THE BURDEN OF PROOF
The Clanger dropped into the 'Incontrovertible' thread with his size 16 clanging clown boots (#6437) to say to Herlock Sholmes who was asking for some kind of refutation of my claim that 'one off instance' is a twentieth century expression:
'Is that the way it works, Mike? Shouldn't the ball be in the court of those who claim 'one-off' was anachronistic to prove it'.
This is a novel understanding of the burden of proof in the case of a disputed historical artifact. I do wonder if he's ever seen the television programme Fake or Fortune? because Philip Mould doesn't go up to the Van Gogh committee (or whatever), present them with a painting and say it's up to them to prove it wasn't by Van Gogh!
The Clanger seems to have been misled by the Major's inventive request from 2008 for an incontrovertible fact which disproves the diary, as if that is a legitimate way of going about assessing a historical item, but even here, against all the odds, an incontrovertible fact has been found: 'one off instance'. It's certainly never been controverted.
In the case of 'one off instance', of course it's up to those who claim the diary is genuine to prove that 'one off' was an expression which existed and had meaning in 1889. Shirley Harrison recognised that, which is why she attempted to find an example from the nineteenth century. Paul Feldman recognised it, saying, 'I was always prepared to accept that any linguistic anomalies would prove this diary a fake'. The reason why they were aware that they needed to prove that 'one off instance' could have been used in the nineteenth century was because it was known from the start that all the dictionaries recorded 'one off' as a twentieth century expression. In her examination of the diary's text, English language expert Kate Flint, a lecturer in Victorian literature at Oxford University, immediately picked up on 'one off instance' as showing that it was a fake.
And there it should have ended. An expert had spoken. But Feldman thought that a 'discovery by Shirley of the use of the phrase 'one off' proved the Oxford English Dictionary wrong'. He had, however, been misled by Harrison's claim that she had found an 1860 example of 'one off' to mean something unique. It was a totally false claim but was one that was used to support and defend the diary for more than 25 years.
Every single dictionary and phrase book which deals with the expression 'one off' tells us that it's a twentieth century expression. The language expert who has spoken on the matter tells us that it's a twentieth century expression. I didn't really even need to do anything!
But what I did was research how the expression actually evolved from 'one off' as meaning a quantity (of one), to 'one off job' meaning a unique job, to other metaphorical expressions which compared things to a one off job such as 'a one off' meaning a unique person and 'one off instance' meaning a unique occurrence.
I have set out my detailed findings in a number of articles such as One Off Article, Send in the Clowns and the very important Off and On Again complimented by One Off Expressions to which I've never seen ANY response of any kind from any diary defender. Indeed, if the evidence I set out in those latter two articles doesn't prove that 'one off' didn't exist as an expression in 1889, I don't know what will suffice.
And, of course, what I am being asked to do is prove a negative, which is always very hard. Nevertheless I'm satisfied that I've done it.
When I first revealed the results of my research in 2016, the response from the diary defenders was: give us a bit of time to try and process it. Five years later there has still been no refutation of my findings. They are, in fact, terrified by those findings and never deal with them directly.
The point that Herlock Sholmes was making in his post was that, with all his resources and all his research, the only thing that Robert Smith could come up with to refute 'one off instance' was a false claim about a purported 19th century expression that didn't exist!!
As I mentioned in my article relating to the second edition of Smith's book Not True, Funny How it Seems, Smith prefaces his claims about 'one off instance' by saying that it was an expression which could be found to 'go back beyond 1888'. But he never found a single example from the nineteenth century, let alone from before 1888. He was forced to admit that Shirley Harrison was 'unable to identify' her source for her claim that the expression could be found in the records of a building firm in 1860 (so that claim can be ignored). The best he could do was refer to a 1922 mention of 'one off job' in an article from a manufacturing journal (an article which, in his first edition, he had wrongly claimed was from 1905!). So he couldn't personally find anything earlier than 1922 (even though I had already found a reference from 1912!!!!) so that his feeble conclusion was this:
'Clearly, the phrase was in written usage at least by the early 1920s, almost 100 years ago, which at the very least eliminates the phrase as proof of a modern forgery'.
Such a comment, apart from being a disaster for the argument that the diary was written in 1888/89 by James Maybrick, reveals a misunderstanding by Smith of what he was trying to establish because he had only found a reference to a 'one off job', something which is quite different from a 'one off instance'. He also assumed rather than proved that the reference to 'one off job' was a reference to a unique job (yet, as I mention in my 'Not True' article, it might have meant a rush job, which is how it actually appears to be defined in the 1922 article) but that's another matter.
Due to the evolution and development of the expression 'one off instance', as opposed to 'one off job', it could only realistically have been written by a diarist after the Second World War. I've demonstrated this very clearly.
So 'one off instance' alone proves the diary to be a fake (and a modern one). It's not even the only anachronistic expression in the diary because 'bumbling buffoon', 'top myself' and 'spreads mayhem' are all clearly anachronisms even if, in the case of 'top myself' and 'spreads mayhem', less clearly impossible for the period (but just because they weren't impossible doesn't mean they are still plainly not of the period).
Then we have the factual errors. Florence did not, in reality, claim that she was going to London to visit her aunt (which was a mistake made in the secondary literature, based on a barrister's misunderstanding), the key to Kelly's room wasn't taken by the murderer (another mistake in the secondary literature), Kelly's breasts weren't placed and left on the table (yet another mistake found in the secondary literature).
If one takes a normal approach to a disputed historical item whereby one looks at the overall picture, not just one piece at a time, it is overwhelmingly obvious, and indeed proven, that the diary is a fake, and a modern fake at that.
THE NON-STARTER THAT HAS ALREADY CROSSED THE FINISH LINE
I was amused to read the Major's attempt to refute my Bunny's Aunt article in #6451. Not because of what he said but because of what he didn't say.
For there was no mention at all in his #6451 of the ludicrous claim that Maybrick might have regarded an 'aunt' as synonymous and interchangeable with a 'godmother'.
Readers might recall that this was the initial diary defender response to my article.
That one seems to have been abandoned, and with good reason.
Now the explanation is purely that Maybrick became factually confused as to what his wife was up to in London. According to the Major:
'from Maybrick's perspective the key information he was recording was the fact that Florence was going to London not her stated reason for doing so'.
I literally have no idea how the Major is able to tell us what the author of the diary was thinking or what his 'perspective' was, but the way it is written in the diary is this:
'Will give the bitch the impression I consider it her duty to visit her aunt. She can nurse the sick bitch and see her whoring master ha ha.'
That looks like someone who is very focussed on the fact of what his wife was going to do and who she was going to see in London, not simply that she was going there.
Incredibly, the Major suggests that Maybrick might have confused the Countess de Gabriac with Margaret Baillie (apparently, he says hilariously, because she was someone else's aunt!) but this doesn't work at all, and is a non-starter (to use the Major's expression), because Margaret Baillie was not sick. The whole point of Florence's visit to the Countess was because she was planning to see a surgeon in London so that even if Maybrick was aware that Florence was going to stay with Margaret Baillie (who was not, of course, Florence's aunt) he wouldn't have called her the 'sick bitch'.
So the Major is really forced to fall back on the ludicrous idea that Maybrick wasn't aware that the Countesse de Gabriac was Florence's aunt. He even wants to dispute the evidence in the case which is that the Dr Hopper was told by James as well as by Florence that the reason for the visit to London was to see Florence's godmother, the Countess de Gabriac. When you are actually challenging the evidence from the 1889 criminal case you've really hit rock bottom.
As I've said repeatedly, it is ludicrous to think that Maybrick was unaware that the Countess de Gabriac - and let it sink in A COUNTESS - was his wife's godmother and that he mistakenly thought she was his wife's aunt.
The Major is right about one thing though. He says 'In the real-world scheme of things, this one isn't worth discussing any further'. Indeed, it is a slam dunk. The secondary books on the case were misled by prosecuting counsel during the trial into thinking that Florence had gone to London to see her sick aunt, and the secondary books on the case, which repeated this falsehood, misled the forger.
There is no more to discuss.
SOME REASONABLE POINTS
The Major in #6450 also attempted to deal with the 'one off instance' problem but conceded that Lord Orsam 'has made some reasonable points regarding the use of 'one off instance' in the scrapbook.'
*Lord Orsam bows to acknowledge the applause*
He also says that he assumes that Lord Orsam has 'researched through all available publications and wasn't simply falling back on Google Ngrams...'. I've already mentioned in 'Lord Orsam Says...Part 16' and will repeat here that I have never used Google Ngrams in my life and don't even know how to find it.
The Major then falls back on two pieces of nonsense.
The first is that I could not have researched the spoken word. While that is obviously true, it is inconceivable that a useful expression such as 'one off instance' or similar could have been bubbling around in conversation during the 1880s, not finding its way into writing or print anywhere in any known document until after the Second World War.
Furthermore, in my original posts on the subject as far back in 2016, my key point was that for the diary to be genuine it would mean that Maybrick was not only the first known person to have written down the expression 'one off instance', or anything similar, but no-one else did it again in the same metaphorical sense for more than FIFTY years. This is not a rational argument to make for any historical document, let alone one for which there is no provenance, and one which was dated to the twentieth century by the first (experienced) forensic document examiner to examine it.
In addition, the documentary evidence is clear that the expression 'one off' hadn't evolved to allow anyone to say or write 'one off instance', in spoken or written form, at any time in the nineteenth century. I have demonstrated the clear evolution of the expression 'one off instance' through Phase 1 (quantity), Phase 2 (unique physical item) and Phase 3 (unique people or occurrences). Years ago I stated that there is no point anyone responding to me about 'one off instance' without mentioning those three phases. To date I have never seen a single diary defender get to grips with them or ever mention them once!
Essentially the response to my detailed research is just a hope that perhaps maybe someone could have used the expression. It's not good enough.
Finally, the Major resorts to his 'off instance' nonsense. I've already dealt with this in 'Lord Orsam Says...Part 16' but it's always worth repeating, in the hope that it will one day sink into his heavily defended cranium, that 'off instance' does not exist as an expression in the English language, and never has done, but that, if it did it, in order to conform with normal rules of English grammar, it would be written as 'an off instance', not as 'a one off instance'. That latter construction makes no sense in the context of an expression that doesn't even exist! Even the Major, hilariously, puts it this way:
'the absence of [a hyphen] leaves the reader to wonder if what he was trying (very badly) to write was 'an off moment which I won't repeat'.'
As we can see, even the Major can only write 'an off moment'. He would never in a million years have told us that Maybrick was referring to 'a one off-moment' because that is not English, it's gobbledigook, which is why Maybrick would never have written it!
We all know that the diary's 'one off instance' is referring to a 'one-off instance' being an unrepeatable instance of Maybrick hitting his wife which is no doubt why no-one, not even Caroline Morris, is prepared to adopt the mad suggestion of the Major.
IT'S A LOTTERY!
It was at this point that the probability nonsense kicked off on the Forum. I started responding to individual posts in this article but it then became very long so I've transferred all my entries relating to coincidence and probability over to a separate article, here.
A TYPICAL DIARY DEFENDER TACTIC
Unless you were reading the posts very carefully, you might well have missed Caroline Morris' sneaky question to RJ Palmer in #6468:
'Do you happen to know how and when Eddie the electrician first learned that the house on Riversdale Road was once home to the man Mike identified as the diary's author?'
Answering her own question, she added: 'I guess that'll be a 'no'.'
She knows full well that RJ won't know the answer. How could he?
Those will long memories may recall me repeatedly asking diary defender James Johnston to publish the transcripts of his interviews with Eddie Lyons. He point blank refused, giving a bullshit reason for his refusal. Who defended him? None other than Caroline Morris, who now taunts RJ Palmer over his apparent lack of knowledge of what Eddie Lyons has told the diary defenders!
It's a very typical tactic, leaking information selectively from a document when it suits them while suppressing publication of that document. Even worse, what we have here is a kind of 'I know something you don't know' because she's not actually revealing any information, just hinting that Eddie denied knowing that 7 Riversdale Road was Maybrick's old house in March 1992.
If that's what she's trying to say, the full transcript of the interview needs to be released. Otherwise she should shut up. We can't properly discuss this matter with information dribbling out in this way.
The suspicion as to why the transcript is not released is that there is loads of stuff in it which is inconsistent with the theory of the diary emerging from under the Battlecrease floorboards. They can't possibly allow someone like RJ Palmer, or myself, to have such ammunition with which to hit them with. So they keep it all secret and wait to ambush their opponents with those bits of information they've acquired which they like, while holding back the bits they don't like.
It's no way to get to the truth. In fact, it's a disgrace.
Proving his complete lack of self-awareness, the Major in #6476 claims that he's received an email from someone (presumably a diary defender who closely follows the discussions but is too scared to contribute in case he is asked difficult questions which he can't answer) who said:
'It's completely and utterly useless to continue arguing with these people'.
Coming from someone who is capable of madly pretending that there could ever be an expression in the English language of 'a one off-instance' this is a classic example of self-deception.
Here's the thing though. As at the morning of 22nd June 2021, the 'Incontrovertible' thread was dormant and as good as dead. Not a soul had posted in the thread for the previous two weeks. So why not just leave it to lie peacefully?
Well on 22 June it was none other than Chief Diary Defender Caroline Morris who felt the need to resurrect it with a string of six replies to posts made weeks earlier.
And who followed her like her little poodle on the very same day? Yes, none other than Major Tom!
Prior to 22 June 2021, the Major hadn't posted in the thread since 22 August 2020 when he stormed off to commence the Great Sulk.
So why not just remain silent? Why did the deadly duo, Chief Diary Defender and her poodle feel the need to resurrect the thread with their diary defending nonsense on 22 June?
COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY USELESS TO CONTINUE ARGUING WITH THESE PEOPLE
Do you know, not a day goes by when I don't count my blessings as to how lucky I am that I no longer have to engage with those crazy diary defenders on the boards. Not a single day! It's bad enough that I have to waste my time responding to their nonsense here, but thank the Lord I can no longer actually argue with them directly. (And the same is true for all the other nightmares on there, Fisherman, Hawley, Harry etc.)
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HAINSWORTH?
I was going to add Hainsworth to the above list. He was another complete nightmare to argue with. But he disappeared immediately after my last engagement with him, having melted down so badly that I was actually worried about him, never to be seen or heard of again on the Forum (although I did see him post on JTR Forums once or twice). And funnily enough, now I think of it, I can't recall Hawley posting since the closure of the Tumblety thread in May 2018. Is this the power of Lord Orsam?
Here's a good one.
On 25 June 2021, Herlock Sholmes posted in the Incontrovertible thread (#6327) to say (correctly) that no- one has managed to refute Lord Orsam's one-off instance point and that Robert Smith 'was reduced to a rather embarrassing prison related 'explanation' in his book'.
Five days later, on 30 June, after being finagled into thinking he'd misremembered what was in Smith's book by Caroline Morris (#6417) who had told him that there was such a thing as a 'one-off duty' being a convict's duty 'not performed on a regular or routine basis', Herlock posted in response to Caroline Morris on the same day to concede that 'It looks like my memory might be playing me false then' (#6430).
Not so fast, however, because a mere four posts later (#6434) on the very same day, RJ Palmer told Herlock that he was completely right and that his memory of the embarrassing prison related explanation in Smith's book was spot on. There was never any such thing as a 'one-off' duty in prisons (either for convicts or prison officers). Smith had imagined it. And even Smith didn't assert that it was a duty not performed on a regular or routine basis. This was a pure fiction. Smith had, nevertheless, got it badly wrongly, falsely claiming that there was such an expression as 'one-off duty' from nineteenth century prisons. RJ linked to my article The False Facts Exposed! in which I originally set this all out, reproducing the entirety of Smith's source, which Smith simply appears to have misread and misunderstood at the same time.
Herlock replied to thank RJ Palmer for the reminder on the same day in #6436.
Now here's where it gets interesting. How did Caroline Morris respond to having been embarrassingly schooled on this matter? She doesn't much like being humiliated does she?
All Caroline Morris watchers will know that she has an odd habit of replying to posts in strict chronological order, supposedly as she reads them. She doesn't, like I assume most normal people do, read all the new posts made since her last visit in order to educate herself as to the entirety of what's been said before posting but responds to each one in turn even though new information might have been posted which changes the entire picture.
So, anyway, on 2 July 2021, Caroline Morris replied to Herlock's post #6430. She liked it! Herlock had conceded that he was wrong and she was right (or so he had thought, due to the finagling). So he gets a lovely diary defender pat on the back with the comment 'Cheers Herlock. Nice post'.
But she's got a shock coming, hasn't she boys and girls?
What is her response going to be when she reaches RJ's #6434 which, as I've mentioned was only four posts later (three of which were by the friendly Major Tom who she never contradicts)?
Oh the excitement. Oh the tension.
It won't take her long surely. It's just four posts. And we know that reads them in strict chronological order.
Fifty minutes later on 2 July she makes her next post. It's not in response to #6431, however, which was another post by RJ Palmer, and certainly not in response to #6434. No, she's skipped ahead! She's skipped ahead past a full THIRTY posts, to #6361. In fact, in chronological terms, she moved rapidly from Herlock's post of 30 June to a post by RJ Palmer on 1 July!
Replying to RJ's #6361, she says:
'I've yet to read some previous posts, but saw this one and wanted to make a quick point'.
Ha ha ha!
We still await her response to discovering her mistake in respect of Robert Smith's embarrassing one off claim. (Spoiler alert - it never came!)
When Caroline Morris did return to posting in the thread on 5 July, she went backwards to RJ's #6414 in which he said it would be too tedious for him to respond to Caroline Morris' claim that the forger couldn't have quoted Dr Fuller's words regarding his check-up in April 1889. Not only were those words reported in the newspapers from the trial but Ryan's book states that Fuller:
'told his patient that he could find very little the matter with him'.
Now compare with what is in the diary:
'Fuller believes there is very little the matter with me'.
How difficult would it have been for the forger to change the words from 'he could find very little the matter with him' to 'he believes there is very little the matter with me'?
To all intents and purposes, it's identical!Caroline Morris, broken brain and all, seems to think that the wording in the diary could ONLY have come from the trial transcript in which Fuller stated:
'I told him there was very little the matter with him...'
Bearing in mind that Caroline Morris thinks the diary was forged, and presumably believes that the forger did use the trial transcript, we can see that the forger must have added in the expression 'Fuller believes' whichever source was used because Fuller didn't state anything about his belief at the trial, only what he told Maybrick.
Both sources are basically identical. All the forger needed to do from Ryan was change the wording to the first person. That's it. For Caroline Morris to write to RJ, as she does in #6495, as if he can't explain it, is bizarre. This is what she said:
'I don't blame you. I wouldn't want the uphill task either, of trying to explain how the Barretts managed to quote Fuller's words from 1889 directly and accurately, with only Bernard Ryan's narrative to guide them. Stick to the low hanging fruit. Try to forget Fuller, and the sensible brother Johnson, and keep looking towards the dodgy one.'
How ludicrous, and tedious, is that?
Without posting any source for her information, Caroline Morris asked RJ in #6496 to address 'why Mike phoned Portus and Rhodes, and followed this up with a solicitors letter in the wake of the first Battlecrease rumours to reach the local papers to try - in vain - to get details of the electricians and the work done in the house'.
No evidence was produced to support the claim that Mike telephoned Portus & Rhodes. Presumably Ms Morris is referring to an incident mentioned in her 2003 book in which it is stated (on p.34) that:
'On 21 April  Rhodes received a call from a man claiming to own the Diary but as this man would not divulge his own address or telephone number, Rhodes refused to give him any information on his employees who worked at Battlecrease.'
While this obviously could have been Mike Barrett, it could also have been a journalist from the Liverpool Daily Post attempting to get information about the electricians (bearing in mind that the Liverpool Echo broke the story about the diary that very day and followed up with further stories over the next couple of days naming Battlecrease and mentioning renovation work done in that house) or it could have been Feldman (who, according to James Johnston, was eventually faxed a list of the electricians on 23 April 1993). In 2003 the authors of 'Inside Story' evidently weren't able to confirm the caller as Mike Barrett so how is Caroline Morris able to do it today?
As for the solicitors letter, one imagines that if she told us what it said it would answer her own question because the solicitor would presumably have known the reason for writing it and would no doubt have explained it in the letter itself. Perhaps it was something to do with the electricians claiming to have found the diary thus putting Mike's ownership of it in doubt. I suspect that Caroline Morris knows this which is why she doesn't provide the necessary information, and this is the first I've heard of any such letter in six years of reading Maybrick topics. Is it mentioned in 'Inside Story'. If not, why not??
BANG TO RIGHTS
We've caught her out in an untruth!!! And we have the receipts.
On 6 July 2021 Caroline Morris posted to Scott Nelson in #6505 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread that she 'just happened' to read his post of the previous day (#6497) and then said that, other than that single post:
'I haven't read any posts more recent than #6425, several posts back'.
Here is the proof:
Let's just close up on that:
But it's not true.
As we've already seen, she had, four days earlier, replied to #6430 by Herlock Sholmes. Yet, here she was, on 6 July was claiming she hadn't read 'any' posts more recent than #6425.
Here is Herlock's post #6430 dated 30 June 2021:
And here is Caroline Morris' reply to that post on 2 July 2021 (#6464):
We've caught her bang to rights!!!
Not to mention that, in her very next post, #6465, immediately after responding to Herlock, she also replied to RJ Palmer's #6461 (dated 1 July) with the comment that, 'I've yet to read some previous posts but saw this one and wanted to make a quick point'.
Funny isn't it, how on 2 July she managed to read and reply to #6430 (dated 30 June) and #6441 (dated 1 July) yet, when on 6 July, she posted in response to Scott Nelson's post of 5 July, she claimed that she hadn't read 'any' posts after #6425.
How are we supposed to process that?
Don't forget that this is a woman who is ruthless when it comes to exposing any false statement of Mike Barrett. Can you imagine what she would have said if Mike had made such a false claim?
It's weird how she makes such a song and dance about what posts she hasn't read, in circumstances where two of those posts, #6434 and #6436, were going to be embarrassing for her to respond to, bearing in mind that they exposed the embarrassing mistake made by Robert Smith about 'one off instance' which she had then adopted herself (embarrassingly).
Her next post on 6 July was a response to RJ Palmer's #6435, happily skipping out his #6434 in which he had drawn Herlock's attention to my 'Maybrick: The False Facts Article' which exposed Robert Smith's embarrassing prison related mistake.
Then, on 7 July, she went backwards in time to reply to RJ's #6413 in her #6530. After this she replied to RJ's #6466 in her #6532. Her next post #6530 (on 7 July) was in response to RJ Palmer's #6455.
So she just ducked a response to #6434 and #6436! It must have all been too embarrassing for her even to acknowledge her error. Plus ca change.
That's diary defending for you.
THE ART OF DIARY DEFENDING
Having recovered from choking on my own vomit following the Major's claim of numerical objectivity (see It's A Lottery!), I then choked on a second bout when I read Caroline Morris write this to RJ Palmer (without any apparent sense of shame) in #6530:
'The rest of your purely subjective scenario need detain us no longer. You don't believe it any more than I do. It's not even an exercise in wishful thinking'
This, remember, is Dizzy Miss Lizzy who offers up purely speculative scenarios every day of the week about Mike's hunt for a Victorian diary! Scenarios which she clearly doesn't believe any more than we do because next day she's come up with another explanation inconsistent with the previous one!
In the same post, she casually mentioned that 'Feldy certainly had a phone number for Eddie' . Yet, whenever the subject of Mike going round to Eddie's house to confront him for telling Feldy that he would falsely admit to having found the diary in 1989 is raised, the diary defenders all scratch their heads and wonder how Mike knew how to contact Eddie!
This is the art of diary defending at its finest.
Even the Chief Diary Defender has to admit that the landlord of the Saddle told Feldman in 1993 that, while he remembered Mike coming in for lunchtime drinks, he didn't appear to have had any memory of Eddie Lyons whatsoever. Just fancy that!
Caroline Morris says in the same post that she has seen 'no evidence' that Eddie knew in advance about work being planned in Battlecrease or about knowing that Battlecrease was Maybrick's old house. As usual, no evidence of something becomes evidence in her mind. What she ignores is that the Sunday Times from 19 September 1993 reported that two unnamed Portus & Rhodes electricians admitted that, while drinking in the Saddle, 'they might have talked about their work in a house famous for its murder'.
Now while it is true that this is not indicative of anything said in advance, it shows that two electricians were perfectly aware that it was Maybrick's house and, if they had such a discussion in the Saddle during the afternoon of 9 March (i.e. while the job was underway), this could have prompted Mike's telephone call to Doreen so that the 'almost impossible' odds (according to the Major's calculations) suddenly become very possible.
There is a very revealing quote in Caroline Morris' #6553 when she said to RJ Palmer (underlining added):
'My prediction is that you will keep crying foul and keep arguing about 'blank Victorian paper' because you have long since concluded, even before you were told that Mike knew he was ordering an 1891 pocket diary, that he DID order it to create Maybrick's thoughts from 1888-89'.
It was publicly known from the late 1990s that the diary Mike ordered in March 1992 was from 1891. So what does she mean about RJ being 'told' that Mike knew he was ordering an 1891 diary?
I think she is referring to her own confusion. As we've discussed in the past, she seemed to think that Mike had been sent the diary by Martin Earl in response to his request for a Victorian diary with blank pages from the period 1880 to 1890 (without knowing that it was an 1891 diary). So she seemed to think she had made a major discovery by learning that Mike had been told in advance that it was an 1891 diary.
Everyone else, however, surely knew that Mike must have had a discussion with Martin Earl before Earl sent him anything, and that Earl told him that he hadn't been able to source a diary from Mike's preferred period but that he had found one from 1891 and did Mike want it.
The point is that if Mike believed that nearly all the pages from the 1891 diary were blank (which is what the evidence suggests he WAS told) it didn't matter if the diary was 1891 or 1881. He just needed Victorian paper.
I think everyone knows this but it's only Caroline Morris who has made this sudden discovery that Mike knew he was going to be sent an 1891 diary (he didn't actually 'order' it, so her wording is quite wrong) and thinks there is any significance in this.
One thing that isn't very well appreciated is that the so-called 'timesheet' evidence from Portus and Rhodes doesn't really involve any timesheets at all. What the 'daywork' sheets (to give them their correct title) reflect are not the time worked by electricians on any particular job. They only record the time worked that was to be charged to the client (apparently). The amount of work actually done by individual electricians on any particular day was recorded on timesheets which, it seems, are now missing.
This is how Caroline Morris explained it in a post dated 9 June 2020 (#5228 of the Incontrovertible thread):
'Individual electricians kept daily records of the hours they worked and in what capacity, so they would be paid accordingly by Colin [Rhodes]'
If Eddie Lyons had worked at 7 Riversdale Road on 9 March, therefore, there should be a written record of this - because he would surely have wanted to be paid - but curiously these 'daily records' seem to have gone missing.
Consequently, it would seem that Colin Rhodes was unable to account for what ANY of his electricians were doing on 9 March 1992 other than Alan Rigby and James Coufopolous! So he doesn't seem to know what Eddie Lyons, Jim Bowling, Graham Rhodes (his son), Alan Davies and Brian Rawes amongst others were doing on that day. It's odd. Did he pay any of these other electricians for any work they did on this day or not?
Even with Rigby and Coufopolous, Rhodes only knows what work was charged to Paul Dodd, not what actual work they did during the day.
We are told by Caroline Morris that up to Friday 6 March 1992 Eddie Lyons was working on a contract at Skelmersdale but that he didn't work there again after that date, despite further work being done at Skelmersdale on a daily basis between 13 March and 20 March.
So Eddie was missing between 9 and 20 March 1992, with his whereabouts completely unknown to his boss, Colin Rhodes.
In other words, it's not just a case of Eddie going missing on 9 March but he 'vanished' for 11 days.
The diary defenders don't seem to have a theory about what Eddie was doing over this period. It seems rather unlikely that he was spending all his time selling items found in a biscuit tin under the floorboards nor is it likely that he made enough money from them to abandon his job and fly out to Rio. The fact that he continued working for Portus & Rhodes during (at least) July 1992 suggests that his absence was authorized, even though Colin Rhodes understandably couldn't remember twelve years later in 2004 when questioned what he was doing.
As we know, Eddie isn't mentioned on the daysheets showing what work was done on 9 March 1992 in Battlecrease.
So what reason is there to think that Eddie was working there on that day?
Well funnily enough the 'evidence' of Eddie being in Battlecrease comes from Eddie himself. Although the diary defenders believe that Eddie was lying through his teeth when he said that he didn't find the diary, and when he said he didn't know Mike Barrett prior to 1993, they are perfectly happy to accept that he was telling the truth about everything else!
When interviewed by James Johnston, Eddie certainly seemed to give the impression that he worked at Battlecrease on a day when the floorboards were lifted. We are told that the floorboards were only lifted on 9 March 1992 (although that remains to be proved). Hence the diary defenders tell us that Eddie must have been working at Battlecrease on 9 March 1992.
There are, however, some problems with this theory.
When interviewed by James Johnston, Eddie said:
'I think I was only there a day or two. I can't remember.'
The daywork records show that Eddie worked in Battlecrease for four days in July between 16 and 21 July. So he was certainly wrong in saying he was 'only there a day or two'.
Eddie continued :
'It's that long ago I can't even think what, I just know it had something to do with putting the heaters in, or something...I think it was overnight storage heaters'.
Here's the thing. The night storage heater (or heaters) wasn't put in on 9 March 1992. It was put in on 9 June 1992.
The daywork sheet for that date has been withheld from public view (perhaps suppressed?) but we are told that it doesn't show Eddie Lyons working in Battlecrease on 9 June 1992. Then again it doesn't show him working there on 9 March 1992 either. So without the records to rely on, we are in the dark. He could have been working there on 9 March or 9 June (or both), not to mention 10 March, but if he was remembering putting in an overnight storage heater, he might well have been thinking of 9 June.
As to that, Shirley Harrison told us in 2003 that Brian Rawes had confirmed the date of his encounter with Eddie from 'an old daily memo book' - which seems to have been something different to the daywork sheets obtained by Keith Skinner from Colin Rhodes - and that he had established that it 'took place in June 1992'. If that is correct, we can ignore Robert Smith's theory that the encounter occurred on 17 July 1992. If it actually happened on a day when Eddie was assisting with the installation of the first floor storage heater on 9 June 1992 that might suggest that Eddie is confusing the events of June with those of March.
Eddie said that he might have been sent to Battlecrease 'maybe to get us out of the way for an hour, a couple of hours because they maybe didn't have enough work' but why could that not have been the case on 9 June?
James Johnston continued the questioning of Eddie by asking him in respect of the job with the storage heaters:
'Ok, and that would involve taking the floorboards up?'
to which Eddie replied:
'I think it would have done yeah. Yeah probably would have done.'
I think we can all agree that this answer (being pure reconstruction in response to a leading question) is of little probative value.
However, it is true that Eddie earlier told Johnston that he had told the police that 'we had the floorboards up' and also said, 'I think we had the floorboards up on maybe the first floor'.
That's all he said about the floorboards. On only one occasion did he say it was on the first floor and then only 'maybe'.
So that alone is hardly conclusive that he is talking about the job on 9 March 1992 which appears to have involved re-wiring on the first floor in preparation for the installation of the storage heater(s).
According to the Chief Diary Defender, the floorboards were only lifted on 9 March 1992 but that has not been proved. Her belief that it was, appears to be based on two things.
Firstly the daysheet for 9 March 1992 refers to floorboard protectors but no other daysheet refers to them (apparently). The floorboard protectors were supposedly used to protect floorboards after they had been lifted. But that is not conclusive. What if the floorboard protectors were left in Battlecrease following the work in March so that they could be used again in June or July? It's not entirely clear.
I think that Colin Rhodes is also supposed to have said that, during the work his electricians did, the floorboards were only lifted on 9 March but no proof of this has been produced and nothing is ever said about what happened on 10 March. When I was posting in the Forum back in 2018, I called for the release and publication of Keith Skinner's 2004 note of his conversation with the late Colin Rhodes but my calls were ignored. The note is being suppressed. Why? Possibly because Rhodes told Keith that none of his electricians found a diary. But I'm guessing and I shouldn't need to. Did he say anything else about the floorboards? We don't know because the information is being withheld.
On 13 March 2018 (in #1399 of the Acquiring thread) I wrote:
'We just don't know because we have not been provided with a full account of the information obtained by Keith Skinner from Colin Rhodes in 2004. I thought this would be a perfect example of information which Keith Skinner could provide us so that we finally know what is going on.'
A week later, on 20 March 2018 (#1477 of the Acquiring thread) I wrote:
'Unfortunately, yet again we are told through a third party, who has a renowned poor memory, what Colin Rhodes said without any proper evidence provided. Without knowing what he actually said I have no idea if he was lying or confused or whatever. I simply do not know why the full note or transcript of Keith Skinner's 2004 conversation with Colin Rhodes has not been provided.'
On 27 March 2018 I returned to the subject (#1525 of the Acquiring thread):
'The answer to almost everything at the moment is "Colin Rhodes said this" and "Colin Rhodes said that". Yet no evidence is ever provided and we have never been told what Colin Rhodes actually said. Presumably he said something to Keith Skinner on 2 July 2004 but no note or record of any such interview has ever been produced'.
It is surely one of the many scandals of this case that this note remains withheld and we still do not know what Colin Rhodes told Keith Skinner in 2004.
For that reason, until we have such a note, we should not accept that floorboards were only lifted on 9 March 1992. We just do not have sufficient evidence with which to accept such a claim.
Speaking in his own words, Eddie Lyons told James Johnston:
'I think I was, we worked on the first floor, the ground floor, and then there was a cellar underneath. Now whether we were just bloody looking in the cellar. I think it was just full of boats or canoes or something. We were looking for ways to get cables in or something, I don't know. I don't think we actually done any work in the cellar.'
If the daysheets are not to be trusted, this could easily describe work done in June and/or July 1992. Eddie doesn't seem to have a positive memory of floorboards actually being lifted. We do need to be careful because Feldman in 1993 could easily have put into his head the notion of floorboards being lifted, creating a false memory in his mind. As we've seen, in his own words he doesn't seem to remember very much about his work in Battlecrease. It's all very vague. Not enough to say with any degree of certainty that he was working there on 9 March 1992.
The diary defenders seem to regard it as case closed on this point. Caroline Morris tells us in #6506 that Eddie 'was unable to recall the actual date, but clearly remembered being there for that job'. This is very odd because according to her great friend, Robert Smith, in his book, 'Lyons admitted on film that he had indeed been working at Battlecrease on 9th March 1992, though he still denied taking the diary'. If Caroline Morris is correct that Eddie can't recall the actual date (and presumably can't confirm it either) then Smith hasn't told us the full story of what Eddie actually said.
This just shows how uncertain the state of the evidence currently is. If the diary defenders think it is case closed about Eddie working in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992 let them prove their case. Let us see the full transcripts of all four of Eddie's interviews with James Johnston and the full note of Keith Skinner's interview with Colin Rhodes in 2004 and any other relevant documentation. If they don't provide it, we can reasonably assume that amongst the information they are not providing is something which undermines or destroys their case.
I would also stress that all we've ever seen from Eddie Lyons' own words are a few selected snippets provided by James Johnston. When I asked him to provide a copy of the full transcript of his interview, Johnston refused, giving a bullshit reason for his refusal. In doing so, he was fully supported by none other than Caroline Morris!
If Melvin Harris ever failed to provide information to Shirley Harrison in the minds of the diary defenders, he was suppressing information. When THEY fail to provide information it's apparently acceptable. But it's not.
There is so much information which they could release in order to further the discussion of the Maybrick diary and ensure it is conducted on an informed basis by all parties but they consistently fail to do it.
I might also add that when I asked James Johnston a number of pertinent questions about the electricians back in 2018 his answer was always "Watch this space" as if more information would soon be provided. Three years later. Nothing!
A lovely paragraph by Caroline Morris in #6506:
'At the same time that Eddie absented himself from the Skem job, Mike had told Doreen he would be away in York, and would contact her again on his return. Nobody questioned why the Barretts would be going off to York - where they had been on holiday the previous summer when Tony died - in March, in term time, a month before Caroline's Easter holidays began. But he couldn't be questioned about the diary either, while Doreen believed he was away from home. Another curious coincidence, connecting Eddie and Mike - two absentees in the same week as the 9th March double event.'
You've got to love the twists of logic in that paragraph.
Mike said that HE would be going to York but Caroline Morris says that 'Nobody questioned why the Barretts would be going off to York'. Might that be because Mike never said that 'the Barretts' would be going off to York. He only said that HE was going off to York.
As to that, Keith Skinner had the opportunity in April 1999 to ask Mike why he told Doreen he would be going to York in March 1992 but failed to take the opportunity. (He could also have asked Anne if Mike went to York in March 1992 but, if he did, we've never been told the answer.)
Presumably Mike would have told Keith that he was doing a con. He was trying to stall Doreen because he couldn't bring her the diary immediately as it hadn't yet been written!
But I love how Caroline Morris now builds it up into a mystery whereby Mike has suddenly become 'an absentee'. LOL!
So what were Eddie and Mike supposed to have been doing together in the days after 9 March 1992? A financial transaction over the diary would have taken all of five minutes. Perhaps she is going to tell us that they spent time in the library researching the Ripper murders and the Maybrick case in order to forge a diary!!
DIZZY MISS MAJOR
The Major is now officially in the Dizzy Business. Here is his latest 'explanation' of Mike's attempt to acquire a Victorian diary with a minimum of 20 pages and I PROMISE you these are exact words unchanged by me (from #6554 of the Incontrovertible thread):
'Concerned the scrapbook may be knocked-off and not wanting to have to return it if the bizzies storm 'round at dawn in a fleet of black SUVs, Mike seeks out a potential replacement - a Victorian diary from 1880-1890, ideally, but it must have at least twenty blank pages in it otherwise he couldn't possibly pass it off as the document he bought from Eddie. Why 1890, though? Well, he knows it needs to be from around the time of the crimes but he doesn't care if it could be real or not because all he wants to say is 'Oh yes, that document Eddie sold me? Here it is'.
For some reason unfathomable to me, the Major seems satisfied by this explanation.
But a moment's thought renders it as nonsense.
I mean look at this bit:
'it must have at least twenty blank pages in it otherwise he couldn't possibly pass it off as the document he bought from Eddie'.
The police was looking for a stolen diary with 20 blank pages in it, were they?
Why would they be doing that?
The scrapbook itself doesn't even have 20 blank pages!
I don't honestly know if the Major is saying that, in requesting at least 20 blank pages, Mike was hoping to forge, or recreate, the diary of Jack the Ripper to show the police. If that IS what he means, why hasn't he said it? My belief has ALWAYS been that this is the only possible reason to request a Victorian diary with blank pages. So it would be good if the Major is finally agreeing with me!
But is he saying that Mike was hoping to squeeze the 63 pages of the scrapbook into 20 pages? This is always what I am asked. If not, and Mike was going to create a shorter version of the text, why did he need a minimum of 20 blank pages, not, say, 5?
And does the Major believe that Mike thought he had the ability to write out a Victorian diary which looked sufficiently old to fool the police? Is THAT what the Major is saying that Mike had in mind?
One thing that the police would presumably have known about the diary if they were investigating its theft was that it was supposed to be the diary of Jack the Ripper.
As to that, the Major seems to acknowledge that THIS is indeed what the police would have been searching for (and that Mike would have known this) when he says:
'Why 1890 though? Well, he knows it needs to be from around the time of the crimes'
This doesn't answer the question for one second.
If there is one thing that Mike would have looked at in the diary, and remembered, it would have been that it was signed Jack the Ripper on the last page and dated 'this third day of May 1889'. How could Mike, therefore, possibly have thought that an 1890 diary would be satisfactory? Did he believe in time travel?
It's incredibly ironic that the Major's big point about the red diary has always been that Mike would never have ordered an 1891 diary to write a diary of Jack the Ripper but here he is bold as brass saying that Mike had no problem with an 1890 diary!!!
And his explanation is that it was 'around the time' of the crimes, even though 1891 was also around the time of the crimes!
I mean the lack of self-awareness and hypocrisy is astonishing.
In addition, an 1880 or 1881 diary is also somehow acceptable for Mike to whip out and show the police that this is the diary of Jack the Ripper from 1888/89 that he's purchased!
Clearly, on the Major's scenario, Mike must have known about the date of 3 May 1889 because the scrapbook isn't otherwise dated (and could easily be early twentieth century) yet we know for a fact that Mike was interested as at 9 March 1992 in getting hold of a diary from the very decade of the Jack the Ripper murders (and one supposedly written by James Maybrick who died in May 1889). On the Major's scenario, therefore, any diary visibly dated after 1889 to show to the police would defeat his cunning plan and make no sense.
And let's just think about this plan. The police knock at Mike's door and say "Hello, hello, hello, we're looking for a stolen diary with 20 blank pages". Mike replies, "Certainly officer, here is that very stolen diary" and hands him the little red one.
Result: Mike is taken away in handcuffs and charged with handling stolen property! He's just confessed to a crime and given the police the very evidence they need to arrest and charge him!
The whole thing is utterly idiotic. As we would expect from the dizzy Miss Major.
Even worse is that, on the Major's own version of anticipated events, Mike is confessing that he bought the diary from Eddie Lyons ("Oh yes, that document Eddie sold me. Here it is.") which means that, as at 9 March 1992, Mike is assuming that someone will inform the police about a totally private and illicit transaction between himself and Eddie. If it's Eddie who is the informer, it will take two seconds before the electrician tells the police that the diary they've been given by Mike isn't the same item that he sold him. If it's not Eddie (but who?), Eddie gets arrested but when shown the little red diary says he's never seen it before but, hey, Mike's already said that he bought it off Eddie so the police can charge Eddie with the theft!!
Surely that is the outcome that Mike was looking for (not!).
We can see that Mike's motivation, according to the Major, is that, when the police knock, he will pass them the little red 1891 diary in the hope that they simply go away. He doesn't have to implicate himself by providing a false statement or anything like that! He will then keep the real diary.....and publish it via his literary agent. And the police will never work out that they've been duped!
I think not.
I look forward to the Major's next attempt at explaining Mike's attempt to acquire a Victorian diary with blank pages, coz this one certainly ain't sticking.
THE FISH AND THE MAJOR
I see the wily Christer Holmgren has followed the wily Major's example to, in effect, demand one incontrovertible, unequivocal and undeniable fact which proves Charles Lechmere's innocence (thread 'Evidence of Innocence').
When you've failed utterly, miserably and entirely to make your own positive case for guilt, turn it all around and demand proof of innocence from your critics.
If they can't supply that proof, you win. Well done!
A major achievement.
THE MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE MAJOR
Major Misunderstanding seems to think that I am jointly posting in the Forum with RJ Palmer. Idiot!
Hence his #6559 in the Incontrovertible thread:
'RJ and Lord Orsam obviously realise how bang-to-rights their pathetic-forger fabrication....which explains their frantic bluff and bluster posts....'
Then in #6560:
'It is pointless asking RJ or Lord Orsam to check the premises I gave in my previous post....If anyone is keen on believing that Mike Barrett hoaxed the scrapbook (I'm not saying it wasn't hoaxed, note) then they are welcome to get excited by RJ/Lord Orsam's astonishing post, above...'.
He could not be more wrong. I have nothing to do with RJ Palmer's posts on the Forum.
In fact, as the debate between the Major and RJ has been occurring during July 2021 I've been updating the entries on this page. RJ has his own thoughts, I have mine. They are different. As you will already have seen.
Nor was I responsible for RJ's exposure of the Major's bad maths despite the Major's comment in #6542, when he said, 'I can confirm that RJ/Lord Orsam are quite correct when they say that May 12, 1889 to March 9, 1992 consists of 37,557 days'. I hadn't even bothered to check the numbers myself although, of course, with it being the useless Major, I surely should have done.
It's hopeless speculation of this nature which is directly equivalent to the Major's mad speculation about Maybrick being the author of the diary. There are some people who are simply unable to think critically and who leap to all sorts of wrong conclusions about everything.
It's quite touching that I am so much on the Major's mind that he actually thinks he is talking to me on a daily basis on the Forum but I really must break the disappointing news to him that when he debates with RJ Palmer he is (believe it or not) debating with RJ Palmer, not with me!
With reference to Eddie Lyons, Errorbitha writes to RJ Palmer (in #6519) of the Incontrovertible thread:
'My guess is he has no interest in talking to anyone to do with this whole thing, and certainly not publicly or on any kind of record'.
This just about shows the quality of Errorbitha's understanding of the case.
Eddie Lyons has given at least four on the record interviews to researcher James Johnston, one of which was filmed, and involved Keith Skinner.
On each occasion Eddie has (a) denied knowing Mike Barrett prior to 1993 (b) finding a diary in Battlecrease.
If Errorbitha had managed to do even a little bit of reading into the case his posts might not be filled with such nonsense and wrong guesses.
THE GREAT MISREMEMBERER STRIKES AGAIN!
In #6513 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread, Caroline Morris wrote:
'IIRC, the excuse for one night in April 1999 was to blame Keith for letting it slip that two ex coppers were in Mike's audience, spooking him into not producing that ticket'.
Although typically not providing her source, or saying whose 'excuse' she was referring to, Caroline Morris can only be referring here to my Man in a Pub article because I am the only person to have dealt with the point, but she does not recall correctly. She has completely misremembered once again. It's not difficult to check but she didn't bother.
I didn't say anything about two ex coppers or about ANY ex copper being in the audience. The point I made was that Keith stressed to Mike during the Cloak & Dagger event that he'd given Anne's cheque book to Stewart Evans who, he told Mike, was an ex-police officer of 23 years service. No-one was said to be in the audience. But the point I was making was that Mike would naturally have been spooked at being told that a former police officer was investigating the documents. Indeed, his immediate reaction was to ask: 'I'm not going to get nicked tonight am I by any chance?....Am I going to get nicked tonight?' A little bit later he said, 'If you want to arrest me you can arrest me'.
As I commented in my article, it was 'an astonishingly daft' thing for Keith to have said to Mike about the involvement of a police officer.
What I said about it potentially affecting Mike's failure to produce the receipt for the purchase of the photograph album (which is what Caroline Morris was talking about) was this:
'it strikes me as likely that Mike had long since destroyed the receipt but who knows? Perhaps he had it on him. If so, I would say it is understandable that the real reason he refused to produce it was fear of being arrested in view of Keith's daft mention of Stewart Evans having been a police officer for 23 years. In Ripperologist it is stated that Mike only gave this as a reason for his refusal after the meeting but that's not the case, as a close listen to the recording reveals. Towards the end of the evening, Mike was getting stick from Dave Cuthbertson for asking others to provide evidence to support their claims while refusing to provide any himself. Keith Skinner says to Mike, 'This gentleman wants to know why you will not prove things' to which Mike replies, 'I don't want to get locked up for fraud. Full stop.' I must say, on the recording he sounds genuine when he says this, but I fully accept that he might not have had the receipt in his possession at the time. Nevertheless, it was a reason he gave during the meeting, not only after it.
One other thing about the receipt. In Paul Daniels' summary of the meeting in Ripperologist of June 1999 it is stated that Mike was 'adamant that he had proof' but was unwilling to produce it when asked to do so. Not once during the interview did Mike Barrett state or give the impression that he was adamant that he had proof of anything. He never mentioned, or referred to, the receipt until he was asked directly about it by Keith Skinner.'
The Great Misrememberer's categorization of what I said in my article is just about as erroneous as it could possibly be - but, as part of her mission to befuddle and confuse the world, it's perfect.
MISSING THE POINT
Errorbitha says in #6603 of the Incontrovertible thread:
'Despite the best efforts of the likes of RJ and Lord Orsam, [the diary] still keeps living on when by all rights as a hoax, it should have been debunked by now.'
He is entirely missing the point because the actual debate is not whether the diary is a hoax but whether it was a hoax created by Mike Barrett or by someone else.
The diary has been proven to be a hoax. It HAS been debunked. Even Caroline Morris, the Chief Diary Defender, accepts that the diary is a hoax.
That debate is dead.
The Major's 'Society's Pillar' was strangled at birth.
'One off instance' alone killed it.
But there are many other reasons why the diary is an obvious hoax not written by Maybrick.
In his confusion, Errorbitha has totally misunderstood what the debate is about.
While a couple of nutjobs who live in total denial of the evidence which proves the diary is a fake still like to fantasize about it being genuine, they are only responded to out of amusement in order to demonstrate their nutjobbiness.
On the basis of the documentary evidence (i.e. the Bookdealer advertisement) it seems to me to be most likely that the diary was created by Mike Barrett and one or more other people who helped him, whereas Caroline Morris seems to think it was created by a person or persons much cleverer and skilled as a forger/hoaxer (although she can't explain the Bookdealer advertisement).
THAT is the debate. Perhaps the hopeless Errorbitha will catch up with it one day.
WATCH THE MISINFORMATION
Caroline Morris continues to spread misinformation on the boards. She wrote in #6618:
'we know that the Murphys claimed to have seen scratches in 1992, where the disputed engravings were seen and deciphered in 1993; we know they also claimed to use jeweller's rouge, to try and improve the appearance of that surface, before selling the watch to Albert.'
Fact check: FALSE.
We know nothing of the sort because the Murphys claimed no such thing.
Ron Murphy is the only person in the Murphy family who has claimed to have seen either 'markings' or 'scratches' but his story is inconsistent. He initially said that he was 'almost certain' that there were markings on the watch which, he said, he took no notice of. But he appears to have changed his story a few years later when he told Shirley Harrison that he DID take notice of some scratches by trying to get rid of them. 'I tried to buff them out' he said, which means that he must have been certain there were scratches there, making it odd that he only used the expression 'almost certain' when he first commented on there being something on the watch. He must have been absolutely certain there were scratches on the watch if he took the trouble to try and remove them.
To the extent that, when he was referring to 'markings', Murphy didn't mean the superficial scratches (which he was certain were there) that's a disaster for Caroline Morris. Not only would it mean that his initial statement was incomplete by not mentioning the scratches at all (which would be extremely odd if it was the case) but, if, prior to the sale of the watch, he was only ever certain of seeing superficial scratches unrelated to the Jack the Ripper markings, his recollection is useless because the Ripper markings could have been added later.
No doubt this explains why Caroline Morris then goes on to make another false statement in the same post.
'We know that the experts determined the order in which all marks and scratches visible under the microscope had been made, with the disputed engravings beneath everything else.'
Fact check: FALSE
Firstly, she has changed a single expert (Turgoose) into multiple experts. The only other expert (Wild) who looked at the watch didn't determine the order in which all marks and scratches visible under the microscope had been made.
As for Turgoose, he stated that, 'where crossing does occur' the Maybrick engravings were made earlier than the superficial scratches because 'the random superficial scratches go across the engravings'.
His conclusion was this (underlining added):
'On the basis of the evidence above, especially the order in which the markings were made, it is clear that the engravings predate the vast majority of superficial surface scratches (all of those examined)'.
So we can see that not only has a single expert has become 'experts' but that 'the vast majority' has magically become 'everything'.
The fact of the matter is that Turgoose didn't examine 'everything' and, as his conclusion was based on lines crossing, he couldn't have reached an opinion about scratches which didn't cross over engravings.
In other words, it's possible that some of the scratches were on the watch before the engravings and that Ron Murphy might have seen these.
I stress that it was just Ron Murphy. No other Murphy has ever gone on record saying that they saw anything. If Murphy showed his wife the scratches, he's never said so, making it hard to understand how she could possibly have known about them prior to the sale of the watch.
In saying 'the Murphys' , Caroline Morris gives the clear impression that Ron's recollection of seeing scratches or markings has been corroborated by at least one other member of his family. No such corroboration from that individual has ever been reported.
And it's highly amusing that the one thing which the Murphys (plural) DO agree on is that the watch was in their family for many years prior to 1992 and yet this is the one thing that Caroline Morris omits to mention in her post!!!
In fact, in her post, she says:
'Were the Murphys lying, or seeing scratches that were never there, or at least not visible under a microscope?'
The funny thing about this is that SHE clearly believes the Murphys were lying about the watch being in their family's possession for many years. If they were lying about THAT why would they not lie about the scratches? Who knows what Robbie Johnson said to Ron when he initially spoke to him, before his brother contacted the press about the watch?
But anyway it's good to see that Caroline Morris' mission to befuddle and confuse by spreading misinformation about the watch continues unabated.
DATE OF SALE
While discussing the watch, I just want to return briefly to one aspect that has never been resolved to my knowledge: the date it was sold by Ron Murphy to Albert Johnson.
According to Robert Smith, the receipt for the sale and purchase of the watch is dated 2 July 1992. Yet, according to Feldman, Ron Murphy thought he sold the watch to Johnson on or about 14 July 1992 (indicating that he wasn't sure of the date).
I've never seen an explanation for this discrepancy nor, to the best of my knowledge, has a copy of the receipt (if one exists), or any other documentation relating to the sale, ever been published.
This means that the actual sale of the watch by Murphy to Johnson in 1992 has never been properly proved.
In a case of this nature involving disputed and controversial markings on a watch, publication of the evidence relating to the history of the watch is absolutely essential, yet, amazingly, we've never seen A SINGLE CONTEMPORARY DOCUMENT relating to this watch.
This is not good enough.
Diary defenders constantly chant "why does no-one ever talk about the watch?" but when I raise a simple factual question relating to the evidence for the date of the sale, they never seem to want to talk about it!
MISS INFORMATION STRIKES AGAIN
There can't be any excuse for this.
Despite having been referred by RJ Palmer to my 'Befuddle and Confuse' article, Caroline Morris, a.k.a. Miss Information, continues to make false statements about the electricians which she would have known were false had she read my article.
In #6625 she claims that the story of two electricians and Arthur Rigby taking a dog sample to Liverpool University was designed to put him off the scent of what was really wrapped in the "brown paper" he mentioned to Feldy.
There is, however, no record of what Arthur Rigby mentioned to Feldman. He is not quoted in Feldman's book. Feldman simply claims that Rigby saw a parcel wrapped in brown paper. What we do know for a fact is that Arthur Rigby's brother made clear that whatever Arthur saw it was 'in a pillow case or shopping bag'. What type of person would ignore that clear statement from Rigby's brother and rely an unsupported statement by the untrustworthy Feldman?
It gets worse though because Miss Information claims in the same post that:
'A year on, a worried Arthur returned to Battlecrease voluntarily, to deny any involvement in the theft, but gave Paul Dodd the names of two electricians who knew about it .'
That, however, is not the story told by Feldman who says that Arthur Rigby contacted HIM. Feldman had already spoken to Paul Dodd who, according to Feldman's story, knew nothing of any electricians having stolen the diary. Feldman said he obtained the telephone numbers of the electricians involved and asked them all a number of questions including whether they ever drank in the Saddle pub. God only knows what thoughts he put in their minds about the origins of the diary.
According to Feldman (as confirmed by Robert Smith) Arthur Rigby telephoned him (Feldman) and told him, 'I think I've solved your problem'. According to Feldman, Rigby said he thought that Eddie Lyons and Jim Bowling had stolen the diary from Battlecrease on the basis of the following:
1. He had overheard Lyons and Bowling during a tea break at the house mentioning 'something to do with Battlecrease'. The reason why this was suspicious apparently was because the house wasn't called 'Battlecrease' but was known simply as 7 Riversdale Road so that one wouldn't have expected anyone to be referring to 'Battlecrease'.
2. While he was being given a lift into town, the two electricians had stopped at Liverpool University and taken something in a bag or pillow case to the university which he had been told was a sample of something from a dog to be examined.
3. He remembered something being thrown into a skip while working at Riversdale Road.
On the basis of those three things, and those three things alone (according to Feldman), Rigby fingered Eddie and Jim to Feldman as the two electricians who had stolen the diary.
The strange thing is that number 3 is inconsistent with the notion of a theft because if something had been thrown into a skip it was, one would have thought, being discarded.
It's worth adding at this point that Caroline Morris always tells us that there was no skip during the work at Riversdale Road so that (if she is correct) this must have been imagined by Rigby.
In challenging the notion that the item in the bag or pillow was a sample from a dog, Miss Information asked RJ Palmer: 'did Arthur Rigby claim to actually see anything related to a sick dog or a dog's sick'? She knows the answer is that he didn't but, then again, he didn't claim to see anything relating to a diary either!
Caroline Morris 'poo poos' (tee hee!) the notion of a dog sample on the basis that one doesn't take such things to a university but, equally, one doesn't take Victorian diaries to a university for authentication either! And if the diary was taken to Liverpool University to be authenticated why hasn't anyone from the university confirmed it?
But let's just pause for a minute. Weren't we told by the same fountain of misinformation that Eddie Lyons knew nothing about the diary when he allegedly sold it to Mike Barrett?
Yet here we not only have a story which involves Eddie being so interested in the origins of the diary (which he must have known was signed 'Jack the Ripper') that he's supposedly taking it to some kind of expert to be authenticated, but he's also said to have discussed 'Battlecrease' with another electrician which, if Rigby was correct, can only mean that he was fully aware of the Maybrick connection with the house and thus the dairy. In other words, he would have known that he'd got hold of a diary by a famous historical individual relating to a famous historical series of crimes. Something valuable in other words. Yet, he was supposed to be calculating the value of the diary based on a nearly empty diary of a nobody from 1891!
Anyway, what are we actually left with to explain the basis of Arthur Rigby's suspicion about Eddie and Jim having stolen the diary? Nothing much I would suggest.
As it happens, Arthur's suspicions are easy to explain although he might have forgotten the exact basis himself. Brian Rawes claims that he told Rigby in July 1992 that Eddie had approached him while working at 7 Riversdale Road to tell him that he'd found something possibly important in the house. If we assume that Rigby also knew that Eddie lived in Fountains Road and/or occasionally drank at the Saddle pub, it's pretty easy to see how he put two and two together to come up with five after Feldman mentioned the importance of the Saddle. Perhaps also the flashbacks about the trip to Liverpool University and something being thrown into a skip, maybe even a recollection of hearing the name ''Battlecrease', and everything was muddled up in his mind, no doubt influenced by whatever Feldman had told him.
It's charming that Miss Information has swallowed Rigby's story hook, line and sinker but there's no need for anyone else to be fooled.
MISS INFORMATION AND THE MYSTERY OF THE BROKEN BRAIN
The Miss Information madness continues (in #6671):
'I was only thinking this morning that it was last July when we celebrated LOBSTER Day. So in 2020 Lord O was still spending time and effort on trying to kill off the diary once and for all [while avoiding the watch, natch], nearly 30 years after the handwriting was found not to match Maybrick's; 25 years after Mike swore his affidavit, detailing why, how and when he and his wife had written it; and some 15 years after Mike's incriminating advert came to light, requesting a Victorian diary on or about 9th March 1992.
One can only assume even the Great Lord wasn't entirely convinced that the handwriting, coupled with Mike Barrett's behaviour, had reached the standard of proof required for a modern Barrett-inspired hoax.'
Long-time readers of these pages will know that I've already answered this when she first made the same batty claim in 2020 but she doesn't read so she doesn't learn. I will nevertheless repeat the explanation in the hope that one day it sinks in.
I wasn't 'spending time and effort trying to kill off the diary once and for all' when I found the Bunny's Aunt error. At the time I spotted the mistake, I was engaged in an exercise of working out the published sources used by the forger. It was while I was checking the source for the idea that Florence said she went to London to visit her aunt that I realized that it all originated in a mistake by the prosecuting barrister at Florence's trial.
The results of my research into the sources used by the forger were included in:
I have a feeling I may already have said this but I proved that the diary is a fake due to the use by the forger of 'one off instance'.
Miss Information confuses two topics when she refers to the diary being 'a modern Barrett inspired hoax'. One off instance shows the diary to be a modern hoax. It's got nothing to do with Mike Barrett or the identity of the forger. The same is true of Bunny's aunt and the other mistakes and anachronisms in the diary.
When Miss Information refers to 'the handwriting' I'm assuming she means the handwriting not matching the handwriting of James Maybrick to which the answer is that the experts tell us that psychopaths can change their handwriting and, if that's the case, it's possible that the handwriting doesn't help us. The handwriting is just one part of the puzzle and not necessarily determinative. Posters such as Keith Skinner, Paul Begg and er *checks notes* Caroline Morris have all said in the past that the handwriting not being Maybrick's doesn't prove the dairy to be a fake (see A Dig in the Archives). But even if the handwriting proves that the author wasn't Maybrick, it doesn't help as to when the diary was written. The 'one off instance' mistake, however, proves it to have been created in the twentieth century and, further, after the Second World War.
The reason for me thinking that Mike was involved in the forgery is his proven, urgent and secret attempt to acquire a Victorian diary with blank pages in March 1992. There is really no other reason for him to have done this other than in preparation of a plan to forge the diary, possibly with the assistance of his wife.
I once asked Miss Information directly why Mike and Anne couldn't have jointly forged the diary. She had no answer other than she didn't believe they could have done it. On that basis she refuses to even consider the possibility. The irony of this is amazing and needs no further comment from me.
SO WHAT'S THE ANSWER?
Like a corrupted computer program, in #6683 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread, Miss Information once again spews out the same 'puzzle' she's raised but never solved over a period of many years:
'The perfect opportunity to grab a Battlecrease provenance and run with it arose when Feldy began investigating. Mike could have gone along with Feldy's initial belief that Tony D must have got the diary at some point from someone who had worked at the house, prior to August 1991. That would have removed any suspicion that Mike knew it was stolen property, and clearly Paul Dodd must not have missed it in all that time, and indeed admitted he knew nothing about it, so any claim for its return would be seen in that light. With a potential provenance going back before Tony, to Maybrick's house, which couldn't be disproved, Mike would escape accusations of theft and forgery, and there would be no need for Anne to claim the following year that the diary came from her family, because the possibility would already be in place that it came from Battlecrease via Tony, and was found by anyone who had worked there in any capacity, and at any time before the early summer of 1991.'
Right, so if Mike had been given the diary by Eddie, why didn't he 'grab a Battlecrease provenance and run with it'? It was, after all the answer to all his problems. Instead of having to tell the constant lie about getting the diary from Tony, he could now have told the truth and made a fortune at the same time!
Does she not realize that his behaviour in this sense is inconsistent with her floorboards theory?
Whereas, if he knew the diary was forged in March and April 1992, it's obvious why he wasn't interested in a false Battlecrease provenance for which he would have had to pay Paul Dodd a royalty.
LOSING TRACK OF HER OWN STORIES
To Kattrup, in #6684 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread, Miss Information said:
'I wonder where you got the idea that I 'automatically' date the alleged uni trip to 9th March? Why would I do that?'
Hmmm, I wonder.
Well perhaps he got the idea from Miss Information's post of 25 January 2017, earlier in the very same thread (#3040), when she wrote:
'Don't forget I am arguing from the perspective of Mike already having the thing in front of him when calling Doreen on March 9th?'
And, a few weeks later on 21 March 2017, she wanted to tell me that, when Mike phoned Doreen on 9th March:
'what he had in front of him could be the genuine personal jottings of a Victorian serial killer'.
If Mike had taken possession of the diary on 9th March for it to be in front of him when he spoke to Doreen on that day, he must, in her mind, already have acquired it from Eddie Lyons. As she said on 20 October 2017 (in the Acquiring thread, #49)
'Sometime in March 1992, a Battlecrease electrician approaches Mike in the Saddle, "Here you are pal. Do something with it, but you didn't gerrit from me, right?"'
Now, if Mike had been given the diary on 9th March, the only day for Eddie and Jim Bowling to have taken it to Liverpool University was at some point on 9th March, if they found it under the floorboards of Battlecrease on that day, which is no doubt what prompted Kattrup to ask her how this happened. I'd be interested to know too.
We can also see that Caroline Morris now wants to tell Kattrup (as if this has been her position all along) that 'it only had to happen at some point between 9th March and when Mike managed to part it from Eddie in time to take it to London on 13th April'.
But she's already said that this happened 'Sometime in March 1992', which is not April, and she's already said that Mike managed to part it from Eddie on 9th March when he spoke to Doreen.
No doubt Miss Information now wants to say something different. Her story literally changes on a daily basis, depending on what particular speculative nonsense she wants to argue on any particular day. There is no consistency whatsoever (see The Dizziness of Lizzieness).
One day Eddie sells the diary to Mike on 9th March, another day it doesn't happen until the end of March and now it might have happened in April.
Like Mike Barrett, Miss Information can never quite get her story straight.
THE END OF FELDMAN
According to Miss Information, as part of her mission to befuddle and confuse, Feldman very badly wanted to connect the diary with the electricians but (#6687):
'he admitted defeat when the dates for the work, as supplied by P&R [and conflicting with Dodd's own recollections] simply didn't tally with his theory...'
No evidence is provided to support this statement, nor are we told what dates were supplied by P&R, but Feldman himself explained in his book that the reason he gave up on the electricians was because:
'My contact [Rigby] and his fellow electrician [Lyons] would lie for the right price'.
A little different, no?
I WISH TO REGISTER A COMPLAINT
As she often does, Miss Information posts facts taken from apparently secret unpublished information to which no-one else is allowed access in order to check the accuracy of those facts.
Hence, we are told in #6687 that there was a 'small immersion heater' job done in Battlecrease in 1989. Right, what date was this, how many days did the job take and which electricians were involved in the job? Where is the supporting evidence for it?
We are also told by the Great Miss Rememberer that no work was done by Portus & Rhodes in Battlecrease during 1990 or 1991. But where is the actual evidence for this? I've never seen it. As far as I know, it's being actively suppressed (if it even exists).
In #6689 we are told that Eddie worked every single day, full time, in Skelmersdale between late November 1991 (but no precise date is given for the start date for some reason) up to 7 March 1992. Her exact words being:
'Eddie had been working full-time hours over at Skelmersdale, every day including Saturdays, from when he was first taken on by Portus & Rhodes in late November 1991, right up to and including Saturday 7th March 1992.'
While it's always nice to be given such droplets of information by the Great Miss Rememberer, she is not called the Great Miss Rememberer for nothing and I would prefer to see the documents which prove it, but where are they? Oh, no-one is allowed to see them other than diary defenders so they can ensure that we only know what they want us to know.
And here's the thing, back on 13 March 2018 (#1391 of the same thread) the same Miss Information told us that the Skelmersdale job didn't begin until early December 1991. As both claims can't be right, the Great Miss Rememberer has certainly mis-remembered something! This is why we need to see the documents and not whatever the Great Miss Rememberer happens to have mis-remembered on any one occasion.
Personally I refuse to accept as accurate any information stated by the Great Miss Rememberer which has been taken from unpublished documents and I would advise anyone else to do the same.
MISS INFORMATION EXPOSED
This is an absolute classic.
From #6699 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread.
After chiding RJ Palmer for quoting me on the Forum, allegedly in breach of the ludicrous rules (although the accusation was false because RJ was quoting one of my Forum posts, which contrary to her understanding IS allowed), she then went on to make a complete mockery of the rules, and deliberately undermined her friend Jonathan Menges, by herself flagrantly breaching the rules and quoting from one of my articles on this website, albeit, as we will see, totally out of context.
Only get this, she wants to make clear that she didn't actually dirty her precious hands by visiting this website in person and reading the article. Oh no! So she says that the article in question 'was emailed to me'.
Why the hell she needs someone to email my articles to her when she can freely read them herself I have no idea but her brain is broken so there's no point wasting time on it.
The article she quoted from was Not True, Funny How It Seems, my response to the second edition of Robert Smith's book. And, oh boy, I couldn't be more excited that I now know she's read it!
But the quote was completely out of context and thus gave a false and misleading impression of what I was saying in the article.
She was desperately trying to contradict RJ Palmer who had stated that 'Lord Orsam does not believe Mike & Eddie knew each other until Feldman alerted Barrett to Eddie's existence'. While I don't claim to know when Mike and Eddie first met, I can only follow the evidence on this point. Eddie denied knowing Mike prior to Feldman's involvement while Mike denied knowing Eddie and there has never been any evidence to the contrary. I can't see any good reason, therefore, to believe that Mike and Eddie knew each other before the spring of 1993 so that my view is indeed that this was the first time they met.
In the article from which Miss Information quoted, I stated very clearly that it was ROBERT SMITH who was claiming that Eddie and Mike knew each other prior to 9 March 1992. Hence I wrote:
'As for the relationship between Eddie and Mike, Robert Smith appears to rely on his own personal encounter with the pair in the Saddle during the evening [of] 26 June 1993 as evidence that the two men knew each other before 9 March 1992'.
Why did I write that?
Because Miss Information's good friend wrote in the book in which she is thanked by the author for her support and guidance that:
'We know from Lyons himself that he was at Battlecrease for part of 9th March 1992, so lending considerable weight to my long-held suspicion that he was he who took the diary on that day to show Barrett in the Saddle...Let us assume that around lunch-time, Eddie Lyons showed Barrett the diary in The Saddle'
He then tells us that, while Lyons denied to James Johnston that he'd ever met Mike before the spring of 1993:
'Barrett introduced Lyons to me in The Saddle on 26th June 1993, and they seemed to know each other well'.
So, according to Smith, Lyons took the diary on 9 March 1992 to the Saddle where he showed it to Mike Barrett, someone who he seemed in June 1993 to know 'well'.
Smith even says that 'Lyons may well have heard on past occasions in the Saddle Barretts' frequent boasts of being a writer who knows about publishers'.
So taken as a whole, Smith was clearly speculating that Eddie already knew Mike prior to 9 March 1992 and knew that he had connections with the publishing industry.
As I stated in the article, it was my view that the first time that Eddie met Mike was in the spring of 1993 when Feldman started stirring the pot.
However, the point I then went on to make in my article is that if Smith is correct and IF Eddie and Mike WERE friends as at 9 March 1992, THAT could explain why the diary came into existence, with Eddie mentioning to Mike the work being done at Battlecrease and triggering off the idea for the forgery.
As I've said repeatedly, I don't think it happened like that, but I've also said that, if the coincidence is too great for Mike to have telephoned Doreen on 9 March 1992 by chance, then we do have a possible alternative explanation which doesn't involved the diary coming out from under the floorboards.
I wasn't positively saying that Mike and Eddie were friends, so it's impossible to see how Miss Information could possibly have read my article and then genuinely believed that I was saying that Eddie and Mike WERE friends prior to 9 March 1992 so that it contradicted RJ Palmer's statement in which he said that my view was that there was no evidence of any such friendship. It's completely false and simply highlights her standards which are so low they can only be found underneath the floorboards.
LORD ORSAM VINDICATED
I do hope you didn't miss the post from Miss Information at #6699 where she claimed that:
'Lord Orsam went off in a huff, and was not invited to return'.
This is rather different from her previous false statements that I was banned from the Forum and looks like an admission that she now knows she was wrong about that.
As I've said many times, I submitted my resignation from the Forum on an important matter of principle. If she wants to categorize that as me going off in 'a huff' that's up to her.
Naturally, she wants to add a silly 'not invited to return' comment in circumstances where I have never asked to return or given any indication that I would like to return nor have I had any further communication with any representative of Casebook since my resignation.
IDIOT OF THE WEEK
And, out of a long list, the winner of Idiot of the Week is Errorbitha for his #6703 in the 'Incontrovertible' thread:
Our idiot here genuinely seems to think that I post on the Forum under the name 'The Baron' (someone whose identity is totally unknown to me). Hence, in response to one of The Baron's posts the idiot wrote, 'Thanks Dave'. There is really only one word to describe anyone who is unable to think logically and rationally about such things and who goes on to harass an individual in this way. That is:
But I like the fact that Errorbitha has now been told, with menace, by The Baron, not to do it again.
Oh how I hope he does, and The Baron reports it!!
The Idiot will then get found out.
CLANGING INTO THE GROUND
Having foolishly and mistakenly thought he'd caught me out on something (see It's A Lottery! under 'Oh Dear, The Clanger'
) , naturally the Clanger reverted immediately to the one-off issue about which he simply cannot accept that I've proved the diary is a fake due to the inclusion of the expression 'one off instance', so consumed with rage is he.
So, in #6719 he posted:
'I wonder whether Lord Orsam was joking when he said there isn't a single use of the expression 'one off' recorded in the nineteenth century? Of course there is, was he being jocular or nefarious'.
The answer to the Clanger's question is neither, for the simple reason that I've never said that there isn't a single use of the expression 'one off' recorded in the nineteenth century. I've even provided examples of the use of 'one off' in the nineteenth century! Perhaps in his rage the Clanger missed them.
What I've said time and time again (so I've no idea how the Clanger missed it) is that there isn't a single use of the expression 'one off' to mean unique recorded in the nineteenth century. Another way of putting it is that there isn't a single use of the expression 'one off instance' or anything similar in the nineteenth century. Furthermore, the expression 'one off instance' or similar could not realistically have been written by anyone writing in that century due to the way we know that expression evolved in the twentieth century.
I don't know when the guy is going to stop clanging but it clearly isn't yet.
MISS INFORMATION'S BUNGLE
It was both hilarious and instructive to read Miss Information's long response to RJ Palmer's reply to her post #6699 in which, it will be recalled, the Great Misunderstander had written:
'I must have misunderstood two things here.
1. That you are allowed to quote from Orsam's gospel.'
She knows full well that Jonathan Menges has instituted a rule that you are NOT allowed to quote from this website.
But she HAD misunderstood because there is no rule against quoting my previous Forum posts while I was a member and that's what RJ Palmer was quoting from. This is perfectly permissible under the stated rules.
The original rule was somewhat ambiguously stated (with posters forbidden from 'copying and pasting his [Lord Orsam's] comments in any discussion thread') but Chief Censor Menges subsequently clarified that (underlining added):
'You can't copy and paste from his website onto the boards'.
Very poorly worded - what if you don't copy and paste but simply re-type my comments? But, okay, we all know what the silly little man is trying to say. I am not allowed to be quoted from this website on the Forum.
The ludicrous explanation given by the old fool was:
'Lord Orsam tends to respond to specific posts made on Casebook. If those responses can just be copied here, well...it doesn't make for much of a ban, does it?'
Wrongly believing that there was a rule against quoting anything I had ever said, what possible reason could Miss Information have had for drawing attention to RJ Palmer's alleged breach of the rule than to get him into trouble?
But even worse, far worse, was her taking the attitude of: if RJ can do it, so can she, and directly quoting from one of my articles in deliberate breach of the actual posting rules of the Forum.
If she isn't punished for it, what is the purpose of the rule? When will it ever be enforced?
Or does she have a special pass from her friend Mr Menges whereby SHE is allowed to break the Forum rules at her pleasure (and deliberately so), if SHE wants to respond to something I've written, while lesser mortals will face punishment?
Naturally, having had her mistake pointed out to her, Miss Information couldn't back down with good grace and admit that she had indeed misunderstood 'two things'.
The other thing she had misunderstood, of course, as I've already explained was what I was saying in the article from which she quoted.
But all we had (in #6726) was long rambling waffle trying to turn everything around and accuse RJ of all sorts of misdeeds in order to cover up her own error which she simply refused to acknowledge. Plus an attempt to justify her own breach of the rules which was because RJ had quoted me at length, so that:
'I was prepared to risk it for a biscuit and post the briefest possible line from one of his more recent thoughts'.
Mr Menges. There is her confession. She knew that she was breaking the rules but she decided to do it anyway. There is no exception in the rules to being allowed to post brief lines. NOTHING of mine is to be quoted.
And it's not exactly correct for her to say she was quoting from one of my 'more recent thoughts' (not that this would be a defence for her actions) because the article from which she quoted is clearly dated 27 October 2019.
The funny thing about her post is that she now actually seems to understand what I was doing (perhaps she has since read the entire article properly) because she went on to say that Lord Orsam:
'put forth a way to get around the double event 'coincidence', by suggesting that if they were already friends by 9th March 1992, they could easily have mentioned Maybrick in conversation, making the coincidence disappear.'
By jove, she's got it! IF they were already friends. Yes, exactly, as her mate Robert Smith had suggested. If they were best pals, Eddie could have told Mike about the Battlecrease work. No big coincidence.
She even went on to say of Lord Orsam:
'In fact, he was doing a fair impression of what normal people do, in the absence of clear evidence for one of their beliefs, and exploring alternatives in case that belief turns out to be wrong.'
Wow! I am called a normal person by Miss Information! I am honoured.
Strange though that she originally posted the quote as in some way contradicting RJ Palmer's statement that I was of the view that there is no evidence that the two men had known each other before the Spring of 1993. I mean, she's now admitted that I wasn't saying that at all. I was simply running with Robert Smith's claim that the two men knew each other and considering the consequences if he was correct about that (even though I don't think he is).
Not sure why it seems to have taken her so long to work it out.
THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING ELECTRICIANS
The Major lists a team of 6 electricians from Portus & Rhodes in his post #6767:
For some reason, he misses off Graham Rhodes from the list, even though he is recorded on the daysheets as having worked in Battlecrease during June and July 1992, but attention to detail has never been the Major's strong point.
He confesses to not including Ronald Tennant on the list because, he says (based on apparently private and unpublished information), 'he only enters the time sheets in August 1992'. This in itself is very strange because, in the 2017 book, 'The Diary of Jack the Ripper: 25 Years of Mystery', James Johnston lists Ronald Tennant as being one of the electricians contracted 'to oversee' the contract at Battlecrease along with Rigby, Coufopoulos, Lyons et al (p.74) yet there wasn't supposed to be any work going on in Battlecrease in August 1992.
But there is an even greater mystery involving Roy McGregor who is also listed by James Johnston as overseeing the work at Battlecrease. Because, according to Johnston, in the 2017 book, Paul Dodd told him (underlining added):
'Arthur Rigby, and the son...Colin Rhodes' son...Graham yeah, him and...Roy McGregor. I remember those three doing a fair amount of work on the ground-floor rewire'.
Roy McGregor's name doesn't appear on a single daysheet that has been presented to us, yet Dodd seems to have a clear recollection of him working in his house. How can it be possible that there is no documentary record of McGregor working there?
One has to wonder if we have been given the full story by the diary defenders who regard themselves as the keepers of the secret documents.
Miss Information was finally confronted (by RJ Palmer) with something I've been saying for a long time. There is no evidence that any of the electricians ever referred to the diary as 'an old book'. Yet, Miss Information constantly describes the diary as 'an old book' as if this is what the electricians said about it.
A normal person when being confronted with such a claim would, if they believed that what they were saying was correct, simply identify the relevant electrician and provide the full quote in which that electrician referred to 'an old book'.
But we are not dealing with a normal person. We are dealing with a purveyor of misinformation.
She maintains, without any evidence, that the electricians DID refer to 'an old book'. You see she heard it from a friend! Or she thinks she did. Apparently (per #6777):
'Keith Skinner and one of his closest interviewers [not Shirley or Feldman] were struck with this repeated reference by more than one interviewee, not to a journal, nor even a scrapbook, photo album or just a book, but to "the old book" with writing in it.'
Now it gets even better. Not just an old book but an old book with writing in it!!!!
But hold on a moment. Not a single electrician, not one, has ever claimed to have actually seen the scrapbook supposedly found by Eddie Lyons. So why would any of them ever have said that Eddie had found an old book let alone one with writing in it?
The fact of the matter is that there is only ONE electrician who was in any position to describe what Eddie Lyons found, not because of what he personally saw, but because of what Eddie told him in either June or July 1992 (probably about something different entirely). That person is Brian Rawes.
As to that, it is very curious that Robert Smith says in his updated 2019 book that:
'I note that in Rawes's interview by researcher, James Johnston on 6th February 2016, that "something" was now being described by him as an "an old book".'
As I pointed out in my response to Smith's book (Not True, Funny How it Seems), James Johnston kindly posted the relevant extracts from his entire series of interviews with Rawes (including the interview on 6 February 2016) in which Rawes said nothing about 'an old book' but only referred to what he was told had been found by Eddie Lyons as either 'something' or 'a book'. He also never mentioned being told that this book (to the extent it was a book) had any writing in it.
So Robert Smith who, it seems, was being advised by Miss Information herself, curiously seems to have seen the expression 'an old book' in James Johnston's interviews with Brian Rawes which evidently didn't exist, per James Johnston, and now we magically find Miss Information attributing the exact same expression to electricians (plural) in circumstances where none of them saw the diary and Rawes was the only electrician who claims to have spoken to Eddie Lyons about some sort of discovery!
If you are smelling fish here you have every right.
Caroline Morris has form on this. When I once challenged her to provide some evidence for her claim that there was a rumour in circulation that the diary was sold for £25 in a Liverpool pub she never did but claimed she had been told about it by Robert Smith. Despite this she continues to claim that the diary was sold by Eddie to Mike for £25 when there is not a jot of evidence to support the notion (as to either the sale or the price). When she was caught out in describing Alec Voller as "Dr Voller" (and chiding RJ Palmer for omitting the 'Dr' from his name) even though he doesn't have a doctorate she refused to acknowledge her error (and refuses to this day). We've seen that when she was caught out over the embarrassing 'one off duty' mistake she was unable bring herself to make a correction. Then of course there was the embarrassment of her misunderstanding Martin Earl's description of the 1891 diary which was once her big talking point, now humiliatingly discarded. Oh and those mistakes in 'Inside Story' for which she appears to be responsible, only one of which she has admitted to when she had no option. Frankly I could go on for some time about her unacknowledged mistakes.
She simply can't admit to being wrong.
And the clearest giveaway that she knows she's wrong is when we find her saying that she's not sure how Lord Orsam could prove that none of the electricians described an 'old book' without a time machine. Aside from the fact that, as I've shown, none of the electricians were in any kind of position to describe the alleged find by Eddie (which he himself denies), and aside from the fact that the only person supposedly told about Eddie's find is on record as referring that find either as 'something' or 'a book' but NEVER an 'old book' (but if he has, at other times, used a third description for what Eddie told him he had found that would be very revealing about his credibility), the onus is on Miss Information to provide a proper source if she wants to continue to claim that Eddie found or claimed to have found 'an old book'. It's not good enough to refer us to Saint Keith of Skinner nor to her own memory of what she thinks Saint Keith of Skinner once told her.
It really is important for her to reveal the evidence if she wants to go on making this claim. How do we know that the alleged electricians, if they exist, were not simply parroting something Feldman had once said to them about what he was hoping to discover? Feldman could easily have asked the electricians if they ever saw an old book with writing in it so that the fact that some of them might later have mentioned such an item to Keith Skinner or his unnamed sidekick (presumably James Johnston) means absolutely nothing.
THE MYTH THAT WILL NEVER END
I've corrected this one before so it's disappointing to see Wickerman write in #1019 of the 'Is Kosminski still the best suspect we have thread':
'Do you remember that David Anderson showed us one of the Tuke employee's, a doctor, had communicated with Scotland Yard. The list of names of those who wrote to the Yard still exists, though the letters do not.'
As I pointed out when David Anderson made the same claim, the letter written by Mr Tuke was not addressed to Scotland Yard. It was addressed to the Home Office.
I don't suppose anyone will ever get it right but I guess it is my duty to try and get accurate information out there.
WALL AND WATCH
A quick chuckle about the latest attempts to focus on the wall in Kelly's room and the watch.
As for the supposed initials "FM", despite Errorbitha's repeated posting of the same picture, even Al Bundy's famous eyes couldn't see an "FM" on there!!!
That's because those initials are not there. There is clearly no "F" on that wall. The mark apparently shaped like an "M" is clearly not the letter "M". The best surviving picture which Errorbitha doesn't appear to have access to, does not show the letters "FM".
And a comparison of the watch and Maybrick's signature shows that they are not alike. But don't worry, the watch defenders have an explanation for this. It's very hard to engrave a signature! Sure, but it means that where the two signatures don't match (which is the case in a lot of places) it's because Maybrick couldn't quite engrave his signature properly! Where it does match, he was an expert engraver!!!
To the extent that there is any resemblance between the two, I would remind all watch defenders that when Keith Skinner interviewed Mike Barrett at the Cloak & Dagger club in April 1999 he expressed surprise that Mike hadn't simply checked out Maybrick's will in order to obtain a copy of his handwriting. If a supposed forger of Maybrick's diary could be expected to do that, so could a forger of the engravings on Maybrick's watch. It's not rocket science.
ONLY A THOUGHT
Confronted with her previous postings in which all Eddie Lyons supposedly knew about the diary was that it was an almost worthless 'tatty old book' Miss Information responded (#6836):
'It was only a thought, RJ'
Ah right. Perhaps all her posts are 'only a thought' and we should ignore them.
But, she continued:
'Mike happily ordered a pocket diary for 1891, priced at £25, between 19th and 26th March 1992, as if he wasn't aware that the diary he was meant to be 'selling' to Doreen covered a period from early 1888 to May 1889, when the writer signed off as Jack the Ripper .'
There's so much wrong with that. Even the second word is a fabrication. Where is the evidence that Mike 'happily' ordered a pocket diary for 1891 as opposed to 'reluctantly'? There isn't any. She's just made up a mood for Mike based on nothing (not for the first time).
I say 'ordered' but that word - the third word in her sentence - is also wrong. Mike didn't actually 'order' an 1891 diary, although he accepted one when it was offered to him. What he quite clearly ordered from Martin Earl - and we have it in fucking writing - was a blank or partially blank diary from the 1880s. Bang on for a Ripper diary!
Miss Information doesn't explain why, on HER theory, an 1891 diary could possibly have been of any use to Mike who, she claims, had either been shown or had purchased a diary clearly dated to have been written in May 1889, whereas, on the Orsam theory, there is a very good answer for why a forger would have wanted paper from the period to fool any scientific tests.
I don't believe Miss Information (nor the Major) have ever addressed that point directly. The most we get from them is that the 1891 diary had printed dates in it but, if Mike didn't know this when he accepted it, there was a good and clear motive for him to have accepted a blank diary from the 1890s if he wanted to write a diary of Jack the Ripper.
To this day, no-one knows if the scrapbook containing the Ripper diary was manufactured before or after 1888. For all we know it's an Edwardian twentieth century scrapbook, proving that there was no reason for any forger to obtain a diary, scrapbook or photograph album from the exact year of the Ripper murders or Maybrick's death.
Hey, but that's only a thought.
NO ORSAM, NO COMMENT!
Anyone who doesn't keep up with the articles on this site should be literally banned from posting on the boards. It's such a waste of everyone's time.
A classic example being this from the Major, referring (in #32) to the 'FM' supposedly on Kelly's wall:
'Simon was famously the first person to ever identify those letters on Kelly's wall and he could see them no problem when they didn't mean anything.'
The 'Simon' here is Simon Wood but, as I exclusively explained in Simon Wood If He Could, Simon never saw the letters 'FM' on the wall, nor did he ever claim to have seen those letters. He thought there might have been something relating to Joe Barnett on the wall. And I think I can see what he might have been referring to. Some apparent marks on the wall adjacent to where the 'FM' are supposed to be.
But he NEVER saw the letters 'FM' on the wall. It's just a complete myth.
THE SMOKING GUN WITH NO SMOKE
Readers of Lord Orsam Says...Part 15 might have been surprised to find Jonathan Hainsworth posting in the Censorship Forum via Herlock Sholmes (#77 of 'The Strange Death of Montague Druitt' thread) to claim that the Dagonet (Sims) Column of 1 November 1891 is a 'smoking gun' in the case.
Hainsworth tells us that Sims described the murderer in that column as:
'an English gentleman, young, respectable looking, slightly built but strong, by implication a brunette with a a fair moustache, insincerely remorseful and a suicide'.
As I explained in my previous article, Sims did no such thing. Hainsworth has twisted Sims' words to make the suspect sound more like Druitt while randomly attributing to Druitt some characteristics of Sims' suspect for which there are no grounds.
Let's look at each one.
Did Sims say the Ripper was 'an English gentleman'?
No, he did not!
He said he might have been a student with a possibly refined appearance.
Did Sims say the Ripper was likely to be young?
Yes, he did, but he meant about 20 years old, compared to the middle-aged Druitt who was 31. There's no comparison!
Did Sims say the Ripper was likely to be 'respectable looking'. No, he did not, but he used the expression 'refined appearance' which Hainsworth has already translated into 'English gentleman' so that this is nothing more than duplication by Hainsworth.
Did Sims say the Ripper was 'slightly built but strong'. No, he did not! He said he was 'slight' but said nothing about him being 'strong' which is a Hainsworth invention. And 'slight' would fit hundreds of thousands, if not millions of men in England at the time.
Did Sims say the Ripper was 'by implication a brunette'. No, he absolutely did not! What he said by implication was that he didn't know his hair colour! Or rather, he made the point that the Ripper was not necessarily blond like the Berlin suspect. He might have been blond but he might have had any other hair colour. The hair colour was irrelevant, in other words. Sims said nothing about the killer being 'a brunette' which is nothing more than a Hainsworth fantasy.
Did Sims say that the Ripper had 'a fair moustache'. No, he did not! This is another Hainsworth invention. The Berlin suspect had been described by the Berlin police as having a moustache but Sims made no claim that the English Ripper had a moustache let alone a 'fair' one and it would have been odd if he had done so. He didn't have any particular individual in mind!
Did Sims say the Ripper was 'insincerely remorseful'? No, he did not! This is pure invention by Hainsworth. Even if he did, we have no idea if Druitt was insincerely remorseful or was believed by anyone to have been so.
Did Sims say that the Ripper was 'a suicide'. No, he did not! On the contrary, Sims gave the clear impression that he believed that the Ripper was still alive and committing offences in Lambeth. Nevertheless, he thought he might have taken his own life but he just didn't know. He certainly did not say that the Ripper had committed suicide.
In short, nothing of what Sims said fits Druitt! With his obsessive belief that everyone believed Druitt was the Ripper, Hainsworth has completely misunderstood Sims' article. All Sims was saying was that the murderer was likely to have been a man of the type that the Berlin police were looking for which was not of the rough, vulgar drunken type but a young, intellectual student. That's it.
If Sims' article is a smoking gun, my arse is a smouldering cannon.
THE UNSUPPORTED CLAIMS
Just as you can't take Hainsworth's word for what Sims said, so you can't take Miss Information's word for what Eddie Lyons said.
I've already dealt with this point but it's worth repeating in view of what she posted in #6846 of the 'incontrovertible':
'Eddie himself insisted he was there on floorboards day, recalling the salient details which date this conclusively to 9th March 1992'.
It's no good her just telling us this. We need to see exactly what Eddie said. But, as far as I know, it's never been revealed, unless she means the snippets provided by James Johnston which most certainly do not date his presence at Battlecrease conclusively as having been on 9 March 1992.
This, remember, is the person who once tried to convince us that Martin Earl had told Mike about the printed dates in the 1891 diary which turned out to be false (although she's never apologised or even acknowledged her mistake to this day). So her credibility is zero. We cannot just take her word for things like this.
If Eddie Lyons has really insisted he was in the house on 9 March 1992 why aren't we being told what he said? It's strange because, if it was true, wouldn't the diary defenders be ramming his quotes down our throats?
That's why I find it hard to believe he has really said anything of the sort. I suspect it's just diary defender interpretation. Just as we would be wrong to take Jonathan Hainsworth's word that Sims was describing Druitt in his November 1891 article, so we would surely be wrong to accept the word of Miss Information, the Great Misrememberer, that Eddie has conclusively said anything about his whereabouts on 9 March 1992.
And that's not the only unsupported claim she made in her post. We also have:
'Arthur Rigby recalled that Eddie and JB knew about it, when he want to see Paul Dodd to deny any personal involvement'.
First of all, where is the evidence of what was said by Arthur Rigby to Paul Dodd? I've never seen it.
Secondly, how is it possible that Rigby was able to tell Paul Dodd that Eddie knew about the diary when he wasn't even able to tell this to Paul Feldman???!!! That is according to Feldman's own account in his book.
It doesn't make sense. Sure, Rigby might have told Paul Dodd about his suspicions that Eddie and Bowling found the diary (the idea having been put into his head by Feldman) but that's a whole different ball game.
The fact of the matter is that Arthur Rigby never saw anyone find the diary, he never heard anyone talk about finding the diary, no-one ever told him they had found the diary and he never saw or claimed to have seen the diary. So how does Miss Information account for Rigby telling Paul Dodd that Eddie and JB 'knew about it'? How was he in any position to tell Dodd what Eddie and JB knew or did not know?
Her final dodgy statement in the post is that:
'In 1993, Brian Rawes recalled Eddie mentioning his find to him on 17th July 1992'.
But Eddie never said he had found a diary (or an old book) or anything to do with Jack the Ripper or James Maybrick, and 17 July 1992 is WAY too late for Eddie to have been revealing a discovery supposedly made more than four months earlier.
Don't forget the story is that Eddie came up to Rawes while he was in his van about to drive away from Battlecrease, which suggests some sort of urgency. What could he possibly have been wanting to urgently ask or tell Brian Rawes about the diary which he'd long since given to Mike Barrett (according to the diary defenders)? According to Rawes' memory of events, Eddie told him that whatever he had found 'was at home or something' which immediately excludes it from being the Jack the Ripper diary.
WAITING FOR SEPTEMBER
Tickled pink that Miss Information is aware of the date of this Orsam day. As she posted in #6848:
'If you wait a while longer, it'll be September and Orsam's record will, I have no doubt, give his followers the horn'.
If we ignore the typical crude sexual reference from that quarter, how delightful that the Chief Diary Defender keeps up with the Orsam Day schedule, just like everyone else!
In one of her love-ins with her poodle, Miss Information told the Major:
'I think it's also worth reminding ourselves, Ike, that 9th March was the first date on the record that Mike mentioned JtR's diary to anyone.
I'm not sure it's all that odd.
'If he had made any previous attempts to 'sell' the diary or the concept, we have no independent evidence of the fact, which is slightly odd when you think about it. The fact that a journalist claimed that Mike had been doing the rounds for weeks before getting Doreen's attention is neither here nor there, if he gave no sources. I wouldn't mind putting money on it that the only source was Mike himself, as he was also claiming the diary had been a big part of his life since that late Fountains Rd resident gave it to him back in 1991, and he had to be doing something with it in all that time.
Yet we have nothing. No friends or relations; no Saddle or British Legion regulars; no Devereux daughters; no other agent or publisher; not a solitary sausage to suggest that Mike had let slip a single whisper about any such diary about to rear its unsavoury head - until floorboards day.'
In the first place, if the diary didn't exist in physical form until the end of March 1992, it's not surprising that Mike didn't tell anyone (other than Doreen) about it prior to that date.
In the second place, Mike didn't seem to have many friends and the one friend he did have (Tony) was dead.
The evidence that Mike didn't have many friends is found in Shirley Harrison's 2003 book in which she quotes the landlord of the Saddle, Bob Lee, as saying of Mike (p.287):
'He didn't have any friends'.
As we can see Lee actually said he didn't have "any" friends - and we've never been told about any others - so I think that would explain why he didn't mention the diary to friends who didn't exist.
Relations? Well Mike didn't need to mention the diary to his stepfather because he'd owned it since 1950 (apparently!). His wife had seen it for the first time in the 1960s!
But Anne typed up Mike's 'research notes' which suggested that he'd been working on researching the diary since August 1991 so perhaps he DID mention it to her prior to 9 March 1992.
As for members of the Legion who knew Mike, remind me of their names again? Oh we don't seem to know any!
And that's the interesting thing about Miss Information's list. She doesn't list actual named people to whom she believes Mike could have spoken. Just categories. But if no researchers have ever tracked down and spoken to people who might have known Mike, how would we even know if Mike had mentioned Maybrick or Jack the Ripper or the diary to them?
Ultimately we are reliant on the researchers from the 1990s but they don't really tell us who they spoke to as part of their investigation. We do, in Harrison's 2003 book (p.289), learn of Shirley, Sally Evemy and Keith Skinner speaking to Audrey Johnson, a work colleague of Anne's, who recalled Anne telling her that Mike was 'writing a book...but she couldn't talk about it'. The quality of this information is demonstrated by the fact that we have no idea what time period Audrey Johnson was referring to. Did the investigators ask her? If they did, we haven't been told.
But ultimately Miss Information has really shot herself in the foot. If Mike was such a blabbermouth who couldn't keep a secret, why do we not know of anyone to whom he mentioned the diary other than Doreen between 9 March 1992 and 13 April 1992?
Why doesn't Miss Information find it slightly odd that Mike didn't tell anyone about this precious possession of his during the period of over a month before he went down to London?
If her answer is that he could keep a secret then she's resolved her own puzzle!
As for her other points, as far as I'm aware, Doreen was the first person Mike contacted about the diary so that would explain why no-one else can be found. If Tony and Mike cooked up the diary in secret there wouldn't be any reason for Tony to tell his daughters.
In the same post, Miss Information says that Tony could have confided in his daughters. But equally, on Miss Information's theory, Eddie could have confided in his girlfriend. Or in other electricians. All these people could have threatened Mike's plan.
I don't make a point about it because people take calculated risks all the time. I think these types of points are utterly stupid but she can't help making them. What if someone had done this, what if someone had done that and given the game away. As I've said before, there is always risk in any criminal type venture. But to take the example of Tony's daughters, Mike might have known that Tony didn't have a good relationship with his daughters, so right there is why he might have been confident that Tony wouldn't have told them. If the diary had been cooked up as a secret between them he would have had no reason to think Tony had blabbed to anyone. Just as, in Miss Information's mind, Mike must have been confident that Eddie wasn't going to tell the electricians or his girlfriend, or the police or Feldman or anyone else the truth of the matter.
1891 AND ALL THAT
Something I would like to strongly correct from one of Miss Information's posts. In #6894 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread, she posted to RJ:
'So you always maintained from your very first message board post that the physical diary did not yet exist when Mike called Doreen? Well I'm so sorry to have misrepresented you if that is the case, RJ. I thought that was Orsam's theory, based on the information posted subsequently about the advert for the 1891 diary - before it became evident that Mike knew it was for that year when he ordered it.'
I'm not interested here in whose theory it is (I'm fairly sure RJ was of the view that the diary was written in March 1992 before I put the idea forward, but it has nevertheless become known as 'Orsam's theory), the point I want to focus on is the claim that 'Orsam's theory' was developed:
'before it became evident that Mike knew that it was for that year  when he ordered it'.
I want to say (in fact repeat) with all my might that this is entirely untrue. I have always, from the very start of my interest in the diary back in 2016, assumed that Mike knew he was 'ordering' (or rather accepting) an 1891 diary. I'm on record as saying this on the boards back then. It's only Miss Information who didn't understand the procedure.
From the very start, I took it for granted that Martin Earl had described the diary to Mike over the telephone before Mike agreed to purchase it. That was obvious. So of course he must have known that it was an 1891 diary that he was agreeing to accept.
Having recently spoken to Martin Earl, Miss Information thought she'd made a great discovery that Mike was told in advance that it was an 1891 diary but it was only a discovery to her.
Kattrup even pointed out to her that I'd posted on the Forum that Mike would have know that it was an 1891 diary before he received it but she just said that she wasn't aware of this, then ignored the information as if she hadn't been told.
I say once again that there was nothing about the diary being from 1891 which invalidated it for being used for the forgery project. After all, Mike had requested a diary from the period 1880 to 1890 which, although essentially a request for a diary from the 1880s included 1890. The year of the diary didn't matter as long as it contained blank pages and any dates could be erased.
I also repeat that the actual scrapbook or photograph album that was presented to Doreen Montgomery and which contains the Ripper diary might have been from even later than 1891. For all we know it was from the early 1900s. It has been described as either Victorian or Edwardian. In other words, it was entirely possible for the diary of Jack the Ripper to be written in a diary manufactured in 1890 or 1891. Either year would pass scientific testing of the paper as would many years after that.
I have no idea why Miss Information cannot comprehend this simple point. Well, I do actually, her brain is broken. It's the only explanation.
MISSIE VERSUS HER POODLE
The impossibility of having a rational discussion on the Forum is well demonstrated by RJ Palmer replying to Miss Information only for Miss Information's poodle to respond on her behalf and get everything wrong about what had been said by her.
RJ was responding to Miss Information's post about the amazing Fountains Road coincidence only to be told by her poodle, the Major, who has problems with simple comprehension at the best of times (in #6901), that 'I don't think Fountains Road is important' . He then came up with some brand new barking theory, attributed to his mistress, involving Eddie Lyons knowing Tony Devereux (which wasn't what his mistress had said at all).
Honestly, it's like playing whackamole. Just when you've whacked one of them, another pops up with a brand new angle, inconsistent with what's gone before, and you have to start all over again.
Did the Major simply not read Miss Information's #6773 when she highlighted Fountains Road in bold FIVE times and referred to 'the Fountains Road Link' which was 'real' and 'unbreakable'. Did he also miss her highlighting in bold in #6801 that Mike said that 'he got the diary from a Fountains Road resident'. And did he also miss her #6888 in which she referred to the 'very inconvenient Fountains Rd twosome' with the comment that she was '100% certain' that RJ didn't like 'where Fountains Rd is leading'.
No doubt Missie will correct her poodle and tell him he's got it all wrong (not!).
THE SECRET RECORD
The Major asks RJ Palmer in #6906:
'Is Eddie Lyons not on record as admitting that he was at Battlecrease House on March 9, 1992 (arriving at 10am when work had already started)?'
It will be nice if he could answer his own question because, if Eddie is on record saying this, I've never seen that record.
Where is the Major getting his information from?
We've already been told by Miss Information (in #6506) that Eddie 'was unable to recall the actual date' so it's hard to see how he can possibly be on record as admitting that he was in the house on 9 March 1992.
Hilariously, pressed by RJ Palmer for his source (in #6907), the Major replied:
'I'm sure I had read somewhere that Lyons had admitted to being at Battlecrease that fateful morning'.
Classic Diary Defender behaviour. They post a purported fact which turns out to be something half remembered from....er, not sure where!
HARRY AND JOHN
I enjoyed the clown fight on the Forum between Harry and Wickerman (Jon).
It started when Harry claimed in #981 of the 'Kate's Apron' thread that Mr Justice Lumb had been reported as saying 'in an 1880s newspaper' that, 'in reference to the shorthand notes alluded to, in every court in England, shorthand writers attended the court, not officially, but to take notes of the cases, so that afterwards, if the notes were required, who ever wanted to them would have to pay for them'.
Harry is one of the least reliable posters on the Forum. It will be recalled that in 2019 Harry claimed to have discovered the expression 'one off retail' in an 1871 newspaper (from Jamaica) except that it actually said 'one on retail'! His comprehension skills are unbelievably bad. And he's at it again. There are three massive red flags in his post. The first is that he doesn't identify the newspaper. The second is that he doesn't directly quote from the newspaper. The third is that Mr Justice Lumb was appointed a judge in Trinidad in 1887 and remained in that country for his entire career making it unlikely that he was commenting on procedure in the English courts.
Looks like Harry has found something else in a Jamaican newspaper which he's misunderstood.
Wickerman's initial response to Harry in #989 was reasonable enough. He made the point that Lumb would have been referring to (in his words) 'criminal trial courts' by which he meant the quarter sessions or assizes which conducted serious criminal trials.
This did not dissuade Harry who responded in #1053 by claiming that 'Shorthand writers were employed by the public service in the 1880s'. Suddenly he's introduced a new element to the story by mentioning 'the public service' which wasn't something he initially attributed to Mr Justice Lumb. It prompted Wickerman to say in #1054 that, 'an inquest is not part of the criminal justice system'.
So Wickerman ended up responding to Harry's nonsense with nonsense of his own. Of course an inquest is part of the criminal justice system. After all, a person could be tried for murder on the basis of a coroner's inquisition, regardless of whether a magistrate committed that person for trial for the same offence.
In attempting to demonstrate that shorthand reporters were not present in every court in England - which, of course, they were not - Wickerman posted newspaper extracts relating to both criminal and civil courts (thus confusing the issue) and relating to police courts and trial venues (thus further confusing the issue),
Then, in trying to support his silly claim that coroners courts were not part of the criminal justice system, Wickerman made a post showing that he had completely misunderstood the 1887 Coroner's Act.
Before we look at this post, we might want to consider why Wickerman was looking at the Act in the first place. It was because he had been having a parallel argument with Varqm about the requirement for witnesses to sign their depositions.
As I discussed in Part 15 of 'Lord Orsam Says...', it was a requirement of the Act for all depositions to be signed by witnesses which means that the surviving copies of the depositions in the Kelly inquest must be copies of the originals retained by the coroner. But Wickerman wanted to show Varqm that the 1887 wasn't always complied with, so he posted in #1248 (underlining added):
'It's also possible, incentive for the witnesses to stay was the fact the coroner, on termination of the inquest (you'll find this in the Act too) must pay the fee to the witness. Yet, there are some witnesses who never received their fee. It's reported in the press, I'll try to find it.'
But it's not stated in the Coroner's Act that the coroner needed to pay an attendance fee to witnesses. Any such fee was discretionary.
Wickerman must have immediately realised this when he went on to search the Act. But in doing so he found something which interested him. As he posted in #1266:
'It has been suggested in this thread that a Coroner's court is part of the Criminal Court System. There are two separate courts in the UK. The Criminal court & the Civil/Common Law Court. The Coroner's Court is part of the Common Law Circuit, quite separate from the Criminal Law Circuit. Here is a page from the Coroner's Act 1887, where we read that distinction in print.'
We'll look at the relevant page in a moment (although Wickerman made the usual mistake of quoting the commentary of Jervis, not the Act itself) but here is Wickerman's conclusion:
'The section deals with the fact a Coroner's Court is non-adverserial (sic), meaning there is no Prosecution or Defender presenting both sides of a case - this was termed a "trial of issues", which is what a Criminal, Civil or Common Law trial is.'
This is quite wrong. In fact, the truth is the very opposite to what Wickerman believes. What the commentary to the Act said was this (underlining added):
'What interests may be represented by counsel or a solicitor upon the inquest is a matter entirely within the discretion of the coroner; if it seems to him that the jury are likely to be benefited by their assistance he ought to allow them to be heard. It is usual to allow the family of the deceased, and any person who is likely to be accused by the verdict, to be represented by counsel if they desire it; but it should always be borne in mind that they have no right to address the jury or to put questions to the witness except by permission of the coroner. There is in this respect no analogy whatever between a coroner's inquest and a trial of the issues.'
What we can see, therefore, is that a Coroner's hearing was positively allowed to be adversarial, with prosecution and defender presenting both sides of a case! The difference between a coroner's hearing and a trial was that this was only allowed at the discretion of the coroner (whereas it was a basic right at a trial) but Wickerman took the last sentence to suggest, wrongly, that there was no analogy between a coroner's inquest and a trial of the issues.
Wickerman had misunderstood the sentence which was qualified by the words 'in this respect'. Those words were simply saying that the difference between a coroner's inquest and a trial of the issues being discussed here was in respect of legal representation being allowed at the discretion of the coroner. And we can see that the commentary states that it was 'usual' to allow such representation.
As I stated in Part 15 of 'Lord Orsam Says...', a defendant could indeed be represented by counsel during a coroner's hearing and the Treasury Solicitor could also be present for the crown with cross-examination allowed. Wickerman has just gone very wrong as usual.
It was mentioned by Little Scottie Esq. on the Forum that Richard Whittington Egan's 'Liverpool Soundings' which, he says, Tony Devereux owned a copy of, suggested that the 1889 Grand National was the fastest ever, or rather that this could be inferred from reading the book (Incontrovertible, #6885). RJ Palmer soon corrected him to say that the book says nothing about the time of the 1889 Grand National. But it may be worth pointing out that the book does note that it was at the 1889 Grand National that 'Mrs Maybrick and her husband had a quarrel upon the Aintree course'.
Miss Information tells us in #6922 that Eddie Lyons denies having met Robert Smith in The Saddle on 26 June 1993. Once again, however, we have to take her word for it. She fails to provide ANY evidence in the form of a quote from Eddie Lyons to support this assertion. Remarkably it was only two posts earlier that RJ Palmer had told her she must realize why 'sceptical people would want to see the full interview of Eddie Lyons'.
She simply ignored this. We are clearly not allowed to see it. What ARE they hiding?
NO ORSAM, NO COMMENT, PART 94
The broken brains on the Forum are baffled as to why Mike's affidavit states that 'Since December 1993' he had been trying to expose the fraud. This has led to endless jibber jabber on the subject.
But, as I've already explained TWICE on this website (see How to Befuddle and Confuse under part 10 and Lord Orsam Says...Part 10) that particular sentence in Mike's affidavit was subsequently amended in manuscript to read: 'Since 1994 I have been trying through the press, the Publishers, the Author of the Book, Mrs Harrison and my Agent Doreen Montgomery to expose the fraud of the 'The Diary of Jack the Ripper'.
Here it is for a THIRD time (the correction presumably made by Alan Gray):
I can't do much more than this. All the jibber jabber on the Forum is about an obvious error.
It's surely time for the broken brains to forget about Mike's affidavit (obviously written by Alan Gray and containing obvious inaccuracies) and focus on what Mike said out of his own mouth at the Cloak & Dagger event in April 1999. But for some reason they don't want to talk about that!
A few messages to the broken brains in as short a form as possible (responding to the Major's #6931 of the Incontrovertible thread) and repeating some points I've already made:
1. Just because Robbie Johnston might have been responsible for the engravings on the watch, doesn't mean he put them there himself.
2. When Keith Skinner questioned Mike in 1999 he suggested it would have been a simple matter to obtain a copy of James Maybrick's signature from his will.
3. The signature on the watch doesn't even match Maybrick's signature but every discrepancy is met with a lecture on how difficult it is to engrave one's signature so, in other words, similarities are significant but differences can be ignored!
4. At the Cloak & Dagger event in 1999 Mike was very clear that the diary was written by his wife.
5. The intended cover story of where the diary came from might originally have been from Anne's family, as she was later to claim.
6. Mike's 5 January 1995 affidavit is NOT critical to Lord Orsam's theory. Repeat. It is NOT critical in any way to Lord Orsam's theory. What IS critical is the attempt to purchase a Victorian diary with blank pages. What is also important is that Mike claimed at the Cloak & Dagger meeting in 1999 the the diary hadn't yet been written when he telephoned Doreen on 9 March 1992.
7. It is perfectly true that there is no evidence to support the claim that Anne wrote the diary or that Mike purchased the scrapbook from Outhwaite & Litherland, it is just a theory. If I could prove these things we wouldn't still be talking about this.
8. The people who carried out the investigations and who had access to Mike and Anne were all True Believers so that an absence of evidence to support the forgery claim isn't difficult to explain.
9. The records of Outhwaite & Litherland for 1992 were never examined by the True Believers.
10. The True Believers withhold mountains of evidence too numerous to list but just one example is that we have been told that Mike's book of telephone numbers did not contain Gerald Kane's telephone number but we are not told whose numbers ARE in that book. Just one small example of how the cards are stacked when it comes to getting hold of relevant evidence in this case.
ALWAYS THE BRIDEWELL
In the 'Ask Monty' thread (#52), Bridewell posted in response to another member who had suggested that an accusation in a newspaper potentially put Mizen under a bit of pressure for 'seeming to put private business before police duties' by continuing to knock up after having been told there was a body in Bucks Row, as follows:
'It post-dates the murders but in around 1911 the Metropolitan Police clarified their view on knocking up. They were aware that officers were doing it and it was permitted but only on the strict understanding that there was no payment involved and that the service could not be guaranteed as police duties (knocking up wasn't one) took priority in all cases. IF Mizen continued knocking-up after being told that there was a woman either dead or drunk in Bucks Row it was neglect of duty. (Please note I said IF he did that!).'
I can only assume that Bridewell is thinking of my article The Knock Up in which I believe I was the first to reveal that the regulations relating to knocking up were changed in 1907 (not 1911) after a member of the public complained that a police officer knocking up one of his neighbours was disturbing his sleep.
I honestly don't know how it's possible that regulations drafted in 1907 can possibly affect how Mizen would have been treated in 1888.
Unfortunately, Bridewell has form on this subject. I recall him opining on it while I was a member of the Forum despite being unaware that the position in 1888 was governed by an 1853 Police Order which stated that constables were 'bound' to provide the service of knocking up inhabitants in the morning and that 'any neglect is to be reported and will be punished' thus making knocking up an actual duty to be carried out by police officers. I had to inform Bridewell of the existence of this regulation. I was also the person who made Monty aware of it. This is all a matter of record on the Forum.
Bridewell is now obviously aware of the 1853 Police Order but in posting on the subject he completely ignored it, preferring to focus on the 1907 regulations (which he thinks was 1911) even though it can't be possible that 1907 regulations back applied to 1888.
Even worse, in posting on the subject, Bridewell totally ignores the fact that leaving one's beat was a serious matter for a police constable in 1888. They were only supposed to leave their beat in an emergency (for which the usual example given was a fire). Leaving a beat for a non-emergency would inevitably have led to disciplinary consequences because it would have meant that their beat was left unattended, creating opportunities for criminals.
No-one really knows what the consequence would have been for Mizen if he had simply been told there was a drunk woman lying on the ground in another constable's beat. I would say it is at least arguable that he should not have left his beat but left it to the regular beat officer to deal with the woman in due course. Leaving his beat during the process of knocking up would not only mean leaving his beat unattended for criminals to exploit but any individuals not woken up by him might be late for work and thus lose their job, leading to a complaint made against him!
My 2014 thread 'The Conflicts of PC Mizen' deals with that issue here.
Now it's arguable that on being told there was a dead woman in Bucks Row, Mizen should have left his beat but even that is far from certain. Sure if he had known there was a murder, he almost certainly should have stopped his knocking up and investigated, although even this is a guess on my part and would probably also have been a guess on Mizen's part without any definite rules to guide him.
Perhaps there would have been criticism in the press if he did one thing or the other but the press (and public) didn't always understand the rules under which constables were operating.
One could say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Following PC Mizen's evidence at the inquest there was not a single criticism of the constable in the press nor in any police or Home Office files.
With the recent news of the supposed closure of JTR Forums in November, albeit now apparently rescued by donations, the latest scandal to rock the world of Ripperology has rather passed unnoticed.
The current or former Admin of JTR Forums, Howard Brown, once used to post a link to this site when there were any updates. That was, in fact, the very reason he created a thread entitled 'Lord Orsam's Blog' in the first place. He was very efficient in posting these update links and never missed them. If a member of the forums didn't beat him to it, he would always, without exception, post a link to this site following an update.
However, the last time he posted a link to this site following an update was on 17 December 2020.
For the 16 January 2021 update, a member posted the link but I noticed that Howard didn't post a link for the 20 March 2021 update. I didn't say anything about this in the 22 May 2021 update in case it was nothing more than an oversight but he didn't link to the May update either, even though I have no doubt that he is reading the articles.
Now, I can't say for sure why Howard stopped informing his members of updates to this site. But the suspicion is that it can't be a coincidence that the 20 March 2021 update, the first Howard didn't link to, was the one which caused the Clanger to blow a gasket when he read my article 'Breaking Point' in which another one of his mistakes was exposed. As readers will recall, he started ranting off-topic about it in a Lechmere thread on the Censorship Forum.
Has this website upset the Clanger, and is Howard refusing to post update links in sympathy with his golden boy?
Anyone who has been following the 'Lord Orsam Blog' thread on JTR Forums will recall how aggressive the Clanger became towards another member (Kattrup) for simply posting links to the latest articles to this website without any comment after the June 2020 update (#315). In fact, so aggressive and rude was the Clanger that Howard had to step in to say to him (#317):
'I believe Kattrup was simply posting the latest from that blog. I don't think he did it to upset anyone.'
So unhinged had the Clanger become by this point that he decided to argue with Howard, telling him, madly:
'We'll have to agree to differ on that'.
It was an incredible response. The Clanger was taking it personally even when someone was doing no more than posting links to articles on this site without even mentioning him or commenting about those articles in any way.
While there's no doubt that the Clanger is a favourite character of many readers, due to his numerous daft antics, he's still only a minor player on this website and, honestly, his fame seems to have gone to his head.
Since that exchange with Howard in June 2020, we saw the Clanger literally disintegrate in front of our eyes.
First, he made a complete fool of himself by challenging my claim that because Alfred Wilkins was standing in Duval Street for a couple of hours one night in July 1909 it was almost certainly for a nefarious purpose, bearing in mind that he was arrested two months later for participating in a street robbery with violence at a location not far from Duval Street. Ignoring the official Old Bailey record which said that Wilkins had 'several previous convictions', the Clanger attempted to argue that Wilkins was standing for hours in the street at night for quite innocent reasons (which he never explained) and barely had a criminal record, being a mere lettuce thief, but he then shut up pretty fast once it was pointed it out to him that Wilkins had a YET ANOTHER conviction for stealing watches in 1910, making him a serial offender who was quite obviously up to no good that night in July 1909.
Then, in August 2020, the Clanger managed to put himself into a position where he was arguing with the dictionary about the meaning of the well-known English word 'aunt', thinking, madly, that it means the same as a godmother. All because he couldn't STAND the fact that I'd proved the diary to be a fake a second time, having already proved it be a fake due to the use of 'one off instance' (something which itself sent the Clanger off down the barmy road of arguing that this expression could have derived from a equine expression relating to the age of a horse when it did no such thing).
Who can forget the Clanger's initial excitement in November 2020 at having purportedly caught me out in a mistake when I said that Andrew Stevens was Kitty Roman's landlord in July 1909, only for him to cringe with embarrassment and go completely silent (as usual) when I posted the indisputable evidence that Stevens WAS her landlord?
That was the background to his very public meltdown on JTR Forums later in the same year after some members challenged him on his false statements about me and his misrepresentation of my articles. He went so beserk, and became so obsessed with attacking me, that Howard Brown had to step into the thread on 19 November 2020 (#463), saying:
'From this point on either debate the points Lord Orsam makes or let others do it without egging on in one corner or retaliation in the other'
After the Clanger ignored Howard's direction, Howard was forced to repeat himself later the same day (#486)
'Gents...please stick to a discussion of his points without the animosity'
In fact, Howard was subsequently reduced to deleting a string of posts because the entire discussion got out of hand due to the Clanger's inability to be civilised and rational.
The Clanger simply does not know how to behave himself.
But, as we know, he kept on working himself up into a state of fury following subsequent updates.
Prior to all this, those with long memories will recall the amazing censorship in August 2019 when Howard Brown meekly obeyed the Clanger after he instructed him to make the entire 'Lord Orsam Blog' thread private, with the despicable and unpardonable comment 'Should we really be giving this fruit loop any publicity' (#63). Howard switched the thread to the private members' only section (for no sensible reason that I could ever discern, but, hey, those were the Clanger's instructions) before restoring it to public view a short time later, even though nothing whatsoever had changed in the interim.
Then Howard allowed Jonathan Menges to make false statements in respect of his role in events which had led to my resignation from Casebook, before refusing to allow further discussion. This wasn't surprising bearing in mind that Howard had earlier allowed member after member to post abuse and insults about me in the same thread without any attempt to stop them.
Howard imposes a strict policy which prevents any criticism of casebook.org yet allows almost anything to be said about orsam.co.uk. They are both just websites, yet are treated very differently.
Anyway, back to the latest scandal. Howard's sudden failure to post links to the updates. I can only see this as him protecting the Clanger who doesn't like being made a fool of. If the Clanger stopped posting on JTR Forums one wonders if there would be any content left, so ubiquitous is he. Does Howard feel that he can't offend his mate the Clanger by posting links to any Orsam updates? Is this website simply too dangerous to even be allowed to be mentioned?
I don't know. We'll have to see what happens. Will this update be linked to or will the shame of silence on JTR Forums continue until the very end of that website?
THE HIGH PREISTNALL OF NONSENSE
I honestly don't know if, empirically, there are more conspiracy loons in the Censorship Forum these days than when I was posting but it certainly feels like it.
The latest (having joined a few weeks before I stopped posting) is Martyn Priestnall who, in Pierre like fashion, seems to think he knows who the killer was.
But don't bet on it.
In a thread he started entitled 'Barnett - The Indefinite Article' he made one of the worst arguments I have ever read to support of his contention (about which he tells us elsewhere he is 'sure') that the woman known as Mary Jane Kelly wasn't murdered in Miller's Court on 9 November 1888.
Listing a mere seven things about Kelly that Barnett said he wasn't certain about in his inquest evidence, Priestnall says that Barnett had only a limited amount of time to 'learn his lines' and that he was deliberately 'vague' about the details of Kelly's life so that the details couldn't be 'checked and challenged'.
So what was Barnett uncertain about? Here's the full list:
1. How long Kelly had lived in Wales.
2. How many years earlier her husband had been killed in an explosion.
3. What part of the West End she had lived in a gay house.
4. Exactly why she didn't remain long in France.
5. How long she had lived with Morganstone.
6. When it was that she stayed with Joseph Fleming.
7. Whether she had lived with Morganstone before Fleming or vice versa.
Now, to a normal person, it's perfectly understandable that Barnett didn't know such details about a woman he had only known for 19 months. Frankly, it would have been remarkable if he could have answered any of these questions. Even if Kelly had told him the precise details, which all apart from one involved matters of time, it would have been extraordinary if Barnett had been able to remember them.
Further, even if Barnett had been able to tell the coroner all those details it seems unlikely that they would have provided ANY assistance to the police in identifying Kelly. Her reason for not remaining long in France would have assisted not at all, nor would it have made any difference how long she had lived with Morganstone or when she had stayed with Fleming etc.
The amount of detail he DID provide, however, was quite impressive. He gave the coroner the place of Kelly's birth and the name of her father, his occupation and likely place of residence. He gave her husband's surname and occupation and the fact that he was killed in an explosion. He also stated the age at which she was married. He said she had come to London in 1884 and gave the names of two men with whom she had lived, including the precise places in Stepney and Bethnal Green where she had lived with them. He stated that she had lived in Ratcliffe Highway (which information appears to have been corroborated). Additionally, in his written statement he identified the army regiment in which her brother, whose first name and nickname he gave, was serving.
So Barnett gave PLENTY of specific, identifying details about Kelly which could all have been checked and challenged. He was not vague at all. Whether all those details were correct or not is another matter but Barnett could only repeat what he had been told by Kelly.
Perhaps it's loon fatigue in the Forum but only one individual even bothered to challenge the assertions made by Priestnall.
Priestnall tells us he is now focusing on his manuscript and that we should all 'stand by'.
Lord help us.
EVIDENCE OF NON INNOCENCE
I've given up on following the Lechmere threads on the Censorship Forum now but I did notice Christer Holmgren say in #977 of the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread:
'And the forensic physicians both said that a bleeding out time of 3-5 minutes would be to be expected'.
The statement was unchallenged by anyone but I cannot stress strongly enough how completely untrue that statement is.
While I'm repeating myself here, it's worth repeating that neither of the forensic physicians consulted by Holmgren referred to a 'bleeding out time' nor did they say that any kind of time of 3-5 minutes for anything would be 'expected' in any case of death, least of all in the specific case of the death Nichols.
I don't know who Holmgren thinks he is fooling by repeating these misrepresentations of the expert evidence but it can only be himself.
For someone who himself goes by two names (i.e. "The Clanger" and "Gary the Clanger") it's surprising that the Clanger doesn't understand the Cross/Lechmere name issue.
I find him making two mistakes on this subject recently:
CLANGER'S MISTAKE THE FIRST
In the JTR Forums 'Interesting Lechmere Trivia' thread (#33), he asked why Cross didn't inform the coroner (and his jury) that he was also called Lechmere, saying that the explanation for this was either one of two things:
'Because he had no concept of a ‘real/proper’ name that it was appropriate to disclose to the authorities, or because he was hiding something?'
To the extent that the Clanger thinks these are the only two alternatives - which he clearly does - he is badly misguided.
There was an obvious third option which is that Cross understood that it was entirely unnecessary for him to state in his evidence that he was also known as Lechmere. Unnecessary because it was irrelevant to his evidence about the discovery of the body of Nichols. Hence, unnecessary and irrelevant.
More than this, the coroner had zero interest in the personal life history of the witnesses who came before him who had discovered dead bodies in the street.
According to the Clanger, Cross should have said:
'My real name is CAL, but I am known at work by the name of Cross, which was my stepfather’s name.’
He seems to think that it would have been appropriate for a witness at an inquest to waste the inquest's time with his family history.
Well I say the exact opposite. I say that while there was nothing to stop him doing it, and he could have done it if he had wanted to, it would have been inappropriate for Cross to have bothered the coroner with such details during his evidence.
So unnecessary, irrelevant and inappropriate.
This leads me on to his second error:
CLANGER'S MISTAKE THE SECOND
In response to Caroline Morris' suggestion that Cross/Lechmere might not have wanted to have confused his employers who knew him only as 'Cross', the Clanger said (#50):
'Why would it have been an issue for Pickfords if he’d revealed that his real name was Lechmere, but he went by his stepfather’s name of Cross? The ever helpful Lord O and others have provided us with enough examples of people doing just that for us to assess the zeitgeist on the matter.'
This is a blatant misrepresentation of my thread 'Cross/Lechmere Name Issue Part 2' in which out of 17 examples provided, only one was an example of an individual in a similar position to Lechmere who revealed his stepfather's name. Ironically, given that he was speaking to the Great Befuddler, he seemed to successfully befuddle her into thinking that I (and others) HAD provided 'enough examples' of this so that she shifted her position in the next post!
If we look at the 17 examples I provided in the 'Lechmere/Cross Name Issue - Part 2' thread to which the Clanger must have been referring (which can be found here) it will be seen that they were designed to show that individuals in Victorian society used two names. I didn't set out to provide examples of individuals stating two names during inquest or other proceedings and, as I've said, only found one such example. Let's go through them individually:
EXAMPLE 1 - William Adams a.k.a. Slack who NEVER during his lifetime is known to have told anyone, let alone 'the authorities', that he was known by two names, and this fact was only revealed after his death by his widow.
EXAMPLE 2 - George Plummer a.k.a. Harding who NEVER during his lifetime is known to have told anyone, let alone 'the authorities', that he was known by two names but of whom it was reported that he was known by two names after he murdered his fiancée.
EXAMPLE 3 - Harry George a.k.a. Cox who NEVER during his lifetime is known to have told anyone, let alone 'the authorities', that he was known by two names but of whom it was reported that he was known by two names after his death.
EXAMPLE 4 - Phillip Jones Pallot a.k.a. Main(e) who NEVER during his lifetime is known to have told anyone, let alone 'the authorities', that he was known by two names (albeit that he married under the FALSE (according to the Clanger's definition of such things) double barrelled name of "Pollot Maine"), and this fact was only revealed after his death by his widow.
EXAMPLE 5 - Charles Jones a.k.a. Taylor who NEVER during his lifetime is known to have told anyone, let alone 'the authorities', that he was known by two names and this was only revealed by his wife in her divorce petition and in the newspapers after his death. Further, the big point about this individual is that in one court appearance he gave his name as Charles Jones while in another court appearance he gave his name as Charles Taylor. On neither occasion did he see fit to inform the court that he was known by two names, which in my view of the world was not only perfectly legal but also normal and appropriate, whereas in the Clanger's weird view there is something inappropriate about it.
EXAMPLE 6 - John Grant a.k.a. Mason who NEVER during his lifetime is known to have told anyone, let alone 'the authorities', that he was known by two names and this fact was only revealed at a police court by his grandfather (and then only when specifically questioned as to why he said his grandson's name was "John Grant" when the authorities knew him as "John Mason").
EXAMPLE 7 - George Thompson a.k.a. Grey who NEVER during his lifetime is known to have told anyone, let alone 'the authorities', that he was known by two names but this fact was revealed by a witness at his trial.
EXAMPLE 8 - Harry Hawke a.k.a. Lakey who NEVER during his lifetime is known to have told anyone, let alone 'the authorities', that he was known by two names (albeit that he seems to have given himself the name of Harry Hawke Lakey which must have been a false name according to the Clanger's definition of such things) but this fact was reported after he was believed to have perished in a shipping accident.
EXAMPLE 9 - Thomas Pomfret a.k.a Newton who NEVER during his lifetime is known to have told anyone, let alone 'the authorities', that he was known by two names. On the contrary, when examined in court after being accused of a rape he stated that his name was Thomas Pomfret (which was his 'real' name). It was left to the local newspaper to report that 'he was known in Hull as Thomas Newton (which is the name of his step-father)'. Being an accused prisoner, not a witness, one can't draw any conclusions from this but it's the direct opposite of what the Clanger was saying my examples were supposed to have shown!
EXAMPLE 10 - William Yem a.k.a. Smith who NEVER during his lifetime is known to have told anyone, let alone 'the authorities', that he was known by two names but this fact was revealed after his death.
I've now become bored and can't be bothered going through the rest of the examples which are all to the same effect with the sole exception of Ralph Armstrong who, when giving evidence at an inquest in Durham in 1858 did bother to inform the coroner that his stepfather's name was Dixon and that he was generally called by that name. He was already known to the authorities under both names as he had been charged with theft seven years earlier when his name was recorded as "Ralph Dixon, alias Ralph Armstrong".
I would also draw attention to my 17th example of R.A. who made it clear when asking for advice from the Guardian newspaper that he refused to provide the authorities with his 'real' name, having always been known by his adopted name. The Guardian told him that this was fine.
So the Clanger is quite wrong to say that I provided 'enough examples' of witnesses in court informing the court that they were known by two names due to having adopted their stepfather's name. I just did not provide those examples, nor has anyone else.
There was also Kattrup's part 1 of the Lechmere/Cross name issue thread but, as I mentioned in Lord Orsam Says...Part 15 the examples he gave of witnesses at the Old Bailey who were known by two names were all cases where there was either good reason for the witness to reveal that they used an alternative name because it was relevant to the criminal proceedings or where the use of the alternative name was only dragged out of them in cross-examination. It is very rare to find witnesses in any court proceedings, let alone at inquests, revealing that they were known by two names in circumstances where their alternative name had no bearing on the proceedings. I'm not aware of any other examples having been provided and they seem to exist only in the Clanger's imagination.
I've said this enough times now and the Clanger must already have read me saying it but absorbing information doesn't seem to be one of his skills.
THE DISAPPEARING GRAPES
There's been chatter on the Forum recently about the 'many' people who saw grapes in Elizabeth's Stride's right hand, although these 'many' people are never identified ('Eva Harstein' thread on Casebook).
I took a close look at the evidence about these grapes six years ago in my article They All Love Bruce (see under the first heading 'The Disappearing Grapes').
I concluded that only TWO people can be confirmed to have claimed to have seen grapes in Stride's right hand: Diemschutz and Kozebrodski. Their accounts were very similar to each other to the extent that we can say it's quite likely it was the same account or at least that the two men influenced each other.
The claim about the grapes by these two men was only made to newspaper reporters. No-one, including Diemschitz himself, stated on oath at the Stride inquest that they saw any grapes. Dr Blackwell stated in his evidence that 'The right hand was lying on the chest, and was smeared inside and out with blood. It was quite open'. By contrast, he said the left hand contained a small packet of cachous. His evidence was corroborated by Dr Phillips who, after noting the cachous in the left hand, stated that 'The right arm was over the belly. The back of the hand and wrist had on it clotted blood'.
The fact that both medical men commented that there was blood smeared on Stride's right hand is suggestive of that blood having been confused for grapes by Diemschutz/Kozebrodski who, I repeat, are the only individuals who claimed to see any grapes in Stride's hand. The notion, incidentally, that the two men were confusing grapes with cachous cannot possibly be correct because, as those of you who took my advice to read my 'They All Love Bruce' article will already know, both Diemschutz and Kozebrodski were quoted as saying that there were sweets or sweetmeats (i.e. cachous) in Stride's left hand whereas the grapes, they said, were in her right hand. Furthermore, the grapes couldn't have been eaten by the donkey or taken while the body was unattended because both Diemschutz and Kozebrodski claimed that they saw the grapes in Stride's head while the doctor was examining the body.
The evidence in the case is crystal clear. There were no grapes in Stride's hand.
GILL IT A REST
One of the people inventing grape witnesses is, unsurprisingly, Michael Richards, a man who has form in this regard and who never seems to learn from history.
Even by his low standards, though, it's still a surprise to find him saying in #6 of the 'Who has the goods?' thread on the Censorship Forum that:
'4 witnesses....all stated that they were by the dying woman with Louis there between 12.40-12.45. Isaac K., Gillen and Herschberg...Spooner.'
As I demonstrated in Lord Orsam Says...Part 14 there was no witness by the name of 'Gillen' and, to the extent Richards, means the man identified as 'Gilleman' or 'Gidleman', this individual said absolutely nothing about being anywhere at 12.40-12.45. He didn't, in fact, give any evidence at all, either to newspapers or the inquest. All that is known about him is that Morris Eagle said he was told by him at about 1am of there being a dead woman in the yard. That is all.
It's incredible that I exposed this false claim back in March 2021 yet six months later Richards is still repeating it.
I also dealt with the 3 other witnesses he mentions and the only possible conclusion is that the body was discovered at close to 1am (definitely not 12.40-12.45).
NOT INTERESTING, NOT VERY INTERESTING
In #6949 of the 'Incontrovertible thread, the Major deals with the possibility of Mike responding to a discussion with Eddie Lyons in the Saddle on 9 March 1992 during which Eddie tells him that he's been 'working on James Maybrick's floorboards', triggering Mike to decide to approach 'a publisher' (although Doreen was a literary agent) about a diary of James Maybrick that he had been given by Tony Devereux prior to Tony's death in August 1991.
Personally I reject this theory (which originated from the intellectually challenged Little Scottie Nelson Esq.) because it doesn't explain Mike's hunt for a blank diary in March 1992.
But I can see that, in theory, it's possible that a conversation with Eddie in the Saddle on 9 March 1992 was the trigger for Mike contacting Doreen Montgomery about a dairy which either existed in draft form (having been drafted with Tony's assistance) or didn't exist at all and Mike got the whole idea of creating a fake Maybrick diary from scratch from his discussion with Eddie.
So what does the Major say about this possibility? Well he follows the lead of his mistress by querying why Mike never claimed that Eddie found the diary under the floorboards. Hence, he says:
'If it did happen this way, Mike never once used the opportunity for this false provenance, sticking rigidly to his Tony D story....Interesting, very interesting'.
Yet, if Mike had 'used this opportunity', and told the world that he didn't get the diary from Tony D but from Eddie who found it under the floorboards, he would effectively have been transferring his ownership of the diary to Paul Dodd, because he would have been admitting that it was stolen property!!! What, therefore, is interesting about Mike not putting forward this unhelpful false provenance? He would have been quite mad to have done so!
One further thing to note is that back in the old days, there were diary defenders who were most impressed by Mike having stuck 'rigidly' to his story of receiving the diary from Tony Devereux in 1991, not having wavered from it over a long period of time (until, of course, he confessed to the whole thing being a forgery). It was put forward as an argument in support of the diary having actually been received by him from Tony.
Others flirted with the idea that the diary had actually been in Anne's family for generations.
Nowadays the idea that Mike received the diary from Tony in 1991 is looked upon by diary defenders as a rubbish cover story, even though it has never been disproved and could never really be disproved.
Anne's story has also been ceremoniously abandoned, even by the Major himself who once loved it!
The only diary defender who seems to still cling to it - at least he can't bring himself to repudiate it - is Saint Keith of Skinner, despite once having claimed that a court (of law or history) would find it proven that the diary was found in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992!!!
No, it's not 'interesting, very interesting' that Mike wasn't tempted to adopt a false provenance of the diary having been found under the floorboards. If he played a role in forging the diary it makes perfect sense that he didn't go down that road. It's only odd for him not to have taken that opportunity if the diary HAD been received from Eddie because Dodd had offered him a deal of taking just 5% of his income from the diary which would have left him with 95% AND a perfect provenance! So why didn't he take that deal? The only sensible answer is because he knew very well that the diary had not come from Battlecrease.
BAD LEGAL TAKES
I see that the Clanger is continuing with his hopeless misinformation campaign over the Lechmere/Cross name issue. Let's go through a few of his ludicrous and often false claims:
In the 'evidence of innocence' thread, he is still banging on about Charles's children bearing the name of Lechmere, and about the death of Charles' stepfather, claiming that 'some Ripperologists are still stuck in 1861' (#1442). In a later post (#1483) he asks what name Charles would have been known as by his children's teachers.
He is, of course, deliberately missing the point that the claim against him is that Charles was quite possibly still known by his work colleagues at Pickfords (and his old friends too) as Charles Cross in 1888.
It's not so unusual. We find exactly the same thing going on around us even today!
There are many professional women who get married and who legally take on the surname of their husband but retain their birth surname at work, often because they've built up a reputation in that name.
So if Miss Kate Jones marries Mr Charles Smith she might continue to be known at work as Kate Jones. There may be very few of her work colleagues who know that her name is ALSO Kate Smith.
In the case of solicitors, they have to be registered with the Law Society. In such a case, assuming Kate Jones to be a solicitor, Kate may continue to be registered as Kate Jones - or, let's assume her full name is Katherine Alice Jones, she'd be registered under that name - even though she could equally have registered herself under the name of Kate Smith.
Now here's the killer. Solicitors frequently have to provide evidence to the court in the form of sworn witness statements. In the case of Kate Jones she will certainly state her name in any witness statement as Jones, the name under which she works as a lawyer and is registered by the Law Society. She will certainly NOT say (for example) "I am Katherine Alice Jones also known as Katherine Alice Smith due to marriage". It just doesn't happen, even though her children may bear the surname of "Smith" and her children's teachers may know her as "Mrs Smith". And it doesn't happen because it is completely unnecessary. The judge will not be interested in such details. As Kate Jones isn't a false name, she has done her legal duty to the court.
The exact same would be true if Charles Lechmere was also known as Charles Cross. In that case, either name would have been sufficient to be stated in court. He didn't need to give both names. Once he'd stated one, the other name became redundant.
The Clanger hasn't provided a single source which demonstrates that a witness in such a situation was required to provide his stepfather's name AND his birth name.
Nor has he even demonstrated that such a thing was a common occurrence, required or not.
I think he admits that it was perfectly legal for men to have two surnames. I think he admits that it was perfectly common for men to have two surnames. Consequently I can't for the life of me understand where he gets the idea from that a man with two surnames needed to state both surnames when giving evidence in court on a matter entirely unrelated to him or his family. From his arse perhaps?
In #1450 the Clanger tells us:
''He didn't use the name Cross, presumably, because [Lechmere] was the name it was appropriate for him to use on various occasions when he came into contact with officialdom. Except on one or two occasions where he stood up in court, took an oath to tell the 'whole truth' and was asked to give his name.'
Three problems with this:
1. The times Charles is known to have used the surname "Lechmere" had little or nothing to do with coming into contact with 'officialdom' but was simply what he used in legal (family) documents in a limited number of categories which had no bearing on Pickfords. All we know for certain in respect of his use of the name "Lechmere" is what he put in documents. We know nothing further than this. We don't know if a single acquaintance of his called him "Charles Lechmere". It's just guesswork. The ONLY example of him mentioning his name outside of documents is at the inquest(s) when he gave his surname as Cross. Sure, birth, marriage and death certificates used the surname Lechmere, as did census, property and school records, but from examples of other individuals we know that such documents tell us literally nothing about what surname he would have commonly known by in real life, including, crucially, at Pickfords.
2. When Charles took an oath to tell the 'whole truth', in stating or confirming his name as "Cross", he was not acting in contradiction or breach of that oath but he was acting consistent with it, assuming that he was indeed known by the name of "Cross".
3. We don't actually know if Cross was asked to give his name by the coroner or whether the question posed to him was "Is your name Charles Allen Cross?" to which he replied "Yes".
In #1457 the Clanger writes:
'The informal adoption of a stepparent’s surname was common in Victorian society. And how do we know that? Because the stepchildren often thought it appropriate to disclose their ‘real’ names alongside their assumed ones. Why should we imagine Charles Allen Lechmere would have felt differently?'
But if that's true, where is the evidence that stepchildren 'often' thought it 'appropriate' to disclose their real names alongside their assumed ones? To the extent that there is any, where is the evidence that they often did so in court when providing witness testimony which had no bearing on their family name?
If there is no evidence of this - and the Clanger hasn't ever provided any - why should we apply a fictional standard to Charles Lechmere which didn't exist in reality?
An absolute classic from the Clanger in #1459. He writes:
'Reports of the 1876 incident mentioned the addresses of other witnesses. Why not Charles Cross’s?'
In the first place, there was only one single report of the 1876 incident (which appeared in both the Islington Gazette and the North Metropolitan & Holloway Press) yet the Clanger tries to exaggerate by claiming that there were multiple "reports".
But, most amusingly, readers will surely recall that the Clanger's previous position was that the 1876 report mentioned the addresses of ALL the other witnesses. As he said on JTR Forums on 13 October 2017:
'It's strange that an address was given for every other witness but the carman's was omitted'.
I had to correct him in Crossing the Line and say that this wasn't correct because the address of the witness George Porter wasn't mentioned in the report either.
Bizarrely when I repeated this point in my article Breaking Point (noting that Christer Holmgren agreed with me) the Clanger lost his mind and started ranting, accusing me of being wrong about this.
Now, in referring only to 'addresses of other witnesses' being mentioned, not addresses of every other witness, it seems he's finally accepted that the addresses of both Cross and Porter in the 1876 inquest were not stated. So there's nothing strange about Cross's address not being stated, especially when there were only four other witnesses who gave evidence (one of whom was a doctor whose precise address wasn't even stated, just the road of his practice). The omission of the addresses in this single newspaper report is insignificant and does not mean that those addresses were not stated by the witnesses in court.
According to the Clanger in #1413:
'Presumably Charles Lechmere gave his evidence under oath. Something like this:
'I do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth."
And then he said, ‘My name is Charles Allen Cross…’
Let's leave aside that the daft Clanger is there (incorrectly) citing the wording of an affirmation, NOT an oath, even though the correct wording of both oaths and affirmations for the period can be found in Jervis, I do wonder if the Clanger thinks that witnesses were invited into the witness box and then just expected to say whatever they wanted to say after they swore their oath.
For what the Clanger has missed out is that the witness would have been asked by the Coroner either: "What is your name?" or "Is your name Charles Allen Cross?".
That being so - and I think it's uncontroversial that this must have been the case - what does the Clanger think the next question would have been?
I'll give you a clue: the witness would have been asked to state or confirm his address.
That being so, there was no opportunity for a witness not to state their address.
A newspaper report is not a comprehensive report of any court proceedings. The fact that a newspaper report doesn't include the address of a witness does NOT mean that the witness didn't state or confirm his or her address in court. I demonstrated this very clearly in Crossing the Line
I shouldn't even have to say this once let alone twice, or indeed, three times, but the Clanger doesn't seem to have grasped it.
The Clanger is 'convinced' that Charles Cross not saying he was also called Lechmere was 'a deliberate omission and not just an oversight' (#1421). In saying this, the Clanger once again shows his ignorance of court proceedings. The fact is that there was no requirement for Charles to inform the coroner of BOTH his surnames, just one was absolutely fine. It was all the coroner needed for the purpose of his inquiry. The surname of 'Cross' was entirely legitimate and sufficient for the inquest. Nothing further was required. So the choice was not between 'deliberate omission' and 'oversight' because there was a third possibility which is that Cross was aware that he was only required and expected to provide one surname.
In #1435 the Clanger claims that Charles 'certainly didn't provide the Coroner with the 'whole truth' when it came to his name'. But that statement is entirely false. If he was commonly known as 'Charles Cross' then stating his name as 'Charles Cross' WAS the whole truth.
In any case, the full oath stated by Charles, with my emphasis, would have been as follows (per Jervis):
'The evidence which I shall give to this inquest on behalf of our sovereign lady the queen, touching the death of Mary Ann Nichols, shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help me God.'
In other words, the truth and whole truth that the witness was being asked to swear to was his evidence relating to the death of the person who was the subject of the inquest. It didn't really relate to his own personal details especially if, as in the case of the person who discovered the body, it was irrelevant to the death. But I repeat that Charles would not have been breaking his oath for one second, or misleading the coroner, by stating his name as Charles Cross bearing in mind that it was his stepfather's name and thus his own adopted name.
In fact, I will go so far as to say that this is another one of the Clanger's batshit crazy notions.
This can be demonstrated very simply by taking the example of someone who was adopted (being born and registered under one surname and then taking the surname of their adopted family) but wished to keep the fact of that adoption secret from their friends, and possibly even from their spouse and children. According to the Clanger, if this person was a witness to a criminal act and gave evidence under oath in court, that person would be obliged, consistent with their oath, to reveal to the court that they were adopted and also to reveal the surname that they were born under. I assume that everyone but the Clanger can see how batshit crazy this would be if it was an actual requirement (which, of course, it is not) but it's exactly what the Clanger is saying must happen.
I also personally know of a woman who legally has two different FIRST names (but no middle name) and two different surnames because she was born under one name, which was registered, then she was adopted and given a new first name by the new family. When she married she gave the registrar both names to be on the safe side and ended up being entered TWICE in the official register of marriages under two different names for the same wedding!! (How many times does THAT happen?) But if she was to testify in court as a witness, under her married surname, would she need to state both of her first names and explain about her adoption, and the circumstances surrounding it, in order not be in breach of her oath and be potentially prosecuted for perjury? Of course not. The very idea is mental. It's just batshit crazy. But it's exactly what the Clanger is effectively saying should happen because neither of her first names is 'more legal' then the other save for the fact that she is and always has been commonly known by only one of them (i.e. the name that is NOT her 'real' name!).
In #1474 the Clanger told Jeff Hamm, who had remembered someone posting about the use of alternative names in the nineteenth century:
'I suspect you may be referring to discussions involving Lord Orsam and others where numerous examples of people using assumed names were given. And how do we know those people used more than one name? Because they or their family thought it was appropriate to reveal both names in court.'
This is false, as I've already demonstrated above. On some occasions the alternative name was revealed by a family member after the individual had died, not always in court, on other occasions it was revealed by the press. So it's not true to say that the only reason we know those people used more than one name was because they or their family thought it was appropriate to reveal both names in court.
Furthermore, in cases of deceased individuals, where it is only known to us that they had an alternative name after their death, the word 'appropriate' is in itself inappropriate because all their surviving family member was doing in revealing the other name was clarifying the deceased's identity in circumstances where the deceased was known by two different surnames. It wasn't, in other words, because they thought it was 'appropriate' from a legal or ethical standpoint, it was simply because it was practical and sensible for them to do it.
The Clanger loves to speak of people other than himself "missing the point". Hence we find in #1487:
'The main point seems to be consistently missed - standing up in court and providing your name under oath is about as formal as it gets. We are to believe that Lechmere (and his family) was (were) punctilious in giving his ‘real’ name in all other formal situations but when he gave it under oath at inquests he neglected to do so because his mates at work may have known him as Charlie Lechmere?'
But it's the Clanger missing the point. The formality of the occasion or 'situation' is neither here nor there. It's the context that's important. The context in 1876 (assuming it's the same Charles Cross) is that he was working as a Pickfords carman when he was involved in a fatal accident. The context in 1888 is that he was on his way to work as a Pickfords carman when he discovered a dead body.
So the point that the Clanger is missing is that the argument against him is that Charles Lechmere was known as Charles Cross at Pickfords because he had been working at Pickfords since the time when his stepfather was alive and he actually went by the name of Charles Cross meaning that his workmates and employers all might well have known him as Charles Cross.
In addition, considering how unusual it is for a man to change his name, we can all surely see how very likely it is that anyone who knew him as a teenager called Charles Cross continued to call him Charles Cross for the rest of his life. We don't know this for a fact but we don't know that it didn't happen. Yet, the Clanger clearly misses this point too.
One of the examples I gave in my 'Lechmere/Cross Name Issue' thread here was of William Slack who died in a colliery explosion who 'commonly went by the name of Slack' (due to his stepfather being Tom Slack) but whose real name was William Adams. His children bore the name Adams. He was in the census as William Adams. Yet we know that when he died in a colliery accident, it was "William Slack" who was reported to have died, indicating clearly that he was known as William Slack by his employers.
It's funny isn't it that on Casebook on 12 August 2019, the Clanger posted:
'Thanks to David for providing the blindingly obvious: that some people used alternative names'.
He accepts it!
An alternative name is a name used instead of another name. It's a choice!
If you understand this, why doesn't he understand how Charles Lechmere could legitimately have used an alternative name when giving evidence at an inquest?
The Clanger's misunderstanding was revealed back on 2 July 2017 when he posted in JTR Forums:
'I have to say, the research on Casebook, in respect of alternative names seems to have been misinterpreted. Yes, people used alternative names, but the research suggests they generally felt it necessary to reveal the fact when presenting themselves to the authorities'.
That is most certainly NOT what the research revealed. It's a basic misreading of the evidence, in fact, as I've already demonstrated above.
The Clanger, as we all know, is an idiot but I didn't have him down as a gullible idiot. Yet he's fallen hook, line and sinker for the claim that there are more than 100 examples of Charles Cross using the surname "Lechmere". Hence, in #1510 he posted:
'Perhaps you can clarify on what basis you doubt that many, if any, people who were unaware of CAL’s address and occupation would have known him by the name of Lechmere. Just a hunch? Based on what? The two occasions in more than a decade that he used another name as opposed to the 100+ times over seven decades that his name was recorded as Charles Lechmere?'
The supposed 100+ examples have never been provided or identified. Consequently, it cannot possibly be accepted by any sensible person that these 100 examples exist. They are a basic Ripper myth. One could almost call it a lie.
The fact of the matter is that, when he was young, Charles Cross lived with his stepfather and was almost certainly known by his friends and acquaintances as Charles Cross. That name could easily have stayed with him for his entire life. When he was young, Charles Cross also started working for Pickfords hence his work colleagues would have known him as Charles Cross. Unfortunately, the records of Pickfords are missing. There is no actual evidence of what he was called at Pickfords but in the context of accusing the man of perjury (at the very least) we have to take the generous view that he may have been known by the alternative name of Charles Cross at work, just as a number of other men of the time had an alternative name by which they were commonly known.
If Charles was commonly know as Charles Cross then it was perfectly legal and lawful for him to state his name as such when giving evidence at an inquest into the discovery of an unrelated dead body, FULL STOP.
HOW DUMB IS THE CLANGER?
If anyone is in any doubt as to how stupid the Clanger is, just consider the below question he asked of Harry in #1662 of the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread, and, when reading it, bear in mind that he is unable to identify a single person in Charles Lechmere's entire life who called him 'Charles Lechmere', let alone in the relevant year of 1888.
'Can you name one person who you can be sure knew him as Charles Cross? There were numerous people who would have known him as Charles Lechmere.'
Just look how he moves the goalposts there and thinks no-one will notice.
He first asks Harry if he can name one person he can be sure knew him as Charles Cross but then immediately pivots to say that there were numerous people who WOULD have known him as Lechmere.
But that's not the question. We want to know just one person who the Clanger can be sure knew the man as Charles Lechmere. You just can't do it. It's not possible. Even if you were to take a notional schoolteacher of one of his children, you still can't be sure that this guy didn't know Charles as 'Charles Cross' regardless of what was in any documents.
If we use the Clanger's wording, we can say with some degree of confidence that his employers and colleagues at Pickfords would have known him as Charles Cross, assuming he started working there before the death of his stepfather.
But the fact of the matter is that we don't know what anyone actually called Charles in real life outside of documents. This is despite the Clanger's earlier attempt at befuddling in #1643 when he told Harry: 'There's evidence that he was known as Lechmere by numerous people' which is plainly false.
So, to my question: "How dumb is the Clanger?", the correct answer is "Very".
ORSAM DAY EVE MADNESS
The dumb Clanger continued with his dumbness right up to Orsam Day Eve. Look at this, posted on 17 September in #1726 of the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread:
'We know he chose to use Cross on one or two abnormal, rather unpleasant, occasions, A far as we can tell from the written record, he used Lechmere on every other occasion throughout his long life. Those who insist on calling him Cross are identifying the man with the two unpleasant events and ignoring all the other events in his life.'
What I love is that Barnett frequently claims that some of his opponents refuse to refer to Charles Cross as 'Lechmere' but here we have a classic example of someone sticking their head in the sand and refusing to acknowledge the existence of the 1861 census in which the eleven year old Charles is entered as Charles Cross!
If he was known as Charles Cross when he was 11, he was likely known by that name throughout his crucial teenage years and possibly for at least the entire ten years following the 1861 census. Even though he married under the name of Lechmere in 1871 at the age of 21 this doesn't mean that he didn't continue to be generally known by the name of Cross. We've seen examples of this happening with others!
It really is extraordinary that the Clanger's response to my research on the issue was to claim that I only demonstrated 'the blindingly obvious' in showing that men in the 19th century used alternative names and that the only issue we needed to focus on was what name people would feel compelled to give to 'the authorities'. Yet, ignoring his own stricture, the Clanger now tells us that 'genealogically he is Charles Allen Lechmere' as if that has any meaning. It doesn't matter what he was 'genealogically' known as if he was commonly known by another name, which is precisely what my research showed could happen, although the Clanger seems to have forgotten this.
Even worse, the Clanger writes:
'If you believe it is proper and respectful to refer to him by the name he used when he found the mutilated body of a prostitute in preference to the name he used when he married, the name he used when he celebrated the births of his children and the name his grieving family used at his funeral, that is your prerogative.'
What a lot of nonsense! Proper and respectful indeed. That's got nothing to do with it! The Clanger just doesn't seem to understand that men who had stepfathers in the nineteenth century could easily have TWO surnames!!! One could be used in official documents and another could be used amongst acquaintances who knew them. I provided numerous examples of this.
It's a classic example of doublethink here whereby the Clanger wants to say that I only discovered the blindingly obvious in my research (which showed that men could be commonly known by an alternative name), while at the very same time also wanting to say that Lechmere couldn't have been commonly known by an alternative name!!
It's madness. What the Clanger should be reflecting on from the examples I provided in my name/issue research is that the genealogical position reflected in official documents can be highly misleading. I guess his entire life is all about genealogy so that he can't think outside of this. He just can't seem to adapt to the reality of the nineteenth century.
MESSAGE FROM LORD ORSAM
A reminder for anyone wanting to read Lord Orsam's responses to all the posts on probability in the diary thread, he's set them all out in a separate article It's A Lottery!
18 September 2021