Orsam Books

Lord Orsam Says...Part 16

CLANGER VICTIM SUPPORT GROUP

I can't help thinking that us victims of the Clanger need our own support group. For I see that this notorious bully is relentlessly bullying other members of the boards causing them to complain as follows:

ohrocky to the Clanger in  #703 of the Framing Charles thread:

'Nicely consistent.  If someone posts an opinion which doesn't fit in with your agenda then "attack, attack, attack" 

Fiver to the Clanger in #708 of the Framing Charles thread:

'I see you have chosen insults instead of attempting to refute anything I said' 

How many more victims are going to be allowed before some kind of action is taken?

SAGE & ONION

As I mentioned in the last Lord Orsam says, Errorbitha, not surprisingly, turns out to be a writer of creative fiction using the pseudonym 'J.W. Sage'.   His website promoting his forthcoming novel based on James Maybrick being Jack the Ripper, 'Threads of Time', can be found here.   To his credit, he links to this website's 'Pillars of Sand' as stating the case against the Major's ludicrous 'Society's Pillar' but, to his discredit, he writes this passage, with its totally false final two sentences about the Maybrick diary:

'The scrapbook has largely been met with resistance by the 'Ripperologist' community.  They cite a number of challenges with the book such as it's (sic) provenance, the ink used, the handwriting style and alleged historical inaccuracies.  The  funny thing is, none of those things have been conclusively proven either way.  That means tantalisingly the scrapbook could well be genuine.'

While that might have been a reasonable comment five or six years ago, due to Shirley Harrison having misled the entire Ripperology community into believing she had found a documentary example of 'one off' to mean unique from the 1860s, it is now known for sure that the expression 'one off instance' which is found in the diary is a purely twentieth century expression, just as the language experts had been saying since the early 1990s!

This means that the scrapbook cannot possibly be genuine.  It's a dead cert that it was written in the twentieth century.  Errorbitha is simply in denial about this fact.

I might also note that recent research has discovered that the expression 'bumbling buffoon', as found in the diary, is also clearly twentieth century, while the mention of Florence going to London to visit her 'sick aunt' in March 1889 also proves the diary to be a forgery because, in reality, her cover story was that she was going to London to visit her godmother, as her husband certainly knew.  There are other confirmed historical inaccuracies in the diary (not just "alleged" ones).

It's really time for the diary defenders to understand that the diary is a proven forgery and that they are wasting their time, and the time of others, by constantly chanting the false and outdated mantra that 'the funny thing' is that it's never been proved to be a modern forgery, when the funny thing is that it has.

THE SAGE & ONION CONSPIRACY

It's no surprise to find that Errorbitha is a conspiracy theorist as well as a diary defender.  Both come out of the same desire for an imaginative rewriting of history in the face of all the evidence.  On the Censorship Forum, he started a thread entitled 'Why a cover up could be possible' with a plea for historians to listen to 'creative thinkers' (i.e. writers of fiction) like himself who, without the need to worry about annoying little things like facts or documentary evidence, can conjure up from their overactive imaginations all kinds of possible solutions to historical mysteries.

Apparently, had James Maybrick been convicted of being Jack the Ripper, it would have led to the downfall of the government because he was a toff, so it needed to be covered up by the authorities.

Of course, our hero isn't called Errorbitha for nothing, and his OP is riddled with factual errors.  Firstly this:

'Monro's department which he was so precious to protect, was in its very nature clandestine, keeping vital information limited to a select group of people.  We know he even kept his own copies of files, if not the originals too.'

Actually, we know no such thing. I have no idea what Errorbitha is talking about but I suspect he is confusing Monro's private and personal papers with official ones.  Furthermore, Monro didn't even work for the Metropolitan Police during the period of the Ripper murders in 1888 and his small 'department' at the Home Office had no practical involvement with policing in London at that time.  

Then we have this nonsense:

'The special branch even changed its name in 1888 to drop the 'Irish' from its title because its remit had expanded way beyond the fenian threat.'

I just don't know where he picks up such rubbish. 

On 15 December 1891, for example, which, for those who can count, is a full THREE YEARS after 1888, the Home Office wrote to the then Commissioner of Police, Sir Edward Bradford, to discuss a reduction of police stationed at ports and a possible reduction in the numbers of:

'Special Irish Branch of Central Office (Section B)'.

We can see this reference clearly below from that letter of 15 December 1891. 

Eight months later, a letter from the Home Office to the Board of Customs dated 13 August 1892, getting us close to four years following the period of the murders, stated (underlining added):

'...in consequence of the present peaceful aspect of affairs and the facilities which now exist for strengthening at short notice the Police Office at head quarters the Commissioner has recommended that the number of the Metropolitan Police employed in the Special Irish Branch of the Central Office be reduced by four constables.'

Here is that letter in full: 

So, how shall we describe Errorbitha's claim that the Special Irish Branch had the word 'Irish' removed from its name in 1888?  Would utter bollocks be fair?

It wasn't until later that the 'Irish' part of the Special Irish Branch became forgotten. In 1888, the primary purpose of the Special Irish Branch was to deal with Fenian threats.  They did do some work dealing with possible Socialist threats to public order but that involved normal undercover police work.

Then, from his false premises, Errorbitha writes:

'Questions more pertinent would be who were involved and why?  Ultimately, why would such efforts at misdirection and illusion be required?'

Honestly, what is he talking about?  Even if everything he had written was factually correct (which it wasn't) he hadn't in his post provided a single example of 'misdirection' or 'illusion'.  He just made those things up as if they actually existed!

Ideal for a writer of historical fiction but of no help to serious historians who rely on facts and evidence, not creative thinking by gullible individuals.

BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER NUTS

Reading threads on the boards these days is like walking into the world of the insane.  No better example can be found than in respect of the discussion of the identity of the 'Mrs Hammersmith' mentioned in the Maybrick diary (no suitable candidate by the name of 'Hammersmith' having been found in almost 30 years of searching).

The main but not the only offender is J.W. Sage a.k.a. Errorbitha. On JTR Forums he said of Mrs Hammersmith:

'I believe her to be Eleanor Bridge'. 

The reason for his belief is no more than a convoluted guess that the writer was using private wordplay (non existent elsewhere in the diary with respect to names of people), connecting a woman called Eleanor Bridge who lived in Liverpool with Hammersmith Bridge. 

Why the writer of the diary would have connected Mrs Bridge with Hammersmith Bridge in particular when he could have called her Mrs London, Mrs Waterloo, Mrs Westminster, Mrs Lambeth, Mrs Southwark, Mrs Vauxhall, Mrs Chelsea, Mrs Blackfriars, Mrs Kingston, Mrs Fulham and others including Mrs Tower (a bridge which, in 1888, was in the process of being built) is not explained.   Sage points to the fact that Hammersmith Bridge was opened in June 1887 but so what?  Hammersmith Bridge was in no way the most famous bridge in London so why, if nicknaming a woman called Mrs Bridge, would the diary author have chosen Hammersmith?

But, really, that's not even the main problem with Sage's theory. 

A bigger problem is that there is literally no evidence that the Mrs Bridge who lived in Liverpool ever knew or had spoken to James Maybrick!  You'd think that would be the most basic element of a theory that Mrs Bridge could be Mrs Hammersmith.

I mean, if there was at least some connection between Mrs Bridge and James Maybrick other than that they both lived in Liverpool you could at least say that the theory is not certifiably insane even though it would still be tenuous, to say the least.  Yet, in the absence of any such connection, how mad is it on a scale of 1-10 to say 'I believe her to be Eleanor Bridge' when there is no rational basis for such a belief?

Yet, San Fran (perhaps humouring Sage, I don't know) then posted in bold 'So Mrs Hammersmith was Eleanor Bridge', as if a great discovery had been made.   To which Sage said, 'There are many who are not convinced.  I am'. 

But 'convinced' by what?  There's nothing here.  All he's done is identified that there was a woman named Mrs Bridge in Liverpool and a bridge called Hammersmith Bridge in London.  The connection between the two is basically non-existent, just like the connection between Mrs Bridge and James Maybrick.

Now, I wouldn't even have bothered to waste my time writing about this insanity were it not for the fact that, like inmates in a lunatic asylum, those posting on this subject appear to have convinced themselves that 'Mrs Hammersmith' simply must be wordplay on 'bridge' even though there is nothing in the diary to indicate any such thing.

So we next have it pointed out that the derivation of the the surname 'Briggs' is bridge.  In a normal world, this would have nothing to do with the diary.  After all, Maybrick doesn't refer to the woman he spoke to as 'Mrs Bridge'.  But in the world of the insane, this doesn't seem to matter.  They've convinced themselves that it is a certainty that 'Mrs Hammersmith' must have been named after a bridge for some reason, even though Hammersmith is also a place in London.   So all they need to do now is find the woman who was named after a bridge. 

To Sage's disappointment (presumably) Mrs Eleanor Bridge is now discarded, due to the absence of connection with Maybrick, to be replaced by Mrs Briggs!

No consideration is given to the possibility that they all might be barking up the wrong tree.   Even if the author of the diary was playing with words, for which one can only be speculating to the nth degree, why might he not have been referring to a Mrs Smith whom he, perhaps, once saw using a hammer to hit some nails?  Perhaps from the day he saw her doing this he always called her Mrs Hammersmith.  Why not?  It's just as good, by which I mean as barking mad, as the other theories.

And do we know anyone called 'Smith' in the Maybrick story?  Well there is Maybrick's friend George Smith.  One of his relatives (perhaps his wife) must have been a Mrs Smith.  So it could have been her and there is a good chance that she actually knew Maybrick.  There. Problem solved.  All you have to do is say 'I believe her to be Mrs Smith' and you have your free ticket to the looney bin. 

THE ONE OFF PROBLEM

In writing the above I didn't even mention the biggest problem with the theory about Mrs Hammersmith. 

The biggest problem is that it assumes the diary to have been written in 1888/89 by James Maybrick and that there really WAS a woman called Mrs Hammersmith in his life.  

At least that's the case for J.W. Sage whereas Caroline Morris will no doubt say that she thinks it was written by a contemporary of Maybrick with an intimate knowledge of his life.

But neither possibility can be true.  I know that because the diary has been proved to be a twentieth century forgery due to the mistaken use by the forger of the twentieth expression 'one off instance' (and other mistakes should they be needed, which they don't, such as 'bungling buffoon').

Although there has never been any refutation of my detailed explanation of why 'one off instance' couldn't possibly have been written in a diary in 1888/89, it's amusing to see the delusional lengths which diary defenders will go to in an attempt to avoid confronting reality. 

In an essay entitled (without any sense of irony) 'Damn Diary Defenders' which can be found here here,  in which Diary Defender Sage denies being a diary defender, he says:

"examples of "one off" have been found in newspaper reports of the time, and there's no reason to believe more instances will be found in due course".

This is, of course, completely false.  It also reveals this guy's ignorance of his subject once again.  He's not called Error Bitha for nothing. 

As everyone else will know, the truth is that not a single example of 'one off' (as it is used in the diary) has been found in any newspaper from the nineteenth century, or any other written document, and there is no reason to believe that a single instance will ever be found.   In fact, it never will be because I've already demonstrated that 'one off instance' is a confirmed twentieth century expression which proves the diary to be a modern forgery.

SPHERE 1

As we go round in circles once again, we find Caroline Morris writing in post #27 of the 'Was Eleanor Bridge Mrs Hammersmith?' thread:

'the evidence strongly indicates that Mike didn't have access to the right Sphere volume until 1994, nearly three years after the diary emerged...'

FACT CHECK: False.   

According to none other than Robert Smith, posting on Casebook on 8 May 2001 (underlining added), Mike:

'proudly reported his discovery of Crashaw’s lines in Liverpool Central Library to Shirley on 30th September 1994. Later he remembered he owned a copy of the same volume, sent to him by Sphere as part of a charity contribution to the Hillsborough disaster fund. He recovered it from his girlfriend’s son, to whom he had lent it for his exam work .'

We find exactly the same thing stated two years later in Caroline Morris' own book, 'Inside Story' (2003) at page 145 (underlining added):

'Barrett was now [in October 1994] claiming that a copy of the Sphere volume containing the relevant quotation had actually been in his possession long before the Diary had been brought to public attention'.  

The authors of 'Inside Story' tell us that:

'Harrison phoned Barrett's friend Jenny Morrison, who corroborated his story'.  

Peter Wood listened to the Gray/Barrett tapes and posted on 23 December 2001 (underlining added):

'They are back onto the Crashaw quote now and Mike is retelling about contacting Sphere in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster, he said something about "...two volumes of books, volumes 1 to 7..."'.
 
As far back as 1996, Shirley Harrison recorded in a note that Jenny Morrison told her that (underlining added) she 'still has the relevant volumes minus the relevant one which Mike took when he left.'

So 'the evidence', such as it is, is that, in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster, Mike acquired volumes 1 to 7 of the Sphere History of Literature series (although Mike himself would say in 1999 that he received 9 volumes). Robert Smith himself tells us that Mike remembered owning a copy of 'the same volume' which contained the Crashaw quote, something confirmed by 'Inside Story'.  A witness even recalls Mike taking volume 2 away with him.  The evidence, in other words, is that Mike DID own volume 2.

Even Caroline Morris when writing on the subject on Casebook on 18 May 2020 only went as far as saying, 'there is still no evidence that Mike owned volume 2'.  Saying that there's no evidence that Mike owned volume 2 is a long way from saying (as she now is) that the evidence is that he did NOT own it.

There is simply no evidence that Mike did not own the correct volume, let alone evidence which 'strongly indicates' that he did not.  

So how has Caroline Morris got it into her head that there is evidence which strongly indicates that Mike didn't own volume 2?  Well, I explained this in Oh Carolina! (see under 'Part 3'). She simply misunderstood something that Melvin Harris once posted.

But this misunderstanding leads her to a very helpful conclusion because the coincidence of Mike having owned the Sphere book containing the Crashaw quote found in the diary is so amazing that it can hardly lead to any other conclusion that he was personally involved in the forgery.

SPHERE 2

For the first time, as far as I am aware, we are informed by Caroline Morris that the Sphere History of Literature volume 2 which is now in Keith Skinner's possession has 'signs of being used by a student'.   It's odd that she doesn't mention what those signs are. You'd think we'd have been told by now wouldn't you, if there really were any signs?  And, in any case, the book was originally lent to Jenny Morrison's son (a student!) for him to use.

The other point made by Caroline Morris in #27 of the Mrs Hammersmith thread is that the copy handed by Mike to Alan Gray was 'not new'

Well, it would be pretty much impossible for a book published in 1986 to be anything other than 'not new' when handed to a third party eight years later in December 1994!  But even then, Caroline Morris is in no position to say what the book looked like in 1994. Keith Skinner didn't even see it for the first time until August 2004 when he paid Alan Gray an exorbitant price of £100 for it, although what guarantee Skinner had from Gray that this was the same book that Barrett had given him in 1994 and not one that Gray had purchased himself for 50p from a second hand bookshop I have no idea. 

Anyway, the point is that Keith didn't see the book for the first time until nearly 20 years after its publication date.  Even if we ignore the first three years of its existence, on the basis that Mike would have received it brand new from the publisher in 1989, that's still plenty of time for a new book to look old.

No-one has ever been able to explain to me why a book which was published in 1986 but which looked 'not new' in 2004 could not have been in Mike Barrett's hands for four or five years.  After all, SOMEONE had to have owned it and turned it from new to not new and I just can't see why that couldn't have been Mike Barrett. 

CAROLINE & JONATHAN

An amusing incident in the 'If Schwartz Lied' thread when Caroline Morris, for only the second time ever, admitted to visiting this website!!! 

Of course she does.  She knows the truth of the famous  'No Orsam, No Comment' saying.

Naturally, she only mentioned having read one of my articles (the one about Simon Wood) in order to try and smear and undermine me.....as per usual (yawn!).  It's the way she operates.

In a completely off-topic, and somewhat unhinged post in that Schwartz thread (responding to a link posted by Herlock Sholmes to my articles about inquests), she complained (in #905) about having been described by Lord Orsam as a friend of Jonathan Menges.  Not sure what the problem about that is.  

Claiming that her and Jonathan's paths have 'rarely crossed' on the boards or by email, meaning, in plain English, that their paths HAVE crossed, she coyly admitted that she's been part of the same email discussion group with him (without providing further details of how this actually occurred).  It's funny, because I've never been copied into any emails with Menges!  

As for her path crossing with Menges on the Censorship Forum, we find her thanking Jonathan Menges in the Incontrovertible thread (#5324) for saying on 19 June 2020 that he was hopeful that the tapes of the recordings between Mike Barrett and Alan Gray would be 'released eventually' , Menges having asked Keith if he could release them 'last September', and confirming on the same day (#5337) that Keith, 'had someone working with the tapes already' (yet here we are in September 2021 and the tapes STILL haven't been released!):

'Cheers Jonathan.  I think we need the old adage here that patience is a virtue.  Or the one about time revealing all....' .

That's an example of an online friendship right there, so goodness knows why she's so huffy about being described as a friend of Menges.  What is she so worried about?

And, of course, she LOLs at his jokes about Rubenhold:

Menges (to a poster mentioning 'The Five'): "It sounds wonderful.  I must get myself a copy."

Caroline Morris: "Thanks Jonathan. I just spat my tea out." Smiley face 

I don't remember her laughing at any of my (very funny) jokes on the Forum!!!  Once again, that post alone justifies my description of an (online) friendship between these two people. 

And, weirdly, I don't ever recall Caroline and Jonathan ever disagreeing or arguing about anything on the boards over many years, which would certainly be odd if that's actually the case, and I think it is.  How could it be explained? 

Nor do I recall Jonathan making any snarky posts in response to Caroline Morris or even challenging or questioning her, despite, as we all know, Caroline Morris having spent more than 20 years posting hundreds and hundreds of nonsensical speculative posts about the Maybrick diary.  How is it physically possible that Menges never found anything to challenge or question about a single one of them?

By contrast, when I started my 'Acquiring a Victorian Diary' thread in February 2017 here, Menges was first to respond WITHIN 90 MINUTES to ask me, in #2, what he evidently thought was a difficult question, but, when I answered it in #5, he never said thank you or, indeed, anything at all. 

And in the famous Tumblety thread in May 2018, Menges, despite not then being a moderator, made a bad faith interjection (#85) about the use of 'precious server space' (something he later admitted wasn't a genuine consideration), and he falsely told me that I wasn't the only person to have said that the reported English Detective in New York might have been a private detective (#134) - in fact, I was - while he didn't seem to appreciate that Hawley's discussion on the point had been a direct response to what I had written on the subject (#144).

Menges' chummy online relationship with Caroline Morris is certainly in contrast with his online relationship with, say, Jan Bondeson who, as mentioned in Lord Orsam Says...Part 3, Menges once charmingly described  as 'a fucking idiot'. Mind you, that's probably better than other insults he's used to describe other named Ripperologists, such as 'sex pervert', 'Neo-Nazi' and 'total alcoholic failure'.  Rest assured that none of those descriptions were applied to the saintly Caroline Morris. 

I also can't recall Caroline Morris ever questioning or challenging Menges about anything on the boards which is odd because she's challenged loads of other posters on all kinds of small things, including typos. 

Regular readers with good memories will, of course, know exactly what was behind my mention of this friendship.  It was a bizarre claim Menges made to me in a hostile email back in June 2019 (as first mentioned in Lord Orsam Says...Part 4) when he wrote:

'During this time period in question I noticed a tendency with you that you repeatedly badger other members of Casebook.  Caroline Morris being another example, as if I recall you were hopscotching from the Maybrick thread to the Tumblety thread during this time and not showing your best side.'

This was, needless to day, pure nonsense from Menges and, ironically, the truth was that it was Caroline Morris who hopscotched from the Maybrick threads to the Tumblety thread in May 2018, not to post anything relating to Tumblety, but to make a negative post (in #178 of that thread) about ME, although I completely ignored her, and then, back in a Maybrick thread, she referred, quite gratuitously, and without any proper justification (but simply to try and smear me), to the events in the Tumblety thread!!!!

When someone makes such a glaringly obvious false statement in a private email, as Menges did, and one to the face of the very person he's rudely accusing of badgering someone to boot, it could only make me wonder why Jonathan was being so weirdly protective of Caroline.  It was no surprise, therefore, that we found Menges subsequently making posts in the Forum on behalf of none other than Caroline Morris' personal friend (as she herself tells us), Keith Skinner!!!!

I'm reminded of what I posted in Lord Orsam Says...Part 2 back on 8 September 2019: 

'Throughout the whole time I was posting in the Maybrick Diary threads, it was clear that attempts were being made to discredit me on a regular basis.  It's what happens to critics of the Diary.  With that going on in public, what was happening in private?  Was I being discredited through emails and private messages?   Like I said, I previously  had no idea that Mr Menges was connected with the Diary Defence Team.  Now that he is being used as Keith Skinner's messenger, I naturally begin to wonder.'

While I was obviously guessing back then, lo and behold, would you believe it, it now turns out that Jonathan Menges and Caroline Morris are confirmed to be joint recipients of private emails (the subject of which Caroline Morris has, you will note, chosen not to mention) from an unknown person or persons! 

As for private messages, Caroline Morris, you will also note, did not confirm whether there have ever been any passing between her and Mr Menges.

Now, I have no idea of the precise nature of the relationship between Jonathan Menges, Keith Skinner and Caroline Morris. 

All I know is that Menges uploads posts for Keith Skinner on the Censorship Forum (in apparent breach of the rules) and appears, from other comments he's made, to be in close contact with him (although he may never have met him in person). I now know, thanks to Caroline Morris' own admission, that he's been miraculously copied into private emails along with Caroline Morris by an unknown third person or persons AND I also know that the pair have had some friendly online exchanges on the boards, albeit 'rarely' according to Ms Morris. 

I also know that Caroline Morris defends Menges against personal attacks, or at least that is what Menges himself believes.  Hence, he posted on 8 August 2019 in the 'Inside Bucks Row' thread on the Censorship Forum (#54):

'Eddy Butler has a personal vendetta against me since I was the first to report on his right-wing political activism, and I suspect that is what Caz was referring to when calling his views "far from balanced".'

 

It's hard to understand why Menges would have thought that Caroline Morris had him in mind when she merely said on JTR Forums that Ed Stow's views were 'far from balanced'  but perhaps he is delusional when it comes to her.  I'm sure Caroline Morris - who seems to think that the precise nature of her relationship with Menges is of huge significance - will now state publicly on the forum that Menges was entirely wrong and misguided, and that she didn't have him in mind at all when she attacked Ed Stow (Butler); and she will no doubt aggressively ask Menges why he could possibly have thought this (ideally in an off-topic post in a thread about Israel Schwartz) and accuse him of telling lies about her. 

Above all, though, what I find extraordinary is how selective Caroline Morris is in her responses to my articles.   She never responds to anything I've written about the Maybrick diary whereby I've repeatedly pointed out serious errors on substantive issues that she's made in her posts.  That's not her style.  Her style is (like the Clanger) to try and smear and undermine me on other very minor things simply because she has no answer to the important stuff.

And this comes from a woman who has falsely claimed or implied that I've been posting on the Forum under other names and also falsely claimed that I've been using other members as surrogates for my own thoughts, while feeding them information.  No correction, explanation or apology has been forthcoming.  Prior to this, she had already falsely claimed that I'd misunderstood a part of her book dealing with communications with Outhwaite & Litherland when the truth was that the misunderstanding was hers.

She's also falsely claimed, without any substantiation, that there are 'several discrepancies, misunderstandings and factual errors' in what she refers to as my 'diary rants' and, despite me challenging her on this very point, has never produced them.

It wasn't that long ago that she was claiming on JTR Forums that I had 'a sad obsession with carols' although she had, by mistake, misidentified me as the author of a list of 'humorous' song carol titles actually written by Howard Brown! She's never corrected the record, naturally.  

And I think my personal favourite lie she's told about me was this one (said in #398 of the 'Lord Orsam Blog' thread, after asking why she would want to read any of my 'obsessive personal attacks'):

'I know he can't help himself, because I have it on good authority'. 

Good authority? Hello? WTF?  That statement is completely untrue.

At the very least, given the clear and obvious relationship between Jon and Keith, Caroline must admit to being a friend of a friend of Jonathan Menges. She must also admit to having a good online relationship with him on the boards, which is a type of friendship. Those types of friendships are good enough for me to explain why Menges mysteriously deluded himself into thinking I was ever badgering her.

JONATHAN & ALLY

I could equally have written of the friendship between Jonathan and Ally as being another of the wonders of Ripperology.

We mustn't lose sight of the fact that Menges appeared to reveal himself in his email to me as the direct source of Ally Ryder's claim in her since deleted ruling of 21 May 2018 that I was 'Badgering an author relentlessly with the same questions'.  Although Menges was writing to me a year later, he subsequently admitted on JTR Forums that he had been secretly corresponding with Ally Ryder in the days prior to 21 May 2018, briefing her as to what had happened in the Tumblety thread (despite him having been an active and arguably disruptive participant himself in that thread), and I don't think it's me being paranoid to believe that it's very likely that he put the word 'badgering' into her head, and quite possibly falsely told her that I'd been badgering Caroline Morris, exactly as he rudely wrote to me, thus leading Ally Ryder into making an outrageous adverse ruling to me - a ruling based on a lie - which led to my departure from the Forum.

I also know that Menges deluded himself into thinking I was badgering Caroline Morris on the boards.  Anyone who knows Caroline Morris' aggressive and sarcastic posting style - not to mention the way she brutally smears anyone who thinks the diary is a modern forgery - will find this truly laughable. 

Not only that, but I had long stopped addressing Caroline Morris directly on the boards because of the type of person I had discovered her to be.  It was literally impossible for me to be badgering her about anything! 

CAROLINE & LORD ORSAM

According to Caroline Morris' twisted perception of the world, as expressed in #918 of the 'If Schwartz lied' thread:

'As Lord Orsam is stuck in his dungeon, telling lies about me, I think I could probably get away with calling him whatever I like...' 

It's rather ironic that in a thread entitled 'If Schwartz lied' this person is lying about me telling lies about her! 

Presumably she is referring to me saying at the end of the Simon Wood article:

'Anne and Keith. Simon and Paul.  Caroline and Jonathan.  These friendships in the world of Ripperology really are a great thing aren't they?'

How on earth can that be said to be a lie?  Does she actually dislike Jonathan Menges then?  She certainly hasn't said so!  

All I've said was 'Caroline and Jonathan'.  It's not even a statement of anything!

As I've explained, with evidence, Jonathan Menges falsely but protectively claimed that I had repeatedly badgered her on the boards.  He clearly likes her.  They share a mutual friend.  He thinks she defends him online against personal attacks.  They share an occasional online chat and a laugh. They are on shared emails.  Where on earth is the lie?  I didn't even make a positive statement!

But Caroline Morris has told a number of provable lies about me as set out in previous editions of 'Lord Orsam Says...' and above.  If she is now going to be responding to my articles, instead of pretending not to have read them, I'll happily set out a complete list of her lies about me so that she can respond individually to each one.  Just let me know, Caroline!

Oh, and then the twist in her post: 'I did like his inquest article though'.  LOL!   

CAROLINE BREAKS THE RULES! 

For the record, here is the full unhinged off-topic rant of Caroline Morris in the Schwartz thread relating to inquests: 

'Out of curiosity I just read Lord Orsam's latest on Simon Wood and found the final sentence completely baffling.  I won't quote it, but if I am the Caroline he refers to, I don't know what he is talking about .  He mentions a 'friendship' between me and someone called Jonathan as if this has some huge significance.  Assuming Lord Orsam means Jonathan Menges, I can't imagine what he's trying to imply.  There is certainly no personal friendship between us, and our paths have very rarely crossed, either on the boards or via the odd email, when someone may have copied us both in for whatever reason.

I'm afraid this doesn't fill me with confidence about anything else Lord Orsam thinks he knows about other people's business. What he knows about Inquest procedures is of course a separate issue.' 

We can see that having started off by saying that she wasn't going to quote from my post, she then directly quoted the single word 'friendship' .  THAT ladies and gentleman IS A QUOTE.  And it's strictly forbidden on the Censorship Forum to quote ANYTHING I've written here on that site.

Mr Jonathan Menges, Chief Moderator, are you listening?  She's flouted the rules despite the clearest possible instructions that nothing I say can be quoted!  That's not to mention the way she used Casebook as a platform to air her personal grievances in a flagrantly off-topic post about something said on another website. But did Caroline's mate, Jonathan, take any action against her?  Ha ha, don't make me laugh!

She also said she only read my article about Simon Wood 'out of curiosity'.   Ha ha!  The only other time she has admitted to visiting this site was back in November 2019 when she said on JTR Forums, 'Oh I am weak. But I just had to take a sneaky peek'.  She can never admit to actually coming here in a normal way.

Then, I do love how she is so coy about not knowing for sure that I'm referring to a friendship between her and Jonathan Menges.  'If I am the Caroline referred to' she says before immediately stating as an absolute fact that it is!!!!  Then she says, 'Assuming Lord Orsam means Jonathan Menges..' . It's odd how she - someone who has always claimed in the past not to read the articles on this site - correctly identified Jonathan Menges as the 'Jonathan' in question within the mere wording of 'Caroline and Jonathan'.  Without any further information, why would she possibly think that?  I mean, why could it not have been Jonathan Hainsworth, for example?  Very strange, is it not, that she leaps on Jonathan Menges as someone with whom she is supposed to be friends?

But I also love the way that she claims that my mention of it was as if that friendship was of 'huge significance'.  That's just a strawman argument which she can then knock down because I never said or implied anything of the sort.  Nor did I even say that there is a close friendship between the two of them, although she'd obviously prefer it if I had said that. 

I ask again, why is she so worried about me referring to her being a friend of Jonathan Menges? 

CAROLINE AND JONATHAN...UPDATE!

Surprise surprise, Chief Censor Menges never took any action against Caroline Morris for (a) quoting me on the Forum against his own rules and (b) making an entirely off-topic (and abusive) post about me in a thread supposed to be about Israel Schwartz.

Caroline and Jonathan. Jonathan and Ally.  Keith and Jonathan. Caroline and Keith.  These friendships in the world of Ripperology really are a great thing aren't they?

CAROLINE AND LORD ORSAM...UPDATE

Still no response from Caroline Morris to ANY of the many detailed and fact-packed articles I've written on this website about the Maybrick diary.

She's got no excuse now.  She's admitted that she's perfectly willing and able to visit this website.  She can no longer stick her head in the sand.  She needs to respond to cogent arguments.

And THIS is what I'm sure people are interested in. No-one cares if Caroline and Jonathan can be described as 'friends' or not.  They just want to know if there is any answer to the points I've made which demonstrate that the diary is a modern forgery.

So far, answer has come there none. 

CAROLINE MORRIS AND THE BIG LIE

As regular readers of this website will know, Ripperology's version of The Big Lie is that I have been banned from the Casebook Forum, with some versions of The Big Lie calling it a permanent ban.

Having originated with Crazy Ally Ryder, the two subsequent spreaders of The Big Lie, funnily enough, have been none other than that troublesome twosome: Caroline Morris and Jonathan Menges!!!!  Who'd have thought it?

Friendships huh?

Here is Caroline Morris shamefully telling The Big Lie on the Censorship Forum (#522 of the Special Announcement thread) on 4 June 2020:

 

'Lord Orsam' she said (or should have said) 'was permanently banned from casebook two years ago.'

FACT CHECK: FALSE.  It's The Big Lie.  The truth was set out in From Commissioner to Asterisk proving that I resigned voluntarily from Casebook.

As I've said before, Crazy Ally can no more now permanently ban me, a private citizen, from Casebook than she can the Prime Minister or the Queen.  She has no jurisdiction whatsoever over me.  If she intended to ban me well, bad luck, she was too late, because, by the time she invented the ban in her head, I was no longer a member of her stupid forum.

Even worse is that you can see that the purpose of the The Big Lie by Caroline Morris in this case was so that she could say to RJ that, because I was supposedly permanently banned from Casebook, she therefore didn't see 'any reason to go in search of what he has to say today on any subject, least of all the diary....'. 

So we can see that The Big Lie was actually being used as an excuse by her not to have to read, and more importantly respond to, my articles about the Maybrick diary and to remain in permanent denial, with her head stuck in the sand. 

She was spreading The Big Lie in other threads too. Hence in 'The apron was dropped' thread at #23 on 13 August 2020 she posted:

 

'Lord Orsam was banned - permanently two years ago, and if anyone knows that he has returned in any form, they are supposed to report it to Admin to deal with.'

FACT CHECK: A Lie.  A Big Lie. 

The Great Teller of the Big Lie then doubled down on the lie by #29 by referring to a post by none other than her partner in crime, and her good pal...oops, I mean her NON-FRIEND, Jonathan Menges!!!!  Hence: 

 

She pasted 'evidence' from 'one who ought to know' by which I think she must mean, one who ought to know better, her hero Jonathan Menges:

'Lord Orsam is banned from contributing to the Casebook message boards and that ban also forbids other posters from copying and pasting his comments in any discussion board...pasting his commentary here will  not be allowed'.

While Caroline Morris' defence may be that she got her information from Chief Censor Menges or Crazy Ally, she should, of course, be setting the record straight now that she knows the truth, not to mention apologising to me.

Jonathan Menges, however, has no such excuse. Not only has he admitted to having read 'From Commissioner to Asterisk' (and he even responded to it) but, as a friend of Ally Ryder and now a moderator of Casebook, he must know the truth. 

Yet, he's falsely claimed on more than one occasion, both before and after becoming moderator, that I've been banned.  We've already seen what he posted in 2020 and here is what he posted on JTR Forums in October 2019 in a discussion about Ricky Cobb (long after he read my 'From Commissioner to Asterisk' article the previous month):

'Having said that, I support Howard's decision to remove the images as he's been threatened with legal action (a lifetime ban offense on Casebook, I might add. See Lord Orsam) and this is Howard's house and I think the case of plagiarism has been sufficiently made.  Whether that makes people dislike Ricky Cobb is Cobb's problem and no one else's).'

So Menges in this post referred to Ricky Cobb being threatened with 'a lifetime ban offense' on Casebook while adding 'See Lord Orsam' (as he should have written).

But, if you see Lord Orsam, you only see someone who resigned from Casebook and who expressly asked Admin, in writing, to delete their membership. 

I will repeat for the benefit of the hard of comprehending that at no time while I was a member of the Forum and in communication with Ally Ryder (which I was until my very last day of membership of the Forum) was I ever notified of a ban, let alone a lifetime ban.  Even to this day, I have still never been notified of such a ban (as opposed to reading about such a thing on the Forum in circumstances where I knew that what is being said was untrue and I was unable to reply, due to my resignation). The supposed ban, in other words, exists only in the minds of Ally Ryder, Jonathan Menges and Caroline Morris. 

But what do you think the chances of a retraction are from these people?  As far as I can tell, none of them have any regard for the truth. And if they wish to challenge that statement about them, let's hear them admit the truth in public about my resignation from the Forum. 

A WITNESS TO THE STREET 

According to Michael W. Richards in the 'If Schwartz Lied' thread (#938):

'Fact...a witness to the street...'

Hold on.  What the hell is a witness 'to the street'?

Ah, let's ignore that.  He says:

'Fact...a witness to the street claimed to have been able to see the street almost the whole time between 12.30 and just after 1am.  She didn't see anyone but a young couple and Goldstein during that time.'

The hilarious thing about this is that Michael Richards' own theory is that the body of Stride was discovered between 12.35 and 12.45.   Hence, earlier in the very same thread, at #86, he claimed that there were four individuals who 'all gave times within 4 minutes of the others and all were from 12:35 to 12:45'.  The underlining and bold is Michael Richards' own.

But, on his own account, this can't have been possible if Fanny Mortimer, the witness to the street in question, hadn't seen anyone in the street between 12.30 and 1am.

Or put it this way, by Richards' own thinking, a discovery at 12.35 to 12.45 is just as implausible as a discovery at 1am!

So when was Stride murdered and when was her body discovered?   It must be a real mystery if you are Michael Richards.

ADVENTURES IN DOUBLETHINK

The ability to hold contradictory ideas in one's head and believe them all is a certain skill employed by those who dismiss Schwartz's account.

These people rely on a story published in the Evening News on 1 October 1888 in which it is stated that (underlining added):

'A woman who lives two doors from the club has made an important statement.  It appears that shortly before a quarter to one o'clock she heard the measured,  heavy tramp of a policeman passing the house on his beat.  Immediately afterwards she went to the street-door, with the intention of shooting the bolts, though she remained standing there ten minutes before she did so. During the  ten minutes she saw no one enter or leave the neighbouring yard, and she feels sure that had any one done so she could not have overlooked the fact.  The quiet and deserted character of the street appears to have struck her at the time.  Locking the door, she prepared to retire to bed, in the front room of the ground floor, and it so happened that in about four minutes' time she heard Diemshitz's pony cart pass the house, and remarked upon the circumstance to her husband.'

That this is relied on as an accurate account by the Schwartz deniers is remarkable for three reasons.

1. This woman wasn't called by Wynne Baxter to give evidence at the inquest, yet for some reason this doesn't indicate that her account wasn't believed by the coroner even though that's the very reason they say Schwartz wasn't called!

2. In this report, the woman - who must surely be Fanny Mortimer - clearly states that she stood at her door for only ten minutes whereas a separate statement attributed to Mrs Mortimer in the Evening News of 1 October 1888 has her say that:

'I was standing at the door of my house nearly the whole time between half-past twelve and one o'clock this Sunday morning, and did not notice anything unusual'.

These two accounts, if from the same person, are wholly contradictory and cannot both be true.  Ten minutes is obviously not 'nearly the whole time' between 12.30 and 1am.  Yet, the Schwartz deniers rely on Mrs Mortimer as having been at her door for nearly 30 minutes while ALSO relying on Mrs Mortimer's account that she was only there for 10 minutes!!!

3. If Mrs Mortimer heard Diemschitz's pony cart pass her house about four minutes after she went indoors (albeit that this isn't mentioned in her second statement) it must surely corroborate Diemschitz's story that he found the body of Stride at 1am yet, while apparently believing that Mrs Mortimer's account is true, the same people seem to tell us that Diemschitz was lying about the time he found the body!!!  

Both Michael Richards and the poster 'Not Blamed for Nothing' manage to cite BOTH of Fanny Mortimer's accounts in their posts.  For example, in his timeline at #938 of the 'If Schwartz Lied' thread, Richards cites Fanny as having heard a horse and cart.  This is something which only appears in her first statement (in which she says she was at the door for only 10 minutes) while in the same timeline Richards also refers to 'the witness to the street' as having been able to see the street for 'almost the whole time between 12:30 and just after 1am'.  This can only be Fanny Mortimer, although it's completely untrue that Fanny ever said anything about seeing what was happening in the street until AFTER 1am.  She only said she was there nearly the whole time 'between half-past twelve and one o'clock' which could obviously mean that she wasn't there at or after one o'clock.

Not Blamed for Nothing (in #947) cites the entire account of the story about the woman standing in the street for 10 minutes and, without any shame, says that 'when taken a face value' it precludes the possibility of the Schwartz incident having occurred anywhere near 12:45, yet he himself clearly doesn't take that account at face value because he relies entirely on Mrs Mortimer's second account that she was at her door for almost half an hour and supposedly saw Leon Goldstein twice during this period!

These are classic examples of doublethink by people who don't seem to be able to think properly at all. 

CRY WOLF

As longstanding readers of this website will know, Wolf Vanderlinden doesn't half talk a lot of rubbish about Fenian matters (see The Suckered Quadrilogy) and he's still at it on the Forum.

A poster called 'Clark2710' asked about some supposed 'Metropolitan Police Files' which have never been released to the public.  Wolf replied to say that he must mean 'the Special Branch files' which may have been 'destroyed recently'.

Now, pausing there, it is highly misleading to refer to the documents in question as 'files'.  They were not files in the normal sense of the word, they were merely some account ledgers relating to cash payments (which we can ignore) and a register containing the briefest descriptions of what would, in 1888, have been found in the actual Special Branch files, long since destroyed.

This register was, in other words, the Special Branch equivalent of the Home Office registers which I searched in respect of the Home Office's Ripper Files as set out in my 2019 Ripperologist article 'The Lost Ripper Files'.  As a result, we would have learnt very little from it. Some of the entries would no doubt have been tantalising but unsatisfactory without seeing the actual files to which they related.

Errorbitha, adding his own nonsense to the discussion, said that Trevor Marriott was refused access to 'the files' based on 'some nonsensical objection over compromising witness identities'.  He claimed sarcastically that 'A cold serial killer case from over 130 years ago would prevent informants from using a system that might reveal their identities over a century later'.  But while we, as historians (or, in Errorbitha's case, writers of fiction), might argue that there can't be harm in allowing the names of informants from the 1880s to be made public, we can surely also see that promises to terrorist informants in 2021 that their identities would never be revealed would be entirely compromised if they knew that their descendants would, one day, find out that they had been British government informers.

We must never forget that (as I discussed in Lord Orsam Says...Part 6 under heading no. 22. 'Special Branch Records') the dream team which tried to convince the relevant tribunal that it wasn't possible to track the relatives of informants from the 1880s to people living today comprised none other than the holy trinity of Trevor Marriott, Simon Wood and Phil Carter. 

Jesus Christ. 

Sorry, I need a few seconds to recover.

Anyone who wonders why we lost the argument can find the answer right there. 

Anyway, back to Wolf.   He has this notion in his head, which he's posted a number of times in the past, that Lindsay Clutterbuck found corroboration of an unsourced claim by Douglas Browne in a 1956 book that Sir Melville Macnaghten 'appears to identify the Ripper with the leader of a plot to assassinate Mr Balfour at the Irish Office'.    Thus, Wolf tells us that Clutterbuck, 'seemingly confirmed that Macnaghten had an Irish suspect'.  According to Wolf, 'clues lead to John Walsh' as that person.

However, it is almost certainly NOT the case that John Walsh was suspected of being Jack the Ripper by Special Branch for the very simple reason that Walsh was never in England during 1888!  After a visit to Paris in May 1888, he returned to the United States and never left that country.  So unless the Special Branch were idiots, which they were not, we can surely rule out the notion that Walsh was suspected of being the Ripper.

Clutterbuck wrote about one of the registers that it,'does enable an outline to be constructed of an intriguing story involving an Irish nationalist who is suspected of being 'Jack the Ripper', an alleged plot to assassinate the Secretary for Ireland, Balfour and the activities of a private detective agency'.

Now you can think whatever you want about this but I'm confident that I know what has happened here.

Clutterbuck would have seen the entries in the register that read, 'William McGrath in connection with the Ripper investigation', 'Suspect O'Brien & the Whitechapel murders' and 'Jack the Ripper, the name given to Wilson at Bushmills' plus one describing Churchill (of all people) as the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murders.  He would also have seen references in the register to a plot to assassinate Balfour (which can be found in other 'secret' files in the National Archives) and plenty of references to Pinkertons who were often employed by the British authorities for surveillance and detective work in the United States. 

I'm pretty sure that's what Clutterbuck had noticed in the registers and was melodramatically saying that from those basic details someone could construct an 'intriguing story'.  I don't believe he was saying that the registers showed that there was any connection between Jack the Ripper, the Balfour assassination plot and Pinkertons.  For that reason, I don't believe he was saying that he had found corroboration of Douglas Browne's claim that Macnaghten suspected the leader of the Fenian plot as being Jack the Ripper (although he was probably aware of that claim, so that he was excited about the entries in the register linking the Ripper with various Irishmen).

TREVOR SETS THE RECORD BENT

In #10 of the thread about the Metropolitan Police 'Files', Trevor Marriott said that:

'with the help of Simon Wood...we effectively proved that no living person of those named could be traced in the 21st Century which was one of the objections raised by the police in releasing them.'

It's an interesting re-writing of history but, as I explained in Lord Orsam Says...Part 6,  what actually happened was that the First Tier Tribunal of the General Regulatory Chamber rejected Wood's 'evidence', saying that its 'comprehensiveness and reliability' was open to question, something which could equally be said about his book and virtually every internet post he's ever made!

HOW TO MISS THE POINT

The Clanger really excelled himself in the 'Framing Charles' thread.  I've never seen anyone miss the point quite so spectacularly as he did in #710 of that thread.

A little earlier, in #701, RJ Palmer had confirmed some of my earlier research in which I showed that the death of William Adams in a 1907 colliery disaster was initially announced as the death of William Slack.  His wife then turned up to the inquest to explain that her dead husband commonly went by his stepfather's name of Slack but that his 'proper name' was Adams.  This was an almost identical case to that of Charles Cross which proved that a man could be commonly known (especially at work) by one surname but be recorded in official records under a different surname.

The parallel between this case and that of Charles Cross is obvious. 

But the Clanger's astonishing response was this:

'What the heck is going on?

Well, it seems to me that in the Adams/Slack case it was felt appropriate that the name issue should be clarified in court.

Is that right?

The deceased's wife thought it was somehow wrong that his unofficial name should be used, so she volunteered information about his proper name.'

The Clanger's brain is obviously so defective that he can't understand why the wife of a recently deceased man would want to clarify her dead husband's identity at an inquest.  I mean, aside from anything else, anyone who knew William Slack as William Adams would presumably have wanted to have known of his death.  They would quite possibly not have known of it if they read in their papers of the death of 'William Slack' so that his wife ensured that everyone in the local area knew that William Adams had been killed.  

But the circumstance of a relative of a deceased person informing a coroner that a deceased person was known by two surnames at an inquest in which establishing the identity of a corpse is one of the legal purposes of that inquest is so completely different from the circumstance of a witness at an inquest to the discovery of a murder of someone to whom they were not related that it should be entirely unnecessary for it to be stated.

There is, in other words, no comparison between Mrs Slack/Adams sensibly informing the coroner about the details of her late husband's identity and Charles Cross - a living person -  stating his surname as Cross but not as Lechmere.

To repeat the point.  What is so important about the Slack case is that we are told by his wife that he was commonly known as Slack (and must have been known as Slack by his employers) yet he was married in the name of Adams, while registering the births of his children in the name of Adams and appearing in a census under the name of Adams.

Just like Charles Cross, in other words, he would have been perfectly entitled, had he been a witness in a court case or inquest, to have stated his name as William Slack.  I mean, just imagine if he had been a witness to a death of one his colleagues at the colliery at which he worked.  It would not only have been perfectly fine but also sensible for him to have given his name at the inquest as William Slack.  There wouldn't have been any need for him to tell the coroner that his birth name was William Adams.  What would have been the point?

I would also add that had Mrs Slack not come forward to explain the situation to the coroner (or had that fact not been reported) we would almost certainly never have known that the William Slack reported to have died in the colliery disaster was also William Adams.   We would also never have known that the man in the official records called William Adams was commonly known as William Slack.  The Clanger tries to twist this into some kind of weird support of his argument that court witnesses were expected or required to provide two names to the court when there was, in fact, no such expectation or requirement if the name they gave was one they were commonly known by, and their identity wasn't relevant to what that court was attempting to determine.

THE CLANGING CLANGER CLANGS AGAIN

I drafted the above entry before RJ Palmer replied to the Clanger's post in #719 in which he basically said the same thing as me, except more eloquently and concisely. 

In reply, the Clanger had literally nothing to say in response about the case of William Slack.  Instead, he responded to a newspaper cutting RJ had posted about the case of Charles Jones which I first mentioned in my 'Name/Issue' thread on Casebook and which is directly equivalent to the case of Charles Cross because Jones had given evidence in a police court under the name of Charles Taylor (Taylor being the name of his stepfather) without apparently mentioning that his real name was Charles Jones.

Disingenuously, the Clanger asked (#720):

'Why offer that example?'

I mean, come on!   How defective can a person's brain be?

Here we have an example of something that the Clanger tells us wasn't supposed to happen!

According to the Clanger, everyone knew that if they had two names they were supposed to reveal them both in a witness box.  Yet here we have Charles Taylor merely giving his alternative name, not his birth name.

Hilariously, the Clanger starts to invent ludicrous excuses for this, such as that he might have driven a cart with the name 'Taylor' on it.  But that gets him nowhere, even if it's true.  Aside from the fact that there would have been no reason for Charles Jones not to have given his name as Jones simply because the name of 'Taylor' was on his cart  - after all no carts would have been present in the courtroom! - the whole argument about Charles Cross is that it was perfectly possible that he was known as Cross at work which is the exact equivalent of Charles Jones being known as Charles Taylor at work because he worked as a foreman for his stepfather.

I might add that the Clanger's new ridiculous stance is very different from his previous ridiculous stance on this case when he falsely claimed that the court case involved Charles Taylor's stepfather, or his stepfather's company, something which a moment's proper reading of the news cutting would have shown it did not.

The other points now being made by the Clanger are utterly ridiculous.  Apparently because 'his biological father was the scion of a noble family' Charles Cross would have wanted to ensure that the coroner knew that his surname was Lechmere, a point for which there is not only zero evidence as to whether Cross gave a monkeys about his family tree (not everyone is a dull freak obsessed with genealogy like the Clanger) but simply ignores the key issue that the assumption upon which the entire argument against him rests is that Charles Lechmere was known as Cross at Pickfords. 

In giving evidence at an inquest, Cross wasn't acting as some kind of third-rate reality show contestant looking for his 15 minutes of fame, shouting out that he was descended from the 15th Earl Lechmere or whatever nonsense the Clanger has in his mind!

This issue has nothing to do with Lechmere being proud of his name or not, something about which we have precisely no evidence, and it doesn't matter if he was or wasn't.  If he was known as Cross at Pickfords that would entirely explain why he gave the name Charles Cross at both inquests he attended - just like Charles Jones gave his name as Charles Taylor in court - and there is no further discussion required. 

HOW TO CHANGE THE GOAL POSTS

Mind you, you've got to hang it to the Clanger.

Previously it was: SHOW ME ANOTHER CASE WHERE SOMEONE WITH TWO SURNAMES ONLY STATES ONE SURNAME IN COURT.

Now it's: SHOW ME ANOTHER CASE WHERE SOMEONE WITH TWO SURNAMES WHO WAS PROUD OF THEIR BIRTH SURNAME DUE TO BEING THE SCION OF A NOBLE FAMILY ONLY STATES ONE SURNAME IN COURT.

I mean that it some seriously professional level changing of the goal posts. 

To satisfy this clanging pile of clang it seems we now have to find someone whose biological father was the scion of a noble family who, when given the opportunity to state their name in court, chose to give their stepfather's name, regardless of what name they were commonly known by! 

Otherwise we are, apparently, supposed to fall in line with the Clanger's fantasy that Charles simply MUST have wanted to tell the world he was one of the world famous and admired (not!) Lechmeres!!!  

It really is just crazy.  Batshit clanging crazy.

CLANG CLANG CLANG WENT THE CLANGER

It seems that the American comedian, actor and singer Randy Rainbow is getting in on the clanging bandwagon with his song 'Clang, Clang, Clang, Went Josh Hawley' as found on Twitter:

 

There really does seem to be a lot of clanging in the world right now.

WICKERMAN'S LATEST FOLLY

In #40 of the 'George Hutchinson Revisited' thread, Wickerman said to Curious Cat:

'I notice you are avoiding the police are still investigating Hutchinson's story on the 19th (The Echo) - so much for him being discredited.'

Wickerman didn't quote what the Echo of 19 November 1888 said until asked to do so but, as Curious Cat pointed out to him, it doesn't quite support his point of view.  This is what the newspaper reported:

'The police have not relaxed their endeavours to hunt down the murderer in the slightest degree; but so far they remain without any direct clue. Some of the authorities are inclined to place most reliance upon the statement made by Hutchinson as to his having seen the latest victim with a gentlemanly man of dark complexion and with a dark moustache. Others are disposed to think that the shabby man with a blotchy face and a carrotty moustache, described by the witness Mary Ann Cox, is more likely to be the murderer'.

If we leave aside that the paper refers to 'the authorities' which doesn't necessarily mean the police (a reporter could have spoken to a medical man or someone at the Home Office for example) it is evident that some of the 'authorities' felt that Hutchinson's evidence was discredited.  After all, no-one in their right mind would have thought that the man going with Mary Kelly into her room shortly before midnight could have been her murderer if they also believed Hutchinson's story about seeing Kelly alive two hours later, taking a different man into her room. 

In the same post, Wickerman made a strange comment about Sarah Lewis' evidence.  He said:

'The Echo reporter stayed to the end of the inquest, so very likely it was in a later edition. Early editions had to go to print by 2-3:00 in the afternoon, the Star reporter left the inquest early during Prater's testimony, so before that of Sarah Lewis.'

In fact, the 'evening' papers were producing editions from around 1pm and typically produced an edition every hour up to 5pm. They might then produce a Special edition (or even an Extra Special Edition) at about 6 or 7pm.   I have no idea what Wickerman means when he says that the Star reporter 'left the inquest early'.  Of course he didn't.  But the report in the Star of the Kelly inquest on 12 November is of its Fifth Edition, which ends at the start of the evidence of Elizabeth Prater, whereas the Echo report is from a later 'Special' edition and thus manages to include the conclusion of the inquest. The Star's report in its Fifth Edition was filed at a time when the inquest was still proceeding.  No doubt there was a Special Edition of the Star which contained a full report of the inquest, including Sarah Lewis' evidence, but that copy hasn't survived. 

THE RETURN OF MAJOR TOM!!!

Yes, everyone's favourite iconoclast, Major-General "Misunderstanding" Thomas Mitchell, is BACK on the boards!!!

And, while remaining as delusional as ever, his first post upon his return was designed to get in a dig against yours truly (naturally).

Thus, in #82 of the ludicrous Mrs Hammersmith thread in JTR Forums, while claiming optimistically, without any evidence whatsoever, that the mirage of "FM" on Kelly's wall 'must drive diary-detractors crazy', he goes on to say:

'that arch detractor Lord Orsam says he's seen an original of the infamous photograph and those pesky initials are simply not there.  "And that's the end of that", Lord Orsam states with no sense whatsoever of the pomposity I suspect his readers probably note'.

Well my response to him is that there is no pomposity whatsoever in me saying "And that's the end of that" in circumstances where I have seen an original of the photograph but the initials "FM" are not visible on it.  That's the evidence of my own eyes.  So that really is that.  There's literally nothing more to say on the subject.  The "FM" is an illusion.  It never existed, either on the wall or in the photograph.   

Surely the only pomposity involved here is for someone who has never seen the original photograph to claim that that he knows what is in the original photograph!!

I told him to ask his mate, Keith Skinner, about it but, if he's done so, he's never reported what Keith has said.  If he hasn't asked him, why not?

The fact that the Major brings up the subject out of the blue in a thread about Mrs Hammersmith, in one of his first online posts for about a year, demonstrates how thoroughly rattled he is by my information, given that his entire belief in the diary seems to rest on the existence of those initials on the wall. 

AN AMAZING QUOTE FROM THE MAJOR

I love this one from Major Tom in the Manchester Murders thread on JTR Forums (#12):

'the Maybrick diary cannot be easily discarded simply because there were no obvious 'Jack the Ripper' murders in Manchester in the early Spring of 1888'.

Christ on a bike!

The Manchester murder is neither here nor there. The Maybrick diary can be easily discarded because the expression 'one off instance' could not have been written by anyone in 1888 or 1889

It really is that simple.   

I wouldn't mind but the only people discussing a Manchester murder in the thread were loons desperately trying to find a qualifying murder in the early Spring of 1888!  Sane people couldn't give a monkeys.  The diary has already been proven to be a fake. 

MAJOR TOM'S LIGHT BULB MOMENT

Major Tom has seen the light!

Of the Crashaw quote in the diary, he said on JTR Forums on 11 June 2021:

'It's almost as if the person who wrote those five words did from memory alone?'

Now, let's remind ourselves of what Mike told Keith Skinner at the 1999 Cloak and Dagger meeting (underlining added):

KS: Mike was sent the 12 volumes of Sphere’s English Literature.

MB: What they done, it wasn’t 12 volumes, 9 volumes.

KS: You say no-one’s going to buy this, no-one’s going to buy, up they go in the attic you forget about them, you remembered it when you were creating the diary.

MB: Quite right.

KS: Why?

MB: Because I read them and I enjoyed reading them, and I totally enjoyed reading them, they were good.  They give me an awful lot of knowledge. Right And I found this “o sweet (sic) intercourse”

KS: Did you remember that line when you were creating the diary? 

MB: Yes... 

So there we have Mike Barrett saying that he wrote those five words in the diary himself from memory alone!

Just fancy that.

He also said, incidentally, that he thought the line was 'a cracking line' which stayed with him 'all the way through'.

MIKE ON MANCHESTER

While I'm at it, a reminder of what Mike said to Keith Skinner at the same meeting about the inclusion in the diary of the Manchester murders:

KS: You included in the diary two murders in Manchester.

MB: Easy.

KS: Are they just fiction?

MB: Put it this way, right. We all know there were five murders in Whitechapel.  Right.  We all know that there’s five murders in Whitechapel. Right. Thomas, that’s Maybrick’s brother, lived in Manchester, a cotton merchant, well, more or less.  I thought it was rather appropriate. You see.  Two murders, two prostitutes. Excuse the language ladies and gentleman. We’ve got to talk practical haven’t we? Nobody can ever prove that in any way shape or form.

KS: They were just fiction.  You didn’t use newspapers or anything like that? You just thought, two from Manchester.

MB: Yes.  Can’t prove it. No way at all. Very simple isn’t it?  When you get to know the diary it’s very very simple.  Five prostitutes were murdered, right, in Whitechapel, that’s a god given fact, but you’ve got to remember, James Maybrick had a brother, Thomas, in Manchester, right, so what’s to say before I begin my campaign, and remember that, very appropriate word, before I begin my campaign.  Two murders in Manchester.  No-one’s got the proof. No prostitutes killed…. There was plenty of people and plenty of prostitutes killed every day on the streets in Manchester at that time. Not necessarily in Manchester but all over the country.  Clever isn’t it? 

Naturally this is all ignored by the diary defenders who never mention it.

THE PERSON WHO DOESN'T ANSWER QUESTIONS

An amusing incident in the Thomas Ashe thread on JTR Forums. 

The father of Richard Crashaw was, during the early seventeenth century, for a period of eight years, the vicar of St Mary Matfelon's church in Whitechapel.  In the middle ages, this had been a white washed church known as the white chapel which gave Whitechapel it's name.  This is nothing more than an minor coincidence in the Maybrick diary story.   

We can see that there is a very tenuous three part connection here between Crashaw and the Maybrick diary.  It's not Crashaw himself who had any formal connection with St Mary Matefelon's Church, it was his father. And his father wasn't the vicar of the church at the time it was named the white chapel, he was the vicar long after this, at a time when it was no more than a church in Whitechapel with a moderately interesting history.  And of course the Whitechapel murders are written about in the Maybrick diary.  The idea that the unattributed 'Oh costly intercourse' line in the diary has anything to do with Crashaw's father, and thus anything to do with the occupation of Crashaw's father, and thus anything to do with the fact that he was a vicar of a certain church in Whitechapel, and thus anything to do with Whitechapel itself, is one that can really only be held by someone who is nothing short of barking mad.  

Step forward Caroline Morris who posted in #26 of the Thomas Ashe thread:

'to ignore the coincidences which point firmly away from Mike's involvement, such as where Crashaw's daddy plied his trade as a vicar, out of all the churches in every corner of the land...'

Heaven only knows why she thinks the forger of the Maybrick diary (because she tells us it's a forgery) would have inserted a quote from Crashaw in the diary for no other reason than because Crashaw's father was once a vicar in a church in Whitechapel. Why insert an obscure quote from an obscure poet on the basis of even more obscure information about that poet's father?

And exactly the same would be true if Maybrick was the author of the diary.  

Furthermore, why would the occupation of Crashaw's father as a vicar of a church in Whitechapel 'point firmly away from Mike's involvement'?

Well, Kattrup asked her that very question in #28 of the thread.  And guess what?  She didn't answer it!

FOR WHOM THE BELL CLANGS

In the thread 'The Legend of Mary Kelly' (#57), responding to information posted by Debra Arif about the occupation of Patrick Carroll, the father of a witness to an attempted murder in Dublin, the Clanger said to Trevor Marriott, who had noted that one document showed the man as a carman while another showed him as a cab driver:

'Yes, Trevor, they are 10 years apart.  Carman/Cab Driver/Cab Owner seems a perfectly plausible career progression, especially if you came into a little money through your daughter'.

 

It would have been a good point were it not for the fact that Debra's documents showed that Patrick Carroll was a cab driver in 1866, a carman in 1876 and a cab owner in 1887, so that that the linear career progression stated by the Clanger was not the case.

He should have said that the career progression was: Cab Driver/Carman/Cab Owner.

As it happens, that fits in better with the witness, Alice Carroll, having said at the 1883 trial that her father was a carman.

But it seems that even in his own field of genealogy, the Clanger fails to read documents properly.

For whom does the bell clang?  It clangs for the Clanger? 

THE IMAGINATION OF CAROLINE MORRIS

After criticizing Mike JG for conjuring up a post from his imagination, Caroline Morris delved into her own imagination in #6273 to write:

'I would also remind people that the diary is no more in Mike and Anne's hand than it is in James Maybrick's'.

This is pure Caroline Morris misinformation designed to befuddle and confuse.   It's just a shame that she couldn't 'remind' us when Anne's normal handwriting has ever been professionally compared to the handwriting in the diary.

As far as I'm aware it's never happened.

(The only possible comparison might have been with the sample provided by Anne to Keith Skinner in 1995 but there is no way of knowing if that was her normal handwriting and it doesn't look like it was). 

In any case, it's a false equivalence to say that the diary is no more in the hand of X than it is in the hand of James Maybrick.

The reason for this is that James Maybrick would be assumed to have written the diary in his normal handwriting whereas X (the forger) is likely to have disguised his or her handwriting, thus defeating any handwriting analysis.

It needs to be remembered that a handwriting expert can't positively say that the diary wasn't written by James Maybrick, only that it isn't in his normal handwriting.  If Maybrick, for whatever reason, had disguised his handwriting, he could still have written the diary. It's the fact that he is unlikely to have disguised his handwriting in his personal diary which enables us to effectively rule him out as the author (save for the point that a madman might have had different forms of handwriting).

As I've said before, the most that an expert will be able to say is that the handwriting is not of either X or Mike or Anne but that doesn't mean that none of them wrote it.  The overwhelming likelihood is that the diary is not in the hand of ANYONE.  The overwhelming likelihood is that the forger disguised his or her handwriting.

But the short point is that for us to know whether the diary is in the hand of Anne Barrett, we first need a handwriting expert to compare her normal handwriting with the handwriting in the diary.  It's never been done!

Caroline Morris is, as usual, talking out of her posterior.

MORE MISINFORMATION OF CAROLINE MORRIS

She really was on a roll in her comeback posts in the Incontrovertible thread.  In #6274, discussing the meeting between Robert Smith, Mike Barrett and Eddie Lyons in the Saddle in late June 1993, she wrote:

'My understanding is that Robert asked Mike if he could arrange an introduction with one of the electricians, and so it came to pass'.

But according to Robert Smith's own words, this is entirely false.  It's simply untrue that Robert Smith asked Mike if he could arrange an introduction 'with one of the electricians'.   Here is Robert Smith himself in his own book 'The True History of the Diary of Jack the Ripper' (a book supposedly fact checked by Caroline Morris herself) telling us what happened.

'I asked Barrett if he could arrange for me to meet Lyons.  He said he could...'

So, clear as day, we see that Smith specifically asked for a meeting with Eddie Lyons, not with 'one of the electricians'

With her false understanding of how the meeting was set up, Caroline Morris tells us in the same post that the significance of the meeting was:

'If nothing else, it established that they knew each other well enough to make it happen'.

Well that fact was obviously already known to Robert Smith in June 1993, which is why he asked Mike to set up the meeting with Eddie!

Feldman tells us that Mike had been round to Eddie's house earlier that year.  There's no mystery about it.  Nor does Smith himself express any surprise about it in his book. On the contrary, he records (without any contradiction) that Eddie stated that he had never met Barrett before 1993.   

Caroline Morris also asks: 'What prompted Eddie to agree to meet Robert and tell this strange story'.  By 'strange story' she means that Eddie said that while working in Battlecrease he found 'something' (Smith tells us it was 'a book under the floorboards') which he threw into a skip.  What on earth is 'strange' about that?  Yet she calls it Eddie's 'party piece'.   

As for what prompted him to agree to meet Robert, well perhaps the exact same thing that prompted him to agree to meet James Johnson and Keith Skinner in 2018 when he again denied ever finding the diary!

DIZZY MISS LIZZY REDUX

Yes, the dizzyness of Lizzyness is back in the 'Incontrovertible' thread as Ms Morris has yet another go at answering the question as to why Mike was on the hunt for a diary with a minimum of 20 blank pages in March 1992. 

And she has TWO attempts at answering the question in #6275: one classic golden oldie and one brand new but equally barking mad explanation.

The old classic is that Mike wanted to find out how easy it would have been for a prankster 'to find an old book with enough blank pages for the purpose'.

I've already shown elsewhere why this can't possibly be why Mike made the request, but I think it's worth a quick review of some of the main reasons:

1. It doesn't explain the request for a minimum of 20 blank pages.  After all, Mike had supposedly been shown a scrapbook with 63 pages of writing and 17 unused pages making 80 pages in total which would all obviously have been blank when the 'prankster' supposedly obtained it.  Asking for a minimum of 20 blank pages, when the prankster he was trying to emulate must have obtained a scrapbook with no fewer than 80 blank pages, makes no sense if Mike was trying to find out if he could copy the prankster. 

2. It doesn't explain the request for an item in the decade 1880-1890.  Nothing about the scrapbook he had supposedly been shown (as opposed to its contents) related in any way to that period.  For all Mike knew, it could have come from 1860 or 1910 (with the diary text then inserted by the 'prankster').  Why would he have limited himself to a single decade?    By excluding all the other decades, he couldn't possibly have been able to see how easy it had been for the prankster to have obtained the undated but old looking scrapbook he had supposedly been shown.

3. It doesn't explain the request for a diary.  Mike had supposedly been shown a large unlabelled scrapbook or photograph album, so why would he have limited himself to asking Martin Earl for only a diary?

4. It doesn't explain why Mike agreed to receive and thus pay for the diary when all he needed to know was how easy it was to find one.

5. Whatever Mike was able to get his hands on in March 1992 via Martin Earl would have told him nothing about what a prankster would have been able to get his hands on via (a) other second-hand bookdealers (b) auction houses (c) antique shops (d) newspaper or magazine advertisements (e) house clearances (f) word of mouth (g) thefts.  As a scrap dealer, Mike would have known this only too well.  

6. Whatever Mike was able to get his hands on in March 1992 from ANY source it would have told him absolutely nothing about what a prankster would have been able to get his hands on prior to March 1992, bearing in mind that there are so many ways that a prankster could have obtained such an item (Martin Earl or someone like him being one of the least likely routes).

So that nonsense can be discarded. 

The brand new explanation conjured up by Dizzy Miss Lizzy from her very backside - and this is a real beauty - is that Mike was afraid the police would discover that he was in possession of a stolen Victorian diary so that he needed to make a legitimate purchase of a genuine Victorian diary.  When the police came round he could show them the legitimate one.  Apparently, and bizarrely, according to Caroline Morris, he was going to tell the police that it was his grandfather's diary, despite the fact that he would have been able to honestly show the police a genuine receipt for the 1891 diary from Martin Earl (showing that Ms Morris hasn't got a clue about the criminal world).   

This explanation falls at the first hurdle whereby Caroline Morris hasn't even bothered to tell us why Mike, in that case, would have asked for a diary with a minimum of 20 blank pages (or any at all) when all he wanted was a genuine Victorian diary.  It also fails to explain why the primary request was for an entirely blank diary when surely Mike would have positively wanted one filled with genuine Victorian handwriting.  A completely blank one would have been no use for the purpose!

That's all fatal to the new theory but of course it's obvious that police wouldn't have been enquiring about a 'Victorian diary'.  If they had come chasing at all it would surely have been for a diary of Jack the Ripper.  

As to that - and here is where the whole notion is madness - Mike was proposing to take the diary to a literary agent where the whole world, including the police, would know that he had produced a Victorian diary of Jack the Ripper.  If he had been worried about the police discovering that he'd received a stolen and valuable Victorian diary, his plan to go public with a valuable Victorian diary was hardly sensible. 

In any case, if all that Mike knew or suspected was that the diary sold to him by Eddie Lyons was stolen, how would he have been confident that the real owner wouldn't be able to identify the stolen diary and would thus say that what was stolen was a large black one, not a small red one?!!!

There's more that's wrong with this nonsense but one can only congratulate Caroline Morris, 17 years after the discovery of the Bookdealer advertisement for coming up with this rubbish for the very first time.

THE FORUM RETURN OF MAJOR TOM

With Caroline Morris' return to the Incontrovertible thread after an unexplained and mysterious period of absence, who should then immediately return to that thread after his year long sulk? None other than Major Tom Misunderstanding himself!

Bang on form, he made a number of silly claims which he was then compelled to withdraw in his very next post!!!

Amusingly, he also seemed to think that I have a copy of the famous Barrett transcript to provide to RJ Palmer.

Is he really not aware of the fact that I expressly asked Keith Skinner to make public a copy of that transcript and, in response, Keith promised on the Forum in writing that he would do so, then reneged on his promise?

Even worse, he gave a bullshit reason for his failure to keep his promise.

Why on earth Keith Skinner wants to damage his reputation for honesty and fair dealing over this transcript I have literally no idea but one can only assume that it contains information that is so damaging to the notion that the diary was discovered in Battlecrease that it has had to be suppressed.

I seem to recall that Major Tom doesn't like documents being suppressed so perhaps he can ask his chum Keith to finally keep his promise and release a full copy of the transcript (as well as a full copy of the additional pages of the diary produced by Mike Barrett which have also been suppressed, only a few having been posted by Major Tom on Casebook).   Or he could ask his other bestie, Caroline Morris, who also has a copy of the transcript (because she's quoted from it in the past) but also appears to be unwilling to make it public.

DIARY DESTRUCTION

Caroline Morris' #6283 in the 'Incontrovertible' thread is an absolute classic example of Diary Defender doublethink. 

'If the Barretts had been behind the diary's creation' she tells us, 'Anne would have destroyed it before it could destroy them'.

Leaving aside that Caroline Morris cannot possibly have any clue as to what Anne would or would not have done in any given circumstance in 1992 (when she didn't even know her), what is so hilarious about this is that Caroline Morris has, in the past, tried to convince us that Anne DID attempt to destroy the diary by wrestling with Mike for it in order to throw in on the fire!!!

It's even in her own book in which Anne is quoted as saying, 'I tried to destroy the Diary...I just wanted to burn the Diary in its entirety' (p.128).

But did that lead her to the conclusion that the Barretts must therefore have been behind the diary's creation?  Of course not!!!  That would be too logical.

No, when Anne tried to throw the diary on the fire, it was, in Caroline Morris' mind, I assume, because she (Anne) thought it was stolen.  Had she actually managed to throw it on the fire it would have been because she had a role in creating it!

You just can't make this kind of thing up.

In the same post, the great thinker asks whether any 'sane creature' would have entertained the idea of joining with Mike in creating a literary hoax 'and believed they could possibly succeed'.

Well, we can surely all see that a sane person might well have believed that a literary hoax could succeed, and rightly so, bearing in mind the tens of thousands of pounds that the Barretts did in fact receive from what even Caroline Morris accepts is a literary hoax!

Mind you, it was only due to the people like Caroline Morris who were happy to discard the expert opinion of every expert forensic document examiner who has ever examined the diary.  But I guess it was predictable that some people would WANT to believe that the diary is old and valuable and that's precisely what the con artist who created it preyed upon, just like every other con artist in human history.  

Once again, Caroline Morris ignores two key facts when she repeats her unfounded nonsense that Anne would never have gone along with Mike's plan to sell a fake diary. 

The first is that Anne actually married Mike and had his daughter and, furthermore, that they both had to pay the mortgage on their house and other living expenses.

The second is that by Caroline Morris' own account, Anne told THE most extraordinary and brazen lies about the diary's provenance, including to thousands of listeners on Liverpool local radio, and she clearly believed she could possibly succeed in convincing people that those remarkable lies were true.

Someone who could do that would surely have had no problem in letting her husband get on with whatever money-making scheme he had in mind. 

THE FURTHER IMAGINATION OF CAROLINE MORRIS

Remember Caroline Morris chiding Mike JG in #6273 for conjuring up a post from his imagination?  Her exact words, by way of reminder, were 'It's a bit rich to talk about 'the only truth that is available', if the rest of the above post has been conjured up from Mike's imagination.'  Well now just look at what she subsequently wrote in #6287:

'Just imagine for one second that the 'old book', as those in the know - several of them still with us - think of it, was indeed 'liberated' from Paul Dodd's house by an electrician working there.  It was then quickly passed on to Mike Barrett, who happened to be in his local pub [as he was at the same time very weekday during term time, before picking up his daughter from the school over the road] and expressed an immediate interest in it.  Mike wasn't told where it had come from or when but he was as keen as mustard to take it off the electrician's hands, and £25 cash in 1992, for some old book with writing in it, no questions asked, seemed like a reasonable result for both parties'.

We can see that the paragraph begins 'Just imagine...' which is a bit of a giveaway that she is about to conjure up a post from her imagination!

She follows that with a reference to the 'old book' in quotes, something which, as I've previously demonstrated, is an imagined quote, not said by anyone who ever handled the diary before it was brought to London.  She refers to 'those in the know' using this expression as if she herself is someone 'in the know' despite the fact that she knows nothing!

But my favourite piece of imaginative writing is the notion that Eddie sold the diary to Mike for £25 cash.  There is literally no evidential basis for this.  She might as well have said £5 or £100.   Not a single person living or dead ever said that the diary was sold to Mike for £25.  It's come purely from her own imagination.

And the problem with the imagination of Caroline Morris is that it contradicts itself.

Just look at what she is now telling us.  In saying that the diary was 'quickly passed' to Mike in the Saddle pub for £25 (in circumstances where Mike telephoned Doreen about the diary on 9 March 1992) she is clearly telling us that Mike bought the book on 9 March without knowing anything about it other than that it was an 'old book with writing in it'.

But her explanation for Mike's purchase of a Victorian diary from Martin Earl - or at least one of her explanations - is that Mike was trying to negotiate a price with Eddie for the diary, and they only worked out a price for the diary at some time around 26 March when Mike discovered that the going rate for a Victorian diary was £25 (which was what Martin Earl charged Mike for the 1891 diary).   

It's always been a key argument of hers that this £25 price influenced what Mike subsequently paid Eddie for the diary.   Now she must be saying that the price that Mike was told on or around 26 March that he would have to pay Martin Earl for a Victorian diary had no relationship to the price he paid Eddie because he had already bought the diary from Eddie on 9 March!

Another explanation of hers for Mike's purchase of the Victorian diary is that Mike wanted to find out how easy it was to acquire a Victorian diary in order to ensure he wasn't being pranked by someone who had purchased their own Victorian diary.  We've seen she made this on the very day before the post under discussion.  That has presumably now been discarded because it was all too late.  Mike had already bought the thing.

Clearly Mike knew on 9 March 1992 when he telephoned Doreen that the diary was a diary of Jack the Ripper because that was the first thing he said to her.  So Caroline Morris must have abandoned everything she's said over the past few years about the protracted negotiations that were supposed to have taken place between Eddie and Mike during March 1992.  Mike is now supposed to have paid for and acquired the diary on 9 March in the pub!  He then read it, discovered it was the diary of Jack the Ripper (which Eddie had somehow missed), read a couple of books containing entries about Jack the Ripper (as mentioned on the telephone to Doreen) then decided he needed a literary agent to publish the diary and found contact details for a literary agent in London, all on the same day!

So why did Mike then attempt to acquire a Victorian diary with 20 blank pages?????

She's done herself hasn't she ladies and gentlemen?

It's amazing really because she's spent the last few years agreeing with me that Mike didn't have the diary in front of him when he spoke to Doreen on the telephone.  Now she's gone back to her original view that he did have it in front of him, with all the problems that causes her.  In addition to the huge headache she has of explaining why Mike was attempting to obtain a Victorian diary with blank pages AFTER he had supposedly purchased the Jack the Ripper diary, we go back to why Mike didn't immediately rush down to London to show Doreen the diary in his possession or at least arrange a date for a firm meeting.  He stalled and didn't come to London until over a month later.  

THOSE 20 PAGES 

The clowns in the Forum are back to misunderstanding Mike's request relating to 20 pages.

As I've said many times before, Mike wasn't asking for a diary WITH 20 pages.  That was a MINIMUM requirement.

I honestly don't know what's difficult to understand about this but the clowns seem to think that by asking Martin Earl for a 20 blank page diary he couldn't have had any interest in using it to forge the Maybrick diary.

The advertisement placed by Martin Earl in Bookdealer shows that the primary request was for an unused diary.  In other words, Mike was seeking a completely blank diary.  If he couldn't get that, and only diaries with writing in them were available, he needed one with a minimum of 20 blank pages.

Not one with 20 blank pages, but a minimum of 20 blank pages! 

Funnily enough that incorporates diaries with MORE than 20 blank pages! 

The fact of the matter is that a typed transcript of the diary fits into 20 pages.  We find one in Shirley Harrison's own book.  So if Mike had his own 20 page transcript of the diary text it would explain why he chose that figure as his absolute minimum requirement. 

The other clownish objection is that Mike needed to know the size of the diary before calculating the number of pages.  Well durrr!  Of course he did.  But that's exactly what we find being said, in effect, in his 1995 affidavit!!  By way of reminder, he said (underlining added):

'When the diary arrived in the post I decided it was of no use.  It was too small.'

So the geniuses who are telling us that the 1891 diary that Mike ordered would have been too small to use to forge the Maybrick diary (and who actually bother to post images showing how small the diary is) are merely corroborating what was said in Mike's affidavit!!! 

Until Mike had the thing in his hands he couldn't have known for sure that it was too small.

None of this is rocket science for Chrissake and the feeble and misguided arguments about the 20 pages simply reflect the desperation of the diary defenders who cannot offer a single rational explanation for why Mike could possibly have been seeking a Victorian diary with blank pages in March 1992 but realize how damaging the fact he did so is to their hopeless defence of the diary.

SEEING THE (BLANK) LIGHT!

Well Caroline Morris has FINALLY seen the part of the description of the 1891 diary provided by Martin Earl, which I've been banging on about for ages, in  which it is stated that 'Nearly all of the pages are blank'.

When she reproduces the quote in #6295, however, she highlights in bold a different part of the description, thus:

'...a small 1891 De La Rue's Indelible Diary and Memorandum Book....2.25" by 4", dated 1891 throughout - three or four dates to a page.  Nearly all of the pages are blank and at the end of the diary are two Memoranda pages...'

But if we highlight a different part in bold it gives a very different impression:

'...a small 1891 De La Rue's Indelible Diary and Memorandum Book....2.25" by 4", dated 1891 throughout - three or four dates to a page.  Nearly all of the pages are blank and at the end of the diary are two Memoranda pages...'

If THAT is what Mike focussed on, it would perfectly explain why he was keen to get his hands on it because he was specifically looking for a Victorian diary in which all or most of the pages were blank!

Until now, Caroline Morris has never mentioned the fact that the description stated that nearly all of the pages were blank and, as regular readers of this website will know very well, it's been left to me to shout it out from the side lines.

So what does she say about it?  Let me tell you it's hilarious. She writes:

'I think it may be unintentionally misleading to say that nearly all the pages are blank...'

Well EXACTLY!!

That's exactly it!  The description was misleading.  Mike would have been misled into thinking that Martin Earl had found him a Victorian diary in which nearly all the pages were blank.

And there we have the complete answer as to why he accepted it and asked for it to be sent to him. 

AS. I. HAVE. BEEN. SAYING. ALL. ALONG.

Of course, we now know that the dates are PRINTED in the diary - as Caroline Morris wants to stress - but that is NOT included in the description.  To repeat.  The description does not say that the dates were printed in the diary (as Caroline Morris has falsely claimed in the past that it did).

So she finally understands.  She now points out that 'unused' would have been a better word instead of 'blank'.  Yes, sure.  But it's futile to criticize a 30 year old description of the 1891 diary.  The fact of the matter is that the description expressly stated that nearly all of the pages were blank so that is what Mike is likely to have been told and that is what he would have understood.

But astonishingly, Caroline Morris then goes on to say that, 'it's hard to see how anyone could imagine being able to squeeze 9000 words into those tiny pages between the printed dates...'.

Do you see how she's craftily slipped the word 'printed' back in there??!!!  But 'printed' wasn't in the written description so that word wouldn't have been in Mike's head when he imagined what he could or could not do with the diary.

Even if we assume that he was able to visualise in his head what a diary sized 2.25" by 4" would look like, believing that nearly all the pages were blank, I can well understand that he might still have thought that the pre-prepared text could have been squeezed into the diary (and if it was too long the text could always have been edited).  

And I have to repeat what I've also said time and time again in capital letters.

IT WAS HIS ONLY OPTION!!!

It wasn't as if he had a selection of diaries to choose from and he bafflingly chose the smallest one.  It was the only one offered to him.

The clock was ticking.  He'd already contacted Doreen Montgomery who was expecting him to come to London.  But he didn't have a diary to show her.   He badly needed some form of Victorian paper on which to produce, or have someone else produce, the Maybrick diary.  So he took the only thing that was on offer as of 26 March 1992.  That was a small but, as he understood it, nearly entirely blank diary.

It wasn't from the decade he'd asked for, and it wasn't perfect, but IT WAS HIS ONLY OPTION!

This is all really basic kindergarten stuff.  I shouldn't even have to be wasting my time typing it out.

But at least, and at last, information is slowly starting to penetrate the brain of Caroline Morris who now realizes that Mike was (misleadingly) told that nearly all the pages of the diary were blank. 

FRESHLY PICKED CARROTS

The Major knows in his heart that the diary is as fake as a plastic cake, as proved by the author's use of the impossible (for 1888/9) expressions 'one off instance' and 'bumbling buffoon'.  This can be the only explanation for his use of a false analogy to try and resurrect the diary.

He notes in #6304 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread that the expression 'freshly picked-carrots' which appears in the diary is not to be found on Google Ngrams prior to 1948 and thus suggests that because the expression must have been in use in the nineteenth century this undermines the credibility of Google Ngrams.  He even states (in #6319) that:

'According to Google Ngrams Theory, it was impossible for James Maybrick (or indeed anyone else) to ever ever ever ever ever ever ever use that three word phrase in speech, writing, or type prior to the 1948 even horizon'.

This is a completely false conclusion of what 'Google Ngrams Theory' (to use his expression) tells us and a misunderstanding of the argument against him. 

Leaving aside the fact that I have personally never used Google Ngrams, it's a false analogy because the problem with 'bumbling buffoon' is not simply that we cannot find any examples of this expression prior to the twentieth century.   In fact, it would be clearly wrong to say that because no nineteenth century examples of that expression can be found in online databases from the nineteenth century (or on Google Ngrams) that this expression did not exist.

Readers of Lord Orsam Says...Part 11 will recall that the problem with 'bumbling buffoon' is that one does not find any similar expressions in the nineteenth century.  Thus, neither 'bumbling fool' nor 'bumbling idiot' can be found.  Then, if we broaden it out to the professions, such as 'bumbling policeman', 'bumbling detective', 'bumbling professor' etc., there is still nothing.  People simply weren't being described as bumbling in this way during the nineteenth century, and my research into the origins of the word explains why this was so (see Bumbling About), so that it wasn't a realistic option for any nineteenth century diarist to use the word when describing a buffoon.

On the other hand, we DO find plenty of examples of 'bungling fool' and 'bungling idiot' which tells us that 'bungling buffoon' WOULD have been an option available in 1889, even if we can't find any specific examples of that expression during the nineteenth century.

Thus, if we want to consider whether 'freshly picked carrots' could have been an expression used by a diarist in the nineteenth century, we need to look at similar expressions such as 'freshly picked strawberries' and 'freshly picked vegetables'.  There we DO find nineteenth century examples.  As the word 'carrots' can also be found in the nineteenth century (unsurprisingly!), this tells us that there is no reason why someone in the nineteenth century couldn't have applied the common expression 'freshly picked' to carrots, even if we can't find any specific examples of this being done.

The rarity of the expression 'freshly picked carrots'  (which also appears to be relatively rare in the twentieth century) is no doubt partly due to the way that carrots are harvested rather than picked and partly due to the fact that most people don't care about whether carrots are freshly 'picked' or not.  As far as I'm concerned, the difference in taste and texture between a carrot picked this morning and one picked a few days ago is non-existent (or, if not non-existent, unimportant) so that a carrot being freshly picked or harvested is not a particularly great selling point.

The Major has perhaps also forgotten that every time I refer to the absence of 'one off instance' from the nineteenth century, I talk about 'one off instance' OR SIMILAR.  If it was only that we couldn't find the exact expression 'one off instance' in the nineteenth century that alone would be of no great significance.  It's the fact that we don't find ANY usage of 'one off' to mean something unique that is so important and which, combined with my research into the evolution of the expression during the twentieth century, allows us to state that the diary is, without any doubt, a modern fake.

Major Tom has had years to work on this fatal problem for the diary and all he's come up with is carrots! 

THE GREAT SULK

Talking of Major Tom, the Al Bundy character appeared to suggest in #6299 (without any logic that I could discern) that, simply because the Major had returned after a year's absence, this means that he hadn't stormed off the board in a massive sulk, only to return with his tail between his legs.

Perhaps Al Bundy will have noticed with his famous eyes that the Major himself ignored his post, and has never explained the reason for his extended absence, which was clearly due to a great sulk after he failed in his attempt to have certain members punished for their (reasonable) criticisms of him and, in fact, got slapped down big-time by Crazy Ally for the attempt.

The other thing worth mentioning about the Major is his strange suggestion in #6282 that I regularly check his posts for 'errors of grammar, spelling or content'.   As far as I can recall, I've never mentioned any of his errors of grammar or spelling and I certainly don't check his posts for such errors.  This is, of course, unlike his friend Caroline Morris who does regularly pick up posters for errors of grammar or spelling but ONLY of those claiming the diary is a modern hoax (so that the Major is entirely safe from her correcting any of HIS errors).

But what I love about the Major's grumble that I check his posts for 'errors of grammar, spelling or content' is how he lumps errors of grammar and spelling together with errors of content as if they are exactly the same thing!

For, yes, I certainly do check the Major's posts for errors of content and it is a revealing insight into his mind that he regards errors of content, i.e. factual errors, as the equivalent of errors of grammar and spelling.   I mean sure, who cares about grammar, spelling and FACTS?  Stupid little quibbles, just because he keeps getting his facts wrong and misunderstanding everything.  Honestly, how can he expect the CONTENT of his posts to be accurate? And how mean of Lord Orsam to be checking the content of his posts!

But like he says in #6282, he doesn't have 'time to check for errors...of content' so that he is quite happy to post false statements.  After all, he posts in defence of the diary and there is no higher or more righteous cause in his mind than that, regardless of accuracy.  

MORE SUPPRESSED DOCUMENTS

It would appear that Caroline Morris is in possession of a transcript of Alan Gray's tape recorded conversations with Mike Barrett.

In typical Diary Defender form, in #6318, she selectively posted a hitherto secret snippet from that transcript whereby Mike apparently mentions to Alan a lot number (53) for the O&L auction after having mentioned another number (112).  The problem is that without being able to read the entire transcript it's not possible to understand what is happening.  Furthermore, just for reasons of transparency and openness alone, the full transcript needs to be made public.  Little snippets should not be selectively released to support whatever point Caroline Morris is trying to make on the boards at any one time.

GAME OVER FOR ORSAM?

(spoiler alert - no, it isn't.) 

Caroline Morris' greatest fantasy is that it's game over for Lord Orsam.

As if.

We are told in #6318 that, if certain evidence existed (which it doesn't), then the Orsam Theory would be proved wrong. Well durrr, yes, but the evidence doesn't exist so it's kind of mad for her to be talking about it isn't it?

Her exact words in that post are:

'If [Shirley Harrison] knew for certain that Mike had [the scrapbook] before the end of March, because he had described it over the phone to Doreen, it would be game over for Orsam'.

And if my aunt had bollocks she'd be my uncle.

Back in the real world, here on planet earth, there is no evidence that Mike described the scrapbook over the telephone to Doreen on 9 March 1992.  I'm pretty sure he didn't because he hadn't purchased it yet!  That's why he secretly instructed Martin Earl to locate a Victorian diary for him.

What's the point of even mentioning scenarios like this though?  It would be like me saying that if Mike had told Martin Earl that he needed a diary in order to create a diary of Jack the Ripper it would be game over for Caroline Morris.  There's no available evidence that he didn't tell him that, but no evidence that he did either.  It would be ludicrous to float such things.

The fact of the matter is that there is not one speck of evidence that anyone ever saw or knew about the scrapbook prior to 13 April 1992.  Outside of Mike and Anne Barrett, not a single known person in the world has ever said they saw it.  Not a single person other than Doreen has ever claimed they were told of its existence by Mike. How amazing is that?  It's like it was conjured up out of thin air on 13 April 1992! 

IF...

There was another good "if my aunt had bollocks" moment later in the thread. 

From Errorbitha (#6391):  If Eddie Lyons said that he sold the watch to the Ron Murphy in 1992 'would those completely opposed to the Maybrick idea' accept it?

I mean, honestly! 

Over 30 years, Eddie Lyons has denied finding ANYTHING in Battlecrease and selling ANYTHING found in Battlecrease. So what is the point of such a fantasy?

Here's one for Errorbitha....

If someone discovered an expression in the diary that didn't exist in 1889, would he accept that the diary is a fake?

Oh, um, such an expression has already been discovered.  Two of them in fact (at least)!  But  it doesn't seem to put an end to the Errorbitha fantasy of Maybrick having written the diary, which he couldn't possibly have done. 

Talking of which..... 

ONE OFF TROUBLE

The Major found himself in the uncomfortable position of having to explain how the anachronistic and impossible expression 'one off instance' came to be in the diary and why no-one in five years (since 2016) has been able to refute my proof that it's a twentieth century expression.

After waffling on for a few paragraphs in #6343 of the Incontrovertible thread about how he has very openly acknowledged it's a problem in his 'Society's Pillar' (a document taken apart and demolished piece by piece by me), he basically stated that he simply can't explain it, although he hints that he will do in a future revision of 'Society's Pillar' (spoiler alert: he won't!).

The very best he can do right now is to half-heartedly, and in sheer desperation, suggest that the author was writing about a single 'off instance', something which doesn't help him at all because no such expression has ever existed in the English language!  Furthermore, even it it did exist, or was created by the author of the diary, it would, to fit in with the rules of English grammar, have been written as 'it was an off instance' or, at a huge stretch, as 'it was one off instance' .  It would most certainly not have been written as 'it was a one off instance' because that's not consistent with the rules of language.  It plainly wasn't what the diary author was communicating in any case because he was describing the unique and unrepeatable (one off) instance of him hitting his wife. 

For the Major it really is game over because the diary is a twentieth century forgery and the proof of the faking is in the writing. 

THE CHRONOLOGY ISSUE

Can I tell you what amazes me about the discussions I always read about Mike's supposedly confused chronology of events and whether he was talking about creating the diary in 1990 or 1991 or 1992?

The Diary Defenders always and without exception focus on what is in Mike's written affidavit, even though this affidavit was typed and almost certainly drafted by Alan Gray.

Yet we have a publicly available recording of Mike's own words in which he tells the story of the diary creation!

But it's always completely ignored!!!

Why would you do that?

Why would you ignore the crucial words which came direct from Mike's mouth as opposed to the typed words of a third party?

In public, in April 1999, Mike gave a chronology of events, with dates, as to when the diary was forged, as I set out in A Man in a Pub.

Mike explained that, following the death of Maggie Graham (his wife's step-mother) at the start of 1988, his family moved to 12 Goldie Street so that his wife could live near her now living-alone father which put him (Mike) into debt due to the need to pay a large mortgage.  He said he came up with a plan to write himself out of debt.   In March 1992, he said, he contacted Doreen Montgomery and told her he had the diary of Jack the Ripper and that 'She fell for it left, right and centre'.  But he didn't have a diary to show her at that time.  Hence:

'So all I had to do was come out and write the diary of Jack the Ripper and write it.  It took me eleven days flat to write.'

Before that, he had to obtain a Victorian diary into which the text could be written.  He purchased a red Victorian diary from Martin Earl which was 'so small it's untrue...it's no good...now up stuck, all I've got is a little red diary'. 

What did he do? 

'So I turn round and go to Outhwaite and Litherland...'

He said he purchased a black ledger from an antiques auction held by Outhwaite & Litherland from which he removed photographs with a Stanley knife. 

As to who wrote it:

'Anne wrote it. It's in her handwriting'.  

Mike could not have been clearer therefore that the scrapbook was purchased at an auction in late March or early April 1992 after his failed attempt to acquire a Victorian diary from Martin Earl and that the text was then written out by his wife.  At one point during the evening he expressly denied that he purchased the pens and nibs to write the diary in 1990, saying that this also occurred in 1992.

The only significance of the date of 1990 (subsequently amended to 1991) in the affidavit is that it misled researchers who failed to search the auction records for 1992.  That's it!

What is clear, therefore, is that when Mike was able to tell the story in his own words he said that the diary was created after the telephone call to Doreen Montgomery in March 1992.  There is not a single piece of evidence to contradict that claim and much to support it, especially his documented attempt to acquire a Victorian diary after his call with Doreen.

THE RULES OF DIARY DEFENDING

When the diary is in trouble, the first rule of diary defending is to change the subject and ask: "What about the watch?" 

The markings on the watch, which had never been noticed by a living soul until after it had been publicly revealed that a diary in Liverpool identified James Maybrick as Jack the Ripper, seem to most people, including myself, to be an obvious and tawdry fake, but even in the highly unlikely event that they are genuine, and Maybrick was Jack the Ripper, it would only mean that the forger of the diary had correctly identified the person who committed the murders in Whitechapel in 1888.

And so it came to pass that on 27 June 2021, when the diary was in trouble due to failure of the Diary Defenders to explain both the linguistic anomalies and Mike's attempt to acquire a Victorian diary with blank pages, up stepped True Believer Errorbitha with the classic questions:

'why do you focus purely on the scrapbook?  Why does the watch get so easily dismissed?'

This was in a thread entitled 'One Incontrovertible Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary', thus answering the first question right there.

And had Errorbritha take the time to read the many articles I've written which deal with the watch he would have his answer as to why the watch is so easily dismissed.

The second rule of diary defending, incidentally, having applied the first rule, is then to ask why no-one made any money out of the watch.

Lo and behold, up popped True Believer Errorbitha once more to write:

'Someone has gone to incredible lengths to create something so compelling that never many anyone any money'.

Ha ha!

Incredible lengths!!!!   A few minutes with an engraving tool to make some pathetic scratches.   "Compelling" sadly only for the True Believers!

As for the lack of profit from the watch, it wasn't for the want of trying and I've detailed previously the attempts made by Albert Johnson and his criminal brother to sell the watch (which, for reasons never explained, they jointly owned) for a very large sum of money. 

MAJOR MISUNDERSTANDING MISUNDERSTANDS

Oh how ironic for the Major to be posting images (in #6353 and #6375 of the Incontrovertible thread) of Viz characters!

I could think of a more appropriate one.... 

 

Bang on form, the Major claims of Mike Barratt that  (#6350 of the Incontrovertible thread):

'everything he said which works in favour of Lord Orsam's theory was remembered correctly and everything which contradicted it was misremembered?'

The accusation he is making is one of cherry picking in respect of Mike's January 1995 affidavit and specifically in respect of the fact that the affidavit claims that the scrapbook was purchased and diary written in 1990.  But in making this allegation he ignores and/or misunderstands a number of key facts (and I will leave aside that '1990' has been corrected to '1991' on one copy of Mike's affidavit):

1. Mike was entirely consistent over a period of years in saying that he first attempted to acquire the Victorian diary THEN he purchased the scrapbook.  It's what we find stated in his 1995 affidavit and it is what he said in his own words to the Cloak & Dagger club in April 1999, when he also expressly stated that the diary didn't exist at the time he telephoned Doreen Montgomery on 9 March 1992 (which is the Orsam Theory in a nutshell!).  This chronology is corroborated by the date of the purchase of the red Victorian diary on 26 March 1992 which is a documented fact and which means that Mike was ALWAYS saying that he acquired the scrapbook at an O&L auction in either late March or early April 1992.

2. It would be unfair to expect ANYONE to accurately remember the dates of a historical event, even a recent one, let alone someone who was at the time an alcoholic (who needed hospital treatment) and someone who, in any case, had a bad memory at the best of times.   Let me give you an example of Anne Barrett, an intelligent woman, who told Shirley Harrison that her step-mother died in 1989 (as reported in American Connection, p.286).   The truth is that her step-mother, Maggie Graham, died on 31 December 1987.   Was she lying?  Or was she just confused as to dates?     

3. Mike is known to have stated TRUE facts incorrectly in circumstances where there was no reason to lie.  Let's take one example out of many.  He told the reporter for the Liverpool Daily Post in 1994 that he first brought the diary down to London in 1991.  I do wonder what the Diary Defenders make of that fact (because they never ever mention it!).  Was Mike lying?  Or do they take a more rational approach that Mike was simply confused about the date he first came to London with the diary?  If they take a more rational approach, why don't they take the same approach for the affidavit?

4. Mike's affidavit is treated as if Mike must have written every word so that any errors are directly attributable to HIM but can't be errors, because no-one ever misremembers anything apparently, so they must be lies.   This ignores the fact that it was typed by Alan Gray (which is a known fact) and was almost certainly drafted by Gray based on his recorded conversations with Mike over the previous few months (i.e. those conversations which we are not allowed to hear).  The Major doesn't seem to make ANY allowance for the fact that it was Gray who was confused over dates so that the errors in the affidavit could well be attributable to him.  Honestly, this obvious possibility is whitewashed out of existence by the diary defenders.  They never acknowledge it, they never mention it.  For their purposes, they just focus on the fact that Mike signed it as if that means he is personally responsible for every word.   With a normal person that might be true but while they are happy to paint Mike as an illiterate idiotic bungling buffoon in all other respects, when it comes to his affidavit, Mike is a literary genius with an infallible memory and a precise grasp of all details (so must be lying if he gets anything wrong).

5. I have been calling repeatedly for the Gray/Barrett tapes to be released, or a transcript of them, because that is the only way we could ever possibly get to the bottom of how the mistakes found their way into Mike's affidavit.  Despite my all pleas, nothing has happened.  If we want to avoid going round in circles for the rest of our lives we need ALL the available evidence released.  Yet it is, as far as I can tell, being suppressed.  Why isn't the Major publicly asking for the recordings to be released?  Is it because he fears they reveal exactly how the wrong dates came to be in the affidavit?  Is it because Mike told Gray that he only bought the scrapbook from an auction house after telephoning Doreen?

The incredible thing is that all the new evidence which has emerged since 2018 strongly supports the notion that the Barretts were behind the forgery.  I'm talking about the examples of Anne's handwriting, the hitherto unknown views of Dr Voller and, most especially, the recording of the Cloak & Dagger meeting in 1999, a meeting which had previously been constantly referred to by diary defenders as showing that there was no way in which Mike had forged the diary but which turned out to be the strongest possible evidence that he did! 

I keep calling for new evidence to be released, even though I cannot possibly know what that evidence is going to reveal. The Diary Defenders either remain silent or actively suppress any new evidence.  The fact of the matter is that I argue in good faith and have always been genuinely attempting to get to the bottom of the matter. I do not simply and carelessly dismiss those elements of Mike's affidavit which contradict the Orsam theory as Mike misremembering, while stressing those which support it as him remembering correctly.  I am trying to provide the actual explanation for the mistakes in the affidavit and trying to provide the actual explanation for the emergence of the diary in April 1992.  I do so in the face of arguments which seem to be made in bad faith by people who hide their heads in the sand and simply refuse to confront the evidence which demonstrates the diary to be a modern forgery.

BEING UNFAIR TO ERRORBITHA?

Perhaps I've been unfair to True Believer Errorbitha for I see he writes in #6363 of the Incontrovertible thread:

'At least Lord Orsam has the class to counter his arguments constructively'.

I guess that makes a change from being told that my articles are too long to read (or whatever other bullshit excuse a diary defender comes up with for not reading and responding to them, see Caroline Morris passim).

But what I would say to True Believer Errorbitha is that if he (fairly) acknowledges that my counter arguments to the diary are constructive, where are the constructive counter responses to my counter arguments?  I've yet to  read one!

It was about two years ago now that I demolished the ludicrous 'Society's Pillar', having taken it apart point by point, and I've only ever read NOTHING in response.

No Diary Defender seems to bother with the onerous task of responding in detail to what I have said on this website.   Time and again my detailed arguments pass without any response or comment whatsoever.   I'm certain in my own mind that this is because there is no possible response to them, but, whether that is right or wrong, the attempt certainly hasn't been made.

THE USEFUL IDIOT

Once again, it seems that Major Tom is being selectively fed information by others who view him as a useful idiot.

The Major's posts are usually so devoid of factual information, and so full of rambling speculation, that it's always worth noting whenever he does throw in a supposed fact into one of his posts. 

In #6350 of the Incontrovertible thread in June 2021, he claimed, as he had previously claimed in #207 of the Special Announcement thread in July 2020, that Mike's medical records from his GP, Dr Khan, show no reference to a stroke.  

Earlier, in #5085 of the Incontrovertible thread, in April 2020, the Major just asked 'Did his GP - Dr Khan - ever confirm this' (i.e. the stroke), as if he didn't know whether he had or not (but was just showing off his knowledge that Mike's GP was called 'Dr Khan') but now he goes further and positively tells us that Dr Khan's medical records don't confirm that Mike ever had a stroke!

I've never seen this information published anywhere before - I've never even seen it mentioned by anyone else other than Major Tom (who has now mentioned it three times online) that Mike's GP was called Dr Khan - and it looks like it's information that has been privately given to him by a senior diary defender. 

Once again, we find information being leaked out on the boards, instead of being properly published and sourced and without the entirety of the information being provided.

What else do Mike's medical records say?  Or is that information being suppressed?

DIZZY MISS MAJOR

Just like RJ Palmer, I was baffled as to what the Major was saying about Mike's desire for a Victorian Diary with 20 blank pages. 

Like an obedient poodle, he seems to be following his leader's crazy new argument that Mike wanted a diary with blank pages in order to have a genuine Victorian diary in his possession in case the police came calling and he would show them.....er, well here's where it gets difficult.  Is he going to say it's the diary he bought off Eddie Lyons?  Well that's not going to help him because the whole point is that the diary had been stolen from Battlecrease (but no-one can possibly identify it) so he'll still get done for handling stolen property and he's now given the police the evidence!

Or is he going to say he bought that diary from Martin Earl, in which case, what did he get from Eddie?

And if he shows the police a receipt from a diary acquired on 26 March 1992 how is that going to help him if the police know that the transaction with Eddie occurred earlier in March? 

You see, I understand what I think the Major is trying to say.  We find an example with the Brinks Mat Gold Bullion robbery where Kenny Noye needed to transport the stolen gold but, in case he was stopped by police, he made a legitimate purchase of 11 gold bars which he hid in a safety deposit box.  If he was ever caught transporting 11 bars of gold, he could show the police the legitimate receipt for 11 bars of gold and and say that this is what they had found in his possession.

One can understand that plan. It's simple.  But it doesn't transfer over to a Victorian diary.  If Mike was caught with the Jack the Ripper diary there's no point him showing a receipt for the 1891 diary from Martin Earl because Martin Earl would quickly be able to confirm that the big black scrapbook wasn't the little red diary he had sold Mike.   It doesn't work for any other reason either.

After all, Mike's first action after having supposedly obtained the stolen diary was to telephone a literary agent in order to make public that he was in possession of a valuable Victorian diary of Jack the Ripper, an action which is entirely inconsistent with a supposed desire to obtain a real but dull (and possibly blank) Victorian diary as some form of cover story to try and convince someone that he only had one Victorian diary in his possession.  I mean it's just barking mad to even offer up the possibility.

One thing I love about the argument, though, is that it's being made by the very same people who have repeatedly asked why Mike would have been seeking a Victorian diary rather than a notebook from Martin Earl, and why he agreed to accept the little red 1891 diary.  Yet, in their view, despite having supposedly seen the large black scrapbook or photograph album containing the 1888/1889 diary of James Maybrick as Jack the Ripper, Mike was happy to accept a small red diary from two years after Maybrick had died!!!

But the best thing about it is the Major's comment that (underlining added):

'If I need a document...which looks like something I've just acquired, I'll take an unused one (I'll just fill it in myself to look used) or ideally a partly  used one (saves the bother), but I will need at least twenty blank pages otherwise it's not going to look like the one I've just acquired - you know, the one that may very well have been nicked'.

I've been saying all along that the only reason I can think of for Mike seeking an unused Victorian diary from the 1880s, or one with a minimum of 20 pages, is that he wanted to forge a diary from the 1880s and the Major now seems to agree with me!!!

Look at that bit which he slipped into his post: 'I'll just fill it in myself to look used'.  By that he must mean that Mike was expecting to fill in the blank pages to look like they had been written by a genuine Victorian diarist!!!  Another way of putting it is that Mike was hoping to forge a Victorian diary!  Exactly as I've been saying all along.

We need to get real here. Mike's request for an unused or partly used diary with a minimum of 20 blank pages from the period 1880-1890 is nothing like a request for the Jack the Ripper diary with 63 pages of text he would had been shown in the pub (if such a thing ever happened). And the little red diary from 1891 that he agreed to accept looked nothing like the large black scrapbook supposedly signed on 3 May 1889 that he was supposed to have purchased from Eddie.

Far from obtaining an item which was 'going to look like the one I've just acquired', Mike was obtaining an item which looked nothing like it! 

The Major declined the invitation to explain what he was talking about and it's no wonder.  It cannot be rationally articulated.

ROBERT SMITH DOESN'T CARE IF HIS BOOK IS WRONG!!

A beauty from Caroline Morris (in #6395 of the Incontrovertible thread).  

'As far as I have gathered, Robert [Smith] isn't particularly interested in Lord Orsam's opinions in the diary.'

Leaving aside that this means she must have discussed Lord Orsam's opinions of the diary with Robert Smith, because I don't suppose she can read his mind, the reason why this is such a beauty of a statement is because she wasn't being asked about Lord Orsam's opinions about the diary.

What was being pointed out to her was that Lord Orsam had discovered a serious factual error (one of many) in Robert Smith's book. 

In his True Facts/True History book, Smith tried to refute the claim that 'one off instance' is an anachronism which proves the diary is a fake by saying:

'The phrase was used according to Jonathan Green's Dictionary of Jargon, in 19th century prisons, to refer to convicts being sent on "one off" duty'.

As I explained in The False Facts Exposed and then again in Not True, Funny How it Seems this is absolutely false.

In the first place, Green said nothing about the phrase being in use in the nineteenth century.  On the contrary, Green's book was a dictionary of twentieth century jargon.

Furthermore, Green said nothing whatsoever about convicts being sent on "one off" duty.  The jargon related to prison officers handing over prisoners 'one off, one on'.  This is a completely different meaning to the 'one off' in the diary and is therefore irrelevant to it.

That is the point that Herlock Sholmes was making and he was astonished that, after so many years, Smith was not only making such a basic error but was unable to refute the 'one off' objection in any way. 

In short, Caroline Morris' friend, Robert Smith, made an error of fact which Herlock Sholmes correctly described as 'embarrassing'.

It just so happened that I was the person who pointed it out but it has nothing to do with my opinions. It's a fact.

It must also be embarrassing for Caroline Morris/Brown personally because the Acknowledgments section of Smith's book says:

'I would like to express my gratitude to Caroline Brown for her invaluable support and guidance, and for correcting my errors and omissions'.

She didn't do a very good job in respect of the crucial aspect of 'one off instance' did she boys and girls?

As I always say, 'No Orsam, No Comment!' 

Of course, if Robert Smith isn't particularly interested in correcting his glaring errors that's up to him, but he was asking people to pay £25 for a book originally called 'The True Facts' about the Maybrick diary and now called 'The True History'.  One would hope that he wasn't stating false facts in his book for which he was charging money, but that's exactly what it does contain.

My articles, by contrast, are all free.  I drew attention to the error after publication of Smith's first edition.  The article was freely accessible to the world. Smith wasn't, we are told, 'particularly interested' in what I had to say so the error remained uncorrected in the second edition.

Caroline Morris' beauty of a post continued:

'And I do know that Lord Orsam's opinions can often be very wide of the mark'.

Well I mean it's obvious that she doesn't agree with my opinion about the creation of the diary but how does she 'know' that my opinions are 'often' wide of the mark?  She doesn't give any examples.  To the extent that she is saying I've actually got something demonstrably wrong, she once again doesn't seem able to find the time to tell us what that actually is.

I don't believe my opinions are very wide of the mark but that's not the issue here.  We are talking about facts.

Robert Smith got his facts wrong and I've got my facts right.

It's that simple. 

SEND IN THE CLOWN

Worth a reminder at this point, I think, of Caroline Morris' post #247 of the thread, 'The Diary - Old Hoax or New' from 2 August 2019, addressed to Herlock Sholmes, (which I first mentioned in my Send in the Clowns article):

Let's just zoom in.

 

Oh dear, how embarrassing.

'In the notes section at the back of Robert's 2017 book, he does cite an example from 1905 of a 'one-off job' from Volume 50 of a publication called Foundry. 

For what it's worth'.

It's worth nothing.... because the volume being referred to by Smith was actuallly from 1922, not 1905, as I had pointed out two years earlier, proving once again the truth of the saying, 'No Orsam, No Comment!'

Sam Flynn replied to Caroline Morris in #252 to point out to her that I had already said in my 2017 article that volume 50 of the Foundry was published in 1922.  Naturally, Caroline Morris never acknowledged Sam's response, and she certainly never corrected her mistake, but I can only assume she notified Robert Smith for him to make a correction in the next edition of his book published later in 2019, without either her or Smith ever reading my article.  Hence they never learnt what else Smith got wrong in his book (such as the embarrassing prison error!). 

CAROLINE AND THE CARROTS

There was another beauty from Caroline Morris in #6394.

Showing that she had completely misunderstood Major Tom's point about the freshly picked carrots, she called it 'desperate stuff if it has already been established to such posters' satisfaction that the diary is not in Maybrick's handwriting, and the tiny pocket diary for 1891 demonstrates the intent by the Barretts to create 'the' diary in the early 1990s.'

In saying that, she seemed to think that RJ Palmer was claiming that 'freshly picked carrots' was another anachronistic phrase in the diary.  She was obviously confused by Major Tom who only mentioned the phrase to show that it isn't revealed by Google Ngrams to be a 19th century expression.  Yet the Major didn't correct Caroline Morris, probably because he's too scared to do it.

Even if the point had been raised by RJ Palmer, it would be perfectly legitimate for him to add yet another reason for the diary being fake, if that's what it showed.

We must also not miss the sleight of hand whereby Caroline Morris referred to the 1891 diary as demonstrating the intent by the Barretts to create the Maybrick diary.

I must state once more as strongly as possible that it is not the 1891 diary that is the key evidence in this respect.  The key evidence is the Bookdealer advertisement showing that Barrett was after an unused or partly used Victorian diary from the period 1880 to 1890 with a minimum of 20 blank pages.   

Caroline Morris prefers to concentrate on what Mike actually received rather than what he was really after because she cannot explain the Bookdealer advertisement at all.  Why was Mike after a Victorian diary with blank pages?  It's baffling to her.  So she ignores that and concentrates on the 1891 diary because, for simpletons, 1891 is too late.

Thankfully, we on orsam.co.uk are not simpletons and can see through her distraction techniques. 

WHAT'S ANOTHER YEAR?

After RJ Palmer pointed out to her that the inclusion in Mike's affidavit of '1990' appears to have been a typo, Caroline Morris says in #6399:

'But 1991 would have been no better than 1990, would it?'

Well yes, actually.  The reason Caroline Morris keeps banging on about 1990 is because it seems unlikely that someone in late 1994 or early 1995 could have mistaken events in 1992 for those in 1990.

But there's really nothing unlikely about someone being a single year out in their estimates.  We know that Mike must have told a Liverpool Daily Post reporter in June 1994 that he brought the diary to London in 1991.  That being so, it was impossible for him to have believed the diary was forged in 1992.

The fact of the matter is that when trying to create a chronology of events, if your starting point is wrong, everything else that follows will be wrong too.

Mike's affidavit states that Tony Devereux died in 1990.  If that wasn't a typo but a genuine belief, held by either Alan Gray or Mike, one can well see that Mike might have said that the diary was written in the year following Tony's death.  That's just one simple way in which the chronology of the diary could have gone askew in Mike's mind or, perhaps more importantly, in Alan Gary's mind.

Caroline Morris also says:

'One date Mike was never hazy about was Monday 13th April 1992, whenever he was asked about the day he took the diary to London'.

She provides no evidence to show that Mike was 'never' hazy about that date.  As far as I'm aware, he only ever mentioned it once, which was at the Cloak & Dagger club on 10 April 1999, but that was after a lunch with Ripperologists the previous day at which we can be certain that Mike's memory was refreshed.   Let's see some evidence that Mike ever mentioned the date of 13th April 1992 prior to his January 1995 affidavit.   That's the only relevant time period.  Anything after that point is irrelevant because he could simply have discovered the correct date (as he clearly did in April 1999). 

Regrettably this kind of false point is all too typical of Caroline Morris in her mission to befuddle and confuse the world.

THE FALSE QUESTION - part 1

I've already made the point that Caroline Morris never mentions Mike's account of the origins of the diary which he gave in person at the Cloak & Dagger club in April 1999.  She seems to regard his January 1995 affidavit as the only time he ever told the story (despite this document clearly having been written by someone else).  No better example can be found than in her post #6399 where she says:

'How is it possible that he [Mike] recalled receiving and rejecting the red diary, then obtaining the photo album from O&L, and Anne spending the next few days copying the diary text into it, but totally forgot that this had all taken place immediately before his scheduled meeting with Doreen, to show off their freshly written hoax?'

Yet, Mike did NOT forget this when he spoke to the audience of the Cloak & Dagger club in April 1999.  It's exactly what he said happened!

Caroline Morris simply ignores this as she ignores the fact that Mike obviously didn't write his affidavit but left it to Alan Gray.

She also ignores the fact that Mike said in his affidavit that the diary was written in 11 days and that, when read properly, ignoring Mike's memory but checking against contemporary documents, the affidavit says that this 11 days was after 28 March 1992.

But why even bother with the affidavit now that we have a publicly available recording of Mike's own words at the Cloak & Dagger club?

Rather than constantly moaning about and obsessing over the content of Mike's affidavit, why doesn't she ever confront and discuss what Mike actually said with his own mouth about how the diary was forged? 

THE FALSE QUESTION - part 2

Caroline Morris continues in her world of confusion by writing:

'Instead, he had the completed diary sitting there, presumably waiting for Tony Devereux to snuff it unexpectedly, so they would have the bones of a provenance to work with, and still did nothing with it for another seven months, until Monday 9th March 1992, when he suddenly decided it was time to contact the London literary agency, blissfully unaware of any work being done that day in Maybrick's old bedroom.'

I don't know why, whenever she makes up the argument against her, she always gets it wrong.

For myself, I've never said that Mike was waiting for Tony to die in order to have the bones of a provenance for the diary.  Had that been the case, I would have expected him to have contacted Doreen much earlier.

No, what I've suggested is that Tony was quite possibly the driving force behind the forgery which might well not have been completed, or largely completed, in the summer of 1991 and that once he died the plan was abandoned only to be revived on 9 March 1992.

Furthermore, I've been very consistent in saying that Mike might well have been blissfully AWARE of the work being done in Maybrick's old house because he overheard electricians discussing it in the Saddle.  This is something that the electricians themselves admitted might have been possible.  If they admitted it was possible, it means they must have been discussing it in the Saddle.

So what I'm suggesting is a totally plausible sequence of events whereby the text of the diary was written in part by Tony Devereux, possibly with the help of Mike and Anne, but that, when he died, the plan was abandoned, only to be revived when someone jogged Mike's memory and mentioned James Maybrick.  I happen to think that Mike was responsible for the rubbish poetry in the diary which he might well have knocked up in the 11 days while the text was being written (which is why he sometimes describes it as him writing the diary in 11 days).

If Caroline Morris took the time and trouble to read my articles rather than pooh-pooh them without having read them, she might write more sensible things on the boards.

THE THUMBS UP THAT NEVER WERE

Here's a classic diary defender tactic.  In #6399 Caroline Morris writes:

'Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but at the time SHIRLEY checked again with O&L, she would have seen no 'bloody point' in asking about auctions held as late as March 1992, just before both the curator of 19th century manuscripts at the British Museum, and Brian Lake of Jarndyce antiquarian books, had given the diary their tentative thumbs-up.'

As I've explained before, neither of those individuals gave the diary their tentative thumbs up.  Neither of them were able to say whether the diary was genuine or not.  All they said was that they couldn't, from their brief examination, see anything obviously wrong with it.

And Robert Smith was NOT the curator of 19th century manuscripts at the British Museum.  This is just one of the false diary defender facts which Shirley Harrison put into circulation but has never been corrected. 

The reason Caroline Morris mentions all this is to exonerate Shirley Harrison from not having asked O&L in 1995 and 1997 to check their records for 1992.  Here's the thing though.  By 1997 it was known that Mike had acquired the red 1891 diary in 1992.   Yet that information was ignored, presumably because Anne had given a bullshit reason for it, namely that Mike had wanted to see what a genuine Victorian diary looked like, and this was believed! 

Furthermore, even as late as 2003, Shirley was writing incorrectly that the red 1891 diary had been purchased in May 1992 showing a complete lack of focus on the details of the acquisition, which one could certainly argue was negligent.  Even after the Cloak & Dagger meeting in April 1999, during which Mike literally begged Keith Skinner to go back to Outhwaite & Litherland and check their records (having claimed to have purchased the scrapbook in an auction after 9 March 1992), his pleas were ignored and Mike's story was dismissed with barely a second thought, and he was then smeared in the letters page of Ripperologist when false claims were made about what he had said at the meeting.  

SINKING FEELING

'Let that sink in' Caroline Morris tells RJ Palmer in #6399.

What is supposed to sink in?

Well it's the fact that, according to the Chief Diary Defender, no-one in their right mind could have considered the 1891 diary suitable for Maybrick's diary:

'unless the supplier had lied when describing it.  Let that sink in.'

We will leave aside that we are always told by Caroline Morris that Mike was not in his right mind at any time... because there is no need to make cheap points.  The fact of the matter is that there is no reason to assume that the supplier lied when describing the 1891 diary.

I've been over this at length so won't repeat it all again but there was nothing in the written description of the diary - which Caroline Morris herself has posted online - to exclude the diary from being suitable for forging the Maybrick diary. On the contrary that description said that 'nearly all the pages are blank'.

Let that sink in Caroline Morris.

Nearly all the pages were blank.

Even Caroline Morris has admitted that this was a misleading claim!!

So she is saying that the supplier gave Mike a misleading description of the 1891 diary!!!!

Let THAT sink in! 

THE INCONSISTENCY OF CAROLINE MORRIS

She tells so many convoluted stories that she can't even keep up with herself.

In #6399 she tells us that the earliest entry she has which features the name of Maybrick was in a letter from Shirley to Doreen dated 2nd July 1992.

This is, naturally, part of her mission to befuddle and confuse because she doesn't say that this was when Maybrick was first identified with the diary but that's what she obviously wants her reader to think because she also says that,'There is nothing to suggest that Mike made good his claim at the earliest opportunity to have personally identified Jack the Ripper'.

Yet, she also says in the same post, using her famous imagination (without any evidence at all):

'I wonder if it was Anne who recognised the name Battlecrease when helping Mike transcribe the diary, and gave him the tip.'

But she's already told us that the transcript was prepared and completed by the Barretts before 22 April 1992 (#6301).  That being so, if Anne recognised the name Maybrick prior to this date, she is negating the entire significance of the 2 July 1992 mention of Maybrick!

Even worse, Caroline Morris also claims in #6301 that the transcript was 'done fast - I suggest between 13th and 22nd April'. But Harrison tells us in her 2003 book that Mike told her and Doreen at their very first meeting on 13 April that he'd already connected the Diary with James Maybrick due to having see a copy of Whittington-Egan's 'Tales of Liverpool: Murder, Mayhem and Mystery' (p.7).  This is surely 'something' to suggest that Mike DID make good of his claim to have personally identified Jack the Ripper!

Indeed, we know that, at some point in July or August 1992, Mike provided Shirley Harrison with a typed up copy of his research notes labelled as being from August 1991.  In her 2003 book, Harrison states that these notes were typed and collated by Anne on Mike's behalf 'while he was trying to make sense of the Diary, before he brought it to us' (p.302).  The first four pages of those research notes are all about James Maybrick! 

Shirley Harrison couldn't possibly have believed those notes were genuine if Mike had professed ignorance of the diary author's identity during their first meeting on 13 April 1992. 

All this demonstrates two things:

Firstly, that the 2 July date is meaningless, even on Caroline Morris' own imagination of events.

Secondly, that Caroline Morris' suggestion - that it was Anne who spotted that the diary was written by Maybrick during the process of transcribing the diary - cannot be correct if, as she also suggests, the transcript was created between 13th and 22nd April. For Mike had evidently already told Shirley and Doreen that Maybrick was the author of the diary.  The fact that Caroline Morris can't find a document with Maybrick's name in it before 2 July means nothing.  She obviously can't find a document in which it is stated that the diary author's identity is unknown either!  But Mike simply must have told Doreen and Shirley that Maybrick was the supposed author when they met on 13 April.  For all we know, he told Doreen this on 9 March as well.  He certainly couldn't have told her on 9 March that he didn't know the author because that would have been inconsistent with the story he told on 13 April, and with the story told in his 'August 1991' research notes.

Once again Caroline Morris has messed up her chronology due to her poor attention to detail.  Back to the drawing board for her! 

A FAILURE OF IMAGINATION

In conversation with the Major in #6400, Caroline Morris shows how arrogant and how totally out of touch with reality she is by writing (underlining added):


'I suspect the true Barrett believer is so  conditioned to believe they are right, that they have lost the ability to see any possible alternative, never mind stop for a second to consider whether it might actually work better with all the available evidence. 

 suspect the true Barrett believer is so conditioned to believe they are right, that they have lost the ability to see any possible alternative, never mind stop for a second to consider whether it might actually work better with all the available evidence.

If they could only bring themselves to imagine what the consequences might reasonably have been, if the diary had been sold on to a clueless and unsuspecting Mike Barrett in the Saddle that lunchtime, after the floorboards had been raised in Maybrick's old bedroom, turning his little world upside down overnight, they might just appreciate that everything that happened from that day onwards is what one could expect the consequences to have been, given those circumstances.' 

Coming from someone who never gives any consideration to the notion that the Barretts forged the diary, and is rudely dismissive of the notion, her words are the very definition of irony, and she really could be describing herself, but the reason she is so arrogant and out of touch with reality here is that the 'true Barrett believers', as she misleadingly describes those who are satisfied that Barrett was involved in the forgery, HAVE considered all the available evidence and HAVE considered the alternative scenario of the diary being sold to Mike on 9 March 1992.  That scenario comes up seriously wanting.

The glaring problem with the scenario of Mike acquiring the diary from Eddie Lyons on 9 March 1992 is that it doesn't explain why, immediately after this, Mike urgently sought a Victorian diary with blank pages.  What possible reason could he have had for doing this? Caroline Morris hasn't been able to explain it in almost 20 years!!!

We may also note that while Caroline Morris criticizes Mike Barrett for his inconsistent stories, her own account of what happened on 9 March 1992 changes every week, depending on what argument she wants to make on any particular occasion.  One day she will tell us that Eddie Lyons actually sold the scrapbook to Mike on 9 March 1992 but on another day no transaction occurred, the scrapbook remained in Eddie's possession, and negotiations continued until the end of March when Mike finally bought it!  One never knows which way the wind is blowing.

Nor do we know how Mike found the money to pay for it nor what price he paid for it.  Caroline Morris keeps saying £25 but this is a number she's plucked out of her very backside, with not a jot of evidence in support.

Critically, not only is there evidence that the floorboards of Battlecrease had been lifted long before 1992, with nothing having been found, but Caroline Morris has simply ignored the obvious problem with the diary revealed by the expression 'one off instance' which strongly negates the possibility of the diary having been found under the floorboards in 1992.  Caroline Morris may desire to put aside the evidence in this case, and stick her head ten feet into the sand, but the rest of us will wonder how a diary which cannot possibly have been written before the Second World War could conceivably have ended up beneath the floorboards of Battlecrease, to be found there by electricians in March 1992.  The truth is that the notion of the diary (and a gold watch) being discovered under the floorboards is pure diary defender fantasy, a complete fiction with not a single particle of evidence to support it and much evidence to tell us that it cannot possibly have happened.

Then, even if we indulge the fantasy, we have to wonder if what followed after March 1992 could truly be said to be the result of Mike having acquired the diary from Eddie.  To my mind it's not consistent either with him admitting that it was a forgery or with him blaming his wife for writing it.  Even if you are attracted to whatever convoluted explanation Caroline Morris gives for his motives in 1994 and 1995, I honestly can't see what motivated him to come to London in April 1999 and then, over two days, tell a consistent and coherent story about the origins of the diary which involved it being created in March/April 1992.  Sure, in the pub he was a bit drunk but we are told that during the lunch on the previous day he was rational and articulate.

Above all, though, why on god's green and covid filled earth would Mike have told a fabricated story in April 1999 which involved him not having had the diary in his possession on the day he telephoned Doreen Montgomery and having to rush to find something Victorian into which he would add the text before writing it all out in 11 days?   It just doesn't make any sense.  If he was lying (and had been lying in his 1995 affidavit) isn't that the very last story he would have told? 

Everyone else at that time believed that he had forged the diary in 1990 or 1991 and THAT story would surely have had far more appeal for his audience.   If he had really acquired the diary from Eddie, why tell an amazingly convoluted but original lie which seemed to make no sense and seemed to be impossible?

Then we have Anne's extraordinary behaviour. Are you seriously telling me that her story of having seen the diary in her family cupboard in the 1960s is consistent with the notion that she knew nothing about it until Mike walked into 12 Goldie Street with it on 9 March 1992?  If, as even Caroline Morris believes, she told a remarkable lie, doesn't it stretch credulity that she was prepared to tell such a lie?

I could also mention Mike's discovery of the Crashaw quote in the diary and that fact that he undoubtedly had possession of the Sphere series of books on the history of English literature in which that quote could be found.  We are asked to accept that this was a pure coincidence! 

MIke's possession of a book which included a chapter about Maybrick is less of a coincidence, bearing in mind that it was a book about Liverpool in general, but the fact that he lent that book to Tony Devereux (who apparently referred to his wife as a 'whore' and certainly cut her out of his will) is another indicator that there was more going on than the investigators ever managed to discover. 

No, the arrogant Caroline Morris is quite wrong.  The scenario of Mike obtaining the diary on 9 March 1992 which she seems to love so much HAS been considered but has been found wanting.  Now, if she or any other true diary believer can tell us why Mike was so keen to obtain a Victorian diary with blank pages on or after 9 March 1992 we will then know that she has finally been prepared to imagine what the consequences might reasonably have been if Mike and has wife had forged it over eleven days in March and April 1992.

MAJOR MISUNDERSTANDING MISUNDERSTANDS.... AGAIN

An absolute classic example of desperate diary defending in #6408 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread as Major Tom, fully aware that the real Maybrick would not have referred to his wife's godmother as her aunt in his personal journal, said:

'it would seem that this potential confusion between 'aunt' and 'godmother' is unsurprisingly common'.

To support this assertion he provided the 'following example' which was not an example of confusion between an aunt and a godmother at all!!!  It was a purported confusion between a niece and a goddaughter!!

And this so-called 'confusion', as even the Major conceded, was from the fictional television series Suits but, what he didn't go on to concede, is that it demonstrated nothing other than he is an idiot.

A character in the show (Elliot Stemple, played by Patrick Fischler) claims that he hasn't been able to provide a motion to a judge because his niece had become ill.  The judge is sympathetic (due to a family member supposedly being sick) but opposing counsel points out that Stemple hasn't got a niece.  So Stemple changes his story and says he meant his goddaughter.

I'm not sure how this helps the Major because it seems that Stemple has been caught out telling a huge lie.  Hence, this summary of the incident on fanbolt.com:

'Harvey’s nemesis A. Elliot Stemple (Patrick Fischler, Mob City) refers to him as a “skirt-chasing degenerate” just before discovering that he’s about to face both Harvey and Mike in court. This makes him invent an excuse about an ill niece in a panicked attempt to get off the case, but Mike points out that said family member doesn’t exist (which nets Stemple a hefty fine for lying to the judge).'

So the claim by Stemple that he confused his goddaughter with his niece was regarded as such an obvious whopper by the judge that he fined Stemple for lying to him!!!

The Major seems to have edited out from the script he posted that part of the episode in which Stemple gets fined for lying!

Having checked the full script for myself, it's even worse than that because the Major cuts off the script at the part where Stemple claims that his goddaughter's name is 'Sandra Silverstein' at which point opposing Counsel says, 'Your Honor, that's the same fictitious goddaughter that's taken ill every time Stemple needs a continuance in the last five years'.  Then the judge says, 'Mr Stemple...you'll be paying the court a $2000 fine'.  All deliberately excised by the Major's crafty editing. 

So, far from proving that a confusion between 'aunt' and 'godmother' is 'relatively common', the Major has proved nothing other than that writers of an American TV show did not expect anyone to get confused between their niece and their goddaughter.

THE CHANGING OF THE TUNE

How wonderful to be alive!

It was on 12 June 2020 (#5239 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread) that Caroline Morris crowed:

'now that the little red diary has been disqualified'.

You see, she'd recently discovered that 'Martin Earl only ordered it for Mike after giving him a detailed description and getting confirmation that it met with his requirements'.  

In her mind that 'detailed description' must have included the fact that the dates were printed on every page and meant that it was useless as a diary to forge the Maybrick diary so that we could 'disqualify' it, knowing that Mike obviously wasn't after a Victorian diary for the purposes of creating a forged diary.

But now, oh now, we find a massive change of tune.  In #6409 of the same thread, she writes:

'We also now know what Mike ordered, when a potentially acceptable item was located and described to him. Regardless of how detailed or accurate that description was, we know precisely what he was sent: a pocket appointments diary and memo book for the year 1891 - two years too late for anything supposedly written by the real James Maybrick.'

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Oh my sides.

'Regardless of how detailed or accurate that description was'.

This is pure gold.

Because you see it has finally, more than one year later, sunk in that the description provided by Martin Earl was neither sufficiently detailed nor accurate for Mike to have known exactly what he was ordering. 

She falls back on the tired old fantasy that, because it was an 1891 diary, it was 'two years too late for anything supposedly written by the real James Maybrick'.  That is a false claim.  It was not two years too late at all.   A paper test would not have been able to distinguish an 1889 diary from an 1891 diary.  So an 1891 diary would, in theory, have been ideal for Mike's purposes.  It's just that when he saw it he realized it was useless.  But until he saw it he couldn't know that.

Continuing her humiliating climbdown, Caroline Morris asks:

'If Mike still hoped he could use it for a hoax, why didn't he ask, at the very least, if the diary had dates inside, or just the year on the front cover?' 

This is very different from what she was previously saying when she told us that Mike had been given a 'detailed description' whereby there would have been no need for him to ask any questions!!!!

But the answer to her question is very simple.  As I set out in my article That Little Red Diary what would have happened is that Martin Earl would have read out the description of the diary he had received from his supplier to Mike over the telephone. At this stage, Earl wouldn't have seen the diary.  So there would have been no point in Mike asking Earl any questions about it because he wouldn't have been able to answer them.  It really is that simple.  He'd already read out to Mike the description which was the only information available.  Did Mike want it or not?

I daresay that, if necessary, Mike could have asked Earl to go back to his supplier with questions but that would have delayed matters.  If Mike wanted the diary urgently, he just said "yes" once he heard the magic words 'nearly all the pages are blank'.  He wasn't told that dates were printed on every page.  He was only told that almost all the pages were blank.

Anyway, we've been all round the houses on this.  The main point is that the Caroline Morris tune has changed from Mike definitely knowing that the diary was unsuitable for the purposes of a forgery, on the basis of the detailed description he had been given which answered all questions, to it now being 'why didn't Mike ask questions to establish whether or not it was suitable for the purposes of forgery?'  It really is an amazing shift in tone from someone who had previously announced that the red 1891 diary was 'disqualified'.  The truth is that it is still very much in the game as showing Mike's desperate desire for any kind of Victorian diary with blank pages as at 26 March 1992.

HOW DIZZY IS MISS LIZZY?

The scrapbook shown to Doreen was partly used, with 17 blank pages at the end, and had just the one indication of date: May 1889. It had entries consistent with it having been used as a diary. That is what Mike would have been thinking of, if he requested a Victorian diary after seeing Eddie's old book and coveting it. Mike would be taking a risk if the thing was a joke, or if it was someone's valuable heirloom.

Tell me how it's possible for someone not confined in a secure institution to write this in an attempt to explain the bookdealer advertisement: 

The scrapbook shown to Doreen was partly used, with 17 blank pages at the end, and had just the one indication of date: May 1889. It had entries consistent with it having been used as a diary. That is what Mike would have been thinking of, if he requested a Victorian diary after seeing Eddie's old book and coveting it. Mike would be taking a risk if the thing was a joke, or if it was someone's valuable heirloom.
'The scrapbook shown to Doreen was partly used, with 17 blank pages at the end, and had just the one indication of date: May 1889.  It had entries consistent with it having been used as a diary.  That is what Mike would have been thinking of, if he requested a Victorian diary after seeing Eddie's old book and coveting it. Mike would be taking a risk if the thing was a joke, or if it was someone's valuable heirloom'.

I mean, yes you could say that the scrapbook shown to Doreen was 'partly used'.  In which case, why did Mike ask Martin Earl to obtain an unused diary for him?

It makes no sense.

And, in the alternative, Mike wasn't asking for a diary with 17 blank pages, nor for a diary with 20 blank pages.  He was asking for a diary with a minimum of 20 blank pages. 
 
So, for both those reasons, namely Mike's primary desire for a completely blank diary but, if not blank, one with at least but not confined to 20 blank pages, there can't possibly be any connection between the 17 blank pages in the diary and what Mike was seeking.
 
Even if Mike had been seeking a diary with 17 blank pages, for what possible reason could he have wanted a diary with the same number of blank pages as the one he had been shown?   I cannot think of one at all.  I don't believe it's ever been explained.
 
We are told that Mike might have 'requested a Victorian diary after seeing Eddie's old book and coveting it'.  Right, so if he coveted Eddie's old book he would be trying to purchase it from Eddie.  Why would he go out and seek another Victorian diary?   I mean, if he just wanted a Victorian diary because he was jealous of Eddie having one, then he got what he wanted from Martin Earl on 28 March 1992 didn't he?  He received a genuine Victorian diary.  What was so special about Eddie's?
 
Might it have been the fact that it was signed 'Jack the Ripper'?  But if that's the case why would Mike for one second have wanted to pay hard cash for a diary of Joe Bloggs?   Or a blank diary of Joe Bloggs?!!
 
Seriously, nothing makes sense.  I'm not trying to be horrible when I say that anyone putting forward this argument needs to be confined a secure institution of some sort because I just can't fathom it.  It seems genuinely insane. 
 
WARNING TO CHILDREN: Diary defending can break your brain.  Don't do it! 

I SEE DEAD PEOPLE
 
A welcome reminder, in the 'Incontrovertible' thread, of Caroline Morris' bizarre theory that Mike's daughter, Caroline, thought her father could speak to the dead!
 
As RJ Palmer pointed out, Feldman says in his book that young Caroline 'clearly remembered' the day her father brought home the diary and that, 'She remembered her dad pestering Tony'.    RJ also could have mentioned that Shirley Harrison states in her 2003 book that the day after Mike is supposed to have received the diary from Tony Devereux in early 1991:
 
'Caroline remembers, her dad went down to Tony's house and pestered him about the origins of the Diary.  How long had he had it?  All Tony would say was "You are getting on my fucking nerves.  I have given it to you because I know it is real and I know you will do something with it."...Caroline remembers clearly how her dad continued to pester Tony for information on the telephone'.
 
How does Caroline Morris explain this?  Well she has a theory (#6423) that 'what Caroline would have remembered' would have been Mike pestering Eddie Lyons, not Tony Devereux, about the origins of the diary.
 
But.....but....but....
 
Why did young Caroline say that she remembered her dad not only pestering Tony on the telephone but that she actually remembered him going round to Tony's house and pestering him there?
 
For, if Caroline Morris' theory is correct, and the diary was only found under the floorboards of Battlecrease on 9 March 1992, Tony had been dead for more than six months when such pestering must have occurred.
 
Now, if I remember correctly, the Morris theory is that young Caroline had no idea that her father's mate had died, so that when she heard her father pestering someone on the telephone about the origins of the diary, she assumed it was Tony Devereux he was talking to, despite Tony then being six feet under.
 
I don't think she ever quite managed to explain how Caroline was able to remember her father going round to Tony's house, and the conversation that then ensued, but I think her view was that Caroline didn't personally witness that conversation but assumed her father had gone round to see Tony when he had really gone to see Eddie.
 
There are, however, some rather big problems with this entire theory. 
 
In the first place, it means that Caroline was a witness to her father pestering Eddie Lyons about the diary in March 1992.   When she spoke to researchers she could, therefore, have blown the entire scam with that kind of knowledge.  She could have dropped Eddie right in it, thus dropping her father right in it and exposing him as a liar.  How could Mike have been sure she wouldn't?
 
Amazing, is it not, that she got confused and didn't realize that her father was speaking to Eddie Lyons (and was thus unable to reveal this fact to researchers when questioned) but just happened to think it was the deceased Tony Devereux so that her story, by pure coincidence, happened to align perfectly with the false story that Mike was telling the world about the origin of the diary!
  
Why would she have thought that her father was speaking to Tony in March 1992?
 
Well perhaps her father only had one friend (Tony) so that whenever he spoke to someone on the telephone it was him.   Trouble is that by March 1992, Mike couldn't possibly have spoken to Tony for more than six months due to the absence of a pulse.  Even Caroline might have been puzzled as to what had happened to the man that her father always spoke to but then suddenly stopped doing so before, out of the blue, returning to his life and being pestered by her father about the diary. 
 
If, on the other hand, Mike didn't speak regularly on the telephone to Tony while he was alive, why should young Caroline have assumed that, in March 1992, the man her father was pestering about the diary was Tony?
 
Presumably Mike would have been saying "Eddie, Eddie" on the telephone but, even if not, he surely wouldn't have been referring to Eddie as "Tony".
 
Are we supposed to believe that in March 1992, Mike was pretending to his daughter that he was not only speaking to the late Tony Devereux but going round to his house  to pester him in person?   Why would he have been doing that?  So that she would tell any possible future investigators, in case she was ever asked, that her dad spoke to Tony in March 1992 despite him having been dead at the time?????
 
No, no, no, no, none of this works.
 
I don't happen to share RJ Palmer's view that Caroline was recalling Mike pestering Tony in early 1991 about the text of the diary.  I think it was all just a big fib that she had been instructed by one of both of her parents to tell the researchers.  Liars always feel the need to lay it on too thick and I suspect Mike just coached her as to what to say to protect her mum and dad.  If she'd witnessed the creation of the diary, as Mike always claimed, she knew full well what had really happened and her dad just told her to tell Feldman, Shirley etc. that she remembered him pestering Tony about the diary while he was still alive, consistent with what Mike was then saying about the origins of the diary.
 
Young Caroline Barrett will now be all grown up and could easily resolve all questions relating to the diary but, oddly enough, when I suggested that she should be the focus of any interviews, not the electricians in Liverpool, Caroline Morris got all weird and said, no, she probably won't remember anything, leave her alone.  Personally I suspect Ms Morris was worried that the girl would reveal the truth so that the last 22 years of her own life will be exposed as a complete waste of her time.
 
Here's another funny thing.  When the Inside Story team had arranged a meeting with Caroline (via her mother) she failed to turn up and also declined to speak to them over the telephone.  According to Inside Story, 'Her reticence...was due to the deep emotional upheaval of recalling a very traumatic period blah blah blah'.  She also apparently claimed that her memory of the diary was 'vague' but I have no doubt that she remembers a lot.  On the boards, Caroline Morris was quick to defend the young Caroline for never speaking to any investigators about the diary.  Of course she did!  Anne Barrett can do no wrong but if she does do wrong there is always a good reason for it. The same is true for young Caroline.  If she refuses to speak about the diary it's because of the trauma, not because she's trying to protect her mother and doesn't want to lie any more to investigators.
 
Mind you, perhaps she really means the trauma of seeing her father speaking to all those dead people! 

NOTE FROM LORD ORSAM
 
It is 30 June 2021 and my assistant who types these articles, whose name temporarily escapes me [Assistant's note: It's David!], tells me that this article has become very long.  Yet, we have nearly three months to go until the next Orsam Day.  So, in an unprecedented break with tradition, I'll be starting a new 'Lord Orsam Says....Part 17' here for the same Orsam Day publication.  I guess I'll see you over there.  
 
But before you go, you might also want to read some overflow articles from this one:
he scrapbook shown to Doreen was partly used, with 17 blank pages at the end, and had just the one indication of date: May 1889. It had entries consistent with it having been used as a diary. That is what Mike would have been thinking of, if he requested a Victorian diary after seeing Eddie's old book and coveting it. Mike would be taking a risk if the thing was a joke, or if it was someone's valuable heirloom.
he scrapbook shown to Doreen was partly used, with 17 blank pages at the end, and had just the one indication of date: May 1889. It had entries consistent with it having been used as a diary. That is what Mike would have been thinking of, if he requested a Victorian diary after seeing Eddie's old book and coveting it. Mike would be taking a risk if the thing was a joke, or if it was someone's valuable heirloom.

 

The scrapbook shown to Doreen was partly used, with 17 blank pages at the end, and had just the one indication of date: May 1889. It had entries consistent with it having been used as a diary. That is what Mike would have been thinking of, if he requested a Victorian diary after seeing Eddie's old book and coveting it. Mike would be taking a risk if the thing was a joke, or if it was someone's valuable heirloom.

See also 

Inside Story of #6301

Inside Story of #6392

 

LORD ORSAM
30 June 2021
Published: Orsam Day (18 September 2021)