THE TAG TEAM
The Incontrovertible thread is a world of wonder. Address a question to Miss Information and the Major is likely to reply. Address a question to the Major and you might get a response from Errorbitha. Ask Errorbitha a question and Miss Information might respond. It's like some weird diary defending tag team.
Naturally, in replying to the questions addressed to someone else, the diary defenders manage to misunderstand what was being asked. No better example was when Fiver was dealing with the Major's bonkers claim about 'James' being hidden within the GSG and Erroribitha responded thinking the discussion was about the 'FM' on the wall! So we just had chaos and confusion.
THE JAMES ARE THE MEN...
So in #7146 of the Incontrovertible thread, the Major admitted that, for 'James' to have featured in the GSG, it would have turned the wording into gibberish: 'The James are the Men that will not be blamed for nothing' but, he said, 'I guess the assumption was that the rest of the text didn't matter as Maybrick's intention was simply to place his name in the text'.
As if that makes any sense!
The Major tried to justify this nonsense by saying that the GSG as written 'has never made any sense to anyone' but this missed the point that, while we may not understand it, the sentence 'The Juwes are the men that will not be blamed for nothing' conforms to normal and understood rules of grammar, assuming that 'Juwes' are 'Jews'. It's a puzzle, but it's not nonsense. To say 'The James are the men' is devoid of any grammatical structure whatsoever and would be pure nonsense.
Then we are told:
'As sure as eggs is eggs, Thomas, Ed (possibly Edwin), FM and MM came out of the GSC'.
I don't know what eggs the Major likes for breakfast but nowhere is 'Thomas' found in the GSG, the letters 'MM' obviously aren't there, while the letter 'F' isn't in there so it's not possible to find 'FM' in the GSG without randomly changing one of the letters, which the Major does by changing the 'B' into an F AND an M, I kid you not, although I fully debunked this in Pillar of Sand.
If you start changing the letters to other letters you can get any name you like! For that reason, when the Major says, 'no other names could be deciphered in this way' he is just plain wrong.
If I change letters, and if we assume that 'Jack the Ripper was a gang of three men: Chet, William and Nathaniel, I can say that the GSG says: 'The Jacks are the men: Chet, Will, Nat - be blamed for nothing'. At least that makes a bit more sense than what the Major's come up with.
Then we also have Arthur in there. See it? are the = Are the = Arthur. Was Arthur Conan Doyle Jack the Ripper?
When it comes to initials, you've got all kinds of names to play with, especially if, like the Major, you change them to suit your theory. Without changing anything I can see TB in there in 'not be' for Thomas Barnardo.
I can also see the word 'lame' in blamed and that pretty much sums up the Major's barking mad theory.
THE UNCATASTROPHIC CATASTROPHE
The Major claims (#7149 of Incontrovertible):
'Florence's initials are really obviously on Mary Kelly's wall and this is absolutely catastrophic for the argument against the authenticity of the Victorian scrapbook'.
The initials were not on the wall so the premise of the Major's post is flawed (although, if they were, they could have stood for anything) but they can be seen on degraded copies of the photograph published in books in the late twentieth century.
If the Major can see those initials as 'FM' then so could any hoaxer forging the diary in 1992.
It could be as simple as that. The hoaxer might have seen what looked to him or her like 'FM' in the photograph but didn't want to expressly say that Florence's initials were on the wall in case it turned out that the original of the photograph didn't show them - very wisely as it turned out. So it was hinted that her initials had been left somewhere (in the room).
Equally, the hoaxer might only have seen what looked like an 'M' on the wall - but, in reality, was probably nothing more than an illusion caused by grains of the wood - and also imagined an 'F' carved into Kelly's flesh, which makes more sense of 'an initial here, an initial there'.
Or maybe the hoaxer only perceived the 'F' in the flesh because, after all, there is nothing in the diary which mentions any writing on the wall and one could interpret the diary as saying that only a single 'initial' was left at the Kelly crime scene (with another initial having been left at an earlier crime scene).
There really is no catastrophe here other than whatever is happening in the Major's brain.
IRONY IS DEAD
Without even a trace of irony, Miss Information actually linked the Major to a thread about how to change the minds of the unvaccinated, with the comment 'You might want to cast your eye over this thread to judge whether it's even worth engaging with certain posters on the subject of open minds and critical thinking'. Yes, this is the same the Major with whom she supposedly fundamentally disagrees about the origins of the diary but hasn't been able to change his mind in 13 years and convince him that the diary is a hoax!
So much for an open mind and critical thinking.
We are talking about the Major whose mind is not changed one jot by the knowledge that 'one off instance' didn't exist as an expression in 1888 and by the fact that no example has ever been found of anything similar until the mid-twentieth century. Even Miss Information was prepared to modify her theory and accept that the diary was created in the twentieth century on the basis of the research into 'one off'.
But Miss Information herself maintains a stubbornly closed mind, even though her own critical thinking abilities have been unable to formulate a sensible explanation as to why Mike Barrett could possibly have been secretly attempting to acquire a Victorian diary with blank pages in the few weeks before the diary first made its appearance. An open mind which operates on the basis of critical thinking would work out why he did this in a matter of seconds but the mind of Miss Information does not operate in that way and she refuses even to consider the possibility of Mike Barrett having been involved in the forgery plan regardless of the compelling evidence which supports it.
THE STORY OF THE TAPES
The attempts by the Diary Defenders to deflect attention away from the suppression of the Barrett/Gray tapes are fascinating.
It's a two-pronged attempt. On the one hand they want to make fun of the notion that the tapes contain anything dangerous to their case (see #7158 of the Incontrovertible thread) while, on the other hand, they want to blame RJ Palmer for having given his set of the tapes away.
As to that, it's very simple. RJ's already explained it. After arguing the toss about the diary for ten or twenty years, RJ became bored with the entire subject and gave his tapes (of which he says he never even had a complete set) to someone whose whereabouts he now doesn't know. But then along came Lord Orsam in 2016 and re-invigorated the debate.
Lord Orsam not only put together a coherent and credible explanation of how the diary was created after Mike's 9 March 1992 telephone call to Doreen Montgomery but discovered new facts and documents. Amongst these were:
(1) the actual copy of Martin Earl's advertisement for a Victorian diary with blank pages;
(2) a discovery that there was an O&L auction of Victorian and Edwardian effects on 31 March 1992;
(3) a discovery (with examples) that Mike was a serious professional freelance journalist during the 1980s;
(4) examples of Anne's handwriting showing features similar to the author of the diary;
(5) the fact that Anne was secretly provided with a copy of Mike's 1995 affidavit two years before it was made public, while at the same time privately complaining to Mike about him blackmailing her;
(6) a discovery that Alec Voller changed his mind about the diary and accepted it could have been written by a modern forger;
(7) a discovery of idiosyncratic expressions used by Mike Barrett which are also found in the diary;
(8) the discovery of spelling mistakes and errors of grammar made by Anne Graham in private correspondence (and in a recorded telephone call) similar to those found in the diary;
(9) the discovery that Shirley Harrison never confirmed any example of 'one off' from the 19th century as she had always claimed, and
(10) the discovery of an incontrovertible fact that proves the diary is a forgery by the use of the 20th century expression 'one off instance'.
In the light of all these discoveries, RJ renewed his interest in the diary debate. That's understandable. One of the first things he told me about the tapes in public on the Forum - about four years ago - was that he recalled Mike saying to Alan Gray on the tapes that the diary wasn't created until after his telephone call with Doreen Montgomery. This is the main reason I am interested in hearing them, to see if this is correct. At the very least, the tapes should help us get to the bottom of why Gray believed that the diary was forged in 1990 or 1991, which was the date he used when drafting Mike's affidavit.
An even more dramatic discovery was made recently, after my resignation from the Censorship Forum, namely that Mike had claimed in April 1999 at the Cloak & Dagger club that he created the diary in 11 days after having spoken to Doreen Montgomery - the entire Orsam theory in a nutshell!!
It was an astounding discovery (by RJ) and led to Keith Skinner releasing the tape recording of the April 1999 meeting. He probably thought it would show Mike in such a bad light that no-one would believe a word he said but the release of the recording went very badly for him. Not only did it reveal his inept questioning of Mike - as I demonstrated in my Man in a Pub article - but the fact of the matter was that Mike was telling a coherent and credible story about the creation of the diary which the Diary Defenders in attendance at the meeting had failed to grasp, due to their inherent bias against Mike.
It was, therefore, a surprise when Skinner seemed to have agreed to make public the Barrett/Gray tapes via Jonathan Menges on Casebook. Preparations, we were told, had commenced to tidy up the sound quality but then, suddenly, everything came to a halt and the tapes are withheld.
My own theory is that, for the very first time, Skinner listened carefully to the recording in the context of the Orsam theory and realized that Lord Orsam was correct. Alan Gray had got the wrong end of the stick which explained the wrong dates in the 1995 affidavit. There was no way that Lord Orsam was going to be given the satisfaction of being shown to be correct yet again!
Skinner had already ADMITTED that he was deliberately suppressing the transcript of the diary prepared by the Barretts because it seems to contain something which has 'meaning' and favours the Lord Orsam theory. But it's too dangerous for him to reveal what that is, apparently.
So the Barrett/Gray tapes join the transcript in documents being actively suppressed. All Miss Information can do is childishly shout Yaboo! Sucks! to RJ Palmer for having given away his tapes, even though there are far more people than RJ Palmer who would be interested in listening to them now.
A production of the tapes could give fresh impetus to the debate about the diary. That debate has gone completely stale, as arguments already made on both sides are continually repeated and re-hashed in a never-ending cycle. New evidence is urgently required.
The only adult and professional thing to do is to release the tapes to allow everyone - not just RJ - to get to the bottom of the Barratt/Gray relationship. It should be so easy.
Do I think the Diary Defenders are hiding something? You bet I do.
WE SEEN THROUGH HER
If you want an example of Miss Information at her very best spreading misinformation you can find it in #238 of the 'google ngrams' where she tells the Baron - who had pointed out that Anne says things like 'I seen Paul the other day' just like the diary author wrote 'The whore seen her master today' - that:
'It's Liverpudlian for 'saw'.
This is a clear attempt by Miss Information to bamboozle someone who, she knows, does not speak English as their first language.
Leaving aside that there's no such thing as a 'Liverpudlian' language - a Liverpudlian being someone who lives in Liverpool and they all speak English - I already countered on the Forum (without opposition from her) her claim that there is something uniquely Liverpudlian about the incorrect use of 'seen'.
Sam Flynn and Phil Carter had already told her that 'I seen' is not typically Liverpudlian and she argued about that, without any evidence, in #1321 of the Incontrovertible thread.
I then posted in #1331:
'I see that someone is trying to pull the wool over our eyes to convince us (or "educate" us) that "I seen" is somehow unique to Liverpool. It is not. It is a wrong use of language by people throughout the country, not identifiable to any particular area'.
This was confirmed by Spider and again by Sam Flynn.
Here is what I then posted without reply in the Forum on 10 March 2018 (#1369 of the Incontrovertible thread) after Miss Information had tried to claim that 'I seen' was specifically related to Liverpool and wasn't used by Londoners:
I see that someone is trying to play a confidence trick on the members of this forum to pretend that "I seen" is in some way specifically identifiable with Liverpool as opposed to any other part of the country.
It is most certainly not.
No evidence whatsoever is offered to link the expression to Liverpudlians (to which is added "and other northerners") other than some kind of personal experience, as if this person is an expert in regional dialects.
We are also told by the same person that the expression isn't found in London, i.e. "Not in the London area, it's not".
But let us have some independent evidence on the subject: Firstly, this is from "A Brief History of Cockney English":
'Common Grammatical features of Cockney English include double negatives ("don't need no", "ain't got none"), replacing the words did and saw with seen and done ("I seen/done it", adding questions to the ends of words ("...ain't I?" and "didn't he?), and prepositions like "at" and "to" are often dropped out of sentences. ' https://prezi.com/stinee_6pyxf/cockney-english/
This is from an 1895 article entitled "The Cockney and his dialect" by Reginald Pelham Bolton, who states that he was born within the sound of Bow Bells, published in the The Journal of American Folklore:
A little Cockney boy went for his first school outing. “How did you like it?” he was asked. “Werry much,” he replied, “but I didn’t get enough to drink. They gave me milk, but not aat of a clean tin. They squeezed it aat of a nasty caa; I seen ‘em done it myself”.
Examples of "I seen" can be found in two books by Dilly Court, "The Cockney Angel ("then I seen your face") and The Cockney Sparrow ("I seen her hiding") - both my cockney characters - and in Cockney Auction by Carol Rivers about her childhood in the Isle of Dogs when one girl, Doris, says both "we ain't got none" and "I seen Gran".
A song called Psychomodo by the London band Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel contains the following lyrics:
"I seen everything in every shape
I seen 1984 in a terrible state
I seen Quasimodo hanging on my gate"
And one will certainly find "I seen" said by people from Norfolk.
I offer just one example from a 1939 book, "The Rabbit Skin Cap; A Tale of a Norfolk Countryman’s Youth" by George Baldry "we were soon climbing up and down until I seen something running across a path – a rabbit."
The reason why this person is trying to pull the wool over our eyes is because it is essential for her argument that "I seen" is intrinsically and recognisably Liverpudlian otherwise why else would the forger of the diary have deliberately included it in the diary as coming from the pen of James Maybrick?
The truth of the matter is that there is absolutely no reason why one would assume that Maybrick, regardless of whether or not he was viewed as "a jumped-up clerk", would write "the whore seen her master". It is perfectly obvious that the error of language is here being made by the forger and reflects the way the forger spoke English. It is nothing to do with the forger attempting to reflect the actual language of James Maybrick because there is absolutely no sensible reason to think that Maybrick would speak or write like that.
That's what I posted in the Forum in 2018 and it remains as true now as it was then. Using 'I seen' is bad English. It's not 'Liverpudlian', it is just grammatically incorrect and spoken or written by someone with bad habits. The fact that Anne's speech is littered with the expression is very telling.
THE AUTHENTICITY PROBLEM
It's also worth pointing out in response to Miss Information's laughable claim that the hoaxer deliberately inserted 'I seen' into the diary text 'to make it sound a tad more authentic' (#246 of the google ngrams thread) that not a single person in the entire world spotted this supposedly 'authentic' expression, or said that it pointed towards authenticity or towards the author being Liverpudlian (or Maybrick himself), for 26 whole years!
It was only when I drew attention to it in 2018 as an example of an expression used by Anne Graham that, suddenly, Miss Information pulled out from her very arse the notion that the hoaxer did this on purpose to frame Maybrick as the author due to it being a recognizably 'Liverpudlian' expression. It's just such an absurd and crazy thought that it proves what I've been saying all along: Miss Information is deaf and blind to the idea that Mike and Anne created the diary, something which together they could very easily have done.
THE MISINFORMATION CONTINUES
According to Miss Information in #7176 of the Incontrovertible thread (her emphasis):
'Any hoaxer using Bernard Ryan's narrative could not have determined how Maybrick's doctor had expressed himself when giving his professional opinion. And yet the doctor's actual words to Maybrick, as he testified at Florie's trial, are reproduced in the diary as if by magic'.
For want of a better description this is utter bollocks.
I've already dealt with this in a past update, but let's look at it again:
Bernard Ryan's narrative states that Fuller: 'told his patient that he could find very the little matter with him'.
Fuller's evidence at trial was: 'I told him there was very little the matter with him...'.
In both cases, therefore, it would have be known to a twentieth century reader that Fuller told Maybrick that there was 'very little the matter with him'.
What does the diary say?
'Fuller believes there is very little the matter with me'
It doesn't matter whether the hoaxer used Ryan or the trial transcript. They are both identical sources!
Miss Information has got herself very confused.
In both cases the hoaxer has added the word 'believes' (something which was not in Fuller's trial evidence) and converted 'very little the matter with him' to 'very little the matter with me'. How simple is that? The word 'me' was not in Fuller's trial evidence but the hoaxer switched 'me' with 'him' whichever source he or she used.
Any hoaxer would have been perfectly capable of doing that.
It's not too dissimilar to how Anne Graham's book converted the Thomas Stevenson letter, in which Stevenson said that Dr Humphreys had been told by Maybrick that 'he couldn't possibly be the father of it' into the first person so that Maybrick is actually quoted as saying in Graham's book as: 'it could not possibly be mine'. There was no such quote in the primary source material. A little bit of creative writing was employed there. Exactly like the diary author did.
Just fancy that!
LET'S LABOUR THE POINT
I don't want to labour the point but Anne Graham's book also changed Stevenson's letter which said that: 'a miscarriage took place at the 4th or 5th month' into the statement that Florence 'had suffered a miscarriage at between 4 or 5 months'. A subtle change which anyone was capable of making, and just the same way that the hoaxer subtly changed the wording in Ryan's narrative.
The claim by Miss Information that no hoaxer could possibly have changed 'he could find very little the matter with him' to 'believes there is very little the matter with me' and that Fuller's words are reproduced in the diary 'as if by magic' is....is....is...well I can't think of better way of describing it than utter bollocks. So let's call it that shall we? Utter bollocks.
I AM 35
Anyone who doubts even for a second that the Major is an idiot should consider his #7184 in the Incontrovertible thread.
Hypnotised as usual by another one of those Ripper authors who finds hidden codes in the correspondence, the Major breathlessly tells us that one of the Ripper letters contains the name 'James' buried away as 'a cipher'.
If you take "I am 35", which is contained in the letter, change the I to a J to get "J am 35" and then if you change the 3 to an E and the 5 to an S you get "J am ES" and if you then squash them all together and change the last two letters from upper to lower case you get "James". Amazing isn't it? It's just like magic.
There are a few facts that don't concern the Major. The first is that the letter in question is in a different handwriting to that of the diary and also to Maybrick's known handwriting. Secondly, the diary doesn't mention or hint at the sending of any such letter (which was addressed to Leman Street Police Station). Thirdly, there were a lot of people in England in 1888 called James so that even if there was such a code in the letter AND the letter was written by the killer - both of which propositions are highly doubtful - it isn't necessarily a reference to Maybrick.
But there is one fact above all which should have meant that the Major went nowhere near this supposed code. This is that the letter is dated 14 November 1888 and was contained in an envelope postmarked 15 November 1888 from 'London E'. It was thus placed in a post box somewhere in the East London late on 14 November or early on 15 November. Is this a problem for the Major?
Why, yes, it most certainly is.
In the midst of describing the murder of Mary Jane Kelly, the diary author tells us (my underlining):
'Michael was under the impression that once I had finished my business I was to return to Liverpool that very day. And indeed I did one day later ha ha. I fear not, for the fact will not come to his attention as he addresses all letters to me'.
So we are clearly being told that Maybrick's brother believed that he was to return to Liverpool on 8 November but that he actually returned to Liverpool on 9 November, after having murdered Mary Kelly in the early hours (alternatively that his brother believed he was to return on the 9th but that he did so on the 10th).
This means that for the diary to be genuine, as the Major is trying to convince us, Maybrick simply must have returned to London a few days later, on 14 November, in order to post the letter. Did he really return to London just a few days after murdering Kelly simply to post a single poxy letter which no bugger even noticed, because it didn't feature at all in the newspapers? A few weeks after the Kelly murder, the diary author wrote 'I fear the city of whores has become too dangerous for I to return'. There is not a hint that he had already returned to London after the Kelly murder in order to post a single letter but had killed no-one.
The fact of the matter is that if the letter dated 14 November 1888 was genuinely written by the murderer, as the Major thinks, he has found yet another reason why the diary is a fake!!!
This is why the Major is an idiot.
IRONY REMAINS DEAD
Apparently stung by the criticism that she treats the Major with kid gloves while viciously attacking anyone who thinks the Barretts might have been involved with the forgery, Miss Information tells us in #7186 that, because the Major has 'admitted there is no proof that JM was JTR, and may not have been' then, 'That's good enough for me'.
This is the same person who is so sure that the diary is genuine that, later in the same thread (#7397), he wrote that:
'Jack the Ripper was a human being...through the scrapbook we can possibly understand him a little better'.
The fact of the matter is that the Major claims that there is 'a compelling case' that Maybrick was the author of the diary (see his 'Society's Pillar'). Miss Information and Keith Skinner, while denying that Maybrick was the author, claim that there is a compelling case that the diary was pulled out of the floorboards of Battlecrease, while normal people claim there is a compelling case that the diary was forged by the Barretts with the possible help of others. No-one is claiming proof of anything relating to the authorship of the diary! It's called 'the Orsam theory' after all.
I don't know where Miss Information has seen all these people claiming that there is proof that the Barretts forged the diary, but it can only be in her imagination.
Her attempt to justify her different approach to the Major than she takes to those who think the Barretts forged the diary has failed.
Astonishingly, Miss Information says in her post that there is 'Nothing wrong with believing' that the Barretts forged the diary or may well have done.
This is gaslighting of the highest order. She has been consistent in her statements over the years that it is crazy to think that the Barretts could have been involved. She is the one who has been 'slagging off' those who have said so.
Whereas the Major refuses to accept plain evidence, such as the impossibility of Maybrick having written 'one off instance' in 1888, the case against the Barretts is evidence based. Not only that but I have been calling for years for more evidence to be published and it falls on deaf ears. Evidence remains suppressed. If we ever went to reach a standard of proof, we need all the evidence to be made available. Perhaps Miss Information wants to take some time to comment about that rather than keep defending or turning a blind eye to the Major's barmy antics.
THE CLANGER AND WORD VOMIT
The Clanger repeats on Casebook a false allegation he originally made against me on JTR Forums which I debunked in full in a statement published on 20 November 2020 here under the heading 'LORD ORSAM'S WORD VOMIT'.
What the Clanger says in #7199 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread, speaking of Lord Orsam, is:
'That'll be the man whose dignified description of a contrary opinion is to call it 'word vomit'.
It is, alas, the Clanger's memory which is to blame because I never described any contrary opinion as word vomit.
He is misremembering an incident in which Miss Information said of Lord Orsam on JTR Forums (in reference to Trevor Marriott) that, 'you can really tell a man by his supporters', something which is so ridiculous that I referred to it as 'childish word vomit'.
As I mentioned in my statement of 20 November 2020, I first dealt with this false allegation of the Clanger when he originally made it on 1 April 2020 in #237 of 'Lord Orsam Blog' thread on JTR Forums, see my response in Lord Orsam Says...Part 8 dated 6 June 2020 under the heading 'BACK TO LORD ORSAM'.
As I mentioned back in June 2020, the Clanger had originally thought I had been responding to a claim by Miss Information that 'you can tell a man by the company he keeps'. Had she said that - a well known proverb - I would not have described it as childish word vomit. But she did not say that. She said something meaningless which was childish word vomit but even if she had said 'you can tell a man by the company he keeps' that wouldn't have been a contrary opinion, just abuse disguised as a proverb.
The Clanger owes me yet another apology.
THE CLANGER AND ONE OFF FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME
According to the Clanger in #7199 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread:
'Lord Orsam went to a lot of trouble to produce a plausible theory of the development of the modern usage of the modern usage of 'one off', but he did not and could not prove that the usage was not in existence orally in the 1880s'.
This is wrong. Lord Orsam HAS proved that the usage was not in existence orally in the 1880s. At least, if I didn't prove it then nothing can be proved. I mean, can we prove that no-one spoke of televisions, radios, computers, rocket ships and compact discs during the 1880s? I say that we can prove that they didn't, but not by examining what people said during the 1880s because this is now impossible. We don't need to examine what was said in order to know those words could not possibly have been spoken in the 1880s. We can deduce it from what we know of those words and how they came into the English language. It's the same for expressions such as 'one off instance'. The evolution of the expression is known and it did not exist in 1888! Hence no-one could possibly have mentioned a 'one off instance' in 1888, so that the diary is a proven fake.
Then the Clanger repeated his batshit crazy point about the horses, saying:
'And neither did he discover or choose to mention the equine usage of x-off'.
As I've already said many many times, my article on the subject of 'one off' expressly stated that I wasn't concerned with examples of 'one' and 'off' which did not bear the meaning of uniqueness. The equine usage does not relate to uniqueness, hence was irrelevant.
To this day I still don't think the Clanger understands that 'one off' DID exist as an expression in 1888, and that I cited an example from 1885. I mean, if he understands this, why does he keep banging on about the equine use which relates only to the age of a horse? The 'one off' expression from 1885 meant nothing more than one item but that usage is FAR closer to 'one off instance' than 'one off horse' which, referring only to the age of a horse, has nothing to do with it. That being so, why would I have rambled off in a direction to discuss horses when the actual origin of the expression 'one off instance' can be found from 1885?
Just to repeat for anyone unsure: 'one off' existed as an expression within manufacturing/engineering prior to 1888 to mean one item, just as 'two off' meant two items and 'fifty-off' meant fifty items. But in 1888 it didn't mean a unique item. That meaning wasn't applied to it until the early twentieth century when it was used to describe a unique manufactured item or job and then it was MUCH later than this that it was being used metaphorically to refer to people and events as one offs. The evolution in printed works is very clear. It did not exist in 1888, hence the diary is a fake.
The Clanger has desperately scoured the digital databases to find an example of 'one off' from the nineteenth century which is how he came across the red herring of the horses but has been unable to find a single one relating to uniqueness. Not a single one! He's furious about this and has been for many years. His fury caused him to abuse me on Casebook in 2018 and call me a 'twerp' - for that is how he describes people with contrary opinions to his own - and to then spend hours of his time trying but failing to find errors in my articles on this website.
FOR THE MILLION AND ONETH TIME
Even if the Clanger is correct to say that I can't prove that 'one off instance' wasn't a secretly spoken phrase in the 1880s (which, of course, he isn't), it STILL means that we are left with a situation whereby James Maybrick would have been the first person in the history of the world to have written the expression 'one off instance' or similar and no-one would again use the expression 'one off' in writing in the same way (relating to a unique occasion or person) for at least FIFTY years. It's simply not credible, especially in a nineteenth century world without television, film or radio in which the written word was the primary way language was transmitted.
THE CLANGER AND THE AUNT AGAIN
I was going to respond to the Clanger's repeated attempts to deny the importance about my discovery of the mistake in the diary relating to Bunny's Aunt but RJ Palmer beat me to it and said most of what I would have said. The key fact to which the Clanger has never responded and has still never responded was contained in RJ's #7192 in which he told the Clanger:
'You're also dismissing the first hand account of what Maybrick actually said (from Dr Hopper's surviving deposition) where he referred to her as Florrie's godmother, in preference to the hearsay evidence of Addison's opening speech, where he is quite clearly muddling the Countess de Gabriac with James Baillie Knight's aunt'.
Although this post was directly addressed to him, the Clanger was absolutely silent about it. He said nothing in response.
The key point is that the Countess de Gabriac was clearly NOT referred to by Florence as her aunt, otherwise Dr Hopper would have been told that she went to London to see her aunt!! It's that simple. She was carefully stated to have been her godmother. That is all the proof one needs. 'Godmother' not 'aunt'.
The Clanger has never even acknowledged this evidence which I think he simply missed when he read my 'Bunny's Aunt' article in about thirty seconds, so eager was he to respond on Casebook immediately following publication of it with his irrelevant claim that some women who are not aunts are referred to as aunts. The evidence in this case proves that this did not happen with the Countess de Gabriac.
MISS INFORMATION'S ONE OFF FAILURE
Continuing her bid to spread misinformation about the diary, Miss Information, who proudly claims not to read the articles on this website, posted in #7203:
'What makes me smile Gary [the Clanger], is all that time and effort that has been going into trying to prove a negative: that this, that or the other phrases in the diary; or this or that two-word combination, could not possibly have come into being before such-and-such a date, as if they suddenly appeared on the surviving record, as if by magic, on the very day each one was coined'.
This is simply false but very badly stated because, if a certain expression was 'coined' on a certain day, this WOULD be the first time it appeared on the record as if by magic!!! After all, that's exactly what it means to coin a phrase!
I've never claimed that 'one off instance' was coined on a certain date and suddenly appeared on the record as if by magic. I have looked at the EVOLUTION of the expression and this shows that it didn't exist until after the Second World War. Nothing could be clearer.
But what's really funny is that if you go and look back through the archives, it's Miss Information herself who has spent so much time and effort countering arguments about expressions in the diary. Thus, you will find an endless number of posts in which she tries to explain away the appearance of 'spreads mayhem' in the diary and 'top myself'. More recently she tried to explain away 'bumbling buffoon'. She's also had various attempts to explain away 'one off instance' but seems to have accepted defeat on this one, comforted by the knowledge that it doesn't prove that Mike Barrett was the forger.
The fact of the matter is that she herself LOVES spending time and effort trying to disprove a negative but when she can't do it she simply falls back on saying it's impossible and a waste of time to prove a negative.
But I'm afraid it's been proved. 'One off instance' is distinctly and undeniably twentieth century and no remotely similar expression from the nineteenth century (e.g. 'one off occasion', 'one off event' etc.) has been discovered in almost 30 years since the diary first emerged.
In response to RJ Palmer telling Miss Information that 'I have no difficulty believing that you have convinced yourself that the diary is a very old relic found under James Maybrick's floorboards', Miss Information replied in #7026 of the Incontrovertible thread:
'Have I though? I have conceded on numerous occasions that it could have been written in recent times, by someone who never or expected it to end up with the likes of Mike Barrett'.
She accused RJ Palmer of 'imagining what I haven't written and and not bothering to read what I have'.
This is all terribly disingenuous on the part of Miss Information who, under her alter ego of Dizzy Miss Lizzy, has said so many different things about the diary that it's impossible for any human being to keep up.
As I set out in A Dig in the Archives under the heading 'SHE'S DIZZY, MISS LIZZY', she has made statements regarding her belief that the diary IS an old hoax created in about 1889, shortly after Maybrick's death. In JTR Forums on 2 September 2011, for example, she wrote of her 'gut feeling that someone wrote the diary in the immediate wake of her trial'. In the 'Incontrovertible' thread she's said it repeatedly, telling us on 7 August 2013 that her thinking was that, 'it is an old hoax' (#1111). On 9 August 2013 she shared her theory that 'the diary is a much older hoax' (#1146). On 13 October 2016 she posted that: 'it has to be an old hoax' (#1995). On 6 December 2016 she repeated her belief that the diary is 'an old hoax' (#2088). Now, when confronted with RJ stating that her strong belief is that the diary is an old hoax, she blusters that she had NEVER convinced herself that it was an old hoax!!!! Amazing.
Further, as detailed in Keith and I: The Search for an Open Mind Miss Information told us in 2013: 'there was never a modern hoax conspiracy to crack'. That's a little bit different from her now saying that the diary 'could have been written in recent times'.
Oddly, despite having frequently stated her opinion that the diary is an old hoax, when Keith Skinner discovered in 2004 that electricians had been working in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992, she hinted mysteriously that Maybrick might have been the author after all!
For someone who tells us that she has conceded 'on numerous occasions' that the diary is a hoax which could have been written in recent times - although she doesn't point to a single example - it's extraordinary that, in her time online, she has opposed EVERY SINGLE argument that the diary is a hoax. From the Poste House to the tin match box empty, through all the factual errors and anachronisms, she has stood firmly with those who pooh pooh these obvious giveaways as showing that the diary is a hoax.
Since I proved that 'one off instance' didn't exist as an expression in the nineteenth century she has, it is true, occasionally (NOT on numerous occasions) conceded that well perhaps the diary was written more recently than she'd previously thought, albeit not by Mike Barrett, but she's never once explained how it got under the floorboards, despite repeatedly claiming that the diary was discovered by Eddie Lyons under the floorboards.
I don't think even she has got the chutzpah to deny that her unshakeable belief is that Eddie Lyons discovered the diary under the floorboards. In 2018, she said that she has 'never been more certain' that the diary was found 'when the floorboards were lifted on 9th March 1992'.
Whenever she's spoken of the diary being a modern hoax, she's said that perhaps the diary was placed in Battlecrease by a modern tourist during a tour of the house but, lacking the courage of her convictions, she's never said that the tourist placed it under the floorboards. After all, how could they possibly have done so?
So her position lacks any logic or consistency. If it's a modern hoax discovered for the first time under the floorboards of Maybrick's room in March 1992 how did it get under the floorboards?
She has NEVER answered this question directly.
There is no doubt in my mind that her strong belief is that the dairy is old (whether hoax or not), and that she has convinced herself of this. She will, when pressed, concede it might not be, as long as she doesn't have to admit it wasn't written by one or both of the Barretts. But why she is so fiercely opposed to the notion that one or both of the Barretts could have created the diary in 1992 is really quite a mystery. She's never come up with a single solid fact to explain why it's not possible.
On this point, see my July 2020 essay Inside Story of a Sceptical Mind.
LECHMERE RUMBLES ON
I haven't been following the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread very closely. Looking at it this morning (23 October) they seem to be arguing about whether there was anything suspicious about Lechmere alerting Paul to the fact of a woman lying in the ground by touching him on the shoulder during the night when it was dark FFS!
Scrolling up to the three thousandth and one post (#3001) FFS, I see that Christer demonstrates everything that is wrong with a researcher engaging in a debate about events in the 19th century using 20th century values. In a list of supposedly suspicious things done by Lechmere his first in the list is this;
'He did not give the name he otherwise gave to the authorities, his registered one, when testifying at the inquest'.
He never explains what he means by his 'registered' name but registration of births had only been made compulsory a mere 14 years prior to 1888. When Lechmere was born, therefore, there was no compulsory registration of births so that the issue of a man's 'registered' name was nowhere near as important as it might be considered today. Plenty of men did not even have a registered birth name!
Christer also refers to 'the authorities' as if it was one single magic organism. Take marriage for example. Lechmere didn't have any contact with the authorities when he got married. He would have given his name to his local vicar. It was the church which gave all the details of the marriage to the registrar. I've provided a number of examples where individuals used the surname they were given at birth at the time of their marriage yet continued to be commonly known by their adopted surname (including the name they adopted from their stepfather). That's just a fact. There was nothing suspicious about it. So Christer's attempt to make suspicious THIS occasion at the inquest, when Lechmere probably just used the name he was commonly known by, at least at Pickfords, is pathetic.
Stating one's name to the local coroner when giving evidence about finding a body while on the way to work at Pickfords was not necessarily thought of as the same thing in terms of 'the authorities' as giving one's family surname to the man who knocked on the door asking questions for the census. It's not 'the authorities' and I very much doubt people in the 19th century thought of 'the authorities' in the way Christer does today.
Take the police, which is probably the actual face of 'the authorities' which most people have contact with. We can infer that Charles told the police officer who spoke to him in September 1888 that his name was Cross because that is how he is referred to in a police report (although we have no idea if he mentioned he was also called Lechmere) but, equally, we have literally no idea if he had had any contact with the police prior to September 1888 and, if he did, what name he gave them on such occasions. Without that crucial data we are blind.
All we know is that on a single occasion when he appears to have been called as a witness at an inquest prior to September 1888 (i.e. in 1876) he used the name Cross.
Above all, though, Christer's constant reference to these mythical 'authorities' is totally misleading because the name that Charles was perfectly entitled to use was the name he was commonly known as by friends, acquaintances and/or work colleagues and employers. That's what Christer fails to understand. It's not about 'the authorities', it's about the situation and the context.
We have literally ZERO data as to what name Charles was commonly known by and that's why we cannot draw any conclusions from the name he gave at the inquest. It would not only be dangerous to do so in ignorance but creates a prejudice against Cross amongst those who don't understand society in 1888 and thus sets the entire debate about the man's guilt or innocence into a potentially fatally flawed frame.
LET'S WIND UP BEGG AND THE CLANGER
Private Eye of all publications reported favourably on Rubenhold's book in its Literary Review section, in Issue 1558, while discussing Justine Picardie's biography of Catherine Dior, saying:
'Of course, it's possible to write a good biography despite a lack of source material; Claire Tomalin's The Invisible Woman, an evocation of the world of Charles Dickens' mistress, actress Nelly Ternan, is one fine example, while Hallie Rubenhold's The Five restores human identity of Jack the Ripper's women victims.'
So much for the Clanger's public crusade against the book. No one was listening.
SIMON WOULD IF HE COULD
A rare appearance from Simon Wood in the Incontrovertible thread, talking nonsense as usual (#7225):
'I know the diary is modern-day crap, because I was the person who, in 1987/88, first posited the idea of initials on the wall'.
You'll notice he speaks here only of 'the idea' of initials on the wall. A statement which disguises the fact that he didn't actually see THE initials 'FM' on the wall.
I explained all this in Simon Wood If He Could.
His logic doesn't make any sense because if the initials 'FM' are on the wall, and he saw them (or the idea of them!) in 1987, 1988 or 1989, it would mean that the initials are there, making the diary more likely to be genuine!! Hence he can't know that the diary 'is modern-day crap' simply because he spotted initials, or the idea of them, before the appearance of the diary which mentioned the initials.
Little Scottie Nelson Esq. tried to help out his mate in #7234 by saying:
'Because if Simon hadn't suggested the idea that initials could be on the wall, nobody else would have found them.'
To which Wood replied (#7236):
Again it makes no sense. Does Wood think that the forger overheard his conversation with a small number of people in April 1989 and thus had a flashbulb moment thinking that he'd borrow the idea for his forgery? Or does he think that the forger was Martin Fido, Keith Skinner or Paul Begg?
Truly, I think Wood has always believed that the forger's idea to mention initials somehow, by some mystical process he is unable to explain, came from him.
It's an idea that he got into his head in about 1993 and hasn't been able to remove it ever since.
AN EVERCHANGING STORY
In #7248 of the Incontrovertible thread, Wood posted a passage he'd written many years ago in which his explanation for how he made his discovery begins:
'It happened at a City Darts 'Jack the Ripper Seminar' in 1989.'
Only a few posts earlier he'd told us that he was the person who first posited the idea of the initials on the wall in 1987/8!!! He can't even decide on his basic story.
And we'd just been told very clearly that he only suggested 'the idea' that the initials could be found on the wall. But in his mythical explanation he wrote that in discussions with Fido and Skinner:
'I pointed out the initials on the wall'.
He says 'the initials' intending to give the impression that he is talking about 'FM'. But he never saw those initials! Martin Fido was the first person to discern an 'M' on the wall.
Even Wood says 'none of us could decipher the initials'.
He can't seriously be telling us that upon close examination of what we would now refer to as 'the initials', he couldn't make out at least an 'M'.
Those of you who took my advice to read my article on the subject will know that what Wood saw on the wall, or thought he saw, had something to do with Joseph Barnett. I don't even think he was looking at the same place on the wall where the 'FM' is perceived to be. He was evidently looking elsewhere.
We have it on the authority of Martin Fido. Wood was not the first person to discover the 'FM' initials however much he'd like the world to think so.
THE LEGEND OF LORD ORSAM
I think I know what it feels like to be Jesus. After his death, many of his followers no doubt passed on misremembered accounts of conversations they had with him which ended up in the New Testament.
Likewise, members of the Censorship Forum seem to recall conversations with me during my time I was 'alive' on the boards which they never had.
According to Wickerman, in #14 of the 'Rowland Adams Williams' thread, with reference to an article in the Star of 14 November 1888:
I think he does not recall correctly.
'Some years ago I did discuss the criticisms contained in this article with Lord Orsam, if I recall correctly he thought the details in the article were incorrect...in my opinion Lord Orsam took a narrow view explaining that while Macdonald did the absolute minimum his inquest was perfectly sound'.
For I have no recollection of ever discussing the Star article with Wickerman or saying that I thought the details in the Star article were incorrect. I also don't recognise the explanation about Macdonald's inquest that I am supposed to have given.
I guess that this is what happens when you are a legend. Everyone wants to claim they discussed this and that with you, even though it didn't happen.
Mind you, perhaps Wickerman was diverting attention from his howler earlier in the thread when he posted (#3):
'It looks like the deputy coroner for Crickhowell was deceased before the Kelly inquest occurred'.
Why did he think that? Because he had seen a reference to Rowland Addams Williams as 'the late deputy coroner for Crickhowell' and thought that this meant he had died, as opposed to simply not being the deputy coroner any more, which is, of course, what it did mean.
Another schoolboy error from that quarter.
In #288 of the 'Clanger's Lair' thread on JTR Forums, sorry, 'Charles Lechmere's Imaginary Lair' thread, sorry, sorry, I'll get it right in a second, 'Charles Lechmere's Lair?' thread, that's it, the Clanger posted a photograph of premises in Broadway Market with the comment:
'Not sure how old this photo is, but it's obviously fairly recent'.
Hmmmmn, I wonder if there are any clues in that photograph which would help us determine the age of it? Any clues at all? Let's see...
What about that actual fucking date which says "(c) 2020 Google". Wonder if that helps.
And the blind bat obviously didn't notice the image capture date at the foot of the page saying 'Sep 2020'.
-----------------------------> Vision Express.
MAJOR CALLING LORD ORSAM
I find myself directly addressed by an impudent Major on the Censorship Forum!
Having been shown four images of Kelly's wall by the Baron (#7254 of the Incontrovertible thread), none of which display the letters 'FM' on that wall, the Major ignored that and said in #7256:
'Give us the pyrotechnics - Lord Orsam, I'm pretty sure you read this stuff (cough) so show us the mythical original you mention on your one-third website where no shred of Florrie's initials are on show. Give us the fireworks - amaze us, bedazzle us, inspire us, convince us.'
The fact of the matter is that while I have, as I first mentioned in 'Pillar of Sand' seen a high quality print of the original photograph - in which there are no initials visible on the wall - I am not in possession of it. Even if I was in possession of it and was allowed to reproduce it, I very much doubt I would be able to reproduce it in sufficiently high quality and resolution to enable others to see what the original looks like.
My message back to the Major is to repeat what I have said multiple times which is to ask his friend Keith Skinner.
WHO, WHERE WHEN AND HOW
According to Varqm in #15 of the 'Rowland Adams Williams' thread:
'The inquest had to share the "who, where when and how" with the registrar (GRO)'
He doesn't seem to think that this happened in the case of the Kelly inquest or, at least, he doesn't make clear that it did happen. So let's have a look at the information on the certificate provided to the registrar by the Coroner for Middlesex and entered onto Kelly's death certificate:
WHO - 'Marie Jeanette Kelly, otherwise Davies'
WHERE - 'Millers Court'
WHEN - '9th November 1888'
HOW - 'Severance of right carotid artery'
All the necessary information, therefore, WAS provided by the Coroner to the registrar. That being so, what is the complaint about the way Macdonald conducted the inquest from a legal perspective?
Asked how Charles Cross alone of all the witnesses could have got away with not providing his address to the coroner, Christer Holmgren said it was 'probably like this' (#3069 of 'Evidence of Innocence' thread):
'State your name, address and place of work, please.
- My name is Charles Allen Cross and I have been in the employ of Pickfords for more than twenty years.'
So Holmgren must think that answering questions before Wynne Baxter was voluntary and that witnesses could decide which bits of a question they wanted to answer and which bits they did not. Either that or he's saying that the inept coroner simply didn't notice that Cross failed to provide his address as requested.
The fact of the matter is that reporters would only have reported what was stated in court. The fact that the Star reported Cross' address means that he must have stated his address in court to the coroner regardless of whether most of the press heard it or not. If the Star reporter had to ask someone for clarification because it was inaudible, so be it (although that seems highly unlikely in circumstances where the same reporter only referred to the witness as 'Carman Cross' whereas others reported his full name) but it must have been stated by the witness because witnesses weren't given the opportunity of not informing the coroner of their address!
CLANGER JOINS IN WITH A CLANG
Following Christer's claim that Cross might have got away with not answering the question as to his address, the Clanger, who has formed some kind of weird unholy alliance with Holmgren, then suggested that there was some kind of comparison between Cross deliberately not informing the coroner of his address when asked and the evasiveness of Tomkins when asked if women called at his slaughter yard (#3070). Not only is it a typically false comparison by the Clanger - because the two types of question are totally different - but the Clanger misrepresented the exchange between the coroner and Baxter as being:
'Do women call at the slaughter yard?
'I don't like them'.
According to the Clanger, 'Tomkins didn't want to give a straight answer to the question and he got away with not doing so.'
But that's not how it happened at all. From the Daily Telegraph we find that the full exchange went something like this:
'The Coroner: Did anybody come to the slaughterhouse that night?
Witness: Nobody passed except the policeman?
The Coroner: Are there any women about there?
'The Witness: Oh! I know nothing about them. I don't like 'em.
The Coroner: I did not ask you whether you like them. I ask you whether there were any about that night?'
'The Witness: I did not see any.'
So we can see that, once the full exchange is known, Tomkins DID answer the question, saying that he didn't see any women about the slaughterhouse that night. The coroner did NOT let Tomkins get away with not answering the question, as the Clanger falsely represented.
When challenged about this by RJ Palmer, the Clanger was forced to admit that he had misrepresented the exchange (#3076) but claimed that the question Tomkins didn't answer was 'whether women called at the slaughter yard' . But we can see that Wynne Baxter himself said that his question - and the one he wanted Tomkins to answer - was whether there were any women about the slaughter yard that night.
Somehow I think that the coroner knew what question he was asking, rather better than the Clanger. But the point is that the coroner did not let Tomkins simply avoid answering his question. Even if he re-phrased the question, he ensured he got the answer HE wanted.
But when we look at the way the exchange was reported in the Echo, there was, in that account, no rephrasing of the question by the coroner at all. Hence we find:
'I suppose people do come and look you up? - Just an odd 'un now and then.
Were there any women about?
Witness (placing his hands in his pockets) - I don't like -
The coroner _ I am not asking you that. But did you see any? No; but there are always both men and women in the Whitechapel-road.'
So, in this version, the coroner actually asked 'WERE there any women about?' so that he was always asking about the position on the night of the murder, not whether women ever visited the slaughterhouse in general.
The Times reporter, however, believed that Tomkins had answered both general and the specific questions because he summarized his answer as:
'At times women came to the place, but none came that night'.
You can take your pick but there is no indication anywhere that Tomkins failed to answer the coroner's question.
And this has all got nothing to do with a witness being asked to state their address in any case.
Why does the Clanger get everything wrong?
THE CLANGER GETS MORE WRONG
Clearly in a panic at messing up, the Clanger kept digging the hole he was stuck in, and claimed in #3076 that the exchange between the Coroner and Tomkins was:
'Q: Do prostitutes visit your place of work?
A: There are all sorts of people in the main road nearby.'
God alone knows where he's got this from. It clearly wasn't said in those terms at the inquest. It's the smell of desperation by someone who knows he'll be getting featured in 'Lord Orsam Says..'. once again very soon.
MISS INFO CALLING LORD ORSAM
Miss Information is the latest Forum member to impudently address Lord Orsam with a question, albeit indirectly.
Not surprisingly, it's one that's already been answered by Lord Orsam MANY times already. But Miss Information asks questions while refusing to find out the answer.
So what's her latest question? Well it's in #248 of the 'google ngrams' thread where she says of the Anne Graham handwriting examples I posted back in 2018:
'Has Lord Orsam run these past a handwriting expert yet, Baron?
Surely that would end the controversy for good if he is confident enough that Anne held the pen.'
As I keep saying, a handwriting expert (who would need the originals in any case, which I don't possess) is useless when it comes to disguised handwriting. They cannot say who has written text which is in a disguised hand. It's not possible. The very best they could ever say is that some of Anne's handwriting is consistent with some of the diary author's. That would take us nowhere. So the controversy would NEVER be ended for good by a handwriting analysis.
It's just more misinformation from the master (or mistress) of misinformation.
Anyone can use their eyes to see similarities in the way Anne writes some characters compared to the way the diary author writes some characters. But Miss Information refuses even to look. Or rather, she pretends she can't comment.
A better question would be whether Miss Information is concerned that the handwriting of Anne Graham that I produced from her private correspondence is so different to the short handwriting sample she provided to Keith Skinner in the 1990s (as published in 'Inside Diary').
Christer Holmgren is now officially in the misinformation business. In #3078 of the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread he claimed that:
'the 1876 case is a factual example of the carman being the only involved amateur witness in a case of violent death avoiding to divulge his address'.
This is both false and ridiculous.
The truth of the matter is that there is no evidence that the Charles Cross who gave evidence in 1876 avoided divulging his address. All that can be said is that it wasn't reported in the single newspaper report which reported on the case.
There are countless examples of addresses of witnesses not being reported. See Crossing the Line.
And here's another one, from the Holloway and Hornsey Press of 2 January 1886:
We can see that the address of Edward Power, a carman who accidentally killed Mrs William Christie in December 1885, isn't contained in the newspaper report but it would, of course, have been stated in court when he gave evidence.
(Those in the Schwartz thread might also note reference to a witness to the accident who was said to be 'not present at the inquest' whose account was given to the coroner via a police constable).
Christer's claim that there is something unique about Charles Cross's address not being reported which means that it wasn't divulged is made by someone who is obviously completely ignorant both of newspaper reporting of inquests and of inquest procedure.
THE CAT'S MEAT CLANGER
Fiver asked the question of the Clanger that I suspect most people have been wondering about for some time (#3082 of the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread):
'What is your bizarre obsession with cat's meat?'
To which the Clanger responded (#3086):
'It was the Lechmere family business'.
Family business!! LOL!
Neither Charles Lechmere's father nor stepfather was involved in the cat's meat trade. The only evidence of any family involvement during the entire nineteenth century is that Charles' mother, Maria Louisa (referred to by the Clanger and others for some strange reason as 'Ma Lechmere') made a living from dealing in cat's meat for a few years during the 1890s after she re-married. There's no evidence that this was going on during 1888 or at any time before that year. There is no evidence that Charles himself had any involvement in this line of work at any time in his life. Charles' adult son, Thomas, was a meat salesman and meat carter during the 1900s, which involved cats meat, but this was after he had worked for some years as a carman during the 1890s (and thus wasn't known to have been involved with meat during that decade, as the Clanger deceptively suggested in #3158).
The Clanger likes to say things like 'it is likely that' or 'it is reasonable to suppose that' Charles assisted his mother with the cat's meat business but this is pure speculation without any foundation whatsoever, meaning that it's not reasonable at all. Not that it would be of any significance or importance if he had done.Even Christer Holmgren is on record as saying:
'Whether Charles Lechmere was involved in the horse flesh business or not has precious little bearing on whether he was the killer, I fear' (JTR Forums, 'Harrison Barber - Horse Slaughterers' thread, #94).
So the question remains. What is the Clanger's bizarre obsession with cat's meat?
Instead of telling the Major whether or not he can see the letters "FM" on the best quality print of the Kelly photograph, Keith Skinner dissembled dreadfully (see #7281 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread), asking impudent questions of Lord Orsam via the Major which are not going to resolve anything and seem designed to allow him to avoid the issue.
All we had from him (in #7277) was that, in 1988, prior to the emergence of the diary, he thought that Simon Wood's idea of initials on the wall was 'fanciful'. But we are now over 30 years more advanced than this. Has he examined the best quality print of the Kelly crime scene photograph? If so, does he see "FM" on there? If he hasn't examined it, why not? He's one of the authors of the A to Z, which has published a copy of it, so he must have access to the best quality print.
Let me cut out the middleman Major and address Keith Skinner directly in the hope that he reads this:
Keith, mate, let's not mess about, we both know that you have access to a high quality print of the photo. Why don't do us all a favour - especially the Major - and have a look at it with your eyes and then state clearly and unambiguously whether the letters 'FM' are or are not actually visible on the wall.
Come on Keith, sometimes you need to be cruel to be kind. Put the Major out of his misery and tell him the truth.
If Keith Skinner doesn't visit here (although I assume he does) the Major should pass on the message to him. Then post the answer back from Keith on the Forum.
Spoiler alert - Keith Skinner will be compelled to say that the letters "FM" are not visible on the wall, meaning, for the hard of understanding, that he cannot see them because they are not there.
ONE FOR MENGES
It is with a heavy heart that I have to report to Chief Censor Menges that yet another breach of Forum rules has occurred in broad daylight on his watch.
In the very same post in the 'Incontrovertible' thread in which the Major said that he was unable to repeat verbatim Lord Orsam's 'rather dogmatic dismissal of the initials' (#7281) Lord Orsam was nevertheless quoted as saying that he, Lord Orsam, had examined 'probably the highest quality print of this photograph in existence'.
This quote came directly from my article Pillar of Sand. It's an accurate quote and its appearance in the Forum is thus explicitly an example of what members are prevented from doing.
It's a dreadful shame that the Major's long membership of the Forum must now be close to an end for this egregious breach of the Forum rules.
THE MOST CLASSIC CASE OF DIARY DEFENDING IN THE HISTORY OF THE ENTIRE WORLD
The award for THE most classic example of diary defending must go to the Major's anonymous correspondent in #7282 of the Incontrovertible thread. It really is a thing of beauty and genius.
This person has come up with the delightful excuse that if 'FM' isn't visible on the best quality print of the crime scene photograph, it might be because the police in 1888 photoshopped it out of the picture due to a desire 'to hold it back'.
Oh yeah, that makes sense, NOT! The photograph itself was held back! So there was no need to hold back any of the contents.
But really, as diary defending goes, it's magnificent. No initials on the wall, no problem, the police removed them from the photograph!
And if that doesn't work, the Major already has his Plan B in place, which is that the initials in question were carved onto Kelly's body.
There is never an end to it. They will invent all kinds of rubbish to explain away the evidence, or rather the absence of evidence. But this one strikes me as the best one ever. Better even than the 'off-instance' rubbish.
THE BOUNDING BUFFOON CLANGER
The Clanger has found an example of the expression 'bounding buffoon' used in October 1891 (google ngrams thread, #250) within the sentence, 'Brown of Brentford, the bucolic bounding buffoon of Bumbledon'. Well done the Clanger.
But so what? The significance, apparently, says the Clanger, is that it cannot be found in Google Ngrams.
I can only repeat that I've never used Google Ngrams myself.
A quick Google Books search, however, reveals the use of 'bounding buffoon' in The Australian Bulletin some three months earlier, in its issue of 18 July 1891:
''...and so it happened that Composer Lecoq's conception of the barber, a sentimental noodle with a sweet tenor voice, was changed into a bounding buffoon'.
So unlike 'bumbling buffoon' we easily find other nineteenth century examples of 'bounding buffoon'. More than this, the whole point is that we don't find a 'bumbling' ANYTHING in the nineteenth century in a derogatory sense and THIS is why it was impossible for Maybrick to have described his doctor as a bumbling buffoon. It's got nothing to do with Google Ngrams!
By way of comparison, we may note that it's not difficult to find another example of a derogatory use of 'bounding' in the nineteenth century. An 1875 book by Edward Rae entitled 'The Land of the North Wind' describes a man as 'a bounding lunatic'...
All the Clanger is doing is throwing into sharp relief that he cannot find a single example of a bungling buffoon from the 19th century....and he STILL seems to be trying....nor can he find a single example of a bungling ANYTHING from that century.
BEGGS AND CHOOSERS
Nice of Keith Skinner to drop Paul Begg right in it, and publicly reveal him as a man who sees letters and numbers on walls which aren't there (#7299 of the Incontrovertible thread).
Apparently, Begg could see the name 'George' and the number 48 or 40 on Kelly's wall, about which he concluded bizarrely that 'it does suggest that the murderer wrote on Kelly's unit'. Astonishing comment.
Fido could also see the letter 'A' somewhere!
It's really amazing how many things can be seen on the wall if you try hard enough!
But the hilarious thing is that, while he could see the letter 'M', or rather what looked like a letter 'M', Begg never said that he could also see the letter 'F'.
Fido could also make out the letter 'M' but the best he was willing say about the 'F' is that it was a 'smudge' which he could persuade himself was an 'F' 'if pushed'. So he couldn't see it either, is the fact of the matter.
The form of the photograph they were looking at is not stated. Was it one published in a book? It can't, presumably, have been the original photograph loaned to Paul Feldman by the curator of Scotland Yard's Crime Museum because, according to Keith Skinner, Fido and Begg were discussing the initials 'before Feldman joined the project' (about which see the next two entries below). If they were looking at a second hand copy which had been published in a book it doesn't meet the point, but, even then, they both clearly did NOT see the initials 'FM'.
And still Keith Skinner avoids telling us what HE can see in the photograph.
OOPSIE, KEITH SKINNER
So Keith Skinner tells us, via the Major, that the annotated footnote in which Martin Fido and Paul Begg were 'discussing initials on the wall of the room' comes from 'Paul and Martin's detailed reports, 'compiled before Paul Feldman joined the project'. To prove it, here is the post (#7299) in which he says this:
Those words, 'compiled before Paul Feldman joined the project', are underlined by Keith Skinner, presumably to emphasize that Fido and Begg weren't influenced by Feldman in their interpretation of the marks on the wall. But is it true?
Well, as it happens, I am in possession of a copy of 'Paul and Martin's detailed internal reports'. These so-called 'detailed reports' are actually footnotes to a document entitled 'Annotated Transcript' dated 19 January 1993 (all of which footnotes appear to have been typed by Begg, incorporating earlier comments made by Fido in a 'Ripper Diary Report' he had produced for Shirley Harrison in November 1992). Here is the Footnote 124 already transcribed by Keith Skinner:
Here's the date on the top of the page (which is the same date on the top of every page of the document):
Was this before Feldman joined the project? Well, here's the thing. On the very next page (page 42) is footnote 126 as below:
As we can see, in this footnote, Begg states:
'There is also Paul Feldman's suggestion that the heart was used to write with and that minced heart was then splattered on the walls'.
So, at the time Begg prepared this document, he was already aware of at least one suggestion which had been made by Feldman relating to the Kelly crime scene. Indeed, Feldman's belief that the killer had used the heart 'to write with' means that the suggestion had already been made by Feldman that the killer was writing something in Kelly's room. What else could that have been other than 'FM' on the wall?
Feldman says in the introduction to his 1997 book:
'In December 1992, when I became involved in the project...'
By my calculations, December 1992 is earlier than 19 January 1993.
Oh dear, Keith Skinner. Not doing very well with matters of accuracy are you?
FELDMAN'S STUNNING DISCOVERY
In his 1997 book, Feldman describes the dramatic moment he personally discovered the initials 'FM' on the wall.
Using an original photograph from Scotland Yard's Black Museum which had been loaned to him by Bill Waddell, he explained that he exploited computer technology at Direct Communications Design in Chiswick to examine the photograph 'in great detail' which allowed him to make an amazing discovery. As he tells it in his book:
'Three quarters of the way down, to the right of the centre, were marks that stunned us. There was, no doubt, the initials 'FM' were clear and precise. The initials of Florence Maybrick, the adulterous wife of James'.
The discovery was so stunning, you see, because no one else had ever seen these initials before. Thus, says Feldman (my underlining):
'Since 1975, when Donald Rumbelow first had the photograph published in his book, The Complete Jack the Ripper, nobody had ever noticed these two initials. I was later to learn that Simon Wood had, in 1988, noticed the presence of letters but not the two initials 'FM' together'.
One can only imagine the younger Tom Mitchell reading this passage of the book, his eyes wide, his mouth agog, his brain frazzled, with its stunning discovery made possible only by the use of computer technology, leading him to become a lifelong member of the Diary Defending Cult and passionate advocate of the diary.
Only it seems to have been a load of old hogwosh! In a post in the Casebook archives dated 15 September 2001, Keith Skinner revealed that the computer examination of the loaned photograph by Feldman occurred in February 1993. Martin Fido's report to Shirley Harrison from November 1992, as published by the Major himself, stated that he could see an 'M' and a preceding smudge which he would say, if pushed, resembled an 'F'. Given that Fido had already decided, long before to Feldman's computer examination of the photograph, that there might be an 'FM' on the wall, and had mentioned this to others in the team, it would be somewhat surprising if no one bothered to inform Feldman of this when he started his involvement in the project in December, or during the meeting on 13 January 1993 to discuss the diary, which was attended by Martin Fido, Paul Begg and Keith Skinner. Given that we know that Feldman had told Paul Begg prior to 19 January 1993 that he thought the killer had used Kelly's heart to write with, it is very hard to believe that Feldman wasn't aware that Fido was of the view that there were some initials written on the wall in blood.
Perhaps Keith Skinner could clarify what the heck was going on within that diary team.
THE FELDMAN IMPLICATIONS
We should pause a moment to consider the massive implications of the passage in Feldman's book about the supposed dramatic discovery of the initials with computer assistance.
Putting aside the question about whether Feldman was already aware of Fido's view that the initials 'FM' could be said to be visible on the wall, what is surely obvious from Feldman's tale is that, when he was lent the ORIGINAL photograph of the Kelly crime scene by Bill Waddell of Scotland Yard's Crime Museum, he could NOT see the initials 'FM' on the wall. If he had done, he wouldn't have been so stunned when they were revealed to him by computer technology. He would already have seen them with the naked eye.
So Feldman's book entirely corroborates what I said in Pillar of Sand back in 2019. When one looks at a high quality image of the original photograph of the Kelly crime scene there are no initials visible on the wall!
As for what Feldman supposedly found with computer technology one has to ask, where is the evidence of it? If the initials 'FM' were truly clear and precise on the computer, where is the image of this? Why wasn't it reproduced in Feldman's book?
OOPSIE KEITH SKINNER (AGAIN)
This is the full extract from Keith Skinner's Casebook post of 15 September 2001:
'To the best of my recollection it was the 1996 edition, (or possibly 1994) of the JtR A-Z, that first published Simon Wood’s 1988 observation about there being “the apparent presence of letters” on the wall in Kelly’s room.
Michael Barrett made no reference to any letters on the wall in his research notes.
In February 1993, Paul Feldman locked on to this possibility, and with the aid of a computer scan, enlarged at a laboratory, tried to determine whether the name “James” was on the wall. The suggested presence of the letters ‘F’ ‘M’ followed soon after.'
Apart from the fact that Simon Wood's observation wasn't in 1988 and apart from the fact that Feldman says in his book that he was expressly looking at the photograph to find initials to match what was said in the diary about 'an initial here...an initial there' (he doesn't mention anything about looking for the name 'James' on the wall) and apart from the fact that the presence of the letters 'F' 'M' had already been suggested by Martin Fido four months before Paul Feldman had locked onto Simon Wood's observation, that's all accurate.
GENESIS OF THE INITIALS
The genesis of the initials has already been explained exclusively on this website. This is what happened...
In April 1989 Simon Wood mentioned to Martin Fido seeing something which he couldn't decipher on the wall of Kelly's room. The suggestion was that the victim might have written the killer's name in blood on the wall but the idea was never developed. After the diary emerged a few years later, with its vague mention of initials at the Kelly crime scene, Fido remembered what Wood had said to him and passed this information on to Shirley Harrison.
Presumably because everyone wanted to be fair to him, Wood was given the credit for being the first to spot the initials, even though he hadn't actually seen THE initials on the wall and hadn't deciphered what he did see as 'FM'.
And once again, I explained all this in my article Simon Wood If He Could. The Major gave the impression in an earlier post that he had read it (although him comprehending it is another matter) yet still wrote in #7308 of the Incontrovertible thread:
'If Martin Fido is the reason why we are talking about Florence's initials being on Mary Kelly's wall, I will eat my deerstalker hat (once Lord Orsam returns it to me)'.
Yes, Martin Fido was the person who first detected an 'M' on the wall and mentioned it to Shirley Harrison. An 'F' seems to have emerged later, after first being thought of as an 'E', no doubt because 'FM' fitted the diary better than 'EM'. So, yes, in a way he IS the reason why we are talking about Florence's initials being on the wall.
I don't happen to have the Major's deerstalker hat so, if he's going to eat it as promised, he'd better find it fast.
FLORENCE MAYBRICK'S INITIALS
Florence's initials were:
Because her full married name was Florence Elizabeth Maybrick.
She had "F.E.M" on the sides of her trunk (per Alice Yapp's evidence at the inquest).
Just saying, like!
Now, I wonder if James Maybrick knew his wife's initials....
MCAZITY THE MYSTERY CAT
It's worth mentioning how silent Miss Information was during the entire Forum debate over the initials, despite contributions from her good friend Keith Skinner. Normally she has an opinion about EVERYTHING but on this occasion she was as quiet as a leedle church mice. As absent as a certain cat.
Mcazity's not there!
It's not surprising because the question of the initials causes her a big problem. Those initials can't actually be on the wall because she accepts that the diary is a fake and that James Maybrick wasn't the murderer, so the killer obviously didn't daub 'FM' on the wall. But of course she can't say that out loud because poor diddums the Major would get all upset and teary-eyed. Heavens above, it might even end up with an actual proper argument between the two love birds!But she did make clear her view on the matter earlier in the Incontrovertible thread on 22 August 2017 (#4079), before her engagement to the Major, when she said that there is:
'No FM in blood on any wall in the photo'.
Poor old the Major. He is abandoned! But of course he didn't challenge Miss Information back in 2017. There wasn't a squeak from him at the time. The coward!
The problem is even bigger for Miss Information because, if the hoaxer was referring to a perceived 'FM' on the wall, she would have to explain how the hoaxer could have known about it from examining a photograph which wasn't even published in the UK until 1969 at the very earliest. It would force her to concede that the diary must have been forged between 1969 and 1992, something which she is reluctant to do.
So I don't think we are going to once again be given the benefit of Miss Information's opinion as to whether those initials were actually on the wall of Kelly's room any time soon.
ANOTHER MAJOR MISUNDERSTANDING
Showing yet again his basic inability to grasp plain English, the Major revealed in #7311 that his belief is that after the discussion between Simon Wood and Martin Fido in April 1989, during which Simon now claims that he changed his mind about seeing initials on the wall:
And in #7312:
'Martin wasn't convinced by this volte face. He went away and mulled it over...'
'Martin Fido...would not let it rest...'
No, that's not what happened. Martin didn't mull anything over. He did let it rest. He forgot all about it until the emergence of the diary in 1992 when there was a mention of an initial here and an initial there. He then remembered the conversation with Simon Wood from three years earlier. He then looked again at the photograph, and now believed he could see what could be a letter 'M' for Maybrick. A smudge which first looked like an 'E' could also be an 'F' and, therefore, one could argue that Florence's initials were on the wall.
But he didn't believe for one second that the murderer actually painted the initials 'FM' in blood on the wall or that the initials 'FM' were actually on the wall. The question was how the hoaxer had seen those initials in the photograph and he actually wondered if Simon Wood was in some way responsible for the hoax and had deliberately planted the idea in his mind of there being writing on the wall three years earlier!
THE MAJOR'S OPTIONS
The Major asks us in #7371 of the Incontrovertible thread: 'by what means did the hoaxer stumble upon Florence Maybrick's initials being on Mary Jane Kelly's wall?'. He presents four possible options:
A) The hoaxer was in the City Darts pub that evening and overheard the conversation between Simon Wood and Fido, or
B) The hoaxer heard about the initials before April 13, 1992, and therefore clearly wove them into his or her narrative, or
C) The hoaxer was simply referring to an initial at 29 Hanbury Street and an initial on Mary Kelly's arm, or
D) Some other theory that conveniently explains away Florence Maybrick's initials being on Mary Jane Kelly's wall.
Leaving aside that Option D isn't relevant to the question the Major asked, and leaving aside that the hoaxer never says in the diary that Florence Maybrick's initials were on Kelly's wall (Florence is only mentioned obliquely, the wall not at all), it is literally astonishing that the Major doesn't present an option being that the hoaxer simply saw in a published copy of MJK1 what he believed to be the initials 'FM' on the wall and incorporated that into his hoax diary. After all, if the Major can see those initials clearly, as he tells us he can - and I don't believe he has superhuman eyesight - why doesn't he seem to think that ANYONE, including the hoaxer, could have easily seen them on viewing a copy of the photograph in one of the Ripper books?
Frankly, that is far more of a mystery than the one the Major purports to ask about.
I suppose, in that case, I'd better give some options for possible answers to my question:
A) The Major is an idiot, or
B) The Major is an idiot, or
C) The Major is an idiot, or
D) The Major is an idiot.
One of those options must be right, surely.
YABS STATES THE OBVIOUS
Without actually telling the Major that he is an idiot, Yabs made clear that he must think the Major is an idiot by telling him in #7317 that there was an obvious fifth option in answer to his question about how the hoaxer stumbled upon the initials, namely:
E) The hoaxer, like Simon, simply spotted what could be argued was an initial.
What was the Major's response? I'll give you four options:
A) He ignored it.
B) He ignored it.
C) He ignored it.
D) He ignored it.
The actual answer is that he ignored it!
Yes, he picked up something else that Yabs had mentioned in his post but said nothing about the obvious fact that, if Simon could see a letter or letters of some sort, if Martin Fido could see something, if Paul Begg could see something, and if the Major himself can see something, then why couldn't the hoaxer have seen something too?
Of course, we don't know exactly what the hoaxer saw because we are not told in the diary. It's all left as vague as possible, thus allowing the Major's imagination to run free. It might have had something to do with Florence, as is hinted at, but whether it was supposed to be an initial on the wall or on the flesh or somewhere else in the room it is impossible to say. In other words, it might have been a completely different initial or initials to what the Major is focusing on. That's the beauty of the diary: ANYTHING is possible when it comes to interpretation.
Thankfully, due to the mistake with 'one off instance', amongst other fatal errors, we don't need to worry about any of this nonsense any longer.
ANOTHER MAJOR MISUNDERSTANDING
The Major seems to have lost the ability to read English.
In #7345 of the Incontrovertible thread he told Phil Carter that 'Martin Fido and Paul Begg...could clearly see those initials...'.
The fact of the matter is that Paul Begg only stated that he could see an 'M' on the wall.
Well, he said he could see some numbers and a name but we'll let that pass as a moment of temporary insanity. The point is that he never said he saw an 'F'.
The Major has convinced himself so deeply that both Begg and Fido saw 'FM' that he is now imagining things.
As for Fido, it's worth repeating that he said he could see a 'smudge' preceding the letter 'M'. He originally thought this was an 'E' but it seems that, to match the supposed writing on the wall with the contents of the diary, he was prepared to say, 'if pushed' that it could be an 'F'. This means that if Maybrick's wife had been called Elaine, Edith, Ethel, Emma, Elizabeth, Eileen, Edwina, Eugenie, Eleanor, Eve, Esther, etc. Fido would have been able to see an 'E' and we would be talking about the letters 'EM' on the wall that Fido had clearly been able to see!!!
Undoubtedly his perception of what was on the wall in the photograph was being influenced by the contents of the diary and the fact that Maybrick's wife was called Florence. He could NOT actually see an 'F' on the wall. The best he would do was admit that there might be an 'F' there within the smudge.
That is not someone clearly seeing the initials 'FM'.
While Begg did NOT see the initials 'FM' at all.
And Skinner refuses to comment!
It really is game over for the Major.
AN EXCELLENT THREAD
Much credit to RJ Palmer for his excellent thread, 'Charles Lechmere and the Curious Case of Henry John Holland'.
The thread contains much of interest.
RJ highlights the fact that only one newspaper (the Times) reported the address of the witness Henry John Holland at the Chapman inquest, albeit probably inaccurately, as 4 Aden Yard, Mile End. All others omitted it. Even then, other newspapers variously recorded that Holland was a boxcutter, box maker or packing case maker, a detail omitted by the Times.
It shows you cannot draw conclusions from omissions of facts by newspapers. Holland evidently stated his address and gave his trade. The fact that most newspapers didn't report these facts, and no newspaper reported them both, is, therefore, of no significance. It would be ludicrous to claim that Holland omitted to state his address when asked.
Then, at the same hearing, we find not a single newspaper reporting the address of Fontaine Smith. But the reason for this is revealed in the Birmingham Daily Post. It was simply because he 'gave his address inaudibly' so that no-one heard it. Other newspapers (e.g. The Morning Post) confirm that Smith was 'scarcely audible' while he gave his entire evidence.
This is EXACTLY what I have been saying about Charles Cross' evidence. His address was quite possibly inaudible in the way he said it, perhaps due to bad acoustics in the room, or someone coughed at the exact moment he was saying it. Once that happens, it's game over for someone trying to take a note. You've lost your chance. Either the Star reporter heard it which is why he was able to include it or (far less likely) he checked afterwards. The idea that Cross didn't state his evidence is a non-starter. As RJ has noted from Sewell's 1843 'A Treatise on the Law of Coroner', the coroner was supposed to take down the 'name, place of abode, and occupation' of witnesses. It was standard procedure. See my article Crossing the Line for more on this issue.
Fiver has found some interesting examples of witnesses asking to be allowed to give their address privately to the coroner (and being granted permission to do so) but this is something we can be sure did not happen with Charles Cross because the Star reported it. If Cross had been allowed to keep his address private, the Star reporter would not have been told it by the Coroner's clerk (which is Holmgren's theory of how he got hold of it) for the very reason that the coroner had ruled it to be private.
The only sensible conclusion, therefore, is that Cross correctly stated his address at the inquest as he would have been required to do.
THE CLANGING CLANGER CLANGS AGAIN
As soon as the Clanger starts talking about stuff other than birth certificates and censuses he becomes hopelessly out of his depth.
In the face of RJ Palmer's outstanding work about Henry Holland, the Clanger (in #3) totally missed the point that all newspapers but one didn't give an address of this witness (just like in the case of Charles Cross) and tried to switch this to the fact that the Times reporter ALWAYS gave the address of witnesses, so why didn't he do so with Cross?
It was immediately pointed out to him that it wasn't true. Fontaine Smith's address wasn't included by the Times reporter in his report of the Chapman inquest and thankfully, miraculously, we know why. It was because he stated his address inaudibly, so that the reporters couldn't hear it.
The Clanger then (#12) bizarrely said that:
'In the cases of Fontain Smith and Wilkinson, their full addresses do appear in the statements, but were clearly not picked up by the journalists in court'.
What is he talking about? There are no surviving 'statements' of any Chapman witnesses so, while there is a surviving deposition of Wilkinson (an Eddowes witness), in respect of Fontaine Smith (a Chapman witness) there is no such statement so he seems to be talking from the arse again.
But it leads him to ramble nonsensically, saying:
'What does this all mean - that their names were given twice, once as part of their initial statements and again for public performance from the witness stand? If so, the coroner's duty to record their abodes may have been satisfied by the information given in the initial statement and repeating it before the jury and assembled public may not have been crucial?'
What IS he talking about? By this stage, RJ had already revealed (in #10) that Fontaine Smith DID state his address publicly at the inquest but that it was inaudible. So it's just clanging nonsense of the highest order here.
I mean, it can be quite painful when one's speculations are proved to be false by evidence discovered subsequently but here the Clanger's speculations had been proved false before he even posted!!!
It's just embarrassing really at this stage.
THE EDDOWES DEPOSITIONS
In #12 the Clanger also did some comparisons between the Times reporting of the witnesses' evidence in the Eddowes case and 'the witnesses' evidence as given in court to the written statements signed by the witnesses'.
Can I at this point make a general appeal to the world to stop inaccurately referring to the witness depositions at the Eddowes inquest as 'statements'?
Now I appreciate that the esteemed authors of the Ultimate Jack the Ripper describe the Eddowes depositions as 'written statements'. I also appreciate that one of the witnesses is recorded as having given 'his statement on oath'. But that is nevertheless the wrong word. They are not written statements, they are depositions.
Depositions are taken by the coroner or the coroner's clerk - let's call that person 'the scribe' from now on - and were often written under some time pressure during the course of the examination. The scribe was a human being after all and thus subject to error.
Look for example at the fact that, in the depositions, the witnesses were all said to have been sworn or have stated their evidence on oath yet, when we come to William Sedgwick Saunders, George James Morris and George Henry Hutt, there is no such wording to confirm this. If you are someone like the Clanger, you will probably say that this means that they didn't give their evidence under oath. If you take a more realistic approach, you will conclude that it was nothing more than human error whereby the level of 100% consistency in the style of the depositions wasn't achieved. The witnesses were sworn but this just wasn't recorded.
Nevertheless the errors are not always that of the scribe. In at least one case it's the error of the authors of the Ultimate JTR. Their transcript of Eliza Gold's deposition gives her address as 'Thrawl Street, Spitalfields' compared to the Times which gives the full address as '6 Thrawl Street, Spitalfields'. When one consults a copy of the handwritten original of the deposition held at the London Metropolitan Archives, it is clear that there has been a transcription error in the Ultimate JTR because the deposition clearly gives Eliza's address as '6 Thrawl Street, Spitalfields' as below:
Something else we can see from the Eddowes depositions is that the Times reporter didn't always get it right. In the case of Frederick William Wilkinson, we find this in the Times report:
'Frederick William Wilkinson, living in Brick Lane, Spitalfields, was next examined. He said he was the deputy of the lodging house in Flower and Dean-street'.
But this isn't quite right. As we can see from the deposition, Wilkinson stated his address as:
'55 Flower and Dean Street, Brick Lane, Spitalfields'.
That is the lodging house of which he was the deputy. So the Times reporter has given the impression that Wilkinson was living at an address in Brick Lane separate from the lodging house in Flower & Dean Street, which wasn't the case.
But we can see that the Clanger has got it wrong when he wrote of Wilkinson that his full address does appear in his 'statement' [i.e. deposition] but was 'clearly not picked up by the journalists in court'.
This isn't true. The Daily News, for example, had:
'Frederick William Wilkinson - I am the deputy of 55 Flower and Dean Street.'
That was his full address. Everyone knew where Flower and Dean Street was (and John Kelly's address had already been given by the same reporter as '55 Flower and Dean Street, Spitalfields') which is no doubt why the reporter didn't bother to include 'Brick Lane, Spitalfields' in the report. Yet we know from the Times reporter's error that Wilkinson DID mention both Brick Lane and Spitalfields to the coroner.
THE GEORGE MORRIS QUESTION
So a couple of questions have been raised about the witness George Morris from the Eddowes inquest.His deposition states:
'George James Morris, Watchman to Messrs Kearley & Tonge, Wholesale Grocers in Mitre Square.'
The Times report states:
'Watchman at Messrs Kearley & Tonge tea merchants, in Mitre Square'.
The Clanger cites Evans & Skinner to suggest that the explanation for the deposition saying 'Wholesale Grocers' while the Times report says 'tea merchants' is because 'the statements [i.e. depositions] were the 'initial evidence' of the witnesses.'
I don't think so. While most other newspapers record 'tea merchants' rather than 'Wholesale Grocers', the Morning Post has 'tea dealers', while the Daily News has 'wholesale tea merchants'.
So from that we know that Morris said the word 'wholesale' which is omitted from the Times and most other newspaper reports. No known newspaper report says 'wholesale grocers'.
My opinion is that one of two things are likely to have occurred here.
The first possibility is that Morris said something like 'wholesale tea dealers and grocers' which the scribe edited to record simply as 'wholesale grocers', while newspaper reporters, already knowing about Kearley & Tonge's business, shortened and modified it to 'tea merchants' or 'tea dealers' for the sake of simplicity for their readers.
Alternatively, Morris did say 'wholesale tea merchants' but the scribe, perhaps through lack of concentration or perhaps thinking he was improving the information, wrote down 'wholesale grocers' because that's what he understood Kearley & Tonge's business to be.
I'm sure it's something very simple like this but the key to it is the appearance of the word 'wholesale' in the Daily News which tells us that the Times and other newspapers obviously weren't reporting everything that was said by Morris.
The second more tricky question relating to Morris is why he only stated the address of Kearley & Tonge (or more accurately the location of Kearley & Tonge as Mitre Square) but didn't provide his own personal home address. RJ's theory is that he was a former police officer hence wasn't required to, as other police officers were not.
I've always made clear that residential addresses were required for what I call civilians, or you could say private citizens, as opposed to professional witnesses. Hence, if a surgeon was called to give evidence about a death at his hospital he wouldn't be asked for his home address, just the name of the hospital (and possibly the hospital's address but everyone knew where, for example, the London Hospital was, so the street name might not have been necessary). That was all that was necessary to confirm his identity, which was, ultimately, the purpose of him being required to state his address. If, however, he was giving evidence about the death of his wife, or of someone in the street outside his house, I would expect him to have been asked for (and to have given) his residential address.
Now, George Morris wasn't exactly a professional witness but the evidence he was giving related to him being located in Kearley & Tonge's warehouse in Mitre Square so that this was the key address that the coroner needed. I appreciate that this might not have been the same for watchmen at other inquests - Patrick Mulshaw at the Nichols inquest, for example, gave his address to Wynne Baxter as 3 Rupert Street - but Langham, the City of London coroner, might have had a different practice in this respect.
The point is that all civilian or private citizen witnesses such as those finding a body in the street would always be asked to state their address for the coroner. It's how inquests operated! For that reason, when it comes to George Cross, he WOULD have been asked to state his address (something which even the Clanger and Holmgren appear to accept) and the fact that he did so is literally confirmed by the report in the Star.
For that reason, an honourable mention is due to Christer Holmgren who actually felt he could reasonably write in #3181 of the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread:
'The important thing is not that the Star was able to publish his address. The important thing is that Lechmere seemingly TRIED to conceal it.'
The word 'seemingly' is doing an awful lot of work in that sentence but is entirely inappropriate. If we can't rule out the possibility that Cross did state his address in court but that other reporters simply didn't hear it - which we can't do - then it is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to frame a man for murder by saying that he seemingly tried to conceal his address. That certainly isn't what seems to have happened at all, as shown by the fact that the Star published it. That's the clearest evidence possible that Cross actually stated his address in court.
The new finds by RJ simply confirm that this is exactly what must have happened.
CLANGER CAN'T STOP CLANGING
The Clanger, as anyone who follows this site regularly will know very well, is psychologically incapable of admitting to error, so, despite RJ Palmer's clear refutation of his arguments about Cross' address, he stubbornly doubled down and posted in #18 of the Holland thread:
'Nothing that has been posted so far has cancelled out the possibility that Lechmere did not give his address from the witness box but the Star, perhaps thinking it was an important part of the story given the timings, asked the coroner's official for it.'
Well, except that all civilian witnesses were asked to state their address and were required to do so, and there's no reason why that wouldn't have applied to Cross, so the fact that the Star published his address confirms that he did so.
RJ Palmer schooled the Clanger in #23 so I'll say no more about it.
If anyone thinks that I'm a bit hard on the Clanger and he isn't really as stupid as I make him out to be, please just look at his post #31 in the Henry Holland thread.
Let me reproduce it in full (and bear in mind he's attempting to be sarcastic):
'A peculiar phenomenon existed in the Working Lads Institute. The acoustics around just one seat on the press table were perfect. A reporter sitting there could hear every syllable spoken by a witness giving his address. From the seats either side, the witness's address would have been totally inaudible. The reporters sitting at them wouldn't even have bothered to have a guess at what address the witness gave.
It was known as the Star effect.
Edit: I should have said that this inaudibility only applied to addresses.'
Let me tell you, that really is a stupid post. It can only have been written by someone who has never attended a court hearing to take a note of proceedings in his life.
It doesn't matter who you are - including the official court reporter - it's very difficult when listening to someone speak in court, regardless of how good or bad the acoustics are, to pick up names of people and streets (or places or companies etc.) if you are hearing those names for the first time and don't recognize them. If it's an unusual name, you can only make the attempt phonetically as best you can. If the person speaking isn't speaking very clearly or loudly it's doubly hard. If there is some sort of noise near you in the court - such as a rustling of papers or a cough - it's triply difficult. You might not even be able to hear the name at all.
As to something like a cough, if the person next to you coughs, that can block out the entire word, whereas for someone else in the room, more of a distance from the cougher, the word is still audible. That's the nature of sound.
Now the Clanger adds to his problems by imagining something called 'the press table'. Did such a thing exist in the Working Lads Institute for any of the inquests? I've never seen any reference to one. That means we don't know where the press reporters sat or how they were distributed around the room.
After referring to something called 'the Star effect', he then edited his post to say, madly: 'the inaudibility only applied to addresses'.
Well one only has to look at the Star report of 3 September to know that the reporter was having problem at points hearing what was said. Hence we find in his report a mention of 'Police Constable Pain' (which was of course Thain). In the evidence of 'Carman Cross' (whose full name wasn't given by the Star reporter, perhaps because he didn't hear it clearly, like other reporters don't appear to have done e.g. Times (George Cross), Telegraph (Charles Andrew Cross):
'He left home on Friday at twenty minutes past three...He crossed Bradley-street into Bucks-row'.
Other reporters heard Cross say he left his home at 3.30 and crossed Brady Street into Bucks Row. For some reason, the Star report says 'Bradley-street'.
But let's just take a look at that one sentence and assume that the reporter meant to write: 'He crossed Brady-street into Bucks-row'.
In the Times we find it stated as: 'Witness walked along Buck's-row'. There's no mention of Brady Street at all in the report.
In the Telegraph, we just have 'he passed through Buck's-row'
In the Daily Chronicle we find it stated as 'passing through Buck's-row'. Again, no mention of Brady Street.
In the Echo we have: 'He crossed Brady Street into Buck's-row'.
In the Globe: 'He went through Brady Street into Buck's-row' .
In the Morning Post, however, we find: 'I went down Parson-street, crossed Brady-street, and through Buck's-row'.
So how did the Morning Post reporter hear 'Parson-street' (which is probably a mis-hearing of another street name, perhaps Bath Street) yet the Star reporter and all other reporters omitted it? Is this a case of the Morning Post reporter asking the clerk for help? Seems unlikely if Parson Street didn't even exist!
To me, this illustrates how absolutely stupid it is to compare newspaper reports and conclude that if only one reporter mentioned something in their report it didn't come from the oral evidence of the witness. I would think that most reporters didn't clearly hear what sounded to the Morning Post reporter like 'Parson Street' hence none of them mentioned it. Whether they did or did not hear 'Brady Street' we can only speculate.
I can't stress how foolish it is to say that because only one newspaper heard Cross say '22 Doveton Street' the conclusion is that he didn't say it. The very opposite is true. The fact that it was reported in a newspaper means that he MUST have said it. Because court reporters only reported what was said by witnesses, not what was not said!
A final mention of the penultimate witness of the day who was identified variously as Emily Holland, Ellen Holland and Jane Oram. Perhaps she gave three names, or perhaps something went wrong with the audibility of her evidence at that point. Clanger will let us know.
CLANGER STILL CLANGS
Despite not knowing what name Charles Lechmere was known by at Pickfords, the Clanger actually felt he could write in #3227 of the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread:
'Lechmere's decision to conceal his name...'
Amazing. He's said it so many times that it's now become a fact in his mind that Charles actually decided to conceal his name even though he cannot possibly know this.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is why the Clanger clangs.
MAJOR STILL MISUNDERSTANDS
To Yabs, the Major asked (#7368 of the Incontrovertible thread) regarding the so-called initials on the wall of Kelly's room:
'do you believe that Paul came to the same conclusion as Martin independently or because Martin guided him to that conclusion? Their notes suggest that Paul was led to the initials by Martin's comment and perhaps you believes that invalidates Paul's' interpretation of the marks as initials?'
Talk about a false premise.
Paul Begg said NOTHING about seeing any initials (plural).
Has the Major seriously lost the ability to read English?
'I, too, can see the M' said Paul Begg in the extract which the Major himself posted.
In other words, he couldn't see the 'F'.
He could only see an initial.
Bizarrely, and presumably as some kind of distraction attempt, the Major condescendingly told Yabs in the same post:
'And for the convenience of everybody following this thread, could you post the relevant pages from the diary (not the transcript) so that people will not only be able to follow your train of thought in interpreting Mike Barrett's thought processes when creating the diary but also see how similar the handwriting is to Mike and Anne Barrett's (or not as the case may be).'
I never see the Major posting pages from the diary (presumably in breach of Robert Smith's copyright) to illustrate any of his points, and it's a very odd request to ask of someone else.
More than this, though, no-one is seriously suggesting that the diary is in Mike's handwriting so what is the purpose of comparing Mike's handwriting with the diary author's?
The suggestion has been made that Anne might written the diary in a disguised hand, so a comparison won't achieve very much, but to the extent that there are similarities between Anne's handwriting and the diary author's, I already did a thread on this, in which the Major himself contributed here.
Yabs was discussing the initials on the wall and had posted an extract from the diary transcript. I can't think of anything more irrelevant to that discussion than to get into a debate about the handwriting.
To me, it looks like the Major was rattled by a good post by Yabs explaining that the diary author only seemed to be talking about a single initial at the Kelly crime scene so he tried to change the subject to discuss the handwriting. A typical Diary Defender tactic. Once one of their ridiculous arguments fails, switch to another one!
BAD FAITH ACTORSo RJ posts a newspaper report in the Holland thread (#10) which states:
'Fontaine Smith, who gave his address inaudibly, deposed that he was brother of the deceased'.
The Clanger's response, two days later, was (#36):
'If what Smith said was 'inaudible' how do we know he gave his address?'
Can you think of a more bad faith question than that?
Seriously. For anyone who thinks the Clanger is not a bad faith actor please tell me.
You literally cannot get better evidence than that found by RJ which proves that Smith stated his address inaudibly. The Clanger's question was childish and frankly pathetic.
It's just someone who refuses to admit he is wrong.
HE STILL HASN'T GOT IT
The Major asked RJ Palmer in #7369 of the Incontrovertible thread:
'Are you at least willing to speculate on how such commentators as Martin Fido and Paul Begg (amongst so many others including, ephemerally Simon Wood) could be so badly mistaken in their views regarding those 'FM'-like shapes on Kelly's wall...?'
It's definitely worth repeating - and I will do so a million times if necessary - that Paul Begg never said he saw any 'FM'-like shapes on Kelly's wall! So the question is wrongly premised.
Simon Wood never said he saw any 'FM-like' shapes, either ephemerally or at all.
If one wants to speculate as to how Martin Fido could be so 'badly mistaken', the answer is in Fido's own words!! He clearly said that the 'F' shape was nothing more than a smudge. His initial belief was that it was an 'E'. He's clearly only agreed when 'pushed' that it could be an 'F' because that was Florence's initial, but no more than that. So it's EASY PEESY to explain how he could have been so 'badly mistaken'. He never really saw 'FM' in the first place!
When RJ pointed this out to him (#7380), the Major seemed to have forgotten that the question he'd asked was how Fido (and Begg) could have been so badly mistaken, for in #7381 he wrote:
'No-one was expecting Martin and Paul to be unequivocal...Martin's equivocation...is understandable'.
So right there we have the answer as to how Fido was mistaken about 'FM'. He wasn't sure, and equivocated. While Begg never saw 'FM' there at all!
WOOD MUST DIE?
After Simon Wood said that he may leave the name of the person he suspects of being the hoaxer 'in an envelope to be opened once I'm dust' (#7373), how charming of the Major to announce immediately that 'it would be helpful if we focus on resolving this one point' (#7381).
He's saying he wants Simon Wood to die fast, then?
Very nice of him!
And for anyone wondering if Simon Wood has worked out the identity of the hoaxer:
Don't make me laugh.
We have sufficient evidence of the workings of Wood's delusional conspiratorial minded brain from his internet posts and book to know that it doesn't function properly. Any theory he has about the creation of the diary is almost certainly wrong.
So rather than focusing on resolving this one point, and waiting for Wood to die, it should be avoided like the plague.
THE MAJOR'S STRANGE POINT
The Major added a strange point in #7381 that Fido and Begg:
'did not have the advantage of the scrapbook to help them see what was on the wall'.
I have no idea what this means. They were both looking at the photograph in direct response to the scrapbook's claim of an initial or two at the crime scene, possibly relating to 'the whoring mother' (i.e. Florence). So they most certainly DID have the advantage of the scrapbook. Prior to seeing the scrapbook, as Simon Wood has told us, neither Fido nor Begg could decipher anything on the wall.
Perhaps the Major got confused (no surprise!) - yes he did, see next entry - and, in yet another major misunderstanding, thinks that Fido and Begg were looking at the photograph in 1989, shortly after Simon Wood mentioned to them the possibility of letters on the wall. They were not. Their comments about seeing possible writing on the wall were made in Fido's case in November 1992 and in Begg's case in January 1993. In both cases, they had each read and considered the claims made by the diary author in the scrapbook.
MAJOR "LOGIC FAIL"
After RJ Palmer confronted him with his error in saying that Fido and Begg didn't have the advantage of the scrapbook, the Major admitted in #7385 it was all, well, a major misunderstanding on his part:
'It was a logic-fail which I realised myself an hour later (too late to edit) and was unavailable to correct until now'
While it is obviously good to see the Major admit to his misunderstandings, it should be clarified that it was not a 'logic fail' here, it was a misunderstanding of the evidence by the Major. Nothing to do with logic. All about the Major not concentrating, as usual.
Where we DO see a logic failure is in the Major's claim in the same post that:
'just to remind everyone that Simon's claims that Martin Fido and he could NOT decipher the initials then led to Simon claiming that he realised they were NOT THERE AT ALL. Honestly that's also a logic fail. Just because you can't agree what something represents does not seem to be good reason to simply deny the very thing you've been discussing and which you yourself bought up in the first place.'
In rushing to this conclusion, the Major has failed to ask himself one basic question. Were the 'initials' identified by Simon Wood the same 'initials' as those which are now believed to be 'FM'?
They may not be. As I've exclusively revealed previously on this website, Wood thought he could see something connected to Joe Barnett in one of the various marks on the wall. We know there are more marks on the wall than the supposed initials 'FM'. By way of reminder, Martin Fido in 1992 thought he could see a third initial: the letter 'A'. Paul Begg was convinced he could see the name 'George' on the wall as well as a number, either 48 or 40.
People can obviously see all kinds of things on that wall. I suspect that Simon Wood saw Joe Barnett's name, or part of it, at a different place on the wall to the supposed 'FM' marking. That being so, he is perfectly entitled to now say that he doesn't see what he initially suggested might be there. Even if he saw Joe Barnett's name at the same place as the 'FM', it is perfectly reasonable for him, never having seen an 'F' or an 'M' on the wall, to now say he is satisfied there is nothing there.
In exactly the same way, if Paul Begg doesn't any longer believe the name 'George' is one the wall - and for the sake of his sanity, one hopes he doesn't - that's not a failure of logic on his part, it's coming to his senses.
It's not even clear that Simon Wood saw 'initials' on the wall. He saw something somewhere but it's never been positively identified where it was or what it was. It's just that later, when looking again at the wall, Martin Fido saw a mark that could be interpreted as an 'M'. That led to a focus on that area - due to 'M' possibly meaning 'Maybrick' - and the smudge which was first thought to be an 'E' magically transformed into an 'F' for Florence.
In any case, who cares what Simon Wood did or did not see in 1989? How can his own personal perceptions possibly assist us today as to whether the initials 'FM' are on the wall? Bearing in mind that Simon never claimed to see the initials 'FM' on the wall, the Major's obsession with Simon Wood's observation is unfathomable. The only importance of the Wood observation is that it led Martin Fido, some years later, to re-examine the photograph with the idea in mind that there might be some writing on the wall to match what was said in the diary. That's it.
WOT, NO SKINNER?
Worth considering more carefully the Major's remark that those commentators who can see 'FM'-like shapes on the wall are 'Martin Fido and Paul Begg (amongst so many others...)'.
We know that Fido and Begg didn't really see 'FM'-like shapes on the wall but, given that there are supposedly 'so many others' who have, isn't it odd that Keith Skinner is not named in the list?
After all, Keith Skinner is now the Major's best mate. He's writing to him privately all the time.
How is it that he's forgotten to tell the Major that he too believes the killer has written 'FM' on that wall? Surely the Major wants to know! Why hasn't he asked him? And if he has asked him, what's the answer?
Spoiler alert: Keith Skinner has seen the best quality print and knows that 'FM' is not on the wall.
HOLMGREN'S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE TRUTH
Look at this sentence from Christer Holmgren in #3272 of the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread:
'Knowing as we do, that Charles Lechmere was the name he always otherwise used in authority contacts, he must have known that he needed to provide the police and inquest with that name too'.
We do NOT know this! It is simply false to say that Charles Lechmere was the name 'he always otherwise used in authority contacts'. If the carman at the 1876 inquest was the same Charles Lechmere - as he is likely to have been - he used the name Cross at that time, thus making the word 'always' untrue.
That's bad enough but then we have to ask: What do we know about Charles Lechmere's 'authority contacts' prior to September 1888? Not very much is the answer.
As I've mentioned above, a vicar isn't really an authority contact. The registrar of births and deaths isn't really an authority contact. The man who knocks at the door to take the census isn't really an authority contact but, if he is, Charles Lechmere was recorded as Charles Cross in the 1861 census.
The attempt to equate speaking to the police and giving evidence to an inquest with filling in a form or speaking to a vicar, by lumping them all under the heading of 'authority contacts', is a misleading way of going about things and ends up with Holmgren misleading himself, if not others. We have no evidence of Lechmere speaking to the police before 1888 other than possibly in 1876 when he used the name Charles Cross.
Above all, we don't have sufficient data and information about the man's life as at 1888 to say whether he was or was not commonly known as Charles Cross. I've proved that it was perfectly possible for a man in the nineteenth century to have one name recorded in official documents yet be commonly known by another name. Holmgren has never refuted that proof. In fact, he's largely ignored it because it's far too dangerous for him to tackle. He seems to think that an alternative name was a false name and this takes him down all kinds of wrong turnings.
MISS INFORMATION STRIKES AGAIN
So Miss Information has come up with a brand new last ditch line of attack against the Orsam Theory (#33 of the 'Acquiring a Life' thread). There wasn't enough time, she says. It was impossible. She claims that, according to Mike's affidavit, there was a four day preparation process before an 11 day writing period. In her mind, 11 days plus 4 days equals 15 days, and, as the period 31 March to 13 April is 14 days, she tells us, he couldn't have done what he said he did.
Now I've said before that Mike's affidavit should not be taken as gospel because it was drafted by Alan Gray who had no first hand knowledge of the process. Nevertheless, if we DO take the affidavit as gospel, there WAS enough time available for Mike and Anne to do all the things the affidavit tells us was done.
I shall demonstrate.
The affidavit says that on the day Mike purchased the auction he took it home and removed the makers mark with linseed oil which took 'about 2 days to dry out',
Miss Information, who appears to have caught Holmgren's Disease, seems to be unable to distinguish between 2 days and 'about 2 days'. If the drying process commenced on the day Mike brought the diary home (i.e. 31 March 1992) it could have been complete by the end of the next day 1 April 1992.
The affidavit says that Mike and Anne went shopping for materials. This could have happened on 1 April while they were waiting for the diary to dry. Once they got home, the practice run, which the affidavit says took 'approximately two days' - and note the magic word 'approximately' - could have started that day and continued over into 2 April, on which day they decided to go for it and start writing into the now dry scrapbook.
So we are on 2 April which, if that is the first day of writing, means that the eleventh day would have been 12 April. So there WAS enough time as I demonstrate with the below timeline:
31 March 1992 - Auction Day, Examination Day, Linseed Oil Day, Drying Day 1
1 April 1992 - Shopping for Materials Day, Practice Day 1, Drying Day 2
2 April 1992 - Practice Day 2, Writing Day 1
3 April 1992 - Writing Day 2
4 April 1992 - Writing Day 3
5 April 1992 - Writing Day 4
6 April 1992 - Writing Day 5
7 April 1992 - Writing Day 6
8 April 1992 - Writing Day 7
9 April 1992 - Writing Day 8
10 April 1992 - Writing Day 9
11 April 1992 - Writing Day 10
12 April 1992 - Writing Day 11 DIARY FINISHED (sunlamp day if necessary)
13 April 1992 - Brings diary to London
So, even if Mike's affidavit is read as gospel and the True Word of Barrett, there was enough time. It wasn't necessarily four consecutive days of preparation - the diary doesn't say this - because some of those days could have overlapped, as I have shown. For some reason, Miss Information was incapable of working this out herself.
THE POINTLESS BOLD BITS
Once again, I note that when setting out the chronology of events in her post #33 of the 'Acquiring a Life' thread, Miss Information bothered to highlight in bold - as she always does - the claim in the affidavit that the diary was created in 'late January 1990'.
Yeah, I think we all know that the dates are wrong in the affidavit, and we've discussed in great detail why that might be.
Of course, once again, Miss Information has completely ignored the account Mike gave in his own words at the Cloak & Dagger club in April 1999. Yet, I bet that if he had said then that the diary had been created in 1990 or 1991 she wouldn't be able to stop quoting him today. But he didn't say that. He said very clearly that the diary was created in March/April 1992. Funny isn't it how she always prefers to quote from a document not written by Mike Barrett while ignoring the words that actually came from his own lips?
But that is diary defending for you in a nutshell.
THE BUMBLING BUFFOONESS
'Talking of one off instances' says Miss Information in #272 of the 'google ngrams' thread, 'that one turned out to be a flash in the pan, didn't it?'
Er...no. It certainly did not. It remains as true today that it is an incontrovertible fact which disproves the diary as it did when I first posted on the Forum about it in 2016.
In the five years since then, making almost 30 years in total since the diary emerged, no-one has managed to find even one similar example of 'one off' being used in the nineteenth century. Not one. So I have no idea what what she is talking about.
She then says:
'Poor old Lord Orsam. He tried so hard to nail it with one off instance, then had to wheel in the aunt and godmother to put the diary to bed once and for all'.
No I didn't!
As I said very clearly at the time - but Miss Information refuses to admit to reading anything on this website - the aunt/godmother mistake was just a second mistake disproving the diary which I happened to stumble across while looking at the sources used by the forger. Both 'one off instance' and the 'aunt mistake' equally prove on their own that the diary is a fake.
Since then we've also had the discovery by the Baron of 'bumbling buffoon'. That one does it too, I think.
They all demonstrate that the diary wasn't written by James Maybrick but 'one off instance' on it's own is perfectly sufficient to do that. The fact that the Major, the Clanger, Errorbitha and Miss Information live in denial, and refuse to accept that the diary has now been proved to be a modern forgery, is neither here nor there. But Miss Information seems to think that because diary loons continue to make looney posts on the Forum about Maybrick having written the diary, which others then need to correct, this means that the diary has not been proven to be fake due to the error of 'one off instance'. It has!
THE MYSTERY OF MISS INFORMATION
Talking of Miss Information, even though I've read all her postings, I really have no idea what her response to my research on 'one off instance' is.
Well I guess she's never actually read it, other than what I posted on the Forum back in 2016, and has probably only heard about it second hand, but I literally do not know how she explains the absence of any such expression or similar in the nineteenth century.
Of course she wobbles back and forwards and, as we've seen, has claimed that she has no problem with a diary created in the 1960s (i.e. any time before 1970). She says she believes the diary is a hoax, so I can really only assume she agrees with me that 'one off instance' proves that the diary wasn't written in the nineteenth century. If she doesn't, it's very odd.
When it comes to the response to my Bunny's Aunt article - which she's probably never read - she initially made a number of error strewn posts on Casebook about it which she's never acknowledged or corrected so it's impossible to say what her considered view on the subject is. For example, her theory was that Margaret Baillie Knight might have been the 'sick aunt' referred to in the diary, on the basis that she was a longstanding friend of Florence's mother - so that Florence would have thought of her as her aunt - but I proved that this wasn't the case and that Margaret was a friend of both Florence and her mother, having met them while travelling in Europe.
So what does Miss Information say about Bunny's Aunt now? Who knows??? She just went silent when RJ pointed out her mistake to her.
Equally, when it comes to 'bumbling buffoon' I don't know what her position is. It's another clear anachronism but she doesn't say much about it.
Nor does she speak much of the mistake about the breasts in the wrong place or the key that was never taken. It's really odd because she says that she thinks the diary is a fake (or a hoax) but when one points out all the facts which demonstrate it to be a fake she seems to deny their validity. Bizarre.
THE HITLER DIARIES QUESTION
Equally bizarre and lacking in logic is Miss Information's rejigging of her famous and fatuous 'why are you still here?' question when she said to the Baron:
'It's an extraordinary thing because as far as I'm aware the Hitler Diaries only had to be killed stone dead the once, and nobody has felt the slightest need or desire to exhume the remains on a daily basis to make sure'.
As a factual matter of how many times the Hitler diaries had to be killed stone dead, well, how ironic that later in the very same thread (#7512), Miss Information posted a message from Robert Smith in which he referred to (underlining added):
'the Sunday Times's decision to proceed with its disastrous serialisation ten years earlier of the fake Hitler diaries, despite its own historical adviser warning the editor that they had been forged'.
So the historical adviser to the Sunday Times didn't seem to manage to convince the editor that he had killed the Hitler diaries stone dead when he correctly stated that they were a forgery!
Someone wasn't listening to an incontrovertible argument against those diaries. How very Ripper diary that was!
In any case, leaving aside that the Hitler diaries needed to be killed more than once, the logical extension of her argument is that if a couple of nutters started a thread on the Forum claiming that the Hitler diaries were really written by Adolf Hitler after all, and everyone else tried to show them the error of their ways (but they refused to see sense), we would all have to concede that the Hitler diaries have not been proved to be fake!!!
Presumably Miss Information thinks that the fact that about 50 million Americans are certain that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump means that there must be something in the claim. That's how daft her point about the Hitler diaries is.
In other words, even though loony tunes Major and the mistake-addicted Errorbitha keep posting perverse and irrational nonsense about the diary having been written by James Maybrick, and have to be constantly corrected and put straight every time, the very fact of them posting on a daily basis is supposed to mean, in the troubled mind of Miss Information, that the diary hasn't been proved to be a fake.
This is completely Alice in Wonderland bearing in mind that Miss Information herself is convinced the diary is a fake, not written by James Maybrick. It's so contradictory that it's genuinely hard to comprehend.
But she is one of the enablers, the Clanger is another, who delight in keeping the debate going and who give succour to the loonies.
THE DIARY DEBATE
Following on from the above, there are, in any case, three areas of debate:
1. Is the diary fake?
2. Is the diary a modern fake?
3. Is the diary the creation of Mike Barrett & Co?
'One off instance' proves that the answer to Qs 1 and 2 is "Yes". So does 'bumbling buffoon'. Bunny's Aunt only proves that the answer to Q1 is yes.
Regarding Q3, there is no proof of WHO created the diary, nor do we know all the mechanics of how it was created, so that particular debate can legitimately rumble on, if anyone can be fecking bothered, although Miss Information seems to take this as somehow denying that 'one off instance' is a twentieth century expression! Nevertheless we have a confession by Mike Barrett (by which I don't just mean his affidavit) and there is a preponderance of evidence which supports it.
So as far as I am concerned the debate is over. There is no more to say.
We know that the diary is a fake and wasn't created by James Maybrick, we know that it was created in the twentieth century and, unless any new evidence is presented, we know that its creation most likely involved Mike Barrett.
I personally don't have anything more to say on the subject of the diary but I'm sure I will continue posting in order to respond to the nutters for the public benefit, and in order to ensure that no-one is befuddled and confused by the mistress of misinformation.
Perhaps Miss Information would like the field to herself so she can befuddle and confuse the world to her heart's content but this cannot be allowed to happen.
I've seen many people on social media who patiently take the time to explain to the MAGA crowd, point by point, why the 2020 US election wasn't stolen. Their efforts are admirable, if futile, and the fact that they take the time to do so doesn't for one second mean there is anything in the opposing arguments. Miss Information presumably can't understand why these people are still trying set the record straight a year after the election because, in her mind, once it's been proved that the 2020 election was fair there's nothing more to say and everyone will accept those results. It doesn't work like that. In a world of misinformation and disinformation, it needs the good people to step forward and ensure that the truth is told. That's what I've been doing with regards to the Maybrick diary since 2016. And I will continue to do so.
Just returning to the Hitler diaries for a moment.
As I've mentioned before, one of the arguments against the authenticity of those diaries was that Hitler couldn't have written the entries in his diary after 20 July 1944 because he had suffered a serious injury to his right arm in an explosion on that date. One finds this stated in an article in the New York Times dated 25 April 1983, the day after the diaries were first published in the Sunday Times, at a time when historian Hugh Trevor Roper, scientist Dr Max Frey-Zuler of the secret police science branch and graphologist Ordway Hilton, referred to collectively by the NYT as 'Defenders of the documents' (ha ha!) were saying they believed the diaries to be genuine, and the Sunday Times continued to publish them in its 1 May 1983 issue.
No doubt someone like Major Tom Mitchell would have said something like, "perhaps Hitler was able to write with his left arm, it's not an incontrovertible fact which disproves the diaries, they survive again!".
Another argument made was that two of Hitler's aides had said that Hitler had no time in his schedule to have written the diaries, one of them having been with him nightly until 4am. The Major would have said that he could have slipped away at certain times or that the two men were unreliable witnesses.
Both these arguments were, in fact, incontrovertible arguments which disproved the diary but weren't recognized as such by everyone at the time. That's why it's important to use your brain properly when deciding whether a disputed document is genuine or not.
If there is anyone who wonders why she's known as 'Miss Information' just look at her post #7391 in the Incontrovertible thread in which she says:
'Mike requested an unused or partially used diary for 1880-90 which couldn't be located, so instead he ordered a fully printed one for the year 1891, two years too late for anyone to claim it was Maybrick's'.
As every regular visitor to this website knows, there is no evidence that Mike ordered 'a fully printed' diary and he certainly did not do so. He accepted the only diary available at the time, about which the evidence is that he was told that nearly all of the pages were blank. There is no evidence, and no reason to think, that he was told that the diary he accepted from Martin Earl (not 'ordered') was 'fully printed'. This comes out of Miss Information's imagination if not her arse.
She's obviously also back on the stupid pills because she italicised the word 'diary' as if Mike should always have been looking for a scrapbook when, in his story, the decision to purchase a scrapbook only came after he couldn't locate a Victorian diary and the one he was offered turned out to be useless for the purpose of forging a Victorian diary.
The diary he accepted was not 'two years too late for anyone to claim it was Maybrick's', just like an 1890 diary wouldn't have been one year too late, as long as the year wasn't on it (and just like an 1881 diary wouldn't have been seven years too early, as long as the year wasn't on it). As I've said many times, the actual scrapbook presented to Doreen on 13 April 1992 might well have been an 1891 scrapbook. Or a 1901 scrapbook. Or a 1908 one. Or a 1912 one. We don't know and it doesn't matter because all Mike needed was paper from the general period.
I think everyone knows this, so the fact that Miss Information thinks she can spread such terrible misinformation is really quite extraordinary.
THE RUDENESS OF MISS INFORMATION
There is no smear too low to which Miss Information will not sink against anyone who dares to suggest that the Barretts might have been behind the diary.
If you are a non-English speaking foreigner you are apparently not allowed to have a view about the quality of the diary because your English is not good enough.
The Baron has made clear that English is his second language but when he dared to suggest that the diary is a cheap hoax - even though Miss Information herself thinks it was a hoax - he was told (#284 of the google ngrams thread):
'I do wonder how someone with your command of the language would recognise a 'cheap' hoax if one did rise up from its nailed down coffin and bite you on the derriere'.
What a thoroughly nasty thing to say to someone writing in their second (or I think he said third) language but that, ladies and gentlemen, is diary defending for you.
BY JOVE, HE'S GOT IT (Part 1)
The Major says in #7400 of the Incontrovertible thread that he is:
'struck by the fact that those initials either prove that Maybrick was Jack or else that someone saw those initials and backward-engineered a hoax around them.'
By Jove, I think he's got it!
(Well nearly, as it was probably just a small part of the poetry that was back-engineered around the initials, not the entire diary, and, in any case, there are no initials on the wall, so nothing about Jack the Ripper is proved here.)
SKINNER'S NOVEMBER STATEMENT
Keith Skinner issued a statement, posted through the Major (#7408 of the Incontrovertible thread), on 3 November which was ludicrous in its conception. Following the Major's lead, Skinner said (with strange question mark in the original):
'I have absolutely no recollection of Simon telling either Martin or myself he was mistaken and am puzzled as to why Simon has waited almost three decades to bring this to light?'
I'm puzzled as to why Keith Skinner is puzzled.
What does it matter, first of all, when Simon decided he was mistaken?
What does 'mistaken' even mean in this context? We know from my exclusive article, Simon Wood If He Could, that Simon thought that there might have been letters on the wall scrawled by the victim pointing towards Joseph Barnett. It must be obvious that Simon discarded that particular idea a very very long time ago. Who cares if he abandoned it on 1 April 1989, the next day, a few days later, a few weeks later or in 1990? He never pursued it so must have believed there was nothing in it.
More than this, Simon has been on record for donkeys years in saying that he was never able to decipher the letters. As long ago as 10 November 1995, he wrote to Nick Warren, the then editor of Ripperana to say:
'try as we may none of us could decipher the initials'
He added that as far as he was concerned 'the matter was dropped'.
So Wood couldn't work out what was on the wall and dropped the whole idea.
What else does that mean than that he realized that he was mistaken about there being any writing on the wall and certainly realized he was mistaken that Joseph Barnett's name was on the wall?
Even the Major was aware of this when he wrote his daft 'Society's Pillar', in which he said on page 80 that Simon Wood was the first person who identified the letters on Kelly's wall, 'and then who miraculously couldn't see them again after the scrapbook came to light'.
So when Keith Skinner writes that he is puzzled as to why Simon has waited almost three decades to bring his belief that he was mistaken to light, he simply hasn't been paying attention.
THE PARANOIA OF KEITH SKINNER
In the same post, the paranoid one says:
'I am intrigued that Simon claims he knows the identity of the person who wrote the diary? Is there any reason why this name is being withheld? From what Simon has written it appears he has Martin and myself in his sights?'
He does love his question marks even when not asking a question does Keith Skinner!
I must say I didn't read Simon Wood as suggesting that Keith Skinner forged the diary. I think this has come out of Keith's paranoid imagination due to him having the thinnest skin of any human alive today.
But Simon Wood lives in a world of conspiratorial delusion which has fogged up his brain. His suspicions as to who forged the diary have no value. As I have already said, they are best ignored, not encouraged.
MAJOR DOES NOT UNDERSTAND, IT'S ANOTHER MAJOR MISUNDERSTANDING
The Major said in #7408 of the Incontrovertible thread:
'Mike claimed he wrote the diary and RJ, Orsam and others agree'.
This is false.
How many times do I have to say it?
The least trustworthy part of Mike's account is in respect of how the diary was put together because he had a tendency to want to take credit as a great writer.
The part of Mike's account that I do think is possible is the part where he says that he dictated the text of the diary to his wife. Whether he was responsible for authoring the text of that diary or someone else had done it, i.e. Tony Devereux or Billy Graham, however, I do not know.
There are certain idiosyncratic elements in the diary text which match those used by Mike which is a clue that Mike might well have had a hand in its composition.
But I never say that Mike wrote the diary. What I say is that the evidence points to him being involved in creating the forgery. This is due to him searching for a blank Victorian diary. What happened after the blank diary or scrapbook was obtained is impossible to know at this time. There's no evidence other than Mike's account (and equally no evidence to contradict Mike's account). Caroline Barrett probably knows but neither Keith Skinner nor Miss Information seem to have any interest in asking her.
KEITH v. CAROLINE
Miss Information, 1 November 2021:
'Was Simon Wood wrong to think he was the first person to see potential ripper markings on Kelly's wall, because Peter Underwood already drew attention to these in 1987?'
Keith Skinner, 3 November 2021:
'Nowhere to my knowledge, prior to 1989, has anyone mentioned these initials on Kelly's wall.'
Victory Keith Skinner.
BY JOVE, HE'S GOT IT (Part 2)
With reference to Mike Barrett's research notes, the Major asked in #7408:
'are we to accept that not only did he and Anne produce the masterpiece that is the James Maybrick scrapbook but that the two of them also cunningly contrived pages of notes which look like genuine research, but which were actually a smokescreen to lure attention away from them as far away as possible.'
By Jove, he's got it!!
MORE MISINFORMATION FROM MISS INFORMATION
In an utterly desperate attempt to try and save the diary, Chief Diary Defender, Miss Information, told us in #287 of the 'google ngrams' thread:
'Dr Kate Flint...confidently stated that the expression 'to top oneself', meaning to commit suicide by hanging, did not exist in print before 1958'.
As usual from this source of misinformation, no source was put forward and Dr Flint wasn't quoted.
What Dr Flint actually said was this (as reported in the Sunday Times of 19 September 1993):
'To top meaning to hang, has been current since 1718, but 'to top myself' meaning to commit suicide was not recorded until 1958'
Dr Flint was absolutely 100% correct in saying this. The expression was not 'recorded' until 1958. That's not the same as saying 'it did not exist in print until 1958'. She never said that at all. But Miss Information is so ignorant she probably doesn't know the difference between an expression not being recorded and an expression not existing in print.
Dr Flint was making an accurate factual statement about the date at which 'to top myself' was first recorded. Miss Information's snobbish belief that 'Kate's mistake might or might not have had something to do with the fact that her expertise is/was in Victorian literature, not language and its evolution from that era' is as untrue as it was unnecessary. Kate Flint made no mistake. She was correct.
Further, we see how Miss Information subtly shifted what Dr Flint actually said. We can see that the expression which the expert said was not recorded until 1958 was:
'to top myself'
To this day, nowhere has that expression even been found in print prior to 1958 let alone recorded.
But we can see that Miss Information changed it very sneakily. For what she claims the expression Dr Flint was referring to was:
'to top oneself'.
The expression that the Clanger found in an 1877 newspaper was:
He's never found the first person expression 'top myself' in print anywhere in the nineteenth century.
So in every respect Dr Flint was strictly correct.
The single example of someone in 1877 idiosyncratically putting the word 'top' (which had long meant 'hang') into an expression that he would top himself (so that the reporter had to explain what it meant) doesn't change the fact that to 'top myself' was an anachronistic expression in 1888.
Of course, the reason why Miss Information is so desperate to undermine Dr Flint is that the expert also told us in 1993 that 'one-off instance' was an expression originally used in manufacturing to indicate a unique production and that the Oxford English Dictionary dates it to 1934.
Dr Flint accepted that 1934 wasn't necessarily the first appearance of 'one off' but said that she would be surprised if was found to pre-date the dictionary's first recorded example by nearly half a century.
Her conclusion in respect of both 'one off' and 'top myself' was that:
'Even allowing for these phrases to be in spoken circulation for a year or so before they find their way into print, it seems highly improbable that either, let alone both, could have been found in the 1880s'.
Those words from an expert in the English language should have killed the diary off there and then but Shirley Harrison subsequently fooled the word by claiming to have found an example of 'one off' to mean unique from the 1860s, a claim now known to be certainly wrong.
The research I have carried out over the past few years only goes to support Dr Flint's conclusion but goes even further because, having closely examined the evolution of the expression, we can now safely say that it was impossible for anyone writing in the 1880s to have used the expression 'one off instance'.
Dr Flint was correct in 1993. If Miss Information had listened to the experts back in the 1990s instead of ignoring them one by one as she also ignored Dr Baxendale and Kenneth Rendell and his team, she wouldn't have wasted twenty years of her life running down a crazy rabbit hole.
PREDICTING THE PASTAfter Kattrup had posted in #7396 of the Incontrovertible thread that Dr Bond recorded that both arms and forearms of Kelly had 'extensive and jagged wounds', Miss Information made a strange prediction. In #7421 she said:
'Quick prediction - the 'defensive' wounds will shortly disappear and it will be argued that everyone was wrong because they are not wounds at all.
Don't believe me? Just watch.'
Yet one only had to scroll up a few posts to see Errorbitha telling us in #7414 that it wasn't a wound but a 'carving' on Kelly's arm.
The Major had already dismissed the idea that the wounds were 'defensive' wounds (#7397, #7406 and #7411) so that they had been said to have disappeared long before Miss Information's post.
But predicting what has already happened in the past is a lot easier than predicting the future.
BELLS AND WHISTLES
Serious logic failures don't only apply to Diary Defenders, of course. I tend to avoid the Schwartz threads these days, consisting as they do of lunatics failing to understand how difficult it is to accurately estimate time, but I did notice an extraordinarily bad post by someone calling himself 'GBinOz' on 4 November in #2211 of the 'If Schwartz Lied...' thread.
Having posted a list of the members of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee which included someone called 'Isaacs' and someone called 'Jacobs' - and noting that the members of the committee were issued with police whistles - this character said:
'Remembering that Kozebrodski was also known as Isaacs and Eagle saw Jacobs, we appear to have corroboration that Hoschberg and Harris were probably correct about the early whistle.'
With all due respect to our Australian friend, we really do not appear to have corroboration about anything relating to an early whistle.
Isaacs and Jacobs were very common Jewish surnames. Why does GBinOz think these members of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee were the same two individuals who were at the International Working Men's club on the night of Stride's murder? Who knows? He doesn't say.
The 17-year-old Kozebrodski only appears to have been known as "Isaacs" because his name was Isaac Kozebrodksi. We know that his name was definitely Isaac Kozebrodksi because he was charged under that name at the London County Sessions for assault in April 1889. His address was given at the Thames Police Court as then being 40 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green. We know that the man called Isaacs who was a member of the Vigilance Committee was M. Isaacs of 49 Willow Street in Mile End. See the list I posted in Pillar of Sand (under the heading "4. Correspondence"). Was this individual also known as Isaac Isaacs a.k.a. Isaac Kosebrodski? Probably not. It's also highly unlikely that a 17-year-old boy who couldn't speak English very well was a member of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee.
As for Jacobs, were Diemshitz and Kozebrodski associated with a man called Jacobs? Well yes, they were charged with assaulting a man called Emmanuel Jacobs of Berner Street in March 1889. That could have been the Jacobs involved in the Stride case. But there would have been plenty of other men called Jacobs in the area. The member of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee was S. Jacobs of 77 Lauriston Road, South Hackney.
After his embarrassing logic failure, GBinOZ felt the need to say:
'Note that there is a Harris also a member'
The Harris to which he was drawing attention was a Mr B. Harris, the Honorary Secretary, whereas the witness Harris was Harry Harris. So that's not the same person.
But not included in the list of members of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee posted by GBinOZ was Henry A. Harris of 6 and 13 Mile End Road. Henry Harris of that address was a clothier and outfitter (Hackney and Kingsland Gazette, 4 November 1889). The witness Harry Harris was reported by the Evening News of 9 October 1888 to have been a furniture dealer of Castle Street, Whitechapel. Clearly a different person.
MISINFORMATION TIME PART 94
Of the 1891 diary, Miss Information says (#7439):
'do you honestly think she'd have left it around the house and eventually paid £25 for it, when she could have sent it back by return of post, with a note to say it wasn't what her daft husband had ordered'.
We've been all over this (see, for example, see my article Item Not As Described) but it's clear that this statement is FALSE.
By the time the cheque was written out, more than 30 days had passed and, due to Martin Earl's normal terms of settlement being within 30 days, it was too late to return it.
It also would not have been true to say that it wasn't what her husband had agreed to accept (the word 'ordered' being wrong).
Her husband agreed to accept and pay for an 1891 diary in which most of the pages were blank. Once he received it in the post, he was then legally obliged to pay for it unless it was not as had been described to him (which it was).
The scenario posited by Miss Information whereby Anne could simply have returned it on behalf of her husband just because her husband had ordered something unsuitable for a forgery did not exist. It wasn't a feasible option.
I have said this before. Miss Information should take note of the famous phrase. No Orsam, No Comment! If she's not reading these pages she should not be commenting in ignorance about the diary.
THE 1891 DIARY
Miss Information keeps spouting rubbish about the 1891 diary. In #7439 she said:
'Barrett ordered the silly wee thing, knowing full well it was for the year 1891. My guess is that he hadn't got as far as working out that the diary's author was two years in his grave by then'.
I can only imagine that Miss Information has forgotten what is stated in Mike's 1995 affidavit. In that affidavit he makes clear that there was a 1908 or 1909 label on the inside cover and that the photographs in the scrapbook, which he says he purchased at an auction, were to do with the '1914/1918 1st World War'. I think he knew that 1908 was twenty years later than 1888 and the affidavit itself states that the First World War started in 1914.
So ON HIS OWN STORY he was saying, via Alan Gray, that he purchased a partly blank scrapbook (or photograph album) dated to a period much later than 1891!!!!
He was, on his account, evidently purchasing an Edwardian, not a Victorian scrapbook to use as a diary. Let's not forget that the auction held by O&L on 31 March 1992 was of Victorian and Edwardian effects and that Keith Rendell, an expert in historical documents, described it as a 'Victorian or Edwardian era scrap book'. Mike was telling us in his affidavit, via Alan Gray, that the scrapbook was probably Edwardian, even though he knew full well that Maybrick died in 1889.
How does Miss Information explain this? I know she thinks the story in the affidavit is an invention but we have Mike supposedly inventing the purchase of an item to use for his diary some 25 years after the death of Maybrick!!!
It just goes to prove that a diary from 1891 was NOT a problem. It would have been perfect if, as he had been told by Martin Earl, it contained mostly blank pages.
The problem for Mike, I guess, was that he couldn't tell Martin Earl the reason why he wanted a diary with blank pages and he could hardly ask him if the one he was being offered over the telephone was suitable for forgery purposes!!! Then, when he received that diary, it DID contain mostly blank pages, as Earl had promised. Mike could hardly complain that it wasn't suitable for a forgery.
Miss Information totally misunderstands what Mike was doing in March 1992. As RJ Palmer was quick to remind her, the order that Barrett placed with from Martin Earl in that month was for an 'Unused or partly used diary dating from 1880-1890, must have at least 20 blank pages'.
Miss Information still has no credible explanation for why he did this.
MISS INFORMATION VERSUS THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
In #7643 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread Miss Information, by way of distraction away from the plain words of Mike's order with Martin Earl, attempted to pervert the English language.
Mike, she said, didn't order a blank Victorian diary from the 1880s from Martin Earl; he requested this but ordered an 1891 diary.
This is FALSE.
If you place an online order with a supermarket for Cornflakes and they tell you that they've run out of Cornflakes but can replace them with Rice Krispies, which you accept, have you ordered Rice Krispies? No, of course you haven't. You ordered the Cornflakes. That's what you wanted. You didn't want Rice Krispies. But, with no Cornflakes available, you've accepted a substitute of Rice Krispies. Otherwise you'd have nothing to eat for breakfast! It's obvious. Everyone knows it.
Same for Mike. His order with Martin Earl was for a diary from between 1880 and 1890. That's what he wanted. He didn't want one from 1891. If he had, he would have ordered a diary from a wider period.
But Earl couldn't locate one from the 1880s. The only option available to Mike, with the clock ticking, was a diary for 1891. So he accepted it in the hope that it would be suitable.
Miss Information says:
'Now you can quibble all you like over how detailed that description was, but Martin Earl confirmed that before the diary was sent to Mike, he would have been told what year it was for.'
Absolutely. Of course he did. An 1891 diary would have been just fine for Mike as long as the year 1891 wasn't printed on every page. If Mike wasn't told that the year 1891 was printed on every page, which we know he wouldn't have been because this wasn't in the description provided to Martin Earl, an 1891 diary would have been perfectly suitable. Just as a scrapbook from 1891 would also have been perfectly suitable and, for all we know, is what the actual diary is written in!
BAD FAITH ACTRESS
It's worth pausing to consider the bad faith in which Miss Information is making her argument about the 1891 diary.
Let's leave aside that she has already admitted that the description of the diary provided by Martin Earl was 'misleading', something which she failed to mention in her #7643. The real bad faith is in claiming that an 1891 diary would have been known to Mike to have been unsuitable before he had seen it.
Back in December 2016, she responded to a post of mine in the Incontrovertible thread in which I had written that, 'The point of a diary is to record the thoughts and actions of the diarist. This can be done in any form of book, for example an exercise book, as long as there is space to write'.
Of this, she said on 20 December 2016, in #2235:
'Music to my ears, David...For years we've had objections on the grounds that the hoaxer made a grave error because the real Maybrick would not have used 'any form of book' for recording his thoughts and deeds, but could have afforded a fit-for-purpose proper diary, with dates and everything, for the years in question. My late father could have afforded umpteen books for making notes for his own purpose, but he would always use the very last bit of available scrap paper before buying new.'
She has, at all times, in other words, been fully aware that a Victorian diary from 1891 or any other year could have been written 'in any form of book' including an exercise book.
That being so, it would entirely explain why Mike agreed to pay for an 1891 diary which he had been told contained mostly blank pages.
Her current argument that an 1891 diary must be a 'fit-for-purpose' diary with printed dates on every page is one, therefore, being made entirely in bad faith. She knows that's not the case. She's fucking well said it herself!
When she wants to argue that the hoaxer was a clever and cunning fox who was well aware that diaries can come in any form - hence a photograph album was perfectly suitable - she is perfectly happy to say that someone like Maybrick could well have chosen a photograph album in which to record his thoughts (hence the hoaxer hadn't made a mistake by using a photograph album to recreate Maybrick's diary). But when someone wants to argue that MIKE BARRETT was that hoaxer, and thought he could use an 1891 diary, suddenly the only possible meaning of a diary is one which has the year emblazoned over it on every page which cannot be removed. All thoughts that the hoaxer might have been happy to write a diary on any 'available scrap paper' because he understood that a diary could come in any form is thrown out of the window.
THAT is pure bad faith.
PASS THE SICK BEGG, ALLY
The Hallie Rubenhold controversy reared its ugly head again on the Censorship Forum in a thread called 'A Petticoat Parley: Women In Ripperology'.
At #96 in the thread, a certain Paul Begg wanted to empty his spleen having been upset by a positive review of Hallie's book in the student newspaper 'Varsity'. He wailed that not only does the reviewer not know why Ripperologists are critical of the book, but 'she apparently can't be arsed to find out'. He then said, in a superior tone:
'Now, if I was reviewing a book and a bunch of people were vehemently criticising it, I'd hopefully be sufficiently interested to find out what the criticism was all about in case it had a bearing on my review and recommendations'.
Hmmmmnnn. Did he, I wonder, take the same approach when reviewing Robert Smith's 'The True History of the Diary of Jack the Ripper' for the March 2020 edition of Ripperologist? After all, by then I'd published detailed criticisms of the book in my article Not True, Funny How it Seems which appeared as early as 27 October 2019 (not to mention my criticisms of the first edition, and the errors I pointed out in that edition, in The False Facts Exposed! which had been published as long ago as September 2017, many of which errors had been left uncorrected in the revised edition). Begg had plenty of time to find out what the criticism of Smith's book was all about prior to the publication of his review.
Yet, in that review he wrote:
'He [Robert Smith] is as fair as he could be expected to be, I think, given that he believes it to be genuine. But he intends to give readers all the information they need to enable them to reach their conclusions'.
Pass the sick bag! As fair as he could be expected to be! What does that even mean? Unfair? If Smith was actually being unfair should he not have said so? If he thinks Smith was being fair, how could he possibly have reached such a conclusion in the light of my detailed criticisms.
While Begg noted in his review that the diary is often dismissed as an obvious an amateurish fake, there was not one single criticism of Smith's book in his review. Not one! No criticism of the way Smith presented the case for the diary being genuine and no sign that the reviewer understood the many criticisms of the book which had already been publicly made and were easily available to him. On the contrary, Begg noted that this new edition of the book 'corrects a few errors' from the first edition, making it seem that it was now error free. A blatant misrepresentation of the true position.
Did Begg read my articles about Smith's book? If not, how does that square with his claim that he hopes he'd be sufficiently interested when reviewing a book to read the criticism of it? If he did, how did he manage to write a review in which he did little more than fawn over the clarity of the facsimile of the diary and say that 'anyone seriously interested in Ripper history should have this book in their Ripper library'. Really? If the diary is nothing more than an obvious and amateurish fake why should anyone seriously interested in Ripper history want to go near it with a bargepole? Why should they care about the clarity of the reproduction of this shabby fake?
It makes no sense.
If you've not thrown up enough from being reminded of Begg's review of Smith's book, you need to read Crazy Ally Ryder earlier in the same thread telling us that, 'Rubenhold is intellectually lazy and worse, she is intellectually dishonest' (#81), someone who is 'incapable of responding to anything without resorting to tantrums of a toddler'. Does anyone recall Ally Ryder's intellectually lazy and worse response to the 2018 thread about Tumblety? One she didn't even bother to read in full before concluding that poor Hawley - that great intellectually honest author - was being badgered and harassed? It's funny coz when I tried to engage her in an intellectually honest discussion of her ruling in private communication she wasn't interested. All I got was the tantrum of a toddler!When it comes to intellectual laziness it's hard to forget Crazy Ally's own post in the thread 'There's something wrong with the Swanson marginalia' (#710) in which she said on 28 January 2011:
'Any person attempting to deny there is an argument that the marginalia has clearly been tampered with is just trying to be blindly obstinate and argue against known facts.'
Really? And if anyone doesn't think she's had plenty tantrums of a toddler on the boards while supposedly moderating them over the years they haven't been concentrating.
Further, says Crazy Ally about Hallie (#94):
'...that's the chief problem...She palms off her trashnovellas as non-fiction and how much damage will she do to the historical record by including her pure fiction into the record as "fact". That's the cancer of Hallie and her ilk - lazy people who care more about their commercialism than the historical record, polluting it with their drama and nonsense. I wouldn't trust anything she writes, because she has proven she can't separate fact from fantasy, if she's got something to sell.'
That's all real funny coz when I was attempting to challenge Mike Hawley about the damage HE was doing on ALLY RYDER'S OWN FORUM to the historical record with his false and unsupported claims that the police specially employed twelve constables to hunt for Francis Tumblety at London train stations, and that Special Branch officers followed Tumblety across Europe, as well as many other false claims, she CLOSED THE FUCKING THREAD!!! That's how much she cared in 2018 about the historical record being polluted with drama and nonsense in a thread which was specifically created to promote and sell Hawley's book!
And it's real funny because when I was challenging Simon Wood about his very similar claims to Hallie on her own Forum about the victims not being prostitutes, I don't remember any contributions from Crazy Ally or the pompous Paul Begg. Nor do I recall their constant criticisms of Wood's book. What's the actual difference between Wood and Rubenhold? Is it just that Rubenhold was better at marketing and selling her book? Wood had a similar nonsensical idea to sell.
Begg's review of Simon Wood's 'Deconstructing Jack' in Rip 143 was devastating and to the point - for the first half at least - but then, bafflingly, for the second half of the review, Begg seemed to take pity on his old drinking buddy saying:
'Deconstructing Jack is probably the best Ripper book of 2015...a must have.'
I can't imagine what shit was published in that year for him to be able to say that.
According to Begg:
'Every chapter makes you think and re-assess'.
Well yeah, if by that he meant that every chapter makes you think 'What a load of crap this book is'.
Then we got this inexplicable statement:
'...these criticisms should not blind you to what a superb book this actually is'.
According to Begg, it was 'Very well researched, most important sources properly cited..'.
I Begg to differ. That book was not very well researched and when you go to check the sources you realize that they are not properly cited at all.
Then, fuck me, we got this from Begg:
'every chapter takes a close look at one or more aspects of the case, such as the real reason for Monro's departure from Scotland Yard'.
Here we find Begg with unclean hands.
As I've said before, Begg and Skinner's 1993 'The Scotland Yard Files' fucked up the historical record by claiming that there was some kind of mystery with Monro's departure from Scotland Yard. This was based on incorrect facts and basic misunderstandings of what occurred in 1889. And it was a serious error. When I was checking the facts in Simon Wood's book about Monro's resignation, one of the first books I consulted was Begg and Skinner's 'The Scotland Yard Files', which is on the open shelves at the National Archives, and I was very surprised to see that they agreed that there was indeed some sort of hidden reason behind Monro's resignation as Commissioner (and, indeed, they possibly instigated the idea of there being some kind of mystery involved with it). When I probed deeper I was shocked at how mistaken those esteemed authors were. While I might expect such nonsense from a conspiracy nutjob like Simon Wood I expected to get a serious historical analysis from Begg and Skinner but they didn't provide it.
Even worse, when I asked Begg directly about it on the Forum in 2015, having set out the correct reason for Monro's resignation in the final part of my Suckered! Trilogy here, he failed to take the opportunity to acknowledge his error, let alone correct it. This is despite him having written in Rip 146, 'I am considerably less interested in the making of mistakes than I am in the correction of them. I am concerned with establishing the facts...'. Yet, he hasn't acknowledged or corrected the error in his 1993 book to this day, despite me repeatedly pressing the point here, which shows how concerned he really is about the historical record.
Given Begg's concern about reviewers not being properly informed, it's worth having a look at some other rubbish with Begg has reviewed.
Amusingly, by the end of 2015, Begg was having second thoughts about Deconstructing Jack being the best book of the year. For in Rip 147, the review of Jonathan Hainsworth's dreadful 'Case Solved 1891' said:
'Overall 2015 kept the best for last. If you had to buy one Ripper book this year, this would be it'.
Not sure how Wood's 2015 book could have been a 'must have' if Hainsworth's 2015 book was the one Ripper book of the year that you had to have. You can find out here why you really did not need to buy Hainsworth's book.
Earlier, in 2014, Begg had reviewed Patricia Cornwell's nonsensical 'Chasing the Ripper' about Walter Sickert. Rather than recusing himself from the review because he had worked with Cornwell and liked her, he reviewed the book and said:
'I think the prejudice against Patricia and her book is probably too great for either to receive a fair hearing, but for those who can get past the ill-feeling I think there are some interesting things coming to light which deserve to be looked at rather more closely than they have been'.
For anyone interested in what actually happens when you look closely at the contents of one of Patricia Cornwell's books about Sickert, see: Cornwell's Patsy.
The main point I want to make about Hallie's book is that it is no different in essence from all the other crap Ripper books that have been written over the years. The difference is that the marketing of her book has been amazingly successful and people are talking about it outside the narrow world of Ripperology. It's this which seems to wind up people like Begg and Ryder. For I've never seen them anywhere near as agitated and annoyed about all those daft books by other Ripper writers.
HERE'S A THOUGHT
If Paul Begg is so agitated by the thought that people will accept Hallie's version of history as fact, why doesn't he write a detailed and definitive but easy to read rebuttal and upload it to somewhere easily accessible on the internet?
All Paul Begg seems to do is whinge and moan on internet forums. Why not do something positive, mate?
THE MAJOR'S SELF-OWN
The Major really is as daft as a brush.
Thinking he was getting one over on the Baron, who had posted a poor image quality of the Kelly crime scene photograph from Lacassane's 1899 book with the question, 'Now how the hell was our hoaxer able to recognise an 'F' on Kelly's arm in this photo?!' , the Major, in #7447, posted a much clearer photograph taken from the original book, with the comment LOL!
So what the Major had managed to prove was that a hoaxer who wanted to forge the diary after 1899 could have spotted the supposed initial 'F' on Kelly's arm and thus incorporated that into the forged diary.
Well done the Major. You've certainly self-owned there. Thanks for confirming that the diary could easily be a post-1899 forgery, not written by James Maybrick.
PARTY LIKE IT'S 1999
A rare mention by Miss Information of Mike's appearance at the Cloak & Dagger club in April 1999 (#7433 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread), something she normally avoids like the plague.
What did she say about it? Here it is:
'My first evening at the City Darts was also my first of several encounters with Michael Barrett, in April 1999, when he made such a memorable hash of trying to improve his 1995 affidavit, and convince his audience that he and his ex wife, who had once "ruled the roost", really did create the diary in April 1992'.
This is very interesting because it's a rare admission by Miss Information that Mike was saying on 10 April 1999 that he created the diary in April 1992. She spins this as an attempt by Mike to 'improve his 1995 affidavit'. But one has to ask how was it an improvement?
As at April 1999, no-one other than Martin Earl knew about the advertisement placed on Mike's behalf in Bookdealer in March 1992 asking for a blank Victorian diary. That wasn't discovered until 2004, five years later. More than this, the only evidence of the date of the purchase of the 1891 diary at that time was a cheque of Anne Barrett dated from May 1992. This made it look like the 1891 diary had been purchased long after the diary had been brought to London by Mike; and a baffled (but entirely honest) Mike simply had no explanation as to why this was so.
Given this, there was no advantage for Mike in 'improving' his affidavit from having said he created the diary in 1990 to now saying he had created it in 1992. Everyone in April 1999 seemed to be expecting him to say he'd created it in 1990. Nothing had changed since 1995. There was no reason for Mike to change his story in 1999. Moreover, it didn't seem to be an improvement to his story by saying that he'd created it in a very short period between 9 March and 13 April 1992, after he'd told Doreen Montgomery that he had the thing in his hands, it seemed to be weakening his story and making it almost impossible!
The only sensible solution to this puzzle is that Mike had ALWAYS been saying he created the diary in 1992.
It's extraordinary that no-one, including Miss Information, asked Mike at the meeting why he had said in his 1995 affidavit that he created the diary in 1990 but was now saying it was 1992. He simply wasn't given any chance to explain.
I suggest that Mike didn't even know in April 1999 that he was saying something different to what had been in his affidavit. He'd probably never even read it!
He'd almost certainly been told at the lunch the previous day (on 9 April 1999) that he'd brought the diary down to London on 13 April 1992 and that his telephone call to Doreen had been on 9 March 1992. From those two events he was able, on this occasion, to correctly date the creation of the diary to March/April 1992.
Having listened to the full recording of Mike's appearance at the City Darts club on 10 April 1999, I am at a loss to understand why Miss Information says that he made a 'hash' of it, other than to smear Mike once more. Keith Skinner certainly make a hash of his questioning of Mike, which may explain why she is so sensitive about the whole issue. The audience members certainly made a hash of the opportunity to ask questions of Mike. See my Man in a Pub article for further details. Miss Information herself asked not a single question of Mike. One would have thought that if there was something about Mike's story which puzzled her or seemed untrue she would have asked him about it. But she didn't.
Sure, the audience members didn't believe Mike but they didn't have the advantage of seeing the Bookdealer advertisement. Had they known that Mike had definitely sought a blank Victorian diary in March 1992, and received the 1891 diary in March 1992, their responses to what Mike was telling them might have been very different. Looking at it now in the light of that advertisement and knowing (what everyone at the City Darts that night appears to have forgotten) that Mike said in his affidavit that he and his wife created the diary in eleven days, and also knowing that he said he went to an O&L auction after the 1891 diary proved unsuitable (which we now know to have been received on about 28 March 1992), Mike's story seems astonishingly credible.
That's what Miss Information doesn't like. She literally cant stand it. It's why she doesn't discuss what Mike actually said during the April 1999 meeting. She has created a false picture in her mind in which all that is worth discussing is that Mike claimed that his wife was schizophrenic (completely untrue) and said that he put sugar in the ink (entirely possible). She refuses to discuss or consider why Mike's story from April 1999 is so consistent with the story he told in April 1995 and how both stories are consistent with the evidence only discovered in 2004 of the Bookdealer advertisement.
THE CLARITY PARADOX
The Major, who has now taken to asking fellow loonies to email him in private about what they can see in the Kelly crime scene photograph, seems to be unaware of the paradox at the heart of his belief about the supposed initials in Kelly's room
If those initials - whether on the wall or carved on Kelly's body - are so clear that the Major can tell us that they are unmistakably visible in the photograph which was published in many commercially available books in the 1980s, surely any forger could have seen them clearly too!
That's the clarity paradox.
IN THE PILLAR
Looking at the Major's daft Society's Pillar, I see that he barely mentions the supposed 'F' carved on Kelly's arm. In the 18 paragraphs under the heading 'FM: a clue on Kelly's wall' (pages 79-81), the supposed carving merits a single paragraph.
The conclusion of the section is that:
Finding 'FM' on Kelly's wall in the very hand which wrote the Victorian scrapbook is a game-changing clue that...James Maybrick...was Jack the Ripper'.
By the time he reached the end of the section, therefore, the Major had basically forgotten about the carved 'F', and it's all about 'FM' and 'FM' only.
Now, on the Forums, with the collapse of 'FM', which is widely acknowledged not to be on the wall by every sensible person who examines the photograph, the Major has fallen back to the carved 'F' on the arm.
So what did the killer actually leave at the crime scene which is described at one point as 'Her initial' and at another point: 'I left it there'? Was it the 'FM' on the wall or was it the 'F' on the arm? Coz both don't fit with the claim that he left IT there. The beauty for the diary defender is that the diary author doesn't make it clear, so that frankly anything goes. If one fails, move on to the next pareidoliac illusion, and the Major certainly does.
LOSING THE PLOT
How's this for basic misinformation?
After RJ Palmer had written that, 'It was a documented FACT that the Barrett's had gone shopping for the red diary in March 1992, not 1990', Miss Information replied in #7500 of the Incontrovertible thread:
'It is very much NOT a fact that the Barretts [no apostrophe but definitely plural] for the red diary. You can't use Mike Barrett's word - explicitly stated or not - as a 'fact''.
Yet, we know for a fact that Mike went telephone shopping for the red diary in March 1992 and we know for a fact that the cheque to pay for it was from Anne's bank account.
That Miss Information then goes on to refer to not being able to use Mike Barrett's word for it, when RJ wasn't using Mike's word for it - he was using the information obtained from Martin Earl - only goes to add to the smokescreen of misinformation that was being thrown up here.
The point RJ was making was that, for anyone attempting to investigate the story in Mike's 1995 affidavit, it is clear that the affidavit was saying that the scrapbook (or 'the old book' as Miss Information now insists on describing it) was purchased after the red diary turned out to be of no use for the purposes of forgery.
Hence any attempt to investigate the truth of the story of the purchase of the scrapbook at an auction, knowing that the red diary was acquired in March 1992, should have understood that the purchase must have happened in March or April 1992.
Miss Information creates another smokescreen by saying that Melvin Harris should have investigated this but she's obviously forgotten that Melvin Harris had no idea when the red diary was purchased. Unlike Keith Skinner, he had no access to Anne Graham. It was Anne who was holding the diary and Anne who was holding the evidence as to when the diary was purchased. Without that evidence, Harris was in the dark as to when the red diary had been obtained by Mike.
But, hey, why not blame the dead guy?
THE MARRIAGE OF MISS INFORMATION TO THE MAJOR
Has Miss Information married the Major to become Miss Understanding?
Please don't be clever and tell me it should be Mrs Understanding.
Rarely have I seen a greater misunderstanding of an opponent's argument then when she posted to RJ Palmer in #7500 of the Incontrovertible thread:
'The difference between us is that my evidence is not based on anything claimed for the diary origins by Anne or Mike themselves'.
This is either a gross misunderstanding or another attempt at misinformation.
As RJ Palmer is an adherent of the Orsam Theory, I know that his evidence is not based on anything claimed for the diary origins by Anne or Mike themselves.
The Orsam Theory is based on the documented fact that Mike was seeking a Victorian diary with blank pages in March 1992 before anyone in the world saw the Maybrick diary.
From that fact, and from the key fact that an experienced document examiner (corroborated by other document examiners) found the ink to have been recently applied to the photograph album, it can reasonably assumed that Mike was involved in a plot to forge a Victorian diary. It can also be assumed that Mike did, in fact, manage to obtain a Victorian journal, or photograph album, with blank pages in either March or April 1992 because he arrived in London with one purporting to be the diary of Jack the Ripper on 13 April 1992.
Nothing in that belief is based on anything Mike ever said.
The fact that a Liverpool auction house, Outhwaite & Litherland, held an auction of Victorian and Edwardian effects on 31 March 1992 provides a possible explanation of where Mike obtained the photograph album but it is not essential to the theory that he obtained it from that place on that date.
The fact that some of the expressions in the diary match some of Mike's idiosyncratic expressions is interesting but not essential to the theory of the diary's authorship.
The fact that some of the characteristics of the handwriting of the diary match that of Anne Barrett is interesting but not essential to the theory because anyone could have been the scribe.
So Miss Information is deluding herself if she thinks that her theory of the origins of the diary is somehow more pure than the Orsam Theory because it doesn't rely on what the Barretts have said about it.
Sure, as a result of his belief in the Orsam Theory, RJ Palmer might feel that Mike's 1995 affidavit is likely to be largely true and that Anne was the scribe but that doesn't mean his belief in the origins of the diary is actually based on anything Mike has said.
And in any case, Miss Information's claim that she doesn't base her theory on anything Mike said about the origins of the diary isn't true. Her belief that Eddie Lyons said to Mike in the Saddle pub on 9 March 1992 something like 'Take this and go and do something with it' comes directly from what Mike claimed Tony Devereux had told him. Otherwise she couldn't possibly have any clue as to what Eddie said to Mike in the Saddle. Her belief that Mike kept pestering Eddie Lyons as to where he got the diary from after 9 March comes directly from what Mike said about him pestering Tony Devereux as to where he got the diary from. So she's just flat wrong to say that her evidence is not based on what Mike and Anne claimed themselves. It is based on that, just twisted a little bit.
Furthermore, Miss Information's theory as to the origins of the diary is based on things that Paul Feldman has said. Is he - the man who induced Eddie Lyons into agreeing to a false provenance for the diary - really any more reliable than Mike Barrett as source?
THE BUFFOON OF BUMBLEDOM
I guess some people just enjoy being misinformed so that they can go on to misinform others. Miss Information always seems to be misinformed nevertheless even I was surprised to see just how misinformed she is about the origins of the expression 'bumbling buffoon'.
For, in #7503, she wrote to RJ Palmer of the Clanger's recent irrelevant 1891 discovery of 'a bounding buffoon of bumbledom', which she misquoted as 'a buffoon of bumbledom', thus leaving out the most important word, and said:
'A buffoon of bumbledom from 1891? Ouch that must have stung a bit'
This woman really does not know what she is talking about.
If she had actually bothered to read my article Bumbling About, published back in September 2020, she would know that 'bumbledom' has a completely different meaning and derivation to 'bumbling'.
To repeat what I said back then:
Mr Bumble was a character in the 1838 book ‘Oliver Twist’. He has been described as the ‘cruel pompous beadle of the poorhouse where the orphaned Oliver is raised’. The word ‘bumbledom’ was derived from Mr Bumble and is said in one nineteenth century dictionary to mean ‘Fussy official pomposity; a sarcastic term applied especially to members of petty corporations, as vestries in England, and implying pretentious inefficiency’. Mr Bumble wasn’t the blundering incompetent type of person implied by the expression ‘bumbling buffoon’ and I don’t think that his character, or the word 'bumbledom', played any real role in the way the word ‘bumbling’ came to be used.
So it's an entirely different word to bumbling which just happens to have the 'bumble' in it because it relates to Mr Bumble, the Dickens character.
As the Clanger himself noted when he first posted the quote (#250 of the 'google ngrams' thread), 'in this case Bumbledom is a reference to parochial officialdom'. So the author was referring to a buffoonish official. It's literally nothing to do with a bumbling buffoon.
So no, 'a buffoon of bumbledom' did not sting a bit, and Miss Information shows herself up yet again as a real life bumbling buffoon and spreader of misinformation.
ERRORBITHA'S INEVITABLE ERROR
No surprise that Errorbitha made the exact same mistake as Miss Information over the 'buffoon of bumbledom'. Christ, is there NO mistake that this guy won't make?
He suggests in #7506 that someone would likely have considered 're-wording such a phrase [as buffoon of bumbledom] to bumbling buffoon'.
But that's simply not possible. Bumbledom and bumbling are two completely different words with different meanings. So you can't just re-word 'buffoon of bumbledom' to 'bumbling buffoon'. You wouldn't be saying the same thing!
The former relates to a buffoonish official only, whereas anyone can be a bumbling buffoon.
Errorbitha then rounds off his post in irrelevant style by remarking that he's found an example from 1851 of a 'babbling buffoon' (or 'buffon' as he typed it). But that's not a bumbling buffoon is it, so why is he babbling about babbling buffoons? I guess he is a babbling bumbling buffoon.
MORE BAD FAITH
So Kattrup accused Miss Information of making a bad faith post about the 1891 diary. I've already explained above, under the heading 'BAD FAITH ACTRESS', why her post was in bad faith.
In her response (#7505 of the Incontrovertible thread), Miss Information avoided all mention of the 1891 diary, which was the subject about which she was accused of posting in bad faith, rambling on instead about her reasons for believing that Eddie had discovered the diary in Battlecrease. In doing so, she argued once again in pure bad faith.
Let's look at it.
She claimed that:
'At least four different witnesses, on separate occasions, have named Eddie Lyons in connection with a discovery made in Battlecrease while electrical work was being done there'.
Look how carefully crafted that sentence is. Four different people have named Eddie 'in connection with a discovery'. That's very different from four people witnessing Eddie actually making a discovery, or even knowing anything about a discovery, and it's also very different from four different people being witness to Eddie discovering the diary.
The joke is that one of the witnesses is Robert Smith who knows fuck all about any discovery from his personal knowledge.
But if Robert Smith is a 'witness', as Miss Information claims we will surely find his testimony in his book, right? So I turn to his book to discover that what Smith is a witness to is actually to Eddie Lyons (or someone claiming to be Eddie Lyons, we don't really know if it was him or someone Mike had asked to pretend to be him) telling Smith on 26 June 1993 that 'he had found a book under some floorboards at Battlecrease and had "thrown it into a skip".'
So, fuck me, when Miss Information was talking about a witness to a discovery, here she is talking about a 'witness' to a discovery of something other than the fucking photograph album!!! She's talking about Eddie finding a book on an unspecified date which he then threw into a skip. So that's not the diary which he gave to Mike Barrett, is it?
And that knocks out her second witness, Eddie Lyons himself, because he wasn't talking about finding the diary. On the contrary, he has always denied finding the diary. He was, if Robert Smith's memory is to be believed, talking about finding a book which was then thrown away.
Her third witness is Brian Rawes to whom Eddie mentioned some sort of unspecified discovery IN JULY 1993, three months after Mike had taken the diary down to London to show Doreen Montgomery! Even Shirley Harrison admitted that whatever Eddie had found at that time, it couldn't have been the diary.
So we are down to Arthur Rigby as the final witness to 'the discovery'. Except that Arthur Rigby never witnessed any sort of discovery by Eddie Lyons or anyone else!!
Sure, when Paul Feldman came along spinning all kinds of stories about electricians at the Saddle pub in early 1993, Arthur Rigby convinced himself that Eddie must have found the diary, but it was all reconstruction and speculation. He never saw a diary. Other than recalling something unspecified being thrown into a skip, Rigby wasn't a witness to ANYTHING!
Brian Rawes has said that he told Arthur Rigby about his conversation with Eddie in July 1993 and, that being so, Arthur would have been under the impression that Eddie had indeed found something but, whatever it was, it clearly wasn't the diary.
Suddenly all our four witnesses have melted away. Keith Skinner discovered the 'timesheet' evidence in 2004 but despite numerous investigations in Liverpool and London since then, not a single additional piece of evidence has been found to support the theory that Eddie Lyons found the diary under the floorboards of Battlecrease.
And it's wonderful to look at the paragraph where Miss Information knows that Eddie Lyons has never actually confirmed that he was in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992 but she dances around this by saying that Eddie has apparently volunteered that he was at Battlecrease helping out his friend on 'Arthur Rigby's rewiring job on the first floor in preparation for the storage heater installation' . It is only inferred that this was on 9 March 1992. But the key thing here is that NOT A SINGLE QUOTE FROM EDDIE LYONS HAS BEEN PROVIDED. The short snippet of an interview transcript which James Johnston once posted does not support what Miss Information claims he said. If Keith Skinner has subsequently spoken to Eddie and extracted more information we need to see exactly what Eddie Lyons said.
I do not trust any summary provided by Miss Information, nor should anyone else. We've seen what happened with her summaries of the information provided to her by Messrs Earl and Litherland. They somehow got magically twisted to support her case. We need to see Eddie's exact words before we can decide whether he was in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992. But even if he was in there, we still have zero evidence that he found the diary.
And we keep coming back to the key evidence in this case. Why was Mike attempting to purchase a Victorian diary with blank pages after 9 March 1992?
THE ABSENT SOURCES
It's worth spending a little more time on Miss Information's failure to properly source her argument in #7505.
She relies on what Eddie Lyons told Robert Smith at their meeting with Mike in July 1993 of which she says that Eddie has 'bizarrely' denied ever meeting Robert Smith in the Saddle.
Firstly, I have never seen that denial of Eddie Lyons quoted anywhere. Where is it?
Secondly, how do we know that Robert Smith met Eddie Lyons at the Saddle in July 1993 as opposed to an imposter? Was Smith relying on Mike Barrett's word that the man he spoke to was Eddie Lyons? If so, how is that consistent with the message that we shouldn't trust anything Mike Barrett tells us?
Thirdly, no quote from Eddie Lyons at that July 1993 meeting has ever been provided, just Robert Smith's summary of what he said as published in his book. We all know that conversations - especially in noisy pubs - can involve misunderstandings and that one can forget the details of a conversation after the event. Did Robert Smith make a contemporaneous note of his meeting with Mike and Eddie? If not, what is the earliest date that he put a record of that meeting into writing? And where is that document? It's not good enough for him to publish a book 14 years after the event in which he tells us what he remembers the man claiming to be Eddie Lyons told him.
Fourthly, we are told what Eddie Lyons is supposed to have said to Keith Skinner but no transcript of that interview has ever been provided. It is, it seems, being suppressed, just like James Johnston's interview of Eddie is being suppressed, with the full approval of Miss Information.
Fifthly, transcripts of any interviews with the other two key 'witnesses' cited by Miss Information have never been published.
In this day and age how difficult is it for those transcripts to be hosted somewhere for everyone to read? Because it's not just checking that what we are told the electricians said is accurate, it is about reading what else they told the interviewers which has been kept secret. The suspicion has to be that anything which harms the case that the diary was discovered by Eddie Lyons is being ruthlessly suppressed with only the bits they like being made publicly available. When is there ever going to be any transparency in this case?
Without seeing all the available information, it is literally impossible for anyone to make an accurate assessment about the evidence relating to Eddie Lyons's supposed discovery. We cannot rely on Miss Information's word for it. We've all seen how badly she got it wrong in her book over so many key elements of the story. We saw how Martin Earl's description of the 1891 diary became seriously corrupted when Miss Information summarized it. We've seen how she became convinced on the basis of Mike Litherland's information that Mike Barrett couldn't have bought the photograph album at an O&L auction but that turned out on close analysis to be quite wrong.
Until the full information is published, there is very little point in Miss Information arguing anything about the diary because no-one in their right mind will accept anything she says as being the whole truth.
MIKE BARRETT MASTER FORGER: MISS INFORMATION EXCLUSIVE
Yes, she's FINALLY admitted it. Mike Barrett was a master forger!
She told RJ Palmer in #7507 that she doesn't believe Mike wrote in a private note that Anne wrote the diary. He was, she tells us, 'playing another of his silly games'.
So, when, for example, he wrote this note to Anne, saying 'you and me wrote the Diary' it was a fake.
He has, therefore, cunningly managed to create a fake note from himself to Anne which is really for the eyes of others in order to convince them that he and Anne wrote the diary.
Now what does that remind me of? Oh yeah, the guy who played a silly game and wrote a personal diary pretending to be Jack the Ripper which was really for the eyes of others to convince them that James Maybrick was Jack the Ripper.
And it's now official from Miss Information herself. Mike Barrett was clever and cunning enough to be able to create fake documents designed to deceive others.
Thank you Miss Information.
An own goal from Robert Smith when he posted via Miss Information (#7512 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread):
'28 years later there is still no irrefutable proof of a forger's identity, or of how and when a forgery was produced'.
So he appears to accept that there is irrefutable proof that the diary is a forgery! He certainly had two attempts to explain how a twentieth century expression, 'one off instance', ended up in a nineteenth century diary but he simply couldn't do it. His attempts to demonstrate that 'one off instance' was in use in the nineteenth century failed miserably and totally.
That aside, it is remarkable that Smith takes comfort in the fact that there is no irrefutable proof of the forger's identity or how and when the forgery was produced. Just look at the art world. There are thousands and thousands of forgeries in the art world but, for most of them, the forger's identity is unknown and there is no proof of how or when the forgeries were produced. But they are still known to be forgeries!
Goodbye Mr Smith, thanks for playing.
Miss Information seems to be losing it in her dotage.
In #7513 of the Incontrovertible thread she asked: 'Why didn't the diary author use a dictionary, at least to get the spellings right?' but then, without even bothering to attempt to answer her own question, rambled on for eight paragraphs about the Sphere History of Literature in which she told us about her worthless hunches, before ending with a repeat of the same question phrased differently, hence: 'I do wonder what possessed the Barretts to think they could write like a Victorian, without even consulting the most basic of dictionaries'. But still no attempt at an answer.
Well the first question to ask (which Miss Information didn't bother with) is: did the Barretts actually own a dictionary in 1992?
We seem to have no evidence about this. The intrepid team of investigators never seemed to manage to find out.
If they didn't own a dictionary, we have the answer!
But if they did own a dictionary, how do we know that they didn't consult it? Some words in the diary are spelt correctly after all. Does Miss Information think they needed to check EVERY SINGLE WORD? Because that would have made the process of writing the diary a very, very, long one.
I believe I told Miss Information this on the Forum many years ago. If you think you know how to spell a word you don't bother to check it in the dictionary. If Anne (as the supposed scribe) had a confidence in her ability to spell, that might explain why she didn't check every word and would explain why she made some spelling mistakes. Perhaps she also didn't care if she spelt some words wrong because it could simply be blamed on James Maybrick being a bad speller (as indeed it has been!).
THE GREAT MISREMEMBERER
Miss Information, the Chief Diary Defender, is also famously known as 'The Great Misrememberer', due to her uncanny ability to incorrectly remember just about everything.
Her latest effort is found in #7513 of the Incontrovertible thread when during her ramble about the Sphere History of Literature in which we find 'my hunch is...' and 'another hunch is...' and all kinds of useless speculation, we get:
'I may be misremembering, but didn't Melvin Harris admit that Jenny never actually claimed to see this particular volume'.
Yes, surprise surprise, she is misremembering.
As I already explained at length in Oh Carolina!, under the heading 'Crashing into Crashaw (Part 3)', proving, once again, the worth of the saying, 'No Orsam, No Comment!', Melvin Harris said that it was Mike who had never claimed that Jenny had seen Volume 2. But that doesn't mean that Jenny never saw volume 2! It means - for those with comprehension difficulties - that Mike never claimed that she had.
As I also explained in the aforementioned 'Oh Carolina!' article, Melvin Harris was apparently responding to a false claim by Miss Information herself about what Mike had said and was doing no more than setting the record straight.
But now Miss Information has somehow got it into her head that Mike didn't own volume 2 when there is plenty of evidence to suggest that he did!
Furthermore, even if Melvin Harris did 'admit' something about Jenny's knowledge, that so-called admission would be worthless because it would be pure hearsay. It's amazing that when Melvin Harris says, for example, that Alan Gray was told the source of the Crashaw quote by Mike long before he told Shirley Harrison, this is dismissed by Miss Information as Harris being mistaken but when she thinks that he said something which helps her case, he is suddenly a reliable source who never gets anything wrong!
Proving that Ripper arguments on the Forum go round in an endless loop, I see that Christer has resurrected his argument about PC Thain to try and push the time of discovery of the body of Nichols by Cross to as close to 3.45 as possible.
Thus, in #3513 of the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread he tells us that:
'If John Neil discovered the body at 3.45 and if John Thain was called to the site in that same minute, then why is it that Thain did not reach Rees Ralph Llewellyns practice in Whitechapel Road, a two minute trek to the murder site until around 4.00 per the inquest or possibly at around 3.55 (as per the initial interviews)'
It's highly amusing that Christer notes that Llewellyn said that he was woken up by Thain at 'around 4.00'. The word 'around' (or 'about') is something he normally omits in his mission to frame Cross. He'd already done it a few posts earlier, in #3443, when claiming that:
'Baxter - who knew quite well about timings the three PCs had given - established in his inquest summary that 3.45 was the time when the body of Polly Nichols was discovered'.
This is typical Fish nonsense. Baxter made no such finding. He knows perfectly well that Baxter said that the time body was found 'cannot have been far from a quarter to four am'. That is NOT a finding that the body was found by Cross and Paul at 3.45. It could incorporate 3.40 or 3.42 very easily, both of which times are not far from 3.45. Shockingly, Christer also repeats his nonsense that Swanson changed the time of discovery noted in Inspector Abberline's report from around 3.40 to exactly 3.45, when the truth is that he did no such thing. I demonstrated clearly in the Forum that Swanson's times in all his reports were rough estimates. Abberline estimated the time of the discovery by Cross and Paul as having occurred at about 3.40 which makes perfect sense of all the evidence but Christer realizing that this demolishes his entire theory relating to the guilt of Cross tries to pretend that Swanson later corrected it, which is entirely false.
When it comes to Llewellyn, we have a rough time only admitted by Christer of 'around' 4.00. He is, on this occasion, forced to include the word 'around' because of Llewellyn having originally told the press that he he was woken at about 3.55am. But what about Christer's premise that, having discovered the body, Thain was called to the site 'in that same minute'. Where do we find that in the evidence?
The answer is we don't. Christer has invented it.
PC Neil never said how long it took for Thain to arrive. Sure, from the way Neil said that he found the body and then heard Thain passing Brady Street it seems like it happened quickly, and it must have happened quite fast because he was at the murder scene before Mizen, but whether this took one, two or three minutes is completely unknown. Certainly it must have taken about a minute for Thain to walk up from Brady Street to where Nichols was lying but that's as much as we can say. So that's the first evidential black hole. The second evidential black hole is that we don't know exactly how long it took for Thain to then go to Dr Llewellyn. Sure, the evidence of Neil is that he said to Thain, 'Run at once for Dr Llewellyn' but that doesn't mean that was all that said, nor does it mean that Thain literally ran because we have no evidence that he did. Realistically, the two men might have discussed the situation for a minute or two before Thain walked to fetch the doctor.
While everything involving Thain occurred before Mizen appeared on the scene, we don't quite know how long it took Mizen to get to Bucks Row. It 's true that the coroner stated that Mizen 'appeared to have started without delay' in walking to Bucks Row but we know this isn't true from Mizen's own evidence where he said he finished knocking up at the house he was at before going to Buck's Row.
Just look at this possible timeline which is based on all the known evidence including the fact that Paul said in his evidence that he and Cross didn't hang around looking at the body of Nichols for more than four minutes. I also factor in a two minute walk from the body of Nichols to where Mizen was knocking up:
Cross leaves house: 3:33
Cross enters Bucks Row: 3:41
Cross and Paul discover body: 3.42
Mizen starts knocking up: 3:45
Cross and Paul leave body: 3.46
Cross and Paul speak to Mizen: 3:48
Neil discovers body: 3.48
Mizen continues knocking up at the house he is at: 3:49
Thain passes in Brady Street: 3:50
Mizen finishes knocking up: 3:50
Neil and Thain speak briefly: 3:51
Thain departs for a doctor 3:52:00
Mizen arrives at crime scene: 3:52:30
Thain knocks at Dr Llewellyn's door 3:54
Dr Llewellyn is woken up by his servant and looks at his watch: 3:55
No timing gap here.
To the extent that Thain did immediately run off to fetch the doctor, we just adjust the time Cross left his house to 3:34. Also, Dr Llewellyn could have taken two or three minutes after he was roused from his slumber to note the time. So there is plenty of flexibility there.
It will be noted that in this timeline both Cross/Paul AND Neil discover the body at about 3.45am. They are both 3 minutes either side of this time. So that fits the evidence in the case perfectly.
I already dealt with all this when I was posting on the Forum and I even started a thread entitled PC Thain's Cape. This was after Christer himself had said that Thain must have diverted to Winthrop Street on his way to knock for the doctor which, if true, would have added to the amount of time it took for the constable to get there.
Christer doesn't like the fact that the timings can be made to work with Cross and Paul finding the body at 3:42am so he twists and turns himself inside out in attempting to frame Cross but he cannot avoid the inevitable conclusion that there is a perfectly innocent explanation.
A couple of other points are also worth noting because Christer says a number of strange things in the Evidence of Innocence thread. In #3451 he claimed that:
'John Thain was called to the murder site by PC Neil. And he was called there about the same minute that Neil found Nichols. Both PCs report 3.40 as the time.'
He was then embarrassingly forced to apologise in #3463 for having made 'a glaring mistake' in saying that the constables reported their discovery as having been at 3.40 (it was, of course, said to have been about 3.45) but he had already followed up from this mistake by claiming that Thain should have been at Dr Llewellyn's at 3:43 so that it 'begs the question as to why Thain took 14-19 minutes to cover a stretch that would take no more than around two minutes to cover'.
Amazing that Christer could go so badly wrong on such mistaken timings. So what did he then do after realizing his glaring mistake? He decided that Neil arrived at the murder scene at 3.51!!! This is all on the basis that Cross and Paul discovered the body at exactly 3.45. He needs that discovery to have occurred at that exact time to create a timing gap between it and the time Cross said he left his house in order to frame Cross for the murder. But there is no evidence that the Cross/Paul discovery occurred at exactly 3.45. Why could it not have been at, say, 3.42? For Christer simply disregards Mizen's evidence that he spoke to Cross and Paul at 3.45am. It's the only unambiguous evidence of timing in the case! Hence (underlining added):
'Police Constable Mizen said that at a quarter to four o'clock on Friday morning he was at the crossing, Hanbury-street, Baker's-row, when a carman who passed in company with another man informed him that he was wanted by a policeman in Buck's-row, where a woman was lying.'
Cross and Paul couldn't have discovered the body at 3.45, spent a few minutes examining it, walked to Baker's Row and spoken to Mizen also at 3.45. If Mizen's evidence is correct they evidently discovered the body a few minutes before 3.45.
That Christer entirely disregards PC Mizen's clear evidence about the timing of events is shocking in circumstances where he is clearly so keen to frame Charles Cross.
Once you allow for the fact Mizen said that he spoke to the carmen at 3.45 and for the fact that Neil said that he found the body at about 3.45am - and assume that this was at 3.48am, just seven minutes before Dr Llewellyn said he was called up - all the timing problems in respect of Dr Llewellyn's wake-up call really disappear. Thain first had to be heard by Neil in Brady Street, which could easily have taken a minute after the discovery of the body, and then had to walk up Bucks Row after having been summoned by Neil. It's usually considered to take about 60 seconds to walk from Brady Street to where Nichols was lying.
Defending his approach, Christer asked three questions in #3477. The first question was:
'Why did Baxter say the body was found at 3.45 if it was found at 3.40'.
The answer is simple. Baxter did not say the body was found at 3.45. He said it was found not far from 3.45 which easily includes 3.40. In any case, Baxter was the coroner, not the Lord almighty himself, and could only do his best to assess timings from the evidence presented to him.
His second question was:
'Why did Swanson in his October report change the timing of 3.40 from the September report into 3.45?'
The answer is again simple. He did no such thing. The idea that Swanson somehow decided Inspector Abberline had got it wrong is utterly absurd.
His final question was:
'If Neil flagged down Thain at 3.45, why was Thain not at Llwellyn's place around 3.48 but instead at 3.55-3.50'.
We can see here that Christer has done two things. He has firstly ignored Mizen's evidence. Secondly, he has selected an exact time of 3.45 for the supposed discovery of Nichols' body by Neil. Something which no-one has said. Look how he refers to the time that Lwelllyn said he was called up as being "3.55-3.50" yet doesn't say that the time Neil discovered the body was '3.45-3.50' which it could easily have been. We also see a devious switch from Neil discovering the body 'at 3.45' to Neil also flagging Thain down 'at 3.45' but if the discovery was at 3.48 it could have taken a minute or two for Neil to flag down Thain. I've already answered how a discovery at 3.48 could easily mean that Thain knocked at Llewellyn's door six minutes later at 3.54.
The second strange thing is that Christer seems to think that Wynne Baxter noticed that there was some kind of problem with the timing and tried to press PC Thain into saying that he went to fetch his cape before he summoned Dr Llewellyn. Thus we find him saying in #3451 that:
'...the idea that John Thain must have sneaked into the butchers in Wintrhop Street to get his cape and to tell them about how there had been a murder committed in Bucks Row...must have seemed the only possibility to save the 3.40 timing given by the three PCs.'
In #3479 he claims that:
'It was obvious that John Thain had spent far too much time on fetching Dr Llewellyn, for example...nobody questioned the timing of 3.40 - but for it to work, there had to be an explanation as to why Thain spent around ten minutes on an errand that should take two minutes only'.
Obviously in the first quote he was wrong to say that three PCs gave a 3.40 timing, and he meant 3.45, but I assume that in the second quote he's talking about a 3.40 timing of discovery by Cross. Then, explicitly in #3483 he tells us that the coroner was involved in some sort of aborted attempt to manipulate the timings:
'Myself I am particularly fond of another quotation, from another paper, namely the Daily Telegraph. It has a wording that seems odd until we realize how Thain was put under pressure by the coroner who - if I am correct - firmly believed that Thain had payed (sic) a visit to his butchers BEFORE running for Dr Llewellyn. This, the coroner would have done in order to be able to save the 3.45 timing given by the three PCs, if I'm not mistaken, a prospect that was abandoned in the end'.
And what is the quotation from the Daily Telegraph which has led Christer to this quite extraordinary conclusion? It's this answer by Thain:
'When I went to the horse-slaughter's for my cape I did not say that I was going to fetch a doctor, as a murder had been committed'.
So what Christer seems to think was happening here was that the coroner was encouraging Thain into saying that he had made a diversion to Winthrop Street because it had occurred to him that the timings otherwise didn't work if Neil had discovered the body at 3.45.
The fatal problem with Christer's theory is that Thain wasn't answering a question from the coroner! As the Daily Telegraph report clearly states, he was answering a question asked of him by a juror. So the notion that this was all part of a plot by the coroner to manipulate the evidence fails entirely.
But what about that juror? He was obviously following up the evidence of Henry Tomkins who had said that at about 4.15 PC Thain had called for his cape and that it was at this point that he was told by the constable that there had been a murder. I don't think the Telegraph report can be quite accurate though because there had been no evidence that Thain had told Tomkins anything about a doctor. I think the Telegraph reporter muddled the evidence. The Times probably reflects the answer more accurately when it reports Thain's evidence on this point as being: 'When he was sent for a doctor he did not first go to the horse slaughterers and say that as a murder had been committed he had better fetch his cape'. From this we can conclude that what appears to have happened is that, on the basis of Tomkins' evidence, the juror had become suspicious that Thain didn't go straight to the doctor but had diverted to collect his cape (which Thain denied). It's unlikely to have anything to do with the timings, more that Tomkins had said that Thain had come to collect his cape and the juror wondered when this had happened, thinking that the only time it could have been was when Thain left Buck's Row to knock up the doctor. It's a shame that we don't have a record of Thain clarifying that he picked up his cape after having come back to Buck's Row with the doctor, which seems to be the most likely scenario.
In short, the notion that the coroner was trying to improve the evidence to fit a 3.45 discovery is a typical Christer Holmgren fantasy for which there is precisely no evidence or reason to think it could possibly be true.
HOW TO FISH
When Charles Cross testified that he left his house 'at about 3.30am' this means he left his house at exactly 3.30am. To suggest he left his house six minutes later at 3.36am (or even three minutes later at 3.33am) would be RIDICULOUS.
But when PC John Thain testified that he was signalled by PC Neil at 'about 3.45' this needs to be adjusted to 3.51, a full six minutes later!!!
And that my friends, is how to fish.
SUPERFISH IS BORN
Astonishingly, Christer seems to have spawned a number of little fishes who happily spout his nonsense.
One of them, Superfishshodan, a psychology graduate who claims, modestly, to 'understand[s] evidence very well' (#3535) sets out a number of purported facts in #3542 of the Evidence of Innocence thread, one of which ("Fact 4") being:
'Lechmere usually left for work around 03.20 (from press reports of the inquest)'.
This is such a false fact as to be incredible. There is zero evidence as to what time Lechmere 'usually' left work. It wasn't touched upon during the inquest.
What has happened is that two newspapers erroneously reported that, on the morning of 31 August, Lechmere left his house at [about] 3.20am whereas all the others without exception said it was at [about] 3.30am. From this, Christer Holmgren has speculated that Lechmere might have said in evidence that he usually left his house at 3.20 but, on that morning, left at 3.30. Mind you, he's also speculated (as featured in the documentary) that perhaps he did say he left his house at 3.20 that morning and the papers which said 3.30 were wrong. Either way, it's pure speculation.
For someone who claims to understand evidence 'very well', it is amazing that an unfounded speculation of this sort, based on no actual evidence at all, can be turned into a 'fact'.
And from this 'fact' our psychology graduate tells us that 'On his usual daily commute Lechmere would arrive in Bucks Row around 3.27'. Amazing! Pulled out of thin air on the basis of an imaginary departure time without even any actual evidence that his walk to Bucks Row took him seven minutes!!
So says our super sleuth, 'On the morning in question Lechmere is for some reason very, very late'.
And so we have another very nice frame-up of a man for murder on the basis of fuck all: a typo in a newspaper!
NEW LITTLE FISHES
In #3555 of the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread, the new Superfish tells us that because Cross married in 1870, 'clearly his name has been Lechmere since 1870 and possibly earlier'.
There is, of course, no evidence whatsoever that Cross used the name Lechmere prior to 1870 and, as for after 1870, the Clanger must now be hanging his head in shame at his suggestion that my Name Issue research here was worthless because everyone knows that a man in the nineteenth century could have two names. Here we have a classic example of someone who does not know this.
Superfish is looking at the world with twenty-first century eyes whereby, when someone records their name on an official document, THAT'S IT. They can then only be known by that name, he thinks, BECAUSE THAT'S HOW THINGS ARE NOW.
But, as I've proved in the Name Issue thread, a man could get married under one name but be commonly known by another.
SuperfishShodan confidently claims that 'by 1888 Lechmere hadn't used the name Cross anywhere for two decades'. We do not know this.
This mini Fish claims to understand evidence but every post he makes undermines this. We have so little information as to what Lechmere called himself prior to 1888. We certainly have no idea what name he used at Pickfords.
Setting out a scenario whereby Lechmere was guilty of murder is one thing but if you are being fair you must ask yourself if there is an innocent explanation for his actions. Clearly, if Lechmere was known as Cross at Pickfords it would be perfectly understandable that he gave that name at the inquest.
Unfortunately, another Mini Fish called Dick'ere, or something, posted in #3557 to say:
'On two occasions, and nowhere else we know of, he uses a name that isn't really his at the inquest'.
Well the name Cross WAS really his name. He would have been entitled to use it for the rest of his life had he wanted to. But more than this, when Dick'ere says 'nowhere else we know if' he doesn't consider that this might just be a reflection of the paucity of evidence about what name the guy used in his day-to-day life. We know nothing about that! In particular, we have no records relating to Pickfords. So it's just meaningless to say that we don't know of other examples. It's important to know what we don't know!
In #3559 Paddy Goose suggested that, if Christer would just stop posting, the thread could die a natural and well deserved death. But with all these crazy mini fishes around there doesn't seem to be any chance of that.
THE MASTER FISH
After all the little fishes had their go at posting their own fishtakes, the master was back in #3579 of the 'Evidence of Innocence' thread to show them how it's really done. Hence:
'There is absolutely no doubt that Lechmere was the name he used officially throughout his adult life'.
The problem with this sentence is that the word 'officially' is heavily loaded. Yes, on official occasions relating to his family, such as weddings and births, Cross used the name Lechmere but that makes no difference as to how he was commonly known, as I have previously demonstrated with case studies of other men in the same position. If he was commonly known as Cross then it made sense for him to use that name when giving evidence at an inquest.
It's just a magic trick whereby the master tries to equate 'official' wedding and birth registration with 'official' inquest testimony to suggest that the name used on both 'official' occasions should have been the same. But they are two different things and should not be equated and conflated.
It's also a statement not supported by the evidence because if Cross was the same Charles Cross who testified at the 1876 inquest that is proof that he did not use the name Lechmere 'officially' throughout his adult life. The statement is disproved right there!
Even worse is that Christer refers to the fact of Cross using the name Lechmere on 'official' occasions as 'one of the main reasons to think it would be odd if he had a small sphere in which he was Cross'. This is the very thing that I proved was not odd or unusual in my Cross/Lechmere name issue thread whereby other men in the same situation had one name recorded on 'official' documents yet were commonly known by another name in their day-to-day life. Christer has never commented on the case studies I presented in that thread nor refuted its findings. He simply buries his head in the sand.
He knows perfectly well that the argument against him is that Lechmere could have been known as Cross at Pickfords, having commenced his employment at Pickfords while his stepfather, Thomas Cross, was still alive. If he was known as Carman Cross at Pickfords by his colleagues and employers, why would he not have used the name Cross at an inquest after he had discovered a dead body on his way to work for Pickfords?
It's the gaping black hole in Christer's entire argument.
THE SPHERE GOES ROUND AND ROUND
As we reach Orsam Day, the diary discussion has revolved back to Mike's Sphere book.
Miss Information continues to say baffling things on the subject ('Inspiration for The Fake Diary' thread, #176) like the fact that Mike handed Alan Gray 'an obviously second hand copy of Vol 2' in December 1994 is something which proves 'beyond doubt that this wasn't sent to him as new...in 1989' .
Er...someone please tells me how that works. By December 1994, if Mike had owned the book for five years, it WAS second hand by then wasn't it? That's the meaning of second-hand isn't it? After all, if Mike had sold it to a second hand bookshop in December 1994 it would have been purchased (and re-sold) as second hand wouldn't it?
Then let's add in that we are told that Mike lent it to Jenny's son, that makes it third hand!!!
I've already written loads about the Sphere volume and the Crashaw quotation which counters everything Miss Information has recently said on the topic, but let me just remind anyone who hasn't read Miss Information's own book, 'Inside Story', what the authors of that book said about the claim that Mike owned Volume 2 prior to March 1992:
'Harrison phoned Barrett's friend Jenny Morrison, who corroborated his story'.
Ha! So when we are told not to believe anything Mike said without corroboration, here we DO have the corroboration! That comes from Miss Information's own book!!
I remember once citing this sentence to Miss Information while posting on the Forum, and it threw her off balance.
I see that RJ Palmer cited it more recently in #484 of the 'Problem of Logic' and, in her reply, in #486, Miss Information ignored it completely!! She didn't even quote it let alone respond to it.
RJ Palmer also went on to say in #491 that Melvin Harris stated in an email dated 31 October 2000 that Mike's sister confirmed that the Sphere book was in Mike's house for years before the diary emerged.
Guess what? In her response to RJ's post (#522) Miss Information never dealt with this other than to say that Keith Skinner didn't know which of Mike's sisters this was a reference to or to whom she had spoken. Not good enough. She certainly wasn't able to dispute it had been said!
When Miss Information says that RJ Palmer is 'most certainly wrong' in saying that Mike found anything in the Sphere book prior to March 1992, and that he found the Crashaw quote in the library, she isn't basing this on any solid evidence but rather on her own personal belief that Mike played no part in forging the diary, so it's just a circular argument, not something she can properly say is most certain when she simply doesn't know if Mike was involved in forging the diary or not.
20 November 2021