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  • It would actually be nice if anyone could be bothered to address the observations I made about Anne having to trust Mike not to leave an incriminating record of the book he was trying to obtain for their funny little joint enterprise.

    The evidence Mike created with the 1891 diary amply demonstrates that if this really had been intended for Anne to turn into Maybrick's diary, then he certainly could not have been trusted to leave nothing that could connect him to a scrapbook bought at auction a few days later.

    How could Anne not know this about the man she had been married to for so long? Did he suddenly change character and become a complete idiot, without her knowing, just when they both needed him to keep his head?

    And how lucky did she turn out to be, when Mike wanted to connect himself to that auction, and claimed to have the evidence but never actually produced any? Was she worried sick that the auction house would be able to produce a record of the purchase, even if Mike didn't? Or did she also trust him to completely screw up the dates and put the auction back to January 1990, so no such record would ever be found?
    I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post
      It would actually be nice if anyone could be bothered to address the observations I made about Anne having to trust Mike not to leave an incriminating record of the book he was trying to obtain for their funny little joint enterprise.
      Hi Caz. To be honest, such observations are barely worth addressing.

      Being a bookdealer, Martin Earl must have heard the flap about "Jack the Ripper's Diary." Did he come forward anytime between 1993 and 1995 and tell the world that a man named Barrett (or a woman named Graham) tried to buy from him a blank Victorian Diary in the weeks before the Ripper Diary first surfaced? Nope.

      So we can debate how much risk was actually involved. We can also simply acknowledge that when someone decides to create a hoax, risk comes with the territory.

      Meanwhile, none of your above objections are meaningful to me. I can see an emotionally distressed wife helping her husband create a hoax, regardless of the risks, especially if, deep down, she didn't really think it was going to go anywhere. That the hoax was simply going to explode in Barrett's face anyway, and would-be publishers would laugh him out of the room.

      And, as I pointed out before, a seemingly bemused Anne Graham later admitted this very thing. She was floored to learn that Crew Literary Agents were actually interested.

      How much care would a hoaxer make if they figured they would never get to 2nd base?

      And when did that wrestling match between Graham and Barrett take place on the kitchen floor? 'Pre Doreen' or after she agreed to seek a publisher?

      Anyway, you're not interested in my opinion, which is fine, so I'll leave it at that.

      Comment


      • Final thought. I'm not even entirely convinced that it has been shown that Mike Barrett attempted to commit a crime. Maybe, but it seems kind of gray to me. He didn't try to sell a forgery to an auction house. He peddled a hoax Ripper theory to a publisher, dressed up in the gimmick of a mysterious diary.

        I don't think that puts him in a unique class. Would it have been different if Donald McCormick actually came forward with a physical copy of the diary of Dr. Dutton? Would that have made him a criminal instead of a bullshit artist?

        Particularly if he didn't try to sell the physical object, but was just selling a claim?

        A rhetorical question only. As long as McCormick didn't peddle the diary, I think he would have avoided any serious fallout, except scorn.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post

          Customers could always return items if they were not as described.
          Let´s hold that thought. As David Orsam has pointed out, what this means is: Customers could not return items if they were as described.

          So far so simple. But you seem confused, since you first explain the process Martin Earl went through to ensure the customer's acceptance based on the supplier's description, and then later claim that it didn't matter, the customer could always return the item anyway.

          Perhaps you should return to Mr. Earl and go through it once more.

          Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post

          Suppliers provided full descriptions, and if needed Martin Earl would go back to his supplier for any additional information needed or asked for.

          As a reminder for Mr Earl, he was sent images in May this year of the 1891 diary now in Keith Skinner's possession, and a copy of the original advert he placed in March 1992 on Mike's behalf.

          Mr Earl also said there was no way Mike would have been unaware that the diary was for the year 1891 when it was sent out to him.

          Whichever way you cut it, the diary could have been returned and Anne could have saved herself £25.
          That does not follow. As you said, we don't know how the description was, so there is no way of claiming that the diary could have been returned. As has been explained before, a diary from 1891 might have suited MB fine, so the fact that he knew the red diary was from that year is not noteworthy.

          Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post
          It did not have 20 'blank' pages and was outside the 1880-1890 years specified. It was for 1891 and had 3 or 4 printed dates to a page. If the supplier had misdescribed the item to such an extent that Mike assumed he was ordering what he needed: a diary of the right date, and with enough blank pages, for the fake musings of James Maybrick, who died in May 1889, he'd have been under no obligation whatsoever to purchase what was actually sent to him.
          Again, if the diary was misdescribed, then presumably MB could have returned it. That's not very helpful, since we don't know how it was described. You simply assume on no basis that the description would have made it clear to MB that the diary would not serve his purpose. That is not at all supported or even likely.

          Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post
          Similarly, if we allow that the item was described fully and accurately, by people who were in business to turn a profit, by selling books to satisfied customers, Mike could simply have said it was not what he had asked for and would not be ordering it. Still no obligation to buy.
          Hmm, that does not seem in line with the proces described by Mr. Earl. Perhaps you should ask him again whether that was the case.
          Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post

          Assuming even Mike would have seen the problem with a diary for 1891, two years too late for Maybrick, he could have asked Martin Earl for more information from the seller about the date and how it appeared on or inside the diary. It was a two-way conversation. He didn't have to imagine if the year would be a deal breaker; he only had to ask. He'd have been told that the days/dates of the year were printed on the pages. The pages were unused for noting down any appointments, but the dates made them of no use at all for prose and poetry supposedly written in 1888 and 1889.
          If and if and if - MB could have and he would have and he should have - it's s easy to come up with spurious arguments, but much harder to show empirical support for them. MB could have asked for a more detailed description, but is there any reason to assume that he would have done so? He could have been perfectly happy with the description and only realised afterwards that the diary would not serve.

          "Hello Mr. Barrett, I've been unable to locate a diary that fits your specifications, but I did find one from 1891, would that be acceptable? Yes, it's completely blank. My supplier describes it as: unused red diary from the year 1891. Ok, so I'll go ahead and order it for you based on that."

          Seems like yet another case of MB being considered a bumbling buffoon, except when he is considered an arch-criminal who would have foreseen everything and asked all the right questions.

          Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post
          If Mike wasn't given that information, then the description wasn't detailed enough for his needs.
          Again, a false or misconstrued argument. If MB was not given the information that would enable him to realise that the diary did not fit, that does not mean that the diary was misdescribed. He might afterwards realise that he should have specified something else, or asked for more details, but the fact that the description was not detailed enough was not necessarily Martin Earl's problem.
          Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post

          The fact that Martin Earl let him see the item before committing himself, shows that he could have returned it if he considered the description to be inadequate or misleading.
          How is this a fact? This claim seems to be based on the idea of Martin Earl not receiving payment up front. It shows nothing of the sort.


          All in all, it should perhaps be noted that the idea that MB/AG were entitled to return the diary is of no great importance, although you've placed undue emphasis on it, since you think not returning it shows they did not order it to fake a diary, but for some other reason.

          However, even if they were entitled to return it, which has so far not been demonstrated, it does not follow that they would absolutely have done so.

          Many people fail to return unwanted Christmas gifts, for instance, even relatively poor people. Or the Barretts could have had other ideas where an extra diary or extra Victorian-age paper could come in handy - perhaps claiming to find the JtR-diary in a stash of similar volumes at an anonymous garage sale, for instance.
          Or we could use your method of argument and have AG worry excessively about creating a paper trail "Oh dear, if I send back this useless diary, it will be a fuss and a bother for that nice Mr. Earl, if he will even let me return it. He'll have to return the money to me. Hmm, that will be noted in his records. And it will make it seem like it's very important to me and probably stick out in his mind. Best to just keep it, maybe I can sell it later, it's only going to get more valuable as it ages, after all."


          Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post

          Who was likely to become a millionaire, from Anne's point of view in March 1992? Did she really expect Mike to make a fortune out of this old book when he told Doreen he'd been given it by some old boy who had then popped his clogs? This is the point I'm talking about, when nobody could possibly have predicted the future. If it was Anne's handwriting in that book, and nothing like James Maybrick's, Mike was very likely to have found himself stuck with a worthless Jack the Ripper diary, which nobody would take seriously or want to touch with a barge pole. If he bought it from some bloke in the pub for £25, the same thing was likely to happen. Maybe, if Anne thought the thing was bound to make her husband a millionaire overnight, she might have been well advised to insist on a joint account for all the filthy lucre, instead of sitting back while Mike opened his own account. They'd been married since 1975, and he liked his drink, so was she completely clueless by 1992 that he might not be very sensible with money, or use it for their mutual benefit? He was an unemployed house husband, who had to come to her for money. How would he behave when her handiwork began earning him large amounts in his own right and his own name?
          All of this to try and avoid admitting the extremely obvious: MB potentially making money off the diary was a financial incentive for AG as well. The fact that nobody knew if it would work does not mean that there was NO financial incentive. It would seem rather obvious that if AG was in on the hoax, it would in part have been for the chance of them (her included) earning money.

          Whether MB and AG handled the subsequent gravy train maturely or not is another matter.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post

            Hi Caz. To be honest, such observations are barely worth addressing.

            Being a bookdealer, Martin Earl must have heard the flap about "Jack the Ripper's Diary." Did he come forward anytime between 1993 and 1995 and tell the world that a man named Barrett (or a woman named Graham) tried to buy from him a blank Victorian Diary in the weeks before the Ripper Diary first surfaced? Nope.
            I'm not sure how that helps your argument. If even Martin Earl saw no connection between a pocket appointments diary for the year 1891, which he sold to a Mr Barrett in 1992, and the JtR diary causing a flap when it was published the following year, maybe that should be telling you something. Who on earth would have ordered the former, if they were intent on faking the latter?

            So we can debate how much risk was actually involved. We can also simply acknowledge that when someone decides to create a hoax, risk comes with the territory.
            It depends what they plan to do with it. No risk whatsoever if the hoaxer plans to remain anonymous and to have this diary emerge from the old bedroom of the person who is meant to have written it.

            Risks right left and centre for anyone taking their own fake diary to market, handwritten by the wife over the previous 11 days or so, no resemblance to Maybrick's handwriting and with a totally unsupported 'provenance', only taking it back to 1991.

            If you can just bring yourself to imagine Mike seeing the diary for the first time on 9th March 1992, and being told zilch about its history, you could perhaps then see that he'd have been obliged to make one up for it. Not knowing from the 1889 date if it could genuinely be more than 100 years old, or could have been written much more recently by someone playing a practical joke on "Bongo", his safest bet was to say he got it in good faith a few months back, from a pal who had since died without answering any of his questions. If it then turned out to be the work of a prankster, at least he hadn't claimed to know it was decades old.

            Meanwhile, none of your above objections are meaningful to me. I can see an emotionally distressed wife helping her husband create a hoax, regardless of the risks, especially if, deep down, she didn't really think it was going to go anywhere. That the hoax was simply going to explode in Barrett's face anyway, and would-be publishers would laugh him out of the room.

            And, as I pointed out before, a seemingly bemused Anne Graham later admitted this very thing. She was floored to learn that Crew Literary Agents were actually interested.

            How much care would a hoaxer make if they figured they would never get to 2nd base?
            What, you mean in the wake of the recent flap over the Hitler Diaries, which resulted in a prison sentence for the hoaxer? However 'emotionally distressed' you need Anne to have been, to help Mike to commit fraud in this way, you don't think that distress would have been as nothing compared to the stress of wondering if the scrapbook he had supposedly just brought home from auction could be post-Victorian, and be identifiable as such by any book or paper expert worth their salt? Or that a document examiner might identify the handwriting as her own, from certain tell-tale characteristics which she might be unable to disguise effectively enough? How much previous practice had she had in deceiving an expert in that way? How could she have known if the scrapbook was genuinely of the right period or not? What a tangled web could she have been weaving for herself?

            Your argument might sound more convincing if you made Anne so hard-boiled that emotional distress of any sort was not in her vocabulary or part of her makeup - a bit like so many people chose to look at Lindy Chamberlain, when she insisted a dingo had killed her baby in Australia, or Kate McCann, when she claimed her daughter had been abducted in Portugal. In the latter case, I fully admit I was one of those who saw her body language as damaging and rushed to judgement.
            I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

            Comment


            • Hi Kattrup,

              At the point where Martin Earl described the diary as being for the year 1891, anyone seriously hoping to use it for Maybrick's diary for 1888-1889 would have realised this might just be a bit of an obstacle. If you can't even admit that much, I don't know what would make you stop and reconsider your argument. At that point Mike could have said thanks but no thanks, and told Martin he didn't want it. End of story. No obligation, no transaction. Mike decided he still wanted to see it, and made a special request to do so without committing himself to buying it. Martin's usual practice was to get the customer's payment up front, before ordering the item and paying the supplier for it. So in this case Martin agreed to pay his supplier up front and send out the item on approval, which means giving the customer the option to return it, or retain it and pay for it. It was in Martin's interests, more so than usual, to talk through what Mike could expect to receive if he went ahead, so there was less chance of him being dissatisfied. And Martin always talked through items in this way, regardless of the payment arrangements.

              There was no question of Martin having to return any money to Anne or Mike - it was Martin's money that paid for the 1891 diary initially, so he had to chase up the £25 he was owed by Mike, which is another reason why he particularly remembered this 'unusual' transaction. People usually paid him in advance, but on the few occasions an item was sent on approval and then retained by the customer, he very rarely had to chase for their payment. This stood out in Martin's memory, more than it would have done if the diary had simply been returned unwanted.

              Do you have any idea how funny your argument sounds, whether the diary was fully and fairly described or not? What kind of moral or legal obligation do you imagine Anne would have felt, to sign that cheque for £25, for a tiny genuine Victorian diary they didn't want and couldn't use, so a bookseller wouldn't be out of pocket? According to you, the Barretts were meant to be about to launch an audacious fraud on the world's book buying public with their fake Victorian diary, in the hope of making Mike a millionaire.

              But these same fraudsters were also, according to you, not quite dishonest enough, or quite crafty enough, to try and get out of paying for a useless genuine one Mike need never have ordered, which created a complete record of the transaction, from his enquiry and the incriminating advert to payment received?

              So when Martin chased Mike for payment, neither Barrett could quite bring themselves to lie:

              "Sorry, Mr Earl, the diary never arrived, it must have got lost in the post."

              Or: "Sorry, Mr Earl, but your description, in that [unrecorded] phone call, misled us, so I returned the diary to you and it must have got lost in the post."

              Or: "Sorry, Mr Earl, but the description was misleading, so I'll return the diary to you straight away."

              Or the Barretts could have had other ideas where an extra diary or extra Victorian-age paper could come in handy - perhaps claiming to find the JtR-diary in a stash of similar volumes at an anonymous garage sale, for instance.
              I'm not sure how they could have used the 1891 diary as you suggest, because it didn't arrive until after Mike had already told Doreen he'd been given JtR's diary. He didn't claim to have found it in some sale, along with other similar volumes. If I recall, Doreen said something to him along the lines of: "Finds like this don't come along every day", which may have led to him wondering yet again if he was being hoodwinked, and wanting to find out how easy or difficult it would have been for some joker to find a diary of the right period - the 1880s - which had enough surviving blank pages for such a prank.

              If I'm right, Mike at that time had no clue it was meant to be Maybrick's diary, or that he was dead by May 1889. So the year 1891 would have meant nothing to him, and the nature of the unused pages would have been irrelevant. On receiving the little red diary in the post, he'd merely have realised it wouldn't have been so easy for a joker to find what he'd have needed, and been reassured enough by that to go ahead with his original plan to take JtR's "diary" to London. By the time Martin Earl chased the late payment, Mike had probably forgotten all about it, and Anne felt obligated to do the right thing and settle the bill.
              I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

              Comment


              • I think I owe Kattrup another go at responding to the individual observations he made:

                Firstly, while David Orsam may have argued that customers 'could not return items if they were as described', that would not have applied in Mike's case, because Martin Earl had agreed to let him see the item after describing it, with no commitment to purchase. In most cases the customer paid in advance, which is what Martin was referring to when saying customers could always return an item and get a refund if it had been misdescribed. Common to all customers, it was in nobody's interests to misdescribe any item located.

                I trust that clears up any remaining confusion. I don't need to return to Mr Earl to 'go through it once more', because he made it clear enough the first time, in our extensive email communications, describing in detail his usual business practice in general, and also his dealings with Mike in particular.

                Again, if the diary was misdescribed, then presumably MB could have returned it. That's not very helpful, since we don't know how it was described. You simply assume on no basis that the description would have made it clear to MB that the diary would not serve his purpose. That is not at all supported or even likely.
                Were you not assuming, Kattrup, on no basis, that Anne was committed to purchasing this diary? Did she think it had probably been described fairly and accurately to Mike over the phone, and that it was all his fault when it spectacularly failed to match up to their hopes and expectations for the one they had been planning to fake?

                When Martin described a diary for the year 1891, which he insisted he would have done, Mike could have said he would not be ordering it, because he had specifically asked for a diary from 1880-1890. I don't see why you had a problem with this and thought it wasn't in line with Martin's normal business practice. He talked through every item located for this very purpose - to check if the customer wanted him to go ahead and order it. There was no obligation at that point. Martin would only recover his advertising and postage costs and take his cut if and when the customer ordered and paid for the item offered. Do you seriously imagine he could expect a customer to order an Edwardian teapot if the advert placed on their behalf was for a Victorian creamer?

                "Hello Mr. Barrett, I've been unable to locate a diary that fits your specifications, but I did find one from 1891, would that be acceptable? Yes, it's completely blank. My supplier describes it as: unused red diary from the year 1891. Ok, so I'll go ahead and order it for you based on that."

                Seems like yet another case of MB being considered a bumbling buffoon, except when he is considered an arch-criminal who would have foreseen everything and asked all the right questions.
                Well something went badly wrong with the communication channels. Anyone only has to look at that little red diary for 1891 to appreciate that much, if it had been ordered in the hope of turning it into Maybrick's diary. If it was only ordered to see if a diary like the one Mike had just told Doreen about could have been obtained as easily by some prankster, that might explain it. Even in the event that Mike thought he might be able to adapt whatever Martin described to him, without asking any further questions - about size or the dates for example - the fact remains that he asked if he could see it before deciding if it was acceptable, and Martin agreed, taking the financial risk himself. Mike had not asked for a diary for 1891, so this gave him an excuse not to pay for it without seeing it first.

                The overall point is that this supposed pair of fraudsters chose to keep and pay for a genuine diary they couldn't possibly have used to house the Maybrick diary. The unanswered question remains whether Anne would have gone ahead with it if Martin Earl had located something they could use, or adapt, to create their hoax. Has nobody got any thoughts on this? Would she have wanted to know precisely how Mike had gone about his enquiry? Might he have lied about it, to conceal the fact he had given his real name and address and had that advert placed on his behalf? Leaving a perfect record of the transaction, from Mike's initial phone call to Anne's payment, would not just have been another of the occupational risks involved. It would have been an act of blatant stupidity.

                Mike used an alias when he first rang Doreen Montgomery, but gave his real name to Martin Earl for the Victorian diary enquiry, and very soon let Doreen know his real name too. However, for the alleged auction at the very end of March, where he supposedly found what he was looking for, he said he had again used an alias. If this was because he didn't want to repeat the mistake he made when dealing with Martin Earl, why would he have chosen the same alias he had previously given to Doreen, before admitting it was false? That seems incomprehensible to me, if the sole reason for using a false name at the auction was to prevent anyone making a connection between the "Mr Williams" who bought the scrapbook and the Michael Barrett who took it to London 13 days later. He had already handed that connection on a plate to his literary agent!

                Have a cool Yule everyone but please keep safe. Then there will be a time for celebrating next year.

                Love,

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

                Comment


                • Happy holidays, Caz.

                  I think we’ve reached the end of the line, haven’t we?

                  Your musings about Anne’s non-participation would be entirely plausible and acceptable if the last we had ever heard from her was the slamming of a door in the face of an inquiring Liverpool journalist, circa 1994, with the "I know nuthink, you need to ask Mike!" routine.

                  But that's not what happened, is it?

                  Instead, Anne forever linked herself to the Diary: she claimed to have seen it in back in the 1960s; she encouraged her dying father to back-up her story (a story that you now admit was just so much ballyhoo); she joined Feldman's team; she went on the radio with her claims; she wrote her own Maybrick book; she tried to save Feldman's film deal when it was going down in flames, etc. etc.

                  The public is never going to accept that these are the actions of an uninterested bystander who was terrified to link herself to her husbands' scam, and who had no financial interest in the diary’s success. It’s just not a credible argument.

                  Anne’s own actions have left you with the impossible task of trying to shove the toothpaste back inside the tube—trying, but failing, to return Anne to the year 1993, when she appeared to be a woman in the shadows who was “simply keeping her head down.”

                  What is painfully obvious is that the diary’s supporters need to sweep Anne aside—despite the warnings voiced by Martin Fido and ‘Bonsey’ over 25 years ago—because, not so deep down, they know she was more than capable of supplying what they allege Barrett lacked.

                  As for the rest of it, perhaps the subtle nuances of your arguments are eluding me, but you now seem to be suggesting that the Maybrick hoax is so obvious and so crude and so ridiculous that there is no way in heck Anne would have participated in it!

                  I’m curious how Robert Smith, Doreen Montgomery, Shirley Harrison, Dr. David Canter, Professor William Rubinstein, Colin Wilson, ‘Ike,’ etc. would have greeted this argument? And according to Paul Feldman’s book, despite the handwriting not matching Maybrick’s, even one of our most well-known Ripper historians was willing to theorize the diary was written by James Maybrick as a sort of “fantasy journal.”

                  Maybe it has something to do with the reptilian brain. Hoaxers know something that eludes even intelligent folk. Sheer audacity and optimism often works wonders.

                  Comment


                  • I only took the parts most I find most relevant, this would take forever otherwise
                    Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post
                    I trust that clears up any remaining confusion. I don't need to return to Mr Earl to 'go through it once more', because he made it clear enough the first time, in our extensive email communications, describing in detail his usual business practice in general, and also his dealings with Mike in particular.
                    Perhaps it's best to go over it once more. I'm sure Mr. Earl has made everything very clear to you ,but unfortunately the rest of us only have your paraphrases of his statements available. Maybe you should just ask Martin Earl's permission to quote the extensive communication here on the forums.

                    The confusion is caused by you stating for a fact that MB arranged to see the diary before committing to purchasing it.

                    The thing is that when you first paraphrased what Martin Earl had said, over on casebook, it was:

                    Normally he would have asked for payment with the order, so it is likely that Mr Barrett specifically asked to see it before sending payment. [...] Normally Martin asked for payment with the order once the customer had agreed to purchase what was offered, but in Mr Barrett's case, given the delay in receiving payment, that was clearly not the case. [...] In short, Martin would have had to pay his supplier up front, so there would need to have been an agreement in place with his customer before Martin would order and pay for any book located. [emphasis added - Kattrup].
                    Somehow, something that was a possibility then - a likely possibility - becomes a fact today. Now, I'm sure you can find somewhere in your extensive communication with Martin Earl something that explains this discrepancy. But I'm equally sure you can see how claiming something as a fact when it apparently wasn't can cause confusion. Which is what I reacted to.


                    Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post

                    When Martin described a diary for the year 1891, which he insisted he would have done, Mike could have said he would not be ordering it, because he had specifically asked for a diary from 1880-1890.
                    Of course
                    Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post
                    I don't see why you had a problem with this and thought it wasn't in line with Martin's normal business practice.
                    I don't and I didn't. I don't see why you think I had a problem with this

                    Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post

                    He talked through every item located for this very purpose - to check if the customer wanted him to go ahead and order it. There was no obligation at that point.
                    So?

                    Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post
                    Martin would only recover his advertising and postage costs and take his cut if and when the customer ordered and paid for the item offered.
                    Yes: if the customer ordered the item offered - the customer did order the item
                    if the customer paid for the item offered - the customer did pay for the item


                    Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post
                    The overall point is that this supposed pair of fraudsters chose to keep and pay for a genuine diary they couldn't possibly have used to house the Maybrick diary.
                    Umm, yes and so what? You've imagined if they made the diary they would automatically stiff everyone and lie about receiving the diary from Martin Earl? They're so morally corrupted that they don't pay their bills? As far as I know, they led very normal lives and weren't career criminals. Lots of people order things they end up having no use for, but they never actually return them and get their money back, even though they're entitled to it - that's how some internet shops make money, that's why shops love selling gift cards - people tend not to redeem them. As far as I understand your argument: if MB/AG created the diary, then they ordered the red diary to create the diary, then they would have seen the red diary was useless, and we know for a fact in that case they would have returned it , which Martin Earl had allowed to do even though it was not his standard business practice, in order to save 25£.

                    There could be many reasons why they did not return the diary, though, assuming Martin Earl would have accepted it - the most obvious simply being absentmindedness or laziness. Or perhaps, embarking on this grand scheme of faking a victorian diary, they thought it best to hold on to it as a source of extra victorian paper that might come in handy when dealing with some unplanned snag or other. Or we could speculate that they considered other ideas, like the Diary of Mrs. Maybrick. Or perhaps they just liked it for some reason- after all, AG did keep it. Perhaps she was already gathering insurance against MB, which she could later use as leverage against him?



                    Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post
                    The unanswered question remains whether Anne would have gone ahead with it if Martin Earl had located something they could use, or adapt, to create their hoax. Has nobody got any thoughts on this?
                    Why should anyone think about it, it's of no use speculating about it and it demonstrates nothing. Off the top of my head: neither MB nor AG were master criminals and therefore would not have been paying as much attention to traceability as you believe they would have, because you place the diary creator on a pedestal of infallibility while in the real world, the diary creators had to get a suitable volume from somewhere, which would, in the case of amateurs fumbling around, inevitably lead to a process which could be traced back to them if A) they had committed anything sufficiently illegal to really interest the police, or B) a strange internet subculture devoted 20 years to it.

                    Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post
                    That seems incomprehensible to me, if the sole reason for using a false name at the auction was to prevent anyone making a connection between the "Mr Williams" who bought the scrapbook and the Michael Barrett who took it to London 13 days later. He had already handed that connection on a plate to his literary agent!
                    Why would his agent care? As I've said before, MB took the diary to people with an economic incentive to sell as many books as possible and NO professional obligation to question its authenticity. The path of least resistance.

                    And again, you're picking and choosing from your assumptions about MB abilities and those of the diary creator - usually in your world MB is an alcoholic and talentless fool or whatever abuse you see fit to heap on the poor guy - while the diary creator is a master criminal.
                    But when presented with a scenario in which MB behaves like the fool you think him to be, you dismiss it as completely unreasonable. For instance, when presented with the offer of an unused victorian diary, albeit from a wrong year, MB forgets to ask relevant questions that would enable him to decide in advance whether the diary would serve his purpose or not. Seems pretty par for the course for the guy you imagine him to be - a drunken amateur. But oh no, you say, he surely would have made every inquiry and known in every detail how unsuitable the red diary was!

                    But when he does make mistakes - i.e. did not maintain a perfect cover identity - to you that means he could not have created the diary, because why would he have made dumb mistakes, they seem incomprehensible! Well, people don't always make perfect choices. Just because you would make a much better scam artist than MB does not mean that he was not one.



                    Ok, this ended up being much longer than I thought and taking forever, too.
                    So let's keep it short:

                    The only reason I posted was because you claimed AG was perfectly entitled to return the red diary. This contradicted what you'd posted earlier. I don't actually find the outcome itself (entitled/not entitled) particularly relevant, since not returning the diary is not an indicator of innocence.


                    Comment


                    • Correct me if my memory is faulty, but in his initial discussions with his agent Doreen Montgomery, didn't Barrett voice some desire to stay 'behind the scenes'? He wanted the diary to be published, obviously, but he thought he could do so without his name actually being dragged into it? Didn't Caz or Keith or someone make this claim?

                      Comment


                      • New update

                        There's currently missing a : in one of his links, to the article Forging a Victorian Diary.

                        This link should work

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                          As for the rest of it, perhaps the subtle nuances of your arguments are eluding me, but you now seem to be suggesting that the Maybrick hoax is so obvious and so crude and so ridiculous that there is no way in heck Anne would have participated in it!
                          No, I was not suggesting that. I do suggest that if Anne participated in the diary's creation, she was apparently psychic, not to anticipate any problems arising over the handwriting, or a paper trail left by her hopeless hubby in the process of obtaining the scrapbook they used, or any one of a hundred ways they could both have come unstuck very quickly, very early on. The fact is, despite all your protestations, there were and are no problems for her. No evidence of her participation, either from the handwriting, or from Mike's various claims about the materials and the scrapbook itself. No evidence that the scrapbook arrived in Goldie Street, courtesy of Mike, sans the handwriting. It's all speculation, adapted or taken at face value from a known liar's catalogue of tall stories.

                          Anne came out with her 'in the family story', not anticipating any problems arising over that either. Did she predict there would be no way for Mike, or Melvin Harris, or anyone else, to prove beyond doubt that the diary was a recent Barrett hoax? Or was she just not bothered about being found out, even when she was working on her own book about Florie Maybrick?

                          My belief is that Anne was quietly confident her story could not be disproved, because she knew very well Mike hadn't created the diary, and believed "the old book" had been obtained in circumstances which nobody would be willing to reveal or able to prove.
                          I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
                            New update

                            There's currently missing a : in one of his links, to the article Forging a Victorian Diary.

                            This link should work
                            thanks for posting this new tour de force from Lord Orsam! I wasnt aware of it. Makes it pretty clear where Barrett got his info for the ripper and Maybrick

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                              Correct me if my memory is faulty, but in his initial discussions with his agent Doreen Montgomery, didn't Barrett voice some desire to stay 'behind the scenes'? He wanted the diary to be published, obviously, but he thought he could do so without his name actually being dragged into it? Didn't Caz or Keith or someone make this claim?
                              Oh yes, Mike really didn't want his name dragged into things in the early days. Doreen wrote to him in May 1992, reassuring him that she had not mentioned his name when writing to potential publishers, because Shirley had said he preferred to 'keep a low profile'. Doreen added that he would have to meet interested publishers in due course.

                              In late July 1992, Shirley wrote to Mike, enclosing a copy of a letter she was sending to Tony Devereux's daughter. She wrote: ‘You will see that I have mentioned possible publicity and, as promised, I shall do my level best to keep your name out of things... But we need the press to help us and I have asked the Echo to publish a story appealing for any memorabilia or information regarding the Maybrick case. The Literary Editor is coming down here next Wednesday. I have not – and shall not – give her your name or that of Tony... I shall not show them the diary either... YOU MUST NOT WORRY. TELL THE TRUTH BUT SAY VERY LITTLE AND STRESS THAT BECAUSE OF YOUR HEALTH YOU DON’T WANT TO GIVE INTERVIEWS...'

                              Shirley's use of capitals here would suggest Mike's growing worry about the publicity, and the involvement in particular of the Liverpool press, and his name or Tony’s coming out , or even the diary itself being shown. Might this explain why he had initially contacted a literary agent in London? Was he worried about a certain electrician, who had allegedly told a colleague on 17th July 1992 about his "important" find in Battlecrease?

                              It would make sense that Mike was unhappy about Shirley alerting the Devereux family, let alone how a certain electrician might react to the publicity being generated.

                              Shirley's letter to Tony's daughter mentioned a big antique/junk sale in Liverpool about two years previously, when a dealer closed down. Shirley wondered if Tony could have found the diary then and handed it to Mike, if he knew he had once belonged to a writers' circle.
                              'The Liverpool Echo is aware of the existence of the diary and there will, inevitably, be some publicity surrounding its discovery. Mike is extremely anxious, because of his health, not to be involved in this, so we shall do our level best to keep it low key.'

                              Again, why would Mike be 'extremely anxious' about any local publicity at this time, if the whole point was to attract a publisher for his recently faked diary, and if nobody in Liverpool knew about it, let alone had seen or read it?

                              In early September 1992, the first ever diary article appeared in the Liverpool Echo: 'MURDER On her mind'. An anonymous investigator, calling herself 'Sally McDonald', has a mystery to solve concerning a journal believed to belong to James Maybrick.

                              There is no mention of Jack the Ripper at this stage.
                              I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post

                                Oh yes, Mike really didn't want his name dragged into things in the early days. Doreen wrote to him in May 1992, reassuring him that she had not mentioned his name when writing to potential publishers, because Shirley had said he preferred to 'keep a low profile'. Doreen added that he would have to meet interested publishers in due course.

                                In late July 1992, Shirley wrote to Mike, enclosing a copy of a letter she was sending to Tony Devereux's daughter. She wrote: ‘You will see that I have mentioned possible publicity and, as promised, I shall do my level best to keep your name out of things... But we need the press to help us and I have asked the Echo to publish a story appealing for any memorabilia or information regarding the Maybrick case. The Literary Editor is coming down here next Wednesday. I have not – and shall not – give her your name or that of Tony... I shall not show them the diary either... YOU MUST NOT WORRY. TELL THE TRUTH BUT SAY VERY LITTLE AND STRESS THAT BECAUSE OF YOUR HEALTH YOU DON’T WANT TO GIVE INTERVIEWS...'

                                Shirley's use of capitals here would suggest Mike's growing worry about the publicity, and the involvement in particular of the Liverpool press, and his name or Tony’s coming out , or even the diary itself being shown. Might this explain why he had initially contacted a literary agent in London? Was he worried about a certain electrician, who had allegedly told a colleague on 17th July 1992 about his "important" find in Battlecrease?
                                Hi Caz. Many thanks for taking the trouble to confirm all that; I was sure that Mike's initial desire to stay "behind-the-scenes" had been alluded to in the past.

                                But doesn't this entirely undermine the objections you raised in Post #586 and elsewhere?

                                If Barrett was grotesquely ignorant about literary hoaxes and the protocols of dealing with questioned documents, then he may well have been naïve enough to believe that he would NEVER need to come forward--that he could simply sell the Maybrick Diary to a literary agent, and, after giving suitable excuses, FOREVER stay behind the scenes.

                                Indeed, isn't that what he seems to have been trying to do?

                                And if he convinced his partner in crime of this, then she wouldn't need to give a second thought to "having to trust Mike not to leave an incriminating record of the book he was trying to obtain for their funny little joint enterprise," etc., etc., because he had convinced her that his name (and hers) would never make the papers.

                                Of course, both you and I know this was delusional thinking. Robert Smith could hardly have marketed the Maybrick Diary as "a recently discovered document by a man who wishes to remain anonymous." There would have been howls of protest. Smith would have to provide SOME sort of provenance...even if it was a lame one. Thus, a reluctant Mike eventually stepped out of the shadows.

                                But if an ignorant Mike and his missus didn't realize any of this when the hoax was being created--that is, before Doreen showed them 'the ropes'---then the mere fact that they took little effort to disguise their purchase of the red diary, etc., need not detain us.

                                At least that's how I see it.

                                Cheers.


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