Barrett made his fateful first call to London in March of 1992.

    It's just too much of a coincidence for my taste.


    So what do I think Keith's documents show? That the Diary and the Watch came out of

    Battlecrease at virtually the same time. Not that common sense counts for much in this twisted

    tale, but common sense almost dictates that they did.


    The Diary wasn't seen to be worth much; it was peddled

    around until somehow someone thought of Mike Barrett the former scrap metal dealer who

    fancied himself a writer and stopped by the Saddle to drink, just like one of the electricians....MB

    takes a few months figuring out what the hell he just bought....And the Watch, being more

    obviously valuable, goes straight to that watch dealer in time for a

    date with Albert.

    And ourselves.

    Thank you.

    Leave a comment:


  • SirRobertAnderson
    replied
    Originally posted by Keith Skinner View Post
    Your suggestion that Tony's cynicism, (as shared with Mike), was aimed at his daughters not caring about him chimed with an observation my late
    partner, (Coral), made after we visited the daughters in Liverpool in March 2002. As we left the house, Coral remarked that she had thought the daughters were a little too keen to stress how much they had done for their father when he was housebound. Coral wondered whether that may have been to compensate for perhaps feeling guilty at not really having been all that attentive to their father's situation.
    Or they were really peeved at the suggestion they hadn't been helpful. If it was my father that Mike claimed I didn't assist I'd be pretty strident.

    One can torture the statement to make it say whatever one wants.

    If they don't deny it, it means Mike was right.

    If they deny it, it means Mike was right because they are denying it out of a sense of guilt.

    There were three daughters, correct? The odds of all three turning a blind eye to an elderly father with a broken hip are not good.

    There is one other point, which I remember from my mother's broken hip. It's not just bread and milk and sherry. The patient needs a LOT of help in the early stages of recovery, especially back then. Mike mentions none of this.

    Leave a comment:


  • Keith Skinner
    replied
    Thank you Sir Bob. I wouldn't rule Liverpool out as being the cause of your malaise. After all, you were sitting close to Chris Jones on the panel and he's fairly contagious at the best of times!

    Martin's dinner with Mike Barrett casts back to when he first met him in Liverpool in February 1993 - seven months before the interview. Here's how Paul Feldman describes that occasion in 'The Final Chapter' (1998).

    "We [Paul Feldman, Paul Begg and Martin Howells] had promised to take the Barretts to lunch........we settled at the Moat House for a Carvery lunch. I sat at the head of the table with Mike and Martin to my right, Caroline and Anne to my left, and Paul Begg opposite. My only clear memory of that lunch
    was when Martin was questioning Mike.

    "We believe that you got the diary from Tony, but there must be more."
    Mike replied, "Would you split on a mate?"
    Anne's ears seemed to act like a radar. "What was that?" she asked, as she turned her head away from Paul, to whom she had been speaking, and towards me, who had not said a word. I explained to Anne that we accepted the story of Tony Devereux but felt that if Mike knew that Tony had perhaps bought something that was not quite kosher he would not be able to say so. Anne's response was, "Did you nick it, Mike?"

    So it's possible that Mike did talk to Martin about Tony Devereux's family seven months prior to the interview, but to what extent, I don't know.

    Your suggestion that Tony's cynicism, (as shared with Mike), was aimed at his daughters not caring about him chimed with an observation my late
    partner, (Coral), made after we visited the daughters in Liverpool in March 2002. As we left the house, Coral remarked that she had thought the daughters were a little too keen to stress how much they had done for their father when he was housebound. Coral wondered whether that may have been to compensate for perhaps feeling guilty at not really having been all that attentive to their father's situation.

    Best Wishes
    Keith

    Leave a comment:

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