THE CLANGER'S LAIR
The Clanger has created a devilish lair to entrap the unwary.
On 28 September he claimed to have made an 'interesting discovery' which, he said, was tempting him 'to become a fully-fledged member of the CAL is guilty brigade' (#2373).
Just as he's been sucking up to the Diary True Believers over many years, so the Clanger has spent many years sucking up to the Lechmere True Believers while not believing Lechmere to be guilty (until now). Don't ask me why, perhaps he just wants to be popular, considering that so many people seem to dislike him.
Anyway, the Clanger's latest amazing Lechmere 'discovery' which has turned him towards being a True Believer brought all kinds of *wows*, *goshes* and *amazings* from the usual crowd but what did he actually discover?
The answer is: nothing!!!
What he's actually done is no more than find corroboration of what was stated in an article from the Pall Mall Gazette that he spotted five years ago, in 2016. That article said that, as at September 1889, there was 'a cat's meat shop at the corner of Backchurch Lane'. What he's now found from a notebook of one of Booth's researchers from October 1887 is that, well, there was a cat's meat shop at the corner of Backchurch Lane!
It was in a shed at number 6-8 Backchurch Lane.
So he's identified the precise location of the cat meat's shop. How does that impact for one second on the guilt of Lechmere?
Well in #11 of his ludicrously titled "Charles Lechmere's Lair?" thread, he tells us:
'I'm racking my brains to think of anyone case-related who was geographically connected to the area and might have been involved in the cat's meat/horse flesh business'.
Even if we assume that it's correct to say that Lechmere 'might have been' involved in the cat's meat business, how does the existence of a cat's meat shed in Backchurch Lane take us any closer towards Lechmere?
I mean, Lechmere's so-called connection with Pinchin Street has always been known, due to the fact that he was recorded as living there as a child in the 1861 census while his mother, Maria, lived there at the time of the 1881 census while working as a dressmaker. By this time, of course, Lechmere himself was married and was living in Stepney.
We have literally no idea how long Lechmere's mother resided in Pinchin Street after the 1881 census. It might only have been a few weeks or months. People moved around a lot in the nineteenth century. Above all, there is no evidence that she ever sold cat's meat while she was living in Pinchin Street.
All that is known for sure is that, at the time of the 1891 census, when she was recorded as living in Stepney, she was making a living as a dealer of cat's meat. Prior to that, in December 1889, three months after the discovery of the Pinchin Street victim, her third husband was recorded as having been living in Cable Street at the time of his death, hence presumably she was too.
So the number of leaps we have to go through to link Charles to the shed in Pinchin Street and thus to the Pinchin Street corpse are extraordinary.
We have to assume that Maria was still living in Pinchin Street in September 1889 and we have to assume that she sold her cat's meat from the shed at the corner of Backchurch Lane. We have to assume that Charles had some involvement with the shed (due to having supposedly assisted his mother in selling cat's meat for which there is no evidence) and we then have to assume that the shed played some role in the murder of the woman whose corpse was found in nearby Pinchin Street.
Every one of these is a huge assumption for which there is precisely no evidence.
Of course, we also have to assume that the woman whose corpse was found in Pinchin Street was also murdered by the same person who murdered Mary Ann Nichols.
We are now told that this murderer possibly had a 'lair'.
One immediately asks oneself: If the killer of Mary Ann Nichols had a lair in the East End, where he could cut up bodies without discovery, why did he murder her in a dark and open street?
Another obvious question which presents itself is how the unknown woman from Pinchin Street was lured into the cat's meat shed? Or are we expected to believe that Lechmere murdered a woman in the street in September 1889 and then, instead of leaving her mutilated body in the street for someone to find (as usual), he decided to carry it from the murder scene into his mother's shed where he decided not to mutilate the body on this occasion but to cut it up (which he hadn't done for the previous murders in 1888) before wrapping up the unmutilated torso and depositing it in nearby Pinchin Street?
We are also expected to believe that Lechmere, on this occasion, when he had the freedom of the shed, showed no interest in the woman's genital area, having previously focused on making cuts in this area with other victims.
It doesn't really make much sense.
So to summarize:
Did we already know of the existence of a cat's meat shop in Backchurch Lane? YES
Is there any evidence that Lechmere ever visited his mother in Pinchin Street when she was known to live there in 1881? NO.
Is there any evidence that Lechmere's mother was still living in Pinchin Street in 1888 or 1889? NO.
Is there any evidence that Lechmere's mother ever sold any cat's meat from the shed in Backchurch Lane? NO.
Is there any evidence of a connection between Lechmere and the cat's meat shed in Backchurch Lane? NONE WHATSOEVER.
Is there any good reason to think that the murderer of the Pinchin Street victim used the cat's meat shed in Backchurch Lane to dismember the corpse? NO.
Why has the already known existence of a cat's meat shed in Backchurch Lane apparently turned the Clanger from a Lechmere hanger-on who thought he was probably innocent to a full blown Lechmere True Believer? I HAVEN'T GOT A FUCKING CLUE.
THE CLANGER'S MAGIC TRICK
I can't move away from the subject of Lechmere's imaginary lair without applauding the Clanger for the way he deviously set the parameters as to the elimination of suspects, thus building the frame for Lechmere.
Did you spot the way he used the expression 'case-related'?
Hence (to repeat):
'I'm racking my brains to think of anyone case-related who was geographically linked to the area and might have been involved in the cat's meat/horse flesh business'
In other words, it doesn't matter how many people might have been geographically linked to Backchurch Lane and who 'might' have been involved in the cat's meat/horse flesh business (either by themselves or a relative), if they aren't already 'case-related', they can be ignored as suspects! We have to find someone 'case-related'. In this instance, someone who discovered an earlier victim and, by jove, we can frame this chap right up!
It's a conjuring skill worthy of the great Fisher of Men himself!
When you add to the mix that there's no reason whatsoever to think that the murderer (either of the women in 1888 or the woman in 1889) was involved in the cat's meat business and no evidence that he (or she) had any particular connection with Backchurch Lane, other than by dumping a corpse in nearby Pinchin Street, the whole thing just strikes one as utterly crazy.
THE NEW LECHMERE TRUE BELIEVER
Without any ideas of his own, the Clanger loves nothing more than sucking up to people who do have ideas, however crazy and irrational.
For Miss Information, he loves to feed her with batshit crazy theories about equine development and one-offs which she can adopt, being just about as batshit crazy as he is.
For "Ed Stow" and Christer Holmgren he's always liked nothing better than to suck up to them by spreading false information about the use of alternative surnames in the nineteenth century, and now does so by claiming that he's discovered something amazeballs which reflects on Lechmere's guilt.
He can't say by way of mitigation that he's just being objective about certain aspects of the case, for look what he posted in #2471 of the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread where he spoke of Scobie as being 'someone with considerable experience of criminal prosecutions'. For what possible purpose did the Clanger make such a statement? James Scobie is a criminal barrister who is a Queen's Counsel so of course he has experience of criminal cases but that means nothing because any barrister is only as good as their brief. If they are given a faulty brief containing false and misleading information their opinion as to the merits of the case will be wrong. Period. But the Clanger has said not a single bloody word about the contents of Scobie's brief even though he must know it was dodgy.
Then he started acting like Christer's brutal enforcer, saying stuff to other members like (#2637):
'Is there any exculpatory evidence? I thought that was what Fish asked for at the outset and as yet there's been none put forward'.
Coz that's how it works in every criminal case. You have to prove your innocence!
The Clanger needs to stop his creepy ways of sucking up to these demented theorists.
CLANGER ADMITS IT
On 1 October, four days after starting his 'Charles Lechmere's Lair' nonsense, and announcing his amazing discovery (being the very day I wrote the above entries), the Clanger dropped back into reality and said:
'Of course we don't know if the Lechmeres had anything to do with the Backchurch Lane sheds..'.
Durr!!!! So why the dramatic announcement of his conversion towards being a supporter of Lechmere's guilt?
Just provocative bad faith nonsense on his part designed to wind up those posting on the other side of the argument. That's what the Clanger does.
CLASSIC CLANGER LOGIC
In #116 of his ludicrous 'Charles Lechmere's Lair?' thread, the Clanger moves into the area of probability, asking:
'What are the chances that 65-year-old Maria woke up one morning (post September, 1889) and out of the blue had the idea of becoming a catsmeat dealer?'
It's a ridiculous question. In the 1881 census Maria was recorded as being a dressmaker. In the 1891 census she was recorded as being a cat's meat dealer. So one morning between 1881 and 1891 she must have woken up and "out of the blue" had the idea of becoming a cat's meat dealer.
Whether that was before or after September 1889 is literally impossible to say.
But what does it matter?. If she started dealing in cat's meat in, say, 1887, so what?
Was the mother of Jack the Ripper known to have been a dealer in cat's meat? Who the fuck knows? There's absolutely no reason why she should have been.
That's why his question is ridiculous.
BATSHIT CRAZY CLANGER
Would you believe in the middle of a Lechmere thread, the Clanger doubled down on his batshit crazy idea about 'one off'?
The man using the alias (false name?) of "Ed Stow" had commented that the planting of a diary in a skip 'need not be a one-off' to which the Clanger responded in #117:
'Your use of the term 'one off' reminds me I'll have to make sure not to use anachronistic language. 'One-off' itself would be fine, of course, because that had a 19th century equine usage.'
Ha ha, oh my sides! Except that the equine usage didn't mean something unique, singular or unrepeated, being nothing more than a reference to the age of a young horse, in the same way as 'two-off' and 'three off'.
Worse than this, though, is the fact that the Clanger is so dumb he still doesn't seem to have appreciated that 'one off' was in use prior to 1888 to mean one item so that his reference to equine usage is neither here nor there. The whole point of the anachronism is that in 1888 'one off' didn't bear the meaning of uniqueness in any context.
It's a very simple point but the Clanger shows no signs of having understood it.
HE CAN'T HELP HIMSELF
The Clanger continued to link the Lechmere and Diary threads when he posted in #2656 of the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread:
'Unfortunately 'we' haven't been able to come up with a single piece of evidence to clear Lechmere. A bit like that diary thread that hasn't yet found a single anachronism.'
Methinks the lady doth protest too much.
The Clanger is fully aware that two clear and definite anachronisms have been found in the diary: 'one off instance' and 'bumbling buffoon'.
Not to mention 'spreads mayhem' and 'top myself' which are two additional anachronisms.
Clanger seems to cling on to the concept of 'wishful thinking' adopted by the Major and Miss Information in this respect.
The only mystery is why the Clanger seems to want to take the side of the Diary Defenders in one thread and the Lechmere Framers in another.
IF YOU ONCE, TWENTY YEARS AGO, LIVED NEAR THE SCENE OF DISCOVERY OF A MURDER YOU POTENTIALLY COMMITTED IT!!!
With a straight face, the Clanger tells us in #2680 of the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread that he has:
'found something potentially linking CAL to the Pinchin Street case'.
This is utterly ludicrous. What he is referring to is that the guy once lived in Pinchin Street when he was young, about twenty years before the body of a woman was discovered in that street, so he's now potentially linked to that case!
Don't make me laugh, you clanging clanger.
THE UNRELIABLE WITNESS TESTIMONY OF CHRISTER HOLMGREN
According to Christer Holmgren in #2715 of the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread:
'Swanson told us that it was to be regretted that Longs testimony was in all likelihood wrong, just as the Home Office established that "unreliable witness testimony" was what spoke for a later time, whereas the medical evidence (not described as unreliable) spoke for the early version'.
He subsequently corrected the word "unreliable" for "doubtful" in #2717, claiming at the same time that this was the Home Office view of all three of Long, Cadosch and Richardson.
Needless to say, this isn't true.
Dealing with Swanson first, the Chief Inspector did NOT say that Mrs Long's testimony was 'in all likelihood wrong'. What he said was that, in view of Dr Phillips' estimate that the time of death was 6.30am, then, AND ONLY THEN, the evidence of Mrs Long 'must be looked upon with some amount of doubt'.
Because, of course, Swanson had to assume that Dr Phillips' estimate was correct. He had no basis to challenge it.
In other words, the only reason Swanson had to doubt Mrs Long's evidence of seeing Stride at 5.30am was because Dr Phillips' opinion was that Stride had been murdered at about 4.30am.
So it's a completely circular argument for Christer to use Swanson as support for Phillips' estimate to cast doubt on Long because Swanson was entirely relying on Phillips' estimate to cast doubt on Long!
What Swanson also said in his report was that, 'If the evidence of Mrs Long is correct that she saw the deceased at 5.30am, then the evidence of Dr Phillips as to probable time of death is incorrect'. It's the exact reverse of what Swanson said was the consequence if Phillips was right, but Christer ignores this.
I've no idea what Christer is talking about when he claims that 'the Home Office' established 'doubtful witness testimony' of Long, Cadosch and Richardson or that 'The Home Office were no fans of these three witnesses'. He doesn't give any kind of source reference to support this claim. I can only assume that he's referring to Swanson's report which was sent to the Home Office. If so, it's typical Fisherman trickery, throwing dust into the eyes of his readers by claiming that Home Office officials thought that the witness testimony of Long, Cadosch and Richardson was doubtful when they said no such thing.
We also see Christer playing his tricks by saying that the medical evidence was 'not described as unreliable'. I'm not sure why he thinks that the Home Office could possibly have been in a position to doubt the medical evidence of the divisional police surgeon but the fact of the matter is that any expert today would say that the doctor's estimate was unreliable. That's certain. Furthermore, Christer omits to mention that Swanson wrote that Mrs Long's evidence 'appeared to be so important to the Coroner'. Wynne Baxter at least had some experience of medical men giving estimates of time of death and he clearly DID believe Dr Phillips' estimate was unreliable. Yet Christer omits to mention this key fact from his summary.
PASS THE SICK BUCKET
"Hello there Iconclastypoo" says Miss Information.
"backatcha Cazzykins" says the Major.
One day those two will have a light bulb moment and work out that they actually fundamentally disagree with each other about the origins of the diary.
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF EDDIE LYONS
Going back to childishly making clear in the most unsubtle way possible (or pretending) that she's not reading the articles on this site, Cazzykins asked Iconclastypoo in #6955 of the Incontrovertible thread if Lord Orsam had dealt with the supposed coincidence of Mike telling Doreen Montgomery he was going off to York at the same time as Eddie temporarily stopped working at Skelmersdale (about which no evidence has yet been presented).
Those who actually read my articles will recall that I most certainly did deal with this. Not only that but the Great Misremember has evidently forgotten that I once expressly asked her in the Forum, when I was a member, what she believed Eddie Lyons was up to when he went missing and she told me she had no idea!
What Mike was doing in my opinion was no more than stalling Doreen because he didn't yet have any Victorian paper on which to write the diary. Although Miss Information continually claims that Mike said he was going to York with his family, this is not what is recorded in Doreen's contemporary note which merely says that he was going to York, with no mention of his family.
As for Eddie's disappearance, Miss Information has no idea if he was off sick or on holiday. She claims that Colin Rhodes thought it "unlikely" that Eddie was on holiday - which means it was perfectly possible - but no evidence of Colin Rhodes even saying this has ever been provided and the note of his conversation with Keith Skinner is apparently being suppressed, despite me having repeatedly called for it to be provided.
What we can see from her ludicrous post is that Miss Information offers no explanation for what she is saying the connection to be between Mike's claimed visit to York and Eddie's supposed two week disappearance. I mean, is she saying the two men were locked in negotiations over the diary for two full weeks so intently that Eddie couldn't even go to work??!!!
And if she is saying that, does this mean that Eddie didn't sell the diary to Mike on 9 March 1992? So Mike didn't have it in his possession when he phoned Doreen?
Perhaps one day she will clarify what she actually thinks happened on 9 March 1992.
Responding to Cazzykins in #6956, the Major didn't bother to answer her query about Mike and Eddie nor did he particularly want discuss the question of probability any further. What he was obsessed with was the Miller's Court photograph.
In answer to me saying that I'd seen a high quality print of the original photograph and the initials "FM" are not on it, the Major, for some unfathomable reason said, 'Try telling that to Dan Farson when he published his paperback in 1973'.
The Major seems very confused (as usual!). I'm not saying that the photograph doesn't exist! I know Dan Farson published it in 1973 (or rather 1972). But Farson didn't even say anything about seeing the initials "FM" so I can't work out what the Major is doing here other misunderstanding everything.
The point I've been making is that the original photograph is not faithfully reproduced in the books due to distortions in the copying process.
What I'm saying is that when you look at the best print of the original photograph of the Kelly crime scene there is very clearly no "FM" written on the wall.
The only answer that is possible from the Major is to confirm that he has viewed the original print of the photograph.
He never manages to do so and, consequently, the conclusion must be that he hasn't seen it.
I keep telling him to ask his mate Keith Skinner to help him out but he never responds.
I've seen the best copy of the original print of photograph and, with my own eyes, I noted that "FM" is not on that wall.
So that really is that.
THE CLANGER'S OBSSESSION
I wish someone would explain to me the Clanger's obsession with cat's meat.
In #2825, presumably now posting as a pro-Lechmerian, he said:
'The anti-Lechmerians are desperate to keep CAL away from meat at all costs and would prefer it if he had carried cauliflowers to/from Spitalfields market'.
Can someone tell me what is in the Clanger's mind here? Does he think that carrying meat in a cart is equivalent to being a serial killer, whereas carrying cauliflowers is something only an non-murderer would do?
I mean, what is the flipping connection between cat's meat and the murderer of the women in Whitechapel supposed to be?
In #2825 the Clanger says that 'it seems likely that Paul's work involved travelling between the two markets'. By this he means a market at Corbett's Court and the market at Covent Garden.
But was there a market at Corbett's Court?
Far from me to question the Clanger's knowledge of London in 1888, of which he is the self-proclaimed expert, but was there a market in Corbett's Court or was it a place where Paul stored his cart?
According to the Goad map for 1890 we can see a large area marked "CARTS & VANS":
This would certainly make sense of why Paul turned into Corbett's Court but informed a newspaper reporter that he was working at Covent Garden.
CROSS AND PICKFORDS
RJ Palmer made a rather good point in #2806 which neither the Clanger nor Christer chose to respond to.
What independent evidence is there that Charles Cross was employed by Pickfords in 1888?
The answer is that there is none. We have to rely on Cross' word for it.
Which means he might not have been on his way to work at all that morning. He might just have been out murdering prostitutes.
Funny, though, that none of the Clanger, Christer or Ed Stow have made this argument.
After all, according to them, if Pickfords had seen the newspaper reports of a Pickfords carman giving evidence in court and checked their records, they would have had no knowledge of a Charles Allen Cross working for them! Only a Charles Allen Lechmere.
And that being so, the police could never have confirmed that Cross worked for Pickfords.
So how do we know that he really did?
To me, the answer is obviously that Pickfords DID have a record of Charles Allen Cross working for them. No way could Charles have got away with claiming in public to be working for Pickfords if he wasn't at the time.
But for the Lechmerians, well, they seem to accept it. They seem to love the idea that he was transporting cat's meat for some unknown reason. Yet in the same breath they tell us that Charles Lechmere was desperately trying to conceal his identity, even to the extent of somehow being able to avoid stating his address at the inquest (only to be foiled by a curious Star reporter getting this information from a clerk!). So why might he not have been concealing his occupation too??
THE NEW SIMON WOOD
Martyn Priestnall seems to have replaced Simon Wood as the Nutter-in-chief on the Forum with his theory about why there was a delay in entering Kelly's room on the morning of 9 November involving some kind of convoluted conspiracy 'to spirit Kelly away' and leave a 'replacement victim' in the room (#39 of thread 'The door, the key and the pickaxe').
But I explained it all many years ago in Some Thoughts under the entry 'On the Trail of the Bloodhounds'.
In short, it was the idea of the divisional surgeon not to enter the room so as not to disturb the scent for the expected bloodhounds.
At that time, Sir Charles Warren was personally attempting to negotiate for the use of the bloodhounds by the Metropolitan Police but they had unfortunately been taken by their owner out of London while the negotiations continued. No-one on the ground in Whitechapel was aware that the bloodhounds were not available until a message was delivered by Superintendent Arnold direct from Scotland Yard.
As for the use of an axe, I really do love the twisted line of argument by the OP in the thread, MrTwibbs, who asked why McCarthy needed to use an axe: 'did he not have a spare key as any landlord would?' . Or, if not, why not just put his hand in and open it that way? Concluding that McCarthy must have been able to enter the room without the axe, he then said: 'My thinking is the police may not have wanted to disturb the contents of the room and felt it more prudent to force the door open?' But then he doubted his own conclusion, continuing: 'Given they didn't use fingerprints then I'm not sure why this would matter?'
Basically he'd started a thread on the subject apparently entirely unaware that, on the advice of Dr Phillips, the police didn't want to enter the room because they didn't want to disturb the scent of the killer for the expected bloodhounds.
As for why the axe was used, it should be obvious that McCarthy didn't have a key that would have enabled him to enter the room nor that he was aware or able to open the door through the window. That would have been why he used the axe! It's obvious when you just keep it simple.
THE HYPOCRISY OF THE COWARDLY
It's amusing to see the nerve of Miss Information chiding RJ Palmer for not supporting one of his claims with evidence (#6597).
It wasn't long ago in the very same thread that Miss Information was claiming that 'one off' was an expression used in nineteenth century prisons to mean 'one off duty' but then simply ran away from the subject when it was pointed out that this wasn't true. She's never 'shown us hers' when it comes to this bit of falsehood.
And that was just her most recent failure. She's never provided a jot of evidence to demonstrate that anything I've written on the subject of the Maybrick diary is erroneous, as she's previously claimed, so it really does take the biscuit that she demands others to back up their claims in this way.
As for the specific claim by RJ that the Maybrick diary was ruled a fraud in a court of law nearly 3 decades ago, I don't think that's quite correct. My understanding of the legal action involving the Sunday Times and the publishers of the diary was that it was settled out of court with Smith Gryphon re-paying about £5000 to the newspaper and making a contribution to its legal costs. It's true, as set out in Melvin Harris' article 'Facts Please, Not Fallacies' here, that the Sunday Times had alleged 'fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation or negligent misrepresentation' against Smith Gryphon in its application to be released from a confidentiality agreement, and that the settlement would have involved an order of the court approving the termination of the proceedings, but I very much doubt that the order stated that the publishers had committed a fraud or that the publishers ever admitted to such a thing. There certainly wasn't any kind of 'ruling' of fraud which I am aware of although I suspect that RJ might have been remembering the part of Melvin Harris' article which states that, following an application for expedited trial by the Sunday Times:
'Mr Justice Lindsay ruled that there was a "real possibility that for a period in October, if nothing is done, the public or some of its member may be deceived".
Perhaps one could interpret that as a judicial ruling of some sort of at least potential fraud if the diary had been published as a genuine nineteenth century one.
But this is all just point scoring by Miss Information over a clumsily expressed sentence and bears no relation to whether the diary was a fake or not. Indeed, as Miss Information supposedly accepts that the diary is a fraud why does she regard it as important whether a court ruled it to be so or not?
When it comes to the main issues, such as the anachronistic and impossible 'one off instance' or Mike's secret acquisition of a Victorian diary, Miss Information either ignores them or glosses over them because she refuses to positively accept that the diary was a twentieth century fraud, which it clearly was.
THE LOVE BIRDS
After I wrote the above entries, RJ posted in the Incontrovertible thread to remark that Miss Information and the Major 'have as little to say to one another as two ancient love birds'.
His suggestion was that the Major 'simply lacks the pluck' to take on Miss Information despite her obvious rejection of his beliefs.
And you have to say, these friendships are a wonder to behold. Caroline and Tom. Caroline and Jonathan. Caroline and Keith. Never a cross word or a disagreement. Very lovely.
THE LIBEL ACTION THAT NEVER WAS
Casebook's resident legal expert, Miss Information, tells us in #6960 of the Incontrovertible thread:
'I note that the detective was only prepared to claim that an 'unknown' Liverpool hoaxer dunnit after 1987. Hardly surprising really. If he'd named Anne Barrett, she could have sued his arse and won.'
Funny that coz Mike Barrett repeatedly named Anne Barrett as the writer of the diary yet he remained remarkably untroubled by service of a writ for defamation.
THE GOOGLE NGRAMS MYSTERY
The diary loonies are back to attempting to undermine Google Ngrams even though nothing I have ever said about 'one off instance' relies on Google Ngrams. Same for 'bumbling buffoon'. So it's all a complete waste of time.
The latest nonsense is that Google Ngrams doesn't show the word 'fuck' has being used in the nineteenth century (#148 of the 'google ngrams' thread).
That may or may not be true but DICTIONARIES and other REFERENCE WORKS show that the word 'fuck' goes back to 1663!!! The Oxford English Dictionary references an 1870 work, Cythera's Hymnal, in which it is stated "He's a stunning good fuck.." and cites other examples from the 1880s.
On the other hand, not a single dictionary or other reference work relating to the English language before 1973 records the expression 'one off' to mean something unique, singular or unrepeated as it is used in the diary. Not one!
According to the Clanger in #157 of the 'google ngrams' thread speaking of the diary:
'I believe it is almost certainly a modern fake, but I've seen no single verbal anachronism that positively proves it'.
With all due respect to the Clanger (of which no respect is due), this is nothing more than ostrich-like denial of the most nonsensical order.
The inclusion in the diary of 'one off instance' proves on its own that it's a modern fake. It proves it! That expression did not exist in 1888 or 1889 or for many years after that.
It was a mistake by the forger.
I have published on this website detailed research showing the development of the expression 'one off' showing that 'one off instance' or similar didn't exist in the English language until the twentieth century. I set out the slow growth of 'one off' since its first appearance in the world of pattern making showing how it broadened out into the wider English language after the Second World War, slowly being used until it started to become popular in the 1960s and exploded in the 1970s.
And it's not as if 'one off instance' is the only mistake. Because it's not even just a single verbal anachronism that proves the diary is a fake.
We now also have 'bumbling buffoon'.
Even though the Clanger spent a lot of time showing examples of people using the word 'buffoon' in the nineteenth century, he was unable to find a single example of anyone using the word 'bumbling' in the same way as it is used as 'bumbling buffoon'. No-one in the nineteenth century was described as a bumbling anything!
So those two expressions were impossible to have been used in a nineteenth century diary.
Then we also have the other anachronisms in the diary, 'spreading mayhem' and 'top myself'. These are undoubted anachronisms even if not impossible for someone to have written them in the 1880s. Just very very unlikely. And that's in the context of two literally impossible expressions!
This is not to mention the howlers which also prove the diary is a fake (albeit not necessarily a modern one) such as Bunny's aunt, the breasts in the wrong place and the error about the key.
What this all also proves is that the Clanger is an idiot.
THE WACKY WORLD OF THE DIARY DEFENDERS
Talking about idiots, Major Misunderstanding posted this in #6967 of the Incontrovertible thread on Casebook (underlining added):
'I see an argument made elsewhere that 'Diary Defenders' (that's erobitha and me, then) and - by implication - 'Barret-Deniers' (that's Caz, erobitha me, and others, then) use the Victorian scrapbook as evidence that certain words and phrases now in question must have been used in the LVP precisely because they appear in the scrapbook...a lazy poisoning of the well'.
I was puzzled when I read this. Where was the 'elsewhere' of which the Major spoke and why hadn't he quoted the supposed comment he was criticizing?
Well the mystery was solved when I discovered that what the Major was obviously referring to was a comment made in another thread on Casebook the previous day by Harry D who had said (#159 of 'google ngrams 'thread):
'Of course, the pro-diarists will keep taking refuge in absence of evidence of absence. Indeed, since they believe the diary is genuine, and the diary contains those phrases, that in itself proves the diary's authenticity'.
So we see that not only did Harry D not use the expression 'Diary Defenders' - preferring 'pro-diarists' - but he didn't even say what the Major thought he said!
When it comes to being 'lazy' the Major is the expert. No-one is lazier than him. On this occasion he evidently didn't even bother to read what he was responding to. No wonder he didn't quote it or reply directly in the correct thread!
Now, perhaps Harry D was intending to say what the Major interpreted him as saying. For what he did say made no sense whatsoever. The inclusion of potentially anachronistic phrases is hardly going to be used by anyone as proof of the diary's authenticity! But he didn't actually say that the fact that the phrases were in the diary proved that those phrases were genuine nineteenth century phrases. He confined himself to saying (bizarrely) that it proved to pro-diarists that the diary was a genuine nineteenth century diary.
Well perhaps the Major did correctly read what Harry D was saying but he wanted to lazily poison the well by demolishing an argument that had never actually been made.
With this act of misinformation by the Major, who should pop up to join him in attacking this imaginary attack on the Diary Defenders? Yes, of course, none other than Miss Information herself!!! Naturally she didn't bother to ask the Major who had said what he was claiming, or ask him to quote what he was supposed to be responding to. Instead, she jumped right in and posted in #6969 to say that she thought it had to be a lazy poisoning of the well 'because the alternative is that the brains of those infected by Bongo Fever have ceased to function' .
The only non-functioning brains are those of the Diary Defenders and, despite the Major's feeble attempt to say that Miss Information is not a Diary Defender, she is not only a Diary Defender - because she always always defends the diary - she is the CHIEF Diary Defender (a position the Major no doubt likes to think he holds but he is deluding himself).
The real punchline is that when Miss Information eventually read Harry D's daft post, she immediately understood it was a circular argument he was making (#166 of the ngrams thread). I wonder if she thought to herself *oh dear lord, the Major really is a fecking idiot for not understanding this*. Naturally, she never posted a word about the Major's misunderstanding.
THE NEW PUNCHLINE
Some time after writing the above we got a new punchline to the story of Harry D's post.
Challenging Harry to 'quote any pro-diarist using this circular logic' Miss Information commented in #166 of the 'google ngrams' thread that absence of evidence would be evidence of absence 'if you can't come up with a quote from the last thirteen years'.
So, on Harry D's behalf, in #201 the Baron posted two quotes from the last thirteen years of posters apparently using the circular logic. It wasn't disputed by Miss Information that the quotes did this, but her response in #206 was that the last post of one of those quoted was 'six bloody years ago'.
Doing a check with a calculator and a set of complex mathematical formulas, I managed to establish that six years ago falls within the last thirteen years (as does seven years ago for that matter) and thus met the challenge set by Miss Information to come up with a quote 'from the last thirteen years'.
By way of explanation for her 'six bloody years ago!' post, Miss Information pivoted to saying that she 'assumed' Harry would be aiming his 'poisoned arrow' at 'posters who are still active'. Well, you know what they say: assumptions are the mother of all fuck ups, and we were deep into fuck-up territory here which was obvious by the number of defensive posts on the topic Miss Information kept producing. Best of all was this one (#214) where she deployed her favourite tactic of highlighting part of a post in bold in order to change the meaning:
Harry had written that 'the pro-diarists will keep taking refuge', which refers to something they will do in the future, yet Miss Information highlighted only the words 'keep taking refuge' as if Harry had written that 'the pro-diarists keep taking refuge' thus bringing it into the present tense. Then we found this expressly stated in #218 when she wrote:
'Harry complained about what he said pro-diarists in general 'keep' doing - present tense.'
As we've seen, that's not true, he wrote about what pro-diarists WILL KEEP doing.
But Miss Information's gonna misinform.
THE THIRD PUNCHLINE
In #225 of the 'google ngrams' thread, the Major revealed that he'd finally read Harry D's post properly by describing his claim as being that 'pro-diarists had used the contents of the diary as proof somehow of the diary'.
This is gaslighting of the highest order considering the Major's original (incorrect) interpretation was, as we've seen, that Harry D had claimed that Diary Defenders were using the existence of words and phrases in the diary as evidence that those words and phrases belonged to the nineteenth century. But the Major said not a word about this, nor did he retract his original post.
THE BUMBLING CLANGER - PART 1
In #162 of the 'google ngrams' thread, the Clanger absurdly and ignorantly said:
'The idea that no Victorian could possibly have coupled bumbling and buffoon is beyond absurd'.
Amazingly, the Clanger still doesn't appear to be aware of the evidence showing that 'bumbling buffoon' could not have been written in the 1880s due to the word 'bumbling' not being in common use to mean an incompetent person.
But if he thinks a Victorian could have coupled 'bumbling' and 'buffoon' it should be a simple matter for him to provide a single example of a Victorian coupling 'bumbling' in a similar (derogatory) way with any noun of his choosing.
WORKS OF FICTION
Errobitha, a.k.a. J.W. Sage, turns out to be someone called Jay Hartley (not to be confused with J.R. Hartley of fly-fishing fame) whose fictional book about James Maybrick entitled 'Threads' will be available on Amazon from 27 December here.
I understand that there's no truth in the rumour that this fictional book is simply a collection of Errorbitha's Casebook posts, and am glad to put that one to bed.
As I write this, the loonies are now babbling on about 'mole bonnet' having been found in 1904 as if this means anything.
I've never seen anyone claim that the appearance of 'mole bonnet' in the diary shows that it was fake. There are plenty of other expressions which do that.
And it most certainly does not prove the diary is genuine.
There are countless ways that Mike Barrett could have read or heard about a 'mole bonnet'. Just one example is that his grandmother could have spoken of having a lovely mole bonnet when she was younger so that when he saw during his research that one of the Ripper victims had spoken of having a lovely bonnet it brought that to mind and he included it in the diary. The same is true of Anne or Tony Devereux.
It's really as simple as that. The mole bonnet neither proves or disproves the diary.
But of course the loonies would rather talk about ANYTHING than 'one off instance' or 'bumbling buffoon' so it's a perfect distraction for them.
RJ Palmer is FAR too generous to the Clanger and the Diary Defenders in asking (#6979 of the Incontrovertible thread):
'Isn't the suggestion that 'one off' is a term from horse husbandry - an unruly colt, or some such meaning, susceptible to the holy writ accusation?'
I say that because, while 'one off' was a term from horse husbandry meaning, NOT an unruly colt, but a colt of a certain age, 'one off instance', the term used in the diary, was most certainly not a term from horse husbandry.
So when RJ continues by saying, 'There is no indication in the text itself that the diarist would know obscure terms from horse husbandry' he is falling into the Clanger's evil trap by apparently accepting that 'one off instance' is a term from horse husbandry. It is not.
The Clanger has simply invented an expression of 'one off instance' relating in some ever-changing way (he's never quite sure how) to a young horse when no such horsey expression has ever been recorded in history.
So it matters not whether James Maybrick (or any other nineteenth century writer) had any specialist horse knowledge and knew that a one-off was a horse of a certain age. It wouldn't have taken them to the expression 'one off instance' because no horsey expression of this nature existed and his sentence would have had no meaning whatsoever!
A 'one off instance' is a unique and unrepeatable event. That is how it is used in the diary. This was never questioned for one second until I proved that 'one off instance' (i.e. a unique and unrepeatable event) is a twentieth century expression. Suddenly the diary loons decided that this expression might have a totally different meaning unrecorded and unnoticed in the entire history of the English language!!!
This is where the argument gets batshit crazy, the Clanger being the craziest of all because he actually gets angry when the batshit nature of his argument is pointed out to him!
CLANGER IN TROUBLE AGAIN
The renowned bully, the Clanger, complains in #6986 of the Incontrovertible thread that he's been reported by The Baron for calling him 'Barren' as he did in #175 of the 'google ngrams' thread
His pathetic response is that The Baron is 'he of the irritating emojis meant to belittle'.
Well the emojis are actually a function of the website. In using them, the Baron is doing no more than behaving as he is being invited to by Casebook.
But of course the Clanger doesn't like anyone belittling him, real or imagined, so feeling slighted, he had to lash out, as usual.
He cannot remain civil, within the rules. In the same post as he called The Baron 'Barren' he also suggested that using emojis is the 'online equivalent of a dunce's cap' so he was also effectively calling The Baron a dunce.
----------------------------------------------> REPORT BUTTON
ANNE AND THE DUD REFERENCE
RJ Palmer asked in #180 of the 'google ngrams' thread if anyone has a copy of HO 144/1638/A50678D/6.
The reason for this is that in their book, 'The Last Victim', Anne Graham and Carol Emmas wrote (p.49):
This references back to what had been written a few pages earlier in the book (p.45) that, around the time of the double event, Dr Humphreys:
'Towards the end of 1888, the Maybricks' relationship deteriorated rapidly after Florence miscarried what could have been Edwin's child, and the couple had been living together for the most part in frosty politeness'.
'had been called to Battlecrease House to see Florence, and he later informed James that she had suffered a miscarriage of between four and five months. The husband's response was 'it could not possibly be mine'.'
The footnote reference given here by the authors is HO 144/1638/A50678D/6 - hence RJ's request - but this is a wrong reference. That document is nothing more than a letter from Dr Stevenson to Godfrey Lushington at the Home Office dated 9 August 1889 stating that he has nothing to withdraw from his evidence and informing them of his address for the next few weeks.There is no mention in this letter of any miscarriage by Florence.
So what was the source of the Graham and Emmas information?
Well, RJ has established that, according to Kate Colquhoun in 'Did She Kill Him', Mr Justice Stephen wrote to the Home Secretary on 14 August 1889 following Florence's trial to inform him that he had been told by Dr Humphreys that in the spring of 1889 Florence suffered a miscarriage and, on discovering that the fetus was four or five months old, Maybrick had said that he could not possibly be the father. Colquhoun doesn't, however, give specific file reference for this letter other than to say that it is in HO 144/1638/A5067D.
Having carried out some investigation into the matter, I can now confirm that the correct document reference for this information is: HO 144/1638/A5067D/16. But this document is not a letter from Mr Justice Stephen to the Home Secretary. Kate Colquhoun misunderstood what she was reading. It is, in fact, a letter from Dr Thomas Stevenson to Godfrey Lushington of the Home Office (dated 14 August 1889).
Revealed exclusively for the first time, this is the first page of the letter:
This is the rest of it:
Here is my transcript of the relevant part of the letter (from the second and third pages):
'A statement was made to me by Dr. Humphreys on the last day of the trial which I think you ought to be informed of, although it doesn't bear upon my evidence; but it may have a bearing on the evidence of Edwin Maybrick, Nurse Gore and the convict's statement. You will cast it aside or enquire as you think fit. I do not wish to prejudice your mind. The statement of Dr. H. to me was that the deceased told him that he had no connexion with his wife for a lengthened period, during which a miscarriage took place at the 4th or 5th month; whereupon the deceased asked Dr. H. "how old is this thing"; and when he was told 4 or 5 months, he told Dr. H. that he (the deceased) couldn't possibly be the father of it.'
While this is obviously second hand (hearsay) information, there doesn't seem to be any reason to doubt that this is what Dr Humphreys told Dr Stevenson. It no doubt helps to explain why Dr Stevenson, in an article published in Guy's Hospital Reports in 1889 (according to Levy), said of the Maybricks that:
'The marriage was an unhappy one and for some two years before James Maybrick's death in May 1889, they occupied separate rooms on the first floor which at trial were spoken of as the bedroom and the dressing-room respectively'.
It can be seen that Stevenson doesn't say in his letter of 14 August 1889 when the miscarriage occurred nor when Maybrick spoke to Dr Humphreys about it (which must both have been at the same time). Anne Graham, therefore, was quite wrong to link the miscarriage to the double event of September 1888 because we simply don't know at what point in time it happened. Kate Colquhoun was also wrong to say that the miscarriage occurred in the Spring of 1889. I suspect that Colquhoun believed that the conversation occurred in April 1889 because Humphreys testified that he started treating James Maybrick at this time but he also said in his evidence at trial that, prior to this, he had treated Florence. That could, in theory, have been a reference back to treating her for a miscarriage in 1887 or 1888.
If you were to put a gun to my head, though, I would say that Dr Stevenson must have believed that the conversation between Maybrick and Dr Humphreys about this miscarriage occurred very shortly before Maybrick's death. The reason I say this is because Dr Stevenson's letter refers to the information that Dr Humphreys had given him potentially having a bearing upon the evidence of Edwin Maybrick and Nurse Gore as well as on Florence's statement in court. He doesn't explain why. Anne Graham and Carol Emmas appear to have understood that Stevenson was saying that he thought Edwin was the father of the unborn child. But then why mention Nurse Gore? She didn't have any involvement with the Maybricks until she was brought in to nurse James on 8 May 1889. How could a miscarriage at any time prior to that date have impacted upon her evidence? I can only think that, while not expressly stating it in his letter, Stevenson was suggesting that both Edwin and Nurse Gore (and of course Florence) would have been personally aware of the miscarriage which, in his mind, therefore, had occurred after 8 May, yet none of them had mentioned it during the criminal proceedings.
What about the other evidence in the case?
In HO 144/1639/A5078D/26 we find a statement of Dr Hopper in which he tells us that, on 12 May 1889 (the day after Maybrick's death), he was sent for to see Florence and 'found that she was suffering from a sanguineous discharge which might have been a threatened miscarriage and she told me that she had not had her monthly periods since the 7th March. I was unable to tell whether she was pregnant or not but I think it could be ascertained by examination'.
It seems hard to understand how Florence could have had a miscarriage between 8 and 11 May, determined by Dr Humphreys to be of a 4 or 5 month old fetus, yet Dr Hopper only diagnosed a threatened miscarriage on 12 May. The only explanation I can think of is that Dr Stevenson had misunderstood what Dr Humphreys had told him and that the miscarriage had, in fact, occurred in 1888 or 1887 so that the miscarriage (or threatened miscarriage) of 12 May 1889 was Florence's second miscarriage.
According to Feldman, Trevor Christie's notes contain information supposedly taken from Charles Russell's brief that Florence hadn't slept with her husband since July 1888. While this is not impossible because Florence told John Baillie Knight in August 1888 that 'they did not get on well together' (per statement of JBK dated 18 July 1889), Dr Hopper stated in his supplemental statement that James told him on 30 March 1889 that he had not had intercourse with his wife 'for 3 months' (i.e. only since the start of 1889).
Furthermore, Dr Hopper's evidence at the inquest was that:
'From the knowledge I obtained during these visits [to Battlecrease between 1881 and December 1888] I always thought they lived happily together until March 30th '.
Nevertheless, it is possible that Dr Hopper was unaware of the problems between James and Florence and of an earlier miscarriage that had revealed Florence's adultery to her husband.
In terms of the impact of this information on the diary, though, it hardly matters because there is no mention of any miscarriage in the diary at any time nor is one even implied.
The theory expressed in 'The Last Victim' that the author (i.e. James Maybrick) suddenly decided after the double event to refer to his wife as the 'whoring mother' due to her pregnancy and miscarriage is misconceived. The expression 'whoring mother' only appears in a single draft poem in the diary supposedly written after the Kelly murder but Florence has already been referred to as a 'whoring bitch' from very early on, before the Nichols murder.
In any case, being a mother of two children, as Florence was, would alone explain the reference to 'mother' whereas a miscarriage does not make a woman a mother. It's the very opposite!
THE BUMBLING CLANGER - PART 2
In #6985 of the Incontrovertible thread, the Clanger said of the phrase 'bumbling buffoon':
'It's just two words that fit comfortably together - then as now'.
It's hard to think of a more ignorant comment.
What does the Clanger know about language in the 1880s? After all, he wasn't alive then (assuming he's not the vampire some humans suspect him to be).
How can he possibly be in any position to say that 'bumbling' and 'buffoon' fitted comfortably together in the 1880s?
He can only be speaking from the standpoint of someone in 2021.
Back in the 1880s we don't find the word 'bumbling' fitting together (comfortably or otherwise) with any other nouns in the way that we would now fit it together with 'bumbling buffoon' to mean an incompetent or bungling person.
I looked myself very hard and I set out the results of my research in Lord Orsam Says...Part 11 under the heading 'The Bumbling Buffoon'. The very earliest I found was 'bumbling fool' from 1909. That is research. If the Clanger thinks that 'bumbling' was able to fit together nicely with another noun in the 1880s why hasn't he provided any examples of this? Not a single one!
It's almost as if the word 'bumbling' wasn't used in the English language in the 1880s in the way it came to be used in the twentieth century.
OH, THE IRONY!
In #6992 of the Incontrovertible thread, the Major referred to one of The Baron's arguments as being 'such a poor argument, it just reeks of insincerity'.
How would the Major describe his own argument about 'one off instance' whereby he changes its meaning from the very well known expression recorded in the dictionary and invents a completely new meaning unknown by anyone before he invented it which he then tries to attribute to someone writing more than one hundred years before he himself invented the expression?
Being in a diary defending cult, however, the Major can't see the irony in making such a statement. But to everyone else it just highlights his insincerity in making an argument so poor he can't possibly believe in it.
THE NAIL IN THE COFFIN
I always like to address any weaknesses in my own argument and, in Lord Orsam Says...Part 11, I candidly made the point that, while I'd found examples of 'blustering buffoon' and 'blundering buffoon' going back to the early nineteenth century, this wasn't true of 'bungling buffoon'. Hence I wrote:
'The only real anomaly is in respect of 'bungling buffoon' where the earliest in BNA is 1989 and, although Google Books gives us a nineteenth century example from 1898 that's still somewhat than we might have expected'.
As I mentioned in the last update, I never use Google Ngrams but Errorbitha posted in #7001 of the Incontrovertible thread that Google Ngrams tells us that an example of 'bungling buffoon' exists from 1854:
It's always nice to be right and that sorts out the only anomaly in my entire research. With 'bungling buffoon' going back to 1854 it throws into amazingly sharp relief how extraordinary it is that no example of 'bumbling buffoon' has yet been located earlier than the 1940s whereas every other conceivable use of a SOMETHING buffoon has been found prior to 1888. Furthermore, and crucially, no example of a bumbling ANYTHING has been located from the nineteenth century.
That is good enough on its own to say that the diary is nothing more than a wretched fake but of course we also have 'one off instance' for which there is no known nineteenth century example (nor anything similar).
Anyone who thinks that James Maybrick was recording multiple expressions in his diary which cannot be found in writing anywhere else beforehand in the entire history of the English language, or for at least fifty years afterwards, does seriously need their head examined.
THE MAJOR'S SLEIGHT OF HAND
I mentioned this in the last update but it's worth repeating that the Major's 'freshly picked carrots' argument is both a strawman argument and a sleight of hand at the same time.
It's a strawman argument because no-one has ever claimed that the diary is fake due to the inclusion of 'freshly picked carrots' in the diary.
It's a sleight of hand because 'freshly picked carrots' is not an expression, it's merely a combination of words. If there is any sort of expression in there it's 'freshly picked'. And 'freshly picked' can easily be found in the nineteenth century. After 'freshly picked' it doesn't matter what word you add. Thus, someone in 1888 could easily have written 'freshly picked coconuts', even though we might not be able to find an actual example of this combination of words from the nineteenth century.
For a more graphic example, take 'freshly picked lollipops'. The BNA unsurprisingly produces no results for this and I don't find it ever having been used in the nineteenth century. Google actually produces a single hit (twice) from 2018 in the context of a lollipop hunt ("freshly picked lollipops always taste the best!!!") It's a very unlikely combination of words for anyone to use but if, for some reason, the author of a diary had used it, uniquely, in 1888, that would be no problem at all. The words 'freshly', 'picked' and 'lollipops' (and the combination of 'freshly picked') all existed during 1888 so that ANYONE could have written 'freshly picked lollipops' without it being anachronistic, as opposed to unusual. A reader in 1888, as in 2021, would have had no difficulty understanding that the author was speaking of lollipops that had been freshly picked albeit that one would need more context to understand precisely what was meant by that.
It's the same for a combination of words which one can't find having ever been used by anyone in the world such as 'freshly picked caramels'. This would also have been perfectly possible for someone to have written in 1888. As caramels aren't picked and don't need to be fresh, just like lollipops, it would take context to understand what is being meant but it means exactly the same in 2021 as it would have meant in 1888 because the fundamentals of language haven't changed.
We can also note that we do find an example of 'fresh picked carrots' from the nineteenth century so it really wouldn't be problematic at all to find 'freshly picked carrots' written in that century. A thorough search, not just Google ngrams, would probably find examples of 'freshly picked carrots' from the nineteenth century, it's just that no such search has so far been carried out.
The Major relies on the absence of 'freshly picked carrots' on Google ngrams to undermine Google ngrams. Not being a proper expression, it doesn't do that but, in any case, as I mentioned in my last update, I don't use Google ngrams. Indeed, I have little doubt that Google ngrams will be unreliable when used on its own in establishing whether expressions were or were not used in 1888. Hence it's best avoided, in my opinion.
ONE OFF AND BUMBLING
I do see people making mistakes in claiming that the expression which needs to be found in the nineteenth century to prove or disprove the diary is 'one off instance'. This is wrong. So very wrong. The actual expression we are dealing with is 'one off'. The Diary Defenders simply need to find an instance of 'one off' from the nineteenth century to mean unique, singular or unrepeated. It's a very simple mission but it's precisely what they cannot do.
The 'instance' part of the expression is neither here nor there. All that needs to be found to save the diary is any ONE of these expressions in the nineteenth century: one-off occasion, one-off event, one-off situation, one-off incident, one-off affair, one-off idea, one-off experience, one-off episode, one-off moment, one-off thing, one-off remark, one-off comment, one-off opportunity, one-off achievement, one-off proposal, one-off show, one-off performance, one-off payment, one-off result, one-off decision, one-off concept, one-off example, one-off adventure, one-off statement, one-off success, one-off individual, one-off announcement, one-off review, one-off debate, one-off play, one-off drama, one-off concept, one-off romance, one-off song etc.
We can find all these in the twentieth century but not a single one in the nineteenth!!!
Furthermore, just 'one off' on its own will do, as long as it's not referring to a mere quantity (of one). So if anyone can find an example of someone saying that a certain person or thing is a 'one off' in the 19th century that will qualify as a use of the expression equivalent to 'one off instance'.
But here's the thing. In over THIRTY years not a single example of any such expression has ever been discovered, or even close! In that time, not only has there been endless searches of every possible digital database but hundreds of thousands of researchers will have examined millions of documents in libraries and archives around the world (including personal diaries) yet not a single example of 'one off' to mean unique or similar has been spotted.
On its own it's striking. How that cannot be considered proof by anyone is beyond me. It is incontrovertible and has never been controverted. And, of course, it is backed up by language experts, dictionaries and reference books. There is not even a particle of evidence to support the idea that 'one off instance', or anything similar, could possibly have been written in a nineteenth century journal.
Yet, one can find numerous examples of 'unique instance', 'special instance' and 'singular instance' from the nineteenth century. It's 'one off instance' alone for which it's impossible to locate an example.
Just fancy that!
The same is true of 'bumbling buffoon' but, again, it's not merely the fact that we can't find an example of that exact combination of words in the nineteenth century. It's that we can't find an example of a bumbling ANYTHING. Hence, there is not a single instance of any of these expressions being recorded in the nineteenth century: bumbling fool, bumbling idiot, bumbling clown, bumbling incompetent, bumbling simpleton, bumbling twit, bumbling novice, bumbling colonel, bumbling major, bumbling captain, bumbling man, bumbling politician, bumbling policeman, bumbling doctor, bumbling detective, bumbling inspector, bumbling admiral, bumbling mayor, bumbling Englishman, bumbling American, bumbling professor, bumbling barrister, bumbling lawyer, bumbling solicitor, bumbling person, bumbling teacher, bumbling villain, bumbling criminal, bumbling assistant, bumbling sidekick, bumbling engineer, bumbling vicar, bumbling scientist, bumbling aristocrat, bumbling nurse, bumbling engineer, bumbling associate.
Yet we DO find numerous nineteenth century instances of people being described as blundering or bungling, including blundering buffoon and bungling buffoon. The conclusion is obvious. The word 'bumbling' was simply not used in a derogatory way to describe inept, blundering or bungling individuals during the nineteenth century. It just did not bear that meaning so that it wasn't available to James Maybrick or any nineteenth century author to refer to an individual in a derogatory way as a bumbling buffoon or, indeed, a bumbling anything. That's why not a single example of anyone doing so has been found.
Both the Major and Miss Information are in complete denial about this. One only has to read their posts on the subject to see how they have no sensible response. It is the proof that the diary wasn't written in the nineteenth century - thus pointing towards authorship by Mike Barrett in the twentieth - which is why they don't like it and don't want to even talk about it.
MISS INFORMATION CONFRONTED!
It doesn't happen very often but Miss Information was dramatically confronted by the Baron for relying on evidence which no-one else has been allowed access to.
After the Baron asked her when Mike Barrett had ever claimed that a kidney shaped mark in the diary was a result of Anne having dropped a kidney on it, Miss Information told him in #7045 that it came from 'Michael Barrett's recorded conversations with private investigator, Alan Grey'. The tape recordings of these conversations, as regular readers will know, are being suppressed. The Baron rightly came back at Miss Information in #7047 to ask:
'Have you yet presented all the recorded conversations between Barrett and Grey or we will always need to have your word on only some parts of it?'
It was a very good question and I guess it will come as no surprise that, in response, she deflected and told the Baron to ask RJ for the tapes even though RJ has made crystal clear that, unlike Miss Information, he doesn't possess copies of them.
Miss Information also fell back on her old defence in claiming that the tapes are not hers to present - even though the fact of the matter is that now that Grey and Barrett are deceased ANYONE could present them - but, of course, what she singularly failed to do is say that she would ask her good friend Keith Skinner to present them.
We cannot simply take her word for what is on the tapes. If we just consider the incident with the kidney, how can we be sure that Mike wasn't joking with Alan Gray when he said that Anne dropped a kidney on the diary? We need to hear what he said about this in context. And we need to hear everything on the tape, including that part of the recording where he speaks of when the diary was created.
THE SPECULATION OF MISS INFORMATION
On the point about the kidney, I loved it when Miss Information speculated furiously in #7046 of the Incontrovertible thread:
'As it was Alan Gray who typed up Mike's 'confession' of January 5 1995, I suspect he urged Mike, for both their sakes, to drop the dead kidney story and revert to the one where it was all his own work'.
This is utter bullshit. Seriously, what does she think was happening? That Alan Gray was engaged in deep and earnest discussions with Mike as to what Mike should or should not include in his affidavit and Mike put the pen to his lips, considered the matter, before continuing to write his story?
Come on, do me a favour. Mike was a drunk who clearly didn't give a monkeys about what was in the affidavit. Alan Gray wrote it and typed it based on his earlier discussions with Mike and Mike (just about) signed his name to it. That's all. He probably never even read the thing. He would have trusted Gray to do it all for him.
I don't think there can be any serious doubt that this is what happened but Miss Information can't bear to admit it lest it undermines her obsessive claim that it was Mike who got the year wrong in the affidavit, not Gray (which it obviously was).
THE WHINING OF MISS INFORMATION
An incredible statement by Miss Information in #7050 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread:
'Keith and I are asked time and time again to support every little morsel of information we share...'
Ah diddums. You see, she is the victim. All she is doing is 'sharing' information like a good citizen and yet people have the absolute nerve to ask her to support that information!
Honestly, how dare they? She should be allowed to take any information from a document to defend the diary and post it out of context without revealing what the entire document says, shouldn't she? That's quite normal isn't it? There's no suppression going on here at all.
Then she continues in her post to say that the people who outrageously ask her to support these morsels of information that she kindly shares out of the goodness of her heart, not because she's trying to convince the world that the diary is an old document, are:
'the very same people who fall over backwards to believe the unsupported, often unsupportable, retracted or even disproven claims of Mike Barrett'.
Talk about a false equivalence! What she is saying is that those people who actually want to see the source of any information which suggests that Mike didn't write the diary shouldn't be allowed to see it because they've formed a view that Mike probably did write it. Even if they are positively asking to see the evidence which is supposed to contradict their view, so they can check it, it should be refused to them because they have once dared to believe something that Mike once said!
Of course, it's all a nonsense and an egregious miscategorization to say that anyone is falling over backwards to believe disproven claims etc. of Mike Barrett. I mean, what disproven claims?
Sure, Mike told different stories at different times and retracted some claims - which doesn't by itself mean that they are untrue - but he then repeated them. Where does that leave us?
Let's recap. Mike's claim that he searched for, and actually acquired, a Victorian diary with blank pages in March 1992 is not unsupported. It is fully supported and documented. Why did he do this? Miss Information hasn't got a fucking clue. Just ask her and see.
Mike has explained, in person, that the diary didn't exist when he telephoned Doreen Montgomery on 9 March 1992. This is entirely consistent with his hunt for a Victorian diary with blank pages at the very same time. I'd like to hear what he told Alan Gray about this when he spoke to him on tape in 1994 but that information is being positively suppressed.
If Miss Information decides to graciously share a morsel of information from that tape recording, she doesn't expect to be asked to produce the entire tape recording. No, she wants to keep that information to herself because some people might believe what Mike says on the tape! She is just protecting us from ourselves.
Her attitude is unbelievable. When I once obtained a document she hadn't seen before and quoted from it on the Forum, she immediately leapt down my throat and demanded that I reveal the contents of the entire document. Naturally I obliged because I recognize the importance of context and not withholding or suppressing information on the case. Yet, when the situation is reversed, Miss Information happily quotes from documents, whether it's notes of Keith Skinner's 2004 interview with Colin Rhodes, the tape recordings of Grey's interviews with Mike, additional diary entries created by Mike, or the transcript of the diary prepared by the Barretts, without producing the entirety of those documents for inspection.
It's a shameful approach quite frankly.
The absolute irony is that she rounds off her post by saying of these terrible people who keep asking her to produce information:
'They don't seem to want to do their own research'.
These are the people, remember, who are asking her to see documents which only exist in her possession or the possession of Keith Skinner. How can they possibly do their own research except by asking her or Keith Skinner to see those documents?
MAJOR TOM IN WONDERLAND
Popping up in JTR Forums on 14th October, and quite conceivably drugged up to the eyeballs, the Major referenced his own OP from 2012 in the 'Diary's Fingerprints' thread. High on his own supply, the Major claimed madly that:
'the passing of almost a decade has not compromised the premises of the original post...and not a single argument has been made (nor piece of evidence produced) in the passing years...which compromises that argument in any way'.
I don't know what kind of level of denial one has to be at to pretend that the diary hasn't been conclusively proved to be a fake due to the identification of expressions within it which James Maybrick could not possibly have written, and errors which he could not possibly have made, but even if we ignore this and just look at the premises of the Major's original 2012 post, a moment's consideration shows that it has all fallen apart.
Let's look first at the six "household" details set out in his 2012 post which, according to the Major, supports his argument that James Maybrick was the diary's author because the information was so obscure and was thus unlikely to have been known by a common forger. How does that fare in 2021? Well....
1. 'That Maybrick was known as "Sir Jim" within his household.'. This is FALSE. There is no evidence that Maybrick was known as "Sir Jim" by anyone.
2. 'That Gladys Maybrick was frequently an unwell child'. This is FALSE. There is no evidence that Gladys was frequently unwell during Maybrick's lifetime (and no evidence she was ever even unwell prior to 1889).
3. 'That Maybrick's parents were buried in the same grave'. This information is included in twentieth century books about the Maybrick case (Ryan and Morland) and is thus something that any forger could have known. The claim that this was obscure information is thus FALSE.
4. 'That Maybrick wrote verse as well as music'. This information is included in Ryan's book about the case and is thus something that any forger could have known. The claim that this was obscure information is thus FALSE.
5. 'That Maybrick found a new source for his arsenic in 1889.' This information is in twentieth century books about the Maybrick case (Ryan and Morland) and is thus something that any forger could have known. The claim that this was obscure information is thus FALSE.
6. 'That the 1889 Grand National was won in a particularly fast time'. The timings of Grand National races in the nineteenth century are included in multiple twentieth century books about the Grand National. Even the Major himself now admits that he owns a copy of such a book! The claim that this was obscure information is thus FALSE.
5. 'That Maybrick's pet name for Florence was Bunny' . Even though this nickname can be found in both Ryan and Morland, the Major asked in his 2012 post, 'Did Maybrick actually call Florence "Bunny" or was this an invention by the author?' thus showing the extent of his ignorance about the case. In his post, he twittered on for an entire paragraph about whether there was any evidence for the nickname of "Bunny". The claim that this was obscure information is FALSE.
6. 'That Edwin Maybrick visited America at the time of the first deal breaker'. Although this information can be found in twentieth century books on the Maybrick case (Ryan and Morland), the Major told us in 2012 that this was 'the absolute deal breaker' because 'This knowledge [of Edwin Maybrick's visit to America including the length of his stay] is the preserve of someone who was there in Maybrick's world in August 1888...'. This is FALSE. Anyone forging a diary in 1992 could easily have known all about it.
The above six false points are the premises on which the Major's entire argument rested in 2012 that, 'These entries in the diary point strongly towards the author having the sort of knowledge of Maybrick's life, family and household which only someone present at the time could reasonably hope to have'. The premises being FALSE the conclusion was FALSE too.
Then we come to the crime scene insights which are supposed to point to Maybrick being the author of the diary:
1. 'That the author is very clear that he wishes the reader to see the five modern-day canonical victims as the only victims of Jack the Ripper'. Of this, the Major says, 'This immediately puts us on the back foot...This detail (the five canonical victims) appears to place the author in the 1950s or later'. His first point supposedly in support of his argument that Maybrick was the author thus contradicts it!
2. 'That the author is firm about the presence of Farthings at the Chapman crime scene'. Odell, Underwood, Fido, Harrison, Rumbelow all mention farthings at the Chapman crime scene. It is FALSE to say that this is a crime scene insight.
3. 'That the author claims to have left Maybrick's mark on Catherine Eddowes face'. This is FALSE. The author says nothing about leaving any mark on the face of Eddowes. Published books on the Ripper case refer to the killer leaving a mark on the vertebral cartilage AND to the killer leaving a mark on the victim's face. It is FALSE to say that this is a crime scene insight.
4. 'That, controversially, the author lists Eddowes' possessions as including "tin match box empty".' This is another point supposedly in support of the Major's argument that Maybrick was the author which actually contradicts it! The phrase 'tin match box empty' was published in 1987.
5. 'That the author makes the very clear statement that the testimony of George Hutchinson after the Kelly murder is a true reflection of the murderer'. Of this, the Major concedes that there is a possibility that this 'points towards a modern-day author who knows Hutchinson's testimony cannot now be retracted'. Another point which potentially contradicts the Major's argument!
6. 'That the author makes reference to Kelly's missing heart.' This is FALSE. There is no reference to any 'missing' heart. The diary simply says 'no heart, no heart'. Odell, Fido and Underwood all include mention of the heart having been removed from Kelly's body.
Nothing in any of the Major's six points relating to the 'crime scene insights' supports an argument that a modern-day forger could not have forged the diary.
We can skip over the Major's paragraph in his 2012 post about the psychopathology of the text of the diary because he doesn't put forward any 'premises' about this other than to refer to Dr David Canter who was unable to rule out the diary being a forgery.
Finally we come to the diary author's supposed 'astonishing good fortune'. Here the Major's 10 daft points are as follows:
1. 'That the first two and last two initials of James Maybrick spell 'Jack'.' He puts this as his first point even though it's infantile and irrelevant and not even mentioned in the diary. It is FALSE to say that this represents any 'astonishing good fortune'.
2. 'That Punch would have published a cartoon during the Autumn of Terror stating "Turn around and catch whom you may". It is literally impossible to see what is 'astonishing' about a publication using the English word 'may' in a cartoon; the claim that it represents 'astonishing good fortune' is FALSE.
3. 'That his casual reference to Florrie's initials being left in Kelly's room would be supported by very plausible examples...'. This is FALSE. There is no reference in the diary to 'Florrie's initials being left in Kelly's room'. All the diary author says is 'an initial here and an initial there would tell of the whoring mother' Given that the point being made is FALSE there is no point discussing it further.
4. 'That a newspaper photo fit of Jack (The Telegraph, October 6 1888) would be so favourably similar to Maybrick's known appearance'. This is FALSE. There was no 'photo fit' of Jack, merely two sketches drawn at second hand from some published descriptions of a man seen with one of the victims, one of which looks nothing like James Maybrick while the other one barely resembles him either.
5. 'That the London Echo...of Sept, 1 1888 would run the following piece under the title of "Who is Jim?". This point was so thoroughly debunked by me in #4179 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread, in which I demonstrated that 'the Jim in the story clearly wasn't the murderer and clearly wasn't Maybrick', that not only did the Major concede the point in #4181, saying, 'I'll give you the Jim article', but he omitted all mention of the London Echo article from his dire 'Society's Pillar' despite having included it in his earlier article, 'Maybrick v. History'. So when the Major tells us with his fingers behind his back that nothing in his post has been 'compromised' in any way, he isn't telling the truth.
6. 'That the Goulston Street graffito could be interpreted as "James" rather than "Juwes". This is FALSE. The graffito says "The J...s" and no-one would have written 'The James', even less would they have written "The James are the men...". The interpretation suggested by the Major is not possible. It is a FALSE point.
7.'That the evidence of George Hutchinson at Miller's Court suggests that the murderer was of respectable background' . This is not "astonishing" good fortune and the notion of the murderer being a toff is ancient.
8. 'That someone would write to the very provincial Liverpool Echo claiming to be Jack the Ripper (Genuine) and add an apparent clue with Diego Lorenz a name which represents both the Spanish form of James and a passable rhyme for Florence.' This is FALSE in the sense that someone had already written this letter by the time the forgery was created and it is not "astonishing" good fortune that the letter, which isn't mentioned or hinted at in the diary, stated that the writer would be on stage on 13th October 1888 and was going to New York, nor that the 'business' (i.e. murder) that the writer threatened to commit between 10th and 13th October before going to New York never occurred. It is also not "astonishing" good fortune that Diego is the Spanish for "Jack", nor that Lorenz doesn't rhyme with Florence.
9. 'That the author would choose for Maybrick's lodgings a street identified by a renowned geoprofiler as an extremely likely site given the evidence'. In fact, the profiler in question, Kim Rossmo, identified Flower & Dean Street as the most likely street for the killer's lodgings while another profiler, Dr David Cantor, said it would have been Commercial Street. It's not "astonishing" that if you select a street close to where the murders occurred, and one mentioned in the secondary literature on the case, you may by chance select the street in which the real killer might have lived.
10. 'That history would begin to question the validity of the "Dear Boss" and "Saucy Jacky" communications...only for the much maligned September 17 letter to emerge in 1988 written in a hand which closely mirrors the diary authors.' This is FALSE. There is no expert evidence that the handwriting of the diary closely mirrors the handwriting of the September 17 letter and, as far as my non-expert opinion is concerned, they look nothing like each other. The only "astonishing" thing about this is that the Major puts it forward with a straight face.
I've now been through the Major's entire set of premises from his 2012 JTR Forums post. If they are not entirely false they are all discredited. The Major is living in Denial in Dreamland-on-Sea in the county of Wonderland if he thinks none of the rubbish he wrote in 2012 has been compromised in the succeeding nine years. It ALL has!!!
NOT REALLY MY CLANGER
The Clanger, as we all know, is not very bright and his latest example of clownfoolery is to post the result of a Google ngrams search of 'not really my aunt', showing some kind of spike between 1860 and 1880. He doesn't say what he thinks this shows, naturally, but I had a look in Google Books and the explanation for the spike seems to be that this combination of words appears in a few books and short stories from that period - all works of fiction - with some of the short stories appearing in a number of publications and thus probably confusing Google ngrams which doesn't realize they are duplicates.
Between 1850 and 1899 I found fourteen examples of the words 'not really my aunt' in fictional works but, to the extent that the Clanger is trying to say that women were commonly called aunts who were not aunts, this is not what is shown by the majority of the results.
There are a number of examples of the use of 'not really my aunt' being to explain a technical point regarding the definition of an aunt. Hence, in one example we find a sister of a stepmother being said to be not really an aunt (Charles Stokes Wayne, 1880), in another it's the wife of an uncle (Anon, 1866), in another the sister of an uncle (Trollope, 1865) while in another it was the actual aunt of a man's wife who was being said not to be 'really' HIS aunt. In these cases, while the woman in question was not technically an aunt, she was very close to being one.
In one case, (Macgowan, 1853), the character of Clara (an orphan) asks permission of a Mrs Melville if she could call her 'aunt', to which Mrs Melville responded 'Well this is a novel arrangement', although she agreed to it. It's only a few moments after the commencement of this 'novel arrangement' that Clara thinks, 'Although Mrs Melville is not really my aunt she is just as good as if she were'. Being a novel arrangement it's the very opposite of what the Clanger seems to think was happening!
In another case (Sandbach, 1850) the character of Cornelia came into the care of a woman when she was an infant, having no other family, and knew the woman, Miss D'Albert as her aunt rather than her mother. But she could equally have known her as her mother and said that she was 'not really her mother'. Indeed, many of the cases in the fictional stories about an aunt are no different than if the character was saying that someone was 'not really my father', 'not really my mother', 'not really my uncle' or 'not really my cousin' all of which can be found in fictional works from the nineteenth century, thus telling us nothing special about an aunt.
In the cases where the woman in question is nothing more than a friend of the family, it's funny how the Clanger doesn't seem to appreciate that the fact that the character in question is stating that this woman is NOT really their aunt, conflicts with his claim that aunt and female family friend were synonymous. When it comes to the use of two identities in court, we've seen the Clanger conjure from his imagination a string of witnesses who were all supposed to immediately inform a judge and jury that they have two names but where in these stories the characters are positively asserting that a woman known as their aunt is NOT in reality their aunt, he doesn't draw the obvious conclusion that these adults are fully aware that "Aunt Matilda', or whatever, is not really their aunt.
It's all completely irrelevant in any case, not just because the Countess de Gabriac was Florence's godmother and a Countess to boot, neither of which apply to any of the women in any of the fourteen stories, but because we know for a fact that the Countess de Gabriac was NOT known as Florence's aunt. How do we know this? Because when Dr Hopper was told by both James and Florence who Florence went to visit in London in March 1889, he was told it was her godmother. He wasn't told it was her aunt. This is the simple but deadly fact that the Clanger seems to have overlooked. He's certainly never once mentioned it so I can only assume he didn't read my 'Bunny's Aunt' article properly and is unaware of it.
After Chris Malone posted in the 'Diary Fingerprints' thread (#244) to say that the continuation of the thread over 13 years from 2008 to 2021 'only highlights how gullible human beings can be' it was obvious that Miss Information was going to erupt with another attack on ANYONE who could possibly believe that Mike and Anne Barrett jointly forged the Maybrick diary, with or without help from others.
And so it came pass.
Ignoring the fact that the thread was started to spread his belief that the diary is genuine by the Major, who had only recently posted to praise himself for doing so, Miss Information claimed in #245 of the thread that 'the overwhelming majority of posters who have fanned the flames of this debate over the years are among the most gullible humans I ever encountered, given that they swallowed the various claims made by the serial liar, Mike Barrett'.
Miss Information always has to frame her opponents in this way as people who have lapped up everything Mike Barrett said whereas the complete opposite is true because everyone who believes that the diary was written by the Barretts has looked at all the evidence in the case before forming their conclusion.
She then falsely said that, 'Nobody ever seems to want to look beneath the surface and ask themselves why Mike couldn't decide on a single straight story concerning his own involvement' when the truth of the matter is that I have done EXACTLY that on this very website. I have examined in detail why Mike made what Miss Information describes as 'a series of contradictory claims'. I've done it. I've looked at it. I've explained it.
The short answer is that he had different motives at different times which essentially boil down to the fact that at some points in time the diary looked like making him a shitload of cash, so he would then claim that it was genuinely given to him by Tony Devereux, but at other times, especially when he fell out with his wife, he wanted to tell the truth about how the diary was created.
It really is that simple.
One of the very first questions I asked Miss Information when I started posting about the diary on the Censorship Forum was why Mike and Anne could not jointly have forged the diary. She was unable to give me any sensible answer. If I was being so gullible she had her chance right there and then to put me straight, but she simply couldn't do it. And the reason she couldn't do it is that there is no known reason why Mike and Anne combined couldn't have produced the diary. Miss Information couldn't provide one and no-one else has ever provided one in the six years I've been writing about the diary.
But the best part of her post was when she wrote:
'I don't see Maybrick's hand in the diary'.
This was in the Major's thread in which the entire point of the thread is to convince the world that Maybrick's hand IS in the diary.
Did the Major challenge Miss Information about her claim? Don't make me fucking laugh. Does the lamb ever stand up to the lion? Of course not. The Major knows who is in charge. He didn't dare challenge her even though she was directly challenging the purpose of his entire existence on that Forum!
THE OTHER KAZ
A bizarre brief reappearance from Diary Defender Kaz, not to be confused with Caz, a.k.a. Miss Information, in #7059 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread:
'Guys, let this go!
Mainly directed at Caz/Tom/RJ/David, this subject ain't worth your time and energy.'
I can understand such an aspiration being directed at the first three named people, but "David"?????
Can Kaz possibly be unaware that 'David' Orsam - for it must be he - hasn't posted on Casebook about any diary matters since May 2018?
If aware, why is he directing his ire at Mr, now Lord, Orsam?
To the extent he is sending a message from Casebook to Orsam.co.uk, he needs to understand that my entries about the diary on this website are almost exclusively in response to the nonsense posted by the first two individuals named in his list.
Absent any new evidence being revealed, if they stop then so do I. It's that simple. But they will not stop. They will never stop. They will keep on going round in circles, repeating the same discredited arguments over and over. And I guess it is my fate to continue to point out why they are discredited.
Talking of arguments going round and round, the Major immediately managed to resurrect an old talking point from JTR Forums about Mike's supposed attempt to remove a maker's stamp mark from inside the front cover of the scrapbook he'd just purchased (#7061 of 'Incontrovertible').
The most hilarious part of the Major's attempt to undermine the story is that his secret source had told him that 'Two days to dry a wet book is not enough'. His source doesn't appear to have read Mike's affidavit properly in which it is stated that the cover 'took about 2 days to dry out. I even used the heat from the oven to assist in the drying out'.
So it seems that Mike was fully aware that two days would not be enough to dry a wet book which is precisely why he used heat from the oven.
The Major's source also told him:
'If you don't have enough skills, and you have never done this before, it's next to impossible to succeed on your first try'.
'Next to impossible' means possible but the secret source seems to be telling us that if you've done it before it IS possible to do it as Mike described it!
Another nugget from the Major's source is that the diary would have had a strong stench of oil. Okay, and what is the evidence as to what the diary smelt like in April 1992? Oh I forgot, there isn't any!
So we are down to the Major's last point which is the diary would have been damaged in some way. Perhaps the Major is unaware that Dr Baxendale's report of July 1992 stated of the diary that (underlining added):
'The inside cover of the diary has been damaged and it appears that something which was once attached has been torn of''.
To the extent that the Major's source is referring to more extensive damage to the diary, this depends on the description in the affidavit of the process of the removal of the maker's stamp being 100% accurate. As I keep saying, the affidavit would have been written by Alan Gray based on what Mike had told him. If Alan Gray hadn't fully understood the procedure, he would have described it incorrectly in the affidavit. So perhaps Mike actually did it in a way which minimized the damage.
But the most interesting thing about the story in the affidavit is that it seems to show some knowledge by Mike that maker's stamps or labels WERE placed on the inside cover of nineteenth century journals or ledgers. I dealt with this in the very first Lord Orsam Says... where I posted an actual example of this (see under the heading 'Keith Skinner via JM (#1739)). How does the Major explain it?
THE MAJOR STILL MISUNDERSTANDS
In a long post to the Al Bundy character on the subject of the removal of the maker's stamp mark, the Major dutifully followed the line of his leader by saying (in #7062 of the Incontrovertible thread):
'Lord Orsam...wants us to believe that it is absolutely fine for someone to lie constantly as long as we get to believe the bits which we feel we can massage into an argument we like'.
Lord Orsam does not want anyone to believe this and has never argued it.
I specifically dealt with the allegation of cherry picking at length and in detail in Lord Orsam Says...Part 16 under the heading of 'MAJOR MISUNDERSTANDING MISUNDERSTANDS'. The Major, who seemed to manage to read at least one other article in that same update either didn't bother to read this entry or did read it and has decided to ignore it completely.
I won't repeat everything I said but what I WILL say is that it is a lazy argument for the Diary Defenders to point to the fact that Mike Barrett told some lies and then to reach the conclusion that EVERYTHING he said must have been untrue and NOTHING he said can possibly be believed. It's like some kind of magic get-out-of-jail-free card for the Diary Defenders whereby they can undermine ANY argument which says that Mike created the diary simply by pointing to the fact that Mike said he did, thereby automatically, in their minds, making it untrue!
It's complete Alice in Wonderland stuff and totally unrealistic.
Perhaps one day the Major will explain to us why, over a two day period in April 1999, Mike told a coherent but seemingly implausible story of how he created the diary in 11 days after having spoken to Doreen Montgomery on 9 March 1992. What could possibly have motivated him to tell this story which, at the time, was believed to be brand new and being told by him for the first time (and was thus disbelieved by everyone) but which subsequent investigation has discovered was entirely consistent with the facts set out in his affidavit from four years earlier?
At the same time, perhaps the Major will manage to put forward a coherent and plausible account as to why Mike secretly attempted to obtain a Victorian diary with blank pages after speaking to Doreen Montgomery in March 1992. So far the incoherence of his implausible attempted explanations have been far worse than anything Mike Barrett ever attempted by way of explaining any of his actions in his entire lifetime!
The Baron rightly drew attention to the Major's ludicrous claim that the error in the diary about the placing of the breasts actually supports the authenticity of the diary (#228 of the google ngrams thread). In response (#7067 of Incontrovertible), the Major reproduced a passage from his rubbish Society's Pillar in which he bizarrely concluded that 'the error may actually support the case against James Maybrick'. By which he presumably means it supports the case against James Maybrick's innocence of being the Ripper.
His argument in Society's Pillar, which is hardly worth wasting time on, starts off with a factual error, as he claims that a statement in Underwood's book implies that 'the breasts...hung from the picture nails'.
This is false. One only gets to that by leaving out the words in between!
What Underwood wrote (as the Major actually quotes earlier in the document) is that:
'on a table by the bed there were little piles of flesh, neatly laid out: the breasts, the heart and the kidneys, and, horror of horrors, other parts of her body and dripping intestines hung from the picture nails..'
So it's the intestines and other parts of her body which are supposed to have hung from the picture nails, not the breasts.
Anyway the Major then pivots away from this and accepts that Underwood said the breasts were on the table! Amazing. Because that's what Underwood said.
But it's odd that the Major is obsessed with Underwood. A number of other writers available to the hoaxer in 1992 such as Odell, Fido, Begg, Rumbelow and Paul Harrison all included the information that the breasts were on the table.
So it's obvious that the hoaxer followed those authors. It is stated clearly in the diary by the hoaxer about the breasts: 'Left them on the table with some of the other stuff'. The hoaxer even explains his supposed thought process, telling us that he 'thought they belonged there'.
Even the barking mad Major is forced to admit that 'The error of Kelly's breasts is a bad one'.
So how does he try and wriggle out of it?
Well his only point is that, in one of the diary's poems supposedly written long after the murder, the writer of the diary, looking back, says that he thought of leaving the breasts (both of them) by Kelly's feet but nevertheless placed them on the table.
The fact that the writer is here REPEATING the error about where the breasts were placed is brushed aside because he apparently had a thought about leaving them both by the feet (and Dr Bond's report tells us that ONE breast was by the right foot while the other was in fact under Kelly's head - the latter fact not mentioned at all in the diary!).
So, apparently, the thought of placing both the breasts by the feet, even though it is stated that they were ultimately placed on the table, and even though both of the breasts were NOT placed by the feet, is supposed to be such a strong argument that it supports the authenticity of the diary.
The fact of the matter is that Paul Harrison, Rumbelow and Wilson & Odell all include the claim that the liver was placed between Kelly's feet. From that, the hoaxer could have taken the idea of having had the thought of placing the breasts by the feet. Note that the thought about the feet comes in a poem after the line that he kissed the breasts which 'tasted so sweet' and the hoaxer now needed a rhyme for 'sweet'. So he says he thought about leaving the breasts by the feet (where he might well have believed the liver had been placed) but ends up putting them on the table, precisely where they were NOT found!
So the idea that the glaring error in the diary which repeats what is found in newspapers and secondary literature on the case, but is completely untrue and did not happen in reality, supports the authenticity of the diary, is laughable.
For anyone suffering from deja vu, yes I did already deal in a previous 'Lord Orsam Says...' with the Major's rubbish argument about Kelly's breasts. See Lord Orsam Says...Part 11 under the heading 'SMELLY FEET'. The Major never responded to it so we go round and round in circles with him just repeating the nonsense which has already been discredited.
ANOTHER MAJOR MISUNDERSTANDING
The Major asked the question (in #7070 of Incontrovertible):
'Did George Hutchinson report that Mary Kelly had disappeared around the corner before coming back with her door open? If not, does this not imply rather strongly that she simply opened the door with her key which had been found again?'
The answer to both questions is a resounding NO. Had the Major even bothered to refresh his memory as to what George Hutchinson said, he would have known that he didn't see Kelly enter her room at all.
Hutchinson was standing in Dorset street when he saw Kelly and her companion walk down Miller's Court. From where he was standing there was no view of number 13.
After the couple went down the court, Hutchinson says he 'then went to the Court to see if I could see them but could not'.
So Hutchinson's failure to report Kelly opening her door through the window means nothing. He didn't see her opening her door!
The fact that the Major used the expression 'imply rather strongly' only confirms that he hasn't got a clue, and misunderstands the evidence in the case.
DOUBLETHINK OF THE MAJOR
While claiming not to employ doublethink over the issue of Kelly's breasts in #7075 of the Incontrovertible thread, the Major does exactly that.
He asks first of all:
'Someone who believed the breasts were left on the table would not - surely - have lucked-in by suggesting they had the thought of leaving them on at Kelly's feet'.
There are two massive problems for the Major here. The first being that only one of the breasts was actually left at Kelly's feet so that the thought of leaving them BOTH at her feet doesn't fit what the killer actually did.
Secondly, while the diarist said in a poem at a point in time corresponding to about December 1888 that he had thought about leaving the breasts at the feet, what he actually wrote, both in November and December 1888 (per the diary's chronology), was that he left them on the table.
So how is that lucking-in? The thought about leaving them both by the feet was wrong and the diarist, in any case, said he did not leave them by the feet. There is literally no mention of leaving a breast under Kelly's head where one of the breasts actually WAS placed by the killer.
When we know that the liver was mentioned in at least 3 Ripper books to have been placed between Kelly's feet, we can perfectly understand why the hoaxer mentioned having a thought about leaving the breasts there too.
So then we come to the Major's second question:
'And someone who believed that the breasts (or breasts) had been left at her foot would not have said that they had left them on the table'.
This really is classic double if not triple think by the Major. The diarist does not say that he believed that one or both breasts had been left at Kelly's feet!! All he said was that he thought of leaving them there but did not do so, and ended up putting them on the table.
A more pertinent question would be why the killer who placed one breast under Kelly's head and one breast by her foot would write in his personal diary immediately after the murder that he placed both breasts on the table which is how by, pure coincidence, they would be wrongly located in a multitude of books on the case and how, even though a month later despite having remembered the thought he had of placing both breasts by the feet, he STILL believed he had put them on the table, just as all the books wrongly said he had!
When one avoids the doublethink, one can see that it's a bad, bad mistake by the hoaxer which is in a long line of mistakes, from the error with the key, the mistake about Florence's aunt, to the anachronistic expressions, one off instance and bumbling buffoon, all confirming the diary to be a dreadful fake.
THE MAJOR CHALLENGED
How did the Major take it when Harry D fought back against his defence of the error about the breasts? Not very well as it turned out.
In #7076 of the Incontrovertible thread, Harry D suggested that the very simple explanation as to why the diarist mentioned the thought of placing the breasts by the feet was because some Ripper books mentioned the liver having been placed by the feet. This was, of course, something already suggested in Lord Orsam Says...Part 11.
The Major was obviously so rattled by someone coming back at him with a sensible point that he babbled in #7080:
'How do you know that Maybrick didn't place Kelly's breasts on the table before removing them again, putting one at her feet and one at her head?'
But if that had happened, why did the diarist say TWICE that he only placed the breasts on the table? Further, why did he only say that he initially thought of placing both breasts at the feet, after which he placed them on the table? Why no mention in the diary of a thought of placing a breast under Kelly's head?
Further, how is it that the supposed killer made exactly the same mistakes that we find in books about the Ripper case published within five years of the diary's first appearance?
So rattled was the Major that he pivoted back (in #7081) to his old nonsense that there is 'a statement by Maybrick that he left his wife's initials in Kelly's room'. This is, of course, a wildly false claim. There is no mention by the diarist of leaving his wife's initials in Kelly's room. It's pure interpretation by someone seeing what they want to see in a supposedly coded piece of poetry which allows for a variety of interpretations and which allowed the hoaxer to keep all options open.
Furthermore, the supposed existence of the letters 'FM' at the crime scene, whether on the wall or on Kelly's body (as the Major now likes to claim), is nothing more than a classic example of pareidolia. The best quality print of the original photograph shows clearly that there is no 'FM' on the wall, either in blood or anything else. It's just not there.
The game is over.
The Major is like a big fat spider sitting in his web waiting for some poor soul to visit the 'Incontrovertible' thread so he can bamboozle them with his twisted logic. He literally feeds off it so survive which is why he looks wistfully at the thread view numbers, hoping that fresh meat will drop in for him to gorge from, and attempts to lure unsuspecting members into the thread.
Well it didn't work out so well for him when Aethulwolf dropped in to tell him (with particular reference to his 'FM' nonsense) that his 'massive pile of steaming BS theory' was 'stupid, bone idle, lazy, ridiculous' (#7086).
Continuing the good work, Aethulwolf told him (#7089), 'I think you've suffered a serious blow to the head at some point and it has affected your ability to think rationally'.
There may be something in this.
MISS INFORMATION NOT TO THE RESCUE
The Major can usually rely on Miss Information to rush to his defence but when it comes to the issue of "FM" on the wall she is invariably silent. If it's there (which it isn't), she can't really spin it to indicate a hoaxer like she does everything else. If it isn't there, she doesn't like to say so in case it upsets the Major.
That's why at the very same time as the controversy boiled over in the Incontrovertible thread about 'FM', Miss Information decided to post some babbling nonsense in the 'google ngrams' thread about being an Evil Illusionist. Bang on description of herself though.
LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB
According to the Major (#7081 of Incontrovertible):
'If the author had talked about Liverpool Football Club, we'd all agree it was a hoax'.
The Major must be living in dreamland if he thinks that he would ever have agreed to such a thing.
Edinburgh Evening News, 24 November 1874
'Yesterday afternoon, a match was played between the Edinburgh Academicals and the Liverpool Football Club on the ground at Raeburn Place'.
The diary would have survived again! There's always some kind of explanation that can be produced.
If the Major won't admit that the diary is a hoax due to the use of the impossible expression 'one off instance' or 'bumbling buffoon' he would never have admitted it no matter what foolish mistake the diary contained.
WHAT SERIAL KILLERS DO
Responding to the Major's post about the Goulston Street graffiti, Fiver wrote in #7095 of the Incontrovertible thread that, 'Real serial killers almost never write anything on the walls...Even the handful of serial killers who write things on the walls don't write their names on the wall to leave clues for the police'.
In response (#7096), Errorbitha posted six crime scene photographs showing writing on a wall, not one of which was by a serial killer and not one of which involved the killer writing their name on the wall! But this was supposed to counter Fiver's point in some way.
The six things written on the walls in Errorbitha's photographs were:
1. "HEALTER SKELTER" - not written by a serial killer, it was daubed by Patricia Krenwinkel. It doesn't include the killer's name or clue to their identity.
2. "HE KILLED MY WIFE" - not written by a serial killer, it was written by Bampumim Teixera who murdered Richard Field and Lena Bolanas at their home in May 2017. It doesn't include the killer's name or clue to his identity (bearing in mind that his wife wasn't killed by either of the two victims).
3. "I KILL 8 YEAR OLD APRIL MARIE TINSLEY I WILL KILL AGAIN" - not written by a serial killer but by John D. Miller who raped and murdered April Tinsley. Doesn't contain the killer's name or clue to his identity.
4. "Sorry to the landlord" - not written by a serial killer, it was written by Kevin Accorto who stalked and murdered Jenae Gagnier and then committed suicide at the scene after writing the graffiti so his identity wasn't an issue (but it doesn't contain his name in any case).
5. "I LOVE YOU NANCY" - This one is hilarious. Errorbitha doesn't even know what supposed murder this relates to or who the killer was! For all he knows, it's a suicide. So why is he including it in a discussion about serial killers? He originally claimed it originated from a police forensics file in Philadelphia but provided no source to back up this claim. Later (#7170) he admitted this was....an error. Who'd have thunk it? He's not known as Error-bitha for nothing.
Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, Errorbitha's post was a distraction away from the one good point that Fiver had made. This wasn't about whether serial killers do or do not write on walls, whether leaving clues to their identity or not. Fiver's best point was that a sentence which commences 'The James are the men...' makes absolutely no sense. For that reason, and that reason alone, the word which everyone who saw it at the time thought was 'Juwes' or 'Jewes' was clearly and palpably NOT 'James'.
CLASSIC MISINFORMATION FROM MISS INFORMATION
Miss Information tells us in #7110 of the Incontrovertible thread:
'Of course, Mike never even hinted at the scrapbook being obtained as late as 31st March 1992 and adapted in double quick time for Anne to pen the text into 63 of the surviving unused pages over the famous eleven days, so it would be ready to show off in London on 13th April...'
This is FALSE.
I don't know why she has to spread such falsehoods and misinformation on the internet.
Not only did MIke hint at this, he pretty much expressly said that this is what happened at the Cloak & Dagger club event in April 1999 at which Miss Information herself attended!!!
This is what I wrote, word for word, in the last update about what Mike said at that event:
Mike explained that, following the death of Maggie Graham (his wife's step-mother) at the start of 1988, his family moved to 12 Goldie Street so that his wife could live near her now living-alone father which put him (Mike) into debt due to the need to pay a large mortgage. He said he came up with a plan to write himself out of debt. In March 1992, he said, he contacted Doreen Montgomery and told her he had the diary of Jack the Ripper and that 'She fell for it left, right and centre'. But he didn't have a diary to show her at that time. Hence:
'So all I had to do was come out and write the diary of Jack the Ripper and write it. It took me eleven days flat to write.'
Before that, he had to obtain a Victorian diary into which the text could be written. He purchased a red Victorian diary from Martin Earl which was 'so small it's untrue...it's no good...now up stuck, all I've got is a little red diary'.
What did he do?
'So I turn round and go to Outhwaite and Litherland...'
He said he purchased a black ledger from an antiques auction held by Outhwaite & Litherland from which he removed photographs with a Stanley knife.As to who wrote it:
'Anne wrote it. It's in her handwriting'.
Mike could not have been clearer therefore that the scrapbook was purchased at an auction in late March or early April 1992 after his failed attempt to acquire a Victorian diary from Martin Earl and that the text was then written out by his wife.
To repeat that conclusion: Mike could not have been clearer that the scrapbook was purchased at an auction in late March or early April 1992, which includes the auction known to have been held at Outhwaite & Litherland on 31 March 1992. I can only imagine that Miss Information is back on the stupid pills if she truly thinks that Mike never hinted at the very thing he outlined at the 1999 meeting!
The same thing is also very much hinted at in his 1995 affidavit in which it is stated that the scrapbook wasn't purchased from Outhwaite & Litherland until after he saw the 1891 diary, which he received on 28 March 1992, and that the Mabyrick diary was written in eleven days. How could she have missed that?
It just goes to show that you cannot trust a single word Miss Information says, or types.
MISS INFORMATION AT WORK
If you want a classic example of how Miss Information operates, look no further than her #7135 in the Incontrovertible thread.
She was notionally replying to RJ's #7131 in which RJ had made a number of points.
His first point was that it was completely untrue for Miss Information to say that 'RJ returned his Barrett & Gray comedy box set to the sender'. It was a pure factual error on her part.
Secondly, RJ had correctly pointed out that, while chastising everyone else in the world for supposedly believing every word that fell from Barrett's lips (something which exists only in her imagination), there are a couple of big stories of Barrett which Miss Information is happy to believe, even though there is no corroboration of them whatsoever.
So you'd think that, when replying, Miss Information would acknowledge her factual error about the box set and then respond in some way to the claim that she herself believes Barrett when it suits her.
Not a bit of it. All we got was the usual tired old 'Touched a nerve, there, didn't I RJ'. Well you can say that about ANYONE any time they point out a factual error in one of your posts. Just ignore the factual error and accuse the person who is setting the record straight of having a nerve touched!
And, well, of course Miss Information did touch a nerve. She said something about RJ that wasn't true. She also tried to build up the fact of RJ having given away his tapes to someone as some kind of big mystery when all that happened is that RJ gave away his tapes to someone.
RJ has posted that he remembers Mike Barrett saying on the tape that the diary didn't exist when he contacted Doreen Montgomery. That should be easy enough for someone who holds a copy of the tapes to check, but it's never been done. For sure, no-one is releasing the tapes for everyone to hear what was said by Barrett to Gray. That's the mystery right there!
Miss Information's only point seems to be to want to say to RJ: Yaboo Sucks, you gave your tapes away, tough shit. She's evidently not going to help him or anyone else find out what was on them.
THAT AL BUNDY CHARACTER
In recommending this website to Aethulwulf, the Al Bundy character said (#7134 of Incontrovertible):
'If you want a critique of the Maybrick Diary, see Orsam Books, there's plenty there, but it's divisive, just keep in mind that Lord Orsam is a quality researcher and a knowledgeable guy, and that he referred to me as a "muppet", this ain't a paid promotion'
While I can confirm that Bundy isn't on the Lord Orsam payroll, like the Clanger is, I do need to set the record straight about one thing. I have never referred to the Al Bundy character as a muppet.
The first time I referred to Bundy was in Lord Orsam Says...Part 10 when I described him as someone who 'seems like a sensible chap and has made some sensible posts in the Maybrick threads' although I also remarked that he had got a bit clever for his own boots in falsely suggesting that I had made a 'bullshit statement' about finding a fatal error in the diary 'just to get a reaction from the boards'. That was an unnecessary suggestion which should never have been made and I don't recall seeing an apology from him about it on the Forum.
Bundy was referred to again in Lord Orsam Says...Part 11 not to be called a muppet but to be called out for an act of muppetry. There is a difference! Under the heading of 'A NEW FORM OF MUPPETRY' I noted that Bundy falsely claimed that 'one off' is abundant in the nineteenth century.
He did qualify this remark by saying that it was abundant 'in a different context' but, without explanation, that had no meaning. He should never have said that 'one off' was abundant in the nineteenth century because, as an expression meaning something unique, it didn't exist.
Like I said at the time:
'To see the word 'abundant' in circumstances where no-one in 28 years has ever found a single usage of 'one off' to mean unique during the entire nineteenth century is quite bizarre and strikes me as a new form of muppetry from someone who, although usually quite intelligent, doesn't appear to understand what he is talking about'.
I think that was fair. He hasn't to my recollection disputed it and he doesn't seem to dispute it. But as a factual matter I didn't call him a muppet!
On that note, with exactly one month to go before the next Orsam Day, I think I shall start a new page.
20 October 2021
Published on Orsam Day 20 November 2021